Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The "Hooray's!" and "Nay's" of 2008

It's not New Year's Eve yet, but I'll be working tomorrow, then enjoying a quiet evening at home with the hubby. So I'm getting my "work" out of the way tonight.

I like to end on a happier note, so I'll start with the "Nay's":

1. The passing of a few loved ones: I can't remember dates to save my life, but this year Aaron's grandpa Marshall and my great-uncle Elmer returned to Mother Earth. I also received news yesterday that an old friend from high school just lost his mother after a battle with cancer. Each life was unique and precious, and will never be forgotten.

2. Aaron's job rigmarole: I'm so proud of Aaron for leaving the hotel after seven years. He was not happy there and it took a lot of guts to go into uncharted territory for him. However, thanks to our wonderful economy, we've be hanging on by a thread. However, we've been blessed with a family who will never let us go without.

3. Two car accidents in one year: The first cause the demise of a car I loved very much, when Aaron skidded into a tree a mere seven blocks from our home. Four months later, some moron pulled in front of me crashing our new-to-us van, with myself and Autumn in the vehicle. Happily, no one seriously injured in either incident, but that's more than enough vehicular chaos for one year.

The "Hooray's":

1. The birth of our beautiful daughter Autumn: While her arrival was far from planned, Autumn has been developing into an amazing, strong, joyful little girl. We've watched her go from a little bundle swaddled in a blanket in oversized outfits, to laughing, to rolling over, to crawling, to standing, to walking. Now if only she would sleep through the nights. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

2. The development of a new friendship: Because of troubles I had breastfeeding Autumn early on, my friend and doula recommended that I call Robin, who I've met in passing, but never sat and talked with much. She was also pregnant at the time and already has a toddler girl. An amazing friendship has since developed and I'm blessed to have connected with Robin and her family.

3. Multiple successful projects: Because of full-time mommyhood, there are certain things that have been placed on the shelf until further notice, like performing in plays. However, this year I've been able to help with Theatre for Young Audiences' fundraisers. I've also continued my involvement with Earthfest in expanding the Kids Korner, and I look forward to doing so in future years. I started a screen printing/t-shirt design business that has only been able to sell items at Earthfest. I plan to continue the business eventually, but finances have put it on the back burner. I refuse to call this a failure.

4. Realizing I'm actually happy in my job: When I quit Pizza Hut six years ago, I could've sworn that it was once and for all. And here I am. For the first time I feel like I matter, and I know that there are still people out there who are as twisted as I am. My supervisors know the balance of having fun and laying down the law when the time is right. Dan, if you're reading this, you still suck, so don't get any ideas in your head. :)

5. The election of Barack Obama! 'Nuff said.

I know it's cliche to say this, but 2008 has been one fast-moving roller coaster. There have been many sleepless nights, but many more jaw-droppingly amazing moments. There have been many tears, but many more laughs. May peace, joy and new beginnings knock on your door in 2009. Just be sure to open the door and welcome it into your life.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friggin-A it's cold!

Yay! It's Yule today and, well, nature decided to start winter a bit early this year. Hooray for a larger vehicle with new tires.

I haven't been to the Y in about 5 days, which I feel awful about. But I hosted a Yule gathering yesterday, and was prepping for that...sort of. And the day I finally said I was going to go, it was closed because of our second snow day of December! I love snow, I really do. I'm not taking that statement back. In fact, I actually had a blast driving around in the insanity of drifting snow. I often felt like D-Day from Animal House in the Deathmobile shouting, "Ramming speed!" Good times.

Yesterday's get-together was simply wonderful, though. It's so rare that our little Pagan family gets together, but it was totally worth the wait. But, OY! Seven kids in the house at once ranging in age of 6 months to 10 years. This is where the play room came in quite handy.

I am truly blessed for the various families I am a part of, whether it be the Pagan crew, Aaron's family or my own. I could go on some sappy dribble about each of them, but I'm just a tad to tired.

I've got three more days of holiday parties to attend, starting with a Black and White party on Tuesday. I found this killer dress at Goodwill for 5 bucks that is basically black with white polka-dots, in a very rockabilly style. I'm hoping to find shoes to match, and I'll be putting my hair in a very 40's pinup style. I went looking for shoes on Friday, but all the freakin' stores I wanted to go to were closed! Yay, snow! Anyway, I'm totally jazzed about getting to dress up. It'll be cold as hell, but beauty always comes at a price.

This may be my last blog before Christmas. To the itty-bitty group that reads this, enjoy it. Stay warm and stay safe. To the people I actually know that reads this, I love you all!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Muddled thoughts on a full tummy

So, obviously it's been a while since I've typed anything, and I have no idea what to say. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's more like that I don't know if my thoughts are worth saying, and that I've also been though quite a rollercoaster over the last few days.

Firstly, if you notice my ticker, I've lost 3 pounds so far. So how did I celebrate? Bowling, (light)Beer and Bar food. Ugh. I guess I'm allowed one day that "doesn't count", right?

I've been working a lot lately, which is a good thing because work equals money. Though I've found myself saying many, many times in the past, and quite a bit in the last few days that I have a hard time not being racist in my job. It's terrible to say, I hate that I think it at all. But when you have 8 deliveries and only three of them tip you, you start off frustrated. When those that don't tip you make you stand out in 7 degree weather while they haul out exact change, your blood starts to boil. When the majority of the non-tippers are racial minorities, ya start to wonder.

But then I come back to the restaurant and we ruthlessly make fun of people who aren't there to defend themselves in some of the most perverted and twisted ways possible, all is right with the world again. I'd go into details, but I just might get reported. OK, so cottage cheese, peanut butter and one co-worker and her roommate/friend-with-benefits/whatever were mentioned.

I had a minor freak-out moment yesterday when I realized December 20th is next week already. I have two holiday gatherings to attend that day, one of which Aaron and I are hosting. Well, mostly me, I think. When you have a soon-to-be 11 month old, not a lot of cleaning gets done on a regular basis, so I've got a ways to go. I probably shouldn't be sitting here typing. OMG! What if we don't get everything done in ti

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I miss the time when snow days were fun.

Yep, we had our first snow day of the year already. I never caught the news so I haven't the slightest clue as to how many inches we got. The schools closed down and, unfortunately, the Y did as well. No swimming class for Autumn and I today :( The two of us still got some great play time in, though. And no freezing our tushes off after.

I feel a bit bummed that I didn't have the chance to type anything yesterday, as it marked the anniversary of John Lennon's death, and the title of this blog is based on one of his best songs ever. RIP, John. Your message rings so clear now as it did in your day. I wish we could be singing Happy Christmas, War is Over.

Speaking of Christmas, I came to a realization the other day. Well, not really a realization, more of a clever name for what holiday is celebrated in our home. Pagans celebrate the changing of the four seasons as four of the eight Sabbats, the winter solstice being dubbed Yule.

The other day, heading to Santa Land at Younkers---em, Boston Store, we bumped into an acquaintance we know through Theatre for Young Audiences. She asked if we were out Christmas...correction, Solstice shopping, and out of nowhere I called it Yulemas. And why not? I've heard of Christian/Jewish families celebrating Christmakah. It has now stuck as the official holiday of this home. While Aaron and I consider ourselves Pagan, obviously most of our families carry on the traditional Christian celebration. We've determined we'd like Autumn to learn both ways and grow up being open to both. When she is old enough to make such a decision, it will be her choice to follow the path her heart feels is right. No one wants to ostracize what our family practices. It's not fair to place a child in that position.

So it's back to the usual shtick tomorrow. Boy, am I eternally grateful for off-street parking and new tires. Stay warm and stay safe, y'all!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Eye of the Tiger, or maybe just Albequerque

Today I did my usual shtick at the Y, mainly starting on the treadmill. Just to see what I could do, I went at a jogging pace (typically I'll do a "mall walk"). I gave myself a few minutes warm-up and then said that I would go to the 15-minute mark at the jogging speed. After a few minutes, I wasn't even sure I was going to make it that long. I told myself, 'just one more minute'. That minute came and went, so I decided to go another minute, and so on. I made it to 15 minutes and decided this really wasn't too bad. I eventually went for 20 minutes, doing a total of a mile and a half. I haven't run a mile since high school.

I can imagine some people out there thinking running a dinky little mile isn't all that much to celebrate, but I've tried simply running outdoors, and it is so much easier to just slow down to a walk when it gets "too hard".

To be honest, what seemed to help was that the song "Albuquerque" by Weird Al came on my MP3 player just as I started the jog. It's over 11 minutes long and I have most of it memorized. You have to hear it to understand it. Anyway, I found myself reciting the whole thing as it went along, which made me forget that I was actually doing something difficult. Man, I love that guy.

Tonight I had to work a long night. I'm a bit sore, but I'll manage. I just hope Autumn doesn't give us such a hard time tonight. I'm resisting the urge to weigh myself again until Monday. I'm doing better with the type of foods that I am eating, now I have to work on my portions.

Time for "night-night's", as we call it with Autumn. My yin-yang pillow is calling for me...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sympathy for the Super Devil-Man

Today was my first day of individual "working out" at the Y. All I did was a half hour on the treadmill and a bit of weightlifting...a very little bit. Anyway, the songs 'Superman' by REM and 'Sympathy for the Devil' were right next to each other on my MP3 player, and they both had the perfect rhythm for walking the pace I was at during that time. I just thought that was cool, and hence my odd title.

Yesterday Autumn and I had our first Baby and Me swimming class. It's meant for kids ages 6-36 months, but Autumn-at 10 1/2 months- is easily the youngest one there. No matter, all the other parents were totally cool about her getting into their stuff for brief moments in the locker room. At this point, the class will be enough for one day's worth of exercise for me, as the deepest part of the pool is only 3'6", and I'm crouching the whole time to keep myself and Autumn mostly under water. Autumn had a blast, especially with the pint-sized body board. I'm totally looking forward to keeping up on this class with her.

Today I came up with this neat trick...Go grocery shopping after working out. I'm less inclined to by crap food! I came home with bunch of veggies and an urge to cook. It's snowing yet again here, so I thought some chili would do us some good. I made a pretty standard batch but used ground turkey instead of beef. As usual I made way too much elbow mac for the chili, so I created a concoction (sp?) of pasta, peas, corn and carrots with a sauce made from turkey gravy and chicken broth, inspired by a food cup from Gerber Graduates that my mom got for Autumn. It's too bland for adults, but it'll be perfect for the munchkin... and way cheaper!

I then burned off my lunch by chasing after the little squirt on my hands and knees for about a half hour. We were both laughing so hard and having a great time. I'm so blessed to have the daughter that I do. She brings so much joy into so many people's lives just by being herself.

Today's been a good day. Unfortunately, I've got to deliver pizzas tonight in the snow. The up-side: Better sympathy tips. The down-side: The other drivers. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Spiral is open, yet unbroken

There is a small group of women that get together once a month at a place in town called Lighthouse Therapy Services. The group is simply called Spiral, and it's, in a nutshell, a hippie gathering. Each time they meet everyone can share what kind of hopes, wishes and energy they wish to bring to the circle, then we drum, chant, sing and whatever else presents itself. It's such a beautiful and spiritual gathering that never feels too intimidating to attend. The last time I went was long before Autumn was ever thought of, and just by "coincidence", I contacted Kathy Alby to ask when the next one was scheduled. As you may have guessed, it was tonight.

I've learned that a healthy lifestyle is more than simply putting better food in your body and exercising more. Mental and spiritual health is crucial for the whole process to come full circle. I've realized that I've been denying myself any sort of spiritual "me time". I don't have a very specific label of what religion I really follow, but whatever it is has kept me going for quite some time, now.

What I love about faith and spirituality, no matter what you believe, is that it's always there waiting for you when you come back for it. At the beginning of the circle I asked to send out supportive energy to myself and Aaron in both our financial situation and our mission to live a healthier lifestyle. Throughout the night I almost physically felt the mental sludge that had been weighing me down lift off of my mind. While standing for another part of the night, I almost felt like I was being lifted off the ground.

At the end of it, I truly feel I'm mentally one step closer to being prepared for the lifestyle transition. At the very least, I got to spend some time with some awesome women, followed by fellowship at Paradigm (a local coffee spot), where I bumped into a few other friends I don't see much. It was worth the trek in the snow.

And now, Autumn has woken up. I haven't seen her much today, so even this will be enjoyable.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble, One of us...

OK, so that title is a line from a freaky movie that I've never seen, but, ya know, the whole turkey thing and such...

So, I guess the next logical step is to say how my Thanksgiving was. In a word, it was okay. We had one gathering with Aaron's family and one with mine. The one with the in-laws went quite well, actually. The ladies sat together at the table (Autumn included) while the men were spread about. I'm quite fortunate to have in-laws that I like. It totally destroys that whole stereotype of the pain-in-the-ass meddling mother-in-law.

We then went to my grandparents house where my aunt and uncle from Nebraska were staying with their three kids, all age 4 and under. That went fair enough. My grandma made up a couple different casseroles (which my mom hates...she lived on those casseroles most of her younger years). I wasn't a big fan of any of them, but they were ok. The kids were awesome, and Autumn mixed right in.

However, I got a bit of a lecture from my grandpa. I'm not going into details, but we shall say that his concerns were valid, but a holiday gathering was the least appropriate place to have this conversation he could have chosen. Unlike my typical character, I'm still holding a grudge about this. I think that's because I don't expect these sort of feelings to be towards a grandparent. I'm hoping this can get ironed out.

I ended the day with a couple beers and three games of bowling with my brother, Andy (two of which I won!!!). I really miss that guy. He's been working pretty much seven days a week, and Thanksgiving was his one day off. Andy and I have been pretty tight since we were kids. We've always had each others back, and I am truly thankful for him.

Today I navigated the jungle of Black Friday. It actually went quite well. No brawls, and I got the items I set out to get, plus a few more. I planned to get a yoga mat for the baby and me class I had planned to take. Unfortunately the class was cancelled due to a lack of interest. :(

Instead, Autumn and I will be doing "swimming lessons" class together. I put it in quotations because at this point it's basically playing in the water and getting them used to the general feeling. She's a total water baby much like myself, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Today Michael expressed a lot of interest in swimming lessons. They are free with our family YMCA membership, so I'm all for it. This surprises me quite a bit, though, because it was not that long ago he would have a nervous breakdown if water got splashed on his face. Anything to encourage exercise is alright by me.

That's about all the "positive" I can squeeze out of the last couple days. There's been a lot of crap, but I'm doing my best to let that all wash away. The boys are over this weekend and we'll be putting up the tree with them.

Love, Peace and Chicken Grease!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So much to say, so little time. Strike that, reverse it.

I'm not in a particularly good mood right now. So if you're all bright and cheery, I suggest you stray away from here until tomorrow.

I hate that period when you're in a lousy mood for whatever reason, and you're forced to dwell in it with no outlet. I've found myself in that position many a time while doing deliveries, and that's where I currently sit.

Aaron's out at the Green Room tonight. It's his usual Tuesday night spot where they hold an open mic. I never take issue with him going. We each allow ourselves some time out. Last week we planned to go together for the first time. My mom was going to stay here while Autumn slept. The lack of money and the fact that my mom was going to work a double shift the next day kept us from following through with our plans. This week, no sitter is available and Aaron went on his own as per usual. Just as he was getting ready, a good friend called his cell to say she will be there as well. Now, she's more of a friend of Aaron's than myself, but not by much.

Aaron pointed out, before he left, that there have been plenty of times where I met up with people and he was stuck at home. This is true, and perhaps I'm just being a selfish twit. But I'm still going to be bummed.

I really didn't have a direction I planned to go when I started typing. This is, essentially, my only available outlet. This is just such a lousy way to end what was actually a rather productive day. I handed in my YMCA application, (which I really hope goes through so Autumn and I can participate in a Baby and Me yoga class!) and ran some other needed errands. Though I just realized I forgot to buy toilet paper. You probably didn't need to know that.

I think I might be feeling better. Thanks for sharing in my whiny rant. I think I'm going to go think about how much I hate Twilight to take the edge off...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Confessions of an overweight Pizza (non)Slut

I've been going to a chiropractor since I was pregnant with Autumn. He's a total hippie, which is cool. A few weeks ago, we got talking about my toxic lifestyle. Not sleeping because of Autumn's waking, my lousy diet due to the abundance of free food from the Hut, lack of exercise because I'm a lazy schmuck, your garden-variety crap. My chiro quickly spewed out a laundry list of things I can do to my diet to kick-start a new, healthy lifestyle. It was a bit, OK very overwhelming.

Now, I know I've been overweight most of my life. Many kids I went to school with made a point to remind me of this on a daily basis for many years. I've come to accept my shape, and I've been blessed with a husband who has never made one negative comment on my image. However, after this particular conversation, my weight took a spot on the front burner for the first time in a long time...and stayed there for several weeks.

Today was the first day back to the chiro since. I've been given a packet on a 7-day detox and we'll be further discussing it on Wednesday. Oy! The detox is intense. One day requires not doing any work since you're basically fasting. Me...not work??? I've got a toddler-in-progress and a never-clean house. Adjustments can be made, right?

I've been wanting to re-start our membership at the YMCA, but with Aaron being out of work, the cost just didn't seem feasible. I've found they offer financial assistance. I'm hoping to get that going soon.

I've also been missing out on a small group of women that get together once a month at Lighthouse Therapy who get together for a mish-mosh of drumming, chanting, meditation, and whatever the mood strikes. I thought to call the always wonderful Kathy Alby (organizer of Earthfest, massage therapist and yoga teacher as a few of her titles), and they're actually meeting this Sunday! And it's the organizer's birthday, so we get a little coffee house time afterwords. How perfect!

I've concluded that a dedication to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is much like quitting smoking; you truly need to have your head and heart into it. I've watched Aaron try this many times, and the most successful attempts have been on his terms and no one else's. He's gone 2 months now, and (as far as I know) it's going pretty well. I'm proud of him. At any rate, it's a total change that involves every aspect of everyday life that not only requires the physical change in diet and activity, but your spirit must be 'in it to win it.' I hope these re-connections will allow me to listen to my own body better than I have been. I also hope it will allow me to be a better mother, wife, and human being. I owe it to myself to be healthy, and to be a better example for my daughter.

But first, I'll savor every bite on Thursday.