Category Archives: Nonsense

The Power of the Mind

mind-over-matter

I believe in the power of a strong mind. Couple a strong mind with tremendous focus and anything is possible.

I put the power of my mom mind to a test this past weekend.

I waited this long to write about it because I was afraid of jinxing myself.

Guys, I willed away a stomach bug. I did.  My sweet eight year old daughter came to me with tears in her eyes and said “I threw up.”  I pretended I did not hear her.  She repeated herself.  “Mom, I threw up.  Like nine times.”

I translated this from melodramatic kid speak to normal english in my mind.  Maybe she just vurped.  Maybe twice.  (Vomit burps, tell me I didn’t really need to explain that.  Vurps, you guys know what those are, right?)

She ran past me into the bathroom.  Her little self was hunched over the toilet.

That wasn’t a vurp.

She stood up and turned to look at me, tears in her eyes again.  I mustered every bit of strength I had and I looked deep in to her big, blue eyes.  I looked past the sweet face of the child I adore.  I’m not sure where stomach bugs reside (in the soul? In the gut?) but I looked there and I said “You can not be sick right now.  Do you understand me?  You can not be sick.  Right now we have lice.”

I was knee deep in laundry when she informed she had thrown up. I had spent more than two hours “nit picking” with the magical metal comb and having my own head picked.  I would spend the next 34 hours doing laundry.

I wasn’t fucking kidding.

There would be no stomach bug.

I was waging a war against lice.  I didn’t have the manpower to take on a stomach bug. And to be quite honest, there was no way I was spreading towels on beds right now.  We had an all out ban on fabric in our home at the moment.  You get one towel, one pillow and one blanket.  It goes in the downstairs bathroom in the morning and you put all of your dirty clothes directly in the washing machine.  I had no space in my washing machine or my head for puke towels.

And it worked.  It worked.  I was rewarded for this feat of strength with a blizzard and a headcold but I still feel like a winner.  At some point this week in between the Lice Laundry and the Snowpocalypse I gave my dryer a little break.  I have slugged enough NyQuil to need a trip to rehab but I still feel like I am coming out on top. Because my head doesn’t itch.  And nobody has thrown up.

Mind over matter, people.  You can do anything.  Anything.

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When I am not doing laundry I like to let my kids out of the car and then lock the doors. They fake cried until I broke down and got out of the car. But for a few blissful moments I was all alone.

What does the owl say?

Most of the time we cruise along on autopilot. Life happens all around us and we turn around from time to time and we can’t figure out how we got to where we are or remember a time when we were anywhere else.

Very rarely do we have the chance to see Life happening. But when we do – what do we do? Do we stop it from happening, draw attention to it? Take a picture?

Me? I loudly say “What did you just say?” as though I caught a kid cussing me out behind my back.

Owl tattoo

For Lucy’s first birthday I got an owl tattoo to commemorate her life thus far and so that when the dark circles under my eyes fade I won’t forget the year that I stayed awake all blessed night long for a year.  Shortly after I got her tattoo I started seeing owls everywhere. Consequently she has owl pajamas and we point out the owls we see in stores and magazines. Like any good parent of a toddler I say “What does an owl say?” and she says “Hooo hoo.”

And that’s the long version of how owls came to be called Hoo-hoos in our house.

I am not big on Baby Talk.  We use real words to talk about things.  How else do your kids learn to talk? But something about Hoo-hoos made me smile and I may very well have asked a certain someone if she wants to wear her Hoo-hoo pajamas a time or two.

Today Lucy said owl.  I don’t even know what she was talking about but I wheeled around and shouted “What did you say?” and she said it again, “Owl.”

It’s just one small thing.  But if I don’t write it down I will forget.  I won’t remember when that part of Life happened.  And before I turn around Emily will be driving a car and Lucy will be begging to wear lip gloss to school. And I won’t be able to explain how it happened.

Someone will be wearing her hoo-hoo pajamas tonight. And maybe tomorrow night.

Do Your Boobs Hang Low?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a serious affliction wherein a person is obsessed with some perceived flaw in their body.  The most difficult part to understand is that the flaw someone is consumed with might not even be visible to anyone else. It might not even be real.

I have the opposite of that. I am not under the false impression that I am runway thin or bodybuilder strong or movie star pretty but I pretty much stopped really looking very hard in the mirror without my clothes on when I was about 24.  By that point I had a pretty good idea what I looked like, I had a long-term boyfriend that I’d eventually marry and I had already been “the naked girl” in a play in college once, it was unlikely to happen again.  So, I just stopped obsessing over my body.  So I stopped really looking,

And then I had a baby and I was all “Holy fuck, what happened to me?” and then I got over that.  And I had another baby and aside from that one day that I took a long look at the road map that is my stomach I really haven’t done much looking since.  I stare at myself in the mirror at the gym just as much as the next person but since the invention of the wide-band yoga/running pant it’s not so bad a sight.  And really when you’re dumping sweat and lifting weights it’s hard to be too hard on yourself.

Where was I? That’s right, I have the opposite of body dysmorphia.  Instead of believing that there is something horribly wrong with my physical appearance I have this notion that I pretty much look like I did when I was about 23.  Most of the time this serves me well.  I am confident.  I am sassy.  I am not bogged down  with worrying about my aging body.  But then these horrifying moments of reality happen.  I accidentally catch a peek at the back of my thigh and think “holy shit, when did that start to look like THAT?” Or I chat up a kid in line at the grocery store and he looks right through me and I remember that I am not a spring chicken as I catch a look at myself all decked out mom-style.

Ordinarily, I let these moments roll off me and I settle back into being blissfully unaware of aging.

I was at the gym the other day feeling strong. Busted out a two minute plank and dropped to the mat.  I grabbed my phone and my water and I leaned back and looked back down to the mat and GASPED.  My tits were inches, almost half a foot, lower than my elbows.  IN A SPORTS BRA.  I almost ran to the weight room where I could get a better look in a mirror because HOLY HELL I know I have been pregnant twice and breastfeeding for eleventy billion years but come the fuck on when did this happen???

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But I couldn’t move. For one thing I was afraid I might trip over my knockers.  It was dangerous to run.  Things were sliding south and fast.

I took a deep breath.  And I began to laugh.  Look closely at the picture and you can see a second set of handprints.  Look at the bottom of that picture.  My knees.  AHA!  The wet marks were my knees!! I had pulled them up to the mat as I sat back to catch my breath.

And I got hysterical.  That kind of belly laugh, I might pee my pants, holy shit do you guys see what I see laughter that you have to share.  I looked around and there was not a single woman in sight.  Now I wasn’t picky.  I was ready to shout out “Oh my god, I thought those were boob sweat marks and it is only my KNEES!  Hallelujah, it’s just my knees!!!” to anyone that looked even remotely female.  Not a one.  Somehow I didn’t think that the fellas that work out with me daily were going to be impressed.  Or understand why this was such a reason to rejoice.

So, I snapped a picture and I strutted, yeah, strutted, my fine ass right out of the gym.  Because my boobs are nowhere near that low.  In a sports bra. So there.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

The Smell of Winter

I wasn’t just trying to get off the phone.  It was an emergency.  Something reeked. I had to find it.  “Mom, I have go to go, something smells like mildew or something!!”

I emptied out under the sink.  Nothing was leaking. It didn’t actually smell under there at all.

Earlier in the week we’d had a party. The dog was generously fed by everyone. In the following few days I think I said “Jeeezus, Fisher.  Man.  What did the dog eat?” about 857 billion times.  It smelled.  Bad.  Really bad.  Dog fart bad.

I have a top loading washing machine and I don’t close the top when I am not running it.  I don’t use the $7 tablets to wash my washing machine.  I just run a  load with bleach every now and again and I figure it is clean.  But this week I stood in front of the Affresh tabs for about 17 seconds (which with a toddler in tow at the grocery store feels like a millenium.) Because something smelled really bad when I was doing laundry.

The smell. It was following me.

My offspring are strange little beings.

My offspring are strange little beings.

When I was pregnant with Lucy I went on an all out rampage until I found one. single. mothball.  This was no mothball.  This was a bad, bad smell and I was going to find it.

Last week I pulled a rosary from Lucy’s mouth.  It was weird and frightening in the same way that those magicians pulling the scarves from their mouths can be, with an added bonus of overt religiosity.  I mentioned this on Facebook and several of my friends wanted to know why there was a rosary in my house to begin with.  I explained it away quite simply.  My husband has all brands of religious artifacts. He keeps most of them on an altar high up on a bookshelf.

I don’t mess with his stuff and he lets me write about our deepest darkest secrets on the internet.  We have an understanding. So when he said “I found the smell” sheepishly I had no idea it had been coming from his altar.  I had no idea what was even up there.

He could have just thrown it away.  He could have kept it a secret and I’d have been convinced the smell had gone dormant in the cold and I’d have worried and wondered about what was rotting under the floorboards of the kitchen for months.

But instead he told me.

I’m not trying to tell you what to do.  And I will admit that our family has had great juju, good times, lots of laughs and a relative absence of negativity in the last several months. I’m just saying that if you put AN EGG ON A SHELF IN YOUR KITCHEN DON’T LEAVE IT THERE FOR MONTHS.  Because it will eventually stink.  And your wife will be the only one that can smell it at first.  And she will start to lose her ever-loving mind.

But your trash cans will get cleaned out.  I suppose that’s a plus.

Whatever your religious and spiritual pursuits have you doing this holiday season I hope you remember where you put your egg!!!  Merry Christmahanakwanzika, y’all and enjoy your Yule and Winter Solstice tomorrow!

 

Oh, the future slipping past…

It is best not to try too hard.  But sometimes an opportunity presents itself and I just can’t help myself. Sitting on the couch on a cold and rainy night I am flipping through the recorded television options.

Austin City Limits.  Widespread Panic.  “You know this is the band your dad and I used to go and see all of the time.  I saw them when I was pregnant with you even.”

A million months pregnant with Emily, Panic in Portsmouth 2005

A million months pregnant with Emily, Panic in Portsmouth 2005. I had not yet blossomed in to the quiet, restrained woman that I am now.

Emily looked at me and with a sigh of resignation she leaned against me.  She was willing to go for this parental ride.  “Up all night, ohhh, been up all night…the best thing about New Years is the Christmas lights…” J.B. is singing and I am tickled. This was a seasonally appropriate moment!

I am pointing at Jimmy.  “That’s Jimmy Herring right there.  Oh!  And that is Sunny.  Watch him play drums, Em. It is unreal. That is Jojo and there’s Todd behind the drums.  That’s Schools.  We liked to stand Schools’ side.”

I am smiling. Nice little opportunity to share something with my big girl before she gets too big.  This was a Moment.

“So.  They’re a boy band?”

No.  No, they are not a boy band.  Moment over.

*Title taken from Saint Ex by WSP

And for your listenin’ pleasure, Widespread Panic on ACL

Autumnal Adornment

There are a million things wrong with shopping at big-box stores.  They are local economy killers.  They are filled with processed food and cheaply made products and hate and vitriol and bad lighting.

I know this. But sometimes time is of the essence and a dollar only stretches so far in a single income household and I’m not making any more excuses.

I am about to tell you what the real problem is with big-box grocery stores.  One minute you are checking and double checking your grocery list.  How many pounds of butter do you need for Thanksgiving? Can you have too much?

And the next minute you have fallen in to a weird, dark place and you are grabbing a straw wreath form and some burlap ribbon.

Yesterday I wanted to make a baby.  Today I had a burning desire (no, NEED) to make a wreath.  I NEEDED AN AUTUMNAL WREATH and I needed it NOW.

I put away the perishable items quickly.  With bags of groceries still on the floor around my feet I made a wreath because I could not bear to be wreathless for one moment longer.

I picked those leaves up from my yard, y’all.  Whew.  Now I can finally breathe deeply again.  My front door is properly and seasonally adorned.  And eventually I got my groceries put away.

I will not make a baby.  But I am gonna make the shit out of some crafts.  Be warned.

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Obligatory Update

The Creative juices aren’t flowing.  But it’s not because I am lacking Juice.

I have Running Juice.

My big girl walked/ran her first 5K. I looped back and finished with her.

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I have kind of a lot of Running Juice.  The physical therapist has me tuned up just right and I have run more than 300 miles since August when I got those new pink kicks.

So. I got some more.

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I have tons and tons of Leaf Raking Juice.  And I have 8 year old free labor.  I recommend it.

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I may or may not have had a little Juice at a party recently. I was excited.  I wore a dress. And eye shadow.

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Which is kind of funny because I also wore this mask.

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You know you found the right church when there is a Burlesque show and a good excuse to wear a luchador mask and your shoes are carefully placed by the front door when you get there on Sunday morning.  I think that is a sign of a good time, right? Losing your shoes? I seem to remember that from the Days Before Kids.

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So.

I have Running Juice.  And Leaf Raking Juice.  And Fancy Dress Up Juice.

But I don’t have much in the way of Pithy Commentary Juice.  Or even Sappy Emotional Observations Juice.  Hell. I don’t seem to have any Get a Load of This Shit Juice even and I almost never run out of that.

I’m here.  And I miss you guys.  I just don’t seem to have a lot to say.  And I don’t know what to make of that.

Running Skirts: They Hide the Pee

Let’s talk about crotch sweat, baby…. Did I lose you? It was a better hook when Salt-n-Pepa invited you to talk about sex, baby, in 1990.  But I don’t want to talk about sex.  I want to talk crotch sweat.

Yesterday morning I posted to Facebook about catching hell from the wee one about my running skirt.  “Your running skirt is too short when your 21 month old stops you at the door with a grimace and says “Mama, go?? Go?? Pants!!! Pants ON!” Evidently she thought I needed pants. It was funny.  Not hilarious.  But a momentary “Ha!” so I quickly posted it as I hopped in the car on my way to the gym.  By the time I got to the gym the post had several comments.  Most of them of the “running skirt, huh?” variety.

20131010-113558.jpgAs the day wore on I got a few more questions.  I contemplated a “Running Skirts: Not Just for the Stepford Wives at the Tennis Club” kind of post.  But then I realized I had a civic duty to break it down.  There were gals out there (and dudes, I suppose.  Hello, dudes, that do not run the opposite direction at the mention of crotch sweat.  Umm.  Yeah.) I owed it to these folks not to write a tongue-in-cheek answer.

So.  Here we are.

Where do I start? The running skirt rules.  Let me tell you why.

  1. Chub Rub.  Nobody wants it.  Unless you are a young gal or a lucky gal your thighs probably touch.  This is not a huge problem when you are just casually walking down the street in a skirt.  But start hustling?  Yowza.  You’ve got chub rub in no time.  And once you’ve got it –  it’s harder to get rid of than poison ivy.  You think it’s gone and Boom! It’s back.  You feel the burn.
  2. Compression shorts.  They prevent the chub rub but they are not actually a fashion statement.  Compressing the chub is not really … attractive.  Unless your compression pants go down to your ankles they have to stop somewhere, right?  And where they stop your body comes shooting out as if to shout “You can’t restrain me!!  Here I am, I am your chub!!” The running skirt allows for compression shorts that no one has to see!
  3. Conceal the sweat.  I sweat. Kind of a lot.  I sweat on my face and my back and my head.  I have been known to throw my hat at Emily after a long run just to hear her shriek “It’s soaking wet!!!”  What I do not throw at anyone after a long run is my crotch.  Sweat has a tendency to roll down the body, right?  No matter where the moisture starts, whether it is from my head or my face or ample bazooms it seems to follow a path straight for my crotch.  Have you ever seen one of those women that looks like she might have peed in her pants?  Yeah.  She is probably just sweaty.  But it’s not all that cute.  Because it looks like pee.  And like crotch sweat.  (I am going to say that a million more times to guarantee that when you google “crotch sweat” I come up.  Because, really, we all have to have a goal, right?) So, the running skirt provides a perfect way to hide the sweat.
  4. Pee.  Have you ever had a baby? I have had two.  I am in a lucky minority.  I can jump rope without peeing my pants.  In fact ,just yesterday afternoon I exploded a jump rope at the gym. I like to do a tabata cycle of alternating jumping rope and burpees.  It pretty much sucks but it is a good way to crank up your heart rate in four minutes. The whole time I jump rope I think “Don’tpeeDon’tpeeDon’tpee” and I contract my pelvic floor.  (The entire time I do burpees I think “ThisfuckingsucksThisfuckingsucksThisfuckingsucks” but that has nothing to do with peeing my pants or babies.  So, ladies, if you think you might pee a little – the running skirt is your friend.  In fact, if I ever develop a post-partum exercise gear fashion line that will be my running skirt sales pitch – Running Skirts: They Hide the Pee.
  5. Lastly, I promise it really is the last reason – The Cute.

20131010-113621.jpgI mean c’mon.  This is my all time favorite running skirt.  The compression shorts are a little longer than most and it makes me feel like I have a little extra spring in my step.

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Yep.  Like I need extra pep.

What’s up Crotch Sweat?  Oh hey, Chub, how you doin? I barely noticed you there underneath that adorable running skirt.

Running skirts deliver.  They work.  They just do.  I resisted for a while. I thought they’d made me look like I was heading to the tennis club with Fifi and Mimsy for an afternoon smoothie and maybe we’d make it out to the tennis court.  “Match point, Heather!”

I’m not a girl that wants to look cute at the gym.  I’m not strong enough or fast enough to mingle with the hardcore gym rats, the least I can do is not look like I have no intention of sweating.

So, now you know my secret.  The running skirt is my secret weapon.  Because I sweat like … a whore in church. (When you’ve already said “crotch sweat” nine million times you don’t have to search for a simile that is not offensive. )

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There’s the sweat.  And yesterday’s eyeliner because I am not old enough to wash my face before I go to bed yet.  I quit smoking and I exercise and I stopped drinking Bud Light all the live long day. One day I will moisturize and regularly wash my face.

And stop saying things like “crotch sweat” on the internet. One day.  I promise.

 

 

Keeping Up Appearances

I used to mow the grass  in cut off Levi 501s and a bikini top.  It was an excuse to strut back and forth in the yard and work on my tan. As time wore on those Levis got shorter and shorter but I got older and sassier and cared less and less about what was appropriate.  I was mowing my damn grass, right?  And wolf whistles happened less and less frequently.  I’d take what I could get.

This summer I mowed the grass often just to have a few minutes to myself.  The cut off Levis have long since been retired.  These days I don’t put a tremendous amount of thought in to what I wear to mow the grass.  None of my neighbors (the same neighbors that wave at me daily as I stroll down the street with my dog or run by in the morning with the jogging stroller) are likely to cat call anyway so who might I even try to impress?

But my grass mowing attire was at least Go Out in Public Even If It Is Only To The Gas Station worthy.  I would be traipsing back and forth across my yard for thirty minutes.  This warrants more care than the Run Down To The End Of The Driveway With The Trash Can Before You Miss The Trash Truck outfit.

And then this happened.

Hot Mess

 

Look carefully.  This woman reflected in the side of her car is wearing a velour sweatsuit with the pants pegged so as to not drag along the ground and Crocs.  Let me repeat that.  I have PEGGED THE LEGS OF MY VELOUR SWEAT PANTS.  And I have chosen to wear socks and Crocs.  Now I think that some kind of a tool (any kind, really) can elevate a woman’s hotness.  But let’s face it.  A leaf blower is not much of a tool.

I think I have given up.  It has happened.

I remember (as long ago as yesterday when I would not have dreamed of doing this!) looking at women and thinking “what the hell is wrong with you?  You have a pulse, for fuck’s sake, brush your hair” and now look at me. What am I doing? Perhaps this has been a lesson in “Judge Not Less Ye Be Judged.”

little missy

Granted, I have a terrible cold. My youngest looks like a refugee and is currently wearing a shirt belonging to my oldest and flowered pants.  Her baby is being toted around in a towel.   I haven’t really made much in the way of dinner in two days and I am running on caffeine and Dayquil. (Speaking of running, I knocked back two slugs of Dayquil this morning, before I left for my run and set a PR for a 5K distance.  Not an all time PR, but a since I have been injured PR.  Wheee!  Bronchodilators for the Win!!)

I am not at my best.  I’m not sleeping.  Showering is a successful day.  I am spent and cranky and not looking for a hot date.  But pegged velour sweatpants?

I can do better than that. I can.  And I will.  You have my word.

I’m a wreck.  But my yard looks nice.

So, how are you? Have you caught yourself doing anything mortifying lately?  

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I like to mow instead of rake. It’s like vacuuming your yard.

 

 

Existential Parenting

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Lucy looks like a happy kid.  Here we see her heading in to the gym to see her pals.  She enjoys coloring, playing with the large legos and chatting it up with the other small people.  On the way out of the gym she receives a dixie cup filled with animal crackers or goldfish, after she washes her hands, of course.  This is typically a highlight of our day.

By all accounts, life is pretty good.

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When not mingling with her kind she enjoys a little solitary time.  My girl likes to relax.  She kicks back and takes in the world. Life is simple.

But I fear that underneath Lucy’s happy exterior lurks something deeper.  I think she is struggling to do more than just exist.  She is finding her essence, perhaps this life of coloring and taking walks is just not enough.  What gives me this idea?

Take a look at Lucy’s bookshelf.  A good look.

No Exit

Right there between Eric Carle’s “With Us, on the Earth and Sea” and the mind numbing rhyming of “Hop on Pop” we have Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit and Three Other Plays.”

This kid is going to be hell in her teenage years.

“Criminals together. We’re in hell, my little friend, and there’s never any mistake there. People are not damned for nothing.” – Jean-Paul Sartre, No Exit