Wednesday, March 28

Blips into My World

We're back to zombieland. The Pie is up at night, she's up in the morning, she's wailing, she's yelling everyone's name trying to find some sucker to rescue her. She's put us all in the land of the walking dead and, frankly, I'm a little cranky about it.

Pie is also speaking up a storm. She will stand there and speak in 43 word sentences. Unfortunately only every 29 1/2 words is an actual word I can understand so we end up with some very odd conversations with her looking at me expectantly waiting for an answer:
Pie: og reg mel pofgot wereer lom bol quack quack.
Me: You want to going bowling with a duck?
Pie: No. kaj ew lioop toxk wash wogart.
Me: You want to wash in yogurt?

And of course, Doodles has a firm grasp of conversation but not so much of numbers:
Me: Whose birthday is it tomorrow?
Doodles: I don't know. Um. Peter.
Me: Yep!
Doodles: Are we invited to his birthday party?
Me: We are, but it's too far away for us to go.
Doodles: Why?
Me: Because his party is in Florida and we live in Massachusetts.
Doodles: Oh.
Me: We can have our own party. A parallel party. What should we have for Peter's birthday dinner?
Doodles: Coffee!!!
Me: That's a good idea because Peter loooooovvvvves coffee!
Doodles: Me too!
Me: You know you're not allowed to have coffee until you're twelve!
Doodles: I know. Is Peter going to be 12?
Me: Peter is going to be 67.
Doodles: So he can't have coffee, either?
Me: 67 comes after 12 so he can have coffee.
Doodles: 67 is after 12?
Me: Yes.
Doodles: Peter was 12 and then he was 67?
Me: Yes.
Doodles: Oh. I want coffee.
Me: Yeah, me, too.

I have found that during Pie's naptime I can sneak in a nap if I let Doodles brush his teeth. I found a stepstool tall enough for him to reach the bathroom sink by himself (we're a very short family). The dentist told him he has to practice spitting out because apparently by age four, kids are supposed to be using toothpaste with fluoride. I still have children who like to put toothpaste on the brush and suck it all off. So Doodles will stand there for a good 45 minutes, putting on paste, sucking it off, taking some water in, and dribbling it down his front. And the best part is... it's fully allowed!

I am so tired. I feel a toothbrushing coming on....

Wednesday, March 21

On My Own Again

So once again, Adam deserted his family and headed for the West Coast for a "business trip." Yeah. They played team sports, partied at Jillian's, and had dinner at the billionaire CEO's house. This "business trip" took place at the Ritz-Carlton. Oh, do pity the man and his sleep-filled nights.

And me? Me, I'm home with the Doodles and the Pie. Bless her tiny heart (tiny physically, as everything about her is tiny; not tiny figuratively), the Tweedle Twirp came to stay Sunday and Monday night. That made my kids exceedingly happy as Tweeds is the ultimate kid plaything: she's got grown-up privileges, but she comes in a kid size. What could be better?

And she got the ultimate seal of approval from the kids, too. Normally when I go for a run, Doodles starts to whine, "No, Mommy, don't go for a run! No, Mommy, no!" This past Monday, I got dressed and asked, "Doodles, do you think Tweeds can handle you while I go for a run?" He gave me a "duh" look and said, "Yes!" Pie looked up at me, smiled, and said, "Bye!"

But now the Tweedle Twirp is gone and I'm left answering the endless questions: "Mommy, why is the neighbor's dog outside by himself? Is he a grown-up? Is that why he's allowed outside by himself? What was he born? How are dogs born..." And of course Pie decided upon a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call, only to fitfully sleep then from 4:30 to 6:30. At which point we all got up and I got my coffee made (so much for being caffeine free! Those days are long gone) and got those kids to school in record time.

Yesterday afternoon I took the kids to Whole Foods with the intent of buying something totally junkie for me to eat for dinner after the kiddies went to bed (it was in lieu of a glass of wine, which I won't have when I'm alone with them). But can I tell you, I found nothing! I thought a box of chocolates or--even better--marzipan or maybe some yummy bread and their crab or spinach dip. But they didn't have the dips I like, they didn't have boxes of chocolates (just the fancy stuff behind the counter, and as much as I wanted a treat, I couldn't buy myself a box worth of chocolates when they were $1.69 per piece of chocolate) and no marzipan! How pathetic is it that my special treat ended up being balsamic portabella mushrooms and olives from the antipasto bar? I can't even junk it up right anymore.

At least tonight Adam comes back on the red eye, so he'll be home by the time we wake up in the morning (he should even be back in time for the 3:30 a.m. wake up call!). Of course, where he'll sleep, I have no idea, because since he's been gone, Doodles has taken up residency on Adam's side of the bed. But that's between Adam and Doodles.

And as for me? Don't look for me tomorrow morning. I'm sleeping in!


I love my daughter more than I ever could have thought possible, but I have to say, I sometimes wonder about her. Let's just say she's not the sharpest crayon in the box. We have a Fisher Price Intelli-Table (with the "Intelli" part clearly optional). It's a cute toy for which you can remove the game table and replace the toy band with different bands. Which is great for a child like Doodles who was able to grasp this notion at an early age and who derived great fun simply changing the toy insert.

Not so for Pie. What Pie likes to do is climb upon the table. Which is risky, yes, but something I allow because, really, it's not so far to fall. Except that now she has a new trick, which is to remove the top part and then climb on top. Which means that no matter where in the house I am, I know exactly what she's up to by the high-pitched wails of "Stuck!! Stuck!! Stuuuuuuuuuuuck!! Mommmy! Stuck!"

Ah, my children. Adam and I have been dutifully putting money away for the college educations and arguing about where they should go (he wants his alma mater, Dartmouth; I want, oh, anywhere else). Looks like we might be able to use the money on a vacation home, as so far, doesn't appear that either child will make it to college.

Boogie Woogie All Night Long

I'm not one of those people who know how to embed video into my blog (although I'm sure after I post this, Adam will show me how). This link will take you to Fox25 where they ran a piece about Baby Loves Disco that I'm in with Pie! Thanks to my friend L. who told me it was out there. I won't tell you who we are, but if you know us, you should have no problems spotting us.

Wednesday, March 14

Spinning 'Round and 'Round

My running has been really stale lately--I just haven't had any oomph to it. I even had a dream not long ago that I was running the Miami Marathon. I was on the MacArthur Causeway, just about two or three miles in, when I suddenly thought, "Why the hell am I running this again? I just ran this marathon a month ago! What am I trying to prove?" I decided in my dream that I'd stop where Adam, Doodles, and Pie would be watching me, from in front of my parents' place, which is around mile 8. I'd just head in, have some breakfast and call it a nice morning run. But then, suddenly, I couldn't move my legs. They felt like lead. I just had to run a measly five or six miles, but I was completely stuck.

I'm sure this dream has more far-reaching meaning, but I opted to take from it that I'm a bit burnt out on running. So I've venturing out. I'll still run three or four days a week, but no more than three miles on weekdays and no more than six miles on Saturday. So now, on Wednesday nights I'm taking a yoga class. I started a Friday morning Boot Camp class at my gym (the local Y). And this morning, for the first time, I took a spinning class.

First of all, man did it kick my butt! But the thing is, the minute I sat on that bike seat and had the familiar "ooh it's been a long time since I sat on a bike seat" burn on my tushie, it brought me back seven years (really? Has it really been seven years) to when I was a bike rider in Seattle. And, then, as I thought about blogging it, I thought, "I'll just link to my STP training." And then it hit me--I wasn't a blogger back them--I only started blogging in October 2001. I have no record of my training. I've fallen into this mode of "I blog therefore I am," so if I have no blog history of it, did it really happen? Of course, I'm staring at the patch I got from the race, which is on a bulletin board next to me, with all my running medals (I need the constant motivation to get my ass out there and moving), so I know it happened.

Way back when, when I was free and single and childless, I had a life (no, really!). Although I was so wrapped up in my job, that some might dispute that life. I worked Amazon, I played Amazon, I was Amazon. No surprise that Adam and I actually met through Amazon (he was evil finance; I was cool editorial). But even before my Adam days, I worked hard and played hard.

So, Amazonians (at least in those days when it wasn't just a bunch of MBAs) used to make the most of their off time by going extreme. Folks didn't just ski--they drove late in the evening after a full day's work to get in a little night skiing to tide them over till their weekends at Whistler. People didn't just go mountain biking for an afternoon--they spent entire vacations flying at top speed down the sides of mountains. People didn't just go out for a beer after work--they spent days in a alcoholic stupor wondering where they hell they had just woken up. So I had to find my niche. I admit, my original sport was martinis. But slowly I began to develop the sporty gene. I had a hand-me-down mountain bike and, with some girlfriends, I trained for and competed in the Danskin Triathlon for Women. I thought I was hot stuff, doing a triathlon, especially as I went from biking nothing to biking a whole sixteen miles! I mean, sixteen miles! That's really far.

I was in this hot stuff mode when my buddy and coworker, Weegie, casually said, "I'm doing the STP with Todd and Scott. Do you want to do it with us?" Now, the Seattle to Portland bike ride is a big event that sounded pretty cool. Ride 100 miles. Camp out. Ride the second 100 miles and arrive in Portland. But going from 16 miles to 100 miles? Was it doable? At the time it was February and the ride was in July. What the hell, I thought. "Yah, sure. That could be fun. Where do you think you'll camp?"

To which Weegie responded, "Camp? Well, if you want to do it in two days you can. But we're doing it in one day."

What did he say? More importantly, What did I hear? (Which, of course, is often not the same thing.) Did someone just challenge me? Challenge me to keep up with the boys? Hmmm! Would it be foolhardy and dumb to ride 200 miles just to keep up with the boys? Um, yeah! Did I do it anyway? Hell ya! Five months of training, including seven or eight hours every Saturday, a couple of hours on Sundays, rides to and from work. I ended up riding the STP by my lonesome--as macho as I was (am), I couldn't keep up with the boys--but after fourteen hours, I crossed that finish line to the cheers of my buddies. So worth it.

I have so many fond memories of training. Weegie used to write up these extensive training manuals, with tips, routes, and motivation. The first time I went out riding with Weegie, he promised me an easy ride. Thirty miles and a zillion hills later (I still remember that little weasel saying to me, after promising a flat ride, "Wow, that was actually a really hilly ride), I couldn't move, nevermind sit down in my seat. By the end of the summer, a ninety-mile ride wasn't a big deal. I had calves of steel. After all my various training--triathlon, marathon, strength training--that bike training had me in the best shape I've ever been in.

Lately, I've been getting more of these flashes back to my old life. Even at tonight's yoga, I can't help but think of standing in the big workout studio at Olympic Gym (man, do I miss that gym!), contorting my body as Ricardo, the teacher, exhorted me to raise my hips higher in downward facing dog. Lying in Savasana, I feel exactly the way I did back then, but instead of builds and blurbs and deadlines elbowing into my quiet space as I tried to still my mind and live in the moment, I have diapers and dramas and, well, deadlines, wandering through my head.

I like these flashes of the old me, these tiny glimpses into my life pre-family. I don't miss it. In fact, I often see younger versions of me out on the street, childless, happy, carefree. And I can feel pleased that I was once just like them, that I had my wild fun. I remember once saying to a friend that I could never imagine myself married, that it seemed such a constricting thought, because I couldn't stand the idea of never having another first kiss. And then I reached the point where I met a guy who made me think, "I've had enough first kisses." So I married him.

And now I have a different kind of fun. The kind of fun where ordering in sushi and watching a video on demand is a cozy and romantic night. The kind of fun where I look at my son in amazement and think, "Where did this little person come from?" The kind of fun where my daughter can make me wonder, "What would it feel like if you plunged both hands into the paint and rubbed them on your belly?"

Amazing what one simple spin class can bring up. I'd better not sign up for the abs class. God knows where that will lead me.

Wednesday, March 7

Better Than Cleaning

Shhh! Don't tell Adam: I'm supposed to be cleaning but instead I'm blogging. I took today off of work just to make a dent in the mess that is our basement but I'm all sniffly from the dust and my hands are so dry they're papery and I just don't know what to do with all our crap! So, here I am instead....

We've hit a common stage of preschoolers, but I'm still not sure how to handle it. It's the "do something wrong/total honesty" phase. You know, when Doodles does a misdeed but very clearly tells me what he did. On one hand, the misdeed needs to be punished. On the other hand, I want to encourage the honesty. Of course, it generally involves violence to his sister. Here's a standard exchange that is becoming all the more common.

Me: Why is Pie crying?
Doodles: I was running back and forth and she got in my way, so I pushed her.


Me: Why is Pie crying?
Doodles: She was playing with the rocket ship and then she put it on my head and I didn't want it on my head so I pushed her.

What I generally do then is pick up Pie, lavish her with attention, and put Doodles in a time out. On getting out of time out, he has to apologize to Pie and ask if she's okay. By then she's generally playing and giggling, and doesn't respond aagain.

It actually, happily, doesn't all the time. But just enough that I suddenly have to be wary of leaving the two of them alone together in a room. And if it were just the pushing, I could live with that. But it's not. Pie has gotten grabby hands. If Doodles has a toy, she wants it, too. And she wants it NOW! And if she doesn't get it--watch out for those sharp little teeth!

Which is bad both because, well, she's biting and because when she nurses, she likes to stick her fingers in my mouth and I lightly chew on them. I love chewing on Pie Parts! But alas I know that must end because how can she tell what's biting and what's a love nip? It also makes it very difficult to tell who the instigator is in any given situation and besides, how do you punish an 18 month old? I'm not one for punishing in general, but when violence is involved, then it's a must. Sigh.

Speaking of nursing, per the book Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, it's a good idea to codename breastfeeding so when your speech-happy toddler wants to feed, she doesn't yell out, "Mommy, give me some boobie!" in public. (And Pie is becoming speech happy; a sampling of her words: Where'd it go? jump [as in on the bed, with lots of glee], ball, balloon, baby, Cheerio [which actually means Kix], shoe, book, choo-choo, doggie.) I was at a loss for a codename that I liked. The ones that people had in the book--num num, nummies, milks--just weren't doing it for me.

One evening, I was nursing Pie (and for the record, we are now up to about six nursings a day; I've completely capitulated and have chained my br*easts to my daughter for the foreseeable future), watching Doodles' show, Wonder Pets, with him, trying to come up with my word. "This is sewious!" I said to Doodles, who laughed. That's when it hit me: Ming-Ming! That's our new codeword. (And if you don't watch the show, never mind. But you should. It's a fun show. And just to annoy those of you who do watch it, get this out of your head: "The phone! The phone is ringing! The phone! We'll be right there!") So if you're in the playground and you hear a little girl demanding, "Mi-Mi!! Mommy, Mi-Mi!" you'll know it's us. I feel so original!

Okay, it's back to spring cleaning. I need to de-toy the playroom of excess toys before the kids get home from school. Which shouldn't be a problem per our conversation last Monday:

Me: Doodles, time to go pick up Pie and head home.
Doodles: I don't want to go home.
Me: But it's time.
Doodles: I want to stay here.
Me: You told me you didn't even want to come to school today.
Doodles: I don't want to go home.
Me: Well, that's where we are headed.
Doodles: I want to go somewhere else. Can we go to Grape's house?
Me: We weren't invited to Grape's house. Let's go.
Doodles: I don't waaaaant to go home. I don't have any toys.
Me: You don't have any toys?
Doodles: Yeah.
Me: You have more toys than some small nations. What are you talking about?
Doodles: No, I don't! I don't have any toys.

Therefore, he shouldn't mind when half of his nonexistent toys head out. Those kids of mine!! Arg!!