Tag Archives: humor

Starting an exercise program–again!

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You see that commercial again. The one about getting ready for summer and beaches and bathing suits. It’s time, you think. I’m going to get a beach bod. This is the year. I am totally going to become a runner.

            First, you head to your local sports store. The right clothes are important. You pick out a cute running skirt, supportive sports bra and breathable tank top. And then head to the shoe department. The clerk helps you pick out the latest in running shoe technology. “Feel these,” he says. “Have you ever felt anything so light?”

            So, you buy them, along with a three-pair pack of no-slip ankle socks, the kind that wick away moisture. No stinky feet here!

            But wait, what’s that? A roller thingy to get knots out of those bulging muscles you’re going to be developing. You need that for sure. And electrolyte powder to hydrate on your runs. And a water bottle with a strappy thing so it will attach to your hand. You don’t want to expend extra energy holding onto your water bottle.

            Okay, today’s the day. You suit up and head to the street, popping in your ear buds to listen to the run enhancing music you’ve selected. But wait! You realize you’re holding your phone. That won’t do! You need one of those arm, phone holder thingies.

            You don’t want to go all the way back to the store so you go back inside, lie down on the couch and open your laptop. On Amazon you find the perfect sports armband phone holder. It will arrive in two days. You decide to catch up on your Netflix binge of Ozark while you wait.

            Two days later the Amazon package arrives. You Velcro the pink contraption to your bicep and slide your phone in. You’re finally ready to go. You do a quick stretch on the sidewalk, set your stopwatch on the phone and start jogging, hoping your neighbors are noticing how athletic you are now.

 

            You think about your form, swinging your arms back and forth and trying to land on your toes. Back and forth, back and forth. Toe, heel, toe, heel. You realize that the feather-light shoes you bought have started to feel like bricks on your feet. And the phone thingy is making your arm sweat. Breathing seems much harder than usual. You think, that must have at least been a mile by now. You stop to look at your stopwatch on your phone—two minutes. Two freakin’ minutes?! You remember an article about how walking is actually much better for you than running. You walk home to look it up.

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To Panic or Not to Panic

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I have been in Texas for almost exactly one year, and I have noticed that Texans do not panic. And as a newcomer, this is quite problematic for me, because in new and unfamiliar situations, I look to those around me in order to know how quickly and to what degree I should be freaking out. Here are a few examples.

I am sitting in a nail salon watching the sky outside darken, and I hear phone alerts going off around me. Ladies are calmly checking their phones for the latest weather advisory as they continue chatting and sipping fancy lemon-water. The phone warnings keep getting louder and more urgent. I look at these women’s faces. Help me out here ladies. I’m new to tornado warnings. Are we supposed to panic? Should I be heading to the basement? Oh crap! There are no basements! I sit with my pretty red toenails under the dryer and continue to look at my fellow pedicurians for the slightest sign of worry. I don’t see it! But as the phones continue to alarm and the rain comes down harder and the wind is whipping the trees around, I decide to be my own woman and panic to the very best of my ability. To hell with my pretty, not-quite-yet-dry nails. The nice salon workers calmly check me out and tell me to have a nice afternoon.

A co-worker tells me that there was once a snake in her office. Um what? Did you say a snake? “Oh-my gosh! What did you do?” I ask horrified, thinking she must have called some special Texas dangerous reptile hotline.
“I caught it in the recycling bucket and took it outside,” she says.
Pardon me? You what?

I overhear another co-worker, a single young lady; telling about a coyote that was near her house and acting abnormally the previous evening. It was getting too close and didn’t seem at all scared of her, or her dogs. She couldn’t get it to go away. Again, I ask, “Oh my gosh! What did you do?”
“I shot it,” she says.
“You shot it?”
“Not to kill it. Just to scare it.”
Oh of course! Just to scare it.

See what I mean? Texans do not panic! I am pretty sure that even if a tornado were actually in sight, headed straight for her house, a Texan would just look calmly at her kids, tell them to climb in the bathtub for a few minutes, and to bring some snacks while they were at it.

Listen. I am from the North and I am not used to venomous creatures, tornadoes or shooting stuff. So be assured that in situations of which I am unsure, I will panic. Just to let you know, if the TV says there is a tornado warning, I will be in my closet with my bike helmet securely fastened.

And co-workers, if I miss work for a few days, you can assume that I have barricaded myself in my house because there is a rattlesnake in my yard and I am waiting for it to leave of it’s own volition.

But I’ll tell you what, if there is ever a zombie apocalypse, I want to be with the Texans. I’ll be running around freaking out yelling, “ZOMBIES!!!”
They’ll be like, “Yup.”
“Don’t panic.”
“Just climb in the bathtub for a few minutes.”
Then they’ll shoot the zombies and stuff ‘em in a recycling bucket.

If I ever do see a Texan panic, I’m throwing in the towel. It will mean the end of the world has truly come. No doubt about it.

My Village People

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I love the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In my experience this is so true. And my village has changed over the years as my children have grown. When they were little, my village consisted of that guy I stalked when I saw him out my window taking a walk in the rain with a little baby in a front carrier and umbrella over their head. Feeling lonely and trapped in my house with my own newborn, I grabbed my umbrella and baby and followed this guy to his house, knocked on his door and introduced myself, “Hi, I’m Trista. I noticed we have babies about the same age.” What I really meant was, “I’m so lonely and need some new parent friends!”

 

My parents have always been an important part of my village. At around the same time I was stalking strangers with babies, I was having a little meltdown one evening. My stepmom called to see how I was doing and I burst into tears, “Not very well.” She and my dad came over, STAT, with mashed potatoes that we ate right out of the pot.

 

I once called my mom in a panic after my 3-year-old son’s penis got stuck in the zipper of his footie pajamas. It was quite traumatic! She sent me flowers after telling the florist the whole story.

 

And the lady across the street who came over to tell me that she noticed my 2 year old, who I thought was napping, making a hole in his upstairs window screen. He later explained that his dinosaur was hungry and liked to eat screens. Well of course!

 

As my boys have grown into teenagers I have an expanded village. My friends and neighbors who give my wayward children rides to school when they miss the bus. The neighbors who have a spare key for when one of us is locked out of our house.

 

My sister-in-law who has raised a teenage son and who I go to with questions like, “Did he ever….? What did you do when…..?”

 

My nephew and his fiancé who take my boys to do all of the stuff I hate doing like going to the state fair and corn mazes. Just think of what my boys would have missed out on with out these two!

 

And so many more, the crossing guard, dojo sensei, aunts, uncles, cousins, coaches, tutors and teachers. I have learned that it’s okay to ask for help, and the occasional pot of mashed potatoes. I am so appreciative for my village people. I couldn’t do this parenting thing alone.

Quinoa???

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I just read “Surviving Whole Foods” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-maclean/surviving-whole-foods_b_3895583.html by Kelly MacLean and it’s very funny. The author describes entering the sliding doors of Whole Foods and being smacked in the face by moist air smelling of strawberries and orchids. When I get up get up enough courage to enter a Whole Foods store, I just smell the stench of my own fear. And I know the hemp-clad people inside can smell me for exactly what I am, a poser. That’s right a granola, sprouts, and quinoa poser! And, knowing me, I have probably forgotten my reusable, eco-friendly bags.

The author continues on her shopping trip, noticing a wall of kombucha, which she describes as rotten tea, which seems to have offended some of her Whole Foods readers. I guess I can’t offend anyone, because I have never even heard of kombucha. How can I shop somewhere where I can’t identify about 85% of the items?

Someone should invent a Whole Foods for Dummies store. It would have descriptions and easy recipes for each item. And when I say easy recipes I mean EASY. As soon as I see the words rinse, soak, sort or germinate, I’m out. In the Whole Foods for Dummies, every item would be ranked for ease of use by lentil ratings. A brown lentil rating would mean the food is okay for all Whole Food virgins. A green lentil rating would signal the moderately experienced shopper. A red lentil rating…well, let’s face it, I’ll never need to worry about the red lentil level of Whole Foods.

Back to School Awesomeness

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I bought a carrot cake tonight in anticipatory celebration of my boys completing a successful first week of school. And what exactly constitutes a successful first week of school. Well thanks for asking…

1. They got there every day. 

2. They had clothes on. And as far as I know, even clean socks and underwear. I know! Crazy right?

3. They even ate something before school. And I’m pretty sure they were totally healthy pop-tarts because I bought the ones without the frosting. 

So my point is, we pretty much rocked it out this week. Congrats to all of the other families who were back to school super stars like us!

 

Velcro Hugs

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I have been working with a student who is on the autism spectrum, on joining in activities and following the schedule in his classroom. Mostly I kind of make him mad as I try to use my bags of tricks to encourage/cajole/entice him to build some blocks with other children or sit with the class for snack time. I’ve only worked with him for a handful of weeks and even though I’ve tried to have fun and use humor with him, it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking. As I told him that today was my last day coming and that I have really enjoyed playing with him, he quickly said, without looking at me, “Don’t go.” Then he ran and gave me something that reminded me, not so much of a hug, but more like when people don Velcro suits and launch themselves to stick briefly to a Velcro wall. I felt pretty darn lucky to receive that Velcro hug today…

The Throw it at the Ceiling and See if it Sticks Method of Parenting

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Have you ever plucked a strand of spaghetti out of the boiling water and flung it at the ceiling to see if it would stick? I love to do that. And if it sticks then it’s done, or if it falls it’s done or if it sticks and then falls it’s done, or something like that. Well my parenting style is kind of like that. I just keep flinging my parental pearls of wisdom at my children and hope that some of them stick. For example:

1. One day, years ago, while driving my 3 year old to preschool, he suddenly pipes up from his car seat in the back to ask me how water turns to steam. My budding scientist! I start in on a long-winded explanation about molecules getting cold and moving slow and turning to a solid and then heating up and moving faster to form a liquid and heating up a lot and moving fast, turning to steam. I don’t know if this is actually a sound scientific explanation but I figured it was good enough for my 3 year old. Then silence from the back seat; crickets in fact. And then, “Mom, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

The spaghetti fell

 

2. My boys are fighting…again. “He said _____! He touched my ______! He looked at my _______!” I talk to them about what being brothers means and how lucky they are to have each other. How they need to treat each other nicely and how we don’t whack each other in this family, for the millionth time!

When they are 12 and 15, my older son has a group of friends over. One of them goes upstairs to play Xbox with my younger son. He comes back down awhile later and says to the big boys laughing, “I made your brother cry.” My older son looks at him briefly and says, “Not cool dude.” He stuck up for his brother, in front of his friends! Yes!

The spaghetti stuck

 

So, I guess I’ll just keep winging all of that stuff out there about kindness, compassion, safe sex, healthy eating, education, responsibility, blah, blah, blah, and just hope that some of it sticks!