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Independence Guilt

4 Jul
Grande unsweetened iced passion tea - pic from my phone.

Grande unsweetened iced passion tea - pic from my phone.

I’m feeling especially guilty today.  I’m sitting in Starbucks, listening to hipster music and drinking an iced tea while trying not to be irritated that they are out of protein plates (my planned lunch) and apparently don’t have a working internet connection now that they’re wifi is free.  I’m trying not to let the stress talk me into buying a baked good, here in the land of notoriously unhealthy baked goods.

I had to take a break today, and I’m feeling incredibly guilty for it.  I woke up in a bad mood and stayed that way despite my best efforts to help it.  I was grumpy and angry and short tempered, and it was starting to wear on Aaron and Evi too.  In the end, I packed myself up (forgetting my laptop cord, of course) and headed off to Starbucks so I can get a break.

And here lies the guilt.  Why should I need a break from them, the very people I live for, the people I love the most in the world, the people who make me laugh and smile when nothing else can?  I feel like a terrible person for this.  I feel like I should have been able to suck it up, spend a day with my family, and be happy that I have them.  Instead, I’m holed up in a poorly stocked Starbucks, left with little more than coffee cake and mini donuts as lunch options, and hoping I can spend an hour or so here decompressing and return to my family with a smile.

Please, tell me this happens to you?  Tell me it’s normal for you to occasionally need some time away?  Tell me it’s alright that I’m secretly enjoying being all alone right now?  Also, as an aside, tell me it’s alright that I’m seriously annoyed by the chatty threesome that’s just come to invade my quiet corner despite the rest of the seating being totally empty…

Update: the time away was really surprisingly refreshing, and I had barbecue almonds for lunch.


More from me:

Happy 4th – I need your fitness advice!

Happy Independence Day (plus an Eclipse review)

30 Day Slimdown RESULTS



Thursday Thoughts

1 Jul

Just a collection of what’s going on in my head today:

  • I’ve been super thirsty lately.  Like drinking 8-10 glasses of water by dinner time without even trying.  I guess that’s good?  I’m not having any weird issues, so I figure it just means it’s hotter and I’m working hard during my workouts.
  • I’m going to see Eclipse this weekend… with my little cousin.  She’s not even ten, but she’s super excited to see the movie (as am I) while her older brother and my husband would MUCH rather spend their time browsing the scifi section at the bookstore, so they’ll do that (with Evi) and then we’ll all meet up for lunch.  I’m really looking forward to it.
  • I’m reading some books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, vampire book that are also historical fiction, that I read a long time ago and rediscovered at a used bookstore.  There are a TON of the books and I’ve only read a handful of them, so I’m now on the lookout for all of them.  They’re SO well researched and each one is set in a different place and time period.  Love it.  It’s my two favorite genres, vampires & historical fiction, combined!
  • I’m thinking about having a Halloween party.  We’ve got this big house, and we never get the chance to see all of our friends, so I’m thinking we might have a party and invite everyone over.  Of course you’re all invited.  Is it too early to be thinking about this sort of thing?  Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I’m already looking forward to it, and to (maybe) this:baby yoda
  • I’m in a dinner rut.  Trying to find meals that are easy, fast, cheap, healthy, and consist of things I normally buy…. is getting boring.  I’ll be surfing through some older posts that have new recipe suggestions because I’m BORED!


More from me:

Please keep supporting my Mamavation campaign!



28 Jun

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! As always, your support means SO much to me.

I’m super busy this week and feeling distracted, so here’s my post in bullets…

ASL alphabetsource

  • we saw some friends this weekend and one of them mentioned that the daycare where his five month old son is going will have him fully versed in sign language by one year old.  Evi is almost fourteen months and knows four signs. I might suck.
  • those same friends did not mention the fact that I am MUCH thinner than when they saw me last.  I continue to be puzzled by people’s reluctance to mention that you might look skinnier.
  • our second car is STILL not fixed.  Every time they fix something, they find some new problem.  Let this be a lesson to those of you who want to save money by buying a car at auction.  This one has been useless since DECEMBER and, as such, I have been housebound for as long.
  • What is the world coming to?  Italy, France, and the US are out of the World Cup?  We bought Evi an Italia tee shirt this weekend anyway, and she looks mighty cute in it.  I wanted one too, but I’m waiting for clearance sales.  I am cheap.
  • I may also suck as a wife.  I got excited for Fathers Day and (with Evi’s help) made Aaron a card.  I got him a copy of a book he wanted but since the book won’t be released until September, I also got him a three month subscription to a sci-fi book site where he can download books to his Kindle.  It was a great day, I made him breakfast and brownies.  And then I got to thinking… and decided I was irritated that I didn’t get a present on Mothers Day.  It’s not about getting “stuff” but… I was bugged.  When I said something to Aaron a few days later, he apologized and said that he’d tried to make sure I had a break on Mother’s Day and didn’t have to do anything in terms of cooking, cleaning, or child rearing.  And you know what?  He DID do that.  I so suck.  Upon further discussion, we realized it’s just a difference in how we acknowledge occasions.  I’m a present-giver, so for me it’s harder not to get a gift.  He’s an action guy, so he doesn’t mind no gifts if he gets something else, like a day off.  We’ve both agreed to do two things… #1 – work harder to acknowledge each other in ways that are meaningful to the receiver, and #2 – make sure we’re paying attention to the ways the other person might be acknowledging us in their way.


More from me:

Mamavation Monday: motivation (includes a video blog!)

Beach and Picnic Wines



25 Jun
Natalie Dee - superfriends

picture from Natalie Dee, click for the original

When we bought a house, it meant moving even farther away from my friends.  Most of my friends (and our family for that matter) now live at least an hour away from us, which means we don’t see them very often.

I understand why.  It’s a hassle for them to drive so far to get to us, and there really isn’t a whole lot to do here.  Several of our friends live in great areas where there is a lot to do, but it’s tough for us to go anywhere for too long.  Evi takes a lot of packing for (though as she gets older it gets easier) and thanks to the dog we can’t spend the night at anyone’s house unless they’re cool with us bringing her too.

In the end though, it means that I don’t see my friends very often.  Fortunately, I am blessed to have the kind of wonderful friends who still love me despite never seeing me.  I should add that I am terrible with the phone… I hate talking on the phone and never remember to call people.  I email regularly, and I chat online when I can (rarely), but it means I don’t talk to some of the people I love nearly as often as I’d like.

So, dear friends, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I’m sort of a bad friend.  I love each and every one of you, and I swear I think of you often.  I promise that the next time we move, we’ll move farther north (at least a little) and-as such-closer to all of you.

Until then, email me!  I promise to answer.


More from me:

Fitness Friday: celebrate life



22 Jun

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! As always, your support means SO much to me.

To do listsource

I have to be honest… between raising my daughter, being a wife and daughter and sister and girl, maintaining my fitness, writing articles, running four blogs, and still trying to keep the house in some kind of order…

Well, I’m having a hard time.  I’m having trouble with prioritizing and time management.  I have a running to-do list that I keep going all the time and update as I finish things, but the problem is that a lot of the things I have to do need doing every day, so they don’t get put on the list because it would irritate me to cross them off and add them back every day.  And if you’re a list maker too, you know it’s ridiculous to consider adding them to the list and then not crossing them off.  Just typing that made me kittery.

So how do you do it?  Whether you work, stay home, raise kids, herd goats… how do you get it all done in a day?  I’m especially interested in tips from people who have a non-traditional work schedule/environment (i.e. you work from home or Starbucks or you’re home during the day and work at night…) because I feel like it’s harder to maintain order at home, but I know you all probably have some ideas and I’d love to hear them all!

I’ve thought about trying to schedule my day, but life with a one year old is extremely difficult to schedule.  She is *generally* asleep at the same time every day, which is usually when I blog/Facebook/Twitter… so I try to get as much done during those times as I can…

So tell me how you do it, super people.  Tell me how you get through your day and make sure that at least the most important things get done.  Tell me how you manage to get through the week without letting the same things (ahem… laundry) go by the wayside over and over until you’re crushed by a mountain of your own sweaty workout clothes.

I’m up for anything, so tell me what works for you!


More from me:

Product review: Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

Top summer wines



8 Jun

balance beamsource

My two month writing experiment is coming to an end, while at the same time I am facing the possibility that my graduate scholarship will end even earlier than I originally thought.  I’m trying to register for fall classes, barely hanging on to my motivation to stay healthy, and searching desperately for a writing job… or, let’s face it, ANY job that would keep me home with Evi.  At this point I’ve basically abandoned any thoughts of finding a job that plays to my passion…  sometimes I think that’s not a very grown up way of thinking anyway.  As it stands now, I’ll do whatever job keeps me home with my daughter.  I have a lot of strengths and talents, so if I can find something that uses one of those, even if it doesn’t play to my interests, I will make it work.  I’m a smart woman and a hard worker, so I know I can do any job well if given the chance.

So if you know of any jobs where I might be able to work from home, send me an email at yummysushipajamas (aT) gmail (DoT) com, okay?

I’m still feeling pretty worn out from being sick yesterday, so I’m trying to find the balance today between getting back to my workout routine and not pushing myself too hard right away.  I’ll definitely be headed out for a morning walk with Evi this morning, and then likely taking a nap when she does.  I feel like balance is the big theme in my life right now, and maybe always?  Balance between fitness and health, between money and time, between family and self, between work and school… and I just hope I can find a way to make it all work.

Although it was probably a really bad financial decision, we decided we’d maintain some work/life balance and reduce Aaron’s work related stress by going to spend a week in Florida in September visiting my parents.  It will be a fantastic vacation from work for Aaron, a much needed time with my mommy for me, and an important time for Evi to spend with her beloved grandparents.  Starting next year, she’ll be spending a week with them every summer, so we want her to be spending as much time as possible with them leading up to that so that she’s used to them and can look forward to her special grandparents week.  Since my parents are the only ones far enough away to not be able to see her on a regular basis, they get a dedicated week to spend with her.  It will also be a nice time for Aaron and I to spend together without being “parents,” although I’m terrified I’ll miss her too much to enjoy the time.

It feels like the summer is already flying by.  We might have our second car fixed (finally) in the coming weeks, which will be a nice chance for me to get out of the house.  I’m thinking about taking Evi for swimming lessons at the local pool, and we’ll definitely be heading to the library for some storytime.  It will be a nice chance to get out of the house together.

That’s all I’ve got for today…  Leave comments and let me know if there’s something else you’d like to know!


More from me:

Crawl, Walk, Run – exercise, running, and more

Wines of Puglia: southern Italian wines you might not know about



4 Jun

It’s 7am, but I’ve been awake since 6:10.  My body is tired, my eyes burn, my stomach feels questionable.  After four hours of sleep and a full day of functioning, I was ready to sleep the night away last night, but my daughter had other plans.  She threw up, then cried until after midnight.  She finally passed out at about 12:30, I put her back in her bed at 12:45, and she woke up again around 1:45.  She was finally down and out for the night sometime after 2am.

She’s just going through a thing, likely a tiny virus she picked up from one of numerous kids she’s been in contact with this past weekend.  I know she’s fine, though there were moments last night, as my usually happy baby cried until she couldn’t cry any more, when I wondered if I was missing something.  Her poor face swollen from tears, arching her back as her stomach was clearly upset, and clinging to me in desperate confusion, not understanding why the usual comfort of closeness with mommy isn’t working.

Times like this kill me.  I want to take it all away from her.  I want to wrap my arms around her and let it build an impermeable shield that keeps out every pain, every worry, every moment of concern or slight… but I can’t.  I can’t take away her tummy ache, and as a mother that briefly steals a bit of my soul.

I’m weary today, insanely grateful for the weekend, which will mean the support of my hard working husband and the chance to steal back a few hours of sleep.

Happy (sleepy) Friday.

Natalie Dee - Easier to contain


More from me:

Product review: Oven Poppers fish filets & Gardein “chicken”