Crazy Schedule Mom Club

Yeah… so if you can’t tell, I’m still working on that whole balance thing.

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I’ve been running like a mad man. I remember when I first started out with this whole motherhood business, I would see other older moms wearing their crazy mom schedules like a badge of honor. The more they could juggle the better they were. And for some strange reason I couldn’t wait to join the crazy schedule mom club.

I remember looking at those moms and thinking, “How fun will that be? Driving my kids to different activities, having a career, a perfectly clean house, well thought out meals… Ah I’ll be perfect.”

I would look at these moms and be so excited for that time of my life when I no longer had spit up on my tattered t-shirt from my glory days as a high school soccer player, but instead had a polished organized look about me. And along with it I had an organized schedule, an organized career, and children who were unorganized but only in a comedic, commercialized pretend messy way. And instead of wanting to pull my hair out I would just do that commercial mom smirk and shake my head and smile lovingly at my children.

Can we stop there? Because that’s not my life…

Fast forward 13 years. I’m not her. I’m not that woman, I’m still wearing my tattered t-shirt and I’m drowning in maternal expectation.

And to add to the pressure I’ve got more than a hundred other kids, who I didn’t even give birth to, who are relying on me as their teacher.

More times than not this feels awesome, but this week. This week it is not awesome because I just scheduled a knee surgery that is going to take my feet out from under me for quite a while. And the pressure of all of the people who rely on me is getting to me.

Whoa… wait, what?

Lets back up to an incident that happened in late July that I never told you about…

One sunny day I squatted down next to Penelope to help her pull up her pants, or wipe off her face, or tie her shoes (I don’t remember which) and when I stood up I did something weird to my knee. I tried to walk it off but couldn’t walk.

This is when I first slowed down on blogging by the way. I was really bummed out by the fact that I had such a stupid knee injury and I was just waiting for it to go away so that I could carry on with my regular blogging schedule without whining like a big baby.

Two weeks later and I was still limping. Two months later and I was still feeling the pain. I haven’t been able to run since and even walking sometimes was even painful. I’m a Girls on the Run coach this year at my school and was extremely irritated at not being able to run with the girls.

The pain never went away but started to manifest in weird ways. It started to shoot down my leg and radiate out of my big toe. My knee cap felt like it was always on the verge of dislocating. (In high school I had a soccer injury when this happened a few times and after being told there was nothing they could do I finally had to quit.)  This constant feeling of anxiety was making me terribly irritable. My husband started to call me the lion with the thorn in his paw from Aesops’ fable.

At my first doctor’s appointment I was told that my knee was completely unstable and that the only thing holding it together were my leg muscles. (Thank you squats from yesteryear.) She thought I had torn ligaments either during my first injury in high school or this summer pulling up Penelope’s pants (I’m such a badass.)

But after an MRI, some x-rays and a visit with an orthopedic surgeon I discovered that it’s not that simple. My tibia bone is attached to my knee at a bad angle pulling my knee cap and all of that other good stuff with it. The only solution is to saw into my tibia bone, pull it over into the right position and then screw it back in. It can take up to a year to fully recover…

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Do you know how many pity me cookies I’m going to be tempted to eat during that time???

I can’t bend my leg or put any weight on it for 6 weeks and I can’t go back to work for at least three. I would wait until summer to do this but we’ve met our deductible, so I need to get it done before the end of the year. Plus, I can’t go any longer thinking my knee cap is going to pop out at any minute.

I’m terrified, I live in a split level house, this means I have to go upstairs if I need to pee, down stairs if I want to eat and even further downstairs if I want to relax and watch tv. How will I be able to put on my pants by myself, get out of the shower, carry a cup of hot tea? I won’t be able to pick up Penelope or pace around my classroom to make sure the kids are actually paying attention to me. It’s my right leg so I can’t drive, and Brent is gone a third of the time and can’t afford to take 6 weeks off, even after 6 weeks I won’t be able to chase after a toddler by myself. Getting ready for work in the mornings for the rest of the school year is going to be ten times more irritating than it already is if I can’t quickly go up stairs to get things together…

Now do you see why I haven’t written? I’m a nutcase.

The good news is that I’ll be forced to take time to just sit and relax. The weather will be cool so I can just snuggle under the covers have a tea and pain killer hot toddy and just read. The probability of me getting bored is high so you’ll hear from me a lot I’m sure. In fact, there is a good change that I will be blogging under the influence, so it could get weird.

In the next weeks, I’m going to try to adjust my outlook on this whole thing. Instead of freaking out about it I’ll enjoy the time I have not being completely disabled and spend the rest of the time preparing for whats to come so that I can go through this the healthiest way possible.

Smuggling Fruit In My Pants

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Why yes… you have been neglected.

I’ve been so busy lately, that I haven’t been able to take the time to really enjoy the little things that make life so grand! Instead, I’ve been doing school work, mounds and mounds of school work. On top of that I’m working around 9 to 10 hours of day in the classroom… for free.

If I get a free moment I spend it trying to catch up on sleep. (Which is boring.) So, basically I’m either passed out or stressed out.

Therefore, when I got a three day weekend, I completely ignored my obligatory weekly blog post and chose to spend the day playing outside with my family.

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I took the time to workout, take a few long showers, paint my toenails and read a book. I also went grocery shopping and picked out lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy. Penelope chose to eat an entire carton of raspberries as I shopped instead of the cookie she got from the bakery. So, I made a mental note to add more raspberry bushes to my garden this summer.

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In fact, I’ve been thinking about my garden a lot lately. I’ve even been dreaming about it. I’ve been dreaming about enormous multicolored heirloom tomatoes, giant pumpkins and sunflowers that flourished in the shade.

I made a pot roast for dinner on Sunday and went out to my shriveled up garden to see if there were any remnants of herbs left to include in my meal. That’s when I found a little thyme that had turned purple but was still fragrant waiting for the weather to get warmer so that it could come to life once again.

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It turns out that my garden isn’t the only thing I’ve been dreaming about lately…

I’ve also dreamt about how out of shape I have gotten. I had a dream that I looked in the mirror to find that my hips and thighs were unbelievably lumpy. I couldn’t figure out what would make them look like that so I just assumed that I had apples in my pants.  I was sorely disappointed when I reached in my pants and there were no apples to be found.

When I woke up I walked straight to the mirror to see how lumpy my thighs were. Luckily, they weren’t lumpy, rounder and softer maybe, but it definitely didn’t look like I was trying to smuggle fruit in my pants.

That dream is what convinced me to refocus on the kind of foods I put in my mouth. I can’t control a lot right now due to my time restraints but I can always make time to eat fresh healthy foods that will nourish my body.

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I was stunned to see just how much processed crap we’ve let enter our pantry since I’ve started student teaching. I’ve slacked on the kinds of foods I’ve allowed my kids to have too because I was too tired of fighting them on it. That’s the worst thing I can do as a mom.

The things that I feed my kids today sets the standard for what they will choose to eat when they grow up. I want them to be healthy happy adults… so that means I have to raise the standard for myself and set that example.

After I woke up from the lumpy thigh dream I weighed myself to see what kind of damage had been done during a week of not caring what I ate. The scale said, 186.6… not what I expected at all. I thought surely the scale would say that I had gained weight. My body is so unbelievably mushy these days. So even though the scale is being kinder I know better.

The down side to having already been an athlete is the all or nothing mindset you can find yourself trapped in. I think athletes suffer from this because they go super hard during the season and then lay off a bit during the post season. There’s never any balance about it. I’ve actually found that my friends who never played sports at all tend to have a healthier mindset when it comes to exercise. They just plod along fitting in exercise when they can, no ego involved.

The athlete in me feels like I’m not accomplishing anything if I’m not murdering myself in the gym. I feel so defeated if the only workout I can fit in is a walk around the block. What I forget is that any exercise is better than none. I think my pride gets in the way if I can’t workout the way that I want to.

“If I can’t be a badass then I’ll just be a couch potato because I’m way too cool to count an evening walk as my main source of exercise.”

How dumb is that?!  If I can’t make it to the gym because I feel the need to spend quality time with my girls at the end of the day then I need to be active with them…. play at the park, dance in the house, jump on the trampoline. And if I find an opportunity in which I have the time to workout then I need to pounce on it and fit it in when I can.

I still have ten more weeks of student teaching to undergo and I’ve decided that I can’t wait another ten weeks to be proactive about my health. I may not be able to do everything that I would like to do but that shouldn’t prevent me from doing what I can.