Category Archives: defiant

14 Months & 2017

december-57

14 Months

For the most part, I just say she’s one year old. But every month she’s more capable, more aware than the one before. And at 18 months, I’ll say she’s one and a half. Every day builds on the next.

One day, she started pulling up. The next, with a little help, she was pushing one of those stand up toys. Now she’s walking back and forth across the living room, barely using the elephant walker to stabilize.

A sixth tooth broke through last week. From all the drool and whining, it seems a seventh may be on its way.

She chatters and laughs and giggles and whines and throws herself down when she’s upset and clings and rests her head on your shoulder and cackles while trying to shove her fingers up your nose. I love this age so much. I’m trying to appreciate how easy it is right now, because I know it’s about to get much harder. She has such big emotions for such a tiny body and she’s only starting to learn about them.

After a really hard week with copious amounts of vomit & diarrhea, she’s also started sleeping straight through from 10pm to 5am, and I kind of love it. Now I just warm a bottle up when my alarm goes off at 5am. She usually wakes up shortly after, takes a bottle, then goes right back to sleep. I get a solid hour, hour and a half of writing/editing in every morning. Living the life, y’all.

 

2017

This has been a strange year. Politically, it’s been a devastating roller coaster. But personally, it’s been amazing. I wrote a book and then I went through edits and just yesterday my editor accepted it – which means 2018 will be pretty exciting, too. 2018 will also be the year (more) people I don’t know read it (oh god). I met people in my field and made friends and connections. I’ve never been this excited – or hopeful! – about my career. I’ve never had a career.

And this baby – oh, this baby. She has been the joy and the adventure I dreamed of and so much more. She has taught me so much – about myself, about the world, about hope. I love watching and sharing her joy. Her sadness breaks my heart a hundred times over. And it’s only been 14 months!

Life has been so different and yet not at all. I get up and pet the cats and drink coffee and write and make breakfast and go to work – except now I also keep an eye on the baby monitor, bring her milk, open the door when she’s up and sing good morning, baby – the light’s come on and so I smile wide and say –

I was struck the other morning by how quickly this all became normal. I was sitting on the couch at 6am, reading the edit suggestions from my editor, my robe smelling faintly of the baby’s vomit from the day before, the coffee satisfyingly hot, a cat licking her paw by my ear. I have felt so much despair and hopelessness and loneliness this year, but really: I have everything I could wish for. This is the life. This is my life.

And I couldn’t be luckier. ❤

I wasn't really looking forward to 2017, but it was good for me. Now I'm very excited about 2018 – Lady Jr will be walking, talking, and growing into a Real Human Being. My book will be going out to other authors, to reviewers, will get a cover, will be in my hands. My wife will begin searching for her next job, her hopefully for-a-long-time job, and we might begin to have an idea of where we'll be in 2019.

I'm gonna cherish every minute of it.

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Filed under defiant, gaybies, goals, happy things, no more waiting, writing

Charlottesville

I’ve been having a difficult time grappling with what happened last weekend not because it happened – we knew this would happen, it was a when, not an if – but because our president failed the single easiest moral test: condemning Nazis.

Instead, I keep stumbling over the fact that there are human beings in this country who can look at a sea of white men carrying tiki torches and chanting white supremacist slogans, can hear those same white supremacists calling for ethnic cleansing, and still say “both sides are bad.”

I’m not surprised that there are Nazis in our country. They’ve always been here, a stain allowed by our facade of tolerance – a tolerance that only seems to be touted for white people, btw. I am surprised by the sympathizers. The people who say “but both sides…”

This is going to get worse. I don’t know what to do aside from stand up and shout. Vote, obviously. But I’ve been doing that for a long time. But talking needs to happen, too.

I skyped with my mom last Monday and although every thought I had was surrounded by Charlottesville, we didn’t touch on it until the end. And that was when my mom asked, “where did these people come from?” And I was flabbergasted. Because they’ve been here, they’ve always been here. They shoot up theaters and mosques and night clubs. They murder trans people and stab women who turn them down. They shoot black children holding skittles.

I keep reading people saying “this is not US.” But it IS US. These people are us. These people are American. This hate is woven deep within our society. We can’t let it be buried again. We have to confront it. We have to drag it out and have these conversations that hurt. Because yes, there are Nazis and yes, there are white supremacists, but they are an extreme. What leads to that extreme is everywhere around us – our words, our biases, our system.

It’s fun to punch Nazis. It’s a whole lot more difficult to talk to your uncle about racism. But it’s a conversation we all need to have.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: June Recap

Omg Speck, where have you been?? I’m still doing my thing, I swear, just blogging got a whole lot harder to fit into my days. Now I understand how people can disappear for months at a time.

ANYWAY

I’m still doing strong mom stuff. I won’t recap every run/lift, but there were definitely a lot more runs than lifts. Last month I managed to run every week 2-3 times. I lifted a total of 3 times. ^^() So far this month, I’ve run twice a week and finally lifted again for the first time today. That has got to change! But June was stressful as heck and running helps relieve stress as well as helps me untangle plot problems, so I just went with running when I didn’t feel like lifting.

But even though I’m beating myself up for missing out on lifting, I really am doing better overall with fitness. Running 2.5+ miles is a breeze. 3 miles is becoming more comfortable, although I’m not quite there yet. In general, I’m feeling more confident about my body.

So much so, that I decided to set myself a new challenge. My 31st birthday is coming up next month on the 31st – what do they call that, a golden birthday? I don’t know, but I’m not letting my birthday pass me by as easily as it did last year. To stop it from getting away so fast, I’ve set myself a pretty big goal (for me):

Run a 5k in 31 minutes. For those keeping track, that’s 3.1 miles in 31 minutes.

I’m currently around 33min for my 5k time, but that’s at a casual, comfortable pace. Can I shave 2min off in the next 5 weeks? I don’t know! But I’m going to try. That’s pretty much a 10min mile. I’m currently riding comfortable at 10:30.

I’ll be happy just to run the 5k and have fun, but it’s also fun to have a goal to reach for. I’ve been running more and faster, now I just need to put those two together. And also hope that Lady Jr doesn’t go through another sleep regression any time soon.

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A Breath of Relief

Guys. I did it. I wrote a book in eight months with an infant and a job and very little sleep.

I have frequently bemoaned how lonely I’ve been in MI, but that had a lot to do with Getting This Done. I spent every morning and evening and any free time on the weekends working on this. If you’d asked me in January or February or March or April or even May, I wasn’t sure I’d make it.

But I really, really wanted to. I knew it wouldn’t take too much to ask for an extension, but I wanted to prove I could meet a deadline. Because if I could do it now, while sleep-deprived, taking care of a newborn then infant then baby, handling Everything when both baby and Dr Lady were often sick, work 3 days a week, and also somehow find time to eat and shower and exercise – then I would 100% know I could do it and no excuses would ever be enough.

I wanted – no – needed to prove to myself I could do this. And to handle all the daily stress and panic while still enjoying the process. And yes, I didn’t enjoy the process the entire time. Sometimes I just wanted to cry. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I wanted to sleep in, instead of crawling out of bed to the sound of my alarm only an hour after I’d been up with Lady Jr. Sometimes I did. Usually, though – I didn’t.

But I did it. I’m not 100% sure how, not even now, but I’m even a week early. What.

Anyway – I just really needed to get that out. I’m still a little shell-shocked. And now I have another book to write, and there will be edits, and I’m sure new and different and familiar challenges. And – this is my life now. I get to write books! If it sells well when it comes out in 18(ish) months, I’ll get to write more books!

;;.;;

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Filed under books, defiant, gaybies, writing

Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 10 & 11 & 12

There’s an 8 month post coming soon, but that requires more thought. So strong mom diary first.

Omg: sleep. It makes everything so much easier. Now that baby only wakes me up twice a night, I feel like a new woman. And being able to add regular exercise back into my life has me almost feeling like my old self.

Even though I haven’t lost any weight since January, just being able to move my body and feel my heart beating hard and breathing deep makes me feel so much better about myself. When I’m able to exercise, apparently I don’t give a fig about what I look like. I’m passing skinny girls on my runs and giving them thumb’s up and grinning like a maniac and only after do I briefly have a flash of do-they-assume-I’m-only-doing-this-to-lose-weight? But then it’s gone almost as soon as it arrives.

Versus just a few weeks ago, where even walking around in public I felt self conscious. Now I just feel badass.

Fingers crossed no one comes down with any awful illnesses and/or goes through any sleep regressions soon. I just need a few more weeks of this and then I feel like I’ll be able to handle anything thrown my way.

I ran on Tuesday. Since that’s my self-employed free-form day, I decided to indulge in a long run. So I ran my first 5k since easily last January (2016). It was slow, but not as slow as I’d expected. I just wanted to complete three miles, and I did. Not gonna lie, felt pretty awesome/sore after.

 

On Wednesday, I lifted. I didn’t have as much time because W-F are my strict 9am-6pm workdays, but I squeezed in a 5×3 heavy deadlift and a 5×5 set of ring rows. I wanted to throw in a quick crossfit-style workout, but alas. Besides, it’s okay to just keep chiseling at this instead of throwing myself in and getting too sore/too overwhelmed.

 

Another run this morning, this one shorter and faster. Also holy humidity, batman. Michigan has really ratcheted up its SUMMER levels this last week. Makes me (almost) wish I was in AZ. Then I see that it’s going to 115 there all next week and I’m okay with the humidity.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Day 9

ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow owwwwwww

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 6 & 7 & 8

Oof. I got started and almost immediately fell off the wagon again, didn’t I? I had… something, because I was exhausted most of last week despite getting sleep. On top of that, Dr Lady had hand, foot, and mouth disease, which not only stole her energy, but her ability to walk or use her hands for a few days. On top of that Lady Jr was going through some sort of leap, because she was super clingy and not okay with anything but being held. And she kept getting up at 5.30am. So like. Yeah.

On top of that, I have to finish edits on my novel so I can turn it in on July 1st and holy shit we’re a week into June already, so every available minute not holding baby (or otherwise interacting with her) has been spent working.

BUT THAT IS NO EXCUSE

I did manage to run twice in the last week (woo). And today I (finally!) lifted.

First:

Holy wow! Two of those times are under 11min, the first time I’ve managed that since before I gave birth. Progress, yass. And I could even tell while running that it was feeling easier. Those first two miles felt like a breeze.

Second:

Even better. I mostly look at the first two miles, because mile three is a half mile and I’m pretty much tuckered out and slowing down at that point in general. So I’ll take two more under 11/min miles.

And then today I lifted. No pics because I wanted to get in and get done and have time leftover to pump and drink water before getting back to work. But I did a crossfit-inspired workout. In fact, I modified it from a WOD posted by my old box (here).

For strength:
5 sets of 3 push press, working up to a 3 rep max. I topped out at 85#. I suspect I could have gone heavier, but since I’m just getting back into this I’m okay with 85#.

For completion (untimed):
5 rounds of
10 empty bar thrusters (45#)
6 ring-rows

Aaand now my arms are noodles.

Tomorrow I plan on going for another run. What can I say? I’m addicted to Zombies, Run!

I’m still trying to figure out how to make a schedule. Stay tuned while I experiment with morning runs soon.

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