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?



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.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Daredevil Babies and Sawdust Bread

I'm glad that everyone liked the story of how my kid's preschool teacher employs preschool rules for the parent pick up line, and it seems that talking to them about it helped. I'm trying this new thing of "being reasonable" and seeing if it makes my life easier.

Speaking of things that don't make my life easier, my youngest child is trying to give me a heart attack. I really should spring for some video monitors because she is stealthy and soundless like a ninja. I thought her room was baby proof, but it wasn't Cordelia proof. When I went into her room yesterday to get her up from her nap so we could leave for Faith's therapy, I found her sleeping in a new spot.

Drunk baby

I took that picture after I removed the cord she had wrapped around her neck. I guess she was trying to recreate her birth experience for optimal napping? She had made herself a blanket out of a entire box of wipes, so she's really an innovator. My husband gave her room another make over and hopefully now it's baby suicide proof.

Furniture is a privilege 

Now we have a changing table in the hallway because neither my husband or myself can deal with wrestling our little force of nature while kneeling on the floor. Our house decor is really together with our theme of "Young Children Live Here".

I own you

If the baby was actually trying to end it all with her changing table nap, it's probably because I've been trying to feed her tapioca bread. It looks like bread, it even smells like bread but the taste? Oh man. Does anyone remember in A Wrinkle in Time when IT is feeding the turkey dinner to Meg and Charles and Charles is resisting the mental hold of IT so he can't enjoy the food because it tastes like sawdust? Well, he was probably eating tapioca bread.

The best way to get Cordelia to actually eat breakfast is to have her sit on my lap and I feed her bites as she watches TV. Bad eating habits I know, but whatever works. Since I'm usually only partially awake, I usually end up just smushing food in her face at least once because she's refusing to open her mouth.

Eat it bitch, EAT IT

She gets me back by rubbing peanut butter from her breakfast on my pants. I had a huge streak of dried peanut butter on the butt of my workout capris yesterday, which was awesome especially since I didn't realize it until after I was out in public. I think it was fair punishment for making her eat tapioca bread.

The takeaway here should be that if you don't like someone, slip them some tapioca bread. The best time would be in a public gathering where they feel pressured to eat it despite the horrible, horrible taste.

What food would you love to serve to your worst enemy? I'm thinking of a quinoa kale "salad" with just unsweetened lemon juice as the only spice or sauce and a side of dry tapioca bread.

How long do you think I have before Cordelia uses that glider as a way to ride her ceiling fan?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

No problem too small

Like many days since my back has been hurt, yesterday was a wonderful pain-free romp through the blissful flower-filled fields of life.

The baby (toddler?) hasn't been sleeping well for over a week now and I'm feeling run down from that. It's hard to stand in the preschool drop off waiting area and pretend to be social.

My nerve pain has been worse than usual this week, so I was considering taking Cordelia to the park instead of the gym, but it was raining. It's been raining all week and I think there is some correlation between the rain and my pain levels but I'm not sure. I should make a chart but that sounds like work.

My workout was fine and boring (the Stair Master for an hour and then some weights) and I decided to take a quick shower at the gym. I've done this a few times so I've come to expect certain things, like a stool to help my broken ass dress myself and a hair dryer that blows hot air. Not yesterday. What is the point of a hair dryer that only blows ice cold air?

After I picked up Cordelia from the childcare and heard about how she has apparently learned how to karate kick other toddlers (no more kung fu movies for her), I went to run a few errands and then pick up Faith.

I've been having a recurring issue in picking up Faith. The teachers only let the kids out one by one and they keep making me go to the back of the line, regardless of when I arrived because I step out of line to catch Cordelia or stop her from being destructive. The first time was annoying, the second time was a good test of ability to restrain the bubbling up "Are you fucking KIDDING ME here??" from coming out of my mouth.

I spoke directly to the teacher about it and she suggested that I should arrive a few minutes late and therefore skip standing in line. Since I'm not trying to give my already anxious kid a complex about being left behind in the classroom as all of her peers leave first, I politely declined that solution. I lucked out and Cordelia was sleeping on my shoulder yesterday at pick up and I actually got my kid in the order that I arrived.

That really better be the new normal because I don't have patience for petty shit like line etiquette snafus, especially if the other parents are trying to insist that I was ahead of them. If you asked me two weeks ago if I'd care about being told to go to the back of the line, I probably would have laughed, but now it's a thing.

You know the saying "If everyone you meet is an asshole, then you're probably the asshole"? Stuff like this makes me really wonder if I'm the asshole common denominator here, but my helpful husband pointed out that they don't even know me well for me to have pissed them off.

The cherry on top of my cranky day yesterday was driving through "rush hour" traffic to make it to Faith's evening speech and occupational therapy appointments. I put quotes around rush hour since I'm from the D.C. area and that set a high bar for "traffic" but as an unemployed person, I normally never drive in traffic. Faith's therapy place is right by the main gate for the base and it's a cluster and a half to get there at 5pm. As if taking two cranky kids out right before dinner wasn't fun enough, now we get to just sit at lights for four cycles before moving forward.

The best part of the evening therapy is how I have no idea what to do with Cordelia. Normally I take her to the playground, but the traffic makes that take too long. This means I end up at the shopping center next to the therapy place aimlessly wandering around a store with an increasingly fussy kid. I'm pretty sure by the time it gets cold outside, we'll be sitting in the back of the van watching Frozen while Faith is getting her therapy. Too much screen time my ass. 

At least my husband isn't on travel this week so the kids didn't have bowls of gluten free cereal and coconut milk for dinner when we got home like we did last week. It's always good to have that parent who has fucks left to give step in and make some actual dinner.

By 6:30pm, this is me

This has been your weekly dose of bitching and moaning about my first world problems. I hope you enjoyed them and feel free to both mock and judge in the comments. I will especially appreciate any comments that ask if the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld is my kid's preschool teacher. 

What's your most annoying first world problem this week? 

When was the last time you were faced with line etiquette issues? I'm starting to think the preschool pick up needs a number system like the DMV. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TV makes me nuts and pears are evil

I mentioned previously that I'm inexplicably drawn to the series The Leftovers on HBO. The season finale was Sunday night, and like with the whole season, I spent most of the time while watching feeling slightly confused and off balance.

The part that gets me is after I'm done watching. It's like my brain won't stop picking apart the tiny clues in the series. Like what do the deer and wild dogs MEAN? What does the quote "The foot feels the foot when it leaves the ground" MEAN? Is this a dream sequence? Is THAT a dream sequence? Should I be taking notes?

I really want everyone to watch this show so then we can discuss it in deep detail. If you need motivation to start watching, this should convince you.

Swing batta batta SWING

Seriously, I spend way too much time trying to puzzle it all out, usually at 4am when I'm also trying to convince Cordelia that we aren't starting our day yet.

I'm ready for a tutu and a party by 5am

We're on week two of Faith going to preschool and Cordelia hanging out with just me and we are still figuring out our new routine. Faith is pretty tired and I'm not sure how school is going for her. I haven't gotten any feedback from her teachers yet and when I ask her "What did you do at school today?" she just keeps responding "I listened to my teachers! I did an excellent job." She seems happy enough to go there, so I guess that's the important part.

Run like the wind!

We had a bump in the road with Cordelia's diet on Friday when I foolishly allowed her to eat a quarter of a pear. She wasn't tested for pear allergy, only apple, but it's safe to say that pear should never again be allowed. She was so unhappy and miserable and it took days to clear up. Then last night I let her have some cucumber (again, not one of her \known allergies) and she was up last night crying for a long time. Clearly I'm nailing this "feeding my child" part of parenting.

I feel bad not letting her have any fruits or vegetables, but holy crap my husband and I miss sleeping. I'm pretty sure we are dealing with some kind of food triggered IBS (or the Food Protein Induced Enterocoloitis like the allergist thought) but we still have three more weeks of the elimination diet before we go back to the allergist. The good news will be if we can have potato and maybe some dairy back.

I'm just going to live on air and Mommy's despair

Since we are already talking about literally shitty issues, the latest on my figuratively shitty issue (i.e. my back) is that I got referred to a pain management clinic that is creatively called "Spine and Pain". Ideally, they will help me come up with a plan to get me more comfortable until I can try the spinal injections again this winter. There is a fine line between "get me more comfortable" and "saddle me with a crippling pill addiction" that I'm hoping they can toe. There is a procedure where they go in and burn your damaged nerve endings and you can get months of relief for nerve pain and I want to see if I'm a candidate for that. Doesn't that just sound like a delightful procedure?

As a palate cleanser for making you think about willingly burning off nerve ends, here's a picture of Faith channeling her inner Beyonce.

All the single ladies!

Have you been watching The Leftovers? What did you think about the finale?

Could you give up all fruits and vegetables or would you be miserable? I don't eat many so I don't really care, but my kids love the stuff so it's hard for them. Berries are a bigger treat than candy around here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vanity Fair Bra Review and $100 Giveaway!

As someone who used to watch "What Not to Wear" daily, I can tell you that a key lesson is that your foundation garments are critical. Basically that means to wear underwear that actually fits. Simple, right? You'd think so, but most people aren't wearing a bra that fits well and it's not doing them any favors. I'm guilty of this because after having Cordelia and nursing for close to a year, I just went back to my pre-baby bras and didn't focus on how they didn't fit as well as they should. In my denial-saturated mind, I was convinced that my boobs would eventually spring back to their pre-baby glory.

In my mind, they used to look just like this
I finally measured myself (here are instructions if you don't know how) and realized that I actually needed to go down in band size. I worked in a lingerie store for like 2 weeks in college so I'm basically a bra-fitting expert so I'm ashamed that I didn't realize this sooner. Vanity Fair® sent me this new bra to try and I was a little dubious at first because I've only gotten my bras from one specific store for over 10 years, but I was willing to give this Vanity Fair Beautifully Smooth Next to Nude Bra a fair shot.

So pretty

The fit is fantastic and the price point is much better than my normal store, so I'm a convert. I can wear it with a fitted shirt without having any bra lines and the underwire is really comfortable. The color and print added a little fun to the bra without making it impractical to wear on a normal day. Also, I really like that there is no gap between the bra and my skin and the baby can't grab at it through my clothing. While I was provided this bra for the review, I have already ordered another one because I liked it so much.

Personally, I only like to shop online if I can help it. I'm not dragging a grabby hands baby with me to a department store to get stuff for me. Luckily, these bras can be purchased through the Vanity Fair® e-commerce site and you can check out using your Amazon account which means you don't even have to get up to get your credit card. Yeah, yeah I'll go to the gym every day and work out, but I really hate buying anything that requires me getting up from my chair to find my wallet.

Vanity Fair® has launched a new campaigned called "Women Who Do" which in their words is a powerfully uplifting campaign dedicated to praising and celebrating everyday triumphs of women everywhere while highlighting the brand’s long-standing commitment to producing quality, luxurious lingerie at an affordable price-point. Ultimately, Vanity Fair hopes to spark a movement that inspires women to support each other and live their lives according to what makes them happy. So, yay women who do...stuff?

Also, The Vanity Fair LiftTOUR may be coming to your area soon: On July 17, 2014, Vanity Fair and Dress for Success kicked off the national LiftTOUR – a nationwide bus tour with a focus on fit and philanthropy. The LiftTOUR will travel across the country conducting bra fittings at major retail locations. For this tour, Vanity Fair Lingerie has teamed up with Dress for Success to travel across the country and hold bra fitting events where for every person who has a fitting, a brand new bra will be donated to Dress for Success, an organization that helps outfit disadvantaged women in need with the wardrobe, support, and developmental tools they need to gain economic independence.

I know, all of these words and no pictures of someone wearing the bra? Shame on me.

Dogs Who Do

Such support

Much sleekness

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