Microblog Mondays #8: Crying Over Spilled (Sort-of) Milk

So, hypothetically – which is worse:

  1. Spilling a freshly pumped bottle of breastmilk before you can get it in the cooler?
  2. Leaving a whole day’s worth of milk in the cooler bag on the loveseat overnight so that it spoils?
  3. Attempting to pasteurize an extra day’s worth of milk, but leaving it on the heat too long and caramelizing it?

Because I never would have been careless enough to do any one, let alone all three, of those …

Microblog Mondays #7: the mommy guilt edition

I’m not a huge fan of “mommy guilt” – I think Brene Brown nailed it when she identified those feelings as shame instead.  But I am indeed having a case of true mom guilt at the moment.

I realized this weekend that Mini’s baby book ends at his fifth birthday – which is 18 days away.  And I’ve had it on my to-do list for at LEAST two years.*

Ugh. 

So I’m actually sitting down and gluing stuff in instead of leaving it all shoved into the box and in a pile on my desk.  And of course I’m now realizing that I can’t remember everything that needs to be filled out and where his fourth birthday party invites are and that I haven’t printed out pictures since, oh, 2012.

Procrastination fail, Exhibit A, right here.

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*(And to make it worse, Finale’s book is already up to date!  Maybe we all think our youngest sibling was the favorite, when really it took that long for our moms to figure out what they were doing too.)

Listmania: 13 Things

I’m a list-maker.  I have my list of things that MUST be done today, my perpetual list of to-do reminders, my Christmas list, my list of Christmas presents for other people, my goals for the year, my decluttering list, my address list, my food log, ideas for next year’s goals, my plan for advent activities, my monthly intentions, my exercise and healthy habits log, and a general shopping list and I carry ALL of them around with me.  Oh, and each Friday I make a list for the weekend activities.  Writing it all down like that, it seems a bit ridiculous –  but it works.  I have everything contained within my phone, my calendar (paper, thank you very much), and two notebooks.  I have a nice tall purse to carry all my books, and everything has its designated spot – both physically and mentally.

Yesterday I went back and reviewed my 33 Things for 2014 list.  I’m not really impressed with my progress this year – that whole new-baby thing threw a bigger wrench I my plans than I anticipated.  There are a lot of items that I just don’t have enough time left in the year to complete.  So what did I do?  I made a new list, obviously!

My 33 Things list tends to be pretty aspirational – it has a lot of big effort and long term goals to keep me moving forward.  But looking at the time left in the year and what we already have on the calendar, I wanted to focus on some smaller things that are quick wins.  So I put together 13 Things in 13 Weeks – one goal for each of the remaining  weeks of the year.  The challenge is that I wanted things that weren’t already planned and that weren’t already on my 33 Things list.

They are:
1) Try a new restaurant
2) Browse a new store
3) Run/walk 125 miles
4) 30 days of planks
5) Make Chai Rea
6) Make cinnamon rolls from scratch
7) NaBloPoMo
8) Cross stitch giveaway for WIPocalypse
9) Start a new xs pattern
10) Get a professional manicure
11) Finish the video game I have in progress
12) Paint the end tables on the front porch
13) Take myself out to lunch

It’s a little … “Squirrel!” but I like it.  The thing tying all those together is that they are all little treats for me, little reminders to take care of myself during the new few months.  I’m still going to work on my 33 Things, at least the items I can still complete, but I’m going to put my main focus on these.

Watch for progress reports, because I’m going to do writeups to keep myself accountable.  90 days from here to 2015!

Radio Silence

Some days, like today, I open up my post and stare at the blank page. 

The things I want to get out of my thoughts are not mine to tell – they intersect my life, but only through other people.  I want to scream, and rage on their behalf, but this place is not the place.  So I sit, brooding, and waiting for the moment to pass and the urgency to fade.  It’s another chapter in a long story that is not likely to end any time soon, despite a frisson of hope earlier.

At what point do you draw the line in the sand and do something that can’t be taken back?  When do you commit yourself to seeing it through to the end, knowing that it is going to come at dear cost?  How do you extricate yourself from somewhere you never wanted to be in the first place?

The Color Run: Race Recap

On Saturday, I participated in the first Color Run here in Huntsville.  So how was it?

To start with, it wasn’t actually much of a run – more like The Color Walk with 6000 of Your Closest Friends and Neighbors.  Huntsville has a large running community, but this was a massive event compared to what I normally see.  The only other event that I know of with that many runners is Cotton Row at Memorial Day.  The upside of that is that they were actually prepared because of how all the other local races are handled.   The run took place on the certified downtown 5k course, which gave everyone plenty of room to spread out.  There is an open lot where all of the pre- and post-race activities went on – registration, check in, vendors, etc.  There were also a few dozen portapotties lined up at the start/finish.

The run started at 900,  but we got there  just after 800 to make sure we were in the first wave start.  I have a friend who started towards the end who said they were still on the course by about 920.  A very good thing about Huntsville,  as compared to some other cities, is that there is no shuttle to the race start.   We parked at First Baptist and walked over, but had I been by myself I probably would have used the parking structure at the new publix.  We had all checked in the day before, so all we had to do was head to the start line and take pictures.

The dj was hyping up the crowd at the start line and throwing out a bunch of free swag, but we were just too far back to catch anything.  Protip – don’t stand by the speakers.  Trust me on that one, and just squeeze out of the way.  One the run started, it was very relaxed compared to the starting corral.  Everyone spread out and the runners had plenty of room to pass.  The color stations were well staffed and the colorers would shoot you with more or less as you requested.  I’ve read recaps of people getting the powder in their faces, but I didn’t have any problem.  It was dusty breathing through the station, but it cleared up as soon as you passed.  The course itself is wide and fairly flat with some rolling hills, and it was a beautiful day, so we had a good time even between the stations.   The houses are gorgeous to look at, and a lot of residents sit on their porches and cheer the runners on (see above, this is a great running town).  There was a water station half way through, and another at the end, where they were also handing out kind bars.  Again, had I been by myself, I would have run at least intervals, but my friends are dedicated walkers.  We finished in 1 hr 3 minutes per my phone – there is no official timing of any kind, so you have to track your own.

At the finish, they hand out color packets and encourage you to go up to the stage for color throws.  Don’t be like me and accept a white packet – get one of the pretty ones.  We took a few more photos and then headed out before the day got too hot. They had a tent with guys with leaf blowers to knock the powder off you before you left, but it didn’t do much good.  I had a pack of baby wipes and a change of clothes in the car, so I cleaned up as best I could to avoid colored powder all over the car.  I would have been prepared with a seat cover if the morning had gone as planned, but life happens.

When I got home, I went directly to the laundry room and both my race and my drive home clothes got washed immediately.   The color powder sticks wherever you sweat and stains your skin, but my clothes came pretty clean.  The band on my sports bra is a little pink and my race shirt has yellow armpits, but everything else washed out.  I also went from laundry room to shower and scrubbed myself down as best I could.  Again, I had a blue line around my belly and some streaks stained in my legs, but not bad.  Everything scrubbed clean by Monday morning. I’ve heard of some people having trouble getting color out of their hair (and hence the tip to coat your hair with leave-in conditioner before the race), but I didn’t have any problem.

Overall, we had a good time, but it was not a race in any sense of the word.  It’s a fun experience and a very low-pressure introduction to 5ks.  If you go, go full out and dress up and do all the wacky Color Run things because it is a super social event.  But if you are looking for a sporting event, this is not the run for you.  I enjoyed it, but now that I’ve done it once, it’s not something I would do again.

I’m still counting it towards my goal of finishing three 5ks this year though.  My next race will probably be Spooktacular in October on the same course, so back to training.  C25k w2 d3, here I come.

Microblog Mondays #5: Calendar Time

I spent some time this morning filling in my calendar for the next few months.  The last few months of the year are always hectic for us – holidays and birthdays abound, and we normally take our family vacation once it cools off some.  Right now, our weekends are booked almost up to Thanksgiving, and will continue to fill as we get closer to Christmas.

I said to Manly last night, that this is the downside of having a big family and large circle of friends – we don’t have enough time to spend with all the different people that we love and also do all the things we want to do.  I want to go to all the birthday parties, take a trip to my out of state friend for her baby shower,  travel north to pick apples and pumpkins, train for my next 5k, shop for Christmas, swim one last time, look for a new house, host Thanksgiving dinner, and hey I work full time too.  There’s so much that I want to do and see and experience with the kids, and it feels like my time to do that is just rushing by.

It’s hard to strike a good balance between intimate family time and restful weekends to catch up and our desire to socialize in- and outside our home. For me especially, I get burned out having an event or two every weekend (hello, introvert. And I worry about Smaller, since she appears to be more like me and less like her social-butterfly siblings).  I really wonder how some of my friends do it, and then I remember that they don’t have family in town or they work part time or they only have one kid (or none at all).  We have a lot of obligations and we strive to fulfill all those expectations. Each individual event doesn’t seem like that much, and we always have a good time, but they get stacked up so deep that I feel like I’ve used up all my resources to get through them all. 

It’s seasonal and come January, we’ll go and hibernate.  That’s been our strategy the last few years after the overwhelm of autumn and Christmas.   I’m not sure that’s the best plan, but it’s what we have until we figure out a way to do it all with more grace.