Tuesday, June 29, 2010

She's Got My Number

Lucy has discovered a magical secret. A clever manipulation tool. A get-out-of-jail-free card if you will.

When we're in public, oh, say, in Banana trying to exchange a shirt and there are a bazillion young-ish, single-ish, career-ish women buying fancy wardrobes in line all around us, or in the post office where everyone's crabby that the line is twenty minutes long, or when I'm trying to have a professional conversation with someone that Lucy just happens to be present for, or with a cart full of groceries in a long line at the market. That's when it works best.

Here's how it goes: it starts with a simple "DOWN, Mama! Wanna WALK!" And I go through the "We're running a quick errand. Almost done!" singy-songy spiel. The child is pacified for a moment. Until it recommences. "All done, Mama. Walk, pees, Mama. Al-al-all done pees." The line hasn't moved and it's going to be a good minute before I'm done with my task. I start a Where is Thumbkin or Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes some other such humiliating thing. I THINK it's humiliating. But it's not really anything compared to what Lucy's can bust out to get her way. Again, she is pacified for a moment.

Then it begins: "Ooooh. Toots, Mama. Toots inna DIAPER." I ignore. "One, two, three, four, seven toots!" I continue to ignore. Maybe people won't understand her babbling! Heh heh, silly kid. After a warm up comes the escalation: "Smell like POOPOOS, Mama." More. And louder: "AAAA! POOPOOS, PEEYOO! POOPOOS IN DIAPER! (fake cry) OWIE!" I can no longer ignore and people are staring at us. "BLEH, MAMA 'TINKEY POOPOOS (fake cry) NO LIKE IT." Well, I can't leave her sitting here for any longer with an uncomfortable dirty diaper, now CAN I? I guess I could, but one of these people that just don't get it are going to call the authorities and I'm going to have to have an uncomfortable conversation with CPS.

So, I go back to the car or bathroom or bench or whatever to regroup.

The diaper? It is DRY and CLEAN.

I have lost my place in line. My task no longer seems important enough to go back in there and face that line. I give up.*

Lucy wins again.

*Except in the grocery store scenario. There's no way I would let a squirrelly toddler trump the hard work of a full grocery cart.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


It seems as though running a half marathon can be a Very Big Deal if you want it to be. The one I ran four weeks ago was totally laid back, quiet, no biggie. It felt more like one of my long runs that a Race. Well, and maybe it's because I can do it. And 13.1 doesn't really seem like so long anymore. A marathon. THAT seems long. 13.1 seems like normal Saturday fare to me now.

But the Rock n Roll yesterday? It felt like a Big Deal. It felt like a RACE.

Me and Ann: Ready to go!

There were eleventy-bazillion people there. With a projected finish time of 2:20, I was in corral number 24! We started about 40 minutes after the starting gun.

Finally! The starting line in sight!

There were all kinds of fun things that surprised me about the race. There were fun cheering sections! Cheerleaders from high schools in the regions dressed up all crazy and were hollering at us to "Keep truckin' all the way!" Because there were so many people running, there was a huge "wave" to ride as far as just keeping pace with the people around me. There were a few times when I was blown away not only by the sea of different colored t-shirts snaking along the course, but the sound of everyone's feet hitting the pavement in some sort of organized chaos in the lull between bands and conversations.

There was a surreal part too. The course took us through a tunnel on I-90, and I felt like I was hallucinating for 3/4 of a mile. The yellow tunnel lights made it seem creepy, and there was a dj mixing at the mouth of the tunnel. The thump thump thumping of house music reverberated around me and everyone looked like they were going up and down in slow motion in the dim lights. So. Trippy. I had to remind myself twice that I would be out of the tunnel soon.

There were parts that sucked too. Whoever told me that it was an easy course and there was only the one hill as the course follows the I-90 on ramp? I shake my fist at you emphatically. The course was hilly! Some of them gradual and long, some of them short and steep. Hills. I would not have minded being more prepared for that, although, maybe not knowing was best since I just tried to keep my eyes down and my knees up.

I had to stop at a Porta-potty along the way, and let me go ahead and tell you, that was not the best part of the race. It took minutes waiting in line etc. and then I had to deal with all the Nervous Tummies that went before me. Ew. Between that and having to stop for an ambulance, I had about 5 minutes of wasted time. Which isn't the worst that could have happened, for sure.

As I was crossing the finish line, the first marathoners were crossing, and boy, that was cool. Those guys were SO FAST and SO FIT. They were finishing around 3:00:00 or faster. Amazing.

I finished in 2:19:43 which is about 0:2:30 better than four weeks ago on a MUCH harder course. I'll call that a victory.

Go me!

After a brief consideration of starting marathon training right away, I've decided I'm not going to mind hanging up my long-distance running shoes for a while.

At least until my blisters heal.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Photos: All Lucy All the Time

Genius: dry beans + some measuring utensils = Mama gets some kitchen work done in peace

Being dimpled and coy

Check out the precision of these "letters" and "numbers" (Mensa, baby)

I just picked up my new Rock n Roll shirt
(the race is tomorrow - think good thoughts for me!),
and guess who already claimed it as her own?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dad's Day

It's been a wet, dreary, cold Father's Day weekend. After the Bubba and the Bird tagged along on my soggy long run on Saturday, all we've been up to is sitting around waiting for the sun to shine. Oh, and trying to put up with the neighborhood fair held on the weekend of the solstice every summer. And by "put up with" I mean avoiding. (We're old.) (Get off my lawn you pesky kids!) So we've been cooped up and cabin feverish.

But it has also given us the opportunity to do things like this:

Movies in bed, anyone?

I chose this daddy just for you, Lucy. I just knew he'd be perfect.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Passive Aggressive Behavior

There hasn’t been much sun yet this summer. The clouds are still hanging around taunting us, trying to convince us all to lemming ourselves off the Aurora Bridge. There have been sun-breaks, though, and those make life worth living right now.

We were taking advantage of one such sun-break the other morning. It happened to be a day when Lucy was up early, and we had already watched Sesame Street and eaten breakfast, been to the grocery store for two dinner ingredients I was missing, returned a DVD to the video store and dropped off overdue library books and it was still only 9:30AM. One of THOSE mornings. So, thank God for sun, right? Take the kid poor to the park and burn up all that energy and focus on a good nap (for everyone involved).

We went to a small park nearby, and we had it all to ourselves. It was heaven. Lucy ran around everywhere, going up the stairs, down the slide, to the rocking toy, over and over and over. And every time she would say “Mama, Yucy show you!” obviously so proud of herself that she could hang and swing on the bar or make it up the ramp all on her own.

And then other kids came. Except it wasn’t other kids with their parents. It was a group of 12 kids with their day care teachers. The kids were maybe three and four. Much older than Lucy, and faster. And the two teachers sat on a bench a little way from the park equipment and started to discuss something with their arms crossed oblivious to the children. The kids set up camp on the top of the slide, on the swings, on the rocking toy, in the tunnel from the stairs to the slide, and they wouldn’t let Lucy play. Lucy was confused.

Hello?! Park! Public! It's not like we were crashing the school yard!

At first, I started getting in there “She’s much smaller than you!” and “We share with each other at the park!” and “She’s just little, she doesn’t understand you don’t want her here.” And then I got super raging mad and the teachers still ignoring the kids and started talking louder. “Sharing is the NICE thing to do!” and “Be careful, she’s just a BABY!” and finally “NO PUSHING!” At that point, there’s no way the “teachers” didn’t hear me.

To add to the craziness, some lady set up camp at one of the picnic tables drinking her take-away coffee and smoking cigarettes. Oh, did I mention with her big dog off leash? WTH, people?

By that point I was totally past my boiling point. Normally, I’m cool with confrontation. Get it over with. Tell it like it is. That’s how I like to deal with things and be dealt with. Normally, I would go up to the teachers and tell them in no uncertain terms what I thought of their “skills” as “teachers” and how irresponsible if Lucy or one of the other children had gotten hurt from the pushing ON TOP OF THE PLAY STRUCTURE let them know that I would be writing a letter to the owner of the “school” and BLAH BLAH BLAH! AND YOU! LADY WITH THE DOG…!

But no. I don’t know if I was too tired or too mad or what - I think probably I didn’t want to say out loud all the words I was thinking with Lucy on my hip - but the passive-aggressive Midwesterner in me came out. I grabbed Lucy, who wasn’t ready to go yet, and stomped past the “teachers” saying loudly “We can’t play here any more because THOSE children don’t know how to SHARE.”

That'll teach them. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


It's already June, even though I'm still looking around wondering where April went. And my Little is twenty twomonths old now.

This month, Lucy's been fine tuning a whole bunch of language, and growing taller and taller, and packing on the ... grams? She doesn't seem to get any thicker, but somehow her ankles and wrists are always hanging out of her clothes.

Lucy has this super endearing habit of adding her subject with her subject pronoun. She'll say "Taste it, the dinner!" or "Under it, the tunnel." Or my favorite "He's laying down, the doggie." I guess she's just making up for the fact that she's started to correctly say "me" indicating herself instead of "you." About 80% of the time, she'll now say "Daddy! Sit by ME!" And then I die because she sounds so big like she's calling a friend over to her table at the school cafeteria.

She will put four and five word sentences together into entire paragraphs. The other day she grabbed her purse full of blocks and said "Bye bye, Mama! Going to work!" and I, of course replied "Have a good day! Oh, could you stop and get some milk on your way home?" She paused for a good long minute and then said "First go to work inna office choo-choo. AND THEN go inna grocery store, ride in the Beep-Beep [car cart]. Get the BLUE milk, no want RED milk, put inna Beep-Beep. Put milk inna new car." And I was all, "Here are the keys. Hop to it. I'll be here eating bon-bons and filing my nails."

Oh, and remember last month when I was keeling over from the cuteness of the singing? This month it's even better. Get this - Sunday night we got serenaded at dinner. (Excuse her in advance for the food-in-the-mouth-singing-anyway bits.)

That song is basically the anthem of the Northwest.
Do you remember this video?! She's grown up so much!

You're welcome!

And my all time favorite:

I'm not even sure how to transcribe that. Hayawawa? Awuyuwa Wuh?

Happy 22 months, Birdie.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Photos: Little-big

The nature of toddlerhood: my Little switches between baby and big girl and back again in the course of hours or days.

From Little Angel Baby:

Cuddled up fast asleep with Beeire

Chillin' reading a book in a box - Oh I mean "boat."

To My Big Girl:

Mixing up some soup: "Taste it, the dinner, Mama!"

Big enough to be interested in reading in a fort
made by the A-shaped clothes drying rack.
She calls it "Unnuh ah A (under the A)"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On Neediness and Nerd Speak

Lucy has been, ummmmmmm, needy lately. She doesn't like playing by herself, she doesn't like not talking directly to me, she doesn't like looking at books without me reading the words. In short, she is a little attention hog. I can no longer have 10 minutes to myself or even time to cook dinner. Lucy is constantly pulling at my pants and "Up PLEASE!"ing and "Lucy SEE it!"ing. And I'm full of patience with my "GAH, Stop talking to me, child!"

Which makes me think that Lucy needs a little sibling, like, yesterday. Someone to help her deal with the fact that maybe not everything has to be All Lucy All The Time. Or to, you know, force her into that. And then again - another baby? Who in their right mind...? How the heck...?

ANYWAY, I think the neediness partially stems from the weird schedule for the month of May. I've been working a lot of evenings and Sundays, and Lu is just a real stickler for routine.

Yesterday I realized how far out of her routine I have gotten when I gave her her nightly bath (for the first time in ???) and I let the water out. Mistake number one. Evidently, LUCY lets the water out. Ok, ok, lesson learned. Then she says "Bye, bye water!" (normal) and then, "There goes the VORTEX, Mama!"

Oh dear Lord, child, you've been spending altogether too much time with your father.