Saturday, February 27, 2010

I need to buy a fanny pack for my cheeseburger

I'm training for a half marathon. I know, I know. I know what you're going to say. I think my friend Amy best summed it up when she said something along the lines of "Yeah, right! You meant to say you'll be eating a cheeseburger while you watch a half marathon, right?" Maybe you were thinking that you're sick of the mommy blogging world showing you pictures of marathon runners and triathletes in sepia toned reverence. I hear you. Although, you'll want to see a picture of me finishing a half marathon (if I do) because it will be HILARIOUS: Blotchy red and sweaty and a look of stunned surprise--that's what you'll see. And yes, I'll be wearing makeup when I start, at least. I'm sure it will wear off (but I will be carrying a tube of lipstick--gloss if I'm feeling more "natural") and I'll have that performance energy gel goop down my top.

Before I imagine that "winning look" I'll have at the end, I should explain that my sister, Gina, is making me do this. I know they'll be an angry comment in this post from Gina saying something to the effect of "I'm not making you do ANYTHING! You WANT to do this, and I'm just HELPING YOU!" and then she'll threaten not to help me anymore because I'm "making fun of her." I'll beg her to keep giving me the pep talks that I can, indeed finish, and she'll tell me warm tales of women twice my size who will beat my time and runners who show up in cutoffs and flip flops and still manage to finish. I've heard these stories a million times, but they never get old!

I'm serious when I say that I've been "training." Although I still feel silly calling myself "a runner," because I'm more of "a shuffler," (and an embarrassingly "heavy breather" but it's too painful to describe here.) I'm starting week 7 out of a 14 week training schedule so it's time to start owning up to it. It's slow a slow and steady climb that's allegedly going to make it physically possible for me to run 13.2 miles without my heart exploding or my toenails rubbing off in a bloody mess which are some specific things I worry about.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What Will Happen By NOON!?

It's 10 am and I have already gotten 2 kids fed, dressed, blow dried Phoebe's hair (four days of frizzy braid hair and I couldn't take it any longer), looked for Phoebe's coat, gave Phoebe the "money doesn't grow on trees" speech when she finally admitted she thinks she lost it somewhere, sometime ago, scriptures read, and prayed off to school, helped Miles throw up, made him a bed on the couch, fed Margaret 3 breakfasts (one was a Creamie), made four beds, cleaned marker off three comforters, two sheets, and three pillowcases, drove Hugh to preschool, answered a frantic call from Owen to go to the school who said the Read-a-thon sheets were due today (a fact I told him last night and again this morning, but he had argued against passionately), drove to the school to find two Read-a-thon sheets in two boys' messy desks, filled them in, signed them, turned them in, reluctantly put off a PTA member who wants me to mime a turtle's dialogue in the Dr. Seuss Read-a-thon assembly on Tuesday by saying "email me. . . " came home checked my emails, balanced my checkbook, laughed really hard at Kacy's blog, read angry comments on my sister-in-laws blog, and formed three different responses to aforementioned comments in my head as I folded and put away laundry, made Miles and Margaret a smoothie, emptied the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, wiped down the kitchen with a semi-clean rag, put on "Yo Gabba Gabba" for Margaret and wrapped her up in 2 blankets (because the Smoothie made her "cooldeez!") and put away magazines, mail, and schoolwork in files.

Bring it on, Noon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Continuing the Conversation

Well, maybe some of you have come over from my other blog, which is no more.

The best part of contributing on a group blog is having an online conversation. I, maybe, might, sometimes, on occasion, be accused of talking "too much," but I see that as my deep love to communicate and interact with other people on a real, authentic level. I talk to discover their stories, the phrases and quirks that make them "them," and to extract meaning and humor from their lives. I talk because I am.

And now it's gone.

I know, not the internet, not the "conversation," but my conversation. OUR conversation. And, I will mourn the loss of it.

Kristy describes the exciting story of the demise of LRS here, (which makes me wonder, if I've been officially "fired" for the first time in my life, does this mean I have "street cred?" all the kids are talkin' about?) and, as Emily says here, "We fear change." Kacy, on the other hand, is considering other careers.

In my effort to continue the conversation, whether I was asked or not, it's really doesn't matter, if history is any indication, I have a few things to say:

Kacy, here are the jobs I think I would enjoy, but would require a lot of talents I do not have, as well as a tremendous amount of specialization, education, training, and sacrifice:

"Color" predictor
Industrial Designer of home products
Jazz Singer
Outdoor landscape designer
Nasa Publicist
CEO of a Beauty Product Company

Emily, I'm serving the young women in my ward, and that's exactly the kind of change I fear. To be more specific, I fear this calling and all that it requires. But I'm clinging to the silver lining which is, at least it's not scouting.
Kristy, I will start wearing more black. Today. Kisses! XOXO
Oh, and Kacy, your dream day is eerily similar to mine, only I would include what I would eat for every meal in my list (divinity is in the details).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Conversations with Hugh

Hugh is four years old, but he has what others like to say "an old soul," which is really a gentle way of saying he thinks he's a forty year-old independently wealthy man with unlimited funds and power. I love Hugh for his strong personality because it's like I have this little man/household CEO as my companion all day. Without a doubt, every day consists of a constant string of negotiating everything from what he should eat (he wants to eat only a select number of carbohydrates) to what he should wear (pajamas, shorts, nothing), where he should sleep (anywhere but his bed), and who should bring him whatever he wants whenever he wants (me), and whose house he can play at (any house but ours). But what is unique about Hugh is that he talks with the confidence of an adult.

Scene: (kitchen table) Hugh ordered some Doritos for a mid-morning snack, and after some negotiation, settled on peanut butter crackers. During our snack, he says to me,
"What rhymes with dolphin? Doll or Finn?"
Me: "Is this a trick question?"
Hugh: "It's 'doll. . .' And do you know what that is?"
Me: "Yes, a doll is. . ."
Hugh: "It's a kind of a bug. And when it gets really big it shoots lazers out of its eyes."
Me: "Leggos?"
Hugh: "NO! LAZERS! A bug that shoots leggos out of its eyes--that would be WEIRD!"
Me: I didn't know a bug like that existed. I mean, lazers. . ."
Hugh: "Well, if he could shoot leggos it would be awesome because he could build anything with them! There's a spider like that that lives in the water."
Me: "I thought spiders hated water."
Hugh: "Yeah, if I saw a spider, I would hurry and jump in the ocean and a shark would eat it!"
Me: "Well, obviously."

Saturday, February 20, 2010


One of the greatest benefits of being a mother is the amount of unbelievable comedic material you witness, usually with no one else around. I might have previously mentioned, in another post floating around somewhere in cyberspace, that some things are too ridiculous to recreate or retell: you just had to be there. But indulge me to retell one that makes me love my son Miles (almost 12) in a tremendous way.

Miles has inherited, somewhere in our soupy mix of DNA, an ineptitude for sports which is completely overshadowed by his sunny, positive personality. It's a remarkable combination that saves Miles from a world of hurt and is one of his best qualities.

Miles is on a basketball team and he's the shortest and is not at all aggressive. His teammates rarely pass the ball to him, and when they do, he makes his best effort to shoot, but in his 3 years of playing, has never made a basket (scored a goal? See, I'm really no help to him here.) But he doesn't care. He runs up and down the court, following the ball with a smile on his face. He's super excited when his teammate makes a basket and cheers for them and jumps up and down if they win. He's in there--he's doing it, you know? And he loves it. But when kids reach this age, the parents, especially the fathers, get really "into" it, I'm sure because they love it in a way I don't understand. Even though these boys are, I guess, past the age of just "playing to have fun," I'm not ready to give up that ideal, and neither is Miles, so it's okay with us.

So on Saturday, during the game, as the team parents are yelling and cheering the 11 and 12 year-old boys, and Topher is reading his Kindle. (In his defense, he reads it ONLY when Miles isn't in the game, because Topher hates few things more than basketball, which, I'm sure is a result of his youth experience with school and church ball, but that's a blog for another time. . .) Miles is defending this kid on the other team and he gets right past Miles, shoots, and scores. Miles then turns to the fully-invested parents of his team and says, in all seriousness "I take full responsibility for that!" smiles, and runs down the court to try again. Only one dad laughs.

How can you not adore a kid like that?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm that one girl

I don’t want to be famous, really, but I’d like to be marginally famous. Like when people saw me they’d think I look familiar, but they can’t place my name. Or they interchange me with someone else. They’d say “Oh, aren’t you that girl from. . .um. . .that one thing?” and I’d nod, say yes, and go on with my business. They wouldn’t want my autograph, but I wouldn’t blame them. I would be protective of my anonymity because it would encourage me to get the role of “quirky best friend” or “outlandish shop keeper.”

I think it’s funny that early in my brother’s career as a rockstar a group of girls chased him down, screaming for an autograph and it turned out they thought he was Beck. That’s funny and humbling. But now they recognize him. I wonder how you ever get used to that.

I’d like to have a little more money, but what I really crave is power. Most days I am putting out little fires and trying to maintain the minimum glamour which is my life. I’m not even in control of when I will eat, sleep, or use the bathroom (sorry, but I hope I made my point). It would be nice to have to make really important decisions that seem important. I realize that raising children is really the ultimate power–”the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” kind of thing, but it doesn’t always feel like power. Usually it feels like servitude. I guess I’m a little dramatic and part of me wants to storm into a board meeting wearing a designer power suit, throw a briefcase down on the table and yell, “We’ve been going about this all wrong! We’re going in another direction! We’re changing everything!”

I know raising children will pay off to those who matter most to me in the most significant ways, of course, or I wouldn’t be doing it. But sometimes when my kids look at me I get a creepy suspicion that they see right through me and have me figured out: that I don’t really know what I’m doing. Sometimes that feeling is overwhelmingly tragic, and sometimes it’s funny. Usually it’s funny.

And in those moments, like today, when I'm vacuuming up tortilla chips from under the area rugs for the second time of the day, or wiping off bubblegum shake off the walls from three days ago, and I think about how I was a "featured extra" in a movie, but just got a call to find out my scene found its way on the cutting room floor, I look at my beautiful son Hugh and my adorable toddler Margaret drawing with marker on the family room couch, and I smile, drinking it all in and I know it's all worth it.

Just kidding! I tell them to knock it off, that we don't draw on the furniture forcryingoutloud, and I clean it up and weep softly.

(It's worth it, my beautiful darlings, but my parenting isn't directly proportionate to my ability to clean FORCRYING OUTLOUD!)