Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blogging 2015: 616 down, 1399 to go

I'm putting off getting on the treadmill. I'm going to get on it, but I'm waiting until the kids go to bed so I don't have to watch Teen Titans fucking Go for 30 minutes while I run 3 miles. I hate watching cartoons while I'm on the treader, but if I'm down in the basement they have to be, too...or I'll come back upstairs to bloody Armageddon. That and they run up and down the basement stairs to tattle on each other for ridiculous infractions. "Pat keeps trying to kiss me!" "Lily touched me with her toe!" "Charlie said butt."

Today I tried to get the household back together after being on vacation for 5 days and 4 nights. The fridge was empty, the place was dirty, and there was laundry to be finished. So I was domestic today, with intermittent bouts of CrossFit Games watching.

Watching the 60+ Masters Women compete is compelling. It makes me feel alternately like I'm fat and lazy, and like there is hope for my future fitness. I actually enjoy watching the Masters more than the Individuals. You're in your 30s and getting paid sponsorship dollars to work out? Blah blah. You're 62 and took vacation from your regular job to compete? I'm interested.

Get ready for a photobomb. This is the equivalent of making you look at slides. Those of you under 30 are like "Wut? Like a PowerPoint?"

So. We went on a family vacation.
In mah brand new car.

Specifically, we went to Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in the Wisconsin Dells. We had a 2 bedroom condo with 1.5 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a living room. It was a really nice spot, and exactly the right amount of space.

Eating 2 meals a day "at home" = winning

We arrived Thursday night and took the smalls to Buffalo Phil's. I thought I had their picture with the train that delivers the food, but I guess not. #momfail  After dinner we just kind of unpacked and relaxed before bed. The second bedroom had a queen lower and a bunked single, so we drew straws to see who got the bunk the first night, then took turns. 

Friday the kids woke up way too early and I made oatmeal cake for breakfast (see above). The waterpark outside our window didn't open until 10am, so we let them watch cartoons on the TV that was mercifully located in their bedroom.  

I have no pictures of the kids at the waterparks because my phone isn't waterproof and was also not free. I'm not an overly distrustful person, but leaving a valuable piece of electronic equipment in a canvas bag next to about a billion gallons of water and 1000 strangers seems foolhardy. Also because I love water parks and water slides and I was goddamned if I was going to stand around the pool taking pictures of other people having fun. That shit is for good parents. 

We spent 6 hours or so in 4 of the 6 water areas at Wilderness. The boys were smiling so big I thought their faces would split, and L?  Well...I think she was having fun? When she wasn't being sullen or bitching about getting wet. At a water park. Fuckin' A.

We took a break for lunch in the condo, then went back out to the water. The boys rode an innertube slide with me. If you want a workout, introduce a small boy to tube slides. I shudder to think of the number of stairs climbed. Hard to resist when the excited child is sopping wet, grinning like an idiot, and shouting "Again! Again!" Also I fucking love water slides. Again, you say? Well, if I have to...

We ended the day with mini-golf and go-karts. Word to the wise? Get shitfaced before you mini-golf with little kids. It'll be more fun, I promise.

That's a 15 for P and a 23 for C...on hole 2.

Then, inexplicably, a hole in one for C on 15.

Go-karts are a risk, but they had kiddie karts and there was zero line and 30 minutes to close. So we forked over the cash. What we determined was that L is going to let her boyfriend do all the driving (or at least better, because she spent more time bitching at traffic than driving), P will likely drive an Oldsmobile with his hands at 10 and 2, grousing about "these damn kids", and C is the second coming of Mario Andretti and is never, ever allowed to drive my car.

L, hating life.

C has lapped his brother at this point.

Game face and finger guns. Fuck.

We got back to the condo right around 8pm, and after a bit of TV watching the kids fell deeply and immediately asleep. It was glorious. Also glorious is sleeping children behind two locked doors and sheets I don't have to wash. Can't waste a good bikini wax. I'll wait here while you go poke out your mind's eye.

Saturday was supposed to be a 5k in Reedsburg for fantastic husband and I, but we woke to thunder and lightening and decided it wasn't worth it. The kids were supposed to play at a local park with a friend's daughter, but they couldn't do that in the rain. It cleared up by mid-morning, so we went to Paul Bunyan's for breakfast (which was the plan for after the 5k). 

I swear C said "I can see Paul Bunyan's ass"

I kept getting asked "What's the cow's name again?"

After Paul Bunyan, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the Great Northern Railroad, which is a volunteer-run 15 gauge railway randomly plopped in the woods off County A. There was a tiny train, 2 conductors, and engineer, and tickets to be punched before the ride. It was really cute, and the kids had a good time. I thought there was more of a museum there, but it's mostly just some pictures and a few pieces of old equipment. The locomotive was pretty cool, though, and the picnic tables were nice and shady. Also surrounded by flowers that attracted hummingbirds, which the kids thought was nifty.

Turntable at the halfway point. A 110 year old man turned this 7 ton train with one hand.

Take our picture, woman.

Everything was to tiny train scale.

We finished up ahead of schedule at the train, so we went back and had a couple of hours of flapping in the water before heading out to Devil's Lake to meet some friends who were camping there. Our kids played together, we had some hamburgers and drinks, and then we made S'mores. Per C "Mom, these are awesome. You should really try one." I haven't had a S'more in ages, and he was right. It was pretty awesome. The night was made complete with glow stick necklaces, and we were back at the condo for lights out. 

Sunday we spent the morning at the oldest water park area at Wilderness. The indoor area there was fantastic for the kids. L actually went down the slides and admitted it was fun. My parenting mission is complete. P&C rode the tube slides with me, one of which was a dark slide (you know, the ones that are painted black so you can't see what's coming?). I was worried they would be scared, but it was pretty much Giddyap, motherfucker!!! So I got to climb the stairs some more. The outdoor area was sparsely populated (because Sunday or because older park I don't know), but that was wonderful as there was lots of room. More stairs and more tube slides commenced. 

We hung out until about 1pm, then had lunch in the condo and headed out to The Original Wisconsin Ducks. No pictures, because again...water and expensive phone. I thought the tour was cool, and the boys liked the rollercoaster hills and splashing down into the water. Ls response to those things was "Ok, I hated that."

My 8 year old is really 13.

After the Ducks we went downtown to look around. I don't know why, really, it's all just fudge shops and Olde Time Photoe places. We did get some ice cream. 

I said "L, could you try to pretend you're having fun?"

C said "Take my picture with this bear."

We let them pick out a treat at Goody Goody Gum Drop and walked back to the car. I got some maple fudge, because I love that shit, and you can only walk by so many fudge shops without getting some. Six, actually. I can walk past six shops. That's my limit.

Our final dinner in the Dells was at Moosejaw, because Moose cars.

C had the best time. 

Sunday night we opted for a move and popcorn to wind down. We watched Megamind, then put the smalls to bed.

Monday morning we slept in a bit, made breakfast with the remainder of the food we had, then packed up and drove over to the Wilderness so the kids could play in the dry play area. It was actually pretty cool. Multi-level, foam ball cannons, mirror maze, slides, etc. They had a great time.

Then we drove home, and just like that, vacation was over.

I wasn't sad to be rid of the perpetual arm band.

We may go back in February when rates are low. The indoor areas are fairly impressive, and the kids all said they had a good time.  I'm impressed I didn't drown anyone. Aside from L hiding twice and freaking us out ("I wasn't hiding I was just sitting inside that tree thing because I was cold.") we didn't have any mishaps. There are poolside cocktails, and several grownup indoor slides, etc.  I'm calling this a win. I'm not ready to go to Disney yet, mostly because I really don't care at all about Disney myself. We used to go all the time when I was a kid (the perqs of living in CA and FL growing up) but that was before it was $100 a person, and truthfully I always preferred Knott's Berry Farm (Camp Snoopy, y'all!) and Six Flags. 

I didn't go fully back into real life, though. Yesterday I did something very out of character. I had my picture taken. Voluntarily. If you know me, you know I hate being photographed. When I look in the mirror I think I'm maybe kind of cute. Pretty, even, on a good day when I wear makeup. In photos? OMG I'm a TROLL. I hate my non-existent eyebrows, my huge crooked nose, and my weird squinty eyes. I will dodge a camera like I'd avoid a javelin. Dive left! DIVE DIVE! TUCKANDROLL!! SAVEYOURSELVES!!!! 

So I went somewhere and posed for pinup photos. For real. With the makeup and the hair and the outfit and everything. It started off really awkward, and ended up being kind of fun. I saw some of the rough shots, and I was shocked. I didn't look ugly at all. I even looked kind of...good. Sexy even. The photographer's assistant actually said to me "You're really photogenic...and you should always wear read lipstick." I've never worn red lipstick in my life before yesterday (and I likely never will again), and photogenic is not a word I'd apply to myself. In a couple of weeks I'll see the proofs and fantastic husband will get to pick out his favorites. 

Why did I do it? I don't know. A friend was talking about maybe having some pictures done, and I was surfing around the web too late at night, and on a whim I booked a session...because every idea had at 3am is valid. Maybe I wanted to see what a professional photographer could do with my troll face. Maybe I was hoping I'd have a few turn out kinda hot so I could look back and think "Hey, I wasn't half bad back in the day." 

I'll tell you one thing. Arching your back that hard for that long if painful.

Two things. Wearing 6 inch heels really makes your calves and hammies look fantastic.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blogging 2015: 553 down, 1462 to go

Disclaimer: I am super hammered. Like, college hammered. Pregame before the party hammered. Please forgive any random grammatical mistakes. Or don't. Fuck you, I'm hammered.

Yesterday was the 4th of July. Independence Day. It has always made me crazy when people get all "Happy 4th of July!" because that's just...a date. It'd be like saying "Happy 3rd of August!" or some shit.  Yay! Calendars! 

Fantastic husband had to work, so I was at home with the smalls. I did laundry, listened to know, the fucking minutia of the everyday. We went to the box so I could beat the shit out of myself (for real 1.5 mile run, 150 burpees, 1.5 mile run) and the kids could run around and be general jackasses. I finished up in a hair over 49 minutes. I brought at clementine to eat afterwards so I'd have enough sugar in my system to make it home. Three little vultures circled me. "We are so hungreeeeeee" said the vultures. "Pleeeeeease can we have a slice of orange?" So I gave it to them, because I am a great parent. 

I should be grateful that they didn't drink all my water while I was running. 

After the WOD (thanks for that, Amanda) we went through Starbucks and got lemonade, because I wanted a Passion Tea, and the smalls whine a lot when I don't get them something, too.  We came home and I made lunch, then insisted they sleep so that I could take a nap. Did I mention I did 150 burpees? Because I did.

I think they slept. Who cares. I slept.

After our nap, I took them to the splash pad in our neighborhood park. The screamed, they got soaked, C discussed his penis loudly for all the world to hear (we had a discussion about it. It went "Dude, stop discussing your genitalia. It weirds people out." "Okay, Mom"). We were there for about an hour and a half, then came home for supper and prep for fireworks.

I decided against going either downtown or to Fish Creek for fireworks. I used to work in TR so I decided to go there.  We got truly miraculous parking, then headed over to Neshotah park to kill time before the display. The kids ran around, we used the public pissers without problems, and we headed over to the field for the show.

I'd like to commend TR for it's Independence Day festivities. There was a band, a choir, two random old men singing patriotic songs, and fireballs. My boys dug the shit out of the fireballs. The concessions were cheap, and there were free cookies from Jerry's Bakery. My smalls were in small person heaven.

Glow wants for a dollar? Sign me up!

They were fabulously good sports. And when the fireworks started? They were the embodiment of wonder. Holy shit, it's dusty in here just thinking about it. C in particular was all wide eyes and WOOOOOOOWWWWWWW!!!!!! It was everything a fireworks outing should be. This being their first one, officially. They were well behaved, adorable, and the perfect little newbies. I felt lucky to have seen it.

After the show we shuffled out of the field and back to the car and we were on our way home. At 2245 I voice texted my husband that L had fallen asleep immediately and the boys had lasted until 2242.

At 2252 I was contemplating putting everyone to bed, letting the dog out, and falling into the sleep of the exhausted.

At 2256 I noticed a car on the shoulder (a was either silver or light blue) and thought it was odd, but people pull over all the time for flat tires and what have you.  

At 2256:05 I saw something in the right lane that I couldn't identify. It was metal, and black, and there was a roundish white protrusion on the side.  I tried to avoid it, jacking the car to the left and then to the right, but I hit it...

...and we went screaming into the ditch at 72mph.

...and we flipped over 1 and a half times.

...and we came to rest hung up on a barrier fence.

...and the man who lives in the house we almost careened into was calling to me "Are you okay? Can you open the door? How many people are in there?"

...and he pulled C and P out the rear passenger window, and he opened the back lift gate and L crawled out. Then I picked up my clutch, found my phone, and crawled over the front, middle, and rear rows, picked up L's glasses, and exited the car. I said to him (assuming he was in the minivan on the highway) "Thanks for staying" and he said "Staying? I live here. We were having a bonfire."

...and I hugged him, and realized the fucking assholes who dropped the grill fled the scene.

...and the GBPD and GBFD were came for us, expecting the worst.

...and we were all fine.

Thank-you, Mazda, for making a top quality machine.

I called 911 while still in the driver's seat, then I called fantastic husband at work. I said "Hey, I wrecked the car". He thought I just rear ended someone. 

I remember walking out of the brush.

I remember giving all our details to the officer in charge.

I remember hearing the tow truck arriving and an officer saying " you have like, a reeeeeeeaaaaallly long cable?"

I remember the paramedics giving my kids stuffed animals and making sure they were warm enough.

I remember seeing the car, upended, being pulled out of the brush.

I am so grateful that everyone is okay. People want to credit god, or some guardian angel, for protecting us. And truthfully, if that's what you need to do, that's fine. I'll thank the good people at Mazda for engineering a car that could withstand that kind of onslaught and leave 4 people whole and uninjured. 

Because if god, or zeus, or allah, or yahweh, or who-the-fuck-ever was really looking out for us? Why was there a goddamn gas grill in the road, and why did the bitch ass pansy fuckers who dropped it flee the scene?

Shit happens. And last night, shit happened to my family. And last night, the only thing we lost was an 8 year old car. My kids are fine. I am fine. All my personal effects were intact and recovered. I am insured to the eyeballs.

Thank Mazda.