Friday Reflections 07.13.2018

It’s been an emotionally devastating week. Every single day brought bad news and I’m feeling a bit shredded at the moment, which is why I decided to write a day early.

The worst of it is that Hudson, our only nephew and the boys’ only cousin, and Timmy and Brittany, are moving out of the state. This news came as an absolute shock that none of us were prepared for. It’s heartbreaking. We’ve had one amazing year with Hudson in our lives and we assumed we’d be able to consistently be in his life – for the rest of his life. Doing every holiday and birthday and special event and random thing – together, at every possible opportunity, because it was so incredible to finally have that nephew/cousin/grandson in our family. That one year was so awesome for us, but it’s a year he’ll never remember. I have a whole lot to say about this, but it’ll surely get me in trouble. So I’ll just leave it that we’re incredibly sad, and hurt. It’s a loss I’m not sure we, as the collective rest of the family, will ever fully recover from. (Which sounds really dramatic. But, that’s how we’re feeling about everything that was said/ignored and is happening this week.)

Anyway. I guess I’ll get to the rest of the distressing news as I reflect on everything else that happened this week!

We started Sunday morning at the Swan Park Craft Fair in Beaver Dam. I go with my parents every year and we usually make a day of it, but timing got a little off once Hudson’s birthday party was scheduled the same day. So Greg and the boys came along with me and spent the time walking around the park looking for Pokemon while I browsed the booths. Everyone seemed late to set up this year, and a lot fewer booths than last. Every year it gets smaller and less enticing, which is disappointing! I walked through most of it three times and didn’t buy anything. Also, I realized that craft fairs are not places I like to be at by myself. It’s much more fun going with my mom who likes all of the same things as me.

Next, we headed to Milwaukee for Hudson’s first birthday party. He doesn’t want to be held for our selfies anymore, so I had to get on the floor with him.

He really liked the car we gave him!

So cute. I’m going to miss him so much. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ I didn’t know about the moving yet on Sunday, otherwise I would have taken a zillion pictures.

It was a really beautiful day and they have a huge front porch in the shade with a lake breeze. We all spent most of the party outside. All of their friends – who also have babies! – were there too. I was thinking how amazingly blessed they are to have the same friends in their lives for so many years, plus the incredible benefit of raising kids at the same stages. It just got me thinking about the friends Greg and I lost when we lived in Minnesota and we had Caden years and years before those couples even considered having kids. And how we honestly never really got it back. I made mom friends once Caden started school, but we’ve never made couple friends. And without that pre-kid friendship foundation, it’s so much harder to stay in touch with people, even friends that lives in the same town. I don’t know. Summer is a very lonely and stressful time for me. I wish things were different and I don’t know how to change them, not when other people aren’t feeling the same way. Anyway. It was a very nice party. Hudson is so loved.

Monday was the start of a very, very busy week. We started our daily morning walks with Annie, which I’m hoping to keep up every single day. I let the boys play Pokemon Go on my phone to distract them, and Annie and I get some exercise before it gets too hot. After the walk I had an appointment to get my toe looked at. She agreed that yes, it looked like an infection. She put me on an antibiotic and I have a follow up appointment with a podiatrist next Monday. I made the mistake of not letting the boys bring tablets to that appointment and they were being so ridiculously obnoxious. It could be argued that they should just be able to behave without a screen in front of them, but yeah – I’m never doing it again without the screens.

The rest of the day was me trying to work, trying to do food prep, trying to listen to an audiobook and failing. The boys and their friends were running through the house nonstop and I had to keep pulling the phone out of my pocket to push pause every two minutes. I know this is just summer life and I have to get used to it. But it’s so frustrating sometimes!! I also spent two hours that afternoon making jalapeno popper chicken and a peach crumble that pretty much took up all my food making energy for the entire week. I just don’t have it in me to make real meals by 5 every day. Sooo much work.

I finished the night at the dog park while Greg took the boys to the pool. All in all, it felt like the day lasted a hundred hours. It wasn’t a bad day, but it zapped me. It also made me really scared about the next 50 plus days of summer that are bound to be exactly the same.

On Tuesday I was trying to get the boys registered for school, but there were all kinds of glitches in the system. I finally gave up for awhile, but not after much frustration! I was trying to catch up with a lot of things online. I feel like those kinds of mornings are necessary, but I also think I’m going to need to stop banning myself from having them so often because I’m not getting any work done!

In the afternoon I had a haircut. I brought the boys and Annie to my mom’s for an hour and a half so I didn’t have to deal with them sitting there watching me. My hair looks pretty much the same. I don’t usually get haircuts in summer because I just wear it up all the time in the heat, but it wasn’t curling any more when I wanted it to, so I figured a trim was in order. I did a fast grocery run before getting them and dropping them off at Greg’s parents’ and then rushed back home for our at home date night. Greg picked up a pizza from Salvatore’s in Sun Prairie. They have (had…) a $12 take out special every Tuesday that we’ve been trying to take advantage of for like six months. It FINALLY worked out that we could do it. So delicious.

About an hour or two after Greg was walking around waiting for the pizza, about a block away there was a horrific gas leak and explosion in Sun Prairie. It was devastating for the community, especially because a man died in the fire. Parts of the city – including Salvatore’s – are still deemed unsafe to return to, four days later. The whole thing was so crazy and sad.

After the boys got back home I quickly repotted some hens and chicks Cindy gave me from her abundant plants. I found the perfect planter at Hobby Lobby last week. I’ve actually moved all my indoor plants outside for the summer. I think the lemon tree is much happier! I finally have some new leaves growing and the lemons seem to be growing faster than they did in the house. My tall jade plant from Cedarburg is not so happy. I need to stake it, I think.

On Wednesday morning I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon about my ankle. It ended up being a very long morning of just waiting around. Waiting to get checked into the hospital, waiting for the x-ray, waiting to go back for my appointment, and then a full 45 minutes of waiting in the room. Thank goodness for tablets that day! Even with them, Caden started demanding we just leave after half an hour. It was definitely stressful, especially since I was staring at my x-ray the entire time, worrying about how it looked worse than it did the last time two months ago.

After a very brief visit, the surgeon said that I’m healing at the pace he would expect. My range of motion is just about back to normal in three directions. Turning my foot outward is still hard because of the sprain recovery, which is still there four months later. Since the hardware is not bothering me, it should be able to stay in. Many people get it removed by choice, but it’s not what the doctors would prefer. I’m totally fine keeping mine in! He said that my lower breaks look really good, but the top one still has a gap. He wants to see me at the one year mark and if it’s still open like that, I’ll need to have another surgery to take bone from somewhere else to fill it in, and probably switch to a shorter plate (and have all those screw sized holes up and down my bone?!). This was NOT news I was expecting to hear. The more I thought about it, the more upset I was getting. I was scheduled for that appointment at the desk in January, but Greg told me I really better call back and see if I could get it scheduled in December instead. Because we definitely hit our deductible for the year in February and if I have to have another surgery it sure would be nice if it were free!! Not happening in January when we’d start the year over again with massive hospital bills. It was fine to reschedule, but the appointment is now only nine months after the injury, not really even close to the one year mark! Three months left to prove it’s filling in.

Anyway, I don’t want this to ruin my life, but I greatly dislike the possibility of another surgery happening in six months. Right before Christmas, no less. Presumably the recovery would be a lot shorter, but there would still be recovery! It’s just hard to wrap my mind around right now and be okay with it. But…it is what it is. I need to get better. Fully better. I’m so tired of feeling like half a person, never feeling comfortable or confident in even the simplest of daily activities. I want to go back to a life where I don’t have to factor my potential ankle pain into every decision I make. It SUCKS.

Anyway, on Wednesday evening I met Cindy at one of our favorite stores, Twisted Sister, for a “Sip and Savor” event. They were offering samples of weight loss coffees and drinks to try out while you shopped. I actually thought the coffee tasted pretty good, but it gave me the most horrible aftertaste that I still couldn’t get rid of a day later. So, not for me, unfortunately! We weren’t there too long, but it was fun to do something for me. Afterward I got some quick tacos for dinner and then spent like two hours wandering around Walmart, savoring my kid-free shopping time!

Thursday was more of the same. We actually went on a much longer walk that legitimately felt like a workout to me. I was proud of myself for powering through, even though it meant being pretty sore the rest of the day. I don’t think I could handle those longer walks every morning, but maybe twice a week for now. It helped we left at 6:30, before it got hot.

I tried to work some more in the morning. It’s been hard with the whole Hudson moving away thing hanging over everything I’ve done this week. It’s been so sad and confusing and heartbreaking. It’s hard to get motivated for anything when you’re crying half the day and just feeling emotionally wrecked. I tried to cheer myself up with a big java chip frappuccino. The mix made so much that I shared with the boys. Now they think they love coffee and Caden keeps asking me if he can use my k-cups. I suppose I should just let him and maybe he’ll realize actual coffee tastes a whole lot different than a powdered mix whipped up with mocha flavored cold brew!

Soon after I started working, I got some news that made me realize I needed to do a mega house cleaning and basically launder every item in our house. It was fine, not a big deal, but definitely not how I planned on spending my day, madly cleaning every room and doing fifty loads of laundry.

Caden had a playdate in the afternoon, so even though I was dead tired and not really in the mood, Shepard and I went to Madison for a few errands. It’s apparently custom order season because I’ve gotten a lot this week. Which often means needing to hunt down new fabrics or accessories. So we went to Joann’s and then stopped at Target. It really was an unnecessary trip that didn’t need to happen as immediately as I made it out to be. But Caden is the one who often makes shopping miserable and I had to take advantage of a daytime trip without him!

I worked late and finally finished up a batch of dolls. This morning I did all the photographing and listing. I’ve been trying all day to actually accomplish something more than that and it’s just not happening. Shepard ended up going to a friend’s for the bulk of the day and Caden was outside with his friend Willow all day, so I really have no excuse. I just haven’t been able to focus at all. It turned out to be a mistake, but for a brief time this morning I thought I was being blacklisted by a major prim pattern maker that I ADORE. She’s extremely popular and often has problems with copying, reselling, or not giving credit for her designs. When I realized I had been removed from her many facebook groups I started freaking out that I inadvertently did something to offend her and I just could not afford to have some sort of professional disaster on top of everything else that’s happened this week. But – it’s been resolved. WHEW.

So that’s been my week. I’m feeling pretty discouraged by everything. Summer is just so hard. I’m not my best mom self when my kids are around me 24/7. I’ve had ZERO motivation for making dinner in the evenings. And work! I can’t work! I can’t stand being interrupted every five minutes and I constantly feel flustered and stressed out, with my attention going in twenty different directions at once. I miss my friends and I kind of wonder if I really even have friends anymore. Nobody’s exactly asking ME to hang out with them either. I feel so disorganized and exhausted and alone. I want to enjoy summer and the freedom we all have together, but this week was just so busy with all those random appointments. Next week is completely filled up too. I’ve never had so many things on the calendar so many days in a row! EVER! It’s overwhelming.

Anyway. Just to actually reflect on what I wanted to do this week – make lists – it hasn’t happened yet. I DID make the “What can I do to earn a check?” list. But still no go on the dog park list or the summer bucket list list. I haven’t written out a list of things I want to do for myself either, but I have been looking around. I did buy a ticket for the one time Rise documentary about Rachel Hollis that I really wanted to go to. I was hoping to find someone to go with me, but had no idea who to ask, so I just went ahead and bought a single ticket. I also wrote a few other nighttime possibilities for things I might do.

Okay, time to sign off on this super long and depressing post! We’re about to go out to dinner with Greg’s parents and cousin who is town for the wedding we’re going to tomorrow. We have a very busy weekend ahead!

Saturday Reflections 07.07.2018

I know I am definitely in the minority here, but I really don’t like Saturdays. Even though I know every weekend I’m going to wake up feeling the same way, no matter how many pep talks and mindset tricks I try to perform on myself, I still end up being resentful and angry the entire day. It just seems so unfair that regardless of what day of the week it is, there is still going to be a mile long list of things that need to get done. And because we’re often more busy with family and extra things on Sundays, Saturday is the day where all the prep work for Sunday needs to be done, on top of a million other things. So while I’m spending every waking minute running myself ragged, everyone else in my family gets to have a day of leisure. And I can’t complain about it because Greg works really hard too and deserves to have down time. But that doesn’t change the fact that there’s still a ton of stuff that needs to be done! I just hate Saturdays so, so much.

Anyway. I’m just completely exhausted with a throbbing ankle from stupidly walking laps around the dog park this morning, knowing full well how much I was going to need to be on my feet the rest of the day. And I’m frustrated that once again someone in my family decided to complain about a food item I was making this morning for Hudson’s birthday party tomorrow. Because apparently I am only ever allowed to make food that they want to eat, even when I’m making it with other people’s tastes in mind. Considering how many times this has come up in the last few weeks, I’m ready to throw in the towel with cooking in general. I give up, guys. Go back to shopping for and making your own food!

Okay, for real now – vent over. Sorry. On to my reflections!

Monday was jam packed with errand running. There were four different grocery/household stores I needed to shop at, and two fun stores I just really wanted to go to. Because of the heat, I did the fun stores first and spent way too much time at them. So I was racing through all the grocery stores and just managed to beat the boys home by mere minutes. I’m glad I was able to fit everything in, but it was a lot! I ended up with 11,000 steps on Monday, which is definitely my biggest walking day since I broke my ankle.

Tuesday was a big work day, trying to get some dolls done because I hadn’t had a sale in over a week. I also spent the day trying to find more creative uses for all my peaches that are quickly ripening past their prime! I made peach raspberry iced tea, a brie and peach grilled cheese, and peach salsa. I have to say between the pineapple, mango, and peach salsas I’ve made in the last few weeks, peach was definitely the one I liked the least. I kept meaning to make a pie or crumble, which is usually the first thing I do when I get so many peaches. I just haven’t had the time or energy to do the whole flash boiling thing to peel a ton of peaches. So much work.

Wednesday was the 4th of July, which is a pretty huge thing around Columbus. The in-law’s came over and we went to the parade, where I had spots saved since Monday. While the spot was shady when I laid down the blanket, it wasn’t to that point yet when we arrived. Caden was immediately throwing a fit because it was too hot. And it WAS hot. But it’s ALWAYS hot on 4th of July. We bought some food from the fire station for lunch and then Greg went back home to get umbrellas and spraying water bottles. The whole thing was quite an ordeal with a lot of moaning and complaining and not much enjoyment. I don’t think I’ll push everyone to go anymore. It’s not fun for anybody.

We had a few hours of down time after the parade to cool off. I took a nap. I’m sure everyone else was gaming. And then after a random short rain shower, we went to the big party we were invited to at Caden’s friend’s house. It was a little awkward for Greg and I because we didn’t know many people, but the boys had a BLAST. There was a huge slip n slide set up, as well as some sprinklers and an inflatable pool. They were having SO much fun with their gang of friends. We stayed about two hours and then came home and watchedย The Greatest Showman. We did a few sparklers and smoke bombs in the driveway and then headed out to the fireworks.

I wasn’t up for walking any more, so we drove to school and watched from the little park across the street. I look horrible in this picture! I thought that this is the first early summer I’ve gotten through without my allergies killing me. Now I think they’re just super late because they’ve been BAD this week. Especially Wednesday when I was outside all day long.

The mosquitoes were pretty horrific, so Greg was distracted constantly spraying bug spray, as if putting multiple layers on everybody would really help. Caden kept begging to just go home. Shepard was way more interested in playing with his glow sticks, which he kept accidentally throwing into the street. We finally gave up and left. I think overall, the boys had a good day. It was just frustrating for me that once again they proved how little joy they find in the things that kids are “supposed to” love on a holiday. I’m never that invested in this particular holiday, so it didn’t bother me that much. It was just a long, long day.

I was so wiped out on Thursday! As I’m sure most of the country was! Which was a bummer since it was my last day home alone for TWO MONTHS. I really wanted to do something special to mark the occasion, but I just couldn’t find the energy. I ran to get a few groceries in town and that was it. I didn’t even go out to lunch. It really kind of bummed me out! Then we had an at home date night and I could barely even move. We just watched tv and then Greg wanted to game so I did some more work.

And Friday – more of the same. Last day of summer school! I worked like crazy and just managed to finish up a big batch of dolls right before the boys got home. Then to celebrate we took them to this new theater that just opened in Madison to seeย Ant Man and the Wasp.ย It’s a brewhouse theater with a full menu and a long length of table in front of all the chairs. The boys had some kids meals and I had their soft pretzel. While it was a fun experience, I don’t really see myself choosing to go to that theater over the one in Sun Prairie that also serves food, has moveable trays that can go right above you without needing to lean way forward, AND has soft and comfortable reclinable seats. I’ll be very curious to see if they can stay in business. It seems pretty risky being only a few miles from the main theater.

Anyway – that was the week! Very busy. The boys are done with summer school now, though Caden was actually asking if he could sign up for second session just to take running again! I pointed out that he can go running anytime he wants – he doesn’t need to be in a class for it! Unfortunately (fortunately), it’s not offered second session. But maybe that desire to run will help motivate him to go out with me every morning when I need to walk Annie. I’m feeling pretty anxious about how we’re going to survive the next two months. But – more on that tomorrow!

Summer Goals Update and Saturday Reflections 06.30.2018

June is officially over and summer is already one month behind us! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since school ended. It went by pretty quickly, but was also really packed. I accomplished quite a bit this month! Still trying to make up for my three months of being out of commission. I’ve had some super busy and stressful days where I expected way too much of myself, but I also think that overall I was pretty balanced. I’m feeling pretty good about how June went! I even accomplished quite a few of my summer goals. So many that I decided to give an update and add a few more!

Update on achievable goals:

  • Clean out my car.
  • Declutter all random piles in general living spaces.
  • Clean out the fridge and freezer.
  • Reorganize all sewing room supplies (new)
  • Clean out laundry room (new)

Car is clean! Greg did most of the work, but we finished that right away. I’m making pretty good headway on all general living spaces. My biggest problem is the family room, where the boys spend most of their time, where all the electronics are, and where everything coming into the house is dumped. It drives me INSANE that nobody else seems to care how crappy that room looks all the time. I just avoid it as much as possible, really only going in to eat dinner and watch tv with Greg at night. I’m pretty sure there’s no real solution here, but I’m trying my best to keep things under control in all other rooms of the house. Anyway, I cleaned the fridge and the basement freezer and Greg reorganized our basement pantry area. The main freezer is still a mess, but I’ve been trying to cook something out of it every day to minimize how full it is. I think this weekend I can finally clean it out for good.

As for my new goals – I have spent most of this week working on my sewing room! I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired to work on new dolls, so I spent almost every day working on cleaning out and cataloging all my doll accessories, re-folding and categorizing all my fabric, and taking a better inventory of what yarns I have. It’s been great seeing all my stuff get back under control! With so many other rooms getting cleaned and organized, I decided to add the laundry room to the list too. It was pretty functional for a while, but then the boys and their friends decided to start playing hide and seek in the house – and the laundry room is pretty much the only place to hide. So it’s been destroyed. Seems like a good time to really go through everything we have and organize and get rid of what we don’t need.

Update on parenting goals:

  • Keep a large visual weekly calendar complete with any non-negotiable errands, day trips, or appointments.ย 
  • Enforce said calendar so they know that thereโ€™s no wiggle room to argue and complain if something was already planned for the day.ย 
  • STAY STRONG in parenting, not letting them take advantage of me in my weak moments (and not letting them knowingly make me weak with their incessant whining). Remember that Iโ€™m the MOM and if theyโ€™re mad at me, I will survive it. Having a child mad at me for enforcing perfectly reasonable parenting rules should not affect my mental energy the way it would if Greg or a friend or other adult family member felt that way about me!

I really like our calendar idea, though it hasn’t really said much this week besides going to summer school, play practice, and Grandma’s house. I’m hoping I can fully utilize it in the next few months when the boys need to know ahead of time which days we’ll be running errands or going on day trips so they can coordinate with their friends and hopefully avoid any meltdowns. Because our schedule has still been pretty static and mundane with summer school, I haven’t had a whole lot of fights come up – yet. They’re pretty happy if they have friends to play with. The biggest issue has been Caden not wanting to go to the pool anymore. None of his friends are ever there and he doesn’t like just swimming with Greg or Shepard. A few times Greg has asked me last minute to ask friends to join them, which is always fun because then I get to deal with all the rejections. ๐Ÿ˜› There’s nothing I hate more than being rejected (even if I have no reason to take it personally)! Anyway, that’s probably been our biggest thing to deal with, which really isn’t THAT big. Just more frustrating to me because Caden ends up staying home and whining while Greg and Shepard go swimming and I still don’t manage to have any time to myself. I’m anticipating a lot more arguments and meltdowns once summer school no longer takes up half of their days.

Update on family connection goals:

  • Go on a two night family vacation. Make it happen.
  • Visit at least 5 new dog parks in the Madison area with Annie.ย 
  • After summer school is over, plan and go on at least one day trip or special outing a week.ย 
  • Take each child on an individual date night at least once per month. Try harder to have one on one time at home in between the date nights.ย 
  • Go on regular dates with Greg. (new)

I scheduled our family vacation! It was actually Greg’s idea. We’re going to LaCrosse in August. It’s actually turning into three (and a half) vacation ideas all crammed into a single week. We’re going on a weekend “trip” (half hour away) with Greg’s parents for two nights. Then we’re going to the State Fair with my family. Then I’m going on a SOLO VACATION to Minnesota just because I want to and I can. And then I’m meeting everyone in LaCrosse on my way home for two nights of family vacation. It’ll be a busy week! But fun. I’m really glad I made both trips happen and scheduled them as soon as possible once I realized that’s what I wanted to do.

I haven’t been to anymore dog parks yet. It was really rainy this month! And now it’s super hot. Annie likes hot weather about as much as me. ๐Ÿ˜› Once summer school is out we’ll definitely take some more dog park adventures, though. I haven’t been great about individual dates either. I was supposed to go to the farmer’s market with Caden last weekend, but he flaked out on me at the last minute. I don’t know how to take him somewhere enjoyable when he flat out refuses to leave the house with me. I guess I just don’t give up, right?

I’m adding the goal to go on dates with Greg. This is always a tricky one. Technically, his parents take the boys one night a week, like 50 weeks of the year. We have NO EXCUSE not to go on an actual regular date. But somehow we’re always too tired, more interested in doing our own things, or it doesn’t feel like a justifiable reason to spend money. It also seems dumb to go back to Madison to a restaurant when Greg just got home from work in Madison. We always have an excuse. I’d like to make it more of a priority. In this season of our lives it’s so easy to drift apart. We have so little in common with each other, interest-wise. We’re so focused on parenting together that we don’t know how to have fun together anymore. I want to make this more of a top priority.

Update on personal achievement goals:

  • Prioritize self care. Know what you need to keep your sanity and DO IT. No excuses.ย 
  • Make at least 10 dolls per month. Work is not and should not be my highest priority over the summer months. But I know I need it to keep myself and my customers happy, so I need to at least do the bare minimum.ย 
  • Read. A lot. All the time. Itโ€™s worth it, itโ€™s not being lazy. Itโ€™s important. And fun!
  • Write more than just my weekend blog posts. I love to write and this is a good time to do it more often!ย 

I’ve had good days and bad days with prioritizing self care. I’ve been a bit of a workaholic this month, but at least I can recognize it? I’ve tried to find ways to fit in at least a short power nap every day because it’s the only way I can survive. I think I’ve been doing pretty well at recognizing what I need to help myself mentally, but failing miserably at taking care of myself physically. I walk the boys to school each morning and this week I’ve tried to make my walks back home a little bit longer each day. But I was hoping to also add some indoor biking to my daily routine and I’ve only managed to do it twice. It’s just hard to talk myself into going down into the gross basement to bike when there are a gazillion other things I could be doing. I’ve also been AWFUL in my food making choices. I think it’ll be easier to stay on track when the boys are home all the time. I’ve noticed how they want to have a snack literally every half hour when they’re home. And I kind of feel the same way. But if I’m focused on them eating more healthy and balanced meals that don’t require twenty snacks a day, maybe I can get myself back on track too.

It’s been a pretty great work month. My goal was to make at least 10 dolls. I believe I’ve made at least 38. I’ve sold 37 dolls, which is more than I’ve sold in a month – EVER. I’ve really hit my sweet spot with Heartstring Annie, keeping people engaged and interested, putting out new dolls every few days – most of which sell out within an hour or two. I was doing really well until last week when I just lost all interest in sewing and decided to do the organizing instead. But I’m back in the middle of a bunch of dolls and hopefully July will be another good month. Though I also intend to take more time off with the boys home all the time. We’ll see how it balances out.

And reading! I had a rough start to the month, not interested in much. But I’ve been a reading maniac the last two weeks, finally finding books that I never want to put down. So I’m good on that! Writing hasn’t progressed a whole lot, but I did start writing for myself. Things that I’ll never publish, but still feed my soul.

Update on health related goals:

  • Be able to walk regularly by September. Hopefully with daily practice I can do that. Iโ€™ll start with trying to walk to and from summer school with the boys every day in June. Work up to dog parks and day trips. And hopefully be a lot stronger by fall.ย 
  • Keep healthy food stocked, prepped, and ready to eat.ย 
  • Keep meal planning simple, but in existence. Always have easy meals ready to make and on hand, so we donโ€™t resort to eating junk food all day, every day.ย 
  • Stay cool, calm, and positive. I CAN DO THIS.

I guess I already talked about this in terms of self care. Physically taking care of myself has been a bit of a frustration. The orthotics have helped with my plantar fasciitis, but I definitely still have ankle pain. And if I take even a day off from a longer walk – which feels really necessary sometimes! – my hip starts hurting the next day. I do pretty well walking around on errands, grocery shopping and everything. But if I’m just out walking Annie, a few blocks feels like a few miles. I’m losing my confidence that I’ll be a lot better by fall. It’s pretty depressing.

I’ve been trying my hardest to keep healthy food stocked. But like I said – everyone seems to be STARVING all day long. I just can’t keep up! I cut up five mangoes the other day and Caden ate them all in two sittings. A whole watermelon is gone in a day. I’ve been buying yogurt and granola bars and string cheese that the boys run in and grab way more often than they probably should be. Everyone’s food intake seems to have increased tenfold which is requiring me to take multiple grocery trips a week. It’s been kind of overwhelming. I usually end up spending almost an entire day just prepping produce. It’s not really how I want to spend my time. But…I guess it needs to keep happening.

I definitely want to get better about meal planning in July. June ended up being a lot of one or two big meals a week that gave us leftovers for the rest of the days. Or we got leftovers from big family meals that lasted us a few days. Which is good! It’s nice to have fast and easy food on hand. But I think I want to try harder for ME. Find healthy meals that I actually like to eat for lunch. And breakfast. Plan out ahead of time all three meals all seven days. Make a solid grocery list and try to only have to go once a week. It should be pretty easy. But it’s things like this that often throw me off and stress me out the most. Organization and planning is definitely the key.

Saturday Reflections

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this week! It’s been pretty straightforward with the boys in summer school and me cleaning up my sewing room. The boys both developed a summer cold that turned into me catching a major cough. I feel like absolute crap right now. Between overdoing it with baby holding and walking last weekend, allergies, pms, and now this cough – it’s been a rough week.

Caden had therapy on Tuesday that went okay. He really just talked to Greg and I the whole time and I’m not sure we really made any progress. I’ve noticed that he basically just asks us the same questions every single time, sometimes multiple times in a session. Is he listening? Retaining what we say? What is he doing on his laptop the whole time we’re talking? I don’t know. I have mixed feelings about it still.

Greg hurt his foot on Wednesday night, kicking the lawn mower when it was stuck in a thick clump of grass. I don’t think he broke anything, but he was in immense pain and has a few very bruised toes to show for it. I tried to keep the boys away from him, going to the dog park and pool that night.

On Thursday my sewing machine broke. I spent half the day feeling overwhelmed and super stressed, researching which new machine to buy. I was supposed to be spending the day relaxing and enjoying being home alone – the boys were at Grandma’s and Greg was working in Chicago. Then he got home and kicked the foot pedal (lots of kicking this week) and it turned back on. While it WAS a relief I don’t need to immediately buy a new one and make a decision I wasn’t ready to make, I ended up being more upset at how I wasted that extremely rare and precious night I had to myself.

And on Friday we went to see Jurassic World and had lunch at Chipotle. I was feeling pretty sick by then and not in the best of moods. But it was fun to do something together.

And now today we’re trying to take it easy and keep cool before going to the Mallard’s game tonight. Somehow we always manage to pick what feels like the hottest day of the year to go sit outside at a baseball game. At least it’s not until later in the evening when it hopefully will start cooling off. I can’t stand this heat!!

Well, that’s it for now! I’ll hopefully be back later with a tv and/or book post!

Weekend Reflections and Intentions 06.24.2018

We’re halfway done with summer school and almost done with June, and I finally feel like I’ve got a little bit better of a grip on summer life. I tried to be really in tune this week to what I needed and made it happen. I took the days a little slower, didn’t push myself so hard – at least not every day – and enjoyed everything a bit more. I hope to get better at this in the next few months, fully taking advantage of this short season of life before schedules get rigid and hectic again come September.

On Monday I had an early dentist appointment and ran a few errands. It was raining (most of the week, actually), and I was exhausted, and I was finally able to take an afternoon nap while the boys did some gaming. It was weird to take an entire day off of work. I didn’t really know what to do with myself, which was a bit disconcerting, but also a nice change from the frantic stress I usually feel every day.

Tuesday was pretty slow too. I’ve been trying to start my days by reading instead of working. It’s so hard to get past that NEED to be productive the second I’m out of bed. But I feel so much happier and more calm when I slowly ease into the morning instead. The only other thing of note that happened Tuesday is I walked to the library! Exciting stuff this week, guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Wednesday, I was in the mood for a little fun! I stopped in the morning at a grocery store to buy a bunch of produce. Then I went to the Pardeeville Antique Mall and found all these goodies for my dolls. I haven’t been there since last fall, so it was fun to poke around. I haven’t been feeling super inspired with new ideas lately, and finding fun accessories always sparks my imagination.

On the way home I stopped at Johnson’s Sausage Shoppe for the first time. I was way too excited to go into a big meat market filled with pre-marinated meats and new flavors of things we love. We haven’t tried any of it yet, but hopefully this will be a new source for meal inspiration!

I then spent the entire afternoon cutting up produce. Literally. I wish the pre-cut stuff wasn’t so expensive! My reward for all my hard work was a big batch of mango salsa, which was DELISH. Also – have you had honey mangoes? I’ve never bought them because they look smaller than normal ones and if I’m already going to the work of cutting mangoes I want the biggest value! But honey mangoes were on sale too and Caden and I LOVE mangoes and oh my goodness, these were amazing! The sale is on for a few more days, so I’m planning to go stock up on a bunch more tomorrow.

Wednesday was also another pretty lame at home date night. I made bourbon chicken and we took Annie to the dog park. I think it’s about time we have another real date one of these days. It’s already been a month since our anniversary!

Thursday was a BIG work day. I had a Craft Night planned, so I needed to get my dolls to a certain point (stained and dried) before the craft night started, so I’d have something to work on that didn’t take up the entire table. I thought I’d reach that point by like 11am, but I was still madly rushing to finish at 4. I was stressed out and mad at myself for not planning better. I kept thinking I should just work on a different FUN project in the evening. I used to have those! Embroidery and mohair animals that take up minimal space and give me a break from doll making. But…I wanted to finish the dolls. Anyway, Laura is the only one who came to the craft night, which was just fine! We had a good time catching up while getting a little bit of work done!

I finished dolls up on Friday morning and after school we went over to my mom’s house to help her babysit Hudson. Except the boys were in awful moods and I’m sure we just made the afternoon a lot more exhausting to her!

We only stayed a few hours and then went home.

Still trying to have some positive and memorable interactions, I had a farmer’s market date planned with Caden. But then despite the fact that he was fully ready to go at 6:30 on Saturday morning, he refused to walk out the door. So after an exasperating five minutes of pleading, I left with Shepard. Again.

It was a good morning for the market! The weather was great after raining all week and it wasn’t that busy yet. Shepard was LOVING all the samples, especially cheese. Which was funny because he’s not really much of a cheese eater. But samples are samples, right?! He picked a giant cinnamon roll for his breakfast again and we got another one for Greg and a donut for Caden. I had my delicious morning bun, which I saved for today. And cranberry walnut bread, which is my all time favorite. We splurged on those homemade crackers which are AMAZING but so expensive. Shepard thinks we’re sharing them, but I hid them away to eat with brie because he can’t appreciate how good they really are. ๐Ÿ™‚ We also got radishes, cilantro, and two kinds of that bread/fry cheese. Shepard was so obsessed with it!

Saturday turned out to be a lot crazier than I was expecting! If I knew we were going to be so busy, I wouldn’t have gone to the market. But it was all a lot of fun! Around noon Timmy and Hudson came over for a pizza lunch and then we went to the pool. Hudson wasn’t much of a fan, so I spent most of the time sitting with him and observing the swimmers while he downed a ton of goldfish crackers. The guys all got to do some real swimming then.

We went back to my parents’ after swimming for an impromptu cookout and campfire. It was a little chaotic, but a fun evening!

My mom found the first doll I ever made when I was around eight years old! A few years ago when they were thinking about moving and we were looking through our old things, I was trying to find this doll. I didn’t, so I assumed she was gone forever. Nope!

I was finding great amusement in watching Hudson try to feed himself sweet potatoes while the dogs swarmed around trying to get a taste!

Finishing the night with s’mores around the campfire.

Annie was trying to get into more things than Hudson, so it was kind of an exhausting day! I’m pretty beat today! Between keeping Annie from jumping fences and eating food off tables and stepping on Hudson, carrying Hudson around a lot, being outside most of the day during the worst of allergy season, walking on uneven surfaces all day without my brace on, and just plain not getting enough sleep – I am pretty much dead today. But I think it was worth it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday Intentions

It’s a pretty quiet week again – thank goodness! The only real thing on the calendar is another therapy session for Caden. I can’t believe it’s already been a month since the last one! The peach and blueberry truck comes on Thursday, so I’m looking forward to getting more fresh produce. They have the best fruit! And Greg took a random vacation day on Friday, so I’m hoping we can maybe have a morning movie date while the boys are summer school. And Saturday we’re going to a Mallard’s game with Greg’s parents.

My intention for this week is to keep being aware of what my body and mind actually need, instead of just pushing to keep checking things off my to do lists. I’d like to walk a little further each morning with Annie. My orthotics have really been helping keep the plantar fasciitis pain at bay, so I think it’s time to challenge myself a little bit more. But also take rest days when I need it. Like today, when I’m swollen for the first time in weeks. ๐Ÿ™ I want to start a fresh batch of dolls, but also not freak out about getting to a certain point every day. I think the best way to keep myself in check is to stop letting myself work in the evenings. I rarely do these days, but I know from experience how much better life goes if I insist on giving myself actual work hours with a real stopping time. So, 1:00 when the boys get home, or 4:00ish when I need to start dinner, if they’re off with their friends in the afternoons.

Well, I think I need to end this post. I’m just feeling SO fuzzy and out of it today. I need a reading break! And maybe a nap. ๐Ÿ™‚

Late Weekend Reflections 06.18.2018: Summer School, Alice in Wonderland, and Father’s Day

I’ve been struggling with what to say about this past week. It wasn’t an easy week. I felt very overwhelmed, stressed, completely wiped out, overworked, irritable, and angry. There is really nothing to blame for any of it, except that it was a busy week. The busiest I’ve had since I broke my ankle. It also felt like the first week in almost four months that I suddenly had to take back over all my original responsibilities. Walking the boys to school, walking Annie, taking Annie to the dog park, actually taking her outside to go potty because she refuses to go for the boys anymore, running errands four of the five days of the week, driving the boys places, picking them up, packing not one, but two meals a day for them, while also still making them breakfast and a late dinner and snacks in between. It was just a lot. While I was also working from 5am to 9pm with my only “breaks” being everything listed above. I was mad at myself for my workaholic tendencies that I just can’t seem to shake, while also wanting to lash out and blame the all the circumstances around me that make me feel like I NEED to work and cook and clean and do laundry every single waking minute of my life. This isn’t how I want to live. But it was a mindset I just couldn’t seem to get rid of last week.

At any rate, there were definitely a lot of high points to the week. The boys started summer school on Monday morning. Even though they had a lot of moaning and groaning about it, they ended up really like their classes. Even the running club that Caden was so mad about doing! He was actually pretty angry the alternating days this week where they did stretches and indoor activities instead of running outside. They’re both taking a class called Maker Space where they just create things out of everyday objects that has turned out to be both of their favorites. They’re still not thrilled about needing to go to school in the summer, but it definitely helps that they each like all four of their classes. And they have a meeting spot so they can sit together at lunch! It was pretty cute listening to them work out those details on the walk Monday morning.

On Monday afternoon the boys had their first play practice! It was three hours long and they learned the rules, had auditions, learned their parts, and started practicing! I ended up staying the whole time because I was waiting in great anticipation to see who was assigned which parts! The whole audition process was pretty crazy. Though after watching the play on Saturday I think they cast everyone perfectly. It was kind of amazing. Caden got the roll of Cook and Shepard was part of a very long caterpillar where they stuck all the youngest kids they didn’t know what else to do with. Shepard, who was most worried about the play, ended up really enjoying it. Caden wasn’t very happy with all the boring parts, but I think he enjoyed actually putting the play on in the end.

Tuesday was a big day because it’s the first time I took Annie for a walk since my broken ankle! I was a little nervous, but it went pretty well. I walked her every morning after that too. It feels good to get out with her, but also – painful. I have plantar fasciitis back in full force on my right foot. Something I suffer from every summer with the extra walks I do – though it tends to alternate which foot and never both at the same time. But one is painful enough to make walking kind of miserable. ๐Ÿ™ I’m supposed to be walking more to keep strengthening my ankle, but now it’s at the expense of my foot which is supposed to be rested when it gets this bad. I tried to compromise by only walking in the morning and having the boys come home on their own after school. I ordered some new orthotics and a special ice wrap for my foot to use during down time, so hopefully I’ll find some relief.

I’ve spared you guys the sight of my ankle/leg until now, but here’s how the scar is progressing. The shorter one on the inner part of my ankle looks the same. It’s quite the battle wound! Anyway, I’m showing it off because on Tuesday, at the end of my physical therapy session, the therapist told me I’m done! I was supposed to go a couple more weeks, but I’ve hit all my goals. In the previous week I started doing all those final things that I’ve been putting off – walking the boys to school, walking Annie, etc. I still need to work on strengthening exercises at home, but there wasn’t really anything else they could show me. I was really happy! Therapy was always fine once I got there, but I still hated having that on my schedule every week. Now I am free! Well, I have one more appointment with the surgeon next month, but after that I will hopefully be done with this. At least in an appointment sense! I heard it takes at least a solid year to be totally back to normal. ๐Ÿ™

On Wednesday I was already feeling the mental effects of doing too much, so rather than sit at home surrounded by my work, I decided to get out of the house to celebrate the end of physical therapy. I ran a few necessary errands and then got MOD for lunch, mostly so I could also buy a gift card for one of Greg’s Father’s Day gifts.

For fun, I meandered around Half Priced Books hunting down deals. I recently finished the bookย Life From Scratch and it reminded me how much I LOVE food memoirs. I’ve realized this year how much I love memoirs in general, but I particularly love ones that revolve around food. Food is such an integral part of every single person’s life and it’s fascinating to learn how many ways it touches people and influences their story. Half Priced Books turned out to be a great place for food writing books. I also picked upย Off the Clock from amazon to try and get myself better focused both on and off the clock to live a more meaningful life!

Thursday and Friday were more work days. It somehow always turns out that I’m racing against the clock trying to finish dolls while I still have enough natural light to take a good photo. I get frustrated on those days when I have to work at a faster pace than I’d like, rushing the final touches that make the dolls most unique and special. It made me extra crabby. I ended every night just feeling depleted. Even though the boys were out of the house for most of the day all five days of the week, I was just SO run down at the end of every night. And I hated it. I don’t want my summer to continue in this manner.

Saturday was the big day with two performances ofย Alice in Wonderland!ย I honestly had my doubts about how good this show would be after only a week to learn everything. But it was great! The kids did amazing! And everyone was so perfectly cast to fit their roles.

I had wanted to pick them up early on Friday to try and get a glimpse of how things were going, but I was too busy madly trying to get dolls listed before they were done. I’m glad I wasn’t spoiled for the show in the end. It really blew me away how great everyone did! Shepard made the most adorable little caterpillar.

Caden actually had a bigger part than I thought, with this trio doing a bunch of singing and dancing and a little comedy routine. He did great each show, but the second one he was SO into it. I loved watching them!

As of right now, they’re not interested in ever doing this again, but I think it was a good experience for them. And really fun for the family to come watch since the boys never really participate in any extracurricular activities. I’m a strong believer in letting kids be kids and not forcing them into things they don’t want to do. But for just a week of their time they got to learn new skills, make new friends, and ultimately really did have fun during the performances. I was very proud of them!

To celebrate, we went to Culver’s for dinner after the show with the family. Fun times!

Oh, so before the show on Saturday, I spent hours working on this crepe cake for Father’s Day. I wanted to make something fancy that I’d never make for just the four of us. Crepe cakes have been on my mind since I saw one on a blog I like a few months ago. That recipe looked a bit too futzy, so I went with this one instead, knowing Greg really likes dark chocolate and raspberries. It took me six tries with two different pans and two different types of spatulas before I even made one successful crepe. But once I got the hang of it it was pretty easy, just took forever. I let them cool, made the raspberry cream, and then stacked them all up into this beautiful creation!

I put it in the fridge and checked on it five minutes later finding this. Devastating!!! I tried to slide it back together, but nothing was cooperating. I ended up taking it out in sections and piling it into a springform pan, with paper plates around the edges trying to hold it into a shape. My hands, arms, and the entire counter and fridge were covered in cream. It didn’t help that it was crazy hot and humid that day. Maybe I should have frozen the crepes for an hour or something to make them cooler. Or not put so much cream between the layers. Or just stopped at 10 layers instead of going to 20. I read so many different crepe cake recipes before landing on this one, and was so sure it would be easy to do. Nope! I was pretty upset about the whole thing. But also determined not to let it, and my entire morning that I really should have spent resting, go to waste.

I’m sure the troubleshooting of this cake is of no interest to anyone except me, but I take my dessert making VERY seriously. I spent the whole night agonizing over what I could do to fix it. A ganache covering seemed to be my only option. Except I didn’t have any more whipping cream and couldn’t stand the thought of going to a grocery store for like the sixth time in a week. So I googled it and found a very successful way to make ganache with good chocolate, butter, and milk. It worked perfectly! I re-layered the cake, cut around the edges that were still lopsided, topped with ganache, topped that with slivered dark chocolate, topped that with fresh raspberries, and garnished with a few chocolate mint leaves from Shepard’s herb garden. As good as it could get!

Moving on. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was Father’s Day! Greg said we could wake him up with breakfast in bed at eight, so I made some freezer cinnamon rolls. We went up and left him alone with his food, waiting downstairs another stressful hour and a half before he got up. In the future, I hope if he wants to actually stay in bed until 9:30 he just says that from the get go, so I don’t have to deal with two boys freaking out for that long about wanting Daddy to get downstairs NOW. Hint, hint, Greg. It wasn’t the best start to the day.

Greg always complains that we give him too many presents. So we tricked him this year thinking he just got one gift. Until he opened it and found like 30 individually wrapped small gifts. Like it or not, I think he deserved to be a bit spoiled!

Mostly a lot of treats and snacks, with a few restaurant and movie gift cards thrown in. And a few garden tools he specifically asked for.

The guys settled in for a morning of video game playing while I kept working on the cake and made some jumbo cookies as a backup dessert. We had an easy lunch of frozen chicken strips and fries.

We went to the pool right when it opened and stayed for a few hours. It was packed because of the awful heat, but the water felt great! It was my first time there this year. I was a little nervous about my ankle, but no slipping occurred. My only slight hiccup was climbing the ladder to get out of the pool. It was an awkward position for my foot to take my full weight and not something I’m looking forward to doing again soon. But I’m glad I went along this time because it was fun! They all had ice cream cookie sandwiches for a treat before we left.

Back at home, I really couldn’t stay awake any longer. This week – whew! I ended up taking a two hour nap! I woke up just minutes before Greg’s parents came over for our celebration with them.

The boys were soooo hyped up.

It was a pretty low key evening of video games, ordering pizza, opening gifts, and eating cake. And for the record – Caden and I thought the cake was great. Greg and Shepard did not like it. I think it was a texture thing. I’ve never made crepes before, but I do occasionally make dutch babies which have a similar eggy texture and Caden and I are the only ones who like those too. I should have realized. Oh well – they had cookies.

Anyway, I think it was a pretty nice Father’s Day! It was really nice to have a slower paced day after the crazy week we all had. Everyone was in good spirits and enjoyed each other’s company. I think it was the kind of day Greg likes best, so I’m glad he was able to have it. He’s a pretty awesome dad. Seriously the best I could ever ask for as the father to my children! He had a wonderful example in his own dad and I’m so happy to have them both in my life. My own dad refused to celebrate Father’s Day, but we are going over there next weekend for a cookout to slyly celebrate in a different way.

New Week Intentions

And that brings me to this week! All I know is that I don’t want to spend the rest of the summer feeling the way I felt last week. I want to be rested. I want to be happy. I want to feel totally okay with taking a day off of work. I should be a mom foremost during these months. I also need to keep putting my health and healing as a priority above all else. I want to find a balance between getting the minimum done – laundry, basic decluttering, putting relatively healthy meals on the table – and actually just sitting back and enjoying life – reading, writing, going to dog parks, laughing with my kids. I’ve been on a bit of an errand running high after so many months of not having that option. It’s also hard to convince myself it’s not worth going when I know in three weeks the boys will be with me all the time and going then won’t be an option – again! BUT I should be reveling in my time alone AT HOME too. At least more often than I did last week!

Our actual schedule is pretty light this week. I had a dentist appointment this morning and picked up a few groceries before coming home. I’m guessing I might need a few more things later in the week, but I really want to focus on being at home as often as possible. On Thursday I’m having my monthly craft night, which will be fun. And besides that? Just summer school!

Well, that’s it for now! Have a good week!

Saturday Reflections 06.09.2018

I survived the first week of summer! I not only survived it, I actually enjoyed it! Believe it or not, I’m actually a little sad about summer school starting up Monday and going back to a rigid daily schedule. It’s only been a week, but I’m already all about the lazy days and never needing to be anywhere at any certain time. It’s nice. I think if this week is any indicator of how July and August will play out, summer might genuinely be enjoyable! The only real problems I’ve encountered so far is that 1 – my kids want to be outside with their friends EVERY WAKING MINUTE. Which has been a bit of an issue when I want or need them to do something else, or if their friends aren’t available and they suddenly think their lives are over. And 2 – they want to eat allllllll the time. Like ten meals a day. I can’t believe how much food we’ve gone through this week. But other than that – good week.

Sunday was fun because we went to Milwaukee to visit Hudson! And Timmy and Brittany. But mostly Hudson. ๐Ÿ™‚ We almost never go to Milwaukee, so it was exciting to do something different. Plus it’d been two months since I had last seen Hudson and it needed to happen. He’s gotten so much bigger! He can crawl! He has lots of teeth!

It was a cooler day – but perfect for going to the big park near their house for awhile and later going down to the beach. Uncle Timmy and Caden and Shepard spent at least an hour skipping stones into the water.

I wanted to get a cute cousin picture by the water. Hudson was not having it!

We had an ice cream treat at Northpoint near the beach.

And we headed home by late afternoon. It was a really fun day! I hope we can have at least another one or two Milwaukee trips before the summer is over.

On Monday I was determined to get as much done as possible. I’m not sure how well I’ll follow through on it, but I was thinking it would be nice to front load our weeks with errands and chores and then by the end of the week we can justify being lazy. Again, this won’t really happen until after summer school is over in a month. But it feels like a good plan to me.

I was up early, like always, so I started Monday by cleaning out the fridge! Check another job off my summer goals! Then we headed out on a THREE store errand run. I haven’t even done that on my own yet after BA, let alone with kids! But shockingly, they were great! They’ve NEVER been great in stores. EVER. I let them pick out a snack or two at each place and they were just happily walking along and playing some sort of pretend game with each other. It worked out so well. I was dead tired by the end, but they helped me bring all the groceries in and it was great!

On Monday night I met my friends at the new brewery that just opened in town. It was such a beautiful place! Their menu is currently limited to soft pretzels and pizzas. I thought my pretzel and beer cheese were delicious. And it was just really great to catch up with friends. We don’t get to see each other often enough!

Greg took Tuesday off work to take the boys to see Avengers, but Shepard decided he wasn’t interested. So Greg and Caden left to the movie and Shepard was stuck with me going to PT. I’m continuing to do pretty well – just working on balance stuff, mostly. Though this week she asked me to stand on my tip toes, right foot only. I couldn’t do it to save my life. SO WEAK. But my therapist agreed that I can be done at the end of the month after my last scheduled session. So just three more weeks! After therapy, Shepard had to go with me to Kohls to return items and we stopped at my mom’s to drop some stuff off. Greg brought me back a late lunch from Chipotle. It was a yummy week.

I spent a lot of time working this week. Probably too much time. Starting at 5am and ending at 9pm really isn’t the kind of schedule I’d like to keep over summer. But it was a good boost of sales and attention. I love how these rainbow dolls turned out. They all sold immediately.

Wednesday was kind of a bummer day. We had big plans to go to this dog park in Stoughton and I never really paid attention to the weather. By the time we got to Sun Prairie it was full blown storming with no light in sight. I was pretty mad we spent the whole morning preparing for it and then drove 45 minutes with Annie only to turn around and come back home. Such a waste! I tried to take a nap in the afternoon, but that was a bust too. Napping does not go over so well with kids constantly waking me up.

I’ve been trying to perk myself up with a second cup of coffee every day, but it doesn’t do a whole lot.

Of course the weather got a lot better in the afternoon, but by then the boys were off with their friends. I took Annie to the Columbus dog park in the evening to make up for it. I’m finding it a little ironic how when the weather was still crummy, everyone was making much more effort to get her exercised. Not that the weather is nice she’s kind of been neglected! Now that I know I’m capable of taking her to the dog park I need to step up and start going more often. And make Greg take her with on all their Pokemon walks they’ve been going on lately.

Thursday was going to be my biggest work day, but allergies were just killing me. Plus the pace I’ve been going the last few days caught up to me. Even Shepard was exhausted. I was thinking he might have seasonal allergies too, though I just remember we had him tested after we got Annie last year and he’s not allergic to anything. So…he was just tired. He was laying and staring all morning and eventually went back up to bed on his own! This is normally a surefire sign he’s going to throw up, but he actually woke up fine. Whew!

Thursday was also my father-in-law Steve’s birthday, so he picked us up in the afternoon and we had dinner at Nitty Gritty. My meal was fantastic!

We went to a park afterward for dessert and presents. Happy birthday, Steve!

Friday was our park re-do day. My mom was able to come with us and we piled into the car. Annie gets so excited and insists on looking out the windows, even though that means very awkwardly sitting on kid laps!

Or in this case, the armrest of Shepard’s carseat!

Annoyingly, it once again started raining on our drive to Stoughton! Such bad luck!! But the skies were brighter so we powered through. I’m really glad we did because Viking Dog Park was amazing! An enormous field and wooded park right next to the river, with two beach access areas for the dogs. It drizzled off and on, but it was such a beautiful place none of us minded. It continues to amaze me how many awesome dog parks are in the Madison area! I’m hoping to tick off five new ones this summer, so here was number one!

Annie and the boys loved the water! It was so fun to watch how much more comfortable Annie got every time she went in. She kept swimming downstream after birds until we couldn’t see her anymore. We’d call to her and she’d paddle her way back. It was really cute. I want to check out more parks, but I’m definitely going to make a point of going back to this one! We had a picnic in the actual park next to the dog area afterward.

And because Greg was working at home, I FINALLY got a nap when we got home. ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished the week by taking the morning for myself. I headed out to the farmer’s market bright and early. It’s amazing that only a month ago I had to take the whole family with me so Greg could drop me off closer, I had a crutch, I could barely make it around the square, and I couldn’t carry anything. Today I did it all on my own! My foot was really sore for some reason, but my ankle felt good. I actually did so much grass walking yesterday too, which is what I’ve been struggling with the most. I love feeling myself get stronger every day! I’m getting a bit less paranoid too. I think I’ll be good to go with walking the boys to summer school every day!

Anyway – farmer’s market! I tried not to go too crazy on treats this time. A morning bun for my breakfast, some ciabatta rolls for tomorrow, beef sticks for Caden, radishes and asparagus. I rewarded my market walking accomplishment by going to Trader Joe’s next. Then HyVee, TJMaxx, and finished it all off with Target and a Starbucks Triple Mocha Frappuccino. It was SO GOOD. My leg was beat after all that, but it was worth it. I love feeling like I’m really getting my life back!

And that was the week! It went much better than expected. Everyone got along pretty well. It definitely helps the boys spend a lot of time with their friends outside, so they’re not constantly in my hair and fighting with each other. It’s good that I have so much work always waiting for me because I’m happier when I’m busy. But it’s nice to just take a day totally off to read and rest too. Especially during this HORRIFIC allergy season. I try my best to just ignore the fact I want to rip my eyes, my nose, my ears, and my head off. But…it’s kind of infuriating, to say the least. Alas, I will make it through because I always do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you had a good week as well! More tomorrow!

Saturday Reflections (technically written on Sunday) 06.02.2018

I was trying to muster up the energy to write this post all day yesterday and I just couldn’t do it. It was a really crappy day and writing about our awesome anniversary vacation earlier in the week was the last thing in the world I felt like doing. Reality sucks sometimes, guys. Money sucks. Gigantic hospital bills every month suck. And feeling like my hopes and dreams for the summer have already been taken away from me after the very first day sucks the worst. It was a really awful day. But for the sake of my kids, who had nothing to do with the bad day, I will try to move on.

Anyway. Monday was our 12th anniversary. We got up early and dropped the boys and Annie off at their destinations and headed out to Cedarburg. Our first stop was the last covered bridge in Wisconsin. I have a hard time believing this is really the only one! But I guess I can’t think of any other examples I’ve seen in my life other than things in books, so it must be true. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a really nice and quiet park area around the bridge. We stood on a different bridge and watched the water for awhile. Then we drove into Cedarburg to check out the shops. Unfortunately, either because it was a Monday or Memorial Day, a lot of the stores and restaurants I had researched were closed. We went into a few really great places, but it was obvious very quickly that my ankle was not in a mood to cooperate with my plans. I could barely walk. We ended our little morning shopping session with a wine tasting at Cedar Creek Winery. As always, I only liked the sweet ones. We bought two bottles.

I needed a break, so we went to the Highland House for lunch. It was delicious! Afterward, we decided on a whim to drive to the theater nearby and seeย Life of the Party. I was complaining a few days earlier that we never see the movies I want to see in the theater. There are so many superhero and Star Wars movies every year, our limited theater visits are always directed to those. But the timing was right, so we finally got to see one I wanted. And it was great! I was cry laughing the entire movie. SO funny!!

I felt a lot better after the movie, so we went back into Cedarburg to check out a couple of more shops. I got an iced coffee to try and perk up. Then we drove to a county park that was up on like a cliff above Lake Michigan. There was apparently some way down to the water because people were on the beach, but there was no way we were going to attempt that!

I actually hiked a bit along a trail! It’s really so hit or miss on when or where my ankle is going to cooperate and when it’s going to take me down. I’m glad I at least had a good evening with it! With the shade and lake breeze it was a lot cooler in the park and the bugs weren’t bad, so we sat there for a long time talking. It was really nice.

We finally checked into our hotel and spent some time there relaxing. The “romance package” was included in the Groupon deal, so we were given champagne and six chocolate covered strawberries.

We couldn’t decide if we should order in Chinese or go back out later in the evening when we were finally getting hungry again. Going out won and I’m really glad! We went to Cafe Hollander and it was delicious! I had a fancy grilled cheese which was good, but the sweet potato fries with Thai curry aioli was amazing. Definitely want to go back there sometime! There’s a location in Madison, so I think I can make it happen!

We just relaxed on Tuesday morning for awhile. The hotel had a giant whirlpool which was really nice. Our breakfast was a loaf of blueberry lemon soda bread we picked up at the grocery store the night before. When we left the hotel we stopped back in Cedarburg to see more of the shops that were closed on Monday. One being a bakery my mom highly recommended. I forgot to take a picture until it was almost gone, but I bought these huge rosemary garlic ciabatta rolls which were AMAZING. I also bought a baguette that we had for dinner that night. Yes, I ate three meals of solid bread on Tuesday. That’s literally all we ate.

And because we’re completely lame, we managed to go back to Beaver Dam to pick up Annie and the boys’ stuff and we were home by noon. We had a day and a half vacation and we didn’t even go out to eat or use our time to the max. We always tend to cut our vacations short, but I guess it felt like more of a disappointment knowing that was the only one we got this year and it was already so short. But why go out to lunch when you already had a bunch of bread and know you won’t enjoy the meal anyway? I settled for Kwik Trip iced coffee. And I admit that it was nice to have a few hours at home to totally chill out before the boys got out of school for the day.

Tuesday afternoon we had to head to another therapy session with Caden. While I was really impressed with the therapist the first two sessions, I was pretty angry after this one. He didn’t seem to hear/listen/understand anything we were saying. We told him how worried we are about summer when I’m back to being the full time parent and how I don’t know how to control his mood swings. By the time he was done talking with Caden and wanted to schedule for the next visit, he told us that since school is almost over and the biggest triggers are out of the way, we don’t need to come back for a month. School is NOT his trigger! I don’t know. I was extremely frustrated with how the whole session went and if he doesn’t even understand the importance of coming regularly during the hardest months of the year, then maybe I don’t even want to see him. I wish all this therapy stuff wasn’t so hard. I guess we’ll just see how the next few weeks go.

On Wednesday, I was bound and determined to get to some of my favorite stores while I still could! Unfortunately, it ended up pouring rain all day! If I had known it was going to relentlessly rain that hard all day long, I definitely wouldn’t have gone. My ankle got quite the workout with all the stop and go traffic. Switching between pedals is still really hard and painful. I also walked 9000 steps that day! But I did get to a few of the stores I wanted, so it wasn’t a waste. Just a bit challenging! And wet!

I had an early PT on Thursday morning and decided to spend the rest of the day just relaxing and reveling in the silence. (Above is a picture, on the right, of the new jade plant we bought in Cedarburg.) I did a little work, a little cleaning, a lot of reading, and some napping.

I prepared a huge taco fest complete with margaritas and ice cream cones for dessert as a last school night celebration.

And Friday was the last day of school! I worked all day to try and keep my mind off of my dread! ๐Ÿ™‚ Then Greg drove me to school at the end of the day so I could walk home with them for the first time in over three months. Unfortunately, I was too slow and uncool and Caden walked way ahead of me with his friend. Shepard sort of stayed near us. We spent a little time at home and then headed to the library reading program kick off down the street. I also walked there and back! And later after that, Greg and Shepard went to the pool on its opening night. Caden was much more interested in staying home to play with his friends. It’s both a blessing and a curse to have great friends right in the neighborhood. It’s awesome because it’ll keep them out of my hair every minute. It’s terrible when I have to try and drag them away from their friends to actually go somewhere or do something. It’s also like the end of the world if their friends aren’t available to play. We’re only 1.5 days into summer and I can already see this is going to be a massive challenge the next three months.

And that brings us up to Saturday! I guess in good news – I cleaned my car! Technically Greg did most of it, but I helped. I can already cross the first thing off my summer goals list. I also looked into a vacation possibility, but considering how the rest of yesterday went, I’m not sure it’s going to happen. We shall see.

And that was the week! A big week for sure. I’ll write another post tonight about the upcoming week. After I decide what to do with it! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the only week free between school and summer school, so I’m having a hard time deciding what to focus on. But I’ll figure it out in the next eight hours or so and get back to you!

Saturday Reflections 05.26.2018

Well, I was expecting to have tons of great news and excitement to share this weekend. But I’m really kind of bummed out about how the week went. It was very emotional and exhausting. When things start winding down at the end of the school year emotions are always out of whack. Combined with all this ankle stuff, feeling like I didn’t get nearly enough time to myself or things done in the last few months, plus just stressing out about summer – I’m kind of a wreck right now. So I’ll try to keep this brief today. For real this time!

Monday was another personal achievement day – I went to both Target and Costco on my own. I celebrated by getting lunch at Chipotle. It was delicious!

Tuesday was a work day. We had our second therapy appointment with Caden in the evening. It seemed to go pretty well. At least a ton more promising than the last lady.

Wednesday was the big day – 12 weeks post op, and getting the all clear to ditch my boot. I wrote all about my journey and what I learned in the last twelve weeks in my last post. I was really excited that I don’t need the boot anymore. But in the moment I was really upset to hear I need to wear an ankle brace for the rest of the year. I also had to order it, so I couldn’t really do much until I had it. My original plan was to celebrate on Thursday by going to a bunch of stores I’ve sorely missed, but I had to cancel those plans. I did pay for one day shipping, so I really only had to go like 15 hours between boot and brace. But still. I wasn’t expecting the news about a brace at all, so I didn’t really experience all the joy I was anticipating.

I had a date planned with Caden for Wednesday night. On our first night of therapy he told all of us that the only thing he likes doing with me is going to restaurants. In the past, I’ve tried to keep monthly date nights with each kid, usually on the day of the month that their birthday would be, just so I always remember. I was never very consistent about doing it because it’s really hard to tear the boys away from Daddy. And it makes me feel pretty crummy to have to beg and bribe my own child to spend an hour with me – doing something that’s fun and tasty to begin with! Anyway, I asked Caden if he’d go with me. He said no. I asked him again after school. He said no. I told him how much it meant to me. He said no. I asked him again around dinnertime. He said no and ran back outside to his friends. Shepard was in the house getting a drink and finally noticed I wasn’t wearing my boot. He started jumping up and down and cheering for me. I asked if he wanted to go to Mullin’s with me for dinner. He said, “YES! Right now?! YES!!!” So we went. And when we drove down the street, past Caden, he saw us and started crying. And I felt like I crushed yet another tender thread that holds our relationship together. But I gave him SO MANY chances. And he said no.

Mullin’s was fine with Shepard. Except one of his friends showed up right after we got there and he spent most of the time in the grass playing with her. He’d run back by me to take a bite and sip and then run back to his friend. He had fun while I pretty much just sat there alone listening to the most obnoxious family sitting right behind me. It was a pretty disappointing day all around.

I had my first non-boot PT on Thursday morning. It was brutal!! We worked on all kinds of different walking and balancing exercises. It was fun doing new things and made me happy that she seemed very impressed with how well I was doing. But by the end I was SO sore. I just barely managed to limp my way back to the car. Then I wasn’t sure what to do, because I really wanted to go to Walmart. I had brought my boot with me for the extra stability and decided to just go for it. I have so few days left where I can shop without kids! I did it, but needless to say, I was extremely sore by the time I got home.

My new brace came that afternoon. And…. I hate it. It feels okay until I have to wrap the outer elastic band around the whole ankle. The elastic is so tight that I have to pull really hard to even get it around. My ankle must be too fat. Plus it’s swollen, all the time. I hate it so, so much. Receiving the brace also coincided with the weather hitting the 90’s, when having to wear just shoes and socks all the time is miserable! Add the brace and I feel like my entire body is suffocating. After wearing it an hour, my ankle was hurting about ten times worse than it did a week or two ago. Which doesn’t seem like it should be happening!!! Anyway, I don’t know what to do. I’ll give it more time because I have to. But I’m probably not going to wear it as much around the house, even though I feel really weak yet. I’m trying to remember that I’ve also only been 100% FWB at all times since Wednesday. Three days. So it makes sense that I’m this sore in general. But the brace seems to be making it infinitely worse. And it sucks. ๐Ÿ™

Friday was a pretty laid back day. I did a lot of work and some cooking and cleaning. Took a long nap. I’ve actually been taking long naps every afternoon. Trying to revel in them before I lose the chance with my kids home all summer! That’s my favorite part of the day.

On Friday night Caden went to a birthday party at Sky Zone. Greg and Shepard had some good bonding time and Caden got to spend some more time with his friends. Oh, I forgot to mention this earlier. I think it was one of the reasons he wouldn’t go with me to dinner. Earlier that day his class toured the fourth grade classrooms – at the middle school. I think it finally hit him how different next year is going to be. He’s been with the same group of kids for the last four years and now they’re going to be split up. He’s going from a year of multiple field trips a week to outdoor locations to suddenly being in a traditional classroom for the first time in his life. I’m praying he’ll be put in a class with one of his best friends. Though he’s also upset because two of his good friends are switching schools. It’s going to be hard on him. I’ve been pretty emotional about it all too. The end of an era. Fourth grade is too young to be in middle school! Though because we’re running out of room in our buildings, the third grade is moving to the middle school in fall too. So Caden won’t even have to deal with being the youngest grade in the building. I’m sure he’ll adjust quickly and he’s always good at making new friends. But I know we’re all in for a rough ride.

Anyway, that was my week. My ankle is still very sore this morning. I have a horrible headache. And we’re off for a full day at Cedar Lake, followed by a double dinner and movie date with Timmy and Brittany for Greg’s belated birthday celebration tonight. Busy busy! Hopefully I’ll be a lot more pepped up and positive in tomorrow’s post.

Mother’s Day, Greg’s Birthday, and Weekend Reflections and Intentions 05.20.2018

Happy Mother’s Day, one week late! I kept meaning to write a post immediately after the big day, but I never had the chance. It was a busy week! Really busy. I feel like I’m back to doing about 80% of the things I used to do before my broken ankle. And that last 20% are all the things I did to take care of Annie out of the house. Day by day, things continue to get better. It’s hard to see that after a really rough and pain filled day, but honestly – compared to how much pain I was in walking around the antique mall last week to how easily and pain free I was doing a ton of stuff around the house yesterday, just a week later? It’s a pretty significant difference. So I’m getting there. Tomorrow marks 12 weeks since that dreaded day.

Anyway, Mother’s Day turned out to be a pretty great day! I’m the kind of person who always has a lot of expectations for important events and inevitably is disappointed. But I can genuinely say this year that it was fantastic! The boys were in good moods all day, no ridiculous fights arose, the weather was decent albeit a bit chilly, and everyone was just happy!

I woke up early because I’m back to doing that on a regular basis. I took a shower and then went back to bed to laze around for a few hours. The boys brought my breakfast in bed – the morning bun I bought at the farmer’s market the day before. So delish!

I opened my presents next. I love presents! I got this beautiful “diamond” bracelet. I had one when I was a kid that my grandma gave me and thought was the best bracelet in the world. I’ve been wanting one as an adult for awhile now. Love it!

Always one for practical gift giving, I also got a PopSocket for my phone, accompanying mount to use it in the car, and a drain cover for baths. I’m not much of a bath person, but it does really help when my legs are super achy, so I’m trying to get more into it.

A new water bottle.

And a bird bath! We put it out in the front yard the next day, in the middle of this random patch of hostas we have next to the driveway. I’ll have to try and take a picture of it soon, to see it outside. I really like it! And Greg picked this one because it’s my favorite color and looks antiqued.

I got ready and then we went for our annual mother sons photo shoot outside. I can’t believe how horrible my hair looks in these pictures, after just curling it. Greg takes the least flattering photos of me ever. ๐Ÿ˜› At least the boys were smiling, even though they were being silly!

Shepard kept running away from me to do this…

Caught him!

I ventured into the backyard to see my Mother’s Day gift from Annie! It’s in the far back of our property, but it’s the only shrub I can see from the house and I love the pop of color! Hopefully it survives. We haven’t had a lot of luck with anything we plant back there.

Next we dropped Annie off at my parents’ and then went to Greg’s parents’ for their big Mother’s Day party. Shepard gave me another gift that he made at their house. I love the little ladybug!

It was little colder than we would have liked, but most of us spent the day outside. The boys were having the greatest time with their second (or whatever the technical term is) cousins.

Shepard and Jeremiah were having a blast playing with this toad they found.

A little too much fun. They weren’t very happy with me when I insisted they had to put the toad back and leave the poor thing alone! We went to a store later and when we came back the toad was in a box in the house, so you see how well they listened to that!

Annual photo of all the moms in attendance.

Cindy gave me some presents too! I’ve been wanting some new sheets forever and it’s hard to justify ever spending money on them yourself. Both of these devotionals also came out recently and look great!

Trying to get a nice Grandma and grandson photo, but they just wanted to stick their butts out for the picture. Always so cooperative!

Most of the women and girl children went to one of our favorite stores, Twisted Sister to check out what’s in stock. Then we came back home to say our goodbyes. Had to get a quick mother son photo.

Next, we headed back over to my parents’ house. This is one of the gifts we gave her. I love it!

Getting a mother daughter pic in right away so we didn’t have to worry about it later. ๐Ÿ™‚

We spent a lot of time just hanging around and then we had a big dinner. My mom had steak and mushrooms, which is what she requested. I had this spicy chicken and sweet potatoes. They were so delicious!! Everything is always delicious over there.

Trying to get a nice photo and it went about the same way as the rest of the day. At least Gracie was looking at the camera!

More presents. The boys made each Grandma a fill in the blank book about why they love them. Some of their answers are pretty hilarious.

At the end of the night, we started transitioning into Greg’s birthday so he was able to open some presents too.

He got a couple of cords and stuff that nobody really knew what it was, except it was on his wish list. And some desperately needed new sandals.

Annie was so tired after spending the day running around Grandma’s yard! I was pretty exhausted too. But it was a really fun day!

Moving on to Monday! Greg’s 34th birthday. He went into work, so it was just a regular day at home for me. We had a mountain of laundry, so I decided it was about time I get back to doing that. I’ve been putting loads in here and there the last few weeks, but I haven’t folded or put clothes away since the BA (broken ankle). It took me FOUR HOURS to get everything folded. Obviously there were a few breaks in between waiting for loads to finish, but it basically took me the majority of my day. I was proud of myself for doing it. But also really discouraged with just how slow I am in general. Everything takes me so long.

Greg came home and it was time for birthday fun!

Of course we immediately opened presents. His main gift was a new toaster oven. It’s like his favorite cooking appliance and he uses it for literally everything, and our old one was not in the best shape. (It was a birthday gift he gave me years ago, so I decided I’d give him a nice practical kitchen appliance right on back!)

Most gifts were practical this year because he kept saying he didn’t want anything and I knew he couldn’t complain about something useful. But I did get him one thing from his list I knew he really wanted.

It’s a print from his favorite book. Don’t ask me what book, because I have no idea.

Jumbo beef jerky from Annie. We also gave me a set of pans that fit the toaster oven, a chainmail type thing that cleans cast iron pans, an instant temperature reader, a gutter scooper, a box of Buffalo Wild Wing Sauces, and some fancy dark chocolate.

Birthday picture!

He requested Day One Pizza for his birthday dinner. Easy for me!

We had peanut butter bars for dessert. After dinner we went for a short walk and set up the bird bath and front porch plants outside.

They played Minecraft the rest of the evening. (Isn’t Annie cute?!) It wasn’t anything fancy or spectacular, but I think Greg had a pretty good birthday.

Tuesday was another personal success day for me. I decided to attempt Woodman’s (a huge grocery store) by myself! It’s the first time I’ve been there at all since the BA. And I did it! I was quite proud of myself. I didn’t even feel like I was dying by the end. I celebrated by going to Barnes and Noble next and spending over an hour browsing the entire store. I think I might have even been able to handle a third errand, but knew I needed to conserve energy for carrying all the groceries in and putting them away. That was probably the most difficult task. After I got home, did all that, and ate lunch, I took a nap. There went day two of the week of not doing any actual sewing work. I was starting to get a bit frustrated by that point. I know that moving around and getting back into the swing of my regular life is what’s going to make my ankle heal the fastest. I’m not going to get stronger if I’m just sitting at my work table all day. So it’s great I’m getting better and stronger and more capable every day. But it stinks that I’m getting very little actual WORK done.

Wednesday I forced myself to sit down and work all day. And then in the evening we went out for a birthday dinner with Greg’s parents. He picked Mod Pizza (and Caden always gets a sub at Potbelly next door because he still refuses to eat cheese). We went to Culver’s for ice cream next. And then the school greenhouse to get some plants. Then back home to open presents.

It was a nice night, but I was getting pretty crabby by the end of it. Just so frustrated with myself, irritated with the boys, stressed about school about to end and not feeling ready for summer. I’ve been pushing myself so hard with very little actual breaks. I don’t feel mentally capable of dealing with my kids all day every day. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to feel physically ready to whisk them away on long day trips – the only thing that makes summer fun to me. I didn’t make nearly enough dolls this spring to justify slowing down in summer, the way I usually do. I don’t know if I should use these very few remaining days of school to bask in the silence of being home alone – or trying to hit up as many of my favorite stores and places as possible since I haven’t been able to do that for months and it’ll be really hard (and not any fun) to do them with kids. I’m also just lamenting that our anniversary vacation this year is a whopping day and a half long and I wish we could do more. I also kind of wish we could have a family vacation just the four of us since it’s been years, but I’m not sure that can happen either. Anyway, my brain was just blowing up and I NEEDED a break. So I actually did the responsible thing and bowed out of tv time, went to my room, lit a candle, and spent two blessed hours just reading before going to bed. I need to learn how to do that more often.

Thursday morning I had PT. Worked on a lot of balancing exercises. She still thinks I’m on track with everything. We cancelled my next appointment, so the next time I come I will hopefully be in shoes!

Thursday was another work day, but I also spent a lot of time cleaning. I had my second craft night in the evening. Three people came this month! It was a lot of fun! I’m not sure my work table could really handle more than four people with spread out projects, so that was a good number. It was really great to catch up with a few friends, plus get a whole lot of work done in the process.

On Friday morning, Greg and I went to a big church garage sale. I’m glad he offered to drive me because I definitely ended up getting more than I could carry. All this, plus a bookcase! I put it under my favorite book shelves, right next to where we hope to someday have a big cozy chair. My book situation is a bit out of control and I always want more, so now I have more space to put them all. ๐Ÿ™‚

The rest of Friday was spent working. I finished up my first batch of patriotic dolls. I meant to make a lot of progress on my next batch, but….slow. I’m so slow.

Saturday was a pretty lazy day too. I didn’t do a whole lot and then in the evening Greg took the boys to a birthday party at the skating rink. They had a BLAST. Way more fun than any of the times I’ve ever taken them! It was nice to see how many pictures caught them with full smiles. I planned on having sort of a pampering evening to myself, but ended up sitting at my computer working on updating Goodreads and trying to organize my kindle. It’s a bit of a massive project I’ve been working on for a few weeks. It’ll be so awesome once everything is up to date and better organized, though.

And that bring us to this week! Sunday intentions. I guess my biggest goal is to just chill out and enjoy life as it comes. I actually think I’ve been doing a pretty great job of that – until this last week when I started letting myself get stressed out again. I just want to be happy with who I am, what I do during the day, and not feel any regret. I want to LIVE my life, and not just be down on myself for not doing everything on my lists. I gave myself a lot of necessary leeway these last few months, and it’s hard to still keep that perspective when I know I can be doing more.

The biggest thing on the calendar this week is my 12 week post op appointment on Wednesday. This is the big one because he tells me if I can ditch my boot! Something I’m equally excited about and terrified of. I hate wearing the boot. I also hate having to wear a shoe on my other foot at all times so I don’t destroy my back. Technically, I’m not supposed to ever be walking without it, though the last few weeks I kind of go barefoot, with a crutch, every night and morning. And in the last few days, barefoot without a crutch across rooms, occasionally. And I’m so unsteady. I’m scared to death I’m going to break it again. My goal these last few days have been to never use the crutch in the house (except when barefoot) and I’ve been doing great with it. But I went outside yesterday to try and plant some peppers and was just frozen in fear. There are tripping hazards in every direction. Wood chips, rocks, uneven surfaces, kid toys, slippery patches. Everything has the power to knock me down and start this process all over again. It’s really so scary!

I’m also just worried about what life will look like after the boot is gone. It feels so much like come Wednesday, my time is up. I’m supposed to be better. I will no longer have that very visual reminder to anyone who sees me that I have a bit of a handicap right now. I have no more excuses for not doing certain things. And I’m not ready. I’m SO not ready. If I’m scared to death to walk outside in my boot without a crutch, how am I going to be able to do it in shoes?! All of these hazards aren’t going to disappear in four days. How long will it still be before I can take Annie out to go to the bathroom every day? How long until I can take her to the dog park? Will I be able to walk my kids to and/or from school before the school year is up? Will I be able to do it by the time summer school starts in a few weeks? The only thing I’m confident and super excited about is being able to get in my car, drive, and get out – without all the annoying boot to shoe to boot changes! That’s really the main thing that’s stopped me from running a whole lot of errands this week. But once I’m just in shoes – watch out, world!

Anyway, that’s the main thing this week. It’s still pretty busy with working and end of school year things. Caden has another therapy appointment, I have another PT. The boys have big field trips planned. We have tentative plans for Saturday morning and a dinner and movie double date night planned for Saturday evening with Timmy and Brittany. And our anniversary trip is coming up on Memorial Day. I’m sure the week will just fly by! Hopefully I’ll be back before next Saturday to give you an update on the boot. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a good week!

Saturday Reflections 05.12.2018

Hello! I’m going to try and keep this relatively brief tonight (ha!) because I really pushed my physical limitations today and am dead tired and super sore. But – worth it.

It’s been an okay week. To be honest, it’s been a bit of a letdown after how excited I was with my improvements last week. This week my body hasn’t shown me much progress. I’ve been sore, exhausted, and back to almost daily meltdowns over something or other. This whole recovery process is so long and so trying. It’s hard to stay positive when my legs are screaming in pain. But on the bright side, I realized about an hour ago that I had been FWB around the house the entire afternoon and didn’t even notice or remember where I had left my crutch. My goal is to consistently be walking without my crutch by my next PT on Thursday. I’m not super optimistic about reaching that goal, but I’m going to try.

Anyway! Last Sunday was actually a really fun family day. If you’ll remember, we were having basement water issues on Friday and Saturday and I was a little bummed I couldn’t ask to do any of the outings I was hoping for. But we made up for it on Sunday. First stop was a local greenhouse to pick out a few flowers and herbs. We took down our real garden this year and I’m just planning to keep a few pots of my favorites. We also stopped at Shopko to look at the gardening center. Then we swung by Burger King to get a ton of super cheap nuggets for a silly lunch.

After a rest (for me), we went to the dog park and then swung by Culver’s to use some free ice cream tokens to get custard for dinner. We were super healthy that day. ๐Ÿ™‚ But hey, it was memorable and it was fun! And everyone was happy! That NEVER happens on weekends.

On Monday, I decided I needed to start giving myself some daily driving and outing challenges. I started with going to Pick n Save for a couple of groceries. I survived! And was quite proud of myself! I was feeling pretty great that day, actually. I had a late afternoon PT session and expected to be so exhausted, but I was really powering through it. My therapist decided I was doing so well I didn’t need to come back for another ten days. Of course that’s with the implication I’d keep doing all my exercises at home, which I’m not so great about following through on…

On Tuesday, there was a last minute cancellation with a therapist we wanted to try out with Caden, so we rushed over there. It was mostly just an information intake session, but it felt really promising. At least a lot more promising than the last therapist we tried and I couldn’t stand. I won’t go into all the details, but things have been rough with him lately. More so than ever. We’re hoping finding him a therapist that he can relate to might start helping him manage all of his really big emotions in a healthier way. None of us want to continue on the way things have been lately.

My physical challenge for Tuesday was going to a thrift store. Again, I survived! I’m so sure one of these times I’m at least going to trip over something and hurt myself, but so far so good!

I feel like work has been more of a footnote in my life again, which maybe isn’t such a bad thing. I’m certainly keeping very busy with everything else. But fitting in sewing here and there and wherever I can. I actually made quite a few dolls this week, but they were all custom orders, my giveaway winner doll, and these dolls I made for the boys’ teachers. I’m getting pretty antsy to start on patriotic dolls, but I just didn’t have time to start them yet. Next week.

I was in a ton of pain on Wednesday and feeling hopeless about a full recovery ever happening. But I gave myself a pep talk and decided that pain filled or not, I AM going to keep doing what I want to do. I WILL get through it. So on Thursday I stuck with my original plan of going to Target all by myself! That was my first time driving out of Columbus, though it ended up being fine. Highway driving is much easier on my ankle than all the starting and stopping in town. I felt like I was going at a turtle’s pace through Target, but it felt so liberating to finally run errands by myself again. I was hoping to get to Barnes and Noble, but Target didn’t have some of the ingredients I needed for today’s desserts, so I had to go to a grocery store instead. I never would have survived three stores in that trip, but maybe I can go next week. Anyway, I rewarded myself with some pretty flowers. And a Dairy Queen blizzard. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday night we had an at home date night. We went to the dog park. And ate leftovers. But it was a really nice night of just being together. I think in some ways breaking my ankle has been a bit of a blessing. Our family has spent so much more time together. I appreciate them more. I hide from the chaos of family life less. Greg understands all the random little things I’m responsible for that maybe went unnoticed until I couldn’t do them anymore. We’re a much more equal and understanding team now.

On Friday, Laura came over for a coffee date and we got to catch up. I deeply appreciate her efforts to keep our friendship alive despite my inability to leave the house much the last three months. I think most people have forgotten about me. Or, they certainly would if I wasn’t constantly posting instagram photos of my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday night was the school carnival, which was actually rather enjoyable!

All of my walking exercises this week were to lead up to successfully going to the farmer’s market this morning. And we did it! The Dane County farmer’s market is one of my all time favorite things to do. It makes me so happy. And last year I started occasionally taking a kid with me and they loved it too. Even Caden! It’s been killing me that the markets started back up a month ago and I haven’t been physically capable of going yet. But I was bound and determined to make it happen today. We were all up by six and got there around seven. It was pretty chilly, keeping the crowds at bay. I didn’t get run over, trip over anybody, or need to stop and take a rest. I was sore by the end, but it was super worth it!

Greg and Shepard got gigantic cinnamon rolls for their breakfast treat. And Caden is just always fixated on getting spicy beef sticks. I’m always on the lookout for whatever strikes my fancy, but tend to gravitate toward morning buns. They’re just so dang delicious.

I had no intention of going to Gotham Bagels since I’m still irritated with how they treated me on multiple occasions last year. But Greg parked the car near there and offered to run ahead and stand in line to get me a bagel. As usual, it was DELICIOUS. But the wait for him to get two bagels with cream cheese was still ridiculously long. Like half an hour. Ridic.

We had to swing by a grocery store for Greg to run in for a few last minute things, and then we went through the Starbucks drive thru to get me a frappuccino. I’m all about the treats this weekend. It’s Mother’s Day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Realized when we got home that we didn’t buy a single item of produce. Not that there’s much of a selection at this time of year, but still. We got some tasty treats! I’m not sure how often we’d ever all go as a family again (Greg likes his sleeping in days too much!), but I genuinely had a good time. We all did. I didn’t even miss not having the ability to go by myself, the way I usually do the day before Mother’s Day.

The rest of the day has been jam packed with things to do. Wrapping gifts, cleaning up, and lots of baking! I made this strawberry cream pie for the in-law’s big party tomorrow. I usually make it every Easter, but wasn’t up for baking anything this year. It’s super easy, though, and soooo delicious.

I also made this chocolate raspberry cake that I’ve been desperately wanting to make for about a month now. This is the cake I wanted to make for my five year doll anniversary last week, but decided would be too much work. And it definitely was a lot of work. Not HARD, just time consuming. I think it’ll taste great, though. I can’t wait until tomorrow! I also still need to make a butterscotch sauce to go with a bread pudding my mom is making for dessert at their house. I’m pretty sure I won’t be making it until morning. So tired.

One last thing I really wanted to do this week was walk around the antique mall. So even though I was still really sore from the farmer’s market, I asked Greg to drop me off there for awhile. He and the boys and Annie went to the park while I shopped. I’m not sure how long I was there, but I managed to get through the whole first floor (biggest antique mall in WI – so that’s a lot of area to walk!). I didn’t trip on any of the uneven floors or knock any glassware down with my crutch or basket. Came close many times! ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t even sure I’d make it through without my legs giving out. But I did it! And found all kinds of great treasures. Sometimes I go there and can’t find a thing. This time I got lucky.

Back at home I took a nap to try and recover enough to finish up the desserts. Greg got Chinese food for dinner so I didn’t have to worry about making anything extra. And now I’m going to end the night with a bath! The week wasn’t the best overall, but today was great. I’m really excited for Mother’s Day tomorrow! And Greg’s birthday on Monday. Lots of fun days ahead!