That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!


As I lay here on my stomach, watching the Olympics, editing Monkey’s baby registry and feeling her somersaults, I can’t help but think about how much everything will change. How much it already has. We’re a family of four. This is real. This is really happening. Crazy. I’m one who doesn’t much care for change. I actually hate it. I like our 3 Musketeers team.  But, listen to old Rafiki, “Change is good.” I wanted to get pregnant so bad.  I tried so hard for this baby.  And this week, for the first time since I saw that blue line, I have a distinctly uncharacteristic lack of anxiety. It feels good. I like not being tied up in knots.

So, last night Bruce was running amok pushing his own kid-sized cart in the grocery store. I had already told him to stop being crazy. He is so sweet when he’s in trouble. He immediately recoils and says, “I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry ’bout that.” (And actually when we got home, he said, “I’m sorry I was acting crazy in the store.” OMG: consider my heart melted.) Anyway, instead of another stern scolding, I asked him if he was going to get his bananas or what. It was so crazy. He immediately shaped up. “Oh. Yeah!” I think I’m on to something with this doling out the responsibility stuff.

Bruce just went down for a nap in his new big boy bed. I really thought he would resent being kicked out of his room to make way for baby, but he’s handling it like a champ! He loves his big boy room! We are decorating it with a vintage airplane theme. I still have lots to clean up, and some artwork to hang. And the closet is still full of my American Girl furniture.  My poor little guy. He never did have a fully themed finished nursery. I’ve got to get better.

He’s big into Legos these days but still loves his trains. He’s been flipping through last year’s Thomas the Tank Engine catalog picking out birthday presents for himself. (Most of which I’ve added to his Amazon Wish List, by the way.)  I wonder if he likes playing with them as much as he likes shopping for them.  When he doesn’t clean up his trains and tracks, I threaten to give them to kids who don’t have any trains. He usually squeals, “nooooo!” and puts them away.  Today, thumbing through the catalog, he told me that maybe we’ll give these tracks to “the other kids” and he will get new ones from his “book.”

Pretty sweet, I guess. At least in some sideways way he’s thinking of others.

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people are annoying

First of all, I’m sure my special little snowflake annoys the shit out of people. So let me clear the air and get that out in the open. You have no desire to be in the presence of a little shit who thinks he’s the center of the universe. I understand. 

That being said…

I’ve been to weddings. And I’ve been to adult only weddings. Guess what? They’re exactly the same. A lot of you elitist assholes think your event will be special. It’s not. It’s a wedding, just like the other 2.5 million weddings that take place in the USA every year. Black tie? BFD. It’s just a wedding. If you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all. 

My cousin, Kelly, brought her baby when my sister, Haley, got married. Baby cried during the service. Guess what. It was a disturbance. Dad took the baby outside. No fucks were given. None of the guests cared. They know what a wedding sounds like. 


And for the record, this is a picture of Bruce eating a 12 oz. NY Strip at a wedding*, for the person who said, “Aww wish it worked that way with kids.” It’s your wedding. It’s whatever way you want it to be. 

*Okay, alright, it was actually the rehearsal dinner. But he was offered, and ate, what all the other guests ate at both events. 

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We lost Jasmine on November 3. It’s been incredibly difficult on our entire little family.

My dad’s cousin, whom I refer to as my cousin, Joe, was hospitalized with terminal stomach cancer (and pretty much everywhere else cancer at this point) right around the time of our Family Reunion on November 14.

The bright spot, has been this anniversary getaway here in Walt Disney World.

It’s hard to find the starting point. So many thoughts. So many eloquent words that are forever just out of my grasp.

On December 9, I tested positive on a home pregnancy test. I looked at the + and thought, “welp, this is how my relationship with Bruce started, just a couple of blue lines on a pee test.” When Tom discovered it on the bathroom counter, he yelled, “IS THIS FOR REAL?!” while I spied on him from the other room.

On December 14, I miscarried in room 2826, at 5:45 am, at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.

I just don’t understand how much one person should be required to endure at one time. Tom and I have had many long, tearful talks this week. We believe life begins at conception. We believe that the tiny little ball of heartbeat that my uterus so ungraciously refused to host was our son or daughter. So. I named him/her Jo. Calling them “It” hurt my feelings every time. So, now we’re calling them Jo, in honor of my cousin Joe, who we’re all going to miss really bad here soon.

I just want to get it all down while it’s still fresh in my mind and on my heart.

I’d been spotting the entire pregnancy. We didn’t know we were pregnant until almost 8 weeks into the game because I had such heavy spotting in November that I thought it was a regular, albeit light, period. The reason I know we’d almost hit the 8 week mark is because I had an ultrasound done on the morning of December 13 at Florida Celebration Hospital. We went in to the Emergency Room because the spotting was getting to the point where I was starting to worry about it.

That entire experience was bizarre enough that I’m contemplating discussing it with an attorney.

So. We go in, we tell the doctor my symptoms. He orders blood work, a pregnancy test, and an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech couldn’t tell me anything. She said, basically, that the doctor would have to tell me what she saw, she couldn’t tell me herself. (Which sucked, because since she couldn’t TELL me that she was looking for my non-existent right ovary, she continued to poke and prod while my feet and legs fell asleep.)

So, Tom and I assumed that post-ultrasound we would return to the room in the ER where we first met Dr. Adam and he’d show us what was going on.


We went into a large waiting room with about half a dozen other patients and waited on lab results. Some of us were wearing only hospital gowns. Alright, well, when the test results came back, surely we’d see the doctor.

Nope! And don’t call me “Surely.”

We were called to a desk at the front of the room where a nurse told me in front of a room full of people that I have a “Threatened Abortion.” And that I should stay hydrated, take it easy, and that she herself had 4 miscarriages, one of them while she was vacuuming, so avoid that kind of heavy vibration. “Maybe you overdid it at Disney.”

Can you spare me the fucking anecdotes, please? Can you not say, “ABORTION,” in front of a waiting room full of people? I thought The Twilight Zone was over at Hollywood Studios. What is happening?! She also mentioned other things that were going on, but because I respect my own right to privacy, I’m not going to post what they are on the internet.

There was no comfort in that. It was a printout based on a symphony of symptoms. It was basically the same information I read at home on WebMD that got me anxious enough to look into it at the hospital in the first place. At least it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. At least there really was a baby with a heart beat.

We left. As we waited for the valet to retrieve our car, a lady who had also been in the waiting room thought it would be cool to talk about how that was a heck of a thing to go through on our vacation.

I read the paperwork from the hospital and what really has stuck with me is “fetal heart rate: 154 bpm.” That really resonates and makes it feel real. Our baby was at 8 weeks and 2 days gestation on December 13, 2015. (I concede that’s not very far along. It’s basically one skipped period. But hey, 2 months down, 7 to go.)

We went to Epcot and spent the rest of the day taking it real easy and enjoying our time with our friends from Texas. We picked a pearl in Epcot. When I said, “I only get pearls when I do races,” we decided that this would be my, “congrats! We’re having a baby!” pearl.

I woke up at 5:45 am on December 14 with bad cramps and a full bladder. I went to the bathroom, and returned to bed. But as quickly as I pulled the covers over me, I ripped them off and ran back into the bathroom. And that’s where it happened.

The cramps were the worst part. I think they wholeheartedly confirmed that vaginal delivery will never be for me. It was like what I imagine contractions feel like during labor. It was worse than the torsion of my fallopian tube with Mr. Nasty. It brought tears to my eyes (which, for me, is saying something). Isn’t it bad enough that I’m losing my baby? Why must I also be tortured? It was excruciating. I’d cramp really bad, and then something would drop. This cycle went on for about two, maybe two and a half hours. I was waiting for Dr. Wolanski’s office to open at 8:30 am. They pulled my chart, and when the nurse called back at about 9, the cramping had leveled out to standard menstrual cramping levels. I told her the pain had been a little bit more than I was willing to bear, and she said to definitely return to the hospital and let them help me with that. I didn’t need to. By 11:20, I was at lunch at Hollywood Studios, overwhelmed with love and hugs from our Texas Twins. They bought us lunch. That was such a warm gesture, and something I’m sure I’ll never forget. It was nice to let someone take care of us for a second.

We went back to the room and physically I was much better. Lindsay came to see us. We laid in bed and tried to guess the 23 Disney-released full-length animated feature films whose title consists of only one word. She took us to Company D, the Disney Cast Member shop. Being with people, just being wrapped up in love and support, is the part that will always stay with me. I know that’s how it works. I don’t remember how it felt to have staples in my head after the bus accident when I was in high school. I remember Jonathan Rettimnier bringing a card to the hospital in Melbourne that had been signed by my entire photography class. I don’t really reflect too much on the pain I experienced with Mr. Nasty. I remember my family sitting in that tiny hospital room, just to be with me.
There were so many beautiful sentiments that came to my mind while I was in the shower this morning that I ran to the computer to get them all down, but now that I’m sitting in front of the computer, I’m suddenly at a loss for words (even at a word count of over 1000 so far).

The waitress at Artist Point brought us a champagne toast last night, without even knowing that it was almost our anniversary, or that it had been such an arduous week. We toasted to Jo. Champagne glass in hand, Tom said, “I want to say something, but I can’t because we’ll both lose it.” He said he’d tell me later. It was, “we love you.”

He also said, through tears, “the day will come, you know?”

“I know.”

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i uhn…

Bruce is saying so much. “I un caul” (I want call) is a popular one. Specifically, “I un caul Hay-lay.” I need to shoot more video of this guy. The other night, he was playing with an app on Tom’s phone and speaking Chinese. I kid you not.

Other things he says:

I uhn eat. : I want to eat.
I uhn ah. (Motioning to his mouth) : I want a vitamin.
I uhn eeeeee. (Moving his finger in front of his mouth like he’s brushing his teeth) : I want to brush my teeth.
I wuh see. : I want to see. (Usually wants to see what’s cooking on the stove.)
I uhn ig. : I want an egg.
Cook! : Cook!

He likes to illustrate the difference between hot and cold by having me lift him up to the stove where he pretends to touch a hot pot then jerks his hand back, “AHT!” And he’ll pretend to shiver while saying, “cole, cole!” He’s a boy who knows what he “uhns” and has no problem telling you. “I uhn up! I uhn dow! I uhn out! I uhn play! I uhn toyeee! (Toy Story, not actual toys.) I uhn can-y! I uhn bat! (Bath.) I uhn P’Paw! (Grandpa, my dad. I feel bad because I called my dad Pa-Pa in front of the Armstrong clan while we were picking apples. If I were within earshot on the receiving end, I’d have been mad. The sting of losing Paw Paw is still very fresh and raw. But for the record, we didn’t direct Bruce to call my Dad that, he just does.)”
I love him more and more every day. That’s a BFD for me. I stress, and struggle, and lose faith. It’s hard. I don’t know if i was built for motherhood. I worry about what I’m doing that will “inevitable screw him up,” as they say in “Now and Then.” So, yeah. Big deal. I’m thinking about keeping him.

I’m down to 212.8.  My lowest weight since college. Half a pound from now, I’ll be able to say I’ve lost 20 lbs in 3 months. Not bad. Not record-breaking or anything, but not bad. It’s not even the running, it’s just kind of amazing what happens when you decide animal products cause cancer and man-made products cause diabetes. I did cheat last night. I’ve had candy since Halloween and for dinner last night I had Wendy’s fries, a couple of nuggets and some soda. It was nothing to write home about. I mean, I didn’t even enjoy it that much. Interesting, because my diet used to be fast food twice a day. That shit’ll kill ya’.

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them’s fightin’ words

I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself, but I’m afraid that I’ll re-read this in 5 years and be like, “Who cares that you lost .8 lbs?! BRUUUUCE!” On that note, Bruce is growing in leaps and bounds and everything he does surprises me.

Today while I lazily played on my iphone, he was in his high chair eating an entire bowl of cereal, with milk, all by himself.  I’ve been giving him dry cereal, but today he coaxed me into pouring in milk (vanilla soy milk). The floor wasn’t pretty, but you’d be surprised how much made it into his mouth. I was surprised. I was impressed. I looked up from my phone when he said, “MORE?” His bowl was empty.

He’s saying all kinds of things these days. The most recent are, “juice,” and “cookie,” and “ice.” All food is “more.” (Except juice, cookies, and ice, of course. And pizza…) Pizza is “pee pee,” which I can already tell is going to create a super-awkward moment in my not-so-distant future.

I was looking at his feet today while he laid in my lap, which he NEVER does, eating “corn-corn” and watching “Robin Hood.” I just marveled at those little miracles. I hate feet. I do. They’re ugly and gross. But Bruce’s feet are so cute and sweet and perfect.

Bruce also says, “guh gur!” aka “good girl!” to Jasmine when she comes in from outside. He pats his thigh to get her to come to him.

There’s so much, and I feel like it’s all happening so fast! I hope I remember to take time out and just enjoy my nearly-2 year old!

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joan rivers


My run got rained out last night. It’s a shame too, because my mile time was outstanding, about 12:45. My one mile that I ran was a fast one. (Relatively speaking.) I’m wondering if it was because I was adequately hydrated. I drank so much water yesterday. I caught on to something, if I drink and drink and drink and drink it flushes my body of bad stuff (waste, but toxins, too, I think) a lot quicker and easier than me just trying to run it off.  I used to put off drinking water because I wanted to see how low I could get the scale to go before I ingested anything on any given day. Now, it seems, the more water I drink, the less I weigh the next morning. So, the lowest I was yesterday was 228.2, and I woke up this morning at 226.8.  I’m moderately excited, still anxious for 224.

Bruce doesn’t eat much and it makes me nervous. I know he’s capable of eating a lot because he has in the past, he just doesn’t. I can’t make him. Today for lunch he had half a banana, a handful of cashews, a few bites of my vegan lasagna, some popcorn and an oatmeal cookie. No dark leafy green veggies. I feel like a bad mom. I am, however, very proud of the popcorn. We made it using half a cup of popcorn kernels and 1 tsp of canola oil, most of which seems to be on the paper bag and plate in the microwave. When I divided the canola oil by the serving sizeI believe I consumed, it was a minimal amount of calories. I’m excited. Supposedly, you can air-pop in the microwave with 0 oil. I guess that’s on the horizon for us. 

Joan Rivers just passed away. That makes me sad. (It’s like the news had to do a special report to beat the news breaking on facebook.) I liked her. I enjoyed her on “The Apprentice,” and marveled at how sharp she was despite being 81 years old. I didn’t really take them seriously when they talked about her being in an induced coma after some difficulty during a procedure. I just figured that she was tough and would pull through. She didn’t. Life is fragile. You are precious. Take care of you. 


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happy birthday

I wish that I could remember what was going on during that last post.

So, I meant to write on my birthday, and I should have. My birthday was great. My weekend was alright. Actually, my weekend was good, but I made poor choices. Poor food choices.

Let’s see, my birthday: I ran 8 miles the night before my birthday so that I wouldn’t have to do it Friday while I was in Virginia. I lost a ton of weight, got down to 225 and was so thrilled. I lost like 7 lbs. in 10 days or so. I wish I could remember what all I was going to write about. It was all good things, and I think I could have benefitted from having it available to read today. I felt new. I felt refreshed. I dreamed that I could get down to 215 for Matt and Zhiwen’s wedding (9/13) and that I’d be close to 200 by the race (10/3). It all seemed very attainable and today it all seems so beyond my reach.

Charlottesville really is detrimental to my health. I didn’t track calories. I was severely dehydrated. I ate meat. The night we left, I ate pasta primavera which, in hindsight, was probably loaded with salt and who knows what else.

I came home from Charlottesville about 232.  10 days of work down the drain in 3 days. Sucks. It’s just that same ol’ bullshit again: shed considerably, get really excited, lose track, balloon back up like the win never happened. So, then what… was that just water weight? ::sigh:: So, here we go again.

I guess I need to focus on the good. I ran 8 miles. Me. I did. Crazy. I’m so close to the goal of 10 miles under 15 mins per mile. (Actually, I am a long way from 10 miles at 12 mins. per mile, which is why the new goal is 15.) If you had told me in February that I’d be running 10 miles in October, or 8 miles in August, I would never have believed you.

I think today I need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate today and prepare for another long run tonight. I’m nervous because there was a really striking difference in my weight when I woke up the morning after my 8 mile run last week, and I can’t help but think I was doing something wrong to accomplish that. The instant gratification felt good, but I want to make sure I’m doing this the right way.


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today is not your day








sky full of lighters

I had this big huge epiphany last night.  I burst into the house after my walk all amped up.  So, let me see if I can put it in some format that you can read. 

I listen to a lot of music while I run jog walk wog, some secular, some worship.  

Last night, I was listening to “Made to Love,” by TobyMac.  

I’m running, and praising God for the strength to run and thanking him for helping Tom put the Ikea couch back together earlier in the afternoon, because that crap was cray… then another song comes on. 

It gets off to a slow start.  It’s not exactly worship music, not great for running, but I freakin’ LOVE it.  I love Eminem.  I love everything he does.  (Okay, that one album wasn’t fantastic.)  He’s so awesome.  Everything he does… oh my God… 

Then, it hit me like a freight train.  Seriously.  I felt it rush over my body furiously. 

God loves me like I love Eminem. 

I’m not famous.  I’m not cool.  I’m not influential.  I don’t do a whole heck of a lot.  But to God, I’m the shiz.  I’m one bad mofo.  I’m awesome!  Everything I do…  I’m his favorite.  (And so are you.)  

And then I felt a nice breeze, looked up, and saw the sky full of stars above me, my sky full of lighters. 


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you are what you eat

This is me and Tom today.

This is my new favorite thing:

We ordered take-out for an entire week.  “Take-out,” premade, heat n’ serve meals, that are vegan.  Vegan.  Yeah, I said it.  We cray.  We love to eat.  I love to eat out.  We don’t like doing dishes.  We don’t know how to make vegetarian stuff that’s not salad.  Tom only has a few precious hours to spend with me in the evening and we don’t want those to be spent in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove.  (We’d rather be in the bedroom slaving over a hot… each other.)  Enter  On Monday, we got a delivery of almost enough dinners for the week.  Last night I had Mexi-Risotto.  Risotto is one of my favorite foods.  Anyway, I’ve been eating what I get from Nourish and trusting them, without really calculating ingredients or calories.  I feel obligated to eat it even though I may want McDonald’s because we paid a lot for it.  It’s good, which helps.  Tom and I both think it tastes really good.  And, I forget the specifics, but I think it’s 80%+ organic or something.

I don’t want to lean to far into the hippie stuff, but this Vegan lifestyle is workin’ for me.  I’ve lost like 3 or 4 lbs.  Down to 229.8 today.  Yesterday, I woke up at 231.6.  After dinner, a 4 mile walk and drinking water, so full belly right before bed, 230.6.  It meant so much to be 230.  I’ve been so close for so long, bouncing between 231 and 234 for weeks.  This morning I woke up at 229.8.  So, hit the 230 milestone AGAIN and hopefully for the final time.  I know 229.8 is basically 230, but that’s a very important .2 lbs, because it’s .2 under 230.  I didn’t really log my weight at the beginning of the week, because I just kind of don’t want to believe that I’m over 230.  The same thing happened when I was up around 260.  I have no concrete date for that weight, because I’d just see it on the scale and step off. Dejected.

Anyway, the weight loss for me, today, is a side effect.  I feel good!  Small changes are taking place around the house.  Laundry is getting done.  I vacuumed downstairs.  I even painstakingly removed grease that Tom tracked in from the garage about two weeks ago and told me not to worry about, because he’d take care of it.  I’m ready to work today.  Ready to paint.  Ready to draw.  Ready.  This, I guess, is what it feels like to put the right fuel in the tank.  I feel like I feel when I’m taking Niacin, except I’m not taking it.  So, oh my God, maybe I should take it… I would be like a freight train!

Just wanted to share where we are and what’s happening.  Mom is sick.  So sick.  She’s in the middle of her fight with breast cancer.  Her stomach is a disaster.  I worry for her, and I’m scared, and it makes me want to do some preventative maintenance.

I love what Charlotte Gerson says in this interview about prevention:

It’s so stupidly easy.  It’s like your grandma told you, you are what you eat.

It’s funny.  It started so simple.  “Let’s just cut down on soda while I train for this 10K at Disney World…”  Now, it’s morphed into trying to eat mostly vegan. Vegan!  WHO AM I?!

I should mention some stuff that Brucey is doing, too.  We are forever playing Marco Polo, but using each others’ names. “MA!”








He also says a lot of, “deet,” which roughly translated to “that,” or “this.”  He’ll point to something and shake his head, “no,” when we try to give him the wrong thing and finally nod, “yes,” when we give him whatever it is that he wants.  He loves any “ball,” and will identify it as such.  Yesterday, I kept trying to get him to say, “Mickey,” pointing to The Mouse on a pillow that we have in the family room.  He pointed to Minnie and called her by name instead!   We buy a lot of bananas; he eats about 3 bananas a day.  Dude loves cashews.  I worry that he’s not getting enough to eat, but I always sit there with him until he just won’t eat anymore.  I worry that I need to give him a more standard Western diet so that he fattens up a little bit, but saying that makes me feel crazy.

He’s got 2 big flat molars on the bottom, I haven’t caught a glimpse of what’s on top yet, but I’m excited because this means we can eat more of the green stuff that you chew in the back of your mouth!

Today, Bruce hid a ball under his shirt, showed me his empty palms and said, “where is?”

He points to his nose and says, “bow.” He might be confused because nose in Chinese sounds like “bay.” Today he was really close to pointing at my eyes and saying eye.

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