Category Archives: Nonsense

Mama said there’d be days like this….

You know that old saying about how mothers don’t get sick days. It’s the truth. They don’t get sick nights, either. When Lucy slipped out of bed to come and stare at me in the bathroom at 2 am I had an inkling of what my day would look like today.

I don’t talk bathroom as much as my friend Karen. But I am not afraid of it. Truth is, I guess, is that the bathroom doesn’t play a big part in my life. I am chronically full of shit, I suppose. I just don’t spend an awful lot of time in there. So, when I was camped out in there most of last night, save for the twenty times I put Lucy back to bed, I kind of figured maybe I was just getting it all out of my system.

Wrong. This morning was no picnic, either.

Eventually I braved leaving the house. I figured I’d run a few errands and catch some zzzz’s in the afternoon when Lucy took her nap. Wrong, again. Instead we had the dreaded ten minute car nap.

I tried to put her back down. I did. I snuggled. I cajoled. I begged. I was firm. I pretended to be asleep.

Lucy cycled through several responses. None of them were sleep. She screamed at me “Nooooo! No nap! No!” She tried to distract me, efforts were made to convince me there was some kind of a tooth brushing emergency “Teeeeeth!” Eventually she calmly repeated “Mama. Out. Thank you.”

We are now reading books on the couch. I give up. Lucy wins. As noted in the video below she is “happy, happy.”

Back to School Squash

At seven-going-on-seventeen it is so easy to be mortified.  With the start of a new year of school I am watchful for the subtle shifts in behavior.  Do I get a kiss when the school bus pulls up?  Am I woefully out of touch as I suggest outfits for the first week of school?

So far it seems my sweet, big girl is still my funny, little girl underneath it all.   The first day of school outfit was a smashing success and I got a kiss AND a hug in front of the school bus.  There was no additional waving once the bus was boarded but the tinted windows on the bus let me believe that perhaps I just missed it.

20130828-073944.jpg

Obligatory First Day of School Pic

Day one was a win all the way around.

Day two started smoothly.  And then every parent’s favorite – “Oh, wait. I did have homework” – moments before the bus is to arrive.  Ever dramatic (where does she get that from?) she clarified that actually she just had to think about something that makes her unique and be prepared to talk about it in class.  Seizing an opportunity to make her roll her eyes, I made several suggestions.  “You could tell them about how everyone in your family is criminally insane.”

“I try and appear totally normal at school.” Good luck with that, kid.

“Umm, you could talk about what it is like to live in a house with a mother that is so incredibly beautiful?” This is funnier if said mother is wearing a nightgown and half a ponytail and her pink fuzzy slippers.

Eye roll number two. And a smile.  The eye roll/smile combo is essential to my parenting.  If I can get her to be annoyed and find it all at once unavoidable to reveal the fact that she shares my sense of warped humor I know I am doing something right.  We all need our own parenting yardstick and this is mine. This sense of humor has served me well and it is all I hope to pass down.

I was hula-hooping in the driveway with Lucy when the bus arrived in the afternoon.  (Testimony to her still being a little more kid than pre-teen, this is not embarrassing at all.) Em hopped off the bus as she always does, mid-sentence.  She had a smirk on her face.  “How was your day?” I called to her.

“Well… it was embarrassing.”

Uh-oh. “Look what someone put in my backpack!”

It could have been so much worse.  We were in the front yard after school on Monday and Lucy was picking vegetables.  It seems she thought she would pack Em a snack. In the greater scheme of things, of all the things she could have slipped in her backpack a squash isn’t so bad.

Traditions are born in funny ways.  I am tempted.  The Second Day of School Squash might elicit the eye roll/smile for many years to come.  Or at least I hope it does.  I have made a note in my calendar.  Late August, 2014.  “Stick squash in Em’s backpack.”

Squash

Lucy NEEDS that squash. It’s as if she has been wondering for an entire day where in the hell she stashed it.

How Athleticism in your 30’s is just like Getting Loaded in your 20’s

In my early twenties I wasn’t much of an athlete. If I went for a jog after class it wasn’t unheard of for me to have a ziploc bag with a lighter and a couple of Marlboros stuffed in my sports bra. This way I could have a smoke after I left the cafeteria, a dinner full of botttomless bowls of cereal and pudding from the salad bar.

Now just because I wasn’t big on athletics didn’t mean that I wasn’t a competitor. “Shall we get another round?” Umm, yeah. And it better be pitchers not pints. “Can I get you a drink?” You bet. Jack neat with a Bud back. (For those among us that are not nor have they ever been a bit of a drinker, that is a Jack Daniels shot straight up with a Budweiser chaser.)

The order smacks of youth. Jack Daniels is the Crystal Light of whiskey. It’s almost water and sweet as candy. And Budweiser? No Bud Light for this girl with the metabolism of a 16-year-old boy, and nothing that tastes too much like beer.

But I was giving it my all. If one drink was good, two was better.

I was going for the gold. I frequently ignored that warm feeling that would rise in the back of my throat. You know that feeling. Eventually the warmth would travel up my spine and collide with my tonsils creating a burst of saliva. And then I knew. I was going to throw up. It was inevitable. I’d order a shot of Jaegermeister and head over to the bathroom. No big deal, hurl really quickly, knock back a cold shot of Jaeger and I was ready to Go, go, go!

Checking in, blissfully unaware of my fate.

Checking in, blissfully unaware of my fate.

What does this have to do with anything? You might have wondered how the sprint-triathlon turned out on Sunday. I went in with a little limp. TENS unit in the morning, lots of Advil. But I was determined that I wasn’t going to quit. The swim and and the bike would be fine, the run might be ugly. But I was going to finish strong.

The swim and the bike were uneventful. I got off my bike and took a few steps out of the transition area and as I started to run nowhere in my mind was I thinking of my early twenties and my penchant for boozing it up. But by the end of the first mile I could think of nothing else. My mouth was filled with spit. I wasn’t nauseous. Not really. But I was definitely going to puke, only I wasn’t ready to pay my tab.

At the second mile marker I was keeping pace with a gentleman that looked like he was hating it, too. “C’mon. One more mile. Let’s go, I might puke.” He laughed, but he steered clear of me. We traded off leading the way over the next ten minutes. I rounded the corner and could see the finish line and my mouth filled in that way where you know you have less than twenty seconds. Had I been 21 years old and in my favorite bar on the way to the bathroom I’d have been afraid I’d run in to someone that I knew. I had twenty seconds and max three words before I was going to let my Gatorade soaked puke fly freely.

I crossed the finish line. I wasn’t walking or limping. I was smiling and sweating. “I’m gonna puke,” I told the volunteer waiting to collect the time chips.

And puke I did.

With my hands on my knees I had three more words in my head. “Oh. Hell. Yes.” I did it. I finished. Injury, be damned. Who knew that the boozing of my twenties would have prepared me for this strange surge of athleticism in my thirties? As soon as the heaving stopped I thought “That wasn’t bad.  Let’s run it back again!”

Tri season is over for me. Love the new physical therapist. And I will keep training through the winter. Maybe even do a little of that old-school training of my twenties just to keep things interesting.

20130823-134142.jpg

The Happiest Girl That Just Puked Ever

The Smartest Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Done, Recently

“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” ~Judith Viorst

Only I didn’t trip on my skateboard.

In order to get out of my bed I have to pull my legs out from underneath 75 pounds of dog, slide out from under the kiddo and climb over a bed rail.  Tripping over a skateboard sounds like a dream come true.  Every morning I perform this acrobatic feat in order to get to my bathroom and every morning I know whether I am looking down the tunnel at a a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day within the first ten seconds.

The answer lies in the response to the question – how much does it hurt to walk today? Just a little?  Enough that I need ice and the TENS unit or just ice? Maybe it only hurts in a creaky, stiff “I can totally go to yoga but not swimming ” kind of way.  Or maybe it hurts in the “Holy shit, I want to climb back in to bed right after I make a pitstop in the kitchen and eat my face off because that is what I do when I feel defeated” kind of way.   Very occasionally I have the kind of morning where my feet hit the floor and I take two steps and I feel like me.  Those are the mornings that I want back.

Feeling like “me” in the morning is not always a picnic.  I have chronic lower back pain.  I have a penchant for mexican food and water retention and feet that like to remind me of this.  I am frequently sore because I am stubborn and foolish and of the opinion that if three sets of 8 with a 20 pound weight are a good idea than three sets of 12 with 25 is even better.

But it never hurt just to walk.

photo (4)

My lower extremity functional scale and my new pink shoes that have seen fewer miles in the last two months than I care to admit.

So, I sucked it up and I went to the doctor.  And she told me to go to the physical therapist and in a rare moment of doing what I am told I went.  And I did the exercises and I stopped running and I went to yoga and I stretched and I iced and I took the anti-inflammatory.  And the tendonitis that had wreaked havoc on  my range of motion seemed to be at bay.  I am stretchy, again.  Nights spent stretching my hamstrings in my doorframe have paid off.  But it still hurts.  Fucking bursitis.

So, I did that thing that is so impossibly hard.  I went back to the doctor.  And I said “It still hurts.”

I am the Queen of “Fine!  Everything is Fine!” I don’t like to yammer on too much about what ails me and in the presence of a doctor I somehow I feel this desire to downplay everything.  But I went in to my doctor’s appointment armed with two pieces of information.  If you follow Excitement on the Side on Facebook than you might already be familiar with them.

Lucy has started galloping. And I went to a hula hooping class.

Now those two things might not seem like a red flag. But when I said to Emily “Check it out!  Lucy is galloping!!” she replied with all of the eye rolling an almost 8-year-old can muster “I think she is fake limping, Mom.  She is mocking you.”

And hula hooping?  I like to hula hoop as much as the next gal but asa fitness endeavor?  I am one step out of the loony bin. I have had yoga and swimming up to my ears and I am so desperate for low-impact sweat that I am getting my Hoopnotica on, y’all.

I have given you so many words over the years.  Now you can really have a look INSIDE me!

I have given you so many words over the years. Now you can really have a look INSIDE me!

So, tomorrow I will head in to see a sports med doc at the UNC Spine Center that will hopefully give me some answers.  And I will tell him the truth. Yes, I have been doing my PT.  Yes, I have been stretching and icing and taking it easy.

And yes, I am going to do a sprint triathlon on Sunday morning even if I have to carry my own back half in a wheelbarrow.

Six months ago I signed up for the first one and I trained for 10 weeks.  Since then I have completed one other and pulled out of three more.  I was hurting.  And why exacerbate things?  But it is the last race of the season.  And I raised a lot of money for Best for Babes (thank you thank you for generous donations!!) So, dammit, I am going to finish.  This will be interesting since my focus of late has not been so much on swim/bike/run.  It has been more wine/yoga/ice cream.

I’ve been quiet.  And uninspired.  Tell me something good.  Leave me a link in the comments. Just don’t lecture me about running on my bum hips.  I got the thumbs up from the doc and the confirmation that I am not doing any “permanent damage.”  Set my “recovery back a few more weeks?” Probably.  But at this rate – what difference does it make?

So, that’s what’s new with me.  Lots of trips to the doctor, smart.  And a decision to go ahead and run a sprint triathlon even if I am hobbling, probably dumb.

 

These Colors Don’t Run

A woman at the gym grimaced at me today.  “Are those decals?”

“Hmm?” I looked down at my shoes, confused.   I started to say “They are New Balance.”

“All over you,” she said.  “Are they decals?”

And for the first time in recent memory I was silent.  I just stared at her.

“They are tattoos,” I eventually said.  I said the word very slowly.  Tat-toos.

She stared back at me.  “Real tattoos? I guess the kids like them.”

And she walked away.

The kids?  Did she mean me, as in “You crazy kids and your tattoos!” Was she going to shake her cane at me next?  Or was she talking about my kids?  I was walking hand in hand with the girls on my way out of the gym when she offered up her unsolicited opinion.

I see her pretty often at the gym.  I suppose it is a good thing I just stared in silence.  None of the clever replies that eventually occurred to me  were particularly kind.

But I can promise you this.  I will be putting my yoga mat right next to hers tomorrow morning.  And I will be wearing the shortest damn shorts I own.  She thinks I have a lot of tattoos now?  Lady ain’t seen nothing yet.

photo (1)

 

I took a shower in my bathing suit and I feel dirty.

Sometimes you have to take a stand.  And today I decided that I am not an old, naked lady at the gym.  Well, not all of the time.

Sometimes I am.  But  today I had to make a split decision.

I am pro-naked.  I blame it on coming of age in a high school theatre dressing room but it really doesn’t matter where it started.  I am pro-body acceptance.  In my mind the more bodies that you see, real bodies, the less likely you are to hate on your own.  I work hard at not picking my body apart and ordinarily when I am given the opportunity to show someone else what an average middle aged woman’s body looks like I take it.

I am not yet one of the gals well beyond their middle years that stand in the locker room blowing their hair dry au naturale, chatting up my lady friends while they strap their aged bazooms in to their sensible nude brassieres.  But if I am honest with myself I know that I will be one of those ladies one day.

But not today.  Today I showered in my bathing suit.

“Hi!  Is Emily here?”  said the young girl in the shower across from mine.

I had just turned on the shower, still in my suit, as is customary.  I like to wash my hair and let the soap drip on my swimsuit, pull it off and rinse it out while I leave conditioner in my hair.  It’s an efficient system and one I recommend.  I digress.

Four words made me turn my back on my system. “Hi!  Is Emily here?”

“Nope, she isn’t here today, she’s at art camp this week.” I shampooed while we talked.  And before I knew it I was rinsing my hair and putting in the conditioner, still in my swim suit.

“Ok.  Maybe we will see you this afternoon.”

Umm…  you were about to see a whole lotta me, actually.  I’d already given them an eye full of an awful lot of tattoos they had previously not seen.  And I just wasn’t sure if I could in good conscience be “Emily’s Mom That We Saw Naked At The Gym” for the rest of the summer.

And now I am wrestling with that decision.  Did I miss my opportunity to let my freak flag fly in the form of a nudie shower in the community gym locker room?  Did I make the right choice?

“Mom, did you get totally naked in front of my friends?”

“Uh.  Yeah.  Because women shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies.”

I didn’t want to have that conversation.  Not yet.

So, I showered in my bathing suit and now I feel dirty.

I am doing my part to rid my corner of the universe of body shame, I am.   I just can’t wrap my mind around chit chatting with my daughter’s  friends while I am stark naked.  Not yet.

But when I am 60 and they are 30? Game on.  Her gal pals will be leaving tennis club and they will roll their eyes as I head towards the showers “There goes Em’s mom. Grandma never wears clothes.”

“And she sings when she wears head phones.  She is ridiculous.”

For your viewing pleasure – these are some weird wall stickers in the yoga room at the gym.   So, what do you see?  Olives?  I used to see olives.

Wall stickers

But lately… all I see is boobs, everywhere I look.  Especially in the locker room.

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 8.36.28 PM

A Not So Very Big Deal Kind of Day

“I just realized I should have called you before I did this… but I gave away our crib today,” I said, as soon as he answered the phone.

“Just get a picture before you take it apart,” he said.20130701-143311.jpgIt wasn’t all the way apart.  And to be honest, this is as “in the crib” as Lucy ever got in the last two years.  So, it was kind of a non-event.

I took apart the crib and gave it away.

That sounds like a Big Deal, like a milestone.  “Awww, hold old is your baby? Is she moving in to a toddler bed?”

The “baby” is not even 18 months old but it doesn’t make any sense to keep stuffed animals in a gigantic cage.  In fact, I am not even really sure why we had so many damn stuffed animals and I gave away a trash bag of those today, too.

She isn’t moving in to a toddler bed.  In fact, when she moves out of our bed and in to her own it will be a step down.  She will be moving from a King to a Queen.  Poor kid.20130701-143303.jpg

I briefly considered looking at bedding online.  But it is hard to find whimsical kid bedding in a Queen size.  I spent a year and a half wedged in a twin bed with Emily when she “moved in to her own bed” and I am not making that mistake again. So, a Queen size bed it is for this kid.

And really, by the time she moves in to her own room she probably won’t want a whimsical kid room, anyway, right? I should probably get some kind of side table so she has a place for her cup of coffee, huh? I’m guessing she will be reading and drinking coffee by the time she moves out of our room.  She has a comfortable chair; she just needs a table.  Kid will be Virginia Woolf’ing it up by her 17th birthday, max.  But I am ready.

In the meantime, we are booking the Guest Room for the remainder of the summer season.

20130701-143256.jpg

Uh oh

It’s cute the first time your kiddo says “Uh oh.”

It’s cute the second time, maybe even the third time.

Somewhere around two or three days after learning the word “Uh oh” it dawns on the stay at home parent that “uh oh” is toddler-speak for “Mom, come clean this shit up!” and it becomes infinitely less cute.

This week I did that foolish thing again where I go to the bathroom.  Alone.  I wasn’t gone thirty seconds when I heard “Uh oh” from the kitchen.

I hurried back out to the kitchen and there they were.  Lucy and Fisher.  Covered in baking powder.  Completely covered.

Fish likes to give me this look like he has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on around him.  Like all labs, you can catch him red-handed and he will still do the dog version of shrugging his shoulders.

I didn’t have the good sense to snap a picture before I started cleaning up baking powder.  But even a picture would not have captured the madness.  Dog covered in baking powder.  Floor covered in baking powder.  Baby delighted with herself.  “Lucy!  What are you doing?”  Lucy smiles.  Fish just looks around like he is as innocent as the day is long.  Lucy turns and reenters the pantry and emerges with a handful of dog food.

Kid ratted him out. She knocked the baking powder on the floor while getting him a little snack.  These two are thick as thieves.  Uh oh.

20130627-193448.jpg

Thousands of Push-ups and This Is What I Have to Show for It

I should have been excited.

Lucy only has about a dozen words.  Four or five of them are new as of this week.  So many things get easier when your toddler can use words. You know what they want.  Water?  Sleep? Outside? Up?

I don’t know what I thought her first two word thought would be.  Love mama? More eat? Dog out?

She was sitting in my lap.  It was nearing her bedtime and I was trying to squeeze a few more minutes of chatter with an old friend  in to my evening.  She was scooping her hands in and out of my tanktop.  I knew what she was after but she was still happy. I kept talking.

She had her eyebrows squinched together like she does when something does not meet her approval.

“Boob.  Up!”

Sigh.  I hear you, little lady.  37 years old and two pregnancies –  this is as up as they get, girl.

Up

Ch-ch-ch-anges

Sometimes change happens so slowly you don’t even notice it. The big kid loses a tooth and as the new one grows in her face changes and she looks older one day. Intellectually I know that she didn’t age over night. It is slow and gradual. I just happened to notice it all of a sudden.

But sometimes change happens in a moment. It is a big, crazy “This moment right now is creating a new truth” kind of a moment and you know that there is no turning back.

It’s hot outside, guys. Running outside is proving to be a sweaty, messy, slow affair. While I am not crazy about the jogging stroller I do appreciate the fact that I have at my disposal multiple bottles of ice cold water. Trading out the jogging stroller for the dry, parched, damn near-dehydrating reality of running without a water bottle isn’t the free and easy feeling I was shooting for when I went out last week without my sidekick for a late afternoon run.

So, I did what I always do. I perused Amazon. I stopped in my local running shop. I compulsively read reviews of hydration running belts (not incidentally called hip flasks when they are not filled with bourbon and not designed for smuggling booze in to sporting events.) I considered the hand-held palm water bottles. I online shopped with no intention of actually buying anything until I convinced myself that I was making things complicated. I ran again this past weekend with a water bottle in my hand (because it suddenly dawned on me that I have opposable thumbs that are quite handy for things like grasping!) I dropped that bottle twice. It was slippery once it was all covered in condensation.

And then I had a moment of genius. Why couldn’t I put a water bottle in a beer koozie and cut a strip of beer koozie and just sew it on like a handle?

20130530-112504.jpg

Not any of my favorites. A bank and a mortgage company – two sub par koozies became one fantastic hand-held water bottle holder.

Well, I could. And I did.

And as I took the scissors to a beer koozie, effectively turning it from a beer drankin’ accessory in to a fitness hydration device, I had one of those moments. My life was changing irrevocably.

I love beer koozies. Maybe it was the years at the beach. Maybe it is my love of cold, cold shitty beer. But I am a girl that has a koozie in her back pocket at a picnic or a concert. I lose my keys, my wallet, my phone, my sunglasses, my concert ticket but I never lose my koozie. And in a matter of 60 seconds I went from idea to scissors.  I took a pair of scissors to a BEER KOOZIE.

I am not drinking too many beers these days. The payback is too great. The kids don’t sleep in and the headache is too large and the miles won’t run themselves. I could likely fill a cooler with beer and another cooler with koozies. I might be a girl that never loses one but it hasn’t stopped me from collecting them.

20130530-114827.jpg

Just a few of my favorites!

I love beer koozies.  I love them so damn much I am taking them with me when I run.  Because I might as well just face it.  I am running a lot more than I am drinkin’ these days.  Truth.