Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When we stop trying to be better, we stop being good.

I think I'm neurotic. High strung. A worry wart. Slightly nutty.

Damn it.

I thought I had it together. I used to take yoga! I believe in karma! I believe in letting things be.

But oh, how I suck at it.

Remember my post on surrendering? Yeah, apparently, it is worse than I thought. I am worse than I thought. And I've gotta do something about it.

So...after that post, I had been giving a lot of thought to that concept of surrendering, and have been trying to be more aware of how often I am doing exactly the opposite. Unfortunately, it's more often than I care to admit, and I don't really like that about myself.

Take the last couple of days, for instance...

On Sunday, I wanted to go for a run on the beach. I needed to go for a run on the beach. All alone. No kids. No husband. Nothing but me and my iPod. But it was a bad South Florida weather day...major storms looming, high chances of rain in the forecast. But I thought (okay, I forced myself to think): "So what? If it rains, I'll get a little wet. I'll run to my car. I'll go home." When I got to the beach, I was fascinated to see that in spite of the forecast and ominous skies, it was packed. We're talking whole families with canopies, hammocks, tables of food, toddlers in playpens.... If they were able to enjoy their cloudy day and toss the Frisbee around and wade in the water, why couldn't I enjoy my run? As I ran, I made myself not think about the storm, not try to predict the pattern of the clouds, not try to measure how many blocks away my car was if the storms did start. After about 40 minutes, the winds started picking up and the restaurants started pulling down their rain shields, and yet the families and their all-day beach gear remained. Oh what I would give to be that optimistic, that free of worry... As I forced myself to continue my run in the opposite direction of my car and towards the black looming clouds (just to prove to myself that I could go against my instincts), I maintained a constant inner dialogue: "I'm not worried about the rain. I've run in the rain before. No biggie. Even a little lightening...nothing new in South Florida in the summer. I mean, really, what are the statistical chances of getting struck by lightening? And those people...they're not packing up. Gee, maybe they should. Look at that...they have a playpen! And 2 canopies! And there are three small children too. How will they get all those toys packed up in time? Just keep running, Liz. They're not worrying. You aren't either."

In the end, the rains did come. And hard. The kind of pelting, painful, sudden sheets of rain that shock you with their violence. And I did not get struck by lightening. And I did make it to the car. And I am sure so did all of those families.

Then there was yesterday. We had Babysitting scheduled. We had been looking forward to a day on the beach, just the two of us, no sandy diapers or beach toys. But again, the weather forecast was not good, to put it mildly. Hubby suggested we throw a bag with our suits and some towels in the car, drop off the kids, and just "play it by ear." Sure. OK. I can do that. Yeah. I can do that. I guess.

"Um, honey? If we don't go to the beach, what are we doing all day? Should I wear make up? Should I check the movie times? What if we do go to the beach and we didn't pack anything to eat? Should I check the weather online for the 100th time just to be sure?"

(Yes, I know. Sometimes I'm shocked he's married to me too.)

End result? We had a lovely brunch at a beach side restaurant. We managed to squeeze in two hours at the beach with a few patches of sun, even. We went to dinner on South Beach at a lovely Italian restaurant. We had wine at a sidewalk bar. We even went swimming at night in our pool. And somehow, miraculously, we managed to dodge the on-again off-again showers all day long...without even trying.

All that worrying...wasted (as most worrying is). We had a great day and decent weather. And if the weather had sucked, my worrying would not have made one damn bit of difference.

At some point during the day, I made some half-hearted joke about my futile attempts at micromanaging everything, even the weather. And hubby pointed out how I had gotten "a little worse" about my stressing over things over the last couple of years and how it "wasn't good" for me or "the boys" (and I am sure he was thinking "himself" too). He's right. Who wants to be around someone like me all the time? When my neurotic, controlling, pessimistic loved ones behave that way, I roll my eyes. When my 3-year-old shows evidence of his own worrisome ways ("But Mama, if I go on my boogie board, the salt water might hurt my eyes...") I have to force myself to be patient. These are qualities I don't like in others. I have to admit that maybe the reason for that is because they remind me of myself.

We were cleaning out our guest room closet the other night, and I came across a note my friend wrote me a long time ago, during a particularly stressful time in my life: "Just Be." So simple. Be. Exist. Surrender.
I am trying.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My First Product Review and Give-away (Woo hoo!)

So how cool is this?!? I get to give stuff away! Yup. Neat, huh?

So Maggie from Ecostore USA asked if I'd review a couple of their products. Since I've always been interested in "green" products, but have not had much luck finding any in the stores that actually work as well as the "other" stuff, I was pretty psyched (but a bit skeptical, I must admit).

For the last couple of weeks I've been using their Naturally Antibacterial Spray Cleaner on my kitchen counters, which are usually quite grimy especially from the baby's powdered formula, which creates a layer of thick and usually hard-to-get-off milky gunk. I was thoroughly impressed by how well the spray got everything off and did not leave my granite smeared and filmy the way some other sprays usually do. The smell, also, is waaaaay better than most antibacterial sprays, which make me feel like I'm trapped in a fog of chemicals.

The other product I tested, Baby Sleepytime Bath Aromatherapy, was an even bigger surprise. I poured it into the tub for both of the boys, and at first, the smell was a bit shocking. It's strong...almost like incense, but really, really yummy. After a few days of using it, I think it was making me calmer and more relaxed. I loved the way it made the whole bathroom smell. Overall, I figured "OK, so it's basically aromatherapy. Smells good. Fine." But after a couple of weeks, I noticed that neither of the boys' eczema had flared up, as it always does in the summer. Coincidence? Maybe, but I highly doubt it!

So here's the fun part...the first two readers who email me at but-then-i-had-kids@hotmail.com will receive their choice of one Ecostore USA product. Just email me your name, address, phone number, and choice of product (check out their website to pick!). I figure we can all do our part to make this world a bit greener for our kids' futures, right?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


In exactly two weeks, I will be setting foot on a cruise ship for a 4-day getaway for hubby's birthday. Just the two of us. On a cruise ship. Away. Really, really away.

We have not been "that gone" since Ben was about 18 months old. And we have not yet left Aidan for more than 2 days. So this will be a little different.

I never had an issue leaving Ben when he was little. My family used to joke that if we could, we'd do a Drive-By Baby Drop, as in: slow the car down enough to be able to toss Ben out the window into the waiting arms of my mom. (OK, admit it...it's kinda funny.) And even now, I have no trouble leaving both boys for our regular Babysitting Nights, during which we are gone for about 24 hours. But something seems to have shifted over the last few months, and every time I am going to be away from them for more than a night, I get apprehensive. I know what some of you are thinking...'Oh of course! You are going to miss them so much!' or 'Yes, you are apprehensive about not being with your babies!' Uh, no. Not really. I guess I do miss them...some...but to be honest, I know I'm going to see them again and Life As A Parent Of Two Small Children will resume soon enough, so...No, I would barely call that "missing them."

I think the apprehension comes from the loss of control. I can be pretty controlling (surprise, surprise) so giving up total control of my kids is tough. Because I wonder: "How are they doing?" And I worry: "What if one of them gets sick?" And I fret: "What if my 70-year-old mother with a bad back is getting overwhelmed?"

And now that we are officially 2 weeks away from vacation, I keep picturing Hubby and myself lounging on deck, tropical drinks in hand, calypso band playing...I keep picturing myself in my new adorable outfits that no longer scream "Postpartum Mom"...I keep picturing us dancing in the tacky touristy disco late at night...and I keep picturing one of the boys getting sick right before we leave. This has become my new Vacation Preoccupation. Every time one of those lovely vacationing images pops into mind, it is startled by a "What if..."

I have tried to push it out of my mind. I have tried not to think about it. I have tried not to talk about it. I have tried. And can't. So I have given up. And I refuse to believe that verbalizing what I'm worried about is going to make it happen. So...I fret out loud (and on this blog). And I "take precautions." I am hand sanitizing. I am wiping stuff down. I am staying away from any even slightly sick friends. And I have absolutely and completely forbidden any Chuck E. Cheese visits in the next 2 weeks.

I hate living like this. I hate being like this. It is not just about this vacation...it is the constant desire to ensure that everything goes as planned, that everything is just perfect, that nothing goes wrong. All about control. And of course, I know that my sense of control is really an illusion. I get it. We don't control anything. I understand it. I preach it to others. I believe it. But when push comes to shove, I can't do it.

Of course, I also understand that my worrying about stuff doesn't change anything. In fact, I am pretty darn suspicious that it makes things worse. You know, the whole...negative thoughts bring negativity...think positive...the mind/body connection...all that. (Not to mention that worrying this much will probably affect my immune system enough to actually make ME sick...even if the boys get off the hook.) And there is also that other tiny inconvenience: worrying like this just sucks the joy right out of the pre-trip days.

So...what can I do? I'll keep at it. I'll keep trying to learn from those around me who live in a near-constant state of calm and grace and optimism. Years ago, I had to come up with a mantra for a yoga class, something that was active and would simply remind me of what I "needed to do." The word surrender came to mind immediately. One word. How simple. How powerful. How difficult. For me anyway.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Excuse me, do you have the time? Oh wait, no, don't tell me.

I have this technique I sometimes use at the gym when I'm running on the treadmill: I cover the timer portion of the screen with my towel. This prevents me from knowing how long I've been going...or more importantly, how long I've got left. It's a game I play with myself: I pretend that I don't care how long I've been running. Sometimes it helps. Other times, I spend a great deal of my time on the treadmill trying to guess-timate how long I've been running, and then peeking underneath the edge of the towel to see if I'm right.

It seems that this is how I'm telling time over the summer. I keep trying to just go with the flow, not look at the clock, but sometimes..I peek.

I have always been envious of those people who walk around, living their lives without a watch, not measuring every deed, activity, and errand by the minute hand. It must be so freeing. Because I don't just wear a watch to be on time for work and appointments; I wear a watch to oppress myself. Everything is calculated, measured in minutes and seconds, and when my estimates are off, it frustrates and overwhelms me: "If I arrive at the gym at 3:45, I can be warmed up and working out by 3:55. By 4:55 I can start my cool down. That means I can get out of there by 5:05, run to the dry cleaners, and make it home by 5:30." What this means is that during my entire workout, I'm keeping track of the time and further estimating how long each activity will take. If I'm home at 5:47, then my neurotic brain reads it as "it's almost 6:00" and now my evening routine is "off." And "off" by what? Who says the kids have to be tucked in by 7:45 instead of 7:58? That's the completely screwed up thing about me and time...that usually I'm stressing about self-imposed, non-important, randomly selected time lines. I am just constantly watching the clock tick, literally, and it makes me feel like I'm drowning. All the time. Gasp.

So...now it's summer. And during my very first week out of work, I was amazed when I realized that the kids did not need to wake up at the crack of dawn the next day, and I had an entire day to fit in a trip to the gym, and the errands that were not completed today could be run tomorrow. I realized that time really, truly did not matter that much (notice the "that much"...baby steps, people). So I made a pledge with myself: I am not wearing a watch this summer. I've been pretty good. I'm not gonna lie. It's been tough. Everyday when I slip on my wedding ring, I automatically reach for my watch. And then...I put it back in the drawer...and usually put some other accessory on my left wrist because, well, it's NAKED. And it feels really, really light.

But here's the thing with today's world...there are clocks EVERYWHERE. Like right now, while I'm blogging and trying not to think about how tired I am and how I still have to get some stuff ready for tomorrow's activities and I haven't even taken a shower and I still absolutely must give myself a pedicure and reminding myself it really, truly just doesn't matter what time it is because...hey, it's summer...and this is the New Me...and I can go to sleep at whatever bedtime I damn well please...and I don't need to know what time it is because...lookie here...on my left wrist is a lovely turquoise and brown leather cuff, not a watch, so I am not calculating the exact minutes left to complete this blog and then go on to accomplish everything else on my "Must Do Before Bed Tonight" list but Oh Crap...there it is on my computer monitor: 9:48 p.m. And when I am done here and go on to my bedroom, the green glaring digits of the stove will tell me what time it is, and I will try very, very hard not to calculate how much time I thought I was going to spend blogging and how much time I will still need to find the Flirty Fuchsia polish for my toes...
That's the thing with real clocks versus treadmill timers: you don't even need to lift the edge of the towel to peek.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

101 Things About Daddy

In honor of Father's Day and #18 on my 101 Things About Liz...

101 Things About the Father of My Children

1. He is a year and a half younger than I am.
2. He reminds me of this on a regular basis.
3. He was born in Jersey, but moved to Uruguay when he was 3 weeks old.
4. When he speaks Spanish, he sounds way nicer than I do.
5. He has 4 tattoos.
6. He plans on getting at least one more.
7. He lets me sleep in more than half the time on weekends and in the summer.
8. The first time I had a migraine with him he said, "Show me how to help you." 9. While I was pregnant with Ben, he kissed my belly every night.
10. When I was pregnant with Aidan, he rubbed my feet every night.
11. For my first Mother's Day, he gave me 2 gifts: a tacky Best Mom mug (the "traditional cliche gift") and a pair of red patent leather high heels (the "anti-mommy gift").
12. He's only complained once about needing to treat every lizard in the house as an emergency.
13. It was 2:00 in the morning.
14. He changed the first 10 diapers of Ben's life.
15. He owns 2 suits.
16. He looks spectacular in both.
17. He owns an entire drawer full of cycling shorts.
18. He looks even better in those.
19. When we went to Hawaii for our 5th wedding anniversary, he surprised me with a full-blown vows renewal ceremony on a beach, complete with a minister, a professional photographer, a fancy dinner, and 5 eternity bands.
20. It took him over 6 months to plan it.
21. He still opens doors for me, and is teaching Ben to do the same.
22. He is one of the smartest people I know.
23. He is also a smart ass.
24. People either love him or hate him.
25. He never cares one way or the other.
26. His last two cars have been bright yellow trucks.
27. He once attended a luncheon given by one of my relatives just because it was important to my mother.
28. He makes a mean meatloaf.
29. His students idolize him.
30. Sometimes his students' moms do too.
31. He sings his own version of "Good Night Sweetheart" to Ben every night.
32. He calls Aidan "Mushu Chicken" and "Po-Chicken."
33. When we found out we had miscarried our first pregnancy, he cried on the floor with me.
34. He cried at the end of The Notebook (the book, not the movie).
35. He's been called "macho" by nearly every one in my family.
36. When given the choice between a vasectomy with general anesthesia or local anesthesia, he chose local so he wouldn't have to get someone to drive him home.
37. His favorite books are Tuesdays With Morrie, Angels and Demons, and A Pirate Looks at Forty.
38. He follows Lance Armstrong on Twitter.
39. He wears his hair long.
40. When people ask him if he's babysitting the kids, he says he is "not babysitting;" he is "parenting."
41. He once jumped out of a plane.
42. He can talk politics with almost anyone.
43. He left his position as an assistant principal and went back to teaching so he could have more time with us (and his bike).
44. He wrote a teacher's resource book on Science.
45. He thinks Marisa Miller is hot.
46. He insists I'm hotter.
47. He's a bad liar.
48. When I try on clothes in the dressing room, he sits outside and gives me an honest opinion on every item.
49. He attended every single one of my OB/GYN appointments with both pregnancies.
50. He nearly fainted when he saw the placenta during Ben's delivery.
51. When I fall asleep with my glasses on, he quietly slips them off and puts them on my night stand.
52. He can build just about anything.
53. He hates it when I wear ballet flats.
54. After two years in college, he decided to switch to a "less-fun" college so he could finish and do well.
55. He gets annoyed when the pediatrician is surprised that he knows so much about his own kids.
56. He is always suggesting I go on a girls' getaway weekend with my friends.
57. When we bought our house, he designed and built a "dream closet" for me, complete with a chandelier.
58. He leaves his shoes in a pile on our bedroom floor.
59. His clothes are often found on top of these shoes.
60. His desk at work is immaculate.
61. If I am Type A, he is Type Z.
62. He checks this blog constantly.
63. He is constantly forgetting his cell phone in his car.
64. When he does remember to bring it in the house, he forgets to take it off of "silent."
65. He forgets to give me messages all the time.
66. He has never forgotten a birthday or an anniversary.
67. He's afraid of lightening.
68. His favorite movie is "Gladiator."
69. But he loves a good chick flick.
70. He is better at packing for trips than I am.
71. He has three drawers of absolutely perfectly folded t-shirts.
72. He dressed as a pirate for Halloween 2 years in a row.
73. He plays with the boys way more than I do.
74. As strict as I am, he is still stricter.
75. He gave me diamond earrings when Ben was born.
76. He offered to fly me to New York so I could go designer shoe shopping when Aidan was born.
77. When I passed on the NY trip, he took me for a getaway weekend to the Mandarin Oriental Miami instead.
78. He snuck into my classroom after school was closed and decorated it with confetti, balloons, and banners for my birthday.
79. He did this twice.
80. He only celebrates Valentine's Day because I like it.
81. He gives new meaning to the word optimist.
82. He hates the newborn stage of parenting.
83. If he had a million dollars, he'd pay off all debts and invest so he could work as little as possible for the rest of his life.
84. If he could have any super power it'd be flying.
85. He mountain bikes, road rides, surfs, runs, kayaks, and adventure races.
86. He is saving golfing for when his body won't cooperate as well.
87. He crossed the entire country of Costa Rica on a mountain bike for La Ruta...twice (once with a cracked rib).
88. He offered to be the bartender and waiter and general helper at my baby shower so I could just relax and have a good time with my mom and friends.
89. When he was a little boy, his family called him "Ahora mismo" which means "Right now" in Spanish.
90. He has absolutely no tolerance for disrespect.
91. He once bought me 5 pairs of designer shoes worth more than $1000 for under $300. (They all fit and they were all fabulous.)
92. He can recite almost every line from the movie "Scarface."
93. He can be incredibly intimidating when he wants to be.
94. He can be incredibly nurturing when he wants to be.
95. He regularly makes time for 5 people in his life, and 3 of them are us.
96. He is as much of a mom as I am.
97. He is Ben's favorite person (much to my chagrin).
98. When Ben is sick, he sets the alarm so we can check his fever throughout the night (just because it makes me feel better).
99. He is absolutely the best husband in the world.
100. He is absolutely the best father in the world.
101. He's mine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In My Defense

You know those days when you've just got it together? You're like the It Mom. You look good, the kids are well-behaved, you get to places on time, you packed everything you needed, everything is cool, calm, collected...

Yesterday was not one of those days.

I started the day already off when I attempted to pack a bag for an entire day's outing, complete with errands, groceries, and a water play date, in a frantic and rushed 7 minutes. Needless to say, I forgot a couple of things...like wipes and enough food and formula for the baby. I also forgot to do something with my hair.... I did not realize until I got home at 8 p.m. just how disheveled I had looked all day. We're talking stray fly aways in every direction, the messy bun pulled up in the back...a look that screams "I have lost total control and right now I just can't stop what I'm doing to find it." (But in my defense, I had worked out that morning. It was Gym Hair.)

At my friend's house, the play date started out pretty smoothly: water balloons, a slip & slide, and the sprinklers. Even Aidan Kai got in on the fun...until I dropped him. Yes. Dropped him. Again. This time, fortunately, it was not off of a sofa and onto a laminate floor. It was a simple, but theatrical, drop and flip out of my arms and onto the wet grass, where he promptly rolled over and immediately started an indignant and impatient wail. My friend was kind enough to chuckle and withhold any comments. (But in my defense, I have a bum arm.) Aidan Kai did recover quickly (as so many children do while the mothers hold on to the guilt and self-inflicted abuse for days, at best), but we should've known the play date fun couldn't last. Two constantly hungry newborns, two 3-year-old rambunctious boys, and one very curious and mobile 10-month-old...what were we thinking? The adults were outnumbered, and the kids knew it. By the time I got out of there, I needed a nap, a nanny, and/or a cocktail.

I left there and then drove 40 minutes in South Florida traffic to my neighborhood Target with the intention of buying formula, and only formula. An hour and one severe thunderstorm later, I had spent $200, and nearly forgotten the formula. But hey, I had red and blue July 4th paper plates, glittery Uncle Sam hats, and a pack of water balloons...Oh, and almost a broken baby. This time it would've been Aidan's own fault if he had fallen, as he decided to show off in the register line and climb out of the shopping cart seat and STAND UP. (Okay, no, maybe it would've been my fault yet again, since I was the one who never clipped him in. But in my defense, Ben never climbed out of shopping carts.) I got to him just in time, as the cashier frowned at me and said, "Mommy, you should clip him in. You don't want an injury like that." Yes. Thank you, Target Check-out Girl.

We then go on to do full blown groceries. Now the three of us are hungry, cranky, and in need of naps. When we arrive at Publix, I immediately clip Aidan into the shopping cart and even wipe the cart down with antibacterial wipes for extra credit. I am zooming up and down the aisles, frantically trying to keep Aidan entertained, Ben nearby, and my entire family's nutritional needs in mind. It is when we are in the produce section and I am seduced by the summer peaches, that I think it is okay to step two frickin' feet away from Aidan, because...after all, everyone, he is clipped in. I am sniffing my third peach when Ben starts shrieking "Mama! Aidan has a piece of the bag in his hand and he's putting it in his mouth!" I think, 'Bag? What bag?' and assume Ben is being dramatic, as so many of us in my family are (okay, just me). But no, he has managed to tear off a tiny square of the plastic bags used for fruits and vegetables and is, in fact, putting it in his mouth. This can not be good. After a few seconds of "what-ifs" running around in my mind, I showered Ben with praises about how "dangerous" that could've been and what a "good job he did taking care of his brother." (In my defense, the peaches really were spectacular.)

So we are now down to the near-end of my day, and I am grateful that I have a shopping cart full of groceries and a baby with no major head injuries. We are standing in line to pay when Aidan starts getting pretty fussy, so I whip out the only thing I've got left: emergency Cheerios. (It is important to remind my readers at this point that Aidan has some puking tendencies, so we try to refrain from any solid pieces of food in public locations...even good ol' Cheerios.) And I do think for a moment, 'Is this a good idea?' But I also think, 'C'mon, Liz...after the day you've had? You'll be out of here in 2 minutes, and the kid will have a handful of Cheerios to keep him busy.' Like the play date earlier, it seemed okay at first....I had already run my card through the machine and even signed the receipt...I was waiting for the bag boy to pack the last of the bread bags...IT WAS THE LAST FRICKIN' CHEERIO, PEOPLE. And he did it. Yes. I know you saw this coming. He started to gag, and I did what any other mother would've done...I cupped my hands under his mouth and prayed OUT LOUD "Oh God, no please. No." But yes. Right there, in the check-out line at the grocery store. Go ahead. Laugh. (In my defense, I did such a good job wiping everything down with antibacterial solution and paper towels, that the floor was shining.)

On our way home, I got a call from a friend, and she happened to ask about my day. I used the term "frazzled mom" in the description. Apparently, Ben liked this phrase, because he sang it repeatedly as I pulled into the driveway..."Frazzled Mom! Frazzled Mom! Frazzled Mom!"

Summer is here...

Most of you know that Hubby and I are teachers, which means that we have now been officially on Summer Vacation for 12 days (but who's counting?). So in case you are wondering where the heck I've been...

Hangin' at the playground...

Playing with cars (and still daydreaming about Barbies)...

Visiting dear friends in Melbourne...

Swimming (sort of)...

Playing Rock Band with crazy friends in Gainesville...

Visiting Sea World in Orlando...

Generally enjoying the freedom that comes with summer...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

101 Things About Liz

So I'm not usually into the whole fashionably late thing...in fact, I like to be timely whenever possible. However, when it comes to blogging, unfortunately, I am not always as consistent as I'd like to be (hence, my last post). Sarah and Jen from http://www.momalom.com/ (which rocks, by the way) had these pretty cool "101 Things About Me" posts a couple of weeks ago. A few of their followers followed along and I thought I would too, since it was pretty cool to read and seemed pretty challenging to write. So in a particularly narcissistic, self-indulgent, and hopefully slightly revealing post, I present you with...
101 Things About Liz.

1. I'm 36 years old.
2. I was born in Chicago, but consider myself Cuban.
3. I own 56 pairs of shoes.
4. This includes my running and biking sneakers, an assortment of flip-flops, and one pair of fuzzy slippers.
5. My iPod, cell phone, planner, and a lock of hair are all hot pink.
6. My one goal as a teacher is to get my students to love reading.
7. When I was a little girl, I really believed I could be and do anything when I grew up.
8. I also believed my dad when he used to tell me I was the "most beautiful girl in the world."
9. I was pretty bummed when I realized I, in fact, was not.
10. I think I'm still pretty cute.
11. I have 4 tattoos.
12. I will be getting one more.
13. I ran two half-marathons, completed two Muddy Buddies, a couple of sprint adventure races, and several 5ks.
14. During my first half marathon, I was recovering from a stomach virus.
15. During my second one, I was pregnant and did not know it.
16. I never want to jump out of an airplane.
17. My soul is in Hawaii.
18. My favorite person in the whole world is my husband.
19. I drive a 6-year-old Hyundai, but once paid $533 for a pair of shoes.
20. Those shoes are my favorite thing in my closet.
21. I have two super powers: my sense of smell and an uncanny ability to remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard a song.
22. If I could choose a real super power, it'd be the ability to teleport.
23. The smell of hospitals makes me sick to my stomach.
24. I am irrationally afraid of lizards, especially geckos and salamanders.
25. I used to work at the Miami Seaquarium.
26. I got certified in scuba diving just to prove (to myself) that I could do it.
27. I hyperventilate when I snorkel.
28. When I was 4 years old, I nearly drowned in a hotel swimming pool.
29. I remember the experience.
30. This is harder than I thought it would be.
31. I cry a lot.
32. I wasted 9 years of my life with the wrong guy.
33. I believe in angels.
34. My oldest son is named after a character on the TV show "Felicity."
35. When I was pregnant with him and did not know it, we ran into the actor that played him on the streets of New York.
36. I'd rather have 10 pap smears than one teeth cleaning, but I'm too Type A to skip the dentist.
37. My father drives me nuts.
38. I worry all the time that when he is gone, I will regret a million things.
39. Mountain biking scares the crap out of me every single time I do it.
40. I absolutely love it.
41. If I could switch lives with anyone, it'd be Gabrielle Reece.
42. If I could have my husband switch lives with anyone, it'd be Laird Hamilton. 43. I talk too much.
44. So does Ben.
45. I don't talk nearly enough to Baby Aidan, which makes me feel guilty and worry he will not be as verbal as Ben.
46. I am obsessive about keeping my toenails painted.
47. I absolutely hate the smell of cigarette.
48. I eat peanut butter and banana on an english muffin for breakfast almost everyday.
49. I dream of completing a full marathon.
50. I need to have surgery for a torn meniscus in my knee.
51. When I was in 6th grade, the boy I liked told me it was "too bad" I didn't look more like my sister.
52. I like my sister more and more everyday.
53. When I am playing with pirate swords or Matchbox cars, sometimes I daydream about Barbies and dollhouses.
54. I think God knew if I had a girl, I'd drive her--and everyone in the house--crazy with my good intentions.
55. I often dream about what my life might have been like if I'd been brought up in a less traditionally Cuban home.
56. I would not trade my parents for anything in the world.
57. Drew Barrymore would play me in my Life Story.
58. I resent Photoshop in fashion magazines, but loved it when it was used on my pictures.
59. I wish I were less sensitive.
60. I wish I were braver.
61. I wish I were thinner.
62. I keep a "Life List."
63. I have done most of the things on the list so far.
64. The book Tuesdays With Morrie changed the way I live my live.
65. I am constantly afraid of "the other shoe falling."
66. I hate when people say "supposably."
67. The sound of static drives me nuts.
68. Snoring bothers me even more.
69. I think I'm tougher than I let on.
70. I love to be babied.
71. My favorite part of being a mom is watching them turn into actual people, with personalities and preferences and quirks.
72. The worst part of parenting is the lack of freedom.
73. Every time I watch the news, I get so freaked out by the stories, I have to turn them off.
74. I am an absolute idiot when it comes to geography and history, so I'm smart enough to keep my mouth shut on both subjects.
75. I think I ended up in the wrong career.
76. Even though I absolutely love teaching.
77. Venice is the only place left on my "Places I Absolutely Must Visit Before I Die List."
78. I don't believe in coincidences.
79. I don't go to church.
80. I believe in God.
81. I've suffered from migraines since I was 7.
82. I love hats.
83. My favorite show ever in the history of the world is "Sex and the City."
84. I don't iron. Ever.
85. My 3-year-old has a better sense of direction than I do.
86. I am a sucker for romance.
87. I married a man who called himself "un-romantic" but--lucky for me--actually turned out to be over-the-top, straight-out-of-a-movie romantic.
88. He does not put up with any of my crap.
89. On the nights it's my turn to read Ben books, I silently pray that he does not whine, "But I want Daddy to read me books..."
90. He says it about 50% of the time.
91. I have no tolerance for incompetence.
92. I always let cars pass me on the road.
93. I believe there are times when a good curse word is necessary.
94. Elizabeth Bennett is my favorite literary heroine.
95. I love a good chick flick.
96. I tweeze my eyebrows at red lights.
97. I have a chandelier in my closet.
98. When I was a kid, I was always picked last for the team and begged the P.E. teacher to let me sit out.
99. I consider myself an athlete now.
100. I am loud and I like it that way.
101. The whole time I've been writing this, Aidan has been playing so quietly in his crib, I've checked on him about 15 times.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

One more thing on the To-Do list that didn't get done this week

What do you mean, 'I haven't posted in a week'?!? What about the post about "Ben and Mama Day"? The one about how I took the day off to take him to his end-of-year party, lunch at his restaurant of choice, and then the movies, but he still wanted Daddy to read him books at bedtime...? You didn't read that one? Hmmm...What about the one about Aidan, a.k.a. The Vomiter, who decided to puke just as I sat down to dinner with my girlfriends? Oh but surely you read the one about how I went mountain biking and fell not once, but twice, on the same elbow--nearly breaking it? No? Didn't read any of those? Such a shame, 'cause they were funny and poignant and nearly award-worthy.
Oh wait. You couldn't have read them...because I only wrote them...IN MY OWN HEAD. I did. I swear. I walked around all week blogging away, but just never got around to sitting at the computer and writing it down where it counts. Some days I was just too busy. Some days I was just too tired. Some days I was just too busy and tired. And I'll be honest, when I get to That Point at the end of the day, when all I can think about is crawling into bed and either watching mindless TV, reading, or just going to sleep, I don't care enough. I mean, the thoughts are there. The words are there. The stories are there. I tell myself to get up, go to the computer, type them all in. But I can't. The all-consuming desire to Just Stop--stop thinking, stop trying, stop doing--is stronger than the desire to write. (Not to mention the fact that I think when I am that tired, if I tried to write, it'd be so bad, you all would stop following me.)
I have found this the toughest part about blogging. I thought the tough part would be finding enough material, or being willing to put myself "out there" for everyone, or even figuring out how to use the blogging program. But no, none of those have come close to the difficulty of finding the time and energy to post as often as I'd like. So...I suppose this post is one part apology, one part request for suggestions. How do you all manage it? How do you get around the demands of parenting, working, marathon training, scrapbooking, cooking, exercising, sleeping, living, (whatever!) and still find time almost everyday to post so many great, funny, honest, cool blog entries? Go ahead...advise and inspire.