From August to December of 2008 I lost 40 pounds. It just fell off week after week and I felt great. I was using WW eTools religiously and started working out regularly and everything just clicked and I felt like I had made a lifestyle change that would stick. My gallbladder surgery was scheduled for December 10 and in preparation I worked out HARD for the 2 weeks leading up to that date, knowing it would be a week or two before I could return to my regular schedule seemed to motivate me and it felt great.

Then my surgery got cancelled at the last second (literally, I was prepped and waiting to be wheeled to the operating room) and everything fell apart. I fibbed about the real reason for the cancellation, telling everyone that some chest congestion kept me from going under the anesthesia, when in truth I found out during the surgery prep that I was pregnant. Pregnant! After trying for a bit with no success, then getting sick and trying hard not to get pregnant, here I was knocked up and unable to have surgery. I was excited and shocked – this timing was a perfect fit for our “3-years apart” plan – but I didn’t feel pregnant at all and was trying to wrap my head around it.

Knowing I was pregnant gave me an excuse not to continue my workout schedule; which lead to me not working out at all, and to fall off the WW wagon. The holidays hit and then I lost the pregnancy to miscarriage and everything got put on hold. The miscarriage did not hit me as hard as I expected – nothing about this pregnancy felt right and I wasn’t terribly surprised when it happened. It was hard and emotionally draining but I was not as wrecked as I thought I would be. It also gave me an excuse to further my delay my return to eating right and exercising and instead indulge in comfort eating. All of this lead to me gaining 7 pounds back in about 6 weeks. I felt sluggish and tired so getting back in my routine seemed even harder.

Now my surgery is back on for February 9 which has given me some motivation to hit the treadmill and turn Jillian back on. But I just can’t get my eating back on track. I’d lost most of the 7 lb gain but now my weight is starting to creep back up. I KNOW it’s because I’m only doing half of the job – it takes working out + eating right to lose weight, but I’m getting increasingly frustrated. I’m working out really hard (I’m actually running on the treadmill – something I haven’t done in …well I don’t think I’ve ever run on a treadmill before), I’m keenly aware of my abs, quads and shoulders as they are always sore, but the scale keeps moving in the wrong direction.

There is a new wellness competition starting soon at work which has me as a co-captain of a team and I’m hoping that my competitive spirit will help me get back in balance with both the eating and the exercising. I hope to recover from this surgery and get pregnant again quickly and I know being healthy is a key component to that equation, but right now I’m really struggling to keep both things going at the same time.

Sleepytime Update

Ask Moxie to the rescue again.  I swear by this site as a sane source for parenting advice.  Last night after nearly an hour of listening to M scream, play and generally breaking our hearts (“just one more little hug, mommy!” “daddy, I want to hold you!) I did what any parent today does and turned to the internet.  Of course Moxie had a post in her archives all about the 2 1/2 – 3 year sleep regression.   

Now that we’ve figured out this is normal developmental process we are still trying to figure out what to do.  Some of the commenters went back to the crib during this phase with some success.  M has periodically asked to have her crib back so we think this may be a possibility.  However we may need to get a contraption like this to keep her IN the crib.  Anyone ever use one?

I don’t really want to go back but we’ve given the bed a good 2 month try and she just isn’t sleeping as well as she should.  At least in the crib she will be contained and may be able to entertain herself until she falls asleep.  Other then a nightly tranquilizer dart of Benadryl hour-long struggle to get her to sleep I’m not sure what else to do.   However we are traveling for the next two weekends so I worry if we try it now it will lead to greater confusion – the crib back out at home then sleeping on beds over the weekends.   I’m sure I’m thinking about this way too much, but the whole thing is kind of consuming our lives right now.  Someday she’ll sleep just fine, right?

Bedtime Stories

We are in the midst of war in this house.  The battles occur daily, sometimes twice.  The mood is tense and we are all battle weary.  It’s a war of wills and I fear the 2 year old is winning.  The kid just won’t go to sleep.

M has never been the best of sleepers; ever since she was a baby she wakes at the slightest noise, has never taken naps of a typical length (2 hours has always been very rare for her), and until nearly 2 years old woke up at least once a night.  We’ve had some nice long stretches of sleep peace but right now we are in the middle of a perfect storm of awful.

Part of the problem is back in early December at 26 months old she started trying to climb out of her crib.  She never made it all the way to the ground but we witnessed her scampering up to the top of the rail and flipping herself over the top.  At the same time friends of ours were getting rid of a toddler bed and we jumped on it.  M seemed to love the new bed and took to it very well.  But there is nothing to keep her in the bed and while before we would go through the nap or bedtime routine, plunk her in her crib and let her play (or scream) until she fell asleep now she can get out of bed.  And she does – every single time.  

Add to that a little girl who is refusing to nap occasionally and the first of what I’m sure will be many battle of wills has come to a head.  Daycare has reported on occasion that she did not sleep but at least rested on her cot. She is not even 2 1/2 yet and I am not at all ready for her to give up a nap.  On Monday while I was home for MLK day was the first time she refused to nap at home.  It took me 1 1/2 hours for her to agree to sleep. My usual routine is to read books, rock for a few minutes then put her in bed and leave.  I don’t  care if she plays for a bit as normally she settles down and falls asleep within about 15 minutes.  On Monday after 15 minutes I went in, told her it was time to sleep, got her in bed, kissed her and left.  20 minutes later she is still playing.  I go in and find her totally naked and playing with her blocks.   I get her dressed, go through the routine again and talk to her about staying in her bed – she curls up and closes her eyes and I leave.  After awhile I hear her playing and I go in and she has emptied all her dresser drawers all over her room!  I take her to my room and try to get her to nap with me.  She starts jumping on the bed. It kept going on like this for 90 minutes when I finally had to sit down next to her bed (where she was laying with her head a the foot) and basically hold her in bed until she fell asleep.  She slept for just 45 minutes.  Today was the same thing except she NEVER went to sleep.  I tell you she was a joy this evening.

Mark has almost always handled bedtime and it’s not much better for him.  Unless he rocks her until she is fast asleep she will jump up as soon as he leaves the room and run to open the door.  Now that she knows how to work door handles were are in trouble.  If she gets out of her room she tears through the 2nd floor like a squirrel on crack.  If we hold the door shut she stands inside shrieking (sometimes she pokes her little hand under the door which is heartbreaking).  Mark does the same thing I do at naps – goes back in after about 10 minutes, settles her in bed and leaves and then the process repeats.  There are nights when the bedtime battle lasts 45 minutes.   

I am sincerely hoping this is a phase that ends quickly because it’s killing the vibe in our house.  Both Mark and I get tense around nap and bedtimes and on the days M skips her nap she is cranky by about 5:00. Traditional discipline like time outs do not work with her and neither do bribes.  She understands what she needs to do – she’ll tell you she needs to stay in bed but then will refuse to do it.  Any advice out there for us?  We are at the point of using “any means necessary”!

Favorite Things

It seems that I am 1) crappy about posting here on a regular basis now that I’m tweeting all the time and 2) stuck in a rut of doing bullet-list posts.  But, things are better in threes then twos, don’t you think?  So I’ve decided to embrace the rut and do just one more bullet-list, this time of some things that have been making me quite happy lately. 

  • L’Oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara.  I bought this on a whim a few weeks ago and I’m totally addicted.  My lashes are so long my hubby noticed a difference; it’s almost like I’m wearing false eyelashes.  It does not smudge at all and I get a weird satisfaction in seeing all the little tubes when I take it off.
  • Catching up with old friends on Facebook.
  • Trader Joe’s BBQ Tteriyaki Chicken.  This is so good, cheap, pretty healthy and super fast.  Pair it with their Organic Cooked Brown Rice and a quickie salad and you can have a healthy dinner on the table in less then 15 minutes.  LOVE!
  • This guy
  • Staying up to late to watch the Cavs play.
  • Celebrating the sun on the rare occasions it decides to shine around here.  Did you know that Cleveland averages 202 days of fully overcast skies each year? 
  • Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray.  I finally don’t have to wash my hair every morning – and since my hair takes 30-40 minutes of blowdrying this is a VERY GOOD THING.  (I tried the Ojon Rub-Out Dry Cleanser which worked well but I can’t stand the sickeningly sweet smell).
  • Doing the potty dance with M.
  • Shopping tips I get from the lovely Mir at WantNot.  I easily saved over $100 on Christmas gifts by stopping by that site to check for sale alerts before buying.  I also just got 13 items for M’s spring wardrobe for less then $50 thanks to Mir’s watchfull eyes on the sales.  And, I got these for FREE a few weeks ago (however, we aren’t big fans of the flavor so they are off to a food pantry).
  • Having drinks and yummy food at Bar Cento with new friends.
  • This guy
  • The prospect of getting both a dishwasher and a garage door opener in the next month (We haven’t had a dishwasher since 2001!)
  • Nightly laps around the dining room table chasing M and running from “the monsters!”

What’s been making you happy lately?

Catching Up

It’s been too long since I’ve update here.  I’ve been bitten by the Twitter bug and that has been taking over my life.  Luckily (?) I don’t have a phone that will allow for mobile Tweets…when that happens we are all in trouble.  Instead of a proper post here are some random updates:

  • Friday night Mark and I went on our first date night in entirely too long.  We went to the Cavs/Celtics game to watch LeBron and Co. kick some ass.  It was my first NBA game ever and I had a blast (even though our seats were about as close to the arena rafters as you can get). I think I’m becoming a serious Cavs fan.
  • We got about a foot of snow here over the weekend and we had a lot of fun with M playing in the white stuff.  We even purchased her first sled and took her to an ity-bity hill a few blocks away.  She loves it (and loves eating the snow).  She squealed with delight going down the 6-foot hill and wanted to do it again and again.
  • Preparing for these snowy outings is more like a scene in the “Christmas Story” then I’d care to admit.  Anyone have any tips on good toddler mittens that are easy to put on but stay on?  They can’t cost a fourtune, either. 
  • My GB surgery has been rescheduled for Feb 9.  Thankfully, Mark and I have an overnight alone for Feb 7.  It’s been almost a year since our last one.  We are banking on this one being more restful then that.
  • 2009 is the year we will finally be able to start some work on our house.  Now that we’ve been here a year the list has gotten quite long and it boggles the mind to try to think about getting it all done.  Our plan is to start with the upgrading of the electrical system and a complete re-wiring of the house.  Sounds exciting, no?
  • I’ve taken a too-long hiatus from my workouts.  Tonight that changes.  I expect to be quite sore tomorrow. 
  • Sunday mornings have become “pancake day” in our house and M loves it.  If it’s my sleep-in day (Mark and I take turns sleeping in on the weekends) she wakes me up by saying “Mama!  Pancakes, yes?” while nodding her head and looking hopeful.  It’s too cute.

Good-Bye 2008

I’m nothing if not a lemming, so when several other bloggers posted nice re-caps of their years I figured it would be a good way to break my posting hiatus.  So here it is, iKate’s year in review (in no particular order):

  • Had my first gallbladder attack
  • Spent 9 days in the hospital
  • Walked 100s of miles in training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day
  • Failed to complete all 60 miles of the walk
  • Raised over $2000 for breast cancer research
  • Spent our first week in our condo
  • Traveled for work to Baton Rouge (with a side trip to New Orleans – my first visit), Chicago, & Las Vegas (twice)
  • Weaned my daughter at 17 1/2 months
  • Moved M to a new daycare
  • Finally screwed up the courage to introduce myself to two local bloggers
  • Got a new car
  • Was blown away by my daughter nearly every day
  • Realized our house needed way more work then we thought
  • Missed our old house dearly
  • Lost 47 pounds
  • Reconnected with a ton of old friends via Facebook
  • Finally gave in to Twitter
  • Had our first (and last thus far) childless overnight in 18 months
  • Celebrated M’s 2nd birthday
  • Paid off a very substantial financial obligation
  • Visited some fabulous locally-owned restaurants; especially our beloved Bar Cento
  • Went to a concert for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-many years
  • Began seriously contemplating some ink
  • Tried to get pregnant but failed
  • Was more aware and involved in a presidential election then ever before
  • Won a political debate with my father
  • Was able to celebrate Obama’s win without too much gloating to my family
  • Celebrated the 10-year anniversary of meeting my hubby
  • Grew my own tomatoes
  • Realized just how much I love my job and how lucky I am to have it
  • Had to deal with de-skunking for the first time in my life
There is a lot more but those are some of the things that stand out for 2008.  Here’s hoping 2009 is just as full and lively!