Friday, July 30, 2010

Quote of the day

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.  ~Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Things

“Patience is the art of hoping.” -  Marquis de Vauvenargues

It's no secret that for over three years now I've longed to start up a specialty bakery. I've waited, I've lusted, I've planned, I've watched others do it and I've envied. The green eyed monster is strong within me.
I've got ideas, recipes, business plans, suppliers and I wait. I wait and I dream. Lots of pats on the head and brush offs when I try to discuss it with folks. Lots of "wait, now's not the right time and I don't want to do that" lots of frustration, heartache, impatience and even tears.
I've threatened to walk away from my dream a zillion times feeling much like a 3rd grader "FINE. I HATE YOU. I'M DONE,
But of course I wasn't. So I'd pout and go back to planing and dreaming and scheming and waiting.
I told myself to be patient. This is what I really want and if it's what I really want, it will happen for me. The universe (God?) doesn't give us things till we are ready for them. Things happen when they are supposed to happen. There is a line from the wonderful poem Desiderata that I hold very dear and it's sort of my life mantra.

"And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

In other words, cool it kid. That which is meant to happen, will happen. Just be ready when it shows up.
(Whispering) I think it's shown up.
Conversations are happening around my house that were off limits before or topics that got shut down before I got started.
Wheels are starting to turn and the wind is shifting just a little bit. Not all the way, not 100% but enough for me to notice a change in attitudes and a willingness to listen.
I will continue to be patient and hopeful...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I love this quote so much I want to have it stenciled somewhere on a wall 

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Very Very Vauge

My feelings are hurt and I'm sitting here feeling very much like the little girl I was in 5th grade.
I am completely aware that the reason behind my feelings is also very 5th grade and that as a grownup the situation that I'm feeling hurt over shouldn't matter and should actually make me happy but I can't help it.
My instant reaction is to withdraw and cut everyone out and in the end I might end up doing just that but this time I'm going to attempt to not act on my reaction and rather sit with these feelings and see where they take me.
To try to not be so spontaneous and rash in my actions.
To try and figure out the reason why things happened the way that they did and what my part in the whole thing is.
I just often think that the universe keeps throwing these situations at me to show me that I'm better as a solitary creature. Some of us aren't designed to be social animals. I'm seriously starting to think that perhaps I'm one of those beasts.
Tomorrow is another day and it will be better.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hell YES

Check these out! David took these two at the 9am class this morning. I didn't even know he was taking them but that's a 40 pound Kettlebell again.
I'm still so proud of what I'm doing and what I've done and where I'm going.
Doing the presses. I do 10 and then bring my legs up and hold the KB up for 10 seconds and then do 10 more presses.
Doing the hold. I'd like my arms to have been locked a little bit more but that's okay. I'll take what I can get!
Might I also add that I'm loving the way my calves are looking?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yet again...Boot Camp

I don't have much going on in my life other than the kids, and the only thing I have for myself, that I truly enjoy is Hoboken Boot Camps.
It's a good thing too because David routinely kicks my ass.
Class is only 35 mins but many of us who need our heads checked push ourselves a little further at the end of class.
I've established a quick routine that always makes me feel very strong and puts a smile on my face.
I grab the 35 pound kettlebell, lie on my back and do two sets of 10 presses with a 10 second hold in the middle.
Yesterday I grabbed the 40 pound and take a look. I'm feeling very proud. The two kids that zoom past are PJ and Lion. It should also be noted that I did this AFTER class. AFTER doing sumo squats with a 25 pound weight, AFTER doing three way sit ups, AFTER doing pull ups, AFTER doing planks and AFTER doing swings. In other words my muscles were tired...

Bakery Business Plan

Interesting article

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 21st, 2007

Yesterday was the 3 year anniversary of my best friends death.
I spent the day watching my boys splash in the water and build sandcastles and find little tiny crabs.
It was their first time at the beach and they had a blast.
I thought of her all day and realized what a fitting tribute to her our days activities were.
She more than anyone else in my life taught me to go, do, see, explore.
Take advantage of what is put in front of you and whatever you do do it to the most extreme but above all else, have fun.
The second life isn't fun anymore it's pointless.
I couldn't have scripted a better day for me and the boys.
We explored and did something new and that's what she was all about her whole life.
We spent the day living life and there is no better way I could have spent the day.

To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
Thomas Campbell

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My children and Boot Camp

I've been a faithful devote of Hoboken Boot Camps since last September. I started out when we were in the park at 5:00am. I'd wake up at 4:30 and quietly get myself dressed and walk the 7 blocks uptown to the park.
I would leave my offspring and husband in a blissful slumber.
When he got his first studio space up on Washington Street, we would drop the kids off at school and head to boot camp.
When he moved to the Monroe Center it was the same thing. Drop the kids off at school and go and work out.
It was perfect and worked out so well. Then all of a sudden it was June and summer break was upon us.
I didn't want to have to give up class but what was I going to do with the kids?
I decided they would just have to come with me. It's only half an hour right?
It's not working out so well. Last week Brian climbed up the fire escape and yesterday he ran into the parking lot. I talked to David and we both agree that I'm going to have to head back to the 5:50am class if I want to keep Boot Camping this summer.
I just talked to Mike about it and he's less than happy with this new routine because my getting up at 4:30am means I go to bed at 8:30pm. It means we eat and I go to bed. We don't get to spend much time together since he doesn't get home till 7 during the week and if he does the 7pm Boot Camp he doesn't get home till about 7:30. He's right. Getting up that early means I'm exhausted at the end of the day and my relationship with him becomes absolutely non existent.
He's also upset and disappointed because I've been going to the 7pm class with him and because of it he's been feeling okay in class and comfortable.
Without me he most likely won't go and I'm not sure WHAT to do about the Saturday class since if I can't bring the kids during the week, I can't bring them on Saturday.
This is one of the joys of having a kid on the spectrum. Lion doesn't listen and has no self awareness and no concern for his own safety. I can tell him a million times not to go into the parking lot but there he is, in the parking lot because he wants to go regardless of what I tell him.
I've got a call into the kids babysitter to see if she can watch them for me for an hour 4 days a week. It would be an additional $240.00 a month but it means that we can do the 7pm class together.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Johnny Crow's Garden

Need to figure out how to overlap these three images to make them one whole image...

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Excited really doesn't even cover it. This trip will be my 30 something-ith trip and I'm more excited to stay at the hotel than I've ever been before. We will be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a Savannah View Room which means I have a shot of viewing some of the animals listed below.

Zoology is a passion of mine and I've been accepted twice to Santa Fe Community College in Ganesville Florida for their Teaching Zoo Zoology program.
The first time my parents wouldn't fund it because they didn't think I was serious so I had to back out and the second time right after I applied and was accepted I found out I was pregnant with Patrick.
I'm not done with that dream though and I know at some point I'll get that degree.

I've volunteered at both the Central Park Zoo and the NY Aquarium in Brooklyn. Both were AMAZING programs that had some of the most stupendous training to teach us about the animals. When the kids are bigger I will apply to volunteer at the Central Park Zoo again. I loved it that much.

I have a head of animal facts and information and can tell the difference between an African and Asian Elephant. I know what makes a Sea Lion and Seal different and can tell you more about Red Pandas than you ever wanted to know. Don't go to the zoo with me unless you want me to share facts with you and you don't mind my getting excited by Rhinos and Boa Constrictors.

Tell me that I'm going to Disney World and will have a room with a balcony that overlooks Giraffe, Zebra, and Red River Hogs and I'm a happy happy woman. Happy as in, I'm WAY more excited to get to the hotel than I am to go to any of the parks.
Below are some of the animals we will have a chance to see. The animal names are hyper links to their Wiki pages...

The following animals may be found on at least one of the three Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannas:
Ankole Cattle -Ankole-Watusi is a breed of cattle originally native to Africa. It has very large, distinctive horns, which can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long. The animal is sometimes known as Ankole or Watusi, and is one of the Sanga group of types.

Bongo (Antelope) -Bongos are characterized by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiraled horns. Indeed, bongos are the only Tragelaphid  in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics.

Blesbok -The Blesbok or Blesbuck (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) is a purplish antelope with a distinctive white face and forehead. Its white face is the origin of its name, because bles is the Afrikaans word for blaze. Although it is a close relative of the Bontebok  (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas) and can interbreed with it, creating an animal known as the Bontebles, it does not have the same habitat. The Blesbok is indigenous to South Africa and is found in large numbers in all national parks with open grasslands, from the Transvaal Highveld, through the Free State veld, to as far south as the Eastern Cape. It is a plains species and dislikes wooded areas. It was first discovered in the 17th-century, in numbers so numerous that herds reached from horizon to horizon.

Eland -The Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx), also known as the Southern Eland or Eland antelope, is a Savannah  and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa.

Grant's Zebra - The Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) is the smallest of six subspecies of the Plains Zebra.

Greater Kudu -The Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is a woodland  antelope  found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas, due to a declining habitat, deforestation and hunting.

Impala -An impala (Aepyceros melampus Greek αιπος, aipos "high" κερος, ceros "horn" + melas "black" pous "foot") is a medium-sized African antelope. The name impala comes from the Zulu language meaning "Gazelle". They are found in savannas  and thick bushveld in Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland, Mozambique, northern Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern Angola, northeastern South Africa and Uganda. Impalas can be found in numbers of up to 2.000.000 in Africa

Reticulated Giraffe -The Somali Giraffe, or more commonly known as Reticulated Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), is a subspecies of giraffe native to Somalia, but is also widely found in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. Reticulated giraffes can interbreed with other giraffe subspecies in captivity or if populations are low in the wild.

The reticulated giraffe is the most well-known of the nine giraffe subspecies, and is by far the giraffe most commonly seen in zoos. Its coat consists of large, polygonal liver-colored spots outlined by a network of bright white lines. The blocks may sometimes appear deep red and may also cover the legs. The extraordinary height of giraffes is attributed to a ritual known as "necking" where two males fight for reproduction rights by slamming their necks into one another. The giraffes with the tallest and strongest necks are victorious and allowed to reproduce, thus passing these genes on to future generations.

Thomson's Gazelle - The Thomson's gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii) is one of the best-known gazelles. It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson and, as a result, is sometimes referred to as a "tommie".  It is considered by some to be a subspecies of the Red-fronted Gazelle and was formerly considered a member of the genus Gazella within the subgenus Eudorcas, before Eudorcas was elevated to genus status.  Thomson's gazelles can be found in numbers exceeding 500 000  in Africa and are recognised as the most common type of gazelle in East Africa.

Waterbuck - The Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) is an antelope found in Western, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

Red River Hogs -The red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), also known as the bush pig (but not to be confused with P. larvatus, common name "bushpig"), is a wild member of the pig family  living in Africa, with most of its distribution in the Guinean and Congolian forests. It is rarely seen away from rain forests, and generally prefers areas near rivers or swamps.[2]

Red river hogs eat grass, berries, roots, insects, mollusks, small vertebrates and carrion. They are capable of causing damage to plantations. Red river hogs typically live in herds of 6-20 members led by a dominant boar. Sows rear 3-6 piglets at a time.

White-Bearded Wildebeest - The white-bearded wildebeest is mainly at home in the Serengeti  desert of Africa. Kenya is the main home. The white-bearded wildebeest is endangered and depends on natural resources of a natural habitat to reproduce.

Many wildebeests are also in safari parks which cater to their needs. Wildebeests are water dependent and grazing, trampling and manuring the grasses on which they feed stimulates new growth as long as the ground has sufficient moisture.

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

 East African Crowned Crane

Greater Flamingo

Marabou Stork - 
As a very random aside, Marabou Storks are some of my favorite birds as they were illustrated in a story my mother used to read to me as a little girl called Johnny Crow's Garden and when I see them this image is all I think of.

Ostrich -

Pink-Backed Pelican -

Ruppel's Griffon Vulture -

Friday, July 16, 2010


August 1st to the 8th we will be heading to the Berkshires for a week.
Just the kiddos and I.
I'll have to talk with my dad and Aunt this weekend about sending them to camp...
Excited doesn't really explain how I'm feeling.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bike Tour

Very cool. Here I go again. I wanna do this!

Eating around the world

It's no secret that I'm a huge glutton and love to eat. Part of the reason I love to go to Disney World so much is for the food.
Back pre kids even pre husband when I was going to Disney every 6 months by myself I loved the food and had my own food traditions and rituals.
In the Magic Kingdom I would buy a cupcake at the Main Street Bakery sit on one of the curbs and wait for the 3pm parade. Their cupcakes are huge and by the time I was finished I would have on a sugar buzz that would have made Willy Wonka proud.
After I met Mike and converted him to the ways of trips every 6 months I discovered the amazing fudge in Disney World.
At the start of each trip I would purchsase a pound of it and in no time flat it would be gone.
I've given up both those habits but last trip I started a new one. Creme Brulee for dessert. I ordered it everyplace we ate that had it last trip to the point where Mike told me if he cut me, I would  bleed Creme Brulee!
So I started to wonder if I could sample the Creme Brulee at every place that offered it!
I started to do homework.
There isn't any place in Animal Kingdom that offers it so that park is safe.
In Hollywood Studios the Brown Derby has Double Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee with a dark chocolate dipped biscotti for $7
In Epcot at The Land's Sunshine Seasons I can get something called Soarin' Brulee for $3.29
At the France Pavillion I have options! I can go to the  restaurant Bistro De Paris and have Vanilla Créme Brulée - caramelized rice pudding, and Upside down caramel cream, Créme Brulée ice cream for $11.00

or I can go to Chefs De France and have Creme Brulee - Vanilla creme brulee served with a Madeleine for $7.25

I could hit the Canada Pavillion and get Maple Creme Brulee at Le Cellier for $6.99 (This is unlikely since a reservation here is almost impossible)
I could eat Seafood for lunch at the Coral Reef and finish with a Butterscotch Cremé Brulée - with seasonal berries for $7.99.
Over in the Magic Kingdom the only place to get it is at Tony's Town Square and it's Pistachio Creme Brulee for $5.99

I can find it at the resorts as well but we don't usually do resort hopping...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happiness is a state of mind

So despite only getting 4 hours of sleep last night and having a very real dream about my best friend that cause me to wake up with a smile and the thought "I've got to tell Chrissy about that dream. That was crazy" and having that thought followed immediately by "Oh wait. I can't tell her. She's dead."
That thought though very jarring and sad sent me down a path of thought that turned out to be very positive.

In trying to find anything good in the loss of my best pal, I realized that life is SO short and we don't know when out last day will be.
That we must give and get the most out of every single day and there is absolutely zero room for any self pity. It wastes valuable time. Make the best of what you were given. Bloom where you are planted.

So I'm going to do exactly that. I will not feel sorry for myself for what I don't have, and what I don't get to do but rather be thankful for what I do have.

Having said that, there is no trip to the Berkshires for the kids and I this summer and no camp for them. First summer in 7 years I haven't made it up there but I'm sure there is a reason that's not clear to me at this point.

I just called my mother and told her we aren't coming up this summer. She is very disappointed but understands that we can't afford it.

I won't dwell on what I want to have but can't. I have to focus on what I do have. The disappointing final decision was tempered a little with the good news that we got the hotel upgrade we were hoping for at Disney and we have a room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a Safari view which means I get to sit on the balcony and see giraffes and zebras.

Today was that 20 mile bike ride in Queens that I'd been looking forward to doing but couldn't do because of the lack of help with the kids and the dog. I woke up wishing I were going and feeling sad that there was yet another thing that I wanted to do for myself and was once again unable to do it.
However that sadness was tempered with a visit from my aunt and father and a really nice lunch and a trip to Target.

Accentuate the positive,eliminate (or minimize) the negative....I'm trying. I really am trying.

The way things are, is the way things are

I usually focus only on the good and if there is bad or negative in my life I try very hard to let it pass over me like water off a duck's back.I loathe self pity and really do try to not engage in it and if I do, it's never for very long.

There is a wonderful line from the movie "Babe" - "The way things are, is the way things are" meaning you can't change the course of the universe and events unfold with a reason and we are often both clueless to the meaning at the time and powerless to change them. Accept them and go forward.

I am usually very zen about the fact that my life is essentially on hold till my children are in high school or maybe college. That's not me looking for pity or sympathy. It's just a fact.

This summer though has been rapid fire disappointments for me and I'm left with the feeling that I'm powerless in my own life because of how much I rely on others.

I grow tired of getting excited for things, for planning things, only to ask for the help I need and being shot down because "they can't handle it" or because "They are doing things for themselves"

I get frustrated because I don't feel that I ask a lot of this world, and don't request help all that often (If I get 9 nights away from my children a year that's a whole hell of a lot. That's not me going out doing stuff alone either. That's overnights with Mike. Date nights are out of the question and never ever happen.) I don't have a social life to speak of. The things I (want to) do are solitary and simple and far and few between.

I really do try to be kind and supportive of everyone around me. I try to be empathetic and sympathetic.
I give all that I have and most of the time get nothing in return.
I know that my family thinks they are as supportive as hell and give a lot to me but the fact is, the only person who sacrifices anything around here is me.
Again, that's not a cry for pity or me being dramatic. It's just a fact.

I don't want to fall into the huge pity me hole I'm teetering on the edge of. I don't want to be that person and I don't want to go down that road.
So for now I'm done. I'm heading into an emotional hibernation.  I won't be blogging here and will do very little updating to Facebook.
I need to shut down and allow my mind to reset itself. To find that zen place that's okay with my situation.
The place that understands that "The way things are, is the way things are"

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Blue Kangaroo Bakery

It's absolutely no secret that it is my number one long term dream/goal to own my own cupcake bakery.
It's also absolutely no secret that Mike has ZERO interest in being any part of this dream. I'm groovy cool with that.
He wants to go off and be a professional poker player. I'm not really behind that dream so whatever.
I'll be in the Berkshires from the 16th to the 23rd and as luck would have it, I've run across an amazing amazing once in a lifetime type of properties.
I put up a blog about her on From City To Surburbia

The location is PERFECT for a bakery/coffee place. It's right next to the courthouse, the museum and the new theater and walking distance from the high school and the library. (You can zoom in and see more details)

View Pittsfield in a larger map

Here is the Wiki on Pittsfield.
She's a hurtin unit though. She's in bad bad shape. Not as bad as Lion Manor but she's still in need of help.
Going off in my own little dream world though, if I were somehow able to swing this it's large enough that we could use the upstairs as our home.
It could be completely and totally perfect. Of course I'd have to convince Mike he wants to do this but while I'm up there I'm going to go and see her and see what she's all about..

Tour De Queens

So I know I'd mentioned Tour De Queens and told you all that I was going to do it.
I was planning on it too. I'm all registered and ready to go but I can't go because I have no one to watch the dog.


A long time ago Mike and I decided that rather than have stuff, we wanted to go places.
It worked out well when we had two incomes and could go all the places we wanted.
Now that we have two kids, despite his making 6 figures money is always super duper tight.
As you've heard me whine before, I'm stuck with the kids home with me all summer long with no days off and no time to myself.
Apparently if you whimper and whine loud enough people take pity on you.
My father has told my aunt that the two of them are going to send the boys to camp for a week this summer.
This thrills me to no end in ways I can't even describe.
Actually, they will only be sending Patrick to camp this summer.
Camp Chimney Corners and Camp Becket have a rule that has been in place and it's one that they are serious about and won't bend on.
All campers MUST MUST  MUST wear socks.
No questions, no exceptions.
Brian completely and totally refuses to wear any form of socks ever at any point in any way.
For over a year now I've tried everything I can think of to get him to wear socks. He has a huge horrible tantrum when I try.
I'll have to keep trying but I have a funny feeling he's not going to be going to camp this year...

Royal Family

It's been established that I don't run. In fact the whole reason I started Boot Camp was because when I moved faster than a snails crawl I could hear the fat slapping. Stairs were bad but can you imagine what running sounds like?
Beyond the vanity factor I have the very real very frustrating issue of shin splints
I've been suffering with them so long I'm at the point where I wish there was a surgery I could have to correct them or that they could be helped with a medication.
They were super bad for a while at boot camp and I've rested them and they are currently better than before but I do still feel them once in a while.
Running has always been off limits for me because of them and I've never attempted to push it or question it. They limit me to walking (and even power walking hurts on some days) but hey, that's just the way that it is.
Yesterday I found out about the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
Without thinking about it my reaction was "I wanna do that!!" followed by "It's HALF a marathon! I could do that!" (Told you know know zippity doo dah about running)
Then I went and looked it up. A half is 13 miles. YIKES! Even I in my most delusional Polyanna state knows that's out of the question and completely out of my league.
Then I saw the 5K Royal Family Marathon and went to check it out. 5K is 3 miles. That I'm almost CERTAIN I can do!
Here is last year's run. Tell me that doesn't look like a TON of fun!
I mentioned it to Mike (who used to run) and he showed serious interest.
So now I have to train a little bit for this right?
Apparently I have to be able to do a 16 minute mile either at a run or a walk. I who have never jogged have no idea what that even looks like pace wise.
Since I have zero break from the kids for the next 50 or so days I can't do anything about it till then but come September 1st I'll get out there and start by walking a mile at a comfortable pace and see where I fall time wise.
One of my friends who is a runner suggested this program to me so I'll try to follow it and see what happens.
Hopefully we can make this thing work!
Guess this year is really and truly all about pushing my own limits huh?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Boot Camp AGAIN

Today the air is so sticky and oppressive and awful. It's so humid breathing makes you sweat. David had us doing static moves today. Holding a kettlebell while standing on one leg for 30 seconds, going down into a squat holding a KB and then we also worked with the rings, holding ourselves up, leaning out extending our bodies so that we were working against our own weight. Not a lot of movement but man do my arms feel it after 30 seconds!!
He then had us grab a kettlebell and with one arm hold it straight up over our head while walking to the end of the loading dock. Get to the end and switch arms and walk back. Then go for a jog up and down the loading dock (without the kettlebell). I can usually do it with a 25 pound but today I had a 20 pound.
I think we did 4 rounds of that and then he had us lunge and swing the kettle bell between our legs all the way to the end of the loading dock. Coming back two steps squat and press the kettlebell over head. For this one I'd grabbed the 10 pound weight.
I'm glad I worked smarter not harder because I'd reserved enough energy to go back inside and grab the 35 pound Kettlebell and declare that I wanted to walk with it overhead the length of the loading dock. One arm going down and switch at the end and the other coming back, just as we had done in class.
Actually, what I said to David was that I wanted to go half way down the dock just to see if I could do it.
I got it up and locked my arm and walked. When I got to the half way point I said "Fuck it I can do this" and went the whole way down.
My right arm is so much stronger than my left and I struggled to get the weight up overhead and once I did I felt my arm wobbling as I walked.
I did it though. I walked the loading dock with 35 pounds above my head.
That's the most I've lifted like that yet.
I knew I could do it, but I still feel very proud and accomplished for doing it after everything else I did today.

This is the loading dock looking one way. Hoboken Boot Camps studio is on my right. Half way is where you see the stairs and the elevated walkway. I found out it's about 50 feet long.

This is the loading dock going the other way. I counted steps today as I jogged. It's 31 jogging footfalls one way.

That's my sweetie in the middle. My 35 pound gal. It's my immediate goal to get more comfortable working with this weight and I want to be able to do all the exercises he asks us to do using the kettlebells with this weight. She is of course flanked by her bigger sisters the 50 pound gals. Your time will come ladies. I'll get to you!
This is the 45 pounder. Give me a couple more months and I'll be working with her...
One of these days I'm going to hand David my camera and have him video tape class so I can show you guys what we do and how hard we actually work!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Berkshires

So it's looking like July 16th to the 23rd I'll be in the Berkshires.
To say that I cannot wait is a massive understatement...

Kettlebells & Boot Camp

By now you know what a total groupie I am for Hoboken Boot Camps and what a serious fan I am of what David is doing and how proud I am of what he's created and the continued growth that I see for him and Hoboken Boot Camps.

I wouldn't be such an uber stalker fan who is in everyone's face about the class if I wasn't passionate about it and about the results I see in myself and those around me.

I have no idea what everyone else has for goals but for me it's a three fold thing. I want to continue to drop weight, increase my muscle tone and keep reaching for the bigger heavier kettlebell weights.

My excitement and enthusiasm for working with weights of any size surprises me. Weight lifting or weight and strength training have NEVER been something I thought I'd be into or interested in. It's been less than a year now and I've worked up from a 5 pound kettlebell to a 35 pound kettlebell. I often catch myself admiring my arms in the mirror and I've even been know to flex from time to time.

I didn't even know that I could do what I'm currently doing but my long term weight training goal was set the second I found a video of Pamela MacEleree

My jaw hit the floor. I had no idea a woman built like her (a woman that didn't look like an insane roid head bodybuilder) could lift weights like that! In a flash I knew. I knew I wanted THAT. I wanted to do that too. I wanted to rock the heavy weights. I want to be super duper strong

I LOVE watching her videos. They motivate and inspire me.
Today I found these two

I sent them to David. Tomorrow I want to try some of these.
One of the things that I love about Hoboken Boot Camps and about David as a trainer is that he wants to see us succeed and push ourselves to be the best we can be and to meet our personal goals. He listens to our ideas and what we need or want from him. He's patient and knowledgeable.

When I started class I often felt like a whiny wimp. My back hurts, my shins hurt, I can't jump, can't run, can't move, wait now my arms hurt...he's never told me to shut up and get it done he's given me different ways to move my body so I don't hurt but I can get it all done.
I know that I can go into class tomorrow amped to do these exercises and he will allow me to try some of them and will help me master them.

Let me tell you that I NEVER EVER thought I would get EXCITED about exercise!! Seriously! Yet here I am, almost a year into boot camp hunting the internet for new exercises, new ways to move my body and giving a crazy man more fuel for the fire, offering him more ideas and different ways to push us, to push me.

What on earth will this next year hold for me and my body? Only time will tell...

Boot Camp Today

So at 9am this morning it was 90 degrees.
Walking to Boot Camp I thought to myself "I've GOT to be insane and off my rocker! It's WAY too hot to be doing this" but there we were, walking to Boot Camp. (I'm still a lot shocked at myself every morning my feet take me to class since I still view myself as a bit of a lazy slug)
Yesterday kicked my tush and it was equally as hot.
David had us outdoors with Kettlebells doing 10 swings, 5 Burpees with the vertical jump and then going for a run. I lost track of how many sets we did but I was doing my swings with a 35 pound kettlebell and towards the end I had to seriously push myself to get it all done.
Today I decided since it was so damn hot again I was going to practice my smarter not harder workout philosophy.
David does this cool thing where he has a series of 6 exercises written on a white board. We roll a dice and whatever we roll we have to do the exercise with that number on the board.
I love it when he does these as it really gives me a good workout and forces me to push myself.
Of course, you always have the chance of rolling the same number, over and over and over....
Today he had two exercises with the kettlebell. A set of 10 overhead presses (10 on each side) and 60 trunk twists.
For the presses I started with a 25 pound KB and. for the trunk twists I had a 20 pound. By the end of class I was working with a 15 for both exercises and struggling.
It doesn't help that we were also doing modified planks and going for a run in between dice rolls!
Of course I still have the kids with me and Brian decided that he had to go and pee.
Rather than stop what I was doing I scooped him up, jogged to the bathroom and while he was on the potty I did 10 star jumps, 10 fast deep squats, and 10 lunges. When he was finished I carried him back to class at a jog.
When David called for the last roll and jog I screwed up all my energy and when I went for my jog I went to the end of the loading dock paused and sprinted as hard and fast as I could back to class.
I felt proud of myself even though no one else saw it.
I dug super deep to find that power burst!!
I just feel like I'm working myself smarter and still pushing the weights up and up and up but also listening to my body.
I've found a good balance in class and I'm seeing the results much faster than before. The inches are slipping away and I'm seeing the muscle tone change all over.
I so love Hoboken Boot Camps!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


It's HOT here...

Monday, July 5, 2010


So the kids are going bezerk today. They want to go out and do something. My kids aren't ever happy just relaxing doing nothing.
Everyday we have to have a plan, every day we have to do something.
This is not easy with a husband who hyperventilates when I spend 50 cents.
Camp is out of the question because it's too expensive so I have them home with me. All their pals are away doing family things so I'm their playmate for the summer.
We were trying to find something to do today. Movies are too expensive, Mike doesn't want to go into the city (it means spending money once we get there) and so it's either I'm stuck indoors with two kids who are bored and as a result play too rough or I take them to the water park. AGAIN.
So that's what we are going to do today. I have their bathing suits in the laundry and as soon as it's done I'll be dressing them and getting packed up to hit the water park for one more day.
Next weekend I'll have part of my Sunday to myself thank GOD.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Measuring Success

I was thinking about all these bike tours and longer distance events that I sign up for and get all excited for. I questioned why I get all into these events and why I want to bother with them at all.
The answer was instant and simple.
I want the work that I'm doing at boot camp to pay off and I want to see where I am, and how far I've come and to be able to set up goals for myself long and short term.

Perfect example is the Century Bike Tour coming up in September. I'm aiming for the 35 mile route. Why only 35? Because it's 5 miles more than I've ever biked. To me that extra 5 miles is a grand and huge goal. Remember when I did the 5 boro bike tour last month I wanted to quit after 15 miles and I dug super deep and found it in me to go another 15 miles before waving the white flag?

For me to tack on an additional 5 miles would be a super sweet accomplishment. I know how hard I struggled to make that 30 miles and how many times I wanted to give up and go home. (Thanks in part to my pals who were on Facebook watching my progress I didn't quit)

To meet that 30 miles again and leave it in the dust 5 miles behind would make me feel really good about myself.
Plus there is this additional challenge of having to carry my 40 pound bike up and down two flights of stairs. (In addition to the subway stairs!)
Recently in Boot Camp I've been doing a lot of work on my legs and getting the muscles stronger and better prepared for biking.
I need to see if it's working. I need to put it to the test. I need to see all my sweat and aches and pains in action.
Do I see the results in class? I sure as hell do!

Yesterday we were using the resistance bands to do a sort of ox draw. We looped the band around our waist and our partner had to make it hard for us to run to the other end of the loading dock. Then we had to switch and we had to pull them.

I was paired with the only guy in the class and while he's not a hulking beast I think we were the closest to each other weight wise. He's a solid guy and he gave me a SERIOUS run for my money both in trying to hold him while he ran and holding me while I ran.
At the end I was so exhausted I flopped down to catch my breath.

As it so happened there was a 35 pound Kettlebell sitting next to me and without thinking I grabbed it and did 10 quick presses with it and then held it in the air with both arms with my legs up off the ground for 30 seconds then I did 10 more presses and I was done.
I realized what I'd just accomplished and it made me smile looking back to a year ago when a 10 pound weight was out of my league.

And of course when it comes to the bike I NEVER EVER EVER would have considered the 5 boro bike tour if not for Boot Camp.
It's not enough for me to see the results in class. I need to see and feel them applied elsewhere. To push myself outside of class.
I like to feel my increasing strength and see it in challenges and since I have no desire to jog the bike is the thing for me.

I'm super excited and confident about the upcoming 20 mile ride through Queens. I'm not feeling anxious about it at all and think it should be a good easy ride and something that I can look back on and say "Look how strong I am! I did that! I finished that!"

The other thing that helps and the other reason I think I do these things is that it helps me stay motivated and work as hard as I can in class if I have a goal or something to work towards and visualize.
If I can say "I have to do one more squat or I have to jog rather than walk because I need to get in shape for something."

Concerts and trips work as well but that's more of a vanity thing and the push or drive isn't as strong to go balls to the wall in class to get ready. (Though this upcoming cruise in October is always on my mind) A physical event, something that I have to invest time and energy in. Something that has a start and a goal are what I push for and enjoy.

No idea what I'll do in the winter months when there are no events! Guess I'll look to May and making the full 42 miles of the 5 boro bike tour!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


A few months ago Patrick was horsing around and pulled down the window blind in my bedroom. My father came out and fixed it with much hullabaloo.
Today Patrick was playing with it again and I warned him to leave it alone because if it came down, he was going to be in serious trouble.
Not 10 mins later he was hysterical crying telling me how sorry he was.
He pulled the blind down again.
I'm holding my head in my hands right now.
This kid is seriously going to be the death of me. Mike is going to KILL him tonight.
I can't decide if I should call and give him the heads up now or wait till he gets home...

A little music

I've discovered that it's easier for me to bike longer distances if I can listen to music while I'm doing it. However headphones make biking dangerous so I've gotten used to listening to music with just one headphone in.
I found this item on EBAY for an insanely low price so I got it unsure of what it would do, how loud it would be or what the sound quality would be.
In a fantastic stroke of very cool luck it's a cooler as well which I didn't know. So I can now put this in my front basket with a couple of bottles of water that will now stay cold. I can also throw an ice pack in there with a wash cloth and have something cold to put on my face and neck.
Okay but how does it sound?

It ain't bad!

Now my concern is how folks will like biking with someone who is listening to music that they can hear as well.
I'm thinking specifically of the Tour De Queens and the Century Bike Tour.
When I get it out into traffic, I'm betting it's not all that loud since it will have lots of other sounds to compete with but I don't want to be "that kid" who's got everyone annoyed because I'm being selfish.
I can always give it a shot and see how it goes. Worst case is that I'll have to shut it off.

Tee Shirt Ideas

Seriously, I want my Adobe Illustrator back.
I'd purchased this shirt for Brian a few years ago. I had him wear it on the plane to Disney and back home again and that was it.
It allowed folks to understand what they were seeing and explain some of his behavior that might appear bratty or like an out of control child.
He's outgrown it now but the last time we wore it we ran into a child in the airport with severe Autism and the mother questioned Brian's place on the Spectrum since he didn't exhibit all the symptoms.
I explained that he has PDD-NOS but that I couldn't find any shirts with PDD-NOS and not many folks know what that is.

Cleaning out the kids room today I pulled the shirt out again and thought about it and the more I think the cooler I think it would be to design a similar shirt but rather than just saying "Child with Autism"
it should say "Child on the Autism Spectrum Please be patient"

Anyone wanna help me design it:?

Boot Camp

So most everyone that attends the 9am boot camp is fine with the kids being there. There is one woman though who I know doesn't like children and today she proved to me that she's not good with them.
We were finished with the workout and the kids wanted to play on the rings.
She was doing some yoga or whatever right by the rings make it impossible for the kids to play.
My boys being my boys attempted it anyway and Brian swung into her.
She hit him and yelled "NO" and then immediately realized what she had done and clapped her hand over her mouth and blushed.
I didn't rip her head off for three reasons:

1. Brian was wrong. Not that I allow other folks to smack my kids and get away with it but he stepped on her hand, and hurt her and her reaction was spontaneous and without malice.
2. He didn't even register that she had touched him and so I knew if I'd made a big deal about it it would have upset and confused him.
3. I was still tired from dragging and then being dragged by a full grown man up and down a loading dock.

He actually went over to her and laughed in her face which I thought was hysterical and the perfect reaction to her inappropriate behavior.

I almost started to explain the whole lack of social skills due to the Autism thing but she's one of those folks who wouldn't care and it wouldn't help her understand his behavior any better.

Patrick just heard me talking about it and he said "WHAT?! WHO HIT BRIAN!?" I told him what had happened and he said "She's lucky I didn't see her. What a JERK"

Guess that sums it all up...