Head-up-my-ass week is finally over. Almost.

Oh I’ve been a royal joy to be around for the past few days, on and off. I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy hormones. They probably play a part at least. I mean really, is there anything you can’t blame on these lovely little molecules swirling around in my blood stream? It could also be my inflated, snot filled sinuses, the dreary days of December, holiday stress and the general “I’m fucking over this shit” feeling.

Either way, thankfully I’ve been aware of the thorns sticking out and made sure to get enough rest, chicken soup and generally minimize my exposure to other people. For their own benefit. Sinuses are behaving better now, my chest no longer feels like an elephant is sitting on it, presents for precious little nephews have been bought and mailed, gag gifts for little brothers are out-of-the-way too, and even the toughest gifts of all – for mom and dad. All done, wrapped, sent and shipped.
I’m about 10 years late with the Christmas card production, but making an effort this year to get some out to friends and family, especially back home. The older I get, the mushier I get on the inside, and the more I want to keep in touch with the homeland.

The little Bean in the belly is doing great. She’s kicking up a storm and moving around, enjoying the pool while there is still space to do flip turns and laps. I’m feeling heavier, slower and a little poofed out in general. The blood thinners I inject seem to make me retain fluids, and that combined with pregnancy has started to make for some lovely cankles.  It’s not terrible as of yet and I’m careful to hydrate and keep those feet up while I work on the computer. The expanding belly is also slowly but surely wiping out some of my good injection sites, so the love handles are seeing a lot of action. I’m not bruising too badly yet, since I’ve seem to have developed a decent sixth sense as to where to jab that needle in.

On the home front, the husband is in full-blown nesting mode. We finally tore out the saggy wire shelves in the closet and installed some Algot shelves from IKEA.  Now I’m a multi-year veteran of IKEA productions and assembly and this damn thing almost did me in. While it’s extremely modular and adaptable – and exactly what I needed for my oddly shaped, weirdly sized closet, designing and buying it was no joke. Essentially you need a PhD in “closetry” to be able to come home with all the right parts in the right quantities to get the job done.  This weekend I’ll be making my 3rd trip to IKEA to exchange bits and pieces.  On the bright side I get to visit the IKEA restaurant sit down some tasty Swedish food and a book for a little  break, my favorite part :)

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When doing a load of laundry becomes something to write home about

Last night, I met some friends for dinner at a Greek place downtown. It was awesome, I had some rice and potatoes and have enough food left for several lunches and dinners, given current rate of consumption.

During dinner, as I wailed on about my miseries as a Holy Vessel manufacturing a child, my friends daughter made a comment about a Russian woman who popped out 69 children. The geeks at the table immediately whooped out their smartphones to fact check, and lo and behold, Google confirmed. Wikipedia has an entry on it, and says it is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. There seems to be some doubt as to the legitimacy of the exact claim of 69 (of which 67 survived infancy), but even if it’s a dozen or a couple off, that is a shitload of children.

Fine then, Russian lady back in 1765 or something, way to one up me. Several times.  But I just wanted to mention that this morning I got up and stuffed some dirty laundry in the washing machine, didn’t puke and felt immensely proud of myself.  Plus, made it to work on time-ish.

Things are looking up.

Moving things along: poop daily

As a part of yoga teacher training, we got an introduction to Ayurveda – and the Ayurvedic peeps are lightly obsessed with poop. For a good reason, eliminating crap, literally and figuratively is pretty important. I’d love to learn more about it, but there doesn’t seem to be an Ayurvedic practitioner in my hood, but I’ll hunt one down eventually.

Check out this TED talk from Nadya Andreeva. A couple of simple tricks to get the plumbing moving first thing in the morning and you’ll be a lighter, happier person for it.   It’s worth a click, just to watch her stomach ripple as if she’s got an alien in there trying to get out.

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Poop on, friends!

Dry July – bye bye booze for a month

On a whim, I signed up for a month of no alcohol and joined Dry July, an Australian outfit that seeks to improve the lives of adults living with cancer. This they do by getting people like me to step up and declare that they will not touch an alcoholic beverage for the month of July, and then get people like you to crack open their wallets and schlep a few dollars (Australian or US) over my way, as you secretly mutter under your breath “well now she’s gone full crazy hasn’t she”.

While I like the idea of raising funds for adults living with cancer, I almost like the idea of stepping away from the sauce for a month even better. It’s a good opportunity for self-study and to continue with brahmacharya. So far, here on Friday July 6th, I haven’t missed it one little bit. However, I can assure you that if I hadn’t taken this pledge, my belly would be at least 3 drinks heavier. I would have had one when I went out for a belated anniversary dinner with the husband, I would have had a beer or two at the 4th of July fireworks, and I probably would have had one when we went out to see a movie the other day.  So that is at least 3 if not 4 glasses full of some vitamin B but mostly empty calories that I managed to abstain from, saving my ass from sagging even further.

I wish that I could report that as a result I was shedding the pounds like magic, but alas, not the case. Scale remains stubbornly stuck at numbers that I never in my life wanted to see. Pants are not sagging and t-shirts are having to work overtime to keep me covered. Having fully tested the theory that wishing away the pounds is not going to work, I’m going to continue into action. I imagine that training for the damn half marathon I signed up will do something, but in my heart I know that until I change some shitty eating habits, I won’t be leaning up any time soon.

So, please raise your glasses to my Dry July, wish me well, donate if you wish and send some loving thoughts to the 2 bottles of Magic Hat #9 stranded in my refrigerator for the next 3 weeks, wondering why nobody loves them.

Planning for world peace

 

Take that, planning!

Something happens to me the minute my feet touch ground in Europe. Back at home, I’m all about winging it, and usually don’t make plans for my travels much past arrival and departure date. It usually works out awesomely. You see sights and meet people you never would have otherwise. On occasion you end up sleeping in a cramped car at a rest stop, or like that one time in Memphis…    but that’s a story for another time.

In Europe, the minute I’ve flashed my European passport at a sleepy border patrol agent and gotten me and my liquid-free self into the Schengen zone, I get hit with a case of planning anxiety. Where to stay? How to get there? How to get gas? Food? Sleep? Car? Train? Ferry? Coffee? Coffee now? Or later?
Because in Europe my friend, you don’t wing it. At least not in any of the countries that border Germany (and yes Germany, I am blaming you for this). You have to have reservations. You have to show up on time. You have to park within the line and you have to feed the parking meter. I’ve been vacationing in Denmark for the past few days and it’s been mostly ok (apart from the parking meter anal-retentiveness). Traveling back we have a bit of a weird itinerary, Sunday from Denmark to Amsterdam, and then Monday morning from Amsterdam to the US.  So a night in Amsterdam, a little vacation with the husband before we both go nuts with work for a few weeks. But instead of looking forward to it, I’ve been panicking because I hadn’t booked a hotel.  And really…  seriously…  of all places in Europe, Amsterdam is the easiest one to find a place to crash.

Then, instead of going nuts over it, I just booked a hotel. That little piece of planning did wonders for my sanity, so I went ahead and planned the next 48 hrs too. Just loosely, but I have a rough draft.  My inner European feels so much better that I might actually be able to enjoy the rest of my vacation.

2 months until the Summer Olympics

It all starts late July (2012 yes), and with any luck, the weather in London should be awesome.  The weather in Florida during that time: awesome for staying inside and watching TV.
I love watching the Olympics and I am prepared to keep somewhat irregular hours to get my favorite events in, especially the triathlon and running events. And swimming. And David friggin Beckham bringing in the flame. Diving. Synchronized swimming. Gymnastics. And other stuff. Not too interested in table tennis, but if it’s on, I’ll watch. And what the fuck is canoe slalom and how is that an Olympic event?  Anyway. All the good stuff on the official website – bookmark it, and some dreamy Olympic blog coverage here.

Definitely a nod to the Olympics, nothing imperceptible about those.

Barefooting. Propriorecepting.

Being laid off from a soul-eating job a couple of years back has to have been one of the greater blessings of my life, all things considered.  Even if it seemed like a pretty shitty-ass move at the time, it led to some good restructuring of life and work. It enabled me to be barefoot a lot, after years of having to abide by strict OSHA rules on protective footwear.

I’ve come to value barefooting/flip-flopping a lot. And not just because of the awesome tan lines you get from sandals, although I totally dig those. It’s the grounding, the feeling of standing solidly into my own two feet, on the planet.  It’s about proprioception – how your body orients you in space.  How we stand up straight, how we instantly respond to catch a ball or get our feet back under us when we trip or slip.  It’s a sense, just like touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing, but for some reason it didn’t rise to fame with the others.  The majority of our proprioreception is gained from the soles of our feet. As soon as you put anything on there, even the thinnest of soles, you muffle that connection.  I can’t help but think that our sense of being “lost” in the world may partially come from that severed connection.

I have zero science to back that up. I tried a quick Google, but none of the links returned were speaking my language. I guess I’m just operating on a strong hunch or intuition if you will.  Plus from doing yoga. Setting a solid foundation with your hands and feet before moving into the poses.  Proprioreception in action, all the way.

I’d like to suggest more barefoot time.  Allow the body to connect, to sense, to feel that connection to mother earth.  And just maybe, we will all feel a little more in our skin as a result.

Hello world!

Aaahhhh, the Hello World post. I think I shall leave it.

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