Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year Over

This year was, by far, the slackest of slack in terms of blogging. But it was so full in other aspects of life, that I can't really find the desire to feel guilty about it. Like all years, it was full of ups and downs - some that I blogged about, some that I didn't - Finishing the Leadville Marathon will go down as my all-time greatest athletic accomplishment. In addition to that, I PRed in the 5K, 13.1, and 26.2 distances. I didn't run a 10K, but I'm confident that I would have killed my PR in that, too. Leadville sorely deserves an official blog post. Better late than never, right? We *almost* moved to Colorado. I mean, it was so close I could taste it, and the disappointment of still being in Cincinnati is still a little bitter. I'm sure I'll get over it. Unfortunately, events surrounding that near-move caused me to lose one of my BFFs. It was a stupid situation that got way out of hand and both of us were/are at fault. I keep telling myself to suck it up and send a letter, but I feel like I've been on hormonal emotional overdrive, so it hasn't happened yet. I went back to school and then didn't take the prelim exam, a decision that I'm at peace with 90% of the time. I sewed another Halloween costume and a Star Wars christmas stocking, tried lots of new Ben & Jerry's flavors, dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean, and ran along the beach in Maine. I met Todd Park and Joe Biden, and my non-profit won multiple awards at national conferences. I visited SAS headquarters on Pi Day - what's more awesome than that? We went camping, took in one of the longest Yankee games of the season, and finished off the year with a sweeping christmas trip down the northeast corridor, visiting family from New Jersey to Maine and back again. ANDPLUSALSO - we took the plunge and decided to add to our family. Next year we'll be welcoming a baby girl, and I'm so excited to have another baby in the house. I think I'm even MORE excited for Charlie - he is absolutely THRILLED that he's getting a sister. I hope the close of 2012 is as positive for you as it is for me - and I'll definitely be back on the blog more in 2013. I have a lot to talk about. Pretty soon you'll be begging me to stop :)


Monday, December 24, 2012

White Wine in the Sun

I know i post this every year, but i love it, so you're getting it again. This year we're celebrating Christmas in Maine, with a second mini celebration in NYC. It's always nice to see as much family as possible.

I'm bundling up for a frigid Christmas Eve run along the bay. Have to keep the habit!

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!

Watch "White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin" on YouTube

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Happier News

There's nothing like good friends having new babies to lift the spirits. I got the chance to snuggle with the cutest, squishiest, most adorable newborn baby boy twins today. A few hours later, another good friend had her new baby girl. Definitely a nice reminder that life does go on, and that there are good things happening all around, even in the wake of such horrible tragedy. Andplusalso, makes me so much more excited to welcome our own new baby in a few months! I can't wait for Charlie to meet his little sister.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Voice

I don't watch this show, ever, but this is something not to miss. But not if you're prone to crying.

Monday, December 17, 2012

So Much to Say

In my effort to blog regularly I had a whole bunch of christmas stuff that I wanted to talk about - neat ornaments that have been on my tree for 30 years, holiday traditions that I want to pass on to Charlie, thoughts about how we're going to teach him about the different religions and philosophies and beliefs - and how they're all equally valid and important.

But somehow, none of that seems to matter anymore. I don't want to talk about the awful tragedy that happened last Friday, but the blog post that I had written that day just didn't seem relevant anymore. And every time I logged on this weekend, all I could think about was how there was nothing that I, or any other random face on the internet, could say or type that could possibly begin to make sense out of any of this.

I don't want to talk about how vividly I can still remember the first high school shooting that happened in 1999, just as I was about to graduate from high school. I don't want to talk about how, as an adjunct instructor, I spent the entirety of a three-hour-long night class talking about the hows and the potential whys and the history and the relevant sociological theories after the big shooting on a college campus. I especially don't want to talk about the most recent event - how young and innocent these kids were, how they had their whole lives ahead of them, and how my own son is just about that age. I don't want to talk about how I look at him and can't help but think that this could happen anywhere, to any kid, and that I'm so incredibly lucky and thankful that it didn't happen here, to my own, or to anyone that I know. I want to bury my head in the sand and turn off the news and pretend that these things don't happen and certainly can't happen here, but I know that I can't. There are big discussions that need to happen - things that we clearly need to fix, as a society - questions to ask and solutions to find so that we can limit the chances of things like this happening again.

And while over the weekend I found myself wishing that I could be comforted by the idea of god and heaven and all that jazz, at the end of the day I still think "but even I believed that there WAS that god that so many are able to take comfort in, would I really want to believe in such a god that would allow this to happen?"

I know that everyone is grieving for those kids, but as a parent, my heart literally hurts when I think about it - I can't imagine how one goes on after that. So while society continues to unproductively divide itself on issues of gun control and interpretations of the second amendment, I will continue to be thankful that even when I'm stuck in awful traffic during a downpour on the highway with nothing to listen to on the radio that doesn't bring me to tears because of the coverage, I can look in my rearview mirror and see my own child through those tears, safely napping in his carseat after school.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Welcome to the first edition of HDBD for Baby Bean 2.0!

For those of you who missed the fun five long years ago, HDBD stands for "Hump Day Bump Day."

We had my company holiday party on Friday, so it was a night of getting all dressed up in fancy party clothes.  Thankfully, my friends are way more stylish than I am and very generous with their maternity clothes, so I had plenty of pretty dresses to choose from. I ended up going with this little number. Ironically enough, I also borrowed a dress from this same friend for last year's party. Non-pregnancy.

I'm gigantic at 17 weeks compared to where I was at this point last time. Kind of afraid to see how big I'll be at 40 weeks.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

17 Weeks - Onion

I don't peel or chop onions, my spectacular husband is the cook in our house so he usually takes care of the dirty work while I concentrate on the green veggies. Did you know that you can get the onion smell off of your hands by rubbing them with stainless steel?


How far along: 17 weeks

Total weight gain: According to the OB, 5 pounds. I think it's closer to 7

Maternity clothes: Still just the shirts. Many of them are still a little too big. Back into the bigger bras though, for sure :/

Stretch marks: Nope

Sleep: It comes and goes. The dreams are more annoying than the wakefulness

Best moment of this week: Charlie learning that he can "talk to" his sister. He's been whispering things at my belly about playing XBOX and Star Wars when she comes out to play.

Miss anything: Having some drinks at the company Christmas party

Exercise: Running, P90X - I think I'm done with the treadmill. My treadmill runs are slower and harder, and for no good reason. I also had to stop 1.5 miles in on Saturday to change my shoes - apparently my feet are already growing.

Movement: Still just "pretty sure"

Food cravings: Egg, cheese, and salami sandwiches. We're on four days in a row...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Chicken. Unless it's in nugget form - those sound reeeeeeeeally good right now

Happy or moody most of the time: That song that I just missed last week ("Into the Dark") came on while I was driving home from work yesterday. Cue the tears. The only network TV drama I still watch has the Christmas episode tonight - just watching the preview had me sobbing. If they kill off a main character I'm going to lose it. I don't think this one will be treadmill-friendly!
Looking forward to: Cookie Swap on Friday! I LOVE cookies. Doesn't matter what kind. Well, that's not true - I don't like those ritz crackers dipped in chocolate that people try to pass off as cookies. What's up with that? I'll be whipping up a batch of Nutella Chocolate Chips. Nutella is the real reason for the season ;)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Teaching an Old Mom New Tricks

Well it's not like I'm THAT old, but anyway.

Today I hit a milestone - I actually started and finished a craft project in a single evening. Well, technically started and finished - I made a stocking for Charlie and then decided that it needed some extra trim, so tomorrow I'm going to put the finishing touches on. However, according to the recipe of the project, it's "finished."

So what? So, I'm the em effing QUEEN of unfinished projects. I get these random spurts of motivation to learn things or do things and then they go unlearned and undone. Take, for example, Knitting Club. My old cube-mate Lynn and I decided that we were going to start knitting once a week at lunch. We were going to teach ourselves how to knit and we were going to make scarves. Scarves for everybody! So many scarves that we wouldn't know what to do with them all. Five years later, and there's still a long, skinny piece of "scarf" shoved in one of my drawers. Maybe I'll get back to it. Probably, I won't. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

My own mother, on the other hand, should have been a children's art teacher - our childhoods were full of art projects and glitter and amazing homemade halloween costumes. I don't think any of us ever had a store-bought costume. So far, with her help, I've been able to keep that tradition up for Charlie - meaning, of course, she makes the costumes. But last year I decided to do it myself, and I ended up with a pretty decent Jedi Knight costume.

And then this year, I decided to step it up a notch when Charlie requested that I make him a Ninja Turtle costume. This one took me about a week, but I was still suffering through the first trimester, so I give myself a pass.


And then today - TODAY - in addition to finishing the stocking project, I cut little felt christmas trees and let Charlie decorate them with sequins, glue, ribbons, and glitter. Yes, you heard me - GLITTER - the herpes of art supplies.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Agnostic Parenting Fail

I've blogged before about the difficulties I anticipate with raising an agnostic child. Most of my concerns centered around the BIG questions - where does life come from, and what happens when we die. Those conversations have become more and more common, and C is apparently most comfortable discussing the issue on the drive to and from school. It all started over the summer. There's nothing quite like being blindsided at 6:30 on a Monday morning by the voice from the backseat asking "Mom, does everyone die?"

Cue the anxiety and panic attacks.

I knew this was coming, I had read articles and books and stories in preparation. Yet, when my small child finally brought up the topic, I froze. "He's too young!" the voice in my head wailed. "Why can't he just stay innocent forever?"

But obviously, that's not an option, as time marches on. So I stalled and stuttered and finally managed to spit out an answer, but of course a simple "Yes, everyone dies" wasn't good enough, because then I was hit with the "But WHY? WHY does everyone have to die?"

And then I had a lightning strike moment - I told him to think about it like taking turns (a relevant comparison, as it was the focus in school at the time). There's only so much room on the world - only so much space, only so much room, only so many resources - so when people get really old and they've lived their long and full lives (hey, don't beat me up for emphasizing old and looooooong lives. He was only three) then their turn is over so that there can be more room for all of the new babies to be born and to take their turns to live their lives in our world. I tried to frame it as a circle of life, and I swear I could hear the strains of The Lion King soundtrack in the background.

The explanation must have made good sense to him, because he seemed satisfied by the idea and the "Why?" about death didn't really come up too many more times after that.

6 months later, driving home from school at 4:00 on a Thursday, and apparently the issue is weighing on his mind again. It started innocently enough, with him asking whether people can live to be 99 or 100 or more. We got past that part, and the definition of "old" not really being a set number. And then he asked more about when his sister is going to be born, and we talked about how she wouldn't be big enough to come out until May, and she was busy growing, blah blah blah. And I wondered briefly where his big little mind was going, but then decided he was just excited and curious.


He started asking about how people know when their turn is over, and how they know when it's time to die. And then - the inevitable question - "Who is going to die when my sister is born to give her a turn?"

Well what the hell do I do with that?

I'm ashamed to admit that I kind of side-stepped the question, mumbled something about it not quite working like that, and distracted him with the promise of Orange Leaf for dinner.

I'm hoping that little trick bought me at least a week to come up with an explanation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

16 Weeks - Avocado

Avocados just aren't my thing. I know they're healthy and blah blah blah, but I just can't get into them. The only good thing about them is that they remind me of my sister, whose favorite book as a kid was "Avocado Baby." And yes, there's a fruit for every week :)

How far along: 16 weeks

Total weight gain: The sad part is that I don't really remember how much I weighed when I started. My best guess now is 5-7 pounds. I feel like I've just gotten huge in the last week. 16 weeks this time looks more like 20 weeks last time.

Maternity clothes: I've figured out that I can wear my non-maternity skirts just underneath the bump. That's going to help a ton. Yesterday I grabbed a short-sleeved maternity shirt that a friend leant me - one of the ones with the tie-waist. I looked in the mirror and thought "holy shit, I'm gigantic!" and then Charlie said "well if you stopped sticking your stomach out you wouldn't look so big." which would be great, except... I'm not sticking anything out. It's just there. Like, overnight.

Stretch marks: Nope

Sleep: The pregnancy insomnia has visited me much earlier this time around. I sleep for 4 hours and then something wakes me up and I can't go back to sleep. I was up at 4 on Sunday and 2 yesterday. Suuuuuuuuuuuuper fun.

Best moment of this week: Picking a new OB - I've decided to attempt a natural childbirth to try to avoid the long hospital stay we had last time. I have my first appointment with them later this month - more to come on that one.

Miss anything: Staying up until 10:00.

Exercise: Running, P90X - ran EIGHT miles on Saturday! It felt great and I could have kept going. Weekday runs are a little slower, because I'm running with my neighbor who is a running Newb. It's really nice to have company, though!

Movement: Still just "pretty sure"

Food cravings: I'm still loving the pizza rolls. Salted Caramel Mochas from Caribou are also a current favorite....

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, but plenty of things still just don't sound good.

Happy or moody most of the time: Varies widely. Poor husband. Crying about everything. I got in the car after school drop-off yesterday and was relieved that the song on the radio was just ending - I'll Carry You by Death Cab for Cutie. Always a tear-jerker, especially since I made the mistake of watching the bunny music video during my last pregnancy. Google at your own risk!
Looking forward to: Getting dressed up for a holiday party on Saturday! I have a nice selection of maternity dresses thanks to my more fashionable friends.


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