Diary of A Tired Mom: Uncomfortable Truths.

Diary-of-a-Tired-Mom

This post felt like I’d taken two familiar genres and thrown them into a smoothie together: my Diary of a Tired Mom posts, and my friend Katherine’s madly fantastic Uncomfortable Truths, which has  66 volumes (and counting.) Be sure to read hers, because they’re delightfully more uncomfortable than mine.


1.

Although my elbow and shoulder (and finger) are slowly recovering, they’re still annoying. I mean, it is my left hand. And I am left-handed. But way more annoying than having three separate injuries on my dominant arm is the fact that it is also my drive-thru arm. It’s hard enough to be a professional Chick-Fil-A Speed Receiver – but try doing it with only one arm.

My game has been decimated.

(Seriously. Next time you’re at the drive-thru, try doing all transactions with your right arm. It’ll make you appreciate the left side of your body so much more richly.)

(And anyway. Who needs to actually write with a pen in this day and age anyway. The ability to accept fast food is way more crucial.)


2.

The British add a lot of unnecessary letters, right? (I get that the US of A became a nation a couple years after the United Kingdom but spelling wasn’t normalized until we were both around so I blame them for saying “yeah, let’s shove all those extra letters in.”)

There’s labour and flavour and colour and foetus.

But the most disturbing of all extra letters the British chose to keep is in a word already fraught with unnecessary characters.

Without a doubt, it goes to diarrhoea.

Somehow this unfortunate British spelling got stuck in my head and that extra o – a round circle surrounded by two cheeks of burgeoning letters – haunts me. And every time I mentally say diarrhea, (which is more often than I’d like thanks to having two children and a husband and being human and all,) I also add the o in there, mentally saying dia-ROY-a, as I imagine a countryside British farmhand would say.

“This ‘ere mare’s got tha dia-ROY-a again. Best be givin’ a ring to Doc Herriot.”


3.

I recently had the joy of possessing a rather stubborn UTI. After a couple rounds of antibiotics, I went to the doctor, where they loaded me up with drugs – both the antibiotic and the UTI kinds. As she handed me samples of the UTI drugs, she said, “Now don’t be alarmed – this WILL turn your urine a bright blue.”

Well THAT’S different. I mean, AZO is entertaining enough, with it’s orange-maroon color (which incidentally looks just like the colors of the Virginia Tech Hokies – the students should all take AZO as a show of team support before football games.)

North+Carolina+v+Virginia+Tech+WibQJQIL-G_l

But BLUE. Not everyone gets the opportunity to pee blue.

When I actually experienced this fascinating phenomenon, I realized something: I could choose to not flush and other people would think I’d just finished thoroughly cleaning my toilet bowl. Because nothing feels fresher than sitting down at a toilet full of bright blue water, right?

It was like a magic pill! That made it look like I’d done a chore! Where can I get pills to make it look like I did the dishes more than twice a week? Or perhaps a pill that hid the crumbs my kids so expertly and efficiently spread across my floors? Someone needs to be researching these possibilities right away.

(Disclaimer: I didn’t actually not flush. But it totally looked Mr. Clean up in there.)


4.

I’ve been wondering if I’ve contracted ADD. If I have, I suspect that one day they’ll discover there’s a risk of ADD contraction from being on Twitter. So many subjects. So many conversations. So many news articles. All jumbled together. Making your brain change lanes every 140 characters.

It’s a lot.

I was such a focused person in my school days, and even in my career days (which thankfully ended before the mainstream adoption of social media.) I could sit in class and take notes for HOURS and adore it. There was nothing I liked better than a perfect, neat, organized, outlined page of handwritten notes. It was a type of beauty I could appreciate.

But now, my brain is different.

I can’t take notes.

And definitely can’t sit still and listen.

However, I’ve found coping mechanisms. The downside to my coping mechanisms is that it makes me look like an unruly seven-year-old. But I swear it works. If I sit in church and take “notes” like this, I hear every single word of the sermon – and am able to process and even meditate on it.

Line Art for paying attention

But the second I quit my line art because I started feeling bashful about all of the eyes around me that could get a brief look at my notes and and say “mm, mm, mm,” while shaking their heads on the inside, I don’t hear another word. My mind wanders to the randomest of places. Like writing this blog post.

So, dear people around me in church, and Pastor if you have really good eyes, please know – if I’m coloring, I’m listening.  And maybe those coloring kids are, too.


5.

“We have a reservation. For fifteen.”

It was Father’s Day. I was in an extremely busy restaurant, trying to snag our family table before the staff was overrun with families celebrating their Dads. I was too late – I waited at the hostess station for ten minutes, and our food wait was over an hour and thirty minutes. But I say all this to go ahead and excuse myself for what I didn’t do.

Noah needed to pee. Right away. I sent him and Ali in the Ladies’ room together, instructing her to not leave without him.

Way too long went by, all while I was still standing at the hostess station.

Finally, I saw Ali open the door. And hold it open. And hold it open.

He must be taking FOREVER to wash his hands, I thought.

Then she closed the door.

I was worried. What would I do if the hostess was ready for me to follow her deep into the bowels of the restaurant and my children hadn’t made it back yet?

Ugh. WHAT is taking him so long?!

A minute later, as the hostess was gathering our fifteen menus to seat us, Ali reappeared, and Noah followed her out.

They walked up to me as I began following the hostess.

“Noah couldn’t get his stall door unlocked.”

“Ah!”

“So he had to crawl underneath the door.”

“Uh?”

“Yeah! I had to get on my hands and knees and crawl under the door to escape!”

“Um.”

“I tried to help him but I couldn’t.”

“Did you wash your hands really good?”

“Yes! I used three lumps of soap.”

And I kept walking.

So I’m sorry, Manager-Who-Had-To-Figure-Out-How-To-Get-That-Stall-Door-Unstuck later that night. I had semi-plans to crawl back under myself and undo my son’s issue. (After I ate. Because ew.)

But then I had to wait an hour and a half for my food. And by the time I was able to wrangle my kids out of your restaurant, I had totally forgotten about your jammed door. Even though Noah returned once during the meal, crawling back under the stall door, to look for his lost bible. Because what good is there in Gideoning up a bathroom stall that can’t even be accessed?

Making a Roadkiller

Making a Roadkiller

A Guest Post by Chief Editor and Husband, Chris.

Roadkill is a 2016 thing for us. Rachel and I look for it. We photograph it. We share it. We analyze it. We grade it qualitatively. In some instances, we decorate it.

Runs are always good opportunities to find it. Recently, I was out for a run on a well worn, weekly route. I’ve done this route hot, cold, dry, wet, light, dark, and every combination. These sorts of routine training runs are best done in the company and conversation of others.

I was with two people on this occasion. To protect their identities, let’s call them Macey and Rick.

So we were running. And talking about running. And talking about working out. Macey and I pulled ahead of Rick and chatted away.

Then we rounded a curve and saw it.

** Stop here if you’re squeamish. You have been warned. **

In the middle of the road, a squirrel was slowly crawling across the road. His hind legs and tail were pancake flat, and his front legs were dragging his wounded body. It was soul-crushing to see the poor creature trying so hard to move.

Macey stopped. “We have to do something!!”

I said nothing. In shock, I kept running for a few seconds. But then a blue and white Mini Cooper came toward us, and I knew what I had to do. I flagged it down in true emergency fashion, and the nice lady inside had her window down and listened to my frantic plan.

“This squirrel has been run over, but it’s still alive. We need you to run over it and put it out of its misery.”

She nodded and went with my plan instantly. Like this was her day job – crushing woodland creatures for strangers.

Before we could implement my emergency plan, a utility truck came up behind us – the kind with high metal racks that look like they do important stuff.

Okay, I said, let’s see if they hit him.

Macey, Mini Cooper, and I watched in frozen silence as the truck rolled gingerly over our wounded friend without helping at all.

Back to Plan A.

Macey: “I can’t look.”

Mini: “Make sure I’m lined up.”

Me: “Ok. A little to the left. That’s it.”

The crunch was unexpected and awful. Like stepping on an open bag of pretzels.

Me: “You got it! Thank you!”

Mini drove away.

Quickly, Macey and I ran away, in a somber moment of silence. But just a moment.

Macey: “You were gonna keep going weren’t you.”

Absolutely I was.

Me: “It took me a few seconds to decide what to do. And then I saw the Mini Cooper. And I had I plan. I mean, it’s not like I was gonna beat it with a rock. And it’s not like we were gonna put it in a shoebox and nurse it back to health. Nobody wants rabies.”

Macey: “We’ll just agree to disagree on that one.”

I’ve been married long enough to know when to quit discussing. This was when to quit.

Me: “So, about working out…” and off we ran.

But between you and me, there’s a Kevorkian Code with nature, right? Wild animals not protected by law, like for instance, suburban squirrels, have a standing DNR. Something like, “Do not leave me unable to climb trees, chase ladies, and forage for nuts. Just take me out.”

So judge me if you like. Do the mod thing and take great offense. Rake me over the coals.

But deep down inside, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that road. You need me on that road. So I’d prefer you just said thank you. Because I ordered the Code Red.

Short Stories From A Busy Week.

On Saturday, we went on the newish-annual Road Rally.

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This isn’t new for my family, as my Dad has driven in epic road rallies (like, China-to-Paris epic) and has created many slightly-less-epic road rallies for different groups pretty much our entire life. But last year was the first year he revived the practice to share it with our Sunday School classes.

It’s the most fun you can have on a Saturday morning.

When in creative mode, he and my Mom spend countless hours concocting a course on sometimes harrowing back roads (there was one road…that was decisively one-lane…but was meant for both directions of traffic…and containing many hairpin turns. And of course I had to meet a car coming the other way on that hairpin turn. Newsflash: I still have last-year’s-wreck PTSD.)

The way my Dad’s Road Rallies work is…

– You don’t know where you’re going,

– You don’t know how long it will take to get there,

– But you get penalized for being more than three minutes early or five minutes late.

He hands out directions and an overall average speed that you should shoot for, and from that, you must derive your arrival time. Oh – and all while answering sometimes very tricky scavenger hunt clues along the way (which is the fun part.)

This year, Chris had already signed up for a half marathon, so Not-Crazy-Renee was going to go with me (which would have, I’m certain, created a new Not-Crazy-Renee story), but her kids just had to get sick. So instead, we had an in-family insanely complex distribution of children, drivers, and navigators, as follows:

– I drove. My sister-in-law was my navigator. One of her children went with my Dad as a rally organizer helper, one of her children went with my Mom as a rally co-organizer helper, and one of her children rode with us. I had my two kids. And we had a two-year-old I’d never laid eyes on in my entire life – let’s call him Johnny. Mostly because his name was Johnny.

– My brother drove. My brother’s navigator was his friend, coincidentally the father to Johnny. They took my brother’s two-seater convertible, cruising along the back roads with the wind gently massaging their scalps. While we had four kids, one of whom said, less than a mile into the rally, “Hey how much longer is this gonna take because I’m getting bored.”.

– It is also worth noting that the reason my brother’s friend came along is so he could give his wife the day off. I would like to make sure that it is noted, dear Johnny’s mom, to not give Johnny’s dad complete credit for your day off. Although Johnny was a complete gem and adorable rallying companion, I had Johnny for 3 hours and 20 minutes of your day off while Johnny’s father was riding around in a topless car getting his hair tickled by the wind.

Now that we got that out of the way, spoiler: WE BEAT THE CONVERTIBLE DADS.

And yes, we got extra points for our tiny baggage (1 extra point per kid under 7 and 1 penalty for each kid over 7, giving a total of 2 extra points), but WE EVEN BEAT CONVERTIBLE DADS WITHOUT OUR EXTRA POINTS.

Because we’re spectacular.

(For the record, we came in second place.)

(But all that mattered was beating the convertible dads.)

By the way, if I can find the time, I’m considering creating a road rally that maybe would take the course of some of my favorite Instagram spots. Who local would be interested in participating?

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Thanks to my little tumble last week, I currently look like the cover of a Trail Running Magazine. Or at least what the cover of a Trail Running magazine SHOULD look like, if they were honest.

Trail Runner Magazine“You too can look like me – with a little trail running experience. And by little I mean VERY LITTLE.”

All of the bruising, which I am indeed proud of, is actually from internal injuries – that part of my arm did not hit the ground.

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Which makes me all the prouder.

…Because if I’m going to be injured, I might as well find something to get excited about.

(My elbow is feeling much better, although my physical therapist says my professional baseball career is over. My shoulder is slowly getting better. There are two directions that it gets VERY ANGRY about bending. One of them being the angle one must assume to take a shirt off. So that’s convenient.)

As far as my finger, the only thing I actually broke, it’s fiiiiiine. Other than being faced with the perplexing dilemma of what one does if they accidentally dip the tip of their finger splint in the toilet while they still have 8 days left of wearing said splint.

(A hefty scrubbing of antibacterial soap is what one does, in case you wondered.)

(Feel free to decline any dinner invitations to my house until I get my splint off next week.)

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I republished one of the only posts I ever deleted. It was a jewel – I just published it “too soon” originally, and deleted it two hours later out of fear/guilt. If you missed it originally (or if you just wanted to re-read it), you can give it a go here.

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Ali was disturbed when she realized her little brother had more wealth than her.

She wants to make money. This is very crucial to her long range plan of being very very rich.

So she asked me if I could please think of jobs she could do to make money.

I mean, I can give her all the normal kid jobs of unloading the dishwasher and sweeping, but more importantly, I’m thinking…

– Bring me breakfast in bed for the summer, .50 tip per day (.75 if you deliver it with a small piece of chocolate.)

– Learn how to perform a proper back massage and foot massage via YouTube, practice daily on your mother – .25 per massage.

– Read some parenting books and figure out how to get your little brother out of his narcissistic phase – $25, plus the added bonus of having a more personable little brother.

– Research recipes on Pinterest, create grocery lists, and teach yourself how to cook – $7 per meal.

– Write quality and original blog posts – $5 per post.

She’s already working on a prototype spreadsheet to track her receivables – clearly we still have some fee negotiations to handle.

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But regardless, my summer is going to be AMAZING.