Summer Vacation Has Started

Summer vacation has started and thus far it is taking a serious toll on my wallet and my patience. Don’t get me wrong, I do revel in foregoing the school routine in the morning. Last week was the boys’ first full week out of school. Admittedly, I felt their hot lunch bill was taking a huge toll with the multiple sandwiches/entrees and drinks everyday, but boy was I wrong. Let’s take a look at their first week home by the numbers:

  • 8 frozen pizzas slayed
  • 120 pizza rolls devoured
  • 60 juice boxes demolished
  • 14 Jimmy Dean croissant sandwiches gone
  • 12 Powerades depleted
  • 10 hotdogs enjoyed
  • 4 gallons of milk
  • A jar of peanut butter gone
  • A loaf of bread
  • 1 lb of spaghetti
  • A jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 lb of chicken
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/2 bag of brown rice

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I say slayed for the pizzas because one met a different fate having been dropped half in the bottom of my oven, while the other half fell to the floor. I should also mention that over the course of the week, the Mayor did cook them spaghetti with onions and jerk chicken with black beans and rice for lunch on separate days. With the younger two boys now 13 and 15, my grocery bill is sky rocketing. Both boys are growing like weeds and eating like they’ve never been fed. I might send them to summer school to bring down my food bill! This week I added some more milk and more fruit.

Back to the pizza for a second because I fully thought they had eaten 8 frozen pizzas. After all I bought 6 Digiorno pizzas on Wednesday and by Thursday night there was only one left. Apparently, the Mayor had a slight pizza mishap with a major portion of it landing on the bottom of my oven. Importantly, the Mayor forgot to mention to anybody that this had happened. You can imagine my surprise when the room became very smoky as I pre-heated the oven for brownies. We’re still working on getting the smoke out of the house! Fortunately, it was only a lot of smoke and no fire, but the Mayor learned an important lesson: make sure you tell your parents if you drop a significant amount of food in the oven.

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While they’ve been busy eating us out of house and home, they’ve also logged some nice hours outdoors fishing. The weather has only been cooperative for them in the morning and evenings these past few days. Fortunately, the Mayor and Goalielocks have been able to take advantage of the few morning hours and fish before the daily afternoon storms fire up. Our lake in back has some nice sized large mouth and peacock bass, which my boys love to fish.

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Of course, they’ve had their share of chores over this past week. Unfortunately, they’re not as proficient in competing their chores as they are in eating their weight daily. Nonetheless, we saw some some serious progress on that front at the end of the week. Thankfully, I’m able to control our house’s wifi from my phone, so there was no wifi until all of the chores were completed.  Summer vacation has started and hopefully as the weeks go by they get better at completing their chores.  One could only hope!

 

 

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Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!

One Week in Quebec

One week in Quebec for the hubby and Mayor. Meanwhile in Florida, the freezer and an AC unit have gone done. I definitely picked the sort straw in this equation. Truly, I’m just happy it’s Friday. It’s been a long week.

As for my Mayor, he and his team had a scrimmage against the Flyers AAA team. It was a completely one-sided game. Until the coaches decided to do mix the teams and do a split squad game. Honestly, these are some of the best game experiences. It’s super cool to have the opportunity to play with new kids in this environment. Also, instead of a blowout game, you get a more even and entertaining game for everyone involved. The kids loved it!  Plus, my boy got a nice goal.

Between the games and in the small amount of downtime the kids have, they spend it hanging out in the hotel. Apparently, my boy even does wake up calls. You can see how the kids are getting progressively more tired as the week has progressed. They follow a pretty rigorous schedule day in and day out. Needless to say, I think they’re sleeping pretty soundly.

My Mayor was so excited today to try sushi for the first time. Consequently, post game my Hubby took him to pick up sushi to go. He grabbed his sushi and headed to the Patro with the rest of his team for dinner. The Hubby meanwhile went out for Mongolian with some of the dads. We can only hope there was no Canadian Whiskey involved.

Here at the homestead, I attempted to flush the AC line. It didn’t work and I got water everywhere. Clearly, I’ll be waiting for my Hubby to fix it upon his return to Florida. Goalielocks set up Doordash, so we had Sushi Yama delivered. I’m far too tired to cook. This weekend I’ll be doing nothing, but relaxing.

Thursday in Quebec

It’s Thursday in Quebec and that meant game two of the tournament. Unfortunately, the squad didn’t have a good morning and was knocked out of the tournament. Fortunately that doesn’t mean the hockey is done for them as they’ll likely have more exhibition games tomorrow and maybe Saturday.

It’s incredibly hard not to be there because it’s such an amazing experience for the kids. Tonight they went out to the skate park in Shannon, Quebec. This place is magnificent. It has hockey rinks, a skating trail and a ice slide. The trail through the woods is beautiful. It could hardly get more picturesque.

As for the hockey, there’s nothing better than watching these Florida kids enjoy hockey as it’s supposed to be. Outside and without all the equipment just like The Hubby and I grew up playing in Minnesota. Incidentally, neither of us had played hockey inside or in full gear until we moved to Florida.

When Goalielocks and I went in 2016, we got some snow. They, however, have mountains of snow. I’m watching the winter storms carefully in case they’re delayed in getting out Sunday. Although I’m sure none of the kids would mind spending more time in Quebec. Lastly, I’m happy to report that the hockey dads have survived the Canadian whiskey and the bromance continues!

Meanwhile in Florida, our AC unit died!

Day 3 of Peewee Quebec

It was day 3 of Peewee Quebec for my Mayor and hubby. For the rest of us, it was just another Monday. Even our kids in Palm Beach County had to be in school today. Don’t our school administrators know our major tournaments are around federal holidays for a reason? But I digress…

The Mayor and his team started off their day with their first game of the tournament. They faced a tough, fast and big Czech team. Before the game, they did their official photos. Since the tournament is a two loss and you’re out, they’re now in a must win situation for their next game.

After the game, the squad headed to the Patro for lunch. Of course the beauty of Peewee Quebec is that the parents don’t have to go with the kids. They can opt for a childless and more adult oriented meal. When I went we ate lunch at the Patro a couple of times just for the experience. It was a good reminder of how lucky we are to not eat school cafeteria food anymore.

After lunch, they chilled at the hotel before heading to (my favorite) the Sugar Shack. This magnificent place is outside of the city and is absolutely beautiful. They serve you an nice dinner, complete with pancakes and maple syrup. I quite enjoyed the picture of my Hubby and Matt enjoying their beer Buddy the Elf style.

Before you eat and in between courses, you’re free to play outside. When we were there three years ago, we took a sleigh ride through the woods which was magnificent. Based on the videos I got tonight, my Mayor quite enjoyed tubing. Meanwhile, my hubby and our friend Matt recreated a special memory for me. The question. Is which one is better? The original or the one of Hubby and Matt?

I’m so excited that my Hubby and my Mayor get to experience the awesomeness of Peewee Quebec, but I’m green with envy. I would love to be with them in Quebec enjoying the now familiar sites and sounds of the city. It truly is a magnificent place that I can’t wait to return to one day. I look forward to hearing their impressions of the city and tournament. Special thanks to my hubby, Vicki and Sasha for the photos and videos!

Day Two in Quebec

It’s day two in Quebec City for my hubby and my Mayor. Fortunately, I got to speak with them briefly last night. I say briefly because my Mayor was more concerned with getting to bed than talking to me. Nevertheless, it was clear they’re having a good time.

When Goalielocks and I went, I did a paparazzi like job documenting the trip. Based on a handful of pictures I received from my friends on the trip, I was starting to think I’d have to photoshop my Mayor’s head on Goalielocks’ body to ensure there was photo documentation of him being in Quebec. My girlfriend did send me a couple of gems. One of my hubby and other hockey dad up to shenanigans (no surprise here.) The other of my Mayor and one of his favorite people Jack.

Thankfully, the Hubby came through tonight with some great photos and videos. Unfortunately, the only picture of the Mayor he caught at Val Cartier (tubing place) was the Mayor in his natural state -i.e eating. The Mayor hit up the Patro for lunch today and was able to trade pins with Teams from Mexico, Japan, Russia and Quebec. Word has it that the Mayor’s quite the pin trader. Apparently, he’s absolutely unafraid to approach the other teams and coaches to secure pins and make trades. That my folks is why he is the Mayor.

My boys also headed up to the Winter Carnival, which we missed out on. Our fist couple of days in Quebec City had windchills -35- -45, so we missed it. The pictures make it look absolutely amazing. I particularly love the one of my Mayor trying to eat an ice sculpture. For those that know him, they’ll tell you the kid can eat. For the uninitiated, I can tell you he comes with three stages: hungry, hangry and satisfied for the moment. It is absolutely imperative that you try to move for hungry to satisfied for the moment. His hangry is mean!

While the boys had a blast up in Quebec City, Goalielocks and I took some time for nature. We headed over to Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge for an afternoon of walking and photography. It took me a half hour to find all of my stuff, but only five seconds to realize my camera’s battery was dead. Oh joy!

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon here in Florida with temperature in the low 80s and not much humidity. The Everglades are absolutely beautiful. They’re serene and calming with all the beauty nature has to offer.

I was chasing beauty and serenity, Goalielocks wanted adventure. He was certain he had seen a wild boar through the binoculars and was intent on following it. Fortunately, my mom sense (aka common sense) won out and we went the opposite direction.

This trip through the park we saw five gators that were pretty small. We went up to the fishing dock before leaving, but it had been closed down. There were no gators that could be seen although I’m sure they were everywhere.

I also took a trip to the gym. The movement is definitely helping my joints. Unfortunately, I still have quite a bit of pain in my left knee. My right knee, however, has improved markedly. I finished my workout with some ab exercises. I wanted to go back to lifting, but felt it would be too much stress on my knee joints. My new plan is to start next Sunday. Afterwards, I celebrated my run with a fresh ginger shot. Oh, how times have changed….

Here’s one more video of mini golf:

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Ding dog the witch is dead, which old witch my thyroid bitch.  (Sorry mom, I couldn’t resist the rhyme.). That’s right peeps after months of hyperthyroid hell, radioactive iodine and all the fun Graves could serve me, it’s done.  I’ve been waiting for this day since last summer when my hyperthyroidism was discovered.  For months, particularly the last two, I’ve felt like my mind and body were on a run away train.  In fact, for much of December and most of January, I ran a fever and was far too often tachycardic.  I even had to miss some of Goalielocks’ games because it would be too much of a load for my heart. (My doc was proud of me for actually recognizing the risk and avoiding it.)

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Throughout my hyperthyroidism, I have been unable to workout.  As someone who was teaching Zumba, running and practicing yoga all the time, the lifestyle change was unbearable.   I look forward most to resuming my active lifestyle.  I’ll be easing back into it, so as to not hurt myself or imperil my tendon’s healing.  I’ve found that since my thyroid flipped from hyper to hypo that my joints and muscles are quite achy and sore.  My doc assured me that the pain will go away as my thyroid balances out on the medication.

When my doctor told me this morning that my thyroid had finally flipped and the radiation worked, I could have kissed her.  A fact, I was not shy in sharing with her.   When she cleared me for activity, I was even happier.  I think I left their office skipping with an ear to ear grin.  I started the synthetic thyroid hormones today and with it another chapter in the fight against Graves. My doc has laid out a clear and concise treatment plan, which won’t be without bumps, but in the end will get me back to normal.  I’m happy knowing that I’m on the road to normalcy with the worst behind me.

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Naturally, when I got home from work I ate my dinner, let it rest and got on the treadmill.  I promised myself that I’d start slow and I did.  I put on my AirPods and ran.  The first mile was not easy.  My knees were quite stiff and unforgiving, but they to settled in as time went on.   It felt absolutely liberating to jog/run again.  I warmed up for three minutes then ran for ten, walked for two, ran for ten and then cooled down.  When it was all said and done, I had run two miles.  The last mile kicked my arse, but it felt so good to be back at it.  I complimented my run with a 25 minute yoga session focusing on stretching the legs.

Just Another Saturday

It was just another Saturday spent at the rink. Goalielocks had five games to referee this morning while the Mayor had a marathon practice for Peewee Quebec. Today’s games were Goalielocks first travel games. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, they were mites or as we call them now U8.

For the uninitiated, hockey parent craziness seems to be inverse to the age of the kids. Meaning as the kids age, the parents tend to mellow. At U8, however, every kid is going to the NHL and every game brings an intensity from the parents you only wished to get out of your players.

It’s been awhile since we’ve been in mite hockey, but the cavalcade of cowbells quickly brought me back. I found my seat in the bleachers next to the hubby, so we could anonymously watch him ref.

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Honestly, I only made it through one game. Refereeing is hard enough because of all the rules and all the responsibilities that go with it. When you add crazy parents screaming at you and you’re only fifteen, it’s a whole different world. At least from a mom’s perspective. I think the best part is watching them scream at both refs for not calling penalties forgetting that penalties are assessed at the end of the game. I left, but my husband was quick to point out this cycle continued. How quickly people forget….

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My ref was good with it, which is why refereeing is so good for our kids. You learn so many viable life skills. On the otherhandn I headed home to take care of the laundry and grocery shopping since I had no desire Not wanting to get into a fight. Goalielocks did end up having to eject his first parent. No surprise here, but it was a goalie dad. We goalie parents are a special breed. Long story short, my boy enjoyed his day refereeing.

Midway through Goalielocks’ marathon ref session, the Mayor’s Peewee Quebec practice started. His practice ran from 11:30-5:30 with Coach Shawn putting them through two on ice sessions and off ice. I missed the practice, but the hubby was able to watch most of it.

We’re so excited that our Mayor’s been given an opportunity to play at Peewee Quebec. Goalielocks did the tournament three years ago and it was one of the best trips ever. I love Quebec City, especially old town, so I’m bummed I’m going to miss this trip. Nevertheless, someone has to hold down the fort in Florida!

The best part about the last practice before the tournament is getting all the swag. My Mayor was wearing his new hat all night! The pin bag brings back great memories for both Goalielocks and I. I know the Mayor will love trading pins.

Tonight we grilled some flank steak fajitas (recipe below) and served it with grilled onions and roasted peppers for a healthy low carb dinner. Well, mine was low carb as I used romaine lettuce as my tortilla. I know what you’re thinking, I’m taking my life into my hands using romaine lettuce and you’re probably right. The Mayor was deeply offended by our gross dinner choice, so he made himself pizza rolls.

Make it here:

Steak Fajitas:

1 flank steak

1 juice of one lime

2 onions sliced

1-2 lbs of mini bell peppers, sliced lengthwise

Olive oil

Pepper

Salt

Instructions:

If using a charcoal grill, get it started.

Onions:

Cut the onions into slices.

Coat the onions in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place onions on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes until they’re tender.

Peppers:

Pre-heat oven to 450

Slice peppers lengthwise

Coat peppers in olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Roast the peppers for 20 minutes and remove from oven once the edges have started to turn black.

(If using regular bell peppers, I prefer to cook them on the grill with the onions.)

Steak:

Use the juice of one lime and olive oil to coat both sides of the flank steak. My hubby prefers to rub the steak with olive oil and freshly squeeze the juice over the steak. Use the salt and pepper to flavor as desired and set aside until the grill is ready. Don’t let it sit for too long or it will get mushy.

Once the grill is hot, cook five minutes per side. We cooked ours for about ten minutes and it was medium rare, which is how we like ours.

Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before slicing at a 45 degree angle against the grain.

And then assemble. I should have taken a picture of the final product, but I ate it too quickly! It’s so simple and so good!

Not So Super Bowl

After a not so super bowl, it’s been a brutal forty-eight hours.  Seriously, could there have been a more boring game?  I’d go over some highlights, but the only one I can think of is not having to use Melatonin Sunday night because the game put me to sleep. Unfortunately, we learned during the game that the hubby’s cousin was seriously injured in a snowmobile accident.  She’s presently recovering in ICU at the University of Minnesota, please keep her and our family in your prayers.

super-bowl-memes-more-entertaining-than-the-game-was-30-photos-15Yesterday while I was on a conference call, Goalielocks started screaming.  Fifteen year olds usually don’t scream for S&G, so I was concerned.  I quickly ran out and found him with our eldest and beloved dog Maya.   Maya was coughing up blood and Goalielocks was hysterical.   After calming both of them down, I returned to my call and the hubby called the vet from the job.

We were able to get her into the vet late yesterday afternoon.  My Hubby came home early, so he and Goalielocks were able to take her and I could keep working.  No sooner had they left when Athena began crying and howling.   She had spent her day cuddled next to Maya’s side.   Athena loves her sister and is very protective of her.  Literally, she cried the entire time they were gone.

The vet appointment took a long time, so I had to pick up my Mayor from the bus stop.  I had him take Athena out, but she would only pull him to the front yard and not do her business.  She was too preoccupied with Maya not being there. In fact, she broke out of the garage.  Instead of running freely and as quickly as possible as she usually would, she stopped in the driveway again looking for her sister.

Unfortunately, the doctors found a mass in her lungs that they think is lung cancer.  We are devastated.   Maya is our first dog and has been a member of our family for almost ten years.  Truly, she is an integral part of our family.  The boys took it really hard.  Goalielocks spent the night laying next to her making Maya was comfortable.  The next steps are for Maya to go in for an ultrasound and some additional diagnostic testing. We’re hoping to do this in the next week or two.   Meanwhile, I ordered every CBD treat and treatment I could find for dogs.  I’m anxious to see how our doggies enjoy the peanut butter turmeric CBD treats we bought her.   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday I took the Mayor to get a haircut. As he gets older, he is looking more and more like Jake.  They truly could be twins separated by a mere seven years.  More than that, he just looks old.  He’s not my baby anymore.   Sunday afternoon he had two games, which were fun to watch. It’s always nice to be at the rink ad with our hockey family.  Plus, it wouldn’t be Super Bowl Sunday if we didn’t have a late afternoon hockey game.  More to come on Sundays games and bad hockey parent behavior in a future post.

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Meanwhile, in Minny my parents survived the brutal cold that is January in Minnesota.  They’re presently looking forward to more accumulating snow as the week wears on.  I have to tell you, I don’t miss it at all.  Nevertheless, I’m relieved that my family is all safe and warm and wasn’t impacted by any of the energy outages experienced during the brutal cold.

I’m off to practice a little yoga and read a little Proust before heading to bed.   Please keep our family in your prayers.