Thursday, July 31, 2008

Choosing a church

How does one go about chosing a church? I don't mean, how do you find a church that you like going to. I mean, if you're starting from scratch and you and your significant other aren't sure what type of church to go to, where on earth do you start?

I grew up Catholic. As an adult, there are some things I really like about the Catholic Church and some things I'm not sure about. I don't have the mindset that any one demonination within Christianity has everything 100% correct, so we better pick the right one or we're in trouble. I like how C.S. Lewis described it - a hall with many rooms. You have to find the room that makes the most sense to you, but really, we're all in the same building. Anyway, my point is, if left to my own devices (as in, if my husband didn't care either way), I'd probably happily go on attending Catholic church and raise my children that way, as long as we did it as a family.

My husband, however, does care. He grew up with some random influences when it came to religion, but wasn't raised in a church-going home. He's not so sure about the whole Catholic thing. He doesn't think there's anything wrong with the Church, necessarily, just not sure that it would be the right place for him. I get that, and I know it isn't all about me, but it puts us at sort of an impasse. Especially because he doesn't have any better alternatives. It isn't like he grew up Presbyterian and I grew up Catholic, so we'll go his way and call it good. He doesn't know what he "is" in terms of a Christian label. He knows he's a believer, which is a good start. But we've been sort of drifting along for what feels like forever, not sure where we belong.

The problem with that is we have kids now and we need to teach them something. Sure, we pray with them and talk about God and read them kid-versions of Bible stories. But I think we're really doing them a disservice by not attending church regularly. Granted, attending church with our boys is really hard and it's actually hard to imagine trying to contain G for an hour or so while a church service of any kind goes on. I think one of us would spend more of our time chasing after him (he's only crawling, but man is he fast) than listening to anything that was going on. But still. I have a strong compulsion right now to figure this thing out once and for all and finally commit to a church that will work for both of us.

The thing is though, I don't know anything about church shopping. When you're Catholic, you generally just go to the closest Catholic Church. You might try out two, if there are a couple in your area, and decide which one "feels" right, but it's not something that requires a whole lot of research. Catholic churches are what they are. You can walk into any Catholic church in the entire world and they'll be doing basically the same thing as every other Catholic church. That freaks some people out; it's a great comfort to others. It also means that, if we decide not to be Catholic as a family, I have no idea where to start.

I've been researching a bit about other Christian denominations, just to get an idea of what the differences are, both from each other and from Catholicism. It's utterly overwhelming. You have various Protestant branches, evangelicals, non-denominational churches and everything in between. Some groups have more structure, in that there is an established doctrine and if not a heirarchy as complex as the Catholic church, at least something in place that holds together what the church teaches. Others are much more fly by the seat; they sort of make up their own thing and it can vary from church to church.

I'm trying to sort through it all to get at least an idea of what the different branches teach/believe. There are differences in the teachings on salvation, on what practices are important/not important/bad/good/etc., on the use of decor, of sacraments, of music... I guess when I started looking, I thought I'd read about a church and think, "Ok, this one sounds reasonable, I can see myself going to a church like this." But with so much variation and lack of structure amongst many churches, it's hard to figure it all out. Short of visiting pastors at all my local area churches and asking, "So what do you believe at this church?" I'm not sure how to make sense of it all.

I guess it's the Catholic in me that wants to know, "What does this church teach?" Because, well, that information exists for the Catholic Church. I'm not used to the idea that an individual church could have such free reign to interpret scripture as they see fit, but some churches do just that. When I walk into any given church, I'm just not sure what I'm going to get. How do you know if the pastor of the church has any credibility; how do you figure out if it's a really fundamentalist group, or a more progressive one?

In our search for answers, my husband and I are planning to attend RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) "classes" (and I put that in quotes because the word class is too formal, but I'm not sure what else to call it) through the local Catholic Church. He's skeptical. I don't have a strong enough background in the church of my upbringing to answer his questions, nor give him compelling enough reasons for why our family should attend church there. Quite honestly, I'm not sure if my desire to remain Catholic will hold up under real scrutiny. And that's fine. The good thing about this whole process is that it's making me take a hard look at what I really believe in and learn about the church that our family will eventually be a part of, whatever church that may be. I certainly won't be going into it blindly, or simply because I was brought up that way. But this isn't an easy thing to tackle, especially when my husband is a bit defensive about the whole topic (and that's a completely different post in it's own right); it's made having rational discussions a little hard, but we're working on it.

In the meantime, I'm left feeling a little like I'm in a rowboat with no oars. There's certainly the part of me that wishes he didn't care so much and we could just go to church somewhere and call it good. But nothing is ever that easy with my husband, especially large issues like this. And we are talking about matters of the soul here - that's kind of a biggie.

My advice to anyone who might happen across this post who is single - figure out the church thing before you get married. If you're of the same religious denomination, awesome. If not, decide where you'll go. Don't let it sit for almost a decade.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weird dream

I had such a weird dream the other night. It was the other morning, actually. G woke up around 5:30, which is just way too early. I turned the sound on the monitor way down so he wouldn't wake my husband (why I do that, I have no idea - he never wakes up when our kids do) and decided to wait a bit and see if he'd go back to sleep. Obviously he did, because I did too, but I had a strange dream after that.

I dreamt that I woke up and looked at the clock and it was 10:00, and I realized I'd turned the monitor completely off and G had been awake and crying for 4 1/2 hours. I flew out of bed into his room and found him in his crib, sobbing. His voice was hoarse from crying for so long and he'd thrown up everywhere. I picked him up and I can still remember how sad his little voice sounded. I felt like throwing myself off a bridge, I couldn't believe I'd done that.

I woke up right about then and quickly looked at the clock, then the monitor. I was horrified that I might have really left him crying all morning. But the monitor was still on, and quiet, and it was only a bit after 6. Phew! I was so relieved, but the feeling of that dream wouldn't go away for quite some time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Friends and girls

The other day when I picked up the boys from the gym childcare, D told me he'd been playing with his friend. I was intrigued, so I asked some questions:

Me: "Is your friend a boy or a girl?"
D: "Boy."
Me: "Do you remember his name?"
D: "No. His name might be Jennifer, I think."
Me: "Well, Jennifer is a girl's name. Is your friend a girl?"
D: "No, he's a boy." (very emphatically)
Me: "Ok, so he's a boy. Maybe his name is something else."
D: "Yeah, maybe I just don't know right now."
Me: "Ok, well, do you know how old he is?"
D: "Yes! He's 3 just like me!" (he was really excited about that part)
Me: "Cool! He sounds like a good friend."
D: "Yeah, he likes robots." (well there you go - what's not to like)

A couple of days later we went to the gym and when I picked him up, he very happily told me he'd been playing with his friend Jackson. So we solved the friend's name mystery (Jackson, Jennifer... who knows, they both begin with J), and I think it is utterly adorable that he made a friend completely independent of my influence. So far, his friends are all either our friend's kids or kids of moms I've met at the Y in one class or another who have a kid roughly his age - not kids he's picked out as friends. It's so cute! With him about to start preschool in September, I have a feeling we're in for a lot more of this kind of thing.

How on earth is he old enough for this?

Anyway, today, when I came to pick him up from the gym childcare, I could see him through the big windows. He was sitting at a picnic-style table with about 5 other kids and they were playing with a bunch of play food in the middle. How adorable is that! I think the kids on either side of D were both girls, and there was at least one boy across from him (and I was wondering if that was Jackson, but apparently not).

On the way home I asked him about what he'd been doing at the table. He said he was playing with the food. I asked who he'd been playing with and he just said, "kids." When prompted further he told me, "There were girls, but I don't like girls."


I had to try really hard not to laugh at him, because he was so serious. I asked him why he didn't like girls and for a while he didn't really give me an answer. Then he said something about, "That girl didn't give me the food," so I'm guessing one of the girls had something he wanted and wouldn't give it to him. Which apparently demonizes the rest of the female gender in his eyes forever - or at least until puberty.

I asked him if he liked me, and he said yes. I'm apparently exempt, even though I am a girl, but his aunt isn't (my SIL who lives with us), because he said he doesn't like her. Nor does he like his little friend Ellie (a 3-year old we sometimes get together with for playdates), or our friend's kid Olivia, nor any of the other girl examples I threw at him.

"No Mom, girls are borning," he says. ("borning" being his pronounciation of "boring")

Well, there you have it. A friend named Jackson, and he doesn't like girls because they're boring.

He did say that he wants my friend's daughter Emily to come over and play, however - just so she can be the bad guy transformer and they can fight. Kid, you have a lot to learn about girls.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It must be genetic

My 3 1/2 year old son has recently developed a fascination with Transformers. He's never seen the cartoon, nor the movie. His introduction to them has probably come in the form of my husband, who has an old-school Optimus Prime (and from a kid perspective it's one of those inexplicable toys that isn't available for playing, and just sits on a shelf for people to look at; seriously, when I was a kid I could not fathom why grown ups would have toys that no one was allowed to play with. But I digress), and from our friends' boys, who are a bit older and into that sort of stuff.

In any case, my husband bought him his own Optimus Prime toy and he's barely put the thing down to go pee since he got it; it even sat on his nightstand last night when he went to bed. He's crazy about it.

Earlier, he was playing with it and had a few other toys on the couch who were apparently playing the role of "bad guys", including Megatron. I'm telling you, the most violent and grown up movie he's ever seen is the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that came out a few years ago, so I seriously don't know where he gets some of this stuff. He usually watches Disney flicks or Playhouse Disney cartoons.

Using his "good guy voice": Megatron, you need to stop that right now!
"Bad guy voice": No, I'm not.
Good guy: That's it, I have to destroy you.
Bad guy: No way. I'll get you first.

Proceed with toys banging into each other simulating an epic battle of good and evil.

Bad guy: Say goodbye to your planet!
Good guy: I will crush you!
Bad guy: Ahhhhhhhh!

Good guy smacks into bad guy and bad guy goes flying across the room.

In regular D voice: "Mom, Optimus Prime just saved the world."
That's great, baby. I'm glad he's on our side.

"Say goodbye to your planet"? Where on earth did he hear that? Seriously, it has to be genetic. He will play these crazy games where toys fight each other and he can make a gun out of anything. It blows me away. I think if I gave him a baby doll, he'd dub it a good guy and make it fight his Shredder action figure.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Money... or rather a slight lack thereof.

We do fine financially, generally speaking. We pay our bills, we own our home, have decent cars to drive. Nothing fancy-schmancy, but we're comfortable enough. I often feel like we don't manage our money as well as we should though, and looking back on our years as DINKS (double income no kids) makes me absolutely cringe.

In any case, I'm the financial planner/record keeper/money manager of the family. My husband would stink at it and I wouldn't be able to handle not knowing what's going on in the checking account, so it's a job I'm glad I have. But I am rather sick of being the one to say, "We're X dollars away from being over budget, so if you could just spend $5 for the next two weeks, that'd be great. Thanks."

I'm trying so hard to get us caught up and not overspending, but it's freaking hard. I hate that half my paychecks keep going to catch up our checking account for the overspending of the month before. We actually have plans for the money I make (like paying off our stupid credit card and saving for the inevitable hospital bills we're going to incur because we're insane enough to want another baby), but my budget spreadsheet keeps changing every month as more of the money I make goes back into the checking account.

Unfortunately, my husband has no concept of managing our money. The last thing he thinks about when he whips out his debit card is, "Do we have the money for this?" That question, if it comes up at all, is a far cry from what he does think, which is something along the lines of, "I want that," and "Where's my wallet?" Even when I tell him explicitly how much money we have left for things like eating out (like, none), and gas (not enough with these damn gas prices), he'll still find a way to "need" something at the store, or grab dinner on the way home from work.

But I don't mean to complain about my husband. At least not entirely. I'm not innocent in this either. I bought a new purse today that I certainly didn't need, and although it was half off (and wasn't expensive in the first place - I'm not a designer purse kinda gal), it's still one of those things that brings us further from hitting our financial target this month.

I just wish we could do well financially for the first half of the month so I didn't spend the second half cringing whenever my husband comes home with a plastic bag in his hand or suggests we grab dinner. I hate feeling like the old stingy crumudgeon - the one who's always reminding him that we don't have the money for that. I feel like I've always done that, even when we had a lot more money than we do now (aka, when I worked full time). Even back then I was always trying to get us to stick to a budget and failing pretty miserably at it. Now, our budget is much more realistic, in that it's something we honestly could stick to without too much trouble, but also much more necessary, in that I don't make nearly as much money as I used to and we're a family of four now. Which puts me in the perennial position of the money police.

Yes, we go over the budget together. Yes, I update him regularly about where we are relative to our goals. I try to keep us on the same page. Maybe I need do get better at that part and it wouldn't be as much of an issue. Either that or he'd do his guy-listening thing - you know, when they totally act like they're paying attention, even ask relevant questions, and then claim to have no memory of the conversation. "You never told me we only had $x in the checking account!" Right.

I realize things could be much worse. We don't stress (much) about paying our bills, or our mortgage. We have things like health insurance (man, that's expensive) and reliable transportation. I'm just tired of always being behind. We're hardly saving anything for our retirement, and someday that's really going to bite us in the ass.

Maybe I'll start buying lottery tickets.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The end of an era

I haven't nursed G since last Tuesday.

It is a little bittersweet to be done nursing, but a lot more sweet than bitter. I do have a little bit of that "my baby is growing up too fast" feeling, but at the same time, things went so well, I can't really complain.

For a little while we were down to just one nursing, first thing in the morning. It was probably my favorite nursing time. He wakes up early, so I could roll out of bed, stumble to his room, pick him up and sit down in the rocking chair to nurse without having to truly wake up. It was a nice way to start the day.

I didn't have a cutoff or a plan of when I wanted to stop completely. But last week I started to feel ready to finally pull the trigger and be done. He'd gone from nursing all the time to only once a day with no trouble at all; almost made me wish he'd fought a little harder for it. But not really. Like I've said before, I felt like he was giving me a window of opportunity, so I decided to take it. So last Wednesday when I got him up, I decided I'd not nurse, but instead take him downstairs and get him his sippy of milk, and see what happened. And he was totally fine.

The next day was the same. He's never acted like he's missing something, never given me any indication that he was anything but ready. And that has made the weaning process so easy. If he'd given me any grief about it, shown any sign that he was feeling deprived, I would have kept going. But it's like if he could talk, he'd have told me, "I'm good, Mama. We can move on."

Physically, I'm utterly amazed at how easy this was. When D quit nursing it was abrupt, followed by a month of pumping, followed by a week or so of trying to wean myself off of the pump. That kind of abrupt end to nursing equals plugged ducts, mastitis and over a week of horrific engorgement. I'm talking rock solid boobs for DAYS. It was awful. I was doing everything I could think of to get my milk to dry up - putting crushed cabbage leaves in my bra, taking antihistimines, drinking sage tea. It was a mess.

This time, I didn't get even a tiny bit engorged at all. For the first few days I kept waking up expecting it to happen, expecting that horrible discomfort of those playboy looking boobs. But nope - they felt slightly full for about two days, just a little heavier than normal. And then, nothing. They've gotten a little smaller (although not near my pre-pregnancy C-cup yet, but I'm not spilling out of the DD bras I have anymore) and unfortunately look about as deflated as I remember they used to. But that's it - no pain, no discomfort, just a nice smooth transition.

This time nursing started out rough (two months of cracked nipples and awful pain), but ended perfectly. He nursed for almost 14 months and weaning went better than I could have hoped for. I certainly can't ask for anything better.

But my baby is growing up. Sniff, sniff.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Adventures in nose piercing

I pierced my nose.

Friday I decided to just get it done. My SIL was home to watch the boys (after bedtime), so my husband and I went out in search of some mild self-mutilation ;).

It turned into a total wild goose chase. The first place we went to was cash only. Cash only? Who is cash only these days? Neither of us carry much cash around, so we figured we'd try someplace else that takes debit cards. The second place did take debit cards, but their piercing person was already gone for the day. The third place was closed, the fourth place also cash only.

At this point, it was almost 9pm and I was feeling pretty defeated. I'd gotten myself all psyched up to get it done and I didn't think it was going to happen. I told my husband I had piercing blue balls.

We decided to try one more place that we knew of (who knew there were so many tattoo shops in our town). When we pulled up we saw what is apparently a common sign in these places - cash only. But this time we figured we'd go in, see if the piercing person was there (and if they'd be there for a while) and then hit a cash machine. Of course, we could have done this earlier, but we didn't realize how common it would be for tattoo shops to take only cash. We figured we'd find one easily that took debit cards. In any case, the girl inside was the one who does piercings and they'd be open until midnight.

We came back with the cash and she had me sign my life away, then come into the back. Their setup looked like a doctors office from a Quentin Terrantino movie. She had all this sterile equipment in that big, bulky packaging you see needles and stuff come in, but the walls were black with multi-colored paint splatter and big pieces of crazy, demonic art all over the walls (probably from one or some of the resident tattoo artists). I sat up on what looked like a bed from a doctor's exam room.

She cleaned my nose, then put a dot where the stud would go to determine placement. It looked good to us, so she prepared the needle. It was enormous - not so much in length, but in width. Up until that point, I'd purposefully kept the actual process of getting a piercing out of my head, and as a result I was surprisingly calm. She put a clamp in my nostril and I closed my eyes. She had me take a deep breath, then let it out - and she shoved the needle through.

It definitely hurt, but not horribly so. It made my left eye water a lot, but not because I was crying - it just watered. And pain wasn't the only sensation - there was this bizarre sensation of pressure with the needle sitting in there. It felt like she drove an inch thick stake through my nose; she must have created an enormous gaping hole. It wasn't really that big, of course, but the pressure made it feel like it was huge.

I was afraid to open my eyes at first, but once I did it was ok. I did lie down at that point, since I felt the mild beginnings of whoosy-ness. I'm all too familiar with the sensation, and I know how to counteract it before it turns into me falling on the floor unconscious - so rather than try to tough it out, I just laid down and felt fine. After she had the stud all ready, she removed the needle and put it in, then dabbed the blood for a while. It bled more than I thought it would.

So there you go - I now have a pierced nose. I've been suprised so far at how little it hurts. It was very sore in the first hour after I had it done, but some ibuprofen took care of that easily. Since then, it's been a bit sore, but nothing too terrible. And I'm quickly getting used to the feeling of having it in - I do have the constant sensation that there's something in my nose, but I'm told that goes away in a few days. It already seems to be.

We'll see if I can post a picture... if it works. I might take it down after a bit :). I don't think pic quite does it justice. It is small, but it sparkles a little and it actually light blue.

Oh, and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Where is my damn hover car?

Remember when we were kids and we talked about what the 2000's would be like? There would be all these crazy cool gadgets, like robots to do your housework, voice activated houses ("Lights!") and hover cars.

I seriously think we should have hover cars by now. I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Watch out nose

I just may pierce my nose.

For the record - I am not a piercing kind of gal. People who know me IRL would probably be pretty surprised to know I'm contemplating a nose ring. I have my ears pierced, and once upon a time I had three holes in the left and two in the right; but I haven't worn more than one set of earrings in a long time, so the extra holes are pretty well closed up. But other than that, I don't have anything - no piercings, no tattoos, nothing.

I got to thinking - I sort of wish I'd have done a few more funky things with my appearance when I was younger. Why didn't I dye my hair crazy colors or pierce my belly button or something? I don't know... And while I don't think I could pull off pink streaks in my hair now, I think a little stud in my nose could be cute. I'd hate to go another 10 years and look back and wonder why I didn't - and really feel like I was too old to get it done at that point.

My husband doesn't have a problem with it. I thought for sure he'd look at me like I was nuts when I brought it up. But he doesn't care either way, really. If I want one, he's fine with it; if I never did, that would be fine too. That fact actually made me even more inclined to go for it; I half expected him to try to talk me out of it and when he didn't, I thought, what the heck!

However, I don't want to look like I'm trying to be something I'm not. I'm not edgy or hip. But I don't want to completely fade into suburban soccer-momminess either. I'm something of a rocker chick at heart and I think it would be fun to do something a little crazy - at least crazy for me.

So look out nose, you just might be getting a needle jammed through you soon. Yes, it's probably going to hurt like hell, but my sister-in-law swears getting her ears pierced hurt worse. Of course, she might just be telling me that to convince me to do it. I'm not all that worried about the pain though. I've birthed two babies, one without any drugs - I think I can handle a needle through my nose.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Apparently we're weaning

Well, I think we're weaning, LOL! I laugh because after all my stress and wondering how, when, etc. things are just happening more or less naturally.

Writing my recent post about breastfeeding actually helped me to sort things out in my head quite a bit. I like it when that happens - I write it all out and suddenly instead of this quagmire of churning thoughts burning a hole in my head, I get some clarity. I realized I'm starting to feel ready to be done and I'm ok with that - no guilt that it's "my thing," no worries about how long it will take. I just figured I'd try a few things, see how he does, and go from there.

So anyway, I decided to try limiting his nursings to just four a day - first thing in the morning, before nap, mid-afternoon and bedtime. Those were the most regular, with a couple other random ones thrown in here and there. He's basically sleeping through the night now, so the night nursings are out too (and I say "basically" because when he does wake up, it's usually in the early morning and he's at the point where he wouldn't go back to sleep even if I did try to nurse him back down). That went fine - there were a few times the first day or two when he was fussy or clingy and I probably would have nursed him, but I just gave him a sippy or a snack or both and he was totally fine. No biggie.

Then there were a few days in a row where, simply because we were out and about and busy, we missed the mid-afternoon nursing. He was fine without it, so I went with it and stopped offering. The first day he probably wanted to nurse, but I gave him his sippy and he was fine - drank some milk and went about his business playing. Easy cheesey.

He's been less and less interested in nursing at all this last week. Case in point, he's only nursed once in the last 24 hours (or more?). He refused at bedtime last night, nursed this morning for a while, refused at naptime and refused again at bedtime. I can't be making much milk at all anymore (which is probably part of why he's not interested) because I don't feel the least bit full. Crazy, huh. So I'm going with it. I'll offer in the morning, but I might not at nap and bedtime from now on. We'll see though - I might try at naptime tomorrow and see what happens.

Anyway, it's going really smoothly for both of us. Sure, it's bittersweet, but I'm surprisingly ok with it. A lot of that has to do with how he's doing - he's totally fine, which makes it so much easier. I feel like he's giving me this window of opportunity where he's pretty uninterested in nursing, so I'm going to take it. It will be sad when it's over, but not so sad that I feel the need to keep going. I'm ready, he seems pretty ready and so there you go.

OMG, I might actually get my body back for a while? What a concept!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A belated race report

Saturday marked my second triathlon of the year - this one quite a bit longer than the first. My mom and my good friend both did it as well, which made it a heck of a lot more fun than the last one. In fact, Mom and I stuck together throughout and I think we both decided that's totally the way to go.

The swim... ah, what can I say about the swim? I hate open water swimming. Hate it. I suck at it, plain and simple. I have such a hard time getting my face in the water and just freaking swimming. I get disoriented so quickly. And my wetsuit being so tight did not help matters. As soon as I started breathing harder I felt like my lungs were being crushed. I ended up pulling the zipper open partway through so I could breathe better. Overall, it was awful. You could barely say I swam the thing - more like I clumsily propelled myself through the water in a roughly forward direction until I got to the shore. I was the last person out of the water, and that sucked. Of course, everyone there were all so nice and cheered me on, but I felt like it was a pity cheer. Oh look at the poor girl who can't swim - isn't she couragous for getting out there and really sucking. The thing is - I can swim. I can swim pretty well, even if I'm slow at it. I can swim for a good long time without stopping and my form isn't too bad. But out there I must have looked like I'd never tried to swim a distance in my life. Bleh.

So not the greatest start to the race, but it turns out my swim time wasn't as bad as I thought. I was 2 full minutes behind my mom, but as I headed to the transition area I was sure she'd been waiting for me for at least 5. It's a distance I should be able to do in about 10 minutes, but it took me 14 - but considering it felt like about half an hour, I was a little relieved at the 14...

(and never mind that my friend did it in just over 5 - that woman is a freaking fish)

In any case, wet suit came off, shoes went on and the bike began. It was a 14 mile, 2 lap course, which means the whole first half was spent knowing we had to do it all again. Yikes! The course wasn't too bad - a bit hilly, but nothing I couldn't handle. I've biked worse. The problem with 2 lap courses though is you go through the whole thing dreading having to do it all again - and feeling like you must have already gone the whole 14 miles about the time you pass the starting line again, so you're really only halfway done. But that's ok. Mom and I hung together and we even passed a few people. Pace-wise she and I are a good match, although she's in better shape than I am this year (no worries there - her last baby was born 21 years ago, LOL!). We actually had fun most of the ride - although my hiney was seriously ready to be off of that sucker by the end. I haven't done many long rides and I'm definitely not conditioned to be on the bike that long.

The only problem I ran into, really, was forgetting to take my energy gel before I started the bike. Thanks to PCOS, I have blood sugar issues and my blood sugar tanked on me about halfway through the bike leg. I felt pretty nauseaus, and unfortunately that lasted the rest of the race. I did take the energy gel (which is just a packet of super sweet, supposedly complex carbs that you sort of half drink, half try to choke down because eating while you're working that hard just plain sucks - at least for me) between the bike and run, so it helped some. But I did have to stop and walk three or four times on the run because I felt pukey. Luckily my tummy did hold and the run wasn't too bad.

Mom and I weren't trying to break any records, our own or anyone else's, so we didn't kill ourselves. We pushed hard, but like I said, there was some walking and it was all good. We had a really good time together. I hope she wants to do the same when we do the Danskin next month. It took the pressure off big time. I wasn't very nervous at all the night before or the morning of; it truly felt like something we were just doing to have fun together and to keep ourselves in shape - which is exactly the point.

All in all, a fun race. I'm trying very, very hard not to be depressed at how I look in the pictures, being that I'm 20lbs heavier than I was when I did the Danksin in 06. I know, I know, I did the damn triathlon, that's a lot to be proud of, screw how fat my thighs are... I know. But still. It's hard.

I also really need to do a couple practice open water swims between now and the Danskin. I know I can do better and I'd like to have a better swim experience. I was hating it out there; next time I'd like to at least be comfortable enough to do some real swimming, not this stupid half side stroke BS I ended up doing. Lame.

But I don't want to end this on a negative note, because overall it rocked. I'm really glad I did it, really glad I did it with my mom and really glad we're doing one or maybe two more this year. I felt awesome afterward - tired, obviously, but awesome.

Go me! LOL!