Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween in the 'Hood

What a fun, tiring, sugar-filled day we had. We started right after school pickup this afternoon. First we took PB and his friend C to get some food. We thought perhaps getting some "real food" into them before the sugar would be wise. Plus we were trying to kill time before our husbands' work trick or treating and party began. Good thing we did that, because the only things PB ate between then (about 2:30 p.m.) and the time he went to bed, were chocolate, sugar and whatever makes up Pez. He may have gotten a little bit of apple peel in there while eating the caramel off of a caramel apple, but it's unlikely.

So the work thing was fun. He had C had a blast together and really behaved quite well. Then we had decided to go to our new neighborhood and do a little more, see what some of the neighbors were like and generally scope things out. I was really hesitant to do it, as I thought it might seem weird. But other moms at preschool all convinced me to, so we called the current owners and they put us on the list to be let into the gates (the security there is tight!).

The first door we knocked on was across the street from what will be our new home in a few weeks. The family there was so incredibly nice and welcoming. We didn't even have to introduce ourselves, as they said the current owners had told us we were coming, and they had seen our car pull up. They invited us to join their caravan and go trick or treating with them and their (our new) neighbors!

We happily accepted, and next thing you knew we both had beers in our hands, and PB was in someone's wagon with a new glow stick around his neck. We went around with three families, their nine kids and a party wagon full of wine and beer. I swear every other family walking around had wine glasses, cocktails or beer bottles. Could this be a more perfect neighborhood for me?!

They were all so nice and friendly, and there were tons of children everywhere. There were three 4-year-olds just in our group! I'm so glad we decided to go, and now I'm even more excited to move in! Now if I could just stop eating this candy so I will fit through the door.


See that icon on the side of the page that says you can win a PINK Dyson? You should enter. #1--because Dyson's are the best, and I love, love, love my yellow one; and #2) I'm sure it works even better if it's PINK. How much fun would that make vacuming?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drumroll Please

"Drum roll please, Mommy," PB commanded today as he... took cards out of a box.
Not sure that was worthy of a drum roll, but it made me laugh, as I have no idea where he got it.

But I think a drum roll could be in order as I tell you about the school I visited (and liked!) today. It was a .......................................................

drumroll ......................................................................................................................................................................

Catholic school!

After suffering through 12 years of mediocre education in Catholic schools, I would have punched you in the face (stealing from that song) if you had said I would ever send my children to one. Not because I have anything against the Catholic part--I'm a regular mass goer and all--but because frankly I thought the education I got sucked. Okay, it didn't suck, but it really was not good. And I think I had a lot of potential that was seriously overlooked.

Now I say this to my mother and her response to me is--"look how well you all turned out". And yes, my brother is a brilliant law professor and yes my sister is at Harvard Law School and yes, we all have done some cool things BUT think of how much better we could have done if we had gone to actual good schools.

I swear I would have a singing career right now if the only music I'd ever been exposed to before high school hadn't been from Sister Roseanne--a tone deaf nun with a bell who only knew the song "Polly Wolly Doodle". Or I could very well have been a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader if they hadn't squashed my dreams and made me draw myself as a nun instead during vocations week.

Most of my (underpaid) teachers were dull and unimaginative. We lacked extracurricular activities. I was green with envy listening to the amazing things my friends in public schools got to do. But to my parents, our eternal souls were much more important than where we would go to college, so in Catholic schools we all stayed. (In high school I did plead my case and escape to public school for about a year--but that's another story for another time.)

So now as I try to make the momentous decision of where to send my son next year--for Pre-K and then beyond--I've been making the rounds of all the Orlando-area schools, doing my research. And to be fair, I put the Catholic school of the parish we plan to join on the list. I figured I'd do my due diligence, be able to tell my mother that while it was a nice school, I didn't feel it was the best fit for PB, blah, blah, blah.

But you know what? It might be the best fit. I loved it! I loved the principal who spent an hour with me. I loved the teachers and parents I met and the adorable children in all their little plaid uniforms. I love their philosophies, the charity work the children do and the general familial environment. Academically, they rock and they have a great extracurricular activities to boot. And bonus of all bonus, it's much cheaper than the other private schools I've visited.

So I'm thrilled...and a little surprised at how much I liked it there. How right it felt. I still have more touring to do--including an open house on Sunday for one of the area's fanciest schools. But I'm feeling good about the options I've found.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Roots Be Gone

At last my hair doesn't resemble a chocolate-dipped banana of which someone has eaten the chocolate off of the bottom half!

I had (and kept!) my highlight appointment this morning after the last fiasco. And it all went fine. It looks fine. The stylist did a fine job. And the place was fine. Not fabulous, but fine. Hmmm, how to describe the vibe there? Well, let's start with the music. I can't get Barry Manilow's "Mandy" out of my head. You get the idea?

Were they friendly, courteous and prompt? Did they listen to what I wanted? check, check, check check.

So why won't I go back?

I think it's kind of like dating, and I'm drawn to the bad boys of the hair world. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that when it comes to real life men, I'm so not a bad boy girl, but it's different with hair salons.

I want the salon to be snooty and bossy and think they know what's best for me. I want to feel like I have to impress them when I show up so I'll get the best service. I want to have to beg for them to fit me in for an appointment two months out. I don't want them selling themselves to me. I want to want them more than they want me because they have millions of others who will quickly take my place.

So while my hair is now majorly improved, and I had an overall good experience, my quest for the perfect salon will continue. And who knows, once I go through enough bad boys, maybe I'll decide that nice is after all what's best for me...and my hair.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Wrap

Nothing much to report from this weekend--no housing news, and I'm not posting anymore about that whole mess until we get an offer.

I got in two great runs--one yesterday--about 2.5 miles in the rain; and 5.5 miles today where I felt super strong. I'm exhausted right now, but I felt great while I was doing it. I keep looking for my next race, but haven't found it yet. Too many things going on with holidays, the move and all, so it may be January before I actually get into another one. And that's okay. Then next summer I plan to start the marathon training program.

We went to PB's school Fall Festival today. It was cute and he had a blast with a little girl from his class. They were so cute together, held hands the entire time and kept giving each other hugs. She was even fixing his shirt collar.

That's about it, I really have nothing too interesting to tell you. Hopefully tomorrow, I'll be able to report about how fabulous my hair looks. Because finally, after all this time, I'm actually getting the very, very overdue highlights I so desperately need. My luck in the hair department here hasn't been good, so I'm hoping tomorrow breaks that pattern.

Friday, October 26, 2007

You're Going to Think I'm Such A DORK

Okay, I'm totally stuck on You Tube listening to every song that pops into my head. I still wish I knew how to post the links the "right" way like everyone else with the pictures and all, but I'm too inpatient to try and figure it out.

Anyway, I just have to share with you one of my all time favorite songs. I sang it to PB over and over and over and over and over while I held him in the NICU. And I stil sing it to him almost daily. I change some of the words so it's more about him and I. I don't know what it is about this incredibly simple song. Maybe it's because my mother used to sing it at the top of her lungs as she cleaned house and spun this on our huge record player/piece of furniture that took up half of our living room.

For whatever reason, even as I'm incredibly depressed, crying about our housing situation, this song can still make me happy.

Here you go, and get ready, because you're going to know what a real dork I am.

Beautiful Boy

Had another amazing day with PB just doing nothing. For 20 minutes we laid with our heads beneath his window, a blanket over us, watching the curtains blow. Our conversation (condensed, but you'll get the gist):

Me: I want you to remember not to get too close to that window, because you could fall out.

PB: What would happen then?

Me: You would fall down and get hurt.

PB: Would you come and get me?

Me: Yes, I would come and get you no matter where you are.

PB: Would you come get me from a cave?

Me: Yes, I'd come get from a cave.

PB: What kind of cave?

Me: Any kind of cave.

PB: What about a volcano.

Me: Yes, from any kind of volcano.

PB: Okay, I'm going to love you always.

Me: TEARS!!!

Anyway, found this video of song I've loved for years. I appreciated it and was touched by it as a teenager, now I can barely listen to it without bursting.

P.S. anyone know how I can put the whole picture from the video here instead of just the url??

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just Him and I

PB didn't have school today. I'm not sure why, but none of the public schools around here did. Anyway, we made no plans and woke up with no set idea what to do. After some discussion we decided to start at the gym where he loves to go. I had a great workout and shower, and he had a blast playing with the kids and in and on all the equipment there. In fact, he was crying so hard when I picked him up that I thought something terrible had happened. But when he could finally talk, he said he was just sad he had to leave.

Then we headed to a cute little park in the new town we'll be living in. They had a nice playground, a lake that we strolled around and tons of ducks to feed. The weather was nice and cool--definitely the coolest by far since we arrived in Florida. In fact, I wished I had a jacket. I guesstimated it to be in the mid 60s, but I'm in fact a horrible guesstimator because it's actually 78. People said our blood would thin here in Florida, and we'd become wimps. But being from hearty Midwestern stock, I pishawed them. Now I'm scared. If I'm shivering in 78, what am I going to do when I go back to Seattle where today's temp reads 50?!!! I can't even think about visiting my parents in Nebraska this winter.

Anyway, after a lovely, cool morning at the park, we went and had a nice lunch together. We chatted about his school, friends and how he misses Washington, but likes it here. And the icing--he's actually napping right now. (I had to trick him into it, but it's a nap!)

I love days like this when it's just him and I, and I get to focus all of my attention on just enjoying him. I'm so amazed at how he's grown, the evolution of his thoughts and the absolutely limitless imagination he has. His heart is so good and pure, and looks up at me like I know all and can fix all. I tear up just looking at him sometimes because I know how fleeting this time is and how quickly he'll realize I can't fix everything and be everything for him.

Already he tells me where he would like me to stand when I pick him up from school and what I should and should not say. He told me the other day that he does NOT like "that word crabby". And he really doesn't like people saying "bless you" for some reason--I think because it implies he sneezed, which he always denies right after doing so. Of course, he also denies falling down, pinching his fingers, or anything that hurts him. He just says it didn't happen and will argue adamantly until you wonder if it really did--even though you just witnessed it.

I don't know what I'll do when the spontaneous hugs and kisses stop; when he won't want to nuzzle my nose with his in the middle of the restaurant. Hell, I don't know what I'm going to do without them for FOUR WHOLE DAYS when I go back to Seattle. While I'm looking forward to the trip, I can't even begin to think about how much I'm going to miss him. I know he'll be in good hands with my husband and his grandparents, but they won't be my hands.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


As we anxiously count down the days until we move into our new house, I keep picturing us happily settled there with all of our things. Yes, I'm excited when I think about the double headed shower and the leg-shaving bench I've always wanted. I can't wait to dive into my very own swimming pool and sip wine in the hot tub with my husband. I see myself sitting in the front porch swing watching PB ride around the sidewalk with his new friends. Ahhh...

But my real fantasies lie in the kitchen.

When the boxes finally come, it's there I will start unpacking first. I will once again be reunited with my knives, measuring cups and sifter; my whisks, zesters and mixing bowls. Muffin trays, cooling racks, roasters and springform pans--I will find them each a space.

Lately I can't stay away from the food sites, cookbooks and the Food Network. I'm collecting new recipes like mad, breathlessly browsing kitchen stores and living in anticipation of the wonderful smells I will fill the new house with. I'm already planning a Christmas menu, thinking of the baked goods I'll greet overnight guests with and considering who our first dinner event should include.

It will probably be months before the other rooms get unpacked, and we'll live among boxes for awhile. But at least we'll eat well.

Bon Appetit!

P.S. Thanks for all of the well wishes. I'm feeling much better today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Ugh. I woke up this morning dizzy--like not being able to walk a straight line dizzy--and nauseous. I threw up for the first time in years. I've slept most of the day, and still have a dull headache and my stomach is queasy.

Part of me thinks it's a migraine again, but it could also be a stomach flu that's been going around. I haven't felt that great for the past couple of days. On Sunday I had a horrible run where I just didn't feel good at all and walked most of it. Then yesterday I woke up feeling yucky, but thought sweating it out at the gym would work. Still felt off most of the day, but nothing too bad. Then today, wham!

I hate getting sick! And I missed pumpkin patch day today at PBs school, which made me so, so sad. My husband was able to go, but still...

On the housing front, we have two couples circling our house--one quite seriously who intends to decide by week's end. I hope, hope, pray, pray this is it. I hesitate even putting it out there for fear of jinxing it, but figured the prayers and well wishes you all can (please!) send our way will outweigh that.

Speaking of prayers, I can't stop thinking about all those poor families in San Diego and what they must be going through. And how, if things had just gone a little differently, we would be there now.

The same week my husband accepted his job here in Orlando, he was offered another one at Callaway Golf in the San Diego area. We had a realtor working with us and everything. It was a REALLY hard decision to make, but eventually being close to his family won out. I can't only imagine what we would be doing right now if we had chosen differently.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Long Time No See

Today we had lunch with my cousin who lives in the Orlando area. I had not seen her since I don't know when--high school, maybe longer. Ever since we arrived in Orlando four months ago, my mother and grandmother have repeatedly asked me if I have yet been in contact with her. Finally I can say yes.

She's six years younger than I am, and one of nine children--yes, nine. She has two older sisters my age and two older brothers before her who I knew much better than her. They lived in Kansas, but we frequently made the trek from Nebraska for huge family gatherings with my mother's five siblings and their hordes of children (we were the smallest family with just four children).

I'm sure we thought she was a baby at that time and probably excluded her and the other little ones. But still she and I remembered many of the same fun things we did at our grandparents' farm like making the best haunted houses in the basement where we would drop sheets or fake bugs down the laundry shoot onto someone's head as the walked by. We played court, rode four wheelers and walked a mile into town by ourselves to buy penny candies and Cokes.

Her family lived on a dairy farm in the same small town (population 200 in a good year) as my grandparents and the rest of my mom's family. I grew up in the city. I used to love going to the farm and observing their life that was so different from mine. I always brought the new fads, the clothing trends and music they hadn't yet made the way down thier dirt roads.

And while I'm sure I felt and acted somewhat superior, I was also fascinated by parts of their lives. I so coveted their visits from the Schwan's man and couldn't believe how deprived I was without the treats and frozen foods that filled their freezer. I collected eggs from the chickens with my cousins, and we got to throw the cracked ones at the pigs. I know I cracked many on purpose. The pigs didn't care, especially as we yelled "Suey, Suey." I couldn't believe how the pigs would come running for that special word. And I couldn't believe how young they got to start driving cars--I swear they were like 10.

When we visited, my family stayed at my grandparents' farm, but each time I'd try to do a sleepover with my cousins. We had a great time eating Schwan's treats, playing games, telling stories and making crank calls. I remember having so much fun... until it was time to go to bed.

It would be well after midnight, and I'd be laying there in my sleeping bag. Then I'd go find my aunt or uncle, and we'd call my parents because someone had to come get me. I was scared--I don't know of what--but I knew I wouldn't be able to make it through the night. So my aunt and I would sit at the kitchen table until someone drove the 20 minutes there to get me. Then we'd drive the 20 miles back to my grandparents' farm where I fell asleep safely with my family nearby.

Every time I thought I'd grown up enough since the last to do it; that surely I wouldn't be scared this time. But each time I was. And my parents always let me go again and again and again. They never got mad; they just came and got me and let me keep trying. Thinking back, that's pretty cool.

And it wasn't just my cousins' house where I got scared. It was all slumber parties and sleepovers. I must have had some major separation anxiety. I don't remember how old I was when I first did make it over night--I think I was close to 10 or 11, much too old! I remember waking up in my friend's bed--she lived right across the street, and I could see my house from her bedroom window--we were both so excited and so proud of me. I had finally done it.

After that, I quickly grew out of my fear of leaving home and longed for anything that would take me away from my boring Midwestern existence. And eventually I found things that did. I've lived in D.C., Boston, Austin, Seattle and now Orlando. I've had a diverse career and met an amazing array of people. Thinking back to how scared I was to leave my house and my family seems so out of nature for me now, but maybe how I worked through it, and how my family helped me, is what made me feel secure doing so.

I started out thinking I was going to write this post about how strange it is that my cousin and I--and my other 35 cousins for that matter--could not be close, could go for years without talking or know what each other are doing; could live in the same city for four months without getting in touch. Because I can't imagine my brothers or sister having a child, and PB not being immersed in their lives forever. But I also know things change.

For now, I'm glad to have made a reconnection and to have briefly relived some of the fond memories I have of visiting the farm.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Why would anyone say this to me?

"My husband saw someone walking out and thought it was you. I said, 'oh no, that's not Closetmom, she would have had to have changed a whole lot in a couple weeks to look like that.'"

And, not only did she say it to me, she then had to repeat it to my husband and relate her hilarious story to him.

She was so obviously begging for us to say, "what did she look like?" And you know what? there's no good answer. Neither of took the bait, thankfully, because I don't really want to know. Either this phantom me was uglier, fatter, more hideous looking than I, which then leaves me with the fact that her husband thinks I could look like that. OR the person was so much more beautiful, skinny, amazing than I that she thought it crazy he could believe I looked like that.

I get the whole mistaken identity thing. I'm AWFUL with recognizing people I've met a zillion times and then on countless occassions swear I know someone I've never met. But what I don't get is WHY you would need to say this. Like I said, there's no good answer.

I should not get so upset by things like this, but I do. I'm attending a parenting series and they say if your happiness is based on what other people say and do, you'll never be happy or you'll spend your life trying to change things that can't be changed.

And really, I know this person doesn't really mean any harm; and most of the time she is an amazing person in my life. But still...

Thursday, October 18, 2007


PB had family chapel this morning, so since I was all showered and made up, I decided to do some shopping. I even put my hair on hot rollers, which made it huge (Dallas hair as my husband called it), but quite cute I thought. It lasted, oh about 5 seconds after I stepped out the front door. Seriously, I could hear the wind as it deflated. I should have known the humidity would do that.

Anyway, I was headed to the Milenia Mall, but decided to make a quick detour to the new Neiman Marcus outlet first. It was A-freaking-mazing. Seriously, there was racks of Tory Burch; rounders of Velvet. There was Vince, Marc Jacobs and Marni. Rows of Nicole Miller dresses; Prada; Gucci; even Channel. And don't even get me started on the handbags--there were Chloe bags!--and the shoes--Mui Mui clogs and Faragamo flats. Oh and sunglasses, don't forget those--Chritian Dior, Gucci, Prada. ALLELUIA!

And the best part? It was not a mess like many outlets that give me a headache. It was well laid out, not crowded and organized by designer. And it wasn't last year's stuff either. I'd seen the same lines in stores this past summer. I tried on a whole room of things, and given a different budget, would have purchased mucho bueno items. But I'm trying to be good and there was nothing that I HAD to have.

Besides, my BFF is opening up a clothing store here in just a few weeks, and I'm waiting to do my splurging there. Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Medical Mishaps

Finally, last night I was able to fast for the allotted amount of time to get my blood drawn this morning. I can't tell you hard it has been for me not to eat (or drink!) anything after dinner. So while I've had good intentions, it's been more than two weeks since I went to the internist who wrote out the order for all the tests I'm going to have done.

But last night I did it. I ate a big dinner, and that was it. I know the fact that I couldn't have anything just made me hungrier, but I had nary a nibble.

So this morning, I dropped PB off at school then headed to the lab, as ready as I ever could be to have someone suck the blood out of me. I find a parking space right away, which I thought was a good sign. The I walk in and feel, smell, see that this might not be where I want to be long. I swear everyone there was there for a drug test or for something you need when you're 90-plus years old. No offense to either population, but when I found out the wait was more than an hour, I bolted.

I tried to find another branch of the lab, in a nicer suburb to no avail. So after some fruitless driving around, I was so freaking hungry I just decided to go eat breakfast. So a fast for nothing. Oh well, maybe I lost .01 pounds.

Then this afternoon PB and I were scheduled to go back for his flu shot, which if you remember we didn't get last week because of the fluid in his ear. Well, that fluid is now green and infected. We not only didn't get the flu shot (how many negatives in that sentence?), but also had to miss swimming lessons per the doctor's advice. So off to the pharmacy we went for yet another round of antibiotics.

And while I hate the antibiotics on so many levels--primarily because of the threat of him growing resistant to them--the other pressing issue is that THEY MAKE HIM CRAZY!!!

Seriously, you've never seen bad behavior from him like when he's on antibiotics. It's taken me awhile to make the connection, even though my mother has repeatedly reminded me that all of my brothers and sister and I were the same. But it's true, oh so true.

Let the games begin...

Checkin' In

Not much going on that's of note around here. We had a nice, relaxing weekend. Sunday we drove to Tampa to see my husband's aunt and grandmother. I find his aunt delightful. She has a practice where she prescribes flower essences, touch therapy and other natural remedies for a variety of ailments and conditions in animals and humans. Her house is filled with fountains, magic stones and a very peaceful feeling.

Anyway, the flower remedies she uses are pretty interesting to me. And while I wouldn't entrust my entire health to natural medicine and remedies like this, I do believe they can play a very important role.

After a few hours around PB and his incessant energy she asked if we'd like to try to something to help him calm down a bit. I figured why not, so she bottled up some essence of Chamomile. I haven't given him any yet, but I'm going to give it a try. It's not an herb or anything, but rather the essence of the flower that's been trapped. I can put it in his drink (it has no taste) or rub it in the bottoms of feet or put in his bathwather. If you're interested, you can read more here Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes.

We also visited the nursing facility in which his grandmother lives. That's always a hard place for me to go, but so important. In fact, I was thinking it would be good volunteer work if PB and I went once and awhile to a local home to visit people who may not have family near.

I took Sunday off from running, but did five miles yesterday and about three today. I've noticed more and more that I clench my toes when I run, which then makes them tingle/almost like they've fallen asleep. I have to make a concerted effort to focus on not clenching them. This has been a recurrent problem for me, I think because I spent so many years in dance and gymnastics, where I was always focused on pointing my toes. Not sure, that's a theory anyway.

I've been looking around for my next race, I'm thinking a 10K would be perfect. But not sure which one. My choices are limited by a slew of visitors coming, my trip back to Seattle, the move, etc. I'll figure one out soon though. It's such a good motivator for me.

Well, that's about it. I'm off to go pick PB up from school, and we have swimming lessons this afternoon. I'm going to try to make dinner between the two, as swimming days are always really rushed. I'm thinking soup, because you know the cooler weather is really calling for it--ha! it's 85 out :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007


So, I wasn't set up very well for the race today. While I went to bed early, we don't have an alarm clock and instead use my cell phone. Well, said cell phone proceeded to ring throughout the night--at least three times(telemarketers who think we're still on West Coast time, as I still have my Seattle number)--waking us with each ring. Soooo frustrating and exhausting. I finally ended up just turning it off, which made me paranoid that I would miss my race, so I really didn't sleep much at all.

So I got out of bed around 6:15 a.m. and just stayed up until I needed to leave around 7. I had some coffee and an egg and turkey sausage for breakfast, then about 6:45 a.m. woke my husband up and told him to listen in case I screamed on the way to my car in the dark apartment parking lot.

I got to my car and the race just fine, but then started panicking as I looked at around at the other racers who seemed to all be in super fit shape. I was having some major body envy and was desperately searching for anyone who looked older or more out of shape than me. I swear there weren't many. I seriously started to wonder if there was a possibility I could come in last.

It seemed to take forever until the actual race started, and I was ready to curl up on a bench and go to sleep. I was soo tired.

Finally people started pushing to the starting line. I wasn't in the back, probably close to the middle, but from the time the horn sounded, it took at least 30 seconds or more before I was actually moving more than a walk. But once I did start, it was a beautiful run.

We started out around a lake and proceeded through some beautiful Maitland neighborhoods with gorgeous homes. Lots of neighbors were out to cheer us on. I passed lots of people; and I got passed by others. At the 1-mile mark they shouted out 10:59 as I passed, and I was a little disappointed. I held back to some extent during mile 2 because I didn't want to run out of energy. I can't remember my time at mile 2, but it was better than mile 1 as far as my average time. The last mile felt longer than the first two, but really throughout the whole thing, I felt great. No cramping, and I never even felt the urge to walk. I'd put my sights on someone in the distance and then see if I could manage to pass them. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't. The weather was unremarkably perfect.

My husband and PB were waiting for me around 2.5 miles and that was fun. PB looked really perplexed as to what I was doing, but smiled and waved. On the home stretch I tried to push it a little, but not full out. As we approached the finish line I made it through to my own space, because I wanted the announcer to say my name as I came across the line. Then out of the blue some little 10 or 11-year-old boy sprinted full on and passed me, so they were talking about him instead. Good for him, but still I was slightly bummed my momentary spotlight was stolen.

I couldn't find the clock (it wasn't a recorded race, they told us to just look at the clock when we crosesd the finish line) but after a few seconds I found it and it read.........................


So not great. But pretty good, and if you subtract the 30 seconds or so that it took me to actually start the race (can I do that?), I think I'm pretty close to my goal of 10-minute miles.

Regardless of any time or accolades, however, is the fact that I did it, and I felt great doing so. It was soo much fun, and I've totally been bitten by the race bug once again. I can't wait to do another one!!! a longer one!!!

The children's race followed. PB was so cute in his t-shirt that was way too big with his race number pinned on. There were only like six kids in his division, all of whom were bigger. And he, actually, did come in last. But he did it, and he got his ribbon. He had fun, and I was proud of him. However, I'm not sure he's been bitten by the race bug like I have. I asked him if he was ready to sign up for another race, and he said, "no, today was quite enough." Of course he also refuses to take his ribbon we'll see.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Done Deal

The inspection was this morning, and all went well. A few minor things were found, but they're fixing them all. So November 15 we move in!!

I'm so excited! It feels like the right fit, and I like it more everytime I see it. So while we've hemmed and hawed a lot, that's just what I need to do sometimes...most times. Plus, my husband met the next door neighbors. Apparently they have a children ages 3, 5, and 7, and the wife "looks like someone I'd be friends with." Yay!

I was a little bummed because PB and I were only at the house about 15 minutes before I ran to take him to get a flu shot. It should have been a 15-minute deal, commute time and all. But of course, it turned into an hour-plus event. They lost his chart, so he was overlooked, blah, blah. Then he didn't even get the shot.

I'm paranoid about vaccinations and only like him to get them when he's 100 percent healthy. He has a cough, but with preschool, I'm not sure he's ever not going to have one. So I took him in and asked them to examine him quickly to see if he had anything else going on. She found some fluid in his right ear (he's very prone to ear infections), which could mean the end or beginning of an infection. But regardless, I don't want him having a vaccination with any kind of inspection, so he got off easy today. I still had to buy him the cookie I had promised though, because I figured really, the dread leading up to getting a shot, is often worse than the actual shot. We'll go back again next week.

Anyway, so I never got back to the house like I wanted to. I wanted to open all the drawers and closets and imagine myself living there, thinking about where I would put things etc. But the inspection was over, and everyone had left. Oh well, soon enough I'll be doing it for real.

Tomorrow is my 5K race. I'm not sure how it's going to go as I haven't run since Tuesday. The migraine kept me out the past two days, and today I feel like I should rest up. I'm sure I'll be fine though, it's only 3.2 miles. Let's hope that's how I feel tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hypochondriac? Maybe

What would you do if all of a sudden you saw colorful lights in the shape of hexagons dancing around in front of your face, and you weren't taking any hallucinogenic drugs? What if they didn't go away for like 10 minuets, and you've never experienced anything like it before?

Well, after checking online for symptoms of stroke, heart attack and a number of other big ones, I decided I did not need to call 911. Instead,I called a local eye doctor and begged them to see me for an emergency appointment, then called my husband and told him he needed to come home from work.

By the time he got home, the lights had disappeared, and a huge headache was building behind my right eye. I was really nervous about what the doctor would find--a torn retina? Some horrible eye disease? an aneurysm?--my mind seriously goes wild in these situations, which I know does not help the situation. Then I stress about the stress and the damage it's doing to my body. I know, I know. Did you read the title of this post?

Anyway, after a slew of exams, drops and me reading letters, the doctor said I have extremely healthy eyes, 20/20 vision, not even the need for some reading glasses.

So why the lights? Probably a migraine, she decided.

I've never in my life had a migraine. She asked if I was under stress. I just laughed. So I guess that's what it was/still kind of is. There is still a dull ache in my head, which I'm sure would dissipate greatly if I put down the laptop.

I feel stupid for panicking over this, but it really was scary. While I worry a lot about my health, I rarely actually go to a doctor except for a checkup each year. I've got to feel it's pretty serious for me to actually make the call. And geez if a spontaneous light show before my eyes doesn't seem serious, I don't know what does.

Most of my life I've been blessedly healthy and felt very in tune with my body. I trusted it. My terrifying bout with preeclampsia, however, changed that. I felt betrayed; and I haven't fully trusted my body ever sense. I'm not sure when or if I ever will. Hopefully, over time...

So anyway, that was my day today. My poor husband is still at work, because I pulled him away from his project and he had to go back and finish up. I feel bad for the false alarm, but also glad to have had a thorough eye exam, which I've never had in my entire life--weird, huh?

There was a bright spot in the day, however. During my appointment, which lasted about 1.5 hours, PB and my husband played in the waiting room. As we were leaving, one of the receptionists, said, "Your son is so well behaved."

I don't get that one very often (um, actually not sure I've ever gotten that), so it made my day, and I need to immortalize it here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Conversation at the Gym

PB takes swimming lessons at my gym with his friend C two afternoons a week. Each day, it's an exhausting task trying to get them not to storm through the place, run other people over, and generally create havoc. The long, long hallways are just so inviting for racing, jumping, crawling on the ground like spiders.

But we try--and I mean really try--not like those parents who give half-hearted attempts at control. And sometimes we're successful. Sometimes, not so much.

Today on the way in was one of those days. They ran ahead of us, and unfortunately, in front of a British woman. They got stopped at the gate, because you can't go in without scanning your hand or a badge.

Somehow those taking badges thought the two terrors were with the Brit. She made it quite clear they were not. I tried to joke about it, and said, "I'm sure she's thanking God, they're not hers," ha, ha.

"THEY have nothing to do with me," was her response as she trotted off.

Rude, yes? But then again, the manners of the very dynamic duo certainly weren't on point either. So I guess it's a draw.

And really, before I had children, I'm sure--no, I know!--I was one of those smug singles who knew I would never in a million years allow a child of mine to act like...well, mine.

Monday, October 8, 2007


PB has always had abundant energy. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, "oh, he's really busy," I wouldn't be worried about selling my house.

When I describe his energy to people, they say "oh yea, boys.." Well, there's boy energy, and then there's PB energy. People claim they have wild or busy children, but then when I'm around them, not so much--at least compared to what I'm used to.

It (or my perception of it) has ebbed and flowed throughout his development. I remember a Kindermusik class when he was about 10 months old, not yet walking. All the other children pretty much sat with their mothers or in their general vicinity. PB on the other hand, was cruising all around the room, digging in diaper bags and dumping out trashcans. Over and I over he was the "busy one".

Other times I've thought he was mellowing out a bit, and I don't feel like he's all that different from a normal, crazy boy. It's not that he's disobedient (well, no more so than others), it's just that he seems to need to be in constant motion.

His preschool teacher has brought this up to me several times. Again today. She said if he's not really interested in something he just won't sit still. Handwriting for instance--he just doesn't want to do it, so he's up all around the classroom, doing somersaults, this that, the other thing. She mentioned getting him evaluated, but didn't say for what. I'm really not ready to jump on the whole ADHD bandwagon. And that's not what she was suggesting...I don't think. But I'm sure it has crossed her mind. It has definitely crossed mine.

She said he needs to be able to concentrate on a task for eight minutes. Now, if you give him a stack of books or magazines, he'll read literally for an hour or more. He'll make up games with toys or any inanimate object and play for long periods of time by himself. So I'm thinking it's more a matter of will or being stimulated. I'm not sure, but it's definitely something we need to be figuring out sooner than later.

I've decided to start by trying to work with him at home. I came up with "PB's Body Still Calendar," which is now posted on our refrigerator. The plan is to each day set the timer for 10 minutes and sit at the table and concentrate on some project--a fun project. After five smiley faces, he gets to go to Timmy's Toy Chest, a store he loves, and pick out a small toy.

We started today, and it went great. We got out the scissors (something he has a hard time with) and cut some paper, tore some strips (something his teacher suggested) and he even wrote his name for me! I was shocked that he could do that. When he started school, not even six weeks ago, he could only write like 2 or 3 letters. Now he wrote his whole name--it was all overlapping and in huge letters, and no one but me would probably know what it said. BUT the fact is he wrote the letters pretty well, so he must be sitting still long enough to learn something.

Of course then there's the fact that he's my son. I'm happiest when I'm going full speed ahead, multitasking and stressing over my overflowing plate.I always have been. Whenever I discuss my concern about PB's energy with my mother she always asks, "So when was the last time you were able to sit still?"

Anyway, we'll see what happens. He's a really sweet, bright little boy, and if we can channel this energy into good places, he'll do great. If we don't, then we're in trouble.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Stop the Presses

I'm so sick of reading articles like this . I'm not quick to blame "the media" as most of the U.S. is, but in this case, it's just pissing me off. Stop printing articles like this and maybe someone will buy my house!

We signed the contract today for our new house here in Florida, and while I'm really excited about it, it's also anticlimactic. Because really until our house sells there's no call for celebration.

Other than that, my incessant rant, today was a good day. We drove to St. Augustine, Florida, (the oldest city in the United States) and I was pleasantly surprised by what a cute, quaint place it was. Lots to do and see, right on the water. We just had lunch and browsed shops, etc., but there was so much we didn't have time for. I want to go back and do more and tour the museums and historic sites.

Came home and ran my 5 mile loop. It was an okay run. I didn't start out until close to 7 p.m. so it was quite dark on my return. I wasn't too worried because it's a pretty well traveled road I run on, but still I get a little nervous at who knows what hiding in the bushes ready to grab me. Maybe it made me run faster! I took a couple of walk breaks, which always make me feel less than good, and I just never got into my really good place. Regardless, I'm glad I got it done, as I often blow off exercise on the weekends.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Such a good dinner tonight. Edamame with green tea salt for an appetizer, followed by pork tenderloin with spinach and polenta. All good at this restaurant that does every dish under 450 calories, with good atmosphere to boot.

So while it was all good and healthy, the problem was the dessert, which I had TWO of. They come in little shot glasses and are about $2 each, which makes ordering many easy. The first I chose was a chocolate peanut butter mouse cake thing that was good. But the second was insanely good--pecan pie with a vanilla bean mousse. It was incredible, and I'll be thinking about it for days.

All that plus two great glasses of wine and an excellent cappuccino.

I'm full!


I'm tired today. PB woke up crying in the middle of the night. I went in and asked him what was wrong.

"I'm really, really sad," he said, completely asleep.

"Why are you sad honey?" I asked, waiting for him to say because he misses his Seattle house or a particular friend or toy from back home--which he has been doing a lot lately.

Instead, he said, "Because I really want to go to the park." And that was it.
Instead of going back to sharing a small bed with my big husband, I opted to crawl into bed with PB where I could claim more space.

He woke me up various other times through the night. Once, he just said, "Mommy I love you," which was the sweetest thing.

I love sleeping with him despite all the awakenings, and I have done so quite frequently since we moved here. I know the days he's going to like me to are few and far between. So while I'm probably setting a bad precedent when I do, I really don't care. He'll kick me out soon enough.

I think he woke up so much because he's getting sick with a stuffy nose and yucky cough. It seems everyone around here has something, including my husband. I guess 'tis the season. So far, besides my tiredness, I'm okay.

No school today and we didn't really make plans, so PB and I headed to a local mall, ran a few errands, played at the bookstore, etc. Tonight I'm going out with a new friend for dinner and a few drinks, which I'm looking forward to.

Other than that, not much on the agenda for the weekend. I'd like to get in at least one good run. I ran yesterday and the day before, but doubt I'll get anything in today. Yesterday's run was on the treadmill, which always makes me realize just how slow I am. I think my goal for next weekend's race will very non-lofty (can't think of a good word for the opposite of lofty). 10 minute miles and I'll be happy. There's also a children's race after the main one, which I'm going to have PB do. They group them by age with distances between 100-400 yards, and everyone gets a ribbon or medal. Should be fun!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back To Busy

I'm used to be being busy. I always have been, and mostly, I like it that way. But since moving to Florida, not working and having PB in school the majority of most days, busy I'm not. In fact, I'm more relaxed than I can remember being since...I can't even remember when.

My mother keeps asking me if I'm bored yet, and really, with the exception of a few days, I really haven't been. True, I'm not always making the best use of my time--I spend way too much online, pretend shopping and watching reality television--but that's okay. I've enjoyed it, because I knew sooner or later it would come to an end. At some point, I knew I would get bored (or sick of not having extra income), and I'd start looking for freelance work or something productive to do.

Well, I didn't have to go looking, some work recently came looking for me. It's not a huge project, and it's not final yet. But it sounds interesting, and since we're bleeding money, I really shouldn't turn it down. In a lot of ways I'm actually looking forward to it and hoping it works out. But I'm also starting to mourn the loss of my lazy days as other activities start accumulating.

My cookbook committee met this morning, and while it's going to be really fun, it will also take a significant amount of time. I volunteered to be the photo coordinator at PB's school all day next Tuesday; I'm attending a parenting seminar on Wednesday. I have a zillion tours of local schools coming up(local public school is tomorrow) and more research to do. Then there's swimming lessons, tennis lessons and more playdates. My calendar has quickly filled.

And tonight we found out that our rent/buy deal on House #1 is probably (hope, hope, hope) going to work out. So I'll have a move to coordinate, a trip back to Seattle, and finally a house to clean and decorate! Actually, decorating will have to wait until we sell our Seattle house and stop the money bleed. But still. I will have my things!!! (hope, hope, hope).

So there's a lot to look forward to, and life here is falling nicely into place. I just want to make sure that I keep up with my running in the midst of it all, because it keeps my grounded and is one of the very productive things I've done with my time. Too often in the past when life got chaotic, it's been exercise that I've put on the shelf. I really don't want to let that happen this time.

On that note, I signed up for a 5K race for next weekend. It will be my first race in about seven years, and I'm really looking forward it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Things I Miss

I'm really trying to be more positive about our housing situation. Because really, we are all healthy, and I have the most amazing son and husband anyone could ask for.

But I still really miss a lot of things.

I, of course, miss the big things--our friends(really miss them!), the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, driving over the 520 bridge into Seattle, the smell of the air there.

But I also mourn the little things--trivial things in the scheme of things, but MY things nonetheless (reminder: we moved here with TWO suitcases each, as we thought it would be only a matter of days before our house sold and we got our things!!!!)

So here's the list of my "things" I miss most while I'm holed up here in a "furnished" apartment:

The nightstand beside my bed. And the glass of water that usually sits there.

Having an alarm clock in our bedroom. (I know we could go buy a cheap one, but like so many things, it feels like giving into the idea that we're really going to be here awhile...)

The luxury of walking right into my house with groceries and a 4-year-old rather than lugging them both up two flights of stairs nearly every day.

The dirt beneath my house--as opposed to the floor that also serves as the ceiling to the people below. Said people tend to pound on the ceiling when PB runs, walks, sneezes, etc.

A REAL street address, which means not having to give an apartment number after your address and having people wonder WHY you are living in an apartment.

A playroom for PB. (and therefore a relatively clutter-free rest of the living space.)

All the books PB asks for that I have to tell him are "still at our Washington House"

Some of the very meaningful goodbye gifts some friends gave us that I left in Washington because I thought we would have them much, much sooner than this.

My address book.

My Cookbooks--this is a HUGE one for me.

My spices.

A bunch of CDs I desperately long to hear.

Games PB and I used to play.

My serving pieces, even though we're not doing any entertaining in this apartment. I still like to have them around.

Dishes that don't spark in the microwave (yes, those that were furnished in the apartment do).

Having more than four plates!!! and four forks, four spoons, four knifes, etc. Just imagine how often we run the dishwasher!!!

A garage.

The filled flower boxes outside my house.

Coming home and checking voice mail messages (I now only have a cell phone, and it's a little anticlimactic coming home without the possibility of messages on our home phone.)

Being able to invite people to our home for dinner, playdates, anything.

Purple chopped salads from Purple Wine Bar.

My pillow.

My bed, my sheets, my whole sleeping experience.

My garlic press.

My robe.

My shoes.

And, of course, Trader Joe's!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Rain Run

Today I had my best run yet!

I was worried that my knee could hurt after this weekend's accident, but it really didn't at all. I did lose one of my 10-plus bandages along the way, but besides that my knees felt just fine. My neck and shoulders are still really sore, but I think the run might have helped them loosen a little.

Anyway, the temperature was great--low 80s--and what a difference that makes! I ran the whole first half of my 5-mile loop without a single walk break. Then I stopped for water, walked a few blocks and it started to sprinkle.

Then the skies opened up and it POURED. The only thing to do was to keep running home. I was really nervous about my phone getting wet and shorting out, so I was running faster than usual. The rain felt great. I ran all the way home without a break and felt great doing it. Since we moved here, it's definitely been my strongest run. Who knew that running in the rain could be so great? I should have run more while I was in Seattle!

P.S. I know some of you who know me will find it hard to believe that twice this month I'm going to plug Target clothing. BUT I bought some running shorts there that I LOVE, and I went again this weekend and they were on SALE so I bought another pair--for like $10! Seriously, they're the best.

I think the brand is Champion, they come in a variety of colors and have a great cloth lining. But the reason I bought them and the reason I love them is the POCKETS--one on each side. The pockets zip, and the zippers lock tightly when you flip them down so I don't worry about my stuff falling out. I can carry my phone, some money, my key, etc. with me and not have to hold anything in my hands. They rock.