The Million Dollar Mom: Cyborg Mommy and Tremendous Twonagers

SO we left off in a bit of a to-be-continued holding pattern. There was our little two year old.

Her whole life ahead of her. Endless potential. And boundless energy.  Kangaroo farm tours be damned, she's happy to mill with the less animated animals and poke her fingers through the gates.  That will continue to continue.

And then there was her mamma. Looking a little bedraggled on the peak of her thirties.

Well, I mean, looking FAAAAGULUS (as Chaya would say, before rounds of Oooopah and "raise roof raise roof"). But a little physically worse for the wear recently. It all held together pretty nicely for the first two years of ignoring my physical health to tend the baby. But it certainly has started to catch up with me just in time to devour any remaining deductible on our health insurance.

So let's see. I've not made any returns to the Emergency Room (sorry, Chaya, I know you had a blast in the hospital). I'd call that a win, yeah? For about a week there, I got some pretty amazingly deep sleep. Just kind of out of nowhere. One day I was reconciling myself to a long slog out of insomnia and the next I'd passed out in my own drool by 8:30 p.m.. The last week has been a little less magnificent on those terms, but not as bad as the total sleepocalypse of mid-August. I am truly looking forward to cooler evenings, as I think some of the cooler nights have definitely helped. The heat and humidity are paralleled only by the click and WHIIIIIIIR of the air conditioner for sleep disruption.

I'm mostly back to my regular activities. Running pretty well. Doing a few mini-hikes. Walking in the mornings on my treadmill to get the blood pumping.

I'm currently drinking a small saccharine ocean every day. I hope it's helping. I've gained a great glob of weight, so there's that, I suppose. My blood pressure tends to remain low regardless. And some days - I imagine the poorly slept ones in particular - I still feel pretty light headed and "off," but not in a way as to completely interfere with everyday Chaya worship. This is a blessing in and of itself.

In fact, it's been a whirlwind of a fortnight.

Chaya's bestie joined her in the ranks of TWONAGERDOM!

And then there was a PARTY!

At Hillcrest Park. I was berating myself for being unable to get it together and go reserve a picnic space since we were meeting up on a beautiful, sunny day in Saturday. But apparently that was not necessary.

Chaya was surrounded by friends. Naturally, she spent much of the event attempting to leave for various other neighborhoods. But she also came back and stomped in the cornbread. Ate half a cheese plate and some other peoples' crackers. Discovered that the sprinkles on cupcakes are the best thing ever. And generally Wonder Womaned up the place. 

These kiddos have been buddies since about 4 months old. Can't believe how much they've grown.

AND then... The Falconers returned!!!!

And there was much bouncing.

And restauranting:

And more bouncing. 

So sometimes, I feel a little less yippee yippee woo and more just whoah, but not in a way that's stopped me from having a pretty incredible couple of weeks.

And back on the weight counter: Currently still gaining like a well selected index fund. I'm roughly 13 pounds up from the death knell dehydrated low. Which translates to about 5 or 6 pounds up from my summer average. And a healthy pound and a half up from last weeks weigh in. Technically a healthy BMI at the moment, though just barely and still leaning pretty heavily on some serious sodium-bloat. 

Of course I'm resentful that I'm being so terrifically compliant in my salt guzzling and weight gaining yet my body has the temerity to exhibit anything but the happiest of health. I mean, yeesh, I'm doing my best here.

Ah well. I have lots of medical excitement in the next few weeks.

But first, a product review(ish)

Humpty Diggety Dog Mamma got a brand new braaaacelet. On my birthday, I was still having transient symptoms of any unpleasant variety. Either the stress or the massive salt increase seemed to also be producing an uncharacteristically high resting heart rate (... for me... 70s...which was just strange). I'd asked to borrow Andrew's heart rate monitor. He tit-for-tatted and offered my non-materialistic (sure sure) wrist with a brand new Garmin VivoFit-HR.

I admit I'd been curious. I've trained with heart rate before, so it's something I do find fun to know about even when I'm not wondering if I'm having "an episode" (I'm embracing being old and transitioning from saying "I feel randomly whack" to "having an episode"... it makes me feel like a character in a British Romance)

But this is so much more than JUST a heart rate monitor. It gives my phone a run for its money by fulfilling many of its major functions: (1) stalking the heck out of me with GPS tracking, (2) buzzing with various notifications and rewards and other things that allow me to paw absentmindedly through various screens and otherwise jolt myself out of any present moment with data about THE PRESENT MOMENT, (3) needing charging just often enough that my brain must fixate on finding perfect times and places to plug it in.

Also it manages to notify me in a meaningful way when I receive a phone call by vibrating. Since I never notice my phone when such an event occurs, this has been life changing.

The Garmin is an activity monitor. As such it seeks to encourage activity. Possibly not the ideal urge for somebody who is apparently back at the old game of "gaining weight," but a putatively noble goal. Garmin does this by picking a few goals at seeming-random and rewarding you with a fulfillment countdown and little badges when you meet your apportioned "goals."

The first goal is naturally "steps." Which doesn't really mean steps. It means some degree of movement-based bouncing. Sometimes it doesn't seem to count steps. It definitely counts when I bounce up and down on my exercise ball. It does not count moving your hands while sitting. It only sorta counts riding in a car.

The second goal is "stairs." You're supposed to climb and descend ten a day. On the day I went running and hiking, I apparently "climbed" 36. On days when I actually go up and down the stairs repeatedly, I'm told I have gained zero stairs. This maddens me to no end. I typically go up and down our basement stairs roughly 5 times in a day. I grant our staircase might not count as a full flight, but there's more to the story, since I've also managed to get 3 flights of stairs before breakfast. And yes, I've paced up and down the stairs several times in a row to see if I get any "stairs" - it doesn't seem to change anything.

And then there are "intensity minutes." These are apparently minutes that fit into the weekly recommended "164 minutes of moderate activity or 64 minutes of vigorous activity". Considering I do the same treadmill walk, with roughly the same heart rate maxes, I couldn't tell you why my only intensity minutes were accrued on Thursday and Friday this week.

It also tracks "sleep," but this is inaccurately tied to "stillness" and maybe HR. According to Garmin, Andrew barely sleeps at all, while my most insomnia plagued evenings are counted as a chock-full of deep sleep, because I do a pretty good job of laying still and letting the gymnastics occur in my mind.

It's just enough information to drive a woman mad. Possibly driving her to desperately charging it during the only still moments, and then bounding up and down on her yoga ball to make up "lost steps" (thinking she's cheating, and yet actually raising her HR higher by doing this than pacing).

It's an odd sort of nag. On the one hand, I don't really care about being "more active!" If anything, I have typically benefitted from nagging to be "more idle." Or to "eat more." Nutritionists and professionals have been telling me for years that I'm more active than I think in all my little fidgets and whatnot. Perhaps I expected a little more confirmation from Garmin than I've received.

Probably doesn't help that I have a typically low heart rate, but one which elevates pretty well during aerobic activity. It also doesn't help that garmin has no metric - or any clue - about the breastfeeding, since my heart rate typically goes quite low during a Chaya feasting session.

This could be a problem if I were paying more attention. I've long given up on tracking my food (once quite a helpful metric for adding calories but totally confounded by my "eat everything in toddler range all day long and not a lot of contained meals" approach to eating. I know how to have "an additional 500 calories at least" by just adding juices and drinks where I wasn't. But if I were to compare my logged caloric intake and garmin's estimate of my activities, I suspect I'd be seriously underselling mysefl.

But enough about my bangles, I got chest-gear too!

On Monday I was fitted for my very own ZIOPATCH.

This thing is my first step towards becoming a cyborg. It is a smallish little pod that is glued over my chest with two electrodes in order to track two weeks' worth of heart rhythms. When it's all done, I mail it in and they plug it all into a computer and ... I GET MY VERY OWN ALBUM OF SICK HR BEATZ, baby! No, I think the computer analyzes it and looks for irregularities. There's a huge button on the top so you can record when you're having symptoms. It produces a little marker for that period to make it easier to locate and analyze. And then say "dude, panic button much?" Because lord knows if you've pressed it at an appropriate time. I spend a lot of time wondering if it's worth pushing the button for various non-events. Like how do you press a button for "felt lightheaded for several hours." Or "Kind of had a pain in my chest but really that was probably my skin reacting to this itchy adhesive stuff" Anyways. Many of my recorded symptos will likely be "toddler started tearing at the big shiny button on mommy's chest." But I'm almost grateful for the sporadic return of smoky air and sleepless hot conditions during the wear time. I'd like to pick up whatever can be found during the wear period. I'm not going skydiving, but a little nudge towards "seee THAT" wouldn't be minded.

And Chaya has been far less frenzied with it than expected, though it's taken some maneuvering. Since you aren't supposed to submerge it and Chaya only bathes if she's allowed to start the bath nursing, I haven't really cleaned the beast all that recently. We'll have to try it before I take it off (in two weeks)

... in Port Townsend! OOOOOOH AHHHH. Just because August is over doesn't mean the summer fun is! We'll rock this toddler right into The HOlidaze at this rate!

Finishing up the household tasks and Konmari is totally overrated.

I'm more excited about my upcoming stress test and - if I'm really lucky - lots of blood letting. With all the sodium in my system, it should at least come shooting out this time!

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