Lindsay’s epic trip to Fargo

This year I picked up a side gig teaching AP Physics on the weekends. Once or twice a month I fly to some random city, teach physics for a few hours, then fly home. $500 and a night to myself is a good deal.

I am only allowed to book flights through a company approved travel agency, and only 30 days in advance. For fun, I often compare through expedia, and things usually match up ok. Because I work a regular day on Friday, I try not to book a flight before 5PM, so I dont have to ditch out on my real job. The first apparent options to get to Fargo were:

1 – leave at 4:30 PM, layover in Minneapolis, arrive in Fargo at 11:30

2 – leave at 6:30 PM, layover in Minneapolis, arrive in Fargo at 11:30.

Neither of these sounded optimal. I looked again for later flights, and found a direct from Denver at 8pm, arriving at 11pm. Out of the ‘preferred price range’ so I had to request approval. I guess I missed the email saying APPROVED, because I forgot to book the fight until the Monday before, when I was locked out and had to email and ask nicely to have them book the flight for me. Bad Juju from the start.

5:45PM – Long ass security line wrapping around baggage claim, but moving pretty quickly so I don’t panic.

6:30PM – Get to Gate 91 – the farthest reaches of the B gates – practically another universe, with plenty of time to grab a beer. Kinda ghetto down here. One little sandwich shop is my only food option. Dude in front of me in line and behind me in line both other Pastrami sandwiches and cole slaw, but one with provelone and one swiss. Dude 3 sitting at the little counter unwrapping his sandwich gets yelled at by the cashier as I’m trying to pay. She’s accusing him of taking an extra potato salad. He offers to return it, but its already opened. I pay, Dude in front of me has his sandwich called while dude behind me pays. Dude 3, Dude in Front, and Dude Behind have all ordered the same sandwich, and the first two have opened Dude 3’s sandwich, and he wants a new one. I get my little wrap walk away before the sandwich saga gets resolved…

7:30PM – Hang at the gate. just before boarding, a slightly drunk-looking frat-boy-esque guy with an ID on a lanyard and his tiny bubbly red haired female flight attendant board in front of everyone. Is he our Pilot? This should be fun.

8:00PM – I’m part of the last boarding group, so we’re stalled in the chilly hallway for a few minutes while an obese woman squeezes her way to the back of the very tiny plane (2seat, 1seat layout). Then the actual Pilot shows up, scoots past all the waiting passengers, and onto the plane. I find my seat, next to a normal looking woman, and shove all my shit under the seat because a lady in front of me goes 3-4 seats beyond her own, jams a very large bag into a very small overhead bin, and walks back. As people are still boarding, the lights turn off completely for about 10 seconds, then turn back on. Odd…

8:15PM – Lady next to me immediately makes a panicked phone call to her people in Fargo, worried about her horses. Then she continues to read her book, which she insists is hilarious and slaps my arm every minute or so because the hilarity must be shared.

8:30PM – More announcements, more lights flickering, more arm slapping. Fuck….

8:40PM – Pilot: “Well, it’s been 30minutes since the last person boarded, so you can get off the plane if you want and go wait in the terminal. Stay close, we’ll update you ASAP” I’m up and outta that motherfucker as quickly as possible, and score a primo outlet near the gate to charge my rapidly depleting phone.

8:50PM – Gate attendant: “Best case scenario, we find a part, fix the plane, and get going in about 90 minutes. We’ll also look for another plane” Everyone is being strangely pleasant and civil. North Dakotans… they’re like southern Canadians. I charge my phone sufficiently enough and offer my outlet to a hippy who smells like weed, and go to the bathroom to pee and change into comfy leggings.

9:30PM – Fake hopeful updates from the gate attendant: “45more minutes!” Bullshit. Like when Bode asks how much longer it takes to drive somewhere, and I keep saying ’10 more minutes’ because he just wants and answer and has no real concept of time. Everyone else is totally calm and civil. I can’t get over how weirdly nice and understanding all the passengers are.

9:45PM – I practice a google hangout with screen sharing to Matt. In the (increasingly likely) event my flight gets cancelled, I’ll be expected to teach remotely. Thankfully it works pretty well, so a backup plan is in place.

10:00PM – I’ve been sitting next to a friendly man since my pants change, and he keeps chatting. He is having no luck at solitare, and keeps updating me with the new corresponding arrival time every time they update us with a new estimated departure time. Suddenly! A man sprints up to a different gate that has been closed for about 5 minutes, and bangs on the door, yelling and swearing. He carries on for a bit before security takes him away. Some solid entertainment!

10:30PM – “45 more minutes!” says the gate attendants. “2:00AM arrival time” says my seat neighbor. The starbucks in front of me is closing, by putting trashbags over all the displays. Obese woman from earlier eagerly push-waddles her airport-issued wheelchair to the starbucks employees, asking for free pastries. They deny her. She sadly waddles away.

10:35PM – United has kindly been updating me via texts. So encouraging.

10:56PM – we are on the plane! Hopefully I don’t die!

2:00AM – we are here! I am in ND! Now to find and Uber that won’t murder me…

2:45AM. I make it to the hotel, which has an attached casino. 2 drunk guys are chatting as I check in. They’re talking about their girlfriends, who may or may not overlap in some way. My room is at the goddamn furthest reaches of the hotel. Since I’m already wearing jammies, I literally just take my contacts off and pass out.

6:45AM – Wake up! My supermom powers give me the ability to function perfectly on 3ish hours of sleep. Skip a shower. Shitty fake eggs for breakfast, chug coffee. I was going to walk the 1.5mi to the school, but it’s 1* out, so I Uber.

12:30PM – Teaching is fine. I’ve got a lady from the company that hires the consultants in my class auditing my lesson. Fuck it. Fire me. At this point I wouldn’t be too sad. The host school seems to have bought out half a Costco to feed the kids snacks – all sugary garbage so the kids are restless and insane by the end of the day.

2:30PM – There’s an earlier flight to Denver that’s been delayed in arriving to Fargo (probably the same plane from last night?) I sheepishly ask the gate attendant if I can get on the earlier flight. She is very friendly, taps a few keys and SAYS YES!! Karma is a thing!!! Earlier flight – and somehow I even get the coveted single seat!

I sleep through Good Will Hunting and awake upon decent into shitty icy rain/snow in Denver.

5:00PM – Trek about a mile from the gate to my car, which is covered in a solid 1/4” of ice. 10min of scraping and I can see well enough to drive. Arrive home to screaming children and grumpy dad. Living the life!

Teacher Stress Dream #371

Yesterday during dinner, a teenage boy rang the doorbell. I answered, and he asked to use the phone, indicating his was dead. I generally like teenagers. I trust them. But I’m not in teacher-mode, and was a little surprised to see this boy on my front porch. I hand him my phone, and hang on the porch for a moment while he makes his call. They apparently didn’t answer, and he hands the phone back to me. I tell him he could go wait at the park, and I’ll let his people know that’s where he is if they call back. I return to dinner, but immediately feel guilty for not inviting him in and feeding him and putting some damn sunscreen on his slightly-burnt face. I peek through the fence at the park, and see another adult interacting with him. He’s probably fine, I tell myself, but I felt guilty all night. Cue stress dreams:

Finals week, 2018.

Monday: a bunch of teachers and myself have to travel somewhere via airplane. It’s a weird fancy airplane, with like round tables and chairs in groups instead of rows. We board, and the plane gets insanely delayed, but we aren’t allowed to leave. We end up not traveling anywhere, but are stuck on the plane for about a day, and end up missing 1st and 2nd period finals on Tuesday.

Wednesday, we return to school for 3rd period finals. Students have already taken their test 1st and 2nd period, and the sub put them *somewhere* in my desk, but I can’t find them. (Dream desk is unusually large) My classroom is also a strange setup. 2/3 of the room has normal desks, but off to one side is my bed. I guess I live there? Most students are sitting in desks, but Derek Lebron has his assigned seat on the bed, completing his final as though this is totally normal.

Most students are finishing, and as they finish, they turn in their test and leave the classroom. (A most sensible procedure, I think). Derek, usually a quick test-taker, is one of the last to finish. He finally brings his test up to me, and has a panicky, sweaty look.

Me- What’s wrong bud? I’m sure you did fine!

Derek – *eyes wide, shakes his head a bit*

Me – dude, just turn it in you’re… what is this?

Derek –

Me – did you barf on the test? And my bed?

Derek – *nods*

Me – ok, let’s get you to the nurse.

I grab an empty yogurt bucket (regularly used as a barf bucket by my kids in real life) and hold it in front of his face as I lead him out of the classroom. We take two steps out of the door and Derek explodes in vomit. Like exorcist-style, bright green, so forceful that it pushes the bucket out of my hand and he’s just fire-hosing puke all over the walls, ceiling and me. He finally stops, and just looks at me with a very sad face, when other people finally show up to help.

They lead Derek away, partition off the hallway for cleanup, and detour everyone around the mess while they don haz-mat suits for decontamination. No one helps me clean myself up, and I can’t get to my classroom, three classes worth of finals I need to grade, or my barf-covered bed to wash the sheets. So I wander aimlessly around the school, covered in barf, and decide I’m just not going to grade these finals at all. I’ve been though enough.

Suzanne Mitchell helpfully offers some Romain lettuce. Thanks Suzanne.

I see Derek after school as he’s casually lacing up his shoes for track practice. “Feeling better, then?” I ask him.

“Ya, Miss. Thanks”

Let’s Go Hiking


Good ol’ Blog… it’s been too long!

** Completely ignores the fact that I haven’t posted in nearly a year…**

Whenever the weather is nice, I love to take the boys hiking or to the park after school. Give Tye another hour or so at home. The boys burn off of energy, and generally we arrive home right in time to start dinner. We’ve got a few favorite trails in Palmer Park, and the big playground is right there whenever we don’t feel like actually hiking.

I have to actively try to maintain a positive attitude with the boys, otherwise I’ll drown in the whining and just give up. Every invisible scrape results in a blood-curdling scream from Bode, while Tiger could roll down a cliff and pop up laughing. Tiger will occasionally decide the ground is lava and refuse to walk, so I’ve learned to bring the baby-backpack every time, rather than be stuck awkwardly carrying a 30lb monster toddler, while Bode practically sprints to the highest point he can reach.

Bode has been peeing on trees since he was 2. Pooping on trees is not something we practiced, or ever intend to do. But there’s a first time for everything. Five minutes into a hike, Tiger in the backpack and Bode scrambling up some giant rocks, he suddenly clamps his hands around his butt and announces,

B – “I have to go potty!”

Me – “Cool, just go pee on that tree.”

B – “No I have to poop!”

Me – “Oh. Well,  your choices are: you can poop in your pants, I can go get you a Tiger diaper to poop in, or yo can poop on that tree”

B – “Go get me a Tiger diaper”

Me- *See’s the urgency in his eyes* “I was kidding, the car is too far away”

B – “Then I’m just going to poop in my underwear”

Me – “No. Go poop under that tree”

B – “No! That’s disgusting. And those guys over there are watching!” *Points to shirtless stoners on a rock 100yards away who have no idea we exist*

Me – “Yep we’re doing it”

And using my drunk girl skills from college, I hold Bode’s hands while he squats and takes a smelly, runny shit on the ground, relatively protected from view by a large rock and a tree. Also, Tiger is in the backpack, with a tree in his face. Bode whines a bit about needing to wipe his butt, but ultimately we carry on and have an enjoyable hike. Mom status: pro.


Sleeping in weird beds.

Current bedroom setup:

Master – king bed

Boys room – Crib and Twin bed

Guest room – queen bed

Downstairs – Sectional couch

Plus – other couch and air mattress.

Room rough for approximately 10 people to sleep not on the floor

Tiger, surprisingly, is the most consistent at sleeping in his own bed – the crib. He naps all over the place (car seat, stroller, mom or dad, his favorite daycare ladies’ lap) but at night he’s in the crib at 7:30 with a bottle like clockwork.

Bode has been sleeping in the guest bed since we kicked him out of the crib when Tiger outgrew the pack n play. He had an airmattress in the room with Tiger for a while, but that was annoying, as it took up 50% of the available floor space. So he he slept in the ‘big bed’ in the guest room. We got him a twin bed adorned with paw patrol sheets when we were beginning to sleep train Tiger (aka let him scream his fucking head off for 15min) and didn’t want Bode to wake up, so he kept sleeping in the ‘big bed’. And he keeps sleeping there. It’s nice for reading books, but also dangerous because I tend to just fall asleep at like 8:42 after reading with him.

Mommy sleeps everywhere. Generally I intend to sleep in the master, but it doesn’t always happen. Book-coma-sleeping in the ‘big bed’ with Bode. Uncomfortably half-laying down with Tiger in the paw Patrol bed. On a couch. (Side note. I’ve had a rib out of place since May from the damn couch. Fuck getting old) I’m so tired all the time, but my mom-clock only allows for max 4 straight hours of sleep at a time. I switched beds 4 times the other night: starting from the couch, to Bodes bed, master bed, ending in Paw patrol. A personal record.

I fucking love naps. Bode and I are officially ‘nap buddies’ and read books and sleep in either the big bed or Master for nap time any chance we get. I will gladly take the 4:30am Tiger shift if it means I can justify a nap. I have also dragged a camping pad, blanket at pillow to school so I can occasionally sneak a nap during my planning period at school. It’ll be hilarious the day someone barges into my classroom to find me curled up behind my desk 😴

When everyone is friends with everyone

Let me update you:
Bode is 3&1/2. Tiger just turned 1

The boys have really started interacting, almost playing together when Tiger started walking a couple months ago. Since then they fight, argue, and scream at each other 5 times as much as they play nicely, but that ratio is slowly shifting. 

Instead of flat out pushing him over, Bode will run up and ‘tickle’ Tiger… and then push him over. “It’s an accident!” he’ll claim, looking to see if he is in trouble before checking to see if Tiger is ok. With a big squishy diaper and tummy, Tiger is usually fine, if not pissed that he can’t quite retaliate. I’ve started consciously not negotiating for them. As long as no one is is hurt (and they’re not wrestling at the top of the stairs) I try to let them figure it out. For now everyone ends up screaming, but that’s a solution I guess. 

A convenient new interaction is being able to reach each other well enough in the car to hand snacks and things to each other. While I can’t give Tiger a whole bag of cereal in the car, I can give one to Bode and have him hand a few pieces at a time to his brother. With this ability to share also comes the ability to steal shit from each other. Blankets, cars, snacks, balls, a broom, mom and dad attention, anything the one boy has the other wants. “I had it first” Bode will claim. “Aaaghhh” yells Tiger, gesticulating wildly. Bode will switch quickly to “I wanted it first”. Temper tantrums abound. Usually the toy or whatever ends up in time out, and everyone is screaming. I’m constantly switching between conflicting solutions of throw all the toys away and buy two of all the toys. I fully acknowledge that neither of these ideas will actually solve anything. 

How do people with more than 2 kids keep everyone from killing each other?

The Impenetrable Fortress

Jungle baby doesn’t need clothes. 

If my posting frequency (or lack thereof) isn’t indicative enough, life has been pretty busy. The baby got mobile, and holy shit BabyProofing2.0 has taken some trial and error. 

In an effort to save what is left of my sanity, I have slowly baby-proofed the main level of the house, where we spend most of out time, so I can take my eyes off the baby for like 5-seconds. There are now a series of FIVE gates securing the middle level of the house. In order of appearance:

  1. The Downstairs Gate. This one was actually necessary pre-crawling, as it prevented the walker-loving Tiger (affectionally nicknamed BabyZilla, and BabyDozer) from toppling down the stairs. We had this gate left over from Bode’s pre-stairs days, and set it up. This round, however, we had to change the functionality a bit to block only the baby, and not the 3yo, and just hope the baby didn’t figure out how to open the thing too soon from watching his brother. It is a rigid, semi-broken, free standing wooden and metal fence, and its attached to the railing separating the middle floor dining area from the lower level living room. It is cleverly tied to said railing using a lanyard and a broken usb cable (in the Bode days, an old dog collar did the job). It gets pushed aside as if on a hinge, that is if you don’t want to just step over it. Tiger hasn’t yet figure out how to pull it open, but he makes a fucking bee-line for the gap if one is available, and I’ve had to reach over the fence more than once to snag him by the ankle as he tried to sneak head-first down the stairs. 
  2. The Upstairs Gate. The need arose when Tiger learned he could crawl up the stairs in the middle of a tutoring session, and in between math problems I was snatching a giant baby and putting him on the other side of the room, repeat times a million. Going up the stairs isn’t the problem.  It’s when he’s at a mid-way point and looks behind himself to get he scope of his accomplishment, that his giant-baby-head and gravity take over. (Exhibited by Bode a few years ago) As soon as my student left, I tried to re-use the other gate we had here when Bode was little, but it was missing a crucial piece. I attempted to replace the missing part with some random hardware and duct tape, but the stairway was too wide to begin with, so this ghetto-rigged tension-fit gate just wasn’t going to work. Next, I tried to re-use another old gate that we had gotten off Amazon a few months ago, but couldn’t figure out how to install. This thing was like a horizontal, retractable screen door, and required some hardware to be mounted to the wall. For the most part, we have improved our house more than damaged it, so I’m always careful about doing anything that requires drilling holes in the wall. I read the motherfucking directions multiple times, which are confusing anyway, but more so because they differ based on if you want to mount the thing inside or outside of a doorway, and if you want the gate to open to the right or left. I measured repeatedly, drilling the correct sized holes in the correct spots, but the goddam screws wouldn’t go in their stupid little holes in the stupid little plastic thingies to hold the gate. I swore even more than I am in writing this, and in a fit of failure and frustration, left a giant mess of screws and drills and drywall all over the floor, and dragged the kids to Walmart. I bought a cheapo, tension fit gate for the stairs, as well as…
  3. (and 4) Two gates for the kitchen. This has been my dream for a few months. I made a mom-fortress out of the kitchen. ​

    ​ After tripping over a dog for the thousandth time, getting rammed in the ankle by baby-zilla in the walker, or more recently climbed by the baby while I’m handling a sharp knife, I had a grand plan to block off the two entrances to the L-shaped kitchen, and frolic alone and unhindered in my mom-cage. This was relatively simple to set up: Two eye-screws on either side of of the gap, and the expandable gate fit right in! The eye-screws act like hinges, and the gates swing out of the way when not in use. The only down side is the screws stick out of the sides of the cabinet just waiting to catch an eye. I’ve got a couple wicked bruises on my thigh from ramming into it myself, so I bought a pool noodle to cover all but the little circle for the gate to hook into. Problem solved!

  4. (5. actually) The Back-Porch Baby Cage. The finishing touch on the baby fortress! This gate was generously donated to us by a neighbor when they saw that we had a baby and thoughtfully knocked on our door with this gate in hand. It originally lived in the front room to protect Bode from the dogs when he was tiny (and I was a naive first time mom thinking he needed protection from the dogs…) and also spent a christmas season keeping the tree and ornaments in tact. For the last couple years, its been collecting bugs and dirt and other gunk as it sat un-used in the backyard. I finally rescued it, power-hosed it off, and set it up on the back porch so I can leave the door open and Tiger can have some freedom to be safely outside by himself. It’s a bit of an inconvenience for adults, who have to climb over it to reach the yard, but it’s a sacrifice I’m happy to make. I am, however, totally fucked when Tiger inevitably figures out how to use the dog-door…

My best friend is a 3 year old. 

If the definition of a best friend contains 10/12 of the following criteria, then mine is Bode. 

1 – you spend all your time with them

2 – they sleep over at your house practically every night

3 – all of your family members like them more than they like you

4 – you like all the same things: parks, playing outside, bikes, jumping off big rocks, swimming, dance parties, chicken nuggets

5 – you like all the same foods: chicken nuggets, pizza, ice cream, twizzlers, cookies, chocolate

6 – you spend equal amount of time talking about deep life things as you do arguing 

7 – you have equal input about each others’ daily outfits

8 – you have inside jokes about everything that only you two understand (Who? Sally! Who? RUDE!) 

9 – you’re both totally cool just chilling in the bathroom, offering support, while the other does their business. 

10 – you’ve seen each other barf

11 – you enjoy the same movies. Bonus points if you can both tolerate watching the same one movie on repeat for infinity. 

12 – you seriously, deep down, love each other, no matter how mad you get at each other, or who accidentally smashes the other in the head with a book, or who puts who in timeout. 

Score: 12/12 

Bode is totally my best friend. 💕💕

Mommy broke the closet door. 

Some days I have my shit together. Today is not one of those days. 

We’re finishing up our first real week of summer vacation. Already I feel like my SuperMom powers are draining. Tye is training for his new job, which requires him to spend Mon-Weds in Denver for the first three weeks in June. 

I got this. 

I hard core got this for exactly three days. Me and the boys have figured out a pretty good routine for our days. We play outside. We (I) run 5miles every other day. We have snacks and meals like civilized humans. We keep the house and ourselves pretty clean. We go to the pool, and the grocery store, and have had only one minor (justifiable!) Target binge. We all get along great and everyone’s sanity is well in tact. 

I’ve noticed though, that as soon as there are two parents around, everyone goes berserk. Bode is relatively well behaved and quite amicable when it’s just one parent. With Mom and Dad both around though, he fucking loses his shit. Anything and everything can cause a full blown tantrum. The screaming, whining, inconsolable 3 year old kind of tantrum, and I just can’t stand it. Kid, there are literally five thousand toys laying on he floor all around you. I don’t understand why you’re having a possessive meltdown over the fucking piece of string Tiger is happily playing with. 

Some days the boys are both perfect angels. And some days, they both become suicidal mad men, and I’m exhausted by 1PM having spent the entire morning preventing everyone from killing themselves. It’s not even 1:30. Here are all the ways I’ve saved lives today. 

  • Pulling a million different choke-on-able things out of Tiger’s mouth, including mulch, legos, bouncy balls, chalk, pretzels, rocks, unidentifiable pieces of plastic, saliva soaked wads of paper. 
  • Taking away a pair of rusty snippers from Bode. 
  • Pulling Bode back from running into the street getting into/out of the car (x3). 
  • Shooing the dog away from both boys before they react instinctively and bite a child’s face after having their tail/ears/eyelids pulled repeatedly. 
  • Pulling Tiger away from three separate electrical outlets, that are currently occuppied by some appliance, otherwise I’d be happy to use those little plastic baby safety things in them. 
  • Keeping everyone from drowning at the pool. 
  • Keeping everyone from drowning in the toilet. 
  • Grabbing Tiger literally by the ankle as he makes his way headfirst down the stairs. 

This is how I broke the closet door – diving for the baby who has known how to crawl for about a week and is now infinitely fast and completely unstoppable. Bode was super upset about the door (which has been broken for the entire time we’ve lived in this house and only got fixed when the carpet was replaced a few weeks ago) and cried, insisting we call dada immediately to tell him the door was broken. Then he proceeded to ‘fix’ it by banging it repeatedly with his plastic hammer. Not to mention ‘fixing’ everything else within reach with his hammer as I tried to get everyone dressed and ready to go to the pool. 

My house is a fucking wreck. There are clothes and shoes and toys everywhere, a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink, and limited food in the fridge.  And the dogs haven’t yet been taken for a walk today. I have no intention of doing anything about any of this until… later. 

First, we nap. 

Fox Run Park

Poor Bode. Unable to smile cute on purpose, just like mom…

To benefit both boys and myself, I made a tentative daily summer schedule. Every morning, we are going to get out of the house and do something fun outside. I spent some time researching all the hiking and running trails nearby, and have plans to visit all of them, in the hopes of getting out of my running slump. 

I hurt my back a month ago sleeping on the couch because I’m that old and despite a few different chiropractor visits, it’s still tweaked. Then I got pink eye and a nasty cold simultaneously. Long story short, I’ve been running way less than I’d like, eating way more than I should, and I’ve gained 5lbs in the past month. A change of scenery is my only hope for getting back on track. 

I finally mustered up the strength to get out of the house for a stroller adventure to the Sante Fe trail up by the Air Force Academy earlier this week. I used to run this trail semi-frequently when we lived in an apartment off North Gate, but hadn’t tried it with a stroller – single or double. I went out only intending to walk, to get a feel for how the stroller would do on the dirt path. About a mile out and back was pleasant, and maneuving turns was actually easier with a bit of loose dirt under the tires, compared to having to put my entire body weight on the push bar to tilt the whole thing onto the back tires to navigate sharp turns on clean pavement. Bode gets antsy when I walk instead of run, and likes to get out of the stroller and walk with me. I encourage him (repeatedly) to walk next to me, instead of in front of the stroller, so I don’t run into him. But he’s 3 and a spaz and male, so he doesn’t listen very well, and I do run into him, and he cries and gets in and out of the stroller a million times. All the starting and stopping annoys Tiger, who will scream and demand to be carried. So I often find myself pushing a huge, empty stroller, while carrying a 20+lb monster baby and trying not to run over spaz-boy walking zig zag all over. 

See the Bode-speck in the distance?

I make plans to try Sante Fe trail again, this time running, foolishly thinking it will be easier than Homestead, since there are more straight-aways and the easier turning thing. I figure also, after the run we can go play at Fox Run Park and have a picnic. (Try explaining this to a 3yo – we’re going for a run at one place, then getting in the car and going to a second place to play at the park) My fucking cold that won’t go away and ribs that won’t stay in place make things miserable, and for some reason neither my watch nor my phone will record distance (special gps-blocking Air Force technology?…) so I have no idea what my pace or distance was for sure, but I’m going to assume it was a slow and miserable 5ish miles. The dirt trail was less compacted the farther I got, and any benefit of easy turning was completely negated by pushing the big mofo stroller up loose sandy hills. At one point, while switching sides trying to find the sturdier part of the path, some douche kid on a bike comes flying past me on the narrower shoulder, nearly smashing into us. I know I take up a lot of space on the trail, but the unspoken rule says that bikes yield to pedestrians, and everyone gives lady-struggling-with-stroller-in-loose-gravel a fucking break!

We survive, pack up, and travel on to Fox Run Park. There’s a playground surrounded by nice green grass and a few trees, with a ton of kids running everywhere. I push Tiger in a swing while Bode plays on the playground. He’s generally within my sight, and probably within shouting distance, but I don’t have to be right beside him while he plays. I’m fascinated watching how he interacts with the other kids. He’ll sorta do his own thing, and he knows how to take turns and wait if there is another kid on the thing he wants to play on. 

At one point, he’s waiting to go down a slide, when a girl and boy cut in front of him. Of course I could intervene, but I want to see if they can work this out on their own. I hear him tell the girl he was next, but she and her brother go down the slide together in front of him. Bode sits, ready for his turn, but the girl and her brother post up at the bottom of the slide, taunting Bode and preventing him from going down. I half expected him to slide anyway, and plow into the little jerks (that’s what I would’ve done) but instead he sits patiently at the top and yells at them to move, hurling kid-insults at them, but smiling as if it’s a game. Finally the other kids’ mom comes along and drags them out of the way, so Bode can have his turn. I call him over to me after this and tell him how proud I am of his good manners and how nice he was to wait his turn even when the other kids were being mean. He shrugged it off and went to play some more. Obviously it wasn’t a big deal to him. 

How did my kid turn out so nice? Thank-you daycare for teaching him how to socialize properly!


Easily the best one yet. 

My brother Matt and I have run the BolderBOULDER almost every year for the past 6 or 7 years. I took a couple years off – once when I had Bode a couple days before the race, and last year when I was pregnant  so my sister Paige ran with Matt, though Bode and I still wore costumes

It’s always my secret goal to run the whole thing under 60min. This requires an avg pace of under 10min per mile, which I am totally capable of. However, the fun of the BB lies not in the pure running. The race weaves through some neighborhoods of downtown Boulder, and its tradition for many of the houses to put out slip n slides, throw bacon and marshmallows at runners, and some of the college houses even hand out beer. As proper race participants, Matt and I make a point to partake in as many of the extra festivities as possible. This certainly makes the whole thing much more fun, but also takes an obvious toll on our overall pace. I have yet to break 60min, reaching a tantalizingly close 62 or 63 min most years. 

This year was by far the best I’ve felt running, despite suffering with a nasty case of pink eye as well as a summer cold  (thanks Bode 😖). In addition to proper training (pushing a double stroller 6+ miles) a few things also came together to make BB2K17 especially pleasant. 

  • A comfortable costume. There’s a delicate balance for putting together a costume that is recognizable as well as run-in-able. Ghostbusters’ Slimer was terribly uncomfortable a few years ago, but we got in the newspaper, so it was worth it I guess. One year we wore Legends of the Hidden Temple gear. Pretty comfortable, but maybe 4 or 5 people (shout out 90s kids!!) recognized us. This year, as Buzz and Jesse, I was super comfy, and although I was called ‘Woody’ a lot, it was still fun. 
  • Beautiful weather. Everyone knows how unpredictable Colorado weather can be. Boulder had a foot of snow in May this year. Luckily, the weather on Memorial Day was quite pleasant – sunny, not too hot, perfect for running. Matt got a little hot during miles 2-3, but a dunk in the pool was a good fix, despite soggy shoes for the rest of the race. 
  • A scared-shitless deer in the first neighborhood. A BB first for sure! Around Mile 1, in the middle of a neighborhood, a deer is in total panic mode as it darts between bushes trying to cross the street. I’ve encountered plenty of deer in relatively close proximity while running, but this thing was huge, and totally freaking out. Everyone tried to leave it alone and just keep running, but there were so many people! We hoped out loud that a race official would take care of things and just kept moving. 
  • 2 Slip’n’Slides, 1 beer. While I would love to achieve my goal of sub60, I refuse to sacrifice all the fun parts of the race to do it. The slip’n’slides are the best part, and the beer always sounds like a good idea, but drinking them mid run is admittedly horrible. For the first time ever, I burp-barfed a little bit, and had a shitty acidy taste mouth for a while. 
  • Something new (a pool!!) This was awesome!! I swear there were people cheering us on to jump in… so we did! They might have been joking, because they seemed surprised that we actually did it, and were quite insistent that we use the ladder to exit.  

    I’ve been feeling pretty shitty the past couple days post-race, but I blame that on the pink eye and cold I’ve been suffering through. I’ve got some big plans for scoping out some running trails this summer. While it’s fun and nice to run just for running, having a goal in mind (a pace, distance, race, or anything) is important for staying motivated. I’m looking to find another race to sign up for at the end of the summer. Any suggestions?