Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I don't know if I told all of you,  but the kids and I are headed East for my brother Wally's wedding for a little over 2 weeks and we leave on Saturday.  I am more than excited to spend so much quality time with family, but also not at all looking forward to the actual getting there.  I've managed to get myself to a place of calm acceptance..after all, it's not the first time I've flown with them, so I know what to do and what to expect.  It'll be whatever it is and then it'll be over and I'll be in Boston with my sister!  Hooray!

Anyway, the other day my sister Emily asked if I was going crazy getting ready for the trip and I had to laugh out loud because I'm just so not.  I am one of the biggest procrastinators I know and there is no way I could ever wrap my brain around how people manage to pack for trips like this ahead of time.  Everything I bring with me is everything I use on a daily basis and I don't have some magical second pair of favorite jeans or more than two or three "it'll have to do because it's the only thing that fits me" tops.  Plus (I'm going out on a limb with mild confidence here, based on a recent conversation I had with my sister, that many of you ladies out there will nod in agreement when I say), I have ONE BRA that I wear every day.  When I have to wash it I wear an ill-fitting Spanks tank top and a baggy sweatshirt.  Who am I kidding?  If weather permits, I'll happily wear said baggy sweatshirt every single day...although I do have at least 3 of those to rotate throughout the week.  So, I ask you, how could I possibly pack any earlier than after the very last load of laundry is done before the trip?  I guess I could pack my bathing suit, but  I'm not even sure I'll be needing that this trip.  Seems a shame to have the stupid suitcase out and in our way for 2 days just so I can feel like  I'm "getting ready" if all I can put in there is a swimsuit and maybe my travel toiletries.  Anyway, the kids would have a field day with a half-packed suitcase just laying around my bedroom.  I feel quite sure I'd end up repacking that sucker at least 15 times before Saturday rolled around.  The kids stuff isn't exactly the same reasoning, but basically we bring what we wear and whatever we leave behind is either not appropriate for the season or we don't really like it that much.  It's okay though...I actually do pretty well under pressure and if I've ever had a conversation with you about my inability to enjoy chocolate, cookies or cake in moderation you already know that I'm an "all or nothing" kind of gal.  I guess it applies to packing for me too...once I get started on it, I can't relax until the suitcase is full, zipped and waiting by the back door.

What I have been better about this time though, is steadily taking care of work obligations and crossing stuff off of the "to do" list...not the one that I make and complete every day (another reason why I can't fathom getting ready for something that is days away when sometimes it's all I can do to get through THIS one) but the annoying "to do at some point"list.  I did so well with it this week that I even did a few things a day or two before I told myself I had to do it or else!  So Saturday will get here and I will somehow get ready.  My goal is to head East with nothing on my mind but getting there and enjoying it.

Just to sneak them in here in case I don't get a chance to share before we are a few fun things about the last couple of days:

Zoe and I made an impromptu mini teepee on our patio the other day.  We just did it for fun, but the fairies surprised her with a thank you note in the morning.

Sprinkling "magic dust" on it

Today, just before taking Zoe to school I was working diligently on getting the kitchen cleaned up before heading out the door.  I wiped down the counters and said loudly as I headed out to the patio where the kids were playing quietly: "Okay guys I'm done cleaning the kitchen--who's ready to go to sch---"  and this was what I found.  A prime example of how you have to just go with the flow sometimes...I am always encouraging them to get messy, after all....

We went out for a walk earlier and Owen INSISTED on wearing this hat.  I just love this kid.

We had our monthly Kids Art Group/Young Scientists get together this afternoon.  We made paper mache volcanoes!  We used the flour/water version for our paste and didn't cut the tops off of the water bottles, though and it all seemed to go well. We plan to paint them and blow them up next month.

I think all of us ended up using masking tape to help hold the mold in place before adding the strips with the paste.

Anyway, if you don't hear from me for a few weeks, you'll know why!  Later, dudes!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bone To Pick

Seriously guys, I'm a little pissed at the Easter Bunny.  This is at least the third year in a row he (or she, as Zoe kept saying) has forgotten to bring me Peeps.  I mean,  I know they are totally disgusting and I know they don't exactly fit into my new heart healthy diet but you can go ahead and shoot me because I love them.  Also, last year he (or she) was really great about leaving the kids a little candy, a little money and plenty of easily-lost-between-the-couch-cushions-or-often-times-fished-out-of-Owen's-mouth-right-before-they-got-lodged-in-his-throat toys. A perfect mix of junk that was either belly bound, piggy bank bound or garbage can bound (that is, if it's ever fished from amidst the dust bunnies behind the TV).  This year though, all he (or she) brought was loads and loads of cheap, delicious, hard -to-say-no-to-just-10-pieces-before-breakfast candy along with some clearly-an-after-thought-pocket-lint-covered change.  I'm guessing he (or she) was busy and that maybe Easter sneaked up on him (or her) and that maybe by the time he (or she) realized Easter was coming up, he (or she) only had one quick 20 minute window to get everything for the baskets.  Sure we, as their parents, probably could have avoided Owen's 9am sugar crash and Zoe's 4:30 and 7pm puking sessions by telling them they couldn't have as much candy as they wanted but then they wouldn't think we're totally awesome and who wants THAT on Easter morning?  So, I blame the Easter Bunny.  He (okay, okay SHE) can suck it.

Honestly, though aside from the puking we had a nice weekend and then day today:

Dying eggs with Daddy.  I've never been that sentimental about this tradition honestly, so Nathan's always the one motivating us to do it.  Every year I feel more and more grateful for his enthusiasm and am beginning to appreciate it.

Zoe putting our baskets together.  It was fun to have her so involved in preparing this year.

We revisited clean mud at the end of the day yesterday and I was so pleasantly surprised to realize it's the perfect kind of activity for Owen.  He must have spent a half hour messing with it and then pouring water from bowl to bowl and trying to carry it around without spilling it.  I'll have to break this one out more often.

Two of my favorites from this bunch though:

Proof that he's not always happy with me...

..and the way these kinds of activities usually end up

This year we planted (and then watered, of course) 4 jelly beans in our backyard because I'd read somewhere that if you plant them the day before Easter something cRaZy happens...

I went grocery shopping in the morning and when I came back, Nathan and Zoe had made a dandelion necklace for me and I wore it until it fell off.  What a nice surprise--I really did love it!

Overall, the day was a success (depending on your point of view I guess)!  Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reality Check!

This past weekend I finally went to the hospital to get a routine blood test done.  I'd been meaning to check my cholesterol and thyroid for a long time but getting the timing right (between fasting for the right amount of time and Nathan being home to help with the kids),  it just kept getting pushed to the side.  It didn't feel urgent because I'm pretty healthy and although I have a hard time controlling myself with sweets, I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about eating a healthy diet.  [Side note: How hilarious is it that I just had such a hard time spelling "knowledgeable" that I had to use the closest spelling I could manage for a Google search and since I couldn't hang onto the spelling in my head long enough to type it here, had to cut and paste it from the top of the results page, where it says "Did you mean knowledgeable"?...reminds me of the time my brother Ben came with me to pick up my college diploma (the one I finally earned a full year after my original classmates)...and had to correct me as I  loudly and proudly read it aloud, mispronouncing a key word (for the life of me, I can't remember what word though.  Maybe Ben remembers)]

I don't know about you, but my brain does not comprehend medical lingo and I also have a terrible time remembering my personal and family medical history.  After I had Owen, the nurses and midwives asked me if I'd had certain shots after I'd had Zoe and all I could say was "I have no idea...will it hurt me to get it again if I did?"  To which the answer was "no" so I just went ahead and got whatever shots they were offering just in case. I think they all thought I was crazy because I got so many shots in the days after Owen's birth and probably only needed one or two (or none--who knows??).  Anyway, imagine my surprise and total confusion when the midwives called me the day after my blood was drawn to talk about the results.  This is what my brain was able to comprehend from that conversation:  "High thyroid and triglyceride numbers...need to see an endocrinologist...will probably have to go on medication....also should see a general, don't wait until after your trip east in a couple of weeks, try and see someone right away."  This is  basically my side of the conversation:  "What does the thyroid do exactly? What is an endocrinologist and what do they do?  How do you spell triglyceride?  WHAT is triglyceride??"  Luckily my friend Jessica was over with her girls for dinner so I had another person there to help me hazily fumble through dinner and bathtime.  I called my Mom (of course) and then the midwives again to clarify a bit after I was able to think about everything a little.  In a nutshell, this was my side of both conversations: "Should I be freaking out?? I don't have the faintest idea what all of this means!" and both amazing ladies assured me that there was no reason to freak out, but plenty of reasons to become more informed and look into the situation.  After bedtime, I emailed Nathan to update him and he completed the process of setting my mind at ease so I was able to get some sleep without letting my imagination go crazy.

The next day, I called my sister-in-law Sandy (an ER doctor) and told her what was going on.  She talked me through everything in detail and I got another step closer to feeling relaxed about it. After I got the actual lab results from the midwives, I called Sandy again and she walked me through the numbers and what they mean and was able to assure me that although my numbers are high, they aren't high enough to be able to clearly state that I have an issue at all.  I was able to find a general practitioner here that could see me this morning and she, just like Sandy, told me that the number isn't high enough to definitively say that I have an issue.  She said that if I wanted to, I could start treatment right now, but that then I'd be committed to being on medication for the rest of my life.  When I told her I wasn't interested in going on medication unless it was a safety issue, she told me that it definitely is not a safety issue and that I  can take another test in a month and see if my number goes down or not.  If it doesn't, then we can start thinking about investigating whether or not I have an issue.

PHEW!!!  You can really learn a lot in a couple of days if you get the shit scared out of you!  Listen up:  Get your blood work done when a medical professional suggests you do so, even if you think you're totally healthy. 

As far as the triglyceride number goes, it's also not at a "freak out" level.  The rest of the stuff they look at for cholesterol looks fine and although my number is high, it's not scary high.  It's high enough that the doctor suggested I take fish oil pills every day and start to be more aware of what I'm eating...carbs, sugar, alcohol...she said that if I can't get the number down that way, then we can start to be more strict about it all but for now I can stay fairly relaxed about it.  It seems pretty simple on the surface, but the more I think about it I think that simple goal might be hard for me.  It's easy to take the fish oil, but I think I make pretty good choices already as far as food goes so I don't feel like I have a lot of fat to trim there.  The unfortunate truth though, is that I rely heavily on (and thoroughly enjoy) pasta and bread products for dinners, I JUST made the decision to allow myself to enjoy a bowl of ice cream every night after I put the kids to bed (guilt free) and I really really enjoy having a glass of wine every night. Realizing the three vices I've allowed myself are the three most important things to cut back on when working to improve heart health is one of the biggest downers ever.  It makes me feel old.  I know I can do it and will feel better once I get into different habits but first I have to figure out HOW to do it......guess I'll have to get my butt to the bookstore and find the "diet" section.  Sheesh!   Life is so weird sometimes!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Things

I had a post in mind for tonight but got distracted....was headed to bed and realized I wanted to at least share these happy things with you...more thoughts to come!

The kids sharing a quiet lunch together on our patio

 Two of the dozen or so pictures I took of our crab apple trees in bloom.  Feels like everyone has pictures like this right now, but I couldn't stop staring and beautiful, and right on our patio!

The dress I made yesterday for Zoe out of one of my favorite skirts (I never wear it anymore but keep it in the closet for some reason)...



Front with optional sash

Back with optional sash

Front with optional scarf (and Zoe's kitty..she dressed her up too, can you tell?)

 Afternoons with girlfriends and art projects...

One last shot of the busy girls...okay, maybe I was admiring the dress again, too  ;-)