ice has a magic can’t be controlled

Back in July or so, I got an email about Disney on Ice. I had taken Catie to see Toy Story on Ice about four years ago when I was pregnant with Lucy, and we loved it. They really put on a great show. This year’s Disney on Ice show was going to be – what else? – Frozen.

I mentioned it to my mom, and she said, “Here’s my credit card, go order the tickets, we’ve gotta go.” We decided we’d make it a girls’ night – me, the kids, and my mom.

The show was this past weekend, and Lucy was SO. EXCITED. We’d been talking about it for ages in advance. Catie was iffy about it – she’s tired of Frozen, but she also really loves to watch ice skaters. And the skaters at the Disney on Ice show are fantastic, and it’s even more exciting to watch them in person than on TV. So she agreed to come along with only a minimal amount of complaining.

(Seriously, the guy that plays Kristoff did a freaking backflip on the ice. TWICE. Those skaters are crazy talented.)

Lucy asked if she could wear her Elsa costume to the show, and I normally don’t let her wear the costume out of the house, but I figured this was one place where she was surely not going to be the only little girl dressed up like Elsa or Anna, so why not. And I’m really glad I let her, because nearly every other little girl in the place was dressed up like a character from the movie (we even saw some Olafs!). So if I had said no, she could’ve (justifiably) been mad at me for that for YEARS. (Catie was kind of the odd-girl-out in her dragon t-shirt and jeans, but she didn’t care.)

Lucy and her Elsa light-up wand at Disney on Ice

Mimi and Catie at Frozen on Ice

We got our souvenirs (a sword for Catie, an spinning light-up Elsa wand for Lucy) and our snacks, and settled in to watch the show. It really was great, the skaters are phenomenal, and they stay true to the movie, with just a couple of plot tweaks here and there to make it translate to a live show.

And when the skater who played Elsa came out to skate to “Let It Go”? My first thought was that it was basically the equivalent of a One Direction concert for preschoolers. It was insane. Every kid in there was singing at the top of their lungs.

Lucy at Frozen on Ice. You can kind of hear the other kids singing too. It was nuts.

A video posted by Cindy W (@poobou) on

Catie was sitting on the far side of my mom, but she was singing just as loud. She talks big about how she doesn’t like the movie, but she still enjoys the soundtrack quite a bit.

To sum up: It was loud, it was crowded, it was over-priced, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat to watch both of my girls have that much fun.

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Somewhat related and completely inappropriate anecdote:

This morning Lucy was playing in the car with her Frozen action figures, and a Wonder Woman action figure that was mine way back in the 80s. (I swear, my mom saved some of the most random crap from my childhood.)

From the backseat, I hear her say, “Look, Anna is sitting on Wonder Woman’s face!”

I almost swerved off the road trying not to laugh. I don’t think that was an intended subplot of Frozen, and I’m pretty sure it was never in the Wonder Woman comic books either.

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Not really related at all anecdote:

Last night, Catie made out Christmas wish lists for both herself and Lucy. (Guess what Lucy wants for Christmas? Pretty much everything to do with Frozen, including things that don’t even exist, like a Prince Hans doll. What the hell, Lucy, Hans is the villain! Nobody wants him!)

After Catie made out the lists, I made an offhand comment about sending them to Santa, and she said, accusingly, “Last year you didn’t, because I found mine still here after Christmas!”

Without missing a beat, I said, “Oh, that’s because I just took a picture of it and texted it to Santa.”

(Technically this isn’t a lie – I did take pictures of their lists, & I texted them to Dave, because that’s how we decide to divide them up and who’s going to buy what.)

Her: “WHAT?! Santa can text?”

Me: “Of course.”

Her: “How does his phone work at the North Pole?”

Me: “The best reception in the world is at the North Pole, because it’s the top of the earth. How else do you think he sends you those videos on the Internet every year?”

(I was referring to the Portable North Pole site, which if you haven’t ever used it for your kids, you should check it out because it’s fantastic.)

So, yeah, I basically blew her mind. I know I don’t have much longer for her to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and all that stuff, but that little window of time where kids believe in magic is so short, and I just want to drag it out for as long as I can.

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Completely unrelated to anything Disney or Frozen or Santa Claus:

Today is Chris’s birthday. I mentioned it to Catie last night, and she decided that she and Lucy would both make him cards.

Today is Chris's birthday. Both girls made him cards. #love

I like that Catie took it upon herself to label Lucy’s, so he’d know who did which card. As if it isn’t completely obvious.

And I love everything about Catie’s drawing – that she drew herself in her favorite outfit and wearing her glasses, and Chris wearing the outfit he had on yesterday. I love their disproportionately long arms, and that their fingers look like Wolverine claws. She was upset that she drew Chris’s hair too long (he does keep it buzzed really short), but she had drawn it in marker and couldn’t erase it. I think it’s fantastic.

Inside the card, she wrote (the spelling is all hers here):

Happy Berthday!
We hope you had a good year and we hope you hav a good next year to.
By your frend Catie

The words are all surrounded by hearts. It’s adorable, and damned if I didn’t tear up a tiny bit when I read it.

Now I’ve just got to figure out dinner plans for the birthday guy.

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Yes, the title is from the “Frozen Heart” song that the ice miners sing at the beginning of the movie. It’s been in my head all day.

December 17, 2014Permalink 5 Comments

running with others, & the current playlist

As I’m sure I have mentioned plenty of times, I like to run by myself. As long as I have my music in my earbuds, I can zone out and I’m good to go. But, since I’m doing this half-marathon in March, I thought it might be good to try running with other people.

One of the marathon sponsors (GNC) hosted a 10K training run on Saturday morning. (For those of you who are not good with the metric system, like me, 10K = 6.2 miles.) I like to do my long runs on the weekends anyway, and I thought that sounded like a good practice run. And it would be a chance to try out running with other people around.

This was supposed to be Dave’s weekend with the girls, but Lucy came down with a fever on Friday, so she was super-clingy and didn’t want to leave me. Dave and I texted and agreed it was fine for her to stay with me on Friday night.

Saturday morning, I got up early and left her sound asleep with Chris and went to meet up with the running group. Chris is Lucy’s favorite snuggle buddy in the world, I knew she wouldn’t be upset to wake up and find me gone, if he was there.

I was a little nervous, mainly because I’d never run with other people and I didn’t know what to expect. But it’s not like this was a race or anything – it was just a training run, that’s all, not a competition. I knew I would be on the slower end of the spectrum, so when we started off, I stayed to the right of the sidewalk to let faster people pass me. Somewhere around the first half-mile point, I glanced over my shoulder and realized there was nobody behind me, and I was DEAD LAST. And the next closest group of runners were so far ahead of me that I could barely see them. So that felt pretty terrible and discouraging, and I had a couple minutes there where I wanted to cry, or turn around and go back to my car because what the hell was I even thinking with this whole half-marathon thing, I’m too slow and I can’t do this.

Then I decided, well, I might as well keep going, because I wanted to get my run that day anyway.

Eventually I caught up with a few of the other runners because they had gotten lost and had stopped to try to read the map that we’d been given at the beginning of the run. (This route was pretty close to my house, so I knew my way around fairly well.) I managed to keep up with them for the rest of the run, and chatted with them a little. They were friendly and very encouraging.

The route had a lot more steep hills than my usual running routes, so that was hard. I finished the entire 10K faster than I’ve ever run in my life, and I was still dead last, but I kind of stopped caring toward the end, I was just happy that I finished. (My legs are still feeling those hills, two days later. The half-marathon route is supposed to be much flatter, for which I am incredibly grateful.)

Meanwhile, Chris got Lucy fed and dressed, and drove her up to meet me at the end. It was really great to see their faces there at the end of 6.2 miles.

I guess my overall verdict is that it started out crappy, and ended up sort of fun. But if given the choice between running with a group or running by myself, I’d probably still pick going by myself. Which does leave me a little worried that I’m going to hate the entire half-marathon experience, but whatever, at this point, I’ve already signed up and I’m not backing out. Guess we’ll see how it goes.

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Semi-related, I’ve been getting bored with my running playlist, and I went looking for new songs to add to it. I found several blogs where people post their playlists, and I found it helpful for finding a few new songs to add to mine. So, in case any of you are looking for new tunes to get your feet moving, here are my current favorites. Some have been on my workout playlist for years, others are new.

“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
“Centuries” – Fall Out Boy
“My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” – Fall Out Boy
“Rock That Body” – The Black Eyed Peas
“Pump It” – The Black Eyed Peas
“Miss Jackson” – Panic! At the Disco
“Hey Brother” – Avicii
“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” – The Dropkick Murphys
“‘Til I Collapse” – Eminem
“Come with Me Now” – KONGOS
“Bleed It Out” – Linkin Park
“Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
“Love Runs Out” – OneRepublic
“Shake it Off” – Taylor Swift

(General disclaimer that my workout playlist has very little to do with a song’s artistic merit, it’s just whether or not it has the right tempo. Hell, a good chunk of these songs I bought on iTunes because Catie wanted them, then I decided I liked them for running. So don’t judge me too harshly.)

December 15, 2014Permalink 3 Comments

my girly girl

I blogged a while back about Catie trying to sort of find her place in the world because of her less-girly, more-nerdy interests, and it’s funny to me how on the flip side of that, Lucy could not be more different. She is the epitome of the girly-girl.

While Catie has always been a Daddy’s Girl, Lucy is basically my mini-me. And I don’t mean that she looks like me — although if you put my baby pictures next to hers, it’s a little unsettling to see visual proof that I kind of gave birth to myself. But her personality is a lot like mine when I was a little girl: total goofball who wants to make everyone laugh, a little shy with new people but total snuggle-bug with the people she loves, and she has an insane imagination and acts out elaborate stories with her toys.

She’s my little shadow who wants to follow me everywhere. When I’m in the bathroom putting my make-up on, she wants to sit on the counter and play with my make-up too. I usually let her use some of my brushes/powder puffs. She likes the textures, the sensation of how they feel, but there’s no color or anything that will show up on her face. I bought her a Little Mermaid chapstick, mainly to keep her out of my lipstick, and she loved it. After she put the chapstick on about 15 times, I told her that was enough and we needed to put it away. A few minutes later, I found her hiding behind the couch with her chapstick, frantically reapplying it as fast as she could.

Lucy loves her baby dolls. She pretends to change their diapers and feed them, she tucks them in with their blankies, it’s really cute. And I say that as someone who generally finds baby dolls to be borderline creepy, but it’s still pretty sweet. And another example of how she’s different from Catie, because Catie has always loved stuffed animals, but could not give less of a crap about babies.

But Lucy’s main interest right now? Disney princesses. More specifically, Frozen. Lucy is all-Frozen, all-the-time. She loves other Disney princesses too, like Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty because “they have yellow hair like me!”, but let’s face it, the majority of the merchandise you see in stores right now is Frozen, so that’s the main thing on her little 3 year-old radar.

Back at Halloween, she couldn’t decide if she wanted to be Elsa or Anna, and my mom ended up buying both costumes, thinking we’d return one the day after Halloween.

Sometimes you need to put an Elsa costume over your PJs. It happens.

Well, we haven’t returned either of them. Because she wears one of those costumes every single day. At least we’re getting our money’s worth out of them? I’ve made the rule that she can’t wear her costumes either to bed or to daycare, but other than that, she is always either Elsa or Anna.

Princess Anna is sorting stickers. (And needs a hairbrush.)

Seriously. All the time.

I bought the "My PlayHome: School" app & put it on both iPads. Haven't heard a peep out of either of them since.

My mom even made her a pink cape that looks like the one Anna wears in the movie.

My mom made Lucy a cape to go with her Princess Anna costume. She's a big fan.

Lucy’s Frozen obsession has gotten so severe that she – my child who used to scream when I approached her with a hairbrush – now regularly asks me to braid her hair. Sometimes she wants one long braid (“just one Elsa braid!”) or two (“like Anna wears!”).

On the up side: I’m getting really good at hair braiding.

(Don’t get me started about how the Anna costume went missing for a few days, and Lucy was distraught, and Dave and I were frantically texting each other, “Have you found it? I thought it was with you! I’ve looked everwhere!” Turns out Lucy had packed up her Hello Kitty suitcase with her Anna costume, as well her Anna and Kristoff Barbie dolls, because I don’t know, she was planning some type of Frozen-themed vacation and didn’t tell anyone?)

The main things on her Christmas list for Santa this year are all Frozen-related. Sure, she also wants a baby doll with its own stroller, but Frozen stuff is still top of the list.

And the thing is, I guess in theory I should be getting tired of it. I hear other parents talk all the time about how they’re so sick of the movie and the soundtrack and all of it, but I’m honestly not. I feel like this stage where she’s obsessed with princesses is so short and fleeting, and I just want to revel in it while it lasts.

Watching a movie with friends. (Yeah, she's wearing her Elsa costume over her clothes again.)

I know the time is rapidly approaching when she’ll be more influenced by what her peers like, and all of the princess stuff will be dismissed as boring, dumb, and/or “just for babies” (which is what Catie says about princesses, although I have totally caught her secretly belting out “Let It Go” on more than one occasion).

So if Lucy wants to dictate to me whether I’m supposed to sing the Elsa or Anna part of “For the First Time in Forever,” well, I’ll be damned if I’m going to argue with her.

"For the First Time in For-oopsies." (This is high comedy among the 3 year-old set.)

A video posted by Cindy W (@poobou) on

As great as I think it is that Catie sort of bucks traditional gender roles with her love of science and video games and all that stuff? I think it’s equally great that Lucy is a total princess-y girly girl. I don’t think one thing is more valid than the other. (I know the Disney princesses have some questionable at best feminist values in their movies, but I also know that most of us grew up with Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella — not to mention Barbie dolls — and for the most part, we all turned out ok.)

Mainly, I love seeing how Catie and Lucy are their own unique little people, how they’ve each individually gravitated toward the stuff that they like, and how they’re both just completely funny and wonderful in totally different ways.

December 8, 2014Permalink 1 Comment

Procrastination Placeholder Post

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I’m starting to panic a little about all the things I need to get done today, so it seemed like a good time to put off everything on my to-do list by writing a blog post.

I had the girls last weekend, and I try to plan outings for us whenever they’re with me, but I had a little bit of a hard time trying to figure out something fun for us to do.

On Saturday, Catie wanted to go to Dave’s. He joined a gym that has an indoor pool, and she wanted to go swimming. He didn’t mind taking her, and I think it’s good for her to get some one-on-one time with her dad, so I said ok. Lucy wanted to go see my parents (she likes being the only grandchild, it means she gets ALL the attention), so I took her over to their house, and went for a long run.

I’m trying to do my long runs on the weekends to train for the half-marathon. And even though I don’t technically have to start a training plan until next month, I want to get a jump on it now, because I’m pretty sure there are going to be days in January and February where I wimp out on doing the super-long runs.

I was only planning on going maybe 7 or 8 miles, like I have the last few weekends, but I was mentally calculating the distance from my parents’ house, rather than my house, and math isn’t my strong suit, so… well.

teeeeeen miiiiiiiles
I ran over 10 miles. And THAT is not a sentence I ever thought I’d type.

By Sunday, I had figured out a fun outing for me, Chris, and the kids. We headed downtown to the NC Museum of Natural Science (where we had Catie’s birthday party), because I had gotten an email that they were having a special exhibit called “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs.” Sounds totally up Catie’s alley, no? And it was great.

The girls got to sit in a model of a dinosaur footprint.

2 girls in a dinosaur footprint. #WLDinoNC

And they got to dig for (fake) fossils.

From this afternoon: serious excavation work happening at the science museum dino exhibit. Even though Lucy doesn't really understand the concept of goggles. #WLDinoNC

It really was the perfect type of thing for Catie, even though Lucy got a little bored and whiny about it. (She was more excited about going up and down the escalators over and over.)

At one point, there was a little movie about a dinosaur, and the girls sat on the floor to watch it. Then this happened, and I damn near melted.

These moments don't happen often, but they sure are sweet. Watching a movie about dinosaurs at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

That kind of thing doesn’t happen often, but it’s pretty great when it does.

The kids have been with Dave the last couple days, but I get them back tonight and I’ll have them through Thanksgiving. My brother and his girlfriend are coming over from Charlotte, so I’m excited to see them.

Oh, and my cleaning ladies come today, which is my favorite thing about every other Wednesday. Having a clean house right before a holiday? Even better.

And now I’ve got to get started on all these side dishes I need to prep before tomorrow…

November 26, 2014Permalink Leave a comment

running, working, family-ing

I registered for a half-marathon. I’m kind of back and forth between super-excited and also completely terrified, because I have literally never done any kind of official race at all. Like, not even a 5K. And it’s not even about trying to compete with other people for me, because I know I’m an “average at best and actually pretty slow” runner. It’s more that I just want to prove to myself that I can do it — that I am capable of running 13.1 miles — if that makes sense.

The Betty Rocker workout challenge in October definitely helped boost me a lot, and I’m still using her workouts a couple days a week for strength training. I’ve also lost about 6 pounds since October 1st, which wasn’t something I was actively working on, but you won’t hear me complain about it.

In related news: all of my disposable income is now being spent at sporting goods stores (I need workout clothes so I can run through the winter months), which is further proof of how we change as we get older, and how 20-something me wouldn’t even recognize 38 year-old me.

(Oh, the race is next spring, after my birthday. So I’ll be 39 when I run my first half-marathon. That’s… probably not something normal people do, I’m guessing.)

I will try not to talk about it too much because blah blah blah nobody cares about my workout regimen. But it’s kind of A Big Thing that’s on my mind right now.

no1currr
(Added because it’s one of my favorite GIFs of all time.)

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I don’t talk about it much here, but my job has been so good lately. I changed managers a few months ago, when my manager moved to a different team (I can’t remember if I ever blogged about that or not). I was initially really nervous about it, because my new manager is a guy that I’ve worked with for the entire four years that I’ve been at this company, but I could never figure out whether or not he liked me. But the transition has been very easy, and we have a really great working relationship now.

Last month, I had my first performance review since changing managers, and I got some really great feedback, as well as a raise. I feel like I’m insanely fortunate to have a job that I enjoy, and get to work with people I really like.

Work has also gotten a lot busier recently, which is part of the reason the blog has been so quiet lately. But it’s all good stuff there.

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Oh, and I got more pictures back from our family picture day, and I just… my god, I don’t know how I got so lucky to have these two beautiful little girls.

girls_serious_faces

They’re so different, and so much alike. They are each their own individual little people, and they are delightful.

The other day, I thought about how when I was pregnant with Catie, and we first found out she was a girl, I was terrified, because I didn’t know if I’d be a good mom for a girl. I’m not a super girly-girl type, and I have so many body image issues of my own that I was afraid I’d project onto a little girl, and I just thought I’d be terrible at it.

(Funny thing: it was the opposite when I was pregnant with Lucy. By that point, I was scared of having a boy, because having a girl was all I knew. That time, I was relieved to find out we were having another girl. I was like, “oh, another one of these? Ok yeah, I got this.”)

I think Catie and Lucy are proof that we get the kids we’re supposed to have. Because they’ve expanded my horizons and my worldview so much, and the fact that I can now have extensive conversations about both dinosaur fossils and Disney princesses without batting an eye? I think that just makes me a more well-rounded person than I was before I had kids.

me and my girls

Oh, this guy of mine is pretty great, too.

me and Chris

(Side note: that picture was so awkward to take — “look over our shoulders at each other, say what now?” — but I really love the way it turned out.)

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to reading online reviews of running shoes, because apparently that’s the type of thing I do with my free time now. Yeah, I’m a weirdo. I know.

November 21, 2014Permalink 3 Comments

street harassment in the suburbs

Ok, I assume by now that everyone has seen the viral video of the woman getting repeatedly harassed walking around in NYC, right?

YouTube Preview Image

If you have 5 minutes to spare, I highly recommend checking out Jessica Williams’ take on street harassment on the Daily Show. Because it’s both hilarious and really sadly accurate.

Now, I live in the suburbs where there isn’t a lot of pedestrian traffic, so this type of thing doesn’t happen often to me, and I also think that maybe I’ve aged out of the demographic that gets harassed? As a general rule, most guys aren’t going to make a gross comment to a middle-aged woman who’s got two kids with her.

Except! When I’m out running. Because it’s pretty much the only time I’m out on a public sidewalk by myself. And it still isn’t a regular occurrence, because my neighborhood is pretty quiet. The only people I pass on the sidewalk are usually little old ladies walking their dogs. But one of my running routes takes me down a semi-busy street, and it’s happened a few times where guys honked or yelled “hey baby!” out of their car window as they drove past.

And I mean, in theory, that’s harmless enough, right? It’s supposed to be a compliment. But it PISSES ME OFF. Here’s why:

Something that will come as a surprise to no one who knows me: I tend to be what one might call a chronic over-thinker. It’s part worrywart, part ADD, part… I don’t even know. This has been something I’ve dealt with off and on since high school, but it’s definitely gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I usually have to take something to help me sleep at night because I get what I call my “head-spinny thing,” where basically my mind just races and I can’t shut it off. While sometimes my racing thoughts veer toward the negative (“oh hey, my job has been going really great, but I’ll bet I’m going to goof up that one thing and get fired,” etc.), a lot of times it’s just… noise. Like, I make to-do lists. I lie in bed and I can’t fall asleep because I’m trying to make a mental list of the things I need to get at the grocery store the next day, or that I need to do laundry, or that I need to make sure Lucy has spare clothes for her cubby at daycare. Stupid, menial task lists. They just go around in circles and never quiet down.

One of the things I love about running is that it’s the one time that my brain shuts the hell up. The only thing I’m thinking about is the sidewalk in front of me, and concentrating on my feet and my breath, and that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, running hurts and sometimes I hate it, but when I can get in my mental zone and lose myself to nothing but the music in my earbuds, it’s really nice. That’s the part that makes me stick with it, I miss that quiet time on the days I don’t run.

So, if I’m in my happy little headspace, and some dude honks at me? It throws me off, and it makes me self-conscious. Which makes me angry. This is my ONE TIME of the day that I can shut out the rest of the world, and some douchebag driving past me at 45 mph just ruined it.

If there are any guys reading this (which is doubtful at best)? Here’s a list of times when it’s appropriate to honk at me while I’m running:

  • If you’re about to run over me.

…And that’s it. That’s the whole list.

Earlier this week, I had one of these incidents where a guy honked and leaned out of his window, leering at me as he drove past. Which, first of all – why do guys do this? Do they expect a positive result? I’m out here, running and sweaty, do you think that I’m gonna be like, “ooh, hey big fella, turn around and come on back here!” Like, has that ever worked on any woman in the history of the world? I find that highly doubtful.

But the kicker with this particular guy is that he was driving a big truck, with a big logo of the company that he worked for on the side.

And I thought, you know, if I owned a company, and I found out that one of my employees was driving a car with my company logo on it, honking at women on the street, I would be furious.

I made a mental note of the company name, and after I got home, I googled them. It’s a landscaping company that has offices in several states, not some small mom-and-pop place. I called them and a very nice receptionist answered. I explained to her what happened, told her where I was and the general timeframe when the incident occurred. She said that they certainly don’t condone that type of behavior, but she would figure out who it was and they would address the issue. She also thanked me for reporting it.

Is it going to make a difference, in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. But it’s a start, and it’s better than doing nothing.

I guess the point is: if you see a woman walking/running down the street and find her attractive? That’s fine. Good for you. But keep it to yourself. Because most likely, she’s just trying to get from Point A to Point B and doesn’t really give a crap.

November 14, 2014Permalink