Five for Friday.

March 27, 2015

What a week! Recovering from a serious illness is tough work, lemme tell you. Thankfully, I had so. much. going on, I didn’t have much time to even think about how pitiful I was. I just got ‘er done. In fact, this was quite the productive week. But Fridays aren’t for productivity – they’re for having fun! There was some of that, too.

1. Like this, that I finally brought into work:

Flower Maybe I didn’t tell you that my sweet new guy is not only not-bothered by my football fanaticism, but he thinks I am so amusing that he bought me fancyface flowers and a Feel Better card when a certain traitor left our team (after an entire! career!! and two rings!!) to sign with anotherand I was devastated. Well, he did. And I maybe brought my fancyface flowers to work today to help get me through this day.

2. Related: this happened.

LegoBecause I am working through my feelings like the grown-up I am.

3. I got the most fantastic care packages this week! (For the pre-appendicitis scare, not the football thing.) Kim sent me a bouquet of new books; I had been eyeballing Mosquitoland and have since had one of my bookish fairy godmothers compare Buried Giant to Connolly’s Book of Lost Things, which I adored. I’m so excited! And Shayne sent me the most gorgeous (and, my god, comfortable!) infinity scarf covered in illustrations and the text from Alice in Wonderland. So I’m going to have to keep it on my person always, or Corrie will steal it, Alice-obsessed as she is.

Package1 Package2

4. I also snagged a copy of I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson from our library. I’m so glad I stopped there first, because I have it on good authority that I was getting that book from the Easter Bunny; now he can get me something else! You guys – you need to read this book! Only I’ll give you the same warning Shayne gave me: do not read it in public, especially if you’re still working through some issues with grief. Ohhhhh this book broke my heart into teeny tiny pieces, so many times! I was up until midnight finishing the book last night [I would have stayed up the night before and finished it in one sitting if I could] and then I was up for another hour crying my fool eyes out. That book! It’s like the heartbreak of Fault in our Stars, plus the heart of Eleanor and Park and the imagination and sensory overload of Night Circus. YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. I’m buying it the second it hits paperback, just to loan out to each one of you. Five of five stars.

5. I listened to the Stone Temple Pilots’ Purple album on the way to work and it was such the right way to start my Friday! My guy has been out of town on vacation all week, I have a stressy thing going on at ThePlaceThatShallNotBeNamed today, and I finished a huge project this week. I am SO ready for my weekend to start! I’m ready to kick ass! I’m working some music into the rest of my day, too, and I plan to include the new Modest Mouse. Because how awesome is it? Not as awesome as a throwback album on the way to work on Friday, but still pretty up there, right? Right.

So there you go! That’s what’s been buzzing around inside my brain this morning. Hope your weekend plans are glorious and your Friday speeds by…

It was just a matter of time (but I still lost the bet).

March 25, 2015

There are no hills in Tejas. It’s flat. Flat, flat, flat. At least, this part of Tejas is. The sky is so big that it hurts your eyes, busts your brain the first time you see it. But my Ex lives on The One Hill in our area. (I’m exaggerating here, but not by much.) His hill is enough of an incline that it’s an issue when it ices and that not a single one of us are envious of the ridiculous grades of the driveways on one side of the street. Hilly. Yes.

Every morning when I drop the girls off, Gracie – being far too cool to break a sweat – struts from the car, down the front lawn or the driveway, to the front door. Bee-girl, however, being Bee-girl, always runs headlong, tumble-bumble, pell-mell, all the way down to the bottom of the hill. Every time I watch her, I wonder how the girl stays upright. Think of Phoebe running downhill – but with a backpack in one hand throwing her balance off – and you might get close to how off-kilter my baby girl looks. Each and every time I think she’s going to lose her balance. And each and every time she makes it safely to the front door.

Until this morning.

It’s dark outside when we leave the house now, with the time switch. The girls’ dad has a spotlight outside that turns on when we pull up, but still – it’s pretty dark. So I could only tell that one of the girls had gone down. Not all the way, not a full-out sprawl. Just to her knees. “Just” – but she was awfully slow to get up. So slow that I put down my window and asked if she was alright. And when Bee turned to say she said “yes”, that’s when I realized it was Gracie-girl who had fallen. Of course. Of course it was Gracie.

It didn’t seem to be that bad a spill, but it still took Gracie quite a long time to get up off her knees. She wasn’t hobbling too badly when she walked the rest of the way to the house, Bee keeping a watchful eye on her. And I haven’t had any alarming texts from her dad, so I’m guessing all is okay. Probably Gracie’s feelings were injured more than anything else. (I have been seeing an awful lot of the moody-teen-around-the-corner in the mornings.) We’ll just hope she didn’t land on her wrist and then move on to the next crisis.

Which I’m sure is just one bad tumble away.

One furry step forward.

March 24, 2015

Yes, I do realize that just by writing this, by committing it to paper, I am placing a giant jinx on my own shoulders. I realize when I get home, there will be chaos and destruction. This is very clear to me. And yet, with everything going on, all the ER reports and stomachaches and missed meals, I felt like I needed to report something that was going right at Casa de Katie. And so…

I have to brag about Fenway.

She’s taken something of a giant step forward these past few weeks. We’ll pretend it was born out of the kindness of my heart (which, kind of…), and not out of guilt or necessity. See, I’ve started leaving her out of her crate during the day. And nothing terribly catastrophic has happened. I KNOW!

We’ve been working up to this during the past year. I started leaving her home, but out of her crate, when I went for my longer runs (I won’t take her if it’s longer than three miles). Or maybe if I was running to one store and coming right back to the house. I might find a granola bar wrapper or a tissue from the trash lying on the ground. Or that she had trapped herself in the bathroom (dolty dog). But nothing too bad. Still – I was scared silly by what would happen if I tried it for longer periods.

My concern wasn’t purely selfish. It wasn’t just that I feared for the state of my carpets or that Fen would empty the trash and create huge messes. She doesn’t chew on toys or furniture. She does enjoy tissues when she feels the need to show you her displeasure. And food wrappers are fair game in her eye. But she also gets rather anxious when she’s left out. If she thinks she’s alone, she’ll stare out the door where you disappeared and whine.

But we worked on it. And seeing as how there were days I’d be gone at work all day; come home, go for a run, shower and go out; come home, let Fen out, change and go to sleep – that’s an awfully long time to ask Fen to stay in her crate. Even with an hour outside in the morning and an hour outside in the evening, that pretty much equates to solitary confinement.

So I started leaving her out of her crate when I was at work. You’d think I’d have started with something at night, when I was home in case an intervention was needed. But I loves me my sleep. So. Daytime it was! Also, this way I didn’t have to listen to any pathetic whining. Fen could get over it in her own good time. All I have to do is remember to close all of the doors in the house so she’ll only have the living room to roam, and voila! Three weeks, and only one accident! And that was by the back door on the hardwood, so at least it was easily cleaned.

It’s not much, but at Casa de Katie, we’ll take any kind of good news we can take right now. Who would have thought it’d be Fenway who delivered it? It almost makes up for the snow days. Almost.

Another post, another ER story.

March 23, 2015

We have to stop meeting like this, said me to every doctor everywhere. But yes, yes it’s true: I thought I was on the mend after a better (but still wobbly) Thursday. I at least made it through an entire day of work. But Friday morning was a struggle. My severe abdominal pain was back, and though I tried to fight through it, everyone I saw at work asked what I was doing there. When it got to the point that I couldn’t answer any of them without doubling over in pain, my friend followed me home, waited while I grabbed some stuff and let Fenway out, and then dropped me off at the ER on her way back to work.

This new ER was so much better. I maybe had to wait around a little bit long (turns out hospitals are a lot busier at lunchtime than they are at six in the morning), but the doctor was a lot more attentive, confirmed some more tests and got me on the right antibiotics. WHAT A CONCEPT.

I thought the fact that I couldn’t stay out of the ER – well, and the fact that the first one wanted to admit me until they saw signs that the infection was going away – meant that I would be admitted for the weekend for sure. But after running a couple bags of IV meds and getting my pain back under control, the very hott doctor said I could manage from home again. If I wasn’t seeing a difference by Sunday, I could come back.

So my friend came and collected me when she got off of work. [The boyfriend was dying of guilt at this point. Wednesday was the one day he couldn’t leave work, and then Friday he was collecting the parental units and leaving on vacation with his extended fam. I told him I am fabulous girlfriend with horrible timing of crises and not to worry about it. Yes, yes, pitching stones in glass houses with the “not worrying” bit. Whatevs.] All of the plans I’d made – letting Fenway out so she could roam the living room; giving my friend the house key so she could swing by and let the dog out every few hours; coordinating with John and Corrie so they could take turns; grabbing a book, the power cord to my cell, and changing into yoga pants and a tshirt – it was all moot. Or maybe it was all the prep that meant I didn’t have to stay. You know how that goes.

In any case, I was feeling much better even the next morning. Oh, I was sore, but the abdominal pains hadn’t come back. My stomach complained after I tried running errands – too much moving – so I stayed home and slept. Worked on a freelance project. And worked on getting better. Turns out doing nothing isn’t the easiest thing for me. Hunh.

Now I just have to stay “better” for a few days strung together while not doing nothing. This crisis after crisis is getting a little much for me. So I’m shooting the moon: let’s go for an entire week of boring, every day life in which nothing emergent happens, mkay?

I’d laugh, if it didn’t hurt so much.

March 19, 2015

Remember my whole “HELLOOOO, Bloggersphere, I’ve missed you!” post from the other day in which I apologized for being gone so long after The Plague, and promised to never leave you again? And then turned right around and didn’t post yesterday? Funny story about that – it was because I was in the ER both screaming in pain and without a decent internet connection.


I felt fine when I went to bed Tuesday night. Except that’s a lie: my stomach kind of hurt, but I’d done an ab workout, so I figured it was just rather effective. I went to bed, thought nothing of it, and then woke up at 3 a.m. with wicked stomach cramps and pretty bad nausea. I tried to fluff it off as a touch of food poisoning, but that only worked for a few hours. The stomach pain was insane, you guys. I started worrying about appendicitis, and then telling myself I was ridiculous. There was no more sleep for me, and if I hadn’t just been out of work last week during The Plague (and there wasn’t so much drama at ThePlaceThatShallBeNamed), I would have just called into work and that would have been that.

But oh, no. I started talking myself out of going to the hospital about 5 a.m. (when the question of appendicitis really took root) and into the idea of going to work and toughing out the food poisoning. It wouldn’t be pretty, but I could do it. I’d just drop the girls off at their dad’s house and race the rest of the way there. Then I’d at least be where I was going.

That was my plan. I even got up and got dressed, did my hair. Panted my way through the really shooting pains, sat on the edge of the tub when I had to, and I was still convinced my plan would work. I woke up the girls, told them they had to have cereal because there was no way I could cook, and then they pretty much got themselves ready for school while I laid down on the couch. And then when it was time to go, I stood up and about died.

And so I called the Ex and told him I needed to go to the hospital, could he come get the girls…oh, and maybe drop me of at an ER – any ER – on the way?

Things got much worse pretty quickly after that. I was doubled over in pain the entire drive to the ER. They didn’t even take my info, they just whisked me back to triage. I remember begging them to make it stop, and I remember answering a lot of questions, but I don’t remember much of that first hour. Not until the morphine kicked in. And then when it kicked out again and everyone got a little concerned. They ruled out gall stones, kidney stones, and it wasn’t until we moved on to appendicitis that they found all the internal bits my appy was connected to were a bit infected and inflamed. And by a bit, I mean that they wanted to admit me for three days while they fed me hospital-grade antibiotics. I wasn’t so much a fan of that plan, other than the fact that the morphine was barely keeping ahead of the pain. I wanted to try managing it from home once we ruled out surgery. And I almost immediately regretted my decision when I saw my drug therapy didn’t included a ton of antibiotics, anti-nausea meds, and muscle relaxers instead of pain meds [thanks for ruining it for the rest of us, junkies] and my stomach was killing me again before I even got the girls home from school, but actual medical crisis or not, I cannot miss three days of work for an antibiotic drip. So.

Here we go again! I’m back! …I hope.

Back from the Undead Lands of the Plague…or something.

March 17, 2015

You all thought I’d given up the ghost, hadn’t you?

I don’t really blame you. That was a pretty long time to go quiet. But see, this thing happened. The thing is that I was dying of The Plague, which was masquerading as allergies and an asthma attack that just would not, for the love of Pete, ever end, and that was all masquerading as bronchitis. Really it was a 10-day long period of suck, is what I’m telling you. But I’m starting to emerge on the other side. Finally.

I think it’s partly my own doing. Well, that and the fact that ThePlaceThatShallNotBeNamed is filled with sick people who don’t have enough time to stay home the entire time they’re sick (not that I’m throwing stones in that particular glass house). See, The Plague hit me over Spring Break, right when I didn’t have time to be sick. And what had I been doing for the week or two before Spring Break?

Staying up all hours chatting with boys. Well. A boy.

I’d either be up talking and texting, or smuggling my guy in after the girls were asleep, and we’d stay up late talking and talking and talking over glass after glass of wine, finding out all the fun things there are to find out at the start of a new relationship. I figured this phase where everything is new! and shiny! and makes me smile for no reason!, this part isn’t going to last very long. I plan on wringing every moment of happy out of it before it either crashes and burns…or turns into something else. (Why is the crashing and burning part always so much easier to picture?)

So of course I got sick, because I am not 22 anymore, and I apparently can’t live on 5-6 hours of sleep a night for weeks on end. And so The Plague happened. Only it happened at the worst possible moment, as these things are wont to do, because then I wanted to spend Spring Break going out to dinner and for drinks and maybe even to his house and not have to worry about being home because the girls spent the week at their dad and stepmom’s house. So that’s what I did. There were a lot of naps after work and late night dinners and somehow, some way, everything seemed to work.

It was maybe not the most responsible thing I’ve ever done, but you know what? I had a lot of fun. Even sick with The Plague. Maybe a few months from now this spring fling will make me roll my eyes at the fact that I will never, ever learn. Or maybe I’ll still roll my eyes, but be proud of the fact that I grabbed at the silver ring instead of curling up in a ball and just sleeping my way through a week I could have used to do so much more. Maybe it’ll have turned into a summer fling and fall fling and I’ll still be waiting to catch up on all of my sleep, still listening to stories and tidbits and funny-things-that-happened-once.

I just hope by then, whatever happens, I’m finally over the last little bit of this Plague. Because the reminder that I’m not a young 20-something anymore I could really live without!

That’s it – no more snow days.

March 5, 2015

Today started out so well! We knew the girls’ school was closed so we all got to sleep in. I didn’t even mind hearing the girls be all squealy out in the kitchen this morning because they were just! so! excited! to see a few inches (which seems like a few feet to them) of snow. I mean, look!

Snow3 Snow5 Snow6 Snow7

It all looks so pretty! Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a snow day like that! And then I made bacon and french toast for brunch and the girls were so excited they were handclapping and stomping and my head was all BLAH! MAKE IT STOP! but they were in a good mood and my work decided to close for the entire day instead of a noon open and it was good. Everything was good.


I started my 30-Day Shred workout and not two minutes later the back door opened and Bee walked in.

“What do you want?” I asked, expecting a request for dry mittens.

“Fenway has poop all over her neck,” she said.


“If I give you towels, can you get it off? Like, use snow if you need some water?”

That seemed to work. I thought it was just, like, a minor incident. The girls seemed confident.

A few minutes later, Gracie escorted a very wet Fen into her cage, and the girls changed clothes, and then finished my workout with me. [Sidenote: they are now required to work out with me every day. They were so encouraging! “You look skinnier already, Mom!” “Keep going!” “WOW! How can you do that, Mama?!” It was so motivating! And also awesome that they love working out and stretching!]

After awhile, I figured Fenway had dried off enough to be out and about. Except when I went in there, she smelled. She smelled bad. Like she got skunked kind of bad. And her neck? Caked. Still. And so this happened:

BathofShame20150305We’re calling it: Bath Of Shame. I only washed her neck with way more shampoo than was probably necessary. And then dried her off with all the towels and chased her around the bathroom with the hair dryer so she’d be relatively dry. And she still smells, you guys. I tried dryer sheets. And then room freshener. Because no. No no no no no.

And so that’s it. No more snow days. The last one, Fenway ran away. This time, she rolled in poop. I do not have enough wine to find out what will happen if we have another snow day. I know we have nothing on New England, where there’s 32390348530498 inches of snow on the ground. But enough. Really. Please god.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take my 4th shower of the day. Because. Because.

Slowly recovering from all of the fun. (And snow.)(And ice.)(And fog.)(And wine.)

March 4, 2015

Everyone should have a girls’ (or guys’) weekend every once in awhile. It’s a little inexplicable – even though you’re up late, drinking, and – in our case – taking your lives into your own hands by driving over untreated icy bridges and parking lots (oh, just wait til you get the story about the race registration packets), you end up so much more rejuvenated for all of that.

Even though now I’m homesick like you wouldn’t believe because my silly rotten lovely starshiney fantastic besties went and left me to go pick up with their own lives.

So here’s wishing a bouquet of extra-caffeinated coffee finds it way to Cor, and a nice long, relaxy day with naps and DVR-y goodness finds it way to Juls. Because they didn’t even land until after one in the morning and Corri has to work!

As for me, a nice, easy (but busy) day to catch up only 500 emails. (Huzzah for working half-days on Thursday and Friday to recover from last week’s icepocalypse!)

It was so much fun. You’ll hear about it all – our ice days, almost stealing a desk from the Dallas Museum of Art, cupcake adventures, and oh my god all the good food – as I slowly unbury myself. Oh, and our plans! We’ve already decided next year I’m flying to Mass. to run a race, in May or August, when there’s no little chance of snow and ice to ruin our plans. Because, yes, another snow and ice storm is on its way.

Maybe that means I can stay home and sleep tomorrow. For the win.


Five for Friday.

February 27, 2015

Is it Friday? Really? It’s been such a weird week that I honestly have very little idea which way is up!

1. The weather is not helping. Ice day Monday. And Tuesday. Then a delayed start Wednesday, although we didn’t get the 5″ of snow we were promised. Then, yesterday, a pop-up snowstorm showed up, and while it snowed off and on, it was the tiny, gritty snow that didn’t stick to anything. Thank goodness, because I had to go get the besties from the airport! Then, what’s happening today? Another snowstorm! Anywhere from 1-3″ to 4-6″ depending on who you listen to and where you live. Saturday? An ice storm!

2. The weather for Sunday is a little iffy. Either the arctic blast will stay in place, or it will be 40 and rainy (most likely scenario) or it will be 40 and not rainy. After much consideration, with the state of my lungs and the fact that I’m still on antibiotics for bronchitis, I’m thinking running in the rain in 40 degree weather would not be best for my body. So as much as it kills me, I might not run my half-marathon Sunday. Corrina is running, rain, shine or (as long as she doesn’t get body checked by the race organizers shutting down the course) ice. I feel awful that she signed up and came all the way down here and I might not even run! But them’s the breaks, I suppose. I guess. (Nope – still feel awful.)

3. So we wild and crazy ladies spent our first day back grocery shopping, Irish Nacho eating, beer hunting, and talking, talking, talking. CRAZY, I told you! Heh. Juls and Cor had a 3 a.m. wake-up call yesterday, so we stayed in and made homemade mac&cheese for dinner and watched Gone Girl. I don’t think we stopped talking the entire day. We had so much to catch up on! Having people around who have known you since you were 5 years old and who really, really know you is always awesome – you know they’re going to give you the best advice!

4. Fenway is one happy puppy. She got to go to the vet this morning. She got to go in the brand new car (remind me to vacuum out the pet hair later), which she decided was best ridden in half-perched atop the console in between the front seats. I finally got her to lie down on it – I was scared to death she was going to go flying into the windshield. And then she decided the open windows were much more fun and she moved into the back seat. Yes, I drove the entire way to the vet’s office with the windows down even though it is 19 degrees out. I am the best mama ever.

5. So…the besties are meeting who Juls is affectionately calling my Man Friend tonight if the roads aren’t too dicey. Yeah, apparently we’re moving into the Meeting The Friends stage of whatever this is. It’s starting to feel really real you guys. I’m capital-N Nervous! …and maybe a little excited to see what happens. Funtimes.

So there you go! Five things going on right here, right now. I’m so microscopically focused, I didn’t even tell you about what I’ve been reading. That’s how you know I’m really, really on vacation!

Bestie adventures, past and present.

February 26, 2015

Monday, Ice Day 1, oh so long ago – I never told you how we recovered our afternoon. After Fenway had been rescued (and placed in Time Out until she had forgotten what a horse even was), and I set about making my Bee-baby feel better. It helped that Corrie and I had made plans for her girlies to come over for the afternoon. We had movie plans and playing in the snow plans and, most excitingly, science plans!

Oh, yes.

We pulled out the Really Awesome Microscope that just sort of fell into our hands and all four of the girls fought over turns and slides and what to cut up to look at next (including: fingers [for blood, natch], celery, fabric and all manner of things they wanted to look at, some of which even made sense).

Micro1 Micro2

Not only did we have the girls all pouring over the microscope, but we also had Taylor Swift pouring over the surround sound. Rather loudly. Not exactly my first choice, but hey! The girls were happy!

So, yes: Science. TaySwift. Pretty much we were feminist heroes. You can have it all, girls. Expand your sense of self. Contain multitudes. Smash stereotypes!

That was certainly worth listening to crappy music.

So that was Monday. Today, my besties are flying down from Mass. to vacation with me for six days. We have all manner of fun things planned! Dueling piano bars, game night, the art museum, a cupcakery, the JFK memorial, a half marathon, museum-ing to our hearts’ content, and drinks with friends. Not to mention allllll of the talking and walking down memory lane! The weather might not be as lovely as last year – there will be no 70-degree strolls through the Botanical Gardens or reading in the afternoon sun out on the patio. But there aren’t any other girlfriends I’d rather be ice-bound with.

Bonus points if we pull out the microscope while we’re drinking!


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