Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This Is NOT Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom

Do you remember that show?  If you're around my age, which is a very young and spry forty-two, then you know Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.  I loved that show.  Way before the Discovery Channel started doing documentaries on sharks and alaskan crab killers and whatnot, Wild Kingdom would take us to the natural habitats of all types of beasties and creepy-crawlies and stuff.    They started in 1963 and apparently they are still kickin'.  I think they just do videos now.

Anyway, I have always lived in a Wild Kingdom of sorts from the minute I moved out of my parent's houses.  It's still going strong!  We've narrowed it down a good bit, but I've still got my critters.

This summer (we did have summer at some point, right?) I focused on doing a lot of nature stuff with Allie here at home.  So, I present to you, Our Very Own Wild Kingdom In Pictures.  Enjoy.

Introducing Hermie, Cranky, Crabby, Grumpy and Canty (short for Cantankerous)
Welcome to The Crabitat That Screwed Me.  I'd love to introduce you to all five of the sonsabitches, but I made the huge error of following the directions on "how to keep hermit crabs" from a website for people who seriously love their crabs .  I've got everything in there from the regular water to the salt water bath to three kinds of food to quality substrate.  They used to get moss, but I'm pissed at them, so they're moss-deprived now.  Why am I ticked off?  Because they did what happy crabs do and they buried themselves!  You may ask, "Are you sure they're alive?"  I can confidently confirm that they are indeed alive.  I know this because Allie and I make Justin dig them up for Proof Of Life checks every other week.   What a joy it is to take care of invisible pets!  I should've bought a pet rock.
Farmer Allie
Meanwhile, back on the ranch, we started a vegetable garden from seeds in May.  My mother-in-law found this cute little do-it-yourself grow kit for Allie and I to do together and this is our second year attempting it.  Allie planted every seed herself.  You know how kids are with this kind of stuff, right?  They plant a seed and suddenly decide they didn't like the placement or weren't sure it went in the hole, so they dig it back up.  Therefore, the actual planting process became quite extensive.  Every day we watched  the little cups of dirt for seedlings to sprout, and then watered and measured them.  Thirteen days later we had a situation.
Day One on left and Day Thirteen on right
Our sprouts were seriously sprouting.  I wouldn't even call them seedlings because they were outgrowing their carton waaaaaay before the directions said they would.  Allie was super excited about this and we immediately embarked on a search for a system to help us grow vegetables on a cement patio.  I was happy to discover that I'm not the only nut who tried to do this.  Container gardening is really popular now.
I think the tomato plant was intimidating the beans and carrots.  I had to separate them.
For my birthday, I asked Justin to get me three of these awesome self-watering grow boxes.  I was seriously excited about them.  Allie kept wanting to pick up the burlap top "just to check", which is entirely against the rules according to the grow box people.  (She couldn't tell me what she was checking for, so I decided to be a law abiding gardener and deny her wish to peek.)  Justin, Allie and I transplanted our cucumber, squash, green bean, carrot and watermelon plants and those little buggers were off to the races!  They grew like..... I guess like vegetables grow.  Fast and stuff.
It was only right that Allie got to pick the first cucumber
Flash forward two months and I've got a jungle on my patio.  It's insane!  And there's all sorts of drama.  The plants drink way faster than the self-waterer can keep up with, some kind of dusty mold stuff is attacking my cucumber plants and I have to keep cutting them back, and it's seriously over-crowded on my deck which makes enjoying our lovely patio furniture difficult.  But it was all worth it to watch Allie pick the veggies!  She was dying to do it for weeks!
Our first harvest
We got some green beans, but the big score was the cucumber.  If you ever have a chance to taste garden cucumbers, you will understand why I loooooooove them so.  They make the ones at the grocery store seem plastic.  Justin and I ate this cucumber and actually fully evaluated its fabulousness as if we were professional cucumbers connoisseurs.  Unfortunately, Allie doesn't like any of the vegetables we are growing, other than maybe the carrots.  She prefers broccoli and cauliflower.  I know.... don't be hatin'!  My kid likes the vegetables most kids hate. She asked for broccoli plants next year.  I really can't imagine growing broccoli on my porch, so that negotiation is off the table.

Roadside Bouqet
This is the first bouquet Allie ever made for me.  She picked them on the side of the road in New Jersey somewhere when we made a stop on our way home from Virginia in June.  My sister got one too.  It was so cute that I had to take a photo.  I'm digging the floral arrangement....and the one blade of grass.

New York bear.  He was very gangster.
Since we're talking about wild animals.......this is a bear that happened to come out of the woods at a customer's house one day.  He just sauntered out and up the hill.  We've had some bear sightings in our condo complex this month so Allie is on red alert with Bear Watch 2014.  When people tell stories about how the bears were on their back porches or walking across the road, Allie starts freaking.  To be honest, I don't blame her, because when this bad boy in the photo above came strolling along, I didn't breathe, blink or swallow until he left.  Very scary.

Molly and TuTu
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but my kid has a second personality named TuTu.  Out of nowhere she decides she is TuTu the dog and if we try to address her as if she were human, she gets annoyed and corrects us.  "NO!  I'm NOT Allie!  I'm TUTU!"  How bad could that be?  Well, when she wants to have a leash put on her to go outside, or tries to pull her pants down to poop in the front yard like our dog does, that's a problem.  I'm thinking there's a firm "No Pooping On The Ground If You're Human" policy here at our complex.  Anywho, I did some dog boarding this summer.  It's been about 4 years since we boarded and we gave it another shot.  The dog in the photo is Molly.  Molly is quite cooperative when playing the TuTu game, which is nice.  We adore and worship Molly.  We want to keep her, but her humans are not super keen on that idea.

Lulu and Tutu
In case you were wondering where the name came from, she chose it when this Newfoundland stayed with us.  Lulu is a precious gem.  Just amazing.  And gianormous.  Completely hugeantic.  But she's really good with Allie and they are very good buddies.  Lulu and Tutu are a team.  A force to be reckoned with.  I nearly stepped on them when I got out of the shower one day.  They were snuggled up on the floor right below me.  If they were plotting to take me down, it was an excellent plan.

Benny observing Solomon having lunch
Okay.  Last domestic animal photo!  Benny is Sadie's BFF and our neighbor.  She's known him since puppyhood.  He's the mayor of our complex.  He is also smitten with our rabbit, Solomon.  Wen Benny stays with us, at least once a day you either catch Benny licking Sol's head OR you discover that the licking has already occurred when you end up petting a dog-slobbered bunny head.  He spends much of his time "observing" Solomon.  Solomon would last about 4.3 seconds in the wild.  You could smash into his cage with a car and he'll sleep thru it.  I figure either he's a very secure bunny or he ate way too much of the blue acid in the 60's.  Maybe he's on the medical marijuana....

My beautiful girl opening a gift at her birthday party
Shut up.  I know I said it was the last animal picture, but I thought I should post a photo in case you were wondering who Sadie was.  I'm just doing it for YOU.  It has nothing to do with how I love her as if I gave birth to her.  Nope.  Nothing like that.

All packed and ready to go!
Justin and Allie went to run and errand and came back with a Butterfly Garden thingy.  Oh joy.  Another thing for me to be in charge of.  But I thought it would be educational for her to see the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, and she certainly deserved it after the Crab Family became such snobs.  The 'Pillars came in the mail, spent three days growing and then decided they were ready to make a life change.  Suddenly I found them in the middle of the packing process.  That's some serious luggage!  Allie wanted to know if they each had "a potty in there".  She was very concerned about how they would "pee and poop" while changing in to a butterfly.

Hey!  Can you turn off the light??  We're sleeping here!
They became five lovely chrysalises.  Not cocoons.  Because my mom, the science teacher, corrected me every time I said cocoon.  "They are NOT cocoons.  They are CHRYSALISES."  Personally, I think she just liked saying it.  Chrysalis.  Chrysalis.  I believe this because I kind of liked saying it once I was forced to go cold turkey with my 'cocoon' usage.

Who drew that DREADFUL portrait on the floor?!  I'm far more spectacular than that!
I knew when they "hatched" because I got the call one morning and Allie was screaming "THEY'RE HERE!  THEY'RE HERE!" on the other end.  It was a lot of fun watching them and Allie wanted to observe them constantly.  The most difficult part of the entire process was getting her to understand that "you don't shake, drop or take the lid off of the container."  And of course, THOSE are the first three things that every three year old wants to do with a tightly closed container.

Freedom.  Sweet freedom
Today was the day that we decided to let them go free.  Butterflies only live 2-4 weeks so they were wasting far too much time watching tv in my house!  It would be like me watching 15 consecutive years of television.

Here are some short videos of the big event:

Did you get those last words, "Are they all out?" "No."

No.  Why?  Because two of them are lazy.  They hatched late and they decided to delay take off from Allie International Airport for another day.  So, we brought them back into the house.  And then tonight, I saw this:
A butterfly's living nightmare
This scenario annoys me because if you've ever been to my home, you would never guess that I have a cat.  Nay nay!  No cat!  That's because Lucky, the cat, is anti-social to an extreme.  She doesn't even like to be social with me and I FEED the little beyotch.  She religiously gives me death stares at night.  It really pisses me off when I'm watching tv and I feel like a hole is being burned thru my head because she's staring at me, thinking profanity and wishing bad things would happen to me.  So, now that we have butterflies, she decides that she wants to become part of the family and participate in activities..... as long as they occur within a 5 foot radius of the butterflies.  When these last two leave the establishment, I'm sure she'll go back to looking at me like I'm evil as she runs away.

Well, that's it.  It's been an interesting summer thus far.  Crabs, chrysalises and cucumbers.  Very eventful indeed!  The perfect finale would be winning a new car.  Another C on the list.  I guess I should start entering in car giveaways if I'm looking for that to happen, huh?

Wishing you sunlight and normal seasonal temperatures in your part of the world (it's chilly here!),


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Monday, July 21, 2014

Pre-Dead On The Food Chain

My food cannot make eye contact prior to consumption.  I just CAN'T eat something that was alive in front of me recently.   I don’t want to see the cow enjoying a good grazing in the pasture right before it becomes a steak on my plate.  If I’m feeding the chickens at the local market, I’m definitely not having a cutlet for dinner that night.

My food needs to be pre-dead.  

In other words, it needs to be dead and no longer in it’s original shape when I’m about to consume it.  Pig roast?  Not gonna happen.  Even if it’s dead when I first see it, it still looks exactly like it did when it was chillin’ in the ole sty.  Nay nay!

This weekend I saw a HILARIOUS video about a woman cooking live crabs for the first time and I definitely could relate!  In case you missed this gem, have a look:

The dog totally makes the scene for sure.  He’s all worked up and frazzled because his human is freaking and there are creepy crawly things with pinschers on the floor moving around.  Of course they cut out the part where the dog starts barking like crazy at the crab on the floor after the woman dives under the table.  The whole thing is priceless.

Just like every other time we go to the supermarket, this weekend Allie insisted that she go look at the lobsters.  It KILLS me.  I can’t go.  I make Justin go with her.  All of those poor lobsters, looking depressed with their claws bound up, and probably thinking about frolicking happily in the ocean when they were baby lobsters.  To boot, there are like 47 lobsters per square foot in those tanks.  The seafood department is heartbreaking.

(Side note: Don’t even get me started on Red Lobster.  Food should NEVER greet you at the door before it gets killed!  What kind of sadistic person thought THAT up?!  Can you imagine the anxiety they feel every time that door opens?  I always tell the lobster that I’m allergic so they relax a little)

Of course you know that I have to preface my story with SOMETHING.  Here it is.  On the way into the grocery store, Allie sees the shopping cart with the car on the front waaaaaay over yonder and asks if we can use it.  “Please, Mommy??! PLEEEEEEZE???!!”  So, I trot across the lot to fetch it, she gets in the car in the front and off we go.

We aren’t in the store more than five minutes when the lobster viewing drama starts, so she gets out and off they go to the tank.  As always, I continue shopping and wait for them to catch up with me.

Every aisle I went through had a child in a regular cart that pointed at MY cart and said, “Mommy!  There’s the cart with the car!  I told you!”  And every child and mother would look in the car, see empty space and look at me funny.  Of course, I felt the need to explain to every  last one of them that my child was back in the seafood section…. and I really don’t think anyone believed me.

I finished all of the shopping and was in the dairy section when Justin and Allie came trotting along, toting….what else….a bag with a lobster in it.  By now I’m completely stressed from feeling the need to validate why I was using the cart with the kid car on the front with no kid in it, so seeing that bag nearly freaked me out.  It must’ve shown on my face.

“Huge sale on lobster, Vic.  HUGE!  You wouldn’t believe it,” says an extremely happy looking Justin.

“Mommy!  We got a lobster!  We’re gonna take it home!  I want to put it in water!”  He’s lucky he’s got that happy little human next to him to lighten the mood.

We’ve done the lobster thing before, so Allie has seen that the lobster comes home, goes into the fridge where it’s forced to think about it’s sins and wish it was back in the supermarket where “things weren’t so bad”, ends up on a pot of water on the stove, and then Daddy eats it while making all sorts of happy noises.  So, she knows it’s going to die.  

I just think that she has hope that one time we’ll fill the tub and just let it live.  Truth be told, if we lived near the ocean, I’d kidnap the poor thing, drive like OJ to the beach and set him free.  He should be food for something out there!  Not for something I live with!  The food chain is all jacked up as long as he’s in my fridge!

(Warning:  If you're sensitive to the whole Lobster thing, quickly scroll past the next few photos.  Stop when you see the lobster cartoon.)
Lobster Coffin courtesy of ShopRite

The moment of hope for a last minute pardon.  Sigh.
I'm sorry Mr. Lobster.  Poor fella.  (insert major UNsmiley face here)

I’m so glad that I can’t eat shellfish.  This whole process just freaks me out!  I vacate the premises while he cooks them and sometimes I leave when he eats them too.  BLECH!

I discovered I was allergic when I was much younger, and then it was confirmed when I got a job in a local fancy restaurant as the “shrimp n’ salad” girl.  I was the person who prepped bread baskets, made salads and prepared shrimp cocktail.  It went something like this: Fill bread baskets, eat shrimp, make salad, eat shrimp, make shrimp cocktail, eat shrimp, eat shrimp, eat shrimp, etc.  By the end of the night, my shrimp consumption career was over.  I was sssssiickkkk.  My passport to Shellfish Island was revoked due to awful allergic reactions.    
And now I know things about bread baskets that I wish I never knew!  Let’s just say that if it looks like a bunch of random bread pieces tossed in a basket, only proceed if you’re really hungry.  I won’t even get into the butter recycling situation!

Anyway, the lobster is gone to the big aquarium in the sky.  I make Justin clean everything that came in contact with the poor thing....or was near it..... or the lobster looked at.  I refuse to participate in any part of this heinous act, from purchase to dishwashing.  No lobster death on my hands!

I can't just end this on such a negative note.  I need to find something happy.  Here's one of my all time favorite videos.  It's a cat beating the crap out of a laser jet printer..... and narrated by an English bloke.  The accent always makes it funnier.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We're Crappy Parents

I feel the need to fess up.  I need to clear my conscience.  I've been a crappy parent.  Someone else who lives in my house has been a crappy parent too, but I don't want to name names or point fingers.  I'll let you put your P.I. hat on and figure that one out.

Now, we have not been CONSISTENTLY crappy.  We've just had some seriously crappy moments that have been rather defining at times.

I started thinking about these last Thursday on the way to Allie's swim lessons.  She had big band-aids on both of her knees and and looked like she had been dragged down the street or something.  Scrapes and contusions all over her little legs.  Apparently she was very excited to run down the driveway and meet the damn ice cream man with his pain in the ass truck that kids can hear from miles away.  She fell down and injuries were sustained.

These injuries were beyond the capabilities of Doc McStuffins or Hello Kitty Band-Aids.  We needed real plain old flesh colored bandages.  You know....the ones intended for actual injuries; not the "I just bumped my pinky toe into the cushioned couch while chasing the cat and I need a band-aid stat or I'll keep crying dramatically" injuries.

I should probably go back to the previous swim lesson first.  I was running around like a maniac to get home in time for her lesson and dashed over to my mom's to pick her up.  Super Prepared Nana had her in her little "swim costume" (thank you Peppa Pig) and all sun screened up.  As I'm putting Allie in the car, she sees a can of spray sunscreen and picks it up.  I take it from her, check to make sure that it's twisted to the "closed" position, and hand it back to her.  Handed. It. Back. To. Her.

Because that's what good parents do.  They give spray cans to toddlers to play with.  They don't think that maybe the toddler just watched them twist the cap and might try to do it too.

PSSSSSSSHHHHHHHT!   (insert bloody murder scream here)

Yes.  I wasn't even out of the driveway and my child had sprayed herself in the eyes.  I actually said out loud to myself, "What in the hell is wrong with you, you idiot!!!"  Blinded, my little girl thought I was talking to her.  "I'm not an IDIOT, mommy!!!"  Excellent.  I've injured, insulted and pissed my kid off in less that 60 seconds.

Fortunately we were able to run back into Nana and PopPop's and remedy this problem.  And my little trooper even volunteered to go back to lessons.  When we pulled in, I explained why we were late by saying, "I blinded my child with spray sunscreen.  I had to collect my Shittiest Parent In the World trophy.  I'm sorry we're late."  (Fortunately, one lifeguard had a parent forget their kid at camp, so that overshadowed my stupidity.)

So, two days later we walk into lessons and Allie is scraped and cut and bleeding and bandaged.  The two teachers looked at me and asked, "What the hell happened this time?!"  "Do we need to call DYFS??"  (Every parent's least favorite sarcastic joke.)  I told them the story and they just laughed and got in the pool.  Apparently no one forgot their kid at camp that day, so no parental sympathy was offered.  The initial screams as the chlorinated water hit the fresh wounds didn't help either.  My poor baby!

We had a lovely time tho!  My little peanut is becoming quite the little water bug:
Mommy and Me Swimming Lessons - she's quite eager to get swimming!

Practicing the Off The Wall Torpedo..... for the seven millionth time.

One of the few times she let me hold her.  She'd rather swim around on her own like a frog.
This week of parental debacles has reminded me of all of the screw-ups we've had in Allie's 3.5 years.   We're both blonde, so you can only imagine how many there have been!

The most popular one, which still occurs from time to time, was forgetting the diaper bag.  We would get into the car and travel at least 20 minutes away when it would hit one of us.  "Did you grab the diaper bag?"  "No!  I thought YOU were grabbing it!"

Anyone with an infant knows you can't leave for more than an hour without the bag.  Diapers, formula, burping cloths, bib, emergency change of clothes, wipes, boogie wipes, snot sucker, an extra bottle, sunscreen, back up binky, toys that they won't use, a stuffed something, etc.  After an hour, if you haven't needed one of those things already, you will definitely need one or two at that point.

We've had to buy prepared formula, wipes and packages of diapers more times that I can remember.  We even bought a bag for each car.  Yet, somehow, at some point, we'd find ourselves away from home looking for the bag only to discover that ALL of the bags were in the house to have supplies "replenished".   We've even done it two days in a row!   The people at Babies R Us would laugh when they saw us coming.  We'd make the "we forgot the bag again" announcement as we hustled to the back of the store and they would laugh.  Lovely.

Now there are food and drinks and emergency change of clothes and portable toilet pads in that bag..... and we still manage to leave without it almost every other time.  Sonofabitch!  It never fails.  And when we do have it, the food is never right.

"Mommy, can I have food?"

"Sure honey.  What do you want?"

"Whatever you give me will be fine." (Yes, she actually says that, but it's usually a lie.)

I dig thru the bag calling out inventory, "Animal crackers, pretzels, teddy grahams, a banana, food  pouches, fruit snacks..."

"Fruit snack!!"  Of course.  She wants the least healthy thing in the bag.

"Okay, baby.  Here you go!"  I turn around and hand it to her, only to see the look of disappointment.

"I don't like that kind," she says as she wrinkles up her nose.

"That's all I have, Allie.  You eat them every day.  You definitely like them."

"I only like Auntie Trish fruit snacks!"  She folds her arms and turns her head away.

(Side note:  In case you're wondering, ur friend neighbor fitness pro gave her one bag of Mott's fruit snacks over a year ago and they have been  Auntie Trish Fruit Snacks ever since...... except for when she couldn't say her "r"s.  Then they were Auntie Tish or Auntie Twish Fruit Snacks.)

"Okay.  Fine," I say defeated and turn back around.  "Why do we even bring this thing?  She never wants what's in there."

Justin answers, "Because we fucked up and didn't forget it at home."

God bless him.  He's got an answer for everything!

"Well I might as well go to sleep if there's no food!  I wish they had forgotten the stupid thing at home."

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy Me-a-versary!

(From Friday, July 11th)

Today is my one year anniversary of successful weight loss.  365 days ago I gave my program a chance (after oodles of tears) and here I am celebrating that it worked!  Go me!

I can no longer wear anything “plus sized”.  I’ve seen a size 10 after 20 years of 14-16s.  I was in a dressing room in Kohl’s with Allie when I put on size 12 pants and they were too big.  I yelled out to Justin to find me a size 10.  I tried them on and cried.  Allie went bolting out of the dressing room to Justin, announcing, “Uh-oh!  Mommy’s crying!”  I just stood there smiling and crying, and he congratulated me and hugged me.  Hello, size ten.  I have arrived.  Size eight, you better get your shit ready, cuz you’re next!
One year, 30lbs. and 24inches later!   Score!
Weird Weight Loss Related News Flash!  Update: I’m no longer scared of spaghetti squash.  The first time I heard about them, I went out and bought one.  I brought it home and put it on my stove and examined it.  For two weeks.  KERPLUNK!  Garbage.

Justin asked me what happened to it (since it had become a permanent fixture on the stove) and I confessed that I was too scared to cook it and it went bad.  So, when we went to the grocery store again, you can only imagine the look I got when I sheepishly put another one in the cart.

“Really?  Are you going to actually cook it?  Or are you going to panic and let it go bad like the last one? Have you conquered the fear?”

I shot him a ‘screw you’ look and snottily said, “Of course I’m going to cook it this time!”  That was bitchy.  He had a point.

I did finally cook it after looking it up online and comparing 5 different ways to prepare the damn thing.  I chose the method that was most frequently mentioned.  Stab the sonofabitch, put it in a baking dish and bake it for an hour.  Cut in half, use a fork to pull the “spaghettis” off and voila’!   A pasta craving killer.
Just in case you were wondering what I'm talking about.  Ooooooo scary sketty squash!!!
I no longer fear any food.  Except for something called the ugli fruit.  It’s just not right.  How did they get an orange in a pear body?  It’s cross-dressing fruit.  It’s a citrus fruit masquerading as….. whatever a pear is.

When I first met Justin, I was a “runner”.  At least I was trying to be.  I had bought all of the cute ensembles, the proper shoes, and the Idiots Guide to Running.  I was getting quite good at it until he showed up.  I think I went out jogging about 2 times and then decided to just surgically attach myself to his side and do/eat/go along with all things he did/ate/went to.

Little did I know that he was one of those people who could eat EVERYTHING.  He was the only person I know who would get into bed, reach over, open the end table and pull out a gallon bag filled with Oreos and NutterButters, a bag of pretzels and a can of Pringles.

Holy hell.  That was the beginning of the end.  I was no longer a jogger.  I was an eater.

That end table no  longer has food in it.  And Justin has started the program to lose some post-surgical weight.  And I went back to running.

Again, starting was scary.  I dug out my cute little ensembles (which fit me for the first time in 7 years), bought the proper running shoes, subscribed to Runners World magazine and bought a book for beginner runners to see if anything was new or different.

Then I stared at it.  For two weeks.  I think I”m going to name this affliction “Squash Syndrome”.  That just came to me now.  Anyway….

I remember starting the health program and being terrified of the food before it arrived too.  What IS that???  Why did I feel such fear over things that were only going to have positive results?  It’s ridiculous!  God knows I wasn’t afraid of eating an entire cake in 24 hours or afraid of laying in bed for 3 days from depression (it wasn’t pretty).  I was fearless in those cases!  And there were plenty more of them.

With running they tell you to just put on your shoes and put one foot in front of the other.  That’s all.  And it’s excellent advice.  It pertains to everything we are afraid of.  JUST START.  The rest will follow.

Facebook is an amazing phenomenon as it can ruin your day or make your day.  It can  crumble dreams or inspire you.  During my Running Squash Syndrome, Facebook managed to inspire me.  I kept seeing the same three people posting about running from time to time.  Toni, Jessica and Madeleine.  Every time I saw them post about running, it made me want to do it.  I wanted to be like them!  I had been watching for months, but now I was actually making efforts to TRY it!  I asked them questions and searched for advice.  Ironically, all three said they didn’t feel like they were any good at it and at times they hated running…..and it was the push I needed.  They hated it sometimes, yet they kept going.  There’s something to be said for that.  It means that it provides results that make them feel better.  It was totally worth any pain running created.  And that’s all I wanted.

I’ve been at this for about a month now.  I’ll be honest.  It’s effing hard as hell.  Little kids seem to have no problem just dashing about for hours.  Experienced runners make it look effortless and like they are gliding.  It LOOKS easy.  But it’s not.

Yet I like it.  Within 3 minutes, however, I looking like I’m going to keel over and die.  My feet start dragging and my form is reminiscent of an escapee from a mental institution.  I’m constantly correcting it.  I often imagine that I look like Phoebe on the episode of Friends where Rachel is too embarrassed to run with her.

When a car or walker approaches, I find the need to correct my form and fake it like I’m really good at this.  I’m a poser.  Total fake!  And my faking is painful.  Once the people are gone I have to remember to relax again or it wears me out.  Looking good at this is even more exhausting!  It’s like holding in your stomach for too long.  Eventually your mind goes, “Release!  Let it go, you nut!"

I have had some nice results.  My legs are gaining some nice muscle…… from the knee down.  From the knee up, I’ve got a thighmergency.  There’s cellulite, flab and jiggling.  I had an emergency consultation with my fitness pro neighbor friend, Trish, about how to make this go away.  Right away, she gave me the sympathetic, knowing nod and said, “I have many people with this same problem.”  And then I mentally inscribed every exercise she mentioned that might help onto my cranium.

During a stretch, I noticed that my calves were looking snappy.  Notice the thighs aren't in the photo!

I’m hoping that this is how it works with running:  your body starts to improve from the feet and works its way up.  I’ve informed my calves that I’m plenty pleased with their appearance and they need to let my thighs have a turn now.  Okay, thighs!  You're up!  Get crackin’!

On the plus side, I’m no longer gasping for air after 30 seconds.  Seriously.  If you’ve never tried it, I challenge you to go outside and run down your street for a full minute.  I did that with Justin years ago and by the time he reached the stop sign at the end of our block, he was winded and said, “fuck it”.  He no longer makes fun of me.

I love when I put on my shoes and get ready to go and Allie says, “Have a good running, Mommy.  We will stay here and take a bath while you’re doing it.”  I love when I come home a sweaty mess and Allie says, “Mommy, how was your running? You look.... hot.”  And that’s not a compliment.  She doesn't mean good "hot".  It’s a polite observation of how horrible I look.
Me and Allie in Valentines Day 2013
Justin, Allie and me Valentines Day 2014
So my goal for the next 365 days is to maintain my healthy habits and to become a runner.  I want to look back and read this and #1- Feel sorry for me (which I already kinda do - lol) and #2- Be proud of my progress.

Apparently July 11th is going to be my Resolution Day.  Screw New Year’s Eve.  Pick a day and go for it.  Just start.  Every day is a gift, so the day you are in right now is the perfect time to start something new!

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dog Drama and (Lack of) Apologies

Hello again friends!

I realize it's been awhile since I put fingers to keyboard and blurted out thoughts from my corner of the world.  For those of you who find this blog interesting, I'm sorry for being tardy to the party.  For those of you who were hoping I gave up, I'm sorry to disappoint you.  Feel free to do a Google search and go read elsewhere.

We've had some hoopla going on lately.  First and foremost, my (former) dog Daisy was attacked by two very pissed off dogs.  Some of you may remember Daisy, the shorkie that I had for about 5 years.  At the beginning of this year, the stars aligned and she went to live with my parents across the street.  She was getting growlie with Allie and my parents suddenly felt the need to have something small and furry running around the house.   Perfect timing.

I have to pause here to clarify something.  I'm a firm believer that when you get any pet, you need to take full responsibility to give them the best possible care for the rest of their lives.  Pets are NOT disposable.  It's a serious commitment.

However, when your pet starts to threaten the well being of one of the people in your home, the responsibility changes.  First, you need to find a reliable, caring new home for him or her.  Choose carefully.  Second,  I personally feel that if you have a pet that threatens your child and you do nothing but just hope it will stop, then you are an irresponsible parent.  Your invitation to shitty parenting is in the mail.  IT WILL NOT "JUST STOP".  You need to DO something., Daisy trotted across the street and lives with the parental units.  Justin has declared that they better not try to give her back because they "totally ruined the dog".  She eats better than I do.  They dote on her and cater to her needs.  I miss her at times but she's sooooooo much happier over there.  In actuality, I too am so much happier when she's over there.  I love her from a distance.

A few days ago, my father was walking Daisy when their neighbor's dog came running out of nowhere and attacked her.  The dog got out of his collar and came running, so it was an accident on the part of the owner.  She came running (with the other dog....super smart!) and things got ugly.  Fortunately my neighbor/friend/Wondermom heard the screeching and came running.  Somehow they managed to break it up.  My mom still gets teary when she thinks about the noises Daisy made while trying to get away from the dogs.

How bad was it?  See for yourself.
Daisy Dukes right after surgery
What she normally looks my house....she has an attitude

Here's the kicker!  The neighbor doesn't feel she should have to pay for the vet bills since she's not sure it's her fault.  I doesn't make sense, but some people just can't accept responsibility (that word again) for their errors.  Said neighbor is a renter and moving out this weekend.  Apparently she wants to see if she can move and skip out on the bill.

This is someone actively involved in a local church.  Now that there is Christian-like behavior, isn't it?  I have  term for these people who claim to be all about God, but act like they are all about THEMSELVES; I call them Faux Christians.  They can pretend to be spiritual, but the Big Cheese In the Sky knows what's really going on.

My parents are worn out and exhausted.  This has been traumatizing and exhausting.  They are so tired of "fighting" that they have considered giving up.  However, Justin and I  are deep into PI/lawyer/righteous-freeedom-fighter mode, so we aren't going to stop.  I think our tenacity to win this thing is part of why they are exhausted, but they're too nice to admit it.  I.E. "Vicki, I'm just tired of this.  It's not worth all of my time.  I just want it to be over." "What?  I'm working really hard to help you get what you deserve! We can't stop now!"

I just now realized as I typed that how narcissistic that sounds!  Wow!   Mom, I promise you that I'm doing this solely for you and Ben.  We are a strong people!  We will not lay down and die when we've been wronged!  (raises fist in air and shakes it!!)  And now I've realized where my daughter gets her dramatic side from.  Great. (that was sarcasm)


Here's my question:  Why is admitting your wrong so damn hard for people??? The lady clearly didn't let her dog go on purpose.  She felt bad about it.  The fact is that her dog got off of the leash and put his chompers into Daisy's flesh, like, a lot.  So, it's the neighbor's error.  Shit happens people!  It was an accident.

She felt remorse.  BUT, she did not feel responsible (there's that effing word again!) enough to pay to put Daisy back together again.  She feels that since she didn't see their initial encounter that maybe Daisy snapped at her dog first, thus starting the whole commotion.  "My dogs are great with other dogs at the doggie park."

Really?  Seriously?  That's your defense?  Did you not see EVERYTHING that followed?


What would you do?  I would be annoyingly apologetic.  And if the "victims" wanted me to pay the vet expenses, I would do everything I could to accommodate them.  I'd be checking in to see if they were okay.  I would send "Im really f**king sorry" gifts flying in their direction.  And I would definitely be on red alert with my dogs, their collars, their attitudes, etc from that moment on.

I want Allie to embrace putting her ego aside and admitting she made a mistake and  take (I wont say the R word again) for her actions.  Within reason.

Sounds good in theory, doesn't it?

Well, I'll have you know, she is the WORST apologizer ever.  EV-ERRRRRRR.  Take two extremely stubborn people  and have them create another human being and you end up with the most super-snotty-cant-say-I'm sorry-extra-shitty-apologizer EVER.  She's been known to yell "I'm sorry" with a nasty little attitude, when all we want is for her to admit she feels bad when :
  • She takes my Fitbit Force off my wrist and hides it in a place she can't recall just 3 minutes later so now I have to buy another one. 
  • Or when I'm towel drying my hair and she reaches up and pinches my nipple because it looks like a funny thing to do, but it actually feels like she tried to rip it off so I scream so hard that she starts to cry.  Very very unfunny.
  • Or when she comes into the room and flops down on the couch like a Kardashian and says to Justin, as if he's her servant, "I want food and put my tv on NOW!" (If it wasn't so awful to feed into, I'd have her do it and add "and make me a sandwich, bitch!" at the end, but Im sure that'll eventually work against me.)
  • Or when she touches everything three more times after you told her not to touch it and then you lose your shit because it's already happened 19 other times the same day and it's not even noon yet.

I could go on, but I'll spare you the details.

I'm not going to give up though.  Eventually, I'll find the right thing to say that will drive the point home in her 3 year old mind.  I will not have a "non-apologizer" for a child.

To wrap this up, I'll just let you know that Daisy will survive and is being fussed over to such a degree that I think she might try to "work the situation" and drag it out a bit.  Justin is correct.  She has been ruined.  Yet we love her.

Dog bless,

p.s. I thought I'd add these photos because....well.....there are dogs in them.  And Allie too.  And I think they're kinda cute.  That's why.  Enjoy!
Allie and Sadie snuggling up in bed together.  My two favorite girls!

Waiting at the top of the stairs.  Sadie sits like this, with her paws hanging over the edge, waiting for me to come back upstairs.  Allie has this "other personality" that she calls Tutu.  Tutu is a dog.  It's not as fun as it sounds like it would be.  Like when Sadie poops outside and Tutu wants to drop trou and take a dumper on the front lawn next to her.

Lulu.   I just love Lulu.  She's a big brown Newfie who I walk every day and stays with us on occassion.  She is the ultimate baby sitter and I think she'd even let Allie put a saddle on her and ride her around the complex if she wanted.  (She does want to, but it's not going to happen.)

Our complex has its own herd of deer.  ('s not a dog photo, but my kid is in it!) They are so friendly and walk around the lawns and streets like people.  It's not unusual to see a doe with a few fawns walking down the middle of the street and taking a left to go to the park.  It's outrageous.

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