Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In Self Defense

We have a rule in our house, courtesy of local parenting columnist/author Sandy McDaniel: You hit, you sit.

Meaning, if Sawyer or Sage hit me, David, each other or the dogs, the offender has to sit immediately in time out. No warnings.

But now that Sawyer is 4 1/2, and, being a social little creature, is frequently playing with other kids, I am starting to wonder about that rule.

Because it seems to me that there are times he should be able to whack someone. Okay. There. I said it.

If someone hits him, at some point, he's going to have to hit them back or risk getting the bejeezus beat out of him by some idiot bully. Problem is, how do you explain this?

"See, it's okay to hit if the other boy is being an fuckwad and he hits you first, because you have to defend yourself. However, make sure you don't get caught, because usually the teacher/parent/coach only sees the retaliatory shot. Oh, and it's never okay to hit your sister, or a smaller kid, even if they are being a colossal pain in the ass."


I have told Sawyer that if someone hits him, he needs to walk away and tell me. Today we met a friend of mine and her two kids at the Beach Club. Her son, N, is 3 1/2, and her daughter, O, is 17 months. I think the kids were getting a bit grumpy by the time we left, and Sawyer and N started to squabble. And N kept poking/hitting at Sawyer.

To his credit, Sawyer told him to stop, but N didn't listen. So Sawyer walked away. Completely appropriate behavior. But there was a little part of me that wanted to see him swat the kid. I know, I know. It's just that sometimes I want to see a little fire in my boy.

He used to be so startled, as a young toddler, when a bigger kid would push him or grab his shovel or knock him over the head with a truck. He never fought back and I was worried about his easy-going temperment. At some point, I wondered if he would snap.

He never did. That is not to say that he doesn't engage in some toy-grabbing (especially from his sister) and other "physical" behavior now. He absolutely does.

The other day at the beach my friend's usually mild-mannered guy decided that Sawyer was talking too much and so he kicked him. Hard. Now, I know how that kid feels, because there are times when I desperately need Sawyer to SHUT UP. Still. Sawyer actually was hurt. And my poor friend was mortified.

She apologized again later, hoping none of us would think her child was a brute. We don't. He's a great little kid.

Nobody wants their child to be a bully, or to grow into some chest-thumping he-man who talks with his fists. But it did make me wonder when we might need to bend the rules. For self defense, and defense of Self.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

At Last, Sex and the City

Yes, I realize the movie has been out for awhile. My training partners and I were supposed to see it the day before the marathon, but we were, like, busy shopping getting mentally prepared for the big day.

So my mom's group (well, it's not REALLY a mom's group, in that we don't pay dues and we have spontaneous rather than scheduled heavy drinking sessions playdates. We're just six or so women who met when our kids were 7-8 weeks old in a support group for new moms, and we've remained friends) had a night out.

Five of us met at the theater. And because we didn't have our kids with us, we actually got to wear our Big Girl clothes (ie heels, shirts without goldfish crumb handprints on the shoulder, etc). We weren't the only ones. We chose our seats, and a moment later, a group of women in cute outfits filled the entire row in front of us.

The TV series of Sex and the City was, ultimately, about women bonding, and it was reflected in the crowd. I believe there was one manfriend. I'm guessing either 1) he'd been a very bad boy or 2) he was going to be richly rewarded for sitting through it, although there were lots of naked boobies to be gawked at.

I wasn't a huge fan of the show when it was on. I mean, I liked it, but I didn't DIE over it. I don't own the complete DVD set or watch it in reruns on TBS.

But when the movie came out, I was interested in seeing it. And I'm glad I did.

Honestly, it was really funny. Too long, but definitely entertaining.

This will NOT ruin for any of you who have yet to see it, but there is one part where Miranda (Cynthia Nixon's character) is complaining about those annoying moms who stay home all day and don't, you know, work. We all looked at each other and were all, "That would be us. Thanks!"

I'm the only one of our group who has actually lived in the City, for about a year and a half in the early 90s. And of COURSE I wore fabulous designer clothes and $500 Manolos and went to the hottest bars and had lots and lots of wild sex.

Yeah, right. I made, what, $32,000 a year and hung out at dive bars, drinking kamakaze shots with beer chasers. I had a boyfriend who lived in out of state, but when that didn't work out, there might have been just one ill-advised tussle (one great thing about NYC, a condom is just a quick run down the stairs to the corner bodega at 3 a.m.).

Thing is, New York is really the best place on the planet. But it's even better if you actually have money, like the characters in SATC.

In the end, though, it's not about the shoes or the killer apartments or even Carrie's crazy argyle legwarmers (what was she thinking??).

It's about having amazing girlfriends. No matter where you live.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Road To Roubaix

Yes, people, another shameless plug. The husband of my friend JenC, loyal reader and poster of SpecialSauce, has made a documentary film. Which is impressive in itself, because, other than, you know, videos of our kids pouring spaghetti over their heads and singing the alphabet song, what have WE done?

Anyway, Dave did his film on this super-crazy bicycle race in France called the Paris-Roubaix. There are like all kinds of spectacular crashes and stuff. The best part is HOT GUYS!

Okay, maybe not the BEST part, but certainly an added bonus!

Check out a clip and see what it's all about. It's VERY cool.

And Jen, you may now deposit the sum of $100 into my paypal account. (I'm kidding, people! It's $150!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Retail Therapy

If you love to shop and, like me, you have little kids, your body automatically veers into every childrens store you pass. You spend more time in Gymboree and Janie & Jack and Hanna Andersson than you do at, say, Banana Republic or the Gap (for grownups, that is).

Your daughter has a more varied and fashionable wardrobe than you do.

But once in awhile, like a dieter who's off sugar for too long, you have to splurge. You just do.

And so I did.

Now that Sawyer is really swimming, and Sage no longer has a fear of the water and wants to be in it constantly, I realized I needed a new bathing suit. I might have also realized this last year too, but luckily the summer went by fast enough for me to postpone my Least Favorite Shopping Ever.

Really, is there anything worse than bathing suit shopping? This is why the last nice bathing suit I bought was right before Sawyer turned a year old and we were going to Hawaii. I rewarded myself for finally losing all the baby weight.

If you're doing the math at home, that would be almost four years ago. Because we're not counting the skirtini I bought two years ago. It served it's purpose, but it's tired, the poor thing.

I now wear the skirt with the bikini top from Hawaii - or the one I got for my honeymoon, which was only almost seven years ago. I'm just not interested in wearing the string bikini bottoms at the moment. Too many things hanging out, especially when chasing little kids, and anyway, who has time for a bikini wax?

I should also mention the skirt is two sizes too big. So when it gets wet, it stre-e-e-e-e-tches. Not a good look.

There is nothing worse - and when I say nothing I mean it, readers - than trying on bathing suits. I do not need those flourescent lights to help point out every pocket of cheese that grows on my legs like their own country.

Luckily, the only injury I've incurred in a dressing room was to my pride. I've never had, say, an embellishment pop off and practically blind me, like that woman trying on a thong at Victoria Secret. Have you heard about this? A 52 year-old woman is suing VS because she claims she has permanent corneal damage after a sequin or something flew off the thong and hit her in the eye.

This leads me to two questions: 1) Who the hell tries on a thong? The ick factor is immeasurable and 2) How tight was she trying to stretch this thong so that the decoration was ejected with such force?

But hey. It could happen to anyone. So I decided the internet was clearly much safer. I get the Athleta catalogue and love the way the stuff looks. Then again, I'm looking at it on the most fit models ever. I would sell one of my children to have abs like these women. Okay, maybe not sell them, possibly just exchange them for merchandise.

I called them to ask about sizing, and spoke to a wonderful woman who totally guided me.

And this is what I got:

The woman assured me the top was beautiful in person and that it would look great with the shorts.

So, you know, while I was on the phone, and since she was being so helpful, I kinda accidentally bought two dresses. With the intent of returning one.

I'm running with the girls tomorrow morning, then will start with my new trainer Monday. So hopefully soon I'll be rockin' my new duds - just like those Athleta models.

Hey, a girl can dream!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

No Place Like Home

There I was, a day after giving birth to my daughter, wearing the highly fashionable hospital robe with my boobs hanging out. I had just, finally, finally, attached said baby to aforementioned boobs - when in walks a man I did not know, telling me it was time to take blood from Sage's foot.

I did not tell him where he could stick his needle. Instead, I told him it wasn't going to happen and he'd have to come back. On the 12th of Never.

It reinforced to me that hospital births are incredibly invasive. There are people in and out of your room all the time. Sometimes, they come bearing the good stuff like pain meds. Most of the time, they're just a pain.

Which is why I read with interest the backlash against Ricki Lake and her documentary, the Business of Being Born. I have not seen the movie yet (but I've wanted to for a while!). The film shows the water birth of her second son in her Manhattan apartment.

Apparently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is pissed. They released a statement that says the home is not the safest setting for having a baby. And, along with the American Medical Association, resolve to support state legislation "that helps ensure safe deliveries and healthy babies by acknowledging that the safest setting" is a hospital, connected birthing center or other approved facility.

Really? Not safe to have home births?

Some of you may remember that Sage was actually born at home. I was in labor denial and ended up with an unplanned home birth right on my living room couch.

The experience was the most amazing of my life. I'd had a very difficult delivery with Sawyer, including an epidural that entirely cut off feeling from the waist down. I had the Nurse from Hell who thought shouting at me was helpful. I had an episiotomy.

But with Sage... Amazing. Even though she was sunny-side up, the delivery was so, well natural. I have a feeling that, had I been in the hospital and not allowed to labor the way I wanted, they would've tried to give me a C-Section (I did go to the hospital after the birth).

Now, had I been high-risk, or attempting a VBAC, or if I knew something was wrong with the baby, it'd be an entirely different story. But a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy?

Obviously we are not capable of doing the most natural thing on the planet without a bright light illuminating our crotch like the Vegas strip and a nurse telling us to HOLD OUR BREATH to help push out a (gasp) baby - that, in most cases, would happily come out on its own.

Ricki Lake's repsonse was simply that she's about choice, not about shoving her agenda down anyone's throat (or birth canal, as the case may be). She just wants women to have information to make an informed one.

The only good thing about my first delivery was I ended up with my beautiful boy. The rest was so traumatic I didn't speak to my OB/GYN about it (she wasn't there for the delivery) until the following year - when I was pregnant with Sage.

I vowed it would be different with her. I hired a doula who taught HypnoBabies, a deep relaxation technique to give you a pain-free, drug-free birth.

I jumped on the soapbox for the virtue of natural childbirth (although, to me, the only unnatural childbirth is if the baby arrives via your butt). This was a dramatic change for me, since with Sawyer, I wanted the epidural before I arrived at the hospital.

When I was briefly pregnant this past winter, I started looking around for a birth center. The one hospital that allowed midwives to deliver closed. I knew I did not want a hospital birth and was considering either a birth center or a home birth.

I just think that women are programmed in this country as to how childbirth should be. It should occur in a hospital and with an epidural as soon as possible. We are sometimes induced even though the baby is doing just fine, its only crime was it didn't agree with the due date.

Nurses want you quiet. We aren't told that lying down is the worst possible position to give birth, as it closes the part of the pelvis that needs to open to let the baby come on down.

We are told that it is horribly painful, and yes, it can be, but it doesn't have to be. We learn that taking those "hee hee hee" breaths will somehow relax us (they don't).

But it is sometimes easier to do what everyone else is doing, isn't it? It's familiar. Hey, we've all seen Baby Story on TLC.

Don't be afraid to step outside the box. And certainly don't villify a woman like Ricki Lake for showing us that there can be another way. See what she has to say. Then make your own decision.

Us girls? We're pretty smart. We've been having babies since the beginning of time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Love & Marriage

Two people meet and fall in love. They buy a house in the suburbs. They get a golden retriever.

You know how the story goes. They get married, have kids and are still living out the American Dream.

Only, that's not how THIS story goes. Because the two people happen to be the same gender. And in this country, they have not been allowed to marry. The pursuit of happiness and liberty and justice for all? Only if you're heterosexual. Says so in the Bible, don't you know?

But today, in California, gay couples can legally wed. So at 10 a.m., my two wonderful neighbors went with one of their moms and a niece to the county courthouse. There was definitely trepidation. Neither knew what to expect. Because their pre-wedding jitters involved wondering not about whether the band would show up, but if, when they saw a small crowd right by the building, they would get insults hurled at them like rotten tomatoes. But no - it was a group of supporters, whose applause ushered them in.

A woman performed the civil ceremony. They worried she'd be dismissive. In Bakersfield, the county clerk stopped officiating any marriages rather than preside over same-sex joinings. Happily, this clerk was perfect.

"When she said, 'And now, by the power vested in me by the State of California..' that was the most amazing moment," one of my neighbors said.

Then there was cake.

I honestly don't understand why anyone would begrudge them their happiness. They've been together for 15 years - longer than most marriages. They walk their dog, who they nursed through lymphoma, every morning. They work at the same school. They drive a hybrid.

They always stop to say hi when they see me or the kids. Just like all our neighbors.

It seems to me that there are those who have a very clear cut version of what the world should be. And if you don't conform, not only are you wrong, you are somehow personally injuring them. They quote the Bible and shout blasphemy. Frankly, that doesn't seem very Christian of them, to love only those who are like them.

Even if G-d didn't approve, what do they care? Judge not.

The divorce rate in this country isn't exactly a testament to the sanctity of marriage. Maybe there's room for something different.

Ellen DeGeneres said it so well, when she gently chided Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain on her show: “We are all the same people, all of us. You’re no different than I am. Our love is the same. When someone says, ‘You can have a contract, and you’ll still have insurance, and you’ll get all that,’ it sounds to me like saying, ‘Well, you can sit there, you just can’t sit there.’ "

For the first time, a recent Field Poll showed Californians favor granting gays the right to marry 51 percent to 42 percent.

So maybe we're starting to come around. That's never been an issue on our little street, buried in the foothills of one of the most conservative counties in the country.

The two of them stood on the sidewalk late this afternoon, wearing dark suits and boutonnieres. I hugged them. They were on their way to a celebratory dinner. Their first as a married couple.

They had been pronounced Spouse and Spouse, partners forever.

Not that they needed the ceremony to confirm it. But it's great, just like David and me, that they got the chance.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baby Got Back

Once someone other than possibly your husband - and even that is questionable - sees your poop, you pretty much have lost the ability to be embarrassed (I accidentally delivered one prior to delivering my daughter. On the pad on my couch. In front of the paramedics.).

Add to that breastfeeding in public, being barfed on, and finding a booger in your hair that your daughter apparently flicked in the night before, and you figure there's nothing left.

But alas. You were wrong.

Today, my physical therapist and the trainer I'm thinking of hiring had a discussion about my ass. Specifically, the complete absence of muscle.

There is nothing like a confirmed case of Flabby Ass.

Now you'd think it would've gotten nice and firm from the amount of time I spend sitting on it.

Or, at the very least, running two marathons in seven months would've encouraged my glutes to, you know, stand up and pay attention.


Apparently, distance runners are the worst offenders when it comes to being a lame ass. Every motion is straight ahead, so your butt doesn't get the work it needs. And my lack of any kind of weight lifting has not helped.

My body is, in fact, too bootylicious for me.

The kid who was taking me through my PT exercises today made sure to remind me to squeeze my butt ("You'll be able to crack nuts with it by Christmas," he promised). But you know, after an hour of it, I had to shout "GET OFF MY ASS!"

I mean, I had been feeling pretty pleased with myself that it had shrunk enough to fit nicely into my jeans.

All smoke and mirrors, my friends. My buns of steel are actually buns of, well, buns. As in, bakery. Hot crossed. Hot dog.

I am no longer in denial. And that's the first step to overcoming a problem right?

That, and about 10,000 lunges.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

First Father's Day Without

There have been a few days throughtout this past year where I've been extra concerned about my mother. Thanksgiving. New Year's Eve. His birthday. All the firsts she'd have to spend alone after my father died last July.

But this day is more about my siblings and me.

It's Father's Day. The first we will spend without one.

The reminders are everywhere, thanks to Hallmark. Sawyer and I went to buy David a Father's Day gift today and stopped to pick out a card.

"Look at the one with the monkey!" Sawyer gleefully shouted.

I found the card he was pointing to. Then I stopped.

"Sorry, buddy, this one's for a grandfather."

We kept looking, through cards about gross bodily functions, barbecuing, golf, asking for money and fixing stuff - you know, the things that dads are apparently made of.

I remember picking out those kinds of cards for my father when I was growing up. But the thing is, I can't remember what we actually did on Father's Day. So I called my mom. First she claimed that they were married on Father's Day, July 21, 1959. But I don't that's possible, since isn't Father's Day on the second Sunday in June? Wait, she said, maybe it was the first day of summer (and yes, they would've been married 49 years next week).

Regardless. She said we didn't really do much. Sometimes the grandparents would visit. Mostly, my Dad would watch sports on TV.

Which is, apparently, why I don't have any particular memories of the day. I find that kind of sad, and it's made me determined to start a tradition for my own kids - so that, someday when they are facing their first Father's Day without one, they can look back at pictures or into their memories and smile, knowing that it was special.

Happy Father's Day, Dad...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I have a headache.

One of my single girlfriends is in a relatively new relationship. You remember. The fun zone.

"We have sex every night."
"Every night??"

I told another good friend of mine, who's married with three kids and also happens to be a guy. His response? "I don't even remember when that SOUNDED like a good idea."

Amen to that. A 2004 study, “American Sexual Behavior,” by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found married couples have intercourse about 66 times a year. many of you are doing some calculations in your head right now?

A recent New York Times article discusses some recent books written on the topic of married sex (yep, just like military intelligence or smart bomb).

One couple wrote a book called "365 Nights." As in, 365 consecutive days of doing the horizontal mambo. Another couple went 101 days in a row of coitus non interruptus.

The idea was to reignite a sex life that had burned out. Instead of French Maid outfits or a trapeze on the ceiling, these couples decided the way to put the heat back into the marriage was by going whole hog, pardon the expression.

Kind of like when you're on the South Beach Diet too long and you decide to eat nothing but carbs - for a year.

Anyone else feel bloated?

I'm glad it worked for these couples, and I'm sure there are others out there. But it reminds me of when my husband and I were trying to conceive our children. We had to do it certain days and even at certain times, whether or not either of us was in the mood. The poor guy had to fly out to Arizona because IT'S TIME! IT'S TIME!

If my husband's penis could salute, it would have.

As stated by an expert in the article, happy marriages have more sex, but maybe it's more sex that helps make happy marriages.

It's something to ponder, next time your husband gives you the look.

Maybe I'll keep the Advil by the bedside.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Abstinence in My Pants

You just never know who's going to be next to deliver lessons on morality.

Consider a new item at K Mart, home of the blue light special. There are lessons to be learned there, people. Lessons to be learned.

And yes, I just said K Mart.

They now sell sweat pants for juniors with the message: "True Love Waits".

Um...waits for what? Johnny Jock to stop staring at the words printed right across the ass in bright letters?

That's right. It's on the back - and the front. No fun either way.

Nothing says chastity like a trite meaningless missive. Or a pair of sweats from K Mart, for that matter. Not that I'm advocating ho-dom, but I doubt having that little reminder on Madison's or Emma's pants is going to help much when they're dropping them for Joe Gotrocks after the homecoming dance.

Surprisingly, the young mens department isn't selling them. I can just imagine what THEIR version would say (perhaps something along the lines of "I've got your True Love right here?").

K Mart actually denies the message was intended to support abstinence. This, despite saying right in the description that the pants have a "bold abstinence screen print."

Hey, it could be worse. It could be WalMart selling them.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Bunco, or Please Just Shoot Me

I had never heard of bunco until after my son was born. My career had me working most nights so I knew nothing about this particular pasttime, which was apparently going on in countless suburban homes all around me.

Then my next-door neighbor BEGGED me to come to her house because she'd somehow got roped into hosting and she needed at least one kindred spirit there - in other words, someone who would also think it was the most insipid waste of time ever on the face of the earth.

Perhaps I'm not expressing myself clearly enough as to how I feel about the activity.

So I go over there, and it was even worse than I'd anticipated. It involves dice and drunk women. Sound like Vegas? Not so much. The crown of the evening was when one of them asked when I was due.

"I had my baby. Three months ago."

Yeah. Hilarious.

I wikipediaed bunco for those incredibly fortunate souls who aren't yet familiar with it. Mostly because I've always wanted to make wikipedia a verb. Here is, in part, what they have to say:

"In recent years, the game has seen a resurgence in popularity in America, particularly among suburban women. As it is played today, Bunco is a social dice game involving 100% luck and no skill (there are no decisions to be made), scoring and a simple set of rules. Women who are part of a Bunco club take turns as the Bunco hostess, providing snacks, refreshments and the tables to set up the games. The hostess may also provide a door prize. Small amounts of money can be involved as well. The object of the game is to accumulate points and to roll certain combinations. The winners get prizes (provided by the hostess or pooled from the club resources) for accomplishments such as the highest score, the lowest score, or the most buncos. Prizes frequently center on themes associated with the game such as fancy dice, dice embedded in soap, t-shirts featuring illustrations of dice, etc."

I'm sure you're now dying to find a local bunco group of your own, aren't you?

Every so often, the party is at the house behind my next door neighbor's house. These people put in a pool last summer and let's just say there are many nights when I sleep with my pillow over my head, trying to drown out the sound of 10 year-olds shrieking at 1 in the morning. But it wasn't me who called the police on them, just for the record.

The din when they host bunco makes nails on a chalkboard sound like a symphony. Last summer we were serenaded to shouts of "party foul" followed by a ringing bell and raucous cackling by a bunch of shitfaced middle-aged housewives set free for a night from watching kids/cleaning the kitchen/folding laundry for a night.

I get the need to escape, I really do. But seriously. We weren't this obnoxious in college. Maybe high school.

Imagine how thrilled I was this evening to see two of my neighbors (no, not including the one who hosted the party. She quit the group and never went back) strolling down the street. They were wearing Lakers jerseys, mardi gras beads and one had Mickey Mouse ears on her head.

"It's travel night at bunco!"

Unfortunately, they were not traveling out of state. Just down the street, around the corner - and to the house behind my neighbor's.

Now, I know some very nice women who love bunco, which is clearly an acronym for getting tanked, or possibly "Brain Un Neccessary Cluttering Object". I love them despite of their habit.

I just can't figure out why you need to play some beyond stupid game with dice to knock back a few.

Anyone out there a bunco girl? Maybe you can explain the attraction!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Oh, the Places We'll Go!

I don't even know how it happened. One minute she was wearing diapers, the next minute, Hello Kitty underwear.

There's no dragging her to the bathroom every 15 minutes like I had to do with her brother. She just goes in when she has to "tinkle tinkle" (except for the couple times when she waited just a bit too long and peed her pants) and does her bidness.

And when she's done, she says, "Oh yeah, oh yeah, I went peepee in the pot-tee! Peepee in the pot-tee!" and does the appropriate bootie shaking dance.

The other night, she was sitting on the toilet - neither of my kids ever used the little potty chair - and I ran downstairs to get Snuggles Doo (a pink blankie with a dog head). Greeting me when I returned was, shall we say, a scent as if something had died in the bathroom, maybe a few months prior.

"Sage, it's stinky in here!"
"It's my feet."
"It's not your feet."
"It's my 'gina."
"It's not your vagina."
"Oooooh! Look! There's poop! It's my poopy butt!"
"Yep. It's your poop."

She is not yet dry at naps or in the morning consistently, so on go the diapers for sleep. She's soooo not down with it, but Mommy is soooo not down with changing sopping sheets at 4 a.m.

My mind is now racing ahead to all the joys that come with diaperless living. We have been in diapers, between the two kids, for almost 4 1/2 years. The money I can spend at Target will save boggles the mind. It was physically - to say nothing of pyschically - painful to drop over $30 a box on diapers.

Now we will take our vacation without stuffing a suitcase full of diapers. We can forgo swim diapers at the beach. She'll start school in August in her Big Girl Underwear (can't bring myself to say 'panties.' Sounds kinda, I dunno, dirty). I don't have to worry if I have an extra diaper in the car in case she decides drop a random poop when it's clearly not Poop Time.

Oh, the places we'll go!

I often tell her that even though she's a Big Girl, she will always be my Baby.

She nods. She knows.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Marathon

I feel all I've been doing is talking to people about the marathon, and so now that I have a spare nanosecond - oh, no, wait, Sage is shrieking for her Annie doll, and not Annie as in Little Orphan, this is Annie as in Little Einsteins, and when you press her stomach, she sings some classical song that goes, in part, lalaLAlalaLalalaLA LA! But alas, Annie is not in the bathroom where I've been sent to fetch her, and no matter, because now Sage does not want her. No, she wants the pink bear in the wicker "nest" that is on her bookcase. And as an added bonus, I slammed my heel on the back of the freakin' gate at the bottom of the stairs that serves no other purpose but to keep the dogs from getting upstairs and jumping on our heads in the middle of the night. Or worse, licking themselves in unmentionable places within my earshot.

So the marathon. It was supposed to be a great bonding race. The three of us said before the race that no matter what, we were going to finish together. Thing is, it was a dumb thing to promise because a marathon is, well, a marathon, and shit happens. More accurately, shit happened to me. At about 16 miles, Torrey got some insane burst of energy and took off, leaving Cindy and me. I needed to find a portapotty IMMEDIATELY, and Cindy, after finding one for me, kept going.

I had to stop for another potty break at 19 miles, and probably wasted about 10 minutes waiting in line and actually getting in there. The last seven miles were tough, and I was very sad I didn't have my support group with me when I needed them the most.

My foot hurt. My back hurt. I talked to my Dad, imaging him sitting up in heaven on a big leather recliner, watching me. Then I imagined him switching the channel to the baseball game.

I smirked. And somehow kept running.

Cindy caught Torrey at 23. They got to finish together.

I came in 15 minutes later. Meaning, I did not beat Katie - she got me by less than a minute.

But at mile 25, who should appear but Chris, the coach from Jersey who helped me get through Nike. It was amazing to see him, and he hung with me for about a mile. That was awesome.

I even had enough at the end to sprint.

Two marathons in just over seven months. Not bad. I really felt like this was my first, since I actually ran this one. The first 15 miles flew by. If only my intestines had cooperated. I NEVER stop to use the bathroom, and on race day, I had to stop twice - wtf?

There are things beyond my control: My injuries. My innards.

The rest was up to me.

In the end, I crossed the finish line. It might not have been the way I wanted to do it, or in the time I wanted, but I did cut 45 minutes of my time from Nike. And I got to go home to my husband and my beautiful, beautiful children (Sage insisted on wearing my finisher medal everywhere today, and finally took off before bed).

Now I'm working on perspective. Finishing two marathons in seven months? Not so bad.

Tonight, David was at a convention so I took the kids out to dinner with my friend Ciaran and her family. Her eldest daughter, Marly, who is 11 1/2, congratulated me immediately. So amazing when a kid thinks something an old lady like me did is cool.

We got home, and one of my neighbors' friends was visiting, so I went to say hello (she's run marathons, including Boston). While I was talking to her, Sawyer and Sage were racing up and down the sidewalk.

"What are you guys doing?" I asked.

"We're running a marathon!" Sawyer said.

It looked like fun.
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