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Friday, November 27, 2009

One foot in front of the other

The anticipation was killing me. I was pacing around the house just waiting for the race to start. It was the first one I had every run and the butterflies in my belly were enough to make me vomit. Dylan helped take my mind off it with his excitement and extreme confidence in me. In his eyes, I was going to win, in his eyes that is the only option when you're in a race. In my best motivational speaker voice, I told him that as long as I crossed the finish line, I was a winner! Having heard the "do the best that you can" speech one too many times and realizing it's true meaning, he walked away disappointed, knowing it meant I was not going to win.

I didn't know what to expect of the event or how I would perform. And once I got there, these fears were only heightened! There were over 3000 participants and just as many spectators. Being herded to the starting line with the immense crowd left me speechless. My friend recognized my uncharacteristic quietness and said: "In doesn't matter what place you come in, we all get the same t-shirt!" Her words made me realize the only person who cared how well I did, was me.

A hush came over the crowd as the national anthem played followed by a startling gun shot and we were off. I just put one foot in front of the other and ran. The crowd was so big that it never dispersed. I was constantly dodging people and bumping elbows. I was worried that I would start off too fast by trying to keep up with other runners so I stayed focused on my pace. My adrenaline kicked in and my fears began to fall away with every step I took. I fell into a rhythm and was motivated by the sound of all the pounding footsteps around me.

Seeing my family at the last quarter mile, was all I needed to finish strong. They announced my name as I crossed the finish line and I could have cried, I was so proud of myself. The clock read 44:1o. I had held under a 9 minute pace in my first 5 mile race! A wave of accomplishment and pride flooded me. And now I'm addicted. It's my time to beat. It was an amazing first race, but it won't be my last!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reader discretion is advised...

Breastfeeding both my children for a year, literally sucked the life out of my boobs. What used to be full perky C cups, now barely fill a training bra. No more cleavage shirts for me, unless by cleavage you mean wrinkly folds of skin spilling out the top. I'm a 28 year old version of Magda from "There's something about Mary" In all honesty, my breasts look like two deflated balloons. I know....bad mental picture.

I'm really self conscious of them now. They look disgusting in bathing suits and in tighter shirts, I resemble a twelve year old boy! I've been wearing my same old bras even though they don't fit just to avoid the issue.

So finally I went shopping for myself, let me repeat that....shopping for MYSELF!!! sans kids and took time to buy new bras. The saleswoman at Nordstrom was super helpful and made me feel comfortable (well about as comfortable as you can be when practically getting to second base with a stranger!) And to my surprise, I was still a C cup! Once you scooped all the skin up and shoved it where it was supposed to be, I still had breasts!!!

I can't believe the difference..in the way I feel, the way I look in my shirts. It's amazing what a bra can do these days! So for $80 I feel like I got a new set of boobs!

My husband might beg to differ but the way I look at it, I just saved him $9,920!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Had my hands full

Let me set the stage:
A beautiful Fall morning, unseasonably warm for mid November. A perfect day to take your kids to the park. Make it a playdate with bike riding and it's even better.

So two moms, 4 kids, (2 on bikes and 2 in stroller) and 2 dogs on leash. What could be more relaxing than that?

Dylan is still getting comfortable riding his bike without training wheels. He can stop but not gracefully. He can sometimes turn around and can't quite start on his own yet. So I need a free hand to help him when he needs it. With that in mind, we decided to put the 2 smaller kids in the same stroller rather than both push one.

All was well for the 1st half of our walk/run to keep up with the speedsters on bikes. All was well until I offered to push the stroller. That's when my hands became a little too full!

The other little boy in the stroller started to cry so I stopped to see what was the matter. I peeked inside to find my daughter with a handful of his hair. When I told her to be nice to her friends she smiled at me and proceeded to push him out of the stroller.

At this point Dylan and his friend were so far ahead we couldn't see them. The other mom ran ahead to check on them while I dealt with Camryn. I handed her my cell phone to distract her from her prey while I pushed the stroller along.

I spotted the others up ahead and started to pick up my pace. Callie is not that great on leash to begin with but put a stroller next to her and she's impossible. Well, when she caught a glimpse of Dylan she took off. She was pulling me and the stroller out of control. Before I could drop her leash we clothes-lined a baby who looked like he had just learned to walk. My first instinct was the pick up the little boy we had just trampled. In doing so, I let go of my stroller and handed the crying boy back to his very understanding mother.

After apologizing I turned around to find my stroller, not only with my daughter but also with someone else's baby in it, rolling towards the woods. As I ran to grab it I yelled out: "what kind of mother am I?" to which the mother of the boy I had knocked down and the mother whose baby was rolling away from me laughed! And as I grasped the handle of the stroller, I heard one of them say: "I'm glad I'm not the only one!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who needs toys

when it's Fall in New England!!!

Remember the good ole days of childhood when you didn't rake leaves for the purpose of getting them off your lawn but instead to create the biggest heap possible simply to jump in!!! Well this weekend we brought those days back and loved every minute of it.

The fallen leaves provided hours of entertainment for the whole family. The leaves were a pile to jump in, a mound to hide under, a handful to throw and to some, even an all natural snack!

The combination of the warm fresh air, no fighting over toys (due to the plethora of leaves to go around) and all being together as a family made for an extremely enjoyable afternoon.

I have to admit though, the fun did end with a thorough tick check...something I don't remember from the good ole days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


is the feeling that enveloped me as I drove home from my first parent/teacher conference of the year. We went through the basic conference elements like the class routine, Dylan's interests, progress and behavior. But hidden in the conversation was this description of an amazing little boy.

This amazing boy that I sometimes lose sight of because all I'm seeing is his frustrating 4 year old behavior. But there he is out in the world being amazing. His teacher told me about his polite manners, consideration for others and spirited personality. She recognized his interest and respect for books, ability to listen and comprehend them and acknowledged that these traits come from behaviors at home. She painted a picture of the type of kid I work so hard to raise.

Last she shared a few stories that Dylan had told her about things we do at home. She looked me straight in the eyes and said: "He has a pretty great life at home and you are doing an excellent job." In that moment tears filled my eyes and there it was: validation! For everything I do for my kids, for the things I've sacrificed and for the times when I doubted my parenting abilities. It doesn't come along very often but when it does, it makes it all worth while!!!