Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Owning Time

The snooze button has been passed.

In our almost 8 years of marriage Ryan has always had control over the alarm clock. (Yes, we only have one. It does have 2 alarms on it though.) He has always had to be the first up and if I was getting up earlier--like for a race--he would set it for me. But last night, after I told him I would be getting up at 5 am, he relinquished control of the alarm clock to me.


I can hardly believe it myself and I have to admit that I was ridiculously excited to have the alarm clock on my side of the bed.

And now? Now that I am in control things? Things are going to be different. Time is going operate differently.

Last night, since I have to get up so early now, I went to bed first and set the alarm. Ryan came in a bit later and checked the alarm.

"5 am?" he said, "You are going to be getting up at like 4:15," he laughed. I knew what he was thinking. He was thinking: poor, foolish, naive Nat. She knows not what she does.

"No, I'm not. I set the time right," I informed him.

"What! Why would you do that? You really are crazy!"

"I don't like doing math in my head. It doesn't make any sense to set the clock ahead 45 minutes if I know it is 45 minutes ahead. That is just dumb. I am not tricking myself into getting up earlier because I know it is fast."

And then I really upset him when I told him that I don't do snooze. I tried to explain how research has shown that you are more tired from hitting the snooze button than just getting up. This of course flies in the face of everything he has ever known. He has the alarm go off almost an entire hour earlier than he needs to get up so that he can hit snooze 5 or 6 times. He thinks there is pleasure in the snooze.

But to me? It is so fucking irritating. I've been pissed off about it for years but since I don't have to go to a job I have been powerless to change it.

You see. Unlike Ryan, I don't sleep through snooze. So I am up after the first time the alarm goes off. And then I will have to wait nine minutes for it to go off again and for him to hear it, reset it and set again. All the while I just lie there not sleeping--even though I could be since I don't have to be for up another hour or so.

But now? I am happy to say that I am slave to snooze no more.

Because now? In our house? I own time. Mwahahahahaha

And anyone who has ever come to my house will tell you that time is held hostage here because we have no clocks--at least none with the correct time displayed.

And yes, I got up at 5am and wrote/typed for an hour. And let me just say it is amazing anyone ever got anything written at all with there being that delete button. But God bless the keyboard for it and whoever invented cut and paste. Typewriter? Can't imagine it. Long hand? No way. But I got 3 more rough pages and a sketch of how chapters 1-4 are going to go. So progress.

What's it all about?

Apparently, not the hokey pokey-- as I have always been led to believe.

This is the breakfast conversation I was just now privy to:

"Beau, it is all about the toys. All. About. The. Toys." Carmella informs him. Waving her fork, eggless now, like a lecture's pointer. Beau, listens aptly while quickly shoving eggs, waffles, and apples into his mouth. His plate almost empty now. Carmella's untouched.

"Wait," Carmella pauses and brings fork to her lip, still eggless, waffless, appleless, pondering. "Or is it all about Jesus?" She tries it out, quietly to herself:" It is all about Jesus. It is all about the toys."

Certain now, she tells Beau: "It is all about Jesus."

This is why it takes Carmella 45 minutes to eat half of her breakfast and why I have to wake her up at 6 am so we can leave for school by 7:30 am. Too.Much.Conversation.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I forgot how hard it was

I really think I am a masochist after all.

Why else would I continually choose difficult--for me--endeavors? The easy? I guess, shrug; it bores me.

Some people out there can just run a few miles and be fine with that.
Not me, I need to run marathons. It isn't easy, ever. I do keep thinking it will get easy but so far it hasn't.

Some people get both their kids potty trained and think: Yeah! No more poop.
Not me, I get a puppy.

I guess I like a challenge.

I must because I generally think of myself as a lazy person. I really want things to be easy. And I even go so far as to think things should be easy but most things are not--for me. (See, life is hard! Dad, you were totally right about the "real world.")

So for things to be easy must not really be what I want in life after all because it seems like I continually choose to do things that-- for me-- are difficult and challenging-- if not fly completely in face of good sense.
I guess maybe masochist is just a fancy word for dumb ass.

A couple of weeks ago I was reading somewhere on the Internet an article about ultramarthoners and the effects of cortisol. The article said that the stress of running 50 miles causes the body to release cortisol and that causes runners to have that runner's high from endorphins. They said it can cause epiphanies --hallucinations even. Well, I didn't need to run 50 miles to have one--an epiphany that is. Maybe I got lucky because it is Lent and even though I am not Catholic I do have a lot of Catholic friends (guilt by association hahaha). And, I did celebrate fat Tuesday last Monday with a bunch of them. We even talked about Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. So maybe all that is why on Thursday's long run--the 2nd day of Lent--I had an epiphany. Or maybe it was just the cortisol.

Oh, here I am with some of my Catholic buddies celebrating fat Tuesday a day early:

So what was my epiphany?

Well to tell the truth, when I was discussing Shrove Tuesday with my friend I remembered a short story I had written. It is set in the forty days of Lent. One of the characters gives up her sanity for Lent, the other finds hers. So on my run on Thursday I was thinking about that story and out of the blue I remembered another story. It was the second story I had ever written. I wrote it almost 14 years ago.

There was a lot I liked about this story. My professor actually said he was jealous of the title and wished he had thought of it. How huge of a compliment is that? Which is also why I will not be blogging about the title since titles are not copyrighted and I'll just have to hope and chalk it up to ethics as to why he won't use it-- or anyone else from my writing class. I did at the time have a boyfriend read it. He liked it too. So much that he adapted it and made a short film based on it for a school project. He swears he gave me credit and that I gave him permission but I don't remember that and I really wasn't too happy about that he used my story-- mostly because I have never seen said film and he was, by that point, an ex boyfriend. Oh well.

At any rate this story has haunted me. It has always had problems that I could never reconcile. I had rewritten it once and tried a second time but just couldn't take it anywhere new. I was at a dead end and set it aside. Not once-- even in graduate school-- have I pulled it out to look at it and try again.

On my run Thursday --after remembering it--I decided to give it another look. When I got home I dug it out of my trunk--the trunk which Ryan has begged for years for me to throw out but I won't. It has "my papers" in it.However, I haven't even opened the trunk since before we were married. It just moves with me and sits in the garage covered in dirt and dust.

So on Friday--Lala this should please you-- I started writing again. And immediately I remembered why I had placed all that aside--the writing, not just the story.

I had forgotten how hard it is for me to create something out of nothing.

The pressure of it. The pressure that I am the only one with the answers is maddening. Can I tell you that since Friday I have googled to no end, gone to my bookshelf and asked people off the wall questions. Why? I am looking for answers. I know that I will not find them in any of those places but nonetheless I look, I search, I ask, and I google.

The problem is that when I started writing I thought I knew. I thought, for the most part, that I knew what was going to happen and that all it would take was some fleshing out and finally I would have that story out of my head. I thought it would be easy.

But it hasn't worked out like that at all. By the third sentence three new characters showed up. I was very surprised by them and at first I thought they were nothing but then in the second paragraph I gave one of them a name that in my heart I knew was too big for her to be just a background character. And once I wrote her? There was no taking her back.

Still, though, I didn't think it was a big deal.I thought I could easily work it in. But then I handed out another name and I realized that this wasn't just one story anymore, it was two. I have only written three pages but already I know so much more.

And it is invading my mind like you wouldn't believe. I dreamed about them--the characters-- the other night and today on my 10 mile run I thought about them the whole time. It has been stressing me out worrying about how I am going to make all this information work in one little short story. And it was then, today, somewhere in that 7th mile that I realized this isn't a short story at all. It is a novel and while they aren't yet written I know what the first two chapters are going to be.

Have I written them yet? No, not yet. I did have to go pick up my kids and play with them today, but tomorrow. Tomorrow I will make a go at it.

It is very hard for me to make myself sit down and write. It isn't so much the writing but rather the sitting still and intensely focusing. I feel overwhelmed and the need to get it done right then--afraid that if I leave it? I may never come back to it. But the sitting still is the hardest part. It is antithetical to my nature.

Really, it is. Just ask Lala and the pediatrician who diagnosed me withADHD at age five and prescribed Ritalin for 15 years of my life. But I-- regardless of difficulty-- really think that I am suppose to be a writer. Why else would I be plagued by these people and these stories that only exist in my imagination?

And so I am going to take the lead from that same professor who once liked my title so much and write first thing in the morning like he does. He once told me that writing is one of the hardest things he does: so he does it first thing everyday-- before he does anything else. So starting tomorrow, I am promising to get up at 5 am and write for one hour before I have to get the kids up for school. I am going to try to do it every week day.

And I am writing this here because blogging about running some days is the only thing that actually gets me out that door and running. So I am hoping that if I commit here to writing a novel I will actually do it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

One month and counting down . . .

Tomorrow I am a month out from the marathon. I plan on tapering after next Sunday's half. I know I've already had a couple of running updates this week so I won't wax on and on. I don't want to bore Lala or Meme too much.

Sunday: 7 mi--recovery run
Monday: 10k--speed workout
Tuesday: 7mi--speed workout
Wednesday: 6mi easy
Thursday: 21 mi
Friday: cross train day: elliptical 35 minutes, upper body weights, mile and half walk with the kids and Lola.
Saturday: 11mi at an 8:35 pace. First half going out was really hilly--more up than down so I ran a negative split just by default. Garmin was acting crazy so I have no splits to prove it. I kept losing my signal and when I'd have it the pace seemed off (I ended up using this site to map the run and figured out my pace here). At one point Garmin said I was doing a 4:20 pace. I was running pretty fast as it was a flat area and the middle part of my run but 4:20 pace it was not.

Anyway, it was a good run. Everything felt great. The weather was very nice. It was around 50 degrees so I wore my skirt and a singlet. I passed tons of cyclists today--all very bundled up. One of them yelled out and asked if I was from Minnesota. While I wasn't exactly hot I certainly wasn't cold. I guess he must never get off his bike otherwise he would have known you get much warmer running. At any rate I was way under dressed compared to everyone else I saw--runners, walkers, cyclists etc. I only saw one guy out there today who was in shorts. I don't know, after all those weeks of battling the below freezing temps 50 felt damn near tropical to me. I sure hope the heat wave continues or at the very least it is this nice for my upcoming races. Though 50 for the marathon will be a little warm. I'll take it though over the cold and the rain.
Total miles: 58

PS. Thanks Lala and Pop for taking the kids and Lola on a hike today so I could run.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Okay, I didn't run for 3 hours . . .

but that doesn't matter because . . .

Yes, I know I am a dork who just wasted 15 minutes of precious time that could have been better spent folding something, cleaning something or picking something up instead of trying to figure out how to best photograph my time on Garmin.
And yes, I know I am bragging a little here.
But I feel like I deserve the brag since I really thought I had lost my running mojo. I was beginning to think I didn't have the gojo in me to go long anymore.
I've been worried.
Down even.
I've been having boring dreams--always a sure sign of a depressed psyche. Dreams are supposed to be bizarre and intriguing, not boring. Last night I dreamed I went to the botanical gardens alone and tried on weird hats at midnight. That was the dream. Just me, some flowers and garish hats. How lame is that?
Right, sorry, tangent.
And hey, for shits and giggles here is another shot with the pace and calories (Look how much extra I get to eat today!):

Do you see that?
Average pace: 8 minutes and 29 seconds.
I couldn't believe I did that. That is a faster pace than I ran OBX--my old marathon goal pace. That is why I am bragging.This was a training run. That is the fastest pace I have ever run any training run over 20 miles in.

And I would be lying if I didn't admit that it was really hard. And it hurt pretty bad there in those last 2 miles. But those last 2 miles? I ran them under marathon goal pace--which for ING is hopefully going to be an 8 minute mile pace. But really I have no idea how I am going to do 26.2 miles at an 8 minute pace when 21 miles at an 8:29 pace was that hard. Race day magic? Let's hope so. It has happened before but it ain't going to come easy nor without pain.

So why do it then?

Sigh, I know those of you who don't like to run or have any desire to run a marathon don't, won't, can't --whatever-- understand. And those of you that do run, have a desire to run a marathon or do run marathons do understand without me having to explain it. But basically it just feels pretty cool to be a more efficient fitter runner. I want to be fast. And in certain circles, I know, an 8 minute mile is not fast. I don't run in those circles though, so for me an 8 minute marathon pace is fast.

Oh, and it is 21 miles exactly because once I hit 21 miles I pressed stop and walked the 1/4 mile or so back to my car. I was determined to get to 21 miles and once I got there I would have laid down on the sidewalk but then I know someone would have stopped to ask if I was okay and I would have had to admit that I probably wasn't.

I finished running just after 1 pm and just now at 4 o'clock I finally got around to eating something. I was feeling pretty crappy and tired but now I feel better. Amazing how food can do that. I didn't even feel hungry but just vaguely knew that lunch? Might be a good idea. And it was.

But great run overall. I needed that. And an extra thank you to Bubbles who did pick up Beau for me at school. I definitely wouldn't have made it in time to get him (I was late getting started but that is an even more boring story so I will spare you that one.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No Excuses!

Look at this:

See Thursday?
How perfect is that?
Nobody better get sick.
Everyone better go to school.
Come on Bubbles. Call me. Pick up Beau from school and give me 4 hours.Please. . .

I am having a better week:
Sunday: 7 easy. Okay, by easy I mean slow. Very slow. I was so miserable. The champagne the night before. Why? Why do I do it? Why must I love the bubbly so? Wine? Beer? I'm totally fine. But champagne? Ugh. . . Champagne = hangover. Headache. Every time. Every single time. But damn it is fun going in.
So I think Johnny Cash sang this song with my Sunday morning runs in mind:

It is my Sunday run theme song.
Sometimes I listen to it 2 or 3 times during the run.
I love me some Mr. Cash.
The darkness makes me happy.
Monday: 10k on the treadmill in just a few seconds under 45 minutes.
Go me.
Tuesday: 7 miles on the treadmill: 52 minutes and 46 seconds.
Wednesday: 6 miles outside. Probably around 48 minutes for the whole run. My legs? Me? Everything felt great. 2 days in a row of speed work and my legs still felt fresh. No tight Achilles. No sore hammie. No numb toes. Nice. Amazing, really.

No excuses.
3 hour run.
20 miles.
Live the day.

PS. I signed up for the Alpharetta Half. Any other INGers want a warm-up, get ready and run race? Two weeks out and then taper. It is the way to go. Did it before OBX and BQ'd. . .

Paving the way for Hillary

Who's that?

Why that, my friends, is good old honest Abe.

And that?

Why that is Mr. I-cannot-tell-a-lie-I-chopped-down-your-cherry-tree George.

Who else?

Last week in Carmella's class they were studying dead presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in celebration of President's day.

Both Abe and George came home looking like girls.

I asked her about it and she said she wanted girl presidents.

**Opinions expressed by the off-spring do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the parent. In particular I am not so down with the H for president but hell yes for some other gal.***

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Beau and Carmella Decide a Circus Life is the Life for them . . .

Saturday we finally had Carmella's gymnastic party to celebrate her 6th birthday. It is at the same gym that we had her 5th birthday party. When she said that was where she wanted to have her party again I was all for it because as places to have your kid's birthday party go this place is way cheap and way fun. The kids have a blast. And, as I said, it is cheap.

This year they made all the kid's parents sign a wavier.
Last year, I guess, we had the opportunity to sue them. Damn it. Yet another multi-million dollar waste and abuse the US legal system lawsuit opportunity missed. Sigh, someday I will get my McD's coffee millions and sue some corporate giant because I am a dumb ass and too stupid to use common sense. Oops, little soapbox aside.

Kid's party. Focus.

This is a real gym, by the way. No clean little My Gym or the Little Gym. This place has the real equipment and tons of dusty chalk particles to prove it.

It is funny but this is not where Carmella takes gymnastics. It is more expensive for classes than where she takes gymnastics. (Actually, even funnier, she doesn't take gymnastics this year but wants to go back to it next year. So took gymnastics. Not take, I guess, would be more correct.)

This gym is great because once a month they have an open house and you can come and play for free for a few hours. My kids love it. And I love it too because I get to practice my very rusty gymnastic skills on the safe plushness of crash mats and get a little extra ump from the spring floor for tumbling. Which at 35 is really stumbling, er fumbling, I mean bumbling. Whatever-- it is anything and everything but graceful and fluid.

Beau especially loves this gym.

And, surprise surprise, he is absolutely fearless.

In my opinion he was less impressive this year since he is now 3 1/2 and last year he was 2 1/2 and doing all the same stuff. But the parents of Carmella's classmates--who don't know Beau-- were shocked and impressed. This always happens when people don't know Beau's history. They are always shocked and amazed at how daring he is. The rest of us, who know him, are use to it, tired of the heart attacks and as he gets older find it less impressive-- since, you know, he was doing this stuff at one and now he is 3. It is old hat. He is, though, still, totally fearless. Wisdom has not come with age for him. And at least this year I didn't have to spend the party digging him out of the foam pit. This year he was able to climb out on his own. I was also less concerned about him being crushed by older kids since they probably only have 5-10 lbs on him at this point. Small favors.

Mid party the gym helpers called out "Who wants to fly?" And without hesitation I heard "Me! Me! Me!" from the pit.
And I knew he had no idea what they meant but was just totally on board with the philosophical question of who wants to fly.
In his mind, it is who doesn't want to fly?
So Beau?
He was first in line.
Not many of the other kids were too keen on the flying and preferred to stick with the foam pit, trampoline and rope swing.

However Carmella--who would probably naturally show more fear but since her younger brother doesn't show any-- she saved face and sucked it up for the party and flew. I could tell she was nervous but I was less nervous for her than I was for Beau even though they lifted her higher. I was worried Beau would try a trick or slip out since he was so small. I knew Carmella wouldn't. This is a kid who has never trusted anything. I mean at 4 months old she could sit very well but always held on tight to the sides of things or me and always had this very worried expression that she might, given a horrific earth quake, could take a serious tumble-- or more likely, I might stumble and drop her. She has just never been very trusting. And for a girl? I think that is a pretty damn good trait to have. If only I had been so blessed. Oh the life lessons I could have avoided. Alas, I am like the boy and didn't believe the fire was hot till I got burnt.
After an hour or so of tumbling the kids had to be dragged off the floor to come to the party room for pizza and cake. They rushed through it so they could go back out for a few more minutes of running, swinging, jumping and flying. The party was suppose to end at 6 but I think they finally pushed us all out just before 6:30.
On the way home Carmella said she wanted to have the party there next year too. At this rate we will be having her graduation party there. Then we really will need that wavier.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Training update

I've had lots of posts about the kiddos lately and have been very remiss about posting my training. And there is a very good reason for that.

My training of late has been sucking ass.

The week before last week I didn't get in a long run and only managed 31 miles. I don't think I have run that little since sometime last summer.

My resolve of late has weakened. Usually I can make myself run even when I don't feel like it or something hurts or the weather sucks.Whatever. I can almost always make myself get it done. But it would seem I have developed this attitude of why do it if it is going to make me miserable?

Normally, when I am loathe to do a run, I still know that even if I do it I will feel better afterwards. But since it has been so cold I know going in that this will not be the case. I will be miserable while I run and cold and wet and tired after I finish. Even on a bad run on a nice day I will finish happy. But a bitterly cold and windy day? I just finish as miserable if not more miserable when I started. Why do it? Why bother?

That is what I say to myself and have been saying. I go out there but decide a few miles in that I am only doing 10 miles or eight and that is because all I can stand is about an hour or so of running in this weather--which to some, I know, isn't all that bad. But to me it is.

So while last week was just a total wash--3 mid length runs and no long run or speed work--this week just a tad better.

Sunday: Started off well enough. Took Lola for a 2 mile run and then I ran 6 alone without her.
Monday: 10 miles in the morning and then took Lola and the kids for a 2 mile walk in the afternoon.
Tuesday: I can't remember but I am pretty certain I didn't do anything. I was so busy I just couldn't work it in.
Wednesday: Again really busy with the vday holiday crap I couldn't get a workout it in.
Thursday: Was planning on trying to do 18 or so but ended up doing 8 in the morning. I just didn't like being out there. I went to the gym in the afternoon and did a 10k on the treadmill in just a hair under 46 minutes. So I felt pretty good about that. I did leg and upper body weights.
Friday: Gym in the morning. I was so tired and it took some convincing to get me on the treadmill. I warmed up for 20 minutes on the elliptical and then ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I did one mile in just under 7 but varied the rest between a 7 minute pace and walking. I ended up doing around 3.5 miles in 30 minutes. Called it a day. I felt like I was getting a stomach bug in the evening but ended up being fine. So maybe I had a touch of something.
Saturday: We had the party we were suppose to have last week last night. We also had Carmella's gymnastic party in the afternoon. I had wanted to do 20 miles but ran out of time. It took me over four hours to clean my house and get everything set up for the party so I just didn't have the 3 hours I needed for a long run--not that I had the energy to run for 3 hours by that point anyway. So I ran 10 miles and then came and got Lola and ran her a fast 2 miles. Not sure of our pace but we ran pretty hard. I had to drag her a little. I am sure I won't be faster than her for long.

MPW: 47 and no long run, again. But at least I got some speed work in.

On to next week.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Surprise! Surprise!

Valentine's Day is over. It is over. . .

Ugh, thank God.

And that is what I sang yesterday as I swept the house clean of I heart you day as the kids wailed that no, it wasn't over. They love Valentine's Day. I, as Carmella politely says of things she hates, do not love Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day use to not leave such a bitter taste in my mouth but now I am starting to get why men don't like it so much. Don't get me wrong, I've always been aware that it is a silly frivolous made-up holiday but before kids it was harmless. And when I was dating? Fun. But now? It is a pain in my ass.

Having kids has truly made almost all holidays richer, joyful and just more pleasurable. But I ask. Really. Does every single holiday have to be such a big deal? It is just out of hand. And each year it gets harder. Use to be, on Valentine's Day, Carmella and I would make some cookies and get a few cards and hand out hugs and kisses and little gifties to the grandparents. Ryan and I would go out for an adult evening sometime that week.

Big huge exhausted sigh though. Now, since they have started school, Valentine's Day just gets crazier and crazier. For Carmella's class she had a homework assignment to get a gift for a secret Valentine. It was a lesson in money and shopping. As if any child of mine isn't already a proficient shopper. But nonetheless she and I counted out some money and we went and pick out a gift. She purchased the gift herself and wrapped the gift and made a card. That was on Sunday.

Then we had to do 18 Valentines for her classmates. She wrote them out but I had to attach the candy--you can't just do a card. You have to attach the candy. Some people even do little gifts and candy. I don't. See how slack I am? See me rolling my eyes at those other one-upper, I-am-a-better-Mommy-than-you Moms who do both? Did you see it? If not here it is again: Eye roll-- to the back of the head. So big I can see my optic nerve.

Then I did Beau's 14 Valentines and candy. I had to do all of those because he can't write his name yet--or anyone else's-- not that he would have had the attention span to do 14 Valentine's anyway.

Then we had to get our teacher gifts together. Both Beau and Carmella each have 2 teachers. So for those not so great at math that is 4. 4 teacher gifts. I made them flower arrangements. The kids made them cards.

Then we did our grandma and grandpa gifts and cards.

We worked on all that on Tuesday.

Oh yeah. Did I mention that I signed up earlier in the year to do the Valentine's party for Beau's class? For this party another Mom and I planned a craft, a game, books and cookies. For the craft we decided to make picture frames for the kids to give. So I have spent the past 2 weeks popping in Beau's class to take pictures of his classmates. I spent Monday and Tuesday printing those pictures out. I had suggested to the other Mom that perhaps we should put together the frames so that all the kids had to do was glue on the embellishments. I mean they are 3 and the party is only 40 minutes. But she assured me that the frames were simple to put together.

And they were. If you are 35 and have a glue gun and an hour and half. But see we didn't have an hour and half or a glue gun and regular glue didn't work and tape just looked bad. So we skipped the craft and I offered to put them together and give them out the next day.

And after Carmella had dance(and despite her wanting me to I did not buy the ballet teachers Valentine gifts. The madness has to end somewhere.)

And after we delivered the grandparent Valentines (they had wanted to do one for Meme and Pat and Baby Pat but again I drew the line. Sorry guys. We do love you.)

And after a family dinner out. . .

I, finally home and armed with my handy glue gun-- which I had forgotten I even owned but lucky that I do-- put all 14 frames together.
Let me advise you that you should not operate a glue gun after you have had a couple of beers. I mean, unless you like having 1st and 2ND degree burns all over your fingers and hands. Good thing the kids were in bed by this point and didn't have to hear me say fuck, damn it, holy mother of God every other minute as put those things together.

Valentine's Day is over, it is over.

Please tell me that St.Patrick's Day is still just a day where the only thing required is to wear green, watch a parade and drink some beer.
Hell, I'll even consent to eating Bubbles's corned beef and cabbage (gag) so long as my glue gun can remain forgotten in the laundry room and I don't have 3 days of homework.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wedgie? Who cares?

Well, not Beau.
He likes to wear his underwear backwards.

See, I thought this was an accident. A by product of not having quite mastered dressing himself. Pants? Underwear? They are hard. Those two holes--one for each leg? Front. Back? Pockets everywhere. Who can tell? That shit is confusing. Throw in snaps, buttons and zippers. Well, come on. With all that going on it is easy to see how dressing could be difficult for fumbling 3 year old hands.

Just now he came out of the bathroom struggling with those darn pants and I noted he had put his underwear was backwards, yet again. I offered to help him fix it. To which he began screaming hysterically No! No! No! Waving hands and backing fearfully away from me--as if I held a hot poker and planned on branding his ass. Which, come to think of it, you know that might not be such a bad idea. . .

Okay. Fine. Do it yourself.

He finishes pulling his pants up a safe distance from me and as he does he explains that he likes to see Batman.

I guess it gives him that extra thrill every time he goes potty to see Batman rather than the just the bat symbol. And, you know? At this point? Whatever gets him to the potty is fine by me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Keen Observationist

Beau is usually so busy being Beau that you just don't think he notices much. But really, little gets by him.

On Friday when he was sick he had to go to the bathroom. Usually when Beau and I go to the restroom together we take separate stalls. But at the Dr's there is only one loo-- so we had to share. He went first and then me. This was when he noticed something that greatly upset and alarmed him.

And in a very loud and very excited voice he asked "Mommy where is your penis?" As if I might have lost it or was the victim of some unfortunate accident.

I quietly told him that girls don't have penises--just boys.

No! Uh-uh Mommy. Everyone has a penis! My sister has a penis.

No she doesn't. Girls don't have penises. I promise.

Uh-huh! My sister told me.

No she didn't.


We exit the bathroom and I am trying to ignore him yet he is persistent to carry on the conversation and to let everyone know that I am the freak of nature that does not have a penis. As we walk down the hall to the waiting room, he lists all the girls he knows with penises while I vainly try to shh him: Dardella has a penis, Livi has a penis, Abbie has a penis, Lala has a penis, Bubbles has a penis, Meme has a penis. . .

Just to recap: Beau thinks I drink beer for breakfast, girls have penises and oh, yeah, Parker eats turkey. Any questions?

Monday, February 12, 2007

On Stalling

Beau and Carmella have always been pretty good about bedtime. We've never had any huge battles or nighttime tantrums. They are much more passive aggressive in their resistance. Their bedtime refusal tactic of choice is the stall.

Lately they are really pushing it and it is getting somewhat out of hand. Most days I am done. But some days I have a tiny bit of patience left in me and can indulge them and let them push that bedtime envelope.

Here are some of their stalling tricks:
The book stall. As in please Mommy, please read another book.
I am a 2 book girl, sometimes just one book if no one is paying attention. Occasionally I'll do 3. We read books on my bed or the couch. They try to get me do it again in each of their beds. Nothing doing. I tried reading each a book in their own bed but then they just get out of their bed and come in each other's room. Total bedtime bedlam results.

The water stall. They will drink all the water in the cup on their bedside table and then come to me with their sad empty cups begging for more water as if I haven't spent the whole day trying to get them drink a cup of water. Not to mention they seem perfectly capable of pushing chairs and turning on faucets the rest of the time well enough to get water on their own.

The I have a question stall. Either Ryan or I will be called up to their rooms because of some pressing question that is holding sleep hostage. So we go up to their rooms prepared for some great and perplexing question of the universe. But instead when we get there they hem and haw and think up some lame question like: Tomorrow? For breakfast? Can I have waffles? This is what I walked up stairs to hear just when Entertainment Tonight was about to reveal Lindsay's latest escapade? Puuulease, give me a break. As if it was totally impossible for you to go sleep wondering if it is going to be waffles or oatmeal tomorrow. Waffles. Everyday. Every. Single.Day. Waffles.

The kiss stall. As in I need to kiss Lola or Daddy or Mommy because I didn't really do it right the first time. Admittedly this one was hard to resist the first few thousands times because what sort of parent refuses from their child a plea of "I want to give you a kisssss!!!! Please I want to kiss youuuuu!!!"

But tonight's stall was the I need to tell you something very secret and very private in my bed stall. This one is very serious. Well, at least it seems that way when they tiptoe downstairs and won't meet your eye and whisper that they have something to tell you in their bed.

Okay, really this stall is Carmella's but Beau does it because Carmella did it first and he almost always says, you guessed it, "Parker eats turkey."

Nothing earth shattering has yet to be revealed but I err on the side of caution and I always oblige this stall. You never know. Most times though the serious revelation is so ridiculous that it is damn near impossible to suppress giggles and offer advice with a straight face--especially if I have already had my glass of wine. So far I have managed to be nothing but a facade of serious understanding.

So last night Carmella came down about 15 minutes after I put her to bed requesting my forum in her bed. I told her to give me a minute. I went in there and she began the tale of: One time. A really long time ago. Like, when I was four. (Sigh. Again? This one again?)When Daddy was in the shower (Okay this is new info) and I was watching TV and playing with my Barbie that had a heart necklace? (Well at least this didn't happen on Mommy's watch)I accidentally put it in my mouth and swallowed it. What happened to that necklace?
Me: We've covered this before. What do you think happened to it?
Carmella: It went through my body and came out in the potty and got flushed away.
Me: Most likely. Why? Do you want me to take you to the doctor to double check?
Carmella: (nodding and then quietly adds) And get an x-ray.
Me: Oh, I see. (Beau has x-rays). Well honey, I promise you that by this point the necklace is gone but you cannot swallow anything weird just to get an x-ray. Okay?
Carmella: Okay.

So then we have our kisses and I tuck her back in and head downstairs. But Beau calls me into his room with a desperate I need to tell you something Mommy plea.
Me: (climbing into his bed)Yes?
Beau: I heard something.
Me: What?
Beau: In my closet.
Me: Oh, is it a monster?
Beau: No (but looks excited at the prospect that there might actually be monsters in his closet.)
Me: Oh, then what?
Beau: I heard something fall.
Me: In your closet?
Beau: Yes.
Me: Well, what do you think it was?
Beau: Uh? My jacket?
Me:And you are worried about this?
Beau: No.
Me: Uh, okay. Beau?
Beau: Yes?
Me: Goodnight.
Beau: Parker eats turkey.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Carmella is 6

Carmella Grace turned six yesterday.

I can't believe that my little girl is 6.
My little girl who I don't know what I did to get so lucky to be Mommy to.
My little girl who is getting so big and so smart at kindergarten doing math and art and reading.
Really, I just can't believe that we were able to do it.
It is still so hard to wrap my mind around that that tiny baby has become this amazing person.

Here are some of my favorite Carmella pictures over these past six years.
And, yes, there is a lot.

Carmella at 6 weeks old.

On the subway in NYC at 11 weeks old. Both of ours first trip to NYC.
At 4 months old with Carmela (just shy of 101 years old)her name sake, my great-grandmother. This is also right after Carmella was hospitalized for secpticemia--hence the rash on her face.
Here at 5 1/2 months old and crawling.
Pumpking patch at 8 months.
Standing on her own, ready to walk at eight months old. Only she couldn't figure out how to move her feet so there were several weeks where she would just stand and cry until she figured out how to sit down and then, happily for all of us, walk.
First steps--just a few days shy of 9 months old:
First Christmas at 10 months old:
First birthday:
Playing peek-a-boo at 14 months old:
Playing with good pal Alexa at 16 months old:
At the beach at various ages and places. The beach is one of Carmella's favorite places. She loves sand. Digs all day long:

Meeting "the Brother" as she called him then:Always looking out for her brother:

Some easter pictures:

Some with Beau:

Butterfly princess:

Happy birthday my little princess, hollywood, butterfly, p pie, Carly Carmella. We all feel so lucky and blessed for everyday we have had with you.