Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fat Frustrations

I've talked before about how I've struggled with weight my whole life. And how I've also been athletic my whole life. My favorite thing to do is swim and that is because I'm good at it. I swam competitively from the age of 6 through college. No matter how out of shape I've been, I've always been able to go swimming and feel good about myself.

But, I've long since surpassed the largest sizes that you can buy a 'real' competitive swim suit in (they go up to about a woman's size 14). So I've struggled to find a decent suit, that stays up, holds up to being in chlorine for 2+ days a week, is reasonably priced and isn't for 90 year olds. My most success has come from swim outlet - these two suits specifically. BUT. They cost about $70 - $80 a suit, and it's IMPOSSIBLE to actually have a choice in color.

I was pretty happy with my last TYR suit, but in the last few weeks, I've noticed that it seems stretched out. It was fitting looser, and I'd only had it for 4 months. Like I've said, I've been swimming my whole life, and I'm fully aware that any suit will stretch out over time, but this suit promised to last for '300 hours of use'. I'd maybe worn it for 60 hours. And I'd paid $80. So I was annoyed. Especially because I have a swim meet coming up next month and you don't really want a loose suit when you are diving off a block, if you catch my drift.

So I started looking for a new suit. After two weeks of searching (it takes a long time to weed through the ones for 90 year old women) I found one.  I really wanted it in purple, but they only had it in the size lower than I thought I was. So I ordered it in blue in the size I thought I was, and the purple one too, figuring I could send it back when it didn't fit.

The suits arrived today. I tried the blue one on first.... and it was loose. It fit just like the suit I'm currently using. So I tried on the purple one, and it fits just right. Turns out, when you swim consistently for months, your body shape changes. It's cracks me up how my first thought was that the suit was failing, and not that I could have gotten smaller.

In all seriousness though - this is one of the more annoying things about being plus sized. It is ALWAYS a struggle to find appropriate clothes. Others have this as a focus of their blogging (along with fat acceptance in general) - but when I want to find something specific, it is usually either impossible to find it in the exact color I'm picturing, or insanely expensive. And that is really frustrating. How I long to be able to walk into target and buy myself a nice gray cardigan for $20 (now that I've found my bathing suit, this is my next quest - I'd like a lightweight grey cardi to wear with a couple outfits I have). I've been looking for about a week now, and the best bet is an online store where I found one for $45. And I would have to buy it ONLINE and therefore it's a hit or miss if it will even fit right.

First world problems.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The good life

Last week was very stressful for a whole list of reasons. And it led up to a weekend that was also stressful but in a different way.

The twins list that I'm on asked if I could reach out to a mom that lost one of her twins at 24 weeks. She carried the both twins (can you imagine?!) full term and was having troubles with the loss (understandably). So all week, it was in the back of my mind - what would I say? I decided that I would just listen, and let her drive the conversation.

With a pretty busy week at my new job (which I'm enjoying, thank god) comes it's own challenges. The job I was working 4 years ago was with this same group. I was heavily pregnant with the twins, and then was out of the office for 5 months, and then put on another project. So most of these people remember me as the lady pregnant with twins. So at least daily last week, people would be asking - hey! How are your twins? They must be big now! Which after the first time, I realized I would have done the exact same thing. But damn. 6 times last week I had to tell someone that Nora died.

Anyway, this woman was wonderful. We connected on a lot of levels, and both felt for each other. It's great to find someone that you can honestly talk to about infant loss - because (and thank god this is the case) there aren't many people that it happens to and I've found that many people go different roads with their grief. In my life, I take the bad parts, and realize that they are surrounded by wonderful parts - and realize that life is the whole package. I try not to let myself be sucked into the anger/sadness/hopelessness that comes with losing a child - but when I feel that way, I acknowledge it and let it happen. To a point. I don't want my life to focus only on the bad. And some people do that. And other people will say 'It was god's will', or 'The Lord works in mysterious ways' or 'She is in a better place'.

The best place for my baby is with me. No questions asked.

And this other mom felt this same way. So we talked, we hugged, we talked more, cried and hugged. We agreed that we needed to get together on a regular basis because it was good for BOTH of us. And a question for you guys - she has a struggle I didn't have to worry about. Her son was 4 when this all happened. He expected a brother AND a sister, and is really focusing on that. Its hard for the mom to hear him say several times a day that he misses his sister and pop (this poor woman lost her own father 3 weeks after the babies birth). I didn't know what to say, as Cam really was to young to have any idea what happened when Nora died. Any advice there? Jen maybe?

After they left, I went to deliver dinner to a woman at our church that is sick and dying from cancer. I always sign up when the call goes out for food, because of all the wonderful people that helped me after Nora. It didn't register who it was until I dropped it off. This is a woman MY age. With 3 children (teenagers). I'm sure the shock registered on my face, because she looked SO sick.

That night, when I went to bed, I hugged Aaron extra tight. Sure, we've been through a lot. But now? Now we are blessed. I've got great friends, a happy home life and everyone is healthy. We are together in this crazy mess of life, and I wouldn't choose to do it any other way.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Last week, I realized that a large portion of my day and brain space is taken up with tiny things. Not meaningless things, but tiny things. Things that don't seem like a big enough deal to write down on a list or my calendar to remember, but things that if I don't do, there will be a consequence. Here was the list:
  1. Return library books
  2. Decide what flavor to make Suzanne birthday cake (and frosting)
  3. Pick up cake mix and frosting.
  4. Get 'fancy' napkins for the kids Valentine's day party
  5. Remember to bring the kids valentines to school
  6. Remember the kids lunch (Aaron makes it in the morning, but at least once a month I'll forget it on the counter and need to turn around to get it)
  7. Sign up for the swim meet my team is in (deadline approaching)
  8. Sign up for the BJs deal/fundraiser my local mom's group in having (another deadline approaching)
  9. Return the helmet we borrowed for tubing
  10. Send a birthday card to my brother
  11. Check up on Aaron's uncle (he had a heart attack a few weeks ago and is home now)
  12. Get my car inspected
  13. Decide what kind of meal to drop off for my friend that just had a baby (the fact that she doesn't like vegetables makes it easier and harder at the same time)
  14. Get someone to watch the dog when we visit Mom
  15. Remember to wash the Red Sox sweatshirt I got mom that Henry decided to use as a pillow
  16. Grab the kids mittens out the dryer to bring to school. (they often come home soaking wet and need to be thrown in the dryer)
I'm sure that for all mom's the list can go on and on and on. But last week it just made me feel completely crazy. Sure, the whole world wouldn't collapse if I forget something on the list, but it usually will cost me money, or have disappointed kids.

I guess I could make lists.... but some things seem silly to write down, but they still take up brain space.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


  • I missed Friday leftovers, so I'm leftovering now
  • Our spa date on Friday was a huge success. Its fun to reconnect while sitting in a hot tub and awaiting massages.
  • So was the birthday party for Suzanne. The kids were SUPER excited to see her.
  •  Saturday was loaded with all the rescheduled stuff from last weekend. Plus a few play dates.
  • Sunday we drove up to visit my mom. Her birthday was Feb 5th, and I wanted to take her out to dinner. And Aaron had yet to see the cabin now that she's moved in full time. We had a great time. The kids LOVE playing there, mom loves seeing the kids, and we went out for an amazing dinner at the Old Inn on The Green.
  • The Old in on the Green is an amazing restaurant, along with great food, the whole place is heated with fireplaces and lit up with real candles in the chandeliers. I love dinner that is an 'event'.
  • We had a neighborhood friend watch Henry overnight (the cabin isn't really big enough for 2 big dogs, 2 kids and 3 adults). They are gluten free so I made her a banana bread with almond flour (which was AMAZING. I was nervous it would suck, but now think maybe all things should be made with almond flour!?!).
  • Which then made me realize that banana bread is currency in our neighborhood. I waited for my friend's son at the bus stop because she couldn't get home - she brought me a banana bread. A new family down the street had a baby - I bought her a banana bread. Aaron helped some friends with their snow blower - she gave us a banana bread. Someone watches our dog? My first thought was to bring a banana bread.
  • So I guess you are SOL on our street if you don't like banana bread. I love it, so it's all good for me!
  • This week is school vacation, which means we don't have swimming (my swim team practices at the high school, and if the high school is closed, the pool is closed). So I'm swimming by myself. And it's lonely. I definitely like swimming with a team better. But I'll go alone to keep up my fitness - I'm really happy at the level I'm at right now.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Homer Simpson Gift

I know it's Friday, but I have a story to tell.

A couple weeks ago, my laptop died. Well, the video card died and I was forced to take a day off. And I'm at a point in time where I wish I could 'get away' but don't have any plans to do so. So I called my local day spa and set up a massage. It was glorious.

As I checked out, I saw they were running a special for Valentine's day - you could come in with your significant other, use their hot tub and sauna, and then both people get a 1.5 hour treatment. So I signed us up. For this part, you need a little back story. I've always loved getting massages. Loved. Aaron isn't a huge fan of massages - but on our honeymoon we went to the Blue Palace. One of the big draws of this place was the spa, and like a good newlywed he agreed to go to a spa day with me. We both got the same treatments - time in their hot tub, a body scrub and a massage. I came out of the body scrub traumatized with my skin bright red swearing I would never do that again. Aaron? He and his leather skin LOVED it. So I signed him up for a body scrub and myself for a massage, and although I gave it to Aaron as a Valentine's day present, it's about 80% for me. I'm so looking forward to a nice, quiet afternoon with Aaron.

But to make it happen, I needed someone that the kids are comfortable with to pick them up at school and hang out with them until 7. All of my nearby friends were busy and/or going away for the weekend, so I reached out to my buddy Suzanne. She agreed to come out to the 'burbs to hang out with her favorite little people! Now, today just happens to be her birthday, so it's going to be a blast. Aaron took the kids to the dollar store and they picked out a bunch of decorations. I made a cake, and the kids are out of their  minds that not only is Suzanne picking them up at school, but that they are in charge of giving her a party! And then she is SLEEPING OVER!

Kids are easy. (Except for all the things I had to line up to make this all possible, lol).

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I know, I know. Everyone thinks Valentine's Day is a lame Hallmark holiday, and in some respects, I agree. But on the flip side, it's also a nice excuse to do cute things to make people we love smile. Last year I restarted my tradition of sending something to my friends and it got a great response. A few even said that what I sent them was the only Valentine they received. So I had to keep it up this year!

I made tiny little knitted hearts, and handed them out to my quilting buddies on Tuesday when I saw them. But for the friends on my street, I waited until the mail truck went by, and left them in little envelopes saying that they were from 'Your Secret Admirer'. Just a little fun surprise (and I hope no one couldn't figure out who the admirer was)!

My Valentine morning was super cute, as Aaron gave the kids the task of giving me the presents. Cam woke up first and really wanted to run and wake up Maggie so they could give me their present 'like a team'. Aaron did a great job - Maggie got me a horse charm and Cam got me this cute heart clip. A girlfriend gave me the advice to tell Aaron to get me a Pandora charm bracelet, as it make gift giving from the kids (and Aaron, truth be told) easy - and she was right. The kids LOVE looking at the bracelet for which beads they gave me and I love wearing it.

Hope everyone else has a blast today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Most Annoying Day

This past weekend, we got nailed by a huge snowstorm. We got about 2 feet of snow, and it was great. We got all this snow, but never lost power and it was a light, fluffy snow, so wasn't a killer to remove (so long as you have the right gear, of course). Daycare closed on Friday, and every planned activity we had was canceled this weekend. So we hung out as a family, played in the snow (although Maggie didn't spend as much time in the snow - she kept telling everyone the snow was too high for her - which is true - it's almost as high as she is), and had a great time.

Monday, both Aaron and I had a lot of stuff to catch up on at work, and we happily headed off to work after dropping off the kids. At 11 AM, I got a call that daycare needs to evacuate because the snow on the roof was too heavy, and was causing structural issues with the building. Now, many would think OMG! I must run and save my children! And yes, that is what I thought the FIRST time this happened. But the exact same thing happened last year. I would have assumed, that once they were forced to shut down once, causing 70+ families to seek alternate childcare, they would have a plan in place for the next time it snowed a lot.

But no. So I called Aaron. We made a quick plan to take the kids with me to my eye doctor appointment (got some great new frames, btw), grab some Happy Meals, and head to the pool for a fun surprise swim in the middle of the week (which we obviously never get to do). I would play with the kids while Aaron did some laps, and then Aaron would take the kids home, while I got my workout in (all this because my normal masters swim team practice was canceled do to the school being closed). When we got there, we found out that the Acton Boxboro swim team was basically taking up the whole pool to make up their practice (which is the high school team that swims in same pool as my masters team). They were taking up all the lanes. So I had no place to workout. I almost joined them (I could have done the same workouts) but I decided not to.

But seriously!?!

At this point, I'm pretty annoyed. I get in my car, check my email.... the building inspector has asked that daycare stay closed Tuesday also.


In the end, we found out that Nancy, the kids very favorite teacher, was going to work for the day at the Waltham site, which is right near Aaron's office. So they went there this morning. And I just called, and both kids are very happy and having a great day. But yesterday I was pretty annoyed all day. And I find out that I've come to depend on my end of the day swim to get my frustrations out, and it really stinks when I can't.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Random Picture Post

I was noticing that it's been a while since I posted pictures, and we had a photographic weekend - so I thought it'd share a few.

- We finally got to go tubing, and oh my did we have fun. We had originally planned to meet up with two of Cam's buddies and all tube together, but they all had to cancel. So I had the great idea to bring Cam's very best 'big boy' friends (they are 13 and 15) and it was awesome. The tubing was a blast, the boys all had fun, and the weather was great. We went nice and early and were able to have a lot of fun before the crowds got heavy.

- Raspberries are wicked expensive (and honestly not super delicious) this time of year - but Maggie LOVES them. She especially loves putting them on her fingers and eating them off. It cracks me up every time.

- I've been teaching Religious Education at church - and got assigned the pre-school class. Of course, my kids are in this class, so it's kind of silly. Sometimes my two will be the only kids in the class. It frustrates me to be volunteering my time to hang out and teach my OWN kids, but it is what it is. I'm 9 weeks into a 10 week commitment, and I'm somewhat DONE at this point. But. We have been teaching the kids about helping each other and caring for others - and have been doing it through a sweet teddy bear theme. We have the kids bring in their teddy bears, and they have made little blankets for the bears, taken their bears to the doctor, and since Sunday was the last Teddy Bear week - had a little teddy bear picnic party. One of the other girls found a tea set in the classroom, and she and Maggie turned it into a tea party.
Cam and the other little boy were done with the party once the teddy bear graham crackers were done, lol.

- This weekend, we found out that Aaron's uncle had a massive heart attack. This hits me really close to home as this is yet another of Aaron's relatives to have heart issues. I pray that I'm not going down this same path in 20 years. So scary.

I mentioned to the kids that we could make some get well cards to send to him - and Cam said 'I'll make him a beautiful picture! That will make him happy!'. Yet again, a reminder to people to show up when something like this happens. They are in CO, so we obviously can't be there physically, but a card (especially with loads of glitter glue) would make even the grumpiest person crack a smile.
I wrote to Aaron's aunt to let her know they were in our prayers and of course to let us know if there was anything we can do. I'm not calling and texting for updates because I know how stressful that is - but they have a great website set up on that is letting those of us who are worried to take a look and see how he is doing without being annoying.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Last night I made the most amazing dinner. Easy to prepare and only one dish. You must make it now. The Chew's Baked Artichoke Chicken. I served it over rice.
  • When making dinner last night, the recipe called for wine. I pawed through the wine rack and could only find champagne. 4 bottles. So I used that instead (and used white wine vinegar where the recipe called for red wine vinegar).
  • When I popped the cork, Cam came running in to ask what the noise was. As one of my friends says  'Happiness. That sound is happiness'.
  • As the recipe only called for a 1/4 cup of wine, I was forced to make champagne cocktails to go with our dinner. Champagne cocktails make everything seem better.
  • One of my girlfriends has strep throat, and I hung out with her two days before she was diagnosed. I'm super susceptible to strep, so I panicked when I had a little sore throat Wednesday night. I actually went and got tested on Thursday. The test came back negative. And now, my throat feels fine. Thank god.
  • I've been tracking my swimming mileage - I've swum 21.49 miles this year so far! That's 37,825 yards out of the total 330,000 yards I've committed to for the year (or 200 miles). This has been a really great way to get me to go to the pool on days that I'd like to bail.
  • I've come up with a plan for Aaron's 40th birthday. I'm making him plan something fun for himself during the day, and then we are going into Boston and have a nice dinner and stay in a hotel that night. We'll wake up and get nice brunch, and then go home. I've already got people to stay with the kids overnight. Low key yet special celebration.
  • I've started my new job at work, and I think I'm going to enjoy it.
  • I usually work from home 3 days a week, so when I go into the office it hits me what a big change I'm going to have when the re-location of the teams happens in July. Most of the people I interact with are in the list of people to go. It's sad.