Sunday, July 29, 2012

He's Created a Monster

I knew those jelly rolls wouldn't be a good thing for me. This morning, I just had to try out a new fatty delicious recipe. Not because I wanted something sugary and evil, but because I need to use up some more apples of course. It didn't disappoint!

Apple Poppers

refrigerator biscuits
brown sugar

- Chop apples into tiny pieces. Toss with some brown sugar and cinnamon
- Flatten biscuits (I discovered that whole biscuits are way easier to fill and close up than halves. Max discovered that Calvin was a good flattener helper.)
- Scoop apple mixture into middle of biscuits. Close up and place seam down on a baking sheet.
- Bake according to biscuit directions.
- Pour almond glaze over top!
- Tell your kids they can only have ____ (insert small number here) because you want more they're too sugary.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jelly Rolls - the food, not the results

My husband is not a dessert man. We’ve had fights over pieces of cake because he asked me to save one for him and it molded before he got in the mood to eat it. And please don’t remind me of the time I gave up sweets for Lent and then ordered a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts for a fundraiser and watched THREE OF THEM GO STALE!!!!! Let’s just say I take my sweets pretty seriously. If I’m gonna walk by and smell a tempting treat for a week and not eat it, somebody better, moldy or not! I can’t bake unless I have somewhere to take the goodies. Otherwise, I’ll end up eating three dozen cookies in less than three days. Ryan might eat a couple. So tonight, I was totally shocked when he said, “You know what would be good? Those pizza things you made for supper only with jelly in them.” I agreed and then he added, “But you probably don’t want to make them now.”  It was 10:00 at night. The can of biscuits was already in my hand. I squished the dough and rolled a blob of jelly in each one, popped them in the oven, then came back to the couch to wait. A few minutes later, Ryan added, “They oughtta have some kinda frosting on them.” Now if he’d finagled me into making nachos at bedtime and then waited until I sat down to request sour cream, he’d have probably gotten the extra ingredient up the nose. But… since his request involved sugar, I was up like a rocket, whipping up some almond icing. We both finished our entire helping. I licked both of our plates when he wasn’t looking. The problem is, he’ll be satisfied with that sugar fix for a month or longer. I just learned a new recipe with ingredients that are usually on hand. I’m doomed!

Jelly rolls

Canned biscuits
Jelly (I used the cherry almond zucchini jam I made last week - sounds nasty, I know, but we are all addicted!)

-          Divide each biscuit in half and squish into a flat circle
-          Drop a spoonful of jelly on each one
-          Fold dough up around jelly to make a ball
-          Place ball seam side down on a cooking sheet
-          Bake according to biscuit package directions

Almond glaze

2 T Melted butter
1/3 c powdered sugar
Glub milk
1 t almond extract (you could use vanilla, but I'm pretty much obsessed with almond lately!)

-          Stir together and adjust amounts until you’re happy with the consistency and flavor
-          Drizzle over jelly rolls. (Actually, soak them. Drizzle sounds so dainty!)

“Those Pizza Things you Made For Supper”

This recipe actually comes to  me via my sister via her blog via Pinterest via someone else’s blog via whoever they probably knocked it off from originally. Teachers and bloggers are the best thieves! I made mine a little differently, but they were still good enough to inspire a dessert idea from the hubs, so I'd say they were a success!

Canned biscuits
Vegetable oil
Seasonings (oregano, basil, garlic powder, etc.)
Parmesan cheese
Pizza sauce

-          Half each biscuit and squish flat
-          Put a pepperoni or two and a chunk of cheese on the biscuits
-          Fold up into a ball and place seam down on  a baking sheet.
-          Brush with seasoned vegetable oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese
-          Bake according to biscuit package directions.
-          Dip in pizza sauce

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Open Apology to SAHMs

An Apology to SAHMs

I always dreamed I’d be a stay at home mommy. I pictured myself doing cute activities with my cute kids in our cute house while wearing cute, yet casual clothes. Then my cute husband would come home and I’d tell him all the cute stories about our day. Well, I got the cute husband, but with our career choices, we decided it would be best for us both to work (it’s hard enough to make it on two teachers’ salaries, let alone one!) I didn’t really sweat it. I can pick the kids up at 3:30 most days and we have AMAZING day care (I think she’s a better mom to my boys than I am. Seriously.) Still, there will probably always be a little part of me that’s jealous of women who don’t have to juggle career and family. I will admit that I have, on occasion, said or thought the following things:
-          Oh! I’ll have plenty of time in the summer. I don’t work for three months!
-          Finally, I’ll be able to get on top of the house cleaning and get a couple of projects done!
-          You’re so lucky to be able to stay home with your kids!
-          If I stayed home all year, I’d have so much more time for (insert thing I wish I had more time for here)
-          Well, she’s a stay at home mom! Of course she has time to (insert thing I wish I did here)
-          It sure would be nice never to have to worry about work

For three months out of every year, I get to forget about the career (mostly) and live out my childhood dream of being nothing more than a Mommy and wife.  You’d think after five brief SAH stints, I’d have it figured out. It ain’t easy! But my first summer home with Reed he was a new baby. The next I was pregnant and lazy. Then I had two munchkins under age three to chase. Then I was pregnant again. Slept that ENTIRE summer. The next I had a newborn. Every summer there was an excuse for why my hair was in a permanent pony tail, my boys wore pajamas more often than clothes, and my house was a wreck. But this summer was to be different. The littlest is starting to cut the cord a little and the bigs are pretty self sufficient. So THIS was gonna be the summer that I FINALLY got to:
-          Keep my house spotless   (Raging tornado. All the time.)
-          Get my pre-babies body back    (Ha!)
-          Keep a current, riveting blog, maybe even pick up a ton of readers and get sponsors to buy me junk to make crafts for free    (Hi, Mom!)
-          Do daily devotions    
-          Make my boys geniuses by doing “school at home” every day    (We’ve learned more potty humor than phonics)
-          Go on nature walks, cook with the boys, and do other super-mommy stuff   
-          Keep a semi-structured schedule  
-          Complete all three boys’ baby books   
-          Finally paint over the butt-ugly mint green hallway
-          Make all the things I’ve pinned, plus create masterpieces of my own (1 down, 734 to go)
-          Plan and prep for an entire school year so I don’t have to bring ANY work home

OK, a little ambitious, I realize, but I thought I’d least get one or two items checked off the list. Nope. Not a one. And we’re down to T minus 2 weeks here, so it’s not looking promising, people. Worse, I’ve got no excuses this year.

I figured out the problem, though. I was banking on 6-8 hours a day to accomplish the list. I mean, that’s how much time I spend at work during the school year, right? I just forgot about one small factor – well, three factors, actually. Make that four. The hubs has summers off too. And while he’s helpful, he also eats and makes messes uses the house all day. I have such a total respect for Mrs. Pam, the boys’ mom away from mom. How she manages to keep 8-10 turds ranging in age from 0 to 5 entertained, fed, happy, and learning without turning on the TV and/or pulling out all of her hair, I do not know. I love my three little biscuits, but WOW their care and keeping can suck up a day’s time pretty fast! And it’s not like we’re sleeping the day away or anything. Those suckers have me rolling outta bed around 7 every morning. Then it’s pretty much feed, clean up after, break up fights, and entertain or supervise until bed time. Sure, I sneak in a few minutes here and there, but I usually end up staying up until midnight or one just to get a little “me” time. And by then, I just wanna veg out on educational sites, like craft blogs or Pinterest or facebook.

So, to all the SAHMs out there: You are amazing. I am not worthy. And I get to drop my kids off at daycare in two weeks. Nanny nanny boo boo!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fine Form

Well,apparantly the bruised foot had no effect on Calvin’s spirits. Today he was bustin’ out all kinda jokes and bad behavior. I finally had to jot them down, there were too many:
-          Ran around the house chasing Max, saying, “You’re Carrie Underpants! You’re Carrie Underpants!” When we told him 1) Enough is enough, 2) It’s only funny the first time, and 3) Quit talking about underpants, he improvised and renamed Max Carrie Underwear, Carrie Underbutt, and Carrie Underpeepee.
-          On a walk at a wildlife refuge, I read something about a toothed elm leaf off of a sign. He interrupted, “Like a butt toot?” When I didn’t answer, “You mean a toot like this?” then bent over, grabbed his britches, and ripped one. (Ryan walked on, but I couldn’t even try to disguise my laugh.)
-          When we drove up to a lily pad, cypress tree, and great blue heron-filled pond, “Heaven will be even more supriser than this… This is my favorite place in the whole world! Actually, Six Flags, then this…”
-          When he was the only one in the whole truck who didn’t see the two fawns peeking from the woods, “This was one of your bad ideas. We had to be in the truck!”
-          When I was singing everything opera-style and claiming to be an angel (don’t all moms antagonize their kids this way?) he ran up, bent over, ripped one, then scooted right up to me and wiggled his butt around. I asked him (in mezzo soprano) why he was doing that and he answered, “To get the toot permanent on you.”
No lie, these are all from one 12 hour period. I pretty much gave up on potty patrol after the walk. Guffawing kinda makes you lose your credibility as a potty police. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. It’ll bring a trip to day care if it gets much worse…

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

...The Rest of the Story

Well, I’m not the world’s worst mother, but I’m still pretty bad. A little bit after sarcastically posting about Calvin’s dramatic cannonball injury, I heard a bump in the boys’ room. Calvin was awake. At midnight. Calvin does not wake for ANYTHING (not to respond to Mommy alarm clocks, not to get out of car after a late drive home, not to pee in the potty) He was awake and his foot hurt. He was even coherent enough to ask for that “icthe sthingy” (we’re still working on the s factor). I got him an ice pack and set it up, fully expecting it to be kicked off by the time I returned. Nope. Sign #2 that his foot really did hurt. Sign #3 was when he was still limping the next morning. Well, limping, crawling, and hopping on his hands and good foot. I know those are all signs that would make most parents immediately call the doctor. We aren’t most parents. We’re both of the “rub some dirt in it” stock. Ryan frequently diagnoses our boys with Wussitus when they share their ailments. I believe that taking medicine or using band-aids are signs of weakness. And, we’re technically self-paid (found a little way around Obama Care called a health-sharing ministry. Stick it to the man!). And we’re cheap. And but for the strange methods of locomotion, Calvin was acting totally fine. We teetered between calling the doctor as soon as the office opened and waiting it out. Calvin asked for an ice pack at breakfast. I’ll call at 8:00. Calvin tricked Reed into stepping away from his rodeo set and made a mad “dash” to play with it (“You left!”) No doctor. Calvin munched it halfway to the rodeo. I’ll get the phone book. Calvin decides that he wants a cast because, “then I’ll get a sucker and a sticker!” Never mind.

But by 9 we could tell he was definitely hurting. I think it was his protest that he was fine and could walk normally that finally convinced us. His "normal walk" resembled that of Peg Leg Pete. Ryan insisted we have it checked out. I guess we know who’s the soft one. (Although later, he made comments that make me wonder if he was more worried about his future athletic career than his actual foot health…) In the hours before our appointment, we found out a bit more about the infamous incident. It turns out that it was the blue carpet that inspired the whole swimming pool idea (yet another reason why we need to replace Grover). Also, Calvin wasn’t swimming alone. Reed admitted to doing a few tricks himself. “I did a pretend dive.” I guess we’re lucky it’s Calvin who does everything full-throttle. Of course we gave numerous lectures about the appropriateness of jumping on (and off) the bed and the absorbent properties of water compared to those of ugly blue carpet. But even though the boys nodded their heads and agreed, I still won’t trust them in our bedroom anywhere unattended for a while.

As soon as we arrived at the doctor, the nurse said to Calvin, “I heard you did a cannonball off the bed!” He made a typical Calvin face (Sorry, they can’t be described. If you know him, you know the face…) Otherwise, the doctor’s visit was uneventful. A little “does this hurt?,” a couple X-rays, good news and we were on our way. Honestly, it made me regret taking him to the doctor. We paid $179 to have someone tell us he had a bruised foot?! Well, to be fair he did also give the boys stickers. And suckers. And a lecture on cannonball protocol. On second thought, it was worth every penny.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rough Night for Cal Cal

Poor Calvin. He’s had a rough night. First I made him pick up toys, cruel woman that I am. Then, when he staged a not-so-peaceful protest, I issued the “one spankin’ for every toy left when the timer dings” threat. If he could have seen the toys, it wouldn’t have been so bad. But would I point them out to him? No, I would not. And so he was unable to find them without much searching and crying. Fortunately, right before the timer went off, several of the toys must have made their whereabouts known or something, because he managed to find most of them at the last minute and escape with only two swats. I heard him sobbing and talking to the mirror in the bathroom (brings back memories of my own childhood…), so I eavesdropped.

“…I can never figure out where the toys ARE, because Mommy never SHOWS me where they are, because she’s MEAN! I don’t want her to be mean, but she doesn’t do it! That’s why, because she hates me! (sob)”

When he came to find me casually sitting on the couch, (where I had been the whole time, because I certainly wasn’t outside the bathroom door laughing at him), he walked with a severe limp. Each drag of the foot was accompanied by some type of whine or cry. I ignored the limp, of course. That’s protocol for injuries around here. Especially severe ones. But he was still limping after tooth-brushing and story time. So, I asked him about his ailment. He sniffled that he and Reed were playing in our bedroom and Reed said that the bed was a swimming pool, “And I did a cannonball, and now it hurts right here.”  Is it bad that I had a hard time not laughing out loud?  I’m gonna feel like the world’s worst mother when I find out he has a stress fracture tomorrow. I just hope he doesn’t have anything that requires a cast. Calvin and crutches? New worst nightmare.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What to do if You Have Squash Coming Out of Your Ears

-          Force hire child laborers to harvest for freezie pops.
-          Substitute for eggplant to invent “Squash Parmesan.”
-          Trick your pirates into eating “Doubloons.”
-          Fry in butter with cinnamon and brown sugar – unless you have apples coming out of your ears, too.
-          Cut into every dish.
-          Chop into massive vat of salsa
-          Puree’ a huge batch and freeze in baby food jars to sneak into sauces, pancakes, and baked goods (a’ la Deceptively Delicious).
-          Cut into medallions, freeze on cookie sheets, then bag and store in deep freeze.
-          Pick them smaller and smaller each day
-          Get really picky about bad spots and seedy portions.
-          Giggle with glee when some in the fridge are too soft to use.
-          Send home with neighbors, friends, and family.
-          Rejoice when the goats get loose and tromp through the squash patch.
-          Hack off wayward vines. Laugh an evil laugh.

Whatever Parmesan

I discovered eggplant parmesan two summers ago and I have never been the same since. Holy crap, I love that stuff! Sadly, the Little Bits do not share my affection for the pretty purple gift from heaven above. In fact, I think they’re convinced it’s of the Devil himself. Last year, I basically said, “too bad, doodads” and forced them to endure eggplant parmesan once a week because “We don’t just make meals to make you happy. Mommy wants to eat food she likes, too.” But this year, I decided that Mommy also wants to enjoy said meal without enduring a monologue about how evil eggplant is, why it’s cruel to serve it at every meal and am I really going to make eggplant donuts tomorrow? So, I pulled a simple sub and came up with this baby. They were skeptical at first, but Ryan wisely called it "Doubloon Pizza" and they were willing to try a bite. It got a thumbs up from Reed, several grunts and “muh”s from Max, and no comment from Calvin, which in my book is a win.

Eggplant/squash parmesan

-          Eggplant and/or squash (I do half and half, and make sure not to accidentally cut eggplant into the turds’ serving. They have hawk eyes for purple!)
-          Spaghetti or marinara sauce (1 jar)
-          Mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced, but lots and lots
-          Parmesan cheese
-          Basil

The traditional recipe calls for breading and frying the veggies. De-li-cious! But, that isn’t as healthy and takes a long time. So, I slice mine into thickish medallions, shake in oil, salt and pepper, and lay out on a couple of cookie sheets. Then I bake them for about 10 mn at 400 degrees until they’re slightly soft. Then, grease a pan and layer the ingredients up like lasagna. I don’t think the order really matters. As long as you put buttloads and buttloads of mozzarella cheese in there somewhere, it’s gonna be yummy! Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 mn or until it’s bubbling and gooey.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What to do if You Have Apples Coming Out of Your Ears

      -          Hire some child laborers to pick up the bounty (they’ll work for freezie pops)
-          Eat apple slices with every meal and for every snack
-          Make Calvin’s favorite, “Apple Chris,” four times in two weeks
-          Fry ‘em in a skillet with butter with cinnamon and brown sugar. Call it a side dish so you can still have apple chris for dessert.
-          Cut apples into your massive vat of salsa.
-          Artfully arrange apples in pretty bowls and colanders.
-          Thank God for his bountiful blessing.
-          Hide five-gallon buckets in the pantry.
-          Start every conversation with, “Could you use some apples? Please!?”
-          Have a party at your house, then barricade the driveway until all the guests have taken a bag.
-          Flag down your neighbor when he’s going to check on his cows. Insist he take the 5 gallon bucket you and the child laborers are in the process of filling. Score a trade of fresh ground beef!
-          Teach a Sunday school lesson about the fruits of the Spirit. Serve apple slices and dip during the lag time while the preacher drags out the alter call. Send Galatians 5:22-23 home attached to an apple – or two – or Would you like to take a bag for your family? Please!?
-          Pray that God save some of the bounty for later.
-          Go on apple-picking strike for a day – or two, secretly hoping that more apples will go in the “goats and bunnies” bucket than in the “anywhere you can find room in my kitchen” bucket.
-          Store apples spread out on bath towels on the kitchen floor. Pray no one comes a-callin’.

-          Get pickier about quality, sending more to the goats and bunnies
-          Turn a blind eye when the youngest laborer accidentally puts a good apple in the “yucky” bucket.
-          Turn a blind eye when the child laborers have apple fights.
-          Assist child laborers when they concoct a sling-shot/apple/goat pasture scheme.
-          Peek out the kitchen window, cheering at ducks and squirrels pecking and nibbling, and cursing silently at new falling objects.
-          Cut up and freeze gallons for winter “chris’s”
-          Make cinnamon apple poppers
-          Curl up in a ball and cry.

Stay tuned for “What to do if You Have Squash Coming Out of Your Ears.”

Apple Chris

Our apple tree is going insane in the membrane this year. I have four 5-gallon buckets’ worth scattered around my kitchen counters (and floor) right now and there will probably be another bucketful to pick up tomorrow. But our first harvest only gleaned a grocery sack or two.  So, the boys and I were so excited to have enough for Calvin’s favorite: “apple chris.” I made one and we gobbled it up in a couple days. In those couple of days, the tree dropped  more treasures. At first I was being all Conservation Cathy and picking up every apple that was at all salvageable. Then one day, we filled a 5-gallon bucket, a grocery sack, AND my shirt with good apples. I decided from that point to get a little pickier about which apples were good and which were goat food. Calvin was worried, though, when I told him to throw slightly marred apples in the “bad” bucket. “But we might not have enough for another apple chris!” Check out the kitchen floor. I think we’re gonna be all right, bud…

Here’s the recipe. This is another one that I don’t really follow amounts on (such a kitchen rebel I’ve become!) because I don’t really think you can get it wrong.

Apple Crisp

-          Buttload of apples (I know where you can get some!)
-          Brown sugar
-          Cinnamon
-          Lemon juice or Fruit Fresh powder (it’s citric acid, I think)

Cut apples into thin slices. You can peel them, but I don’t bother. It takes half the time, is a little more nutrient-rich, and tastes just as good. I usually fill up my 8-cup measuring bowl with apples, but more or less works just as well. Sprinkle slices with Fruit Fresh or lemon juice periodically. Add a healthy scoop of brown sugar and some cinnamon to the apples and stir. Butter a pan and dump the apple mixture in. Top with a mixture of:

-          Flour
-          Sugar
-          Oatmeal
-          Butter, cut into mixture

The recipe I found calls for 1/3 cup of each powder. Weak! I put in a cup each. If I don’t, somebody will gripe that they didn’t get enough of the crunchy stuff and try to steal mine. I. Don't. Think. So. I also triple the butter amount from 4 to 12 tablespoons (Come to Mama!) I’m sure you could do with less if you want to be all healthy and stuff, but my chris will be better than yours, so there!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fitness Evolution

I recently went on a stroller-free walk with my two bigguns. Feeling rather free (and properly sports bra-ed), I gave in to the boys’ incessant pleas for a race. Holy crap! I’m old, slow, and out of shape! I gave them a sizeable head start, and then quickly regretted it. I could beat the 4-year-old (does that deserve a woot woot?), but I had to really struggle to pass the 6-year-old. And then he did a vicious Olympic runner cut-off move and I couldn’t pass him. So, for the remaining races (oh yes, there were multiples, each one successively worse for my self-esteem) I decided to throw Calvin a bone and pull the “Oh, I’m trying so hard (in slow motion), but you’re still just barely beating me!” Who am I kidding? I really was trying so hard… And I’m sure it looked like it was in slow motion. I let them run the last leg of the trip alone and I hobbled down the hill toward our farm thinking back over the many phases of my athletic past:

Elementary school:
My parents forced me to do sports. I remember soccer most vividly. Highlights include cartwheels on the field and the sweet dandelion chain I fashioned while playing goalie. Lowlights include the day I forgot to bring shorts to change into for my game. I was not upset because my skirt would limit my ability to play hard. No, the skirt was red, and it really clashed with our powder blue uniform shirts.

Middle school:
            During this portion of my life I voluntarily went out for volleyball, basketball, track, swim team, and soft ball. My motivation had less to do with competitiveness or athletic prowess and more to do with best friends, cute boys, dugout gossip, and cool T-shirts that would improve my status at school (except the infamous “homos vob” shirt,  that’s another story…) As far as athleticism… One look at a video of my C-team basketball performance and you can pretty much sum my skillz up by the word “spaz.” I was all limbs and no coordination. And I didn’t make up for the clumsiness with a great head for the game. I was pretty proud of my nice, high sets in my volleyball debut, until the coach informed me in a not so pleasant voice you had to get the ball over in three hits. Oops. I did earn bragging rights for kicking my basketball coach’s butt when she ran line drills with us. Never mind that her butt was exceptionally large. Badonkadonk large.

High school:
            Somewhere in high school, things changed. I definitely had some spaz moments (my dad still brags about the game I fouled out of in only 8 second of playing time), but by the time I graduated I managed to make it to state in track all four years, be named to every tournament team my last year of volleyball, make all-conference (honorable mention in one sport and unanimous choice in another), and even made an all-star basketball team (and not for my fouling skillz). Yep. I was pretty much a stud.

            …Or so I thought… I walked on to a Division I track team as clueless as ever. Small fish in a big pond sums it up. Or slow fish in a fast pond. Or fat fish in a skinny pond. These girls were serious! And skinny! And buff! And fast! I had always been about the fastest person on any team I was on. I was now the slowest. Well, there was the 300 pound shot-putter. I think I could beat her. And, with the exception of said shot-putter, I was also the fattest person on the team. Me, the “bean pole” of Hesston High. I tried my  hardest to keep up, but it was a very humbling year. I got beat by a girl who was pregnant. Seriously!
But I worked my butt off. I had to! We practiced two to three hours a day, six to seven days a week. We had to give up soda! And so, I was rewarded by the best body of my life that first year. My freshman 15 was all muscle, baby. I rocked the sports bras and shorty shorts on jogs (though not even CLOSE to as well as all the girls I was trying desperately to keep up with). I shocked frat boys when I casually told them to leave those big weights on the squat rack.  I scored a hot distance runner, MVP-of-the-Cross-Country-team boyfriend. I went home for the summer thinking I was all super-stud, parading around in swimming suits all day as pool manager and working out with the high school football team that summer (Trey, I am so sorry! I now realize how embarrassing it must have been for you having your big, dorky sister showing off in front of your little high school friends.) 
And then I came back to school all in love with my hot distance runner, who was done running, and I was done with it too. I finished my second year with a conference championship ring (yes, I scored a point at a meet! Eighth place, baby, yeah!), but it wasn’t the ring I wanted. So ended my athletic career. I didn’t really miss it until much later. And really, I’ve only ever missed the results of the hard work, not the sport itself.

Early married years:
            I married my track stud after my junior year of college. We moved several miles from our college town and were incredibly busy finishing school and paying bills, but I determined I wasn’t going to “let myself go.” I squeezed in a jog when I could, sometimes sporting the old sports bra/shorty shorts combo, but feeling the need to suck it in more than ever. When I graduated, I took a job teaching and coaching volleyball. I worked out with the players, showing off, I’m sure. I could still beat all of them almost all of the time, so I felt a little bit like a stud again. My fourth and final season as coach I was pregnant. I lifted weights around my growing belly and, despite protests from others, I jumped and jogged up until the day I turned 20 weeks and it was no longer advisable by my doctor. Almost every game I was teased by a ref or an opposing coach that they thought they were going to have to deliver my baby on the court, due to my bench antics. And I loved feeling like I was some kind of super-preggo. When I went into labor with Reed, I felt tough.  When I had to push for an hour and 45 minutes, I felt like a weightlifter. I was totally a stud Mama.
Married, with children:
And that, my friends, is about the end of my athletic prowess. Sure, I got a jog stroller, but it’s only been actually jogged a few times. One of those times, Reed had to ask me if I was ok and why was I breathing funny? I traded the first stroller in for a double-jogger, and that baby has logged some serious miles. But it brakes for feathers, interesting rocks, copperheads, and any puddle holding more than 10 ml of water, so I’m not sure if those miles have really helped my fitness level. There is a fair amount of running after Little Bit these days, but I don’t think you can do that hard-core of a workout at a library… The trampoline kicks my hind end, so I try to jump on that when I can, but only when secured in a sports bra. Motherhood changed the girls somethin’ fierce! But that’s pretty much the extent of my workouts. I try to squeeze in what I can, holding fast to the promise that this phase of life will soon pass and I’ll have a little more time on my hands in the future to devote to personal fitness.

The future:
            I will lose ten pounds of fat, gain five pounds of muscle, and have my college freshman body back again. It will be easy, and it will only take a month or two. It will also be easy to maintain. I may run a marathon, just for kicks. I may even return to coaching some day. Then I’ll embarrass my boys by racing against their girl friends at summer conditioning. In a sports bra and shorty shorts.