Tuesday, September 1, 2015

8 Things to Never Ask a Working Mother

I've been writing some blog posts for Fit Bottomed Mama and in case you want an extra dose of my opinions, here you go:

8 Things to Never Ask a Working Mother

Before I had kids, I worked full time. After I had kids, I stayed home for five years. Now I’m working full time again. From that fairly recent shift back to full-time work, I’ve had some first-hand experience with questions and comments regarding that change. The following examples are all things that have actually been said to me, either in person or via blog comments/emails.
The following are examples of things you should never ask a working mother:

Do you think it makes you a better or worse mom?

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Annapolis 10 Mile Race 2015

I ran the Annapolis 10 mile race on Sunday and I know you're expecting me to write out a detailed mile by mile account of the whole experience. I'm here to deliver.

This was my first time running the Annapolis 10 Mile race. I had signed up for it back in 2011, but they had to cancel it for Hurricane Irene so I just got the jacket in the mail.

Since it was the 40th anniversary of the race, the swag was pretty sweet for the race. We got an embroidered messenger bag and fleece hat, plus the finishers jacket. They even handed out embroidered towels at the finish.

The race itself is really well organized, with the exception of the bathroom situation. I'm not sure if there is a formula for calculating how many portajohns you should get per number of people, but they need to figure that out. They also didn't have many on the race course, so I'm betting some people had a bad time.

The race course is very scenic and enjoyable, but it's somewhat (ok, very) hilly. It's not as bad as the Baltimore 10 Miler, but it's close. There is a long bridge with a significant grade, and you get to do that shit twice.

It doesn't even look bad from this angle

Running through the neighborhoods in Annapolis is fun because rich people are hilarious. There was one old lady just blaring the Beach Boys for us all, and others were hosing us down. My personal favorite was a church-run aid station that had a woman holding a sign saying "I'm missing church for this."

Since the race was fairly crowded and hillier than home, I didn't intend on pushing the pace at all. I ran with a friend and we had a great time just cruising along. I remember the joy of a hard fought race that resulted from hours of training, but for now I'm just content to be moving along at a decent clip with no pain. We finished in 1:36 and I'm happy with that for this course. I'm going to do another 10 mile race in October and that's flat and less crowded so I will try to see if I can get closer to 1:30.

I would absolutely recommend this race to anyone because it's a fun race and I like any excuse to visit Annapolis. I think my pre-race dinner of house made egg noodles with lamb ragu more than justified my decision to do this race.

Looking at that picture makes me want to stop at the store and buy lamb.

If you had a race go by your house, what would you do for the runners? I'd be torn between blasting Eye of the Tiger and spraying them with icy hose water.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I mean, seriously now

I have to give credit where it's due: my kids have been rockstars this summer about staying healthy. Faith was sick for maybe half a day once and Cordelia was cruising along, being healthy as fuck. She woke up from her nap on Sunday and she was miserable and feverish. I gave her some Tylenol and in less than 30 minutes, she was asking to put on her bathing suit and go play outside.

She had a high-ish fever, but no other symptoms. We figured it was a virus and her fever broke after about 36 hours. She was crankier than usual, but otherwise fine. Until the rash started.

I don't remember getting any rash diseases when I was kid (beyond chicken pox) and I feel like my kids get Little House on the Prairie diseases here in southern MD. Faith had Scarlett freaking Fever and now Cordelia got this virus called Roseola.

She's totally fine now, but she looks like she has the measles. Don't worry, it's just body herpes.

A non-sickness "I mean, seriously now" moment occurred last week as a product of Faith doing a week of "Photography Camp" at her school. One of the things that I really love about my kids' school is how it's pretty diverse (especially considering the area) so some of her classmates have unusual names. She has occasionally mentioned playing with "Sho-shon" and at one point even told me that she picked her up. I assumed that some kid had a weird name (or that Faith was butchering the pronunciation) and reminded her that it's not nice to pick up other kids because you might hurt them. I got a sigh and an eye roll for that. She's a very advanced 5 year old.

When I was looking through the pictures she took on my camera, I found a surprising picture.

*May not be actual photo taken by my kid

The reason that I was surprised by this was that Faith has never once mentioned a freaking bunny at school and this kid is obsessed with animals. I asked her "There is a bunny at school?" and she said "Yeah, that's Sho-son."

I mean, seriously now.

Also, there is a lizard at school named Ting Ting. Of course. I'm pretty sure it's a gecko, but without picture evidence I'm not sure it's safe to assume anything.

Have you ever completely misunderstood something your kid told you?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Headless Bunnies and Minions

My Saturday morning started out early, because I was already outside starting my run as the sun came up. I had an appointment later that morning to meet with my trainer to get a new workout routine, so my plan was to just do a few miles so I wouldn't be totally dead before strength training. It was an amazingly beautiful morning with cool dry air and once you add in chatting with friends, I had gone 10 miles.

I lucked out because my trainer only made me go through the strength routines twice (instead of three) and judging by how sore I felt after, this is going to be an awesome month. I got a TRX system for my home gym and I can't wait to incorporate it more into my daily routine.

When I got home, my husband had the kids out back on the swings.

He had a funny look on his face and he told me "We have a dead animal issue" and pointed to the play set. I peeked behind the rock climbing wall and I saw a fairly big rabbit. Since it was somewhat wedged under there, I assumed it crawled in there to die since I didn't see any marks on it. Once I pulled it out (with gloves, because ew), I noticed that the bunny was missing something critical: its entire head.

The head was cleanly removed, which was disturbing. The fact that we found that in our fenced yard with no blood or eaten parts was even more disturbing. We really didn't understand how that headless bunny got into our yard and into the kid's play set, so we filed a report on it just in case it's going to be a new thing that happens around here. They actually sent someone out to meet our headless bunny, which I thought was overkill, but the officer did agree that this whole thing was "super weird".

According to my Google searching, this is likely the work of an owl, who reportedly really enjoy bunny brains, Big Foot, or a weirdo stalker. I'm not even making up the Big Foot thing, as he leaves headless bunnies as thank you presents for people. I'm not sure why he'd be thanking us, but that would be impolite to question. It could be a cat, but it would have to be a big cat because the rabbit was large (it was about the same size as my small cat).

Don't bring me into this

Even though the kids saw the dead, headless bunny, they seemed totally unfazed by it. I don't really understand that (should that be concerning?) but even Peanut didn't really care about the headless bunny.

As a palate cleanser for that morning, we took the kids out to see the Minions movie later in the afternoon. Faith was stoked and Cordelia was mostly confused about why we woke her up early from napping.

Faith loved the movie, but Cordelia was really scared at parts. I'm glad we could distract her from disturbing things by scaring the crap of her in a dark movie theater. At least they both enjoyed Red Robin after the movie, mostly because they got ice cream sundaes.

Hopefully not too traumatized

TL;DR: My kids found a mutilated dead bunny in their play set, it bothered the adults more than the kids,  and we likely have a sadistic owl and/or Big Foot in the woods next to our house.

Monday, August 17, 2015

5 Recent Going Ons

I have several very important life events to report.

1. We cut the cord. No, I don't mean I'm making the kids move out so they learn independence, I mean we don't have cable or DVR anymore. We are just watching whatever we can stream online, which is a lot between Netflix and Amazon Fire TV. We also got this app (?) on Amazon Fire called Pluto and it's a seriously random assortment of "TV" channels. There are sports channels and a Funny or Die channel, but my favorite so far is just called "Cute Cats 24/7". It's an endless feed of cats doing cat things. If you're into more literal pussy, there is the "Eye Candy" channel on Pluto that just seems to be moderately attractive females gyrating about to bad pop music.

2. I'm still sticking to tracking my food intake and MyFitnessPal is a harsh task master. I'm naturally a competitive person (breaking news to absolutely no one) and it's killing me that the app keeps resetting my "streak" just because I'm a few (um, 12) hours late in putting in my food. Why can't it just know what I'm eating and track it for me?

3. I got my hair colored to match my soul.

4. My running/working out is going really well. Physically, I feel really good. I'm still running only one day a week and some weight lifting exercises aggravate my nerve pain, but for the most part I'm feeling strong and pain free. I'm still lacking the confidence to try picking up yoga again. Just seeing pictures of people doing deep spine twists makes me feel...well, just like this:

5. Our garage is a murder den. We had a pretty bad black widow issue in the garage, so we have an exterminator service. Part of their de-spidering plan involves glue traps. Since black widows are so big (sorry for that mental image) the glue traps for them are sizable. We often get little lizards in the traps and the kids seem to think that yelling "WAKE UP LIZARD" will fix that issue (spoiler: nope). Last night we came home from a pool party and found a snake with its head caught in the glue and the poor thing was panicking. I figured I could just help detach him from the glue and he could go on his happy snake way.

I should have remembered from having mice in our apartment, but it's actually impossible to get a small animal off a glue trap.

Now I have to add "snake murderer" to my list, probably after skink but before turtle. I swear I never killed an animal before I moved to the sticks, unless you count all those ones I've eaten.

Have you ever had to kill an animal? I had to kill a chicken in college for a lab. Totally normal.

Do you prefer to go lighter or darker on your hair color? I'm a fan of the dark, I think it works better with my complexion.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Truimphing over Adversity

Like every single other person on the planet, I've been busy lately. It's funny how working full time really cuts into my time to just fuck-off on the internet. Also, being an adult at work is exhausting.

I'm also in the planning phases for the third year of the Frozen Heart 50K. I've heard the cries of the people and this year there will be a jacket and a medal. It's funny how people get so excited for race swag, like the race was free to enter and this is just some kind of gift they received based on merit. Of course I don't say that, as I don't want to hurt anyone's self esteem.

This would probably be a really good time to humblebrag about how I'm working 40+ hours a week, packing my kids healthy balanced lunches daily, and keeping my house spotlessly clean.

Well, the work part is true and I do pack lunches daily, but only because the school doesn't have a solution that just requires money. If I could sign them up for hippie Montessori style organic, free range lunches with lettuce they grew themselves and watered in a full moon with the blood of an Amish virgin, I would be all over that. I do outsource the house cleaning and it's possibly the best thing ever. Except for this week when they switched the locations of my shampoo and conditioner and I washed my hair in the wrong order.

It was seriously traumatic to have to pick between wasting conditioner or conditioning before shampooing. Don't worry, I kept the conditioner in one hand and then shampoo-ed with the other.

If that wasn't traumatic enough, then I got to work and I only had a chance to drink one free cup of coffee before they started testing the fire alarm system.

Work is great though, I can't complain. In fact, they even catered an "All You Can Eat Crab Fest" this week for all the employees. It will be a cold day in hell before I belly up to a table to pick out pieces of bug meat to eat while wearing my work clothes, but I can appreciate the gesture nonetheless. If you want more info on my crab/lobster/oyster views, Jim Gaffigan can explain it much better than me.

Are you pro or anti eating "snot from a rock" and ocean spiders?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

You have goat to be kidding me

Most of the time, I try to pretend that I don't live in the country. I'm from a built up area and that's really my preference. Some people like wide, open spaces and the sound of roosters, I prefer sidewalks and lots of restaurant choices...and no livestock sounds. Well, currently I hear a rooster crowing outside of my house every morning starting at 4am (stupid neighbors and their stupid chickens) and sometimes I can hear the cows mooing on the farm down the road.

My neighborhood HOA has decided to really embrace country living. This is an email I got yesterday:

Neighbors, You may have noticed by now that there are goats and sheep in the storm water ponds at the Starlight entrance.

We MAY have noticed? Don't you think the time for this email would have been before someone drove past what they thought was a bunch of funny looking dogs?

As you know, the maintenance of the ponds is a costly expense for the association and we are investigating alternative ways to keep them clear.

I guess this is a step up from my suggestion of fire?

1. The goats are here on a trial basis. We are trying to figure out if they will maintain the pond and how quickly it will take them to clear the vegetation.

It's a harsh work world for goats. Deliver or else!

2. The proprietor of the goats and sheep is responsible for all aspects, although there is a fee per animal for using them.

I'm really curious about goat fees. Are we at all concerned about them unionizing?

3. Please do not feed the animals. Anything other than the pond vegetation and straw/hay they are provided can upset their digestive system. They are friendly but, may nip at fingers if they are stuck into the fence.

I'm sure that won't be confusing for the children of the neighborhood. Most of them are totally aware of goat danger.

4. They are clever at escaping, but are easy to get back in. They push their noses under the fence and if they can get their heads out, they will get their bodies out. We are not asking the neighborhood to capture and return, but would ask that you call Goat Lady to let her know they are out and they will come put them back into the fenced area.

I'm not really sure that anyone in the neighborhood wants to do a goat capture and return, but thanks for that out. Also, I've heard that the main escapee goat is the pregnant one, so she'll probably teach her kids her ways and I'm going to have goats playing in my yard.   

I'm just so glad that my life choices have not led me to the place where I'm handing out my cell phone number for goat related concerns.

The board appreciates your support and welcomes any additional questions or concerns you may have.

 I'm so glad I'm not the one answering all of those emails.

In case you doubt this story at all (because it's almost like an Onion story), I have picture proof that I took on my way home from work yesterday.