The void

I have, for the first time in 5 years, free time.  Both of my sons are sleeping soundly and consistently.  We are into a fun routine that includes pre-school, sports and swimming as well as play dates and downtime. 
They both are able to dress themselves (at their own speed), though they don’t!  They can vocalize their needs and often times help themselves.  And at the least, they can help me serve and prepare meals as I have put all of their dishes and cups at a height they can reach.
My wee lad is potty trained, and has recently started taking control of when he needs to use the toilet.  Which means, I don’t need to remind him as often.  He even takes his own pull-up off first thing in the morning! 
They can access all of their toys and games, some select art supplies and books and magazines.  The backyard is available to them.  They play together most of the time in harmony ( I should whisper this, lest I jinx it).
This has brought about some new feelings for me.  As a Mom, who doesn’t work outside of the home, I am not as depended on as I once was.  My older son will be starting Kindergarten in a few weeks, further freeing up my time.
I will soon have 3 short mornings a week where my younger son will be in pre-school and 5 days a week where my older son will be in school.  This is something I have looked forward to, however, now that it is upon me I am floundering.
What the hell am I going to do with all of this free time; all 12 hours a week?!?!  I will most certainly want to volunteer at my sons school.  I still love to exercise and workout.  I love reading.  But, I need a hobby.  Or two.
I want to love gardening.  But, honestly, I hate bugs and getting my hands dirty.  I also want to be more crafty-but whenever I am presented with free time, I never feel like crafting.  I also own a sewing machine and all of the sewing essentials.  But, again…i never sew. 
I have been reading a book, Women, Food and God.  It keeps saying that once we give up our obsession with dieting and food, that we can focus on the real problems in our lives.  She claims that if we focus on ourselves, that we will solve the emptiness that we so often fill with food. 
Perhaps if I had some hobbies that I loved I wouldn’t feel the need to fill my voids with food?
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Loose ends

I have been thinking about my sporadic posting patterns, and feel bad for not tying up some long overdue loose ends. So this post is a random smattering of unfinished business.

1. When Elliott was 5 weeks or so old, I was still experiencing extreme pain while nursing. I went to a LC and she diagnosed me with Raynaud’s phenomenon. I followed up with my Midwife, who gave me meds to try. I took them for 1 day, and stopped due to other symptoms worse than the nipple pain. Over time, the condition and Elliott’s latch improved until the pain no longer occurred. A fluke, the weather, whatever–It is gone for now, and he is still happily nursing several times a day. Our only issue these days is that each time a tooth breaks the surface (he is working on 8), it takes him a week or so to adjust his latch to the new tooth. The result is my nipples get sore for a while, and then once he figures it out–viola-no more pain.

2. We tried CSA from Seabreeze Farms here in San Diego, and weren’t overwhelmed. The cost was high ($67 every two weeks), but we were willing to pay for locally grown, organic produce. But, the consistency and quality wasn’t good either–some fruit was rotten, items were missing or not substituted, and they left the bag smack-dab in the middle of our sun laden (and not terribly secure) porch. So, I cancelled with this farm. I am going to try a few of the other ones as well. I will keep you posted on that.

3. Hubby and I were toying with the possibility of me not working. We were testing out the budget to see if it would accommodate our lifestyle on one income. And while we could manage with one income–it would come at a cost to our happiness as a family. We wouldn’t have any money left over, even with major lifestyle adjustments–and during our trial 2 month run–that left us feeling more stressed than work does. In addition to that, I think that Elliott likes daycare. He comes home happy, he looks happy while he is there, his schedule is the same at home or in daycare, and he gets to socialize with other children his age. Lastly, I don’t know that I have the patience to be home full time. I enjoy working on many levels, and I receive fulfilment from it. Plus, once the kids were in school I would likely want to go back to work, and re-entering the workforce would be difficult at best, after 5 plus years off.

4. The family challenge is going as expected for me. I have lost 5 pounds so far–which is about 3.5% of my body weight. You do the math.

5. I read the book that was suggested in this posts comments–I found it very moving. I also felt empowered by the honesty and courage that the authors exhibited. I have been trying to be more forthcoming and honest with myself as a result. Thanks for the suggestion!

6. Homemade household products have not yet happened. While I want to do this–I haven’t found the motivation yet! I am slowly (again) moving out products that contain known carcinogens, and (again) considering an organic household. With the abandonment of being a SAHM, we can afford this route again. I am constantly torn between saving money by looking for products that offer the same quality as similar, but more expensive options and organic, environmentally sound products that cost more. The saga continues. I have not purchased any new household cleaners, and we are slowly slimming down out pickins. I have been researching uses for Castile Soap–and bought a large bottle of Castile Soap in the hopes of transitioning some products out and it in. If you have any suggestions or unique uses-please let me know!

7. Of the 5 pregnant women I know–2 have had their babies, and 3 are still pregnant. We had the honor of meeting one of the new babies this past weekend. With the exception of being exhausted ALL the time, newborns are awesome and retrospectively — easy! I was WAY too anxious and over protective, and know that with #2 (whenever that happens), I will be very different and more confident.

A (not so) light warning

I went to my 20 week doctors appointment yesterday, and low (no pun) and behold…i gained 10 pounds in a month! I probably should have been shocked at this unfortunate, but true fact…But, it was not too surprising to me since I have been hungry every second of every day for the last month. Additionally, I had just returned for a wonderful 4 day feeding frenzy in SF (home of the most delicious and satisfying food on this coast) coupled with the fact that I haven’t gone #2 for 2 weeks with any regularity. My doctor didn’t seem too shocked at the 10 pounds and let me off with a light warning–advising me that one month of large weight gain is normal…multiple months of large weight gain…is very bad for your health and the health of my son. My husband on the other hand took her light warning with a little more seriousness.

Now, while I admit that I was slightly disheartened at having gained so many lbs in one months time; I was elated to hear that all other things were progressing wonderfully (and that overrode any disappointment or embarrassment i might otherwise have felt). My AFP test came back perfect, and my Ultrasound was great too. I don’t know what all the tests mean-your placenta is here, your amniotic fluid is there, all structures are intact (well this one seems obvious), etc. etc. But I was happy that all results were ‘normal’, and she didn’t deliver any other critical news. I have been slightly worried about ‘something’ being wrong since I got pregnant and was relieved to have this first level of testing over with, and the results tallied.

I felt like a baby making machine when I left the office. I was glowing with pride about being pregnant. More that anything I continuously feel lucky that my pregnancy is going so well, with very low risks, and so far with no complications or problems. I cant imagine (but think about you often, and am here if you want to talk about it) how difficult it is for some of my friends who are trying to get pregnant. I think regularly about the monthly hope and disappointment roller coaster they must be on. Hoping that this month it worked only to get your period, and be disappointed that you have to wait yet another month to try again (and if it were me going through that month after month-i would chalk feeling like a failure up there at the top of the feeling list). I am thankful for having been so lucky and saddened on their behalf. I do not take my luck or fate for granted.

Now, as for the 10 pounds…I am back on my healthy eating program of fruits, veggies, dairy, high fiber wheat free grains and low fat protein…BORING.