Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Not To Do (Volume 1)

   Yesterday I discovered that my husband does not like it when he comes home and I greet him by running outside with a large serrated-edge knife.  Apparently this is a "no-no".
   I had called my husband yesterday afternoon to find out when he would be coming home, and the message conveyed was that he would be coming "straight home".  I don't know about you, but to me that meant he would be coming from point A (his current location) to point B (our apartment) with no stops.  After a reasonably allotted amount of time had lapsed, I called his cell phone. Twice. No answer. Twice. So I called our friend's house.  My friend answered the phone, "Yes, your husband is here."  This answer ignited a tiny flame of anger, and I asked her to grab the largest knife she could find, then go outside and tell my husband that 1. he was a jerk for lying to me, and 2. she was going to slash his tires for this indiscretion.  Sadly my friend was not able to accomplish her mission before my husband headed home, so I took it upon myself to complete it.
    My first snafu was decided which knife to pull-what would cut through tires more easily? A straight-edged knife, or a serrated-edge one?  I made my decision and exited the house, wielding my weapon of intended destruction.  The whole "slash your tires" thing was more about drama than actual intention.  I was not going to slash his tires for two reasons: 1. our friends needed to borrow the truck the next day for a long trip, 2. I didn't want to spend the money for new tires just because I had a fit of rage.
   However, hubby did not receive this message as well as I had hoped.  Instead of repenting for his actions, he defended himself and became angry at me for running out of the house towards him wielding a large knife.  I'm not sure why he got so upset...After all, I wasn't intending to stab him, just his tires....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mom of the Year??

    One of the scariest things that could happen to a parent happened to me today...Only I didn't realize it...My daughter had run away from me and I didn't even notice.  Oops.
    See, my family was at the park all day for a church function.  And this particular park lives right by the fast-flowing Arkansas River...  In the afternoon, friends of ours stopped by and Josiah wanted to follow some of them (adult supervision included) down towards the river.  I agreed to this.  What I did not agree to was Amber following too.  Her small size combined with her natural inclination for accidents does not equal a safe trip to the river.
   After some time had lapsed, on of our friends questioned Amber's whereabouts.  Since she doesn't travel far, I assumed she was still around.  "Mother's instinct" kicked on in my friend and she made it her mission to help find her.  I was totally calm, believing that my little girl was hiding behind a tree or playing out of sight.
   Did she fall into the river? No....Was she playing out of sight? No...She was walking....towards us...with a stranger... Apparently she had approached their picnic table and just stood there.  Didn't say a word.  She didn't even say anything when the nice lady brought her back to my friend and I.  She didn't day anything.  But I could tell she was angry.  Why? I wasn't sure.  I didn't send her away.  I didn't "leave her" anywhere.  I had no idea that she had even wandered off.
   Later, I realized what she had done.  She wasn't lost.  She didn't "wander". She willfully and maliciously ran away.  She was angry that I wouldn't let her follow the older kids down to the river, so she decided to "run away", even though she didn't stray more than 100 yards.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure she recieved the reaction from me that runaways hope for.  Since I hadn't been too concerned that she was lost, I wasn't overly relieved that she had been found.  I didn't give her a big hug and gush all over her and express how much I missed her...Instead, my friend gently chided her for running away, and I took her by the hand and led her back to our location.
   Well, maybe some day I'll be nominated for "Mom of the Year"....but today was not it...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The "Magical Summer Snow"

    JR & I first visited Colorado 5 years ago in June.  We fell in love with the gorgeous mountains and summer sky.  My favorite part was the "magical" snow that was falling, even though it was super warm out and there were no clouds in the sky.  That's right-Colorado is wonderful because snow falls even when the sun is at it's peak and no clouds can be found.  Perhaps it was the snow pack blowing off the mountains.  Maybe there were clouds, but they were invisible-better yet, the clouds were too thin to see....
   As we watched the fluff swirl around on the ground, I could not get over how amazing this phenomenon was. And to think-the townsfolk must be keeping this secret to themselves because I had never heard of it before!
   Sadly, when we took a closer look at this majestic white stuff, we discovered it had more substance to it than ordinary snow. (I, however, was still convinced it was frozen water crystals from the sky.) We eventually discovered that my "magical snow" was actually cotton.  Apparently trees produce cotton too (we're from the east coast-we've only known cotton to grow from the ground), so the amazing white stuff floating around everywhere was actually cotton that falls off trees.  Since it's so light and fluffy, it spends alot of time floating in the air, or swirling around on the ground.  This discovery was really depressing and it took me weeks to recover.
                             A close-up of the fluff
                        See??? It looks like snow....
                  Cottonwood trees (i think) from which the cotton hails...

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Am NOT Crazy...Ok, So Maybe I Am...But This Morning I Was Not...

   So this morning my friend Mike broke my house...or at least that's what I thought... Earlier this morning our friend Mike rang the doorbell when he dropped a kid off at our place.  After the dinging stopped, a buzzing sound started, which I assumed was the dishwasher ending it's cycle.  But the noise never stopped.  After this realization, I started freaking out.
   The noise seemed to be emanating from one of the walls in the house....I checked the closets on that side of the wall, but the humming sounded like it was coming from within the wall itself!  Moderately panicked, I called my husband's work, but he wasn't there.  Instead I ended up talking to one of his co-workers who said he could hear the humming sound.
   Since our friend Mike is a handyman and has built houses before, I called him.  He couldn't hear the noise, and he asked me how many cups of coffee I'd had.  He thought the buzzing was in my head.
   Slightly less worried (the noise wasn't coming from the water heater or other large metal heating object in the closet), I decided to wait till JR called me back.  Then, I heard the sound of a weed whacker outside which meant the apartment complex maintenance guy was there.  I explained my plight and he came to see what "Crazy Chell" was talking about.  I asked him if he heard the noise, and he said, "No, I hear the dryer".  So I had him put his ear to the wall...and he heard it!!! I wasn't going crazy!!!
   Then, he looked up and pulled a magical white box off the wall, and the humming stopped! Apparently that box was where the doorbell noise emanates.  After cutting a fuse or two and fiddling with the innards of the box, he showed me a square metal thing and told me that it was getting too warm (yeah, like I really know what that means).  Then he said we needed a new doorbell which should arrive next week.
   See? I wasn't going crazy...this time....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Truck Lesson (Formerly "Jeep Lesson")

  This week my driving lesson was forgone in favor of teaching Josiah how to ride a bicycle with no training wheels.  Instead, I am spending the week looking up instructional videos on youtube about manual transmissions.  What I have discovered in my quest is that a large portion of these vids have been done by highschoolers as a project for a class or graduation.  Although some of the videos were done just to get a grade, the majority of them were done well.  It amazes me that these "kids" are pretty proficient at driving a stick shift and have the capacity to explain it so that I can understand it.
   Other instructional videos are done be Europeans because apparently they don't use automatic transmissions.  I found it really hard to watch these videos because of their accents and the colloquialisms used. However, I do feel more prepared for my next lesson.  I asked hubby how many more lessons he thought it would take until I felt comfortable driving stick, and he said 10.  With one lesson a week, that's 10 weeks!!! Hopefully I won't burn the new clutch out by then, but we shall see....

Today's Run

  There's nothing as exhilarating as a good morning run.  I know, not everyone understands the joys of running, but I love doing it.  It's not just a work-out for me...it's also a battle.  My adversary is sports-induced asthma.  The only recourse is to push myself to build my endurance and increase my lung capacity.
   As I've mentioned before, when I'm not running, I dream about it.  In my dreams I end up running so fast that I actually fly.  I know this is physically impossible, but when I run fast, sometimes I feel like I am flying.
   Last night I had an epiphany. I have been a lazy runner. Last summer before I stopped running (when my body discovered it was pregnant, it wouldn't let me continue) I had worked up to doing almost 3 miles (without stopping) at 6mph.  I know this because my treadmill told me so.  What I realized last night was that when I run due to an emergency (husband locked my keys in my car, something happens to one of the kids, ect), I run a whole lot faster than I normally do.  This led me to experiment with my run this morning.  Instead of starting off at my normal pace (which is 6mph-I know this because my phone app told me so), I booked it.  I took off as fast as I could and discovered that I can run a little over 8mph.  This was a shock to me because I had not even attempted this speed on my treadmill.  It seemed way too intimidating.
   Now that I know my optimal speed, my goal is to run that fast when I do my morning workouts.  After my experiment today, I told my husband.  He looked at me and asked why I would want to run that fast (he doesn't get running). 
   One of my ultimate goals is to enter and complete the FIBArk Hill Climb (a crazy race up the side of S Mountain).  I was planning to do it this year, but pregnancy got in the way.  Even though I have been exercising for the past 5 weeks, I'm not physically capable of doing it yet.  Tonight I will take the kids to watch and get inspired for next year ;)  Short-term goals include the New Year's Day 5K and hopefully other marathons as I increase my endurance.  (the end)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Update On Malachi

  Our latest addition to the family is almost 8 weeks old now.  He weighs about 14lbs and is (insert random number here) inches long.  He's been sleeping through the night for the past few weeks now.  He's also been sleeping a lot during the day, but I think that is starting to change.  The past few days he's been more alert and interactive with people.  He's starting to smile at just about everyone and observe his world.
   My favorite times with him are the early mornings when it's just the two of us on the couch before the rest of the house is awake.  He'll just lay there  on his Boppy pillow, sometimes falling asleep-sometimes not, and I'll stare at him, or cuddle while I finish my morning java.  Right now he's at the two-month stage where babies make "vowel-like sounds" and it's the cutest thing.
   He's been a really "good baby", only crying when he's hungry or gassy, and at night before he goes to sleep.  He doesn't demand too much attention, and now he's starting to explore his surroundings.  He smiles at the other two kids and seems to like their idealized affection.
   Right now he's kicking at me while we're making facing at each other...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Boo!

  So the other day my children and I were at my friend Christina's house (bff, hubby delivered baby, ect..).  Now, her house has been known to experience some ethereal happenings.  Well, my four-year-old was not listening and earned a trip upstairs to calm himself down and re-evaluate his behavior.  Naturally he was whining about it, so I yelled upstairs for him to be quiet.  Ignoring me, his behavior continued, then  he shouted, "Stop talking!".
   Knowing what I know about her house and the invisible "pharisees" that talk to one of her kids, I panicked.  And instead of wanting to confront the dark forces like a "good Christian" should, I wanted to flee.  Alternatively, I ran into the dark bathroom (and saw a baby doll on the dryer-which reminded me of another "incident" that happened a few months back) and quietly chanted "Your house is creepy. Your house is creepy. Your house is creepy."
   Verbally expressing that phrase calmed me down enough to summon up the courage to leave the not-so-comforting bathroom. I opened the door, intending to calmly walk back into the living room.  Instead, I screamed.
    My friend's husband had entered the house without making a noise, so the unexpected vision must have jolted my adrenaline-infused nerves.  Poor guy- it seems like all I ever do is scream at him.  During my panic attack, Christina (far, far more braver than I) had gone upstairs to ask Josiah who he was talking to.  It turns out that he had been talking to himself...At least I gave my nerves a good work out that day....