Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wonder Women

I think there are days when we all wish we had super powers.

The ability to move at lightening speed. X-Ray vision. Time Travel. Foresight. Moving elements. Moving objects. Telepathy. Invincibility. Saving innocent lives. Flying without the help of an airplane. Becoming invisible at will. Leaping tall buildings in a single bound...

Yeah. Being a super heroine doesn't sound like a bad gig at all.

I, personally, am not a huge comic book fan, and the rush of superhero movies that Hollywoods has been pushing one after another over the past decade aren't really anything I get excited over. But after seeing X:Men Origins (a.k.a. Hugh Jackman and his fantastic body) I started think a little bit about this whole superhero thing. Female super heroes, in particular.

I know on any given day I'd like to think I'm a modern day Wonder Woman. And I know a lot of women who are the same way. Trying to tackle everything all at once and making sure than everything we do is done right.

I've been called a perfectionist, an over-achiever, and a people pleaser. Not necessarily bad things to be, but I wonder, am I really just trying to be Super Girl? To prove (even to myself) That I can do anything and everything, and kick butt at it?

Jump into workouts. Read ahead. Study harder. Eat better. Clean. Organize. Have a career. Find a Husband. Have a family. Have it all. Perfect. Be the best sister, wife, mother, daughter, employee, employer, student, teach, nurse, doctor...

In an age where we've been brought up learning that "girls can do anything boys can do" and that "you can have, do or be anything"

Do some of us girls interpret "I can do anything." as "I can (and should) do everything." ?

I wonder...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Break. Re-Break. Re-Set.

The Hospital

...That's what I did with this beautiful 80 degree Boston Sunday. Went to the emergency room, because something just "didn't feel right" with my left foot.

And something wasn't right. Because my left little piggie had to be re-broken, straightened out and "set" with cotton balls and medical tape. I will say that I do have a pretty high tolerance for pain. But having my toe bone pulled straight hurt like...

The doctor yanked and the pain shot up to my knee cap. I think my jaw dropped and then I just burst into tears. And a whole slew of expletives. Then the nurse "buddy bandaged" it and sent me home.
I cried the entire way.

Luckily my mom was home and set me up with ice and some pillows and I commenced the good ol RICE (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.) protocol.

Since all of this pain and the accompanying nausea didn't exactly have me jonesing for a big lunch, I waited awhile, sipping ice water because it has been-and still is- a really hot day. Eventually, I ate some of the fruit I stuck in the freezer yesterday (with a side of painkiller) and found a One Tree Hill marathon on Soapnet.

Confession: I love One Tree Hill. It's a secret guilty pleasure (shhhhh...) I actually have all 7 seasons on DVD but  since season one was already on, and since I definitely wasn't going anywhere, I started in on season two.

I still watch the new shows on the CW, even though the show has gotten pretty lame, but I looooove those older episodes. Especially the ones with Luke (Chad Michael Murray) taking his shirt off.


So, that was my day. I'll leave you with a little wisdom from OTH

(I am happy, btw, and completely hopped up on goofballs)

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I can't believe I've only been off my feet (well, foot) for a week! It felt like months...

I was super excited to get back to kickboxing @ Bruce McCorry's for my 2nd consecutive a.m. work out!

I love this place. And like I said yesterday, it is my all time favorite workout!

I can't really give a good description of the exact workout, because it's constantly changing day-to-day, and that's really one of the best things about it: the variety. And because we're technically in a dojo, we do all of our kicking and punching barefoot. It's great in the summer because you can just kick off your flip-flops and start working out (like I did today)

And I know there was a lot of variety AND a lot of summer heat today, because I felt like this afterward:

(in a good way, of course)

I also probably shouldn't have gone full throttle on the kicks, squats and lunges because my foot was realllly sore, and it wasn't yesterday. I think tomorrow and Monday will be "holiday days" for me and my little piggies!

(btw, I do drive with my left foot on the dash.  It's a habit I picked up from my aunt)
I couldn't go straight home because I had a few things to pick up...Ernie's Harvest Market on Boston Street was my only destination and it was buzzing this morning. I ended up parking at Dunkin Donuts and walking hobbling there. I'm not surprised it was so busy, the produce was amazing!

It's so SO nice to be able to buy fresh produce of the cheap (outside) especially after all the rain we've had. I bought 4 packages of strawberries and 2 bushels of bananas, all for under $10

nice, huh?

biggest I've ever seen!
(that's what she said)

Since I had so much fruit I cut up a bunch and put them in my new tupperware containers (which I desperately needed!) because I like to freeze fresh fruit and use it in smoothies. Or just to snack on.

FINALLY made breakfast/lunch, which is now a late lunch, thankful to have a double batch of muesli already in the fridge and ready for the eatin because I am super hungry! This muesli had lots of fruit and nuts (I added extra last night) so all I had to do today was add a few spoonfuls of Chobani )% yogurt and sprinkle cinnamon n sugar on top.

Fitz and I also worked on his tricks and went for a long walk--long for him, anyway, he's an 8 lb. puppy and he has short legs. He also doesn't really seem to "get" why it's hot out. His first few weeks "going out" were spent in the snow, so he thinks he's an Alaskan Malamute. He also doesn't know that water will cool him down, so I have to toss ice cubes at him. And he's dumbfounded.

What do you want me to do with this?

Fitz is not very photogenic, and at this point, I think he's just annoyed with my picture-taking.

I'm full and I'm tired, Mom, leave me alone.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Go Fish

Ahhh, my work out was amazing! I've flirted with all kinds of workouts but I always go back to cardio kickboxing at Bruce McCorry's Martial Arts. I started there almost 6 years ago and it's my all time favorite. You work and stretch muscles you didn't even know you had and punching a bag relives all kinds of stress!

Such a great start to the day! I had a few "Saturday errands" to run, so I stopped and got a large Dunkin Donuts iced coffee dark roast with a splash of skim milk + 2 packets of Truvia (which I carry with me)
It totally his the spot!

Glad to say that I didn't have to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. As soon as my tummy started rumbling, I picked up an oatmeal-to-go from Starbucks and enjoyed every filling, nutritious bite!

So I did my food shopping and I did deviate a little bit from my list...But only because of a major bargain. ALL Skippy Peanut Butter was .99 so of course I stocked up! Must be my lucky day...

After a crazy-busy afternoon, I went with my mom to visit my Gram at the nursing home. She's only been there two weeks so we like to make sure she has lots of company. My Gram is my only living grandparent and I love her so much!

Gram and Me at Mikal's wedding.

It's always difficult to watch someone you love sick. I've found it to be even more challenging when the person you love has Alzheimers. I know that there's no cure. And I know that, at some point, my grandma won't remember who I am. But I'll always know her. And I want to enjoy having her here while she is here.

So, instead of going out this Friday night, I helped decorate my Gram's bedroom and played Go Fish and Old Maid with my mom and my grandma.

And I enjoyed it.
I think she did too...

I lost...

The nursing home is a really nice place. It's relaxed. It's an old house with a big porch and forest green awnings and a beautiful view of the beach.

The inside is old too, but in a good way. It's like someone's parlor. It's almost like a step back in time. There's 40s-era music, chandeliers, a piano, a fireplace. You can almost hear a victrola playing when you walk in.

A lot of the people there are alone. But a lot aren't. There's even a husband and wife living there because the husband has Alzheimers and his wife doesn't-But she chooses to stay with him. It's like The Notebook!

...You can learn a lot when stop to sit and listen.

The Gloves are...On!


My 1st kickboxing class in over 3 months! And my 1st work out since I broke my toe last Saturday and (if you couldn't tell) I AM SUPER PUPMED!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In a Mood

"Have you ever had the mean reds?"
Nah, I don't have "the reds" as Holly GoLightly would say. I don't even have the blues. I just feel...


...More than likely, I'm bummed over being cooped up in this gorgeous weather and not being able to really work out. All because of a broken toe. I've realized that, while having time alone with your thoughts can be a good thing, I'd rather be sharing them. I just do not do well with idle time!

The good news is that the laundry is done. The dishes are pristine. My closet has never looked better. My DVD collection has been organized. My bookcase has been rearranged by author, genre and subject and I made an absolutely out-of-this-world dessert, which I plan on indulging in...

Right about now.

I'll post the recipe as soon as I'm done licking the bowl clean! I think I'll watch Breakfast at Tiffany's too, because now I'm in the mood!

The Fantastic Mr. Fitz

Last night, I was reading over the post I wrote about the loss of my dog, Newman...I felt compelled to post, not more on that loss, but on healing from it.

Time does heal. And the thing about time is that, more often than not, change accompanies it.
For my family and for me, change came in the form of a little black ball of fur we call "Fitz"
(or Honey Fitz, or FitzPatrick, FitzGibbons, Fitter, Fitty, or whatever you like...)


At first, I was adamantly opposed to the idea of getting another dog. I felt it would be like replacing that which could not be replaced. However, as the weeks passed, I found myself yearning. I missed having a dog in the house. My mom and I popped into pet stores occasionally, just to look, I always said. Usually, we would see a puppy we loved and play with it, and then go home.

My mom took more initiative and started searching for breeders on-line. We wanted a shih-tzu. A male. One that did not look like Newman. That was my search criteria. After a lot of research, e-mails, and phone calls, my mom convinced me to go with her to look at a litter of shih-tzu pups in Rhode Island. So, early on a Saturday, we drove the hour and a half, just to look.

Just looking turned into a three hour visit with each puppy in the litter, and inevitably, a down payment on an adorable little guy, all black, save for a white patch on his forehead and white on the tips of his paws.

The puppies were too young to leave their mama. So we left and proceeded to get the things the puppy would need. We also played the name game daily. Our puppy was Rondo, then Dexter, then Gizmo, Tucker, and finally, Fitz. I had it printed on an ID tag and secured it on the plaid collar I'd picked out, before we could change our minds again.

On December 22nd, 2011, we put the collar on his neck (which was smaller than my wrist) and brought him home. Undoubtedly, Fitz was adorable.  He was easy to love. So tiny and sweet. He needed us. He needed me. And since I wasn't working at the time, I put all of my energy, and turned all of my sadness and grief, into caring for this 7 week old puppy: feeding him, putting pee pads down and changing them religiously, wiping his face, paws (and his bum) with a warm washcloth, holding him...

(who wouldn't melt looking at that face?)

Everyone loved Fitz at first sight. My dad. My mom...well, of course, my mom. She gifted our puppy with the biggest welcome home basket ever, as well as lots of Christmas presents, including clothes...And I always swore I'd never be one of those people who dresses their dog. So much for that.

Fitz's first Christmas (2010)

Even my sister, who admits to not  being a dog lover, went a little gaga for the family's little puppy.

Emily + Fitz taking a nap

My sister naps a lot, but Fitz was noticeably lethargic, even for a puppy. He also hadn't been eating much. I'd been mushing his food up with rice and mixing it with chicken broth. And more often than not, he'd usually just drink the broth and ignore the food.

So, a week after Christmas, we took Fitz for his very first check-up, where we were told that he'd probably been given to us a little too early and that he probably wasn't even eight weeks yet! The vet weighed him on two different scales, and he was still only 1 lb. 3 oz.

Now, I went into nurturing and protective mama-mode completely. We changed his diet and luckily he started liking his food and gaining weight. I toted the little guy with me, afraid to let him out of my sight
(especially after a scare when, while trying to crate train him, he got his mouth stuck on one of the bars for a horrifying minute and a half while my mom held him and my dad lifted the crate, while poor little Fitz yelped and cried helplessly.)

We gave up on crate training for the time being and Fitz started sleeping in my bedroom, in the soft-sided carrier we'd brought him home in. It was fun, having Fitz with me all the time. He became my little tag-along buddy and he started doing everything with me. He watched me cook, He looked over my writing...

...He practiced his chewing on my Hunger Games books. And on everything else in my room.

Fitz started getting bigger, a bit bolder, and started gaining some independence. 

Although he still wouldn't come down the stairs on his own. Come to think of it, he still doesn't.

It wasn't long before I started to feel--for lack of a better word--resentful, of Fitz.

Maybe it was not working. Maybe it was the guilt I felt over "replacing" my Newman, that had been cropping up more and more. Maybe it was the fact that Fitz was becoming a lot less needy and a lot more naughty...waking me up at all hours of the night, wanting to sleep with me, or peeing on my yoga mat, or eating flowers, destroying shoes, developing a nipping/biting issue...All very normal things for a puppy to do, but having gone back to work and commuting over two hours a day were starting to wear on me and my patience with the puppy was wearing thin.

As much as I didn't want to admit it, there was a part of me that saw Fitz as an impostor, something trying to take my Newman's place. It was a gnawing, nasty feeling that I didn't like, but couldn't shake.

Fitz was trying to get into my bed. I allowed it while he was still tiny enough to want to stay right next to my pillow, but when he started to meander to the foot of the bed, to Newman's place, I stopped the bed thing altogether.

My breaking point was when, at his second puppy training class, Fitz bit me (and drew blood) in front of the trainer and the rest of the class. I handed him to my mom and cried while some nice PetSmart employee found me a first aid kit. I could've been crying because the bite hurt. But in all reality, I was crying because I missed Newman. And in that moment, I hated his replacement.

I know my rationale didn't make much sense, and perhaps hate is a strong word, but it was strong feeling, an insistence that:

"This is not MY dog"

...This crazy, barking, whining, biting, cell phone eating creature was not MY dog.

And I was right. Fitz wasn't my dog because he wasn't Newman. He isn't Newman. And he never will be. And that's okay. I know that Fitz will probably never occupy Newman's place on my bed, and certainly, he'll never take Newman's place in my heart. But, I'm happy to say, he's wiggled his way into my heart and found a place that's comfortable for both of us.

Over the past few months, we've formed a cautious friendship that's turned into something like love. At first, I'd say (with trepidation) to my mom "I really like Fitz..."


Now, I think it's safe to say that, even though I see him as more of a family dog, I love the little guy.
I love coming home to his kisses and his wagging tail. I love taking him for walks and the *faces* he makes. I love his excitement over a toy that squeaks and how much he loves fetching his tennis ball. I love how he actually gets me excited about throwing his tennis ball.

I love playing with him in the back yard...

And scratching his belly...

(He loves that too)

And visiting Newman...

I'll never have another Newman. I wouldn't want to. I have a kooky little puppy I'm kinda crazy about.

We're friends.

Yeah. That's my Fitz!