A Weekend Of Sun, Fun and More Sun

What a weekend we had!

We traveled 2 hours to pick up our son’s new kayak at our nearest REI on what happened to be one of the famous “garage sale days”. Since we were aware of this event ahead of time we planned to arrive early enough to hopefully get some deals ourselves since we had to be there anyhow. Even though we needed nothing at all….we still ended up with $100 spent and some buys that we just could not pass up.

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After we did our shopping they kindly carried out the new addition to our fleet of watercraft. Meet the new addition the Dagger Stratos. IMG_4325

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After we left the store we remembered that we had not eaten since 5 a.m. so we stopped at a great restaurant with outdoor seating. It was perfect, hot, and sunny outside. I could not have wished for any better.

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Until, of course, the food arrived, which was fabulous. IMG_4334

After that I was itching to get home quickly. I had prepacked our bags to make sure we had a few hours to spend on the water ourselves having some fun. Upon arriving home, we tossed everything in the house, grabbed the bags, switched vehicles, loaded up my standup paddle board and headed to the bay.

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By the time we returned home we were exhausted. 

Which then brought Sunday and as we call it, a sun hangover. This is when you feel as if you drank all night but never had a  sip of alcohol. Morning came way too early and I knew the plan was to pack up and head back to the bay, only today with our son and his first paddle of his new kayak. However, I quickly decided today mom was staying home. I had taken my first fall off my SUP Saturday and was feeling the after affects in my abdomen area, which meant I was taking it easy today. Neither of my boys disagreed and they packed up and headed out while I did some chores around the house. By mid afternoon, it was time for some relaxation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently……..

Life just seems to be so overwhelming these days that I often find myself wishing I could add a little more time to each day . Clearly that is not possible so let’s take a look at my life as it is currently.

I am reading: Free Country by George Mahood

I am eating: Bowls and bowls of veggie soup….my favorite

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I am trying to figure out: Who I want to offer childcare services to come summertime. I have been interviewing families for the past two weeks and now need to make a decision.

I am planning for: a trip I have been debating for a few years now and I have finally decided this is the summer it’s going to happen. I am getting healthier everyday, its not too far away, and it has everything we love….trails, parks, water, campfires, wildlife etc.

I am excited about: trying two new products I have recently purchased. One, my Cascala Turkish towels for the beach. Apparently these are fabulous, dry quickly, and are huge. So far all I can attest to is that they are huge…..now I need to take a trip to the beach to test these out. IMG_3382

The other item I am looking forward to getting lots of use out if is my Nemo camping comforter. I finally bit the bullet and bought one. Me and my mummy sleeping bag are not great friends…..I hope this is better. I will let you know after I test it out. IMG_3787

Making me happy: my husband who is completely on board with my plan to do more camping. We were so limited last year with his back injury that I am really excited to get out of the city. He has even started constructing an idea I had to transform the back of my SUV into a sleeping area if the weather doesn’t cooperate with my plans. What a guy….he would do almost anything for me. As I would him:)

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Looking forward to: starting to use some of my new workout routines. While I was recovering from surgery I read many, many, many magazines friends brought me and found some awesome ideas to change up my exercise routine. I have not been able to do a whole lot quite yet, but feel I am getting closer and closer to trying some out. This healing and getting back my stamina is much, much harder and taking much, much longer than I ever imagined it would. So this is probably the biggest thing I am looking forward to at this time.

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Do you have anything on your mind you care to share?

Let’s Chat Over Coffee….Wine….Tea…..

Let’s chat over a beverage of your choice, shall we? For me I think wine would be a good choice today. I have a bunch of random things running through my head lately that maybe getting them out may help me organize my thoughts. So here we go…

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This has been quite the year so far for our family. I, for one, feel as if summer is dragging it’s feet getting here and clearly, it’s affecting my motivation. For some reason I just cannot decide where to visit, what to do, or when to do it this coming summer. Typically I have my campsites arranged, dates chosen, and for the most part, plans made. This year however, I have NONE…..ZILCH!

Onto exercise, I have one word to explain this….FRUSTRATING! I am still so limited to what I can do, much less what I am allowed to do that it is driving me bonkers. I love walking and hiking but I feel as if it’s just not giving me the results I need. I feel so weak and that I have lost so much strength since surgery back in January that I want to start back weight lifting and doing ab work. However, my weight restriction is still limited and I am not allowed ab work for quite sometime yet. I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to things like this, so to say it seems to be taking forever, is honestly putting it mildly.

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Another item on my to do list in my own head is what to do for my husbands birthday which is right around the corner. I always struggle with this. I have an idea but to make this happen depends on one major element (Mother Nature) and that doesn’t always work so well so I feel pressured to at least have a backup plan.

Here is something that has amazed me recently. I did not talk about it much on here but for the past few years I have suffered from what my doctors have diagnosed as hypoglycemia. Well, much like many of the things I was dealing with on a daily basis, this too has seemed to disappear with my recent tumor removal. I thought at first it was because I was not exercising at all. Although, now I am exercising again and have shown no symptoms what so ever. This is a wonderful thing simply because now when I need to leave home, want to go to the gym or simply just want to go for a walk, I don’t have to look at the clock and try and remember when I last ate something and then calculate how long I have before I start having symptoms of low blood sugar. I can simply go back to eating when I am hungry instead of when I need to eat for blood sugar control. This is awesome!!!

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That’s it for me today. Ahhh, I feel a bit better getting some of that off my chest. Now if I could just get it out of my thoughts, life would be even better.

 

 

 

My Journey Back To Exercising: Workouts Of The Week

I started working out again this week since I have been released from my surgeon to do what I feel is comfortable to do. However, I am not to do any abdominal exercises for another month. As I start this journey back to my normal workout schedule, I will share with you how this goes and the results.

This weeks workouts consisted of this:

Monday: walked numerous times in the airport during our 5 hour layover

Tuesday: arm weights, 2 mile mall walk(morning), 3 mile street walk(evening)

Wednesday: 30 minute recumbent bike, arm/back workout with weights, 1.5 mile morning walk

Thursday: Home:30 minute recumbent bike. arm/back workout with weights, leg workout, 1.5 mile morning walk

Gym: 20 minute elliptical

****Today was my first day back to the gym and let me just say…..it felt amazing! What a great feeling! Even though I cannot do much, I am able to spend some time on the elliptical and it gave me a high that only someone who workouts will understand.

Friday: arm and back and leg workout, 2 mile walk outside

After spending a week eating in restaurants while on vacation and 7 weeks prior to that sitting,sleeping, and recovering, I am so happy to get back some of what makes me feel good……exercise. I am sad at how much I lost in regards to stamina in the few weeks I have been fairly immobile although, I am excited to finally feel alive and somewhat normal.I know in time I will be back up to where I was prior to all this and can only hope it will be easier to achieve more since I always wanted to in the past but my body would not allow it.

Next week I return to work full time and expect that to suck much of my energy up during the day which means my daily nightly workouts could be effected. For now I will just have to listen to my body and rest if needed and workout if I have the energy after all my children are picked up. I am going to attempt to squeeze in half or all my afternoon workout into the wee morning hours before they all arrive to hopefully have a bit of rest time when they all nap in the afternoon. Which in turn, may help me achieve a nightly workout after work. That is the plan….whether it will work or not we shall see.

Have a great weekend…..if it’s nice in your area, get outside and enjoy some fresh air. We are planning to check out a favorite trail in our area and hope it’s not too wet and soggy to hike a few miles.

Oh, I almost forgot………Don’t forget to change your clocks this weekend……more daylight is a wonderful thing.

Farewell Gertrude…..Here’s What’s Next

As you all know I saw my doctor yesterday. I had a long list I needed her to give me permission to do which included exercise, go back to work, hike, fly to our vacation destination, and resume life as I knew it before Gertrude ( apparently, this is what my surgeon and my husband named my tumor after surgery) was found and removed. Well, I am happy to share with you all that I checked out good and she is allowing me to get back to life. However, she stated clearly this would be an uphill battle between wanting to do it all and fighting exhaustion for the first few weeks. Uggg, I guess you can’t have it all but something is better than nothing.

Which means I plan to go back to work in about two weeks, I will start exercising again with many limitations, and our vacation we had preplanned before all this medical stuff came about will be happening with a few changes.

First, let’s touch on work. I fully expect going back to work to be difficult. Any mother of three will know exactly where I am coming from. Caring for three kids solo of any age is not easy. I do however feel I threw their little lives, as they knew it, into a roller coaster ride and regardless of where they all found different care for the past few weeks, I feel I owe it to them to make it all good again. We had such a great routine and I will do anything I can to make the transition back easy and smooth. Thankfully they have all been here during my recovery to visit, so it won’t be a complete shock to return and see us all again.

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As for exercise, this is what helps keeps me happy and sane. I would love to jump right back into where I left off…..which will not happen for quite sometime. Being passionate and motivated by exercise is something I have learned to accept as a wonderful thing. I can be having the worst day ever and know that if I can just get myself to the gym or downstairs for a workout, I will feel so much better. Now, I do have the go ahead from my doctor to return to the gym and daily workouts. I cannot, however, do any abdominal workouts for another four weeks. At this time I can try something easy and if I experience pain, I need to wait another four weeks. This means that by summer time paddling my standup paddle board could be quite the challenge at best. Typically, our bodies of water here in WI are not quite warm enough to actually use until at least July, so that gives me about 8 weeks to condition and strengthen my core to be able to paddle my SUP again. Despite being limited to what I can do and cannot do, I will be documenting my workouts again to #1 be able to look back at for myself and #2 share with anyone else that has gone through a similar surgery and give them something to refer to in this situation.

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Briefly, I will touch on our hiking and vacation plans. We had planned to do daily hiking on this next vacation in a region that we have never visited before. Unlike our Utah vacations which are intense elevation, heat and mountainous terrain, this one should be much easier. Although, I still don’t believe I could have done a few of the hikes we had on the list, so we did ultimately plan alternate activities in place of these hikes. We do plan do do some geocaching, small hikes, and a lot of sight seeing. I have no doubt regardless of what we end up doing that it will be a well deserved break from life and a much needed vacation for my husband. He has had everything on his shoulders for the past few weeks, while I spent every day just trying to recover enough to go on this trip. So whether we hike, have a picnic on green grass, or just enjoy the break doing a whole lot of nothing, I know it will be wonderful.

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As the weather gets a bit nicer everyday and Spring inches closer and closer, I cannot wait to start hitting our local trails again. I need to start working on logging hikes for the 52 HIKE challenge I joined.

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I also can’t wait to dig out our front porch chairs and go back to having fresh sushi while enjoying the sunshine on my face.

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Eventually, we may will dust off those kayaks that did not get any use last summer after my husband sustained his back injury and do some paddling.

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To say I am looking forward to Spring with enthusiasm and excitement would be putting it mildly……the anticipation it almost killing me.

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My Weekend + High Hopes For The Week Ahead

It’s amazing how much improvement I have seen in a week. I am still working on stamina but it has definitely gotten better. My naps are shorter and not every day, which makes me happy.Which also means, I had some fun this weekend and got out and enjoyed life a little.

Besides making a trip to the mall every day last week to walk, I finally escaped the four walls of my home for a bit of fun on Friday. My two closest friends, that have been just a phone call away through this whole ordeal, took me shopping and out to lunch Friday. It was so nice to forget about pain,recovery, and medical issues and just feel normal for awhile. We had a few hours of fun, a fabulous lunch, and met a new friend while we were out. Isn’t he cute?

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I have finally started contributing and doing what I can of the house chores again. My poor husband has had this all on him, with assistance from our son when he’s home, for weeks now. At least now I am able to do laundry with the help of my grabber. Although, the clean baskets of clothes still have to be carried by someone else, at least I am able to sort, wash, dry and fold them.

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Sitting comfortably has been a challenge since surgery but I am happy to say we are back to family dinners at the table, which for this mom, is HUGE! Sometimes the only time we have as a family to catch up is dinner time so this is always a goal to do when we are all home together.

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As for the week ahead, I have some very high hopes. I have a post op doctor appointment Monday and want to hear everything is healing nicely, I can get back to life as I knew it, I can go back to work and welcome all my kids back to our home,

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I will be able to hike miles and miles on vacation,

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and go back to my workouts that I miss so much.

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Now whether this is what I all hear tomorrow will be seen soon enough I suppose, but it does not hurt to hope, right??? I do know hiking miles is not possible since I cannot walk miles and miles yet, I sure cannot hike it then either. And workouts will be limited at best, but anything will be something in my eyes.

So with a little luck maybe I will have some great trails to share with you all when I am back next time. I will be able to get back to posting my weekly workouts which I know some of you have ask for in the past. And I can come home tomorrow and call all my daycare families whom are all waiting patiently for the ok to return to Karen’s house again.

So for now I will wish you all a great week ahead.

Until next time….

 

 

Update….Trying To Get My Stamina Back

Stamina in definition says this: the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort.

This is what I have trying very hard to accomplish the last week. Not so much the mental effort as much as the physical effort. I make these small goals for myself every time I start something physical. Sometimes my body says yes and sometimes its screams NOOOOOOO! And the way it screams no is by inducing pain which then leads me to stop immediately. Although, for just short of four weeks post op, I am happy with where I am for the most part. Let’s take a look at what I have been up to the last two weeks.

Besides trying to build up stamina, I have finally started driving again after three long weeks. Not like I had anywhere important to go or felt like going anywhere for that matter during those three weeks. However, now that I am feeling better and I am in minimal pain, I have been getting out and walking the mall during the days. I am not yet up to my normal four laps but I am only one lap short of that at this point.

Speaking of walking, let me share with all of you this love/hate relationship I have with what is called an abdominal binder.

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I don’t remember a great deal of the recovery room after surgery but I clearly remember waking up feeling like I was being strangled to death by something wrapped way too tight around my stomach. I begged the recovery nurse to remove whatever this was(I could not see it because I was not able to raise my own head off the pillow). After sometime she did loosen it and I was a bit happier but I still felt like I could not breathe. So being medicated to the extreme, I tried removing it myself which eventually led to her taking it off completely……ah relief! Until the day I was discharged and it made a comeback with orders it needed to worn home and if I was up and around for any amount of time it had to be on. Ugggg, this did not thrill me at all. Well, today my feelings for this contraption have changed. I love it for walking since it allows me to walk farther before I have pain. With the abdominal binder I am up to 2.5 miles/ without the binder only .5 mile. Sleeping with it is horrible! I have since stopped wearing it to bed now that I can turn over and get up alone. Sitting with it is a pain in the ribs….literally. When I sit, it pushes up and smashes into my rib cage no matter how tight I wear it. So unless I know I will be walking for a long distance I don’t wear it for a quick meal out or a fast trip to the store. So right now, as it seems, it has made the packing list for our upcoming trip to hopefully assist in allowing me to hike a bit here and there. I am still not sure how much hiking we will even attempt being my condition and the stage of my recovery. However, I do know that without this abdominal binder being worn, there would be no reason to even bring my hiking boots along.

Which also meant, now that I am feeling able to get around some, I needed to go shopping and find some new pants. Yes, you would think I would have a smaller stomach without the pineapple sized tumor inside me anymore…..however, that is not quite the case. I still have swelling after I am up for more than an hour that is quite amazing even to me. And then when I need to wear the abdominal binder, that takes up room in my pants also. And let’s lust say after trying on my jeans a few days ago, until my incision is a bit more healed, I will be wearing no denim for awhile. Stretchy is the key to wearing pants. So shopping I went and found a few more yoga leggings to rotate into my daily attire. Yoga pants are great really, you can dress them up or down and you still feel like you are wearing pajamas. IMG_3370

I am happy to say I have started making meals again here and there. It was a challenge to stand long enough to prepare anything the first few weeks. So easy and fast was the key. I did make baked chicken with veggies one night which really helped saved my husband more work. IMG_3354

And I did accomplish a pot of soup one afternoon. Other than that, I have not spent much time in the kitchen. My meals have mostly all been prepared for me and served with loving touches like flowers made out of carrots and garlic(which I love).

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I have had all my daycare families stop in to visit and brighten my days with glitter flowers, smiles and hugs which I miss so much. I wish I could say I am ready to have them all back but I am just not quite ready yet. Lifting is painful and that is a main part of what I do.

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For now, I have a few more weeks off, a doctor appointment that hopefully has all good news, and a trip to have fun in the sun and maybe on the trail coming up. Before all this takes place, I need to keep walking and working on my stamina, which some days is better than others. All in good time they all tell me, so I am doing my best to not over do it and let it happen when it happens.