Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's All Right to Cry

One of the possible side effects of Ava's anti-seizure medicine is depression. Usually she is regular silly-billy Ava, but there are times she sucks her thumb and lays on the couch with tears streaming down her face. She will say "Mom I don't know why I feel sad, but I feel like I need to cry. Why am I sad?" and it's heart-wrenching. I'm not sure if it's an acceptable necessary evil...I'll bring it up to the neurologist at our April appointment.

After we went on a treasure hunt walk today (we found some cool rocks, leaves, feathers--yes I know they're gross--and a piece of a key ring) I started to get dinner ready. Ava came in, thumb in mouth, in tears. "I don't know why I'm sad" she sobbed into my legs. I picked her up and brought her to the couch. "Just let yourself cry and I'll hold you." Trying not to cry myself I focused on Eliza who was sorting out the treasures from our hunt. She asked me why Ava was crying. "Well, the medicine she takes for seizures can make her feel like she needs to cry sometimes." Eliza sat next to me and rubbed Ava's back. "Hey Ava, want me to sing for you?" Ava didn't look up "No fanks." Eliza thought for a minute and then perked up "Wait!! I know...hey Ava, want me to read to you? A poem?" Ava sat up and nodded. When Eliza returned with her "Free to Be You and Me" book I knew which poem she was going to read. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness that I stopped trying to hold back tears...afterall...its' all right to cry..

"It's All Right To Cry"
by Carol Hall

It's all right to cry
Crying gets the sad out of you.
It's all right to cry
It might make you feel better.

Raindrops from your eyes
washing all the mad out of you.
Raindrops from your eyes
It might make you feel better.

It's all right to feel things
though the feeling may be strange.
Feelings are such real things
and they change and change
and change...
sad and grumpy,
down in the dumpy
snuggly, huggly,
mean and ugly
sloppy slappy,
hoppy happy
change and change and change...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm a big kid now!!

This past fall I had one of "those" days. You know...the kind we all have. My husband was out of town (where else) and the kids were on every last nerve and into everything. While I was putting out one fire they started, they managed to find a box of "magic wands" under the bathroom sink. They also discovered that if you took the magic wands out of their wrapper and plastic applicator and put them in the toilet they started to look like Jellyfish!!! How cool!! Except, later that night...after the kids had gone to bed, my friend came to visit me and I had NO magic wands. Did I wake up the kids and run out to CVS? Nope. Did I run out to CVS and leave the kids alone? Nope. Did I grab a Diego pull up from my son's bedroom? Yup.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Planning Session

To reach your goals you HAVE to get a plan...plan, plan, PLAN!!!!

I don't really have a fitness goal right now. Maybe it is to not get injured?? Lame. But I teach so many classes and I love being at the gym so that is a very real stay as active as I am, without sustaining an injury. That being said, I am still trying to stick to the hormone training (HIIT training, or anaerobic, etc). As an athlete it is right up my alley--I absolutely LOVE it...but I do fear I'll end up on the injured reserve list. Then I can really kiss the Olympics good-bye. Totally joking/making fun of myself BTW. is my workout plan and menu for the week!!

I teach way too many classes on Monday to be able to get my own workout in. I call it my non-Anne workout day...but the other trainers at the gym call it "Anne-tastic Marathon Monday--You can catch a class by Anne morning, noon, and night!" LOL

morning workout: SPRINTS! As I'm running suicide sprints on the basketball court
a few weeks ago someone asked, "Hey Anne, what are you training for?"
me: "uh, I dunno...nothing." DERRRRRR
afternoon workout: Back and Biceps

morning workout: legs and abs
afternoon workout: spin

morning workout: run 5miles (try to do a sub 8minute mile pace)
afternoon workout: shoulders

morning workout: chest and triceps
afternoon workout: do the stair mill machine (interval training level 16 for 45min)

Saturday: spin, abs, and long relaxing jog

Sunday: yoga

<---DORK, DORK, DORK! hey, that's me! LOL Our menu: Breakfast: (kids drink milk, Erik and I drink black coffee) oatmeal and berries (we have raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries) OR scrambled eggs with spinache, feta, and tomato (I eat all of the above, thankUveryMuch!) Morning snack options: cottage cheese, or a piece of fruit, or trail mix, or string cheese, or yogurt with wheat germ, or peanut butter on a graham cracker Lunch: (we all drink water) cabbage soup (made a big batch Sunday night for the week and put in tupperware in fridge and freezer), half of a tuna sandwich (Since Eliza has to have a bagged lunch I will be packing her a peanut butter sandwich, a piece of fruit, some trail mix, water, and a whole grain apple muffin) afternoon snack: same options as morning snack Dinners: Monday: my Mom's vegetarian chili recipe (made in crockpot) with corn muffins Tuesday: baked tilapia with steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots Wednesday: chicken and salsa in the crockpot over brown rice, red and green peppers, onions,cheddar cheese, and lettuce Thursday: home made pesto over whole grain spaghetti with a side of caprese salad Friday: baked salmon, garlic mashed cauliflower, and peas. Saturday and Sunday we play it by ear!
Phew! I am as tired and cranky as Gabe at the end of my days...where the hell is my sippy??? ha ha

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Do not attempt this leg routine if you have to walk at all the next day...or if you have three exercise classes to teach the following day..(ahem, what kind of freak would do that?)

LEGS!!!! Here's what I foolishly did Wednesday morning--for some reason I was thinking I had an open Thursday??? Well I thunked wrong. My Thursday was quite closed.

Squats (using 45lbs bar with plates on rack)
first set 30 lbs plates 25 reps
second set 50 lbs plates 20 reps
third, fourth, and fifth set 60 lbs plates 12 reps

Lunges: using a 35 lbs barbell 4 sets of 20 back lunges (right leg 20 lunges, no rest, left leg 20 lunges, repeat total of 3 times on each leg)

Dumbbell step ups on bench: holding a 20 lbs dumbbell in each hand 3 sets of 15 step ups

One legged squats on the plyo box: 3 sets of 10


Cowboy Dreams

Gabe: "Hey Mom, I have a great idea."

me: "Awesome! What's your idea?"

Gabe: "Well, I was just thinking that you could change something."

me: "Hmm, what should I change."

Gabe: "Know how you gave up desserts for Lent?"

me: "Yes.."

Gabe: "I think you should change it. You should give up cooking vegetables for Lent. You cook vegetables way too much."

me: "In your dreams, Cowboy!"

ha ha

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Dog Named Cookie

Flipping through a magazine, Eliza came across a German Shephard puppy.

me: "I used to have a dog like that!"

Eliza: "You did? What was her name?"

me: "Cookie."

Eliza: "Is she still alive?"

me: "No, she died a long time ago."

Eliza: "Of what, embarrassment for being named Cookie?"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Party Time!

I made this cake at 4am on Ava's birthday. When she woke up and saw it she gasped and said "Mom, this is so beautiful, but I actually think I want a fairy cake instead."

Don't ask any questions...

Just cook this and you won't be disappointed. Trust me.

Wanna-be PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Ingredients for pouring sauce:

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot water
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Ingredients for stir-fry sauce:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Ingredients for chicken stir-fry:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″
1 – 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, minced to the size of corn kernals
1/2 cup mushrooms, minced to the size of corn kernals
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce or nappa cabbage
To make the pouring sauce:

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, then add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and throw in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Just before serving, combine 1 teaspoons hot water with dijon mustard and garlic and mix in small bowl. Add to the pouring sauce, 1/2 a teaspoon at time to taste.
To make the stir-fry sauce:

Prep the stir fry sauce by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
To make the chicken stir-fry:

Combine oils and add to wok or large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat under the wok down to medium-high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked through, about 4 minutes, and remove to a serving dish.
Serve stir-fry with iceberg lettuce or nappa cabbage leaf wraps and top with pouring sauce.
Variation: you can do the same thing with ground beef, if you like.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bailey Boy

This backyard is getting smaller every day. I could use a spring break vacation from it. I'd like to hop in the minivan and head out east again like we did last year. Mom got me a new hairdo at the groomers. I felt really handsome. I like to make a good impression on the extended family. I think I was a hit. Well, except with Uncle Tim. I pooped in his room but you would have too. That house is a MAZE and I couldn't find the door. Anyway...trying to convince Mom that it's time for another road trip by digging some muddy holes in the back yard. Hopefully it works. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Old Cape Cod

If you read "Stuff Jewish Girls Like" then you may have already read this.

I was the twelfth (and last) baby born to my Irish Catholic parents in Cape Cod, MA thirty-two years ago. This is why I am always referred to as "the baby" and I wouldn't wish it any other way. Below is a sestina I originally wrote in college, and revisited this past week for JG's guest blog post. Our writing assignment in college was to write a poem from another's perspective. I chose to pretend to be me, at the end days of my own life. There were many tears shed while I revised this poem--my Dad is still alive, but I only get to see him once or twice a year as I am landlocked in the midwest (for now). Without further is my sestina :)

Through the Eyes of a Sunset
a sestina poem by ACF

The ice cream dripped down my arm and onto the porch
as I sat beside my Dad on the old wooden swing.
We breathed the saltwater air and my Dad
told me stories about where the sun
goes after it sinks behind the deep ocean.
His eyes looked sad when he said it's never truly gone.

Sometimes, when July's ripe sun is setting, I'm reminded of what is gone
and of what remains. Memories of summer days with Dad linger on the porch
but the echo of what's truly eternal exudes from the crashing ocean.
And I'm left yearning for an afternoon talk about nothing with him on the swing.
His eyes looked a warmer shade of blue when the setting sun
would shine into them. I have the same pale blue eyes as my Dad.

I can remember looking up at my Dad
with excited child-like pride for him; and that pride isn't truly gone,
but it is different. Similar to the way the gentle warmth of the sun
comforts you differently through a window than it does when you're on the old porch,
lazily rising and falling with the creaking swing,
echoing the tides of the ocean.

I used to be so afraid of that ocean
unless I was held tightly by my Dad.
And even then, I preferred to be dry on the swing.
I would play until the sunshine was gone;
in the comforting embrace of my porch,
my small shoulders kissed by July's fiery sun.

Sometimes Dad and I would sing songs about the sun.
How sun-crystals dance like glistening lace on the face of the ocean...
I think he made the song up when he was little and would look out at the same horizon from the same porch
but not with me; with his brothers and his Dad.
His Dad was gone before I was born, but my Dad told and retold me all about their summers together on the same swing.

And my summer afternoons are retold to my children on the same swing.
It's all nurtured with the ebb and flow of life, the rising and falling of the sun,
because love, relationships, and memories--like the sun--will never truly be gone.
The salty, sandy nostalgia wafts warm memories to us with each crash of the ocean.
At least, that's what I was told by my Dad
when we were younger and would swing, talk, and sing on the porch.

And sometimes the sun brings me a smile as the breaking waves retell me childhood memories on the porch
But when my pale blue eyes rest on the empty porch swing,
My heart aches in knowing that when the sinking sun returns tomorrow, it won't bring me back my Dad.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shoulders and Shades!!!

Oh yeah...those are sunglasses on my head. It was not only sunny was WARM! Well, relatively speaking. Sure I did have some frost to scrape off the minivan at 7am, but by noon it was in the 50's!!!! Today I worked my a great burn and I am such a fan of this hormone training. I'm hoping I can truly commit to it for a couple more months. Ava's hospital stay threw a wrench in my workout routine but things seem back to normal. Sorta. Here's what I did at the gym today!!

dumbbell overhead press: 5 sets of 14, ten seconds of rest between each set
lateral raise (hammer strength): 6 sets of 10, ten seconds rest between each set
standing dumbbell frontal raise: 6 sets of 12, ten second rest between each set
rear delt fly (hammer strength): 6 sets of 14, ten seconds rest between each set
cable rotator cuff internal rotation (for joint health, injury provention, not really for strength): 3 sets of 12
then external rotation on cable: 3 sets of 12

Then I rowed 2k meters on the rowing machine. I hate that thing, but you gotta change it up!!

I wanted to do abs and cardio tonight, but we were invited to a birthday party and I got plenty of cardio racing the kiddos through the inflatable obstacle course for an hour and a half. Ha ha!! Why were the kids lining up to race me? Obviously it's because I'm the kindergarten room Mom. Duh. It can't possibly because I am an immature, odd-ball Mom who likes to race 5 year olds or anything. LOL

Feeling Good ;)

Lisa at "Respect The Shoes" had her readers send in an outfit that makes them feel good...she also encouraged you to explain why it makes you feel good and say what you wore it to, or anything else you have to add. It took me about 15 minutes for me to decide, but it wasn't because I didn't know what I love. It's because I knew what I love is pretty silly..ha ha. So here it is. My St. Patrick's day outfit where I find an excuse to wear my 13 year old deckhand uniform from my Cape Cod Canal Cruise days.

"Welcome Aboard the Motor Vessel Viking! We are required by the US Coast Guard to familiarize you with the location of our life saving equipment aboard the vessel." Ha ha!! This was my uniform shirt from way back in the day when I was a deckhand on a Cape Cod Canal Cruise boat. It's the shirt I wore when I met the handsome Harbor Patrol Boy who is now my husband of 9 years. I wear this silly shirt every St. Patrick's Day, and it never fails to make me feel comfortable, nostalgic, pretty, and if I have some Irish beverages, I may even feel like rambling off the commentary! So please sit back, relax, and let the beautiful waters of Cape Cod Bay wash away your stress!
Old Hy-line Cruise polo shirt
citizens jeans
forever 21 belt
anthropologie spectator shoes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I do believe that's not butter...

One morning when I was in high school I sprayed some "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" onto my toast. My Dad exaggerated his confused face at me.

"What in the world are you spraying on your bread!?"
I walked over to him, "it's really good, Dad. You should use it. It tastes like butter, but it's good for you."
I handed him the bottle. He tilted his head back so he could read the bottle with his bifocals, "Calories: zero!? Hmmm. Fat: zero!? Jeesh! What the??! This can't be right...sodium: ZERO!? You have got to be kidding me!! Well, ok. I do believe that's not butter...but what the devil IS IT?"

Friday, March 11, 2011

I need a 20!!

I'm not asking for a full time-out...just a quick 20seconds. But the kids (and universe) are all hard at work against me. Diarrhea, vomitting, seizures, bed wetting, putting dirty laundry in a basket of clean laundry by accident, garage door breaking--not having a house key on my key ring (!) so I had to break in house myself, running out of anti-seizure meds, laundry detergent, carpet cleaner, and patience. PRAY FOR ME!!

PS--how many mattresses can three children ruin in one night? (the answer is four)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My outfit of the day and workout of the day!!

This is what I wore in between my stress release sessions at the gym:
modcloth Acorn-ucopia dress (on second slash sale for 37!),
JCrew cardigan (thrifted),
forever 21 belt (Eliza asked me to give the belt up for lent because she hates it and I wear it a lot),
Steve Madden shoes (clearance at Famous Footwear!)

I crushed it at the gym today. Felt A-MAY-ZING!!!!!! I almost went back to sleep when my alarm rudely beeped me awake at 4:30am. I knew I wouldn't regret a workout at the butt-crack of dawn and I assure you as I type this 15 hours later, I was right.

Morning workout: ran ten minutes to warm up and then lifted back and biceps.

bent over dumbbell rows (8 sets of 16reps, maximun 10second rest between sets)
lat pulldown (8 sets of 20 reps, max rest 10 seconds)
seated row (8sets of 15 reps, max rest 10 seconds)
straight arm pushdown (5 sets of 10 reps, rest as long as needed)
back extensions on back hyperextension machine (5 sets of 10, hold last rep 10seconds)

bicep curl (3 sets of 14)
hammer curl (3 sets of 12)
open curl (3 sets of 12)
cable curl (4 sets of 12, last set to failure)

Then I ran four miles in 32 minutes and 15 seconds. It felt AWESOME!

This afternoon, before training my tennis kiddos, I added another workout to burn some stress.

Ran slow for an hour to my "relaxing run" playlist...what? Don't look at me like don't have a "relaxing run" playlist? Anyway...then I did abs. Here's what I did for abs today:

lateral planks with mermaids (20 each side)
hanging straight leg lifts (10 sets of 10)
incline sit ups with 2 lb. medicine ball (10 sets of 10)
side bends on back hyper-extension machine (100 on each side)
plank 1 minute with hands on BOSU and feet on stability ball
roll ups with feet on stability ball (2 sets of 25)
reverse crunches to failure
plank again with hands on BOSU and feet on stability ball to failure.

So now I am completely spent...and there is no question how I will sleep tonight. The only question is, will I be able to get out of bed tomorrow? ha ha!

Fat Tuesday: Bon Ton Roulet!!!

Eliza and cousin Todd at a family crawfish broil in New Orleans!! Currently contemplating what to give up for lent...while I'm eating peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies...hmmm..

...things are changing...

"Mom, I lost my first tooth!!" Ava beamed, showing a little space where her baby tooth used to be. I usually consider myself a very level headed Mom but this knocked the wind out of me and sent me to tears. She is supposed to stay a baby!! Ava, my people-pleaser, quickly said, "It's ok Mom. I still suck my thumb!" ha ha! Now we are done with the invitations for her birthday party. SIX YEARS???? I need a drink.

"...My dreams are a little bit bigger than me
But who knows how much longer things will be like that
Cause things are changin'
And I've been changin'
I get a little bigger every day

Ho-dee-oh, over the rainbow
Hi-dee-hi, to the top of the sky
Look at me, ma, I'm riding with no hands
And tippin' back my chair
I didn't brush my hair
But I do the best I can..."
-Ralph's World

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Little Moon

"Baby you're a firework! Come on let your colors burst....Boom, boom, boom! Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon!" Katy Perry sang to my kids from the minivan's radio. Eliza, my thinker, says "Hey Mom."
"She says even brighter than the moon. That fireworks are brighter than the moon." with a confused look on her face.
"Yup. Those are the words."
"Yeah but maybe they can be brighter, but brighter isn't better. She says it like it's better than the moon." I smile at her insight.
"I agree with you."
"Because fireworks are so loud and they don't last long. The moon is peaceful and beautiful and it's always in the sky for you."
"Eliza you are absolutely right. And the song is telling a person to be like a firework. What do you think about that?"
She didn't even hesitate, "Oh I know what she means. It's like being really flashing and really loud and trying to be funny so everyone pays attention to you. But moon people aren't loud. Moon type of people are kind and they're quiet. Moon people could sing if they want but maybe not on stage." My Eliza is most definitely a moon person. Her kind, gentle soul is very quiet, peaceful, steady, and beautiful. And personally, I'd never in a million years trade in the moon for a firework.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Frustrations of a Four-year old

Gabe sat down next to me and sighed.

me "Is something wrong, buddy?"

Gabe "Oh, it's just that I'm frustrating."

me "What is frustrating you?"

Gabe "Well, I have awesome spiderman underwear and cool Buzz Lightyear socks but you always say 'Gabe put your shoes back on' or 'Gabe it's very inappropriate to pull
your pants down.' *sigh* It's very frustrating, that's all."