When I get done with a workout here at home or at the Y, I stretch to “Girl on Fire.” The first time I heard it during exercise was at the Y and it made me stop and really focus on what I was doing. I’ve always loved the song, but listening to it as you stretch and stretch and stretch… it’s empowering.
I don’t always get the chance to stretch here at home because Bryson is usually waking up as I’m wrapping up my workout, but when I do get a chance, I almost feel giddy. I look forward to my deep, long stretches and I set a timer for 5 minutes. I have “Girl on Fire” on repeat and I get to it. Today, I even got to squeak in an extra core workout (12 minutes) before stretching, and I felt really good about getting a full 6 minutes of stretching in before Bryson finally woke up (naps are getting better here).
I feel like I’m on fire right now in many regards. The fall is here, school has started, and routines are back in play. I feel good whenever we stick to a (good) routine. Because school is Mon-Wed, Thursday ends up being a “catch-up day” of all the things that need to get done before the weekend – things like taking the boys bowling, getting groceries for the weekend, running to Target for cat litter, etc. Friday morning has no routine until speech at 11:30. We usually get out of the house once Bryson wakes up around 10:30 or so. And I’ll admit it right here and now – we go out to lunch every day together, the boys and I. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do.
Things in the house are pretty calm and organized. Yes, there is a bill that is a touch late (just writing that made me go pay it, and the two other bills due later this month) and the drying rack of kids’ dishes is always full, but the dishes are always clean, laundry is always done, toys are always picked up, and the yard is always mowed. The house has its weak spots like the mud room, the pantry, the 5th bedroom downstairs where all baby things go to hibernate before they’re needed again (??) – but everything else is pretty under control and that’s nice. No one ever goes without clean jammies or jeans, and that’s a big accomplishment given that the boys wear fresh jeans and jammies daily (and their jeans are line dried).
My commitment to my own health and fitness is unwavering and strong. I hated missing a workout yesterday, but I reminded myself that my goal is 6 days a week and rest days are good… necessary. My workouts have been intense and I just make them harder and harder every day – the slogan printed on the inside soles of my shoes has truly motivated me (“Be Better Than Yesterday”). I’m very competitive with myself and always push myself to run a little bit faster, a little bit further than the last time. Getting my butt out for a run or to the garage for a killer workout is not a problem for me.
Hottie and I talked yesterday about will power and we both agreed that I have a tremendous amount of it. If I tell myself that I don’t want to eat something, then I don’t eat it. If I tell myself that I’m not going to do something, then I don’t do it. It’s that simple. I can stick to most anything I put my mind to like it’s nobody’s business, and I’m a champ at delaying gratification. This is probably my greatest strength, come to think of it. My parents pushed this hard with us (“save your favorite part for last, don’t rush to the good stuff, get the hard/not fun stuff out of the way first”) and I am truly grateful to them for that. That will power is keeping me from eating stupid things. I haven’t had fried food, aside from a few things while in Colorado, in 16 weeks. SIXTEEN WEEKS. That’s huge for me because I love nothing more (NOTHING MORE) than McD.onald’s fries. That is a fact. I haven’t had Mexican food in 16 weeks aside from “fresh Mexican” places like Chip.otle and Pan.cheros because the sit-down restaurants keep your chip bowl fully loaded and I do not have will power in that regard – so we just don’t go anymore. We committed to cooking Paleo at home and aside from the cheese fondue and apple pie earlier this week, we’ve stuck to it! How and what we eat couldn’t be going better.
Speaking of eating – I am totally in a groove when it comes to planning meals and cooking during the week. I don’t even need to prep food anymore when the kids nap because I’ve got the timing down to have dinner on the table at 6:00 every night. I figured this would happen with time, but I’m really glad that it did end up happening. We don’t ever struggle on “what’s for dinner” because I have it planned out for the week on Sunday night. “What do you want for dinner” used to cause probably 70% of our fights before I started cooking dinner here at home. I’m serious.
Hottie and I had a great trip to Colorado and are planning to leave again next weekend for a night out of town. We learned while in Colorado that we need to get away together – that we need to hit pause and have a few days and nights of “the old days” without kids. It’s amazing how quickly we started to not notice each other once we got home from that trip. There is just so much going on that by the time Hottie gets home from a hard day at work and I finally get to sit down (9:00 PM), we’re both exhausted. That’s not good, but it is how things tend to be with small kids, so we need to carve out time to not be with those small kids. And we’re doing great at that!
I’m not so on fire when it comes to parenting. The age of three is killing me slowly. I have been losing my patience with Matthew too quickly because he’s become quite demanding and whiny. I know this is normal, but honestly – I just didn’t think this would happen. Most kids get this way before they’re three, so I thought maybe he just wasn’t going to be the typical whiny, domineering kid. I was wrong. HA HA! He hits and kicks me when I try to get him dressed in the morning, he’s bossy with Bryson (under the guise of helping Mom), he’s pushy at school, he whines a lot, and he’s gotten sassy. He tells me, “Mommy, no talk to me that way AGAIN!” while wagging his finger at me. What???
I would say that 70% of the time, Matthew is delighting me with kisses, hugs, snuggles, jokes, dances, protecting his brother, and just being sweet and loving. He is hilarious and he loves to make people laugh. No one is a stranger to him and he asks me to roll the window down so he can say hi to everyone. I oblige because why not? That’s sweet and awesome! He is the most affectionate kid I’ve ever known and this is seconded by his teachers and instructors – he hugs and kisses them like they’re his family and he loves to hug and “tiff” (kiss) his friends. He is so dang sweet that it makes me feel awful when I lose my temper with him. But I do lose my temper.
I’ve been yelling way too much. Way too much. I told myself two days ago that I was done yelling and I did great for almost 48 hours – but then Bryson almost landed on his head from a nudge from Matthew and I raised my voice. Sigh. At least I’m not yelling as much. Much of what Matthew recounts to Hottie about his day is that, “Mommy got mad when I…” and that makes me feel awful. AWFUL. So the yelling has to stop, or be majorly reduced. In the 48 hours of no yelling, Matthew was a better behaved boy who seemed more calm.
I need to stop yelling.
I’m also not “killing it” in regards to being engaging with Hottie. The poor guy comes home to a wife who is tired and on her last nerve, and I’m usually finishing up dinner as he’s walking in. Kids need to be put in their chairs, drinks need to be poured, food needs to be cut for the kids, and I just want to sit down and not talk. Hottie gets the drive home to decompress, and that sometimes isn’t enough for him to “get over” his work day. I don’t get that drive home. I don’t get that quiet time to myself to think about whatever I want, uninterrupted (I know that Hottie thinks about work for most of the drive home, but he gets to do it in quiet). I sometimes just want to sit and eat and not talk, and that does not make a husband feel good.
We moved the kids’ bedtimes earlier and it’s working great for Bryson, but horrible for Matthew. Since the change, he’s delaying bedtime by asking for a different cup, more kisses (how do you say no? I can’t.), medicine for his headache (he doesn’t have a headache), etc. each night. He wasn’t asleep tonight until 9:40, and Hottie and I both sat and watched the monitor until he was asleep. No conversation took place because we were too focused on Matthew’s movements in bed (“is he just tossing or getting out again?”). It’s exhausting. And again, I just want to sit in the quiet and not talk. Not talk. Not talk.
Reconnecting is so important – something we need to focus on weekly. Once the earlier bedtimes settle down, I hope we can get back to our evening chats and laughter. That was nice. I miss it. And that is why we moved the bedtimes earlier – so we could have MORE of the fun stuff together each night. It’s not working out that way. It will. But it’s damn exhausting right now.
I hope to God I get to stretch again tomorrow.
October 3, 2014 at 7:48 am
Whew, you had me so pumped FOR you on the girl on fire part!! You are rocking so much and I can totally see your willpower being strong and something that’s gotten you far in life. As far the not on fire, I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in this. Chloe alone is fine. Chloe with Drake…not always so fine. What’s so frustrating to me is a majority of the time she can be sweet and helpful with him. And then out of nowhere it’s like a switch gets flipped and she’s chasing him pushing him down, taking toys from him, and the screaming (from all of us) never seems to stop in those moments. You hit on something though, that when we scream less, they tend to do better. Amazing, right? I saw someone say something like “I never knew I had a temper until I had kids.” That is so true with me, and it actually started when I was pregnant with Chloe towards my dad’s two big dogs we were keeping at the time. Why?? I’ve never been one to yell, but I’m embarrased to say I do it way more than I ever thought I would. After my last bout with it last week, I’ve really been trying to keep it in check because I realize Chloe yells now too – wonder who she gets it from… 😦 Enjoy your time away with Hottie – I gave JJ a year of dates for his birthday and we went on the first one Sunday. We went to dinner just the two of us and then dessert at another restaurant and it was so nice. We even commented on how it’s getting easier for us to leave the kids now to go things alone. It still doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should, but it’s nice to be moving in that direction.
October 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm
I never had a temper until I had kids as well. It’s been a real eye-opener for me. Add to it that Hottie and I have different views on handling fits and tantrums, and I can turn into a hot mess quite quickly. Ugh!
October 3, 2014 at 8:15 am
It sounds like even though you don’t think you are in many areas, you are overall, ‘on fire’ in my opinion. Why? Because you are being faced with the problems that all of us have as mothers and wives, but you are acknowledging those problems and trying to do your best to improve on them. You know you are yelling too much and you are working on it. You know you need to reconnect with Hottie more and you are making plans to do that by moving bedtimes earlier and trying to get them into that new routine. You will get there because you are trying. Good for you!! I think you should be very proud of all of this… and very proud of sweet Matthew because he really does sound like an absolute sweetheart so much of the time and he learnt that from you as a parent. No three year old is going to be like that 100% of the time though… not even close. And it sounds like you are rocking it food and exercise-wise!! Really, you are doing great overall! 🙂
October 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm
Thank you for this, Fiona! I really needed to read this RIGHT NOW.
October 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm
You are awesome Courtney! All the working out and cooking….wow! I’m lucky if I get to ride our eliptical machine at home for 20 min a couple of times a week and at this point, between work and the babies, I just don’t see myself working out like I use to and that makes me kind of sad. We have been so fortunate to have lots of meals brought over, but I can’t wait to start to cook again. Weekly meal planning sounds like a must-do! Hope you and your Hubby can find time to connect regularly!
October 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm
You have two babies. No one expects you to be working out or cooking!
Thank you for the encouragement!