Monday, October 27, 2014

Mini Wallow

I check the monitor to see Zoe's little buns are propped up in the air as she snoozes away. Thank God for naptime. Amen. My angry, hurting, running-injured ankle is propped up on pillows as I consider snoozing but instead Google my symptoms and resign myself to the fact that it will probably need to be amputated, at the very least. I'll definitely need a housekeeper and a nanny...there's no way I can be expected to care for a baby while recovering from such a major surgery. Sigh.

I should probably be using this naptime to do things like laundry or clean the kitchen, but the dirty dishes and clothes can wait. I will binge-watch some Netflix instead...I can probably get in 2 episodes of something before Zoe wakes up.

I think it's important to allow ourselves a little grace to leave the dishes and the laundry, particularly when that pesky "Fall back" time change happens, or when our parents leave after visiting, or when the weather is just so grey and cold. Or when our ankle hurts. Probably especially when our ankle hurts.

My parents left today, the time changed yesterday here in Germany (hello darkness, my old friend), and the weather is abysmal. Also, my hair is doing weird flippy and swoopy and mangy things. It's kind of stringy in the back and I just cannot endure this hair-growing-out thing. All I want to do is sit here and heave giant sighs and bemoan everything terrible that is happening simultaneously. Charlie Brown and Eeyore, you are my people.


I don't think we need to go into a full One Week Wallow, but maybe just a One Day Wallow would be ok? Yes. I think so.

The baby, she awakens. She is truly the best wallowing buddy, totally game for extra snuggles and lounging around in sweatpants. So even though we feel like this,

and we're going to spend the day like this,

I think we'll feel much better tomorrow.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Slow Jog

I went running for the first time in 18+ months today.

Correction: I went slow jogging, or as I like to call it, "slogging".

Here's how that happened...

Z: Hey, I'm going to take Olive on a run, why don't you come with me?
Me: (squinting suspiciously at him as I slowly cram the rest of a buttery, bakery-fresh croissant into my mouth) Yeah...ok. That Yeah.
Z: I'm not asking you to go on a run with me because I think you NEED to go running. I just like doing things with you.

Good man, that one. A mind-reader AND sweet. I was feeling a little bit self-conscious about that croissant.

So, in the spirit of shoulder-to-shoulder time with my man, and because I have been wanting to get back into running (what? WHY?!), I laced up my shoes, we stuck Zo in the stroller and off we went down our tractor trail.

I'd like to say, "Man, it hurt so good! I felt amazing and empowered. It was great to be back into it again! Can't wait to get back to a sub-8-minute mile" But that is just not true. It just hurt. And I've never ran a sub 8 minute mile in my life. I think today was maybe, I don't know, sub 20. Cruising speed. Nailing it.

Because Z is a patient and kind man, he ran slogged (most of the way) with me. I found this to be both incredibly endearing and infuriating. At one point, I glared at him and said "are you even sweating?! UGH!" and then I was so winded from trying to wheeze out that sentence that I thought I might collapse.

At some point on our 3 mile journey, I slowed to a walk and gasped to Z, "just keep going, I'll start back up in a minute" and then I was enraged by the betrayal when he was all "Ok, I'll stop at the bridge" and off he ran. At least Olive stayed with me for moral support...OH WAIT, no she didn't. My own dog...she didn't even look back.

I tried to focus on the positives: "Look at you go! You're running. It's been so long, but you're doing it! It feels so good! And what a beautiful day it is. And ahhh, the fresh farm air is invigorating, isn't it?"

But the reality was this: running? Shuffling. Feels good? Nope. Beautiful day? Overcast and cold. Fresh farm air? Cow manure.

I started to despair, in spite of my best efforts.

It was at this point, as I slogged along alone and in pain, that I experienced the 5 stages of grief: the series of emotional stages one progresses through when faced with impending death.

Denial: "I'm fine. I feel fine. Nothing hurts. I am gliding like a gazelle. I am breathing evenly and easily. I am weightless. I am not jiggling."


Bargaining: "If I keep running until that next cornfield, I will reward myself with 2 chocolate croissants."

Depression: (at this point, I couldn't even see Zach, Zoe and Olive anymore) "I am alone. I am in pain. I have lost hope. I should just give up and walk home...can I even make it home? I think I pulled something in my knee. I'll never run again."

Acceptance: "I am running. It hurts, but I am doing it. I will probably survive this after all. I'm ok. We're ok. Ok."

I eventually re-joined Zach, Zo and Olive and we slogged our way back home. We did it. I am currently icing my knee, but we did it.

And I think I'm ready for another 18+ month break from running. It was working really well for me.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hair Update and Buying in Bulk

When Z and I got married, I inherited a LOT of Ziploc bags. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've never bought any additional bags because every time I pull out a box, there's a replacement right behind it. Gallon-sized freezer bags for years!

Zach subscribes to the belief that if something is on sale, and it doesn't go bad, you buy all of it.

He routinely comes home from the store with 6 double-packs of deodorant or massive amounts of bar soap or 9 packs of razors...and he'll always shrug at my raised eyebrows and say "It doesn't go bad!"

The good news is that this also applies when I accidentally bring home too much of something, or buy multiples of something we already have at home.

Too much dishwasher detergent? It doesn't go bad!

Boxes and boxes of trash bags? They don't go bad!

Shampoo to add to the 18 bottles already in the shower? No sweat. That stuff doesn't go bad.

Super-sized vat of mayo? Hey, no big deal. It doesn't go bad? (this is where I started to get a little suspicious of Zach's "it doesn't go bad" routine. I now check expiration dates on everything. Turns out, sunscreen DOES go bad.)

But let's talk shampoo. I have 4 different bottles in our shower right now. And I can't even say some of them are Zach's because, well, he has no hair. But if he did, rest assured it would be squeaky clean and silky smooth. And smell like Herbal Essence. Or Dove. Or Tresemme. Or Molton Brown.
It's just that I've never really been loyal to a shampoo before. And I never remember if I'm running low and need to buy a new bottle, so when I'm at the store, I invariably end up in the hair-care aisle and that bottle said it would infuse my hair with moisture AND protect from humidity, which is just exactly what I need, so I must buy it. And then I must try it out immediately, which is why it ends up in my shower with the other half-full bottles. And then I just kind of rotate through them, and the great news is that when one is finally tapped out, I have a whole legion of backups.


All of this is changing though. Something happened. We stayed at a super fancy hotel when we visited Oxford and it was there that I was introduced to Molton Brown Indian Cress Purifying Shampoo. I'm not linking to it because I want you to have to work for it to see how much it costs and then judge me for that. Go ahead. Google it. I'll wait.


Back? Ok. Let's just move on. We all have our faults, and mine is falling in love with expensive shampoo.

You guys. It is truly like having your hair done at the salon every day. So soft. Smells so good. So shiny. So little frizz. I HAVE FOUND MY SHAMPOO.

I couldn't really get comfortable spending that much money on a bottle of shampoo, so I casually (but with great zeal and without any room for misinterpretation) mentioned to Z that it would make such a  great stocking stuffer. I also reasoned that 1 bottle of Molton Brown is probably equal to the 4 bottles of everyotherbrand that are currently in my shower, right? Ok, maybe not, but I certainly wouldn't be buying shampoo every time I was in the store because the most perfect, magical, Disney-princess-hair-creating serum was in my shower...and with that kind of power, I would not only NOT need to buy other shampoo, but you better believe I would be carefully rationing the way overpriced high-value stuff in order to make it last as long as possible. None of this "well I guess I'll just wash my hair again because Z's watching the baby..." nonsense. I'd probably be saving money.

So anyways, Z pays attention and he went above and beyond and ordered me a bottle as an anniversary gift. Amazing.

BUT. It was out of stock EVERYWHERE. Amazon. Molton Brown's site. All of the beauty and hair supply shops. All of the fancy shmancy department stores. So he places a back-order and they promise a bottle will ship within however many days.

In the meantime, I'm rationing out the hotel-sized amount I have left. Currently I only use it on Thursdays and Fridays because those are the days I KNOW I'm going out in public and will be interacting with actual people. I stare at the rapidly-dwindling half ounce longingly Saturday through Wednesday and then grudgingly use Dove or something equally mediocre. If only I had known how magical and elusive this shampoo would be, I would have tried really hard to raid a housekeeping cart in the hotel (which is not at all true because I am a rule-follower and I would be WAY to stressed to even attempt such tomfoolery).

This leads me, finally, full-circle. This Molton Brown shortage has made me ready to go all commissary-canned-pumpkin and stock up like crazy. Once the shipment comes in, I am tempted to buy them out, just to avoid a potential hair crisis if/when another shortage happens and I'm running low. And Zach couldn't even be upset about such a purchase because, hey, it doesn't go bad!

Anyways, you guys are walking this hair journey with me, so here's where we're at. I took some terrible selfies to assess the situation. We're getting dangerously close to  a mullet and we're fully submerged in the "what do I do with the sideburns that are too long to stay on my face but too short to stick behind my ears??".

We have wings. We have shag. We have cowlicks and weird waves and rogue flips. We are discouraged, but not defeated. We will press on. We do have a hair appointment for next weekend, but purely for maintenance and no length shall be cut...

We are hanging in there. In the meantime, we are clinging to our mini straightener (my gosh this thing is a magic wand if there ever was one) and our hotel-sized Molton Brown. Stay strong.

Progress. Slooooowly.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome, October!

I kind of love today.

Today we celebrate 3 years of marriage and 8 months with Zoe.

I know once Zoe hits a year, we'll stop the monthly counting/celebrating whatever (I'm going to try REALLY hard to not be one of those moms who says "she's 17 months" when someone asks her age. I prefer to say "she's 517 days!"), but for now, we celebrate each month...and this particular month, in fact this particular DAY, we have a double celebration. I love this.

8 months for Zoe, 3 years for us.

We just really love the first of the month around here, and we plan all major life events accordingly. Which isn't at all true because you'll recall Zoe was 5 weeks early. Also, our original wedding date was a week later, but we moved it due to a conflict with the venue. But hey, it all worked out.

The last 3 years have felt like a lifetime. In a good way. The last 8 months have felt like an entirely DIFFERENT lifetime. In a good way.

They've been a gift and a blessing, even amidst some really hard stages. I wouldn't trade these 3 years with Zach and 8 months with Zoe for ANYTHING. And I'm just so darn excited for the months and years to come.

*I just typed that last sentence and right as I finished, Zoe started SCREAMING from upstairs in her crib. That nap was entirely too short and I stared at that last sentence and said to myself "a GIFT and a BLESSING, Katie. A gift and a blessing."