Friday, October 22, 2010

insert cliche here

I realized last week that I am holding all of my caca together with a very fine spindle of spider webbing, that I am at the end of my rope, reached my limit, too much on the plate...or whatever cliche you prefer. The boy is now being bribed to behave in school. An impromptu conference with his teacher last week was were I realized that perhaps I was not keeping it together very well...because I started to CRY! In public. I don't do that, ever. But I did and then blubbered. It was certainly not my finest hour and was really quite embarrassing. Either way I've been pissed at myself since. I mean who does that? I tried to come up with excusing my head as to why the boy would be acting so naughty, gifted, poor choice in friends, tired, she was picking on him...then I blamed the husband's parenting (always a go to when I can't find an answer) then I blamed my parenting. But I've come to the realization that he was being a brat and no amount of time outs and loss of screen time was going to make a difference. Nor was yelling at the kid. He's like me and doesn't respond well to that style of behavior modification. That just makes us feistier. Instead I will fall back on my college psychology classes and use "positive reinforcement" which is basically bribery. I mean who doesn't do something better when they are getting something out of it? Sure you can say you are doing things simply for the satisfaction of accomplishment but to a six year old, yeah right. So the kid gets a toy. So far he has been behaving for four days. A marked improvement over multiple timeouts at school a day. He still isn't allowed to play with the naughty kids in class though. At first I felt like I was being a snob or something, because they are all just six years old for crying out loud, but then I thought eh, screw it. Cheap toys from China seem to be doing the trick.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Second Blog?!? You, know because I like to write....

Check out my new blog here. I will still write about all things I usually do in my Soapdish, but I am tracking my tri training and such over at Ironmama! The posts will most likely be more frequent but waaaaaay shorter, or at least that's my hope.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


One of my favorite quotes is by Steve Prefontaine, it goes "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." I have a poster of him running in my office. If you know me, you know that I love that quote and that the movie, Without Limits, is my favorite movie. I have marvelous lungs, they are abnormally large and move a whole lot of oxygen. If there were lung models I could be one. I was completely shocked by this fact after I had my VO2max test. I rarely feel superior in anything but breathing is one thing I can do really damn well, but unless you are troubled breathing you never really think about it or your lungs.

My son is an entirely different matter. Ham has "airway disease," this is a polite way of saying your kid's lungs are messed up and we really have no idea why. He now gets to use oxygen while eating because his oxygen sits around 89/90 and will dip into the low 80s and sometimes into the 70s. This sounds simple, but like any one year old he prefers to stick things up his own nose and not have his parents strap something on his face that blow air up his nose. So we spent a few days letting him get use to the cannula. Baby girl was a big help since she put on the extra larger one and would just leave it on so Ham would think it was cool. Tonight we will try it during a meal for the first time. We are still in the diagnostic phase and I have come to grips with this new reality. Doctors will give a sort of diagnosis just to change it when Ham does something new. Its frustrating and at times scary but mostly I don't worry about it, because all that does is make me nuts. I do find it annoyingly ironic that I have huge lungs that work so very well and he has "airway disease."

This whole process has allowed for some clarity in my life. I took all those science classes in college so I could handle this. I am not working at a job because this situation requires more intensity than a daycare could manage and I need to be here for ALL the appointments and to advocate for him. My husband took a job that makes him travel extensively, bores him often, but is extremely stable because of this. But, back to Prefontaine....

I was given this gift of being really metabolically efficient and I am not going to sacrifice it. I spoke about having goals over the next five years and physically my goal is to do an Ironman, and not just do one, but do one fast. I know what training for one requires and honestly will not be able to do that until all three kids are in school, but in the meantime I am going to do sprints, Olympics, and this summer, a half Ironman. I am going to use these gigantic lungs to my absolute best ability, not to just finish a race, but to finish it well. I am not going to squander this gift.

I am not sure what Ham's capabilities will be when he is older, if this will be a life long problem, if it something he will grow out of, or if it will something fixable. I'm not sure what this winter will bring with all the germs, but what I do know is that we now have recognized this is going on and he is under the care of some really great doctors. I also know that I want him and his siblings to have normal childhoods, not ones filled with doctor's appointments and hospital admissions, so we take care of what we need to take care of and leave it at that. We don't make a big deal about Ham.

Yesterday the husband and I moved the computer up to the kitchen so we could follow the Ironman Championships in Kona live. We have a family friend who was racing and wanted to see what the pros had in store. It was amazing to have it on all day. When you see age groupers cross the finish line after racing 12+ hours it really brings tears to your eyes. There were many people who had struggled in life, cancer survivors, amputees, people who had received heart transplants, an 80 year old man that was competing in his 21st Ironman. It really does make you admire what the human body is capable of so why sit around and squander it. I could succumb to my fears about Ham, but I won't, that would be sacrificing the gift. Yesterday made me think of another one of my Pre favorites, "A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

feel the burn

I don't like group fitness. It always feels so awkward. I generally don't know anyone in class, while lots of other women are chatting. I always feel like the new kid. The exception to this would be spin class, but that's only because it is in the dark and you get to go on a virtual tour or watch a race. However, I am mixing up my workout routine and as I said earlier I am trying to incorporate more strength training. I heard there was a trainer at the gym that was really tough. I have a lot of endurance so cardio classes generally are not too challenging for me, so I was interested in trying out a class that was supposed to be difficult. (Plus, I can be a bit competitive and hard sounded competitive.)

Now I remember who reminds me of Capt. Winters in Band of Brothers, we will call the trainer Capt. Winters. Capt. Winters is a crazy person; like run around the room screaming like a mean drill sergeant crazy, only he is hilarious at the same time making snarky comments. Plus his class was really really hard. So I decided that I would try his other class. I dropped the boy off at school and sped to the gym because I was told one needed to come early to class to set up because it fills up. I noticed the stream of speeding SUVs and minivans all heading the same way I was, then the ladies in the vehicles rushed to get out their strollers, then women pushing strollers zoomed past me to drop of their brood...and then getting really crabby when their offspring would not cooperate. It was almost embarrassing, really, to be in this line of crazy women absolutely determined to get to this one class. But when I got up there 20 minutes before class was to begin it was indeed full. I scraped together the necessary items for set up, except there were no more little barbells left just the large 45 lbs bar variety. So like any moron I drug that back to my spot, come hell or high water I was going to see what the fuss was about here. After the five minutes of set up I started to look around and noticed I was in a, what I have deemed "happy hour," class. Happy Hour at the gym is like happy hour at a bar, lots of botox, make up, designer clothes, plastic parts, and chit chatting. I started to get really uncomfortable. Unless I am super dolled up (and even then) I generally do not feel comfortable in the happy hour setting. I am not sure if I am being super judgmental or I feel like I'm the quirky shy one or what, but, I have a super hard time meeting new people. Thankfully I did see a friendly face and I mellowed a bit. Then Capt. Winters marched in and I remembered the 45 lbs. bar. Now, while I have a lot of endurance I am kind of a weakling. Plus, I am the size of a middle schooler. So in class we have techno music blaring, my arms shaking horribly, and Capt. Winters screaming, plus all that mascara that one wears to happy hour wears off in class and so its starting to look a little scary. The previous class with Capt. Winters my husband took with me and he stated after class that he should be a trainer too on account of the flock of spandex wearing ladies surrounding the said Capt. Nice. That was what I was starting to think was going on here. Yet, it was becoming increasingly difficult to think due to my upper body being engulfed in lactic acid. Then Capt. Winters started yelling that we were not to stop just because it was burning, that if you stop every time it burns you will just condition yourself to give up and never improve.

That right there sums up me. Most things come fairly easy for me...up to a point. Once I reach that point I completely shut down and move onto something else. Never ever pushing through and reaching my potential. Not even taking a step back to look around and even rearrange things in order to achieve goals, nope I feel the burn and run the other way. I don't even ask for advice I just morph into my namesake animal and maybe bray a little. Now, granted somethings in my life I truly believe I should not have been able to manifest, they simply were not the road I was to travel. But others I am not so sure. This is something that I HAVE to work on. I have broken down my life into three parts: physical, spiritual, and professional and am developing five year goals for each of them. I will NOT half ass them either. They will be done well and with care. I will ask for help and advice when I need it (whether I think I do or not), I will arrange things so nothing is a huge overwhelming burden on my family, but when things become uncomfortable and I really do feel like I can't keep going I will no longer run the other direction. Capt. Winters stated during class that we could slow down, but we were not to stop, the only way we could stop was walk out the door. (One woman actually did). I think that is precisely what kept me going with the ridiculously huge bar, I was not going to walk out the door in front of the happy hours, no, I was going to keep going shaking arms and all. Just like now, I'm done giving up. I was never promised that life is one long vacation, I can't use circumstances as excuses. It burns but I'll keep going. Perhaps I have been too judgemental on the happy hours as well, perhaps there are there not just to get a workout and stare at Capt. Winters but to workout shit in their heads too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

168 Hours - what I learned

When I was twelve, my mom took us to Disney World. I have a memory like an elephant (unless it comes to names...faces no problem, but names not so good). There was a lot of drama surrounding us going to Disney World, it was obnoxious but my brother and I got to go to Disney for the first time out of spite. I knew it at the time and relished it. We loaded up in her LeBaron and drove from St. Louis to Orlando. We stayed at a Hojo. There was a little kitchenette in the room and my mom made us pancakes every morning. We had never been to Florida. We had so much fun. We had so much fun in fact that we didn't want to go home. Not the "oh I don't want this vacation to end" but the hysterical crying anxiety filled with some "oh holy hell if you drop us back off with the crazy step family we are going to absolutely lose it we don't want this vacation to end." All.the.way.home. My mom finally got us to calm down by having us rehash the ENTIRE trip, from wake up until sleep we said everything we did, no moment was ignored. While daydreaming about our recently ended vacation we were happy, calm, not shrieking, and no doubt my mom's nerves were calmed as well. When we got back to Missouri I was happy to see my dad, but remember crying to him in the bathroom that I just couldn't be happy. Then I went to my room and rehashed the trip again. This started to become by coping mechanism. Rehashing vacations. The next year we went again and I had already decided by that point that I was moving in with my mom and circumstances with the step family had drastically changed for the better but the whole way home we went over the trip again.
I don't remember doing this in high school much. I remember all the vacations we took and I usually brought friends along, but generally the feeling was get me the hell away from my family and back with my friends, even on the Lampoon's European month long vacation. I rehash a lot of that trip now and laugh at my brother and my antics; and also marvel how much I had matured in a year, because when we returned the following summer I was a completely different girl and loved everything I saw.

Fast forward to The Disney Wedding: leaving everyone the husband and I knew in Germany, family, longtime friends, and returning back to Vegas was very hard for me. We both were lonely. I had that "oh shit I have to go live out in the middle of nowhere Nevada and I know one person" feeling. My writing journal is filled with the 10 day long wedding trip events, moment by moment. This is my coping strategy. Filling my head with memories. Sometimes at the expense of what is going on around me. What you didn't see when I was writing down my daily schedule is my thought pattern. Which basically is worry worry daydream daydream worry worry rehash rehash.

Last week was an extremely typical week. We always have doctor's appointments, school, homework, the house needs to be cleaned weekly, laundry never stops, the grass is still growing. But what I realized was my thought pattern. I get lonely because when we are sick (and the husband is out of town) we can't go to play group and socialize so I get on Facebook, just to "see" other people that I know. I listen to NPR while cooking breakfast and dinner so I can know what is going on in the world but also to hear adult voices. But mainly my head is dreaming. Always dreaming. Stories to write, what if Ham's lab work comes back bad, I daydream about Bud, I worry about family members, I feel guilty when I am cleaning or exercising that I should spend more time with the kids. Or that if I am playing with the kids that I am wrecking the house. If I am unable to exercise I get crabby and eat too much sugar. I fill my head with memories, some real and some made up. I plan vacations. I never lust over shopping or some item the I just have to have. What I lust over is time with my family just having fun. I lust over time with my husband. (Honestly I believe this is why triathlons are fun for me, they are my dates.) I am not craving time by myself, I am with myself all day long. I crave time that isn't filled with errands, sick, appointments, and medicines.

If I do this job of mine properly hopefully my kids will leave and not return and live in my basement. They will not be strippers, hookers, drug dealers, incarcerated, racking up debt asking me for money, chauvinists, but will be adults with integrity and can provide for themselves. I will still be married and my husband and I will look at each other in our empty nest and not see a stranger, but instead a companion. Yes the laundry needs to be done, I can't just ignore Ham's lungs as much as I would just like to, kids have to be educated, but I want to rehash some memories of my family having fun now. Relaxing now, not someday. So I will try to store some of my week in my brain and write down some moments to keep precious of snuggles while reading, dusty trails in the mountains, surprise flowers from the husband, and my painted toes from baby girl and maybe once and awhile a vacation with these people I love to rehash over too. Could I use some of my time better. Probably. Will I change my routine? Perhaps. But as far as time spent it seems to be well rounded: kids, volunteer, school, homework, exercise, house, church. (When not sick we do spend sometime with friends.) Exercise is fun for me. I should read more books. But I am going to start capturing some moments now while planning for some later.

All that and I drink too much coffee.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

168 Hours Day Seven

430 Hear Ham up and fussing. The husband and I simultaneously pretending to be asleep and not here him.

500 Husband breaks down and brings him in bed with us. Obviously he is done sleeping and is raring to go, climbs off of bed marches down the hall to wake up other kids. We get up to go make coffee, other kids get up not at all upset by the early hour.

5-6 go downstairs make coffee, eat cereal, sit around and chat.

6-7 kids watch some t.v., while husband and I drink even more coffee. clean up dishes, put dishes away.

7-815 get ready for church. Have more coffee.

830-930 church

945-1045 talk to middle schoolers about praying. Attention kiddos: God is not a genie. Middle schoolers are interesting, they are either on or off, no in between. They seem smart and say smart things one minute and then act and say things like my six year old the next. Oh I can't wait....

11-12 drive home and Ham falls asleep on the two minute ride home. Gee I wonder why. Put him to bed. The rest of us go in and snack, the kids demand sandwiches.

12-2 we all go down stairs and the kids play. Drink even more coffee. I write an email. The kids play some more in the Lego room.

2-230 kids go watch more Suite Life on Deck...not sure what the attraction to that show is. The husband and I discover that google maps has been revamped to make the city street view AMAZING. Look at different cities around the world. Hoping that Luxembourg was updated but it wasn't.

230-300 Ham gets up. We all go upstairs. I make Ham a sandwich. not a ham sandwich though.
3-5 decide that it is time to make an early Sunday dinner because the husband is leaving again. Husband pretty much makes the whole meal while I play outside with the kids. Baby girl and I paint each other's toes, yes my toes were painted by a four year old and they look like it.

5-530 Eat the very yummy dinner.

530-6 Husband goes to pack while I clean up. *Somehow* baby girl manages to do a belly flop on the tile entry way.

6-730 Husband leaves while the kids and I watch Honey I Shrunk the Kids and I chase down Ham with the meds. all and pretty much all over the house the while continually staring at baby girl and asking her if she is ok from the belly flop.

730-8 give kids a bath read, one short book, put them to bed.

8-9 go play on the computer and write this. Hope to go to bed soon. I have a fun filled day of the boy being home again, a reading assessment, and his wart removals all before 10.

168 Hours Day 6

7- 8am get up to the noise of Ham fussing in crib, go into Ham's room and realize that he has pooped, stuck his hand in the poop and then decorated his crib, sheets, bumpers, and gave himself a full body poopmask. The husband throws Ham in the bath while I clean the crib and throw linens into laundry. get kids dressed. put on workout clothes. leave the house

8-9 am realize that it is really quite chilly outside. do something we never do....took kids to McDonald's for breakfast. They flipped out. "Are we going on vacation?...we only do this with grandma and grandpa!...are we going to Montana?...this one time at band camp..."

915-1015 drop kids off at child center at gym. run into pediatrician. go to spin class tried to figure out where teacher was from, said she liked rugby husband guessed South Africa and was right.

1015-1115 worked out on weights because the Triathlete's Bible says that you can get faster by incorporating weight training into workouts so I have been. Did lots of ab work and screamed like a girl during one need to worry just breaking down c-section scarring.

1145-1230 ate lunch at home

1230-1 put Ham down, took shower

1-2 played with the boy and baby girl, chatted with husband, got ready to go to Broomfield days, woke Ham up.

2-430 took the kids to Broomfield Days, looked at all the vendors, bought tickets so the kids could go on rides, bought and ate a funnel cake.

430-630 made Mexican chicken soup for dinner while the husband made blue corn muffins, we all watched Wall-E, ate dinner

630-730 husband gave other two kids a bath while I cleaned up dinner. Put them to bed.

730-930 All the South African talk from earlier got us wanting to watch Invictus (mmm Mr. Damon) so we watched it on OnDemand. Very good movie. Go see it.

930-10 after movie is over start flipping and notice Band of Brothers is on Spike start watching that since it is one of my favorites. Keep trying to figure out who Capt Winters reminds me of...

1000 notice that the husband is snoring, turn off t.v. and head to bed. Dream about living in South Carolina for the second night in a row. So weird.

Friday, September 17, 2010

168 Hours Day Five

8 am - three kids join me in bed. Everyone slept in. Beautiful

8-9am - breakfast of champions...cheerios (honey nut just to mix things up a bit).

9-1115 CLEAN THE HOUSE!! Friday is my usual cleaning day. The kids watched cartoons for the first hour. Then they played: hunter, explorer, drew pictures, played with toys. While I: cleaned kitchen (wipe down cabinets, countertops, appliances, microwave, throw out nasty food) dusted main floor, cleaned main floor bathroom. wiped down walls and doors. Naturally the boy's sheets needed to be washed along with baby girl's and the boy's regular attire. Played a pathetic game of Qrank on my phone.

1115-12 Lunch (salad and pumpkin bisque soup for me and the boy, marmalade sandwiches with fruit for the picky ones). Made two doctor's appointments one for Ham and one for the boy.

12-130 clean bathrooms upstairs, dust upstairs, strip sheets off baby girl's bed and mine. Made kids pick up toys while helping.

130 put Ham down for nap.

130-3 picked up dog poop and mowed the grass. The boy and girl helped by riding bikes in driveway and building a fort in the garage with an umbrella. Cut down some of the sunflowers. Trimmed the edges of grass in front yard with clippers BECAUSE THE STUPID WEED EATER IS STILL BROKEN. AHEM!!!!

3-4 made pizza dough crust and finally took a shower. the boy and baby girl watched Phineas and Ferb.

4-5 dusted and cleaned downstairs. vacuumed downstairs. Vacuumed main floor. Get Ham out of crib. Kids watched something else...Suite Life on Deck maybe?

5-6 rolled out pizza, cooked pizza, ate pizza, cleaned up pizza.

6-630 vacuumed upstairs. Mopped kitchen and entry way floors.

630-715 took kids to store to buy neat little items that one wears to bed so if they were to pee their mommy would not have to wash the sheets. (Usually we have these in stock, but I was lazy and didn't get more at the beginning of the week.) Also bought cat litter.

715-815 received call that husband had landed, instructed husband to drive to liquor store before arriving home. put away items from store. got kids into jammies, brushed teeth, talked to my mom, attempted to give ham his meds which he flung on the cat. Cats don't like pudding with medicine on their fur. Held him down in order to give him the inhaler. Once again toddlers and inhalers...not so much.

815-this thing. I still have three loads of laundry to fold, and a cat box to change. Not sure if those will happen tonight. Husband better arrive soon with happy hour.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

168 Hours Day Four

530am - Ham wakes up and will not go back to sleep

6-630am - Make coffee, blueberry pancakes

630-7 am eat breakfast and clean up

7-8am - pack lunches and get ready to go to the zoo. that's right the zoo because the boy has five days off in a row. back in my day we went to school seven days a week...

8- 9am - shower, get kids dressed, make beds, and you know the drill put Mr. I like to wet the bed's sheets in the wash. Look at FB on phone and get into a political discussion with a family member. always fun in my book.

9-930 go to gas station to air up slow leaking tire.

930-10 drive to zoo

10-2pm hang out at the zoo. Eat packed lunches, look at all the animals and new construction, Highlights: a really pissed off monkey, bored elephants, aggressive penguins, cute baby tigers, happy seals, and some freaky looking vultures. baby girl pushed hello kitty around in a stroller the whole time.

2-230pm drive to Happy Cakes, take scenic route through old neighborhoods and downtown, pass by convention center getting ready for gigantic onslaught of beer ingesting individuals (Hi Dave!) wave at the blue bear, snicker at Diamond Cabaret, enter (another) old yet recently trendy neighborhood, stop at cupcake shop.

230-3 Order: two beer and brat cupcakes (so yummy) one for me and one for Mr. Man, one marble with chocolate frosting (the boy), one vanilla with vanilla frosting with cherry on top (baby girl), and one vanilla with vanilla with sprinkles (ham). Take quick picture to upload to FB. (FB loves to talk about food and see pictures of food and talk about food some more) Inhale mine, watch boy slowly eat his, watch Ham lick the frosting off of his and finally about pass out from the sight that baby girl took one bite and has stopped eating. her cupcake. the only thing she ever really eats is carbs with a side of sugar. Ask her what's wrong. Her mouth hurts. That needle scratching the record noise stops all thoughts in my head....she has that stinkin or shall I say mothereffin virus. Look inside her mouth to see lots of sores. The boy states his tongue hurts too so naturally I look in to find spots. Not as bad as baby girl's but still there. Quickly look at hands and feet...sure enough spots. So this is a relatively mild virus only lasting a couple days at most but I guess pretty painful because baby girl not eating a cupcake is pretty severe. Must be fast moving too since breakfast and lunch were eaten without a complaint and actually eaten well. Nicely timed too I might add since the boy is off...FOR FIVE DAYS IN A ROW.

3-30 drive home going through every school zone in the state of Colorado, noting that those schools are in session.

330-430 get kids out of car, get mail, unwind, putz around, change diaper, put Ham's clean clothes away and such

430 start noodles since I am not sure what else they will eat.

5-530- eat dinner. Kids: mac n cheese plus a little left over chicken some strawberries and blueberries they swore only hurt a little. I had chicken, salad, and fruit. Pretty much same as yesterday. Minus the bread since I ate the cupcake.

530-6 clean up kitchen and feed the very old not acting well at all dog.

6-7 bath time, which is not fun. very wet, wet kids kind of smell like wet dog, clean up Ham's pee that he decorated the carpet with, got kids in jammies, brush teeth realized sheets aren't done for the boy. Put Ham down (who got up at 530 and only slept in the car today.) make pudding only so I can sprinkle one of Ham's meds in it and feed it to him. Then everyone wants pudding...including me. We all we pudding and then I chase Ham around to give him the inhaler. (Not sure an inhaler and a one year old work well together.)

7-730 read some book the boy drug home about a pokemon battle and then pinkie pie's tea party. high quality literature. (Don't worry I read them A Midsummer Night's Dream last week) Made boy sleep on top bunk that has sheets.

730-8 Facebook and this thing. For the rest of the evening I envision washing and folding laundry, talking to the husband, and watching television. Should get on the bike, but won't. Then I will almost fall asleep on couch only to be awoken by really dry contacts and then haul myself off to bed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

168 Hours Day Three

I have fixed the link from day one so you can see where I got this marvelous idea.
I went to bed last night listening to coyotes...not sure where this fit
s in, but thought I would share.

7:30 am - oh shit, throw on running clothes, get Ham out of crib who decided to occupy himself while waiting by unmaking his bed, note that he seems to be in a much better mood.

7:45am - make breakfast: waffles for kids, more cheerios for me, have boy finish reading log to turn in.

8am-8:39 make lunch, send kids upstairs to get dressed. Hear lots of yelling about people not able to brush teeth next to one another. Head upstairs to put the smack down. Tooth paste everywhere and no one is dressed. Get kids dressed. Remind the boy that to today is gym day and he needs to wear tennis shoes, find matching socks. Realize we are going to be late again start threatening kids. kids start crying and then promptly calm down and start dancing in the car when they hear Rodrigo y Gabriela. Ah Spanish guitar....

8:45- the boy does a exit from the car that the mob would be proud of...

8:55 - drop baby girl off at preschool

9-915 go home and search for sunglasses.

9:15-1015 run with Ham in the jog stroller, go over nasty email I would love to write to some nasty person in my head and then follow it up by a very encouraging email that I would send someone else. trying to stay balanced you see...

10:30-11 - get dressed, put Ham's clothes in the dryer and for the third bloody day wash the boy's sheets...must buy some pull ups for at night!

1115 pick up baby girl

1130-1pm make lunch. convince baby girl that she will not die if she eats a turkey and cheese sandwich. make chocolate muffins while threatening baby girl with no muffins if she doesn't eat her sandwich. She eats her sandwich and miraculously lives to tell about it. We all eat the muffins. Vacuum up muffin crumbs (who the hell installs carpet in the main eating area!?!) and realize one crumb has smashed in already...use the amazing carpet cleaner Folex to get it out...have you tried this stuff, amazing!!! Clean up breakfast, lunch, and muffin dishes. Drink a cup of coffee that I will regret at 11 tonight.

1pm - put Ham down for a nap

1pm-1:45 - park baby girl in front of the electronic babysitter. organize office for bill paying. Start paying bills. Remove cat from bills. Answers some texts. Talk to a friend. Remove cat again. Keep paying bills, go over budget. Convince myself that mindless spending is bad and that goals are good. Hello Paris? Are you there? Its me, Jennie (oh and the husband too).

2-230 - mindless memes on facebook. oh so fun and yet so stupid.

2:30-300 Dr. Google (bad idea) get baby girl away from the t.v. wake up Ham get ready to pick up the boy.

3:23- 5 pm pick up the boy and go to Costco. Shop for food. Let the kids sample every little thing that is out. Spend an unGodly amount and shove all the large packaged items into Princess.

5:30-6 put away all the large boxed items

6-630 - eat dinner (Rotisserie chicken from Costco, salad, blueberries, fig, salad, piece of french bread) clean up from dinner. Have a discussion with baby girl as to why we eat chickens. She has declared it something that we should just not do because it is way too mean to animals. Note that she hasn't eaten any chicken and the boy is practically sucking out the marrow from the bones. Hard to tell what Ham is doing. Messy.

630-715 - outside playtime. This involves riding bikes, throwing rocks, playing on slide, digging in garden (we now have a watermelon the size of a're a month too late watermelon).

715-745 - get kids ready for bed, give Ham his meds (oh if it were simple enough to just give him a spoonful of liquid) brush teeth, put sheets back on the boy's bed.

7:45-8:30 - watch t.v. while doing sit ups, lunges, push ups. fold Ham's laundry

8:30-9:15 - talk to husband, check Facebook, this blog post.

9:30 hope to be asleep. Crap forgot to feed the dog. Go feed the dog.

168 Hours Day Two

3 am - Convince the boy that reading at 3 am is not a good choice

5 am -alarm goes off, reset for 6 am

6 am - hit snooze

6:30am - get up, shower, do make up but not hair

7am - breakfast toast and cream cheese for the kids and more cheerios for me.

7:30am- clean up. Get the boy to do his reading homework, a worksheet, and his reading log, make his lunch

8:15am get kids dressed, make beds, realize the boy wet the bed. again. the hell? strip sheets put them in washer. Brush teeth, hair. realize someone didn't flush the toilet and the dog went snorkeling.

8:30am get kids into car for school

8:43am drop off the boy

9am - drop off books at library

9:15-1040am come home, do dishes, change over laundry, listen to Ham continually fuss because he feels like crap, fix hair, get distracted by lobster gram, baby girl is having t.v. time, take Ham to playroom where he latches on to a crayon box and won't let go for anything. Try to placate fussing child with snacks and tylenol. switch over sheets and put Ham's clothes in washer.

10:40-11am a friend arrives with a gift card! Chat with friend, while not letting her into the germ house.

11am get kids in car and drive to Children's clinic for Ham's pulm. appt.

11:30am-1pm doctor's office. Another chest xray (I have sat in on 8 xrays this year. Hope that vest works). Xray came back not so great, more tests ordered, more meds prescribed. More appts to make with more specialists. But he is still gaining weight and eating so I'm thrilled.

1:30pm eat lunch with kids at home. Baguette with jelly, white cheddar cheese slices, and milk.
Get distracted by Ethan Allen catalog, start folding corners of pages with stuff that I want.

2 - 3pm Go to regular pediatricians office to check out spots that are now all over Ham's body. Doc is pretty sure it is hand foot and mouth just more all over the body and not too many spots in his mouth.

3:23pm pick up the boy from school

3:30-4pm drop of prescriptions for Ham's new meds. and get gas in the car.

4pm go home and make kids brush teeth. check facebook. receive call from dentist stating we are late for our appointment. Tell receptionist that I have the happy little card filled out stating 4:30 not 4. Throw kids in car and head to dentist. Now told they somehow had a "computer issue" and the kids can have their teeth cleaned at 4:30.

4:30-4:35pm the kids get their teeth cleaned are are deemed cavity free. Seriously it took only about five minutes. It was a glorified tooth brushing. Good to know they will be charging out over $100 to the insurance for that fun.

4:45-5:45pm decide that it may just be time to eat dinner, take kids to New Mexican food restaurant. The boy and I eat, the other two pick at their food like always. Baby girl discovers the honey and proceeds to dump it all over her dinner. then her shirt. then somehow her hair. I figure she can be the only preschooler with dreadlocks at school and decide to play Qrank on my phone.

6-6:45pm put Ham and baby girl into the bathtub. get pajamas on everyone and put Ham down. the poor kid didn't nap at all today. Put sheets back on the boy's bed.

6:45-7:30pm The boy finishes reading Green Eggs and Ham and then I read some book he drug home from school about the Bermuda Triangle. He falls asleep while I read it and then wakes up when I am finished and throws a fit. Send the boy off to bed. Put baby girl to bed.

7:30-8:30pm Not really sure, hooked bike up to trainer, changed clothes, looked at Facebook, Twitter, and googled Colorado air quality since I keep waking up smelling campfire. Talked to my Dad.

8:30-9:30pm Rode bike while watching Colbert Report and switching between O'Reilly and Maddow. That was fun and it wasn't baseball.

9:30-10pm talked to the husband

10-1045pm FB and this little drivel.

Monday, September 13, 2010

168 Hours Day One

I've decided to take this 168 Challenge because I feel like a lot of time with my family is slipping away and I actually want to write it all down just to see what it is that I do all week and then perhaps change things up or maybe just leave them alone. We shall see. Either way my days in a nut shell.

6 am - iphone alarm goes off press snooze

6:09 - same thing

6:18 - figure its now or never so I get up take shower. Actually have to wear make up and do hair this morning because I have a meeting

6:45 take fussing Ham out of crib and take him downstairs. Baby girl and the boy are already awake and watching crappy television

7 make breakfast -cheerios with bananas - all three throw a fit about the horribleness of what I am forcing them to eat. Pour myself a 2nd cup of coffee

7:30 clean up kitchen/make lunch/get back packs ready

8- realize the boy wet the bed, put sheets in laundry/ make other beds/ get Ham and baby girl dressed

8:15 decide that calling Children's Hospital and my insurance sounds like a great idea- become quite annoyed

8:40 - realize the boy is going to be late for school toss everyone in the car

8:47 drop off the boy two minutes late. bad mommy.

8:55 arrive at preschool drop off baby girl ten minutes late and take ham to child sitting because I have preschool board meeting

9-11:15 listen to all things preschool. Sign up for for even more volunteer tasks -newsletter and secretary

11:15 pick up baby girl and ham, chat with teachers other parents

11:45 make lunch - mac n cheese as requested by baby girl, decide that I need chocolate and eat a nutella and peanut butter sandwich.

12 clean up kitchen/ switch over sheets

12:30 take Ham upstairs for nap

12:45 check email/facebook/twitter baby girl watches t.v.

1:20 put away two baskets of laundry

1:40 decide that was enough t.v. time for baby girl. Read books together, start to take out magnetic paperdolls and Ham wakes up

1:45 realize that Ham is sick. Spots, poops, fever. Remember foot and mouth was going around gym and that we have a pulm. appt. tomorrow so no need to call doctor. Give Ham tylenol and feel really crappy that we most likely infected a whole lot of kids over the past few days. Then feel selfish that I can't go to the gym and am single parenting.

2-3 take kids down to playroom and play with trains/little people/books/pretend kitchen make gigantic mess and leave it

3 pack up swim stuff get ready to get the boy.

3:23 pick up boy and head to swim lessons

4 swim lessons for the boy and baby girl. Ham is happily lounging in his stroller with a bar and a sippy cup of water on the very far side of the pool as to not further contaminate. I had planned on swimming laps but can't due to Ham's virus. So I sit with Ham and realize the kids are doing really well at swimming.

4:30-5 shove everyone into shower to hose off and get dressed to go home

5-530 play outside.

5:30 time to make dinner. Today was declared carb day because we ate spaghetti, well the boy and I ate spaghetti, Ham and baby girl did their usual picking.

6 eat dinner

6:30-7 cleaned up dinner dishes, fed dog, vacuumed, had the boy work on homework

7-730 colored with the kids. Baby girl's became a "book" and the boy declared his were so beautiful he was taking them to school. I made a rainbow and mountains. Ham dumped all the crayons out and scribbled on table and everyone else's "art."

7:30 got kids ready for bed. Put Ham down.

7:45 Baby girl wanted to read her "book" she just made. It was about a boy named Marcus who was allergic to peanuts and shrimp but went to the mountains and saw a bear. The End. The boy read half of Green Eggs and Ham and started to work on his reading log.

8:15 put sheets back on boy's bed and then put the boy and baby girl to bed.

8:30 read about this challenge and said, eh, why not.

9:04 going to hit publish and go to bed early. (I NEED to get the bike on the trainer tomorrow since I can't go to the gym.)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mr. Glenn Beck you are a poopy head. There I said it.

I can't figure out this obsession with this guy, Glenn Beck. Or Sarah Palin. Or the whole Tea Party thing. Granted I haven't been to one of the rallies, but I have seen Mr. Beck and Mrs. Palin speak enough on television to have a pretty good idea about what they stand for when they start blathering. I have also seen and read articles about the Tea Party events around the nation and while I am sure the media picks out the most sensational one liners from the events, I feel as though I am getting the general vibe. To me that vibe feels like hate. I mean, it is a rather sad state of affairs when good ole Dubya seems like the sane one in the bunch. I think what bothers me so much is that these individuals and producers of such events are selling lies, hate, and fear and a whole lot of people are buying into it. I mean a whole lot, especially if you think that Mr. Beck's estimates from last weekend's rally are true.

I keep hearing things like, "take back this nation." Take it back from whom? The democratically elected government? Who has it? A President? The Democrats in Congress? We the people. Stonewalling Republicans? Or do large corporations "have" it? Do terrorists? This idea that somehow something was stolen from "us" drives me crazy. I was not a fan of how the previous administration was running things so I cast my ballot for change. I for one, think that Obama is actually doing a pretty good job with what was handed over to him.

It seems to me that Beck, Palin, et al. prefer to ignore the deficit the Republican Party racked up with a pointless war, but love to point out money when it goes to helping people. They seem to ignore that no American committed the horrible acts of 9-11, but they would like to insinuate that all Muslims are terrorists, and therefor American Muslims are unworthy of a place of worship in a location they desire. That somehow if Obama were to be a Muslim and not Christian that would somehow be horrible and awful. The husband works with a Muslim woman who has told him she is praying for little Ham. What is wrong with that? She has every right to her beliefs, as do I.

I am a Christian, but I do not like to be associated with this hate filled branding of Christianity I see being utilized for a political goal. I, personally, am a fan of the first amendment and would not want a government telling me how to practice Christianity. That somehow I am less of a Christian because I don't want the government controlling my uterus, involved in my marriage, and certainly not in my relationship with my creator is preposterous. That I am evil because I am a Liberal. Beck stated that Obama practices Liberation Theology and whether or not that is true I am not sure, but then he stated people don't recognize that form of Christianity. Here is a wiki definition:Liberation theology is a movement in Christian theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. It has been described by proponents as "an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor's suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor", and by detractors as Christianity influenced by Marxism and Communism.

Call me a Marxist or Communist, but what exactly is wrong with helping the poor? Now, I don't understand a lot of the Catholic church's beliefs but I don't have a problem with Catholics so I don't subscribe to that idea of this theology, but if you stop and think about what Jesus was saying and doing it's hard to argue that helping the poor and and calling out injustices when you see them is a anti-Christian thing to do.

So Mr. Beck, please I don't want any part of that America you are envisioning, where as long as your first amendment rights are protected screw all the other Americans with vastly different beliefs. I want no part of it! And Mrs. Palin, I love my kids and would be just as fierce as a Grizzly bear to protect them, but for you to insinuate that women can just instinctually feel out a candidate is stupid. This woman has a brain and prefers to do a little research. So yes, you two and all of your fans have the right to say what you want, but please don't pervert people's faith to spew hate.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why I Tri.

So when I was big and fat with Ham, Dr. Mom decided that she was not to be outdone by her baby sister and signed up for an Ironman. My mom is pretty is extreme and rather type A, so training for an Ironman which takes about a year and is really intense, was perfect for her. I watched her do this, heard her chatter about all of her workouts, and got annoyed when she would workout instead of hang out with me. Then my husband got the bug and did a sprint tri in summer 2009. I was spewing milk like a dairy and decided that racing half naked was not for me. But I do like the race scene. There is something quite infectious about it, everyone is happy, nervous, focused, and despite that it is a race, people are really friendly. I told my self, "self, next summer you are going to do this!" So in February in a moment of cockiness I signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon. Training went really well until all hell broke loose. I could feel myself giving up, thoughts of why even bother kept coming into my head. But then it was time for Mr. Man's first tri of the season (he is doing four this summer, one more left). We went to the pre-race expo (this is where you pick up your packet, look at all the neat racing stuff you can buy, eye up the competition.) I watched petrified and people were dragging their wetsuits down to the beach, smashing themselves into them and doing laps in the reservoir. I didn't even own a wetsuit. I was planning on renting one, but I had never really swam in open water. I was on a swim team in middle school and swimming is easy for me. I have water skied a lot so the thought of being out in the reservoir didn't really freak me out too much. It was more of the fish. And all the other people kicking and splashing that I couldn't handle. So I did what every sane woman does, I shopped. Really, I just went up to one of the vendors that had last year's wetsuits on sale tried one on and plunked down the debit card. Which is generally how I shop, short and to the point.

The next day, at the race, I about passed out from the fear. How in the hell am I supposed to double the distance of each of these events. I had the clear thought that I WAS GOING TO DROWN if I didn't get my act together soon. So after the race was over, I told my husband, holy moly batman, I have got to get my training together. He said, "yep" and then left on a plane. That is the other problem, Mr. Man travels about 4.5 months out of the year. So if the kids get sick and he is working out for mommy.

My mom decided that I wasn't going to succumb to my woe is me state and has let me borrow her trainer this summer so I can at least ride my bike inside if nothing else. Now let me state, the husband has rollers, he is a cycling snot and prefers them to the trainer, I tempt death every time I get on the things and was not about to do it with no other adult in the house. If the t.v. just happened to be on if I fell over and broke my neck the kids wouldn't find me for days.

In between doctor's appointments, illness, Mr. Man's insane travel schedule, and Ham's week long admission I swam, biked, and ran. The funny thing is I became very focused. All of my fears about Ham go away while I am focused on my heart rate, pace, time, and intervals. I mentally visualize racing. Not hospitals, not Dr. Google, not bills, not husbands out of town, not needing to go the grocery store, just focusing on racing.

When Mr. Man travels we tend to bicker. But I have noticed since we have been on this little tri training adventure together we bicker a LOT less. We encourage the other one on when they are feeling blah. We check in with each other about workouts, eating, races, jitters. Right before my race last Saturday, Mr. Man was giving me advice. It was a beach start versus my usual in the water already shivering start, and the funny thing was I was actually listening to him. Generally I am stubborn and just do what I want, but since we have been learning how to do this together we seem to actually listen to one another...and oddly that is spilling over into the rest of our marriage. I really believe that because we focused on this endeavor together we are stronger as a couple during all of this amazing amount of stress and life changes that just keep presenting each and every week. Exercise is a wonderful stress reliever. Racing channels my usually anxiety and allows me to focus this extra energy into a goal. Plus, it is nice to see that all of my training is paying off. All of my times have gone down this summer.

So last Saturday I did the Iron Girl Boulder. This was a sprint triathlon. The distance for a sprint changes depending on the race, unlike an Olympic, half Ironman, and Ironman where the distances are set. For this race I swam 400m, biked 17 miles, and ran 3.2 miles. The swim distance was really short, and is my best event so I was disappointed with that distance because I can gain time in the swim that I tend to loose in the run. (More reason why the Olympic distance is probably the distance for me, it has a disproportionately long swim.) The Iron Girl is also a female only race. While I do think the name Iron Girl is slightly condescending, it was really inspiring hearing all the stories before and after the race about what it has taken some women to get to race day. Some were two time cancer survivors. Some had lost a lot of weight, like over a hundred pounds. One mother of four had broken her back the year before, another had MS. There were women of all sizes and ability. All these women were there bright and early when they could have been in bed sleeping, have breakfast with their families, or sitting around drinking coffee, but they weren't. All these women were saying FUCK OFF stress! I am doing this for me! You are not in charge of my life, I am strong, I can do this! There was just a completely different vibe at this race than in my Olympic and at all of Mr. Man's. Don't get me wrong, I love the race atmosphere, but this was empowering. I am a pretty competitive person and when I was going through transition I was focused on beating these women and setting a new PR, but at the same time I was admiring everyone too. It was during my Olympic distance race after I had made it up Olde Stage Road with my heart ready to beat out of my chest that I realized I was having fun. A lot of fun. I have always had a slight problem fitting in and finding my niche, but this was it. I love this.

That is the one feeling -admiration- I think that sticks with me at all these events, either a race or the weekly stroke and stride. While I admit my life has been really insane this past year I have learned to admire my husband for sticking to this to get his body back in shape and all these other people that put their best face forward when life gets hectic. Not sitting around kvetching but focusing energy, dealing with a problem, and putting your best self forward. And yes, Dr. Mom did do the full Ironman last year and is planning an encore in November. I was and am so proud of her, Mr. Man, and myself.

One of the perks of an all female race, flowers, linen table cloths, and food catered by Pour la France.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

cease the link leaving

Dear Asian Porn Robots who appear to live in Moscow:

While I appreciate you visiting my blog multiple times a day and leaving me links to cute little pictures I don't fully appreciate porn, Asian or otherwise, so please find some other boring mom blog to tickle.

Jennie xoxo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Runner girl

I have to move around, every day, preferably outside. I don't just mean go sit on the back porch and watch the kids play, I mean run a few miles or something. I trained for a triathlon this year. I liked it so much that I decided to sign up for another. I have noticed some things about me and my marriage when I am active. For starters I am less bitchy. My children are the same way, not that you call children's behavior bitchy ever, but they are little smart a**es who throw massive fits and then chew the legs off the furniture when they don't get enough exercise. I am sort of the same way. So is Mr. Man for that matter. I have also noticed that Mr. Man and I get along a lot better when we exercise, especially if we are both training for something. We are each other's cheerleader/drill sargeant. We are more focused and actually work more as a team instead of just resenting each other's "me" time.

I have never had weight issues, I don't emotionally eat and rarely eat to entertain myself when I get bored so I am not sure what that is like. I do know that a lot of women have that problem and so when they start working out they expect to see results and don't right away then get discouraged and eat. (I have had three conversations about that this week with about five different people...odd.) Anyway, I do, however, have a tendency to stress out and become quite anxious to where my mind gets all clouded and thoughts race. Exercise is my anti anxiety drug. When I run, I usually run on the same trail, it is very hilly and looks out over a valley to the mountains. It is beautiful. I have to say, I am spoiled when it comes to the scenery around here. I listen to the same music selection, which is different for outside running then when working out in the gym. (Outside music is more mellow and inspiring, inside sounds like a Eurotrash club, to each their own). My usual run: I cross the street, get on a wide dirt/gravelish trail and run straight downhill and the view is always spectacular. It always takes my breath away. Within three minutes my head clears and the stress of all the sick, traveling husband, and just day to day life with three small kids just comes into perspective.

I like to run about four miles anything less and I don't feel like I got too much done mentally, anything more and I had better cycle the next day because my hip will hurt. (Cycling is very good for hips according to my ortho doc.) I like to run at sunrise or sunset. Sunrise smells different than sunset, more like wet grass. It's a little more damp, the mountains are clearer, I run faster. Sunset is beautiful and smells like campfire, but there is usually a haze, and my legs are more tired so what is usually a 9 minute mile becomes a 9:30 minute mile. That is, unless, I am out later than usual and the bats are looking for bugs, then I run about a 8:45 mile. Not a fan of flying rodents near my head.

I love to swim and ride my bike and will post about them, but something about running can clear my head like nothing else, not overeating, not a big margarita, not a good book.
I ran track my senior year in high school, but I did the 100m hurdles not distance. It wasn't until the boy was born that I started running. I was so very slow. (Not that I am fast now, but that is a goal for this winter...interval training to pick up speed, easily done on a treadmill.) Plus when you first start to run it hurts. Bad. Its was hard to breathe, my legs hurt, my pelvis hurt, but I just kept running.

My times swimming and on the bike are so much better than my run times when I did my triathlon and during all this training. My body says it would prefer to do other things, but my mind says that I am a runner. So I run.

Here are two pictures from my run last night. I take pictures during my runs quite a lot, thats that thing about a run, its all yours you can do what you want.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seven months later and Kenya is still teaching me...and I never even went.

This is Carol. She is one of the kids that the husband met while in Kenya. While he was there Carol was very sick, she has HIV and TB. She weighed practically nothing and couldn't get out of bed. Eventually, she was transferred to a hospital. I guess there are politics involved in getting care in Kenya, it was quite a struggle for her to receive adequate care because she is an orphan. Not that the US is immune to that type of behavior in any way, it is just blatantly obvious there. Either way, God saw to it that Carol received proper treatment and she just went to her first day of school a couple of weeks ago. I have this picture tacked up on my cork board in the laundry room, it is the first thing I see as I walk into my house. It is my reminder that while things can always get worse, they can always get better too.

You see, I am a worried mama. If you have kids (and most of you reading this do) you know when things are just off, you know when a sneeze is more that a sneeze and it means all hell is going to break loose in a few days. You have a radar that is constantly out scanning for danger. I try to keep mine from beeping too loudly so I may enjoy the time I have with my kids without good old anxiety taking over and ruining it...but this noise is rather hard to block out once you are tuned into it. Ham is sick a lot. Ham also turns blue. We are in the process of figuring out why he turns blue. This morning was spent hooking him up for an EKG on his chest only to have him rip it all off just as fast...while screaming bloody murder. The echo was a no go too. A whole two hours at the cardiologist (that I waited four weeks to get into see) was wasted because Ham was shrieking his head off. Why was he screaming so much? Oh, because he has his third ear infection in five weeks. He has tubes, while they worked wonders on the boy they have done absolutely nothing for Ham, except that we can see mucous draining from his ears now. Its like what comes out of one's nose, but it comes out of his ears. It is vile stuff. We are seeing the doctor again in a few hours for antibiotic shots, because we have exhausted all oral antibiotic options. His fever hovered between 104-105 all last night, so I can't really blame him for screaming at the cardiologist office, I wanted to too. But then they would have called security.
I have Carol's smiling face looking at me as a reminder that Ham will have his EKG and echo...unlike her situation we have good insurance and will merely sedate the boy. How long the wait will be, I'm not sure, but it will happen. I need patience. Things will get better. We will get answers to why he is always sick and blue and we will deal with them.

One thing that Mr. Man learned from the kids in Kenya is faith. Those kids there have almost nothing, but they have a lot more faith that I do. That is sad. Sometimes I just want to have a tantrum over all of this. Its been a rough spring, the boy was diagnosed with asthma, we had two minor procedures, and countless infections. And, well, my stepbrother's death. But we got through all of it. I have a partner who cares for his family more than anything, I have wonderful family, and terrific friends. I am working on having the faith that we will continue finding answers, and that even if we spends waaaaaaay too much time at home this summer, things can always get worse, but they can always get better too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh Baby Baby it's a Wild World

Sometimes I have this evil little fantasy where I go up to some unsuspecting young obviously not married couple who are all smoochy faced and tell them to watch it because too much cuddling leads to THAT and point to my three snotty nosed, tantrum throwing hellions (tantruming because they want to sit at the really tall tables at Chipotle but are forced to sit at a horrid awful regular table... the fact that they are eating out is completely lost on them.) Then after I get a shocked look and a gasp I would laugh an evil little laugh and bark at my kids to hush. This may or may not have happened yesterday, I'll let you decide. All I know is that later last night when the hellions were practically swimming in a fountain next to an ice cream shop as their encore performance while I was holding Ham whose ears and nose are draining something awful and receiving a face and hair mask of vanilla ice cream I realized I have somehow become the crazy mom. The one that you feel sorry for because her kids are running amok, they look filthy despite bathing, and she is covered in ice cream and snot, certainly not make up, well coiffed hair, and clean clothes.

I truly believe that you are not given more than you can handle, but when I returned home with the little hellions to hose them down after the ice cream to find out that Ham has yet another effing fever and when I changed him this morning and realized he has a rash after spending NINE hours in the doctor's office in the past week, it started to feel somebody has a voodoo doll and knows how to use it.

I don't remember signing up for this part of parenting. I mean, I knew parts would suck, and things can always be worse but this is getting almost comical. I also don't remember signing up for this single parenting crap. Not that I am single, but for whatever reason the nature of the beast is that all husbands must leave their families and harass people afar, while the women folk stay home and over caffeinate themselves. I guess in this economy you just say thank you may I have another.

Some days I get all nostalgic for my old life, the spoiled one that had me skiing in Switzerland one week and in Egypt the next. The one that had me singing Cat Stevens songs along with friends at a pub. I had a little break and went to London in January, the songs at the pub were different but the feeling was the same. Perhaps I gave myself bad karma because the schei├če has been hitting the fan ever since. I was ready to come home to the snotty noses after a week and really missed my family, but another little break would be nice. Or at least the ability to go for a run.

I recently asked my mom how my Grandma managed with six kids. "She started drinking rum and coke at noon and would lock us out of the house." Ah, the good old fifties. Not that I am about to drink rum and coke (mainly because I can't stand rum) but if I could find that voodoo doll I would be happy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

you are good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it people like me.

When I went to Germany, I held a few jobs. My favorite job that I have ever had (outside of this gig I got going on) was being med. tech. I was a biology major, my goal was to be a doctor. I think there is a genetic predisposition in my family for this. My mom is a physician, my father is a Biology professor. I loved my job. I worked in a clinic, I assisted in the operating room, I stapled people shut, I put catheters in them, I suctioned newborn babies. It was awesome. My favorite memory was of a woman who said right before going under, "I'm not sure if it is me or the drugs but are you two related?" I was observing and learning how to cath people in the OR that day. My mom and I were fully scrubbed in, which means we were fully covered in surgical garb head to toe, our eyes were showing. My mom and I sort of look a like. But the woman later said it was our eyes, we were both standing looking over the room in the same way that made her think we were related. Very observant woman. I was so proud. I really thought that was what I was going to be. But then things changed. When I returned state side I was in a chemistry class from hell over the summer in which I studied for 8 hours a day and STILL got a B. My confidence crashed. I have this obnoxious habit of if I'm not good at something I hate to do it and so I don't do it. I figured medical schools don't like Bs screw this I'm changing my major. I had been in Germany for two years and this was my first time back in a science class. I took classes abroad, but they were mainly History and Political science classes. (Which I discovered I really liked as well.) So that afternoon in the 117 degree Las Vegas heat I threw a little fit in the stall of a bathroom and changed my major. I was sick of college. I wanted a job. I just wanted to be done. I busted my little rear and was done that next summer, graduating with history and poly sci major and a 3.8 GPA. Then the finding the job part....that's another blog entirely.

Years later all things science and medicine stick in my brain. I stay home. But staying home has done something to my confidence. (A little came back while in London, it was nice.) I used to feel the need to tell people that I used to work, that I had a degree, that my husband and I worked really hard to get where we are. So this is my current situation: I have three kids who are sick, over and over and over. I am constantly at the doctor with them. I am not a mom that will rush right in at the first sniffle. I have anxieties about them sure and I do have an irrational fear about foreign object ingestion, but this year has taken the cake. This lack of confidence and just letting the medical establishment push me over is now DONE!

There is nothing tragic going on in my household, but when the pharmacist knows your name and you now have the personal cell phone number of a specialist you know that things were allowed to go on way too long. This leads me to my other annoying attribute, I want people to like me. I am laid back, but I laugh things off when I shouldn't. I have always let advantage taking relationships linger for way too long. When my pediatrician tells me repeatedly to wait it out on EVERYTHING I should have just told her "no, I have been waiting too long." I have enough medical knowledge to know which specialist to see based on certain symptoms. So that is what I have done, taken her out of the loop. We are finally getting somewhere and getting things under control. Unfortunately it is involving a whole LOT of drugs. So when I called that lovely office today to get a script sent over to yet another specialist, based on the recommendation of the first specialist I was no nonsense. I said that it HAD to be done today.

I need to get back to that young girl who believed she could do anything, lack of confidence begone. Perhaps all that knowledge from before is so I can advocate for my kids now. That I can raise the bullshit flag when needed. Who knows what I will be doing in ten years or what my kids will become. But they are certainly not going to be on drugs and sick all the time because of mismanagement of very common conditions.

My husband is a badass in the regulation area. He is my bulldog. He has no fear and waltzes in to HUGE firms talks to the big wigs and basically interrogates, gets answers, and is done. No nonsense. He prepped me this morning on this come to Jesus moment the kid's doctor and I am going to have come Monday. I used to have a bulldog attitude in my job (and have little patience for crap in my personal life) so I just needed a refresher course. Between my husband and my twenty year old self scrubbed into a surgery I think I will be ok. I can do this. I mean, these are my kids...and as any parent knows, that love for your kids is something fierce.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thank you friends, so yeah its a little cheesey

There is that country song with a lyric that goes something like "you find out who your friends are..." and then goes on about when the caca hits the fan you see people's true colors. This past month has really shown me people's true colors. Before I was a stay at home mom I never hung around many girls. Granted I had some really great girl friends in high school, my very fun friend at MU, my dear dear friend I met in Germany, and my favorite movie watching gal in Vegas, but I was just more comfortable around dudes. All of that changed when I had the boy and decided to stay home. I knew I just couldn't sit in my house by myself, that I was going to have to find friends. I must say it is hard for me to talk to new people and it was REALLY hard for me to talk to women. I never felt like I have that much in common with girls since I don't do crafts, can't stand to cook (but I still do it!) and prefer to run, hike, and um whatever else it is that I do. Plus, it's so much easier to talk to a guy. But I went ahead and spoke to a mom at baby storytime (which is what brand new mommies with one kid do, but once you got three all that cute baby activity goes out the window!) and she pointed me in the direction of a moms group and six years later I have friends!!! Friends that are girls even! Friends that love cooking and crafts and I STILL have lots in common with them.

After Bud died, and I kind of started shutting down, I found out what great friends I really have, some emails, texts, phone calls, you know even facebook well wishing made my day. This week baby girl and ham had surgery and I had the same great people check in on me, one amazing person even tried to cook me lasagna! I am not that great of a phone talker, generally if you call me I'll talk but for whatever reason I have a hard time picking up the phone. I am so happy that I have a few ladies I can count on when I need a friend to vent with, somebody to watch my kids, send me really long emails that are emotional but I love them because of that, to hang out in London with me, and when I am in a serious funk knows when to text and invite me hiking.

So thank you friends near and far, you have been helping me get through some crap, helping me with my surgery anxiety, and just being there for me. I hope I can return to the favor to you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I have two brothers and three sisters. I generally only speak about the Manny because he's my biological brother and I can get away with it. The others are "step-siblings." I have never lived with any of them. I've actually had five other step-siblings in my life at one point or another. Some were nice, some not very nice at all, those marriages did not last. I did not have a normal childhood, but I'm ok with that now. Families are made in all different ways, these non biological siblings have all been in my life for quite sometime now and I love them. I love my nieces.

Last week I lost my stepbrother. I first met him when I was six, on a boat. The Manny kept calling him Bud. So that's what I call him here since I don't disclose names on this blog. Bud was like no one I have ever met. He was very quiet, very kind, and lived more in 37 years than most people can even hope to live in their whole lives, had adventures that most only read about. He was a great skier, snowboarder, and mountaineer. He was amazing to watch on a mountain. He died doing something that his soul was meant to do. Sometimes it is hard for people to understand that others put themselves in harms way for enjoyment, it is hard to explain the lure of the mountains...of the west unless that stirs within you. He was happiest out in the mountains, he was the real thing not some weekend warrior who shops at REI and then declares himself a hiker. He is a legend in the area.

It has been very difficult to wrap my brain around this reality, to watch my stepdad and mom in so much pain, to explain what happened to the boy who really looked up to his Uncle. I have been doing lots of self reflection, which I suppose is quite normal. Bud was very true to his ideals and lived his life like none other. I am not really sure I can say the same about myself. There are things that I love to do, but no longer do for whatever the excuse may be. I have never felt like the typical suburban housewife stay at home mom...yet this is where I find myself day after day. I know something about the lust of the west and the mountains. I wrote once in high school that my soul was born out here, but I never get out into the world as much as my heart desires. If I can take anything from him it is to be true to myself and live life to the absolute fullest. You never know which breath is your last. I'm not squandering mine on trying to make sure everything is perfect, but am going to spend them on living. Life is strange, I am mourning and yet someone I love is in labor right now and I feel joy too.

While we were on our Lampoon's vacation to Europe when I was in high school we went to Scotland. While in Edinburgh we climbed up King Arthur's seat which is a peak on some hills where there is a good view of the surrounding area. My stepdad told us a story once we were on top that when he took Bud there as a child he had to find the highest point and stand on top of it. We are at peace with the way he died because he was at his highest peak, he was on top of it.

Yes I understand that every life must end,
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go,
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love,..

Some folks just have one,
Others they got none,

Stay with me,..
Let’s just breathe.

-Eddie Vedder

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We had ourselves a staycation

A few months ago the husband stated that he was going to take off work while the boy and baby girl were on spring break. Since both of us left the country (separately) this year we knew that this week was not going to be spent at some posh beach resort, but most likely laying around the house. Then Grandma called. The husband lives in fear of when my mother calls. They are rather similar individuals and can both convince me to do things a tad too easily. Grandma convinced me that a weekend skiing was in order. So I let the husband know that we would be skiing, he pouted until he realized it involved skiing. S0 we piled up the ridiculous amount of luggage required to take a family of five to a nice mountain cabin and skiing, let's just saying I was discussing the idea of purchasing a Suburban on the way up. (We had a Yakima but it met a untimely death.)

A few days before the departure we decided to ask Grandma if we could, perhaps, borrow the very nice cabin for a few extra days post skiing since the oh so darling grandchildren were on spring break and all. It felt like asking if I could please oh please stay home by myself while the parents were on vacation, I promise not to have any boys over, drink beer, and I will clean up after myself, please please please. Not unlike the time when I was in high school and Grandma (then just Mom) went to Chicago leaving her precious children home alone. There was a party, bathroom door off the hinges, flower pots broken, smoking in the house (yikes!) and I may or may not have driven backwards across the front lawn and hit the neighbor's car while driving a friend's car without a license. oops. I wasn't even drinking, that was the truly sad part, I was so nervous about the house getting even more messed up that I couldn't even drink my illegal underage beer. We won't discuss my husband's high school antics they are so much worse than mine they involve plants that grow beer and professional cleaning crews. Anyhoo...Grandma actually let the family of five have the cabin.

It was a glorious day on the mountain. Warm, sunny, not at all windy. The boy skied with us all day, and even skied a blue/black run. We were all quite amazed. Plus the child is like the Energizer bunny and would not stop for anything. Baby girl went to her first lesson. She was supposed to only go out for one hour but because her mama bear bitched about the ridiculous price they were charging for an hour worth of lesson with the rest of her "lesson" being glorified child care she got two hours of private instructions. Generally I am not that mom, but lately I am getting fed up by people half assing things. Sometimes it pays to complain. After her lessons were finished we all skied a run together, and let me tell you baby girl is a natural. She has a lot of balance and no fear perfect for skiing.

The next couple days were spent sledding and relaxing at the cabin. It is so nice being up the mountains. The Jenniehousehold likes to camp, but at 10,000 feet with three small kids a cabin fits us a bit better. The boy thought we should just camp on the snow, but since we only have three season gear he had to deal with a heated cabin. The poor child. Sitting out on the deck with the kids, husband, perhaps an adult beverage, and the sun was so relaxing and wonderful. The staycation was quite nice indeed, even though it was cut short. Baby girl began to get raspy sounding. She has such a horrible time with croup that we carry steroids with us and at that altitude I don't play around so we headed home. It turned out to be a snotty nose and pink eye the next day. (um, ew)

The rest of the week has involved either us acting like complete sloths or training crazily for the triathlons this summer. More on that fun to come.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My husband was hit on his bike and Tony at ESPN radio thinks that's awesome.

I'm on twitter. I have been for over a year. I mainly follow news, a few friends, and naturally Lance Armstrong. I may tweet something every now and again. While doing my daily once over I noticed a kerfuffle regarding an ESPN radio show and Lance. There was a youtube link, so I watched.
Now you can watch:

This hit a nerve with me, a very raw nerve.

What started out as any other day turned into one that still gives me a knot in my stomach. The husband left for work early because he had to be there at 7 am. I was up getting ready. It was October in Las Vegas. It was still hot by normal people's standards. It was bright and sunny out. The phone rang. We didn't have cell phones at the time. It was the husband.


"Mr. Man you sound strange, what is going on?"

He started talking really fast. He was hit, the bike was totaled, there was an ambulance, people all around, a borrowed cell phone, and a lady cop. He sounded pretty nuts, obviously it was his adrenaline talking. I basically hung up the phone and drove like a bat out of hell. When I got there I saw my husband with his cycling jersey shredded. The bike was a mangled mess. The palm pilot (it was the days of the palm pilot) was smashed, it had been in his backpack. What was not there was the guy who hit him. It was a semi. Vegas had a lot of construction going on then and it was one of the double trailer belly dump construction semis that hit him. We saw those trucks everywhere, the drove on all the roads very fast. They carried dirt and construction waste. We are not sure to this day if the guy even saw the husband.

Mr. Man broke his collar bone. He needed surgery. The muscles in that shoulder have atrophied. When he was hit, he was riding on the right side of the road and the bike went under the semi while he flew up in the air and landed by a gas station. Other way around, three kids would not be here today. That is why when people talk about PURPOSELY hitting cyclists I go insane!

Tony Kornheiser's rant on March 11th was obnoxious to say the least. He stated such things as "its all you can do not to RUN THEM OVER "just give them a tap" "get the hell out of my way." He is mad about lanes in DC turning into bike lanes, which obviously is a good reason to hit someone with your car. They (there is another man and a woman in the discussion as well) were going on about them being granola, the outfits cyclists wear, basically trash talking cyclist to somehow justify this deranged thinking. My favorite quote, "I have a large powerful car, compared to your stupid little bicycle!"

What gets me is that these people on this radio program are saying oh yeah we are all for sharing the road, when obviously their comments prove otherwise. How hard is it to be patient and drive AROUND a cyclist? Are you an ambulance driver? Is your wife in labor in the back seat? No, then relax for 25 seconds and then pass. Now, I am not saying that all cyclists are saints. Some are really nasty, but when you are driving something that is pretty damn heavy and a "tap" could kill a person you need to use your brain instead of listening to morons like Tony and RUN THEM OVER. If you saw another driver being an ass, you would honk, maybe. Why? Because they are in a car and car to car equals bad. Car to bike equals equals major injury or death for the cyclist and nothing for the driver. It is THAT mentality, that because you are BIGGER (i.e. a bully) that you deserve the road more than the cyclist, makes me so incredibly pissed. Sidewalks were suggested on the show as an alternative. Sidewalks are not always an option, a lot of places do not allow cyclist on them, and a lot of places simply don't have sidewalks, while a road is made for traffic with wheels.

So Tony, your obnoxious rant has ramifications. You are advocating hurting another individual, purposely, simply because you are driving in your car and they are on a bike. My husband was not going to his job at the local granola factory that October as you all would like to believe, but to Nellis AFB. That's right, the dude you are calling a poseur, who has ridden 210 miles in one day, was a solider that October morning 2001. I bet you had your big old American flag sticker on your car that morning. He was riding in because security was so tight it took almost three hours to get on base with a car. So you see, Mr. Cornholio (yes that is from Beavis and Butthead) these are REAL people, with real families, and real lives. It is NEVER ok to joke about hitting them, or anyone with your car on the radio. Maybe you should listen to Frank Deford, he makes his opinions about sports known in a much more intelligent manner. As an FYI NFL players wear spandex pants, the same "glistening" material as those cyclist you are berating. I might add, that my husband still rides to work. Twenty seven miles one way. On days that he doesn't, he takes mass transportation.

Here are some pictures of the bike. It resides in the attic, we have moved twice since and can't get rid of it. There is another picture as well of Mr. Man's jacked up shoulder.

the scar looks pretty, obviously the bone is still pretty nasty.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jennie can cook and so can you

I don't really like to cook. I think I have made that abundantly clear here. That being said I cook daily. I don't use prepackaged foods because they taste nasty, not at all cost efficient, and full of God knows what. I care about my family and believe in actual food for them, not cutting corners that will add up later. I had some friends in high school and their mother was a manager at a local grocery store. I remember being at their house and listening to them complain about there being no food, just food parts in their kitchen. (I remember in high school as having way too much Dinty Moore in the house and then wondering why I always had stomachaches.) Annoying as it is as a teenager not to have loads of snacks to just munch on, it is better for your body. Having some food company put together your food for you may seem convenient but in reality you're not getting much but chemicals, corn and soy. I am not a fan of soy at all! So in the Jennie household it is "food parts" and we put them together. I don't have a problem doing this daily, others find it to be difficult. I have a friend who recently made a ton of meals on a Saturday and froze them all, to which I say good on ya' mate. But if you are ingesting something you may want to put some effort and thought into what it is you are actually ingesting. Especially if you have growing kids. You have to look at your life and decide is it more important to run errands for things you may more may not need on a Saturday or spend time making food for the week? You can make healthy meals for your family daily, it just takes a bit more thought. In my personal, not so humble opinion, it is worth it.

We eat a lot of beans around here, sometimes canned, sometimes dried. The dried ones you find in a bag taste so much better. You just have to soak them overnight.

Jennie's very easy bean soup recipe:

1. purchase bag o' mixed beans at grocery store (or buy bean mix in bulk)
2. soak said bean mix overnight which means put beans into dish (I do about two cups) cover with water
3. next morning pour off water and put beans in crock pot.
4. I put in a ham hock (please be picky about your meat people it was a living being, don't go buying nasty cured meats and tossing them in just because they are cheap, your body will thank you) or some bacon strips you could put in some left over bacon grease if you have it. This adds wonderful flavor to the beans. (If you are vegetarian, sorry you can add fake bacon maybe, not sure how good it would taste. If I don't add the little piggy I put in onions, diced tomatoes, garlic, salt (all to taste), and a bay leaf. It is still good, but there is something about pork and beans.)
5. I add vegetable stock to the beans between 4-6 cups. You could do water. I wouldn't do chicken or beef if you have the ham in there.
6. Leave it alone all day on low. About a half hour before you are to ready to get dinner ready throw in some greens, I like collards or kale. I've never tried spinach but collards and kale are incredibly good for you. They take awhile to cook but are really quite nice and not at all bitter. My picky three year old eats them when boiled plain. You make have to add a bit more liquid to get the greens to cook properly. The consistency I prefer is not soupy but more scoopable.
7. Voila you have dinner.
~Yes there is EVIL greasy pig product in here, it is for flavor, like anything a little goes a long way if you eat too much and then sit on your butt for a week you will gain weight, if you eat just enough and move around you probably won't.
If you serve the beans with rice (I like brown) you have a complete protein which means all of your amino acids are covered. Costco has a nice precooked brown rice bowls (ingredients are brown rice and water) and take 90 seconds to cook if you don't have time to cook brown rice or plain white rice. Or you can serve as a side and freeze the rest.

I think serving it with homemade bread is rather tasty. Homemade bread is quite simple to make but is rather temperamental.

Here is my bread recipe that I can get to work every time. That being said some days it takes longer to rise than others. Like last night it took three hours because it was snowing.

1 3/4 cup very cold water
1/4 cup olive oil
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 3/4 tsp salt (don't leave out salt it won't rise well)
1 tbs of gluten *not sure if you have to do this at sea level but at altitude it really helps to add gluten. Sorry if you are gluten free, we don't have issue with it in the Jennie household so I use it in baking*
3 tbs of flax seed
*flax can be a little oily you may need to add a bit more flour*
There is no need to go to Whole Foods or similar to buy flax or gluten if that is not where you normally shop. I have seen both (Bob's Red Mill) at Walmart in the baking aisle.

I use a bread machine, but you could mix this together very easily, knead it and put it in a loaf pan. With the bread machine I let the bread machine mix and then when it is time to let the loaf rise I pull it out and put it in a pan. I am not a big fan of having the bread machine bake the bread. Depending on the weather it make take an hour to rise or like last night it may take three. Once it looks like an actual loaf in the pan it is time to bake. 450 degrees for 15-20 and it should be brown and crunchy on the top. Very easy, my kids love to help add the ingredients and then watch the bread maker mix.

None of this is difficult, if you cut out the processed food you WILL feel better. I certainly can tell a huge difference. Big food corporations are in it to make money and spend the least amount of money on the ingredients, they could care less about your family. Good health starts at home.

~For good nutrition info on beans and collars or any other food for that matter check out WH Foods. Also go rent Food Inc.