Mountain Men

David made plans to run in the Mountain Epic at Sunday River with our cousin-in-law, Brian. Far be for me to suggest that an event that has chosen to  join the words “mountain” and “epic” sounds like glorified torture.  So I bit my tongue and along with the children, I dragged my sorry cardio-deprived body out of bed at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning to trek into the northern-most woods of Maine. Okay, not really the most northern parts, but still.

Two hours later, I was standing at the base of Sunday River with Dave’s cousin Lynn and a gaggle of children as our husbands joined the mob of insane people who, for some reason, shared the belief  that running straight up an enormous mountain was a fantastic idea.

*SNORT*

Should I mention that he had his choice of courses and he chose the 8-miler? That’s 5 summits. 

Clearly, he didn’t  read the brochure that plainly stated, “Mountain Epic will take you over a wide array of trails, obstacles, and alpine features. Highlights include winding single-track, stunning forests, sweeping vistas, and a 4ft deep mud pit at the finish.”

Basically, he ponied up thirty dollars to torture himself and later, quietly confided that, at one point, he was climbing something akin to a gravely rock-face where he was forced to use his hands to crawl to safety. From the backseat, Gwen asked him if he spotted any mountain goats up there at the top.

 *SNORT, SNORT*

An hour and 40 minutes later, our manly men came limping across the finish line mud pit. After watching approximately 25 other fools belly-flop and swan-dive into the mud pit while he waited, Joe had already decided that he’d like to cross the finish line with his daddy. Really, it was simply an excuse to hurl his scrawny fully-clothed body into a trench of muddy water. Together, my manly-man and manly-man in training, emerged soaked, filthy and triumphant.

Later, I found out that the 2011 Wife Carrying Championship was held on Saturday. That’s right. The annual WIFE CARRYING CHAMPIONSHIP went right through that very mud pit. I was pissed. Next year, I’m totally making him carry me through that thing and I’ll be sure to get it on film. I will, I tell you! Or my name is mud.

That Poor Dude

We had a good day. Filled with running (Dave not me), Beer (me not Dave) and a giant heated swimming pool with all of the cousins. Good times.

By the time we got home, it was 5:00 and we were snoring by 7:30. I have no idea what Dave was bitching about…he only ran 4 miles straight up a mountain and down again. Sheesh.

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Potty (Mouth) Update

Gwen is potty training Kate.

That’s right, my daughter who just turned 5 yesterday afternoon is teaching my 2 1/2 year old how to use the can. I have to hand it to her, she’s doing one heck of a good job!

I’ve tried but Kate hates everyone except Gwen. I think that’s because Gwen is the only one who still tolerates her foul-mouthed tirades. Gwen is such a nice little girl – a natural teacher.

Last weekend we bought Kate a potty seat because she “HATES potties!” I’ve been carefully suggesting that she might like to poop on the potty for a few weeks now, but she has made her stance on the Baby Bjorn potty clear. Mostly, by hurling it across the bathroom and screaming, “NO! I HATE POTTIES!” Notice I used the word “hurling” so that you would understand why I would “carefully” suggest using the potty.

She’s a dream…and not a good one, if you catch my drift.

Since we happened to be in Toys R Us on Saturday, I thought I’d let Kate pick out her own potty seat. You know, to give her a little bit of ownership over the location of her bowel movements. There were three choices. Elmo, Dora and Disney Princesses. She hated all of them.

“I HATE POTTY SEATS!” She screamed. Except it sounded like this: I HATE POTTY THEATS!

“I want this one.” She started patting a Baby Bjorn potty exactly like the one we have at home.

“We already have that potty Kate.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I HATE POTTIES!”

I’m beginning to think she might have some type of personality disorder.

Dave and I exhaled at each other and I briefly fantasized about hanging her on a fixture in the baby section. Somehow, I’m fairly sure that most folks aren’t in the market for a whacked-out girl baby that screams profanity-laced hate diatribes. I imagine that she’d be fast-tracked to the clearance bins and then just sit there for a while getting dusty. And screaming…and cursing.

“Fine,” I said, taking a stance, “I’ll pick one for you.” I chucked the Disney Princess potty sit into the cart.

“I HATE YOU!”

“Who’s Mommy’s sweet little pumpkin?”

Insert more screaming here.

Yesterday I was putting the final touches on the cream cheese and jelly sandwiches when Gwen ran into the kitchen to tell me that Kate had just peed on the potty. Joe and I looked at one another hopefully then ran to the bathroom to find Kate wiping herself with piece toilet paper lint and her fingers.

“Yay! Katie you peed on the potty!”

“No. You ahhh-sole, mommy.”

“Don’t call my mommy an asshole!” Gwen defended.

You’re wondering how she learned to say asshole, aren’t you? Well, it all started when we were in the minivan driving to Toys R Us. Seriously, here’s how it went down…

Kate was babbling and annoying Joe who desperately wanted “a quiet ride” despite the fact that there were four other people in the car. (Because I forgot to give him his ADHD medication and the noise was causing him to flip out.) The more Kate babbled, the more annoyed he became. The more annoyed he became, the more Kate babbled and it continued on like that for at least 8 miles. If you haven’t experienced 8 miles (that’s 12.87 km in case you were curious) of a completely idiotic argument between a two year old and a seven year old, you’ve escaped a tiny corner of hell. True story.

At some point, Joe attempted to pull out the big guns and get Kate into serious trouble, thus forcing her into a state of silence. “Kate just called me an asshole!”

“No she didn’t.”

“I’m serious. She called me an asshole.”

“Ahh-sole. Ahh-sole. Ahh-sole.”

“Now she’s saying, asshole Joe!”

“You ahh-sole, mommy.”

So there you have it. Joe taught Kate to say asshole.
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What We Did To Celebrate 10 Years of Marital Bliss…

So, after I wrote that heartfelt post about our 10th anniversary last Friday, I’ll bet you wondered what we did to celebrate, right?

Okay, maybe you didn’t give it another thought but humor me anyway.

Hold on to your hats people because this is impressive! In fact, I’ll bet you’ve never heard of a 10th anniversary celebration as fantastic as this one was.

Seriously.

A giant pile of dirt was delivered.

Dirt.

I’m not kidding.

Our anniversary celebration was…how shall I say? Delayed.

Besides, you’d have to be a real asshole if you didn’t enjoy a giant pile of rocks, weeds and dirt.

Dirt!

Yay.

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What I Didn’t Expect When I Was Expecting. *WARNING: do not read if you’re squeamish and/or an in-law*

I’m not naive…let’s just get that out of the way right out of the box, but there is some funky business going down over here at No. 7 and, for once, it’s not of my doing. Since making the move to WordPress, I’ve discovered this magical place called Site Stats. It’s a far more magical place than Sitemeter ever was because within Site Stats exists the most magical realm of all. Its name is “Search Engine Terms”. Getting the picture? I can see what people are searching for when their proverbial ship comes to ground here on the beautiful yet slightly schizophrenic island of Narragansett No. 7.

I can’t stop myself. I love logging on and while my stats are loading, my level of anticipation builds to a frightening level.

Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please let there be just one more bizarre or filthy sounding search term in that queue!

I have started sharing the previous day’s weirdest and/or most offensive search terms on the Narragansett No. 7 Facebook wall. I own it, so I can do whatever I want to and, well…I want to. On Saturday morning I shared Friday’s winning search term which was as follows: “mom washing my penis”.

Huh.

Well, I’m not entirely sure how that particular search landed Mr. McIssues at No. 7, but I want to thank him for the laugh.

As I pondered these strange and border-line repulsive searches conducted by people unknown to me, I recalled a time back before I was a mommy. Actually, I was technically very close to becoming a mommy for the first time. My stomach was freakishly large and I was enduring a heat wave in Boston which, for some odd reason, caused me to sit on the floor in front of a fan for an usually long period of time. I don’t know why. Maybe the hardwood floor felt cool, I don’t remember. Nonetheless, after lying around like a giant sow for what seemed like hours, I hoisted my grotesquely deformed self off the floor and began my pitiful end-of-pregnancy waddle toward the kitchen. Mid-waddle, it struck me that things weren’t quite right down below. Something was really out of place. I’d never had a baby before so you’ll understand that I was slightly alarmed when I realized that my entire crotch was swollen.

Yes, that’s right, I said my crotch was swollen.

Believe me…I had the same disgusted and horrified reaction except I actually grabbed a mirror and looked at it! After emitting a piercing scream, I ran-waddled to my laptop and began furiously searching Medline and OB/GYN sites for the cause of ‘giant swollen crotches in the 9th month of pregnancy.’

Evidently I wasn’t the first woman on the face of the Internet to suffer the malady because I immediately found a discussion board about the very subject. I know…what are the chances? Yet, it was on that very informative (and slightly off-putting) discussion board that I found a link for “Cheeseburger Crotch”. By that time I had determined I wouldn’t suffer death by swollen vaghooha and my swelling was likely due to the fact that I’d sat my big, fat pregnant ass on a hardwood floor while my baby’s head pressed on some nerve or something…yadda yadda and totally boring. BUT… Cheeseburger Crotch intrigued me. It might have even made me giggle just a little bit, so I clicked the link. Today, as I wrote about what is probably my most intimate and mortifying moment ever, I found myself Googling “Cheeseburger Crotch” again. Nearly seven years have passed since my brush with The Burger, and it appears that Cheeseburger Crotch is much more widely discussed in these enlightened times. WebMD has even dedicated an article discussing embarrassing pregnancy symptoms, one of which, as you can probably guess, being Cheeseburger Crotch.

Well, back there in 2004, I laughed really hard – at myself and my crotch. Then I did what any woman with freakishly swollen vagina would do. I called my sister.

Hello?

Hey…so, I have Cheeseburger Crotch.

WHAT?!

Yeah, Cheeseburger Crotch.

Ummm…(followed by some nervous laughter)

I got up and couldn’t walk right because my crotch got in the way.

WHAT?!

Seriously. My crotch swelled so much I couldn’t walk, so I walked to the bathroom and looked at it because I thought maybe the baby’s head was coming out or something, but it was just REALLY swollen. So I did a web search and it turns out that I have Cheeseburger Crotch. [pause as I popped a salt & vinegar chip into my mouth] But don’t worry…it’s going away now.

uh…

I’ve gotta tell ya’…Cheeseburger Crotch is exactly the right description for what was going on down there.

I don’t really know what my sister said because she was laughing so hard. Until this very moment…right now…as I type…I have never discussed my run in with The Burger with anyone other than my sister simply because of all people on the face of this earth, she was the only one I knew who would laugh as hard I did.

 Yeah…I went there. Click the flashing box if you like fries with your burger.

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Foul-Mouths and Tantrums

“GWEN, STOP BEING A PAIN IN THE A.S.S.!”

These are the words that traveled to my ears while I stood upstairs in the laundry room conquering an Everest-sized mountain of laundry this afternoon.

I’ve stopped admonishing Joe for his use of ‘A.S.S.’ simply because 95% of the time, Gwen truly is being a complete pain in the A.S.S. and, as Joe pointed out not so long ago – technically speaking, if you spell a bad word you aren’t swearing at all. I’m quite sure that the school or other parents might have an entirely different opinion about his technicality, so let’s hope that he limits his spelling of cuss words to the confines of the family abode.

On the other hand, Kate has finally entered that stage where her babbles are somewhat decipherable. Mostly, I love to hear her sweet little voice as she finds her words. Her big blue eyes positively sparkle when she gets a word right and we acknowledge that we understand what she has said. Her new-found speech is simply precious…except, of course, for her pronunciation of ‘walk’.

Yesterday afternoon the girls and I hit the Maine Mall to pick up my new laptop and check out what’s what at Pottery Barn. Unfortunately, Kate has had it with her stroller. The squirmy battle that ensues when she spots her hot pink MacClaren is simply astounding. (For the record, who wouldn’t want to ride around in a hot pink stroller? I’d happily park myself in that hot pink ride and let someone push me around for a few hours…but I don’t fit…and it would look really weird.)

Anyway… yesterday I tried to peel Kate from my hip and tether her into her hot pink prison when she began screaming, “Fuck, FUCK, FUUUCK!” in the middle of the mall. I mean it – she was scuh-reaming. As those filthy words spewed forth from my tiny toddler’s sweet little mouth and echoed into the quiet of the just-opened mall, she repeatedly pointed to the floor.

While I desperately tried avoid causing more of scene, the sales associates in Pottery Barn stood behind a giant bird cage filled with fake hydrangeas and giggled. I thought, go right ahead and laugh you a.s.s.holes, because I’m about to stroll this pint-sized swearing beast into your store. Kate arranged herself into a stiffened, plank position to avoid being locked down and screamed, “I FUCK!” I looked at Gwen who stood wide-eyed and horrified and couldn’t help myself. I began laughing.

Finally, Kate relented and allowed me to click the straps into place. She was reduced to pathetic, sobbing breaths and I was coated with a slight sheen of sweat from our skirmish. I walked into Pottery Barn wearing a triumphant smile and those sales associates ran like the wind to busy themselves with some pillow plumping.

This morning, I dropped Gwen and Joe off at school and drove home with my foul-mouthed little angel. As I pulled her from her carseat, she pointed to the garage floor and sweetly said, “I Falk, Mamma?” Oh, she was trying to say, ‘I walk’? Well, why didn’t she just falking say so?

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Snow Day!

There was a time when the words “snow day” elicited such joy in my little heart. Don’t you remember the thrill and anticipation of climbing into bed on the eve of a big snowstorm? Your eyes would close to magical visions of freshly fallen mounds of snow, perfect sled runs and piping hot cocoa. A mid-week gift from Mother Nature, she’d provide children everywhere with an undisputed day off.

On waking, we’d lay in our beds wrapped in the warmth of our blankets with fingers crossed, listening to the radio and waiting for the name of our school to be called. Other than the endless drone of the bored DJ reading closures, the house was silent. We were all doing the same thing – waiting for the DJ to round the alphabet and reach the right letter. I would hold my breath and silently pray as he neared the spot that should rightfully hold our school district’s name. As soon as it was read, the silence would be broken with a collective whoop of joy and the sound of feet hitting the floor as covers were thrown back and we ran to congratulate each other on our good fortune.

Those days were wonderful. Those days were the ones where my family was forced to stay home together and play in the snow. We were blissfully clueless to the effect of the snow day on the adults in the household. 

Here in Maine on this Tuesday evening past, we all drifted to sleep with the thrill and anticipation of a snow day in our future. It’s true. Even the grownups sensed that Mother Nature was going to provide us with the rare gift of a mid-week day off. Dave and I woke at 6:45 a.m. and turned on the local news to determine whether or not school attendance would be required. In reality, one look out the window told me that we had a freebie. My heart skipped a beat and with great joy, I envisioned a perfect snowy fun-filled family day.

7:30 a.m.
Gwen insists that breakfast must be bacon and eggs. Evidently, anything less than bacon and eggs (for example, oatmeal) isn’t at all appropriate for snow day breakfast. Ooooookay.

7:50 a.m.

Gwen cries because she doesn’t want to eat the bacon and eggs. Despite eating absolutely none of the food she demanded just 20 minutes earlier, she’s “stuffed”.

8:30 a.m.
Kate, operating under the assumption that the Wii remote is also a nunchuck, swings it and delivers a loud and deadly blow to Joe’s right eye.
8:31 a.m.
Joe sits with a frozen bag of peas on his eye and tries to stifle his sobbing while telling Kate that she’s an “A.S.S. ‘cuz if you spell it, it isn’t a swear.”
9:00 a.m.
Dave finally determines that he’s not going to make it down the driveway, let alone the unplowed road in his Saab (Uh, duh?). He makes the grand and unheard of announcement that he’ll be staying home from work today. (Oh really? What a shocker.)
10:00 a.m.
Gwen locates a new Netflix envelope on the kitchen counter and announces that she is dying to watch “Avatard”. I spend the next five minutes slowly pronouncing the word Avatar for my four year old. “Say it with me Gwen, Avah-TAR.” No dice. I switch tactics and start calling it the ‘Blue Alien Movie’ and hope she bites.
10:05 a.m.
Gwen requests a snack. She’s starving.

10:06 a.m.

Joe requests a snack.
10:06:45 a.m.

Kate points at Joe and Gwen’s snack, screams and wildly gestures to her mouth.

11:30 a.m.
Joe locks himself in the dog crate and won’t come out unless we leave the house RIGHT NOW and buy him a Pillow Pet. I spend the next five minutes fruitlessly attempting to point out that, even if we wanted to go randomly purchase a Pillow Pet for no good reason, we couldn’t because we were snowed in. He refuses to come out of the crate.

11:35 a.m.
It dawns on me that Joe is LOCKED IN THE DOG CRATE. I walk away and let him sulk in the cage.

11:38 a.m.
Vague cries of, “Can I get out now?” are heard coming from the direction of the kitchen.

1:30 p.m.
Joe enters the room and informs us of the following observation, “Did you know that when I touch Kate in the fist form, she cries?” You don’t say! How very interesting.

And on it went for the better part of the day. No one wanted to go sledding and to tell the truth, when the snow is coming down sideways and the wind is howling at 40 miles per hour, I can’t say that I blame them. We simply settled in and attempted to hear Avatar over the howling.

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