Wednesday, March 28, 2012

things that make my life easier

Wednesday.  Wednesday.  It's that day of the week again.  Time for Stasha's Listicles.  This week's topic is things/services/products that make your life easier.  There are just so many things that make my life easier--it will be hard to keep the list at just 10.

1.  Social Media--FB, texting, tweeting, email, whatever.  Almost anyone and everyone you might want to talk to, from your mom to your best friend from 3rd grade, is literally right at your fingertips.  Forget that you may not have spoken or seen this person in 20 years.  You can find them in about 3 seconds and send them a message.  Need a babysitter that evening?  Stalk, I mean, search on FB, send a message and Voila! in about 2.5 seconds you have your answer.  Do I even need to speak to anyone anymore?  Barely.   Brilliant!

2.  My minivan.  I love love love my minivan.  I can fit anything and everything into that car.  7 people?  yes!  1200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies?  yes!  5 fishing poles, tackle box, 5 pairs of boots and bait?  yes!  All of this while getting 25 mpg?  hell ya! 

3.  Every Apple product.  I <3 apple!  Seriously.  What the heck did we ever do before Ipods, pads and tunes??  Whatever you want to do is on that tiny little piece of metal/plastic.  Music?  We've got that.  You want to watch a movie?  Sure.  Kill some pigs with flying birds?  No problem.  Read a book?  Done.  The ipod/pad is the magic kid silencer.  You want some peace and quiet?  Hand over the ipad and silence is yours.  Like magic.  Works better than any pacifier and for any age group.

4.  Mt. Dew.  You all have your coffee.  I have my Mt. Dew.  Don't judge.  It's citrus-y, bubbly, and tasty.  And it wakes me up and makes me happy.  So there.

5.  Online bill payment.  Again.  Brilliant.  I almost never have to buy a stamp or go to the post office anymore.  Click, click bam!  Bills are paid instantly!  It's almost like you aren't even using real money.  Until you look in your account and see that you don't actually have any real money....

6.  My babysitters that drive.  Hallelujah!  The driving sitter is almost worth her weight in gold.  Double even triple bonus if she has her own car!  Take my kids to the beach, movies, whatever!  I don't care.  As long as you can drive them there yourself.  I'll even give you gas money!  Oh, can you pick them up from sports camp and grab some milk too?  Yah.  That's what I'm talking about.

7.  Drive-thru anything.  If it has a drive-thru, then I'm using it.  Food, bank, pharmacy, store, doesn't matter.  If I don't have to get out of my car and haul 2-3 kids behind me, then life is great.  Thank you drive-thru.  Everything needs a drive-thru. 

8.  My husband that cooks.  Yes, I am that lucky.  He thinks my cooking is blah and he gets out of work before I do, so it only makes sense that he starts dinners.  He even has cut down on the salt that he uses.  Just for me.  But really, I don't complain if dinner is already cooked when I get home.  I don't care what it is.  I'm eating it with a smile on my face. 

9. Debit cards.  Seriously.  What did the world do before debit cards??  Carry cash around all the time?  I cannot remember the last time I had cash in my wallet.  Maybe when I found $10 in the wash.  This is one thing that I really cannot imagine my life without. 

10.  Google.  The magic google.  Gone are the days of searching through card catalogues at the library only to find that the one book you want is misfiled or already checked out.  Whatever bit of useless information you are hankering to know is right at your fingertips, just seconds away.  How old is Betty White anyway?  How much does Venus Williams weigh?  How many times has Lindsey Lohan been in jail?  What is that rash thing creeping up on your leg?  These answers and many more can be found in mere seconds via google.  Love me some google.

Well, that's my list for today.  What do you love that makes your life easier? 

ps--80 deg here last Wednesday--snow and 25 deg today.  wtf.  Hoping to still get my run in this afternoon during Princess' dance.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sickness and not meeting a goal.

March has been one weird month.  We've had some snow, 80 deg temps, and now back to 20's.  Temperature wise, this month has been all over the place.  Crazy record breaking high's and now below normal.  It's no wonder everyone I know, including myself, is sick. 

In the past week, my family alone, has had strep throat, severe cold (that may have been strep), flu symptoms and minor sore throats.  Where's the freakin' bleach??  Not one family member has been excluded from the fun.  Two are on antibiotics right now so hopefully, things are winding down and we will soon be germ free.

This has not been beneficial for me running 100 miles this month for the GU Challenge.  I don't think I have even made it to 20 yet.  Total.  In fact, I have done nothing (yes, that's right.  Nothing.) for exercise since a 4.5 mile run last Wednesday. 

Wednesday.  Like 5 days ago Wednesday.  Well, I did do a half assed swim, with my half a lung working on Friday--1500 yds.  But that's it. Thursday, I took my lunch hour and went to the doctor because I felt and looked like the walking dead.  Friday I wheezed through my swim.  Saturday and Sunday we were all over the state for basketball and I was so drained and tired that when we finally got home on Sunday at 2:30, I actually went to bed and napped!

Napped!  Me.  Imagine it.  For 3 hours.  I must've really felt like shit because I never nap. 

Yesterday Princess woke up with a screaming sore throat so my lunch hour was used up bringing her to the doctor. 

So today, come hell or highwater, I am going to the gym at lunch.  I am going to spin my ass off and make up for all the nothing I have done lately.  I can't believe that I haven't gained 10 lbs already.

I hope your March has been more successful exercise-wise than mine has. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Big Fish in a Little Pond vs. Little Fish in a Big Pond

This weekend was jam packed full of long days of basketball as we are right in the middle of our AAU season.  Sissy's team had 4 games this weekend and came in 3rd in the 6th grade age group.   This weekend was the first weekend that we have seem some good competition for them--I wish we could have played these teams earlier so that they could have been better prepared.  I'm sure we will meet these teams again this weekend at the AAU states--we lost to one by 7 and the other by 4. 

My daughter, who is normally the leader on the court and very confident with the ball, has recently been very timid on offense, passes the ball away quickly and shies away from the point position.  Her defense is great and she has many steals, but has yet to show her skills on offense.  I had to ask her about it and what is going on.  She feels very nervous that she is going to mess up and is feeling less confident with her abilities.  She is also very sensitive to the fact that she is the shortest one on her team.  Her words, "It's different not being the best player on the court". 

She has gone from a small local Y league where she has always been the best dribbler on her team and maybe even out of all the players, to now being average.  She is average on her team and average among the players that she's playing against. 

I'm not sure why this is bothering her now because she has been to basketball camps where all different kids of all abilities come for a week last summer.  She still managed to remain confident and show her skills there, earning awards at both camps she went to.  She also played with this group in the fall.  I'm hoping this is something she just has to work through.  We still have 6 more weeks of AAU, so there is plenty of time for growth here.

My question to you is:  Is it better to be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond?

At her little local Y, she was the big fish.  Was she improving her skills and being challenged there?  No, probably not.  But she had confidence in herself and her abilities.  In this league she is a little fish.  She is definitely being challenged and learning how to play better, but has less confidence in herself. 

I guess the answer is both.  You need a balance of both, right?  You need to be challenged in order to become better but you also need to play at a level where you have confidence too. 

I'm hoping she gets past this and becomes a medium-sized fish in a big pond. :)

What say you?
Big fish in a little pond or little fish in a big pond?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Some Good Life Lessons

I'm almost never read those stupid chain emails that everyone forwards to 'receive the good luck', (maybe that's why my luck is shit....).  But for some reason I opened this one and read it today.  I modified it a little and removed the 'you must forward for good luck to come' directions, because that is a load of crap.  The thoughts are good ones and worth reading.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with Go
d. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their 
journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful.  Clutter weighs you down in 
many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one 

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no 
for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. 
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will
this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don’t forget. 

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. Go
d loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you 
did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you 

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

I'm not religious but I left the God references in for those that are.  They still are a good message. 

My favorites are:

#40--no kidding huh?  My problems that I have are small beans compared to the burden that others carry.  Our first world problems are pathetic compared to third world problems.

#13--Kinda goes along with #40.  Don't judge--you have no idea what that person may be going through.

#43--Fake it until you make it.  If you present yourself as put-together, confident and in charge then everyone else will believe that you are all of those things.

#36--yes it does.

#25--yes. yes. yes.

Pick one and live by it or do it this weekend.  Let's remember how good we really do have it.  Have a great weekend everyone!

PS--I got my Team Tough Chik kit this weekend and it rocks!!  I'll have some pics on Monday! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

80 degrees and a new Running Skirt!

Yesterday was a day of awesomeness here in Maine.  80 degrees!!  All over Maine.   Coastal, northern, central, southern--everywhere!  We smashed all temperature records by 20 degrees!  I love you global warming! 

Way back in January, I bought a new Running Skirt and Running Skirt tank top that was on clearance but I have not had the chance to wear it yet because it was a summer-ish kind of outfit.  With the 80 degrees we had yesterday, it was a perfect day to try out my new duds!
This is the exact skirt I purchased--so frickin' cute!

I got this tank in the matching yellow!

Let me say how wonderfully comfortable this whole outfit is!  The material felt like the softest, most expensive pair of panties you might ever own.  And the whole skirt and shirt felt like that!  I bought the skirt with the athletic shorties underneath and they were just the right length.  My legs did not rub against each other and nothing rode up. 

I do think I might need the next size down because as I was running, the skirt kept sliding down a bit and I felt like my bum was going to hang out.  As I left it alone, the yellow band at the top settled in just below my belly button and didn't slide any further.  I think I felt like it was going to fall off because, unlike any other running skirt I have worn, there wasn't any thick elastic band going around the waist.  I really enjoyed that once I knew my skirt wasn't going to fall off--it was silky, smooth and so comfy.

I am usually a 6-8 depending on the pants and I ordered the Size 3 which is equivalent to size 8.  Next time I will order a size down. 

The tank was one of the nicest, most comfortable and stylish tanks I have ever worn.  It had cute little double straps that criss-crossed in the back and a 'bra' built in.  One added feature that I loved was the boob pads that were tucked into the bra.  1.  It made my boobs look bigger.  2.  It nicely hid the 'headlights' that sometimes happen to us women when we run.  This tank could really be worn as an actual tank shirt under dress clothes or to work or out to dinner.  It was that nice. 

I wish I had had my camera with me to get a picture of me in the outfit--it is really cute.  I wore it before my run into the Longhorn restaurant to get my daughter dinner while she was at dance.  I even got a compliment on it from another dance mother!  I like the fact that my butt was covered and I was still wearing spandex-like material.  I was wearing work-out clothes that didn't really look like work-out clothes. 

Overall, they are a little pricey, but I feel that the quality, comfort and look of these clothes are worth the higher price.  I probably won't have 10 skirts in my collection, but I would like to have 3 or 4!

And let me tell you, running in 80 degree weather, in Maine, IN MARCH, at 5 o'clock at night was something spectacular! 


I was almost able to ignore the raging sore throat I have had for 4 days now.  Headed to the Dr. at lunchtime today--I'll let you know how that turns out.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Listicles on Wednesday

I still like doing the Listicles hosted by Stasha at Northwest Mommy.  I pick and choose which ones I participate in based on whether I can come up with 10 points or not.  This week is a pretty good one:  10 reasons why it's great to be a kid, or not!  Whichever you choose.  I'll do both.

Why it's good to be a kid:

1.  Free rent/food/heat etc.  Nothing like a free ride.
2.  In my house, unlimited access to any sport you wish to play and people who will bend over backward to drive you there.  And cheer you on.  And pay for it.
3.  You are so freakin' cute that people just love you without even knowing a thing about you.
4.  Having your whole life ahead of you and nothing to stop you from dreaming big.  Remember when you thought you could be a gymnast in the olympics, or be President, or play in the NBA?
5.  The 'work' part of your day begins at 8 and ends at 2:30.  Plus you have lunch and recess and gym during that time.
6.  Crazy good metabolism and limitless energy.
7.  The ability to fall asleep literally the second your head hits the pillow.  And sleep completely undisturbed no matter what is going on around you for a full 9 hours.  I am so jealous of that.
8.  Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny
9.  Beautiful, soft, flawless skin (pre-teen).  Jealous of this too.
10.  Summer vacation!!!

Why it stinks to be a kid:

1.  School lunches.
2.  Bedtime at 7:30.
3.  Someone is always restricting your access to soda, candy, ice cream etc.
4.  Bullys
5.  No wine, beer, martinis whatever.
6.  Someone is always telling you to pick up your room, the dishes, your toys etc.
7.  The really stupid cartoons/tv shows they have for kids these days.  Wow, are they bad.  Nothing like the good ole Bugs Bunny and Flintstones we used to watch.
8.  Homework.
9.  Chores that no one pays you for and then calls them character builders.
10.  Braces.

Overall, I think the kids have got it pretty good.  What do you miss about being a kid?  Or what did you hate about being a kid?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life Gets in the Way

Sorry I've been away for a little.  But as my post title suggests.... Life gets in the way.  Friday had me dealing with some difficult things at school which then carried over into the weekend.  It takes me a little to calm down from being upset and this one lasted through Sunday.  Thankfully, the weather was superb and really helped with lifting my spirits.

I want to share a funny story that happened this weekend that just goes to show you how small town my little town really is.  We had basketball out of town on Saturday morning for Sissy and didn't get back until afternoon.  We headed down to the Y to watch some more basketball.  I ran into a high school kid who is a friend of our family.  He mentioned that his dad had left a message at my house and was having trouble with his eye.  I got his cell and called him on my cell.  We talked and I decided to call in a prescription for him.  Well, I was just heading out for my run and Rite Aid (the pharmacy) was on the way so I ran there, walked in, wrote the Rx and headed out on my run. 

About a mile into my run, I ran past his dad on his way to the pharmacy to get the Rx.  We waved.  I continued on my run and as I was finishing, and again passing Rite Aid, I saw his truck was in the parking lot.  I thought since he was right there I may as well run in to take a look at his eye to confirm that what we were doing was correct.  I did a little consult right in the pharmacy.  Now how's that for small town?  lol

Sunday was another super warm day for Maine.  Sunny and mid 60's!  We went to the beach and found many suprises that day.
1.  They were open and charging admission.  In March?  Weird.
2.  It was packed!  We expected no one to be there.  Guess we all had the same idea.
3.  There were no less than 15 horse trailers there.  Which means horses everywhere!  Again, weird.  But they allow animals on the beach until 3/31.
4.  We were hoping to find many sand dollars because of the low tide.  We found one.  Not skunked at least.

isn't Maine spectacular?

so pretty to see them run!

our loot for the day

I did manage to get to rafflecopter and pick a winner for the Bloggy Birthday Giveaway. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm in! I'm in!!

I happened to notice yesterday on a friend's FB page that today was going to be the sign up for the biggest road race in Maine.  The Beach to Beacon.  It's a 10k race that Joan Benoit Samuelson started a few years ago and has just ballooned into one huge race. Huge in numbers and huge in the cailber of runners that race it. 

Last year was my first real summer of racing and I hadn't done a 10K yet, so I didn't make it a priority to sign up for this race.  Which was a good thing, because the online registration sold out in 8 minutes.

This race wasn't really on my 'must do' list but since I happened to find out when the registration was, I thought I would check with my best pal and running buddy to see if she was doing it again.  Of course, she was going to try to get in and warned me that I had better be ready right at 7 a.m. if I wanted a slot. 

I got up this morning and really had kinda forgetten all about it until I got downstairs and saw her message on my phone.  It was 6:50.  I still had time.  Thankfully, I had purchased a new macbook a month ago, so getting the computer up and running took all of 4 sec.  With my old computer or even this stupid one at work, I would still be trying to get the thing going.  They both suck and I am a total apple convert now. 

Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Finally!  7 a.m.  Where's the link?  Why isn't it here?  Should I refresh?

Oh wait!  Here it is!  Quick click on it!

I fill out all the stuff: blah, blah, blah, now onto payment.  Oh shit.  They don't accept amex.  Which happens to be the only credit card number I have memorized.  why?  I don't know.   I just know it.

Quick run out to the car to get my wallet, find another card, quick-type it in.

YES!  Congratulations!  You have successfully registered for the 15th annual Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race!  yay! 

So on August 4, 2012, I will be in that crowd somewhere!
I'm guessing it will be somewhere near the back.....

6,000 runners and 10,000 spectators last year make the B2B the largest road race ever in Maine.  Wow!  It's a beautiful course and I'm wicked excited to be able to run it this year!  It seems like everyone one I know that runs has gotten a bib as well, so if I can find anyone, I should be able to run with plenty of friends! 

What is the big deal race where you live?

Have you had a chance to run in it yet?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Anything to Win?

This afternoon as I was stalking FB and reading trash celebrity articles reading the WSJ headlines, I came across this news article in yahoo news.  HERE is the link if you want to read it.  To summarize, in the Oregon girls basketball state title game one of the teams playing (Willamette) knew it couldn't beat the other team (Springfield) by playing a regular game of basketball. 

So instead, the coach chose to have the players stall the game.  And I don't mean stall like slowing down, taking your time to find the right shot, I mean stall like hold the ball for the ENTIRE second quarter. 

No passing, no dribbling, no shooting, no nothing.  Just standing there holding the ball. 

Can you imagine being there to watch that game?  ugh.  Talk about being bored to tears. 

To their credit, they did manage to keep the score very low and stay within two baskets at half time.  The score was 4-0.  Final score 16-7.  And they didn't even win--they still lost.

But really?  Your only shot of winning is to not play the game at all???  Why bother then.  Why not just concede the game ahead of time and save everyone the misery of watching such a painfully boring game.  Or lack of game. 

Is that really in the spirit of the game?  Is that how it was meant to be played?  Is it a good strategy?  Was the coach on to something brilliant?  I think not. 

There is really no strategy in not playing at all.  It is just that-- NOT PLAYING. 

As much as I hate that player in tennis, (if you play tennis, you know exactly what I am talking about) that one that hits what I call a moonball, at least that is a strategy.  They hit it the same.  Every time.   That slow pace ball that goes really high over the net and lands really deep in the court.  No pace.  No spin.  Not even any placement.  Just high and deep and slow.  No matter what you hit to them, they hit the moonball back.  It wears you down and makes you make mistakes. 

That game sucks (to me), but it is a strategy and you are still playing the game.

But to not play at all??  I don't even think that is considered good sportsmanship.  To basically say, "We can't beat you playing basketball how it was meant to be played.  So we aren't going to play", is really piss poor sportsmanship.  IMO

Why not just play your best game and lose 45-30?  Wouldn't that be more in the spirit of the game?  Wouldn't you feel better about yourself having tried, at least?  Maybe try to double team their best player.  Full court press.  Take away the outside game if they are good at 3 pointers.  Something.  Anything.  Anything at all is better than just not playing. 

What is your take on this? 

Brilliant strategy or shitty game play?

I think you know what my vote is.  Play hard or go home.

Monday, March 12, 2012

dorky mom gushing over her kids

This is one of those posts.  A post where a mom (me) gushes over how brilliant her kids are.  Please skip over this particular post if you don't like that sort of thing.

Friday was just one of those days for me when you are just bursting with pride over your children.  I picked up Princess and Manimal after school and they started talking about their day.  Grades K-3 had gone on a field trip to see The Lorax.  (I'm not sure how seeing The Lorax qualifies as something school or learning related.....  but I digress.)  All the kids were leaving the movie theater and Manimal noticed that his teacher had stayed behind to clean up some of the snack trays and drink cups that some kids had left on the floor.  MY SON, was the only one out of 100+ kids that went back and asked her if she wanted some help cleaning up.

MY son. 

My 6 year old son. 
The very same one who cannot pick up his socks or towel or sneakers at home. 

She was so happy and proud of him all at the same time.  As she was telling me about it at school, she said it really brought tears to her eyes that he cared enough to come back to help her. 

That was Proud Moment #1.

Later that night we had to go to watch Big Sissy as she performed in a band concert.  Not just any band concert.  But an HONORS band concert.  6th grade Honors Band for District 3.  It where they choose 1-2 students from each school in the district to represent their school in this band.  The kids met at 10 am that morning and practiced all day together and then put on a concert that night. 

Now, I'm not really into music and band and all that so these sort of things usually bore me to tears.  But this particular concert was actually very good.  It has been a source of anxiety for Sissy for the past 6 weeks.  She gets very nervous about things that she is unfamiliar with and the new music, going to a different school and working with other kids made her very nervous.  She face-timed with her band teacher over school vacation.  She went in after school to practice the music with her band teacher, and she practiced countless hours at home so she wouldn't sound bad. 

I know she nailed it!  They sounded great!  Even though there were 8 or so flutes, I'm pretty damn sure I heard her though all of them. 

I'm just so proud of how she worked through her nervousness and became the most prepared she could be.  She is such a hard worker--much better than I was at that age.  And she cares.  She cares about her performance and how she does.  And it extend into everything she does--homework, basketball, field hockey, band, whatever.  Whatever she is doing, she works hard at it and does the best that she can and gives 100%.  There is nothing that she does half assed.  (well, picking up after herself, maybe...)

Just.  So.  Proud. 

That concludes Proud Moment #2

Princess, in true Princess fashion, didn't really do anything that particular day to make me especially proud, but she does make me proud every day.  Something that sticks in my mind from last month was when she stood up to a kid in her class that was picking on her best friend.  I can't ever imagine standing up to the bully kid in 3rd grade.  That just wasn't me.  But she is just not afraid of that--she is a great advocate for herself and her friend.  She's got her dad's guts, that's for sure.

Proud Moment #3

I love them!

So, all in all, it was a great start to the weekend.   I started my milage for the GU challenge of 100 miles ran from 3/9-4/9.  I got 12 in this weekend.  That is a good start for me.  I don't think I can get the whole 100 miles, but I am sure going to give it a try.

How do your kids make you proud?

Are they better people than you were at their age?  I think mine are.

Have you entered my giveaway?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sahara Desert Eyes

First of all, let me say how much I have been enjoying the *glorious weather* here in Maine!   Wow!  Temps up in the 50's yesterday!  Woot!  We have a few days of regular temps (in the 30's) and then next week is predicted to be in the high 50's!!!  All week!!! 

THAT, my friends, is FABULOUS!

I don't think you will ever meet a happier bunch of people than Mainers in March on a 58 deg. sunny day.  It really makes you feel that good.  You Arizona, California, Florida, sunny all the time people just can't understand what a warm, sunny day can do to your mood after a bunch of cold, dreary ones.  I'm pretty sure we could cut in half the anti-depression meds prescribed in Maine if we had better weather. 

The sunny-ness doesn't quite take away the misery of the $650 oil bill I just received, but it does ease the sting a little.  I'm hoping this will be my last large oil bill for awhile.  

One little glitch in today's wonderfulness is the way my eyes are feeling.  The last few weeks they have been horribly uncomfortable when I wake up in the morning.  Like I want to rub them like crazy--even though that makes them feel worse.  And  for about 2 hours in the am, I feel like I have something in my eyes.  Being an eye doctor, one would think the knowledge I have would be helpful.  And I suppose it is, because I can self-diagnose.  which is always a good thing....

Dry eyes is what I have.  Why?  All of a sudden?  Jeez, could it be that it's winter and dry?  How about that 40 sumthin' woman that I am.  It couldn't be because I'm getting older, could it??  How ironic that the eye doctor has dry eyes.  Well, at least I can sympathize with my patients, right? 

It is so wonderful to be reminded of the fact that you are not 20 anymore.  Thank you, Mother Nature.  bitch

So, for those of you wondering about dry eye, I'll give you a brief run down.  Dry eye can occur in anyone, but mostly in older adults.  The environment plays a large role.  Dry climates are worse (duh), dusty, moldy, rooms with blown air etc can all contribute.  Hormones, menopause (hence the prevalence in women), medications, contact lens wear, previous lasik surgery can all contribute to dry eyes. 

Dry eye is the deficiency in one or more of the tear layers--water, lipid and mucous.  Treatment is aimed at improving the tear quality, either through supplements or increasing production.  Warm compresses can open up the glands that produce the lipid/mucous layers.  Artificial tears can supplement the lack of quantity of tears.  Flax seed supplements can help to produce a better quality tear. 

For me, since it is just the beginning of the problem and most likely due to my age and the dry environment, I am just using artificial tears to relieve the foreign body sensation and 'stickiness' feeling to my lids.  Many people also experience a light sensitivity, grittiness, blurred vision and redness.  I would advise not using Visine brand--some of the Visine types have medication in them that do nothing to help with dry eye and often can make it worse.  I prefer Refresh or Systane brand.  (just my opinion) 

So here I am each morning doing my warm compresses and putting in Refresh tears.  fabulous.  Thankfully, I don't wear contact lenses, because that would just make it worse.  For those of you that do wear contact lenses and are noticing problems with dry eye, there are many brands of contacts that are designed to increase comfort with dry eye.  You may need to switch brands to get more comfort.  Also, the type of cleaner that you use can cause drying as well.  Switching to Clear Care or AOSept hydrogen peroxide based cleaner will, almost all of the time, improve comfort for those with dry eye.  But, please, check with your eyecare provider before making any changes. 

Sunglasses will help sheild your eyes from the sun and wind so make sure you always have a good pair. 

Today I am going to focus (haha no pun intented) on the positive-- the super nice weather-- and not on the dryness of my eyes.  At least I have eyes and they are fully functional, right?

So, Mother Nature, thank you for the great spring day.  But please remember I'm going to fight you full force with artificial tears in each hand.  So take that. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Things I am Not Good At

Stasha at Northwest Mommy has another edition of Listicles this week that I've decided to take part in.  This week's topic is Things You are Not Good At.  I had first named this post "Things I Suck At"  (that's what she said) but then decided that might not be the best way to word that.  Who knows what kind of traffic I might get then...... 

10 Things I Suck At

1.  Singing
Oh, how I wish I were a fabulous singer.  And of course, I sound awesome to myself while driving or in the shower or whatever.  But the reality is:  I suck.  I am tone deaf, pitchy, and all those things that Simon Cowell says to the American Idol contestants.  Carrie Underwood = not me.  boo.

2.  Lying
I suppose this is probably a good thing, but I am really bad at it.  Good thing I'm not sneaky or a cheater or anything like that.  My face gives it away every time.  Lying to keep a baby shower secret or about a surprise birthday party is fine, those don't hurt, but a bold-faced lie to cover up a bad act or to keep someone out of trouble, nope.  I can't do it.  Don't look to me to be your partner in crime, I would spill the beans everytime.

3.  Up-selling
This is kinda a problem since I am in the business of selling things.... But it is very hard for me to push high-end products on people unless they ask for them.  It goes along with the lying thing above.  I really have to believe there is a huge benefit in order to ask them to pay $600 for a pair of glasses.  I shouldn't judge what the person may or may not be willing to pay for ahead of time, but it's hard. 

4.  Throwing a baseball
I guess I was never really taught to throw properly so I totally throw like a girl. 
Me.  Minus the tiara.

Not me.

It's all good though.  Apparently, Obama throws like a girl too.  :)
That makes me feel a little better.

5.  Putting on Makeup
Another thing I never learned how to do.  I use some concealer, face powder, bronzer and eyeliner.  That's it.  I've never used eye shadow.  I don't even have a clue how to put it on properly.  It's just not me anyway.  I'm more of a plain jane kind of girl.

6.  Backing Up
Wow.  Do I suck at this.  No joke.  My friend, Julie (of the popcorn place) has this kinda narrow longish driveway.  Whenever I go over to pick up or drop off my kid, I only pull up about 1/3 of the way into her driveway.  It's so embarrassing, but if I go further in, I cannot back up out of it without clipping a tree, or going off the edge or hitting the basketball hoop.  I should have taken a picture of my efforts the other night.  Because there was some snow still, you could see the swerving, on the road-off the road path I took to back out.   I am reverse challenged.  I can't even tell you the number of things I have backed into--cars, garage doors, poles etc.

My husband, on the other hand, can back a fully-loaded truck and trailer into a phone booth (phone booth?  did I just date myself?  do you 20-somethings even know what a phone booth is??)  if he had to.  Maybe that ability is attached to the Y chromosome..

7.  Debating/Arguing
I am terrible at coming up with reasons or arguements on the spur of the moment.  You would completely win a debate with me anytime.  Or an arguement, for that matter.  I stammer and stutter while my mind is racing trying to come up with just the right thing to say.  Then it's done and I've lost, or been totally ineffective at defending myself.  2 hours later, I come up with the perfect comeback.  Too late.  There will be no politics in my future.

8.  Following Through on Kid's Punishments
Ugh.  So bad at this.  Thankfully, my kids are pretty well behaved and don't need punishment often.  However, my threats of "Cut it out or you'll go to bed when we get home" or "You won't be able to go to that birthday party" or "no dance class or jiu jitsu for you" are often never followed through on.  I often forget what I had said the night before so then I don't remember to follow through.  Or I've paid so much for those dance classes/jiu jitsu classes that I am not going to have her miss one.  (Wrong thing to threaten, I know.)  Parenting--I'm learning too.  There was no handbook for that.

9.  Cooking
I would probably be pretty good at the cooking part, if I had the time or the inclination to spend an hour or so making my kitchen a complete disaster area to come up with some awe-inspiring dish.  But I don't.  I want dinner to be done in 30 minutes.  And dishes done 30 minutes later.  Getting home at 5 and wanting to get the kids to bed by 7:30 leaves only so much time for cooking and cleaning.  Therefore, hubby does the cooking.  Thank you, hubs!

10.  Sticking to a Budget
Ugh.  I am soo bad at this.  I am getting better, but I cannot seem to eliminate the credit cards from my life.  I just get them down to little or nothing, and wham! they are right back up there again.  The worst part is, I'm not even sure what I've bought!  Something for me to continue to work on.

Hey--don't forget to sign up for my Bloggy Birthday Giveaway!  I've got some good stuff to hand over to someone.  It might as well be you!  Happy Wednesday!  Oh!  I almost forgot!  Here's that pic of Carrie and I when I met her for giveaway swapping.  :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birthday Giveaway!

Finally, I am getting around to setting up my bloggy birthday giveaway.  It really has taken some time to get everything together and get the pictures blah, blah, blah.  Maybe my life is just a little to hectic right now to focus on this blogging thing.  Anyway, I have collected a few things here and there that I thought my fellow running peeps would like.  Here's what I have for you:

Nike white running hat
Runner's World Run Lite Pack
Runner's World Wrist Wallet
Under Armour Compression Calf Sleeves
Clif Shot Blok black cherry
Speedo Swim Goggles
Coastal Maine Popcorn--one small bag of your flavor choice
Nike Running Pants--size M
Nike Running Sunglasses--as shown here:

Seems like I should be sponsored by Nike or Runner's World.... but, alas, I'm not.

Anyhoo--nothing was given to me for free, I have purchased everything with my very own money, so I suppose I can say anything I want about the above products.  I have a similar running hat and wear it when it's not too hot--my head sweats too much and I prefer visors (if I wear anything on my head). 

The fanny pack and wrist wallet are just cool things that I found and would like to have for myself.  I have some compression sleeves and I really like how they make my calves feel and of course, Clif Shot Bloks are awesome for long runs.  I haven't fell in love with the GU stuff yet, so far I prefer the gummy-like products. 

I also purchased a pair of the swim goggles for myself and reviewed them in an earlier post.  They work fine and are a cool color. 

Here is everything but the running pants and swim goggles.  I forgot those at home...oops.

Popcorn is awesome and flavored popcorn from Coastal Maine Popcorn is da bomb.  Yes, I am cool like that and live in da hood here in Boothbay Harbor.  Word.

I also have this exact pair of Nike Running Sunglasses and they are excellent on runs.  The little rubber nose pads keep the glasses away from your face enough that you don't sweat all over them and they only steamed up on me once when I was wearing a hat and it couldn't breathe above my eyebrows.  Plus, they give you that "I'm such a bad-ass runner" look that everyone will think you are so fast.

I seem to have conquered rafflecopter so we'll give that a try for this giveaway.  Follow the instructions below and off we go!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Care for a Running Challenge? There is free GU involved.....

Today was a beautiful day, wasn't it?  Sunny, warm, (well, warm like in Maine warm.  not Florida warm), post snow pretty, Friday, half-day of work--really what more could I want?  I got a nice fast swim in after work and then rushed down to the popcorn store to meet Carrie from Maine Mom on the Run.  She won the bags of popcorn from Coastal Maine Popcorn so I had to made good on it and get the girl her popcorn! She lucked out because it was free bag Friday so she got 3 bags instead of 2.  What a nice blog giveaway girl I am.  I have a picture of us, but I'll have to post that on Monday.  I haven't figured out how to get the photo from my card to my new iMac yet.  You can teach an old dog new tricks, it just takes some time for him (me) to figure it out....

So I'm sitting here watching the state final basketball game on tv, scrolling through blogs and I come across  a challenge on one blog that I find interesting.  So I thought I'd share with you all.

Strava is a website where you can track your running and cycling adventures and compete with other runners and cyclists.  They are holding a challenge for runners and it involves free GU!  If you sign up on Strava and run 100 miles from 3/9-4/9 you will receive an 8 pack of peanut butter GU.  If you log 150 miles during that time you will receive an 8 pack of Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel.  If you are a rockstar and reach 200 miles you will receive a 24 pack of mixed energy gels.  In addition, if everyone signed up for the run reaches 100,000 miles during the time period, then everyone will receive a GU VIP card for discounts up to 35% and special offers on

Now 100 miles in one month is a big huge month for me (especially lately...) but I am really going to try to make this goal.  It will just require some dedication on my part to get to the track when it's too shitty outside to run.  It's really about 3 miles a day, right?  Wow, this is going to be some work for me.

Maybe if I have some fellow bloggers to cheer me along and do it with me, even if it is virtually, just maybe, I can do this!

So if you are up for a challenge and some free GU, then head over HERE to sign up.  Don't worry, I already sent a note to EMZ--she should up the milage average quite a bit if she signs up!  :)

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Winner, Winner! Popcorn Dinner!

Today is the day!  I have the names of the winners of the Coastal Maine Popcorn! has helped me choose.  We had 25 entries and #5 and #19 were chosen.  Carrie of Maine Mom on the Run and Kara at it's a dog lick baby world!  Two of my favorite bloggers!  Carrie lives just down the road from me, but yet, I've never met her in person!  One of these days, we are going to get together for a run.  Kara lives in Maryland (I think) and her blog has me cracking up daily about her adventures in running and parenting.  (The parenting part being much more funny than the running...)

Please girls, check out their website and let me know which two flavors of popcorn you would like to try.  I'll collect them from Julie and mail them out to you.  Or in Carrie's case, I'll hold it hostage until I get my winnings from her giveaway!! ;)  I need your flavor choices and mailing address, please!  Send that out to bouchard @ midcoast . com and you should have some popcorn next week. 

Everyone else, feel free to give Julie some work and order some online, or if you are local, stop in and sample a flavor or two.  Fridays are usually free bag Friday, where you buy two bags and you get one free.  (That's a good deal, you know.)  There is a store in Boothbay Harbor and in Portland, ME.  This is a cute and different idea for the Easter bunny.  Who wouldn't want to get delicious, flavored popcorn in their Easter basket??  It's healthier than chocolate.... just sayin.

Thank you for reading and make sure you check back later today or tomorrow for my bloggy birthday giveaway (finally!).