Even in the Quietest Moments

I don’t think about my mom very much anymore. When I do, it’s usually a fleeting thought because something or someone reminded me of her—and usually it’s not a pleasant experience. People talk a lot about triggers—words, phrases, sounds that bring them back to a time of trauma. For me, it’s people. People who exhibit behaviors, mannerisms, or characteristics that my mother had are like triggers for me. It makes me uncomfortable to be around those people and I usually avoid them as much as possible.

I digress.

One evening, a few days after we came home from the hospital with Jude, I was sitting with him on the couch when my daughter came downstairs.

“Mom, look,” she said. “We should give this to Jude.”

I looked at the item in her hand—a Beanie Baby-style tie-dyed bear. I recognized it instantly, though until that moment I had forgotten it existed. On the back of the bear, the logo for The Beatles is stitched and on the front:

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It was one of those moments in time where it feels like everything skips—like when you’re walking down the street and miss a step. Everything around you slows and your stomach drops until you can catch yourself and go about your life as usual.

Years ago, my daughter had found this bear amidst old belongings of mine, and had claimed it for her own. I hadn’t thought about it since. But looking at it then, I remembered the day I got it clearly. I was 16 years old, and my mother had bought it for me from Spencer’s in the mall. I was obsessed with The Beatles, just as she had been at that age, and it was one of the only things we’d ever come remotely close to bonding over through our entire life together. I am an atheist, and do not believe in the supernatural. I’m not entirely sure that I believe in concepts like kismet, or karma, either… But if there was such a thing as kismet, this was it, staring me in the face. It was like she had known, somehow, all those years ago, about my Jude.

I took the bear from my daughter and smiled.

“That’s so sweet, baby. I think it’s perfect for Jude.”


 

There have been other moments lately where she has crossed my mind. They usually come during quiet moments when I’m cuddling Jude. I’ve idly wondered what she would have thought of him—of her grandson. Even though it is a family name and not a direct homage to the Beatles song, I think she would have loved that his name is Jude.

I was holding him, rocking him back to sleep after he fussily woke up early from a nap. “Beautiful Boy” (John Lennon) was playing from my laptop and as I looked down at him, I began to cry. An overwhelming feeling of love for my boy rose up and washed over me. I stared down at his face, snuggled close to my chest and in that moment, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my own mother never felt for me what I feel for my children. It’s not the first time I’ve had that thought and over the years since her death I’ve come to accept it more, but this time it came at me completely uninvited and ugly and it made me cry. I know she tried to love me. She did the best she could. But it couldn’t have been the same as how I feel, otherwise, how could she have hurt me so?

I rocked Jude and held him close, kissing his face and assuring him that his mama loved him.

And his mama does. I love my children so much it scares me.


 

In the wee hours of the night when I’m up with my newborn son, when I feel frustrated because he’s taking a long time to eat and all I want is to go back to sleep, I feel sad that I do not have a mother that I can reach out to and commiserate with. There is no maternal voice on the other end of the line to whom I can ask, “What was this like for you? Did it make you cry? When I squeaked and grunted in my crib, did you peer over to make sure I could breathe? How much did I eat? What was life like when I was brand-new?”

There is no mother who can tell me these things. Even if she were still alive, my mother was institutionalized for the first few weeks (maybe months?) of my life. She wouldn’t know even if I did ask her.


 

These are the times I think of her. They come randomly, and are usually accompanied by feelings of profound loss and sadness. I’m a mother with no mother of her own, and that is a very hard thing to be.

 

Beautiful Boy (Jude’s Birth Story)

For the last 1-2 months of my pregnancy, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t make it to my due date. My certainty of this only grew toward the end. My company gave us Friday and Monday off for Labor Day, and as I left work on Thursday afternoon I tidied up my desk a bit and took several things home with me—just in case.

The beginning of the long weekend was uneventful. I had lunch with my husband, had an ice cream date with my girl, and rested a lot. Over night on Friday and into the morning on Saturday, I began having contractions. They weren’t anything major, but they were still contractions and were fairly regular. At 36 weeks pregnant, I tested positive for Group B Strep and my midwife told me that meant I needed to come in once my contractions were regular so I could get plenty of antibiotics during labor.

When my contractions reached about 5 minutes apart on Saturday morning, we collected our bags, took our daughter to her grandparents’, and headed to the hospital. My contractions continued, but didn’t worsen.

They checked us into labor & delivery triage. There, the nurse checked me for dilation—I was 1 1/2 centimeters, but effacement wasn’t good. We stayed for an hour so they could monitor contractions, and after that hour she checked me again. No progress. We were sent home, feeling very silly and discouraged. My contractions calmed down & eventually stopped.

We had already told our daughter that she would probably be spending the night with her grandparents, so we asked them if they would just keep her that day and overnight so we could relax just in case it wasn’t false labor. They agreed, and my husband & I got the day all to ourselves. We napped, we had dinner, we watched movies… We missed our girl, but the time we got to spend together was rare and wonderful.

The next morning, we retrieved our daughter and headed home. We spent early Sunday just chilling out at home. Later we went to the park, and then the zoo. I secretly hoped that all the walking would trigger some real labor contractions, but didn’t get my hopes up too much. I rode the little zoo train with Nellie and we walked around some. After we got home we all just relaxed and didn’t do much of anything.

After we got Nellie to bed for the evening, Josh and I stayed up watching movies. I was sitting on my yoga ball while we were watching “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” when I began feeling slightly crampy. Throughout the entire movie, the cramps came and went—nothing regular. I went to the restroom a few times and noticed each time there was bloody discharge, and I wondered if I was slowly losing some of my mucous plug. After the false labor the day before, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I didn’t think much of it. But the further we got into the movie, the more regular the cramps became. These were definitely different than the ones I had felt the day before, but I was still hesitant. Once the movie ended, we headed upstairs to bed when things started getting more regular and painful. I began timing my contractions, noticed that they were coming between 4-7 minutes apart, and I was having a hard time talking through them. Our daughter had been asleep for a while at this point, and we didn’t want to drag her out of bed and to the grandparents’ for another false alarm, so we just waited for a while. A little after 11:00, I finally threw in the towel and said we should probably go. We dropped Nellie off, and were on our way back to the hospital.

The contractions kept on, steady and strong. I breathed through each one without a big problem, but I definitely had a hard time talking or focusing on anything but breathing. Once we got to L&D triage again, we were put through the same thing: Cervical check, monitor, wait an hour. When they checked me around midnight, I was still at 1 1/2 centimeters but had thinned out—I was disappointed. Things weren’t looking good for staying. During the hour of monitoring, my contractions continued and got a little stronger. When the nurse came back around 1 AM, she checked my cervix and to everyone’s shock, I was 5 centimeters dilated! If I hadn’t been in a bed, I would have hit the floor. Josh & I exchanged excited looks, and the nurse went off to call my midwife. Due to my Group B Strep status, I needed to get antibiotics in immediately so we were shown a room and everything got started!

I had my mind set on a med-free birth this time around, and luckily the nurses and my midwife were completely supportive of that. I had to be hooked up to the IV for an hour for the first round of antibiotics, but after that they cut me loose and agreed to intermittent fetal monitoring. On the monitor for 20 minutes, off for 40. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I didn’t get the chance to get up & walk around at all with Nellie, and being able to do so made all the difference in the world. Once I was off the IV, I was able to walk the halls, labor on a ball, squat, and move in ways that made working through the growing contractions easier. Once my midwife arrived, she suggested leaning over the bed and having Josh apply counter-pressure to my lower back to relieve some of the pain I was feeling. That ended up being the best thing, and I spent most of my laboring swaying and wandering around the room between contractions and moving to the bed to bend over while I breathed through each one. The 20-minute spans where I was stuck to the bed for monitoring were the worst! I began feeling fatigued, and started wondering aloud if I should have an epidural so I could rest. I had been up since 6 that morning, and knew that there was still a ways to go. Josh said he supported whatever I needed to do, but reassured me that he knew I could go all the way med-free. Through my entire labor, he was there—he didn’t even leave my side to go to the bathroom once. His hand was my anchor while the waves of contractions came; he was there to lean on and to apply the pressure to my back through each and every one. I never would have made it without him.

Around 5 AM (or close to it), they checked me again and I was at 8 centimeters—but Jude was still pretty high. They discovered that my water was still intact and was actually blocking him from coming down, so the nurse suggested the midwife break it. She said that would really get things rolling and would allow him to come down. After hearing that I was only 2 centimeters away from being fully dilated, I looked at my husband and said, “I can do this.” She broke my water, and I asked Josh to start up the playlist I had made for Jude’s big day to help me focus. I had hand-chosen each song on the list, and it was a mixture of songs that made me think of him—songs like “Beautiful Boy” and “Hey Jude” (of course), and also songs that got me through my half-marathons and kept me motivated and focused through the whole 13.1 miles. The music worked like a charm and helped me focus.

After my water was broken, things got real. Like, really, REALLY real. The contractions that started coming made all the ones before it feel like bug bites—these were intense, hard, long, painful contractions and breathing through them became more difficult. I managed, but I could feel my resolve slipping. Through it all, all I heard from anyone (both Josh AND the nurses) was how I could do it. I took each contraction one at a time, and tried to just succumb and lose myself in the pain thinking thoughts like, “This doesn’t matter. This doesn’t count. Pain isn’t real.” I also tried to embrace the pain as something that was needed to bring my boy into the world. During the songs I’d listen to while running, I visualized each contraction as just one more mile—I can handle one more mile, I’d tell myself.

After a while I was checked again, and my cervix was still at a stubborn 8 centimeters. The nurse suggested that I roll onto my side for a while to try and bring the baby down—she said that doing this almost always encouraged them downward and that by the time we were done with this, I would almost definitely be at 10 and we could start prepping to push. I did as she said, and the pain became the most intense pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Each contraction was worst than the last. I felt it through my entire body, and it felt like someone was slowly tearing my lower back apart—inch by inch. The pain and the pressure became too much and instead of just breathing through the contractions, I began humming, moaning, and making various noises. As we worked through each one in that position, I felt the control I once had over the pain slip. I began to sob and cry out; it was the absolute worst thing I’ve ever felt in my entire life.

After what seemed like forever, they rolled me back over and checked me again.

I was still only 8 centimeters (“A stretchy 8, I can stretch to 9 if I try,” the midwife said.). I started sobbing again, because the pain had become so intense I began to feel desperate and afraid. “I can’t do this,” I said over and over. They reassured me I could. They suggested I roll to the other side to try and bring him down and I adamantly said no. I cried that I should have gotten an epidural, and the nurse said I still could, if I really wanted to. I emphatically said yes, please, I can’t do it anymore. I cannot do that again. They called the anesthesiologist and bless her, she came quickly and we were able to get the epidural in after about 3 more horrible contractions. After the epidural was in, my relief was palpable and I relaxed back into the bed. I wasn’t even a little disappointed; I had worked my ass off and had gotten incredibly far, but I had no desire to feel those horrible contractions again.

With the epidural in, I was able to rest for about 30 minutes before my next cervical check. Once they checked, I was met with a smile and told it was time to begin pushing. I looked excitedly up at my husband—we were going to meet our little boy soon! The nurse talked me through how I was going to push—some hard pushes, some half-pushes, to try and avoid tearing. She told me the midwife would coach me through, and tell me what I needed to do and when.

Soon everything was in place, and they got me into position. I pushed a few times, and everything was going great. Jude was face-down (unlike his sister), and things were moving beautifully. My midwife asked if I wanted a mirror so I could see what my pushing was doing (since I couldn’t feel it) and I said yes. They brought the mirror around, and after pushing about 3 times through 3 sets of contractions, on September 5th at 10:09 AM, I was able to see my tiny guy come into the world.

As they pulled him from me, he let out a huge cry—which we were hoping he would not do, as there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. It wasn’t a huge deal, but after Josh cut the cord they whisked him away to get suctioned out as best they could. Once they had done that, they placed him on my chest for skin-to-skin—this is something that they did not do with Nellie. I was able to cuddle and snuggle my guy and attempt to nurse while the midwife delivered my placenta and worked on stitching up the tear I ended up with despite the gradual pushing.

I stared down at that boy and held him close, in absolute awe at how different my experience was this time than with his sister. With his sister I felt like I had no say in my birth experience; like everything I originally wanted didn’t matter and the doctor just did what she thought was best through the whole thing. I didn’t get to move around. I was hooked to the IV the entire time. I wasn’t encouraged to get off the bed to labor. I didn’t get to hold her until she had already been cleaned & swaddled. I didn’t get to try and nurse her within moments of her birth.

The pain medication I chose with Nellie clouded my whole labor and the moments after, but I remember everything with Jude. I didn’t make it 100% med-free with him, but I feel like I got the best of both worlds and don’t regret the decision to have the last-minute epidural for a second.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a birth team that supports your goals, especially if it’s your desire to go med-free. It’s absolutely essential that everyone involved in getting you to the finish line supports you and lifts you up. Like I said earlier, I never would have made it as far as I did without the support of my husband. He was amazing and did not leave my side for a single moment—he didn’t make any phone calls to alert family, he didn’t go to the bathroom, he stood by me and supported me the entire time. The nurses we had were also supportive, and I cannot sing the praises of my midwife enough. The whole experience was so much more positive and calm than the last time.

Jude is already almost a week old now. The last week has been a beautiful haze of getting to know our little guy. Josh has been off the entire week (also something that didn’t happen after Nellie was born), and has to go back to work tomorrow. I know that adjusting to life with 2 is going to have its ups and downs, but luckily Nellie is old enough to have a lot of independence and that helps immensely. She’s getting used to her role as big sister, and is slowly beginning to accept that the little guy is here to stay! The change from 1 child to 2 has been way smoother than the change from 0 children to 1—but more about that later. Here are some photos from my new little family of 4.

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Hey, Jude.

It’s been two years since I wrote in this blog, and in that two years, a lot has happened. Remember that book I said I was writing in my last post? Er, well. That never panned out. Life got in the way, as it tends to do.

Here are just a few of the things that have happened since last I blogged:

  • My daughter started kindergarten… And then 1st grade
  • I got promoted at work
  • I became addicted to running, logging countless miles and putting 4 half marathons under my belt
  • We got a 2nd car

Oh, and also, I got pregnant with our 2nd child.

On January 8th—one day before my birthday—I found out that I was pregnant after trying for 2 years. I had started to think it just wasn’t going to happen for us. And then it did.

My first trimester was terrible. I spotted on and off for two weeks and was convinced I was going to lose this baby. Beginning at 5 weeks, I threw up every day, multiple times a day, until I snagged some Diclegis (which did not exist during my pregnancy with Nellie) at 9 weeks and began feeling better. And while the vomiting and spotting subsided, the fatigue, brain fog, and general sense of self-consciousness and uselessness did not.

My second trimester was better. I was able to keep walking, my energy levels were good, and we found out that our baby is a boy. Jude. My best friend threw us a sex reveal party—it was Game of Thrones-themed and it was fantastic. I beat a dragon piñata to reveal the blue candy that told me the baby inside me was a Jude, not an Adeline.

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My third trimester has been challenging. The brain fog has continued, and my once-sharp and efficient self has turned into someone who can barely remember what she had for breakfast, let alone do her job as needed at work. I’ve had serious self-doubts about my abilities at my job, and have cried in the bathroom more times than I like to admit. I worry constantly that I’m letting the entire team that I’m a part of down. I’ve never felt so insecure and down on myself as an employee as I have these last 8 months. It’s a feeling that I do not like at all.

I’m currently 38 weeks pregnant (okay, that’s not the total truth. I’ll be 38 weeks on Friday), and am incredibly grateful for this experience—but I’m also incredibly ready to meet my son. (“My son.” I’m still not used to that.) My pelvis hurts. My hips hurt. I am exhausted and cannot sleep at night. I am a weepy, insecure mess. I’m trying to enjoy the parts of this pregnancy that I can (kicks, wiggles, hiccups), because this is most likely our last child.

I’m not sure what compelled me to write here, other than I have not written anything in a very long time. I guess it was the fact that this blog contains nearly a decade of experiences and milestones. It just felt like the right place to jot my thoughts down as I near the end of this pregnancy.

I don’t know when I’ll write here again. It will almost definitely be after Jude is born. After I become a mom of 2.

Whoa.

Me & Jude, 37 weeks.

Me & Jude, 37 weeks.

 

 

 

Writing

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She blogged – a lot.

And then she decided to take her lifelong love of writing a step further.

So she decided to write a book.

She hated saying the words, “I’m writing a book,” because they sounded pretentious. Fake. Ridiculous. Who actually writes a book?

Then she realized that she had a story to tell.

And so, she started writing a book. A book. Holy shit.

I am writing a book.

Direction

Well, I’m fairly certain that this is the longest lapse in posts that this blog has ever seen. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say; on the contrary, I have a lot to say. I’m just busy. It’s nice to say that I have too much to write about and not enough time. I freelance for two sources now, and am also doing a fair amount of web/marketing/copy writing for my regular 9-5 job. My creativity and writing skills have been challenged more in the last year than ever before. I love it, but it leaves my writing here as a low priority in the grand scheme of things.

It’s strange, when you become detached from your blog. It’s almost like the end of a relationship. For six years I’ve poured my heart and soul into the “pages” of this blog. It’s seen me through the darkest times: through dealing with my miscarriage to the death of my mother. This blog has been with me since before my daughter was even conceived and yet, I find myself shrugging my shoulders at it because it’s just not my priority anymore.

So what is going on in my life? Work, writing, not as much running as I’d like; and life in general. Nothing newsworthy, nothing earth-shattering. I finally feel like I am coming into my own as a writer. I feel like I have a voice. I’ve found my platform, I am being heard, and that feeling is hard to beat. I actually just found myself smiling while writing that.

I’ve become a little disenchanted with blogging. I’m tired of the “mom blogger” scene; the egos and the politics finally became a little too much for me. I don’t read many blogs anymore and obviously I don’t blog myself much anymore. I got away from the reason I started blogging, and that was as an outlet and a place to write when I felt like the thoughts in my head would fill up so much they’d make my head explode if I didn’t get some of them out. I tried to create share-worthy posts, clickable content, Pinnable posts, blah blah blah. My column with Nooga.com has given me the direction and recognition I’ve been seeking all these years.

So anyway, all of this is to not necessarily say “I quit!”, because that’s dramatic and stupid. All of this is really just me writing here as I used to. A journal, a diary, a way of putting down my aimless thoughts… Just an outlet.

Run For Your Lives Recap

I first wrote about Run For Your Lives back in January when I made it part of my list of things to do before my twenties expire and my thirties begin. Well, Saturday was race day! I woke up that morning feeling horribly unprepared. I was certain that I hadn’t trained enough and that I was doomed. I convinced my friend Brynn to come with me and she was also pretty sure that she was zombie bait.

We set out early, as the race location was about an hour from where we live. Even though I was nervous, I was also excited and ready to outrun some undead!

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Okay, I was like mostly excited and some nervous. Or maybe it was reversed. Whatever.

We got to the race location (out in like Boonies, Georgia, where I was half-convinced that someone was just gonna straight up Texas Chainsaw our asses) and got everything settled registration-wise. We had about an hour to kill so we wandered around, checked out the events of the all-day Apocalypse Party and limbered up (which happens to be rule #18 of Zombieland).

We ran in the Noon wave and guys, it was intense. It was more intense than I imagined it would be. The first wave of zombies were ruthless and right off the bat I got two flags taken. I did encounter some neighborly zombies (we are in the South after all) who gave me two flags back so I would have a fighting chance the rest of the race. I don’t know how other RFYL courses are, but in Georgia, there was at least a quarter of a mile (maybe more) that was all uphill. On the way up and the way back down there were no zombies, which was good because I’m fairly certain that if I had run down that steep hill I would have fallen and killed myself.

I did fall, actually, really hard. I was crossing a ditch filled with rocks (I assume during rainy days it is filled with water) and a zombie came up from behind me and scared me so bad that I screamed, ran, lost my footing and just fell knees-first right into the pile of rocks. I banged my knee up and scraped my leg. A medic was nearby and made sure that I was okay, but I didn’t come almost two miles just to give up so I solidered on.

I had to skip some of the crawling obstacles, but I did dive into the vat of cold, muddy “blood” water, scaled walls, and sprinted through outstretched zombie arms faster than I thought my body was capable of. At the last stretch, I had one flag left. After I crawled out of the vat of cold blood, I was faced with a field full of what had to have been at LEAST thirty zombies, just waiting to snatch my flag. Brynn and I decided to try and stick with a big group and we all just took off running across the field together. I sprinted as fast as I could and avoided all zombies. Suddenly I was five feet from the finish – the end was in sight! I was going to survive! But then, two zombies came after me. I did the #1 thing that I now know not to do: I hesitated. The moment’s hesitation is all it took and I was surrounded. A zombie to the left, a zombie to the right. One of them started grabbing at my flag and I was yelling, “NO NO NO NO!” while twisting and trying to get away. But she was faster and snatched my last flag – RIGHT AT THE FINISH LINE! I was so mad.

The finish line was one more obstacle; a belly-crawl under electrified fence through the mud. At this point I was wet, bloody, in pain, and “infected” but there was only one way out and that was under the fence. I slithered through the mud and a friend we’d made during the race was on the other side. She grabbed my hands and helped pull me through the rest of the way.

Even though I finished infected, I finished! I was bummed that my hurt knee forced me to skip some of the obstacles, but I still felt so exhilarated and thrilled to have finished something that was so difficult. And y’all, it was SO HARD. It was fun, it was terrifying, and it was really challenging. I went into the race afraid that my body wasn’t ready for the challenge and finished the race amazed at what my body was capable of. I wasn’t tired, I didn’t feel like collapsing and dying and the only complaint I had was that my leg was throbbing from where I fell.

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Me on the left, Brynn on the right.

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Infected and FILTHY.

We stuck around and enjoyed a free beer and some of the Apocalypse Party. I got called onstage for a zombie movie trivia game where another girl and I faced off against two guys. My head is jam-packed with useless movie trivia and that helped my team win! I won a RFYL beer mug, which was put to good use that evening as I enjoyed some well-earned brews.

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Run For Your Lives was every bit as fun as I had hoped it would be. I’m really proud of myself for finishing, and I honestly cannot wait to do it again. It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had and if you have the chance to do one, I would highly recommend it (use my special discount code ZPTD10 to get 15% off your registration). Check out this video below, it’s coverage from the race I ran in and gives a good look at what the 2013 Georgia race was like – plus it shows how the RFYL team transforms people into the walking dead!

Thanks for the awesome time, RFYL. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

Disclosure: As a RFYL ambassador, I got some sweet RFYL swag and gear. I also got two free race registrations, which I used to run the race in Georgia. All opinions are my own, and I really did love running this 5k and plan on doing it again next year.

Oh, here I am!

Well hi there! It’s been a long time since I blogged, but I have a good reason. I’ve been working on a new side writing gig – one that I’m very excited about! I have begun to write a bi-weekly column for a local e-news/lifestyle/entertainment website, Nooga.com. The column is called (Im)perfect Parenting, and I’ve been working hard to find my stride in writing new material for the columns. It’s proven pretty challenging; I can’t drop f-bombs there like I can here so shifting my writing style while still keeping my voice has been challenging but in a really awesome and fun way.

So what’s been new? I’m still working out and am down 21 pounds. I’m still running outside 3x a week, having re-started Couch to 5k outside. The stupid floody rain that’s been plaguing Chattanooga for the past week drove me inside today and I had to run on the treadmill for the fist time in a month. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The last time I ran on the treadmill I barely made it running one mile. Imagine my surprise to find that I was able to run two full miles! I really took for granted how much more physically demanding running outside was, ESPECIALLY here in Chattanooga where flat surfaces are few and far between. Yay for progress!

We are getting ready to take a road trip up North to see my family. My brother is getting married in a little under four weeks so Memorial Day weekend, the three of us will be piling into the car and driving 12+ hours. Hold me? I’m not sure what to expect because I’ve only ever flown with Nellie before. Any advice for long car trips with a 3 year old are welcome.

What else? I am slightly obsessed with the show Girls and finished both seasons in like a week. I know people hate Lena Dunham (seriously. Google “I hate Lena Dunham”) but I like her. And I like the show. And I like you! And I also like beer.

Have you been watching Game of Thrones? How badass is Danaerys Targaryan?! If you don’t watch GoT, what the hell is wrong with you?

I don’t have much else to say. I’m going to do my best and keep updating here frequently but I’m investing a lot of energy into the column. If you are so inclined, swing by Nooga.com every other Tuesday and check it out!

I will leave you with this Bad Lip Reading video of The Walking Dead.

 

 

Running, Concerts, SPRINGTIMES.

Why, hello there! Long time no… Er… Read…? Type? Blog.

I feel awkward now.

Anyway. Nothing too exciting here, just a rundown of some things that have been going on in my life. The first and biggest is that I re-started Couch to 5k after having some major issues running outside versus a treadmill. I had my fourth run today. The first three were really difficult. I was having some major IT band pain, shin splints (which I haven’t had since about week 3 of C25k the first time), side stitches, etc.

I’m not sure about where you live but where I live there are almost no roads/trails/paths that don’t have some kind of incline. It is very hilly here, and my body was just not prepared for that. At all. I about died the first time I tried to full-on run and that’s what made me decide to re-start C25k.

Today was the first time I didn’t have any pain when running. Yay! I was concerned and tried to rest appropriately while not totally losing my motivation. After today’s run I can safely say I’m back in love with running – even more now that I’ve taken it outdoors. It’s so much more challenging and interesting to run outside and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to get back on a treadmill unless I absolutely have to.

I hit my second major weight loss milestone: this weekend I weighed in and I have officially lost 20 pounds. WHEE SIRENS BELLS WHISTLES CLOWNS – wait nevermind. Fuck clowns. THERAPY LLAMAS INSTEAD. 20 pounds is HUGE but it’s only the beginning. I have least 20 more to lose – ideally, I’d like to lose another 30.

Last week, Josh and I had a genuine, bonafide adult date night. ….. Not in that sense, you sicko. Jesus. Seriously? Take your smutty mind elsewhere. This is a FAMILY BLOG. I mean we got to go out to eat (we chose local friend-favorite Taco Mamacita. I loved it, Josh did not.) AND to a concert. After dinner, we headed to Track 29 to check out Marc Broussard.

If you are unfamiliar with Marc’s music, here is perhaps his most popular song, and he did play it the night we saw him.

It was a great show. The opening act was good, Marc was awesome, I drank a little too much but we had a hell of a time. While we were leaving I kept insisting that we come back in June to see the Dropkick Murphys, but Josh kept insisting that I couldn’t handle the mosh pit that would probably end up happening. I totally could. Mosh pits forever.

So that’s what has been going on lately! It’s been a good few weeks especially since the weather has finally warmed up here!

What’s new with you?

 

 

I Will Unfollow You on Instagram.

Fresh on the heels of my “I Will Unfriend you on Facebook” post, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and was inspired to write yet another stabby ranty FULL OF RAGE post about how to get unfollowed on Instagram.

Instagram is an interesting social media platform. It’s where you can go to feel better about the photos you take, thanks to the handy filters they let you apply to the photos. Does that selfie you just took of yourself make it look like you haven’t slept in a week (because you have children and YOU HAVEN’T SLEPT IN A WEEK?) no worries – Earlybird is here to the rescue. Do you need to make that beer bottle look extra cool and edgy? Slap a little Lo-Fi on it and you’re good to go.

Anyway, Instagram is awesome but there are those out there who just don’t seem to get it. Here are the easiest ways to get yourself ditched from my feed forever.

Be a Selfie Whore. I get it. You like your face. And your hair. And your makeup. And taking shots of half your face to show your inner angst, or what the fuck ever. If 75% of your Instagram photos are OF YOUR FACE, I will fucking unfollow you. I KNOW what you look like by now, because every third picture I scroll past IS OF YOU. Post a picture of that cool building you saw on your walk, that angry duck you thought about feeding but didn’t for fear of your life, or a cute shot of your kid running from the duck as it got angry at the lack of bread – but for fuck’s sake, don’t post four pictures of you before, during, and after said walk. UNFOLLOW.

Spam My Feed. I follow about 200 people on Instagram but sometimes, you wouldn’t know it, because there are a few folks who will post about ten photos IN A ROW. Photo 1: selfie. Photo 2: selfie, different angle. Photo 3: daughter. Photo 4: daughter, different angle, duck face (DIE), and peace sign fingers. Photo 5: screencap of text with best friend. Photo 6: blurry Facetime screencap with daughter with duckface (DIE) and peace sign fingers. ONE RIGHT AFTER THE OTHER. OH, MY, GOD. SERIOUSLY. STOP WITH THE PHOTOS! This is NOT what Instagram is for! Give other people the chance to post pictures on my feed for crying out loud. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT MY FRIENDS ARE EATING, AND YOUR DUCKFACES ARE CLOGGING EVERYTHING UP. UNFOLLOW.

Post Photos You Didn’t Take. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Instagram for sharing photos that you took with your own camera? I don’t need to see that meme of Grumpy Cate with the Mayfair filter applied to it. HE’S STILL GRUMPY. If you want to share memes, use Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Pinterest. NOT INSTAGRAM. Instagram is for posting photos and then feeling absolutely horrible about yourself & your creative abilities if you get less than 15 likes. UNFOLLOW.

Make Your Life Seem Like You Eat Rainbows for Breakfast and Have a Pet Unicorn that Gives You Unlimited Luck and Fortune. I am all for positivity. I love happy pictures, cute kids, running puppies, and all that jazz. But if every single one of your photos is cutesy and saccharine and accompanied by “LUV THIS KID” or “SO BLESSED!” captions to the point where it makes me want to vomit uncontrollably into a plastic bag, UNFOLLOW. No one’s life is that perfect and happy – NO ONE. Not saying you have to air dirty laundry in public, gripe about your life, or anything like that but come on. Show me something real. Not something fake because you’re afraid of being judged for having like, three glasses of wine after your 3 year old dumps shampoo on your EVERYTHING. No judgments here – I am drinking a glass of wine right now.  UNFOLLOW.

Post Nothing But Pictures of Your Child/Dog/Cat/Hair/Necklaces/Feet/Eyeballs. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE. Do you want to eat plain oatmeal every day? NO YOU FUCKING DON’T. Neither do I. Throw some cinnamon in that oatmeal and by oatmeal, I mean your Instagram feed. Take a photo of that cool ass flower you saw! Snap a picture of your froyo. Catch your kid on camera doing something cute. But for the love of God, stop posting the same shit over and over again. No one cares that much about your shoes or eyeballs except for you. I don’t follow you so I can look at picture after picture of your necklaces and feet. I follow you because I’m a fucking crazy person who likes to look into the lives of other people and so far, your life is your cat, a necklace, an eyeball and YOUR GODDAMN TOES. You are the most boring person to stalk ever and I’m going to go hide in someone else’s bushes now.

Post Phots of Gross Things. I will unfollow you on Instagram if you post pictures of: Dead pets. Chicken feet. Open wounds. Infected shit. Animal tongues that you’re planning on eating. Your teeth. Your toenails (unless they’re painted and cute). Dog slobber. A closeup of your sweaty-ass face. Spiders of ANY KIND.
SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE. ALL OF THAT SHIT IS GROSS. Instagram your food AFTER it’s cooked. Take pictures of your pets WHILE THEY ARE STILL BREATHING. I don’t need to see that time you chopped your damn finger off and had to get eleventy million stitches. And your teeth? I HAVE TEETH. THEY LIVE IN MY HEAD,  AND THAT MEANS I  DON’T NEED TO SEE YOURS.
By the way, all of the items mentioned above are actual photos I have seen in my Instagram feed. UNFOLLOW.

Do you have an Instagram? What are your biggest pet peeves?

I Will Unfriend You on Facebook.

A DISCLAIMER:  This post is going to be snarky and ranty. SO if you have come looking for sunshine and rainbows and skittle milkshakes, what the fuck are you doing here? Have you ever READ my blog before? Go on Pinterest and look at some cats playing with yarn or some shit. Also – skittle milkshakes? Really? That’s disgusting.

Still here? Okay, good. This post is about things that will get you unfriended by me on Facebook. Now I KNOW that Facebook posts are a two-way street. I know that not everything I post is a favorite of every single person I am friends with. I know that people probably get tired of me posting about my runs, Barack Obama, vodka, and Downton Abbey. That’s fine. If they don’t like it, THEY can unfriend ME. I don’t give a damn. So before you go getting all “I CAN POST WHAT I WANT ON MAH FACEBOOK WALL IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT DON’T LOOK”, I am just saying: if you would like to remain my friend on Facebook, refrain from doing any of the following things:

Post Animal Abuse Pictures. HOLY FUCK, Y’ALL. If I see one more damn picture of an emaciated dog, or sobbing cat, or guinea pig with half a body and the rest of its body attached to some kind of tiny guinea pig wheelchair (… actually that might be kind of awesome. That’s like the Professor Xavier of guinea pigs) I’m going to scream. And then drive to the house of the person who posted the picture of Scruffy the Ribcage Dog and scream obscenities at them. And then I will unfriend them. Because seriously, folks. I know animals get abused. It sucks. It makes me sad. But for crying out loud: I DON’T NEED TO SEE THAT SHIT. And I know that some activists would argue, “But you don’t really GET IT, man, unless you see it”. WRONG. I get it. AND I STILL DON’T NEED TO SEE THAT SHIT. Post all you want about your Schmoopsy Poo cat, or that lost dog in Texas – that’s fine. But stop it with the abuse pictures. Really.

Repeatedly Post Memes/Images that Are Grammatically Incorrect or Have Ridiculous Misspellings. I don’t care how much I agree with something. There could be a meme going around that is a picture of gay men getting married while riding unicorns to Barack Obama’s house and then Mumford & Sons is in the background playing the new husband & husband a song. If it’s got big blocky letters on it that says: “CELEBRATE THERE MARRIAGE” I will fucking scream and throw something across the room. And NOT SHARE THAT AWESOME PICTURE. So if you repeatedly share pictures with stupid spelling errors on them, UNFRIEND. Bad grammar makes me hurt in the brain.

Excessive Amounts of Republican Propaganda. I have Republican friends. Really, I do.  I get that not everyone sees eye-to-eye. But I am a Liberal. My heart gets more and more bloody the older I get. I believe in equality for all, help for those who need it, that everyone should pay their fair share, and in affordable health care. If someone consistently posts sentiments that vehemently oppose everything I believe in, I will unfriend. And you know what? I completely understand if someone wants to do that to me. Really.

Passive-Aggressive/Vague/Constantly Negative/Partner-Bashing Posts. “Feeling so sad and depressed right now but I don’t want to talk about it so don’t ask”.
Really? REALLY. Okay, seriously. Why do people do this? I understand wanting to reach out for help, I understand feeling sad and lonely. But if you don’t want to talk about it… DON’T TALK ABOUT IT. The passive-aggressive and vague posts drive me insane.The negative ones are another one. And before you think I’m heartless, I am obviously not referring to times of tragedy and hardships. But if every other post is griping about how awful your day was, how much your life sucks, how hard you’ve got it… Come on. Post a rainbow once in a while. And the partner-bashing? That is some high school shit. Please don’t air your dirty laundry and bash your significant other on FACEBOOK. Wait until they come home and scream in their face like a normal person. Stop putting it out there for all of your friends to see. We are not 16 years old, y’all. Unless you are 16. And then, you still shouldn’t do that. It’s not nice. GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Posting Spoilers. Listen, y’all. I love TV Shows and movies. And I love to be surprised by the twists and turns that the plots throw my way. I deliberately DON’T TRY AND FIGURE SHIT OUT because I want to be surprised. So when I log on to Facebook early in the morning and one of the first things I see in my feed is a big, fat, Downton Abbey spoiler? I KIND OF WANT TO MURDER YOU IN YOUR FACE. I understand that season 3 is over and has been for a few weeks, but there are some of us without cable. Some of us can only watch it via Amazon. This one, as shallow as it may seem, is the FASTEST way for me to unfriend you. Because if you will post one spoiler, you will post more.

Okay so now my rant is over and you all probably think I’m a crazy and irritable bitch, but in case you don’t, what are the quickest ways to get you to unfriend someone on Facebook?