Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm Not Ready to Feel This Damn Old

I remember an (older) friend telling me that one day you wake up and just feel old. Maybe not mentally, but physically. Everything aches. Things hurt for no apparent reason. If that is the definition of old, than folks, I am old. Mentally, I feel like I can run for miles or dance for hours at the hottest clubs in the trendiest clothes and in the highest heels. In reality, I suck wind after just a mile and if by trendy you mean BIG and BAGGY than just call me Coco Chanel!


In order to lose the last 10-15 pounds of the most stubborn baby weight on planet Earth, I've been overdoing it. My reward for all this overdoing it? A sore shoulder. Tennis elbow and I'm not even playing tennis! A pain in my knee and my mole-removal-incision isn't helping in the I-feel-young-and-healthy department. But all that is worth it to see the numbers on the scale move downward, right? Probably. But I can't answer that because the *$%^ numbers on the scale ARE NOT BUDGING!


To cheer me up, people (my mom because it's her job to make me feel better) keep telling me to not be so hard on myself. That birthing two big babies in 21 months is hard on one's body. Throw in 18 months of feeling hung over (morning sickness) and eating whatever crap you can find to self-medicate and it is bound to be an agonizingly slow road to squeezing back into those pre-pregnancy jeans.


I am feeling sorry for myself. Yes. I have two healthy children, a roof over my head and ample food in the fridge...(hmmm maybe that's my problem?)...you get my point. I could have 'real' problems. But my God...this aging thing is really, REALLY hard and until it smacks you in the face, you don't appreciate it's power. I'm definitely not ready to be old and since I am planning to live not a day less than 100, it looks like I've got a hard road to tow...big ass and all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A (Long) Recap

If you have sent me an email in the last week, it has likely gone unanswered and I apologize. I've been up to my eyeballs in life and haven't had a moment to sit down at the computer until now. And here I am - blogging - rather than responding to emails. Double sorry.

My mom was in town this past week. She (and her pets) needed a place to stay while her hardwood floors were re-done AND I needed an extra set of hands. For starters, we scheduled a family picture. Not good. Normally, I schedule photos in the morning when the girls are fresh. But because we wanted pictures taken outside and it is normally 10,000 degrees this time of year - not to mention a crazy harvest schedule - we ended up scheduling our photo session juuust before bedtime . Not.A.Good.Idea.

Grace and Charlotte are NEVER cooperative during professional photo sessions but at the end of the day? Outside? It was a mess! Not to mention how exhausted Court and I were. Trying to harness two kids and then slap-a-smile-on-your-face-while-contorting-your-body-so-the-rolls-don't-muffin-top-over-your-pants-all while-not-breaking-a-sweat because it is SUMMER was not a good recipe. The proofs will be terrifying interesting and I have a hunch I will NOT be sharing the photos in this space! I REALLY should videotape us in action at one of these photo sessions. My words just don't do it justice and seeing is believing, right?

Moving on.

Up and at em bright and early the next day to head to Seattle. Me, my mom and the girls all in tow. Oh! Did I mention the pets were coming with us? What's a quick trip to Seattle without the dogs? Just my mom's three dogs - who actually were good as gold - but the dogs in the car just adds to my story.

Our time in Seattle was a whirlwind. Arriving at lunch time, we decided to hit up Madison Park. Not only is it VERY kid friendly (playground, toy store, my favorite bakery, etc) it is very dog friendly. Win-win. It is also home to one of my favorite restaurants - Cactus! The only downside to Madison Park is it is small. And for those of us who drive BIG cars, this can be a problem. All parking spots require the driver to back-in which isn't rocket science but throw in a ton of pedestrians, traffic and a gigantic bike rack on an already gigantic rig and this can mean to disaster.

After circling the block a few times in search of an easy-to-get-into parking spot, I lucked out. Granted, I had to wait 20 minutes for some elderly woman to dig in her purse for her keys and then find the ignition in order to insert the keys...then she fumbled with her window...she finally left and I was able to park. We were ready to get out of the car!

Obviously, lots of traffic had built up behind me as I waited for the spot so the pressure was on. First attempt (notice I say first attempt meaning that there was more than one attempt) my angle was all wrong. Redo. Second attempt, overcorrected and now I am up on the curb. Redo. Again. On the curb. Flustered, I hold my ground and let the traffic go by. Catch my breath. Realize I am across the street from a bus stop and guess what? Here comes a line of buses. Just my luck. So I am stuck on the curb until the buses load and unload. Several attempts later, I FINALLY settle into the parking spot. After getting out of the car, I was met by claps from two young guys who had been watching the show from a park bench. So much for looking cool. I just reinforced the stereotype that women can't drive. Sorry Danica Patrick!

Moving on.

We hit the park, the toy store and Cactus and we hit them hard! With full tummies (and a cake in tow!) it was time to head to my sister's pad for nap time. My sister's 2 BR, 2 BA condo shrank significantly when we rolled in. Picture us - three adults, two children and four dogs all in about 1,000 square feet. Luckily, the weather was completely crappy - as in RAIN in JULY - because I think I would have completely lost my sh*t had it been 85 degrees, us all crammed in there trying to sleep with no AC!!

Moving on.

The kids didn't nap because I put them in the same room to sleep for the first time. Grace in the bed and Charlotte in her portable crib. Instead, they just made funny faces at each other and giggled and laughed. Better than screaming. I left them in there for an hour or so for some peace and quiet because when they woke up, it was off to dinner where Charlotte was enamored with the I-drop-crap-on-the-floor-and-you-pick-it-up game. But Charlotte, being Charlotte, changed up the game just slightly. Instead of innocently dropping her crap on the floor where I could quickly bend down and get it, she decided to play I-launch-my-crap-into-and-under-all-nearby-tables-so-people-can-glare-at-my-mommy game. Needless to say, much wine was had at dinner!

Moving on.

Bedtime. Charlotte passed out in a heartbeat in her crib. Thank God! I kept Grace up well past her bedtime because she and I shared a bed. Have you ever shared a bed with a toddler?!?! Don't answer that. It's awful. They toss and turn and wakeup and cling and kick. That went on for what seemed like forever but trying to estimate time in the middle of the night is always difficult. You shut your eyes for what seems like 20 seconds and five hours flies by. Literally, the second Grace fell asleep Charlotte woke up for her morning feeding which usually happens at about 4:30 am. While I gave her a bottle, I prayed that it wasn't quite so early; that once I got her down I could go back to sleep for another six hours. I checked the clock. 4:37 am!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Moving on.

Friday morning we did a little shopping, a little eating and then it was time to pack up and head to Bellevue for the REAL reason we were making this whirlwind trip to Seattle in the first place. An appointment with the dermatologist. At 4 pm. On a Friday. Can you say traffic?

My dermatologist is notorious for running a wee bit behind schedule and as we had arrived in Bellevue a a little early, I called the office to see if he was on or behind schedule. Good news!! I'm not on the schedule.

Luckily, the doctor and his staff know that I live three hours away and that I usually have to move mountains in order to attend my appointments. So they agreed to stay late and see me at the end of the day. Yay!! With a couple of hours to kill...we decided to - what else? - eat! Then back in the car where we hoped the girls, with their full tummies and the 10,361st viewing of Beauty and the Beast might lull them to sleep. Our plan looked like it was working perfectly (woo hoo hahhahah) so my mom decided to hang in the car with the niNos while I went to the doctor.

Most people equate the dermatologist with acne or the "B" word - Botox. I, on the other hand, equate the derm with skin cancer. After having had two melanomas and numerous pre-cancer moles removed, my bi-annual appointments usually require several follow-up appointments where I end up being sliced and diced. *Sigh* Unfortunately, this was that kind of an appointment. A four inch incision on my right breast was my parting gift but it beats the alternative, right? (Biopsy to come this week... Let's hope for clear margins! Clear margins! That's 'cancer' talk for they got it all!)

Oh well! At least I can just sit in the car and have a quiet drive home...with me, my mom, my two sleeping children, my mom's three dogs and my sister's dog, because I am dog sitting...are you laughing yet?!

As I approached the car, I can see my mom bouncing Charlotte. Not a good sign. As I got closer, I can see that Grace has just woken up and is in one of her moods. Uh oh. Mind you, we were trying to get over the pass before 8 pm for the scheduled road construction closure. Grumpy kids might slow down most mothers but not this lead foot! Onwards and upwards!! Unfortunately, I quickly realized it wouldn't be the girls slowing us down, it would be the DEAD BATTERY!! Yes, I am a car genius and didn't realize that letting Grace watch her moving in the car for an hour or so would completely drain the battery. Live and learn, eh? Thank God for AAA!!

An hour and half later, we were on the road and headed for home with a little under an hour to 'beat' the closure. At about 7:55, I told my mom it didn't look good. We had five minutes to go about 12 miles. Being stuck in a construction road closure means you basically pull off the highway for about an hour while the crews do what they need to do. Then the road re-opens and you are on your way. Not the end of the world but when traveling with children you just never know.

Lucky for us, the road wasn't closed. Finally a little luck coming our way! The kids didn't sleep the entire way - which meant two complete viewings of Beauty and the Beast and one complete viewing of Snow White - so much for that peaceful ride home, huh? Oh well. We made it and let me tell you Home Place never looked so sweet!

Ok now off to respond to my back log of emails! Never a dull moment!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Unsteady and Unstable

No. Not me!! (I know that is what you were thinking!) CHARLOTTE!!

Baby girl is walking...A LOT! It isn't her main mode of transport yet but it will be soon!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Very Merry Un-Fourth of July

After a long day of parades, swimming and sun, sleep got the best of us on the 4th of July. Yes folks we fell asleep before any fireworks were set off - including any from our own personal stash. That means we were asleep well before it was dark outside. (We are gonna be prime candidates for the old folks home...eh?)

Anyway, this past weekend we had some wonderful friends in town (the wonderful reference is for Joe and his 'wonderful shorts' - inside joke - sorry had to be there!). Not sure what I was doing but I completely dropped the ball on taking pictures which is too bad because there were a lot of "Kodak moments." Fortunately, I caught the girls enjoying the trampoline...

 and for the record we annihilated the fireworks. Our neighbors - and their dogs - were very pleased with us I'm sure!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

The fireworks are stashed in the guest house with care

with hopes that darkness soon will be 'hare.'

The weather is perfect - warm but not blazin'

the girls in red and white both look amazin'!

 We went to the parade for Charlotte's first Independence Day

and Grace took advantage of the princess castle where she could have jumped all day!

Dad's day was made when he found his dream car

 Looks like he'll be saving his pennies for a looong time in a jar!

No tears, no tantrums, nothing of the sort...
Hope you have a safe and festive fourth!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Blueberry Daze 2011

What a difference a year makes!!
Last year, Grace, Charlotte and I all attended the Blueberry Daze Festival BUT
Grace was too young to participate in most of the activities. She was 18 months old and Charlotte was still in my tummy with three months left to brew!
This year was quite different!!

Upon arrival, we warmed up with the petting zoo!
They had baby chicks, a calf and sheep.

The goats were REALLY friendly

the pigs were not.

Then it was off to the races...Grace was old enough to ride the ponies!! Yee haw!

(I thought the kids had to be three and was FULLY prepared to lie in order to get her on a horse but luckily she was the appropriate age so no sins were committed!)

Oh boy did she love that! I am still hearing about Wendy the pony!

After riding Wendy, she rode another horse named Henry.
Henry was a bit different...

Charlotte, not old enough to do anything, was pretty excited to watch her big sister undertake such big adventures!

What a trooper!

There is the little train...way out there in the U-Pick blueberry field.

Here they come on the home stretch...

They even had swings, live music, BBQ and stuff to buy!

A REALLY fun day!
What a fun way to ring in the 4th of July!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh So Thankful

I am thankful - always thankful - for my family, my friends and my health.

But sometimes it takes a smack in the face from reality to violently shake you back to the present

to REALLY be thankful.

I learned yesterday that a former colleague, friend and co-worker passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. He was only a year or two older than me and is survived by a wife and children.

My heart breaks for his family. I empathize with his wife and the tailspin she awoke to find herself in.
And the children. Just tears for the children. I can't even imagine.

Then, of course, I stop and wonder...
What if...? 

More so than ever, I find myself thankful. Thankful for this day. This breath.
It confirms and re-emphasizes that we need to live. To REALLY live. Not just go through the motions.
Because you just never know.

It also confirms that I am right where I am supposed to be
doing just what I am supposed to be doing.

 I hope you all 
live. laugh. love
a little more today.