Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good....

My kids are awesome.  Seriously.  They're hilarious.  Leo is a crazy little nut and Lily is so silly sometimes.  The first picture is after her haircut.  It's so nice to be able to see her adorable little face!  The second picture is just Leo being Leo and flashing his brilliant smile for me.  And the third picture is what my children do for entertainment when we're stuck in the winter doldrums and can't get out of the in boxes!  Fun times.  I love how children can take the most inane objects and turn them into fun.

On the activity front....I haven't lost any more weight yet.  I think I'm hitting a plateau, which is just fine with me.  My boobs have started to look like droopy little water balloons.  I think at least half of the weight I lost has come directly from them!  Seriously though, I think the plateau means my body is gearing up for another big drop.  If it is, great.  If not, that's okay too.  I'm hoping to start adding in the Couch to 5k program in addition to working out on the elliptical whenever I can make it to the gym (see below on more explanation for that).  If I can start the program as soon as the snow has cleared from the roads and running paths around our home, then maybe I'll be able to finish it before the end of April, when the 5k runs seem to be starting up! Oh, and super-awesome something....I ordered 4 new headbands from and the super-fantastic creator of them threw in a 5th one!  Now I can keep my hair out of my face and my mouth while I get sweaty!

The Bad.....

We're all sick.  It's awful.  Leo started with a fever of nearly 103 early last week.  Then he moved on to a hacking cough that ends with him gagging every single time.  Now, Lily has the fever and just a teeny bit of cough, which will probably develop into a much worse cough soon.  Feverish, sick Leo is not pretty.  I have a feeling he's going to be an all-out, live-life-at-full-speed kind of kid.  He doesn't do things in half-measures.  He's happy and giggly and funny when he's feeling good.  When he's sick, he screams, wants to be held and snuggled 24/7, demands food and drinks and then throws them on the floor, screaming, "don't want", and is just generally an all-out, can't-be-pleased PITA (pain in the a**).  But I love him, so we deal with it.  The other bad side of feverish children...they're not allowed in the gym's child care.  This leads us to....

The Ugly.....

My husband is a software engineer.  He works on software that has to do with Pacemakers.  Stressful, right? You have no idea!  But, put this in the "Good" area....the project he's been working on has moved from being created into being tested.  That means, unless they find some big problem with the program, he won't have anymore part in it.  He's done his job and he's done it well.  Finally!  This ties in with the "Bad" though, because for the last couple of weeks, he's been very anxious, very preoccupied.  He's had to work some later hours, trying to finish everything up.  He's good about never working too many hours.  But because he's working later, I don't get to sneak out to the gym when he gets home.  It's hard to find the energy by that time of night!  And because he's been so busy, I've had a lot of time to think, bringing me to the "Ugly" portion of my post....

Tomorrow afternoon, we have a marriage counseling session coming up.  I've come to some interesting conclusions about all of this.  Here are some things I've come to realize:

*When things get overwhelming for me, I choose to sacrifice "tasks".
*When things get overwhelming for my husband, he sacrifices "relationships".
*If you weighed how much we each do physically for our relationship, my husband's side will always be heavier.
*If you weighed how much we each do emotionally for our relationship, my side will always out-weigh his.
*We both suffer from what I call "prior damage".  I think I probably have much more damage than my husband does.  He's always felt loved and valued and never had to question his worth to another person.  I've never had that.  But, he's also always been the responsible one and never had the luxury of being vulnerable to  someone else (yes, that is a luxury).

So, here's what all that means....things are never going to be perfect.  But, I think I can be okay with that and be accommodating of some of those things that make my husband who he is as long as my needs are being met.  That's the hard part, because so far, I don't think my needs have been met.  It's hard sometimes to figure out just what I'm needing that I'm not getting.  And I think, more than anything, what I need is for my husband to try to see things from my point of view, to think about how things affect me.  A good example of that is the recent strain he's been under.  It's obvious to me how stressful the situation at work has been for him.  He's been the "go-to" person on a multi-million dollar software program.  He's the one everyone looks to when something needs to be fixed, when a problem comes up, when someone else doesn't come through on their part of the program.  It's stressful.  And then he comes home and the kids are sick and I'm crabby and stressed.  But the fact is that I will always give.  When he comes home stressed, I send him off to the gym by himself.  I suggest he take a break and I take care of the kids.  I keep going, no matter how much I may need a break too.  I feel like he doesn't realize that sometimes...he spends a few hours with the kids when they're sick and crabby and he gets frustrated.  But he doesn't realize that the kids have been like that all week long and I've been stuck home with them for the entire time and it all drains me just the same way as it drains him.  I've tried to get that point across to him, but I don't think I'm stating the point right.  He seems to think I'm trying to "out-do" him, to make it seem like my job is harder than his or that I do more than him.  I'm not a competitive person.  At all, in any way, shape, or form.  I do not want to compete in this contest!  I just want recognition for what I do, for all that I sacrifice for myself so that I can take care of the kids and take care of him.  I want affection and appreciation.

Okay, back on track....I've come to the conclusion that our marriage is always going to be a struggle for both of us.  It's never going to just be easy.  It's going to require that we think about what the other person needs from us.  We need to constantly keep ourselves in check and be aware of what each of our issues our and how they're affecting us.  I need to keep hold of the reins on my depression so that I can keep it from overriding me.  Our marriage requires that I push myself out of my comfort zones, push myself to think and do more than what I'm naturally inclined to do.  My husband will have to keep the reins on his anxiety, to constantly be aware of whether he's in charge or if he's allowing his anxiety to get the better of him.  It's not easy.  But I'm not sure marriage was meant to be.  Maybe marriage is like a puzzle where none of the pieces are quite the right shape.  We need to reshape, remold, until the pieces fit.  We can't change the substance of what we're made of, but maybe we can change the shape of things so that we fit together a bit better, so one's strengths make up for the other's weaknesses.

Anyway, we'll see what happens tomorrow at our counseling session.  I also have The 5 Love Languages on it's way from Amazon (thanks to those of you who recommended it!).  And before I turn in for the night....I just wanted to say a very big, very profound thank you to all of you for your comments on the last post.  I'm still struggling with some of it, but your comments are so helpful and have made me feel so much better!  I've never regretted how I was raised or the struggles I've been through.  I know they've helped to make me who I am and the truth is that I'm at peace with who I am.  I like who I am, for the most part.  I just wish there was some book out there that could tell me that it's okay to not feel like the earth has shattered after a parent has passed away!


  1. B-R-A-V-O! That second to last paragraph...about's SPOT ON. You both have to leave your comfort zones and put your spouse's needs first.

    Beautiful kids :)

  2. Yeah for choosing to do the 5k program...enjoy that crazy running!
    As for marriages I had a great friend tell me once that you must choose your spouse EVERYDAY, not just on your wedding day. That was a great thing for me to hear, knowing that marriage isn't just a simple one time decision but something that takes continuous effort.
    Keep up the good hard work :)

  3. Yep, what they said...WISE WOMEN ABOVE. I think it is work, hard work...marriage. I definitely feel that we have times that we are succeeding and progressing as a couple and then I feel we hit rough patches too. It is constantly working to stay in touch and in tune with your spouse. You are sooo ahead of the game personally and in your relationships Cindy because of your self-awareness.

    Love you!!!!

    P.S. I could just eat your kids up - they are so cute!

  4. ((HUGS)) I too put out a big fat DITTO to all said above! I'm so proud of how far you have come Cindy! Your kids are adorable! Love you <3