If you found this blog through Facebook and are new to this blog (and me) since the days Random Rants was a regular part of my life, I should first start by warning you that Random Rants is a blog of my personal opinions as much as my personal activities.
Fair warning. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm Liberal and lovin' it. If you think reading my left-leaning rants will make it hard for you to love me, perhaps it's a good idea to stick with The Lazy Crazy World of Daisy. I'm not hear to offend anyone. Debate intelligently? Sure. But if you're the type who gets personally upset by views divergent from your own (and there's nothing wrong with that), then I value our friendship more than my readership stats.
Let's see what happened since we left off on a cool day in March...
Well, I had a baby. DUH. And... well... really not much else. Haha! Yes, it may be a challenge for a while to find things to post about but I'm going to try.
First, I have to say that reading my goals for the year on the right was a bit disheartening. I don't know where I got it into my stubborn British skull that I would be able to lose the baby weight in 3 months OR write a book while learning to be a first-time mum. I think I forgot the R in the SMART goals rule: "Realistic"
As of today, just over 5 months since Daisy was born, I have managed to lose 23 of the 32 pounds I put on when I was pregnant. Unfortunately, a good 18 of those came off within the first 6 weeks all on their own and the other 5 pounds have been a hard, hard, slog that I'm still slogging away on. I've noticed, however, that the majority of weight remains on my stomach which was taking the brunt of the stretching there, especially in the last few months. My legs and arms seem to fit into most of my pre-maternity clothes, it's just the bit below my boobs (which quickly returned to a less-than desirable size) and above my hips that refuses to budge. Do I hear tummy tuck? My goal is to budge the final 9 before my vacation in Jamaica at the end of the year. That's about 3 lbs a month. Sounds reasonable. Now let's see if THAT'S realistic!
All I can say is I'm putting in the effort. I bought the Total Gym so I wouldn't have the excuse of not making it to the gym every day and, for the most part, I have been using it at least 3 days a week. I also try and do one of my power yoga DVDs once a week in addition to a more gentle, Kundalini yoga DVD on a weekend (if Daisy takes a long enough nap.) Some weeks Mum and I even make it to an aquaerobics class at the gym. Plus, I try to take Daisy for one long walk each day (baking hot Sacraghetto heat, allowing.) Eating is hit or miss - I buy the food but seem to get to Daisy's bath-time before I realize I now don't have time (or energy) to make it. So, out comes the Slimfast, the Nutrigrain bar or - shock horror - the fast-food salad. Overall, I'd give myself a solid B+ for effort and C- for results. Hopefully the two will synch-up soon.
As for writing a book... HA! Or, as I should say in this social media world, ROTFLMAO.
So, what have I been doing other than being mom and dieting? The answer, unfortunately, is WORK.
I went back to work after 8 weeks and hit the ground running. Fortunately, my brother-in-law (who I hired to take over part of my job when I was gone), was approved as a permanent employee and so I didn't have to take back on those tasks I was doing before. But now my job is much different, much more engaging, much more challenging, and much more busy!
Depending on the day, I fulfill the roles of:
- Sales Person
- Contract writing
- Executive/Strategic Decision-Maker
- Business Development
- Graphic Designer
- Web-site designer
- System Analyst
- Product Manager
- Customer Retention Programs
- Customer Service
- Social Media Maven
I could probably go on, but you get the point. (And no, it's not "poor me". Just phew!)
Now that some of the day-to-day tasks, including passive, incoming leads are handled by my BIL, I have been freed-up to pursue growing and protecting the company's sales and market share through less tactical and more strategic means. As I said, this can be anything from being the face on twitter, facebook, or Linked-In and working to develop strategic partnerships with movers-and-shakers in the business, to designing a new logo or working with our lawyers on a new contract. Sometimes the diversity is exciting and stimulating and sometimes it's just plain difficult to focus because I'm working on so many things at once AND I've got so many other things that I want to do. I've basically been given almost free-reign to do what it takes to get the job done and, now my mind has been freed of constraints, my ideas are greater than my personal ability to implement them, or the company's ability to pay for them!
Of course, all of this (inc. working out and eating better, going to doctor's appointments, physical therapy, and massage therapy) now has to happen, most days, between 8am when child-care walks through the door to 4pm-ish, when it walks out. On the days Mum is here, I have a bit more flexibility but by 4pm she's been playing with Daisy for 8 hours and so it's only fair I get my ass downstairs to give her a break by the time 5 rolls around. So, I leave my desk at the end of each day pretty darn exhausted from trying to fit it all in.
For those people who manage to pick-up their life pretty much where they left off after having kids, I only have to conclude that either (a) their lives and jobs were not that busy to start off with (b) they have a LOT of energy or (c) they're just plain exhausted at the end of the day. For me, battling pain with my hip is definitely a factor in energy depletion.
Which, of course, brings me to the chronic issue of my hip, the subject of many a blog post in the past.
The good news is that things seem to be improving. The bad news is that they're still not back to being as good as they were before I got pregnant (and that wasn't perfect or acceptable then either.) Carrying a baby and having a c-section put a whole host of different strains on the muscles of my hip, abs, and thigh (all of which, of course, are interconnected) and so I developed new pains, twinges, weaknesses, and soreness after Daisy was born. New stuff that I have had to battle before I could even begin to address the old, resurrected issues of post-surgery, let alone the issues I had the surgery to alleviate in the first place.
All of this has been building upon itself for over a year now and my right side has pretty much been in a hot, hot mess. There were days just a month or two ago, where I had to return from walks around the block with Daisy because I was getting stabbing pains in the right side of my leg and buttocks. It seemed like my entire right side was just freezing up in a spasm of pain. My lower back is in almost constant pain (but, again, getting better), my knees now have begun to hurt, my pubic bone is sore to the touch, I often get pains or cramping in my right foot now too, and my osteopath frequently finds a rib or two out of place. (I'm serious... it's like a domino effect!)
What seems to be working in chipping away at this myriad of issues is a myriad of approaches. As I said, I'm seeing an Osteopath every 10-14 days and she is participating in the chipping, although mostly addressing the pubic bone/pelvic floor issues, for no other reason than because pretty much no other specialty will or does! My massage therapist, meanwhile, has declared war on my IT band, psoas, and illopsoas (which seems to be the center of the wheel when it comes to where all the issues are coming from.) In addition, working out definitely helps. All too often what we think is a tightness issue is really a strength/weakness issue and, realizing that, I've been powering through temporary discomforts and set-backs to continue increasing my back, ab, and leg strength again. Finally, every night, right after Daisy goes to bed, I lay on the floor and devote the final 45 minutes of my day to some pretty extreme and painful stretching, sometimes incoroprating the excrutiating foam-roller into the routine when I'm feeling brave.
All that said, there are still days (especially on weekends) when carrying around and playing on the floor with a 5 month old all day, leaves me reaching for the NSAIDs and muscle relaxers. I'm not a big fan of either but, I have to say, that they are like "reset" buttons for me. They enable me to really relax and night and wake up the next morning ready to start all over again, rather than allowing the pain and inflammation to build upon itself.
It's a daily struggle not to feel discouraged and tired of dealing with this issue still but, when I look at Daisy and realize how much more active she's going to be in the coming years, I find new motivation every day.
Finally, I have added a couple of new things to my life.
The first is my parents. They're now here permanently and living down the street. This has been beyond AWESOME because, without their help, I'm pretty sure that Hubby and I would have lost our minds. I credit the fact that he and I are still on speaking terms to the reality that we're not alone in this new parenting thing. Someone else to share the burden, someone else to talk to, someone else to help with even the most basic things and, most importantly, two people we love to share our love for Daisy with. When I see my parents with Daisy, it's like having an extension of myself with her. I love sharing time as a family and that was borne-out during our recent vacation when Daisy also seemed to be equally as content to have all 4 of us together all the time. It's how I grew up (with my Nan and Grandad a big part of my daily life) and I'm so glad I can give that love and support to Daisy too.
The second is my new group of mommy friends. Contrary to what many may believe, the majority of women that I have acquired as new friends through having Daisy, are actually very cool, fun chicks who like to get out and about without their kids, as well as with them. Last Friday we all went out for "MNO" (Mother's Night Out) and had a great time chatting about our lives now as well as before mommyhood. I consider myself very lucky to have happened upon such a great group of ladies, especially after one of them told us about her sister who lives in another city and who has had the hardest time meeting other fun, local moms her age.
On the down-side (not that this is much of a "down") there is no possible way that I can attend all the birthday parties I am now getting invited to. Between my old friends (who have about 12 babies between them) and my new friends, there are just not enough weekends in a year, folks! So, while I love to socialize Daisy and celebrate birthdays (young and old), I'm going to have to start making some choices about which I attend and which I don't. For instance, I have 5 parties I have been invited to the weekend of October 3rd alone!
And, on that positive note, I'm going to sign-off. It's taken me almost 3 days to complete this post and I think it's time to turn it loose before it takes you almost 3 days to read it.
Until the next time I make it by...