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Awesome start to August

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

August is off to a beautiful start for me. I'm really happy with the little bit of progress I've made since I dragged my self back here.

I've now been to church 3 Sundays in a row. I can't remember when I was last that consistant. Even before Patricia was born, I was only attending occationally. On top of going to church, I've committed myself to starting every day by reading my Bible and spending some time in prayer. It has made an amazing difference in my attitude and my day!

Today I logged my 3rd day in a row of exercise. This one is a real challenge for me. I'm tied to the shop most of the day. I have to wait for the kids to get home from school so that I have a baby-sitter for Patricia and someone to watch the shop while I take the dog out for a walk. Thats all fine, except that this is also the rainy season here in Kenya, and it rains about every day in the afternoon. Pouring heavy rain with monsoon winds and sometimes hail! So its always a race to see what will come first - the boys, or the rain!

All week last week I kept missing my chance. Then Sunday rolled around - and I had the chance, but I kept making excuses. My head hurts. My joints are aching. I feel tired. wah-wah-wah. But there was my little doggy, looking at me with his big eyes, wondering what the problem was. So, with a bit of grumbling, I said, "Fine, lets go for a short walk." But as I started, an amazing thing happened. Everything felt better. My joints stopped hurting. My headache disappeared. That heavy, dragging feeling disolved away. And I really started to enjoy myself! Our short walk turned into a LONG walk... although a slow and leisurely one.

This experience opened my eyes and reminded me of something: This has long been my habit and my problem. When I was in the USA and taking karate classes, I would do the SAME thing every day before class. I would start listing allll the reasons and excuses NOT to go to that class. But, I found if I would just drag my sorry self out the door and into the dojo - before long I was feeling great and always glad I went. Its the same here and now. If I can just get myself started, everything works out fine! Its just overcoming that initial inertia!

So, with that in mind, Monday I got brave and went home to our Imanga homestead to do some work on the farm. I had all the same negative messages running in my head. I'm too tired, it has rained too much, I don't have the energy to do heavy farm work, I'm too pregnant, I'll be sore, I'll wear myself out... I was THIS close to calling everything off. But then I just gritted my teeth and went. The work which needs to be done is a bit overwhelming, but I told myself to just go slowly, do what I can, and rest when I need to. Whatever little bit I get done is better than doing nothing at all. And really, I was able to get a LOT done that way... a little tortoise-vs-hare application. I was so proud of how much I accomplished, and very much encouraged to start going back more often.

Today... today I had a hump to get over again. NO SLEEP. Patricia is cutting teeth - her back molars now, and on top of being a fuss-bucket, it has given her a running stomach. Last night she had one of those terrible exploding diapers that just got alllll over everything. So before I did anything else today I had to wash ALLLL of our bedding. BY HAND. Sheets, blankets, pillows, her clothes, my clothes. WHAT a mess! So I had this ready made excuse - after I finished the laundry... lets just relax, I'm too tired, I didn't sleep, my arms are sore and tired from the farm work and all this laundry... but... there is my doggy in the back yard, looking bored and dejected. So I hurried myself along, made dinner early so that it would only have to be reheated, and was ready to go out the door with the dog as soon as my son got in from school. We managed a half-hour walk before the thunder started to rumble, and were back just in time, as the big fat raindrops were starting to fall. I was satisfied, and the dog was happy. (I was a little LESS than happy to find that my husband had come home and eaten about half the food that was meant for supper! But oh well, you win some, you lose some!)

Yesterday I weighed in... and I was actually down 1 kg - or about 2.5 lbs. I'm not actively trying to lose weight right now. In fact, my goal is just to hold steady at this weight as long as possible. (I gained too much too early in this pregnancy.) But hey, if it goes down, I'm all for that too - as long as its all healthy and good! I certainly don't feel like I lost. I look and feel like a walking watermelon already. I was just looking at my profile pic here on spark - and I am amazed that that picture of me and my husband was taken at 7 months pregnant... and there is barely a visible bump there. Whoo boy, this time around its VERY obvious I'm pregnant! I look it, and I FEEL it. Anyway, aside from losing a kg, everything else is looking great. Blood pressure was 115/70, blood sugars are staying below normal... the only thing that continues to annoy me are these constant digestive problems.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 8/11/2014 10:57PM


Gosh, lots going on in your life. Lots to hold you in prayer for.

I recently read an article that said that our brain gives up long before our body is physically exhausted. The way the article said to overcome the brain giving up is to say affirmations just like did the day you went to the homestead.

Congrats on your weight loss!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/11/2014 10:58:23 PM

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JANETRIS 8/8/2014 12:56PM

    I'm so glad you are feeling better and getting some tings in the day that make you feel accomplished! YAY! emoticon

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ALLYALLYT 8/6/2014 12:56AM

    glad you are finding some "me" time. walking always makes me feel better!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 8/5/2014 7:31PM

    HipHipHooray for you Maureen! Im so glad that you are carving out some YOU time! Do you have access to rice or bananas? Both of those are great for your baby's tummy issues.
It sounds to me like you are going to have some twins! Oh my! Do twins run in either family? That would be kinda fun. emoticon

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Monday, July 28, 2014

I have been so sleep deprived... for such a long time... i've struggled with insomnia for years. Lately falling asleep is not my problem... the problem is I'm interupted dozens of times during the night. Patricia still doesn't sleep through the night. She wants to nurse. The dog doesn't sleep through the night. He wants to poop, and it seems that I'm the only one in the house who hears him asking to go out. My husband... my husband sleeps like a dead person from about 9pm to 2 or 3 in the morning. Then he is wide awake, full of energy, and usually wants... well, you can guess what he wants. And because he functions beautifully on little sleep, and always has a super-abundance of energy, he has no sympathy at all for my tired, dragging self. Aside from those... there is the baby playing solo soccer matches en-utero. There is my poor bladder which is being squeezed and kicked by the same. There is my own mind which tends to disturb me with racing thoughts and random worries and anxieties... and on and on it goes. I tried to figure it out yesterday... I average about 3 hours of sleep a night, but only in bits and pieces. I can't even get three solid, uninterupted hours.

And then I keep wondering why I'm so darn TIRED all the time! So my work this week is to try to increase my SLEEP. Because God help me, what will I do when this next baby arrives?? I am no longer playing door-man for the dog. Either someone else can let him out, or someone else can clean up the mess in the morning. (He is newspaper trained, so its not quite so bad...) I tried to tell the husband that I am unavailable for intimacy in the middle of the night... that if he wants to start that he better do it before we sleep, or early in the morning before the kids wake. And I am going to take a nap during the day, whenever Patricia decides to crash, I'm going down with her. I will close the doors to the business - or if my husband doesn't want the doors closed, he can make a point to be here to watch the shop for himself. Its not fair that I'm tied here from morning to night, while he is free to do whatever. Sometimes he's busy with field work during the day, but more often than not, he ends up spending his time at leisure. Then if he comes home and finds me sleeping he'll make nasty, rude, unsympathetic comments and give me long, annoying lectures about how I'm ruining the business and I'm not taking it seriously. Humph. But he can say whatever he wants at this point. If I don't start taking care of me, there isn't going to be anything left to take care of him, or the kids, or the house, or the business. End of story!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 8/8/2014 12:50PM

    I hope you are making progress in the sleep department. For me it's my age and night sweats! I can live with it though. I don't have little ones to take care of so I can get a nap when needed. I'm praying for some relief for you! emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 7/29/2014 3:01AM

    You do need more sleep! Will Patricial bottle feed at all? Maybe your hubby can take care of the feedings when he wakes up and the dog too! Just close the door and lock him out so you can get your rest! lol. emoticon

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ALLYALLYT 7/29/2014 2:54AM

    good for you! i pray you are able to get rest soon!

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POSITIVEHOPE 7/29/2014 1:00AM

    I had insomnia because at certain times of the year, I have to take steroids for my Asthma and insomnia is one of the side effects.
I read a recommendation for the book Say Goodnight to Insomnia by Greg Jacobs and I was able to access a copy online in Open Library for free.
The author gives good insight into the issue and detailed explanations of all the various things that contribute to our sleep struggles. He explains the issues for different sleep problems from getting to sleep at night or returning to sleep during the night.
The author is a bit self-impressed (he is a well-known researcher at a major university) and applauds himself frequently in the book but despite that, the information is sound. After reading and implementing his step by step plan I had significant improvement. In fact, I no longer have trouble getting back to sleep at night.
I really recommend reading this book.

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Happy Birthday!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

We celebrated my first-born's 13th birthday today. I can't believe my baby boy is a teenager! (And I can't believe I am old enough to be the mother of a teenager!) Dale has autism, so in a lot of ways he has always been an old man in a boy's body, but he is also beautifully truthful and innocent. I'm am so blessed to have this child in my life, and proud to be his mother!

We have definately simplified our birthday traditions since coming to Kenya. Most Kenyans in this village have never celebrated their own birthday, and in fact don't even know which year, let alone the DAY which they were born. So I let the birthday boy pick out his birthday dinner, and just one gift. Its so much simpler than some of the crazy stress I put myself through in the USA trying to throw big and complicated birthday parties.

SO Dale requested a spaghetti dinner with cake and icecream. Okay, finding all the ingredients to make a spaghetti dinner in rural Kenya is not so simple, but we did manage it. I've gotten quite good at making sauce from scratch even. We skipped the cheese, because all the cheese here tastes terrible. The little store-bought cake I found looked cute, but it was like a brick with concrete frosting. (Oh Lord, I really need an oven so I can do my own baking!) But Dale was still happy with it, and once crumbled up and mixed with some icecream, it was edible. We couldn't find any birthday candles, so Dale stuck one regular utility candle in his cake. That cracked me up. After he finished to blow out his candle we had to light it again so that Patricia could have a turn blowing it out too.

It was a fun day, and a nice break from the usual routine... I ate too much, and I have killer indigestion now, but I enjoyed it knowing that we very rarely eat this kind of food. The boys and Patricia already cleaned out the left-overs, so by tomorrow, it will be back to indigenous fare.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSANITAL 7/27/2014 7:47PM

    Happy Birthday..... Maureen you made this Birthday very special and he will always know that..

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LUCKYDOGFARM 7/27/2014 4:22PM

    Happy Birthday Dale!
Maureen, do you have an electric roasting pan? You know, like your Mom or Grandmom made turkey in for thanksgiving. You. Can bake a cake in one of those! Really! I found that out one day when I was shopping in Walmart of all places. I was ogling the roasters and this couple walked by and started telling me all the stuff they did with theirs. Baking a cake was one of them. As soon as I got home, my good friend Betty (Crocker) and I baked a cake. It was yummy. Just like from an oven.

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ALLYALLYT 7/27/2014 1:04AM

    Happy Birthday Dale! Hope your day was wonderful!

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UMBILICAL 7/26/2014 1:52PM


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Food for Thought

Friday, July 25, 2014

I was up about the whole night with a sick baby last night. Poor Patricia was vomiting and having diarrhea. This morning we are just wiped out - - and it surely looks like a long day stretching out ahead of us.

Yesterday I started looking at FOOD along with my money budget. If I have one life-long vice, it has always been that I spend too much money on food. I just like to eat good food, and aside from that feeding my eating disorders could be pretty darn expensive. These days the disordered eating (compulsive over-eating, binging) are less, though not entirely conquered. But I still love food. I like to experiment with new recipes, and eat out at restaurants. If I'm feeling too exhausted or overwhelmed to cook, I go looking for ready-made, take out type food. Now that I'm staying close to town, I'm eating a lot more convenience food, which is obviously not helping anything - my weight or my budget.

But yesterday, when I put my usual food consumption into the food tracker on Spark, I had a bit of a surprise. I was way under my calorie requirements. And that was BEFORE I adjusted my calories to account for the fact that I am pregnant AND breastfeeding. Maybe that accounts for part of the reason that I am feeling SO TIRED these days. Thats probably one of my biggest complaints. I feel exhausted all the time, and doing the simplest chores just wipes me out. But since I've been gaining weight at a rather alarming rate, I never imagined that I might be under-eating. I actually thought that once I put my food in for the day, I'd have to start looking for ways to pare it down. I didn't think I'd be looking to add! The other thing, that has always been a problem for me - I never make the minimum requirements for protein. Those who have known me for a long time might remember that I have been a vegetarian of varying degrees. Here in Kenya I don't have a lot of options about food, so I do eat meat occationally, but in very small amounts. I couldn't really figure out a good fix for the protien issue, so I just cheated - and went in and manually lowered the requirements! =P

The under eating issue only applies if I am actually eating all my own food, though. If I get tired/lazy and start buying outside food, I'm sure the picture will look very different. Most of the "snack" food which is available around here is deep-fried. Things like french-fries, little donut-like things called mandazi, samosas, and chapati, which is a pan-fried flatbread.

So I have a couple of puzzles to solve at present. How to add to my daily diet in a way that is healthy and productive and boosts my ENERGY? Second, how to avoid the burn-out at the end of the day that sends me running for ready-made food to serve my family? In the evenings I am just flat out EXHAUSTED, and preparing food here is a long, slow process. There is no supermarket here in town. Somebody has to walk to the open-air market to buy what we need pretty much daily, as everything is fresh and highly perishable.
(I guess the other thing I should mention is that it is very hard for me to go do the daily shopping myself. I am more or less tied to the business location from morning till evening with no one to assist me. I usually wait for the boys to get out of school, and then send one of them to the market with a shopping list to get what we need... and they don't get home till after 5pm.)

The only thing I can figure right now is that I need to get myself organized and prepared to the point that I am ahead of the game, so that food is prepared well ahead of time, when I am preparing lunch, so that at dinner time, when I'm too pooped to take out a pot, I can just be re-heating. It sounds very simple to write, but it surely feels overwhelming to figure all that out and put it into practice!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCKYDOGFARM 7/27/2014 4:33PM

    I'm with Jane! The crockpot is a great plan. How about dried goods like beans and peas? Or canned foods? Beans are great proteins. I was eating a vegan diet for several years and that is what got me by.

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JANETRIS 7/26/2014 12:51PM

    Hey Maureen. You have some situations to work with here. I just kept thinking of the good old Crock Pot! Do you have one? When you are up and at in the AM it would be good to throw some veg, potatoes, rice, spices, meat or anything together in the flavor profiles that you like and have dinner ready for you when evening comes. If I cook a dinner, I always cook 2 full meals worth at the same time. We love leftovers and they are a quick fix to just heat up. Maybe you can supplement the eating out with these ideas. Cooking like this 2 times a week would yield 4 dinners! Just a thought. I know you will figure it out. Concentrate on good quality calories to combat your exhaustion. As we well know food is medicinal...lol! emoticon emoticon Stay healthy and be thankful for this little one you are growing inside! I hope Patricia is feeling better too! emoticon

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A Thursday Appeal

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How can I do a do-over on a Thursday?

I'm so OCD. My brain really feels that "fresh starts" should be reserved for the first of the month, or at least a monday morning. And of course everything should be "ready' and organized. A menu plan should be made ahead of time. An exercise plan. A budget. A to-do list. And I should be freshly showered with my teeth brushed and my bed made!

I'm so not prepared, but I am more than ready, and I need to start NOW, and not waste another day waiting for the universe to be perfectly aligned. And to be perfectly honest, I need much more than weightloss at this point. In fact, weightloss is pretty low on my priority list. I need to get my whole life together and back on track.

Yes, my life is a mess. If anyone thinks that losing weight will turn your life into a happily-ever-after fairy tale... I've got news for you! I lost 130+ lbs, but my problems didn't go away. In fact, I can say that all the issues I had at 300+ lbs only became more intense, because I could no longer eat them away.

In all the time this blog has been silent, I haven't been totally gone. I've checked back in here a few times a month, logged my weight, touched base with my favorite group, made some half-hearted noise about getting back on track... and slowly but steadily gained. Today I'm weighing in at 93 kgs - or about 205 lbs. Turns out there was a reason I was gaining... and it wasn't just because I'd gotten off track. Nope, I'm expecting another baby.

Babies, as it turns out, also don't wait for the universe to be in perfect order before they decide to make an appearance on the scene. Because here is the reality of my universe right now: My marriage is in bad shape. We were seperated for awhile. We reconciled and are living together again, but things are still pretty rough and uncertain between us. My business isn't going well. My finances are completely in the toilet, dire to the point of desperate. Spiritually I am as dry and shriveled as an old raisin. Physically, my heath has been declining back to some of the old problems I was experiencing when I was 300+ lbs. Fibromyalgia is back, migraines are back, something like IBS maybe with constant digestive and stomach issues, and I seem to have no immune system left at all, so I get every cold and flu that comes around, and it takes me 3x as long as everyone else to recover from it. My mental health is on the fritz as well... as I continue to struggle with episodes of depression and anxiety... and lets face it, just plain old insanity!

So, I'm here on a Thursday morning, my bed is NOT made, and I have NOT showered, but I'm ready to do something about this mess! And I'm writing a blog and appealing to anyone who takes the time to read it to support me with prayers and encouragement. Please, please, God knows I need some help, I need some friends, I need some pushing and maybe some kicking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 8/8/2014 12:45PM

    Maureen, I will support you in prayer and encouragement! Keep your glass half full and think of one small thing to be thankful for each day. Even if it is just that you woke up! It is positive! Sending love and hugs...Jane emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 7/24/2014 11:31PM

    Maureen, you are in my thoughts and prayers! I have been wondering where you dropped off to. I am so glad that you are here and reaching out for help. We are not made to go through this life with no support.
I'm going to get you on our church prayer chain and also on the APP team.
Big hugs and love to you! emoticon

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MYRTROSE 7/24/2014 7:00AM

    I just came back myself. Small consolation, but being pregnant helped me keep my diet together. It's since I've had the baby everything has gotten wildly out of control.
Small efforts, daily. Some days I only ask myself for 15 minutes. A little meal planning, 5 minutes of meditation, whatever.
Congrats on the baby, what a blessing no matter the circumstances!

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ALLYALLYT 7/24/2014 2:27AM

    Prayers said! Wishing you better health soon and for healing in your marriage. Congrats on the baby! Ally

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