Monday, December 29, 2008

Year end "report Card"

Ok, I'm going to pull a Bridget Jones here and recap the year's resolutions to see how I did...  It's interesting because I think that this is the first year I had written them all down.  I had a long list... so here goes.

1) Be less stressed by working out and managing my time (by not taking on new leadership positions).
Well, I'm sorry to report that in typical Bridget Jones fashion I have not become less stressed.  I'm still a freak.  I've transferred some of my stress from one "basket" to "another", but no, I'm definitely still a freak.  The one good thing is that I'm a little less stressed about stupid elementary school volunteer commitments that are unimportant but I'm still in the class doing stuff with the kids (which is important to me).  So, after reflecting, I'm going to give myself a C+ on that, not a lot of improvement but definitely some.

2)  Be more "Green"- by sending more e-cards, eat vegan once a week, be diligent about recycling, keep the house cleaner to save energy and finish replacing the light bulbs with HE bulbs.  
Didn't send e-cards, but didn't send cards either- so that equals environmental improvement and loss of friends which should mean less cards in and out this year, so surely that is some improvement.... we DID eat vegan once a week... I was more responsible about recycling about 1/2 the time, I didn't really keep the house cleaner, but DID replace almost every bulb w/ HE bulbs.  So... I'd say I got a B on that goal. 

3)  Get dressed every day (i.o.w.- no workout clothes to the bus stop)
Um.  Yea.  About that goal.  I followed this goal about 10% of the year, which is so much worse than before I started working out.  So, that's a "Fail"... is that an F or an E.  Depends on the school system I'd guess.  In G's class that's an N.

4)  Write.
I did NOT pick back up into a novel or short story movement.  I had a few thoughts over the year, probably wrote about 20 thousand words or so in the fiction arena, so in the way that I intended it was a D or so, BUT then I realized that i kept a blog AND took a literature class, and that counts as writing, so on a whole, that was an A.

5)  Take 15 minutes to meditate each day.
Again, good intensions, but I didn't really do this very often.  Maybe once a week.  So, what's that, 1/7 of the time?  I'd say that's a D, because it was more than last year, but less than desired.  

6)  "Eat Healthier than before"
Yea, well, I definitely succeeded in that, even though I am NOT applying to Victoria's Secret to be a model at 104 lbs.  Yes, I ate healthier, because eating junk makes me feel like crap when I'm running.  So, really, this is not a success in the traditional sense.  Who cares?  It's a C+ in my book.  I improved, but didn't completely uproot my entire life.  I guess some people would rate that as an A, and some would rate it as a Fail.

What's the final run down?  C, B, F, A, D C...  I guess the A & F average to a C.  And the B and D average to a C.  And the C'a are Cs.  So, I'm a C student for the year.  You know what?  That's the best "resolution" report card I have ever had in the history of ever...  typically I just fail at my goals, because they're so unrealistic they're completely unreasonable.  Except, here's some real irony, that this year I succeeded in my 1994's resolution, which was to take up an exercise program and stick to it for a whole year.  Holy snap.  Who would have guessed?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

stepping out for a few days

I'm probably stepping out for a few days.  Mom's coming into town, then hosting giant Christmas Family celebration, then probably having a nervous breakdown because I hate HATE HATE the mess of Christmas (boxes, wrapping, little twisty ties, piles of non-recyclables, piles of recyclables, etc.)

Anyway, just didn't want you to think I'd forgotten my blog.  I'm sure that I'll have PLENTY to share with you all when I get back to normal... given that i'm hosting 19 people in my house for a meal, all with distinct personalities.  Should be, um, fun.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A "little" behind

So, I'm a little behind this year.  It's the 21st and I have no food prebaked and in my freezer.... and yet, I'm planning a giant holiday meal here on the 25th.  Two actually if you consider that I'm hosting Brunch and Dinner.  Not only that, but I'm still only about 50% wrapped and assembled.  There's a STEP 2 kitchen waiting for me and the electric screwdriver.  Wait!  Isn't that H's job?  Normally, but this year Santa left him in charge of setting up a flat screen TV on Christmas Eve after the kids sleep, SO, I was thinking only assigning him that 1 thing, and once that's done, then we'll evaluate how much is left.  And, I have guests arriving in less than 3 days, and is the house clean and ready for guests?  Um.  No.  The house is not clean and ready.  It's about 50% clean, and now that Rory's running, the floors are 90% clean.  (he's not allowed in some spaces).  If you took all the hours in the day and eliminated sleep from my schedule, I MIGHT be able to get everything done before everyone gets here (including Santa)... maybe.  Who needs sleep?  It's practically just a hobby to the modern mother.  The human body can go without sleep for 3 days, right?

I think we've established at this point that I'm seriously behind.  So why, when i could be sleeping or folding laundry, am I dressed and ready to walk out the door to running at 6:48AM on a Sunday morning in the 35* rain?  Who knows.  I need to run to get rid of some of this, um, energy.

And speaking of burning off stress, I'm seriously stressed.  So stressed I'm NOT HUNGRY.  Not hungry?  Why is that a big deal?  Well, I'm sorry but I'm ALWAYS hungry.  Even when I've just eaten I'm hungry.  I eat for the sake of eating, so to have no appetite is pretty strange.  I don't feel sick, i just don't want food.  I mean, I feel like I want food, but when I try to eat I can't get anything down.  Nothings good.  And why eat it if it's not good?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ki-YAH!

I was INSPIRED tonight by my KARATE final exam.  YES, I completed the Gengi (Genji?) Kata, 4 one step sparring episodes, 2 free sparring incidents and then, after all that, I BROKE A BOARD!!!  I did.  I walked right up, and kicked it, and it broke with a resounding crash!  On the first day of class when the prof told us we had to break a board, I almost dropped it (class, not the board) on the spot.  But I hung in there...  I persevered and... I broke a board.  Man, what a stress release.  I'm sorry but that needs to be at the end of every Stroller Strides class....  "Now, 3 deep breaths, and our final most important STEP is to BREAK A BOARD!"  OK, MAYBE not.  But I was inspired to write a song tonight.  Just a little diddy I thought up.  COMpletely original....  If you happen to think to yourself, "Damn, g. this is amazingly like John Lennon's War is Over Christmas Song", I will tell John you thought that the next time I see him...  And so, Happy Christmas...

So this is Christmas....
And what have you done?
One semester over....
A new one just registered... uh, begun...
AND so this is Christmas....
I hope you had fun,
The near and the dear one,
The old and the young.

A very merry Christmas,
And a happy new gelati (tough rhyme on that one...)
Let's hope it's a good one,
without any Karate!

And SO this is Christmas!!!!
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong!

And so Happy Christmas!
For black belts and white,
For yellow and red belts
let's stop all the fight!

Karate is over over...
If you want it....
Karate is OVER... over...

See- look at all that Christmas cheer just OOZING off the computer screen.  I KNEW I would feel better once it was over.  Or, it could be the Bailey's over Ice I'm drinking right now...  

It doesn't even FEEL like Christmas.

I'm sorry, but I'm NOT festive this year.  No amount of movie watching seems to be helping, though I still have Charlie Brown in reserve....  You see, I'm trying to avoid baking cookies, cooking pie, making rice crispie-treats... fudge and all those other sweet traditions that I normally partake in....  I'm just trying to live like it's a regular week (instead of the week b/f Christmas) so I can avoid the extra 5 pounds of the season.  So far, it's been successful in avoiding the weight, but also successful in avoiding the "holiday" feel.

I've wrapped about 20% of the gifts, strung about 20% of the lights outside (trust me, the house looks pretty pathetic),  hung exactly 2 wreaths.... pitiful.  And, is it COLD outside?  NO.  no, it's not even December outside.  I'd guess I'm not the only scrooge.

I have my last final exam tonight, and I'm wondering if that will have a magic effect of "Done with SCHOOL, TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!"... though I'm dreading the exam because it's Karate and my last 2 classes weren't as fun as they should have been.  Next semester I'm taking CPR to get the rest of my PE credit.  I concluded that it's just a good idea to avoid Karate again.  Though, the prof keeps insisting I'm doing fine, Karate hurts too much.  I can break a board though- and how many SAHM's can say that?

And finally, my college mate will be arriving home tonight as well...  she's my neighbor and she is sometimes my "source of fun" around the holidays.  We have made some strange traditions together....  but they work, and it really does feel like christmas when you're drinking Bailey's making a cheese platter at midnight on Christmas Eve....  is it the togetherness, the Baileys', the cheese platter, or the excitement of Christmas Eve that makes it so magical?  I don't know if it's one, but surely a combination of all those things that defines Christmas for me.

Ah well.  Bah Hum Bug.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's GATE!

It's hard to explain WHY I would drive 2 hours to a "festival" at the camp where I grew up.  I attended the camp or worked there from 1987 - 1993.  I lived there during the summers, coming home once in a while to do laundry or disrupt my mother's life.  I say that, because I always arrived with 200 pounds of dirty horse scented laundry.  So, on Friday when I decided to take the kids to Christmas in the Country at the Triple R Ranch, it didn't seem like a crazy idea.  We've done it before.  In past years they've had a hay maze (inside the barn hayloft), pony rides, a live nativity, hay rides, crafts, hot cider, cookies, chuck wagon meals and other fun stuff.  Too much to name really... I could go on and on.  I was meeting an old friend of mine, just to see each other and show off our kids, at 6:30.  It was a plan... totally doable.  It's exactly a 2 hour drive from door to door without stops.  Key words there- "with out stops".  We left from Art Class at 4:07.  Giving us time to park and get to the meeting place...
At 5:30 when I was sitting still on I-64 and I saw the first ambulance drive past me I got concerned.  By the time the SECOND fire truck, 2nd ambulance, 2nd police car, 1st tow truck, and 1st Vehicle Assistance flashing pick up went by, I was beyond concerned.  I was watching the time click by.  I was still about an hour from the ranch at this point.  SO I thought, depending on how long I sit here I may not make that 6:30 meet time.  So, I called Charity and said, let's make it 6:45 and meet inside by the pony rides (indoor ring).  Yea, about that...  

In the end it took 3:15 hours to make the 2 hour drive.

So, B had her first pony ride, and laughed and giggled the whole time.  I asked her, "Are you OK?" (because it was a small horse, not a pony) and she says, "It's GATE!"  (great), and continues to say, "Gate!" every 10-15 seconds or so between giggles.  What a riot.  Anyway, here are the 3 photos I was able to take of the kids before the camera battery died.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas...

So... speaking of torture.  I realized I really need to post the photo of the kids with Santa.  B was, well, for lack of a better word- scared silent.  G was optimistic as he asked for a LIST of things 20 items long.  C went for the old "going to ask for ONE big item" routine.  Fortunately it wasn't a pony this year and Santa can probably come through for her.  Anyway, enjoy the baby torture...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What's that saying?

You don't have to win every battle, as long as you win the war...

Well, how exactly am I supposed to win the war if I don't win the battles?  We could break it down, but I don't have time.  Why G?  Why don't you have time?  Well let me share that with you...  I'm too busy cleaning up the war torn neutral zone. 

TODAY, like every day, I put B in her bed to nap.  I shut the door.  I locked it.  I put up the gate.  I came downstairs.  The next thing I hear is little feet RUNNING back and forth and back and forth and back and forth across her room and back again and... for 20 minutes.  Now.  She's asleep ON the floor.  In the middle of the room.  The door is open.  The gate is hanging on by a thread.  And her room is trashed.  She is surrounded by every little toy/animal/blanket AND article of clothing she could shake loose.  How nice for me.  Makes me question if the nap is really worth all this.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Hell... OH.

The people who design the singing dancing sledding Ho Ho Hoing critters for Halmark have now made the NAUGHTY list.  The person who mails this sh*t to me has been on the NAUGHTY list since she sent the sledding dog/penguin/snowman last year.  

This year's Halmark Hell is summed up in the form of tap dancing snow globes.  If they're all attached to each other they dance together and the music plays in sync. If they're not attached, they play 3 songs at once with little tap dancing feet clicking in the background.  Add that to the fact that B likes to push them all and then sing "hap bird day tooo oo" while she's listening to this blob of music and sound... yes.  I said blob.  I can't think.  Language is completely escaping me.

I... can't... think.  My head is going to explode.  Why deal with it G?  Just take the batteries out of them...  I can't.  I mean, I could, I have the skills and all, but, I can't take it either way.  B was devastated when the sledding dog/penguin/snowman "broke".  (it's called an OFF SWITCH)  

"It boke?  Boke mommy?  Boke?  Mommy?  Mommy?  Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-mmeeee?  Boke?"  Which is worse?  Tap dancing critters, or a screaming toddler?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Give Peace a Chance...

The promotion of independence is something I'm always for, after all, I'm an American.  It's important to realize that Freedom is something that is earned, sometimes fought for, and to earn it, you sometimes must go to war.  I, however, am against war.  I think it's unnecessary in so many cases when a good negotiation team could just hammer out details and trade agreements can be reached.  Being of the Anti-War opinion though, doesn't mean that you can just take the "no war" approach when it's being waged in your own backyard; you have to stand up, stand firm, and above all, hold the line.  And, by own backyard, I don't mean Canada.  

When B declared "War" on me yesterday, I felt a little unprepared.  I didn't know we were even in prewar negotiations.  To be frank, I think that she just declared it with no talks at all.  I could be mistaken though, because we didn't have a reliable interpreter present who spoke both languages, and like French, I understand more "B" than I speak, which I think she finds frustrating and just a little insulting.  Her portions of the conversation were broken and garbled, and came spilling out of little lips along with snot and tears, but from what I understood, the statement went a little like this:

B does not sleep in a big girl bed for nap.  B sleep in mommy daddy bed.  Now!

Being a mother of some skills, I simply scooped her up, dropped her in her big girl bed, shut and locked her door, and then put a gate up in front of her door.  Sounds reasonable right? Case closed.  Bed selection has been made.  Well, B has apparently done extensive SEAL team P.O.W. training and can now escape from anywhere, because the next thing I knew there was a LOUD crash upstairs and 30 seconds later, B was standing at the top of the stairs continuing her tirade about beds, naps and what exactly was going to go down.

In short.  She's a climber.  I don't know what I thought a baby gate designed for the containment of babies was going to do.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Moms Being Bad...

I thought of the next great reality show, sort of circa "Real Housewives of Short Pump" meets "Girls behaving bad"...  What, you ask, would have made me think of this?  Well.  I have class tonight, and I'm going to be gone for bathtime/bedtime... and I'm feeding the baby dinner right now because I'm just helpful that way.  

She likes chili.  A lot....  With Beans of course, why do you ask?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WTF... a RANT. better skip it if you're not in the mood...

OK.  Now I'm pissed.  How many hours did I invest into that stupid, er- highly enlightened paper on The Black Plague?  Well, I don't need to do the math.  Let's just say "many".  Many many nights I stayed up past bedtime working and reworking, rewriting and correcting... until it was as perfect as I could make it.  I re-wrote, finessed, fought with images to make sure they were visually interesting...  15 pages of text, 9 works cited, 8 images imbedded, 5 discussion questions at the end, 1 cover page thoughtfully produced.  Yes, I did a lot of work... so our teacher "publishes" all the papers for our peer review, which is part of our grade.  

SO...  I opened the first one and start to read.  "King Arthur led a veried life...";  the next one, 4 pages poorly written in first person with 2 different tenses; the next one 5 pages with ONE reference cited; the next one, I looked up the cite and guess what- it's all plagiarized.  No, really- word for word.  I was tempted to call her out on it, but I'm not.  The prof will figure it out the same way I did, she pasted two things together that just don't match.  I swear... by now I'm a little bit freaking out because I spent 2 weeks writing a major paper and if you use mine to compare with these other papers, they're all D's.  

I'm serious, one girl, who's name is SPECIAL, so that should be a clue, wrote a TWO page paper.  TWO.  ~gasp~  No cover.  No title.  No "discussion" questions which was part of the assignment.  (part that took me HOURS to figure out).  How am I supposed to review that with any positive comments when I spent so much time working on mine?  Ok, perhaps I just don't understand college these days.  I thought the purpose was to get an A.  As it turns out, it's to just do as little as possible and get passing grade.

Ironically, I had JUST commented to someone today that I thought my project was only worth a B in my own grading scale.  I amend that.  My paper is F'ing genius.  It's BRILLIANT.  No WONDER the prof sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago thanking me for my insightful paper on some topic or another.  Ok.  Off to read the next 6 papers and "review them".  I guess I need to cut them all some slack.... or not.  I really want to e-mail the prof and say, "I spent 2 weeks, 4 hours a night researching and writing my paper... WTF is all this?  Fail them all!"  

Maybe the next 6 are good.  Maybe they're enlightened.  Maybe... just maybe...

Monday, December 1, 2008

But I wasn't ready...

Last night when I was loading the dishwasher I had one of those "Holy carp" moments that can only happen when you're doing something mundane like sweeping the floor, clearing the table or, in my case, loading the cups into the washer.

I wiped lipstick (not red) off my glass from dinner, and loaded it.  And then I wiped lipstick off C's cup and put it in the washer.  Suddenly my life flashed before my eyes.  I wasn't ready.  No one drinking from a bright yellow plastic cup should be wearing frosted lip color.  The color is so light you can barely see it on her lips, but still, the principal is there...  she's wearing makeup on Sundays.  

I realized at that moment that she doesn't need to be drinking from a yellow plastic cup.  She could graduate to a glass.  She's mature enough, and certainly careful enough, but...  I wasn't ready so I've been holding her back.  So, tonight when I got down the cups and glasses to set up the table, and I said to C...  "Do you want yellow, or blue?"  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An explanation for my "crazy"

So, today I met a friend of mine for lunch.  I hadn't seen her in about 14 years, and we happened to be on the same side of the same state at the same time, so it seemed reasonable to drive 2 hours to meet her husband/children and see her.  Why not, right?  So, her mother and brother were also available, so they joined in too.  Great.  Cool.  Ironic.  

Why ironic?  Well, let me enlighten you.  When I was 17 I had a mad crush on the brother.  He was a little younger than me, but I did have a crush none-the-less.  So, What you don't know is that I was "the homely kid".  I can prove it if I need to, but I'd rather not.  Let's just say that my face didn't quite look right surrounded by an additional 10 pounds of baby fat and my acne was so bad I was at one point affectionately called Pizza Face.  So... homely=me, cute=the brother, and he wasn't going to give me the time of day any way, so why worry, right?  It was OK.  I knew it.  I compensated with an outrageous personality.  Some parts of that still remain.  

I started to be a lot cuter around 18 or so, and by 21 I looked about how I look now, which is still not going to win me a Victoria Secret cover, but at least I'm not the person who people look at and think, "Wow.  I hope she has a great personality because she's NEVER getting married."  So...  I'm not off topic.  I swear, just hang in...  We get to lunch...  I see my friend and her mother standing in the middle of the Chick Fil A and I walk right up and hug Nicole.  Only her mother is still looking for me, And suddenly sees me with recognition and she says, "OH!  WOW.  You grew up to be beautiful!"  Followed quickly by the (did I just say that out loud expression and pause and then, finally...) "Of course because you always were."  IF I were writing/directing a sitcom reunion scene, I couldn't have written it any better.

I'm telling you, the pause was audible.  It was... um... sweet.  ?  I think she was trying to compliment me, it was just a little awkward because it was clearly not what she was expecting.  Anyway, the brother... yea, well, he's still hot.  Married, with a baby, and still too young for me... but hot, with beautiful liquid brown eyes rimmed in thick black lashes, and a beard.  And I'm a sucker for a beard, don't know why.  It's a little gross on one hand, and on the other...  yea, Now I am off track.  

So...  If you ever wonder why I'm as crazy and screwed up as I am, here's the explanation:  I am still compensating for my homeliness.  

another bit of christmas cheer

Regarding Christmas Lights.  What I would like to know is this:  How is it that I carefully wrap up and put away strands upon strands of working Christmas lights in neat little rolls (wrapped around boxes and or wrapping paper tubes) each year... and when I bring them down from the attic and plug them in, only half of the bulbs work?

It's a conspiracy by the Christmas Light manufacturing company so that they never go out of business.  I'm sure of it.  And the worst thing about it is that every year I spend hours screwing around with all this crap, and honestly, I hate putting up Christmas lights... There I've said it.  I'm sorry.  It's true.  But the kids love them.  This year they joyfully announced in cheerful little giggles that they "want 'colors' out side and 'white' for the tree!!!"  Great.  I'm so full of joy I could puke.

OK.  I can't blog now.  I need to go out to Lowes or Home Depot to buy more lights.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NO Exceptions! Except...

There are NO children allowed in our bed at night.  We just don't allow it.  It's too disrupt-full, no one gets a good night sleep, and then you have grumpy mommy, grumpy daddy and grumpy kid all day long.  So we have an "absolutely no exceptions to the rule" policy that we are more than willing to enforce.

Except, when I arrived in B's room last night to discover that she was wheezing and whistling with a croupy sounding cough (seal bark) I realized that the rules were, once again, going to have to bend.  I would NEVER have slept a wink knowing she was down the hall breathing like that...   as it turns out, I didn't sleep a wink once she was in bed either because her breathing was so ragged.

It was as though I was instantly awake.  In one minute I was asleep, in the next I was completely awake.  I got a lot of thinking done while I was laying there next to B.  "What if...she's really sick?"  "What if... I need to call and cancel E & A for today?" "What if..."

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have trouble Getting in the Mood...

FOR the holidays.  

Geez, you people.  I admit, some years have trouble getting in the mood for the holidays.  This year is one of those years.  I don't know why.  It doesn't even feel like it should be Thanksgiving this week.  I guess i better get on board with that because I'm incharge of the pie/dessert for 29 people.

So, why do I have such a hard time some years?  It's probably because those are the years that I do all my shopping super early *sometimes in January!, and don't have that immediate connection to the decorated malls.  My "Christmas Newsletter" is untraditional, so I don't get that immediate peppermint and holly scented tree feeling as I type it out.  Unfortunately due to allergies, I never get that holly scented home to aid my progression to "the mood".  Some years it takes me until Christmas Eve, and then I'm so over the top that H wants to kill me because I'm suddenly baking and prepping for something I've known about all year.  

Anyway, I've compiled a list of movies that I like to watch over the holiday season.  Some are movies from my childhood, and some are movies that probably have nothing to do with Christmas but I do tend to watch them at that time of year.  From the obvious to the insane... here are my favorite movies for getting in the mood:

10) Scrooged: with Bill Murray.  Yes, there are better adaptations of A Christmas Carol, but are any of them as funny or silly?

9) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (THE ORIGINAL animated one).  This is one of those timeless stories, just the SOUND of the narrator's voice makes me smile.

8) A Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out!")...  the pink bunny costume... oh, I love that scene because it's JUST like the purple penguin dress I got when I was 11!  I had to wear it on picture day because my mother made me.  OH...  I needed therapy just for that.

7) Die Hard with Bruce Willis...  "Now I have a machine gun... HO HO HO".

6) National Lampoons Christmas Vacation... it's almost painful to watch, but at the same time, it's funny.  Anyone hear my story about the drunk kid breaking into the house and the 5 Henrico cops who came with  guns drawn to the rescue?  Well, that's the soundtrack I needed that Christmas.

5) While You Were Sleeping...  Just a cute movie...  "These mashed potatoes are so creamy... "

4) The Wizard of OZ...  has nothing to do with Christmas, but they play it on TV every year at this time, so I associate it...  And what's not to like about a film about little girl who gets a killer new custom pair of red pumps for FREE?  And there's even little elves... er, munchkins too.

3) It's a Wonderful Life...  no list would be complete without this movie.  I guess.  I mean, it's not my favorite, but I will sit through it and it's definitely a Christmas mood bringing movie.

2) Pretty Woman.  What, you don't think this is a Christmas movie?  Yes it is.  A hooker goes on a date and gets everything she's ever wanted.  Definitely a Christmas film.

and the best Holiday movie ever made in my opinion?  

1)  The Ref...  "That's it, I'm calling an emergency meeting of the Old Bay Brook Emergency Committee"  or "You're Dr. Wong?" "Yea well, my mother was Irish."  "and your father?"  "Wasn't."

Happy Thanksgiving!

What he DID...

SO everyone wanted to know what exactly "G did".  Well, he didn't really "DO" anything.  that was part of the problem.  He didn't do his work.  He didn't follow directions.  In all, he was simply checking the system, testing his boundaries & his teacher all in one day.  I wouldn't expect he'll do that again, since the weekend was really NOT GREAT when you're in that much trouble.  And I did talk to Mrs Flower and she was great, actually.  Very encouraging, and appreciated my support.  We also decided that G just needed to have a fresh start, a new 'folder' with a nice shiny new calendar in it, etc.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Awkward Pause #2...

It's never good if the grading scale is rated like a traffic light and your kid comes home with an "orange" day.  Green is good. Yellow is "slow down".  "Orange is not really on the scale but I don't want to have to send you to the office because it's going to really disrupt my class".  "Red is a visit to the principal"... and believe it or not, "Blue" is actually on the chart, I think because if you have a blue day you've probably been suspended.  Sort of like, if you have a blue traffic light, you were going more than 20 mph over the limit and been arrested on the spot.  

So, on Friday, in the FIVE minutes it took me to drop C off at Art C;ass, we got a call from G's teacher.  The message was a bit like this...

"Hi Mr and Mrs. F.  This is Mrs Flower, G's teacher.  I just wanted to tough base with you about today.  We had a very long day here in 1st grade.  Very long.  I....   (awkward pause on the machine) have a lot of things I'd like to discuss with you and hope you'll call me back this weekend at home#.  I... (awkward pause #2) wanted to make sure there isn't anything going on at home that I should know about.  So, please call me anytime this weekend so we can talk.  Again, I'm free all weekend and I look forward to hearing from you."

Is anything going on at home?  Um... gee.... I don't know.  I mean, Rory the Roomba seems fine, the floors are definitely staying cleaner....   But other than that new addition to our home, I haven't noticed any changes.  Could be that I'm too caught up in the BLACK PLAGUE or BRITISH LIT or the GEN JI KATA to know what's going on in my own home... and I doubt I spelled that right.  In the mean time, we're just going to keep an eye on G.  Maybe he was just having a bad day.

If there's one thing that being a mother has taught me it's this...  "If it's not one thing, it's something else."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's for Dinner?

I admit, I'm a food hoarder.  I bake, cook, and prep... and freeze food all the time.  At any given moment we could have 3 weeks worth of frozen meat or meals ready to fall out off my over stuffed freezer.  And that's just the one in the kitchen, don't get me started on the garage!

So, why is it that I'm constantly at the grocery store buying new stuff?  Especially fresh meat?  I think it's that whole idea of, "wanting something new and easy".  It's much easier to buy a new pork tenderloin than it is to thaw one out and prep it, just like it's easy to buy it & toss it in the freezer for a rainy day.  At this point I have enough food planned for Noah's flood.  

So this month I'm trying to cut my grocery bill for 2nd Half November by using 1 thing out of my freezer at each dinner.  Yesterday for lunch we had homemade Turkey Soup - out of the kitchen freezer.  For dinner we had pork chops (freezer), butternut squash - 2 different recipes because my kids like one thing and my H likes another (both already prepared and out of the freezer), leftover MacNCheese, and because all this was prepared, I was able to make a pot of homemade applesauce.

Of which, I split in half and put some in the freezer for a rainy day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

76:05:39:10

I ran my marathon in 76:05:39:10...  that's 76 Days 5 hours and 30 minutes and 10 seconds.  

Well, I have 364 days to train for my next marathon, which I hope to finish in under 5 hours.  Yes, it's true.  I signed up for my 1st real marathon.  I still plan on running Half Marathons between now and then, to get some racing milage under my belt and also to make myself a more complete runner.

Sean's not happy about it.  I did broach the subject, as promised, right after I "gave him permission" to buy a $900 TV.  I thought it was a good tactic.  Apparently not.  I've been gently leading him to the idea of the full marathon for a few months now, but he's still reeling from the broken foot incident.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

let's get the kids in bed so... I can GO to bed too!

I'm too tired to blog today about how neurotic i am.  I ran the Richmond Half Marathon this morning, and I think I need to go to bed.  Is it 8pm yet?  Yes... good....  There's just something demoralizing about going to bed when the clock still reads 7something.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Racing Avoidance 101, aka, Brit Lit 243

In my attempt to distance myself from the race that's looming over my head I have thrown myself into my school work today.  No, it's not really working that well, because all I can think about is T's post that was about worrying, "Am I running too much?  Am I running enough?".  Have I trained enough to best my time, to attain my goal, to yada yada yada...  So, in a weak attempt at a diversion, I started reading an excerpt from Some Reflections upon Marriage, written by Mary Astell.  OK, first off, I never thought I would say this about my "stupid British lit class" but, WOW.  What a brilliant excerpt, first off because it's so cleverly written and easy to understand (bonus points for being in English), but also because it is so far ahead of it's time.  Consider Astell's statement about sex...

"...if a wife's case be as it is here represented, it is not good for a woman to marry, and so there's an end of human race.  But this is no fair consequence, for all that can justly be inferred from hence is that a woman has no mighty obligations to the man who makes love to her; she has no reason to be fond of being a wife, or to reckon it a piece of preferment when she is taken to be a man's upper-servant; it is no advantage to her in this world..."

Or, what she so cleverly points out about marriage in general, from the beginning, "A woman can't properly be said to choose; all that is allowed her, is to refuse or accept what is offered." to the merits of education, "a philosophical lady... would be too wise and too good for the men."  Finally, on getting married in general, "for perhaps if (women) took time to consider and reflect upon it, they seldom would."

The final gist of her entire statement about marriage is that in order to be happy in life, we (women) should look for happiness within or with God.  Now, I'm not here to suggest that we "look to God" to find happiness.  As I'm fond of saying, God's messages are sometimes hard to hear and understand, even by the most devout.  But, I think what the message is that you won't find happiness with money, beauty, wit or men unless you find it with yourself first.  

Ok.  Did I mention this was written in 1700?  Thankfully THIS is the fodder for one of the three papers due by Friday.  The other reading du jour, The Book of Margery Kempe, was eerie, disturbing, and... generally shocking.  I was so stunned when I read it, that I don't even want to dwell on it long enough to write a mandatory paper, much less discuss it on my blog.  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A post for mothers of daughters

I was sitting with C last night in her room.  We were playing and cleaning up, choosing 5 items to give to Goodwill, brushing out her doll's hair, and looking at the American Girl Doll Catalog.

For those of you who are novices, American Girl Dolls are the most classy beautiful toys that a girl can play with, and they encourage conservative clothing (aka ANTI BARBIE), active lifestyles and reading.  What more could a mother want?  Exactly.  So the dolls are featured as historical girls.  They have a girl from 1774, another from 1904, another from 1944, etc.  About maybe 12 dolls in all...  I didn't count.  The Tag Line on the first page of the catalog reads, "What was it like to grow up in her day?"  So, I read that line, turn the page, and LOW and behold- the doll I'm looking at is from the year 1974.

What?  What was it like to grow up in her day?  Like it's a big mystery or something.  I'm sorry, but a girl can just call her aunt or ask her mother if she wants to know what it was like to grow up in the 70's.  I mean, I get the tag line on the girl from 1864.  You can't really just ask, and most history books aren't going to be geared toward the 8-10 year old girl.  But come on, 1974? 

Holy snap.  I'm showing my age again, aren't I?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Searching near and near

So, today I did a search to find a phone number of the Starbucks that is nearest my house.  There are 12 Starbucks within 5 miles of my home.  The first 5 are less than a mile away. 

People around the world are starving and unable to buy food, some as close as the city of Richmond, and I don't even have to go a mile to buy a $4 cup of coffee FIVE times over.  That is appalling to me.  Absolutely absurd.  Really.  Sick.  It's just sick.  Now, don't get me wrong.  The 'sickness' of it didn't stop me from hauling my a** over there to get my free cup of coffee today.  What can I say?  I'm shallow like that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just when you're about to give up

So, there's a few realities that have come to me lately.  The first is that I'm cheating on my blog with Facebook.  Yea.  Sorry about that.  I just don't have time to be addicted to blogger and facebook.  I guess I need rehab or something.  Here's the week in short, in no order, just things I thought of now.

So, just when I was about to give up on my son, he looks at me today and says, "Mom, you're a pretty good cook."

Um.  Thanks?

Followed by, "this is the best dinner ever.  Can we have this next Sunday?  And the Sunday after?"

Isn't that sweet?  Instead of just saying Ok, I decided to be honest.  "Well G, I don't think I can make this every week."

"Thats OK.  You can just get Pizza.  This is almost as good as that."  I should have quit when I was ahead.

Oh.  OK.  For just a moment there, I was having a moment.  My life was full.  My child appreciated my cooking and things were good.  And, then, my herb crusted pork loin roast was ranked along side of Papa Johns Pizza.  I'm not sure if that's a compliment, or a dis.

AND- Thirty minutes later H gives me bad news.  He's sick.  Which is bad, because what he's dealing with will either be gone by tomorrow, or we're off to St Mary's to spend the day in the ER on Tuesday.  I told him that was fine, but that he had to vote before I would take him to the ER if he felt we had to go.  

OH, and one more thing of note- SDD came trick or treating with us on Friday.  HOLY SNAP.  Damn- he's still f'n hot.  I swear, I nearly swooned.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

ack! ... ~gasp~

Air!  I need air!  Someone quick, pass me my oxogen tank...  ~gasp~

Sorry, I just... feel insane today or something.  Sick kid 2.0 (or is the is 3.0, wasn't B just sick.. yea so this makes 3).  My house is a mess, I have another paper to write on Lear - I did two yesterday and couldn't make myself stay up any later to write another quality paper...  in fact, one I did was NOT quality.  That's a *shame rally.  

*here's freudian, I almost wrote 'sham'.  

Dinner is not planned at all....  Tomorrow is Halloween and I'd like to have a nice fun day... which includes carving pumpkins as soon as the kids get off the bus because we haven't done a single one and we have FIVE to carve!  I love carving pumpkins normally, but this year I just haven't done anything with it.  arg!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The new Man in my life... Rory

Oh, Rory.  I love him.  He's sleek, black and sexy, and he makes the cutest little sound when he starts his day.  What more could a woman want in her iRobot?

I don't have time to post- I'm mad busy today reading F'ing King Lear (I LOVE LIT class, does it show?) and trying to cook and clean up the house a bit b/c it looks crazy, keep one eye on B and fit in my daily stuff.  Yea, so I just wanted to tell you all that Rory (our iRobot) is awesome!  Even H is coming around.  It vacuums and THEN it puts itself away!  If only there were more things in my life that did that... (put themselves away AND vacuum).  Everyone needs one of these.


Friday, October 24, 2008

I have arrived...

Remember in Highlights Magazine, when we were all in about the 2nd or 3rd grade, and it said, "By the year 1998 most American Households will have a robot helping them clean."  Followed the next month by, "Scientists believe that in 2004 space travel could be open to the public."???  (i'm really dating myself here, huh?)

Well, today I bought my first iRobot.  I haven't decided what to name him yet, but I now have a little robot who vacuums on a schedule, and is "smart" enough not to fall down stairs.  H is skeptical and thinks I just spent $340 for a top of the line cat toy.  Only time will tell...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Normal Day

5:07am- my first alarm goes off, H gets her and puts her in bed with us.  This is not normal, but she's bloodied and bruised and I think she just bumped her nose on her sheets b/c she went right to sleep on my arm.
5:45am- G's fever is so high that he arrives in our room hallucinating about ticks all over his body.  We get him calmed down and back in bed.
6:20am - my alarm goes off.
6:25am- C's alarm goes off.
6:26am- snooze goes off.
6:45am- H rolls out of bed when he realizes that I am pinned neatly beneath B and have not chosen to dislodge her.  He's beginning to realize that he has to get C off to school.  I cannot.  Rule #1 from Friends- Never wake a sleeping Baby.
7:14am- the bus driving down our street wakes B.  (keep in mind she's slept through G, 3 alarms, 2 snoozes and a conversation w/ H about what to give C for lunch... but a bus in the street wakes her up.)
7:55am- Daily call to/from Ann, arrange walk time.  (walk is set for 10am)
8:00am-9:00am- coffee, breakfast, check blogs, change bandages, dispense motrin, check online bill pay, look at weather, 1 small tantrum over the merits of yogurt versus pudding for breakfast.
9:00 - 10:00am - laundry, change sheets where needed, straighten bathroom, check Fly Lady and see if there's anything on the daily list that I can accomplish- low and behold, there is, so I do it.  Dress 3 people & 2 dogs for a walk.  1 small tantrum over the benefits of wearing a jacket.
10:01am - undress the limping dog and apologize to her as I lock her in her crate.
10:02am - try to leave for the walk.
10:03am- return to house, again, give broken dog a cookie and get a package of saltines for sick child.
10:04am- return to house for 1 more blanket for sick child.
10:05am- 10:45am - walk Dog 1 and 2 kids.  Damn, the stroller is heavy.
11am- write a list for Costco and pick up the keys.
11:30am- finally depart for Costco after changing diaper, moving laundry and digging up costco card.
12:50pm - return from Costco, walk in the door to remember the ONE thing that wasn't on the list that we needed.
1:00pm- put B down for a nap and start a movie for G.
1:01pm- sit down to take a short break to read more of Twelfth Night and organize paper #15 (seriously, paper #15 is not an exaggeration, & we're 8 weeks into the semester).
1:05pm- break is over... H is on his way home to "work from home".  Carp.  I need to at least clean up the breakfast dishes...
1:10 - 2:20 - clean up, watch a few minutes of movie, check e-mail, reply to e-mail, find a new blog... uh oh, like I needed another new blog to follow.
2:20pm - bus is here
2:25pm - 5:00pm - wash hands, start on homework, have snack, get the B up from her nap, reapply bandages, check fever, dispense medication, H arrives around 3:30, take B and C out to play for 20 minutes, 1 small tantrum over gum.
5:20pm - dinner (chicken, salad, wheat rolls if anyone wondered what a normal meal is like around here...).  1 small tantrum over the need to have dinner on the table instantly... as if I also didn't wish I could just wave a wand.
6:00pm - clean up, wash the baby, review anything I need to review for class.
7 - 9pm - KARATE
9:30pm, arrive home, dessert, water, write 1st paper on Twelfth Night, outline 2nd paper and check e-mail... 

Before bed I like to reflect on the day.  Today my reflection was how "normal" it almost was.  No, it's not normal.  I didn't work today, so there was at least one person missing from my day.  I was supposed to have 2 extra babies and no sick kid today, but it is what it is in that regard.  It's not like you can will your child's fever to drop 4 degrees.  Wouldn't that be a trick...   "And now... you will be well... because I willed it so."  He's not going to school tomorrow either.  And, since I'm being honest with myself, he's not going on Friday either.  Tonight he was violently shivering and sweating when I left for class, balled up on the couch under 2 blankets.  Poor kid.  But you know what... I wished for a day where I didn't call the Dr., or the Dentist... and I didn't have to do either.  I wished for a 'normal' day with minimal tears, and I got that too.  Other than the "Covered in Tick" episode at 5:45, today was relatively "not strange".

Oh wait- how cute.  B is talking in her sleep in the monitor right now... OMG- she's asking for gum!!!  Figures.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

dull is sometimes good

And I started today with such high hopes for an average dull normal day.  I did.  I was lying in bed, toasty and warm.  My H got up when his alarm went off (which never happens) and the kids also were stirring down the hall.  C arrived in our room dressed for the day, checked in and headed down to breakfast, and G arrived dressed as well... with a raging fever.  I could feel the heat radiating off him before my hand even made contact.  So here's what an amazing mother I am... (not really)...  H says, "if his fever is over 100, are you going to give him something?", to which I replied, "I can already tell you his fever is about 102, and yes.  Let me go check it with the thermometer first."  102*.  Damn.  I'm that good.

So, I give him his Motrin, set him up in my bed with a movie, a bottle of water and instructions to drink it all, and come downstairs to babysit all day.  I woke up with the urge to clean.  (WHICH NEVER HAPPENS) so I cleaned out the primary junk drawer (sadly we have more than 1) and started working around the kitchen.  Then around 9:30 the weather was finally warm enough to take the girls outside.  

Still in the mood to clean, I raked the backyard (all 12 sq. feet) and bagged the leaves.  Then I picked up the phone, which was on the deck, to call the pediatrician about G.  It's now almost 11:30.  Everyone's having a fun time playing together.  I'm watching B walk through the doorway from the garage to the backyard.  There's a small step, maybe 6 inches down to the walkway from the door to the deck steps... she's negotiated this step about 687 times in the past 3 months... and at this moment, the day which had been going so well, completely unwound.

B's shoes got "tangled" up on themselves... that is to say, her left foot got hung up behind her right foot.  She was holding a toy (as babies do) and she didn't drop it to catch herself as she fell that 6 inch drop onto the pavement... and landed on her face, mouth first.

As a scream erupted through her parted lips, blood exploded from her mouth.  It was instantly covering her, the sidewalk, me as I rushed her inside to throw an cold wet paper towel against it so I could inspect the damage.  Oh *($)!  Her front tooth is chipped and her mouth is a bloody mess.  I couldn't even see anything for more than 2 or 3 seconds between swipes with the cloth.  I picked up the phone, that i had discarded on the deck, and tried to dial my Pediatrician.  No dial tone.  As in.... Verizon wasn't sending a dial tone to my house.... as in...  no phone service.  I was moving a little slow.  Mentally that is.... in the meantime the world was moving at high speed.  I grabbed my cell and called my Pediatrician, who said hang up and call the dentist "and THEN call us back".  So I called the dentist's "tooth hotline" who patched me right through to "a knowledgeable tech" who talked me down and transfered me back to reception to make an apt for later...  all while B is FREAKING OUT at the top of her lungs.  She wouldn't allow me to put ice on it, so she crawled (blood trail, I'm not kidding) into the bathroom and hid "behind" the pedestal sink.  

Eventually, an hour later I was sitting on my couch, with sleeping B sitting on my lap with an ice pack resting against her mouth.  Barely touching it really.  The phone rings.  My Pediatric dentist office calling me back to remind me to check to see if B's on the policy.  Well F*&*(!  No, I didn't even think of that.  No that is not what I said.  Instead I think I mumbled something about thanks for thinking of that because I sure wasn't.  So I called the insurance company.  She's not on the policy.  Open enrollment starts on Monday.  The 27th.  We can add her after the 27th.  OH.  Um.  OK.  I guess that's why we have a flexible spending account.

Her tooth is "OK".  It might or might not fall out later.  Depends on how deep the trauma goes.

  // I can tell you how deep the trauma goes.  It's definitely a 2 glass of wine plus optional therapy from a trained counselor "trauma".  Oh, nerve trauma... right. // 

OK, so then he tells me the mouth isn't that bad, her gums are in "good shape" for the amount of face trauma he sees.  The worst of it came out of the nose.  The nose will take a few weeks to heal, but the Dentist thinks the mouth will be healed by next Monday or so.

And, it turned out only to cost $55.  (Mentally I was bracing for $200.  Now, do any of you have pets?  If this had happened to a dog, don't you bet a $200 bill would have come out of that vets office?  I'm just suspicious now about vets... that's all.  I didn't mean to get off track again.)

H is at the Pediatricians office right now.  Hopefully they'll be arriving home shortly with good news.  I just want to feed & bathe the kids, put them all to bed, and go to bed.  When I wake up tomorrow I want to have a nice normal day.  Did you hear that God?  Normal.  NORMAL.  No dr's, no dentists, no emergency hotline calls, no insurance company calls... nothing.  Dull even.  Yes. Dull.  That's the goal.

"And by next Monday we'll all be sick..."

An actual quote.  I said it, on Thursday when it was almost 90*, and then the temperature plummeted and the boys went camping and what... what was I thinking when I flipped that comment off the tip of my tongue?  Because today Gregory has a fever of 102*.  Poor kid is just miserable.... and all because I couldn't keep my comments to myself (germs have nothing on the power of a mother who jinx's her kid).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rinse and Repeat

This post has nothing to do with shampoo.  Or conditioner.  But you know how the side of the bottle of shampoo gives a set of instructions and it never fails that it says, "rinse and repeat"? Yea, I always wondered if they meant "repeat RIGHT NOW if your hair isn't perfectly clean" or if they meant, "And tomorrow you should repeat because you hair will be dirty again."  Yea, these are the deep thoughts that haunt me day in and day out.

Rinse and Repeat.  Well, that's how my run today went.  I did it.  Technically it's done.  Now, I need to repeat.  

At the end of 11.9 miles I was so drained that I couldn't put one foot in front of the next.  I felt sick and washed out.  After the run I got back to my car and started to shiver.  By the time I got home I was almost in a state of shock and couldn't stop shaking.  Thank God it was time for B to have a nap, because I picked her up from her sitter, fed her lunch and put her down.  I took a hot shower and got in bed for an hour.  I could not move.  My body ached.  Like the flu.  Not "my leg muscles are sore", but "I am one giant weak sore muscle".  It was pitiful.  As a good friend of mine said a few weeks ago, I needed someone to say, "Poor poor g.".

This is so crazy, because at the end of 10.5 last week I felt champion.  Like I could have run... no, OK, maybe not "...could have run 5 more miles", but definitely I felt good enough to have run another mile w/o breaking down or anything.  Today I think I could have broken down if I had tried to go any further.  And even after my shower I felt washed out.  Not in a good way either.

Next week I'm going to repeat 12.  I have to.  HAVE TO.  Because I need to know mentally that I can accomplish 12 so I know that I can ROCK on 13.1m.  

Now, to my running partner.  You know those people who are lovely no matter the circumstances?  And they're never frazzled?  They always look beautiful?  Well CM is that way.  Today she ran 20.4 miles and at the end she looked as cool and lovely as ever... Sure, she looked tired, who wouldn't?  But lovely nonetheless.  So my mental image was that I looked OK.  I figured if she looked like that, I must look like that too.  Yea, so I got in my car, glanced in the rear view mirror.... and noticed that I had SALT ALL OVER MY FACE!!!  My eyes and mouth were rimmed in it.  I looked like a margarita.  And not in a drinkable way.  No wonder I felt so blah.  There was NO salt left in my body.  I guess all H needed was a shot of tequila and a lime, except that he's Not Home.  

He's Camping IN A TENT with the Cub Scouts.  I'll be thinking of him all night while I'm snuggled up in my toasty bed with Desi & Heidi (aka. Cujo and Fang).  More on that later I'm sure....  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

AND I know funny- I'm a clown fish!!!

I am as neurotic as a stand up comedian, only I'm not famous or rich.

This is crazy, but I'm obsessing on a new thing.  A few weeks ago I was told I was "funny".  It happens that sometimes I make observations, usually just off the cuff, that make people laugh.  Sometimes, when I'm "on", I know I'm "on" and I push all the buttons and get people crying laughing.  Usually at my expense, but that is generally pretty funny in itself.  So, back to my point.  "g., you're funny."  Pretty much, that was the statement.

Here's the obsession.  Whenever I'm around the people who were around when the "you're funny" statement was made, I am self-conscious about being funny.  Nothing is more un-funny than a person being worried about being funny.  I'm sorry, it's true.  So, now I'm this un-funny person around people who expect funny.  ARG!  I can't stand it.

This is truly how stand up comedians get as crazy as they get.  Ever met a stand up comedian who wasn't in (or didn't NEED) rehab?  No, and I'll tell you why...  This is serious stuff, even for me and I'm not a professional.  *so many things just came to mind there...  

Now I'm going to have to just wait for this awkwardness to pass over the next few days... weeks... months while my funny returns.  I guess I'll have to spend these days (weeks, etc) being a good listener so no one notices...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now that's blog worthy, and I didn't even have to strip

Tonight this is the conversation at our dinner table:

G, "What are we having?"

g., "Meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, and corn" (followed by a chorus of "Mmms")

C, "But Daddy doesn't eat corn".

H, "It's OK, Mommy made me green beans."

C, "Can I share your green beans?"

H, "Yes...."

G, "Daddy?  May I share your green beans too?"

H, "Yes..."

At which point H & I look at each other across the table.  Our children are eating potatoes, corn, green beans and meatloaf with happiness and joy, and the only moment of controversy was when they thought there wouldn't be enough second vegetables to go around.  ~sniff~  You make me proud kids....

H looks at me and says, "Now THAT is blog worthy."  So this post is on behalf of H, who wanted to brag to the world that his kids were fighting over steamed green beans, which were served w/o salt or butter.  

A rainy Hatteras Weekend

10 years of experience should have taught me what I need to know about vacationing with H on the OBX.  He says he loves it down there, but I've actually concluded that he's a big fat liar and that he hates it down there.  Sorry H, but I'm starting to catch on.  

On Wednesday of last week we cancelled our OBX trip.  It was still cancelled on Thursday morning when I took a nice 6 mile run with R.  And then, I went to the grocery store and bought ingredients for dinner on Thursday.  This whole time B had been running around like a maniac and driving us all nuts.  When she woke up from her nap, H went up and got her, and she was still wild child and I said, "WHY?  Why have we cancelled our weekend away?  She's obviously fine, let's just go!"  So H had some reservations... why don't we wait until tomorrow, or Saturday.  Uhg, I argued.  It's a 5 hour drive to our house (which is down on Hatteras Island in Buxton), so if we go, I like to have an extra day dedicated to travel.  You know?  It's a lot of travel time to drive down and turn around and drive back the next day.  Not impossible, but still, just a lot of travel.  Still, H was right.  We should have waited...

We decided to go on late Thursday afternoon.  Three hours into our drive we stopped at Sonic for dinner.  And B was starving, so I handed her some saltines and her cup of water.... and we hit the road... and about 3 minutes later I heard the unmistakeable sound of a toddler throwing up everything in her stomach, which unfortunately, turned out to be a LOT of water and 2 Saltines.  Yea.  So, the choice is- turn around and drive the 3 hours home?  Or, muscle through and go to Hatteras.  We decided to go on.  That way we'd have a bed, some rest, and if we needed to leave, we could sleep and then leave in the morning.  Ok.  Bad choice number 1 was going to the OBX.  Bad choice number 2 was not monitoring the amount of water B drank.  Bad choice #3 was NOT turning around.  It started to rain as we arrived onto Pea Island.

It poured rain from Thursday night until Sunday morning.  And, except for a 2 hour break while I ran 10 miles, it was consistently raining.  The forecast kept suggesting that it was clearing up or already sunny.  It was.  In Nags Head.  But we weren't in Nags Head.  We were in Buxton.  Anyway, it was a disaster.  The house doesn't have cable yet- it's brand spanking new, so there's no TV.  We spent 2 days in a non-childproofed house w/ no TV and lived to tell the tale.  Anyway, it wasn't the end of the world.  On sunday when we woke up it was beautiful.  I rolled over, looked at H and said, "get up, get dressed, grab the kids and get in the JEEP, we're hitting the Orange Blossom (bakery) and driving out to the beach for breakfast."  He agreed and we hit it.  We sat in the sunshine, drinking coffee while the kids ran and played.  It was beautiful, and we had the whole beach to ourselves (gee I wonder why?).  On a whim I baited a pompeno rig for G with two sand fleas and cast out to the bar.  As I walked away from him he starts screaming that he caught a fish.  I said, "Honestly, G.  You have a weight on the end of the line.  People just don't catch fish on their first cast."  Only guess what?  He had and it was about 14 inch long puppy drum!  We threw it back though, because I didn't know the rules and I'm not going to chance a $500 fine on a 14 inch fish.  A 31 inch fish, maybe...

By the end of the drive home we concluded that we never should have gone.  We could have hung out at our own home this weekend, getting odds and ends done, gone to the ZOO, whatever... it would have been better than pouring rain for 2 days straight in a house w/o TV.

ONE good thing that came out of this- w/o a TV it's hard to think about politics and the economy.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weekend Blues

C's spiked a fever.  B's still throwing up as of 4pm this afternoon.  Our weekend plans to go to the OBX and relax, fish, sunbathe.... have been scrapped.  I can't tell you how disappointed I am.  It's just a crushing blow.  I've been looking forward to this weekend for two months.

Oh well.  That's what I get for making plans to do something fun.

On the up side- I can run with the girls this weekend.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

oh. my. what now?

Um.  So I don't have a lot of time to blog today...  given that B just threw up all over my copy of Paradise Lost...  it was in a safe zone, but, with baby vomit, you just never know how far it will travel... there's probably some kind of quantum physics law that applies...

So, I've cleaned the baby, the table, the floor, the wall, the chair, and the book.

What now?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The difference between men & women

This week I overheard a conversation between my husband and son, and chuckled to myself about the inherent differences between mothers and fathers.  When a woman speaks to her daughter about "the most important thing to remember" the conversation could go a lot like this:

"The Most Important Thing To Remember in Life is..."
...to sift the flour after you measure it, or the recipe won't turn out right.
...to compromise to reach a solution, without compromising yourself.
...to experiment with different flavors when you're cooking so you know what you like.
...to play hard, but to remember that winning isn't always everything, sometimes the fun is in the playing.
...to forgive the people around you because they're not perfect and neither are you.

This week, I overheard this statement from my husband to my son:
"G, The most important thing to remember in life... is that it's not how many games the Red Sox win during the season, as long as they win enough to make it to the Post Season."

The most important thing?  I was hoping for, "Stay in school", "Don't do drugs", "Put your socks in the laundry"... but no...  instead, the most important thing is to remember that the Soxs have made the playoffs.  Gotta love it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's an illusion- just so you know

Last night I went to MNO with a MOMS group I'm in...  The shaky economy is really helping my MNO attendance.  really.  Yea, just when I have the least amount of money to spend (H works for Wachovia Bank) I need MNO the most.  

So, given the events of yesterday, I'm starting to feel suspicious about how bad I must normally look on a "work night".  Usually I will show up someplace without a shower, in jeans, a T-shirt and some minimal makeup.  However, last night, I showered, changed, and wore my "bitch shoes".  So... compared to my normal "look" I think I must have looked nice.  No, not bragging about how I look, that sounds weird.  It just... well, the response I got when I walked into The Barrel Thief* was over the top (*if you live in Richmond VA you really need to go check this place out).  I felt like my friends greeted me like a rock star.  Seriously, it was crazy!  And when we had finally settled down they were all staring at me, and one of them blurts out, "How do you do it?".  Um, do what?  "Really, how do you watch after 3 children, babysit for E, go to school, train for a half marathon, and LOOK LIKE THIS!?"  

A MOMENT OF PANIC... look like what?  IS there throw up on the back of my shirt?  Do I have something in my teeth?  Did one of my children do something to me with a crayon?  Am I wearing matching shoes?  Do I have a hole in my shirt?  What do I look like???... OH, wait, you meant that as a compliment.  Ok.  So, how do I do it?

Gee you know.  That is a really good question, how DO I do it?

Naturally, I said something witty and funny about mommy hood (it's my blog after all & my reality, of course I'm going to say that), and the conversation moved on from there.  But later, I thought about it and realized a few truths.

How do I do it?  

Well.  I don't.

The first thing that came to me is that I think the TRAINING is the ANSWER, not the question.  It allows me to blow off stress, have alone time, and to test myself in ways I never thought possible.

The next reality that occurred to me, in my moment of clarity, is that it's an illusion.  I don't have it all together.  Most of the time I feel out of control, like I am just scratching at the surface of "togetherness"... take today for example...  after SS...  

And finally, I think it helps to have a really good fan club.  Surround yourself with people who worship you (ha ha -or at least boost your ego), encourage you and promote your well being & emotional health, and you too can "look like this".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Well M...

I have it on good authority that I have been officially labeled as a MILF in our PTA by a bunch of Dads (one of whom is apparently not discrete)...  now... how to get that on a shirt...

run like a mother... i run to keep my milf status

You think it's tacky, don't you?  Yea... OH alright.  I won't get it.  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

~sniff~ I miss my girls

~sniff~

I ran today for the first time in a long time without my girls.  Actually, it's only been a few weeks, but it FELT like a longtime.  And it was the first long run alone in Richmond.  Usually when I'm doing "long run" alone it's because I'm in MA, NC or BerMUDA.  (sorry, had to throw that one in).  I'm not a fan of the long run to begin with, and then you add in that I'm running in my own city but w/o my own fan club.  Instead, I tried to "merge" with another club.  OK, that was a BIG mistake.  HUGE.  Really big.  Giant.  

This "running group" of my neighborhood meets every Saturday at 7am.  So, for one thing, that's a little late.  Seriously, if you're running 10 miles and you don't start till 7, it's friggin hot by the time you're done.  OK, next point of contention is that they made this big to do about how they never leave anyone behind and that there are plenty of novice runners who run slow...  Slow is NOT a 9:20 pace.  The definition of slow is probably relative though....  anyway, within 20 feet of the beginning of the run I realized that it was going to be ugly.  I slowed way down and let them all go.  By 1 mile I was running pretty much alone but they were still within earshot, and by 3 miles into the run I couldn't even make out the people I was running "with".  So, at that point I realized that I was actually running alone.

How sad.  Woe is me.  How... peaceful.  Yes, I missed my girls.  I wished for some conversation about... NC, meeting husbands, Europe, Baltimore, Economic Crisis...  but in the end I just sort of ran in my mind and let my mind wander.  I contemplated many things...  ranging from Economic Crisis to SDD to the TV show to which I'm now addicted... to running "alone" with 20,000 people on race day.

Either way, next week if my peeps are off doing "Stuff" and I can't run with them, I will just choose to run alone rather than try to do the neighborhood runner thing.  

Friday, September 26, 2008

HBOaholism

Well Carp.  I went the entire summer w/o TV.  That's right, I did.  I pretty much weaned myself off of House, Bones, Grey's, and ANTM, as well as BRAVO (yes, the entire channel)... and today I'm sad to report, I've fallen off the wagon.  Last night on what was supposed to be a 15 minute break from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight I turned on the TV.  It was set on HBO, and the opening credits for True Blood's first episode were playing... so THREE HOURS later, I'm completely hooked, I've now watched 3 episodes in a row, I'm sitting on the edge of my bed...  Sir Gawain is lying abandoned on the floor, completely forgotten in my trance.  That show is Sexy, Brilliant, Thought Provoking and did I mention SEXY???  Holy CARP.  I'm totally hooked.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

sticky

I'm sorry, but no one prepared me for the stickiness of motherhood.  Seriously, we have sticky fruit juice from a pear for breakfast resulting in sticky fingers, a sticky high chair, sticky baby hair and even sticky baby shampoo.  Not to mention sticky diaper goo that goes on after the bath on the clean baby.  Add that to the sticky neon blue sparkly toothpaste that's cementing in my bathroom sink as I type this, the sticky bubble goo that clings to your fingers after digging the little bubble wand out of the Bubble bottle...  And don't forget the way play-do molds to the grooves in a pair of tennis shoes, or the slime that lingers on the bottom of the liquid soap dispenser.  Yes, motherhood is definitely sticky.

My house will never be clean, will it?

Monday, September 22, 2008

My new profession... stripper.

I've decided I need to become a stripper.  Really.  It's either that or buy all new clothes & I can't afford it.  I am beginning to think exercise is too expensive of a hobby for me.  It's crazy.  It's never been a problem before because I've worked out with no success before....  Wait a minute.  This is R's fault.  R needs to have some kind of warning on her Stroller Strides liability form...  "SS will not be held responsible for your credit card debt due to weight loss and the resulting wardrobe updates required".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday G

Happy 6th Birthday G.  Holy smokes, I'm as exhausted as I was the day I gave birth!  Why?  Was it staying up past midnight last night frosting TIE fighter cupcakes & cleaning up from that adventure?  Was it the getting home from my run so I could immediately start running around to the grocery store & the party store?  Was it the dressing in the boobalicious costume?  (which wasn't as bad as I feared)  Was it the 12 balloons, 10 boys, 2 girls for 1.5 hours?  Could be all of the above...

I'm so tired I can't even think of anything clever to say.  Wow.  So here's a few photos instead.  If anyone wants the Tie fighter cup cake "run down", I have a few suggestions for how NOT to do it, but just post a comment and I'll get them to you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Things you NEVER want to hear...

I'm baking this morning.  I'm making the Death Star cake and the "base", which is just an 11X14 sheet.  The 11X14 sheet is cooling on the table while the bowl is finishing up and suddenly I hear B say...  "uuuummmmmmmm".  I turn around and she has eaten a HUGE bite out of the cake with her play spoon.  This is no good.  No good at all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On making TIE fighter cup cakes from scratch...

"This is either madness... or brilliance."  ("it's amazing how often those two traits coincide.")

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Got Running?

Oh yea, I remember now.  I had forgotten why I was so keen on running.  Seriously (to quote my favorite T).  Seriously, I had not had a really decent workout since finishing the 1/2.  For a minute I even considered quitting running (but I'm not really a quitter).  I was honestly starting to question why this was my "new sport".  I mean, it's not like the gods haven't been trying to show me that this ISN'T my sport... Need proof?
1) Broken FOOT
2) Stomach flu the week before the Half.
3) More humid than Africa on the day of the Rock N Roll Half
4) Not to MENTION the TROPICAL STORM for the AA5K.  

Yes, those do look like acts of God (or Goddess) to me.  Oh, and don't forget that I'm slower than, well, pretty much everyone else in the free world.  

So, I was starting to question my dedication to this sport, until TODAY.  I had one of those runs, where you start out at the 10:20 pace (fast for me) and run for a while... and never stop for the whole 4 miles!!!  I never stopped running except to sip for about 10 steps.  I averaged a 10:40 pace.  Whew- I feel validated! 

Got running?

Monday, September 15, 2008

May the Force be with us...

Now that the whole nipisode is behind me, and we've established that the baby is bipolar, I thought I should offer you all further proof of my neurosis in the form of planning a child's birthday party.  The first one is that I'm venturing into a new world of birthday parties by planning a COSTUME party for G.  We're all dressing as characters from Star Wars.  

I would like to make an aside here to prove that my son is probably straight...  He picked a costume for me that looks like, well, let's just say G's going to a boob guy.  So, Asajj Ventress costume here I come... combat boots and a red light saber... and low cut form fitting velvet dress...  Boyo I hope it's not hot on Party Day!  I could melt.  

OK, so Costume party for boys.  When you do a costume party for girls, they all come dressed as princesses, and you paint their nails, faces and have tea parties and such.  No danger of things getting too messy and ruining any costumes, unless you consider apple juice "tea" a real danger.  So, back to the boy thing....  crafts all sound messy and I'd be sad if anyone's costume got ruined.  Games all sound wild and I don't want anyone to get hurt.  I am not working with kids who are at an age of Star Wars Trivia (6 & 7 year olds).  Currently the only thing I have going is a pinata.  But, the real proof of my neurosis is in the cake...  

I am angst ridden over making a cake versus buying a cake.  For one thing, home made cakes by G are SO much cheaper than store bought cakes.  And cooler, if you're into the 3-D Thomas the Train thing, or hand carved Blues Clues cakes, or a Sorting Hat cake...  to bad we're not working with Harry Potter, Thomas or Blue... we're looking at R2D2 or TIE fighters or something.  Something that's going to take all week.  Something I don't have time for.... something, that I will end up staying up until 2am the night before working on.... why?  So small children can eat the frosting so fast that no one notices that they're eating a piece of art.  It's not like 6 year old boys appreciate that sort of thing!  But I have to make the cake so I can one-up every other mother coming...  

Trust me.  We're having a lame at home party with no moon bounce.  The cake is all I have going...  well, that and the boobs stuffed into the costume, and we already know that that's a REAL danger w/ b around.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Green day

I would like to share with you all that this morning, at 5:25 when B woke up and started yelling, "I awake!  MomEeeeeeeee, I awake", I had a revelation on my life.  It could really be summed up into an excerpt from one of my favorite books.  It's a book I re-read with frequency, and each time I find it speaks to me on a different level.  By now, when I read it I look deeply at the words, savor each truth, and realize that my entire life is dependent on the same variables in this book as it applies to myself and children...  So, here is the excerpt, I'll have a few discussion questions at the end to further enhance your understanding of this book.

"Some days are yellow, some are blue, on different days I'm different too.  You'd be surprised how many ways I change on different colored days.  On bright red days, how good it feels, to be a horse and KICK my heels!  On other days, I'm other things.  On Bright Blue days I flap my wings.  Some days of course feel sort of brown, then I feel slow and low, low down.   Then comes a yellow day and wheeeeeeeee, I'm a busy buzzy bee...  Then all of a sudden, I'm a Circus Seal!  On my orange days, that's how I feel.  Green days.  Deep deep in the sea.  Cool and quiet fish.  That's me.... ...  Then come my black days.  Mad and Loud, I howl.  I growl at every cloud...."  My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss

So... here's the thing.  What is the difference between a red day and an orange day?  Or, an orange day and a yellow day?  And, why is it that my B seems to constantly ride a fine line between Yellow and Black?  She has yellow/black swings every 12 minutes.  I'm really NOT exaggerating.  I mean, seriously, why can't I have a Green Child?  A quiet green day child who sleeps PAST 5:45 AM???  

Friday, September 12, 2008

It could happen to any one of us...

Oh yes.  We've all had those moments where our children embarrass us.  Sure, there's nothing quite like a temper tantrum, in a grocery store, in front of... your priest... or in front of Alpha Mom...  But, my uber-embarrassing moment wasn't that benign.  No.  I'm sitting here right now wishing for a temper tantrum actually.  In Ukrops.  Because what happened was the most embarrasing moment of my entire life... to the power of 8... multiplied by 230952...  So- let this be a warning to you ALL!!!

First off, let me set the mood...  I went bowling with friends to celebrate with C, G and B, in sort of a "we survived the second week of school" way.  H has been working 4 week nights every week and it's exhausting for me and the kids, so even though I begged him to call in sick, that stupid "work ethic" thing over ruled and he went to work after we left for Bowl America.  My neighbor Earth Mom (EM) came, and we also invited SDD and A (his 6 year old daughter whom G loves & C thinks is great, and honestly, she is so cute she makes me giggle).  So, it's family fun.  

At some point, I looked around at all the rednecks, cigarettes hanging between sticky painted lips, and thought, "Oh wow.  This is blog worthy."  And, I might have said as much to EM and SDD.  I thought, "title of the blog post... something redneck... you might be a red neck..." I was definitely working it all out in my mind.  In the meantime...

We're bowling.  We ordered pizza.  Things are going great... and then, b starts to melt down.  Now, for those of you who don't know, b is only about 22 months old, so by 6:30 pm, she should be melting down.  At this point, the bowling alley is pretty busy.  I am entertaining her, while EM bowls.  And it's almost my turn.... and suddenly, holy snap, B pulls on my top.  No big deal right?  It's not like a baby has ever exposed her moms bra before... but, crap, she got ahold of bra... and completely exposed my ~nip~  to Bowl America.  My life flashed before my eyes.  I'm not ready to be a mom... I'm not mature enough for this...  my nip was exposed for probably 1/2 a second.  OK, so that doesn't sound like a long time- IT IS AN ETERNITY.  I could die.  I am dying.  I....  "Well, that's blog worthy" says SDD who was reaching for b at the moment that the entire thing happened, and now we're both laughing so hard neither of us can breathe.  Or, at least I think he's laughing.  I know I'm ready to climb under a table... chair... rock... bowling ball... SOMETHING because at that moment I have perma grin, my eyes are tearing up... I can't see.....

It's just a Mom moment.  It could happen to any of us, any where, at any time.  Still, I'm on alert now, b's not going to get a chance to do that twice.  I think I'm going to need to get some turtlenecks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

exhaustion comes swiftly

so tired today i can't stand it.  i hate morte d'arthur.  sorry, it's true.  i'm not an english major.  obviously.  anyway, it's not my favorite.  maybe if i had more time to read it, to savor the language, to do anything academic... but no, i'm drawn in 200 directions today.  yesterday.  the day before.  and tomorrow- more of the same.  i need a break.  i need a day off from mommyhood.  alas.  i can't have one.  none of us can.  its the one thing no one tells you when you're pregnant.  i'm sure they omit this from every baby book because they don't want to discourage people.

i'm going to bed as soon as my kids are in bed, the lunches are made, the laundry is done, the kitchen is clean, the pets are fed, & my paper is done...  i'm never going to bed, am i?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Trashy Smut

I admit, I love trashy smut novels as much as the next SAHM.  I do...  it's just, I'm now reading what I've come to realize is the mother of all smut.  Morte D'Arthur.  Holy crap.  In the 1st forty pages, we've got an affair, a child "gotten" out of wedlock, a proposition, a war over a lady, a declaration of true and faithful love, followed immediately by another extramarital affair with a SIBLING!  Anyway, it's quite a book.  A bit cluttered wyth the grete language of the 14th century, but still, far more smutty than I expected.  

So, it's off to write a paper on the lust and violence of Arthur's conception.  What better topic for a rejected smut novelist to choose?  I'll be honest, I look forward to the response on the discussion board of class by the 10 or so 19 year olds in the class....  God, I'm old.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Because 5k would have been too easy

Sometimes 1 is not enough of anything.  In my case, 1 kid was not enough.  1 college,  1 job (I often have 3 or 4 small gigs at once), etc... so, because one is not enough, I ran in my SECOND race in 7 days.  Yea, so OK, I took up running 5 months ago and up till that day had never run a single race, and now I'm up to two a week.  Ofcourse, I sort of sucked at this race.  Too bad.  T rocked though, double stroller and all, and Cookie totally kicked my a** big time.

Since I'm now a veteran runner with a whopping 3 races under my belt, I thought a challenge was in order.  First order of business, I chose to completely exhaust myself before this 5K race by running 13.1m on Sunday, walking on Tuesday, walking on Wednesday am followed by Marshal Arts on Wednesday night, Stroller Strides on Thursday w/ T, and a 32 minute run on Friday followed by a mere 2+ m walk later that morning.  Sure sure, many people might have rested on Friday before the race.  Heck-fire-and-shoot... lots of people might have taken the week off after a Half Marathon on Sunday... but not me.  I like a challenge.  But all that wasn't going to be a challenge enough.  Nope, I still needed something more.  

Instead of running a 5K on a nice breezy sunny day with 60% humidity (like my first 5K), I thought- 3.1 miles is too easy for me.  I need some kind of obstacle... oh, I know, I'll choose to run a race that's taking place in the middle of a Tropical Storm!  Brilliant!  Tropical Storm Hanna dumped about 6 gallons of water into my clothing as I was running today.  I felt 5 pounds heavier when I finished the race than when I started!!! 

I keep saying race.  I mean run.  It was not really a race for me because my legs felt like lead.  My shoes felt so heavy I could barely stretch out to take a good stride.  I never felt good the entire race.  The only reason I sprinted the finish was because R came out to sprint with me, and I still have some small amount of pride left to show off for her (sad, but true), and because I wanted to be done with the rain.  And, it was a great sprint, but, it wasn't a great time.  31:40 I think, I really need to look at my watch again.  My last 5K was faster.  But then, I hadn't run 19 miles that week, and I did this week.  I'll be honest.  At the end of todays run, I felt beaten.  I need a break or something.... or... maybe just need to sit and watch football for an afternoon. 

As I typed out my schedule, I chuckled at the stupidity of myself.  Yes.  I'm STUPID.  (not as stupid as smoking college students, but not much smarter).  "Oh woe is me, I feel sick and weak."  Gee g., I wonder the F%&*#(@ why???  You've not taken any time off to rest for the last F'n week.  Stupid, and I'll tell you why:  When asked on Thursday morning of this week how my week was going, I replied, "I'm taking the week off, I haven't worked out at all."  Yes.  That's what I said.  SO.  Tomorrow I'm TAKING THE DAY OFF FROM WORKING OUT.  (it's in all caps incase I am inclined to forget that I'm taking the day off but check my blog before I head out with running shoes on).  

Thursday, September 4, 2008

And then I took a bite of my OWN lunch...

Devil Possession is not something that people should take lightly, but should be handled within your family's comfort zone.  For example, the way I deal with possession is somewhat radical, slightly untraditional, and probably NOT a "sanctioned" procedure.... but, it seems to work for me so...

During the usual possession, there are several stages.  The first stage is recognizing the possession for what it is, and not mistaking it for "hunger" or "thirst" or even, "need of a nap".  In the second stage we try to treat the symptoms of the possession, and in the third stage we call for professional help if the possession has not been exorcized.  

Take today for example.  I've not been feeling that great since last week when I caught that little bug, and I know I compounded that feeling by RUNNING A HALF MARATHON!  (sorry, had to plug that one in).  I've been eating odd little meals, usually just whatever sounds good, and even then I don't really eat that much.  So, today I stepped away from my vegan diet and made myself a little yogurt and fruit for lunch.  I sprinkled about 1 TBL of Granola cereal on there too for a little crunch.  Total, maybe there was a cup of food in the bowl.  

So, I sat down to eat my lunch.  Don't worry about B, she'd already been offered about 10,037 foods, none of which sounded appealing to her.  Well, B arrived as soon as my spoon hit yogurt.  "Would you like a bite?"  "Us!"  (means yes in B)  I gave her a bite.  And then, I took a bite of my OWN lunch.   You would have thought a bee flew up out of the floor and stung her on the nose because at that moment B completely freaked out.  She fell to the floor, screaming and convulsing.  There were tears streaming down her face, from her nose sprung forth a river of snot that could not be quelled by a kleenex, and the words that came out of her mouth... well, they were obviously the product of the Devil.

My method of exorcising the Devil follows below.  First, immediately STOP EATING your own lunch and offer it to the possessed individual.  If that does not work, ignore the outburst.  The victim has no control over her body at this point, so don't waste any air in an attempt to communicate.  If you're lucky and the possessed person snaps back, offer the victim a bite of lunch, a graham cracker or sippy cup. Hopefully, at this point, the possessing Devil will realize that you are hard core serious and not going to be impressed by violent theatrics.  The last step, and I caution you to use this one sparingly, is to call your mother.  Yes, she will know what to do, but sadly the conversation will probably start out like this, "Well, you used to do that all the time when you were this age..."

I'll be honest.  It's been a long day and getting longer by the second.  B is pushing me to the breaking point.  Calgon, take me away, but only if I get to go without any small people yelling at me for "gum", "oogurt", or something that will remain nameless... not because I don't want to share, but because I have NO idea what she is saying when she's asking for it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

bad parenting 101

So, physical and mental exhaustion may have taken a slight toll on my parenting today....

For lunch B ate (in this order), a sample of banana smoothie from Starbucks, an oatmeal raisin cookie, and two slices of processed American cheese.  And that was it.  Now, if that's not enough to make you feel good about your parenting, I don't know what will.

Monday, September 1, 2008

13.1 miles, a boot, some gatorade and a lot of nausea

Before I start on my whole saga of "how it went", I think there are a few things I need to mention.  
The first is that running a 1/2 marathon is a little like winning an academy award.  Sure, you do all the acting on your own, but there is a support team of directors, agents, and probably an acting coach thrown in for good measure that help you win.  So, the Oscar goes to....
I would like to say a quick thank you to Rachel of Stroller Strides Richmond.  She has been a wonderful role model and source of encouragement.  After my first 5K she was the first to congratulate me and say, "See g., you can do anything!"  So, thanks, Rachel for helping me believe.  I also need to thank my "co-actresses" - EG, CM, NL, FC, and Cookie.  Thank you ladies so much for your words of wisdom and humor over the past 4 months.  You are amazing women.  And lastly, I want to say thank you to T, also of SS, who has helped me to reach higher than I ever would have imagined.  Words cannot express how much your support has meant to me.  I doubt I ever would have even tried for this if we hadn't met.  
Now, I will start the 72 page saga of running my first half...

We left Richmond in the afternoon for a quick drive to P-town to drop off our stuff at my Dad's house before heading to the Race Expo.  This was my first race larger than a few hundred runners and longer than a 5K, so I was unprepared for the scope of the entire event.  The expo was cool, but I kept looking around in awe and fear.  Every so many minutes I would tremble inside and think, "g.  You have a broken down foot.  WTF are you thinking?"  We met the rest of Team "Run Like a Mother" at the expo, took an amazing photo and headed to dinner.  
Let me make a side trip here- we are all gorgeous women.  Look at the photo and you'll agree.
At dinner I could hardly focus on the conversation.  I swear, I was so nervous that I was practically sitting in T's lap- tough considering she's already sharing that space with one other person.  I wasn't so distracted to not notice the fly in FC's drink though- that was pleasant.  From dinner we made it back to P-town- with the help of Nancy Navigator, and after the usual pre-sleep rituals of going through our goodie bags, discussing body glide and body glide, we "went to bed".  I would love to say at this point that I fell into a deep satisfying sleep from which I awoke refreshed and recharged.  I would love to- but I can't.  I can tell you that at four o'clock in the morning I was laying in the deafening silence of the house listening to the clock tick and thinking, "just go to sleep, you'll be exhausted tomorrow if you don't.  Just don't think about your foot.  Just pace yourself.  Just stick to the plan.  Just don't let yourself get sucked out too fast.  Just... go to sleep."  So, 7 hours, 2 beds, 1 deflated air mattress and a TICKING CLOCK later, we "woke up" to get ready to race.

Upon arrival at the Race, I went to UPS and checked my Boot.  That way it would be waiting for me at the finish.  I think that was the smartest thing I did all day.  Then I separated from the fast girls and went to carrol #19.  Yea, so, me and 800 other slow people hung out for a few minutes until it was time to move up.  And move up.  And move up.  And before I knew it was time to go.  As the sun really started to come up over the haze, I thought of something that I had somehow discounted during our training runs.  Its not the heat, it's the humidity!  I was pouring buckets of sweat, and I immediately thought of T's advice, "They'll throw energy gels at you, Don't take anything you haven't tried before!"  

My plan was simple.  Run for 5 minutes, walk for 1.  Rotate through 5 and 7 minute running intervals in an attempt to rest the foot.  It worked pretty well for the first several miles.  I was running 11:12 minute miles for the first 3... then around 6 miles I was at 11:53... not bad really.  But around mile 10 my foot just sort of gave up.  It wasn't a hammer explosion of pain or anything (like when I actually tore the ligament), but it was pain.  So I'm running and it's a little like this- pain, step, pain, step- and I thought, I ought to walk for a while, because if I don't I might not be running for 4-6 weeks.  I walked.  Right past the 10 and 11 mile marker.  Occasionally I might jog a few hundred feet to test out the foot, and then I would walk again.  I made tons of friends, partly because I am friendly looking, but honestly, I think its because the back of my shirt read, "Because a broken foot is NOT an excuse to quit."  

As I was walking along, my first thoughts were about how I was not succeeding in my goal, and then I remembered that 5 months and 10 pounds ago I had never really run anything more than 2 miles.  I could hear Rachel's voice in my head as I replayed a conversation about how much of this is mental.  "See g.  You can do anything."  By the time mile 12 was in view, I was determined to run.  I was also thinking I could still make it in under 3.  So, I booked it the last mile.  In fact, I ran a little too hard and had to walk for a few seconds to recover from the slightly light headed going to vomit sensation I got with about a half a mile left.  And then I figured, well heck, if I pass out after I finish, it won't affect my time- and I went for it and hammered down the boardwalk.  I made it in 2:55:21.  15:21 slower than I wanted to run BEFORE I broke my foot.  I hardly registered my time, because I was feeling a little sick at that point.  Maybe that's even a little inaccurate.  I felt terrible.  For hours.  I just couldn't eat.  I'm still not really eating.  I nibble, but- ah well.  I'm sure I'll make up for it later this week!

After the race I met up with the girls, collected my boot, walked the mile back to the car, and we hopped in to head back to our families.  I would love to tell you about how when I got home I stepped into a cool shower which was followed by nap- but it would be a lie.  Instead I had the girls drop me at Busch Gardens to meet my family for a day at the Theme Park.  I know it was crazy and irresponsible.  Lecture me later.  

Basically I've been asked 100 times today, "how was it?"  Well, it was the hardest thing I have ever done*.  It was a challenging distance, and I have no need to attempt a full marathon until I can get my half time down to near 2 hours.  I'm planning another Half in November, because the truth is, I'm not satisfied with my time.  Sure, I'm proud I finished on a damaged foot, but enough of that excuse.  It's old.  I believe I can do better than 2:55:21.  This time, I ran 13.1 miles.  Next time, I need to conquer it.
*childbirth is always excluded from that statement