So We Got a Puppy…

At the end of our first week of our quarantine, we got a puppy. Evidently we have proven we are not capable of living without some sort of chaos. Since we did not have anything scheduled and we were ordered to stay home, it made sense to get a dog to brighten our spirits.

On March 20th, we welcomed home our new addition and named him “Milo Corona”. Since he is our little pandemic distraction, we had to incorporate CORONA into his name (Plus, it is my favorite beer!). He is a 52lb, male, Lab/Retriever mix. He is 8 months old and about as adorable as they come.

How we got him still baffles me.

My husband and I were working from home. He told me we needed to “talk”. My first thought went right to divorce. He was going to tell me we were done and I was ready to be okay with that. After all, we just made it through a very trying first week of social distancing and we live in a small house. Then he said the words. “I am ready for another dog and I am I going to get one soon”.

I did’t say much because I was FLOORED. I wasn’t floored because I didn’t want a dog, I was floored because he was the one that kept saying NO WAY IN HELL were we getting a 2nd dog. Clearly, being cooped up had clouded his judgement.

His declaration saying he was ready for a dog was timestamped at 10:30 AM. I sent my friend a text saying that my husband has lost his mined at 10:31 AM. Her IMMEDIATE reply contained 3 photos of shelter dogs and an order for us to get our asses to the Humane Society before they close. By noon my husband walked out the door and by 3PM, Milo officially had a forever home. I should note, he did end up selecting one of the dogs my friend sent via text.

Fast forward two weeks…

The Battle over the “Dog Chair”

Milo is a very sweet boy. He is very skittish and shy. I am not sure if he was abused or if it is just because he was not properly socialized. All I know is that we have a lot to do to get him trained as he can be extremely stubborn. He still growls at 2 of my kids but we seem to be making progress with them. He does seem to be comfortable in our home and our other dog does not hate him (she is very antisocial with other dogs). He loves going for walks and running around in our back yard.

Adopting Milo has been a bright spot during this crazy, crazy time.

Some of the Good Stuff about the Pandemic

I can’t help but feel that I am in the middle of a bad dream. The country is in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and we have been ordered to stay home. Schools, restaurants, stores, sports…everything has hit pause. It feels like a punch in the gut to have everything come to a screeching halt. Never did I dream that our lives would be impacted in this way because of a virus.

We are almost done with our second week of all being home. All 5 of us (plus two dogs) are hanging out in our small home, sharing the internet and the bathroom. Fun times. It is easy to be depressed with the current state of things. Everything we have been looking forward to doing has been canceled or postponed. No sports, no school, no trips, and no friends. The kids are sad and frustrated because they don’t understand how serious these restrictions are and have been pleading to go about their normal lives. Being an extrovert myself has posed similar feelings. I miss my co-workers. I miss happy hours. I my on the go life.

This pause hasn’t all been doom and gloom. It has allowed me to reflect and be grateful for many things in my personal life.

  1. Time with my Teenagers – My kids are typical teenagers. They are involved in sports and they love to hang out with their friends. I don’t see them enough because they are always on the go. With this “shelter in place” business, I get to take the opportunity to enjoy them and actually get to know them better. I even get to hang with their friends on FaceTime. I still get the eyerolling, the back talk, and a few slammed doors but for the most part things are good (probably because they want to be fed).
  2. I am Cooking – My family might not be grateful for this because, frankly, I suck as a cook. Being at home has forced me to put some thought around how I need to feed everyone. I plan my meals, cook them, and we eat as a family. I am embarrassed to admit that in the 2 weeks we have been home, we have eaten together at the kitchen table more times than we have in the last 5 years.
  3. Our Jobs– My husband and I have the ability to work from home. For us, things are business as usual. Our employers care for our well being and check in on us often. To be quite honest, I am more productive without the commuting and the constant traffic at my desk.
  4. Lunch time Walks – We got a puppy. I will post more on that later. I am grateful that I can step out during my lunch hour and walk these furry beasts. I find that I come back to my work with a clear head and dogs
  5. Our Health – At least for now, all 5 of us are healthy. Thank God!
  6. Leisure Time – Since we have nothing but time on our hands, we have pulled out the board games. I have discovered that my children are as obnoxiously competitive as I am. A game of Sorry can send one of us storming off in tears. My son taught us a few card games and we taught them how to play Left, Right, Center (Every hockey family needs to know how to play that). In addition to the quality family time games have provided, I have also had the opportunity to read, watch movies, binge watch TV, and WRITE!
  7. Exercise – The quarantine is my message from the universe that I have absolutely zero excused to not to get moving (at least if I stay healthy). This is my push to lose some weight and get running. I have started walking a lot more but am still struggling on the motivation piece.
  8. Technology and Social Media – Technology is an amazing thing. The internet keeps us connected for work and to keep us connected to our friends. While I don’t always love social media, it has kept me entertained with funny memes and allowed me to get a small glimpse into my friend’s lives. Instagram allows me to post ridiculous photos of the shenanigans that go on in this house. I am able to FaceTime friends and family and have “happy hours”.
  9. My Dogs – I don’t care what anyone says, a dog can help you in dark times. Last Friday my husband said, I want to get another dog. By 3 PM that day, he brought home Milo. We are now a house hold of 2 dogs and it is adding to the craziness.
  10. We found Toilet Paper and Paper Towels – Enough said!

Hang in there! Find the silver lining and know we’re all going to come out of this with a bit of fresh perspective (and 20 extra lbs or an alcohol problem).

Post Operative Recovery and Whining

I had surgery 8 days ago and I am just now starting to feel a bit more human. I had a bilateral endoscopic blah blah blah with a septoplasty something something. In short, I had a complex sinus surgery that knocked me on my ass for well over a week. I have never been in this much pain and I have had MANY surgeries and well as birthing 3 children.

I have known for many years that I have needed to have this done. Finally, it was kind of decided for me despite this being an “elective” surgery. I suffer from chronic sinus infections and my doctor said he would no longer prescribe antibiotics unless I got the issue addressed. Fair point. So I did what I was told and I met with the ENT doctor. He took one look at me and immediately recommended surgery. For safe measure he order a CT scan that confirmed and sealed the deal for me going under the knife.

The doctor explained the complexities of the surgery and all of the risks in great detail. He told me I would need some time off of work and that recovery could be somewhat intense. What I heard was “outpatient” and a “few days off of work”. I truly was incredibly ignorant going into this process thinking it would be some relaxing time off. Thankfully, my husband and parents know me better and did the research to set me straight.

The morning of my surgery was a complete shit show. The surgery center sent me information that contained the the wrong start time for my procedure and reconfirmed it incorrectly by phone. When I showed up an HOUR late I was read the riot act from the front desk (even thought I showed her it was not my fault). My doctor already seemed irritated with me because of their miscommunication but rolled his eye even further back when I proclaimed that I would be going to my son’s hockey game that night. Now I was not listening to his advice because this was just “outpatient” surgery. This was not shaping up to be a great start to the day and me pushing the buttons of the doctor was probably not smart.

Me looking sad and pathetic!

They quickly prepped me and I walked back to the operating room. I climbed up on the table, and then woke up to someone shoving pudding in my mouth followed by a pain pill of some sort. The surgery was about 3.5 hours long but felt like 5 seconds. I caught a glimpse of myself and got scared! I had what looked like a maxi pad taped to the bottom of my nose. They “washed” my face in surgery so my hair was half crusted with god knows what and my skin tone was an interesting shade of grey. This worst pain I have ever felt. It was like some punched me in face and my throat felt like I swallowed nails. I spent a few hours in recovery and I was finally cleared to go home. I vaguely remember the ride home but was with it enough to starting counting the minutes until I could start popping pain meds. My face was so swollen and my nose was unrecognizable. I looked like a freaking PIG!!

I am not a lay low kind of gal and this past week has forced me to do almost NOTHING. I did sneak out to 2 hockey games and I visited with a friend for a bout an hour out of the house on Halloween. I fluctuated between going absolutely ape shit to depressed and staring at the wall. My friends and family were amazing. They cooked, cleaned, drove, and most important kept me on my ass.

I think part of the depression I feel is how much time slipped away doing absolutely NOTHING. I watched all 5 seasons of Schitt’s Creek, Stared off into blank space, watched countless Christmas movies, spent WAY too much time on Facebook rolling my eyes at political posts and getting sucked into watching stupid videos. My low point was when I was repeatedly watching product ambassadors for L’ange do their HAIR. I almost purchased a flat iron and a curling wand that I would never ever use. I also spent time lurking on my work Teams channels and longed to be in the office (high or not, I still love my job). I was sad not to be able to celebrate Halloween and completely forgot about carving pumpkins. I missed several hockey games and feel like I haven’t seen my friends in years. Okay, I am a bit dramatic but you get my point.

When I did make it out of the house for those short periods of time, my nose would start bleeding and it grossed people out. My husband and kids didn’t not appreciate my Eleven from Stranger Things impression. I personally thought it was hilarious but then again, everything seems to be funnier when on narcotics. Even shorts jaunts from the house made my face ache and wore me out badly. For a person that is on the go all the time, this was a hard reality.

I had my post op appoint last Friday and I still have not been cleared for work. My doctor mentioned he did not want me working at all this next week. I negotiated “part time” and he reluctantly agreed. He may have rolled his eyes. Thankfully am blessed with a great boss that will allow me to work a modified schedule from home. I can’t imagine doing another week of what I just did.

This was not something I wanted to see!!

While I was at this appointment, 2 of the 4 stints in my nose had to be removed. He accidentally pulled out 3. He looked at me with face that said “OH FUCK” and kind of looked like he might cry for a moment. He insisted that we put the stint back in WHILE I WAS IN THE OFFICE and AWAKE. I began to sweat like I have never done in my life. I was TERRIFIED! He seemed a bit unnerved and that didn’t help matters. He doesn’t strike me as a guy than ever makes mistakes. He warned, “This is not going to be fun”. I warned him that I might swear…a lot. He was okay with the foul language as long I didn’t punch him. I told him no guarantees.

He must have pulled some magic trick because WITHOUT PAIN, he gave me a shot in nose, placed a stint far up my nostril and sutured it in place. It was no worse than getting my teeth cleaned. We both let out a sigh of relief and went about our days. So now I have another week of foreign objects in my nose and then I should be good to go!

I am on one more week of a modified schedule. I am easing back into life and daily craziness. I am setting mini goals to work back up to my rigorous daily routine. I hope to come back stronger, refreshed, and have the ability to breathe…through my nose.

Recovery Goals for This Week:

  • Focus on Healthy Eating – For the past week I have eaten nothing but sugar and carbs. I have been living on Popsicles, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, and Gatorade. Oh and….all of my kids’ Halloween candy. My pre-op appointment was not stellar and proved I needed to clean up my act.
  • Sleep– I need to be mindful that recovery will be faster if I am getting quality sleep.
  • Daily Walk Outside- I need to get moving. This is nothing fast or vigorous but I need to blow the stink off myself and move my body.
  • Work– I plan on only working 4 hours a day but I need to focus on something outside of this house to truly feel like I am human.

Stop! Hammer Time!

This past weekend I attended “Hammer’s House Party”. It was a 90’s throw back, hip hop show featuring Tone Loc, Kid N Play, Rob Base, and MC Hammer.
It really was about as cheesy as it sounds but it was awesome! It was a show I could not pass up and well worth the $65 just for the people watching alone! To be completely honest, I like hip hop but I am much more of a hairband or classic rock kind of gal. But who doesn’t love a little blast from the past and have some time to relive the glory days?!
Tone Loc pretty much had his back up singers do all the work with him jumping in a few times. The crowd did go ape shit when he sang Wild Thing. Kid n Play came one stage and I was struggling to remember who they were. None of their music stood out to me but they were FUNNY! They said their new sponsors were Icy Hot and Ben Gay! Men that understand me.. Rob Base was pretty awesome and he performed the 2 songs were played non-stop in the late 80’s.. Then there was Hammer… He sucked. However, I did LOVE how he payed tribute to Prince by doing a combination of Pray and one of Princes songs. I am going to go to hell for saying this but I was not a massive prince fan so I don’t know a ton of his music. Anytime people come to town they pay homage to our hometown legend. Being from MN, it seems that you are required that you idolize him…I don’t. I can appreciate his music and do think he was a genius but I am still not a mega fan.
Hammer did 2 encore songs…2 Legit and U Can’t Touch This. He did NOT do the typewritter dance nor did he wear his iconic low crotch pants. He had his son there and he did the dance (lame). I wonder if he is feeling his age like me and wanted to be able to walk in the morning?
The concert was at Treasure Island Casino near Red Wing, MN. They have been having a lot of big names roll through there in recent months.. It is not my favorite venue. It is an hour away from Minneapolis. The outdoor venue is a cluster shit show. Not a good place to take a person with a disability. The indoor venue was okay but you have to walk though the casino to get to the auditorium. I find casinos chaotic and I am not a fan of the smoke ( it is one of the last places on earth you can smoke).. I felt like was a dying a slow death breathing in all the toxic fumes!
Despite the bad venue and cheese factor, my concert girls are made the night. They are about as fun as you can get! I left that night with what felt like a broken rib from laughing! My one friend donned gold metallic “hammer” pants. They were amazing! She is so short that they made her look like an Ooompa Loompa and I wasted no time to point that out to her.
I danced and danced! The music may have brought my youth back to me but my 45 year, out of shape body brought me back to reality pretty damned fast. We danced our hearts out. At one point while pounding my arm in the air and jumping I felt my elbow crack and it let out a huge pop. It felt like my knees where on FIRE, and while I jumped, I pissed my pants. Then at the end of the show, it was about 11Ish I turned to my friend and asked if we could go home because I had an early day. That was the icing on the cake..The minivan, my aching muscles and me headed for home at 11 Pm on a Saturday night. My 18 year old self would have just been getting ready to go out!

Pinteresting Night

I kept looking at my calendar in disbelief when there was not one thing on it. I mean NOTHING!!! There was not an appointment, not a meeting, and the most shocking thing…NO SPORTS! This is a rare day in our house. Usually I get kind of twitchy when there is nothing on the calendar because I always feel like I am missing something. Since I had some “free” time, I pulled up Pinterest and decided to do something CRAFTY.

My daughter’s hockey team has a pizza party after their game tomorrow. I decided to make some Halloween treats to share with the team. I have a Holiday board dedicated to cute Halloween crafts and desserts and this was the perfect time to actually make something. I don’t think a bunch of 12 year old hockey players will judge me too harshly if they didn’t look like the inspiration photo.

Knowing I that I am a complete shit show when it comes to crafting and being in the kitchen, I chose something EASY. Three ingredients, that was it. I could handle that. Plus this brilliant Pinterest Poster used pre-made Rice Krispie treats. A person after my own heart!

I went to Costco and bought the 60 count box of Rice Krispie Treats. There was going to be more than enough to make a few mistakes (I know that about myself so I need to plan ahead!) I bought the candy melts, eye balls, and treat bags at Michaels. I am not advertising for these stores at all, I am just stating where I went for supplies. When I tally what I spent on this little project (approximately $30), I would have been better off buying custom cupcakes or a tray of cookies. But if I had been thinking, I could have done this a bit smarter and done it for about $10-$12 bucks. I definitely have lots of left over supplies.

When I get into a Pinterest Mode, things can go to shit pretty quick. I have a tendency to have attention deficit and lose interest quick or cause an explosive mess. Both happened during this project. I started off with the idea of putting the treats on a stick to make for easier dipping. That went down hill fast, no matter how I attached the stick to the treat, it ended up poking through and ruining my creation. The next thing that proved to be a disaster was using fancy sprinkles. I bought what was left on the shelf (which wasn’t much). I tried one of the treats that had sprinkles and just about broke a tooth. Scrapped that idea because I didn’t want to be responsible for dental work. I finally decided to keep it simple with just dipping them 1/2 way and adding eyes. Once I figured out a process, it went pretty quick.

  • Unwrap Treats
  • Melt discs (do one color at a time)
  • Dip and spread evenly
  • Add eyeballs and brows
  • Set in a glass pan upright

In the end, I am happy with the end product. It cost more than it should, took longer it should, and created one hell of a mess. I got my crafting itch scratched! Nailed it!

Beer Pressure

This past weekend, I met up with two of my fellow hockey mom friends and we caught up over a few beers. We hung out for several hours chatting about our children’s transition to high school, the start of the new hockey season, and celebrated a major accomplishment.

My friend just finished her first full marathon! I was eager to hear all of the gory race details because I watched her diligently train through the summer and she ran my favorite race of all time, Twin Cities Marathon. She talked about how fun the course was, how awesome all of the fans were, and how her race fell apart at mile 22 when she started vomiting. She pushed through the pain and barf and finished the race like a boss. With all that she went through, she said with a big smile, “I WILL do another one soon”!

As we had another beer, we talked more about the race and running in general. I am not what happened, but the conversation went from celebration to the three of us deciding to do a 2020 marathon! I think I may have put up a small fight but in the end I caved. I believe I got “beer pressured” into a marathon commitment.

We all had different reasons for wanting to tackle 26.2 miles. My friend that just ran wanted redemption for getting sick and my other friend has a marathon on her life bucket list. For me, I found myself wanting to be in my friend’s shoes. I realized I missed running…a lot. I am currently in a bit of a rut both mentally an physically and need a scary goal to accomplish with the accountability of my friends.

I am committed. I made a promise and now I have to keep it. The next step is to come up with a plan to go from being an overweight, sedentary person to a marathon runner in 13 short months!!! Stay tuned….it is going to be a wild ride.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

It is October 12th and we are getting snow. My trees are full of colorful leaves that have not fallen yet, my deck furniture is not put away, and just last week we had the air conditioning on due to heat. Words cannot even describe my seasonal depression right now. We had snow in April, our summer was not great weather wise, and now we are getting cheated out of a nice fall. Welcome to Minnesota! I can’t help but feel a little bitter.

My Facebook feed is nothing but people bitching about the weather. It is comforting we are all in this miserable boat together and we all send the middle finger emojis to our friends that live down south that are posting beach photos. In 6.5 years, after my youngest graduates high school, I hope to be one of those beach bums. If I NEVER saw another winter again, I would be happy!

Looking at the silver lining, the soccer tournament we had scheduled for today was canceled which freed up my morning to tackle some house projects (or drink coffee and reintroduce my self to the blogosphere). So I guess I should express my gratitude to Mother Nature for sparing us the drive and sitting outside in the chilly temps for hours on end.

With my new found time I have been pondering whether or not I should continue this blog. I have not been very consistent posting partially due to available time and not knowing the direction to take it. I even Googled…”Are blogs still relevant?”. I have about 100 posts that I have started that are sitting in the draft state that never were published. Who would read this crap???

While Google’s short answer to my question was YES, blogs are still relevant. I determined that I still need a way to procrastinate and blogging is the perfect way for me to do that. Even if no one reads this crap, it is still better than me keeping a written journal (I hate my handwriting) and it keeps me somewhat accountable. So long story short, I am going to keep my sliver of the internet and post the ramblings of my average life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to hit up Pinterest to find some comfort food recipes*

*Note: I will pin said recipes and move forward with ordering food to be delivered.