I feel pretty-ish.

I’m really struggling lately with having NOTHING to wear. I have ONE outfit that I love, which I wore today:

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I usually wear a necklace and/or scarf. Today I wore Damson wrapped around my neck, but I took it off before I thought to take a picture.

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As you can see, I lack a full-length mirror and the ability to pick up messes before taking photos.

I need more outfits that make me feel like this. I need enough nice things that I can mix and match instead of wearing the same things together all the time. (Although it would be pretty funny if someone got deja vu because I did that.) It’s time for a wardrobe makeover (or wardrobe opera, which is the result of a typo–not mine–and is the best idea ever).

I’m making a checklist of pieces I own and things I want. The latter is a little overwhelming, and it’s just basic stuff. I won’t post the list, mainly because I lack the energy to make it a nice tidy table, but here are a few of my observations:

  • I have literally ONE pair of shoes right now. I think I need a second.
  • I have ONE pair of jeans that fit me, and my only black pants are actually Will’s and I need black pants for roller derby (reffing, not skating).
  • I have plenty of tights, which surprises me. Target clearance FTW.
  • I have t-shirts, but no tops.
  • I have (semi-)dressy dresses but would really love a jersey sundress or two.
  • I am quite lacking in sweaters of both the pullover and cardigan variety, which is a bit distressing as a knitter.
  • I love this skirt–so why don’t I have any other skirts I actually wear? I need more skirts like this one.

My main problem is figuring out where to start. My budget is approximately $0 but I do have a little work coming my way which will translate to a (very modest) budget down the road.

So how do I do this?

Shit or Get Off the Pot

I didn’t realize until I was in my 30s that I have a dimple. Not dimples, just one. It’s on my left cheek and I am surprised every time I see it. I don’t know if I always had it and didn’t know, or if it only made an appearance once I’d gained weight in my late 20s and early 30s from quitting smoking/having a baby/having another baby/being depressed (in that order).

Last week I felt like I was coming down with something. I had sinus pressure like a bad head cold, but zero phlegm. It’s not that I’m complaining about not having a snotty nose, but it felt…incomplete. Getting sick used to be a quick affair, but now it drags out for weeks. This time I was “lucky,” in that the sinus pressure and wooziness stuck around for a few days but never got worse and went away fairly quickly. But I find that I am still just waiting to get sick for real.

I am so much happier than I was a few months ago. It is night and day. But I still feel tired all the time and overwhelmed about half the time and I just feel that I must be missing some puzzle piece that will make everything right.

People talk at me from the moment I wake up in the morning. I am not a morning person. At all. But I have two small people and one big person who all go from 0 to awake in significantly less time and with significantly less caffeine than it takes me to wake up.

I feel like I am always trying to catch up.

There are so many things that I want to do with myself, with my time, with my life. I am doing so few of them. There isn’t enough time.

I am happy but I am perhaps a little bit dissatisfied.

I’m working on it, but I’m impatient.

Day 12: changes

I’ve been feeling really great since we started this elimination diet/cleanse/whatever, with one major problem: I have started hating food. I’m so frustrated by the limited selection of proteins that I don’t want to eat anything, which would be great if the goal was anorexia but is not great when the goal is overall health with a side goal of weight loss.

So today I bought a cake of tofu. I weighed my options and decided that I’d rather add one legume-based food than any type of dairy. Health-wise, I think goat cheese is probably a wiser choice, but I have a liiiiittle portion control problem with the stuff and weight loss might be a secondary goal but it is definitely a goal.

So I bought tofu and I made this:

tofu-yellow-curry

Yellow Thai curry with tofu, bok choy, and peppers. It was DELICIOUS and I have no regrets.

21 Days

For 21 days, Will and I are avoiding grains, sugar and sugar substitutes, legumes, dairy, alcohol, and fun. (I am kidding about one of those things.) We’re on Day 4 so I thought I would report, given my declaration that I would try to lose some weight this year.

When the three weeks are up, we will add back in some of the easier-to-digest foods, like honey and rice and corn and GOAT CHEESE DEAR GOD I MISS GOAT CHEESE. We will also start having occasional treat meals, probably on our gaming nights. Because beer and pizza.

It’s actually going pretty well. My only complaint is boredom, on account of there are very few protein/fat sources for me. I am eating a lot of eggs and tree nuts, and everything is cooked in coconut oil or made with coconut milk. I try to mix it up with the vegetables to compensate, but cooking creatively with a limited palate of ingredients has a learning curve. Sweet potatoes are becoming a mite dull, which is ridiculous since they are THE BEST THING EVER.

Still, I don’t feel any urge to quit yet. I feel less hungry less often, too.

The next step is exercise, but I am a little nervous to do anything that will make me RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY (which cardio of any kind always does) until I’ve adjusted to the new way of eating. I guess I really need to go back to my yoga DVD, but we’ve been doing no TV during the week and I will have trouble explaining to the children that it’s okay if it’s for me. Soon, though.

New Year’s Stereotype

Fuck it: in 2013, I resolve to lose some weight.

I know all the arguments against making that resolution and I don’t care. I’ve got children who sleep through the night*, I’m not a full-time milk machine anymore (Grace nurses at bedtime and maybe once during the day), and I have literally zero pants that fit me.

THE TIME IS HERE.

Although I will not be able to start running (which is the exercise I think I’d like to use) until I can afford new sneakers and a new bra. So that kind of sucks. But I’ll at least start doing my yoga video again to get stretchy.

I won’t be posting my starting weight, because I don’t know what it is (I threw away my scale quite a while ago) (because it was broken), but I suspect it’s in the high 180s. On my frame, that is DREADFUL. My ideal weight is probably around 125 but I’d be really really happy to get down to 140. (I’m naming numbers because that’s the way my head is stuck, but my real goal is to fit into some clothes. I have a ton of size 8 and 10 jeans. So that would be good.)

I’ll miss my boobs when they go away.

*this was true when I wrote it on the 1st, but in the time since Grace has woken me up every night for water and/or the potty. Sigh.

Finding Time

It is impossible to do everything I want to do. I’m pretty sure that’s true for everyone, but recently I’ve been finding it impossible to do everything I need to do. Even allowing that some things will be neglected sometimes and that priorities will be cyclical, I was a wreck.

Caring for the children full time, being responsible for their educations and social lives, cooking most of the meals, trying to keep the house clean (well, not filthy, anyway), maintaining my own friendships, not to mention my marriage, and oh yeah–attempting to run a fledgling knitting design business and do occasional freelance work. Plus I still want to write, and I’ve taken up photography again.

Everything was slipping.

So. Once I’ve finished the designs I currently have in-progress and met my deadlines, I am going to take a break from designing. It has been stressing me right the fuck out this year, but I am still not making any money worth talking about. It’s no longer fun like a hobby and the returns are not worth it. So, yes: I am giving up. Maybe. I’m going to knit for my own enjoyment for a while, and design only when the urge strikes and only if I really want to.

Frankly, I am so relieved. You would not even believe it. Last week I started writing something, just a little project I have been wanting to do for a while, and I’m so happy exercising a different part of my brain. I need a break.

Besides, this is the only way I can knit my 13 shawls.

Something just happened.

I registered to vote about three weeks after my 18th birthday in July of 1996. That November I went to the Woodstock firehouse and voted on a machine with a lever to elect President Clinton to a second term.

Four years later I had just moved to Chicago after a devastating break-up. I did not register to vote. I did not know about absentee voting. I did not vote.

When I moved to California, I got a new driver’s license and filled out the voter registration form at the DMV. Like the first time, I declined to affiliate myself with a political party. My first California election (the second time I voted) was not a presidential election, but was the statewide gubernatorial recall election. I was ashamed of my new state (something I’ve since gotten used to). I’ve voted at least once a year since then.

Will and I got married in 2004 and it took me the better part of a year to get my name changed everywhere. Every time I voted I was reminded that I was still registered under my maiden name, and every time I forgot immediately after voting. In 2008 I remembered before the election but didn’t want to re-register for fear of somehow not being on the roster. I knew every single vote counted that year, not just for president but also to defeat proposition 8. (More shame.)

I forgot again until this fall. Once again I decided to wait to re-register, this time so that I could re-elect another president. I did that yesterday.

Today I registered to vote. Again. And I did something I never thought I’d do:

I guess I’m a Democrat now. It just makes sense, since I’ve voted straight party ticket every single time I’ve been to the polls.

I may regret this in four years when I get more targeted mail and phone calls. Uh-oh.

I can see! Kind of!

I got new glasses for the first time in, um, eight years.

The optometrist, Dr. Yoo, said my prescription has changed a lot and the glasses I’ve been wearing are actually far too strong. Which might explain my daily headaches. (Dr. Yoo is also the first female optometrist I’ve ever seen, and the cutest.)

The frames are Prada, which I could never in a million years afford even with my really excellent vision coverage, except this particular pair had some cosmetic damage to the inside of the bridge so I got them for nothing. (I mean, insurance paid something, but I didn’t.)

Every time I look at something I can feel my focus adjusting like a camera. Zoom, zoom, zoom. It’s like my eyes are training themselves to stop straining. It’s…really weird.

Piece o’ Cake

Here’s a random thought I had. I mean, I guess it wasn’t that random. Arwen mentioned on Twitter that it frustrates her when a recipe marked “easy” calls for cake mix instead of ingredients, because it isn’t easy for her to get to the store for cake mix.

When Sam was a toddler, I dreaded trips to the grocery store. I had such a hard time running errands with him, and it drove me nuts because 1) I had to run errands, and 2) I believe that children should be included in normal life activities as much as possible–how else will they learn about the world?

Now that Grace is a toddler, I have no trouble at all running errands and frequently stop at multiple stores. This despite having not just a toddler but in fact twice as many children as before.

So: is it easier because there are two of them? Easier because it was Sam himself, not the fact that he was a toddler, that made things hard before? He is still with me but he is six and, although he’s still the same fun little buddy he was then, he’s a lot more helpful now.

Who knows.

P.S. See what I did with the title there? Oh, I crack me up.

Who put me in charge?

This morning I managed to feed Sam, feed Grace, drink two cups of English Breakfast tea, and feed myself, all by 8:30.

As I went to clear my plate, I stood next to the table wondering how on earth I’d pulled it off. Because most mornings, I am just a mess.

And it occurred to me that it is totally crazy for me to be responsible for feeding these children breakfast and dinner and all the little meals in-between (we don’t usually do a real lunch, just snacks throughout the day). And I’m supposed to educate them too? WHAT AM I THINKING?

I am totally unsuited for this job.

(At this time I would like to insert a “Panic Monday” joke.)

I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m trying to night-wean Grace and she is balking. Even when she sleeps, I am wakeful. I hope this doesn’t last too much longer. I need some sleep.

I have laundry to do, and a dishwasher to empty. I am hoping to get the kids off the television earlier today than I usually manage. I have a friend’s book to read and would like to put another half hour into straightening my studio. I feel a little overwhelmed; I wish I could just take a nap.