So I went for a run in my old neighborhood this morning and I ended up being completely discombobulated. I went across the street and ran through a cul-de-sac and into my old elementary school, which has an access easement to the street at that point. It seems so much smaller than I had remembered it being – which in and of itself wasn’t what threw me for a loop. I mean, spatially, things are so much bigger for a 5 year old than they are for a 34 year old right? What threw me for a loop were the other changes that I saw. For instance, there is now a baseball field where we used to play soccer during lunch. The place where the “new equipment” was(yes we called it that – when it was new in like 1988) had been changed into a sitting area/mini park. There were houses that had been completely re-done (with second stories added) and one home had these statues of lions outside of them that were taller and wider than me (really, for a middle income suburb, do you really need something that gaudy?!). I was used to a certain level of these sculptures since the area that I grew up in had many Italian and Greek immigrants (and these things are almost par for the course here).
When I was growing up, there was a shelter/long term residential treatment program not too far from where I grew up. It was a huge amount of property right on a main street. Today, I saw that it had been sold and was now a gated, 55+ community. Apparently, it was sold for like $20 million by the Salvation Army, who had owned and run the program in question. I also noticed, in my wanderings, I also noticed that a property that I had gone by everyday had also been sold. What had been noticeable was that this was a ranch home that had been set very far back from the street, which is unusual for this area – the homes hug the street pretty much. This one had over one acre of land and a tremendous front yard. ANd it was sold for I don’t know how much, the house torn down, the lawn ripped up, a new street created and ten, cookie cutter homes created in its stead. It was upsetting that such nice property was essentially sold and then cookie cutter homes replaced it. It was a bit of the history of that street and that town gone forever because, let’s face it, unless it’s right in your face, people aren’t going to give a hoot about history like that.
We had the first snow of the season yesterday. It wasn’t a whole lot – a dusting more like – but today was frigidly cold with a brutal wind that made running outside a no go. So what I did instead was take Gabby out to get some coffee with me and then we baked cookies for work and made meatballs for dinner (which are now in the crockpot and smelling divine). Exercising during the winter is going to be horrendously difficult if it is as cold as it was today. Running inside on the track or on the treadmill is so boring that I can’t handle it.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of hearing loss. Obviously, it’s a big issue here in our home, what with three of us now experiencing some degree of unexplained hearing loss. I picked out a book from my local library called Shouting Won’t Help by Katherine Bouton. It looked fascinating because it’s about a woman that was born fully hearing and lost so much of her hearing over the course of her life, that she now has an implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other. I was hoping to learn a bit more about hearing loss and what caused it and how this particular woman, who was similar to me in many ways (educated, professional – she’s a journalist by trade). I can’t wait to read it – of course, I’ll review it when I’m done. I’m thinking of also writing an article on how to help people with hearing loss similar to ours. So many people have this hearing loss…
On Saturday, we had a wonderful Indian summer day. Nate has learned to ride a bike – we were working on no training wheels but we’re not quite there yet. Anyways, we went on a bike ride on Saturday around our neighborhood. It was the first time that we went on a ride together - usually I have Gabby with us and she doesn’t really ride a bike yet – next year. He had so much fun too – I think we’ll have lots more coming up in the future.
…and if you don’t have it, you’re the odd one one out. This week, I brought Gabby to have her hearing tested. It was a fascinating experience from my perspective. I don’t remember doing the three year old test with Nate – I think that Izzy went to the testing for him. Anyways, the audiologists did team testing with Gabby. We were placed in a sound proof room. I sat in a chair in the back of the room while Gabby sat on a sort of couch at the front of the room. There was a window that she was facing. The testing audiologist sat in that room facing her and administering the test. There was another audiologist in the room with us. Gabby was told to put toys into a bucket whenever she heard sounds. They tested things like pitch and loudness. They also tested the nerve and how it was doing whenever she heard a sound and whether the eardrum was functioning.
At the end of testing, I learned that Gabby needs hearing aids – she, like both Nate and I, has sensorineral hearing loss. It developed in the same time period for both of them – between the ages of birth and three. I couldn’t tell you when I developed it – I got my hearing tested after I got a severe ear infection about 2.5 years ago, which ruptured my ear drum and caused my doctor to want to make sure that I could still hear ( I couldn’t and it was worse after the ear infection). I don’t remember being unable to hear growing up, in high school or even in college. I began to notice that it was getting progressively worse in the last few years. I received a diagnosis back then of Meniere’s Disease, which means that the doctors couldn’t find anything physically wrong with my ears or my brain – no tumors or anything else . I even went down to Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary. Interestingly, I have nearly all of the symptoms of it – occasionally I get vertigo (not sever); however I’m more likely to get car sick and get motion sickness really easily – more easily than most. If I go on a ride that goes upside down or spins, even in the slightest, it can take me 15 minutes or half an hour after I get off the ride to feel close to normal. I have ringing in both ears – more in my right ear. I get a lot of pressure and fullness and have a really hard time popping my ears and am REALLY sensitive to certain noises. What was also really interesting was that the audiologist put my chart, Nate’s chart and Gabby’s chart all next to each other and if I didn’t or wasn’t able to read the names at the top, I would have sworn they were just three copies of the one test. We all have the same hearing loss in the same spots, so it must be genetic and congenital. ::Sigh::
Gabby is absolutely amazing as is Nate. I would never have believed that either of them had hearing issues because they both use language that is, at the very least, appropriate for their age. Now, both children are using vocabulary that can sometimes even be considered advanced. I hope that they will fine.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my health, most notably my weight and exercise. I really want to lose some weight and be able to run for extended periods without feeling like I’m going to die. This past week, I have started the Couch to 10 K program – it’s an app (isn’t everything an app?) that uses interval training to get you from never having run to, theoretically, running a 5K, a 10K(in my case) or a half marathon (maybe a goal, we’ll see how this goes). I really like this app because it allows you to access your own playlists and it will prompt you to run and walk at intervals. I have also been sing My Fitness Pal, which is an app that helps you to keep track of the amount of calories that you’re eating and burning throughout the day. What would be really cool would be to get one of those fit band that syncs to the app. I’m very hopeful about this…but one never knows.
Today, I went running at around 3:30 in the afternoon and it was getting dark towards the end of my run. I also spent some of the time running through snow flurries and wind. We’re expecting our first major storm this week coming up – tentatively of course because things could change. I hope that I can continue with training to some extent indoors because it might get really boring during the winter. That’s part of the reason that music is so important, to me at least, in this case. My question to you is what tunes are on your workout or running playlists? Here is what is currently on my list:
- Grenade – Bruno Mars
- Country Girl (Shake it For Me) – Luke Bryan
- The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
- Blow – Ke$ha
- Baggage Claim – Miranda Lambert
- Bouncing Around the Room – Phish
- Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida
- Give Me Everything – Ne-Yo
- Farmhouse – Phish
- Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) – Shakira
- Hips Don’t Like – Shakira
- In God’s Country - u2
- Rehab – Amy Winehouse
- Tonight I’m Loving You – Enrique Iglesias
- Respirator – Flo Rida
- DJ Got us Falling in Love - usher
- Born ThisWay – Lady Gaga
- Disturbia – Rihana
- Romancing the Stone – Eddy Grant
- Shake Ya Tailfeather
- In Da Club – 50 Cent
- Tubthumping – Chumbawumba
- Heya – Outkast
- On the Floor – Jennifer Lopez
- Papi – Jennifer Lopez
- Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez
- Kyrie 0 Mr. Mister
- Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band
- I Don’t Want This Night to End – Luke Bryan
- Mercy – Duffy
- Long Hot Summer – Keith urban
- Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band
- These Boots Were Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra
- Down uNder (Acoustic) – Colin Hay
- Downtown Train – Tom Watts
- Surfin Bird – the Ramones
- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
- Pumped up Kicks – Foster thePeople
- Ticks – Brad Paisley
- If You’re Gonna Play in Texas – Alabama
- I and Love and You-the Avett Brothers
- Baba O’Reilly – The Who
- Let the Day Begin – the Call
- Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heroes
- Sweet Emotion (cover) – Kim Falk
- F**k You – Cee Lo Green
- ET – Katie Perry
- Say Hey – Michael Franti
- Hot Hot Hot – Bina Mistry
- Fever – Wisin and Yandel
- Yeah - usher
- Dj Got us Falling in Love Again - usher
- I Don’t Feel Like Dancing – Scissor Sisters
- Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
- Payphone – Maroon 5
- One More Night – Maroon 5
- Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
- I’m Sexy and I Know it – LMFAO
- Can’t Get You Out of MyHead – Kylie Minogue
- SexyBack – Justin Timberlake
- Perfect Girl – Black Lab
- The Time – Black Eyed Peas
- I Gotta Feeling – BlackEyed Peas
- Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) – Big and Rich
- The Crane Wife Pt. 3 – the Decembrists
- Creatures of Habit – Chuck McCabe
- Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
- Some Nights – Fun.
- Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show
- The Cave – Mumford and Sons
- Same Love – Macklemore
- Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
- Blown Away – Carrie underwood
- Made in America – Toby Keith
…otherwise known as why I love gaining an hour but why I hate losing that hour on my birthday. I love having extrea time in the day and I’ma morning person, so the extra hour of daylight in the morning makes things a little easier for me when I wake up and get to work. I’m hoping that I can now get motivated to get up early to exercise a bit before work so that it frees up some time for me after work. My days are so jam packed that by the time that I get home and the kids are in bed, it’s 8:30 or 9 on some nights and I’m exhausted. I also like the extra hour of darkness in the evening; there’s something about that hour, especially in the winter time that makes things inside seem so cozy. I like curling up on the couch and crocheting (which I’ve been doing a lot lately with Christmas coming up and babies being born) or drinking tea and reading or watching TV. The other side of it is that depression is rife during this time, particularly in February when the winter might not ever seem like it’s going to end.
We also just had a fabulous Halloween, that was not marred by snow. The last few years, it has snowed and the Town has actually postponed Trick or Treating because it was too dangerous to go out. The heavy wet snow would bring down the leaves, which would add weight to power lines and bring them down too. Nothing like live wires to literally and figuratively put a damper on things. Anyways, this year we had Trick or Treat on Halloween even though it rained:
This year, we had a Batman and a fairy. And that pumpkin, yeah, Nate carved that with his dad. I think that I have a budding artist in the making. This weekend was also our first weekend in about two months without soccer. We got a lot done, including shopping and lawn care that was sorely needed after the winds this past week. Before you know it, the Elf on the Shelf will be out!
It is flying by. Before you know it, there will be snow on the ground. Things are exhaustingly busy here and I’m working on many, many things. I find that life is a constant work in progress and instead of looking many months into the future, I try to take it one day at a time.
My days during the week follow the same general schedule. My alarm goes off at 5 A.M. and normally I can get up pretty quickly. However, as the fall moves forward, the days are getting so much shorter. When my alarm goes off now, it’s still pitch black. I can watch the sun rise if I so desire. I have a cup of coffee and read the news. Then I check my email – the excuse that I make for myself for checking the news and the email essentially first thing in the morning is that I need to know if anything has come up that is emergent – for my job. Then I shower, get dressed and throw some stuff in the crockpot if I’m using that to make dinner for the night. I also make my lunch if I’m bringing a sandwich or salad – who likes the soggy bread or lettuce that comes with making those things the night before? Then I get the kids their clothing for the day and, if Gabby is awake, I will actually get her dressed and set up with breakfast before I leave – at that point Izzy is awake and either showering or getting out of the shower.
I get to work at around seven thirty and begin reviewing new cases for the day. I am normally in court by 8 and back in the station by 1 or2. I leave work at around 3:30 or 4, after which I do some exercise – a walk/hike or a bike ride at the gym. Then I pick the kids up and am home with them about 5 or 5:30. I then make sure dinner’s finalized (or made depending on what I’m making). Izzy gets home at around 6 or 6:30. Then we eat and I help Nate with homework if he has any. Then I give the kids baths and we get them ready for bed – they are in bed by 8 or 8:30 the latest. I give myself around an hour to decompress and then am usually passed out sleeping by 10 or 10:30. I’m so wiped out.
Weekends lately have also been tremendously busy. I get to sleep in a little - until seven (I know – how crazy). I have coffee and catch up on some blogs and TV shows (hello Orange is the New Black and Walking Dead) that I haven’t been able to watch during the week. I get the kids breakfast and then ready for the day. I take Gabby with me food shopping. Then we have lunch and I take Nate to soccer. By the time soccer is done, it is three in the afternoon so I bring the kids home and we have dinner.
Last week, we did a few things that were not the norm. Izzy and I got to go out to a friend’s birthday dinner at Empire. Not only did we get to go out but we got to go to Boston and the restaurant was phenomenal (I’m going to write a review shortly). So we were out late that night and then the next day, we went to Manchester to see a community theater production of Annie, which was really good. I was never into doing things like that when I was in high school – then again, Iw as playing sports and soccer all the time. On another note, and a more stressful one, the water heater broke. So on top of all of our other obligations and schedule snafus, we had to deal with that. The kids generally had a pretty good time though.