Coming Back to Life (or some derivative thereof)

I am feeling much better. Still have a runny nose and a more annoying hacking type couch. I'm pretty sure i have lost every ounce of cardio strength I had pre-PT. Speaking of which, I excused myself from PT. Eric is working a temporary days shift, and I have no child care to speak of. PT, DONE.

I am feeling better, but I realize that I need to keep up with the stretching and strength training. Yeah... maybe tomorrow. Or not.

Eric is now sick, and I can tell he feels like crap. He's not saying a word though, perhaps in fear of what I might say after he asked me how long I was going to "milk it" during one of my worst days last week. Ummm, yeah. Don't worry, I threw a bunch of baby food at him to show my displeasure. But I do feel bad for him. He's looking pretty bad, and he's been working a lot to top it off. I hope he gets better soon. I'm not a fan of snot.

On another front, I am making soakers, shorties, and longies. It's taking me too long to get them complete, between this eBay venture, being sick, and my Anatomy & Physiology class. When I get enough stock, I plan to open a boutique here.

Here's a sample:


The Truth as I Know It

When Mommy gets sick, has a fever, a sore throat, chest congestion and wheezing, nobody cares. Life goes on.



1. When you toss a baby up in the air, make sure you catch the baby before her head (her VERY hard head) smacks into your nose. It will hurt a lot, your nose will make a strange noise and then swell, and you will spend the rest of the day with a face ache. The baby will think it's all quite funny.

2. Say you are a recent graduate from high school. You are a freshly-minted adult with a new set of freedoms. You are under the drinking age. Do not create a Facebook account wherein you display many pictures of yourself partaking in underage drinking and bong hits. And if you do, remember to make your account private. I guarantee, your eighth grade Language Arts teacher will see it. It will confirm every prediction she ever had for you -- particularly the getting arrested part.

3. Never drink coffee after five o'clock in the evening. Especially when you are hosting a yard sale the next day.

4. Before you begin that online quiz for your online class, double-check to make sure that you have read the required materials. And if you think that hurriedly looking through the textbook while the timer ticks away will help you pass, then you are correct. 84% for material you never bothered to read.

5. A well-fitting bra and a brow wax go a long way. Just sayin'...

6. When there are three gallon containers of milk in the refrigerator, all at varying levels of goneness, somebody needs to do some checking and tossing. I vote my husband.

7. Being an adult is not as cool as you thought it would be when you were younger.


Feeding Frenzy

Because a meal is never completely over until all visible parts of Baby are covered with food. The appearance of the pet fly is just icing on the proverbial cake.


Don't Panic!

Yes, I know all my links are gone. I am respeccing my blog.


My Husband, the Angel?

For being an unber manly man, my husband has some soft, sensitive skin. I like it. It's good for cuddling and brushing up against in the middle of the night when he finally gets home from work. He's pale as can be with freckles, which I think are sexy.

Imagine my utter astonishment today, then, when I happened to catch him sans shirt. He has two very red and angry marks just above his shoulder blades and just below his shoulders. He has no recollection of receiving said marks, and he says they aren't painful at all.


We think he may have recieved them while working out at the gym last night, but that's primarly conjecture. I'd like to think he's sprouting wings.


Letting Go

My pain in the ass is still a pain in the ass. Despite four weeks of PT, I am still suffering from the deep, er, gluteal pain and the resulting sciatic issues that derives from it: pain and burning down the back of my leg, a sharp ache in my hip, and now a tingling sensation all the way on the sole of my foot. Add to t his the horrible side effects of the muscle relaxants my doctor prescribed for me, and I am rather unhappy with the way my body is misbehaving.

My x-rays were clear. My MRI is yet to be checked, although I did complete a terrifyingly claustrophobic session this Wednesday. I honestly don't think the MRI will offer any golden nuggets of Aha! That is what's wrong with Monica! I cranked up the treadmill on Wednesday, and I ran a mile at (GASP!) 5.0, and all I got for my workout was a pain-filled Thursday sitting on the heating pad and downing pain meds. This soon resulted in a three-hour nap.

I hate naps. Taking a nap mid-day makes my head feel fuzzy, and then I get nothing accomplished for the rest of the day.

I've pretty much self-diagnosed myself with piriformis syndrome. It fits all of the symptoms I have, plus it seems pretty common in runners and women. I fell in the shower 1.5 years ago, when all this pain in the assery began, and I am pretty sure I hit the exact spot on the side of the tub. I've since learned that an injury to that muscle causes swelling and stiffness, which in turn affects the sciatic nerve. Yippee.

My physio thinks I need to build up my muscle strength, which it all out of whack, especially after my pregnancy last year. It makes sense. A full-on baby belly can do some major damage to the muscles and connective tissue in the abdomen. So I focus on building muscle strength, and I come to the point I don't want to be at: not running.

Not running has been one of those ideas I've pushed to the back on my mind for a while now. I've been doing so well, and I am desperately trying to lose weight. What finally hit me, after my last foray in the gym, was that I am not giving my body the time it needs to heal and adjust. So I am going to forgo the run for a few weeks, maybe longer. I will try the elliptical, the bike, or the pool instead. I will focus on eating healthier, and watching my caloric intake. I will try and let go.

Now is not the time to build miles, obsess about the scale or become a gym fanatic. Now is the time to love myself enough to get better, stronger. I need to take care of myself now, at this stage instead of telling myself that I will be happy when I get back down to my goal weight.

It's going to be hard, that I know for sure.


Indoor Gardening

It's hard to get mad at her when she's so stinking cute.


Connor's Summer To-Do List

1. Bowling
2. Ice skating
3. Play with Chuck
4. Spend time with Mom
5. Zoo
6. Mall
7. Target

Although my heart bursts that he wants to spend time with me, should I be concerned that two of his choices involve shopping?


What I Really, Really Needed

It was nice outside yesterday. It didn't quite reach 100 degrees, the sky was overcast, and it was temperate enough to get outside for an actual run. No treadmill; just me and the streets and the gravel.

I did three miles outside. It was wonderful to be able to run somewhere, as opposed to nowhere on a treadmill. I didn't do all that well, I had to walk for a long while near the end, but I chalk that up to being dehydrating and recovering from the aftereffects of the muscle relaxant my doctor gave me. But it was nice to get outside, and I remember now why I chose to run.

The weather is supposed to hold like this for another few days. If I wake up early enough tomorrow, maybe I can get out there again, before the children wake and need me.

In other related news, I have mostly weaned Mia, and the weight is finally coming off. This despite eating an ungodly amount of drive-thru food the past few weeks. I really need to take a look at my diet and start eating better.


Blahg post

I'm upping my weekly mileage. Slowly. About a quarter mile per run per week. Slow.

Treadmill running is boring. It's bad. It's to the point where I pray that there is something good on one of the TV's at the gym. Yesterday it was a double-feature of "Malcolm in the Middle." Cooler weather cannot get here soon enough.


Running Nowhere

I have been troubled by severe sciatic pain for the past two years or so. It was at its worst when I was pregnant with Mia. Although I don't feel the pain with running, it does seem to exacerbate it a bit. It got bad enough that I made an appointment with the family doctor to discuss the pain. He sent me for x-rays, which came back all normal. He then sent me off for a few weeks of physical therapy.

Physical therapy is lie "personal training light." It involves a lot of stretching and some basic strength exercises. The consensus? My pelvis is slightly twisted, owing to some tendons that are not stretched enough and muscles that are not strong enough. My abdominal muscles are completely weak because of the pregnancy.

I'm feeling better, thankfully.


It's hot as hell here. Literally. Been getting up into the low 100's this week. After a rather horrid aborted attempt at a run outside last week at the early hour of seven in the morning, I decided that running would be limited to the treadmill for the duration of the summer. Running on the treadmill is NOT FuN.


I've decided to slowly increase my daily runs over the next few weeks. I am going from three days to four, and I am adding a quarter-mile or so to each run per week. This week I am up to 2.5 miles, with a quarter-mile warm up and cool down. I'm getting it in at just about 32 minutes. Not great, but getting a little better. Once I get up to three mile runs, I will do some speed training.


I'm finally losing some weight. A few pounds, nothing to get excited about. But, I am noticing better muscle definition. I am also weaning Mia. I think I sense a connection.


Mommy Lessons


Miss Mia is eight months old, and she is on a tear. In the course of just a few weeks, she began crawling, pulled herself up to a standing position, started feeding herself puffs and crackers, and (finally!!!) slept through the night.

She is still a Mommy's girl, protesting loudly whenever I am out of her sight. She is shy to strangers, and she likes to cuddle when she is upset. She has Eric's sense of adventure and my determination. Hence the two bruises on her forehead. I have a feeling she will be getting her share of bumps and scrapes in the future.

Mia knows what she wants, and she isn't shy about letting us know when she is not pleased. Usually this entails loud shrieks or, humorously, rolling her tongue and making a razzing sound.

She is a squirmer. Diaper changing sessions are tricky, as she likes to roll onto her hands and knees and make a quick break. Getting her dressed is even trickier. On good days, Eric and I are both home and present to tag-team her.

She has an amazing sense of humor. When she smiles -- showing her two bottom (and only two) teeth -- it warms my heart. We haven't always fit together like two matching puzzle pieces. There have been days where I wondered if I would ever feel connected to her like I did my much more easy-going son. But I have come to love her for who she is. That is the lesson she has taught me.


Defining Goals

When I began the C25K program, I didn't really have much of a plan, or a goal, other than "finish it." Well, I finished it, and have been feeling a bit bereft of purpose. Although I continue to run, and have added strength training and various other workouts to the mix, it's important to define what it is I am doing and why I am doing it.

Here's what m short-term goals are:

1. Complete the One Hour Runner program. This really shouldn't be too difficult. I am already near 40-minutes runs. Still, with summer coming on, I am not going to push myself too hard.

2. Lose the baby weight. By September 6th. That's my 35th birthday. As I have said before, I refuse to be 35 and fat.

3. Take care of my sciatic issue. I went to the doctor this past week, and I am now seeing a physical therapist three times a week. More of that later.

Run for the Cheetah

Saturday was the day for my first official 5K and the completion of my Couch to 5K program. This race wound through Papago Park, between the Phoenix Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. It was much smaller and more relaxed than the Pat Tillman run. I'm not a fan of huge crowds, especially when I am pushing the jogging stroller, so it was refreshing to get there early. We found a great parking space and I was one of the firsts to pick up my number and t-shirt. My parents came to watch the kids, and I was off. I found my rhythm quickly and settles into the slow but steady task of completing 3.1 miles. There we re many, many people who alternated between flat-out sprinting and walking, and I wanted to tell them to take it slow and enjoy it. As it was, I eventually out-paced them. I ran the entire race, slowing only for one water break. The route was beautiful. I managed to summon the energy to sprint the last half mile, and I came it at 39:58. I was hoping to make it under 40 minutes, so I just squeezed in under my self-imposed time limit. Just under 13-minute miles again. Best of all, I feel energized and ready to take on whatever.

Connor decided to join in the festivities by running the kid's 100-yard dash. He did very well, and managed to avoid completely taking out the little kid who ran right into his path. When it was over he said, "That's wasn't very long." I think there may be a few runs in his future.

Now that the C25K program is over, I am not sure where to go from here. I am concentrating on distance now instead of time. This week I am doing 2.8 miles in about 40 minutes. I find that pushing the jogging stroller while I run increases my time by about one minute per mile. Once I am up to three miles (by next week), I will looking into the One Hour Runner program. Eric and I agreed, however, that all of these races are getting expensive.

I have heard that getting through the first 20 minutes of exercise is the hardest part. Me, on the other hand, I find that the first 30 are tough, but after that, I get great gobs of energy. My pace increases significantly, and I feel that I can go on forever. I'll have to read up on this phenomenon, but I am guessing it has to do with the body's release of stored energy and endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good!

I joined a gym, in the hopes of building muscle strength and cross-training. Today I will get in for some strength training and a spin class. I've been looking forward to it all week.


Anyone Wanna Dog? Slightly Used, Does Not Like Mailmen

Loki is getting up there in the years. He'll be 10 in August, so he's pushing the upper limit of the boxer life span. He's a good dog; he toelrates the baby's abusive maneuvers and is always good as a replacement woobie for Eric. He's a bit crotchety in his old age, however, and he is not fond of anything or anyone who dare step foot in, or even near, our front yard.

Loki, along with the other two critters who claim our home, has been the bane of our mailman for several years now. Each days as he bravely delivers our mail to the front porch, the dogs lunge at the window or the security door, if the regular happens to be open. I can only imagine how much our poor mailman hates our house. And if he didn't hate us before, he has every right to do so after Loki's latest display if aggression.

When you hear a loud, shattering sound coming from parts of the house, you can guarantee that is isn't going to be good. I found Loki hanging by a bamboo blind halfway through the front window (yes, he broke it), and the mailman RUNNING away from our front door like his hair was on fire.


We have one broken window, which we do not have the money to repair. Thank goodness for those credit cards.

And, while Eric hastily cut and tapped up the plywood that is currently serving as our front window, he inadvertently left the back gate unlocked. All three puppies made a break for it this morning. Two of them are home safe, if not completely exhausted. Barron, our pit bull is still at large.

I am thinking of trading all of them in for a goldfish.


I Suck at Loving Myself

There are so many things I do well. I'm a loving mom, and I think I'm generally a good wife. I do well at school, and I always work hard in whatever post I find myself. I'm driven, and goal--oriented, and extremely competitive. I do not quit, ever. So I find it especially difficult to cut myself some proverbial slack.

My house isn't as clean as I would like it to be. I haven't lost any weight yet. I don't read to Mia every day, or even most days. I haven't worn make up in a while. I have a voice in my head that ticks off my faults one by one, and I think it may be eating me alive.

I have this long, extensive list of woulda, shoulda, coulda's in my head, and I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I tell myself that I am not working, an that I should be easily able to balance all of my duties. I'm not though, and I find myself getting sucked in to too many time wasters during the day. It's easy to focus on the "unimportants." They keep my mind from dealing with really needs dealing with, if that makes sense.

I need to slow down, praise myself for the good that I do, and love myself as unconditionally as I love my kids. They deserve to have a mom who is confident, in control, and disciplined. I need to smile more, laugh more, and enjoy the moments more, instead of worrying about all of the minor things I didn't get done today. You know, those things that don't matter in the scheme of things.


First Race, or How I Learned to Love the Race

Yesterday was my first road race -- post baby. I ran in Pat's Run, which benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation. If you have no idea who Pat Tillman is, you should. Here's a bio. The race was 4.2 miles, a bit longer than my current runs (about 1.5 times my current runs, to be exact). It was held at Arizona State University, where Pat played college football and where I did my own collegiate studies. Being on my home turf was inspiring.

I had to wake up extra early to get the kidlets ready. Eric's second shifts means he's pretty useless as a baby sitter at five o'clock in the morning. Thankfully, my parents offered to also get up before the sun, to meet me at the race and keep the kids happy while I ran. Connor was surprisingly excited about the race, and especially about visiting ASU. This was a decided change from the day we did the Climb to Conquer Cancer, wherein he did much whining and pouting. Mia was also very good-natured, entertained by the throng of people, the music, and the large colorful blowup balloons. Despite the fact that she didn't nap at all during the entire morning's festivities, she remained content.

I found myself in the 11-minute mile corral, and waited impatiently as the seven corrals in front of my group were released in two-minute intervals. It was tempting to start out with more speed than my usual shuffle, as the people around me seemed to be sprinting. That's a lot of peer pressure right there. I settled into my own pace, although I never quite found my own rhythm. I was troubled by an inability to find a comfortable pace, and I didn't even make it two miles before I took a walk break (counting to sixty in my head before I took it up again). I did a lot more walking than I had planned, but the goals was to finish. I was hoping to keep under twelve-minute-miles, and I did alright for the first two, but the last two kicked my butt, in a not so friendly way.

Several sights along the way kept the run interesting. There was an explorers' group from a local fire department, and they ran in formation, along with a few fireman leaders. I caught that there was a lagger in the group, so every once in a while, the boys would run off into the dirt, face plant on the ground, and do some manly looking push ups. The got a lot of cheers each time. There were several veterans in the group, including several who had obvious injuries. One man had both legs and arms amputated, but he was doing it, and I lost any sort of sorriness I felt for myself as I passed him. I found myself getting annoyed at the walkers who were blocking my path. They had obviously started ahead of me with no intention of running. When I had to take my walking breaks, I made sure to inch over as far as I could so I wasn't blocking anyone. Still, though, near the end, MOST of the participants were walking, and I had to find creative ways to pass them.

Coming around the last corner, seeing the stadium looming ahead was a bit of an uplift. I found it in myself to pick it up a bit. The music was blaring, everyone was cheering us on. Just before I hit the tunnel into the stadium, there was a huge, billboard-sized picture of Pat Tillman with some inspirational words. I fought off the urge to cry, and ramped it up, up into the stadium and through the tunnel onto the field. It was the same tunnel that the players exit onto during each home game. And then I saw them. The entire Sun Devil football team was lined up along the railings leading to the finish line at the 42-yard line. (On a side note, they are HUGE!) I made sure to slap each hand as I ran by and let out a breathless , "You guys totally rock!" before I stepped over the finish line.

I'm not sure of my exact time, but according to my watch, I came in about 56:30. I'll have to look up my official time once it's posted on the race site. That's about 13.5 minute miles, which I am not happy about, but I am not going to let it get to me too much. The point was to do it, and to finish, and I did both. As I walked back out of the stadium, on the other side of the tunnel through which I had just run, I saw the last lagging fire department explorer huffing it in.

I found my parents and the kids, and Connor gave me a huge hug. It felt good. I liked it. I want to do it again. Next week, in fact, when I do this.


Crocheted Pansies

It's my mom's 60th birthday today. This was in her goody bag. I found the pattern here. It took me about two weeks, but would have been faster if it weren't for my class and the needy, needy infant.


I'm Alive

I began the eighth week of the C25K program today. 28 minutes of non-stop running. Yeah, I'm a bad-ass. I'm not entirely fast, though, although I have been assured that speed will increase as my mileage does.

Eating has, well, sucked for the most part since last we met. I need to lay off hte little voice in my head that is making it difficult for me. I haven't really lost any more weight, but hey, I'm running 2.5 miles now. That's pretty good. In honor of a stressful night which involved Erix working, the baby NOT sleeping, and me being generally stressed out, I ate a Burger King meal today -- and I got it large. I ate the whole thing. No, I'm not feeling good right now.

Mia is thisclose to crawling. She is fearless. Connor is not a risk-taker, and I've always taken for granted that I don't have to worry about him. Mia, on the other hand, will cause me worry, and, likely, grey hair.


Getting Over It

Today should have been a relatively happy day for me. I finished week five of the C25K program, which boils down to about two miles of running, with no walking breaks. I did it, I did it with Mia in the jogging stroller, and I did it without stopping.

It has come to my attention, and not in an easy way, that I have been partaking in that old pastime called "wallowing." It's ain't pretty, and it ain't good. There's a certain indelicateness about wallowing; it has implications that suggest unkemptness and self-indulgence. I promise that I have been bathing, brushing my teeth and combing my hair. Really.

It has come to my attention, however, that I have been spending my time waiting for something or other, and figuratively emotionally crouching, as though waiting for the blow to land. This is, more or less, stupid. This is not really living.

Despite all my running success, I feel full and slow, unable to really deal with certain issues that need to be addressed. Sorry for being vague; public forum and all. Tomorrow, I am going to take a few hours for myself, away from the kids and the husband and the house full of chores to be done, and I am going to get over it and move on.


FaceBook is Kinda Evil

So you want to know why I haven't been posting on a regular basis for the last two weeks? I have been systematically sucked into the void that is known as FaceBook.

It's addictive, like coffee or meth. If it weren't for my husband, who knows if I would have showered or fed the kids this week. That's how downright evil it is. And it goes way beyond finding old high school friends and catching up with them, although I have been spending an inordinate time friend requesting and being nosey. There are the applications, like Flair, which have millions of worthless fake buttons to search through and send to those high school friends you haven't seen in 15 years.

I sent a mullet (the "classic mullet") to people I haven't even had a phone conversation with. And I laughed about the thought of said people opening their FaceBook account to see said mullet starting them in the face. And somehow, the idea that I am in way having any sort of "real" relationship with all of my FB friends doesn't seem to bother me at all. Somehow this light and airy interaction is all I need to sustain my social needs.

And yet, it provides me immediate connection. I have only to look at the list of friends to see their statuses. I can tell who is merely bored and who is having a life-changing crisis. I can intercede in either case. offering a white trash icon to brighten a day or a lengthy note when the needs arises.

I don't think I will be writing off FaceBook any time soon. It is what is is, a social networking site that allows us a very personal glimpse into the live of good friends and old boyfriends. It's a time waster. And what is 90% of the Internet, if not just that.

Now, excuse me. I need to go and reach the next highest level in Mafia Wars. Care to join my family?


4th Annual Pat Tillman Run

I signed up for this run:

Pat's Run

I hate asking for money, but I would appreciate it if you could hep me raise $100 for the Pat Tillman Faoundation. Even if it's five bucks, I would really appreciate it. It's a 4.2 mile run, in honor of his number. He was also a Sun Devil, way before he was a Cardnial or an Army Ranger. Visit my fundraising page to donate.


Thanks for your help! I know how tight money is right now, and I appreciate it.



One Day He'll Change His Mind

Connor has a friend staying the night. They are sitting on the couch in the family room playing "Leggos Batman" on the XBox 360. I was just passing through, and I overheard this:

Connor: You don't want to be Batman.

Friend: Why?

Connor: Because Cat Woman kisses him in the last part.



I read somewhere that most people fall out of the C25K running program somewhere around the fourth or fifth week. I can understand why. The initial "this is exciting" feeling has worn off, I realize it's just another day of running, and there are a million other things to do today. It would have been easy enough to come up with excuses why I couldn't run today. But if I were being honest with myself, it would simply mean that I didn't want to do it.

I did it anyway. Week four, day one. At this stage, I am running more than I am briskly walking. I have a tendency to over think situations, and it's daunting to think about that. But I am reminded of some advice Eric gave me a while back: your mind will give out before your body does. It's true. When I am running during those five-minutes stretches, I have force my mind clear. If I think it's hard, then it will be. If I focus on other things, then those minutes fly by.

Lost 2.5 pounds this week. Am now down to 153.6 Woot! I am seeing better muscle definition in my legs, too.


Cool Babies Wear Cloth

I get a little lonely on nights when Eric works. The house seems big and quiet, and too dark. When Mia falls asleep, I sneak into her room over and over just to stroke her head and listen to her sigh in her sleep. I have to resist the urge to bring her to bed with me. She's getting so big. Where did my little baby go?


Some Professional Pics

My Dog is a Pre-Vert

I think it would be safe to say that everyone has a few quirks. Eric likes to dice his meal into thousands of bite-sized morsels before he eats. Everything he eats. He claims it's a reaction to the MRE's he was forced to eat in the Marines. I tend to get a little "passionate" about things -- movies, books, new hobbies like running. I call it "being driven," Eric calls it obsession. PO-TAY-TOH PO-TAH-TOH.

We have are owned by three large and quirky dogs. On most days, they blend into our household like furniture in a pile of dog hair. We have three dogs because neither of us can simply say no to a sad, needy face. It's like a home for wayward dogs here, except the inmates are running things. We have agreed, on many occasions, that three dogs is just too much. But we're not about to tell them that. They outnumber us.

Our boy Baron likes shoes. When he was much younger, he used to chew them to pieces. I still remember that fantastic pair of black mules I bought and he ate before I could even wear them (lesson learned). It was the last time I ever spent more than $30 on a pair of shoes without laces. Now, however, he is simply satisfied with cozying up with a shoe while he sleeps. My shoes, to be exact. To Baron, nothing compares to a mary jane in the "woobie" category. As long as there are no tell-tale tooth marks, and I don't have to hunt to hard for my zappatos, then I am happy to oblige his strange quirk. No so much with my underwear. I believe we finally came to an understanding about that.

One day late last fall, I stumbled out to the kitchen after a night of feeding the baby every two hours. I hadn't had a cup of java yet, so my mind was not working at its prime. You can imagine my alarm, then, when I looked out my kitchen window and saw this:

Stalkerish, no? We moved our pool table out to the patio earlier that year, and Baron found his way on top of it.

Say what you will about pit bulls. But I know their dirty little secret; they are bordering on the edge of a full-blown Lifetime movie plot. At least our boy is.


I Found Nirvana

I bought new running shoes yesterday. I went to a specialty store called Roadrunner Sports, which has one of its two state stores conveniently near my house. Let me just say this, I will never buy another pair of shoes (or at least running shoes) until I try them out on a treadmill first. I ended up with Aisics Cumulus 10.

First I have to say how much I loved this store. I want to move INTO the store, that is how much I love the store. The people who work there, especially the woman who helped me through the Shoe Dog experiment and the subsequent trying on of five pars of shoes. I felt like a little girl, and I wanted to run around and touch everything. I also wanted to talk to everyone and exchange digits and promises to get together to train.

I took them out for a run today, and they were good. It seems I have freakishly narrow heels, but the rest of my feet are normal. So, to sum up, it's very difficult finding shoes that won't cut of the circulation in my mid-foot while my heel sloshes around in the back.

Bless poor Eric. He contended with the fussy baby while I got each pair tied "just right" and took each for a spin on the treadmill.

I took my Biology exam today. The two multiple choice portions were graded immediately. I scored 90% (exactly) on both of them. I have a 90% in the course up to now. So here's hoping I didn't totally fail the essay portion of the test. I should know by next Tuesday. Wouldn't it be a real "hoot" if I actually got on A in this class?


I will resist the urge to throw my scale in the oven

Beginning weight: 154.6
Last week: 155.4
This week: 156.4

That's a net gain of 1.8 pounds in two weeks. So. not. good.

If I say I want to cry about it, I would be understating how I feel. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight at five months with Connor. Mia is six months old, and I am still 26 pounds up. To add insult to injury, it's pretty hot here lately, and I went to put on a pair of shorts. I accidentally grabbed a pair that I wore pre-pregnancy, and the wouldn't even button. My middle is decidedly poochy, and my butt is huge.

I have been trying to eat better, I really have. I have a feeling I may not be eating enough. Breastfeeding and all. And those Girl Scout cookies aren't helping, either. I need to sit myself down and have a heart to heart about my diet. The fact that my diet sucks, for example.

So what do I need to do about it? I'm too stressed out, and I eat in my moments of anxiety. I am down to the last week of my Biology class, and I am cramming for my final, which I need to take Friday. The first time I went through college, I took mostly English lit and humanities classes. They were, for all intents, easy for me. Biology is like a foreign language, and even though I have a 91% in the class right now, I have had to work very, VERY hard to keep it. I have spent countless hours each week reading, outlining notes, writing essays, and doing at-home labs. I'd guess about 20 hours per week, which is a lot. It's like a part-time job, but I am not getting paid for it. It also means I spent a lot of time on my aforementioned large butt. I don't like it, but there's not much I can do about it.

I plan on taking a few weeks off before starting my next class. In case you're wondering, I take online classes. I need to get organized. This means getting the house in order, doing wiser grocery shopping, and cooking for myself more. As it is, with Eric being gone four nights a week, I tend not to cook for myself.

It is also possible that I might not lose weight until I stop breastfeeding. I am almost 35, and I've noticed that the weight comes on faster than it used to and comes off harder. I lost 25 pounds prior to having Mia, so I know that I can do it.

I have been doing well with the Couch to 5k program, and I even signed up for a 5k at the end of April. I have been take Mia with me, in our Jeep jogging stroller. It's good for both of us; she gets a nap in, and I get my exercise. It has a hookup for my iPod, so I can listen to my podcasts over the stroller's speakers instead of earbuds that I am constantly adjusting as I run. I completed week three, day one today. I'm about a quarter of the way there!


Perhaps She'll Ride Horses

Her Royal Highness had her sixth month checkup today. (This is the part with obligatory baby stats, so skip ahead if they make you yawn.) Our little peanut is weighing in a 14 pounds, 7 ounces, and she is 25 inches long. Not destined for life as a basketball player or a sumo wrestler, I am afraid. I hope she she has other career plans in mind. Like, say, jockey.

I realized today that I haven't watched one single television show or DVD without a persistent whine, cry, fuss, babble, or chime of some ungodly loud toy for the last sixth months. I wonder what I have been missing.

Three days old.


Self Sabatoge and the Lost Art of Feeling Sorry for Oneself

I.am. so. tired.

Ah, the collective whiny cry from moms of babies all over the world. (Except they probably say it in Mandarin or Sanskrit.) Yup. she's got a severe case of Icantbeawayfrommommyitis, which is kind of sucky. She's good for about five hours -- from 7 to midnight, but then it's up anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, bt mostly in the 90-minute range.

It's her sixth-month birthday today or anniversay or halfaversary or whatever you want to call it. I think it's time we had the talk. you know, the one where I tell her that it's not totally unreasonable for me to expect her to only wake once or twice a night, instead of four or five. Maybe if I took the bull by the proverbial horns and let her cry it out a little, things might improve. Still, Connor needs to be up early for school and it's so much easier to just nurse her back to sleep than fight it.


It's more than just the baby, however. My diet has been horrible. Too much caffeine, not enough water, too much sugar and carbs, not enough of the healthy stuff. And although I feel great keeping up with the C25K program, eating is just as important. I need fuel for my body, and downing a handful of mini-Hershey bars is not going to do it.

So, to sum up: Excersize, good. Diet: bad. Sleep: nil. Self-respect: dwindling.

Time to regroup.

I have my Bio final this week. I should be studying, and I am doing anything but. It's amazing what you can find on the internet when you should be outlining notes.


Climb to Conquer Cancer

Today I climbed South Mountain once again. I've been doing this climb every year since I was 20... with a few exceptions. I brought Connor and Mia with me. Neither of them was the least bit happy to be there. Last night was not fun, with a capital NT, and I am tired as hell today. I got there late, just as police were setting up the barricades, so I had to hoof it 1.5 miles just to get to the registraion tables where I met the parents. The climb is supposed to be 5 miles, but we only made it three before Miss Mia had a virtual meltdown, and I decided to turn myself around and head back down. As it was, we probably would have made better time if I had just finished and taken the bus down. Oh well. In all, I think I walked about 7-8 miles today.

My father is a survivor of prostate cancer, so this walk is especially important to me.

I wanted to write something interesting and witty tonight, but I am tired. Instead, I'll leave you with a picture. Check out the fauxhawk.


Reality Color Commentating & Mia Torments Me Further

Eric is always making fun of my TV viewing habits. I admit, much of my TiVo list includes most of the Bravo lineup. I swear, I only watch "The Real Housewives" to mock the utter avarice and cattiness. He refers to "The Biggest Loser" as "that fat people show." "Project Runway" is "that show without straight men." In a fit of desperation, while struggling though last year's writers' strike, I got hooked on "Make Me a Supermodel," and ohmygodIcantbelieveIamgoingtoadmitthis, even "Groomer Has It." Yeah. Good times!

Eric laughs and mocks, but I usually know where the remote control is. Which means I decide what we watch as we try to wake up in the morning. To his credit, he will sit through an entire reality hour without complaining. That doesn't mean he doesn't comment, however. Imagine watching reality TV with Yogi Berra or Harry Kari. That's exactly what it's like watching "Top Chef" with Eric. I don't mean that I get a second-hand play-by-play of the culinary action. I mean he comments on everything that happens in each episode. And then there's his favorite reality TV pastime: picking out the penis.

The penis is the contestant whom Eric deems the dickiest. On this season of "Top Chef: New York," that would be Stefan, the overly confident penis from Finland. Once said penis has been identified, I can expect the rest of the episodes to be filled with such colorful phrases as, "I want to hit him, " and "He's such a penis, I should draw a scrotum on his neck." So it was, this morning, that we watched the season finale with all the gusto of the Super Bowl, all the while Eric actively cheering against Stefan. I believe he shed a tear when Hosea was announced as this season's winner.

On to the next show, and undiscovered penises yet to be labelled and mocked.


Mia has mastered the art of rolling. She's using it as a form of transport now, rolling from one end of the family room rug to the other, and stealthily sneaking up on an unsuspecting dog. Heretofore, she has been an unwilling and often complaining member of the Tummy Time Club, preferring to bitch and cry whenever she ended up in such as position. In the event she accidentally rolled over onto her tummy, all heck would break loose, and no peace would be had until her precarious situation was rectified.

Imagine my surprise, then, when she did a barrel roll, a la alligator, and decided to sleep on her tummy. And no, that's not quite an accurate description. She decided to take a face plant and sleep like this:

Okay, I may not be the best mom ever, but I know that babies aren't supposed to sleep on their tummies. Oh, sure, I know lots of babies who will ONLY sleep on their tummies, but Mia has never been one of those. Yes, she is sleeping in this picture, and yes, her face lies directly against the mattress. The first night this happened, I convinced myself that one of two things was going to happen: a) she would most surely suffocate, or b) someone from the SIDS Prevention Alliance was going to come and knock down my door and send me to mommy prison for allowing her to sleep this way.

Then I got over, relaxed, and realized that she would be okay. And you know what? She was just fine.


Reasons for not running today

1. Tess, my four-footed running partner, tried to eat a beagle. I decided to leave her at home. She was most upset and howled for the duration, which upset my other two dogs. I am sure the neighborhood would appreciate it if I just took her with me from now on.

I could not take her, though, because Eric was still sleeping (despite the absolute chaos taking place in our backyard, so I decided to take Mia with me in the as yet unused jogging stroller.

2. The jogging stroller. So pretty with it's orange and black color scheme and ultra cool with an iPod hookup to external speakers. I got it halfway down the block before I realized that the tires were flat. (This was my second return trip home, the first to return Tess.)

3. Eric was roused by the dogs barking -- finally - and I yelled at him through the security door to find me the air pump for the tire. Poor Eric. He wasn't quite awake yet and was still trying to piece together why on earth the dogs were having a complete meltdown in the backyard.

Air pump was found, Eric fixed my tires, and I changed Mia, who had managed to spit up half of her rice cereal and pears on her onesie and pants. Set out once again. A little less determined, but I figured I couldn't give up now, especially since Eric was in his tired/confused/annoyed state.

4. I use Robert Ullrey's podcasts for the Couch to 5k program. They are set to music, and the times are spaced out perfectly. I don't have to watch the timer to see when to run and when to revert to brisk walking. In my haste to finally get going, I turned on the week four podcast instead of the week two podcast. I was four minutes into what should have been a two-minute run before I realized me mistake and inevitably found the right spot in the correct pocast.

I could have given up, but I didn't. And although my running is barely faster than my brisk walking, I feel accomplished.


Weight check:

Starting weight (and last week): 154.6
This week: 155.4

Gained half a pound. While my exercise has been great, I need to eat better. *Sigh*


A "Convenient" Pregnancy Loss

What up, "Big Love?" Just when I was going and liking you and watching you one the regular. Then you succumb to that bastion of all things horrible and wrong about teenagers on the small screen. You staged a mini-pregnancy. And now, I have completely lost faith in your originality and character lines.

It hearkens way back before Brenda Walsh had the big pregnancy scare on "90210" (the original). I believe it got its start on the after-school special in the early 80's. Here's how it plays out: teenage girl, despite being portrayed as smart and sassy, gets knocked up by some boyfriend/uncle/neighborhood drug-dealer. Several episodes are filmed that deal with this mess, and they are often referred o s "a very special episode." Tight close-ups of the teens struggling with the news and their decisions. Should she get an abortion. Should she put the baby up for adoption? Should she tell her parents? Will her pregnancy affect her prospects for the prom? It's all very dramatic.
Inevitably, it all amounts to the same. The girl decides she is going to have the baby, and just as she is about to spill the beans to her parents -- who would no doubt be very understanding -- she has a miscarriage. Sometimes the miscarriage is proceeded by some horrible accident,but in the end, the producers and writers of the show stage a convenient miscarriage to wrap up this "very special storyline."

Miscarriages are common, to be sure. More common than television and Hollywood would ever let on. We never see a happily married couple struggling to get pregnant only to lose it in real fashion -- a horribly sucky way. As a member myself of the so many miscarriages I should be in a book community, it angers me to see this cliche storyline used again and again. When miscarriage comes a relief instead f the awful loss that it is, then we are missing something -- humanity.


Alas Poor Bed, I Knew It Well

Sleep. Why won't she just sleep. I am tired of that stupid freaking Pampers commercial. The one in which a host of unconscious babies are shown as that twangy little number plays in the the background -- "Silent Night." Everytime soneone asks me if she is sleeping through the night, I have to stifle the urge to slap them and make them babysit. We're good for a four to five-hour stretch at the getgo, then it's anywhere from 1-2 hours until I finally relent and just bring her to bed with me. At which time she commences to play kcikball with my ribs.

Now she's playing "I know it's my bedtime, but I am not going to sleep."

She's rolling. All over the place, even in her crib while she sleeps. She has decided she likes sleeping on her tummy. Which is odd, since she hates it while she's awake.


Calories and Fat Grams

Yeah, so I have been tracking my nutrional intake with BabyFit.com. According to "them," I am to eat a minimum of 2000 calories per day, since I am breastfeeding. I "totally pigged out" today, including a tall white mocha latte from Starbucks (soy), and half a Freschetta's pizza (pepperoni). 1700 freaking calories.
Then I checked out my fat grams, and I'm over 70.How the heck do I increase my calories and decrease my fat grams? At least my protein intake was stellar.



Her Royal Highness tried a sipppy cup for the first time. She took to it with all the ferociousness of a mother wolverine. Look at her eyeing the camera, as if she's saying "Don't mess with me," all while keeping her death grip on the sippy cup.


Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Today is my grandma's 80th birthday. I made her this blanket as a surprise. It's made from Red Heart Supersaver in Frosty Green. I can just picture her with a book and a warm cup of coffee cuddled up on a cold Wisconsin morning. Happy Birthday, Grandma! I hope you enjoy.


Getting off the Couch

Instead of cursing every time I hop on the scale or chide myself for eating all the wrong things, I have decided to do something about it. How novel, no? Yesterday, I began the Couch to 5K program (again). Before I got pregnant with Mia, I was running four times a week, looking very good in my size six jeans, and generally feeling pretty healhy.Right now, I weigh 155 pounds, am sometimes squeezing into a size ten, and was horrified to see myself in a swim suit from our recent vacation pictures in Mexico. Will post picture at some other time. Not to mention that I have a closet full of very nice clothes that no longer fit over my behind. And then there's the muffin top. I am sure it is horrid enough to scare small children, and some pets.My goal is to get back to my pre-pregnancy statues by the time Mia turns one in September. I'd also like to have a 5K and maybe a 10K under my belt by then.Here's the plan:*C25K runs, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday*Yoga or Pilates -- Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday*Strenght Training -- Monday, Wednesday, Friday*Tai Chi and Step and intervalsI also joined the fine folks over at BabyFit. I tried to sign up through SparkPeople, but they rejected me because I am breastfeeding. I find it very useful to write down everything that I eat. According to the BabyFit nutritional guide, I should be eating a minimum of 2000 calories per day. I am lucky if I can squeeze in 1600. And drinking 100 oiunces of water? That is going to be a challenge.Look out world, here comes my larger than life butt in a pair of yoga pants!
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