28 September 2013

Foodie Mom

This means that while on one side of the kitchen, you are making this: 

On the other side of the kitchen, you are using this:

That, my friends, is one reason I need a bigger kitchen.

01 May 2013

Trust me

Last night, my son and I were locked in battle.

He wanted to bail on the softball photography session that his sister was in and head around to the other side of the complex to play on the playground.

I would not let him go.

"Why not?" he said. "Don't you trust me?"

Good question.

It got me thinking: Why didn't I let him go?

I told him it is because he's had multiple broken bones this past year, including a broken wrist obtained on those very same monkey bars. I did not want to be so far away, just in case. There were two buildings between us and the playground. I had no line of sight.

But that wasn't the only reason.

I trust him, to a point. However, he is a boy, a pre-teen boy, and that age group isn't known for its stellar decision-making skills. Yes, I might have let his older sister go at the same age, but she was (and is) a mature kid for her age. Is he? Sometimes, but not always. Am I being reverse-sexist? Maybe.

There is a bigger issue: I don't trust society at large. Not alone with my kids.

I know there are other parents over there, many of whom I know and who would bring him to me if he were hurt. I still can't let him out of my sight.

I'm too scared to let him go.

Several years ago, the son of a person whom I know was abducted in broad daylight while walking home from his bus stop. It was my hometown. The stop is on my old bus route home. I could picture the exact area when the story hit the news.

It is an incredibly rural area. Everyone knows everyone.

If kidnapping can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

That story ended as well as it could have, thanks to a sharp-eyed teen and excellent police work.


It has made me forever over-cautious with my children. I need to see them if I am with them. It is a completely irrational thing. The chances of stranger abduction are slim. My kids know the rules of what to do.

And yet.

I don't trust. I can't. Not yet.

I'm going to have to learn to let go, because I can't watch them forever. So maybe next time I'll let him go to the playground. And I'll try to trust. A bit.

26 April 2013

22 April 2013

The Clothes Fairy

We refer to my mother-in-law as The Clothes Fairy. She likes to shop, has an uncanny ability to find insane deals, and has impeccable taste.

Every time my in-laws visit, The Clothes Fairy appears with bags in tow for the kids. I am grateful. I like shopping for myself. The kids, not so much.

My in-laws visited this weekend.

Tonight, the youngest appeared with scissors, asking for help to clip a tag from a new pair of shorts.

My spouse: "Oh, look, The Clothes Fairy must have visited."

The youngest: "Yes, she's the one that brought all of the clothes!"

My spouse and I, in unison: "Who." (Can you tell we are both editors?)

The youngest, with exasperated sigh: "Your MOM, that's who!"

07 March 2013

I win

I used to be a distance runner.

It was a deal I cut with my parents, actually, that made me a distance runner. I was so very done with piano lessons. I wanted to play jazz, and my fingers couldn't do it. So the bargain was that I could quit piano if I joined a high school sport.

So, it was January. I'm short, which rules out basketball and volleyball anyway. Track it was.

As tiny and thin as I was, they thought I'd make a good sprinter/hurdler.

They learned quickly that I really suck at sports. I became a distance runner. By the end of my junior year in high school, I was a journeyman distance runner. I could make decent time, but I wasn't going to win any races unless the top five runners in my district all caught the flu at the same time.

I quit my senior year because I was tired of sweating and because my coach stupidly put in an ultimatum that I had to choose between speech competition and track. I was good at speech. It was pretty much a no-brainer on my part.

I ran off and on all through college, through the years in New York, and even after child one was born, in a futile attempt to get my tiny body back. I switched to cycling because my knees hurt. Then I was an in-line skater. Then I just stopped exercising altogether after child three was born.

Last year, I was fat (for me). I was tired of things not fitting. Work, while not awful, was stressful. I needed to burn the stress. I needed time for me. Everyone else in my house hates running. Lots of my mommy and college friends on Facebook were running. Heck, I have cousins who run marathons.

So I grabbed a Couch to 5k plan.

That first run, if you can call it that, was humbling. I--who could run 2 miles in just over 13 minutes when I was 17--could not run two blocks without wheezing at 38.

I kept at it. I went even slower than the plan's pace. I didn't want to blow out a knee. I fought injuries, pollen, illness, and a broken toe.

It took me forever to get to a mile. Then two. Then I hit a wall, and trying to run three was torture.

I did a fun 5K obstacle run last December, mostly to see if I could. But my real goal was to run the timed city 5K race my institution holds each year. The entrance fees go to scholarships. People I knew would be seeing me run.

I was terrified I'd embarrass myself.

I was a bundle of nerves that morning. I could barely eat.

At the starting line, I was convinced I had lost my ever-loving mind.

The first mile was tough. The second was better. The third was sadistic: oh, my Alumni friends, backloading all of the hills was an idea straight out of Satan's playbook.

I ran uphill to the finish, pretending that the guy yelling at his girlfriend to finish hard was yelling at me. I rounded the corner and blinked in shock.

If I sprinted, I'd finish under 30 minutes. Ten-minute miles. Holy cr@p.

I sprinted.

29:40. One of the top 10 women in my age group.

So I may not have won the race, but I won. I won my health back. I won my competitive edge back (yes, 20-something girls and 40-something guys, I really was gunning for you in that last mile, picking you off one by one). I won me back.

Get off the couch. Exercise. If I can do it, you can too.

12 February 2013

I am crazy

Where have I been all these many months?

I helped start a Girl Scout troop.
I signed on to be Cookie Manager. 
We're only halfway through the sales.

Copyright, Girl Scouts of America.
Pray for me.

Also: Buy more cookies. I have boxes in my house. I want them gone. If you are at our church on Sunday, or even somewhat close by (in the city limits counts as close by), buy a box.

I am not taking them back home.