MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Make it Count

Posted by mbamommy on August 7, 2012

In my last couple posts, I’ve made reference to the fact that there’s been a lot of change around here recently, which led to my blog absence. In some sense it’s been pretty life changing. All good changes, thankfully, nothing like going through Z’s diagnosis a couple years ago, but life changing nonetheless.

Almost exactly a year ago today, I posted about my life as a slot machine. Well, the slots have stopped. The Refresh button has been pressed. FINALLY!

The kids are fully entrenched in their languange immersion school. They’re doing so well that S actually won a speech contest earlier this year. They’re making friends, having fun and learning a ton. What more could I ask for?

J’s job is going great. He’s loving it and is on a fantastic career track.

We bought a HOUSE. We’re no longer renting our teeny tiny temporary home and have found our dream house. I’m never moving again. Seriously, it’s from here to the old folks home. I can walk the kids to school. I can walk to Starbuck’s. I can walk to the parks, the pool and my friend’s houses. It’s an easy commute to downtown and basically anywhere else I’d want to go in Denver. I’m so thrilled to have found it and so happy to have that stability in our lives.

I found a JOB. A full time job, working at a really great digital agency, managing top brand clients, making more money than I expected and with a Senior Director title.

I quit that JOB. A full time agency job, with all its stressors, travel, and demands on my time and mental bandwidth turned out to not be what I wanted. I could have done the job. We, as a family, could’ve manage the travel, the hours, the chaos, the craziness. But I realized that I didn’t WANT to. Yes, it was great to have the extra money. Yes, it was fun to be challenged and work with smart, engaging peeps. But, I wasn’t sleeping. I was eating poorly, not working out and drinking too much. I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t being true to myself and playing to my strengths.

I started another JOB. A part time, work at home opportunity with my previous client. This one is perfect. Just enough responsibility without requiring me to be on call 24/7. Minimal travel (only once a year), working with great folks in an industry I love and with the flexibility required to keep my family running smoothly. I’m making some money, not a ton, but some.

And, who knows, maybe someday it’ll lead to something more. But for now, it’s allowing me the balance I so deeply crave. It’s allowing the MBA, the MOM, the MRS and the ME to have equal opportunity to shine. I’m happy and I’m being true to myself.  Not all the time, of course. I’ve certainly had my moments. This is life, not a game show, afterall. But, with the balance I’ve created, worked for and am lucky enough to have, I can handle those moments better.

I can (dare I say it?) have it all.

The morning after I left my previous job I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Now that we’ve completed the refresh of our lives I can actually start living it. Between Crossfit, eating well, working part time, playing with the kids, playing with J and living in Colorado, I think I can make it count.

Posted in MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Posted by mbamommy on August 11, 2011

Have you ever heard that phrase?  For some reason I’ve been hearing it a lot recently.  So, I decided to do a little Wikipedia research (have I mentioned I’m a big fan of Wikipedia?) about where it came from.  I always thought it came from Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test“.  Turns out I’m wrong:

Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a metaphor, used in the United States and Canada, that means to become an unquestioning believer in some ideology, or to accept an argument or philosophy wholeheartedly or blindly without critical examination. The phrase can sometimes have a negative connotation, or can be used ironically. The basis of the term is a reference to the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre, where members of the Peoples Temple were said to have committed suicide by drinking a “Kool-Aid”-like drink laced with cyanide.

Sweet.  Glad I’m using it in my day-to-day vocabulary.  And I always thought it was such a positive phrase.

But…since I am using it…and since I like the phrase, I decided to do a list of all the non-cyanide laced Kool-Aid I’ve been drinking recently.

  • Working out at 5:30am in the morning with J.  Man, is it tough, but boy is my day great afterwards
  • Not drinking (see above)
  • Meditating
  • Being Present (see above)
  • Living Primally
  • Vibram 5 Fingers (see above)
  • Yoga
  • Social Media
  • Summer in Colorado
  • Writing
  • Pottery
  • Taking time for myself
  • Taking time with friends

What about you?  Drank any Kool-Aid lately?  Let me know what you’re inspired by!  Maybe if we get enough peeps talking about positive Kool-Aid drinking, it’ll debunk the negative connotation…thereby allow MBA Mommy to enjoy using the phrase without feeling guilty. 🙂

Posted in ME | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Run Daddy Run

Posted by mbamommy on August 5, 2011

As you may remember, back in May, J ran the Colfax marathon in order to raise money for the Colorado Autism Society.  It was a momentous event for our little family and one that each of us got to play a role in.

At the end of this post, I’ve added the letter he sent out to everyone who donated, but what that probably doesn’t portray was how moved we were of the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family.  Folks, we’re talking about people who don’t have any extra money to do anything for themselves…much less donate their hard earned money as a show of support for us and our little man.  There were countless nights when J and I would review the donations coming in and both of us would have tears in our eyes.  We truly truly have the most amazing network of friends. People who didn’t even know us directly were donating!  It was amazing.

The day of the race was cold, grey and overcast.  Sadly, the kiddos had to wear sweatshirts over their t-shirts and long sleeves under.  Z put up a HUGE fight because he was VERY concerned Daddy wouldn’t see his shirt when he ran by.  I was able to appease him by promising that as soon as we saw Daddy he’d be able to take his sweatshirt off.  J started running at around 6am, reporting later that it actually snowed the first couple miles.  Z, S and I got to the end of the race a little earlier than I would have liked because I wasn’t sure how long it would take to find parking, how crowded the race would be, etc etc.  Lucky for us there was plenty of open space and not a lot of noise within 1/4 mile from the finish line.  We set up camp in a grassy area where they could play and I could keep an eye out for the moving autism ribbon.  The kids were good, but getting cold and restless….then…there he was…right on time…. Z ripped his sweatshirt off and RAN out to meet Daddy.  Z, with a full tank of gas, made it tough for poor Daddy to keep up!  S tried her darndest to follow along but just wasn’t fast enough so she and I ran on the sidelines as the boys crossed the finish line together.  I overheard very sweet comments about little Z man and his “Run Daddy Run” shirt and saw smiles the faces of the spectators watching them run in together…..it was definitely a moment I’ll never forget.  I wish I could share pics from when they crossed over, they’re absolutely amazing, but alas, they’re also not free.

I *can* share this one though….

And, this one was posted in the ASC summer newsletter (along with a one-page Volunteer Profile of J).  You can tell the kiddos were done with the cold at this point.

And finally, the thank you letter J sent out:

As a supporter to our cause, you helped make this project a complete success:
  • The team I help organize surpassed its fundraising goal by 20%, providing a pleasant surprise to the finance committee chair at the Autism Society of Colorado for the 2011 budget year
  • Thanks to you, I was the #1 fundraiser, inspiring me to continue with another race of some type later this year
  • I finished the marathon in 3 hours, 27 minutes (beating my goal of 3:30)
  • Perhaps most importantly to me, I had the personal joy and honor of running the final 0.2 miles with the Z-man himself.  He took his mini-race very seriously, and I had trouble keeping up when he started to run, but when we crossed the finish line, I hugged him, and he said, “Daddy, that was fun, but next time I want to run with you FROM THE START of the race”.  (Something tells me that day isn’t as far away as I think!)
So, from all the C’s, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Personally, I cannot tell you how grateful I am, and I promise you that 4.5yr old Z will, one day, truly understand what you did for him.
“It is not enough to prepare our children for the world; we also must prepare the world for our children.”
– Luis J. Rodriguez
Best,

J

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

From Here to There, From There to Here…..

Posted by mbamommy on August 4, 2011

…funny things are everywhere.

I realized yesterday that it was a year ago this week that our migration to Colorado began.  J had just received his job offer and I jumped on a plane and spent 4 days looking at rentals, schools and therapy providers.

Was it really just a year ago?  It feels like a lifetime and a minute all rolled into one.  So much has happened in a year and so much more will happen as we go forward (ugh….I shouldn’t try to be philosophical before I have my coffee in the morning…that was terrible).

I have an analogy I like to use to describe my family’s situation right now.  You know how when you play a slot machine, you pull the the lever (or, I guess these days you just press a button), and the slots spin around and around, slowing down one by one until they line up along the line?  And then you see what you’ve won?  I feel like our life is kind of like that slot machine.  The first slot has stopped spinning….the kids/school situation.  The second one is slowing….J’s job situation.  The third one is still spinning and will need to continue until the other two are in place (me!).

To go in more depth about that, I should give a (semi) brief update on how everyone’s doing.

Z is doing amazingly well.  When we first got here and he started preschool with his IEP and private therapy services, they had to do a lot of interventions to help him regulate his sensory overloads and learn how to play with other kids.  We (J, I, his therapists and the teachers) literally had to teach him how to play.  And, not just the turn-taking stuff that every kid has to learn. We also had to teach him to read expressions, understand the give and take of a conversation and how to be flexible enough to allow other people (adults first and then kids) influence the games they were playing without having a complete meltdown when he wasn’t scripting everything.  In the beginning, the OT would bring him in from recess early and take him to the ‘motor room’ where she had a swing and a dark, quiet corner where he could wind down.  Otherwise, his sensory system completely overloaded with the transition from playground to loud, chaotic bathroom to sitting down in a classroom.  By the end of the year, not only was he a part of every minute of the class, he was helping other kids resolve conflicts and the SpEd team was using games/therapies they usually reserve for kindergarteners because he blew through the more age appropriate stuff!

It wasn’t an easy road in the least.  I spent a lot of my time driving him to and from school and therapy (he spent 10 hrs a week in school and 10 hrs a week in therapy).  But the teams he worked with were all angels…truly seeing my son and his strengths and using those strengths to work through the weaknesses.  One example: Z is obsessed with airplanes.  Has been for as long as I can remember.  So, his school OT created a game where she’d ask him “How is your engine running?  Fast, like an F-16?  Just right, like a Blackhawk? Or slow, like a Bi-plane?”  She used it to help him identify how he was feeling and she altered the traditional usage from Winnie the Pooh (fast like Tigger, just right like Pooh or slow like Eeyore) to something he could relate to.  She made charts for school, home and his private therapy so we could all use it.  He loved it and was able to identify how he was feeling and we could help him regulate from there.

A year ago, Z would scream when we washed his hair during bath.  He HATED getting his hair and face wet and we’d have to take extra precautions not to get water in his face or ears….I think it actually hurt him somehow.  We started swim lessons at the beginning of the summer and for weeks he would cry and get upset whenever his teacher wanted him to put his head under water.  And then…one day…BAM….he was swimming.  Something clicked in that little head of his and now we can’t keep him ABOVE water!  He graduated to the next level of swim school.  He’s extremely strong and can swim a good ways across the pool underwater.  We’re at the pool all weekend, with him jumping in, swimming to us and back to the wall, jumping off our shoulders, playing with older kids…he even ventured into the deep end last weekend!  J and I look at each other sometimes and say, “Is that really our little Z?!”

Before we moved here, I heard horror stories about services available in Colorado.  How the schools weren’t great, how there weren’t experienced service providers, insurance didn’t cover autism related services, etc etc.  I have to say that I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with everyone who’s worked with Z.  They were right about insurance….the situation is abominable….I’ve even thought about getting in touch with Erin Brokovich to see if she could make a difference, but I’ve been a little busy with my own little life so far.

So….Z’s doing so well that we stopped therapy for the summer.  I don’t think we’ll be starting ABA again but we are in the process of getting OT rolling again.  He’s still got some challenges regulating himself (what 4yo doesn’t, right?) and because of his new school environment (more on that in a minute) we think it’s still important to have outside support.

The biggest change (for me, at least) is my relationship with me.  A year ago, he could take me or leave me.  He was ALL about Daddy.  I would have to coerce affection out of him.  For some reason, he just wasn’t interested in hugging and kissing me…or anyone else for that matter…just Daddy.  There were nights when I would go into his room to say goodnight when he and Daddy were reading and J would be close to threatening him with timeout so that he’d give me a hug. I always stopped him before it got to that point, satisfying myself with just blowing him a kiss.  And, I understood what was going on.  But, it still sucked.

He still fights me at every turn.  His logical little brain constantly looks for ways to rationalize his way out of doing his chores or anything else I tell him to do.  He questions everything and refuses to accept a half answer, which I mistakenly try to give him sometimes.  But instead of hitting, scratching, biting, kicking when I say no to him, he (mostly) accepts it.  Pouting and telling me he’s mad at me of course…..but a FAR cry from our arguments of a year ago.  Folks, he TELLS me he’s mad.  Do you understand how HUGE that it?

Anyway, our relationship has changed and evolved into something I treasure.  He asks for me to read books to him at night.  He asks me to cuddle with him.  He comes to me when he’s upset.  He freely gives me hugs and kisses, even sometimes without me asking for them.  He tells me he loves me and squeezes even harder.  Those parents of kiddos on the spectrum that are reading this will understand how unbelievably precious this is.  Those parents of NT kiddos…..please cherish each and every hug, they are a blessing.  I find myself waiting until he lets go to end an embrace because every hug reminds me of when I used to not get them.  And I never want them to stop.  Hopefully now they won’t (at least until high school and I’m a constant embarrassment to him).

OK, so now little S….who’s not so little anymore.  My baby girl.  What can I say about her?  Well….not much without getting teary.  She’s our angel, she’s our diva, she’s the light of our house and she can just as easily bring our home crumbling down around her with her tantrums.  She’s growing a very funny, very sweet, very LARGE personality.  Her teachers all love her and comment on her dramatic way of talking.  She’s all hand gestures and exaggerated facial expressions.  She’s a smart little lady who excels at everything big bro doesn’t: relationships, friends, reading people….street smarts to his book smarts.  She’s a tough little girl who won’t back down to bullying by big bro.  She’s a natural athlete who can throw a ball better than Z.  She’s not afraid of anything and is usually the one leading Z into trying new things (like swimming).  She’s my girly-girl who loves all things pink (including her elephants) but is dirty from head to toe at the end of every day.  She idolizes big bro, is a Daddy’s girl and has an amazing bond with Mommy.  She’s a snuggler and a cuddler and a jokester all in one.  What’s the saying?  “When she’s good she’s very very good.  And when she’s bad she’s terrible.”?  Something like that.  Well, that’s my S.  She’s stubborn, independent and opinionated. (I have NO idea where she gets that). She keeps us on our toes and laughing all the time.  I remember being terrified of having a girl….and now I couldn’t imagine life without her.

So…school.  We’ve decided to send the kids to a language immersion school to learn Mandarin.  They’re in camp at the school this summer and they both LOVE it.  They come home every day with new words, new songs, new friends.  J and I are so far extremely impressed with the school, the community, the education….we’re so excited we found this for our kids.

And, because that first slot has stopped moving, everything else can slowly fall into place.  The kids are in a great spot…they’ve got their groove on.  And it’s so wonderful to see after all we’ve been through.

As for J….well, he’s getting his groove on too.  I’ll write more about his marathon in another post (or, maybe have him write it? hmmm….) but as far as getting involved in the Denver community and finding a good job fit…well, it’s all there.  Now that my gregarious, outgoing husband is out from behind his desk and doing what he was born to do, his career path is bright and solid.  His “thing” this summer is golf and he’s taking full advantage of the Colorado summer to get out on the course and hack away.  Recently, he and I began a workout program called Insanity.  The workout is hard….insane, if you will.  But what’s truly insane is we get up at 5:30am in the morning to do it.  Crazy, right?  But, it’s been fun.  It helps your motivation when the person who’s sleeping next to you is pushing you out of bed when the alarm goes off.  It’s motivating to hear the huffing and puffing and under-your-breath swearing going on right next to you.  It’s an amazing way to wake up and keep your energy going throughout the day.  And, if NOTHING else goes right for the rest of the day, at least you worked out!  J and I end every workout high fiving and fist bumping.  It’s fun to have something new to do together.  And, boy, do we sleep well!

I know I was the driving force behind us moving to CO, but he’s certainly a willing participant.  He drank the kool-ade and we’re both loving living here.

And, finally, me.  Well, my slot is still spinning.  There are a lot of things that still need to be finalized before mine stops.  Things like finally selling our house in NC (we have a contract but it’s contingent on them selling their house).  Things like figuring out whether I want to/need to and can/can not go back to work full time.  And, what will that look like?  Where would I work full time?  Do I  formalize the contract/consulting I’m doing now?  Do I want to?  And, what’s best for my family?  For me?  So many questions.

But, that’s all really ok.  Because, I’m having the time of my life right now.  J and I have dubbed this summer the “Summer of MBA Mommy”.  I’m working part time and the kids are in camp all day.  I’ve got free time to do the things I want to do (yoga, blog, reading, writing, walking, seeing friends) and free time to do the things I need to do.  I’m making some money….not a ton….but not nothing either.  I’ve written before about wanting to Be Present in my life and I will write more about Finding Balance.  I feel that I’ve struck the perfect balance this summer.  Frankly, I feel like I’ve won the lottery.  Freedom during the summer in Colorado?  There’s not much more I could ask for….well, except for someone to buy our buyer’s house so I can stop my obsessive online house hunting and start for real….anyone in the market for a new house in Raleigh?  I know a GREAT one you could buy. 🙂

Because then? JACKPOT.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

I Hate It When He’s Right

Posted by mbamommy on August 2, 2011

I will never ever ever ever live this post down.  Ever. 

I have a brother, let’s call him Bubba (my kids do).  I love him to death, he’s one of my best friends (although I admit I probably like his wife a little more).  He’s always there for me, supportive, questioning, loving and fun.  He’s an amazing uncle and brother in law and I hate that I don’t live closer to him.  But, he’s also my big brother and my constant torturer.  To this day, (I’m 36 and he’s 38) he will still tease me relentlessly.  He still pulls the “Not touching…can’t get mad” crap that drove me insane when we were kids.  But, I guess that comes with sibling territory.

He also has this annoying habit of getting something in his head and absolutely running with it.  And then he’ll get on his soap box and lecture anyone who comes within 10 feet about what it is that he’s into…either the positives or negatives, depending on what he thinks.

On a rare occasion, my brother turns out to be right.  OK…..not a rare occasion….a semi-often-ok-I-grudgingly-admit-it-often occasion.  He’s a doc and my go to guy for anything kid related which certainly keeps my co-pays down and 1am trips to the ER at a bare minimum.

On this occasion, he was right about two things: Crossfit and Mark Sisson’s book, Primal Blueprint.

Now the only caveat I have about Crossfit is that I’m not currently doing it.  But, that’s only because I purchased a bunch of Groupon’s for a variety of workout classes (yoga, kettlebell, TRX) and I’m thoroughly enjoying them.  However, when they expire, I plan to join my neighborhood Crossfit box and get my a$$ kicked day after day.

If you haven’t heard of it, Crossfit is a type of workout that was created by in the military.  It’s extremely functional in nature.  It’s not long, drawn out cardio work but short intense interval training.  You lift heavy things.  You sprint.  You jump.  Sometimes you do them simultaneously.  It’s an amazing workout.  And an amazing community.  Folks who do Crossfit live and die by it.  Check out this awesome blogger, Andreanna,  to learn more about her experiences…she’s a total stud.

Oh, and my friend Sara?  She’s religious about Crossfit and after 3 kids has a 6-pack.  I’m not kidding, the girl is in ridonculously good shape.

As far as Mark Sisson and Primal Eating….well, that’s all about getting back to basics, eating the way we were genetically programmed to eat.  No grains, no breads, no crappy carbs.  Lots of good fats and proteins.  Even more importantly, eating things that aren’t filled with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and don’t come from the other side of the world.  Eat local, eat healthy.  I was a total non-believer forever.  There was no way you were gonna get this girl to give up her crackers and cheese.

But then Bubba sent me (unsolicited I might add) The Primal Blueprint.  And, after I got over being incensed that he was STILL trying to tell me what to do, I decided to give it a shot.  I figured that with all these new things I was trying: meditation, exercising, etc etc I might as well try to clean up my eating.  The first week was awful.  I had a total carb hangover.  And then all of a sudden, I started feeling better.  I had more energy.  I slept better.  I didn’t have digestive issues (let’s just leave it at that).  I used to be tired all the time with really bad mood swings.  Now…well…I still have mood swings but they’re a lot more moderate.  And there are days when I can barely contain my energy.

What’s probably more interesting to me is that when  I “cheat” and let myself eat grains (read: pizza…my downfall) I feel terrible  the next day.  Sluggish, grumpy, stomach aches….it’s fascinating.

So….while I’m not 100% primal or 100% Crossfit, I’m pretty darn close to it and I have to thank Bubba for that.

Just….please….don’t tell him I said that?  Thanks, I’ll never hear the end of it.

Posted in ME | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

What Would You Do?

Posted by mbamommy on September 28, 2010

I recently joined a gym.  There’s a bunch of locations and I can go when Z is in school and/or his social skills group.  So, it’s convenient.  I hired a trainer and he’s good.  We just started and he’s doing what I asked…kicking my butt.  Not quite to the level of Crossfit (more on that in another post) but much more economical and until we sell the house in Raleigh, Crossfit isn’t an option.  So, it’s effective.  They have a Kids Club.  I have S on a monthly unlimited pass for $20/month and I can pay $3 for Z to go if I decided to workout in the afternoons when he’s not at school.  So, it allows me a break from the kiddos for 1-2 hours a day.

Wanna know the best part?  They LOVE going.  New toys, new things to climb on, etc etc.  Which means if I say, “Guys, do you want to go to the Kids Club?”  They actually hustle to the car.  Z even asked me the other day if I was going to the “grown-up club” while he was in the kid’s club.  I said yes and he said when he was a grown up he wanted to go to the grown up club (endorsement for laying the groundwork for healthy, fit kids?  I think so!)

Sounds great, right?  I thought so.  But, of course, nothing in my life is easy-breezy with a kiddo on the spectrum and the snag came yesterday afternoon.  See, there’s two rooms in the kid’s club.  One with toys and one with this really awesome jungle gym.  The rooms are open to each other but the one blind spot happens to be where the emergency exit door is.  Now, there’s an alarm on the exit door that’s supposed to sound if someone tries to open it.  But, yesterday, they had a plumber come in to fix something in the kiddo bathroom and he used the emergency exit door instead of dragging his stuff through the gym.  And, just by chance, someone forgot to re-set the alarm once the plumber was done.

You see where this is going, right?  My little runner…Z…decides to open the door.

There I am, in the last 5 minutes of a fairly grueling training session and I look out the window and see Z & S running around on the sidewalk (that borders a busy parking lot).

WTF?!?!?

My trainer later tried to joke with me that he wished I had that much hustle in our session…we could’ve gotten in a few more rounds (I wasn’t amused).  I ran out and by the time I got outside the staff had already ushered the kids back inside.  So I started (loudly) asking What The Hell?!?  Why Were My Children Outside?!?  How Did That Door Open?!?

The manager came and explained what had happened, reassured me it’s never happened before and promised it would never happen again.  I’m fairly satisfied with the explanation and I plan to go in and talk to them more….find out what measures are being put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen to another kiddo.

But, what do I do?  Do I cancel the entire membership?  Do I cancel the Kid’s Club portion of it?  I REALLY want to be comfortable keeping my kiddos there because of all the aforementioned benefits. But…..I was lucky I saw them, that the staff saw them and that my kiddos didn’t decide to run into the parking lot.

What if there is a next time?  How confident would you be that whatever new safety measures they put in place will be followed by the staff getting paid $10/hour to watch my kids?

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, ME, MOM | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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