Category: Real Life Page 1 of 29

Health Challenge Update

I was expecting to do a weigh in this week, but then lady stuff happened and as all ladies know this causes massive bloating and water retention so I decided instead of getting depressed at the scale, I’d check another time. There’s just no use in beating myself up.

The challenge for January has been no fast food (no take out). I’m on day 16 (doing this with my husband) and so far we haven’t had any. On bad days it’s especially difficult because we both crave the comfort and ease that fast food brings. I don’t exactly have a lot of spare energy and meal planing isn’t high up on my list of must-do’s. Last I checked I was down 4lbs, and that’s a good start (all water weight I’m sure). Next month the challenge is no pop/chips/candy and hopefully also carrying over the no take out food habits that I learned from this month. It just won’t be a steady rule.

I also started wearing my fitbit again. I have a Charge HR (though I’d like to save up for one of the newer models) and I’ll admit that I’m less curious about my daily steps and more curious about my heart rate and sleep habits. I get on average 5-6 hours of sleep a night, problem is none of those hours is more than 1h long because I’m constantly waking up to nurse, deal with kids, or just insomnia. Not fun. My heart rate is pretty good, resting at 72 (spikes at 74 on some stressful days) which is above average for my age group. It used to be much higher when I weighed more.

My steps average 2500 a day, some days are over and some are under. I don’t really care about how many steps I take because fitbit can’t see that 90% of those steps are with me carrying my 6 month old, or hauling the 2 year old around or playing with both of them, cleaning, carrying laundry, doing dishes, that sort of stuff. It’s just a good approximation. Sure, I’d love to get in the 10,000 steps a day that is recommended – but it’s -35C outside and I’m not keen on taking my children out in that, so we do what we can.

Do I feel healthier? Not yet. Not especially. I feel pretty tired and worn out, but that seems to be my new norm. I guess we’ll just have to see the scale next week.

I Just Want it to Work

Time is precious to everyone, but when a majority of it is eaten up by kids, some things change. For me, that things is I simply don’t have the hours free any more to try to fix stuff that doesn’t work.

My computer was a major issue. Trying to find the time to solve why it wouldn’t start up ended up being a week long endevour. I can’t just ignore my family to work on it.

This week, it was my old fitbit charge HR. It should have been simple. Plug it in and charge it, put the receiver into my PC, link the device to my profile and ta da. Instead my PC refuses to acknowledge the device, though it works well enough on my laptop (an issue with bluetooth and windows 10 I’m told). Now it doesn’t want to hold a charge, and I’ve been troubleshooting what I can but there’s just no way for me to spend hours trying to diagnose the problem.

At this stage of my life I just want things to work. I want them to work as they should, out of the box, without having to spend hours and hours figuring it out. That’s one of the main reasons I contemplated going to a pre-built gaming laptop rather than futz around with my PC (again).

It feels like for a lot of things, that’s just too much to ask.

Getting Healthy Together with Challenges

One of my 2019 goals is to get back to my pre-baby weight. I gained an enormous 70lbs with my second child, and I’ve lost 35lbs of it, which leaves me with roughly 40lbs to lose this year. My husband also wants to get more fit, his job requires him to be in the best shape he can be. I decided that we should have monthly mini challenges we do together to motivate and inspire each other, along with one major challenge for the year. Unique to each of our goals, they’ll reward us with non-food rewards for a job well done.

My year-long goal is of course to lose the 40lbs. The reward? A peloton, something I’ve wanted for a few years now. The monthly goal for January is to go the entire month without eating any fast food. With two young kids we have a habit of grabbing whatever is fast and easy for ourselves, spending far more money than we have to and eating food that doesn’t exactly give us the most nutritious of starts.

If I acomplish this goal for the month of January, I get to buy some yarn – which I am very excited about. Initially I had decided on just a single skein, but my husband decided it should have a monetary value of $100. Each month the goal changes but hopefully leaves us with better eating habits. February I might be able to eat fast food but I’m hoping that because I’ve abstained through all of January the urge to eat poorly will be reduced. By December I’m hoping to be 40lbs lighter with much healthier food choices.

Will it work? No idea. In 2016-2017 I lost 70lbs (after the birth of our first) so I know it’s not an impossible task, but things are so much more hectic with 2 children instead of 1 and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up. At least I’m trying.

Yarn Review – Boss Lady Yarn Co.

Earlier this year (or maybe it was late last year) I had gotten it into my mind that I wanted to review (for my own reasons) yarn dyed by indie dyers – preferably Canadian. It didn’t exactly take off as I had way too much on my plate, not to mention the cost involved was more than I could spare. I’m hoping to bring that feature back at least once a month. Last month you may have seen me review this yarn that I was absolutely in love with so lets start with the second yarn I chose to review.

The sock above was knit with a yarn called Ivy, by Boss Lady Yarn Co. While it knit up well enough it was not what I was expecting when the package arrived. Because it had been vacuum sealed unwound and no label, it was incredibly messy and easy to get into knots as I opened it. The colours were nothing like what I had seen on the web site and I was really disappointed. They did include a wooden stitch marker as an extra that I appreciated a lot. Notions are a great way to win over an audience with an extra perk.

That’s the picture of Ivy in the shop. Really strong blues and greens, and a white base. What I got was a very speckled off-white base without the strong greens or blues that I had hoped for. I purchased the yarn from the sellers Etsy store, and I left a less-than-stellar review because I was not pleased with the yarn I received based on the shop pictures. Below is what I received.

The owner of the shop wrote me back and stated:

“Leaving a negative review should be a customer’s last resort.”

Let me mention that this was the first time I had ever been unsatisfied with a purchase and left a negative review. I didn’t feel the same way as the seller and it felt as though they were talking down to me as the customer. I felt that a dissatisfied customer should have the opportunity to leave their feedback, and that it was the whole reason there was a feedback option to begin with. I noticed that the new website does not allow people to leave reviews, and I find this a bit troublesome.

I understand that colours show up different depending on your monitor and that batch dying as a small company means there are going to be differences in the skeins, but this just felt like it was not what I had ordered at all. Something for the buyer to beware of. In the future I’ll also be looking for swatches knit up so I can get a better idea of what the yarn will look like if there are multiple colours used.

Pressure & Mommy guilt

(Above – me and Nugette. Motherhood is not glamorous, it’s exhausting)

I’m 6 weeks postpartum with my 2nd child now, and we’re just starting to get into our new routine which of course changes pretty much daily. It’s a delicate balancing act of child care, self care, and care for my partner. Friends and family have fallen by the wayside during this time since I just can’t keep up with everything / everyone. The funny thing is I expect that I should.

There’s so much pressure on women and mothers to be as perfect as they possibly can during what is quite honestly the most difficult transition in my entire life. Having one child was pretty rough considering he was premature – but I had my husband by my side for 8 months of paternity leave. This time he was only off for 6 weeks, and then went back to work leaving me with two children under two. Add the terrible two tantrums that my oldest has been going through, the fact that he still isn’t talking, and a plethora of other “issues” and I’m feeling a TON of “mommy guilt” – those moments of “we should have gotten out more, I should have made a healthier meal, I should have paid more attention to xyz thing, I should have cleaned the house” etc. While I’m not a fan of the catch phrase, it’s a thing. We feel a lot of guilt. I’m told this guilt will last right up until I no longer exist. Figures.

One thing I’ve been trying to do for myself, is lose the baby weight I gained. I gained a whopping 70 pounds with baby number two. I decided very early on that I wasn’t going to pay too much attention to my weight so long as I was feeling well and baby was growing, because our first was so underweight and I had so many complications. I’ve lost 32lbs so far, but I’m also nursing, so I’m trying to eat healthy and eat enough to keep up energy levels chasing after the toddler and running the house and – eventually, something is probably going to give.

I’m trying to give myself some leeway, not be so hard, remind myself this is all a phase – but it’s hard. In fact that is how I sum up my days. Hard. I know they’ll get easier as the newest edition learns to sleep through the night, as the oldest learns to express himself and communicate via something other than screaming at the top of his lungs, and eventually we’ll find our routine. I’m thinking around Christmas things will be feeling better, so check back on me then.

Oh, combine this with living in a new remote location where I know no one and have no friends or family.. yup. We’re managing, but I wish I were handling it all better.

Yarn Review: Petalicious, by Incyanity

I love yarn. Over the years that I’ve been knitting (I make it sound like a long time but I’m really just approaching my 3 year anniversary) I’ve figured out what types I enjoy knitting with and which ones I would rather avoid. I’ve tried to use up or gift away my unwanted yarns, and I’ve become a little bit of a (gasp) yarn snob.

When Sakaane asked me if I’d be willing to beta test some yarn for her, I was incredibly excited. Taking a look at her Ravelry page you’ll see why. Just look at those colours!

I’ve been using this amazing merino / bamboo blend to knit up my fingerless gloves, and even though I’ve fallen behind on the knitting (hey, I just had a newborn) this post is one that I’ve been meaning to make for some time.

Packaging was great, minimalistic without ruining the yarn or tangling it up (has happened in the past and it’s not fun). The stitch definition is fantastic, the colours hold fast and true, and honestly there’s not a lot of bad I could say about the product. Trust me, I tried looking for issues. This is an incredibly knit-worthy yarn and I can’t wait to see what other colours get added to the collection over time. Be sure to follow her Ravelry page, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and thank you again Sakaane for asking me to beta test.

Sadness. Slipping. Afraid to speak up. Afraid to inconvenience. Wrapped up in their own happenings, I observe. I know their stories. I hear their cries. I reach out.

They don’t. Stop expecting them to. Stop this preconceived notion that they should be a certain way. Stop being disappointed.

No family. No friends. No sleep. Just thoughts. Too many thoughts.

Enough.

Admitting Defeat

We’re into August now, and my posts for the month including Blaugust posts have been pretty sparse. Turns out I was too ambitious in my desires for this month, and I have to admit defeat. First of all, as much as I LOVE the idea of 365 days of creativity, I just can’t do it. I’m healing from my c-section, nursing every 2h, and raising my 22 month old which leaves maybe 1h a day of “mommy time” when I’m not trying to get some sleep/a shower/food. I don’t expect this to change for the next few weeks (months?). Then there was Blaugust, which I signed up for as a mentor. I feel so remote and distant from everyone else who is happily chattering away on discord, sharing their posts and motivating each other to get the blog stuff done (and podcasts, and all sorts of neat other stuff). I just can’t do it.

Add to it the postpartum depression I’ve been trying to deal with, and I simply can’t. My plate is full, I’m out of spoons, and life is just too hard right now.

I’ll try to keep posting here and there when I can because it’s therapeutic to get my thoughts out, but I’m officially admitting defeat to taking on tasks for the rest of the year, and if you don’t see me around twitter/discord/etc much, well, you know why.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

15/365 – Mitered Memory Blanket

Slow and steady progress is still progress! I may not have picked the best time to try to do 365 days of creative activities, but I’m still going to keep trying because doing these things keeps me grounded, reminds me I’m more than just a mother to my children that I’m also an individual with hobbies that I enjoy a great deal, and can help relax me when I’m feeling really stressed out (which right now, is all of the time).

Blaugust Reborn – Deciding to Blog

There are tons of reasons that people start blogging – and there’s no one right reason, there’s just the reason that is right for you. When I started 12 years ago (holy crap, it has been a while) I just knew I wanted a little space on the internet to get some thoughts out about EverQuest 2. At the time I was not playing anything else and blogging was becoming a popular way to get out there. I didn’t care about how many people read, whether they left comments, and I certainly didn’t think about where the blog would take me.

I stuck with it (obviously, I’m still writing) and have been incredibly surprised at how rewarding it is. For me, persistence has been key (despite the fact that I blog far less frequently now than I ever have).

I still don’t worry about how many people stumble into my little corner, I still write just for me. I do accept the occasional advertisement that emails me (more about the controversy of this in another post) but my base reasons for blogging have shifted slightly. I now write as a way to relieve some stress and create a record of memories that I can look back on. I no longer blog about EQ2 (or even keep my posts video game related) and instead embraced the fact that I’ve got multiple hobbies. All of this is perfectly fine. You can have one reason or a hundred reasons to get your thoughts out there but I do want to stress the fact that if you want to keep at it, and not just give up after the first week, or month, that you should set it into some sort of a routine. Getting a quick post out before work, or making a post on your drive with some voice technology, or even having a waterproof whiteboard in the shower to jot down those important ideas will all help.

If you’re not having fun with it, re-assess why you’re blogging and try not to berate yourself or stress yourself out. Some days you just may not feel like it – and that’s OK too! You don’t need to have it figured out right away, and your blog will certainly go through some changes over time. Just keep true to yourself and what you want from the experience.

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