Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Selective Squeamishness

My children are afflicted with a disease. And I'm going to be candid about it. It's my public duty to share our experiences. If we can even help just one other person, it will be worth it. (Please don't shun us.)

My kids suffer regularly from . . . drum roll. . .

Selective Squeamishness

It's a hard cross to bear, for both them and me. Researchers and doctors are frantically searching for a cure. We can only hope they'll find one soon. You may be wondering about the signs of this dreaded disease, and you have a right to be concerned. Let me fill you in.

The inconsistency of Selective Squeamishness is what makes it so bad. You might have cause to worry if any of these sound familiar:

Your children may have no problem playing the mud,

(Not my child.)

But as soon as it's time to load the dishwasher...

...the horrible disease strikes.

Instantly squeamish!

Half stepped-on candy stuck to the parking lot is a serious snack option,

but when it's time to take out the garbage...

Instantly Squeamish!

Food Fights are often a begged for after-dinner pastime...

but nothing makes the Selective Squeamishness disease flare up like cleaning the bathroom.

Instantly Squeamish X3!

Almost as bad as bathroom cleaning-induced squeamishness is ridding the garden of squash bugs. (Something I found out yesterday.)

Squash bug eradication involves killing the adult squash bugs that lay a bazillion eggs each. (Maybe a slight exaggeration.) You can squish them or pick them up and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. And for all you bug rights people, they can suck a squash plant dry in a matter of days, so I'll send them over to your gardens.

Selective Squeamishness hit big time, which is strange because all other kinds of bugs are fair game. Eventually I convinced my kids that the bugs wouldn't hurt them, but the kidlets still preferred to look for the bugs and squeal when they saw them (which wasn't hard since there was a colony of about 500).

For your sake I hope your house is free from this horrible disease. Please put a fuschia colored ribbon with neon green sequined fringe on your antennae to show you support Selective Squeamishness research.

Thank you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Starting off with a laugh

I love Pachelbel's Canon in D, but after watching this funny video I may never hear it the same again.

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Michael Jackson has to do with being bored

We're almost 2 months through with summer vacation, and, at least in my house, the kids are starting to struggle a little bit with boredom. And since I informed them early on that if they came to me whining about nothing to do that I would find them something to do (and it would be practically guaranteed to involve some sort of scrubbing or weeding), they are doing pretty good at entertaining themselves. Sometimes their ways of entertaining themselves also entertains me.

This is the story of one of those such times.

Once upon a couple weeks ago I was upstairs on the computer plugging away faithfully on the current book that I'm writing. Princess was happily chattering away with her friends down in the kitchen. She had informed me they were going to make a museum and they were all set with stacks of paper and every color of crayon and marker invented.

I finished up the scene I was working on and headed downstairs to see how things were going. Princess & Company proudly told me all about the first museum exhibit.

A Michael Jackson exhibit.

These are the only two pictures I have. The other girls took theirs home before I thought to photograph them. I just about died laughing.

This was the week after Michael Jackson died and everywhere you turned the media was talking about it. Princess knows who he was and one of her favorite songs is "Thriller."

It made me laugh hard. Much more entertaining than the Frozen Bug Exhibit they were working on today. I got quite the surprise when I opened the freezer to get something out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finishing up the Wasatch Back

I need to get this race finished off so I can get to all the other blogs waiting to be written. :)

So... the third and final leg of the race. While we were playing "I Just Dare You To Sleep" in the sardine gym, the other van got to see this gorgeous sunrise.

Wow! Really, the scenery was fantastic. Even at night. A few times while I was running I looked up at the thousands of stars. You don't realize how much light pollution limits the stars you can see until you get away from it.

Our turn to run (for the last time) was coming up yet again. Jason got down to business stretching and making sure he was ready.

(Remember. No sleep!)

During Jason's run the rain and wind started. Here he is at the end, and boy was he ready to be done running for a while.

Up and over Jordanelle Reservoir, which was gorgeous.

This engagement-like picture *was not* our idea; I would have showered, brushed my hair, and not been covered in crusty hours-old sweat if it had been my idea.

I was dreading my last run, not because it was hard (only 3.1 miles flat) but because by that point I could seriously barely move. The other runners kept sneaking concerned looks at me each time I got in and out of the car (which took 5 minutes). They were thinking the same thing I was, "How in the world is she actually going to run?"

I sure didn't know how, but when my turn came I did it. In the pouring rain. And boy, did it hurt! I got through it on sheer stubborn determination. Here's a little snippet of what went through my head: I just want this race over with! Ow. Ow. Ow. Only 2.5 miles and I can be done and die in peace! I can't believe that freaking van with Viking horns taped to the roof just drove through that huge puddle and soaked me. Stupid race. Ow. Ow. Ow. No way is this just 3.1 miles!

Finally finished!

You may not be able to tell in this picture, but I was head to toe dripping wet. Soaked. (Notice everyone else is bundled up.)
I practically passed out in the car as we drove to Park City to wait at the finish line for our last runner. Everyone was cold and exhausted, but I was also extremely sore. Finally our last runner arrived and we all ran (or hobbled, in my case) the last little bit across the finish line together. We crossed the finish line in 27 hrs 31 minutes. Just before the full-force monsoon hit. (We felt bad for those teams still running in it.)

Yippee! Go A-Team!

Our cool medal and T-shirt.

Jason helping me sloooowly move across the parking lot.
(If it looks like I'm walking funny it's because I'm walking funny.)

We had such a great time we'll definitely be doing it again!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Wasatch Back

Remember how the last post was just the first leg? Well, there's still 2/3 of the race to go! And a good chunk of that was in the dark.

"You mean we have to do this again? In a few hours?!"

But at least we had a few hours. We grabbed a bite to eat and drove past all the runners to wait at the posh comfort of Snow Basin Lodge - home of indoor plumbing, hot water, soft couches, and tired, sweaty runners sprawled *everywhere.* Sooner than we were ready for we got the text that the last runner of the second van was getting close. Our turn would be up soon.

Yes, that's me wrapped in the blanket. It was cold!

Jason was up. And boy was he ready for his 8.5 mile run up and down the mountain. It was a string of bobbing lights, and Jason gathered road kills willy-nilly as he flew down that mountain!

Is that him? I'm not sure. Taking pictures in the dark while in a moving car and the runner is moving=very bad pics.

There he is!

Staying warm with our teammates. Oh, yeah! We're bonding now.

My turn for the leg that I'd been dreading for weeks. 8.1 miles uphill at about 2:00 a.m.

I didn't even check my pace, just kept telling myself to keep going. Just make it through each song on the iPod and keep going. I did chalk up a good chunk of road kills, too. (The team renamed me "Night Stalker") I pushed it hard and finished in way less time than I expected. And after I was done my legs decided they were done, too. I couldn't get into the car. Jason had to push me in.

Our van's 2nd leg was finished and we went to a "Sleep Station" to try and catch a little sleep. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha...

Let's just say it's really hard to sleep while packed like Sardines with 500 other people on the hard gymnasium floor of a high school. Jason said it's the closest he hopes to come to sleeping in a homeless shelter after a natural disaster. It's like a human orchestra: shuffle, cough, whisper, creeaaak (the door squeaked), zip, footsteps, shuffle, snore, cough, creeeaaak, whisper, cell phone alarm, clatter, laugh, creaaaak, SNORE, shuffle, cough, SNORE, creak, shuffle, SNORE... There was a guy on an air mattress less than 10 feet away from us and next to him was a guy on a cot. And they were pretty comfortable, pretty tired, and seriously LOUD SNORERS. And I mean LOUD!

I lay on my side with one ear pressed to my pillow, my iPod in the other ear, and my sweatshirt over my eyes to block out the light of the constantly opening and closing door. To say we got an hour of sleep would be realistic--and probably a gross overestimate. And to help matters by that point I could barely move. Up and down the stairs required hanging onto the banister for dear life. We finally gave up on sleep and met in the cafeteria that served spaghetti and peanut butter sandwiches, but no breakfast. So we had breakfast from the back of the car.

Notice I'm not the one wrapped in a blanket now? Barry will forever hold the nickname of "Old Man Graff" after breakfast. And boy, did we think it was funny. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Everything was funny! (The poor runners trying to sleep on the grass by the car sure didn't think it was funny, though.)

On to Leg #3.
And on to another post, I think. This one would get too long if I were to finish the rest of the race.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tales and Tears of the Wasatch Back - 1st Leg

It's the post you've all been waiting for! (Now that I got photos from teammates) Over Father's Day weekend Jason and I ran a 188 mile relay race. It went up and over 4 mountain passes across the back of the Wasatch Mountains. Jason had been asked to be on a team from work sometime in January. A month before the race one of their team members had to drop out so they asked if I'd fill in.

Would I? I've been wanting to run the Wasatch Back since I first heard of it.

Our team was called the A-Team (for Alpine School District) and we even got dubbed new racing names.

I was "Juice."
And Jason was "Hammy" from the movie Over the Hedge.

Along with new names we also got rockin' matching T-shirts, and great window decorations.

Van One/Juan
(One of our team members is from England and when she says "one" it sounds like "Juan" - so it became a joke. Ok, I'll admit, on 1 hour of sleep *everything* became a joke.)

The "Eat Our Chalkdust" was a genius idea for the back window. (Wish I could claim it.)

We thought we were pretty styling until we met up with some of the other vans, like the Striping -- I mean, Stripping Warriors. (Note the teeny tiny little "p" smashed in there when they realized it was misspelled)

We started at 2:00 in the afternoon and had 650+ teams ahead of us. That's a lot of potential road kills (people you pass) to chalk up on our windows. *rubbing hands together*

Jason was Runner #1 and got us off to a great start.

How was the first leg of the race? "Very hot," Jason replied. We would all have liked a little more hot the next day when we finished in a monsoon.

The rest of the runners in our van ran through some truly gorgeous back country.

My first leg was early evening up and over the summit of Avon pass and down the other side on the oh-my-gosh-I'm-going-to-break-my-ankle-and-did-I-really-just-run-past-a-severed-deer-leg dirt road that was more like a rocky creek bed.

The end of the run. Finally!

This is what waited at the exchange.

Yes, that is a Lambourgini.
And see how close I was? That's my leg in the corner as I stretched. *giggle*

And next to the Lambourgini were...

2 yellow Corvettes. Suh-weet!!

Anyway, back to the race. I'm happy to report that on the first leg we started getting road kills, ran into some people we knew, and I didn't throw up after running. So... success!

I've realized this would be a really long post if I were to do the whole race so I'll tell you more about the rest of it in future posts.

Monday, July 13, 2009

One of those days

I've been saving this email a friend sent me for a day just like today!

Tough Love vs. Spanking – One Person’s Perspective

Most of the American populace thinks it improper to spank children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of "those moments."

One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk.

Some say it's the vibration from the car, others say it's the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, iPod, etc.

Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together. Eye to eye contact helps a lot too.

I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.

*Don't lie. You're totally laughing, aren't you?*

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 13!

Happy Friday all! Not only is it a bee-you-ti-ful Friday weather-wise (bring on the sun!!) but it also happens to be my anniversary. 13 years with my awesome husband! *sniff*

The traditional 13th anniversary gift is LACE.

And yes, that is my husband whooping and cheering in the corner. He likes this year better than, say, year 7 which is the wool and copper anniversary. That was an easy year for gifts. Steel wool anyone? And it came in so handy for that pot where I got involved writing that fight scene and forgot I was steaming carrots... *Note: I didn't really get him steel wool, but wouldn't that have been an *awesome* idea?!

He won't be nearly so happy when he unwraps that package of doilies.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Treadmills are not toys

A fact which Princess is now convinced of. I'm afraid I have a child that has to learn things the hard way. *sigh*

This is 2 days after the incident.

What's missing in these pictures is her face. Imagine mouth wide open and emitting a wail to rival a siren. She's okay as long as the bandages are on. Once they come off the wailing begins anew.

For those of you who are concerned, she's doing pretty good. Nothing broken, just missing chunks of skin. I think the treadmill won this round.