Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

My parents went to Japan this spring and they brought back this kimono for Meg.  Unfortunately, she didn't stay still long enough for me to get many non-blurry pictures.
She LOVED handing out candy and often gave kids several handfuls.  I think we were a popular house.
She also tried to give candy to the cat, but the cat didn't really want Whoppers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Starbucks Via instant coffee is nasty. Awful. I got the Caramel kind when they were giving you a free latte for buying it and I think it’s worse than other instant coffee. Not only is the coffee bad, but the flavor makes it even worse. It doesn’t taste like caramel, just awful artificial flavor. Seriously. Don’t buy it. I’m glad I got it really cheap (I got it on a day I was getting a latte anyway, so I only paid a little more to get the Via + free latte).

2. Have any of you ever seen decaf chai tea? I’ve never been able to find decaf chai. I LOVE chai, but I try not to drink caffeine, so I rarely have it. It kind of bums me out.

3. NaBloPoMo starts Monday and I’m going to do it. I hope it goes well. I’m a major plan ahead-er. I have a folder on my computer called “November” filled with post ideas and a few half-finished posts for NaBloPoMo.

4. One of those posts is “13 things you should know about me before the Blathering.” When I was reading the archives of this year’s blathering-goers, I saw that several of them had done this for last year’s Blathering and was instantly nervous. I can’t think of 13 things you should know about me! So I figured I’d better get going. Since September, I’ve been adding things as I think of them, because I knew if I tried to write it the week of the Blathering I’d have major writers block and not even be able to come up with one.

5. Of course, now we’re all doing this get-to-know-you email thing, so I’m going to be the ONLY ONE with a “x number of things you should know” post. But, dammit, I already wrote the thing so I’m posting it. Plus, its going to be good. There’s something you’ll definitely want to know about me, even if you’re not going to the Blathering.

6. How come “I need a drink” is usually construed to mean alcohol? If I happen to say “I need a drink” at say, 10 in the morning, Thomas looks at me weird. Can’t that just mean I’m thirsty and want water?

7. We haven’t taken a vacation since May 2008. We have a cruise planned for February, but do you know how long it is until February? TOO LONG. Especially since we booked the cruise this spring and have been sitting around waiting ever since. I certainly hope we don’t go three years between vacations again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another post about diaper changes. Sorry.

Since we complained about Meg getting diaper rashes at daycare, they’ve been making a lot more notes on her daily sheet. They’ve also been changing her more frequently, which I appreciate. I understand some parents might only want their child changed every 2 ½ - 3 hours, so less diapers are used, but they remember we prefer every 1 ½-2 hours. Unfortunately, the more frequent changes aren’t really helping. The problem all along has been that Meg waits to dirty her diaper until right after she’s been changed. So while it’s good she only sits in a dirty diaper for a maximum of 2 hours instead of 3, she still gets a nasty rash on daycare days.

I try to be understanding. They’re changing her more often, making a note if she has a rash, putting cream on it, etc. They can’t watch my child like a hawk all day and change every dirty diaper seconds after it happens. Even if they smell something, it’s probably hard to track down which of the 8 kids smells, especially if some of the kids have gas.

But when they write this on her daily log, it pisses me off.

Am I being oversensitive, or are they implying she came with a rash so they shouldn’t be blamed? Because they’ve written this each of the last 3 weeks and its making me furious. Every Tuesday morning I make a mental note of whether she has a rash. I am 100% sure she had ZERO redness yesterday morning. None. I checked. I dropped her off at 7. The first diaper they changed was a dirty one at 8:30 and if she had a rash, it’s because she dirtied her diaper long before 8:30 and sat in it for awhile.

She had 3 dirty diapers at daycare yesterday and they must not have caught any of them right away because by the time she came home she was covered in red welts. WELTS. When I changed her diaper, it hurt so badly she cried for 10 minutes. And the stupid log makes it sound like they’re trying to say it’s not their fault. What do I have to do – have the director verify there’s no rash when I drop her off? Call every hour and ask them to sniff her backside while I’m on the phone? Pay for the ability to watch the cameras in her room via website and spend all day watching her instead of working so I can call every time I think she’s dirtied her diaper?

I understand they’re trying harder. I believe she did have a rash the first time they changed her. I also believe the rash was their fault, though I suppose they don’t necessarily have a way of knowing that. They certainly had to notice it got much worse as the day went on.

Maybe it can’t be prevented. They have seven other kids to watch. I really don’t know what I can do to improve the situation. I don’t think changing daycares would necessarily help. I almost took a picture of the welts to take to the director, but I just couldn’t take a picture of my daughter’s private area.

Obviously Meg has very sensitive skin. She went from no rash at all to angry red welts in 10 hours. All I can think of at this point is that my super special snowflake has such sensitive skin that a daycare setting just doesn’t work for her. I feel like I should quit my job and change all her diapers myself. It just makes me cry when she’s in so much pain.

But she loves daycare. She enjoys playing with other kids and usually isn’t even sad for me to leave. Yesterday she gave me a huge smile and a kiss when I dropped her off and got right to playing. I think she’d really like it if we sent her more than just 1 day a week. I just don’t know what to do.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is the only baby book she's got

Meg's vocabulary exploded this week.  She picked up 6 new animal sounds this week. I taught her kitty on Monday and she learned the other five Wednesday night. I’m amazed she remembers them all.

She already knew what a dog says – sort of. It sounds like a dog panting, rather than barking. She picked it up from an actual dog, though, so I suppose her sound is more accurate than if she said “bow-wow.”

I tried to teach her a kitty says ‘meeeee-owwwww,’ but she just says ‘owwwwww’ sort of like a dog howling at the moon.

Chickens say “cuck, cuck, cuck”

Ducks say “ack, ack, ack.”

Turkeys say “dobble, dobble, dobble.”

Sheep say “baaaaaa”

She’s not good at saying m’s. She can say ‘mama,’ but only does when she is hurt or sad and needs her mama RIGHT NOW. She doesn’t say it if I ask her to. I don’t think she’s ever said an ‘m’ sound on demand. So her version of what a cow says is “boooooooooo.” At least we’re ahead of the game for Halloween!

She also says "boo" whens she’s hiding. It means peek-a-boo, but she says it while she’s hiding, not when she pops out.

Another word she picked up this week is “baby.” She loves to say baby and point out babies. Most of the time it’s a picture of herself, but she doesn’t believe it’s really her. She thinks we’re all a little crazy because she’s obviously much bigger than the baby in the picture.

She says daddy (da) and grandpa (buh-puh), but as I said, never says mama in normal conversation. She also doesn’t have a word for grandma.

She loves her aunt ‘T’ (Katie), but doesn’t say any of her other aunts’ or uncles’ names.

She says ‘ba’ for bottle and doesn’t have a word for sippy cups (they’re not ba’s).

She says ‘hah’ for house.  She also says 'hi' and 'bye' while waving.

Her first word was ‘mama’ and her second was ‘da,’ but after that was the word she says the most: ‘kitty.’ She says it really well, sometimes with the t’s, usually without (kih-ey). She chases the real cat around the house yelling kitty, kitty, kitty!

Her second favorite word is probably ‘shuze’ (shoes) and often when we’re getting ready in the morning she’ll run around saying ‘sockz, shuze’ (socks, shoes).

We really need to get the video camera out and get evidence of this.  Especially that a cow says 'boooooo' because its so darn cute.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Meg and I went to a pumpkin patch this morning with MOPS. I got a ton of cute pictures – I’ll post them sometime soon. It was fun, but I’m exhausted.

2. Meg went right down for a nap, but I don’t even get to relax because I have a million things to do. My mother-in-law is coming this afternoon (in like 2 hours) and the house is a mess. But I don’t feel like I have time to clean the house because I have so many other things to do – like wash bottles and do 3 loads of laundry.

3. Seriously. Our house is a disaster. But I’m not freaking out, because I have the nicest mother-in-law and I know she truly doesn’t care. Plus, she’s seen our house this way too many times to count. And she’s bringing a homemade blackberry pie!!! YUM.

4. I have bought breakfast every single day this week. Monday-Thursday at work and this morning I stopped at My Favorite Muffin & Bagel Cafe (that's the shop's name, not random capitalization) for a bagel sandwich. I’ve spent $15 this week on breakfast. It seems so wrong, but it was the only way to get me through the week.

5. At the pumpkin patch, they gave us Capri Sun’s for all of the kids in our group. 4 of the 6 don’t drink juice, including Margaret. I drank hers. The other 3 sat with the pumpkins and we divided them up when it was time to go. I got one. I kind of want to have it right now. Which would mean that today I’ve eaten: the bagel sandwich, 2 juice drinks (that contain no juice), and a hot dog and granola bar at the pumpkin patch. What a healthy day!

6. Do you know how hard it is to lose weight if you watch Top Chef: Just Desserts? Every time I watch that show it makes me want to run to a pastry shop and try everything. Good thing there’s a blackberry pie on its way!

7. A lot of these quick takes seem to be about how badly I eat. Do you ever have one of those weeks where you were really good the week before, so you decide to give yourself a day off…and then another one…and then all of the sudden you’ve eaten like crap all week?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicago Marathon Trip - quick summary

We did everything I said we were going to do (Chicago Board of Trade, fancy dinner, The Lion King, and a Chicago River Architecture Tour). It was all fantastic.

The race went pretty well. I didn’t know it would be so much work to be a spectator! I was picturing more sitting around, but we were on our feet for 4 hours straight walking around Chicago and seeing Thomas at various points of the race. I desperately need new tennis shoes, so my feet are still hurting a week later. During this four hours of walking, I saw him for approximately 10 seconds four different times. Doesn’t really sound worth it, but I suppose it was. Each time we saw him I got really excited. His mom got some good pictures of him running.

The big bummer about the race is that it was HOT. By the end of the race, the official race conditions were “adverse” and runners were dropping left and right. Thomas said for the last 2-3 miles, he stopped at every aid station, drank 2 cups of Gatorade, ate a banana piece, and poured a cup of water over his head. It’s a good thing, too, because a lot of people collapsed on the final stretch. It was terrible to watch. Since I’ve never watched a marathon before, I don’t know if more people went down than normal, but I assume so.

Thomas' goal was to finish under 4 hours. He came in at 4:09:39 and decided that was pretty dang good, considering how hot it was. Now he wants to run another marathon in the spring…

Friday, October 15, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Earlier this week on the radio, they were talking about grocery shopping systems. Do you go once a week? Every day? Who does it? How do you meal plan? I was surprised how many women said their husband does it, because if they go to the grocery store they spend too much. That’s why I’m not allowed to do the grocery shopping. I grab a ton of impulse ‘that-looks-good’ items (even when I’m shopping on a full stomach) and I always want to stock up on things I know we use a lot. I spend way more than Thomas if I do the grocery shopping. Our bill even goes up if I go WITH him to the grocery store, despite his attempts to keep it down. I know he doesn’t love doing the grocery shopping, but its worth it to keep his wife away from the store.

2. This morning at MOPS, someone said when she and her husband got into a big fight she threatened to unfriend him on Facebook! I think that’s hilarious. They’ve been married for 10 years and the worst she can come up with is unfriending him.

3. As I said when I posted about my new Jesabes twitter account, I’ve had a personal twitter account for a while. I was already following a lot of bloggy people on my personal account. Some of them followed me back. I now follow all of the people I know through blogs on my new twitter account. Again, some of them followed me back. Now I sometimes tweet the same thing on both accounts, so both my family and blog people can read the tweets. But, as I said, some bloggy people follow me on both accounts, so now they get double tweets. I’m afraid they’ll do whatever the twitter version of ‘unfriending’ me is on both accounts!

4. Whenever I need a second, like if I’ve read the same book 10 times and can’t take it anymore, or I’m trying to do my makeup while Meg is trying to steal my makeup, or I’m trying to make lunch and Meg won’t let go of my legs, if the cat happens to wander by, I say “Look! It’s the kitty!” and Meg runs off after her, giving me a little break. Meg adores the cat.

This morning, Meg took something she knows she’s not supposed to have. When I came toward her, she said “Kitty!” and pointed behind me. I was fairly certain she was faking, since when she actually sees the kitty she is much more excited and runs toward her. I checked anyway. The cat wasn’t there. She was trying to distract me!

5. As I (double) tweeted last night, they said on the news the local children’s hospital has bedbugs. How awful is that! They went on to say it was only two rooms, so far, and the bugs must have been brought in by patients. Still, they didn’t act like the bugs were discovered by the patients who brought them in. I think it was the next patients. It sure makes me glad we have no plans to go to the hospital anytime soon (like to give birth)! This children’s hospital is attached to the hospital where I had Meg. Although, maybe it will be the cleanest place in town now that they know about the problem and have gotten bad publicity.

6. Is there a show you wish you could watch, but just never made it into your schedule? I watched the premiere of Parenthood in February and really liked it. I saw a promo for a new episode yesterday and it made me wish I’d started watching it, but I watch too many shows already and I just don’t have time for more. I also want to watch Mad Men and The Good Wife. What shows do you want to watch, but don’t?

7.  We're thinking about trying for another baby soon.  Its giving me an insane urge to start drinking like crazy!  I rarely drink, but the thought of not being able to for nine months makes me want to squeeze in nine months of drinking right now.  Of course, that's still not much.  When I say I rarely drink, I mean I can't remember the last time I had a drink.  Wait, I guess I had a glass of wine with dinner when we were in Chicago last weekend.  But I can't remember the last time before that!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How many pillows?

I’ve always been under the impression most people use two pillows when they sleep.  I do.  Thomas does.  Both my parents do.  When you see pictures of bedrooms (like in a magazine or on a blog), there’s almost always two pillows on each side.  Do people throw one pillow on the floor and just use the other?  Our hotel room last weekend only had 3 pillows on the king size bed.  Do they figure half (or more) of people sleep with only one pillow?  Do they not see the point of putting enough pillows for 2 people, since the majority of people saying in hotels are business travelers so there’s usually only 1 person in the room?  Or are they just cheap?  I know I’m overthinking this, but it was really annoying. We both HAVE to have two pillows. I really hate calling down to the front desk and asking for things, so I didn’t request a fourth pillow.  How were we supposed to decide who got two?  I ended up volunteering to use a couch cushion as one of my pillows because I like really firm pillows and the hotel pillows were practically flat. 

How many pillows do YOU sleep with?  I really want to know.  Are us two-pillow-sleepers in the minority?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weather Rant

Today is October 12th. The forecasted high is 80 degrees. This past weekend it was even hotter (I believe it was over 90 on Saturday) and I was thisclose to completely losing it if one more person said “Aren’t we having such great weather for October?”

NO. This is not great weather. 90-100 degree weather is the reason I hole up in my house for all of July and August and refuse to come out. I HATE this weather. Also, I love October weather and this hot spell is robbing me of it. I want to wear a jacket! I don’t want to have to wear shorts and slather myself with sunscreen!

What gets me even angrier is when people say “It’s going to get cold soon enough. You’ll be wishing for this weather once there’s snow everywhere!” Again, I have to say NO. I will not be missing this weather EVER. I’ll take snow over 100-degree weather any day. Even if we’ve had four months of snow already. Yes, it will get cold and snowy soon enough. That’s why I want 50 to 60 degree weather NOW, before it’s too late. So enjoy your warm weather, if that’s your thing, but keep your mouth shut around me if you don’t want me to scream at you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. I’m getting a little insecure about my hair. Not one person has mentioned it looks different. At first I thought my new haircut looked natural (as in good) on me, so they didn’t notice. Or maybe they think I’m just doing my hair every morning instead of letting it look like crap. I could see people not wanting to say something like “are you being less lazy with your hair this week?” But I got three inches cut off. THREE INCHES! Is it possible no one noticed? Or (as I fear) do they think it looks terrible, so they’ve decided not to talk about it at all?

2. Remember last week when I said I wore maternity pants to MOPS because all my other pants were in the laundry? I’ve worn them twice since. They’re so freaking comfortable!!! Besides, I might as well wear them when I’m not pregnant, because they don’t actually last very long into a pregnancy. They have a pretty small elastic panel (smaller than my demi-panel jeans). Of course, I only wear them with loooong shirts, so there’s no chance someone might think I’m pregnant. I just hope nobody at work recognizes them from when I was pregnant…

3. As I’ve mentioned a million times, my husband is running the Chicago marathon Sunday. So we’re off to Chicago today! This afternoon, we’re going to the Chicago Board of Trade (my husband is a commodities broker), having dinner at Italian Village, and going to the Lion King! Tomorrow, we’re taking a boat tour of Chicago, which makes me think of The Breakup:)

4. To go to the Board of Trade, have a tour, and see the markets close, we have to be there by 12 (the markets close at 1:30). Which means we have to leave at SIX AM. Which sucks in and of itself, but also means I have to leave without seeing Meg OR wake her up, then leave for three days soon after. I don’t want to! I want to spend a couple hours with her, THEN go. We’re not going to be back until late Sunday evening:(

5. On the news last night, they said right now the chances of hitting a deer are 1 in 67. That seems a little high to me. Sure makes me want to jump into a car and drive for six hours!

6. Maybe I should change this to 5 quick takes. I really can't think of anything else.

7. By the way, I wrote this Thursday night and set it to auto-post, because, did I tell you?, we're leaving at SIX AM.  And I have to take a shower, do my labor-intensive new hair, and finish packing.  Which means I have to get up at like 4:45 on my day off.  Grr.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last Thursday, while trying to get my hair to look decent, I decided it couldn’t be done. I’d HAD IT with my ugly hair. I didn’t want to call and make an appointment for the next week. I wanted my hair chopped off NOW. A few days earlier, we’d gotten a coupon for a $8.95 haircut in the mail. At the time, I thought it was asking for trouble. How can an $8.95 haircut be good? But on Thursday, I decided to try it. I figured my hair was pretty awful already, so the worst I could end up with was SHORTER bad hair, which would at least tide me over until I got a better cut.

When I got home, it wasn’t good. My hair looked HORRIBLE. Really bad. When the stylist had cut my hair 2 inches shorter, I asked her to cut it another inch because I thought it wasn’t short enough yet. I got home and really regretted that decision. Plus, I asked for layers and they were awful. Really choppy. I tried to style my hair and couldn’t find a way to make it look good, so I put it in a ponytail (which kept falling out because my hair wasn’t long enough). At that point, I was thinking up a blog post entitled “things you should never do to your hair!” It included:

1. Don’t go to a salon that charges $8.95 for a haircut. Yes, it’s cheap, but you’re throwing that money away, because you’ll just end up going somewhere else to fix it. You get what you pay for.

2. Don’t make a snap decision to try a new hairstyle just because you’re annoyed with your current one.

3. Don’t ask for “just one more inch” to be taken off

I decided waiting for an appointment somewhere else would have been a good thing, because I wouldn’t have cut it so short if I’d had time to calm down from my hair frustration Thursday morning. I was going to beg for your opinion on how much I should spend to fix it – should I go to the most expensive place around? Something priced reasonably? What IS reasonable? What’s too cheap?

But over the next few days, I figured out how to style it. I fell in love with it. The length, the cut, the mousse left over from a long-ago hairstyle. It WORKED. In fact, I now think my new haircut is fantastic. It didn’t take me any longer to warm up to than the super-expensive haircut I got from the fancy salon right before my sister’s wedding (I didn’t like that one at first, either). After a few days, the layers blended together and didn’t look choppy. Since I put mousse at the roots, my hair is much lighter and I don’t NEED to have my hair in a ponytail all the time anymore. I’m sure if I’d gone to the fancy salon, my hair might look a little better. It’s not quite as refined as the super-expensive haircut. But nowhere near $60 better. I think from now on, I’ll go to the expensive salon when I want highlights (I’m not brave enough to try that at a cheap place) and go as cheap as possible for trims/cuts. I love my new hair and I saved $60 bucks! Please ignore the rules above!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Two miles

Yesterday, for the first time in my entire life, I ran two miles without stopping! I know two miles isn’t that impressive (especially since my husband is running 26.2 on Sunday), but it’s something I thought I just couldn’t do. I’m not athletic. I hate working out. I know tons of people run 2-3 miles every day, but I thought it just wasn’t for me. Not in a bad way, just because people are different. I prefer workout classes. I didn’t have a problem with the fact I’d never run two miles without stopping, it was just a fact. But you know what? It was WAY easier than I thought. In fact, I did it AFTER running ¾ mile.

I went running with the intention of walking .25 mile, running .75, walking .25, running .75, for a total of 2 miles. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I didn’t know my neighborhood as well as I thought and ended up on a road with no cross streets for about 8 blocks. So when I hit the 2 mile mark and should have been done, I was still a mile away from home. I decided to keep running (instead of walking). When I was almost home, I looped the block a couple times so I could get to 2 miles without stopping, then again so I could have a cool down walk. Which means my entire run was almost 3.5 miles, so I also went over 5K for the first time in my life!

This does not, however, mean I’ll be running a 5K anytime soon. Some people could run TWO 5Ks in the time it took me to run one. Although, since the distance I can run improved so quickly, maybe the speed will, too? All I know is I’ll have to get a LOT faster before I can run a public race without being horribly embarrassed. Its fine if I run around my neighborhood slowly (at night, when not many people are out). Not so fine to be the last finisher in a race. I can still speedwalk faster than I can run (if I want to run a long distance), so I assume even the walkers would beat me. Not happening.

But now I believe it CAN happen someday and that someday might come a lot sooner than I think. Its blowing my mind! How many other things I ‘just can’t do’ are this much easier than I think?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Does every transition have to be a battle?

At her grandma’s house today, Meg threw her bottle and broke the plastic ring (but surprisingly not the glass bottle). This means we’re down to 2 rings. So we have a choice: push drinking milk out of sippy cups or wash bottles twice a day (she drinks four 4-5 oz bottles a day). She’s 16 months old, so technically she’s not supposed to be drinking out of bottles anymore. She’s been drinking water out of sippy cups since around the time she turned one. She loves her sippies and carries them around, but refuses to drink anything but water out of them. She has it all figured out – milk comes from bottles and water comes from sippies. If you try to give her milk in a sippy cup, she refuses to drink it. She looks at you as if you’ve lost your mind and usually shrieks in frustration.

This wasn’t an issue I felt like fighting over, so I let her have what she wanted. We continued to let her drink milk out of bottles but stopped buying any new supplies. We had 4 nipples and 3 rings, which was a pain because we had to wash bottles daily, but worked. In fact, even though we complained about having to constantly wash bottles, it was nice to not have the option of letting dirty bottles multiply around the sink for days. Also, I find bottles a lot easier to wash than sippy cups.

However, four bottles a day with only two rings is not going to work. Since the ring doesn’t really touch the milk anyway, we sometimes take a used ring off one bottle to use on another without washing it. But daycare is required by law to use all new supplies for each bottle. Meg has bottles first thing in the morning, midmorning, midafternoon, and before bed. Since we have to send two rings to daycare, we’d have to wash the ring used for her first-thing-in-the-morning bottle before leaving for daycare, which would be a huge pain.

Its difficult to buy more rings. Generally, they just come with bottles. We use Medela bottles. The reason we don’t have many rings is most of our bottles came with an old style of ring. They changed the shape of the nipples and rings, so we can’t use the dozens of old-model rings we have. Since we have about 30 bottles (they’re also used for pumping), I don’t want to buy more just to get more rings. The only other way to get them is to order the rings off the Medela website for $2.65 each plus $11 shipping.

The reason we haven’t really pushed sippy cups is I don’t like our options there, either. I hate washing sippy cups – too many little parts and nooks and crannies. But with her drinking so many bottles a day, we’d have to buy a ton of sippy cups if we were going to put them in the dishwasher. Where are we going to PUT all those cups when they’re clean? I don’t want to buy MORE STUFF. If we’re going to switch to sippies, I think we have to really go for it and cut out bottles cold turkey. We can’t get by with just a few more sippy cups unless we’re going to hand wash them. But what if I buy 10 sippy cups (quite an investment) and she won’t drink milk out of the same kind she likes for water?

What it comes down to is the current system was working. We were all happy. I knew we’d have a battle on our hands someday when we decided to take bottles away, but I was happy to worry about that later. Now it seems we have to worry about it NOW. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d probably break down and buy more rings.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back to reality

Don’t worry about me. I’m almost never as unhappy as the last post made me sound. My husband said something about running that struck a nerve (even though he didn’t mean to) and I went off. I’m over it. I’m running tonight. I’ll run the suggested distances in the training plan, no matter how long it takes. And, even if it kills me, I intend to at least lose enough weight that my maternity clothes fit comfortably before I get pregnant again (I weigh 15 pounds more than I did before getting pregnant with Meg). I CAN DO IT. At least until the Blathering comes and I gain it all back:-P

Moving on.

Meg had a hard time adjusting back to the real world today. At camp, it really did seem like we were in our own, perfect world. Meg was the only small child amongst 35 pre-teens and their mothers and they all told her how adorable she was. We were at a small Christian camp, so she wasn’t required to stay right next to me. As long as she was in sight, I let her run free. My sister was in charge of the camp, so she really got to go everywhere – into the kitchens to taste dinner, up to the sound booth to help her aunt run the power point, pretty much wherever she wanted.

This morning, there were 15 kids in the nursery and none of them seemed to know Meg is a princess. They weren’t interested in telling her how cute she was or letting her have anything she wanted. In fact, there was one little girl who kept trying to steal her toys. It was quite painful for Meg to go from one extreme to the other. She spent most of nursery screaming when another child came near her and trying to hoard toys.

After church, we went out for lunch with my (other) sister and her husband and it drove Meg CRAZY that we wouldn’t let her roam the restaurant. She screamed when we tried to hold her hand. She doesn’t much like the real world, where she has to share toys and hold hands in public. Its obvious she wants to go back to camp. Me too, kid, me too.


I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a runner. Not because I “wasn’t born to be a runner” (although I wasn’t), but because my husband became a runner first. I don’t think we can handle doing the same sport.

He’s a competitive runner. A week from today, he’s running the Chicago marathon. I started running 4 weeks ago. At this point, I can still speed walk faster than I can run (if I want to maintain that speed for a respectable distance). Training for a marathon takes a ton of time and many, many miles. Since running is basically his whole life right now, apart from work and family, he talks about it a lot. He reads books about running. He watches documentaries about running. He reads Runners World cover to cover every month. He knows "everything" about running and he likes to share his knowledge.  But I HATE talking about workouts. If you ask me how my run was, the most you’ll get is “good” or “not so good.” I think this is why the running has lasted 4 weeks. I refuse to talk about it, so I don’t say things about running that he considers insanely obvious or really dumb.

The first two times I ran, he told me he was proud of me in the same tone of voice he tells Meg he’s proud of her. It was a bit condescending, but I KNOW he didn’t mean it that way. I didn’t take offense to it, because I knew he was genuinely proud of me for doing something I’d always thought I couldn’t.

Then last week, I mentioned the to 5.K was going good, but that I was not going to be able to run a 5K by the end of it. I’m slow. By the end of the 9 weeks, I’m sure I’ll be able to run for 30 minutes. But those 30 minutes will not get me anywhere near 3 miles. I wondered whether I should go back a week or two in the training and start running the suggested distances instead of the suggested times. Like this week – it said Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes). I’ve been doing the times, but I don’t run anywhere close to ½ a mile in 5 minutes. So he said something like, well, if it takes 5 minutes 30 seconds then just do it. Don’t stop at 5 minutes. When I told him how long it actually takes me to run a half a mile (8 minutes), he looked completely disgusted. I know it was involuntary. He can run a whole mile faster than I can run half a mile. Pretty much EVERYONE can run faster than that. I bet you FORREST GUMP runs faster than that. Who wouldn’t be disgusted? He would never tell me I suck at running, but I suck SO BAD, he can’t even hide his shock. Its not exactly encouraging.

Right now, he's comparing himself to professional runners.  He thinks he's really slow.  He hasn't yet run a race fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  He doesn't always finish at the top of his age group.  In his mind, it doesn't get much slower than he is.  But he's in a league far above my own.  I’ve only been running for 4 weeks. He’s been running for over 2 years. I don't think its at all fair to compare.  (To be clear, I'm not saying he IS comparing - he tries not to, but its almost impossible.)  Yes, it took me 8 minutes to run half a mile. But that was the first time I’d ever run half a mile without stopping in my entire life. Can’t I get something between condescension (Yay! You did it! said in the same tone of voice you’d use to talk to a one-year-old) and disgust (are you sure you can’t run faster than that)?

I’m really considering quitting. I know I’m a fat girl who can’t run worth a damn. But until a month ago, I hadn’t worked out since October 2008, when I got hit with morning sickness so bad I couldn’t walk from the apartment to the car without throwing up, let alone continue my (kick-ass) workout routine. At least I finally got myself off the couch. I actually LIKE running! But its not worth it if running makes me feel worse about myself than I already do. My self esteem is kind of fragile right now. In general, I think it’s a terrible thing to be down on yourself about weight. Its unproductive. Either do something about it, or make your peace with it. I’m remarkably good at making my peace with it. It generally doesn’t bother me. But MY CLOTHES DON’T FIT. I am trying to do something about it. However, in the meantime, its hard to wake up every morning and realize your ‘fat clothes’ don’t fit. I can’t take criticism (even constructive criticism) on my running skills right now. Just leave me alone.

You know what helps when I’m “in a mood” like this? RUNNING. But I’m too scared to go. I’m worried some jerk is going to fly past me and make a derogatory comment about how slow I am. I know my own husband thinks I’m pathetically slow (despite his attempts to hide it), so I’m sure everyone else does, too.

I swear, if some troll posts "My four-year-old can run a 5K faster than you, you fat slob," I'm shutting down the blog.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mother-Daughter Retreat

I took Meg to the Mother-Daughter retreat and it was AWESOME. As I said yesterday, it was at the camp where my sister is the director of programming. She invited all the women in our family to come. I went back and forth on whether to bring Margaret and I am so glad I did. I had one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time and so did Meg. She LOVED it. The camp attendees were mostly pre-teens and their moms and they all thought Meg was the cutest thing they’d ever seen. I think this was mainly because of her personality – she is not shy at all. During chapel, she’d run around, go up and down each row, and smile at every single person. You know how you can be listening to a speech and no matter how well-written and meaningful it is, you can only listen for so long before you start to get restless (especially since all of the chapel sessions were at either late in the evening or early in the morning)? Everyone said Meg livened up chapel. She’d run by each person every so often and get them to smile and wake up a little. Her joy was infectious.

Of course I wouldn’t normally let her roam free and disrupt people during what is supposed to be a meaningful time. Before the first chapel started, I sat way in the back with Meg. The speaker for the weekend came to us and made us move up. She said Meg wouldn’t bother her, no matter how loud or rambunctious she got. She said to let her roam the crowd – it would give the conference attendees AND the speaker (her) a smile. I still felt like she was bothering people, but many people came up to us to specifically say how much they liked it. I figured since we were at a mother-daughter retreat, it was unlikely there were people there who didn’t like children.

For the weekend there were four different “tracks” you could choose from: scrapbooking, crafting, horsemanship, and sports. My sister was in charge of sports, but not enough people signed up so they cancelled it, giving her a lot of flexibility for the weekend. Saturday morning, while my mom and I did crafting, my sister took Meg. They visited the horse barn, checked in on the scrapbookers, visited us in the craft room, sampled what the kitchen was preparing, and ran whatever errands needed to be done.

That afternoon, I went horseback riding (in a group) while Meg and my sister took a nap in our room. They both slept for 2 ½ hours! As I was riding through the woods, I thought about how I usually go to the basement and watch TV during naptime. Horseback riding through the gorgeous fall-colored woods was exponentially better. After the ride, my mom and I walked around the camp. My sisters and I went to this camp every summer growing up. I think the last time I went was 8th or 9th grade (once you got older than that, you became a junior counselor and I wasn’t interested), so its been over 10 years. It was great to see it again.

Our whole time there was idyllic. Everything about it was great – the crafts, the food, the chapel time, the free time. Meg slept all night in the pack and play and never worried about being separated from me. We pretty much let her run free as long as one of us could see her and she loved it. Meg had I had to leave Saturday night, even though the retreat ran through Sunday, and it made me so sad to leave I almost cried.

When we left, we all agreed we had to come next year, but it obviously won’t be the same. I doubt my sister will have as much free time. I might have a new baby. It just can’t be as perfect again, but I feel really blessed we got to experience this perfect weekend at least once.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Five Quick Takes

1. Today at MOPS the speaker was Jennifer Wilson from Touching Up My Roots. She and her husband and their two kids moved to Croatia for a year. They returned a couple months ago. The whole family kept a blog during the trip (including the kids). I haven't checked it out yet, but she said there are tons of pictures and some videos, too. I'm really excited to read it. She also has a book coming out in May 2011 about the whole experience. It was fascinating to hear her talk about it. Its so fun to have discovered a fascinating blogger who lives in Des Moines!

2. This was my last week of commuting for work and I am SO EXCITED. I'm an auditor, so we often have to go to a client’s office to work. Most of our clients are in my area, but obviously some aren’t. If your auditee is over an hour away, you go for the week and the office puts you up in a hotel. If its an hour or less, you drive every day. On your own time. Which means my long days (7 am to 6 pm) have been longer (6 am to 7 pm). For eight weeks. Starting next week, I’m in town until I have to travel (overnight) in December. I’m so excited I feel like throwing a party!!! No more commuting! YAY! August and September are the months I commute the most, so I’m pretty much home-free until next year. There’ll be weeks here and there, but hopefully not eight in a row.

3.  My sister works at a Christian camp.  This weekend they're having a mother-daughter camp and my sister said my mom, my aunt, my sister, and I could come for free.  My mom is going for the whole weekend (Friday-Sunday).  My aunt is going for a little bit, I think.  I have to work in the nursery on Sunday, so I'm going Friday evening through Saturday.  I have to decide whether to bring Meg.  I'm leaning toward yes.  There are several stations you could sign up to participate in, including sports, which my sister was in charge of.  Not enough people signed up for sports so they cancelled it and my sister now has a lot of free time.  So between me, my mom, and my sister, I think we could keep Meg happy and still have some downtime.  My sister said she'd take care of Meg during all of the devotional/chapel times and go out with her, if needed.  I think Meg would really enjoy the days, but we're all concerned with whether she would sleep.  I am SO sick of worrying about sleep!

4.  Humor me for a bit if you don't like Friends.  You know the episode when Ross is trying to adjust to being laid-off and having nothing to do all day?  One thing he does is rearranges Joey's fridge:
I reorganized the fridge. See? (Points to empty bottom shelf) Bottom shelf, meats and dairy. (Points to middle shelf that only has one item) Middle shelf, fruits and vegetables. (Points to top shelf which is full of food) And top shelf, expired "products."
I feel like thats what my lunch was like today.  We had very little food, so I made Meg macaroni and cheese.  For my lunch I had the rest of the mac and cheese (there wasn't much), some expired yogurt, and a glass of expired pineapple juice.  Very expired.  I was going to write the exact dates so I went upstairs to check the packages and discovered the juice expired a YEAR ago.  The yogurt expired September 27th (2010), and when I looked at the juice I thought it was "best by" September 28th.  It was.  September 28th, 2009.  Oops!

5.  I wore maternity pants to MOPS today because when I attempted to get dressed today I discovered I had no clean pants.  So I had to go to the basement and dig out the maternity bin.  After we got home, I fed Meg lunch and went downstairs to start some laundry.  Meg started wailing and trying to launch herself out of the high chair to come after me.  I was worried all of her food would end up on the floor (a lot of it did) and she'd be so upset about me leaving she wouldn't finish eating.  So I stopped sorting laundry and went upstairs.  She takes a nap right after lunch and it took awhile to get her to sleep.  I didn't remember the laundry for three hours.  Now there's no way I'll have clean pants in time to leave for camp.  And Meg has no clean pajamas.  I just started the laundry.  We have to leave in an hour.  I haven't packed anything.  We were going to follow my mom there because I don't remember how to get to the camp.  I don't think she'll want to leave late, because then we'll miss dinner.  Which means I have to either pack maternity clothes (NOT pregnant) and have Meg sleep in just a diaper (or non-pajama clothes) or try to figure out how to not get lost driving to a camp in the middle of nowhere on a gravel road.

So I guess you only get five quick takes.  I'll let you know how it goes.