Friday, November 16, 2012

Little detail

Tonight Max came up from the basement to pronounce that Leo was hitting his brothers their friend Mateo. So I had the 4 year old come up to talk to me.

Me: Leo, raise your hand.
Leo: I didn't DO any thing.
Me: I didn't ask you if you did anything. I asked you to raise your hand
(repeat the last two sentences ~3-4 times)
Me: Repeat after me. I will not...
Leo: I will not...
Me: ...hit my brother or Mateo
Leo:... hit my brothers with Mateo.

One little word. Big difference.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What the hell happened?

I thought I was the mother of young boys. The fact that I am not yet completely Pull-up free would support this world view. But today, I looked around and realized that I am thoroughly delusional.

The boys want to listen to KDWB (top 40!??!). Max has taken to making us omelets any morning we ask. We pay a quarter for emptying the dishwasher and making coffee, and most mornings I don't have to touch either appliance. Max can just head into the study and knock out his homework and reading solo. I tell the kids it's 10 minutes to bus time, and everyone is piling out the door 4 minutes later (+/- homework or adequate outerwear....). I can announce bedtime and everyone is actually in PJ's with teeth brushed while I stay firmly rooted to the couch watching Monday Night Football.

Last weekend, one of Max's friends came over and ALL the boys (including the 4 year old) played outside for FOUR HOURS. I went for a run, and they were still doing the same thing when I returned that they were doing when I left. (Now granted, Omar was home. We aren't to THAT stage yet. Oh, that would be just TOO crazy...).

It is remarkable how many baby-soaked years you yearn to have children able to wipe themselves, brush their own teeth, eat breakfast without assistance, dress independently (weather appropriate and in the right orientation), stop whining, stop pulling on your clothes, stop asking for uppies, and just GROW UP.

And then they do. And you didn't really see it happen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weekend of fun

This past weekend was one that everyone is going to remember. Some more than others, but certainly there were memories made that will last these kids a lifetime, literally.

For Christmas last year, Omar's gift to his mom was a trip to New York with him and Max. It took this long to get that trip accomplished, but accomplish it they did! They did Central Park, Empire State building, Statue of Liberty, Natural History Museum, the subway (including a ~1hr lost adventure underground), and they saw Wicked. Max is now professing that he want to be an actor when he grows up. At least it's more attainable that his previous dream of playing in the NFL.

At the top of the Empire State Building

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was here in MN with the other 3 goofballs. I was trying to figure out what we were going to do with our time when a friend tweeted about going to a pumpkin patch. And with that idea, our Sunday was set. We hit an orchard in Minnetrista (half hour drive) that had a corn maze, haunted graveyard, pumpking picking, hay rides, apple picking, a huge hay pile (simple is the favorite), face painting, balloon art (SWORDS!), and lots of yummy candy, caramel apples, donuts and other completely sugar charged goodness.  It was a gorgeous day, and it was one of the best times I have had with the boys in a while. This came after the day of hanging out at the Science Museum with Spencer's best bud. All in all, a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm just sayin...

I hate spelling tests. Really. I hate them. That is all

Monday, September 17, 2012

A week in illness

Poor Max. The boy has spent the last week trying on every size of illness a little boy could have. It started with fever. Rip roaring. He would wilt, get tylenol, feel great and then wilt 4 hours later. Repeat.

By day 4, the fever died down to just 99-100, but the next day we started in with the vomiting. That lasted a day.

Now we are into full blown asthma exacerbation. He hasn't needed his inhaler in over a year. In fact, the most recent one we could find in the back corner of a drawer expired in 10/10. I had started to think he had outgrown the diagnosis. That would be incorrect.

I got his prescriptions filled on Sunday, and last night he was sucking on that inhaler every 4 hours to quell the wracking coughing fits that woke him up. It would turn them off immediately, and he'd sleep for another 4 hours before we were at it again.

I just feel so bad for the kid. He hasn't felt "good" in over 8 days. He's missed 5 days of school and a week of football. Of all people, I should be able to "fix" him, right? Wrong.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sex Ed, ages 4-9

This post is not for the faint of heart. Husband, you have been warned.

We have all learned some new things today. Leo asked the good ol' Where Do Babies Come From question this evening after school. Since I was alone with the kids, we dove right into it.

Now, I have never been squeamish about this discussion. As Max says "That's because you are a doctor." Maybe. But I am happy to talk about the nitty-gritty any time they have questions. Today, I have learned that even with this history, we could have had a very fun True/False quiz based on their questions/comments.

1) Spencer: "All your half-babies (eggs) were already in your body when you were in grandma."

True. Not sure where he picked this up, but it is absolutely correct. We talked about how they get to make their half-babies later.

2) Calvin: "That's called sperm"

True. Well done

3) Mom: "Do you know how the half-babies end up together so they can start to grow a baby?" Leo: "You put the penis in the 'gina."

True. Soon we will work on getting the front half of that word.

4) Spencer: "Yeah. That's when the daddy pees in the mommy."

False. Very very false. Discussion of the difference ensued.

5) When Leo asked about how the penis gets in there, we talked about erections. An unnamed 7 year old stated: "Oh yeah, we get those ALL THE TIME. Like every time I am nervous."

True, I guess. I really wouldn't know.

6) Leo: "And on a pig, the penis is the butt."

Uhm.... no. No. The penis is not the butt. It is never the butt. He insisted I was wrong, but I really know I am right  on this one. I am, after all, a doctor.

You will noticed there isn't a single statement from the 9 year old. He sat quietly doing his homework. After all was said, he piped up "Guys, you learn a lot more about this is third grade..." Then he put his head back down into his math.

The inventor

Spencer has turned over a new leaf. Ironically, the boy who had such challenges with focus is now my uber-focused inventor dude.

At the cabin a month ago, he HAD to make a can-string telephone. Nevermind we had no empty cans. Or the right string. And he had no idea how to put a hole in the one can we did manage to make available. The boys was unyielding in his need to make this thing. He also make himself a full set of armor (with shield) from a couple paper bags and some boxes.

This weekend, he found 4 old training wheels while dad was cleaning out the garage. By the end of the day, we had a new wagon fashioned out of these 4 wheels, a filing box and 34523 lbs of tape. He then removed the wheels from the old going-in-the-trash car bed frame, and attached those with string ala "cans behind your Just Married" car. He also took a remote control from a long defunct toy and was sure he could take it apart and somehow make it the remote for this beautiful new creation.

Last night it was a robot arm. I don't know all the details, because grandma and grandpa were on duty with the kiddos, but it apparently took the evening's full time and attention.

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see this kiddo take to something with focus and gusto. It makes my chest swell a little bit to shush those inner worries and watch the new successes. That's all a mom really wants, right?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Look who's 4

Hard to believe that 4 years ago we had a newborn infant in our life. That seems so very long ago. The bundle of happy that arrived in that little body has been such an amazingly fun, funny and adorable addition to our lives and family.

Leo, you manage to make everyone in this house smile and laugh every single day. You started our your birthday in the hallway, buck naked, dancing and jumping up and down announcing that it was your birthday and "Every present is for ME!!!" And you finished the day with your new pillow pet nightlight shining up at the ceiling with a huge smile on your face even with stinky blankie shoved firmly within it. This is how you live every day - it begins with a dance and a smile and finishes the same (unless you are crying about being moved into another room because you can't stop all your happy talking).

You drive me nuts when I put you on time out because you refuse to be upset. You usually sit on the step or in your room singing a song. If you are in the shower, we know you are still alive because of all the songs and general chatter that are coming forever out of your mouth.

I hope that as you age and find the more difficult parts of this life that you can maintain that smile, that eternal optimism (which seems bizarre to attribute to a 4 year old, and yet, I can). Sure, you have a way of driving your brothers nuts at times, and you have found a little bit of 'tude in the last few months, but my main birthday wish to you is to simply stay as you are. Happy.

Quiche (your request) on the birthday plate

Florida alligator

I won't buy you guns, but who doesn't love a good sword fight with brothers

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

And it begins again...

With a heavy sigh, we have started school again.

Many parents I know sang the ol' "Can't WAIT for school to start" refrain in the last few weeks. And I am usually right there with 'em, awaiting the calm that a regular schedule brings. There is only one problem - I LOVED summer this year. We have had such a great run of camps, guests, cabin time, laughs and general silliness that the idea of school, homework, over-scheduled sports and weekends just makes me cry a little tear.

It is still sunny and warm out.... can't we wait just a little bit longer? One more barbeque? One more cabin weekend with tubing? One more night of staying up too late?

No, no we cannot. So this is our traditional photo, taken on our neighbors stoop with 2 of their girls. Leo thinks he is going to school, but that is still another TWO years from now. Poor little dude...

And I am off to work. First day of folders, paperwork galore and homework will fall on my parents and my husband.

Let it begin.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Family evolution

After dinner last night, we actually cleared off the table and had ourselves a good ol' round of Apples to Apples.

The game itself, if you aren't familiar, isn't really that important. My point is this: this process that began 10 years ago with waking every two hours, breast feeding, diaper changing and mini-van buying has finally produced one of my most cherish family experiences - playing a board game with all my kids.

Granted,  Leo had to be on Omar's team, Spencer on mine. But we all played the whole game, laughing frequently and enjoying everyone's company. There was classic Sheldon outrage at feeling cheated. There was Leo laughing and the word "underwear." We all had a blast.

It was just. Simply. Lovely.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Running Buddy

I have a new partner in my weekend running. He's a little slower than me, and we had to walk every ~1/3 to 1/2 mile, but our run together was by far my favorite of the season, if not my life.

Almost-10 Max managed to carry himself all 4.2 miles around Cedar Lake with me Sunday. During the course of the run, I told him we had gone 2 miles. His response? "Wow, I really thought that felt more like 1.5."

Like he has any idea what 1.5 feels like.

At the end, he said that it was really fun and he wants to do it again.

Let the next generation of crazy begin...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Up North

What happens when you take 19 people to the cabin? A whole lot. 

There was the crab boil...

 There was the endless tubing...

 Campfires and happy children all around...

And general monkey-business...

Too bad nobody had any fun at all....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Up They Go

I will regret this when they tell me they are moving to Joshua Tree to live in a yert instead of going to college, but we did have a complete blast....

Calvin on his way to the top

That little monkey on the right is 3yr old Leo

Spencer also heading to the top of the largest wall


Cousins also loving it
Thank you Vertical Endeavors for your incredible (huge!) facility and no age limit. Leo felt like he and his 14-year-old eldest cousin were equals. The boys can't wait to do it again, though Calvin said that night (while rubbing his pecs) "Rock climbing has made my body feel all weird..." Welcome to soreness, my son. There will be more of that in your future.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leo Talk

The word most frequently uttered by the 3year old? Uhm-ba.

Not uhm... uhm-ba.

Has something to tell you? Sounds a little something like this:

"Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy.... uhm-ba, I, uhm-ba, was trying to, uhm-ba, do the, uhm-ba, uhm-ba thing. Can you, uhm-ba, come help me?

It has recently evolved to include calling me mom-ba.

I told him I was going to start calling him Leo-ba, which he didn't like at all. He has other little Leo-ism that you feel you should correct as a proper parent, but are so cute you kinda wish he would keep them.

He thinks the word "us" is "wus." Example: "Are the Sellke's going to join wus?"

Or another classic, begainst. "What team are my brothers playing begaisnt tonight?" Sounds kinda British.

"Our" is "were." "Are were cousins here yet?"

Sometimes I have no idea what he is saying until I put it through my mental Leo translator. I know some day he will speak like the rest of us, and hopefully do it with a degree of eloquence. But for now, I just chuckle at the sweet way he is trying his best-ba.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Our dear neighbors recently decided to kick the soda habit, so they purchased one of those carbonate-your-own-water spritzers thingamajigs at Bed Bath and Beyond. Just take regular ol' tap water, squirt it three times with this doo-hickey and BAM! Seltzer water. Omar couldn't get enough of this idea. Before long, they had a bottle with my husband's name on it because he went over there so often to get some.

So, being the wise wife that I am, I realized this was a birthday present that could not have come easier. Check it off the list. Bought, given, done! Wife of the Year.

He hasn't used it once. It's been 5 weeks, and it's like I single-handedly crushed his desire for soda water all together. He doesn't go to the neighbors to get any. He doesn't make his own. Its dead to him.

So tonight I decided I would at least make some soda for the kids. The kit came with a few syrup packets that make actual flavored soda and, in the end, even the sugary ones are still ~1/3 the sugar of real soda. Calvin, Spencer and Max were dancing around like it was Christmas morning because I am MAKING THEM SODA! I mean, for an ogre of a mother like me, this is truly unprecedented.

Now, you will notice I didn't mention Max. Somehow, some way, my eldest has come to NOT like soda. What kid doesn't like soda? He doesn't dig carbonation. Birthday party with soda? This one gets a glass of water.


But, basking in the adoration of the little three, I bust out some homemade root beer (if you can really call anything "homemade" when part of it comes out of a squeeze bottle). There are hoots and hollers of joy. Lots of "Oooh, mom! It's GOOD!!" And with that, I kicked them outside so Omar and I could enjoy a moment's peace to eat our dinner and chat. Those moments are so few that we grab them when we can, to catch up, realize why we started this whole crazy adventure together in the first place.

4 minutes later, the littlest enters.

"Mom, I think I'm gonna barf."

Me? "No you aren't honey. I think you just need to burp. You aren't used to soda."

(And this is when a story's end becomes so blatantly obvious simply because I am blogging about it. It wouldn't really be worth writing about if we didn't all know how this is going to end....)


I'll have you know that I finished my dinner.

Make that THREE people in this house that now want nothing to do with the soda maker...

Monday, June 11, 2012

7 years ago

At this time in 2005, I was in a room with a very sore incision, trying to pretend morphine didn't knock me completely off my rocker, basking in the glory of no longer being pregnant and having two new beautiful babies in my life.

There were times that I didn't believe I would make it to this post, but you really can't argue that 7 year old boys just aren't little any more. They aren't babies. They are people who can be trusted to help out with things, people who can go to the park with their brother and be safe out of sight.

Cal, you are a boy with great conviction, focus and intelligence. You give me a run for my money when we both think we know better, but you are so clearly going to do well in this world. You will pick out a goal and work to it with laser-like focus. You love to figure out how things work and solve puzzles. Your fully belly laugh can bring your dad and I to giggles. I love you.

Spence, you have shown both your dad and I this year that, with focus and determination, you are a deeply observant, whip smart young man. Your ability to see a frog, turtle, butterfly or caterpillar in a thick of green is uncanny. And your eye with a camera is already impressive to even your photographer grandfather. You want to do good, and I think you are even starting to believe that you can. I love you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Houston, we have a plan

My almost 7 year-old little Spencer made the following pronouncement completely out of the blue the other day:

Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be an artist.
And if that doesn't work out, I'm going to be a photographer.
And if that doesn't work out, I'm going I be a scientist.
And if that doesn't work out, I'm going to open a candy store.
And if that doesn't work out, I'm going to retire.
And when I retire, I'm going to sit in a big poofy chair reading a book with a big orange cat on my lap.

I just kinda stood there with my mouth agape before I started laughing.

So, at the very least, we have that figured out. Always good to have a plan.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My closet

DAMN my closet looks good. It is gorgeous. It isn't filled with crap I haven't worn in 6 years. Everything I see is something I might actually put on.

Why didn't I do this sooner?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Do List

I have had a nice string of days off. So many that I actually have whittled down the ToDo list to things that I have ignored on the list for a long time. I have gone to Target. I have filled out all the requisite paperwork for summer camps. I have purchased some new summer tops. In summary, I have done the  things that I actually enjoy accomplishing.

So, what's left on the list? Clean my closet and organize the office.

These are the things that I have left for some time in the future "when I have a lot of days off in a row." Well, here ya go. That would be today.

But I don't wanna.

I have put them off for a long time because I don't want to do them. I will LOVE having them done, but it just sounds too painful. So, I blog about it instead.

That counts for something on the To Do list, right?

Friday, May 11, 2012


At this point in time, it appears my races for the season are on hold. I am currently signed up for two Sprint triathlons at the end of June. These were supposed to be my "warm up" races. My easy races that were really just for fun. This season was supposed to be the year of 2-3 Olympic length races with the goal of getting faster each race.

Except that isn't going to happen.

I stopped running at the end of February due to a Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis - that tendon that runs behind the inner ankle bump and then down to the arch of the foot. I saw a Sports Med guy and he said to wear this splint 24/7 and stop running.

So I continued to bike and swim, as he said I could. But no dice. Still hurt. So, 3 weeks ago, I landed in a walking boot for 2 weeks with no sports at all.

Still hurt.

So, now I have pretty much just pulled up stakes. I am trying to remember to do some PT to strengthen my butt muscles (the butt bone's connected to the knee bone, the knee bone's connected to the foot bone... it's all related apparently), but I am basically languishing.

I'm out of the boot. I'm supposed to wear the splint. I have just lost my mojo. I have told my coach that I am out for the month of MAY (remember, we started this party at the end of February) and currently wondering how I get back on the horse. How long after it doesn't hurt do you let it go before testing it?


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Little League

Yup. That's my "baby." That lanky, kinda gangly 9 year old.

Given that he picked up a glove for (basically) the first time 3 weeks ago, and really has never swung a bat, he has yet to be a major contributor to the squad. And the practice schedule is pretty brutal - basically every night while school is, of course, still in session. And one of his games the other night ended at 9:50pm on a Wednesday. And he can't keep track of his gear.

But MAN does he love it. And the kicker? So do I. I LOVE watching his games. And I have pretty universally bored by baseball in the past, certainly the TV version. I love nearly biting my fingernails off when he steps up to the plate. I love cheering for his teammates when they get hits. I love that he gets to play under the lights, buy food from a concession stand and feel like he is part of a big-time team.

It is just so much fun.

So, the skills will come, the nights will be late, the homework will be rough, and the food we eat as family will be closer to the "garbage" quadrant of the food pyramid, but man will we enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Leo and I were the last ones to get out to door today. Given that I am very open about many things, I told him to get his shoes on "and I need to go finished getting dressed."

Leo: But mom, you are already dressed
Me: I need to put my bra on
Leo: What's a bwa?
Me: You know, that polka-dotty thing you found so funny the other day
Leo: Ohh! (laughing) yeah, a bwa. Why do you need a bwa?
Me: I wear it to support my chest.
Leo: (raising his shirt and pinching his little boy "chest" parts) You mean these?
Me: Yup. Those.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sweet spot

As you might have guessed, that last post was from Omar. What I was wanting to post was THIS.

We are just in such a GOOD place right now.

I mean, yes, there are the daily kid tussles, eye rolls, whining and general nonsense, but in the big scheme of things, we have hit a sweet spot previously unknown as parents.

Max continues to be happy, endlessly helpful and has hit a new skill of really making me laugh. True laughing, not parental charity laughing. It is such a wonderful feeling to genuinely relate to your kid and feel like you are starting to have a true friendship, not just a parent/child relationship.

Calvin, though always a tad stubborn and fairly sure that he could hack it in this world with nothing but his own smarts and a pocketknife, has also started to think of others than just himself. He is being kind and helpful to Leo instead of argumentative or indifferent. School is a breeze, and he is one step from just taking off with reading. There are times when all the big 3 will have their noses in books. So. Awesome.

Spencer has been saved by Ritalin. Ok, that may sound overly dramatic, but I truly don't feel like it's an overstatement. Homework is completely doable now, not an hour and a half knock-down drag-out tear and scream festival. And though I will have to delete this post when he gets older, I can't tell you how nice it is that I haven't had the thought "I don't really like my own child" in months. And the reality? I think HE likes himself better. He is happier, he laughs and smiles more. He has confidence in school that he didn't have before. I think he felt dumb before, and the opposite of that is the sweetest gift anyone could give a kid.

And Leo. Oh, Leo. That little critter is just the funniest, happiest, goofiest bookend this family could ask for. He and Spencer have a gift for irritating the living tar out of each other, but nothing can make our whole family bust a gut than his little comical face saying something ridiculous. 

Today was late start at school, and I was driving the big three to the shoe store with the windows down, the sun shining and everyone belting a song on the new favorite CD. This weekend, we were at the cabin and spent many cold and damp hours Geocaching, smiling and chatting as we went.

This is such a great family to be part of. (And no, we aren't going to try for the girl!)

i love my husband blog

he is awesome

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3yr old talk

Rosie: Leo, can we have a playdate?
Leo: Sure!
Rosie: Ok.
Leo: Where do you live?
Rosie: Uhm... I live in Minnesota.
Leo: ME TOO!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Holy Spring!

Nothing gets older than a Minnesotan talking about the weather. Super duper boring, right?

But HOLY CRAP! I can't NOT talk about the weather! It has been in the 70's-80's for the last week. IT'S MARCH!!! This is historically the snowiest month of the year in my fair cursed state. This is when we leave the stark white tundra for a warm spring break and come back depressed because it's still a stark white tundra. I have never bought crocs prior to spring break because we would never be able to use them. I can pack for spring break in November because none of the requisite clothing would be used prior to that time.

Yesterday, we had pulled pork sandwiches off the grill with slaw and cobbler, all eaten on the back patio with the whole family. The adults sat and drank *lemonade* (with a little bourbon) while the kids played capture the flag in the yard with the dog chasing them around. Max asked me to turn the sprinkler on (which is, of course, impossible, because no one in their right mind turns their sprinklers on this time of year).

All of this, on March 18th.

What the hell is going on? My tulips are popping through the mulch. My windows are open. My kids all went to school today in shorts.

I am just soaking it all in. Mostly because I am pretty sure it will snow in April.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mr Defiant

I don't like repeating myself. I REALLY don't like repeating myself when it comes to things that shouldn't need to be said the first time around. Examples?

Put your dishes in the dishwasher
Put your clothes down the laundry chute
Put your homework where it belongs
Sit down in your chair when you eat
Don't walk around the house with food

I could go on and on, but let's be honest, you are already bored. *I* am bored with myself when I say these things. And yet, these are the things that drive me to insanity with how often I am saying them. Most of the time, the boys have not done them simply because they are being space cadets.

But not Calvin.

Oh, no. Not Calvin.

Sometimes he's a space cadet, but many a times it is because he simply doesn't like being told what to do. He consciously chooses not to listen. Calvin knows best. Go ahead and ask him. I'm sure he would readily agree. And please don't discuss this post with my brother. His opinions on where Calvin gets this trait are not needed or appreciated.

It will come as a surprise to no one that this has become a problem.

I got the dreaded "Parent Contact" phone call the other day. Apparently Calvin and a friend decided to sword fight with pencils, with the purpose of the game being to stab the other in the stomach. The teacher caught them doing this and told them to stop. Calvin, knowing that he knew better, continued the stabbing.

Thankfully, no one got hurt. I had 3 hours to craft his punishment in my mind before he got off the bus. He got to spend the entire afternoon and evening in his room, with dinner as the only break (though I was very tempted to scoot stale bread under the door crack). No more of his favorite iPhone game, and he had to write a letter of apology to the teacher.

I have no idea if any of this will make one whit of difference.

It really sucks when your kids take your own personality flaws and craft them into a whole new art form....

Monday, February 6, 2012

9 year olds with swords

So this is what Max looks like in fencing class. He is completely and totally in love with this. And, for the first time in the many sports he has taken for a test drive, he is a bit of a natural. I am not saying this just because I'm his mom. I will be the first to tell you that he's got great effort and enthusiasm for soccer and football, but "natural" is NOT the word I would use.

But once he had that cute little vest and mask on (blah blah blah the technical names...), he got into his En Garde stance, and the little guy looked really good! The teacher gave him an award after the first lesson and used him to demonstrate something the second week.

Now, if this goes the way that my love affair for the flute went, he has about 3 weeks left before he is completely over it. But if not, we may have ourselves a new past time. Who knew?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pushing myself

I started with a new coach/trainer/tri-buddy a few months back. He and I got together at the beginning and he watched my form in the pool, on the track, and on the bike.

When we were done with all of that, he kinda scratched his chin. The good news was that my form was really quite good in all 3 fields. But, he said the reason I wasn't faster was, well, because I wasn't trying hard enough. When it came down to it, nothing was making me slow other than me.

So, taking that good-new-bad-news in stride, I realized I was about to spend a whole lot more time in the hurt locker. What I thought was trying hard? Nope. What I thought was my best? Wasn't.

And yesterday I ran a mile in 8:11 and then turned around 5 minutes later and ran another one in 8:05. Granted, I thought I was going to die, but I did it. And I can gehr-un-tee you I have never in my life ran back-to-back 8:anything miles. That is only 5 seconds away from a 7:something. That is freakin' crazy talk.

The idea of sustaining that pace for a whole race is something that sounds completely unrealistic, but if you told me I'd ever be in striking distance of a 7:59 minute mile...? I guess unrealistic is about to come a'knockin.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Oh. My. God.

My house is so loud.

It is brain-splitting, hackle-raising, rage-inducing loud. This morning, there was nothing but shouting around the breakfast table, despite O and I telling them repeatedly to stop. And, of course, it's only a shout festival because it is also an interruption festival. You wouldn't need to shout if you weren't talking over someone (or sometwo or somethree).

I like to think I generally have some control and/or influence over these small monkeys, but sweet lord! Help! Anyone! How do I turn the volume down on 4 boys 9 and under???

I'm going to need a rubber room....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Making the jump

Any of you who know O and I well know that we have spent many hours thinking about and worrying about our dear Spence. He has been the kid that came out crying and didn't really stop for the first 4 years. Frustration is met at every turn, and challenges lead to frustrations which lead to quitting which lead to meltdowns. Doing homework is frequently an exercise of tears, anger, huge frustration, and thankfully, ultimately triumph - only to be repeated the next night.

When we first met with his psychologist she started talking about defiance, and we immediately corrected her that there isn't a defiant bone in his body (however, if you would like to meet his brother Calvin...). None of this is volitional. You can tell that he is just as frustrated by it as anyone, if not more.

The wiggles never stop. This morning at breakfast he sat in 4 different chairs before finishing half of a bagel. My post about NLD seemed initially like an "answer," but I'm not sure what part of it I even believe now, other than the fact that he is an auditory learner. Much to my dismay, ADHD seems to fit the bill more.

So, we made the jump. We decided, despite our theoretical opposition to "putting every kid on ritalin," to put our kid on ritalin. The downside is potential appetite suppression and insomnia. The upside is that last night homework was still with some frustration, but no tears and it was done in half the agonizing time. We are only 3 days into this experiment, so the sample size in tiny. But if this can help even a tiny bit, and help the kid feel more "normal" and less tortured, I will consider it a monumental success. 'Cause in the end, all we want for our kids is to be happy, right?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New favorite pic

I mean, seriously. Edible.


The littlest one was in my room the other day when I was getting dressed. We were doing our normal chatter, Leo being the chatterbox that a 3 year old tends to be.

Suddenly, he just started laughing. Full, belly laughing. He was pointing at me, thinking my brand new pink-with-white-polkadots bra, which I think is pretty snazzy, was the funniest damn thing he had ever seen.

"Mommy! You are sooooo funny! That is ridiculous!"

When seen through the eyes of a child, I looked in the mirror and realized the whole thing was kinda clownish. I couldn't help but laugh with him.

I don't think this was what Victoria had in mind...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Ah, the holidays. That time you eagerly anticipate each year with images of fireplaces, gifts, family time and glowing childrens' faces.

And every year to let out a big sigh of relief when it's all over. Not because I don't love all of the above, but because I secretly love the dead of winter.

No sports.
No gift shopping.
No decorating.
No races around the corner.
Not a lot of work or social obligations.

Just me, my kids, my hubby and some homework.

I have often thought in July of how I love THIS time in January, which seems completely nuts. July is supposed to be the best time of all for a Minnesotan. But I am going to soak in the NOW. The calm is just what the doctor ordered.