Saturday, September 28, 2013

a Saturday post (goodbye, summer)

I do love fall, but I am really lamenting the end of summer.
All that sunshine, all those hours of daylight...
I'm getting the Halloween decorations out of the attic this weekend (Max will love that) in hopes of getting a little more psyched for the season (I was going to say upcoming season, but realized's already here).

I do not like pumpkin spiced lattes.
(If that's your thing, cool...I certainly don't begrudge you, but I don't want pumpkin anything near my coffee)

I don't know...maybe we need to have a bonfire out back on a chilly night and carve some pumpkins with friends or eat some Sweetzels or something.
That might help.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

taking drugs, eating saltines

I'm taking lots of (rx) drugs and eating a disgusting amount of saltines (like, a whole sleeve in two days).
I'm asking for lots of help, too, which makes me feel uncomfortable...but, not uncomfortable enough to not ask.
I feel worse today, but maybe it's like when a fever breaks? And I'll start feeling better tomorrow? 

Monday, September 23, 2013


First, a clarification (apparently my last post left a few folks confused/concerned):
I am most definitely not a smoker.
NOT NOT NOT a smoker.
The last time I "enjoyed" a cigarette was at a work Christmas party, which had to be two years ago, as I was uninvited to the most recent one due to my "condition" (pregnancy).
Needless to say, that lone smoke was the most exciting and salacious thing about that laaaaaaame party.    

Glad we cleared that up.

Next, here's a little photo journal of my recent week long hospital stay for viral meningitis (not the super scary one, just the semi-scary one...I'm not contagious and my family is thank god thank god thank god unnaffected).
I instagrammed the shit out of this for you:
best selfie ever (bed head/dark circles/sexy gown/pout)

Max smuggled these fave

I should pretty much never take this off

view from the end of my hall

downside: hospital food /upside: breakfast served all day long

inflatable leg massagers hell yes

feeling like a pin cushion
So, there are far worse diagnoses than viral meningitis and I'm thankful to not be laboring through a more serious or life-threatening illness...And five nights in the hospital is nothing compared to what I've seen some of my family members go through and deal with on a daily basis.
But, man.
I've never, and I mean never, felt so lousy.
Thankfully, my parents didn't hesitate to step in and pretty much take over all childcare duties while Bill stayed by my side as much as possible. I'm told the kids were great, but I know even on the best, most seamless days, baby stuff and even third-grade stuff can be challenging...tiring, for sure.
And I don't even have the words to convey how amazing my husband has been. I'm lucky and our kids our lucky to have him.  
Being apart from my baby...was hard. I thought of them constantly. Is school okay? Is she crawling yet? (yes! by the way) What's in his lunch? Any more teeth? Do they miss me?
Still puzzled (and kinda hurt) as to why my brother never even stopped by, but...yeah.

During the admission process the second time (I was discharged after three days, only to land in the ER again following one horrendous night at home), the very kind (and witty) nurse remarked, "Meningitis? Wow, how'd you get that? Do you live in a dorm, honey?"
Do you live in a dorm, honey?
That really happened and I swear it wasn't the dilaudid.

As for the opioids, I'm so ready to be done with this sh*t. The medications are tearing me up and, really, there's nothing "fun" about these hardcore narcotics. From what I'm told, I'll be feeling like hell for quite a while.
I was also told I need to consume more salt, so there's that. (if you know me or have ever eaten a meal in my company, it won't be too hard to find the humor in that)

Thanks for all the well-wishes, support, messages, notes, and words of encouragement...thanks for thinking of me and for checking in. I'm truly grateful for all the kindness bestowed upon me & my family during this otherwise crappy/scary time.
Stay healthy.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

this is my distraction

It's 11:27pm and I am in the throes of Maeve's "9 month sleep regression" (huh? there's a name for it now, apparently) 
In short, we're Crying It Out...
It sucks.
It sucks so bad.
Hearing her cry like this is agonizing and I am desperate to go in there and scoop her up.
But, no...
I know where/how that goes.

So, I ramble.
I make a list.
It's late, I'm tired, and I need to resist the urge to go in there (at least for the next seven minutes)...
So, a list instead of a coherent post.   
  • My mom quit smoking 8 days ago. Tonight I brought her a cake with "Yay Mom!!!" scrawled across it in bright orange writing.
  • I used to smoke Marlboro Menthol Lights (ugh...groooooooss) and I quit when I was 24 (?). My dad quit around the same time (he smoked Camels). Once in a great while, I still get the urge for a cigarette and I've acted on that inexplicable urge a few times. 
  • I stopped eating meat and dairy at the beginning of the month...I drastically cut down on sugar and stopped eating bread and pasta (gluten, for that matter). I feel good. I've lost weight.
  • I'll never give up crunchy salt. I have a weird affinity for salt and it has to be chunky/crunchy. I am a little bit embarrassed about my salt collection.
  • Tracy Anderson is still kicking my ass. I can't believe I have stuck with these workout DVDs...I'm not saying I like it, but...I guess I kinda like it. I like the results.
  • I hate group rides, but I rarely turn down an opportunity to join one when invited. Today, I peeled off from a group ride at French Creek thirty minutes in. I crashed going down the Bone Shaker and that was it...I knew I'd be riding all stress-y if I continued with the group, so I bailed and just rode with Bill. We did my favorite old school loop and I didn't even care that my entire right side from shoulder to toe was throbbing. It was a beautiful day and I was riding in the woods with my husband. I was due for a gnarly spill anyway.
  • Although, we are late to the Breaking Bad party, we are in deep and we can't stop...We've binge-watched the first two seasons this past week and it's creeping into my dreams. So messed up, so messed up.
That's it.
She's asleep.
Good night.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I miss this...(cross)

photo by Anthony Skorchod
In a fit of the-rest-of-the-world-is-sleeping wakefulness a few nights ago, I found myself stuck on cross.
Cross practice.
Cross bike.
Cross races.
Cross Nationals.
Cross cross cross cross cross.

Crossing the finish line...
Sweating it out on so many different starting grids from PA to Kansas City to Bend, Oregon...and many states up and down and in between.
Sweating it out on so many different starting grids to cross so many different finish lines a mere 40-45 minutes later.

Bundling up and braving really mean temps, really awful conditions.
Miles and miles and hours and hours of travel by car or plane for 40-45 minutes of purposeful pain.
45 minutes of gasping and gritting teeth with intermittent moments of remembering to relax my shoulders, relax my grip...maybe even smile.
"Have fun with it..." my dad implores from the other side of the tape, cowbell clanging. 
Packing and unpacking that utterly perfect bike to ship or lug across the country...
Lovingly wrapping those bars or laboriously going over every bolt.
Heaving that bike over barriers with bad form and stutter steps galore or magically finessing it "suitcase style", like Karen showed me.
A bike made for me...
Fast corners.
Unexpected passes.
Scrumming (or, call-ups).
Sprints when there is nothing left (but, then...there is!)
Practicing on dry and dusty fields or laboring through intervals on the road.
Exchanging pleasantries with Georgia (okay, so that was just once...but, still...Georgia)
in the locker room while November winds howl outside and rattle the cyclone fence at a landscaping venue in the Hamptons.
Mid-race music trivia courtesy of Joe Jefferson.
East Coast Cross, The MAC (and its cast of characters).
Words of sincere encouragement from LVG.
Parking lot/camp stove espresso.
Sharing a pit bike with BP.
Yellow tape and wooden stakes for daaaaaaaaays...

Yeah, I miss this all (and so much more...I could go on and on).
I am so not ready to jump back in and I've resigned myself to do better than "dabble" this year.
For me, there's just no dabbling in cross.
All in or not at all.
Next year.
Next September. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

always something...

Being divorced and co-parenting with your ex (although, I'm really being generous when I call his part "parenting" lately) is ugly stuff sometimes.
While I'd love to vent and fume right here in my little corner of the internet, I have to be vague and respect his privacy and be a grown-up and sh*t.
I hate that.
Even now, five years after we split, there is always something and there probably always will be.
I hate that, too.

Suffice it to say, if I get on my bike today, I am positively going to crush it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

thursday house is in such disarray.
Like, every single room needs serious attention.
Last night, I completely blew up the kitchen (in vain, apparently, because dinner was a huge disappointment).
Every time I go out there today, I feel like the mess is just taunting are you going to redeem yourself after that disaster??   

No school today (which, I guess, means screw chores)...yes, school just started two days ago and they are off already.
My dad and I took Max over to Harmony Hill because Max wanted to try mountain biking again.
We parked up top and Max led us down through the red trail.
As expected, he hopped off and hoofed it up the steep little hills (again, we swapped bikes for that), but otherwise handled the trails with enthusiasm.
With a little more confidence, he'll be tearing that place up in no time.
Even if this is just a passing phase, I'm happy to trail behind him any chance we get...
I suck at freestyling Legos or negotiating GI Joe set-ups, but mountain biking?
I got this.

As for the little one...
At last, two lower teeth have poked through and she is steadily trying to crawl.
Not quite there yet, but she will be all about maneuvers any day now.
I can tell she's going to be fast and unstoppable once she gets going... 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

how we do the Family Vacation

at last, he overcame his fear of the kayak...
channeling my grandpop

sunsets on the lake don't get old (the mosquitoes, however...)

breakfast at Piggy's with requisite photo tradition?

(successful) snake spotting

Max was happy to give my mom a tour of Jim Thorpe

Me time

On short notice, we were able to cobble together a pretty solid family vacation in the Poconos...
Even though we live two doors down from my parents, it was great to spend a week on the lake, under the same roof together.
I hope we've started some new traditions and I hope the family vacation becomes a mainstay of summers to come.
Some of my best memories of being a kid in the summertime are from when I was Max's's been exciting to sit back and watch these experiences take shape for him.
Maybe this is the stuff that will stick with him...
The stuff he'll tell his kids about, the stuff he'll want to recreate for his own family someday.

Fireworks for no reason.
Exploring the woods and climbing tall pine trees.
Finding copperheads and spotting wild turkeys.
Cap guns and candy overload.
Paddling solo in a kayak.
Catching that elusive fish (even if it was already dead...shhhhh).
Mad Magazine before bed instead of chapter books.
Afternoon cartoon marathons.
Riding dirt roads with his grampy.
Dumping out an entire (mini) box of Rice Krispies on his baby sister's tray, just to make her laugh.
Staying up late by the campfire.

I'm pretty sure that's the kind of stuff an 8 year-old remembers...

I hope my parents had as much fun as we did. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

last day of summer vacation (ride)

Out of ideas this afternoon, Max was bored and I was getting testy.
On a whim,  I asked, "Want to go mountain biking?"

To my surprise, he emphatically said, "Sure."
With that, we loaded up our bikes and headed over to Harmony Hill.
Although he hasn't ridden much in the way of trails except for the small pieces which parallel the paved path, he was feeling brave and wanted to explore more today.
"I like the bumpy stuff," he explained.
I stayed behind Max and bit my tongue every time I wanted to tell him which line to take or to shift.
The only advice I gave him was, "Look where you want to go."
As we approached the last hill of our ride, Max decided he wanted to turn around. He was tired of pushing his heavy bike up the hills.
"Wait. Mom, is there a downhill on the other side of it?"
"Yeah, but it's a little steeper and looser than anything you've done so far."
"I have an idea. You push my bike up the hill and I'll push yours. Yours is so much lighter!"
Smart kid.
We traded bikes and made our way up the hill. His bike is a tank.

He nailed the descent on the other side and declared the ride, "Epic!"

On our way back to the car, Max recounted our adventure and informed me he'd like a lighter bike for Christmas "and not one with, like, Hot Wheels or Spider Man or anything on a cool bike, a real one."     
I don't know about epic, but it was super fun trailing behind my third grader in the woods on a drizzly Labor Day afternoon.

...and just like that, Summer vacation has ended. Whoooooosh.