19 July 2016

Life as an Infertile Mom


I have been watching Parenthood on Netflix...yet again. I love that show and have seen every episode at least a few times. Last night, I was watching the episode where Julia finds out she likely cannot conceive another child, and the tears just started to flow. I found myself crying, and, at first, I was sort of confused. Yes, we are infertile and trying for a second child. I definitely have that connection with this fictional TV character's situation. We tried to conceive for several years to no avail, and the pain of those years plus the stress of infertility treatments nearly broke me. However, I wasn't crying about that.

I was crying because the pain of being infertile while also being a mom is sort of sneaky and complicated. The world sees you as a mother chasing around a toddler, and has no thought nor expectation that it might be difficult (or impossible) for you to have more children. Well-meaning strangers or casual acquaintances ask when you'll have another, and you have to decide whether to nervously laugh your way out of it or delve into your infertility track record.

We have been trying to conceive a second child for a few months, and I have been forging ahead, keeping my head down, and trying not to let the lack of conception ruffle my feathers. I imagine I am being strong, but at the same time, my tough exterior is sort of my cover story for denial and avoidance. I comfort myself with the thought that I have been pregnant before, and hopefully I can be again. But, at the root of all of it, there is a lot of fear. Fear that maybe it won't happen. Fear that our family might just be the three of us. And what the hell does that mean?

Knowing that the odds are stacked against us in having more children, and living and breathing infertility each day, I can now say that the pain of it feels different with a child. 

Infertility the second time around is like a slow burn. It doesn't hit quite as hard and fast as it did when I was childless. The pregnancy announcements don't feel like they're trying to kill me, but they're still hard to face. The stories of siblings getting along, fighting, sharing, loving each other (I get it, I have two siblings of my own) mixed in with "big sibling/little sibling" t-shirt photos on Instagram stings even more. 

At the end of the day, I have my daughter. I cling tightly to her little body, and I know how lucky I am to have her. There is a wide array of emotions- gratitude, longing, worry. You feel guilty and sometimes greedy, but the desire for another child lingers. There are a lot of "what ifs" and quietly drawn up plans that feel like if you talk above a whisper you will jinx the whole thing. That is the scourge of infertility. There is so much that is unknown and out of your control. It is all wrapped up in a big bundle of hope that you watch float away with every passing non-pregnant month. 

I see my daughter starting to comprehend more and more. She's two, and I dread the day she asks me why she doesn't have a little brother or sister. I dread the thought that she may feel left out or like she's missing out on something. I go back to the fact that it is out of my control. I know that I am doing as much as I can possibly do with the resources available to me at this time. I have to make peace with that. But, in this moment, there is only longing and hope, and doting on my one perfect blastocyst who now walks, talks, and bosses me around all day. 

30 June 2016

How to Make Bath Time Fun & Manageable


As a parent, bath time is one of those moments of the day when you're either (a) doing a little victory dance because you made it through 95% of your day, or (b) you're so exhausted and bleary-eyed and you know there's a light at the end of the tunnel, but you've still got to survive BATH TIME.

We have a little system going at our house. After dinner, I take K upstairs for her bath and bedtime prep and L cleans up downstairs (a.k.a. watches Silicon Valley with a Swiffer Duster in his hands). I have picked up a few habits that I think have helped bath time go rather smoothly, and I thought I would share them! 

1) Bubble Bath: There was a time when K would scream and run away from the bath. Then there were those other times when K wouldn't let anyone but me bathe her. That was fun! Ever since I introduced bubble bath, we have very few bath protests. Bath time bubbles are these magical things that somehow make everything better. Our favorite is Tubby Todd bubble bath, but I recently discovered that I can use their Hair & Body Wash as bubble bath too meaning it now serves THREE purposes!

2) Play Music: I am a big proponent of listening to music in the shower. I even remember having one of those radios that hung from my shower caddy and required D batteries. Anyway, I usually play some sort of music during bath time (preferably my own mix on my phone). If I'm feeling ambitious, I look up kids songs playlists on Apple Music, too. We have a bath time dance party and it makes us all a little happier!

3) Use Household Items as Bath Toys: K loves playing with kitchen items such as bowls to pour and dump water while she's in the bath. While we were on vacation, I used an empty water bottle as a water toy, because we didn't bring all of her bath toys along with us. She loved it! And it actually doubled as a way to rinse to her hair without getting soap and water in her eyes. 

4) Stick to a Routine: Having honed this routine over the past year or so, we always start the water, dump out bath toys, do bubble bath, wash body, wash hair, brush teeth, clean up bath toys, and then drain the water. Bath time always concludes with wrapping K in a towel and singing to her. After bath is diaper time, lotion, brush hair, and PJs. This routine has really helped us stay on track and check everything off our bedtime prep list! It has also freed up some time after bath to just relax, read books, and wind down for bed. 

5) Switch Up Responsibilities: If you have a willing and able partner, switch roles on occasion. As much as I love spending time with my daughter, sometimes I really need a break from K. So I let L take over bath time, and I do the dishes or whatever. It gives L time to bond with K, and more times than not, I find myself refreshed and ready to resume bath time responsibilities the following day.

What are your tried and true ways for getting through bath time? 

22 June 2016

The Ultimate Summer White Blouse with Bungalow 123






TOP (get 15% off with code "GODDESS") //  JEANS  //  SANDALS 

White blouses are a summer wardrobe staple for me. If you peek in my closet, I probably have about five or six different white tops currently in rotation. I love white blouses with special details like lace or pretty sleeves. I usually pair them with light colored jeans and sandals for a casual, yet feminine look for running errands around the city with my daughter or lunch out with friends. 

This Greylock Top from Bungalow 123 is my new favorite! It's so lightweight and comfortable, and it has the perfect amount of delicate detailing that makes it feel and look really special. I am wearing a white tank under the Greylock top in these photos (for a more modest look), but you can also wear it alone with a nude bra (for date night!) or a neutral camisole. 

I stumbled across Bungalow 123's website a couple of months ago through Pinterest! I fell in love with a number of their unique, vintage-style pieces that looked comfortable and versatile enough to fit in with my busy, messy, mom life. I'm almost always running after a toddler, but I still want to look stylish and fun. Pieces like this gorgeous white blouse help me achieve that look!

Go check out Bungalow 123's stylish and affordable pieces and get 15% off your purchase with the code "GODDESS" at checkout! (Offer valid from today until Sunday, June 26th) Oh, and did I mention they have free domestic shipping on all orders?! That is huge, especially for a small business!

While it looks like the Greylock Top is now sold out, here are a couple of other Bungalow 123's white tops that caught my eye.
 WILLOUGHBY TOP
KASURI TOP
(Disclosure: Financial compensation was not received for this post. A sample product was gifted from Bungalow 123. All opinions are my own.)

20 June 2016

Stay-at-Home Mom Confession: I'm Bad at Time Management


Lately, I have felt like my plate has not only been full, but overflowing. Motherhood and mothering takes up so much of my time and energy. Managing the household does not come naturally to me; so things like dishes and laundry or even just cleaning up takes me forever and feels like drudgery. Also, nothing ever seems that clean, organized, or de-cluttered...even after I clean, organize, and de-clutter. Heck - even sitting down to write this post has felt like climbing a mountain. It took me about a week to write this post, because I just can't focus. The words felt forced. They weren't flowing. My attention has been in too many different places at once.

I feel like I have some form of motherhood ADHD all the time. Is this multi-tasking at its worst?

I have been thinking quite a bit about time management, and why it may be contributing to my feelings of being overwhelmed and being pulled in every direction all the time. Recently, I stumbled upon a few articles addressing the subjects of managing time and creating a schedule. The articles caught my eye, because after three and a half decades on this planet, I still struggle to adhere to a schedule and account for my time. As a stay-at-home mom, I have too much "open space" or grazing time on my calendar on any given day, which is both a blessing and a curse. I am someone who wanders a lot, who gets inspired easily, but also distracted too easily by any and every possible shiny thing that comes my way (or graces my phone/computer screen, too). This wandering quality is great when I want to have a free day with my daughter and we can go where the wind takes us, but for all of the "real" days in between, it makes life tougher.

In my role as a stay-at-home mom, I feel like some days are amazing. I get a lot done, and I feel like superwoman. Other days, not so much. It's those "not so much" days that frustrate me and keep me feeling stuck. I think the frustration is a build up of letting my household chores pile up, feeling powerless against an ever-growing "to do" list, and ultimately (going back to my earlier point about having too much space to graze) not adhering to a set schedule. This has become enough of an annoyance and disturbance for me to want to address it.

For the past month, I have taken a step in the right direction with time management. I have scheduled some self-imposed "me" time after dinner before K's bath. I slip out of the house for about twenty minutes of alone time to walk my dog. I wrote about this back at the end of May, and I have been adhering to it. This seemingly small yet enjoyable part of my day has become something I can rely on for my mental (and physical) health. It is giving me hope that I can continue to work on scheduling the things I consider not-so-enjoyable.

So for this week (and beyond), I am going to work on having an actual laundry day, scheduled times to load and unload the dishwasher, getting to bed before 1AM, etc. Watch out, domestic world. I'm coming for ya.

Do you have time management down to a science? Or are you still a work-in-progress like me?

14 June 2016

5 Ways I Get My Stubborn Toddler to Eat


A new week is upon us, and I am slowly getting us back to our normal daily schedule. We traveled a lot in May and early June. I want to stay grounded for the rest of this month! It's been amazing to open K's eyes a bit to a world beyond Los Angeles, but it has been rough on our routines and rituals. There were a couple of nights in Seattle where she didn't go to sleep until 11PM or midnight! Oops. With lost bedtimes has come lost eating habits.

We are back to square one when it comes to toddler eating or lack thereof. (I wrote a previous post about K's infant/toddler weight gain drama.) It is time for me to get back to the basics and regulate her mealtimes and snacks.

Here are some ways I am getting my toddler to eat:

1) I cook more and stay home. I found that when I am running K all around town, and eating out a lot, she tends to eat less. Maybe there are too many distractions when we are out? When we spend the day at home (or at least eat our meals at home), she will snack and eat a ton more. I make sure I find the time to cook nutritious meals whenever possible because she eats significantly more when I cook. I also try (when I have the time) to involve her and engage her somehow in the food preparation and/or cooking process. For example, today I was cutting up some grape tomatoes for a pasta dish. I let her try a bite, and it got her interested. She ended up eating a entire bowl of tomatoes. Then, when it came time to eat dinner, she recognized the tomatoes in our dinner and ate three toddler-sized bowls of pasta.

2) I write down everything she eats. A food journal or food log can be eye-opening for us all, toddler or not. I have been shocked (and ashamed) at the end of a day when K hasn't eaten much. However, it has been a great learning tool to helping balance her nutrition. When I know she's been eating empty carbs and junk all day, I really try and up the fruits, veggies, and healthy fats the next day.

3) Persistence, not force. I don't force feed. I also don't subscribe to punishments over whether a child eats or not. I know K is still very young, and we have many dinner table battles ahead of us, but, so far, trying to "force" K to eat doesn't get us anywhere. Often times, K isn't hungry or doesn't feel like eating during meal times. I am not a short order cook (as many moms before me have said), but I have found persistence to be the best way to get K to eat more. Yes, I am offering her food a lot during the day. Yes, it is more work for me. Yes, we don't always eat at the table. But, it's part of the territory with a picky, underweight toddler

4) I rotate favorite snacks. K tires of foods easily. It helps to have easy, healthy snacking/meal options. I always have her favorite fruit on hand, fruit cups (like peaches and pears), string cheese, raisins, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, and something with a little chocolate in it. She's developed a sweet tooth which helps as a bribery tool to get her to eat other things. Recently, she decided she is back on the edamame train. She loves edamame, but, for some reason, it had dropped off the favorites list for the past couple of months. It's hard, because I get lazy sometimes, and I'll just give her the same stuff over and over again. But it is usually during those times I find she gets bored and her eating falls off.

5) I provide distractions (ahem, the iPad). If we have had a day where K doesn't want to eat much more than Cheerios, I let her have the iPad during mealtime. I know, I know. No screens at the table. That is a house rule I hope to eventually execute, but, right now, I need her to eat. The iPad sort of puts her in a trance (like only a small, bright screen can do) and then I can get her to eat a lot more. I don't do this every day. It is a trick I reach for when all of my other tricks have failed.

9 June 2016

Why Discuss Agoraphobia Now?

Agoraphobia is a painful secret I have lived with for too many years, and I want to say/type the word out loud and take any and all power away from it. I am no longer in a place where I can't get out or I feel like the walls are closing in every time I am in a public space. However, I still live with the repercussions of those years of being physically and mentally shut away from the world.

It may seem like I share a lot of personal information on the blog, but there are some aspects of my life that I actually keep quiet about. I swear! I think that's pretty standard in the blogging world: bloggers are selective about what they share in order to present a certain picture of themselves and their lives. But, for me, this part of my "story" felt like an elephant in the room. It is something I have never written about but a condition that has affected and continues to affect my life. I have danced around it discussing my challenges with anxiety and panic disorders. I have shared a ton about infertility (including IVF) and the effects of physical health issues (endometriosis and chronic pain). I have talked about the stay-at-home-mom challenge of getting myself and K out of the house each day. But, at the heart of it, I never actually said the word "agoraphobia".

There was a time when agoraphobia truly shattered my spirit. I felt helpless, confused, and like a total loser. I equated my mental problems with something that only happened to weak, ill-prepared, or spoiled people who couldn't manage to get their shit together. I lost friends. Really good friends. My best friend and I parted ways during one of the most difficult times in my life. We had an argument and never spoke again. For years I put myself through hell feeling solely responsible for our fractured relationship. I have since forgiven myself for the part I played in the demise of our friendship. I feel that my poor mental health was a big factor in how I handled myself, but like any relationship in life, it is a two way street.

I continue to work on issues with social anxiety. It's hard for me to branch out and feel comfortable around others since I started having panic attacks. My introverted personality makes it even trickier (see this post about being an introverted mom). So trying to make plans with me is sort of like trying to get a squirming child to take their medicine. Have you ever seen Along Came Polly? I am totally Jennifer Aniston's character (who happens to be flakey in the film, but not socially anxious or agoraphobic). Other person: "Didn't you say you were free?" Me: "Yeah, well, I'm actually not sure." *runs away*

I consider myself in recovery. How long does recovery last? I have no idea. Forever? But each day is a new opportunity for me to either shrink my world a little more or grow it a little more. There are mothers out there who are schizophrenic, who are depressed, who have OCD, who are agoraphobes, who are bipolar, and the list goes on. The silence that surrounds these conditions only breeds shame and feeds ignorance and misinformation. I don't plan on directly talking about agoraphobia much more on the blog. However, I do plan to continue to share the challenges I face on a daily basis. I plan to share how these challenges affect my roles as a mother and a wife.

My life is far from perfect, which I think I have outlined in great detail on this blog (hahaha!). However, I'm not looking for pity or for people to feel sorry for me. I think I share because I seek understanding and dialogue with others who aren't afraid to admit their own imperfections. I want to connect with others who are kinder, more empathetic, and less judgmental because of challenges they've faced or situations where life didn't go exactly as planned. Those are basically my people. And, if that's you, welcome. You are loved. 

6 June 2016

How Exposure Therapy Helped My Agoraphobia


NOTE: I am not a physician nor mental health professional. I am simply someone living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and panic. This is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor or therapist.

I have never shared any of this on my blog in all my years of blogging out of fear of stigma and others' judgments.

My story wasn't like how you see it in movies. I didn't step one foot outside my door and immediately fall to the ground sobbing. I had stopped working and was having trouble finding a new job. I was alone at home all day, and had some chronic health problems that were causing me to become physically weak. My family life was in disarray. Slowly, I withdrew more and stopped going out as much. Job searching was drudgery and I started to question my job skills. I stopped calling any of my friends back. It was very sneaky. Eventually, I had my first panic attack when out at brunch, and that triggered more panic and anxiety. We tried for years to have a baby, and the pain of infertility just pushed me further into a blackhole of despair. This all led to having major problems going out, and being completely dependent on my husband and my mom.

Before getting panic attacks, I was a very independent person. I traveled cross country regularly by myself, worked, excelled in graduate school, and the list goes on. When panic struck, it was very hard for me to get out and do anything on my own. I was scared to be alone. I was paralyzed at the thought that "something" could happen to me when out in public. This "something" could be as minor as embarrassing myself by tripping over a pebble on the sidewalk or as serious as passing out or having a medical emergency. Would anyone help me? Would they laugh at me? Would I get hurt? Would I die? Yes, it sounds extreme. But all of these thoughts spiraled out of control and would play like an endless loop in my mind.

I went on Paxil for about a year and a half (which I blogged about here), but otherwise, I didn't pursue any other therapy or anxiety medication besides beta blockers and Klonopin my GP prescribed me for situational anxiety. I pieced together advice and articles I read on the Internet, and basically concluded that my mental health was on a downward spiral, and I had become agoraphobic. I was terrified of what that meant, because I didn't know much about agoraphobia. I didn't know anyone who suffered from it. I wanted to distance myself from this disorder which seemed shameful and weird. I blogged for years and shared details about my anxiety, but never uttered the word "agoraphobia". I didn't really know how to help myself or what to do about it, but I had to start pushing myself to get out or I feared I could end up divorced, alone, perpetually unemployed, and unable to take care of myself.

I started off by walking my dogs down the block. We lived in a busy part of the city, and there were noisy, bustling streets with lots of pedestrians and stimuli surrounding us on all sides. Walking down the block was so mentally exhausting it would take me days to recover. When I felt strong again, I walked my dogs around the block. I didn't force matters or put myself on a strict schedule. The process involved baby steps; a lot of two steps forward one step back happening. There were days when I pretty much gave up, and did nothing all day. I would wake up with a "to do" list feeling motivated and ready to get back out in the world. Then the hours would somehow slip by, and I recall showering with the setting sun around 6-7pm. On those days, I didn't think I was depressed any more than I imagined I was just having a "really bad day." I wasn't working at the time and we were childless, so it was easy to recoil into myself and stay indoors in my safe space.

While I didn't really know it at the time, by walking down the block, I had started down the road of exposure therapy. I was slowly and purposely putting myself into situations that triggered my anxiety. I was facing my anxiety head on, breathing through it, and coming out a little stronger on the other side.

While I have been working on exposures since before I became a mom, motherhood has really been the impetus to push myself harder than I ever have. I look at my daughter, and I see this little person bursting with so much potential. I want to be an asset to my her, not something holding her back. My reason for getting better is my daughter. When my daughter was born, I was determined to find a mom support group/mommy and me infant class. I did some googling and found a class a few miles from our house. My daughter was seven weeks old, and I was so filled with anxiety I thought I would jump out of my skin. I was terrified of socializing (social anxiety), because I truly believed that I would have nothing to contribute to the group. (It turns out new moms have tons of stuff to talk about!) I was also terrified of driving with my newborn baby. The thought of going to this baby class completely paralyzed me. But, I told myself I would go once, and if I hated it, I didn't have to go back again. My mom was staying with us, and offered to drive us to class. That first class was so nerve wracking, and I'm pretty sure I was sweating like a pig, but I made it through.

From then on, it wasn't cake. I remember my mom drove us to the first month of classes, because the thought of driving on top of going to class was overwhelming. (Thank you, Mom. Truly.) Eventually, I found the courage to drive myself and even started meeting up with my mommy friends at parks and around town. Each time I was able to drive myself to a get together was a very important step toward independence and greater self-esteem. It was something I was doing on my own, and I didn't have to depend on anyone else.

I now know that the best thing I can do for myself is to keep getting back up no matter how many times I am knocked down. As cliche as it sounds, there is much to be said about never giving up. For me, exposure therapy has been about adopting a "never give up" attitude no matter how long it takes me to move forward. I know that with each repeated exposure, it opens up my world a teeny tiny bit more. Last year, we moved to a new neighborhood, and I had to jump back into a world of discomfort: meeting new people, driving on new streets, and basically re-finding our community. It has been a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I refuse to give up. Last month, we took a family vacation to Hawaii. We are currently in Seattle accompanying my husband on a work trip. I am back out in the world again with some setbacks. I still have my bad moments, and occasionally, bad days. But I no longer attempt to get back to "my old self" or put myself down for what I used to accomplish. I am solely focused on continuing my exposures, going to therapy, being in the moment, and looking to what's ahead. I lived in the past for a long time, and it was so detrimental to my mental health.

I don't know if this is "normal" for most anxiety sufferers. I imagine my situation was so severe, because I didn't start cognitive behavioral therapy until last year (June 2015). I always had an endless list of excuses as to why I couldn't get myself to therapy. In the end, I was cheating myself (no big surprise there), because I was denying myself one of the most integral aspects of my recovery. 

31 May 2016

Why I'm Stopping Progesterone Suppositories

I have been taking a progesterone suppository called Endometrin for two months now. It was prescribed by my gynecologist in the hopes that I could prolong the luteal phase of my cycle (basically the phase that begins after ovulation and ends the day you start your period). I have unexplained spotting during the second half of my period that is likely causing yet another barrier to conception. So these suppositories were supposed to stop the spotting and give us a better chance of maintaining a pregnancy.

The first month I took it (last month), it resulted in a slightly longer cycle, (spotting started on Day 25 rather than Day 20-24) however, I was met with excruciating pain that almost sent me to the emergency room. The highest dose of Advil and Aleve wouldn't touch the pain. I decided to tough it out, and the next day I hobbled into my doctor's office where I prayed I would get some answers. My doc was shocked that my cramps were so bad, because as she explained it "Progesterone should make your cramps better." She hypothesized that it could be my endometriosis growing back, and mentioned that I could need laparoscopic surgery again. These are definitely things I didn't want to hear. She sent me home with stronger pain pills and no real answers. I felt a bit deflated, but still hopeful that maybe these strange pains would magically disappear.

Cue to month two. About a week ago, my skin broke out with hormonal zits. You know - the painful, volcano-ish kind. I am pretty sure it's the progesterone, because I haven't had a breakout like this in years. I ended up spotting around Day 22 and my period arrived with a vengeance on Day 25. I missed my family's Memorial Day BBQ on account of laying on the couch dying of cramps with nothing to show for it. I tried taking the pain pills and they basically turned me into a zombie...that still had cramps.

Endometrin, you are going in the garbage.

I am at a stand still with my reproductive organs. I don't want to go through another month of this pain so it is back to the drawing board in terms of how to deal with a luteal phase that is way too short on top of my out-of-control endometriosis pain. This is exactly why I was so tentative about returning to the world of trying to conceive; knowing that fear of the unknown and anxiety about what could go wrong would become a regular part of my life again. At this point, I have no choice but to give my body a rest after two very painful months, and hope that through more research and speaking to my doctors, we can come up with a new set of plans.

I want to note that I have taken Endometrin before, but it was in conjunction with both IVF cycles. I didn't have debilitating cramps when I took them before. So now I wait for my next period to see if I'm still in horrible pain without the Endometrin. Oy.

27 May 2016

An Art Museum with a Toddler and Other War Stories

Another week of motherhood is in the books! I am continuing to stick to the Stay at Home Mom Challenge I gave myself at the beginning of the year. (Basically, the SAHM Challenge was a New Year's resolution of sorts to get my daughter and I out of the house and into the fresh air as much as possible. When my anxiety is elevated, I tend to close up and stay in my safe, little world.) Sometimes I feel like I have to remind myself to breathe. I have good weeks and bad weeks, but I am trying to push through the "bad" moments, whatever they may be.

This week was a busy one. A few highlights - we explored a new art museum downtown with friends, got our water heater fixed (no more three minute showers!), enjoyed tons of time outdoors doing water play, and attended toddler class. Lastly, a little note about how I am maintaining my sanity lately at the bottom of this post.

The Broad Museum

The Broad is one museum I have wanted to check out since it opened. It is such a young, hip place to be! Unfortunately, it doesn't really lend itself to toddler (mis)behavior. We went with a decent sized group of other mommies and toddlers. We felt pretty out of place in a sea of art enthusiasts who looked like maybe they had never seen a two year old in their entire lives. There was a lot of chasing, whining, trying to pick K up while she pretends to be a wet noodle, and bribery. Although I couldn't bribe her with snacks, because there's no eating in the museum. By the end, I gave her my phone and she was happy as a clam to sift through those bizarre surprise egg videos on YouTube.

A good reminder that next time I will take my husband as my date and not my daughter! Or if L had been there with us, we could have taken turns chasing after K and telling her not to touch anything while the other parent got to view the art.



Try telling a two year old NOT to touch this. Spoiler alert: it doesn't go over well. 

The photo above was posted on my Instagram, @lessthandomesticgoddess!

We did get to enjoy a few quiet moments surrounded by an infinite number of glittering sparkles in the Infinity Mirrored Room! 

It was a tough week in terms of "boo boos" and injuries. K has gotten quite brave, but unfortunately has almost no understanding of the painful consequences of her bold, new outlook on life. She has tumbled down a few steep stairs, slid out of her booster seat and fallen on the floor, and jumped off of a kid-sized lounge chair and hit her head on the TV stand. I, in turn, have five new gray hairs and have aged half a year.


With all of K's antics and testing boundaries, I really need a break sometimes. 

For months, I have been sneaking in workouts on the treadmill here and there. Sometimes I will get a few minutes to do push-ups or lift my five pound weights while K watches a program on TV or her iPad. However, it's left me mostly unfulfilled and I can never get any continuity. This past week, I decided to make even more of an effort to squeeze in a workout, mostly for mental health purposes. 

So, I've been starting dinner earlier than usual. (We usually wait to eat dinner with L, but he gets home pretty late.) By the time L gets home, I take off with the dog and we do a 20-25 minute walk around the neighborhood. I really, really want to try and stick with this. The fresh air helps me process the day's frustrations, and I also get some QT with my pup, Henry. 

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