Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday night Leftovers

  • I couldn't be more delighted with the good news in blogland this week. We have Jen's sweet baby boy and Serenity's pregnancy announcement. I cried happy tears when I read about both.
  • Thanks for all the good words on my body image post. I think a large factor about why I'm feeling great is my decision to buy new clothes that fit well. Not sitting around in old yoga pants does a lot for your self esteem.
  • We have a calm weekend ahead. This is the weekend of that family wedding, and it's like the elephant in the room. Aaron hasn't been sleeping well, and Facebook is filled with posts of family members making their way to Nantucket for the wedding. It's just sad that we are missing out on this.
  • But I still don't question the decision. We need to protect our hearts.
  • Work has been crazy this week, but the good kind of crazy where I've got everything under control in a whirlwind of chaos. I like that feeling.
  • Mom is closing on her house today. I'm surprised I'm not more sad about the sale of my childhood home, but I think it's time for mom to start her next chapter.
  • Any recommendations for new fall TV shows? I wasn't paying attention and haven't started watching any new shows.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This body of mine.

I'm pretty sure that people who read this blog know by now that I'm not thin. And honestly, I really haven't ever been thin. But I've done a lot of things with my life that 'overweight' people don't usually do. I've done a lot of big deal athletic events. I rode a sport motorcycle. I have a pretty good opinion on my appearance (most of the time).

Could I be thinner? I'm sure I could. And there have been times in the past that I was obsessed with doing just that. I would barely eat anything, I would exercise ONLY to burn calories... and guess what? I met with minimal success and misery. I remember the exact moment that I decided I wouldn't diet anymore. I was going for a walk with Cam. He was about 2 months old. I was high on life, feeling pretty good about myself, and thinking about what to cook for dinner. It was a cold day, and thought that I would maybe make mac and cheese from scratch. Immediately I thought - damn, that is a lot of calories. And I just thought. FUCK THIS.

From that day forward, I tried to focus on all the great things this body has done for me. It's run marathons, ridden bicycles more than 150 miles in one day, completed an ironman, swim an 8 mile race, was all American in college, got a silver medal in a national crew regatta... birthed 3 babies in one year. Jesus. This body, flaws and all, has done some pretty amazing things. I'm going to love it for what it is. And not make apologies for it.

In the summer, I wear bathing suits without cover ups. And tank tops. I try to choose things that are actually flattering for my body, but I do have a belly and large arms. And hiding it under layers in the summer just makes me hot AND fat.... wearing more layers doesn't hid the fact that you are larger. When looking at pictures taken of me, I acknowledge that I may see a double chin because, well, I have a double chin. But I don't let the fact that I am an 'ample' woman limit myself. I choose to live my life without apologizing for my body's tendency to hold onto weight, and my own love of food.

I'm writing about this because swim team started up again last night. I started up again with a team that I haven't swum with in about 6 years. I'm slower and differently shaped (I'm back to my prepregnancy weight but everything is different about my body since I gave birth. Damn kids) than I was 6 years ago. And, honestly, I've lost a lot of the fitness I gained over the summer with the combination of the shoulder injury and a more recent ankle sprain. I'm a bit of a mess, honestly! But as I was swimming (slowly) I would think - I may be slow, but at least I'm moving.

I choose to love this body I've got, and take care of it the best I can. Occasionally feed it cake. And keep myself happy with a good balance. And yeah, sometimes I get down on myself, wishing I could wear some awesome dress to a wedding that doesn't come in my size. Or bemoan the fact that when I swim for exercise I can really only expect to get a better nights sleep and feel better mentally, whereas the lady swimming with me will report that she has lost 5 pounds ever week since she started swimming.... but hey. Everyone is different, there is a dress out there for me, and I will chose focus on what I know this body can do, and be happy with that.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I mentioned on Friday that my stepmother was visiting this weekend. We had a great visit, but it's so hard for me to describe my relationship with her. She has been in my life since before I can remember (my dad was with her before I was born, if you get my drift). She was a lot of fun - she would play with me when other grownups in my life were either disinterested (my dad) or way too busy (my mom). But I was never super close with her. When I was growing up, my father made it very, very clear that his love was conditional. He would often tell me that if I did x (dye my hair, get bad grades, join some extra curricular he didn't approve of) that he would disown me. And I know he meant it, he had 4 other children that he never spoke to. Yep, I have half-brothers and a half sister I've only met once.

So my defense? Once I was old enough to realize what he was saying, I just didn't share anything with them (I rowed crew in high school for two years and never told him). I didn't talk to them about anything of substance, in case it turned out to be something that he would disown me for. We weren't close. Sure, I saw him weekly (I lived with my mother), but it was a very superficial relationship. And as I became an adult, I just had nothing to share with them. They didn't know me. One year, I didn't call Barb on her birthday (which, FYI, she didn't call me this year on my birthday), and he stopped speaking to me for 6 months (this was after I called and apologized numerous times and sent a card and a present). At first, it was a relief. It was finally done. The threatened 'disowning' that had been hanging over my head for YEARS happened. But it dragged on me, and I just called them and called bullshit on the whole thing. He said that he 'expected' a phone call once a week and on all major holidays. Basically rules for our relationship. I was just so tired of the drama that I did it. He lived far enough away that it wasn't a huge stress, and I just didn't have the energy to fight it.

Barb always introduces me as her daughter, and for the longest time, I would feel bad, because I just don't feel that way about her. I love her, but I really don't count her as a mom figure. And I couldn't figure out why. But my light bulb moment this weekend made me realize that although she was IN my life she was in it from a distance. And honestly it wasn't her fault. It was my dad. And I feel bad about it, but there it is.

It was a good weekend. We had some nice meals together, took the kids to Drumlin Farm and to a neighborhood block party. But a bit uncomfortable at times too. I do feel settled now that I've kind of figured it all out.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday night leftovers

• It's freaking cold in my house. 59 degrees. As our goal is to not turn the heat on until November, I need to start remembering to close the windows at night!
• I'm having a blast figuring out what to get the kids for birthday's and Christmas. I think we are going with a mix of legos, super heroes and horse stuff.
• Speaking of horse stuff. Maggie is completely obsessed with horses. I've decided to roll with it. I know every little girl wants a pony, but she really really loves them. We went to a party and a girl was babysitting who has her own pony. And she said she would love to show Maggie about horses. So we are going to try it and see how it goes.
• Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous about my little Maggie around big horses (even though ponies are small horses). On the flip side, though, that is why I think learning about horses is good for her. There is a lot of good things - confidence around large animals, teaching about caring for animals, good exercise....
• When I scheduled the kids birthday party, I was all bitter about past years, in which I invited everyone to my kids party, and no one was invited us to one. So I was going to only invite the core friends (and also those that we have been to parties for. It's a total of 5 kids). And then the invites have started rolling in. By the end of October, we will have attended 6 birthday parties in 2 months. Sigh.
• This weekend, my stepmother is visiting. It used to be so stressful when my father would visit. Now that he's passed, it’s great to see her and not have the undercurrent of judgment and offensive political and social views that would come with his visits.
• And now I need to run over and deliver the lunches that I forgot when I dropped the kids off this morning. TGIF.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Yesterday was my 37th birthday. I'm not one to get all upset about getting older - as my father used to say, that's the goal, right?

For the past few years I've been too wrapped up in babies or toddlers or money has been to tight to really do much for my birthday. I used to throw big parties for myself, or at least get myself nice presents (I figure, why leave the present buying to other people? I know what I really want!). But this year, was different. We've got our finances a bit more under control, and I'm feeling a bit burned out lately. So I decided to take the day off work and schedule myself for a spa day.

Cam came into my room around 7 AM saying 'Happy Birthday, Mama!' and both kids proceeded to be super cute and helpful all morning. We got dressed, and I asked Maggie what we should do for my birthday, and she said "Eat cake and wear party hats!" And Cam said 'Open presents!' I explained that we would do that after dinner, but appeased them both with a trip to the donut store. Everyone got TWO donuts and then I happily left them at daycare.

I drove to my spa day, which consisted of 45 minutes reading in the jacuzzi/sauna, followed by facial, body scrub and a massage (4 hours of heaven). I left there feeling wonderful. I then went and got my favorite fast food (bean burrito from taco bell) and got the kids presents for my birthday. Which I know doesn't make any sense, but we call them unbirthday presents, and it gave us a lot of time to sit and have grown up appetizers at dinner time. Maggie got horse figurines and Cam got a super hero activity book.

Then, off to the mall for some clothes shopping (I'm very close to having a fall/winter wardrobe again - in a size smaller than I was last year, woot woot!). Got home just in time to meet my mom who came to have dinner with us and we got the kids from daycare. They are always SO excited to see her that it warms my heart. We got home, and then Aaron proceeded to cook me the most amazing dinner ever.

And now I'm back at work, back to the real world. Heavy sigh.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Last night a friend had us all over for dinner - an early birthday dinner. We get together often, and our kids are in a groove now where they hang out and play nicely. It was awesome. I didn't have to cook, the kids were happy, and we had nice grown up converstation.
  • And this morning! While I was showering, the kids played so well - building a time machine together with blocks. The cuteness kills me.
  • This morning I did a bit of freezer cooking. The website I love, changed some of their content to be subscription access. I still think it's totally worth it. I think it's $72 a year ($63 if you join by the end of September). I made 10 dinners for $90 at the grocery store and it took me two hours in the kitchen. You really can't beat that.
  • While cooking, I realized I haven't been in my vegtable drawers in my frig for a while. Yuck yuck yuck.
  • This weekend we have fun stuff planned - a local fall festival, friends visiting, and a CSA potluck.
  • I'm busy making Amazon wish lists and purging toys in preparation for the kids birthdays. I know it's 2 months away, but if I don't get it out there now, people tend to get the strangest things.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lost my crafting mojo

I'm crafty. Always have been. Before the kids came, I would hammer out knitted items weekly. I knit all my own socks. I knit a huge amount of baby sweaters. I have made every quilt on every bed in my house and my mother's. I make fun little crafty things like hair bows and freezer paper tee-shirts.

But lately? I do nothing. I sit in my chair after I the kids to bed and I just veg out. I don't knit. I don't go upstairs and sew. I just sit.

And that's weird. I can't figure out what the issue is... but just not into it anymore. When I do knit - I make stupid mistakes - misreading the pattern or casting on wrong. It's frustrating. Because being crafty is one of the ways I define myself. I was searching through ravelry trying to find a fun little sweater to knit to kick start me, and it isn't working.

Sigh. Hoping this passes soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I grew up in a small family. Not small in that I didn't have a bunch of aunts and uncles and cousins. Small in the fact that we rarely, if ever got together with them. My maternal grandfather died when I was only 6. My father's parents died when he was young, and the rest of my father's family all lived far away. My mother and her family had a bit of a falling out when I was a child, so we rarely got together. Thanksgiving was always small. And I certainly didn't have close relationships with my relatives.

When I met Aaron's family - what a difference! The first Thanksgiving we had together, I think there were something like 28 people there. All close relatives. I was totally overwhelmed, but I thought wow! This is neat!

As time moved on, I've learned all the ins and outs of the family, and although they do a better job than my family in keeping in touch, I've learned that they aren't as close as they appeared that first thanksgiving. They do get together and have fun at gatherings, but it isn't this close knit group.

In 2009, there was a tough patch that Aaron and his brother's were going through related to Aaron's father. If anyone remembers, my FiL had a stroke before Cam was born. Aaron's brother, a normally abrasive guy, became more so as he navigated being my FiL's power of attorney. Which is understandable. And what's also understandable, in my mind, that he and Aaron butted heads over more than a few things during this time. They yelled at each other. Eventually, they needed to meet in person, and Aaron stated that he would prefer to not meet in our home, because he knew the conversation may become heated, and he wanted to be able to walk away if he needed.

In the middle of all this, Nora died. Aaron's mother asked if there was anything she should do, I remember stating, I know it would mean a lot to Aaron if you could get his older brother to come to the service. She assured me she would do that.

He didn't show up. He claimed that Aaron told him he wasn't welcome in our home. Which was not the case. And I have trouble with the idea that if you yell at a brother, you can't be forgiven (and I know that Aaron did apologize for yelling). Isn't that what family is for, sometimes!? To let it out?! And what is more frustrating that dealing with your 60 year old father's estate?

As the days, weeks and months moved on, we didn't get a lot of support from Aaron's family. The death of our child was treated as though it never happened. Most people came and gave us hugs at the service. After the service, there were only 2 people in that family that kept checking in on us. Making sure we were OK. And Aaron's older brother? To this day hasn't spoken to us or met Maggie.

In two weeks, Aaron's cousin is getting married 2 hours from where we live. We decided that if his big brother chose to attend the wedding, we wouldn't go. Still, to this day, when I think of Adam, it feels like kick in the gut. That a brother was willing to act in the manner, and show no love to a sibling in one of the worst days of his life, it's still shocking to me. It hurts me. And seeing him also reminds me of the days I sat, alone, in my living room, with my two best friends making sure I was OK. Not a family member. Friends. People that I haven't known my whole life. People that I only have ties through friendship. And it hurts still. I will not put myself at a place where I will feel bad.

Just writing this post makes my chest hurt.

More than a few people have told us to 'be the bigger person' and talk to him. Forgive him and move on. And sometimes I think that maybe I should. But then, I feel the hurt again. It's deep. It's painful. And the loss of a child is something I hope no one I know has to experience, but until you do, trust me, you have no idea what you are asking. And I'm pretty sure that Adam's older brother has no concept of the hurt he has caused. I am thankful that he lives all the way across the county, so issues like this rarely come up.... but it's sad nonetheless.

Anyway. I've been stuck. The mother of the bride (who is one of the few people who stuck with us after Nora's death) in this wedding asked me to knit her a shrug. Which is a very easy thing to knit, and I should be done with it already. But every time I sit to knit it, I think about all the reasons I'm not going to the wedding, and it makes me so sad and angry and all that crap wrapped into one. Today I came up with the great idea to pay a friend to finish it up for me. It's like this huge weight has been lifted off my chest.

But I hate feeling stuck. And that is how I feel in this situation. No way out.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Things and Stuff

I know I haven't been posting a lot lately, but I'm tired. My life is such that usually, everything isn't busy at once. But this last month, my weekends have been stuffed with activities, work has been busy for both Aaron and I (which is very rare, we somehow manage to trade off having busy times at work), I've been dealing with my Mom's move and parenting has also been a challenge.

And I know that is is life. This is what is always happening. There are people that have much crazier and busier lives than I have - for instance, my commute (when I got into the office, which is only 2 times a week) is 20 minutes. I have a cleaning lady to help with the housework. My kids are in daycare and my husband is helpful.

But I really want to go somewhere and just sit. Sit and do nothing. Have someone delivery me chocolate, stinky cheese and the occasional cocktail.

Since that isn't happening anytime soon, my plan tonight is to take the kids into Boston to hang out with a friend who is in town, take her to the Museum of Science, and then Aaron will pick up the kids, and we will go out for dinner at the North End. And I scheduled a spa day for myself on my birthday, so I have that to look forward to!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Because I know you guys are already figuring it out - what are your Halloween plans? Cam and Maggie have been pretty consistent in asking to be an orange dinosaur and a purple butterfly. A friend of mine has a son who is also obsessed with orange and made an awesome orange dragon costume. It's a little big for cam, but I can make it work. And a butterfly? What is easier than that!!?!? I found these wings, and then I'll throw on black pants and a shirt, maybe a tutu, and she is good.

And, worst case, the other ideas they've been throwing around are super heroes, and we already have capes and super hero attire galore here. I'm done.

And everyone else? Let's hear it!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


The past few weeks have been busy. Both Aaron and I have been busy with work, lots of kids birthday parties and events - and swimming has been over for a bit. I also have a bit of a family drama brewing over our decision to not go to a family wedding, and some deadline knitting to complete for the mother of the bride in that wedding.

Any time I have some space to take a breath, my mom is calling all excited or distraught over moving. I was glad when she had 2 months to go until her closing, but now I think it's given her a lot of time to obsess.

Anyway. I'm stressed out. Aaron is stressed out. I want a break - but what does that even mean? Aaron barely has any vacation left, and if I go alone, it would have Aaron home alone with the kids and me, alone. Not really what I want. What I really want is a vacation at one of those family places like Tyler Place. I hang out with Aaron, someone else entertains the kids.... it's all good. But that isn't really in the budget right now.

So I'm trying (again) to find balance. Do some sort of exercise until swimming starts up again, take deep breaths, do a spa day on my birthday (Sept 18th! Presents welcome!). Easy things. Small things. Maybe that will get this everlasting headache to go away (4 days and counting).