Tuesday, December 3, 2013

You're Welcome!

If you reside in Loudoun County, VA, or its surrounding counties, I just want to go ahead and extend to you a big "YOU ARE WELCOME!"  I apparently, unbeknownst to me, have been personally tasked by the good Lord to eradicate the entire stink bug population in the entire county.  That's all.  No big deal or anything.  No, God did not contact me directly regarding this matter, or just-maybe-perhaps-most-likely He sent me a memo and I somehow missed it.  I know for a fact that this must have been a directive from a higher power, this perfectly explains the magnitude of little ba$tards that have entered my residence.  Among a million other titles that I currently hold, Mom, Wife, Nurse, Housekeeper....yours truly is also the MURDERER OF THE MARMORATED.  You see, I am 99.872% positive that ALL stinkbugs in Loudoun County were directed to enter my home to be humanely euthanized.  Must be.  At any point, they are in every nook & cranny, on every window, of every room, and I mean, every f%^&$ room of my house.  Our state-of-the-art-don't-need-an-exterminator-up-in-here method of stinkbug removal is to do the following: grab the bug in a tissue, promptly throw it into the toilet, quickly close the lid, and flush as fast as possible before any escape attempts are made by the little a$$hole!  This quick destruction normally prevents the bug from having time to release its "smell" and is also just an effortless easy breezy clean-up!  Pretty ingenious if you ask me, well, that is until we get our water bill.

If you are on the left coast, or some other magical part of the world that doesn't have stinkbugs, for one, count your blessings, for two, please say hello to our little friend:

 According to Wikipedia, "Stink bugs typically have four generations per growing season in Asia, and one after transplantation to the U.S., but an unusually warm and early spring and summer in 2010 allowed them to produce two additional generations in regions like Maryland and Northern Virginia."  You read that here first folks, and don't be worried, those two additional generations referenced in the Wiki quote, are all currently lodging in the Magin/Nugent household - and you better believe that we are battling/toilet-treating their brown marmorated asses everyday!  In case you are not familiar with them, or their "smell", if the stinkbug becomes startled or dies, it releases its "signature smell".  In my humble opinion, after smelling THOUSANDS of them, I'd liken it to a very stinky gym sock + a citrusy-lemon scent.  My new perfume line will be called: Eau de Lemon Chaussette (sock in French according to Google - does anyone speak French, is that right?).  This smell lingers in the air for several minutes, and after minute 2, you are looking for a new nose, any nose, any nose but your own.  You just can't help it. 
So, if you are walking the streets of Ashburn, or in your home in Sterling, or perhaps in your friend's backyard in Leesburg, and are wondering, questioning even, "where are all the stinkbugs????"..........Megan Nugent & family are personally handling the entire stinkbug infestation/crisis for the county from the inside of our humble abode.  I am currently accepting Thank You notes, gift cards, and brand-new vehicles as a way of saying "thank you" for my unremitting attempts to remove these little stinky bullies from our environment.

Highs and Lows

Hi Friends!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Going to be honest, our week/holiday was pretty darn pathetic, as we all fell ill at some point, and experienced one crisis after another.  Most of the "situations" unfortunately revolved around Type 1 Diabetes......some weeks are fabulous and some weeks are super crappy, and I just need to accept that this is how it's going to be.  For every high blood sugar and for every low blood sugar, my emotions are riding the same emotional roller coaster, one moment I am confident and the next moment I am panicked and feeling insecure.  "Oh God, they (being the doctors) left me in charge and responsible for this little boy's life and he is relying on me to keep him healthy!"  Sometimes when his blood sugar is out of control, I just feel overwhelmed, I try my best, but my best will not be good enough, and I need to accept this fact, and not beat myself up over it.  As much as I have accepted this responsibility of managing Connor's blood sugar, there are days when I question all of my decisions, "was that enough insulin?", "does Connor need more carbs?", "is his long-lasting insulin the right number?", "am I doing this right????"......some days there are just more questions than there are answers.
In case you are curious as to what happened exactly, Connor contracted the same stomach virus as Chelsea last week.  Type 1 diabetics don't just "become sick", nope, their blood sugars soar and they develop Ketones rapidly, which need to be constantly checked and removed from the body through extra fluid and insulin.  I could never predict that this stomach virus would carry on from Tuesday to Thanksgiving dinner!  After being perfectly fine and eating all day on Thanksgiving day, he suddenly became ill again during Thanksgiving dinner.  I gave him a shot of insulin before his dinner & dessert.....considering the amount of carbs I counted out on his plate, I gave him A LOT of insulin.  Guess what?  Connor threw-up and refused to eat during dinner....meanwhile his blood sugar dropped rapidly and eventually hit the 30s (dangerously low).  I was yelling/pleading with him that despite his nausea he absolutely had to drink & eat something, as his blood sugar would continue to drop rapidly and we needed carbs to offset the insulin.  Lucky for Connor, his Uncle Michael came to the rescue with loads of small, bite-size candy and after about at total 45 minutes of pleading with him, Connor began to divulge on that candy.  My nerves were shot by the time we got home from Thanksgiving dinner around 9pm.....only to have his blood sugar rise around 2am to the 450s (this high blood sugar = bed-wetting & a cranky child), so the next morning I was battling high blood sugars and more Ketones.  It's this type of roller coaster that just leaves you mentally and emotionally spent, and honestly, there is no way around it and you just have to keep battling.  In the middle of this chaos, Connor was wearing his trial Continuous Glucose Monitor last week, so we were supposed to record every bite of food that he ingested, every shot, his activity level, and the exact time that each of these things occurred for the doctor to review.  It's a giant pain in the ass to record every detail, and most weeks, this would have been doable, but considering what was going on in our home, we just couldn't keep good records.  In the middle of this craziness, my daughter fell down a flight of stairs (banged her head pretty darn badly), I was recovering from my food poisoning (many trips to the bathroom for me), and my husband had to go to an Urgent Care facility for a skin infection he developed.  The night that Chelsea fell down the stairs for instance - we just plain forgot to record Connor's dinner.  I mean, all attention was on her, and my husband and I didn't write a damn thing down.  And, if you think that Tuck remain unscathed, think again........

Last week, Tuck developed what they call a "hot spot" post-grooming (I imagine they must have just nicked him with the buzzer).  I now know what "hot spot" means = your canine will scratch until they bleed profusely and WILL NOT stop until they reach bone.  I mean, what began as a tiny little cut, Tuck made into a giant sinkhole on the side of the head, and I'm pretty sure that left to his own devices he wouldn't stop scratching until he reached his skull (makes me slightly question his intelligence).  So amidst all of the craziness inside our home, I had to run out to get this little cone treasure to prevent Tuck from scratching into his brain. 

Thankfully, our weekend ended on a very good note, we have, as a family, managed to go 4 WHOLE DAYS without any crisis, this is quite remarkable for us!  I am not kidding, most weeks offer at least 2 crisis situations, sometimes it's as many as 4.  I'm also happy to say that for the past 4 days, Connor has been back to a steady, healthy blood range, but I swear my life has been shortened by 8 years due to stress.  Hahaha, if I am horribly wrinkled and grayed, and already wearing Depends at age 34, we know why, it is due to stress, so don't judge me ;)! 

As Thanksgiving rolled in last week, and after a bit of reflection, I can ecstatically state the following: we are all alive = hallelujah!, love each other with all of our hearts, and all 4 of us are able to laugh every day about how absurd life can be at times = these 3 things are the most important reasons to give thanks and be grateful if you ask me.  Everyday I am beyond thankful for these 3 blessings, and certainly had them in the forefront of my mind on a day when we are encouraged to reflect on our lives and think of all that has gone right.  I hope that on Thanksgiving, you also were given a moment to reflect, look at your life, and regardless of what has occurred, see all of the blessings and beauty that surround you as well....we all have them, but for some of us, we may have to look a little bit deeper beyond the surface, maybe even use binoculars to see them, but they are present!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stayin' Alive!

I'm like John Travolta sans the cool moves, I feel like I'm just Staying Alive!  You see, Mr. Death paid me a visit on late Saturday night in the form of either food poisoning or the-worst-motha-fu*&%^# virus you ever did meet (I will allow your imaginations to run wild on what was occurring at my porcelain throne).  At any rate, what started off as me running to the bathroom, slowly resorted to me walking, then crawling, and ultimately ended with me just holding a bowl in the bed = keepin' it classy!  12 hours of this pure joy & not being able to hold down any water landed me in the ER for the better part of the day yesterday.
I was treated like utter royalty in the ER......3 IV saline solutions for severe dehydration, Zofran, then Phenergan, Tylenol, followed-up by some delicious contrast solution for my CT Scan.  I'm tellin' you they really know how to wine & dine a lady, 5 course meal!  I left yesterday evening with 2 types of powerful antibiotics for my intestinal colitis and anti-nausea meds and have to say, I am on my way to recovery.  I pretty much feel like I was hit by a Mack Truck, but other than that I feel good ;)!  My mother-in-law is taking care of my kiddos today, praise the lord, 'cause I wouldn't be able to!!!  I knew that yesterday was not my day to meet my maker, I think I have a bit more work to do before I make my departure, so here I am, Stayin' Alive! 

On a more positive note, Connor requested that my husband film him early Saturday morning doing "a dance."  "This dance" is to a really awful Iron Man intro song that lasts for about 20 seconds (you can faintly hear it in the background), so Connor repeatedly runs back to our tablet to replay it.  Apparently, Connor practiced for a long while before he was ready to be filmed; how on God's green earth my husband holds the camera phone for 3 minutes and 50 seconds without laughing is beyond me, good work babe!  WARNING: It is like watching a REALLY terrible 80's aerobic video without the hot girls in spandex & leg warmers, he's no Denise Austin!  My son has clearly inherited his "dance moves" from my husband, and his love of dancing from me = one hotmess!  He not only inherited his love of dancing from me, but sadly inherited the "lizard tongue" from me as well--begins roughly 24 seconds in and really gets going at the 1:15 mark (referenced back in this post here.....May God bless him!).  Giving him some credit, his dancing gets better after 2 minutes.  He was happy to hear that I was sharing this little gem!  Aaaaannnddd the video is sideways, I don't know how to use technology people, don't judge me!



Friday, November 22, 2013

Being Picky

Happy Friday Friends!!!

Golden Rule if you are under the age of 5:  There is NO location, NO company, and NO time that doesn't lend itself to "digging for gold."  Anytime is the right time to do "maintenance", 'cause there ain't no shame in our game! 

Just when you think you've captured something cute, you realize that you were way wrong (taken 2 days ago, I just started laughing so hard when I found this little treasure yesterday as I went through my SD card):

Favorite Connor quote: He was 2 1/2 years old and was just digging away one afternoon.  My mother finally asked him, "what are you digging for Connor, you've been very busy in there?"  He looked at her with a very serious expression and responded with a confident, "chocolate"!  Gotta love the stuff that little people say!
Speaking of Connor, we are leaving our home in a few minutes to get his Continuous Glucose Monitor inserted at our local Diabetes Center (yippee!).  It's like I am 4 years old on the night before Christmas, I know Santa is coming and he's bringing me something great!  I AM THAT GIDDY!!!  My husband and I will greatly appreciate the bit of assistance that the CGM will provide. 
Have a blessed & beautiful weekend!  I'll be back on Monday with a new post :). 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New Hair-do(n't)

There is a VERY important member of our family that got a new hair-do last week.  If you follow either my husband or I on Facebook, you probably saw a few pictures that were posted.  My cocker spaniel, Tuck, desperately had to get to the groomer, he was shedding so much hair that I had tumbleweeds in my house, and what a pain it is to keep sweeping 10 times a day! 

I think there might have been some confusion between the Petsmart Grooming attendant and I......I probably wasn't descriptive enough, I had requested a "mini-Mohawk", but in my head I was envisioning a tiny/short tuft of hair left on the top, just to give my Tuck a little something extra special.  What was given to Tuck was more of a bad-ass, I'm-gonna-eat-your-children-for-breakfast-kinda-Mohawk, which had been lovingly fluffed and sculpted.  Needless to say, when my son, Connor, and I went to pick Tuck up last Thursday, neither of us were mentally & emotionally prepared for what came running toward us from the grooming department.  I almost had to sit down I was laughing so hard.  Connor, forget about it, that kid could barely walk through Petsmart he was laughing so hard.  "Do you like it, is this what you were looking for?" asked the grooming attendant.  I didn't have the heart to tell him "no", it was 5pm, and he had been sculpting dog hair all day long, so I said "yes" while laughing my a$$ off, and took Snoop Doggy Dogg home with me to run the mean streets of Purcellville.

Without much further ado, may I present you with my cocker spaniel, Tucker Magin, with his post-grooming bouffant:


Tuck is honestly the most kind and loving pain in the a$$ dog (he steals food, I'll leave it at that) you've ever met.  He's been so amazingly gentle and patient with my children, which of course, makes me love him even more.

I trimmed down this new hair-do on Saturday morning (I took a little over an inch off), he just looked absolutely absurd.  I'd send him out to do his "business" in our backyard, and the breeze would be blowing this thick clump of hair all over the place.  Tuck would come in 10 minutes later with a new look, it was flattened & parted down the middle (not attractive!), so I just had to take the scissors to it:

Tuck & this lucky man sported a similar look:

So with that tuft trimmed down, I got Tuck looking like much more of a love-bug and less of a toughy-pants.  My new pledge to Tuck is: To always be as verbally descriptive as humanly possible (also provide: gestures, exhibits, dioramas, pictures and maybe even sculptures) to every grooming attendant that has contact with him to hopefully prevent these types of hair-doN'Ts in the future!  Sorry Tuck! ;)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I squeezed myself into my size 2 jeans, picked out the cutest floral top you ever did see, and made sure my make-up and hair were perfection.  Yep, looking hot!  One last spray of over-priced perfume and I was ready!  I had just turned 23 and was going out with my best friend to a bar on Capitol Hill.  As soon as I arrived at the bar, I locked eyes with the most gorgeous, blue-eyed, dark-haired man that God has ever created (or will ever create, and no, I'm not biased or anything ;)).  We made eye contact all night long, played a game of pool, and eventually fell in love.

Flash forward 9 1/2 years later.  It was 1:05am, and I looked at myself in the mirror, uncombed tresses with 2 inches of dark roots, no make-up, dark circles under the eyes, and certainly not a size 2 anymore!  I looked over at the back of my husband's head and initially started giggling, and before I knew it, I began to laugh hysterically.  I am not sure if it was due to pure delirium/exhaustion/stress, or if I just have a sick sense of humor.....but I couldn't stop laughing. 

You see, at 1:05am, my husband and I were cleaning chunks of vomit off not only my daughter, but also her sheets and pajamas, FOR THE FIFTH TIME.  Yes, you read that right.  My daughter, Chelsea, who is a whopping 20 pounds, somehow created about 2 gallons of vomit.  It was on/in her bedroom carpet, in her hair, stuffed animals, inside the crib, on the crib, and coated her blankets and sheets.  We never prepared for more vomit that night, nope, I was adamant that after each vomit that we should clean everything perfectly, because I mistakenly kept saying "that was DEFINITELY her last vomit of the night."  Now I know, tiny human beings can fool you and can create more vomit than a 500 pound man who just gorged himself at a Western Sizzlin' buffet.  I now know to always prepare for more vomit in the future.  There will be more!

So after lots of laundry and cleaning, there we were at 1:05am, "manning our posts"....me at the bathroom sink for the fifth time to "clean" things coated by vomit, my husband, at the bathtub, to clean our daughter who had been coated by vomit.  I looked at the back of my husband's head, and had the image of me at age 23, entering that bar, shaking my tail feather, smelling like sun-ripened rose petals, wearing my finest and meeting the man of my dreams.  I quickly reminisced about the amazing years of us dating, getting dressed up, trying to impress one another.  Our beautiful wedding and honeymoon.  There we were, 9 years later, in a tiny bathroom, both of our clothing covered in bits of vomit, smelling like eau de vomit, and cleaning lots and lots of vomit off of 'stuff', together.  I thought to myself, me and my babe, we are co-vomit-cleaners, in our lovely home, which has become a Vomitorium.  This partner-in-crime, love-of-my-life, soul-mate of mine, phrases that used elicit passionate feelings about true love, like something out of a Danielle Steel novel, have now been exchanged for new phrases, like my vomit-cleaning-sidekick.  I couldn't stop laughing.

If someone could have pulled my husband and I aside the night that we met and provided us with a glimpse of what we'd be doing the night of November 17, 2013, I know for a fact that that young woman would have been completely repulsed and shocked.  I feel like I don't even know that young woman from 2004 anymore, the one who was worried about her hair and her make-up.  That young woman had no idea what was in store for her, she was clueless about 3 things in particular: how hard and exhausting the job of parenting could be at times, what marriage and love were really about, and exactly how much vomit a tiny person could create.  Sadly, my future probably holds more nights of vomit, but as long as I have my vomit-cleaning-sidekick by my side and can keep on laughing, I can make it through that Vomitorium and be just fine!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Breaking Point

I am 100% done, super-saturated done, at full-capacity done, filled to the brim, done!  I have been without a "good" night of sleep in many months, but for the past 2 weeks I am averaging 5 hours of VERY interrupted sleep.  I feel (and probably look like) a tired & cranky zombie wandering around.

Beyond Connor's diabetes, he has had "something" wrong with his foot for the past 13 weeks.  He began slightly limping 13 weeks ago, and that eventually turned into him full limping. We have taken him to a doctor's office about 8 times now (pediatrician, endocrinologist, and orthopedic surgeon).  He went for an x-ray that revealed soft tissue inflammation on the top of his foot.....the cause?  Your guess is as good as the doctor's.  Every morning we'd have to strap a giant boot to his foot that would take 3-4 minutes.  Bathing Connor was a problem because you'd have to carry all 42 pounds of him to his bedroom and strap on the boot.  The metal on the boot would bruise his interior ankle bone on his other foot.....it came into contact with his sister repeatedly, bruising her. After wearing the boot for 5 weeks, the doctor said that it wasn't working and to just take it off.  Is it diabetes neuropathy, drop foot (neurological), growth plate break, we don't know, so we are looking at potentially months testing to figure it out....multiple blood tests, an MRI, and physical therapy.  Not looking forward to any of it!

On to Chelsea.......she began to cough here and there about 13 days ago.  It eventually turned into non-stop coughing for 6 days straight, and the next thing I knew she had a 105.3 fever, refused to eat or drink anything, and the worst cough you ever did hear.  We have been to her pediatrician twice, an x-ray/imaging office, and the ER.  As of today, her fever is down, but her coughing absolutely non-stop is literally breaking me down!  For 4 days now, I have been giving her albuterol treatments every 4 hours, Ibuprofen every 6 hours, alternating Tylenol every 4 hours, fluids every hour = I'm tired!!!!

In the interim, my house is sooo dirty!  I have spent days upon days holding Chelsea (because she only wanted to be held), so NOTHING has been done.  We have no money for a maid.......I have a diabetic celiac child and can't order take-out, so I'm forced to cook every meal......so dishes are piling up and so is laundry.  Guess what?  That's right.  Connor has wet the bed for the past 3 nights, so we have had to wash sheets for the past 3 days (my hubby took care of that because I literally couldn't get to it).

I would absolutely be lying if I were to say that this is not what it has been like most days.  Since Chels entered this world, she has been perpetually ill, 2 RSV infections (1 landed her in the hospital), Whopping Cough (4 months of very intense coughing), 4 UTIs (2 landed her with hospital stays), 6 ear infections, 2 bouts of Influenza B, and countless colds, viral infections (like this one, that has been unidentified). 

Beyond her sicknesses, I am counting carbs and giving Connor constant injections, I AM A FULL-TIME NURSE.  I don't have the world's healthiest kids, but I am very grateful to have them despite their ailments!  I typically get this 'woe is me' outlook after days and days of blood checking/wiping noses/administering nebulizer treatments, but I try to remind myself that at least their sicknesses are curable and/or manageable, some parents aren't so lucky!

I'm writing this in the blog so that I can remember in 20 years how hard my life was at times (and my amazing husband's for that matter)!  It has been years of this, not to mention my own physical ailments.....I'm hoping that the next couple of years only get easier!  It has to, right?

Say a prayer for me!

Monday, October 28, 2013

All Good Things Must Come to an End.........INDEFINITELY

Hi All,

Due to: MAJOR sleep deprivation, being a stay-at-home mom (with 2 young kiddos), being a full-time maid, nurse and LAUNDRESS (I can't get over all of the bedding I am always washing), I've decided to suspend writing this blog indefinitely.  Do I have an idea for how long?  Honestly, I have no clue, maybe after we get Connor's Continuous Glucose Monitor up & running, and are finally getting sleep around here. 
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog and hope that you've enjoyed reading it!  To the 5 individuals that checked my blog on a regular basis (hi Mom & Todd) and the other 3 (they know who they are), thank you so much for reading, I greatly appreciate it!!!

I hope to get back into blogging once I am getting some sleep with regularity, and once a sense of "normalcy" has been restored in my household.

Love, love, love this song!

May God bless all of you, thanks again for visiting and I hope to be back soon! :)

Friday, October 25, 2013


The characters and incidences depicted in this post are based on true events that occurred during the weekend of October 6, 2013.

10:43AM.  It was 10:43AM when I looked at the oven's digital clock, and thought, it's too early, it is absolutely too early.  I was contemplating if, and how much, I could possibly drink to numb my brain from the onslaught that was about to occur.  You have scruples Megan, and you can't get liquored up before 4:00pm - this is one of your steadfast rules!  I looked back at my husband, and immediately flashbacked to our wedding day, more specifically, the exchanging of the vows.  "Do you Todd, take Megan, to have and to hold from this day forward?"  I do.  "Do you Megan, agree to go to Costco with Todd on a Sunday morning?"  Screech, like a record abruptly stopping.  "Hold up, no, no, Mr. Preacher-man-that-I-hired-just-for-this-wedding-because-I-don't-go-to-church, I do NOT!"

"Come on, babe, I really can't go alone, pleeeeaaaaassssseee!!!," he pled with me.  I sighed, and once again declared how much I dreaded this trip.  "I like, really, really, really don't want to go, I mean, 110% of my person is not interested, it's no good for me, it's no good for me."  "It won't be so bad," he told me.


As we entered through the sliding glass doors, my husband proudly whipped out his exclusive Costco membership card and flashed the attendant a bright smile.  "We really have to get you a membership card babe, this way you can come here on your own!"  I am not positive about this, but I think during the membership process, they either performed a lobotomy on my husband, or offered him some "Kool-Aid" to drink, 'cause he has been a roving Costco advertisement since signing up.  As we walk in, we are greeted by hundreds of patrons and stacks upon stacks of "things."  The "things" had large price tags hanging from them boasting big savings.  The first item we pass is marked-down with a whopping $.07 off, it was now only $678.93.  With that type of savings, a crowd of 20 people were drawn and were standing around, contemplating in silence whether 3 cents off was really worth it.  With one glance at this buffoonery, I confronted my soul and gave it a stern warning: "Soul, you have just entered a location that is the epitome of Amurica's materialism & commercialism....welcome to consumerism hell baby, hold on, it's going to be a rocky ride!"

With our grocery list in hand, we began to immediately dodge carts and patrons.  Trying to get through the main corridor required the agility and sprightliness only found in a young marmot, so we tapped into the animalistic area of our cerebellums and proceeded to move forward.  Not too far down the main corridor, and voila, there she was.  She was around 67 years of age, sported a fancy hair net, a navyblue button-down coat, she was, and is, physically, every child's ideal grandma.  Her name tag read "Martha," and she was quickly lining her station with little cup-size servings of deliciousness.  That Sunday morning, Martha was servin' up some Korean wontons.  I innocently grabbed 2 cups for my children, they rather quickly sucked 'em down, then proceeded to lick and savor every last bit of wonton morsel left in their cups.  No sooner had we passed Martha's station, when my 1-year-old spotted one of Martha's friends servin' up something amazing at her station.  My daughter began to reach and screech for the cups at this particular station.  8 seconds later and she was literally hanging, suspended in the air by her cart lap belt, prepared to commit suicide to get her hands on those cups. "Relax, Chels!"  I got over to Bertha as fast I could and noticed that she was offering bright-red organic juice, "oh sweet Jesus, this will not be pretty", I thought.  I handed the cups over to my offspring, and within .0222 nanoseconds, my daughter was covered in red juice from her mouth down to her knees, she looked as though she had just slaughtered a large buffalo.  "Crap, babe, look at her, she's a mess!"  I began to coach myself, "move on, Megan, press on, the faster you go, the sooner you can leave!!!"  All the while, we were incessantly dodging shopping cart after shopping cart.....I was in a real-life-man-made game of dodge ball.  Very loudly Chelsea began to yell again, "MAMA, MAMA, AHHHHHHHH," she was screaming and pointing in the direction that I was to head.  Lo and behold, it was another one of Martha's friends; goodness, these b&t*%s were everywhere, I thought!  This lady had little cups of chocolate brownie goodness, her name was Susan.  Promptly after their first bite, my children looked possessed, began to froth at the mouth.  Knowing they were ready to gnaw off Susan's fingers to get another 2 cups each, I quickly pushed the shopping cart out of reach of Susan (you're welcome, Susan!).  That's when I realized what was really going on.  Martha, Bertha, Susan, and their posse of cute-innocent-grandma-types were serving-up "food" laced with crack....my children were a couple of fiends looking for their next fix.  I looked Susan in the eye, deep in the eye, she then knew that I knew about these little "food stations" (aka as crack stations) and their reindeer games masterminded by their employer, Costco.  Not cool Susan, so not cool!

I began to fade fast, my inability to get from point A to B without drawing a detailed map, playing dodge-ball with my cart, my cracked-out kids, and the stimulus overload, had my patience flickering like a flame in a breeze.

We were quickly approaching the section of the store that I've affectionately coined the "war zone"......as Costco has lovingly placed ALL things important, dairy, fruits, vegetables, meat, in a small, made to piss you off, 5x5 section.  It is bumper cars for carts.  And, it is my worst f&%#$ng nightmare!

Whilst attempting to navigate toward the cheese section, I was abruptly rammed in the ass by a boy maneuvering a double-wide cart who appeared to be about 10.  He was as surprised at the ass ramming as I was.  I didn't want to destroy his tender developing ego, so I forced a small polite smile that probably conveyed the wrong message....that I enjoy large mobile metal boxes making unexpected contact with my ass.  "Press on Megan, press on," I told myself.

We finally had made it to the center of the 5x5 "war zone".  Like being in the eye of a hurricane, I was dead smack center amidst complete chaos.  My husband needed to fetch a few items.  I quickly found myself amongst roughly 9,000 carts.  I did not fit.  I was in the way.  No matter where I positioned my cart, I knew that I pretty much needed to vaporize in order to "fit" into this area.  I looked my children in the eyes, "hold on guys, do not move, I will position you against this wall of boxes, it's important that you stay verrrry still, keep your hands inside of the cart, do you understand?"  At that moment, I knew what I had to do, so I did it. I found myself face forward, entire body pressed against a tower of boxes that was holding the California Grapes.  From the back it appeared that I was either a) about to have a hot make-out session with the grapes or b) ready to be frisked.  "Think small, Megan, think small!  If you exhale the air from your lungs, and don't breath in, then your body will be 1/97th smaller and maybe you won't get rammed in the ass by another double-wide shopping cart.  Think small!"  The tower of grapes stopped at my boobs.  My husband looked back to check on me and saw one extremely evil wife face.....if he could only hear my thoughts, if only.  My husband grabbed the celery, dodged 18 carts and got back to me.  "Sorry about that babe, I thought I could just reach right in and grab the celery."  So you thought that you'd be able to just grab some food here at the grocery store, that's very odd thinking!  You paid money to join this giant warehouse of 59,800 consumers, and now must wait on line to grab celery.  Celery.

It took us about 3 minutes to get over to an aisle of only 42 people, ahhhh, I could finally breathe!  My face said it all, I wanted out, I wanted out badly, and I was willing to skin a cat to get there.  Then it happened.  My husband stated, "Oh, I forgot the Frank's Grape Leaves."  From the pit of my stomach, I let out a guttural slow motion F&*$ (you know that word)!!!!!  I do not cuss in front of my children, but it happened that day, as I was not going back into that "war zone", no way, not in this lifetime, not in a past life, and if I reincarnate, then not in a future lifetime.  NEVER.  You see, the Frank's Grape Leaves are located in the center of the "war zone".  Dead center.  Then, Todd was greeted by this face below, and he quickly made a very smart decision:

"I will go by myself, you and the kids stay right here, try to hold down the fort, I love you!"  I watched as he slowly walked away from me, like a bride from the civil war era, I didn't know how long it would be before he returned, or if he ever would return.  We watched as he literally dove into the middle of the war zone, he dodged bullets, bombs and flying limbs.  Approximately 2 1/2 minutes later, he returned clutching the Frank's Grape Leaves like the football in the Heisman trophy. 

We safely walked the perimeter, and made it to the most quiet and tranquil section of the entire warehouse, right in front of the kitty litter.  Seriously, if you need to take a breather while you're in Costco, immediately look for the Fresh Step Cat Litter.  Apparently, nobody at Costco needs cat litter, and you can stand there for several minutes and decompress. 

We referred back to our grocery list once we arrived at the household section.  "Okay, we need shampoo and straws," I said.  As I went to grab for the 2 gallon bottle of Herbal Essences, I thought, "hmmm, this is going to require the strength of 2 Jack LaLannes every time I need to shampoo my locks."  No thanks.  "Babe, we are getting our shampoo from Target instead!," I adamantly declared.  Next, on to the straws.  My husband grabbed for 1 package......12,000 straws.  "Is this all that they sell?," I inquired.  Yes.
We will never, and I mean never, have a straw shortage in my household again!  Thank you Costco, for selling everything in such great bulk that we now have lifetime supplies of items we'd never dream of possessing in such abundance!

My husband turned and looked at me, "babe, we totally forgot to grab the frozen bag of chicken."  "You have a choice, either you can go, or I can go," he said.  One look at my cracked-out kids and I chose to go back near the "war zone".  Together we came up with a game plan and per my husband's instructions, I was to do the following.......now, you're gonna want to run on the far perimeter of the warehouse until you are 2 aisles down from the back, hang a sharp left at that point, do a side-step shimmy along the far wall, one ballet pirouette, and then veer right to make contact with the frozen chicken section.  "Got it," I proclaimed!  As I approached the chicken section, I got a whiff of something amazing, I couldn't ignore it, oh wow, it was seafood.  There she was, another lady in a hairnet and navyblue coat, her name was Debbie, and she was serving something that I couldn't resist.  "Hi, hun, here you go!", she handed me a small bite-size chunk of a Phillips crab cake.  IT.WAS.INCREDIBLE.  I grabbed for the bag of chicken, but my mind said crab.  I made it back to our shopping cart and promptly informed my husband that no matter the cost, we HAD to get back to the freezer section to buy Phillips crab cakes.  "Why?" he asked.  "It's not important, don't worry about it," I said.  I knew what Debbie had done to me, I was ashamed at that point, I was craving crab from the tips of my toes to the split-ends of my hair.  I forced my husband back to the frozen section.  Oh.My.God!  I stopped dead in my tracks, there, in front of the Phillips crab cakes was a line the size of the Great Wall of China.  I looked around at this line of pitiful souls that had also tasted a chunk of Debbie's "magical crab cakes".  Like finding rice during a famine, we all had to have it, it was gold.

I realized that the Phillips crab cakes had become my 'precious' and that I was willing to do the unthinkable, stand on-line for 8 minutes, in order to obtain a box of them.  My children looked at me with their red-juice-covered-faces, big blue eyes, and hour-old brownie crumbs sprinkled on their laps.  I felt guilty, and one more look at their sad and confused faces, I knew what they were thinking, "where has our mommy gone?"  I dug deep and gave myself a pep-talk, "Megan, who have you become?  I spoke to my soul, do not allow Debbie, Martha and the rest of this evil Costco gang, to lure you in, you are better than this!"  I slowly retreated back to our shopping cart.  "Let's go to the checkout line and pay, babe."  Getting to the checkout line proved to be extremely tricky, as Martha's wontons were a big hit at this point and the masses created a line that blocked the main corridor.
After snaking around the perimeter, I began to hyperventilate once I saw the 200-person-deep check-out line.  For 12 minutes we stood on that line.  During that time, I dodged carts, tried to keep my crazed children (who were facing the massive candy section), to remain in the cart.  I was impressed with how strategically placed this monumental candy section was: right next to the check-out line.  Good work, Costco!  This 100% guaranteed that us parents had no option but to repeatedly deny our children the high fructose corn syrup that they so desperately crave.  I quietly said multiple prayers for patience and sanity during that time on-line. 
We made it through.  As we passed the over-crowded food court on our left, I yawned, my children yawned.  We were weary soldiers that had made it to the 'other side'.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, fatigue and hunger were setting in.  Before departing through the sliding glass doors, we followed proper Costco protocol, and showed our receipt to an attendant to confirm that we hadn't pilfered any crab cakes, brownies or red organic juice. 
Once the sunlight hit my face, I knew that I had officially made it out, that I was going to be okay.
Never again Costco, never ever again. 
Disclaimer: If you run into my husband at the Leesburg, Virginia Costco, and he is purchasing Phillips crab cakes, it wasn't per my directive ;).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fun Run

Laces tied?  Check.  Yoga pants on?  Check.  Sports bra on to control my lady parts?  Check.  Now repeat to yourself 29 times, "girl you've got this.....girl you've got this."  I am 87 seconds into my "run" when, "oh God, wow this hurts, this is not natural, oh heeeelllllssss no, your brain is commanding you to make this stop, you must listen Megan, you must stop this insanity!"  Aaaannnnd, I stop.  Friends, I am training for a 5k.  Some of us do not require "training" for a 5k, but if you are me, you could "train" your entire life and still run that 3.1 miles (who's counting?) in 1 hour and 39 minutes.  Let me explain.

There are many God-given talents that were NOT bestowed upon me, but there are four in particular that I am truly disappointed that I missed out on.  Most people have at least 1 of the talents listed on my I-wish-I-had-one-of-these-talents-in-life list below, and if you have more than 1 on my list, then I hate you.  Apparently, God thought that it would be amusing to watch me awkwardly go through life, pretty much talentless and always trying.  In the "talents" department, God gave me the ability to produce wild dance moves that emerge the moment I hear the beat of any song......is that even a talent or skill, I don't know!?!  That's it, that concludes my list of God-given talents.

Talents that I'd kill for:

1) Ability to Sing (well that is).  I can sing "well" if the music is turned up to 92 decibels OR if I'm in the shower and the water has greatly muffled my hearing.  I sound really amazing in the shower!  It's just really bad all across the board.  You would pay me big bucks to stop.  It's a killer combination of not remembering ANY lyrics to any song, or singing the wrong lyrics to any song, being tone deaf, sounding nasaly and having no octave/vocal range. At all.

2) Artistic ability - I am pretty much limited to drawing stick figures at this point in my life.  Did you know that one can actually lose the teensy tiny bit of ability that one had from childhood?  I didn't know that this was possible considering I didn't start out with much to begin with.  I guess I had practiced drawing enough flowers, hearts and rainbows as a child, that I became pretty darn good at them.  Now, at age 32, my 4-year-old requests that I draw him things at random and I'm like "oh, $hit, this is going to be bad."  Nobody can discern what the hell I am drawing and even the most creative 4-year-old mind gets frustrated...."Mom, I told you that I wanted you to draw a dog!"  "That is a dog, Connor!"  "No, that looks like a turtle, Mom (in a frustrated voice)!!!"  I know for a fact that I could draw a recognizable dog at age 12.......stick figures, stick figures, that's what I'm sticking with from now on.

3) Public Speaking - I.WOULD.RATHER.DIE.OR.GO.TO.THE.DENTIST.  If there are more than 2 people looking at me while I am speaking, then I stop.  I am not kidding.  Public speaking tries to ruin my life, but I won't let it.  No siree Bob!  True story - in college I would check the syllabus first thing and look for the words "presentation/group presentation" and do the skedaddle and drop that class as fast as a hot plate. 
Can I tell you, the sick ba$tards at my college made Oral Communications (aka Public Speaking) mandatory.  What kind of perverse twisted minds get together and come up with this crap?   I would LOVE to meet the individual that decided to make public speaking mandatory in order for me to graduate!  I can picture the University Dean and his minions sitting around a board room table discussing it,  "Let's go ahead and force our students to face one of their greatest fears."  "That sounds like a swell idea, Mike, would do you have in mind?"  "Public speaking."  "Awww, yea, Mike, perfect, and we'll just make it mandatory in order for them to graduate!"  Then Steve says, "Mike, next year we'll make bungee jumping from the Empire State Building mandatory, and the following year, each student will need to be placed in a pit of 10 snakes in order to graduate."  "Steve, you've outdone yourself on this one, our students are going to be warriors after they face their greatest fears," says Mike! 
I mean, I have used Biology 101, Psychology 101, and even Underwater Basketweaving 101 more daily than I have used my Oral Communications.
You better believe that I saved that damn class for the last semester of my senior year.  My very last semester.  It was me and 30 freshmen.  It was ugly.  I barely received a C-, and I'm pretty certain that the professor just felt bad for me and gave me that grade.  I would stand up there sweating profusely, so overcome by adrenaline that I wouldn't even know my own name and would robotically read each word verbatim on the paper held by my shaky hand.  I was monotone.  My Sympathetic Nervous System had kicked in, I was ready for fight or flight....my mouth would be so parched that I began to resemble Fire Marshall Bill.
 in living color fire marshall bill jim carrey
Look up, you're supposed to look up, DO IT, I'd tell myself, you're grade is contingent on eye contact.  So, I'd awkwardly look up in the middle of the word "and".  A----look up---ND.  I'd look back down at my paper to quickly realize that I had lost my spot because there were roughly 104 "ands" on the page.  Damnit!!!  Why did I pick the word "and" to look-up during?  For an awkward and painful 61 silent seconds, all eyes in the room would stare at me, just waiting, as I frantically scoured the page for that "and" that I had been on.  Due to the long excruciating silence that I had just caused, I'd now begin to stutter on every word.  This is how every speech went.  Every damn speech.  The professor promised it would get easier and easier after every speech, but she had fed me sweet lies.  I was as bad on my first speech as I was on my 8th.  I still have nightmares about that class!  If you have the ability to stand-up in front of others and not give a $hit what anyone thinks of you and just ramble on and are comfortable in your skin.....YOU ARE A REMARKABLE HUMAN BEING AND I WISH THAT I WAS YOU!


4) Running/endurance.  I will begin by saying that it's a blessing that I was born in 1981 outside of a large metropolitan area.  I grew up in an area where grocery stores, convenient stores and public transportation could be found in great abundance.  I am white, I am Irish, and I was not built for long distance running.  I know for a fact that I would have either starved to death or been quickly mauled by some wild animal had I been born in let's say 1861 in the African Savanna.  One look at me, and you know that my Irish ass would die in the Savanna.  I was physically built to visit local grocery stores and spend way too much time staring at what fruits and vegetables are best out of produce bins.  My Irish ancestors, with a twinkle in their eyes, and love in their hearts, drank their Guinness beer, listened to "Oh Danny Boy", and ate their corned beef and cabbage (and lots and lots of potatoes).  I blame my lineage for my lack of endurance and running inability, I was built for eating, drinking and being 'merry'!  I don't think an Irish won a long distance run in the Olympics EVER....actually, I'm going to Google that for confirmation.....okay, I stand corrected, an Irish woman placed 2nd in 2000, but I'm thinking she isn't 100% Irish.
You see, I aspire to be a runner, I have for most of my days.  I tried to run cross-country for 1 year in high school (tried is the operative word).  It was mugly!  I was always the 2nd to last one to cross the finish line and I would be huffing and puffing from a last minute sprint with the "other runner" to ensure that I wasn't the last to finish.  Don't get me wrong, I am fast, but for a total of 9 seconds, and then I am officially maxed out.  Done.  I have no endurance, at all, and no matter how hard and long I practice, I just can't tap into that special part of the brain that ignores the physical discomfort and pushes on.  I think that I don't have that part of my brain.  I remember in elementary school, when the PE teacher informed us that it was a Fun Run day (we had to run 1 mile), I would give her the stink eye and wonder how she could be so evil.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, should have FUN and RUN in the same sentence, I realize that it rhymes, but that is no excuse, because there is nothing fun about running!
Not only do I have a mental issue with running, I am somewhat limited physically, as I have sports induced asthma.  If I exert myself to a point, I can trigger a lengthy attack = horrible!  I don't know what is more painful, watching me run, or me actually running.  In order to take in more oxygen I tend to run with my head back and mouth open, not so pretty.  I also have a tendency to experience what I call "lizard tongue".  I've done "lizard tongue" since I was a little kid; while I played Atari or Nintendo, I not only moved the controller in the direction that I wanted to go, but my tongue would emerge and also move in the direction that I was looking to go.  It was an all-body attempt at getting Mario where he needed to go, including that tongue of mine.  While running, the tongue emerges if I'm really pushing myself to aid me in the direction that I am heading.  Lastly, my legs feel like lead, they are heavy and they are dragging, so the "run" quickly turns into a shuffle at the 1 minute mark.

A White-Throated Savanna Monitor Lizard Flicks Out its Long Blue Forked Tongue Photographic Print

For the next 2 weeks I will be out there on the mean streets of Purcellville trying to "correct & defy" my inability to run.  I've got my head tilted back, the "lizard tongue" out, a look of absolute despair on my face and those heavy feet of mine are dragging.  If you see me out there during the next 2 weeks, give me a honk and a wave and say a prayer for me, I'll need it!

Running on Empty.........:

Saturday, October 19, 2013


I walked into the small bar and was immediately greeted by my 2 beautiful girlfriends.  There was a live musician and 20 beers on tap.  We ordered our drinks, sat down at our round table and began to make small chat.  We were 10 minutes into the conversation when I informed them that I had signed up for a 5k.  And that's how it began.  "I just want to lose 10 pounds of baby weight," said one.  The other chimed in, "I have just five pounds to lose, but I want to tone-up."  "Same here, I said, five pounds and to tone-up!"  We shared and laughed about how much pregnancy and motherhood changed our bodies.  "My breasts and butt went south, and now I have rolls on my stomach."  "Me too, I really need to tone my stomach", I added.  We all concurred, pregnancy hadn't done our bodies any favors.  We then chuckled about how giddy we get by going to the grocery store alone, or how awesome it is when our husbands take charge of bedtime duties.  As I sat there and looked at my 2 beautiful friends, I realized something, that we were exactly the same, that motherhood had "made us the same".  We had different journeys to motherhood, IVF vs. natural conception, C-section vs. natural birth, big babies vs. tiny babies, but we had been transformed in the same way regardless of our journey.  Strip away all socioeconomic differences, religious convictions, political beliefs, education levels, homes, clothing, credit cards and fancy cars, and we are all the same.

Any mother, anywhere, anytime, without ever having met her, I already know her, and she already knows me.

I know that the day her baby was placed in her arms, an overwhelming sense of awe overcame her and that she couldn't take her eyes of her miracle.
I know that with the gift of motherhood she feels an incredible sense of responsibility for the health, happiness and well-being for that child and that she frequently questions if she is doing it right.
I know that she second-guesses herself all day long regarding discipline.  Was that too much?  Was that not enough?  Am I doing this right? 
I know that she frequently gives the food off her own plate to satisfy her child.  I know that it is a treat to sit down and finish a meal without getting up, as tending to her child is her job.
I know that she gets excited to go to the bathroom or shower alone, as her child is never out of her sight and a little bit of privacy makes her feel like a queen.
I know that she stands in Target and inspects diapers, wipes, baby food labels, body wash ingredients to ensure that she is providing nothing but the safest and the best for her child.
I know that she double-checks her child's car-seat for safety, ties his/her shoes, and repeats 100 times per day 'to be careful', as keeping her child safe and out of harm is her #1 concern.
I know that she has cried tears from frustration, maybe 10 nights of a teething baby + temper tantrums has broke her and she feels like she desperately needs a break.
I know that some days she feels like her identity was robbed.......she doesn't see her friends anymore, she wears yoga pants and snot everyday, and she doesn't have time to do the things that she used to enjoy.
I know that whether she's a stay-at-home mom or working full-time, she feels very pulled and questions her choice everyday.
I know that she has been grossed out countless times by the bodily "waste" produced by her child....vomit, snot, soiled diapers, yet she has cleaned the "waste" a million times and immediately turns around and hugs and loves that child regardless of anything "gross".
I know that she has hopes and aspirations for her child that may be unrealistic, and that she will be that child's cheerleader regardless of where life may take them and despite bad decisions.  She will just hope and pray that they land on their feet and are happy.
I know that she loved her child so immensely that deciding to have her 2nd child was more about giving her 1st child a sibling in life and less about her wanting 'more'.
I know that her soul feels incredible joy when the sound of her child's booming belly-laugh fills her home.
I know that her heart fluttered from pure happiness for every milestone that was met, every homerun hit, and A+ received, and that nothing can top how proud she feels during those moments.
I know that she has a deep appreciation for her own mother 25 years later, and turns to her for advice, guidance and for a shoulder to cry on.  I know that she hopes that she can make as much of an impact on her children and be as amazing as her mother was.
I know that she feels lonely at times, whether it's due to her husband working long hours, or due to a restricted and regimented schedule for her children, her days alone are hard.
I know that she is hit with the deepest sorrow that sends chills down her spine upon hearing of a family losing a child, as this is her greatest fear and it saddens her that another mother's "greatest fear" has been realized.
I know that she can't sleep if her child is sick, and that she'll stay up all night checking temperatures and holding her child's tiny fingers until she is positive her child will be okay.
I know that as she toils over the details of her child's birthday party; the appetizers, the goodie bags, the venue, that a part of her heart is aching.  As 1 more year has passed, her child is slowly inching away from her.  She knows that her child will be independent and no longer "need" her one day, and as she celebrates, her heart cannot ignore that sense of inching away slowly.
I know that no matter what kind of day she had, hearing her child say "I love you mommy!," made it all better.  It felt like the most important boss she ever had just reassured her that she is doing a great job!
I know that she worries all day long.  Is she feeding her child healthfully enough?  Is she teaching them enough?  Did they watch too much television?  Do they need a bath, it has been 2 days since their last bath?
I know that when her child cries with a broken heart, that this is the most crushing blow to her heart, and that she wants nothing more than to make her child's heart whole again and make this world a loving place.
I know that she worries about her child fitting in at school, in society?  Will they be well-liked?
I know that when her child hugs her, that she's perplexed how 2 of the tiniest arms that were ever wrapped around her are able to feel like the biggest, warmest and most comfortable hug that she ever received.
I know that she would without hesitation give her life for her child.
 Mother and Child 300x379 Mother and Child  photo

I know all of these things about her and she knows them of me.  We are the same in our hopes, worries, fears and joys that we have experienced as mothers.  We are moms, and motherhood has not only transformed our bodies, but our minds and souls as well.  We may work tirelessly to regress to our pre-child bodies, to tone-up, to lose those 5 pounds.  However, it is our hearts and souls that have been permanently transformed, and I know that not one of us would choose to go back, to be our pre-child selves.  I know that each of us are so incredibly grateful to have become the individual that motherhood turned us into.  Like a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly, we have been permanently transformed and will never look back.

For every mama out there, Kanye had the best song for you:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Almost Heaven

 We are incredibly lucky because we live only 30 minutes away from one of the neatest little nooks of the world that I have ever seen.  It is a place where the mountains meet the sky, the mountains meet the river, the city meets the mountains, and the old meets the new.  It is a place where two rivers converge & the railroad still runs adjacent to them.  It is a Historical National Park that also boasts bars and restaurants.  The old cottage homes, ironwork and stone facades have been preserved so incredibly well, that it feels as though you stepped back in time 200 years...and yet you have the serene views of mountains as a backdrop.  One can go for an intense all-day hike and descend from the mountain and grab a cold beer. 
It is Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and it is such an incredibly neat place to visit!  We have been a few times, but our recent trip to the tiny downtown area 2 weekends ago was just magical!  I kept telling my husband that I had never seen anything like it....it's like Narnia!  It didn't hurt that we visited during the furlough, so much of the National Park was closed, thus keeping the crowds away.  The downtown area is virtually carved into the side of mountains and there are about 10 steep stairwells to get around.  I took dozens of pictures, but they just didn't do my surroundings any justice!

Little bit jealous of this garden:

Prettiest little cottage you ever did see (the owner was outside and I didn't want to be too creepy and take close pictures):

The remains of an old Episcopalian church:


I love how the church cross looks as though it's reaching toward the blue heavens in this picture:

A beautiful Catholic church built in the early 1800s:

These homes were carved into the mountainside (at many points, you were standing at the same height as house roof):

The stone steps were incredibly steep (giving this mama a near heart attack):

These railroad tracks are still being used to this day:

Ivy covers many of the wood and stone walls:

How incredible is this ironwork?  Gates/fences aren't made with such beautiful detail anymore:

Loved this old fire hydrant, the teal, rusty orange and red hues made it like a piece of art:

I feel like John Denver had visited Harper's Ferry, he even made a song about it ;):
Have a great weekend!