What I Learned About my Family After Being Trapped on the Couch for a Week

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For the past week, my back has taken the title of Mayor of Nopeville. I haven’t kept it a secret that I suffer from chronic pain, but for the most part, I’ve been able to manage it. Every now and then, though, my body gets a wild hair up its ass and decides to take me down via my upper back and I take up nearly permanent residence on the couch.

It’s like a Vegas Occupancy. It doesn’t matter if I wanna be there or not, I signed a damn contract and I have to see it through ’til the end. I keep telling my back that I’m not Britney Spears- no one wants to come see me sitting here writhing my old ass around in pain, but it just won’t listen. I’m KIDDING, Britney lovers. Simmer!

A full week of my ass planted. This isn’t like a cold, or one of those nasty boogery illnesses where you SHOULD be able to rest all day for a week, but have to get up to take care of the kids. When my back goes out, it goes out. There’s no moving. There’s no dragging myself around for the greater good. I’ve been stuck.

Being stuck has lead to some realizations. As someone who’s on the move almost all the time (I can’t say all the time because that would be a big fat lie, I’m not THAT busy)- I suppose there’s a lot I don’t notice. I’m guessing this is something that happens to all of us. Shit gets away from us. Little things. Little, annoying things. When we are finally able to slow down and take a look around (or in my case, forced to)- we learn. Not just about our families, but about ourselves- and it’s NOT just that I could absolutely rule the world with my ass firmly planted in this living room.

I learned that my kids complain about literally everything. Everything. Especially when the other one does it. Where they sit on the couch, the tv is too loud, the tv is too quiet, the tv is on the wrong channel, that one’s bothering me, that one mocked me, he said I couldn’t do this, he called me a bad name, he’s tattling on me! I learned that all my throw pillows have holes in them because Holden chews on them. HE CHEWS ON THEM. I’m surprised he’s not shitting sweaters after ingesting so much fabric. Parker is never quiet. Not even for a second. If he’s not talking, he’s clicking. If he’s not clicking, he’s humming. If he’s not humming, he’s farting. I told him to be quiet just so I could hear myself think and he actually told me he didn’t know how. He also announces his SBD’s, which makes them not technically SBDs, which I repeatedly informed him of, but he still insists. Despite what they say, they actually CAN get their own drinks and snacks and don’t need my help. Oh, but wait, I must be magical because we apparently “never” have anything to eat or drink until I get up and point to the bajillion things we have to eat and drink. Somehow, over the past week, they managed to survive because they didn’t starve even though I couldn’t get up. Perhaps they developed magical abilities, too. Or maybe they just stopped being stupid. They watch the same episodes of TV over and over and over again, and it’s not even good TV. Parker says “yo”. How I never picked up on this, I don’t know, but it isn’t okay unless it’s followed by another “yo” and he has a string attached to his finger. I’m pretty sure when the kids go upstairs the gravity is different because they constantly sound like they’re coming THROUGH the ceiling. My husband has even less patience than I do. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m patting myself on the back. Actually, I’m not, because my back hurts- but in my mind, I’m patting myself on the back.
My house is a total wreck because apparently I’m the only one who picks up after everyone even though I definitely raised them better (including my husband) and I’m definitely the only one who flushes the damn toilet, and while I know this just sounds like a long list of complaints, those aren’t the only things I learned.

I also learned that, when it comes down to it, my kids can and will take care of me. They don’t take advantage of my pain, and are willing to go and get me anything I might need. Hell, they even parented ME at some points- telling me to sit back down, and not to bend or reach for things because they were concerned I’d hurt myself.
They might argue constantly, suck at picking up after themselves, eat me out of house and home (literally, again, the pillows) but they actually, legitimately care. They are good humans. They have compassion, and understanding- and those are so much more important qualities to have (in my opinion) than keeping Legos out of my living room.

All the people that poo-pooed the fact that I curse around them, think I’m damaging them by calling them on their assholish tendencies, think I’m rotting their brains by letting them watch TV can all suck it, because at the end of the day, they’re good people. Maybe not organized people, or quiet people- but they’re GOOD people.

You know what else I learned? My DREAM as a kid was to stay home and watch TV all day long, and with my back, I totally would have let my kids do just that- but they prefer books, and Legos, and making up really weird “movies”, and honestly, I’m not sure how I went so right. One day, I’ll get them to flush the damn toilet, but today, I’m gonna relax, and baby my stupid back, and feel okay about this whole parenting thing.

Posted on June 28, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Supplies for the Summer Solstice!

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Summer reminds me of parenthood- the days are LONG, but it goes by so quickly! Right now is the summer solstice, which means that days are the absolute longest, and my kids are out of school, which means I kinda wish they weren’t so long (wink wink wink!)

On these extremely long days, there’s no way we can spend then cooped up in the house. What we love doing the ricolablogjunemost is taking advantage of every outdoor activity possible before cold weather comes stomping back in. Carnivals, festivals, theme parks, road trips- you name it, we’re out living it.

The warmth from the sun, the smiles and laughs–the FOOD– the thrills, and the memories– there’s nothing quite like it. There’s also nothing quite like having those memories interrupted by booger bubbles the size of Texas and marathon sneezing fits. The summer flowers sure are beautiful to look at, but they don’t quite agree with the sinuses!

Maintaining my family’s well-being is absolutely one of the most important things to me, not just during the super-sickly winter months when school is in session (they want to miss it, but I sure don’t want them to!) but also in the summer months because I don’t want to miss out on any of this super-fun family time with them!

My kids are a little old for me to be lugging around a giant baby bag, but when we’re planning to be out the entire day, we like to carry along things that we might need for a day in the sun–way too much to pile into my purse (I don’t think my poor shoulder could handle it!)

Once we retired the baby bag, we grabbed a sturdy bookbag and started packing that instead. Depending on where we’re going- we carry anything from ponchos, to changes of clothes, to snacks- but there are three things we make sure to ALWAYS carry

003Sunscreen – There’s nothing quite like Vitamin D to make you feel great, but long hours in the sun can be awful for your sun. We make sure to reapply often & liberally!

Water – Hydration is SO important! STAY HYDRATED! I can’t stress that enough!

Ricola Original Drops- Before leaving the house, I always grab at least a handful of Ricola herb drops and put them in the front pocket, just in case allergies kick up (and they always do!) It never fails that as soon as we’re in the car and on the way to our destination, I hear “my throat is itchy!” and nothing works better than the magical blend of swiss herbs of Ricola (also known as Chrüterchraft).

 

If you’re like us, and planning to spend long hours in the summer sun- remember to always be prepared! WATER! SUNSCREEN! RICOLA THROAT DROPS!
….and maybe some extra antiperspirant because woooooo, it’s hot out there!

 

I’m sharing #Ricola  in my life as part of a Ricola sponsored series for Socialstars™

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

My Uterus is Regina George

After 32 and a half years on this planet, over 20 of which I have spent being plagued with that which we all call THE PERIOD- you’d think I’d be used to it. You’d think I would know what evil tricks my uterus has up her tubes. That I’d see them coming from a mile..er….month away, and be prepared. I should know my period like the back of my hand! There should be no surprises. I should be a professor of periods! A master of the menstrual cycle! Ruler of the rag! Governor of “girl time”! Taskmasker of tampons!

In other words, my period shouldn’t be able to come out of left field and bitch slap me like an inexperienced twit. Yet, somehow, it does. And it did again yesterday.

Now, before you start furiously typing in the comments section that you’re on the most amazing birth control to ever exist that not only got rid of your cramps and blood flow, but makes you queef gold flakes that you can collect and make into amazing uterine jewelry- No. The answer is no. I’m happy for your odd fortune- but no. Birth control and I will never be simpatico. I will deal with the periods, for it is either that, or death. ALRIGHT, I’M BEING DRAMATIC, but I can’t do birth control.

Let’s get back to the story, shall we? For I need to know that I’m not the only one being made a fool of by their reginaperiod. I need to know I’m not the only one with the Regina George of uteri. I’M BEING PERSONALLY VICTIMIZED!

Of all the days in the year, my period decided to arrive unexpectedly on Father’s Day. What a joy! To give my husband the ultimate gift of NOT being a father again (trust me, wasn’t looking to get knocked up, but waking up to my uterus falling out isn’t exactly a wonderful gift for anyone in the general vicinity). This wasn’t a terrible period, though. Achy, sure- but nothing I couldn’t handle. And then lunch. Delicious lunch. Celebratory Father’s Day lunch- and it was as we finished up lunch (and before you ask, no, I didn’t eat that much- yay for self-control!) that I realized something was not right. I wasn’t full, yet… I was. Only, not with food.

I guess my uterus decided to throw an absolute hissy-fit since I wouldn’t fill it with a baby and it had gotten my insides all prepared and everything, and just tore the nursery apart. TORE IT APART. Tore it apart and then set off a bomb.

I’ve managed to come to terms with the sore boobs, the cramping, the feeling like my vagina is literally going to fall out of my body, the dreaded period poops and swamp ass, the “must eat everything that contains salt in my entire house!”, the moodiness,  the “busted can of biscuits” midsection that plagues me for at least 2 weeks out of every month. I’ve done it! I’ve lived with it! I’ve even managed not to complain for the most part- but being inflated like an enormous beachball with the hot farts is TOO MUCH! It’s living in fear that one wrong move and you will blast your family away with the sheer power of your ass.

Only the Regina George of the uterus world would make me crave all the food in the world, but blow me up with air so I can’t eat anything. “Stop trying to make dinner happen. It’s not gonna happen.”

We spent the latter half of the day at Busch Gardens and I lived in fear of getting to the top of a coaster and blasting us off the tracks with my ass Final Destination Style. Nothing. Not even a squeak. I kept hoping for relief- to make squeeze out an angry fart here or there, but the longer the night continued, and the rounder I became, I realized I was in it for the long haul. Uterus realizes I am becoming of “advanced maternal age” and knows it only has so long to make all of its baby dreams come true. Uterus is angry I have taken away yet another one of its fleeting opportunities. Uterus is out for revenge.

All the way to bed time, I kept having to rub my stomach- poking at it, pressing on it. It just wasn’t going down. And honestly, after two kids and some lovely experiences with hemorrhoids thanks to giving birth, I’m afrflrpaid to sit down on the pot to try to force a fart out. It’s more likely I’d push out a punching bag than an angry uterus fart.

After washing my face, and getting changed, I left the bathroom in utter defeat. I took that moment to warn my husband- look, if you wake up in the middle of the night and catch me flapping around the room like an untied balloon, it’s because I’ve finally been released from my punishment. I certainly didn’t want him calling a frickin’ exorcist because he thinks seeing me on the ceiling means I’m possessed by a demon.

No, honey, just my evil uterus.

Considering the fact that I woke up in my bed, I’m going to assume my butt didn’t take me for a joyride while I was sleeping. Currently wondering if my husband had fart-related nightmares because the fart-bloat is a thing of the past and I’ve never been so happy to have the period poops again in my life.

So tell me ladies- has your uterus ever been so mad you didn’t fill it with a baby that it filled you with gas??

Posted on June 20, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

A Week in the Life of a Disorganized Slacker Mom

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The internet is a magical place with endless windows into other people’s lives- whether we like it or not. Whether they should have the blinds pulled down or not!

The internet has allowed me to stare into the lives of other mothers and helped me to realized that, man, I’m a slacker. I hope this doesn’t come off as bagging on other moms, because it’s certainly not how I intend it. I actually admire moms doing it different than me, with their meal plans for the week, organized cabinets, amazingly detailed chore charts, color coded whoseits and whatsits, a place for everything and everything in its place, and calendars full of schedules and plans they absolutely intend on keeping– that’s just not me. Not even close.

This is what a week of my life looks like….. kinda… usually… okay, totally.

 

Sunday-
All day: “Forget” about everything I said I was putting off until Sunday in leisure of hanging out with the family and doing whatever the hell we want, which does not include chores, or really anything responsible. Regret nothing.

Monday-
7am- Drag my tired old ass out of bed. Remind myself I’m too old to do whatever it is I did the day before.
7:50am- Even though they had their outfits 30 minutes ago, bitch at kids to get dressed because they need to get to school
7:55am- I TOLD YOU TO GET DRESSED!
8:05am- Drop kids off in pajamas.
9am- Fully regret putting off absolutely everything on Sunday, because- damnit, I had a WHOLE day and now I have to scramble!
12pm- Laundry. Maybe. I swore I’d do the laundry. It’s overflowing.
12:30pm- Finds laundry I put in the washer on Saturday. Curses self.
2pm- Got one load in! Go me! Promptly forgets to move it to the dryer
5pm- Maybe a vague idea of what to make, only to find out I have none of the ingredients. Scramble. Curse. Panic. Make a semi-passable meal.
6:30pm- Kids fight straight up until bedtime
8:15pm- FREEDOOOOMMMMMM!

Tuesday-
7am- Slightly less awful wake up than Monday, but still sucktacular, because mornings blow.
7:50am- Even though they had their outfits 30 minutes ago, bitch at kids to get dressed because they need to get to school
7:55am- I TOLD YOU TO GET DRESSED! PUT YOUR SOCKS ON!
8:00am- “I lost one of my shoes”
8:10am- Drop kids off, semi-late. Hope school employee doesn’t notice I’m still wearing ratty pajamas because fuck if I’m putting on real pants.
11am- Try to get all the errands run in record time. Fail miserably because I found something shiny.
12pm- Ugh. Lunch. Why can’t I have a personal chef?
3pm- Tell kids to clean their damn rooms. They don’t.
5pm- Ask kids what they want for dinner since I have no idea. They suggest “I dunno”. I do not have recipe for “I dunno.” Husband is even less help. Make even shittier dinner than the night before, which for some reason, the kids enjoy more than the ones I slave over. Jerks.
8:30pm- YAY KIDDIE BED TIME! I’m FREE!
9:30pm- Dozes off on couch

Wednesday-
7am- Sluggish. Coffee. Don’t speak to me, children.
7:50am- Even though they had their outfits 30 minutes ago, bitch at kids to get dressed because they need to get to school
7:55am- I TOLD YOU TO GET DRESSED! STOP STANDING AROUND PICKING YOUR ASS!
8:05am- Drop kids off.
8:15am- Realizes one kid left their lunch in the car. Considers taking it back to him. Doesn’t. Figures lunchroom bill is probably in excess of $485 by now.
12:00pm- Find the laundry that was left in the washer on Monday and have to rewash it so it doesn’t smell like mildew.
1:00pm- Ugh. Lunch.
1:30pm- Half-ass job sweeping the floors.
2:00pm- Stares at dishes in sink.
3:00pm- Endlessly stares into fridge just hoping for something to magically appear to make for dinner. It doesn’t.
4:00pm- Argue with husband about dinner
5:00pm- SCREW COOKING! WE’RE GETTING TAKEOUT!
6:30pm- Ate too much. Massive food-baby. Prays for poop.
7:30pm- What do you MEAN you haven’t done your homework yet?

Thursday-
6:30am- Because the kids hate me and are morning people
7am- Kids complain about “never getting anything different” for breakfast, even though they get at least 4 options every morning
7:50am- Even though they had their outfits 30 minutes ago, bitch at kids to get dressed because they need to get to school
7:55am- I TOLD YOU TO GET DRESSED! STOP STANDING AROUND PICKING YOUR ASS!
8:05am- Drop kids off. YES YOU CAN SEE MY SPORTS BRA THROUGH MY SHIRT! STOP JUDGING ME!
11am- More laundry. Swears it’s multiplying.
11:30am- More errands. Gives side-eye to the lady open-mouth coughing. Even my kids know better than that
1:30pm- Late lunch. Devours the entire fridge.
2:30pm- Pick up kids. No parking space. Curses at the minivan mafia that yet again decided to take up 2 entire spots.
3:30pm- No, we DON’T have anything different for snacks. Eat what we have or starve!
4:00pm- Finally has time to sit down on the couch. Kids come in and put on shit cartoons.
5:30pm- Dinner AGAIN? Didn’t I just feed you yesterday?

Friday-
7:00am- Yay Friday! Wait… that just means this is the last day before I have all 3 children home for the weekend. Yes, I mean my husband.
8:00am- Same
8:30am- Old
10:00am- Shit
11:00am- As
12:00pm- Every
2:30pm- Other
3:00pm- Day
4:00pm- Kids ask what we’re having for dinner. Realizes I’ve, yet again, “forgotten” to take anything out
5:30pm- HOORAY LEFTOVERS SHOVED TO THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE!
6:30pm- HOORAY DRINKS!
6:45pm- Kids want dessert. Kids complain about the dessert we have. Husband eats the last of the dessert. Kids cry that he didn’t share.
7:45pm- HOORAY EARLY BED TIME!
8:30pm: Finally able to watch TV without the kids bitching
9:30pm: Can hardly keep eyes open
10:00pm: Swears I’m still old enough to stay up until 11pm
11:01pm: I DID IT! Off to bed!

Saturday-
7:00am- No, my kids don’t let me “sleep in”- they don’t even know what that means.
7:30am- Just eat cereal, damnit!
9:00am- With all the best intentions, starts a load of laundry.
10:00am- Thinks about food
10:30am: Thinks about taking laundry out of washer
11:00am: Thinks about what to have for lunch
12:00pm: Decides to do nothing. MOMMY DESERVES A BREAK!
1:00pm: Decides it’s movie day. Sits on couch for foreseeable future.
1:00am: Feeling badass for staying up so late- goes to bed with unrealistic feelings of accomplishment

 

Aaaaaand, we’re back to Sunday! That week sounds pretty damn productive to me.

Posted on June 14, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

YOUR SCALE IS AN ASSHOLE

**I am not a trainer, a doctor, an expert, a dietitian, or anyone associated with any of those things. This is my personal story. Before deciding on any weight loss/exercise regime, please consult your doctor**

 

As someone who’s been considered “skinny” my entire life, most people don’t believe me when I tell them I struggle with my weight. Blame it on two kids, blame it on chronic pain, blame it on a terrible reaction to birth control. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but what I blame the most is my scale.

Two years ago, I was the lightest I’ve been since having kids. I felt confident. I felt skinny. And I felt completely unhealthy. I was killing myself with high intensity workouts and cardio every single day, living off of two bowls of cereal, and sick every weekend. I live with chronic pain, and it constantly stayed at a high level– but I was skinny, and the scale said I weighed what my “goal” weight was, so I was happy. Or so I thought.

I knew I needed to make a change, but with the scale telling me what I wanted to hear, I was afraid. I made the smart decision to value my health over my size, and I went paleo… and it completely backfired. I’m not saying this is a bad diet- it’s amazing for some people, but my body rejected it. I ballooned. I didn’t recognize myself, and the scale screamed at me how “fat” I’d become. I felt betrayed. By my diet, my doctor, my scale, and especially my body.

When I made the decision to go against what my doctor had recommended and get off the paleo diet, I was once again afraid I was doing the wrong thing, and once again relying on the scale to tell me if I was moving in the “right” direction or not. The scale agreed. The scale went down. The scale was my friend again.

My pants weren’t as tight, I wasn’t as sick, and I was finally beginning to look like “myself” again. Only, there was still a problem. I was hungry. All the time. STARVING, even. I’d listened to the scale and when it went up, I cut calories. I was eating healthy food, but not very much of it- and that made me frustrated, anxious, angry (hangry, even) and generally miserable–and probably miserable to be around. I couldn’t keep surviving like that- but the scale told me I was doing everything right. I fit into my “goal” jeans. I was staying at my “goal” weight. How could I be there and still be so unhappy?– and if I dared to stray from this diet of cutting calories, I was afraid I’d gain all the weight back and bust out of my pants again, and once again, be guilted by my scale.

I was living in a world controlled by the scale. If the scale went up, I was doing something “wrong” and I’d cut more calories. If the scale went down, I was doing something “right” and allowed myself to feel good. And trust me, as someone who has studied health and exercise- I KNEW in the back of my head that the scale lies. The scale isn’t the ultimate be-all end-all indication of health, well-being, and success, but I couldn’t shake its influence over me.

I had to finally trust in myself- trust in the advice from people I trust, and let go of the scale, start REALLY nourishing myself and not cutting so many calories, and it was probably one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Real food, fat, grain- hearty snacks, these are all things we’ve been told by so many people to steer clear from- but those people are wrong. At least, for me they were.

When you cut so many calories, when you try to live off of so few, you aren’t nourishing your body, your muscles, your brain- the way you need to in order to actually, REALLY lose weight. Sure, you might drop pounds, you might be like me and hit your goal weight- but it doesn’t feel good. It’s not sustainable, and it certainly isn’t healthy. Your body NEEDS these things, especially if you’re working out.

Now, I’m not about to show you something dramatic, so I don’t want you to get your hopes up for some breath-taking miracle story. This isn’t one of those.

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On the left is me in 2013- surviving on two bowls of cereal and one full meal per day. Thin? Sure. Healthy? No. 
In the middle is me in March of 2016, after cutting tons of calories and finally getting to my goal weight- spending most of my days feeling guilty about eating anything outside of what I told myself I could have. I’d reached my goal, but I didn’t feel good about it.
On the right is me this morning, 5 pounds HEAVIER than my goal weight, and one size smaller than both the other pictures.

I didn’t lose a drastic amount of weight. I GAINED weight- and at first, that totally freaked me out. What did I do?? I thought I was doing everything right! I’m eating healthy, drinking lots of water, not killing myself with insane workouts every single day. What is happening?? That’s when I realized all my pants were loose, I was fitting into clothes I hadn’t been able to wear in years, my muscles were strong, I wasn’t sick all the time, or starving, or miserable. I’d gained weight- the scale said so- but that didn’t mean I got BIGGER. That’s the thing about the scale. We let it trick us into believing that we have to live based on the number we read on it. That being heavier means being bigger, automatically means being less healthy- but that’s NOT true. Not at all.

I’m not showing you these photos because I think I deserve praise, or because I’ve found the Holy Grail of weightloss. I’m showing it to you because I know what it’s life to live a life dictated by a number. To be controlled by it. To be guilted by it. I know what it’s like to see food as the enemy. And I know what it’s like to struggle with knowing what to eat, how much, with feeling guilty for indulging. I have struggled for years. Hell, I STILL struggle- but the proof is not just in the photos, it’s in my clothes, in how I feel.

It’s never going to be simple-this journey. It takes trial and error (a LOT of error), but the one thing to know is that you should NEVER solely rely on the scale to tell you HOW you’re doing in your journey- because that number is full of shit, and your scale is an asshole.
Your weight doesn’t necessarily determine your health, it DEFINITELY doesn’t determine your size, and it shouldn’t determine how you feel about yourself.

 

Posted on June 10, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment