11.16.2010

Calling in Sick

Well, I would've caught up on blog entries this weekend if Morgan didn't decide it was a great time for him to get sick for the first time. Poor kid. He didn't understand why his tummy hurt and throwing up scared him. It was quite the adventure involving many towels.

We're a bit worried about him because it's day 3 and he still hasn't eaten more than a couple of bits of anything. Yesterday he wouldn't eat or drink. Today fortunately he has drank some juice and Pedialyte. Still won't eat anything though. I've tried giving him lots of bland foods and stuff. Won't eat. I really hope he starts eating soon. Though I'm less worried as long as he keeps drinking.

So of course I caught the bug from Morgan. I really, really hate vomiting. Of course I don't know anyone who likes it. But I have like an aversion to it, which is bad because it's really hard for me to do it even when I really need to. So now I'm on my second sick day from work and feeling pretty much the worst I've felt since my gallbladder attacks last fall. I hope I get better very soon because I've got work to do and a son and a home and a husband to take care of.

So I'm off to go watch some TV (Pushing Daisies) and drink, hopefully, some juice.

11.12.2010

Rambles

Hi peeps! (otherwise known as the handful of friends and family that read this) I know, I know. I've already failed at my goal. But don't worry. I'm going to try to make up for it this weekend by posting lots of totally cool stuff that you'll just love for all sorts of reasons. As a warning, this post won't be that cool. I need to just write and let myself ramble on about stuff because that's how I roll yo.

I had a sleep relapse last night. Bad Tracie. But the good news is I went almost two weeks at going to bed at a more decent hour (which many of you would consider "late"). And the other good news is I regretted it so much because it became extra clear to me how sucky it is to be so tired. So no more! I WILL get better at this. Dude, there's nothing I can't do when I set my mind to it. Because, yeah, I'm that awesome.

I've been thinking a lot lately about a lot of things. About my life, my passions, my desires, my ambitions, my feelings. Just been doing a lot of the self-reflecting. It's good for what ails ya. I'll post more specifically on this later.

I want to write this down so I don't forget it. I read on some random site about breastfeeding this bumper sticker-like saying: Boobs are food, not lewd. Just love it. I'll post an eloquent post on my feelings on breastfeeding in public and how it's not an indecent act later. But I just loved that. I love things that rhyme.

Also, I miss writing. So much. I have so many thoughts in my head and things that matter to me. I also have so much I want to share. I feel like I'm suffocating keeping everything trapped inside. I need to write more.

There's so much I want to do right now that I feel like I can't. I love my job. I love being an editor, and I'm great at it. I'm so, so grateful for my job. I'm so lucky that I get to do something I love and that I get to do it from home. My job is so necessary to me and my life right now. I know I'll always be a "working mom." But I don't love working full-time. Especially since there's other stuff I want to do that I just don't have time for right now. I want to get certified as a childbirth educator and a doula. I want to teach childbirth education classes. I want to serve as a doula for women. I want to help women bring their babies into this world. So much I want to do this. I yearn for this. Have you ever wanted something so much before you almost feel like it consumes you? Being a writer or an editor is a passion of mine. But making a difference in women's lives? I've found my calling. I know that I will get to do all of this eventually but waiting for the time to be right is so difficult. Between my husband going to school full-time and working full-time and me working full-time and being a full-time mother, there just really isn't much left. I do know that now is a time of sacrifice and if I can only be patient and work hard for the next 2 years or so, I can finally start working on my dreams. And really that's not that long to wait. As long as I hold fast to my dreams, I know I can eventually make them come true. And that's all I have to say about that for now.

11.07.2010

Getting my Zs

I've written before about how I have a problem getting enough sleep. This was partially due to baby, PPD, and OCD/addictive habits. I'm happy to report that the last week I got about 7-8 hours of sleep every day. I'm still staying up later than I should, but I'm making a lot of progress. I'm hoping that I can continue to break the self-destructive habit/addiction cycle that I've been living in the last 2 years.

 For those that didn't know, I couldn't make myself go to bed at a reasonably hour, even when I wanted. I would read, watch TV, or stay on the computer for hours and hours and hours. Sometimes even until dawn. Even when I wanted to go to bed, I couldn't make myself do it. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don't feel in control of my life. I'm very busy taking care of a toddler and working all day every day. My husband is at school or work all day and part of the night. So by the time I get time to myself I have to wait till Morgan and Austin are in bed. I think this was the cause of me staying up for hours. Me trying to feel like I had something in my life that I got to choose and control. But obviously, it was not good for me, my family, or my health. So I'm glad I'm feeling like I'm starting to gain control over my life again.

I really hope it's not a fluke, but I've been doing better lately. I think I'm starting to realize that whatever wants to keep me up can wait until the next day. I'm sure I'll still have relapses, but I'm hoping I can start having a healthier lifestyle. I'm feeling A LOT better. I have more energy and I'm happier. I can get more done. You never realize what a difference sleep makes until you don't get it (or when you start getting it).

Now I'm feeling like I can start tackling the other areas in my life that I need to work on. Here's hoping that I can continue to keep getting my much-needed Zs!

11.06.2010

Tracie Writes Letters #1

Dear jerks who smashed our pumpkins,

Halloween may be over but that still doesn't give you the right to destroy my pumpkins. I was still planning on carving it; a tradition I look forward to every year. Thanks to you, I'll have to wait until next year. At least you had some sense of decorum and didn't smash Morgan's baby pumpkin.

Upstairs neighbors, I suspect it was your kids because only your kids in this building lack common courtesy, something you have proven yourself devoid of. Thus the cigarette butts that keep landing on my balcony and you continue to lie that you "don't smoke." Yes, the cigarette butts just MAGICALLY appeared on the balcony and MYSTERIOUSLY you and your condo smell like smoke.


Wishing I had better neighbors,

Tracie

11.05.2010

The Best Shows No One Watched

Every single time I find a new show that I absolutely LOVE, I find out it was canceled way before it's time. (And yet, pure drivel like Two and a Half Men is still on the air.) This is my tribute to 5 shows that were canceled before their time.

  1.  Arrested Development. Also known as #1 reason I hate FOX. This show was brilliant and hilarious. It had a stellar ensemble cast, great writing, and well, it was just awesome in pretty much every way. One of the best comedies ever. If you haven't seen it, RUN--don't walk--to the nearest big box store and buy it.  Seriously. Buy it today. You won't regret it. Let's all hope that the movie gets made.
  2. Firefly. #2 reason I hate FOX. (Oh, and Heather, we saw this, and loved it, years ago. :) )This show was made by Joss Whedon people! Who totally rocks. (Buffy, Angel, Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse, they're all good. And I own, or will own, all of them.) So Firefly is the best sci-fi western nobody watched. Until it was on DVD. And it was so good that they made a movie (Serenity, which is also awesome). I love this show. The characters are pure gold. Mal, Wash, Zoe, Simon, River, Jayne, Book, Kaylee, Inara. This is the type of show you mourn when the end credits of the last episode rolls. They were just getting started! Every episode is great. Buy this. Watch it. Love it.
  3. Pushing Daisies. I just started watching this a few weeks ago on Netflix. I had heard it talked about before, but I didn't know what it was about. I watched the first episode, and I was in love. I knew before the episode was over that I was going to love this show. It was like watching mini-feature films with each episode. I love the Jim Dale narration, I love the costumes, I love the whimsy, I love the dark comedy, I love the surrealism, and I love the cheesiness. I love it all. Awesome show. Watch it today and scorn the stupid producers who decided to cancel it.
  4. Better Off Ted. One word: BRILLIANT. Started watching this recently as well. It's quick-paced and quick-witted. It has awesome writing. (Are you noticing a theme here? I like shows with good writing.) I love Veronica, played by Portia de Rossi. She's hilarious. Favorite character for sure. I also love seeing a good strong female lead, which she definitely is. I hate that producers think that people can't handle shows that move beyond the yawn boring cliches we've seen a hundred gazillion times. This show was original and sarcastic and just so different from everything I've ever seen on TV. I cry tears for this show. Canceling shows like this is why people are leaving network TV. All that's left (with a few exceptions) is vapid, crappy writing interpersed with vapid (albeit occasionally addictive) reality shows.
  5. Dollhouse. I really liked this show. It was just getting better and made me think about what it means to be a person. Who are you really? Is it your memories, your past, your actions, your thoughts? I haven't watched season 2 yet, but I will as soon as Netflix makes it available on instant play. 
So this is just a very short list with brief descriptions. I've got WOW to play people. But I wanted to keep my commitment of blogging every day for a month. So, tell me, is there a show that I've forgotten?

11.04.2010

Weaning

I have talked before about my experiences with breastfeeding. Things started getting better around 10 months, which made me happy. I looked forward to nursing Morgan for many more months. But alas, it was not to be. I'm now in a period of mourning.

Around 14 months or so, Morgan started losing interest during some of our remaining 2-3 daily nursing sessions. It was not the same as the nursing strikes that he had had at 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months in which Morgan fussed and refused to nurse consistently for a period of a few days before returning with gusto to nursing regularly, as is what normally happens with a nursing strike. It was different. He just didn't seem as interested. I realized that my milk was decreasing as I had stopped pumping and I had stopped talking my lactation supplements. I think he was getting frustrated with how little milk I had left, which just decreased my supply even more. I tried to continue nursing as I realized that I wasn't ready to quit nursing. I loved nursing for a few times a day. It was quick and easy, but I still had that bonding time with my baby. I started cutting back on nursing sessions gradually, not because I wanted to, but because I didn't want to force Morgan to nurse. I didn't want his (or my) memories to be tainted. Eventually the nursing stopped altogether. And Morgan seemed perfectly happy. There were no tears (on his part). (Many tears were shed by me.) By 15 or 15 1/2 months nursing was over.

I'm still really sad about it. Despite the obstacles, nursing filled me with a great sense of power. Feeding my baby (even if it wasn't exclusively) from my own body, my own breasts was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. But now my breasts are dry. They have gone soft. The nourishing milk they once contained is gone. Nursing was without a doubt one of the most challenging things I've done. I know I complained about it a lot. And there were times when I didn't want to do it. But now that it's gone, I know I wouldn't have done (many) things differently. Sure, I would have gotten more help and support and things like that. But I would not trade a single moment of it now. It was what it was. I'm looking forward to nursing my next child. I have hope that I won't have the same experience next time because I know what the heck I'm doing and I know what the problems are and most importantly, how, where, and when to get solutions. But even if the same thing happens again, I know I will nurse again. Because, for me, the trials and hardships were worth the effort. Every blocked milk duct, every bout of mastistis, every tear I shed at the frustration, the pain, the work....it was worth it for the memory of seeing my son "milk drunk," it was worth Morgan tenderly falling asleep in my arms, it was worth watching a frantic baby become a peaceful baby, it was worth the looks and the smiles Morgan would give me, it was worth the giggles that Morgan would produce when I would lift my shirt. In every way, it was worth it. I will remember with fondness my time with Morgan. Those are moments that no one can take away from me. I am so blessed to have had that time with my baby. And somehow he seems less of a baby to me now than a little boy. And I'm not ready for my baby to be a little boy. But that's another discussion.

So yes, I will mourn the end of the special relationship that Morgan and I shared together. It was a long, emotional, difficult, rewarding journey. But at the same time I will rejoice and count myself lucky that I got to experience that. I will remember only the good, and forget the bad. I will be proud of my accomplishments despite adversity. I will look forward to the time that I can, hopefully, have that experience again. And I will forever cherish the memories in my heart.

11.03.2010

Why Reproduce?

This is a reply-turned-post.

My coworker and friend Amanda R. asked on her blog "Why reproduce?" She wanted to know people's personal reasons for having kids. I replied and decided to post it on my blog. I ended up commenting more on general reasons than personal reasons for having kids, but here is my reply anyway:

Why Reproduce?
It's definitely not a decision to be made lightly. It's a HUGE commitment. And spending one-on-time with children, like [another commenter suggested], is a great help. Though really there is no comparison when it's your own offspring.

Why reproduce? Because my son is the greatest joy I have ever known. I don't say that lightly either as I haven't fallen in love with motherhood as my other friends did. I'm not the "traditional Mormon woman." I wanted to be a mom but it wasn't the all-out only burning passion or ambition of my life. (There are MANY things I want to do besides being a mother.) [Disclaimer: I don't think there is anything wrong with having "being a mom" as your personal ambition. Being a mom is a noble calling. Nor do I think that ALL moms have no other ambitions.] I also don't think that every woman should be a mom nor do I think that every woman should stay home. [Edited to add: I think the choice to have kids or not or to stay home or not is a personal one that every couple should make for themselves.]

So, enough rambling, why have kids? Because they're like having a little piece of God in your life. I have never understood my parents, both earthly and heavenly, as well as I do now. There is nothing more amazing or powerful than to create and bring forth life. The happiness that a child can bring compares to nothing that I have known thus far in my life.

For some people it gives them a sense of purpose. I've also heard others say having children "keeps them young." It also teaches one to be like Jesus as being a parent requires the most patience and selflessness than probably any other task.

That being said, being a parent is the hardest, most difficult, most rewarding, most challenging thing I have ever done. But hey, it's definitely WORTH IT.

Healthy Habits Challenge

Pretend I posted this yesterday because it was supposed to be.

So my family is doing a 9-week "Healthy Habits" challenge. We're participating as teams and there's hopefully going to be some kind of prize at the end for the person and/or team who gets the most points. I'm pretty excited about it.

The healthy habits are
  • Exercising for 30 minutes
  • Having "self-control" (sweets, junk food, fried foods, etc.)
  • Drinking 64 oz. of water daily
  • Eating 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies
  • Eating 3 servings of grains (preferably whole grains)
  • Avoiding eating after 8 p.m.
 You get points for each "habit" you complete every day. You get one freebie in each category a week. At the end of the 9 weeks, you get bonus points for each 1% of body weight you've lost.

What I like about this is it focuses on a positive goal instead of a negative goal. That is, instead of focusing on losing weight, it focuses on being healthy. Which means you could "win" and still be successful even if you don't lose much weight. The point of this is all of those are habits that will increase a person's health. It's a lot easier to check off "yes I exercise" or "yes I drank water" then to continually weigh yourself in and get frustrated when you don't see the scale moving. Of course I'm hoping this will help me lose weight over the course of the 9 weeks. But mostly I'd be happy to make all of those daily habits regardless of how much weight I lose. It'd be much better than the way I was doing before.

In the near future I'm going to write a post on health and weight and my lifelong struggle with my size. It's going to be good, so don't miss it.

How are you doing on incorporating healthy habits in your life? Are there things you could do better?

11.01.2010

Blog Challenge

I didn't blog at all in October? Dang. Oh well, that's all to be changing as I'm taking a challenge this month to blog every day. It will be quite a challenge since I rarely blog anymore. I actually have tons of stuff I want to write about but haven't been because
  • a.  I'm not sure it's appropriate for this blog (i.e., I really want to write lots of stuff about birth, pregnancy, feminism, breastfeeding, religion, etc. In other words, the causes I'm really passionate about. Seriously, just talk to me for 5 minutes and see if one of these topics doesn't come up.)
  • b.  I don't really have a lot of time
  • c.  I'm lazy
  • d.  I worry about what people will think about what I have to say. I don't worry about what they'll think of ME per se. I just worry that expressing my opinion on the things that matter to me will somehow offend them. And I hate people thinking that I think things about them that aren't true.
So what have I been up to? I've been working two full-time jobs: editor and mother. That's basically it. But in between that, in the month of October I:
  1. Went to a family Halloween party that was awesome mostly due to my game-planning self. Though the food was also awesome. And we had a chili cook-off and I took dead last, which was disappointing but not surprising. For the record, Austin and I think mine was the best. :) Also, we dressed up as the Rubbles: Betty, Barney, and Bam Bam. Our costumes were awesome I think. Courtesy of Savers and Mom's sewing machine.
  2. Went to the office for a Halloween potluck
  3. Took Morgan up to the office for trick-or-treating
  4. Held a dinner party over here for Halloween with Brett and Charlotte and Brittnee and Matt. We played more fun games. (I like games.)
  5. That's about it I think, which is sad. We need to do more.
 So get excited. You're about to get daily doses of the Tracie!