Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

If only… April 5, 2013

If only I could get more sleep. Nohra tends to have her most alert time period between 9pm and Midnight. I feel like I’m neglecting her because I should be engaging her during that time. I should be showing her contrasting colors and talking and reading and listening to classical music…something. But I’m often nodding in and out of sleep, holding her and nursing her while silently flipping the channels on my television and eating ice cream, trying desperately to stay awake.

If only I could sleep peacefully. I still have nightmares, and they’re not just about him. Last night I was being hunted. It was like The Hunger Games meets The Ghost and the Darkness. Dying in my dream would have been more relaxing. I woke up after less than five hours in a twisted position, exhausted from all the running and mental exhaustion from being in constant fear for my life. I didn’t even attempt to fall back to sleep.

If only I could stop eating ice cream bars and poptarts. I don’t even really like them when I’m eating them, but they’re sweet and easy. I am constantly running around and there’s so much to get done and I hardly find the chance to sit and eat. If I sit and eat I miss out on doing something else that I could’ve done while I had the chance. I know, I should stock up on fruit and veggies and easy to eat healthy things. And I will…when our money for food comes in. But then, of course, I have to find the time to brave a shopping trip with three little kids.TimeRunning

If only I could stay on schedule with my Directed Study this semester, and finish my proposals for my last two courses, and turn them in and get them approved.

If only I could start exercising again. I feel so flabby. I know, I know, I had my third baby six weeks ago, and to the outside world I look fine, great even, but I feel fat. And I’m not being my old teenaged delusional self who was really skinny but said she was fat; I’m really out of shape. I haven’t worked out regularly since I had my first daughter, and she’s almost six. I swore that I’d work out during my pregnancy, but I really didn’t do much. I even purchased a Postpartum Yoga with Baby DVD, and I haven’t even opened it. Ugh. I know that I’d feel better if I could start exercising, but I can barely fit in time to breathe.

If only I could stop stressing about these court cases. If only they were all wrapped up and in the past already.

If only I could push past these automatic thoughts/distorted thinking habits. I’ve been doing some work with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy…I’m trying. I’m trying so hard to better myself in various facets. I know that thinking of myself as a failure is one of the feelings/thoughts I must combat. I know that all is not lost because I’m two days late on my homework. Deep down I know these things, but it is not yet habitual for me to change my way of reacting.

If only I could spend a few hours shopping (and not have to worry about my big girls or the fact that I don’t have any money).

If only I could be out in nature awhile. Go hiking or fishing or running. Hell, go rub my hands in the dirt and jump in a puddle.

If only I could have ten minutes to just be, completely alone, without any worries or responsibilities.

If only…if only.

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One of those days January 28, 2013

Everything went right for a change.

The girls and I went to pick up my loan check from my school, then made our way to the bank in the bitter Boston cold to deposit it. We’d taken the commuter rail to get to the city from our town, then walked a total of ten blocks and took two T’s (subways) before we made it to the Boston Children’s Museum.

I could’ve just shuttled them to my school and back, but for all the effort (and expense) it takes traveling to Boston with two small children I figured we may as well make a day of it at one of their favorite places. We’ve been to the Boston Children’s Museum countless times since moving to Massachusetts, but the girls always enjoy themselves there.

We’d decided against the Museum of Science this time because we chose it the last few times and it’s not as easy for me to sit down while the girls explore there. The children’s museum was perfect for such a cold day, energetic children, and a mother waddling around two weeks away from having a baby. I wish we could’ve stayed even longer than we did, but we had to save some energy for the trip home. I’m happy to report there were no tears, feuds, or long periods of fussing. After arriving home we played our routine games of Uno and the girls feel asleep easily.

Two or three weeks from now everything will be different for my family, what with the new baby coming soon. But this was one of those days were everything just falls into place. I’ll take it.

 

 

The perfect blend of discovery and exercise

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They chased one another up and around this structure for ten minutes!

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The girls love the Peep’s World Exhibit and spent a lot of time playing in the water.

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Even though they were surrounded by huge exhibits and amazing things they spent about twenty minutes playing with these semi-soft animals.

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I bought them these awesome new headphones for only $5 at TJ Maxx so that they could listen to music on my phone together. The ear pieces have a super soft center, but they’re not buds, and the band adjusts to fit each ear perfectly. This is the look I got when I tried to take a picture of them enjoying the music (Disney’s Tangled Soundtrack). I didn’t know that I couldn’t take pictures and have them hear the music at the same time. Oops!

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The Museum has a new exhibit sponsored by the Blue Man Group. It’s pretty awesome. It deals with sound and sound waves and teaches children how they can distort sounds and use noises creatively. The girls are hardcore Blue Man Group fans now and request YouTube videos of them constantly.

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“I wish we lived across the street from the Children’s Museum,” Amara told me as we were leaving. So do I.

 

We love to play at the Y.M.C.A. September 10, 2012

Filed under: Positive Parenting — Jet @ 7:17 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Saved today, by the Open Gymnastics hours at our local Y.M.C.A.

Saved from a midday mommy meltdown, saved from my daughters’ cases of the I’m-not-sleepy-but-have-no-energy-to-behave-appropriately blues, saved from an afternoon of unfruitful, mind wandering, website clicking.

No, I have not yet begun my lengthy homework assignment that is due tomorrow morning. No, I did not fulfill those other pressing commitments either…too many to list. But do I have happy children? YES. Did I spend the afternoon making punitive threats? NO. Will my daughters go to sleep by nine so that I might have the time to study alone? I certainly hope so.

Open Gymnastics hours are going to be my semester sanctity. The indoor opportunity to run, jump, hang, dive, climb, roll, and challenge their strength and creativity is the perfect thing to break the monotony of a day without school.

The rules say that I have to stay close to them as they play, but instead of just being their spotter I joined in on the fun too.  I hung from the rope tethered to the ceiling and swung back and forth like a monkey. I jumped across the trampoline track on one foot, then the other, then backwards. I used the semi-circle-shaped mats to make a tickle house (all of the children were pleasantly terrified of me within minutes), and I tested my balance walking across the beams.

I got to stop thinking about my writing assignments and use the energy from all of my stress on the equipment. It made me miss being an athlete. It made me wish I had the time to be practicing, training, competing for something. I suppose I am gearing up for childbirth and nursing, Round 3, and that will take a lot of strength. I am happy to have found something cheap, safe, and close to home that we can all benefit from and enjoy as a family. Now if only I can get the girls to sleep and find the time to study.

 

Losing the Baby Weight x 3 August 22, 2012

I am determined to exercise throughout this pregnancy, and to get back in shape after birthing Baby # 3. I was determined to stay in shape during my first two pregnancies as well, but those plans sort of fell through. I was busy, working, depressed, and a little too reliant on how my years of athleticism remained obvious on my 5’4” frame.

In 2006 before getting pregnant with my first daughter.

Pregnancy # 1 my starting weight was 110lbs. I was in great shape and walked a few miles every day. I took a water aerobics class and allowed my husband to dictate what I ate (which was a lot). I ended the pregnancy at 155lbs.

In 2007 a few weeks after giving birth to Amara

Pregnancy # 2 my starting weight was 120lbs. The only exercise I got was when I’d take my daughter out for walks and running back and forth at work all night long. By the end of Pregnancy # 2 I was again, 155lbs.

In 2010 a year and a half after having Terra

Pregnancy # 3, I am currently 16 weeks, my starting weight was 130lbs. I am eating healthier than I have ever eaten in my entire life, and since the second trimester began I am no longer constantly doubled over with nausea and fatigue. I know that simply thinking about exercising isn’t going to get me going, I rely on routine, and this week I’ve begun one.

I bought a new-to-me treadmill from someone through Craigslist last week, and I’ve been walking for one hour each morning before the girls wake up. I love it! I used to do track and field, play soccer, be a cheerleader, and have rock hard abs, but I hadn’t sweat from doing cardio in so long that I’d forgotten how good it felt. I’m not going crazy with exercise, but I hope to keep on walking every day. I don’t want exercise to come as a shock to my body after Baby # 3.

It’s only my first week, but I long for the day when I look down and don’t see my thighs jiggling. They never used to jiggle. They used to be defined. I actually liked my thighs at one point in time because of how strong they looked when I would run. My arms as well; I got teased because of how muscular they were when I was younger, and now I know what Oprah meant by “waving flags” with one’s arm fat. It’s not about being skinny, it is about being fit. I feel most confident when I am physically capable.

With 24 more weeks of pregnancy ahead of me, I don’t plan on entering any triathlons soon. For now I’ll stick to walking and prenatal yoga, stretching and incorporating weights into my treadmill time, but nothing extreme. I won’t even be running until I’m several months postpartum. This time I’m thinking realistically. It has taken me nearly six years to put this weight on, and I’ll be in my seventh year before I can begin to work at taking it off. I figure that by the time I’m 30 I will be in the best shape of my adult life (that’s a little over three years from now). I’m setting my goals high, but I know that I’ll reach them, one inclined step at a time.

 

Beach Day August 15, 2012

The plan was simple. Go to the beach, enjoy the serenity of the ocean, play in the waves, collect shells, and try to spot birds that we’d studied in the A Bird’s World exhibit a few days ago at the Museum of Science. How quickly plans change when you have young children and their minds are full of curiosity.

Other than the seagulls, we didn’t see one identifiable bird, but we did do some unexpected learning. After several trials we learned the consistency of wet versus dry sand needed to make a castle tower which didn’t instantly collapse, and I found out how wonderful of a workout building a sandcastle could be. We got into a conversation about sand particles that ventured into an explanation of quicksand that quickly became a discussion about drowning.

Yes, my girls are three and five, but I have always been completely honest with them about existence, and they know that all life involves death. They are very curious about death and I tell them what I can when they ask questions. I know that things are scarier when you don’t understand them, so I figure it’s best to just be candid (on an age-appropriate, scientific level).

Talk about death lead to lots of hypothetical questions which I answered for a good amount of time before finding them redundant. We searched along the beach for shells and discovered  dead crabs and sand fleas, we picnicked at the state reservation’s playground and I had to beg the girls to eat, then had to motivate them to go back down to the beach. The waves were terrifying to Terra, no matter their size, and she clung to my neck the entire time we were in the water. Amara found the water enticing until a large wave knocked her under and she took a panicked breath beneath. “How can waves be so strong?” Amara asked me. “It’s just water!”

The day was simple. The weather was perfect, we enjoyed the ocean, the conversation was flowing, and we left the beach a more unified team. So much for the hours we’d spent at the Museum of Science memorizing the features of birds that we’d planned on seeing. Sometimes it’s better when things don’t go as expected. Everything came together perfectly.