Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Purge, baby, purge

If  you're a Netflix junkie or mildly curious what people are talking about, you've likely watched an episode (or binged them all while eating popsicles in your sick bed) of the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It's all about minimizing what you own, keeping only what sparks joy, and freeing up the spaces in your home. Lots of research says that too much stuff or clutter around you increases anxiety, and I know that's true for me. I think I was able to always keep my anxiety in check by obsessively organizing and cleaning. Post AFE I am not able to do that so oftentimes I find myself staring at a counter in my dining room, often referred to as a "command station" area, which has become a catch all. Everyone throws things on it and apparently I'm the only one capable of doing anything about any of it. Which is annoying because what would they do if I was dead?

I digress.

I decided that I really have to do this. I started a few months ago and I focused on one specific area, like a closet. I emptied out, went through each item one by one and had a ton of trash, mostly because it was a linen closet, and when I put the few things back in, it was really nice. Interesting, I've been very reluctant to put anything back onto the empty shelves so I have been really good about keeping it up.

I know Marie has a method of doing all of the clothes at once (which I will do this weekend or next, I'm not sure yet), doing all paper, all komono (everything else), etc. It's a whole process. But for me to do this with toddlers under me, that's not really practical. I did Lucy and Penelope's room as one process and got rid of things that were too small, stained, things we just don't use/wear. It was really nice to just get one entire room done and close the door and know I'm done. For now at least.

I know my room is going to take awhile because Matt and I both have a LOT of clothes, mostly that we don't wear and it's always been easier to put them in a drawer and worry about it later. Get rid of three or four shirts when we are donating other stuff just to fill a bag. But the time has come... we need to really do it. But knowing that is going to be a joint process and probably not an enjoyable one, I decided I would start on my office because that's 100% me and my problem.

My office is kind of great, I spend a lot of time in it. It stores toys, all of my books, all of my scrapbooking, my recumbent bike, and a closet that is literally the biggest catch all I've ever had. I don't know what's even in there aside from purses and extra school supplies. It's a hot mess. But I decided putting it all in the middle of the room is not practical for me so I would go section by section.
I have these cubes I got from Michaels, but you can also get them on Amazon,  and they are GREAT. You can different kinds, some with doors or drawers, modular compartments, some with shelves, the possibilities are endless and it's perfect for any kind of crafter but also for someone who just has a lot of smaller things to store and you don't want them out in the open. They stack, you can move them around, they are really the best investment I've made in my office. Anyways. I have scrapbooked a lot since I had Lucy so a LOT of my supplies have been neglected. I decided I was going through each drawer and really make a decision- is this something I will realistically use knowing I don't craft much anymore, or is this something someone else could use? As you can see, that box is all of the ribbon I got rid of. Almost 75 rolls.
I decided to keep just this. Huge improvement because I had four of these drawers stuffed full of ribbon and now I have one drawer not even half full. I have nothing in my other drawers so I might just move these somewhere and downsize a cube or two. We'll see. 
This looks terrible but truly, I had stuff everywhere in my office. Matt looked a little overwhelmed and left me alone for the most part. 
I emptied out my scrapbook supplies from the closet, those are all gone. ALL gone. I didn't keep anything. I narrowed my stamp collection to half. I went through every pen, pencil, marker I had and only kept 40, just enough for one of each major color. All of my paints are gone (except the craft pain the kids use), I got rid of punches and tools, adhesive I don't like, cards and envelopes I don't use, so much stuff. I ended up donating a LOT to Penelope's preschool because I knew kids would love to tinker with this stuff at their art table and it's out of my house. 
The MOST daunting thing? Going through paper. I have thousands of sheets of 12x12 paper. Thousands. Easily. I went through so much and got rid of 3/4 of it. Did you read that? I hardly have any paper. (Not true, I have a lot but even Matt wasn't sure if my give away pile was the smaller pile and was VERY impressed that it was the larger!) That all went to the preschool too. I realized I've had paper for YEARS just because it was pretty. Like this stuff from SEI. I kept it because I literally could not part with it but I am going to use it on a page this year. I keep saying I'm waiting for the "right" photos for it but no- I need to use it. So my scrapbook area is DONE. It's kind of amazing and I feel not as overwhelmed to do more pages. I don't have as many choices to think about, it's back to being simple and easy.

My next project? Books. 
This is a before of half of my shelves. I do a purge every few months so I'm not THAT bad. Marie Kondo says you should keep less than 30 and that's not a world I want to live in. I just cannot. A person can't even ask that of me. A lot of my books I've read so many times so it's not like they just sit there.

I am going through one area at a time. Young Adult will be first, then non-fiction, and then..... everything else. I'll offer them to friends first, then I'm going to try to find teachers or organizations that would want them, and then donate. I already have a stack of books I'm going to mail to people so I need to work on that this week.

I have so much work yet to do in my office but having the scrapbook area done is a huge accomplishment. I just need to make some tough choices on books. I feel sick already.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Weight loss challenge, week 11 (the time I knew more than a doctor)

Welcome to week 11, lambs! I feel like this is going to be a good week, mostly because anything will be a step up from last week. If you remember from last week, I had some pretty lofty goals (for me) for this week. I wanted to do 3 workouts, 2 days on my recumbent bike, limit soda, and stick with intermittent fasting.

Amazingly, I only fell sort a little. BUT!! I had a really great reason!

I got really sick! It started super early Tuesday morning and I woke up throwing up, diarrhea, the whole bit. Didn't think it was a big deal, this randomly happens, I manage. After it was happening steadily every 15 minutes for four hours... I started getting a little worried. Technically, if this happens twice in an hour, I'm supposed to go to the hospital and be observed for adrenal crisis. Do I do this? No, I do not. Why? Because it happens all of the time and I don't want to be one of those people. I use the ER for legit emergencies. By the time my mom gets to our house, about 8 in the morning, I decided I can't drive anyone to school so Matt comes to get Jackson and I call Penelope in because I'm sure we can get her there but picking her up mid day is an issue. So that's squared away.

As soon as Matt gets back to work I realize I'm shaky, I am suddenly so tired I am having a hard time staying awake, I feel freezing except I'm dripping sweat down my back, and I generally don't feel well. My gut is telling me it's time for the ER so I call Matt (who literally had JUST punched back in at work.... sorry babe) and he takes me. This is another time where I am VERY grateful to have my mom here because she stayed with Penelope and Lucy because you just never know how long an ER visit is going to last.

We didn't even make it all the way there and I'm telling Matt to pull over and before he stops, I'm puking out of the car door. If adulthood came with merit badges, I just earned one for my sash.

We get to the ER and I can't even check myself in. I tell them I might be in an adrenal crisis, and I sit down while Matt does whatever you do to check in. The triage nurse sees me and I'm not kidding- I thought there were two of them because everything is starting to look slanted and wavy. I go sit in the waiting room and decided I'm going to lose my intestines so while I run to the bathroom, apparently, some older couple came INTO the ER with an actual dog that was NOT a service animal, who proceeded to poop all over the emergency waiting room. Honestly at that point I felt like if I didn't make it, I could reasonably blame it on a dog.

By the time it was my turn to go back I wasn't even sure I could walk back there and the nurse was so rude and completely over her shift. The doctor pops in, I tell him what I think is wrong with me, show him my ER info sheet I got from the Mayo Clinic and I kid you not, his actual words were, "Huh. So this is a thing?" I tell him what I need and how to treat me and he wants to refer to Endocrinology, which is great. Turns out they aren't even sure what to do so they say exactly what I said but invite him to call Mayo and see if they give a different answer. He didn't seem excited to do that despite I have the direct number and my patient number on my special sheet of paper, but you know. Do what you want, I guess.

You guys. This is now the SECOND time I have come to the ER for the same thing and the second time a doctor had zero idea what adrenal insufficiency is or what to do for it. I can't even.
So they get me the worst IV I have ever had in my life (courtesy of nurse who hates her job), they give me Zofran for the nausea and Dexamethasone (which is the emergency med for AI) and I'm not kidding you- within minutes I felt like I could run a marathon. I had already taken a triple dose of my medicine at home (like I'm supposed to) but it wasn't enough, obviously. So I sit there for four hours with an IV giving me fluids and medicine. I kid you not, the second that second bag ran out, I knew it. The last of my medication was administered a few minutes before and I immediately felt like crap again. They didn't want to call it an adrenal crisis because they "aren't confident with that terminology" so they called is gastroenteritis. Except my discharge paper says gastritis, which is completely different and not what I have, so that's nice.
I went home and went to bed. Matt got me popsicles. I drank a lot of water. I puked and pooped a lot. Slept even more. Took more hydrocortisone. Slept again. 
The next day I did not feel well at all. This time I had a horrible headache, I felt like I had a fever but I didn't, I was still puking and pooping, I had chills, my lower back hurt, I felt like crap. Penelope took this picture of me sometime after their nap. I slept when they did but I didn't hear them come down stairs, turn the TV on, get a snack, find their drinks, knock a bunch of toys down, grab my phone, nothing. I woke up when Matt came home to tell me we had to go get his truck. Honestly, I went in my dirty, smelly pajamas and my hair in a bun because the ends had puke on them.

Matt is SUCH a lucky guy.

I had two pretty OK days. I still couldn't eat because I had no appetite and I was still puking and pooping but it was more manageable. 
Then Saturday I got VERY sick again and decided to screw the ER and I just popped steroids all day until I felt marginally like I was going to live. Lucy made me carry around this bucket because she was very worried about me puking apparently.

BUT!

Through all of that, what did I get done this week? I got TWO workouts and ONE bike session. Not bad. I had no caffeine and didn't fall at the intermittent diet because I had no food and I threw up water, so that also counts as a win.

I kind of was a rockstar last week, you guys.

For this week I have the same goal: 
1. THREE workouts with Beachbody
2. TWO recumbent bike sessions, each being 20-30 minutes long
3. Reduce caffeine, no more than 8 ounces a day

How did you do last week? Do you have weight loss goals for this year? Check back next week and I'll hopefully have a video of me. No video this week because I legit look like death and I haven't showered since Friday. That's my #treatyoself for tonight. Seriously, Matt is such a lucky guy. HA!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Review: Schoolgirl Missing

Do you remember how well I did on my 2018 Goodreads Challenge? I got to 110 books with no problem. This year? You guys.... I'm four books behind. Well, three books with this one. I'm so screwed.
Schoolgirl Missing - Sue Fortin

When fourteen-year-old Poppy vanishes on a family boating trip, suspicion soon turns close to home – to the two people who should do everything to keep her safe, her parents, Kit and Neve. Can they really be responsible for their little girl’s disappearance?

Neve loves Poppy like her own daughter, but the truth is, she isn’t. And her very existence means Neve will never have a precious child to call her own. But would Neve harm her step-daughter simply to get her own way? In times like this Neve has always turned to her sister Megan to help. Megan will know what to do…

Kit would do anything to keep his family safe and happy. But his refusal to have another child has been causing a strain on his marriage. And he’s worried Neve’s mental state is growing increasingly unstable. But would he harm his own daughter just to prove he is in control?

As the frantic search for Poppy grows, Kit and Neve’s marriage is close to breaking point. And only one person can get what they want.

To start us off, I'm kind of teetering on a 3.5 star... kind of 4 star. I'm going to mark it as a 4 but just know it's a hesitant 4. I think what makes me on the edge is because this is an interesting premise and the story is good, it's just that every single character is a terrible person. Nobody has any quality that makes you think they'd be someone you'd want to know let alone have coffee with. Now I had a good feel for Neve at first but within the first few chapters that went to hell. Kit seems like a complete dickbag from the start and how these two ended up together, I'll never understand it. 

But we have Poppy, special needs and kind of a handful, and her dad Kit has no time for her and basically married Neve to fill the mother role so he can do his own thing. Which, alright, Neve figured once she showed him how great of a mom she can be he'd be willing to have a child with her and no- Kit is not about that life. So Neve is taking up hobbies and you and I have seen enough Lifetime movies to know where THIS goes. But Poppy disappears and suddenly everyone is trying to find her, untangle clues, and figure out this really kind of bizarre web of lies and past lives, and suddenly more unlikable people are in the story and yeah. It's kind of a lot.

BUT!

Once I saw where the author was going and how completely crazy this would end, I was kind of on board. You know when you watch Law & Order and the person you KNOW is the bad guy guilty of all the crimes walks out of the courthouse with a smug smile and winks at you? That's basically how this ending felt. I didn't really see this particular ending coming so kudos to the author for that but man... I really wasn't sure if she'd pull it off. This is my first Sue Fortin book and I'd be open to reading more because this was a pretty creative story.

   

Monday, January 14, 2019

Weight loss challenge, week 10

It feels like awhile since I updated, but here we are!
Goals for this coming week:

  • Get 3 work outs in using Beach Body on Demand
  • Use my recumbent bike twice for 20-30 minutes each time
  • Stick to no more than 8 ounces of soda each day
  • Continue with the intermittent fasting
I feel a very slow momentum but I think actually making the time, even ten minutes, to exercise really helped me. Mentally I feel no better and I have no illusion that I'm going to feel fantastic BUT! I am going to start the KonMari organizing challenge this weekend (more on that later) and that means I will be face to face with the sheer abundance of clothes that no longer fit. And I will have to make some really TOUGH choices. So we'll see. Think happy thoughts for me. HA! 

I also have to mention that I bought myself a resistance band thing. I've been skipping workouts that say you need one and now I went back and did them. This thing is kind of amazing. Seriously. I feel like a pro at this point. I got this 4-6 pound one and it works fine for even a weakling like me, but if you're more into it, you can get a heavier one, of course. 
I decided after hearing about my friend's really amazing trip to Jamaica that Matt and I really deserve to go on a trip, just him and I. It might not happen this year because hello, debt! But we are really making that a goal/priority for 2020. If I'm going on a beach trip I want to be in much better swimsuit shape than I am in now. So... goals. 

Have you started on any of your goals for 2019? 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

And suddenly it all came to me.

I've really been struggling lately and I think I've gotten to a point where my angry is at full steam. As it turns out getting to that point has been beneficial because I've been writing like mad. So much so that I am ALMOST DONE WITH MY BOOK. I am not even kidding, I am legitimately almost done with it and I cannot believe it. My goal is to finish it by my birthday (March 10). It won't be edited and proofread yet of course, but the core of the book will be finished. In order for me to get to that point I still have a few things I need to do:
1. Regression Therapy: I've read a lot about regression therapy and I've seen a lot of trauma survivors use this as part of their recovery. I have also seen that it's a mixed bag of results. Some people find tremendous value in it and it gives them the clarity they were seeking. But on the end of the spectrum there are the people who either don't find any benefit from it, or worse, it's reliving the trauma and detrimental and damaging to them. For every good story you find two more bad ones. Basically, I'm really taking a gamble by doing this but I really want to try it. I'm already passively suicidal and in the depths of depression, how much worse can it get at this point? If you aren't familiar, regression therapy is a form of psychotherapy that, through hypnosis/deep relaxation, they bring you to an earlier time or even a past life to help you resolve issues from then that could be beneficial to you now. My therapist didn't tell me I was nuts but I got the feeling she isn't totally sold on it, so we'll see.

2. Email interviews with two doctors: I have some questions that Matt can't answer and as soon as I found the paper I wrote them on I'm going to email my doctors and get their take on it. I've talked to some nurses already to get some memories or comments from them, because in my research of nonfiction books that get published, they want input from people other than the person writing it. And that makes sense because of my favorite nonfiction that's been true.

3. Make sure the book has the correct timeline of events: I went through my entire medical record for 2016 AND 2017 and made a time line of notes, appointments, milestones, etc. It was actually pretty daunting and reading some of the doctor notes broke me down a bit. Some of the notes from the doctor the day of my AFE are heartbreaking. I know what a tremendous event it was but every time I read it all I cry and I have a hard time processing it. It still feels like I'm reading about a stranger that it couldn't have happened to me. It makes the feeling that I'm in the wrong body feel stronger and I feel more crazy.
4. Query letters. You guys. I've been reading about query letters, how to write them, and what to do with them. I know that I'm going to get a LOT or rejections and not hear from even more, but I feel like I'm going to throw up on my desk thinking about actually sending them out. I  just don't want to mess up. I really want to be published. I don't let myself think about the what ifs because I know anything about that end of the book world and I know it's not a fast process at all, and I just really want this to be a thing that happens in my life. GAH! So yes. I'm thinking about all of this. Obsessively.

So yes. I'm writing. Do you have suggestions on something you really want to see in my book? Like if you came to read one thing, what would it be? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

2019 Goals, because resolutions are for drunken losers.

I felt like I had some pretty lofty goals for 2018, which I posted HERE, but I'm going to share them again because most people are too lazy to click that.

  • Lose 5 pounds. This didn't happen. Technically I lost one pound, so that's something I suppose. My weight loss goals continue. 
  • Do a boudoir shoot. I did this in May. It was fun, I got some pretty photos. I'm on the fence if I'd do another one. The session itself was a ton of fun and I felt great, I just don't know what I would do with anymore photos. 
  • Do a regression therapy session. I didn't do this. I really chickened out, if we're honest. I'm going to legit try to do this in 2019. Maybe this summer and the kids can go to different Grandparent's homes and Matt can come with me to make sure I'm not murdered. 
  • Do one fun mini trip with my kids and Matt. We did two mini trips to the Wisconsin Dells, once for Spring Break and once over summer
  • Find a medication cocktail that actually works and that I can afford. Turns out this is actually impossible, and my optimism at the end of 2017 was cute, wasn't it? So right now I take one dose of Wellbutrin and two doses of Trileptal as my depression/mood stabilizer combo. I also take Ritalin as needed to stay awake and alert, like if I know I'm going out into the world, I need to be alert. I can take it if I'm at home with kids and napping the entire time isn't a possibility. 
  • Go to a concert. I smashed this one. I saw Kesha, Beyonce & Jay-Z, Sam Smith, Smashing Pumpkins, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Florence & the Machine.  
  • Plan a 15th anniversary trip with Matt for 2019. Again, 2017 Sara was super optimistic and on different medication, because this isn't happening. As it turns out, we are really in debt and really broke, so this won't happen. 
  • Finish my book. Girl, I'm nowhere near done. In fact, I got rid of a lot of what I had written because I hated it. I know, I don't need the lecture. I'm working on it. 
  • Do a random act of kindness every month. This I know I did. I know I did more than one in some months because I was able to. This is something we're going to continue, not as a goal, but a regular practice. 

So that brings me to making some goals for 2019. It was kind of hard to make a list this time so I don't know what that says about me.
  • Spend at least five hours a month writing my book. I need to really make this a priority because I owe that to myself. 
  • Go to at least 3 concerts. This I am confident I can do. I have the Kelly Clarkson concert with my friend Amy coming up, so that's one. I just have to find a couple more I can afford. 
  • Lose 10 pounds this year. Last year I couldn't do 5 but I didn't really try. This year I'm going to really put the effort in because my health and wellness depend on it. 
  • Take each kid on their own date once this year. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but the truth is I don't get to spend a lot of one-on-one time with each kid. I'd like to plan out one day with each kid and we do stuff they want to do. I know I'm disconnected from them as a mom and I'm trying really hard to be a normal mom. 
  • Regression Therapy. I'm doing it this year. I said it above, but the plan is to do it this summer when Matt can come with me. 
  • Get Passport AND Down Payment on a Trip for Matt & I. We might not be able to go on the trip in 2019, but we can damn sure make a down payment on it. But we also need passports so we need to actually do that this year. 
  • 110 books. I'm coming for you. 

What are YOUR goals for 2019? What is one thing you want to do this year, maybe for yourself or maybe for your family? 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Weight Loss Challenge, week 9

This week my goal was to really work on my diet. That was going to be my biggest challenge because while I don't over eat, the things I do eat aren't always so great. If you remember from my post last week I was looking into Intermittent Fasting. On paper it sounded pretty easy, either during an eight hour chunk of the day (I picked 12-8) and don't eat anything outside of those hours, and drink only water. 

It sounded really easy because I was really already doing it when I thought back to my schedule of the day basically. 

So imagine my surprise when I started this last Sunday and I was STARVING by 10 a.m. I held out until noon and I kid you not I fell like I had to eat the entire kitchen in preparation for not eating beyond 8. Which is insane. 

Monday I was starving by 11 and it was everything in me to not grab a box of Triscuits and have just "a couple". I held out and though I didn't binge that day I was suddenly realizing there is zero reason for this hunger. Why am I so hungry when just a week earlier I absolutely was not hungry in the morning? It's like my mind is messing with me. 

Fast forward to now and I'm still doing it, and I'm really sticking to it. I decided that maybe 8 was too late to be having a snack because I would have stomach issues when I went to bed so I adjusted my eating hours to 11-7. I'm going to start that tomorrow and see if that makes any kind of difference. 

As far as workouts, I only did one last week. I KNOW. I'm slacking. I'm having a really hard time finding a consistent time to do a workout and make it a routine for me. Tonight I'm going to do it when Matt walks the dog, and the girls are in bed, so we'll see. I'm going to do the 10 minute workout on Beachbody because I think I've said it before but I kind of like that even if the guy is incredibly condescending and annoying. 

Did you make any weight loss goals for 2019? 
My 2019 goals will be on the blog tomorrow but (spoiler) my weight loss goal this year is to lose 10 pounds. Last year I wanted to lose 5 and I actually only lost 1... so I feel like this year I need to make my goal a little higher and I hopefully will blow my goal away. 

The goal for this week is going to be stick to my new fasting diet and workout THREE times. 
Cross fingers!