Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So very interesting

As usual, my weekend has been packed full of fascinating adventures. Or just mundane events that I find interesting because they are about me, but now we all get to hear about it.

First, Faith got a hair cut! She was totally bald for the first two years of her life and this is actually her first real hair cut where she had length taken off instead of just evening up the ends.

Wild child hair

Big kid hair!

Cordelia got her hair cut too, but it's not as noticeable. They basically tamed her mullet and tried to clean it up a bit. There isn't a lot you can do with this wispy blonde hair.

Pre-hair cut, but you get the idea

If you notice that nightgown get up that Cordelia is wearing, that's because I'm a huge sucker. I went back to school shopping for clothes for the kids and got talked into buying overpriced Frozen pajamas. They have been wearing them constantly since then, to the point that I've ordered more pairs online for birthday and Christmas presents, so I guess they are getting our money's worth.

In other exciting news, we tried several solutions for Cordelia escaping her crib (like dropping the mattress to the ground inside the crib) but nothing worked to keep her in, so my husband McGuyvered a toddler bed from her crib. I was impressed because it's not a convertible crib, but that's one of the many benefits of marrying an engineer.

Here he is trying to reason with a terrorist

Even though her bed is like three inches off the ground, she keeps falling out so now we need to get a railing for it. With Faith, we were always so on top of things because her transitions were planned, but with Cordelia we are always playing catch up because she does stuff on her own schedule. For example, she has decided that she wants to sit on all the toilets. She doesn't actually use the toilet, but she wants to sit on the seat. We never got child locks for toilet lids, but now I guess we need them because the other morning I heard a thunk and a scream and came into the bathroom to find just angry toddler head and feet sticking up out of the toilet.

To continue the trend of wild and exciting, we took the kids down to the river beach. It was really hot.

The sun, it BURNS

It was so hot that even I got in the water, which never happens. I have this thing about swimming in the same water as fish.

The important thing was that the kids had fun and wore themselves out. There is nothing more relaxing than a quiet house with two exhausted napping kids upstairs. It makes cleaning all that sand and dirt out of my van worth it.

She feels the same way about the fish in the water as me

Totally self entertains, easiest kid ever

I did other thrilling things, like take a special Labor Day 90 minute spin class, but I don't want to overwhelm you all with too much at once. It's just important to know that even though at one point I had to listen to Nickelback, I pushed through and didn't throw myself off the spin bike in protest.

Final interesting tidbit: The winner of the free Spartan race entry is Sarah! Email me at kara975 at gmail.com so I can give you the promo code!

What did you do to celebrate Labor Day weekend? I made pork ribs because that seemed both festive and allowed within the confines of Cordelia's super restrictive elimination diet. They made Faith cry, but I've gotten used to making at least one person a day cry at my cooking. Sometimes it's me, weeping for the missing gluten.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I bet people in Sparta were cranky too

One of the many things that I miss about running was how it's a workout you can do no matter your mood. Clearly I'm not cut out for workouts that require perkiness, or maybe I just need to find a new way to channel my crankiness. Maybe it's that I'm not cut out for group fitness because yesterday in Zumba, the instructor told people to make some noise and I realized I was surrounded by "Woo girls" and that continued for 55 excruciating minutes. I repressed the urge to leave, but I did ponder it several times.

If you're like me and need an outlet for crankiness, how about a free race entry to a Spartan Race? Just tell me in the comments what makes you cranky and you can win a free race to any Spartan event in the U.S.

If you're also like me and need a little incentive to willingly do a race that requires you to crawl through mud, how about adding a cruise to the deal?

For a chance to enter to win this cruise, just enter your information here and maybe you'll get lucky! I'd enter just for the Bahamas cruise part, even though I can't physically do the race. I think we could all use a vacation. Except those woo girls at the gym. They are already too happy for their own good.

If you want to just watch other people do the race and you don't win the sweet Bahamas cruise, then tune in 2014 Spartan Race World Championship Race in Killington Vermont on September 20th on NBC. I feel like it would be a combo of watching American Ninja Warrior with Wipeout.

To recap, comment on this post if you want a free race entry to any Spartan Event (check out the site for locations).

If you want a chance to win a free Bahamas cruise, enter your information here! Good luck!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Life is a Mystery

Since I enjoy torturing myself, I've been trying to watch the show The Leftovers on HBO. I saw one episode while my husband was on travel and I had no fucking clue what was going on, so I tried watching the first episode. That only made me more confused. So now I keep watching episodes and I still have no idea.

Babies be flying all over the place

The whole premise is that 2% of the population just vanished one day and now everyone is all nutty and shit and there is a weird cult that only wears white, chain smokes, and acts like they are on the Hush episode of Buffy.

The only thing sadder than me watching a show that I don't understand is that it's bothering me that I don't get it. Maybe once the Lyrica is out of my blood stream, it will all make sense. Or maybe if I was on more drugs it would all make sense, who knows?

In other news, the baby continues to mess with me. Since she's been climbing out of her crib and sleeping on the twin mattress on the ground, I figured I would just put her to bed on the mattress and save her the hassle of escaping. It turns out that was wrong and she had a calm measured reaction to it, like she does all for life's frustrations.

I guess escaping is the fun part, so the crib stays for now. Out of spite, she slept in it last night. I know that because she was up screaming twice (why, I do not know) and both times she was in her crib. She wasn't in it this morning, so the mystery of what goes on in that room when the door is closed is on the same level as The Leftovers.

Another mystery to me is Crossfit. I get that some people really like it, so I'm not trying to shit on it too much but as an outsider looking in, it looks so silly. At one of my gym locations, they have a "Crossfit Corner" where grown ass men wear knee socks and do pull ups like that kid trying to cheat their way into getting the Presidential Fitness award in 5th grade.

Granted, I'm just on the Stair Master watching Supernatural, so I can't judge their level of "badass-ness" but I can say that throwing a heavy ball down on the ground repeatedly looks really stupid unless you're 3 years old.  Overall, no matter how much I read about Crossfit or see it in action, I just don't get the appeal. It's OK, I'm sure Crossfit will be fine without my participation or admiration.

What's a mystery to you? I'm currently confused about why it's so hard to find Frozen costumes in a size 2T that aren't 50 freaking dollars.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why don't cribs have lids?

Since it wasn't enough to subject us to the strict elimination diet, now the baby has inconveniently decided to exert her free will about where she would like to sleep. Actually, maybe she's doing the sleep thing in protest of the dietary changes around here. "Give me apples or give me death!" but toddler style?

Anyway, it doesn't matter why she's doing it, all that really matters is that no one is sleeping much around here. We had noticed her trying to climb out of her crib a while ago, but she seemed stumped. In case she figured it out, we put a twin mattress on the floor in front of the crib as a landing pad.

The baby's sleep has been less awful than usual, thanks to the elimination diet for her laundry list of allergies, but on Sunday she decided that she no longer wishes to use her crib...or sleep. Who can sleep when there is a whole room to destroy? When we tried to put her back in her crib, she would scream like a banshee and then grunt and puff until she heaved herself over the side again. Actually, I don't know how she gets out. That's the downfall of being too cheap for video monitors for my children. Really, it's that I want them to have some semblance of privacy. Just kidding, this is America and we have internet.

I spent some time pondering my options. The logical thing is to just take out the crib and put her in a toddler bed. The catch on that is she's not even two years old yet and clearly can't handle instructions like "Don't climb up your dresser" and "Please don't chug baby lotion, it's probably not gluten free". To baby proof her room would require removing everything. You can't baby proof against this child, especially if she's unsupervised and has time to kill.

Another option would be to make it so she can't climb out of her crib. My husband suggested some kind of toddler straight-jacket (but made of soft materials so it's totally humane...of course) but since that's not an actual thing, I did find out about this wonderful product:

It's not actually for hatching butterflies, it's meant as a tent to keep your lively hellspawn from bursting forth. Unfortunately, the reviews ranged from "This for my OK for a young toddler" to "This killed my baby" so I don't think this is a good choice.

Then, because I hate my Google search history and whoever at NSA is assigned to monitor me, I even tried figuring out where people with adult baby fetishes get their cribs because if they can keep in a grown man, surely they could keep in a tiny toddler, right?

It's normal to feel really creeped out right now

There was a flaw in my logic because these fetish people aren't even trying to get out of their cribs. Who would want to with all of those available toys??

So I'm picturing that the baby's room will just be a twin mattress on the ground with nothing else until she's old enough to act like a human. Well, act like a normal non-lotion drinking human. Maybe then we can at least go back to getting 6ish hours of sleep a night.

I don't sleep and I'm not complaining!

How old were your kids when you transitioned out of the crib? With Faith, we did it at 2.5 because we needed the crib for the baby and she was fine with it. In fact, she didn't even attempt to get down from the bed by herself for months. She spoiled us.

What is the fetish that has creeped you out the most? Don't act like you don't watch those shows on TV too. The oddest one I can remember is the balloon popping one and the most disturbing are watching those feeder/eater relationships. Or that guy who had sexual relations with his car.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Armed Raccoons and Beach Time

My husband and I try to go out and have a date night about once a month, but sometimes things get busy it doesn't happen. To help make up for that, we had two date nights in a week's time this week. Since we're getting uppity with our 6 hours of sleep some nights of the week, we decided to go see a 9pm showing of Guardians of the Galaxy.

As everyone has said, the movie is really fun. Ever since I saw the trailer for the movie with a raccoon with a gun, I knew this movie had to be good.

My husband hates the whole sci-fi genre and he even liked this movie, so that's a good indication. Also, there this is factor:

I don't think my husband enjoyed a shirtless Chris Pratt as much as me, but he still thought the movie was really funny and that's high praise. Go see it!

Other than staying up past our bedtimes, we did all the usual boring weekend stuff like spending all of our money at the grocery store. You'd really think that an elimination diet would save you money at the store because so many foods are forbidden, but you'd be wrong. It rained all day Saturday and since the baby was up crying for a good chunk of the night before (I have no idea why), it was a sleepy day for everyone.

I should give baby hair tutorials, I know

I engaged in an act of total futility by trying to bake for the kids. I've decided to wait until either the baby can eat eggs again or hell freezes over to try baking again.

These are "cooked" brownies. Yeah.


The cookies weren't a total loss because the cookie dough tastes great so I just let the kids eat that. There is some benefit to egg-free cooking! Plus, the whole grain gluten free flour totally balances out the shortening and sugar so it's basically a health food.

Sunday was a beautiful day, so we took to the kids to the beach. As usual, they had a fantastic time stomping around the water and trying to catch minnows. Spoiler: no fish were harmed.

My husband couldn't catch any either

The post-beach nap times for the kids are awesome and long so it makes up for getting tons of gravel and sand in my still new van. We knew it was time to leave the beach when the baby was getting really fussy, but when I was taking off her swim diaper in the van, it was full of pebbles and rocks so that was probably a factor too.

What is the best movie you've seen in the theaters this summer? I'd say Guardians of the Galaxy but I also think it's the only movie I've seen in the theaters this summer.

Do you ever go to a non-ocean beach? I had never been to one before we moved to Maryland but it's great for kids because there aren't waves to knock them over.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Leveling Up on Apathy

For the past month, I've done a fun experiment. Three times a day, I take a drug that makes me feel confused and stupid. I did all of this to try to get any level of relief from my nerve pain in my leg (radicular pain for those in the know). I have forgotten people's names as I was talking to them, I've lost my car keys more times than I can count, and just yesterday I couldn't remember my daughter's birthday, but they told me the side effects set in right away but the benefits can take up to four weeks to set in.

Still waiting on those benefits. If anything, my pain is worse.

I go back to my primary care doctor again next week and I'm getting off this piece of shit medicine and I'm going to feel like a rocket scientist compared to now. Unless it's given me lasting brain damage, which is probably in the fine print on the bottle that no one ever reads.

As far as what I'm going to do about my leg pain and back issues....I have no idea. The fun part is that my current doctor has no idea either. I'm probably going to make an appointment Bethesda Naval Hospital Walter Reed National Medical Center and see a back specialist/neurosurgeon there. I'm going to take my latest MRI images and go get a second opinion. My back surgeon left me with the recommendation to get more spinal injections and I don't want to do that (since they did jack shit the first time and they aren't painless) until I talk to another neurosurgeon about it. Everyone keeps telling me how backs are tricky and nerves are even more difficult and I'm really repressing the urge to start screaming "STOP TALKING" when they start with that speech.

If you can't tell from the above, no I'm not feeling all better after my back surgery. Yes, I can stand up straight now and walk and even cross my legs so I would say the surgery was a success and I would do it again in that same circumstance. It just wasn't a complete success and I'm finding it hard to live with partial success. The pain is constant, like background music that you can't turn off and sometimes gets so loud that you can't pay attention to what you're doing. Not knowing if this pain is permanent or temporary is hard too. The worst is the fear that I'm just going to be doing something mundane like stacking the dishwasher or leaning down to tie a toddler shoe and something will shift in my back that will redefine 10 on the pain scale for me.

Like a little bitch

There is no real point to all of this other than whining and complaining about shit I can't change which is a huge waste of time. At least ever since I had back surgery, people stopped telling me to just try a chiropractor or some hoodoo tea and hot yoga combination to solve all of my problems. It hasn't really stopped the people who like to inform me "Oh, I don't take pharmaceuticals" or my other favorite "Oh yeah, my back is messed up too" when they mean it aches after standing up for a long ass time. These people are the real heroes and we should all be inspired by their perseverance and refusal to bow to modern medicine.

At this point, I'm exhausted from drug side effects and the effort it takes to get through every day with this pain level that I can't even muster up a good rage rant. For example, there is this whole snafu with the baby's lab test results and the doctor's seemingly inability to operate a telephone or explain test results without being hugely condescending, but I don't even care enough to bitch about it on the internet in great detail. That's some next level apathy right there.

I normally ask a question here, but fuck it. How about you just tell me a random fact about yourself or ask me a question? That sounds super fun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Backpacks and Dictator Styles

For most the kids where we live, school starts this week. Faith's preschool doesn't start until after Labor Day so I hadn't really paid attention to the other schools' schedules. However I did notice it when I went to Target yesterday, which was the day before public school starts. Holy crap people, why would you wait until the day before to get everything you need?

Maybe they were smart to wait because everything for back to school was on sale so I figured I might as well check out the deals if I was already there. That was stupid because Cordelia is like a moth to flame for anything Frozen and I ended up getting her this for her "school" year.


Cordelia is going to do the two year old program one day a week, but she doesn't start until November because she turns two at the end of August. She still seems like too much of a baby to send her off to "school" but it will be good for her.

This kills me

Cordelia is really good at gym childcare and very social, but she has a tendency for um...bullying? Not in the "say mean things and harass online" sense of the word, but in the literal "push smaller kids down and take their shit" sense.

Lies! She's telling lies!

I know the two year old room caregivers very well since they had Faith and I know they'll really help teach Cordelia how to act in a classroom setting. Also, this will mean starting in November I'll have one day a week with five child-free hours.

I don't even know what I'm going to do with my time. If I could still run, I'd do my long run then and free up weekend time. With my current broken ass body, maybe I'll even be productive and do something worthwhile with my free time?

I'm actually a little sad for school to start because I know Cordelia will miss Faith a lot. Between preschool, speech therapy and OT, and gymnastics, they won't really get to hang out as much as they do now.

It's either hugging or slapping

On a non-school related note, I was super excited to find a cute Michael Kors jacket in my size on ThredUp that was only $24. It finally arrived yesterday and I was trying it on in front of my husband and he just started cracking up.

I asked what was so funny and he finally caught his breath and asked me if I ordered matching pants for my Kim Jong Il costume.

He's hilarious, right? Now every time I wear that jacket, I will be thinking about Team America and cracking up. This isn't the first time he has ruined a new purchase for me either. I bought really cute equestrian style black boots and he asked me why I had Nazi boots and now that's their official name. Actually, what he really calls them is "Jew Stomping Nazi Boots" which is even more politically correct. Now I just need to combine my Supreme Leader Jacket with my Jew Stomping boots and I'll really be fashionable. I should make a Pinterest board for "Dictator Styles" and make this a thing.

Are schools in your area already back? Where I'm from, we started after Labor Day. It seems so wrong to go back to school in August.

Does your husband or whatever mock your clothing? I think he's still getting back at me for telling him that his favorite tie looked like he borrowed it from Zach Morris's high school closet.