Monthly Archives: July 2013

What I’ve Learned This Week

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The friends can be funny and thoughtful and loyal and so truly amazing.

The family matters and even though you didn’t get to chose them they can be just right.

That loyal coworkers that send you home when you really need to go home are worth every long day that comes along.

And that a supportive husband, a sweet as sugar daughter, and two crazy, but protective, dogs are worth every rolled eye, every late night and every loud bark.

Morning Meltdown

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Daughter woke up today in full melt-down mode. She had a rough night, with nightmares full of spiders and spider webs. Husband pulled her into our bed, where she woke multiple times pleading for us to get the spider webs offher arms, her legs, her head. It was heartbreaking to watch and even more difficult because it was 1, and then 2 and then 3 in the morning. When the alarm went off at 6:30, I zombie-walked to the bathroom, only to be followed by a mini-zombie screaming “Carry Me! Carry Me!”

And then it started. The full-on, “Carry Me, Don’t Touch Me!” morning meltdown. I don’t blame her, either. We’ve all been stressed with packing and storing and cleaning and painting. Trying to sell a house is a roller coaster of emotions. One moment I can’t wait to get out, the next moment I never want to leave. At times I feel like we’ll sell in a heartbeat, other times I’m sure we’re stuck here forever and we’ll have two houses and we’ll never leave either or then we’ll be without a house and we’ll have to live with my Mom. (Which would be fine, Mom, really, but a bit crowded, don’t you think?)
And frankly, I wouldn’t have minded wrapping myself around her on the floor and joining in on the tears and screams and kicking.
But let’s be realistic. I had to get in the shower, find something to wear that’s not in storage, get her somewhat dressed and still clean up this house in case our Realtor or someone else decides to walk through it. Oh, and then get to work.
Eventually she let me pick her up, I held her close, wiped her tears and led her to the bathroom. (Which is where she wanted to be carried in the first place if only I had been able to read her mind.) The world was calmer after that. Husband brought her a snack bar and milk. I got in the shower. We turned on Bubble Guppies. I got her dressed in a swimsuit (field trip day to the wading pool) and secretly wished I could wear my swimsuit all day and hang at the wading pool, too. We got out the door without another tear, another struggle, another heartbreak.
And hear I sit, far from the spiders and nightmares and kicking. Daughter doesn’t have moments like that often, and for that I’m grateful. But every so often she does. And every so often I wish I could. I wish I could just crawl on the floor screaming and crying until someone picked me up, wiped my tears and held me.
Don’t you?

Nearly Three Strikes

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(image from wikipedia)

It’s been a day.

I ran over to the club at lunch to swim laps. I had to talk myself into going. Talk myself into leaving the comfort of my desk, the piles of work that needed to get done. But I knew I’d feel better after I spent a half-hour in the pool. I’d work better, be less distracted, actually get MORE done.  So I pulled myself up and out to the parking ramp and drove the 10 blocks to the club. I plugged the meter, waited for green to cross the street, opened the door and was stopped abruptly by a large sign.

“Club closed due to Water Main Break. Please use our other locations.”

I stood and stared at it. I wanted to swim. I didn’t want to drive somewhere else. I already plugged my meter. I wanted to swim. My pool, and I realized, my suit were behind that sign.

Strike One.

I went back to the office, complained a bit, ate my frozen lunch and then had a Dilly Bar.

Fast forward to the end of the day. We ate dinner. We cleaned up. We even played for a few minutes when we realized we should be outside. The plan was we’d all ride to the lake, Husband and Daughter would play on the playground while I swam, and then we’d all bike home. A perfect plan.

I bent down to fill up my tires, which were just a tad low, and then I heard the hiss. And not a little hiss, but a loud hiss. I felt the tire. It was soft. really soft. Much softer than it had been just a moment earlier when I checked it. Somehow when I opened up the air nozzle the whole thing went flat.

Strike Two.

But Husband came to the rescue. He handed over his bike and said he and Daughter would walk to a closer playground. That’s my guy. So, I hopped on his bike, which I’ve never ridden and popped over to the lake. I spent most of my time on the bike learning his gears and forgetting my feet weren’t clipped in. Imagine me falling at a stop light because I can’t get my feet off his naked pedals. I can.

But I made it. I made it to the lake. And along with probably 100 other swimmers (seriously, there’s a race this weekend, so it was crowded) I swam. I wanted to go across the lake (600 yards) but I wasn’t sure I had time (I had about 25 minutes before the lifeguards left) and my first time in Open Water I didn’t want to push it. Besides, I was alone. And I already had two strikes against me.

So I swam for a while. And then I turned back. The swim back to shore was against the wind and pretty tough. I didn’t panic, and heard Dory/Ellen’s voice as I made it back to shore. I took the long way back home on Husband’s bike and was grateful I got my swim in. Grateful I pushed myself to do it. Grateful Husband understood I needed to ride, to swim.

And grateful I didn’t get that third strike.

I’m going to bed.

It’s Monday

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It’s Monday night. Daughter just went to sleep after many, many disruptions. Husband is working on the crossword. Little Dog is napping by the front window. Big Dog is napping next to me. I’m pounding away on the keyboard. Determined to get something written for this blog. Determined to kick start my writing the only way I know how, to just sit my but down and do it. This Monday was pretty easy. Maybe because it’s a short week. Maybe because the weekend was just so, so, so perfect.

Friday morning I woke up with the sun and went for a run. It was amazingly beautiful outside, crisp and cool, and I was so grateful I did it. Not just for my body, but for my mind, and for the long day I would have with Daughter. We went to swim lessons, we met friends at a playground, we went to lunch with those friends and then the kids swam in the frigid lake. In the afternoon I brought Daughter for her first pedicure. Then we stopped for a treat and then home for dinner with Husband. It was a perfect day. She was on her best behavior. I was on my best behavior. And when I think about it, I’m sure that little run I snuck in at the crack of dawn had something to do with it.

Saturday morning I woke up early. Not as early as the run, but still early. I went for  a long bike ride. The training schedule said to go 100 minutes. I made it 80 before boredom and the call back to life hit me. Then we went to get Daughter’s haircut before we had family photos. She spent 45 straight minutes looking into the camera, flattening her dress and trying not to be shy. She did a really good job not being shy. I was very proud of her. Then we tore across town, facing closed roads and backed-up traffic to join my team for a boat ride on the river. What a beautiful day. With beautiful people. There was seven-layer dip and a dip in the (again, frigid) river, there were burgers and brats and one little beer. We stayed on the river much  longer than we should have. Back on dry land, we searched for a parking spot for over 20 minutes just so we could run into the candy store and get a gigantic sucker. I drove home and when I pulled up in front of the house I had a sleeping girl, with a rainbow of sugar across her face and a sucker stuck to her sleeve.

Sunday morning I didn’t go running. I didn’t pull out the bike. Instead I grabbed a book and a mug of tea and sat on our new deck. I listened to the birds and read Kelly’s beautiful words. Eventually, Daughter came outside and curled into my lap with the iPad and Winnie-the-Pooh. Big Dog curled up at my feet and chewed on sticks and leaves that were still falling from the storm the previous week. I read. Daughter watched. Big Dog chewed. I wanted to stay there forever, but right as my watch told me we had to get moving, I turned the last page of that moving book and Winnie-the-Pooh got the honey pot and walked into the sun with Christopher Robin.