Friday, February 24, 2017

Yes I Wish I Had Six Arms

There are little moments in life that make you stop and think.

These passing moments make you shake your head, take a deep breath, or maybe even count to ten. But they aren't profound. I am not referring to the big things, like the ones that make you ponder the meaning of life. I am talking about the small, daily moments that if I weren’t always considering blogging material, could go by without much contemplation.

Some of these underwhelming moments do make you feel a bit overwhelmed though.

You are, sadly, just one person, with one mind, one body and just two arms and two legs. Although the other day the nurse at the pediatrician’s office noted, while watching me chase after my three kiddos running down the hall, Don’t you wish you had six arms? I take comments pretty literal when I am stressed out and after she said it I briefly closed my eyes and actually pictured myself with 6 arms. Honestly I didn’t look too bad. I might get some stares, but the added value would be worth my vanity, hands down. 

All six of them.

Although you don’t have to have children to experience these moments, in my case, having my brood has definitely increased the frequency and intensity of them.

Like the other day while driving home from work when I noticed that my shirt was on inside out. All day long my best attempt at wearing something that didn’t scream MIDDLE AGED MOM HERE had been inside out. In meetings with colleagues… it was inside out. It was inside out while performing several lectures in front of about 50 of what I am sure were, like, totally non-judgmental college kids that, like, never make fun of their professors outside of the classroom. Smh.

Last night I had a moment too.

My youngest son, the five year old, refuses to wear socks and shoes. Well he will wear them, but keeping them on? Nope. That’s a different story. The kid drives me bananas. It could be 40 degrees outside and he is skipping around the cul-de-sac in a hooded winter coat, mittens and no socks or shoes. We always have an assortment of his socks and shoes on the floors of both vehicles because the second he gets strapped into his booster seat, he rips them off.

Well of course we were running behind. It was time to leave the house to bring my older son to basketball practice. I had just put my younger son's socks and shoes on him, but as soon as I returned from the kitchen after refilling a water bottle, he had, predictably, torn off his socks and shoes. Ugh. Did I mention I was in a huge hurry?  I, predictably, couldn’t find where he had put named socks, but I did find his shoes. In a hurried panic, I ripped off my socks and shoes, grabbed my sandals to wear instead, and put my own socks on his tiny feet.

They looked horrendous.

These were stretched out and faded athletic socks and were way too big for him, needing to be rolled down several times where my heel would have been. Luckily his high top tennis shoes covered most of the ridiculousness so I bribed him with a tube of Pringles potato chips and threatened him with the indefinite loss of his IPad, all while pleading for him to leave his shoes on over these socks during basketball practice.

Pipe dream.

He did leave both on during the drive to practice, but after just a few minutes of being there, ripped off his shoes. But to my humiliation he left the socks on. Was he just messing with me? Come on little man, if there is one time to disobey me and lose the socks- this is it!

Take the socks off too, I nervously screamed in my head as I watched him play with some kids on the bleachers a few rows down. Did I mention these were my oldest pair of running socks, likely not fresh, and had huge holes in the big toe areas of both of the socks?

Well he must have been doing his very best for once to be a good listener because he left those literally stinking socks on the rest of the time we were there.

Afterward we were walking with other parents across the parking lot back toward our car. I wasn’t sure if I should just hope other parents didn’t notice the socks, or if I should apologetically draw attention to them. I went with the latter and made some joke about how we were running behind earlier and I was too lazy to go upstairs before we left to get my son a fresh pair of socks out of his room.

A dad beside laughed… laughed a little too hard in fact.

I looked blankly at him. His older son was on the basketball team with mine and his younger son had also tagged along to practice.

He said, “Ya, I ended up having to give my kid (the younger son) a bath before we came here. We had spaghetti for supper and I was hoping to just wipe him off. But he gets it everywhere; he was covered (from his dramatic hand gestures I pictured a waterfall of spaghetti and meat sauce raining down on his son).”  “Apparently,” he added sarcastically, “it was my fault that I didn’t cut up his pasta for him.”

I smiled… smiled a little too big in fact.

Man, I thought, those are the little moments. 

Thank you, I needed that.

Just another one of those moments.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Yes. My kids bother me (and that doesn't make me a horrible person).

I'm human and I have faults. Lots of them. This is why I can admit that there are some things about my kids that bother me. Yes, my beautiful, wonderful, amazing children drive me crazy and really, truly bother me a lot on occasion. 

Usually what gets to me are the little annoying things that I just, for the life of me, cannot understand why they do them. Some of these things gross me out. Some make me spit out my coffee in bouts of laughter. Some make me scream and yell like a toddler throwing a tantrum.  Some of these things I just ignore because if I let on that I have feelings attached to whatever they are doing, my too-smart-for-their-own-good monsters get some twisted satisfaction in knowing that they messed with me.

What could I possibly be talking about? Honestly, I am not even sure where to start.

Finding an unflushed toilet. With poop in it. With no toilet paper in it.
Ugh. So this one is just disgusting. If you don't believe that this happens, or you think your kids always wipe after pooping, they have been blinding you with an uncanny ability to remember to flush. My kids aren't as smart as yours. They never flush. On a near daily basis I have to say, "Get over here. Let me check your butt," and at least one child comes running over who needs to be inspected, then usually wiped. My kids are 5, 6, and 8 years old. Wasn't this supposed to stop after diapers?! I'm gagging a little right now.

Undies strategically hidden under a child's bed.
Usually not totally unrelated to the the example above ^^, but sometimes a stand alone issue: hidden, dirty undies. And they're not always just hidden in a desolate corner under the bad. We must always be on the lookout. Dirty, worn, stinky, stained, hard-as-a-rock undies can be hidden in the back corner of a closet, in a toy box, or any other place kids think we parents will never, ever in our entire lifetime look. I think I was smart enough to at least throw away the undies if I had an accident when I was over the age of 5. What is happening to kids these days, have they no sense of reality?! Shame?! Fear?!

Finding tissues stuffed back into a Kleenex box.
Umm... yuck? What all did they stuff back into that box? How clean were their hands when they stuffed that glob of tissues back in? How many of the tissues did they touch? Sometimes I'd rather rub my nose raw with a cheap paper towel than use a super-soft, lotion infused name-brand tissue that has been stuffed back into the box by my kids. Sometimes I don't care and use it anyway. Probably why I have bronchitis right now.

*Loud sound* upstairs. Me: "What was that?" Three voices in quick unison yell down: "Nothing!"
Can't I have anything nice?! My mom is literally smiling right now as she reads this because I am certain she said this phrase to my siblings and I at least 3 million times while I was growing up. But now I get it. I have a complete, unwavering understanding of why she said it. IT'S TRUE! Guess what, I can't have anything nice. Nope. Not for another 13 years, when my last kid will hopefully move out and go to college. On second thought I'll probably start getting grandkids from my oldest child by then so never mind.  I will never have anything nice again. My house will from this day forward always be filled with sticky, gooey, broken, ripped, glued-back-together, Sharpie-marker stained items. Sigh.

"I'm bored."
Hey, me too, but I don't have someone to constantly give me super fun, creative activities to occupy my mind all the time. I'm not saying I don't play with my kids or give them ideas, but when I have offered my kid 15 ideas in the space of one hour I am usually literally out of any more ideas for awhile. Especially when to most suggestions I hear, "No, I don't want to do that." I'm bored may be the straw that breaks my back. My 6-year-old daughter is by far my child who is in constant need of attention and action. Love her more than my own life, but come on. Mama needs you to just grab a string cheese out of the fridge, take your markers and coloring book to your room, and STOP ASKING ME TO ENTERTAIN YOU!

Whew. That felt good to get out. 

I think this list could probably go on for days, but I'll just stop right here for now. 

Being a mom is a rewarding, challenging, disgusting, never-ending task that I wouldn't change for the world. I love my kids... they do drive me a little crazy though. 

Alright, gotta go. Someone forgot to flush. 


I'm bored. 



Friday, January 27, 2017

#whole30 Update: How Hangry are you?

For those of you who don't know, my husband and I are tackling Whole30 for the second time. The first time we completed this program was about a year ago and we had kept eating pretty healthy and making better overall food choices for most of last year. The last few months of 2016, however, we had been a little lazy in our meal planning, eating out a bit too often, and had been feeling our bodies change in not so wonderful ways (exhaustion, slight weight gain, the return of general aches and pains, etc).

Without any hesitation from either of us, we decided to complete Whole30 again. Oddly, my hubby even brought it up first! This is a little surprising because the last time we did this there were a few days where we nearly attacked each other over being "hangry."

What is hangry? It is a combination of feeling hungry and angry all at the same time. Imagine biting your spouse's head off simply because he looked at you the wrong way. Now imagine literally biting your spouse's head off so that you could dip it in ranch dressing and eat it. That, my friends, is the definition of hangry.

Why would anyone do this to themselves, or their relationship for that matter? Well, it works. It really impacts your body in positive ways.

If you aren't sure what Whole30 is, click here, but basically you eat only simple, whole foods, organic when possible, for 30 days; simply stated, foods that come from the earth. No unnatural flavors, dyes, preservatives or overly processed foods allowed. No alcohol, and some food like legumes, corn, sugar, grains and dairy are also prohibited during the 30 days. These are foods that can cause allergies and other harmful bodily reactions in some people so that is why they are off limits.

We are currently on Day 25 (we started January 3) and it is going great so far. Finally seeing the end in sight is a rewarding feeling, as it takes a lot of dedication to not cheat and stay on track. I can't tell you how many times a day I want to lick my fingers while getting my kids bowls of ice cream or making them foods like macaroni and cheese.

I do have to admit, that on day 10 we both consciously decided to have a few drinks to help celebrate the life of a dear friend who passed away, but we chose red wine and pure liquor, trying to select alcohol that was in it's cleanest form. We did not eat any non compliant foods and we will not until the program is over, nor will we drink alcohol again. Allowing those drinks was a difficult decision because we are both very committed to finishing the program without cheating, but in the end we decided that this celebration of life was more important than the program itself. Again, very hard decision, but it was a planned, conscious decision so we don't consider it a cheat.

Okay, enough of my justification...

So here is the run down of how I feel and how my body has changed:

Positive Changes:

  • No migraines all month (normally I get a least one every week or two).
  • Much less shoulder pain (I have chronic inflammation in my shoulder which has required surgery in the past).
  • I fit into my clothes better. You are not supposed to weigh yourself but I have lost weight.
  • My mindset is changing. I see myself thinking about sugary, fatty foods in a different way than before I started 3 weeks ago.
  • I am spending more time making healthy foods for my husband and family, and mentally, that feels really productive and satisfying.
Negative Changes:
  • Running is hard. I have added nearly a full minute per mile. Potatoes, nuts and fruits just don't do it for me when it comes to the energy I need to run. I will be happy to reintroduce a few carbs back into my diet the night before or on the morning of runs.

I'll update again next week when we are done and I'll discuss my future healthier eating goals.

In the meantime, here are some of the recipes I have tried recently.

 Homemade Mayo. Recipe from the official Whole30 Cookbook.
It turned out great, and has every time I have tried making it. Just make sure all 
your ingredients are room at temperature.


 Potato Soup It was delicious!


 I clarified butter (removed the milk). Instructions from
the Whole30 Cookbook.


 Easy skillet. Put whatever veggies you want in it.


 Random appetizers. Yummy! 


 Our saving grace. Fresh squeezed OJ. It is made
only from oranges.


 This is Passion Tango Herbal Tea. Yes- you can order
more than just black coffee at Starbucks. See here!



This isn't new, but it is my "go to" breakfast. Pretty delicious
and very satisfying.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Grandmother's Calendar


Nostalgia gets me every time.

When I graduated from high school, my mom, like all loving mothers, organized a graduation party for me. I remember feeling pride when she told me how thankful she was that I had scrapbooked everything that had been important in my life up until that point. From various award certificates, photographs, to even love letters random boys had written me in the second grade, I had kept it all. This habit of mine, likely, saved her a significant amount of work, too.

It wasn't until I became an adult and started to create my own life that I realized that not everyone does this: not everyone saves everything, I mean.

When I look back at all the stuff I have saved, it is kind of ridiculous. Every single thank you, birthday card, Christmas card, wedding card, and any other card, that anyone has given me, my husband or children -EVER- I still have it.

Somewhere...

Every concert, movie or sporting event ticket? Yep. I have all of those too.

In my basement is an outrageously full filing cabinet of old resumes, bills from my very first apartment, old health insurance cards, folders of papers from every college course I have ever taken, drawings from my nieces that are now in high school, and about any other once-but-no-longer-of-importance item that one can imagine.

I just can't seem to let go of these things. I still might want some of it someday, right?

Don't even get me started on my children's drawings, artwork and reports. Simply because the storage tubs were starting to overtake the laundry room did I recently sit down and painstakingly purge some of it.

I know where I get this habit.

My dad is like me. If it has meaning or memories attached to it, he also has trouble letting it go. But is wasn't until I visited my grandmother, his mother, a few weeks ago that I finally realized why I am this way.

Grandma had just finished up filling out her annual calendar when I stopped by. She, like many people, purchases a new calendar every year and fills it with dates to help her remember the events of the important people in her life.

As she was talking about how much effort her calendar was to complete, I picked it up and started casually flipping through it. I told her that I also write out a calendar annually, but that my husband makes fun of all the silly dates I continue to transfer from the previous years, like the date of my childhood pet dying to my writing the year someone was born on the day of their birth so I know how old they are turning.

She looked at me and smiled. "Look a little closer," she said.

I did, and I couldn't believe it.

I'll bet it took her days to fill this thing out. Literally days. Living into her 80's, she had experienced quite a lot in her life, and she had kept track of much of it too.

There was hardly a day left blank, with some boxes so full that her recorded moments needed to be written into the blank margins.

Looking at it brought tears to my eyes. I got a little choked up.

She had recorded the day (and year) that my dad, as a child, had broken his hip. She had recorded the day (and year) that I had called to tell her that I was pregnant with my first child. She had recorded the day (and year) of her party when she retired as a school cook. She didn't just write down days and years for birthdays, but had also documented the length and weight in pounds and ounces of her children, many grandchildren, and even more great-grandchildren.

Folks, she had even documented when she bought a flat screen television!

I had so much fun going through her calendar with her, listening to the stories that many of those recorded events brought to her mind. I even got hear a funny story about my dad and a spilled chamber pot that I had never heard before.

It was really an incredible moment. One I will never forget.

As I finished up my own annual calendar last night it felt so empty. I had previously thought that I had already recorded too many events in my life, wondering often if all of these dates were still worth copying every year.

But that has all changed.

I now find myself excited for my future. Thankful for my life. Anxious to see what important blank dates my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will fill up.

As I age the difficult truths of life have begun to wedge themselves onto some of my calendar pages. People I know and care about struggle, have pain, sadness, and even die. Not everyone lives a long life, and pray that I am fortunate enough to fill up the pages of a calendar one day.

I guess it's okay that I have a habit of being nostalgic. It's okay to save a few cards or carry over a few calendar dates.

I'll be better able to share with my children and grandchildren, and if I am so inclined, my great-grandchildren, the story of who they are.

Thank you grandma for this important reminder.



Friday, January 6, 2017

A Free Belated Christmas Present- Check it out!

#nofilter #soakingwetrun #gottastart2017somewhere

Do you remember me? I am your favorite blogger. You haven't heard from me in awhile. I took a short hiatus from blogging on Mamamgottarun the last few months (although I did still blog on the official Des Moines Marathon blog if you are interested). I have a million excuses for my taking time off from the blog, but I won't bore you.

However, I do want to make it up to you.

I have the best belated Christmas (or Hanukah or Kwanza or And Everyone I Am Forgetting...) present that you can ask for: I am going to start blogging again! Yep, that's my gift to you.

You are welcome.

I know, I know... this gift is just too much, right? You are completely overwhelmed with my graciousness and generosity, right? It's okay... no need to cry... oh you are too much, truly. I really want to give this to you.

Well... truth be told, this gift is for you, but it is also a bit narcissistic and cathartic.

I need my writing therapy back!

I miss sharing my running progress, healthy eating attempts, and crazy parenting successes and failures just as much (probably more) as you miss reading about them.

So to kick off the new year I have set 4 goals. I'd like to share these goals with you so I feel guilty have public accountability and continue to work on them all year long.

Goal 1: Run another marathon! It is time. My husband won't let me put another 26.2 sticker on the new SUV until I run another one. I'm kidding, but he did actually jokingly say that. Motivation enough for me!

Goal 2: Complete my team portion of 2017 miles in 2017. My hometown has an amazing running group, Sole Crazy Runners, that I follow on Facebook. There are two ladies responsible for this group, both of whom I graduated high school with (one you can find here, the other here). This group has allowed me, even though I live 6 hours away, to join their challenge. I have been placed on one of four 4-person teams, each attempting to reach 2017 miles in 2017. If you recall, I did this challenge with three women in 2015 and it was really incredible to complete.

#firstrunof2017 #solecrazy2017miles

Goal 3: Eat cleaner. I am currently on my second round of #Whole30. It is a clean eating challenge that you take on for 30 days in order to retrain your brain to eat healthy while breaking your bad eating habits. I did it last year and was able to lower my cholesterol levels to normal range with no medication, seriously minimize my migraines, and relieve chronic inflammation in my shoulder (I had surgery last year). Right now I am on day 4 so I basically feel like ripping off my husband's face if he looks at me sideways, crawling back into bed with exhaustion, and/or sneaking into the chocolate ice cream in the freezer. Obviously I will not do any of those things, but let's just say that coming up with sarcastic comments to write in this post were not difficult today.

#whole30 #crockpot #freshproduce #day1

Goal 4: My gift to you friends: I will try hard to blog weekly. My schedule has slowed down some this semester (I am a college professor when not running, parenting or blogging) so this should allow me some free time to get back to my first love, writing.

That's it. Those are my goals. If you took the time to read this entire post, I actually do have a free gift for you. I have five 2-pack samples of KT Tape left so enter the giveaway at the top of my blog, you can enter daily if you like, for multiple chances to win all of them. Ends January 19th at midnight. I will email the winner for their contact information once the giveaway expires. Phone users: If you are having trouble viewing the giveaway at the top of my blog, try logging in from a PC or tablet instead of your phone. Or simply click "View Web Version" on the link below from your phone.

#giveaway #kttape #mamagottarun

Here's to 2017! Happy reading.

Monday, August 22, 2016

To Bean or Not to Bean: Types of Rehydration & Energy Gels #imtdmm #motivationmonday

New Post on the IMT Des Moines Marathon blog! To Bean or Not to Bean... What types of energy and rehydration gels do you prefer? #imtdmm #halfmarathon #marathon #training


 Getting my miles in!

Monday, August 8, 2016

What Types of Surfaces Do You Prefer to Run on? #imtdmm

Check out my newest post on the IMT Des Moines Marathon blog:

http://www.desmoinesmarathon.com/uncategorized/trails-pavement-treadmills-tracks-prefer-train/

IMG_5376

As some of us start training for the IMTDMM full, the half, or other distances, we must also start to think about where to run. Not just where geographically (we all know our regular running routes can get redundant and boring after awhile) but it is also important to think about which types of surface your feet are hitting with each step taken... Click on the link above for the rest of the article!