Stress can put on pounds

Bob Dembicki, 57, of New York City, has always loved to eat, but he never knew how much comfort he got from food until after Sept. 11.

Dembicki managed the nursing staff at the surgical trauma unit and burn center at New York Presbyterian Hospital, which treated 22 badly burned victims from the World Trade Center towers.

For several weeks after the tragedy, he raced around the hospital working 16-hour days, and when he had a few minutes, he’d wolf down some of the high-fat fare brought in for the staff. At night when he was home alone in his apartment, he’d watch the TV news, cry in disbelief and console himself with big feasts of takeout food from local diners and delis: macaroni and cheese, chicken and mashed potatoes, burgers and fries, ice cream with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

One evening, he remembers thinking: “Why am I eating this large container of macaroni and cheese?” And his answer was simply: “Because it feels good, and nothing feels good right now.”

By Thanksgiving, he had packed an extra 16 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame, and he knew it was time to get back in shape and in control of his eating.

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How {not} To Take Your Kid to College

TeenOne and I have been friends a long time – 19 years, in fact.

  • Mistake #1:   Don’t think your kid is your BFF, she’s not.  She’s your kid.  You’re the grown up.

Since we’re such close friends, there was some kind of subconscious me that didn’t think she’d ever leave.  But this thing called an Acceptance Letter came for a visit and never left.  Annoying.

So there we were, barreling down the highway toward “college,” but we treated it more like a road trip.  You can call it denial, I called it, “taking quirky Instagram pictures whilst out-of-town.

After about five hours of beautiful coastline (yawn), we pulled up to her vacation destination college. Continue reading

Adventure of moving

Friday night we still hadn’t heard from our movers to confirm their intended arrival on Saturday morning, even though they’d said they would call us and find out where to put their truck, etc. Finally, I called them at 7 am on Saturday morning and they sounded like they thought I was nuts for worrying.

There were four lightbulbs burned out at our new place. Call me crazy, but when you leave an apartment, isn’t it somewhat expected that you’ll leave operational lights? Don’t you think the landlord would have taken care of that? One of the lightbulbs was jammed in so tightly that the glass part came out, leaving the metal part in the socket, and in the other light fixture there was no glass, just the metal part left. We tried prying them out with needle-nosed pliers but the cheap-ass metal just started falling apart. Greeeeat.

We started doing loads of laundry on Sunday morning before I’d had my shower, and all the hot water was gone, so I had to go back to the old place and have a shower before I started my errands.

IVAR sucks. Continue reading


I have a thing for autumn leaves.  The color, the smell, the crunch.  I think it stems from my early childhood living in Florida and visiting grandparents in New York and Massachusetts.  We would fly up for a visit and see the trees in flaming oranges and reds.  Trees – so foreign in my earliest memories.  My books all showed trees with puffy green branches.  The trees at my grandparents’ houses were anything but.

On one trip North when I was in preschool, my mom helped me pick the prettiest leaves from my grandmother’s yard.  We ironed them between two sheets of waxed paper so their vibrant colors would last forever.  When we got back to Florida, I brought the leaves into school for show-and-tell.  Each of my classmates got to take one leaf home with them.  Those leaves were such a novelty for us.

A few years later, my family moved to Connecticut.  We had an enormous yard; a clearing surrounded by a small woods.  We moved in the middle of winter, so we had almost lived at that house a full year when we first saw the enchanted forest around our house burst into color.  When those leaves fell, we had mountains of leaves to play in.  We would rake them into enormous piles, set the rakes to the side, and dive in head first.  The leaves were so numerous, we could swim through them.  We would play for hours until our piles were flattened and scattered, where we’d leave them to rake up again the next day.  That was the best yard I have ever seen.

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Checking in with {the littles} and {the middle}

I was going through photos yesterday and realized life had gotten way too Senior Ball/Graduation/College Searchy.  I decided I needed new pics of the Littles and the Middle — especially the Middle, because I rarely take photos of him or TeenTwo.

That’s Little in the top photo.  We’re in her Gramma’s backyard and she’s seething under that smile because she’s wearing that denim dress and would much rather be wearing some sort of t-shirt and Aerosmith-tight black leggings.  She’s also unaccustomed to hair styles, but TeenOne got her mitts on her and made a sweet braided ponytail.  Isn’t wearing an uncomfortable get up to your Grandparents’ house sort of a rite of passage?  I feel like I was helping her in some way.  Or, you know…  making the photo better?  I love the way you can see her new freckles.

Next we have Littlest.  That is the most photographed kid in the county, I follow him around like I’m filming a documentary for PBS.  The thing I love about this photo is his genuine desire for me to GO AWAY.  He usually loves hamming it up, but the comic was apparently more entertaining than I thought.  He has some new permanent front teeth and they make him look awkward and growny.  So, I’m OK with the comic-as-shield for this one. Continue reading

#100 Days of Salad {Oy.}

“I am doing a new thing.”

Catchy, right?  My new things have included wearing all black (too hot), giving up sugar (too delicious), riding my bike everywhere (too many hills), running (blew my knee), going without all social media (um, hello, I have a blog), veganism (no cheese/no way), vegetarianism (they don’t eat meat?!)…  Lots of ‘isms.

After losing 40 pounds and then regaining 10 15 20 an undisclosed amount of weight, it was time for a new, “new thing.”

That’s how the #100daysofsalad thing was born.  So, I said it:

I’m doing a new thing where I only eat salad for 100 days.

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Capturing Happiness

Our family just experienced one of those weeks.  The kind where maybe not everything goes perfectly… but everything is somehow perfect anyway.  In the midst of our move and the furlough (yes, I was impacted), we took off for a week on the West Coast.  We had begun planning our trip long before we knew of my little passenger, and therefore the move.  So the timing wasn’t perfect – except that actually it was.

With so very much going on in our lives this past month, we desperately needed our trip together.  So on Thursday the 10th, we flew to Los Angeles to see my parents and their new place.  It was my first time in California, and I was very excited to see what all the fuss is about!  We spent a day in Santa Barbara, a morning at the Farmer’s Market, an afternoon at the La Brea Tar Pits, and a few brief moments at the Will Rogers State Park on the drive home.  I can’t say that I’ve been inspired to shed my East Coast ways and move across the country, but I was in awe of the mountains abutting the ocean.

After a quick visit, Nate and I continued our adventure to Las Vegas – yet another city I hadn’t yet visited!  Gavin and Laura stayed in LA with my parents for their own adventure, while Nate and I got some serious one on one time that we so badly needed.

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Lots of Love :)

It’s a rainy, dreary day here in Maryland, which makes me a little bummed about trick-or-treating tomorrow night… Let’s hope it clears, because I did not lovingly sew – on a sewing machine! – two costumes to be covered by raincoats!  But I may day was brightened when I read Megan’s post at Heartbeats and Little Feet today!  Thanks for the Liebster Award, Megan!


So here are “the rules”
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer the questions given by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 5-11 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers and give them questions to answer.

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We Need to Practice Our L’s

Oh, the glory and wonder of the iPhone video capabilities, with that swivel option so you can see yourself on the screen!  I have Laura on my lap, trying to get her to record a message to her new cousin.  Which is something in itself, since Laura isn’t exactly speaking in messages yet.

So I have Laura on my lap, asking her to repeat words like some sort of parrot, when she sees herself on the screen.  Shock!  Awe!  And instead of answering my stupid promptings, she breaks into song.  About herself. Cute, right?  Because I am just about dying of laughter over here.  Or should I say “yaughter?”  We really need to start practicing those La la la sounds.  If you are wondering?  We did eventually record a very sweet message for Cousin Elizabeth.  On the sixth take.

The same, but different

Hello, hello!

I’m here, writing to you, from my NEW WordPress blog!  This is very exciting times, people.  And also?  A little daunting.  I am faced with a very different interface than with Blogger.  It’s going to take some getting used to!  But change is good.

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Christmas Survey

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Both!  At the same time!  I love making hot chocolate (Swiss Miss, of course), and adding a little egg nog to top it off.  Try it – it’s delicious!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Santa presents are unwrapped.  That man does not have enough time to wrap and label presents for every child!  He’s a visual guy, and all about the delivery!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  Both on the tree, colored on the house.  I grew up with white on the house, but colored fits our family (and style of home) so  much better!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  Nope.  I don’t need excuses to kiss my hubby!

5. When do you put your decorations up?  Growing up, it was the day after Thanksgiving, and not a moment too soon.  But since my family is usually on the road for Thanksgiving, we wait till the minute we are home and able.

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish?  Breakfast Casserole on Christmas morning is up there!  I never enjoyed the goose my father cooked for dinner, but everything else was always delicious.

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