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I let things in my life fall by the wayside. I allowed sadness and frustration and anger to settle in. I failed my family in little ways. I gave up control, and I’m taking it back. Right now.

This past year has been so horribly hard, things I don’t want to share openly at this time. But it’s also been full of new joys and so much love, and great success and rewards. But it’s been an effort, every.single.day. I try to keep myself in a positive head space, making the most of each day and taking things as they come, and almost always carefully navigating the high road. That isn’t always easy ya know. Believe me, I have felt the overwhelming temptation to stoop to the lower than low road, but for the sake of my family and ultimately for myself, I just didn’t. But I wanted to! Remember the old cartoons where there was a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other? That was me. Only my head was twisting back and forth and around and around trying to make decisions. Ultimately, procrastination won! Even thought  that wasn’t one of the choices, it became the unspoken third choice that seemed to win more often than not.

My house is messy. Cluttered. Dirty. Overwhelming for sure. It’s a direct reflection of my brain. My daily/weekly/monthly/yearly to-do list has only grown, minimal scratching off has occurred. Parenting, real parenting, has taken a back burner. Meals have been fast and easy and repetitive. (read: not so healthy) Life has just piled up on top of me, on top of us, and it’s time to reclaim it.

The time is now. Right now. Today!

I’ve been trying to meal plan since the new year and haven’t gotten very far. Yesterday, I got somewhere! I’m not done with the month but hope to be by today. I’m getting the basics going so I can develop a good system moving forward. SEVEN people live in this house and we all can do our share to take care of this house. I’m tired of dealing out chores as they arise. We need to get back into a good system of keeping ahead of the mess and everyone being responsible. I have a good implementing plan, and even though I don’t want to be procrastinating, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. So in the next few days, I hope to have that ready to go – fast and efficient and fair. James and I need to sit and make a BIG to-do list for our projects. We’re starting some, not finishing, and have daydreamed about plenty of others. Oh daydreaming….

I have to stay on task, otherwise the daydreaming will take over. Oh, wait, the daydreaming always takes over!

I was just daydreaming of a cleaner house, a more simplified life, and no more laundry to have to do. Ever.

I feel a big PURGE coming on. I have missed “spring cleaning” the past three years due to a pregnancy, a crazy toddler and lack of desire, and then a preemie newborn. Actually, this past spring, we did just toss a bunch of more obvious things, so that is something I guess. But by this spring, I hope to have it D-O-N-E, DONE! Simplifying is going to take over and life is going to be happier, right? It needs to be. We have too much stuff. Just STUFF. Have you seen my magazine hoarding stash? You don’t really want to, or maybe you do. Maybe I’ll share it sometime. I can say that I have not read even 1/16th of them. I had good intentions but who has the time? Most are photography magazines, full of amazing photos and colors and beauty. They’d make for some great crafts. I better hit up Pinterest before I recycle them.

I’m so ADD, seriously. Purging = Pinterest project. oh my.

But really, I have for a long time noticed that when life is crazy, the house is crazy, my head is crazy. And when my head is crazy, so is life, so is the house. They all relate. I’m not a perfectionist and I do not plan to live in a spotless museum. Our home is a lived in home. But seriously, something has to be done around here. Who’s hiring me a maid? Oh yeah, that’s me, I’m the maid. Crap.

So yes, I’m taking my life back. I’m diving in and I will be awesome. I cannot let the fear or the stress or the excuses sink me anymore. My family needs me. They depend on me. They are my whole entire life and I cannot let them down. I cannot let myself down. I need to get this life together and make it extra awesome. I need to be what my kids need me to be, and then some. I need to take better care of myself, too. I will not be what this year has handed me. I’m going to put it all behind me and take a deep breath, and start fresh.

If I wore boots, I’d be picking myself up by their straps right now. Ready, set, GO!

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Lucas turned 6 weeks old on Friday which is of course the magic time when postpartum restrictions can be lifted. And I have certainly been anxiously awaiting this time. I haven’t kept myself so restricted, I do have a life to lead and kids to care for and things to do in general. James was extra diligent in not letting me lift and carry heavier things, the kids have all helped out with chores, and I’ve gotten plenty of rest while taking care of the baby. But I walk past the treadmill and the scale a bazillion times a day. I put on clothes that just don’t fit quite right. It’s the middle of the winter and the usual blahs have set in but even more so with just having a baby. I’m not typically a body issue person but like most women, I have my areas. I am not jaded in thinking that bodies go back to how they were right after giving birth, nor should they. And I don’t feel like making it go that direction either. But I do not want things to get out of control and I don’t want to feel lazy. I know that being some sort of active helps me get through the dull winter months. So I’m going to.

I pulled the things off the treadmill that were storing and collecting dust there. I told myself that I’d take it easy, that I’d not go all die hard and have unrealistic expectations. I have a tendency to get gung ho and hold to it for a few days then just quit. I’m so tired of being the quitter. I’m not good with managing what goes in my mouth, I will never be able to diet, even eating healthier is harder for me at times – I’m food week. So just keeping moving has to be it for me. I got on, I started slow and flat, and I go the music going. I went for 20 minutes and upped my speed enough to break a light sweat and did up the incline quite a bit even though I first said to myself that I wouldn’t. But I had to. I know I’m doing some good just by walking but I want to feel like the effort is extra worth it, especially in a shorter amount of time. It was good. It felt good. I feel motivated.

At my doctor checkup on Friday I was 10 pounds heavier than when I got pregnant which is still about 10 pounds more than where I like myself to be. So my goal is going to be to drop these extra 10 pounds by summer and another 5 by this time next year. I’m not sure I really want to lose the whole 20, I am older, my body has changed, and I’m not a freak about working out. I know that being a mom of a baby again will have it’s own perks but nursing also makes me ravenous all day long. I’ll be realistic. I know I won’t get on the treadmill every day and I won’t hold myself to that either. I will shoot for 4 days of the week though. And once the weather is better, I do want to get Lucas out in the stroller with the dogs too. Even if it’s just to the school and back to get the kids.

Here’s to keeping the dust and stuff off the treadmill which hopefully keeps the extra stuff off my bum. But really, I just want to feel good, I want to be able to keep up with a toddler and be able to run around the yard without dying. I refuse to be an old mom. This computer chair has flattened my hiney – maybe I can get it rounded out a bit again too!

After 2 days in the NICU and an overnight in my room and a day getting ready to go home, we finally made it home. There are so many exhausting details – some I will probably never get around to getting caught up on. The main points being that all is well, it was hard and draining – and experience I hope to never have again, and we are just so happy to be a big family and home all together. This is just going to be a picture post of the past few days.