Chronicling the life of Luci… and other stuff on the side….

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SUCK IT, Spinal Tap!!!!

If you’re reading this and this is the first you’ve heard about all of this, sorry.  I’ve kept it pretty much to myself because 1) I didn’t want to worry anybody and because 2) I’m not worried.

8/2/10- ETA- I didn’t have to worry cuz all tests came out NEGATIVE!  So, everything going on with me is either genetic or related so some other non-neurological reason.  GREAT news.

But, just had to post this little PSA about spinal taps. 

Considering a Spinal Tap?  Always curious about what a needle into the spinal column would feel like?  Well, unless it’s a life and death situation, do not, I repeat, do NOT do it!  Tell your Dr to suck it!

So, I had to have a spinal tap.  And, it sucked ass. 

I have this weird vision crap going on and my Dr is trying to see if there’s a neurological cause.  So, I had to have a bunch of tests done including an MRI (which was normal) and a dang spinal tap.

The spinal tap was last Friday.  While the procedure itself wasn’t too bad (minus one brief second when the Dr hit a nerve with the needle and I screamed out and cried like a little baby), the aftermath was horriffic.  Absolutely ballz to the wallz crazy. 

So, I got this thing that 20% of patients get after the procedure called a “Spinal Headache” which basically involves the pressure in your spinal column going beserk due to the removal of the cerebrospinal fluid as well as a small leak in the punctured membrane that surrounds your spinal cord and brain.  Basically, they puncture the membrane containing the cerebrospinal fluid to draw it out (4 test tubes worth they told me) and the hole doesn’t seal so you’re leaking spinal fluid into surrounding tissues which results in pressure loss which screws up the positioning of your brain.  From what I understand, in an upright position, due to the low fluid amounts and weird pressure, the membrane, with your brain inside it, “floats down” and sits on the base of your skull.  When usually the brain is floating about all happy in your skull enveloped in this fluid-filled membrane, you see.  And, when the fluid is low and the leak is screwing with the pressure, you see, the brain sits in the base of your skull, you see, and….. it hurts like a BITCH.  I’m talking 100% incapacitating pain- like nothing I’ve ever felt- absolutely excruitating.  I was on bedrest for 5 days straight.  If I was upright for 30+ seconds, the pain set in- like if I was getting a drink in the kitchen or something, I’d literally RUN back to my bed, crying from the pain.  Oh, and if I was up for 2+ minutes, I started vomiting, which was another nice surprise.   I finally had to be readmitted to the hospital so they could do a procedure to fix it.  It was the worst 5 days of my life  health-wise.  100% sucky.  100% frustrating cuz I was stuck in bed and didn’t get to hang with Luci.  100%  crazy-awful-horrible.  And 100%  tramatic.

Oh, and all in all, it cost me 2 full days in the hospital, 3 unexpected missed days at work AND $800 bucks outta pocket.  Awesome.

So, don’t get a spinal tap.  Don’t even think about it.

I know, all gloom and doom and woe is me here.  But, not really cuz:

In other, more exciting and happy news:  Date night tonight!  AND, vacation in a little over a month!  Going to Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.  Then, NYC trip for work (and will get to see my sis!)!  And, I just got off of work and get to hang with little Luci and Craiggie for the rest of the weekend.  Oh, and Luci turns 2 on Aug 4th!  WOW!


And, the smiles just keep on comin’….

I talk about it just about every day.  Just how damn happy I am.  Although the rest of my life is crazy (work, etc)– pre-Luci, I’d really really be freaking out.  But, now that I have Luci, everything is put into perspective and I just don’t really give a crap about anything else.  So I worry less about non-Luci topics, and I smile a lot more.  A LOT more. 

I mean, how could I not? 


Date Night, New Blog and Luci is a tird- help!

Date nights are AWESOME.  We hadn’t been on one in a long, long, long time.  We have been out, have gotten a babysitter and all that, but we’ve gone to weddings, have had friends in town, etc etc, so we haven’t actually been on a “date-date” in prolly 4+ months?

So, I redesigned my blog!  It’s kinda fancy but I like it.  I was bored with the other design so there ya go…. hope you like it.

And yes, I said it.  Luci is a tird (!)!  Help!   She has the good ol’ Spiesman temper, that’s for sure.  She probably gives us 3-5 ish tantrums a day now.  Anything can set her off.  And, it takes a while for her to calm herself down.  Don’t get me wrong, when she’s not tantrum-ing, she’s the sweetest little girl.  But, lordy, we don’t know how to handle them.  And, she whines all the time and is soooo impatient (huh, wonder where she got that from??).  Any pointers will be much appreciated!  It seems the “terrible 2’s” have started early.  And, I’m kinda scared because everyone says the 3’s are much worse.  Good Lord, I hope not!


Where the hell have I been???

And WHAT have I been doing with my time?  I can tell you.  In one short, succinct sentence.  Or word, rather.

WORK.

Holy Crappers.  I haven’t posted since November!  Now, that is insane.  In the membrane.

Work has really taken it out of me lately.  The last 8 months have been hell on earth or hell in the McCombs school and I am so in need of a break.

I’ve decided to take back my life.  Yes, indeed.

So, look for more posts from me.  Mostly Luci related.  I feel so guilty that I haven’t kept track of all of the exciting changes going on with her.  She’s growing up.  And, FAST!  She’s talking up a storm and is full of attitude.  Her favorite word is “no” and beyond that, “cheese”.

Will post more deets later.


“Han Hoo”!!!!

It seems like Luci has been making a ton of advances during the last few weeks. I’m not sure what’s going on, but she’s learning new “tricks” almost daily. It’s just so much damn fun. We’ve had the most fun with her over this long weekend. Makes me wish I was a stay at home mom. Like, really really bad.

Here’s an update on all the cutsie things she’s started in the last few weeks:

Twirling. She stands in the middle of the room and just goes round and round and round. Usually to music.

Dancing. She’s starting to dance by stomping her feet. She especially likes to dance to Dad’s harmonica playing (thanks, Iggy- we’ll buy you a new one soon!).

She’s started bringing us stuff. Like random stuff- things she finds around the house. Stuff from my shower, stuff from her toy box. Balloons. She obviously thinks we want/need this random stuff cuz when she hands it over, she has this huge, proud smile on her face, like: “Yes- I just KNEW you wanted this dirty pair of Daddy’s boxers and I just wanted to save you the trouble of getting up to get them yourself, yes, I’m so nice AND considerate!”. AND- she even takes the liberty of thanking herself on our behalf**, I’m assuming, to save us the trouble or extra effort.

**Saying “thank you”. Well, actually, it’s more like: “han hoo”. I taught her this one. She says it ALL the time. But mostly when she drops something and you pick it up for her. Or, when she brings you something, like said dirty boxers or stinky shoes, or some random piece of dirt she found on the floor.

She knows her nose!!!!! I just taught it to her yesterday, like a 1.5 minute lesson while changing her diaper. I didn’t think she was really absorbing anything but then today when we were playing peek-a-boo, I said something like “oh, there’s Luci- I KNOW you!!!!!”. She grabbed her nose (ya know, “know”- “nose”). Well, so I tested her over and over today and yep, she knows her nose alright! The next is “ear”.

Singing- she started this a while ago but lately, she’s really been trying to fine-tune her skills. Her favorite is the Annie soundtrack. And, I can tell you that nothing brightens up my day like walking in on my punk rock husband entertaining her with a full-on production of an Annie Broadway routine- high notes, high-kicks, jazz-hands and all. It’s pretty awesome.

She’s lovin the animals. We took her to the Austin zoo this weekend with friends Amy, Ashely Izzy, Sandy and Daniel, and she about went ape-shit when we first got there…. just squealing with delight. She’s mesmerized by animals. She does call them all “dog-dog”, but we’re working on that. And, speaking of ape-shit, those monkeys were stinkin’ it up pretty bad there at the ol zoo.

She’s learned to lock the dogs in their cage. She kinda terrorizes them. Corrals them to the cage, locks the door and walks away laughing. They kinda hate her right now.

She knows the moon! I think she learned this one at school because a teacher reported one day that a few of the other girls were pointing to the moon in the sky and saying “moon” and she caught Luci copying them. Well, now, all we have to do is point at the moon in the sky and she says “moooo”. So. Cute.

She’s helping us dress her. She hands us the socks when it’s time for socks. She puts her arm out when she sees I’ve grabbed her jacket. She lifts her legs up for the pants. Again, So. Cute.

Oh- she knows the word “GO”. I think sometimes, when she’s bored in the house, she’ll try to give us hints by saying “Goooooo” and walking and standing by the door.

She totally memorizes books! Especially this one book, my favorite so far, called “Tiptoe”. There is a page where Tiptoe is beating on his drum, “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!” and, I swear to goodness, every single time, on the page BEFORE the “Boom” page, she starts going “Boom, Boom, Boom”! I love it! She’s been doing this one for a while now, it never gets old.

Now, if she’d only stop taking half-eaten food out of her mouth just to play with it for a few seconds just so she can put it right back in to finish….. And if she’d just stop throwing food and poking strangers in restaurants…… we’d be all set! And, also, it’d be really great if she’d stop giving herself meatloaf facials.

Seriously- Craig and I are having so much freakin fun! The time of our lives!


T-Give

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wow, hello, posting hiatus!  I guess life has gotten in the way.  Things have been so crazy- it seems like each week is crazier than the last!

I thought I’d do a quick post to profess my thanks for the incredible life I live!

I am soooooo thankful for:

  • My awesome husband, who can name a record just from the sound of the scratches before the 1st song even starts (!) and who loves his girls and takes the BEST care of us.
  • My beautiful sister, who is so smart and funny and caring.  And, my amazing brother-n-law who has such a wonderful and caring heart and spirit.  And, for my incredibly cute, incredibly smart nephew Theo, who just amazes me.
  • My amazing in-laws who are so kind and who are just incredible with their little Luci.
  • Aunt Linda and Uncle Terry and Cousin Heather- who are such an important part of my life.  And, Uncle Ed and Aunt Carol, and Aunt Ellen and Uncle Tom.  And all my other amazing relatives.  I really miss my family.
  • My grannie goo goo, or should i say great granny goo goo viagraindian.com.  I think Luci got some of her fiesty-ness from you!
  • All my friends whose love and support I literally could not live without.
  • My job- although it does drive me insane sometimes.
  • All the rights and privileges that come with living in the freest, richest, and most amazing country on the planet.  And,  the responsibility and duty that goes along with it (go health care reform).  As Luci would say:  “GO AMERICA”!!!!
  • All of the memories I have of my parents and my Gram.
  • My crazy busy but crazy fun life
  • Finally, I’m thankful for my Luci.  Equally parts feisty and oh-so sensitive and sweet.  She gives new meaning to my life.  I can’t even remember what life was without her, nor do I want to.  It’s ALL about the Luc.  She is my everything.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!


Broken Basso

Carlos Basso Dos Fincas- 2008 Cab/Sav-Malbec.
Broken English.
Perfect combo for a loney Sunday night.

Perfection.

Oh, my sweet Parker Posey.  The gal never disappoints.


What’s up, Speezle?

Interviewer= Shannon= “S”
Interviewee= Shannon= “Self”

S:  So, how’s life since the marathon?

Self:  Well, it’s good.  I miss running though.  I haven’t done a lick of running since the race and I feel fat and lethargic and just plain disgusting- my regular jeans feel like skinny jeans etc, etc….  I really didn’t do any running 3 weeks before the race because of my foot and then afterward, I was letting my foot and knee heal a bit then I got sick this week (ugg).

S:  Were you satisfied with your race?

Self:  Hell yeah, I was.  My time sucked, but I honestly am not dwelling on that -at all.  I’m honestly just glad I finished.  And, I had SUCH a great time.  It was a truly amazing experience and I can’t wait until the next race!  I will never forget the feeling I had after crossing that finish line.

S:  When will your next race be?

Self:  The spring, I hope!

S:  Are you crazy?

Self:  Yes.

S:  So, do you think the “post race blues” is a real phenomenon?

Self:  Well, it makes sense cheapest cialis online uk.  Sorta like the post-baby blues, post-wedding blues.  I spent a long time preparing for this race and now that it’s over, it’s really sad.  Plus, I miss my sister, bro-n-law and my Theo.  And, sweet, sweet Oregon.

S:  Are you going to change anything about your training routine for the next race?

Self:  Yep, gonna do hill and speed work and actually have a time goal for this one.

S:  Who do you want to thank for help with the PDX race?

Self:  Well, myself (:-)), my hubby, my dear Luci for being so damn cute, oh, and for being my inspiration; my Mom and Dad; Jami, Matt, Theo; Trent for helping with the training;  my Dr (s);  The Bad Brains for their support during mi 24-26 (and I hope no one thought I was insane for singing out-loud LOUDLY-I was kinda going nutz at that point; that cute guy who let me wear his warm-up jacket in the long line for the bathroom before the race; and everyone else who believed in me and gave me support along the way.  Oh, and that awesome shadow-boxer dude I blew past on mile 23.   He had me seriously laughing my ass off.

S:  Would you recommend the Portland Marathon as a good 1st marathon?

Self:  Hell YES.  They organized the crap outta that race, it was easy breezy (logistics-wise) with tons of crowd support, perfect weather, great route, just all around awesomeness.  And, my sis makes the best carbs west of the Mississippi, so you really can’t go wrong.

S:  What else is new?

Self:  Well, I’m getting ready to watch some damn South Carolina Gamecock football on the porch.
PORCH GAMECOCK FOOTBALL- hell yes.


Haiku for You

Happy happy day.   I am foot-loose and fancy free!  My foot is better!

I had a crappy test run on Sunday- limping afterwords and almost couldn’t even walk back to the car.  Went back to the Dr Monday feelin’ blue with not a lot of hope about the race.  Dr. reexamined me,  said it was a problem with my “cuboid”  bone- said it got all thrown outta wack by my fall and subsequent 12 miles overcompensating for my hurt left knee with my right foot.  Since I wasn’t any better, she sent me to rehab!  2 hour sessions later and I swear, I am SO much better!  Had a fantastic test run today, with only a little pain afterward and no limping!  Went back for more therapy today and feeling even better now.

The Dr. used a special manual therapy called the “Airrosti” method (Applied Integration for the Rapid Recovery of Soft Tissue Injuries).  It’s a new form of therapy for musculoskeltal injuries that concentrates on the fascial tissues that surround nerves, bones, muscles.  When you’re injured, the muscles can heal themselves but the fascial tissues do not- they are a hard/plastic-y type of material that CAN be manipulated and healed through manual therapy only.  So, these Drs get in there- deep- and move all that crap around and can actually feel when the fascia is moved back into the right place.

So, anywho.  It hurts like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.  Think- funny bone nerve pain combined with the hardest/deepest massage ever imaginable- for 30 minutes straight.  On an injured area.  OUCH.  I have bruises all over the treated area.  I think I actually cried a few times.  After that, they do a deep tissue ICE massage that also hurts like a bitch- same nerve-type feeling, for 10 minutes straight.  OUCH II.  Then, they do different stretching exercises, etc.

But, holy crap.  It works.  After one treatment, I felt a HUGE difference.  They saved the marathon for me!  It was pricey but SO worth it (at this point, I was ready and willing to do/pay anything).  The Dr was telling me they treat UT sports players and he himself treated a b-ball player with a black and blue sprained ankle and within one week, he was playing games again (I guess badly sprained ankles can take up to 8 weeks to heal on their own).  AMAZING.  I was skeptical, but now I’m a believer.

Here’s a video about it:

If it’s good enough for Sinbad, it’s good enough for me.

And, here’s a haiku for you:

Airrosti rescue
Sinbad and I do agree!
Pain has gone away

And, here’s another haiku for you about my old as shit running shoes I’m wearing during the race (my Mizunos).  Have been running in them since April and have about 500 miles on them.  I officially retired them only to get a pair of Brooks that completely screwed my feet up, then onto another pair of newer Mizunos that haven’t been working out either.  I whipped the old, crappy, smelly ones out for my run today and they just felt “right”.  I’m totally wearing them Sunday.

My Mizuno love
Summer sweetly spent with you!
Never will I stray

Sinbad, out.


What’s Up, Speezle?

I’m sucking at blogging.  Not surprising.  I just can’t get it together with everything going on.  So, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and add a little something new to the mix that should be fairly easy and quick for me to blog about.  Myself.   I’m gonna call it “What’s up, Speezle” and it’ll be a series of interviews OF yours truly BY yours truly.  Just whatever comes to mind.  The key with blogs is new material, keeping people interested and coming back.  I’ve completely sucked it hardcore at adding new material, so maybe this will help.  It’ll be random.  Whatever comes to mind.  (And, it’ll probably be boring as shit).  O well.

Right now, the marathon is on my mind so this one will start out about that and I’ll see where it takes me.

Interviewer= Shannon= “S”
Interviewee= Shannon= “Self”

S:   So, how’s the marathon training going?

Self:  Pretty crappy.  On my last long run, I fell.  I screwed up a tendon in my right foot and I’m still in pain.  It hurt so bad earlier this week that I thought I had a stress fracture so I went to the Dr.  X-ray showed no fracture but Dr. said my tendon was messed up.  Said no running and gave me stretches/exercises to do.  That was Monday, today is Saturday and it feels a good bit better, but still hurts.  I have a 3 mi run to do tomorrow, Drs orders, then I go back and see her on Monday.  She’ll give me the official word on if she thinks I should run the race or not then.  GEEZ!  It’s been HORRIBLE not being able to run.  Add to that, I’ve been sick for most of this week, so no “training” going on at all.  Although, this was my 1st real taper week so I wasn’t really supposed to run much anyway.

S:  So, are you nervous for the race?

Self:  Heck yeah!  I already have butterflies-they started yesterday.  I’ve already started packing.  Which, if you know me at all, you know I’m WAY too unorganized to start packing for ANY trip like 5 days early-what is that all about?  I’ve washed and rewashed my race-day outfit 3 times.  I’ve spent hours fine-tuning my marathon mix for my ipod.  I’ve soaked my ipod-holder-thingie all day to try to get the darn B.O. smell out of it so I don’t have to deal with that stench on race day (and if you’ve read my stinky gym dude post, you know I hate stinky BO-type smells).  I’ve already started carbo loadin’.  (Ok, so I’ve pretty much lived my entire life carb loadin so nothing different there).

S:  So why the heck did you ever decide to run a marathon?

Self:  Well, I needed a challenge.  I never ever in a million years thought I’d ever attempt a marathon (but it’s always been a dream).  But, ya know what?  I never in a million years thought I’d have a baby.   I see life as a series of new challenges and the marathon just happened to be next on my list.  Not sure what’s going to be next after this…….  but I gotta think of something.  I’ve realized that if I don’t have a challenge or a “project” in my life, I get very very bored.  TBD.

S:  Do you have a time goal?

Self:  NO!  And, if I did, I wouldn’t share it with you!  :-)  Really, I have a very very sad time goal that’s really too embarrassing to share with anybody.  I just want to finish.  Especially with this bum foot- I just want to be able to finish.  It’ll be my worst nightmare if I get out there and can’t finish the race.  I don’t even want to think about it.

S:  So, what training plan have you used?

Self:  I’ve used Jeff Galloway’s plan.  It’s all about allowing yourself walk breaks in order to save energy for the end of the race http://viagrasstore.net/.  It’s also a way to prevent injury and to help enable your body to last for a lifetime of running.  I’ve done a modified version, I walk 60 sec at every mile (so about every water stop during the actual race).  And, I run really really slow.

S:  What’s been the hardest thing about training?

Self:  Hands-down, the early morning runs.  Running in the middle of a record-breaking Texas summer has not been easy.   The only way to beat the heat is to get up early for the long runs.  I do not operate to my fullest potential at damn 5:30 in the morning.  I just don’t.  That’s really sucked.

S:  What are you looking forward to most about the run?

Self:  FINISHING!  The feeling of accomplishment that comes along with doing something I never thought I’d do.  And, seeing my family at the finish line.   Craig and Luci will be there as will my dear sister, adorable nephew and awesome brother-n-law.  I can’t wait to see their smiling faces.

S:  What’s the best song to get you pumped up?

Self:  Freakin’ “MICHA” by Integrity.  You can’t go wrong with a lil’ old skool Cleveland hardcore.  Add some Bad Brains to the mix and I’m golden.

S:  What’s the most surprising thing so far about training?

Self:  1)  The fact that I have not lost ONE pound.  I don’t know why.  I think it’s because I’m hungry all the damn time and have not changed my diet AT ALL.  And, I like wine and beer.  And queso.  And, I’ve just had a baby and am getting older- I simply cannot lose weight like I used to (it used to be so much easier for me).  2)  The crazy need for obscene amounts of Vaseline for long runs.  If you forget it, you’re in trouble.  Think:  Andy on “The Office” during the hilarious run for rabies episode.  Everything rubs together, and it hurts.  3)  Toe craziness.  I’ve lost multiple toenails from my toes rubbing the tips of my shoes.  I have a black toenail right now.  I’ve gone up a size for my race-day shoes so hopefully that’ll help.

S:  Foam or liquid hand soap?

Self:  No contest- foam, all the way.

Peace out!  I’ll post about the race when I get back!  Wish me luck!  :-)


P.o.’d

So, this week kicked off the start of another recruiting season at work and brings along with it all the stress and traveling……..  I don’t know how I’m going to handle it this year.   I’m down a staff member who used to help with the traveling and now it’s just me.  I’ve been working random late nights and weekend days during the last few weeks and I had to work late last night and am traveling to Houston tonight.  The guilt is reaching obscene levels.  Luci looked at me this morning like she didn’t even know who I was!  How do working parents manage?  I am at a loss- sometimes it gets to be too much!   Any advice will be appreciated.  And, poor Craig, playing Mr Mom all the time and also dealing with crazy busy work.  I just feel so guilty.  I’m stressed and in a horrible mood.   And, the darn dog took a shit on the rug.

Obviously, I realize it’s better than the alternative:  unemployment.   And, I do like my job.  I just feel like I’m missing out on a lot with Luci.  I have absolutely no idea how all my students do it all- superstars in their career, families, travel AND school?  Blows my mind!

Then, to top it all off, I turn on the TV this morning to hear about that dip-shit from South Carolina’s outrageous, disgusting behavior.  What the heck?  How completely embarrassing for the south, once again.  What are these morons thinking?

Grrrr……..


Operation: Morning Hair

Have you heard that Luci has crazy hair?   Well, here’s your proof!

Jami- I for sure think we should keep this going and start a separate blog with all morning hair posts  I may even include a few of my own, pretty spectacular morning hair looks.

So, for the past 3 weeks, I’ve kept a camera in Luci’s room and 1st thing upon her waking up, I take a shot of the awesomeness.  The total and complete and utter awesomeness that is my Luci’s morning hair.  Check this out, it’s pretty amazing (if you want to see the full sized image, click on the photo and then click a 2nd time):


Beers, Beaches, Boats, Buds, Bonefish and ummmm… Beers. And, Beaches.

Boo hoo hoo.

Getting back to reality has proven to be even more difficult than I ever thought possible.  I miss my island.  Don’t get me wrong, being back with Luci is a-mazing (God, we missed her!).  I just wish I could’ve brought the island home with us.  Seriously, y’all- I cried when we got in the boat and drove away from our favorite private island that we found.  I cried when I saw it for the 1st time and cried when I had to leave it.  I’ve never {in my entire life} been as relaxed as I was the entire week.  It was so crazy-amazing.  Shannon relaxed?  Without medication or red wine?  Now, that must be somethin’, you say.  And, I say, yes, you’re right!  It really WAS somethin!  Oh, ok, so there WAS plenty of Kalik involved.  Oh, and rum.  And sun.  And the prettiest sights I’ve ever seen.

Getting around to writing this post has proven quite difficult.  Came back and hit the ground running- work, life, etc, has been CRAZY.  Glad I finally got er done though!

We had the time of our lives.  And, I’m happy to report that this episode of “Honkies Go to the Beach” ended very happily, with no real sunburn issues, thanks to 6 full bottles of sunscreen ranging from 30-60 spf each.  And, all I can say is Shiseido RULES.  And yes, we went through just about all 6 bottles.

img_4164

my fav shot- our fav island

Staniel Cay
Located in the Exumas, Bahamas, Staniel Cay is an island with a population of around 79!  Yes, 79!  The Bahamas are made up of around 700 different islands and the Exumas are a long chain of around 100 islands southesast of Nassau.  Staniel Cay, an “out island” of the Bahamas is located about 75 miles southeast of Nassau and the only way to get to it is by chartered plane or boat.  We stayed at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and had a great stay.  I’ve never been anywhere as beautiful in my entire life.  The waters-the bluest, clearest I’ve ever seen- and they just go on for miles and miles.  The beaches- completely private (countless rumors floating around of crazy people going nude on said private beaches-bunch of crazies!  But seriously- they were so private that you could if you got the hankerin’.  In fact, I wanted to title this blog post:  “Beers, Beaches, Boobs, Butts, Bonefish….” but Craig wouldn’t let me).  Speaking of butts….snow-white,  incredibly soft sand.  Amazing.   Truly unspoiled beauty (save the island that just opened some sort of fancy pants resort that the locals and people who’ve been going to Staniel Cay for years for its unspoiled beauty seem to hate- I tend to agree with them).   I think I’m going to retire on Staniel.  Or, maybe even move there and start my own bonefishing boating excursion extravaganza.  Or really, ya know my dream of opening up my own bed and breakfast?  What if it’s a beach house on Staniel Cay?  Our entire last day there was spent concocting ways we could work it out.  Maybe someday.  Or somethin’.  I’ll definitely be back.  Yearly, if I can at all manage it.

Note- if you’re looking for the resort feel with lots of stuff to do, this place is NOT for you!  The yacht club is the only show in town.  Perfect for us but if you’re looking for a party/social scene, restaurants, bars, fancy-pants hotel rooms, etc etc, this isn’t for you.   Bare bones, no frills type of place.

pristine!  heaven!

pristine! heaven!

Here’s the Trip Report (and, I know it’s long- this is really for my memory/records so you can skip onto the pics if you want-photo link at bottom of post):

Day 1:
Arrive in Ft Lauderdale and took shuttle to South Beach Miami.  Besides major blisters from walking around in high heels in the humid-as-hell Miami heat, it was a great evening.  We ate at Sushi Samba, had drinks at the Delano hotel, and the rest is kinda a blur.  A few crazy-expensive  bars later,  some weird bathroom incident involving Craig and a toilet, a 2:00 am grilled cheese, and we called it a night.  Miami was NOT the highlight of the trip but neither of us had been there before so we’re glad we got to experience it.  Wouldn’t necessarily ever go back on my own accord, however.  Just not my scene.  But it was fun for a night.

Day2:
Arrived at the airplane hangar at the executive airport in Fort Lauderdale after a crazy ride with the Super Shuttle guy who, during the shuttle ride to the FLL airport, with like 3 grandmas in their 80’s and 3 other random people, asked us what airline at the FLL airport (they don’t drop off at the executive airport so we were just going to take a taxi from FLL).  I told him we were taking a taxi from FLL to the exec airport.  He asked what chartered flight we were on.  Told him.   He then said he could drop us there, it’s on his way home, for $10 cheaper than a taxi ride.  I then said, well, we kinda gotta make a few stops first.  He asked where to?  I said (keep in mind, I’m at the very back of the bus so I’m shouting over everyone)….. “well…. Hey, do you know if they sell liquor in the grocery stores in Florida”?  He said:  “why, you need liquor?”  Me:  “Yes, and beer” (laughs all around).   And food.  And toiletries.  By that time, the entire bus was cracking up for they realized that yes, we’re getting on some small chartered flight and yes, we’re bringing our own booze.  Nice.  Classy lady, here.  That’s right.

The flight wasn’t as bad as one would expect.  The plane was cute.  It held a total of 9 whole people!!!  (Yeah, real cute there Shan).  I may or may not have been a little hungover after the post-Miami mania, so I may or may not have been chuggin’ water all morning long.  Turns out it was a great, great thing I did.  For, you see, I had to pee so bad (plane not big enough for a bathroom, you see), that was allI could think about.  Totally made me forget the fact that I was risking my life and the life of my true love on the teeniest-tiniest plane known to man (seemed like it, anyway).  Had to stop for Customs in Congotown, thank God, cuz I couldn’t have made it like 5 more minutes.  Hit the bathroom, twice–good-to-go for the 2nd stretch (and see, after we had already landed and taken-off once, when I was completely preoccupied with pee, I was operating at my lowest possible anxiety-level at that point-a little {or a lot of} pee can work wonders sometimes).

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Arrived at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  All I can say is this:  The dude who drove us over in the truck from the airstrip just drops us off on the dock.  I look at him and ask where the office is to check in.  He points to the bar.  Yep, that’s right- check-in and check-out done at the freakin’ bar.  My kinda place.  Oh, and also, the only tv on the whole damn island, maybe (kidding, but the only tv at the yacht club- the cottages don’t have em, or phones) was in the bar, and shit if I’m not lying, was airing some sort of damn “greatest college football program of all damn time/in the entire damn universe” special on the damn Carolina Gamecocks!   T’was fate!  (Ok, so maybe it was just a few clips of fumbles and such, but o’well, a girl can dream).  But still- the Gamecocks?  On Staniel Cay?  The minute we walk in?  Seriously?

Day 3
As if things couldn’t get any  better:  We find our boat.  That’s right, if you stay at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, you get your own boat (well, you pay for it).  You use said boat to tool around to all the little islands around.  I think you can get to like 30 or so different islands on the tank of gas they give you.  You literally drive until you find one that’s uninhabited by tourists, and it’s yours for the day.  We quickly found like a bazillion that we would love to claim as our own for LIFE.  Breathtaking beauty, everywhere you look.  Everywhere.

One of my favorites was the island of swimming pigs.  Literally, the swimming pigs come swimming out to your boat from the beach looking for food.  They’re pretty big.  I like nature and all but these things were loud and a bit aggressive.  At first, I was wondering if they could  swim-fly into the boat for the Lance crackers we so graciously brought for them to eat (we forgot to let the SCYC staff know we were going so they could give us leftovers for the pigs- I wonder if they eat bacon??).  Once I realized they could not jump into the boat, I got more into it.  They were so damn cute!!!!!  I wanna live on their island with them and just hang out with em now.  How did they get there?  Do they really like to swim?  Do they eat fish?  What do they do all day?  Where do they get their water to drink?  How DID IT ALL HAPPEN???  Those are questions I may never know the answer to- one of life’s great mysteries, I suppose!  After this awesome day, back to the club.  And bar.  Met tons of awesome peeps.

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Here piggie piggie!

Day 4
I think this is the day we found our favorite private island.  As I mentioned, I cried the first time I stepped foot on it.  It was so beautiful, I cried.  Enough said.  8 hours and 8 Kaliks later, back to SCYC for a lil’ dinner and bar-action.  Perfect perfect perfect day.

Day 5
Kearje (crap, I knew I wouldn’t be able to remember the spelling-I should’ve written this up a lot sooner!), or “Kea”, an employee of the SCYC, is the BIGGEST SWEETIE I have ever met.  He was so kind and took us on a tour all around to all the islands, so we could 1) get a feel for where we were and 2) get a feel for how to operate the boat.  He may have offered this because he was a witness to a minor Shannon-freak-out concerning Craig operating the boat on his own. I was scared.  I don’t normally like boats, and I don’t like open water.  Or sharks.  Or being stranded.  Or running out of gas.   And stuff.  So, Kea offered to do it up right for us, island-style.  Kea took us to swim with the sharks.  He took us to the lizard island.   He took us to the island where he lives and showed us his house and the homes of other folks we met at the club.  He took us to Willy’s house (see below).  It was an all-day excursion of places we may never have seen without the help and knowledge of a local.  I hope to go back next year and I’ll bring Kea some sort of gift.  We told him we were from TX and he asked us if we knew Walker Texas Ranger.  :-)  He was awesome.   We got back and biked over to Pirate’s Beach (a really awesome beach on Staniel Cay that has a natural infinity pool-where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic, wow!  That’s where we met Titus (see below).  After that, bar- where we caught up with our friends.

Day 6
Boat.  Beach.  Beer.  Rain (the only 1/2 day it rained).  Cottage.  Bar.  Buddies.

Day 7
Boat with Chris and B (see below).  Our awesome friends we met at the SCYC bar.  They were soooooooo kind and took us out on their boat.  I don’t think I would’ve tried some of the things I tried that day unless we were with those two exact people.  No one else.  They took us snorkeling.  They took us drift diving.  Then, they took us snorkeling in caves (Thunderball Grotto to be exact- where the Bond move Thunderball was filmed!) with crazy currents that I, yes, me, surprisingly tackled.  It was the most beautiful experience ever.  I was a bit embarrassed though:  1) cuz at around 11:30, Craig and I totally broke out the rum and 2) They got to witness a not-so-minor Shannon full-throttle panic attack!  As I mentioned, I hate open water.  And, I also hate snorkeling equipment and feeling like I can’t really breathe properly.  I kinda lost it.  But, they totally calmed me down, I think, because they were just so calm and sweet.  I just felt so much more comfortable with them around- they’ve been going to Staniel Cay for 25 freakin’ years and know the area like the back of their hands.  Chris knows like every single type of fish in those waters; they knew every kind of coral, knew what kind of coral not to rub against (unless you like the feeling of being engulfed in red hot flames for like 3 weeks).  I was SO glad they invited us out!!!  It pretty much made the trip for us.  So, if you’re reading guys- thank you!!!!!  Hope to see you next year!  This time, the boat’s on us!  Oh- and also, thanks for telling me the story about the Bull Shark AFTER our 1st snorkeling stop-otherwise, I would’ve never gotten outta the boat!!!!  Oh, and Chris saw like a 15 foot barracuda that day, while we were drift diving- glad I wasn’t on his side of the boat!!

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Chris and B, or Diane or Reese (I think she looks like Reese Witherspoon)

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Storm Chaser- Alan's the captain of this boat- he gave us a tour!

Oh, what started that day out was the 4 of us, tooling around to Sampson Cay, where crazy Cap’n Alan’s yacht (Storm Chaser) was docked.  Ya see, the night before, at the bar, after lots of Kaliks and mango daqs, Alan invited us onto the yacht for a tour.  And, I’d bet a million bucks he never expected our asses to actually show up!  Ha!  Felt like an asshole.  We made one pass-by to see if Alan was outside and Zach, his son, was out mopping the roof or something (very technical yacht-terms, I know), and he sorta just waved.  We just ’bout gave up at that point, out of embarrassment.  That is, until we dock the boat to grab a few things at a store and before we know it, Craig’s walked up to the damn GIANT yacht and knocked on the damn door (I didn’t even know yachts HAD doors!)!Jesus!  How embarrassing.  But hey, it worked!  Alan was there and seemed totally cool with touring us around.  And, the yacht was amazing.  Alan is amazing.  So is Sally and Zach.  Awesomeness all around!  My 1st yacht experience!  Cooooooool.  And, Alan is the coolest, craziest and best-lookin Cap’n I’ve ever met (ok, I haven’t met too many, but he was def. awesome!)!

Day 8
Last day.  8 hours of perfection on our favorite private island.  Perfection.  Tears when we had to leave.  Oh, and funny story- got to the dock.  I was sorta the “front of boat lady, responsible for grabbing rope dealio”, and totally ATE IT big time, and fell right on my butt in the boat….. just out of sheer clumsiness (and rum may have been involved).  THEN, when I got it together, stood up and balanced myself and had us ready to tie-up, I noticed the camera was sitting in water in the boat, so I dropped the rope and lept for the camera.  Well, Craig sees this, and for some reason, freaks the hell out because we’re drifting away from the dock, lunges forward for the rope and HE totally eats it and falls on his butt!  Keep in mind, the dock totally backs-up to all the cottages so I’m sure all the SCYC guests saw the entire damn thing.  Classic moves right there.  Dem’ Chapman’s are a graceful bunch!

Craig was the man at man-handlin' the boat.  Quite hot, really.

Craig was the man at man-handlin' the boat. Quite hot, really.

Day 9
Worst day ever.  Complete shock to the system arriving back in the FLL airport with a bunch of turds hanging around.  After being off the grid for a week, I felt like I was in some sort of weird, alternate universe plagued with greasy too-tan dudes donning wife-beaters, belt-phone clips and ladies with too big boobs and too big hair.  Nightmare.
But, alas…..we got to come home to this beautiful slice of heaven so all’s right in the universe:

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Cast of Characters:

One of the best things of Staniel is the people.  Holy crap.  I’ve never met so many amazing folks in my life.  Characters of all types.  If you don’t take advantage of striking up conversations in the SCYC bar, after a glorious day on your own private island, you’re insane.  You meet people from all walks of life.  Yacht crews, yacht owners, people who are there for the same reasons you are- (to completely escape, get “off the grid”, experience the complete unspoiled beauty of the Caribbean, exactly how it’s supposed to be- sans touristy resorts with oily-greasy douche-bags, booming techno music and just crap).  Can you tell I hate places like Cancun, Miami, etc etc????  Yuck.  The people here RULE.  I looked forward to spending every night in the bar catching up with everyone we met, inquiring about their day and the plans for their next day in paradise.

David-owner of SCYC.  Totally helpful and totally HOT.  And, he pretty much has a drink in his hand the entire day.  Need I say more?
Shyvette- (sp?)  An amazing woman who took the BEST care of us.  I voted for her for employee of the month, she could run that place.  Totally awesome.
Kea– sweetie-pie, hope to see him again next year.  He’s the one who took us all around in the boat- got to see his house, Shyvette’s house, Willy’s place, swam with sharks with him for the first time.  Lizards and some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.
Karl-awesome bartender who makes the best mango daquiries I’ve ever had!
Dave-another amazing bartender with a smile that will light up your world.
Alan #1– Man- I wish I could’ve talked to Alan more.  I met him at the bar one night and started chattin’ him up.  He’s from Staniel Cay and is a sailor.  And, get this- he used to sail the Kennedy’s back to Mass. every year after their vacation near Staniel.  Yep.  I think he said he did that for like 20 years in a row or something crazy.  He was awesome.
Alan #2- The most hilarious Aussie I’ve ever met.  Crazy Cap’n Alan.  Love him.  I would be his stew any day of the week.
Sally- Alan’s stew on Storm Chaser.  Totally hilarious, crazy and fiesty.  Loved her!
Chris and B– see above, the sweetest couple!  Hung out with them a good bit-I hope to see them again one day!  AND, they live in freakin’ Dallas!  (Or as Chris puts it…… :-(  Daaaallaaaas.  Not too thrilled ’bout Dallas.  I don’t blame him.
Jay and Naomi–  Crazy Texans!!!!!  They were so much fun!  One night, Craig and I were supposed to go out with them but we were way too tired from a day spent in the sun.  We passed them on the way to our cottage and they asked if we were going, I said, “no, I’m tired”.  Very next response:  Naomi:  “I’m DRUNK!”  My kinda lady.  Jay is a true Texan and brings his own peppers with him wherever he travels- like pounds of his own peppers!!!!  Jay gave me a book he finished reading on the trip, and it’s awesome- too sweet!
Bonnie- Bonnie was the sweetest lady, met her in the bar (of course).  She was the owner of the very 1st yacht we saw in Staniel Cay- a complete beauty (both the boat and Bonnie).  She’s from NC/GA and spends about half of her year tooling around the Caribbean on her boat with her super hot 1st Mate and Captain.   Awesome.
Birkee-I never got to really talk to him much but met him twice- once in his store (only store on the island, really), and another time getting gas in Chris and B’s boat.  Rumor has it that Birkee (sp?) was in a landing-strip accident involving an incoming plane.  The accident resulted in the loss of his arm.  Crazy story.  Super nice guy.
Titus- a hilarious little guy, 7 yo, I think, who we meant on Pirates Beach during our sunset extravaganza.  Hyper little guy but smart as a whip.  He, for the life of him, could not believe that I, Shannon Chapman, could have ever been 7 years old. 
Willy– Willy is amazing.  He is a driftwood artis and he gave us a tour of all of his work-that he’s been compiling for the last 30 YEARS!  Amazing!  Also- the man can grow anything.  Made even more impressive by the fact that his entire yard is STONE.  He finds a way to grow his produce through holes in the stones- let’s see, he had mango, papaya, grapefruit, sea-grapes, guava, aloe, bananas, some kind of apples, sweet potatoes, and the list goes on and on.  It was pretty amazing.
Steve-perhaps one of the best stories I’ve ever heard in my entire life.  Met Steve in the bar.  Asked him where he was from (looked a bit touristy, like everyone else in there)….. his response:  Oh, I live here.  Really?  How did that happen?  Get this:  (and I hope I remember this right):  About 5 years ago, he and his wife were vacationing on Staniel Cay, not unlike Crazel and myself.  Started talkin’ up a guy in a bar, a few drinks later, gave him his business card.  Steve is in IT (network guy).  Steve and wife leave island.  About 3 weeks after their return to the states, Steve gets a call from this guy.  Tells Steve he owns his OWN ISLAND near Staniel Cay, and he needs the interweb real bad.  Can he do it?  Well, uh….. (can you imagine?)……. sure, uh, when do you need it?  Well, as quick as you can do it, a few weeks????  Turns out, this dude Steve met in the bar is like a bazillionaire, owns a company, like 5 on Forbes…….owns his own damn private island.  Flies Steve and his wife to said island to set up this whole interweb thing- on private jet.  Stay in the guest house (marble everything, totally posh).  Steve sets this guy up.  The rest is history.  5 years later, Steve lives on Staniel Cay and has a business setting up internet, etc for all these richie private island-owning mofos (read: Johnny Depp, Faith Hill/Tim McGraw), eveyone who owns a private island around Staniel, Steve sets them up.  INCREDIBLE!  Goes to show you, you never know who you can meet in a damn bar!

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Willy!
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Crazy Texans- Jay and Naomi
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Kea! And SHARKS!
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B, Cap’n Alan, Sally and me.
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ummm. ummm. yumm. RUM!
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Me, Chris, B, Alan, Craig

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                         

Craig, Bonnie, Me

Craig, Bonnie, Me

Click on Craig’s photo below to view all of our pictures:

Staniel Cay July 2009

Movies, lyrics, backpack patches, love.

My secret wish for Luci is for her to become a film director.

I picture a little cutie-pie with frizzy hair at 7 or 8 years- old, running around donning a teeny-made-for-lil-girls Gorilla Biscuits t-shirt that her Dad made her, with a video camera, filming her stuffed animals.   Then eventually, going to film camp.  Some kids go to like regular ol summer camp where they fish and have bon-fires and such.  I don’t really see that for the Luc.  I see lights, cameras…. action!  Does film camp for kiddos even exist?  If not, I’m going to start one.

Ok, so maybe forcing Luci to go to “film camp”, would be a selfish act.   I’ve always, always wanted to be a director and if Luci became one, I’d be able to live vicariously through her.  If not a director, I at least wanted to be that dude that gets to pick out the music for movie scenes.  I sometimes think  “movie-scenes” in my head…. when I hear a song, I make up a scene in my mind-music tends to do that to me- has the ability to remove me from my reality and sparks a sort of creative revelry (ok, so how dorky-dumb was that sentence?).  What he says about songs and lyrics having the power to convey feelings that are hard to communicate otherwise on-screen is also so true in real life (just ask any angst-ridden 15 year-old.  Heck, just ask any 35 year old working mom).

Marc Webb, director of the new flick 500 Days of Summer has my dream job.  He’s a music-video-director come film director and he really has a kick-ass job.  I enjoyed listening to how he encompasses music, lyrics into his movies.  Well, movie.  This is his directorial debut.  And, I cannot wait to see it.

Listen to the Marc Webb 500 Days of Summer interview

And, now for the tangent:

Side-note:  The part where the two main characters meet (over The Smiths lyrics in the elevator) brought back some fond memories for me.   Kinda reminds me of how I met Craig.  Freshman chemistry class, 8 am.  Craig walked in, my eyes fell down to his……. backpack patch (get your mind out of the gutter please).  I was instantly smitten.  I don’t even remember what random punk band’s logo was emblazened on the patch but I do remember this- I thought to myself, “this guy is awesome”.  Ya see, I could tell instantly that Crazel didn’t give a shit what anyone else thought of him.  How did I know this?  Well, his damn Polo Shirt, tucked.  Khakis.  Preppy canvas belt.  Neat and tight haircut (minus his infamous bangs back in the day).   He was totally prepped-out.  But, I was instantly intrigued with the punk patch on his backpack and I knew there was something more.  What I admired about Craig then still holds true today- he doesn’t give a crap what other people think of him.  He’s gotten SO much flack from our punk-rock friends throughout the years for what has been called his “golf boy” persona.  He’s comfortable enough with himself to dress how he wants and saves the crazy for the inside.  I love it.

Well, me and “Crazy on the inside” are leaving on a jet plane for our Bahamian vacay!  I will write all about it upon our return.  Peace-out!


25 Random Things- Luci Goosie Style

Did you notice when this thing was going around Facebook?   I did one for myself a while back (remember, I love lists), so now I thought I’d do one for Luci Goosie, or Chubby Chapman as we’ve been calling her as of late.

  1. Her hair is insane.  Like insane-in-the-membrane, nutzo-craze-o insane.  Some days it’s curly, some days it’s flat.  Every morning, the front is part frizz-ball/part grease pit.  It’s un-tamable.  I honestly have no idea what to do with it.  I’m a horrible hair-mom.  I just don’t know how to tame it!!!!  The only thing I really do is wet it in the morning and sort of crunch it and let it air-dry so it’s curly.  I love her curly hair!
  2. She cracks up incessantly at the word gym.  Or Jim.
  3. She sleeps face-flat, arms to side and butt straight up in the air.  Like every single night (hence the crazy frizz-ball bangs when she wakes up).
  4. She loves it when you copy her doing anything.  Make the same noises.  Copy her movements.  She thinks it’s all very hilarious.
  5. Because of the flat-faced sleeping technique she’s got going on, she wakes up looking totally unlike herself- all puffy-faced and drowsy.  It’s the cutest thing.
  6. She loves to throw hissy-fits.  I think she got my flair for temper-tantrums.  If she’s “over” something, she’s over it.  Like, get it the F away from me right this very second or I will freak out and scream.  Loud.  And throw things.  And,  freak out!
  7. She loves Matt’s El Rancho.
  8. She is so very sensitive.  If you so much as look at her the wrong way, her lower lip starts that pouty-quivering thing that is her precursor to a big cry.
  9. She LOVES playing “Where’s Luci”????  She’ll cover her eyes with her hands, toys, blankie and we go “Where’s Luci”?  She removes hands/blankie and we scream “OH!!  There she is!!!  I didn’t see you there”!!
  10. If she’s crawled away to a place she knows she’s not supposed to be (like let’s say by the dog food), and if she hears you come up behind her, she covers her eyes– she thinks when she does that, she really is invisible.
  11. She’s moody.  Sometimes she wakes up all giggly.  Other times, she’s miss bitchypantz.  Kinda like her Daddy.  Ok, ya got me.  More kinda like her MaMa, I guess.
  12. She doesn’t like you feeding her Cheerios.  She’s a big girl and likes to do it herself.  (oh, yes, she finally likes Cheerios- hated them for the longest time it seemed).
  13. She LOVES the pool.  She’ll stay in it for hours on end if she can.
  14. She’s recently located her lady-parts.
  15. She loves other kids.  Everything about them.  When we are out somewhere, she just stares and stares at the other kids.
  16. When she’s tired or sad, she lays her head on your shoulder and it just melts your heart.
  17. She never went through the phase of putting everything in her mouth.  Not sure why, she just doesn’t do it.  Hope it doesn’t start.
  18. Her favorite song is that “love in a coffee shop” song that is on the commercial for that phone company.  Every time it comes on, she drops whatever it is she’s doing at the time to listen.  Never fails.
  19. Loves remotes and cell phones.  But then again, what kid doesnt?
  20. Her favorite food is mixed mango and pears.  She freaks for it.
  21. She is SO easy going.  We are so lucky.  She loves to sleep and can entertain herself in her crib in the mornings while we’re showering.  Again, I realize, we’re very very lucky.
  22. She’s a talker.  Constantly making some sort of noise.  She does this yodeling thing that I LOVE.  I’m determined to get it on tape and will post it.  It’s the CUTEST sound I’ve ever heard.
  23. She loves Don Williams.
  24. She now has 6 teeth- 4 on the bottom and 2 on the top.  She CONSTANTLY grinds them though and it makes the most horrible sound I’ve ever heard.  I hope she stops that soon.
  25. She loves her Daddy.  For realz serious-like.  They really have a special bond and he’s so damn good with her.  Sometimes I catch her just staring at him with this contented smile on her face- he lights up her world.  It’s pretty amazing to see.

Oh, and I just have to add one more:

26.  She totally smells like cookies.


Sweet, Savage Love

Needed to find an attention-grabbing subject line to grab ya back, reader…. that is, if there are any readers still out there.  Sorry for my posting-hiatus (I don’t count the last post about the stinky gym dude as a real post- I just needed to bitch).  I’ve been uber busy.  And, uber stressed.  Work has been kicking my butt and I’m busy gearing up for our vacation next week!   (final countdown- 1 week!)!

So, I think it’s pretty funny that my 1st post after the hiatus is about sex.  But, I couldn’t resist.  This is kinda funny stuff.  Take a listen to this story I heard today on NPR.

Listen Now

or read the story here (the audio is better).

I can just picture this snotty literary-type dude-man sneaking Fabio-inspired tales of love and lust into faculty meetings.  Creeping lust monster!  I might recommend his technique to some of our faculty members.

Yeah, not that exciting of a story I guess.  But when I heard the title of the book, I knew it was meant to be- so if for nothing else, posting it so I could steal the title for my blog post.

Again, I know I suck for not posting recently.  So, well, I figured I needed to come back with a bang! (ha ha)

That’s what she said.


Dear Skanky Gym Dude

Dear Skanky, smelly-ass Gym Dude,

It is NOT ok to smell as bad as you do.  It is NOT acceptable for you to come barging into the track like you own the place, with your dang smelly, stinky, deeeesgusting gym outfit made of crap.  And, your stupid, stinky “running shoes” that aren’t even running shoes at all, they’ve got no arch support, and they suck.

I’m all for working out.  I’m even all for working out and stinking afterwards (just ask Craig).  I am, however, NOT all for stinking so bad BEFORE you even start working out that you make other people gag and almost barf up their lunch when you run past them.  So, dear skanky gym dude- just a little helpful hint- it is NOT against the law to wash your clothes after a workout.  Nope.   AND, it may surprise you but it’s not against the law to, let’s say, wear varying sets of workout clothes on different days of the week.  There is no hard and fast rule that says you MUST workout in the exact same smelly-ass, puke-green shirt and sucky khaki shorts every day of the freaking week.  I bet you don’t even change out your socks, you grodie-barf-a-riffic-Mr.stinkz-a lot- piece of workout grossness.

Seriously.  Why do all old dudes at the gym stink?  I’m going to do a study and I bet I’ll find that all old guys, let’s say 44+ers, are big-time stinkers.  Seriously, you walk into the faculty weight room with all the old dudes and the pungent B.O. smell that washes over you immediately upon crossing the threshold is enough to bout knock the breath right outta ya.  I did a test one time and walked up to the student weight room, opened the door and was pleasantly surprised with the sweet smell of cheap men’s cologne.  I’d take cheap cologne (heck, I’d even take country cologne) over old-geezer-B.O. any day of the week.   Seems these old geezers have either lost their sense of smell or are just too old to give a damn.

 

Skanky, smelly-ass gym dudes????  Young or old!!??   —-  “That’s a deal-breaka, ladeeez”!!!!


To My Baby’s Daddy-

Thank you for giving me 60 shots in my thighs.

Thank you for holding my hair and wiping my face when I was puking in the parking lot after the 1st IVF procedure.

Thank you for holding my hand through many painful procedures and wiping my tears after many painful disappointments.  I realize I’m stronger than I look and I probably near-bout squeezed your hand off…  (But, “Bitch Please…..”, don’t be surprised.  And, let this be a lesson, and a reminder– I could completely “take you” in any wrestling/scrappy-grappling/mixed-martial arts scenario imaginable.  Bitch, please…. you know I could).

Thank you for bringing me yummy food and goodies and making sure I had good movies to watch while on the couch recovering.

Thank you for spoiling me rotten during pregnancy by taking care of me and also completely redoing our house.

Thank you for coming to every single one of my drs appointments.  Seriously- every. single. one.

Thank you for being my “rock” during my scary labor.  (Seriously, y’all- I was freaking the f-out- as per usual.  Crazel was as cool as a cucumber- as per usual).

Thank you for always being the voice of reason and talking me down when I need it— when the worry is over-the-top (which is all the damn time, really).

Thank you for taking care of me after my C-section.  A newborn baby and new-born-babymama-going-crazy-recovering-from-surgery-and-trying-to-breastfeed– must not have been all that easy.  Not easy at all.

Thank you for being patient with me.

Thank you for being a good sport about the daily donning of my flannel basketball pajama bottoms- – – – and, y’all-they were made for a 13-year-old-boy and I seriously put them on immediately after work like about 5 days a week.  For like the last 9-10 years.  Seriously-like as soon as I walk in the door.  And, seriously- they have basketballs- ALL OVER THEM.  Ok, damnit— ** see below**

img_3378

Seriously though….

Thank you for taking such good care of our daughter.  And, of me.

Thank you for loving our daughter so much that you can’t stand to be apart from her; check in on her every single night while she’s sleeping; sing to her; play your guitar for her; laugh with her- and at her; teach her; hold her; protect her; read to her; cry for her; take the BEST care of her.

(Already, in her short 10 months here- she is 100% completely/wholly/unabashedly SMITTEN with you.  Like in a MAJOR way.  Luci loves her Daddy like there is no tomorrow!!!!!!)

To sum it all up, thank you for giving us our Luci.  And, thank you for being the best Dad I could have ever dreamed Luci to have.  She is the luckiest little girl on the planet.  And, I’m the luckiest lady.

Happy Father’s Day.


Simmer down, Shannie!

I’ve been getting a bit of flack for my sappy emo-girl blog posts.  So, I’m emotional.  I can admit it.  But, I’d like to think of myself as well-rounded with equal parts emo-girl and yes, bitchy-mcbitch.  I hope the aforementioned posts don’t give readers out there the wrong idea.  I can still bitch with the best of ’em.  So, to prove it, here’s a list of things that really piss me off (in no particular order).  Oh, and this is just today.  I’m sure I’d have a completely different list if asked tomorrow.  There’s lots of stuff, ya see.

Things I Hate:

  • subdivisions
  • man-jewelry
  • excessive plastic
  • tattoos-yes, I have tattoos.  And, yes, I hate tattoos, even my own.  I do, however, love my friend Amy’s tattoo on her back.
  • random tom waits impersonations
  • loud phone talkers in public places
  • trucks (really hate SUV’s unless they’re hybrids)
  • people who do not hold cell phone normally, ya know, those people who, for some reason, think it’s really cool to hold the phone a few inches in front of the mouth when speaking?  Like a walkie-talkie?  Then bring phone back up to ear to hear.  WHY?
  • Dudes that go shirtless on the trail that should not be going shirtless out in public
  • Dudes that go shirtless on the trail that look good and know they look good
  • stinky gym dudes
  • stinky gym dudes who jog and fart up-wind of me on the trail or track
  • Dudes that do their hair up all nice to jog the trail.  Like, seriously, why do you need a faux-hawk to run?
  • Ladies who decide it’s a good idea to drown themselves in stinky perfume just to go out for a run.
  • Damn computer problems.  Ask Craig.  Many a hissy-fit over computer-related issues.  I’m talking MAJOR hissy fits.  HATE that shit!
  • Wedgies
  • My mom gut
  • Waking up early
  • bullies in the work place
  • GEEZ- that really annoying guitar dude on the trail who always yells out “good job mom” and plays his generic hippy guitar.  Like every single time I go he’s there.  Although, I guess it’s pretty cool of him to do it.  But I wonder, what does he do for a living?  He doesn’t look homeless.  He’s a mystery to me.
  • sensationalistic weathermen
  • gladiator sandals
  • other stupid fads
  • hootchie-mammas
  • the 6th st scene.  Although, Mooseknuckles is pretty damn awesome
  • cigarettes.  I even hate the word.  Hate everything about them.
  • The word rural.  Although, when paried with juror, it’s good.   “Rural Juror”.  Nice. Thanks, Tina Fey.
  • The word webinar
  • Fox news
  • 100 degree weather
  • The old professors who play basketball on the courts under the inside track at the gym.  They take it so very seriously and get reallllllly angry if someone on their team makes a bad play.  They scream-cuss each other out and yell a lot.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a sailor’s mouth (naw, really?), but I think it’s horrible to scream-swear at people.   It makes me uncomfortable and mad.  Especially over a stupid basketball game.  Simmer down, dudes.
  • My wrinkles and post-pregnancy skin- it’s developed into dry, wrinkly crappiness.  Ugg.  I seriously need to completely rethink my skincare routine.
  • being called “ma’am” everywhere I go on campus.  EVERYWHERE.  ALL THE TIME!
  • Other stuff.

Wow, this felt kinda good.  Maybe I should do a weekly “things I hate” post if for nothing else, to vent a little.  Simmer down, Shannie.


The ultimate list

I love lists.
This is for all you lady-mammas-to-be out there.  I know a few peeps who are knocked-up so I thought I’d send out an unsolicited list concerning all things essential as I see them, for the 1st 9 months.  I’ve divided it into pre-baby checklist, newborn, and things you can wait on.  I also included a list of things I did not miss and that you might want to steer clear of.  I’m a bare essentials type of gal- I did not want all this extraneous baby shit sitting around my house unused.  I remember being completely clueless and had to rely on friends’ advice to get me through.  Remember, Amy and Tisha- strolling through Babies-R-Us with a clueless Shannon?  I couldn’t have done it without you guys!  Also, good God, I don’t know what I would’ve done without my sister’s advice and input and help…. So, pay it forward, here is the list:

Newborn Needs:

Onesies- 8-10 (size 0-3 months); 12 (size 3-6 cuz they grow so darn fast).  Luci  basically lived in onesies during those early months.  They just seemed the most comfortable thing for her.  I wasn’t all about “dressing her up” at such an early age- too much of a hassle, we never left the house, and some of those outfits seemed downright uncomfortable!  Nice, cheap, soft onesies did it for us for a long, long while.  My only advice- buy very few small ones and mostly medium sized at first.  You’ll be amazed how fast they grow!!!!

Other outfits- pants and t-shirts; zipped, footed pajamas; and of course, you’ve GOTTA have SOME cutsie outfits for all the photos!!!!  Suggestion- 7 or so outfits.

Diapers- Swaddlers, smallest size.  I’d get 3-4 huge boxes so you don’t have to run back to store right away.

Diaper Genie– We have Diaper Genie II and have had no problems with it.  Do not forget to buy multiple replacement bag thingies- like 5 at first so you don’t have to worry about going back to store for more for a while.

Diaper Cream- Desitin is the BEST (and cheapest); don’t go for all those expensive brands- my sister tested them all out for us!  Her findings- Desitin blows them all outta the water!

Bathtub- one that fits in your kitchen sink so you don’t have to bend over your bathroom tub.  We still use the same bathtub and she’s over 20 lbs now!  I can’t remember brand name but we got it at Babies R Us, pretty generic.

Socks-Trumpettes are the only ones that will stay on.  I’d get 12-pair.  Baby can wear these (one size fits all) until they are about 1 year old.  Luci has just about grown out of these- but they make toddler sized for 1-2 year olds so I need to pick up some of those soon.

Bibs- once you start bottle feeding, you’ll need a shit-ton of these.  My sister gave me probably 15 terri cloth bibs and I was like, what the HELL am I going to do with all these bibs?  Well, I used them all the time, still am and STILL had to wash frequently.  I’d recommend 15 cheap, washable- will use till at least 9 mo of age.  They WILL get stains on them!

Baby Book- I love “Baby 911” by Dr. Ari Brown- she is a Dr at my pediatrician’s office.  Friends got this book for us and it was our bible for 1st 4 months  for sure!  Everything you need to know from red flags to sleeping patterns to nursing, to development.  Great!  I still reference this book occaisionally.

Thermometer– some pediatricians require you to have anal themometer.  I know, sounds horrible but my peds office said that if we called in saying our child had a fever, 1st question would be if we took it with anal themometer.  If not, they’d make us hang up, go purchase one, retake temp and call back.  Baby doesn’t even feel it- we did it when she was asleep and wouldn’t even wake her up.   She still doesn’t even realize anything’s going on down there.

“My Breast Friend” I call it a “boob-preserver” and it is hands-down SO much better than the “Boppy” for breastfeeding.   Night and day.  If you’re going to breastfeed, this is a MUST.  It made my life so much easier after the lactation consultant recommended this.  Made a HUGE difference in my technique and technique is everything when breastfeeding!

Boob cream- You need pure lanolin.  I used Lansinoh and loved it.  This stuff is miracle in a tube.  Won’t get into the gorey details on here but suffice it to say, you WILL need this stuff if you are breastfeeding!  Bring to hospital.

Nursing bras- Target has cheap ones that were perfect for me.  I had 2 and went back and bought about 5 more to avoid having to wash one twice a day!

Nursing pads- I remember having absolutely no clue these even existed when Amy and Tisha pointed them out at Babies-R-Us.  Uh, yeah.  You’ll need these.  You’ll need a TON of these.  I got the washable type mostly and probably got about 40 of them.

Lingerie or sock washing bag– to wash nursing pads in so they don’t get lost.  Also useful for small baby items like socks.

Burp-cloths– get a ton of them.  Babies-R-Us has this really annoying brand that completely lose their square shape after washing which make them impossible to fold….I THINK they were the organic cotton type, so stay away from those.  I probably have 15 or so burp cloths.

Washcloths– get a ton of them.  I think I have about 20.  I use 2 for every bath.

Baby hooded towels– I bought the cheap packets at Target.  I think we have about 6 of them.  I also have cheap regular hand towels as extra padding for countertop for after we remove her from tub in kitchen.

Blankets- get about 8 of the thin flannel kind for swaddling.  Then, a few extra plush, cute ones for other purposes.  We really overdid it in the blanket area (I love blankets).  I have about 20 of them and didn’t go through that many.

Kiddopatamus-Swaddle Me wraps–  These  were awesome when it became to hard too swaddle her in a regular blanket.  These are easy to use and really worked for us.

Crib sheets- I am addicted to crib sheets.  I have about 8 of them and that has served us pretty well so far but I think 3-4 would be essential.  Target has cute ones!

Mattress pad– 2 in case one gets soiled and needs replacing before you can get to do the laundry.

Mattress- recommend organic one.  Make sure you air it out prior to assemling it with sheets, etc.  And, get one at least 2 months before you have baby so that all the chemicals, etc can “air out”.

Diaper changing pad- we just got one that sits on top of regular dresser and it’s worked out great for us.  See below for anti-slip material.

Rubber carpet anti-slip– for use under diaper changing pad if you’re using it on top of regular dresser.  You can get it at Target in rugs section.  Just cut a piece small enough to fit under pad and works like a charm- Thanks, Amy!

Sleep sacks/wearable blankets- Once Luci started hating being swaddled, these things were life-savers.  She still sleeps in one every single night and will probably continue to do so for a long time.  I think she was over being swaddled at 2-3 months and these provided the extra warmth she needed to keep her warm in such a cool room (see below for recommended temperature in nursery to avoid sids- it’s a chilly 69 degrees plus fan!)!  Only complaint- the ones you find at Babies R Us are so CHEAPLY made.  I haven’t looked elsewhere and keep suffering through broken zippers, etc.  We’re about ready to move up to the next size and I’m going to track down some better quality ones.

Small Fan– the news that circulated air helps to reduce sids by 72% came out right after Luci was born.  We went out and bought a fan right away.  I was freaked because of the chilly air in her room- but apparently, fans don’t help decrease the temperature, they just circulate the air so all was good.  Don’t point it direclty at the crib.

Humidifier- especially for winter nights.  The last thing you want is dry snot clogging up those nostrils-makes for horribly long and hard feeding times!  We got a cheap one at the drug store and used it just about every night.

Nose-sucker thingie- a MUST, especially for a bad cold.  However, according to our Dr, you’re not to overuse it as it can irritate nasal cavity and make everything worse so we basically tried to use it right before feedings so that Luci would actually eat!

Throat-sucker thingie- Luckily, we didn’t have to use this a lot but you need it.  Especially for the first few weeks, while they’re getting used to swallowing, etc.  Peace of mind.  I carried mine around with me everywhere in my diaper bag.  Bring it to the hospital.

Eucerin- My Dr. recommended this for Luci’s excema.  I don’t know if it really works because she still has it, but it’s very moisturizing, very mild for baby’s sensitive skin (and I’ve tried all kinds of creams for excema and nothing’s worked so far).  Just regular old Eucerin.  I put it on her every day still.  Note- not recommended to put anything on baby’s skin for first few weeks to 1st month.  Dr. also recommended Aquaphor and I use that, too.

Formula- even if you’re breastfeeding, have it on-hand.  We tried both liquid (more expensive) and powder.  No difference.  Powder is cheaper and easy peasy.

Bottles– get BPA free bottles (BPA can cause all kinds of problems-it leaks from the plastic when it has been heated).  I liked Green to Grow (thanks, Jami!).

Bottle drying rack– simple one.  And bottle brush.

Munchkin plastic bottle parts holder thingie for dishwasher (for nipples, tops of bottles, etc).  A coworker got one for me and I had no clue what it was.  We use it every single day still.

Milk Storage bags– Once you get to the point where you’ll actually leave the house for any amount of time, you’ll need to pump and store.  There are many options for this-the freezer bags seemed to work best.  There are also containers you can get to keep in fridge.

Car seat– duh.  Get one that works with your stroller for easy transport of sleeping baby.

Stroller– duh.  I LOVE my BOB for jogging.  Fabulous!  No complaints here.  We got the “Sports Utility” one since we jog on the trail a lot and it’s just perfect.  The front wheel doesn’t turn so it’s not great for a regular stroller. However, you could totally get the “Bob Revolution” and use it as your jogger AND regular stroller.  Just get a car seat that goes with it.  Regular day-to-day stroller- get one that works with the car seat for easy transferring of sleeping baby.  Ease of use is key so test it out in the store.  Ease of use and weight.  You don’t need an expensive stroller as long as it’s easily manipulated and light, you’re fine.  If you’re a jogger, save the $ and use it on the Bob jogger instead-it’ll change your life.  Ok, not really, but it’s the best damn stroller ever.

Wipes- shit ton of these.  I use Target “unscented”.  Never used a wipe warmer and never would- not needed.

Mild baby wash- not supposed to use anything but water for at least the 1st few weeks.  Get something mild.

Nail clippers– I didn’t get comfortable cutting her nails until she was about 3 months old.  It’s scary!!!  After the 1st month, I think, you can peel them if you want.  Before that, the nail isn’t separated from the skin yet so I wouldn’t touch them.  Socks work (so they don’t scratch themselves while sleeping).  The mitten things they sell that are all cutsie-steer clear- they do NOT stay on!!!!  They also make onesies with folds that go over the hands- we used these a good bit too and they worked fine.

Swing- Ummm… at first, I refused to buy one.  I hate big plastic baby looking shit.  Hate that shit.  Amy let us borrow hers and THANK GOD she did.  The was the ONLY way Luci would sleep the 1st night.  I highly recommend you getting a swing.  Doesn’t have to be anything big or fancy.  A small, cheap one will do.  For the first few months, I didn’t like leaving Luci in her crib while I was awake so I always put her down in the swing in the living room where I could keep an eye on her.  She loved sleeping in the swing.

Breast pump- duh.  Get a good one.  Thank you, Tisha!  Shirly reminded me you can rent a hospital grade one.  Do this- it is NOT gross at all (sounds it, I know).  Once you figure out how it all works and that only the replacement tubes, etc etc “touch” you, you’ll see what I mean.  You’re basically just renting the motor.

New set of tubes- etc if you’re borrowing a breast pump

CD Player and soothing CD’s for nursery– Luci still loves acoustic guitar and I think it’s from music in her room at an early age and also Craig playing to her.

Things you can wait on

Bouncy– one that hangs in the doorway.  Luci loved it!

Bumbo- We fed her in this for a few months but you don’t need it until they can sorta sit up, maybe around 3 months.

Lots of toys– they literally sleep and eat for like 3 months.  lots of extra toys that early will clutter up the house.

Convertible car seat– don’t need this till they are 20 lbs, around 10 months old

Food processor– you may want to consider buying one if you plan on making your own baby food (a lot easier than it sounds)

Things for Mom/Things to do before

Robe/Slippers– for hospital

Comfy PJ’s– you will live in these

“Spa-like treatments” for your showers- Showers are rare.  Make them worthwhile.  Spoil yourself with good, yummy smelling essentials.  I did and it made my showers extra special.

House clean- pay someone to do a good cleaning about 1-2 weeks before due-date.  That way, you come home to a really clean house and you don’t have to worry about it

House projects/organizing– won’t have time after baby gets here

Read up on C-sections- just in case.  I had no idea recovery was going to be so painful

Shopping- stock your kitchen about 1-2 weeks before due date (or even a few weeks earlier than that, just in case).  Anything and everything you can think of- you WILL go through it.  Easy to prepare dinners and yummy snacks, etc.  Include maxi pads on this list-lots of them.

Ask friends/relatives to bring you food- Essential.  Our friends Kevin and Tisha stocked our fridge for us while I was in the hospital.  It was AMAZING coming home to the yummy food they got for us.  Also, other friends brought us food throughout the weeks following Luci’s birth.  I remember the securing of food being such a pain in the ass and it would’ve been WAY WORSE without the help of our friends.  They also brought us food in the hospital- this is essential because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be STARVING and hospital food sucks.

Find a good pediatrician who has a nurse lactation consultant on staff- ESSENTIAL.  We spent about 3 hours with ours and she was AMAZING!!!!  Changed our lives!

Learn to take naps at weird times-
You must sleep when baby sleeps.  I could not and it wreaked havoc on my everything.  I wish I had actually practiced taking naps.

Things I did not get that I did not miss

Wipes warmer– not a necessity

Exersaucer– I hate these big plastic things.  If they made a cool mod one, I would’ve gotten it.  I think there’s a market for cool, mod baby stuff.  I wanted a sleek wooden one.  Not out there.  Didn’t miss it anyways- and she had one at daycare.

Bring to Hospital

Robe/Slippers

Socks

Snacks– seriously.  I was in there for 5 days and we raided the hospitals snack area like 30 x per day.  I would recommend stuff like pudding and jello.  I couldn’t get enough.

Toiletries– I remember the 1st shower post-surgery.  It hurt like hell but damn, did I smell better afterward

Baby outfit

Change of clothes– comfy

Notebook to write any notes from Dr/lactation consultants

Baby book– for the little footsie prints

Lansinoh– Boob cream

Oh, and take everything they try to give you in the hospital home with you- you’ll need ALL of it.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things so I will add as I remember them.  It’s a lot to think about but eaiser to get a hold of than it seems.


Birth of the five-four….

Perhaps one of the most easily-recognized jazz tunes, Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” just turned 50.   This is an amazing song.  And, “Time Out” is an amazing album.  Ok, so I’m not musically-inclined and unless someone points it out to me, I wouldn’t be able to determine four-four from  five-four from whatever.  But, I can appreciate a damn good song that was WAY ahead of its time.  Luckily, Crazel is musically inclined so he can help explain and point out the intricacies to me.  Even I know enough to realize that this song is something different and it’s amazing- it still stands out today.

Listen Here

Dave Brubeck is so damn cute!  He’s 88 and still playing.  Just amazing.  I haven’t been to a good jazz show in FOREVER.  Would love to see Brubeck.  And, I think his philosophy for keeping his fingers nimble could serve as good life-advice for all of us:   Just play as much as you can, while you can!

Birth of the cool?  Totes.


Well, hellz bellz

Well, crap.  I love ya, my lil Luci Goosie.  But, Good Lord….. the things you did to my body when you were in there!  My goodness, they weren’t lying when they said having a baby changes your body forever.  Couple that with the fact that I’m quickly approaching the big 4-0…. and holy moly, not a pretty sight!

To all my HS and college friends out there- remember how I would never wear just a bathing suit in public?  How I’d always wear shorts over it?  Well, little did I know that it was ALL DOWN HILL from there.  Geez, what the heck was I thinking back then?  I should’ve been happy with what I had!  I should’ve listened to you guys!

I’ve got a little more than a month left to get bikini-ready.  NOT gonna happen.  Nope.  Apparently even training for a marathon won’t be enough to get rid of the post-pg GUT from hell.

Ok, so I guess I haven’t been perfect in my training and I’m sure the [gallons of] queso I’ve consumed since Luci’s birth isn’t helping either.  Guess I’m gonna have to learn to watch what I eat now.  Which is no fun.  I’d rather work out for 5 hours a day and eat what I want than have to watch my caloric intake.  Looks like just working out isn’t going to cut it anymore.

So…. no Matt’s El Rancho for me tonight.  Strictly salads from here on out (ah-huh, like that’ll ever happen).

I’ve lived with my thunderous thighs//tree-trunks-for-legs (thanks Jim Spiesman) my entire life, so I’m kinda used to that.  I am, however, NOT used to having a gut.  And it is Jamaican me crazy!

So, my skinny-minny mama friends out there- let me know your secret.  What can I do with this thing?

Oh, crunches you say?  What are those?

Huh…. interesting concept.  Very enlightening.  Let me take that under consideration and I’ll get back to ya….


Don’t ever walk the bridges….

I have this thing I do when I’m on a run– I always, always walk the bridges.  No matter where in the run they “hit”- whether it’s time for a break or not;  no matter what/no matter when- I always walk the bridges, always have.  Friends I’ve run with even tend to make fun of me for this nonsensical running habit of mine.

I have no idea why I walk the bridges.  It’s not based in logic, this random break in my runs- it’s really for no reason at all.   Simply, it’s because I’m taking the easy way out and being just plain lazy.  It’s really that simple.  For some unknown reason, my brain tells me that the bridges don’t really “count” and therefore,  I don’t hold it against myself for holding back, for resting when I don’t really need a rest.

I was thinking about this during my long run today (yes, you’ve guessed it- I was walking a bridge)…..  And ya know what, it’s more than just “taking the easy way out”.  It’s about not pushing myself, not challenging myself.   I came to the conclusion that walking the bridges presents an interesting analogy to taking the back seat in life; not seeking out new challenges; being afraid, for whatever reason, to push yourself and to live life to the fullest.  In my somewhat stretch of an analogy, the bridge represents self-doubt.

I then got to thinking about one of my best friends whose father passed away this weekend.  I’ve been struggling to come up with the “right” words to say to my friend after such a horrible loss.  {On a side-note, It’s funny, I’m paranoid that people expect me to know exactly what to say, since I’ve been through the loss of my parents.  On the contrary, I never know what to say because all I can remember is how nothing anyone said to me really made a difference at the time. There are no words….  Only the passing of time and the support of family and friends can get you through}. But today, during my whole “walking the bridge” running-reverie, I think I came up with something.  Ya see, even though I never met his father, I know from stories, and from reading posts about him on my friend’s Facebook page, that he was an amazing man who inspired a lot of people to live their dreams  (he was the high school principle).  And, he raised a son who, among other things, inspires others to challenge themselves and live their dreams; to have the courage it takes to never ever take the back seat in life.   I know my friend is passing this valuable life-lesson down to his children.  What an amazing man his father must’ve been to instill this notion of self-worth, courage and confidence in future generations.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Which got me thinking about the 1st entry I made to Luci’s baby book…on Day 3 of life.  I haven’t read it since the day I wrote it, but today on my run, I remembered that it touched on some of the same ideas.  At major risk of being completely embarrassed by the total cheeseball-ness of it all (remember, post-pregnancy hormones could be to blame here), I’m going to copy it here for all to read:

Our Wishes for You- August 7, 2008

Luci,

Your Dad and I hope to provide you with every opportunity for happiness.  We want you to grow up truly happy, living life to its fullest.  Travel!!  Learn about other cultures!  Be open-minded and accepting of people from all walks of life.  Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.  Be yourself and have confidence in yourself.  Be respectful of others’ opinions but don’t be afraid to voice your own.  Be strong and be resilient- life isn’t always easy.  Be thankful for what you have and help others when you can.  Believe in yourself and never let anyone take you for granted.  Don’t waste time worrying; the little things don’t matter in the long-run.  Make good friends and keep them.  Enjoy good music, make life fun and keep a good sense of humor.  Be able to laugh at yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously–be silly and smile often.  And above all else, be kind.  We are so happy that you’re here and can’t wait to watch you grow up!  What a fun journey it’s going to be.  We love you!  Love, Mom and Dad

So, to sum it all up, my little Luci:  Lesson #2:  Don’t ever walk the bridges.  Run.  Run just as fast as you can.

And, so you know, today, I walked my very last bridge.


Man, I really really want this

This is the most kick-ass poster I’ve ever seen.  Of my favorite movie on the planet:

Blade Runner Fabulous

It’s “loooong sold out” (blah blah blah).  :-(

If anyone can find me one of these, I will be your slave.  For life.