Posts filed under ‘parenting’

i’m in a new york state of mind

last week mini-me and i took a trip to nyc. it was her spring break and when we realized that it would fall a month or so after my younger brother and his wife had their first baby, we decided it would be a great way to combine a long desired trip to the city and a chance to meet my nephew.

let me preface with a little family background. my little bro and i are pretty close. at least as close as we can be given we so different from one another. in spite of only being two years older than him, in some ways i was more a mom to him for a huge period of our childhoods and we’ve always maintained that bond even if we go months without talking and sometimes years without seeing. and i really like my sister in law. she’s very sweet, and caring. but she’s also very fragile. throughout the course of their eight years together she’s had some severe emotional episodes that concern me but my brother loves her and in their own way they work together perfectly.

we got in late saturday night. midnight almost (almost forgot i need to write about dances with dirt which i ran earlier that day hence our late flight time) and hopped a cab to their place in tribeca. a quick peak at my adorable little nephew and we went straight to bed.

how sweet is he?

how sweet is he?

late the next morning after sleeping in best we all could with a newborn my brother took us on a short neighborhood tour. aka the best coffee and bagels walk. then soon after we all headed out to an art show. they (my brother and SIL) own an art gallery and it was great seeing some of their world and introducing mini-me to the sometimes dumbfounding works of modern art. that night we all had dinner along with my SIL’s mom who has been visiting (but staying in her own rented place) for the last month or so.

monday, mini-me and i ventured out on our own to meet up with my friend and former coworker HG for a bucket list visit to serendipity for lunch and the long-anticipated frozen peanut butter butter hot chocolate.

frozen deliciousness!

frozen deliciousness!

after indulging, we burned a few of the zillion calories with a long walk through central park before mini-me and i headed back to the apartment for a quick rest before she and i headed to bucket list item #2 ~ skating at rockerfeller center. mini-me is a skater. it’s her thing. and this was a dream come true. one we asked her uncle and aunt to meet us at but one they chose to forgo and just meet us out for dinner after instead.


another little update. my brother and his wife are vegan. strict. i have no qualms about that. envy actually sometimes. but i also have a 12 year old who eats like a 12 year old. give her mac and cheese or chicken tenders with a side of fries and she’s happy. but take her to a restaurant where she doesn’t recognize much of what’s on the menu and it gets hard. add to this that i am so not a foodie. i eat to sustain. yes, i eat healthy (with the occasional splurge of the likes of the frozen goodness above!) but i don’t like spending money on eating out three meals a day which i was quickly realizing was going to eat up my entire nyc budget given the lack of hosted home cooking. so $30 entrees didn’t make me happy but we made do.

the next day a trip to the bronx to HGs house for a visit with her man and her little man who i haven’t seen since he was three months old. all day of chit chat, new york pizza and laughter followed by a fabulous home cooked dinner and a few beers. i almost felt guilty in that i was far more comfortable with them ~ and could see mini-me was as well ~ than we were with my brother.

they adored each other!

they adored each other!

the next morning i finally got out for a much needed run. as much as i love my trails, there was something oddly relaxing and magical about running in the city. maybe it was this view.

freedom tower

freedom tower

not long after i got back i felt things start to worsen. this was the one day my bro and sister in law ~ and the baby ~ were supposed to do the ny tourist thing with us. plans for the staten island ferry to see lady liberty and the 9/11 memorial to reflect and remember. but as we got ready to leave my SIL opted out. lack of sleep and just plain stress. i won’t lie. i was a little disappointed but i’ve been there so i understood and made the day fun for three . i knew the night would be redeeming. shosh, a mutual old friend of mine and my brother’s ~ newly married and pregnant with her first ~ was coming over for dinner. nothing spectacular (or home cooked). in fact the plan was gourmet pizza delivery and wine. but five minutes before their arrival my brother told me we needed to just go out. and by “we” he meant just me, mini-me and the guests. my SIL wasn’t feeling well. i was definitely not happy with things and embarrassed to make our guests put their coats back on as soon as they had taken them off, but regardless we still made the night wonderful.

thursday, our last full day, mini-me and i spent the morning out on our own. a quick stop back at the apartment then a times square adventure to buy that night broadway tickets before heading back for a shower and rest. but while getting ready i knew things weren’t good. my SIL was locked in the baby’s room with her mom and i could hear her crying and screaming. and not just a little. shrill. irrational. and soon after my brother came to me asking when we were heading out since he thought it best we leave early. mini-me wasn’t even given time to shower before we felt very ushered out the door.

i fully understand the stress of having a new born. lack of sleep, new worries and emotions. and company on top of it can be hard which is why we had spent much of our days out and on our own to be sure we gave them their space so i was definitely caught off guard by the extreme breakdown.

mini-me and i found a place for dinner ~ with french fries! ~ then headed to broadway to see chicago. mid act 1 I could feel my phone vibrating in my purse and at intermission i found missed calls and a text from my brother telling me my SIL was completely freaking out and that he thought it best we not stay with them that night. all compassion i had turned to shock and honestly anger. it was 9:30 pm at that point. on our last night. in an unfamiliar city. if it was just me that would be one thing but i had a child with me! MY child! she was very upset and worried about what we were going to do. it put a huge stress and damper on what was supposed to be our special night at the theater. so i wrote him back and told him to handle it. make arrangements for us at a hotel and we would come pick up our stuff after the show.

we tried to enjoy the rest of the night but we were both upset. after the show i had a text from him saying that things were calm and we should just come back. i wasn’t thrilled with that at that point but we had little option. when we got back, i went upstairs to see her and she apologized and i told her it was ok and i understood. truly i didn’t but I would never make her feel worse.

the next morning we had to leave by around 9:30 to get to the airport. i heard them awake upstairs at times. but at no point did either of them even come downstairs to spend a few minutes with us. finally I sent my brother a text saying we were leaving. he came down for a second with the baby to say goodbye but she didn’t bother.

i am trying to be understanding but it is very difficulty for me to comprehend her level of delicate and weak. i knew being there would be hard on a new mommy so we really did much of our own things. unfortunately these episodes have been scattered throughout their entire relationship. she is very very fragile emotionally. and I do find it concerning. motherhood is not an easy job and depression and emotional instability can be detrimental. i worry for my brother. i worry for my nephew. i worry for her. as far as we know she almost never left the apartment while we were there besides the art show, two dinners out and a hair appointment. she spends much of the day still in bed working a little and napping when the baby does. a maid twice a week does everything needed. i know i know i know, that not all can handle what i do. single parent, full-time career, ultra training, taking classes online. i thrive on independence and strength. she needs to be fully taken care of. i will never judge her for that. but the way things were handled and the stress it put on me and mine was not fair and i am not convinced that she is ok.

all in all it was a wonderful trip. there are so many more pictures i want to share but this post is already too long. i’m not a city girl. not big city at least. but there truly was something so invigorating about the energy and chaos that abounded. i wish we hadn’t had to endure the family drama my poor mini-me seems to always have to face ~ be it with me or with her dad. it’s dumbfounding to me how through 10 years divorced we have yet to come close to the dysfunctional we find on family vacations. how did we end up the normal ones? the stable ones? the strong ones? but at least we are the norm and they … her eccentric, extended exception.


March 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm 3 comments

how long must i weight

after a few nights of happy hour pity parties, i decided it was time to hit the gym yesterday. i can’t do much. seated upper body weights only for two weeks then i can get in the pool and see how the foot feels. i figured something was better than nothing but there are only so many arm exercises one can do and given my gym isn’t typically that crowded i ran through them all pretty quick. it wasn’t a bad experience but i’m just not a fan of weights and in all i think i was there for 30 minutes. not enough time to keep me from an evening home alone thinking. or more accurately defined in my world … over-analyzing. this injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. i want to run! i need to run! gut out the hurt and confusion i’m dealing with right now. but i know my foot is broken and i have to let it heal. i just hate to weight!

between the conversations i’ve had with friends, and the often more honest ones i’ve had with me, myself and i, i find myself pretty secure in the decision that when if the hunter calls or texts, i need to shut it down quickly. looking back there were so many things that would have never allowed us to go long term. at least not without me making major sacrifices. i guess i had hoped that at some point he was going to prove that i was sacrifice worthy in his world but he never did and i honestly don’t see him changing enough to ever be what i really want and need. he’s not a bad guy. it’s just that for all our similarities we are very different people who want very different things.

so what do i want? no doubt next time around i am dating a runner. not a cyclist. not a weight lifter. not a couch potato. i want someone who not only accepts and supports my habit hobby but who actually loves it too. we don’t have to run the same pace, distance or days. but if he’s not eagerly getting up at 4:30 a.m. some saturdays to hit the trails with me then there’s already a disconnect. i want someone ready to build a family. be it just by becoming a part of mine, merging ones we already have or even creating our own. not saying i want another kid but i’m all for adopting. i mean how cute an addition to a household would this little guy be? 😉

seriously, i just want someone who isn’t gun shy. someone who trusts himself enough as a father to know that it’s not only ok to let kids spend time together but absolutely necessary to do so in order to see how dynamics blend. i want someone semi-social. i must say that i loved the hunter’s homebody nature. i am not big on being out on the town. i couldn’t care less about the latest and greatest restaurant and parties exhaust me. but he might have been an extremist. we stayed in. a lot. and sometimes i want and need to be around people.

there’s more of course. might sound silly but i really don’t want to date another non-coffee drinker. not sure how i, as a potential addict, always seem to pick men who don’t touch the stuff, but the ability and desire to make me a cup of java in bed on a sunday morning certainly gets bonus points. and i definitely want someone who hates florida as much as i do and can and will leave someday when local obligations are complete ~ aka the day my kid goes off to college and i can run away too!

i know he’s out there. the right guy. and i’m so eager and ready to find him but i also know i’m hurt. the heart is broken and i have to let it heal. i just hate to wait!

October 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm 2 comments

what’s eating gilbert grape

yesterday i took miniMe for her 7th grade physical. a few back-to-school shots and a sports release form were all that were expected so i was a little caught off guard when her doctor started showing concern that over the last year miniMe has grown a few inches but lost a decent amount of weight. last year she was pushing 75 but now, at age 12, she stands 4’9″ and weighs just 69 pounds which apparently puts her in the 4th percentile for weight. it’s not something that’s gone unnoticed at home. in fact over the last couple months she’s gone on a mission to break 70 pounds again but to no avail. granted she isn’t a huge eater. a picky bird … no … but we eat what i see as portioned, well-balanced meals with plenty of ice cream thrown in for good measure since ice cream is the best thing in the whole world!

anyway, as a precaution, the doctor opted to do a urine screen. a small concern of finding sugars and potential diabetes. thankfully that screening came back negative but she found elevated levels of bilirubin. i’m somewhat familiar with BR. as an infant, miniMe had extremely high levels and was jaundiced. a connection to that now. no. but now potentially nothing. potentially of concern. to put things scientifically …

“bilirubin is a normal byproduct of the body. as red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen to the body, wear out, they are filtered out through the liver. the liver, when functioning correctly, will send these useless blood cells (bilirubin) out of the body by means of the large intestine. normally, your kidneys, which produce urine, will not have to filter out the dead red blood cells. however, when the liver isn’t functioning properly, bilirubin is filtered by the kidneys and comes out in the urine instead of through your colon.”

the doctor’s first question was if there is a family history of gilbert’s syndrome ~ a hereditary condition that is of little to no concern but would provide us with the likely answer of why she has bilirubin in her urine. it’s apparently a pretty common condition (5% of the population) but is often undiagnosed and asymptomatic. though symptoms, when active, can include weight loss. but i have little to no knowledge of my family history. hell, i have little to no knowledge of my family!

but today i reached out. wrote the aunts i have yet to meet again and a cousin i may or may not have ever seen. a confirmed history of gilbert’s would bring a little peace of mind. a reason. a likely answer. so far no diagnosis or knowledge but potential connections to symptoms.

i’m not worried ~ yet. well ok, i lie. maybe just a little. it’s always unnerving when your kid’s doctor wants to send samples for further testing to the outside lab. but until i get a solid answer i’m trying not to let it eat away at me.

the call came sooner than expected … full analysis clean! i can breath again!

August 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm 1 comment

that time of the month

last night i was shocked to realize it’s been almost a month since my last post! i’m not even sure how to catch up on the last few weeks but i’m not sure anything happened that needs recapping. basically i’ve been working and training. day in. day out. oh, and there was a two-week vacation in there which i think i will write about but in a separate post. but here’s the basic, current life summary.

work has changed lately. the new big boss has settled in and things are going to be different. in a good way i think. he has expectations and goals where the mindset before was always “we do well enough so why do more”. hopefully this will alleviate some of my boredom and unrest with my job. regardless though i’m looking. tentatively. i’m tired of living paycheck to paycheck and as a state employee i’m certainly not in this gig for the money. but at least for the time being i may actually be challenged which is far what i prefer! except it truly is cutting into my blogging time ;).

training is going ok. not great. not bad. i’m up to a 53 mile long ride and i’m keeping the mileage ramped up in that range. the ironman loaned me a bike trainer and that is going to be a huge help. this past saturday i was able to get in 2.5 hours on it ~ approximately 40-45 miles ~ before sab had even woken up. by the way i’m changing sab’s name in this blog. i know it’s been years but i call her miniMe elsewhere and it’s driving me crazy having two different nicknames so get used to it. anyway since miniMe had a slumber party saturday night, i was also able to get in a long run sunday morning for a kick-ass weekend of workouts! the run i’ve taken back up to 11 mile longs. i was starting to feel like i was slacking on it. granted it’s my strongest of the three disciplines but that doesn’t mean i can just avoid it. that said … i REALLY shouldn’t be avoiding the swim which is by far my weakness. but that’s exactly what i’ve been doing. i must get back in the water. and preferably open water!

things with the hunter are ok. i think i’ll equate it to my training. not great. not bad. i never did vent my disappointment about his lack of wanting to go with me to the bunny’s party or augusta. i pretty much concluded that i’d rather go alone than with someone who didn’t want to go. the party is this weekend and actually i’m probably not even going to go now. i’m broke. i’m tired. i’m not loving the idea of six hours each way for one night. i feel like crap for it. i want to be there to celebrate my friend’s happiness but i’m already stretched so thin. she understands. i wish i did. augusta is another story. i want and need to tell the hunter i’m hurt by his lack of support. at this point i really don’t even want him to go. i want to be surrounded by nothing but positive energy! but i do want him to understand that i’m disappointed. everything else between us seems ok. i’m just feeling a little unsure of the future ~ mine, his and ours.

hopefully i won’t vanish for another month. i miss writing. i miss my (few) readers. and i definitely feel out of sorts not seeing my training in numbers.



August 8, 2012 at 10:18 am 3 comments

june recap. july goals.

june was a simple month. not a lot of goals with the hope of not a lot of added stress. i didn’t quite manage what little i’d hoped for, but i’m not worried. here’s the recap.

1. race my first tri on june 10 and just finish strong! i’d say i made this goal 🙂

2. celebrate my 40th with delicious food, strong drinks and great friends! i’m forty. i’m fabulous!

3. get in an early morning run at least once a week. i did this once. not once a week … once for the month. but in my defense i hit a snag. my treadmill belt is shot! and that really was to be my saving grace to have the time to do this. but i did tweak the work hours one day and meet a few from the group for one of their early morning runs along the bay. they start at 6 a.m. which really is too late for me but it was a nice change. i think i found someone who can do early, early hours with me on occasion so hopefully i can up the morning miles.

4. get films of the knee. avoided this. again. maybe soon.

now onto july. this month will be busy but fun! between the 4th of july holiday, a conference in orlando three days next week and two full weeks of vacation the 16th through 29th, i’ll be in the office a mere eight days for the entire month! here are some of the goals i’m adding into the mix of chaos!

1. create a detailed budget. money sucks. or more accurately lack of money sucks. i don’t have a lot of places to cut corners but i know there are little things i can change to save a few pennies for a rainy day.

2. swim at least twice a week. i’m strong on the run. i’m getting much stronger on the bike. now i need to focus. really focus on the swim.

3. secure a wet suit. i either need to suck it up and buy one, or find someone who can lend me a wet suit for augusta.

4. enjoy my vacation! to help break up the monotony of summer camp for sab, we are taking two weeks off. longest vacation i’ve taken in years. part one: three days at a cabin on a lake about an hour from here with the hunter and his girls! yes, my kid-commitment-phobe boyfriend invited us to spend a couple nights at the cabin he rented for a week. shocked me. plans of boating, tubing, water skiing and letting the girls get to know each other more 🙂 part two: four days in jekyll island, ga with my step-sister. beach fun and sun. cocktails and conversation. detour to part three: augusta for the day. i’m a very visual person and nothing will quell my fears more than to check out the race course. so we’ll pop in for the day, visit the river, drive the ride and downtown walk part of the run. then we pick up my mom from the airport and head out. part three: a week at a cabin on a lake in south carolina. me, mom and my mini-me. fishing, reading, writing, relaxing. but throughout the entire vacation … still training!

July 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm 1 comment

his and mine

i’ve been more than patient in allowing the hunter his gun-shy-insecurity about bringing our kids into our relationship. only a few years post divorce, and having already gone through one relationship breakup where the kids were introduced, he has been very cautious about his girls’ well being. and understandably so. for the first six months, i fully agreed it was too soon. for his and for mine! but when we crossed into eight months, ten, a year … i was not only ready, i felt it had to happen for our relationship to progress at all. but he still hesitated so i backed off and decided to let him call the shots. our girls did meet once. about a month and a half back. but it was no more than a 15 minute visit that was unexpected and unspectacular. don’t get me wrong, i was happy that it happened but it didn’t offer them ~ or us ~ any chance at getting to know each other.

a few weeks ago while running with the euro we got to talking about it. he too felt it was a necessary step and he made the comment that as a guy, it was one the hunter was likely not ever to suggest or push for. and though i agreed, i also knew that i had hit a break point and if i asked again, and he still wasn’t ready, then i felt safe to assume we had no future. and i wasn’t sure that was a potential reality i was ready to face. but as my mom always says “it was time to shit or get off the pot” so that night i gently suggested an upcoming weekend get together. his response … a schedule tweak with the ex for mother’s day meant his girls wouldn’t be with him. valid but no offer of another day or time left me questioning even more. so a week or so later i asked again with enough lead time and flexibility on days. his response … questionable weather might dampen my suggested excursions but we’d “play it by ear”. again, not a no. but not a yes. and i left it at that. a few days later i was surprised to get his text. his girls were excited about going to busch gardens that sunday! our plans. he had told them. and he was ready.

so two sundays ago sab and i headed to their house. after a brief tour and introduction to their zoo ~ the dog, the hamster, the bunny and the tortoise ~ the five of us headed off to spend the day at busch gardens. admittedly i was a little worried about his youngest. his older daughter (i’ll call her mag) is two weeks younger than sab and from what i’d heard about her, a similar personality so i assumed they would get along just fine. but the nine year old (i’ll call her blu) is the more hard headed. the strong willed. the handful. even in the brief meeting we’d had prior she had barely spoken. sized me up with her icy blue eyes but stayed glued to her dad with an air of possession. but even before we got to the park my concern faded. she was talkative. happy. funny. and though there was little interaction between the three of them in the backseat, there was no immediate apparent drama or personality clash either.

but not far into the day i realized that it wasn’t his i should have been worried about. maybe it was that they had each other where sab had no one. or maybe she was just feeling shy. because it was mine who came with the wall of attitude. she made no effort to talk and kept a distance as we walked or waited. i let it go at first. but after awhile it was too much and i started to get irritated. that last roller coaster ride i told her to get over it. make an effort. at least be polite if she couldn’t be nice. the car ride back to the hunter’s was a little quiet and i felt sure it would be awhile before we’d do it again. but the hunter asked if we wanted to stay and order pizza and while we were waiting for the delivery the girls all started playing on their ipod touches. separately at first. but it wasn’t long before they were comparing apps and instagrams. by the time we left, sab was texting mag, and did so until her ipod died at almost midnight, and they were all commenting back and forth on each others instagrams. the hunter found it silly. wondered why kids can’t communicate face to face without electronics. but i was simply happy they found a way to communicate at all and if the safety of an ipod was what they needed to hide behind then so be it. the rest will come in due time.

June 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm 3 comments

may days

i can’t believe it’s may already. where is the year going? in six weeks i do my first tri and sab will be done with 6th grade. in seven weeks i turn <gulp> 40! but i’m going to try to not look that far ahead yet. just focus first on the month ahead. so here are may’s goals.

  1. start writing weekly workout updates again.
    these really help me stay focused and accountable. i won’t recap the last two weeks that i missed (again) but i will say i did make it back in the pool ~ only once but did a mile easy. the run was a little lite and i had a really rough 10-miler one day but i’m slowly finding a rhythm of adding two additional disciplines and feel like i might not just survive but actually run a decent race come september.
  2. solidify sab’s summer camp schedule.
    i’ve got five of the 10 weeks of summer set. two of which are vacation weeks! jekyll island, georgia followed by a week on lake murray in south carolina. i can’t wait!
  3. spend 20 minutes at least three days a week doing the PT exercises for my hip.
    i readily admit that i suck at doing what i know i need to do. i try here and there but i need to increase what i am doing so someday i can win this battle. i have downtime at work where i can easily close my office door and most of the time i don’t even take a lunch break so there really is no excuse. i’ve seen improvement over the past few months and need to keep moving forward.
  4. plan the hunter’s birthday.
    his birthday (41) is june 3. two weeks before mine. i’ve considered proposing a joint party of some sort but he’s really not a social butterfly kind of guy. maybe a night at the beach like we did last year. it’s his happy place. but i’d kind of like to do something different. any great (and inexpensive) ideas?
  5. create and order a 2011 photo book.
    i like to think that someday i am going to find the time to create amazing scrapbooks of sab’s life. i’ve got the supplies. papers and stickers. cutters and stamps. but really who am i kidding? so i’ve decided i need to just do photo books. all i need to do is organize pictures and do a basic layout then upload and order. given the zillion pictures i have on my computer this will still be time consuming but i figure i need to tackle it one year of pictures at a time.
  6. do new lease for my tenants.
    i can’t believe i moved a year ago! i swear time goes by faster and faster every year. thankfully my tenants want to renew their lease on my house so i’ve got to get that written up and signed pronto!
  7. update resume
    i like my job. i do. it’s mostly stress free and the people aren’t half bad. but i’m bored. there’s no chance for upward movement. and i thrive on challenge that no longer presents itself in what i do. so it’s time to look. not leap. but it can’t hurt to be prepared just in case.

i think that’s enough. add in the lingering goals from last month that need to be finished or maintained and that gives me a pretty full plate.

May 2, 2012 at 9:14 am 1 comment

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39