Old News: Past Blog Posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things I said to my Two Year Old Today

Excuse me, sir? We have a policy against eating floor carrots in this house.

Um, please don't pull mommy's pants down, it makes her booty feel cold.

I think two bananas is probably enough for one night.  

Why don't you help mommy feed the puppies?

Oh, okay.  I'll hold your screw driver.

Well.  Yeah, alright.  I guess the dogs can eat from the floor tonight.  I suppose our floor food policy doesn't apply to canines.

Let's maybe not take a bite out of the foam soccer ball.

Maybe you really needed that third banana. 

Hey you! Please step down from the second shelf, that plastic container is disinfectant wipes...not puffs.

Well!  Look how strong you are! However, I'm a little concerned that you might drop that Bumpo seat on your brother if you're not careful.

Don't you think you're butt might be a little too big for that bumpo seat?

The baby doesn't have teeth so kindly refrain from feeding him grapes.

Okay, so I stand corrected and your big ol' booty *does* fit in the bumpo...now may I ask, do you have an exit strategy?

I sure am happy to see you are concerned about baby brother, but do you honestly believe sticking your fingers in his ear will stop the crying? 

Maybe he's sad because you stole his Bumpo?

Oh *shit* that's dinner burning.

Don't repeat that.

(Quieter, while running for the kitchen) shit, shit, shit.

Let's pick out a book for bedtime.  So you can hear some words that aren't so offensive.

Oh sure, I'd love to read 'Wocket in my Pocket' again.


...really, again? 


Hey you.  Yeah you...with the banana obsession, goofy grin, and apparently insatiable love of Dr Seuss...

...you and your fearless little brother who loves to be underfoot...

...I love on you.  I do, I do. 
I do, I do, I love on you!    

Me: (laughing aloud) You guys are too funny.
Big Guy: (waving his index fingers at me) TWO TWO!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Swim Lesson

The air is sticky and humid under the elevated rafters of our municipal recreation complex, which is just fine with me since I'm still sticky from my workout four hours ago (showers are totally overrated).

My 2-year-old is snaking his way confidently through waist-high water between a dozen or so other toddlers and their hovering parental counterparts, through the shallowest cove of the indoor pool, opposite the towering slide and adjacent the lazy river.  

A gleeful smile consumes his face, his arms are filled with a variety of pool toys, and he's the only child whose hair is already saturated.  

The swim lesson is about to begin.

A twenty-something lifeguard with an unrulely beard and more hair on his shoulders than I thought humanly possible stands next to his female counterpart whose broad smile reveals large white teeth and, to her credit, looks only 50% forced.  

I am on the deck, perched next to a pumpkin seat that cradles a sleeping baby and adding a new layer of sweat to my already pre-salted skin. 

The man in the hair shirt assembles the parents and children around the parameter of the pool.  The group now strikes up an enthusiastic (albeit off-key) version of Itsy Bitsy Spider, a song that my husband has recently admitted he does not know the words to.  This admission made me question the very fabric of our marriage...but I digress.
During this version of the song (I notice the hubs is doing a great job of faking it), water is sprinkled on the children's heads--presumably to help acclimate those who haven't already plunged themselves underwater.  

Next, the kiddos practice kicking at the edge of the water during a rousing game of 'red light, green light'.  

After about 90 seconds, when the little legs and short attention spans have tired of kicking, the instructors produce a flexible foam 'water noodle' and announce that today, there will be a trip to the Arch.  The children are invited to pass below the arched noodle as it sinks lower into the water.  The group of two and three-year-olds toddle over and push past each other and under the noodle in a less-than-orderly fashion and the phrase 'herding cats' passes briefly through my mind.  No one is brave enough to sink lower than a crouch as the 'Arch' ends are lowered into the pool by the instructors, but one budding comedian (or sociopath) turns on his heels, reaches with both hands and smashes center of the noodle down with a splash, narrowly missing the noses on the stunned faces of the two toddlers just behind him.  

A smattering of laughter erupts among the adults, the most nervous-sounding of which comes from the offender's parent as he rushes in to detain his delinquent comic (slash evil?) genius child.  The child's pride in capturing the attention of the group is clearly undeterred however, and when a copycat emerges, the game is abruptly ended and the crowd is relocated to the lazy river to practice floating and chasing after rubber ducks. 
I grab the pumpkin seat which now contains an alert and very interested looking infant and we settle into a new spot between the floor-to-ceiling windows and lazy river.  My husband and son slide in line behind a parade of squealing toddlers flopping around with varying levels of confidence and appreciation of their splashy surroundings.  

My child may very well be the happiest and most confident among them, his open-mouthed toothy grin filling with unknown amounts of chlorinated water which is only expelled during the occasional sputtering cough.  

The next activity is meant to be 'jumping' from the edge of the pool, but essentially involves shivering, squatting, and lunging forward into welcoming bear hugs from grinning, coaxing parents.  

After a few 'jumps,' one of the instructors shouts out something unintelligible and my husband smiles at me coyly before collecting our son in one last bear hug, 'Ooo...my favorite part'. 

'What part is that?' I ask, knowing already by his face that the answer will be be delivered as a punch line would.

'Time to motor boat.'

(He'll be here all week folks, be sure to tip the wait staff). 

The final activity involves a song about a motor boat (though obviously not the sort my wise-cracking husband was hoping for) and a lively version of Ring Around the Rosie which ends with the bravest children (or more accurately, those with the bravest parents) 'falling down' underwater.  

The song is repeated several times and I watch as my brave boy emerges each time from just below the surface looking momentarily stunned, but basically un-phased and ready for more.  

As the class ends and dozens of pairs of bare feet emerge from the pool and smack across the wet deck and into the locker rooms, I reflect the ecstatic behavior of my fearless little boy.  I am so proud of his good-natured enthusiasm.  He is a good kid.  And maybe someday, he'll also be a pretty good swimmer.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Go! (Fight, Win) St Louis

Yesterday, I counted myself among 2,600 runners who joined forces with three friends to complete the 26.2 mile course plotted between downtown St. Louis and some neighboring townships not far from my home.  

Another 2,000 runners were registered to complete the entire course solo and 8,000 more hit the streets to cover 13.1 miles.  

Despite covering a lot of familiar territory, this race course is a favorite of mine and carries with it a lot of nostalgia, as I have participated in some way every year since it counted as my first half marathon eight years ago...with the exception of the last two years  (because even *I'm* not crazy enough to run a half marathon less than a month after delivery or while on bedrest). 

This year, I was asked to run the 7 mile third leg of the marathon relay by three amazing women I know from my days at Washington University's PT program (PTO8!!)

As a relay team member, this meant spending more time hanging out spectating than actually running; which is actually more fun than you might think for four Physical Therapists. Let me just tell you, there is no one more entertained by a parade of 12,600 runners than a geeky physical therapist trained in the Wash U developed Movement System Impairment (MSI). 


When it came time for me to begin my leg of the race, I gave my 9 month old a hasty squeeze and passed him off to my husband, patted my 2-year-old on the top of his squirmy head and trotted my way into a small crowd of runners.  

The leg I volunteered to complete contained seven of the most scenic and steepest miles of the course.  The year I ran the marathon distance -- after two completely flat Chicago marathons -- this leg was the one that tried to kill me.  

The thing about joining a group of marathoners at mile 13 is this: your fresh legs will end up making you look like a total dick for at least the first mile or so.  As I dashed past one runner and the next, settling into my pace, I was acutely aware of annoyed glances shot my way from fatiguing faces on all sides.

I was sans music, sans companionship, and free to spend the next 59 minutes inside the twists and turns of my own backwards mind.

Here is a brief synopsis of the thoughts that ran through my mind as the rest of me ran my portion of yesterday's relay.  

- Well, here goes nothing.  
- I feel pretty damn good considering my lack of 'training'
- When was the last time I ran?
- I think it was Tuesday ... Yeah, Tuesday ... Definitely a Tuesday ... In February ... ?
- Oh, right.  Here's a hill.
- I know this hill.  This hill isn't so terrible.  It runs right past the church where I was married....where I also once had to make an emergency pit stop on a long run.  God sure will go to great lengths to get me back into church.   
- I kinda like this hill.
- I think I'm pissing people off.  Better make some friendly conversation.
Me to random marathoner: 'Isn't it just so obnoxious when these relay-ers come in all rested?' (Pointing to my relay bib)
Random marathoner: 'I just need this hill to end' 
Me: 'Don't worry, it gets better by the end of this leg.  This is the worst part.'
Another random marathoner: 'Yeah, once you get to Delmar, it's pretty much downhill for awhile.'
Me: 'Totally' (trotting off happily because I'm only on mile 2 and they're on mile 15)
- Still bored.  I need a race target.
- This blonde in the red shorts seems worthy adversary, she's been in my sights for awhile.  I bet she burns out as this hill gets steeper.  
- Oh, this pace group looks like they're having a nice time.  
- Pacer: '...and now we're entering downtown Clayton...'
Me: 'oh, this must be the tour group.'
Pacer: polite laugh 'would you like to join us?' 
Me: glancing at his sign that reads '4:30' and catching red shorts pulling ahead out of the corner of my eye 'Oh, I'm good, thanks.' To the group 'Don't forget to tip this guy' (more polite laughter.  I am not funny)
- Damn. Red shorts is not f-ing around.  She came to take care of business.
- Come on legs.  Reach!! Lord, I need to stretch better/more.  My stiff hips make me run like a damn cartoon character.  
-  Do my shoes really have holes in them?  When did I buy these?  Right.  It was winter.  Like, last winter? 
-  Interesting.  This guy's shirt says, 'St Louis Ultra Runners Group'
Me: I didn't know there was a St Louis Ultra Runners Group...?'
Man: 'Yup.  Dot net.  Look us up!'  
Me: 'I'll have to do that...although I could never hang'. (Ironically dashing ahead to catch up with red shorts)
-  Okay, we looped north.  Delmar has got to be coming up soon.  Now need this hill to end...or I need red shorts to stop and tie her shoelaces. This chick is fierce.  
- Does she know I'm stalking her yet?  
- Maybe. Or it's possible she thinks there's a freight train closing in on her.  I should have run once or twice in March.  
-  Okay. I should call it.  Brava my unknowing opponent.  I am a new(ish) mom who's still kicking the latest bug her kids brought home and haven't had an uninterrupted night of sleep in the better part of a year.  And I still haven't shaken off those last 3 lbs of baby weight.  You look like you're probably 22 and your biggest responsibilities are feeding your Yorkie Terrier and making it to Crossfit on time.  
- Nope. No. No way. That is not how you roll.  
- You are not a quitter.  
- You will not settle. 
- This is the shit you live for!
- Go. Get. Her....and her little dog too.  Evil cackle.  (Yeah okay, I'm the wicked witch in this scenario).
- There.  She's back in my radar.
- So...tired... ow.
- Okay, new rule.  Keep her in my sights.  So maybe I can't beat her, but I can at least hang at a creepy stalker distance.  
- This is me...settling.
- sigh
- Oh, thank God.  It's Delmar.  Finally.  It's all down---what the?
- Another hill?  What the F?
- No joke. This hill has got to be the steepest yet. 
- Where's that chick that said it was all downhill on Delmar?  I should find her and trip her.
- Balls.
- Alright.  Dig in and get it.  At least it will be over soon.
- Honestly.  People are walking.  This hill is bullshit.
- Oh crap.  Where did red shorts go?  
- Is that her?  Way up there? She is hauling ass!  
- Well, if I have a heart attack, I suppose this is as good a place as any to die. I had a pretty good life.  
- What is that noise?  Is that my breathing??  Yup. I am definitely about to die.
-  Oh, for crying out loud...when does it end? 
-  Finally.  I can see the Loop.  Home stretch.  Downhill.  There is a God.
- Clock check: been running 55 minutes.  Can I do this in under an hour?  
- I think I have officially lost sight of red shorts. 
- Wait.  Is that her?  Maybe...
- Maybe....
- Maybe....
- Nope.
-  sigh
- That crowd of spectators up ahead must be the relay station.  
- Reach legs...reach dammit!! 
- On the right! There're my girls!  It's over!  

Clock check: 59 minutes.  
Pace: 8:22 minute miles.
Red shorts: long gone...probably headed home to walk her dog.  

My phone rings.  It's my husband.  He is across the street with my boys and a smile.

Life is good.