Saturday, June 28, 2008

Yer Blues

This year is seriously testing my faith in being happy.

The year started off crappy with my grandmother getting sick and ultimately passing away. Then Archie died. Now the issues with Keller's school, which we have decided to get him into a different school. The process of finding another school is going to be hard, not to mention the adjustment for him and us when he ultimately starts the new school. Now we find out that my mom has cancer in her tongue. And because the mouth is connected with the rest of the digestive tract (esophagus, etc.), there is a possibility it could spread. As of right now, the cancerous area has been removed and there isn't much more treatment she will need at the present moment, but she has to be monitored and tested frequently. She used to smoke, which they are attributing to this, but she quit over 25 years ago. Kind of makes you question why you should try and be healthy if shit is just going to happen anyway.

What in the hell is going on?

Seriously, I'm about to lose it. I took yesterday off from work so I could just chill and get myself together. Keller didn't want to go to school (not a good sign) so he stayed home with me. We had a really nice day, but nothing too relaxing. We drove up to my parents' house in NY last night and so we're here for the weekend. I didn't get much sleep last night so I just feel horrific right now.

I understand that life is going to throw you curve balls every now and then. I get that. But this has been a constant stream of curve balls sailing by our heads and occasionally clocking us. There's only so much a person can take before they lose it. Because I'm prone to losing it, I'm a bit concerned for my own well being. I have a tendency to slip into deep depressions and I have been in and out of sanity for the last year. I was so depressed trying to find a job last year and that finally passed once I started to feel comfortable at my current job. Now with the year the way it's been I have been on a roller coaster ride emotionally.

I don't really know why I'm writing all of this. I guess it helps to have an outlet. I don't have any philosophical notions to share with regard to any of this. I'm not feeling very full of perspective right now. I'm feeling sorry for myself and all I want to do is cry, which I've been doing way too much of lately.

Life can really freaking bite sometimes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


We had the conference with Keller's teacher and the Director of the school this morning. It was strange and sad and I feel kind of lost right now.

They said that he is extremely intelligent for his age but he's having a very hard time expressing himself socially. He gets very overwhelmed when all of the kids are around and that is when he starts acting out. They had considered that he was bored and thought about moving him into the next room. But there are 20 kids in that class and he's already having a hard time with the 12 in his class. He does really well when there are only a few of the kids around but they all feel he gets overstimulated when everyone is around and it frustrates him.

They didn't necessarily say something was wrong with him. It's more a matter of not knowing what to do with him. He could be acting out due to the combination of being bored, not being able to express himself appropriately, not being able to adapt to changes in his environment (the new kids that entered the class are what sparked all of this), and biological changes (for instance, his teething and not sleeping well).

They suggested that we have him evaluated to determine if he does in fact have any developmental problems. In the meantime we're going to try and get him to sleep a little earlier and see if that helps anything. I mean, he gets about 9 hours of sleep a night and I guess that's not enough for him because he just gets so unruly at times.

Ugh. I just want him to be all right. I want him to be happy and healthy and well adjusted to the world. They said that he may be better suited to a school that has less kids in the class and more one-on-one interaction. And perhaps having him evaluated will let us know that he needs that type of treatment. I mean, he does so well when he's playing with a small group of kids. He doesn't have any problem. Maybe that will be the key.

I just want to sit here at my desk and cry.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Love hurts

I hate Tuesdays.

I know the more common day of dread is Monday. But I have always hated Tuesdays. It's just a useless day. Here's my take on the days of the week:
  • Monday: There's hope for the new week.
  • Tuesday: Stupid, useless day.
  • Wednesday: Yay! Week is half over.
  • Thursday: Yay! Tomorrow is Friday!
  • Friday: Yay! It's the weekend.
This Tuesday sucked huge, giant, ass. I got a call from Keller's teacher and his behavior has gotten out of control at school. He was throwing fits, hitting other kids, and then he bit one of the other kids. WTF? My child actually bit another child.

I remember when we were in NH with our friends Stephanie, Russ and Erika a few summers ago and Lola nipped Stephanie. It was the first (and only) time Lola had ever nipped anyone. And Steph was fine, it wasn't a bad bite or anything. But I was so horrified. I couldn't believe my puppy bit someone.

Well, that's kind of how I feel right now. My sweet, wonderful little boy has become a menace to the kids in his class. My first instinct is to take him out of school and keep him home with me. But I know that wouldn't do any good for him. He thrives at school.

I know this kind of behavior is relatively common for young kids. They have a hard time expressing themselves at this age. But his school would still like to have a conference with us, which is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Ugh.

Though, with all of this going on, I have just felt there has to be a reason for this behavior. He is not like this. On a hunch, I poked around his mouth and lo and behold! His second set of molars are coming in. That explains so much! He was such a terror when he was teething as an infant and young toddler. His first set of molars were simple and arrived unnoticed. But every other tooth in that kid's mouth brings back memories of fits and screams and tears. And that was just me.

So, we'll go to the conference tomorrow and hopefully they will have some ways to help us teach Keller how to better cope with his feelings. I love him so much, I just want him to be happy and healthy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Run For Life

I have to say that if you're reading this and you don't run regularly, this post will bore the hell out of you.

Last night was the most perfect night for running. I had to go into Fleet Feet for a little while. A new Beginning 5K group started last night. So, I was there to help the new coaches get things started and welcome the new runners. It was nice. But I didn't get home until about 7:30. When I got home, John was giving Keller a bath, so we all played for a while and then got Keller ready for bed. By the time he was in bed, it was 8:00. I normally really hate starting my runs so late, but I only had a short one ahead of me so I needed to just suck it up.

But it really wasn't that hard to get me out the door. Earlier in the evening, a thunderstorm came through and cooled everything off. It was about 70 degrees out when I started, with a nice cool breeze. Oh, it was gorgeous. I ran along, listening to the sound of my feet hitting the ground. I know this sounds kind of crazy, but I love hearing the sound of my feet hitting the ground, mixed in with the sound of my breathing. It's just a sound that makes me happy. It's like I know I'm alive.

I just ran 3 miles of bliss. I felt like I could run all night. I actually closed my eyes for a few seconds and just took some deep breaths while I ran. Just to feel it. Picture Leonardo DiCaprio screaming, "I'm the King of the World." That was kind of me. Only I wasn't screaming. Or on a boat.

You know, you don't have to be a runner to understand what it is I'm talking about. Think about something that you absolutely love to do. Close your eyes and picture the most perfect conditions for that particular activity. Breathe it in. Everything is moving together, all the pieces fall into place. It's something as human beings we strive for on a regular basis. We want the pieces of our families, jobs, friends, etc., to all fall into place and be perfect. It's very rare that we ever get to experience that feeling. But when we do, you know life is just awesome.

If anyone wants to know why I run, it's because of everything I described above. I run to feel alive. I may not feel that way on every run. But when I do, man, life freaking rocks.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Want You (She's So Heavy)

My child is giving me a complex.

We were at breakfast yesterday morning, having a lovely time in Starbucks. I was eating their low-fat turkey bacon breakfast sandwich, which may sound not so tasty, but is quite tasty. Anyway, my sweet, adorable child looks at me and says, in a very disapproving voice, "Mama, you're too heavy to eat that."

I just about died.

John and I looked at each other in total disbelief. Did my child just tell me I'm fat? Now I know he couldn't have really meant anything about being fat. He's not even 3, he doesn't understand the concept of size and weight. But because of my body image issues, I kind of can't get it out of my mind that my child told me that I'm fat.

John's really sweet and tried to tell me how Keller didn't really know what he was saying and blah blah blah. But I think he knew it was pointless. The damage was done. What I'm a little concerned about is where Keller came up with that? He had to have heard someone say something like that to someone. I know it wasn't us.

So it begins: the period of time where my child has absolutely no filter on what he thinks and what he says. I can only imagine the fun this will bring!

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Night Swimming

The Olympics are coming!

I know, we still have a couple of months. And they happen to begin the day after my birthday (I expect presents). But there was an article in The Washington Post today about how American swimmers are kicking the world's ass. It goes into the kicks they use underwater, blah blah blah. That's not why I'm writing about this.

Reading the article brought back the wonderful memories of the crushes that developed throughout the Olympics in 2004 on the *hot* swimmers. Don't worry, John knows of my crushes and just laughs at me. Besides, he has his own swimmer crush on Amanda Beard. Now, I will say this: their faces are usually not to my liking. I actually think Michael Phelps looks better with his swim cap on. But those bodies. Man. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. Let's take a look, shall we...

I remember for the two weeks that the Olympics were held my friend Stephanie up in CT, and I would email back and forth multiple times a day talking about the hot swimmers. It was pretty funny. It's amazing we got any work done during that time.

I'm really looking forward to the Olympics this year. Not only will the above hotties be swimming but there's a bunch of new boys to watch! Yay! I just realized that I'll be able to watch them in stunning HD FiOS TV with exceptional picture quality. Double Yay! What can I say, I have a thing for athletes.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Even if things get heavy we'll all float on

Do you ever just go to certain places because the people there are so nice? There is a deli on the same block as my office and I love the people that work there. This is the St. Elmo Deli and it's own by a little family. We don't really say much to each other, other than what I order and when it's ready, but I just get this vibe that they are good people. And they make a mean BLT with avocado.

As I get on in life, it's becoming so much more apparent that you just HAVE to be nice to people. It's not something you should try to be, you should just be nice. It's so much easier to smile at someone or hold the door for them than it is to do neither of those things. And why are people so freaking rude? It really takes so much more effort to be rude. I find that when I'm having a bad day or am upset about something, when someone does something nice, like holds the door or elevator for me, it truly makes my day. A simple smile can go so far. We're all just trying to get by. I mean really, why can't people just understand that? We are all going through the same things.

I was watching the live coverage of Tim Russert's funeral yesterday and it was really moving. First I felt badly for watching, like I was exploiting him by contributing to the media monster that felt it was ok to televise a man's funeral. But as I watched, it just was clear how much he was truly loved by everyone he met, and even those he didn't meet (like me). It just goes to show you that being nice, genuine and excited about life will bring much happiness and joy to your life, as well as those around you.

On a completely different subject...I found this blog this morning and I LOVE it. I just love the whole concept of finding all the donut spots in NYC. Because you know they're going to be good donuts. Anyone that knows me, knows I love a good donut. In fact, donuts were the food item I made John go get me when I was pregnant. MMMM....donuts. I can't wait until we're in NYC in July so I can check out some of these places.

Now go have a good day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sending Out An S.O.S.

I am working from home today, because Verizon is hooking up the FiOS TV as we speak! Isn't that fantastic? I can't wait to see it when it's all done.

I must say, the guy that's doing the install is extremely nice. Normally I don't like to be home alone when some strange service person is here. You know, because I fear getting raped and killed in my own home. But this person is nice. Wait...isn't that what they said about Ted Bundy? Ack!

Anyway, because we're supposedly getting FiOS, which would mean a new DVR, we've been trying to watch everything we've taped so we don't miss anything. I got through all the Grey's Anatomy last week. That was pretty good. Now I'm watching Lost. Or attempting to, anyway.

I don't understand this show! I think it's called Lost because that's how you feel when you watch it. I have made it through all the episodes now and my brain kind of hurts. There is just too much to keep track of, in different time periods, with too many people. It makes me feel dumb. Yet, I keep watching. What does that mean?

So, later today I have a conference with Keller's teacher. We have conferences every couple of months. I'm a little nervous about this. The last conference we had was very good. They said he was doing really well on all fronts and if we get him potty trained by the time he's 3, we can put him in the preschool. But then, a little while after that, they said he wasn't going to be moved to the preschool because he is behind in his writing. What? He's not even 3, what is he supposed to be writing? I must say, he drew a mean 6 on his chalkboard this morning. We even took a picture of it. Not bad for an almost 3-year old, huh? And he was holding his Clif Bar while writing. That's pretty good for anyone, let alone a little guy.

I guess that's all for now. Next time I post, I'll have stunning HD FiOS TV, with exceptional picture quality! One hopes, anyway!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Girl Can't Help It

Yesterday I was all crying about how no one is reading this blog because I'm boring. Well, let's just discuss what has gone on in the last 19 or so hours since I wrote that post.

As I'm getting ready to leave work yesterday, another huge ass thunderstorm rolls through downtown Bethesda. Now, I was planning on walking over to the Metro because I had a haircut appointment and didn't want to drive there. My boss offers to drive me to the Metro and that's taken care of. We get to the Metro and I proceed to walk over to the escalators and because everything is wet, I slip and nearly fall and crack my head open. I didn't fall, which would have just been awesome, but I'm sure the jerky arms and legs were a sight.

I get to the haircut appointment at PR@Partners at the Mazza Gallerie about 10 minutes late, which wasn't too bad. I saw Olivia, who did an awesome job. She did exactly what I wanted and I'm happy.

As I'm leaving, it begins to storm again, so my pretty haircut was going to get ruined. The receptionist actually asked me if I wanted a shower cap, which would have been hilarious. I declined and managed to run over to the Metro without getting soaked.

I finally get to my car in Bethesda and then proceed to sit in traffic on 270 for about 45 minutes. Why? Because there was an accident on the OTHER side of 270. You know, in the opposite direction that I was going. You gotta love that.

We had a pretty uneventful evening of boiling water so we don't die from the contamination due to the water main break. And then the routine started all over again this morning. As I'm driving into work, I again sit in traffic due to another accident. At least this one was in the same direction I was traveling. Oh well, late for work again.

I listen to Elliot in the Morning on DC101 on my way to work. I don't know why, but that crazy dude makes me laugh. Anyway, they are talking about a show Elliot had seen about sleep deprivation and if you get less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, you are basically ruining your health. I hear that. There has been tons of research on how important sleep is. But that still doesn't mean I get enough. Elliot goes on to say how too little sleep affects your memory, reaction time, libido, etc. Nothing too earth shattering. They also posed the question that, if you could take a pill that mimicked the effects of 8 hours of sleep, but didn't actually have to get into the bed and sleep, would you take it? Um, let me think...YES.

I get into work and get things rolling on my day. I close my office door and start to put on my makeup. Before you judge me, I close the door and put it on as inconspicuously as possible. Hey, it helps me get to work on time and it's better than those other women that put it on while they're driving. Anyhoo, I'm putting on my beautiful, delicious Bare Minerals eye shadow when the unspeakable happens. Now, this eye shadow is a fine, glorious powder that comes in this little tub. Well, I dropped the tub of my favorite shadow, Bubbly, all over the floor and my cute blue pants. I guess me not getting enough sleep slowed my reaction time. It was all in slow motion: me bumping the little tub, it flipping in the air, the powder flowing everywhere, me yelling, "That did not just happen." Thankfully the door was closed, because it was really a mess. It was everywhere. This kind of crap only happens to me. But I got it all cleaned up and nobody knew the difference. Then one of my bosses, who didn't know I was here, opened the door to return something to my desk and I freaked her out. I thought she was going to faint.

It's been an eventful morning! Don't forget to vote in the poll!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

All right, people.

I realize this blog hasn't exactly been the most exciting thing in the world. But I'm trying. I put a poll on the site. Doesn't that count for something? Where the hell are ya?

Things in my neck of the woods have been pretty damn depressing. Let's face it, they've sucked. Too much death for my taste. But aside from that, I am always wondering if the things I would like to write about are all that interesting for anyone reading.

Like today, there was a water main break in Montgomery County and the whole freaking county has gone bananas. They've closed all the government buildings, one of which houses Keller's school, as well as put water-use restrictions out, and they've issued a water-boil advisory. You have to boil the water for a minute and then use it for anything that would cause you to consume the water. So, brushing your teeth, cooking, washing dishes, etc. But we're actually not allowed to do any of those things because of the water-use restrictions.

Almost all of the people in my office live in Prince George's or Anne Arundel County. They don't have any water problems right now. So, tomorrow, when I show up un-showered without my teeth brushed, I wonder what they'll think. Thank goodness for those Noxema wipes that don't require water.

I was reading the article on the Washington Post's website and the comments people are leaving are hysterical. Seriously, people have way too much time on their hands. Some people are basically saying that because MoCo is a rich county, it almost serves us right that we now have to boil our water before we drink it. Like Sharon Stone's karma comment. Also, we should stop bitching because there are people without clean water in third-world countries, blah blah blah. Look, I know that there are people worse off than us. But it's still a giant pain in the ass to deal with this whole thing. I'm not saying "why me" or anything. But I'd rather not have to deal with it, you know?

On another completely different note, Keller is at the point in his development where he will say things that are going to embarrass the hell out of me. For instance, yesterday morning, I happened to pass some gas (oh, like you don't) and he told me to stop pooping. Ha! Then, later in the day, we were at the pool and I got out of the water. You know how when you get out of the water, the water is dripping off of your body and legs and stuff? Well, Keller saw the water dripping off my legs and he said, out loud I might add, that I was pee pee-ing. Nice. Now everyone thinks I was peeing in the pool. Great.

There you go. Two extremely exciting stories from my life. Now vote in the poll!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Even though I'm not a father, I think today was a pretty good Father's Day.

John and Keller went down to Williamsburg for Brittany's graduation Friday night. I didn't go because I had a really bad headache that was making it hard for me to see and hear. I felt pretty bad about missing the graduation, but sometimes health comes first, you know?

Anyway, John and Keller got home late Saturday night, after I had gone to bed. So, when we woke up this morning, it was a fun little mini-reunion. Keller gave John the card he colored and we gave him the gift certificate to Performance Bikes so he could get the bike helmet he's been wanting. He was pretty happy about that. After cards and gifts, John went on a nice bike ride. Apparently, he ran over a squirrel. It just ran out into the street. But he said it seemed like it wasn't hurt. I kind of wish I could have seen that.

In the meantime, Keller and I went to Starbucks. I got my non-fat latte and breakfast sandwich and he got his fruit and milk. It was a nice breakfast.

After Starbucks, we came home and gave Bee-ba (my dad) a call. They were enjoying breakfast. My brother and sister-in-law were coming over for a cook out this afternoon. It's times like this I wish we lived closer. I would have loved to spend the day with my dad and everyone. Anyway, after we got off the phone, we got ready for the pool. First, we went on a run and then headed over to the pool. I haven't pushed Keller in the jog stroller in a very long time. The stroller is 20 pounds, Keller is well over 30 pounds, plus all the crap I had to bring to the pool was stuffed in the stroller. Those 3 miles were hard! I had to make up a crazy route so we could get the 3 miles in without passing the pool. Keller would have cried if we ran by the pool and didn't go in. But we made it, eventually. We passed John on our run as he was heading back home. He was going to clean up and meet us there.

We met the Gies and Ronick families at the pool. Keller, Noah and Maya have such a great time together. We were there forever. Apparently, Keller gets pretty cold in the water because he was shivering after a while. The water wasn't cold and the air temperature was nice, so I don't know why he was so cold. Once his little lips turned a shade of blue, we knew it was time to go home.

We got home and had some lunch. Keller then went down for a nap. And so did John and I. We were pretty exhausted. Once everyone was up, we had a nice steak dinner with yummy potato salad and mixed greens. Yum!

I think John had a good day. He got to do his own thing and spend time with the family. And take a nap! Any day you can take a nap is a good day, in my book.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dazed and Confused

I'm tired.

On the way into work this morning, about 800 blog topics were popping in my head. It's not that I have so much to say, it's more like fleeting thoughts that I should write down because I bet other people have them too.

Like, have you ever eaten a meal that left you so satisfied afterwards? Generally, I'm a pretty healthy eater. I try to eat as well as I can. But sometimes I just need something bad for me. I stopped at Chick-fil-A on the way to work for breakfast. Have I told you how great their breakfasts are? Well, this morning I had chicken and cheese on a multi-grain bagel. YUM! I mean, really YUM! I was so happy afterwards. Who knew chicken for breakfast could be so good?

Another thought: Sometimes you just have to say, "screw it" and go shopping. I was so down yesterday with everything that is going on that I just went to DSW and bought shoes. I wouldn't say I have a shoe fetish, but I really like having a lot of shoes. It comforts me for some reason. I just like having options. We could go on an overnight trip and I'll bring 4 pairs of shoes with me. You never know what kind of shoes a situation calls for. You need to be prepared.

Another thought: Sleeping on the couch with the TV on does not allow for a restful night. Last night, I had my book club and got home around 11 or so. I wasn't sleepy yet, surprisingly, so I sat on the couch to watch TV. Well, I fell asleep. I kept waking up to strange TV throughout the night. Who knew Access Hollywood was on at 3:00 in the morning? I woke up to some story about Brad Pitt's new tattoo that Angelina drew. I thought I was dreaming. So I starting wondering why I was dreaming about Brad Pitt and tattoos before I realized it was the TV. It was really weird. You'd think I'd go up to bed, or at least turn the TV off. No. I just rolled around a little and went back to sleep only to wake up to the Early Today show. Why do news people deliver the news as if the world is about to end? Oh, the drama! Really, if I was a foreigner here in the US watching the news, I would think the world was about to end with the way the news people tell horror story after horror story. There has got to be some good news out there somewhere.

We are traveling yet again tonight. We're going back to Williamsburg for our niece's high school graduation tomorrow morning. I'm thinking we should just sell the house and everything in it and live in our car with the amount of time we've been in it lately.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

With a Little Help From My Friends

We got back from North Carolina last night. It feels like we were gone for days but it was only 26 hours. Man.

We got into NC late Tuesday night. We stayed in Roanoke Rapids, NC which is about 20 or so miles over the border from Virginia. It's a pretty small town with not much there. Surprisingly, the hotel we stayed at was pretty nice. Our expectations weren't very high, but this hotel was brand new and nice.

Anyway, Wednesday we got up and had breakfast. We then had to find a store because John forgot clean underwear. He had this beautiful new suit but no clean unders. Well, he could have gone commando, but I guess that's inappropriate for a funeral. We found a Wal Mart of all places and all was well.

The funeral was just going to be a service at the grave site. It was in Weldon, which is the next town over from where we were staying. It's the town Archie's mom and dad were from. Archie will be buried next to his dad.

At the service, John saw tons of friends he hadn't seen in years. He saw people from his old home town that he hadn't seen since he was a young kid. The minister that conducted the service was great. After the minister, Glenn spoke. He was great. He had one comment that really rung true for me: someone isn't truly gone as long as you have the memories and thoughts about that person. We all have Archie stores. You couldn't know Archie without having a story. So, the big guy is always going to be with us.

After the service, we went to Archie's mom's house. This is the same house that Archie grew up in, and it's just around the corner from the house John grew up in. It was great to see old photos of Archie and hear all those guys that knew him so well tell the stories that weren't really appropriate for the funeral. It was great to see how happy John was to be with his friends, remembering Archie.

You know, as far as funerals go, this was actually a nice time. It wasn't about mourning and grieving, but truly celebrating Archie. Don't get me wrong, there were tears and sadness. Archie's mom and sisters are just distraught. But spending time with John's friends and Archie's family, talking about how great he is, and how crazy life is, was a good way of saying goodbye.

We're back home now. It was wonderful to kiss and hug Keller this morning. He had a great time with my dad. But now it's back to the real world.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beautiful Boy

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans...

This past weekend we went down to Williamsburg to see John's family. John also had a triathlon in Yorktown, which is a nearby town. We went down Saturday morning and got there around 3 or so.

They just moved into a new house that's on the James River (sort of). It's on an inlet that is off the river. Anyway, it's a really great house with lots of space and being on the water is a lot of fun. We didn't have time this weekend, but we can kayak out to the river and hang out. Lola went swimming a million times. She was in the water pretty much the whole time we were there. She's still recovering.

John's race was Sunday morning. It was a sprint triathlon and he really kicked its ass. He finished 83rd out of almost 400 men. He did so well, I am so proud of him. It was a hot, sweltering morning and I was soaked just running after Keller while the race was going on. I couldn't imagine having to race in that kind of weather. But John really enjoyed the race and will do it again next year.

After the race, we went back to the house, ate breakfast, cleaned up and got on the road. Keller slept the entire way home. We made really good time and were home in 2.5 hours, I think. Before we got home, I checked messages. There was a message from John's good friend from North Carolina, Glenn. He needed John to call him right away.

As we were coming in the door, Glenn called again. John took the call. And got the news: Archie died. Archie was John's best friend growing up. He's known him since he was 5. He's the brother he never had and he was the Best Man in our wedding. He was a big teddy bear of a guy. The kindest person you could meet. And now he's gone.

We still don't know what happened. He was at the beach with friends and he was found dead early Sunday morning. We're heading down to NC tonight for the services tomorrow. Hopefully we'll know more once we're there and able to speak to people face-to-face.

You know, when my grandmother died, while it wasn't entirely expected, it was to a certain degree because she was 89 years old. People that age die. But Archie was our age, a friend and friends aren't supposed to die.

John spoke with one of Archie's sisters and his mom last night. Ugh. They are torn up. It was a rough conversation for me to hear, I couldn't imagine how it was for John. He's pretty torn up too. How do you say goodbye to someone that played such a role in your life? The times he had with Archie are the ones that shaped his life. And what times they were!

So, think of Archie today. He was a smart, funny guy with a heart of gold. Think of the family and friends he left behind. They will miss him.

Take care, Big Boy.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This...


Yesterday was such a wasted day. I hate that. I feel like I got nothing accomplished.

I worked from home yesterday because we were supposed to have Verizon come out and hook us up to the FiOS TV. It's supposed to be great and awesome picture quality and cheaper than what we're paying now, etc. So, we were pretty excited about it.

They weren't supposed to come until between 1 and 5, so I was planning on doing my run in the morning. Well, I got all caught up with work stuff so I didn't even realize what time it was until around 11:30. There wouldn't have been enough time to run (I had an hour-long run to do) and shower before 1. Now, I know service people are rarely on time, but I knew that the one time I was in the shower or something, they would show up. So, I planned to do my run on the treadmill after Keller went to bed.

So, 1:00 rolls around. No Verizon. 2:00 rolls around. No Verizon. At 2:30, I picked up the phone to call John and heard that there was a message. We have voicemail and when we have a message the dial tone makes a funny sound. So I call to hear the message and it's from Verizon. They "were sorry they missed us on May 29th and we need to reschedule our hookup." What? May 29th? You're kidding me.

I call Verizon and there's a whole mix up and they're not coming and we need to reschedule. Well, I can't just reschedule without looking at my calendar to see when I can work from home, or speak with John and see when he could be home. Crap.

While I'm on the phone with Verizon, a huge ass thunderstorm comes through. All the deck furniture goes flying (thankfully, nothing broke) and Lola freaks the hell out. She peed all over the floor and pooped too. I had to clean all that up. Then the power went out. I couldn't do anymore work, even though I had battery power for the laptop, I didn't have internet. That was it. I just went to sleep. Though I had to put my ear plugs in and shut my door because Lola was crying. Now, I know I sound like a bad dog mom, but there is nothing you can do for that dog when she gets like that. Trying to calm her down is a waste of time. I put her downstairs so she could just wait it out. She was safe and me being around probably would have made her more nervous.

As I was sleeping, Peppertree (Keller's school) called. They lost power and I had to come get Keller. So I picked him up. He was in a good mood so we came home and played. Then he got a little crazy. He was jumping off the couch, running through the house like his pants were on fire, and just going nuts. I guess because he had been inside all day because of the storms. I thought it was going to be a great time trying to put him to bed. But he was actually fine. We read stories and played a little and then he went right to bed.

After Keller went to bed, I got ready for my run. As I was doing so, another storm came through. Lola freaked out and all that (thankfully, she didn't pee that time). I went downstairs to get on the treadmill. Well, I got about 10 minutes into the run when the power went out again. Great.

I went upstairs and read a magazine by the window so I could see. John came home and the power came back on. So I did my run and all was fine.

But I feel like the day was such a wash (no pun intended). It just was stinky. At least I didn't have to drive home from work, that would have been hideous. And I set up my new website for my coaching service. You must check it out because I love it!! Go to And if you know anyone that is interested in starting out as a runner or an experienced runner wanting to improve, send them my way. I offer virtual coaching, as well as face-to-face, so they don't even have to live here to get the benefits of me!

Well, hopefully today is a better day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Movin' Out

I just got off the phone with Melissa, who is my friend and neighbor in one of the town houses in my little cluster of houses. Guess what? The neighbors from hell that live next door to us are moving out.

Yee Ha!!

Let's get some back story here, shall we. The house next door to us is owned by a family that moved up to West Virginia. They rent out this town house. This family moved in late last year. It is a mom and her 4 kids, and some dude that smokes a lot. We always see him on the deck smoking. He is nice enough, but you can't go out on the deck without seeing him over there puffing away. Anyway, they don't have a car and in the beginning they would always need to use our phone to call a cab. I didn't mind but one time the mom came over while Keller was napping and Lola was barking and it was just a little annoying. I guess they finally got a phone because that stopped after a while.

It seemed like things would be fairly normal with this family. They were all very nice and while the kids were all teenagers, we never really had any cause for concern.

That didn't last.

For the past several months, there have been parties and music playing at all times of the day and night. It's been ridiculous. Music thumping, base vibrating the house. We've had pictures fall, vases broken. We've had to bang on the wall several times, go over there and ask them to turn it down, etc. They would tell us in advance that they would be having parties, as if that somehow made it all right. It started spiraling out of control in May.

The night before the Frederick Marathon was the first huge ass party. There were at least a hundred kids next door all night. I was able to get a little sleep, but probably not as much as I would have liked before a marathon. John had to sleep with his iPod on to tune out their thumping. Another party the following weekend was so bad, one of my neighbors in another group of townhouses had to call the police because there were kids outside her yard. There has been a party every weekend for the last month. The police have been called several times. We never see the mom there, but the smoking dude is always there. It doesn't matter, he's probably inside bumping along with the kids. The landlord was notified but didn't do anything.

The Friday of Memorial Day weekend was another party. We banged on the wall, we asked them to turn it down, etc. Nothing happened. Well, three of our neighbors called the police. The police came, the music was turned down. Life went on. Except that the president of our HOA contacted the lawyers and evicted them! And she has made it HOA policy that no one can rent out their home without the HOA approving the potential tenants. Yippy!

I am so excited, I cannot even put it into words yet. There's a small part of me that feels bad that an entire family is being displaced. But at the same time, my family has been totally displaced on several occasions. We own our home and shouldn't have to put up with bull shit like that. This isn't a college town, this is suburbia.

I can't wait to go home and see the empty house!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Eat It

What a weekend!

My parents came down for a visit this weekend and it was quite fun. On Friday, we went to the park with Mary and Noah, then had dinner and hung out. It was so nice to just hang out. Considering the last time I saw them was when my grandmother passed away, and there was so much stuff to deal with, this nice laid back visit was awesome.

Saturday, John and I went running with some friends. We never get to run together anymore, so it was nice. It's funny because most people go out for a date to a movie or something when they have the grandparents in town. We go running. Hey, it works for us. After our run, we went home, had breakfast and got cleaned up. Then we went shopping! For some reason, we always go shopping with my parents. It's fun. We went to REI to get Keller his sandals for the summer. OMG! I thought I was going to lose my mind. The store was busy, so it took a million years just to have someone help us. Then we had to get Keller's little feet measured. By the time it was our turn, he was spent, so we had to chase him around and force him to stand in that foot measuring device (which is actually called a Brannock device for those of you who care). Then we had to wait another million years for the person to actually get the shoes. Finally, we tried them on, and Keller tested them by running around the store and up and down the stairs. It was ridiculous. But his little shoes are so darn cute!

After that, my dad and John took Keller home for a nap and my mom and I continued shopping. When we were done, we went home and I got ready for my girls night.

Nine of us got all dressed up, went to dinner at Guapo's and then saw Sex in the City. It was a great time. The movie was cute, I cried. But I think it was the Sangria from dinner and not the movie itself. But I enjoyed it. It was just really nice to be out with the girls.

Sunday, we went to Ikea. I LOVE Ikea. I have been in an anti-clutter mode for a while with rearranging furniture and throwing stuff away. But I really needed to do something with our kitchen. Anyway, we went to Ikea and got some pantry cabinets and some other things to make our den more clutter-less. Once we were home, my parents left and we started getting things together with our new pantries.

As we were putting things together, Keller, who never took a real nap, was running around the house like a crazed lunatic. Seriously, it was like he ate a pound of sugar. Well, he was running around and runs into the living room where John is working on one of the pantry cabinets and Keller proceeds to tell him, "Eat shit, Papa." Um...what?

Yes, we heard correctly. Keller told his father to eat shit. And what's more, it was completely unprovoked. John was just doing his thing and Keller came in and said that. If it wasn't worrisome that he's going to say that to one of his teachers or little friends, it would be hysterical.

And who do we have to blame? Well, my parents of course. When my parents banter back and forth, it usually ends with an "Eat shit" or two. While they are in love and have been married for almost 40 years, they bicker like you wouldn't believe. But it's all said in jest. Anyway, they are the only two people that I hear saying that, so I know they must have said it in Keller's presence this weekend. But when I told my mother about it, she tried to blame me! I never say that! The nerve!

Anyway, my child now has the mouth of a trucker and he's probably going to get kicked out of school. And he's not even three.