Monday, January 31, 2011

Bye, Bye to You 1/11

January 2011, you were a productive month. One weekend trip to SC, wrapped up one semester and started another with work, birthday, New Year's "goals not resolutions" in place. On this final day of the month a quick check in on what got done from January's list:

Health related appointments galore: Mammogram, plastic surgery consult, and mole check on board by month end.

Yes to Mamm x 2, PS consult 1 done another next month. Moved mole check due to weather to Feb.

See one movie in a movie theater minus children. Black Swan vs Blue Valentine are the contenders. Saw Black Swan Sat night. Yeah, it was totally awesome. I may have to write a movie review good. Or just recall how I broke a pair of pointe shoes while wearing them when I was 12 beacause I can so relate to NPortman's un-believable performance. Not even the same league or planet so I won't embarassess myself.

Celebrate my 36th birthday!!! It was Super-awesome. Mondo List published, great celebration with family, good mammogram results back. What more could I ask.

Investigate test item writing for additional income. Hired and have already sent in three batches of questions.

Try to keep reasonable bedtime and wrap up all grading by 10 pm. NO! Due to adding the 2nd and 3rd sections I'm up again late. Major Feb. plan to get on a better daily schedule to reel in the late nights.

Start to evaluate any magnet kindergarten options for Ben and set up school visits if applicable. I pulled out the brochures and noted who have open houses before the appicaiton dedaline of 2/25. I at least get some credit. More to come, I'm sure about reseaching schools from the little chairs.

Attempt to log 20 miles and/or 10 hours per week in Move It 2011 YES! Well almost. Finished the month at almost 75 miles. Aveeraging 18-22 miles per week and on ave 5-8 hours. I'm doing fewer classes with the extra running, but seriuosly need to bulk up on some strength training to build endurence. Best off can now run 4.5 miles/60 min. Have signed up for 2 spring races.

I totally get an A for effort, A for follow-through, and B for sticking to the plan (pts deducted for the whole late night business.)

Points back for spending the final weekend of the month, outside in flip-flops in 70 degree weather playing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Show Me the Mommy- Emerging from the Quasi-Mom Cave

This is a Finished for Friday AND Show me the Mommy Special edition.

This is me for basically the past week:

Disheveled hair in my Slash-esque Headband, pjs, comfy robe working in the kitchen at all hours of the day and unfortunately night.

Keepin' it real folks in the week of lots of work and spending any time not working with the boys, sleeping, or trying to get exercise in for the week. I have realized that I just can't pull anything less than 6 hours of sleep and be functional, thus very little tv or mindless internet this week.

So what got done during this laying low week?

Exercise for the week to date- 18.5 miles, 4.0 hours.

Made reservations for sorority reunion weekend at the Grove Park in July. Excited to see old friends that now publish their 30-something selves on FB.

Wrote and submitted 2 batches of questions and picked up a contact for a long term project for Feb.

Signed up for 2 races (5k in March and 5k plus pushing Ian in April)

Picked up an additional section of online teaching. Meeting tons o deadlines this week for my 3 new sections of kids. Crazy. Busy.

And all of this with 3 sick people in the house. Man colds x 3.

Luckily in my quasi-mom cave (aka my kitchen counter with my laptop) I avoided all sickness. I just knocked on a really big piece of wood.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nothing to See (or Read) Here, Please Keep Moving

CRAZY busy. Like this is the only couple of sentences I have time to write while I wait for the uber cheezy video I just made to finish copying to all my classes. That's right, my dream of staying home full time. DONE. DEAL. Accepted a 3rd (and final) section of online teaching this morning.

Color me stoked that between the online and the question writing contract (that also just got more work) I may NOT have to sell my kidney to afford this surgery.

Yeah, that's like a whole other post or better yet feeling a new multi-series volume much like Tales from the Little Potty is about to be written. And, NO there will ONLY be AFTER pictures in the final version.

On the ick front, serious man colds going down x3. I'm trying to NOT be sick outside of living in a plastic bubble like that kid in the 1980s. Someone has to hold down the fort. A Mom cold and a Man cold are diabolical opposites.

Back with more later this week when I can come up for air.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Show Me the Mommy- The One Where I let My Kid Get a Mohawk

My sweetie is 9 MONTHS and into everything.

Earlier this week I finally caved and agreed to get Ian's hair cut. Unlike Ben with his head of cute ringlets that I finally succumbed and cut at 1 year, Ian was starting to look like he had a baby comb-over. NOT attractive.

At 9 months he is pulling up, holding with one had and stepping in place, has managed to climb and stand up on the first two steps (to my panic.) Just when I think I have baby proofed he fools me, again.

I foresee an childhood fund needed for Quick Med co pays.

Ian is starting to hold his own with Ben who has totally come into his own. He wants to protect, move and pick him up, crawl with him, redirect him as, "Bad Baby Ian." He loves to tell anyone who will listen about his brother, "IN"

We gave the boys one joint Christmas gift (Baby Race track) for them to use together. Currently Ben uses the track as ski jump for his Hot Wheels cars. Ian sits, watches, claps, squeals and sucks on the cars. Great trade off, right?

Ian's Progression from Mohawk Baby to Dapper Baby in pics.

All I need is a piercing and a bottle of Jack

Uh.. what are those sharp things headed towards me?

Nothing to see here, just a a soggy baby totally confused by what is happening.

Seiourlsy, tell me you don't melt with those blue eyes or want to pinch his cheeks?!?

All done. 1.535 lbs of hair removed, baby recovered.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Old School Panic

Resolved. All good news on the repeat mammogram. It was indeed two small lymph nodes that have lost their way and buried themselves into my chest wall. Alas panic has subsided and I have just bought myself a yearly mammogram for rechecks.

Maybe I was being naive, but I really thought all would be ok. BUT, It was good to have it confirmed and breathe a little easier.

Crazy, crazy, crazy past 24 hours. Including a fantastic birthday celebrated by a decorated (by Ben) front porch banner, am doughnuts (that I didn't eat and rather sent with Bill to work after Ben ate 2 pink sprinkle), cards, flowers, a 4 mile run, dinner out, and a Sat date night this weekend.

I curled up with Ben watching the most God awful new show he loves, "Minute to Win It," the sad redheaded step child of another favorite, "Wipeout." It was the perfect way to wrap up a great 36th birthday and it gave me a super new date night idea to re-create a series of 60 sec games to stage, preschool style.

I'm working 3 different work deadlines today into the weekend. I really needed Ian not to get up at 4:47am and then barely nap so far today.

Momma got stuff to DO!

In the scheme of what those results could have been I'll take a little exhaustion as my main complaint today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On My 36th Trip Around the Sun

Last year on my birthday post Half Life at 70 I referenced how much I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle for my family and myself.

2011 is all about the healthier year. I will be kicking it old school before noon today with a hopeful 4 mile run in my new running shoes that I LOVE.

I had planned to post my Mondo List for my upcoming 500th post on this little blog that could (ever get written.) Somehow the events of the week given this icky waiting, I'm posting it today. My hope is each dream will be realized in their own time and that this list is only a starting place.

From October 4th, 2010 at the conclusion of Mondo Beyondo eCourse I gathered all my scribbled on legal pads scraps and formed a master life list and publicly posted it to our tribe of classmates.

I'm sending it out again, even more publicly **YIKES** in hope that as courage unfolds Yes, By Yes, By Yes the list will be realized.

Before even counting the final tally, abandoning keeping anything off with all bets off to dream and write, lo and behold before me was 36 items.

Thank you universe for that little wink and nod as well as the time to dream.

Dreaming that my life will be filled by:

1. Not living with diabetes or any other long term, debilitating illness
2. Modeling compassion and kindness with family & also to complete strangers
3. Find a reason to move every, single, day because I can
4. Challenging my sons to be independent, motivated, & unabashedly brave to try new things
5. Appearing on stage in a self-written comedy set and have other laugh
6. Making priorities with my time and then not negotiate with myself
7. Fighting for education reform because it’s immoral to let anyone’s children settle for a lifetime of missed opportunity
8. Finding a way to stay home until I am ready to be back working full time
9. Finally take the final step from my 147 lb weight loss with plastic surgery
10. Being happy with the body I have today, as I work daily to exercise and maintain a healthy life in anticipation of the surgery
11. Deciding if we are a family of 4 or a +1, +2, +3 and what to do with our 3 frozen chances at life. Consider adoption if it feels right.
12. Listening to all the archives of This American Life and build a collection of favorites for my kids.
13. Taking certification to become a certified labor doula and help celebrate many birthdays
14. Saving enough money to fully fund both boys' college funds
15. Getting remarried in a beautiful place in a beautiful dress
16. Learning to forgive myself and then actually do it regularly
17. Taking an online refresher class in grammar and spelling, because I NEED TO.
18. Practicing living in the moment with my kids as much as possible
19. Celebrating my 40th birthday with a legendary party, a TACO PARTY complete with body bags and sparklers!
20. Learning how to not compare to others and be thankful for the abundance I have
21. Traveling, with family, with friends, by myself
22. Continuing to build and support a tribe of friends
23. Learning to love the life I lead with no regrets
24. Owning the perfect pair of jeans that matches a wardrobe of flattering clothes
25. Living out my retirement in a sunny, warm place with four distinct seasons
26. Helping my kids live in a world of opportunity, happiness, and to help them believe that childhood dreams are attainable
27. Binding my blog since inception and make a practice to do this each year of writing
28. Leading an NCCAT session for other teachers
29. Supporting other moms struggling with post partum depression & help seek treatment options
30. Ending therapy but continue to use all the tools and self knowledge gained
31. Finding a church home that we all agree on to raise the boys
32. Training and run a 5 K race near/on Ian’s first birthday
33. Learning to be vulnerable & ask for help when going the solo route feels better
34. Attending my 20 year high school reunion & be content with the person I introduce myself
35. Learning to make peace with what I cannot change.
36. Practicing grace and humility towards the universe in hopes it will return

And one to grow on,
"Accept that enough is all I ever need to be for today, or anyday"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DD Fun (or lack thereof)

The repeat mammogram lead to another set of tests. Ninety minutes later with a very sore boob I'm feeling good that this is most likely yet another reminder that in one more day I'm another year older.

When I was talking to the tech as she was changing out the compression plate (yes because I needed the largest one) I asked what these two small spots might be if not a lump. Most likely based on the location, lymph nodes that have somehow shifted. Really? I didn't think they could float to other areas.

When the tech was not happy with the first two sets of film, she had me move to another part of the radiology dept with what seemed to be HAL 9000's twin. This machine seemed to take up the whole room and needless to say this round of tests took my breath away. Not only did I have to hold my breath for the entire set of films, it really hurt.

I gave myself the day off from hitting the gym and running although I think going would have blown off some stress. Results will be back in the next 1-3 days. I'm really, really hoping for an early birthday present and to confirm that all is OK.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Closest Thing I Will Ever Have to GIRLS

I really hate with people refer to breasts as girls. It's kinda like a man that names his penis. Do you want to meet Larry, no, God no. Friends, please don't name body parts or tell me about it.

So rewind back to Thursday night at about 1 am, when due to the amount of grading and pushing to get kids finished I'm working crazy late everything. Due to the bad weather the fall wrap up is happening on top of the start to new spring classes. I have a new prep and double the kids/schools to contact. But more $!

Blah...Blah... add to this that my first batch of questions were accepted with this tagline that made me laugh out loud, "no editing needed." Ha! so maybe the only thing I really CAN write are questions about Stalin's 5 Year Economic Plans (which I did with graphics!)

As I was heading to bed I happened to pick up the mail and found something from the hospital. Thinking it was just the bill I opened it, barely read it and filled it away. Thinking of the nurse who did the mammogram last week saying something about a letter that goes to your Dr as well as you... and not to wait for the Dr letter call if anything comes back abnormal.

I really should have opened the mail about 8 hours before. Like immediately so I could have saved myself a night of pure ass worry.

Repeat test due to abnormality, bolded in the middle of the page. Schedule repeat mammogram as soon as possible.


Double DD (plus some) Damn.

My OB has gone to a 4 day workweek so thinking I was totally screwed that with the holiday I was going to have to wait until Tuesday to get the orders faxed to even MAKE the appointment panic was creeping in. I decided to call the Dr office and leave a message on the super small chance that someone was working or that the answering service would forward. I then moved on to trying to contact someone at the hospital.

I kid you not, within 30 mins my fav nurse was on the phone. Without even introducing herself she said, "Honey don't you know that if there was something real to worry about I would have been buggin' you if the hospital had been alarmed." Feeling a little better I had her go over what might have caused the abnormal test.

I even threw out if you have ginormous boobs that literally took up the entire xray plate is it possible they just didn't get a really good scan? Maybe, but more likely it's just a fat deposit that looks like a lump.

So after pushing I got her to agree to go ahead and fax the order before taking to the OB to review my chart. She did and within the hour I have an appointment for lunchtime today.

I'm sure that this is nothing to be concerned about or to freak out about. Still though I'm feeling every bit a year older here 2 days before 36. Couple that with 2 friends local and a roommate in college that have battled early breast cancer in their 30s, I'm not going to be waiting around.

Since I'm already at an increased risk for cancer and also heart disease thanks to PCOS hormone issues I'm thinking as much as I really don't want to do this screen every year I would be just stupid not too.

Ugh... I HATE getting old(er). This just sucks. Hoping to have results by my birthday on Wednesday or should I have to go back a better idea if really there is a reason to panic.

I'm siding on the fluke of a test and moving forward.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Show Me the Mommy- The TBD Version

Seeing that it's almost 2 am and I just finished working it's going to have to be a weekend post.

3 Super Awesome things have happened/will happen in the next 24 hours

-I bought my first ever pair of running shoes Thursday night. This after 10+ pairs of try ons and many laps in the parking lot in the COLD ASS AIR!

-My sweetie turns 9 months TODAY. He's holding on with one hand, stepping in place. All bets on walking before April.

-I was offered a 2nd section yesterday and a test item writing contract Monday. Decision to go back is now permanently case closed!!! Sorry to those waiting to slap me back into reality on the work situation, I'm sure you'll get your chance on another topic

Weekend of getting caught up on chores, Ben starting new extracurricular Friday activity, working to pull final students through, setting up new online classes, pool with Ben, more working out as my week goal of 20 miles is in sight, haircoloring!, best of all: all events will take place in-state!!!

VERY, VERY excited to make a date with my couch and get in some quality time with unwatched TV shows.

Back over the weekend with my Friday Show Me the Mommy pic post.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dave Kendall Called

I actually used the phrase, "I'm a (new) runner" and didn't bust out laughing. Well, I kinda did but anyway. I'm doing well keeping up with 3 day a week running and have ramped it up to slowly add miles and speed. I'm proud that I did 3.5 miles last Friday and did a 13 min mile today.

Baby steps to something bigger. Reading the back issues of passed along Runners World magazine is remarkably inspiring, if for nothing else some serious body envy. I marked up some articles to scan, esp on beg runners. This month, I've also been working to make healthier meals for myself and the family. As much as I hate shopping with Ben, giving him the chance to pick out fresh produce and items to try at dinner has helped add to some healthier options all around.

I'm going this weekend to be fitted for shoes. My knees are killing me and I have to think the right shoes will help.

Back to the running. I'm gradually, ever so slowly growing into feeling like something is missing if I don't get in at least 3 miles each time and try to add 1/2 mile each week. I set up a 90 min playlist with a few last resort power through songs.

A sampling of what is keeping me going:

September- Earth, Wind, and Fire
All the Stars- Better than Ezra
Believe Me- Blues Traveler
Galvanize –Chemical Brothers
Let Forever Be- Chemical Brothers
She Said- Collective Soul
Born too Slow- Crystal Method
I Know it’s You-Crystal Method
Burn (Crow soundtrack)-Cure
I Go Crazy-Flesh for Lulu
Hard Sun –Eddie Vedder
Celebrity Skin-Hole
Pretend we are Dead-L7
Louis xiv- Paper Doll
Plan B-Muth Math
Rock Star- NERD
Blue Monday- New Order
Only- NIN
Let’s Go Crazy-Prince
Testify-Rage Against the Machine
Prove My Love-Violent Femmes

Dave Kendall called and has asked me to host 120 Minutes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Germ Jail (and other thoughts on Preschool hygiene)

Good Camp mommy Day due to ice, Bill got home earlier so we met up at the gym to run and let the kids play in the activity center (or better yet blow off cabin fever.)

When I think back to every afternoon last summer being a Come to Jesus meeting about just staying in your room for quiet time seems like a million years ago. Ben willingly went up and I didn't hear a peep for almost a full hour.

In the AM we: did chores with Ben's help (laundry, dishes, trash.) Ian crawled room to room following us. Built a fort, then a boat, then something involving alligators on the couch. I refereed Ben putting Ian on the Sit and Spin and then we had a good 10 min convo about how he wanted to be a mermaid. He told me infatically that Mer-mans didn't exist.

PM-Star Wars cookies made using the new WS ships cutters. Ben informed me that I didn't know the names of the ships and I was wrong (which I was and was trying to wing it.) We ventured out with the dog and later painted his model Mater/McQuee figurines he had gotten for Christmas. Mom finished some freeze ahead dishes, started on grading, talked to several students, and made a nice dinner.

So to the post. Every Wednesday we go to the library to get new books and participate in a reading activity in which real, live dogs come in and the kids read or practice spelling letters with the dogs. Ben loves going and makes up elaborate stories about what the dogs do when they are not at the library. This past week for his take home book selection he included the following:

2 books about Princesses
Forrest Fires
a Scooby Doo mystery
Garbage Trucks
You Can't put a Pickle in your Ear (5 senses)
Animal knock knock joke

The Germ Patrol (by Shulman, Stolp, Voss). This last book has made more of an impact to get him to remember to wash his hands and quit picking his nose.

The premise of the book is about not being scared of shots and that scary germs can make you sick. Seeing that Ben became obseesed with talking about how all the germs went to a germ jail at the end of the book, on the 2nd night of reading I added a whole part about making sure you washed your hands and how if you pick your nose you will get germs on your hands.

He was sold.

While I don't worry that I'm encouraging OCD type handwashing, I am amazed at how he willing wants to go wash his hands, talks about washing hands, and even reminds us to wash our hands.

I remember my old teaching partner told me this story about her older son who lied about what parts of his body he washed. After describing what she recalled "smelling like a bus station in summer" realized that when he was in the shower he thought that just standing under the water would suffice. Uh... no. The story had some type of ending in which she wound up taking then to a live action show in which life size germs were featured.

I cannot help but share her excitement as this step in personal hygiene is being achieved in our own home, even temporarily. Now if I can do something about the desire to be naked and running/dancing to dry off after a bath minus towel use, I will be Golden.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keeping a Good Thing (s) Going

Since it seems lately that many posts are along the lines of asking readers to hang in there, the co-pay is in the mail, how about a super-duper post to get this wintry morning going!

Each year at the holidays Bill and I determine a set amount that we want to donate to charity. We split the amount and both choose personal charities. Next year I am all over an idea to incorporate 12 days of giving into our Advent activities and have Ben and Ian help pick charities from some kid-friendly options.

Being inspired by the movie Waiting for Superman I decided to make my contributions local and looked on Donors Choose As much as I would have liked to keep it local, very few schools in our district were listed requesting help funding a project.

My thoughts are 1. They get a substantial amount of funding in comparison to other NC districts (which I know is true) 2. Schools don't push the teachers to fund projects on their own because high parent support often steps in to fund.

I set up some dream characteristics for the projects I wanted to find to fund.

1. A project if possible for a high, middle, and elementary school.
2. A project focused on helping minority males. This population, has the highest dropout rate nationally and locally at upwards of 70%.
3. A school in the economically depressed part or "down east" of the state and if possible part of the Leandro Court case that fought for equal state funding for school districts.

After several nights of reading pages and pages of teacher projects, looking at smiling deserving faces, and wishing I could fund every single project I settled on donations to the the following:

McClintock Middle School (inner city Charlotte)- Reams of colored paper (really, paper? was what the teacher was requesting. This really hit me in the gut) to print behavior bucks for a school positive discipline strategy. The write up talked about the future for many of their drops outs included jail and crime. This middle school feeds one of the high schools I worked with a bunch of kids online with this past summer so I felt a little personal connection.

Stocks Elementary (rural Tarboro, NC)- PE equipment (balls, jump ropes, outdoor group games.) From someone who used to dread the weekly mile run in PE, I find it funny that I gave money to encourage someone else to be active.

Creech Road Elementary (local school with a high poverty rate and the subject of much discussion in the diversity debate). Chair-Back buddies, a Re-usable organization system. Even in elementary school you can guess I loved some color coded folders in my Trapper Keeper.

Easton Elementary- Winston-Salem - Reading Materials for ELS students. ESL students are drastically under served due to underfunding statewide and a rising enrollment.

On the home front, I'm under a huge push to get my online kids finished and taking state tests. Plus I am setting up the course for the incoming Spring students. This past semester has been so much slower paced compared to the summer push. Since Camp Mommy is in full force today due to the ice, I'm hoping for a nap/quiet time to plow through some work.

As of now I have one section but have been told if we have the enrollment I likely will have more. Add to this I picked up some contract work writing test items and the spring is setting up nicely.

I cannot tell you how much I love the online gig. Every morning as I'm taking the dog out in my pjs, I typically see the HS bus. The same one that I used to gage how late I already was getting out the door. Add to it the sheer satisfaction of helping students who have been unsuccessful in the past finally pass I couldn't be more excited about keeping a good thing going.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not Picking Up Any Pantless Hitchhikers

Long weekend, long week ahead as I wrap up one semester and start another with a 24 hour turnaround.

Hard weekend all around. Below is part of a text I sent to Bill sometime during the 15 hours I was at the hospital on Sat.

Very confused and agitated, sobbing, trying to rip off restraints

The only time I saw Brian was Sat morning for breakfast as he was coming off his overnight shift. We talked over the options about moving my mom out of the hospital and into a long term acute care facility.

Long term would likely mean 6-8 weeks at minimum and would bridge full on hospital care and a likely nursing home placement later. Bottom line is that the infection is still in the hip and port. Her Drs are not sure that they are or can ever rid either site so we are looking at long term iv antibiotics. The good news is that the infection is not getting worse nor did it spread to other locations.

The move would allow them to continue the iv drugs as well as some other treatments that can be carried outside of a hospital. She is able to do dialysis within the location without a move via ambulance three times a week to her clinic. At this point they are taking a 2 week break from more surgeries as tissues need time to heal. Almost all of her doctors are absolutely baffled how she rallied from how sick she was when she went in 5 weeks ago.

So where are we? A holding pattern, a new place to spend her days, the long haul of repeated weekend travel to SC.

I'm tired. Really tired. I was already slammed with end of semester work before loosing 48 hours of the weekend. This trip was really hard without elaboration. Even with the typical nuttiness of the weekend I missed all the boys, the little ones and the big one.

It hit me as I was returning alone for a 2nd night after midnight that I'm juggling two families with the same obligations. Both need me, both require an immense amount of time and attention. By the end of the Sunday, I had fed, bathed, and cut the toenails on both parties.

I know my brother appreciated not having to pull hospital time on top of work. My rationale for why I went and will be back. For some crazy reason I snapped a couple of quick phone pic before leaving. Every time I'm leaving, I remind my mom I won't pick up any pantless hitchhikers. Don't ask, she made the comment when they were leaving me at college. Somehow the comment stuck and superstitiously has to be uttered by someone before leaving.

I said it Sunday to her confused face, kissed her goodbye, and got back on the road. Luckily I got home in time to make a sit down dinner, read books, and tuck both boys into bed.

Perfect ending to a hard weekend.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Show Me the Mommy-This American Life, 2011 Awesomeness

In wrapping up my week of New Years Resolutions, I have lots of other goals for my 2011 LIFE: Read 30 books, try to post 250 posts here and 60 on the Freeze Ahead blog , Take a 15 year anniversary trip with Bill, Run a 5k for Ian's 1st birthday, another race with my HS friend, and a Warrior Dash with a group of ass kickin' moms, make date nights with Bill (and also) Ben a priority, find a way NOT to go back to full time work, seriously start to think about getting out of this house (and making the repairs needed),find a church we all like, figure out what to do about Ben's kindergarten decision, challenge my sons to be independent, motivated and unabashedly brave to try new things

I looked back at my master Mondo Beyondo List to see if any of these goals made the 2011 list. Nope, well ok, only two.

But in each one is living a Mondo life, authentically, and without limitations.

My 2011 is going to kick ass for SO.MANY.REASONS

A healthier body that I hope will finally physically match the one in my head post surgery

A clearer mind that is less frazzled and more centered

A spirit of optimism about what to come for myself and my family

A feeling that I am ENOUGH, that I do ENOUGH, and ENOUGH is all I ever need to be.

2011 is going to be the year that I took all the little (and big) changes that I've been working on over the past 10 years and own this year.

While I most likely will not get the chance to rush the stage if Ira Glass makes a return visit to Chapel Hill, 2011 is my year of AWESOMENESS.

It's my life, my story, my This American Life, the only one I have, and in 2011 I'm sending out goodness to the universe in hopes it returns.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Then There are the Days When You Hear Your Name over the Intercom at the Grocery

It wasn't bad enough that only months ago did I suffer the embarrassment of my child pooping behind a bush on a playground, now I am gunning for 2011 Mother of the Year award only 6 days into the new year.

YES, I fully admit that I was part of this preventable and also scary situation.

In all my days growing up never did my mom make the walk of shame to the store manager's office to come fetch me because I had wandered away.

We have 3 rules when Ben goes to the grocery

1. You must either ride fireman style on the cart or have your own little cart. No riding under the cart, in the basket, or running down the aisles.

2. If you are well behaved you can have a KK sprinkle doughnut as the FINAL THING WE DO

3. You can pick 4 things but they must be able to be served at dinner (aka no candy, gummis, toys)

Enter yesterday when Ian decided that napping was for the weak and finally passed out a hour before daycare pickup. Since he had gotten up around 6am I thought I'd push out going to the store until later. Bad decision.

Ben was whiny, argumentative, basically a pint-sized tool. Needless to say he had lost the doughnut. Just as we were heading out a parent of a former student stopped me to ask if I had left teaching. I motioned to Ian and was relaying that I was taking a year leave off when I heard my name over the grocery loudspeaker.

Actually, it was "is there a Heather in the store?" Ben knows his last name, but I don't think he realizes it's my name too. I guess I'm just lucky they didn't put out the all call for "mommy" over the loudspeaker. I hightailed it to the front of the store to see him sitting in the managers office, looking very, very small and sad.

According to the cashier he was looking at a car magazine sitting on the floor in the check our lane when she realized I was not with him. Part of me freaked out that he so willingly went with her to find me, or that in a matter of secs he was out of my sight and could have been out of the store.

Needless to say I should have had a better eye on him and not been distracted. We had a seriously Come to Jesus meeting about stranger danger, what to do when he gets lost in a store, and most importantly not to wander off as really bad things can happen, like he could DIE.

The night ended on a much better note. Among our new library books I found a book of animal knock knock jokes. Ben had never heard of them!?! I had so much fun teaching him the most basic level jokes and listening to him double over laughing at the lamest jokes ever.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Trying to Capture 2011, Better

Among my for my fun goals in 2011 is to take better pictures of the kids. It seems that the only pics I seem to take and also post are the grainy, blurry iPhone photos that always showcase my kitchen in it's 1990's glory.

Bill and I decided to combine our Christmas and Anniversary gift giving and replace our point and shoot with a Digital DSLR camera. Bill enjoyed the research and we settled on a Sony NEX-5

We've been playing around with it over the holidays. One of the features captures HD video, a big selling point for Bill. I'm still a little wary of learning all the features, but I love the anti-blur feature for getting the boys in motion.

Luckily since we bough it locally we are getting some classes to help us (mainly me) learn the settings and how to use it manually. I'm going to try and do some of the Sat am classes and Bill is going to the Wed night option near his work.

For the first time since we bought it I took the camera with us Monday and was pleased with these shots of the boys. I bribed Ben with gummi bears to get him to smile and not make silly faces.

Since Ben's school was closed, we packed it up and headed out to Durham Science and Life for a Camp Mommy day. On the drive over Ben picked his top 5 places to hit: the sailboats, the train, Dino Dig, the sandbox, and the dancing room (Ben's explanation.)

I added the Butterfly house for the bathrooms and the chance to warm up. We wound up staying almost 4 hours. Ian even held out and played along with Ben in the sand. Although I spent most of that time stopping him from eating it by the hand full.

When I took Ben to school yesterday morning, there were tears and clingy behavior I have rarely seen from him. When I asked him why he was sad, he thought we were going to have another fun day without him. Little did he know that loads of laundry and lots of work phone calls would be the only fun missed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Finishing C25k and 2011 Fitness Goals

I finished the final session of Couch to 5k on New Years Day.

So what did I find out?

When I started the day after we returned home from Disney I was about to pass out at the 60 sec. of jogging 1st session.

On 1/1/11 I still felt like I was going to pass out, but only because I didn't stop until I hit 3.25 miles. I pushed the last 5 min at 6.0 mph which left me looking like a farm animal in heat.

Frankly I thought after all the working out since May that adding running was going to be easier. My knees are killing me and I think I need to be professionally fitted for shoes. Hello birthday gift in 2 weeks.

Using a incremental program made a world of difference sticking with running.

I swapped getting Real Simple for Entertainment weekly to read while on the treadmill. Damn if I didn't run 20 mins last week and didn't notice, getting tied up in the Oscar race coverage.

I lost 6 lbs in the 9 weeks of running.

The next step is to start running outside with Ian in the stroller. Personally I want to be able to run 5 miles before the Cary Road Race on April 9th.

Running is staying in the work-out repertoire for Move It 2011. Here's my 2011 goals:

Get to 500 miles by end of year. I figure that I am going to have at least a 2-3 week recoup after surgery. If I go for the full Monty and do all the work this year then I'm looking at 6-8 weeks out. Obviously I will find out if my estimates are within reason at my 1/21 consult this month. Starting back too soon is not on the table given this is major surgery with lots-o-lots of stitches expected.

Bill will most likely kill me on miles, but I will beat him on time.

I am shooting for at least 20 activity miles or 10 hours per week. Here's how I plan to meet that goal. I spend on ave 90 min/day in cardio and/or a class. Often both as I milk the child care for every minute of time I can get.

I work out Mon-Sat alhtough with the continued travel to SC I will have to pick up Sunday to make up for missed Sat. Serious motivation needed to drive 6 hours back and still go to the gym. I may cut myself some slack if I get home after the kids are in bed. Thoughts of running through the hospital corridors HAVE crossed my mind.

Monday- Run at least 3 miles/40 min, 60 min Strength class

Tuesday- 60 min Spin class which I ave 20 miles=6- 7 miles to count for the competition, 30 min weights or core work

Wed- Run at least 3 miles, 60 min Yoga/Pilates fusion class

Thurs- 60 mins on Elliptical for 5 miles at level 15/20, 30 mins weights

Friday- Run at least 3 miles, Barbell Strength class 60 mins

Sat- Spin (6-7 miles), 30 mins core

Sunday-Off. I typically do an extra long walk with the dog. I am not counting any time walking the dog as it is inconsistent and frankly I get NO aerobic benefit with two kids in tow.

When I look back at this schedule, which is essentially my weekly schedule I've been doing since starting the 5k training, gradually adding the time on the running, color me impressed.

Over the summer when I was wavering about going back full time someone pointed out how motivated would I be after working 8-10 hours to be in a gym instead of with my kids. Point taken and is a major reason I have loved having the time and freedom to really work on fitness as a 2010 and now 2011 goal with my extra time.

44 lbs down in 2010 and need to be at least 40 more to surgery D-day. 50 would be even better, at 60 down I would be dancing a jig.

As far as the nutrition side I and keeping my post surgery rules of no eating 7pm-7am, eating one decent sized meal and 2-3 smaller ones throughout the day keeping to a Stage 2 type diet (soft foods, limited meat, simple carbs, or refined sugar.)

I also recently added back Metformin meds to help with insulin resistance that is part of PCOS fun. Recent lab work had come back that it would most likely help even out insulin levels. The side effects have been tolerable this round and taking it at night helps.

Bill and I had our longest convo of the last 24 hours at the gym yesterday in passing each other at the entrance. When I didn't answer my phone he assumed that I had stayed longer and was still there. This seems funny only to me. We are both working fitness goals in 2011 and are supporting each other with trading time it takes to make exercise part of the day. He commented that if not at home the next logical place to find me is at Lifetime.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Simple Mom's resolutions post nailed why most are abandoned in the after holiday letdown, you set up yourself up with unrealistic expectations. Using their template I want to focus on setting reachable goals with logical and do-able steps in 2011.

Last year I made one resolution, to make every effort to live in the moment with the kids. While really not a measurable goal I did try everyday to find the little moments, even the mundane to connect with the kids.

Today's 2011 Goal how to use my blog in 2011.

1. Starting with the first Monday of a new month posting a snapshot of what I want to get done. I find when I give myself a few daily goals with a small list of month- long goals, then they are much more attainable. I'm all for crazy productivity, but I have found that built in down time is a sanity saver.

My January 2011 Goals-

Health related appointments galore: Mammogram, plastic surgery consult, and mole check on board by month end.

See one movie in a movie theater minus children. Black Swan vs Blue Valentine are the contenders.

Celebrate my 36th birthday!!!

Investigate test item writing for additional income

Try to keep reasonable bedtime and wrap up all grading by 10 pm

Start to evaluate any magnet kindergarten options for Ben and set up school visits if applicable

Attempt to log 20 miles and/or 10 hours per week in Move It 2011

2. I really loved Motherhood Uncensored 30 Days to Better Parenting Challenge from last summer. I'm making working through all 30 a goal over 2011. I want to use my blog to keep tabs on how I'm trying these ideas with the boys.

3. Goal to keep my freeze ahead blog going with a post a week. Over the weekend I made Chicken Tagine with Olives and Lemon for dinner with some to freeze ahead. Recipe from Cover and Bake by Cooks Illustrated. All plans to get it posted TODAY!

From my month long hiatus last October I realized that writing these posts are a time commitment. By the end of 2010 I was glad that I had posted through some of highs and lows of the year.

It's funny that some of the posts I sat on and really debated putting out there were the ones that really defined my year. I heard via FB message from a couple of college and high school friends that I had no idea read my daily ramblings.

Thanks, and while I write this for myself, it's also nice to know that something made you laugh, or you appreciated my honesty, or you are left wondering if spelling/grammar is a requirement for a SC high school diploma.

Who knew my little blog that started to keep up with my Summer 2007, One Hundred To- Do Items would still be going 3 years later and my primary source for remembering being thirtysomthing.

Besides how else would I remember to check in with the Bloggess and her most recent entry of How Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas.

Happy 2011 Blogging.