Sunday, January 3, 2016


Deep in the throes of post vacation blues here.  We've had such a lovely 17 days of vacation and the girls are off again tomorrow.  We've spent time at home, time at gymnastics camp, time at work, family time, 1 on 1 time, time in NYC and on Long Island.  We've entertained guests a couple times and have been entertained ourselves.

We are jumping into the deep end this week.  Mr. Quimby is already traveling for work and we've got a steady calendar of work travel over the next few months.

I lost my temper with the girls tonight - one of them snuck up on the other, pinched her, and scared the beejeesus out of her so badly that she screamed so loudly that I thought a "bad guy" was in the house.  I lost it and then recovered approximately 2 minutes later and we had all made amends 20 minutes after that.  But still, I hate that after being calm and present and in the moment for 17 days I finally lost it today.

Tomorrow will be a tough day.  I need to get some work done and the girls will be home all day.  I'll structure the day here and there; an hour of tv, an hour of an activity together, an hour of activity separately.  I wish there was a scavenger hunt I could make up that would take them around the neighborhood on a day like tomorrow.  Sunny but cold, but not too cold for a bike ride.

Melancholy.  It seems the perfect end to 17 days of good.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Resolutions 2016 Edition

I LOVE New Year Resolutions.  Here are mine:

1. Be more organized with time at work and structure what I do during my days in the office and my couple hours here at home so I'm not dragging files back and forth with me.

2. Figure out our photo/scrapbook situation.  I think I need to start with December 2015 and start making digital scrapbooks or photobooks (there's a digital scrapbooking group that meets nearby monthly).  But then I need to start with, ahem, 2008 and make paper scrapbooks from 2008-2015 using the small warehouse that I have in the basement.

3. Cook meals from scratch 3x per week.  Reheating frozen chicken nuggets and adding a green vegetable does not count.

4. Blog 2x per week.  I love blogging, no reason I don't do it more.

5. Keep working out 3x per week.  Eat less of those damn Little Debbie snack cakes so that I might actually lose weight.  Maybe run a 5K - in the early summer and again in the fall.  It's brutal to run here on cold days, and I just don't have it in me so I'm fine to just go back to my work out group and not run a 5K until the summer.  But it's also brutal to run in the summer (not because of the heat, because of the sun!) so I really have to run at night.

6. No more tv during the day.  I've developed a bad habit of turning it on if I'm at home but it always just leads to more!

Do you have any resolutions ?!?!

Monday, November 30, 2015

"a very nice family"

Today at Mass, an elderly woman sat near us whom I haven't seen before.

During the recessional hymn, she tapped me on the shoulder and said to me: "What a very nice family you have."  Tears sprung to my eyes and I said: "Oh thank you so much for saying that.  We try so hard."

Oh my goodness, and we do try so very hard.  We do.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I know I can

On business travel for a few days and I'm terrified of losing my hard won fitness level.  So at 9pm I went for a run.  I'll never fall asleep in time to get a good nights rest before my meetings tomorrow, but that is secondary.

I'm still in a run/walk interval but I ran the longest I've ever run tonight; being closer to sea level and a nice downward slope made a huge difference!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I think I can

I think I might be a runner.

I run now, 3 days a week, and I don't make excuses not to go anymore.  I don't run for LONG periods of time - I'm almost up to a 90 sec. run, 30 sec. walk for 30 minutes at a time and I generally don't feel like dying, crying, or throwing up.  My running stuff is organized - I know exactly what I need so I can grab it and go without too much effort.

I started a Couch to 5K program in late July because a friend was starting it.  I decided that I didn't want to be the sort of person who never tries anything new, so I signed up too.  The program is okay; it moves too fast for me but I like the camaraderie.  I've had two sessions with a friend who is one of those crazed fitness type people and that was amazing.  She watched me run, made suggestions on my form and breathing, and it made a huge difference.  She's also a devout Catholic, so we say prayers and the rosary while we run.

The girls have had to go with me a couple times.  They will walk while I run back and forth or they will ride their bikes.  They make helpful comments like: "Way to go mom;" "keep it up mom;" "your butt sort of bounces, is it supposed to do that?" and my fave: "your boobs bounce too, but don't worry, it's not that bad."

I confessed to Beezus that I was scared of running and I was scared of the race.  She was so contemplative when I told her that I was scared and nervous but that I was going to do it anyway. She must have told Ramona because she seemed so confused later when asking me why I was going to do something I was scared of!

It feels good to have a project, a goal that I am working towards.  I am heavily goal driven, so this works for me. I don't see myself running through the winter and I can't imagine running on a treadmill.  I miss working out with my regular cardio group and I'm wondering if running just 2x per week would keep me at my current fitness level so that I don't lose where I am.  But honestly, none of that really matters.  I'm focused on the race on Sept. 19th and I'll deal with those other issues when the time comes.

My dear friend Elaine gave me some advice that has really stuck with me: "Give yourself a chance to succeed at this."  In many ways, I feel like I already have succeeded; but I'll run in the race on Sept. 19th just to be sure.

Yes, I wear a sweatband under my running hat.  This pic is from the FAR side of the lake trail near our house.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Joy in spite of the Dys

This sight still makes me so happy.

Let me tell you something, mama friends.  When you think something is "not quite right" with your child, don't give up.  It is very, very important that you don't give up.  You must trust your instincts that your child is TOO smart to struggle SO much.

Do every single assessment and every single evaluation that is out there until you get an answer. Then, when your kiddo is reading at grade level and things seem a lot better, but you still think something just is "not quite right", do another assessment and evaluation.

Then ... after you've spent a buttload of money on that kid;

and after you've dealt with the dysfunctional/passive-aggressive tutor who implies that this poor child's mama works too much and that's why the child isn't able to be a good learner all the time;

and after you've cried to your therapist, your friends, and your family about how much you can't stand that tutor (even though she is effective with your kid);

and after you (and your husband) have cajoled and negotiated, threatened and yelled, and dug very deep to stay calm, positive, and empathetic to get this child to do her tutoring homework almost every damn day all damn summer long and made this child so MAD.AT.YOU. because IT.IS.SUMMER and YOU.YOU MOM. are ruining her summer by making her do homework;

and after your kiddo tells one night that she had a spelling test that day (the first spelling test of the year) and she just knows that she got them all right and your heart sinks a little and your throat tightens up because you want so badly, so very badly, for that to be true but you are so afraid that it won't be;

and when your husband texts you (at work) a photo of that spelling test, and not only did she get all the regular words right but she got the bonus words right too.

After all of that, you will fall to your knees and crawl under your desk and thank God for giving you this precious child to raise.  You will thank God for giving you the doggedness and persistence and confidence to help that child; for the friends and family that supported you in your quest; for the jobs that made the money to pay for the expensive tutoring.  You will thank God for giving you a husband who believed you when you told him that something is "not quite right" with the way their child reads and writes.  You will even thank God for the VERY.STRONG.WILL of this child because that turned into determination as well.

You will even feel grateful for the dyslexia and the dysgraphia that your child may or may not have, because without that you wouldn't have been able to feel such joy and gratitude over a spelling test.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Joy.  The "dys" will always be there, and we don't even know the full extent of the "dys" but what I know for now is that what we did all summer is working and now we have a few months of breathing room before we figure out the next step.  Just so much joy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's Really Over: Back to School edition

Today really feels like summer is over for me.  It's the first full week of school, our after-school nanny starts today, I'm back to my old schedule at work.  It was chilly at night-time a couple days ago so I remember what the cool air feels like.

I didn't feel quite as sad sending the girls back this year.  I think it's partially because we had such a great summer that I don't feel like we left anything undone.  I'm proud that Mr. Quimby and I made it that way for them: summer swim team was SO good for them, fun times with an afternoon babysitter, lunch at home with Mr. Q. or me everyday, plenty of time to get bored and time to have extra electronics time too.  It was hard on us with all the travel and schedule changes, but it was really great for them.  As a fluke, Mr. Q and I only had a little bit of work travel from mid-June - late August and that made a difference too.

I love their class placements, and I feel like they were done so thoughtfully.  Beezus can handle pretty much any teacher and she got one that is young-ish and VERY energetic.  She has a fellow "good girl" in her class and I think it will be so good for her to not have to bear the burden of being the "teacher's pet" alone.  Ramona has the perfect teacher for her (and for our family) as we try to figure out what is going on inside her head.

Beezus runs out the door and across the street to her "cabin" aka portable classroom that has been permanent for 8 years.  She will only make brief eye contact when she sees us walk Ramona over.  Mr. Quimby is out of town today and as Ramona was leaving she said: "Don't you dare walk me to school."  (She's such a sweet, genteel, little flower of a young lady.)  I said: "Okay."  As she was walking out the door, she muttered: "You better hurry up and come with me.  I don't want to be late."  Then she gave me the sweetest hug and kiss at the door.  That pretty much sums up my relationship with them these days!  It's hard for me sometimes how Beezus runs so hot and cold - but it makes it easier to bear when I know that she is SUPPOSED to be acting like this.

Time marches on.

At least we don't miss seeing them.  This is a view of Beezus' classroom from our front porch!

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