Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I have issues.

I'm starting to feel a bit sentimental and panicky about the kids getting older. It just goes so freaking fast, I can't believe it.

I guess it started yesterday, which was the first day of swim lessons. I always associate the start of summer with the kid's lessons, I sign them up for the first session offered. I like to get it in early, even thought the weather is usually on the cool and of course, rainy side. That way we have the rest of the summer to practice our skills, and Luke gets to go to summer rec.

But the lessons always prompt a series of "what we were doing last year at this time" in my head. Last year Eliza was still at an age that we count in months, and Luke was in Level One. The pool never really changes, when it does it's because of a new lifeguard, or you see how kids have grown over the winter. I can easily close my eyes and go back three short years, when Luke was in baby swim and I was wearing a maternity bathing suit (I still cringe to think of it).

It really kicked in today, when I was cleaning and organizing Eliza's closet. I have four bags of baby and toddler clothes, that I don't think I can ever part with. I've given my sister a ton of stuff, but hung on to all the boy clothes, since so far, Luke is the only one. I found a Ralph Lauren onezie that seriously made my chest ache, as I thought of how little Luke was, and how that newborn time was so exhausting, but so wonderful, and life changing. I'm better about the toddler clothes, but is it wrong to hang onto the others? I don't think so. I put all the bags back in their spots, where I think they will stay.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Owl.

This is the owl that lives in our backyard, he's been around for a couple of years now. He usually appears at dusk, and we can hear him making various screetching noises after dark. This afternoon I got a surprise visit, so I crept up to the window to try and take his photo. I have other photos of him, but this is the closest I've ever gotten. He looked right into my eyes before turning away. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gel, bar, ades and.....water?

So the Boilermaker 15k is coming up in two weeks, and I'm getting excited, it will be my third time running it. I did an 8 mile run on Monday, 7 on Wed and 3 yesterday. Have a 9 miler planned for tomorrow, so I think I'm in good shape. Still have my lingering fear of hills, I've got to get some more in but I'm really afraid of re-injuring my hamstring. I'm dreading the mile long hill at mile 6, but I think if I just take it slow I'll be okay.

After this 15K, I feel good about going for a half marathon, thinking of the Rochester Half this September. The only thing is, I'm not too sure how to go about training for it. I'll probably stick to three runs during the week, then a long one on the weekend. When I run in the afternoon, I have enough energy from lunch to power me through. If it's a morning run, I usually have coffee and something small to get me moving, including water and Powerade Zero. I think I need to dive into using Gu or Powerbars as I start pulling the longer training runs. Not sure how these affect your stomach, I hate getting side stitches, and usually do a good job of avoiding them. Plus do you suck them down in the middle of the workout, or before? A friend of mine has one of those belts that hold small bottles of water, so I think I'm going to invest in one of those as well. I'm really excited to have a new goal, and I think I can see a marathon somewhere in the hazy future. Baby steps.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My babes

HBO has a great animated series called Classical Baby, it's a half hour show of music, art and our favorite, poetry. Different poems are read beautifully by actors and children, it cracks me up when Luke speaks along with Andy Garcia during "Mariposa".

The very last poem is read by Gwyneth Paltow, after a baby bunny asks his mother how much she loves him. When she recites Sonnet 43
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, it brings me to
tears, thinking of how much I love my goofy kids.

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth, and height, my soul can reach,
when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's most quiet need,by sun, and candle light.
I love three freely,
as men strive for right.
I love thee purely,
as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
in my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love three with a love I seemed to lose
with my lost saints.
I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears,
of all my life.
And, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

These photos were taken by L&E when we were hanging out in the yard. I think they came out pretty well, especially since I was still dirty from my run.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer runs are the best, so why am I on the treadmill?

I have a seven mile run planned for today, and it's absolutely beautiful out. During the winter months, I get on the treadmill in the afternoons, while Eliza naps and Luke busies himself with whatever five year olds like to do. But as the weather gets warmer, I really long to be outside for my runs.

I've tried getting up early to fit the run in, but Mike and the kids are also early risers. There have been a few times where Mike is doing calls and Luke will get up, and I have to end my run. Running after dinner is hard too, Mike has a daily call at five, kids gotta eat, get baths, and into bed. These are the roles we have right now, I'm the "stay at home caretaker" Mike is the "bring home the bacon" role. It's much easier on the weekends, Mike is happy to do whatever he needs to so I can get my outside runs in.

The treadmill has been a bit boring lately, although having a televison to watch is a huge plus. This past Monday I did 8.3 miles, and threw a towel on the display panel so I wouldn't watch the numbers slowly tick by. There is a big sliding glass door in my line of vision, but that just lets me see outside, but not taste it.

Actually, I have nothing to complain about, when the weather is so sunny that we all need our shades.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pizza (cue the Homer Simpson drool)

I have a thing for pizza. It's probably my favorite food, I could eat it every day, and sometimes do. It's affordable, has all the food groups (grain, dairy, vegetable) and is easy. I'll even eat frozen pizza on occasion, and Elios has a special place in my heart.

Being from Long Island, I can be a bit of a pizza snob. I've never been to Chicago, I've heard it's a wonderful city, but deep dish pizza is not a pizza. I can't even do Pizza Hut. I need a thin crust that you could fold, smooth flavorful sauce (not too much), and plenty of cheese. A bubble on top is a bonus prize.

Mike and I have two types of pizza that we make at home. The first is a caramelized onion, walnut, and goat cheese pizza on a beer crust. This is the only crust I will attempt, and it's great for dinner along with a salad, or cut up small as an appetizer. Caramelized onions are a big thing in our kitchen, Mike makes a huge pot of them and we used them in so many dishes. Our second pizza staple is a traditional pie. Wegman's has a whole wheat dough that we use. We top it first with the onions, then sauce, then cheese. On one half we sprinkle browned crumbled sausage, the other half gets sauteed portobello mushrooms. I usually have a stomach ache after because I can't stop eating it.

My whole point of this post is that I found our new favorite local pizza parlor. We tried OIP (Original Italian Pizza) at the Taste of Syracuse festival. I felt like I bought a slice at a place in NYC. The true test was when I pulled back the cheese and looked at the crust. When it looks mottled and moonlike, it's a go. So much so that we got two pies, one for the fridge, one for the freezer.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Adirondack Home

I feel a bit bad for Mike today. Somehow, Father's Day always ends up being about something other than him. The past two years my Mother has visited during Father's Day weekend. This weekend we planned on going up to the Adirondacks, to visit his parents and catch up with an old college friend. The weather was supposed to be lousy, and our friend ended up not being in town, so Mike really didn't want to go. But we went anyway, and as usual, it was great.

The first time Mike brought me to his camp, we were in college. It really is a special place. It holds so many memories, things obviously change there, but they also stay the same. Which I find so comforting when we have a zillion things going on in our lives. I lie in the same spot in the same bed at night, and feel like I did before we were married, or had kids. The nice thing is that I have grown in many ways, my life has gotten infinitely better, but I'm still me. I love bringing the kids there, I feel like I can't get enough of it. It's hard to describe. I love big cities, but I'm also a nature girl. Every season in the Adirondacks brings something out of me, and makes me appreciate how simple life can be. And it brings me joy. The kids are already finding their sense of joy there, as Luke demonstrates as he dances on the dock.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I love my husband. Most of the time.

Just kidding, but doesn't everyone?

Mike and I have our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary coming up in September. We've been kicking around ideas for a weekend away. Gone are the plans I made a few years ago (an exotic trip where we finally stay in a Four Seasons Hotel, which I've heard is the epitome of luxury). We're thinking of Peurto Rico, but I think we're going to end up in Lake Placid. Surprisingly, with all the time we spend in the Adirondacks, I've never been.

Mike is a great guy, genuinely the nicest guy. We met on line in college, physically on line outside a movie theater, this was years away from facebook, and online dating. He works really hard, and does things like bring home a gift certificate to a spa in Saratoga so I can get a facial. Or buy me a Coach bag for some weird anniversary while we're shopping for other things.

He could talk your ear off for hours (both Luke and Eliza have inherited this trait), and is really trying to stop smoking. But the biggest thing that drives me nuts is that he snores. I can't count the number of hours of sleep I have lost over the years because of this. I'm talking LOUD, sleep apnea sounding gasping snoring that startles me out of bed. These are the times we fight, in the dark, with one of us stomping off to the spare bedroom to get some sleep.

I was looking around for Father's Day gifts, and came across a "chin sling" that helps end snoring. I am soooo tempted to get it, but I think I'll stick with the satellite radio subscription instead.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The C Word

No, not cheeseburger. I had to take a picture of the burgers I made the kids the other day, I think I've perfected my grill mark technique.

It's that bad cancer word. I don't know any other word that people universally shudder at. This was the lousy news I got two weeks ago about a very close family member. And boy does it suck. The C Word has popped up a few times in my family, but breast cancer has stayed away for the most part. I feel like it's been a vulture that has circled us, but visited other people. But this time it's decided to land.

I'm tying to help out others by being the strong one, saying, let's not get ahead of ourselves needlessly. The first hurdle will be the surgery. So let's just stay in a holding pattern until then. But then you get hit with news of another test, whose results say radiation and chemo are a definite. And then it's hard not to say what if.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Running Random Thoughts

I was on facebook last night, and a friend from college posted her photos from the recent Mini 10k run in Central Park. I got a little homesick for NY, the Mini was the first race I did when I joined the NY Road Runners. That race is only open to women, and it's a great time. So I was definitely geared up for my run this morning, a 7.5 miler around the neighborhood.

I listen to music as I run, but my mind never stops. I think of the most random things. I'm going to use bullets for this post, just to give you an idea.

  • I was a bit worried about this morning's run. I had some wine last night, because after all, it was friday. But my run was great, steady pace, no cramps, nothing. Wine is all carbs, so I'm going to consider it carb loading, like a pasta dinner.

  • I wonder if my left leg is longer than my right. I've talked about my left leg issues. I was born with my legs turned in, and had to wear a brace at night for my first year to straighten them out. I have an easier time running when my left foot is closest to the side of the road, could the slope in the road be evening out my stride? I think I need to measure my legs to be sure.

  • The last ten minutes of the movie Sense and Sensibility is so, so good. Spoiler alert - when Edward declares his love to Elinor, and she crumples into a heap of tears and laughter, I swear I get chills and start crying too. It gets even better a minute later, when Marianne and Col Brandon come out of the church after their wedding, it's such a great surprise that I cry all over again.

  • When I come to the part of my run that goes past a lake, and I see people fishing, I start coughing or sniffling loudly to let them know I'm there. The last thing I need is for them to cast into me, and I get a fish hook in my cheek. (I blame it on There's Something About Mary).

Told you it was random.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bedtime Bike Rides

On weekends, and most week nights, after the kids are in bed, Mike and I spend time on the deck. Weather permitting. Syracuse won the Golden Snowball again this year, with a total of 149 inches of snow. So it makes sense that we try to be outside whenever possible when it's nice out!

Last summer we started taking bike rides when the kids were in bed. Don't worry, we take turns! We live down the road from a small lake, and there are walking trails to use year round, they are plowed in the wintertime, which is a bonus. It's so nice to just coast around, enjoy the air, the sky, and the quiet.

We even make our guests do a lap if they happen to be over during bike weather. Everyone except my sister, who is so short, her feet can't reach the pedals.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Disney Dreaming

All of a sudden, I want to take the kids to Disney World. They've never been, and Mike and I agreed a while ago that we would make the trip once the kids can remember it. I've been twice, once in the second grade, and once in the ninth. Funny how bad memories have a way of sticking around. My parents surprised my sister and I with the trip to Disney, they woke us up one morning and said we were on our way. We missed a week of school, and when we came back, I was all excited to tell my teacher all about it. She said she didn't want to hear about any trip that I went on when I should have been in school. I'm still stunned. Looking back I think that was the "lets try one more time" trip before my parents went ahead with the divorce. But that's another story.

The ninth grade trip was fab, I went down with my high school marching band, I played the flute. We took a bus down, stayed in a hotel, and our band marched in a parade through Disney. That was my first taste of freedom from my parents, and I have much, much better memories from that one.

So as I said, lately I really want to take the kids to Disney. The looove all the movies, and we can't leave the Disney Store without buying something. But since we're a one income family at the moment, a trip to Florida is a luxury. I think I'm feeling guilty because so many of our friends, and Luke's friends have made the trip not once, but numerous times. One little boy has been ELEVEN times and he's five! We're hearing about all the new exhibits they have, for Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo, I know that L&E would lose their minds we went. A friend of mine lives in Orlando, and has offered to have us stay with him, but he has cats, and I am terribly allergic to cats.

I finally found out why someone always dies in a Disney Movie. My Mom just saw "Up" in 3D, and said how sad it is in the beginning. Turns out that Walt Disney lost his mother at a very young age. So he wanted to show that you can find happiness after tragedy. I guess that makes sense, but I still have to fast forward the scene in the Lion King when Mufasa dies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

not wrinkle free, but better

My wrinkle cream experiment is going pretty well. I love a good product, as the photographic evidence shows. Those tubes and jars are just for my face, and doesn't include my sunscreen, which I keep in the downstairs bathroom. I've been using Roc's deep wrinkle line, including the facial cleansing pads. The pads lasted for two weeks, and served as a mini facial. My skin did look much brighter each time I used them. I'm getting a bit obsessed about the wrinkles under my eyes. We went to a 40th birthday party over the weekend, and I couldn't help checking out every one's eyes, and comparing them to mine. I did this comparison activity once before, when I got into eyebrow plucking/shaping. I'm even doing it while watching the Real Housewives of NJ, but they are all so botoxed it's unreal.

I'm not a huge Oprah person, but I watch when Dr. Oz is on, I think he's great. I came across his discussion about Resveratrol, it's supposed to be the fountain of youth in pill form. Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes, which is why red wine is so good for you. I was surprised he endorsed it, since it's an herb, and not FDA approved, but now I'm a bit curious. Not curious enough to try it though, I'll stick to my multi-vitamin and red wine and Roc cream regimen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

hmmm, that's a new one.

So I finally heard back about my job interviews. And I'm a little curious, as they didn't ask me to go further in the interview process. They were "favorably impressed" but after careful review, felt that they didn't have an opportunity to match my "background and qualifications." hmmmm. I'm wondering if I could possibly be overqualified for the position? The first question that the Regional Manager asked me was how I felt about making a shift from working with large scale retailers, versus smaller local businesses like car dealerships. HR also asked if I was comfortable with the pay scale, since it was significantly lower than my past salary. I don't know. On the one hand it would feel good to be very qualified for my field. But on the other hand, this might not bode well for when I do dive into a job search full force. On the other, other hand, maybe the rep who was leaving decided to come back after her maternity leave. The nice thing is I'm not devastated by it, which says a lot right there. It's not the right time for a job, and now I'm really, really, appreciating my summer with the kids. Last one before Lukie goes off into the big world of school.

I had my grilled veggie salad again last night. Biggest Loser challenge is still in force, and since tonight is Lasagne Night, I'm trying to be all about "balance".

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mastering my running Beat

I mentioned how I love my ipod. Obviously I use it to run, but also have a docking station in the kitchen, and listen to it in the Jeep. The kids have hijacked it a bit, I have Raffi's Corner Grocery Store on there, as well as an Alvin and the Chipmunks video. So I was very happy when I found out about Masterbeat, a very cool site to download my tunes from http://affiliate.masterbeat.com/idevaffiliate.php?id=221. They specialize in dance/techno and funky remixes, but they have a huge catalog that covers all the bases (and it's where I learned the term turntablism). I knew I was in love when I searched for ABBA, and it came up with not only 426 ABBA songs, but Yo Gabba Gabba songs as well. Go DJ Lance Rock.

During my high school years, I had Depeche Mode posters on my bedroom walls, the Smiths on my walkman, and ran to MSG to see Erasure in concert. I was introduced to Yaz by my babysitter. Figured it was time for another list of music faves....

1. Oh L'Amour (Erasure) - I just found footage of this song from a 1989 concert on Youtube.
2. The Promise (When in Rome) - reminds me of driving my Malibu at night in the Summertime.
3. Too Pieces (Yaz) - at the time, this was the wackiest album cover I'd ever seen.
4. Ask (The Smiths) - this keeps you moving when you're heading up a long hill during a run.
5. American Boy (Estelle and Kanye West) - this is the one song of his I really enjoy, probably because of Estelle.
6. Mercy (Duffy) - found a dance remix of this, and yes, it works!
7. Build Me Up Buttercup (The Foundations) - whenever there is a wedding and this song comes on, my ENTIRE, crazy Irish family gets on the dance floor and screams the lyrics as loud as we can. Not sure why.
8. Just Like Honey (Jesus and Mary Chain) - mellow mood music, but now it makes me think of Lost in Translation. I still wonder what he whispered to her in the end.
9. Windy (The Association) - doesn't get more '70's sounding than this one.
10. Love You Madly (Cake) - very hard to pick just one fave of theirs, this can change your mood within five notes.
11. Freedom (George Michael) - I think this is where I got my love of facial hair from.
12. Canned Heat (Jamiroquai) - I got caught dancing to this in my cubicle by my boss. Not my finest moment.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I've been Tagged!

I like doing these question lists, I've done a few on Facebook. I was tagged by Kelly at http://trimommylife.blogspot.com/, so here you go!

8 Things I'm looking forward to:

1. Going to Taste of Syracuse today.
2. staining the deck
3. going to Long Island for the Fourth of July.
4. the Boilermaker
5. taking the kids to Enchanted Forest in the Adirondacks.
6. meeting the four babies being born this summer, including my 6th niece.
7. the new Harry Potter movie.
8. saving money on diapers once I get Eliza potty trained.

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. took the kids to three different playgrounds.
2. went grocery shopping.
3. talked to my sister and sister in law.
4. ate leftover Mediterranean Pasta.
5. ran 6 miles.
6. read to the kids.
7. vaccumed.
8. watched Burn After Reading.

8 Things I would like to do:

1. go on a wine tour through Napa.
2. not be so impatient
3. take the kids to Disney sooner rather than later.
4. figure out my next step career wise.
5. start playing tennis again.
6. write a book.
7. get back to my wedding weight.
8. go to the Grand Canyon.

8 Shows I watch:

1. The Office
2. True Blood
3. Survivor
4. Amazing Race
5. Diners Drive In's and Dives
6. Top Chef
7. Lost
8. Real Housewives of CA, NY, and NJ

Don't have 8 people to tag but have:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Wow, do I dare say that as I look out the window I see......the SUN?? I just told the kids that we'll do a marathon playground session today, and hit as many as we can before naptime.

I got some lousy news yesterday (not about the interview). I'm still processing it, and need a distraction. Time to blog about one of my favorite places, the Adirondacks. Mike has been going up since he was a kid, actually, his Dad has been going up since he was a kid. It's where we go to get a good fix of the outdoors, and being on the water. It's beautiful there. The first thing I do in the morning, is take my coffee outside onto the porch, and just listen to the woods, and suck in the air. The air has a distinct scent. At night there are so many stars that you don't even have to look up, you can look straight ahead to see them. The best time of year is fall, the colors of the changing leaves is insane at times.

Mike and I lived up there for a time after college, bartending and waiting tables. It was a great time, we made friendships that we still have to this day. One of my favorite spots to go and have a drink or dinner is at the Woods Inn http://www.thewoodsinn.com/. It's a great restaurant and hotel, and when Mike's parents babysit for us, we head over to sit next to the lake, sip a drink and watch the day turn into night.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What's going on with the interview?

I'd like to know too! It's been over two weeks since my second interview, and haven't heard a thing. I sent the interviewer a thank you, then it was a holiday weekend, which always throws things off. I'm going to try and get a hold of the HR woman today. It's strange. The first two interviews came on like gangbusters and then, nothing.

We are done with the first week of our Biggest Loser Challenge. I agree with K, and I have decided to forgo the weekly date with the scale. Mike did keep off the four pounds he lost, and I don't feel like making comparisons and getting discouraged when we just started.

The weather is still very cool and grey for June. I've switched my morning coffee for iced, even though a hot cup is more in tune with the weather! I make a strong pot and keep it in the fridge, then in the a.m, I fill a big glass with ice, some fat free/chemical laden creamer and suck it down. Trying to trick myself into feeling like summer, even though it feels like fall.