Diaries of a Working Girl

Hey guys!

I’m a little heartbroken because we saw a townhouse that we absolutely fell in love with (it’s a three story, loft-style town house) but the chances of us getting it are slim to none. The owner of the place really wants to sell it, and he’s going to rent it out as a last resort, but in two days they’ve already had a bunch of offers. Like I said, kind of heartbroken. I’ll let y’all know if by some miracle we get it, but I seriously doubt it. Goodbye beautiful town home. ūüė¶

I started my new job and I really like it! It’s at Old Navy, and for some reason the place already kind of feels like home. It’s difficult to get used to the schedule of a new job, but as far as jobs go- this one is great!

There’s a couple bad things about working. For starters, I miss my family. It sucks being at work knowing that my family is at home hanging out and eating dinner without me. It really sucks when I know Autumn’s going to bed and I don’t get to say goodnight to her. It’s only been one day since I’ve started work, and I gained two pounds. Woops. I know I can lose them quickly, but I recognize why that happened in the first place. I didn’t pack a dinner, so I wound up eating Chipotle. I tried to keep it healthier by getting a burrito bowl with chicken, brown rice, and lettuce, but it’s still not the healthiest of options. Plus I got chips. Double woops. Small side note: chips are my kryptonite. I didn’t even really like them before surgery but after…. I crave them! I need to figure out a way to eat healthier lunches and dinners, and to start packing meals for work since a lot of shifts I’m taking are the night shift (4-10 pm).

As I think I mentioned once before, I have never been that great at balancing too many things. Some people (like my sister) can do a million things a day and still do them well. For example, she was working full time, going to school full time (not to mention graduated with her B.A. and had a 4.0 GPA!), and raising a daughter (my beautiful niece). HOLY SMOKES! I wish I could balance as well as her. For me, I can do well in two area’s but then I will likely fail at the other two. I thrive in school, and I (seriously hope) I thrive as a mama. But then the eating and exercise part, not so much. Or I will be a good worker, eat well, exercise, but then be too exhausted for school and playing with Autumn. I never feel like I can do everything to 100%. I’m still searching for my balance and hopefully I’ll find it sooner rather than later.

So as I briefly mentioned in the last paragraph… exercising, not so much. I was loving running, but I haven’t in a week. I justified it by being like “well, now I’m going to be on my feet for hours on end at work, so there’s no point to work out.” I know what b.s. that excuse is and I’m trying to stop thinking that way. It just sucks because when I come home from work I have one hour with the boys before we all go to bed. I want to cherish that hour and spend it with them, not go out running. Ugh, if only there were more hours in the day. I need to start running again. Even if I cut it down to only two times a week, at least I’ll still be doing it.

I’m not sure I’ll ever know what my calling is in life (in terms of a career). My brother is hell bent that I should still pursue Speech and Language Pathology, but I really don’t want to be in school that many years. I’m really considering getting a Bachelor’s Degree is Business Administration with an emphasis on marketing, management, or something along those lines. The reason is because it seems that every company in the world has room to hire people with a Business degree. When I go onto indeed.com, almost every full-time job asks for a “Bachelor’s Degree in Business or any related Degree.” I also have faith that if I’m miserable with that decision one day, I will figure something out from there. Still not sure what I’m going to do, but I enrolled in school for business classes. Again, any more advice or comments please email or send my way!

Thank you guys so much for always letting me vent and always being there with support, words of encouragement, and positivity. I started this blog to help people, but y’all are really also helping me. So thank you!

Love to all,

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 248 ūüė¶

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”- Jimmy Dugan, a character from A League of Their Own (one of my dad’s favorite movies)

Updates, Updates- Read All About ‘Em

Hey guys!

I don’t really have any big updates, but I have a bunch of little ones. I’m going to make them in list form today because I think it may be easier that way.

Updates:

1.) I’ve been going out¬†a lot. Before the surgery, I avoided being physically active. I never even realized how bad it was. I literally sat inside all day, every day, with no regard to how it affected Autumn to be stuck inside the first 2 or 2.5 years of her life. Not anymore. I still sit/relax a lot, but my parenting and my activity level has increased ten fold. For example, I’ve taken her to the park probably 10 times in the last two weeks. I take her on walks when the weather’s nice (not every day, but much more then I ever did before). And even when we’re home, I play with her much more. I will spin her around, dance with her, sing with her, color/arts and crafts, etc. All things I didn’t do before. I would let her entertain herself or have her friends come over to entertain her so I didn’t have to. I’m embarrassed to admit that, but it’s the truth. Not just with Autumn, though. I’m more active in everything. An example, I have girls nights often (between 2 and 4 times a month) and my energy is shown there too. We went shopping at Torrid for me to buy some new interview and work attire, and I tried on probably 50 pieces of clothing and wasn’t tired at all. Side note: I started in a size 4 at Torrid and I’m now a size 1. As I move forward in this journey I definitely want to make it a goal to watch less TV and to sit on my butt far less. I’m a work in progress.

2.) Me and my friends had a drinking night last weekend. It was a lot of fun! I get drunk very easily now a days. Like one glass of wine, easily. And I had three. So…. yeah. But that was another way in which I was shocked at my energy. Before surgery when I would drink we would play drunken games and sit mostly. Now it was quite a difference. We danced, sang, did the train around my apartment, etc. It was a night to remember!

3.) My big brother- Josh- flew in from his travels. He’s what I like to call a world traveler and modern day explorer. He spent a few months in Hawaii and came back about a month ago but then flew to Portland. I put a picture below of our first day reuniting after Portland. It was really fun, plus he cooked us lunch so I had a day off from cooking!

4.) On Thursday (23rd of April) the town we live in- Arlington Heights- had it’s yearly Spring Spectacular Festival. It’s for the whole town to get together and bring their kiddo’s for a fun (not to mention, free) day outside. It was a blast for Autumn! We rode on a train (which I fit on with ease), we went into a petting zoo, sat down for story time, did a candy hunt on the field, and played in the park. Autumn really had the best time! Can’t wait to go again next year.

This is the part in this post where I kind of need to vent while I update y’all:

5.) So, I got a job. It’s very flexible hours, decent pay for part time, and very close to my home. But I’m nervous. We don’t even have Autumn in daycare yet, and I’m scared of change. I’m going to miss being around her all the time. I start tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4pm and I work until 10pm which means I won’t even get to say goodnight to her. I’m nervous about how our schedule will work around this, I’m nervous about being away from my family more, and I’m nervous about being on my feet for very long periods of time. Even though I’m a million times more active than before, I’m still slightly nervous of that (but it’s the least thing I’m worried about). I’m most worried about being away from my family. As I have told you guys in the past, Alex and I are very close. We do everything together. We grocery shop together (every time), we run small errands together, etc etc etc. And Autumn I’m used to seeing every waking hour of every day. And even though a part of me is excited to get out of the house more, the other part of me is saying “you are really gonna be miserable and missing your family”. The biggest pressure I feel though is that I don’t want to be a failure in life. I don’t want to waste my potential. These issues (plus the school one I’m about to list) have been causing me massive amounts stress lately.

6.) I’m still at a complete loss about what to do for school. Go to NIU and pursue a B.S. in Communicative Disorders (which will take many years), or go back to NEIU and get a slightly generic B.A. or B.S. in business or something like that (which will only take 1.5 or 2 years). Not a clue. Going to NIU would be difficult but probably more rewarding in the future. I would have to re-do a bunch of credits that didn’t transfer (three math classes, a science class, and a communications class), PLUS the 70 credits I would need to add on to that for the degree. And I never know if I would be accepted into the highly competitive Master’s program (you can’t practice Speech and Language Pathology without a Master’s degree). Ugh, so much to think about, so little time.

7.) I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any either. I’ve been falling off the bandwagon lately due to boredom. If I even see another hard-boiled egg, I’ll puke. I really don’t know what to meal-prep and eat for lunches right now. I’ve also been kind of giving in and eating whatever I want whenever I want. This needs to end. The good thing about falling off the wagon nowadays is unlike before surgery, when I fall off I get back on. Before surgery I would fall off, and stay off. So I’m going to start using MyFitnessPal more thoroughly and pick myself up from this small funk.

I’ve received a lot of good advice on facebook or email from y’all, but please- keep it coming!¬†Any advice or words of encouragement about the school and job situation is¬†really needed. I’m ever-so-slightly lost right now.

With love… and hope,

Dimand Girl

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”- Thomas Edison

“Being courageous doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid. Being courageous means that you have the inner strength to embrace being afraid and still move forward.”- Unknown

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^^Here’s a couple before and after’s^^

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^^Each picture is from a different visit to the park or walk outside. And these are only a few of them, there are many more!^^

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^^NSV (non scale victory): trying on a billion clothes and NOT feeling out of breath or exhausted!^^

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^^Wild- and fun!- night!^^

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^^Day with my big brother!^^

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^^Day out at Spring Spectacular!^^

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

Hey guys!¬†Not too much to update today but I’m going to anyways! I’m also gonna include a recipe!

I got a lot of support and opinions about Northern and what I should do. The overwhelming majority think I should not go. Many people said to stay where I’m at now and get a general degree (like business, management, etc). Though I actually enrolled for classes at Northern, I haven’t actually made a decision yet. I definitely want a degree, I just still need to take some time and consider all the options. Thank y’all so much for all the cyber hugs and support I’ve gotten. Knowing how many people are behind me is actually incredible. Love you guys!

I’ve still been applying to jobs and hopefully I’ll find one soon. I need more social interaction.¬†I see my friends a lot during the week and weekends, but I want more working experience too. I’ve still been running every other night. Except for the weekend. I definitely need to be better on the weekends too. The longest I lasted was 2.3 miles (I stopped twice in between to take an inhaler break). But I should mention that it’s not really running, more like slowly jogging. I go¬†really slow. Another name for it could be turtle jogging¬†(haha!). But I’m enjoying it a lot! I have been noticing a lot of loose skin lately, though. I think eventually (when I get a job) I’m going to get a trainer again to help me tighten and tone the loose skin.

I’ve been trying to consistently eat well too. My lunches are still pretty much the same: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of sugar snap peas, 1 lite string cheese, 2 oz of deli turkey, and 1 cup of berries (10 raspberries, 10 blackberries, and 20 blueberries). Sometimes I switch it up a little, like if I’m sick of turkey I’ll have two hard boiled eggs instead. I’m getting a little bored of that lunch routine, but I’m going to get creative and find a different one that works.

And now for the recipe!

Zucchini Pizza/Lasagna! The reason it’s pizza/lasagna is because I got both comments. Timur said it tasted more like lasagna (I agree) but Alex said it tasted more like pizza. So I’m going to call it both and let y’all decide. Anyway, this is absolutely some of the best food I’ve ever made. You can use it as a side, or a meal. It’s super easy to make, and it will please even the pickiest of eaters.

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(^^not my pictures, but they looks exactly the same!^^)

Zucchini Pizza/Lasagna:

-2 medium to large zucchini’s

-About 1 cup of any type of pizza or marinara sauce (I use Ragu mushroom and green peppers)

-About 1.5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

-2 teaspoons of olive oil

-1/4 teaspoon of salt

-1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cut one zucchini into long strips and one zucchini into coins (as pictured above). You want these to be thin, but not too thin that they won’t be able to hold the other ingredients. Brush each side with a little olive oil and pop them on a baking sheet (you might need to use two baking sheets). Put them in the oven for 2 minutes, then take them all out, flip them, and put them back in for another 2 minutes. Then take them out of the oven and pat off the excess oil from each piece. Put them back on the baking sheet and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper on each slice. Spoon some sauce over each of them (about 1 tablespoon per long strip and half a tablespoon per coin). Then sprinkle a generous amount of cheese over each piece. Throw back in the oven for 6 minutes. Done, and delicious!

Happy Eating to All,

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 246

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.”- Confucius (sorry for the repeat quote, but it applies here too!)

“An apron is just a cape on backwards.” – Unknown

“If you train¬†your mind for running, everything else will be easy.”- Amby Burfoot

Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up.

Hey guys!

I have a lot of updates, some good and some… stressful.

On Friday the 3rd the boys had off of work (due to Easter Friday) and we went to my dad’s for a Passover celebration. We do a Passover gathering every year, it’s a tradition. We have some of our friends and then my dad and Helen. There’s usually between 10-15 people so it can be a little hectic on the day of the gathering (in terms of cooking). We made quite the feast! We had matzo ball soup, kugel, rotisserie chicken, deviled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, charoset, matzah, etc. It was very yummy but I filled up super fast! We said prayers, ate dinner, and let Autumn find the afikomen. She was so happy when she found it and got a one-dollar-coin! It was a really good year!

I recently decided that I want to get a job. I love Autumn to death but I need¬†to get out of the house more and be more active and productive. I’ve applied to a bunch of places and so far have four interviews set up. Hopefully I get one of them and they will fit into my schedule! I’m scared that I might have an intense struggle being able to do everything: taking care of Autumn on my free time, going to school, doing homework, blogging, seeing friends, spending a lot of family time and time with Alex, and having a job. Just saying it all makes me cringe a little.

I went to the Northern Illinois University orientation and I basically just kept getting bad news after bad news after bad news. It sucked. I loved the campus, made a bunch of friends, and accepted my offer to be in the High Honor’s Society. But then… I got to meet my adviser and she told me that a bunch of my credits won’t transfer from my school so I will basically lose a bunch of the credits I took. I will have to re-take math, science, and communications classes. I was devastated. At part-time it will take me four years to graduate with my Bachelor’s. FOUR YEARS. So basically, I won’t have my Master’s Degree until I’m 30. And now I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be in school that long, and yet I feel like I can’t take full-time classes without feeling way too overwhelmed. I could also stay at Northeastern and get a general type of degree (like business or something) and not have to start over. Not a clue what to do, I feel really lost right now.

I was pretty upset when I left Northern’s orientation. The girls took me to dinner and we had fun, but it never left my mind. I thought it would be a good idea to distract myself by making the next day a fun one. Sophia, Timur, Alex, Autumn and I all took a trip to Milwaukee, WI. We went to the city and went to two museums. Both of them were awesome and Autumn had a great time. It really helped me de-stress. We also walked almost 6 miles, so I simultaneously got my exercise in.

In terms of weight-loss and the surgery… not a whole lot of updates there. I haven’t lost any weight but I also haven’t gained any. I notice that I don’t do well under stress. With all the school and work stress going on I haven’t been eating well or tracking anything again. I feel so weak because I can’t keep it all together. I can’t find a balance where I do good at everything. If I’m being productive in life (going to school, getting a job, etc) then I’m lacking everywhere else. It’s been a huge source of stress lately, but hopefully I’ll get it together soon or find some kind of balance that works.

Hope you all had a great holiday no matter what you celebrate!

Dimand Girl

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.”- Charlie Chaplin

“Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.”- Unknown

“Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.”- Morris Joseph

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^^Another girls night photo. Dang, I look fine!^^

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^^Passover!!^^

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^^NIU Orientation^^

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^^Milwaukee!^^

“Does running late count as exercise?”

Hello again everyone! Autumn is busy coloring in her coloring book right now so I had some free time to update and thought I’d take advantage of it. Warning! Y’all are in for another long post!

Yesterday was a very nice day! It was 60 degrees here and super gorgeous out. Autumn doesn’t wake up until 9 am (I know, I know- I’m very lucky!) so from 8-9 am I get some free time to prepare for the day. It’s really nice actually because on days when she wakes me up I feel less refreshed. Yesterday I made her some oatmeal, made myself coffee and watched some Medium on Netflix. When she got up she ate her breakfast and watched two episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Then I took her to the big girl potty so she could empty her bladder. After that we spent an hour doing arts and crafts. I try to do arts and crafts as often as possible, but we probably do them only 4-5 times a week. I want to start doing them every day but it can sometimes be annoying to take everything out and then clean everything up. After arts and crafts we went outside. I walked and pushed her along in her her trike. She has the red 4-in-1 Radio Flyer trike¬†and loves it!! It’s good for me because then I can walk as fast as I want.

We were outside walking for an hour (walked just under 2 miles). Then she said she wanted to see her friends so I called their parents and we all met up outside. Autumn has three friends that she’s really close to. There’s one girl and two little boys. They are soooo cute together! Yesterday they sat in the dirt together and all pretended to be gardening. They were helping each other and laughing and honestly having the best time. Then they all rode their little bikes and cars around. We wound up being outside for almost 3 hours! I’m actually pretty sunburned because of it! By the time we got home we had worked up quite an appetite so we ate lunch, colored in her coloring book, and sang songs.

At night (6 pm) my good friend Marylou picked me up and we had dinner at¬†Olive Garden, went¬†shopping at Torrid, got coffee at Starbucks, and drove around talking. Autumn was asleep by the time we got back to my place but she came in and got to see the boys. I try to go out with¬†my friends at least once or twice a¬†week to keep myself sane. It’s not easy being home with a three year old all day! Even though she’s actually really¬†well behaved, it’s still pretty exhausting. Dinner was yummy! Believe it or not, Olive Garden has a lot of very healthy options there! At Torrid Marylou bought me a dress and a bathing suite (I know, I’m freakin blessed to have the friends I have!! Thank you again Marylou!).¬†It was an amazing night!

I’ve really found my motivation for eating well again! For breakfast I always have 16 oz of caffeinated coffee, with 4 tbs of sugar free Coffee Mate coffee creamer and two Sweet N Low. I’m never hungry for breakfast. Actually, if I eat early in the morning I sometimes feel nauseous. Once in a blue moon I’ll have a banana too for breakfast but it’s very rare. Every night I make lunch for myself for the next day (remember when I said I’m a huge convenience person?). When I have a healthy lunch already made in the fridge, I stick to it because it’s super convenient! My lunches lately have consisted of one hard boiled egg, one lite string cheese, one cup of sugar snap pea’s, and one cup of mixed berries (total= 187 calories, 19 carbs, 15 protein). And by the end of lunch I’m stuffed! For dinner I’ve been finding different seafood recipes to try. The other night I made a Chinese food style shrimp dish that everyone loved! It was super yummy and very low in carbs and calories (plus high in protein!). I still struggle a bit at snack time but I’m getting better since I go to sleep a lot earlier. I’m trying to hover around the 1,300 calorie mark every day and I try to eat less than 100 carbs and about 100 grams of protein as well. This week I’ve been pretty successful so hopefully I can keep it up! And I’ve lost three pounds in three days!! Woohoo!

I HAVE BIG NEWS TO REPORT!!! I’m officially a runner!! Okay, so I’m not great at it yet but I loved it! On Tuesday night Alex was putting Autumn to bed and Timur and I went out for a run. We brought our music, I brought my inhaler (which I did have to use once), and we just went for it. And loved it! I now downloaded an application on my iPhone called “C25K Free” which is an app that helps you basically learn how to run. I’m going for a run again tonight and this time I’m going to use the app and I’m really excited! I can only run for about 30 seconds to a minute before I have to calm down and just walk but after I catch my breath for a couple minutes I feel ok to run again.¬†I have so many new goals now! I want to be in a tough mudder (that’s my major goal), I want to be in 5k’s and eventually even 10k’s, and I want to join crossfit. I will achieve my goals. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ it’s a matter of ‘when’!

We’ve been checking out daycare/preschools for Autumn lately. If anyone lives in my area and has any advice on that topic please shoot me an email! She will need to start in late August (when I go back to school). It’s hard to find places because there’s basically no reviews anywhere! The potty training is still not coming along as hoped but I’m persistently trying with it at least!

Thanks for reading my rant post today!

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 247

“I like to hang out with people who make me forget to look at my phone.”- Unknown

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”- Charles R. Swindoll

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”- Henry David Thoreau

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^^A typical day for us (when the weather is nice)! I posted a pic of our lunch to show how I’ve been meal planning. Her lunch = nuggets, sugar snap peas, and a banana (banana is not pictured). My lunch = one hard-boiled egg, one lite string cheese, one cup of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) and one cup of sugar snap peas.^^

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^^Girls night!!^^

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^^The swimsuit and dress she bought me!^^