Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mopey McMoperson

Ever feel like you want to hide from everything in the world? I'm not one who like to spend a lot of time sitting around talking about my feeeeelings but honestly things have been getting straight up bi-polar around here lately.

Anniversary! Fabulous! Fun! Schmoop!

Juliana's 10th birthday! Sob! Wah! Where did my baby go?

This is followed by hours of poring through old photographs and videos and wondering where the past ten to thirteen years of my life have gone. Seriously, I look at some of those photos and I can hardly remember when life was like that anymore.

Is this what happens to everyone as time goes on?

Now this week my 11-year old cat Lulu- who has been suffering from diabetes for a couple of years now- has gotten very ill. She's actually the youngest of my cats but she's always been the one with health problems. I've been spending the past two days bringing her back and forth to the vet so they can pump her full of fluids since she won't eat or drink, all while scouring the net for info on feline ketoacidosis treatments and if they are A. effective and B. worth the exorbitant cost of hospitalization. It turns out any intervention at the point she is at is pretty much a last ditch effort and won't be able to help her anyway.

All during this I'm trying to get the kids ready for their first day of school tomorrow and Jason is out of town until next week. And did I mention it's about 98 freaking degrees in my house?

Sniff, whine, complain. Rinse and repeat.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Year 10

Whoa, this one was hard. Not just because she's in "double digits" now but more because it's pretty slim pickings when it comes to photos and videos of an almost-ten-year old who doesn't like having her picture taken. We both agreed that this is probably her last year for the birthday video thing because of this fact - and also bowing out when she doesn't completely hate them yet is probably an ok way to go. This year I had to do a "before and after" theme and dig through some older footage to get enough material for the song. Rewatching the baby/toddler videos I made so long ago just about killed me dead this week. So of course I thought I'd re-share them with you as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Throwing My Hat in the Ring

I'm in. Are you?

I've joined Team Challenge Wisconsin to help raise money and awareness for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Huh? What does that mean? Well basically it means that for the next three months I'll be working my tail off to fundraise for CCFA all while training for the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon.

Ok, maybe some of you are thinking, "Only a half marathon this time? What gives?" Hey! I counter with this: There is nothing "half way" about running 13.1 miles. But maybe you're wondering why a half marathon is such a big deal to someone who is currently training for her third full marathon. Well, lemme tell you something. The people who come out and train for this event through Team Challenge are not only a big deal, they are the Real Deal. Starting next week, I'l be spending my Sunday mornings with not only seasoned runners but with people who are running or walking their first race ever. I'll be training with people who are dealing firsthand with the effects of Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. When I watched the members of Team Challenge at the finish line of the Wine Country Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon this past July, I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of. From the top finisher to the very last walker it was an inspiring thing to watch and I am proud to be raising money for such a great cause. And pardon my French, these really are crappy diseases.

The facts: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Crohn's disease is a chronic (ongoing) disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Although it can involve any area of the GI tract, it most commonly affects the small intestine and/or colon. Ulcerative colitis on the other hand, affects only the colon. There are no areas of normal intestine between the areas of diseased intestine. In contrast, such so-called "skip" areas may occur in Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the innermost lining of the colon, whereas Crohn's disease can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall.

It is estimated that as many as 1.4 million Americans have IBD; however, many more suffer in silence due to potential embarrassment and alienation. Crohn's disease may occur in people of all ages, but it is primarily a disease of adolescents and young adults, affecting mainly those between 15 and 35. However, Crohn's disease can also occur in people who are 70 or older and in young children as well. In fact, 10 percent of those affected -- or an estimated 100,000 -- are youngsters under the age of 18. On average, people are diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in their mid-30s, although the disease can occur at any age.

You knew this part was coming:

Can you help?

I have set a fundraising goal of $2500. This will not only allow me to travel to Las Vegas with the team, but more than 80% of your donation goes directly to research, education, and support services to help CCFA find a cure.

Please click below to check out my fundraising page:

You've probably heard stuff like this before but every dollar really does count no donation is too small. If I can get 100 people to donate just $13.10 I will be more than half way to my goal! My Team Challenge running buddies and I will be planning some fun events between now and December so stay tuned for other ways you can help. (Save the Date: Super Awesome Rummage happening on Saturday, 9/25. Email me for location details or to donate items!)

Thank you so much in advance for all your support for me and my team as we plan to "Leave the Craps in Vegas!"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Little (Plastic) Piece of My Heart

Oh, Internet. I have a problem.

I mean, I have lots of problems because I am very much a less-than-perfect person but I have one problem in particular. A problem where I'm uber-attached to a piece of my past and I can't let go of it no matter how obvious it is that I need to do just that. What am I clinging to? A piece of plastic. A very large piece of plastic but nonetheless it is indeed a plastic toy. To be more specific it is a Little Tykes Cozy Car toy that I purchased for Juliana at a garage sale about eight years ago when she was a toddler.

The cost? One dollar.

To this day I still say it was the biggest bang for a buck I ever got. For one dollar she rode around in that thing for years- long after it was painfully obvious that she was much to large to sit inside of it anymore. And of course after Ava was born the baton was passed and she pushed her little sister down the sidewalk in it as they both squealed with delight. A couple of years ago when even Ava started to outgrow it I toyed with the idea of putting it out in a rummage sale but just couldn't do it. "What if we have guests? You know, lots of little baby guests who would love to play with something like that? I'd really kick myself for getting rid of it." (Because we often entertain groups of toddlers right? They're such a large part of my social circle.) I even had this idea once that I would put it in the garden and plant flowers inside of it somehow. But instead it just sits there through the seasons, covered in dirt, collecting rain water and in the winter it sits under a mound of perfectly rounded, fluffy white snow.

I know in my heart that I should just put it out on the curb and let some other little kid in the neighborhood enjoy it. But something about giving it away means that I'll be saying goodbye to that last piece of babydom I've been hanging onto. It's been years since I've gotten rid of the highchairs, the playpens and squeaky baby toys. I haven't been sentimental about the bigger "gear" I've passed on to other friends and families with little ones who need it more than I do. There's something about this one item that I can't let go of.

For many years I got used to being the one with babies. I was the first of my friends to get pregnant (in fact I was one of the only ones kids for a very long time.) Even when we moved to Milwaukee and Juliana started kindergarten, Ava had just turned two years old and she was still at an age where I took her with me everywhere I went. I called her my Mini Me. They are both so much older now even though my brain knows this I sometimes I forget that I'm not the one with the babies anymore. I'm still getting used to it and figuring out what my identity is outside of that. And this silly car reminds me of the time when being the one with the babies was my identity.

So... I'm not sure what my conclusion is. As of now I'm not selling it but I figure at least I'm aware of what my underlying issue with holding on to this hunk of plastic is. Until then, anyone have any creative ideas for using this as a landscaping piece?