Oct 24, 2009

I Do What I Want...

There's plenty I don't like about being a grown-up--insurance, anyone??--but there's a whole lot I love about it too.

For starters, I don't miss my junior high years. At all. Now that's not to say there was nothing good about them; there were plenty of good moments strewn about in there amid the angst, and awkwardness, and cringe-worthy moments. But I was relieved to leave them behind and I'd be hard pressed to go back if given the opportunity.

I love being able to drive and having a car. I love choosing whether or not I want to be in school, and what I want to learn about. I love getting to tell small children what to do--and them doing it.

I love it that I'm getting old enough that my quirks aren't seen as an artifact of my youth. There were a few years in there where drumming barefoot drew furrowed brows among certain crowds. Wearing jeans all the time--not wrong exactly, but not necessarily a favorable trait. Sarcasm and slang--definitely something to grow out of. Getting married at age 20--ah, those young whippersnappers. General nerdliness and dorkdom--crazy kids.

Let me throw in a disclaimer that my perception gets skewed at times, and I tend to think people are thinking more negatively about my quirks than they actually are. If they are even thinking about them at all. I realize that. But still, I think we've all had those ridiculous interactions where someone manages to impress upon us that we aren't good/smart/normal/whatever enough, and for some reason we just can't shake loose the effects they have.

But now I'm gaining credibility. I'm 32. I have a house. I have kids. I've grown and matured over the years, and am ready to deal with all sorts of passing remarks in a firm yet polite way, to self-advocate...but I hardly get any guff these days. The barefoot drumming--the only people that even notice are my peeps at the home church, and only then in love and good nature. The jeans--either no one cares anymore, or they figure I'm old enough that it's no longer worth trying to get me to change. Sarcasm and slang--I've learned to choose carefully when and where I use it. Most of the time, anyway. Being young and married--11 years took care of that one. And as for the nerdliness and dorkdom, obviously those are here to stay.

I really love that about being a grown-up...

Oct 20, 2009

Hardcore Doofus...

So, I like running. A lot. I'm beginning to think that I need to run, even. It balances me, keeps me in decent shape and makes me feel good. I think I feel most alive when I'm running. Interestingly enough, I also sometimes feel mostly-dead while running, but that's another post.

Yesterday when I checked weather.com, it said that it would be 47 degrees around mid-morning today, and I thought "Hey, that's decent jogging weather. Definitely doable with the kids." So this morning I threw a sweatshirt on His Highness (a light-up, blinking sweatshirt; this pleased him greatly) and a blanket over the Littler One (who was already wearing a t-shirt & thick-ish sleeper), and we fired up the double jogger for our 2.5 mile loop. His Highness usually doesn't mind the ride because we almost always end up at the playground, where we almost always stop to play before walking the last quarter-mile home. It's a win-win as far as we're concerned.

We hit the first glitch when we exited the garage and found that it was windy and chilly. I should've known. I've lived here a year, and windy and chilly are to be expected on any given day, except when one is making a hearty wintertime meal, such as stew or roast beast & taters, in which case there will be a freak warm streak. Just for spite. Anyway, I ran back in the house, pulled some pants on over my shorts, & grabbed gloves for His Highness and myself. The Littler One looked pretty toasty, tucked in beneath his blanket, so we set off into the chilly wind.

It got really interesting about a half mile in, when The Littler One abruptly decided that he was unhappy. He made this known by trying to fling himself from the stroller and onto the pavement, which he was unable to do because he was buckled in, which made him very, very unhappy indeed.

I weighed the options. Long story short, we kept going. I cursed weather.com, thinking "There's no way it's 47 degrees out here." Then we passed the temperature display at the credit union, which read 37 degrees (probably below freezing with the windchill). Then I cursed myself for not checking weather.com this morning.

In my own defense, I was running a diagnostic on my work 'puter, which seems to have a possessed touchpad at the moment. Diagnostic = no checking anything. Yes, I could've checked using one of our other computers. There are a million reasons why I didn't. Most of them involved not wanting to walk all the way downstairs and wait for a computer to boot up. Of course I also could've walked outside and determined that everyone needed another layer or two (or ten) before we even left the house, but...well, I just didn't. What was I talking about again??

Right--avoiding hypothermia. We stopped at a bench along the greenway (our really nice, city-wide system of walking/running/biking paths), where I could assess the situation more fully. No poop, thank goodness. We moved on to the feeding (it is in moments like these where I love the nursing. I had enough layers & whatnot to remain modest & warm, and the Littler One could eat right then, and then we'd be on our way). The only problem was that he really didn't want to eat. He was cold, and he was angry that he was cold, and he was angry that I wasn't getting him into a warmer situation RIGHT NOW.

Well, we were right around the halfway point, so it made just as much sense to keep going as it did to turn back. We powered on. We had a short reprieve from the wind, in that it slowed down a little and was at our sides instead of head-on, and eventually we made it to the park. The Littler One has a lot of feelings, and they're very persistent, so he was still loudly mad. His Highness was visibly shivering, but he really, really loves the playground, so he was bent on toughing it out until he got his turn on the blue swing. We had a heart-to-heart:

"Look Your Highness, it's really cold out. Do you want to skip the playground and go straight home?"

"Boo-oo fing, Momm-mmy!" (blue swing)

"Well, that's the thing. If we stop, I need to try to calm the Littler One down and I won't be able to push you on the swing. You'll have to climb or go on the slides or something. You still want to stop?"

"Y-y-ess-ss M-m0mm-y."

So we stopped for about 5 minutes. We chatted with the homeschool brothers for a bit, and I sent them all off to play while I convinced the Littler One that nursing would in fact warm him up. His Highness got his playground fix, the Littler One calmed down to a whimper, and I carried him the rest of the way home to make up for trying to freeze him solid.

Our street forms a nice wind-corridor, so the last little bit before home is the worst in the wind. But finally, we made our way into the house, safe & sound. His Highness and I made some hot chocolate stat, and then had quesadillas & tomato soup for lunch. The Littler One got carried around in the sling for pretty much the rest of the day, snuggled right up against me. And everyone's digits warmed up, and soon all was well again. So it turned out well for all of us.

In the afternoon we went to the commissary. In the car. Dressed in many layers...

Oct 13, 2009

Nerd Conspiracies...

I've been doing nerd work again. Ten hours per week doesn't seem like a lot, but somehow it adds up to near-chaos in the milieu of Skerrib. I keep thinking "OK, I'm really going to tell them no more work for a while," but then in the moment I go, "This is the best job ever," so I keep with it. I'm finishing up one mini-project this week and going straight into another one that's supposed to run through the end of the year.

It's a drawing review, which I assume means we'll be reviewing drawings. Probably technical ones (I have uncanny powers of deduction). What's involved in the reviewing? I'm hoping they'll tell me, 'cuz if not then the results will be along the lines of, "The lines in this one are nice & straight," or "This thingy looks like it'll be really cool once it's built," or "This one doesn't speak to me so much." Or maybe that's exactly what they're looking for; who knows.

I very nearly threw in the towel last week. I was having trouble keeping perspective there for a couple days, and I started wondering if the work was just one thing too many. I was also pretty sure that everything--kids included--was just one thing too many. The Cat Daddy's work schedule--and, to an extent, the Cat Daddy himself--was definitely one thing too many. And I started going all "conspiracy theory" about things like my moms' group, and our upcoming harvest party, and figured that my moms' group commitment was just one thing too many. Not to mention the physical therapy, which I'm not even doing right now, but will be starting again in a month or so--one thing too many.

It was a rough week.

In retrospect, however, I was also fighting a stomach bug--and as a result skipped an entire week of exercise, missing out on my usual endorphines--which tends to skew one's perspective. Now, a week later, I'm no longer worried that I'm going to get kicked out of my moms' group for not thinking up enough cool halloween party games. So that's good.

And in the spirit of continued recovery and good health, I've been fairly decent about getting to bed at a reasonable hour, eating more veggies, and cutting way back on the sugary treats. Even though I just now ate a brownie. I'm talking about in general, see...

The One Where I Compare Sick-Body Functions...

The Cool couple and I passed a stomach virus around last week. It was spectacular. Once we were all on the mend we compared symptoms...they had diarrhea-type delights, while my body had opted for the puking variety. Isn't that nice??

We unanimously agreed that, of the options, we would rather have the pooping than the puking. They felt bad that I got the raw end of the deal on the same virus, but my puking was over much quicker than their pooping, so I didn't feel too sorry for myself (actually I did, but for other reasons. Another post).

And I got to wondering why it seems that most everyone prefers the pooping. I mean, both are gross. Both smell distinctly disgusting. Both involve abdominal discomfort. What is it about the vomiting that incurs such dread?

I have come to a simple conclusion: we don't mind diarrhea as much because it is a variation on a normal function. We're accustomed to stuff coming out of our butts (most of us, anyway). When we get sick it's highly annoying and unpleasant, but still a form of what we'd normally be doing anyway. On the other hand, we are accustomed only to sending food down our throats. The mere fact of food coming back up immediately tells us that something is wrong. And not just a little wrong, in which case our intestines would whine at us but still let the food through. No, things are so bad that the stomach is having a melt-down. It is saying, "I can't take it anymore, just everyone leave me alone and get OUT!!!" And then it kicks everything out. Forcibly and with great gusto, back the way it came in. And if you try too soon to appease it with a grape popsicle, it will kick that out as well.

Now I'm no GI doctor, but it makes a lot of sense to me. Keep that part about the grape popsicle in mind; you never know when it might be a useful bit of info for you...

Oct 2, 2009

The Good Kind...

It's a good kind of tired tonight. Had an Italian dinner out with friends to celebrate a new baby due in less than two weeks. His Highness spent the evening with a family from church. I get the feeling their house is where friends congregate. There are 4 kids in the family, but I met no fewer than 6. Also met the pet rats, who really are quite pleasant once one gets past the reptilianesque tail.

Officially, His Highness was being watched by one of the teenage daughters, but when I arrived he was chasing the big boys around the man-cave that doubles as their basement. They were climbing all over the furniture, hanging from the spot in the ceiling where a punching bag normally goes, and watching an old Don Knotts movie. I'm pretty sure he wanted to stay and live there. Heck, I wanted to stay & live there. But I dragged him home for a quick bath, and into bed. Big day tomorrow--off to the farm to pick veggies and do other autumn-things.

When the Cat Daddy first joined the Air Force and I was yanked--kicking and screaming--to Ohio, it was the tail-end of summer. A few weeks later was the equinox, and like clockwork the weather became cloudy, crisp, and cool. There were pumpkin patches, colorful leaves, and barns full of Indian corn and other fall stuff. To visit such a place would be a wonderland, but I now lived there and I hated it. It was too different; it represented just how drastically my life was changing. Of all the seasons, I was determined to like autumn the least.

But now I love it. I love zipping up my fleece, pulling on my gloves, and being out in the crisp air. I love the pumpkins, gourds, and fall-ish decor. I make a decent apple crisp with help from my peeler/corer/slicer. I enjoy carving the jack-o-lanterns and roasting the seeds (one of these years I will perfect the sweet & spicy recipe), and giving out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Tomorrow will be the petting zoo, corn maze, and all sorts of farm festivities. Then back to the cool couple's house for a dinner of soups & breads.

I think tomorrow night will be a good kind of tired, too...