Category Archives: Weight gain

Change of Life Baby

Kids, this is where Wendy comes into your Dad’s and my parenting picture. You see, before you were born, Dad and I didn’t think we wanted you. Remember, we were young. And brain-damaged. Anyway, we thought we wanted someone else’s kid. We weren’t sure that bringing someone with our chromosomal predisposition to lunacy into the picture was such a good idea. We thought, why inflict the world with more of…us. Why not give a home to a pre-owned kid? Didn’t that just scream altruism? And if there was one thing we cared about, it was appearing as if we cared about other things.

So, before we birthed you, we collected a ton of adoption data. Keep in mind, this was before the Internet, and we actually had to sit down and write with a pen and paper and use the U.S. Postal service and everything. But, as you know, that dream sort of fizzled when we decided that though the quality might not be there with a homemade kid, the price was right. So there you are. Literally.

One day, I told Wendy about my laundry basket full of adoption materials that we’d never be using. Since she and her husband, Tim, had wanted to adopt forever, I offered it to her. She took it and put it to good use and I got to live vicariously through her thrilling search. After all, I was so done having kids.

Then one day, Wendy called. It seems she’d been offered a baby through a private adoption. Squeee! I was over the moon excited for her.  An infant! A boy! He was so cute!  I’d be the best Auntie ever!

Now kids, this might be a good time to take a rabbit trail and talk about how Wendy and I shop. I am the kind of shopper who sorta knows what I want when I get to the mall. If I see it—or something vaguely similar—at the first store and it fits my body and my budget, I buy it, and take it home. I may look somewhere south of stylish, but at least the tedious search is over.

Wendy on the other hand, will go to all the stores, and when she can’t decide, will visit all the other malls. Usually, in less than a year or so, she will finally select a store, tentatively make her purchase, take it home, try it on, decide it is not right and return it.

Same thing with our writing. I’m a fan of the “lick-and-a-promise” school of editing. Wendy is more the considerate, “anguish-over-each-word” school.

I think that we can thusly surmise: I am an ill-dressed purveyor of schlock and she is a semi-nudist with a shelf full of writing awards.

So, I was not totally surprised when Wendy wasn’t sure if the baby she’d been offered was…hers.

Kids…it turns out the baby was mine. But that story is going to have to wait until next time.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Adoption, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, The Bi-Racial Family, Weight gain

Menopausal Belly Fat

Before menopause, every month I was bloated.  It was so miserable.  Pants would not button, I looked pregnant (sometimes, I was) and I found it impossible to ignore the siren call of the refrigerator.

I used to rage against the ebb and flow of the estrogen.  Why couldn’t I just be one size all month-long?  Blast these hormones!

Now, I long for the monthly bloat because at least it would disappear now and again.    Unfortunately, my wishes have come true and I am one size all month-long.  Size bloat.  Thanks to menopause, I’m stuck with the dreaded ‘belly fat’.  Oh, I hear the ads on the radio about the miracle menopause pills designed to dissolve my fat, give me untold energy and the sex drive of my unneutered male Cocker Spaniel, but I have a feeling that the changes are not going to come from a pill.

They are going to come from two things:  My son Gabriel (seeking retribution for all the room cleaning I demand) and Joe Cross, the king of Juice.  Gabe has designed a fitness plan for me and…as I write this, he is setting up the family room for my “burn”.   My daughter, Grace, is manning the juicer.  I’m popping One A Day Silver’s like they were M&M’s.

Why juice you ask?  Well, because last year, my doctor asked me to watch the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (I was too fat, sick and nearly dead to be offended) and I did the juice thing during the summer and it worked.  Unfortunately, I had no muscle tone to keep it off, so Halloween candy through New Year’s party dip helped pile it all back on.

Why on earth is she telling me this? you are all scratching your heads and asking.  Well, since we are two months into the New Year, it is becoming clear that I need an accountability partner.  No.  Scratch that.  I need all 3-4 thousand of you, dear readers, to crack that whip and keep me moving.  So, here’s the deal.  I’m going to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead again (yes, it is inspiring, but mainly, Joe Cross, with his Australian accent, it so cute and this movie is really fun to watch with a tub of butter flavored popcorn and a large Coke) and start my fitness regimen today.  Gonna build some muscle.  Thought I’d start with the jaw.

Since I have no intention of telling you my actual weight, I shall say only that we are at +20 and the goal is to get to +0.  I’ll check in with my daily weigh-in’s  if my son’s ‘burn’ program doesn’t kill me first.  Now.  I must get out of bed.  I really, really don’t want to.  Maybe I should start this whole thing tomorrow…

Carolyn

 

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Humor, Joe Cross, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Weight Loss

Pregnant with number 20

I know a lot of people think Michelle Duggar is a tad over the top by having baby number 20 at age 45.  But, as an older mother of only 5 children, I have to say I stand in awe.  I, too, had an infant when I was 45.  I gained 35 pounds with him, and he was adopted.  After the first week, I crawled out of the house and bought the book, What to Expect the First Year.  I was in peri-menopause and couldn’t remember what I was supposed to expect.  The book said, “Should be able to hold head up by week three.”   Uh…no.  I couldn’t do that until he was six weeks, and even then I needed help.  At week five, it stated, “Should be able to focus on, and pick up a raisin.”  Still working on that one, and it’s been 8 years, although I have mastered mini-Snickers.

After he was born, I decided to skip the whole infant thing altogether with my next bundles of joy, figuring I’d just go out and get a couple of darlings that were already able to fix their own breakfast, so we adopted through foster care.  Michelle, seriously, give it a shot.  It’s super rewarding and much easier on the body.

I look at Michelle and Jim Bob’s family and wish I had heard of them back when I was first starting my family.  First of all, they name all their kids with names beginning with the letter “J”.  As an older mom, I think this is brilliant.  I can’t even remember my name on most days so when my little darling holds up a drawing of a blob, I can boldly say, “Why J.J.! That’s an amazing…thing you drew there!”  Secondly, from experience, I can tell you that simply getting my hair combed on any given soccer or piano day is a major accomplishment and Michelle looks awesome.  If I’d birthed 20 kids, I’d look like Jaba the Hut’s ugly step-sister.  Thirdly, the fact that she has any kind of libido left at all is a testament to her supreme dedication to grow her family.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar take a lot of flack for raising and taking care of and an interest in every single one of their beautiful children.  I know a lot of parents who only have one kid who couldn’t tell you where they were or what they have written on their Facebook pages.  Would I recommend giving birth to 20 children?  Heck no!  But would I want to be a part of their family?  I’m waiting for them to discover adoption.  And, when they do, I want to be first in line.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain

Whale…er…weight watcher’s trip on Maui?

This is my favorite swimsuit ever!

So I get to Maui and the three Barbie dolls I travel with have all joined Weight Watchers.  Have I mentioned that one of them used to be (and still could be) Miss Kansas?

Then it dawned on me.  The reason I’m shaped like the cabbage patch kid and am wearing a swim Burka that I had imported from Babylon, is because I’M NOT ON WEIGHT WATCHERS!  Duh!  So, my slim and trim and ever-so-energetic, bikini wearing friends DRAG ME TO A MEETING.  While I’m on vacation.  So, now there is much guilt involved with every chocolate covered macadamia nut I stuff into my face.  Did you know that there are 6 points in only 4 lousy, teensy-weensy candies?  And did you know that there are an entire days worth of points in only one box?

Oops.

So, Wendy.  Before I fly George up for your Birthday bash…oh, the plans I have for you…I’m going to drop a few pounds.  Thankfully, I have eaten all of the Mauna Loa candy, so that’s out-of-the-way.

And, to make things a little more interesting, my daughters are going to ‘race’ me to the finish line.  They jumped onto the Weight Watcher’s Band-wagon with gusto and have already lost 2 pounds each.  I have lost none.  But then again, slow and steady wins the race.

Check out my new diet page (hopefully up by this weekend) and read what the girls have to say about living with me on a diet!  Big, big fun.

Aloha,

Carolyn

 

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Geroge Clooney, Humor, Marriage, Maui, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel, Weight gain, Weight Loss

Sexy Older Women Have Fun With Food

 Wendy wanted to call Friday’s Segment:  Fun With Food.

I added the Sexy Older Women part, because believe it or not, I just read an article where somebody took the time to research the top words in blog titles that people search and the winner was:  SEXY OLDER WOMAN.

Wow.  So, even if your blog is about say, Home-school Curriculum or Colonoscopy or Boy Scouts,  or Federal Agriculture you should try to work these words into the title.  Mind boggling, huh?

Anyway, Wendy has some awesome ideas about helping people with Menopausal Attention Deficit to make simple and nutritious fare.  But, since I don’t want her to do all the blog work, I’m going to share my thoughts on fun food this Friday.

Eat a box of Wheat Thins.  I’m doing it now.  As I type this blog!  Simple.  Nutritious.  Less than 5 seconds to prepare. If the old adage, “You are what you eat” is true, you will wake up in the morning thin and golden brown.  That’s what I’m going for.  Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Cooking, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

Monsoon!

My niece, on monsoon night...

Ever gone camping in the middle of a major storm?  Trust me, you’d remember.  This last week, my family went camping—as we do every year—in paradise.  Think stunning Oregon forest, horseback riding, swimming in the crystal clear river, jumping off the rocks into said river, something called ‘barn-hockey’ for the kids, tons of food and a fantastic friend (Jill, you rock!) with a supercallafragelistic family willing to share interesting (and hilarious) stories of ranch life with this writer.  It was all of that this year, too, but the weather—as it has been around the world—was…different.

One day in particular was soggy, but as night approached, so did a seriously ominous bank of black clouds.

“Oooo,” we giggled, “Looks like we’re gonna get a little wet.”  So naive.

Our family fits into three tents:  the two-man tent for the boys, the six man tent for the girls—sans the 6 men, of course—and the eight man tent for the hubby and me and the dogs.  As usual, the boys passed out the minute their heads hit the pillow.  The girls on the other hand (all teenagers, and my wild woman niece—age 24 going on 13) were all enjoying being nutballs and laughing themselves half silly in midst of this wilderness slumber party.  I decided to let their shenanigans carry on, cuz I’m super cool and, okay, too lazy to get up and tell them to pipe down.

When the first crack of thunder sounded, the girls all shrieked and giggled.  The hubby and I grinned at each other.  Fun, huh?  The flashes of lightning brought some concerned squeaks from the girls, but it was tempered by more laughter.  Then the downpour hit.  And I’m not talking the drips and drabs of Wendy’s shower.  Oh, no.  This was as if a giant cosmic ladle, perhaps the big dipper? yeah, dumped a lake on us.  The thunder got louder, and the lightening brighter and the squeals higher.

Still, I wasn’t concerned.  After all, the girls had been noisy all evening.  I figured the trees all around us would catch any stray lightning bolts and so deluded, drifted off to sleep.  Around 2ish, the boys appeared at our door (flap) soaked to the skin, shivering and mad as wet roosters.

“Our tent is gone!  Our beds are flooded!”

Odd.  Then again, we had cots and a stronger tent.  “Well, come on in.”  I took one ice-cube boy in my bag, the hubby took the other in his.  The girls were still laughing—I thought—as their shrieks started to rival the howls of the hurricane.  After all, if there was a problem, they’d tell us, right?

Wasn’t till the next morning I woke up to find the girls all huddled in the minivan, their tent now an above ground swimming pool, their beds sagging floatation devices, their mascara running, their joi de vivre a thing of the past.  Not laffin’.  No, my niece was snoozing in at shotgun, scrunched and drenched.  Daughter number three was packed into  the middle row and the older daughters slept sardine style in the back.

Took the entire day—and—half a pile of firewood to dry ‘em out.

Thankfully, the remainder of the week was sunny.  And now (after resting for 24 whole hours at home) we are headed to the beach for more life in the old tent, this time with the kid’s high school crowd.  The weather is looking a little sketchy, so I’ll probably be piling into the minivan with a
dozen (or more) teenagers if we aren’t washed out to sea first.

Wendy?  If you don’t hear from me by…say…Thursday?  Call the Coast Guard.

TTFN,

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Bizarre weather, Cussing, Death, Girl Scouts, kids messy rooms, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Outdoor school, Travel, Weight gain

George Clooney is single!!

If I could only decide between the too hot mamas. Eenie, Meanie, Miney...

I know, I know, I promised that Wendy and I would be updating you
all from the Big Apple. But, we didn’t have time. As we were leaving for the
airport, the news broke that George Clooney was newly single, possibly in Manhattan… and the race was on.

It’s obvious that the boy is barking up the wrong tree with these super-skinny, super-attractive, super-young, super-models.   And, now that he’s 50, we’re guessing he’s
going to realize the error of his ways and start looking for a well-seasoned,
less-than-perfect woman to provide arm candy.
We think a little cellulite and some wrinkles are fine, because hey, we’re
not perfect, either.

So now, the question is, me or Wendy?  We asked our husbands and since neither of them seemed threatened in the least, it’s a horse race.

When we weren’t stalking Georgie Porgie Puddin’ Pie, we took a ton of pictures, visited 5 states, actually DROVE IN MANHATTAN (thank you, Darla, you rock), met with agents and editors, talked book deals, ate waaaaay too much, walked barefoot in Times Square at midnight and laughed ourselves half silly.  We came home speaking with distinct New York accents and are energized and ready to write.

Wishing you all a fab 4th!

Carolyn Clooney

Sounds good, huh, Wendy?

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, aging, Children, Geroge Clooney, Marriage, Menopause, New York, parenthood, Travel, Weight gain, wrinkles, Writing

Cat Fight–The REAL Story

Here’s what really happened.  Four of us meet for breakfast to talk about a writer’s conference trip we are all taking to New York this summer to land agents and fabulous book and movie deals on our fascinating and hilarious lives as romance novelists/mothers/wives/slash/hacks/dog owners and, you know, a couple of other projects we’ve got stashed under the bed that we’re gonna take out and dust off and turn into gold. 

Wendy is late, as usual.  Don’t get me started.  Anyway, she comes skidding in to the restaurant, drops to into her chair, snaps her fingers for the ‘girl’ then goes off on her wrinkle jag, which we all know is a bid for attention.  The woman is adorable.  I don’t get the whole, “Oh, look at my teensy wrinkle and feel sorry for me,” deal.  But we have to humor her.  “Yeah, yeah, Wendy.  What are ya gonna do about the grand canyons on your face today?”  Furtive eye-rolling behind the menu.

In fact, while she was blathering on about the wrinkle thing, I snapped a pic of her with my phone, just to prove my point.

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wait… I got it here somewhere…

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Oh.  Yeah.  Here.  Now.  I ask you.  Is this a face or is this a face?  I just want to gobble her up.

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"Clinique has this AMAZING new product that they claim firms and tightens..."

 

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Over coffee (we’ve migrated to Starbucks by now) the four of us figure out all the details of our trip to the eastern seaboard and decide to ditch the writer’s meeting we’d planned on attending that morning in Portland and hit the mall instead. 

Wendy was still nattering about this miracle stuff she was going to spend waaaaaay too much money on and I wanted to find some pants that would make me look 40 lbs. lighter.

As I was off looking for “skinny jeans” (sheyeah, what a crock) Wendy gave us the slip.  We finally found her seated in the chair behind the Clinique counter getting her upper lip spackled.  Okay.  I get it now.  The whole wrinkle cream gig isn’t about fixing your wrinkles.  No.  Oprah, are you listening, because this is the real SECRET.  Wrinkle cream IS NOT about ‘fixing a problem’.  It’s about ‘confusing the eye’.  It’s about slathering a whole bunch of gummy stuff on your lip and telling you that your wrinkles are gone and then charging you $174 + tax. 

Wendy, I’m only gonna say this once.  “The emperor has no clothes!  B-U-C-K Naked!

Of course your friends are going to tell you that the flaky, chalky, goofy crud on your upper lip looks great because we love you. 

"I can't nove ny lits cuz this stuff is sooter hard!"

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Truth be told, we simply had no where else to look.  We had to avert our eyes.  That’s why no one noticed wrinkles.  A person can’t see when they’re all squinty-eyed and cringing. 

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, BOTOX, Children, Cooking, Death, Dogs, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, wrinkle erasers, wrinkles

A Dog’s Blog: As told to my new owner’s mom.

Gimme a break.

‘Mmkay.  So, I’m just doin’ some time in the OHS (Oregon Humane Society) chillin’.  I’m innocent.  Didn’t do nuthin’ wrong, but do I get a lawyer?  No.  No phone call, neither.  Anyhow, I’m layin’ there in my cell and people walk by.  Talk to me through the bars.  Look me over. 

Then, they see the ears.  So what?  I got weird ears.  Big deal.  But they move on.  Lookin’ for a ‘puppy’ or a ‘cute’ dog or somebody with ‘normal’ ears.  Whatever. 

Then this teenage fairy godmother-type stops by and does all this baby talk.  I’ve heard it all before, but I give her a few token wags and a wet one through the door.  She gets all squealy.  Says she thinks the ears are unique.  Says she’ll be back.  Yeah, heard that before, too. 

My new owner. I'm thinkin' I'll keep her.

 

Waddaya know?  She comes back! 

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And she brings this big hairy mook with her (not her dad, her dog, chowder head) and I’m tellin’ ya it’s love at first sight. 

You know you want me, fatso.

 

I gotta have that fat boy.  He plays hard to get.  But I’m persistent, if you get my drift. 

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After the paperwork is signed, they spring me.  I’m FREE, baybee.  Livin’ large.  I’ve buried 6 of those leather chew toys in the laundry, got jiggy with the fat boy’s head and made yellow water on the new carpet 3 times.

 The teenage godmother’s mother made all these squealy noises.

They live next to this heeyouge park and my new boy-toy takes me for a swim. 

Fat boy skinny dipping.

Me, skinny dipping

 

We mark a little territory. 

Good times.

Good times part duex.

 

It’s a good life.

Me, at the park.

 

My new master has named me Genevieve after that mutt in the Madeline books.  You know, the dog the orphan kid rescued in the children’s classic: Madeline to the Rescue.  Must be because my new owner’s name is Madeline. 

 Her mother calls me other names.  But when nobody’s lookin’ she scratches my belly.

Genevieve

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Filed under Bathroom Humor, Dogs, Exercise, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain

Happy Anniversary, TooHotMamas!

Here's to another FABULOUS year of Hot Flashing!

  Wendy, I simply cannot believe  that we have been blogging for a solid year now!  And, what a year it’s been.  Wendy has sold three books and her husband has starred on LEVERAGE (on TNT). 

I managed to unclog a stubborn drain and my hubby cut off the tip of his finger.  What will the coming year bring?  I shudder to imagine.

At any rate, this explains Wendy’s rather sporadic contribution to the blog.  She’s working.  I, on the other hand, remain firmly attached to her coattails, dreaming of the day when I’m sitting in the front row at the Academy Awards, sobbing ala Chad Lowe, while she accepts the Oscar for best screenplay adaptation of a novel.  I only hope she remembers to thank me.  You know, for handling the blog while she works on a paying gig.

Since we are embarking on a new year here at TooHotMamas, I thought I’d like to try something I’m going to call: The Story Of Us.

Basically, it’s gonna be a soap-opera type serial blog.  Cliff-hangers, love, live, death, barf, marriage, menopause, kids, George Clooney, you know, stuff about our dysfunctional—and oddly identical—lives and how we met and forged a sisteresque friendship.  This is going to be really fun for me, as Wendy is too busy earning a real living to actually check in here, at TooHotMamas, and so, I’ll be able to really dish the dirt.

For example:  Wendy used to go to school with what musical super star??

I’ll have that juicy answer…on the next episode of THM’s!

Carolyn

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Filed under Academy Awards, Adoption, Geroge Clooney, hot flash, Humor, Marriage, Maui, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Pillsbury Bakeoff, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

My Hot Body

You know you’re out of shape when you get winded doing Kegels.

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

Another Get Rich Quick Scheme Down the Toilet

Heeeeeellllppp meeeeee!

Ohmigosh, Wendy!  Last night I had a dream that J. Lilly, President of Pillsbury wrote us a letter.  It was so terrifying!  So real!  I woke up in a sweat (could have been a hot flash) and scribbled down what I remembered on a candy wrapper I found lying near my bed: 

To TooHotMamas:

(Whoever you are and whatever your racket is)  

 Stop harassing me about winning my contest, or I’ll be forced to take out a restraining order against you both.  The only reason I haven’t contacted the authorities yet, is because my sister is menopausal and tells me you are both out of your minds. 

In answer to a few of your many and varied accusations:  No, the contest was not rigged, nor am I related to the winners and yes I eat Pillsbury products in my home and have no signs of these ‘pathogens’ you allude to.  

Also, since Jack Bauer is a FICTIONAL television character (24), I cannot take the threat that you would report my contest to the Counter Terrorist Unit seriously.  I can’t believe Jack Bauer would take it seriously.  In a shoot out, everyone knows the doughboy has no vital organs and can withstand intense heat.  Jack Bauer, though impressive, would never survive a pre-heated 350 oven for more than 30 minutes. 

TooHotMamas, I will not be bullied into, and I’m quoting here, “Taking you to the stars with your two-ingredient Pancake Sauce”, and must reiterate: Winning my contest will not solve your myriad problems.  In fact you both may wish to consider counseling.  I’ve heard this stage of life is hard on many women and can lead to delusional behavior.  

Thank you for including the pictures of your children in your missive of terror and yes, aside from needing braces, they are all exceedingly attractive. 

You will be contacted from my lawyers for your issues with our contest protocol, and must sign sworn statements to hold Pillsbury harmless, if you wish to participate in the future. 

Sincerely, 

John Lilly, CEO Pillsbury Corporation

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Filed under aging, Anxiety, Children, Cooking, hot flash, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Pillsbury Bakeoff, Weight gain, Weight Loss

I want my…I want my…I want my PMS…

Never thought I’d say that.

Menopause been belly, belly bad to me.  In less than a year my legs have morphed into my mother-in-laws legs.  I vowed I would never let that happen. 

And the appetite?  Horrific.  We used to have a loveseat in the family room.  Gone.  It was delicious.

The other day, I was attempting to describe the joy of hot-flashes to my husband (after I’d slapped his loving hands away as he was trying to comfort my distress).  “Honey, it’s like that feeling you get when you are in the sauna about ten minutes past the moment you know you should have left, to avoid heat stroke?”  “Ooo,” hubby tsks in sympathy.  “I swear, this morning, I was holding an iron skillet during a hot flash and… it bent.”

How unfair that this burst of heat does not melt unwanted pounds away.  What good is a personal summer, if you can’t get a good tan out of the deal?

On the up side, should we have a power outage this winter, the family will all be able to gather round me, for warmth. 

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, hot flash, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Writing

That Pioneering Spirit

"Oh goody. It's raining."

 If you enjoy wearing a pioneer woman costume and sleeping in a damp tent that you set up in the pouring rain while wearing your soggy pioneer bonnet and a soaked pioneer skirt that gets tangled around your legs as you try to pound a tent spike into solid rock while 3 third graders (also in pioneer garb) complain about the inclement weather under your feet…then you’d LOVE the field study I just returned from (see Wagon’s Ho blog entry) with my kid’s Living History charter school.

 We had a fabulous time.

Learned a lot.

Stood at the bottom of the famous Laurel Hill (shoulda been named Laurel Jagged Cliff) on the famous Oregon Trail (shoulda been named Let’s Commit Suicide by Wagon Train) and I thought, “Wow, I wonder if I ‘d have let my husband talk me into hurling our wagon/worldly supplies/children/oxen over the edge like the pioneers did back in the olden days?”  and “What the hell were they thinking?”  and “I wonder how far I am from Starbucks, right now.”

Apparently, one pioneer woman (her name escapes me at the moment), pregnant with her eighth child gave birth three days AFTER getting her family down the hill.  I’m such a loser weenie.  I rode to the historic site in a heated touring bus, ate the 6 thousand calorie meal we’d packed that morning for lunch, and felt sorry for myself because I was probably gaining back all the weight I’d recently lost (see the Gym post).

This trip shattered every illusion I had about being a pioneer in any sense of the word.  I am a wimp-o-neer.  A pio-weenie.

Luckily, the next field study (leaving this Monday with daughter number 2) is being held at the coast.  In a Yurt.  Gonna feel like the Hilton, compared to the tent. 

Carolyn

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Filed under Anxiety, Children, Fitness, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Weight gain, Writing

Dem Bones

You know the movie An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr?  My mother showed it to me when I was a wee romantic thing, but if you’re not old enough to recall it, perhaps you’ve seen the remake with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty –titled Love Affair. And if you’re not old enough to remember that, then please Google PBS Kids while I take this moment to address my peers.

So, in An Affair to Remember/Love Affair, Deborah Kerr/Annette Bening falls in love with Cary Grant/Warren Beatty.   Alas, Deborah/Annette is already in a relationship, and Cary/Warren has never had a long-term relationship with anyone.  So they get it into their heads that if a suitable period of time goes by and they are still in love, they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building.  But when poor Deborah/Annette leaps from the cab to see if her lover is waiting for her, she runs smack in front of another car and BAM!  She’s paralyzed.  When her true love finds her and realizes she is injured for life, he asks, “What happened?”   She replies, “I was looking up.” (At the Empire State Building.)

Yeah, don’t do that.

Being the 48-year-old mother of a very energetic seven-year-old, I like to attempt to keep up.  I see the mothers of her classmates setting off on their morning bike rides after drop-off (they ride to the athletic club across the river where they work out for an hour or two before riding back home).  So when DD said, “Let’s chase fairies” after school one day, I set off on a jog after the fairies.   Over pavement, over lawns, over tree roots we ran, leaped and frolicked, pointing at the fairies flying over our heads until…BAM!  I fell.

I was looking up.

I broke my wrist and–long story short–it turns out I have osteoporosis.  Apparently, I’ve had it since I was 40, but missed the memo.  (I swear I thought the doctor said osteopoenia 8 years ago.)  Here comes the irony:  I spent most of my adult life trying to fit into a size 6.  For a dozen years (during my thirties and early forties), I was successful.  Apparently that was not such a good thing for my body.  The technician who did my DEXA scan 8 years ago told me, “If you weighed more, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Well, I’ve been through menopause since then.  I weigh more now.  I’m a size ten again, the size I was always trying to whittle down.  I’m getting another DEXA scan in a couple of weeks and if the bone density in my hip has not improved or is worse, I will get to wear hip protectors–AKA, PADDING ON THE HIP–when I do something physical.  That’s right:  All that dieting back in my thirties has brought me back to size ten hips plus EXTRA PADDING.  Oh, the irony!

Please engage in regular weight-bearing exercise, dear readers.  Eliminate sodas and reduce sugar consumption (without dieting).  Eat plenty of greens and whatever else you do, DON’T LOOK UP.

Wendy

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Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Health, Menopause, Motherhood, osteoporosis, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

Calendar Girls

The Locker Room: "Care for a healthy snack post workout?"

What’s up with women who like to clean out their purse/apply makeup/blow-dry/socialize in the locker room without a stitch of clothing on? Are you one of those? If so, please, explain yourself. Don’t get me wrong. A quick, naked dash from the locker to the shower, standing in your area, dressing, undressing, whatever. But naked chit-chat? Naked stretching? Naked application of nail polish? Don’t get it. 

Yesterday, after a traumatizing workout, I drag myself into the locker room only to be further traumatized by the nudist loitering in front of my locker. Awkward. She is bent over, doing something to her feet. Or her breasts. Don’t know which, since they were both in that…area. Couldn’t look. Too freaked out. She seemed to have no intention of dressing. No clothing anywhere in sight and a laissez faire attitude that screamed, “Hey, I grew up in the 60’s so deal with my carefree abandon”. I felt like a perv, trying to reach around her and retrieve my purse. 

How does one arrange one’s face when speaking to a nude stranger? How does one make small talk? “Hey, I love your… your…uh… your…” Where does one train one’s gaze? 

I’ve never been that uninhibited. Unless you count the times I was in labor with daughter number one and three. (Daughter two’s labor was kindly handled by another brave woman). When I was being stitched up by the doctor, everyone from the labor nurses to the computer maintenance guy seemed to pass through my room while my legs were strapped into stirrups and flung as far as east is from west. “Hey, what’d we have?” the custodian asked, leaning on his mop. “It’s a girl!” I crowed, not caring a fig about my nakedness, but then, remember, I was swacked out of my mind on drugs. 

What is the excuse for the locker room nudist? Are we too hot from all that exercise? Killed the ‘inhibition’ brain cells back at the commune? Fighting a vicious laundry soap allergy? Or is it just me? Am I simply a big party-pooper who has yet to find the joi de vivre in flaunting my flab? The ecstasy of blow-drying sans brassiere? The rapture of panty-less eye-shadow application? 

Yeah. Well. I can see I’m gonna have to loosen up. 

Carolyn

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Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Health, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain, Weight Loss

THE GYM: Day One

Whoa, Dude. Exercise? Me?

Got to the club. Was assigned a Personal Trainer. He carried a little note card around, said he was gonna make notes for exercises that would help make my ‘Menopause Journey’ a ‘healthier’ prospect for me and get my daughter into an ‘active’ life-style. He’s a total hottie. I wink at the daughter. She winks back.

Machine number one:
Personal Trainer: Let’s start out by warming up. Hop on the treadmill and give me 10, trotting.

Daughter: Trotting on machine next to mine. Zen-esque. Beaming at the hottie. Show off.

Me: I wonder if he meant 10 seconds? I’ve been trotting for well over a lifetime and the clock on the machine says I’m only up to one minute. Holy crap. I’m ready for a nap. Hope this is all he expects today. Is it normal to fall off the machine?

Machine number two:
Personal Trainer: Now that we’re warmed up, let’s try some resistance exercises.

Me: Good Grief! Should I tell him I just herniated my heart? Lacerated my liver? Exploded my spleen? Several people on other machines are staring at my beet red face with concern and murmuring amongst themselves.

Daughter: Drops into the chair, adds 10 lbs to her recommended weight and powers through the first set. I don’t like the smirk on her face.

Machine number three:
Personal Trainer: This is my favorite for Buns of Steele.

Me: Call 911. I’m sure I just heard something pop. I think it was my spine. I swear I can’t feel my legs. Woman on machine next to me asks if I need defibrillator paddles.

Daughter: Don’t know where she is, as she has already completed three sets. I hear her singing somewhere in the distance. She’s grounded.

Machine number four:
Personal Trainer: This one is guaranteed to give you a six-pack.

Me: Someone get me a six-pack. Stat. With a Ringer’s lactate chase. I’m hearing the Hallelujah chorus and am heading toward the light. I’ve decided I LIKE the way my thighs sag. And what’s wrong with wearing a bra sized 38-Long? Are we done yet?

Daughter: High-fiving the Pilates instructor. I hate her.

Machine number five:
Personal Trainer: Feel the burn.

Me: My head is spinning. I can’t focus. I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. Have I given birth to my lower intestine? Should hemorrhoids fill your pants out that way? My shrieks of pain are drawing looks of annoyance from the other members. Up theirs. And the barbell they rode in on.

Daughter: Joined several peers for a quick game of racquet ball. She’s so outta the Will.

Machine number six:
Personal Trainer: This one’s for the Gipper!

Me: Shoot me. I don’t care. I stopped breathing 10 minutes ago anyway. Someone call the morgue. I think I’ve had a series of mini-strokes because I’m drooling now and have lost the ability to communicate in anything other than Klingon.

Daughter: She’s fifteen. Close enough. She’s driving us home. Now.

Looking forward to tomorrow.
Carolyn

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Swimsuit season already? Ack!

Spring is here.

I hate the tabloids. They like to take pictures of celebrities with fabulous figures and zoom in on their rear ends and critique bums that, in my opinion anyway, look great.

Far, far better than mine.

I always wonder, who writes this mean stuff? And, what does their bum look like under the telescopic lens?

Anywhoo, it’s that horrible time of year again. Everyone’s a critic. My oldest son–who by virtue of a lucky African gene pool was born tan–tells me I need a little color. The daughters agree that I could wear my bathing suit top backwards and it would still fit perfectly. The hubby is generous enough to say, “We’re both needing a little exercise.”

The scale confirmed their candid consensus. Bummer. (no pun). So, it’s off to the gym. Today is Day One. April 26th, 2010. As good a day as any to start, I guess. I’ve put off the New Years resolution as long as possible. In order to have some accountability, however, I’ll call today Ground Zero and admit that I need to head toward ground -25. I’ll report back here, every so often and let you all know how I’m doing. Dragging the teenage daughter with me, as she needs to head to ground -10 for optimum health.

We are both excited. Have the Gym Bag packed with water, towels, shampoo, sleazy-bum-mocking-tabliods, all the required accoutrements for a day at the spa. Gonna tackle a split routine. Legs today. Tomorrow, upper bod. I’m thinking we’ll both have our Jillian Michaels goin’ by July. All lean and tan and stunning. People are gonna look at us and say, “Hey, now THEY oughta be on the cover of the tabloid with their rock-hard bums!”

Jealousy? Yeah, it’ll be tough to live with people hating us because we’re beautiful. But we’re up for it.

I’ll report back tomorrow and let you all know how Day One at the gym goes.
Carolyn

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Filed under Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Weight gain

Open Letter to John Lilly, head of Pillsbury North America…or We’re not bitter, part II

Dear Mr. Lilly:

Today I received yet another in a recent onslaught of emails from Pillsbury offering me “fabulous” recipes and coupons for your products so that I might effectively execute said recipes.  I believe I can speak for my friend Carolyn when I say that we are more likely to eat the goopy stuff that collects in the corner of dogs’ eyes than to slam back one more poppin’ fresh anything.

It cannot have escaped your notice that in all fifty states and parts of Canada people have been ingesting dangerous amounts of your dough boy in an effort to better their circumstances.  The Pillsbury Bake-Off gave us all hope.  Hope, sir, that even in the face of our husband’s laughter, our children’s tummy aches, unstable blood sugar and alarming increases in dental caries we might win a new refrigerator or perhaps a trip to the Magic Kingdom.  For months we fell asleep dreaming of new uses for crescent rolls then awoke like children on Christmas morning, eager as all get out to see if we had e-mail.  Did Pillsbury like the Money Bunz? we wondered.  Did the Cookie Fries make them smile??  (And by the way, I have never seen anyone work with more single-minded focus than Carolyn Zane did when she perfected Cookie Catsup.   Her kids weren’t allowed to eat anything else for days.)

But we heard nothing–not a word, not a peep, not a giggle from the dough boy–to acknowledge our hard work and self-sacrifice in making your contest a success.

Yeah, I know you’re busy; we’re all busy.  Carolyn and I should have been writing books last spring, but did we?  Nooo.   We put the 65th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off first.  We would  appreciate a little acknowledgment, not another e-mail about Topsy Turvy Apple Pie and Chicken Nugget casserole or whatever that last one was.  Yuck.  (Did you even taste our tofu quiche?  Oprah would have loved it.)

All right, look, here’s the deal:  We’ve got your dough boy.  If you want him back in one yeasty piece, cease and desist all further emails unless it’s to say THANK YOU, LADIES from the bottom of your heart.  I  mean it.  We will eat that little dough man bit by bit, starting with his puffy white fingers (where are his fingers, anyway?) for every self-promoting e-mail you send.

With all due respect, take your head out, John:  No one who has spent a hundred gazillion hours and most of their children’s college fund entering your Bake-Off wants to try last year’s recipe for Maple-glazed Green Giant Spinach crescent rolls.  I’m just saying.

Best,

Wendy


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Toohotmama’s “Cool-Chick” Award

     IDA ROCKS!

Ida Hayes-Green Graduates High School at 99!

 

Ida Hayes-Green finally got her high school diploma, one month before her 99th birthday,  just last week.    

She’s been very busy with all the attention, but when that dies down, Toohotmama’s intend to contact her for an interview.  Enquiring minds want to know what colleges she’s targeting.     

Dudette!  What’s your major?  And we’ve got some serious advice about dorm life.  Stay away from the all you can eat ice-cream machine.  They’re not kidding about the whole ‘Freshman 10’.  And unless you’re into drunken, one night stands, avoid the Frat parties.  On the subject of Dead-week… Okay.  We won’t go there.  

Waiting until Finals to cram might work, especially for those of us with short-term memory loss, so what the heck.  Give it a try.  Beyond that, enjoy.  These next four years will fly by and before you know it?  You’re 103.  Congratulations, Ida Hayes-Green!  You’re our hero and one Hot Mama!    

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Filed under Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers, Weight gain

Bad Hair

Wendy and Carolyn Do Hawaii

 

Carolyn and Wendy Do Hawaii
 
The 35 Symptoms of Menopause: A continuing education.  Today, we explore Symptom #26:

Hair loss or thinning head or pubic hair.  Increase in facial or whole body hair.

So many of our friends complain about this symptom.  The hair falls off the head and seems to just explode out of everywhere else. 
 
So, girls.  How do we get rid of unwanted hair without the hideous pain of waxing / electrolysis and those horrible red bumps that come after shaving?  Well, after a LOT of debate–and experimentation–we’ve come to the conclusion that there is no solution.  Why are we fighting the inevitable, ladies? 
 
Let go of your inhibitions.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it.  Embrace your inner gorilla!  Oh, we’re not saying it will be easy.  The first time we hit the beach sporting our new hirsute look, we were a little bashful.  But as you can see by the video our husband’s shot, (above) after a couple Mai Tai’s we got into the rhythm. 
 
Carolyn and Wendy

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Filed under Anxiety, Children, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Weight gain, Writing