running

I Finally Found My Wagon

Welp, I done fell off my wagon. 

Like, I was rolling off behind it down the road so fast and hard I didn’t even realize what happened.  If it wasn’t for the cloud of dust I saw blowing off toward the sunset I might not have ever seen it go. 

I slept funny on my neck. That’s how it started. Then before I knew it, a low pressure system socked in with days of battleship gray skies set in and my mood plummeted. 

And crashed. 

And I didn’t even want to run. 

Which is rare indeed. 

Yesterday I told my husband I was going for a run this morning. We normally check in every evening and discuss plans, and I sincerely planned to run this morning. 

But when this morning came I really didn’t want to.  Like total dread. 

It was a good thing I had built in some accountability, because otherwise I might have just sat around. 

Again. 

But I went because Mike expected me to. 

I’d even told him I was going for a long run, so I was really stuck. 

It was sprinkling, and I hate running in the rain. And I do mean hate.  But I went. 

And it went better than expected. 

I caught a few Pokémon and hatched a few more. All told I trudged about 9 miles. 

And my mood?  Well, I don’t feel like crying for the first time in days, that’s gotta count for something, right?  

I know it’s not the case for everyone, and I know that not everyone can do it, but a good run is the best drug I can imagine. It literally fixes my brain. 

And once again I am thankful. 

parenting · Uncategorized

Every Year, Costumes are this Anti-Crafter’s Nightmare

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I have never met a craft I didn’t hate, and never tried a craft I didn’t ruin.

With Halloween fast approaching, what terrifies me is not the Devil’s Night pranks or the Haunted Houses that pop up during this season, but rather sitting down with Pinterest and trying to find the perfect costume for my little angels.  Even worse is braving Hobby Lobby to find the materials, wandering through aisle after aisle to find just the right materials and accessories, then sitting down with a hot glue gun and only succeeding in cocooning myself in glue threads and burning every possible surface area of my hands.

I’m a pretty humble woman, but so help me, I can only take so much.  At a certain point, my creative failures boomerang past epic and land back on pathetic, with my poor children sent out as walking, public displays of my ineptitude.

The alternative is equally bleak.  Spending half of my paycheck to buy the same stinking superhero costume that half the class is also wearing, just to have the shoddy workmanship bust wide open during the school costume parade and wind up with a sobbing sugar-loaded mess of a child who is sure that his costume failure is all it takes to usher in the apocalypse.

So this year, as with many years before, the sum total of my Halloween prep will be a thorough Etsy search and finding the absolute best costumes that can possibly be made and supporting the lovely crafters who actually possess fine motor skills and the creativity to make a hand-made costume epic.

Just don’t even ask me about jack-o-lanterns.  Did I mention I can bake?

 

Uncategorized

My Love/Hate Relationship With Social Media

macbook_iphone

I love social media.

I thrive on the connection, the “news”, the dialogue, it’s my thing.  Unapologetically.

And right now I hate it.

I hate it because of politics.  We have the most ridiculous election season ever taking place and every day I cringe to see what the candidates are up to and what godawful and unhelpful things people are saying about them.

I hate it because Black Lives DO matter, and I’m weary of the rhetoric surrounding that and what feels like a complete impasse in the discussion.

I hate it because it seems like people are getting testy and ornery and slap happy, myself included.

And I’m mad.  I’m mad because, quite literally, my primary connection with the vast majority of people who I care about is Facebook.  And I care about a lot of people whose opinions vary vastly from my own, but I still want to care about it.

I’m mad because an aunt and uncle of mine, blood relatives, unfriended me when I went off half cocked and said that Trump’s faith doesn’t matter to me because he’s a flaming asshole, and a Christian asshole is still an asshole.  Yet, to the core of my being I believe it.

This is the world we live in.  This is the world we have created, and I feel powerless to even envision anything better, let alone bring it to fruition.

And I’m tired.  And fed up.  I want to delete Facebook, but then, my friends, scattered across the country and world.  People whose kids fight similar battles to mine.  People who I’ve known for a decade and never met.  People whose daily lives I care about.

And so I log on, and feel like crying.

And I log off and feel like crying.

 

dog

So You Think You Want A Puppy?

Our sweet Abbi is 5 years old. She is literally the best dog ever (seriously), but that just made me want another dog.  After months of planning and secret keeping, my husband surprised me.

I have wanted a dachshund for years.  They’re naughty, funny, cute and just plain awesome, so he pulled off his surprise beautifully.  Meg is now part of our family, and we adore her.



We’re going on 3 weeks as a 2 dog home, and boy do I realize what a truly awesome dog Abbi is.  She slept through the night her first night home, and required almost no effort to potty train.  Other than some pesky chewing, she was the easiest dog you could imagine training.

Meg, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong, Meg is the cutest, sweetest, funniest puppy I have seen in 5 years, but doggone, she’s just not the quick learner Abbi is.

It’s not that she’s a pain in the ass…but she actually kind of is.

And that’s what I’m getting at.  Puppies, in general (with the partial exception of Abbi), are a giant pain in the ass.

Let me be clear.  I couldn’t love Meg more.  She is a part of our family.  Period.

But, if I were working outside the home or didn’t have the time, energy or inclination to do the heavy work of training her (which I do), I would be getting resentful right about now.

And that’s why puppies end up in shelters.

Meg is an absolute handful.  Hannah laughed at me and reminded me that I wanted a naughty little dachshund, but I’m not sure I knew just what I was getting myself into.  She potties in the house every day, a couple of times at least, no matter how diligent I am about taking her out frequently. She’s a velcro dog who doesn’t like to sleep in her crate, and wakes during the night almost every night.  She chews incessantly.  All of these are things which she will need very long-term, committed, loving training on in order to become a socialized, happy, well-behaved dog.  And if I didn’t feel like fulfilling that responsibility to her, we would either all be miserable, or we would give up on her.  Which happens all the time.

And I hate it.

So here is my message to you.  I have put about a million adorable pictures on social media of my dog.  If you find these tempting, pause.  Then pause again.  Then stop.  The sweet photos and videos are only about half of the story.  The other half is cleaning up potty accidents, caring for a needy, clingy baby, waking up during the night, and worrying that my fingers will turn to hamburger from all her gnawing.  I endure along with her because she is worth it.  She is our family, and we are 100% committed to give her the time and loving care that she deserves to grow into a beloved, lifelong family pet.  If that were not the case, she and I both would be miserable right now.  

My long term outlook, goals, and committment are my focus, and they give me the mindset to enjoy these early days, shrugging off the frustration and relishing the sweetness.

If that’s not the case for you, or if you aren’t sure, then whatever you do, do not bring a dog into your family.  It’s not kind, it’s not fair, it’s not okay.

 

dog · running · Uncategorized

Do You Want To Be A Runner?

pexels-photoYou know how it goes.  You decide to start running, you make the commitment, you run for a week, two weeks,  or even a month or so, then next thing you know it’s been two months since you laced up your shoes.  This isn’t the only time it’s happened, you want to be a runner, but you just can’t seem to make the habit stick.  Here are my tips for getting running to be a routine.

  1. Run with your dog.  If you have a high energy dog, chances are they will love it, and want more.  Committing to run with your dog means that you have someone counting on you.  Of course, this only works if you have a dog.
  2. Put it on your calendar.  If you get that alert and email on your phone, it’s harder to let your run slide.
  3. Try running farther.  It’s counterintuitive, I know, but I didn’t get hooked until I ran longer distances.  I suspect it’s because of the endocannabinoids, but once I got that runner’s high, there was no going back.
  4. Find a human running buddy.  Again, instant accountability.  If your friend is counting on you to get out of bed on a Saturday morning, you won’t oversleep and ditch her.
  5. Sign up for a Race.  You paid money, you’re committed; now train.
  6. Join a running group.  Almost every area has one.  If you don’t know where to find one, ask at a local running store or check their website.
  7. Download a training app.  Again, reminders, accountability.  The Couch to 5k is a popular app, but there are many others to choose from.
  8. Just Do It.  Decide and commit, keep deciding, and keep committing.  It’s not easy, if it was, everyone would be doing it.

Running has come and gone in my life many times throughout the years, so I understand where you’re coming from.  But believe me, if you commit, and keep running, you won’t regret it.  And if you’re a Pokemon addict like me, you will seriously improve your game!

 

Uncategorized

Hot Damn! There’s a Mute Button for the Real World!

Feast your eyes on this!

Can you imagine the possibilities?!

Husband snoring?  Mute him!

Noisy neighbors, mute them!

Need to concentrate while your SO watches television, mute the TV!

Kids having a slumber party, mute them!

Noisy love making in the hotel room next to yours or the pitter patter of feet in the room upstairs?

Children calling your name for the 6,479,063 time today?  Singing “This is the Song that Never Ends” while making armpit farts?  

One coworker is a loud-talker and another listening to Rush Limbaugh?

I seriously could go on and on and on.  Can you imagine the possibilities?  There is no end to the list. I could spend every minute I so desire in sweet silence. I might never get ornery again!

Where do I get one of these, there is no such thing as too expensive!

cancer · Childhood Cancer Awareness Month · parenting · special needs parenting · Uncategorized

The Clinic Visit 

Today was Ben’s 6 month visit to the Hematology/Oncology (Hem/Onc) clinic.  So I thought, “hey, I can take photos and blog about his visit for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.” I took my brilliant idea and ran with it. 

The clinic, as we close friends call it for short, is well stocked with snacks, which makes sense both for kids who struggle to get enough calories and for the steroid loaded kids who can’t get enough. 

Pause. 

Quick story. When Ben first started treatment there were procedures about weekly, and the kids would usually end up scheduled on the same day together, so we got tight with a group of kids. Back then we had a long walk to the sedation area, and we’d go in a little train of parents and staff with kids in wagons and wheelchairs. There was one little boy who was in the solid month of steroids at the start of his treatment, he was a cute little 3 or 4 year old. The kids had to have empty stomachs on procedure days because they’re sedated (procedures are usually lumbar punctures or bone marrow aspirations).  Anyway, this one little guy would spend his mornings waxing poetic about food.  He’d be riding along in his wagon saying, “I’m gonna have me some pieeeza, and I’m gonna have me a haambuurger with fries and ketchup, and I’m gonna have me some buhsketti, and maybe some Oreos…” And that little guy would just go on like that until his turn for sedation came. 

I digress. 

Check in consists of getting vitals checked and then we get ushered off to a room. As soon as we put out stuff down, we make a quick trip to the nutrition area where Ben gets his chocolate milk and cereal, and we hang out. 


The nurse comes in and reviews history and current med list, and then the blood draw. 

Sometimes Ben does okay with blood draws.  I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because he’s had a couple of hospitalizations since the last one, and several other blood draws, but Ben lost it. 

I don’t blame him. 

It sometimes takes numerous pokes to draw blood or start an IV, and when you’ve been putting up with that since infancy, well, sometimes you flip your lid. I meant to get a photo, but that wasn’t going to happen, so here’s the “after”. 

While we wait for the blood tests to run, a doctor or mid level practitioner (PA or NP), does a history and physical exam. 

Michele was the nurse practitioner who examined Ben today. We’ve known her since the very start, she’s kind, approachable, measured, smart, diligent and just plain spectacular. We went over the history of Ben’s last 6 months.  There was plenty to discuss. 2 surgeries;the reemergence of Cyclic Vomiting, along with the hospitalization for that. The referral to Nationwide Children’s for motility studies.  Throw in there the Parkinsonism, a visit to Infectious Disease docs, and new referrals to allergists and pulmonologists and you have yourself quite a stacked 6 months. 

Or, for us, “normal”.  

Michele, being the spectacular individual she is, paused at the end of the visit. She set aside her professional demeanor, and told me how bad she feels for all that has occurred. 

I quipped back that, well, we’re used to it, it’s just how it is, and we roll with it. 

Her eyes reddened and misted. She said, “I know, it’s normal to you, that’s why I feel bad, Ben just always has a work up like this. Every time. It’s not how it should be.”  

Since I completely suck at letting my guard down, my answer was, “but he just keeps bouncing back, he doesn’t know any different.”  

It seemed to make her feel better. 

Then we hung out in the playroom until Ben’s counts came back, right as rain. 

(Ben motioning to me to come play).


(Which I did, Ben gave me a checkup too).

Meanwhile, I put my lure at the wrong PokéStop. Sigh.