One in a Melon

Happy Monday, guys, and happy third birthday to my niece Kira!!!

Yep, between Kira, Alex, and Penny, August has become quite the birthday month in the PoRoFo family (that’s Powell-Robinson-Fox, hehe. Oh man, we’re nerds.) And that’s not even counting my new niece Marjorie + my sister’s, my sister-in-law’s, nor my brother-in-law’s, late-July birthdays!

Anyway, thanks for letting me doldrum-dwell and whine incessantly about my wisdom teeth removal surgery last week. Not gonna lie, I got pretty bummed out about it over the weekend — the pain & soreness, the bruising, the processed, mushy, soft-food diet, the stir-craziness from being stuck in my house… it was all definitely starting to wear on me.

 
Most of you know that my online & public persona is pretty happy & bubbly, but what you may not realize is that so is my er, personal, persona. I am generally a happy, appreciative person — definitely not the Debbie Downer I was channeling for most of the weekend. Which just bummed me out even more, because of course being in that mindset creates kind of vicious cycle. You’re bummed out, and then you’re bummed out for being bummed out, which just bums you out even more… and so on, and so forth.

Thankfully, by Sunday the pain in my jaw and swelling in my cheeks had become somewhat less biting (ba-doom-ching!), to the point where I was able to stop taking my opioid painkiller and just get by on (still quite high, lol) doses of ibuprofen instead. Which meant I could actually drive my car and leave the house — timely, because Penny had a very pressing social engagement to attend!

Her friend Ellie’s first birthday party! My friend Alyson gave birth to Eliana just 10 days before I had Penny, so it’s been super fun getting to see these two grow up at the same time. The theme of Ellie’s birthday party was “One in a Melon,” which was seriously adorable and definitely gave me lots to live up to with Penny’s upcoming party!

 
Penny was the perfect little party guest, too. Super interested in everything that was going on, but content to observe for most of the party and just generally was really chill. I really am lucky that she still hasn’t gone through any kind of stranger danger phase, because it allows for things stepping away to get a soda or asking a friend to watch her while I use the restroom.

Getting out of the house and socializing myself did wonders for my mood as well. I guess it just goes to show that Penny comes by her sociability honestly — I didn’t realize how low my social meter had gotten after recuperating at home for so many days. Having an excuse to change out of my pajamas, throw on a little makeup (though I still couldn’t manage to cover my bruises, sigh), and see friends definitely helped pull me out of my funk. I’ve still got some pain and discomfort, but it’s definitely much more bearable, and hopefully it’ll just continue to improve (even though I’m pretty sure we have not yet seen the peak of the spreading bruise on my cheek & jaw, sigh.)

An upswing in my mood couldn’t have come at a more crucial time, either, since I have an incredible amount of work to get through this week. After traveling and being out of town so much this summer, plus the wrench that my wisdom tooth surgery threw into the gears, I’m feeling all kinds of out of whack work-wise. I’m looking forward to hitting my to-do list hard this week and being super productive… before I get all distracted again with Penny’s own birthday next week (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S NEXT WEEK?!??!).

So with that, I’m going to sign off so I can get to gettin’. See you on the flipside!

Nothing but the Tooth

Sooooooo, my wisdom teeth extraction? Yeeeeeah, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it — it sucked. Hard.

I know this probably is going to make me sound like a big ol’ baby, but I’ve never had surgery and never undergone general anesthesia before, so even though wisdom teeth extraction is a super normal, super common procedure, I was quite nervous going in. Still, I thought I knew what to expect. I read all the literature, heard from lots of friends about their experiences, and hey, I watch a lot of medical TV shows, lol. So I guess I kind of figured that getting knocked out would be at least somewhat like what you see on TV or in the movies? You know, where they have you count backwards from 10 and you just kind of… drift off… and things are all peaceful and calm…

But no.

It’s not like falling asleep, where you know you’ve been asleep when you wake up. Instead, it’s like you’re awake one second… and then you’re still awake the next second — except that a whole period of time has passed in between that’s just GONE. But you have no memory of passing out or going under, and no memory of anything having occurred during that time, so it was extremely disorienting for me. And to top it all off, apparently my reaction to anesthesia meds is to hyperventilate and cry uncontrollably.

 

Seriously, I had to actively try and control my breathing for like five full minutes, and I was hit with sooooo many weird emotions in the recovery room! Anger and sadness… ugh, it was misery, and while they said it was a totally normal reaction to the anesthesia medications, I was not prepared for it! I thought I’d be all loopy and space cadet-y, not moody and angry and crazy. Ugh.

The one shining light from my experience was that the tech who was helping me in the recovery room was totally floored when he found out how old I am. He asked me if I was in school, and then when I told him I was 30 and had a baby, his jaw dropped and he said he thought I was 20! Haha! I think my hair really tends to throw people off… although, in retrospect I do wonder if the uncontrolled crying and the fact that my dad was there to drive me home also had something to do with his perception of me. Whatever, I’m still taking it.

My at-home recovery hasn’t been too peachy either, although this part I was a bit more prepared for. They removed all of my impacted, semi-erupted wisdom teeth — two uppers as well as my one lower right one (which is the one that had been giving me grief a couple weeks ago and was the impetus for this entire thing). I’m on ibuprofen and Tylenol 3 (with codeine), which makes it manageable, but my face is pretty swollen and my right jaw is still giving me a lot of grief. I can’t 0pen my mouth much at all without causing myself serious pain — even smiling and laughing is kind of painful, sigh. So thank goodness I own a large supply of long, shallow baby spoons, because they are what I’m using to spoon tiny bits of food into my mouth. Oh, and if you were curious, my amazing, incredibly healthy diet right now primarily consists of yogurt, mashed potatoes, and pudding. I think I’ll attempt some mac ‘n’ cheese later today and see how that goes.

Basically, this entire experience just has me really wishing I had gone through this all when I was a teenager or in college, like my sister and brother did. It’s just a lot harder to dwell in my misery when I’ve got a little someone I need to rally for, lol. Though I am very thankful to my parents & Sean for helping out so much while I’m running at half-speed here.

 

It’ll be interesting to see how long it’s going to take me to get back into the swing of things, too. I was actually feeling pretty proud of myself for working out almost daily over the past couple of weeks, and hope that this doesn’t put too much of a dent in my motivation.

 

I’m a smidgen over 17 pounds down so far, which feels steady and maintainable, especially knowing that I’m approaching my weight and health journey the “right way” right now. Because while many of you know that I have had success with weight loss in the (now seemingly far distant) past, even when I was at my lowest adult weight, I never felt this kind of genuine motivation to work on my health and fitness — I just wanted to weigh less.

So here’s hoping that once I come out the other side of this awful mess of pain and swollen chipmunk cheeks and can’t-drive-while-taking-them-medications, I’ll be able to bounce right back into the sorta-kinda-semblance of a routine that I’ve been setting up? Guess we shall seeeeee!

Toothy Wisdom (Weigh-in Wednesday #2)

So my supposedly-innocuous dental appointment yesterday turned out to be even dreadful than I was expecting (and let’s be honest, going to the dentist for a filling is always something I dread.) Turns out, one of my cavities was kind of adjacent to an old filling, and when the old filling was removed, it revealed a horror show of toothy proportions underneath.

Turns out my poor ol’ tooth was suffering, and suffering bad, but the extent of the damage didn’t even show up on the x-ray because of how it was situated. So when my dentist opened up my tooth (already a weird image to wrap your head around, I know), it revealed a much larger cavity with decay and whatnot. (Gross, I know, sorry). So in order to remove it all, my dentist had to remove additional tooth, leaving me with less than two-thirds of the tooth I once had. Fare the well, enamel, I hardly knew yee.

Anyway, when that much tooth has been removed, you can put a regular filling in but they’re not really strong enough to be maintained in that quantity for a long period of time. Enter: me getting a (partial) crown. For those of you who don’t know, a crown (also known as a cap), is basically a heavy-duty hat for my tooth. I’ve got a temporary one in for now while they manufacture the real-deal at the lab, and they’re supposed to last anywhere from 7 to 40 years.

Sigh. Yep, I’ve now got a partially fake tooth in the upper right side of my mouth, and I basically feel like this:

Melisandre and I are going to start an old-crones-masquerading-as-young-people club.

I’m trying to see the silver lining here, which is that A) I still have (most of) my tooth, and B) it really puts the little things (like regular ol’ boring fillings) into perspective, haha. Like I said, this was all really unexpected, even to my dentist, who couldn’t see what was going on until he literally unearthed the issue from inside my tooth. So, I guess this just another example of how you really never can tell what’s going on under the surface (ooh, such deep, much wisdom.)

And speaking of things going on under the surface, let’s get on with the main attraction, shall we:

Starting Weight: 254.2 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 244.6 lbs
Current Weight: 241.6
Difference:  3 lbs

See, now that’s a weight loss amount that I don’t feel the need to justify (as opposed to last week’s dramatic drop-off, which I felt needed to be explained away as water weight, etc.) Almost back out of the 240s, which is going to feel awesome, and despite yet another week of events and dinners eaten out and tooth-pain driven Taco Bell pitstops, I’m feeling pretty good right now!

Tomorrow is going to be a long day of various awesomeness, so I’m hoping my mouth will be feeling back to normal soon. My tooth itself doesn’t really hurt (just a bit sensitive to cold), but my jaw was KILLING me once the numbing wore off yesterday — I’m guestting from being propped open for so long and, you know, all the drilling. (Hence the Hello Kitty ice pack pictured above.) My face still feels a little sore, but I’ve got some great things on the docket for tomorrow and want to be back at 100% — lunch with my coworkers, then a shift volunteering with Martha’s Table at an elementary school in SE DC, and then hitting up the PENTATONIX concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion! Whoop whoop!

So, with all that said: we out.

Feeling “Off”

Man, I don’t know what it is about this week, but I have been out of it.

After having an amazingly productive first three weeks of January — setting up events for Yelp’s Fit Club, rockin’ the first phase of P90, planning a work trip to Savannah in a couple of weeks — these past couple of days have hit me hard.

On Monday, I fell asleep at 5 PM.

Like, legitimately fell asleep.

Until morning.

WTF?

Granted, I’d been up until 3 – 4 AM the few nights before that, so maybe there really is something to the idea that your body eventually needs to catch up on sleep, but… still. That’s pretty crazy, right? I slept for like… 15 hours. And when I woke up, I was still tired!

Which meant that despite my extra long Goldilocks-esque sleeping sesh, I ended up going through most of Tuesday in a bit of a haze. I spent most of the day on the phone for work and then preparing for an event that I had that night, and while the event itself was super fun, I was definitely wiped out by the end of it.

I figure that there are a few possible reasons for this week getting off to such a rocky start. Maybe I’m getting sick (likely, given my piss poor immune system, but other than being exhausted I don’t think I have any other symptoms), maybe it’s stress-related since I’ve got so many things on my plate right now, or maybe it’s the weather (though not the snow — I legitimately loooove snow and am so happy we finally got some inches! I’m sure any of you who live in Boston do NOT feel the same way though… sorry.)

As far as being impacted by the weather beyond the beautiful white fluff on the ground, it’s a definite possibility. It’s been crazy cold this week, so I’ve been spending more time indoors and I hear that sun exposure (or lack thereof) has a tendency to mess with you. I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, though.

Sure, I’ve experienced my share of the winter blues, and during my very, very brief stint with tanning, I can’t say I didn’t notice how spending a few minutes under the UV bulbs lifted my mood, but I guess I never really paid attention until recently as to whether all of it was connected. Y’know, whether my mood might have been bluer due to the weather, or just due to me being me. (It’s not like I’m known for my general mood stability, after all.)

Now, I’m not trying to self-diagnose myself with SAD or anything here. Rather, all of this conjecture is just to further illustrate the point that it’s been a bit of an off week for me so far. And unfortunately, this also means that I totally failed on the workout front on both Monday & Tuesday. So much for that flawless 90-day plan! Womp womp.

But! Snaps for me, I did get back on the wagon yesterday, so, hey, we move on. And, really, it’s not like taking two extra days off from working out is that big of a deal. I mean, let us not forget how many rest days I was taking before all of this. (Hint: all of them. It was all of them.)

Well, hopefully today will prove to be a very good day, even if it is once again jam-packed, because I’m off to see The Master. The master of hair color, that is! Yep, I’m heading back to Be Scene Studios so my main man Linh can work his hair color magic on me. The top half of the grey part of my hair has officially faded (interestingly enough, it’s faded to a blonde-ish color, which basically means my hair is like two-toned right now, aha!)

Any guesses as to what color I might come back with next? Here’s a quick reminder of what’s been done so far (in chronological order, but of course!):

Hair Collage

Aaaaanyway, I figure that gettin’ my hairs re-did is a good way to try and salvage the rest of this weird, weird week. Hope you’re all faring less strangely than I am this week!

Do any of you find the winter weather messes with you around this time of year? As with all things in my life, I do find it ever so comforting when I hear about all the various ways in which I’m not alone. 🙂

Cake “Truffles”

3 Sibs, 3 Days

In honor of there being merely THREE days until Christmas, I attempted to make cake pops for the first time ever. Well, okay, they weren’t really cake pops as much as cake balls (heh). And as a self-proclaimed lover of all miniaturized and adorable foods, I didn’t know why I had never bothered to make them before.

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Now I do.

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Making cake pops is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the lazy. I knew the general principle behind them. You mix a baked cake with frosting, shape ’em, refrigerate ’em, stick ’em, and cover ’em with chocolate. It sounds simple, right? Well, having to make an entire dessert in order to make a different dessert should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk (badoom-ching!).

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It is an extremely lengthy process. Being that I most definitely fall into the “lazy” category, I tried to make it easy for myself by spreading the steps out. I baked the cake (a box of Pillsbury Holiday Funfetti that I mixed with some green food coloring for funsies) on Tuesday night, then combined everything last night. With the refrigeration and the chocolate and everything though, it still took forevvvver, and by the end I had run out of both chocolate and patience.

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Now, I’ll be honest here and admit that this half-assed dessert effort wasn’t entirely the cake pops’ fault. I couldn’t find lollipop sticks or candy melts at Target or the grocery store, hence the amending of pops to balls (heh) because I was too scared lazy to go to Michael’s, even though I know they carry both there. In and of itself, though, not really a big deal.

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I also ended up with a bag of white chocolate instead of colored candy melts for the coating. This unfortunately, didn’t pan out that well for me because I had to find out the hard way that you can’t just add food coloring to melted chocolate and expect it to turn into colored melted chocolate.

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Nope. You end up with gross, clumpy, chocolate-ish paste. Le sigh.

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Don’t try to get fancy with me, Powell.

For the few truffles that I did actually cover with the leftover, untainted chocolate (thank goodness I was melting it in batches!), it worked really well though. Unfortunately with the chocolate shortage, I didn’t have enough to cover all 50,000 cake balls (heh) — seriously, it makes SO many of them — so I drizzled the it over the rest of them in what I thought was an artistic fashion…

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… but was clearly not. But okay, enough complaining. Let’s focus on the important stuff:

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Like how freakin’ delicious they were, in spite of the hassle. They are just like little doughy balls of Heaven. Nomnommitynom. In the future, however, I’ll probably stick to cupcakes as my miniaturized cake-form and leave the cake pops to the pros.

Have you made cake pops or cake balls before? Any secrets or tricks of the trade I’m missing out on?

Also, holy smokes — yesterday’s giveaway is still blowing up! Get your entries in for a chance to win a Vera Bradley bag!