Friday, December 7, 2007

Blog Schmog

THANK YOU ALL! so much for all your wonderful words. I always know that when this girl is down, you all are unbelievable in picking me back up again.

That said, I am still in a blogging funk. And a running funk :X I am hopeful that this weekend is going to turn that around, but I just have no clue where I am going to fit this junk all in! Starting Monday though back to the gym over my lunch hours. At least a 40 minute run is better than the nothing that I have been doing lately.

So, that being said, please just bear with me. Once I figure out what to get my rotten kids for Christmas, I trust that I will be feeling better...or if I win the lottery. Whichever comes first :P

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A little disclaimer

First off...I just want to say that I'm sorry for all of you that I upset when you visit this blog. I really, truly try my best to keep it as light as possible. I honestly do. I also know that no matter what I can say, it is a very heart-wrenching subject for a lot of people. BUT...I consider you all my friends. And being my friends, the last thing I want is for you to have pity for me. I want you to say the things you would say to your other friends, nice or not. That's a huge reason why I love blogging and love you all. My best friends in the real world remember the baby, but don't dote on it, and that's really what I want you all to do, too. I hope you can all gain some of what I have learned from this experience. That is completely important to me. But I don't want anyone baby-stepping around me because of it. I don't expect to be coddled. And I really would rather you all like me because of the person that I am and not what I have been through.

That being said....I SUCK....I haven't run since Monday. I am going to be completely unready for the half in January and I am just hoping that my determination and the fact that I am running with 3 of the best people EVER can get me through it. I just don't see the training getting that much better anytime soon, but I do still plan on getting it done. So, I guess all I'm saying is...wish me some luck ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Issues


It is completely amazing to me how dense I can be at times. I have been having these horribly Scroogy-type feelings towards Christmas and it took me until driving to my counseling appointment yesterday to figure it out. Um yeah...of course I am going to have a hard time with the holidays this year. I miss my baby. But once I left my appointment (after coming up with a plan to deal with it and include him in the holidays) I felt honestly 10 pounds lighter. The kids and I talked about it last night and we decided the best way to honor Kruex this Christmas would be to buy some gifts that we think he would have loved and then donate them to kids that need them and would enjoy them. We usually choose one or two different charities to donate to during this time of year anyway, and this will be a really personal way for the kids to feel like they are helping someone. I think we just found a new Christmas tradition :)
So, now that I have finally dealt with my issues...bring on the shopping and decorating! Which is good since The Boss's big plan for the weekend is to get a tree up in my house and hang lights, too, and now I can be cheery and fun instead of crabby and sad :P
The house is clean. I've gotten a couple of workouts in so far this week. Hopefully I can find time to get a run in tonight, but it is frigid out these days and I have a head cold starting, which is no fun. But overall, I am finally looking forward to the holiday season again. And before long it will be over and it will be on to Sunny Arizona! I need to kick it into gear, kids!

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Love Me A Holiday Weekend!

What a whirlwind of a weekend! As insane as it was, I really wish that every weekend could be a holiday weekend :) I am proud to say that I was able to avoid all sweets over the Thanksgiving holiday, but unfortunately the same can't be said about the alcohol. There were many festive family gatherings and the spirits were flowing! I also did a completely craptacular job of getting any runs or exercise of any kind in whatsoever. It was not good, people. Not good at all.

The roses were from a new "friend". And probably top the surprise chart by any random act that any boy has ever done for me in my life. Very impressive. We have a ton in common and had a lot of fun this weekend. He has kids the same ages as mine (give or take a few months) and has also had to deal with the loss of his wife 3 years ago. Kind of scary the similarities, actually. Oh, and on the first date he actually said the "T" word, as in triathlon! I know...shock and awe.

But here is the best part! He WORKS OUT OF TOWN! I have always said that I needed to find me an over-the-road truck driver. You know...gone all week long and home over the weekend. LOL My wish may have been granted!

So, my plan for the week is to get at least two (preferrably 3) quality runs in during the week, get this house cleaned up (4 kids all week long have done a number on it) and just get ready for the weekend to start the insanity again.

Hope everyone got through the holiday weekend in one piece and without too many excess pounds!

Holy Mary! I almost forgot! Metamora won the State Championship on Saturday! It was nail-biting and came down to a last second field goal by their 14-year-old freshman kicker. Talk about the weight of the world on your shoulders!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tagged & An Obsession

I got tagged by the lovely Mendy who I am going to have the honor of running the PF Chang's Rock 'n Roll Half-Marathon in Arizona with in January. Excited does not even begin to describe how I feel about the fact that not only are Mendy and David going to be there, but two of my very best virtual friends who I have known for the past 4+ years but never met are running it, too!!!! I just cannot wait to meet Lisa and Marcy!!!

Okay, enough mushy stuff...onto the rules of the game ;)

-- link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
-- share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
-- tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
-- let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

1) I have a brand spanking new obsession that has completely taken over my life. It's called "Coach" and it is serious. I have a few friends that are looking for 12-step programs and are scared. I'm like a crack whore for the "C" :P

2) I can juggle. Not overly well, or for a long period of time, or with any exciting objects. But when my son was 2 or so and needed to be entertained, I taught myself to juggle. Let me tell you, nothing could keep his attention better. Along the same lines, I can do a mean headstand. My kids are so proud of me ;)

3) I have only broke one bone in my life and it was a bone in my foot. It was also a stupid accident that happened in college and I was drunk. I have also only had stitches once, well twice. About 4 years ago I was boating and went to climb off the back of the boat to get in the water (to go to the bathroom - alcohol again involved) and my foot slipped and the prop sliced my shin up pretty good. I think it took somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 stitches to close and about 2 days after I took the stitches out, I busted it back open moving furniture and was fortunate that they re-stitched it.

4) I am a picker. I love to pick at fingernail polish, wallpaper, my poor brother's acne :X It is embarrassing at times.

5) I am a big believer in spirits. I know without a doubt that my son was with me in our living room on Sunday night. I think he is there very often, but on Sunday he made sure I knew it by playing one of his toys (that never goes off like some of the other toys that are uber-sensitive). twice.

6) and I have to add one more because I'm seriously grinning from ear-to-ear....I just got roses. And they are Bee-Ay-You-Ti-Full!!!!!

Not gonna tag anyone, but everyone is welcome to join in the fun!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Statebound Baby!!!!


The Metamora Redbirds were in their usual form on Saturday and beat Marion to get to the State Championship!!! We had so much fun and have a huge group going to Champaign for State on Friday/Saturday.
My best friend who lives across the street from me (and coincidentally in the backyard of the football field) did breakfast before the game and no "tailgate" is complete without the spiked apple cider and bloody mary's! Needless to say, it got a little wild :X Unfortunately, with all the playoff festivities and then having to come into work on Sunday, the long run that I wanted to get in just didn't happen. But, the overtime from yesterday is going to pay me back today and the plan is just to work a half day today and get in a nice long run before I pick the kids up from school/the sitter's. I can't wait!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday and gets to enjoy a short week :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Marcelina McG........WE WANT YOU!



So, get your best naggy-wife voice out and talk Mr. McG into sending you to the half in January.

Because really...Arizona needs you. I need you. Lisa really needs you. And now? Well, now, Mendy & David need you, too.

Just think of all the fun we will have. Actually, since I have never previously done a list on this blog, I think I'll de-virginize the site just for you :0

1) Lisa is crazy. 'Nuff said.

2) We will get to see JavaDad make the faces IN REAL LIFE that Lisa has talked about for all these years.

3) David may be just as nuts as Lisa. For example, he keeps hinting at some insane fact that "it's just $35 to upgrade to the full". Step away from the crackpipe.

4) The weather in Arizona will be so much better than the weather in New York in January.

5) You could buy a new running outfit just for the occasion.

6) Shopping.

7) Even if you walk the whole thing, you will still probably pace the same as Lisa and I.

8) And finally - What kind of bathroom pic would it be without you there holding the camera?

So, all I'm saying is read the list. Mull it over. And then book your flight, dang it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just Like Me


This is the doll that Payton is asking Santa for. She doesn't quite understand that the "Just Like Me" concept is to get a doll that actually resembles you. This one is close, I'll give her that. The hair and eye color are the same, but they also have a doll with bangs that really looks like Payton. Nevertheless, she tells me that she likes this "hairstyle" best. ??? Seriously? Where does a 3-year old learn words like that?

This doll has gotten me thinking of all the ways the kids are just like me. Payton has times where she looks so much like me, it's just scary. Last night she put on a zip-up sweatshirt and kept asking my mom "Don't I look JUST like my mom?" LOL (Hey - no making fun of the sweatshirts...they're comfy :P) The worst part, however, is how much she acts like me. And not usually the good characteristics :X When she is mad (the kid has one helluva temper) she will stand, glaring at us and grit through her teeth how she is "So.Pissed.Off" Her language has some slips when she's angry, too. Guess that would be another thing we have in common :X I honestly just look at her, shrug my shoulders and say "Me too, sister, me too." When we are "disagreeing" she will decide that we aren't talking to each other, which can last for a while. And, again, it is usually just fine by me. It also never fails that once the rage has passed, she will just sob and feel so horrible for her actions. She will tell us over and over that she is "sorry for everything". Some days, it is like looking in a mirror all day long.

Then there is Jack. He has some of the same hystrionics (sp?) that Payton and I have, but for the most part I think his character is much more in line with his dad's. Pretty laid back and easily bossed around ;) Just kidding, but Jack really doesn't stand much chance with Payton and I in the same house. But last night completely proved that he is definitely my son. He had spent a long weekend with his dad. Being Veteran's Day weekend, the school combined parent/teacher conferences and the kids ended up getting a 5-day weekend. As we were leaving his dad's house, he reminded Jack to take something with him. This object was wrapped in styrofoam and I could tell it was probably something he made.

So, we get to the car and I ask what it was (even though I figured it was some kind of gift for me) and he tells me it is my Christmas present. I immediately started laughing. I mean, come on, if nothing else, everyone knows that neither Jack or I can keep a gift a secret. At all. Not even for a day. Within 3 minutes of leaving Brian's house, Jack had already slipped and told me that it was a plate (which led to uncontrollable laughter from me and angry tears from him) and within 30 minutes of finishing dinner at my grandma's he had unwrapped it and given it to me :X It's unfair really. We just can't hold our excitement in. We are the worst gift-givers ever and if I could tell him that there was no Santa, they would have all of their presents by Thanksgiving every year.

Fortunately we probably have another year or two, as it doesn't look like Jack will stop believing in Santa Claus until his rotten sister tells him the truth :P

Monday, November 12, 2007

Time to Start Knocking on Wood

Remember just Friday when I said that there was nothing much in the plans for the weekend? When, oh when am I going to learn my lesson and stop saying things like that? This weekend was so packed full that I barely remember what happened last week :P I had that little thing to go to with my friend Friday night and then was informed at nearly midnight that my brother had decided he would much rather have me drive him to get his lasik surgery than my mother. What does that mean? Well, that means that Miss Payton and I took a trip to Chicago at 7 a.m. Saturday morning and were gone until about 4:30 p.m. or so. We didn't have any concrete plans for Saturday, so it really didn't cause any problems, just was not something I had even halfway considered having to do. But, she and I did get to take our first shopping trip in the Windy City together and we hit up American Girl Place. Let me tell you, that place is INSANE! I swear most of those women were on crack, or maybe they just funnel it through the vents, but I have never seen so many grown women clutching dolls in my life! It was a pretty cool store though. Payton's bitty baby is the proud owner of a new outfit and a snowsuit! ROFLMAO Payton was also able to pick which doll she wants to ask Santa for and also checked out all of the outfits. By the way, her favorite - the karate outfit :P I have no idea.

Sunday was another busy day and basically what I am trying to say is that I sucked and was unable to get a run in all weekend :(

Tonight, however, it's a date :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Finally Friday!

Hurray for Friday! This week has been an emotional overload to say the least. I could not be happier to see it end. So far I have gotten all my scheduled runs in. Tuesday's 3.5 felt pretty good, but yesterday's 4 miler was rough.

I got to skip out of work early yesterday to meet with Jack's teacher for parent/teacher conferences. She had nothing but great things to say about him, which was so nice, and she seems to really enjoy having him in class. He LOVES this teacher. I actually think he has a crush on her. She is really into sports and her husband plays hockey, which makes her almost as cool as his mom ;)

After the conference I decided to run and just take off on a new route. I ran out of town and my left shin was just screaming. By the time I was back home, I had ice on my shin, ankle and knee. It was not pretty, but at least done :P I even got in a quick nap before my mom brought the kids back home and we had dinner and woke up feeling completely rejuvinated and refreshed. Just what the doctor ordered :)

Not much in the plans so far this weekend. I have a visitation to go to tonight after work and then some VIP party to go to with a friend who is in the running to win some kind of trip (not really sure what it is all about, but should be fun). Hopefully the wind will cooperate tomorrow and Payton and I can rake/burn leaves and do some cleaning. Have a great Friday everyone!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cheating

I have done a crappy job of posting lately, and other than just being busy as could be this weekend, I have no real excuse :P I decided early Friday afternoon that I wanted to paint my living room, so between Friday and Saturday night, I now have a nice warm, cozy, pumpkin-colored room that is so much more comfortable than the blank white walls were. I also got a 6-mile run in on Saturday afternoon that went freaking awesome! I felt so good afterwards and really think I could have done at least another mile or two, but didn't want to push it and risk any injuries this early on in the half training....so, since I don't really have much else to talk about, I got this from a friend late last week and finally took the time to read it today. I really agree with it and think you all will, too. There are so few things in our lives that can't be changed...and life is too short to worry about things that really don't matter anyway.

FORTY TIPS FOR AN
EXCEPTIONAL, SUPERB, AND POWERFUL LIFE
1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a PVR/TIVO, tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, "My purpose is to ___________ today."

5. Live with the 3 E's: Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

6. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2006.

7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk, and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. What other people think of you is none of your business.

29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

33. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

34. The best is yet to come.

35. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

36. Do the right thing!

37. Call your family often.

38. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: "I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.”

39. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

40. Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

May your troubles be less,
May your blessings be more.
And may nothing but happiness come through your door!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

1st of the Month

It seems like for the past few months, the first (or close thereto) always has me thanking you guys for all your support. Obviously, the end of the month is my rough time :P So, without sounding like a broken record, but more importantly, to not let all of your wonderful words of kindness and support go unnoticed......THANK YOU! It really does mean the world to me and I don't ever want to take it for granted.

I need to go for a run tonight, but this week has worn me ragged...I am playing with the idea of running tomorrow night and then doing my 6 miles on Sunday instead of Saturday, like I had originally planned. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense anyway since we have a birthday party to go to on Saturday and I also told one of my bosses that I could be available for last minute help on Saturday. This way I can just go home, relax, fold laundry and enjoy not running in a million directions for once this week.

I do have a dog question (which probably has most of you grimacing right now), but I have been doing a lot of research and am leaning towards a Bichon Frise right now. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge on them? I would love any positives and negatives you can give me. Or even any good websites that I may have missed in my massive search that has been taking place of working lately :X

I'm going to try to get a pic of the kids in the Halloween gear from last night up later tonight, too. Since the great crash I have been nervous about putting any pictures on the new computer, but I know I need to get over that already ;)

Monday, October 29, 2007

That Call

This morning I got the call that I have been wanting and dreading for the past 3 1/2 months or so.

It came from the attorney that is having Kruex's case reviewed.

It was the call that confirmed that my son died 7 months ago tomorrow for no good reason.

I honestly thought I was ready for it. I really did. I knew that it was true. I knew the ER doc missed everything that was in front of him. But I suppose there was always some sort of hope in the back of my mind that I was wrong. That I really didn't know and that they really did do everything they could have done to save my baby. I don't want it to seem like I am ungrateful for what the doctors, surgeons and nurses in the Peds ICU did, because they saved his life everyday for 7 days. It was the ER doctor who did nothing for 8 hours. The one that assumed my child had the flu and that I was a mother overreacting. I haven't talked much about what happened here yet and I will try to give some of the story.

When I was 32 weeks pregnant, my water broke. I was put in the hospital and I ended up going 10 days on complete bed rest before my labor actually started. Kruex was born on June 15, 2006. He was just shy of 6 pounds, which was pretty good for not even being at 34 weeks gestation. He was taken to the Level II nursery (not nicu, but not the regular one either). He never needed oxygen and his lungs were fully developed. He had the typical preemie roller coaster and actually developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is an infection that attacks the intestines. At its worse, it can cause death of part of the bowels, which would require removal. His was caught before it got to this stage. This was definitely our biggest challenge and the problem that kept him in the hospital for 4 weeks following his birth. Prior to his discharge, I specifically asked the neonatologist if there could be any further complications from the NEC. He said no. I asked more directly if I needed to pay attention when he started on solid foods. He said no. I asked, again, in comparing Kruex and my other two kids, who has a better chance of having a problem. And HE TOLD ME THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE IN RISK FACTOR.

So, on 7-13-06 Kruex came home. And everything was wonderful. He was an amazingly easy-going baby. No unnecessary crying. He even slept through the night pretty normally from about 4 months on (something his big sister still has issues doing :P) I have never been one to start solids early. I breastfeed the kids for a year, and until they get some teeth or are able to eat with the rest of the family, I really don't worry about cereal, baby food and all that jazz. So, Kruex had had his occasional treat through the mesh feeder, some baby food fruit here and there just so he felt like he was part of dinner, but never anything with any normalcy. I took him to my pediatrician for his 9 month checkup on a Friday. He was hungry and I hadn't nursed him for 3 or 4 hours when they did the weight check. His weight was a bit low. He was definitely on the smaller side, always had been since he was born. But, then again, Payton was always smaller, too, so I really never worried. My pediatrician said I needed to start feeding him cereal twice a day. And I could add veggies/fruits for another meal if I wanted to. That was on Friday.

The next Wednesday, both Kruex and Payton woke up with fevers. I called my mom to come keep them while I worked and Kruex would not eat or drink anything. Payton felt pretty good. Kruex was lethargic when I came home from work. He laid on me all night long and really didn't want to eat, but I kept trying to get him to nurse. Finally, before he went to bed he ate. And then again during the middle of the night. After that feeding, he vomited all over me. I decided to stay home with him on Thursday and by 10 a.m. I called the doctor. He had vomited twice and I couldn't keep anything in him. I was very concerned that he would dehydrate. The doctor's office couldn't get him in until 3 p.m. and since he was so small, I didn't think he should wait that long, so they suggested I just take him to the emergency room. Mom came to keep Payton and Kruex and I went to the hospital. We were admitted by noon and I honestly can't remember if I even actually saw the doctor on duty. I was convinced that it was a flu since Payton had the same fever the day before and was mainly concerned that he was dehydrated.

He didn't have the flu. He wasn't dehydrated.

He had an intestinal blockage and he was going into shock.

Probably the most important part of the story is that he was born in this same hospital. They had every one of his medical records at their fingertips. I gave them a good verbal history...to at least 5 different people while we were there. I said the word "NEC" at least 20 times. They should have at least ruled it out. And they didn't. They should have moved him to a room with more monitoring from the ER. He was put in peds general and by 6 a.m. hands/feet/groin area was completely black and blue from it shutting down on him. He went through 7 surgeries in 5 days and fought through everyone because I asked him to. I honestly believe that he finally died because I told him he could. I told him that I would be okay and that he didn't have to keep going for me.

I have never doubted the amount of love I had for that kid, but I honestly didn't think that I wasn't ready for the phone call I got today. I suppose that was a stupid thing to think. How could I have ever been ready for it?

Friday, October 26, 2007

TGIF!!!!

Oh wow has this been a long week. I really thought that I had nothing other than a run and church in the plans for this weekend, but it is slowly filling up. And I'm really not that excited about it. The end of the month seems to be tough around here. It is logical since Kruex died on the 30th, but then add in the full moon (which has happened in the last few days) and my wonderful monthly visitor :P and the end of the month just really blows.

The running/exercising has been doing much better this week than the last two. I haven't decided if I am going to go for a 4ish mile run tonight or just wait and do 5-6 tomorrow. If I do run tonight I think I will wait until Sunday for the long(er) run. Yoga needs to become a priority again, too. Especially now that the weather has turned colder, I think it will be really beneficial to spend some good quality time stretching and breathing. I am having a lot of problems with my calves cramping after running. I am pretty sure it is just a hydration/stretching issue, but part of me is a bit nervous since I started back on birth control in the last month. I always worry just a bit about blood clots since they were so common with my grandpa. Stupid, probably, but still just a nagging concern.

Halloween is just around the corner! I'm one of the moms in charge of Jack's class party and everything seems to be under control. Well, everything except for the fact that we still haven't gotten Jack's costume yet. I ordered one three days ago and last night got an email to let me know they canceled my order because it was out of stock by that time :P So, he found another that he actually liked more and I cut my left arm off and mailed it to them to pay the retarded amount of shipping that they charged me to get it here by Tuesday. I just really hope it makes it. I think this is the first year that he has *really* wanted to be something. He is going as Elvis and Payton is going to be a 50's girl. Although, she will tell you that she is going to be a "10-year-old girl" because she can't remember 50's ;)

Good luck to all the racers this weekend! An extra big shout to Wendy who is running MCM this weekend! She is totally ready and is going to knock its socks off :) Well, unless her dad asks what took her so long, and then she will probably knock his off instead ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Running with the Kid

Why is it that some weeks fly by and then there are those that just drag on seemingly forever? This feels like one of those weeks, but I am sure since we are at the halfway point now it will be Monday again before I know it. Payton stayed with my mom on Monday and Tuesday, so last night Jack and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and the fact that mom was bringing Payton home to get a run in before they got there. I realized on Monday that the FOLEPI 4 miler is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which means only about a month or so and I should probably not torture the poor kid by making him just run 4 miles cold turkey. He did well, as I expected. I think we got in about 3 miles and were going to keep going, but then I got the most horrid cramp in my side (actually it was more in my diaphragm) and I could barely even get a breath when we were about two blocks from home. So, we called it good and met the rest of the family uptown for dinner. Poor kid woke up this morning with sore legs :(

Everything is all set for Phoenix in January. Airline tickets are booked. Hotel is booked (as of yesterday :)) and Race is registered for. I am starting to think that I may have lost my mind when I decided to do this, but I figure I will finish my sheer determination if nothing else :P I am just looking forward to getting out of Illinois in January!

Monday, October 22, 2007

She's Gone

The dog is outta here! She was returned to my mom's friend Friday night. Mom fibbed a bit and told her that the original owner had to take her back if she was going back to the humane society, which worked out nicely. It was a nice weekend. I cleaned like my ass was on fire on Saturday to get all the hair and dog smell out of the house and then Sunday was packed full of family stuff. We have decided that when we do get a dog it is going to be so small that for it to actually get on the couch, it will have to be put there. The kids know everything that is going on, but it still hasn't stopped Payton from asking, EVERY DAY, "Are we getting a little doggie today?" :P

I'll run over lunch today and update later. Have a good Monday everyone. I would have preferred to stay in bed ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Think I'll Take Up Juggling

Ugh. It was one of those runs today.

The kind of run where I decided that instead of actually running the 1/2 in Arizona with everyone, I will just go and enjoy the weather, drink beer and provide lots of cowbell for everyone who is actually running.

Just too distracted today, I think. And I probably should have gone outside instead of on the track. It is too easy to get pissed and just walk off the track. At least outside, I would have had to run back to where I started from.

The dog issue has me worked up. I feel guilty, but not guilty enough to continue to make my daughter have to come with me in the bathroom everytime I have to go because I am scared to leave her unattended with the dog. And I am angry. Angry at my mom's friend who knew exactly what the problem with this dog was before she pawned her off on me and my small children.

So, that's my day in a nutshell. I will spare you all from further tirades on the subject :X

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dogs and Kids - Any advice welcome!

You guys really give the best advice! Thanks for all the help and the encouragement on the pup. We did end up getting a dog over the weekend. She kind of fell into our laps and I am actually trying to figure out if she is a dog that is going to work out or not. A friend of my mom's adopted a Chow from the pound about a month ago and basically pawned it off on us without much warning about her temperment or disposition. She is really a very good dog and it is just a matter of figuring out if I can get her to recognize who the boss is (ME! not her) as to whether or not she is going to be able to stay or not. If it weren't for Payton, it wouldn't even be a question. We would just patiently make it work, but with Payton in the picture, I need to be sure that the dog is not going to act aggressively towards her. I have committed to giving her a full week (unless you all tell me that is not nearly enough time to get her figured out) to listen to me, less if she is openly aggressive. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to try and I really would like to give the dog the benefit of the doubt as I would hate to take her back to a shelter :( Unfortunately, my mom's friend knew all of this and still didn't think twice about sending her into a house with a 3 year old, and I am just very frustrated that some people can be that irresponsible.

The kids are already in love and the dog is crazy about Jack. I don't know if it is his attitude or that he is a boy or a bit bigger, but she just loves him and the feeling is mutual. So, if anyone has any good tips for training Chows, please don't hold back. So far, the only thing that I am very much against is spanking or hitting the dog. From what I have read, Chows do not take kindly to this and it can really turn things bad quickly. I am trying to figure something else out and would also, if at all possible, rather not use a spray bottle because I would like to be able to spray detangler/odor crap on her coat as it needs lots of attention and I really don't want her scared of a spray bottle.

Other than that, running is going well. My breathing is really coming along well, which makes me so happy, but my shins are just screaming at me. They would probably love me more if I would drop some of this stupid weight that I seem to be holding onto just in case food becomes extinct :P One of these days it will all fall into place, right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bedwetting, Cramps & Puppies, OH MY!

My darling daughter is wetting the bed. A lot. Normally, this would not be blog-worthy, but she is also wearing pull-ups (generics, not name brand) to sleep in and quite frankly, I would probably be doing just as well to wrap her in paper towels. At least it would save some money.

The other issue I have with the nighttime wetting is that, unlike my son, she can't seem to sleep through it, but she also doesn't actually wake up. So, what we have is constant crying/whining until I go into her room. Get her up and literally put her on the potty. Really irritating. I have made her cut back on the milk before bed, but haven't completely cut her off from it. I suppose that is going to have to be next (and back to name brand pull-ups in a bigger size) if I ever want to hope to sleep through the night again.

I went for a run last night. Just a tad short of 4 miles. The run felt great. It is COLD here! Once I stopped running and walked home for my cool-down, my calves started cramping like nobody's business. I had stretched really well before running and again after, so I have no idea what is going on. I'm thinking it must have to do with the cold. But all through the night, my shins and calves took turns screaming at me.

On to what has my eye twitching and my stomach rolling...puppies! The kids and I have been talking for a while about getting a dog and I have been doing some browsing (prefer to get one from a shelter or from someone who just can't take care of it), but yesterday afternoon, one of my bosses sent a firm-wide email with 6 baby labs that someone had found on the road that needed homes. I have had a black lab before and really was not thinking along those lines this time - something much smaller. But that email just sent me over the top and I decided I would take one. However, fate stepped in and they were all claimed in a very short amount of time. Apparently I am not the only sucker ;)

But that has not stopped me from deciding that the time is now and I am pulling my hair out over what kind of dog we want and where to find one, yadda, yadda, yadda. I think I have finally decided what we should get and it is all just a matter of "wait and see" until I hear back on any of my leads!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Roller Derby


When I was in grade school, they would have rollerskating in PE for a week or two each year. I was never any good at rollerskating. Some of my friends were amazing. They would go fast, forwards, backwards, spin in circles. I always wanted to be able to skate like that, but no matter how much I tried, apparently I just wasn't born to skate. It happened again in college when the big rollerblading fad went around. It's almost like I have a "lazy leg" or something. I have just never been able to get much cooperation out of one side of my body when it comes to skating or skiing even.

Today, I went to the track to run. After 2 miles, I stopped to walk for an 1/8 of a mile or so and had the same type of feeling in my right leg. It was just strange. Unnatural, actually. I was having to actually concentrate on picking it up, bending at the knee and placing it back on the ground again. Super strange. Has anyone else ever had that happen? I ended up walking a 1/4 mile instead and then started running again and the feeling seemed to go away with running. I made sure to stretch well when I was done and didn't notice that stupid sensation again as I walked back to the locker room. Who knows what it was. I have been feeling *mentally* detached lately. Maybe it was just some kind of extension from that ???

Not sure what is going on with my leg, but now I want to try to find my rollerblades :P

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thank You!

Oh man, guys! Thank you so much for all your support and kind words. It really means so much to me. The weekend actually got a lot better. I went up to my mom's on Friday night and hung out with my brothers and cousins. It was just what I needed. I even went for an early morning run on Saturday morning with one of my cousins and she helped me soooooooo much with my breathing and how to tackle hills, how to hold my arms, etc. It was awesome. Saturday was another family day and then on Sunday Payton and I hit church and then went to get Fall decorations with my friend and ended the day with a cookout at home.

It is funny, but on those days that seem to have some sort of significance, like Kruex's birthday - or Sunday - the 6 month date since he passed, cooking out with the family seems to be just what I need. It was good. My grandma came, which I was so thankful for. She hasn't been having an easy time since Grandpa died either. I really need to make a better effort to be there for her. We are seeing her at least once a week, but I feel like I need to do more.

I had a really good run last night. It was raining and the kids were with my friend and I think it may have been one of the best runs I have had yet. I figure it was somewhere between 3.5 to 4 miles. If it weren't for responsibilities, I think I could have easily gone another mile and maybe even more. Not long for most of you, but for me, that is pretty impressive :P

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pretending

This has just been a tough week. Period. Sunday is *6 months* and while I knew it would be hard, I had no idea just how hard it was going to be. The last 3 days have not been great and I doubt the next two (at least) will be much better. So, pretty much, this is an "I'm sorry my blogging sucks" post.

I don't know if any of you watched Ugly Betty last night, but the ending just broke my heart. Betty's sister's fiance was shot at the end of last season and during the whole episode it showed Hilda and Santo in her bedroom, basically her keeping him in bed under lock and key to keep him safe after being shot. Everything was white and light in the room, they talked about their upcoming marriage, she showed him her dress, he showed her his vows. It was all very touching and the whole point was that she was keeping them both "safe" so nothing bad happened again. In the final scene, Betty knocked on the door and entered the room to ask if Hilda wanted to come help make dinner. Hilda was alone in a dark room in bed and told Betty that "he isn't coming back" and admitted that was the first time she has said as much out loud.

From the previous few days that I have had, that was all I needed. The flood gates opened and it just made me realize what I would give to be able to just "pretend" it all away. I wish I could just lock myself in my room, hide under the covers and spend everyday with my baby. But I can't. And I do know that. And I will feel better again. Just maybe not today. And maybe not tomorrow. But it will be soon. Because whether I want to or not, I have to.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preoccupied

I think I am in a blogging funk. Ever had one? Ugh, I sure seem to be. I got a whole lot of nothing. I did run last night. It was okay. Hot and humid. But done.

I actually think part of my lack of blogging fodder is that my days and nights have been consumed with my boys in blue. If there are any other Cubs fans out there, you know as well as I that there just have not been that many reasons for celebration in the last few, or 99 years :P Actually, that's not true. 2003 was a good one. And before that, there were some really fun times in the mid-80's that I remember with great fondness. I believe I was around 8 years old. My mom and neighbor dressed all the scarecrows in the yard (in her defense it was October, but still...scarecrows????) in Cubs paraphernalia, hung banners, had us kids make banners and posters and just overall Cub-ed out our house/yard. It was a lot of fun and was probably when I really got into sports, especially baseball. I've been hooked ever since.

Normally, the Cubs are just good for taking up about 6 months of viewing time on my television, with the occasional water cooler discussion about how much they suck and why, or why can't we get some decent pitching help in there and then once football season rolls around, I welcome it with open arms. But this year, my dear, dear Cubbies are actually looking pretty darn great and may actually get a post-season series or two out of it after all. So, October, here we come and with the unfortunate spectacle that is this I know that I am thankful to have something to stop the pain for a while more.

Yeah, Grossman, we're just as disgusted.
Sorry, but I've gotta do something to make my eyes stop bleeding.

That'll do it. Now if we can just get him to sack his own quarterback.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Workouts and Breakdowns

It should really be Friday. Why isn't it Friday already?

Honestly, this week has just been exhausting so far. Between workouts and breakdowns, rashes and runs, then throw in the mandatory cooking and cleaning and this lady needs a break! Unfortunately, it just doesn't look like one is coming anytime soon. Over lunch, we did upper body and I have already promised my neighbor/friend that I would run with her tonight, so we'll add another 3 or so miles to this tired body. Tomorrow I may just take the day off. My problem, however, is I am easily talked into going to the gym over lunch. All Kathy has to do is look at me and say "you goin'?" and I'm hooked. Easy, I tell ya, too easy. Tomorrow night there is a football game. Saturday morning another football game (JFL this time) and then an auction to go to.

I have never mentioned this before, but I heart auctions. Like truly, madly, deeply. I am probably more dangerous at an auction than I am at a casino. And I have to tell you, that one time I went into a casino - no good came out of it :( So, I am totally stoked to see what kind of awesome treasures these people had hidden in their attic, shoved in a corner of the basement or just thrown in a junk drawer that I feel I can't live without! Oh, then if there wasn't a run on Friday, there will be one on Saturday at some point, too. I have also been invited to go to Oktoberfest Saturday night, which should be fun, but there is one person that I am not overly looking forward to having to spend the evening with. But she is only one out of a big group that is going and I really shouldn't let it stop me, especially when the babysitting is already set up.

Oh, and then I really would like to spend Sunday doing some cooking since I ran across this awesome blog and really want to try the lasagna and a few of the other recipes for meals next week. Plus, I think it would be a good activity to do with the kids if they feel like helping.

On another note, I signed Jack up for a grief camp two weeks from Saturday called Camp Courageous. It is a full day at a camp where they will have support groups, crafts, sports and horseback riding. I think I need a camp like that. I would do so much better in that kind of setting than just sitting around in a circle crying. Oh, who am I kidding? I just want to go horseback riding :P

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Daughter



She's 3. And she is already so many things. She is 50% theatre and 50% nurturing. My dream for her is that she will find a stage and make it her own and then settle down and have 12 kids. I truly think she will need both of those things to be complete in life. Her imagination and antics are limitless, as is her compassion and nurturing capabilities. Most days she stresses me to no end. The little darling, I just want to throttle her.

But then, there are nights like tonight. Nights when she sobs for her little brother like nobody's business. You have to understand, even at 3, she loves the babies at the sitter's more than life itself. And her brother was HER baby. Her sole mission in life was to take care of him. To make him laugh and to keep him happy when it was asked of her, and believe me, as a single mom of three, unfortunately, it was asked. She not only rose to the occasion, she excelled. That little boy loved her. And her other brother as well. He beamed when he saw those two and life was good.

I remember after having Payton. Jack was 4, almost 5. I went outside for just a minute to talk on the phone and left Jack "in charge" of her. I could see them through the window and I was almost brought to my knees by the tenderness with which he treated her. With Kruex, multiply that feeling by 100. I had two kids that would do nothing less than love and protect their little brother. The feeling was just priceless.

So, while I understand that I have to suffer this loss, and I even understand that I have to get my other kids through it. Nights like tonight kill me. I don't know what part of the bargain this falls under. I lost one. I have to go through that and I accept it. Why do I have to watch my darling daughter grieve it too? She is *supposed* to be too young to hurt this much. She is *supposed* to get past it.

But she isn't.

And I'm not either.

And how do I explain to work that I have to come in late because Payton wants to go to the cemetary when we wake up?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Some Things Are Just Better Left to the Imagination

Like the big dude in the speedo at the pool.

I ran over my lunch hour at the gym. I decided to run inside on the track instead of venturing outside, even though the weather has been much kinder lately (although today was a bit warmer than the last 5 or so days have been), but nonetheless, I didn't want to deal with my ipod and trying to guess how far I was going/had gone. I just knew I wanted to do 3 miles and that was it. I am planning another 2 or so later tonight with my friend that finally got clearance from her doc to start running again, so I didn't want to push it this afternoon. So, after I finish my run, I walked back to the other end of the building to stretch my legs out and happen to glance into the lap pool on my way by (it is down below). That's when I saw him.

I have to say that I try my best not to judge at the gym. I am all about supporting the seriously overweight while I am running around the track. They are out there trying. Same goes for the pool, but I just don't see any sane reason why a 300+ pound man would opt to wear a speedo for his swim workout????? I know that I would not choose to wear a string bikini to an indoor pool (or outdoor for that matter, but that's another story) to swim laps and just cannot seem to wrap my mind around that fashion choice. But, I guess, at least he was out there doing it and to each his own. Right?

On to more exciting news. My daughter got a new imaginary little sister this weekend. Her name is Susan, but, as Payton says, you can call her Susie. She is 2-years-old and kind of the little mischief-maker :P I had to *pretend* wash her hair and then put it in a *pretend* ponytail. Then we went to a friend's for a cookout and the little turkey jumped in the pool and Payton made my friend's 12-year-old son *pretend* jump in after her! The girl obviously has too much time on her hands - either that or she needs more friends :P

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Demons

When we were growing up, often times when we would drive my mom nuts, she would say "Go run around the block a few times". I can't count the number of times I have said a variation of the same thing to my kids. Go run around the house. Go round around the _______. Whatever. The meaning was always the same. You have too much energy and are making me crazy. Go run it off! Tonight, I have come to realize that is what running is to me. It is running all these thoughts, memories, whathaveyous out of my head. I need it. Almost as much as I need food or air right now. It helps me stop wallowing. When I know I would. I need to run tonight. But the kids are in bed. And, unfortunately, I would rather not have them go to foster care and end up in county because I decided the demons in my head where more important than the demons in their beds. But it is nice to finally realize the reason why I run.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Taking Care of My Baby

Sorry I have been MIA for a little while. On Friday, my Grandpa George passed away. It was sudden. But not. It was awful. But not. There have been so many mixed emotions over the past few days and thankfully I have a counseling appointment this morning to get to talk some of it out.

I got a call from my mom at about 2:00 p.m. on Friday telling me that my grandpa fell off the combine and died. They actually think it was a massive stroke or heart attack, but since there was no autopsy, we don't really know. He ate lunch, teased my grandma that the biscuits were too hard, laid down for a few minutes (which was very uncommon) and then went back out to the farm with my uncle. My uncle dropped him off at the combine, went to hook up the wagon and then was going right back to help my grandpa into the combine. I guess Grandpa didn't want to wait because when my uncle returned, he was laying on the ground with no pulse and wasn't breathing. He started CPR immediately and the ambulance came. He never regained any signs of life.

Since Kruex passed away in March, Grandpa has been going downhill. He has said many times that he thought it should have been him that died instead. We are thankful that he didn't have a stroke that left him either bed-ridden or hospitalized. He would not have been happy with that at all. We are thankful that he wasn't actually driving the combine when it happened and taken the chance of hurting someone else. And we are very thankful that he also was able to die doing what he loved the most. There are so many things that I will miss so much about my Grandpa. We were so close. But I finally decided last night that the thing I will miss the most is the twinkle in his eye.

They had just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and it is a wonderful weight off of me to know that we were all together with no negative feelings. We had a full weekend of family and it was so nice. It was wonderful to be able to reconnect with a family that we had lost touch with. And I know there is nothing that would make Grandpa happier. I also know without a doubt that my baby is now getting to know my Grandpa. Something that has been so important to me for so long. So, my request to my Grandpa is - Teach Kruex to play ball. Teach him to play cards. And take him for a ride in the tractor.

I love you Grandpa.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Oh My Raging Hormones!

Alright kids, I don't know what the deal is lately, but I am like a dog in heat (Marcy/Lisa zip it :P) So, is it the fact that last week I *tapered* - for what, I'm not sure, but it just sounded better than saying fat, lazy slob - and then made my return to the world of exercise with some crazy runs/cross training this week? Or the endorphin rush from the workouts (but I have to say I have not had it to this degree since I began running before)? Or the slight modification in my diet to try to boost my workouts? Or is it just the darn heat and humidity getting to me?

I honestly have no idea, but I have to say - I'm not really complaining. Men are looking like candy to me these days and it's got me all flushed. In a good way. The only problem is - soon, I will be one of those dirty old men that just goes to the gym to check the hot bodied co-eds :P Not good, my friends, not good at all.

So, I wanted to do another run today, but I was worried about my shins, and rightly so. I mentioned yesterday that I had not done 2 days in a row of running since last Fall, well I knew that 3 days was probably just asking way too much. So, I went to the gym with a plan. I would commit to a mile on the track and depending on how my legs were feeling either keep going or hit the stationary bike for the remainder of the workout. A mile came and I went. The legs weren't feeling horrible, but my shins weren't overly enthused to keep going. I just figured better safe than sorry and hit the bike. 30ish minutes and 7 miles later, I called it a workout.

I am planning on an off day for tomorrow. At least no gym over lunch since I really need to run some errands instead, but I do need to do some core work and keep saying that I am going to get back to doing yoga on a nightly basis, so you never know!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

So Many Decisions Made Today!

Wow! It has been such a crazy fun day today! I have decided to do this and could NOT be more excited about it! I have been DYING to meet Lisa from the first day I talked to her on-line and hopefully we can get Marcy out there, too! I have decided on this half-marathon training plan that txrunnergirl is using and I think I can do it. I did another 3 today over lunch, which is the first time I have gone back-to-back days of running since last fall. So, my plan is to just majorly build base between now and 10 weeks out from the half and then follow the plan. I figure if nothing else, at least I will be on a training plan during the holidays! LOL

But here is my question...the plan calls for two days of cross-training. What counts as cross-training? Anything? I know that biking and swimming do. What about weight training? Does it have to be cardio? Help me out. I feel like Lisa with the questions :P

The other major thing that I have been doing today is planning an office party (I am such a hard worker :P) We decided that we are going to have one of those "How to Host a Murder" parties and I am so excited, I about peed my pants :P We found one that is *lawyer-themed* and perfect! After reading about all of them, it makes me just want to start having parties left and right.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Family Fun

It has been such a nice long weekend. I got out of the house Friday night. The kids stayed with my dad, which is the first time since Kruex was in the hospital, when there was no choice but for them to stay wherever was available. They had a really good time and Payton even asked to go back again on Saturday night. That is so unlike her! She has a VERY hard time leaving me for any amount of time. So, it looks like just maybe I will get a chance to start having a sitter for the kids more often. This will be a good thing for me and I really need to try to take advantage of that on a semi-regular basis.

Saturday morning I got a haircut and then the kids and I hung out with my mom for most of the day. Just nice and quiet. Nowhere to be, nothing pressing to do. It was good. Payton and I went to church Sunday morning and then decided to head to the grocery store to have a cookout that night. My friend was getting back from New York and it was her birthday so I figured if they weren't doing anything we would have them over. So, it ended up being a really fun night. Lots of laughing, eating and drinking and the kids all had a ball. I ended up with 4 kids spending the night Sunday night and then took them all swimming yesterday. Nice, easy weekend.

But I was bad and did no running, so today was back to the grind. Ended up doing just over 3 1/2 miles and finished strong, but about halfway through I really wanted to quit. I felt so strong when I started (probably due to the *taper* :P) but then got a horrible side stitch and just couldn't lose it for over a mile. I really just wanted to throw in the towel and just start over tomorrow, but I managed to push through and am really glad that I did. I also know I really need to start getting my miles up there if I am going to really consider a half in January. The plan is to start building some miles and see how I am feeling. I am just not sure if I really have the desire to run long races. Maybe just to do one, but I don't want to get myself where I am constantly looking at running as such a chore. Hopefully it will get to be a little more fun as I get myself into better shape...or at least I can dream, right? :P

Friday, August 31, 2007

It's Raining Men!



This, my friends, is what my best friend Jennifer got to sit directly behind at the US Open last night. She's a twit. It so should have been my seat since I was supposed to go with them. But, then again, I probably would have ended up being escorted off the premises for *accidently* spilling beer on his neck just to get to lick it off :P I don't know what it is, but something about all the dirty, nastiness really gets me going.

The second hot man of the day is actually some poor, poor dude that locked himself out of his car. I felt for him. I really did. I have done it so many times that my used-to-be-best-friend-Jennifer has a couple copies of my car and house keys. One of them she keeps in Peoria (where we work) at all times because I have been known to lock myself out of my car at any number of places, at any number of times. And no, Amy, I checked and they weren't on top of his car either. I did, however, think very hard about offering to help him check his pockets again. He was that cute. And they were big pockets.

So, overall, it has been a good day. Plus, the Powers That Be are even letting us out of work at 3 p.m. today in honor of the long weekend. Now that is very unusual. So, my cubemate Kathy and I are taking full advantage of the extra hours and going for a pedicure and some shopping. Happy Labor Day Weekend All!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You Should Work for Criminals!

Alright, I understand that some people have a hard time giving compliments. And that men are particularly crappy at them. But this is the one I got from my boss the other day. And he meant it. I mean, really meant it. Like heaped it upon me as if he were telling me that my pants made my ass look hot, or that he could tell I have been working on my arms at the gym lately kind of compliments.

I work for lawyers...who some may think are criminals from time to time. But, I promise, mine are all pretty straight-laced, clean cut, by the book guys...except, of course, for one of my bosses. And he is actually one of the reasons that I was able to get out of bed every morning and actually come to work after Kruex died. The dude is freaking hilarious. You never know what is going to come out next and that works for me.

So he is filing a lawsuit for his soon-to-be-sister-in-law and she lives like 5 hours away. We send her the paperwork to sign and she obviously has the attention span of my 8-year-old and only signs 1 of the 2 lines with her name clearly marked. Thanks to my awesome background in Arts & Crafts, I actually was able to make it cleverly look like she signed both lines and we were able to get it filed.*

And he was so impressed by my talents that he told me "You should work for criminals!" I mean, really, what more could I ask for in a job?

*Just a note that I would not have forged documents for any clients that aren't related ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Busy Days

It has been a busy weekend. I actually got in a 4-mile run Saturday morning, which is nothing for all of you, but it is the longest I have run since I got back into the habit again. Saturday night the kids and I headed to mom's to finish up some anniversary party stuff that she was supposed to do. It ended up being a very l-o-n-g night (but well worth it) and Sunday morning came way too early. We did 9 a.m. church with the grandparents and I really think this was the most long-winded, boring pastor I have heard since the last time I was in a Catholic church :P In one part of his sermon he commented how he was impressed with Peter and his ability to get "right to the point". I just wished it was something he had taken a bit more to heart :X The anniversary dinner was next and it was really nice. Everyone got along really well and it was nice to be in a room with all of my cousins and not feel bitter or irritated by a few of them.

I then had to leave the party at 1 p.m. (kids stayed with my mom) to go to Chicago and see Brad Paisley! Now, country is not always my thing and I have just started to listen to it again, but this was really a great concert. There were 8 of us girls that went together and another friend and her husband met us up there. We had soooooooo much fun and laughed all night long. It was a much needed trip and break from the kids. We didn't get home until after 1:30 a.m. and, with work yesterday, it made for a tiring day, especially with my short sleep the night before.

But today is another day and the plan is to go for a run tonight. My little brother actually called last night to see if I wanted to run with him. I almost ran my car off the road! He has always maintained that running to run is just stupid and he has no desire to just go out and run! LMAO He decided last night that he wants to be in awesome shape for basketball season (which is right around the corner) and thinks that running may be the way to do it. I may just get him to do the Thanksgiving run with me that Jack and I did last year. I think it would be fun to turn that into an annual *family* run.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Congratulations Betty & George



My grandparents' 60th anniversary party is on Sunday. 60 years. Wow. Sure seems like a long time, don't you think? Also kind of puts into perspective something that has been bothering me quite a bit lately. I only got 9 months. It just seems like the blink of an eye to me. I know it is silly and would/could never happen, but I have had this overwhelming fear of forgetting Kruex lately. Not even just the normal, what he looked like, or felt like, or smelled like, but completely forgetting he was ever here. I would guess it is probably a common fear (or I am seriously losing my mind, which is always a possibility), but it still seems like a dumb thing to be scared of.

So, back to the party. It is really just going to church with them in the morning and then lunch afterwards...pretty much just the immediate family and grandma and grandpa's siblings/spouses. There is some tension with one part of this family. My mom's brother's wife and pretty much all of their kids :P My oldest cousin in that family and his wife actually have a baby that is 8 days older than what Kruex would be. It makes me nervous to see them, to see the baby. But one thing I did decide last night during some *deep* thinking :P is that I really have to forgive these people, my family, so that if, God forbid, something did happen to one of them, Kruex can meet them when they cross without worrying about my anger towards them. I want them to play with my baby. I want the boys to play catch with him and shoot hoops and I want the girls to just hold him and love him. I am sure this sounds crazy and in the grand scheme of things probably really has no bearing anyway, or maybe it is me reverting to that histrionic behavior of making it all about me, but I just feel like if I can let go of my grudges then it surely couldn't hurt anyone else, right?

The verdict seems to be in on the home computer - I think I am pretty much S.O.L. My buddy who knows more than I do (which is not hard in the world of computers) thinks he will be able to get my pics off of it, but probably no way to bring her back to life other than that, which I can live with. I also already have a free replacement from a friend's work. So heck yeah for that!

After much back and forth this morning, we have decided to take the day off today. It will be the first for the week and I like to think I deserve it ;) Gotta get a run in tomorrow though :) Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wet Paint! errrr...Ink???

Shortly after Kruex died, I decided I wanted a portrait tattoo. And, of course, because I am totally cool, I naturally wanted Kat Von D to do it. I actually even sent her an email and someone did email me back, but then I dealt with this whole black hole, depression thing and just never pursued it again. So, this weekend I was actually talking to some friends/neighbors about tattoing and asked if they knew anyone who did portraits. The name that came up is actually a friend of mine from high school, which was kind of cool. There are two other tattoos that I also want, so I figured even if I wasn't that keen on his portrait work, he could hook me up with the others. Now, to make it even more ironic, my brother sends me a text this morning saying that he has figured out what he wants on his next tattoo (he has quite a few already) and has decided to go to this same guy! So, after talking to him on the phone about it, we decide that I will call and set something up so we can both go in and talk to him about what we want. While I haven't decided yet if I will have him do my portrait or hold out for Kat :P, it sure is ironic how the world works, don't you think?

All this lead me to start thinking about how certain people are brought into our lives to serve specific purposes. I may have already posted about it before, but while in the hospital, it was clear afterwards that the doctors that were available at the various times were definitely put into my path to help make it a bit easier. Be it through compassion, directness (is that a word??), knowledge or whatever particular character trait they happened to possess, it always seemed to be the exact thing I needed at that exact moment. The way people and ideas seem to have been coming into my life lately (or maybe it just seems like lately since I have finally started paying attention) makes it feel like some well-scripted play or movie. It is also the reason that I have shifted my belief from the statement "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" to "God helps us handle what we are given". I believe the spirits we are put in connection with along our way - and especially during particularly trying times - are God's way of carrying us through our challenges. Kind of deep for someone who recently just *re-discovered* her faith, eh?

I am heading to the gym in a few. The plan is to run, but my shins have been kind of sore, so if after 20 minutes or so they aren't feeling too hot, the backup plan is to finish the workout on the elliptical or bike...whichever strikes my fancy ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Keep Breathing

Today was the first day back to school for my 8 year old. 3rd grade. God, I remember being IN 3rd grade. I loved 3rd grade. Mrs. Cox has always been my favorite teacher. Jack was supposed to have Mrs. Grebner, but just found out last week that they added another class and he was put in with the new teacher. He called today when he got done with school and told me that Mrs. Johns is even better than Mrs. Grebner because under their name tags, she put a cheat sheet! LOL I can't even wait to see what 3rd graders think is cheating ;) After I talked to Jack, Payton had to get on the phone. It's always interesting to talk to her:

P: What are you doing?
M: Going to run.
P: WHAT? (In her best high-pitched, self-righteous voice)
M: I am going to run.
P: When are you coming to get us?
M: After work.
P: WHAT?
M: I am going to the gym to run instead of going to lunch, then I will go back to work and pick you up when I am done.
P: Oh. Okay. Gotta go. Love ya, bye.

She must have thought I was going to the track and really, how dare I think about going there before picking her up? Once she found out I was still in Peoria, I had her approval :P

I really need to figure out this breathing crap. You would think being 30 and all that it would kind of be second nature by now :P So any suggestions would be great...maybe I should get back into my yoga routine. I suppose that couldn't hurt.

Having said that, today's run was the best that I have had for quite some time. I am soooooo not an impressive runner, but 3.5 miles in roughly 35 minutes and I'll take that. I had a 1/4 mile walk break around mile 2.5 and it was definitely better than most of my runs in the past 4 - 6 weeks. I really can't wait until the weather starts to chill out a little bit and I can run outside again. The 1/8 mile track at the gym is great and keeps me off the dreadmill, but there is no comparison to running outside. Robyn mentioned yesterday about running in the rain...I would be all for it, but it probably wouldn't be nice to make the kids sit out in the rain as I run around the track. They would actually most likely enjoy it, but with Payton's nasty cough lately - I would probably fall out of contention for mother of the year :P Speaking of winning awards...there was a definite runner-up at the gym yesterday. This woman had not 1, not 2, but 4!!!!!!!!!! kids with her in the weight/treadmill area. One of which was in a snuggli strapped onto her while she was lifting weights! ??? I mean, seriously, who does that? The other 3 all looked to be between 1 - 3 years and were all over the place. They tried to get on a treadmill with an older woman...were about 2 inches away from the elliptical that their mother was on...and just generally under everyone's feet. Oh, and did I mention the crying? Yeah, that was a fun day at the gym.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Too Little Too Late?

Aw, the wonders of technology :P I don't know what the heck I did, but my home computer is minus an operating system right now. I have a friend who gave me a recovery disk, but after it does its little scan there is a prompt and for the life of me, I can't figure out what I am supposed to tell it to do. So, until I can either figure it out or talk to someone about it, I have no home internet...and I gotta tell you...it's been hard :P

Anyway, I just wanted to give a little update on the guy from the gym...

I did end up talking to him on Friday. He was all about trying to get together on Saturday, so I told him I would see what I could do and let him know. I found a sitter and suggested hitting the batting cages (to his voicemail). No call back until SUNDAY afternoon!!! I let that one go to voicemail and am pretty sure I won't be calling him back anytime soon.

It may be bitchy, but I feel like I really went back and forth about even talking to him in the first place, then I did it, put myself out there and then get this lame-ass message about why he couldn't call back until 2 days later. So, in my opinion, that ship has sailed and it is his loss. Is that wrong?

I'm getting ready to head to the gym in a few. I think we are working upper body today, which is my favorite...maybe if the rain ever stops I will get an evening run in, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Just How Much Crazy Does He Deserve?

So, Gym Guy called on Monday night. I was busy (and cough*screening*cough), so I didn't answer. I let it go to voicemail in which he left a very nice, non-obtrusive message. It ended up being a busy night and I didn't even sit down until around 11 p.m. So, at that point, I didn't want to call back since it was late, but I also didn't want him to think that I was just avoiding, so I sent a very nice, non-obtrusive text message back :P He must have received it because I had another missed call on my phone from him on Tuesday morning (took the kids to Bear's training camp and just didn't hear the phone ring).

In the meantime, I had another counseling appointment. This one was to go over the personality test I took last month. Apparently, I have a histrionic personality. Now for those of you who don't know what histrionic means, fret not. I had no clue either. But the best way to describe it is as a "drama queen". I know, I know...you are all thinking "No way! Not Lori!" Baffling...I agree. (Actually - just between you and me it was actually kind of validating to find out that my moments of insanity are actually because that is how I am and not because I have a chemical imbalance :P)

In talking to my counselor, I was able to realize that this part of my personality is actually only really prevalent with close family and in my relationships...you know that picking-fights-just-to-not-be-bored kind of mindset. I have been working on this even prior to hearing the results of the test, but they just provided further proof that it is something that REALLY needs work and like, sooner, not later.

So, this is what has stopped me in the last day and a half from calling this guy back. Don't worry...my hopes are not high that it will be anymore than a few phone calls, but just in case...doesn't he deserve to not have to be the guinea pig in this stroll through my insanity? Ugh...maybe I am just thinking about it too much, or making stupid excuses to just get out of calling him back because I am a chicken shit.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Home Gyms vs. Public Gyms

Alright, since I rarely do any exercise-based blogging (which is kind of strange since I spend a decent amount of time actually working out), I figured I would give you all one today :P

I belong to a gym...it's about 1/2 mile from work, which is super convenient, but that also means that it is about 20 miles from home, so not so much on weekends or days off of work. I LOVE it. It has kick-butt machines and just about every kind of weight training device I could think of. There is also a lot of cool classes (that I am still too chicken to try - but I am really into the whole option of them :P) and a killer pool with lessons even geared towards triathletes.

At home, I have next to nothing, but I could do a little work in a pinch. I have an exercise ball, yoga videos, a few free weights, a jump rope, but the best part of home is that I live across the street from the high school track, so there is always an option for a run since the kids can just hang out at the track while I am running.

Now, I will never have a home gym like Marcy ;) but I would really like to at least get an elliptical to give me another cardio option at home. Especially in the winter months when I won't be able to force the kids to sit in the snow just to watch me run :P

How about the rest of you? Do you prefer the Home or Public gym? And what kinds of fun stuff do you have at home? And finally, what else would you REALLY like to have (within reason)?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stood Up and Asked Out

Today was busy. I had a *date* with my cellmate, Kathy, for BodyPump at the gym at 9:00 a.m. At 7:30 a.m. she called to say she wouldn't be there. I was disappointed because I was really looking forward to trying BodyPump. For a normal person, this wouldn't have really been that big of a deal because they would have just gone ahead and done it anyway. I, apparently, am not a normal person :P I don't usually think of myself as a shy person, but when it comes to trying something new, I would rather try it with a friend. Um...not so much *rather*, as it is kind of something I *need*. So, since I was already up and dressed in my finest gym attire, I figured I may as well just go and do weights instead. So, since it had already been figured in as a part of my day, I loaded up the kids and off we went to the gym.

I dropped them off at the daycare, do my mile warm-up and then started with some arm work off to the side with the ball. I moved to a couple of the machines in the area with the treadmills and ellipticals and then moved on into the free weight area. I was probably 3/4 of the way done with my workout and was on the machine that is supposed to make your back look like a "V" (even though I have come to the realization that if I ever want to be "V" instead of "I I" I am probably going to have to do a lot more ab work :P) when I noticed a guy who was doing the leg press. This was a big guy and when he started, he had maybe 300 or so pounds on it. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed by that. By the time he was done, he had over 500 pounds that he was doing. What can I say...I'm easy to impress :P In the meantime, I had moved to a leg machine and there I was, minding my own business, when he starts talking. You know...it started with the lame old "Have you been working out here for long? I don't think I have seen you before." and ended with him asking me for my number :O I did give it to him, probably for the same reason that I am too chicken to try BodyPump by myself for the first time, I am also too chicken to say no, plus I figure it is easier to dodge a phone call that I don't want than it is to reject him to his face.

So, all this (other than just being way good for my ego) got me thinking. I am actually a HUGE believer in fate. People always say "everything happens for a reason" when things are not going well, but I actually do believe it. Especially since losing Kruex. I honestly do think that there is a reason for everything...experiences/choices/people are placed in our paths for genuine reasons. Nothing is chance. Everything is a part of a life lesson. So, maybe Kathy standing me up was meant to happen...and maybe this guy will hold another lesson that I am meant to learn. In the same token, I am not saying that *fate* brought us together. Heck, who knows if he will even call...or if I will answer ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Perspective

Today, a fellow blogger wrote about a connecting moment that she had with one of my previous posts. It was a post about irony and how hard it is to realize what we have, or how easy our lives are, until they just aren't anymore. While, I haven't forgotten.....Lord, how could I possibly? She kind of helped to nail it into my head again.

It actually made me realize how much I have actually been thinking about perspective lately. This weekend was the annual Memphis to Peoria St. Jude Run, along with telethon. My friend, I and all our kids went down to the Civic Center to cheer all the runners in. While we were driving the 20 miles to Peoria we were talking about some of the stories of the kids who St. Jude helps. She was telling me the story of a little girl (I think she was around a year) who had a brain tumor and the struggles that her parents went through. She commented to me that she couldn't imagine having to live with those problems. My response was that I wish I could have had that choice. Now, I want to clarify, in no means do I think life would be good or easy to have a child who is that desperately ill. I think it would be stressful and spirit-breaking every step of the way, but you know what? I would have another minute, or hour, or day, or week with my baby. To get to hold him in my arms...I would take absolutely anything I could get.

Toward the end of our week in the PICU, after the 7th surgery, I was told that should Kruex respond, he would have no small bowel at all. The only chance he would have would be a transplant and those types of transplants were neither common, nor all too successful. I looked hard at what the rest of my life would look like and it was absolutely fine with me. I was staring down the barrell of a gun and to have to take the shot in the side of my face instead of my forehead was just fine with me.

Right then and there, in my car on my way to Peoria with my best friend, I realized just how much my perspective has changed over the past 4 months. Believe me, my older two still frustrate me to no end. I still wish they could just stop fighting, stop arguing, stop with the dirty looks and I yell and scream and pull my hair out...but I DO remember to thank God every day that I still have them here to yell at. And I also try to remember to thank Him for every day that I get to be here, too.

With all that said, I heard a song today that really struck a chord. I am a *sometimes* country music fan and my new cubemate listens to it, so I have found myself more drawn to it lately than I have been for quite a while. There is a new Carrie Underwood song out and while the entire song is applicable, this part really drove it home for me:

So easy to get lost inside
A problem that seems so big, at the time
It's like a river that's so wide
And swallows you whole
While you sittin round thinking about what you can't change
And worryin' about all the wrong things
Time's flying by, moving so fast
Better make it count, cause you can't get it back

Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
What you've been out there searchin for forever
Is in your hands
Oh, When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
Seem so small

So, maybe it is because of Krista's post, or David's recent accident...but I guess the message for the night is to just appreciate. Appreciate what you DO have because it really can be taken away at any moment. I am certain that at the end of our lives we will not be judged on how much we were able to accomplish in this lifetime, but by how kind and loving we were along the way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Get Her Out of My Head!

It has been miserably hot here lately. Like open the door and feel like you are stepping into soup, hot. Just gross. But the workouts have continued, even though the blogging took a mini-break. Just haven't had the energy to type lately.

My 3-year-old and I both had dreams about Kruex Sunday night. She came in to my room Monday morning and said:

Her - I snuggled with Kruex-y last night.
Me - Oh, that's so nice.
Her - I told him to snuggle you, too.
Me - You did?! Thank you for telling him that!
Her - Yeah, and I was helping him walk, too.
Me - *jaw on the floor*

That was MY dream! I had a dream that I was holding his hands and helping him walk around the room. I swear one of those two kids are totally in my head and as much as I believe in being able to use dreams as a way to the astral plane, I am more worried that it is actually Payton who is so tuned in to me. It is kind of eerie how well she reads me (and also knows how to push my buttons :P)

Yesterday was upper body at the gym and today I am planning a lunchtime run with maybe a bit of core work after. Hope everyone has a good day :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

To All My *Safe* Listeners

This morning I had another counseling session. I haven't been for three weeks, and probably could have used it more last week than this week. We were supposed to go over the results of my personality test that she had me take, but we both forgot and by the time we remembered, it was too late to get into it. So, in two weeks, that is first on the agenda, that is...unless I have something more pressing to deal with first...let's hope it's just a good two weeks. It's always surprising to me how helpful she is...must be because her name is Lori, too ;) No, really though, she is just a good listener and I know that she is also a *safe* listener, which counts tremendously these days. I have never been overly concerned with editing my comments, especially in the last few years and more specifically in the last few months. In my whole cleaning my closet crusade, I have more or less decided that if I couldn't deal with the repercussions of the words that come out of my mouth, then I shouldn't be saying them in the first place. Kind of that whole...if you have nothing nice to say...mantra. So, when I say she is *safe* what I am really referring to is my own shortcomings with showing my vulnerabilities. It is hard for me to look or appear *weak*, even though I know in my head there is nothing *weak* about mourning the loss of your child. It is normal and natural, but wearing my heart on my sleeve is still a hard pill for me to swallow. So much easier out here in blogland. For that, I thank you all for being counted as my *safe* listeners. Bet you didn't know that you are saving my sanity one day at a time :)

I did get a run in tonight. It was hot, humid and the bugs were thick and I was desperately afraid that I was going to choke on a few :P but the run was not horrible, which is good enough for me. The runs are moving ever so slowly in the right direction and I will just pretend that by the time the weather actually doesn't suck, I will be able to run like Marcy ;)

Oh, I almost forgot...my mom decided to keep the kids for another night (which is a HUGE shock in itself), so on my way home from work, I stopped by the LBS to just start doing some window shopping and recon work. They are soooooooo pretty and I am definitely star struck. I guess it gives me something to start a new envelope for! LOL

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Work, Weights & Wheels

It has been one crazy busy day! Work was a madhouse...I don't know what I have told them, but apparently they think I am there to do things other than surf the net :P Nah, actually it was kind of nice to be so busy today, makes time go much faster. Another upper body workout at the gym over lunch followed by an awesome protein smoothie. Followed with a full afternoon of *gasp* work! LOL

I was beat when I picked the kids up and got home, but I needed my mom to keep the kids tonight and tomorrow since I have to be back at the job at 7 a.m. So, threw food towards them, packed bags and back in the car to go to grama's house ;) I decided while I was there that I was going to get my bike in my car one way or another and that I did. So, as soon as I got home, I yanked the kid seat off the back (because really...I like to pretend that I am too cool for that :P) and figured it was now or never. It was moment of truth time, ladies and gentlemen...

Can she still ride a bike?

Will the pedals even turn anymore?

Will she be found hours from now laying in a ditch crying?

No, yes and no. Miracle of miracles, I was able to ride the bike and even turn corners! lol The pedals did turn, but not happily. That poor old guy is hurting...almost as much as the actual poor old guy that I nearly ran over (twice) on the bike/walking trail that I chose to make my maiden voyage on. The brakes squealed so loud that I tried to use them as little as possible...especially whenever people were around. And I know without doubt that it is set up about as wrong for me as it would be for someone 6 inches shorter than me. Just not even close. BUT, that wind blowing in my face was FREAKING AWESOME!!!! I wanna pedal, man! It was a short ride, maybe 5 miles, but I only had about 20 minutes until the sun went down and I knew if I didn't take the opportunity sans children, it may be some time before the chance came around again and I am soooooooo glad I did!

So, to sum it up, I worked my tail off today and am going to drop in bed feeling like it was a good day :)

Fresh Mind = Fresh Body?

I was an exercise slacker this weekend. I could have met a friend at the gym on Sunday, but she was working out at the same time church was and after last week, church just seemed to be a little more important this week. And it helped. A lot. It is just such a comfortable place, which is so strange to me, being raised in the Catholic church. I would have NEVER used the word *comfortable* to describe church growing up. But I think for my mental health, this was the right choice of a facility to visit Sunday.

So, Monday started with a fresh perspective and a fresh start to the fitness plan. I ran last night and finally felt good when I finished! It was such a relief after the last three runs and how bad they have been treating me...lol. Nothing spectacular, just 2 1/2 miles, but they felt good and actually gave me a little glimmer of hope that maybe I am not a nut for thinking I should even be out there running :P

Today is upper body at the gym - way more my idea of fun ;) and I am still trying to figure out how I can fit in Body Pump at the gym that I have heard such awesome reviews about!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Just Do It

Okay, so no secret, this week has sucked...not just a little, a whole big nasty week of suck. So yesterday, my cubemate at work told me in no uncertain terms to bring in my gym clothes because we were going to the gym over lunch. Whether I wanted to or not. Thank God for that woman.

I didn't want to right up until she barked at me over her shoulder that she would meet me there. I wanted to run errands instead. I wanted to go to the bookstore, get pruners for the flower beds and run to Target for some toiletries. Since she was out the door so fast I couldn't respond, I had no choice but to pony up and follow her to the gym. It was such a great workout! We did upper body and by the time I got back to the office an hour and a half later (shhhhh) my arms were just tingling.

So the question of the day is....why do we fight going to the gym/going for that run/going to the pool/or going for a ride when we know once it is over we will not only feel so much better physically, but emotionally as well? I mean, my entire posture changes, along with my mindset. It is just so dumb that I make constant excuses when it is actually the best therapy that I have been able to find!

My goal for the next week is no more arguing. Just do it. I like that. Heh, must be why it made them so much money ;)