Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Apparently, My Thumb is Green

I planted my garden right around the beginning of May.

I didn't think it was going to do very well. Slugs swept in and started chewing my tender new cucumbers. They feasted on carrots sprouting through the ground. They tried eating my zucchini. Then I got mad and brought out the old pickle jar full of beer. Death to the slugs!

It is only the end of June and look at how well my pretties are doing!
(And please ignore the weeds)

Zucchini, so thick with flowers I can tell where one starts and another begins.

Tomatoes, already up to an elephant's eye.
Yes I know that is the marker for corn, but these plants are massive.

The only surviving cucumber and my jalapeno and bell pepper plants

Yes, yes I am proud and yes, yes I am bragging.

Everyday a few more ripe cherry tomatoes pop up, which Gracie demands and quickly devours. I don't think there will be bags full of spare tomatoes this year to deliver to the daycare teachers despite the addition of 2 more plants.

Zucchini will be a whole other story though. I counted over 40 blossoms tonight and know I must have missed some. If you want dibs on any please let me know before I start walking up and down the street passing them out to neighbors and strangers alike this summer.

Thank you rainy spring!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Only in New York

It always amazes me how two days can feel like a lifetime and an instant all at once, but I guess that sums up New York. A lifetime and an instant all at once.

We walked neighborhoods, peered into the zoo, shopped and ate. Oh, the eating!

The Fig & Olive is our new 'must go back' obsession. Everything we ordered melted in our mouths and was perfectly finished with a blissful chocolate pot. We followed dinner with music in Bemelman's Bar. It is a beautiful, dark, moody gem that made a killer martini.

The night was cut short though by the fact that Gracie wakes us early (can you say 5am?), we'd walked miles, with Matt adding even more with his trip to the Met during nap time and Sunday was to be filled with brunch at Tavern on the Green traffic filled trip back home.

In Central Park, we took a carriage around the park which made both my mom and Grace insanely happy. Both spent the entire ridge exclaiming, "Look! Horsie!"

Things faded into tears when the ride was over and it was time for brunch. The majesty that is the Tavern on the Green, dripping with crystal, flowers and little girls dreams, was not enough to persuade Grace into behaving though.

Before entering the gates to the wonderland, she began demonstrating her displeasure to the flower pots lining the entry. In her wake she left a trail of petals. Not even the bride and groom waiting to make their entrance for an early morning courtyard wedding would hold her attention. Although I guess the wedding does make the Flower Girl-esque trail slightly more appropriate. Once we were seated in the Terrace Room, the screaming was tempered by a balloon graciously gifted to us by the staff.

We had a few great, crazy Only in New York moments too...

- We got a ticket in a manufactured police sting for 'blocking the box' literally 30 seconds out of the Lincoln Tunnel. $115.00 before we could even get out of the car.

- Due to the wonder that is Travelzoo Top 20 Deals and overbooking we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom 1200+ square foot apartment instead of the two rooms we had booked.

- At Ground Zero I was blown on by a crazy. Picture Vincent Schiavelli a la Ghost zig zagging down a corridor blowing on tourists shoulders like he was trying to put out a fire. I at least saw him coming and veered away as much as possible. Others before me were not so lucky.

- On a very crowded subway car, an above the knee double amputee was dragging himself up and down the car panhandling and looking up dresses. I gathered my hem as he scooted by.

- We all took turns dancing with Gracie on the Big Piano in FAO Schwatz.

When you add in all these highlights and lowlights, I guess we were able to give my mom and Gracie the New York experience we'd hope for.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

All in One Revolution of the World

I swear, whenever I complain via this blog things turn out ok.

The knots I had over my failed transmission yesterday? They're gone.

Turns out, lots of Vue owners have had the same problems. Turns out, Saturn knew about it. Turns out, the dealership that I originally took my car to didn't care. Turns out, that another dealership did care and they are going to fix my baby for me.

For free.

Yeah, that's right. The pissed off folks that came before me took control. Fought back and sued. I never thought I'd be giddy over the idea of a class action lawsuit. I am though. Oh, I am.

Which means New York is back on. My mom flies in tomorrow morning and we are headed up right from the airport. Via Matt's car, but that is OK. We just need to clean it out and de-stink it before then. Nothing a few industrial size garbage bags and a bottle of fabreze can't handle.

We are staying in Lenox Hill and will spend the weekend walking Central Park, 5th Avenue shopping, museums, dining (we did have reservations for Daniel, but in the name of fiscal responsibility cancelled- I'm not too worried though), and absorbing the city as possible through all 5 senses.

Ahhh.... My world feels completely different now that it did 24 hours ago.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baited Breath

We've been holding our breath the last few days.


Waiting for answers. Waiting for good news. Waiting for something.

Leading up to this week, we have been planning a trip to Manhattan. My mom is coming out on Friday and the four of us are supposed to sight see for a few days. This would me my mom's first trip to NYC, something I know she's been looking forward to for ages. Details and reservations are something I've been obsessing over for weeks.

One of the little details was getting the oil changed on my car. It was overdue and starting to run a little funny. The car has been chugging, getting stuck in gears and loosing power. The mechanic couldn't check the transmission fluid in his shop so we took it to the dealership. The dealership said 'their computer couldn't find anything wrong.' We immediately got the car back and took it to the transmission shop 5 minutes from out house.

My car almost didn't make it there. My baby is failing me. Sure, she had over 100,000 miles, but I assumed the car would run forever. FOREVER. This really was my plan. The mechanic said it doesn't look good.

So now how can we justify our weekend of gluttony and expense (because what is the point of NYC if it isn't filled with gluttony?) when we have an impending, absolutely unplanned, expense that will have more zeros attached to it than I care to think about?

So we are holding our breath and waiting. Waiting for things to fall in place. It may take hours, days, weeks, but the answers are there. I just hope they are the ones we want to hear.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

To Matt:

Here's to a wonderful day filled with walks in the park, rides down the slide, fancy cheese, Nascar, Prime Rib, great wine and all the love of your family.

Love Always,
Shannon & Gracie

Thursday, June 18, 2009

101 Ways...

In the early moments of sheer newborn bliss you study every inch of your baby. You count fingers and toes over and over again. You touch velvety newborn skin and silken newborn hair. You dream more concretely, in those minutes, hours, days of what you baby will be. Who she will be.

The more Gracie grows, the more she grows into herself, her personality is defining. Sure I still admire the genetics, my nose and Matt’s hair, but the idiosyncrasies are what keep my attention more today. The 101 ways she is just like me. 101 more reasons that I am ABSOLUTELY positive we brought the right pink little bundle home from the hospital.

I am sure this list will in fact grow to 101 over the years, but like the list of words, I’m starting now to watch it expand and blossom as Gracie does.

1. Her face 5.18.09
I’m starting with the most obvious. I’ve never considered myself beautiful, but I always wanted a girl with my face and Matt’s coloring or a boy with Matt’s face and my coloring/freckles. That’s what we got too, with the other best touches of Matt thrown in too. And she is unbelievably beautiful.

2. She bites her nails 5.18.09
I hate this habit, but despite all the money spent of bitter polish and fake nails, I’ve never been able to stop. Except when I was about to get married and pregnant with Grace. Go figure. It was never conscientious; I just didn’t bit for two 9 month periods in my life. I assume Grace is learning this awful habit by watching me, but I don’t even realize when I’m doing it anymore which makes it hard to stop. So Grace will be destined to live a life of stubby nails too.

3. Pickles 6.13.09
I go hot and cold with them, but given the opportunity I can sit and eat an entire jar of picked in one sitting. Hamburger dills are even better. They MUST be dills, not sweet. The other night, Grace refused to eat the hamburger and corn placed in front of her. Her eyes were fixated on the pickle jar. She ate 5 of them. Guess I’m going to have to start stocking up.

4. Stage fright 6.13.09
I have a long history of hyperventilating in front of a crowd. School plays, dance recitals, class projects, you name it and there was a frozen girl and tears at some point. My mom and high school teachers were all shocked when I picked Speech Communication/PR/Public Speaking as a major for college. Typically, I love to lead – when I’m comfortable.
When the daycare teachers announced Grace would be doing a solo during their Spring Program, I knew. She will be fine in the future, as I am 99.9% of the time now, but I knew that first time go up in flames.

5. Her walk 6.19.09
As we walked into daycare today, we were like ducks. Gracie led, I was in the middle, and her teacher was bringing up the rear. All waddling along in a semi-straight line. I heard chuckles and turned around. She said, Look at Grace’s walk! It is exactly like yours! I smiled, said thank you (I think, because is it really a good thing to walk like a 20 month old?), and started creating this list in my head.

6. Ichies 6.22.09
I am a sucker for head and back scratches. As my dad is. As Gracie now is too. The sure way to calm her down is a scalp massage and back rub. To lull her to sleep, Matt runs his fingers from her hairline, down her nose to her chin. Over and over again.

7. Tomatoes 7.20.09
Growing up, we always had a garden. I clearly remember one summer that there were so many tomatoes I would plant myself in the middle of the plants with a salt shaker and devour until I couldn't eat anymore, hardly leaving a dent. There were so many I started to realize that there was no such thing as waste, so I would bite open the fruit, suck out the tomatoes seed snot and flight the the body of the tomato to the dog. That was the summer I broke out in an allergic reaction to tomatoes because I ate way to many. Gracie seems to be following directly in my footsteps. With the daily picks coming into the house this summer she has begun to suck out the snot and discards the skins down to the dog. That's my girl.

8. Pillows 7.22.09
I cannot fall asleep without a cocoon of pillows. Two minimum. Right now, I have 5 on my side of the bed. Gracie seems to be following my footsteps with this too. She loves to pull all the throw pillows off the couch, 11 if she gathers all in the house, to make a nest and flop. She falls asleep best while laying on a king sized down pillow and is rocked. Now, she has her very first pillow in her crib and she is sleeping like a rock for the first time in ages.

If you have reasons, similarities you see between Grace and Matt or I, please leave them in the comments!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Matt is an Eagleman

As is my new tradition now, I am posting Matt's account of his Eagleman performance from what he wrote on Beginner Triathlete:

Pre-race routine:
Arrived in Cambridge late Sat. morning. Did a quick swim in the Choptank, the water felt really good. Felt like one or two jellyfish got me, but it didn't seem to hurt or affect me at all, which was comforting. Did packet p/u, listened to the race meeting and pro forum (which was really cool and fun to listen to). Headed back to the hotel and just tried to relax. All in all, I had been doing a pretty good job of keeping my nerves in check going into my first 70.3. Life had been kind of crazy the last month going into this, I made the mistake of promising my wife I would build a pool deck, which cut into training time a bit. But hey, I've got a pool deck now.

Event warmup:
Woke up at 4, ate a Clif bar and sipped 32 oz. of Gatorade up through the start. Despite the overcast skies, I put on some sunscreen, which ended up being a blessing, since despite telling my wife I would reapply at every transition, I didn't and am paying for it in spades. My wave went off at 7:27, which gave me the chance to watch the first pros get out of the water.

Swim (1.2 miles - Completed in 40 minutes 03 seconds)

Despite being slow, I've been very lucky to be comfortable in open water swims. I started to the far left, since it seemed like it was a shorter distance from there to the first buoy. Sighting was a little rough after the first turn, but nothing insanely difficult. Followed some feet, and, shockingly, actually had a couple people drafting off me. That's a first. There never seemed to be much of a current or chop, except for the very last leg coming in to the swim exit. Of all three events, this was the one area that went just like training and my expectations.
What would you do differently?:Nothing. My time was right on line with my training and previous race results.

T1 (transition 1, swim to bike)
So, I always bring a bucket to sit on in transition, and as I'm running up with my wetsuit half off, do I sit down to finish? Noooooo, I try to get the first leg off while standing which results in 1) almost falling over onto my bike, and 2) a (temporary) massive cramp in that leg. Duh. Sat down, get the suit off, and was able to get out of T1 in a fairly respectable time.
What would you do differently?:Sit dummy, sit.

Bike (56 miles - Completed in 3 hours 08 minutes 50 seconds)

Felt pretty good leaving transition, anxious to see how the wind would be as compared to riding the course 2 weeks ago. Things were going smoothly, had a gel about 20 minutes in, and was drinking plenty of water and Gatorade. Also had 2 Clif bars during the ride.
I was very happy in that when I turned onto Rt. 16, the wind that was there 2 weeks ago didn't seem to be present. BIG relief. Speaking of relief, it was right about at this point that I really had to take a leak. Lesson learned: all that fluid, plus I think the aero position's effect on my prostate, equals the pee pee dance on the bike. Thought about trying to go on the bike, and realized that 1) it wasn't gonna happen, and 2) It's not like I'm going to win this thing, just stop and take a piss. So, at the 2nd aid station I stopped. Another guy finished up at the same time as me, we joked that our podium finishes just went out the window.
Shortly after this I had another fun moment, they had set up nets at the end of aid stations for you to aim empty bottles at. I aimed, threw, and shouted "Score!" when it went in. The cop doing traffic control 20 feet away got a laugh out of it. I felt much better, but within 10 miles had to go again. The sensation wasn't nearly as bad, so I held out in the hopes that it was from being in aero (which it was).
As soon as I turned north to head back towards Cambridge, the wind arrived. Yes, it sucked, but it still wasn't as bad as a couple weeks ago. As soon as I hit it, I realized that combined with my rest stop a sub-3 bike was out the window. The last 10 miles I was really ready to be off the bike, to the point that I was actually looking forward to my least favorite part, the run.
What would you do differently?:More, longer training rides. But, without having a bike computer (which was a conscious decision on my part), I just rode at a pace that felt comfortable, and in line with my desire to save something for the run.

T2 (transition 2, bike to run)
Was actually able to jog with my bike, got racked up just fine, and then enjoyed the slow jog through the mud out of transition. And hey, I remembered to sit down to change shoes.
What would you do differently?:Nothing.

Run (13.1 miles - Completed in 2 hours 29 minutes 28 seconds)

I felt surprisingly good starting the run, probably running 10 minute miles. I knew leaving transition that my optimistic goal of going sub-6 was gone, but again, I was ok with this.
The wind along the water felt great, but I was worried that once I left the neighborhood the wind would go away. Fortunately I was wrong, and the wind actually helped quite a bit in keeping me cool. The first couple aid stations, I tried the ice in the hat trick which worked great. I also alternated water and Gatorade. By the third station I was thinking food might be a good idea, so I grabbed some cookies. This turned out to be a great thing, and one of my mistakes later was in not continuing to eat at every stop.
Here's the funniest (and least appropriate) part of my race. The ice in the hat trick was working so well, I thought it would be a good idea to dump some down the front and back of my trisuit. I figured it would sit on my chest and back, melting slowly, etc. Nope. The ice down the back went straight to my butt crack, the ice down the front straight to my crotch. Oops. About a mile after this, I noticed that I no longer had any sensation in my nether regions. I tried to nonchalantly feel around a bit, and began to wonder if there was an endurance related complication I hadn't read about before. At least this gave me something to think about for the middle part of the race, and I apologize to anyone on the course that was offended by the guy grabbing his junk every hundred yards or so to see if it was still there.
In the end, I guess it was a combo of the bike de-sensitizing, the ice, and slight hallucination. One slight disappointment, I was looking forward to a sno-cone at the turnaround, they had the shaved ice but didn't seem to have any syrup. Not a biggie, and I made up for it at the next stop by trying cola for the first time in a race, it was pretty tasty. Shortly after I saw my nastiest sight of the race, a guy just 100% losing his lunch on the side of the road. I felt really bad for him, he started running again just as I was going by, but only made it another 20 yards or so before peeling off again.
It was kind of scary, knowing that could be me, and that finishing was by no means in the bag. I kept hydrating well, but with about 4 miles left I could tell I was starting to lose it. I was just ready to be done, and it was everything I could do to keep (slowly) running. I had been thinking about doing a full this year, and it was around this point that I realized in a full (Ironman) I would still be out on the bike.
The full (Ironman) might have to wait a year or two. The crowd support in the last couple miles really helped, hoses out spraying the runners, etc. But, I was really in my own little world at this point. Thinking about how crazy it is that 2 years ago I finished my first sprint in over 2 hours, that 3 years ago I'd never run more than a mile at a time. And that all of this training has had the best benefit of all, giving me the energy and ability to do more and be more for my wife and baby.
I wish they had been there at the finish, but 8 hours outside with a 20 month old is _not_ something I wanted my wife to have to go through, so they were at home tracking me. I made the last turn, and felt really, really good coming down the stretch. Saw the finish, felt the waterworks starting up, but managed to hold it together until after I crossed and got my medal.
What would you do differently?:In terms of my training, abilities, etc., not a thing. Other than a couple of aid stations, I didn't walk.
Finish Time: (6 hours 24 minutes 33 seconds)

Post Race
Warm down:I felt a little short of breath the last 1/4 mile of the race, so after finishing I made sure to keep walking and just tried to get my breath back. Grabbed some food, but didn't eat much of it. Somehow I just wasn't hungry. Headed into transition to call my wife, and drink my traditional post race beer. Yes, I was able to hide a small cooler under my bucket with enough coolie packs that it was still cold after the race. I had a couple of beers in there, so I shared with some of the folks around me and talked about the race. Packed up, drove home (ugh to Bay Bridge traffic), arriving just in time for dinner followed by a swim (using the new pool deck!)
What limited your ability to perform faster:I am 1000% confident that I did the best I could given my training and that it was my first time out there. I thought I would be disappointed by anything over 6 hours, but thankfully that is not the case.

Could I have trained more? Yes. Would it have taken away from time with my family and the ability to help my wife with baby care and house upkeep? Yes. So, this was a no-brainer. If it means I don't do a full (Ironman) for a year or to, so be it. But, you just can't fake it at this distance. I can gut through (and do pretty well) at sprint and olympic distance races. This was a completely different animal. The nice thing is, I had experience it before, the first times I did a sprint, the first time doing an olympic, and the first marathon. I know I can get better, even at this distance, and it's great having that knowledge and motivation to keep it up.

Event comments:Such a well run event. The crowd support, the well stocked and manned aid stations, everything. There was not a single thing I experienced that could cause me to say anything negative about the support and event, it was an absolute blast!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Spring Birds Take Flight

Yesterday was the daycare graduation / spring program.

For the last few months, the teachers I deposit Grace with kept telling me that Grace had a very special roll in the upcoming graduation ceremony. She was going to count to ten for everyone because they were so dazzled with her ability to say the numbers.

I asked them almost every day if they were sure that was such a good idea. They kept assuring me that it was. They were practicing daily, and in the weeks that led to the ceremony they were practicing in the auditorium every day.

Ok, whatever you guys want to do....

And they did. She had her very own byline.
Do you see the 'Counting 1 to 10'? It's right there between 'Twinkle, Twinkle' and 'Who Left the Juice'? (Yeah, I can't make this stuff up.)
Well, as soon as Grace hit the stage with Ms. Hagi, there was a Meltdown of Epic Proportion. It's like she could feel the eyes of 40 families burrowing into her soul. One look into an audience of unfamiliar faces and the whole take was lost.
I knew it was coming though. She is her mother's daughter. I have been know to have an onstage breakdown once or twice in my time. I had warned them. Not only was there no counting, there also no singing. Only the shrieks of a very pissed off child trying to sabotage the Twinkle, Twinkle melody of her classmates.
I knew it was coming, so I laughed.
Despite everything though, Gracie ended the day with a lovely award and a piece of cake.

And I left one very proud Mama.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tiny Violins Please

This week has been a whirlwind.

An unpleasant whirlwind of pressure and illness and doctors and disappointments and doctors and pain meds and a million things to accomplish.

I have been crabby and a hairs breath away from crying at a moments notice. So I’m just going to type it all out, as the weekend is almost here, and try and let go.

- Grace had a fever for 3 days and was prescribed the amoxicillin that she hates, so now twice a day it is a battle to the death to shoot nasty, gritty medicine into her mouth.
- I was all ehem *bloated and moody* when I weighed in this week and was told I gained 2.2 lbs despite having eaten little more than salad and grilled chicken for 7 days. So I went home and ate a deep fried burrito.
- I finally swallowed my pride and showed my doctor a lump on my butt that was getting bigger. She said it was nothing to worry about, but was to big for her to remove and proceeded to have me show about 20 different people before I was surgically removed on Wednesday. The stitches hurt a lot more than I thought it was going to and the pain meds they gave me make me loopy.
- I was told by my boss - despite my monthly requests for him to schedule the activities I need to complete to qualify for my next promotion – the I should have been more proactive and now it is too late for me to get my promotion on time. I assume it will be at least 6 months late.
- I am applying for a new job. However, the same boss failed to file a required piece of paperwork properly, so now my stomach is in knots trying to locate alternative copies.
- I am going to another doctor today for a throat inspection. I seem to keep *not* getting strep throat, but some mysterious throat infection that seems to have my doctor concerned. Which makes me concerned. Plus, I swear the still have garlic breath from the deep fried burrito.

Life is grand. I feel like I am going to snap.

On the up side, today is the daycare graduation / spring program, during which Gracie is supposed to count to ten. I’m not quite sure what this means, but I will have my camera ready.

Linguistics: Gracie & the English Language

At Grace's 15 month doctors appointment we were asked how many words she had. I had to think about it. We were told that anything between 3-5 was on par and I knew we definitely had that covered.

As we approach the end of her 15th month, why not document her words? I know there will be a vocabulary boom in the next year, so let's start with the basics and see how the list expands over the next few months!

20 months-
Aunt Jen, Uncle Jer
grapes, sauce, chicken, vitamin
car=vroom, truck=honk, fire truck=woooo, plane=zoom
hurt, pee, poo

19 months- 48 new words (135 total)
face, body, hand, fingers, leg, toes, belly, eyebrow, cheek, chin
pickle, strawberries, chicken, broccoli (also called trees), beans, cookie, ice cream, peach, apple, crab, fish, food. spoon, fork
inside, outside, swim, pool, ocean, sand, beach, tree
home, hello, bye-bye, mine, potty
car, truck, fire truck, ambulance, bike, bus, boat
yummy, ickies
Word Combinations:
Daddy home!
More please!
Not nice! & Hagi says not nice!
Kind-of / Sort-of:
Count to 10
Sing: Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle, ABC's, Row Row Row Your Boat

17 months- 45 new words (87 total)
cat = meow, dog = woof, cow = moo, sheep = bah, snake = sssss, donkey = hehaw, bird = tweet, duck = quack, fish, dolphin, worm, bug
eyes, ear, nose, mouth, hair
sun, cloud, sky, moon, towel
sorry, bless you
juice, pizza, eat
sock, shirt, sit, tooth, brush, bath, poo
dude, dingo (yeah, I know I need to stop referring to my daughter as "dude" & "dingo", but come on...)
Word Combinations:
Bot please!

16 months - 13 new words (42 total)
Mommy, Daddy, PaPa, Grandma, Grandpa
More, Please, Thank You (Pronounced: De Da (but it really does me thank you)
Happy Birthday! (Pronounced: Hap' Biray!)
Book, Socks
Word Combinations:
Bye Bye Daddy!, No do!

15 months - 29 words
Yes, No
Hi, Bye
Up, Down
All Done (said as 1 word)
Mama, Dada, Matt (yeah, I know), Gracie, Lilah, Hagi, Rick, Dog
Eat, Banana, Blue (berries), Cheese, Milk, Bottle, Cup
Ball, Sit, Book, Balloon, Shoe
Wow, Boom!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pushing Back

Grace is starting to push. Figuratively and literally.

This is on top of the hitting and throwing. Thankfully she is not biting yet, but I say yet because biting is rampant in her daycare class and I assume she will get on board with that soon enough.

It makes me feel like such a horrible parent A) that she feels the need to lash out at me and B) that I don’t know how to deal with it.

She doesn’t hit Matt. She just hits me. I’ve been trying to be more firm with her. She drops her hands, cowers back and waits until I drop my guard. Then she attacks again.

When she is doing something she knows is wrong, like standing tippey toed on the kitchen chairs while trying to fish the jar of chewable vitamins off the microwave, she calls for my attention. ‘Sit Doowm!’ She exclaims and does such as soon as I turn around to reinforce it. Then stands right back up as soon as my back is turned.

I don’t get it. It is making me crazy.

Last night, after the typical diaper wrestle – dry the butt – put on cream – fend off kicks – keep her from flipping over and smearing the expensive cream all over the table – give in and let her flip - place her back down on the table – get diaper on – stuff arms into the pajamas – fend off kicks – stuff feet into the pajamas – zip up pajamas – BIG HUG – she changed the ending on me. Instead of BIG HUG she put her hands on my breast bone and pushed me away with all her might.

I wanted to crumple.

I know she doesn’t mean it. I know she is just beginning the toddler phase of self assertion. I know this. On a cerebral level. My heart was filling with rage and tears though.

So I handed her off to Matt without a word. No good night kisses. No night-night games. I was done.

Now that I’m writing this though, I guess I acted the child just as much as she was. At least Grace had an excuse.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Battle to Conquer

Dieting sucks.

Right now, I am the heaviest I have EVER been. I’ve never been thin. I would poke out an eye to be the size 9 that I was in high school right now, but by high school standards I wasn’t even in the realm of skinny.

I don’t think I gained much weight in my Freshman year of college because I had to walk everywhere. When I moved off campus in Junior year though, ouch, that is a different story. I lived 2 minutes away from a Burger King during the magical time period of The Rodeo Cheeseburger. Mmmmm …. The thought of those things still makes me drool.

They also made my ass expand greatly. Dude- they were a dollar. I ate A LOT of them. And then bought new pants.

While I was pregnant with Grace I lost a ton of weight. I was so careful about everything I put in my body. The last 2-3 months I hardly ate carbs because I knew they would make my blood sugar spike and I was already having a hard enough time keeping still with sky high basal rates on my insulin pump.

The day after I went home from the hospital I put on my pre-pregnancy jeans. They fit. They were big. Hanging off of me big.

Then I stopped eating for about 2 weeks. Not on purpose. I would drink orange juice and force down some crackers, but it was always forced. When I finally realized that not eating wasn't good for my milk supply and therefore not good for Gracie, I started to make myself eat meals again.

Chef Boyardee ravioli. That was the only thing I could think of that sounded good, so that’s what Matt bought me. I ate A LOT of it. And started wearing my maternity pants again.

19 months later, I am 45 pounds heavier than the post-birth low.

Something has to give. Something is going to give. I am on a diet.

So once again, dieting sucks.

I am comfortable enough with my insulin pump these days to make changes whenever I need it so I don’t get low. That is no longer my problem. No longer the excuse I have, the one I've ALWAYS used, for not following though on this.

Now, it is all in my head.

Before writing this post, I just spent 15 minutes planning everything I was going to eat for the day. Despite my larger than normal breakfast this morning, I am starving right now. It is the head game of ignoring the stomach grumbles for the next 2.5 hours until lunch.

I've done well so far this week, but I am only 10 days into this and am already dreaming of pizza.

I will be successful though. I will win. I have to win.

I have to.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Fruit Striped Monkey

Summer is upon us at daycare.

This week starts their new, pricey, slew of activities for the kids through the end of August. There will be shows, animals, music and special snacks galore (read: ice cream every other Friday.)

The best part about summer at daycare though - and frankly the only part that we didn't have to shell out more money for - is the water play.

As an infant, Gracie HATED it. I always thought it was funny in a cruel sort of way.

Typically, they would fill the baby pool up moments before with freezing water straight out of the hose and chuck the little ones in. The ones who could sit on their own anyway. The rest would be strapped into a hard plastic double stroller and pushed through a sprinkler.

The moment I saw the hose, I knew she wouldn't like it. She's just like her mama, a hot water kind of girl. If you tried to put her anywhere near the water she would scream like a banshee.

This year though, they filled the pool with warm water from the inside tap via many buckets and pots rolled out on a wagon. I do think this was out of necessity because they hadn't gotten the key to turn on the outside water supply yet, so next week might not go as well.

So now you have four anxious little girls who have been running around in swimsuits chanting 'Outside. Outside!' in quartet for 15 minutes and a pool that is two feet in diameter.

It was like watching monkeys in a barrel, if monkeys giggled while they kicked, splashed and jabbed.

But they were all VERY happy monkeys.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sand & Sun

We're back from a weekend at the beach.

It was lovely. Normally I mean this sarcastically, but aside from a few ugly moments, it was perfect.

It took a few minutes, but Grace quickly warmed up to the feel of sand under her toes

and the rush of the cold ocean on her legs.

Then came the real fun with periodic breaks that included frantic dashes back into the ocean.

This 3rd annual family pilgrimage to the shore, did start around an event though.
This year was Matt's the 2nd anniversary of his first triathlon.
730 days, thousands of miles, 8 inches off the waist and he is a full blown triathlete.
Oh, and let's not forget to mention the fact the he was 48 minutes faster this year than in 2007.

He chose to follow this work out with a little 56 mile bike ride on Sunday

in preparation for the next big race.

While Matt burned thousands of calories, Gracie and I went on our own little walk.

Through the Prime Outlet Mall.

Yeah, we had a good time.