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Category Archives: General

O Christmas Tree (How to Make Your Own Christmas Memories in 14 Simple Steps)

When I was 12 my mom went out and bought a fake Christmas tree and a pretty set of coordinating decorations to go on it. She was excited. No yearly cost, no pine needles, no fire hazard. Plus, with the new decorations, our tree looked like a perfect department store model. You put it together when you are ready for it, and put it away when you are done. To me however, it was the end of an era. I missed the days of the real trees. Now, interestingly enough, I never can remember where we got our trees. I’m guessing they were from tree lots, but I honestly can’t be 100% sure. What I do remember is how once we got the tree home, my mom and my stepdad would wrestle the tree into a 5 gallon bucket, propping it into place with a variety of rocks found outside and saved for this purpose. My mom would videotape my stepdad as he tried to get the tree wrangled into the bucket, and he would yell at her to put down the dang camera and come help with the tree. With all of that energy required, I can see why she eventually went with the fake tree.

Once the tree was secured, he and my mom would sit back, and allow my sister and me to do most of the tree decorating. We would carefully deliberate over the placement of each ornament on our large collection, and inevitably every year we would manage to break one of these incredible delicate antique bird ornaments while trying to clip them onto the tree. We would blast either Christmas music or Tom Petty (what, those aren’t interchangeable in your house?), and it was a generally merry and good time.

When the fake tree, with its matching decor, came into our home everything changed. It wasn’t as fun to watch as my mom popped the color-coordinated branches into their spots, and each decoration had a specific place that it belonged. Decorating for Christmas became orderly and organized. It was no longer happy chaos, and therefore was much less fun. So as a child I vowed that I would always have a real Christmas tree when I had kids. And with the exception of Logan’s first Christmas (he was only 3 months old-what would he care), we have done a real tree every year. Our trees always come from different places. Sometimes we go to tree lots, and one year we got one that my dad cut down from his property. This year I wanted to do something different, a real memory maker. So we went to a place to cut our very own tree.

So this has been a very long-winded introduction to the real point at hand, which is a (not so) Super Mama tutorial on how to cut your own Christmas tree in 14 easy steps.

1. Do your research. Find a farm that allows you to cut your own tree. Call them to confirm their hours, and ask basic questions. An important question to as apparently is “do you provide the saws?” There was a tree farm that required you to bring your own saw, but we skipped that one because 1) we only have a circular saw and an ax, and neither of those seemed tree farm appropriate and 2) I wasn’t super comfortable letting my children run around in a place where strangers are wielding all sorts of various cutting implements.

2. From your research pick your farm. We selected a farm where all of the proceeds went to a local charity that benefits foster kids. I recommend this route. It allows you to feel good about yourself while destroying part of the environment.

3. Bundle up your kiddos to prepare for the cold December outdoors. Get distracted bundling them and forget to bundle yourself. Since you’re only wearing a sweater, prepare to be cold, very cold.

4. Bask in your childs excitement when you tell him it’s time to go get a Christmas tree. Both of you can be a little disappointed when you arrive at the tree farm and have to have the awkward conversation in which you realize that he was actually excited about Christmas treats not Christmas trees. Memory making fail.

5. Once your toddler finally gets into the excitement of picking a tree even though we can’t eat them, begin to wander the farm looking for your perfect tree. Once you pick a tree out head back to grab a saw from the proprietor. On your way back to the original tree, find a better tree. (No, it wasn’t better just because it was closer to the car…okay maybe that was a tiny part of it.)

6. Try to get your husband and children to pose in front of the tree. Regret doing this during what is supposed to be nap time because now your three year-old won’t stop pouting. Accept that this is the best photo that you will get.

Happy Daddy, Happy Baby, Pouty Toddler - Everything is as it should be

7. Do a quick ceremonial saw with your 3 year-old for a photo op:

I'm a wild tree-sawing lumberjack woman

8. Have husband actually saw down tree. When he is done he can put his foot up on it like he has conquered a mighty beast.

If you picture him wearing flannel instead of a hoodie, and that the toddler is actually an ox, he looks just like Paul Bunyan, don't you think?

9. Pay for your tree and have the girl who has no clue what she’s doing help you tie it to your car. Later lament that you forgot to take a picture of this. Spend the whole drive home praying that your tree doesn’t go flying off the top of your car, and that if it does that it doesn’t actually injure anyone.

10. Arrive home and put your tree in a tree stand. If your lucky, and your kids are still to little to get into the decorating, do it yourself while they are sleeping. String all of the lights onto the tree without checking to make sure they work first. Plug in the lights and realize that one strand is indeed dead. Unstring and replace the lights. Mutter a bit under your breath if necessary. While decorating, remember that a certain husband broke Liam’s first ornament last year. From the looks of it baby didn’t have a very good first Christmas:

Poor Baby

11. When all the decorating is done lay underneath the tree with your husband and enjoy the beautiful sparkly pine scented wonderfulness of the moment. Remember why you always have a real tree.

12. Spend the whole next morning trying to get your 3 year-old to stop touching the tree and your 1 year-old to stop eating the tree.

13. Realize that three days later none of the ornaments on the bottom half of the tree are where you originally put them. Never bother to fix it.

O Christmas Tree

14. Remember all the fun Christmas chaos as a child and hope that your children are building their own love of crazy chaos family time that they will eventually pass on to their own children.

O Christmas Tree, indeed.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in General, Holidays, kids, Parenting

 

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Awww…Can We Keep Him?

So I had some time to kill after I took my Chemistry final tonight, since my lab partner was giving me a ride home and I finished the test an hour or so before her. I forgot to bring a book to read and since I was done with the class I didn’t really feel inspired to read the only book that was currently in my possession- my Chemistry text. I wandered the corridor hoping to find a newspaper or something lying around, but all I could find were several copies of the school paper. Even though community college papers aren’t really my thing, I was bored enough to read through it. It was mostly a pretty generic college paper, until I got to the back. The back is where I struck gold.

Solid Gold!

 There are so many awesome things happening here, I can’t decide where to start. Okay, we’ll take it from the beginning. The title:

On Broadway!

 To me this title implies that this is an article about reptile performers. Come on, who else soaks up the spotlight. In actuality it is an article about a reptile store in the local mall that opened over a year ago. I’m not really sure how this is newsworthy, but I kept going. The next thing I noticed was the awesome quote in the center of the article:

I know it's a little dark, and you may need to click on it to get it big enough to read, but it's worth it, I promise

 First of all, this is just good information to know. I bet that this quote will prevent a lot of unsuspecting people from buying an anaconda in the hopes that one day they might teach it how to fetch. Also, this quote really answers a lot of questions about what I thought was my dog. He doesn’t usually care if I’m calling his name, and he really doesn’t seem to recognize what I want from him (especially when what I want involves him stopping whatever misbehavior he’s involved with at the time). He MUST be a reptile. That explains everything!

Canine or Reptile? You decide
 
And then the sidebar. I really, really love the sidebar.

"Illegal Exotic Pets in Wash"

Finally, perhaps my favorite part of the article is the sidebar. First of all last time I checked the abbreviation for Washington State was WA, but since this says “Wash,” these pets are either illegal to own in Washington or illegal to put in the wash. Either way, I am firmly opposed to putting any pets, exotic or not, in the washer. That’s just not cool.

Now for my itemized analysis of the illegals:

Non-Human Primates: I was a little concerned about this at first, but since the list specifies that it’s non-human primates, I’m relieved. I was afraid that perhaps I was keeping my children illegally. But since I’m over 95% sure that they are human primates, then we should be in the clear. Also, if any of you were considering getting a human primate as a pet, rest assured that it’s not illegal in Wash.

Badgers: No problem here. I have never wanted a badger. Those little guys have a reputation for being mean. However, apparently this list doesn’t 86 beavers. So if you’re disappointed that badgers are off the list, consider gifting a beaver this Christmas.

Large Cats: Due to the fact that this list doesn’t really define “large cats” I’m a little worried. I know that tigers, cougars, and pumas are out, but what about our beloved Fat Buttons? Everyone who comes into our house marvels about how huge he is. Is our adorable large cat an illegal in this state? If so, since he’s been living here for over six years do you think they’ll grant him amnesty?

I'm not fat! This fur just isn't very slimming on me.

 Alligators and Crocodiles: I have no issue here. My bathtub certainly isn’t large enough.

Water Moniter Lizards: I actually had to google these bad boys, and as soon as I read that they can grow to be over 10 feet long and weigh up to 55 pounds, I was convinced that they deserve their place on the no-go list. I’d actually be willing to sign a petition to keep them there.

Venomous Snakes: I’m glad that these aren’t allowed as pets in Washington (or the wash – we never really cleared that up). I wish that they weren’t allowed in camping areas either.

Wolves: Oh, man. I totally wanted to try to tame one. Perhaps I can tame a coyote since they aren’t on the list.

Hyenas: I only know hyenas from The Lion King, but based off of their portrayal in that, they don’t seem like very good pets.

Bears: Not even a little black bear cub? But they’re so cute!

And finally, Elephants: First of all, to me elephants would be very impractical in Washington. It’s cold here. Based on where they’re from, I assume elephants like to be warm. That would take a lot of blankets. However, with only elephants and big cats being excluded from your safari pets, that still leaves plenty of ridiculous options. Zebra, giraffe, or hippos, anyone?

All in all, this article definitely wins my vote for most thought-provoking part of the school paper.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in General

 

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Got Milk? (If So, Do You Deliver?)

Because I sure as heck don’t. This is one thing that the tiny humans (otherwise known as my kids) love, that I just don’t. I really kind of hate milk. I can handle it in cereal (but I absolutely will NOT drink the leftover milk out of the bottom of the bowl), I occasionally take a little cream in my coffee, and I do drink a latte one in a while, but I. Will. Not. drink a glass of milk. Not now. Not ever again. I would rather drink antifreeze (what, it’s supposed to be sweet, right?). I didn’t have a traumatic milk experience that has scarred me for life, but I worked at Starbucks for several years, and I did a stint at Coldstone Creamery, and after those jobs, I was over milk. I hated how my hair, and my clothes, and my shoes would smell like it. And even now, years later, I still don’t like it. My husband is fairly ambivalent towards milk. He can take it or leave it. Before we had the boys we usually didn’t finish a half-gallon carton of milk before it went bad.

Explain to me then, how am I going through 2 to 3 gallons of milk every week?! The tiny humans love their milk. Logan likes a big glass at each meal, a glass during snuggle time (what, you don’t have a scheduled snuggle time in your house? If not, you’re missing out.), and sometimes a glass with his afternoon snack. (Oh, and the word glass there actually means cup, because seriously, this 3 year-old pretty much doesn’t get to touch anything unless it’s shatter-proof). Liam drinks about as much as Logan. It doesn’t seem like that much until I buy a gallon of milk and it is gone- G. O. N. E.- in 36 hours. Where are these kids putting it all? I would love to buy milk in bulk, but honestly, we don’t have room for more than about 2 gallons at a time, otherwise, I’d have nowhere in the fridge to put all of the food these kids eat. We are constantly running out of milk.

So that brings us to this morning. We finished the last of the milk at breakfast, so we took a little errand running adventure this morning to get more. We made an event of it, driving out of our way to go to the consignment store and the dollar store, and wouldn’t you know it, I got the kids home and I realized that we had forgotten the milk. The thing that we left the house for. So as soon as my husband gets home from work, I will be running to the grocery to grab a couple of gallons before the kids wake from their naps and mutiny because of the lack of  a dairy based refreshment. Perhaps we could just get a dairy cow to avoid the whole fridge space dilemma. That would also cut down my trips to the grocery. Then again, I’m not really sure where we’d keep her.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in General, kids, Parenting

 

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Sweet Victories

So my NaBloPoMo tally:

Total posts:10

Slightly passive aggressive sentiments: 4

Posts about NaBloPoMo (including this one): 3

Not great, I admit. However if any of you would like to come over to watch my kids and do my laundry so that I have more time to blog, I’m all for it. Really though, I’m kidding, I don’t do laundry, that’s what husbands and dark-colored sweaters are for. Perhaps next year I will do better (on the blogging, not the laundry) or at least have more realistic expectations for myself. I’m going to now brag about myself so that I can feel that even though I was a NaBloPoMo failure, I am still successful in other parts of my life. So these are the highlights that I accomplished in November:

1. I finally figured out how to personalize the little sidebar thing on the right. admittedly, WordPress does try to make it easy for you, but for the last 6 months, I kept wondering what in the heck a widget was, and why my blog kept encouraging me to personalize them. I didn’t know what they were or how to personalize them, and the word widget kept creeping me out, so I just avoided my widgets all together. You may now take a moment to admire my personalized widgets. Aren’t they pretty?

2. I rocked my college Chemistry class. Technically, until I take my final, it’s not in the bag. However, I took the last regular test this week, and I feel really good about it, so I feel that a 4.0 may actually be within my reach. This is probably the thing that I’m the most proud of. I’m about 9 years older than the average student, so I feel pretty good about my old lady brain this month.

3. I made a new friend. Laugh if you want to, but stay at home mamas are not usually presented with tons of opportunities to make new friends. It’s not like elementary school where you can just run up to the kid with the awesome Teddy Ruxpin back pack and ask if they want to play kick ball at recess. Adult friendships take a bit more finesse. My lab partner and I hit it off, and we chat socially, as well as chemistry-ily (chemically?). Plus we already have a post final wine date planned. Which, may I mention, is another advantage to being an old lady student- I can have a drink after finals. Wahoo!

4. I got all my Christmas shopping done. Please refer to my Black Thursday post. It was both awful and awesome at the same time. But it’s done. Done, done, done. Okay, I’m done bragging. Done.

5. I have taught my 3-year-old all of his colors. All of them! It’s amazing. As of October, I was ready to take him to the doctor because I was SURE he was colorblind.

6. I’ve got my 3-year-old consistently pooing on the potty. I realize that you may not want to hear about his poo, but I most certainly didn’t want to ever clean it off my walls, so realize that these unpleasant truths just tend to be part of life, and give me this one. Although, I’ll be the first one to admit that the poo-training may have had less to do with my awesome parenting, and more to do with “sucker-treats” (or dum-dums, as you may call them). I’m still claiming the victory though.

7. I got to feel smarter than my computer for once. Pertussis, it’s a real thing, even if 07 Word doesn’t think so. Take that Windows Vista! I know more about childhood vaccines than you do. And I’m done gloating about being smarter than the spell-check. I feel the need to embrace spell check’s inadequacies, because it’s usually so condescending. It’s like “don’t you remember your 4th grade spelling tests, Nicole?” It’s rare that I get to mock spell check the way it mocks me, so you bet I’m going to run with it. (Edit: let’s not talk about how spell-check just nailed me for misspelling both ‘inadequacies” and “condescending.” And now I feel like I need to spell-check this sentence. AGH! I misspelled sentence. I probably misspelled “misspelled” and “AGH!” for that matter, but I’m leaving spell-check alone. I have pertussis on it, and that’s all I need.)

I’m celebrating the little victories right now. Because if there is anything I have learned from being a multi-tasking student-mama, it’s that I’ve got to take what I can get.

 

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Pulling a Joelle

So my husband and I have fallen in love with the Biggest Loser. It was a surprising romance for us, as we traditionally do not enjoy “reality” TV. However, as we are on our own weight-loss journeys, the Biggest Loser has captured our attention. We watched it on Netflix one night and the rest is history. We are currently watching season seven, so no one spoil the end for me.

Anyway, with our new interest in the Biggest Loser, we discuss different merits of the players while we watch. We hate (in the following order):

1. Game Players (people who don’t care about losing weight, they just want the prize money).

2. Lazy People (come on, you’re there to work out).

3. People Who Lie (‘nough said)

4. Drama Creators

5. Whiners

Not in the list however, are criers. As long as they are not whining while they cry, we tend to have a soft spot for the criers.

A few weeks ago, my husband’s dad called him and told him he had something serious to talk about with him. They decided to meet downtown for coffee before my husband went to work. We speculated what this important conversation could be about. The day arrived, and my husband met up with his dad. A few hour later I received an email from my husband detailing what his dad had wanted to tell him. He said that his dad had felt so guilty about some stuff that had happened when Matt was a child that he had to get it off of his chest (and for the record it wasn’t any big deal –  my husband was not miffed in the least). Anyways, closing his email to me, Matt told me that “Dad cried like Mark on the Biggest Loser.” I spent the next three hours giggling. Not because my father in law had cried, (because he is truly a sweet guy, and was carrying around guilt that he didn’t need to) but because of the comparison. Matt and I had been laughing about a big tough guy on Biggest Loser Season 5, who got to the ranch and turned into a big crier. Now when anyone in our house cries about something that is not a big deal we accuse them of “crying like Mark”

So fast forward to last night when we had a family drama blow-up at my baby’s birthday party. I hate drama. I hate yelling, and I really hate it when people do it in my home. I was still ticked about it today, and was talking about it to my husband about my frustration with what had transpired. (Don’t worry, I didn’t cry like Mark.) Matt thought for a moment, and said, “yeah, she really pulled a Joelle.” Season 7 of the Biggest Loser features Joelle, who was nothing but drama. So now, when people have drama, they “pull a Joelle.”

I really like our new way of describing situations based off of Biggest Loser contestants. I can’t wait for all of the new personality descriptions in the seasons to come.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in General, NaBloPoMo

 

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Halloweird (Makin’ Bacon in 45 Easy Steps)

As you know Halloween was on Monday. So what do you think I spent my entire weekend doing (besides trying to convince my brain to remember things for my freakin chemistry class)? That’s right- making costumes! Not for the kids though. They are too young to have any real input so for Logan, I held up the two costumes I liked best and let him pick, and for Liam, I took advantage of the fact that he is too young to stop me, and I dressed him in a really silly costume. My husband however, requires a homemade costume. His sense of humor is just too big to be contained by a store-bought costume. I knew a couple of things going into this:

1. Even silly store-bought costumes are not as silly as my husband.

2. Homemade costumes, especially funny ones, take some construction effort.

3. I would not be frantically trying to make his costume the night before Halloween like last year.

Knowing these truths, I asked my husband to start thinking about what he wanted to be far in advance of Halloween. We tossed some ideas around before landing on:

 He’s on the right and if you can’t read his name tag it says “Kevin” …

So did you get it right away? If not, don’t worry, I won’t judge you. Okay so maybe a little. But not as much as I judged the lady that thought he was sausage. Come on, who dresses up as sausage? Bacon, more specifically, Kevin Bacon is so much better.

For the record baby Liam is a duck because the costume came with adorable orange and yellow striped tights, and there are very times in life when it is socially acceptable to put your little boy in tights, so I went with it. Logan is a monster. And yes he is adorable in his cute little costume, that because of his poofy monster belly zips up the back. But not all the way down the back; more like half-way. Which made wrestling a toddler in and out of it to go to the bathroom all night an absolute joy. Clearly this costume was not made by (or apparently purchased by) anyone with a whole lot of brains. Let’s make (or in my case buy) a costume for three-year olds (who are likely to be potty trained just enough to wear big kid undies, not enough to be able to hold it for any amount of time) that’s nearly impossible to get out of. Genius! Seriously not my finest parenting moment. (However, still better than the time that I lost the baby inside my tiny house – that was ridiculous.) Moving on, I am dressed as a lovely fairy princess costume that consisted of a tulle skirt that I made myself, at the price of many hot-glue burns. That’s right I hot glue stuff together when I’m feeling lazy even though I know how to sew.

So back to my weekend of costume making. Matt and I needed to figure out how to make a bacon costume, and our original idea of snazzing up a sweat suit didn’t seem like it would work to well. So what’s a gal to do? Google it! And yes, there were a couple of sites that had instructions about how to make a bacon costume. This is going high up on the list of reasons that I love the internet. The basic idea is to spray paint foam, glue or velcro, a and you’re good to go. Easy enough. So I thought. I present to you how to make bacon in 45 easy steps: 

1. Head to the craft store to purchase foam.

2. Realize craft foam is expensive! I want to make a Halloween costume, not a car payment.

3. While gaping at the price of craft foam realize your son has climbed precariously high on a ladder marked “do not use”

4. Pull child off of said ladder.

5. Leave craft store, and drive across town to other, sometimes cheaper craft store.

6. After arriving at other craft store, stop your toddler from nearly taking down a giant display of glass vases.

7. Locate craft foam and determine that it is only slightly cheaper.

8. Tell your whining toddler that it will be lunch time eventually, but right now it’s 10 in the morning, so it’s going to be awhile.

9. Leave second craft store empty-handed.

10. Tell toddler that it’s still not lunch time.

11. Head to big box store.

12. Tell toddler that no, he may not have a corn dog because it is not time for lunch.

13. Locate craft foam, and realize that all craft foam is appallingly priced.

14. Have epiphany and head to bedding section.

15. Select two large pieces of bedding foam for much cheaper than craft foam.

16. Enjoy your foam locating triumph for a moment.

17. Realize the baby is licking the filthy cart and try to get him to stop.

18. Listen to the baby scream because you wont let him lick the cart.

19. Give up and pretend not to notice the baby licking the cart.

20. Try to decide if “burnt amber” or “rusted sunset” spray paint looks more bacon-ey.

21. Select spray paint and head to the checkout.

22. Finally give in and agree to feed the toddler lunch.

23. Grab lunch and head home.

24. On the way home, realize you forgot velcro.

25. Go back to the store for velcro.

26. Once home, put kids down for nap, and wish that you had wine in the house.

27. Have an intense marital squabble about the proper way to paint foam.

28. Equate husband doing the painting his way with him not loving you.

29. Make up.

30. Run out of spray paint.

31. Head back to the store for an additional can of “burnt amber”

32. Convince husband to do it your way.

33. Gloat about how much better your way works.

34. Realize that although the painting was done on the back porch, the whole house reeks of spray paint.

35. Once paint is dry cut out your bacon shapes.

36. Velcro your bacon shapes together to make a bacon suit.

37. Run out of velcro.

38. Go purchase additional velcro.

39. Finish bacon suit.

40. Have husband make a “my name is: Kevin” nametag.

41. Tell him his printing isn’t good enough, and make your own nametag.

42. Attach nametag to bacon suit.

43. Put on bacon suit.

44. Win costume contest at work, and delight many people on the street.

45. After Halloween, eat lots of your kids candy. You deserve it.

So this may seem like a lot of work for a Halloween costume, but it delighted so many people. Although one gal thought he was a colon, most adults got it, and laughed at the pun, and kids giggled and exclaimed, “Hey! He’s bacon!” It was a seriously excellent Halloween costume. And while it is sad to put so much work into something that is only worn for one day, I’m glad we did it. And next year, I suppose he could reuse the costume and be Kevin Colon.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in General, NaBloPoMo

 

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Adventures in Jogging

So, I’ve taken up jogging. As part of my mission to finally be fit instead of fat, I started the Couch to 5k program. Approximately 3 days a week (okay, 2 days most weeks) I jog a 30 minute workout in the program. Couch to 5k is basically interval training. The first week you’re supposed to run hard for 1 minute then walk for a 1:30 and repeat, for an entire half hour. So, I may be on my 4th week of week one, but still I’m doing it. I’m really trying to get my speed up before moving on to the harder phases of the program because my initial running speed was a 4.0mph the treadmill. For those of you not down with miles per hour conversions that is a 15 minute mile. That is molasses slow. There are 3rd graders with their tiny 3rd grader leg that walk faster than that. There are senior citizens who have had hip replacements that walk faster than that. So, anyway, I’m trying to get my running speed up a little higher, so that maybe I can run faster than the senior citizens strolling through the park. In the last 4 weeks, I’ve worked my running speed up to a much less shameful 5.2mph, which is just a hair under a 12 minute mile. So the point of all this is I have started jogging (slowly, but still jogging).

Usually I do my jogging at the gym with my screaming banchees sweet children safely tucked into the childwatch. They play with blocks, and use Barbie Dolls as hammers to “fix” the roof of the dollhouse, while I huff and puff on the treadmill upstairs. Unfortunately we haven’t made it to the gym in several days because there has been NO time. So today, I decided to do my jog around the neighborhood with the kids. I do not have a jogging stroller, which didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. As it turns out, it is A. VERY. BIG. DEAL. So I bundled up my kids like little blonde Eskimos, and strapped them into the double umbrella stroller. As I placed my improvisational gloves (read: socks) on the babies hands Logan said he needed “mitts” to. I ran back in to get socks for Logan’s hands, and tricked the dog into coming back inside by pretending I was going to feed him. Sucker. I was jogging with two kids and no jogging stroller. I was not going to have the dog tripping me up too. As soon as I shut the door, the dog was up in the front window barking, as he had figured out my trick, and was undoubtedly cursing me out in dog barks. 

I tried to push the stroller out of our gravel driveway, but the task was made more difficult by the fact that the stroller was weighed down with a combined 55 lbs of baby/toddler weight and an additional 17 lbs of warm winter clothes. I finally got the stroller into the grass, and out onto the sidewalk. And we were off. I was jogging. Without a jogging stroller. I was awesome. Even with the stroller, I was maintaining good form, I was picked up speed. I looked up, and stopped just short of slamming my children into the neighbors gate at an approximate rate of 5.2mph, which had blown open in the wind. I steered us up into the grass strip, went around the gate, and forged on. Everything was perfect until a little later down the block, a lawn service guy was emptying a mower bag into a garbage can in the middle of the sidewalk. He saw me coming and I kept waiting for him to move, but alas, it never happened. Who has the right of way in that situation? A young able-bodied guy dumping out lawn clippings or a chubby stay at home mom barreling down the sidewalk at full speed with two young children in a stroller that was designed for perusing the mall? I think we all know the answer to that question, however he clearly did not, as he just stood there. In an attempt to go around him, I pushed my stroller onto the grass strip without really slowing down. I may or may not have almost fallen, taking the stroller and the kiddos down with me. It was a truely graceful moment.

Shortly after this, towards the end of the block, my lungs began to burn in an unbearable way. Not in the normal, “Man, I’m out of shape” way that they sometimes do. It was more of an “I think I’ve inhaled anthrax and have seven minutes left to live” sort of burn. I tried to push on, but I had to slow to a walk before my lungs exploded. My best guess (since my neighborhood isn’t highly likely to be targeted with anthrax) is that there was some allergen blowing around in the breeze today that attacked my lungs. I do experience seasonal allergies, but I have more of a spring problem than a fall one, usually. It’s hard to pin down the culprit however, since I’m not sure exactly what I am allergic to. Except for bees. And with the horrible burning wheezing pain I had today, I’m not ruling out that I could have potentially inhaled one of those suckers. Seriously, my lungs have never known such pain.

We slowed to a walk and toured the neighborhood, and on the way home my stroller wheel caught on a curb, and nearly dumped my kids face first onto the concrete. I arrived home somewhat defeated, however Logan responded with a “that was FUN Mama!” So apparently it was a fun death-defying ride (like a roller coaster, but much less safe). Two hours later my lungs still are aching, and the dog is still pouting about not getting to go, and I am blogging instead of sucking it up and doing my darn MLA citations for school. So, I will be doing all of my future jogging at the gym where my children can use Barbie as a hammer, and I don’t have to dodge crazy obstacles. Maybe I’ll start jogging outdoors again once I get a jogging stroller and a hazmat suit (just in case).

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in General, Parenting

 

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