I Have Become That Person…

September 11, 2010

I have become that person that you see running in the middle of the day when it’s 90 degrees. You know, that person you see and think to yourself “What is wrong with them? Why can’t they run in the morning like normal people? What are they thinking? That is just so stupid…”

I discovered today what is going through the mind of the person who can’t wait until the morning when it will be cool again to run. It turns out that their “want” to run has become a “need.”

I woke up irritated and cranky, my husband was bugging me, my kids were driving me crazy and being high maintenance. And  all I could think was “if I could just go running right now, everything would be okay.” So at 11:30 in the morning with a bjillion percent humidity and at 90 degrees, I put on my running shoes, gave my husband a kiss, and literally sprinted out the door. The first 25 minutes were miserable and I was tempted to turn around; but then the sweat started pouring down my face- I tasted the salt and suddenly nothing else mattered. Not the three poopy diapers I had already changed, or the laundry that needed to be put away, or even that Casanova had been kicked off of Project Runway this week. (I actually cried, but I think that was just PMS.)

Eight miles later when I walked back through my front door into my messy house and crazy life, the Wicked Witch of the East had literally melted away. She had poured through my pores, onto the pavement below and I was not back to myself necessarily but had become someone else- the person you see at noon running in thousand degree weather. And there is no turning back. Ke$ha of all people said it best: “I don’t care what people say, the rush is worth the price I pay…” Amen, sista.


Freshmeat on my Treadmill…

August 19, 2010

I have found lately that one of my favorite things to do is to run on my treadmill while watching “Freshmeat II” on MTV- I know, I know, I’m losing braincells by the minute. Here’s why: when I feel like I’m gonna die, I watch these stupid young, skinny, punky girls with their foul mouths and bad taste in boys who have too many tattoos and I think to myself,” if they can do ridiculous painful challenges while being yelled at by their partners and closely followed by cameras, I sure as Hell can run a marathon.” I realize that this doesn’t make any sense but for some reason bitterness works for me.

I took my body for granted when I did triathlons- I was super young and hadn’t had babies yet and was a superhero compared to where I am now physically. These babies have literally and figuratively sucked the life out of me. I laid in a bed for almost a year and a half in total, plugged with IVs and medications to carry these rugrats and in so many ways I keep paying the piper. My muscle mass has depleted and I weigh more than I have in a long time. Let’s not even talk about where I am cardio-wise!

But here’s the thing, these babies that keep me from sleeping at night and being able to eat my spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A in peace are totally worth every extra pound of flesh on my body and extra minute on my mile. But that doesn’t mean that when I’m running, I don’t imagine pounding my Nikes all over Jen’s overly made up skinny  face. Oh by the way, if you could PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE donate to my LLS page for my marathon that would be super awesome.


PS- My best parenting moment yesterday consisted of me yelling to my child from across the room, “Make sure your head doesn’t go through the coffee table!” Good thing I have really tough kids.

Cancer with a Side of Mashed Potatoes…

August 14, 2010

When Fiona had emergency surgery the night before Thanksgiving last year, I was in a pretty bad place. She had lost significant body weight in her first two weeks of life and her eyes were dull and listless.

My hormones were out of control from just having her and I remember leaking all over my shirt from hearing her screams as the nurses tried in vain find a place for her IV. She was extremely dehydrated however, and they had to call in a NICU nurse to finally accomplish this horrendous task. At that point I had resorted to laying on the floor in the waiting room sobbing while Patrick held her in the prep room until it was time for Fiona to go under.

During the surgery I felt like having my teeny baby girl operated on was by far the worst thing any mother could go through but I quickly gained perspective  once Fiona was in recovery. The doctors were concerned about Fiona’s immune system being practically non-existent so they put us in the pediatric cancer ward where visitors were not allowed.

Suddenly our ordeal with Fiona June seemed like a cakewalk. While Thanksgiving in a hospital is no one’s idea of a good time, the food from the cafeteria wasn’t too bad  and hopefully this was going to be the first and last holiday we would be away from our family and friends while this was old hat for many of the other children and parents in there.

At the risk of sounding Pollyana, I became profoundly grateful for our situation. Doctors had diagnosed Fi’s problem, she had surgery, and then we going to to go home get on with our lives. For many these children and families who were going through the rigors of cancer treatment, the end of treatment was barely in sight. I heard mothers talk to their other children on the phone wishing them a happy Thanksgiving because they could not be together- common germs were bad news for these kids who were undergoing treatment and thus their siblings and family members other than parents weren’t allowed to visit.

The mothers and fathers I spoke with were exhausted from heartbreak that I am sure seemed endless. I recalled with painful clarity the devastation I had felt in the waiting room the night before and couldn’t imagine what it could possibly be like to go through that for days that would turn into weeks which would then become months.

This is why I am running: so the babies, and the mommies and daddies who suffer with them, can spend the holidays with their families because a cure is found. Please donate, even a dollar…


Gotta Love Those Cadavers…

July 13, 2010

I am sad to say that over the past couple of weeks, reality TV has lost its allure and I am finding that Ali and the Housewives, yes- even Bethenny, just aren’t doing it for me anymore. I don’t know what’s going on considering my devotion to all things reality TV related has been one of the constants in my life for the past 10 years or so.

I guess I just got sick of watching other people live their lives (maybe mess up their lives is a more accurate description.) I feel like in a lot of ways, my own life is a lot better and more interesting than anything unscripted on TV. Kay is highly entertaining, and Fi is getting more interesting by the minute now that she is sitting up and knocking things over. The girls are growing so fast that frequently I find myself turning the TV off and watching them play and sing while I do the dishes instead. I read in The Happiness Project a couple of months ago that “the years are long but the days are short.” How true that is. (Clearly Oprah is the exception to all of this, I still watch her faithfully if it’s not a rerun.)

Patrick also got me a kindle and I am completely obsessed and reading like I did before college. I have read all sorts of bizarre books lately, namely one about ghosts and then currently a book called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. I had always thought that I would be cremated but it is amazing what useful things can be done with a dead body besides the important donation of organs. They are used for all sorts of things like crash test dummies and airplane safety measures, not to mention we owe all of our knowledge of the human body to dead people (the scientists and the bodies they cut open.) It’s a phenomenal book if you can handle a little, or a lot of gross outs.

Maybe instead of delving deeply into the gruesome I should just watch ghost hunters instead…

My Petrified Uterus…

July 1, 2010

I have a couple of friends who are pregnant- I am so happy for them but at the same time it kills me. I always thought we would have 4+ kids and now the chances of that look pretty slim. I know that adoption is a beautiful thing and Patrick and I could love any child. But it is a scary prospect with a lot of unknowns. Would I always worry that an adopted child would feel different? Less loved? Would we, Heaven forbid, actually love an adopted child less or differently?

Don’t get me wrong, I am sooo grateful for the beautiful angels I have. And Fiona and Kay’s health problems most likely were a result of the massive amounts of medication I had to be on in combination with a lack of nutrients so it really is a game of Russian roulette. Not to mention I would lose almost 9 more months of my life (if I could carry a baby to term, which I can’t.)

I guess it is true that you can’t always get what you want but you can get what you need. I need my girls, but I also need to feel like I have all the options I want, whether that is realistic or not. Closed doors are so scary and they seem to pop up everywhere. Most of the time as a result of the choices I’ve made and so I’m okay with that, but this is simply because my body just won’t cooperate.

Sorry this isn’t particularly funny or witty but my uterus is a little cranky today and petrified of being laid to rest.

For the Love of Stitches… and Snot

June 25, 2010

So I haven’t been writing because my life has been yucky and full of stitches and snot. My baby girl Fi’s surgery went well and she was a doll. All of the nurses were amazed by how fabulous she was. She ate for the last time before surgery at 5:30 in the morning because her surgery was supposed to be at 1:00 but Dr. Bufo the Amazing was THREE AND A HALF HOURS LATE. Some punk kid decided it was okay to have his appendix burst and of course Dr.Bufo had to slice and dice and clean this boy out before he could operate on my beautiful girl.

Fiona June was incredible- she didn’t cry or fuss even though she was starving and hadn’t eaten in over ten hours by the time Dr. Bufo the Amazing even got there. (I will always for the rest of my life refer to my girls’ surgeon as Dr. Bufo the Amazing- he operated on one of my children every six months for the last year and a half. He’s in my circle of trust, also known as my Christmas card list.)

I actually wasn’t irritated that Dr. Bufo the Amazing was late; I was too preoccupied by the fact that not so long ago we had the punk kid who needed emergency surgery. It feels like its been a million years since Fi had her first surgery but the reality is I have cereal in my pantry that is older than Fiona.

I would love to say that things were smooth sailing after that but it was not to be. Fi got a respiratory and double ear infection, which were extremely painful for her. Sneezing and coughing and major stomach surgery aren’t really the best combination. I couldn’t even give her any good narcotics! I guess my body decided that as her devoted mother I should suffer right along with her, so I came down with my own sinus and double ear infection. (What am I, a freakin’ 3 year old?)

But we survived, several rounds of antibiotics, Tylenol, steroids and mini nervous breakdowns later we are all still standing (except Fi, she is still trying to get the sitting thing down.) And honestly I kept thinking I should blog but honestly, even my fingers were too tired to move until a couple of days ago. The End.

Teal and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day…

June 11, 2010

I found out yesterday that Fi has to have her second surgery much sooner than thought. Like, next Tuesday. She has been cranky and spitting up way more than usual the past two weeks and so I figured I would take her to the pediatrician for a weight check and to make sure her thrush had cleared up. Part of me knew however, that we would probably walk out of the office with an operating room time slot that had Fiona’s name on it.

In addition to this, Kay decided she was going to spend the rest of the day alternating asking “why,” and re-enacting scenes from The Exorcist- namely the part where the little girl’s head spins around and pea soup comes out. Her best performance of the day by far was in the car on our way home from the doctor.

It is amazing how worked up a person can get even on a short drive home. By the time I had gotten in the house and put the girls down for their nap, I was cursing my situation, and Kay’s bad attitude, and Fi’s second surgery in six months-the third we’ve been through in two years. On top of that my dryer was full of towels to be folded and a sink full of dishes.

Then I found out that Kristin Hoke passed away Wednesday night from her 5 year long battle with breast cancer, leaving her husband and 3 year old daughter behind.

Suddenly I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my misery and frustration and exhaustion. Because it meant that I’m alive. Alive to take care of my children. Alive to experience joy and misery and be  hungry and tired and in love. I have never been so grateful for a terrible, no good, horrible day in my entire life.

Would You Like Some Chili with Your Arsenic?

June 8, 2010

The fabulous Dr. G (my 60 year old, foul-mouthed Cuban therapist) gave me the assignment several months ago of cooking dinner for my family 4-5 nights a week. So I dusted off my cookbooks and my all-clad and went at it. For the first several months it went great and Patrick was super responsive and very quickly his fear was replaced with a full, happy tummy. (I used to be so inept in the kitchen, I once lit a pot holder on fire while boiling water.) However, over the last couple of weeks as I cooked healthier in order to get rid of the extra Teal that has been following me around since being pregnant with Kay, his appreciation has waned significantly.

I am starting to wonder of this whole cooking dinner thing is going to work out. I get that Patrick is not a small dude but seriously, does something always have to die in order for a meal to be acceptable to his Neanderthal palette? I spent three hours last night making amazing chili from scratch but he was less than excited about it because it was vegetarian. Oh, and he also doesn’t do leftovers. EVER.

A friend and I were talking the other day about all the things we do in the community and concluded that because a lack of gratitude can sour the experience of serving others, perhaps one needs to serve purely for service’ sake. This is much easier said than done, of course, especially when serving your dubious husband dinner.

But maybe I am not really cooking for him, but instead for both of us. Almost everything we eat now is from scratch and organic, and while I love it and am happy to eat kale and barley for the rest of my life, Patrick may not be. And if it’s hard for him to feign excitement the first night of spinach, then that second night it must be nearly impossible. (He is the guy who spends much of his free time dreaming about what one could possibly squeeze out of a can a la easy cheese.)

So I guess if Patrick doesn’t jump up and down in excitement over vegetarian chili and quinoa, then I can’t really hold it against him. Maybe I can compromise some and add a little Velveeta and sour cream to his breakfast burrito instead of trying to make him crunchy like yours truly.

I No Longer Bowl Alone…

June 4, 2010

I went to the beach today with a group of women from church. I dragged my two kids, a beach tent, towels, a stroller and many bottles of water and was two and a half hours late. No one sat in the tent, the towels got sand all over the car, the stroller that can supposedly be pushed in the sand had to be carried, and the only water Kay wanted to drink came out of someone else’s Macdonald’s cup that had sand in it and used to be filled with diet coke. IT WAS THE BEST DAY EVER!

This is a great lesson for me that just because things don’t go the way I had planned doesn’t mean that experiences can’t still be awesome. I walked away from the beach today as the storm clouds gathered and the sharks swam close to the shore, feeling loved and part of something extremely special.

I am not saying that being Mormon is the only way to feel the kind of love and acceptance that I felt today, but being a part of a group is definitely the best way to get there. The other day on Oprah, some guy named Troy the Locator said “who loves you when you need them, that’s your family.” Not everyone gets the family of their dreams and that’s okay. This is America people, where all are entitled to the pursuit of happiness AND a family that makes them feel loved and accepted like they deserve.

Fairy Poop…

May 29, 2010

Two days ago I was getting ready in the bathroom when Kay walked in and said “Oh, look-fairy poop on the floor. Clean it up Mom!” She was pointing to the spots of light on the tile. I called Patrick to tell him how smart and funny our child was and it turned out he had told her that the little lights on the floor were fairy poop!

I reminded myself of said fairy poop experience this morning when the house was a mess and he sat on his computer looking at news while patiently waiting for me to get everything ready to go for the day. I am reading this book right now called “The Happiness Project”, which is not nearly as lame as it sounds. She addresses marriage quite a bit (surprise, surprise) and I found the following paragraph fascinating:

I was certainly guilty of “unconscious overclaiming,” the phenomenon in which we unconsciously overestimate our contributions or skills relative to other people. (It’s related to the Garrison Keillor-named “Lake Wobegon fallacy,” which describes the fact that we all fancy ourselves to be above average.) In one study, when students in a work group each estimated their contribution to the team, the total was 139 percent. This makes sense, because we are far more aware of what we do than what other people do.

Sometimes I feel like Patrick does nothing at home and I do everything, but clearly this is not actually the case. He does a ton that I don’t do, like staring at the floor with a two year old and finding fairy poop where I would see the grout that needs to be cleaned.