I Look Cute Today

I pulled out the black tights – the cooler mornings seem to warrant leg coverage. Pared with a short black skirt, black tank / sweater and brownish overlay flared sleeve buckle sweater. Hard to picture, but take my word for it – it is nice. How full of myself am I anyway?

Since being sick I have lost weight (mostly in my hips and butt) and now my work stuff just doesn’t fit. I can rig some of the pants with belts, but overall, I am left with just skirts – because they can sit really low on the hips and still look in style. Pants which are belted to stay on don’t fit right and look ridiculous. I wonder if I can get away with the Capri tie sweats I sport at home? No? Damn it.

Based on my lack of appropriate work clothing, I went to Nordstrom the other day looking for pants. I have a budget – which we blew already…so this should go over well at home. But – I found two pair of pants, 3 pair of tights, and a belt for around $100.00. I have to take the belt back though, because it is…too big. The hell? I swear I tried the thing on there, but alas it is not a good fit now. So – belt goes back. I should take it all back but need it. Why is clothing expensive? Even the good sales make me mad because I would rather spend money on things like shoes or boots or lingerie or vacations. You know – the fun stuff.

Tonight is trick-or-treating! The boys are going to be skeletons this year – same as last year – because their costumes still fit, and they like them. So – less money spent there. Next year we will have to find something else. I would order right after Halloween and save money, however I am thinking they will have a real opinion next year and might not like what I select. What do you think? Do you buy ahead for stuff like that?


Slow Days

Feeling a bit lonely – melancholy. Should be working on work-stuff, go jogging or clean out my closet, but don’t have the motivation to do much. I am tired. Not tired-tired…just lazy tired. Todd is out of town and that makes me sad. The girls are not here and that makes me sad. The boys are napping, which is a happy thing, but it makes it way too quiet in the house. I know that if I just get outside and run I will feel SO MUCH BETTER and yet…I keep putting it off. “I will go tonight after the boys are asleep” I tell myself, not entirely sure I will follow through. At least that allows me to put it out of my head.

Since being home from the hospital, I have been trying to get my footing. I have been trying to get back to normal, although I am not sure what normal is. I just feel so run down and I think a lot of it is “in my head” as opposed to physically not feeling well. Sometimes I think I am pushing myself too hard – but how can that be? I have been infection-free since the middle of August. It has to be time to feel all better. I keep remembering the doctors all telling me that it would be a long time until I was 100% - up to a year. I didn’t believe them then, and I suppose I really don’t now. I am so hard on myself and don’t know how to change that. Lazy feels wrong.

I went back and re-read the entries I wrote when I was sick. Holy hell I was sick. I need to give myself a break already.

Where did all my words go?

It seems as though while driving I am able to think of truly eloquent things to write about. I have whole paragraphs / stories written in my head, and then when I sit down to write I end up saying something like “not much happened today” – end of update. What is that all about? Where do all of my words go? Why can I not write like I think, and why can I not think while writing? Am I broken?

Halloween 2007 Yard


My God They Drive Me NUTS

We went to Target this afternoon in order to buy little boy socks, little boy jammies, a spotlight for the front yard, fabric softener, goldfish, and tea lights. I decided not to put the boys in a cart – because I am stupid and enjoy being tormented. They ran around and around and around. Todd and I watched and occasionally yelled that they should come along. At one point they were actually tackling each other in the middle of an isle squealing at the top of their lungs. Let me just publicly apologize now if you were within 100 yards of said Target and we ruined your afternoon, either buy running into you, screaming too loud, stealing your soccer ball out of your cart (I could not figure out where that thing came from, but suddenly they had one and we were nowhere near the toy isle), or anything else that could be construed as evil, mean, annoying or just plain irritating. It is what the boys do best and who am I to stifle their creativity?

What I Did

Things I did this weekend that caused my butt to grow:

Made and ate two batches of pumpkin muffins

Went out for lunch

Went out for ice cream

Things I did this weekend that did not appear to make my butt grow:

Carved a pumpkin

Finished decorating the yard for Halloween

Went jogging

Took the boys for haircuts

And that – is my weekend in list form. Not much else happened. Life is THAT exciting.


I went back to work last week. I am tired. ‘Nuff said.



I heard from my brother – more details on Iraq. He is there of his own accord – the insane man volunteered for that stuff. He is not doing anything very dangerous (other than placing himself in the middle of a war in a third world country…) and is planning to stay until January. I was happy to hear he is ok.


Little Girl without a Dad

Approaching the end of our vacation, it was mid-afternoon and we were hanging out at the “little pool”. This is the name the boys had given to the pool at the hotel. They referred to the ocean as the “big pool”. It was rife with cuteness. A girl we had seen the previous day started playing with the boys, getting along with them better than any other child we had seen. She was sweet and smart (speaking English, Spanish, and French) and a joy to be around.

I talked to her for a little while and found out that she was eight years old. She was at this hotel with her mom because her brother owned it. And she was not in school because her dad died two days ago. She told what happened, and I have to admit that it shook me to my core.

The girl’s dad had a home in the Dominican, although we didn’t figure out exactly where it was. The family had been sleeping, when someone broke into their house (came in through the kitchen window) and killed her dad with a machete. She was hiding in a basket where her step-mother had placed her. She heard everything. She was lucky to be alive.

The little girl seemed mostly unaffected by what had happened, telling us the details as if she was reading a bedtime story. It was odd, and yet it is probably what any eight-year-old would do. She did write a note to her dad on the side of the pool table which said “I love you dad” – and if that doesn’t make you sad, you must have no soul.

I promised to look for her next time we come back to the Dominican. I hope she stays safe.



Happy Birthday to Brittany

Birthday fun - celebrating 16 years with Brittany.


We are back from vacation. The Dominican Republic was beautiful and lazy and fun and I cannot wait to go back. Pictures should be up soon - if I get off my butt and get them uploaded.


Greeting Card - Operation Iraqi Freedom Standard Issue

As I stood in the kitchen sifting through the mail, I came across something from my brother. I don't talk about him much and I don't talk to him much. We are not what you would call close. I send a card at Christmas, and sometimes remember a birthday - but that is about it. He didn't get a call when I was in the hospital over the summer...he has no idea what happened. I say this all to point out how shocked I was to get mail from him. For what I assumed was no real reason.

My brother went into the Army right out of high school. He later joined the Reserves, and has been part of that ever since...his whole adult life really. Because of this, I should not be surprised to hear that he is in Iraq - but the news still shocked me a little. I don't know why he is there...don't know how long he has been there, or when he might go home. But I do know that he is out there and I hope he stays safe.

Salt in my Margarita

As I lay in bed yesterday morning, I contemplated getting up and running. It was 5:00am. Although I wanted to start the day with a nice ass-kicking run, I decided against it and lazily got ready for work. Yep – you heard right. I carted my sorry ass into work yesterday. I call it a sorry ass because by 2:15pm when I left that place, I was sorry I had gone at all.

Now – let me just say that everyone was VERY NICE to me…they even had a little party to welcome me back. But the sheer torment endured throughout the day with various complaints and escalations really took its toll on me. By 6:30 yesterday evening I was ready for bed. For the night. I managed to make it until 8:00 and then put the boys to bed, but was barely awake by 8:30 and out cold by 9:30.

5:00am this morning I looked at the clock, briefly considered running, and then laughed at the insanity of the idea. I didn’t run. I didn’t even get up. I stayed in bed until 6:15 when I finally had no choice but to get up and get ready. This whole working thing can bite my ass – it sucks.

I plan to run later this afternoon after work. Shall we take bets on how likely that is to happen? No – too easy.

On a positive note, we are going on vacation tomorrow morning (at the ass-crack of dawn mind you) to the Dominican Republic. I plan to lay around on the beach, help the boys collect shells, and contemplate the sand that will inevitably end up in my belly button. That should all pass the time quite nicely, don’t you think? I wish I could say that every night after the boys go to sleep I planned to open a bottle of wine and get pleasantly tipsy, but those drinking days are over. Which makes me a tiny bit sad.

I am really surprised at HOW MUCH NOT DRINKING is driving me insane. It is so much harder for me than it seems to be for my husband. I am not sure a day goes by without me thinking longingly about a margarita or a glass of wine or a ice cold beer.

Here is a taste of just how much I think about drinking: While driving into work this morning I was listening to the Spin Doctors “Revenge is sweet, but success is sweeter. I took the salt from my wounds, and put them in my margarita.” And I swear I sat there thinking “mmmmm, margaritas” – at 7:30 in the morning. Please send help. Or a margarita. I swear I will only LOOK at it. I won't drink it. As far as you know.



I started running again. I ran Saturday morning, and although not very far, it beat my first attempt a while back which topped out around 4 blocks. I think Saturday may have been a mile or a bit more. Sunday night Todd and I went and covered maybe 1 ½ miles. It was not difficult really. Well, at least not until I started wheezing at the end. This morning we ran at 5:30am, and ran for 30 minutes. I am thinking it was 3 ½ miles maybe. But I didn’t start the wheezing until the end, so did much better today. My noticeable week spot is definitely my lungs. They just don’t have the capacity to handle the kind of running that my legs could. I am sure my heart is screaming too, but it is not as loud and obnoxious as the lungs, so I don’t notice. I did order a heart rate monitor. Hopefully that will be here in a few days. No, I am not using one now. I am just running and hoping that I live. Shut up. It works in my head.

I go back to work on Wednesday. As in tomorrow. It seems strange to even imagine how much fun that will be. In a sick way, I miss it. Although, I wouldn’t mind if I was not going back. Ever. I like the money and most of the people though, so I think that I will have to wait until I reach retirement age before choosing the “stay at home” option.

Said by my doctor’s partner’s kid over the weekend (retold to me in a story yesterday): Excuse me. Ummm, excuse me. HEY! EXCUSE ME! You are stepping on my words!!


Trains and Dresses

We bought the boys a train table over the weekend. One of our neighbors has two older boys and they decided that the table had taken up residence in their house long enough, so they offered it to us. It was a HUGE bargain as well as a HUGE hit with the boys. They love it. It was the first thing they migrated to this morning and the last thing they played with last night. Of course, we cannot keep them from taking apart the tracks or fighting over the engine, but I doubt that can be helped too much. We have talked about gluing the tracks together, but that would make it much less fun as they get older and want to build it themselves. Right now they spend a lot of time emptying out the storage bins below the table (god, what a mess) and hitting each other with errant pieces of track. They seem happy though – so there is that.

Said by Roark on a walk the other day while pointing to the trees by the trail and slightly freaking out their father: “Spiyer (spider) in there”

Said by Roark at the park, after finding out the whole spider thing bugs his dad: “standing on spiyer”

At least he doesn’t just harass me.

We went shopping over the weekend for a dress for Cassie. Yes – you heard me right. My tom-boy daughter has branched out. We have a formal dinner coming up for Brittany’s 16th birthday and I informed Cassie that if she was going to attend, she was going to have to wear a dress. Apparently she really wants to go – because she didn’t refute the dress requirement. She ended up getting a VERY PRETTY dress from Jessica McClintock. She swears she will also wear it to graduation so I didn’t really mind spending the money on it. Brittany, on the other had, has a dress from last winter that she has worn ONCE – so I refused to buy her another one. She was quite bitter and made the whole outing a nightmare. I even threatened to take her home several times…but of course didn’t follow through. She didn’t feel it was fair that Cassie got a new dress but she didn’t. Life isn’t fair sweetie. Get used to it.


I Need a Heart Rate Monitor...Help Me Please

So I have spent some time today looking at heart rate monitors and good god, there are a lot of them out there. I want one that has an LCD light so I can see it at night / early morning. I also need a watch that has a small band, because I have the wrists of a little child. Shut up. It isn't my fault. The chest strap has to be adjustable to about 34 - 36 inches (which I have read is pretty small also). Oh, and I don't want to mortgage my house in order to purchase it. Or spend more than 25 cents. No? Ok, well the price is flexible, but I don't want to spend a crazy ass amount of money on it. For all I know I will hate it / it won't work well / the chest strap will drive me crazy / some other unknown reason, and I will not use it for long. Ideas?

Thump-thump, Thump-thump, Thump-thump

I carted my tired ass (and yes, the rest of me as well) out of bed at 5am to let the hacking dog out…and then found it difficult to go back to sleep. I ended up getting up for the day at that forsaken early hour – for no good reason I can think of. I hate that.

Ooooh – some news of substance coming your way: I went to the cardiologist this morning for a stress echocardiogram. It was fun, in a fucked up sort of way. I got to RUN!!! However, I also found out what horrible shape I am in. They took pictures of my heart. Then they had me run on an increasing speed and incline treadmill. My heart rate hit 150 around 9 minutes. 50 seconds later and at a heart rate of 162 my lungs were burning and I was allowed to stop. 9 minutes and 50 seconds. OH DEAR GOD. I have run marathons…not fast but I could certainly beat 10 minutes on a bad training day. Sad. Just oh so sad.

The overall diagnosis was “your heart looks fantastic, especially compared to when we saw you last time and back in the hospital – keep taking your medicines and see you in a year” and that was that. He also said that I should NOT be running any road races or half marathons. Possibly ever. Ummm, yeah. What sense does that make? None that I could think of, so I asked for clarification – stating that the key was to keep my heart rate below 150. He agreed, but still didn’t want to budge on the running thing.

The second we were out in the hall I announced to my husband that I was not going to be listening to the last little bit of advice, but would be buying a heart monitor to wear while running. I will wear it while running the 5k, 10k, ½ marathon and marathon I plan to run. I will not stop running, but will monitor my heart and watch for signs of stress. He didn’t argue and actually agreed with my self-diagnosis…which was nice.

So – the only other doctor to see now is the pulmanologist and that is scheduled for next Monday. I will then be cleared to work and hopefully to exercise as I see fit. That…makes me happy.


Oh to be 17 Again

Her dad called me today. He told me what was going on over at his house – how Cassie had gotten into a fight with him over a football game, how he spanked her (didn’t know about this, thought he just threatened to), how he has now taken away her car for 6 weeks. Seems extreme to me, but not my call. I told him that she is probably exerting her independence – that she is not lashing out at him, but trying to obtain more responsibility. He doesn’t exactly agree, which doesn’t surprise me.

He expressed concern over her not having much of a social life. I asked how she can have one when they don’t permit her to do things. He said that she doesn’t ever ask except once in a blue moon. I wonder why…if she knows they will say no, or if she doesn’t want to do anything. I know she wants to spend time with me – wants to meet at a coffee shop or just hang out. But she knows they won’t let her hang out with me. Why doesn’t she want to hang out with friends?

Apparently she also told him that she had filled out some applications for jobs last time she was over here – which she did not. And that she was working with me to fill out college applications – which she is not. I outed her to her dad, which might not fare well for her, but didn’t know what she had told him when he asked me about both.

I don’t think he is doing the right thing – taking the car away, grounding her. I think that she needs more responsibility, not less. I think she wants an opportunity to make some decisions on her own, not be dictated to all of the time. I think it is time for her to grow up and she is dying to get the opportunity. I hope he doesn’t alienate her by doing these things…but am quite certain it is too late to see any other outcome.


Custody Battles Suck

I have been harping on my daughter a bit lately to stand up to her dad and stepmother. Perhaps I shouldn’t have, however I can only hear about their asinine antics so many times before it drives me crazy. They give Cassie NO opportunity to exercise any decision making. She is permitted to drive to school, and drive home. She is not allowed to go out to lunch, stop anywhere after school, or go anywhere on the weekends without their specific permission…and they generally don’t let her do anything even when she does ask. An example? Oh yes!

Yesterday her step-brother had a football game, his first of the season. She was told that she HAD to attend the game with the rest of the family. She explained that she had an art project that was due Wednesday (in two days) and she still had to paint one of the pieces and then finish both of them with outlining / etc. The one she had painted over the weekend had been the more simple of the two and had taken six hours – so she really didn’t have time to mess with a football game. She had already finished all other homework and had cleared the evening to work on this. Her step-mom didn’t care and forced her to go to the game.

Later, when she tried to discuss this with her dad, he blew up…he pushed her down, and threatened to hit her. She is a senior in high school, not a 6 year old (not that I condone hitting a child at any age – I simply don’t think it is right). He then took away her phone (which I purchased and pay for so that she can call me), took away her car, and is threatening to make her drop her art class – which I am not going to permit. He will have to get a court order to make that happen. Good luck on THAT one. She worked her ass off to make Advanced Placement Art. It is very important to her, and her other class grades are excellent. I will be damned if he is able to just yank that out from under her.

The real issue here is that she now wants us to allow her to seek legal council to be able to live with us. We went through this before. It didn’t end well. The girls didn’t really want to go through with it, and I ended fairly upset. It was expensive and a waste of time, because they just couldn’t go through with it for fear of upsetting their dad. I told her that I was not going through that again. I don’t think she liked that approach. But let’s look at this objectively. Cassie is going to be 18 in June. By the time we flush out this big ol’ legal battle she will have what? 4 months at most with us before she can make her own decisions anyway. I don’t see how it is worth the expense and time and emotional conflict to even start the process.

What would you do?



How Cole says bumblebee: Bungle-bee

The other night coming home from dinner as Todd and I were commenting on the large, orange moon:

Roark: I can't see it. I can't see moon. I can't see it. I can't see it.
Cole: (smugly) I can see it.

At the bagel shop:
Roark: I can't open it. Chocolate milk. Too swippery.

When I was trying to get Cole to eat dinner:
Me: Cole...you need to eat.
Cole: No. Playing cars.
Me: You can play AND eat.
Cole: (pause while he is thinking) No.

Worms and Walking

The other day I asked Roark if he wanted to go walking. He looked up at me and said, “No. Too tired. Play cars.” Normally when we go walking, Roark picks up the dead worms and puts them in the grass. I don’t know why – so don’t ask. Anyway, I asked him “What about the worms?” He replied, “Worms dead.” Nice.