Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Bathroom

This post is inspired by the blog posting of my friend, Michele. Her little daughter is right on time for that wonderful separation anxiety that all little ones go through at one point or another. While I have over the years found having an audience when I go to the room I considered private in my pre-child days a bit taxing at times- especially during that delicate "woman time". WC, on the other hand, found a whole new usefulness when his little brother gained mobility. He's managed to turn the toilet room into their clubhouse of sorts. They haul toys in there and settle in, sometimes he sends his little brother out for something he's decided he wants to play with. It isn't uncommon for me to hear, "I have to go potty. Come on CJ, grab that Bakugon and come on." I find myself grilling him on whether he's actually still "doing something" or just sitting there.
One afternoon I sat in front of the computer and I heard Tom and Jerry enter the bathroom, didn't think a thing about it. When I came out of the office, I was faced with the scene that is pictured above. They'd gotten into the fridge pulled out the leftover bread sticks and marinara sauce and there they were. WC sitting on the toilet and being the "responsible" one holding the sauce while he & CJ dipped the bread sticks in. This one really icked me out.

Monday, April 26, 2010

13.1 Miles

Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 3:30. Jay asked what time it was, I told him to go back to sleep, which without argument he promptly rolled over & complied. I hit the floor, belly full of butterflies. Kept telling myself that I had to eat, even though I would rather vomit. But knowing what my body would have to do in a few hours I forced down my Kashi cereal, keeping with my friend's advice to change NOTHING about what I ate pre-race. Left my hubby and boys sleeping soundly. Getting on the interstate in the pitch dark of night, lighting bolts streaked the sky in the distance. I said a prayer that the weather would hold off. It was forecasted to be nasty. The race organizers had already limited the marathon to 4.30. If you weren't on pace to complete it in that time you'd be directed to finish the half. Into downtown Nashville I went and parked in the first lot of LP Field I came across. Wandering across the parking lot to locate where the shuttle bus would take the runners over to the start line at Centennial Park, I met a nice woman from Denver, CO. She travels around to the different cities to run in the marathons. I arrived at the park at what would be 2 1/2 hours prior to my start time, which worked out for my benefit. One because I had a nice dry seat at a picnic table under a tree where we didn't get wet when the rain shower hit at 5:30. I met a woman who also works for the same company and several out of town people and we had a wonderful, fun conversation. It all put me at ease and took away almost all the nerves. The rain shower let up, the clouds floated away and the sun came up on a beautiful morning. We knew more was on the way when they announced the race would be starting 15 min early (another plus at being there so early) some of those arriving later, missed starting with their gate number- including my marathon veteran friend who didnt arrive until 10 min after the early start-five min before the original start. What has proven to be a controversy after the 37th corral was released the pulled up the mats that record your start time, so people arriving after that couldn't compete at all. The city is very hilly and you might not notice it as much in a car but out there hoofing it on foot- OMG. I started out well and felt good for most of it. I walked- a lot. A fast pace walk but I couldn't run up all those hills, especially at the beginning. Around mile ten, when I had to go up another hill at the State Capitol, I lost the will to live. My goal was just to keep moving. The crowds cheering on side of road began to annoy me. "Looking good runners, keep going, you're almost there, woo hoo!" Just shut the hell up. It was at that point also, where I began to notice the wind picking up and the sky darkening. At 1.8 miles to go I began to hear announcements telling runners they recommended leaving the course and seek immediate shelter due to inclement weather. At 1.8 miles to go? Hell, no. They were going to have to drag me kicking and screaming by force off of that course. I had not come that far and trained that much to stop there. If a tornado touches down somewhere in the vicinity, I'll consider it. I'd been walking for the past mile and decided I had to pick up and finish quickly and hope they wouldn't force me off the course. I began to run with everything I had. My hip and knee hurt. I was exhausted. The sky opened up and the rain came down, lightly at first then harder, drenching us. I couldn't see once my glasses go so wet. So I just stayed course and followed along. Cross the Woodland Street Bridge people on the sidelines yelling that the finish line was around the corner and down the hill. I rounded the corner and didn't see anything. Where the hell is it?!? They said it was right here? Less than a mile from the finish line and I still can't see it! Please, God, I'm begging you.
It was the longest mile of my life. Finally I turned another corner and through my water covered glasses- there it was. A beacon of hope. An oasis. The angels sang the Hallelujah chorus. It was beautiful. Praise God- just keep me moving til I get there.
I made it. My time: 3:00:38. I was drenched and cold but I made it 13.1 miles. I had not run a single step before January. And I completed a half marathon. I picked up my metal from the people who were throwing them at us. I'm sure they were just in a hurry with the threat of inclement weather but dang. I wandered aimlessly through the athlete area seeing what sort of post race food they had to offer- nothing was really striking my fancy until I saw these snicker protein bar sort of things. I wanted nothing more to locate the gear check area so I could retrieve my stuff and get my cell phone to let everyone know. Jay had the kids and I told him with how many people would be down there & threat of bad weather to not bring them down there. There I was a little bummed slowing limping through the family reunion area to get to my stuff, I mean I just did this accomplishment for the first time ever and no one is there to share it with. I didn't think it would bother me until that point. Then I see a man, holding an umbrella standing next to the path- it was Jay! He was there. He'd taken the kids to his parents house, from there he used their computer to track my progress and when I neared the end, he drove down there to meet me. He tried to see me cross the finish line but wasn't able to. But he did the next best thing for me- used his shirt to dry off my glasses! I was a happy woman. Back at my in-laws house I showed WC my metal. He asked me if everyone got one of those. I told him only people who ran it in 4 hours. I did it in 3. He seemed impressed. He asked to wear it. Then a little while later he asked me if I wanted it back. He's seen me working out on the treadmill and I hope he takes a lesson from it. If you want to do something, just put your mind to it and work as hard as you can. You can accomplish it.
While I was able to complete my goal, I feel sorry for many marathoners who were not able to. It seems that they were pulled from the course before many of us half marathon runners were done, even if they were on pace to complete it in 4:30. Many people who were attempting to qualify for Boston didn't get to finish. Many people who were pulled at mile 20 were recorded as having ran 13.1. Loads of people are unhappy. I understand organizers not wanting a disaster on their watch. But I think they did jump the gun a bit.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I can't believe it's already here. Tomorrow morning. The day I've been training for since January. My first half marathon. And I'm ready for it to be over and done with. To not feel like I absolutely have to run x amount of miles on a Saturday or Sunday to train. My 10 miler last week about killed me. I suspect that I've injured my IT Band. I've rested and stretched it for a week. Hopefully, I can get through the race w/o excruciating pain in my hip. Could it get any worse? Oh and it's supposed to rain...not just rain...storm like a *%$#! Hasn't rained all of April. Really, God? Really? Right now they are projecting the worst of it to be in the afternoon. Could have tornado's. Which make me really nervous. A tornado hit downtown Nash years ago and I'm not eager to repeat it. A tornado hit less than 5 miles from my home on Mothers Day a couple of years ago...I drove past those destroyed buildings for a year before most were either re-built or done away with. I do not like the weather forecast for those reasons too.
I hope I can sleep tonight. This morning I woke up and instantly thought OMG! It's tomorrow. Not just tomorrow, I have to be in downtown before dawn...on a Sat... possibly in the rain. What Am I Doing?!?!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Drought Has Ended

For the past several weeks I have had writer's block. I've come down to the last portion of my novel and lost my way from the middle leading up to the ending. I know how it ends. But how do I get there? With the multitude of different stresses in my life coming from everywhere, when I sat down for lunch- my brief 30 minute writing window, nothing would come. So I spent some time avoiding the situation. Then on the advice of a friend I wrote part of the ending that I knew. It didn't have to be in order, just put something down on paper (the screen). He also challenged me that I was afraid to end the novel. But reassured me that with revision, I was far from done. I don't really believe that I am afraid to finish it. Maybe for a minute. But I'm ready. And I'm back! It's flowing again! I left work Monday, so elated. Some how I was whole again. I've been using every chance I get here to work more on the story- hence my lack of blogging about the kids. But rest assure they are still nuts. I will have more coming up.  I still have quite a bit more to go through before I can say I'm done with my rough draft but the light is at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What "They" Say

When WC was an infant, people used to tell me about how much better it is when the child is older and can tell you what is wrong. The guesswork of soothing a sobbing infant will be a thing of the past. HAHAHAHAHAHA. And Bill Cosby even said that the only time a child tells the truth is when he is in pain. That might be true of older children. There's nothing quite like attempting to figure out what is wrong with a sobbing six year old who suddenly has the communication skills of that infant and can do nothing but cry. It's more frustrating than the infant because in your parental head you keep thinking, But you talk constantly! Why the hell are you just sitting there crying? But, of course you don't say that to the child. You keep your voice low and try to remain calm while you engage in a game a charades to attempt to locate the issue that you as a parent have to fix in order to restore happiness. Tuesday afternoon WC had fallen asleep on the sofa after watching one of his favorite shows. I didn't think anything about it. I could tell he didn't feel well and struggling with his asthma all day, he was wiped out. He needed to rest. It wasn't until he sat up sobbing an hour later that I regretted this.
My mom had just brought CJ home, who was immediately distressed at hearing the sounds of his brother wailing. He began to cry. My mom, being kind enough not to run away and leave me alone with them in this state even though she wanted to, sat down with CJ. So I could continue to attempt to decipher the ancient code of uncontrollable sobbing. My first thought was that his chest was tight & he needed another treatment or a shower? No. Are you in pain? No response. I took his temp. Normal. I'm running out of possibilities and was ready to pantomime hanging myself when he squeaked out the word, "head." Head? Does your head hurt? "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss." he sobbed. I was excited. Now that I can fix. I give him a dose of ibuprofen to which he acts like I'm forcing him to drink a gallon jug of sulphuric acid. Then I do the only other thing that I can think to do to comfort him while we wait for the medicine to work. I sit down and pull his lanky self into my lap, tucking in arms and legs. I'm not very tall and he comes up to my shoulders while standing, so this is not as easy as it used to be. He curls up and drifts off back to sleep and after a while moves so that his legs extend onto the couch but his head is resting against my chest. That I must admit that I sort of enjoyed that. After about half hour he begins to wake up and roll off my lap. He puts his feet on his Nana and begins to talk with her like nothing had been wrong.  
Stay tuned for my next entry discussing our second day of school from home.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

30 Miles For Nothing

This morning started out business as usual. Me constantly nagging WC to stop talking to CJ and get ready, brush his teeth so he can get a breathing treatment before breakfast. It's a real issue trying to fit something else in, mornings are hectic enough.
I mentioned in my last entry that WC's asthma cough returned
Sunday evening. If I had any sense I would have started him on his
seasonal allergy medication two weeks ago & possibly avoided this. He
only reacts when his allergies act up. Luckily the severity of
symptoms have diminished over the years. We spent his second year of
life carting him back & forth to the ER for chest x-rays.
This morning he was coughing pretty bad & had his nebulizer treatment
& I dropped him off at school. I wasn't half way to moms house to drop
off CJ when the cell phone rang & the school nurse informed me that WC was coughing up phlegm. I told her to give him a few minutes and see how he does. I hoped that he'd be able to go on to class once he'd gotten it out. Then when I was almost to mom's the phone rang again; this time the assistant principal told me that he hadn't quit coughing and was now throwing up. I told her that I'd just gotten into Nashville and had one kid left to drop off then I'd come back. I drop CJ off and let mom know that I had to go back for WC. She agreed to bring CJ back home after his afternoon nap for me. So here we go again. It hasn't been that long ago when I had to go back for CJ twice- once less than 30 min after punching in for the day and the second time upon reaching the door to the office.
I get to the nurses office and go in. She has an oxygen monitor hooked to his finger-even though she said his lungs sounded clear when she listened to his chest. His oxygen saturation was 97%. Of course his pediatrician had told me those portable oxygen monitors are pretty much useless for kids- so unreliable that they don't even have one in her office. The nurse and I had a couple of run-ins at the beginning of the school year. She's too quick to assume the worst and appears far more worried than need be. But I guess when you have the responsibility of caring for 900 kids and one slip up could get you sued to within an inch of your have to be.
She had him sucking on a peppermint candy. A glass of water would have better. But whatever. The cough was pretty much constant. He really would have been a disturbance for the whole class. The constant bark begins to grate on the nerves. So home we went. Now I really need to finish up the laundry and clean the house but...
Since I have all those worksheets and pretty much studied the kindergarten curriculum, I decided to do it myself today. No point in letting him veg out in front of the tv all day & his brain turn to mush. He wasn't sick. And I've never taught him to let his asthma stop him. This is his normal and he has to live with it and thrive. Much to his dismay- we've been working. The "geography" lesson pretty much fell into my lap. Right before we started and tv was still on- the news ran a story of the coal miners who were killed in West Virginia and the president was going to speak about it. WC wanted to know what that was about, so I explained a bit of coal mining and it was in West Virginia. He wanted to know where WV was in relation to us here in TN and then in relation to PA, where Michele & Peter are. And where the president is. So, I pull out the atlas & show him close to where we are in TN then where WV, PA & DC are. Then we went over some color words, the sense of touch, built paper pizza's and put designated number of pepperonis on each, basic addition (numbers that add up to ten) & word recognition. The paper pizza project led us to ordering pizza for lunch. After lunch he wanted to ride his bike. It was twelve thirty and I wasn't sold that it was a good idea but I thought if he gets out there and can't then he wont. And I was right. The driveway was in full sun and he decided he didn't want to after all. So we sat outside for a bit and discussed bugs. I had to break it to him that bugs don't feel emotions like people. Back inside we went over the vocabulary words from two phonics readers and he read me the story and we went over the discussion questions in the teachers guide. He did well. Then he asked if he could watch an episode of his favorite cartoon. This time I said yes. He's in there hooked up to the nebulizer and I'm going to have to go release him...
So once I wrap up this entry I will be off to clean the kitchen. It's genuinely amazing to me that I go one weekend where I'm picking up constantly and the entire house is such a wreck. I'm not sure where all the stuff comes from.
My allergies are acting up too. I woke up with a sore throat and didn't get my exercise in. I'm sure that half an order of bread sticks for lunch was a real good idea.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rest In Peace, Chocolate Rabits.

Last night my home looked like the Easter Bunny's house exploded all over my kitchen/living area- bits of plastic eggs, cheap toys and bits candy. A sick cat behind the recliner.  WC was vibrating and his asthma began acting up from the two days outside exposed to the blooming plants of spring. I had to give him his nebulizer which is putting two stimulant medications on top. I thought he might actually launch himself into space for a while.  CJ passed out in a sugar coma in the car had to be carried in; he crashed on the sofa & resembled a walking fly trap. Their little pores began oozing sugar a couple hours before and not because I think they're sweet. I left him on couch from about 4:45 until 7:30 when I changed him into his pj's right there. The bottom half was a cinch- he didn't even stir. The trick was getting his sweater vest off over his head. Which he did stir and fuss briefly but with Jay's assistance we had the pj shirt on in a matter of seconds and I carried him back to his bed where he slept soundlessly until 6 this morning. It had been an long, exciting weekend for him. Between eggs hunts, church and family gatherings and more candy heaped on any two children than should be allowed by law (by other people). I sent a grocery bag full with Jay to work today- they leave a candy bucket out for customers. The "Bunny" that visits our home leaves very little candy and a few other treats- Nerf football and some art supplies. We discuss the religious reason for Easter, which has nothing to do with sugar coated sugar. I'm afraid this year I wasn't as successful in keeping the real reason in the foreground. In all the go-go-go and melted chocolate bunnies I may have gotten lost and not just in the heaping mountain of laundry that I had to do last night. I don't recall ever having a more chaotic Easter my whole life, it was non-stop. 
I managed to kill three chocolate bunnies. I went shopping for their Bunny gifts a few weeks back and left the items in the car. Then it hit 70 degrees here and for some reason it never dawned on me. Until Saturday evening. I open the trunk and the two small hollow chocolate bunnies look like a Picasso painting. The little eyes and face smeared across cellophane. Not pretty. So, I was on the way to the grocery and picked up a couple more small .99 cent hollow bunnies. Sunday morning before we went to church they managed to split one of them. The second remained on the kitchen table- in front of our west-facing back door and window. When we arrived home last night- it was nothing but a puddle of chocolate with floating candy eyes in the bottom of the box. Jay decided to pour the chocolate into one of the plastic eggs & put in the fridge. I'll see tonight how that turned out.

You Know You're Mom When...

You decide to write your husband a love note and stick in his lunch but the only writing utensil you can locate is a crayon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Hallelujah! The Lord is risen! Praise be to God.
Sitting here this morning thinking about this beautiful mystery & it
brings me to tears. On an intellectual level it is something I can't
comprehend. On an emotional level it touches me deeply. Looking
forward to celebrating in church later this morning!
I pray that each of you are blessed today & feel the presence of God
move you.

Sent from my iPod

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

I'm exhausted. Though not quite as much as my precious CJ- he's passed
out on the couch. I took the day off and spent it with my boys. The
schools were out today & his usual after care program is a Christian
organization & they were closed. Could have taken him to moms & went
to work. But it was just one of those times when taking the vacation
day seemed worth it. I couldn't recall the last time I'd spent a
simple day of fun w/ them. So that's what we've done today. This
morning I packed us lunches & we set off for the Discovery Center. We
spent the day exploring, playing, creating art, digging for fossils,
ate a picnic lunch...5 hours of nothing but fun w/ a sly bit of
education thrown in. Now that I've sat down in the recliner, I'm not
sure that I'll be able to move.
Yesterday when I picked up WC the Director asked me if CJ would be
starting kindergarten this fall. It shocked me for a no.
My CJ? kindergarten? It took me a second. He'll be three in May. I
replied. She looked stunned. He's so big.
I don't think he's that big. He does seem older than he is. But still,
let's not age the kid any faster. It goes so fast as is.

Sent from my iPod