Sunday, May 18, 2014

Project Weight Loss Update

I'm having a wonderful peaceful girly weekend, with Jonathan away whitewater rafting.  It's much needed after a hellish week involving losing my internet for three days thanks to an accounting error on Verizon's part when something wasn't bundled that should have been.  Since I work from home, that meant I was hanging out at coffee shops and libraries trying to get work done.  Not much fun.  Plus Hannah was seriously teething, which made our nights pretty painful.  And my mom was still here, which, as helpful as she was, still means there's more noise in the house than what's normal or comfortable for me.

So now I'm sitting here with the breeze coming through the open window and a sleeping Hannah.  Blissful.

I wanted to post an update on my Fitness Project.  It's gone into overdrive as I've cut way back on carbs, and am pretty much cutting processed carbs out of my diet.  A bit painful at first, but I'm getting used to it, and losing the carb-bloat has been a great inspiration.  I'm down about 4 pounds so far.  

It's so interesting to keep noticing how much emotion I have wrapped up in food.  For example, this weekend.  I know I'm trying to cut way back on carbs.  But at the same time, I'm having a Girl Weekend with Baby H.  Girl Weekend = Croissants.  At least it does in my world.  Not in yours?  Well that's a shame.  In my world Girl Weekends equate croissants, gelato, pizza and soda.  What all of that has to do with spending girl time with my daughter I'm not sure, but it's there, and it's real.  There are croissants on my counter now testifying to it.  I should add, the pack is unopen and they are uneaten.  My willpower astounds me sometimes.

Speaking of willpower, I need to claim a Small Victory today.  I went to Costco with Baby H to get her diapers and some 12 month clothes (their Carter's layettes are so cute and so inexpensive - I'm a huge fan).  I really wanted a diet coke when I was done, AND it was noon, and I was hungry.  There was a huge queue in the food line at Costco, of course, because it was, after all, a Sunday at noon, which is, as everyone knows, the worst time to go to Costco if you expect to get out in less than an hour.  So I skipped the line and decided I'd stop somewhere on the way home.  

So can I say, I went through the drive through at Carl's Junior and I got just a diet coke.  No milkshake.  No fish sandwich.  No fries.  Just one medium diet coke, $2.08, thank you.

I had to give myself a pep talk driving up.  I played Eye of the Tiger on Spotify.  Hey, whatever works, right?

That's the fitness project update.  I'm getting more willpower.  I'm moving away from carbs.  I'm embracing diet chocolate pudding.  I'm down 4 pounds.  I have 13 to go until I get back to where I was pre-pregnancy.  After that, there's another battle to plan for, but I'm trying to do one at a time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

50 Things

So there's a gap in my life right now:

For the first time in four years, since having a baby and not needing to be obsessed with fertility/clomid/shots/ovulation/peeing on sticks, I have a lot of energy and a lot of creative thoughts, and, more than anything, I have the drive to actually complete my creative ideas and take these things that I've been thinking about for years to the next level.


My time is not my own.  I can sit down to a blank page and five minutes later there is crying, and someone is teething and needs to be comforted, or hungry and needs to be fed.

So here I am, with all this energy and ideas, and a complete inability to plan things out.  For a while I said I was going to get up at 6 every day to do my creative projects.  Then Hannah started sleeping like crap, and then she started waking up at 6, too, and really there's a limit to what I can do with this level of sleep deprivation.

When I was in New Zealand I reconnected with a very dear friend of mine who has her own business doing creative work.  I knew her when I lived in London; in fact, I was her intern.  She's about 10 years older than me, and we are ridiculously similar.  We both self sabotage the crap out of ourselves, and we also have grand ambitions that we'll probably never be able to meet.

I spent a lot of time with her, hashing out ideas for the businesses I want to run, the books I want to write, etc.

We came up with an idea.  The 50 Things idea.  It's based on the thought that if you do something every day on your creative idea, even if it's just five minutes, you can accomplish a huge amount.  If you do one Thing over 50 days, you have 50 Things.  If you do one Thing every day for a year, you have 365 Things.  A year seemed a little daunting to get started, so we decided 50 days was doable, and then we could reconsider.

I'm picking two areas to work on (ie two Things a day).  One is creative, one is admin.  I need to get rid of some cats.  One of the major holdups to us moving back to Pennsylvania is the amount of cats we have.  If I did one Thing a day on the cats, for 50 days, I'm pretty certain we'd have found a home for at least a few of them (anybody want a cat?).  The creative area is going to be my book.  I have a NaNoWriMo book I've been working on for years.  I want to complete it.  I'm not sure whether I'm going to publish it on Smashwords or not - I'm not sure that it's quite to the level I'd like it to be.  But I need to finish it, because it's lingering with me.  Every new thing I start to write has the story woven in somehow.  So I need to complete it so I can start new things.

Our 50 Things start on May 10.  

In the meantime, I'm taking a lot of inspiration from this Ira Glass quote on the creative process.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I think living in the Southern Hemisphere would mess with my head too much

Perfect May Weather - in NZ
We're experiencing Old Man Winter putting up one final fight before Spring kicks in for real, up here in our mountains.  There are dark clouds outside, rain, and intermittent hail, along with crazy fog.  I love it.  I'm snuggled in the house working from home.  My mom is still staying up in the home office, so J has moved a desk into the nursery for me (we still don't use it much since Baby H spends most of her time out in the living room, or in her crib in our bedroom).

One of the things I was tripping out about on our trip to NZ was how it must be odd to have a calendar dominated by Northern hemisphere dates when it's opposite for you.  Not just the idea that it's warm at Christmas.  Before we lived in the mountains I had plenty of warm LA Christmases.  But the idea that so many holidays were based around the seasons, and must be backwards for people living in the Southern hemisphere.

Sunday is still Mothers' Day in NZ.  But it's the middle of Autumn there; the equivalent of November.  And they just had Easter.  Part of the reason why the dates of Easter and Christmas fall when they do was to coincide with pagan holidays (ie the Roman holiday of Saturnalia).  I think it would be really weird to have Easter, a holiday about Resurrection, rebirth, renewal, springtime, bunnies, etc., happen in the middle of October.

There's hail and thunderstorms going on, and I drink hot chocolate and put on Christmas music.  It would be really weird to associate Christmas music with summer, ie, it's a really hot day, I think I'll put on some carols.

I used to always say that Halloween and Thanksgiving were my favorite holidays because they were in the fall - if Valentine's Day was in October, I'd love it as much as Halloween.  But I'm not so sure now, having just experienced autumn with signs for Mother's Day sales and left over Easter candy on clearance at the grocery store.  That was just weird, and I can't wrap my head around it.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Down Under Travels With a Teething Infant

Hannah and Mama in Auckland's Vulcan Lane
I haven't blogged in a while.  Because I've been on a Girls' Trip with Baby H and my mom in Auckland.  Like, New Zealand.  I'm actually kind of amazed that I pulled that one off, and I still have some non-gray hair, and I'm not completely crazy.  

Baby H had some serious separation anxiety, which was kind of tough to deal with.  I couldn't leave her with my mom at all, really.  So we were pretty much attached at the hip.  She also only napped when I walked her around in her stroller, so we went on a bunch of really long walks.  I've heard people talk about needing a vacation after their vacation, and now I finally understand it.  I'm exhausted.

But, I managed to get through two 12 hour flights, jetlag, and travels by ferry with my girl, and I'm not too much worse for wear.  All in all, I call that a success.

I managed to learn a ton about how to travel long distances with her (you really don't need as much as you think you need, and packing too much is a serious pain in the ass.  Oh, and you won't get a chance to read those magazines you put on your ipad, so seriously, just leave it at home) which I think will be really useful when we go away to NYC and Sweden this summer.  I just learned it all the super hard way - like getting thrown in at the deep end.

Hannah is thrilled to be back home, and I'm thrilled to be able to have a moment to breathe again.  At some point I'm going to collect all my thoughts into a Compendium of Infant Travel.  I'd read a lot of different information on long haul travel with babies.  Some of it was useful.  Some was less so.  So I'm going to write down what worked for us.  As soon as I get some more sleep...