Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Monkey!


At this very moment six years ago in Northern Vermont you entered the world. It was the most surreal experience of my life. Honestly, I didn't think I had it in me and I was petrified of the responsibility we were about to take on.
It turns out, we didn't need to be scared. I can't speak for your father, but I can safely say that you are the best thing that has happened to me - next to your brother, of course. You have made me accountable for my actions and have made me do things that I wouldn't normally have thought possible. I would do almost anything for you. I say almost because if I had to choose between killing a spider for you or running from the room shrieking, I'm afraid I'd have to choose the shrieking and running option. I've become stronger since you were born, but unfortunately this is still one area in which I have let my weakness overcome me.

In the short six years of your life you have become an amazing person. So confident, inquisitive, sensitive, and kind. You talk way more than we can handle at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that's going to turn out to be a good thing.

The way you are around your brother makes me extremely proud every single day. You don't show one ounce of jealousy towards him - I hope beyond hope that will continue. You love your brother so much, and it shows everyday. Where other siblings would get annoyed at the attention we show him, you just get in on it too. If we're playing a game with him, you want to join in immediately - not so we play the same game with you, but so you can make him laugh, or dance, or whatever it is we are doing at the moment.

The Chipmunk is learning to walk right now, and you are his number one supporter when we are not around. If he is getting into something he shouldn't, and we aren't there to take him away before he gets hurt, you do it - without being asked. I was so worried before the Chipmunk was born that you were going to resent not being an only child anymore since you had become so accustomed to having us all to yourself. I was wrong to be worried. You have adjusted to our new lives with such maturity, for which I am so thankful for.

You have made us so proud of you in school, too. You are reading way above the level that you should and keep amazing us everyday with the new words you know how to read. Like your parents, you have excelled at math as well. In Kindergarten this year, your teacher had you up in the front of the class helping her teach the lesson sometimes. This would normally embarrass other children, but not you. In fact, we didn't hear anything about it until parent-teacher conferences. It obviously didn't bother you one bit, otherwise you would have said something to us when it first happened.
You have come so far in the last six years.

You have come from this:

To this:

I can't wait to see who you become, I'm sure it's going to be great!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5 years and 4 days apart

I have now entered what will forever be known as Birthday Week.
Tomorrow, May 27th, is the Monkey's birthday. 
At 8:53pm EST my first born will turn six years old.  The math hardly seems right.  Actually, it seems possible and impossible at the same time.  These six years feel like they have flown by, but they also feel like they were the longest six years of my life. 
Monday, June 1st, is the Chipmunk's birthday. 
At 10:25pm EST my second born will turn one year old.  He was due today, but held out for another few days to make sure he didn't steal too much of the Monkey's Birthday Thunder (or at least that's what I'll tell them when they get older).  Again, it hardly seems possible that only a year has passed.  So much has happened in the last twelve months that it seems impossible to comprehend. 
Because of the Monkey, I became a mother.  Because of the Chipmunk, I will always be a mother to two boys.  I find it hard to remember life without either one of them.  Each one has left their mark on me, and I will be forever changed for it.
Happy Birthday, Boys!  I love you both to bits and pieces.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I just got back from the gym where I was able to run for five separate minutes! I was aiming for four, but for some reason I felt like I could do five - so I did! It wasn't five minutes all together, but that will come. I walked for about 15 minutes first and then ran for a minute. Then I walked for two minutes and then ran for a minutes. I kept this pattern up for the five separate running portions. I can't believe I'm actually doing this.

This time the shin splints weren't nearly as bad as last time. Actually the only thing that really bothered me were my feet. I think I might need to get different shoes once I start running for longer. Next time I'll aim to run for six minutes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This is gonna be harder than I thought

I only got about half-way through the first day of the Couch to 5k program.

I ran three times...and then I died.

The End.

Actually, I walked for the remaining 17 or so minutes but my legs were really feeling the burn, and the shin splints were killing me. I'll aim to run four times on Wednesday.

On the road to a healthier me

With both of my pregnancies I only gained 19 pounds.
After both children were born, I lost those 19 pounds before my six week follow-up.
Before both of those pregnancies I was nowhere near my ideal weight.
Both times, once I returned to work, I put the weight back on.  This time around, I've put on more weight than I did my whole pregnancy.
It's not that I'm eating more.  It's just that I'm not moving much.  I'm just so wiped out after getting up at 6am, getting the kids ready for their day, getting ready for mine, getting the kids to daycare, working all day, picking the kids up from daycare, making dinner, putting the kids to bed, cleaning, laundry, blah, blah, blah....I have little energy to do anything else. 
I have come to realize that my sedentary lifestyle has probably contributed to the increase in my blood pressure (well, I knew it before, but now I want to do something about it).  So about a month ago, I started going to the gym.  At first it was with a friend of Hubby's, but now she's my friend too - let's call her Cracker. 
Cracker has a gym membership at 24 Hour Fitness that let's her bring a guest every time she goes for free.  This was good for me since I wanted to get in better shape but didn't think I had the money to spend on a gym membership.  This was good for her because she wanted someone to workout with.

At first I was a little skeptical.  Cracker is in far better shape than I am and weighs a heck of a lot less.  But, as it turns out, we work well together.  In fact, we have even signed ourselves up for weekly torture, erm, sessions with a trainer.  We've had two sessions so far.
After reading through Miss Zoot's archives and seeing her achieve her goal of running a marathon, I've been inspired to set a goal for myself.  Since I'm so out of shape, and haven't run since races at summer camp, I decided to aim a wee bit lower. 

I want to be able to run a 5k by my next birthday - April 10th 2010.  If I'm able to do it sooner than that, great!  But I also don't want to set myself up for disappointment.  I am going to follow the Couch to 5k program starting today.  I have joined a gym on my own so I don't have to depend on Cracker whenever I want to work out. 
Also by my next birthday, I want to be 100 pounds lighter.  I'll settle for 75 pounds, but I think 100 is possible and I don't want to aim for a weight that I wouldn't be happy with since I fear I might stop once I reach whatever goal I set for myself.
We have 14 sessions left with the trainer.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's your definition of tragic?

A few weeks ago, on a late Saturday afternoon, I was trying to take a nap so that I would be able to stay awake through the movie Hubby and I were planning to see on our "date".
About two minutes after falling asleep, the phone rang.  Since we were getting a sitter to be able to go out on this date I thought it was her having to cancel.  I considered this as the only option considering the only other phone calls we get are from my husband's family, which meant that a phone call that late would mean something was wrong given the time difference to the UK. 
I looked over at the phone to see the caller ID show the names of my parents. 
After last summer, I assumed I would either never hear from them again or, at the most, hear when one or the other had died - either way, I didn't care.  So you can just imagine my surprise.  Hubby was shocked too.  In fact we were so shocked, neither one of us wanted to answer the phone.  So we let the machine get it.  No message was left.  I wasn't able to fall asleep again after that.
About an hour later the phone rang again - at the exact moment our sitter was ringing the doorbell to relieve us of our parental duties for the evening.  The caller ID showed the names of my parents again.  Since I didn't feel like being admonished for being a horrible daughter right before our night out, we decided to let the machine get it.  This time a message was left.  It was the Doormat.
He said that he had something to say to me.  That I shouldn't worry, it wasn't anything tragic.  He'd be up until 10pm his time if I chose to return the call.
We went for our night out and had a good time, but a lot of the talk centered around the message.  Like, what did he mean by "it's nothing tragic"?  Also, was I even going to call him back?  Personally, I didn't feel like putting myself in a position where I would feel compelled to forgive either of them for what happened, nor did I want to put myself in a position where I would start having a relationship with them again only to have the same shit happen again in a few years - I can't go through this again.  Additionally, I didn't feel like calling and getting the Witch on the phone by accident.  Finally, I didn't want to listen to reason after reason of why I'm a horrible person and substandard daughter.
I thought about what I was going to do for a little over a week, if I was even going to do anything.  Instead of calling, I sent an email.  In it I told him that if there was something that he needed to say to me, email was best.  This way I could either read it or not.  If I wanted, I could have Hubby read it first to see if the Doormat was going to rip me a new one.
A few days later I received a response from the Doormat.  It turns out that the something he wanted to say to me was this:
I've thought about it, and I thought you should know that [the Witch] had a stroke about a month ago.  She's completely paralyzed down her right side and can't speak at all....yada yada.
My first thought was that she had gotten what she had deserved - after all, karma's a bitch.  I realize that makes me sound like a horrible person.  But then I realized I didn't wish harm on her, at least not physical.  Not only that, but I don't think I wished harm on the Doormat, I was just disappointed in him.  Now he's saddled with dealing with this all on his own.  I don't want that, and I don't think he can do it.  Not only is his health not the greatest, but he is in no position to be lifting and moving an invalid around their three story house by himself and I don't think he's the type to hire help.  However, since I'm not speaking to him I don't think it's my place to say anything about my concerns.  So, I sent an email empathizing with his situation and telling him to let me know if there was anything I could do to help.
However, I still want to know, what do you think is his definition of tragic?  The dictionary defines tragic as "very sad; especially involving grief or death or destruction;".  Would you not classify what happened to the only person in your life you should love more than yourself as tragic?  It makes me wonder whether he was hoping for something to happen to release him from her, or if he just chose the wrong word. 
Knowing him though, he knew exactly what word he was using and it's intended meaning.
And now I wait.  I'll either hear back from him soon asking for assistance, or I won't hear anything until after the funeral. 
Knowing the Doormat, it will be the latter.