I’m a Mémé!

My grand­ba­by has arrived! So we’re short on sleep, but long on love and joy!

Mov­ing up here, the new baby and asso­ci­at­ed sleep loss, change in gen­er­al — they all lead to increased pain. I don’t take any nar­cot­ic pain med­ica­tions any more because the opi­ates just did­n’t pro­vide enough relief to be worth the has­sle of the side effects. I’m still tak­ing Lyri­ca and Cym­bal­ta and they cer­tain­ly help. But for the most part, I have to rely on reduc­ing aggra­vat­ing fac­tors in hopes of avoid­ing flares. That isn’t easy, and it was impos­si­ble with the move and now the new baby. But I do have cop­ing strate­gies that make every­thing bet­ter! What does that look like?

I love my job, but it’s fair­ly stress­ful, which leads to increased pain and oth­er prob­lems. I had to take some time off work. I know that I’m priv­i­leged to be able to do that, even if it is a sac­ri­fice.

My bed­room is set up as my sanc­tu­ary. I have a real­ly great mat­tress, which is impor­tant, with lots of good pil­lows. I’m away from any noise, and I have black­out cur­tains over the win­dows. I have a fan set up to give me just the right amount of air­flow, but I can switch it off from my bed if I need to do so. I also have a good, qui­et air clean­er in the room.

I’ve been care­ful to keep up my vit­a­mins and med­ica­tions. I find that set­ting them up once a week in a good med­i­cine box helps a great deal with keep­ing every­thing straight.

Stay­ing hydrat­ed is also impor­tant. My Apple water bot­tle is always with me! If you don’t like the taste of water, con­sid­er try­ing some of the drops that give a lit­tle bit of fla­vor with­out adding any calo­ries.

I’m not at the com­put­er as much as I am when I’m work­ing, but I use a few util­i­ties to make the expe­ri­ence health­i­er when I am. The first is f.lux, which changes the light from your com­put­er mon­i­tor to match the sun (or to be warm at night, instead of bright like the sun). It makes your com­put­er mon­i­tor look bet­ter and makes it health­i­er for you to use it. It’ll also remind you of when you should get off the com­put­er and go to bed, if you set that part up. The sec­ond is Break­time, which blacks out my Mac’s screen at pre­de­ter­mined inter­vals, forc­ing me to take a break. It’s avail­able for iOS (iPhones, iPods and iPads) too! Time Out is anoth­er alter­na­tive for Macs. If you’re a PC user, try WorkRave (Windows/Linux).

Yoga helps keep me mov­ing. I’m a fan of Curvy Yoga, and have three of Anna Guest-Jel­ley’s DVDs that I enjoy using. Any­one can do her exer­cis­es!

Final­ly, med­i­ta­tion has become an impor­tant part of my over­all health plan. I like guid­ed med­i­ta­tions, and have found some good apps for iOS that give me a vari­ety to choose from. I’m sure that there are sim­i­lar apps avail­able in the Play Store for Android users. If you’re new to med­i­ta­tion, I’ve heard many good things about Head­space, which is avail­able for both plat­forms. (I real­ly love their Get Some/Give Some pol­i­cy, too.)

How are you cop­ing with your fibrant life late­ly?

 

Welcome to Esther!

I’m a Mémé! Oth­er­wise known as a grand­moth­er 🙂 My baby girl had a baby girl on Sun­day, Sep­tem­ber 11. Lit­tle Esther is absolute­ly beau­ti­ful, of course — she looks a lot like her moth­er did as an infant.

Both Mom­ma and baby are healthy. I’m for­tu­nate enough to be in Oma­ha with them for now, and I’m enjoy­ing every minute of my time here. There’s noth­ing else like the smell of a sweet, clean infant. It’s def­i­nite­ly worth all the sleep loss.

We’re get­ting lots of good singing and read­ing time togeth­er. I was very hap­py to be able to find Pamela Balling­ham’s Earth Moth­er Lul­la­bies from Around the World series (vol­umes I, II, and III) on CD, as I near­ly wore out the cas­sette ver­sions play­ing them to Katie while car­ry­ing her and after she was born. They’re a fam­i­ly tra­di­tion now!

One of the first books I bought for her? A is for Activist! She’s also fond of Dream Ani­mals: A Bed­time Jour­ney. We’re going to have to find a new copy of Jen­nifer­’s Rab­bit, as Katie’s copy has dis­ap­peared, and we’re very fond of the illus­trat­ed ver­sion of Tom Pax­ton’s mar­velous song.