Sunday, March 31, 2013

Highs and Lows

It's funny.  I have experienced one of my biggest highs and largest lows since we got Sofie over the last 24 hours.

Let's talk about the high first.  This is personal, and I don't think I have shared this with anyone.

My whole Sofie adventure really started when I went to a football game in Scotland with one my male colleagues.  He was an avid supporter of the team we went to see, and it was a cold gloomy day in Scotland.  Typically when my husband watches any game, he is uncommunicative and doesn't like to talk about anything except maybe a related football story.  If it is HIS team playing, he is biting his nails the whole 90 minutes and it is inadvisable to talk to him.  He is moody and frustrated and the atmosphere in the house is shitty for the whole game (and potentially half the day depending on the results).

With this colleague, he showed joy for being there, and he was open to talking about just about anything.  He initiated many non-football related conversations (since I have been trained to be silent).  In the middle of the game, there was a little 4 year old boy who was trying to see what was happening with the game and everyone was standing.  My colleague noticed the boy and was touched by the little boy's father who hoisted him up on his shoulders so he could see the game.  My husband wouldn't notice if I were on the floor bleeding to death.

In that moment, I realized I could have this life if I wanted.  I really wanted a little girl and my husband hadn't been keen.  I saw that there were people out there who be interested in little people and talk to me during football games.  It was then that I decided I would start the quest for my little girl and try to improve the relationship we have.

This story comes full circle because yesterday, we went to our first professional football game with Sofie.  The weather was fine, people were wearing jersey's of the local team at dinner, and we realized we could make the game.  We went over, and Sofie was so excited.  We got tickets, walked in, sat down, and watched the game.  My husband was excited to be here and willing to talk.  He noticed the little girl between us on the seats.  Some ladies in the row below us gave Sofie a soccer ball and called her a "cute little thing".  It was a magic moment.  The circle was complete.

So, this morning is Easter Sunday.  The Easter Bunny visited our house and left a carnage of candy and eggs everywhere.  Sofie had a few and was riding high.  My husband asked if I wanted to take her to ecstatic dance.  We have been doing it off and on since Christmas on Sundays.  It gives him a couple hours to himself, and it lets me dance (my favorite thing).  Also, there is room for Sofie to spin and play.  The only downside is that the group spends 10-30 minutes talking about feelings in the middle of the event, and Sofie struggles with the downtime.  She is more of a "go, go, go" kind of girl.

The rules for the dance are that there is no judgement and everyone is free to express themselves.  They advise to try not to talk but to dance.  Noises are ok (like screaming, animal noises, crying, etc.).  They say children are ok and this is an opportunity for us to come together and express joy in a safe way.  They want parents to stay with their kids so they don't get hurt.

This morning, according to the weekly email, the dance started early.  I thought we had avoided the downtime by arriving late.  We got there, and music was playing.  Sofie and I spun together round and round and round and round.  She got comfortable after awhile and started dancing by herself.  She was so joyful and happy, and I was really happy to be dancing and to be seeing her joy.  Suddenly, they turned off the music and asked everyone to get in the circle.  Sofie was there for a second and then went in the middle of the circle and started running around.  The people around me were fine with it saying that she was experiencing the joy they hoped to experience.  The moderator asked me to get her out.  I took her outside to the foyer and outside to see a parrot while they talked.  They talked for 20 minutes or more.  Eventually the music started again, and we danced to a couple of songs.  Sofie was really into it.  Then a woman came up to me and started telling me that parents had to restrain their kids and that it wasn't ok that Sofie would say a few words out loud while she danced.  It wasn't ok for her to sing.  She also said I had to teach Sofie how to do a quiet time if I wanted to be there and told me that it would help if I told Sofie it was a quiet time (like I haven't done this a zillion times).  I thanked her for her feedback.  I had been trying.  Sofie is high spirited and having a dancing outlet has been great for us.  She is 3. She doesn't know her loud voice/soft voice very well.  She likes to wiggle and doesn't do really quiet time.  I feel very judged.  I have been doing my best.  I started to cry when the lady was finished.  I decided that we should leave.  I couldn't get my tears under control.  Sofie was really sad to be leaving because she was having such a great time.   This was the first time I had felt comfortable there by myself without my girlfriend who usually comes with us. I am home now and still feel sad.  I had been wide open to receive, and the negative really threw me.

I thought I had found a place where I could be myself and be happy, but I am still looking.  Maybe another day.  Maybe we make our own playlist and dance at home.  We will see.

Happy Easter.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Life is flying by again

It has been a month since I posted last.  It is crazy.  Once I got back to work, things became really busy.

Health wise - I am doing much much much better.  The pneumonia is gone.  It was a parainfluenza bug plus bacterial infection, plus sinus infection that was continuously circling through my sinuses/lung.  I am still on steroids to breathe & just started some new antibiotic because my sinuses aren't the bestest yet.  But, I am functioning.  I am sleeping my 8 hours and "running around" the rest of the day.  Ok, I am resting on weekends, but I am very active.  I would say I am up to 80%. It will probably take 6 months to get the rest of the way.  I am still on no-fly duty for long, international trips to India, but we do have a trip scheduled for Norway in May.  I might do some work in Oslo while I am there.  I am avoiding Paris for now.  Oh, and we are headed for Chicagoland at some point because my grandparents are having some challenges.

At work, there HAVE been policy changes, and some parts of my job drive me crazy. I do feel like I am in a snake pit most of the time, and it is hard to know who to trust.  The way the company is organized has added a lot of extra layers to get anything done, and the agility we had in the past is gone.  Since I got back, my job has a different slant to it which excites me.  I am getting to be creative & have innovative-thinking goals which excites me even more.  I hadn't seen much draw to innovation within the last couple years, and that we are now thinking about it gives me hope we will remain technology focused.  I also have been directed to start politicking & promoting myself (very uncomfortable with that).  I am trying.

Enough about work - except I have put in some pretty strict boundaries about when I can work, and I have been very meticulous about respecting them.  In the last 4 weeks, I only worked past 5 one day, and this is because there was a special meeting of people in town.  It is really good.

Also, last week, I joined Washington Gym, which is unlike any gym I have ever seen.  It isn't exactly cross fit.  It doesn't have typical cardio machines.  They run 5 sessions a day with groups going over different areas of the body.  They use all kinds of stuff like weights, bands, rings, bars, hurdles, running, rowing, etc.  I went 4 times last week, and although it was hard (and I am really out of shape), they are very respectful of boundaries and past injuries.  Another interesting part with this gym is they reserve the right to "fire me" if I don't stick to the program.  It definitely brings accountability to me, and I need that badly to stick to a program.  The tough love thing could definitely work with me, I think.

The other part of the gym which is definitely challenging me is that they want me to follow the paleo diet.  I have been vegetarian since last May, and paleo is NOT vegetarian friendly.  Heck, I was vegan for a few months even.  The last month I was sick, I started eating fish 1-2 times per week.  That seemed like a lot of meat.  Eating eggs for breakfast and tuna for lunch and fish/meat for dinner is crazy. I have been on meat overload.  I wasn't eating red meat or pork per se, but I did have my first chicken on Friday (bleck) and I tried adding ground beef to my scrambled eggs like they said.  I also had steak last night (like 2 oz).  I am supposed to be eating a whopping 130 grams of protein a day (and 70! grams of fat). I was eating like 20-40g/day.  It is a big adjustment.

This morning I broke down and had a smoothie for lunch with kale, banana, and berries.  The paleo way is to add raw eggs (ick) or protein powder (really, did cavemen have protein powder??)... I used some of my veggie tricks and added hemp seeds and chia seeds.  They seem to have the same fat/protein ratio I am looking for.  I also tried adding almonds which is an internet trick I found.  It appears there are some other paleo vegetarians out there, and I am going to try it there way before I go all meat all the time.  Don't get me wrong, having a bite of beef was ok, it is just having it with every meal is so excessive.  I don't like meat THAT much.

Now to the good stuff.  Sofie is wonderful.  Her imagination continues to grow.  We have been playing castle legos for weeks, and we have built some really neat stuff.  We have also had tea parties with the legos, and there is a lot of drama going on between Cinderella 1, Cinderella 2, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Prince Charming.  And don't get me started about what  bunny 1 did to bunny 2. LOL. And the DALMATION is so naughty.  And the horse ate all the apples.  Hello Kitty did something last week and she has banished to downstairs only, and Minnie is back upstairs at bed time.  The stuffed bunny is hiding in a drum most of the time (who knows why???).  She is growing like mad. She can turn OFF lights now too.  Her 3Ts don't fit her around any more which is pretty exciting.  She eats mostly meat and fruit exclusively.  We got her to eat caesar salad last night.  She does like plain rice and noodles still.  She has been skipping "treats" at night so she doesn't have to eat her brussels, pepper, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.  She will sometimes take bites.  Sometimes no.  She has figured out a trick that if she says she is "going to pee herself" at the table ... once something beautiful has been served, piping hot, at a restaurant no less... she can run around and go to the bathroom.  After last weekend, her dad doesn't believe her any more.  I was on to her weeks ago at home when she would finish a meal and instead of wanting to wait for everyone to be done, she would start whining.  She isn't into hanging out with us - especially if there is no treat afterwards.

Her temper tantrums have been epic.  She pulls out the tears any time we do something that isn't exactly what she wants.  I put in some "tuition" with SuperNanny to reinforce the right principles last weekend.  It annoys the crap out of Sofie that she isn't getting us riled up in "time out" these days. She has gone to exceedingly bad behavior (spitting globs of spit on the stairs, kicking, trying to destroy the stairs, etc.).  I hope she doesn't try to pee/poop on them.  I am not sure if I could NOT react to that.  Then again, if she has to clean it up afterwards, it might be worth it.  She is a handful.

Sofie does have rhythm though, and still loves Gangham Style.  I am not sure how many american kids are listening to swedish house mafia and know all the words.  Lol.

So all in all, our girl is doing super. Her mom is much better.  Her dad is good.  Onwards and upwards.