Keep dancing…..(have confidence in Providence)

orchard-2

“Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us. The way is not yet clear. Grope along slowly.” -Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Please be kind and thoughtful in response to this post. I am going to share something that at first I wasn’t too keen on being open about. After a lot of thinking about it, I think in the long run it is best for me to be completely transparent about the process I have begun, or actually began six months ago, to improve my own health.

I grew up a very active girl, in just about every dance class you can name, always on the go and rarely stopping for breaks. When I was sixteen I found out that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). What that meant is that I would be battling my hormones for the rest of my life for things, like losing weight or having children.

Unfortunately I also stopped dancing. If I could tell my teenage self one thing it would to never-ever stop dancing. My weight began to increase with each year. And when it came time to have children we did have trouble. We saw doctors, I had surgeries, we took medicines, and we were so very blessed to have our three children.

In the meantime I have made a very concerted effort to become more active and eat healthfully. I have spent years going to classes for ideas on nutrition with PCOS, monitoring calories on MyFitnessPal, dancing away at Zumba or lifting weights at home or even in the office. I am not saying I am consistent (which I know is key), but I will say that I have tried harder than many people ever need to and I have not been extremely successful. Let’s be completely honest, I am extremely overweight. I am not trying to deny the state of my body and readily admit my own culpability in how it got to this point.

The loss of my father, and my mother’s illness has affected me in a few ways. It has caused stress that make it even harder to focus on food and fitness. It has also emphasized to me how important it is to get my own physical condition to a healthier place. I want to be around to see my own grand babies.

When we realized that our new insurance covered bariatric surgery, along with the combination of me already meeting my deductibles, I began the process, got the referrals, have been going to all the appointments and evaluations.

So what am I getting at? This morning I had lap band surgery. What this means is that I have a new tool in my toolbox to assist me on the way to a healthier life. Lap band surgery is not the same as gastric bypass. I will not lose an enormous amount of weight in a small amount of time. I still have to exercise regularly and be aware that there are certain high calorie foods that prevent weight loss. It will help me with consistency in portion control.

If you have an opinion on weight loss surgery or lap band specifically, I respectfully ask that you keep it to yourself. If you think that I think this surgery is some magic pill that will solve all of my problems or take away my struggle, you are wrong. I am well aware of the uphill journey I am continuing with this step.

I appreciate your encouragement. If you are an active person and would like to meet up for a walk or weight lifting or whatever and you are around Spencer, I am excited at the prospect. To all my Zumba buddies – I should be able to dance again in a few weeks. Also, since I am being open about this, I can now express happy frustration at the idea of drinking only fluids for the next few weeks and my horror at the thought of pureed turkey? It will be mashed potatoes and blended pumpkin pie filling for me this Thanksgiving, and I am NOT hosting. All good things, all good things….LOL

It might not seem like a God thing to you, but all of this all feels like an amazing gift from my Provident God. I am starting this new phase of my journey with nervous excitement. So be it!

I apologize for the length, but now that I have made this known, I know my friends and family will be supportive of me. I am so thankful for all of you!

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Where have I been?

I sort of feel like Social Media has taken the place of my blogging. I haven’t blogged here in three and a half years! In that time I have:
1. Completed my Masters of Science in Human/Computer Interaction and design
2. Moved to my hometown and to a home in the country
3. Had another BABY! Michael Theodore was born on Jan 16 of this year and we are soooo in love with him.
4. Lost my father to lung cancer.

So much more….I think I will start to write back here again just to process thoughts.

My little bunch…..
orchard-2

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women, church, world

So yesterday I had an interesting experience. I was watching the news in the morning about the Pope resigning. I decided to some research about likely successors. It was interesting. Yada yada.

On a whim I posted on Facebook that I was researching successors, and added that my only disappointment was that they were all men. When I was researching I hadn’t even thought about it, it was just something that came into my head when I posted. And really, it isn’t that I don’t believe that women should be priests or popes, I just wasn’t being thoughtful when I made that post. Still, it was a harmless status update. Or so I thought.

Later in the day I had a few minutes to spare and checked my blog reader. I found a post by someone who is supposed to be my friend (although after reading the post I think I am more along the lines of a person who is friends with people I am friends with – friend by association?) We went to college together (a catholic, women’s college founded by some of the strongest women I know).

The post that I read was a response to my facebook post. It did not address me in particular, but it was posted 30 minutes after my post and although I might not have been the only person who caused this person to be so angry, I was definitely included in it.

It went on to say that women who are supposed to be catholic and well-educated should grow up. That I obviously wanted a penis because I believed women should be able to hold roles of leadership in the church. It said that women who want equality should just shut up because it will never happen. It said that women and men are not equal. It said that I must be teaching my daughter that femininity is wrong and that she should want to be a man. (Please know these things did not have my particular name associated with them, but were obvious statements about me and all of her other crazy feminist friends.)

This is crazy talk, I know. This is attacking another person for their beliefs. If someone has a different opinion than you it is perfectly OK to share your opinion and why you believe it. But to respond with attacks about that person that are so stupid and unfounded is ridiculous. It is not Christ-like. It is ignorant, mean, and uncaring. I am very certain most people associated with the catholic church would not want their name attached to the statements that this person made, even if they do support the church’s reasoning for women not allowed to be part of the clergy.

And to actually believe that a woman who supports a greater level of equality in the patriarchy of the catholic church must want a penis. Really? You can’t recognize that a woman can be a great leader and strong while still being feminine? It is 2013. I work full-time, raise two kids, keep a household, go to school, and still give time to my church and family. I am a strong woman. I love being a woman. I would never want anything else. I don’t need other people dragging me down because of their fears or ignorance.

And I do not take back what I said about women in the church. I believe if the catholic church wants to grow in the future that it needs to change. I might be a voice crying out in the darkness and changes might scare people. No worthy change was ever made without struggle and sacrifice.

As a first round of response I messaged the person directly and explained how I felt she should respond directly rather than writing disparaging things about people on her blog. Her response was that it was her blog and she could write whatever she wanted on it. I then responded that of course she can, but that not responding directly but posting on a venue separate was cowardice. And that attacking people because they believed different than you is not Christ-like.

OK – I shared my point of view, now on to the million things I need to do today.

Peace.

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A surprise during the weekly grocery trip…

Sometimes we just need to be entertained during the mundane parts of life. :)

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DIY Cartwheel Mat

I wanted to get Zoe a Cartwheel mat for Christmas, but I didn’t order it in time.

A carthwheel mat is a guide for someone learning to do cartwheels with hands and feet placement marks to show them what to do.

Example Cartwheel Mat

The prices range from 3590+ on various sites for the same thing, but it all seemed a little more than what we needed.

I had been eyeing the yoga mats at our gym. They have plain purple and they are 8 dollars. So I did a little research about how to paint or mark on yoga mats. From what I could tell, you can use acrylic paints or maybe fabric paints, but you could also use sharpie permanant markers. I had some left over silver sharpies from an ornament craft we did over the holidays.

You can try it out for yourself!

Materials

  • Plain yoga mat
  • Sharpie
  • Acrylic paint (optional)
  • Printable Transparencies (optional)
  • Exacto knife (optional)

 

1. Print the stencil pages of a hand and foot on transparencies. You can download it here. I used transparencies and an Exacto knife to cut them out because I had them on hand, but I can see a piece of paper or card stock working just as well. Make sure to use a self healing mat when cutting them out with the Exacto knife.

 

Layout for mat

 

2. Measure the mat you purchased to see where the hands and feet best fit. I found the center and then moved out from there with the ruler. The width of all of the characters doesn’t have to be exact, but it should be evenly distributed and symmetrical.

3. Outline the hands with a Sharpie. Make sure the thumbs are facing into the center. Both hands are from the same stencil, you need only flip it over to get the other hand.

3. Measure out where to put the left set of feet. I chose about 7 inches from the bottom of the hand to the edge of the toe and about 6 inches from the top of the mat.

4. Outline the left set of feet. Remember the placement and slant of the second foot. I did this by comparing it to the edges of the mat.

5. Duplicate the same steps in the opposite placement for the right feet.

 

I don’t have a picture of the finished product, but I think you can see from the above picture what it looks like. Originally I was going to fill in hands and feet, but I really liked the clean look of the outline. I can see wanting to paint it with acrylic paint to make it all stand out. I did not do this, so I am not sure how it would turn out, but I did find sites that said acrylic paint should work fine on yoga mats.

Next weekend is Zoe’s birthday party so we will see what she thinks then!

 

 

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I’ll Miss This

I know there was an awesome Mommy-Blog about missing the sweetness of the little kids when they grow up.

I know I will. I already am afraid of missing the delicate way Charlie’s little body conforms to mine as we watch an episode of Spider Man. And the way I grab at his feet and tickle and kiss the soft soft skin.

But that isn’t what I am talking about here. (Just thinking of that makes me sad.)

What I wanted to contemplate is that I am beginning the last structured group project in my Master’s program. Everything else will be done solo. Working in groups is tough, add to that a full-time job and a family to keep going – and I always feel like I am the slacker. But then I felt like I end up going over and above time expectations to make up for my lack of availability during the normal working time.

Our project is to design something interactive for urban areas. We are focusing on collaborative urban play. And in the next few weeks I get do a lo-fi prototype for two concepts – a musical sidewalk and an interactive storytelling tool.

Getting my masters has not been easy. But, I know I will miss working on these projects when I am done.

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Biting is NOT ok.

How do you re-teach this?

Z has decided that is the best way to get her point across,

Anyway, we had a lovely weekend with warm weather and cloudless skies…

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Nope.

So I went to the doctor today to talk about options for losing weight. I mean I am working out and eating better, but I wanted to see what more I could do, like I said, with adi.pex. or something like that.

Turns out my doctor (whom I think is awesome, and trust completely) doesn’t prescribe it.

Bummer.

He wants to check my thyroid again. And my sugars. Maybe he will put me back on met.form.in. I have issues with his dosage of met.form.in. Anyway, we’ll see.

I’ll get the blood work done and go with what he says first. I’ll give him until January before I think about something else.

One day at a time….

 

 

 

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Slow Change

I like to think that NaBlPoMo is a forgiving concept/activity.

I missed yesterday. I was at home with a whole bunch of sick people. Z promptly puked when I got home Tuesday night so I kept them home with me in the morning. C and I spent most of the day feeling yucky too – and then Nadie came home and slept the afternoon away after leaving sick from work.

I don’t feel great today, but I am at work. I am running out of vacation days. I don’t have anymore sick days. I thought they were supposed to get through most of these illnesses in the first few years of daycare. Coming on year four and we still find new ways to build up immunities! So pardon me while I turn green and run to the restroom. Ugh. I am just waiting for daycare to call and say that Charlie needs to go home. He probably shouldn’t be there, but Nadie couldn’t stay home, so he at least needed to show up and get his laptop. I took an extra set of clothes. I know that means I am probably a bad mom. Whatever.

One of those days I guess.

I did work out today though. I wasn’t quite awake until after the first twenty minutes. That is when I realized my stomach was not quite right. I felt like a mean green weightlifting machine. Ugh.

 

Oh and here is a picture of Z on the day we went to the pumpkin patch. We had just finished a very pleasant lunch (amazing with two toddlers) at a local eatery. She wanted me to take her picture (never happens). I am amazed at the quality since I took it with my phone.

Oh, so back to the title of this post ‘Slow change.’

There is a research group at school that is studying slow change. There is also a class called ‘rapid design for slow change’.

I think the idea of slow change and understanding that things usually don’t happen overnight is a great concept. I need to keep reminding myself that my battle with living healthier is a slow change. Little by little things will evolve. Have a great day.

 

Today I am thankful that as a mother I can clean up puke without throwing up. It isn’t that I love the puke, but for some reason it just doesn’t bother me. Love the child, not the puke. Right?

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Voting and my new morning schedule

I voted today. I am anxious about the election results.

Starbucks gave out bracelets for people who voted.

And I have also established one of my new routines.
I mentioned that I have been trying to be healthier. I getting into the habit of being more active.
When I was going through classes for PCOS my doctor gave me a nutritional guideline and said that I should do mild cardio and lift weights regularly.
My morning routine is now something like this:

Walk .5 miles
Lift weights – I do a little bit of everything – Chest, Arms, Abs, Legs, etc.
Walk .5 miles

Instead of the treadmill I am using the track at my gym. It takes 15 laps to walk a mile, so I walk 7.5 laps, then lift, then walk another 7.5.
I know that I will need to up this workout eventually, but right now I am just getting into a rhythm. This is week three for me. I am using fitocracy to track my workouts. I am not sure I like their interface that much, but I like keeping track of what I do. I could do spark people again, but

I am not really putting myself on a specific diet. I am being more cognizant of my food choices. And this week I will be going to the doctor to see if I can try out ad.i.pex.
I don’t feel like I need it, but I don’t think it can hurt to try!

So anyway – my morning schedule one day a week is to go to the gym at 5am, then go to the grocery and pick up the weeklys. Then I return home, get lunches ready, maybe have time for a spot of breakfast and a cup of coffee. I clothe the children and myself and head out the door.
I also do this schedule, minus the groceries, two other days a week.
And today I did this schedule plus I voted, so that counts extra. :)

Wish me luck!

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