Monday, December 31, 2007

It's my birthday, it's my birthday

I'm still in my 30s, I'm still in my 30s...

Since it's the last year I can say that, I'm saying it LOUD and I'm saying it PROUD.



Does that sound old or what?

Thanks to my lovely head cold, 39 feels like the new 59.

I can't really complain, though. Thirty-eight was pretty good to me.

I ran my first 10ks, half-marathons and one Big Honkin' Marathon.

I got down to a size 6.

I didn't murder accidentally maim or otherwise injure either of my kids or dogs.

My husband still loves me. I think.

My snoring and recent affair with my box of Kleenex might send him over the edge.

I killed a ginormous mutant spider in my son's room. All by myself. Because David wasn't home, leaving me to fend for myself.

I made great new friends.

I said goodbye to my father.

I hosted my mother - twice - for five days. And survived.

I raised $5,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and delivered an SUV-full of baby stuff to a very needy family.

I bought into a business and hosted my first home workshop.

I got some freelance gigs.

I ran 12 - or was it 14? - miles with a severe sinus infection.

I listened to my "mommy gut" and got Sage speech therapy.

I got new boots. Today. Wanna see?

I took risks.

I did something for myself.

I'm 39.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Plague

Sage has this incredibly annoying habit of sticking her fingers in her mouth.

I have tried everything to stop her, but of course she thinks it's hilarious and will smirk at me as she's putting her Digits of Death into her mouth.

I am constantly pouring the hand sanitizer on her and washing her hands. But you can only do so much.

So it really wasn't that shocking that she got a runny nose and spiked a fever out of nowhere - especially when earlier in the day I watched her run her hands over EVERYTHING in the bathroom at the pool while I was getting Sawyer changed after swimming lessons.


Luckily she's fine now, but not before giving her Superpower Germs to me. In all fairness, I can't give her all the blame. Sawyer was sneezing his head off for a couple days earlier this week, so it was probably just a Cocktail of Snot that did me in.

But why am I always sicker than the kids? I allegedly have an immune system, people! I spent last night with a box of Kleenex, shivering under my comforter despite wearing flannel pj bottoms, a long sleeve shirt AND a fleece - while moaning over my splitting headache.

Sage decided that she wanted to come in and snuggle at 2 a.m., but upon realizing Mommy was making some kind of funny snoring/snot gurgling noise, she quickly retreated to the safety of her crib.

If only I had a Quiet Place I could go.

A girl can dream...

Friday, December 28, 2007


Remember when that was the cool thing to say? Like when someone got totally burned on something, you'd be all, "That was SUCH a FACIAL!" Like a noun version of "in your face!"

Or was that just something only said by someone attending a small high school in suburban Connecticut in the 80s?

Yeah, like you didn't have a mullet or wear legwarmers, either.

Anyway, today I had a facial with a small "f." My mother-in-law gave me a gift certificate to a local salon. I had originally had an appointment for today for a little thing I like to call Torture By Way of Hot Wax.

Instead, I decided to use the certificate for a facial. Running has not been kind to my skin. I have a small army of oil wells marching across my face, courtesy of rivers of sweat that have graced my face during and after every run.

And, in keeping with my tradition of excrutiating spa experiences - I LOVE me some deep tissue massage! - I made sure the facial was as painful as possible. I knew about the "extraction" but I was ever so over-the-moon when she put the flesh-eating mask on me!

Seriously. It was this pumpkin thingy that had some kind of dead-skin disolving enzymes that made it feel like tiny needles were pricking my skin. For about 10 minutes. I went to my Happy Place while she gave me a hand and foot massage, but I couldn't help snickering at how ridiculous I am.

RELAX! my inner voice shouted.

But no. Impossible.

So in essence, the Facial (capital 'F') was, in fact, on me!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

To three or not to three

I was late.

Eight days worth of late.

Three pregnancy tests peed on kind of late.

And guess what? I'm not pregnant!

I know this because, well, the gears starting creaking and things started, you know, flowing.

But not before David and I had to contemplate what it would mean if I had been pregnant.

We have two healthy, perfect kids (and when I say perfect, I mean in the "all their limbs and organs are functioning normally and they seem reasonably intelligent and well-adjusted" type of way). It is tough enough to manage Sawyer's peanut allergy. I can't imagine dealing with something that affects quality of life every moment.

I have one child out of diapers (the other one will NEVER be out, just to spite me). I removed high chairs, bouncers and other large baby things from my house. I don't worry about toys with small parts becoming lodged in a windpipe anymore.

I don't remember the last time I used a stroller.

Why rock the boat by adding a third?

I'm clutching on to my 30s with my fingernails. Who knows what my eggs are doing, especially after this past Cycle of Craziness. David is in his 40s. We're already old, in parenting terms. I met a woman today who is pregnant with her third - and she's only 28!

There's also the issue of being outnumbered, of not having enough hands to help everybody at once. More snot to wipe. The stomach flu times three. Diapers. Clothes. Toys. Cars. College.

A third would also be at least three years younger than Sage and five younger than Sawyer. Would s/he feel left out, with the first two being so close?

When we thought I might in fact be knocked up, David's attitude was "Bring it. We can have a third, no problem." He was totally up for it.

In a way, it would have been a relief to have an oops. It would take the decision making of should-we-or-shouldn't-we out of our hands. Meant to be, right?


Now we need to, like, make an intelligent, adult decision. Am I done? It seems

To me, having children is what makes living worthwhile. I can't think of anything more important than bringing a life into the world. Raising kids.

Two is cool. Two is manageable.



Stay tuned..

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Hangover

That must be it. What else could explain my mood, other than the downslope result of a massive two-day sugar high?

I tried to buy some screaming deals on Gymboree today. I put all this stuff in my basket, then got distracted. By the time I sat down to buy them, all the items were gone. I mean, GONE. Which would've have been so bad if I wasn't also buying my friend some stuff. Now both of us are getting nothing for our kids. Which is pretty much exactly what they need.

The only store around here I wanted to go to today was Pier One to pick up some Christmas ornaments. I got some cute ones. And a bread mix.

Then I sat in my car. And pondered. And listened. Amazingly, I couldn't hear the siren call of my favorite Bullseye of Love, my beloved Target. It was, literally, right across the street. Right there! How could this be? What is wrong with me that I had absolutely no desire to go?


I instead bopped over to Starbuck's to get David and eggnog latte, then motored home.


I'm feeling as tired as our Christmas tree, which is dropping needles faster than Sawyer opened his gifts.

Christmas Eve, he was very eager to make sure we left cookies for Santa and oatmeal (?) for the reindeer. He was more interested Christmas morning in watching SuperWhy and his new favorite, Fireman Sam (oy is it bad!). In his defense, he does have a bad cold, but still. It's Christmas! Where is the greed magic?

He finally figured out that there were Gifts. He walked down the stairs, slowed, and, bent over with the sheer weight of amazement, yelled:


Then he ripped through his gifts and started crying when he realized there were No More and his sister was still slowly opening hers (she was actually LOOKING at what she got).

We also forgot to take one still shot of them amid the rubble.

We'll have to get on that before our tree is naked.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

'Tis the season

My girl just does not like Santa. She had the same reaction last year. She was all for it this time - until we actually got there and she saw the Big Guy.

She then clutched me with a death grip and yelled "NO SANTA, MOMMY! NO SANTA!"

Even attempting to bribe her with a candy cane did nothing.

I'm not clear why she gets so upset, when all we're asking is that she sits on the lap of some stranger with an overabundance of facial hair and wearing more red than ANY man should in a lifetime.

It is kind of a sick thing we do, putting our kids in a situation where they're terrified just for the sake of a photo. Not that this has stopped me. I figure she'll just add it to the list of parenting blunders she'll discuss in therapy one day.

So now I will bring you some kinder, gentler pics of the post-Santa trauma, complete with her working on the candy cane.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Worst. Wrapper. Ever.

That's me, folks. I cannot wrap gifts. Unless they are perfectly rectangular. And small. Otherwise, I cut them off too short, so the sides are showing, which means I have to McGuyver it by taking a smaller piece and taping it over the part of the box that shows.

Today, while wrapping a Transformer, I literally had to crumple up paper on one side and then tape it down into submission. It looked like Sawyer had wrapped it himself. Come to think of it, he'd have done a MUCH better job.

The area under the Christmas tree should be considered a natural disaster.

What's really interesting is, with all the gifts piled up, my kids have not shown one bit of interest. This morning Sawyer did wake up and say "Is it Christmas today?" but he wasn't devastated to learn that it was not.

The other day we were in...wait for it...TARGET, and I tried to surreptiously purchase the Transformer he'd been asking for. He spied it under my arm and asked why I had it. When I told him it was a surprise, he was satisfied - and hasn't asked about it since.

This is the same kid who once asked for a "blue Hot Wheels with the silver fin" at Sears almost two months ago and, when asked a couple weeks ago what he wanted from Santa, yep, he asked for that specific car. Thing is, David went back to Sears and it was gone. We haven't been able to locate it. So I told him he wasn't going to be getting it.

Just yesterday he said, out of nowhere: "I guess I have to take the blue Hot Wheels with the silver fin off my list!"

So the fact he's not bugging me for the Transformer, that he shows only cursory interest in the growing mountain of gifts under the tree, is really quite amazing.

And disturbing. Maybe he didn't inherit the greed curiosity gene from me. I would ALWAYS find where my parents hid our Chanukah gifts. And I would always peel back the paper or look in the bags to see what I was getting.

Then there was the one year when I knew absolutely everything I was getting. So there were no surprises. And I was actually disappointed. That halted my pre-holiday explorations.

I found that I did enjoy being surprised. Even now, David has two gifts for me under the tree, and I'm not even tempted to feel them up or shake them.

Maybe this is the last Christmas where I can "hide" things for him in bags in the front hall closet, then feel confident about putting them under the tree. Maybe next year he'll be beside himself with wondering what he's getting, bugging me every other second.

I might even have to actually put the gifts somewhere where he can't look.

Or maybe he's a freak.

Either way, I'm looking forward to his face when he looks downstairs Christmas morning to see his new Big Boy bike.

I'm going to enjoy this day as I do every other. It will be full of surprises for all of us.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

They're so giving...

Sawyer? What do you think Sage would like for Christmas?

I think she'd like a toy spider.

Hmmm...that sounds like something YOU would like. Well, what do you think we should get for Daddy?

Nothing! Daddy doesn't need presents.

No presents for Daddy?

Umm..Maybe a big boy bike.

Sage? What should we get for Daddy?

A yellow horsie!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oops they did it again!

I'm sure by now you've all heard the wonderful news that yet another Baby Spears is going to enter the world, courtesy of 16 year-old Jamie Lynn.

"It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," she said. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he."

Sorry, but she's Not. That. Innocent.

Okay, enough with the song references. But seriously, how sad is THIS? I'm not clear on the "shocked" part unless there was no sex involved, but the fact she took a home pregnancy test kinda shows she did Do the Deed and therefore knew what could happen.

A pregnant 16 year-old is never a good thing. JL is fortunate in that she has tons of money (aside from being the star of some show called Zoey 101, she happens to have a very famous sister. Perhaps you've heard of her?).

What she lacks is any sort of guidance. It is not a coincidence that Britney is wading through a Load of Crazy. I find it hard to believe that the senior Mommy Spears has nothing to do with the fact that her eldest daughter is so lost.

Shockingly, Lynne Spears' book on parenting - one Publishers' Weekly described as "Lynne Spears's personal story of raising high-profile children while coming from a low-profile Louisiana community" - has been put on hold. Indefinitely.

Yeah. A shame. It was exactly the how-to parenting tome I was looking for.

But maybe JL has learned from watching Britney go from a sweet, somewhat normal teenager to a head-shaving, chain-smoking, K-Fed marrying, baby-birthing, panty-less, non-carseat using, rehab-busting woman.

She wants to raise the baby at home, in Tennessee, not out in LA. Of course, "at home" means with her mother, but that's probably when her mom isn't out in LA taking care of Brit's kids.


Remember 16? The most exciting thing that happened to me was I got my driver's license. Of course, I know some of my friends were doing the Spears, but not one of them was mature enough to raise a child. Luckily, none of them had to.

Having a baby bump has become the latest accessory of the stars. I just saw some website rank the "10 Sexiest Bumps." Halle Berry, Christina Aquilara, JLo, etc. I think it's great that being pregnant is no longer something to hide under a gingham frock with a peter pan collar.

JL is about to become hip. And hip-pier. Thing is, there's an acutal BABY growing under the bump. Those other stars are at least grownups. Chronologically, if nothing else.

This pregnancy, this child, will be scrutinized just like any celebrity's. But with this one comes enough baggage to fill LAX.

At 16.

JL is no ordinary 16 year-old, of course, even before this happened.

Now she's going to have to grow up overnight. Hopefully, there will be someone there to help her make the transition.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's 5:21. Do you know where your dinner is?

Because I sure as hell don't. My kids are currently sitting on the couch watching Word World. My husband is upstairs ironing his clothes for his business lunch tomorrow. My dogs are outside barking like jackals.

And here I sit.

With no idea what my darling family will be eating in approximately 40 minutes.

I should be in the kitchen, rummaging through the refrigerator - or, more likely, the freezer - looking for inspiration. But I can't. If I ignore this issue, maybe it will go away. Pretzels contain at least one food group, right? And they're WHOLE GRAIN!

I'm paralyzed by my inefficiency.

I want to be one of those moms who plans out their menu for the week. They go to the grocery store and spend an hour or two each Sunday chopping and mixing and getting things organized.

I sit on my ass and watch football.

Cooking in my house is always a challenge. I don't eat red meat. David doesn't eat fish. Sawyer will try most things, but if I try to serve him lasagne or any pasta with sauce on it, he asks me to please remove the "dip" from it. Sage eats nothing. Except mac and cheese from a box (it's ORGANIC, people, calm down!).

It sucks when you spend time creating something you're sure your kids will down like it'll explode if not consumed within 10 seconds, only to have the Princess shove it across the table like she's playing pool and my lap is the corner pocket.

I would be happy eating peanutbutter out of the jar with my fingers a spoon, but since that could send Sawyer into anaphalactic shock, we don't have any of that particular substance in our house.

At the moment, I'm thinking the kids will get chicken nuggets (no trans fat! less breading!), broccoli and...?

Really gets the tastebuds jumping!

If anyone has some good ideas to help me please advise. Unless I'm the only one mired in Dinner Dread.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This cracks me up

I'm not a big Walmart fan. For some reason I always feel like I need to shower immediately after visiting the three or so times my husband has dragged me in there. I realize this must make me a snob, but I own that label proudly as I carry my shopping bags from Target.

Anyway, my friend Kris sent me this today. It was allegedly made at Walmart (who knew they did cakes?)

Can you imagine the phone call that went with this? Let's see what you come up with - and if you "get" what happened!Post in my comments section, you crazy posters!

Okay, Leslie wants a hint, so here it is: Pretend you are the person ordering the cake, what you might have said to the person taking the order...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Who says romance is dead?

David and I had a rare and much-needed "date night" tonight. We went to our favorite Thai place, where I always order the chicken wokked with snow peas. It is SO YUMMY. The only problem is the food literally comes out before the waitress has even made it to the kitchen to give them the order. And I've been so hungry today (Torrey and I ran 10 miles in 41 degree weather, which is ass cold for us wimpy SoCal girls, regardless of the fact I grew up in New England) that I finished my dinner before the rice soaked up any of the sauce.

So what did we do next?

Pier One. TJ Maxx. Barnes & Noble. Got in the car. Went to Target. Got back in the car. Drove to Vons.

Came home at 9:05.

This is my life.

Maybe on our next night out we can get REALLY wild and go to...the MALL!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wait - I am creative after all!

This is the dirt cake I made for Sawyer's birthday, during which we had a visit from this woman who brings lizards, turtles, snakes and other assorted creepy-crawlies.

So we had a reptile party which was screaming for dirt cake. And yes - I ground the oreos MYSELF to make this cake! It actually came out yummy. The parents were all fascinated by what was really in it, and kids loved finding the gummy worms layered into it.

Check out the recipe below! It's from Martha Stewart, natch!

I did it!

A little too creepy...

As regular readers of this blog know, I talk about some personal stuff on here. Maybe it's my background in journalism, because I know what makes a good story. Or maybe it's because I'm kind of a what-you-see is what-you-get type of girl without much to hide.

I also think it's pretty common with people who write, or who are artists, that your work is an expression of you - even if it's about someone else's life. So you're used to having "you" out there for public consumption on a daily basis. It's natural.

But when it comes to my kids, I have to be more protective. I don't post a lot of pics of them on here because, well, you never know. I already regret using their names, but it's kind of too late to go back on that.

I honestly believe the best writing is honest writing. I try to do that here. Not so much for all of your kind words (though they mean the world to me), but to give me an outlet, and in turn, to hopefully give you something to think about as I put my own spin on Mommyhood.

Even though I no longer write for a living, this blog is a wonderful thing for me, and helps keep me in touch with my creative side (cause Lord knows I'm not creative in any other way, just ask every one of my friends, ask my kids, my reputation precedes me).

That's why it's disturbing when someone finds a personal post about my child and posts the link on a somewhat odd message board, and then all of a sudden I'm getting hits from, literally, all over the world from people who want to read about poop.

I wonder why. It's not a parenting site. I have no clue how they found it. Or why they think it's of interest.

But it's forced me to delete the post. I just wasn't comfortable. I know that I can't control who reads my blog unless I make it private, but then I think that you just never know who might happen upon this blog and find something to make them smile, or laugh, or relate to - someone I don't know, but might like to.

I am a regular reader of a blog or three where I don't know the person, but I love the writing. So I lurk. And think. And laugh. Sometimes cry.

That is why we write, and why I will continue to do so, but perhaps with a more careful view.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

How did THIS happen?

Last night, before you went to bed, I told you that when you woke up this morning, you would be 4.

This was a thrilling thought for you. I watched it take hold, the very IDEA that you could go to sleep as one thing and wake up something completely different.
And maybe you won't want to give me hugs anymore, since you won't be 3, I told him.

Don't worry, Mommy, I will still give you hugs when I'm 4. But no kisses.

I'll take what I can get.

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this particular birthday. Maybe it's because when you turned 1, I was just so relieved we'd survived the first year. When you turned 2, we already had Sage, so I didn't have much energy to think about it. Then last year, we were so DONE with you being 2, I couldn't wait for 3.

But now, suddenly, you're 4. FOUR! I remember being four. I remember parts of being three, too, but definitely four. There are things that will happen this year that will stay with you the rest of your life.

I hope I don't mess up too badly.

There have already been signs that things are changing.

It started a couple weeks ago at swimming lessons, when you figured out how to flip over on your back and breath, and how to keep you head in the water while on your stomach so you don't sink. It was like something just clicked, and you went from being scared and unsure to supremely confident, like you knew how to do it all along but just wanted to stress out your Mom a bit first.

It continued with you finally showing interest in reading and knowing your letters, instead of refusing to try because it was Too Hard.

But the other day, when we went to the bike shop after swimming lessons, is when it really, truly sunk in that you are no longer my baby.

You jumped on a tricycle to tear around the store while I was busy talking to a sales person. Then, I saw a flash of orange go by, and heard you yell "MOMMY! LOOK!" and there you were, zipping around on a big-boy bike.

By yourself.

On a bike.

And the look on your face was like you'd just had your first taste of sugar and knew it would change your life forever.

We continue to marvel over you. Your preschool teacher said you have "feelings," something she doesn't see much in boys your age. You have a bouyant spirit and are, generally, easy-going.

You aim to please. Most of the time, it's a good thing. But we are waiting for you to come into your own as an independent thinker. You are a fabulous kid with a limitless imagination (what other kid can make "robots" and "airplanes" out of half of a paper plate?) and you can entertain yourself - and us - for hours.

That being said, you enjoy testing limits. You don't want to hold my hand in the parking lot anymore because you are a Big Boy. You don't even use a booster chair at a restaurant.

You're sassy. My heart cracked just a bit when you said "You're a Bad Mommy" until, after you emerged from your stint in time out, you threw your arms around me with an urgent "I love you, Mommy!"

I love you too, Buns. You are my light. Happy Birthday, big boy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

For dog or nature lovers

This site is absolutely amazing, and visiting it always lifts my mood.

A woman lives in a one-room cabin in Wyoming with her cat and a coyote orphan she rescued when he was 10 days old.

She is an INCREDIBLE photographer and has captured Charlie, the coyote, in breathtaking ways.

But as I look at the pictures, which are four months behind - she didn't start the blog til September when Charlie was four months old, so the blog is not in "real time" - I worry about what will happen to Charlie.

Is it possible to keep a coyote as a pet and not have it eat your cat? At the moment, the cat rules the roost, but...

She does have a calendar with recent pics of Charlie, and you can subscribe to a daily real-time picture of him, so I know she still has him.

What a life experience for this woman, who rode a Vespa from San Francisco to New York, then basically turned around and moved to Wyoming where she'd previously spent just one day.

Check it out!

Daily Coyote

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


That is what my husband said when he called me after dropping off my mother - bless her heart - at the airport this morning after her five-day visit.

We had flown her in for Sawyer's fourth birthday party, which we had Saturday. Now that my father is gone, I think it's important for her not to be alone too much. My brother and his family live relatively close to her, but she doesn't get along well with my SIL and she doesn't see them a lot.

The party was first-thing Saturday morning, so we ran errands on Friday and things seemed to be going okay. She was helpful in getting stuff ready, including making this ginormous dirt cake which required us doubling a recipe. That contained fractions. Tricky ones, like 4 3/4. Let's just say my mother had her calculator out and we STILL couldn't figure it out.

We are the stupidest people on the planet.

Somehow, it came out fabulously and the party was great. She enjoyed talking to my friends. She even helped clean up.

Then it was all downhill, people. DOWN. HILL.

We know the ground-rules going in. She doesn't sit on the floor with the kids. She hates our couch, because, you know, it's like, squishy, so she parks herself on the dining room chair. And knits socks. Or plays Suduko. Or eats.

Notice there is nothing in there about playing with the kids? There's a reason for this. It's because she doesn't.

Sawyer started off the visit by wanting to sit in her lap and saying "I love you Grandma" many times. Let's just say that when she left this morning, he gave her a hug and ran off. I asked him later if he had fun with her, and he was basically like "meh."

Why? Because most of her interactions with him involved her repeating my discipline "Mommy just told you NOT to do that so you need to STOP IT!" while poor Sawyer's face fell.

He got a new train set and excitedly yelled "Grandma! Grandma! Come see!" after he'd set it up in the garage. She would answer "After I finish.." lunch, the paper, watching me do the dishes - anything but going in and celebrating with him.

It didn't stop with him, though.

She wanted to buy me a Chanukah gift, so off we went to the mall. For 2 1/2 hours. And I found nothing that either fit or wasn't too expensive, which completely pissed her off because I'm "impossible to buy for." On the way home, I could see some snow-covered mountains, which is always a thrilling sight when you live in SoCal.

Her response? "I have mountains all around me at home. Snowcovered mountains do not impress me." Ooooookay....

The funniest part of that was she used the same line on David this morning when they were driving to the airport.

Apparently, our parenting skills also did not impress her. And because she has raised THREE CHILDREN and is the VOICE OF EXPERIENCE, she felt it necessary to impart her myriad parenting tips on us.

And boy, there were some gems.

My favorite one came last night. After dinner, the kids were playing with the light switches in the dining area. We were sitting at the table and had a clear view of them, as they were about three feet away from us.

My mother actually stood up - I know! - and went over and told them to stop and physically moved Sage's hand away from the switch.

When we told her to knock it off, her reply was "When it COMES to SAFETY, I HAVE to step IN" as if David and I are a bunch of crackheads who're letting our kids practice lighting the pipe. Not on HER watch. Nosiree.

I mean, if they were sticking a fork in the outlet and we just sat there, that's one thing, but a light switch? Dangerous?

Maybe she still sees me as a kid. She's letting me play Mommy, but only until I've chopped my doll's hair off or put my stuffed puppy in the oven.

I was not sorry when she left. And judging from how fast she ran out of the house, she wasn't sorry to leave. I asked Sage to give her a hug, and Sage, being 2, said "No. No hug!"

My mother's response?

"If you're not going to hug me, then I'm not going to hug YOU. I'll just say "bye-bye."

Well, she learned HER.

And off she went. No thank-you, no nothing. No hug for me either.

I know you'll be shocked to hear me say that I know my mother is not the warm-and-fuzzy type. But it's unfortunate that she can't relax and just enjoy the energy and exuberant happiness and even the tears that little kids are made of.

At one point she told me that she knows that this time, with active little kids, must seem really long to me, but that it really goes by quickly.

And I had to disagree. I love this age, Sawyer at a few days short of 4 and Sage a few months past 2. Sure, there are frustrations (like when someone pooped on the floor today) and stress and exhaustion, but it is more than made up for by how much they make us laugh and learning that you can, in fact, love them even more than you did yesterday.

I wonder if she missed that when she was a mother. I know she's missing it as a grandmother.

And that's just sad.

Monday, December 10, 2007

To run, or not to run..

I have been feeling less than motivated lately when it comes to training for my next marathon. It might have started the two weekends I had to do my long runs by myself. Even though I had my iPod cranking, it just wasn't as enjoyable as when I'm slogging along with my Running Girls. Misery loves company, after all.

Sunday I was to run about 2.5 miles by myself, then meet up with Cindy and Torrey. They were going to run 10, and I was hoping to do 16.

I knew I was in trouble when, the night before, I'd had an anxiety dream: I'd started on the run, but forgot my hydration belt. I panicked because I knew I couldn't run 16 miles without water. And then I woke up to my alarm clock.

So I was about a mile into my run Sunday when I realized that although I did in fact have my water, I hadn't packed any Gu. It was still in my car. When I met Cindy and Torrey, I informed them they'd have to run the 2.5 miles back to my car, then run 2.5 miles back to their starting point, then another five after that.

All was working according to plan until, after I'd run just over 5, I felt a horrible jolting pain going from my big toe up to my ankle. It was bad enough that I had to sit down on the sidewalk, take off my shoe and rub my foot.

I was able to half-run, half-hobble back to our starting spot, which just happens to be a coffee shop. Since Cindy's knees were barking and Torrey was recovering from a hideous infection, sitting down and having a coffee sounded a lot more appealing. That, and Cindy offered to treat.

We spent a fabulous hour chatting away. It was by far the best part of our "run." And really, that's what's been missing this past month or so. The fun.

Not that running long distances can ever really be labeled as fun for those of us who aren't exactly naturally gifted runners (David has pointed out on various occasions that perhaps I should try something else, since my talent must surely reside elsewhere).

But it's always been less horrible because of the conversations we've shared - which are, I've discovered, MUCH more enjoyable when my ass is firmly planted on a chair (wow - didn't think I'd ever use "my ass" and "firm" in the same sentence) instead of bouncing along some mind-numbingly boring path.

Today I called my podiatrist, who said I either have a stress fracture (NO!!!) or some irritation in the small bones in the ball of my foot (MUCH BETTER!!). I'm supposed to test it out tomorrow and then let her know. I'm doing a spin class, so we'll see.

The real issue, however, is that I'm starting to think my bones need a break. I'm tired. Not just the kind of tired a good night's sleep would take care of. Not that I know what that is, but I'm just sayin'.

I need rest. To not get up and run before most normal (sane) people are awake.

I know this, but I'm not ready. I'm too scared. I've been training for a marathon for eight months. Almost long enough to have a baby. And since I feel like I didn't really run a marathon, it's always hanging over my head like that kid in high school who reminded you that you weren't quite good enough to hang with the in crowd.

If I stop running now, I don't know if I'll ever do a "real" marathon. I know I'll regret it.

That's not all, though. I like being in shape. I like fitting into my jeans. I'm worried I'll balloon and not move off the couch. Like, ever.

My foot might make the decision for me.

We'll see.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just who is the Biggest Loser?

Is it so WRONG to eat a huge vat small bowl of Peppermint Stick ice cream while watching a group of overweight people work out?

There they are, sweating it out on the treadmill as Jillian shouts obscenities at them, and I'm sitting there with my butt on the couch, dipping into my dish o' fat.

I did feel guilty. Not guilty enough to stop spooning it in, mind you, but I did have a pang or two.

I imagine what I'd look like on that regimen. Nothing to do but work out four hours a day, with a great trainer who is clearly really good at what she does (and Bob looks awesome, too). And the nutrition. That's my big issue (clearly).

The working out part isn't where I struggle.

Hello. My name is Cheryl. And I'm a sugar addict.

I. Love. It.

I can't go through a day without something sweet. And since I don't really like fruit (it has to be just so or I won't eat it, like no bruise on the banana, the orange has to be sweet and juicy, the grapes firm, etc) this means I'm eating the processed white stuff, otherwise known as Satan's Spell.

I'm under it. All the way.

What I need is a Jillian to stand in my kitchen and when I'm reaching into the back of the cupboard for those tootsie rolls, she could scream "WHAT are you DOING? COME ON! DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY!"

Or something like that. I'm pretty sure she could kick my ass in about 9 seconds, so I'd have to listen.

Because sometimes I feel like, if I don't watch it, you're going to see my butt not on the couch, but on TV. As a contestant.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thank goodness I'M so perfect..

Who'd have thought there'd be this much chatter over a little bit of cottage cheese.

It is quite sad. Pathetic, really.

For those of you who actually have a life and don't spend every waking moment a minute perusing the latest Hollywood gossip, here's the deal.

I happened upon a picture on TMZ of someone's not-so-toned butt in a black bikini. Since I was already on the site, I figured I MAY as WELL see who the butt belonged to.

It was Jennifer Love Hewitt, who I first saw on one of my favorite shows back in the day, Party of Five.

You would think she just shot Bailey (played by short but cute Scott Wolf, although I always liked Charlie better, who of course is now Jack on Lost) the way the nastiness is flying.

The blogbloids talk about her "waddling around Hawaii" and how the pictures make them "ill" and then there's my personal fave, this delightful missive from some clearly intellectual website called The Superficial: "What the hell are those ghosts whispering to her? That cake fights cancer?"

She decided to respond via her blog (she's SO 2007!) to say stuff such as "Like all women out there should, I love my body." And "A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful." And "I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image." And "To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini – put it on and stay strong."

SHE HAD TO DEFEND HER ASS - am I'm not just talking like the kids do. She literally had to stand up to say that she's fine with how she looks (and with HER boobs, who wouldn't be?). And jeez, she was on vacation celebrating her engagement, so that made her vacation shots that much more "special."

The thing is, she looks like most women in America. Hell, she looks BETTER than most women in America.

And, like most women in America, she's not perfect. Which must make some men people feel uncomfortable. Angry, even. Like how DARE she have a flaw? She's gorgeous, has amazing knockers, her own TV show, doesn't drink (or drive)like LiLo or party like Paris.

She doesn't have questionable parenting skills like Britney and hasn't spent a moment in prison.

But she does have CELLULITE! Oh, the humanity!

Get off her ass. Seriously.

I think I'd much rather have my daughter see the picture of JLH's butt than that of say, Paris Hilton, so I could say "This is what a REAL woman looks like, and she's beautiful and happy and successful."

Then I'd order her off the computer and out into the world. No matter what might jiggle along the way.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Ugly Face

Children, even as infants, love to model their parents. It starts as cooing contests back and forth. Then it moves to copying sounds, mamama, dadada, and then, eventually, words.

Then they REALLY learn to talk and you might have your 2 year-old yell "SHIT!" in exactly the appropriate situation - just like Mommy.

Sawyer has recently started saying "Soooo...what are we doing today?" or "Sooo.....where are you going?" etc. I couldn't figure out where he was getting that "Soooo" from. Until I realized it was me. No clue I did it (for those of you who might have noticed this problem, stop snickering).

They are constantly watching, processing, reacting. This is mostly a good thing. You try to model not only good language, but good behavior. You say "please" and "thank you." You try to eat healthy food (at least in front of them, the Ben & Jerry's is for after they're in bed) and exercise.

You try to be kind and friendly to others. You look both ways before crossing the street.

This is why what I saw the other day made me so upset. Sawyer has been rather "challenging" lately. He is getting quite sassy and will not stop obnoxious behaviors - such as smacking his sister or using his "outside" voice in the car -unless I yell. And after the fifth time of asking him to stop nicely, that is what it comes to: me snapping at him.

And there, in the rear view mirror, I saw what my kids see: I saw my Ugly Face.

Eyes squinted. Mouth twisted.




And not the "I'm feeling fat/pimply/frizzy-haired" kind of ugly.

We're talking Scary Ugly.

I did not like what I saw. Not at all. I'm sure they don't like it much either.

I don't want to be that kind of Mom. I don't want my children to think it's okay to be that angry over simple rebellion. And I sure as hell don't want them to be scared of me.

I feel like Other Moms don't have this face. Well, maybe Joan Crawford or someone like that, but not normal, non beating-my-child-with-a-iron type mothers. I have no idea where mine comes from, but I'm working on banishing it to the dark place where it must have grown.

I want my kids to remember their childhood as happy, with a mom who was firm but fun. Not scary. Not angry.

And definitely, definitely not Ugly.
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