Friday, March 29, 2013

Losing My Pieces

A few weeks ago, Laura was having a meltdown of sorts. Laura, I said, Pull yourself together!

I can't! I'm losing my pieces!

Two things about this comment. First, OMG preschoolers are hilarious. Second, I feel exactly this way all the time.

I thought that the bright, shiny Spring weather would help glue me back together after the long, dark winter. I have found some of my pieces... but not all. Pieces of me are still lost somewhere in the deepest recesses of my being.

But! I'm trying really hard to pull myself together. So here are a few of my most precious pieces, bringing Spring to my heart every day:

These three.  Every day.  Even when they drive me crazy.  Or maybe especially when they drive me crazy.


This princess, delighting in her new puppet theatre, even if she is a little afraid of the bird puppet.  Or maybe especially because she is a little afraid of the bird puppet.


This little man, who needs to stop growing up so fast!  Or maybe especially because he is growing up so fast.  (But seriously, Buddy, slow down with the walking - I still have 1.5 months of legit baby left!)


So I might still be trying to pull myself together. But my most important pieces have never been lost.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PYHO: My Sleeping Babies

Will my children ever be "too old" for me to peek in on them as they sleep?  Will there come a time when I won't sneak in late at night to breath in their innocent slumber?  Will I stop feeling the need to re-tuck their blankies around their soft little bodies?

Is there a number? An age?  A school year?  Will they tell me?  Will they catch me tip-toeing in and tell me to stop?  Will they stay my hand from fixing their blankies?

The nights before each of my children leave home for college, will I still be able to peek in on them then?  The night before their weddings?  Late at night, as their own newborns grumble and coo in bassinets beside them?  Can I still push the door open and sneak in for one last peek?



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Snow Day

We had an unexpected - and very welcome - snow day yesterday.  Nate had to work, but not before a quick snow ball fight (and eat?) with Laura.

The dogs had a blast:

What might possibly be my favorite picture of Ries of all time:

Laura was flopped like this for several minutes before Ries decided to get up:

Which prompted Pippi to think that maybe these human puppies aren't so bad (Pippi is 10 years young and on an extended vacation at my house while my parents move across the country):

So she climbed into Laura's delighted lap for kisses:

And after a fun day of snow, not-so-young puppies, Phineas & Ferb (and Isabella - whatcha dooooin'?), eating ALL our dinner, dessert and party dresses, Laura asked for a cave and got a castle:
It was a pretty freaking sweet day.

Monday, March 25, 2013

More About Running

I have so much to say, but so little time? motivation? something... to say it. So instead, I've blown up my blog with posts on running. Here's another, but please read! I could use some advice!

The Cherry Blossom 10 mile Race.

It's in two weeks, April 7th. I was hoping to be so much more prepared by now. In January, I got the flu. In February, I had shin splints. Now? I have a bad case of nerves.

And I have a decision to make. Do I try to out-think my brain and finish the ten mile race, running with fear that I won't make the time limit and will fail, cross the finish in the loser's bus?

Or do I drop to the 5k, rock the run with a sub-30 time... But feel like a quitter for not even trying the 10 mile race?

I've never in my life run more than 5 miles. I've never since January run more than 4 miles. So what's my answer?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Morning Run

I got my butt out the door this morning for a run. Twice, technically, as it's challenge enough for me to get out of bed at 5:30 am, so I can catch the 6:00 am train to DC to go to the gym. But this morning, I caught the early train, dropped my stuff at my locker, and walked past the treadmills blinking happily at me, and through the back door to the great outdoors, feet hitting the pavement, hands tucked into my sleeves to ward off the cold.

My initial goal was to make it to Natural History before turning back.  But when I got there, I looked up and saw how very close I was to the Washington Monument and I kept running.  I would have liked to have run right up and hugged the monument before turning back.  But the scaffolding around the bottom was a little preclusive, so I waved from across the street before garnering everything I had to get back up Capitol Hill.

The view from 1.7 miles:


When looking across the Mall at the Capitol Building, it doesn't really seem like "The Hill" is really all that hilly.  That my friends, is an illusion.  The Capitol is most certainly atop a hill.  And that hill begins its incline right at my most tired point. 

The view from 2.5 miles:


But I took a breath, set my shoulders and got up it. The rest of the run was a very welcome downhill.  I made it back to the gym in 43 minutes, having run 3.4 miles.  I would have run that distance in about 34 minutes on the treadmill, but I did get caught at what felt like every single stoplight on the way.  And I did have a few points where some running buddies would have kept my pace up.

So what I'm trying to say is... I think I'll finish the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race two weeks from now.  I just want to finish.  I have no illusions of suddenly running 8 minute miles or something crazy like that.  I just want to finish.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Old School Blogging #OSBlog

After a weekend fraught with raw emotions and extremem physical labor, helping my parents to pack their home of twenty years (with a ten-month-old in tow because I'm nuts), I thought I would have a little no-thinking-necessary fun!

What were you doing ten years ago?
By this time in March of 2003, I was a junior in college.  I had been dating Nate for a year, and I was a few weeks removed from the Spring Break in Myrtle Beach when Nate and his friend drove through the night to surprise me at the house I was staying at with my friends.  I was still reeling as I walked to class every day with the memory of Nate taking my hand into his and asking me to marry him - our secret first engagement.  Of course, I had to wait another three years for that real, actual, let's start planning a wedding, diamond ring on my finger engagement!

nate and cait

What are five things on your to-do list? 
Unpack the 14' UHaul arriving from my parent's house after work.
Put the damn laundry AWAY (and maybe throw in another load).
Write several thank you notes - many of them long overdue (since January)!
Go through my 2012 photos to choose my favorites for our Family Yearbook.
Get my butt out the door for some long runs, so I have a hope of actually finishing the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in less than three weeks! 

What are five snacks you enjoy?
Nachos without anything spicy or yucky
Deli turkey straight from the little deli ziplock
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Entenmann's Pound Cake

Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire:
Pay off my student loans.  And maybe the car.
Buy a new house! 
And decorate it!
Go on trips with both sides of our family - Nate's and mine. 
These are all short-term and not-so-worldly things.  I'm sure I'd give to a meaningful charity, invest for the long-term and all that.  But you have to have a little fun in life too!

Name some places you have lived:
Connecticut again
Italy (for a month in college)

Name some bad habits you have:
Rubbing, bitting and generally anhilating my cuticles
Excessively touching my face (I'm a little bit of a nervous person)
Sleeping late

Name some jobs you have had:
Sailing instructor
Shop girl
Executive Assistant
Intern (again)
Museum Technician


This was fun - and as I hoped, a wonderfully easy way to start blogging for the week.  Perhaps some meaningful, substantive posts to come?  Maybe.  We'll see.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Puppy Love

Please enjoy these extremely blurry iPics of the best dog on the planet:



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Choking Hazard

I'm looking for advice here.  So if you have anything to offer - even criticism! - please leave it in the comments. 

Gavin has a problem with choking, coughing and sputtering on his food.  The most recent choking episode  with the peanut was obviously pretty bad, since we wound up at the hospital.  I've had a few days to process the incident (and have some major anxiety and panic attacks following the experience).  I've come to realize that the peanut was far from Gavin's first choking episode.

How about that time when Gavin was hours old, just back in the little plastic tub of a bassinet in our Mother & Baby after his circumcision, and he choked on the Tylenol he had been given for pain management.  We were all fast asleep when I heard the spluttering and gagging.  I threw on the light, hit the call button for the nurse, and flipped my baby burrito over to help him get up the puke without choking.  The nurse came, checked on everything, assured me that "it happens all the time," and I moved on with our lives.

Then that time when Gavin was a few weeks old, and was nursing in the middle of the night.  My milk hit him right in the tonsils, and he sputtered, choked and gagged.  I patted his back and got him settled, but I felt shaken by the experience.  He wheezed and coughed for days.  And while his pediatrician wasn't concerned, I really felt like he may have aspirated some milk. 

And what about all of the times he has gagged while drinking his bottles?  He gets so angry when the flow isn't fast enough, but he gets so easily overwhelmed when the flow is too fast.  We've had a hard time finding the right nipple flow for his bottles. 

Most recently, I notice that Gavin gags, chokes and sputters on almost every food he is able to self-feed.  It doesn't matter when is on his highchair tray - he'll start to cough and gag at least once a meal.  I almost want to stop giving him finger foods... except he is losing interest in being fed purees.  He hates the purees, but chokes on everything else.  What am I supposed to feed him??  I really don't know what to do!

Does anyone have any advice?  Should I pull back on finger foods?  Force the purees (that he still manages to gag on at time)?  Should I be calling his pediatrician for this? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Shin Splints of the Soul

Months ago, I entered my name in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile race.  I didn't think I'd get a number, but I figured it would be good motivation to get to the gym if I did.  I got a number.

So I've been running a fair amount over the last few months.  Nothing huge in terms of mileage - a couple of miles per run, a couple of runs per week.  In my brain, I know I could easily run a 6-mile race - and probably an 8-mile race as well.  Ten miles seems scarier.  My head is doing everything it can to talk me out of the race. 

And as if my head wasn't hard enough to get past, now my legs are conspiring against me too.  Shin splints.  Really painful, owie shin splints.  The kind that sorta burn and itch, even when I'm just sitting still.  Shin splints that coincided exactly with the purchase of new running shoes.

So I should just go back to the runner's specialty store where I bought them to see what can be done about this searing, splintering pain in my leg.  But my head is right there, telling me to just quit.  Just drop down to the Cherry Blossom 5k that I know I could do in my sleep without any training at all.  Just give up.  Stop running.  Stop trying so hard.  Why bother.

My heart feels like that sometimes, too.  A lot lately.  This parenting thing is so hard.  I can't even survive a day with a three year old without losing my patience.  What's wrong with me?  Why can't I do anything right?  My heart is searing in splintering pain.  My ravaged cuticles the only outward sign of my remorse for yelling again. 

Everything hurts.  Everything feels overly dramatic and wrong.  Every step a reminder of my failures.