A two month old horse

Baby-animal-wallpapers

A horse weighs, on average, about 100 lbs at two months old. As of today, I have lost that many pounds, since October 27th, 2016, just under 5 months ago.  Yes, I picked the most fabulous looking baby horse that Google gave me.

On 10/27/16, after many months of preparations, appointments and tests, I went under the knife for Vertical Gastrectomy Surgery (VSG or Gastric Sleeve).

My surgeon and I chose this particular surgery over the other bariatric options because statistically, it yields the best, longest lasting results. To me, it seemed less scary than the bypass, which reroutes how everything gets processed. You lose more weight with bypass typically, and faster, but given that I had no really serious health problems that demanded immediate results, I could afford a longer loss time for the trade off. Also..no dumping syndrome should I choose to eat shitty food in small amounts, and I can still drink alcohol. And yea, I still totally do both of those things. Not all the time.

Here’s a fun little infographic to show you what my insides look like now.

Comparison-of-Gastric-Sleeve-With-Other-Bariatric-Surgeries

So that happened. Recovery was pretty quick, I’m a mutant fast healer. So I was out of the hospital the next day, and in two days I was off the pain meds. I take a shit ton of vitamins every day..and my relationship with protein is forever changed. I haven’t suffered much though, I have to say. Lately though, I’ve been losing a lot of hair, but luckily my hair was very thick to start with so..hopefully I won’t lose more than I can afford. It definitely has not been EASY though, so don’t let me hear you say the words “Easy way out” to me.  Becoming violently ill because I ate a hardboiled egg too fast, or learning the hard way what happens when I nod off too quickly before eating…nothing easy about that shit.

But..it’s worth it. I took my kid to Disney last week, and I could ride all the rides. I didn’t have to ask for a seatbelt extender on the flights. I didn’t have to stop and rest..at all. My brain plays tricks on me though..I put on the same outfit from my “Before” pictures I took the night before surgery and thought “Well they still fit..I probably don’t even look any different.” And I’m still reaching for the bigger sizes in the store.

But I am so glad I took these photos, and I’m so glad I took measurements. Overall, I’ve lost 68 inches.

Bitch, I’m only 65 inches tall. So that’s pretty cool.

Also..I could very easily have put on a much cuter outfit for these and do some makeup and put some spanx on, but I really wanted these to not be about that. I wanted them to be honest and raw and something I could recreate with minimal effort (and no excuses.). So without further ado…

100lbs

There it is. I’ll try to update more frequently!

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Five Years.

It’s been three years since my last post here. But, it’s also been five years since my friend Jimi died, which is what is prompting me to write this. Something needs to be done to mark this day on the calendar, somehow. Writing things here about Jimi was so pivotal and important to my grieving process that it seems like a great day to start up again.

I cannot believe it’s been five years already. That sounds so long, and the more I say it, the crazier it sounds. 1,825 times the sun has risen and set that he wasn’t here to see it. A few of our mutual friends have also died. Babies have been born, so many babies!

And my baby..well. He’s no baby any more.

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Xavier James will be turning 5 in a few months. Man, this child is a character. He’s so smart and funny and sweet. Every day he amazes me. When he was born, I was deep into my grief and couldn’t see a way out, but he brought me back from the dead. Now, every time he pushes his boundaries or talks back to me or runs a little too far ahead..”XAVIER JAMES!”

And I’m reminded of my friend with the mellow laugh and the sunny smile. I’m still so proud that we named him this, because I never want to forget the sound of that laugh.

But sometimes I have to think for a second before I can recall it. Sometimes I have to search the recesses of my mind to remember what that song was that we missed, the time he got pissed at me for making us late to the Phish show because I had attempted to mix myself a rum and coke while driving and spilled it all over myself. (I don’t condone this behavior at all. At all. I was young and stupid and this was a waste of perfectly good rum). (Also, has there ever been a more cliche “me” phrase than “I was late to the Phish show because I spilled rum on myself”?) Sometimes I have to REALLY think about where that inside joke even originated, and wonder why I even still tell it because there’s literally no one around who would get it.

But they’re not gone yet, and I am really, really glad that I have this blog to look back on. When I read my posts from 6 months out, 1 year out, it’s easy to track the progression. So I want to continue in that effort at least.

Jimi’s mom and I keep in touch. His family is probably (hopefully?) going to read and enjoy this blog. When I’m in town I make it a point to find them and I consider them my family. We’re connected in our loss and we have each other to help patch the hole he left.

As for me. Well, my life looks pretty different than it did three years ago. I am divorced. I won’t go into too much detail about what happened, it’s the same story as everyone else, and in a nutshell, we just couldn’t make it work. So, in April 2014, I moved out, and took my mom, my dog, my cat, and Xavier with me. He lives with me, and sees his father every Sunday, and every other Saturday night. Single motherhood has been an adventure. When I first moved out, I had to google “How to Plunge a Toliet” because..well, because I did not know that, okay? I didn’t know how to plunge a toilet. But in my two years flying solo, not only can I plunge..oh baby. I have put together furniture. I have built THREE beds. I’ve hung shelves, shoveled more snow than I ever dreamed possible, I’ve learned to cook, make martinis and balance a budget. I have a tiny savings account with actual money in it. My car is MINE, and it’s insured, and I even get my oil changed on time. I even have a boyfriend, and yes, he’s aware of that, and has not filed a restraining order. Yet.  I definitely gained like..all of the weight back, but let’s not discuss that right now.

I’m still grooming dogs, but only part time. Last fall I took a leap and enrolled in community college. I’m presently majoring in Wildlife Conservation & Biology, buuut Biotechnology is singing me a pretty sweet siren song right now. I’m deciding. School is crazy. I’m surrounded by 18-22 year olds. When I was in school last, email was barely even a thing, so adjusting to the new ways of doing things has been a challenge. Conversely, some things are so much easier than they used to be! I’m involved with the Gender Equity Initiative at school, which is pretty cool. We do things to raise awareness for issues like Domestic Violence, Sex Education, LBGQT issues and all kinds of other things that stroke my activism boner.

I don’t mean to make this all about me, because this post really is about Jimi and that process. If it weren’t for him, and what happened, I probably would not have had the stark, glaring, proof that life is too goddamned short. It’s too goddamned short to stay in a marriage that doesn’t work. It’s too goddamned short to NOT go back to school and chase those dreams. And it made me realize that I CAN survive. I can survive the worst pain I’ve ever felt, and still function. Maybe not always function well, but I can function. I can pull up my big girl panties and get shit done, even when I’m really sad. I’ll be alright.

What I can’t stress enough, is that Jimi did teach me some very important things about what friendship is supposed to look like. There were many times over the course of our years that I acted like an asshole. I was irresponsible, selfish, arrogant, reckless, and really..not always a very good friend.  And that man showed me that brutal honesty and empathy were not mutually exclusive. He would tell me when I was showing my ass, to my face, and then defend my honor to everyone else.  He was better than I deserved, and it’s one of my greatest regrets that I’ll never have the chance to tell him that.

One of our last conversations has been bouncing around in my  head lately. We were discussing unfinished business, and the weight of carrying it around with you. I had had a falling out with our closest mutual friend, and it was weighing heavily on my mind, but I was too stubborn and too hurt to even know how to begin to fix it. He told me “You’re making this harder than it has to be. Just tell her what you just told me. Talk to HER, stop talking to everyone else.”  And do you know when I finally actually apologized to her?

Yesterday.

But more importantly, during that conversation he told me he had no unfinished business. None. Everything he had needed said had been said. The people he loved knew he loved them, and that was all he had to worry about.

Today, my old friend Dave,  that I’d fallen out of touch with messaged me to tell me a story about Jimi and it made me smile so much, so I want to share that with you. I love getting these little pieces of him that I never saw, because he was a multifaceted, complex individual that very rarely showed his entire hand. Mind you, I haven’t seen Dave in probably 15 years? I can’t even remember them ever meeting, but obviously it had happened.

These are Dave’s words, not mine:

Your post answered a question I was thinking about recently. I didn’t know that jimmy had passed away. I truly am sorry to hear that, he was a good guy. He saw me in downtown normal one time and I got a ride home from him, he said his car was in rough shape. I knew exactly what was wrong and I offered to help him fix it because I knew how to complete a basic tune up. I never heard from him after that, so I assumed he fixed it. Point is, I was going to walk home to bloomington and he offered me a ride in a shitty car just because he remembered me from knowing you. I just thought I’d share that story with you.
Just because he remembered me from knowing you. Even though his car was acting up, even though they had only met maybe once? This story got me right in the feels because it made me realize that for all the scraps and pieces of him that I hold onto, after I left Illinois, he was just as happy to scoop up a little piece of me, even if it meant going out of his way to help an otherwise perfect stranger.
Also, the song was Loving Cup and it was pretty shitty that we missed it.

Parents: Enough with the warm and fuzzy.

I’m probably going to piss some people off with what I’m about to say, and what I cannot stress enough is that this does not apply to anyone I know. All of my mom & dad friends are absolutely doing it right.

Every week, I get someone in my newsfeed sharing a warm and fuzzy blog post or news article about how parents need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and stop comparing ourselves, and let ourselves off the hook if x, y, or z doesn’t happen. That EVERYONE is doing their best and we should all just be satisfied with that. Some of you need to read that stuff, because you are doing it right.
But here’s the thing, all you need is one trip through your local Walmart to see that not everyone is doing their best. Yea, I said it. I’m not talking about the two year old throwing a tantrum. That shit happens. It happens to me, all the time. I’m not talking about if your hair isn’t perfect or you don’t go to mommy and me pilates class every week. I don’t expect that much from anyone. Chances are, if you’re wondering if you’re fucking up, you’re probably not. I’m talking about the pregnant 17 year old, smoking a cigarette and selling crack while her other three obese, filthy children in just a dirty diaper, jump up and down screaming obscenities in the shopping cart while they’re drinking rum and juggling razor blades. (I may be exaggerating. But you know the ones…YES YOU DO.) The trouble is, she’s probably going to read that warm and fuzzy shit too and go “Ahh..see I’m doing fine!” And when she shares it on her newsfeed, her mom will probably read it too. And it spreads like herpes. Yay!

As a country, our test scores are in the shitter.(25th in the world! TWENTY FIFTH!!!) Our teen pregnancy rates, well, one out of three girls is pregnant before age 20. Speaking of one out of three, one out of three girls is molested by the time they’re 10. One out of five boys are, too.
We have more juveniles in prison, illiterate adults, and a higher crime rate than anywhere in the world.
Sure, we can blame the school systems, or the country, the welfare system, social services, drugs, society, whatever..Hey, some of you probably will find a way to blame Obama. But at the end of the day, it’s clear to me that not everyone is doing such a great job at this parenting gig. Let’s stop jerking each other off and get our shit together.
I don’t want to get into a great parenting debate. I don’t want to talk about whether or not you breastfeed, cloth diaper, vaccinate, eat organic, make them sensory bins or what the fuck ever. I don’t. I don’t care about your position on these issues. I care about MY position on them so that I can figure out how to do my best for my kid, not so I can defend them to you.
I want you to give a fuck about your kids. Think about the things you are doing and saying with them, to them, for them. I know parenting is hard. I get it, you’re tired, I’m tired. We’re all tired. But these kids are our contribution to the universe, seriously. When I’m dead and gone, I want to know that at least I left behind one decent individual. He doesn’t have to win a Nobel Peace Prize or the Superbowl..just be a decent person, with a decent existence.
I get that shit happens. I get that sometimes, a parent does all the right things for and by their kids, and they’re still psychopaths as adults. I get that sometimes, parents are fuckups and the kids turn out just fine. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. I get that you’re trying. We’re all trying.
Try harder.

Working on mah fitness…

Recently, the realization came to me that I was being fucking ridiculous.
I have always been sort of embarrassed to be working out. On the serious, I still get kind of embarrassed to even be seen looking at workout clothes. Those of you who have never been fat will probably not understand this, but there are 10,000 things that are pretty embarrassing to do when you’re a chunk. Maybe I’ll list those for you someday, but working out is definitely one of them.

It highlights all of your fatness, to be sweating, out of breath and slow as shit.. so of course, it’s a little embarrassing. So I still do 90% of my exercise alone, or with a friend, or with the hubs.
However, about a month ago, I attended my first real fitness type class. Granted, it was taught by a friend. And 3 out of the 4 other people in class were my friends. So..it wasn’t really that scary. Plus, it looked pretty cool. It’s called TRX Suspension workouts, and it’s pretty badass. What was cool about this class was that my friends who are in MUCH better shape than I am took the same class as me, and we were both challenged because you set your own difficulty level.

Even at the senior citizen rate, I was sore as fuck for three days afterwards, btw. Again, if you’ve never been fat it sounds ridiculous, but I have no idea how to exercise, when to stop, when it’s too much, because the line between mental and physical isn’t really very clear. 10 seconds in I want to stop. My muscles shake, I want to stop. Something burns or aches, I want to stop. But I’ve learned that just because I THINK I can’t keep going, doesn’t mean I can’t. But just because I CAN, doesn’t mean I SHOULD.
So when you don’t know something, it only makes sense that you should go see someone who does. DUH.
TRX was CRAZY, and I’ll be going back for more. Here’s where I give a shout out to my girl Danielle over at Fitness Fusion in Bristol, RI.
She LOVES what she’s doing, and not once, not even a little, did I feel like I was being judged for being fat or slow or sweaty.
http://fitfusionri.com/
So while I was at TRX class, I realized that I pushed myself harder than I EVER would have at home, or alone. I realized that I was doing things incorrectly, and therefore, ineffectively. And there’s nothing my lazy ass hates more than doing something for nothing.

Yoga’s been my favorite thing for the past 6-7 months or so. But man oh man..how embarrassing I thought it would be to do try to do that shit in public. But after TRX, and talking to a couple friends about it..I decided it might be time to look into a class. I do videos at home all the time, and I subscribe to the GAIAM channel, OnDemand. Dudes, it has bajillions of yoga videos. But I keep coming back to this one:

http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/forrest-yoga-unraveling-tension-hips-neck-and-shoulders

This is, of course, after learning basic moves and stuff. Rodney Yee’s Pose Guide is GREAT for that. http://www.gaiamtv.com/tv/rodney-yees-yoga-beginners-video

So when I first got bitten by the yoga bug, I googled Forrest Yoga and found Raffa Yoga over in Cranston: www.raffayoga.com

Then, a friend ALSO recommended their hot yoga class. Now..I’ve always been TERRIFIED of hot yoga. I hate being hot. I just don’t tolerate it well. So when I found out their Beginner Forrest Yoga class was practiced at a stifling 90 effing degrees, I was SO close to not going. But I have a friend willing to go with me, so what the hell, right?
But I’ve gone twice now, and it’s AMAZING. It’s this whole yoga center, it’s all they do! I kinda want to live there. The rooms are all dim, and it’s quiet, and smells nice. I sweated my face off Tuesday night, and I’ve never felt so amazing.
My point is this: get out of your comfort zone. Just do it.
Because here’s the thing, it is fucking ridiculous to feel embarrassed about being fat, slow, or weak when you are actively trying to be fat, slow or weak. If anyone has paid me a second glance, I can’t tell. I’ve decided just..not to waste anymore mental energy being embarassed and paying mind to these kinds of defeating thoughts. “Everyone’s looking at me, oh man I should’nt have worn this, I should just go, oh jeez, everyone’s facing this way now I bet they’re looking at my arms..” Every time those thoughts bubble up to the surface now (and I assure you, they do, often. I’m human and the presence of one pretty young thing is all it takes to send my head spinning.) I push it right back out with this mantra: Yes, I’m fat..but here I am, working on that shit. So laugh it up if you gotta, haters, but I’m a force to be reckoned with.

A few thoughts regarding “Willpower”

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People say it to me all the time “Oh I just have no willpower”.  And I always say “I don’t either!”

You place me alone in a room with any amount of baked goods and I’m probably going to eat them, especially if I’m alone.  I can’t walk past a candy dish without grabbing some.  You don’t get to be super fat like I am/was by having a strong sense of restraint.

The good news, you don’t need it. Not at first anyway. There are ways around it, if you want it badly enough.  This is how I’ve made it this far:

1. Even if you can’t control your SELF, you can absolutely control your SITUATION. Can’t leave that ice cream alone? Why the fuck is it in your freezer then? Don’t buy it. Don’t even walk down that aisle. Don’t think about it. You are going to have weak moments. I do. I have about 400 of them a day. Luckily, there’s no damned ice cream in my freezer.  I read recently that you only have a certain amount of willpower a day. Don’t waste it while you’re at home, save it for the tough times. There will be many tough times.

2. Prepare for the tough times, and know thyself. I KNOW I’m hungriest in the afternoon, and weakest at night. I keep snacks in my car, so I have no excuse to hit a drive through in the afternoon. At night, I know what I’m really craving is sweets. I can fight it, or I can find ways to work with it. Sugar free chocolate pudding takes the edge off, and then I try to stay busy, or just go to bed. Boredom is my demon. What’s yours?

3. Do it anyway. Come to terms with this absolute truth: You will never, ever “feel like” passing on cake and going for a run instead. It’s not going to happen. But..if I think about all the shit I don’t feel like doing, and manage to do anyway..well, it becomes obvious I don’t have to feel like it to do it. I can’t remember the last morning I popped up out of bed, ready to get the day started, got dressed and tore into work. Please. Just about every day, when my alarm goes off, I groan and think “FUCK! I don’t feel like it!”

But then I roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and get shit done, because I have to.  Make time to make your lunch in the morning. Make time to go for a walk. Stop whining about it’s too hot, too cold, your vagina hurts, what the fuck ever. Just do it anyway and stop waiting for lightning to strike. The difference between you and the people who are succeeding isn’t some personality trait. It’s just that they do it, and you don’t.

4. Make the better choice, the easier choice. We’re all a little bit lazy. I know I am. I didn’t get this way by not being lazy. Work with it. I know I’m not going to put on clothes and drive to the grocery store just to get some chips. I’ll just eat the damned carrots in my fridge, I guess.  This one takes some prepwork. Some times the only thing that stops me from raiding the vending machine at work is that I don’t have any cash on me, and I’d have to go and get my debit card from the car and get cash out and..oh forget it. I’ll just eat my damned carrots.

See how that works?

Sometimes it’s unavoidable to screw up. I’ve been stuck for a few months, bouncing around the same five stupid lbs. Now I’m starting to realize that willpower’s a muscle I have to develop. From here on out, it’s going to take more to get me past this plateau I’m at presently. When I figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you guys know what I figured out. But if you’re just starting out, and waiting for inspiration to strike, don’t hold your breath. Just lace up your shoes and fucking do it anyway.

The Birthday Post!

Today is Xavier’s 2nd birthday!! I can’t believe my little baby is definitely, certainly, NOT a baby anymore. And as if on cue, the last few days have shown us a taste of the terrible twos..let’s hope this is as bad as it gets. Toddlers be crazy, yo.

So let’s talk birthday party. We had to do it a bit early this year, due to a combo of the vacation schedules at work  and Xavier’s social circle having quite a few birthdays in June & July.  This year, we found a GEM in the Scituate Community House. It was inexpensive, HUGE, AIR CONDITIONED, and extremely conveniently located (for us anyway, only 10 minutes from home!)

I’ll let pictures tell you the story, I guess.

IMG_9787 IMG_9797 IMG_9792 IMG_9791 IMG_9802 IMG_9805 IMG_9806 IMG_9810 179713_10200650644140052_1096012574_n 1002273_10200650643380033_1401416376_n IMG_9811 IMG_9832 IMG_9837 IMG_9829 IMG_9828 IMG_9827 IMG_9825 IMG_9824 IMG_9823 1043847_10200650642820019_755457276_nIMG_9887 IMG_9885 IMG_9884 IMG_9883 IMG_9878 IMG_9877 IMG_9868 IMG_9861 IMG_9859 IMG_9855 IMG_9853One of the most frequently asked questions so far has been “Where did you get those posters?!” They ARE seriously amazing, right?  I am telling you, there are artists EVERYWHERE. You just have to look. One of my coworkers did them! Here is her Etsy shop, go buy some stuff from her!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/VivaLeArt?ref=top_trail

She does custom stuff too, and also she’s the sweetest girl ever.

Don’t try to make those monster horns, they sucked ass and didn’t even taste that good. I steamed sugar cones until they were soft, dropped a few chocolate chips in the bottom and then dipped. Candi-quik worked the best for that, but these were seriously, the biggest pain.

I forgot to take pictures of a lot of stuff, the goody bags, the outside..I suck.

You’ll notice the ambulance photo..yea. The hubs decided to put the grill on the stoop..and the smoke got inside and set off the alarm. The very LOUD alarm. Since it was a public building, we had to evacuate and wait for the fire department to come shut it off. It’s a good thing it wasn’t an actual fire..because I see no fire putting out apparatus in that AMBULANCE. Way to go!

Did you see my big kid blew out his own candle? After his laying on the floor, don’t want to sing protest, that is.

As far as activities, the kids were all pretty small still, so we just read the book, and I had a basket of musical instruments for them to mess around with. It worked well enough, I think. Oh, and the fire drill.

Yes, I went a bit overboard, but I figured it was okay since I saved so much on the venue and centerpieces!

Today is his actual birthday, and I woke him up with a room full of balloons, and made him peanut butter banana French toast. When he wakes up I’m taking him to the Providence Children’s Museum.

My very good friend Katy was kind enough to make that cake. Isn’t it AMAZING? Then we just set these Hallmark ornaments on top.

Feel free to hit me up with any questions about anything.  This was a REALLY fun theme to work with, but WTWTA Merch is outrageously expensive. If you’re doing one, either link your credit card up to Etsy, or get ready to DIY some shit and rely heavily on a few key elements and color scheme to keep your theme cohesive.

 

A Revival, Again.

Hello again friends. It’s been a very, very long time.

I have some updates to give, and the blog will soon be getting a makeover. Sadly, we no longer have three beasts. This is one of the reasons I could not post for so long. In February,  we said goodbye to our oldest dog, Capone. It happened very fast.  One day, he was fine. One day, he skipped breakfast. Three weeks later, he was gone. Cancer in his abdomen.  I miss him dearly, every single day. Every single dog I look at, and I see a lot of them, I miss those big brown eyes and his mile wide grin. It’s been months and I have yet to fold up his crate and his sweater still sits on my nightstand. I miss my dog.  But I don’t want to spend the day crying. Someday, I’ll tell you all the story of Capone. But not today.  I’ve tried to make my peace with it, 10 1/2 years is a damned good run. He didn’t suffer, and I was with him at the end. You can’t ask for much more than that.

RIP,  Old friend.

RIP, Old friend.

On a much lighter note, I’m much lighter. In September, I decided to lose a little weight. Shit was getting scary. Nothing even in the plus size stores fit me anymore.  I was BIG. I decided I would give a 10 day diet a shot, maybe I could get something going.  Lose a few lbs, see the scale move, get inspired.

Man..did it ever.  As of last week, I’ve lost 90 lbs (Put four back on this week, but let’s not talk about it, I’ll get rid of them!)

Here’s me at Xavier’s birthday party last year:

553695_785252158169_1146908123_nAnd here I am at his party THIS year:

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Okay not the best comparison shots. Here’s another:

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That was at 80 lbs down.

I wish I could tell you a secret that was exciting and new. But it’s just calories in, calories out. I eat a lot of salad, I walk, I do yoga. I drink lots of water and take my vitamins.

(We’re still not talking about this last week that was a shitshow.)

I’ve started a weight loss group on Facebook and it’s a stellar little community. It helps hold me accountable and provides support for others who are facing the same sort of challenges.

OBVIOUSLY I still have a ways to go, but I am proud of what I’ve done.

My mom and I took a trip with Xavier back to Illinois last month, and we got to spend some time with our family, which was really great.  I got to meet two of my nieces that I hadn’t, and Xavier got hang with his aunts and uncles.

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Xavier is doing fantastic. He’s just the coolest little mini-me.  I cannot believe how lucky I got. He sleeps, he eats, he’s happy, he’s healthy, SO smart and sweet and charming and funny. He’s BUSY, and getting busier every day.  Man how I love this kid!

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Xavier’s birthday party was on Saturday and it went very well. I’m excited to show you guys that, but it’s going to need a post all to itself. Here’s a sneak peek:

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I’ll post more details soon, promise!

Sandy, you nasty old bitch.

Tell me about it, Stud.

Well, we survived it.

Sunday night I watched The Weather Channel and essentially scared the shit out of myself. They said it would be hitting around “Early afternoon”. Well…I was scheduled to work an hour away, until 3:30. Oh man..the thought of getting STUCK an hour away from my baby? No thanks, Frank.

So I took the day off and we hunkered down (whatever that means.). Well..it just misted until like 4 anyway. Lots of wind, but that’s about it. Then around 5:30..RIGHT as I had put sweet potatoes in the oven, of course..the lights flicked off and on 3-4 times, and went out.

Shit on a goddamned dick.

Well, we tried to make the best of it anyhow. Went to bed, still no lights. The first thing I heard when I woke up the next morning was..nothing. Nothing but the sound of my neighbor’s generator. I knew..we still had no power.

So the first thing I said was “Who wants to go to breakfast then?” And so we did.  Then we came home, collected our crap and headed over to a friend’s house. We took showers and charged our phones. I wanted to stay longer but Xavier was being REALLY cranky, and refused to nap in a new place. So we headed home. On the way home, I psyched myself up. The power will definitely be on when we get home. I had preemptively turned on the porch lights when we left so I would see as soon as we turned into the driveway. I just KNEW, surely it would be on by now.

But the closer we got to home, the more and more dark houses I saw. I knew that it wouldn’t be on. And damn..it made me so sad. Of course, when we got here the porch lights remained dead, and I started to cry. Yep. I cried.   I’m still all messed up over Irene’s 6 days of  no power. I knew it was happening again, we’d be putting our food into coolers,  and it would be days of dumping water in the toliet tank just to do something simple like FLUSH, brushing my teeth with bottled water, and showering at my friends’ houses. And I just couldn’t face that. After I finally got Xavier down for his nap, I curled up in my bed and just dozed in that sad, helpless kinda depression.

Throughout the day, I had noted Xavier’s crankiness, and when he woke up from his nap, his nose was a faucet. I thought he might be coming down with something. But then..he just climbed up on my lap and nestled his head under my chin.  I noticed he was pretty warm and thought “Yea, he’s getting sick.” Great. So after cuddling him awhile I decided to take his temp and see what was going on.

The first reading said 105.6. That can’t be right.

Tried it again. 104.7. …..Huh.

One more time 103.7

So I give him a dose of ibuprofen, call the on-call pediatrician and explain the situation, describe his symptoms. He said “Yea, I don’t like that. Take him to Hasbro.”

So we do. On the way there it was POURING rain, harder than anything during the damned hurricane! They take his temp and it had already come down 99.9. They look him over and tell me it’s an upper respiratory virus, it just has to run it’s course, and just keep pushing ibuprofen and fluids.

We stopped off to grab some dinner on the way home and while we were waiting, my mom texted me that the lights had come back on. Hal lay loo!

So we head home, and just as we walk in, prepared to do our victory dance, what do we see? Squirt’s guilty face. And one of the coolers, looking like a damned bear had mauled it. And food from inside, strewn all over the living room. Yogurt containers torn open, cold cut containers gnawed to bits. I can always count on that dog to fuck up.

He’s afraid of the dark, yanno. We left a battery operated lantern on for him..but it appeared to have gone dead, possibly before the electricity came back on.  Not that I’m making excuses for him..he sucks.

Xavier still ended up in our bed that night. When he doesn’t feel good he ONLY wants to be held. So we do what works. Judge me if you need to, I am an occasional co-sleeper. So at around 6 am, the heat this kid was throwing off of him was incredible. He was just tossing around and whimpering. We got up and I took his temp. 103.7. More meds and it went back down. We decided at 10 to take him for a walk and at first, he seemed alright.

But about 10 minutes in, he just put his head down on his tray and whined.  So we took him home. John tried to put him down for a nap, and all he wants is me. He wouldn’t sleep and we had to pry his little fingers off of me so I could go to work.

By 4, however..John tells me that he has been inconsolable for nearly an hour. And despite meds, his temp is climbing to almost 102. I call the dr again, and they tell me I need to give him Tylenol AND Ibuprofen. Well..we only had ibuprofen in the house of course. So, I left work and picked up some Tylenol and headed home.

He was hot and miserable and didn’t want to eat anything. But we got his temp down, and got him to stop crying.

Last night was pretty rough. At 4:30 in the morning he woke us up HOT again, and I had to give him a tepid bath to get his temp down from 103.7. So scary. But today, he’s much perkier and eating well. So hopefully, this is the tail end of it, and maybe..just MAYBE..tonight he’ll tolerate his halloween costume long enough to get some pictures taken. Which I will surely post!

And here are some crazy ass aerial photos of the coasts of RI. Obv, it’s nowhere near the wreckage that NJ & NY are dealing with, but we were insanely lucky and we are intensely grateful. http://www.flickr.com//photos/ridotnews/sets/72157631891636224/show/

 

When three beasts and a baby becomes three beasts and TODDLER….

Certain things fall by the wayside.  When I’m not working, my time is spent fishing objects out of Xavier’s mouth, chasing him around saying things like “Stop licking the dog! Get down! Give that to me! Xavier! Come back here!!”

Tantrums are in full effect, and they make no damned sense. I get a full on, head shaking, kicking, screaming, crazy ass tantrum when I say things like “Xavier, you cannot stick the remote in the dog’s water bowl!” or “No, I will not hand you the entire bowl of spaghetti squash so that you can throw it on the floor.” or “Please don’t divebomb off the bed onto your own head.”

How can he be mad about that? Be reasonable. Toddlers = sociopaths.

This is my most common view:

That’s my kid, running away with his friend’s birthday balloon.

So. That’s what I’ve been doing. And working. And walking..lots of walking. I’m proud to say that I have lost 37 lbs since August. I’ve been working really hard and obv, Xavier keeps us busy as hell. But I have lots to show and tell,  and I’m hoping to pick up my little blog again.

Now if we can just survive this stupid hurricane. We are pretty far inland, so I’m not too worried about the water. What I am concerned about is the wind. We are surrounded by trees, and we already have half a tree down in the yard. So I’m hoping we don’t get some new wood furniture in the house today. (Har har.)  And then my second concern is the power outages. I cannot do another 6 days without power. I CANNOT. So National Grid, hear my plea. I will snap a freaking tether and cannot be held responsible for my actions if I have to shower at my friend’s houses  again. I will simply just lose it.

But we’re obsessively watching The Weather Channel and hoping for the best. Stay safe out there, bitches.

The Pirate Party Post.

I know, I’ve been gone forever again. Xavier has EIGHT teeth coming in and he’s cranky and busy as hell. He can walk, btw. He can RUN.  My house is a series of barricades. Barricades that need work.

But I’m going to make it up to you today. This is the pirate party extravaganza!!!

Are you pumped? You better be, hillbilly.

We rented out the Aspray Boat House in Warwick RI for his party.  This place is seriously a hidden gem and I almost don’t even want to tell you about it. I heard about it from a friend, and got super lucky that they still had a Saturday in July open.  Everything regarding this place was exactly as it should have been, and the best part was I didn’t have to waste time meeting with anyone. Much, much easier than picking a wedding venue. And much, much cheaper.

Here’s the link for info:

http://www.gaspee.com/AsprayBoathouse.html

The pictures leave a lot to be desired.  But it’s right on the water, there’s a dock and everything. Which..is a great thing for a pirate party.  Day of however, a giant, disgusting dead goose washed ashore.  I just did my best to pretend it wasn’t there, and when John finally arrived he disposed of it. Phew.   The ONLY major problem we had was that the place has NO AC.

NO AC.

NO AC!!!!

In July. In HOT AS BALLS JULY.

So I walked around lookin like Fat Sweaty Betty all damned day.

Here’s some pictures of the place:

 I know, perfect for a pirate party, right?

Okay so I’ll get down to the details, you know you want them.

Outside, I did this to pick up on the treasure map thing. (Okay, I had my brother do it.) Basically we just cut up pieces of red cardstock and taped them to the ground so it made kind of a dotted line to the door, where I was going to make a giant X out of crepe paper streamers. However, I expected to be able to CLOSE the doors. I had to leave them open to let air in because it was just too hot. So we improvised with a smaller X.

I hated that the tape was showing. But my brother was being a really good sport about helping while I was inside running around like a loon. He had already taped them once the wrong side up, gone back out and redid them, so I didn’t care complain about tape:-).

So there’s our smaller X, a pair of cuties, and some toddlers too. Ha!

Btw, those last two photos and a bunch of others from The Murphys will be smattered in here. Thank God they were there with their camera or I would’ve gotten jackshit.

I printed up free coloring pages from TwistyNoodle.com and just trimmed off the edges where the ads were.

Well, I had John trim them off anyway:-) Then I scooped up some Pirate Crayons from Iparty. Yes, I could’ve just gotten regular crayons. But PIRATE crayons weren’t very expensive at all, at 29 cents a box. I just put 4 packs on each table and it was a hit with kids and grown ups too.

I also did a pirate accessories table. I put eyepatches, hooks, swords, mustaches, hoop earrings, temporary tattoos, bandanas, paper pirate hats and even a few pirate masks. I wish I had taken more pictures of this because it was so fun.

We set up the gift table in the entranceway, and kept the decor there simple with just a net tossed over a little table. Didn’t matter anyway, it was covered very quickly anyway.

The cake was one of my absolute favorite things. I’m pretty sure my wedding cake wasn’t this awesome.  One of my mommy friend/coworkers tipped me off that we had a little cake boss working right under our nose at the store.  Who knew?  This girl was a freaking DREAM to work with. I gave her almost full artistic license, I said just make it pirate themed and delicious. And she showed up on time, with this freaking masterpiece.

I know. It was amazing, just look at it!!

Also, she did a smash cake. All I asked was no red or black frosting, and no chocolate. (Xavier hasn’t had it yet.) I didn’t say what I DID want though, which I know, is a bitch. But she came through for me with this adorable little creation:

How cute is that?!

Now, I am not going to put her name on the interwebs cuz she’s not officially in business. (But she fucking A should be.) So if you email me and ask me very nicely I will give you her info. I’ll stop raving about the cake now.

You might have noticed surrounding the cake are some cookies. Cookies that are so amazing, this whole time you’ve been like “OMG shut up about the cake and tell us where you got those amazeballs cookies right now!!” Brace yourselves.

I made em. NBD.

(That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on it.) I did make them, that part wasn’t. But it was just Betty Crocker mix and a whole lot of cussing.  Funny story about those though..I was actually running on schedule, shit was getting done and I was feeling good about it. I EVEN had a little time to relax penciled in for the night before the party to be all “I’m done lalala”  I just had to run a few errands first.

While running those errands I received a phone call from my husband, and he was using his “approaching a bear on bath salts” voice, so I knew it wasn’t good news the second I heard that tone.

“Baaabe? Yea..you kinda left the cookies down low..and Squirt kinda….ate them.”

And at this point I don’t remember much. But my brother says I recited this lovely monologue from the film The Boondock Saints:

What I sounded like (NSFW!!)

So..my “LALALA” time turned into “Bake and ice and package 35 more goddamned cookies” time. AND HERE’S THE PUNCHLINE:

After the party..I had about 40 cookies left over. Didn’t even have to do that.

Don’t you dare ask about the dog. DON’T.

Moving on. In May, a friend of mine had a popcorn buffet at her baby shower. I couldn’t wait to do one. So even though that popcorn has absolutely nothing to do with pirates, I was going to do that shit. And so I did. I borrowed the containers from her, and ordered from www.popcornpapa.com. Another easy transaction. The bags didn’t look very big though, so I ran around RI looking for backups of these flavors, only to be eating the shit for a month because I bought way too much. Figures, eh?

They have like a bajillion flavors to choose from, but we went with Kettle Corn, Hot N Spicy, Chicago Style, Extra Butter and Cheesecake.

Chicago Style was awesome, my total fave. It’s a mix of Caramel and Cheese.  Cheesecake, second fave. Extra butter and Hot N Spicy, they mean it! Kettle Corn..I’ve had better but it was decent.

It took all I had not to bust out the Xyron Machine and personalize those bags, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I wrapped the containers with twine and affixed the labels to the twine. As you can see, that was kind of a fail. Next time I’ll just cut to the chase and bust out the glue gun. No more fucking around with these polite little glue dots and what have you. (It’s late, can you tell?)

Oh! See that banner behind the table? That was SUCH an easy project, it was pretty much just like doing the invitations all over again. Leftover pocketfold invitations, brown cardstock, typed up in Word and printed it out and attached it to twine. I made it adjustable because I knew we were going in sight unseen to the Boathouse and was just guessing as to where the hell I was going to put it.  Here’s where I put it:

Are you getting bored? Here’s a picture of my kid smashing his cake to bring you back:

Hell yea he’s cute.

The centerpieces….geez these things had me stumped. Everything I found on the interwebs was just a little too pricey for 8 tables. I considered balloons, but on the serious, balloons cost too damned much to look that cheap. (Again, much like your mom.)  So these are my $5 centerpieces, and I’m sure they’re going to blow your mind.

I got the buckets, flags, beads and coins at iParty, and the shells and “gems” in the dollar bins at Michael’s. Oh, and I stole that sand from the beach. Yes, really, I did that shit.  Be damned if I’m buying bags of sand when I live in RI!

Don’t worry though, I paid for it. While I was scooping eight buckets o sand and loading them into my car, a large winged insect came zooming out of the sand I’d just disturbed and stung the shit out of my ankle. I screamed and drew a bunch of attention to myself and the eight buckets o sand I was stealing. Pain and embarassment, paid in full.

A couple days before the party, I took eight gallon ziploc bags and put everything for each table into it. Gems, beads, shells, crayons, tablecloth, coins. That way it was super easy to enlist my friend’s help without being a hypercontrolling beotch. (More than I normally am, anyway.)

I think that’s about it on the details. So I’ll wrap this up with a few more photos and call it done. I hope to be around more!