Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hypocrite Much? ;)

As I'm sitting here in a coffee shop eating a chocolate chip-raspberry muffin and drinking a brown sugar chai, I think this may be the appropriate time to talk about my weight loss and fitness progress and goals.  ;)

I have battled with my weight for YEARS.  I like to blame it on my kids/pregnancies, but that is by far not how/when it started.  In all honesty, I think it started when I finally found myself feeling safe, comfortable and happy (ironic, huh?)... when I was in my mid 20s.  (It may have started earlier than that, but thinking back and seeing myself in pictures in high school/college/graduation/etc, I didn't start to balloon until after I graduated from college).  I have discovered that my body is REALLY good at gaining weight.  But it's also pretty good at losing it... thus lots of fluctuation over the years (and lots of piles of pants that are either too big or two small in my closet).

When I got my first job post-grad school I was at my highest weight.  I hated to admit the numbers on the scale and mostly just ignored them (and had been doing so for months--maybe years--I'm sure).  My now-husband had also proposed to me just a few months prior to this point, and I knew that I wanted to drop some inches before my wedding day.  So, I did.  Between a counting calories routine and getting some exercise (though more of the former and less of latter, to be honest), I dropped 30 lbs in 8 months.  My dress had to be altered a lot (and the seamstress even commented on the fact that I bought too big of a dress size... I told her it was my "fault" for dropping the weight).

When I got pregnant roughly a year later, I was only up about 5-10 lbs from wedding weight... but then I gained a TON during pregnancy (too many brownies) and my daughter wasn't nearly chubby enough to take the bulk of it with her.  ;)  About a year after she was born, I was at my NEW highest weight (by about 15 lbs, I think) and felt awful.  So, I started the food diary/calorie counting routine again and started to (attempt to) work out again.  I'll tell you though, working out with an infant/toddler at home after working 40 hours/week is REALLY difficult, both emotionally and physically).  

By February 2014 I was down roughly 25 lbs, had just fit back into my pre-prego jeans, was 5-10 lbs away from pre-prego weight (and about 15-20 lbs away from wedding weight) and was feeling pretty awesome!  And then, I found out that I was pregnant with my son.  FANTASTIC news for my husband and I and our families, but terrible news for my body.  As I mentioned before, my body is REALLY good at gaining weight.

With my son, I stopped paying attention to the scales at the doctor's office.  I tried to be "good" with my eating and only had MAYBE one or two chocolate milkshakes the entire time!  But, I still gained a lot of weight (much more than the "recommended" amount) and, after my son was born, I was right back to the beginning in terms of my post-prego weight loss with my daughter.  Only, this time, I had a goal... by my son's 1st birthday, I wanted to have dropped the weight!  So, I kicked my own ass into gear!

In May I joined a "Biggest Loser" challenge with a group of local moms.  It was great to have the weekly food and exercise challenges, as well as the encouragement from others.  In the 8ish weeks that the challenge occurred, I dropped roughly 13 lbs.

During the last 4 weeks of the challenge, the weather was started to get nicer, earlier so I started (again, for the third time) the Couch To 5k (C25k) running program.  I would go in the mornings before work (hello 5:30 am) and go for runs... something that I was NEVER good at, and always HATED... before now, and before I saw the weight loss results that running could have!  After the end of the Biggest Loser challenge I continued the C25k program and signed up for another 5k (I signed up for one with my sister in law at the beginning of the summer, but don't really count that one as I walked the majority of the course).

I had a new goal... no longer was my goal to "lose weight", but rather to RUN a 5k.  And I was determined to do so by the race in August.

And I DID IT!  Not only did a RUN the entire thing, but I took something like 11 minutes off my time from the first (walked) race... and finished in the middle of my age division.  Did you hear that?  The MIDDLE!  Not the END!  The amount of pride that I felt in myself was unbelievable. And, as an extra bonus, I'd lost another 10 lbs or so.

I decided to sign up for another 5k a couple months later, in early October.  I continued to run with a goal to improve my time and do it for enjoyment (running on the beach is awesome!)

About a month in, something totally came in and ruined my plans... I got pneumonia.  I was hospitalized for several days (more on this later) and it just completed kicked my butt and knocked me out.  It was absolutely awful (more on this later)  That being said... I lost about 15 lbs... in less than a week, and found myself at pre-prego weight before little man's 1st birthday.  Silver lining?

Though I was down pounds-wise, I didn't feel strong anymore.  I felt so, so weak..

It's been almost 2 months since I was discharged from the hospital.  I have gained back about 6 lbs (I am ok with that for now, as I know that my body wasn't ready to lose it), and just started running around last week.  I have signed up for a 5k in March and am looking forward to the cold, wet asphalt and my ability to, once again, see my body in action and feel strong and accomplished.  Also, hoping to get back down to pre-Sam weight, followed by pre-Emily weight, followed by (dare I say?) wedding weight.  ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our New Normal

There is been a bit of radio silence on this blog recently... mostly it's because life's been nuts (in addition to the general nuttiness of having two small children).  The Corey family has decided to change things up a bit... rather drastically.  

The whole thing started this summer when Jacob was offered, accepted and started a new job in Vancouver, on the other side of the river, in another state, with different taxes.  Jacob started talking about wanting to move as it would effect his take-home income, but my job and our (awesome) child care situation was holding us back.  Then, in August, you may remember my post about not getting a promotion that I really thought I had a high chance of getting... and was really the carrot at the end of the stick in terms of my then-current position.  

I had an epiphany at that point... I was, once again, "stuck" in a position that I didn't really want to do, for less than 1/3 of what Jacob was getting paid for a job that he loves (and would bring home more from if we moved to Vancouver due to the lack of income tax).  I was spending about 3 hours per weekday with my kids, 2 hours of which was stressing everyone out by trying to get them out the door in time for Jacob and I to get to work or trying to get them to bed.  I never had any energy on the weekends, was commuting roughly 1.5-2 hours per day (same for Jacob) between work and shuttling kids to daycare.  It just didn't make sense anymore.  I have always enjoyed my work and really cared about it's mission... which I still do.  But I couldn't make the argument anymore that I was continuing to work for my family and for myself... it wasn't true anymore.

So, in August, we found a house that we loved in Vancouver and put in an offer.  We put our house on the market.  We got an offer in September, and moved in October, the week before Sam's birthday and in November I finished working to stay home, raise my children, and manage our household. 

 This post was going to be about the process of the home purchase/move and our stumbling blocks... that's what I intended to write about when I started.  But the post has taken a different course, and I'm going to allow it to do so.  I'll tell you all more about the move later, but for now let me just tell you how amazing it is not to have wake up a sleepy 3-year old when it's still dark outside (when she REALLY doesn't want to open her eyes), skip breakfast EVERY morning because there just isn't enough time to get everything done, not eat dinner until 7:00/7:30 because I can't actually start cooking until 6:00, spend more than an hour a day listening to my children laugh and play, go to the store on a Tuesday afternoon when there are no lines, take my kids to the library and week day play grounds.  Jacob is loving it, too.  He can sleep/leave a little later in the morning (and in a better mood!), can come home on his lunch breaks to hang out with us, and is home about an hour earlier every night than he has been for the last 3 years... it's only day 4 (and, truth be told, today is my "me/errands day" and they are actually with the sitter while I go grocery shopping and run other errands - while still taking a Starbucks break for some peppermint hot chocolate and blog catch ups) but so far I'm not regretting my decision at all, and believe that we made the best choice for our family.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what our new "normal" is going to be like.  =)

12 Months!

Weight/Length- Your dad took you to your 12 month appointment... and forgot to remember/write down your stats!  So I had to call the doctor's office yesterday to get them.  =)  You are currently 23 lbs, 10 oz. and 30" "long" (I consider it "tall" now as you are walking around, but doctor still calls it "long").  Still mid-range with height (54 percentile) and above average with weight (80-something) and head circumference (70-something), but you are starting to even out a bit.  ;)

Eating- Pretty much everything that I wrote for this category last month could be written again.  Still a picky eater (we had to put cheerios ON YOUR BIRTHDAY CAKE just so you would taste it!).  Trying to offer you more and more table foods, but still resorting to cheerios and baby snack food thingies to get SOMETHING in your stomach during meal times.  Really hope that this stage passes soon!

Teeth-  I *think* (hope!) that you are currently teething.  You're moody, clingy, whiny and have a runny nose.  I really hoping your first molars are the reason...

Sleep- You've been getting to bed a little earlier these days, around 7:30.  Wake up is anywhere between 6:30 and 7:15 generally (more often closer to the 6:30).

 Clothes-Can still fit in to most of your 9 months clothes, but since we are unpacking (just moved!) I decided to phase out all of the 9 months (except pants, you little shorty) and pull in all your 12 month stuff.  You've got some cute, comfy sweats.  I'm jealous.

Personality- See above... whiny, moody, clingy... and starting to through tantrums when you don't get what you want.  Woo hoo to the toddler years! lol.  Pretty much your fits break down to the fact hat you want to be eye level with mommy (and sometimes daddy).  Which means that we either need to be down on the ground with you (at which point you tend to ignore us and play with whatever toy is down there, too, and check in every few minutes for a hug before you go on your way) or you want to be up in our arms so that you're up high, too.  This is starting to get painful... you're a big guy and I can only do so much one handed!  (And I can't cook dinner while sitting on the floor!)

-You like running around with/chasing your sister and LAUGHING hysterically when she "chases" you, too.
- You like playing catch with a ball and rolling your cars/trucks across the floor.
- You like opening and closing doors... I'm just so worried about your little fingers!
- You like chasing the kitty around and "petting him"... he's not so much a fan of this new stage.  ;)

-You don't like playing by yourself.  You want someone with you, even if they are just sitting on the floor doing something else.
- You don't like not being able to go up and down the stairs like your sister! 
- You don't like the fact that mom won't let you walk/run and eat at the same time.  "Places to go, woman!"

- First haircut!  Check out the difference between weeks 51 and 52 below.  ;)
- First swim lessons!  You got upset when I wouldn't let you lap up the water... off the deck floor.  =P
- First time moving!  More to dome on this later!  I think you like the new house... so much more room to run around with your sister!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

10... and 11... Months

*These last couple of months have been nuts... and Sam's growth progression blog posts have suffered.  =(  I'm hoping to write more about it later, but in the last couple of months we've put our house on the market, started the process of buying a new house, had two work trips (one for Jacob and one for me) and two bouts of pneumonia (also one each), both ending up in hospital visits.  So.. better late than never?

Weight/Length- Not sure on current stats... I'm assuming not much different than your 9 month appt... seeing as you're STILL able to get squeezed into some of your 6 month clothes...

Eating- You are a goober when it comes to food.  You'll put anything in your month... if it's not supposed to be there.  Food though, you poke at, taste, and then throw on the floor (at which point you'll eat it, off the floor, at a later time).  You're all about the cheerios and the goldfish... trying hard to introduce more a variety of foods, especially since you're getting so close to your first birthday!

Teeth-  You JUST got a couple more teeth this month, bringing the total up to 8... 4 each on bottom and top!

Sleep- Go to bed at 8, wake up sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 (though usually closer to the 6:30 mark).  The other morning though, you were up at 5:15!  We were not having that, so I gave you a toy and you talked to yourself until 6:00.

 Clothes-Primarily wearing 9 month clothes... with the occasional 12 (and 6) month item thrown in.  You have several cute fall shirts and pants, so looking forward to the weather cooling down so that we can mix it up a bit.  =)

Personality- This last month I went on a three day work trip, followed by being sick on the couch/in bed for four days, followed by 3 days in the hospital... by the time I came home you seemed to have gotten over the "only mommy" stage.  I miss it sometimes... but I'm SOO grateful to be able to sit down and/or go to the bathroom by myself on occasion!  You are still a very happy little guy, and very vocal!  You talk to yourself a lot!

-You like electronics... cell phones, tablets, remote controls... you are going to be your daddy's little side kick!
- You LOVE your sister!  You two are finally starting to be able to play together (though sometimes she gets a little rough and makes me nervous).  You two giggle and roll around... it's so cute.  I'm so happy that you'll have a sibling to love you!
- You like cheerios... a lot.  Sometimes I'll put you in your high chair with a handful of cheerios just so I can get stuff down in the kitchen... I'm sorry for any issues that may cause you later in life.  ;)
- You LOVE trucks/cars/anything with wheels.  You will zip around the house pushing a toy car.  It's so funny how gender conforming you and your sister both are... even though we definitely didn't push either of you in that way.

-You don't like sitting still.  You have to be moving around... even if you don't really know where you want to be/what you want to be doing.
- You don't like trying new foods... you give them some pretty funny looks!
- You don't like laying down long enough for a diaper change.  It's getting a bit challenging to change your diaper, and I've had to resort to doing it on your bedroom floor a couple of times recently as I'm so afraid that you're going to fall off the changing table!

- First you stood by yourself for a few seconds without holding on to anything.  Then you took a pivot step or two to get from couch to ottoman, etc.  As of a couple of days ago though, you are WALKING!  Toddling around all over the place (unless your dad is trying to get a video... and then you are quite uncooperative!).  So, you started walking just before your 11 month mark!
- First time visiting someone in the hospital (me... ugh).
- First Powwow.  I had to work, so your dad brought you and Emily to check it out.
- First times being away from mom and dad over night... first so that we could go on a long weekend trip for our 5 year wedding anniversary in August (you stayed with Grandma and Grandpa), and then so dad could be with me in the hospital for a little while (you stayed at daycare over night).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Taking Risks

This post is about 10 months in the making.  I was waiting to write about it until it had an "end"....  it still hasn't reached that point, so here I am, to write what I know, while I still remember it.  =)

Toward the end of my pregnancy with Sam I was 95% certain that I wouldn't be returning to my job.  I hadn't truly been happy there since Emily was born.  I felt that the job (and the commute to get to the job) kept me away from my kids/family too much... and it was just generally a pain the ass anyway.  Riding the max/bus for 2-3 hours each day for five years... I had had enough.  I figured that maternity leave would give me a good chunk of time to look for a new job and get something lined up for when it was time to go back.

Of course, I didn't tell my current job that I wasn't planning to come back.  They were already treating me differently with just their assumptions that I wouldn't be... and I didn't want to risk my benefits, etc., while I was out on leave.

Just a couple of weeks before my maternity leave started, a couple of directors from another, similar program met with boss to talk about how we ran our program and kept things on track in terms of federal required outcomes and such.  My boss, calling me the "data guru" pulled me into the meeting so that I could help answer their questions.  I left that meeting thing, "well... that was dumb" with the knowledge that a struggling program had just heard from my boss that I'm awesome and do a lot to keep the program on track.

Fast forward to December.  I was on maternity leave, and was starting to look for jobs while Sam napped.  I had put out several applications, and decided to e-mail the two directors that I had met with previously.  I let them know that I was looking for something a bit more on a management track, and asked if they had decided to create a management position for their program.  I didn't hear anything back from them, but I did get an interview at another agency as a housing case manager and personal finance instructor.

I nailed the interview.  And the second interview.  They offered me the position, and I accepted.  I was set to start in the middle of January.  I gave my job notice that I wouldn't be returning.

And then I got a phone call from the OTHER program.  They wanted to bring me in for a "meeting".  I agreed.  We met.  We talked about what types of things I'd done for my last job.  They were surprised that I didn't have a more representative title based on the work that I was doing.  They told me about their program and the challenges they were facing with staffing and structure.  They told me that they were still trying to figure out the staffing structure for the program, that they planned to hire on a manager, and that I'd be a great candidate, but that they weren't quite "there" with budgets, etc.  The asked me in what capacity (and for what wage) I'd be willing to work.  They asked if I'd be interested in coming on as an independent contractor for a few months to get the program on track.  I told them that it would be something that I'd consider, but also informed that that I'd already accepted another position so would need to know something/make a decision soon.  They understood and said that they would get back to me the following week.

The "following week" would have been the week of Christmas, and I a week before I was set to start my new job.  I didn't want to be the jerk that gives them less than a week's notice that, "surprise!  The person that you hired for the position isn't going to be showing up on Monday after all!"... and I felt pretty good about the other meeting... and, as Jacob said, I was a lot more excited talking about the possibilities there than I was talking about the case management gig.  So... I took a risk.  Without even hearing back from the potential, short-term independent contractor gig, I turned down the new job... and crossed my fingers.

Thankfully, I was offered the contract position... and, of course, I accepted.  I kicked ass.  I got the program in order, helped them hire a new staff, redesigned the structure of the program and built an entire 3-week employment prep curriculum that has ultimately led to doubling program enrollments.  My boss referred to me as a "God send" on several occasions.  Our federal contract liaison congratulated them on getting me on board.  After the three month stint, they offered me a permanent position as the program coordinator... still not a "manager", and still, really, doing the same work that I've been doing for the last several years, but at least the title and pay were more in line with the duties, so I accepted it.  They continued to tell me that they were going to hire a manager (and that they hoped I'd apply), but that they needed to wait until the new funding year (July) when budgets would be refreshed.  So, I waited.

Last month the manager position opened.  Before I submitted my application I sat down with my boss and asked if she still thought I'd be a good fit for the position.  She did.  I applied.  I interviewed.  I waited.  I didn't get it.  The woman that did get the position has been with the agency for several years and is of the culture that the agency represents (it's a culturally specific organization).  So, I wasn't completely surprised.  My boss told me that it was a hard decision, and that she sees a lot of potential in my and room for growth within the agency.  I was a bit disappointed... both about not getting the position, and also in the fact that it seems that my career has kind of plateaued at the program coordinator/direct service level.

I took many risks when I decided to leave my last position.  And I don't regret a single one of them.  This story hasn't ended the way I hoped or expected it to, but that just means that there are more stories, and more risks to come...