Thursday, October 26, 2006

Life as it happens

I bought a memory foam mattress topper for our bed this week. I haven't actually slept on it yet as I had to unpack it from the air-tight package it came in and allow it to decompress for a day or so. I'm not sure if the memory foam will actually improve my memory. Maybe I'll be able to recall my dreams in even greater detail. Or perhaps the mattress topper will just say, "Oh, here comes that fat ass again. I remember..."

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Sam learned how to open a door this week. He is tall enough to reach up and grab the handle, pull down and push the door open. He tried to walk out the front door, but thankfully I was of the right mind to keep it locked. He also walked in on Rob while he was in the bathroom. Thankfully Rob was already on the toilet as he laughed so hard he likely would have peed his pants.

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Monday marked the second week of my running training. On Mondays we run on a track and we work on speed. Our coach times us and keeps track so we can see our progress. This Monday I ran a full mile without stopping. I have been working toward this goal since I started training in March. I'd be a lot more exuberant in conveying this wonderful news, except that Wednesday I ran 1.6 miles straight through, and a mile is just sooo yesterday's news.

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I made apple butter this past weekend with my mother. We peeled, cored and diced 40 apples and completed the tedious task of canning 24 jars. I hesitated in even publishing this news as the apple butter is a hot commodity and I could really do without all the internet and foot traffic the news of delectable treat will cause. I thought the public needed to know and I decided to take a chance. I did it for the people.

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While making said apple butter I noticed that my potholders are in sad shape. Not that they're worn or bearing holes - no this is much more disgusting. I don't think I've ever washed them. They have years of caked on pie filling, spaghetti sauce and God knows what else. I consider myself a clean person, but if you had to judge me by my potholders, you might think otherwise.

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I've gained 2 pounds since I started this running training. Could be muscle. I hope so. I sure do hate to see the scale move in that direction.

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This past Saturday night, I went dancing downtown with my husband and some friends. I haven't been downtown in 2 years and being there made me feel old, out of practice with my moves and generally silly. I still had a good time even though my feet took a brutal beating and I was hung over the next day. I quickly remembered why people with children don't go out and party. Kids never sleep in when you have a pounding headache.

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Grey's Anatomy is a little disappointing this season. There is too much focus being placed on the sex and he-said, she-said aspect and not enough on the medical crap. The very thing that drew me to the show was the medical twist involving young doctors with whom, in my wildest dreams, I could relate. I always wanted to be a doctor, but never pursued it. This show allowed me to live vicariously through the interns before it turned all Melrose Place on my ass. Enough with the McDreamy, McSteamy and get back to McReality. Seriously.

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My latest list of wants:

A Chicago Bears t-shirt
New bras
Brown shoes (dressy casual)
A laptop
New dish towels (even though I DO wash the ones I have.)

I'm sure I could think of more things, but these are the items that came to mind freely. This list runs through my mind and changes periodically. Don't know why I thought I'd share. This list might give my readers a glimpse into the inner me, and allow you to know my deep motivations and desires. Or not.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sam a.k.a American Bad Ass

My silly son found this chain in our office/gym room. It belongs to the home gym and it hooks up to the pulley system in some sort of fashion. If I actually used the damn thing, I'd be able to tell you. Instead it sits and collects dust along side the elliptical trainer.

Sam decided that the chain made a nice fashion accessory and wore it around his neck for the remainder of the day. Of course he was supervised the entire time, except for the 30 seconds it took me to run and grab the camera.

My little Bad Ass is so cool.

Chocolate Fu Man Chu

I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy. I had an insatiable sweet tooth and craved chocolate like a crack whore needs a fix. Coincidentally, I made cake with chocolate frosting for Sam's birthday. He too attacked the cake with the same ferocity that I did when he was growing inside me. So, in my defense, it really wasn't me that was eating the stuff like an addict. It was Sam. He made me do it. I'm telling. MOOOOOMMMMMM!

Here is the evidence of Sam's chocolate fest.

He looks good with a fu-man-chu, don't you think?

Zoo on One

For Sam's first birthday, we took him to the Central Florida Zoo. To our surprise and delight, Sam had a ball. He pointed to his heart's content and "hoo-ed" at the birds and monkeys. Rob and I had fun as well and I learned tons of new things about the animals there, none of which I can remember now. We set our peepers on tigers, emus, elephants, llamas, snakes, birds and monkeys to name a few. Somehow Rob convinced me to enter the Insect Building where I came face to face with many of the unfortunate and disgusting creatures featured on Fear Factor. Apparently, fear is a factor for me because I was getting the creeps just looking at the Giant Screeching Cockroachs.

Sam's first outing rocked. Stay tuned for more Birthday Boy pictures!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

220 minus your age, my ass

Last night was the second night for the running group. I originally thought the loop we were running was .6 miles, but I was mistaken; it was .8 miles. After a warm-up and stretch, I actually ran the entire .8-mile loop, which impressed me greatly. I surely could have squeezed out the last bit to make it a mile. Regardless, I was jogging at a slow pace and heaving pretty heavily. I constantly checked my heart rate, which topped out at 220 beats per minute.


Holy. Shit.

Heh, that blows the whole maximum heart rate equation of 220 - your age right out of the water. In that case, I'm a newborn. Give me a break people, I wasn't born yesterday. (rimshot!)

I have no idea why I have such an incredibly high heart rate. My coach nicely informed me it is because I am out of shape, but he doesn't know that I've been exercising since March. I can definitely tell I've improved my fitness, even though my freakishly high heart rate has not changed much. I definitely have a way to go before I can call myself "in shape" but I'm not a total sloth either.

On a slightly different note:

I know this guy who refuses to exercise because he believes that our hearts are genetically coded to beat a pre-determined number of beats, and then we die. Just like a woman only has a certain number of eggs, and she will never produce more, he thinks that each of us has a number. Like numerology or your Sleep Number. If that is the case, I either hit the Heart-Number Lottery in-utero or I'm going to die next Tuesday.

Right. Moving on.

Soon I'll be able to keep up to this kick-ass cadence. Does this make you want to cut your hair high and tight and strap on some combat boots, or what?!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Run like the wind to be free again

I joined a running team which is facilitated and coached through Track Shack. We meet two nights a week for ten weeks. The program is designed to enable beginner runners/walkers to run up to 5 miles. The coach ensures us that by the end of the 10-week program, we should be able to run 3-4 miles comfortably. My personal goal is to run 3 miles without stopping; comfortably would be nice. I also have 15 stubborn pounds to lose to get to my happy weight. I'm not sure if the pounds are stubborn, per se as much as I am lazy. In any case, I paid for and joined this team of 30+ people. Yes, I know it is sad when I have to pay for my motivation, but hey, whatever works.

We met on Monday night for the first time and ran around the track 7 times. I was impressed with myself in that I could make it around the track without stopping to walk. I kept up pretty well, despite the fact my heart rate was above 195 the majority of the run. I think I topped out at 215, and amazingly didn't topple over from heart failure. I felt like my lungs were on fire too, but hopefully that'll dissipate in the coming weeks. Tonight we're meeting at a local office park to run around the parking lot. I kid you not, we're going to run a .6 mile course that is set up in an office building parking lot. Tonight we're working on endurance. Yeah, .6 miles is a long run for me.

I'm still sore from Monday's run. My quads and back are sore. I told my mom and she told me that pain is just weakness leaving the body. Then she said, "Drop and give me 20, you Maggot!"

Patrick downloaded a slew of military cadences for us to run to. They are awesome as the leader has a jazzy voice with a lot of soul. As for me, I need to run to love ballads until I can up my pace a bit. Give me some Luther or Babs. Wait. I want to jog, not puke.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sammy Mag

I have way too much time on my hands. I also have the most delicious and wonderful baby on the face of the earth, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sleeping through my insomnia

I suffer from periodic bouts of insomnia. These periods come and go and last a week or so at a time. After a few nights of crappy sleep, I tend to get a bit crabby. And on edge. Last week was one of those weeks. It was also the week of my Son's first birthday. I needed sleep and nothing seemed to work. Sunday, my mom had given me the last of her highly-coveted Ambien, one of which I took Sunday night. It worked marvelously and I woke up Monday morning refreshed and well-rested. What a difference a good night sleep makes!

Monday night I decided to forego the Ambien, especially since I only have one left and will hoard it and save it for a desperately sleepless night. I was sufficiently tired and by 10 p.m. my eyelids were feeling heavy. I put my book away, turned off the light and snuggled down into my covers for what was sure to be a deep and dreamless sleep.

I easily fell into a deep sleep. Dreamless? Not so much. I had a dreadful nightmare. The kind that scares the living shit right out of you and makes you want to hide completely under your covers for the imagined protection they provide. Around midnight, I heard Rob sneak into bed. I was awake enough to know Rob was in the room, but I just couldn't wake up. It was as though my upper and lower lashes were powerful magnets that the weak muscles of my eyelids could not wrench apart. If I stopped trying to fight the sleep, I would slip right back into my nightmare. So I kept fighting it. I concentrated hard and willed my eyes to open. At one point I felt as though I finally succeeded, but I saw only dense blackness and I knew that I had not won. My left brain was fighting my right. Logic vs. Fantasy. The left wanted to awaken to my safe bedroom with the familiar furniture and warm husband, while the right wanted to delve deeper into the frightening nightmare.

For what seemed like forever, but was probably only minutes, I fought to wake up. I finally woke and frantically scooted closer to Rob. I looked around at the things in my room which were bathed in the soft light of the hall nightlight. I took a few deep breaths and told myself it was just a dream. It was ok to go back to sleep now. That's it, relax. Settle into rhythmic breathing. Sleeeeeeep. Hm. It's hot in here. Move back over to my side. Ugh, my arm is falling asleep, turn over to the other side. Tomorrow is laundry day, I have to get that done. Sam is out of diaper rash cream; I better pick some up at the store.

On and on it went.


At least I got a few hours.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Back to work. Well, not really

I went to my old employer's office today. My two friends that accompanied me to Story Time both worked for this company as well. We decided to load our babies up and pay a visit.

Since I'd worked there, the company had moved to a new office. It is a very nice new office and makes the place seem more like a real company. The old building consisted of cube farms with mismatched chairs and yellowed monitors. The ceiling tiles were bulging and water stained and the carpet hadn't been cleaned in years. But the new place is nice.

I saw many familiar faces, smiling and warm. Everyone asked how I am doing and a few asked if I'm coming back. Of course I answered no, but there was a part of me that longed to be back at the office. I was Quality Assurance Manager when I worked there and I loved my job. I enjoyed making decisions and having input to important things. I liked seeing my ideas come to fruition and having people respect what I said. I was good at my job. I built a department and put many new and lasting policies in place. I was a female working in a male dominated field, but I held my own without having to be the hardened bitch many women are forced to become when working in management. I laughed a lot and tried to make work fun. I tried to be a good boss. I liked dressing up and feeling professional and attractive. I miss those things about work.

My new job is great. I have made a decision to stay at home with my son and I don't look back. I actively choose this role - to be here for him, not only as his caretaker but as his role model. I still make important decisions but of course I don't see the immediate reward. I would never want to put Sam in daycare, as long as we have the choice. But still, on occasion I miss being in the workforce. Ah, the classic work/stay at home conundrum. Different strokes for different folks. I know I've made the right choice for me.