Saturday, May 10, 2014

My son

On the day you become a mother, you go through pain, sweat, tears and joy...lots of joy.  You are handed this tiny person you'd felt growing within you and couldn't wait to meet. Your body is forever changed, as are you. Nothing compares to the feeling when the nurse places this little being, wrapped like a burrito, into your arms. You are taught the basics of nursing or bottle feeding, how to swaddle and care for your baby and your myriad of questions are patiently answered. Upon leaving the hospital, you are handed a welcome bag with coupons, samples of formula, diapers and worry... yes, worry.  While the nurses don't hand you that, you definitely walk out the door with it.  How will you care for this baby, keep him or her safe, feed them enough, keep them warm or cool, dry and happy?  Will you sleep ever again?

Almost 21 years ago, I became the mother of two.  I'd passed the muster with my first. He was still alive through all the mistakes I'd made. I never worried if I could love another child as much as my first,
yet I still had worries.  No one said life with children would be easy. Giving birth to each of them, while toted as 'the best days of my life' also ring true with the statements... he/she almost killed me! You worry about weight gain and growth charts, rashes and teething and you say.. This to shall pass.

From the beginning, my boys were like night and day.  Patrick was my quiet baby, who watched the world around him. Blonde hair, blue eyes, chubby as all get out. He was a thinker, spoke early and didn't walk until he was almost 15 months old.

Sam was born stubborn, and fearless. He was a big baby, 9 lbs 7 oz, 22" long.  The nurses came into my room commenting that he was already smiling and lifting his head. (Sam was 12 days past his due date the day he was born, and the doctors suspected that he was a surviving twin after a 'miscarriage' early on in my pregnancy.   That January, he was still there, so my dates were confused… I believe anyway…so in essence, he was a month old at birth!) He hung on until we basically evicted him from my womb!

Unlike Patrick, Sam had fiery red hair that went from sticking straight up at birth to the most adorable curls by the time he was 7 months old and he had a temper. He walked early, climbed onto everything and embraced the world as his own.  If he wanted something he was bent on getting it. Before he could speak he vented his frustration by banging his forehead on the floor.  At the age of 2 I'd said no to a trip to McDonald's when he wanted french fries for a snack. I caught him just as he and his cozy coup were hitting the bottom of the driveway on his way to McDonalds, 3 pennies tucked into his pocket.  The day his little sister was born his nurturing caring side blossomed. Sam took one look at her and he claimed her as his own, he called her 'his baby' and fiercely protected her. His kindergarten teacher and many teachers to follow commented on his caring nature at each parent teacher conference.

Through the years I worried over the normal little things. They turned into toddlers and I worried excessively over the mile stones of crawling, sitting up, gaining weight, or not gaining weight and of talking. As a parent, you are excited about their ability to walk, talk dress and undress and then when the running starts, the talking is inappropriate or excessive or they change 17 times a day into different outfits.. you wonder why you ever encouraged them to do such things in the first place! and you utter many times over... "This too shall pass.".. and sometimes it is said through gritted teeth.

Grade school happened and I worried more about what was said on the bus... and they do pick up new words and phrases on that big yellow vehicle! When their father died, I worried for two.  I stressed over friends they chose, parties they may or may not have been invited to, reading ability/levels, writing, spelling and math, stranger danger, sports teams they may or may not have made, and outside influences... and then they hit puberty. As always my mantra "This too shall pass". 

Worries turned to those faced by teens, acne (will it scar), dances and dates, school work overload, stresses, first jobs, driving and how to get them to not only do chores but go to church with you! They stay up late and sleep in on the weekends, they eat you out of house and home and they express their opinions, freely and sometimes loudly... usually thinking yours are either archaic or just plain wrong.

This weekend is the perfect time for me to start this phase of the blog. As a mother of young adults I still worry. I worry about Patrick, who is now living and working in NYC. The knock out game that has been reportedly played near where Patrick resides has given me a slew of new gray hairs on my head.  I worry over Meredith living and attending school across the pond in Northern England. Thank goodness for Skype!  I worried when Sam went off to college in Boston and then decided college was not for him  and chose to work instead.

Yet nothing has prepared me to worry as much as I have when the words "Mom, I am joining the Army" tumbled out of my 2nd son. I immediately went into fear mode...fear of the unknown.. will he be alright, safe, have enough to eat (for anyone that knows him, he is the pickiest eater!) and the worst...where in the world will they send him? How far from me will my child be? While he can be fearless, he is the type of child that I found couldn't hurt anyone... yet, in this role he may be put into that circumstance... what will that mean for my son? My stubborn, caring, loving red headed child will become a soldier.  And as his mother, I worry terribly and have cried.. a lot. I still see him as that little guy running off to play.

Don't get me wrong... I am most grateful to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedoms that we enjoy... but as Sam's mother, I feel a bit selfish in not wanting my son to be one of those people and while I have cried tears of worry on my quiet rides to and from work, I am proud of him. I will support his decision to become a solider for the United States of America.  I will, because that is what mom's do… we love unconditionally, we support without fail and yes, we worry.

Friday, July 20, 2012

As the saying goes "Life gets in the way" ... life has been busy here at our house.  We saw the ending of another school year and the happy graduation of the class of 2012.

Sam said goodbye to high school  and is happily looking forward to his time at Wentworth Institute of Technology in the fall.

Around the same time, we sadly said goodbye to our faithful Libby who succumbed to a nasal Tumor.

and welcomed Charlotte aka Charley Girl, into our family. 
She is such a sweet puppy and is growing quickly on a day to day basis!

When she first arrived, she was the size of Chloe, our Shih Tzu.  She was 9 pounds at her first vet check.

Recently she weighed in at 19 pounds and Chloe can now stand comfortably underneath Charley's belly!
Charley is a labradoodle

Here she is with her friend George...

Look at those gorgeous lashes!
Love my fuzzy faced girl!

In other news,  I still have my job working as an RTI tutor but am actively seeking a professional classroom position. Its difficult due to the high number of applicants.  Please say a prayer for me!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Excuses

Having survived my first group workout, I returned for more tourture  health boosting workouts!

My first one on one session with trainer Tony was brutal! I think if I never had to do another mountain climber or burpee, life would be just about perfect. ... Funny how some of these exercises put life into perspective for you.  My half hour finished, I wobbled out of the gym and home.

Saturday morning came early. I'd set my alarm but slept through it, waking just in time to throw on some exercise clothing and run a brush through my bedhead.   Tony put us all through the paces.  4 exercises a set. I made my way though squats, push ups, suicides, the dreaded lunges and burpees.  This week he added caterpillars, windshield wipers and bugs.

Dead bug that is.... here is one of our team mates demonstrating.  one arm and leg on opposite sides of the body stretch out and you hold for 30 seconds... a lot harder than it looks!  I huffed and puffed through the sets and was happy when we finished... I made it and I was still alive!   Tony grabbed me and sent me to the office for weigh in before I went home to nurse my aching muscles.
I am happy to report I lost a pound and our Team was #1 on the leader board.

This evening was another one on one and Tony kicked my butt! Weights, planks, more weights and that sadistic trainer put in more mountain climbers!! I ended the half hour proud of myself though. I did everything he asked of me even though it hurt. I had it in me to thank Tony for the which he smiled and said "See you Saturday?"  OY!  I then jumped on the treadmill on a whim, for another half hour.. .I was dripping by the time I was finished.

My 1 pound loss this past week was not a big contribution and I've not been to happy with my eating the past two weeks.  After watching "Biggest Loser" tonight,  I am adopting their motto of "NO EXCUSES" No extra nibbling, workouts on time and in between sessions, I will walk  and get myself to the YMCA to swim laps.  I found I enjoy the lap swimming. It is hard work and I'm wobbly when I get out of the pool... but I am getting better and my stamina is rising.

Monday, March 12, 2012


     Regardless that we turned the clocks ahead an hour, today began like any other Monday morning.  My alarm went off waking me from a sound sleep. The morning was chilly and the chilliness of the rest of the bed, as I stretched, did not go unnoticed.  I kept telling myself that I should get up and on the treadmill for my 30 minute walk, but the warmth I had carved out  was too comforting to leave. I drifted in and out of light sleep until my daughter walked into the room to ask a question. Drifting off again, I was brought out of my dreamlike state to the sound of the kids leaving for school... 7:30 AM okay I am up!

Going through my morning routine, I practiced something I re-learned in a workshop this weekend.  Affirmations.. . I'm sure you know them...  "I am lovable, just the way I am"... " but mine are going more like this, "All good things come to me" and "I deserve a great job, great abundance of wealth, health and love'  :)
I am blessed to have the best commute around. I get to drive 30 minutes along the back roads and by ways to work each morning and home in the afternoons.  In the fall, the leaves are gorgeous...
I pass by this pond each morning on my commute. Sometimes a pair of swans complete the scene.

This morning as I ventured along singing to my favorite songs, I rounded a bend and had to stop the car pretty quick.  There, crossing the road were birds that looked like small stone aged dinosaurs.  Wild Turkeys!  There were a whole... colony? pack? gang?  what do you call a group of Turkeys??  ... checking wiki.."A group of turkeys is called a rafter, although a gang is also an acceptable name. They have also alternately been called a gobble, although this definition is colloquial and does not appear in dictionaries." 
Okay...I like gang... given spray paint cans they might have been out tagging!!

Big man taking on the cars...

There were 2 large males with a harem of sorts. The males took up the back herding the females across the road. One male would venture out into the road and puff himself up as if telling the cars "Back off! I'm moving my ladies!!"

the ladies? or more males?

Once the ladies were safely across the road, the male turkeys settled themselves into keeping at the rear.  The females pecked along seemingly oblivious to anything going on... their safe keepers on guard.  As I approached with my camera, the males would stop, raise their heads and sing out a warning to me "Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble" !!  Stay back, they warned. 

One large male decided I was a bit of a threat with my zoom lens pointing right at him. Maybe he thought it was Thanksgiving and I was there to have him for dinner! He puffed himself into as big a 'self' as he could be! 
around the wishing well he came puffing himself up his feathers; sounding like
a hand fan being flicked open. 

He puffed himself up bigger and began to strut back and forth

and bigger  .....

and bigger still!! I really didn't think he could have appeared any bigger!! He looks like he belongs on
a "Bells" turkey seasoning box!
I finished shooting photos as he ushered his gang into the back yard. I realized then that I needed to get back into my car and finish up my commute.

Thinking back on this morning I am so very grateful for this gift of beauty that graced my morning fostering into motion appreciation at each turn of the day. I looked up animal symbolism when I came home and found this... "When the turkey visits us it is a sign that we must be mindful of the blessings bestowed upon us each day. Further, it is a message to express our strength and brilliance - it's time to show our own plumage and reveal true selves." Goes well the the message I took away from my workshop and one I need to recall when I'm forgetting to be grateful for the small things.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Official Day 1

These are the words that were screaming inside my head as I struggled through an hour of exercise this morning at 8am.  
 I arrived on time and after an initial "Good Morning", Trainer Tony asked me to kick off my shoes and step up on the scale.  I had planned to jump right onto a healthy eating plan (Fat Flush) this past week but instead I found myself craving everything and anything categorized as food... yes, I did step on the scale and saw I gained 2 lbs!!!  I tell you that right there is a kick in the pants.

Tony ushered us down to the gym and we were put into partners. The work out began with 2 laps around the gym. I felt pretty good and even passed a few people, never mind how elderly they were!!
Tony then revved up the workout with sets of basically this list below minus the "Skaters" ... we did backward lunges and diamond push ups instead.
I worked my hardest
and found that I was not as strong as I thought I was.  My shoulder issue (beginning rotor cuff issues) was bothersome to some degree but I didn't let that stop me. I found the the exercise pictured below is not one I can do at all!! I have to work on my arm? shoulder? upper back??? strength.  

By the end of the class, I was hot and sweaty and ready to hit the showers. 

I was never so happy to leave the YMCA and jump into the security of my car.  I spent the rest of the day at a workshop.  Imagine my horror to arrive and find I had to climb two sets of stairs.... my legs are still like jello!! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weighty matters

Smallest Winner weigh ins this past week.  I weighed in on Monday with all intention to stick to a detox this week thus having the ability to lose up to 10lbs...  what is that saying about "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."..  the dieting plan did go awry, maybe I can fully turn things around beginning now.

What went wrong?  Well, I began each day with a healthy breakfast, then on to a healthy snack around 10:30 and then a great lunch. Drinking glass upon glass of water went well also... and then...
The clock hit 4pm... I'm home and the first student is on the way and I am famished!! I don't stop to think what I am inhaling trying to stave off the hunger. Maybe if my clock looked this this one above, I could have just eaten it!! When dinner arrives, there is no plan and so I just eat what ever.

so on to a NEW PLAN!  Smoothie at 4pm  cut up veggies to store in fridge and nosh on those.
That will get me to dinner.

Tonight, as I was visiting with my younger sister, I noticed she had a Dinner Menu planner on her refrigerator. Both my daughter and I looked at it and said almost simultaneously, "We need one of those!" to which my daughter also said, we could trade off who makes dinner... oooooOOOOooo I like that idea!!  So tomorrow will be a sit down planning meeting with my child, who just happens to love to cook!

As for me in the morning??  Treadmill time.. I think it may take more than 30 or 45 minutes to walk off the calories I've consumed this week!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Smallest Winner

I have gone and done it.  I can't believe I did but I have.
What is it I've done?  I went and joined the weight loss competition at the YMCA, another competitive weigh loss challenge :))
Those of you who personally know me, know how competitive I can be.  I need to lose some more weight and thought being in a competition like this would get me revved and going!
Not sure just what goes on at the kick off this morning at 10am, as there have been no emails or contact since my original sign-up/sign check at joining.

I will be under the heading of the Purple Team,  with trainer Tony, which meets each Saturday for an hour to do weigh ins and group exercise. I am hoping the team gained more members since I signed up as it was a rather small team then. There are other teams as well that meet throughout the week with other trainers.  Beyond the weekly meet, I will get a half hour session which is one on one with the trainer, advice on nutrition and other motivators.  What does one win??  Not so sure about that besides the actual loss of poundage!  Which will please me more than anything.

what are my goals??    Specifically... I want to lose 30 lbs
The program is 12 weeks long so this is an attainable # measurable by the scale and the tape measure :) oh and the clothing that sits in the bins in my bedroom waiting to see the light of day!!

I hope to blog through this challenge and keep you all abreast as to what  is happening...the good, the bad and the ugly!

So here's to a clean and healthy competition!!  Wish me luck!!