Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: April 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Next Steps...

In an effort to keep this as real as possible and as honest with you guys as possible I wanted to share what has been going on with me over the past few weeks. You know about the miscarriage and all and that I have had a hard time mentally. I have finally decided to seek help with whatever mentally I am going through. It is through the urging of friends and family, especially my husband because I am not getting any better. If anything I am more distant and just keeping more to myself.

I am pretty sure I have some sort of postpartum depression or PTSD. But I don't feel right. I know that for sure and it is time to talk to someone to help me work through this. What made me realize that something was wrong is I have a major feeling of disconnect. I look forward to the times in the day that I get to myself so I can just watch a TV show or go into my books and escape from reality. I also have been more overwhelmed and I am quick to lose my cool with the kids. I already have a short fuse being a red head and all but I am having to rein in my frustrations a lot more than usual.

But the thing that is worrying my family the most is the disconnect. I can hardly handle touch sometimes. My skin just crawls and I should never feel like that. Speaking of skin, I have major body dysmorphia going on as well. Where I am just body slamming my body because it is a constant reminder that I am no longer pregnant. All I see is my bell that is sticking out too much for no excuse now. There is no baby in there. I gained too much weight I keep thinking, while I actually on gained 5 lbs.the first 3 months of pregnancy.  That's it. But all I see is frustration in myself and the fact that I don't feel comfortable in my own skin or my clothing. And now the though of how in the heck am I going to lose all this weight!

So now I am looking for a counselor to speak with to help me through this. I have worked with one other counselor before a few years ago. And it helped. For the most part. But this, I don't really know where to begin. I feel like I have too many problems going on. So it will be interesting with how it goes and how long I will see them. But I am getting the help that I need. And want. Thanks for listening friends!

If you missed my previous posts about my miscarriage, you can view them here:

Our Loss

Blessing In Disguise

Make You Or Break You: Emotions of a miscarriage

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Training Begins

So I am saying that my training for my half marathon this fall begins yesterday! Yep, I am definitely thinking that I will be doing my 2nd half marathon this fall. And why start yesterday? Because I honestly think it will take me that long to get me in running shape. So sad, but I have to start somewhere and yesterday was that somewhere.

I went to the gym. Ideas of grandeur were in my mind as to what I was going to do. I was going to just walk at about 3.7 on the treadmill, like I always do, for 30 minutes. Then do 30 min of the elliptical.

Things didn't go as planned. I started at 3.5 for warm up and I could already feel it. My heart rate was getting high and making me out of breath. I then went up to 3.7 and used the heart rate monitor on the machine and my pulse was above 160. Nope. Time to slow it down. So I just continued at a leisurely 2.8-3.5 pace the whole time. Increasing the pace for a couple of minutes then backing it down for a couple of more. I made it 30 minutes. And just over 1.75 miles. But I was worn out. Sweaty and breathing like I just ran 2 miles. So my starting point. Walking at an 18:30 min mile pace. UGH! Hate that but at least I can only get better. And I skipped the elliptical. I did 30 minutes. I did well for my first day back.

Goals for this week. 2 days of strength training and 3-4 days of cardio. 1 day down only a few  more to go! Here we go! LET THE TRAINING BEGIN!

Friday, April 24, 2015

It's Running Time...Almost

~Whew! I need to look into a wrinkle cream because I am looking my age! Unintentional photo bomb by Mason!~

Yesterday I got the all clear to start normal activities again. Doc is happy with my physical progress and says that everyday will get better with the mental progress. But there will still be good days and bad days.

I told him about my cleaning frenzy and how that is how I am getting my anger/frustrations out. He said to divide up the energy towards cleaning the house and running/exercising. Funny thing, most of  my appointments are spent talking races. My doc casually says today, "I think I am going to do the park to park race this weekend just for fun..." Yeah cause running a whole marathon takes no effort at all. My doc is pretty awesome because he will be up most the night delivering babies and wake up at 5 am to do an 18 mile run, for fun. And he needs the break to clear his head too I guess.

He encouraged me to keep signing up for races and just to keep on doing it. He loves that I enjoy running and thinks it is just an overall great thing for me to do. However, I am still a little anemic so for the next 2 weeks he said light exercise. No sprinting exercises (like I do that anyway!) And that if I get light headed, dizzy or out of breath than I am pushing too hard. Here is to 2 weeks of light exercise then off I go. I have got to get run ready for the woman's 4 miler training program that begins in like 6 weeks! EEK! Oh and I decided that I will be running my 2nd half marathon this fall. So my training will ultimately be for the 1/2 in November. YEA! Start the countdown to kicking my own butt!

~Pix above is me excited about getting to get back to it and not be stuck in my house! I also did my hair differently. I have never curled it like this (excpet for family pictures) but I thought I would try something new. I didn't get it cut. Honestly, I need a change and I don't want to cut it and I am getting to that awkward "funky length phase" for growing out my hair! So what do you think on the hair? Yea or Nay???~

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Can't Run? Walk!

Check out some of the benefits to walking! Running can be so hard on your body. Walking is just as good. Go out and enjoy the awesome weather you are having right now!

Start with walking a 1/4 mile at a nice pace. Something faster than walking around the mall. Enough to feel like you are working a little. Gradually increase the distance and/or faster pace. Your goal should be doing at least 30 minutes of walking a day at a brisk pace. 16:30 min per mile or faster! You can do it. Remember the tortoise beat the hare. You don't have to be fast, just steady and consistent!

Infertility Awareness Week

We are currently in the middle of infertility awareness week and I have had a hard time getting up the strength to continue to talk about it at this time. I have been pretty open, but to be honest I am still learning to cope with what I went through. Multiple miscarriages is still considered infertility problems.

I am talking with others and trying to work through my feeling and emotions. I am keeping a journal right now that is just an ongoing non stop journal. I have titled it The Ramblings After A Miscarriage. I just recently showed it to my hubs and had him read it.

But yesterday evening just before I put the kids down for bed. I read this article. I couldn't even get through it without balling. I tried reading it out loud for Matt to hear and I just lost it. It pretty much sums up what I needed to hear right now. Especially the Create Space section.

I have had it in my mind that by such and such a date I should be all better. No more bleeding, no more running out of energy. No more dizzy spells or getting out of breath. And learning to deal with what I have already been through before. I put this time table on WHEN I SHOULD FEEL NORMAL. And honestly, I am past that "date" and I am frustrated. I am done feeling weak, broken. I just want to be normal but I still need time. Mentally and physically. It sucks. But there it is. It just takes time.

So please read this article to show your support for Infertility Awareness Week. Let me know what you think in the comments below! 

Please know I am so grateful for all of your support through prayers and emails or messages I have received. It has meant to so much to me. You are all amazing!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Never Been Cleaner

Per Matt, our house has never been cleaner! He has noticed (he actually noticed!) that our kitchen is getting cleaned/scrubbed every night for the past couple of weeks. The beds are getting made. Mason is picking up his toys more. The house is just clean and feels cleaner.

I have been keeping a journal and I realized the other night that I am using cleaning as my "outlet" for my frustrations. I have always known that when I get frustrated I clean. And man I am using cleaning as my way to take control of my life and just control what I am doing and what I can do.

Since I am limited in my exercise ability and actual ability to breath easily I am busting my butt cleaning my house.

Not just that, but having other people in your home, cleaning your home kind of puts that into perspective. My sis in law did like 10 loads of laundry for us, cleaned our bathrooms, cleaned our house while she was here. I will forever be in her debt for doing that. We also had other friends in our house just coming over and straightening up our house for us. Doing the dishes for us and frankly I am trying to keep up the great work that they did! So huge thank you to everyone who helped clean our house and took care of us. You work was not in vain and I am doing a great job of keeping up with it.

And honestly it is easier to keep a house clean than clean a dirty house. (no time was taken away from the kids to keep the house clean. I try to do it after they go up to bed or during daddy play time with them)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Quiet Time For Moms Is A Must

I'm no expert on being a mom, I mean I am a mom, but there are days that I just feel like this:

But some days other mom's think my life is like this:

Most days I am just glad that I survived the day and I feel like I am seriously a Super Mom:

But my two cents on being a mommy, and a good mommy is to a) take care of yourself and b) take care of your kids which can lead to c) take care of the house! (The house can wait!)

As a mom it is so easy to get wrapped up in the whole, kids come first bit. And most of the time they do. But, BUT, mom's need their time too, otherwise they feel the strain and so will the kids, the hubs, the dog, and it can just explode sooner or later.

Mom's reading this, you know what I am talking about. THE EXPLOSION! Where we just have had it and can't do it and we find ourselves in the closet crying because we just need 5 seconds to ourselves. In Sex And The City Charlotte, after trying to many, many years to have kids, finally has one. And she is trying her hardest to be the "perfect mom" Making homemade goodies. An art project for her little one and trying to look perfect too. Her little one comes up with red paint on her hands and sticks her hands on Charlotte's beautiful white skirt! Charlotte then retreats into the pantry and cries it out for a second.

Guess what mom's! IT'S OK to take time for yourself. I have to or else I am a MOMSTER by the end of the day and that just ain't cool. Please do not think that I am perfect. Most days if you just stop by my house I am still in my pj's but that is how I roll. So here is my schedule for my Mommy Quiet Time as we call it in our house. (Because heaven forbid I call it nap time to Mason he will go on strike and that is not cool!)

7-8am- Shower and quiet time for mom. This is my morning, get ready for the day and have alone time before the house gets up and going. I have time to think, read scriptures and blog a little too. (I have actually started waking up an hour earlier to allow this time for myself and it has been marvelous! yes my kids sleep in till 8. Collin most of the time till 9. Not bragging but I trained them that way,)

12:30 on the dot- is Mommy Quiet Time. Both kids go into their room for quiet time. Mason goes in with gold fish and his tablet and he can either play on his tablet or sleep. It is his choice. And yes I totally embrace quiet time with his tablet because we have it set up to only allow certain apps to play for so long.

Collin is so ready for his long afternoon nap by this point. He has a 40 minute nap at 10:30 and by 12:30 he is ready to go down.

3:00- both kids are up and ready to get out. It is kind of amazing how it works.

8:00pm- Time for bed for the kiddos.

I trained Mason on this schedule, meaning that it took some time for him to get used to it. Collin just fell into the schedule since he has been born. Not everyday is like this but about 85% of the time it is. Sometimes, like yesterday, Mason will call out for me and wiggle the door asking to come out or get my attention but most of the time it is because his table froze up or he needs more snacks. (he is only allowed 1 snack now so that he has room for a snack later and for dinner.)

But seriously find some time that works for you during the day. Even if you have to wake up 1 hour earlier or even just 30 minutes earlier so that you get some you time. That is what it is all about. Exercise, take a shower, meditate. Try to find some time for you to be alone and just do your own thing. I promise you that it will make your life a little bit more manageable.

~Me, no make up and just having fun with the kids!~

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

So Long To Fast Food

How many of you guys keep a monthly budget? Do you stick with that budget? Over the past few months I have noticed that we were eating out more than usual. This pregnancy I ate out more often that I did while pregnant with Collin. Yes, I was way exhausted being pregnant and having 2 kids to chase after and frankly when 5pm hit I had no energy to think about dinner. AT ALL!

So my goal over the next 3 months is to stick to our budget. Stop eating out so dang much and get healthier meals in our BODIES! 

How am I going to do that? 

~Well, planning sure is one of those things. Thankfully with all the food we received from the miscarriage we froze a lot of the leftover to eat for later. So that helps. But also not waiting until 5pm to figure out what we are eating. 

~A new rule I have with Matt is, you eat what I make. Instead of me asking, "What do you want for dinner?" It is now. "We are having this for dinner." I know his likes and dislikes and I often will throw in some of his dislikes masked in a dish and he will eat it just fine. So no worries there. But like the other day, I made pulled pork. He likes dry rubbed BBQ. I don't so since I am the one cooking I make it how I like it. That also means left overs for me. 

Now I am going to just plan away and use up what we have in our freezers. Some days I am not going to want to cook and that is ok, but it is time that we just start having mac and cheese from a box or pb&j. I am seriously going to be tightening down on this. I have got to stop relying on fast food. It is not the best thing for anyone on a regular basis. 

(i.e. fast food in our house is: Panera, 5 guys, Chic-fil-a, Tropical Smoothie Cafe or Subway. It is not other common fast foods so it isn't too bad for us...At least that is what I keep telling myself.) 

So with that said, I wanted to share an awesome and super easy recipe that I got from my sister in law while we were visiting her for Easter. 
Green Tomatillo Enchiladas:
1 package of Chicken Tenders
1 12 oz jar tomatillo salsa ( I used Trader Joe's Verde Salsa) 
1/2 block cream cheese
1 Tablespoon sugar
Splash of chicken stock
8 tortillas softened
1/2 small block tillamook cheddar cheese or pepper jack would be awesome! 
cilantro to garnish
sour cream and tomatoes on side  (optional)

Pour Verde Salsa over chicken tenders in a crock pot. Cook on high for 1-2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once cooked, shred chicken. Reserve sauce and put in blender and combine with cream cheese, sugar and stock. You want it to be a little thick. 

Pour some sauce, about 1/4 cup, on a plate and dip each tortilla before you assemble the enchilada. Add the rest of the sauce to the shredded chicken. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of the saucy chicken to the tortillas and roll it up and place in a 9x13 pan. Continue until all tortillas used or saucy chicken is all gone. Pour remaining sauce over top of rolled enchiladas. Top with cheddar. 

Place in oven for about 15 min or cheese is fully melted. Serve with a side of black beans and rice.

Super easy. Way easier than I thought it would be. Enjoy! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

5 Minute EASY Chair Workouts

I can't do squats or lunges, it gives me that wonderful WOOZY feeling that I am just getting accustomed to, but I need to keep up the strength in my legs. Wanna see what I did today to help me out? Here ya go! No squats or lunges here people. Safe exercises that weren't heart racing cardio workouts that would make me pass out.

On a bright note. I can't bend over to pick things up. Does that mean that I just let my living room that is scattered with toys stay a mess? YEP! And I am ok with that. Thankfully today, Mason decided it was a good day to help me out and pick up all the toys. So thankful for his "good days."

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Break Project

I had originally planned on painting my bedroom and bathroom but since I am still recovering and have to take things slower, I just did my bathroom. I will finish it up in the next couple of weeks because I didn't get to the commode closet that we have. So just a little bit left but the main part of the bathroom is DONE! YEA!

And I really love this blue! It actually matches the blue in our bedspread pretty well so we have some symmetry from the bedroom to the bathroom. Next on the list is for me to paint our bedroom a nice light tan color. I love spring break when I can get these little projects done. Oh and Matt was super impressed with my painting again. With how well I do with it. So kudos to me from him! Now time to get some beachy accessories!

Color: Benjamine Moore- Buxton Blue. - yes it is the same blue as in the morning room off the kitchen and in the kids cave. I had an extra can of paint so, waste not, want not!

I do tape off the room as well. It is easier. And taping USED to be my fav thing to do with painting but man it wore me out yesterday. So I don't think I like it so much anymore. Do you tape off the room before painting? Blue or green tape?

What did you do for spring break?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Waiting Game

~Tick tock goes the clock~

2.5 weeks since my miscarriage and I feel like I am just in a constant state of waiting. Waiting to feel better. Waiting to finally start exercising. Waiting to just feel NORMAL!

Recovery update: 2 days ago is when I finally feel like I am feeling somewhat "normal" again. I still get a little dizzy if I do too much too quickly. I am basically doing normal activities and household chores again, but at a much slower pace. I have to make myself remember to slow down. It is making my cleaning maybe a little bit more thorough though which is nice.

What I am doing: I have started adding in simple squats. Not a lot but just just like 3-5 at a time a couple of times a day. I am cleaning the house too which also burns calories. Oh and today, I am painting our bathroom. I had originally planned on doing our bathroom and our bedroom but scaled back to just our bathroom.

Don't worry about me. I am listening to my body and if it doesn't feel right. I stop. No questions asked. Oh and I am still drinking my green juice. (chlorophyll water)

I am hoping next week to start taking short walks with the boys around the neighborhood. This re-building blood thing is no joke! I am just thankful that I am here to do the laundry, clean the house and even paint my bathroom.

And a huge thank you to all that have helped us with words and emails of encouragement, advice, prayers, food, entertainment for our kids and even cleaning my house and doing my laundry. I am so humbled by all the loving support that we have received. Thank you friends!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter

Happy Easter weekend. Today is Good Friday. And Sunday is Easter. I don't talk a whole lot about my own personal faith here but I do love Easter. I wanted to share this beautiful message that my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, made for this Easter season. Check it out. It doesn't matter if you are LDS or not, it is a great video! Let me know what you think.

Happy Easter. May we remember the season and what it truly means! #BecauseHeLives #IAmMormon

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Building Red Blood Cells

As you know from the miscarriage I lost a lot of blood. And I didn't need/get a transfusion of blood. And since I am not a vampire, Tru Blood is not recommended for me! My body is doing it all on its own. Sad thing, it will take me about 3 weeks to regain all the blood that I lost. 3 WEEKS of feeling out of breath, and every time I go up and down the stairs I feel like I am running up stadium hill. (A beast of a hill here in C-ville). My doc's main orders were to take my antibiotics for possible infection and take iron pills. 3 times a day.

Why is iron so important? Iron plays an essential role in the transportation of oxygen to the blood. Symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness (check), fatigue (yep), shortness of breath (yep have that too) and decreased immunity (might have that but have been on drugs to stave off infection so don't know!)

Well I have gone a bit more granola in my iron consumption. I have the supplements if I need them but here is what I have been doing. (my doc fully supports me doing what I am doing and thinks it is awesome that I am thinking outside the box and more natural! Always confer with your doctor.)

Chlorophyll- Yes you read this right. Chlorophyll, plant blood as I have been calling it, is amazing at building back red blood cells. I specifically have been taking Chloroxygen drops in my water. It turns my water a dark shade of green and has a mild taste. It isn't that bad. Here is some research we found about this specific product. I have been drinking large mugs of water each day and I really think this is what has helped me feel so much better as quickly as I have. (my doc actually said it is awesome to take after a long run because it helps to re-oxiginate your blood. And obviously after having a baby where there is some blood loss as well.)

Black Strap Molasses- I have only take 1 dose of this and man it was hard to take straight up because it has a thick tar like consistency. And it is super, SUPER sweet! Oh man it was sweet. Matt had me take a teaspoon straight up and I swear I had a headache that night from how sweet it was. But this is the kind we got. Organic has 24% iron in it.

Sunflower Seeds-A 1/4 cup serving of sunflower seeds dry roasted with salt contain 1.22 mg of iron. It isn't a whole lot but they sure taste yummy! 

Red Meat- Man I have been eating red meat galore it feels like. And I like it! We have been getting BBQ, or I ordered BBQ from a restaurant Monday night. And hamburger. And happily it was brought to our house last night for a meal from a neighbor! Yummy! 

Liver- Liver is high in iron but I couldn't do it. Nope, not me.

Green Smoothies- Using spinach and other fibrous greens are chalk full of iron of you.

I am also taking some of the left over encapsulated placenta I have left over from Collin. I didn't finish them off cause I had so many and was saving them for a rainy day. Rainy day has come. The main thing I am doing is listening to my body. I don't push too hard because I feel like crap when I do. And it really sucks feeling out of breath all the time. I just want to get better and that means that I have to take it easy, listen to my body and allow it the time it needs to recover. That means no 5 mile walk this weekend. As much as I would love to, it would probably do me in. So more rest and recovery and soon enough I will be back at it and getting back to being fit! 

Have you ever tried any of these natural iron supplements?
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