Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Better Friend to Myself

I like to think that I'm a pretty good friend, that I cheer on my friends when they need it. Today I realized that I'm not a very good friend to myself.

Like, when I set out for a 4.5 mile run and end up stopping after 2.6 miles because it was 95 degrees out with 60% humidity, I automatically tell myself I failed and wonder why I couldn't have gone two more miles. I probably could have, but I was in direct sunlight and ended up on an uneven grass trail on my first ever trail run. It just wasn't working, even though I took it slow. This is what I was running.

See all those trees way in the distance? Inexplicably, all the trails through the trees were blocked off with caution tape, leaving me to run through the prairie. I found one lone tree with a bench beneath it at the two mile walk and stopped to catch my breath. While I was sitting there, I thought it was raining because I looked down and saw water droplets running into my socks. Then I realized that it was sweat rolling off me. Lovely! I was so sweaty that my armband was actually sliding down as I was running, which has never happened.

I kind of wanted to stay under that tree forever, but I realized that Shane might get concerned if I told him I was spending the night at the arboretum. I gave myself a goal of getting back to my car where I had water, then I ran one more pass down the one shaded trail (which was only 1/3 of a mile). I loved running the shaded, mulched trail. It felt really good and fun, I just faltered in the heat and uneven grass. I ended up in the water garden that my boys love and tore off my shoes, excited to stick my feet in cold water. Except that it was SO HOT that the water was like bath water.

It still felt good. And if you look closely, you can see the little green worm that apparently hitched a ride during my run. I hope I didn't get him too far from his home!

Afterward, I was disappointed in myself. I really thought I could conquer 4.5 miles, but I didn't even come close and felt like I was making excuses for why I couldn't. Isn't that silly? It doesn't mean I'm a failure, it just means that I'll need to repeat this week on the training plan (I'm following this plan, for anyone interested). I looked back at my Couch to 5k app and realized that I started it just three months ago (and finished it in less than nine weeks!). It feels like longer, but it's only been three months since I've been running regularly and I need to remember that. Three months ago, 2.5 miles would've been laughable, let alone 4.5! I'm wearing clothes that I wouldn't have worn last summer (aren't my friends so pretty?) because I feel better about my body.

So, here's me being a better friend to myself. Today I ran 2.6 miles in the afternoon heat. When I was done, I rewarded myself with an Icee because, dammit, I deserved it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Since discovering that Tommy is allergic to pineapple and blueberries, we've had to be very cautious about introducing new fruits to him. This is sad because we are fruit lovers, especially in the summer. Blueberries are some of my favorites, so it's really hard to not keep those around. When we gave him watermelon for the first time, it was really hard to cut him off after just a few pieces because he loved it. Fortunately, he had no reaction, so let the watermelon gluttony commence!
He ate three slices and then asked for more. Between the two of us, we finished off half a watermelon in one sitting.
There's really nothing cuter than a little mouth trying to take on a whole slice of watermelon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Affair to Remember

Today we went to the fair. I super love the fair, except for the part where as a child, it always signaled the end of summer. I do not like that. What I do like, of course, is the food. Sadly, I made a rookie mistake this year in scheduling a dentist appointment at nine this morning. For whatever insane reason, possibly because he hates me, my dentist used so much novacaine that the entire left side of my face (seriously, including my ear) was numb. Although this somehow decreased the intensity of my fair food debauchery, I still enjoyed a healthy, balanced lunch of fried cheese curds, corn dogs, and a root beer float.

The boys each got to play two games. The games with guaranteed wins, of course. This fish game was so ridiculous that Shane and I finally had to help them win, otherwise we would have spent the entire day. We spent $5 to win those cheap blow up monkeys, but watching Tommy hug his when the guy handed it to him was so, so worth it.
This is the first year that we let Luke ride anything other than the carousel (yes, I know carnival rides are unsafe, email me for further information on where to send my worst mother of the year card, blah blah blah). His excitement was so sweet.
His little brother, though, was indignant at not being able to ride the same rides as Luke. Despite the attempt at pacifying him with a SnoCone, he spent most of his time in the stroller yelling at us.
Eventually, blissfully, he let go of his anger and fell asleep still clutching the ball he won.
No food pictures because I was kind of too busy eating to photograph. Trust me, it was delicious.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Perfect Imperfections

This week. I shake my fist at this week! It started off quiet and unassuming. Sunday, we played with all of Tommy's new toys, most of which have four wheels and make my stereotypical boy very, very happy. Monday morning, my parents picked up Luke and took him to the beach with two of his cousins, then we met them after Tommy's nap. Tuesday morning, we went to the farmer's market, where I ate three tamales for breakfast.

And then, then. It all went downhill. Tuesday afternoon, Shane helped his mom with an errand. I went to my parents'. We came home at about 3:30 and it was 89 degrees in the house and steadily rising. Shane got home an hour later and started calling air conditioning places. A local place told us they'd be out, so we waited. And waited, but we ran the sprinkler while we waited.
I was so hot that I actually placed my lawn chair in the sprinkler. I don't mean to be a baby because I grew up without central air, but I lived in an old house that was meant to cool naturally. Our house is not. By 7, the AC guy hadn't shown up and Tommy was angrily (and sweatily) hitting me and yelling night night, so the boys and I packed up and headed to Shane's parents. It was cool and the boys were excited, but I had flutters of the weirdness of encroaching on my husband's parents without my husband.
But when we got there, my father-in-law pulled in at the same time, toting a big bag of ice cream from the grocery store. He made us ice cream sundaes and then I tucked the boys into nice cool beds and tucked myself in with a book. Shane called and the original AC guy never showed, so he called another who finally made it to us at 10 that night. He replaced a coil but told Shane that it really looked like we needed a whole new unit. Oh, and at some point I noticed that my phone wasn't charging but chose to ignore it.

Wednesday morning, Tommy woke me at six and my father-in-law made a crazy amount of pancakes. With chocolate chips. It was like staying at a free, awesome hotel. Shane came over and we went home to our cooler house, which great. Except for the part where my phone died and despite my best troubleshooting efforts (and Adam's, too), it would not charge or revive. I contemplated throwing it at the wall, but instead, we took Tommy to his two year well visit, where he received a clean bill of health and diagnosis of a growth spurt. Homebody is now in the 95th (up from 90) percentile in height and the 20th (up from 10th) percentile is weight. And his head is still hanging in there at a giant 90th percentile. Except for the block head, he has the figure we'd all love. We came home, Shane and Luke helped his mom with another errand, while I brooded over my phone, eventually deciding that I should send it to Putting my phone in an envelope at the mercy of the USPS? Almost as hard as when the boys were born and the nurses and Shane took them to the nursery for a check up. But I cut the cord and did it.
Then, of course, OF COURSE, I started sweating sitting inside the house and was all, This isn't right. Why am I sweating? AM I DYING? Oh, no wait, the air is broken. Again. I packed overnight bags again, Shane made calls, and the same guy as the day before came out and was like, Yeah, remember how I told you the coil was a temporary fix? When I said temporary, I meant really temporary. Also, it is going to cost you approximately eleven zillion dollars for a new unit and also, we can't fix it until tomorrow, suckers.

So, back we went to Shane's parents, discussing which child we were going to sell to afford the new air conditioning. But oh, it was cool and they had ice cream and the boys were happy. I took a shower that night and noticed that my calves were more well-defined than well, ever, and hey, thank you running. I slept well and woke up at six to lace up my shoes and go for a 3.2 mile run because remember those calves? I want to keep them looking nice. It was so hot out and I felt a little silly, like when you see people at a hotel on the treadmill and you wonder why they don't just stay in bed and relax? I get it now, though, because I felt so good And when I got back, Shane's dad had bagels and fruit set out. See: like staying in a free hotel.

Shane spent all day at our house, during which time the thermostat crept up to 100 degrees and he inexplicably decided to vacuum while the boys and I hid out in the cool cave of his parents'. Finally, a zillion hours and a zillion dollars later, we had a new air conditioning unit, but it took the house a long time to cool down so we spent more time in the sprinkler.

This morning, I woke up and the house was a blissful 76 degrees. I was under a blanket. A blanket! And then, the iPhone place called and apparently since I am a spaz who drops my phone in water a lot, a lot, the USB port was corroded, but they replaced it and it charged fine and it's winging its way back to me this weekend.

In the midst of this, I've dusted off my Nikon and taken some non-phone pictures of the boys. I maybe gained a better relationship with my husband's parents. The boys definitely gained two fun nights staying up past bedtime, eating ice cream. I was thinking that there's not really a silver lining in the cost of the new air conditioner, except that it came in this box.
My children played in this box for one hour, before I finally made them get out and come eat dinner. Normally you'd make a joke here about the kids playing with a box when you spend all that money on toys, except that by virtue of costing one zillion dollars, this box is the most expensive item my children own. And they used it well. It really is a pity that we're going to have to sell one of them just to afford this box.

I hope your week was perfect--and if it wasn't, I hope you found perfection in the imperfection.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beach Babies

This week has been exceptionally dumb. I took some gorgeous flower photos for You Capture with my phone, but hey, guess what decided to stop working yesterday? That's right. So said flower photos are still on my phone.

This is probably cheating, but since these kids are technically my babies, I am counting it. Especially because I don't understand how they aren't still tiny babies. How did it happen that I have a two year old and four year old?
Here's my littlest baby playing in Lake Michigan. He loves the sand and water.

My biggest baby is also a fan of it. No pictures of him in the water, because he's so fearless that he just dives right in. Both boys (ahem, I mean babies) went under the waves once or twice and both came up giggling.

I love my beach babies!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cool Waters

This week has not been the refreshing week that I thought. It seems as though if something can go wrong (especially the somethings that cost us money), it has.

But in the midst of the stress and heat and general overwhelming nature of this week, we took the time to cool our minds and feet (our souls and soles) at the beach.

How lucky we are to live in a world that can be so overwhelming in its beauty.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rocket Man

Two years ago, he rocketed into this world.

His party was wonderful. There was sunshine and cupcakes.

Fun time

And of course, lots of love.
I wish I had more pictures from our amazing day. I wish I'd taken photos of Tommy with everyone who came to his party, but of course, I was too busy visiting and enjoying our day.
Words can't really describe how thankful we are for Tommy in our lives. He is really is joy personified. He lives every moment as if he needs to be fully immersed in it. Unfortunately, this extends into middle of the night moments, too, and he spent all of his last crashing into our room desperately wanting to read his favorite truck book at 1:30AM.

He is mischevious. Oh, is he EVER. Even worse, he's learned to play his mom and dad. If he's caught with something in his hand that he shouldn't have, he immediately puts it on his head, smiles, and says, "My hat!" Every time, without fail. It's so hard to continue to reprimand him and not just laugh at his hat, which sometimes takes the form of leaves he's ripped off a tree, a cheese grater, or a pair of scissors.
He loves to pretend. Spatulas and remotes become phones. He always, always pretends to call Papa (my dad). At his party, when we asked him whose birthday it was, he pointed at my dad and said, PAPA! He still claims it's Papa's birthday.

He is my mama's boy. If he feels uncomfortable or shy, he clings to me. He wants to be held. He loves to cuddle into my shoulder. He's rarely still, but if he is, he's usually near me or on me at that time. Mostly, I don't mind. He is also a boy's boy. He loves trucks, trains, buses, tractors in a fierce way that Luke never did. When we drive down the highway, he yells TRUCK, MAMA, MY TRUCK.

He amazes me daily. I still remember the way he felt against my skin when he was born, the sound of his first cry. I'm so lucky to be his mama.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Livin' Is Easy

Sweet, sweet summertime. Shall I count the ways in which I love summer?

1. Water. Barefoot boys. Gorgeous golden rays.

2. Seriously, say it with me: gorgeous.golden.rays.

3. Hiking. Outdoors. Flip flops.

4. S'mores. Need I say more?

5. Flowers

6. Butterflies

Monday, July 4, 2011


I can't believe I'm sharing this picture of me, red-faced and sweaty, messy hair, not a trace of makeup on my face.

But I'm pretty proud of this awful picture, because I took it after I ran my first 5k (the wonderful girls at Shrinking Jeans asked me to share my success story over there!) . I wish I could tell you that it was super easy, but there were parts when it was hard. An unexpected steep hill halfway through the course, making me glad that my usual running course has two hills in the last five minutes. Still, I had a stitch in my side from digging in to get up the hill that took me a few minutes to run through. Or the moment when I ran past the table of water at the two mile mark, because my usual runs are almost three miles and I don't drink water during those. Except that after that, all I could think about was how thirsty I was and how good that water would have tasted. Lesson learned: always accept water.

On the flipside, there were some awesome parts. At the first mile marker, the firemen had opened a fire hydrant so the water sprayed up and across the road. Running through the cool water was definitely refreshing and I was so thankful for that. And when I turned the corner into the parking lot and caught sight of the finish line, somehow managing to reach down inside myself and find the energy to run flatout? That was amazing. My goal was to finish in 36 minutes and not walk. I finished in 31 minutes and did not walk, plus I came in 2nd in my age group. Granted, there were only 200 people racing, so it's not like it was a huge selection, but I'm still proud of myself for that.

I never felt like I could call myself a runner before because I mainly ran in place with the wii fit while I was pregnant with Tommy, but after today? I think I might be able to call myself one...or at the very least, a jogger.