Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Suck Factor

The kids & I recently ran into a family friend as he was leaving his gym.

So proud of him for taking charge of his health and working on his fitness!

"Hey Mom," said #2 Son, "how come when you work out you come back all wet and when Mr. H___ works out, he just looks normal?"

I have been working with a trainer since July, 2010.  I've dropped some weight (not as much as I want, but whaddya gonna do?  It's a process.)  My strength and endurance have gone through the roof.  But when Gabe is done with me for the day, it's clear I worked out hard.

Who am I kidding?  After an hour with Gabe -- or with Victor -- I am a soaking wet, bright red, quivering, panting mess.  I don't look "normal".

I don't "glisten" like the women in my fitness magazines.   I drip.  My hair is wet, my shirt is wet, and it looks like I pissed my pants.  It scares the hell outta any civilians who I meet on the way back to the car.


Because Gabe knows how to up the Suck Factor.  For example:

A few months ago, Gabe told me that when I do a bench press, I need to keep my legs raised with my shins at a 90° angle.  That way it works my abs with my arms.  Sucks.

Last week he upped the suck factor.  Instead of merely elevating my legs, I now have to extend them to a 15° angle every time I press, then pull them back in.  That way my C-Section scars can feel like they are rupturing 25 times in a row. 

You've heard of the plank.  Sometimes you plank from your elbows, sometimes from your hands.  The plank is fine for the first 25 seconds.  It's the remaining 95 seconds that feels like an eternity.

Up the suck factor:  plank from your elbows, then push up to your hands.  Thirty times.  Five sets. 

Try one.  I'll wait.

Sucks, right?

Two of the suckiest exercises are the burpee and the "frog jump" (or as I like to call it, the hippo jump.  Because that's how it looks when I do it.)

The burpee is that drop-to-a-push-up-then-spring-back-up-then-jump.  The frog jump is just a simple jump forward 6 inches and land in a squat.  Do it as often as it takes to cross the width of the football field.  It's the kind of move 8 year olds do when they are pretending they are avoiding lava.    It's not so much fun at 47.  There's no avoiding the goddam lava -- your quads will feel like they are made of it after the first lap.  And there are many, many more laps.

Up the suck factor:  Burpee, then frog jump. 

Gabe has the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup theory:  Two great tastes that taste great together.  Only replace the word "taste" with the word "Pain".

Case in point:  Bear crawls.  Plus pushups.  PLUS suicides.

Bear crawls are the exercises where you crawl your 47 year old size 18 ass across the room on your hands and feet, butt in the air.  My 4 year old LOVES to bear crawl with me.  He weighs 28 lbs. I weigh 8&1/2 times that.

Suicides are where you run to the cone, touch it, then run back.  Then run to the further cone, then back.

Suck Factor:  20 pushups, bear crawl to the first cone, 20 more push ups, bear crawl to the second cone, 20 more pushups, bear crawl to the third cone, 20 more pushups, bear crawl to the fourth cone, turn around and come back the same way.

By now, you must be saying "For God's sake, don't do it.  Tell Gabe NO!"

I'm not going to tell Gabe "No".

Because Gabe has never made me do something I couldn't do.  When I started working with him, it took me 5 minutes to bear claw my size 26 ass across the room.  I could do no more than 10 burpees at a time.  I could only do pushups from my knees.  When I started working out I was soaking wet and bright red after 5 minutes.

I still sweat.  I'm still red, winded and tired at the end of a session.  But that's only because Gabe knows how up up the suck factor.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Resolution Time!

It's time to make those resolutions again!

Here are some of mine (in no particular order):

1. Run a 5K every month.

Remember how I made that my goal for 2011?  Remember how I did it?  Remember how I lost a bunch of weight that year?

Remember how I DIDN'T have that as a goal in 2012?  Remember how I only ran like 4 times all year?  Remember how I didn't lose hardly any weight at all?

You probably don't remember that part on account of I HAVEN'T BLOGGED FOR SHIT IN MONTHS.

2. Blog every week.

I miss blogging.  A lot.

I fubar'd my  Big time.  (don't click the link.  It goes nowhere.)

So I am playing with other domains.  Thought I wanted a variation of giftoffat, but now I am thinking of trying something else.  I'll letcha know.


Grad School is part of the reason I have sucked at blogging.  I'll be done in December 2013.  Fingers crossed.

4. Go to Confession every 2 weeks.

While on my blog hiatus, I went on a spiritual retreat with a bunch of other women.  It was really great except we fucking cried the whole time.  Sometimes you just gotta cry, ya know?  The retreat was supposed to make me all holy & shit.  Well, it didn't.  But it did remind me of the value of Reconcilliation.  And frequent reconcilliation WILL make me all holy & shit.

(To all you anti-swearers out there, I maintain that there is a big difference between "Fuck That" and "Fuck You."  I never say the latter.  If I do, it will come to confession with me.)

5. Have a date with my husband every month.

This is an awsome goal.  And I probably should tell him about it.  Heh.

We'll keep ya posted!

Love, Mary A

This should have been our Christmas Card Photo.  But we didn't take it until after we already send cards.  Dammit!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Zombie

I am one of those sanctimonious souls who constantly bewails the aggressive pre-Halloween marketing of Christmas. 

I'm really kind of a PITA.

I flat out refuse to participate in Black Friday because I find it obnoxious to spend so much time, money and energy on crap no one really needs.

Again, total PITA.

But on the Saturday after Thanksgiving?

I become a Christmas Zombie.

I didn't realize it until I unpacked my groceries a few minutes ago.

I now own:

3 different "Christmas" home fragrances:  Christmas Tree, Cinnamon Sparkle and Candy Cane.

Candy Cane Oreos

Christmas Tree shaped snack cakes to send to school with the boys this week.

Holiday sparkle nail polish

4 "gift sets" of soap, a wash puff and lotion to give to God knows who.  Teachers I guess.  'Cause teachers never get dozens of soaps, lotions and wash puffs every single year. 

A Christmas Cranberry candle.

In my defense, I didn't buy a tree. 

I already have one.

Might put it up tonight. 

What a PITA.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Chased

Happy Thanksgiving!

I should be cooking and cleaning, but instead I'm trolling Facebook and blogging. 

I did a Turkey Chase this morning.

A Turkey Chase is a cute name for getting up too early on a day off to run 4 miles with 500 people who are faster than me.

Actually, I did not come in last.

Last year, I came in last.  DEAD last.

In 2011 I ran a 5K every single month.

In 2011 I lost a lot of weight.  I got down to 244.  (I know that sounds like a lot, but my highest non-pregnant weight was 298.  That's a lot for a 5'4" woman)

In 2012, I did a 10 K in January, a 5K in the summer and the Turkey Chase today.

Know what? 

If I want to be good at running I need to do more of it.

It's not that I didn't work out this year.  Gabe kicks my ass almost every day.

I kept the weight off.  Well, I put some back on. . .then lost some. . .then added some. . then lost some more, but I just weighed in at 243.

Yeay!  I lost a pound.  This year.

I also worked full time, took a full load at school and was a first-time Scout mom.  I didn't blog much tho.

What I am saying is, I am not beating myself up for not running a lot this year. 

I'm just going to plan to run a lot more next year.

One 5K every month.

November's will be the Turkey Trot. 

I might come in last.

Turkey Trot 2011.  Notice how no one is running BEHIND me.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Identity Crisis

Once upon a time I was a blogger.

I had a domain name.

I had followers.  And commenters.  I even got spammed.

I started the blog to talk about why being fat isn't the worst thing in the world.  I wanted to share with the world that being fat has advantages. 

It does.

I found that being fat gave me presence.  And presence gave me courage.  Courage to speak out against bullying, prejudice and hatred.

Size awareness is important to me.  I will continue to write about it often.  But it gets a little. . . strident after a while.

Sometimes you just wanna have fun.

So I wrote fun things.  Silly things.  Tacky things. 

Then I became interested in getting fit, so I wrote about the funny and embarassing and triumphant things that happen to a fat girl who works out. 

I loved writing.

I loved reading the comments and hearing from people that they liked my writing.  I loved the attagirls and the affirmations.  I loved the blog friends I made along the way.

And then. . .

I guess I forgot to pay someone.

My domain name,, suddenly stopped directing to my blog. 


Somewhere, somehow, I pointed the domain to a host or somthing and agreed to pay a $10 hosting fee.   When it was time to re-up, my card had expired.  SInce their contact e-mail was one I check every 3 years or so, the message to update the payment expired.  Oops.

Can I find all my user names and passwords?

Uh.  No.

Every time I think I have it handled, Go Daddy says "it may take up to 3 days to respond".  Dude -- in 3 days I'm gonna be doing something else. 

So fuckit.  I'm done.  I need to move on. 

I need to get a new domain name. 

So I'm thinking of or  

Whaddya think?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm No Quitter

My brother is getting married in a few weeks.

We're thrilled.

Mostly we're thrilled that he's found such an amazing person to share his life with.

I'm pretty sure my dad is thrilled that he's marrying a girl. 

He's 42.  We were starting to wonder. 

I got these shoes to wear to the wedding:

I thought it might be wise to give these hotties a test drive, as I have been known to . . .um. . . . fall off my shoes. 

So I wore them this week.

I walked.  I twirled.  I swung my feet in the air to show people my cute new shoes.

I felt so sexy.

I felt so TALL.

I felt such pain.

In my toes. 

Those beautiful shoes rub against my big toes. 

By noon, I switched to flats. 

The flats hurt because of the giant throbbing blister on each big toe.

I would drive through the pain, but agony takes some of the sass out of your walk, ya know?

But my toes are better today.

So this weekend I am buying some of those shoe insets that will keep me from sliding forward so much.

And I'm gonna try again on Monday.

Because those shoes are worth it.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Greatest Strength

You know how sometimes your greatest strength is also sometimes your greatest weakness?

Like, people who are really great at being organized sometimes can't just let go and go with the flow?

One of my great strengths is that I am a communicator. 

The correlating weakness:

I have a big fucking mouth.

I don't mean to.  I just can't seem to STFU. 

Anyone ever tackled this before?  Any ideas on how to fix it?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I recently gave you a "Peek into Purgatory" where I described all the fun things Gabe makes me do on this:

"1. The Box. This is where the Burpees happen. Burpees are the fun thing where Gabe makes you drop to your hands, kick your feet out behind you to a push-up position, then bring your feet back in, then jump. Gabe likes to do sets of 25. Sometimes 30. Sometimes more.

The Box is also for Mountain Climbers and Step Ups. Gabe likes to do those in sets of 50 or 100. I mean, Gabe likes ME to do those in sets of 50 or 100.

Also, Gabe loves to do four sets of everything. Sometimes he likes five sets. Five sets of 30 burpees is 150 burpees. Just in case you hadn't noticed."

Gabe read the post.  Then Karma set in.

Today?  I had to do 300. 

Scared of what I have to do tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Peek at Purgatory

Today Gabe posted a pic of the V-Fit space at Spohn Shoreline.  I've told you about it before.  This is the place I have been working out all summer.

It looks like this:

Lovely, isn't it?  Bright, sunny and roomy.

Let me give you a brief tour:


1. The Box.  This is where the Burpees happen.  Burpees are the fun thing where Gabe makes you drop to your hands, kick your feet out behind you to a push-up position, then bring your feet back in, then jump.  Gabe likes to do sets of 25.  Sometimes 30.  Sometimes more. 

The Box is also for Mountain Climbers and Step Ups.  Gabe likes to do those in sets of 50 or 100.  I mean, Gabe likes ME to do those in sets of 50 or 100.

Also, Gabe loves to do four sets of everything.  Sometimes he likes five sets.  Five sets of 30 burpees is 150 burpees.  Just in case you hadn't noticed.

2.  The Bosu.  This is a fun toy.  When my kids come with me they LOVE to bounce on the Bosu!  The Bosu is great for increasing stability.  Which is why sometimes Gabe likes me to do Burpees off this instead of the Box.  Sometimes he likes it when I turn the Bosu over and do Sprawls.  Sprawls are kinda like Burpees, only instead of dropping to your hands, you grip the sides of the Bosu, sprawl your legs out, bring them in, then LIFT the Bosu over your head.  One Hundred and Fifty Times.

It's not heavy.  For the first 75 reps.

The Bosu is also used to do push ups -- sometimes your hands are on the bouncy part, sometimes your feet are.  It's used to balance while you do arm curls with 15 lb dumb bells.  Gabe has ALL sorts of fun with the Bosu.

3.  The Bench.  You've heard of the Bench Press.  This is where Gabe gives me 12-20 lb weights and has me press them over my head, or "fly" them (drop my arms to the sides like a cross then pull them over my head) or do "Skull Crushers".  Skull Crushers are where Gabe gives me the heaviest weight he has in stock and hold my arms straight over my face.  Then I bend my elbows back until the weights are behind my head, then I lift the weights back to over my face.  Fear of being permanently maimed is great incentive for hanging on to the dumb bells.

Gabe's favorite use of the Bench is to have me do Dips.  Dips use my own body weight to strengthen my triceps.  I sit on the edge with my palms flat on the bench, fingers curling over the edge.  Then I scoot my butt WAY over the edge and "dip" myself.  Then I straighten up.  Considering my body weight is WAY heavier than anything in the V-Fit arsenal, these are one of Gabe's favorites.

Here is what it looks like:

Oh yeah -- he likes me to keep one foot in the air.  Heh.
 4.  The FLOOR.  While this looks like a lovely, open space, this is where I get to do things like "Suicides", "Bear Crawls", "Walk Outs" and all the fun abdominal exercises.  The Floor is one of the most difficult stations there is.

5. Machines.  What the photo doesn't show you is that around the corner resides dozens of exercise machines.  Some work your abs, some your arms, some do legs.  All are really really hard. 

6. The most terrifying of all:  The Scale.  This is where we measure how far we've come and how far we've got to go.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the V-Fit facility.  This area is only a small portion of the whole area, but it's used to its fullest capacity.  Some day, maybe Gabe will post a pic of the elevator bay where he makes his cousin Albert chase me in circles for 45 minutes.  Or the stairway where sometimes people have to walk ELEVEN flights. 

Like the real purgatory, great suffering goes on here.  So too, like the real purgatory, the suffering will one day be rewarded. 

It will, won't it?  Please?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I never noticed. . .

But my friend Sherrie did:

February 2009

July 2012

I guess there is a difference.  Maybe it's the glasses.  Maybe it's the red. 

Who am I kidding?

It's Gabe & Victor.  They're the difference. 

Thanks guys!  And thanks Sherrie!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Not Proud of Myself But. . .

When I am in the ladies room & I hear someone talking on a phone, the adolescent boy in me wants to rip a loud, juicy fart.

But I don't do that. 

I just want to.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's your favorite re-run?


I have been going to school pretty much full time all summer. 

I got a week off last week, where I intended to catch up on blogging, reading, and laundry.

Didn't catch up on ANY of it.

School starts again TODAY.

So I'm going to re-post some stuff.

A lot of stuff.

Any requests????

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Latest Crush. . .

I have a new crush!

He's handsome, dark & lean with abs like Michael Phelps.

He's got big brown eyes and a smile that fills the room.


Did I mention that he has abs like Michael Phelps?  Because he totally does.

Ok -- I need to remind everyone that just because I say "crush" doesn't mean I want to kiss him or anything.  I am very much in love with my husband, who also has abs like Michael Phelps.  Well -- like Michael Phelps will have in 10 years if he doesn't lay off the weed.  (Munchies, man.  Not good.)  It's a totally platonic crush.

As you can tell, there is a new guy working out at V-Fit.

And he is AWESOME!

His name is Albert.  He's Gabe's cousin.  They have really similar builds -- lean and muscular.  They each have an almost indescribable intensity.  They are both kind, and funny, and patient with me.

They both kick my ass.

But Albert humbles me.

He gently but deliberately inspires all around him to give a little sumpin' more.  Because he does.

Albert happens to have cerebral palsy. 

It doesn't keep him from lapping me during runs, or pushing himself really hard when the rest of us are whining.

He's totally dreamy.

Especially his abs.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012



I'm still fat.

And I'm still cursing a lot so if that bugs you, go back to checking facebook.

Because this is a cursing post.  I'm grumpy.

You've been warned,  so I don't fucking wanna hear it.

OK.  Still fat.

I'm eating clean (ish).  I'm not drinking pop. Or beer.  I'm working out.

Still fat.

Next step:  Portion control.


The fact is, that while I eat very healthy food, I still eat too much of it. 

Like there is such a thing as "too much" quinoa.  Whatevs.

So, I'm googling hints on portion control, because we ALL know this shit ain't gonna happen by itself.

That's when I noticed it.

I mean, I noticed it!

The exclamation point!  At the end of every hint! And it's fucking annoying!

Here is a sample of some of the" hints!" I read today:

1. At work, why not split take out with a buddy? At a restaurant, pack up half of your meal before you even start eating: Voila! You have an instant dinner!

2. Don't be embarrassed about asking for a child's meal. It's really no big deal. I've even got a trick for places that have a "12 and under sign" -- I order it to go and then plop right down in the dining room, eat my meal, and give the toy to a kid sitting nearby!

3. Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied or comfortably full. “Try to gauge when you are 80 percent full and stop there,” says Clifford. “There will be more food at the next meal or snack!

(Source -- just fucking google it.  This is not a term paper & I am not getting paid for this shit.  I didn't WRITE those tips. I admit it.  Good enough?)

I don't object to exclamation points per se.  Hell I TALK in exclamation points!  I write them all the time! I LIKE caps and punctuation for emphasis!

Except when I want facts and not hyperbole. i.e.:  Portion control: step 1: blah, step 2: blah blah, step 3: blah blah blah.

I don't need any cute PUNCTUATION!  I don't want to hear ". . .step 3: blah, blah, blah!" like they just came up with this fucking revelation that no one ever thought of.  Split take out with a buddy?!  I did.  And the fucking carrot cake was so good my BUDDY decided to get a slice of red velvet cake too!

I am ANNOYED! that exercising and eating clean and not drinking pop and doing what I am fucking supposed to be doing is not making me thin!  (that was a "!" for anger, not for cute).

I hoped google would have all the answers.

It doesn't.

I need to weigh and measure my food. 

Try to gauge when you are 80% full. . .. obviously written by someone who has never had a weight problem. If I could do that, dumbass, I wouldn't be fat!  (again, "!" for anger, not cute).

Next step, portion control.  Great.  I am so fucking happy.  Dammit! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just Because I Know You Want to See Him Again

Photo Used Without Permission.  Totally Stolen. 

Here is another pic of Vic.  And my other handsome trainer, Gabe.

Gabe is also handsome, right?  But more in a happily-married-to-a-gorgeous-woman-father-of-two kinda way.

I really love both of these guys.

And based on the last post's comments?  You also love to look at Vic.

Your Welcome!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Starting Over

Remember how in 2011 I ran one 5K every single month?

Remember how proud I was that I accomplished that goal?

I haven't run a 5K since December 2011.

Because I am a lazy ass.

Actually, it's not because I'm lazy.  I'm actually a pretty hard worker.  It's just that this year, running wasn't a goal.

So it didn't happen.

In all fairness, I DID run half a half marathon (6.5 miles) in January.  So that can kinda count for 2 5Ks, right?  But March, April, May, June, I didn't do anything. 

I miss doing 5Ks.  I miss the people.  I miss the buzz.  I miss the feeling of accomplishment. 

I don't miss the owie sore muscles & knees, but Gabe does a pretty good job of making me owie during our regular workouts.

Also, I miss Vic.  Vic the Basterd.

I work out with Gabe now.  Which I LOVE.  But Vic and Gabe are usually not in the same place, so while I used to miss Gabe, now I miss Vic. 

I can't wait to see him tomorrow!

He's going to see me, then he's gonna give me a hug.  Then he's gonna say "Move your ass". 

I'm gonna say "But I haven't run in a LONG time".

He's gonna say "Bullshit.  No excuses." See?  Basterd.

Then I'm gonna run as fast as I can for about 50 minutes.  Old people and toddlers are going to leave me in their wakes.  But when I finish the race, my friends will be there shouting for me. 

Even Vic.

Happy Birthday ya Basterd!  I love you!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Last week, I blogged about how brave my friend Letty is for taking her top off during a boiling hot workout.

This week we moved boot camp away from the water.  We worked out at a park on the base of a bluff.  There was lots more shade.  And lots more hills. 

Letty was there.  And her friend Melinda.  And Albert, Gabe's cousin.  And me.

And Gabe, of course.

Gabe -- always the silent assassin -- quietly made us run up hills, then do push ups, then sprint, then do lunges, then sprint some more. . the usual. 

He made us do wall sits.  Here are me & Melinda doing wall sits:

Look Ma!  No chairs!

Doesn't it look like we're just hanging out?  Look closer.

Notice the red color of my face?  See how shiny I am?  That's SWEAT.  If you look really close, you will notice the stringy wet hair surrounding my face.  And the soaked tee shirt.  This was about 10 minutes into our workout.

Shortly after this was taken, Letty took her top off again.  Because it was HOT.  Not only did she take her top off, she was wearing an adorable matching baby blue sports bra-skort combo.

In other words? She took her top off and looked good in it.

She also looked a lot cooler.

So. . .. .I did it too.

I took my top off.


In front of BOYS.

Boys I didn't give birth to.

And it was cooler.  I felt lovely & light.  My midriff has never been out in public before.  It's not red like my face, it's pink.  Having my top off felt wonderful.

And self conscious. 

It probably improved my form because I was sucking my gut in the whole time.  Not that anyone could tell, but I was.

I am not going to take my top off at every workout.  But when it's REALLY hot?  I'll get some matching outfits.

I didn't actually let Gabe take my pic, but this gives you an idea.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

True Guts. . .

This morning I went to Bootcamp.

I KNEW it was gonna be unbearably hot.  I knew there wasn't a breath of wind out.  I knew that I would be miserable within 5 minutes.

So I did something I considered to be very brave:

I wore a sleeveless top.


I wear this top all the time.  Just never in public.  It's really perfect for working out -- the arms are completely free, and the neckline swoops low enough that it doesn't choke you as you are running.

It's just that, I am still not comfortable enough with my upper arms to bare them in public. 

They aren't bad, really.  If I flex, the upper third looks really cut. 

The lower two-thirds are still . . . .um. . . snuggly. 

But I figured that it was so hot out, and I would be with friends anyway, who cares if my snuggly arms jiggle jaggle all over the place.

So I did it.

And BOY am I glad I did. 

HOT.  Hothothothothothothot.  HOT.  And Sweaty?  Let me tell you, after running our laps, doing our burpees, squatting our squats, running more laps. . .I was dripping like . . .something that drips a lot.  (can't think of anything witty here.  Sorry)

ALL of the other girls there were also sleeveless.  Lori was there, Amy, Michelle, Letty, Chris, and some new friends who I forget their names.  (Sorry).  No boys were brave enough to face Gabe on a hot Saturday morning.  I will excuse Omar because I know he's in San Antonio running a 10K, but all you other guys?  You are a bunch of that bad word that used to mean kitten. 

Us girls were awesome.  Sweaty.  But AWESOME.  Michelle was out until 2 AM last night, and she still made it.  (She may or may not have still been drunk)..  Two of the girls were awesomer than awesome. 

The first girl who just HUMBLED the rest of us was Lori.  Lori ran her laps & when it was time to do the knees-to-your-chest 30 times thing, she stepped on the step funny & broke her foot.  She said OW, took her shoe off, put some ice on it, then WORKED OUT FOR THE REST OF THE HOUR.
She went to get it X-Rayed afterwards, and yep.  Broken. 

The second awesome of the awesome was Letty. 

Here's the thing about Letty.  Letty inspires just because of the way she busts her ass.  She's lost about 30 lbs (or more) this year, and she is WELL on her way to losing more.  I need to wake up my inner Letty and get back on the stick. 

Letty had no problem with showing up in a sleeveless top, even though her arms aren't that much smaller than mine.  So there's that.  But the thing that makes Letty my absolute hero is that Letty got really hot, so she TOOK HER TOP OFF!

A few months ago, I wrote about my "courage" in taking my top off for about 30 seconds.

Letty worked out in a sports bra for the whole hour.

And she ROCKED it.

I love you Letty.  You have guts!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dawn at the Seashore

My friends are AWESOME.

My alarm went off at . .  .OMG 5:30 in the morning. 

At 5:40, I got a text from Roland telling me to get up.  Then from Patricia telling me she & Ian were almost ready to go. 

I roused the kids, brushed my teeth and tried in vain to get Greg out of bed. 

He missed it. 

A quick stop at Starbucks for coffee & banana bread (shaddap).

Then we headed to the ocean.

There were probably 300 people there.  Watching the turtles was awesome. Seeing my friends was awesomer. I saw my friend Amanda and her husband Josh. Saw Melissa & Ralph. I saw Tony. Remember Tony? I saw Nelda and Christie and Roland.  Roland brought Minnie and Melissa.  Saw Susan.  Saw Patricia and her precious Ian (who also happens to be Paulie's bff!).    

I didn't see Dee, or Sandra, or Jessica, but I know they were there. 

12 turtle babies were released.

Apparently there are usually 75-100 hatchlings at a release, but apparently turtles, like Greg, prefer to sleep in on the 4th of July.

I haven't downloaded my photos yet, but my friend Josh did. 

So I stole 'em!

All photos courtesy of Josh Brown

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I count on you guys for accountability.

Whether you know it or not, you have kept me accountable for my workouts.

You kept me accountable for running one 5K per month last year.

You keep me accountable on clean eating.

You keep me from drinking pop.

You even keep me from breaking a rule in public restrooms.

I need you to keep me accountable tomorrow.

I need to get my ass out of bed.  REALLY EARLY.

It's for a really great reason.  I will be really glad that I got up REALLY EARLY.

I am going to release turtles.

Every time my kids hear "Releasing the Turtles" they giggle.  Because that's what they say when they have to poop.  Their dad started it. 

Tomorrow at 6:45 AM,Kemp's Ridley turtle hatchlings will be released at the Padre Island National Seashore.  These events are open to the public.  According to posts I've read on Facebook, attending a hatchling release is one of the coolest things ever

But it's at 6:45 in the morning.  And it's about 30 minutes away, so we're talking a 5:30 am wake up call. 

I hate waking up at 5:30.

I hate waking up at 7:30 if you wanna know the truth.

That's why I need you.

Keep me accountable, willya?

Will post my own photo of amazing turtles.  After my nap.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reposting. . . Because It Happened Again

Sometimes I get a little behind on chores.

Like laundry.

As long as I have reasonably clean uniforms for the kids, socks & unders for the hubs and a clean sports bra for me, I'm usually good.

Never occurred to me that I would run out of panties.

Wait -- I want all the boys to stop reading right now. The Bitchy Waiter is funny today. Go read him.

Yes, you too Ed. GO!


I have 10000 pairs of underwear. Some are fun & lacy. Some are thongs. Some coordinate with a specific bra. Most are comfy cotton briefs.

Last night after my shower, I opened the panty drawer and. . . . . .chirp chirp chirp.

Nothing. Not a thing. Not a thong. No boyshorts, hipsters, g-strings or briefs.

In normal circumstances, I would go without. But it's fright week. I need unders.

I had NOTHING. Just a giant pile of dirty laundry. I would never wear dirty underwear. Ok, I would. I totally would. But the laundry was especially dirty with wet towels and everything. So I couldn't even find any not-too-dirty ones.

I had to borrow from Greg. And Greg has 2 choices: tighty whiteys or chonies. Chonies weren't gonna do it for me because they wouldn't hold my . .. um . . products in place. I figured if Kate Moss could wear T.W.s, I could too. Because Kate & I are soooooo similar.

I knew boys were different from girls. I had no idea HOW different.

They have the whole keyhole thing goin' on. Because they are too lazy to pull their pants down when they pee. Know what else? The leg holes on T.W.s are tight. I mean -- no elastic. WTF? How can they wear these? And there is about 8 inches of fabric between the legholes. Their legs are NOT that far apart. I know they need extra fabric to cover their extra parts, but I had NO IDEA that there was so much fabric down there. Finally, the waistband? Definately not designed for girls. Well, maybe for Kate Moss. But for girls with hips? Nope.

So today, I am catching up on my laundry.

Cotton briefs first. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

11th Heaven

I love working out with the V Fit guys.  They are amazing trainers, they have pushed me past my limits and helped me lose close to 50 lbs. 

The latest innovation at V Fit is that they have put a studio on the 11th floor of Spohn Hospital on Shoreline.  For those of you not familiar with Corpus Christi, TX, Shoreline runs along the Corpus Christi Bay.  It's a beautiful, palm lined avenue with great vistas of the Bay, the Marina, and our city skyline. 

Gorgeous, right?

I love that they are there because Spohn Shoreline is really close to my house.  No more driving all the way out to the Island!!  Being on the 11th floor, the studio has a 360 panoramic view of the bay and the city.  The other studio doesn't have a view at all, unless Lee is working out.  Lee has incredible arms.  Drool worthy arms.  Sigh. . .

Anyway, the view at Shorline is much prettier. 

And of course Shoreline has GABE!  Gabe the Silent Assasin!  Gabe the man who got me to do push ups from my toes.  I love working with Gabe. 

The thing about Gabe is, he makes me do really, really, really hard things.  Like doing a walkout with a pushup.  Twenty times.  Or doing 200 burpees.  Or making me curl 40 lbs but having to do it on my tiptoes. 

Or climbing 11 flights of stairs to get to him.

I wonder if I can get Lee to start working out at Shoreline.  Might as well make the 11 story climb worth it.   

Monday, June 18, 2012

And I Love Him. . .

It's really late, and I just got back from school.

So this will be brief.

Today James Paul McCartney is 70 years old.

Paulie, Sir Paul, The Cute Beatle. .  .I love him.

I've loved Paul McCartney since I was about 12.

I was born during the last 2 weeks of 1965, so any Beatle music I heard first hand was WAY before I can remember.

Yet somehow, I spent my middle school years a raving Beatlemaniac. 

My friends Carolyn & Mary & I would go to BeatleFest each year.  BeatleFest was a convention that descended on downtown Chicago for three days.

We went all three days.

One year, Mike McCartney -- or Mike McGear, as he is known professionally -- spoke at BeatleFest.  He is Paul's younger brother & looks EXACTLY LIKE HIM, only blond.  We waited in line to get his autograph, and dared each other to ask for a kiss.

I was first, so I said "I'm supposed to ask for a kiss".

And he kissed me. 

On the mouth.

No tongue though.

In my mind,  I kinda made out with Paul McCartney's brother.

I was 13 and it was the hottest experience I had ever experienced. (And remained the hottest experience for about 6 years.) 

We went to see BeatleMania when it played Chicago.  Mary & I got front row seats and screamed the WHOLE time.  Part of the show involved the actors tossing a green apple to each other.  After their encore, the actor who played Paul threw the apple to ME.

I still have that apple.

I never stopped loving him. 

I love his music.  I love his sense of humor.  I love the beautiful marriage and family he had with Linda.  I loved Wings -- not as much as the Beatles, but London Town is a damn fine album.

I love everything about Paul except for his horrid second wife.  Good Riddance to Bad Trash is all I can say about her.  Oh, and I can also say that she is an evil harpie who I hope is riddled with canker sores all over her face for the rest of her life. 

His third wife seems like a nice companion in his final years.  She better be. 

So happy birthday Paulie.

Used without permission.  In all fairness, I did google "Royalty Free Images". . .


I Love You


Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Dream of Clean

My dream is that I am going to prepare a "clean" meal and find out that it is cravable. 

Cravable in "Wet Italian Beef with sweet peppers & jardiniere" or "Deep Fried Avocado" or even "Green Chicken Curry". 

So far, I have made several tasty meals -- some even involving fish. 

Today was salmon roasted with egg plant and cherry tomatoes.  Topped with fried garlic and fresh basil.  It was tasty. We all enjoyed it.  Even this kid:

Our first foray into the salmon world.

It was good.

It was clean.

But not cravable.  Yet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Best Blogging

Sometimes I do my best writing when I'm commenting on other people's blogs.

To whit:

My Maiden name began with a Z.

I spent my childhood as the last in line for everything.

It was scarring, and probably one of the reasons I was attracted to my husband. He could give me children, and as someone whose last name started with A, he could move me to the front of the line.

Penwasser place – April 30th, 2012


I missed you SO MUCH!

I know you will rock the skirt. $15 & change for any garment makes it instantly wonderful, IMHO.

I am a little embarrassed to tell you that I don't know who those boys are. . .but yes, they are real cute.

If you ever spot Tony Danza at a restaurant, will you tell him that I have had a crush on him since I was 12?


Annabel manners, September 12, 2011

Where to begin?

1. Dollar dances

2. "registered at Macy's" cards fluttering out of the invitation

3. Jack & Jill showers

4. Buffets

5. cummerbunds that match the bridesmaid's dresses

6. bridesmaids in unflattering and obviously uncomfortable dresses

7. brides with arms like mine who wear dresses designed for brides with arms like Michelle Obama's.

Annabel Manners June 2011

Natalie Portman should have just worn a T-Shirt with the word BABY and a down arrow. Same effect

Annabel Manners January 17, 2011


Bitchypants May 3, 2012

1. As a practicing Catholic, I make Easter all about Jesus and then I don’t have to worry about that fucking bunny.

Haven’t figured out how to do the same with the goddam tooth fairy, but what the hell.

Who needs all those Jelly beans? Me.


4. Andi — you know damn well you can pee while standing. Any woman who has ever peed at a truck stop has peed while standing.

And that toy you bought zachy is not a doll. It’s an action figure.

Or it’s a doll. . .who the fuck cares? I know. Men care.

I bet that action figure can stomp the hell outta some leggos. That’ll show ‘em!

1. 11/29/11

2. Awwww. . . I love little boy voices!

Mine are also as different from each other as yours. #1 is a brainiac. #2 is mister imagination and #3 is the performer.

Each definitely has the best of both of us. Each also gets some of the worst of both of us. And each has some characteristic that makes us go.” . . .wait. . .wtf?”



One year I smooshed up the canned sauce so it would look “real”. My dad said I ruined it and went to the convenience store to get another can.

Your mom sounds awesome!

I’m thankful for you cyber-friend

And I LOVE that you found some voice again. Funny thing about blogging is that it's not always about the writing, but about the conversation. Makes me wonder how Sylvia Plath or Eudora Welty or Mark Twain or ANY pre-blog writer was able to write without feedback from people who just felt like sharing.

If -- and when -- you blog, I will read.

May 10, 2012 One Chunky Mama


I've got more -- will post 'em later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am a Dirty, Dirty Girl

I have been working out REALLY HARD since July 2010.

I joined Weight Fucking Watchers.

I quit Weight Fucking Watchers.

I ran 14 5Ks and a 10K.

I joined Weight Fucking Watchers again. 

I stopped drinking ALL POP in February 2012.

I quit Weight Fucking Watchers again.

I stopped eating dessert (mostly). 

I'm still fat.

Then I read this on my friend' Jaimie's Facebook page.

I felt like someone was speaking to my secret soul.

It was like an epiphany:  I'm still fat because of what I'm eating!

Stop saying "No Shit, Sherlock".  That's not what I mean.

What I mean is that all this Weight-Fucking-Watchers crap and their 100 calorie treat bullshit and their frozen meals and special scales and cookware and all that other crap is not going to get rid of my fat.

For someone who has 30lbs or less to lose, WFW is a good solution.. 

For some of us chronically obese, it's a tease.

We need to eat whole food.  "Clean" food.  Real food. 

That's the solution.

The problem is, I am a dirty, dirty girl.

I don't cook, I assemble.  Open this can, open that can, heat and serve.

Before I had kids, our refrigerator had staples like anchovy paste and balsamic vinegar.

Now we have cream of mushroom soup and Kraft mac & cheese. 

Remember the pink slime headlines a few months ago?  Some people were really grossed out.  Me?  I was all 'Who wants McDonald's?"

I love dirty food.

Frozen White Castle Cheeseburgers.  Spaghetti-O's.  Pop Tarts.  Frosted Flakes.  Hungry Man Enchilada Dinner.  Kettle Corn.  Oreos.  Flour tortillas.  I could go on and on and on.

Let me be clear -- I do NOT eat that stuff every week.  I won't even let Frosted Flakes or Pop Tarts in the house.  But I am not above opening a can of something and eating it.  And really enjoying it.

But it's keeping me fat. 

Even if I only eat it sometimes.

So we're cleaning up.  I can't go cold turkey.  I'm an American for Chrissake. 

But I'm trying.

And it's really, really hard.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Things I Can't Say on Facebook

I have to get these out or I will explode:

"Your son looks very handsome, but WTF is his date wearing?"

"She made you carry PARASOLS in her wedding?  In 2012?  That would pretty much end it for me.  You are a good sport."

"You don't like Obama.  I get it."

"You don't like George Bush.  I get it."

"I am NOT sharing that shit"

"Why am I looking at a photo of your dinner AGAIN?"

"I agree that positive comments are nicer to read than negative comments, but you are WAY overdue to say something snarky.  Your posts make me wanna puke."

"So you de-friend people just because they disagree with you?  I disagree with you all the time.  When I DON'T comment on your post?  It's frequently because I disagree with it."

Your pregnancy was interesting for the first 13 months.  Now?  We're over it.

"You know, you are overdue to say something kind.  You're being an asshole"

"I love to follow your fitness journey.  But is that all you ever talk about?  Geez mix it up, will ya?"

"Who are you again and why are you asking me to friend you?"

"Why did you post that self portrait?  You are much better looking than that IRL."

Usually, I post my blogs on Facebook. 

Not this one!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eating My Words

Last year I railed on about how lame Kindergarten graduations are. 

Because they are.

This year, #3 is finishing his final year at the daycare where all my boys have been since they were babies.

He could actually stay an additional year, as he won't be five until December, which means he won't be in kindergarten until fall 2013.  But since this is #1's last year at the elementary school, and the school has a K-4 option, this is the only year we are able to have all 3 kids in the same school.

This is the only year we get to drop off with one car.  One time.  ONCE. 

Couple that with the fact that #3 has been in the "oldest" class at the daycare for several months already, it's clear that it's time to move him up. 

Move him out. 

I am sorry, but this is hard for me. 

We have been at the "CLC" (Children's Learning Center) since #1 was 6 months old.  That's 10&1/2 years.  That's longer than husband & I have been in our jobs.  Both #2 and #3 started there when they were 6 weeks old.

Some families abhor the idea of putting small children in daycare.  I have a relative who makes statements like "I could never let strangers raise my children".  Except they have not raised my children.  And they are not strangers. 

Miss Christine, Miss Belinda, Miss Amanda, Miss Julie, Miss Gracie & Mrs. Adela taught all 3 boys.  Their photos are in our family scrapbooks.  The pageants that they coordinated are the backdrops of some of our most cherished memories.  The art projects they supervised crowd our walls and our refrigerator.   We truly love these women who have truly loved our children. 

One of the events Mrs. Adela coordinates is the "Graduation" ceremony for the kids moving on.  She has been getting them ready to move on for weeks.  Paul has been talking about his Graduation for ages.  He was very particular about what he HAD to wear ("Mrs. Adela says BLACK shoes, Mom."  "But you don't own any black shoes, honey".  "Well then YOU better explain to her". )

The graduation was a luncheon.  Miss Amanda made spaghetti, salad, bread, tea and cake for everyone.  The children sang us songs -- "Friends Forever" and "This Little Light of Mine".  The teachers reminisced about things the kiddos did, things they learned, and what they enjoyed best.  Paul liked learning about Dinosaurs and is proud that he can write his name, just like his brothers. 

The teachers made a little yearbook for the parents.  Each child tells what he or she plans to be when they grow up.  Clayton wants to be an astronaut.  Alex will be a fisherman.  Lauren wants to be a princess.  And Paul?  Paul wants to be a priest. 

As I watched my youngest happily belt out This Little Light of Mine, I teared up.  Not because I am sad that he's moving on, but because I am sad that WE'RE moving on.  Our days of babies are over.  It's not that I want them to be babies forever -- I don't.  I want them to grow to be good men.  It's not that I want more babies.  I don't.  I really, really don't. 

It's just that I will miss this time.

Thank you CLC.  Thank you for preparing my boys for school.  We love you.

Cutest Stinkin' Photo EVER

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I love my Mom

When people tell me that I'm really funny, I remember:  I got that from my mom.

When they say I'm a good writer, I remember: I got that from my mom.

When they say I am a good volunteer, I remember: I got that from my mom.

When they admire my relationship with my in-laws, I remember: I got that from my mom.

When they admire my perspective, I remember: I got that from my mom.

When I shop for bras, I remember: I got that from my dad.  Dammit.

I love you Mom! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Head Over Heels

I fell off my shoes today.

You read that right.

I FELL off my fucking SHOES.

Here's what happened:  I pulled into the parking lot, grabbed my handbag, a 33.8oz bottle of water and a snazzy portfolio containing today's must dos.  I was wearing an adorable pair of capris with a black v-neck top, and a coordinating pair of grey & black patterned pumps from 9 West. 

I love these shoes. 

They have pointy toes, show a bit of toe cleavage and have cute spiky little heels.  They aren't too high -- just 3 inches.  I have lots of shoes higher than 3 inches.  Lots. 

As I headed towards the building, George greeted me.  He just bought a new car and wanted to show it to me.  So I changed directions and walked towards George's new car.  My heel must have lighted on a pebble, because my foot wobbled and then. . . .crash.

I mean CRASH.

My handbag went flying.  The bottle of water rolled away.  The portfolio burst open and today's tasks littered the parking lot. 

George tried to stop my fall, but having taken a spill or two in the past, I knew it was better to just fall.  I instinctively tucked my arms in, landed on my side and rolled to my back.  My shoes swung helplessly in the air. 

Shut up.

Then I got up, dusted myself off, admired George's car and slightly limped back into to building.  I told George that I was fine. 

I was fine.

Until 10 seconds later when George gets the following message over his walkie talkie:


I said "George -- who the fuck was that?"

He said, "Oh, that's Angie.  She's on East Campus"

East Campus?  East Campus is like three miles away.  She saw me from three miles away?

"She saw you on the camera."

On the CAMERA.

It's not that I've never fallen in a humiliating way before. 

In High School, my BFFS Karen, Fran, Leslie, Liz & Kristen decided to do a girls night at Carlos Murphy's.  Just to be clear, it was the '80s, it was the suburbs, and Carlos Murphy's was a fun fresh concept and not a tired ass cliche.

We were wearing our requisite mini skirts with flats (mine were yellow) (Shut UP).  Our hair was as high as Aqua Net could make it.  We had stylishly accentuated eyes, lips, and cheekbones.  We?  Were GORGEOUS.

Heads turned to watch as the six of us made our way to the table. 

I remember the sound of glasses clinking, murmured conversations, sizzling fajitas and cheesy Motown  hits.  I don't remember the sound of the hostess saying "Watch your step".

Know what happens when you miss a step on glossy sautillo tile while wearing yellow Payless flats?

You fall face first under a family of five who are enjoying a blooming onion.  At least one of your shoes flies far, far away. 

Fast forward a few years, and I am in Santa Monica, CA at my first job at Enterprise Rent a Car.

I'm hung over, wearing glasses for a change because I seem to have stored my contact lenses in gin instead of saline.  Ow.  I'm wearing a tight skirt, cream colored top (with a fresh coffee stain) and Payless heels.  The heels were worn away to the nails, because at ERAC, we spent all of our time tottering around parking lots to rent the cars.  Cheap shoes were a must back then.

It was my turn to take donuts to Lynch Motors on Santa Monica Boulevard.  I held two boxes of donuts and a gigantic roll of green stickers.  We are supposed to give the service guys the donuts, and put the stickers with our phone number on their phone.  The donuts are balanced on one hand, the stickers are in the other.

I walk down the service bay when both feet suddenly skid out from under me and I land squarely on my back with -- sigh -- both feet in the air.  Again.. 

The donuts go flying and the roll of stickers rolls all the way to the showroom. 

The reason that incident was so humiliating was that every car in Los Angeles was driving past Lynch Motors at that exact second.  Everyone I came in contact with all day said "Are you OK?!  I saw you wipe out in front of Lynch Motors!"

If I had time, I could tell story after story of me falling on my face in front of someone. 

In fact, I have another story here.

Falling is nothing new for me.

But today?  It's on CAMERA.

Similar to the pair I wore today.  My shoes have improved in quality, but not stability.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Villiage Idiot

"It takes a village to raise a child"

I have always hated that motto.  It's so trite.  Hackneyed.  Leftist.  And wrong.

It doesn't take a village.  It takes loving parents to raise a child. 

Loving parents who have really, really good friends.

Like my friend Herb who went to pick up #3 son at 6:30 one evening because Greg thought I was picking him up and I thought Greg was picking him up and neither one of us could be reached by cell phone.

A few months ago, Herb's wife Sarah picked up the same kid for the same reason.


Or my friend Laura who called me in Austin last week to ensure that #1 son had a ride to scouts.  Because she knew that his dad was overwhelmed with being on his own, and felt that if he could manage to keep the kids alive while I was out of town, then he succeeded.  Scouts was just a little TOO much on the plate.

Saturday, in addition to the usual routine, I had to return rental cars and close out books for the conference.  Laura had a kid in the doctor's office.  Both of our #1 sons had to be in the track meet.  Both of our husbands had to work. 

We solved the problem by having her husband drop off and my husband pick up. 

Then there was the horrible night almost 5 years ago when I was pregnant with #3 and bleeding copiously in the middle of the night.  Greg took #1 & #2 to our friends Terry & Mary's house to sleep over so we could go to the ER. 

As you know, everything turned out OK.  Our precious # 3 is a miracle and we thank God every day for him.  We don't always pick him up from daycare on time, be we do thank God for him.

We also thank God for our friends.  Our village.  Thanks to them, we'll be able to raise these boys, despite the fact that Greg & I are truly the Village Idiots.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Truth about Zumba

I was gonna post a Zumba pic, but I don't have one.

Remember I said I feel like this:

I look more like this:

Only pinker.

Don't care -- Zumba is fun!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Oher than eating my weight in jellybeans, we did this:

And this:

Happy Easter Everybody!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Just Not Ready Yet. . .

Dear Coke Zero --

About getting together on Easter -- I just can't.

I know it's been 2 months already.  But it's too soon.

You ask WHY I won't just be seen with you socially.  Well, my friends say that you aren't good for me.  You cause bloating and sugar cravings and weak bones.  I didn't want to hear it either, but there you go.

The sugar cravings are too your fault.

OK, so they haven't gone away in 2 months.  That is completely beside the point. 

It's not that I don't still love you.  Want you.  Crave you.  I do.  We both know it.

That's why I can't be with you at Easter.  I know everyone else will be around.  But you know what will happen.  It will start out casual, but before you know it, you will be in my mouth and. . . .

STOP.  I am NOT having this conversation with you.

Listen.  If at six months I haven't seen the changes I need, I'll consider coming back to you.

But until then I just can't see you.

Please stop calling out to me when I see you in public. It's embarrassing.

Respect me, OK?




Saturday, March 31, 2012


Dear Ladies --

Isn't it cool that this bathroom is so High Tech?

Isn't it awesome that you don't have to touch anything?

Were you born in a fucking BARN?

I've covered modern bathroom etiquette before.

Frankly, I am surprised that you have to be told.  This is the kind of thing we moms usually cover with our kids.  Since this building rarely has children in it, I KNOW these issues are not the result of poorly supervised toddlers. 

I might even excuse men.  Because men are. . .well, they're men.  They SHOULD know better, but sometimes they are just clueless.  (Sorry to my men friends.  But you know it's true.)

These problems are not the result children.  It's not a man's fault.  I can't believe it, but these problems are caused by GROWN WOMEN.

Lesson 1:

It's great that the soap dispenses automatically.  You need to wait for the WHOLE squirt.  Don't let it squirt all over the counter without wiping it up.  You know better.

Lesson 2:

Paper Towels.  Yes, they self dispense.  But they do NOT throw themselves away.  If you accidentally drop it, PICK IT UP and throw it in the bin.

I get that sometimes the bin is full.  (I work in this building.  The bin is rarely full.)  If the bin IS full, push down a little so your towel stays.  If that's too gross for you, TAKE THE TOWEL WITH you and throw it away in another bin. 


Self flushing toilets are cool.  They are also sporadic.


I don't care to see your . . . um. . .leavings when I use the facilities.  Especially during your "special time".  GROSS.

Do I really have to tell you this? 

Yes, we have a custodian. 

Allow me to share with you the custodian's responsibility.  She is accountable for ensuring the facility is sanitary and well stocked.  She also cares for the REST OF THE BUILDING, not just this room.  She works PART TIME.  She does a great job, but she is not a nanny.  It's not her job to wipe your ass for you.  She counts on the adult, educated women who use this facility to have some respect for others who use it.

Let's review:

1. Wipe up your drips
2. Throw your trash away
3. And for God's sake -- flush the toilet.

Any questions?

Friday, March 23, 2012


Tomorrow the guys at V-Fit are hosting a ZUMBATHON!


I LOVE Zumba.

It's exercise, sure, but it's really dancing.

When I hear the sultry Latin beats I swing my hips like Shakira.  I cumbia like Selena.  I salsa like Gloria Estefan. 

I feel like one of Christina Aguilera's backup dancers.


I wish I had this outfit. . .

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Gift of Fat - Snuggly Arms

Repost -- because we're going thru it again.  Same kid, same symptoms.  Originally published 12/22/10

Number 2 son woke up last night with a fever & sore throat.

I am sure there are moms who dose the kid with Tylenol, give him a kiss on the forehead and go back to sleep. It's only a fever. Fevers are good -- they build the immune system and fight invaders. In an otherwise healthy kid, they are nothing to worry about. But I am a worrier.

After the Tylenol and the kiss, he says "Will you sleep with me Mama?" Of course I will sleep with you, baby.

I don't care that there isn't room for me and that I won't be able to fall asleep. I will lay there, listening to his ragged breathing through his congested nose and worry that the fever is the first sign of Meningitis. I will worry about whether his shots are up to date (they are) and wonder how contagious he is. I will worry about his brothers and wonder if they are incubating fevers of their own.

And he will reach over to me and slip his hot little hand under the sleeve of my nightgown so he can snuggle my arms. The arms that keep me from going sleeveless. After working out for six months, they are strong now, and the muscles are hard beneath the jiggly layer of fat. But it's the jiggly part that he needs to make him feel better when he's sick.

And for once, I am grateful for snuggly arms. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Guilt For Elephants

Last year, I read Water for Elephants.

It was a good read.

But I felt a tad guilty when we came upon a small itinerant circus and I paid money to allow my family to ride these magnificent beasts.

Luke & Joe on an elephant

Greg & Paul on a camel. 

It was just a story right?  These animals are properly cared for, right?  The $24 we spent to ride them is going towards their welfare, right?  Camel poop is supposed to look like giant rabbit poop right?  Not like elephant poop which looks like giant horse poop, right? 

Does this make me a good mom but a bad steward of beasts of burden?  Or am I a horrible mom for allowing my children to exploit animals? Guilty guilty guilty guilty.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Caved

I did a field trip.

Because we were climbing the fucking walls.

So we went to The Birthplace of Texas - Goliad, Texas.  Google it.  You really should make a trip out there.  It is very cool!  Alamo Schmalamo.  Goliad is Texas history at it's best.

As always, if there is a cannon, it WILL be climbed on

Texas Wildflowers are AMAZING!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Broken

I'm having writers block again, so I am just going to tell you about my spring break so far.  I work at a college, which means that I get a week off for spring break! 

I LOVE having a week off for spring break! 

Today I slept until 9, ate a bagel in front of the TV, and played Angry Birds with the boys.
I'm wearing a really old sweatshirt, shorts and chanclas (flip flops).  I have no makeup on, my hair is in a chongo (ponytail) and my glasses are on.  I should go to Wal-Mart so someone can surreptitiously snap a photo of me on their phone and post it to facebook with the caption "Seriously?".

Spring break is great.

Of course the kids have spring break too.

Some moms take advantage of Spring Break to take their kiddos on exciting field trips to explore their environment. 

Not me!

I spend spring break catching up on facebook and doing laundry.  And watching TV.  We're watching a lot of cartoons. A LOT of cartoons. And Nick. And Cartoon Network. And Disney Channel.

In case you were wondering, the New Scooby Doo sucks as bad as you think it would.  But Good Luck Charlie and Shake It Up are really good.  Fairly Odd Parents is horrible, but Phineas & Ferb is awesome.  Johnny Test reeks, but Regular Show is fresh and funny.  Star Wars the Clone Wars is dreadful (even though Luke loves it), but Adventure Time is charming.

At this rate, by the time Spring Break is over, we will be a house full of neanderthals.

Then we'll go to Wal-Mart!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Why is it that you take a week off and everything goes right to hell?

I don't mean a week off from work.  I worked all week.  Mostly in San Antonio, sure, but I still managed to get most of my e-mails.

I didn't take a week off from school.  I wish.

I didn't take a week off from my kids.  I wouldn't want that. 

I had to take a week off from working out.

I HAD to.

I was in San Antonio Wednesday thru Friday, For WORK.

I know I should have Skyped.  Shaddap.

Then Saturday was Luke's birthday. 

Sunday I had to do something really important.  I forget what it was but I know it was important.

Monday Joe had an eye appointment, I had to meet with my professor, and I had LOADS of laundry to do.

Tuesday I had to give a presentation about Burroughs Wellcome's pricing of Retrovir in the 1990s. 

That pretty much sucked the life right out of me.

So today -- Wednesday -- I went back to the gym.

I actually tried to get out of it.  Clarissa is out of town, so I wasn't sure if Vic could take me. 

He's a busy man.

So I texted him:  "Can I come in today or would you rather me come tomorrow?"

He texted back:  "Get your ass in here."

Guess he's not too busy for me, bless him.

In typical Vic fashion, he made me do owie this and hurty that until I was sweaty and red and panting. 

I had to do explosive push ups.  Lots of them. 

Explosive push ups are when you push your whole body off the floor from a push up position.  Then you have to catch your body when you land.  My whole body weighs in the neighborhood of 244 -248 lbs.  (Shaddap).  That's a lot of exploding.

I had to do jumping jacks.

Only my knees are old lady knees, so I have to do low impact jumping jacks. 

Low impact does not mean low intensity.


Anyway. . .here's the problem:  The jumping jacks are in front of a mirror.  Sometimes the mirror is my friend.  It shows me how strong I've become. 

Know what the mirror shows when you take a week off?


Jiggly arms. Jiggly belly. Jiggly thighs. The fat pockets under my knees were jiggling.


Haven't I been mostly faithfully working out 4-6 times a week for a YEAR?

One piddly week off and my friggin knees jiggle?


Vic just texted me again:  "I expect you at 5:30 tomorrow.  No excuses".


Saturday, March 3, 2012


This kid is 7.

Happy Birthday Lukie Kabuki!

I love you boyo!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Comment on Comments

Dear commenter who wrote:

Mary....this is the first time that I've read your blog & I'm afraid that I was a little offended. You speak about teaching your children about the "true" meaning of Valentine's Day....but then in the same blog use the "F" word. I'm afraid that I just don't get it. I would think that this would be considered in bad taste....especially since you are a business proffessional& refer people to your blog to get to know you better! I've heard good things about you & have looked forward to hearing you speak....but now I've found myself to be extremely disappointed!

You bring up some valid points.


Yet you don't sign your name.

I am pretty sure I have an idea of who you are.  I'm speaking to a group next week, and I suspect I will see you there. 

I promise I will NOT swear during the talk.

That said, this is not my business blog. 

I am a business professional (please note the spelling).  More importantly, I am a mom, a daughter, a wife and a sister.  I am a Catholic. 

And I say fuck all the time.

Is it inconsistent?

I suppose.

I'm not proud of it. 

I'm inconsistent in lots of things. 

I work out like a gladiator but can't bring myself to eat the way I'm supposed to.

I am passionately in love with my husband but get platonic crushes all the time.

I love a sparkling clean house, but can't find the time to clean the shower.

I'm not perfect. 

I'm not trying to be perfect.  I am trying to be excellent.

You may find it hard to believe that saying FUCK is ever a good tool to excellence.

But it is.  It's called comic timing.  "I need those fucking hearts" is funnier than "I need those hearts".  I tried it both ways.

So, you don't think it's funny.  Sorry. 

Wait.  No, I'm not.  You don't have to think it's funny. 

It's enough that I think it's funny. 

And I do.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dear Moms At Daycare

Dear Moms at my son's daycare:

Hi!  I don't know if we've had a chance to meet, but I'm Paul's mom.  No, not his grandma.  I'm his mom.

I'm the mom without the tattoos. 

First let me say -- your kid is a cutie.  Paul really likes his friends.  He was so happy to make valentines for each and every one of them.  Also, he truly appreciated all the heart-shaped suckers, the dum-dums, and of course, the Hershey kisses.

The thing is. . . you forgot the conversation hearts.

I know you may be new at the whole Valentine's Day thing.  Paul is my third child, so we've done Valentine's for a long time.  I make sure to explain to my boys that Valentine's day is named for St. Valentine.  I explain that he was a martyr, who died for Christ.  We talk a lot about that as I go through the bags of Valentine's candy that they bring home from school.  Valentine's day is actually about Jesus, and not about romantic love or candy.

Their dad emphasizes the point by waiting until the last minute to buy me a valentine gift.  This year, it was a potted plant.  I am pretty sure it was the last one at the store.  So we talked about Christ's love, and how God loves every living thing, even really, really hideous potted plants that cost three times what they normally would have, on account of being purchased at the very last second.

It's a teachable moment.

Anyway, as I was setting aside the dum-dums and heart shaped suckers for the boys, and confiscating all the Hershey's kisses (they are a choking hazard), I noticed that you forgot the conversation hearts.

I am sure it was a mistake. 

As you know, conversation hearts are a once-in-a-year candy, like candy canes, candy corn and of course cadbury cream eggs.  It's important that they be included in every Valentine's celebration. 

Plus, they have words on them, which is another teachable moment.

When else is my child going to read the word "hubba-hubba"?

You may ask why I didn't supply the hearts this year.  That's a fair question, but remember that I am the mom who occasionally remembers to bring the napkins for the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years-Martin Luther King day parties. 

Normally, I would let it go, but I haven't had a can of pop in almost two weeks.  I almost took up smoking as a substitute, but the cost of cigarettes is crazy.  I need those fucking hearts.

So listen:  St. Patricks Day is in a month.  The kids are having a party.  Put together some goodie bags with green jolly ranchers, chocolate coins and  a king size box of sugar babies.  We'll call it even.


Paul's Mom