Spin Cycle – Pets

Second BloomingI don’t normally do Spin Cycle lately – just a lot of other obligations – but I will this week because i thought recently of a good story.

When I was about six or seven, I brought home a fancy-looking shell from the beach at my grandparents’  house in Palm Beach. When we got home, it turns out it was not just a shell.hermit-crab1

It was a hermit crab and I named him Max. We put him in a shallow dish with water and some tuna. I had no idea how to care for one, really. I think my parents did what they thought was best. I had Max maybe a week or so before the dreaded moment.

I was watching Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. It was the scene when he’s in Texas and they’re having some kind of carnival with those big papier mache heads and Pee Wee’s trying to avoid the Bluto character (I know his name isn’t Bluto, it’s Andy). My mother came into our TV room and told me that Max had gone to hermit crab heaven. I am pretty sure it was the first time I experienced death so close to me. At the time, it was fairly devastating. To this day, that movie and that scene trigger this memory.

P.S. As I was googling that street scene to add a photo, THIS is something I found. Totally unrelated but hilarious!richard-simmons

Well I sometimes…

Second Blooming

 

 

Ooh, I kind of like this one. It’s almost like a prayer for good intentions. Or a confession. or a combination of both.

 

Sometimes… I fall asleep on the couch at 9 PM, then wake up for an hour, then go back to bed.

Sometimes… at work, I spend the entire first hour blogging and listening to hair metal.

Sometimes… I am judging everyone around me and thinking I’m better. I know I shouldn’t but old habits die hard.

Sometimes… I get really angry at my parents for not bettering their situation. My dad has been unemployed for almost 2 years and he won’t lower his standards just a wee bit. And then they keep promising to move here and yet, nothing ever changes.

Sometimes… I write a 2 when I meant to write an R.

Sometimes… I wish I could be be everyone’s freelance editor. I see so many spelling/grammar errors in public spaces. Please, please let me fix that for you, places that should be more professional than that.

Sometimes… I wish I could find one job that would pay me the equivalent of what I make with these (4). But I know my skills as a glorified secretary won’t get me that far. And really, there’s no market for teachers. We’ve sort of stopped valuing that, haven’t we?

Sometimes… I listen to murder trials on the HLN XM station, even though I kind of don’t even care. I never even heard about this Jody Arias thing until the trail began. Also, she’s totally guilty.

Sometimes… I get into this mode of thinking where I feel I deserve something. Like, ok, today would be a good day for someone to magically do something nice for me. I know these things cannot be asked or wished for, but I still get this “I deserve” idea. Ugh.

Sometimes… I wish we made more money and lived in a bigger house but then I have to stop myself and be thankful for what we do have. It could be a hell of a lot worse.

 

Ok, that’s it. Head over to SecondBlooming to do this meme yourself.

 

And, just like that, it’s November first

Unlike the other Fall/Winter holidays, Halloween punctuates its month. For Thanksgiving, you have one or two days before the big feast, and then family and friends tend to hang around the day after as well, lounging about due to all the food in your gullet OR because you love to do crazy Black Friday shopping. But there’s a buffer on either side. For Christmas, the holiday drags out some. You have all this build-up, especially if you’re an advent calendar kind of person. It really counts down the days and you can see just how much time you have. Even after all the presents are opened and the wrapping paper and boxes have been shoved into a corner of the room, the tree still stands and the gifts accumulate here and there. There’s still pie left to eat and fruit from gifted baskets; the music still plays on the radio and there’s a lull between Christmas and New Years.

But Halloween… once your candy is collected and sifted through, picked over for the very best stuff then put into a bowl…once the kids go to bed after having run from house to house to house… then it’s over and it’s November and – if your city is anything like mine today – the sky is a misty gray and hello true Autumn.

I start to hunker down around this time; start brewing tea at night and bring out softer blankets to add to the couch. The desire to accomplish anything after, oh, 8 PM, becomes null and void. I want to sit in my heated home and just chill. And it all starts the day after Halloween.

Second Blooming

MMMM + 1st football weekend/failure

SO, this weekend was both good and bad. Ash and I had our normal every-other-Friday outing but we argued because I was in a bad mood and pissed about running. Really, the entire weekend had a theme of failure. I’m not going to go into details but Elliot no longer has toys in his room – he’s in the process of earning them back – and I am no longer doing a marathon. I am just too far behind and Ash is right: I don’t want it enough. I ran 8.5 on Sunday and yeah, I maybe could have done another 2-3 but I was supposed to be on track for 18. There was no way, not with the appendix set-back. Not only did it set back my physical training but mentally, I just sort of hit a sand trap. And I can’t lie to myself and get out there only to have a really awful torturous run because I don’t have the mental wherewithal to finish. And yeah, I already paid for the race and that money is as good as gone but I have to eat this one.

On the one hand, I hate that I am doing this and not pushing through. On the other, I know I have to do what is right for me. I have my husband saying maybe I can just push through the rest of training and then the last 5 or so miles of the marathon will just be super hard and then my mom on the other side saying cop-out stuff like the appendix isn’t your fault and you can make whatever choice you want. Argh! I am so torn I wish I could just go hide somewhere and read and forget that I have decisions to make.

There were some really good moments in the weekend. But for the most part, we were all a little sad and disappointed. I still think I will do a marathon at some pint but this entire training session was just not even off to a good start. The early weeks were really tough. So my plan is to keep running – of course – but train up for about half marathon distance. Then I will do the Pine Run, which is 12.5 miles and trails. Well, it’s mostly grass with three really steep sand hills at the end. If I can swing it, I’ll do the Boston (GA) mini again and try to PR.

Football kicked off this week as well and we had one of our friends over, had burgers and fries, and watched TV basically All. Day. Long. We did play some baseball and take a walk with the boys – they weren’t totally ignored –  but for the most part, it was all football, all the time. And I love it.

Fall is on its way: though today’s high is 85, we saw low 60s this morning and I got my first hot coffee in quite a while. This is so exciting! Fall is my all-time favorite season and I am pumped for cooler runs and sweater weather and Halloween.

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This week’s theme is songs you listened to as a teenager. I listened to a lot of really random stuff but I will choose three that remind me of moments as a teen.

Slam – Onyx

Between 8th and 9th grade, I went to Canada with a friend and on the drive home, we kept thinking about this song and how it had been a long time since we heard it.


Captain Hollywood – More and More

My friends and I listened to a lot of techno; it was really good in the early 90s!

Stone Temple Pilots – Wicked Garden

Grunge was in full swing when I was a teenager so we also loved that, even though it is so different from the other songs!

And also, this fits into the Spin Cycle!

Second Blooming

Spin Cycle – Love!

This week’s theme is “Things I love…” which is really awesome because I have been needing to make a list.

Second Blooming

  • Dusk; just as the sun is the lowest in the sky before dipping below the horizon
  • Any song from Jimmy Buffett’s album “Boats, Beaches, Bars, and Ballads.”
  • Fireflies in my yard during the summer months
  • Trail running, though I rarely do it
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Naps
  • Thinking about beach vacations
  • Lattes
  • Pens and pencils/ writing on actual paper
  • Days when my kids are so kind to me and each other
  • Days when my children sleep in
  • Days when I don’t feel exasperated by everything
  • The OPI nail polish color “Dusk over Cairo”
  • Driving by myself in the evenings to the store
  • Leather-bound books
  • Non-fiction books
  • Romance books (but not all)
  • Buying a new pair of jeans
  • Taking mini-work vacations (i.e. close out your browser and listen to music for ten minutes.)
  • Blogging
  • These guys:

That’s about all I can think of for now. How abotu you? What do you love?

Spin Cycle – Pictures

Second BloomingI think I’ll take this one quite literally today.

I LOVE taking pictures. I HATE being in pictures. I’ll do it but I am typically the one behind the camera. Looking back at photos of myself as a child, my mother is in a lot of them because it was my father who had he knack for photography. I specifically remember a very exact time. I was perhaps 3 or 4 and my father and I were in our dining room. By the light, I think it was about 4 PM and he was taking my picture by the table; maybe the lighting was just perfect or I was doing something cute but it’s the first time I can remember being prompted to act a certain way for the camera.

Because I am at work, I have no access to the old scans but one of my all-time goals is to collect my parents’ boxes of pictures and get them digitized. Since 2003, I have been taking digital photos but there is something magical about those old actual hold-in-your-hand pictures. I used to love to look through the photo albums of my family. It conjured up so many good (and some bad) memories. Then, when I got older and got my own cameras, I prided myself on taking good shots and getting the film developed.

I hold the capturing of a moment in time very dear. I’ve always been a collector and a diary-keeper so this makes a lot of sense. I want to know what we were doing in X year on X day. I have perhaps an unhealthy fascination with the past; I guess I think I’ll eventually learn something from it!

As an added bonus, I shall share some photos from long ago. Ok, well, eight years ago but that’s how far back my online collection goes.

Spin Cycle – mom, of course

Second Blooming

 

 

I don’t want to talk about my own mom because I could go on for days; she’s an enigma. She is someone I always figured would be there and be solid – and she has been – but the older I get the more of a mother I become, the more she baffles me. So, we’ll discuss me as mom.

The very first time I felt like an adult/mother, was in September after Elliot was born. I wrote the following in a blog entry:

As I carried Elliot in his car seat through the wooded path between parking lot and pediatrician’s office this morning, I had a sudden realization that for the very first time, I truly felt like a grown, responsible adult. Maybe somewhere subconsciously, I associate caring for your small child as being the adult marker. It just felt like I had reached a different level then, as I did something for someone who relies entirely on me.  ME! 

This was the beginning of feeling like a mom. At times, I still don’t feel like I look old enough or hell, I don’t feel old enough to be a mom. Be this my own reluctance to think youngerthan I am (33) or what, it’s an idea I grapple with constantly. I certainly love being a mom and obviously, that IS my life now. Nothing cements this more than when the boys get home in the afternoon and I am already there. They come bustling through the door, tripping over themselves and shouting “Mommy! Where are you, mommy?” They get SO excited just to lay eyes on me that it breaks my heart a little each time. Me? Really? The woman who nags you about using your shirt as a napkin, and gets on you about hitting your brother, and gets entirely way too exasperating while playing trains? I don’t know if kids love you by default but sometimes I use that as an excuse for my own guilt over possibly not being “the best” mother.

With Mother’s Day coming up, it’s a reminder to me to let that little stuff go and just appreciate those kids. They aren’t going to be little forever and these moments are too precious to ignore in favor of fretting over dirty shoes on the rug.

Spin Cycle – Birth

Second BloomingThe theme this week is something I’m rather familiar with, since I have birthed two kidlets. But the term signifies so much more than “Oh, I had a baby.” Most mothers who have had vaginal childbirths can commiserate on the whole procedure… from the bearing down, to the breathing, and the eventually escape of the inmate, so to speak; and the immense relief once it has vacated the premises. But that’s not to say that women who had C-sections know any less about birth. From what I have been told – by friends and my mother (whose two pregnancies both ended in C-Sections; more on this in a second) – the recovery from that operation is entirely different. But I can only tell you what it was like for me.

When I hit about week 34 or 35 with Elliot, my mother and I reached the point where she had nothing else to offer me in terms of advice. I was freaking about the eventual labor and the PAIN, but she recalls how I was not only bordering on almost two weeks late, but she was put under entirely when I was scheduled to be removed. I was breech and had to be; I suppose in 1979 the doctors put women completely under. She reminisces on how awful she felt when she came to; the nurse asked if she wanted to see me and she actually said NO! My mother didn’t see me until the next day… and I was born at 12:31 PM. I feel a little sad that she never got to experience with me and my sister what I did with the boys.

One of the things I claimed I never wanted to happen during my births was the thing where the doctor pulls the baby out and flings it up onto the mom’s chest, all covered in bodily goo and wet and wrinkly. I saw enough TLC baby shows to know that was… undesirable. And yet, after two exhausting hours of pushing with Elliot, my doctor let Ash pull him free, then he promptly delivered him not me. And of course, I was overjoyed and overrun with emotion and so freaking happy.

So to me, when I really think and analyze the word “birth”, I see so much more. I see images of my kids entering the world, and the quiet hours after when it was just me and this new tiny creature in a hospital room. And the tumultuous first few weeks that nothing – not books or friends – could ever prepare you for. But soon after, the little milestones, and their first steps, drinking from a sippy, eating solid food, saying my name. It’s all so worth it, of course. And though I am willing to give into the fact that all births – no matter how different – are magical and beautiful, I cannot help but feel sad for people who say they never want kids. Because there’s so much more to it than just the birth.

Spin Cycle – Role models

Second BloomingI am not articulate or smart enough to figure out why my mother was always my role model but I can tell you she was and is… though we disagree a lot. But that’s not my spin on this theme. I want to think about the future. And who my sons will hold as heroes in their hearts. No doubt, they’ll look up to dad. My husband is a pretty good role model: he has a very balanced life. Though he plays Magic with the nerds, he’s also a huge sports fan. Though he works on computers for a living, he’s also a huge runner. He believes in moderation for all things and he believes in himself. He can accomplish anything if he puts his mind to it, as cheesy as that sounds. I know it’s true because even though I consider myself a runner, I want to quit all the time. I always play a game with myself where I reason that I can just turn around and not even reach my mileage. For him, that’s not even an option. And it’s why he continues to be successful. But he also knows how to treat people and though he can sometimes be a huge asshole, he knows when people need help or a kind word.

The other day he was giving life advice to a very young friend of his who is about to have a baby. On Monday, a woman at the playground came running towards us screaming that her son’s leg was caught in her minivan’s door. Ash was the first to run over there and extract the screaming boy. Hero. I know my boys will see him this way and know how to grow into men. And really, that’s what role models should teach them.