health, life, pet

Tuesday Afternoon Misadventures in Running

I have posted about my attempt to regain something that resembles health before here so today was a beautiful day and that meant I should go for a run. The Mr. has started a new job that starts anywhere from 1pm-6pm and then ends anywhere from 11pm-2am which has basically turned me into the only parent Monday through Friday as well as the only animal caregiver for the week as well.  Babci is home from her European adventures but it was never our goal to interrupt her life or ask her to take over jobs we would be doing anyway so I’ve been dealing with a lot of the everyday details which leads me to today’s misadventures.

Part of having dogs is walking them.  I used to walk/run with the dogs almost daily because they were so high energy that walking or running was the only way to keep them (and thus me) sane; now the dogs are 10 and 8 years old, still in good health but their age is starting to show so the daily excursions for exercise has decreased in need since they’ve become almost normal.  However when I do go out, especially on beautiful days like it was this afternoon, I like to take the

dogs.  This does make for an interesting set up, I’ve got a 16 month old wiggly toddler in the stroller and then two dog leashes clipped to either side of the stroller.  Water, keys and cell phone are in the stroller and I am running/walking (using this 5K Runner App based on the couch to 5K program) pushing a stroller, trying to interact with the toddler because she hasn’t seen me all day, and then managing 2 dog leashes.  This has lead to a few things of note today:

  1. The dogs are so interested in meeting other dogs that it is an arm workout keeping the stroller, dogs, and me from going flying.
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  2. The Munchkin has become so squirmy that if she isn’t strapped in she decides it’s fun to turn around and stand up to stare at mommy.
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  3. The Munchkin also discovered that she could close her Camelbak water bottle but not open it so she spent many minutes closing it and then handing it to me to open it just so she could close it again (or I’m a sucker and she really can open it but the jury is still out on that one).  While this is fun to learn a new things and I’m all for practicing motor skills but see #1 and constantly having to close a water bottle makes it difficult.  Of course if we stopped playing this game the Munchkin started to scream bloody murder and other pedestrians wondered what I was doing to my child.
  4. I got new headphones at a recent running sale and found out I can take pictures using the headphone controls so I took many pictures of the inside of the stroller pouch.  As a sidenote, I need to figure out how to use these Yurbuds.
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  5. I have finally realized I can listen to my cues/music in the aforementioned headphones.  Before one of my hang-ups was that I couldn’t listen to anything because I was supposed to be interacting, talking, etc…to the Munchkin.  I don’t have a lot of mom guilt but it seems to show up in very random places.
  6. Even with all the imperfect-ness of it, I still at least got out there, enjoyed the weather and was able to rack up some calorie burn and movement.

Once we got home I made dinner and with my experiment at batch cooking yesterday it was really easy and took me about 15 minutes to put Butter Chicken and Rice together (with some brussel sprouts…don’t ask why these were added to Indian food) for dinner which the Munchkin kind of happily ate.  She’s got four teeth pushing their way up right now so she’s as happy as anyone would be with four spiky protrusions trying to assault their way up through sensitive gums.

Since it was about 6:00pm when dinner was finished, we started the bedtime routine and after her book she went happily to sleep even with the windows open and the A/C off she’s sleeping like a rockstar.  I’m hoping I can join her when I’m finished all my adulting (and TV) that waits until she’s in dreamland

pet

Poop – A Discussion of Number 2

When you have 4 humans (one who’s not in control of themselves yet and I don’t mean the Mr.) 2 dogs and 3 cats you’re basically spending most of your time dealing with bodily functions including number 2.  You’re a manager of poop: you’re cleaning up poop, you’re washing your hands after touching poop, you’re making sure someone isn’t touching poop and so on.

For one reason or another at this point we’ve been very lucky, for the most part Munchkin’s diapers have been normal and they haven’t really made too much of a mess.  She also hasn’t been that interested in poop finger painting which I’ve heard is a common pastime for children.  She has yet to discover the joys of putting her hand in her diaper and creating abstract art worthy of any modern art museum.  But today I’d like to focus on the four-legged children, specifically the cats.

If any of you have cats you know the joy of the litter box, we don’t let our cats outside for a variety of reasons so that leaves us litter boxes to deal with and that means someone has to scoop them.  That someone is usually me when I’m not pregnant.  While I was pregnant the Mr. was great at scooping but as soon as the fear of toxoplasmosis was gone he conveniently forgot how to manage this task.  Although if you have a man in your life who uses the same bathroom as you do you are probably not surprised that keeping the cat’s toilet clean isn’t a high priority for them.  Most men, in my experience, don’t care what the bathroom looks like, they have a place to go and that’s all that matters.  Even the Mr. who is a bodily neat freak due to a genetic skin condition seems to think I’m nuts when I say something about cleaning the bathroom.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: Honey you need to clean the bathroom this week

Mr.: I just did it!

Me: You mean “just” as in a month ago?

Mr.: ….Oh…..

So here I am in the basement after magically finding 30 minutes to run on the treadmill after Munchkin went to bed staring down into litter boxes full of poop.  We have three cats and we have three litter boxes so I’m just shuffling litter boxes around, scooping, trashing, and stirring just to make sure the litter is at least a little cleaner/drier/less smelly for the next cat who wishes to do some business in peace and quiet and I have the realization that we are surrounded by poop.

I’m going to put on my biology hat for a second: literally we are surrounded by excrement.  One of the characteristics of being alive is the need take material in so if some things go in, that must mean some things come out.  It’s not always poop in the way we think of it, but excrement is everywhere.  And for most organisms (AKA living things) if they don’t excrete waste products toxins build up in their system and they die so this is a really important natural process but back to my life….
I’m sitting there and I’ve got my face in the litter box, I’m doing the shuffle so I can get to each littler box without getting up from the rickety chair that is going to break under me at any second and I’m struck with the understanding that this is life.  Nothing in my life is glamorous: I don’t get to go to expensive parties or wear designer clothes but I do get to be surrounded by poop!  There is nothing bad in my life, there are always things that could be better and ways I could be better but my life is charming in it’s crazy, messed up, sometimes very plain, poop-filled way.  This is why the subtitle of this blog is “Finding Perfection in the Imperfection” because while I dream of things being bigger and better, and maybe someday I’ll have that glamorous life and can afford the jet-setting lifestyle (HA!) it’s not about life being anything other than what it is, it is my response to it that makes a life filled with poop beautiful.