Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"the, er... running"

Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

First off, I should tell the story about the iPod.  So we know it got a tad wet on Sunday, and today it still produced music!  Yay!  It's true.  Uh huh.  Hmm.  Except that the screen won't come up, so I can't do anything except play the main music list.  Starting at the A's.  (think... alanis morissette, allison kraus, Andrew Loyd Webber) and going to the B's... no, not Brittany.  BARBIE.  Barbie intruded on my run today.  Fortunately it was toward the end.  As it turns out Phantom of the Opera isn't the WORST running music ever.  Aqualung isn't the best though.  

So, my H the Apple Mac guy that he is says he'll take it to the store tomorrow and see if they can "do anything for it", but that "it's probably a lost cause" and finally, "that if they couldn't fix it he'd get me a new one, because I can't be without an iPod for the, er,...(pause)... running".  He's very careful NOT to say that M word.  It's like if he doesn't say it, then it's not going to happen.

I realize that I'm not in denial anymore, the marathon is only a month and a half away.  I'm entering "monster month of long runs", and he needs to get over it.  This isn't about him.  He's "afraid something bad is going to happen to me if I try to run a marathon."  and my response to that ... isn't encouraging to him.  It's snide at best, bitchy at worst.  "Like what?  A bad blister?  Tired legs? What is going to happen to me on race day H?"

Something is far more likely to happen to me on one of these crazy alone Barbie blaring training runs.  There's a guy breaking into houses in my area, in broad daylight, attempting to kidnap SAHMs.  Um, what if I come across him?  I don't know that my WHITE BELT Karate moves are going to be enough to save my life.  Hopefully I'm faster than this guy, but...  So, as I was writing on my arm today the letters PCN (in purple sharpee) incase I get run over by a car but am alive enough to warrant a ride to the ER, I realize that I've been in denial about my need for a Road ID.  

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water...

just when I was starting to believe that I could do anything, I did something so poorly that I now don't know...  I'd finally gotten over my marathon fear.  I could now say that word Marathon without feeling dizzy, butterflies in my stomach, nauseated or, at the very least, unsettled.  I'd pretty much accomplished a couple of "short" long runs and a couple of "long" short runs and thought - "hey now!  This 16 is going to be awesome".  Um.  Not awesome.

So, on Thursday I ran my 4 miler (the last of the "short" short runs) and it didn't go so well.  I got home, stepped into the shower a sweaty tired person, stepped out of the shower a tired sick person.  Something about the steam maybe?  Anyway, I tried everything on Thursday night and Friday night to help me sleep.  To no avail.  I slept poorly, even doped with NiQuil, which leaves me with a terrible 'hangover' the next morning.  Sleeping sitting up, running low grade fever, etc takes its toll on a body.  So on Saturday night, I knew Niquil was out of the question, but I was so tired and afraid of bed.  I took a dose of  Zyrtec.  It worked to dry me out some what, I mean, I couldn't lie down all the way, but at least my face wasn't full of snot.  But, unfortunately, I think it may have dried me out all around.  On Sunday, my muscles felt dead, about 4 miles into the run.  Um, with 12 miles left, that was a wicked long run.

To add insult to injury it wasn't just raining, it was R-A-I-N-I-N-G.  We were soaked within a mile, and by mile 2 it occurred to me that it wasn't lightening.  So, what I thought was going to be 15-20 minutes of light rain was actually closer to a half hour of pretty heavy soaking rain.  Ironically my I-pod held up the entire run, until well after the sun came out... when it just croaked at mile 15.  We'll have to see if it comes back.  Right now, if I had to guess, I'd guess it's DOA.

So, as I was saying, I ran until mile 15ish, and then walk/ran the last mile in, and it was ugly.  I was shuffling.  I haven't felt that level of exhaustion since the first time I ever dehydrated myself to a dangerous level at RnRoll VB '08.  All I could think that last mile yesterday, when I couldn't even pick up my feat is, "but... I still have 10 miles left before the marathon is Over.  I couldn't make 10 miles right now if my life depended on it."

So, that fear I had put aside, has been replaced by dread.  I am dreading this race.  My half formed plans of a 4:18:00 have been completely erased.  My fully formed plans of 4:30:00 are starting to look impossible.  Even 5 hours looks like only a marginally doable time.  I feel defeated.

Dang it.  Now I have to (HAVE TO) have a good 18 miles this week or the 20, which is already scaring me a bit, is going to seem impossible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

psst- your neuroses are showing

Last night, after I got in bed and flopped about trying to get comfortable for about 20 minutes in which I moved Phil (my body pillow) about 60 times or so, I had an ugly moment of neurotic mommyhood.  It was bad, so you may want to brace yourself.  If I'd ever guessed how crazy I was becoming, I might have medicated myself a little before bed last night, or at least taken a run at some point to burn off some of this "crazy", but alas - I didn't.

As I lay in bed thinking about the day, replaying events over and over, I actually had to bite the inside of my mouth to stop myself from screaming.  I could taste the iron between my teeth, and felt a sneeze reflex bubbling up as the pain traveled through my nose, and yet, I couldn't stop or I was going to scream.  No, I don't have Tourette's and I've never had this happen before, but I really did have a moment where I prayed that I would be able to sleep without shouting.

You see I realized as I lay there in bed, that B, my youngest child, has a fascination with "sharp".  This is the child who just sliced her thumb on a shaving razor.  I don't even want to tell you what she did yesterday, because I'm afraid H will find out, and the longer he goes without finding out, the more likely he will never find out, and the better off I will be.  I am hiding my sins as a mother from my husband, which probably goes into deeper stuff than is blog worthy.

Yesterday while we were all sitting around playing Scrabble (H was at the store), the adult to child ratio was 1:1.  My mother is visiting with her husband.  We were at the kitchen table, and B was in her booster seat.  

(before, while I was helping C with her homework, Pappa had just finished helping G open all the gift packaging.  All the toys were boxed in that clear plastic kevlar material that they make bullet proof vests out of for the police force.  You know the stuff right?W here they sell kids toys packaged up in a way that it takes a pair of scissors, 3 knives and a screwdriver just to get into the box?   I didn't realize that all the implements hadn't been properly put away.)  

So we're all playing scrabble, and B reached up onto the counter, moved an empty box, picked up the kids scissors, and cut off a huge shank of hair.  It took exactly that long.  Seriously, set a timer and then read this...  Reach onto the counter where G left the Fiskars, pick them up, put fingers in and cut the hair.  It took all of 2 seconds, tops.  

All I could think about last night in bed was, "am I really this stupid?  Will I never learn?  What if something bad happens to B because I'm not catching on fast enough to keep her safe?  What kind of bad mother am I?"  It sounds like a joke I make, "just got to keep them alive until 18, after that they're on their own".  But, it's sounding less and less like a joke and more and more like a terrifying reality.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What if?

What if we all just assume that our mothers did the best they could, even when it seemed like they were acting out of pure selfishness?  What if we just figured that what appeared to be selfishness was actually self preservation, and that by preserving herself, she was being a better mother?

I was thinking about this today.  I raised my mother to be a good mother.  (yea, you have to know her to understand that this true statement).  By the time I was out of the house, she still raised my sister - who will also be a good mother.  In the meantime, I have become the selfish mother who gets up and leaves her children at every possible moment she can.  And, it's not even like I'm doing something good for them, I'm going running.  RUNNING at 5:40am?  Yes, running.  I have the salt crusted eyelashes to prove it when I get home.  I often look like a margarita glass that's been left on the counter too long (sweaty, salt crusted, and empty, but with a distinct bowl like shape - yes, indeed, that is my new visual).

On Saturdays instead of spending time making a huge family breakfast, which is what I used to do on Saturdays.... I spend time with my best girlfriends shlepping around parts of Glen Allen, Henrico, and Ashland in mad hot skirts and bloody sneakers at 6mph.

So as I was saying, today, with just under 2 months left until the BIG M (i.e. the marathon) I am wishing for understanding and forgiveness from my children, and I think about all the times in my explosive teen years (and tween years) when I thought my mother was outright mean, and then in my young adult years when I thought she was selfish.  And now I think, maybe, just maybe, her selfishness wasn't that at all.  It was really preservation of sanity, and I should appreciate the efforts that she made.  

I hope my own kids are this forgiving of me at some point.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do you need a REMINDER?

In our house, that's a "behavior check". Probably not a spanking, but definitely a "reminder to behave". It could be a time out, a tap on the hand, a strong look, whatever. Usually reminders are in public. They're the silent mommy language between child and adult that no one is supposed to notice in the fancy grocery store, but (since we're honest on NofSAHM3) everyone does.

Yesterday, I had a different type of reminder. The kind that all mothers need once in a while. It's the reminder of "IF you think you are just starting to get it together, something really crazy will happen." AND "You always think you know who'll be there for you in an emergency, and it's nice to be right about that".

I'd like to rewind yesterday to around noon. No, wait, till around 10:45am. That's about when things started to go weird.

Around 11ish, B fell asleep in the car on the way home from the Post Office. If I was in my right mind, I would have kept her awake in the car. So, instead, I went ahead and transfered her to bed when we got home.

A half hour after that, I put E down for a nap. And, 20 minutes later... B woke up. Which means, B slept early, and short, AND I had no down time for myself. It's the time I get things done, like chemistry, house work, and such. I flit about the house, touching things in every room. Never getting anything actually DONE, but definitely getting everything started.

So, in short, it was a long afternoon where I got nothing done. Then the kids got home from school, and C went to let the neighbor's dogs out. It's her "job". And, apparently she said, "I'm taking B!" But... I didn't hear her. So about 3 minutes after she left, I went in to the playroom to discover that B was not there. She was not up stairs. She was not in the office. She was NOT IN THE HOUSE. This entails me sprinting out the front door and looking for her in the yard while I scream her name. A neighbor hears G calling for her out back and says, "Hey, I think I just saw her go into X house with C." Oh? I can breathe again? I didn't lose my kid? So. That was my free pass for the day. REMEMBER: YOU ONLY GET ONE FREE PASS PER DAY.

After school routine went really well. We got to play outside, and then we zipped to the store to get a fresh ingredient for dinner, which I was really looking forward to, because it's so yummy. And I sent G up for his bath. It was 5pm. C was setting the table, B was in the playroom, I was 5 minutes away from plating dinner, the family is 10 minutes away from eating.

H arrives home, an hour and a half early.

Why in the world should that screw us up? Well, it just did. I don't know why. He was in the "It's 630 pm" routine, and I'm in the "It's 5pm and almost time to eat" routine. Either way, what happened next shouldn't have happened. Sean dropped B into the tub for a quick bath. Um. Dinner is actually on the table, but whatever. I didn't know he was putting her in the bathtub... where I'd showered earlier that day... where my shaving razor was on the edge of the tub.

10 minutes later, her hand is bleeding through towels, I'm calling my friend to watch the older kids (she showed up exactly 3 minutes later), I'm calling my pediatrician to find out which hospital we should go to, and I'm calling myself the worst mother in the world for A) leaving my razor where it shouldn't have been.  and B) letting my 2.5 year old out of my sight more than once in one day.  

We went to the Pediatric ER for just kids - KidMed - it's a good deal, I give them a good rating.  Not as long as the time it would take at a real ER, but not "speedy" either.  We were there for almost 2 hours and spent less than 5 minutes with the Dr.  That does disturb me.  Maybe, once I'm in the medical field I'll get that.

We got home at 7:30, I went straight from the car with B & H to the JEEP and headed to class.  I arrived at class 1 hour late.  That part of the day ended on a normal note- I didn't understand anything the Prof was saying about atoms and electron shells, but I did get an 88 on the test I took on Tues, which was the 3rd highest grade in the class.

By the time I got home yesterday it was 9:20.  The last food I had eaten was 9 hours earlier.  It'd been a seriously stressful day, and I was crashing off of the adrenaline rush from the ER and added to that a definite lack of food:  By 9:30 I was slurring my words like a drunk.

Today is a new day.  Today I will be on top of things.  

By the way, I was lucky- B's hand is fine. It was her thumb. She didn't need stitches. Mostly because there was no skin left to stitch together.

Monday, September 7, 2009

in your dreams baby...

I am an avid dreamer. I have intense dreams about everything, ranging from horse racing (which is not really a sport that I follow) all the way down to how to arrange my closet to fit the most clothes in on each shelf. I keep a little notebook on my bed side that is supposed to be where I write down the "good stuff" that comes from the dream. When I worked retail I dreamed everything from management issues like scheduling, all the way down to where do I want to put the school uniform section in the boys department. And for things like that, I would really wake up at 5:22am, and jot down my thoughts. Usually they were really coherent. Sometimes, not so much. And sometimes I would have to make sense of it later; weeks or months later.

Last year my dreams told me to be responsible for my own happiness and start believing in myself. I actually think this was Rachel P's message to me, but I had to hear it from my own head. I was also told in my dream that I should be proud of some of the things that make me weird - like my GPA and my constant promptness. If I'm not 5 minutes early, I'm late. This was TMB's message, but again, I needed to "hear" it in a dream to "hear" it clearly.

On Saturday night I was just beat. I ran long (11), came home, did errands and chores, went to a BBQ/Pool Party for a while, and dashed from there to a drive in movie with the kids, which was loads of fun and we stayed up way too late. I wouldn't have been surprised to have a crazy dream where a flock of peacocks ran across the stage during the closing act of The Crucible while I was cast in the role of Elizabeth Proctor. No, that wouldn't have shocked me a bit. They say in your dreams, you are everyone. Well, that's is so true....

My dream was of Me, sitting Myself down in a chair. And I was standing over me, basically with my hands on my hips and one eyebrow raised, shaking my head incredulously from side to side. The me in the chair had my hands folded in my lap, and I clearly knew what I was about to be lectured on... (even though, I didn't).

My lecture was brief and to the point. "You have got to stop freaking out about the marathon, stop freaking out about Chemistry, stop freaking out about your kids behavior at school, stop freaking out about 'fat', stop... " it goes on, I'll spare you the details.... and ends with, "If you keep making yourself anxious about everything under the sun, you're going to grow up to be a person you don't want to be. Take care of this anxiety before it owns you. Oh, and by the way, if you keep putting your dreams off for other people's dreams, you're going to grow up with a lot of regrets."

And then I woke up. At 5:22am. What's so odd about that, is that I can't figure out the last bit. Still, the me that needed to get that off her chest did, and the me that needed to hear it... well, at least I heard it. I'm not sure how long it will take to actually get the anxiety under control. For the moment, I've at least written down the message.