Saturday, July 31, 2010

Get it out, get it ALLLLL out

I'm on that never-ending quest to get rid of unnecessary crap from my house. I'm sure many of you are on the same quest. I have a box of books to take to donate to the library. I have a bag of old towels to take to my vet for her to reuse. I have a trunk full of electronics to take to the recycling center next Saturday. I've started collecting X-man's Size 4 clothes to put in the next CARE swap, and I realize we'll need to get him new winter boots and snow pants this year. He has some toys that I'm dying to pass on, too. But he's not ready to give them up. On the other hand, if I asked him to pass on a piece of lint he'd want to hold onto that, too. (He's a bit like his dad and my mom that way.)

Speaking of, there's a chance my Mom will be coming next week for a few days. MacTroll will be out of town through Thursday, but if Mom comes, I'm hoping she can watch X-man for a bit that Saturday so that MacTroll and I can go through the storage room.

In it is a Pottery Barn Kendall Crib. My problem with getting rid of it is that it's a drop side, and I'm pretty sure everyone's done away with them for updated safety reasons, right? But for some reason I can't bear to put it by the curb. My how things have changed just from 2006. But we do have some things we need to trash, and some things we need to store in plastic containers rather than in cardboard boxes. I purchased some shelves some time ago to put everything together, but they're still sitting in my garage holding nothing.

That said, I should probably get that baby jogger of mine up on Craigslist and get it out of the garage.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Two "Tomboys" Wear High Heels

Last night my friend Minnie and I went to the High Heels at 5 Fundraiser at V.Picasso. I had been watching for a night when my life and this fundraiser would actually go together, because I was curious. The fundraiser raises money for different charities each time and has moved around from hotel restaurant to hotel restaurant. This was their fifth fundraiser. There are free appetizers and you get a free drink ticket for your $5 donation. Around 6:30 they start announcing door prizes. Some of them are really fun like for water parks or local spas. There's also a drawing for a chance to be chosen for a grand prize trip to the Caymans. (If you haven't eaten at V.Picasso yet, you should. It's a lovely date night or girls night out spot for tapas -- and the martinis are yummy).

But more exciting, to me, was to have a place to practice being a girl. I spent most of my childhood in speedos, tennis shoes or soccer cleats. I was outside all the time. I blew my nose in my t-shirt, had twigs in my hair (and lice in second grade if I recall correctly) and hung around with the three boys in my neighborhood. (One that would years later actually hit on me over Facebook implying he'd be happy to party with me when I was in town -- if I got his drift -- even though we are both married with kids -- classy. Defriend.)

Anyway, a lot of girls that I know have love affairs with dress shoes OR they just have a lot of shoes. I usually get by with 7 pairs, 4 of with are of some sport variety. Lately, ever since I lost the weight, I've been wanting to try different kinds of clothes, different kinds of shoes and -- heaven forbid -- make up.

So last night I played dress up. I got all dolled up in red, and I put on a pair of 4 1/2" heels that I bought online from Aldo. I had only been walking around the house to practice in them, so wearing them on uneven concrete surfaces was a challenge. I just kept whispering to myself, "Step on your heel not on your toes, step on your heels not on your toes." It worked. I had very little ankle shaking. And my friend Ian of the North sent me a video to watch about how to score the bottom of your heels with scissors so they're not so slippery and you can get some grip. (Thanks, Ian!)

Like me, Minnie has always been an outdoors kind of girl. She grew up a swimmer, and in the last year has become a runner. She's a diehard White Sox and Blackhawks fan. She's lithe and lovely. She showed up in a red tank top and a hot pair of jeans and a pair of adorable plaid heels.

"My flip flops are in my purse," she whispered to me as we were moving along in the registration line for the drawings and to make our donations. "Mine are in the car," I whispered back.

We grabbed our drinks and appetizers and found some comfy couch seating near the bar (since the table area in front of the mini stage was already filled up by 5:05 p.m.)

Then we chatted and met a new friend, who is an amazing woman, mother and artist. Suddenly, there was a man in a suit and a yellow tie and vest in front of me handing me a card. "Yeah, this one is for you. You get this for having (pause while he raises his eyebrows) great shoes."

I thanked him and grinned from ear to ear. The card was an invite to compete in the high heel contest at the end of the night. The moment was almost as amusing to me as when the little old man at the National Cathedral in D.C. asked me to help him out and then handed me a pitcher of holy water and pushed me down the aisle during communion to deliver to the clergy. I was just there to see my friends from Millikin sing. But there I was an athiest with holy water... and 10 years later... Loosey in a high heels contest.

Fifteen minutes later another guy with a tie was in our area checking out our shoes and choosing carefully.

There was a group of 3 women next to us that looked -- hot.

Finally he handed one to the woman wearing Leopard print pointy heels, one to me and one to Minnie. I handed mine back to him telling him I already got one. The earlier yellow tie guy came by and said, "Well, that might be a nice sign for you at the end of the night if we both chose you." (Nice that after one small sangria, I can't hold a card upright... good thing I sobered up before the contest, right?)

Alas, neither of us was chosen as a finalist. :-) But it was still very fun, and I was pleased that we were able to raise funding for 65 kids to visit Larkin's Place for free. Amy Armstrong's work for Larkin's Place is amazing, and I love what she's doing for the children in C-U.

In the end I did win a  door prize. One that I was least likely to use: a purple and gold Juicy Couture purse. (I think it'll hit consignment later today.)

But at least it wasn't the basket of Fannie May candy, which I probably would have tried to consume the entirety of on the way home.

I am totally looking forward to the next one. But for now, I'm excited that tonight is date night with MacTroll. I made 6 p.m. reservations for X-man to go to Little Gym, and 6:30 p.m. reservations for us to eat at Bacaro. I think there's a black skirt, red shirt and black leather caged shoes in my future.

Oh, and MacTroll's reaction to me suddenly being 5'11" last night. "I suddenly feel like Tom Cruise to Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day." It actually really weirded him out. Because his next sentence was, "I'm glad you're going out alone." -- So he wouldn't feel short next to me. Too bad those caged shoes are also 4" tall wedges tonight. He'll have to get over it.

He did get an ear full from me when I put the shoes on in the closet and he freaked out that they might be putting dents in the new wood floors. Seriously? Seriously? Of all the mammals in this house (including himself) he's worried about ME doing damage to the floors? In the 3 seconds he'd seen me in the heels (the first pair I'd worn out since I was in Toronto in March)? Puh-leez. And concern for the floors were his first reaction. Not, "You're hot." But "Don't wear those on the new floors, they'll make dents. I've seen it in the Apple office in Reston!"


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting Injured Sucks -- Let Me Tell You Why

So yesterday was a normal Tuesday. I got up, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, brushed my hair, put it in a ponytail, got dressed, put on some deodorant, ate breakfast and took X-man to pre-school.

After I dropped him off I headed to the gym where I did a 10-minute warm up on a stairmaster. Then I did some universal weights and some ab/back exercises that I've been doing in physical therapy ever since the ugly words "Degenerative Disc Disease" and "arthritis" came into my life last week.

I was feeling great. I was limber, pain free and mobile. So I went to All Body Conditioning from 9:35 until 10:10 a.m. The whole time I was at the gym, I burned around 600 calories, per my HR monitor.

Then I went to an hour of physical therapy. I was active and happy the rest of the day. The Flooring Surfaces people were back at my house doing a stellar job on the backsplash in my kitchen. MacTroll and I ran out to Carter's (both in Champaign and in Urbana) and checked out some new sofas. I paid bills. I continued going through books and toys to donate and to keep for the CARE fall SWAP.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night. Maybe it's because I let X-man sleep in my spot on the bed and went to the guest room. I don't know. All I know is that I was awake -- and aimlessly on the internet. I kept closing the laptop, putting it down and waiting for sleep to take over. 30 minutes later I'd open the laptop again. The dishes were done, the laundry was done, X-man picked up his toys...

Then this morning I had two icky occurrences. 1) I had a bad contact lens issue. The kind where it feels like the lens is, I don't know, sideways or upside down or poking you with pins and you can't get the MF thing out and 2) My back was stiff.

I got dressed like I was going to go to the Balance class (which works on things like my back's stability issues) and Body Blast (30 minutes of interval cardio followed by 30 minutes of weight training). I'm always stiff in the morning lately, so I popped my Aleve and headed down to breakfast.

When I sat down to my bowl of oatmeal, I felt a pull. I sighed. It was going to be a sucky day. I've been having 4 good days and 3 bad back days each week ever since the middle of June. On really bad back days, I walk, however long I can, stretch and ice my back. Sometimes I need 2-3 walking bouts in order to burn just 400 calories (my average is usually 600-850 per day). On normal "bad back days" I usually mow the lawn or walk for 60 minutes. I'm slower than normal, but I don't feel like my spine is unstable when I do it. On good days, I can do what I did yesterday and live life like I have no diagnosis.

The PT and the ortho doc both said to keep moving, but that I shouldn't do any movement that hurts. I'm eyeing my two mini, mini tri races coming up (the park district fun one on August 7 and the Try a Tri in Toronto on the 14th) without a glimmer of hope that I'll be able to participate. I don't care about times. I'd even walk the two miles of the running part without any problems. But there's this sinking feeling in my chest when I see other people running -- like my friend just moved away. And I notice the response I've been having is by eating more and by not sticking to my fiscal budget... you know, good old emotional eating and retail therapy.

I'm sad about it and really pretty pissed off. But then again, maybe today's mood has a lot to do with the lack of sleep last night. Since I'm sitting here with ice on my back and my legs elevated, maybe I should try and take a nap and see if it puts the world of "OMFG, my back isn't moving when I am, and it feels like it's being held together by a string that's about to break" into perspective.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One more year

Today I helped KTDID begin to set up her classroom at Next Generation. In 3 weeks she'll start teaching middle school science at the private school. Her room is awesome and HUGE. X-man has been Mr. Science lately, so I asked him if he wanted to come see KTDID's room. MacTroll brought him over and he got a short tour of the big school.

X-man's at this crossroads, as he always is, between wanting to be a big boy and wanting to stay -- sheltered. A year from now, he'll attend kindergarten. He's got one year left to "early childhood." He is no longer a baby. He's long and lean. He's bright. He's sensitive and struggling. He makes emotional and logical connections that amaze me. He is beginning to read. He's beginning to write. He's beginning to spell. He loves math. He's relentlessly inquisitive. He's an awesome climber. He was surprised and happy that I bought him tennis shoes that tie, because he wants to learn -- "Then I'll be a big kid." He sees all the older kids in his pre-school room who are about to leave for the big K, and he measures himself to them (which is both positive and negative).

Earlier this week, I mentioned that we changed his room around. He not only wanted his room changed. He wanted the Thomas wall decals taken down and replaced with Batman and Superman (and Wonder Woman if I could find her -- but, of course, I can't). Batman arrived today. So, I took down the Thomas and put up the Batman. I got a big thank you at bedtime, and an extra bedtime snuggle. And normally, I'd make him go to his own room, but for 30 minutes, I loved that he wanted to curl up to me, put his head on my shoulder and fall asleep. But before he drifted off, he repeated, "I love you, Mom" over and over and over again, not because of Batman, just because it felt good to cuddle.

I keep thinking of all the things I want to teach him. I keep trying to tune in to his developing interests while tuning out the annoyances. Let's face it, his overtired repetitive asking of the same question drives me absolutely crazy, as well as the "Mom? Mom? Mom?" As he tries to think of something to say and then accuses me of not listening.

We're raising a boy who likes to fly by the seat of his pants. He likes to fly because he knows that he's got a good support network. And often times it scares me to death that I'm not an adequate safety net. I get tired of always watching, in all honesty. But I think I'm allowing him to be who he is, while trying to provide guidance, even if he thinks I'm a hard ass.

Nights like tonight, I think he knows I'm trying my best so he can be at his best.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear Mel Gibson:

Please hand your phone over to your lawyer, your ex-wife, somebody who can lock it away forever. -- Do it RIGHT NOW. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Variety is the spice of something

We haven't been too exciting around here. We have a few household projects going and a few on hold due to the business my fave painters recommended to stain our stairs having a 2 month back up. The painters don't want to do the trim until the stairs are done... so, MacTroll and I pushed things back into place in our bedroom today and figured we'll just move it again later. Davis Flooring will be here in September to do the stairs (when we'll likely need to spend a night or two in the basement as a family to stay off the stairs while they sand and stain them).

Tuesday of this week Flooring Surfaces will be back to put up a backsplash in the kitchen and a surround behind our tub. I'll take a few before pictures tomorrow.

As we were putting the furniture back today, we decided to rearrange our room. Then when X-man saw it, he wanted his rearranged. That worked out okay, because we decided to try and de-toy the living room and recreate the playroom in the basement. We spent a lot of the day hauling bins of toys up and down stairs and moving furniture about.

So yes, that's it. That's all we've got for you -- we rearranged some furniture. I know, we're extraordinarily exciting people. :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Official: I'm Broken

I spent some time at the Carle Spine Institute this morning getting some help with my back pain situation. It's always good when the doctor looks at you and says, "You're not going to want to hear this, but..."

It turns out I have degenerative disc disease between my L4 and L5. I report to physical therapy on Thursday morning. I have a follow up with the doc in 4 weeks. I have to lay off anything that causes pain, and I'm not allowed to lift anything heavy for a while. I go back to the doctor in 4 weeks.

I spent lunch feeling old and broken before calling Amy, my health educator, at Carle Weight Management. She always knows how to cheer me up, and she's awesome at her job.

So, onto the next challenge of recovery... It could be worse. Way worse.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stressful Waking

This morning at 5:45 a.m., my child woke up, ran out of his room and started calling for me. That's not normal. Usually he's a 7-7:15 a.m. kind of waker-upper.

I got up and he ran into my room. The minute he saw me he started crying. "Daddy won't let me have my birthday party. He told me I couldn't have any cake, and he took it away!"

Okay, since my son's birthday is in the winter, this is a dream. Except it was a dream that scared him. MacTroll tried to comfort him, but X-man moved away from him shouting, "You are not my friend any more, Daddy!"

How to explain the subconscious to a 4 year old? That it wasn't a premonition. That it wasn't reality. That perchance if he went back to sleep he'd have a happy dream...

But no, he was up. Scared. Whining. Crying. And in a terrible mood.

So, he ate breakfast. MacTroll went to the airport. Then I took him with me to get my blood drawn at Carle for a lipid test. I got poked, but he got to leave with a sheet of Marvel Hero stickers.

And I did something I don't normally do... I bribed him. "If you take a nap during naptime at school and actually sleep -- I'll take you to McDonald's for dinner."

Because holy cow, if I get an overtired X-man back after having crazy dream freakout this a.m., it's going to be a terrible evening. If he sleeps, he'll get McDonald's and Little Gym and be out by 8:30 p.m. and all will be okay in the world.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Beach Babe

Last Tuesday, my little family left on vacation to St. John in the Virgin Islands. MacTroll and I have been to St. John six times in the last 15 years. It's not the easiest place to get to using award travel (i.e. American Airlines mileage). We had two connections and a 4 year old in tow, plus we had to pack a booster seat... In all of the prior years we'd been on vacation, we'd gotten off the plane with one backpack and one medium-sized duffle. Now we each had a small bag of clothes and a backpack of items (albeit, mine was full of family snack foods for the journey and two books that I didn't think I'd ever really get to pick up). Plus, there was the Extra Large duffle with my safe foods, the booster seat and the beach towels. Thank goodness that MacTroll got us business class all the way down there.

When our family travels, we always get seats shaped in an L. One of us sits next to X-man and the other sits in the seat in front of him, just in case he goes manic and can't stop kicking the seat. In all honesty, this hasn't happened since he was 12 months old and was in a car seat that raised his legs to the point where any leg movement jostled the back of the chair in front of him. But I know the moment we don't use this tactic will be the moment when he has an utter meltdown and we have someone who hates children sitting in front of us.

We flew from Champaign to Chicago to San Juan to St.Thomas. Then we took the 45-minute cab ride to Red Hook and got on a ferry to St. John. It's a LONG day of traveling for anyone, let alone a 4 year old. But since we've been there so many times, we knew immediately what to do. We got him off the boat, into his suit, ordered our dinners from a bar on the beach front and pointed him toward the water.

Twenty five minutes later, he came out when dinner hit the table. I wrapped him up in his Lightning McQueen towel and we ate dinner as a family before heading off to the grocery store for our goodies.

We knew something strange was going on the day before we left when MacTroll realized he'd forgotten to give the car rental place heads up that we were coming down... and they didn't have a car. Then after calling five more rental places, they didn't have cars either. And if they did get one back, they weren't keen on staying a moment past 5 p.m. (ferry was due in at 5:45 p.m.) to rent it to us... and we really needed a car.

The last three times on island, we've stayed at Estate Concordia. It's the eco-friendly sister to the very popular Maho Bay eco campgrounds. Instead of staying in one of the eco tents, we rent their villas. This was the first time we'd taken X-man with us, so we upgraded to a loft. Concordia is on the opposite side of the island from most of the popular National Park Beaches. The nearest town is Coral Bay, which my uncle likes to refer to as "A drinking community with a boating problem." It's the side of town where the wild donkeys, household dogs/cats, chickens and goats still wander around freely. In order to get to that side of the island without a rental car, we would have had to take a taxi at no small cost or take the bus, which would have been cheap, but also would have dropped us off a mile and a half past Concordia leaving us to either walk up the two-lane road with all our crap and a whiney 4 year old OR walk 15 minutes up a mosquito infested jungle on a narrow dirt path to check in. Neither sounded like much fun to me. But, if anything, I married a man who is STUPID lucky, and we got a car. Sure it was a car that had battery issues, so about 50 percent of the time the car would appear dead until MacTroll popped the hood and fussed with the connectors until I heard a "phizz" sound and turn the key, but it's the islands man, no worries!

The first night, X-man fell asleep while waiting for me to get the groceries. He slept through MacTroll carrying him to the villa, carrying him up two flights of stairs and laying him in the bed on the second floor. The crazy part about the loft, that I never noticed before, was that all the stairs are external. Ideally, so you could come with groups and come and go as you'd like. But with a child, it meant our kid was either going to have to go outside to walk up to us from the futon in the living room, or walk down to us from the bed upstairs. So, we spent the week with one of us sleeping with him upstairs and the other sleeping downstairs.

X-man totally dug the ocean view, eating breakfast out on the patio listening to the waves and he LOVED tossing his organic materials (like apple cores and extra grapes) over the railing to the Hermit crabs moving along the rocks below. We took him to Salt Pond Bay, the closest kid-friendly beach to our villa, where he got to learn about coral, build plenty of sandcastles and get buried in the sand. We played dolphin rescue in the water, tried out his snorkel and mask and read some books. Occasionally a dark cloud would show up, rain for 20 minutes or so and then pass by. X-man looked worried at first, and then I reminded him that as long as there was no thunder or lightning, we were fine. And as rains go,  they were gloriously warm and gentle. We just dug moats and played "Clutch Powers" from the new Lego movie.

After lunch and some quiet time, we headed down to the Concordia pool. X-man was thrilled that they provided rafts, a noodle and -- two squirt guns. When MacTroll and I made it clear we were done being the shooting range, along came Kent, one of the employees with his own little orange gun. He'd noticed X-man's excitement over the pistols, so in between traveling from one cabin to the office and back doing his work, he'd take time to sneak up and get in a shooting contest with X-man. This made X-man VERY happy.

We ate out once a day, and ate the other two meals from our villa kitchen. X-man declared the Shipwreck Landing his favorite restaurant because they had French fries and were only a 10-minute drive from the house. MacTroll and I like them because they have a much broader arrange of food options than just the usual island burgers and fries or fish and chips.

Every day we visited one beach, then ate lunch, took a nap or had quiet time and then visited the pool in the late afternoon before dinner. Every day, X-man was up at 6 a.m. Eastern, and every day, he was asleep by 7 p.m. Eastern, except the one day he took a 3-hour nap, then he made it to 9:30 p.m. :-)

I chose fish or shrimp at every meal that I didn't prepare myself. But I did have a couple of alcoholic drinks, which is out of the norm. But the Cruzan Black Cherry Rum in a Coke Zero was awesome at the end of the day as MacTroll and I got to spend an hour or two together before going to sleep.

We watched cruise ships pass by the island all lit up in the night time. We saw stars we hadn't seen in years and rolled our eyes at first-timers who felt the need to warn us that there were rays in the ocean near us. We were shocked when the road to Concordia was paved -- and widened -- the whole way. There were a zillion more houses up in the hills. And we thought, "The economy can't be too bad... the rich can still afford houses down here."

On the way home, we had to leave the island on Friday and spend one night on St. Thomas in order to get to the airport for our 8 a.m. flight. And, as usual, St. Thomas was the opposite experience to the quiet thoughtfulness of Concordia. We ended up staying at the Wyndam Resort near the Red Hook Ferry Dock. When I made the reservation in January, it was just the typical Wyndam Hotel. But apparently someone bought it and made it all-inclusive for folks who spend more than 4 days there, and after 5 hours there, I can't imagine ever having to say there for that long. It's not that it was boring, it was just -- non functional. You could tell the staff wasn't really enthused. In my opinion, I think they miss getting tips (because you don't tip in the all-inclusive environment). Even in our situation, we had to purchase meal vouchers at "guest experiences" in order to eat. $15 each for hamburgers and fries for the guys and a grilled chicken sandwich and fries for me. I can't imagine what eating at the buffet would have cost. And the Texans were everywhere... So, we swam in the pool, ate our greasy food and then paid $6 each to miniputt on the little miniputt course before retiring for the night, where strangely, the TBS movie matched the movie that the hotel planned on showing to kids that night while parents went to some Carnival evening next to the pool. Needless to say, since we had to get up at 4:30 a.m., we just went to bed early...

Overall, I really enjoyed being with my boys. We laughed a lot. X-man is really an amazing traveler. I keep thinking that if he made it through 14 hours and all these transfers, he'd rock at going across the Atlantic. But I also think he'd get more out of it if we waited until he was a bit older. Right now, I'm eyeing 2011 as the time we get to take a Disney vacation to Florida... or maybe a Disney Cruise. Let's see how this whole Gulf of Mexico thing turns out...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Phat Ass TV shows

Last spring I went over to Lavender Lemonade's and watched the season finale of Biggest Loser. I had never seen the show before, and I missed a lot of the drama of the weight loss and just got a lot of the before and after. I watched it as a person who had lost 92.6 lbs in the last 15 months. I watched it as other people transformed their bodies the way I transformed mine.

I looked at the two female finalist winners and was in awe. They were similar in age, similar in body height and weight when they started, but in the end they were 15-25 lbs lighter than me. They looked amazing. And I was confused. Where was their extra skin? Were those sports bras tailored to fit them just right? Because at a 1.25-1.5 lb per week weight loss (well within what is considered a slow wight loss) my stomach looks something like this (no it's not me, google search extra skin images...):

Huh? Oh well. People are different. I'll never get to be 135 lbs. It won't happen. Right now I'm a 126 lbs of lean muscle mass. You know what that means? I'd have to be freaking GI Jane to weigh 135. And although I'm all about girl power (Go, Jane, Go!), I'm happy with a body fat in the "ideal" range for my height. 

Today, I watched the second episode of Huge, the drama about a weight loss camp for teenagers on ABC Family. Although I can totally identify with being the obese teenager. The person I identify the most with now is the psychologist in charge of the camp, Dr. Rand. She was once a camper, but grew up and got her weight under control by creating a series of plans and choices she had to make to keep her smaller size.

This week, the cook offered her a low-calorie banana blueberry mini muffin made with applesauce and flaxseed. She thanked him, but declined. "I don't eat after dinner -- ever." He furrowed his brow at her and said, "It's a small muffin."

She waved her hand in front of her face and declined again, explaining that she just couldn't do it. He talked her into taking it for the morning. Then in the middle of an emotional e-mail to her mother, she went to grab for the muffin and only saw crumbs. She'd already eaten it in a moment of emotional turmoil and hadn't even realized it. She was hardwired that way, and it's scary when that lack of control comes over you. Even over something tiny like a little muffin. The "Why not?" can so easily end up becoming the regular behavior rather than the exception.

Reality. Much more real to me than Jillian Michaels shouting in obese people's faces. Although I think it's funny that the Huge fitness instructor is obviously penned as a Jillian Michaels on crack. I don't find any redeeming features about the fitness instructor, yet... We'll have to see if I continue watching. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Night Talker

MacTroll and X-man rode the tandem to the park last night. I walked Riley. Then as we were leaving I heard crazy loud music box music. 

"Ice cream man!" 

We met up with him at the corner of Buttercup and Prairie Rose. X-man got an Iron Man ice cream. MacTroll got a Chipwich. (I loved those things in college.)

In the middle of the night X-man woke up and ran into my room. "Mommy, please come sleep with me." 

So I slept in his room for a while. Only to have him wake me up talking in the middle of the night about how he didn't get a cookie last night. 

"You had an Iron Man Ice Cream, remember?" I answered, not knowing if it would actually get through.

"Oh yeah. But we won't get one for the dragon in my room, will we?"

"No. No ice cream for dragons."

"Okay then."


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crazy Talk

Tomorrow is Friday. It's the day I grocery shop. In fact, I'll be doing it right after my weekly walk with KTDID tomorrow (which she so graciously allowed me to move to a Friday from Tuesday due to us taking the Black and White Mafia in for their check ups at the vet this week).

And I've been tossing about trying something this week... not buying diet soda for myself. I buy 5 2-liter bottles a week. 3 for MacTroll and 2 for me. I like diet Ginger Ale and diet A&W root beer. But I keep wondering if I should take the bullet and go for a month without it and see how it goes. Neither the GA or the RB have caffeine, so that shouldn't be a problem. Maybe I should try it after we go on vacation next week. Or maybe I should just label it special occasion and black ball it from the house. (I can't entirely because Cherry Coke Zero is my husband's only real addiction, and after a depressing talk with him about how he can't think of anything he'd like to plan for in 2011 to do for himself I'm so not robbing him of the one thing he enjoys in his day.)

But the other part of me says, "Really, it's 4 liters a week. What's the big deal?" Part of my new life choice to try and educate myself about the science of my body has led me to read a log of various scientific studies and articles in the news. And one study that people keep coming back is to the one that links diet soda with a higher risk of obesity. That, and I know I don't drink enough fluids, let alone actual water.

I also think I eat more when I'm actually thirsty these days, especially in this crazy humidity. Since my health educator started a new tracking requirement for class (I have to turn in my food journal to her every week for the next six weeks and I get a certain number of points for other good behaviors that can mean discounts off of products and services.), I'm feeling the need to get my shit back together. It hasn't been completely off, but it hasn't been stellar. I've been slacking.

And Amy the Health Educator knows I'm a complete golden retriever. So she set a bar for me (and the rest of the program) and I want to be in the top five of the overall competitors. I want my damn gold star. Mostly, I want to not feel doughy around the middle again and to get this problem with my back and glutes fixed. (I'm working on it! I'm working on it!)

My reward? To feel in control again.
My big reward if I get everything together? My first half marathon next summer from Ucluelet to Tofino and a stay at a spa. Nice, right? Maybe a couple of days in Vancouver proper by myself and then a flight home. :-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's been awhile

Last night MacTroll and I went out for our anniversary. If our relationship was a person -- she/he could vote now. Yeah, it's been a long time.

We ate out at V.Picasso and used one of our $25 Gift Certificates from I had two alcoholic drinks -- the most I've had in one night probably since Feb. 2009.

I ate dinner.

I ate dessert.

I still had no trouble buttoning my pants. That's a good thing, right?

It's hard to know where all the time went that you spent with one person. We're on our fourth home together. We have pets we've shared for over a decade. We have pictures from when we met at summer camp. We have an awesome little person that's a crazy combination of all that we love and hate about our selves.

It's a lovely journey. What's next?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Holy mother --- OUCH!

So for the last two and a half weeks, I've been having lower back pain and glute pain. I've tried to see if I could work out the problem through self massage, hot tub, ice packs, stretching, professional massage therapy, rest and diversity in training. The issue does not represent walking, only running.

I wonder if something is wrong with my form -- except, why would it bother me now? I've done a lot more running and a lot harder practicing in the last 10 months. In fact since March, I've mellowed on the running and have put more effort into cross training.

Is it the shoes? I just bought mine in the middle of May, and I've been running in the same brand July September. This is my third set of shoes since then, so I'm pretty consistent about replacing them every 250-300 miles.

Are the muscles weak? Mmm, I just finished up a series of personal training sessions that I got with my VO2 assessment, where I felt pretty good about my strength, and I've been keeping it up through Body Blast and individual work at home and the gym. I've been slowly increasing my load in my fitness classes, and I'm constantly working on the core work taught to me in pilates and training.

Old injury? Well, yes, I did mess up my lower back and a bunch of the attached muscles when I was 16 playing soccer. A stellar performance at a Chicago tournament landed me in physical therapy for 12 weeks and led me to have to take my ACT and SAT tests standing up in the middle of the cafeteria (no lie). And from time to time, every 2-3 years it does act up, usually when I do something stupid like bend over to pick up a sock.

I always attributed this situation with being overweight. But what if that's just what this is? The every few years it acts up and then goes away? But what if it's not? So, tomorrow I am going to give a call to my primary care doc and have her run the movement tests on my legs, hopefully, she'll take a scan and just confirm that it's all soft tissue issues and then off I'll go to PT, where I'm hoping, now that I'm way more in touch with my body than I used to be that we can figure out what my problem is and get me working on it right away. I'm happy that I can at least walk and swim and bike without pain. But right now, I'm lying on my back with my knees elevated in my bed because I totally can't straighten my back due to muscle spasms near my spine and in my glutes.

Not fun... not fun at all. Getting old is a bitch. Seriously.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mother/Son Camping Adventure

KTDID  came over to try out MacTroll's smoked BBQ tonight. It was pretty good. I made a red vinegar sauce for it and we put it on sandwiches. Then she and I set up the tent in the backyard. The hope was that we'd try backyard camping for a second time... the first was a failed attempt in the Baltimore cousins' backyard where there were too many spooky noises.

Tonight's issues -- "The engines, trains and fireworks are too loud!"

So, in we went at 9:30 p.m. after an hour of reading in the tent. We read several picture books that need to be returned to the library and our second chapter book. (We're currently on chapter 5 of How to Eat Fried Worms.)

Tomorrow we're headed up to my parents' house. We're having lunch with my Mom at Rock Cut and then heading over to my Dad's. Dad thinks he's receing some tickets for a local kiddie fair, so the two of us will probably take X-man. Then we're all going to fireworks in Rockford at Tinker Cottage.

Monday is my anniversary with MacTroll. We'll have been together for 18 years. If I think about that too much, my brain hurts. Where did the time go? Oh, yeah, into a bunch of crazy adventures.