Wednesday, February 29, 2012


My new name:  Jackie "Runs A Lot" Julius.

We are officially 20 miles in to the 195.1 mile training/race.  1&1/2 weeks into the 10 weeks until we are done.  I am feeling good.  I still don't believe I will be running that far, but Monday's 3 miles seemed pretty easy.  As easy as running 3 miles can seem I suppose.  Here's to hopin' someday in about 8 weeks, 6 miles will seem pretty easy.  I really really doubt that, but I'm in it for the long haul so here goes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


If you need me, I will be over here very maturely eating Cars themed Cheez-Its.  They taste exactly the same as regular Cheez-Its, but there is just something about having characters on your crackers.  I cannot put a single one in my mouth without looking to see who I am devouring.  Mater?  Finn McMissile?  Francesco?  Lightning?  Doesn't are all delicious.

And Abigail, you need to deal with the fact that Cheez-Its are so much better than Cheese Nips.  Just accept that I am right.
Impressive.  That's it.  That is the only way to describe how finely a tissue can shred in the pocket of a fleece sweatshirt when it goes through the wash and still manage to stay in said pocket.

Happy Tuesday!

I can't seem to shake the grumpies.  I have tried changing my pants thinking perhaps I just had on a particularly grumpy dice.  So this morning I made a conscious effort to be happy.  And it was working for a bit.  And then I had three different people climb all over me about stuff that I was right about but they didn't believe me.  I was hoping my mindful effort to be happier would help me shake those annoying people off, but you know what they say...You can hope in one hand and crap in the other...See which fills up first.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I just love that super classy moment when you are sitting at your desk, take a drink of water, and suddenly forget the how to steps of transporting water from a small bottle to your mouth so you end up with water all down the front of your shirt.  Love.  It.

38 To Go

So this running all over hell and back might have some benefits...

1.  I can already feel my core getting more solid.  Less squishy=more happy.
2.  The running app on my fancy new smart phone not only tells you how far you run and how long it takes you to run every torturous mile, it also tells you how many calories you burn.  I will tell you...not that many.  I mean it is a decent amount of calories, but when you realize you have to run over 2 miles to burn off two sticks of caramel Twix; Twix suddenly become way less enticing.

Welcome Home!

It turns out when you have a toddler and you leave for 4 days, he really really wants to test limits and push boundaries with you when you get back.  It has been a rough couple of days for the beast and me.

Everything I ask him to do is met with "I can't."  Every time I ask if he wants something, "No."  The amount of attitude attached to every freaking thing that kid has said to me in the past three days is nothing short of hair pullingly impressive.  I cannot even come close to counting how many I have made that child look me in the eye so I could once again tell him he is not allowed to talk to me like that.

Last night this little song and dance he and I have been rehearsing ended with me loudly closing his door while he laid in his crib, kicking his legs like a manic kangaroo stuck on its back, with a juuuust barely put on diaper.  I just couldn't deal.  My patience tank had reach its limit of smart ass kid for the day, and I had to walk away.  And shutting the door loudly...well, I was mad at myself the moment I did it, but I just couldn't help it.  So I left him in there for a couple minutes, kicking and screaming.  And once I had regained my composure, I went back to find him sitting in his crib, crying, with his blanket around his head like a nun's habit.  We sat together and had a talk about him being sassy and that it makes me sad.  And that it makes people sad when you are not nice to them.  I'm gonna let myself believe some of that sank in, but only time will tell.

And this morning.  For the most part things were going great.  Until he got mad at me for handing him the remote to put away instead of letting him pick it up himself.  "You don't hand it to me, Mama!" was a phrase that solicited another, "You are not allowed to talk to me like that" statement.  He bounced right back and I thought we were fine.  But then he wanted nothing to do with me holding his hand going down the back steps.  There is a railing and he is capable, so I figured I would let him do it.  But then he just stood there.  So, I told him I was leaving and went to the garage.  As I was putting my stuff in the car, I could hear him crying.  I was positive he was standing at the top of the steps being stubborn.  So I responded, mostly to myself,but loud enough that he might hear, "This is gettin' old buddy.  Really really old."

When do you suppose I am going to learn that every stinkin' time I assume he is just being an ass I am going to be proven wrong?  So I come out of the garage and see my little boy laying on the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps crying.  Laying on the CONCRETE, crying for me.  While I was in the garage telling him I am sick of his shit.  Stellar.

He was fine and had only tripped on the last step.  He didn't even have a scuff on his hand.  Think that mattered in the great game of feeling like a shitty mom?  Nope.

Now I just have to work on getting the picture of him laying there out of mind so I can maintain the ability to walk away when he is being unreasonable.  And, you know, I don't obsess about things ever so I'm sure this is gonna be just fine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1 and counting

Monday marked the completion of Day 1 of training for this half marathon.  Only 39 more runs to go!  Sweet lord.  What have I done?  This is a big ol' mountain of intimidation I am facing.  I will be running 4 times a week for 10 freaking weeks.

I am keeping the anticipated insane sense of accomplishment tucked in the side of brain and go to it when in need of motivation/fear suppression.  I will tell you I am slightly worried this stupid leg of mine won't be able to handle it.  But I would be lying I said there wasn't a hairy little nasty lazy scared to death shred of me that wouldn't be too sad if the ol' leg gave up on this idea.  Hey, it's not me giving up, it's my leg...nothin' I can do about it.  That shred is super small and easily dismissed as the giant wuss inside of me, but there ya have it.

Just realized that now if my leg does actually give up, pretty much nobody that lays an eye on this post will actually believe me.  Good good then.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Golden State

Holy man California was great.  Lauryn Hill was a-mazing.  We salsa danced and didn't die from complete fright and intimidation.  Although it was pretty close there for a little bit.  We cheered for the local roller derby girls.  The sunshine was warm.  And we ate and drank ourselves stupid.  G to the Lorious!

Here's the super cool part...I was really happy when I was coming home.  I left with a small longing for no responsibility ever and forever, but I think that is just part of being on a vacation.  If you show me someone that is excited to leave vacation to get back to all aspects of the daily grind and leave the floating sensation of having no schedule to adhere to or deadlines or bosses or laundry or muddy dog feet, I will tell you that person sucks. But I could not wait to get home to my boys.  And my heart just about exploded when I saw them waiting at the bottom of the escalator.  Alex's love of escalators far outweighed his excitement of seeing me, but felt really good to feel good about being home.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Not helping

I was doing better with my whole Not Wanting to Leave issue.  And then I picked up Alex yesterday and he was a little stuffed up.  And then last night he slept horribly and cried for me more than once.  And then this morning when he woke up it seemed as though his little body maybe has somethin' brewin' in there.

When I dropped him off this morning, his teacher mentioned that he looked tired and I said that I thought he was possibly coming down with something.  Which is when she told me there is a bunch of crap going around and they just found out this morning one of the kids in Alex's old room has bronchitis.  Super.

Then we need to factor in the ridiculousness that is Travis's job.  Due to the insane expectations at his job, he very very rarely can do any day care drop offs or pick ups.  Fine, whatever.  But when I need to be gone, all hell breaks loose because he has to pick up, drop off, pick up on consecutive days!  How dare he?!?  And then add to that that one of the guys on his team also has a kid in daycare who is sick and someone already asked off for Friday.  How could he possibly think he would be able to get away with only working a 9 hour day on Friday?  The gall of that man!  K, I think I'm done and will go back to being grateful we both have jobs and don't have to make the extreme sacrifices many other families do.

So, when you put the pending illness of my boy, the pending missingness I am bound to encounter and the all over insaneness of Travis's job all together, you end up with one big ol' bucket of guilt for a Mama.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


As I have mentioned before, Alex really likes to "play cards" even though he has no idea how to play by any rules that anyone else understands.  But I will tell you this....I will play all day with him when he grabs the Uno! deck and asks me if I want to play with him.  And then he just starts throwing cards out, shouting "Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Venus vs Mars

So I said to Travis the other day, "Man, I am lookin' old today."  His response?  "Yeah...Me too."


Sooooo not the response I was looking for.  I realize it is technically my fault, as I shouldn't have been deep sea fishing for a "No, you look great babe!"  But c'mon man.  Are you kidding me?

Eye of the Tiger

As of this morning, my new fightin' weight is -30.5lbs.  Laugh if you'd like, but you better damn well believe I am not selling myself short of that .5lbs just to avoid sounding like a crazy person.  I would like to thank Multi-Grain Cheerios for helping me reach this goal.  I would also like to look to the future and thank my stupid ass for signing up for a half marathon, as I am guessing there is no way I am going to run 195.1 FREAKING MILES in 10 weeks and not lose a couple more pounds.  There better be no way that happens.  Dear sweet baby Jesus I better lose more weight.

And yes, you read that correctly, 195.1 miles.  It sounds like a pain in the ass to drive that many miles much less traverse that distance on my own two feet.  What the hell was I thinking when I agreed to this?


And in today's least shocking news:  I am feeling sad and guilty about leaving for a long weekend.  Sad that I will be missing my boys.  Guilty that Travis is on his own while I am livin' footloose and fancy free in California. Last night's bed time antics didn't help matters.  When he was crying "I want my Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaa" it just about split my heart in two and I was standing right there.  Knowing that he will/could be crying that while I am hundreds of miles away and can't get there to comfort him, kinda makes me want to vomit.

I need to focus on the good.  I am super excited to see Melanie.  And she is taking me to see Lauryn Hill.  And salsa dancing.  This trip is gonna be lots o' fun in all of its lack of responsibility glory.  And Trav is a grown man; he can handle keeping the household running for three and a half days.  Good talk.


We went to Platteville Saturday, came back Sunday.  Fun was had by all.  I figured since we were with him, there wouldn't be the dreaded decontamination period that we normally have to combat when our adorable little beast stays somewhere.  Makes good sense, but is way off of anything close to reality.  Last night suuuuuucked.

He was super grumpy most of the evening and was only truly happy if he was watching race cars.  Watching race cars cannot last all night...alas we were stuck with a kid wearing some serious grumpy pants.  All three of us navigated the night with no major issues.  And then it was bed time and the world ended.  He came up with every excuse he could possibly think of to keep me in there with him.  And when I had finally had enough and left, operation Scream My Lungs Out commenced.

It was a mixture of angry screaming, sad crying, pathetic wailing.  I held my ground.  I was crying while I was holding said ground, but he doesn't know that.  I had to be strong and not let him manipulate me.  I had to remember those horrid times when he was much smaller and we made him cry it out.  Which I was terribly successful at...until this morning.  I went in to get him when he woke up and he sleepily whimpered and said, "I try calling for you Mama."  That little shit was still layin' on a super thick, extra creamy layer of guilt trip frosting.  It was all I could do to not laugh/cry on our way to the living room.  Since his little manipulation trick worked, I sat a little longer with him before changing his diaper than I should have.

You would think I would change my jeans and shirt after his wet diaper leaked on me while snuggling my little emotional wrecking ball.  You would think that and you would be wrong.  Scented baby wipes work wonders.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Logic Beats Lazy

At what point in parenthood do you stop being lazy in the current moment, follow your gut, and save yourself some time later?  Last night proved to not be that moment for this sly cat.

Alex was all ready for bed and we were reading stories when he decided his legs weren't cold so he didn't have to wear his pajama pants.  I disagreed.  A struggle ensued.  I won.  When he was doing his best to get his pants off during the struggle, I realized his overnight diaper looked like it may just reach capacity well before morning.  But I was focused on keeping his pants on and was too lazy to add another facet to the battle at hand.  So I convinced myself that it would be fine.

That moment came back to bite me in my sleepy butt at 3:42 this morning when this little sad voice came through the monitor..."Mama?  I all wet."

DAMMIT.  I gambled and lost.  Like really lost.  He was soaked.  His bed was soaked.  Luckily he was still really tired so being undressed, changed, and moved around to strategically locate a blanket under him so he wasn't sleeping on wet sheets didn't phase him.  He did ask to sleep on the couch, but I pretended I didn't hear that request.  Ahhh compassion.

The whole time I was changing him, my stupid brain just kept singing, "I toooooold you soooooooo!"  My brain's a jerk.


The velcro ones fit!!!  I was so excited, I didn't even try on the other ones.  Although if those fit, you best believe this kid is gonna have 3, count 'em THREE, pairs of shoes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

17th Time's a Charm?

One of these two pair better fit this kid's feet.  I am not a fan of the black shoes, blue shirt thing he's got goin' on today.  And Converse apparently doesn't think blue/brown shoes are necessary for toddlers.  And every other flippin' shoe I have tried on him produces the same result..."Too tight Mama."   Complete with sad puppy eyes and one foot trying desperately to get the too tight shoe off the other foot.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Bitch is Back

I swear, this little four year old girl and I are gonna throw down.  Yes, this would the same little girl with the poorly constructed barn.  I thought our strained relationship was getting better...until this morning.  All of the kids in Alex's room were playing with cards when we got there.  Alex loooooves cards these days.  Normally he will pick up a normal deck of cards and start dealing them to me saying "Skip.  Skip.  Skip." with each card dealt.  I figured out this is because they play Uno with the kids at day care.  Apparently he really likes the Skip card.

Anywho, cards this morning.  So the four other kids had an entire table covered in cards, and they were all engaged in what they were doing.  Alex grabbed the Uno deck and excitedly asked me to play cards with him and the other kids.  Not wanting to disrupt whatever game they had going on, I suggested he and I use the other table that was completely empty.  Immediately, that little snot came running over to inform me, "He doesn't know how to play you know."

Couple things...

1.  The "game" the other kids were playing was simply putting the cards face down on the table and claiming they made a cool design out of them.  Anyone can play that game, sweetheart.
2.  He is 2&1/2.  Of course he isn't going to understand the rules of Uno.  He looks at a card with a 6 on it and tells me it's a 3. He's 2&1/2.  When you get a sec little girl....go suck it.

I quickly and nicely told her it didn't matter, and that he and I were going to make up our own game.  The teacher was right there, let me finish, and then reminded that little mini ball of scathing attitude that we don't tease people for not knowing something; we teach them.  She acknowledged and repeated that little mantra and went back to her shitty card "design" and I played with Alex for a couple minutes.

The whole encounter put the knot in my stomach into high festering gear.  My absurd level of attachment has manifested an ugly growth.  I not only want to be around him all the time because I like being around him, but I want to be around him all the time to make sure nobody ever anywhere hurts my boy.  Ever.  And frankly, teasing him for not knowing how to do something very clearly falls into the category of possibly hurting his little feelers.

Teasing him in a not fun way is probably the near the bottom of the long list of Things That Could Happen.  My lovely imagination goes to really nasty places when I let it go on adventures of what could happen to Alex when I am not around.  Mind you, most of those things are probably more apt to happen when I am in charge of him, but that's not the point.  He's my boy and I will box that girl's ears if she keeps this shit up.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I don't wanna work!  I wanna blog on the web all day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Crouching Tiger, Hiding Mama

After his allotted play time in the car last night, Alex decided he wanted to sweep the snow.  I don't know.  He's a weirdee.  Any way, while I was standing out there with him, I saw one of our neighbors coming up the sidewalk walking his dog.  Let's set the scene...

This man is out there.  He uses a ten foot piece of chain as a leash.  His preferred language is sort of jibberish dialect that I can only pick out about every third word.  In the warmer weather, he wears pants and suspenders on his walks.  Only pants and suspenders.  No shirt, no shoes, no jokin'.  He also runs for any and all political offices in our city.  And his dog is kind of a jerk.  And Aiden has proven herself an over-protective, fence guarding, yard shredding asshole of a dog, so these two usually do not get along.  But last night something in the air must have been just right and the stars aligned just so because these two dogs were all tail waggy and through the fence sniffy, but no insane barking.  Which was great and all, but the dogs getting along prompted crazy mayor dude to stop and talk to the dogs...and try to talk to me.

So I did what any cowardly person that doesn't like talking to others would do.  I hid in the garage.  I made sure Alex was in sight, but I hid.  I knew Alex wouldn't talk to him even though this guy was talking to Alex.  And I figured the silent blank stare from a toddler would make him go away faster.  I figured right.  Not overly proud of myself, but I was right.  He went away.

If you insist

The one phrase that makes me scramble pretty much every single morning to make it out the door on time:

Mama, please hold me and watch race cars.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Level Headed

One of my favorite people just had her second child.  A beautiful baby girl.  And her family is so happy and cute.  And I couldn't be happier for them.  But then the whole thing sinks in and turns into self reflection.  'Cause it's all about me, duh.

And then I get back in the never ending, tail chasing thought process of having only one kid.  All of the questions come bubbling up to the surface like an infected blister.  Will Alex be ok if he doesn't have a sibling?  Is this the most selfish thing in the world to not give him a sibling?  Should I really be basing any decision on the mental state of a 2&1/2 year old?

There were a couple weeks a little while back that I thought this decision had been made for me.  Normal bodily functions were not happening on time, if you get what I'm sayin'.  And I have to admit, I found myself relieved.  Not relieved at the thought of growing and birthing and raising another, no.  I was relieved that I didn't have to think about it anymore.  What was done was done.  Out of my hands.  The decision had been made for me, and we were just going to have to move forward from there.

Turns out, there was no reason to be relieved...which in turn made me kind of relieved.

Round and round and round we go.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Snips, snails, puppy dog tails

Travis went into Alex's room to turn the light off last night.  A full two hours after I had left him snuggled with the light off.  Apparently he had other ideas for a bit.  We heard him talking for a little while, but didn't realize he was holding a business meeting with his trucks and Ugli doll/pillow in a fully lit crib conference room.

Any way, Travis came out of Alex's room and promptly announced we no longer have a baby.  We have a full-on little boy.  And he is right.  I swear this kid ages a year every day.  His body shape is leaner and taller.  His thought process is more in depth.  His vocabulary is growing.  That's the one that is gettin' me the most.  His words are changing.  What used to be moco, is now motorcycle.  What used to be mama, is now Jackie.  But! He is still saying guck instead of stuck.  I secretly hope that one stays forever.  He will only get teased a little bit...I mean how often do you say the word stuck in a given day?  Not often enough to warrant life changing teasing, that's for sure.

Further proof of this having a little boy thing, I bought Cars underwear.  For Alex, not me.  They didn't have my size.  But how comforting it would be to have Lightning McQueen so close all day long.  But since I am a greenhorn at this kids' underwear thing, I didn't realize they would have the appropriate size in the toddler section.  I figured I had to go to the boys' section.  Because, as previously stated, I am now the parent of a little boy.  Yeah, my first purchased proved to be all sorts of wrong.  I bought the smallest size and they are waaaaaay too big.  Luckily, my next trip to Target was a more fruitful adventure.  2T-3T Cars underwear; we gots 'em.  Now we just have to figure out how we plan on getting him to stop using his pants as a portable toilet.

Calm Sunday

We were at my parents' on Sunday.  And after a day of sledding and eating and playing, we were chatting with my mom and dad, procrastinating the drive home.  Although we thought he was exhausted, Alex took that time to go berserk.  He started with running laps around the kitchen and living room.  And then moved on to making Grandma follow him into the kitchen, swearing the whole time he wasn't going to make a "scary" noise with the can opener only to then immediately make that noise and squeal with delight with every scream it elicited from Grandma.

Once he was sure he had sufficiently given her heart a good workout, he moved on to "hanging like a monkey" from my dad's outstretched leg.
Which quickly graduated to flipping over Grandpa's leg.  And posing after each flip:
He finished off the night by using his phone to make pretend phone calls to everyone he knows from the back seat...for the whole first half of the drive home.  He's a busy kid...he can't be wasting time sleeping in the car.