Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My favorite hobby

You know how there are annoying things in life that you can't do anything about, but it's still really cathartic to complain about them? Well guess what, I have a list.

My neighbors have chickens. I have no issues with the chickens, it's that goddamn rooster that I hate. They must have gotten a deal on one that was dropped on his head as a chick because he starts crowing before dawn and he doesn't stop. I swear he doesn't even take a breath between cock-a-doodle doos. I lay in bed every morning and fantasize about rooster murder. It's the best way to start the day.




My kids hate my cooking. I get it, because I hate it too...but I'm the only one who is allowed to say it. If I spend almost two hours making some special gluten/dairy/soy/egg free nasty dinner, then my kids need to learn to stop questioning me and just eat it.





All of our dependents work in shifts to make sure we don't sleep for more than 4 hours at a time. Yeah, I'm including these two assholes in the line up.


I don't even care

I just want to love you at 4am

Faith is having some kind of back to school anxiety spike that means she's up multiple times a night (of course) which works nicely with the baby's wonderful sleep habits. Maybe in a few months things will be better and bed time will be a simple process and we won't hear a peep from them until a reasonable hour. Oh, I crack myself up.





My kids insist on touching me at all times. This is one of those things that if you complain about in public, some older lady will always interrupt you and say "You're going to miss this! Cherish these days!" Yeah, I'm sure you just relished being constantly accosted with sticky hands and icy little chubby feet all day with a smile on your face.




Trying to manage my expectations for going to see the pain management doctor. I keep telling myself "After that appointment, I'm going to feel better!" and then I have a Gollum-esque internal argument about how it probably won't help at all and I shouldn't trust the hobbits doctors. I could be wrong and maybe they do have some kind of magical cure that will make me forget all about my pain.



Our garage is a graveyard for all things small and crawl-y. If you remember, we have a problem with black widow spiders (an infestation would be a a better word) so we have a company come out and spray for the spiders. To kill off the black widow spiders, they basically have to kill everything. Every time the kids go out in the garage to get their outside toys, I have to explain the mysteries of life and death and how that little lizard isn't just sleeping and no amount of yelling "HEY LIZARD!"  will wake him up. It's fun.



The last week at the less than stellar preschool. Yesterday I was at the pick up and the teacher told the parents in the hall (as we stood in our proper line) that they started a new reward procedure and if a kid did something positive, they got to take home a paper heart with that act written on it. Every single kid got to take home a heart yesterday. Except for my kid.



Look at that cute little face and TELL me how you won't give her a freaking paper heart reward



Yeah, I really enjoyed sending that email telling them we are taking our kid and our money to greener pastures starting next week.


What do you feel like complaining about today? Also, if you have rooster killing ideas, feel free to share. Not that I would do it. Of course not.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Questionable life decisions

I had a weekend full of questionable life decisions that turned out to be actually pretty fun. The first one was based on a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago based on our shared love the Stair Master at the gym. We noted that the max time the machine would allow was 99 minutes and said "What kind of idiot would do this for 99 minutes?"





So we decided to meet early on Saturday morning and "race" for 99 minutes and see who could cover the most distance. We considered sharing a machine to make the race feel more real, but we ultimately decided to just settle for adjacent machines. 


Yes, we made some poor guy take this picture


99 minutes on the Stair Master actually wasn't that bad at all and in retrospect I think I could have gone harder. I'm a little hesitant on pushing myself since my back injury, but if we decide on a rematch I plan on beating this mileage. 


#proof

After my triumphant victory in the inaugural Stair Master race, I came home to go to the county fair...because walking around all day after 11 miles of stairs is an awesome idea. It was actually really fun because the weather was perfect the kids are old enough to both really enjoy the attractions. We looked at all the animals in the morning. I never really considered how disgusting turkeys look. Look at that face. Look at it.

Gobble gobble motherfuckers

Luckily we live really close to the fair, so we were able to go home for lunch and a nap for the kids. They still haven't come out with gluten free funnel cakes, so we couldn't eat any fun fair food. Well, we could but that would have been just mean to the baby who would have to just watch. After nap time, we took the kids back to the fair to try some rides, which could have ended in terror and tantrums but they actually had so much fun.


A rare ginger husband sighting on the blog!

I only went because he didn't fit

I get motion sickness really easily so I was proud of myself for riding this off-brand Dumbo ride without needing to lay down afterwards. It's the little things in life that make me proud.

The kids were exhausted after the fair, so of course it was a good idea to take Faith to a birthday party the next day at the gymnastics gym instead of taking a nap. Who needs sleep when you have cake?


Cake! CAKE!

Faith did much better than usual with missing her nap/rest time, so it was actually fun and relaxing. You never really appreciate how relaxing it is to go out with just your older child until you have that second one. We even went out for milkshakes after the party just because I like to live it up when it's just the two of us and we have a new Sonic in town. That's a big deal for southern MD.




Speaking of southern MD, I had such a "You know you live in southern MD..." moment yesterday. My friend and I went to the hospital to visit another friend who just had a (so adorable) baby. As we were leaving, we had to walk past two chicks just going at it on the hood of a car while a third chick sat in the driver's seat playing with her phone. This was on a Sunday afternoon, in full daylight...in a hospital parking lot. Never change southern MD, never change.





What would you rather do, go on a Stair Master for 99 minutes or touch a turkey's lumped red melted looking face? 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Moving on Up

I'm happy to report that competitive stair climbing is actually a thing, as my helpful readers pointed out in yesterday's comments. I guess if competitive neti-pot use is a thing, then why not this? Now I just need to save up some money for a trip to a city that actually has a stair race.

Since the school year has started, I've been airing petty complaints about Faith's preschool, namely how I've been made to go to the back of the line during pick-up and how they are teaching my kid to call Asian people "yellow people" in happy Jesus time songs. Of course I spoke to the teachers and director about those issues because that's the kind of person I am.




However, those are just small issues that don't really matter in the long run. They are just funny to complain about and that's one of my favorite things about blogging. What does matter is feeling like Faith is in a program that is helping her get ready to succeed in kindergarten and is staffed by teachers who want to be a part of the parent-therapist-teacher triangle. Currently I function as a liaison between Faith's therapists and teachers (and doctors when we go for check ups). In order for me to perform this function, I need to actually talk to all of the above people and regularly give and receive information about Faith's progress. At every therapy appointment, either the speech therapist or occupational therapist will ask me "Is there anything you'd like us to focus on today? How is she doing in school?" and it's nice to actually have an answer for that.




In the past, I have never had an issue with asking for feedback about my kid from the person(s) who was left in charge of her for hours. Even when I pick up my kids from gym childcare, they voluntarily give me a run down of how they did today and if they had any issues. Currently Faith is attending a private preschool at a church (it's the same building as the Mother's Day Out thing that she did for the last two years, but a separate program) and I get zero feedback on how she's doing in class.




I tried asking the teacher when I picked Faith up for the day and I got a a curt "Fine. She was good." as the teacher was closing the door. That happened twice before I sent an email asking for more information because I thought maybe they just didn't have time to chat and had to clean up the classroom or something. Keep in mind that both the teacher and her assistant were up to speed on Faith's speech and developmental delay and her ongoing therapy and I had talked them before the school year started about my interest in getting updates so I could pass information along to her therapists and they had agreed to it fully.




In my mind, asking for a weekly email recap of how Faith was doing in school was a reasonable request, especially considering that this is a private school (meaning it's not cheap) and the class size is small. I asked for if they could just note one thing that Faith did well and one thing that she seemed to struggle with and again reminded them that this was part of the process of customizing her private therapy.

They never outright refused to do what I asked, but they never fulfilled my request. They did tell me that they didn't have time to do a brief daily write up and the only feedback that I got through a series of back and forth emails was that the teacher said that Faith acts like she can't hear her and ignores directions.





It's really a shame that I didn't explain to the teacher that my kid has a receptive language delay and if she acts like she doesn't understand, it's because she doesn't and you need to rephrase what you're saying to her.

Also, I asked the teacher if I could send in grips for Faith's crayons for letter writing activities and I swear she had no idea what I was talking about because she told me that Faith didn't need them. It's funny how according to the preschool newsletter that they learned all about the letter "N" last week and my kid can't write the letter N yet because she struggles with the slanted line, which you think they would have noticed and mentioned.




Yadda, yadda, yadda, it all boils down to that we just weren't happy with the current set up. The primary attraction of this preschool program was that Faith knows and likes most of the students because she's been in "class" with them for over two years now. Social development is important and we wanted to keep her with her friends. But really, they aren't her friends so much as she knows their names and tolerates their presence. Faith is still working on social skills, much like her mother.





The grand conclusion to all of this complaining is that we have enrolled Faith in a even fancier and more expensive private school and she starts in October. I'm really excited about it because it's a Montessori school and they are all about individualizing the educational experience for each student and building self reliance and confidence, which is exactly what Faith needs. Also, her new teacher will keep a copy of her private therapy goals and send home notes of interest on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about

I toured the school last week (my husband toured it about 6 months ago when I was home with sick kids because we've been considering this as an option for a while) and the place is nice. It's on six acres of land and they even have a pool for P.E. Also, Faith will have Spanish and music lessons, as well as math and reading. Faith will stay at this school for kindergarten and possibly elementary level. We'll take it year by year. I might need to sell a kidney on the black market to pay for this school, but you only really need one to live, right?


Worth it

We haven't even told the current preschool yet that we are pulling her out because I don't want them to get "short timer's syndrome" with her. I'll tell them pretty much at the latest time possible that's still somewhat reasonable. I'm just so excited for Faith to (hopefully, oh god please) have a fantastic school experience where I don't feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle all the time. I swear I'm not this much of a pushy complainer about other things. I don't even have the right haircut.





Did you go to public or private school? I went to private kindergarten and I have fond memories of it and then I switched to public school, which evokes less fond memories.

Do you think I should get that haircut? It's just so "me"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

No training and No sleep

Currently, I'm in a limbo state with my physical capabilities so I've just been doing a random mix of workouts with no real direction. There's nothing wrong with that kind of approach, but it's hard for me to not have a goal. I am signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon, but since I'm walking it and not running it's hard to feel amped about that goal. I'm not really training for it beyond trying to do one "long" walk every week but I haven't made it past 8 miles without feeling like I'd rather hit my head against the wall than take another boring step.


I never get tired of this GIF


Long runs used to be social events for me but shockingly, it's not easy to find someone who wants to go for a three hour speed walk with you on a weekend morning. It's not like I'm doing this race for time since you know...walking is slow, but I feel like a fraud for not properly training. All those years of mentally mocking people who just waltz up to the start line on race day and didn't train and now I'm one of them.




I'm not saying that I don't work out, but I don't focus on one thing like I did before with running. Now I do stuff like Zumba, spin, and weight training classes and when I don't take a class I get on the Stair Master. It's still the only cardio machine that doesn't irritate my back at all. It's a hard machine cardio-wise, but the short stride is easy on the body. It's really too bad that stair climbing isn't a competitive sport. Maybe one day because there are a lot of oddly competitive people out there just waiting to try something new.





In non-broken body workout news, the baby is still not sleeping well consistently. You know how some people say things like "We haven't slept in two years" when they have young kids and you assume they are using hyperbole? Yeah, it's not as hyperbolic as I wanted to believe. The best part of being up at night with her screaming and then up early because 5:30am is party time is how she can't even stay awake for a five minute car ride.




I will never understand the kid logic of being tired during the day that you could just fall asleep at a moment's notice and then still wanting to not sleep at night. Sleep is awesome! Sleep makes everything better! No one likes feeling so tired that even chewing your food is a chore.




Probably the reason she doesn't want to sleep is because she doesn't feel tired. It's just me (and my husband) who are tired. Cordelia has constant energy and just doesn't seem to need as much sleep as other kids. Maybe one day she'll make a good doctor or some other profession that requires being able to function on limited sleep. I'm already teaching her about good work ethic by giving her chores, so she's really set for life.


The baby has horrible taste in beer, I know

Also, it has already been noted that I have a baby Tylenol and Motrin syringe hoarding problem. For some reason, I never throw any away. It's like I'm worried that one day they will stop including a new one in every package of medicine you buy. You just never know when you might really need a 1.85ML syringe and not have at least five ready and waiting to go.


Do you find yourself hoarding random items? I also have a plastic bag collection, which is totally useful about twice a year.

Do you need less sleep than the average person? I've found that I can function on less than I thought, but I'm not happy about it and won't do it voluntarily. When I find out people stay up until like midnight on a weeknight for no reason, it boggles my mind.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things that make me go ARGH

Do you know what is awesome and makes what you're eating taste so amazing?

FORBIDDEN FOODS.

GLUTEN!!!

We are six weeks into the baby's elimination diet and it still really sucks. I thought she would be doing better GI-wise by now, but she's really not. We can get things to be calm for a day or two, but we can't maintain it. When she has a day without an upset stomach, that's the exception, not the rule.


This is bullcrap. I WANT LO MEIN TOO

Those pictures were from our lunch out on Sunday when we went up to Annapolis. If you have allergies or need gluten free, P.F. Changs is a great place to go. I felt like a jackass ordering off the gluten free menu and the waiter asked "So, is this an allergy issue or just a preference?"



Seriously people, don't shun the gluten if you can have it. It tastes so good.

We went up to Annapolis for the sole purpose of getting my husband's new suit pants fixed. He has only worn the suit five times and the pant material near the back pocket just gave up on life and tore. Even though this was a super expensive suit, the store refused to fix it for free and even when we agreed to pay, they said it would take a month and would cost $200. For a tiny tear in a barely worn suit.

Never again Brooks Brothers. Never again.




The other delight of going to Annapolis is the ever present delight of taking my children out in public. My darling eldest child has just started to really notice differences in skin and hair color and wants to tell everyone about it.


I don't have internal thoughts

We were at an outdoor shopping center and while walking behind a middle aged couple, Faith started shouting "Mommy, she has GRAY hair like the WITCH in Rapunzel!" GRAY HAIR MOMMY, do you see??" which was awesome. Then we were in Starbucks and she saw a black family and yelled out "Mommy, those are BROWN boys!"


Look at them Mommy, look at all the fucks I give

The cherry on that fun learning experience was Faith coming home from preschool yesterday repeatedly singing a song about how Jesus loves all the children, even if they are yellow, red, or black. I don't even care if I'm "that parent" because I already sent an email asking if they could please refrain from teaching my kid racist terms. If anyone is going to screw up my kid, it's going to me.




The hard part about where we live is that she doesn't see many different people so it's exciting for her when we do. I guess I need to start taking her on field trips to D.C. or something. Hopefully by the time she's old enough to know what football is, we won't even have a football team with a racist name.




That's right people, I went there. The team name is racist and arguing otherwise is stupid. Remember when we had a hockey team named the Bullets and everyone was like "Oh, how horrible! Violence!" and changed it? It's really not that hard. I vote for the Washington Honey Badgers.


OMG Mommy, no one cares

What are your opinions about the Redskins team name? I think they should change it. It's not like they are named after a specific people (like the Seminoles) and it's hard to argue that a racial slur turned into a team name is still a good idea in 2014, but feel free to try to change my mind.

When was the last time your kid embarrassed you in public? I'm on a two day streak of non-embarrassment so either my bar is getting lower or I'm due for a doozy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pet Day 5K 2014

Since my back injury and surgery, I haven't been allowed to run and logically that means I also haven't been attending any races. Well, except for that one six hour race where I just walked in a loop for the whole time.


Look at that sweet powerwalking arm swing


Even though I haven't run a race in a while, my oldest child has not forgotten that races are fun and she asks often if she can go run a race. Faith has done many 5Ks with me and she loves the whole experience and her absolute favorite race is the local "Pet Day 5K". She swore to me that she wanted to run the whole thing by herself, so I just brought the single stroller. I felt like I should have brought the double stroller, but for some reason I'm an idiot who takes the word of a kid who has no idea what she's talking about.


I'm gullible

Faith had a really strong first half mile.


She set a tough pace

Then of course she didn't want to run anymore because she's just a little kid, so I figured we would turn around and go back to the car. Before I could turn around, I had the brilliant idea to just stack them.


Mother of the Year

The weight limit on the stroller is 70lbs, so I was skirting by weight wise, but I was pretty sure they would just pinch and hit each other the whole way. They already do that in the double stroller! Nope, they were peaceful and happy for the whole walk. Once we got close to the finish, Faith was interested in running again.


Working the finish line shot
 (Photo credit to Bert Hindman)


The funny part was that both kids wanted out of the stroller for the finish (my friend took the stroller) but Cordelia was totally disinterested in actually finishing the race. She just wanted to stand in front of the finish chute with all the people yelling out encouragement to her.


My people, they cheer for me
(Photo credit to Bert Hindman)


We finished in about 43 minutes, which was mostly due to my hurry in pushing the kids while stacked in the stroller because I was sure they were going to descend into mayhem at any second. This was my fourth year doing this 5K and I still managed to go off course and just blindly follow the people in front of me. I guess all of those volunteers holding up signs with arrows were actually necessary.

After the race, Faith and Cordelia hugged every willing dog present. I wasn't able to get any pictures because I was trying to make sure they didn't get themselves mauled by some dog caught unaware by their violent brand of love. Just imagine Cordelia aggressively hugging huge dogs and trying to touch their tongues. The dogs were all just really confused by her brand of attention.



The moral of this story is to always bring a double stroller. Although my fallback plan of carrying Cordelia on my shoulders while pushing Faith in the stroller could have made for some awesome race pictures.


Have you ever gone off course at a short race? This was a first for me.

Have you ever taken your dog in a race? I even saw a woman running with her two little dogs in a stroller. Peanut would love that.