Sunday, November 22, 2015

Updates and a happy list, because I need it. And so do you.

There's a lot of bad stuff happening in the world right now. And I have a lot of strong feelings about these bad things. I wish I could come on here and write about it and sound intelligent, and change the world. I was on Facebook today (you know, being social), and one of my compassionate friends posted something lovely about accepting refugees into their home. Because, happily (and apparently, unusually), all my vocal friends are full of compassion and love, and they enjoy facts. Go figure. Anyway, unfortunately, those lovely friends have not-so-lovely friends, and those friends comment on their lovely, compassionate posts, with ignorant rants full of fear and hatred, and I get angry, and I want so badly to comment, but I hate getting into arguments without having actual, factual evidence to back me up. So I went scouting the internet (not Wikipedia), looking for evidence to back up my claims (294 mass shootings in the US in 2015, 45 in schools, only 1 of those was perpetrated by someone of Islamic background, and they were not refugees. Fires, shootings, bombings at churches in the south and in New Mexico. None of those were refugees.) Anyway, by the time I was done researching and getting actual numbers, the idiot was put in his place by a much smarter friend - over an hour ago. My help was not needed, and I was feeling angry and impotent.

Look! Puppy and kitten napping together!
My point to all this is that I do not feel qualified to write eloquently and intelligently about this subject. I am affected by everything that is going on, and yes, I like to think if I find that refugees are moving into my neighborhood, I will organize a collection of clothes and food and toothpaste, and anything else needed. But there are some amazing people out there writing amazing things about these issues, and I would prefer to let them write, and share when I find them. And maybe share some happy.

Admittedly, I am still not feeling totally normal, and I'm still having some trouble getting my rear back into the swing of things, which adds to my desire to make lists of happy things.

So, here we are - 5 things that are making me happy, right now:

1.  Instagram. Yes, I am terribly late coming to the party, but how much fun it is to look at lovely pictures others take. I have read all the studies about people feeling depressed looking at other's "highlight reel", but I like looking at pretty pictures, and since I am aware that people don't live like that all the time, I feel like I can handle this. I've also come late to the Twitter world, which I don't love nearly as much, as I feel like I am stuck in a really crowded room with everyone talking at once. Instagram is much quieter.

2.  Jessica Jones. Ooh, this is a good show. My husband and I binge-watched the first half of the season tonight, and it is pretty wicked. Jessica Jones is an ex-superhero, working as a PI, dealing with PTSD. David Tennant is the villain, and he is always brilliant, but the rest of the cast has been pretty fantastic, as well.

3.  The website, Simple Green Smoothies. I like smoothies, but I do not do well making them without a recipe, and they have a whole bunch. This week, I made the Beginner's Luck smoothie, and it was good, and I felt really good all morning. They published a book recently, as well.

4.  Time with good friends. I have the privilege of knowing some wonderful people. I read a lot, so I belong to three book clubs, and I love the people in those book clubs. This past week, my Classics group watched "The Thin Man" (we watch a classic movie every other month), and it was interesting. I'm not sure I've ever watched a movie that old (1934), and the slang was bizarre.

Last night I had people over, and tomorrow I get to spend more time with my many pregnant friends (see, I'm not freaking old, I have friends having babies!) It warms my heart that I know so many lovely, silly, intelligent, interesting people.

5.  Oh, books. So many lovely books. The one I am reading right now is odd, to say the least. It has been listed on several of those "what to read before you die" lists, including this one from Powells, a well-known bookstore in Portland, OR, which is the city we all know I should have been living in. Right now I'm reading If On a Winter's Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino, which contain several books within books, and this crazy, convoluted plot, and I am not entirely sure where we are going to end up, but I am fascinated to find out.

So. There we are. Some of the happy things in my life right now. Please, share some happiness of your own, or book recommendations, which really are the same thing.

Monday, November 2, 2015

What the heck is that noise!?

Today has been such a Monday. Woke up at 3AM, stayed awake for 45 minutes, dozed off on the couch, woke up again an hour later, decided to get off my butt and go to boot camp, made it to boot camp just in time for a workout (my thighs are killing me, but I needed that.) Traffic into work was crazy, and it took me 20 minutes longer than usual to get here - and the power was out at the office. For three hours. I have struggled the rest of the day trying to keep my eyes open, and I finally gave in and got some of our not-so-good coffee from the break room. 
That said, it's really quite lovely outside. See?
This is my view. I work at the reception desk, so I am not exactly next to the window, but I can see most of this from my desk. The tree is nice. It's a little sad; this is one of the prettiest buildings in the city, and the church across the street is gorgeous, but we are in a rather nasty neighborhood, and our neighbors are parking lots, check cashing stores, KFC...and taking a walk is ill-advised. 

So, I wrote to you all last week about how crappy I had been feeling, and things are going better. I did go back to my original dosage, and I think that helped a great deal. No real energy, though. That's what happens, apparently, when you go back to your old eating, not moving habits. Ugh. Last week was off week at boot camp, and we are supposed to assess our own needs and figure out if we need to take it easy for the week, or if we need to find alternate fitness opportunities. Many of the members and some of the instructors even offer classes. I do not do well with the off weeks. And in this case, momentum certainly worked against me - I continued to not do anything. 

Okay, but today is a new day, and I did wake up and work out. And yesterday I spent hours planning and shopping and cooking so I would have healthy options for this week. See, here is my fridge...
What you see here is a very full fridge, but 3/4 of what is there is healthy, I swear. The sour cream is something I use, yes, but I only use a tablespoon, and I use it to temper the heat of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that flavor my very favorite soup, which is what is in the mason jars, all ready for lunch. One of the containers on the middle shelf contains roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and the two containers under the big bowl are full of washed and dried salad greens. The drawers below have cut up pepper strips and grapes. There are also Greek yogurt, apples, and nuts for snacking. I don't really know that you all wanted to see my fridge, but it seemed the thing to do, especially since I did spend an awful lot of time in the kitchen yesterday (also made potato salad for dinner and two loaves of banana bread, which I hate, but I hate wasting bananas even more, and other family members love it.) So, darn it, I am ready to take the world by its antlers and shake it about in a rage of...yeah. I mentioned I didn't get enough sleep, right?

I told you I got to meet Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess last weekend, right? She wrote a new book, Furiously Happy, about her own hilarious struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental illness. Sound offensive and horrible? You probably should not read this book. Sound just about right? Run out and pick it up. She makes it her goal to remind all of us that depression lies, we are not alone, and she has a wicked sense of humor. My cousin met me in Dayton for one of her signings. This place was packed. Apparently, her signing in Chicago was so big, they had to use a church, which is hilarious since she swears like a sailor, and uses the word "vagina" more often than a gynecologist. It was a lovely evening - Jenny read two chapters of her book, signed our books. We were numbers 12 and 13, respectively. I was not going to wait in line for 3 hours to have the book signed. So I got there at 4PM and waited 3 hours at that point - but I sat and chatted with other odd-bird readers, and listened to stories, and my cousin and I were able to have our books signed early and go out for dinner after, which was very nice, since we don't get to see nearly enough of each other. I had to work the next morning (Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Cincinnati started at 9AM, and I had to be there by 5AM for the set up,) so we were unable to party hard. Anyway, Jenny was super nice and lovely, and I was a big nerd, but I got to have a picture taken with her. Yay!

My daughter's birthday was on Wednesday, and she turned...gulp...13! We went to Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast, as per tradition, even though it meant leaving the house at 6:15AM. I drank much coffee. We had her family birthday dinner on the Saturday before, and went out to Olive Garden Tuesday night (since her uncle was in town,) so Wednesday was all low-key with sushi for her and I bought her a pint of her favorite Graeter's Raspberry Chocolate Chip. She will be celebrating with her friends this coming Saturday night. There will be crafting and slumber partying, and very likely a great deal of giggling. You may want to stay away. I kind of do.

I went to a Halloween party on Friday night. It was good fun, as it always is. I went as Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter, which I thought was all clever, until nobody knew who I was, even after I told them. I do love Halloween, though. I miss my A terribly on Halloween, as we spent it together every year since she and her family moved into the house near me, and she loves Halloween even more than I do. I make do, though, and this year, I asked my friend and my mom to come over and hang out with me while we handed out candy and had a fire (which was seriously pathetic - I am not good at fire making, and I only lots of cardboard and dry brush, with a few thicker sticks, so I would get things burning well and it would be huge, and parents would not want to bring their kids around, so I would have to go to them, or I would toss on some of the brush and smoke them all away. Probably should have made sure I had actual wood.) It ended up being much nicer this year - not too terribly cold, and no rain, and we had plenty of kids come around.

There is now this horribly scrapey-ringy sound coming from down the street, and it won't go away. I've gotten used to the constant sirens - we are near a number of hospitals, so the sirens are nonstop, but this is a new and particularly annoying noise. I don't want to jinx anything, but it seems to have stopped all of a sudden. Oh. Oh, how lovely!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My brain can be a big mean butthole.

Phew. I was doing so well there for a bit. I've just been going through a less than chatty period. That sounds funny, and any of you who speak to me regularly know that doesn't pertain to face-to-face encounters. Just here. Not feeling like much of what is going on is worth talking about. Not feeling so proud of my lack of healthy habits. You are probably capturing my basic mood as of late - a bit down and out, if you will. I want to check in, though, maybe dump a little of my brain in your laps and let you sort it out for me?

First off, if this is your first time visiting my particular rodeo, you should know that my rodeo has scary, crazy clowns. The sad ones, who are afraid of ruining everything. Okay, this analogy really isn't working for me - I have depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I have been taking some kind of medication or another for 12 years, and for the most part, did fine. Three years ago, even with the medication, things started becoming difficult - I simply was not responding well to the medication, my insurance dropped the therapist I had been seeing, and things kind of sucked. One of my friends dragged me to a local boot camp a little over a year ago, and I started exercising a few times a week, eating better, drinking more water, losing some weight...(oh yeah, also have been obese for 20 years.) The regular exercise really helped me straighten out my brain, and I haven't had a panic attack or a major depressive episode in over a year. It was awesome, and, while I know better than to say, "hey, I feel great, I'm dropping the meds!" (that never works, people!), I did decide it was time to lessen the dosage a bit. I am on a rather high dosage of a strong medication, and, while I am not ashamed of it, well, I don't love being on it. I told my doctor, and he told me that was great, but he was not going to cut my prescription back, as he knew I would need to increase again. Give it a few months, he said. If I was still feeling great, he would cut it back.

I have too many people in my life who are right. Last weekend, some family stuff happened (nothing traumatic, just stressful to me,) and my response was less than healthy. Loud sobbing, lots of shaking anxiety, wanting to crawl under the table and hide. You know, the way everyone should respond to stress. Could you imagine how much Congress would accomplish if they handled stress the way I do? Oh, wait...

Yeah. No kidding. Unfortunately, I can't separate my head from my self.
Anyway, I started thinking about how little I have been exercising lately. Boot camp once a week, if I'm doing well, a few walks here and there, but very little.

Healthy habits are difficult to maintain for the best of us, but when you have depression, you're heaping a big, sad, pile of crap on top of it. It feels like it, anyway...getting out of bed early sucks, but getting out of bed, talking to people, not huddling under a blanket in the corner, rocking, with your head in your really hard. Is, like, the hardest thing in the world. Which leads me to think that maybe reducing my meds lately was not the best idea, at least reducing my meds when my routines were thrown off. Looking back over the past few months, I realize I have been feeling a kind of low grade depression - nothing I couldn't handle, but just a general sadness, that was making it harder and harder to get myself moving, make healthy food, getting off my butt to refill my water...

Here's the big, glinty, double-edged sword, friends. When you're depressed, you don't want to get up and move. Like, something is heaped on top of you, and every move you make is like swimming through molasses in sub-zero weather. But moving is what helps fight the depression. Kind of a fun little irony there, amiright?

So, what works? How do you deal?

Honestly, I find there are only two things that really work. A friend of mine was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago. Her tendency was to withdraw, so her doctor told her to do the exact opposite of what her brain told her to do (in that case,) and I find that to be a great help when I am dealing with a depressive episode. Because, once you have pushed yourself beyond that comfort zone, it is easier to keep moving. The other thing that helps is routines. Honestly, nothing is more important when you have issues with mental illness than routines. I don't know if the disordered brain just needs the structure, or if being able to just "go through the motions" makes it easier to function with depression, but when I have routines in place, and I have been sticking to them, I feel calm and put together in a way I never can otherwise.

I realize this may sound like common sense to many of you, but some will understand where I am coming from, and those who don't have the same problems, may be able to understand the struggle a little more.

My sister showed this to me and it is my new favorite.
Ok, so my point to all of this is that I have been struggling. I've let my routines fall apart, stopped moving, started eating more garbage, and it is feeling a lot more like my old depression is interfering with my life again. So, it's time to force myself to do the opposite of what I am compelled to do (crawl back in bed, hide my head under my covers, curl up and cry.) Work hard to reestablish that exercise habit. I've felt so good this past year - I need to get back to that point.

I have other things to share - yesterday I got to meet the Bloggess, which was very cool, and spend some time with my prima, but I wanted to finish this first. Please, if you suffer depression and/or anxiety, or any other mental illness, you are not alone. There are many of us, and we are here for you. Maybe we can encourage and support each other.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Aversion therapy and my cursed mouth

(Read the word "cursed" with two syllables, please, as that is how I am thinking it. It is so much more ominous that way.)

I just took a walk with a friend this morning, which got the ol' brain juices flowing. If I don't post it now, I'll lose it, and that would just be so very sad.

Last night I went out to dinner with some of my favorite people. Admittedly, I have a lot of favorite people, most of whom are females. Isn't that funny? When I was younger, I always considered myself a "one of the guys" girls, and proud of it, but now, most of my favorite friends are female. I said most, Michael, shoosh, you are one of my favorites, and you are invited to my Golden Girls house, too. Anyway, so I went to dinner with these favorite women, and they really are probably 3 of my Golden Girls (this house had better be big, I have a list, and 9 of them really must live there. What a lucky ducky I am, to have so many wonderful people to love!)

Seriously, now, it's time to get to the point. Two of the women are pregnant right now. This is very exciting, for several reasons, but mainly because they have had to overcome some pretty difficult obstacles to becoming pregnant, and I am so very happy for them. Obviously, the pregnant girls should get the floor when we are chatting. So why, oh sweet readers, do I still feel the need to dominate the conversations? Adding my own little stories to everything? I love these people, and truly, I want to hear what they have to say. Why can't I be a better listener?

I am reading Night Shift by Stephen King right now. It is a book of short stories, written when he was much younger and a lot more disgusting, to tell the truth. The Grey Matter story - just, ew. Anyway, one of the stories I read yesterday described a gentleman who was trying to quit smoking. The program he went to used a rather extreme form of aversion therapy to help people quit. I won't say anything more about the story, but since this habit I have of trying to contribute my own anecdotes to every topic has bothered me for a long time. Perhaps a shock collar, delivering shocks of increasing intensity the more I babble, would help? I will give the remote to S, who is very level-headed, and will keep me honest.

So, why do I do this? Again, I swear it's not because I believe I am so interesting. I think the answer is two-fold (says the queen of self-analysis.) First, I was not exactly in the popular crowd in school. I have some self-esteem issues. Perhaps, my need to share something of myself for every topic discussed stems back to a need to belong: "See? I understand! I'm like you! Please let me join your club!" As many wonderful people as I have in my life right now, I still have dreams at night where people I love are conspiring to leave me behind. These dreams occur at least once a week. Seriously, why did I quit therapy? Anyway, so this is a likely reason. I just got used to trying to belong (never really worked), and it became deeply ingrained habit.

Second reason? I really just like to talk. This is not news. I have a blog so I can talk whenever I want. Every time someone indicates that they read this blog, I get a fresh jolt of excitement, "people are reading what I have to say! No matter how inane!"

So people I love? I am fairly certain you all know this, or you would not continue to hang out with me, but I really don't think my stories are more interesting than your's. And you can tell me to shut up while you finish your freaking story. I really just want to remind you that I get you. And I really just love to talk. Also, S, be careful with my shock collar.

So, health-wise, I don't really have much to add - last week, I gained a horrible amount of weight because I ate everything. Also, I went out to dinner with another group from my Golden Girls house on Friday night, the night before I weighed in, and I ate pretty much everything the restaurant served, plus beer. This week, I've done some better (last night aside), and I have worked out twice thus far, including a lovely, very brisk walk this morning. I feel fairly certain I'll have a loss this week, but I'll check in this weekend to tell you.

Now I have to go to work. I have 13 freshman girls coming in to my office this morning, for whom I am responsible. I ran out of half and half for my coffee, and I had to use milk, which is just not satisfying. But the weather is fall-like, and I have a very good audio book going, and an exciting volleyball game to look forward to, so Happy Thursday!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Craving Solitude

I moved into my own apartment when I was 20. It was a one bedroom, low rent place on the 3rd floor of my mom's building. I lived alone for about 1 month, and I spent the whole time trying to go out with other people. The few times I ended up staying alone, I was miserable and lonely, and ended up going downstairs to hang out with my family. After a month, my roommate moved in, and I haven't been alone since. I've been trying to find time alone for the past 20 years.

Which is kind of funny, really. I'm really chatty and social, and I think about being alone all the time. I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, and one of the characters is a wildlife monitor living in a cabin up on a mountain, and she goes months without speaking to anyone. In the beginning of the book, she is speaking to another character, and is trying to remember how to have a conversation, and all I can think about is how lovely that sounds - living in a tiny place with just your books and animals for company. And then I start to think about how much I like flush toilets, and she only has an outhouse, and that would be a serious problem. Also, I am married, and I do actually like the guy I married, and the children we produced, so I guess I'd have to bring them along, and there goes the whole idea.

But I have a Pinterest board devoted to my little cabin in the woods, and I really want to live there. I can have indoor plumbing in a cabin in the woods, right? And internet service.

I am kind of obsessed with Bilbo Baggins' house, as imagined by Peter Jackson. Which I thought was kind of weird, but I am not the only one! You can Google blueprints! But, every time I saw the inside of his house on the Lord of the Rings movies, I pictured myself there, in a comfy chair, in front of the fire, with a book...

A friend of mine lived in the woods at the top of a hill in Bardstown, KY when I first met her, and I loved her house. Of course, they had a small child, and they were, like, 2 hours from a decent hospital, but it was so cozy and dark and lovely there.

This is all very amusing to people who know me well, because they all know me as very social and outgoing. Striking up conversations with complete strangers, and stroking people's hair, and shouting out "woo!" during workouts, which is more fun than you know, so don't judge me. I am social and outgoing...for a few hours...and then I am exhausted from all the people, and I need to be by myself again. So, I need my tiny Hobbit house, with my big trees (and indoor plumbing,) and I will spend time with my (small) groups of friends, and spend the rest of the time reading with my cats and my fireplace. And the occasional episode of one of the many excellent shows on television, because you can turn those people off. Right now it is Blacklist, which is excellent. James Spader is invited to come visit my cabin in the woods. Come on over, James. I have indoor plumbing...

Health stuff - not much to report this week. I have been a big, lazy slug, and I drank pop this week (horrors!) But I didn't drink any yesterday, and this morning I woke up early to walk (very quickly) with L, and we are boot camping tomorrow. I need to plan my meals next week and prep ahead - I am having a major problem keeping my calories in check when I am eating off the cuff. I texted goals (yesterday) for the next month to Mel, and I have committed to 3 boot camps and one long walk a week, in addition to planning my meals (still logging all my food, even when it is way too much.) I'll post my weigh in next week, as the last two weeks I've had to go in on weekdays, and I tend to forget my camera then.

How are you doing, healthy-living wise? What are your thoughts on the tiny house trend? (there are shows on HGTV now, which I love, although a lot of them are very expensive for the square footage.) Hobbit houses - yea or nae?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Checking in of a Sunday

Hi everybody!

It's been a busy weekend. The girl played in a local volleyball tournament - their team lost their first match, and I had no idea we would end up spending all day yesterday watching more volleyball, but they ended up winning the tournament. Go them! 

My sister and her husband and my mom came over for dinner last night. I made pork chops marinated in chili powder, orange juice, cumin, and other yummy flavors, mashed potatoes, and edamame. We ended up not having enough pork chops, so I made a small meat loaf to supplement, which must have been pretty good, as that was finished off first. I also drank a few Yoda heads full of wine, and got a bit tipsy, and we played this bizarre game my daughter made up a few years ago called "Picture Dictionary, A Different Kind" which kind of combines Win, Lose, or Draw, Charades, and Apples to Apples, but is not really like any of them. It is a ridiculous game that really has no actual goal, other than to make us laugh hard enough to spit things out, which happened more than once last night.

Also, I weighed in yesterday:
SW (8/4/2015): 281.8
LW:  280.2
CW: 278.6

Which looks good, but I did lose some muscle this week, and I was hormonal and grumpy, so I have planned out the week. Boot camp will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and hopefully Saturday (depending on softball schedule.) I had some pop this week, so there will be no more drinking that this week. I made blackberry vanilla smoothies, roasted cruciferous veggies, and some roasted chicken to put in with my lunch salads this week, so I am pretty prepared for the week.

These are my bullet journal pages for this past week - you notice today was very full, and I finished most of it. I did mow the front and side yards - I left the back for Tuesday evening, as I wanted to go for a long walk with my friend L, and I wouldn't have had time otherwise. Dude, I'm at 16,202 steps for today - it's been a very active day. Laundry is still working, and I'm going to fold that as soon as I'm done here.

This morning was pretty interesting - I was drinking my coffee and admiring the deer in my front yard, when my friend J started messaging me. I suggested we actually speak on the phone, so I called her - we haven't spoken in years. She was my first actual, adult (relatively :) friend - our oldest boys were very close friends, and we are Godmothers to each other's youngest. We met and bonded, almost instantly, when we lived in the Chicago suburbs, and then they moved back home to Texas. It was crazy - we didn't talk all that often, but every time we were lucky enough to visit each other, it was like no time had passed. I was so happy to spend time talking with her this morning, and I hope we'll be able to connect a little more often. Both of our boys graduated this year - when we lived near each other, they spent the night at each other's houses, played outside, and played a lot of Starfox. They shared a love for Star Wars and Pokemon. They are adults now, people.

The baskets of laundry are calling my name. I should go fold them. Or, perhaps, finish my book - I'm reading Kim Harrison's Witch With No Name, the last of the Hollows series. That may have to win out. What? The clothes are clean.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Weekend check-in and weigh in, amble through my day.

Well, hey there.
Happy September! I love autumn, and every day is a day closer to autumn, but of course, after a very fall-like August, we have started September with a week of very hot days. Like, humid, 90's, dog days of summer-type heat.
Of course, I spend all day in a climate-controlled office, so I guess I'm not really missing out. It's a little sad - I have a great job, but I spend an awful lot of time wondering what else I could be doing. Yesterday I got off work a little early and treated myself to a pot of hot tea, on a hot day, go figure, at a favorite spot in Oakley, Essencha. I love the smell and ambiance of the place, and I love to go in there and drink tea and read my book, and they are looking for part-time help, and I couldn't help but wonder if I wouldn't love to work there. I worked in the restaurant business briefly, when I was 20, and I really did not love it. There are a lot of people who turn into assholes when other people serve them food. I am the opposite, of course - if you are going to give me food and wait on me, I am going to bend over backwards to make you love me. Anyway, I doubt I'd love it as much as I imagine, but I sat there thinking, "if I was to quit my current job and take on a few part-time gigs, doing different things, maybe I'd figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life?"

Is it possible that, as I grow older, I grow more uncertain as to what I should be doing with my life? What a very disconcerting thought. So many women my age talk about how they are loving their 30's and 40's because they are more confident and they know themselves better. I suppose I do know myself better - I know that I still haven't found something I feel passion for - to a point that I want to make a career out of it. I would like to be outside a lot more than I am, that is for certain. And I desperately want to work closer to home and do away with this traffic, which makes me so angry that I want to beat other drivers over their stupid heads with my daughter's size 13 metal softball cleats - which rules out Essencha, of course.

This is not at all what I planned to talk about today, but it is what is spewing from the churning sea that is my mind today, so it's what you get.

Weigh in time! I weighed in yesterday morning, 6:00AM, after a kickboxing class.

SW (8/4/2015): 281.8
LW:  282.0
CW: 280.2

Ok. So we're going the right direction again. I definitely kept my eye on my calorie intake this week, much more so than I was, and I need to keep that up.

Today I woke up at 5:30 to go to kickboxing. When my girl was a baby, I used to hold her while sitting in my computer chair and my upper back would get stiff. Once, while holding her, I did some twisting stretches to try and get the kinks out, and I moved funnily, and pulled the muscle just between my right shoulder blade and my spine. I have no idea what this is, but it hurt like a mother. And every so often, that spot gets tender again, and I find it difficult to move my arm certain ways, and it hurts really badly when I look to my right. I was pretty freaking uncomfortable yesterday afternoon into the evening, and then again this morning, so I decided punching a bag was not going to work for me today. I decided to stay up and do some cleaning, some light stretching, and hit the grocery store before the Saturday rush. I got there at 6AM, well ahead of the rest of the world, but there were a lot of men there. I was literally the only female shopper I saw in the whole store. Isn't that weird? I have never been the only woman in a grocery store (aside from the employees, of course.)
Anyway, I had to get half and half for my coffee, and fish oil capsules, and the makings for taffy apple salad, which I am making for my baby sister's birthday lunch tomorrow. I ended up having a rather productive rest of my day - I freaking dusted, people! - and then took my girl and her friend shopping because she has "NOTHING to wear!" I want to say to suck it up, girl, and buy your own clothes, but she wants to buy shirts from Hot Topic, which is the kind of place I always wanted to shop when I was a teenager, and I am the weak, pathetic mom trying to live vicariously through her adorably quirky girl. I saw a Chewbacca in the Build-a-Bear Workshop (we used to live in that place when the Girl was little) and squealed loudly, prompting my daughter to kind of freak out and put her hand over my mouth and yell out "Mom! Shh!" which only drew more attention to the situation, while her friend was giggling hysterically and said, "your mom is so funny and cool." So, see people? I have been judged "funny and cool."

I am Madonna. Who kind of looks high in this picture, right?
Anyway, so there we are. I'm going to go read or something. Because that's what we cool moms do on a Saturday night.