Monday, April 30, 2007

Time flies and other random thoughts

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. I have been pondering it and it hit me that when my mother was 38, I graduated from high school. I have a 3 year old. How times have changed. I went to a weekend retreat with the ladies from my church, there were 15 of us and it was really nice to not have to worry about anyone but myself. One of the ladies who is about my Mom's age asked if I would be her roommate and offered to drive us out there. She is a serious gardener and I enjoyed picking her brain, hearing her take on having a MIL for almost 50 years as well as being one, and learning the back story on a lot of people we know in common.
We read chapters from the book Bad Girls of the Bible in preparation for the weekend. Or at least we were supposed to, I was a bit of a bad girl myself and only did a quarter of the assignment. It generated a lot of laughs when our assignment was to do a "skit" representing one of the women. Each group did something different and thought provoking. About 4.5 hours of semi-serious theological discussion was all of the really planned religious experience the weekend included. We spent some time exploring Frederick, MD or hiking to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. I opted for the shopping and wine tasting over the hike given the fact it looked like it could (and did) rain at any moment. It was really good to connect/re-connect with people and just be away where no one was making demands of my time. I missed my girls and worried a bit about them and Gman as they ventured off to visit his sisters in Upstate NY.
When I got home yesterday afternoon I had time to kill before the family got home. I expected to be thrilled to have an empty house but it was lonely. I did manage to head out to the garden center that my roommate talked up this weekend and get some great plants, just being there lifted my spirits. I was about halfway through planting when I remembered the Silpada jewelry party I'd promised to attend! I washed my face, put on some deodorant, washed off my muddy feet and threw on some clothes and headed out, only an hour late. A good glass of sangria and a bit lighter in the wallet I headed home to see my kiddos. I almost had a meltdown when Gman told the neighbor we'd head over and help him eat Chinese food that the caterer for his daughter's engagement party seriously over delivered. I really just wanted my family since I hadn't seen them in days AND it was my birthday. Yes, I can be an overgrown child! He went over, brought home some Chinese for later and we had dinner and Italian ice and enjoyed being with each other.
In future MILF news I didn't even get weighed. I have been ignoring the diet the last couple of weeks so I need to get back to it this week. I've done reasonably well keeping up with the exercise.
I need to post pictures of what I planted and all the cool stuff coming up in my yard--being in a house the first Spring is an exciting thing! The weather is apparently perfect for growing, things that were barely showing last week are a foot high, it seems like you could WATCH them grow! My next door cube neighbor says she planted too many seeds and has promised to share--I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chocolate Feet

This morning I went for my fourth acupuncture treatment. I originally went to help with the development of some seriously screwed up sleep and to help me be better balanced, aka not fly off the handle at the slightest (or no) provocation. It was my guess that the two were somewhat linked, the less sleep I get the less able I am to control my emotions. The sleep part has been so-so, some good nights, some not so good nights and some completely sleepless nights. The emotional control stuff, much better. I definitely feel more aware of what is going on with my body and in my head. While regular sleep would be great I am seeing the light that this is a journey, not a quick fix. Probably good practice for the rest of my life, enjoy the journey, quit worrying about right now and just enjoy it for what it is. See—it also makes me a deep thinker.

So, in addition to needles this morning, I was the recipient of the Yin Heel Scrub. Not sure what the purpose was, other than my heels are horribly dry and cracked. Every appointment starts with a series of questions and some of the continuing themes are body temperature, breathing, pain, and digestion. This morning he asked me about my feet and their temperature when I go to sleep in cooler months. I told him that I often have to get up and take a hot bath to warm them up so I can sleep. He got a gleam in his eye and the next thing I knew I had a needle between my eyes, one in my sternum and was getting the most amazing foot and ankle rub. It wasn’t until after he was done that he shared with me that it was done with organic cocoa and that my heels might be a bit brown. I was a little mortified that my heels and ankles took a dip in the chocolate fountain. Luckily most of it came off but the stain on my cracked heels is still there for all to see since its supposed to be near 80 today and I’m wearing strappy sandals. At least they are brown and I match.

I am hosting our neighborhood women’s group Wednesday night. I got involved to find out what is going on in the neighborhood and make connections to people (especially ones with kids) when we moved last year. I was also dying to see the other houses in the neighborhood having been in none of them prior to buying ours. Its an interesting group, they plan neighborhood events, support a charity and there is a decent amount of socializing and gossiping as well. I volunteered to co-host this month which means make some food. My next door neighbor was hosting at her house, but now she’s having construction and carpet and a bunch of stuff done so we are at my house. I’ve been pre-cleaning for the wonderful Miss Betty for the last four days. I rescheduled her regular visit last week in order to have her come right before the meeting. Yesterday she fell and hit her head and ended up getting an MRI. Poor Miss Betty. I feel horrible for her and feel like it is some message from the universe telling me to chill out and that no one is really going to care what my house looks like. At least I hope not. We’ll do our best but this week is just too crazy to try and do everything the way I’d like it done. Deep cleansing breaths.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I squealed like a little girl!


I made a horrible mistake and scheduled a meeting at our house for Wednesday night. For some reason the date didn't click with me. It's Gman's birthday not just any birthday, his 40th birthday. So I decided that today could be his honorary birthday and we would have steaks for dinner and invite friends over for cake and ice cream afterwards. Everything was going as planned until I went to light up the grill. That's when the little brown mouse looked up at me and went running across the burners. I squealed like a little girl. I can't remember the last time I shrieked like that! I assured Gman that it wasn't because I was afraid of the mouse just startled. He and the Pouter scared the little bugger out of the grill but no one saw where he went, please Lord, let it not be in my basement!

Months ago I had grand plans for the momentous occasion, I was going to invite everyone we knew, make hotel arrangements for out of town guests, procure a cake from Charm City Cakes and surprise the pants off of him. Alas, I had a great vision but not nearly the stamina to pull it off. Every time I started to make plans I got a little sick to my stomach thinking of all the work. I think it was more my idea of a good time than his anyway. So instead of grand we had intimate, kid filled and hopefully equally surprising--that's what happens when you plan a few hours in advance. So, if you are hanging around the blogosphere this week, drop over by Man Overboard and wish the love of my life a happy 40th birthday!

Friday, April 20, 2007

In Search of MILFdom Month 4

Dear Aunt Flo, Sugar Mama and N. Somnia,

Please leave me alone. It was SO unfair to all gang up on me at one time and I was weak and I gave in. My own fault for having all that Easter candy laying around and not sharing enough with others before you came knocking on the door. Who was it that came first?

Was it you N. Somnia that finally pushed me over the edge. Did those endless nights of flopping around and thoughts crashing through my head invite Sugar Mama over for a visit? Or was it Aunt Flo with Sugar Mama in tow that made you N. Somnia seem so much bigger and badder than ever? I guess it doesn't really matter, my friend Ambien came for a visit last night and finally, seven hours of uninterrupted sleep and hopefully that means you'll all leave me alone.

I am changing the locks now that Aunt Flo is out the door, N. Somnia stayed away at least last night and hopefully Sugar Mama went with him. The hiding from you all at the gym only helped so much. Now I need to invite Fi Ber back into my life and make sure she and H2O hang together.

Adios amigos!

Lost this week: +3 (its gotta be all water?!)
Exercise: 3 spin classes, 1 treadmill day, 1 elliptical day, 1 strength class
Diet: Easter candy, cake, ice cream (see a pattern?)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The third degree from BuilderMama

Not really, I asked for it. If you'd like to play, here's what to do (its easy, I promise):
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Builder Mama's Questions:
1. What is your biggest challenge as a stepparent, but what do you enjoy the most about it as well?

Wow, what part of step-parenting ISN'T a challenge?! I think the lack of role models and people to talk about it with is one of the things that are really hard. You are suddenly thrust into this role with no good examples, plenty of preconceived notions about evil stepmothers and a Mom on the other side working against you. The hardest part for me in the beginning was distancing myself from a lot of the venom with his ex-wire. Gman would forward these awful e-mails from his ex and eventually I had to ask him to stop, I just couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t prepared to deal with tween/teen angst either, bad enough when its your own kid but when they are someone else’s and they are predisposed not to like you it really sucks. There is an e-group of women that I’ve been online with almost since the beginning of my relationship with GMan and without them I don’t know what I would have done. Some of them have stories that make your toes curl, that perspective and been there, done that is invaluable, especially when you complain and someone says—you knew what you were getting into. Not. Even. Close.

The most rewarding part has been seeing them grow up. There have been some really tough times with eldest stepson and the last few times we've been with him it has actually been pleasant which after years of awfulness was amazing.

2. If you had an entire afternoon to yourself, what would you do?

Sleep? Oh right, I can’t sleep at night, no way it is happening during the day. I’d have a pedicure and a massage. Then I’d head out to this place in Frederick, MD that I read about in Southern Living to try and find some accessories for the house. It’s a huge warehouse with unique stuff that they pick up all over the place, it look fabulous and I haven’t been able to find the time or energy to check it out.

3. How did you meet Scott (GMan)?

Gman and I met online playing backgammon on an old BBS. He was married, I was dating someone pretty seriously and it was all just fun. We kept in touch on and off. Then a few years later he resurfaced and said his marriage was over. We talked on the phone for hours, e-mailed, and IM’d on AOL. Finally we met in person about 9 years ago. I would never have believed it! We’ve been married 7 years now.

4. If you could have a drink with any historical figure, who would it be and why?

Eleanor Roosevelt, she was a woman before her time and I feel like she’d have great insight to share.

5. What is your biggest vice
?

I guess it’d have to be a toss up between shopping and chocolate. I’m fine as long as I stay away from both but put it right there in front of me and I just can’t resist it!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Putting yourself first--virture or vice?

I don't know if I am particularly sensitive because its that time of the month, because I haven't had a really good nights sleep in eons, or because I have some working Mommy guilt--but when two people made the same comment lately it twanged a nerve. It wasn't a deep hurt, it was just one of those things that you end up thinking about later and can't help but wonder--was that a compliment or a put down? Was it there intention or were my own issues surfacing.

On both occasions friends have made a comment about me losing weight and asked what I was doing, my reply little bit of diet and a lot of exercise. Both of them responded, "its so nice you can take time to put yourself first." The first time I found myself denying that I was putting myself first--telling the person how I've been going to the gym first thing in the morning or at lunch time. She reiterated that she thought it was a good thing that I was taking care of myself and she often marveled at how I got everything done. She also told me she wasn't surprised at my inability to sleep or recent bout of forgetfulness. I laughed and told her that I didn't feel that way, I know its not a competition but I know so many people who seem to do so much more AND they have a clean house. (Which makes me look really forward to my next review assignment Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box: Cut Yourself Some Slack (and Raise Great Kids) in the Age of Extreme Parenting by Ann Dunnewold).

The second person who made the comment was a dear friend who is a stay at home Mom with 3 girls, two in school and an infant. I told her that I was really hoping that in addition to getting something out of it for myself, I am setting a good example for my girls--both that exercise is important AND that its important to take care of ourselves. She said of course, soon after I drifted away. Ever since I've been pondering the comments (and praying that this internal debate isn't one that keeps me up all night). I really didn't think of taking time to exercise as putting myself first, I really see it as something for all of us, it keeps my stress level down, hopefully it keeps me healthy so I can take care of everyone else, and hopefully my girls learn that exercise is something you can fit into your life.

It has had me thinking about the Mommy Wars as well. Us vs. them. Good vs. bad. Stay at home vs. working outside the home. And on and on and on and on. I am a little amazed that those two comments about putting myself first led me to try and defend myself, figure out how to deny I was committing that particular sin, or feel guilty about spending time at the gym.

So, after much rolling around in my head I'm declaring it, YES, I am putting myself first for a few hours a week. I am proudly going to the gym and taking care of myself. Sometimes I drag my kids along and they have fun with other kids, sometimes I get up at the crack of dawn, and sometimes I sneak out at lunch to get it done. Hopefully by putting myself first for those few hours I am better at taking care of everyone else the rest of the time. Hopefully I'll be around a little longer to do it. And I hope when my girls are grown up, they will remember that I made time to take care of myself, that it gave them new experiences and a Mom who was happier and healthier.

Update: Check out my review of Let's Get Ready for First Grade! over at Maven Says and head over to Parent Bloggers Network for a chance to win your own copy.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Don't let the old folks fool ya

In some sick way I have enjoyed getting up for spinning class at 5:45 AM. the class is full of triathletes in training and I am definitely in the slow, fat crowd. I'm okay with that, just knowing we are attempting to do the same things works for me. Most everyone is decked out in bike shorts, cycling shoes and a cool ni-tech race shirt. This morning I signed up for an 8AM class at the gym across town that I'd only been to a time or two. It was rockin' when I got there at 7:45, I don't know if it was because it is so much smaller than the place I usually go or because there really were SO many people. I found the tiny cycling room with the bright yellow bikes, which were a really pleasant surprise, they were actually comfortable! It did take me a minute to place LeMond from the name on the bike, remember him, the first US Tour De France phenom? There were only a couple of people warming up when I got there, as the class filed in I thought maybe it would be easier than my normal class. There were 3 women who looked about my age, 1 much younger women and a bunch of men who all looked to be pushing, if not exceeding 60. No fancy clothes or shoes, there was even an old guy wearing loafers. I figured I was going to kick some cycling ass.

OMG, how wrong could I be. The older guy teaching the class was on a death mission. We did all kinds of maniac endurance things, on the seat, off the seat, hold your upper body still, turn the tension on ALL the way and suffer. I sweat so much I dripped on the floor! Thank goodness the music was good, something about good music makes the torture go faster. I have to admit, the old folks definitely had me fooled. After the gym I ventured to soccer, just after Gman and Boobah took off the coach told us the girls wanted us to play to. It was all I could do to drag my sorry backside out of my comfy chair to get up and kick the ball around with the girls. I was sure I was going to get taken out by the dad beside me and end up in the ER. Thankfully no one over the age of 6 ended up on the ground. The girls are so funny to watch, they had at least 2 goals scored against them while they were hugging and jumping up and down celebrating the fact that they'd scored! So much for the killer instinct.

Friday, April 13, 2007

In search of MILFdom, week 12

We went to visit my parents last week for a visit in the House of Snack. I swear they have every kind of cookie, cracker, chip, and candy known to man in the cabinets. Obviously they are both pretty good at keeping it in realistic portions. I think I sampled most of them. We had Easter dinner at my Mom’s house with the whole family, seriously comfort food central. Homemade noodles, just thinking about them makes my mouth water. We also went out to dinner with my best friend from growing up and her husband. I had a fantabulous, high calorie margarita concoction that included cranberry juice and raspberry liqueur—it was fabulous. I did make some conscious decisions not to eat some things that I would love to have eaten. I did keep up the fiber and I tried to get enough water. I made my Dad put the rowing machine together for me so that I could get at least one sweaty work-out in, I just didn’t think 2 hours of bowling or standing in the freezing cold waiting for the egg hunt gave me credit for anything aerobic. It did give us some serious entertainment, check out the pictures here.

Then there was the end of Lent and my resolution of no chocolate. My cousin’s wife made seriously yummy chocolate cake with chocolate icing. It was my other cousin’s 15th birthday and there was chocolate cake for that as well. I ate my share of Reese’s peanutbutter eggs and Robin Eggs as well. By the end of the weekend I felt fat and happy. By Monday I was over the fat part. I also felt tired and irritable. Hmm, could it have anything do with the crappy diet and lack of exercise?

I got home and other than a little chocolate added to the diet I got back on track. Everything in moderation. Today I was down .2 pounds, I’ll take it even in teeny, tiny increments. Its as light as I’ve been in awhile and people have made comments—oddly enough no one back home seemed to notice but I am over it.

I have actually done enough Group Power now to enjoy it. It's still hard but I am starting to get it and be able to follow along without looking like a complete moron. Gman even said it wasn't nearly so hateful last night. I've also gotten back to spinning class this week, one morning at 5:45 and I'm scheduled again for 8AM tomorrow. Its a hard hour of work with someone pushing you, something I need and getting it done early in the morning removes the pressure of it hanging over my head all day. It also makes me feel like I'm doing it for me on my own time, not when I could be doing something with Gman or the kids.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It’s Official, I am Losing My Mind

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks trying to keep track of things, my underwear, bra, shoe, school papers and this morning I forgot my ID badge and Boobah’s preschool bag. Yesterday I had a group of people show up for a meeting that I had forgotten about and had a really hard time articulating why we were there. Finally about half an hour in I found the right words and we got something done. I logged on to the computer three times this morning and never did remember what my intent was. It makes me wonder if the lack of sleep is finally catching up to me or maybe it is the change in routine with PDQs babysitter being out of commission for the next few weeks. I’ve been so good about exercise and my diet (other than the comfort food bonanza that was Easter). I hoped that sleep would finally follow suit, not yet.
I started seeing an acupuncturist last week in search of a good night’s sleep and an ability to better handle the stress in my life. Esmerelda has talked about her acupuncture experiences and swears that they’ve helped her fight off the strep that ran rampant in her house as well as deal with the stress of two kids, her mother and soon-to-be-ex-husband. I went for my first appointment, 2 hours long! The person I am seeing is a family friend who I’ve know for about 9 years. It was interesting to see him go back to school and train to be an acupuncturist. I was the benefactor of a massage during part of his training and many greetings where he looked deep into my eyes while checking my pulses. It was a little strange going to see someone you know so well in a new context, there were times when I had to suppress a giggle at something he said because it was off kilter with the way I know him. It wasn’t bad, just different. After the session I definitely felt calm and sleepy. I went home and vegged out on the couch with Gman and went to bed relatively early. I slept better than usual that night and generally just felt more calm. Tuesday I went for my second treatment, again I left feeling calm and sleepy, no surprise on the sleepy part since I was up most of the previous night. I had a relatively good night, it would have been better but Boobah came creeping in and climbed in bed. She made things too warm and too hard to try and contort around, I ended up carrying her back to her bed but the damage was done, I was up for more than an hour but I woke up yesterday morning for cycling class at the gym feeling pretty good and was tired by bedtime last night. Unfortunately sleep last night was more like a series of naps, again a night time visit from Boobah but thankfully Gman took care of her this go ‘round.

So, I’m not sleeping great yet. The sciatic pain from the rowing machine at my parents and then a 5.5 hour drive in the car is better as is my clicking jaw. I feel calmer as well, something everyone in my house will tell you is a good thing! I’m thinking that my energy shake-up has begun and with it maybe my multi-tasking prowess is being compromised. Makes me wonder if it is my body telling me that I should never have been doing it to the extent I have been in the first place. I guess time will tell. Thankfully I haven’t forgotten to pick up a kid anywhere or done anything really stupid at work. I feel like I’ve started an adventure to get to know myself better. I already feel like I am becoming more aware of my body, we’ll see if I can actually learn to listen to it. Hopefully my recent inability to remember anything not permanently attached to my body will clear as well.

Exercise & the Brain

While at home for Easter I caught up on Dad’s stack of Newsweek Magazine. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the gym and a series of articles on exercise and the brain caught my attention and I had my nose buried in it for a long time. They hit connections across the board—kids, the elderly, adults, depression. As a Mom, someone who has struggled with my weight and watching my Grandmother’s struggle to recover from a stroke the articles really spoke to me so I wanted to share them with you as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

For the love of Pete, don't mess with my piles!

I have never been the perfect filer but I can generally find things in my intricate system of piles. Sometimes it may take awhile but eventually I can lay my hands on whatever it was that I needed—until now. Gman and I spent at least 5 hours, yes that is F-I-V-E hours last night looking for PDQ’s Friday folder, journal, a book, half a dozen checks, an envelope of pictures and 4 one dollar bills. No dice.

Thursday two weeks ago (way back in March) was PDQ’s last day of school until today for Spring Break. I thought I would save us all the grief of coming back from Ohio and spending the evening trying to finish up homework, sign stuff, read stuff, etc. So I pulled everything out of the folder, sorted it into piles and started writing check, yearbook, field trip, and pictures. While I had the checkbook out I dug up Boobah’s pictures that were long overdue, read all the detailed instructions, wrote a check including my $10 penalty for missing the return date and put them in an envelope to return. Then I scrounged for $4 in cash to attach to a form that needed to go back for a “love note” in the yearbook. Then we pulled out the homework for PDQ to take to my parents house for the week. Finally we made her do her poetry journal and my Dad read her the book in a bag story. We were totally cooking with gas—it was Friday, a week and a half before the stuff was due and I had everything taken care of, or so I thought.

I know that I put things aside so that we could eat. I would swear on a stack of Bibles that later that evening I gave the Friday Folder filled with stuff back to PDQ and asked her to put it in her backpack by the door. A few times last week I thought about that envelope of pictures for Boobah but didn’t think much of it, it had waited this long, what was a few weeks more. Between the time I did all the signing and paying my mother was there, in my house picking up after me. Then, to add to the probability that I’ll never find anything Miss Betty came and cleaned up after us some more. Usually I manage to get through both with my piles unscathed. Finally at 11 last night I gave up. I wrote a pathetic note to PDQ’s teacher confessing my inability to keep track of stuff. Then I tried to go to sleep and all I could do was think about what the heck happened to all that stuff. I can picture it, I just can’t FIND it.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Memememe

To celebrate Ann's blogiversary over at Yer Doing It Wrong I'll play along with her meme.

1. What is your favorite kind of milkshake?
Mmmmmm, milkshakes, while they are all good peanutbutter and chocolate is at the top of my list.
2. What is your fantasy job?
To stay at home and have someone pay me to do it. If not that, an event planner.
3. Do you consider yourself a "neat freak" or can you handle a little mess?
A little mess, that would be an understatement. I like clean and organization, I'm just not good at keeping it up.
4. What are your thoughts about tattoos?
I've toyed with the idea of a small one, hidden away somewhere and I'm always fascinated by people covered in them although not my favorite look.
5. Where would you go on your fantasy vacation? Who would you want to be with you?
Some beach, somewhere with DH, the kids and a nanny (the best of all worlds).

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Third time a charm? Nope!

So first I forgot my underwear, then my bra, today I was sure I had my act together. I didn't even leave the house until 7:45, yesterday I'd been at the office for an hour by then AND worked through spinning class. I headed out to they gym at lunchtime, while looking through my bag for my gym card I discover I only have ONE shoe. I feel like I have a freaking gym jinx. Maybe not having the kids around has disabled my ability to effectively multi-task? Thank goodness I keep spare shoes in the van just in case. Even better that they were actually THERE!

Last night I actually slept for 4.5 consecutive hours and then another 3ish after I got back to sleep. That's more sleep than I've had in any one night in a very long time. I went to see our friend Mr. Don yesterday for my first acupuncture treatment. I'll write more about it later but I have to say I definitely feel more calm today and like I said, I SLEPT LAST NIGHT. Coincidence, maybe. I will definitely be going back for more though.

Have a great Easter everyone, not sure that I'll have time to talk from the road. We have lots of Boobah and PDQ lovin' to catch up on!

Oh yeah, I weighed in this moring on my scale since we'll be gone. I was down 2.2 lbs from last week! Yipee. Today made 5 straight days at the gym. Danger, danger, Easter is coming and with it the chocolate denial ends. Hope I can deal with it. I will be enjoying a Reese's egg and some Robin Eggs though. Yum-O!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Oops, I did it again

Esmerelda and I took Gman to the gym last night for the Group Power class we love to hate. I would say that Gman fell closer to the hate side of the equation. Mistake number one was going to Panera for dinner first. They were soooooo slow that we only had about 20 minutes to eat before we had to get to the gym to get set up for class. I learned my lesson after the Cheeburger Cheeburger incident and ate pretty light stuff. We worked up a sweat and laughed together. I am trying to persuade him to go with me one night a week—there is something sexy about working out together—besides the fact that we can both use the workout!

If going to the gym at 7:45 last night wasn’t enough fun for the week, I hit the spinning class at 5:45 this morning again with Esmerelda. I didn’t sleep well at all last night, I was mad because I couldn’t find my good cycling shorts, Gman and I watched the end of The DaVinci Code and I thought I’d fall into a deep sleep quickly (yeah Tylenol PM). Yeah, right. I fought to get to sleep, then I couldn’t stay asleep and at 4-something this morning we had a thunderstorm, the kind with thunder that makes the whole house shake. Needless to say getting my carcass out of the bed at 5:10 AM was far from easy, I got up on the first alarm knowing that if I hit snooze I'd never get out of bed. But I did it. Then I enjoyed the spinning class as much as you can enjoy anything that makes you sore all over.

I decided to skip the gym locker room this morning after my Monday experiences. There is a locker room at work and I decided I’d give it a try. I know at least one other morning exerciser who does it so I figured it couldn’t be all bad. I’ve never been at the office at 6:45 AM, its really, really quiet which creeped me out a bit when I headed up to take a shower, they (the 3 people I saw on my way in) all know where I am going, psycho music playing in my head. I turned on the water and waited for it to get warm, and I waited and waited and waited and waited. Finally I decided it wouldn’t make me turn blue so I braved it, definite wake-me-up experience. Finally, after 2 hair washes the hot water arrived, thank goodness! I get out, confident that I have underwear and deodorant today. Apparently I was prematurely cocky—no bra. So there I am trying to decide between my sweaty blue sports bra or nothing. I started with nothing, went out to check it in the mirror-not that bad but I knew I’d either be wearing my coat or so obsessed about it that I’d have to head to Target for a new one. I comptemplated the sports bra—would it show in the neckline of my shirt, doesn’t show--check. Did it smell like cake batter or worse, no smell--check. Now, what the hell to do about the big wet spot? Iff I was self conscious about everything hanging free I know a big wet spot was probably worse! Ah, the hair dryer, so I spent the next couple of minutes praying that no one would open up the bathroom door and find me there in front of the mirror, right inside the door at the only outlet in the whole freaking place blow drying my bra. Dry--check. Obviously I need to keep an entire change of clothes in my van along with everything else if I am going to attempt morning exercise.

I was at my desk before 7:30, half-caff’d and ready to go. Later today I am going to my first acupuncture appointment, hoping that self-awareness and total exhaustion will bring with it the ability to sleep through the night. I made it to the doctor yesterday. Yep, he suspects I am allergic to shellfish and should probably avoid it. When I asked him about the allergist he told me it was up to me, my immune system was obviously in overdrive and he was sure they'd find something. I left a bit frustrated, I will probably call the allergist today and start the long wait to get tested and find out what exactly what sent me into hives the other night and what has my eczema in high gear. Part of me wants to play what you don't know can't hurt you but I know in this case its just not true!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Of allergies and genetics

Last night we had friends over for fondue. I was psyched to find a recipe to mimic Coq Au Vin from The Melting Pot to cook our meat. They brought the cheese—I was shocked and amazed you could buy it already made in a bag, complete with wine—and bread. It was fabulous, until I touched my face. Apparently I touched my face near my eye, next thing I knew my eye started itching, when I mentioned it DH and the friends told me I probably needed to take something (and of course Gman wanted to take a picture). I freaked out when I got into the bathroom and my face was swollen and red and the eye nearly closed. I popped one of Ellie’s Benadryl strips and tried to enjoy my dinner. At some point my stomach was really crampy as well but got better with the Benadryl. Most bizarre was that the strip made my tongue a little numb, good to know before I give it to my kid.

I am guessing genetics have caught up with me. Sometime in her 30s my mother developed a shellfish allergy. It started as a gastrointestinal thing and then it moved on to hives and swollen lips. For years I’ve joked that I better eat it while I can because some day its going to revolt. Now, I am afraid its begun. I have inherited all of Mom’s other medical oddities so why not this one? I have been putting off dealing with the allergist for years, it was good enough to know that something would control my hay fever, I really didn’t need to KNOW what was causing it. I feel some serious empathy for Chris over at Notes from the Trenches who is finding out she is allergic to a whole host of things—things that are in nearly everything we eat. And Builder Mama and my friend Lisa who have kids with serious peanut allergies who have to watch everything their sons eat. At least you can avoid shellfish if you need to, although you don’t have to like it. I’m going to see my GP this afternoon and try to figure out what the heck is going on with my body. I’m hoping I will get at least one gold star for being 10 pounds lighter than the last time I was there!

Dinner was good, although I felt a bit like I did when I was in college and we'd play "I never." Someone would say I never ate a goldfish and everyone who had drinks. I sat for long dry spells never touching my drink as I was pretty naive and inexperienced. As they traded awful ex-spouse/mother/in-law stories last night I realized how glad that I could just listen and laugh and NOT have a thing to say (and for me thats HARD).

Monday, April 2, 2007

No Panty Monday

I got up at 5:10AM this morning to join Esmerelda at the gym for spinning class. Last year we did it all the time, but then we moved and that extra 10 minutes at that hour of the morning was just too much, I can’t get back home in time for Gman to make it to work and I had to get up that much earlier. Without the kids this week I decided I’d make a go of it. A hard workout in the morning is like no shot of caffeine I’ve ever had. It gives me a healthy high to start the day. So, anticipating that I’d be stumbling out of the house this morning I packed my gym bag, my lunch bag, and my laptop bag and went to bed thinking I was totally prepared.

I got to the gym, waved at Es who was so excited to see me. And I her, and, bonus I got a glimpse of hot gym guy, I can confirm he is in fact cute and personally I think they’d make a really cute couple. If his running conversation was any indication I’d say, he’s shy but into her J After class I went to stretch and do crunches. The class was great, I forgot how much I’ve missed it, I’m hoping I can figure out how to squeeze it in once a week and pray that it might help with my sleep issues.

So, after all is said and done I head for the locker room—no panties. Crap, I know I got them out, either they didn’t make them into the bag or Gman lifted them trying to be funny. Double crap, no hair product. Then the big topper, no deodorant. And, not such a big deal but a bummer, no jewelry. Crap, crap, crap. So, I got ready with my minimalist supplies, a bit stunned by the beauty accoutrements all around me. Full shower baskets, flat irons, make-up bags as big as my head. I was sure they had deodorant, panties and plenty o’ hair product. Of course, one would never know about the panties given that one woman went through her whole routine buck freaking naked in the middle of the locker room. Eventually she put a towel on the bottom half while she dried her hair admiring her naked boobies in the mirror.

I did manage to get dressed, pantyhose will have to do today. I found some hairspray in the van and managed to get my hair into an acceptable state. Thank goodness there is a grocery store right around the corner, I headed over there to pick up some deodorant and while I was at it some carrots. So now I’ve got anti-stink in my desk drawer for just such an occasion should it arise again (and it will!). Now I feel like I can take on the world!

Grown Up Dinner

Last night we had our favorite grown-up couple over for dinner. We ate at the actual dining room table and had grown up conversation, no interruptions, no spills, who knew?! They are my marriage mentors, they are definitely two halves of a whole. Watching them interact with each other, back each other up, and play off each others strengths is a good lesson in how to be happily married. If it wasn’t enough that they are such great people, they love kids, and our kids have been lucky enough to have a little of that love. They have been stand-ins for the grandparents since ours are so far away, attending the preschool Christmas show, “special friends day” at Kindergarten and don’t forget teaching them in Sunday School. Last night was a good reminder of how blessed we are to have such special people in our lives. We are so far from home but have a support system that I would never have imagined. So, if you are reading today—thanks for everything!