Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Since January, I have been training to run a half marathon on March 29th.  Even throughout the Snowiest Winter on Record this year (true fact), I ran outdoors when I could (rarely) and indoors on a dreadmill when it was too cold or too snowy (which was most of the time, it seemed).  I never knew I could run 7 or 8 miles on a treadmill.  How immensely boring, right?  But I did it.

I did a long run every Saturday or Sunday, increasing my mileage weekly.  I was actually starting to like not hate running again.

I am one of those people whose coping method is to ignore or avoid.  For example, if my car is making a funny sound, I simply turn up the radio so I can't hear the sound.  (My husband LOVES it when I do this, trust me.)  If I can't deal with a person or a situation, I simply avoid at all costs.  It's what I do.

I started having pain in my lower right leg some time ago.  It was when I was doing a lot of switching from treadmill to road, back to treadmill.  I figured it was perhaps shin splints (which I have had plenty of experience with from my high school/college soccer days).  With a few days of rest, the pain would subside a bit.

Until it didn't anymore.

A few weeks ago, I realized the pain was constant.  Yet I continued to lalalala ignore it.  Running was okay, because once my muscles got warm, it didn't really hurt. But it was the aftermath that was the hardest.  It got so that I would do a long run (I was up to 10 miles!) and then take a full week off because my leg hurt so bad.  Lalalala.

In my pea-brained head, I rationalized that I would try to make it through the marathon and THEN go see a doctor.  Because that is totally the smartest thing to do, right?  Don't answer that.

My poor body finally spoke up and yelled at me to CUT THE SHIT and GO SEE A DOCTOR, DUMBASS!  Alas, I went to my primary physician last week. My doctor (and I, deep down) suspected it was probably a fracture, so I was scheduled for a bone scan.  I was advised to be non-weight bearing on my right leg.  Meaning crutches.  LALALALA NOT LISTENING

The bone scan was on Friday.  Saturday I was called and told that it indeed indicated a stress fracture.

My appointment with an orthopedist is tomorrow.  At this point, I am COUNTING DOWN to go, it hurts that much.

Listen to your body, kids.  It's the only one you've got.  Lesson learned (the hard way).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You've Got a Friend

As I settle into my early 40's, I find myself becoming less and less interested in the superficialness of social interaction.

Meaning, I'm kind of picky and I like it that way.

At this stage of the game, I'm consciously making the choice to surround myself with women whom I'm comfortable around.

These women have actually known my husband longer than they have known me!  I first met all of them at one of their weddings.  I was Hubby's "plus one".  I'm so very thankful to have them.  Through multiple pregnancies (15 children between us!); the different stages of childrearing; the ups and downs of our marriages and parenting moments; and most recently, and sadly, facing the immortality of our own parents - these 5 gals are my backbone.  Since none of us live in the same town, I'm proud of the way we make time for each other.  To seize that 24 or 48 hours to reconnect.  To let down our hair.  To eat and drink, to laugh and cry.

I'm so lucky to have that.

And it helps that our children get along as well.  Heh.

 (This is one of my most favorite pics.)

That's another thing I've learned as I, and my boys, age.  You can't pick your kids' friends.  So it certainly helps when your son's bestie turns out to be your soulmate in friendship who lives in the same neighborhood.  Plus, your husbands are also good buddies.

Being able to watch Scandal together on a Friday night with pj's and slippers (and wine).  The comfortable silence of hanging out together, but reading magazines or books.  Sharing meals.  Sharing childcare. But most of all, sharing laughter and sarcasm and all of life's ups and downs without any pretenses, knowing that we always have each others' backs.  The Amy Poehler to my Tina Fey.

 I am so lucky to have that.

And then there's my Sis.  Who knows me better than anyone, aside from my husband.  Who has grown up with me and shared the same experiences.  Who I'm proud to not only call a sister, but a friend.  Someone who is stronger than I'll ever be.  Someone who has risen above numerous obstacles.  An awesome nurse.  A marathon runner.  And even though she still won't forgive me for pushing her down the cellar stairs, blindfolded, when we were kids (isn't that what big sisters do?  no?), we share an unbreakable sisterly connection.

I am so lucky.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Movie-Induced Narcolepsy...It's a Thing

We all have our crosses to bear.  But this, this affliction that I have, well, it's kinda embarrassing.

You guys, I fall asleep during the movies.

At home, this behavior is much more acceptable, if not actually expected, after almost 16 years of marriage.   1.  Hubby puts a movie on.  2.  I fall asleep.  3.  He wakes me up after the movie is over to go to bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

As a matter of fact, it ONLY used to happen in the privacy of my home.  Which was totally fine.  But then, it started carrying over into the public realm.

I'd take the boys to see a kids' movie  (See:  Rio 2; Mr. Peabody and Sherman; Despicable Me 2) and I would fall asleep.  This was harmful to no one, especially if it was a 3D movie.  Score!  I could hide my closed eyes behind glasses.  And then I'd fudge my answers to any questions the boys would ask afterwards about the movie.  "I'm not sure what my favorite part was--what was YOUR favorite part?  Oh yeah!  That was totally mine too!"

But now?

It keeps happening.

I mean, it's not like I TRY to fall asleep.  As a matter of fact, it's just the opposite.  I drink Red Bull beforehand.  I sit upright.  I try not to blink my eyes.  But soon, the inevitable happens.  My eyes get heavier and heavier.  I feel myself start to slink lower and lower in my seat.  My blinks become longer and longer...

...and then I get a quick elbow in the side, alerting me to the fact that I've succumbed to the sweet sweet release of some zzzzzzzzzzzzzs and may or may not actually be snoring.  Out loud.  In a public theatre.

Now one would think that it would depend on what type of movie I was watching.  One would be wrong.

I've fallen asleep during comedies.  See:  The Heat--the hilarious comedy with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.  (I was told that I randomly woke up and laughed during it.)

I've fallen asleep during dramas.  See:  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  (This one shouldn't be held against me though!  The entire movie was dark and dreary and rainy.)

I've even fallen asleep during suspenseful movies.  See:  Gone Girl.   See also:  Elbow jabbed in side for snoring. (I blame the theatre for this one.  Recliners?  I was doomed from the start!)

Luckily, I have good friends who humor my affliction.  They know there's a darn good chance I won't make it through a movie to discuss plot points or character development.  But I am a warm body if they don't want to head to a show alone.  One of my friends likens me to "Weekend at Bernie's."

So, all this is to say that I'm about to head out to the theatre tonight.

To totally reinforce the media's stereotype of the silly suburban mother, I'm seeing 50 Shades of Grey with an entire gaggle of women.  The show starts at 10:10pm. 

Here's hoping Christian Grey's twitchy palms can keep me awake and seductively biting my bottom lip.

(I'm cautiously optimistic.)

Laters, baby.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Writing Again/Running Again

My resolution for 2015 is Fit Not Fat in '15.  I care about my weight (and the losing thereof), yes (obviously), but I want to FEEL GOOD.  I want to feel like I'm FIT.  And the last time I truly remember feeling that way was when my Sis and I were training for our very first half marathon back in 2007 (OMG).  I remember back then when I had a 6, 3 and 2 year old (double OMG) that I felt confidentStrong.  And secure in knowing that I could run for over 2 hours straight.  My nutrition was on point because I was training for a goal.  Don't get me wrong, I mean, I definitely learned the hard way that eating a bag of Doritos before a long run wasn't the best idea.  (Same for Mexican food.)  (Same for drinking too much the night before.)

I've let myself slip in the 7 years since.  I have run two more half marathons since, but my finish time has gotten progressively slower each race.  2:03, then 2:09, then 2:24.  Yuck.  But still.  I ran them.  My 2:24 was in June of 2012.  So 2-1/2 years ago was the last time I ran a half.  There have been 2 others that I actually signed up (and paid for), but I didn't run them.  Injury and fear and lack of training and self-sabotage kept me on the sidelines.

I'm over it.  I'm ready to recommit.

And so.

In conjunction with this great organization, I have committed to a half marathon training program, culminating in a race on March 29th of this year.  There are classes.  Yoga.  A weekly training program.  Group long runs every Saturday morning.  It's exactly what I needed to hold me accountable.  Which I so desperately require.

Last night was the kick-off meeting.  I went in, not knowing what to expect at all.  You guys, I left there totally motivated, energized, and excited about what's to come in the next few months.  The guest speaker was Rick Muhr.  He was a compelling motivational speaker who is currently training THOUSANDS of runners for April's Boston Marathon.  There's something to be said about running keeping you young, man.  Because this dude looked mayyyyybe 40, and he's 56! 

(Did I ever tell you that my LIFE GOAL is to run a full marathon?  And that I feel uncomfortably uneasy, in a good way, that THIS YEAR might be my year?)

Pretend I didn't just say that though.  I don't want to jinx myself.

You know what has gotten me to this path?  I mean, besides feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, and knowing I could and should be doing better? 

Sibling rivalry.

'Tis true.  My Sis has completely turned her life around and it has been inspiring to witness.  This past fall, she ran not one, but TWO FULL MARATHONS.   Once she did her first, she was hooked.  Her third is coming up in February.  On the Cape.  In the winter.  Crazy, I know, but she's truly that invested.  And to see the differences that running has made in her life, both mentally and physically, has made me say, all When Harry Met Sally-esque, "I'll have what SHE'S having!"

More to come.  Not just about running either.  About life in the Trenches lately.  And about our new puppy.  And sports.  Always sports.

Stay tuned!  I'm back!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Ok, so I am about 5 or 6 blog posts behind OMG.  It's not that I don't think about blogging.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I DO think about it.  But actually typing something up?  Sooooo overwhelming lately.  I blame it on the season.  We'll go with that.

But today, while my heart is in my throat and my eyes are constantly on the verge of tearing up, I knew I should write well it's fresh.

My first baby, the child who made me a Mom, is growing up right before my eyes.  It's cliche, and corny, yes, but if you haven't yet been through it?  It's SO strange.

When I started this blog, Eldest was but a mere FIVE years old.  He's now THIRTEEN.  And the changes in him are coming fast and furious.  I swear he grows taller everyday.  (Although he's still pretty short compared to his classmates.)   He's quieter.  Deeper.  Sullen at times.  He babysits his brothers.  He gets firewood for the woodstove daily.  He makes his own meals.  He's wearing braces (and headgear at night). He does his own laundry.  He laughs and ugh, understands, adult humor.  He gets zits.  He's quick-witted and can fight back with sarcasm (much to my delight).

And when he kisses me goodnight (which he still does every.single.night), I pretend not to feel those stray scratchy hairs above his lip.

So now he's on his first official school team.  The middle school basketball team.  Where they either have practice or games after school 5 days a week (and hence, we lose our babysitter). 

Today is his team's very first away game.  Which entails him staying after school, riding on a bus to the game, and then calling us to pick him up when he's back.  Wow.

It also entails a dress code for away games.  Pants, shirt, tie.  Ummmm...have you met my sons?  They are Sporty Sport Sport Jocks.  (I just made that up.)  It's all Under Armour/Nike/Adidas/Reebok/etc. etc. up in here.  New jeans go unworn.  Collared shirts hang futilely on hangers, gathering dust.  I fight all.the.time for my boys to wear "handsome" clothes and am met with COMPLETE resistance.

But now the tides are turning.  Suddenly I have one at an age where he's *required* to dress up.  And oh, how that makes this Momma's heart trill with delight.

It required us starting from scratch.  I was soooo excited to think about shopping with Eldest for some *real* clothes.  Yet my bubble was burst pretty quickly by Hubby, when he proclaimed that he would take his son shopping for dress-up clothes.  Dang it.

And so they went.  And so they bought.

Last night was a vision I will keep locked in my Mother Memory Bank forever.  The two of them, father and son, standing in tandem at the bathroom mirror, with Hubby showing Eldest how to tie his tie.

All those years ago, when I complained both out loud to the universe and here on my blog about wanting to rush time?  Wanting to not have life be so hard with babies?   Wishing that they would just.get.bigger?

I take it all back.

One of the very first pictures of Eldest that I posted here on this blog.


Tuesday, December 02, 2014


I'm not a dog person, per se.  Never have been.  Growing up, we never had any pets.  My first, I guess, "official" pet was my college boyfriend's yellow labrador that he had at school and then we had him post-college when we moved down south.  But I lost custody in the break-up, and that was that.

And then, a husband and 3 boys later, we inherited Sunshine.  Sunshine met her untimely and oh so sad fate last August 2013.

It took a bit of time for the boys (and Hubby and me) to grieve.  We all missed Sunshine terribly.  But then, soon(er than I would have liked), they were ready.  Ready for a new doggie to love.

We managed to postpone this huDge family decision for quite a while.  You see, we are ALWAYS BUSY with sports!  Baseball season lasted this year from April until August and then football ran from August until November!  So it was easy to procrastinate, yet we ultimately knew that another dog would be in our future.

Hubby and I started looking this fall, right around the time Eldest made his birthday list and the #1 item on it was a dog.  Then, in late fall, the boys started talking about Christmas.  Sure enough, each of them requested a new dog.

We knew we had to (and wanted to) pull the trigger.  Our thought was that if we could find a female Cavachon before Christmas, and before the winter weather hit, then all the better.

And so it came to pass, on November 1st, unbeknownst to the boys, Hubby and I visited a kennel and looked at 2 female Cavachon pups and 2 female Zuchon pups.  Zuchons (also known as Shihchons and also known as the "teddy bear" breed) are a mix of a Shih-tzu and a Bichon Frise.

Little Luna (get it?  We had Sunshine and now we had Luna.) stole our hearts.  She was ours.

Needless to say, the boys were thrilled with our wittle 3 pound (!) bundle of joy.  We took her for her first vet check on November 6 and she was good, except a little underweight (2lb, 8oz).

By Friday night, her little puppy nose started running and she was blowing teeny bubbles out of it.  A puppy cold.

Saturday, I left for my girls' overnight.

By the time I returned on Sunday, Hubby was anxious.  Luna was getting sicker.  She was very lethargic, not eating or drinking, and still had the runny nose, and now, a cough.

Bad timing.  I had to leave for a 3-day work trip early Monday morning, so Hubby was on his own.  He took her to the vet that day.  She was diagnosed with pneumonia and given an antibiotic.

Unfortunately, the antibiotic didn't really kick in.  She wasn't getting any better.

Our vet recommended taking her to an animal hospital for treatment.  Mind you, we had only had her less than 2 weeks.  ($$$$)

The kennel where we got her had a 14-day unconditional health guarantee on their dogs.  We had to make a decision.

So on Wednesday, November 12th, Hubby returned her to the kennel for them to treat her, and we waived our rights to her while awaiting a full refund.  He also had to be home when the boys returned from school, to tell them that their new puppy was gone.  (All this while I was still in South Carolina for work, heartbroken.)

You guys, it SUCKED.  For all of us.  (And especially for Luna.)

It is now December.  We STILL don't have her back.  Every Friday, we call the kennel to check in.  (She was placed on a stronger antibiotic and has been in quarantine from the other dogs.) She still has coughing and congestion, but they assure us she is indeed getting better.  We are receiving our refund this week, but will have first dibs on her when/if she's healthy, if we should want.

This is where we are torn.  And heartbroken over a dog.  (Again.)

1.  Do we stick it out and wait on Luna to come home to us, her family?  But have the antibiotics done any long-term damage to her tiny 3lb body?  Organ damage?  (Our personal vet said she could run some tests on her when/if we get her back to check for kidney problems.)

2.  Or do we cut the ties?  Get our money back and be done.  Move on.  Find a new (healthy) little puppy to love?

All 3 boys are taking this better than Hubby and me.  They're resilient.  They were attached to Luna, yes, but not so much.  It was only 12 days.  They just want A PUPPY.

Any suggestions and advice appreciated.  We are struggling here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blogstipation and Catching Up

Oh hey there.  Pardon me for a sec while I dust off the keyboard here.  With anything, the longer you go without doing something, the harder it is to jump back into it, amirite?  Exercising Blogging especially.  And now I'm totally backed up....

Which leads me to Halloween.  Only a mere 2-1/2 weeks ago.

Applying fake blood on the tough football player.  That he immediately smeared all over his jersey and eventually wiped off before even leaving the house.  Bygones.

It was a fun night.

This was the first year in the history of ever that we left our Trenches dark. 

Youngest and his BFF in their superscary matching outfits.

Pre trick or treating

The loot was fantastic this year.  It's Middle's most favorite holiday.  He canvasses the neighborhood like it's his job, leaving no doorbell unrung.

I will miss these days as they get older and Halloween becomes more about the mischief rather than getting all the Twix bars for Auntie Kate and the Butterfinger bars for Momma.


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