Thursday, May 28, 2009

g's terrible no good very bad day

I would like to start over please.  I would like to go back to Monday when it was the last day of a busy 3 day weekend and I thought, I'm going to potty train B this week and it's going to be a nice low key week and by Friday or Saturday I'll know if I should keep going w/ the potty training or can it until after August 15th.  (when we get home from our marathon vacation).

If I could go back to Monday and talk to myself I would say, "Hey g, s'up?  So listen, about this whole plan of yours.  This isn't the week to do it.  This week is going to suck.  Why don't you just go ahead and wait until June 1 or some other random date.  Trust me on this one."  But, alas, time travel wasn't on the agenda and I didn't get the heads up.  Instead, this was how my week went.

On Monday after my run, I had had ENOUGH of the odor in my kitchen.  Enough was enough.  H had been under the house multiple times and found nothing, but I knew better than that.  I knew there was something there.  The smell had to be coming from outside.  I know b/c I have completely torn the inside of the kitchen apart.  Yea, I found a rotten board, black, dripping wet, covered with mold & crap.  ...little did i know....

So, I figured that since I would be home all day on Tuesday potty training B, I would call a friend and ask him to come out and give us an opinion.  Yea.  He came in on Tuesday, took a look in the morning, and came out with grim news.  The kind of news you don't really want an experienced contractor of 20 years to admit, but know you have to take what you get sometimes.  He didn't know, he would have to rip some boards down to find out, was that OK?

Um.  I guess it has to be OK, because the smell has to stop.

The friend of ours called in a friend of his, and yesterday, day two of potty training, they came together to look.  And, when they came up from under the house, they had grim news.  There's a water leak, and it seems bad.  This has been going on for a long time.  OK.  So what now?  We think we can fix it, but first we have to brace the deck, cut it away from the house, call in a plumber, get the pipe repaired, blah blah blah.... (I don't know exactly what he said, it was a little over the head)... I can tell you that they looked me right in the eyes and said, It's the waste pipe that's leaking.  The WASTE pipe.  Just think about it for a minute.  Wait a minute, does that mean that waste has been leaking into my walls for weeks, maybe months?  Yes ma'am.

The friend of ours came back today because he wanted to give a fair estimate when they write up the quote, and he thought he could jury rig the leak.  Only guess what?  When he ripped the rest of the boards down, he discovered that the pipe is actually cracked IN HALF.  The waste pipe to the kitchen sink is cracked in half.  This means that we can't use the sink for days except if we absolutely HAVE to (i.e.- someone forgets and turns the water on).... we may as well not have a dishwasher or garbage disposal b/c we can't use them at all... and, in short, we're back in the days where people don't have running water in the kitchen.  

I've been home all week potty training B, while men crawl around under the house and each time they come up for air they deliver more bad news, worse than yesterday's news.  No wonder I have a wicked headache.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Potty Training: Episode IV

Things that potty training is like:  

Star Wars:  Your child gives you some signs that they're ready, so you think you're on episode IV, but after a few hours of going with that, you realize that you're really in Episode I.  That and getting a kid to use the potty is like using the force.

WWII:  Just when you think you're getting one thing under control, something else happens that makes you aware of just how vulnerable the other borders are at any given moment.  And, there's a chance you'll have to drop some major bomb in order for the potty training battle to end in your favor.  Take today for example, when I casually announced that there would be no more TV for the day.  Oh, that screaming you heard?  It was B.

Baseball:  it's boring unless something is actually happening, which isn't that often.  There are definitely 3 strikes per bat, 3 outs per "inning", and right now, at the bottom of the first, things are not going in favor of either of B or the potty training.  The current count is 0 hits, 3 strikeouts, 2 fouls, and 1 error.

Monday, May 25, 2009

trapped inside

A few weeks ago I was running with some ladies who aren't my normal running group.  I was tagging along, if you will, on their 6 mile long run.  They're really fit, fast runners, and I was pleased that they had agreed not to leave me in the dust.  (questions?, go read that running blog post from last summer where I was left behind about 500 feet into the long run, this is them.)

Except, this time, I kept up just fine.  No problems.  8 months of training and I can keep up with them on their runs if they slow down a touch and I push myself a touch.  Sure, they out sprinted me in the end of the run, one of them is part Kenyan, and one of them is actually some type of Gazelle hybrid.  

As I run with them though, I realize that I am definitely Barney Rubble.  The short square side kick that says funny things for the amusement of the audience.  So, let's for a minute assume that these women are a size 2/4 and size small 6.  I say small 6 because we all know the 6's at Express are smaller than the 6's at LOFT.

One of them turns to the other and refers to an article in a magazine.  Unfortunately for me, I haven't read it so I had to struggle to follow along in the conversation, but I caught up.  It was called something along the lines of "the fat girl inside you".... and the topic was that many runners are lean in appearance, but they're not working out their other muscle groups so they're actually "fat" instead of "lean", thus, making them, in effect, fat girls trapped inside skinny bodies.  Both of these women determined that they were, in fact, "fat inside".

After a few steps I chuckled and said, "Pretty much every woman I know has a terrible body image of herself, perhaps we're all fat girls trapped inside of skinny girls.  Except that I am not the fat girl inside the skinny girl, I am the muscled girl inside the fat girl".  If I wasn't covered in a layer of fat, I would be totally buff... fat on the outside and muscled on the inside, that's me.

My tiny running mates protested, that I too was "skinny." (Yea right, so... Barney Rubble, A Gazelle, and a "part Kenyan" all walk into a bar....).  

No, I'm not I explained, I know how I look.  And I think I do.  I squeeze into my cheetah skirt, my thighs are always bulging out of my skirts, my waist is squishy, my Buddha belly is getting really out of control, and I have a strip of fat that lines my inner leg... not just my thigh.  My whole damn leg.  But the Gazelle and Kenyan are very convincing, as are some other people in my life, and I started to wonder.... am I a skinny girl with a fat body image?  Could I be thin and not know it?

...And then I saw the race photo from The Cary town 10K.  If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then this one is worth 1000 lbs.  No seriously, I look like a 250 pound 5'2 inch woman running all out in a cheetah skirt.  It's bad.  Super bad.  After looking at that photo, I will never eat again.  Seriously.  I already broke up with chocolate.  This one is bad enough that I think I need to break up with food all together.  Maybe I should join weight watchers...  Maybe I should join the LEAN program...  Maybe I need to have some self discipline so I can stop paying other people to tell me what I already know....  Maybe I should buy that photo and paste it on the fridge and pantry doors...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Halfway points & 1/3 marks

It's my "half-way mark" to 100 miles racing, birthday, and anniversary this week.  But, that's just the tip of what's going on in my life this May.  Why is May so full?  I cannot be the only person who feels that Mother's Day should be moved to a new month... like August, or October.  There are no good holidays in August, or, "Have a SPOOOKY Mother's Day!" where all the mother's travel around from house to house collecting wine, chocolate and popcorn balls from their neighbors.  I like it.  It's far better than giving me a live plant and expecting it to still be alive by the next Mother's day.

I'm half-way to 100, breaking the 50 miles racing mark on May 17th at mile 5.9 of the Cary Town 10K.  Just 50 to go.  Now that I've raced the first 50+, it's all downhill from here.  I have 1 5K, 1 Half Marathon, 1 30K, 1 marathon, and 1 10K remaining for the year.  I can do math, so I know that I'm so going to end up running more than 100 racing miles if I do that 30K.  Ever since I did that 15 K before the half marathon, I've got it in my head that I really SHOULD do a 30K before the Marathon.  It was so helpful as far as racing strategies and such.

This birthday is not even worth mentioning.  I'm not hitting any of "those" milestones that seem to be celebrated in excess, and it's just a Friday work day.  Still, I'm having a small party for myself just the same, with a few long time friends.  (if you didn't get invited, don't worry, gifts can be mailed...).  Still, while other people seem to have mid life crisis' or even quarter life crisis', I'm having a 1/3 life crisis.  Yea, I keep looking in the mirror and regressing to my teenage "OMG- I'm like totally the fattest one in my group of friends!" moments, as well as, my more adult thoughts that range to, "Holy F*()@!  I look 40.  If I look 40 now, what am I going to look like when I'm 40?  HOLY F*()@!  IDOLOOKMIDDLEAGEDAFTERALL!!!"  So, I'm short, fat, old.  So far, birthday week is a touch alarming to me.  If this is what I'm like at 33 (there, I said it), imagine what a mess I'll be at 39?  No, don't.  And don't get me started on the minivan.

The anniversary is also not a 'milestone' anniversary, though, I think it's far more important that the one that we celebrated last year.  Anyone can make it to 10 years if they put some effort into it, but I think once you pass that mark it would be easy to slack off.  Kind of like running a race, when you're at mile 3, you have 10 left to go, and it seems like an impossibly long distance and why not just quit?  So, needless to say, the 11th year has been a challenge, I'll not lie.  For those who are "younger marrieds", be gently warned, as was I that the 7th, 11th (and so they say, 16th) years are particularly challenging.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Skinny B*tch: take #2

I decided to re-read Skinny Bitch.  One of the reasons I decided to revisit that book, despite the fact that I didn't love it the first time around, is because I didn't read it completely that time.  I read a few chapters, declared that it wasn't for me, and that was that.  Now, I have read the whole thing.

It's still not for me.  But, not for the reasons I initially decided.  First off, I'm considering going vegetarian.  Not because I believe that all animals deserve the right to live and all that, but because I'm starting to think that my body doesn't like meat that much.  I mean, I LOVE to eat meat.  It's tasty.  It's easy for me to work with.  My family loves it.  We could go on here.  But, I won't bore you with the 1005 reasons meat is a family favorite.  

Nor will I gross you all out with the 4 or 5 reasons I'm starting to think my body doesn't like meat.  Let's just say that I'm suspicious that meat and I are coming to a sad end.  Definitely, "cow" products and I need to be done with each other.  The last few times I've consumed red meat or raw milk, it's been bad.

Anyway, one of the reasons I read skinny b*tch was to figure out IF the meat issue was going to totally crush my lifestyle.  The SB girls suggest giving up one thing at a time, until you've given up all meat products/milk/dairy and fish.  Once you're done with their plan you are a vegan.  I know a few vegans.  They're crazy, animal loving, tree hugging, environmentalist, liberals.

I'm crazy.  Check.
I'm an animal lover.  Check.  Wait, un-Check, I disagree with a lot of PETA principles.
I'm... mmm... not really a tree hugger, ...
But I am a fan of air to breathe, and am a proponent of walking instead of driving when possible, so I guess that makes me an environmentalist.  Check.  
Liberal.  Check.

Maybe I should consider this new vegan lifestyle as an option.  Maybe.  Or, maybe not.  I'm lazy sometimes and this sounds like a lot of work.  The jury is out.  But at the moment, I think that I'm going to have to be one of those folks who avoids red meat and milk in order to save the world... or at east to avoid, uh, other random embarrassing issues.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I need to learn to trust myself.  I choose my friends because I see quality in them, not because I think they're going to be mean to me in the long run.  So, why was I ready to believe the worst in a friend of mine?  I don't think it has anything to do with her, but more likely, something to do with me.  

Friend, I am sorry I didn't trust myself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My New Favorite Book

Last year I read, The Life of Pi and The Alchemist.  And I thought, I'll never find two books that speak to me so deeply as those two books.  The first one is advertised as a book that will make you believe in God, and the second one is a book that is advertised as a book that makes people believe in themselves.  And I read them, and I fairly well agree with those two statements.  One is a "true story" (in quotes because it can never be proven, though I was inclined to believe that it was as true as a person can remember when under intense stress) and the other is pure fiction but so brilliant.

I was nearly ready to accept that no other book would speak to me as deeply as these, but low and behold, I read the most amazing book about redemption.  True, the book was about a prostitute with remarkable beauty who works in Geneva, but, still, I really related to her.  The book is Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes.  It's beautiful, without being cliche, and it definitely talks about things that we all think about, even when we're pretending not to, and no, it will not make you believe in God, and it probably won't change your life, but it might make you try something for the sake of stepping out of your comfort zone.  Life is supposed to be an adventure, it would be a shame to miss it for the sake of being safe.  Even the bad things that happen are part of the treasure we seek.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quotes from the Other Side

So, today I thought of writing one of those "many reasons I'm thankful to be a mother" posts, and then I thought, that isn't funny.  That's the opposite of humor.  I thought, instead, I would share some of the better quotes that have been shared with me about motherhood.  From the simple, to the profound, some of these quotes have saved me from committing a fatal error (like selling a child on e-bay) or reminded me to hug my child.  

"Motherhood is not for sissies."

"Some are kissing mothers, and some are scolding mothers, but it is love, just the same."  (Pearl S Buck)

"I'm smiling because I'm your mother.  I'm laughing because there's nothing you can do about it."

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it."  (Mark Twain)

((One of my mother's favorites)) "Always be nice to your children, for they are the ones who will chose your rest home."  (Phyllis Diller)

"God could not be everywhere so he created mothers."

"A woman's wisdom is passed from one generation to the next. Today is a good day to reflect on the wisdom you've received and the wisdom you have to share with others."

Friday, May 8, 2009

This'll sting a bit...

When you get a shot, the Dr warns you, right?  It's going to hurt, and you can prepare for it.

Today, I didn't get a warning when I overheard someone I thought of as a friend, say something really unpleasant about me in a really unpleasant tone.  If it had come from someone else, I wouldn't have cared.  Seriously, everyone isn't going to be "my friend".  But to hear it from the person who said it made me really sad.  I piped up immediately, so she knew I was there, right there where I could hear her.  Not because I was too stupid to realize how truly mean it was.  Trust me, I'm not that dumb, but because it would have broken me to hear the other people she was with agree with her. 

What would I tell my daughter, C if this happened to her?  I don't know, I guess I would tell her to be forgiving.  I would probably say that everyone isn't going to be her friend so she should put her efforts into being friends with other people.  

But, it makes me sad to think about my friend, and to wonder, "how long has she felt this way?  how long has she been rolling her eyes behind my back?  how long have she and someone else been exchanging long looks with each other?" 

I'm a generally nice person.  I don't criticize other people's parenting, even if I don't agree with it, or know from experience that they'll change their mind later.  I tend to give a lot of advice because I know that people either like what they hear and use it, or don't care for the advice and ignore it.  The worst vice I have is that I like to make jokes, usually at my own expense, and I talk too much.  Ok, so that was 2 vices.  Oh, and I say stupid things when I drink too much, but that's not THAT often.

Anyway, I guess I will just lay low for a while.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lithium Vans

Yesterday was just one of those days. You know, "thoooooose" days where you think you have your sh*t together, and then something really bizarre happens that makes you step back and say, "That did NOT just happen. If I had my sh*t together, I would be able to handle that better."

I was driving to school last night, well, I mean of course I was driving- it's about 28 minutes away at 65 mph, and I was in the van. I used to drive the Saturn to class because it needed the exercise on the highway and it got 40 miles to the gallon. The Saturn was a classic college student car. You know- Old. Standard. Broken sunroof that couldn't open. Peeling clear coat. Yes, it was the perfect car for college. The radio sucked though. I have XM in my van and Sirius in H's, so it just sort of stunk to have to listen to local radio once I'd been spoiled by satellite radio. Still, since the Saturn now belongs to someone else, I did not have the option of driving it to class last night.

I had to take the van. The buff colored with beige seats, 2 car seats, 1 booster seat, enough strollers to seat 3 children and XM radio mini-van. I had it on my favorite channel- Lithium, and was SUPER thrilled to hear one of my FAVORITE songs by Rage Against the Machine come on.... so, since I was alone in the car, I turned it up.

And this is where my day started to go to sh*t.

Rage Against the Machine doesn't sound as good in a mini-van as it does anywhere else in the world. I'm sure of it.

SO, that was my moment where I realized that this is my life. I am a mom, of 3, driving a mini-van to college classes because I was too much of a loser to finish school in a logical degree program the first time around. I suck. I suck as much as this beige mini-van. I am going to be 33 in a matter of days and I drive a sucky mini-van. 33 year old people shouldn't drive a minivan when they're really 27 year olds trapped in a 33 year olds life.

Then I got to class, where I am well loved by my professor and things started to take an up turn. He's so damn smart its scary, and I will not lie- it's VERY flattering to be well regarded by him. I try to be modest, but, I think instead I come of flirtatious. I know, that's a strange thing to say, but I think I'm coming off as coy. Anyway, last night he's handing back papers to the class and says in his butter melted over warm toast drawl, "This quiz #4 wasn't as good as the first 3. In fact, some of you really struggled to do well. I suspect many of you must not have had time to do the reading for class?" (me, I'm nodding along. He's looking right at me. Of course I did the reading, he knows I did the reading. But, I'm just sort of nodding along). "Dare I say, that some of you could have done well on this quiz even if you hadn't done the reading." (I shrug an imperceptible shrug- I don't know, I did the reading) "And I was going to curve it, this quiz, until one of you got.... a 100." AND THE WHOLE CLASS LOOKS AT ME WITH ACCUSATION AND HATE IN THEIR EYES.

To friggin' bad, you people should have done the reading, besides at this point, I didn't know what I'd gotten so I sort of did this "don't look at me, I doubt I got the 100% mumble."

Only guess what? I got the 100. Duh, what else did I really expect? Don't worry I'm getting to the point of why my life as a mom is totally out of control.

And then, it happened. We were participating in a question/answer portion of the night, and some 2 bit bleach blond 13 1/2 year old dipstick who weighs 27 pounds says with a vague wave of her hand in my direction, "I think this class is geared toward the MIDDLE AGED people who got out of school a while ago and need a refresher before they go back full time and stuff."

And Stuff? The hopes of the course of our country rest in the hands of this young woman and her generation of "and stuff". And then I really realized what she said: MIDDLE AGED.

I look middle aged? Holy Snap. I couldn't possibly look 40+. I mean, I think of middle aged as over 40, maybe even pushing 50. W.T.F. First Rage Against the Machine in the van, and now... "Middle Aged"- in one night.