Birthday Shenanigans

Friday, May 27, 2016

Time for another round of 7 Quick Takes with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!

This weekend begins the SUMMER OF BIRTHDAYS!

Also known as every summer.

But it's still fun!

1

This little guy turns 4 on Tuesday!


I finally wrote up his birth story yesterday. You can read it here if you're so inclined.


2

We're having his party on Monday. He has decided on a construction theme again!
Just like last year!
Which means DIY gets that much easier.

Showing the toy digger favors from last year.

3

My great plan last year was buy a roll of this stuff....

....and put it everywhere!

I made a coat hanger wreath by tying little strips of caution tape around it. Glad I held onto to that DIY!

4

Still not sure what to do about the cake though. Last year's turned out pretty awesome.


Grind up some chocolate graham crackers in a food processor and you've got yourself some excellent, edible, road material!

5

My mom is awesome and will send a whole box of party supplies every year, once she knows the theme. These construction cone party cups are going to be a hit with the kids, me thinks.

6

My sister, Mary, arrives for a visit tomorrow so she can join in on the birthday festivities!


She is graduating from high school this year, and is a very accomplished auntie. 
The kids are super duper excited!

I have four sisters, so I'm only about 30% sure they really understand which one is coming. 
But they're EXCITED!

7

Last weekend we had a beach bonfire for an early birthday celebration for me!
Having a birthday so soon after one of the kids means I'm normally a little burned out by the time my birthday rolls around.

Matt, champion packer of food stuffs he is, brought things for fire cooked hot dogs and corn-on-the-cob. S'mores and champagne apparently go together quite well.



The kids had a great time playing in the ultra-soft sand.
We even found some tide pools with some good mussels, barnacles, and sea anemones. John and I had JUST read the Magic School Bus about the ocean so John was all over naming the creatures.

It made me feel like such a put together homeschool mom...because I TOTALLY planned that....

John's Birth Story

Thursday, May 26, 2016

John turns 4 next week! Eeek! So I finally got around to writing up his birth story. 
Fair warning: I cover PPD and some traumatic aspects of birth towards the bottom. I suggest you don't read past the going home picture if you think that might be a trigger for you.

John was due 5 days following my college graduation. I walked the stage looking enormous. There were bets about whether he would be born on graduation day. Fun times.


Enormous. Told ya. 

Baby boy stayed in there though!
And stayed.
And stayed.

Eventually he overstayed his welcome.

This was punctuated by a fun thing called prodromal labor. 
Also known as for realsie labor and contractions that do NOTHING. So. Not. Cool.
That lasted for nearly 2 weeks.

I actually went in around 41 weeks to L&D because the contractions SEEMED like they were doing something. They were getting closer together, not stopping, all that jazz. When hooked up to the monitor, the nurses could see promising looking contractions. Enough that they admitted me.

But the thing about being admitted to L&D means you will be watched like a hawk and not allowed food or drink. 
In labor. Over-due. And not allowed to eat. 
By 24 hours in I was mentally breaking. Growing a human on no fuel will do that to ya.

They started a line of Pitocin. It did make the contractions bigger, but progress I did not. Apparently I'm one of those fun people who don't respond well to Pitocin.

Now I had awesome L&D nurses who fought so hard to get the orders changed. But OBs don't like cases like mine. All bodies are supposed to work the same, don't you know? Who did I think I was having the audacity to NOT be progressing? 

On Day 2 I was finally allowed to go off the Pitocin and Matt ran out to Jack-in-the-Box. You have no idea how good a cheeseburger and curly fries can taste until you are a starved super pregnant woman. I think John did a little in utero happy dance.

I insisted on being discharged that day. No more torture for me. I had had enough of feeling imprisoned, starved, and not able to sleep.
Leaving L&D without a baby is one of the most demoralizing things that can happen when you are that far along. I just stared at the ground and cried as quietly as I could.

Then began the fun rounds of Non-Stress Tests (NSTs) to check up on little John. I always looked like I was contracting regularly (because I was), and every new nurse would try to say encouraging things like how I was going to go into labor any hour now. I basically wanted to throttle everyone.

At 42 weeks we had to call it and the CNM midwife scheduled an induction. 
Getting induced meant getting up really early, calling the hospital to make sure they were ready for us to come in, and doing hurry-up-and-wait in L&D. 

We arrived about 7am but they didn't get around to starting the induction until closer to noon.
We watched a lot of Law and Order.

We were in a room that was a lot smaller, and a lot less nice, than our previous room. Our first nurse was not great. She bumbled through getting the IV line in my hand, and we found later that she had left a sharp on the ground (by which I mean we found the sharp in question.) 
In the room people are mostly wearing socks or nothing. Yeah, not cool.

Misoprostol was finally administered about noon. After the hour of having to lie on my back, I was finally able to move around a little bit. 
Because I was being induced, I had to stay connected to the fetal monitor. I had the one with cords. They had a number of cordless sets but they were all in use. 
By people not getting out of bed. 
I continue to be less than thrilled in the decisions of others.

I was able to get a birth ball and spent a lot of time on that sucker. At some point I moved into the shower, and Matt spent a lot of time keeping the stream of hot water moving around my back. 

I made a lot of progress in the shower, and discovered staying in there was a great way to get the medical team to leave me alone. At this point, I didn't want to see a doctor until absolutely necessary.

They finally made me leave the shower so they could check progress. The temperature change made me really nauseous (the gathering intensity of the contractions might have had something to do with it too). 
I labored on the bed a little bit. Suddenly, I got this overwhelming feeling that something was changing really fast.

And my water broke.
Way to go intuition!

But there was clearly meconium in the fluid, which meant little John might not be doing too great.

Back on careful monitoring.

Laboring on the bed was a lot harder, and it was in the wee hours of the morning now. I was exhausted and kept falling asleep/passing out (honestly, not sure which) in between contractions. 
The monitor kept moving so the nurses would have to fiddle with it until they got it in a good place again.
I made poor Matt keep saying "Soft, soft" over and over again. You want weird stuff in labor I suppose. 

After one big contraction, urge to push started happening in full force. I was lying on my side, and felt like John was moving really well in that position. But once nurses figured out I was actually delivering, doctor got called and I had to go on my back. 

I did NOT want to go on my back. It made me feel nauseous and terrible and something just felt really not right about it. John apparently thought so too. His heartrate dropped quickly, and I could easily have been an emergency C-section if I didn't deliver so fast. 
They had to hold me down to keep me on my back. 

He had the cord wrapped around his neck, and was a little blue, but baby boy pinked right up on my chest. He pooped all over me too. It was a hard road for him too I guess.

I lucked out and didn't need what they so delicately call "reconstruction". I just got to cuddle the baby and finally eat a ham sandwich.


Staying in the hospital afterward re-affirmed that recovery in hospital is terrible.
No one lets you sleep! Who seriously was like, "You know who really doesn't need a lot of recovery and sleep? Women who have just finished one of the hardest marathons of their lives!"

Every few hours they WAKE YOU UP to take your blood pressure. Then they WAKE THE BABY UP to check on them. 

One night nurse freaked me out by insisting John was really jaundiced and needed the doctor immediately. You don't say these things 1) before if you know it is true and 2) to a woman who hasn't slept properly in weeks.

This was one of those "baby friendly hospitals" that does not do well nursery. 

So no one else is helping care for the baby, nor will they let you sleep, or let you move around much at all. They only "help" we got from staying in the hospital was not having to cook, but I'm not sure that's saying much. It's not bad to throw a freezer meal in the oven or crockpot.

Finally going home!

Needless to say, I was so so happy to get out of that hospital. 


My mom came and stayed with us for our first week, and that was great! Actual help! Real food! Chores getting done! Getting to sleep!

But I quickly learned there would be zero post-partum support anywhere else.
When I was showing signs of Post-Partum Depression (PPD) I did what they told me to. I called my midwife. A few times. They finally just told me to go to the ER. Not what I was expecting, but I continued to do as I was told.

In the ER it became clear that things were not the kind of help I was trying to get.
I got suspicious when there was a security officer positioned outside my room.
Eventually a doctor came in and explained they were 5150ing me. In California, that means I was being forced into a psychiatric hospital.

None of this was what I was asking for. I was not ok with it. That meant forced separation from my breastfeeding newborn.

They came in with the gurney to take me to the ambulance for transport. But with a 5150 they have to handcuff at least your ankle to the gurney, I felt like I was being arrested for doing what I was supposed to do in asking for help.

The sounds of baby John crying in the hospital room in Matt's arms as they wheeled me away just broke my heart. 

The hospital was clearly not set up for PPD cases. As in, I was the only one they had ever seen. Everyone else on my floor were largely in for eating disorders, the others were schizophrenic or had other severe forms of depression. 

They did not have answers to a lot of important questions. Like did they have a breast pump? How would I get milk to my newborn? When would I be allowed to see him?

I decided real fast that I was going to do whatever it took to get out of there. Lie if I needed to. 

There just had to be a better way.

At this point I had spent the better part of 2 weeks in labor, been starved, dehydrated, sleep deprived, abandoned by care providers, and now forcibly separated from my baby, breast feeding was shot, and I was being held against my will.

No way was I doing that again.

So that's the big long story about why Therese was a homebirth. And it was sooooooo much better!

***Edited to add: Yes the story with what happened with recovery from PPD and such has more of an ending to it, but this post was already getting crazy long and I feel like it will be better completed in another post. Stay tuned!***

**Here it is!**




7 Ways I've Become Surprisingly Crunchy

Friday, May 20, 2016

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for another round of 7 Quick Takes!



I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area going on 8 years now. It has changed me in surprising ways - espeically when it comes to some crunchy parenting and living choices.

Yup, I drank the Kool-Aid a little bit.

Here are 7 things that I never saw myself doing that I do now.

1

Babywearing

This one isn't super weird - we had a big hiking style carrier when my sisters were little - but I did not foresee myself using babywearing in place of a stroller 95% of the time.

But the realities of needing to navigate stores with narrow aisles, and using public transportation means that throwing the baby on my back in the Ergo is often the easiest option.
I'm not ideologically opposed to strollers. We have one. It's not great - I call it the Hummer of strollers - but it is fantastic for hauling the 20+ kids books we get from the library every week.

2

Cloth Diapering

This one surprised me. Never did I think I would end up cloth diapering, and probably wouldn't have if we didn't have cool neighbors who were doing it when our oldest was a newborn.

Actual thought process: "Well the neighbors do cloth diapers and they're not crazy or a masochistic. Not having to order diapers online would be nice. They say they potty train faster....Let's do this!"

We've lucked out with a pretty awesome cloth diaper service (for which I'm sure our neighbors who share laundry with us are very grateful) and it's been a great fit for us.

3

Homebirthing

Another thing I did not see myself considering before I had kids.

Our oldest was born in a hospital with a CNM. It was not a great experience, and postpartum care was terrible. When I turned up pregnant with #2 I was less than keen to repeat that situation.
So we looked into homebirth!

We surprised ourselves and ended up going with a LM/CPM. She was awesome! Prenatal appointments were largely at our apartment (no need to worry about childcare!), the birth went really well, and postpartum care was fantastic.
It's not the best choice for everyone, but it works great for me.

**You made it through the birth section. Yea you! Now it's going to get a little grosser. You can skip to number 6 if desired.**


4

Placenta Encapsulation

After our oldest, John, was born I had a really bad round of postpartum depression. After surviving that, I was willing to do just about ANYTHING to prevent it.

I still have to do a little mind distraction in order to swallow the weirdness of ingesting a human organ, but I can do it.
I didn't have any issues with PPD the second time around. Whether it was due to using the placenta medicine, knowing better how to handle recovery + newborn, or just a better support system is unclear. I would probably do it again. Just in case.

5

Mama Cloth

File under "Things That Sounded Super Weird and Gross": reusable menstrual supplies!
But it's surprisingly clean and easy.

I even used them postpartum (with this kit from Lunapads). So much more comfortable, and it takes up significantly less space than my old stockpile of disposable supplies. 

**See that wasn't so bad, was it?**


6

All the Weird Veggies

We started getting a farm box when we were newly married. I would probably never have cooked with celery root, butternut squash, kale, chard, or a number of other veggies had they not just appeared in my kitchen demanding to be used or rot.

I have learned how to make things tasty to our family's palate without a lot of waste, and I've become a much more adventurous and confident cook because of it.

7

Cleaning Clean

Never did I see myself having so many uses for vinegar!
Once I had little crawlers underfoot, it became a lot more important to use cleaners that I did not have to worry about baby fingers touching (for the sake of my poor stress levels.)

As life as gotten busier, I've discovered some pretty great commerical green cleaners. I swear by this Mrs. Meyers Scouring Powder. Comet did not work nearly as well on soap scum and greasy tea kettles. And it smells so good!


Anyone else have the experience of our location changing your choices? Do you do any of the stuff on my list?

What's for Dinner? - How We Do Team Meal Planning

Monday, May 16, 2016

Linking up with Nan (First time! Whoop!) for Making Your Home Sing Monday.



If you haven't caught onto this yet, I'm a serious planner/organizer/list/system person. I like to figure out the ideal way, for me and my family, to get things done. The systems I land on can be a little unusual, and may not work for you, but I think there is value in putting options out there for people who are having trouble coming up with ideas.

So here is the way we have divided up responsibility for meal planning, food prep, and cooking!

Overview

Matt Does:
  • Picking up the farm box
  • Perishable goods shopping (this is not a hard and fast rule)
  • Finding recipes (most of the time via Pinterest)
  • Adding to and updating our shared meal plan calendar via Google Calendar
Kirby Does:
  • Food Prep and Cooking (all weeknights, with Matt cooking most Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Creative re-use of leftovers
  • Non-perishable goods shopping (also not a hard and fast rule)
  • Farm box processing (roasting, jams, canning, pickling, etc.)
  • Making of stocks to use up bones and sad, limp veggies.

Matt's Jobs

We currently get a farm box (CSA) through Matt's work, so the box is delivered to the front desk at his company. He just loads it into his bike saddlebags and bikes it home! 
That can be easier said than done when we're getting 2-3 melons a week in the summer and 2 big squashes a week in the winter...

My husband is an amazing grocery shopper. Like he can remember prices, quantities, and sales like nobody's business. He will sometimes bike over to a local, awesome, grocery store by his work that has tons of bulk bins and veggie sales to stock up. 
Grocery shopping is relaxing and fun for him. It is not relaxing and fun for me. We're going to play to our strengths here.

I introduced Matt to the joys of Pinterest a while ago, and it is helpful for quickly finding links to good recipes that are scattered around little blogs. The CSA has good recipes in the weekly newsletter too, so we're sometimes using that for ideas for odd veggies (like celery root).

Example of a meal plan event. This is our plan for this Friday.
He inputs the recipe link into an event on our shared Meal Planning calendar via Google Calendar. It automatically populates into my calendar without dealing with event invites!
He'll also put in any planning notes. Because sometimes I do silly things, like not being able to find the fish in the fridge, forget about the fresh herbs (instead of the dried), or not know that we have fresh lemons to use instead of the stuff in a bottle. Communication is gold!


Kirby's Jobs

I take Matt's meal plan and make it happen! Like a magical live-in fairy.

It typically takes 1.5-2 hours every afternoon to make our normal dinners, so I normally need to start about 3pm - right when the kids are finishing up snack after nap. Thus we have mandated free play outside the kitchen time.

The kids have been ravenous eaters for lunches, so I have been cooking pretty honest-to-goodness hot meals for lunches - most often by re-using leftovers. I specialize in quick soups and pot pies.
Matt normally takes leftovers for lunch, so my midday creations just add to his range of choices.

A big part of my job is preventing food waste. 
I take the farm box within 24 hours of getting it in and:
  • roast some root veggies
  • string herbs up for drying
  • make pesto out of carrot tops
  • pickle hot peppers, radishes, and any overflow of carrots
  • cut up melons
  • make Fennel Onion Jam out of any fennel bulbs


Every 2 weeks or so I gather up any limp roots that didn't get a purpose fast enough and throw them in the crockpot with any saved carrot and potato peels & bones/chicken carcass to make stock!
Having the good stock already made in the fridge makes it that much easier to make my creative lunches.

What about the dishes?

Depending on if I'm making something with a decent cooking time, I can get most of the food prep and cooking dishes washed or loaded in the dishwasher as I go.
Post-dinner I aim to have only serving dishes in need of washing.

After spending a few years with a baby and no dishwasher, it still feels like an amazing luxury to load up a dishwasher with dirty dishes and soap, turn it on, and JUST WALK AWAY. 
It ends up about half and half for doing the final dishwash, but that will vary a lot by what we have going on that week.

So that's how we roll around here. Does this sounds familiar or super-duper different from your house?


We're Going to Ireland! - 2nd Honeymoon

Friday, May 13, 2016

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!



We're going to Ireland this summer!

We're having our 2nd Honeymoon, that is kind of the 1st honeymoon. 

For our 1st honeymoon we went part camping, part B&B stay up the coast in Marin county. It was beautiful and perfect for that point in our lives. But we both had classes and work to get back to, so it was short and a day trip from where we live now. This will be an opportunity to reconnect, explore a new place, and take our time with an adventure.

The kids are going to Camp Grandma in Texas. Grandma's house is like a kid wonderland with chickens, dogs, big house to ramble in, a trampoline, and TWO YARDS! These apartment dwelling kids are going to be so happy.
(They're looking forward to being with Grandma, Big Chief, and their four aunts too. Promise y'all!)

So here are 7 things I'm excited to try and check out in Ireland!
Caution: severe case of nerdy nerd time ahead.

1

BOG BODIES!

*I'm going to be nice and not put a picture here.*

My poor friends have heard me talking in glowing tones about seeing the bog bodies for the better part of a year. I'm seriously so excited!

Think very well preserved mummies, but the soft tissue is still present.
You can actually re-hydrate them (very slowly) and examine stomach contents, organs, etc.

I appreciate that part of this is my freaky lack of squeamishness about old dead things/being an Anthropology major, so I'll leave you to read more about it here if you like.

2

Passage Tombs!


The Boyne Valley is home to a cluster of passage tombs, and you can actually go inside them!

3

Pub Crawl



Because I have done a bar crawl exactly once in my life, and it was for my birthday last year. Due to the having small children thing, we don't get to go out together in the evening much.

I'm a big fan of dark beer. Like if it says stout or dark or black in the title I'm probably going to like it. Irish beer and I should get along swimmingly.

4

Staying in a B&B

This is a thing called a "full Irish Breakfast". It involves:  meat (bacon, sausages and black and white puddings), eggs, vegetables and potato all fried in creamery butter, Irish soda bread, and coffee.
I admit this is not something unique to Ireland, but it is unique to the not-having-little-kids-with-us situation while in Ireland.

Most B&Bs in the US do not allow children under 12, so it's going to be a long time before they get to be part of our family travels. :(

5

Irish Independance Celebrations

Easter Proclamation of 1916
We inadvertently, but very happily, scheduled this trip during the 100 year anniversary of Irish Independence. Thus there will be a number of sights and events that are unique to this year.

So far they include a special exhibit at Kilmainham Gaol, and I'm keeping an eye out for more that we can attend.

6

Blasket Islands


The Blasket Islands fall in a part of western Ireland called a Gaeltacht. Think national preserve of Irish culture and language.

Up until 1953 it was the most westerly settlement in Ireland (when the government decided the islands were not safe for human habitation.) It has a lot of anthropologically interesting qualities, and it produced an impressive number of writers for such a small population (about 150 at it's height.)

7

Horseback Riding



Matt has planned some horseback riding opportunities while we're in the Dingle Peninsula. I learned to ride as a kid, but it's been well over a decade since I've been on a horse. This should be fun! :)

Home Sweet Stage: My First Ballet Post-Babies!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



I really did it y'all! First ballet after nearly eight years, and two babies. Here's how it went!

I still did my usual double mass attendance (8am with Matt and the kids, and staying to sing with the choir at 9:30am). I have noticed I sing better when I expect to dance afterward. There is something about the headspace I'm in to get ready for dance that corrects my stance and lets the air move better.

Matt was awesome and packed up food for the day while I was singing, so there was just enough time to drop books, grab ballet bags, and head down to the studio.

In most sports one takes the morning of a big game a little easy - maybe you stretch and do a good luck routine.
In ballet we still require you to go to morning class, maybe dance at 90% instead of 100%, to "warm up".

Then carpool really fast to the theater!
Because it was a great idea to make call time 15 minutes after class ends at a studio 20 minutes away.

But we still get there like:


Because dancers, we're still going to squeeze in another dress rehearsal right before performance.

Now it you've never done a dance performance you might not be acquainted with the joys of false eyelashes. You, quite literally, glue unnaturally long and thick fake hair to your eyelids. Seriously, who thinks of these things?!

It always make me feel a little like this:

It is the most stressful part of getting stage makeup on. Far enough into the face-getting-on process to REALLY mess things up if you do it wrong.

Rush, get makeup on!
Rush, get hair re-done (because you just danced hard for over an hour!)
Rush, get costume on!
Get to the stage door!
The wings!
On!
Dance, dance!

Now wait for four hours.

I always feel just like this:

You want the performance to happen. Really! 
What were all of those hours of rehearsals and late nights choreographing for if you don't perform it?

But, when you know this is a one off show, it also means the last time. The last time with this partner, on this stage, in this costume, doing this dance. 

A dance that has become something like a typically misbehaving toddler who suddenly does life in an amazing and perfect way!

There was some of our worst flubs in recent weeks during the final dress rehearsal so it was a "now or never" kind of moment before taking places on stage.

I never know exactly what is going to happen when those lights come on and the music starts.

But this time it was magic.

A funny thing happens under stage lights - suddenly there is nothing but you, the music, and your partner in the entire world.

We came off stage and met in the back hallway and did a double handed version of this:

Now, I will have no real idea of what it looked like until the film comes out, and I'm told that could be a good while, but it felt awesome!

Since it was still Mother's Day and all, Matt took me out for dinner.

Obviously the best post-performance feast involves an Old Fashioned and ALL THE CARBS!!
Seriously, there was a pizza too.
Thank you for everyone who came to the performance and who have been so supportive in getting back to this point! I'm truly amazed in the body's ability to grow stronger in such a (relatively) short time and just how much muscle memory was still in there. 

It would not have been possible without all the time, feedback, and willingness to put up with my (admittedly odd) dance process. Y'all are the best. :)

5, 6, 7, 8....The Dress Rehearsal 7QT!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!



1

I realize I start most weeks being like "this is a crazy week, but it's going to get better soon!" just to follow it up the next week with "this is a crazy week, but it's going to get better soon!"

But really, these weeks that are crazy, they are often the ones I'm most proud of doing.

2

My favorite flavor of crazy right now: dancing all the time! Punctuated with singing!
Because who wants to have just one art form?

Last night was our first dress rehearsal in the theater.

This is the light version of stage makeup....light.
Dancers typically have one of two reactions when they switch from studio rehearsals to theater rehearsals: either they get even more solid and focused or they get flustered and turned around.

Thankfully, both my partner and I seem to fall into the former category.


3

The studio rehearsals were enjoyable because they were our first time seeing the other pieces that will be included in the show.

My favorite is actually in the slot right before our dance.
It's only 60% my favorite because I really like the song they picked: Mystic Dream by Loreena McKennitt. 
(The dancing is good too. Promise.)



4

All of the late night rehearsals and classes have taken a toll. But no matter how tired and sore I am, I wake up to a 3 year old and a 20 month old being like this:

The banana in the hair is a fairly accurate representation of many a morning.



5

I will say I'm pretty proud of my lack of costume malfunctions during every rehearsal thus far.
This was my first time being almost solely in charge of designing and getting together a costume, so I very pleased they are working out.

Hopefully we can get a picture of us in costume before the performance!
We will have something like 4 hours to kill backstage on Sunday.

6

Real costume malfunctions that have happened to me during performance!

**Kicked my shoe off
**Kicked my shoe off and it hit someone
**Hair piece flew off (actually that has happened multiple times. It goes down as my most frequent costume misbehavior.)
**Skirt fell off (when this happens you just hop out of the way and keep going.)
**Tights started ripping (this is why you keep hairspray immediately off stage.)

and, potentially the worst one that wasn't, **my halter style dress came undone at the tie and my partner retied it as we danced so I didn't flash everyone.
She wins the award for best quick thinking to save your partner.

7

This weekend I'm singing for the First Communion mass and attending some little kid birthdays before it becomes my most intense Mother's Day ever.

This year I am grateful to have so much dancing to do.
No one assumes I'm a mother in ballet.
There are no hard questions about how many kids I have that I really don't know how to answer. 

I'm going to do my usual double mass attendance, singing the second one in the choir. 
Then, off to class!
Off to the theater!
Into dress rehearsal!

Going, going, going.

Because sometimes you need a day to not answer all the questions.
I'll get there, promise, but I don't think it's going to be this weekend. It's going to be on my own time. 
And that's ok.

"I'm so tired" - How to Recover When You're Too Tired to Function

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



Guys, I'm so tired.

And I mean that in the best way.

Last night wrapped up a long slew of dancing (hard) everyday, and often late into the night. It has been a very long time since I've pushed my body this hard, and suddenly recovery is VERY very important. 

I only have a two day mini-break (of stretching only) before another dress rehearsal on Thursday. So I'm going to take this opportunity to share with all y'all the recovery things I manage to do when I'm sleep deprived, so sore it's hard to move, and still have to keep up with a toddler and a preschooler in the morning.

Heat

When you feel sore and tired and gross, nothing really beats a hot shower. I learned a while ago to be a night shower person, but have grown to appreciate it more with babies. If you want this to be relaxing, it needs to be while little people are sleeping.

Need to get some heat on achy muscles, but only have a 20-ish minute nap window? Rice sock!

Fill an old sock with plain 'ol rice, tie or sew shut. Boom, rick sock! Throw it in the microwave for 2 minutes and you've got yourself a magical molding-to-your-body heating pad. 

Add in a handful of dried lavender for an extra relaxing element.

Every 3rd Drink Cannot be Water

Something I remembered the hard way early last week - you really can drink too much water.

When I'm pushing my physical limits, I aim for every 3rd liquid to be something besides water: herbal tea (iced or hot, with a spoonful of honey), Gatorade, bone broth.

It does wonders for keeping up energy and keeping the crampy legs away.

Enforce Nap/Turtle Time

Sometimes I'll have gotten my achy body through the morning chores, gotten some homeschool lessons in, been to the park or errands, and gotten everyone fed lunch. But then we get to post-lunch, and suddenly I. Just. Can't. Keep. Going.

This is what I call The Wall.

The Wall is a good thing. It's the thing that lets you know you have hit a limit and it's a very good idea to take a rest now.

I normally hit it twice a day: immediately post-lunch (about noon) and again after dinner clean up (about 6pm). 

The noon one is really important for me, since there is still the entire rest of the day that needs doing. Hence, my kids still nap regularly at noon. 

John is almost 4 years old. He's at the borderland of maybe not needing nap. 
So sometimes he naps, and sometimes he does Turtle Time.

Turtle Time is something we did at Girl Scout camp that is an amazingly brilliant parenting tool. 

There is an hour in the afternoon where you just stay on your bed. You need to have everything you need for Turtle Time ready within reach of your bed before Turtle Time starts (book, journal, etc.)

You don't have to sleep at Turtle Time, but you can't get off your bed (except for true emergency purposes), you can't bother anyone else, and you can't make noise. For one hour.

If I can manage an hour after noon of noone calling me, pulling on me, or climbing on me, the rest of the day becomes magically better!

Happy mommy = happy kids (and vice versa.)

Do Something With People

This might be an evening activity out of the house or a date night in with the husband, but it just can't be something physically demanding.

I add this one in here because it's true for me, but I would add the caveat that I'm on the extroverted side of the scale. If you are an introvert this might not be true for you.

I'm married to an introvert and he recharges by watching movies on Netflix. I can do that too, but it doesn't recharge or relax me. 
There is something about in the flesh interaction with people that reconnects me back to the world outside of dancing and babies (there is one, I'm sure!) 


Hope this gives y'all some ideas. Let me know what works for you to recharge and recover in your busy life! 
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