Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roller Coaster

With my new found independence from Coke, I still have yet to find another source of energy. I know that I need to eat protein and all that crap, but I'm just not into the new rhythm yet. The mornings are the hardest, I lay in bed and dread getting up. I never know what to eat, although I know what I should eat, I don't want to do that.

This morning I had a couple of errands to run that shouldn't have taken too long. So I hopped in the mommy-mobile and headed to Tar-shay. While checking out, the door to the entrance for just the carts was stuck open and a brisk freezing cold breeze had me and the cashier shaking in our North Face jackets. Putting my purchases in the car proved to be even worse than checking out because the wind coming out of the north was now whipping my hair in a frenzy of five degree, 20 knot wind gusts. I clearly remember seeing my phone in the front of the cart and I totally thought I grabbed it and shoved it in my pocket because I remember thinking that I should zip the pocket but I wouldn't because I would be in the car in 5 seconds. After that I went to the dry cleaners and then to the vet to pick up some meds for the 4 leggers. (HOLY CRAP $$$!!!) I was so proud of myself that I was getting so much accomplished in such a short amount of time. 

It was getting out of the car at the vet that I realized the phone was nowhere to be seen. I didn't immediately panic, it surely had to be somewhere. (As in, somewhere close to me.) After I gave my soul to the devil so my dogs won't get fleas or heartworms, it slowly dawned on me that my precious iPhone was not in the car. Anywhere. It was not in my pockets. It was not in my purse. It was...lost. *gasp* And that started the slide down the hill of happiness I had been on.

I still didn't panic even when, after returning to each store, the phone stayed missing. I combed the parking lots, thinking that perhaps it fell out of my conveniently unzipped pocket in my rush in and out of the wind. It wasn't until I got home and called Apple that I panicked. Apparently there is an app for when your phone goes missing. It's called Find My Phone. Of course it is. It is even installed in your iPhone when you purchase it, so all you have to do is activate your iCloud and can find out exactly where your iDevice is at any given moment. The geniuses at Apple know the population of the United States well.

As it turns out, I never activated that app, nor my iCloud. I didn't have the serial number of the phone, so Apple themselves could not track it. Verizon was absolutely no help either. Basically, I was screwed. The nice CSR at Apple gave me my last option...retrace your steps. (BTW, mad props to Apple customer support. I was on the phone for a total of 15 minutes for them to tell me that I was screwed. She tried hard, I could tell, but I gave her nothing to go on. Had this been, um, coughComcastcough, it easily would have been three times as long.) Apple customer service withstanding, I went into full on panic mode. The calm rational part of me ran off and allowed the mean thoughts to creep into my head, "You are such a dumbass, how could you lose your PHONE? Workaholic is going to be soo pissed, yet something else you have lost or destroyed. If you weren't rushing like you knew you were you wouldn't have lost it." I thought of all the pictures on the phone, the numbers, the appointments....everything that was on there. I HAD TO FIND IT.

So I did things the old fashioned way. I retraced my steps. I went back to the parking lots and the stores. I walked out in the now zero degree wind chill to check the carts in the parking lot at Target. And in a final, desperate attempt, I went inside to customer service.

*angels sing and the heavens opened*

They had my phone. A wonderfully nice lady turned it in after finding it in the cart. A lovely lady who was concerned that someone would be absolutely lost and panicked because they were missing a limb, along with half of their brain. I practically skipped out of the store in my excitement. I was back on top of the hill, on top of the world really, and I managed to make that last the rest of the day. Now if I can figure out how to keep myself energized without giving myself a heart attack... 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Buh-Bye Coke, Hello Life

There are times in your life where you look back and say, “Oh…that is what was going on with me.” Like when you have a newborn and PPD, and you look back four years later and think, “So THIS is how I was supposed to feel. I wish I would have reached out more back then.” Or once your new puppy is housebroken and has stopped chewing up your shoes; and the infant that you already had when you acquired said puppy is now feeding herself; and your husband isn’t working 100 hour weeks. I look back and think, “WTF was I thinking? That was a lot of shit to deal with in a short span of time!” That is how I feel about last week.

I decided to go with the meal replacement plan. It sounded ideal. Easy as pie smoothies (did you know that pies are actually not that easy to make?), bars for meals, bars for snacks, and a yummy sensible dinner. I also decided that on the EXACT SAME DAY I would give up Coke. Did you hear that? I would GIVE UP COCA-COLA CLASSIC. It wasn’t a conscious decision in that I said, “As of 5pm on March 8th I am finished drinking my most favoritest carbonated beverage in the whole entire world. No, I just didn’t have any at home. On Saturday, day one of the meal replacement plan, I was hyper-focused on eating healthy and following “the plan”, so going to McDonald’s drive-thru for a treat wasn’t exactly high on the list of things that I wanted to do. I mean, sure…I WANTED to go, but then I figured taking a nap was just as good. And it was. Sunday wasn’t much different; I treated the caffeine headache with Excedrine and lazed around all day. Monday was more of the same, except while laying around, I also worked on my laptop.

Part of the plan is to make smoothies for breakfast and either lunch or dinner, with two scoops of flavored protein powder mixed in. I thought, “Oh! This will be great!” And then I actually tried making a smoothie with my new blender that I only spent $53.99 on. Yeah…not so great. I wound up fighting with the ice or frozen fruit most of the time (I lost one battle, my kitchen and my clothes and the ceiling paid the price…did you know that berries stain?), and the other times I put in too much of something disgusting and I had to choke the damn thing down, and then struggle all day to keep it down. By Thursday morning, I’d had it. All week I had been nauseous and could barely get out of bed. The thought of fighting my blender was too much to bear for the powder-tasting concoction that I was whipping up. I was exhausted, felt like shit, knew I had been complaining to my co-workers entirely too much, and was questioning the meal plan decision. As it turns out, easy as pie also tastes like shit. And therefore isn’t easy as pie.
The only good thing about my days were the evenings. Most days I was too nauseous to eat anything, so by dinnertime I was starving. And I could give a shit what I ate. Leftover sour cream and cheese enchiladas? Yes Please! Leftover lasagna? Hand it over! Toasted ham and cheese sandwich? I am drooling. Food had never tasted so good. The best thing about the whole week though was that I did not have a single Coke. NOT ONE. I did not celebrate that victory as much as I should have.

Thursday night rolled around and it was time for bed. The girls had been extra energetic lately; cabin fever is reaching its pitch. In other words, I wanted to strangle them. Actually no…that isn’t true. I wanted to lock them in a soundproof room and leave them in there for 24 hours. Someone else could make sure that they had food and bathroom breaks and diaper changes. And whatever the hell else they wanted. (THIS toy, to paint, THAT sippy cup, MOM!! CHARLIE PUSHED ME!!) I was ready to snap. I think the girls finally got the hint and lay down to listen to me read the ONE book I begrudgingly agreed to….5 Minute Princess Stories. (Five minutes my ass.)

After the stories were read I tucked in my little angels and tried to leave the room. I still felt like shit and just wanted out. I wanted to go watch an adult show (like NCIS or Parks and Recreation…not that XXX stuff you all are thinking) and play on my phone. I wanted to snuggle my favorite yellow blanket and hide from everything that was bothering me. And then I heard the little voice, “Mommy, snuggle?”
Sigh. The guilt. Oh the mommy guilt. I agreed to snuggle with my little girls and fetched my yellow blanket and iPhone. I nestled myself in between the girls and wrapped myself in the coziness that is my yellow blanket and Workaholic's blue blanket. I turned on Candy Crush Saga and began trying to beat level 65 for the hundredth time.

Charlie was the first to snuggle up close. She was the one who wanted me in bed with them in the first place, so I wasn’t really all that surprised. She loves to watch my phone when we’re in bed at night, the lights turned off, no TV on, the glow of the screen illuminating her beautiful long eye lashes. It doesn’t matter if I am playing a game or on Facebook or reading Scary Mommy Confessions, she puts her little head on my shoulder and presses up next to me as close as she can. A couple of minutes later Sam crawled out the cave she had created for herself under the covers and did the same thing on my other shoulder. Before too long I heard the long steady breaths of little kids dreaming as only little kids dream. For all the drama before bedtime, they were out like a light once I got them to hold still.

I put down my phone and stayed there a while, taking it all in. The soft chirps of the sound machine in the background, the heat from two little bodies pressed up against me, the quiet that resonated throughout the rest of the house. At one point Sam, in her slumber, began stroking my arm and Charlie reached up and laid her little hand on her face. The softness of their skin when they are clean and being gentle always makes me pause. These are my two little girls. At the end of the day, I can come home and burrow myself in their arms, caress their soft hair and live in the moment. I can stop thinking about how tired I am and how hungry I am and wonder if I just go throw up would it make me feel better. Life at its simplest. The purity of kids is never more apparent as when they are sleeping. I eventually made my way to my bed, desperate for a good night sleep.(only to be awoken at least twice by my little angels).
Friday morning came and I was more tired and nauseated than ever. The cycle was starting again. I wanted to cry, but couldn’t, because we had a doctor appointment to make in Chicago. I had to push through. It was when I sat down in the passenger seat of the van where I finally caved. I couldn’t take it anymore. I forced Workaholic to pull into McDonald’s for ONE Coke, and threw in some fries for good measure.  By Saturday I had decided to give up on the meal plan because the thought of that powdery smoothie made me want to vomit. The nausea was starting to go away, and pizza and beer on Saturday night with friends made things much, much better. By Monday the nausea had pretty much disappeared, and I was eating healthier but not eating any of the meal replacement food.

Looking back, I realize that drastically changing my diet at the same time as giving up the caffeine and fake sugar that I depended on every day was probably not the smartest thing to do. I was having full on withdrawal. Even though I supplemented with Excedrine, my body was PISSED OFF that I would take away the yummy deliciousness that is high fructose corn syrup. I can’t believe that I was so hard on myself. Giving up pop (or soda, depending where you live) is a HUGE accomplishment. Screw those disgusting protein bars and smoothies that piss me off. Screw the “guilt-free” snacks of raw carrots, celery, and broccoli. Screw feeling guilty and ashamed that I “can’t do it.” Fuck. This. Diet. I. Gave. Up. Coke.
My ultimate goal is to have more energy and lose weight and be a happier person, without meds. I am going to do this. But I have to take baby steps. Really little baby steps. Teeny tiny baby steps. Coke is my first. (OK, so quitting Coke is like a baby taking its first step and falling down the stairs. It hurts, but no reason to stop!) Daily fast food is my next. I am trying to only eat out twice a week…that includes lunch AND dinner. This will be a huge fete for me as well, seeing as how a month ago I probably ate out a dozen times a week.

I wonder what I will think a year or two from now when I look back. Will I think that I was getting my life in order? Or will I think that I was crazy for trying to quit all of the things that I loved? Only time will tell!   

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Everyone is on the Internet...and Don't Forget It

After 200,000 views and apparently some death threats, You Tube took down the video because of its "content". Yeah, no shit You Tube. I guess it is re-posted places, I haven't seen it. It was reviewed by TV network.

Last night while playing with my kids, playing with the dogs, playing on my phone, I came across a video my nephew posted on facebook. The still frame was a guy wearing a Notre Dame T-shirt, and my nephew's post was something to the effect of "Stay Classy Notre Dame". The title of the video included the phrase, "I am not racist." HOW COULD I NOT WATCH?

Here is the video, which is NOT on the YouTube account of the guy who originally posted it.

In case you don't feel like wasting four minutes and thirty-six seconds of your life, here's the gist. Samuel Michael Hendrickson would never want to be Asian. (He also does not go to Notre Dame.) He was bored at work and made a list of why he hates Asians, which he then put on his own version of cue cards and made his own video. I think he was attempting a Daniel Tosh approach, but it came across as more racist ignorant asshole. It actually reminded me of a bit Margaret Cho would've done on Stand Up Spotlight on VH1 back in the day. She is Asian, he is not. 

One guy stood up to SMH (SMH, LOL get it?!) on facebook in the short time after he posted his video, and that kid (my nephew) was assaulted with insults by the idiot and his friends. But then the video spread. And was shared by everyone. And, as it turns out, no one actually thought that SMH was funny. I'll admit, I watched it and kind of kept waiting for the point. Which, as it turns out, was that by grouping Asians in such a racist way, Sam was epitomizing the negative stereotype of a dumb Indiana farm boy. He probably isn't even a farm boy, but since anyone who isn't from Indiana thinks that all boys from here are dumb and live on farms, it make total sense. (I wonder if he plays basketball?) Especially since Asians are short, identical, and the men are sexually inadequate. (I won't even mention the Notre Dame T-shirt, because I would not want to be accused of stereotyping ND football fans who possibly might also be fans of Indiana basketball. But seriously, anyone wanna take a bet he is?)   

Someone wrote a blog post, and since I LOVE blogs, I must link to it here. Because it is well written and makes a super great point. Go read Victoria's post. If for no other reason that she is a dog person. The thing that I love the most about what she wrote is that making fun of everyone equally does not make making fun of people OK. If you want to make fun of me, go ahead and do so to my face, but be sure to personalize it. I mean, don't just talk about short, white, overweight moms who drive minivans and have a blog. Oh no, be sure to bring up how I wrecked said minivan three times in a 3 month period, or how I sometimes won't update my blog for a month, or how I hired a nutritionist but didn't actually do anything she told me to do. Except freak out about how I can't do what she said I should do without even trying. 

I am proud of my nephew for standing up in what he believes in. Racism is bad. (duh) It all goes back to my new found attitude since I became a mother...if everyone treated each other like they would like to be treated, the world would be a much better place.  (So no, please don't make fun of me to my face either, that would make me sad.)