You know, it's been a rough week. Heck, it's been a rough year and a half, if you want the truth of it. But this week it started to come to a head.
My 9 month old baby had surgery. Not of the life-threatening kind, but still general anethesia, 2.5 hour, drive to UCLA type surgery. And that is stressful, something I've been dreading for 9 months. He's recovering nicely, thank you.
I was planning on taking 2 weeks off for the recovery. You see, I didn't use all of my maternity leave. But apparently my company policy is to burn all of your PTO first, which means I cannot take two weeks unpaid and collect my state paid family leave. Great. So instead of focusing on my child's recovery, my husband and I are splitting the days, trying to get as much as we can get done completed in half days and nap times, on nights of little sleep.
Then I've heard wind of possible reorganizations at work, that don't make me happy, at all.
So it's been a bit of a rough time for me - working part time, two kids, nursing, trying to keep it all together. And I feel a bit like I've been neglecting myself for the sake of everyone else (and I have been).
While I lost 25 of the 50 baby pounds pretty quickly, I stalled. In fact, I lost 10 lbs my first month back at work. Then I got sick (twice), and fell off the wagon. Or more specifically, I focused more on sleep and less on meal planning, calorie counting, and exercising. I still exercised though.
Then cold and flu season came around. Come end of January, I stopped going to the gym completely for fear of germs. Oh, I walked a few days a week, but that was about it.
Fast forward to now, and not only have I stalled, I gained back about 5 pounds (maybe more, haven't been on the scale). It all came to a head this week with the stress of the surgery and the potential work changes. I spent yesterday afternoon and most of today depressed and feeling VERY sorry for myself.
So today, I worked out. We went for a family walk to the park (about 30 minutes). Then I came home and went to the gym. I did an hour of Zumba and an hour of yoga. And man, am I out of shape. Oh, I had enough energy and strength to do both workouts. But in bright lights and wearing yoga pants, there is no hiding the extra weight (that regular clothing can hide). But it did wonders for my mood. And the glass of red wine is helping too.
This week is another half-day week of baby recovery, so I'm not too worried about making up lunches ahead of time. My meals for the week include:
Black bean and chard soup with cornbread (tonight and Monday)
Arabic lentils and rice with carrots and kale chips (tomorrow)
Pressure cooker caponata to have with hummus (storebought)
Salads. I steamed some beets and chicken for the salads
When I lose my cooking mojo, there are places I look for inspiration. Lately, they have been:
My Bizzy Kitchen for just yummy recipes all around
The Prudent Homemaker (for frugal recipes from your pantry). This woman made dinner for 20 people for $5.50.
Notes from the Frugal Trenches (single adoptive mom of two older children, and she homeschools. Simple, healthy, frugal meals at their best)
100 Days of Real Food (her kids' lunches are awesome!)
My health mojo is being revitalized due to looking in the mirror, and due to reading Salt Sugar Fat. Yikes, processed food is the devil. I still eat some of it though.
This past week, I enjoyed some sandwiches and salads. We got 3 - THREE baskets of strawberries this week, so they found their way into a salad with some mandarins from our tree, avocado from a friend's tree, sliced almonds, and various greens from the CSA (baby lettuce, red lettuce, arugula, radicchio, frisee).