Take A walk With Jan #5

I’m sticking true to my word, guys! I promise! It was a balmy 51 degrees outside this afternoon when Liam woke up from his nap, so we went on another walk!

I won’t bore you with all the details, as it was pretty uneventful, aside from a stop at Dollar General to get a bulb syringe for kiddo’s stuffy nose, and an annoying teenage boy catcalling some high school girls. However, I did want to share a few pictures from our stop at the park! We go to the park each time we go for a walk. Half of the time, we only walk through, but sometimes we like to sit on the benches and rest, or use the baby swings. Well, when we went today, we discovered that they had already taken all of the swings down for the winter! I was so disappointed, but then I realized that Liam is 10.5 months old, and he had never been on the actual playground.

So we decided to have some fun!

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He had a blast. We played on the tinier of the two playgrounds, which contains three different slides, climbing bars, a merry-go-round, and various other playground things. He had never been on a slide before today, so I decided to take it slow, and let him sit at the top of the middle slide (I was inches away). He seemed to like it, so I grabbed his little hands and pulled him slowly forward. He immediately started squealing with delight. After a few more trips down (one of which was on my lap), we moved to one of the curved slides, which he liked even more.

After several trips down the slide, we headed over to the merry-go-round, where I sat him on my lap, and I slowly turned us with my feet. He wasn’t as audible with his enjoyment, but he had a smile the entire time. I, on the other hand, became quite nauseous, so we had to stop.

Finally, we climbed up onto one of the playground platforms, where we sat and played with the spinning learning panel, and he practiced climbing up and down the little step to the next platform. It was so much fun.

On our way home, we were approached by a teenage girl who was walking her gorgeous Syberian husky through the park. She complimented Liam on his red, plaid hat, and asked if we wanted to pet her dog, who was a very patient, female puppy. Liam LOVES dogs, and she assured me that this dog gets along well with her two younger siblings, so I let him reach out of his stroller to pet the dog on her back, and she was so good! He was absolutely elated. We said goodbye to the girl and her beautiful dog, and continued on our way home, a bit more hurriedly, as it was nearly 4:30, and the sun was setting.

Winter is crazy, man!

I’ve been looking into getting an insulated weather shield for our Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Stroller, so that we can continue our walks even when it gets really cold. It has been tricky, since our jogger is pretty large, but I did find this one on Amazon, which claims to be universal. The comments confirm that it should fit our stroller! I’m trying to convince Kyle to buy it for me for Christmas.

Fingers crossed!

I hope you all had a fantastic day. Thanks for reading!

Jan

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Take A Walk With Jan #4

The weather has gotten chilly, and December has finally arrived! I’ve been neglecting our outdoor time lately, mostly due to the fact that I don’t own a winter coat, and the temperatures have gotten frigid. However, this entire week is supposed to be in the 50’s, so I am going to try to get as much time outside as possible, even if it means layering myself with sweatshirts!

It was a big cloudy today, but not overly cold or windy, so we decided to go for our usual 2 mile walk to Dollar General and back, which takes roughly an hour and 15 minutes, if we decide to take the long way through the park. I bundled Liam up in a long-sleeve, a thermal onesie, jeans, thick socks, his new C9 jacket (which match his sneakers!), a red flannel hat, and red mittens. He was SO happy to be back outside again! Between the teething, and his stuffy, drippy baby nose, I think we were both going a little nuts being inside all the time!

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Look at that happy boy!

We left right after Liam woke up from his nap, around 3:00, and ran into crowds of high school students, who were just getting out of school (we live on the same street as the high school). I couldn’t help but laugh at the girl that passed us… not a single pair of jeans in the bunch. Leggings, leggings, leggings. They all looked the same. It was funny. What the hell happened to PANTS?

I decided to go through the park, since it had been a while since we walked through, and Liam always laughs when the squirrels run up the trees. I also decided that I was going to attempt to jog the full length of the road the runs behind the park. Bad idea. My legs are killing me.

We walked around Dollar General for about 10 minutes, but I only had $4 to spend, so I ended up only buying a can of sweet potatoes, and two 100-calorie candy bars. I made some pretty awful diet choices today.

Today’s walk was uneventful, and pleasant. On our way home, we admired the houses that were already adorned with Christmas decorations, though… some were… interesting… to look at.

Funny enough, these two houses were across the street from each other. Festive neighborhood rivals? I don’t know. They could definitely give Kyle’s mom’s decorations a run for their money though.

We went back through the park on our way back, and I attempted jogging again. Bad idea. Lungs were on fire. Nope nope nope.

And then we were home, snuggling on the couch, walking Johnny Test on Netflix. Then Liam fell down and hit his mouth on the coffee table. There was blood. It was an interesting day.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Dream Journal 12/6/15

Present day.

It was the middle of the night, and I was asleep on the couch, when I was awakened by Kyle turning on the light, and ripping my blankets off of me. He told me that I needed to get my bedding stuff off of the couch because he was trading it for another couch, and the guy was going to be at the apartment any minute. He also told me to get the vacuum and clean the living room.

I was confused, tired, and angry. I started to argue with him, because he never even talked about it with me, and the couch was MY bed. He ignored my anger, and the man eventually showed up, knocking loudly on our door.

He had already pulled the couch into the hallway, and seemed very impatient. I looked at the couch, and got even angrier. It was a small, black, 3-piece couch, made of some kind of suede material. It was hideous, and much smaller than our current couch. And it was in pieces. It had unrealistic, boxy edges, and honestly didn’t even look like a couch at all. Kyle lifted up one of the segments, and a few dozen nails, screws, and nuts fell to the floor. They were all different colors and sizes, and the guy told us that he had no idea what they went to. I turned to Kyle and started yelling at him again about how horrible the couch was, and that there was no way we were trading our huge, leather couch for it.

I told the guy that he needed to take his ugly couch and leave. He walked out the door, leaving the couch behind in our hallway. I continued to argue with Kyle, but he had nothing to say. I told him that he needed to get rid of the crappy couch, since the guy had left it, but he refused, and walked away. I tried to pick up one of the couch segments, but it was too heavy for me to lift by myself. I went to find Kyle, but he must have left the apartment, because he was nowhere. I went back to the hallway, and the guy had come back, and was trying to drag our good couch out the door. I pushed him down, screaming at him to leave. He started yelling back at me, calling me a bitch, saying he was going to come back with more guys. I shut the door in his face.

I locked the door, and tried to push our couch back into the living room, so that I could go back to sleep. I stepped on the pile of nails and screws that were still on the ground, and blood started pouring out of my food. I started crying, and tried to hobble to the bathroom, leaving a trail of blood behind me. I started sobbing loudly, and said something out loud about not getting our deposit back for the apartment because of the blood on the carpet.

I sat on the toilet and tried to wipe the blood off of my foot.

And then I woke up.

Dream Journal 12/5/15

Present day.

Kyle and I took Liam to the zoo, but there weren’t really any cages or exhibits. Most of the animals were roaming free, with only the most dangerous animals residing behind low, wooden fences. Tigers, rhinos, hyenas… sitting behind wooden fences, which could easily be climbed or jumped over. Either no one noticed, or they just didn’t care.

We noticed. We cared.

Instead of leaving the zoo, we walked around trying to convince everyone that we came across that the zoo was extremely dangerous, and that we all needed to leave. No one listened. They all went about their business, with creepy smiles plastered to their ignorant faces.

I put Liam on my shoulders, and we ran around frantically, trying to find help. The more time that passed, the scarier the zoo became. The more docile animals suddenly started becoming aggressive, lunging at unsuspecting zoo visitors, violently attacking them. The more dangerous animals crept closer and closer to their shoddy fencing, growling and being terrifyingly menacing.

The scary animals were moving in slow motion, like an awful horror film. Each time I turned to look, the were closer to their freedom. And they were all eyeing us.

The color slowly started to fade from my surroundings, and I lost Kyle. I was at the far edge of the zoo, with Liam still on my shoulders, and we were walking out into a field. There were cherry blossom trees and a sparkling stream spread out in front of us. It was beautiful. I could hear the screams and the growling coming from behind us, but I felt oddly at ease.

Until I turned around, and walked back into the chaos of the zoo.

There was blood everywhere. Blood and dead bodies (all female, I believe). All the animals were gone, at least from the area that we were in. I found Kyle, who was sitting at a picnic table, eating cotton candy. He handed me my cell phone, which I had apparently dropped, and we started walking, stepping over dozens of dead bodies. Liam was still on my shoulders, pulling my hair, laughing happily.

The buildings and enclosures started to fade away (literally, they just started fading), and there were giraffes roaming around. I didn’t see any other animals.

We were in Africa now, in full color, or some other savanna-esque locale, but there was a large city in the distance, lcoated at the base of a mountain chain. There were prides of lions scattered around, but they left us alone. There was also a huge bird flying over our heads, but I have no idea what kind of bird it was. It cast a huge shadow.

I also vaguely remember something about being in an Asian country, in a marketplace, but nothing else.

And then I woke up.

My Weight Loss Struggle

Apologies if this gets a bit rambly. It’s been a rough few days.

I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Middle school, high school, college… after college… I never used to consider myself “obese” (though my doctor would disagree), but I’ve always been overweight. I’m short and busty, with wide hips, so I’ve always looked more heavyset than I am. High school was rough. I’ve battled an eating disorder, crash diets, liquid diets, exercising 7 days a week, going vegetarian, going vegan, then back to vegetarian… nothing sticks. I know, I know, I have no one to blame for my weight but myself. I have control issues. And commitment issues.

It is so hard to look at pictures of myself from high school, college, and even from just a few years ago, and think about how hard I used to be on myself. To think about all of the awful things I used to say about my body. Now look at me. I’d like to think that I’m in a better place, mentally, when it comes to how I see myself, compared to how I used to be. I had a baby less than a year ago, and managed to gain NO weight through my pregnancy (I “gained” 18 pounds, but the day I left the hospital, I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight). I tried so hard to stay active, eat well, and work right up to my due date. And I did! But everything changed after my son was born.

I ended up having to leave my job to stay home, and I was confined to the couch for the first month of my son’s life . I had a 4th degree perineal tear (fucking ouch!), and also needed extra time in the hospital because I developed preeclampsia during labor, and was pumped full of drugs, and became very sick. Let’s just say, I had a traumatic birthing experience, and needed lots of healing. I was completely unsuccessful when it came to nursing Liam, but I tried to pump. That didn’t work out either. So I didn’t even have that to help keep the weight off. Kyle had to pick up extra hours at his job, and was never home. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t clean, I couldn’t go for walks. I ate garbage all day, every day. I got no exercise. I gained weight.

In fact, I gained 19 pounds in just a few months.

Once I was healed, it was easier to be more active, but Liam was still so tiny and needy, and it was very difficult to do anything at all. When the weather got warmer, and he was bigger, I tried to take him for walks to the park every other day, but I fell off the wagon pretty quickly, and it ended up only happening once a week. If that.

Things got better though. When Summer came, we made it outside a lot more. I started to clean up my diet a bit, and started teaching myself how to cook things that I used to never eat. This, specifically, has been extremely difficult for me, since my significant other is a carnivorous, dairy lover who refuses to touch vegetables. Luckily, my kid loves vegetables.

In October, I became a vegetarian, and gave up meat entirely. I have also tried to give up dairy, though I do  slip every now and then. I’m not a vegan (nope nope nope), but giving up meat and dairy has done wonders for me. My skin has cleared up slightly, my hair is softer, I have more energy, and I’ve lost weight! Liam and I were taking regular hour-long walks right up until a few weeks ago, when it started getting cold and snowy outside. Since then, my progress has slowed.

Being stuck inside 24/7 is starting to take its toll. I’m getting more and more anxious, and I find myself having more frequent “cheat days”, and am completely unable to control my food urges. You’d think I was pregnant again. This, coupled with my lack of exercise, has started to get me a bit depressed. Guess who eats when she is depressed?

Yup. Me.

As of a few days ago, I finally made it back down to my pre-baby weight (18 pounds down!). I was so happy! My body is still not the same shape that it was, but I feel good. Sticking with my diet, and finding ways to stay active, has been a challenge, and one that I hope to overcome.

Just… not today. Liam has been sick/teething for days, and my nerves are shot. I am exhausted, on edge, and lonely. Kyle was supposed to quit his old job, since his new job pays very well, and was going to be spending a lot more time home… but he decided to stay. So he is gone every day, we never see him, and I have no help with the baby or anything else. At all.

Today has been one of those days, where I just don’t care about my diet. A stress eating kind of day. Liam has been so difficult, and I just found out that Kyle’s coat was stolen while he was at work (it had his freaking car keys in the pocket), and no one is doing anything about it. I am stressing out, and I just devoured a handful of shredded cheese, and ate three baby spoonfuls of peanut butter. See? No control.

Ugh.

But anyway. I dropped a full dress size, so Kyle bought me a dress (clearance!). Let’s hope I don’t screw this up and it still fits me for Christmas… I need to buy some shape wear.

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Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 12/2/15

Present day.

Kyle, Liam, and I drove up to Kyle’s grandmother’s house for Christmas (she lives over two hours away, on top of a very large hill, in the middle of nowhere, and always insists on having EVERY family get together and holiday up there). The whole family was sitting in the basement, opening presents, when Kyle’s grandmother turned to us, and informed us that she would be having Liam’s first birthday at her house (his birthday is at the end of January), without even asking us.

I was shocked, and Kyle and I just looked at each other. I politely told her that we didn’t want to have the party at her house, and that we were planning on just having a small party back home, or at Kyle’s mother’s house, because she lives just a few minutes from us. The conversation went something like this.

Her: So, we’re going to behaving Liam’s party here on January 20th.
Me: … Um, no, that’s alright, we’re just going to do something back home with him.
Her: No, it’s fine, we already ordered him a cake.
Me: Oh, no, don’t do that, I’m making him a vegan cake.
Her: Vegan cake? No. He should have a real cake. We’ll just do it here.
Me: No, we aren’t doing it here. I’m sorry. I’m not driving 2 hours for his party. You’re welcome to come down though.
Her: Well, we’ll just come get him then.
Me: No. No, I’m sorry. We’re not having it here.
Her: Well, you don’t have to come.
Me: Excuse me? It’s my son’s first birthday.
Kyle’s Sister: Just have it here, your apartment is too small to have a party anyway. We don’t want to go there.
Me: We aren’t HAVING a party. He is having a cake, which I am making, and it is just going to be the three of us, and maybe your mom.
Kyle’s Grandmother: Well, we’re going to have it here, so we’ll just come pick him up. You’re welcome to come if you want.
Me: ……..

I kept looking at Kyle and his mom and waiting for someone to stand up for me, but no one did. I was so angry. Her tone of voice, and how she addressed me, everything about it. I was pissed. Mostly, because it felt so REAL, like it was something that could actually happen. Seriously. All the women in his family can be so controlling, and I felt helpless. I woke up feeling anxious. I picked up Liam and walked outside with him, and just started walking down the road, in the middle of nowhere. In the snow.

That’s all that I can remember, but I think it ended around here anyway.

I was so mad, you guys. Holidays seriously stress me out, clearly.

J

Dream Journal 11/29/15

Near future.

I was at the beach with a large group of people, I’m not sure who they were. I had my son with me, who was around 3 years old, and I was carrying him on my shoulders and wading out into the water. We weren’t even waist deep, and suddenly the water just started quickly receding out toward the horizon. I could hear people screaming, and turned to see what was going on.

There were large rock formations to the far end of the beach to my right, and there were massive waves crashing against the rocks, throwing people around, and trapping them. I put my son down and told him to run to the other end of the beach, where our group was, then I ran over to help.

I dove into the massive waves, despite my fear of deep ocean water, and swam out with a few other people to try and rescue some drowning individuals. There was a man braving the waves with me, who was searching frantically for his son, but we couldn’t find him. He grabbed a teenage girl from the water, I grabbed a middle-aged woman. We were being thrown into the rocks, along with countless other victims of the ocean’s fury, but we managed to make it back to the shore. The teenage girl thanked us both before running to her family. The woman that I had pulled from the water was unconscious, and the man helped me perform CPR on her for a long time. It didn’t help. After what seemed like an hour of performing CPR, I looked down, and her lips had turned blue. She was gone.

I started crying, upset by the fact that I wasn’t able to save her, but the man pulled me away from her lifeless body, saying that we needed to go back into the water. So we dove back in.

We ended up saving three more individuals, despite being thrown into the rocks so many times that you would have thought all the bones in my body would have broken. I even got trapped in a small crevasse in the rocks with a small group of people, and nearly drowned. But we lived. The rest of the people who had been screaming in the water vanished. They were either saved by other people, or they didn’t make it.

Everything was calm again as we went back to the shore. The drowned woman’s body was gone. The man shook my hand, and another young woman, who had been helping with the rescues, hugged me, and we went our separate ways, as if nothing had happened. I don’t know if the man ever found his son.

Everyone at the other end of the beach seemed to have no idea of what had just happened, mere yards from them. Everyone was smiling and playing. I sat down next to my son, who was playing with a large Tonka truck in the sand, and starting sobbing uncontrollably. One of the girls from my group asked me where I had been, with a huge smile plastered on her face. I was incredibly upset me, because so many people had just died, and they were sitting here, blissfully unaware, playing in the sun. I glared at her until she walked away, still smiling.

I watched my son, who was still happily playing with his toy truck. I couldn’t stop crying. No one seemed to notice.

Then, there were more screams. The ocean, which had been receding this entire time, had turned into a massive tidal wave, thousands of feet high. Despite being miles away, it cast a shadow over the beach, and people started running away. I grabbed my son and his toy truck, and ran back to the rundown motel that we had apparently been staying in.

There were people running through the halls, breaking down doors, and stealing large pieces of furniture. I don’t know why. I grabbed a backpack off of the bed from our room, and we ran out of the building.

Everything, everywhere, was deserted.

I had just made it to the road, with my son holding tightly onto my back, when the tidal wave came back into view. It had made it to the beach, and was moving impossibly fast. We ran down the middle of the road, as the shadow cast by the massive wall of water loomed closer and closer…

…And then I was awoken by a crying baby at 5:00 in the morning.

Have I mentioned my fear of deep water? Terrifying.