Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is it June yet?

Let's just recap my May, shall we? on May 13, my older son got in trouble at school. He and 3 other boys were drawing on an outside metal door with wood chips. My son, like an idiot, wrote, "I love poop." Gotta love admitting something like that publicly. He was "sentenced" to cleaning it off with scrub brushes with the other 3 goobers. Thankfully, it all came off - I threatened him with having to sell off his own stuff to pay for the door if it needed to be replaced.

Later that same day, I went to pick up my younger son at my mom's house. She met me at the door in tears. TEARS. My mother doesn't cry - WHAT HAPPENED?? Yeah, so apparently, it was Vandalism Day for my family - the little one took a key and carved up her bench in her kitchen. Her custom, handmade, one of a kind, expensive cherry wood kinda bench. OH. My. GAWD.

Small sample of his handiwork...

Thankfully, she has a really good friend who is a master carpenter, and he promises to fix it. Phew!

So an hour later - YES, the same day - my mom, my boys, and I are all in her Yukon and headed to dinner together. She backed into my car.


See that puddle under my car? Those are tears - she made my car cry! My little Equinox isn't even a year old, and already in the shop as I type. UGH. She was so so close to losing it - I made her laugh instead.

Thankfully, that is all for that day.

On May 15, I fell down the stairs, landing on my bad knees and wrenching my bad shoulder. Nice.

On May 16, my mom found out she had a thickening in the wall of her heart, and the ultrasound tech scared the heck out of her (we days later find out it isn't as bad as he lead on, but that there's more testing to see what all is going on, thankfully!)

On May 21, my older son brought THE illness into the house. It was a lovely day of cleaning up after him.

And for the past week, my husband and I have been racing each other to the "comfy" bathroom.
I'd just dearly love for June to be here now.....I keep thinking, what else can happen? And then it does.

So yeah - my silence has reasons.....I know I need to get back to work here if I ever want to discipline my writing. HOPEFULLY.......

Monday, May 12, 2008

Should have been a boat race....

So, Mother's Day. Ahhh, yes - day of waking up late to partially-burnt pancakes made by sweet little boys helped by Daddy, yes?

Mmm, no....sounds nice, but uh.....nope....

Not for us, anyway!!! Last year, my mother and I decided to do the Y-Me Mother's Day Race. So we signed up again this year. Except, I wound up co-captain of our karate school's team. Which, then, meant I had to be in Grant Park at 6 am. Any Chicagoan in the crowd will know what kind of insanity THAT means.

Instead of waking up about, oh, say - 3 am, trying to get the little boys dressed, in the car, while pouring coffee into the BIG boy and getting HIM out of the house, then drive downtown (approximately an hour trip, EVEN that early - it's just nutty around here), find parking, THEN find the team tent??? All while the guys don't even need to be there till 7:30 am anyway?

No thanks, I'll pass.

Instead, we got a room at the Silversmith Hotel. We were about 4 blocks from where the race was being held, so PERFECT!!! We hit Chinatown for AWESOME Chinese food Saturday night, checked in, and hung out a little in our gorgeous suite (which incidentally was a KILLER steal of a deal due to Wabash being closed for construction right now - so all Chicago folks, hit and book yourself a suite there, and enjoy yourself!!!). This hotel is in our favorite style - Stickley, aka Mission style. So we adored the wood floors, the beautiful furniture, the little emblems on every room door. Just wonderful, and I hope to go back when not preparing for a race!!!

My plan was to wake up at 5:15 am (yes, the extra 15 minutes helps!), get dressed in my crazy Breast Cancer race wear, walk to the team tent to meet the other co-captain, have a nice toasty cup of coffee, and have fun greeting the rest of our 52 team members!

First hitch - I decided NOT to take my "pillow." I have a neck issue, and have one of those wacky wave-shaped pillows and it truly helps. Well, I figured, one night, right? How bad can it be? Well, try waking up pain.....and stiff.....lovely. Ok, I could deal - I do carry pain meds with me.

Second hitch - I brought the wrong jog bra. All the ladies out there will know what I mean - I brought the "comfier" yet "less supportive" one. Ooops! Well, ok, again - got pain meds, I can tough it out.

Third hitch - it's really, REALLY cold. And windy. And I didn't bring any kind of warm sweatshirt or fleece, just my water-proof windbreaker (more on this so-called "water-proof-ness" in a bit...). Let's just say I hoofed it fast along Michigan Avenue, which I've decided is the windiest street on Earth. Period.

But, voila, I do manage to find the race setup! Hooray! White tents and blue port-a-johns, the hallmark of a good race! Except the tents I found first weren't the team tents, and NO ONE there knew what in the world I was talking about. all work for Y-Me, yes??? I swear, if only they would just give these people MAPS.

So I walk on....and on.....and find the volunteer tent. They do, in fact, have a map. Bad news, however. Team tents are even further along. Who thought THIS one up?? I'm a participant, and I'm planning on running and/or walking a they assume I need a warm-up 2 hours prior to start? Do they think I need just a wee bit more training?? Hello, people! When someone is about to participate in a race, the LAST thing they want to do is walk any more than they have to. And then to top that off, the team name started with "Sup" and the tents are alphabetical. Lovely.

I get to our tent eventually (and about 10 minutes early, actually - yay me!), but there's no coffee. Not even people bringing said coffee to the tents, as they claimed they would be doing at precisely 6 am. I sit alone, in the gloomy pre-dawn of Grant Park, wind whipping through the sad little tent, and contemplate the warm bed I've left behind. I also wish for a warmer coat. And then it happens.

The sky opened. This wasn't just rain. This was torrential downpour. One minute, just windy and cold. The next, there are rivers in between the tents. And I think about how my co-captain, who is very punctual, is still not IN the tent. The poor thing came in soaked to the bone.

Now, we'd both been told to be there at 6, as the coffee was coming, and they refused to leave it without someone present. Fine, we'll do it for the coffee.

Except they LIED. The people bringing the coffee didn't show their darned faces till 6:45 am!!! Do they not REALIZE how badly a person NEEDS coffee at this time of the morning?

It was rough going, I'll tell you that much.

I did call my darling hubby and tell him to keep the kids indoors if the rain doesn't let up. Advice which he promptly ignored, sadly. But he got the kids about 10 steps outside the cab they took to the race site, and promptly called me to say, we're headed back. Um, I do believe I told you not to HEAD, let alone need to head back, yes? Oh well - he was the one who had to deal with the whiny little boys, not me. No, I was in bliss at that moment, happily drinking my coffee.

The rain did not let up for one second of the morning. It was fairly miserable outside, and yet I was completely amazed and horrified to see how many people still took their small, SMALL children outside in that weather! I'm not one to say someone shouldn't do something as a parent, but this was borderline. There was even a woman pushing an INFANT in a stroller - without any sort of rain cover. The baby was wailing....and still this woman walked. Sorry, that's just wrong, plain and simple. She'd be upset if her child got sick, yes? Well, do what you can to keep the baby out of harms way, darn it! There were altogether too many people with tiny tots out in that horrid weather, and it made me more than a little mad.

The other thing that was driving us crazy was umbrellas. Now, as a rule, I don't mind an umbrella. But when you are cramming thousands of people into a chute for the start of a race - shouldn't SOME person tell people to CLOSE THEIR UMBRELLAS??? HELLO!!! I got poked in the eye 4 times, and in the back of the head 5. People in large groups are essentially cattle, and need to be told how to behave, in my opinion. They should have made a rule about this. One woman had a rain poncho on that said "No Umbrellas!" I wanted to kiss her. And in all honesty, none of these umbrella toting people were even remotely dry. Their heads were nearly as wet as mine. What is the point? Unless they enjoy skewering the eyeballs of innocent fellow racegoers?? And the wind. Oh, good gravy! People kept getting shocked when their umbrella was turned inside out. Welcome to Chicago, oh bright one. So to make a long story short - if you're running/walking in an event with large numbers of people, and it's raining - leave the umbrella behind. Otherwise, people might take it from you and hit you with it.

My parents were the smartest of anyone there. They wore their horseback riding rain gear. Sure, they looked out of place. But they were warm and snug. There is a picture, but I'll have to steal it from my parents' house tomorrow. I promise, it will be worth the wait. There's also a picture of bedraggled us - ever so amusing, as well.

We made it MOST of the 3 miles - but when we got to the point where my hotel was closer than the porta-potties, I decided my knee (and my dad's) needed a shorter walk back.

All in all, quite the adventure. It was funny as all heck, though, and I got to go to Dim Sum after I took a hot shower. Then headed home and basically vegged out and slept all day, recuperating from the turmoil (and the feasting).

The best part of the day was seeing the buildings in Chicago either lit up pink the night before, or the ones who made designs in their windows - CNA had a big ribbon on all 4 sides, the diamond-shaped one (from Adventures in Babysitting, if you remember that one) had "Y-Me Race" and another had "Y-Me" spelled out. I was touched, and loved it!!! Nice to see the recognition!

That, and the fact that our team alone raised over $8,000 for the cause!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Kickin' For The Cure

Our karate school has a team headed to the Y-Me Mother's Day Race to Empower. We have 47 members - and have raised $5990!!!! We rock!!! Here is the team page!

On Saturday, we had a Kickin' for the Cure event - basically, a kick-a-thon, if you will. My husband participated, since I had already done a bunch of fundraising for my 5K, and he hadn't done any yet. For an hour, the 15 participants kicked, and then kicked, and then kicked some more. It was a ton of fun to watch and help out!!! My hubby came in at 805 kicks - not too shabby, considering he's the biggest guy there!!! YAY hubby!!!

The kid who won had something like 1200 kicks. EEEK! Yeah, I think my legs would have fallen off. Or else I would have been laying in the fetal position, begging for Godiva or a nice snort of vodka....

So onward we go, we team of pink!!! We have t-shirts that say "Real martial artists wear pink" and everything. Gotta love men wearing pink in support of boobs!!! And the owner of the dojo gave me a pink karate belt to wear when I run. Yes, I promise pictures!!!

Here's a pic of me when I walked the 3 Day 3 years ago:

A close-up of the "Co-Ed Naked Breast Exam" shirt I made:

And a close up of the skirt I made for the walk:

And our team last year for the karate school for the same Y-Me annual race:

My mom and I walked it last year alone. It was a wonderful mother's day sort of thing to do with Mom, she's way into fitness, and it was a gorgeous morning. This year, my dad and hubby and sons are tagging along, so it should be tons of fun - a lot less quiet, but still fun! And I'm the co-captain of the team, so I get to be there at 6 am to receive the coffee delivery - hmm, methinks there may not be enough coffee left after I am there.....

Here's to a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

(and link to my Y-Me race page)

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