News.

First off, I’d like to apologize for using my blog to announce this. Many of you deserve an email or a phone call. But my head hasn’t been in the best place for the last few months. So, please forgive me for doing it the easy way.

Ready?

We are expecting our third baby in March. I know! I was surprised as well. Believe me. This pregnancy wasn’t planned. We were totally done having kids. And given my history with infertility and loss, I didn’t think this was even possible, especially at 39. But. Here we are…

Truth be told, I’ve been worried about telling anyone about this pregnancy. You see, I’ve been unbelievably sick this time around. And the nausea and persistent vomiting has left me horribly depressed. And since I had to stop running, my depression worsened. Running cheers me up. And I can’t do it. I tried for the first two months, but it became too difficult. So, I stopped.

I’ve been feeling very confused about this pregnancy. Being this sick all the time has made me miserable. And because I’ve been so sick, it’s been difficult for me to experience joy, which is insane and makes me very angry with myself. How can I be anything less than ecstatic given everything I went through in the past? Anyway, I’m hoping that some of this is hormonal and will soon pass. Either way, Michele from 2009 would feel a great deal of anger toward this Michele. (And this Michele probably deserves that.)

Given how sick I’ve been, and the fact that Toby works a lot, I haven’t been able to take very good care of our kids. And things were getting worse instead of better. So, about six weeks ago, we decided that I should take the boys and stay with my parents for a while—just until this unrelenting nausea lets up. Thankfully, I have a wonderful family who has been simply amazing. Not sure where we’d be without them.

So, we’re having a baby! And I found out just last week via CVS it’s a little boy. And the last several days I have experienced some much needed calmer waters. The nausea let up a bit. For the first time in 12 weeks, I have felt closer to normal. The excess saliva, the incessant nausea and the metallic taste in my mouth let up a bit and I saw joy again. I saw myself again. And then it finally occurred to me: HOLY SHIT! WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

I’m not dying. I’m not diseased. I an not fat and useless. (Well, I feel that way. All that weight I lost? It’s back. But, I’ll lose it again. I have to.) I will run again. I am NOT going to feel this way forever. Thank goodness.

Things have been better the last couple of days.

On top of welcoming a new human creature into our lives, we’re also leaving Brooklyn. After 14 years (minus the two spent in DC and San Francisco) we are leaving. We need a larger home. We simply can’t afford to stay in Brooklyn. We’ve outgrown our 900 square foot apartment. And Em is six. Moving will become increasingly more difficult for him as he gets older. (I know this firsthand.) But as sad as it makes me to leave Brooklyn, it’s time.

We close on our new (and first!) home in Maplewood, New Jersey next week.

We will have a yard. And FOUR bedrooms.

Lastly, I need to thank many of you. A few weeks ago, I hit an all-time low. I was coming off a two-day bender throwing up and spitting into a bucket full of tissues. I was exhausted and I felt like a failure as a mother. It was bad—really, really bad. I was alone at the time and I took it to Twitter. And so many of you reached out to me that day. And it helped. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for reaching out to me.

(Thank you: Heather H., Sarah B., Dianne, Lessa, Sara S., Neil, Isabel, Sarah, Amanda, Nicole, Anne, Natalie… and I’m sure I’m forgetting someone here. But thank you too.)

So, Internet. We are having a baby! Our third baby boy. And I’m terrified. Excited! But also terrified. Three kids? I’m not even sure I knew what I was doing with two. :] Anyway, I hope the second trimester will prove better for me, because the first one? It was a doozy.

Feel free to ask me questions. Feel free to tell me this will get easier, this nausea. Or tell me it won’t. And for those of you with three kids, lay it on me. What do I need to know going from two to three? How do I keep the middle child from becoming crazy?

(Lastly, for those of you reading this who are suffering from infertility and loss, I think about you every day. I know this doesn’t help. And I understand how difficult it is, but I want you to know how much I care and understand. And… well, words fail me. But I think about you and you’re not alone even when you feel that way.)

Down the Hills and Round the Bends

My kids have a lot of Thomas stuff. And over the years, people have commented about it. I always just shrug it off. At best, they’ll think my kids are lucky. At worst, they’ll assume my kids are spoiled brats with far too many Thomas trains.

But there’s a story behind why we have so much Thomas stuff and it runs pretty deep. If I were to tell them how we ended up with so much Thomas stuff, they might end up feeling uncomfortable and I don’t like making our houseguests uncomfortable. So I shrug it off. Their worst assumption is better than the discomfort they may feel knowing the truth.

Back when I was going through fertility treatments, I used to bring Emory to the doctor with me. He was about a year-and-a-half when I started going (March, 2009). He was two-and-a-half when I stopped (June, 2010). I don’t think he remembers any of it. At the time, all he knew was that we very regularly visited a doctor. I packed a bag full of toys and snacks and we’d sit together in a big waiting room. He kept me company. Most days our visits were fairly uneventful. I’d have some lab-work done, maybe a sonogram or two.

On Friday, May 30, 2010 we packed an entire Thomas bookbag full of Thomas trains and headed to the doctor for an IUI. For IUIs, Em almost always came along because Toby had to be there as well. That day, Em wanted to take all of his trains and since he had a Thomas backpack specifically made to hold Thomas trains (equipped with a compartment to display favorites and everything) he had room for a LOT. Nearly every train, as well as a few tracks, came with us that day.

Toby’s part never took all that long. He was off to work in no time. My part took longer. Not only did I have to undergo the actual procedure, but I had to wait for the sample to be prepared as well. That usually took between 15 and 30 minutes. The sample was given to me in a tiny vial, the contents of which were usually pink.

Before our first ever IUI, I had no idea where to store the vial.

“What do I do with it?” I asked the tech. “Do I just stick it in my purse?”

“Many women put it in their bra, right here.” She told me, pointing to the center button on her lab-coat. “Keep it near your heart. Maybe it’ll help your chances.”

I sent TobyJoe a text message: I HAVE YOUR SPERM IN BETWEEN MY BOOBS.

To which he replied: THEY’RE DOING IT WRONG! NO WONDER WE CAN’T GET PREGNANT!

So, hold up. I know what some of you are thinking: this sounds horribly unromantic and unnatural. And it is weird. I’ll give you that. But at the time, it was just the way things were. The process became my job. We needed to go through this in order to have a second child. And believe me, I have had every last thought you might be having as you read this, even the terribly judgmental ones. It’s OK. I get it.

I won’t sugarcoat the truth. Ultimately, and it’s become clear to me now, I was being selfish. It’s that simple. I just really wanted another baby. Therefore, I went ahead and carried a vial of pink sperm around in my bra for 30 minutes and made jokes about it. I brought my kid to the doctor with me since we didn’t have childcare. I packed backpacks full of toys and snacks and we camped out so I could hopefully, one day become pregnant. I did all of these things and overlooked all the weirdness involved because I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t let it go. I wanted so badly for my son to have a sibling.

I was unlucky to have to experience it, but lucky I was able to.

So, yeah, about those trains. After you pick up your sample, you wait a bit longer for the doctor to perform the actual IUI. So Em and I made ourselves comfortable in another, larger waiting room. I usually stared out the window (the office had a pretty decent view of the East River) while Em played with his choo-choos. Many times, there were other kids present, families in the exact same situation we were. So Em often had a playmate. Overall, our visits were pretty OK.

When they called my name, we packed everything up and headed into a room that looks exactly like any other gynecological exam room.

The procedure itself only takes about 30 seconds. But after it’s done, you have to lie there for a bit as it doesn’t bode well to get up and start walking around right away. And then sometimes they’ll want you to have some blood drawn, so we were shuffled off to the lab.

And this is where we left the trains.

It wasn’t until after we got home, did I realize they were gone. I ran out to the car—nothing. I texted Toby, letting him know so on his way home from work he could maybe pick up a few. He managed to find an L Train and a 6 Train at the drugstore. (Thank you, MTA!)

I called the office the following morning and a woman informed me that they did indeed have the bag and that they would put it aside for me. I told her that if my son was OK with it, we might not be back for a bit. I was scheduled to have a followup appointment two weeks later to check HCG levels (pregnancy stuff) so I figured that if we could wait until then, we would. She told me not to worry, they would be there.

We didn’t rush back right away. And I regret that. I was so wrapped up in myself at the time, I didn’t do the right thing for my kid. I didn’t drive back the very next morning to get his trains.

Thirteen days later, we headed back to my doctor’s office where he would confirm what I already knew; I wasn’t pregnant. Again. I was already feeling pretty down for obvious reasons. I’d failed for the umpteenth time at this seemingly basic thing. But when the woman behind the front desk told me the bag was gone, I fucking lost it. Right there in the middle of the waiting room, I went off the rails sobbing.

Now, I’d seen several women break down before in that waiting room. My breakdown wasn’t anything special. I was just another sad woman crying in the fertility clinic. The trail of tears leading to and from that place is Nile long and Amazon wide.

The woman behind the counter just stared back in bewildered horror, apologizing for her mistake as she was the one who told me they’d be there waiting for us.

I looked down at Em. He had been excited since we’d be getting his trains back. I talked about it all morning. He just looked up at me and said, “Choo-choos, mama?”

Tears poured down my face and onto the floor below. I was unraveling.

I was crying because I couldn’t get pregnant; I was crying because I’d lost a baby 11 months earlier and I still hadn’t properly mourned it; I was crying because my doctor’s office was going to close for 3 months that summer and everything would be placed on hold; I was crying because I completely fucked up and lost my son’s favorite backpack full of his favorite toys; I was crying because I wanted to punch whomever took the trains; I was crying because I didn’t have the energy to argue with the woman who broke her promise; I was crying because this was all my fault; I was crying because I failed at everything.

Everything.

I explained to Em the best I could why we weren’t getting his trains back. I explained that I would make it up to him somehow and that I was so, so very sorry. I was sorry for far more than just the trains. But he didn’t know that.

Well, we never got those trains back. The backpack is gone too. And I have often wondered about the person who took them, if they felt badly about what they’d done. It occurred to me that it had to be someone working there—at a fertility clinic!—where they worked with hormonally charged women, often heartbroken and/or desperate. I realized they must have been pretty ballsy.

I wonder if they have any idea how much pain they caused that day. Would they have even cared?

Later that morning, I called my mother and told her what had happened. She knew what I’d been going through. My mom was pretty crushed by the whole ordeal as well, and immediately went out to buy Em some Thomas stuff. At some point, she told the story to my aunt, whose job includes visiting dozens of garage sales every week. She hit the jackpot somewhere in New Jersey. That aunt told some of my other relatives, and before we knew it, we were being inundated with Thomas stuff. Em ended up with at three times the number of trains we’d lost that day.

I saw the inside of that waiting room once more after that. It was for an IVF class, exactly two days after I broke down at the front desk. And I didn’t know it at the time, but I would become pregnant with Elliot (naturally!) 8 days later. Who, incidentally, is the biggest Thomas fan I know.

fedouy

It’s been, what, a month? More? I wish I had an excuse. I don’t. I am a terrible blogger.

Here’s the deal: and I’ve mentioned this before. At least I think I have. Although, I have so many drafts and “mind-posts” that have never been published. Frankly, I am not entirely sure what I’ve actually written about, and what I think I’ve written about. But I digress.

I don’t like writing about my kids. I think about it, and sometimes I write an entire post about them or something cute they did. And right when I’m about to publish it, I think, “Would you have wanted your mom to write this about you?” And it’s not even super private stuff. But I know firsthand, that sometimes the smallest anecdote is the one that hurts the most. You don’t have to write something deeply personal about a person to have it sting, to leave them feeling as though you’ve betrayed them. And I ultimately have no way of knowing what that might be for my children, especially Emory who is a very sensitive creature. So, I just don’t write. Not anymore. Not about my children. Even though I really want to.

But they are my fulltime—my more than fulltime—job. They are my everything, my only real inspiration. I am with them pretty much every hour of every day. And when I’m not with them, I’m running, baking or pouring lollipops. This is my whole life right now: kids; cleaning: lollipops; baking; running; walking the dog; sleeping. I have very little time for anything else. And I’m OK with that.

But I miss blogging. I miss being a part of an online community of some sort. I used to have a pretty big one here. Now, I don’t blog much at all, although I want to. Basically, I reply to folks (using 140 characters or less) and they may or may not respond to me. Half the time, I am not even sure they see what I write. My online life has become rather detached. (This is entirely my fault, however.)

But I want to write more. I know that. I miss it. I miss this space.

Certainly I can find the time to write, right?

First thing this morning, sun wasn’t yet up, bed sheet creases still ever-present on my cheek, I opened the computer to write. And immediately the day took control. The kids needed breakfast; the dog needed walked; the place needed tidied; the laundry needed folded. The day had begun before I had a chance to say, “GO!” Before I knew it, I was running around trying to keep up, and I’d forgotten about the post I’d meant to write, the one I’d been inspired to write. The day slapped me and said, “YOU’RE WRITING? There’s cat puke on the sofa, yogurt on the toilet seat, discarded toenails on the floor! MOVE, WOMAN! MOVE!”

And move I did. I left WordPress open and the new entry untouched. I hit the toenail coated ground running.

Much, much later, I walked by the computer and saw that someone, likely Elliot, wrote, “fedouy” in the title of my empty WordPress post. I just stared at it, trying to decipher what he meant. Did he mean anything? Was he trying to tell me something? HELL NO. It w as nonsense. But It was the most anyone had written here in weeks.

So I kept it.

And wrote this.

Anyway, I’ve given it some thought, and I’ve decided that the only way this site stands a chance is if I write about food, baking, and techniques surrounding as much. Because everything else in my life has to do with my kids and I just can’t write about them.

So, I have a new goal, one I can attain. I think. I will post recipes, how-tos, cake disasters, etc. I will do this at least twice a month. (I’m aiming for once a week, however.) I hope that’s ok. And I hope you stick around. And I hope you understand.

Who knows. Maybe one day, after the kids are a bit older, I’ll have a life that doesn’t completely surround the things that they do. And I’ll write again, on a very personal level like I used to, when it was all about (and only about) me.

Mia

Mia has gone through some serious downfalls as of late. Things really, really aren’t going her way.

Her mother has breast cancer. That’s an ongoing, serious problem she’s coping with as best she can. Problem is, her mom can’t seem to beat it. It just keeps coming back. And that gets her down.

On September 1st, her apartment burned down and she lost everything including her two kitties (shown below) who she loved like children. She doesn’t care that she lost all her clothing, her baking supplies, her fire engine red KitchenAid (the irony is not lost on her), everything she’s ever owned. All those items she collected from boys over the years, all the postcards from friends, life’s mementos, they are all gone. She only cared about the cats. She made that very, very clear.

Then she went through a break up. That happened the day after the fire.

Yesterday her Saint Tropez road bike was stolen.

OK, so let me make this about me for a minute.

Em broke his arm on Friday afternoon. He was pushed from the monkey bars by another child, a child known for aggression. I don’t want to slam this child, however. He did NOT plan on causing this much damage. But it did suck. None of this would have happened had this kid not pushed him.

Anyway, it was a level 4 break. I didn’t know what that meant up until Saturday, but now I do. He had surgery. He has pins and wires holding his arm together. The whole ordeal was pretty rough. We were in the hospital from Friday afternoon all the way up until Sunday night. At times I became very angry toward the other child.

Then something happened on Sunday afternoon that stomped my anger out completely. I am not at liberty to write about it. I promised this person I wouldn’t as they didn’t want it to be about them. They didn’t want to turn it into a publicity stunt. You’ll just have to take my word on the fact that it’s a pretty remarkable story. What began as a terrible weekend, ended with one of the most cherished days of my life. And I genuinely mean that. It was a day that I will remember until the day I die. Think of the most selfless, awesome deed you can possibly think of, it was better than that. Really.

I am changed. This weekend changed my family and me forever. I think we came out the other side better than we were before. And we owe that to a community of people and this thing someone did for my son (and me) that I promised not to write about.

Em is on the mend. He has even forgiven the kid who pushed him as have I. He’s getting stronger by the day.

This weekend taught me that I need to tell the people in my life, as well as complete strangers, that I love them, that I need them around. I also need to reach out and do more for the people living around me. I have to pay it forward. Because we were given a most precious gift this weekend even though it was born out of tragedy.

So, anyway. Mia. I love Mia. I met her at culinary school. I immediately liked her. She is delicate, gracious, kind, funny and just beautiful. And I want to make this a little bit easier on her. She makes very little living here and is even considering moving away having lost it all. So I’d like to make this time a little easier. The best way I can think of to do that, besides offering her up my cats for snuggles, is to give her some money and hopefully make everyday life a little bit easier. And maybe, just maybe, she can buy a new bike.

So, I’m going to put it out there for you guys too. Do you have a few extra bucks for Mia? She doesn’t need much. And she will likely kick my ass for doing this. Even a hand-me-down bike might do the trick as it was her main means of transportation. If you feel like donating her some money, you can do so by PayPal. My account is: mihow @ mihow.com.

I promise EVERY last penny will go to Mia.

Also: please makes sure to make it a gift or donation so you can write it off or whatever.

Lastly: hug a stranger someday soon. It actually feels pretty good.

Three Years Ago Today.

Three years ago today I lost a baby, and then this happened and a door opened up into what would become the worst year of my life. I stopped speaking to people. I ruined friendships. I stopped writing. I quit doing the things I loved. I became the Un-Me, someone I no longer recognized. I was living in grief 24/7, grief and failure. I was no longer the person I’d known all those years.

If you’ve suffered from infertility, you probably know what I’m talking about to some degree. If you haven’t, you probably think I sound dramatic. That’s OK. I probably would have agreed with you prior experiencing it firsthand.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write about 2009—about my infertility—for a long time. I should have written about the ordeal while it was happening. And I have a number of regrets for not doing so. But I was ashamed. I felt like a failure. I was broken. Writing about it meant having to publicly admit all of that. I was too ashamed (proud?) to do that. And I’m sorry about that. Because I think many of you could have helped me.

Anyway, now I know. So I plan on writing about my experience because it’s a huge part of who I am today. I’ve changed a great deal specifically because of my infertility. And I suffered silently and didn’t need to. I need to set that straight, come clean, and possibly help somebody else.

I wrote for a long time tonight and wanted to post my story, but I realized it needs more attention and so I’m going to wait. However, today is an anniversary, not necessarily a positive one, but an important one so I needed to write something. Consider this a promise and a space-holder.

And forgive me for my silence.

Notorious S.M.A.L.L.

If you stop paying attention, even for just a minute, you miss stuff like this. This wasn’t staged. He put the hat on. He ransacked my wallet.

What a weirdo. Babies are weird.

P.S. B.S.

My son is four. He’ll be attending kindergarten in the fall. That’s crazy and awesome and strange. It’s true what they say that time flies. I can’t believe he’ll be 5 in August.

In New York City, the public school thing is brutal. I am sure you’ve heard it all before, so I won’t bore you with the mundane and awful details. It’s a damn joke. I can’t believe the conversations I have had about my 4-year-old’s education. I also can’t believe the number of times I’ve gotten worked up over it, sent myself into an absolute frenzy.

He’s four. These kids are 4.

Just last week I had the following conversation with a mother on the playground.

Her: “Where is your oldest going in the fall?”

Me: “P.S. ____.”

Her: “We are going to P.S. ____. It’s the cool thing to do right now.”

She may have been joking. But she’s not wrong. Let me explain.

There’s a Yahoo Group set up for families living in my area. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that 85% of the moms I see every day visit this group. I know this because I am often asked, “Did you see what so-and-so wrote on the baby board?” And I always answer with, “I”m not on the baby board.” And so they fill me in on the details of whatever took place on the baby board.

Many local families are members of this baby board where all sorts of topics are discussed. I reckon most of it is very helpful. I’m not going to sit here and slam it. I’m sure it’s very, very helpful to some. But it’s also been very detrimental in the past. (A local personal trainer’s livelihood was nearly ruined thanks to one very bitter, resentful parent. My pediatrician said a number of parents are refusing vaccines and the board feeds directly into that.) Like with most forums on the Internet, there is a great deal of bitching and complaining, and then bitching and complaining about the bitching and complaining. Sometimes people get banned. It can be helpful. It can also be an absolute shitstorm. I know what happens because people tell me about it. (I assure you; I don’t even lurk. I’d rather go to the gynecologist or read comments on YouTube.)

Of course, schools have been discussed in great detail, scrutinized to the point of exhaustion. And mention the words “CHARTER SCHOOL” and you’d better run in the opposite direction. Fast.

Last year, a bunch of parents got together on the baby board and decided to take over a local school (we’ll call it P.S. Donut) known for being, at best, a so-so school. And so the word spread: “Send your kid to P.S. Donut!” And parents did! And it was nothing short of awesome. It was inspiring seeing a movement take place right before my eyes. Many of Em’s friends got accepted. Basically, every kid that was zoned for that school went to that school. We weren’t zoned. And although we tried to get in, we weren’t accepted. (We were rejected by all 6 of our requests, but that’s a story for another day.)

P.S. Donut was indeed being revitalized.

So, fast forward to January. News began to spread that one school was shutting down entirely. We’ll call that school P.S. Union Skirt. P.S. Union Skirt was performing so badly, the board of education said, “No more!” It was a notoriously bad school. So, they shut it down. But! Get this! They’re opening another school (let’s call it P.S. Dog and Pony) with a different number in the exact same location. This way, thanks to Bloomberg, they can fire up to 50% of the staff and hire new teachers. (This was what I was told by someone working for the NYC BoE. Don’t hold me to this number.)

But here’s the catch: P.S. Dog and Pony is still in the same zone it was before, which means ALL the same students from P.S. Union Skirt have first dibs on P.S. Dog and Pony. While there may be 50% new staff, the same kids are likely to attend that school. And if it lacked a sense of community before, what makes anyone think that will change? Also, won’t the families who attended P.S. Union Skirt for years feel resentment toward the families moving in?

I’m not sure. Only time will tell.

I mean, I get it. Things change. People can do whatever they wish when it comes to their children. It’s none of my business. But what gets me is that everyone got online again and, just like we saw with P.S. Donut, rallied together and suggested everyone move their kids to P.S. Dog and Pony. And nearly every person who rallied together to get their kids into the P.S. Donut a year ago are moving their children to P.S. Dog and Pony.

What’s next? And why should I believe any of them?

A few months ago, Toby and I entered into the mix and began looking at schools for Em. I shamefully got swept up in the frenzy. Back then, people were still rallying behind P.S. Donut. So we pushed to get Em into P.S. Donut. And he was accepted! And then I find out that many of those who’d rallied to get us all interested in that school are leaving for another.

In short: Screw that.

I do not feel comfortable following a group that is so easily swayed. Their word means nothing to me now, not that it should of in the first place. I should have made my own decision from the get-go. Shame on me, really.

So we went in the exact opposite direction and decided to send Em to a school known, among this particular group, as being too strict, military like, hard on the kids. I don’t agree. But that’s fine. (A little aside: we did not feel this school is any of the above. But if I blindly defend the school we chose, right now, given the fact he hasn’t yet attended, I will look like everyone I’m upset with. So I’ll withhold my comments. We are quite pleased with our choice. This school is a lot like every school I went to—every school everyone I know went to—growing up.)

Why is our generation like this? The school frenzy has become the new Thing. But it’s always going something. If it’s not breastfeeding vs. formula, it’s organic vs. non-organic. Why? Does this come from having TOO many choices? Is that possible? Would Brooklyn parents be acting this way if they lived nearly anywhere else in America where choices aren’t as plentiful? Is this some retaliative move against our parents’ generation? Or was it always like this and I was blind to what my mother and father were going through while I was growing up?

I can’t stand inane competition. I just want to cover my ears and scream, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” You know, speaking of kindergarten and all.

Updates On Random

I’m a terrible blogger and getting worse by the day. It’s been, what, a month since I last updated? Is this how things will finally end? Slowly, without realizing they’re going to? I’m sorry. I just don’t know what’s happening.

I never anticipated it ending this way. I always thought I’d get irritated by some other blogger (or whatever) and be done with it once and for all. Or a lurker would send me some hateful email, which has happened many times over the years, and I’d say, “This ain’t worth it! My skin isn’t thick enough!” and finally mean it. But like this? I never thought it’d end like this, like I’m backing out of the room slowly, hoping by the time I let the door close behind me, no one will be left to notice.

I just never thought it would slowly fizzle to nothing. And writing that down makes me feel a little blue.

So! Enough.

Here’s a picture of me after falling asleep with wet hair. Sexy.

Let’s see. I’ve been running. A lot. And then I got a little hurt. I did an 11 miler a week and a half ago and BAM! two days later the outside of my left foot hurt. I haven’t run on it since. I’m hoping that it will heal entirely by this Saturday’s race. This past weekend, things weren’t looking so good. But it’s better today and has been for over 48 hours. So I’m going to give it a shot. The worst that will happen is I’ll get out there, start running and find I’m still injured and can’t finish. But I have to try. I must. And I’m excited about it. I love DC. When I found out I hadn’t made the lottery for the NYC half, I jumped at the chance to do the Rock ‘n Roll half in Washington, DC.

We rented a hotel room right downtown. It has a pool AND a hot tub, which I’m sure I’ll be using assuming I finish the race. It’s also near the Air and Space Museum. And I can’t wait to take Emory. He’s going to love our nation’s capital. I am so excited for him. I’m excited to see my friends, and to run through the streets of a city that means a great deal to me.

What else? I’ve been baking. A lot. I have been baking cakes, muffins, galettes and eclairs (to name a few). And I plan on sharing some recipes, specifically the eclair recipe, because you would not believe how easy it is.

I’m practicing cake combinations for future wedding cakes. This has been oddly fun. The only downside is I’m eating too much of my work and therefore my waistline is expanding. All that weight I lost last fall is inching its way back. Not cool. I felt so awesome back then. So I’m doing Weight Watchers again. I am 10 pounds above my ideal weight and, no, it’s not much, but it’s so easy to slip up and have that rise to 15 and then 20. I don’t want that to happen again.

I’m rambling but at least I’m writing! Something. Anything. Filler? Oh god. No.

We moved! I love our new apartment building. It’s fantastic. We gave up our personal view, but we gained a super patio, a gym, a roof deck, a massive playroom which is often filled with kids. We have a nice kitchen and a bit more (definitely more useable) space. I’m happy here. And we’re right on the East River. So the views from outside (and the roof) are spectacular. I go to the gym during the day while Elliot naps. I wheel him down in the stroller and work out while he sleeps next to me. The view from the gym is of the entire skyline. It’s pretty great.

That’s all for now. I have a bunch of pictures I need to upload, pictures of the new place, all my cakes, the kids. And I’ll do that soon.

And I’m sorry I haven’t written much.

Murray and Elliot.

I know some of you are wondering how Murray is with my boys. He’s great with them because my boys are great with animals. Although, we are still working on asking Elliot to be gentle when he pets them. He’s not mean! He’s just a baby. Murray is unfazed by Elliot and his petting. The other two are a bit pensive.

I love that my kids like animals so much and got used to them from day one. Just yesterday Em asked if we could get 97 more cats, making it an even 100. But I kind of want to keep my husband, so… after much thought I had to tell him no.

Elliot is 11 months old! Hard to believe. He took his first steps a couple of weeks ago, but much prefers to crawl and/or do this strange knee walk I’m trying to get decent video of. I can’t say I have ever seen a baby do this knee walk before. More to come!

The First Board.

Em asked for three things this Christmas: “Spiderman stuff”, binoculars and a skateboard. I’m not sure what he has planned, exactly. I’m assuming it doesn’t entail dressing up like Spiderman, hitting the streets and peeping into windows. Not that I know anything about that. I prefer do my peeping from the comforts of our couch. But whatever his plans may be, he wants these three things. So these three things he shall have.

As of yesterday, I’d gotten all but one: the skateboard. You see, I’d been putting off the skateboard because of where I’d have to go to get the skateboard. Normally, I’d have just gone, thought nothing of it. But I’ve been going through something lately that has me acting strangely.

I wouldn’t call it a midlife crisis; I’m not thinking of joining a roller derby team. It’s that I’m aging faster these days, faster than I’ve ever aged before. I have a lot more wrinkles, wrinkles that weren’t there last year. I’m noticing grey hair, new aches and pains, my inability to do things I used to do. It’s becoming a minor obsession of mine, actually. I always have something to obsess over. Whether it be infertility, weight, pregnancy, or running, I have something. And, if all goes well and nothing truly tragic happens (please god, no) 2012 is going to be The Year Of Obsessing Over My Age.

I worry about everything now, from wrinkles to hair loss, from aches and pains to tumors and cancer. I was never a hypochondriac before. I never worried about my health even when I probably should have worried about my health. Now, suddenly, everything is bothering me. The fact that I used to smoke? Yeah, I’m dying. And that weird skin thing? That could be some “bad” cancer. Is this what it’s like getting older? Hypochondria, nasal strips and tiger balm?

Maybe this is due to my having two kids and being responsible for the both of them. And buying the 4-year-old a skateboard yesterday sure as shit ain’t helping. What if he gets hurt? He will get hurt! Of course he’ll get hurt! He’s an active little boy! They’ll both get hurt. They may even break a couple of bones. OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT DARK SPOT ON MY NECK?

Anyway, my new obsession with aging is manifesting itself in strange ways. At first I was becoming a little too concerned about fitting in—or not fitting in. I realized this only recently while at my externship. Most of my coworkers were right around 24-years-old. I’m not 24 anymore. I don’t want to be 24 ever again. I hadn’t even really thought about 24-year-old me until I started hanging out with 24-year-olds. And I think I needed that, to go back in time. In truth: at age 24, I sure as shit didn’t believe I was a kid. But I was. I know that now. Had you told me that then, I’d have wanted to punch you in the throat and then I’d have fallen from my barstool.

I was a kid. And I have no desire to be a kid again. But I enjoyed talking to my coworkers, and since I’m still not totally over-the-hill, I went back and forth between “friend” and “mother”. It’s not that I acted like their mother, at least I hope not. It’s that I started to think of my coworkers as my future sons. They became my educators, in a sense, glimpses into my future. What might my sons be doing one day? How hungover will they be on a Saturday morning at work? Will they still be drunk? Will one of them jump the turnstile in the subway and get arrested? Will they be doing drugs named “Molly”?

(I had a first skateboard once. My mom took me to get it when I was 13-years-old. I was just getting started, dipping my feet into my teenage years. There wasn’t a tomorrow. There definitely wasn’t any grey hair.)

Lately, I’ve been trying to remind myself of how cool I used to be, which is dorky on so many levels, I can’t even begin to describe them all. I might as well be the kid hanging from the tree by her underpants. Or the shitfaced aunt at a wedding who does the Electric Slide better than ALL the bridesmaids put together.

(This weekend, while at an event, a couple told me about a party they catered and how the people were trying to act like they were 24 again. But they weren’t 24! They were old! Like, 40!)

Perhaps it’s that I don’t want to let go of 24-year-old me. And there’s a part of me that wants people to know who I used to be and how cool I was, (or thought i was). I used to be able to drink all night, show up for work the next day without totally and completely wanting to kill myself because even that would be better than an adult hangover. And while I never did any drugs named “Molly”, I think made out with one under a table at Galapagos (before it moved to Dumbo).

But now? Now hangovers last two days. So I can’t do much in the way of drinking. And if I’m up past 10 PM, I get twitchy. I have wrinkles and grey hair. I’m getting older. That is a fact. And no one cares if I think I was once cool. None of that matters anymore.

So I strapped the baby to my chest and walked into our local skate shop to buy a board for my 4-year-old. The guy behind the counter could not have been any nicer. He helped me decide what to get and helped me pick out a helmet. And just as I was finishing up he said, “The first board is a big deal. You’re doing a really cool thing. My mom just sent me a picture of me on my first board. I was six. Make sure you take a picture of your kid on this board.”

What’s wrong with getting older anyway?