Back in the Mud Pit

November 2nd, 2011

Those who have known me since my toddler years were probably not surprised by the adventure I just embarked upon last Saturday. They remember my fondness for the large mud puddle that formed in our driveway after a rain.

When my friend mentioned doing the Madison Mud Run on October 29th, I was a bit skeptical. First of all, I have never even done a 5k, let alone a 4.6 mile course complete with time hindering (and body bruising) obstacles. However, the adventurous side of me was like “sure.” Several months later, I found myself wearing my work out gear at a park in Verona on a 36 degree October morning surrounded by people in hysterical costumes. All of us were hopping up and down in some attempt to stay warm and trying to forget that the first “obstacle” we will be subjected to after running past the starting line would be a hip high (waist for some of us) ditch full of icy cold water. Did I mention the the fact that you sank down into 1 foot of muck as soon as you stepped in?

It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. By the time we got to the ditch, I was already warming up. While it was no relaxing bath, it wasn’t as much of a shock as I thought it would be. The hardest part was getting out (I almost couldn’t reach the board to grip). I was lucky enough not to need to push in the rear one of my other friends received to help crawl out of the muck. The next difficult task was making my now numb legs work again. While I did not necessarily feel cold at that moment, my legs were numb and it felt like someone had tied some lead weights to my ankles somewhere in that water.

At any rate, I kept moving and we came to some other obstacles. Some were easier than others. As I came up on a wooden wall with little plastic “rocks” screwed to it, I thought, “Okay, I can do this–not too bad.” I managed to haul my rear over that one. I hit the ground only to spot a second wall just up ahead. As I approached and looked for more toe holds I saw that there were none and stopped in my tracks. What? I barely managed to jump high enough to get my arms under me and a knee up (but meanwhile whacked the heck out of one knee–I have a lovely bruise to show for it). But I did it! I hauled my ass over that wall with nothing to climb and no assistance. If it had been any higher I would have needed that butt boost.

Further on my adventures included running up a soapy ramp, and climbing through a soaped up tunnel (going up hill, no less–but at least we got to slide back down on the other side). I also took an awesome slip and slide ride down a long hill, then ran wet and soapy through a bounce house in which we had to climb up and slide down (that sounds easy, but try it wet and soapy some time). There were several other things sprinkled in there, but the best was last. As I neared the end of the race, I ran up to a huge mud pit which I was meant to traverse on my hands and knees. It felt pretty gross, but I must admit, it was pretty fun.

In the end, I was battered, bruised, a little sore and hyped to do it again next time. Honestly, it was a blast. I was frozen when I started to cool down, but I am really proud that I was able to complete it. I placed 50th out of 197 in my division (Women 30-39) and 145 of 601 women over all. My over all finish was 307th, but I don’t know how many people there were total. In the end I am pretty proud because I ran (albeit slow, but still ran) nearly the whole way. I stopped and walked a few times for 15 seconds or so–just enough to catch my breath a bit. I didn’t really train for it, either, unless you count my usual gym activity (doing various classes 3-4 times a week). I really am in the best shape I have ever been in though. Hopefully I can keep that going and be in even better shape next time (that is if I can fight the vicious Halloween Candy Monster sitting on my counter….)

Who wants to do the next Mud Run in May!?

Why I have anxiety about staying in hotel rooms.

November 8th, 2010


We had a long day, attending the wedding of a cousin. The wedding was lovely. The kids had a lot of fun at the reception (though one boy was passed out in a lap before 10). The girl is tucked into the extra bed in her grandparents room across the hall (they kind offered to take her for the night) and the boys are finally settling in for the night sharing the other bed). It’s the eve of daylight savings and everyone is beat. Perhaps we will get that extra hour of sleep after all!


I had almost fallen asleep, but Liam woke up crying. Perhaps some sort of dream? He cried something about excercise. Adam and I laughed. Excercise? Oh well, back to bed.


Liam wakes up again. Only took a second to settle him back down. Well, I had almost gotten to sleep. Let’s try again.


Liam again, but this time Gavin is in his space. Get up, move Gavin. Boys settled. Back to bed.


Liam wakes, crying, coughs—and then makes the sound that every parent dreads in the middle of the night. He proceeds to hurl on the bed. In the dark, I think fast, grab him out of bed and run him to the bathroom to finish the deed in the toilet. My brain screams to me, “Are you freaking kidding me???”

Lights go on and the damage is surveyed. Thankfully, Gavin is untouched, but moves in a hurry. Bed is stripped, child is cleaned, mother is cleaned. Front desk is called for new bedding.


A bewildered security guard arrives at the door, “Uh, I hope this is the right stuff, the right size and all. I don’t usually do this.” We thank him and remake the bed.

We decide it is probably better if I sleep with the one who might need to get up quickly since I am the lighter sleeper of Adam and I. Adam moves to be with Gavin and is soon quiet. Liam settles down, and I lay there hoping it is the sugar intake (cake, his wedding treat of a kiddie cocktail, that piece of pizza from the “pizza bar” later in the evening) combined with his energizer bunny style of hopping, running, dancing, sliding on the dance floor all evening long, and not a virus that has caused this rejecting of stomach contents.

2:30am (oh wait–it’s daylight saving, so isn’t it 1:30am now?)

I’m still awake. Have to use the bathroom again. At this point, my body is settling into anxiety mode. Worried about every sound and movement the child next to me makes.


Bathroom again.


Liam sits up and starts crying…then lays back down and goes back to sleep.


Yep, bathroom again.


Adam is snoring. Loudly. May as well use the bathroom again (seriously, all I had to drink all night was a glass of wine and less than a glass of water).

Liam wakes up again, but settles right back down. (You know, just enough to whip me out of sleep that had just finally come).

4 and 4:30am

Bathroom. Bathroom. I have not really slept at all at this point.

Some time after 5am

Blessed sleep comes at last.


Liam wakes up fussing. Gavin wakes up. Daylight is sending it’s first rays through the window of a hotel room that does not have true back out shades (seriously? I can’t even remember when I was last at a hotel room that didn’t have the ability to make the room almost black. That is the best part of hotel rooms! Dark room, any time of day!) If you have a small child, you probably know that the majority of them are solar powered. If one ray of light enters the room, sleeping is done. Period.

At this point, I’m in zombie mode (oh irony–now it’s my turn to eat the brains, right). I swear to myself I will never stay in a hotel room with my children again. About an hour after they are awake, we ship all children across the hall to the grandparents room (thank you again!!) and re-crash. A much needed extra hour and a half of sleep is gotten. While it’s not enough, it is enough to survive the rest of the day. I sometimes forget how miserable we were the first year of the boys life when we were getting next to no sleep all of the time. Thankfully, the boys usually sleep most of the night at home. We have our occasional bad bouts, though.

Adam related that Gavin pretty much shifts his sleeping position every 7 minutes (or as he put it he “flails about every 7 minutes.) He slid out of bed once and had to be caught from falling out of the bed two more times. Having slept in the same bed with Gavin before, I’m quite aware of his insanely active sleeping habits. I was unsympathetic.

It seems that every time we go anywhere where we have to stay in a hotel room of some sort, this kind of misery ensues. I’m not sure if I just got lucky or if all kids do this stuff. Or maybe it is compounded because there are 3 kids. Granted, Saturday night, we only had 2 of the 3. But this kind of thing happens with Lidia in the room, also. She is often involved. It is now to the point where I have anxiety just thinking about staying with them in a hotel room. Hopefully soon I will recover some of the sleep I lost.

I know I said I wouldn’t take them anywhere again, but I probably will. Because I’m a masochist or something. Bring on the pain.

Daisies and Cookies and Meetings, Oh My!

October 20th, 2010

Somehow, over the course of the summer, while we were meeting up with friends from Lidia’s class, we all (moms) decided it would be great to get the girls into Girl Scouts.

Fast forward a few months, and here I am a Girl Scout Leader. The thought had never crossed my mind, but it ended up being that if I wanted her in a troop, I’d pretty much have to start one. So here we are! Thankfully, I have plenty of help between all the moms. Once we get past all this initial stuff, I think it will become much easier.

Right now we are in the midst of the Great Cookie Sale. Which makes me happy. I mean, the only reason I wanted to do this was for the cookies, right? (I jest!…kind of.) I’m a little bit overwhelmed at the thought of hundreds of boxes of cookies that will soon appear in my garage, however.

I’m learning as I go along with this. I can’t say I am the most organized person. But I guess as long as the girls are having fun, that is what matters!

That’s a new one…

March 23rd, 2010

Over the coarse of the past 5 years, I have been awoken from my sleep more times than I could ever count. I thought I had heard them all:

“I have to go potty!”
“I need a drink!”
“Mom, I had a dream!”
“Mommy, I peed in my bed.”
“My skin is itchy.”
“I’m cold/hot/tangled.”
“I can’t find my blanket.”

and the dreaded
“Mom! I threw up on my bed/self/floor.”

This morning, at about 1:45am, I was awakened by the familiar little tap on my arm that is always Lidia when I open my eyes. What did she have to say?

“Mom, my tooth is out.”

The Queen of missing teeth lost her 7th tooth while she was sleeping. How on earth she did not just lose it or swallow it is beyond me, but there she was at my bed side, already asking if the tooth fairy would come tonight. I told it was more likely she’d come the next night, put her tooth somewhere safe and sent her back to bed.

Her tiny little teeth are all falling out and her tiny little mouth is suddenly sprouting these huge teeth. I cannot imagine all those adult teeth are going to fit in there. Her baby teeth are so small that the Tooth Fairy has a hard time finding them. Uh, I know because she told me.

Adam didn’t really appreciate the humor in being woken up by a toothless daughter as much as I did. He kind of rolled over and grumbled something while I giggled. Oh well.

I am off to arrange things with the Tooth Fairy. She and I are tight now, you know, after 7 teeth in 1 1/3 years.

Dear February

March 19th, 2010

Dear February,

It has been 3 weeks since I flipped my calendar and said good riddance to you. As Februaries go, I must say you were truly craptastic. Perhaps that is not a proper word, but it is the only word that can describe the rottenness you brought to 2010.

You started off with a bang by sending the boys and myself a stomach virus–mild as stomach viruses go. Little did I know, this was only a glimpse of what lay ahead for the month. Meanwhile, the husband was stricken with an abscess in such a sensitive place that he could barely move or function, leading to weeks of antibiotic treatments (much to the displeasure of his digestive system) and a procedure for removing said abscess. Consequently, my Nurse Mom title expanded to include a Nurse Wife title and some crash training on the treatment (and packing) of abscesses. Unpleasant, yes, however I dove in and got the job done because that is just what I needed to do.

Throughout this abscess ordeal, I became, for all practical purposes, a single mom doing most of the Mom, Dad and Nurse Wife duties on my own. For some reason, February, you also brought with you a new kind of fun in the form of bed wetting from the usually night trained boy and pull up leakings from the non night trained boy. Thus, many precious nights of sleep were interrupted. All of this then added up into one exhausted Mama.

To make things even more wonderful, at some point during your last week, Liam found a little germ that helped March come in with fresh explosion of stomach virus (far worse than the one we began the month with). This virus knocked out Gavin next, followed by Lidia (who, incidently came to my bed at 12:45am on a Monday morning, leading me to her room to see a kind of mess I hope to never witness again in my life time), then Adam, then myself-thankfully, none of us simultaneously. March, in feeling sorry for us, helped us get healthy after that first week with a nice bout of beautiful weather. We are finally all better, abscess and all, and are hoping the fresh air keeps us healthy for Spring.

In the mean time, I am seriously considering ripping you, February, out of my 2011 calendar.


One Exhausted Mother

February 15th, 2010

So I (Adam) took Gavin out shopping with me the other day and one of our stops was by one of our favorite chocolate shops. With Valentines upon us the girls of our family were sure to appreciate some extra yummy chocolate treats. After we had made our purchase (he helped make the final decision) and were back in the van on our way to the grocery store he started asking about why we had gotten the chocolates. I had sort of explained valentines but simplified it to most girls like chocolate and like to get it as a gift. To which he responded:

“Lidia’s not a girl.. (short pause) she’s a kind of sister” with this extra funny sort of confused look on his face.

It’s a good thing we had not started moving yet and then I had to explain to him why I was laughing. And yes he has seen Aristocats but I doubt he knew he was pretty much quoting it. The boys did end up with gummy worms which ended any concern over Lidia getting chocolates.

Real Life is Gross

February 1st, 2010

It’s that time of year again. Time for the annual Plague. This time we managed to make it all the way until the end of January before we got the dreaded stomach virus. Liam was the first man down, but thankfully had it only mildly (and managed to hit the bucket most of the time). We almost began to believe it was going to stop with him when 4 days later (Wednesday night), somewhere close to 3am I hear a whining call of “Mom, I throat on my bed.” Translation: I threw up on my bed.

Lucky, by mid morning, Gavin was done “throating”. Unluckily for him, this particular virus had a nasty stage 2: diarrhea. I suppose it’s good that he didn’t have both at the same time. However, this being his first experience (in his memory) with this malady, he really had no words to describe it. I really didn’t think to give him the words, either. He had enough control to make it to the bathroom every time (thank you, son), but did have to endure the problem for a few days. Yes. Real life is gross. Quite.

Fast forward to this morning. After a day of rest, he finally visited the throne again to do his thing. He soon after summoned me to the bathroom with an excited voice, “Mom! I no poop throw anymore! I pooped in a circle!”

Not knowing what to call this new bodily process, he took what he knew to form his own conclusion: If I was throwing up from my mouth, it only stands to reason that is what was happening at the other end, too.

I congratulated him on reentering the realm of round poo, wandered off to have my laugh out of his hearing and of course shared the story with Dad. This kid is so observational. He cracks us up.

But, back to the plague, thus far I am the only other person to have been afflicted. Lidia and Adam have thus far escaped its grasp. Hopefully that continues! I’m ready to leave this particular gross in the past.

Must Come Back

February 1st, 2010

In the past long while I have let this blog slide and now I am kicking myself for it. I didn’t start this for other people. I started it for me. I don’t even care if anyone reads it, honestly. For me, this is a place to put down my thoughts, random as they may be and most importantly to chronicle the life of myself and my family. In the past couple of years I have let so many great stories slide by because I’ve become so wrapped up in being Mom. I now have a ton of great stories from Lidia’s 1-4 year old stage—–and few of the boys. I feel really bad about this now. I need to make it a priority from now on. I won’t lie, having twins has been a huge challenge for me. I love my boys with all my heart. I would not change it for a thing…but change my life, they did! Adding everything up, it has been for the better. I do, however, feel sad at times that they aren’t getting the same experience Lidia had for her first 2 years with us. There will never be that undivided attention for them. Now I am split into many pieces and all 3 of my children are noticeably resentful of that at times. I am working toward giving each their time with me. We will find a happy medium some day!

Meanwhile, perhaps I should call it my belated resolution to keep back up with this thing….

The Next Stage of Mom

September 15th, 2009

I never realized what a transformation there would be when my first child started school.

Lidia is on her third week of Kindergarten and our life has changed so much in these 3 weeks. Her bed time has had to be moved up as Kindergarten is leaving her wrecked. She simply needed more sleep. I, on the other hand, am sleeping less it seems. It’s so difficult to get to bed at a decent hour! The boys are having many days where naps just cannot be fit in because we need to meet their sister at the bus. Evenings can be a bit sketchy right now, but we are working our way through it.

I am still struggling with getting used to this schedule but I (we) will in time. Soon it will just flow each day.

Lidia is thoroughly enjoying Kindergarten and I am glad. I will admit there are days my patience is not what I want it to be. I was having a difficult time juggling her brothers and helping her stay busy. Teaching is not my strong point. I did, however, manage to teach her to tie her shoes before school started. She also learned to ride her bike without training wheels (she really did that herself, though.)

Today, the day was full of a playgroup for the boys (well, and me), dragging them through a couple craft stores with me, then girl to her very first dance class after school and PTA meeting at the school in the evening. I feel like I’ve moved to a different stage of Mom. It’s so strange doing elementary age things instead of toddler/preschool. I forget often how old she is getting. I think, just now I am missing that year that we lost. It seems too soon, in many respects to be at this stage. However, I know she is ready and I am proud of her. I am impressed by her school and teacher. It will be a great year.

On another note, we have planned a vacation. We are headed to Florida in November. We are all excited, even the boys. I think we will enjoy ourselves. We are even taking my mom! This is exciting as my mom as never really had a vacation and it will be fun for her to have the Disney experience once in her life (and I am excited to spend extra time with my mommy, whom I do not get to see nearly as often as I would like).

That’s all for now, I have to crash.

The Stubborn 2 Year Olds

February 25th, 2009

Today, I showed the 2 year olds that I cannot be out stubborned. They were very unhappy to learn this.

Two hours before dinner last night, I told the small ones that they would need to clean up the bucket of Duplos and the bucket of Thomas Trains that they had dumped out on the living room floor before dinner. One hour before dinner, I reminded them. Dinner came, plates were made up, the rest of us sat down…and two little boys had the nerve to look shocked and distraught that their plates were not among those on the table.

“I will be glad to get your plates as soon as you finish cleaning up your mess in the living room,” I told them….and told them…and told them many times over the next few hours.

My words were always met with a loud/angry/whiney “Noooo” or “Don’t want to”.

No problem :)

Unfortunately, they thought it was better to go to bed hungry than clean up their mess. Fine by me, the choice was in their hands: Do 3 minutes of clean up and eat or go to sleep hungry. They made their choice and stood strong by each other.

What they did not anticipate is that my stubbornness would carry through to breakfast.

Once again they were met with the dreaded words “I will be glad to get your breakfast as soon as you clean up your mess in the living room.”

They lasted about 2 hours with the occasional sad little whine of “Hungry…” here and there. Finally they made a different choice and the living room floor is once again free of Duplo booby traps.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, they are asking for their third! helping of cereal.