Monthly Archives: January 2011

Things To Avoid Eating

Chinchilla poop.  Don’t eat that.  It’s gross.
The end.
Ok, maybe I’ll elaborate just a little bit, if for no other reason than to satisfy any curiosity that might exist as to why in the world I might even find it necessary to announce this seemingly obvious fact.
Jordan will eat anything.  We have known this since the day we brought him home.  However, I don’t think that we were ever really considering poop in the ‘anything’ category until very recently.  Turns out that the kid really WILL eat anything.
He has hoarded food from the very beginning, and we think that’s because he probably had to go through the first few months of his little life without having many of the basics that we take for granted here in the United States.  I’m pretty sure he was lucky to get milk that wasn’t watered down, let alone real, solid food.
So it has sort of always made sense why we find pizza crusts hidden in the sofa cushions or why he will raid the pantry any time we accidentally leave the latch unhooked.  Or even how he will scavenge for crumbs and dropped pieces of candy beneath the bleachers at the gym.  We have learned to watch out for all of that stuff, and we’ve gotten pretty good at detouring him away from his ingrained food-hoarding habits.
However.  Sometimes he still finds ways to get around the system.  The other day, the sitter had to call me and explain that she was brushing his teeth because he had stuffed I-don’t-know-how-much chinchilla poop into his mouth.  Evidently, he had escaped upstairs to his sister’s bedroom for the merest of seconds and returned only after he realized that what he had put in his mouth was utterly nasty.  He needed help removing the vile flavor, I am sure, so he sought out the sitter.  That’s when she called me.
Anyway, he’s fine.  But just when we think we can relax and be a little more complacent about monitoring his food and eating habits, something like this happens.
Things I have learned after the chinchilla-poop-incident:
  • Toothbrushes with brown bristles cannot (and should not) be saved.
  • Chinchilla turds must look like some sort of tiny chocolate delicacy.
  • A 3-year-old can have an ENTIRE mouthful of turds before he determines that it does, indeed, taste disgusting.
  • Eating poop is clearly not psychologically damaging.  After a good tooth brushing and a cookie to get rid of the remnants of the flavor, he was fine.

All About Why My Butt Hurts

Crossfit.  Yup, that’s it.  That’s why my butt hurts.  To be specific, Carl is why my butt hurts, but to cut the guy a break, he’s sorta only doing what Crossfit tells him to do.  Although, now that I think about it, I’m thinking they probably don’t push the torturous rigorous posture that he does all the time, but anyway, you get the point.  Crossfit makes my butt hurt.  Period.
Here’s what I did this weekend.  I went to a Crossfit meet.  That was sort of like the teeny baby step right over the side of the cliff.  I went in feeling…well, nauseous.  In fact, the night before the meet, I was awakened by terror-filled dreams in which evil coaches screamed insults in my face and where fellow Crossfitters were dangling from pull-up bars with bloody stumps for hands (because, you know, there were a LOT of calluses, and those suckers can hurt—and bleed.  Evidently.).  Anyway, it was a scary dream.  Way worse than all that Freddy Krueger stuff I heard about in high school.  So by the time morning rolled around, I was sufficiently petrified and wondering what in the holy hell I had gotten myself into.
And let me tell you, my fears were not assuaged by the stream of uber-fit flesh that paraded into the gym early that morning either.  I found myself praying—more than once—a little something like this.  Please, God, let someone else who uses an inhaler walk into this gym so that I am not all alone—a wheezy mal-athletic (yeah, I made that up) in a sea of muscles and sweat.  Oh yeah, and please let them have a bit of a gimpy leg or something so that I am not the absolute last one to finish anything.  Amen.
I’m pretty sure that prayer alone will send me on a one-way path due south, but I’m hoping I can make up for it sometime in my life.
Let me set the scene.  Lots of athletes milling about and talking.  Coaches setting things up.  Equipment covering the majority of the floor.  And me, slowly inching my way toward the door.  That was the scene.  And then I saw a few familiar faces, and everyone lived happily ever after.
No, that’s not how it ended, because THAT would be a lame story.  Instead, a few of us then sort of huddled together, feeling nauseous and pep-talking each other and chatting nervously in one big kumbaya circle.
And then it started.  No time to think.  No time to run for the hills or hide behind a stack of plates or pretend to faint or anything.  It started and we cheered.  We cheered for each other.  We cheered for people who were working hard, for people who were trying to beat personal goals, for people who were just trying to finish.  All at once, we were all in this thing together.  And you know what?  No one barfed.  (Well, at least not that I am aware of.)
I was terrified.  And I wanted to vomit.  I wanted to run.  I wanted someone to call me and tell me that my child had stuffed macaroni noodles up his nose and that I had to come immediately to his aid.  Anything.  Any.  Thing.  But I didn’t run.
Instead, here’s what I did this weekend.  I did some front squats with a 45-lb. bar.  Then I did some burpees and some 20” box steps.  And then I did more squats, this time with a 40-lb. sand bag, and then I ran with the sand bag, and then I lifted it from the floor to my shoulder a few times and then ran some more.  A whole bunch of all that stuff.  Oh, and in the middle of all that, I also lifted 230 lbs. in a deadlift.
So, you know what?  My butt may hurt, but the rest of me feels damn good.  Well, ok, I should clarify.  I don’t mean that the rest of my body feels good, because pretty much it all hurts and I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.  What I meant was that mushy soul stuff that ends up giving us lots of substance as human beings.  That is what feels good.  My butt still hurts.

Hotel Hell

Ever taken a 3-year old on an excruciatingly long road trip, only to then toss said 3-year-old into a confining and crowded and oh-so-freaking-claustrophobic hotel room?  No, you say?  Well, how about adding to that?  Try two little monsters of the 3-year-old variety, one 13-year-old girl, one 9-year-old girl, a husband, and a mommy who clearly and very desperately needs a higher dose of certain meds.
Words cannot fully express the level of Hades I experienced.  Seriously.  I’m pretty sure I would rather be dragged behind a speeding car for several miles rather than go through the hotel torture.
I’m sure our hotel neighbors were either thinking a) that were were, in fact, torturing small children, because their screams were oh-so-tortured sounding or b) that we had ditched an entire herd of unruly children, leaving them with no adult supervision whatsoever in order to keep our sanity.  Well, let me assure you, neither of those things happened.  Although, I would seriously, SERIOUSLY consider the leaving them behind in the room part if it weren’t for all the crazies in the world who might try to steal them.
There was screaming.  And crying.  And some huffing, hormonal teenage fits.  And I’m pretty sure that the boys made at least a couple calls on the hotel phone before we could get their dirty little paws off of it.  And somehow, through all of this, SpongeBob kept getting louder in the background because Marissa couldn’t hear the television.  So it was this cacophony of sounds that, when all mixed together, sounded sort of like a train de-railing during a rock concert (which I have never witnessed, but I can make certain assumptions about the level of LOUD which must be present at such an event).
Anyhow, we had to spend two hours “resting” in the hotel room before it was time to go to dinner, which in 3-year-old terms equates to eleven gazillion years, and omg what in the world can we dig up in this place to occupy our time for eleven gazillion years!?!  By the end of that two hours, Mommy was ready to either check herself into her own little padded cell or go sit in the car.  Yes, it was something like 10 degrees outside, but I did not care.  I would have gladly taken a case of vicious frostbite in lieu of the hotel hell I was enduring.
We walked to the lobby for cookies and decided to watch the big lobby television for a while—because we are adventurous and exciting like that—and that’s where Jordan decided to completely melt down because, I dunno, maybe his sock had a wrinkle in it or something.  So after several not-so-subtle glares from the front desk, we hung our heads in shame and headed back to our room.  After grabbing a handful of cookies to stuff in the monsters’ mouths at the next sign of any disturbance.
When it was finally time to go to dinner, I ran out of that hotel like it was a burning building.  Yes, I ran.  Left the kids and Jason to fend for themselves.  Survival of the fittest, y’all.  Or the craziest.  I don’t think I could have taken one more minute in that little room.  The running and the bed jumping and the toilet flushing and the phone calling and the drawer slamming had finally gotten to me.
And the place we went for dinner was really nice—one of those make-your-own stir-fry kind of places.  But as much as we tried to go for the look of hip, together family with well-behaved children, I’m afraid what we pulled off was something more like omg-can’t-those-people-do-anything-with-their-children?!
Jordan emptied several packets of Sweet-n-Low into his bowl before I even had the chance to sit down, and Jadon was busy jamming chop sticks into his straw and playing a rousing rendition of a chop-stick drum solo on the table.
Knowing my picky eaters, I carefully selected plain noodles, chicken, and cheese for their stir-fry.  Sounds yummy, right?  As soon as I sat it in front of Jordan, he simply looked at it and said, “No.”  Jadon was content to stab the food with his chop sticks, but he refused to eat it.  So I went back to the line, armed with an empty bowl, and filled it to the brim with tiny little mandarin orange slices.  The boys had oranges for dinner.  And I stuffed my dinner in—and then begged to be taken back to hotel hell so that we could get our crazy crew out of PUBLIC.

It’s Time

Comments like this let moms know that it’s definitely time to stop the little ones from wandering in during shower time.

Jadon:  Why you got doze (those), Mama?  (Said while pointing at my girl parts.)

Me:  Jason!  Come get him OUT! OF! THE! BATHROOM!

Snooze Button

It’s January.  And I’m bored.  I mean, bored as in, I need to DO something.  And no, by ‘do something,’ I don’t mean a) go to the mall or b) rent a movie or even c) go on a road trip.
I mean I need to really DO something.  Something meaningful and useful.  And it wouldn’t hurt if it were also interesting, fulfilling, fun, and affordable.  Any ideas?
Like start an orphanage.
Or dig latrines in Haiti.
Or teach people to read.
Or even hitchhike across Europe.
I’m sure my family would frown on most of these ideas, mostly because of the fact that, in order to actually do them, I would have to be elsewhere—like Haiti or Prague or somewhere deep in the jungles of South America.
I’ve always had this restlessness that sits on my shoulder, the little devil that keeps whispering in my ear to go, explore, discover.  (It could be an undiagnosed case of ADHD, I suppose, or maybe even Restless Leg Syndrome, but either way, I need different, new, unusual.)  Anyway, if forced to sit still in one place for too long, then I start to wiggle and play with my hair and doodle…you know, sort of like having to sit through a church service when you’re 4 years old.
So if anyone could tell me where the nearest neighborhood in need of a good latrine might be, that would be very helpful.  Until then, maybe I’ll learn to weld or grow fruit trees or do calligraphy.  Whatever it is, this is the year of different.  Of exciting.  Of, oh-my-god-I’m-alive-so-let’s-get-up-and-DO-something.

And Without Further Ado…

…I present my 2011 goals.  This is to keep me honest–hopefully I can look back in 12 months and check some (or all) of them off the list:

Lose 30 more pounds by May 1.
Get a kipping pull-up.
Be able to run a mile without stopping.
Be able to connect double-unders.
Do a handstand push-up (preferably without crushing my skull).
Climb a rope.
Scuba dive somewhere I’ve never been.
Hike in a National Park.
Pay off debt.
Get book published.
No problem, y’all–I think I got this covered!

Hypothetically Speaking

(You know, because there’s NO WAY anyone in my family could be this crazy.)
So, hypothetically speaking, I think I would be totally freaked out if I were to attend a family gathering at the holidays, only to hear some long, lost 27th cousin ask me, “So, now that you have connections south of the border, can you get me some cheap oxycontin?”  (Insert obnoxious, drunken laugh here.)
There are absolutely so many levels of wrong here that it’s going to be very difficult to dissect the train of thought I had (or might have had, if I had a relative this in-freakin’-sane), but let me try.
First of all, I’m guessing that my south-of-the-border connection has something to do with our two youngest sons.  I’ll also assume that any drunken attempts to speak Spanish were for their benefit, although now I’m fairly certain I’ll end up paying for counseling well into their adult years.
Ok, so, “south of the border.”  Hmmm, well, yes, as a matter of fact, Guatemala does lie to the south of our fine land, but I’m really pretty certain that I don’t have any sort of connections, especially of the variety to which this relative was referring.  I can only assume that he was possibly high on some sort of legal-ish cocktail when he asked this repulsive question.
Now, I’ll give him forgiveness points for the fact that, conservatively speaking, I think he’s probably nearing 85 years old.  This would also very likely explain the elevated volume he found it necessary to use when asking this question—hopefully, he’ll get those hearing aid batteries checked soon.
I mean, seriously!  What in the world are some people thinking?!  That was only one of the asinine questions I endured while at the Christmas With Jim Beam party, as I’ve affectionately named it.  (Have I mentioned previously my happiness at only seeing these relatives once a year?)
Before I repeat any of the others, let me just remind you that the boys have been with us for three years now.  That’s three whole Christmases we have all been together at this gathering.  Not three months, not three days…but THREE. YEARS.  My point here is that I mistakenly assumed that the boys might be sort of “old hat” by now.  You know, surely there are other more mind-blowing things than, say, a family member who is of a different nationality.
Anyway, here are a few of the doozies from this year:
“Are they brothers?”
Answer:  They are now.
“Well, you know, what I mean is, are they related?”
Answer:  They are now.
“Um, well, I reckon it’s a good thing y’all kept ‘em together then.”
Answer:  Um, are you kidding me?
“Do they speak Spanish?”
Answer:  Do you speak German?
“Do they know their mom?”
Answer:  Yes, as a matter of fact, they say my name at least 50 times a day, usually when they want cookies or ice cream.
And then the south-of-the-border connection thing came up.  At which point, Jason shot me a glare across the room that said something like, “I swear to God, if we don’t leave this den of ignorance right now, I will pack up the kids, and we will hitchhike.”  Or something like that.  Anyway, I got the picture that our hour with this branch of the family needed to quickly come to a close.  I’m pretty sure that next year we’ll have a wonderful excuse for why we’ll be unable to attend.  Maybe a Christmas conference south of the border?

Things I Learned This Christmas

  1. Marshmallows are sticky.  Very, very sticky.  Especially after they have been ground into the carpet by several excited little pitter-pattering feet.
  1. There are a LOT of mini marshmallows in a bag, which means a LOT of ammo.  Thanks for the marshmallow guns, Mom.
  1. There is no maximum amount of chocolate that can be consumed by a 3-year-old.  They will eat until they burst or explode.  Literally.
  1. Santa threats work for approximately 2 minutes before the little monsters get wise to your game.  They are not stupid.  They know Santa is coming…even if they do tie tinsel to the cat’s tail and scream for 30 minutes straight about it being bedtime.
  1. If you are out of cookies (because you are a dumb-dumb who didn’t remember that, duh, you need to have cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve), Santa will, in fact, eat a couple of Little Debbie brownies as a substitute.  You know, desperate times, desperate measures and all.
  1. You know those relatives you see only once a year and occasionally at funerals and weddings?  Yeah, there’s a reason for that.  Just do your time and promise that you’ll have to make time to get everyone together more often than once a year…even though what you really mean to say is, “Oh, heck no!  It’ll take me months to erase the trauma imposed on my kids in just this one night.”
  1. No matter where you hide the rum, there are members of your family who will find it.  And drink it.  (And oh yeah, evidently any liquid can be spiked with rum.)
  1. After you get all those cool games for your kids, those same kids will then actually want you to play the games with them.  For days on end.  Even when you really, really want to be reading your new Kindle.
  1. No matter how much you say you will get done over the break, divide that by half and then subtract 3…and you’ll be closer to the actual number of tasks completed.
  1. If you give your teenage daughter several of the hit movies on her list, you will not see her for days on end.  Well, except to get food and new batteries for her remote control.
  1. Cats cannot digest tinsel.  ‘Nuff said.
Happy 2011!