Will You Help Push Me Off A Building, Please?

Have I ever told you about my fear of heights? It’s not so bad it keeps me from flying, but it’s definitely popped up as an embarrassing quality several other times in my adult life. I say “adult” because as a kid? Not a problem. But I’ve grown wussier with age.

  • The summer after Wes was born we went to Knoxville to help my Mom move. My went downtown with my Dad and brother and ended up going up into the http://worldsfairpark.org/worlds-fair-sunsphere.html. My Dad was carrying Nikki at the time, I had Wes in my arms. He kept walking around by the windows and it was freaking me out. What if he dropped her? I stayed as close to center as I could and looked at a distance. My Dad laughed a bit, not to be mean, but because he remembered the crazy girl who rode the scariest roller coasters without holding on.
  • We were at a water part with E several years ago and as we were walking UP the stairs to the slides, I had a meltdown and had to turn around and go back down – something they really frown upon.
  • We went to Disney World in 2010 and I only rode three roller coasters. 1) The Rockin’ Roller Coaster because that was the only one E wanted to ride and I almost cried while it was going on. 2) I rode Everest because no one else would go with Donnie but I did the entire ride with my eyes closed, and hated every second of it. 3) Donnie convinced me to ride Space Mountain – promising me I wouldn’t have to close my eyes because it was dark the whole time. I did okay. I probably won’t do any of them every again.

Obiviously…none of this is debilitating in a practical sense. I just don’t enjoy a lot of things I should enjoy because I’m too scared. So, when Rocket City Mom asked me if I wanted to jump off a building for a fundraiser I said, “No.” Because I am terrified of heights.

BUT…then E was really bummed. “You should do it! That would be awesome!” And then I found out it was a fundraiser for our local YMCA which is really supportive of healthy efforts in our community, especially offering services at no charge to low-income families. And THEN…I found out I’d be jumping off one of my favorite buildings in the world: the old Huntsville Times Building. I have always had a very special affinity for this building, and have photographed it on many occasions. If you can love a building? I love this building.

And finally? I thought of the same motivational concept that I use to push me to do things like…sign up for boot camp for a year; or run races that require you crawl under barbed wire; or crazy 25K trail races with the word “MADNESS” in the title; or train for trail marathons in another state; or…you get the picture. The thing those motivates me in those “Should I, or shouldn’t I?” moments is the idea that very few times in life do we regret the things we chose to do. Most of the times we regret what we chose not to do.

In other words? I want to jump off a building. And I need your help to do it. If we can raise $1,500 for our local YMCA then I get to jump off this building. And I’m going to be completely honest with you…there’s a VERY large part of me that doesn’t want us to do it. I mean, I’ll have still made E proud by trying to do it, and I won’t regret not doing it because I tried…but I won’t actually have to face my fears of heights because, oh, too bad, we didn’t raise the money.

But the other part of me? WANTS TO JUMP OFF THIS DAMN BUILDING. When I called my brother and told him he said, “Wait. Aren’t you really scared of heights.” YES! That’s the beauty of it. It is sandwiched wonderfully into this year that Kim Learns To Be Awesome In Every Way Possible. Guys…I think I kinda have to do this. We have to raise the money! The main problem? We have almost no time to do it. I am trying to come up with ideas but I’m really struggling. I thought about filming a video every day we raise more than $100. You know…like me re-hashing my most embarrassing moments on film to put on YouTube for the interwebs to mock. Just to go along with the, “Things Kim Doesn’t Want To Do” theme of it all. I thought about coming up with other challenges. Like…if you donate, leave a comment telling me what you want me to do and as long as it’s not dangerous or cost-prohibitive, I’ll do it by drawing the lucky winner every day. But I don’t know? Do these ideas suck?

So…I need your help.

#1 – DONATE. Please! Everyone who donates today will be part of whatever I decide to do, but your entry will count TWICE. So, if it’s a drawing (I have a few goodies to give away) I’ll include you’re name twice if you donate today. If it’s a “Give Me Something Embarrassing To Do” contest I’ll let you submit TWO things. Whatever I decide, you’ll get bonus points this first day. Just make sure you leave a good email in the donations process that I can use to contact you!

#2 – Give me ideas! I need help! If you can’t donate, what would be a good motivator if you could? I don’t have a lot of money to spend on giveaways, so free ideas are the best. Should I offer to dye my hair blue? Pierce my nose? Something crazy major if we reach the goal? HELP ME. I am too scared about winning to come up with effective ideas!

Thanks, guys. Several years ago you all helped me raise $3500 for LLS in my Dad’s name. I’d love if you would help me again. In any way possible.

LET’S DO THIS THING.

(Now…if you need me, I’ll be huddling in the corner shaking with anxiety because OH MY GOD. WHAT IF WE DO THIS THING?)

The Most Passive Aggressive Entry In All Of Blogdome

You’re missing Saturday’s game? But you’ve missed, like, the last three games!

Um. No, I’ve missed two games. One because it started at 7pm and we have a 3-year old who goes to bed at 7:30, and one game because I had a social event that I took the 3-year old to since you guys had a game.

– Real conversation heard in my house this morning. You know, because Moms don’t feel crappy enough about missing their kid’s events, right?

************

Because of this, I’ve decided that some people in my family may have a bit of a distorted view of what I do for our family. It seems that maybe when I have to miss the periodic event (which is VERY RARE) some people like to A) Distort that fact like it happens often and B) Make me feel like crap just in case I don’t feel bad enough already. So, I’ve decided to catalog all of my awesomeness so that if anyone randomly decides to make a snarky comment to make me feel guilty again, I’ll have a convenient permalink to send them that basically says, “SERIOUSLY?!?!” Because this is all stuff I manage to do on top of working 30 hours a week and training for a marathon. And doing boot camp at least 3 mornings a week. AND being super-active in my kid’s theatre program. So…you know…if they want to make me feel shitty about something I already feel shitty about, they can take time to read this (if they know how to read, even the non-readers in my family like to often lay on guilt trips) instead! Because, when it all comes down to it, the person in the family who does the most for the family? IS ME. So if anyone has anything to say about me periodically not being able to do EVERYTHING…please remember I still do THE MOST THINGS.

Not that I’m counting, of course. At least I wasn’t until someone decided to make me feel bad about missing an event. Now, I’m sure as hell keeping track.

  • I take care of dinner every night. EVERY NIGHT. Now, once every two weeks or so that is me handing cash to D so he and Nikki can buy dinner at the ballfield, but most of the times I’m cooking dinner even though I’ve got obligations at night. FOR EXAMPLE: On Wednesday D had to pick up the kids from school because I was basically going straight from work to run trails and then straight from that to book club. I was NOT EVEN GOING TO BE HOME – Yet…YET…I put salsa chicken in the crockpot so they could make easy chicken/cheese/tortilla roll-ups for dinner. And then last night? I came home from work at 3:30 and still managed to get a good and healthy dinner cooked by 5:15 (Turkey tenderloin, steamed squash, brown rice, beans) just in time for me to LEAVE and not even EAT ANY OF IT because E had a show last night. So, even on the nights when I’m not eating the food…I’m cooking.
  • I take care of all of the laundry. I wash it, fold it, and put it up. Everyone’s but E’s. I wash his but he puts his up.
  • I mowed the grass this past Thursday right after work. WHY? Because D had Friday off and I didn’t want him to have to ruin a personal day by having to mow the grass.
  • I bagged 200+ cake poppers for E’s Dessert Theatre and about 100 Oreo Truffles. PLUS, I worked at both shows.
  • I find time every weekend to do at least one “fun” outing with the kids. This weekend? Panoply! (The art festival here in town.)
  • I do most of the dishes. Now, on the nights I’m not at home, 4 times out of 5 D cleans up the dinner dishes. But 95 times out of 100, I’m the one that puts them up. Whether it’s after the dishwasher runs or after they dry on the counter. I’m putting them up.
  • I do all of the grocery shopping. ALL of it. When I’m making a stop for groceries I touch base with everyone at least once a week to make sure they don’t need anything I don’t know about. Hell, I even check in with D if I’m just going to Fleet Feet or Dick’s because I know he sometimes needs stuff at those stores.
  • I do all of the general cleaning. Our house is not spotless by any means. Not even close. HOWEVER, when it comes to picking up and cleaning the general debris left out every day? ALL ME.
  • I am the “manager” basically for D’s softball team. I remind everyone of the schedules and organize snacks. I pick up uniforms. I deal with the coordinator for scheduling practices. I answer questions from the parents and I organize our team outings.

To do all of this I’m up by 4am every weekday, and many weekends. Some nights (like last night) I’m up until 10 or 11. So, if I have to miss the periodic ball game for something that is on the schedule for me every Saturday? I’m sorry. Trust me, I feel really crappy about it. I don’t need anyone else to make me feel shitter.

NOW. To end things on a non-bitchy/passive-agressive note:

Wes has been INSISTING on brushing his own hair every morning. AND IT’S AWESOME.

I Can’t Decide If My Kids Are Stupid Or Lazy. Or Both.

Lately I have found myself keeping track of the ridiculous scenes I discover in my house that indicate that one of my children is either (A) REALLY STUPID or (B) REALLY LAZY and I can’t decide which I’d rather it be. All three of my children are old enough and capable enough NOT to do these things so maybe it’s just ONE of the three who is guilty, but based on my knowledge of my children and their habits? I’m leaning more towards them ALL being guilty for different variations of these situations.

  • Hand towels on the floor. Now, this is not a “fell off the bar” situation because it’s never the hand towel from the bar. They actually get a hand towel out from under the sink to do – who knows what – and then throw it on the floor. Maybe because there’s already a towel on the bar? (Why didn’t they use THAT one?)
  • Pee spot simply covered with paper towels, not actually dried. We have a VERY old dog who is having accidents more and more lately. One of the kids is finding these accidents and just folding up paper towels and gently placing it over the pee spot. Obviously to avoid “touching” the pee. But the towels are not pushed down on to the pee spot so no soaking actually occurs. Basically, they’ve just placed an indicator there for me so that I can clean it up the right way. Thanks, kid.
  • Cups in the sink. I understand that no one in the family feels like washing off a dirty plate and put it in the dishwasher. I hate it, but I understand it. But the cups? They don’t require rinsing. It takes exactly the same amount of effort to place it in the sink as it does to place it in the dishwasher. The only “extra” energy you have to excerpt is to open the dishwasher. That’s it. Evidently, that’s the limit though. That pushes them over the edge.
  • DVDs sitting on top of their cases. Really, kids? I know you’re dexterous enough to get the DVD out, put it in the players, and then remove it when you want to watch another one. It only takes one tiny little extra bit of energy to put it back in the case.
  • Dirty clothes next to the hamper. This is probably due to bad aim from throwing it across the room. But you’d think eventually they’d realize they have bad aim and just stop trying to hit it from across the room already. Some of the kid’s rooms have a trail of clothes leading from the dresser to the hamper. Like some sort of weird, invisible, Grand Prize Game from The Bozo Show or something.
  • Passing the recycling bin to put recycling by the sink in the kitchen. Now, in general, we gather recycling from the kitchen next to the sink and then I put it in the bins in the laundry room. This is for when I’m creating the waste while cooking or cleaning the kitchen. Other people create the waste upstairs, or in their rooms, and are carrying the recycling past the laundry room (where the bins are) and putting it next to the sink. Like that location is some sort of mandatory checkpoint for recycling. (And for the record – there is a certain adult in this house who is NOT ME who is just as bad about this.)
  • Garbage not quite all the way in the garbage can. Sweetie will eat anything sticking out of the garbage can. This is how she’s been for eight years. I’ve screamed about this for eight years. Yet still, people throw things away and don’t just simply push the item to make sure it’s all the way in so the can will close. Nope, ice cream wrappers hanging out. Napkins with food on them. Bags of chips. All of which ends up in little pieces all over my house.

Please tell me these things happen in your home too. Or at least variations of them.

And before you tell me, “Make them fix it!” I do. I do all the time. Which is why I’m leaning towards “stupid” more than “lazy”. They know I’m going to make them “fix” the situation at some point, yet they do it anyway. So, obviously they’re mental faculties are limited.

Or their laziness us SUCH a strong force that it impairs their cognitive reasoning. But then we’re dealing with lazy AND stupid. That’s much harder to treat.

Why I’ll Need 14 Boxes of Tissues During Tonight’s “Glee”

I read what Chris wrote at AlphaMom last week and nearly lost my shit. Yvonne is counting down the days left with her son at home. And every time she writes about it I lose it. LOSE IT.

I’ve entered that same phase and I have a year to go. Ever since the theatre/dance department announced next year’s musical (West Side Story) I’ve been a volcano of “Last Time” sobs. That will be E’s last musical! Because next year he will be a senior and I will die.

Then End.

And to make matters worse…my favorite tv show, Glee (I know! You think it sucks! I know it kinda sucks sometimes! But I still love it.) is sending off some of my favorite characters in graduation this year. And the preview for tonight’s episode has Burt, Kurt’s dad, getting emotional about not being ready for his son to leave. His son who he spent many years alone with being a single parent. DO YOU SEE THE CONNECTION?

Every time I watch that damn commercial I cry my eyes out.

Not only that…but tonight’s episode is the Whitney Houston tribute. I didn’t grow up very culturally aware. We didn’t watch a lot of TV, I didn’t buy a lot of music, and we didn’t see a lot of movies. I didn’t have any teen magazines with NKOTB pictures on my wall. There were a few things that were big in my life for various reasons. Dirty Dancing because – for years – that was the token slumber party movie. Ghost Busters because there was a VHS tape of it at the hospital where my Dad worked that they used to test the VCRs they were repairing. And the Whitney Houston album: Whitney Houston which my Dad had a copy of on cassette. I knew every word to “How Will I Know” and “Greatest Love Of All”. My Dad loved that cassette. Something he loses every right to argue in death, no matter how embarrassing he would find that I was proclaiming that to the world.

So…kids who sing and dance on stage in a graduation episode featuring the music that reminds me of my Dad. DO YOU SEE WHAT THIS IS A RECIPE FOR? Me…sobbing my eyes out for the entire hour. Hell, I was listening to Kurt singing I Have Nothing this weekend and couldn’t even finish it. I was choking up, looking for tissues, all while my husband shook his head in confusion obviously thinking: This is going to be a long year.

Because it is. Remember how that first year after Dad died everything reminded me of him and I wrote about missing him all the time? Well…multiply that by 14 thousand and this upcoming year is basically going to be 15 million blog entries about how E is graduating and I’m going to die of a broken heart when he leaves. Or maybe something a little less dramatic.

So…bring on the Glee graduation-centered episodes with the tearful goodbyes from the parents. It’s a good way to kick of the next year. You are more than welcome to take a break from this blog for a year. At least until May 24th, 2013 at 5:30. That’s when he graduates. I HAD TO WRITE IT ON MY CALENDAR ALREADY. After that point the topic will change to him leaving me for college which will be slight variation of the “My Baby Is Graduating!” emotional roller coaster so…I’d say you’re safe to return some time early 2014. By then I may have gotten my shit together.

On The Pride Of Your First 5K

Several of my good friends ran a 5K on Saturday. For many of them – it was their first. Some, after tons of physical setbacks including surgeries and Asthma and injuries. Almost all of them did it in conclusion of the No Boundaries First Time 5K program at our local Fleet Feet. I stood at the finish line cheering them on (like a maniac, of course, because that’s the only way I know how to cheer) as every single one of them crossed the finish-line.

And I can tell you the honest-to-god truth: I was more proud of them than I was of me running 21 miles yesterday.

The hardest races or runs I’ve ever finished are the first ones. I’ve “started” as a runner several times since 2006. I remember each of my 5Ks that started those journeys and they were – honestly – about 15 times harder than my 21-mile run yesterday.

I didn’t know how to explain that to my friends. They all know I am now a runner who does things like run 21 miles for the heck of it. I don’t know how to explain to them that I still firmly believe that some of those 5Ks were bigger accomplishments than these long runs.

The last one of those 5Ks I ran was the Liz Hurley in 2010. It was my first one after quitting running for a long time. I had just started boot camp a month before so I was in better shape than I had been since Wes was born in 2008, but I still was SO TERRIFIED. I didn’t sleep well the night before. My only goal was to run the whole thing and to try to come in under 35 minutes. I finished at 33 minutes and NEARLY DIED. I was so proud of myself that when I found out Donnie missed my finish I nearly cried.

You mean…no one SAW me do that? No one saw me kill that 5K?

I continued boot camp through the winter and did another 5K to test my luck in February of 2011. I finished in 32:30 and nearly lost my shit. That was the FASTEST I had EVER run a 5K. I was so proud of myself! I finally started thinking. Hmmm…maybe I could do that 10K everyone does around here…the one with the HILL.

And the rest is history. I did that 10K (freaking out about it, of course) and then signed up for a half-marathon training group and then I did trail runs and other half-marathons and I’m about to run my first marathon on May 19th.

But nothing since then compares to the pride in those 5Ks. Maybe that 10K I ended up running because I trained so hard for that and was so terrified of it…but still. Those early races? The firsts? Those were the hardest.

So, my friends yesterday? I knew how hard they worked because I had been there myself. I know the mental games you have to win to get to that start-line of your first 5K. (Whether it’s your FIRST-first or your 2nd or 3rd or 4th first…) I know the effort to do all of those training runs. I know the nerves and the fear. I know the anxiety. And I know that pride in crossing that finish-line after 3.1 miles.

Which is why I wanted to be there and see every one of them doing it. And why I screamed their names as they did. Because no one saw me that day – and I was soooo proud that it devastated me to know that no one witnessed that huge accomplishment. I wasn’t sure how many of my friends had family who could make it so I decided to be their family. Their cheerleaders. Because that first 5K? Can be just the first. I know most of them have signed up for another in May. Not everyone has to take steps to do longer races like I did, but to do more 5Ks? That’s a huge deal. To be the kind of person who stays in good enough shape to do the random 5Ks throughout the year? Is an amazing person to be. And I hope my friends know that I am so proud of them.

I mention this because several of my friends in the internet, whether here or on Twitter or on Facebook, have mentioned doing their first 5Ks and it’s usually included with some remark about it “not being a big deal” to me. And yes, for me right now, running 3 miles isn’t a big deal. But – I equate someone who is a beginner doing a 5K with myself training for a marathon. The mental game is just as hard. It’s just as hard to convince myself I can do this marathon as it is for you to convince yourself to do the 5K. So, I get it. I really do. Which is why I am so proud of everyone I know who tries anything like that. I remember the strength it takes and the dedication and the need to silence the voices in your head – because I’m dealing with that stuff too. And it may SEEM like it’s different but in so many ways, it’s the same. The only difference is the miles on the road. That’s it.

In other words? WE ALL NEED TO BE PROUD OF OURSELVES. Even if we “just” run 5Ks our whole lives because there are millions of people right now? Who can’t do that. BE PROUD. I know I am.

And if anyone chooses to jump on the road to crazy town like me, and increase from 5Ks to 10Ks or more? I don’t mind joining them for that journey too. Because – I’ll be honest – running 21 miles yesterday might not have made me feel as proud as my first 5K…but It still made me feel pretty damn awesome.