Monday, December 5, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

I am now home after a great weekend in Las Vegas with friends. I am happy, sad and exhausted.

I drove to Las Vegas Friday afternoon. I have to say, it was a nice drive through the California and Nevada desert and mountains. It was nice to have the quiet time and be able to sing loudly without anyone telling me to be quiet. I must say that, based on the billboards along the way, the majority of people who drive along I-15 from San Diego to Las Vegas must be obese. I say this because the number of billboards advertising lap band surgery was pretty astounding. I was beginning to get a complex.

It was so so so good to see my friends. I met up with Steve and Tish and Kanayo from Maryland. They are dear friends and it was wonderful to see them, catch up and spend 3 days with them. Friday night we just got dinner, played some slots and talked.

We went to Dick's Last Resort for dinner. This place is hysterical. All the servers are rude and basically curse you out. This would be poor customer service if it weren't for the fact that we as customers can curse back without getting thrown out of the place. What everyone hopes for is that their server will place a paper hat on their head. These hats usually have something rude (albeit false and in jest) about the wearer written by the server. We all got hats except poor Steve. Apparently he wasn't hat-worthy.
Saturday we went to the race expo. The expo was pretty enormous. It's one of the largest race expos in the country. When we got there, it wasn't open yet, so people were lining up to get in. The line had to be at least half a mile long. We were thinking the whole process of getting our packet would take all day. But once they opened the doors to the expo, everything went very smoothly. We all had our packets within 10 minutes. The best part? Seeing the running Elvii. They were very cool. And I did see a few of them running the marathon Sunday night.

After the expo, we walked through the Venetian and had lunch. We had to go to the Mirage to pick up the tickets for the Beatles Cirque de Soliel show we were going to that night. The line for that was a mile long and not moving, so we all took turns going into the gift shop and walking around. The area where the show was so so cool! It was hard for me to not buy everything in the gift shop but I didn't leave empty-handed. Once we had the tickets and were done playing around in the shop, we headed back to our hotel. We stayed at the Luxor which was really such a let down compared to the other hotels. It's old and tired. The other hotels, while they may be the same age or only slightly newer, seem so much more alive and happening. While we stayed at the Luxor primarily out of convenience and proximity to the race start/finish, I would not stay there again.

Anyway, for dinner Saturday night, we went to B.B. King's restaurant, which was kind of lackluster. The food was fine, but nothing that really knocked my socks off.

After dinner we went to the Revolution Bar which is a bar in the Mirage that is essentially a Beatles bar. They only play Beatles music, which is definitely my kinda place! The place is very mod and psychedelic, all very cool. We had a great time there.

After drinks, we saw Beatles Cirque de Soliel, which was absolutely amazing. Whether you love the Beatles or not, this show is just too good to miss. But as a Beatles fan, I was just in absolute heaven. The show itself really touched on all senses. It was really a good show.

Sunday we really didn't do anything. We just hung out, ate and got ready for the race. The race itself was fun. I won't go into tremendous detail as I've written a race recap over at my running blog, so if you're interested you can read that post. But as this was my first race after the babies were born, I didn't really have any expectations. It went better than I thought it would and it feels good to be back among my people!

After the race, we were all pretty tired. We had grand plans of partying and shots and getting crazy. But when the time came, we just wanted to eat and then go to sleep, which is what we did. Everyone had early flights out this morning, so we had to say our goodbyes last night. It was sad for me because I don't know when I'll see them again. These people have been such good friends to me. They've been there for me when others haven't and have been an important part of my life. I miss them and I'm sad that I won't see them for some time. We're hoping to do something like this every year so hopefully I'll see them next year!

As I said in the beginning, I'm pretty exhausted, so I'm sure I'm leaving things out. If I think of anything, I'll be sure to edit this post. So check back in a few days!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Little Less Conversation

As you can tell from my silence, things have been busy here. We've been settling in nicely in our new home and getting more familiar with our new neighborhood. 

Keller is now fully immersed in school. He loves his class and his new friends. If you even mention Maryland, he will tell you how he is never going back there. He is 100% California boy now. As I type this, he's at the beach with John. We finally found a martial arts school that suits his needs. He's been going for about 2 weeks and he loves it. He's eligible to test for his next belt this coming weekend, so we'll see if he does in fact test. We're just excited to see him practice karate again. He really loves it. 

The girls are doing so well. I can't believe their over 8 months old now. They're such little characters. Ellen is always ready to smile and laugh, she's always happy. Brenna is also quick with the smile. They just warm our hearts! Brenna started crawling. She's not completely adept at crawling yet, but she's figured out how to do it and can go from one place to the other. Ellen isn't quite there but she's trying so very hard. She gets frustrated easily and I think that's what's keeping her from putting it all together. 

John is also doing well. He is loving his new job. He gets to do actual science and feels excited to go to work in the morning. It's nice to see him excited about work again. He's been biking to work as well. Hopefully as the kids get a little older and less high maintenance, we'll both be able to get back to the level of training we once had.

And I'm holding down the fort :) I launched my new business: Sole Health and Wellness. While I've always had my personal coaching business, I've brought it to California and I'm expanding to include group training programs and corporate wellness programs. I'll be offering group programs, beginning with one in my neighborhood, in the new year. But, in the meantime, you can checkout the website, get the latest health info and company updates by becoming a fan of the Facebook page and following us on Twitter. I continue to coach individuals privately, both in person and from afar, so if you know anyone that would be interested in learning how to run the right way or needs help bringing their running to the next level, tell them to get in touch with me at 

I'm still trying hard to get my running up to where I'd like it to be. Though, it's still not there. My sleep issues continue to thwart my efforts, though I am working on them. I am getting more sleep than I was, but I have a lot of making up to do. The lack of sleep is definitely affecting my running, so I'm just trying to get through as best I can. I have my first race since having the girls this coming weekend: the Las Vegas Half Marathon. I'm excited. But I'm also meeting some friends from back east there, so I'm probably more excited about seeing them. But the race will be good too!

And celebrating our first Thanksgiving here was such fun. We had two families here, so there was a total of 12 people. We had a great time. Lots of good food, lots of great wine (did I mention lots of wine?) and tons of fun. It was the beginning of a wonderful new tradition. 

I'll try not to let another 2 months go by without posting! Oh and "like" Sole Health and Wellness on Facebook!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I cannot believe we've been here a month now. And, on top of that, my girls are 6 months old today. I can't believe how much our lives have changed in the past 6 months. Really, we've had two of the biggest life changes one could have, at the same time. It's no wonder I can't sleep!

All in all, things are going well. We've pretty much settled into the house and it's definitely feeling like home. I think our routine is pretty well established. Keller is doing MUCH better in school. He's made some friends and seems really happy and excited about being there. That has been a relief.

The girls are doing so well. They're babbling, rolling around, almost sitting up without support and desperately trying to crawl. They want to move so badly. Honestly, I'm really not ready for them to crawl! If I could have things stay the same for just a week or two without anymore change, I will be very happy. But that's not going to happen!

My parents are coming this week for Keller's birthday. It will be so nice to have them here. Even though we just saw them a few weeks ago, it feels like it's been forever. I just feel so far away from everyone. The time difference is really hard to get used to as well. I always forget that we're 3 hours behind and then can't call anyone because it's too late on the east coast. Sigh.

Let's just hope we continue to find our way here!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roller Coaster

This week definitely had its ups and downs. On the up side, Keller is doing MUCH better in school. He's made new friends and is feeling a lot more comfortable. I spoke with his teacher and he's initiating things during lunch and recess and is doing extremely well. He seems much happier when I pick him up and really has his confidence back. He starts flag football after school on Monday, and I know that will help. I think life in California is suiting Keller extremely well.

I, on the other hand, am having a hard time. I don't know why, exactly. I just can't get my groove. I haven't been sleeping and that's really taken a toll on me. I was dealing with a cold or allergies or something, and then some fun stomach issues, this week and that didn't make things any better. But now that Keller is settling in a little better, I'm hoping that reduced stress will help me too.

I have been doing a lot of reflection and thinking about my life situation and why I'm having a hard time here. Aside from my day-to-day life being so different here, I'm still adjusting to being a mom of 3. I have to keep reminding myself of that. We have infants now, not just one but two, and that changes everything. All the time. I can't just go for a run, and I can't just go meet friends for lunch. I have to plan things out pretty strategically to get things done. John and I were talking about that just last night. With twins, you have a lot of advanced planning before you can really do anything. For now, there's not a lot of spontaneity in life. I'm not complaining, it's just a shift from how things were before the babies arrived. And that makes it hard to really get out and meet new people. So I'm just trying to remind myself that I need to give myself a break. I had a really great network back in Maryland. Between my professional and personal lives, I was part of a great community. Now I have to build that community again. That is what is hard. I am working on building the professional community in between naps, school pick up, unpacking, etc., and it's tough. And I'm trying to build my personal community in between all of that! Needless to say, it hasn't been easy. But I need to remember that, though it will take time and it will be a while before we feel really connected to things here, it will happen. We have a great family and we're living in a great area, and we'll find our place here before long.

I am trying as best I can right now. There's a fun run at a local store here that I've joined. It's the flagship store for Running Skirts, and the girls there are a lot of fun. I've only been able to make 1 run so far since I've been here, but another time I was at the store, someone was getting ready to run so I tagged along with her. That was fun too. With 3 kids and only 1 car, getting there has proven difficult. But the important thing is that I'm trying :)

I also joined the moms of multiples group here. I'm hosting my first playgroup on Monday. I think that will definitely help. Not to knock moms of singletons, as I am one myself, but moms with only one baby at a time just don't get how different having twins is and all that's involved. It's not just about doing everything times 2, there's more to it than that and it gets very overwhelming. So getting to know some other moms with twins will be really great.

And in a couple of weeks my parents come for Keller's birthday! It will be great to see them and I think that will definitely help lift my spirits. No matter how old I am, I will always need my mom and dad!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Achy Breaky Heart

There are moments when things Keller says just tear my heart out.

Yesterday he began first grade in his new school. He seemed so excited about it. When he woke up, he came running downstairs saying "It's my first day of school! It's my first day of school!" He was so cute. He got dressed in his new outfit that he picked out all on his own and got ready to go quickly. He put on his backpack and ran out the door.

We got the girls into their stroller and hit the road on our walk to school. Keller was still excited and was talking a mile a minute the whole way.

When we got to school, I think he felt really overwhelmed. This is a much bigger school than Goddard School and certainly has many more students. And with it being the first day of school, it was crazy. The mascot for the school is the eagle, so there was someone dressed in an eagle costume dancing around to Rocky. It was cute. There were kids and parents everywhere. Really, it was a madhouse.

We found Keller's classroom and sat there waiting for his teacher. As the other kids were starting to show up, Keller asked me, "What if the other kids don't like me?" My heart broke into a million little pieces. How could they not like my sweet boy?

For years now, Keller has had a life outside of us. He's been going to preschool and kindergarten and has had stuff happen in his day that I don't know about. However, Goddard was a really safe environment. It was small and low-key and just safe. For some reason yesterday made me realize that he's entering into a different world. A world that I have no control over what happens to him. Kids are mean and they're going to say mean things to him. He's going to get his feelings hurt and there's nothing I can do about it. He's sad right now because he doesn't know anyone at school and it breaks my heart. He said during recess he just walked around the playground because he felt lost. I wanted to jump out a window. When we asked about lunch and if he liked eating outside, he said yes but that he ate alone because no one sat next to him. I want to puke just thinking about it again.

He's such a sweet boy and I know he'll make friends quickly. But seeing him sad just kills me. I've never seen him like this and I don't know what to do. I keep telling myself that it's only been a day and he'll be all right. And he's not the only new person in his class. Maybe I'm reading too much into his behavior, but he just seems different. I hope it's just that he's nervous and overwhelmed by the new situation and not a change in him. He's always been confident and really good at making friends. He had 3 new friends within minutes of moving into our house. Unfortunately though, those boys aren't in his class.

I wish I could make things easier for him. I wish I could be there with him and help him meet his classmates. I just want to see him smile again and feel comfortable about his new classmates. This is the part of parenting that really gets me. I don't want him to feel any sadness or feel alone. But it's a part of life and everyone experiences it. Even my sweet boy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jet Airliner

I've been in CA for 2 and a half days now. Honestly, it feels like we've been living here for a while. It's amazing how seemless the transition has been. I'm a California girl at heart, always have been. I've always been a free spirit and have marched to the beat of my own drum all my life. And our lifestyle is very west coast. Perhaps that's why I've always felt at odds in Maryland. I always had a hard time connecting with people and with Montgomery County, in general. It's weird because I'm a New Yorker. You'd think I'd do well in a place like Montgomery County. But MoCo is a different place than the rest of the east coast and while there are some truly wonderful people there that will be in my life forever, I'm not going to miss that place at all.

The trip out here with the babies and my mom could not have been better. While traveling with two babies through an airport is hectic just by definition, I think it all went really well. My uncle and aunt were staying with us in NY leading up to us leaving for CA and, if I had listened to my uncle, I would have thought the world would stop spinning and life as we know it would be over. I love my uncle, don't get me wrong, but he tends to find the negative things in every situation. I don't know if he's just a "expect the worst" kind of person, because in actuality, he's a very positive, giving person. I don't know. I don't try to understand. Anyway, every detail of our impending travel would cause him to point out the ways things could go terribly wrong. You're leaving at 9:00am? NOOOO! You have a layover? HORROR! You get the idea.

Well, getting to the airport with all of our stuff and the babies required two cars. That was hilarious. I was going to stuff myself in the back of my dad's SUV with all the suitcases, but I didn't fit. The babies' carseats take up the entire backseat, so I could sit there. Two cars it was. I really should have my own reality show. I require an entourage just to get to the airport.

Of course Ellen pooped on the way to the airport. And it was a mess that required a new outfit (of course). After we checked in, went through security and found the gate, we changed her and then fed them. Security really wasn't bad at all. Everyone was very helpful and the process was pretty smooth. Boarding the plane was fine as well. Again, everyone was ready to help us and there weren't any issues.

The first flight to Chicago went well. It was short, so that made things easy. The girls slept and were really good with take off and landing. The layover in Chicago went well too. We changed and fed them and then boarded the flight to San Diego. This was a 4 hour flight, so I was a little nervous as to how it would go. The girls slept for the first hour or so, then hung out. Ellen pooped again and I was surprised that the bathroom wasn't too terrible for baby changing. It wasn't a roomy palace, but I only hit my head a couple of times. That's successful in my book. We then fed them, which went well. I was nervous about making bottles while trying to hold a baby. But it worked out, thankfully. The people we were sitting with were helpful and offered extra hands. Brenna pooped, but it wasn't one of her monster poops, so I didn't have to get my hazmat suit on. Then the girls slept and we touched down in SD. They were a little fussy as the plane landed, which was probably due to the air pressure changing. Overall they were perfect.

And now we're here!! The house is in disarray and we've been busting our asses unpacking. But it's starting to get together. Keller already has a couple of friends on our block and they all run in and out of each others' houses all day. We've met a few of the neighbors and everyone seems really nice. Once a month during the summer, they show a movie in the park around the block from our house. This is the community's big rec park with baseball fields, splash park, dog run, etc. It's just the community park for residents. Anyone can go there, obviously, but it's our community park. I'm not describing this well. Anyway, they showed Tangled last night and everyone laid in the baseball field on blankets and watched the movie under the stars. We were freezing and had to put on jackets and cuddle under a blanket. Imagine that, freezing in August!! Then we just walked home.

It's definitely feeling like home...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Silent Night

I love my mom dearly. But Oh. My. God. Woman can snore.

For the past week we've been sharing a bed. At my house in Maryland, it was because, for the night before we left, we only had one bed. Here in NY, we have lots of house guests. So we figured it would be easiest to share a bed. Yeah, easy for you!

The first night I didn't wear my ear plugs. I don't remember why but I didn't wear them and I think I got maybe 3 hours of sleep that night. But since then, I've worn them each night. And I can still hear her!!

I have these great ear plugs. I'm a fairly light sleeper and John has been known to snore and talk in his sleep, so they work well for me. They're made for swimmers and they kind of adhere to your ears. Nothing gets through. Except the insanely loud snores from a tiny little Italian woman.

I've worn the ear plugs each night since that first, wall-shaking night. I can STILL hear her. The bed shakes. The walls rattle. I'm afraid she's going to inhale the curtains.

In her defense, she does have a little cold. But that defense can only carry her so far. I just hope I don't smother her before this odyssey is through.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello Goodbye

We made it out of Maryland!

Last week was a true test of patience. Between Friday, August 5th and Wednesday, August 10th, I think I aged 12 years. Here's the breakdown:

We met with the closing agent and signed all the documents to close on the house. I had the babies with me, so it was a crazy 2 hours of signing, feeding, changing, rocking, phone calls from Keller's new school, phone calls from the new owners of our Maryland house asking questions, etc. Seriously, I wanted to cry.

We had some final work to do on the house and some packing to do during the day, but in the evening, it was our going away party. It was a fun but emotional night for me. I hate saying goodbye (does anyone actually like it?) and it was particularly tough that night.

Sunday was my birthday. It was an odd day. We had a nice morning and John made us breakfast after we danced to the Birthday song. We were supposed to go paddle boarding but thunderstorms changed our plans. We got to the place and all set to go out and then the skies opened up. We waited for a while but they had to cancel the lesson. Oh well. We then went appliance shopping for the house. Yes, it was lovely looking at refrigerators and washers and dryers on my birthday. Actually, it really wasn't that bad, but I did have to laugh at the romance of it all.

I got a call from the Escrow agent in CA that we didn't sign all of the closing documents and we had to sign more. They sent them but didn't really give us much in the way of instructions. We signed where we thought we were supposed to sign and sent them back. We managed to go out for a birthday dinner and the babies did really well.

The packers arrived in the morning and started putting our life in boxes. John, my dad, Keller and Lola took off for the drive across the country, leaving us to supervise packing up the house and moving on. I got another call that we didn't sign the papers correctly and at that point, we didn't have internet so I had to go into work to print and fax the papers back. After about an hour or so, I got another call that there were even more papers to sign so back to work I went. Such a pain in the ass. The packers finished around 6pm. Some friends came over for more goodbyes and then it was off to bed. We didn't sleep well at all and were not looking forward to Wednesday.

The movers arrived bright and early to load the truck. Once the truck was packed we were going to head up to NY to my parents' house and stay there until we flew to CA. Right off the bat the movers started complaining that the packers didn't pack things correctly and there was a lot more stuff than they anticipated and they weren't sure if it would fit on the truck. Yes, that was great to hear. They worked throughout the day and it was looking less and less likely that we would be heading to NY that day. Around 4:00 I asked when they thought they would be done and if they thought we should get a hotel room. They assured me they would be done in a couple of hours. About 30 minutes later one of the movers was moving a dresser out of the front door. He should have been moving it with someone as he managed to lose his footing and fall backwards, putting a hole in the wall. He was fine, the dresser was fine, but the wall was not. Then the movers started complaining about their boss and getting paid, etc. Know what? Not my problem. What was my problem was getting the hole in the wall fixed. Thankfully and weirdly, a handyman in the neighborhood was walking by and struck up a conversation with the driver of the truck. It was revealed that he was a handyman and he said he would fix the hole. So that process began.

Fast forward another few hours. Finally, at 10:00pm, (15 hours later) the movers were done. They had packed the truck and everything fit. All the bitching and moaning on the part of the movers was for nothing and the stress it induced for me was for nothing. Bitches.

My mom and I got on the road at 10:30. The drive was uneventful until Brenna pooped about 30 minutes from our destination. She pooped so much and was in a weird position that it leaked out and seeped through the strap holes in the car seat onto the seat of the car. FUN to deal with at 3:30 in the morning. Finally at 4:08am, we arrived at my parents' house.

It was pleasantly uneventful for the remainder of the week and weekend. The deed of our CA house was recorded on Thursday and we were officially California residents. That was a relief to know we wouldn't be transients for too much longer. My brother and sister-in-law came Friday night for the weekend and some dear friends that weren't able to see us before we left drove up Saturday. It was a great weekend of spending time together.

John and the crew arrived in San Diego Saturday night. They were able to get to the house and check things out. Everything looked good and Keller was really happy with the house.

Everyone left here Sunday. I was off for the rest of the day. It was emotionally draining for me to say goodbye to everyone and I just wanted to crawl under a rock. But the babies decided they were going to be fussy for the night and my hopes of just going to bed were thwarted. Oh well.

My uncle and aunt arrive from Florida today. So we'll have time with them and some more family and friends today and tomorrow and then it's off to CA. Just a couple more days of being a squatter. Thank GOD!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Final Countdown

It's one week until we leave Maryland. I'm actually a little reluctant to say that because there's a chance closing on our house in California will be delayed. That doesn't really sit well with me because there's so much we have to do before we leave and we kind of don't have that much time to do it in. I can't even think about it.

I have so much swirling around in my head right now and I don't really know where to begin with this post. A part of me wants to go into the emotional side of things. I've been saying goodbye to a lot of people lately and it's really wearing me down. But talking too much about that really tears me up. A part of me wants to talk about the people I'm going to miss the most, and perhaps the people I'm going to miss the least, but I wouldn't want to single anyone out ;) And then I could go on about the stress of it all. I feel overwhelmed by it all but yet I am not freaking out as much as maybe I should be. I mean, I'm not sleeping well, which is how the stress is manifesting for me. I haven't been able to run much, which is also having negative effects on me.

I just feel like things have been moving so fast, but yet moving in slow motion at the same time. It's a strange feeling. We're in limbo for a lot of things and that is what is feeling like slow motion. Yet, at this time next week I'll be locking my house up for the very last time and heading out of Maryland.

When we closed on our Maryland house last week, I unexpectedly cried as we left the closing. This is the longest I've lived someplace other than the house I grew up in. To think about everything that has happened for us in the 10 years we've lived in this house makes my head spin. My babies came home to this house. The memories we have here are just too great to even put into words. It's really hard to believe that we won't be here anymore. I know that we will have a wonderful life in California and I know we will make new memories. This is just a stop on our road. I get that, but it doesn't make it any easier to leave.

But what makes this even more weird is that there are things, people, places, etc. that are making it really easy for us to leave. Which kind of hurts, in a way. Especially the people aspect. There are people that we thought were part of our lives here, that we thought we were important to, but, as it turns out, we apparently are not. Some "friends" haven't even made an effort to see us before we leave. No calls, no emails, no texts. Nothing. That sucks.  To come to the conclusion that a friendship you thought was important, where you thought YOU were important to someone and vice versa, is very difficult. And to have to deal with those emotions on top of everything else is very hard. But I guess this is an example of how people, places, things, etc., come in and out of your life for a reason. There's a place and time for everything and I guess these people, places and things served their purpose for our time here, but their usefulness has been worn out.

So it's with mixed feelings and emotions that I go through this last week here in Maryland. When I close my door for the final time, I will do my best to focus on the happy times here, the things that made me grow as a person and all of us grow as a family. I will focus on the people that mean the world to me and the bonds that are between us that will never break. And I'll look out and know that there are wonderful things in store for us.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

People Are People


The other day I posted about how some people are rude and say the most ridiculous things to me regarding my babies. Well, it really isn't limited to the babies. People have been saying ridiculous things to me regarding a number of different topics, the most recent being our upcoming move to San Diego.

For the most part, people have been somewhat supportive regarding our move. Several people have said they're happy for us and wish us nothing but happiness. We like those types of comments. But several people have felt the need to point out what's wrong with San Diego and basically tell us all the negative things we should expect when we move there. Last night was no different. We're among friends we haven't seen in a while and as we're enjoying the 4th of July cookout we're informed of the negative things about San Diego. Let's go through some of them, shall we?

1. It's expensive.
 Really? Um, we live in Montgomery County, the richest county in Maryland. Cost of living is about the same as north San Diego county, where we're moving. Bite me.

2. The traffic is terrible.
Again, we live outside of DC. We have the worst traffic in the nation. Really, it's rated worse than Los Angeles and New York.

And that's about it. End of conversation.

Why do people do this? Why do people feel the need to inform you of all the negative aspects of something? It's as if they're doing you a favor by telling you what's wrong with the situation. Like they're helping you out. You know, because I'm apparently an idiot and can't find these things out on my own. This happens all the time. I tell someone some news and BOOM, negative comments. Why? Is it to cut me down to make me feel bad about my situation? Why would someone do this, especially someone that supposed to be a friend? When we told people we were having twins, I couldn't believe how insensitive and rude some of the comments from "friends" were. My personal favorite was "better you than me." You think?

Honestly, I really feel sorry for people like this. They have to be seriously miserable people. You know, I haven't always been 100% gung-ho about this move. But it's happening and I have to be positive about it or I'll just be miserable. Do people really think we'd uproot our entire family just for the heck of it? This is what has to happen for us. It's John's job, it's not like we're just moving there for no reason. So, why fight it? It's not like we're moving to Nebraska (no offense to the Nebraskans). We're moving someplace that people visit for vacation. It's called America's Finest City for a reason. Be happy for us or keep it to yourself. Life is too short to wander through it miserably. And we don't need miserable people in our lives.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poker Face

My latest obession happens to be a TV show. One night when I was up with the girls, I stumbled upon Piers Morgan Tonight. I'm liking this Piers Morgan guy.

I believe Piers took over for Larry King when he retired last year. I don't know why but I really like the way Piers interviews people. He's extremely well prepared and he always relates the interviewee to himself in some way. It's very personable and it makes the interviewee feel at ease. And when they feel at ease, they talk freely. And talk they do.

Anyway, I watched his interview with Barry Manilow recently. I love me some Barry Manilow. I have fond memories of a road trip with my mom and dad, blasting Barry and all of us singing along. They came to visit me at school for spring break. We drove from Tempe to San Diego and sang the whole way. It was fun. But, back to the interview. Actually, my thoughts really have nothing to do with the interview itself but more of Barry's looks. The poor man can't move his face. Really, it doesn't move when he talks. Is this healthy? How does he still sing and perform? And one of the questions Piers asked was if Barry is vain. He said he was as vain as the next guy. What does that mean?

I'm not going to say he looks horrible and make fun of him. I'm wondering why people do this to themselves. I get not wanting to look old and haggard. Trust me, I look in the mirror and wonder where my youth went. I think I've aged 10 years in the past year. But I wouldn't mess with my face so much so that it wouldn't move when I talk.

It was an interesting series of questions/comments that preceded Piers' 'vain' question. Apparently, Barry Manilow made some comments about how he, Bette Midler and Lady Gaga, despite the size of their noses, have become enormously successful. That perhaps all the ridicule they've received because of their honkers made them the superstars they are. I agree with this!! I was made fun of day and night because of my nose. It haunted me. I wanted a nose job desperately. But my parents wouldn't let me (thankfully). So, according to Barry's theory, I will be a superstar someday. Is it too late? I think I still will hit it big. Just watch.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Karma Chameleon

Let's just get right down to it. People are rude. They may think they're being friendly or funny, but really, they're just rude.

Since having the girls, I have come across some really nice people. Complete strangers offer help and are really very nice. But there are also those people that are so ridiculous you wonder how they survive in the real world. If they say some of the rude things to me, a stranger, I can only imagine what they say to people they know.

The latest rude happening was at the post office the other day. Now, this is quite a tame example, but it's the most recent. I've certainly encountered worse, but this one is most fresh in my mind.

I was leaving the post office with the girls in their double stroller when a man offered to hold the door for me (not the rude part). As I walked through the door, he saw the girls and asked if they were twins. I said yes and smiled. I wondered to myself what could have possbly given it away that they were twins. Was it the fact that they are exactly the same size and shape? But I digress. The man asked if they were both girls. I smiled and said yes (because apparently the pink ribbons and bows weren't obvious enough). Here is what happened next:

Man: Are they both girls?
Me: Yes (smile)
Man: Oh, that's no good (no smile)
Me: You should think of the positives not the negatives (smile)
Man: You have 2 weddings to pay for. Better hope they marry rich.
Me: That's the way to think (not smiling)

I don't think he sensed the sarcasm in my statement.

Really, what would possess someone to say such a rude thing? First of all, I think I'm aware of my financial future with regard to my children. I've thought about it once or twice and I don't need rude men to point things out for me. Second of all, they are tiny little sweet babies and if we have to pay for 5 weddings between all 3 kids, then we'll find a way to make it work. They may not be the most lavish weddings and they may take place in our living room, but they will be the most wonderful living room weddings to ever take place. Mind your own business, people!

And, keep in mind, this scene doesn't even scratch the surface of rude. You'd be horrified at some of the things people have said or asked me in reference to my girls. It makes me cringe.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Black Coffee In Bed

I was in rare form this morning. Before I get into my proud moment of the day, let me just fill you in on how I've been feeling. I feel yucky. I have not been sleeping well for some time. I think it started in San Diego when I was having a hard time with the time change. I finally slept well our last night there only to come home and have to get back on east coast time. Then the stress really started piling up with getting our house ready for the market. Ever since then, I barely sleep at night. I fall asleep but wake up early and can't go back to sleep. So I've been exhausted, stressed and grumbly.

Anyone that knows me knows I enjoy my coffee. I really enjoy my coffee. Well, you can imagine how much I've been drinking for the past few weeks since I haven't been sleeping well. This morning was no exception. After another early wake-up call, I went downstairs and turned on the trusty Keurig. I LOVE my Keurig. I mean lurve that Keurig.

Anyway, I go downstairs and turn on the Keurig. It's still dark and I don't turn on any lights except that light that's above the stove. We keep that on overnight. I stick my yummy Donut People coffee k-cup into the machine and press "brew." I get my phone and sit down to check my email while brewing.

After it's done, I go over to get it. But I don't notice my coffee mug in the machine. So I question whether or not I actually brewed the coffee. I couldn't have brewed it. I put my mug in and press "brew." I get the coffee and go downstairs to the office to do some work.

About an hour later, John comes down to the office and asks me if I had any coffee. I looked at him like he was nuts and he said that there was coffee all in the tray of the Keurig (See picture above. The tray is where the coffee mug is to go). Apparently I did brew the coffee the first time and it spilled all in the tray since I didn't have my mug there. I didn't see it because I didn't have any lights on. I don't know what I thought I did, but I was pretty sure I hadn't brewed the coffee. Well, I did.

So there you go. I'm an idiot. I'm a tired, non-sleeping, stressed out idiot.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

With a Little Help From My Friends

Yesterday I finally posted to my running blog for the first time in 7 months or so. I mean, I haven't been running so what was the point of writing? As the post explains, there was more to it than that.

In case you don't want to read it, I'll sum things up for you here: I need help. I hate asking for it but I'm asking anyway. I cannot find my way back to running and it's really tearing me up. I try to get out when I can but it's been so hard with everything we have going on. So the inconsistency is making my runs difficult. Which makes me get down on myself. Which makes me not want to's a vicious cycle. So I'm reaching out to whomever may want to listen, runners and non-runners alike, that I need help getting back on track.

You all know how running has always been my saving grace. And when we were going through the loss of our baby, it was the only thing that made me feel like I wasn't a failure. And I've tried to remind myself of that now. I have tried just about every trick I know to motivate myself to get back out there. But nothing works. If I'm honest with myself, I'll say that it's more than just being busy that's keeping me from running. I don't know what it is, but there is something bigger that's preventing me from getting that drive. What has changed? I don't know.

I was so lost during the time I was on bed rest with the girls. Sure, I put on a brave face and tried to stay postive. But the stress of the pregnancy, the isolation from being on bed rest and some other factors just screwed me up. And now, for some reason, I still feel that way. I now have the stress of moving, coupled with the stress of dealing with my new life and family dynamic. I have the isolation from my friends, who for some reason think we've already moved and have stopped including us in anything. I still feel lost. I'm in limbo between my life here and starting over in a new place. And it's screwing with me.

I know I can hang things up and try again when things aren't so stressful. I know that's an option. Really though, it's not an option for me. I need to feel like myself again. I need to feel like I'm not spinning out of control and that's what running is for me. So what do I do? How do I make this work when everything else hasn't worked?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Our house went on the market today. Well, technically it's not on the market until tomorrow but the sign is in front of our house. I thought I was going to puke all over the place when I saw it.

I have come to the point where I feel overwhelmed. There is just too much going on and there has been too much change or impending change. I feel like my head is spinning and my stomach is in knots.

While we're looking forward to moving to San Diego, selling our house has to be one of the most stressful things ever. And it's not even on the market yet! For weeks I've been purging and cleaning, selling stuff, etc. All while trying to care for my family and work. I am kind of spent and the real stress hasn't even started. When the house goes on the market, trying to keep the house clean and get out when people want to see it will be hard with the babies and the dog.

I have so many mixed feelings about this move. We were out in San Diego last week and had such a nice time. We've narrowed down where we want to live and our favorite is San Elijo Hills in San Marcos. It's northeast from downtown and it's in the mountains. It will be a bit of a drive for John but nothing crazy. It's about 24 miles from his office. Nothing too terrible. But the neighborhood is beautiful, very family friendly and about 10 miles from the coast. It's cooler because it's at elevation but nice because it doesn't have the coastal marine layer that hangs for the most part of the morning. We've found the closest running stores, so that's important. The schools are insanely good. I know we'll all be so happy there and life will be good for us. But leaving my friends and family is going to be hard. Really, we only have another 2 months here. And so much will be going on that I don't even know if we'll be able to see anyone! I feel really isolated right now and it's hard.

I think the thing that will give me the biggest relief will be selling our house. Once that's done we can make an offer on a house out there. Please, Gods of Real Estate, please shine down on us and find a buyer!! Please, please, please!!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In Limbo

I hate this feeling.

I feel like I'm in limbo in so many ways. With the impending move, there are so many things we can't do until we're actually there (like enroll Keller in school, which is a big one). But it's more than the move. I feel like my life is in limbo too.

When we were expecting the twins, we were definitely in limbo. I couldn't do anything being on bed rest and we just didn't know what to expect with regard to taking care of them and how our new family dynamic would play out. But I thought the feeling of being in-between-things would go away once they arrived. Now that we're almost 3 months post-pregnancy, the feelings haven't gone away. There are so many times I have to tell myself "when the babies are older," or "once we're settled in the new place." I hate it.

The most upsetting has been trying to get back into running. It has been so hard to find the time, let alone the energy, to get a run in. So, I just feel gross. I can't lose the remainder of the baby weight, I feel sluggish and just plain disgusting. The babies are sleeping longer at night, so maybe that will make a difference for me. But the thing is, I'm working so hard to get the house ready and pack, in between taking care of the girls, Keller, everyday tasks and still working. I'm exhausted and the last thing I want to do is wake up early to run. Trust me, as a coach, I know all the little things to try to get myself motivated and back on track. The problem is I just feel overtaxed. It's important for me to be good to my body right now since it's been through so much in the last couple of years. I know getting back into shape will make a huge difference in how I feel. I guess I'm just finding it hard to balance taking care of everything I need to do and taking care of myself.

No words of wisdom from me today. Just needed to vent...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


As if we haven't had enough life change in the past few months, we're now planning a San Diego.

John works for the J. Craig Venter Institute here in Rockville. Craig Venter, the founder and guru of DNA, has a sister Institute out in La Jolla. When it was first built several years ago, we half-jokingly said that we wanted to move out there. It would be wonderful to live there. When in school in Arizona, I visited SD several times and just love it there. However, I'm an east coast person and my friends and family are all here.

Anyway, fast forward to 2011 and we're pregnant with twins. There's an offer for John to transfer out to SD to get this new technology up and running at that facility. The thinking is that most of the Rockville facility will be transferred out to SD in the coming years. And after a series of events that I won't go into, we decided moving to SD is our best option.

I have mixed feelings about it. While I love it out there and I know the kids will love growing up in California, my family is here! We JUST had twins and I'm at a time in my life where I want to be near my family. And while they aren't right here, they're a drive away. That will no longer be an option.

I know ultimately, this is a good thing for us. It's a great opportunity for John and when I'm ready to go back to work, there is great opportunity for me too. And as a runner, I can't ask for a better place to train! The kids will love going to the beach whenever we want. There's the zoo, Seaworld, Lego Land, Disneyland a couple of hours away and so much for them to do. It will be hard leaving the wonderful friends we have here but I know there are friends waiting for us there. And we do know people there, so it's not like we'll be completely alone. This will be a good thing.

So now we're knee-deep in getting our house ready for the market and searching for a place there. We're headed out there in less than 2 weeks to check things out. My only wish is that this process goes as smoothly as possible and we are able to move with little bumps in the road.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tired of Waiting

I'm currently waiting to see my doctor for my 6-week post babies visit. Apparently he's an hour behind schedule. I'm not really tired of waiting but that's the song title that has come to mind.

Anyway, the office staff let all of us know he was running behind. Most people were fine but one woman was pretty pissed. I get that. We have schedules too.

For some reason I'm not too upset. Maybe its because I'm here alone as John is home with the girls. It's pretty sad when going to the doctor becomes "me time." But that's how it is right now. But I'm also not too upset because my doctor is a rock star and well worth the wait.

I first started seeing him regularly when I was pregnant with Keller. He just takes such care with his patients. He calls me on the weekend with test results. He calls at night when he knows I'm worried. He calls even when I haven't called him just to make sure I'm doing all right. I've never had a doctor give a crap the way he does. I wish I could see him for everything!

So any doctors out there: take notice! Your patients will like you much better if you actually take the time to listen to them. They'll forgive the bad schedules and other inconveniences when you treat us well. Don't treat us like an inconvenience!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Who Needs Sleep

My babies are 5 weeks old today!

It has flown by. I feel like a year has gone by since they were born.

The first two weeks were pretty good in that the babies were eating and sleeping well and we thought we had it made. They are still good babies, but they are definitely developing their temperament and flexing their fussy muscles. The worst time of the day is between 6:00 and 8:00pm when it's starting to get dark. I think they have a hard time transitioning from day to night. But the past 2 nights have been good. Hopefully that will continue.

My parents stayed with us for 4 weeks, which was amazing. I don't think we could have survived without them. It was helpful for me to get the sleep and rest I needed to recover from surgery. I have had a really hard time getting back on my feet. Being on bedrest for so long and then the surgery, I get tired quickly and my body just can't hold out for very long. Plus dealing with two babies at the same time is a very physical job. I'm up and down, running around everywhere. Just taking them out in the car seats is a strength training session. And feeding them at the same time is a full-contact sport.

So this was the first week without my parents here. I have to admit that I was terrified of being on my own with the babies. Dealing with newborn twins is extremely difficult and you don't know how hard it is until you're actually doing it. No amount of preparation can really prepare you. The exhaustion is just beyond belief. Right now the girls are eating every 2-3 hours, but sometimes it's less than 2 hours. Sometimes they're not on each other's schedule and I can feed one at a time. But I finish with one and then feed the other, so I'm never really done because so little time goes by before I need to feed the first one again. Then when they're on the same schedule and I have to feed both of them at the same time, it's insane. Seriously, there is nothing more stressful than trying to feed two babies at the same time.

In addition to this being my first week on my own, it was also Keller's spring break off school. So I was dealing with him as well. While he's fairly self-sufficient, he's still only 5 and needs help with things. Or just wants things. And has a lot of energy. A LOT of energy. There was one point where I was trying to feed both the babies at the same time and he's running around throwing toys in our faces. He also likes to stick his face in their face when they're sleeping...which usually wakes them up. Oh, it was a fun week.

But we survived. The girls are now starting to smile here and there. They're making more eye contact and interacting more. And I could just eat their cheeks. They're filling out more as they gain weight and their cheeks are getting round and delicious! It's only going to get better from here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


As I sit here holding a sleeping Ellen, I still can't believe these babies are here. It's been 9 days since their birth and it feels like they've been here much longer.

Their birthday was surreal. As I've mentioned before, there were growth concerns so we were scheduled to deliver earlier. I was 37 and a half weeks, which is full term, so everyone was confident that they would be all right. But there was always a chance they would have to go to the NICU. The main concerns were their weight, breathing issues and their blood sugar being too low.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:45am, Friday, March 18th. After checking in, we were taken to our prep room in Labor and Delivery. I was hooked up to the monitors and IV and the nurse  took my medical history. John changed into his surgery outfit. The doctor and surgical team arrived and it all started to get a little crazy because they wanted to keep the schedule on time. Things had been quiet and calm which was nice. I didn't have a c-section with Keller so I was pretty nervous and didn't know what to expect.

I was taken into the OR and given the spinal. They laid me down and started strapping me in. I was basically in a 'T' with my arms outstretched. I do not like not being able to move and started having a panic attack. I was overwhelmed with anxiety about the surgery, I was overwhelmed that the babies were coming and I started getting a little freaked out. John wasn't allowed in the room yet and I thought I was going to lose it. My doctor is so awesome. He took my hand and comforted me, telling me everything would be fine and there was no reason to be nervous. We have been through the hard part already. I will miss seeing him every week!

John came in and it was go time. I can't believe how fast it all happened. Within minutes, the babies were arriving. Ellen Joanna was born at 8:34am. The Neonatalogists took her and examined her. She was 5 lbs, 4 oz and perfect. She was squeaking and had no signs of any problems. It took her a while to open her eyes because her eyelashes are so long and were stuck on her cheeks! Then Brenna Jane was born at 8:36am. She was 5 lbs, 5 oz and also perfect. She too was squeaking and had no problems. Her eyelashes were also stuck but she was able to open her eyes up pretty quickly. John brought the babies to me and we cried. It was a mixture of relief, excitement and maybe a little worry, but it all felt good.

We were all rolled into recovery and it was all good. There were no problems at all. No NICU at all! They were perfect in every way.

Really, we could not have had a better morning. All the concern was short-lived and our sweet girls arrived without any problems. We couldn't have asked for a better delivery. And they are really good babies. They eat and sleep well, don't fuss too much and just fill our hearts! Keller is a proud big brother. While he's not always super excited about their presence, he's happy to have his baby sisters here and things start to return to normal. His Mama can play with him again and even though we have a new normal, things are pretty good for him. His sisters even got him some presents!  Overall, Keller is handling it very well.

We are so lucky and feel so grateful for our wonderful family!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Long and Winding Road

I was hoping I'd be able to post this before the babies arrived but the week before their birth was a whirlwind.

Even with the flurry of preparing for their arrival, it was a very reflective time for me. All the buildup was finally coming to a head. I had to take a moment to reflect on the pregnancy.

Really, this journey began in February of 2009 when we decided we were ready for another baby. I can't go into the months that followed because thinking about our loss is still very painful. And that time was my darkest. So when we found out we were pregnant the day before the year anniversary of our loss, it was more than just a coincidence. Still, we were guarded and terrified we would have the same result we did a year earlier.

When we found out we were having twins, it felt even more like this was a sign that maybe our luck was changing. Maybe we were destined to have the family we really wanted and this second baby was an added blessing. Again, we were scared but extremely hopeful.

There were problems, of course. But even with the problems, our doctor was so confident that things would work out. We put our trust and faith in him.

Then the work began. I had surgery in September. That was a tough surgery for me with a hard recovery. Then I went on bed rest in October. Then I started the weekly progesterone shots to prevent preterm labor. Then the gestational diabetes diagnosis. Then the contractions began which led to medication every 4 hours, including overnight. Then towards the end of the pregnancy there were growth concerns because the placentas were starting to poop out.

We worked so hard for these babies. We worked hard for Keller too, as that was a hard pregnancy too. So when people "joke" that we'll be so busy and crazy because of twins, that our life won't be our own and any other negative things, I just laugh. This is what we wanted. This is what we have been working for. Do you really think we would have gone through all of this if it wasn't what we wanted? Seriously, just the 5+ months of bedrest is proof that we would do whatever it took to have our babies.

Life always has a way of working out. It doesn't always seem like it in those dark times, but as I look at my newborn daughters, I can't help but be hopeful that life will work out. We may not always have peace but we will live with joy everyday.

Even though the rough and bumpy road to get here has ended, our journey isn't over. We are now blessed with these two beautiful babies, a wonderful son and a lifetime of possibilities ahead of us.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mama He's Crazy

How could I not write about Charlie Sheen?

A part of me is enjoying the train wreck. It's amusing at times and makes for some good jokes. I personally like "I'm on a drug and that drug is Charlie Sheen." But another part of me thinks the madness needs to stop. The media need to stop indulging him with interviews and opportunities for him to spew his crazy. The guy has 5 children, all of them young. FIVE children. Think about that for a moment. There are 5 children that are going to have to deal with this mess at some point in their lives. It's one thing to grow up with a crazy parent. But it's another thing entirely that the craziness is captured on TV and magazines, online, etc. Over and over again.

I understand the need to hear about celebrity news as an escape from the "real" news. Trust me, I watch the news everyday and I can't take it sometimes. I'm terrfied of the rising fuel and food costs and worry we won't be able to afford much in the very near future. Hearing about the unrest in the Middle East is frightening. I also think the media punch up their stories and make them more frightening than they really are (which is a topic for another time). Celebrity gossip is a welcome distraction from the stress of everyday life. But really. There has to be a ceiling. Do we really need to meet the crackheads, I mean, girls living with Charlie Sheen? Do we need to know of their escapades together? Do we need to see inside their "porn room?" I'd like to think not.

I just wish if people stop talking about Charlie Sheen, maybe he will go away. The guy obviously needs serious help, both for his substance abuse and his mental issues. He has problems. Maybe if people made as much of an effort to actually help him rather than just indulge his mania, the guy would actually get better. But that's not going to happen any time soon.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

You've Got a Friend

With the Oscars on tonight, I thought I'd give my thoughts on the Social Network. I've been thinking about it since we watched it a couple of weeks ago.

Really, the one thing that sticks out in my mind is just how lonely Mark Zuckerberg is. And it's interesting how he developed a friend-social networking site. Yet, he really doesn't have any friends.

Of course I realize the movie may not have portrayed MZ as realistically as possible, but I doubt it was really that far off.

Regardless, if nothing else, the Social Network left me feeling kind of badly for MZ. Sure, he's one of the youngest billionaires in the world. If he wanted to, he could buy a whole gaggle of friends. But, they really wouldn't be friends. I wonder what he does when he goes home at night. Does he hang out with the Facebook staff? Go to happy hours? Have a pet to squash his loneliness? I mean, there are times in my life when I feel pretty lonely, especially these past 4 months on bed rest. But I always know there's someone in my life I could turn to if I need to. Does he have that someone?

Why I'm pondering the life and love of Mark Zuckerberg, I have no idea. I enjoyed the movie as it was pretty interesting how it all unfolded and MZ basically screwed the one friend he had. But it just left me feeling sorry for this poor kid that now has all the money a person could possibly want yet no meaningful relationships or people to share in his happiness. Does he have a family? His family was never mentioned in the movie. Surely he has a mom that he could at least go to dinner at some swanky restaurant.

In watching the red carpet coverage of the Oscars, I saw Jesse Eisenberg's interview. I've seen him on Conan and in a couple of other interviews. You know, he's exactly like MZ. Well, he resembles the character completely. And I feel bad for Jesse too. Yes, I know, he's a young kid with a very promising career ahead of him. Up for an Oscar, etc. But he just seems so lonely.

I guess my point is to hold onto the people that mean something to you. Even with all the riches in the world, happiness isn't a guarantee unless you have someone to share it with.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stray Cat Blues

When I was 19, I transferred from George Mason University to Arizona State. It was a weird time in my life and I wanted to get away from the east coast and try something new. I knew a few people out in AZ and visited them for spring break that year. I was sold. I applied and was accepted and moved out there in May of 1995.

Once I had settled into the house I was renting with my roommate, it was time to get my cat. I always had pets growing up, including a cat who I adored. My roommate had a dog, so I was ready for a cat.

The night before we went to the Humane Society in Mesa, we watched this hokey movie, "Corrina Corrina" with Whoopie Goldberg. It was pretty lame, but there was this little boy in the movie that I found to be hilarious. His name was Percy and for some reason, I loved him. He was spunky and feisty and when he laughed, his mouth opened as wide as his face and his whole body shook.

When we got to the Humane Society the next day, they took us to see the cats. It was this long hallway-type room with cages lining the walls. The doors to the cages were mesh that went from the floor to the ceiling, with a little shelf in the middle, probably about chest-height for an average adult. I walked into the room and my eyes went straight to this little black fluff ball that had somehow gotten himself on the middle shelf. He was meowing and his mouth was so wide, you could hardly see the rest of his little face. That was it, I wanted him. He was spunky and feisty. He had guts since he climbed that huge cage door. It was Percy.

When doing the paperwork, we found out the Mesa Humane Society is not a no-kill shelter and they give their animals 11 days to be adopted before they "dispose" of them. Percy was on his 10th day and I saved his little life.

I should have known from the car ride home that living with Percy wouldn't be easy. He scratched and clawed me the whole way, all 5 minutes, back to the house. I was wearing a tank top and my whole upper body was covered in scratches and blood. I looked like an extra in a horror movie. But we survived.

I have to say Percy was a pretty hilarious kitten. He was about a month old when I got him and he was certainly feisty. He tormented my roommate's dog, he climbed the curtains in the house and would sleep on top of the curtain rod, he would get into everything. Then there were his stealth attacks. He would hide somewhere and pounce on you when you were least expecting it. Jump on your head, your shoulders, attach himself to your legs, whatever he could sink his teeth and claws into. The worst was what I termed "the Koala bear." He would jump up on your leg and wrap himself around your leg using his claws and gnaw your leg. Thinking about it now I laugh because it must have been hilarious seeing me try to get him off my leg. But at the time I was not pleased.

And this was just our first summer together. By September, I moved out of the house and into an apartment closer to school. It was me and Percy living large. That cat definitely made for interesting moments. He would steal my food, jump into the refrigerator if you left the door open long enough (I did have air conditioning so it wasn't that hot!), he would jump into the shower when you were done so he could lick the water droplets. Then he would stay in there and scare the crap out of you when he would pop out while you were in the bathroom.

His love of food really developed that fall. I couldn't simply eat a yogurt and throw away the container because Percy would knock the trash can down and go into the trash to get the container. Those last few licks were worth all the trouble, I assume. I would have to run the containers through the dishwasher before throwing them out. If I left my lunch out in the morning before school, and didn't put it in my bag right away, Percy would tear into it. A lot of times I wouldn't know until I pulled it out later and noticed the holes in the bag of my sandwich. I had to schedule his neutering several times because the nights before the surgery, when he needed to fast, he would somehow get into the cabinet and gnaw a hole into his food bag and eat half the bag. No matter where I put the food, he found it. He was like a dog.

Oh, that cat was my sidekick. He traveled across the country several times. I took him home for Christmas (where he would promptly knock the Christmas tree down); he's probably flown more than most people. When we moved back east, he was right there in between me and my dad in the truck. He's even been to Graceland.

Percy was there for all my big life moments. He was pissed when John and I started dating and eventually moved in together and got married. He tolerated John to say the least, though he attacked him as much as he did me (that's how we knew Percy loved John). We had a pet rabbit named Rupert. Percy actually liked him. He would sit on top of his crate and put his paw in and bat him around. When we let Rupert out, though, Percy wouldn't really bother him. Percy tolerated Lola when we brought her home. But he promptly showed her who was boss and attacked her quite often. He was indifferent when Keller was born, which was a good thing. He would sniff at him but then walk away.

Percy's health started going downhill when he was about 10 or 11. There were a couple of times when we didn't know if he would make it. But he always did. Then last summer the vet said his kidneys were only functioning at about 25%. We gave him subcutaneous fluids and a special diet, but that was about all we could do. Even though he seemed fine, he had lost a lot of weight and was losing his spunky self. In the beginning of February, we took him to the vet and we were told his kidneys weren't really functioning, he was probably in some pain and things were not looking good. So, we let him go. Once we knew he may have been in pain, we knew we shouldn't hang on to him. That's not right.

How do you say goodbye to your first love? Percy was the one constant in my life for 16 years. I knew him longer than my husband. He may have been an asshole at times, and I have the scars to prove it, but he was my cat and I loved him. He greeted me when I came home and kept me company when I needed him. Life with Percy was interesting. You never knew what would happen!

I still think I see him in areas around the house. And I swear I hear him meowing and chirping every now and then. It makes me sad that the birth of the babies will be the first big moment in my life that Percy won't be a part of. But we'll always remember him and love him.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Push It

A friend of mine politely reminded me that I haven't posted to my blog in a while. As I told him, I'm kind of lacking the motivation. I have plenty to say as so much is going on, but just no motivation to write.

So the last time I posted it was the beginning of the new year. Leading up to 2011, the days were draggggging. Oh, it was painful. And I just kept telling myself to get to January and the babies will be here before we know it. Really, since January 1st, the days really have been flying by. Well, being on bed rest the term "days flying by" has a different meaning. The days aren't really flying by but the time is passing a lot faster than it was before.

My days still consist primarily of work, which definitely helps pass the time. But each day is interupted by waves of panic that wash over me. These kids are arriving soon and we don't have a whole lot done. I guess we kind of do, but it doesn't feel that way. I think any parent, new or expecting baby #2 (or 3 or 4) will feel a bit ill-prepared. Things are much more complicated and hectic this go around than with Keller. Even though I was on bed rest with him, we didn't have a 5-year old running around at the same time.

Let's recap what has been going on (I'll try to be brief):
  • I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (which really blows)

  • We lost our beloved cat, Percy. I'll probably write more about that at a different time.

  • We set the date for the delivery of the babies: March 21st (let the wave of panic wash over me again)

Of course there were other things going on, but I would say these were the main occurences. It's been an interesting month or so. And the next month is going to be filled with moments of insanity. I can't believe the babies are coming in less than 5 weeks. They will be here at any time in the next 5 weeks. That's too much for me to think about right now. I need to go take a nap.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let's Get It Started

Another year over, and a new one's just begun....

When I look back on 2010, it was nothing short of an emotional roller coaster ride. There were so many emotional highs and lows, I don't even know where to begin with my retrospect.

We started the year in what could only be described as an emotional downward spiral. January 5th was the expected due date of the baby we lost and it was so hard to come up on that date. Many of my friends were having their babies at that time and it was just awful for us. Words cannot express just how awful it was. So we just secluded ourselves, had a lot of family time and did the best we could to get through.

One way that really helped me deal was running. I know I have bestowed the virtues of running time and time again, but I really don't think I would have gotten through the grief if it weren't for my immediate family, a few friends and running. It was an escape for me and time for me to feel physically strong when I wasn't strong emotionally. And even though we were under 800 feet of snow for the winter, it was something I never gave up. It was my salvation.

March marked my first 50K. It was such a triumphant event for me. Not only did it tax me phyically and mentally, but I felt like I finally broke free of the web of grief I had been in for so long. Yes, I still cried after that. Many times. But I felt like I was beginning to really conquer the demons and move on with my life. It really was a great day. I wrote about it on my running blog and won't go into tremendous details here.

I did a number of races after that one, another marathon, a few half marathons, a 200-mile relay. It was a busy spring. Coaching Girls on the Run and my beginners through Fleet Feet definitely helped me feel like myself again.

May marked John's 40th birthday. I think he handled it pretty well, considering a month later he shattered his time in the Olympic distance triathlon at the DC Triathlon. He killed it. We actually missed seeing him during the race because I misjudged where he would be. Oh well, Keller and I had a good time. We also aknowledged his birthday with a rocking 70s birthday party (because John is a product of the 70s). Getting dressed up in tacky 70s garb, eating fondue and dancing to the tunes of the decade was definitely fun.

In June we celebrated Keller's graduation from pre-K. It was such a great ceremony and of course I cried. Really, is that a surprise? It was so cute as all the little ones sang and celebrated themselves as they got their little diplomas. And it reminded me of just how quickly time is going by.

As we approached the anniversary of the loss of our baby, emotions were definitely running high. July was a tough month. And I kind of see 2010 as two different years: one that began in January and ended on July 22nd and the other beginning July 23rd. The anniversary was July 24th and it was the 23rd that we found out that we were pregnant. It was such a bittersweet time and I kind of have a hard time thinking about 2010 before that day. We feel so incredibly lucky to have gotten pregnant again and we hope and pray every minute that this will work out.

The months since finding out we were pregnant, and then pregnant with twins seem like a blur. There was our vacation in the Outer Banks, Keller starting kindergarten, his 5th birthday, my surgery. Really, up to that point, we had had so many issues with the pregnancy, it was hard to believe everything would be all right. They continued and then I went on bed rest. I spent the last 10 weeks of 2010 on bed rest. UGH! But things seem to be going well with the babies. My issues are under control and now we're just hoping the next 10-13 weeks go by without a problem. And we can bring our little babies home.

As I close the door to 2010, I just want to thank everyone that helped us get to this point. For me, I will be eternally grateful to those of you who stuck by me, let me cry on your shoulder, and didn't expect me to act like there was nothing going on. And now it's time to look forward to the future. I'm open to all the wonderful things that will happen for us.

Happy New Year!