Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The bathroom is done!

The guys finished the heavy-duty work (laying the tile, moving and reinstalling the toilet, installing the vanity) last week.  That left the weekend for J and me to finish the rest -- painting the underside of the tub, painting the walls and building and installing the tall cupboard -- and then clean up and admire our handiwork.  The results are beautiful.  It looks exactly like I wanted it to.


Ew.  Dingy and ugly.

Double ew.  I fucking hate that burgundy color.

Who doesn't line the sink up with the mirror?  Morons, that's who.

Oy.  Words fail me.

Disgusting industrial carpet GLUED TO THE FLOOR. 

Who goes to pick out tile and bathroom accoutrement and comes home with this??  Morons with no taste, that's who.



Pretty and bright.  I adore that tile.

Hey!  Look at that!  I can stand in front of the sink and see myself in the mirror!!

So clean-looking.


I finished the Ultimate Reset!

I survived 21 days of super-clean eating (it was vegan the last two weeks), plus taking supplements to boost my oxygen levels, get my system to its natural alkaline state, get rid of toxins, and promote the growth of healthy flora in my digestive system.  There were definitely days when it was very difficult to stick with the program, not because I didn't enjoy the food I was eating (it was DELICIOUS), but because occasionally I grew tired of the regimen and I just wanted a bagel.  But I stuck with it, and my results were awesome.  In addition to losing 9 pounds, 2 inches off my hips and 1 inch off my waist in 21 days, I have more energy, my digestion is better (more regular, very little gas, etc.), my sleep is deeper and more restful, and overall I feel healthier and leaner.  And I learned how to prepare simple, incredibly nutritious, flavorful and satisfying meals using ingredients and seasonings I had never cooked with much (who knew jicama was so good? or tempeh? or roasted beets?). 

Going forward, I plan on continuing to use many of the recipes from the meal plan, though I will not eat a fully vegan diet.  I enjoy my eggs and greek yogurt, and I rarely eat meat anyway, so having it occasionally (in combination with lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains) is fine.  I will continue to take the oxygen, alkalinity and metabolism-boosting supplements, because I felt they were highly beneficial.  And I will do a full 3 week reset 2 or 3 times a year.  It was so worth it, y'all.  If you're interested in trying it or have questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Zeke ditched the training wheels!

When my dad was visiting last month, he bought Zeke his first big-boy bike.  Zeke had been using a balance bike without pedals and had gotten great at it, so he was unquestionably ready for a real bike.

But at the bike store, all of the kids bikes come with training wheels attached, and Zeke went with my dad to pick out the bike.  As soon as he tried riding it around the store, he was hooked.  I was dismayed, because he didn't need the training wheels, and I told him so.

"Honey, you know how to balance without the training wheels!  You did it on your Skuut all the time.  Let's take off the training wheels."


I didn't want to make the bike a point of contention, and I knew that he would get rid of the training wheels eventually, so J and I didn't push the issue (much).

Then this past weekend, we met up with Zeke's friend Connor at the park.  Zeke took his bike with the training wheels.  Connor came on his bike that doesn't have training wheels.  After a few minutes of riding around and seeing how Connor could really zip around corners, Zeke asked, "Connor, can I try your bike?"


So I took Zeke out into the middle of the field, where there is grass that would provide a soft landing, held the back of the seat as he started to pedal, and then let go.  His muscle memory kicked in and he took off, balancing perfectly.  I think his big, wide grin might have been visible from space (as was mine, I'm sure).

As soon as we got home, we took the training wheels off of Zeke's bike.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Don't give us none of your aggravation, we've had it with your discipline

I'm not normally a confrontational person.  I don't shy away from it, but I don't actively seek it out.  I pride myself on being reasonable and practical and on handling things like a grown-up.

So today was a bit unusual, in that I got into it with three different people.

One of them a 5-year-old.

There's this kid in Zeke's class named Kyler or some such stupid name.  And I'm not even changing the name for purposes of protecting his anonymity in case someone who knows him reads this, because I don't give a shit.  The kid's an asshole.  His mother might as well get him a shirt that says, "Future Rapist" on it.

Numerous parents have told me about how this kid, who is enormous and looks to be at least 6 (and could pass for 7), bullies and harasses their children.  One of Zeke's little friends was so intimidated by the way he would block her path and get in her space that her parents did role-playing exercises with her to show her how to handle him.

He does similar things to Zeke, and it drives me insane.

The first time I witnessed it was a couple of weeks ago.  I was dropping Zeke off in his classroom and Kyler comes up to him and starts saying, "hey, buddy, hey buddy, hey buddy" over and over again, right in Zeke's face.  Zeke asked him to get away from him and not do that, but Kyler persisted.  I said, nicely, "Kyler, he asked you to leave him alone.  Please let him have his space."  But he ignored me.

Zeke's teacher can't stand him.  She yelled at him, "Kyler!  Why do you have to bother him like that every day when you know he doesn't like it??"

I sat with Zeke and tried to tell him that he needed to ignore it and that dealing with people who are annoying is part of life, but he was still upset when I left.

When I dropped the kids off this morning, Zeke and I turned the corner to go into his room.  Kyler and this other kid, Evan, were there.  When they saw Zeke, Kyler sneered, "we're not going to be buddies with Zeke today.  We don't want to play with him."

I whipped my head around and fixed him with an angry stare.  "What did you just say?"

"We're not going to play with Zeke today."

"Good," I snapped.  "He doesn't want to play with you anyway.  He only likes playing with kids who are nice.  He doesn't play with mean, nasty kids like you."

I had had it with him being a dick to my son.

Then today after work, I was sitting on a bench at the bus stop, reading a book.  This lady sat down on the bench next to me and immediately started some ridiculous diatribe about how immigrants and foreigners are bleeding this country dry and there are laws on the books that give foreigners $30,000 in cash, tax-free, while good hard-working Americans pay taxes and get fleeced by these freeloaders and blah blah blah.

For a while I tried to ignore it and just focus on my book, but when she got to the part about tax-free money for immigrants, I just couldn't hold it in anymore.

"That is absolutely not true.  Nobody gives immigrants wads of cash when they come to this country."

"Oh, it's true, it's true.  It's been on the books since Vietnam."

"You are spreading falsehoods.  There is no law like that.  Fercrissakes, I'm married to an immigrant - I can promise you that no one is throwing wads of government cash at us!"

She kept insisting it was true, and finally I yelled, "I'VE HAD IT.  I can't stand listening to your bullshit anymore!"  And I got up and walked away and waited for my bus where I couldn't hear her anymore.

The kicker was dealing with the douchebag next-door neighbor.

We are in the middle of redoing our horrible upstairs bathroom (and it's going to look so pretty when it's done, you guys).  So we don't have a working shower or bathtub.  When I got home from work, J was out back with the kids in the hot tub (which was lukewarm) in an effort to get the kids somewhat clean after school.  When he was done, he left the hot tub cover folded up and leaning partly up against the fence that we share with Douchebag.  The fence that he's never bothered to finish (and we've offered to pay to finish it, but he ignores us), so there's essentially nothing dividing our two yards.

Later on, we looked outside and noticed that the cover had been tossed over onto our grass.

When J went outside to replace the cover, Douchebag was out there and muttered something at J.  J quietly said, "fuck you."  At that point, the kids had started to follow J outside.  Then Douchebag started ranting and raving and swearing at J, and the kids were freaked out.

I was done.  I shuffled the kids inside and then went back out.


I know.  The irony isn't lost on me, either.  The whole neighborhood could probably hear me.

"Oh yeah?  Well do you know what J said to me when he came out here?  He said 'fuck you'."  Tattling on J like I'm his mother or something.  What an idiot.

"I don't give a shit!  And you deserved it, after the way you've treated us since we moved in here.  NOW TURN AROUND AND GET BACK IN YOUR HOUSE AND LEAVE US ALONE!  NOW!!!"

He yelled some more, but by then I had gone back inside and was trying to calm the children.  And myself.

I don't know.  I guess it was one of those days.  Which I never have, but who knows.

What I'm saying is, if you have a bone to pick with me, now is probably not the time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I'm doing a three week cleanse/detox program that I started this past Wednesday (perhaps especially apropos in light of the Great Lollipop Fiasco of 2012 (TM my friend Nicole)).  It's kind of all-consuming in the early stages - I'm spending tons of time cooking and planning and getting more organized about food and meal plans than I normally am.  You can read about it on my fitness blog.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

'Scuse me while I kiss the sky

Last week I was having a lot of achy muscle pain in my upper back, between my shoulder blades, and in my hips.  Achy achy achy.  Even when I would lie down in bed, it hurt.  I tried stretching, I took advil, but nothing seemed to be helping.

A, uh, friend of mine has had a bunch of surgeries, illnesses and injuries over the years for which he was prescribed pain meds, but he often doesn't take them.  So I asked my friend last Thursday night if he had any leftover pain medication that I could take for my back.

"No, but I've got a lollipop you can have."

A medicinal lollipop, if you catch my drift.

"Meh.  Nah, I'll just deal."

As the evening went on, however, I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

"So that lollipop thing.  Will it help me?"

"I don't know.  It'll help you sleep and probably make you forget the pain."

"OK, what the hell."

Now, let us step back to examine the sheer idiocy of this move.

I am barely a drinker (most of the time, if I have a beer or a glass of wine, I don't finish it) and I am definitely not a pot smoker or a user of any other drugs.  So my body is not at all accustomed to stuff that could make me loopy.  I've smoked pot a few times in my life, but I never really enjoyed it - rather than make me mellow, it just made me exhausted and often queasy.  Whatever it is that kills nausea in cancer patients so they can get some food down, it has the opposite effect on me.  Plus, I have no doubt that whatever I had a few puffs of over the years did not approach the strength or purity of what my friend gets at the dispensary, particularly the strength and purity of stuff designed to be ingested rather than smoked.

But there I was, blithely consuming this lollipop, which, as I have now learned from the University of Google, was strong even by the standards of regular THC consumers.  I ate it, then I went to bed.

I really do question my own sanity sometimes.

I went to sleep and felt fine for a while.  Then I half-woke up and just felt kind of buzzy.  Not unpleasant.  Then the buzziness got stronger, and my head and my limbs felt inordinately heavy, like I was lying in molassas, and I started to feel queasy. 

By 5 in the morning, I managed to lurch to the bathroom to puke up whatever I had in my stomach.  I lay on the bathroom floor for a while because it was too much effort to get up.  After 20 minutes, I got up and went downstairs to try to drink some water.  I wasn't able to hold it down, and then went to lie down on the couch because the stairs were too daunting.

J came downstairs to get ready for work at around 5:30.  He was surprised to see me up, and also a bit alarmed by the fact that I was grey in the face and had broken out into a cold sweat. 

"Duuuude,"  I moaned.

"What's going on?"

"That lollipop killed me.  I am so unbelievably fucked up and sick."


"I'm OK if I lie here with my eyes closed, but when I open my eyes, I want to throw up.  Sitting up is unthinkable."



He continued puttering about getting ready, and then started walking toward the door.

"NOOO!  You can't leave me!"  I wailed.

"What are you talking about?  I have to go to work."

"I cannot take care of the children in this condition.  I can't drive them to school.  If I showed up like this with them at school, the teachers would have me arrested.  Please."

He sort of huffed around for a few minutes, but texted his boss and got the OK to come in late.  He got the kids up and fed and dressed.

Poor Zeke was horrified by my condition.

"Mama!  What's wrong?  Are you sick?  Why are you throwing up?"  His eyes were wide and he kept coming over to rub my face. 

"I'm OK, honey.  I've got a bad tummy-ache, but I'll get better, don't worry.  Daddy's going to take you to school today.  Be a good boy and I'll see you later."

Luckily, that Friday was a flex day for me, so I didn't have to go to work.  I lay back down on the couch when J took the kids to school.

Then the window guy showed up.  He, too, was horrified by my condition, but I waved him off when he suggested that he could come back to install the windows on a day when I was feeling better.  So I dozed all day, with intermittent bouts of vomiting, while our new windows were installed.

It was 2 in the afternoon before I could sit up without puking.  It was Sunday afternoon before all traces of the queasiness left my stomach.  Seriously - I'm that much of a light-weight.

J called me Friday afternoon to check on me.

"Hey, baby.  How ya doing?"

"I'll live.  Not feeling great, but I'm not throwing up any more, so there's that."

"Hey!  Guess what?"


"High Times magazine called.  They want to put you on the cover and nominate you for Stoner of the Year."


No way, man.  I'm scared straight for sure.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Send love and light

I received an email today from the grandmother of one of my sorority sisters, who lives in Boulder (the sorority sister, not the grandma).  The email told me that my friend's almost 16-year-old daughter is in Boulder Hospital after suffering a bad mountain bike crash yesterday.  She is expected to make a full recovery, but she will have a rough row to hoe as she deals with a concussion, a broken back, and facial and jaw injuries.*

Upon receiving the email, I was horrified and shocked, both for my friend and also for her daughter, whom I absolutely adore.  She is the coolest, smartest kid - I've told her multiple times that if her parents ever get sick of her, she can come live with me. 

And of course, I had flashbacks to Emma, and how I heard about her accident.

We live in a cruel world.  This obviously isn't news, but I feel like the personal reminders are coming fast and furious.  Last month, a coworker's brother dropped dead of a stroke, totally out of the blue.  He was 40.  Another coworker's 20 year old son died this past weekend.  My high school friend and the brother of a family friend died last week.  It's fucking relentless.

But, of course, life is for the living.  We live it as well as we can for as long as we can.  And my friend's daughter is alive, and will recover, and go on to do great things.  I know it.

*I'm not divulging their names out of respect for their privacy, but many readers of this blog know her, so if you want information, including an address to send a card or a casserole, email me.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

On lacrosse, training wheels, mortality and home renovations

It's been a very hectic time, one of those periods when I constantly feel like my head is spinning and I can't keep up with everything that's going on.

MIL left, but then the following weekend, my dad came to visit.  On Friday night, we took the kids to see Virginia play lacrosse, which was fun (especially since they won).  Zeke and Josie had no idea what was going on, but they dug all the clapping and cheering and the fact that we basically let them have popcorn and Skittles for dinner, and they jumped around hooting and hollering "Goooo Virginia!!!"  and had a blast.

The next morning, my dad got Zeke his first big-boy bike.  We knew he was ready for it because he's been riding a balance bike and knows how to stay up.  Except that in the store, the kids' bikes all have training wheels on them, and once Zeke got a little taste of that, he was hooked.  We are trying to work with him to prepare for taking the training wheels off, because he absolutely doesn't need them, plus when he has them, he's not particularly safe to ride with.  He doesn't pay attention because he doesn't have to - there's no risk of falling.  He and I were riding our bikes home from the ice cream store down the street, and he's stopping suddenly to look at dandelions and randomly slowing down and speeding up and remarking "hey!  It's the number 10 bus!  That's the one you ride, right, Mama?"

I almost crashed into him about 5 times.

I know we could just take the training wheels off the bike when he's not around and spring it on him, but he'll seriously lose his shit and I would prefer to have him ready for it.  So we'll see.

In any event, we spent the entire weekend riding bikes, and it was incredibly fun.

In the meantime, the week before, all kinds of other stuff was going on as well.  Last Thursday, I achieved the next rank up in my Beachbody business (I'm a diamond now, sparkly bling!!), which is pretty sweet.  More money, more perqs from the company, more opportunities to grow the business further.

But then Friday, I learned that an old high school friend of mine died (he had been a quadriplegic since junior year, and I think his body just gave out), and that the brother of a close family friend had lost his 3-year bout with brain cancer.  So sad.

And this week, we're gearing up for some big home renovations.  We're getting some new windows put on the house (right now, only 2 windows in our 116-year-old dwelling open), and that's happening this Friday.  About a week or so after that, we're having our upstairs bathroom redone.

Let me tell you about our upstairs bathroom.  It is the poster child for the shitty, cheap renovations that the previous owners did.  I can't even decide what the worst thing about it is.  Perhaps the fact that they painted over the gorgeous trim (and the outside of the clawfoot tub) with paint that resembled dried blood?  There are few colors in the world I despise more than that dark burgundy.

Or perhaps it's that they glued disgusting industrial grade carpet to the floor?  In a bathroom???

Or maybe it's that they took old beadboard wainscotting and covered it up with cheap ugly tiles, which don't line up properly and have huge gaps behind the toilet because whoever installed it was was either drunk or on crack?

No, what really takes the cake is that they put in a cheap vanity, surrounded it with vile gold-colored plastic soap holders and the like, AND COULDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO LINE THE SINK UP WITH THE BUILT-IN MIRROR.  So when you brush your teeth or wash your face or something, you have to lean over to the left to see yourself.  (Plus there's that HEINOUS light fixture - ugh.)

Honestly, any one of these things would be awful on its own, but in combination, I swear this room could win a prize for worst renovation EVER.

We are ripping out the disgusting carpet and replacing it with black and white mosaic tile.  We're getting rid of the crappy-ass wall tile and putting the beadboard wainscoting back, and painting the top of the wall some bright, pretty color (haven't decided yet).  We're moving the toilet over so we can get a nice vanity that lines up with the sink.  We're repainting the trim and door white, and having the clawfoot tub restored and re-enameled in white.  The bathroom will be worthy of the house again.

So that's me in a nutshell.