I am a grumpy old lady.

When I was a teenager fourth of july was an absolute blast. We burned holes in our clothes, pulled fireworks open in order to combine them, and once set a neighbor’s bushes on fire. I’m very glad I was at a friend’s house and not anywhere my mother could see because I would have given that poor woman early angina. Every year David and I got a bit safer but no less enthusiastic about turning the neighborhood into a battle zone.

I don’t know what happened in the past year but this fourth of july I was sitting in a plastic yard chair at my in-law’s house, watching the fountains and mortars go off, and I was grumpy as all get out. The fireworks were too dangerous for my liking, everyone else was too reckless, it was too dark, the trees were too close, I was just an absolute nightmare to be around. It had nothing to do with whether or not I got to light them. I was just not into it this year. I think this tears it, I am officially an old lady at 22 years old.

So instead David, his sister Amanda, and I all went in the house to an upstairs bedroom and watched the more young at heart people light the fireworks off out the window while we talked about life and moving plans and how grumpy we all were. It was actually a nice cap to the night.

So what’s the next holiday again? I think it’s Labor Day? Well I’m going camping Labor Day with family so I think I’ll have to take some precautions against my grump. Maybe they can duct tape me to a tree. Or, like, intentionally induce laryngitis.

Or I guess I could assign David to be my aide and he can shush me a lot and add “she doesn’t mean it” after everything I say. But I’m suspecting he’s just as grumpy as I am and I’m afraid that might backfire.

Vegan Schmegan

I realized earlier that my friend group has changed drastically enough that pretty much no one outside of my family was there for my vegan/vegetarian phase. Which is a funny thing to realize because that “phase” lasted like ten years.

I’m not going to get into the moral reasoning or why I transitioned in either direction, but I will say that it shaped my tastes pretty heavily, and even though I have no problem eating meat nowadays I still don’t eat much of it unless I’m with my husband. We went to the in-laws’ the other day and there was steak on the table that had been carefully marinated for several days, an absolute treat, and I just ate a huge salad soaked in vinegar and oil. Didn’t touch the meat, not interested.

Since Samson was born I’ve made several half-hearted attempts at dieting. I’ve got about 13 pounds sticking around from the pregnancy, and I know that after my next one I’ll have another 13 at least. And I don’t want to just jump a dress size every time I have a baby, plus the couple pounds people naturally gain every year or so. I know that pregnancies are healthier when your starting weight is lower, so it would be a favor to myself to get back to where I was last summer. But dieting is stupid and punishing and in my opinion drives people a little nutso. There’s just something about giving humans a numbers system like calories, we get weird about it and try to game the system. At one point I talked myself down from the recommended 1400 calories to 700 because I kept being like, “If I eat one less snack than yesterday, I’ll lose weight that much faster!” By the time I realized what I was doing, I was eating less than a two year old should. Then I stopped doing that and bought a cake.

I’m also not really looking for a “lifestyle change”. I hate it when people say “you shouldn’t diet, you should seek to change your lifestyle permanently.” Or when people say, “I’m a skinny person trapped in a fat person’s body.” And I hate this image that gets passed around tumblr and pinterest and wherever else.

Let’s be real here. I’m trying to lose some weight, but I will most likely find it again. You go through different stages in your life, and while it’s good to be healthy, there’s nothing wrong with trying to slim down for summer and then fattening up again once it’s winter (better known as cookie season). There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Huh, this dress doesn’t fit. Well, I have a week till the party.” And then going on a cleanse real quick. If you’re an athlete, that’s awesome, but I’m not and I see no reason I should have to eat and exercise like one for the rest of my natural born life. We will all get fat, old, and wrinkled. Accept it and eat the cake.

So, knowing that I am too insane in the membrane to count calories and knowing that I just don’t care enough to be super fit, how do I intend to shift my body mass? By going back to old habits.

Like I said, my tastes were heavily shaped by my earlier vegetarianism, I can slip back into it easy peasy. I (eventually) figured out how to get all my nutrition and vitamins, so I’ll still be healthy. And the food groups you cut out by going vegan just so happen to be the most calorically dense food groups. A cube of cheese is the same calorically as an entire apple, and I don’t know about you, but right now I eat way more than a single cube of cheese a day.

I started this morning, and I’m already doing better than I have the past week. It’s hard to say, “Oh, I know I’m hungry, but I’m not allowed to eat anymore.” It’s much easier to say, “Oh, I can’t eat that because it’s got milk and stuff, but I can totally eat as many rasberries as I want.”

Incidentally, raspberry boxes (y’know that normally cost $6 for a handful and a half) are only $1.50 right now. That may or may not be contributing to my choices.

Phantom!

That last post was depressing. Let’s move on, shall we? I got a cat! A white cat, three years old, who was being rehomed. The thing about cats is that they don’t really understand names how we do or how dogs do. They recognize when you’re talking to them based on tone, and some come when called by name, but according to cat behaviourists (which is apparently a job, and my new life ambition) they don’t tie their name with their identity. While I have many nicknames I still understand myself at a base level to be Cyra. A cat, on the other hand, will just understand itself to be “Me” due to their solitary nature in a wild environment. They are, in a literal sense, self centered. All that gobbledygook means that I will be changing his name, and I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about possibilities. I liked Chalk or Cotton, but neither really fit his personality, I liked Darjeeling for white tea, but couldn’t come up with any nicknames, I like Bernard and my husband liked Albert, but each of us hated the other person’s chosen name. Eventually in line for a movie I made a joke about calling him Ghost, my husband made a joke about calling him Danny Phantom, we had a moment of nostalgia over old cartoons, and the name was decided. Danny Phantom it is. He’s still only here on a trial basis, since at his old home he lived with his sister since birth and we’re all still not sure if he’ll adapt to being the only cat in the household, but if he does well by the end of the week he’ll be here to stay from now on. Without further ado, picture spam!

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On moving…

I have told every single person who would listen these past two months that I am moving to my hometown, and nothing is going to stop me, neener neener neener. I’m about to eat those words.

I really do want to move, I miss Kirkland and I miss all the people out there who I have seldom gotten the chance to see. It would save us a ton on gas, which would enable us to get a bigger apartment and have a bit more space and maybe even a small office for me. But after a lot of whining and moaning about it, we need to take care of our responsibilities first. Because of our ordeal in March we owe quite a few doctors a chunk of change (first the hospital sends a bill, then the office within the hospital, then each individual doctor, and after a while it just feels sarcastic) and we want to get all accounts settled before we start looking at places and dropping deposits left and right.

Since we’re on the verge of summer, we’re just going to stick it out until mid to late August, and then we will be in the market for a new apartment again. I don’t think I’ll complain that much about getting to spend the summer by the lake, though.

Yes, this is a real lake, and it is five minutes from my house. North Bend is very kind to its residents in the summer.

My follow-up appointment is tomorrow…

And I am freaking out.

For those not totally up to date with the conditions present in my first pregnancy, it fell into two camps. What was wrong with me and what was wrong with the baby. I had placental previa, which is when the placenta blocks the exit and prevents labor from happening. The baby had a chromosonal issue we can’t identify which resulted in some brain abnormalities, although he was otherwise healthy.

Now, neither of these conditions is hereditary or lifestyle based. They were flukes, completely unrelated to one another or me, and I was just lucky enough to pull both short straws at once. But emotions don’t have to make sense (and in my experience they rarely do) and I’m petrified of it happening again. Previa results when the egg implants too low, and my animal brain is telling me (screaming, actually) that the surgery I went through malformed my uterus and that it’s now the perfect magical shape to result in previa every single time.

I want to go to the doctor tomorrow and have her tell me everything is fine. I’m terrified to go tomorrow and have her tell me that I’m ruined forever and that my animal brain was right. I’m also terrified to go and find out that I’m still too anemic/deficient/weak and will have to be under close watch for even longer.