Taking My Ego For A Ride

Monday, June 18, 2012

I got my racing bike off the trainer, dusted it off and cautiously pumped tires that have been flat since last spring, when my OB laughingly informed my non-stop puking self that I was pregnant.

Here's what I learned:

A) Headwinds still suck.
B) Holy shitballs Batman, I am out of shape.
3) See A and B.

This was the conversation between my legs and cadence computer about 3 minutes into the ride...

CC: You suck.
Legs: But... but... complicated pregnancy! Puked every day for 9 months! Pre-eclampsia and bedrest!  Emergency c-section!!
CC: You TOTALLY suck. Now HTFU and give me 85.

Also? Postpartum bellies and aero bars are mutually exclusive concepts.  And what was I thinking signing up for a triathlon that is somehow only 9 weeks away?!

There was some good news...

1) I can still clip in without wiping out.
2) I still remember... mostly... which gear levers do what.
3) I can, technically, still pull 21 mph into a headwind while hauling 100 extra pounds on this poor, tired ass.

It's not gonna be pretty, but I'm fairly confident I can finish the Danskin sprint in August. Even if I have to hold hands with Sally Edwards to do it.

Bottom line? Time to spend less time pounding big girl martinis and more time hammering in the big girl ring.

Nostalgia in B Flat

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Got my clarinet out today because my dad wants to play it again. It's a beautiful instrument he entrusted to my care many years ago - I was always aware of how lucky I was to have it. 

Opened the case and the scent hit me like a nostalgia bomb. Walking upstairs, the weight of the bag on my shoulder took me back 20 years, to when it was practically an appendage.

There's a new box of reeds still tucked into a pocket from a few years ago, one I bought before Bear was born and I was trying to find time to play again.

I love this time while my kids are small, but things like this remind me of what I've been missing.  I plan to audition for the local city band once it becomes a reasonable thing to commit to. 

It's no Marching Illini, but at least it will put my instrument back in my hands where it belongs.

Opportunity for Growth

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bear has trouble identifying what's alive and what's not.  I'm told it's not unusual for kiddos on the spectrum.

I've overheard him talking himself through it... "OK, my nuggle binkie doesn't have eyes. Or a mouth. And it can't hear. So it's not alive."

I asked his teacher if he'd learned that at school, maybe in the Social Skills group he participates in, but she said no.  So I was really proud of him for working that out on his own.

Child labor makes berries taste sweeter!
Then a few weeks ago he comes to me with "Miss P says carrots are alive." 

This came up many times over the last few weeks. Because it is very confusing for him - he thought he'd worked out the whole "alive" thing.

The conversations got even more interesting when he connected the dots and came back at me with "Animals are alive. Do we eat animals?"  But, I digress.

Shortly after the whole "carrots are alive" thing, the class planted grass in styrofoam cups. Thus, I found myself at Home Depot this morning buying potting soil and a planter for the carrot seeds I picked up at the farm stand when we went strawberry picking yesterday.

Because it's important for kids to understand where our food comes from, yadda yadda yadda. And I'm definitely not going to put in a strawberry patch, even though I've thought about it because my Grandma had one.

We pulled buckets of these worms off our tomato plants.
Here's the thing: I grew up with a big garden. I mean, a hayyuuuge garden. Some of the first houses we looked at when we were engaged had less square footage than this garden.

We grew loads of veggies and canned most of them to eat through the winter. Very Little House on the Prairie. I hated it as a kid - I have to say I don't know if it's worse to pull weeds or tomato worms - but now I appreciate how lucky we were to have such wonderful food literally in our back yard. I mean, to this day I can barely choke down a grocery store tomato.  In fact, I appreciate it so much that I stole  reappropriated borrowed my mom's old stash of canning stuff and started doing it on a limited basis with my friends.  Mostly dependable stuff with apples from local orchards or tomatoes from the farm stand, with a few haphazard pickling experiments and one hilariously botched pickle relish situation.

He planted hundreds of carrot seeds.
I want a garden here, but I live in the real world.  OK, suburbia, so not actually the real world. What I mean is I have to pay a sitter 10 bucks an hour just so I can email my clients to tell them I'm still on maternity leave because I don't have time to work. Which means the last thing I have time for right now is putting in a garden.  I was hoping to do it next year, when Bear will (hopefully) have a better attention span and I don't have drop everything to nurse the baby every 2 hours.

Besides, suburbia is this weird alternate reality where you have to buy dirt and there's no way to dispose of the sod you have to cut out in order to put in the dirt you bought. 

But. The Bear wants to grow carrots. So today, I worked it out and he planted some carrots.

 Certified organic carrot seeds.  In organic potting soil.  Hear that sound in the distance?  That's me, hugging a tree.

Now I must locate the Curious George episode where he grows carrots. Because I'm hoping the monkey will have an easier time making Bear understand they won't be ready until August.