Saturday, March 28, 2009

Drat it!

It's been almost a week now, and I still can't run thanks to the pain in my lower left calf. Dammit. My training is going to pot!
I'm up FIVE POUNDS on the scale! I hate that scale. It rarely gives me good news. Sure, I'm not perfect in what I eat, but I haven't changed a thing in the last whatever. I'm certain it's my hop-along half thyroid. Dam-dam-dam! (yes, I know it's misspelled. I'm mad, but not mad enough to actually swear. I save that for when I'm REALLY mad. lol)
Now I have to make an effort in curbing the crap I put in my mouth (often dark chocolate and whatever else passes for sweets around 3PM everyday). The ironic thing is that when I put more effort at being "good", I end up eating more because I'm thinking about it too much!
Ugggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh. I can't stand this outofcontrol feeling. My weight control "baggage" is showing. I'll try to calm down, hold on, breathe, and be busy...until my next TSH blood test in 3 weeks.
I wish I had right thyroid lobe back.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ugg. An Injury. But Oh! The School Play!

So, big bummer for me. The last few minutes of running along that creek trail I felt this sort-of cramp in my lower calves. I slowed up and even walked for a minute. But I forged ahead and ran--because I was nearly done AND T was too far ahead to let him get any further with my going too slow.
I was kind of limping the rest of the day but felt like a couple days of rest and stretching would do the trick.
But today, I'm still pretty sore in the left lower calf, but fine in the right. I don't know what it is, but it seems like just a couple more days will allow it to heal itself. Time. Something there just isn't a lot of. I have to get this body in gear in 4.5 weeks!! Hopefully I'll be OK doing an exercise tape without running today. Maybe Thursday or Friday I'll be able to run without any trouble.
On much happier news...yesterday T performed in his first play! By total luck I happened to have the day off (since I work this coming Saturday) and so I was able to watch the 9:30AM show PLUS the 7PM evening show. There were 3 different shows, given by 3 different kindergarten classes. All were based on favorite children's books. (We have 6 kinder classes--the other 3 classes will do their performances today). T's class did a new play called "The Incredible Book Eating Boy". T didn't get to be the lead (in fact, it was a girl that got that part--probably because she can muster an attention span unmatched by any boy in class). But T did his parts very well. He spoke loudly enough and his actions were exaggerated and exuberant! During the first show he spent most of his time looking around the audience for me. But after giving him hints on where to look for me next time, he found me right away and played his parts for his most special audience member--me! Plus his Oma and Opa were there too. He was SO excited to show off how well he could do everything. All the shows were so great! It's amazing what the drama teachers can do with all those kindergartners--123 of them! Of course I video taped every moment--of all three shows. T loved watching them later on the big TV.
Certainly, when the girlfriends come around, many (MANY!) years in the future, these tapes will be valuable ammunition, uh...priceless memories to share.
Having kids. School plays. Video taping special moments.
THIS is just what I signed up for when I dreamed of what my future family would be like.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doin' It Together

Due to no energy or motivation, or whatever...I hadn't worked out since last Wednesday and suddenly it was Sunday morning. I needed to do something or it would be a week gone with only 2 workouts completed. So, I hoisted T's bike in the car, got my running gear on and we drove to the creek trail (about 5 miles from our house). This trail is well used by anyone looking for some quality time outside to walk, run, or ride (a bike). There are beautiful wild flowers, a paved path with a par course, a creek along side the path and a kid's playground with a bona-fide merry-go-round (the kind you push yourself and then jump on for a dizzying ride). Those are harder to find due to potential injuries to the kids (and law suits to the city), I guess. T was totally jazzed to run with me, but he wanted to run too. Ug. That was hard. To convince him to ride along side me, while I ran. But he was OK as long as he got a chance to run at some point along the trail. I thought we'd go 15 minutes out and then turn around and make our way back--where the super-cool playground would be waiting for us.
It went great! T did ride a little too far ahead, but he learned to wait for me every here-and-there. He also finally mastered the rule of riding on the right side of the trail and to use his little bell to warn walkers that he was going to pass them. He also loved to stop at the par course stations and attempt to do whatever exercise he could make up with the rings or bars that were there. Half way through our run he gave his bike to me so he could run too. T did great as I ran along side him (while pushing the bike). But T is more a sprinter than a distance man. He had to take a few walking breaks to catch his breath. Part of me wondered if this was normal 5-year-old capacities, or was it that he needs his asthma inhalers everyday (instead of just during the times he gets a cold). I'll have to ask the pedi next time we see her.
Then we ate our lunch (brought a packed lunch from home--PBJs and fresh strawberries) and played on the playground. T, who's not shy at all, tried to talk and engage with some of the kids on the grounds, but no one would talk back or go along with the make-believe games he was trying to create. He didn't seem phased by it, but it sort of saddened my heart that he wanted to play with ANYONE but none of the kids would join him. Maybe they were shy or uncomfortable with strangers, but I so hoped he could find someone to connect with. It's hard to be an only child with no other kids to play with at home. Mom is OK but another kid is definitely choice #1--as long as Mom keeps close by as the required audience. It would be cool to have two kids in the house. For me and for T. I wonder if a girl or a boy would be a good idea (knowing full well how much energy typical boys have). Or a child that's older, the same age, or younger than T. Hard to say what would be the best fit for the adopted child and our family as it is, or could be. Plus I have to remember the finances. As a single parent I really like the choice to be at home 3 days a week to spend as much time as I can with my child(ren), but be able to live comfortably on a 4-day-a-week paycheck.
Just dreams. Something to think about. And who knows...anything could happen. But, I digress....
I really loved running with T riding his bike. He gave me something else to focus on besides the minutes ticking by and my pounding heart. And POOF! A half an hour running was done. Lovely. Plus, T gets the message on how important and fun exercise is--even "growing-ups" do it. I think we'll do it again next weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Still running...

OMG, am I sore! I ran on Monday and again yesterday. Yay for me. It's SO hard to get started. Only when I've been running for about 10 minutes do I truly know that I'll be exercising that day. I hem and haw the whole way up to it. I have to MAKE myself DO IT. Good thing I have this race to motivate me--or I'd surely find no time to get my gear on and go. I plan to run 3-4 times a week, starting with 23 minutes and then increase by 10% each week. That's what has been written in all those running advice columns I found yesterday. I surfed the Internet yesterday to self diagnose this sharp pain in my right knee cap. I've had it with any running I tried to do for the last couple of years (hence, very little running was done!) . From my understanding, it's patellar-femoral syndrome. Either I need orthotics to prevent over pronation and/or it could be due to weak quadracepts (TOTALLY, very likely) or could be aggravated by the fact that I generally run on the road on the right side. There's always a bit of a canter or slope on the side of the black top and that might make the patella slide slightly off-center, creating pain.
So yesterday, I concentrated on running on only flat surfaces and making an conscious effort to hit the pavement with my feet as straight as I could. And guess what?? No pain. Yay. I was so afraid this pain would stop me from training and then I wouldn't be able to race. I still have to work on quad strength, so I plan to do squats and isometrics to strengthen my legs. Hopefully it will all come together and I'll be doing really well by the time the race starts on May 2.
Today I'll try a little ibuprofen and some stretching. My poor muscles are accustomed to hybernation rather than the wake up call I've thrown at them. Poor babies. But....a little pain, a little gain.


Not all is sunny and rosy in life...but we deal.
The biopsy came back, finally, after dad had the growth removed from his bladder. It was cancerous, mostly low grade but a few spots of high grade cancer. Basically he's fine but lucky the cancer gave early warning signs (blood in the urine) and he was able to have it removed before it went traveling. So now, he'll have regular check ups to take a peek inside the bladder. This cancer tends to come back--so he'll probably have to have this procedure done again at some point. But it seems like the urologist sees this a lot and as long as dad gets regular visits, all should be fine. But dad SO did not appreciate that device that went looking inside his bladder with no valium or anesthesia on board, so he'll be really nervous the next time the doctor comes at him with that tool.
As for the state of the family since the Christmas blow out, that's pretty much not changed. My dad still has not had any communication with one of my sisters (I have two) or my brother. In fact, my brother and father likely won't ever patch things up--neither is willing to make the first move. My other sister has called a couple of times and inadvertently spoken to dad (who answered the phone) and made nice chit-chat but really didn't talk about anything related to the argument. Perhaps that relationship could mend, given some more time. Mom is still on good terms with all her kids, to her knowledge. But mom and dad still don't get along too well. It's best when they live parallel because neither has the patience for the other. It's a bummer after 48 years of marriage, but their problems started 20+ years ago and have continued to grow, due to no effective communication and very little in common (aside from their house, its contents and their children/grandkids). At least there has been no more physical violence, but I notice the emotional toll and mental stresses in them almost everyday. They have to figure it out for themselves. I can't help them (although dad seems to think I can do wonders, and if only I would say things to others on his behalf...). Sigh. I can't. I've tried, but I just can't. Dad has gone for counseling twice, but has given up since "she tells me things I already know. I don't need to pay for that." Mom has yet to experience counseling. She thinks it will label her as a "mental patient" and has big hang-ups on psychiatry and counseling in general (although can see how it can help others immensely). I'm stuck in the middle. I can see everyone's point--all quite valid. But no one seems to truly understand and accept the other's perspective. At least everyone is still talking to me, but with an environment this charged, anything could happen. If only they could be civil about it all, agree they don't get along and part ways. Then split up their stuff and try to find a bit of happiness. Maybe living apart is something to consider--a little space might be the ticket. But family get-togethers would be contentious. Maybe. Depends if anyone can find true peace and happiness with the changes. Or if the gatherings would be used to strike out and express, uh.....frustrations. Oh, who are we kidding? Family events are suspended for the forseeable future. Until all this crap either gets buried alive (only to rear its head later) or gets dealt with in an adult, mature manner there will be no multifamily BBQs. The former method is generally the one most often chosen.
Heavy sigh...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thyroid function and git, git a-goin'

I had my TSH drawn and results are "normal". The bummer is that I went from 1.2 to 3.6. That's a THREE fold increase! For those a little fuzzy on thyroid function. TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. Basically the lower the number (up to 0.2) the better your metabolism. The normal range is from 0.2 to 5.5, but more recent studies indicate that maybe that range is too wide and should be tightened down from 0.2 to 3 or so. And being of the mentality that laments anything about myself that's not quite as good as it used to be (aka: getting old sucks), I really want my TSH to be less than 2. Like I used to be. Maybe that's asking too much. Afterall, I did just have HALF of my thyroid removed. I can't expect just half the organ to suddenly pick up the slack and work as hard as the whole thing used to. But really, I am. So I'm going to have it tested one more time next month and see where it settles out. Then I'll decide if any more action needs to be considered or decide to count my lucky stars that I did't have cancer, I still have a healthy half of a thyroid that functions "normally", and honestly, I feel fine. The other worry is potential weight gain. I've only bumped up 2-3 pounds, but having been 50 pounds heavier in in my 20's, I'm fearful of things getting beyond my control. Yep, control of myself is something I like.

Plus, I've got 6 weeks before I have to be in decent shape for The Relay. This is a really fun relay race that's 199 miles long. But it's WAY more fun, if you can actually run all three legs without exquisite pain or injuries. I meant to start getting in shape for this in January, but time slipped away. And then February was about surgery and recovery. And now March is halfway over and still I haven't done more than race T to the car. The biggest hurdle is trying to find the time (and energy) to run. I can't do it when I have T. Although someone just gave me an idea that he could ride his bike while I run--and hopefully he will stick close and listen to me so we both stay safe. I'm better about doing AM workouts, but there's just no time for that on school days. At night, I'm just DONE and won't find the energy unless someone knocks on my door and says "Let's go" while bringing a sitter for T.

I vow to go and run 2 miles now, before I need to be volunteering in T's class and start up the sweating before I think about it too much.

UPDATE: I did it! I actually ran (OK jogged) 2 miles. Can you say "chest pain"? (just a litte out of breath!) And I even squeezed out a wind sprint or two. It took 20 minutes, when it used to take me 15, but whatever! I gotta start somewhere. I wonder how much pain tomorrow will bring....

Monday, March 9, 2009


Last night I watched my latest DVD rental: The Pursuit of Happyness. It was a great movie and I especially loved that it was inspired by a true story. Plus I love pretty much anything Will Sm*ith does. But after the movie, as I was laying awake in bed I kept thinking about parenthood--and the way I came to it. It wasn't my plan to be a single mom. But it wasn't acceptable to me, having not been lucky enough to find my lifetime partner, to also throw away my chances of experiencing a pregnancy and being a mom. Add to that the almost insurmountable infertility diagnosis that I was hit with--there was no time to lose! I had to act immediately to have a glimmer of hope of conceiving. There was no time to find a guy, date, get engaged, marry, and then try to make a baby. At the time, it was an easy decision: try like heck to conceive--using donor sperm. I tried to go with a known donor, but it was a difficult question to ask. And each time I got a "I wish I could, but I just can't" answer. A sperm bank was part of my solution and the infertility group at my work was very helpful in guiding me (as well as the chosen sperm bank--in finding the right donor for me).

After many, many, many attempts, I was finally successful with IVF. ( I tried once again with left over frozen embryos but it was unsuccessful.) And now I have a healthy, beautiful, intelligent, thriving 5 year old boy. But after the movie, doubts set in and I thought: Am I doing it right? Am I doing all that I can for my son? What else can I do to make sure he has all he needs? What can I do to make sure I am the best mom I can be for him? And on and on....

There are days that I'm truly embarrassed by my reaction to some of the stuff T does. I get too loud--and clearly, ineffective in my attempts to discipline T so that he actually learns and gets better in the behavior department. I'm definitely getting better but it's totally a work in progress. I have to admit, I learned a lot of techniques from the TV show "Supe*r Nanny". Her techniques really work--as long as you are consistent. I hope that just by being aware of the fact that I'm not a perfect parent will help me to be better as we go along. There's always room for improvement, but time passes SO quickly. I hope I learn the right things in being the best-parent-I-can-be parent before T is all grown! Today, his school pants were almost too short!! He's growing TOO FAST!

Saturday, we had opening ceremonies for T-ball. I felt like I was doing the right thing by having T learn to play baseball and also learning to play with a team and take instructions from a coach. At least it's something that helps me feel like I'm doing the right thing. And then, public school or private?? (He's in public school now, but I'm re-evaluating that decision all the time.)

Here are some pictures of the Opening Ceremony:

The pictures are a little blurry--something's wrong with my camera. Gotta have a check up!

I gotta remember that I actually do own a home, have a job, can pay for power/heating, groceries, toys, cable TV, and almost anything I really want. Those are challenges many other families have that I don't have to deal with. I am so lucky that way!

No one is born an excellent parent. And it really is the hardest, most important job anyone could have. I will keep trying to find ways to be better for T. I think that's the best that I can do. Right?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Coming to a close...

Wow, the past 4 weeks has just FLOWN by!
But in that time I did a bunch:
1. Had half my thyroid removed along with a benign tumor. Bub-bye troublesome bubble-in-the-neck.
2. Recovered from surgery.
3. Replaced the broken backyard fence.
4. Painted my bedroom and master bath, with mom's help ;).
5. Touch up painted where ever needed in the rest of the house.
6. Re-caulked my bath tub.
6. Rearranged furniture in the living room and bedrooms, and switched area rugs around for a totally new and fresh feel to the house. For no money! Yay!
7. Created a "play room" for T.
8. Started up T-ball season and purchased T's first baseball uniform. SO cute! Pictures are this Saturday with opening ceremonies.
9. Replaced my old (very old and broken!) water softener and added a reverse osmosis filter system in the kitchen. Our water sucks and was in dire need of help.'s darn yummy!
10. Bought a pair of new shoes for myself.
11. Admired my gorgeous daffodils.
12. Sewed 3 tea cozies (one for my sister, mom and myself).
13. Ordered replacement shutters for the front window (the old ones were WAY weather beaten and too much work to restore).
14. Washed my car. OK...I HAD it washed, but still. It's done.
15. Had my taxes done.
16. Replaced the lighting fixtures in the master bath--sort of forced to due to the accidental breaking of one of the glass shades (and can't find any replacements in the required size).
17. Cooked some pretty awesome dinners for T and myself.
18. Placed some items for sale on Crai*g's List (haven't sold any, but at least I tried).
19. Continued to volunteer in T's classroom AND attended a meeting about next year's school budget and creating priorities for too little money.
20. Admired my daffodils...again.
21. Trimmed and shaped my trees.
22. Washed all my windows. OK... again, I HAD it done. But I sure do appreciate how beautiful my views are now!
23. Uploaded all the pictures from my camera into my computer and started to label them.
24. Repaired a sock and a pair of sweat pants for T.
25. Had all my teeth "root planed" to remove the "barnacles" living below the gum line. Next month I should have very happy gums gleefully hugging each and every tooth.
26. Watched 4 Net*flix movies. That's pretty good, since it took me over 6 months to finally watch Ladder 49 (but school stuff always put that one off).

All that, in addition to weekly library trips to get more books for reading with T, races and game playing with T, and all the other "normal" stuff that life requires, or I just plain choose to do.

That's quite a bit for being post surgery, now isn't it?? Good thing I only had about 4 days of real discomfort. If I ever need surgery again, I'm going with the same doc. She was AWESOME and totally gets needing some R&R before heading back to the usual grind.
T and I really enjoyed ourselves.
Today, I'm going to see Slu*mdog Millionaire with my mom and and my friend Mel.
And this weekend I might have my sister and her daughters over for a slumber party. I'm saving the newest Net*flix movie for the occasion: Pursuit of Happyness.
Life is good!
And I'm ready to start back to work next Tuesday! Good thing I wrote all my passwords down before I left. You know you've had a worthy vacation from work if it's been solid enough to forget your passwords. I can only remember one of the four--so that's a good sign!