Meal Plan 02/19/2018 - 02/23/2018

I've completely fallen off the meal planning track and I'm suffering. Life feels scattered and chaotic right now and having a small measure of organization in the kitchen would bring me some relief. Also, my slow-cooker died a fiery death last week so I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon and I need to learn how to use it. Meal planning ahoy!

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Monday: Instant Pot Kalua Pig by Nom Nom Paleo

Tuesday: Taco salad with leftover pork that we'll crisp under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Wednesday: Instant Pot White Chicken Chili served with cornbread.

Thursday: Shredded chicken enchiladas. 

Friday: leftovers? Pizza? Snacky dinner? Choose your own adventure? 

What are you eating this week?

Milestones

When your life changes, there is before and there is after. The after is made up of milestones, some big, some small, some joyous, some not, that remind you that you're not the same. First Mother's Day after your baby is born, first job after you graduate, first Christmas in your new home, first positive pregnancy test after your miscarriage -- what is just an ordinary Tuesday to you may be a major milestone for someone else. 

When you are diagnosed with cancer, you are introduced to a whole new set of milestones. Anniversary of being diagnosed, number of treatments, end of treatment, test results, tumour marker levels, remission, etc. It is consuming and then all of a sudden it isn't. Real life starts to creep back in and you can go weeks, or months, without thinking about what milestone you've reached. 

I had been doing a really good job at not thinking about milestones, until I was not doing such a good job. I have a big milestone coming up; this spring will mark five years since I was diagnosed. Five years is a big deal. At five years, I will graduate to once-per-year appointments at the cancer centre. It is exciting and nerve-wracking and also terrifying. I will have one more surgery before I get my five-year-all-clear. I'm looking forward to getting it out of the way but I'm also scared. 

The night before my first surgery, I did not sleep. I held baby Grady all night long and stared at his beautiful sleeping face and cried silently for hours. He was in that sweet spot of toddlerhood where he wasn't a baby anymore but he wasn't old enough to remember me if something went wrong. Poppy is the same age now that Grady was when I was first diagnosed and it is messing with my head. It's a milestone that came out of nowhere and I wasn't prepared for how it would make me feel. 

This surgery will be my sixth surgery in the last five years. There's nothing about it that should feel ominous; it is an item that needs to be crossed off the cancer checklist before my oncologist will release me into the world of annual monitoring. It isn't nothing, but it doesn't have to be a *thing*. It doesn't have to fill me with dread. But it does. As I get closer to my five year milestone, I'm scared something is going to come along and screw it up. I could use some positive vibes is what I'm saying. (Also therapy. I could use some therapy. But there are only so many hours in the day.)

Why Do We Need World Breast Pumping Day?

Today is World Breast Pumping Day, which maybe sounds a bit odd to some. If you've not pumped, you probably don't have a very clear concept of how much time, energy, and effort goes into pumping. Pumping is easily twice as time-consuming as breastfeeding straight from the breast, and results in the dreaded pile of dishes to wash (and sterilize!). 

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Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear created World Breast Pumping Day to recognize pumping moms and the many different ways we choose to feed our babies. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for feeding our babies. What works for some families, doesn't work for others. What works for one baby, won't necessarily work for subsequent babies. And what works for mom, won't necessarily always work for mom. It's a fluid relationship in more ways than one. Circumstances change, priorities shift, and all we can do is try our best to adjust. 

World Breast Pumping Day gives us the chance to celebrate our successes and mourn the loss if we don't meet our own expectations. 

How can you celebrate World Breast Pumping Day? If you're a pumping mom, a breastfeeding mom, a chest-feeder, combo-feeder, formula-feeder, mom-to-be, experienced mom who isn't feeding infants anymore, or a supporting player (so literally everyone is welcome, as long as you're not a creep), RSVP for the virtual event here. Invite your friends and help spread the word. Share your story. Encourage others who are struggling. (And enter the amazing giveaway that closes at 11:59pm PST tonight...hurry up!)

We're fine. Everything is fine.

Last week when I picked Poppy up from daycare, her teacher said she thought Pops might have a stomach bug because she'd had a few terrible diapers that afternoon. My insides went cold and my voice got pinched as I tried to laugh it off with a panicked "oh I'm sure it's just the antibiotics she's on for her double ear infection, or the painkillers she's on because Grady accidentally slammed her hand in the car door."  

Less than fourty-eight hours later, in the middle of the night, Grady was vomiting in the top bunk of his bunk bed and Poppy was vomiting in our bed.  

Fortunately, the virus was fast and furious, and though it knocked out everyone in our family, it was gone within a few days. Unfortunately, it left Poppy with a terrible, hacking cough that had me staying up all night to make sure she kept breathing. Back to the doctor. And a second double ear infection diagnosis in as many weeks. 

I am so tired, y'all. I am tired to the bone.  

I started January with big dreams of organization, and exercise, and de-cluttering, and adequate sleep. You know, truly original January goals. And now here I am, wrung out, staggering toward the end of the month, wishing away time, frazzled and anxious. I need to hit the reset button. So! January 31st is my new New Year's Eve, as well as a full moon which brings with it some much needed moon magic. February 1st I start over, refreshed, re-inspired, and (hopefully) healthy enough to tackle my goals for the year. Let's do this.