A minor addendum

G was born in March of 2006, and in November of that year I headed to New York City to work the weekend of the marathon. That’s a double-meaning sentence, really, because I actually went to “work the marathon,” as they say in the event world. The job I worked for the past 5 years was in non-profit event management and fundraising, and in 2006 I managed a charity team running the NYC marathon. At that point G was around 7 months old, and it was my first time away from her. I knew I would miss her, and I knew it would be hard. But I also knew that it was a weekend that I could be with good friends and coworkers and really take a little time to enjoy only being responsible for myself. (Well, for myself and 100 runners, but that’s neither here nor there.) What I didn’t anticipate was the incredible energy and inspiration I would get from being around all of those runners and New Yorkers. I had seen the marathon before… heck, I lived in NYC for 2 years! I watched those runners from the safety of the curb in 2002, munching my bagel sandwich and cradling a cup of hot coffee. I remember thinking “Those people are nuts. NUTS.”

But in 2006 it was different. I was different. And instead of thinking “those people are nuts”, I thought, “I want to do that.” SO when I got back from the city, I registered for the lottery for the marathon. And in November of 2007, I finished that race. And it was AMAZING. (Painful, but amazing.)

I just checked online and the lottery for 2010 was open. So I put my name in the hat to run the NYC marathon again in 2010. I’m officially adding it to my “to do” list for next year.


Looking Ahead Can Strain Your Eyes

So 2009 was kind of a crap year for my family, and we’re hoping that 2010 will be a lot better. Sincerely, positively, crossed-fingers and toes-kind-of-hoping. I’m not really one to want to know the future – I’ve never wanted my tarot cards read or my fortune told and though I want to die quietly as I sleep in my bed someday, I would like to emphasize the someday part of that and would choose to not know the when or where if given the option. In the vein of hoping for a better year, I think I need to take some positive steps towards making it my responsibility to ensure that we go into 2010 on the upswing.

I’m not big on resolutions, for the most part, because I hate quitting and I think that it’s nearly impossible to keep hard and fast rules that we make for ourselves. I do think that I can make and keep to some general guidelines, though, and I’m going to try to make things more positive in the ways I partner and parent. I also want to make improvements to my personal attitude and effort, and to make some progress towards figuring out what it is I want to do when I grow up.

Without further ado: THINGS I WANT TO DO IN 2010

  • start a little business (more on this later)
  • be as patient as possible with my children
  • write more (here and other places)
  • be more creative
  • go on dates with my husband (we’re really bad at this)
  • stop procrastinating (without a doubt, this one will not be kept because it’s so nebulous and I make it EVERY YEAR)

That’s a small start. We’ll see how it goes.

Things My Husband Would Change About Me (if he could)

I have a few quirks that make my husband insane. I’m sure that he would claim to love these traits! They make me me! He loves me just as I am! (Thank you, darling.) I know these make him nuts, not because he tells me, but because I can tell by his reactions when these things happen. I have a habit of leaving my shoes wherever I take them off… at the moment, my slippers are next to the bed, my running shoes are right by the back door (artfully placed for maximum falling-over potential), my non-running running shoes for schlepping children around are in the bathroom, which, as previously mentioned, barely has room for a wall holder for toilet paper, let alone an extra pair of shoes. I KNOW this drives him crazy, so why do I do it? Not maliciously, I assure you… it’s just a mystery.

A bigger thing that drives him crazy is my love of (and consequent stockpiling of) products. By products I mean the lotion, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, exfoliant, et cetera, et cetera that help to make us lovely ladies so, um, naturally beautiful. The weird thing is, I’m not much of a makeup person. I can go weeks without remembering to put on mascara, I wear clearish beigeish pinkish lip gloss daily (though I have many colors that are similar to each other, I can tell them all apart) and, as I specified earlier, I chase children professionally. My point is, it’s not like I need to look like the paparazzi are chasing me every time I leave the house. So why all the products? I don’t know! But I love them, they smell nice, and it’s the little things, right? I mean, my vices COULD run to the $400 handbag and shoe variety, but they don’t. So I feel that it could be much, much worse.

I do feel that I could work harder at controlling the issues that cause C to narrow his eyes at me (and yet say nothing, because we’re non-confrontational like that), so I’ve decided that 2010 will be the Year of Controlling My Natural Instincts. Join me, won’t you?

Under Pressure

The holidays make me a little nuts. I love them, they’re fun, they’re filled with gift madness and chocolate and Santa-loving babies. G is so in love with the Advent calendar that she checks it round about 60 times a day (each door. every hour. good times). I, however, do not have my act together in the gift giving department. I’m trying to make many of my gifts this year – have a I mentioned that I like to make stuff? I’m not particularly adept in the creativity department, but the internet trove of DIY blogs is AWSOME. I do overestimate my skills sometimes, which is when I throw in the towel, turn on a Scrubs rerun and eat cookies while glowering at my sewing machine, but I think that the roster of “sure I can do this” gifts should be ok this year. What I didn’t really consider was the TIME that needs to go into all this. At this moment I have plans for making gifts for my mom, mother-in-law, daughters and at least four friends. There are, what, 90+ days until Christmas, right? I wish. Crap.

Works in progress:

An embroidered scene of the 12 Dancing Princesses – pattern from the amazing ladies at Sugar City.

work in progress

Tags to be used and to be gifted:

A necklace for a friend:

These give the mistaken impression that I have my act together, but I know the real story. I predict quite a few late nights in the coming weeks.

New Moon, You are Ridiculous

Text exchange between me and my sister this morning, after seeing New Moon last night:

me: Got a paper cut this morning and ripped off my shirt to stanch the blood flow.

her: I hope your cutoffs don’t burst into shreds anytime soon.

me: Too late.

I’m Sure YOUR Minivan is Lovely

For the Christmas holiday, we’re driving to Colorado to stay with my husband’s family. Which is a 21-or-so hour drive from where we live. Which sounds like a recipe for disaster, I know. We’ve actually done this trip several times, but never with both kids. Also, my immediate family (mother, father, sister) will be joining us as well, which is a whole other story and I’m sure will make for interesting fodder later. My sister, who lives five blocks from us, will be driving up there with us, as will the dog. Needless to say, five humans plus one dog plus luggage plus Christmas gifts will not be fitting into a small Toyota. I mean, it might beĀ physically possible, but I can’t think of anything that sounds more painful. (Well, I guess trying to bring the cats would add an interesting element of both mental and physical pain.)

In any case, we’re renting a minivan. Yes, a minivan. I talk with people who drive them, and I hear amazing things about “so spacious!” I hear “the doors open on their own with the merest touch of a button!” I hear “so easy for the kids to get in and out of on their own!” But then my mind thinks “I am not there yet, and I don’t think I will ever be.” Something makes me have an unreasonable fear of being stereotyped because of what I drive, which I know is ridiculous. And why should I care what anyone thinks anyway? But I do. And also, C claims that I will fall in deep, deep love with this mode of transport and thinks I will be begging for one when we return from the trip. To which I say, I THINK NOT. I am only 31. Plenty of time yet for me to get the mom haircut, pull my jeans up and start toting the kids to all those afterschool activities. Which I can do without a minivan, thanks very much.

Things that Might Indicate I’m Crunchier than I Actually Am

The crunchy items:

  • When I was growing up, my family never owned a microwave. Weird, right? I’ve spent my life heating up leftovers in the toaster oven and in a pan on the stove. And (shhh! don’t tell anyone!) it works just fine. Now, in my own small family, in our own small space, we also don’t have a microwave. Mainly because we have no counter space on which to put it, and it can’t go on top of the fridge because that’s where the cat food and cereal boxes reside and there is literally no other space in the kitchen AT ALL, but also because we really haven’t felt a need for it. Cold coffee? Toss it in a pan/pot and heat it up! Melt cheese on a tortilla (which is totally a meal, by the way)? Toaster oven! Works fine.
  • I also grew up without a television, for the most part. There’s some family myth wherein my mother put our (working) TV into the garage sale we were hosting because she was just sick of it; I think I was about 3 at the time. We did get one when I was in high school, but we only used it to watch movies. There wasn’t any cable hooked up to it, nor did we have the popular and useful set of rabbit ears, so there weren’t actually any channels. I had to get my 90210 fix at my best friend’s house, because even I knew what kind of outcast I would be if Dylan’s wife accidentally got shot by her dad and then he spent the next day with his head buried in her wedding dress and I didn’t get to watch it. (WHAT? It was obviously a very touching episode since I can even remember the song that played while he cried into the wedding dress – Nobody Knows Me Like My Baby, by Lyle Lovett – which is still one of my favorite songs. Ahem.)
  • We have a compost bin. It lives in the backyard, behind the garage. We have a little container in the kitchen that we fill with the compostable foodstuffs, like eggshells and carrot peelings, and about every other day we empty it into the bin. No big deal. Also, I don’t have to look at it every day. Or smell it.
  • We are primarily a one car family; C rides his bike to work, weather permitting, and sometimes I drop him off after dropping G at school. Sometimes he takes the bus, or we pick him up. Easy to do.
  • We cloth diaper A. G was in daycare and so it wasn’t an option at all, but we tried it this time around. Not that gross, saves us money, no need to run to Target in the middle of the night when I realize I’ve exhausted all possible diaper supplies including the “secret spare” that I keep in the glove compartment of the car.
  • We belong to the local food co-op.

Now, for the reasons I am not as all-natural as the above items might make it seem:

  • I am the chief user of paper towels for the central Texas region. I use them for anything and everything.
  • I’m sorry, but the all-natural toilet bowl cleaner does not clean the toilet bowl. Not even close.
  • Clorox Wipes are my kitchen pal.
  • My daughters are sugar fiends like their mama.
  • I love the sweet, sugary death that is Coca Cola Classic. Red, white and you, people.
  • I don’t have any kind of green thumb at all, sadly. I can keep basil alive and that’s about it.
  • I turn up the heat instead of putting on a sweater.

I think that everyone probably has a mix of crunchy/non traits… care to share?