Sunday, May 30, 2021

Busyness and Happy Surprises

Somehow it's been forever again. I was super sick for a week, the I was not sick and finally back to work and its 6,000 emails and family and kid activities and doing ALL the things as if I was a real working human mom person. I still went to bed every night by 10 p.m. and often closer to 9 (usual bedtime 11:30) and my body loved it. We basically go to bed right after Landon does and highfive when we turn off the light before 10. We are super boring and super well-rested and there is no time for blogging in this version of the universe we are living in.

But today I have chili simmering in the crockpot, James is at finals of his last swim meet with his last chance to qualify for Olympic Trials, my parents are arriving in 2 hours, my house is spotless and my children are all watching Father of the Bride II with me on the couch. I am blogging and answering a lot of questions about childbirth.

So, here we go! May was the month I went to NY twice, got sick, and got back into group yoga classes. Like REALLY back into group yoga classes. According to my watch I did 43 workouts in 30 days and literally every single one felt AMAZING. My soul is so happy I swear it's lifting my body to do things I've never been able to do before. Like forearm stand!
And full handstand!
Like really hold handstand- for a full count of 10! I've never come close to that before and the feeling you get when your body surprises you with something new is just impossible to describe. At 38, I don't feel like most of the things my body surprises me with are positive (like my current metabolism), so walking out of yoga feeling like I can conquer the world because I was upside down for a few seconds is a beautiful gift.

I'm also back to teaching barre in person which is another beautiful gift I didn't realize how much I'd missed. I am so thankful for the streaming yoga and barre classes I got to teach and for the friends, family, and blog readers who attended them, but towards the end I was teaching from an empty well, and there is nothing like teaching and attending class in person to fill it back up. To torture the metaphor, I feel like I'm just gulping water right now and CANNOT get enough.
When not at yoga or working, I'm now also at track meets!
Track meets are new for me and they are so fun! Landon is in two of the relays and long jump, which he won the first time and got second the next. His 4x100 relay was undefeated until the last meet and his 4x200 has been first and second. The kids are so fast and it's so fun to watch.
Claire had a presentation on sea turtles in her science class and she required MANY practice rounds at home the night before. I can't believe she's in her last weeks of elementary school and about to turn 11 on Friday.
My sweet chunky toddler who wasn't even 2 when we moved here. I know everyone says it, but the time- it flies, far too fast.
Cora is great. Smart, busy, funny, fast, and somehow both extremely focused and extremely spacey at the same time.
When I look back on the last year I am truly grateful for all the extra time we got with this crew.

Landon made this robot for her upon request

I love that they want to sleep in the same room every Friday and Saturday night.
I love that they are still such a pack and still play so much together. At 13, I was pretty over my younger siblings, but Landon at nearly 14 is still all in on whatever the girls are doing and it lifts my heart everytime I see them laughing and running and playing together.
Their world is full of games and they are constantly inventing new ones.
Speaking of siblings, Moose keeps stealing Maggie's bed.
So I told them they have to learn to share. Maggie was more excited about it than Moose who felt he had already adverse possessed the crate.
Speaking of my furry children, Maggie and Milo went to the vet - Milo to get introduced as a new patient and Maggie because her spring allergies caused her to scratch a giant wound into her neck in one single overnight and she had to get her neck shaved and treated. She loved every minute and we had to stop to say goodbye to every employee on our way out.

Later that day, post-yoga workout and dinner, I went to take my bath. Sinking into the hot water, I closed my eyes to savor the quiet alone. Ad opened them to find this.
Just because your kids are old enough to leave you alone when you bathe, doesn't mean your codependent bulldog will do so.

We still have two weeks left of school because of our delayed start due to Covid, so Claire gets to have her first in-school birthday ever. Obviously, she is VERY EXCITED about this. Her actual birthday is Friday (we will not be getting another cat), her birthday party is Saturday (an outdoor after-dark glowstick swim party), and then on Sunday we have tickets to go to the Senior Women's Finals at the Gymnastics US Nationals meet! It's in Fort Worth this year and we are so excited. We've never taken our kids to a sporting event, not caring enough about sports generally to pay for them, so we bit the bullet and bought tickets and we can't wait! Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

P.S. Food:
Tues: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, pita
Wed: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (BBQ shredded chicken in the crockpot), chips, fruit
Thurs: No idea, probably packing sandwiches to eat at the district track meet that is supposed to last 4 hours
Fri: BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad for the birthday girl (Claire's favorite meal BY FAR, she is so excited), fresh fruit, birthday cake
Sat: Takeout Pizza for Claire's party
Sun: Out! before the gymnastics meet!
Mon: [I'm in NY] Pasta with tomato cream sauce
Tues: [NY] Beef tacos
Wed: [NY] Gyros
Thurs: Summer Soup (made in the crockpot; subbing fresh green beans for zucchini because my kids don't understand that zucchini is delicious in things other than Superhero Muffins)
Fri: Homemade Pizza
Sat: Crispy Black Bean Tacos

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Placeholder, Menu, and a Mini Catch-Up

I have such a story to tell you guys- I spent an incredible week in NYC-- eating amazing food, restoring my soul in a city I love, working out every morning because I'm a whole new version of my former self, walking for miles to clear my head and then working until I dropped each night... James killed it at home, in his calm competent way just as he always does, and I got home late Friday night to happy kids, a clean house, laundered clothes, and so much love in my heart.
And then I was struck by what seemed to be allergies. I had allergy testing lined up on Monday and had to stop taking my antihistamines last Wednesday. My body was in full seasonal allergy overload by Saturday- runny nose, congestion, coughing, general yuckiness. I rallied to teach my barre class on Sunday- my first full ("full" is 6 people right now) class and it was so wonderful, and then I basiclly crashed. I made it to my allergy appointment, got a full environmental panel of back scratch testing and after waiting my 25 minutes so excited for answers, I had ZERO reaction to anything! The doctor was surprised and recommended the subdermal testing where the allergen is injected just under the skin. So I did 29 of those and waited another 30 minutes. And nothing. Nothing at all.
So I have non-allerghic allergies. Not actually triggered by allergens, they're triggered by my environment- dust, barometric pressure changes, temperature changes, etc. They mimic allergies, and your body releases histamines in reaction to them, so the antihistamines DO help (clearly because I was dying without them) but you can't isolate what to avoid and you can't do a course of allergy shots to treat them. I got a new drug regimine to help get my overreactive immune system back under control and come back in a week for a course of food allergy testing to potentially figure out some of my eczema triggers. I lived so long without any allergies or sensitivies, and now I'm constantly battling eczema patches, sinus pressure and pain, a very strong reaction to any adhesive or latex, and a tongue that swells if I have too much fruit, candy, or use any toothpaste with SLS in it (which is basically all of them, except this prescription kind my dentist sells). My late 30's have been interesting.
So I'm glad I've enlisted an allergy doctor to try get on top of it, but going off the meds for testing was ROUGH. And unfortunately, combined with my last few weeks of non-stop working and very little sleep in New York my body pretty much just quit on me. Despite being back on my antihistamines and other meds I was not feeling better Monday night, was decidedly worse Tuesday, and REALLY bad today. Pale, shaky, so full of pressure I could barely move my head. I went to urgent care and got a steroid shot and promptly passed out for nearly 5 hours. I never sleep during the day and it completely freaked out James who came to take my temperature at least twice while I was out according to my weird and vague dreams. I popped a fever, broke a fever, woke up all wet, moved to the couch and did it all again. Meanwhile my inbox is overflowing and I'm just completely leaving my team to do everything. It sucks. I'm hoping I can at least sit up and review emails tomorrow.
So my NY stories and pictures will be in the next post and for now you get our menu, because I need to be able to refer to it, and the few pictures I've taken while awake and functional over the last five days. Like this one from Saturday morning when Landon got his first Pfizer Covid shot!! Looking forward to the day I can bring the girls, but super excited to have 3/5 of the family protected! (Or almost protected, Landon has his second one in 2.5 more weeks.)
And when Milo stole Moose's favorite spot. Milo outweights him by 1.5x so Moose's not-so-subtle nudging had no effect whatsoever.
So Moose stole Maggie's bed. Nevermind that it has a lockable door he could be trapped in and smells like bulldog. Had to be done.
The girls are fundraising for their sweet elementary school- still can't believe this is Claire's last few weeks there!
And Landon brought home his football pictures and they were so adorable if I hadn't already been breaking a fever, I would have melted anyway.
My tiny law school baby!

Maggie has been by my side every step of the way, executing flawless narrow sit maneuvers and providing deskside legal support and bedside nursing.
Ad now, food. James has been doing much of the cooking, but I help where I can until he grows alarmed by my coloring and orders me back to the couch. They've all been great!

Menu for 5/16-5/30:
Sun: Minestrone Soup (crock pot version; sub 1 cup farro for the bulgur, add a little more water as needed. So good.)
Mon: Chicken Schwarma Bowls (chicken pieces broiled in oven) with Orzo, Tzatziki, Tomato, Cucumber, Kalamatas, and Pita. (Love this recipe! We need to do simple bowls like this more often.)
Tues: Turkey Taco Salad, Mexican rice, chips. (Kids loved it.)
Wed: Pineapple Pork with Coconut Rice, added Broccoli. (My new fave super fast meal; the pork tenderloin cooks so fast and tender and the pineapple is a great pop of freshness.)
Thurs: Chicken Enchiladas Verde (shredded chicken rolled into tortillas, topped with canned green enchilada sauce and shredded monterrey jack cheese, baked at 375 until bubbly and delicious), black beans.
Fri: Honey Mustard Chicken Chopped Salad
Sat: Chicken Meatballs with Peppers and Orzo, side salad.

Sun: Oven Jambalaya, Cheddar Drop Biscuits
Mon: Sunday Chili (cooked on Sunday, simmered in the crockpot on Monday), chips
Tues: Crunchy beef tacos, refried beans, rice, all the toppings.
Wed: Crispy fish (panko crusted cod from Costco), rice pilaf, frozen mixed vegetables.
Thurs: Roasted Sausage and Vegetables (I usually do small potatoes, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, and green beans with smoked turkey sausage), brown rice.
Fri: Spaghetti with Veggie Meat Sauce, bread.
Sat: Creamy Vegetable Orzo with Rotisserie Chicken
Sun: Homemade Pizza to welcome my parents to Fort Worth on this last stop of their big National Park road trip! They've been to Grand Tetons and Glacier and are currently in their camper outside North Cascades where it is snowing like crazy! Leaning towards Chicago-style, but I'll let the pick.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Work Work Work Work Work*

*It's important that you sing the title to the tune of Rihanna's Work.

First off, it was Mother's Day when I started typing this, so Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas! To mother is a verb and there are so many ways to be one and I hope you feel honored and loved today. I am so thankful for my mom's example of mothering and so grateful for this crazy crew that made me a mom myself.
We attempted a full family picture and it went about as well as expected. This was the best our of 27. Things got better when we released the cats.
God I love them all so much.

35th time not the charm

Jumping back in time a week, I went to New York for work! This required a LOT of work before, during, and after, but with vaccines and masks and me wearing high heels, hailing cabs, and walking for miles on city streets, it felt a little bit like nature was healing.
I love that city so much.

Hotel room window view

And I loved seeing how the restaurants had improvised to create pandemic-adjusted little pods outside the dining rooms on the street. Every one was different and some were cuter and cozier than the main restaurant itself.
I got in some good pizza (twice!), yoga in my hotel room (daily! I'm back to working out everyday and damn if it doesn't feel absolutely fantastic; so annoying how good exercise is for me), long hours in a conference room high in the sky, and at least 7 miles of city walking after the day was done.
I also got to wear real work clothes (still not a real bra though; work-from-home Soma Enbliss for life; I'm not going back) and feel powerful and lawyerly and 78% more myself than I think I've felt for the last year working in my bedroom.
Day 2 (hilarious that I stand the exact way in both selfies. It's my power pose, I guess):
I got home very late Thursday night after nearly missing my flight home out of Newark thanks to traffic on the way out of the city. They were announcing last call for my flight (the last direct flight of the day to DFW, thus the Newark) while I was walking through the security scanner and then I SPRINTED the 20+ gates to my plane where a lone gate agent was looking around and about to close the door. I yelled, "wait!!!" just like I was in a movie, but unilke a movie I was still holding all the things I'd taken out of my bag for the security line, my shoes were not properly on my feet, my face was red and sweaty, and the dinner + water + m&m's plan I had before getting on the 4-hour 7-11 pm flight home very much an impossible dream.

They let me on the plane where I made it to my seat, sweating and hyperventilating behind my mask much to the concern of my seatmate who asked if I needed him to call the flight attendant, presumably for an oxygen mask. I had regained control of my breath by the time we took off and then it was the last few chapters of the latest Sarah J. Maas book, a stale half bagel I found in my bag, and 5 episodes of Younger.

I got home to a beautifully clean, quiet, sleeping house and felt my heart explode with love for my husband and partner who runs all the things so seamlessly without me. I kissed each sleeping kid, petted the pets, and walked into my room to find a low light on to welcome me home with these flowers from James and a note from Claire (because Claire can never resist a good note giving opportunity).
It was the sweetest. I love that she holds on to the "soft voice" because my voice is not exactly always soft...
For the first time ever I didn't unpack from a trip before going to bed and instead stripped off my sweaty running/travel clothes, threw on one of James's t-shirts and crawled into bed. I was immediately tucked into a cuddle and for the first time since I left Fort Worth, fell immediately asleep.

The flowers were even prettier in the morning and Milo and I shared our appreciation for the color they brought to my work corner. I worked, went to TWO corepower classes (including Yoga Sculpt which is heated cardio yoga with weights and ZOMG I forgot how hard that class is, particularly with a mask, but I feel both boneless and like I can conquer the world when I'm done), and then worked some more.
On Saturday I (you guessed it!) WORKED but then rewarded myself with a date night out with James. A patio, river view, strong breeze, delicious food, and a frozen moscow mule swirled with purple frozen margarita (from the beet-infused tequila) and a new dress (that is actually possibly a swim suit cover up) I bought on clearnce forever ago and just now got to wear. It was a 13/10 evening.
And then today was Mother's Day! I went to an early Yoga Sculpt class (addicted) and came home all red faced and sweaty to a beautiful table set by the kids with pancakes from Landon, eggs by James, fruit salad from Claire, and drinks and utensils by Cora.
As always there was a buffet of homemade cards and the sweetest notes.
I then (guess!) worked and THEN changed into my new neon striped yoga pants to go teach my first in-studio barre class in fifteen months! And my first class to teach at all in over six!
I got super nervous right before, but it went well and sweet blog reader Amanda was there on the live stream barreing away with me in sunny Florida.

I had forgotten how hard it is to work out while talking and counting though- the sweat pooled under my body on my mat was a small ocean and my elbows nearly slipped in plank, but according to Amanda the video failed to pick that up, so I just look like I have a healthy glow and not like I could wring out my workout clothes, which I could, and did as soon as I got home.

I went back to work while James and the kids made dinner and it was quite lovely to show up to a full meal all ready to eat (steak salad, my favorite thing, followed by a double doozie from Great American Cookie Company, my other favorite thing). We walked the dog, who has been attached to my shins since I got back from NY, and then tucked the kids in bed.
And now, my work done for the moment, I decided to sneak in a blog post before I go pack because I go back to New York tomorrow, this time through Friday. Five days of work clothes, shoes, yoga clothes, toiletries, and electronics in one carry-on suitcase... I'm expecting small miracles from my packing cubes... Hopefully I'll sleep better this time, I always struggle in hotels but four nights (with long work days) is a bit much to run on 3-4 hours patched together.

Hope you all have a wonderful week, see you on Saturday when I get back!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

New Babies and Other Adventures

Hello! As I always seem to say, work and life have been SO busy. Being vaccinated and gently venturing out to things like masked yoga classes whenever I can possibly squeeze one in (group classes are filling my SOUL right now and I have missed them more than I ever even let myself imagine) means that for the 1-2 hours a day I manage to not be working, I'm making dinner, picking up a kid from school or football, or sneaking myself away to yoga.

Calzone night!

I also snuck in my first haircut since June 1st last year!
And then, this past Sunday, I snuck myself all the way away to Boulder to visit my sister on her maternity leave!
For 3 days I got to snuggle my sweet baby Sage, love on my other two nieces, sister, and brother-in-law, cook great food, watch musicals and chick flicks, and even do some yoga!
My sister's family has grown to include a small petting zoo of chickens, goats, and a large family of wild bunnies that live in her front yard (you can't actually pet the bunnies, but they really add to the ambience when you look out the window).
Our yoga turned into accidental goat yoga, and being in Boulder, it felt quite appropriate to be doing something so hipster-adjacent.
We made homemade pasties and pizzas, grilled chicken schwarma, and the most delicious fancy salad for lunch.
We even left the house for an hour to become temporary Ladies Who Brunch while Sage snoozed peacefully beside us.
It was the most wonderful few days of pretend maternity leave. These visits are so special to me - to get to spend time with my adult sister and her babies and family... I need her to have that baby #4 so I can do it one more time!
And while I was there Landon had his last football game! And after freezing my way through games in the stands where he had about 20 seconds of playing time (though he had fun and learned a lot about the game and we were super glad he left his comfort zone to try it!), he closed out his last game as the first string running back, carrying the ball many times for many yards and then SCORED A TOUCHDOWN!!
You guys. James sent me this video with "touchdown!" in the text. I assumed he just meant the team - which was exciting, we'd only scored 3 all season, but then I actually watched it (I hate watching videos, I don't know why; just send me something I can read without the sound on) and you guys, it was my #35 making that touchdown!!!

I was clapping and screaming in my sister's kitchen while our pizzas cooked and I fully felt like a football mom. And now it's on to track!
Maggie's ready. She can run very fast over short distances.
I missed her so much while I was gone. If only I could put her in the overhead bin...

Like when I fly to NYC for work next week. First work trip in FOREVER, I had to order a new dress because it's possible some of my old ones don't fit, but this one makes me feel powerful and I love it with my old black blazer and the black heels I hope I remember how to wear. Fingers crossed.
And finally, I'll close with a quick peak at a new baby of our own -- please meet Milo, the 8th member of the Lag Liv family!
Milo is a one-year old Siamese mix and he is as soft and snuggly as he is handsome.
We adopted him on Wednesday from the same sweet foster mama who fostered Moose. We didn't know we needed a second cat until she texted me out of the blue a few weeks ago with a picture of this handsome gentleman and a note that he was her favorite foster cat she'd ever had and she really thought he needed to live with us and she wouldn't adopt him to anyone else. Next thing you know I had named him Milo and was deep into "proper cat introduction" research.
Moose and Milo are already best friends, chasing each other around the house, standing up tall like big bears and then scampering off again. You can tell Moose had really been missing someone who could keep up with him.
And while Maggie has maybe not yet noticed another cat lives in this house, I have no doubt she'll be delighted to find herself the lowest ranking member of a resident cat pack.
I can't wait to tell you more of the adventures of Moose, Maggie, and Milo too.

Oh and one more thing! I'm going back to teaching!! I start back at the barre at Urban Yoga teaching each Sunday from 1:30-2:30 pm CT starting next Sunday, May 9. It will be a small in-studio class (currently limited to five) and a video streaming option. For those of you I got to teach in the early part of the pandemic, I absolutely loved meeting you and would love to see you again! You can sign up now through the website or Mind Body.
And if that's not your thing, I hope that you have found what makes you feel grounded and happy. Getting back to what works for me has made me realize how very much I missed it and how groundless I felt for portions of this year. I can't wait to be back in the studio. Have a wonderful week!