Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sleep! Glorious Sleep!

It's no secret to anyone who knows me around here that I've been having some sleep issues.  When I'm pregnant, I get insomnia something awful.  When I'm stressed, I simply cannot shut off my brain.  The last few months have been particularly rough.  The baby started teething at 7 months, and he's gotten 8 teeth in 10 weeks.  My husband traveled one week, and the next week was the baby's surgery.  With his surgery and medications, there was still no sleep.

A typical night involved waking at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, 4:00, 6:00.  So I've been a complete wreck. I have, in desperation, gone to sleep on the floor of Nick's room (cold and hard and it didn't really work for me).  Still the most sleep I got was a single 3 or 4 hour stretch, and that, only twice.

You see when I wake up, my brain starts thinking about work.  And I cannot turn it off.  We've had 4 major changes/ reorganizations in the last month, and most of them have not been in my favor (especially the most recent).  That, which causes no sleep, makes mama cranky.

Yesterday was particularly bad.  We have an entire team of people on vacation and they left without ensuring that all of their instructions were in order.  So I ended up spending 4 hours at work figuring it out.  On a Saturday.  I missed lunch and I missed both workouts - the only day I've managed to get to the gym at all is on Saturday lately because of lack of sleep.  I was PISSED.  I'm feeling incredibly old, fat, and tired.  I can't get the gym weekdays because I'm not sleeping.  I haven't been able to run because of a knee issue and ankle issue, and I don't have time to go to the doctor.

But yesterday my husband moved the crib into Nick's room (now known as "the boys room").  I slept until 4:15 am!  6.5 straight hours!  Then I slept another hour after using the bathroom.  In fact, everyone slept great.  The baby didn't even wake up.  Maybe the medications were causing problems and waking him up.  And just so you know, our house is so tiny that if he cries, you can hear him.  The ONLY place where you wouldn't be able to hear him is if you are in the laundry room with the washer and dryer running.

Now I just need to get working on my diet.  Losing weight while breastfeeding with a job and two kids is no joke.  You see, I'm the chief cook in the house.  I do the majority of grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking.  That alone is a huge task.  If I were only cooking for myself, I could meal plan, shop and cook easily.

But I have four people.  Sure, one of them is a baby.  I feel bad because I'm sure he's ready for more finger food.  A lot of the babies his age are eating finger foods.  But I really only have energy to go to the local organic store and buy Earth's Best baby food by the case.

So I have to plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the three of us.  Packed lunches every day, meals every night.  Enough fruit to last the week, enough veggies to last the week (no time to shop mid-week).  I spend the vast majority of Saturday and Sunday shopping and cooking because there isn't time to do much during the week.  I generally get home at 4:45 and dinner is at 6 pm.  During that time I'm feeding the baby, trying to start dinner, and helping the first grader with his homework.

After all that, just making sure there is ample healthy food, the next level for weight loss is counting calories.  Man, so that means entering all of my food into My Fitness Pal, including recipes (AFTER I've cooked it).  Weighing and measuring.  Planning everything that I will eat a day or two or three ahead.  It works.  But I don't have the energy for it when I'm not sleeping.  Hopefully last night was not a fluke and I will be sleeping more and more.

Well, now I need to figure out what kind of exercise to get in today.  Sundays, generally, there aren't many classes at the gym.  I could walk.  I could attempt a run.  It's earth day, and the festival is 2 miles from my house, so maybe I'll head over there for a bit.  The reorganization of the boys room means there are items to purge - clothes, toys, etc.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What we are eating this week...and some inspiration

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).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

You Can Put Anything in a Taco

So, guess what week it was??  Yes!  Husband traveling week.  Easter was chill- back in our pre-kid days, we would have big holiday dinners (particularly Thanksgiving, but also Christmas and occasionally Easter) and invite over friends.  There always seemed to be a group of 20-something or early 30-something people with nothing to do.

Fast forward, and we're too tired for that.  And we're not in our 30's anymore.  And everyone has kids or their own plans.

So I bought a ham on sale and we cooked it.  I didn't make a mass of sides, either.  I bought some day-old rolls at the store and made a salad.  I think. It was a week ago.  It was probably a salad.

Then husband abandoned me for a few days with the boys.  I decided to make tacos with the leftover ham.

The filling here is sauteed onion, diced ham, and some frozen chopped spinach.  A little cheese.  I topped it with Greek yogurt because our sour cream was old.  It was still good.

We even had tacos this weekend too.  Great, and really easy recipe from my neighbor.

In a crockpot:
Tri tip roast
Pour over a jar of salsa
Add some black beans (I used one can, probably would do 2 next time)
Cook all day on low

Very easy for this mama!