Monday, November 25, 2013

Hero Wax Museum

Sometimes I think our school district is the coolest.  I realize I'm partial, but those are the shakes.  Something that they do in 6th grade, that I love, are hero reports.  Each student has to pick a hero and then write about what made that person a hero.  The conclusion of their report comes when they do a Wax Museum themed final presentation.  Each student dresses up as their hero and holds totally still, unless someone pushes their button, where upon they say their 20 second blip about why they were a hero.  Bella chose Joseph Smith.  Man this girl makes me proud to be her mama.  Some other kids had interesting ideas about heroes as I walked around and saw Kate Middleton (below), Bob Marley, Katy Perry and a couple other famous people, but not so much heroes.  Regardless it was tons of fun to see.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Old Lady

I had to have my first old lady dental work. 
A crown.  Grrr!
Suffice to say, it was not fun and they had to numb half my face - no lie!
These are pictures of me trying my hardest to smile. 
Wow - medicine is potent stuff!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Addendum: It's A Sickness

Once you spend all that time running, working out, your kids will wonder what the appeal is.  They'll ask to join you on your runs.  Sometimes they will bike or scooter along to keep up, sometimes you will slow down to run with them.  They may be asking just because you spend large amounts of time doing it and they miss seeing you or they may actually be curious about the running itself. 

But eventually, they catch the bug too.  It may not be as severe yet, but next thing you know they will be asking you which races are coming up.  They may hear about a youth triathlon and you may be signing them up before you know it. 

When this happens, you will hope you have set up a love for a lifetime so that they will never know what it was like before loving it.  You will hope they continue to take care of their bodies, to develop their own discipline and to conquer their own fears head on, both on the trail and in real life.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Right Now

This week/month has been crazy.  Can hardly remember to breath crazy;
thankful that it is a autonomic function.
Travis has been home for more than two and a half weeks of his almost three month no travel stint.  It's super fun having him home all the time.  It's also a ton of help.  And all the house and car things that have been slowly breaking down or wearing out over the last 6 months he has been busily repairing.  He has been volunteering in at the school with me and of course he became dad of the year by bringing home 7, yes 7, horny toads (or lizards as the case may be) with him for the kids to have as pets.  I didn't learn about this until they were already en route.  His reasoning, "I knew you wouldn't go for it if I told you ahead of time."  He's right on that.  But he did follow it up with, but I knew you wouldn't really care once they got here.  And he was right again.
Right now he is at an appointment with Jay.  So the house it totally mine again.  Kids are in school and no one is home.  I love it.  I really am a girl torn between her total independence and her fierce love of being with her husband all the time.  I didn't even realize how much I missed this kind of quiet solitude until I found it again after almost three weeks of his companionable presence.
Everyone keeps asking me are you tired of him yet, do you want him to go back to Wyoming yet.  Which is funny because when he is gone I am constantly being asked do you miss him, how are you doing, and my favorite of all time "do you sometimes just cry".  The answers are yes, fine and no respectively to the second set of questions.  To the first, it's heck no to both. 
Because as I am wiping down the counters after the initial morning school rush and breakfast of French toast and accompanying syrup puddles on the table, he gets ready to leave the house with Jay.  And he runs over to me, and because my back is turned, he bites my bum, and says I love you as he prepares to leave.  You see he can't leave or even let me leave the house without a kiss first.  But after 14 years of being together he's learned almost everything about me, including the fact that I am not a fan of being interrupted when I get into work mode.  But with this kind of knowing me, I turn around laughing and smooch his brains out.  Because this guy is perfect and still after 14 years I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have found and married him.  Even if on Sunday he ran over my church bag and purse with the car - damaging and ruining a fair amount of stuff including my digital camera, in the process.
So why with all this help is life still crazy - well I have a child's sleepover birthday party at my home in one week, a college alumni party at my house in one week and one day, we are taking a vacation to Texas soon that I am trying to get ready for, trying to conquer the Christmas shopping list - I like to get this all done by the first week in December - I have a child who I am transitioning to live with his biological parent which is highly emotional and physically stressing, I have a child turning 8 who wants to get baptized and I have to plan every detail on that and this is all within three weeks.  Add to that the kids are begging to decorate for Christmas and I agree not only because I love Christmas, but because if we don't do it now I don't know when we will be able to do it.
Then add in every day crazy.  We sold our van, bought a car, a cute little Honda Accord - stick so I can feel like Danika Patrick, we had five parent teacher conferences and all the other kid associated activities.  We bought a dog almost two months ago who then almost promptly bit the neighbor boy, made the rough and heart breaking decision to put the dog to sleep. I'm on the board of two civic organizations both of which are planning huge holiday fundraisers that happen to be the same weekend, also within this three week period of craziness. I had book club at my home last night, and a slew of other activities that daily life requires attending to like bill paying, house cleaning, and such.

But I'm no fool.  And despite the almost overwhelming sense of busy"ness", I can't help but feel beyond belief happy.  Because my life isn't what I pictured it would be at all.  It's so much better.  It's busy because it is filled with children and love and experiences that make me feel rich and blessed.  And so even though each day I collapse into bed exhausted, wondering how I did it all, why I do it all - I'm quite confident that when I look back on these years, I'll nostalgically tell the anonymous pregnant girl in the supermarket with another crying toddler and child in tow to cherish these years, because they are the best of her life.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's a Type of Sickness

If anyone would have told me a year ago, I would love running - I would have told them to check themselves into a mental hospital, for serious reals.  Despite playing many sports throughout my middle, high school and college years and having various levels of success, I never got that love for running that some people have or working out for that matter.

Let's not confuse things here, I mean I love to win.  I am fiercely competitive if need be, and so if you give me a ball and tell me the purpose is to put it in that goal or to beat five other people from a start line to a finish line well I'll do it almost every time and enjoy it thoroughly.  But working out for working out sake I didn't enjoy until around 2004 after the birth of my second child.  With my changing body shape and size I felt not like me and so I hit our local gym up, 24 Hour Fitness - at the time, for a membership.

I loved classes and the mixture of social interaction and feeling of strength.  I love watching everyone as I work out, helping to push me a little further than I might go independently if I didn't see them in the 270 degree mirror surround.  I liked the way I felt after my workout too.  It was a feeling I had started to forget a bit.  I ran with some loose regularity and through each of my successive two pregnancies, but it was not something I ever enjoyed.

Fast forward another 7 years and you will find that after a move, a period of physical inactivity and a much sparser selection in nearby gyms in the area, that when one opened it my very own town I was among the first to enroll and get a membership.  Once again I gravitated towards the classes starting with Zumba and working my way through some newer and tougher ones.  The spin classroom when first starting out is a black lit, techno color, very loud death coffin.  I grew stronger, I grew tougher and I earned the respect of my gym peers - not only for my awesome fitness moves, but by my ability to sing throughout almost every class and to without abandon wear a leotard and leg warmers for an 80's throwback week.

Fast forward another two years and the local gym hit a bump.  Financially some things weren't working out as they hoped.  As a result they had to cut class schedules extensively, charge extra for the remaining ones and eliminate child care. This was no longer a concern for me now that my children were all school age, but my demographic was instantly gymless because most of my cohorts needed the childcare and didn't know how to work out without an instructor.

I decided to hit the treadmill.  I knew from past experience that it really was a good workout, that I really could cut weight and it would be the best thing for me.  I did lots of little runs here and there and around the town.  But still hated the gym and running most every day.  But when a fellow gym rat continued to bug me about joining her at an upcoming half marathon - I started to consider it.  It may just be the motivation I needed to actually run instead of jog on the revolving belt loop called a treadmill.  After some midnight texting and a special promotion on runners day or some other mostly made up holiday I signed up. 

After a couple of group runs, I felt dumb for having done so.  I recruited another friend to join me in my torture.  But I continued to train.  Days turned to weeks, turned to months.  My miles increased and I still felt the torture.  I told my husband, "No matter what I say, never let me run another half marathon again."  People told me I would learn to love it.  I knew they were crazy.  One month before my half marathon and after overcoming my fear of running outside, I really started to like the long run.  It wasn't the same kind of like I have for donuts or reading a book or taking a nap - some of my other favorite things.  But I like how strong I felt, how disciplined I had become.  And I could finally see my hard work and training coming together.

And so here I am 6 months later, mentally committed to running every spring and fall a half marathon, almost 20 pounds light - who knew I had turned into such a chubbo, because I promise I still don't look that fantastic - and almost loving running.  I miss it the days I can't fit it in.  It's a lot easier now days too.  Each morning it's a conscious decision, but I guess I've developed my own kind of love for this sport.  And so every time I hear someone tell me they don't know how I do it, how they could never do it, I think of myself and how much difference 6 months can make.  I know better than to tell them they will love it too, if they stick with it.  Because let's be honest - I never believed anyone before when they told me the very same thing.  And that's how I know running is a sickness, a disease if you will.  You may not want it, but once you catch it there's no way to get rid of it.  It stays with you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm An Unfit Mother

It's no joke.  So it has just occurred to me that more than two months after my son's birthday I have not posted about him, his party or his life.  See crazy, unfit mother.  But I did take lots of pictures, throw him a party, and celebrate with him.  So I guess I can just be a negligent, sometimes very belated and uncool mamma. 

Where to begin...Kody is my boy of total juxtaposition.  Since he was a baby, I have secretly referred to him (mainly to Travis behind closed doors when I was wondering if I screwed him up) our bi-polar baby.  He runs hot, he runs cold, but rarely in between.  Now I know that is a serious condition and I'm pretty sure he's not actually bipolar, but he does carry my family's genetic tendency to experience things fairly deeply.  And after the first two kids' mellow dispositions and Issac's more intense, but mostly happy disposition, I felt a little nervous.

But guess what...he's now 6 years old.  And he's a whole lot more stable.  Teachers both in school and church comment on how kind he is, nice and considerate, super helpful, etc...  I'm a little surprised not because they have seen these things because I have seen them too, but that they haven't seen his other side that I inquire about.  Because guess what...I've seen plenty of that one too.

Regardless, Kodster can be the most sensitive, compassionate, loving little boy you have ever seen.  He will do anything to help someone who is crying feel better.  He will make any sacrifice of his own stuff:  food, toys, or turns to someone else if they feel left out, treated unfairly or abused.  He is my cuddle bug and nibbler.  He loves attaching my face with fish nibbles and trying to tickle me. 

Despite being the youngest, he has an old soul and a penchant for quick thinking.  He's clever and funny.  He's quick to help and even quicker to hide if he thinks it might get him out of something to not be seen.   He's really good with trivia and loves to help cook meals, treats and anything in between.  He has a sweet tooth the size of Texas and likes to snack all day long.

He loves to play practical jokes, say things to get a rise out of people or plan pranks and then watch with a mischievous smile.  He may not be perfect, but he is darn near close and perfect for our family.  I can't imagine a day without this boy in my life.  He makes me smile daily.