Marathon Moms

Okay, I'm flabbergasted: The winner of this past Sunday's New York City marathon had a baby in January? I'm particularly impressed because I could not possibly have run a marathon 10 months after having a baby. Okay, I couldn't have run one at any point in my life before I had a baby, either. And Katie Holmes ran it, too, less than two years after having Suri and after training a mere three months? Whatever...

But wait, wait -- there are a few things I've done since having a baby that have surprised me. I wrote a book between the hours of 9 p.m. to midnight every night, after working a full day at my job and wrangling my three young kids through dinner, baths, stories and into bed. I have put in a day's work and taken care of my kids -- good care -- after getting less than an hour's sleep at night. And I took up a grueling new exercise, power vinyasa yoga, which I practice three to four times a week for 90 minutes in a room heated to 93 degrees. None of my prized accomplishments are as hard as running, much less winning, a marathon. But they aren't things I thought I could do before I had kids.

What about you? Motherhood is heroic enough by itself, in my opinion. But have you done something post-parenthood that you never thought you'd be able to accomplish? What about your abilities, once you had children, has surprised and/or impressed you? Has parenthood inspired you to reach new or different personal or professional goals?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  November 9, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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I have the ability to claim First! since this column premiered.

Posted by: nonamehere | November 9, 2007 7:24 AM

"I have the ability to claim First! since this column premiered"


Mako

I saw Mrs. Mako & Sharkie smooching last night. They both looked pretty wasted!

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 8:28 AM

Am I the only person who's not flabbergasted that a professional runner won a marathon 10 months after having a baby? It's her job, and you know she ran through her pregnancy, and you don't decondition as fast as people seem to think. It may actually have been a great time to recover from any injuries she may have had from being a professional athlete. It's up there with being flabbergasted at the women who model 4 months after a baby.

That said, I haven't done jack crap since having the baby, unless you consider working full time and remodeling a bathroom an enourmous accomplishment. And yes, we do all the work ourselves.

Single working moms and dads still get the prize.

Posted by: atb2 | November 9, 2007 8:35 AM

With 5 kids in 9 years I think I am happy enough just to get through the day with everyone fed, happy and not too dirty! To me- that is my major accomplishment...

Posted by: michelewilson | November 9, 2007 8:47 AM

Motherhood IS a marathon all by itself.

I'm impressed by everyone who does it.

Posted by: leslie4 | November 9, 2007 8:50 AM

There are several factors here: age, wealth, and training/desire.

Katie Holmes is like, what, 25???? She also had massive amounts of trainers to help her get back into shape after having a baby... The marathon winner was training before and after having a baby. Good for her, but it says nothing about us non-marathoners...

comparing a non-marathoner (like most of us) to these two is self-defeating. Running a marathon is a worthy goal if that is what you want to do. Having enough baby-fat to nurse is also a worthy goal.

Posted by: dotted_1 | November 9, 2007 9:00 AM

Since my first baby was born, I've learned how to change a diaper. and on some ocasions I've done it without being told. Amazing!

Not too shabby for a dude if I don't say so myself!

Posted by: DandyLion | November 9, 2007 9:16 AM

Agree with what a number of other posters have said re: Paula Radcliffe winning the New York Marathon 9 months after having a baby. For her, it's back to work.

Paula Radcliffe is already a legend among long-distance runners. She won the 2002 London Marathon, 2002 Chicago Marathon, 2003 London Marathon, 2004 New York City Marathon, 2005 London Marathon, and 2005 World Championships. She holds the world record for the Women's Marathon; she broke her own world record in London in 2003.

It's interesting to note that her 2007 New York winning time was one second faster than her 2004 winning time - and she claims that she won in 2004 while not having seriously trained.

I'm not trying to diminish Paula Radcliffe's accomplishment. She's probably the best female distance runner who's ever lived (although you might be able to make an argument for Grete Waitz). But she's also a highly-compensated professional athlete, who lives and travels with her own staff - coach, trainer, therapist, etc. (Not to mention that her husband is a professional coach.) That staff helps her with a lot, including child care while she trains six hours a day.

It's a remarkable accomplishment, but not arguably more remarkable than, say, a female attorney with a large support staff winning a major legal case a few months after having a baby.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 9:21 AM

I skied the Ridge at Taos. Ok, to most people this would not be a big deal. But (a) I can't ski for crap (my husband started at 4; I first tried at 23), and (b) I have asthma and have never been able to manage any kind of good cardiovascular conditioning or stamina.

But after I had my daughter, my life felt completely out of control (this was the period when my husband's company shut down and we moved to another state where I didn't know anyone). I was almost desperate to reclaim my body, because it felt like the one thing I COULD control. So I started going to the gym regularly -- and I hired a trainer once a week as an external motivator to make sure I'd go (if you knew how cheap I am, you'd realize how desperate I must have been feeling to fork over weekly cash for that). She started me running -- at first just alternating jogging/walking for a minute or two at a time until my asthma kicked in, then slowly building up to five minutes, then more.

Within a year, I was kicking my husband on hikes, and even survived a 5K. And I finally got up the nerve to try the ridge. The problem with the ridge is that the chairlifts don't even go there -- you have to lug your gear a minimum of 15 minutes dead uphill, on the highest part of the mountain, even to get there. I made it up ok, but as soon as I peered over the edge of the cornice, I was sure I'd lost my mind and they were going to be towing my lifeless body down behind a snowmobile (did I mention I'm also afraid of heights?). It took probably a good 10 minutes, but I finally got up my courage and went. And made it. I fell a half-dozen times the first time, but by about the third, I almost even looked like I knew what I was doing.

I know it's not a big deal, but it was for me. Because getting there forced me to push through a lot of fears and self-perceptions and physical challenges that I had let define me for most of my life.

Posted by: laura33 | November 9, 2007 9:23 AM

Laura -- learning to ski or tackling a new skiing challenge like that IS really impressive. I echo the feeling that having a baby can make you feel like your life is totally out of control. It's like surviving your own private earthquake.

I don't care that Paula Radcliffe is a professional, and totally amazing, runner. Or that Katie Holmes is a rich actress. I am STILL incredibly impressed that they ran (and that Paula won) the marathon so soon after having kids. I think they -- and the other mom runners -- deserve a completely fre-and-clear no caveats CONGRATULATIONS.

I feel exactly the same way for all moms who return to their jobs. And for all moms who don't return to their jobs, and tackle the new job of being a stay-at-home mom. Bravo, bravo, bravo.

We don't congratulate moms enough in this country. We act like, well, it's natural to be a mom, so who needs a medal for it? But it's big stuff, motherhood. And we're all better off recognizing how big it is.

Posted by: leslie4 | November 9, 2007 9:48 AM

I feel like such a loser. The only thing I've done since having my son is keep on working. Nothing big or fantastic to report in terms of achievements. Except of course that he's a great kid (but that's his achievement, not mine). And that our family is happy and secure (but that's just lucky, I think). I have not written any books or run any marathons. Sometimes, it's a challenge to make sure the bathroom gets cleaned once a week. But we have had countless kisses and snuggles and stories and kids' movies and days at the fair or the harvest festival or the beach. Our photo album is filled with wonderful memories. I guess for now, that's enough.

Posted by: Emily | November 9, 2007 10:07 AM

Uh, HELLO! we all have been in a marathon that makes her marathon look like a cake walk. Childcare,paying for children, waking up in the middle of the night, worrying, changing diapers, doing homework, coaching, doing mountains of laundry, endless birthday parties to go to, working etc. Now that is a Marathon!

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 10:21 AM

And a shout out to all the under appreciated dads out there who bust there butts to be involved with their kids, work and be there to help out all the moms.

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 10:23 AM

I'll tell you what leslie. I'm more than happy to give a congrats to anyone who runs a marathon, but I'm much more impressed with a mother who doesn't have a gazillion dollars and who's not a professional runner who runs a marathon.

A few weeks ago I watched the Nova special on training normal people to run a marathon. Of the 13 who started, 12 completed the marathon. The 13th had stress fractures that wouldn't heal because of diabetes and had to drop out. Interestingly, they said that all the physiological improvements were maxed out by the time they could run 10 miles. The last 16.2 miles are all about pushing past the pain. And only one of the participants had a change in weight and body composition, and she was doing a separate exercise program and dieting.

Posted by: atb2 | November 9, 2007 10:41 AM

Chitty, Chitty, Chitty, you are SO concerned about Mrs. Mako.

I will just say this, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Posted by: nonamehere | November 9, 2007 11:10 AM

I was actually scared to view the comments for this article as I expected to see countless monumental accomplishments, and people realizing their unfinished goals. I'm happily surprised that most people are normal and too busy getting through every day life to considering or even having the inclination to do something monumental! I agree, that I'm proud of myself, as a newly single mother, making it to work with a smile on my face, keeping the smile and happiness in my son, making sure my dogs are clean and fed, making sure my home is clean, working in at least most of the basic food groups in our mealks, etc.....And I only have one son. My hat's off to all other single parents out there, it's a tough job, but as equally rewarding as coming in first in a marathon!

Posted by: ldodson1 | November 9, 2007 11:11 AM

Idodson1 - you rock! That is a good attitude. We don't all need to be competitive all the time....sometimes, sure, if that is what rocks your boat.

I just see celebrating coming way too close to self-comparison (witness Emily already). The whole winner/loser thing is just inappropriate.

Sure, we can celebrate others, but we need to celebrate ourselves more.

Posted by: dotted_1 | November 9, 2007 11:17 AM

Laura: you did more than accomplish your goals, you allowed your kid(s) to see how hard work and ambition and all that work, too. Even if you think they were too young to understand, you became that person, who accomplished that task. And they will see that forever. Kudos to you!

What have I done? I actually have become, to my surprise, an advocate for better nutrition. We eat better - I made baby food for both my kids (before I realized I could do it, I thought: *shrug* I'll just buy some baby food). Wasn't very difficult. I make challah for Friday night dinner (shabbat) every week, I make tons of food from scratch, and keep healthy choices in the house - I don't buy junk food (except for ice cream VERY RARELY), so we won't eat it if it's not there - we have to make a large effort to get junk.

I hope this has helped my family to eat better...

Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 9, 2007 11:25 AM

Running - and winning - a marathon 10 months after having a baby IS amazing, but it's nothing less than I'd expect from Paula Radcliffe. For those who don't know, she also owns the women's marathon world record, in 2:15, a time which would have placed her tenth in the MEN's USA marathon Olympic trials (out of over a hundred runners). She's an inspiration.

Posted by: jen_omeara | November 9, 2007 11:50 AM

Nothing monumental to report in terms of accomplishments here beyond day-to-day survival and the simple joys that accompany that. I saw a video not too long ago _Howl's Moving Castle_ -- another fabulous Miyazaki film for any fans out there. Great stuff for kids and grownups too. Anyway the main character is a 19-year-old girl who gets turned into an old woman by a witch and suddenly has to manage her life in this new body. Ha! That's what my life feels like -- never mind my kids constantly remind me I'm positively ancient in their eyes! Personal accomplishments will have to wait until I have more time.

Posted by: anne.saunders | November 9, 2007 11:50 AM

Agreed with ArmyBrat-- This is back to the office for Paula Radcliffe. Winning one of the Big 5 marathons is a major accomplishment but that's what she's paid very well to do.

No one ever mentions that actually 3 of the top 5 women in NYC have kids. I hope the lack of attention to the other marathon moms (gag) is just because Wami and Ndereba's daughters are a bit older and not because they're a lot darket-skinned.

Posted by: notyourbusiness2 | November 9, 2007 11:52 AM

I have managed to be patient, day in and day out (with only a few bad days) even though I have had chronic back problems since the birth of my second child, now 2 1/2 years old. I have managed that on poor, interrupted sleep too, since she still wakes up at least once or twice a night.

Running a marathon might be easier (except for those pesky back and knee problems).

Posted by: robinwfcva | November 9, 2007 11:53 AM

altmom- I have to say, if you learned to make bread after kids, good for you! That's very intimidating to me for some reason. I would love to make a loaf of bread for my family on Sun nights. You'll have to tell me about your experience learning.

Posted by: atb2 | November 9, 2007 11:57 AM

I once read a quote that essentially said:

The amazing thing about motherhood is that more moms don't run away from home once they have kids.

And I agree: just showing up, day after day, is heroic in a completely wonderful, mundane way. dads and moms. because it IS hard. in addition to being fun, exhilirating, frustrating and totally exhausting.

Posted by: leslie4 | November 9, 2007 12:00 PM

Okay, I got it now: today is "Leslie's fishing for compliments Day". Okay, Leslie, I'll join in: you've accomplished a tremendous amount, both before and after having kids. You should be proud of what you've achieved - having one book published is something that only a few people can celebrate, and you've done more than that.

Happy now?

Can we get back to celebrating the individual accomplishments each of us makes during the course of balancing our lives between work/careers/families/our own interests, which is what really counts?

Laura, your skiing accomplishment is fantastic - overcoming your own fear is a significant feat.

Emily, you've always come across on this blog as content and balanced between your work and family lives. You're motivated, focused, and give us the impression you can accomplish what you want. That's something you should be very proud of - and I mean that honestly; that's not intended to be snide, sarcastic, snarky, or anything else.

It's not about comparing who's appendage is bigger. I don't care what school you went to or whether you think it's better than the school I went to. I don't care whether you think your trophy kids are better than my kids. I don't care whether you make more or less money than me. I'm worried about myself and my family - are we happy for ourselves, regardless of what the Jones' are doing.

('Course, if we were comparing the size of our appendages - that is, our accomplishments - I'd start with a happy 20 year marriage, four really great, high-achieving kids, successful career, three college degrees, having taught at three universities, private pilot's license, sport parachute license, running a huge girls' fastpitch softball program, being on a TV game show, etc. etc. Glad we're not comparing 'cause then I'd have to whip that out on you. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 12:01 PM

Armybrat, thank you for the chuckle. Now I want to know what game show you were on.

Posted by: Emily | November 9, 2007 12:04 PM

Emily - Jeopardy, many many years ago.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 12:07 PM

I can't think of any mind-blowing accomplishments that parenthood brought about. But the kids seem to be surviving and occasionally thriving.

I haven't actually left any of them on the side of the road (but I DID have to pull over, park the car, and call my parents to have them talk me off the wall--I WAS going to leave one of them behind), I have scr#wed with their minds by convincing them that I can change the traffic lights by clapping my hands three time and saying "Change!" Amongst other fun things.

In case anyone is a first-timer, kids will NOT die if they drink the water from the pets bowl. It's some sort of rite of passage or something. I can remember eating dry cat food once or twice in kindergarten, myself.

I doubt that they're any more likely to set the world on fire than anyone else. But I love them, I even like them more often than not.

And THAT takes some doing sometimes!

Now, if only they would pick up their rooms and get their cr@p off the sofa without my directing their attention. That would be a dream come true.

Well, that and a margarita. It's Friday, doesn't anyone want to share a virtual margarita? Where's the flan?

Posted by: maryland_mother | November 9, 2007 12:11 PM

If it makes you girls feel better about yourselves, I'll have to admit that I haven't been able to shed those 5 pesky pounds I gained during my wife's last pregnancy either.

Posted by: DandyLion | November 9, 2007 12:12 PM

No kis yet, but I did run a half marathon. I signed on with Team in Training, trained for the whole marathon, but busted up my knees in the process. So I could only do the 13 miles. But I did raise a lot of money.

Even after the early mornings, quesy stomachs ,and busted knees, I would still say that running a marathon is a cakewalk compared to raising a kid. I'd rather run 15 marathons than be a mother, so congrats to all you who do it and do it well.

Posted by: Meesh | November 9, 2007 12:15 PM

atlmom- You inspired me to pull 2 recipes off the web to give French bread rolls a try.

Posted by: atb2 | November 9, 2007 12:16 PM

Army Brat,

Not everyone would consider a degree from Perdon't an accomplishment.

(Unless your diploma were written in Latin!)

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 12:16 PM

Also, my DI had a "thought" about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

Only two thing fall from the skies, bird "dropping" and fools.

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 12:19 PM

I have to admit, I don't really get the need to call being a parent heroic. I don't think I have accomplished anything particularly extraordinary since having a child, and frankly, I don't think I need to. My greatest moments of happiness really occur when I am completely focused on the present and just being with my family or doing whatever I'm doing. I don't want to be a hero, I just want to embrace the joy in my life. I don't think being a parent makes me any more or less "heroic" than anyone else, and trying to make parenthood into some huge heroic thing I think really just would stress me out and detract from enjoying my life for what it is.

Posted by: LizaBean | November 9, 2007 12:31 PM

Fred,

I'm flabbergasted by your stint in Vietnam.

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 12:41 PM

I have found becoming a mom to be extremely liberating. I can do more now with 2 little kids than I thought I could do before they were born. When my second daughter was 10 months old I left my job to become an independent contractor and have also started a real estate business with my husband. I would NEVER have done these things before kids. I learned a lot about what I was capable of doing because of my 2 little girls. They pushed me to do and be more than I thought I could.

Posted by: karen_janos | November 9, 2007 12:43 PM

"Glad we're not comparing 'cause then I'd have to whip that out on you."

ArmyBrat, come on, now, this is a family show -- no whipping anything out. :-)

(I now have Blazing Saddles stuck in my head, than you very much. Not that that's a burden or anything.)

Posted by: laura33 | November 9, 2007 12:46 PM

Hey, I almost forgot. Leslie and The Washington Post published my story as the guest writer on Onbalance.

What can be more inspirational than that?

Posted by: DandyLion | November 9, 2007 1:02 PM

Chitty,

Why do you say that? (seriouly)

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 1:03 PM

"Okay, I got it now: today is "Leslie's fishing for compliments Day"

Eureka! That is what has been bubbling around in me here for a while. Leslie , while accomplishing alot, never seems like she is satisfied with herself and is constantly comparing herself to others and seems like she finds herself wanting. That is then extrapolated to include all women.

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 1:04 PM

"Hey, I almost forgot. Leslie and The Washington Post published my story as the guest writer on Onbalance.

What can be more inspirational than that? "

Jesus & a stint in rehab.

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 1:04 PM

Dandy Lion,

I see your column and raise you one by Frieda! (na!na! na!)

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 1:05 PM

"(I now have Blazing Saddles stuck in my head, than you very much. Not that that's a burden or anything.)"

Lili Von Schtupp offers Bart a gigantic sausage]
Lili Von Shtupp: Would you like another schnitzengruben?
Bart: No, thank you. Fifteen is my limit on schnitzengruben.
Lili Von Shtupp: Well how about a little...
[whispers in his ear]
Bart: [shocked] Baby. I'm not from Havana.


LOL!

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 1:08 PM

pATRICK

"Leslie , while accomplishing alot, never seems like she is satisfied with herself "

Wait 'till her "Sleeping with the Enemy" tome is published!

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 1:10 PM

it's twrue, it't twrue!

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 1:10 PM

(hard to write a lisp!)

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 1:11 PM

Only two thing fall from the skies, bird "dropping" and fools.

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 12:19 PM

Count me one of those fools -- before kids, of course. YOu jump anymore ArmyBrat?

Posted by: anne.saunders | November 9, 2007 1:12 PM

I could have learned for free! (parachuting) But this was one time when I ACTUALLY listened to my DI!

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 1:14 PM

Fred, I'll have you know that I was also in the winner's circle on parody sing-a-long day. Ha!

But, you know what? Never, not once, have I ever won the honorary and most distinguished prize of a ride in the creepy van. Not once! Boo!

Posted by: DandyLion | November 9, 2007 1:23 PM

"Fred, I'll have you know that I was also in the winner's circle on parody sing-a-long day. Ha!"


OMG!!!!!

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 1:27 PM

DandyLion,

You seem to forget who was one of the two judges of the Sing A Long. (Leslie overruled me on your song.)

And as for the Creepy Van (tm), you can forgetaboutit!

Posted by: fred | November 9, 2007 1:35 PM

"Hey, I almost forgot. Leslie and The Washington Post published my story as the guest writer on Onbalance.

What can be more inspirational than that? "

Jesus & a stint in rehab.

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 01:04 PM

This is one of the funniest lines on this blog in weeks.

pATRICK - spot on. Leslie's desparate need for affirmation is routinely extrapolated to all women and it is so not the common experience.

Posted by: MN | November 9, 2007 1:39 PM

anne.saunders - no, haven't jumped in years. And to use the technical jargon, nor am I exercising the privileges of my Airman's Certificate.

Just don't have the time. I need to emulate my FIL. After his kids left the house and he retired, he went back to flying. Renewed his Class III Airman's Certificate, got his glider rating, went to school to get his Airframe & Powerplant mechanic license, and spends most of his days at the gliderport. Yep, DW definitely came from good stock.

Laura, Fred, Patrick: "What the he** are you worried about? This is 1874, you'll be able to sue her!"

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 1:41 PM

Fred, "Army Brat,Not everyone would consider a degree from Perdon't an accomplishment. (Unless your diploma were written in Latin!)"

Well, the folks who graduated from Indiana certainly don't see it as an accomplishment. But "that's alright, that's okay, they'll all work for us some day."

Latin? Sorry, that's for graduates of that "girl's school" with the lousy football team that's located up near Niles. (True - it's three miles from Niles, Michigan and 6 miles from South Bend, IN.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 1:45 PM

Don't be saucy with me, Bearnaise!

(oopss wrong Mel Brooks movie)

Posted by: fred | November 9, 2007 1:47 PM

I love Blazing Saddles it is like a theater of the absurd. Hey, maybe that's why I like this blog too. HMM.

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 1:48 PM

"Wait 'till her "Sleeping with the Enemy" tome is published!"

I'm actually looking forward to it. Leslie's a good writer when she wants to be, and I'm willing to bet it will be a very informative book.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 1:48 PM

"Fred, I'll have you know that I was also in the winner's circle on parody sing-a-long day. Ha!"

I had forgotten. My one true great accomplishment. I was the WINNER of the On Balance Singalong, on that great day in 2007 (whenever it was). A true great moment in history. How could it have slipped my mind? Now I feel fulfilled. You marathon runners and book writers and other sundry overachieves. Eat my dust.

Posted by: Emily | November 9, 2007 1:50 PM

Atb: please don't be too impressed, I make it in the bread maker.
I let it actually cook in the bread maker for several weeks before I was brave enough to only have the bread maker do the dough, I take the dough out and then braid it to make the 'traditional' challah for friday night dinner. And the kids now love to do their own 'braiding' of the challah. I hope that's what they're remember.

Also - look for a recipe for cinnamon rolls. It is a bit of work - but it's kinda fun and they are FANTASTIC.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 9, 2007 1:51 PM

"I'm actually looking forward to it. Leslie's a good writer when she wants to be, and I'm willing to bet it will be a very informative book."

Is there any fiction by Leslie we can read?

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 1:51 PM

Never, not once, have I ever won the honorary and most distinguished prize of a ride in the creepy van. Not once! Boo!

Posted by: DandyLion | November 9, 2007 01:23 PM

I've won it twice. Remind me to hold that over you at the next get-together.

I haven't COLLECTED my prize though.

Posted by: maryland_mother | November 9, 2007 1:53 PM

Y'all winners of the Creepy Van (tm) rides merely have to come to New Orleans to collect. Just stand on the corner of Canal and St. Charles. I'll find you. We can always tell a tourist!

F.

Posted by: fred | November 9, 2007 1:57 PM

Fred

"Y'all winners of the Creepy Van (tm) rides merely have to come to New Orleans to collect. Just stand on the corner of Canal and St. Charles. I'll find you. We can always tell a tourist!"

The parents aren't related.

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 1:59 PM

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/onbalance/2007/09/on_balance_singalong.html


The top five were:

Emily
BTPDUC748
DANDYLION (only by the grace of Leslie)
EDUCMOM_615
WORKING MOM X

Posted by: fred | November 9, 2007 2:01 PM

Fred,

Did pATRICK's cap locks key find its way to your keyboard?

Posted by: MN | November 9, 2007 2:16 PM

Fred can you give me your email? I have a question for Fredia. I don't want to bore the other people on the blog with my breastfeeding questions.

Since the birth of this baby, I am lucky I can tie my shoes correctly.

Posted by: Irishgirl | November 9, 2007 2:19 PM

It's a beautiful day in Texas (as usual). Is the virtual bar open yet? And where is that cat MEHITABEL?

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 2:20 PM

fred_and_frieda@hotmail.com

Posted by: fred | November 9, 2007 2:20 PM

MN,

No, on the cap locks, I was just cutting and pasting from the original document.

Posted by: fred | November 9, 2007 2:23 PM


One other thing that's been bugging me all day:

"three to four times a week for 90 minutes in a room heated to 93 degrees."

How the heck do you keep a room heated to 93 degrees? Man, that's gotta be killing the old environment - the carbon footprint on that makes Shaquille O'Neal's shoes look like Tinkerbell's.

(Okay, I realize that 9 months a year such a room is called "Fred's back yard", but up North here...)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 2:31 PM

Irishgirl, that's why I always wear slip-on shoes - and I only have one child to care for. :)

Posted by: LizaBean | November 9, 2007 2:43 PM

"Is the virtual bar open yet?"

Hell, yes. The virtual bar is ALWAYS open. Even for Cowboys fans.

Posted by: MN | November 9, 2007 2:51 PM

"Is the virtual bar open yet?"

Not to the virtual 12 Steppers.

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 2:53 PM

"Is the virtual bar open yet?"

Hell, yes. The virtual bar is ALWAYS open. Even for Cowboys fans


That was a good one. I am used to Cowboys hating. Perhaps a good 12 year old scotch, since it is officially fall.

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 2:55 PM

Hey, even I can drink out of the virtual bar. But unfortunately, I don't feel like a drink. I would rather have a double chocolate sundae with a warm brownie underneath. Now that would really make me happy (and fulfilled).

Posted by: Emily | November 9, 2007 2:58 PM

patrick, mehitabel asked me to convey to you that she's been under the weather all week so hasn't been visiting her computer, including this blog, very much. but she thanks you for your kind greetings, and wishes you virtual flan. signed, archy.

Posted by: mehitabel | November 9, 2007 3:04 PM

atlmom- I'm still impressed.

chitty- You're on fire today.

Posted by: atb2 | November 9, 2007 3:09 PM

Emily,

I understand that the virtual bar is immediately adjacent to the virtual ice cream shoppe, and in honor of the owner's birthday, all sundaes are free today and may be consumed at the bar adjacent to those Cowboy-fan scotch drinkers. Spinach dip is also available at the bar.

Posted by: MN | November 9, 2007 3:15 PM

ice cream shoppe

The old Gifford's? The one on Georgia Avenue, with the marble countertop and the soda jerk handles?

I'm there! Fill it with white birch beer, please.

Posted by: maryland_mother | November 9, 2007 3:19 PM

atb: thank you. It's surprisingly easy to do tons of stuff that I never thought I would ever be cooking. I made fondue the other night - everyone had fun, and it's easy to make (okay, so everyone got a little antsy, so the cheese wasn't perfectly melted, next time I'll use beer).

I was so intimidated by cooking, as mom was a fabulous cook, with little to no effort (or so it seemed) and she never had any inkling to teach us how to cook (three daughters - with NO skills on cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, etc - I think it was mom's little protest to the 50s). She was a much more fabulous cook than I ever will be (she could taste something at a restaurant, know all the ingredients - spices, etc - and make it at home, but the way she thought it *should* have been done!).

Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 9, 2007 3:19 PM

I'll have a margarita. And some spinach dip. All sounds great.
And some flan.
Emily: i'll bring over some made from scratch brownies (I can't eat the boxed ones anymore - SO not worth it - after you've eaten the ones from scratch!)

Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 9, 2007 3:21 PM

Spinach dip is also available at the bar.


Served frozen of course!

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 3:21 PM

My mom's a fabulous cook, too, but never baked more than a quick bread in her life. My sister and I also cook but don't bake. I'm going to give it a try this weekend and tell you how it goes. I've been wanting to take advantage of the dough hook since I got my Kitchenaid!

Posted by: atb2 | November 9, 2007 3:25 PM

"Emily,

I understand that the virtual bar is immediately adjacent to the virtual ice cream shoppe, and in honor of the owner's birthday, all sundaes are free today and may be consumed at the bar adjacent to those Cowboy-fan scotch drinkers. Spinach dip is also available at the bar."

Thanks, MN. But I am afraid that the virtual ice cream shoppe is just not going to do it for me today. I went to the doctor's yesterday, and he commended me on the fact that my blood sugar is really under control and that the baby has not grown too much (she is in the 50th percentile for this week), so I have decided to cheat on my diet today. I am just waiting for some of my co-workers to leave so that they won't see me sneaking ice cream into my office in about half an hour.

Posted by: Emily | November 9, 2007 3:26 PM

Oh, atb, you have a kitchenaid? I think my sister took it from my mom's house - and I'm sure it's gathering dust at her house (she doesn't ever cook).
I so drool over those when we go to the store. I would like a lovely one in red. :)

Actually, since they didn't have bread makers way back when, mom never made bread. The rumor is that she tried it a few times and it didn't work. I think she didn't have the patience. She really was great with 30 minute meals.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 9, 2007 3:31 PM

Emily: i'll bring over some made from scratch brownies (I can't eat the boxed ones anymore - SO not worth it - after you've eaten the ones from scratch!)

Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 9, 2007 03:21 PM

This is worthy of a poll:

For those who've had both, which is better, scratch or Duncan Hines?

It's not a close call for me: Duncan Hines boxed brownies beat every from-scratch brownie I've consumed, LOL.

Posted by: MN | November 9, 2007 3:35 PM

Wow, MN. Actually, I will make the ghirardelli box ones - those are pretty good. :)

Posted by: atlmom1234 | November 9, 2007 3:36 PM

"Spinach dip is also available at the bar."

Would you care for some bean dip? It's made with my freshly pumped breast milk.

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 3:37 PM

"This is worthy of a poll:

For those who've had both, which is better, scratch or Duncan Hines?"

Easy: scratch. Make sure you use real butter instead of margarine or oil. I also usually use more vanilla than my aunt's recipe called for.

(Living in New Orleans, you learn two facts:
1 - food is life
2 - cooking is living
Well, okay you learn more facts, but those are the important ones.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | November 9, 2007 3:39 PM

mehitabel votes for brownies from scratch, by a mile -- and add a bag of chocolate chips to the batter for extra fudginess. signed, archy.

Posted by: mehitabel | November 9, 2007 3:42 PM

Army Brat - we disagree only on the brownies not on the importance of butter or the critical nature of the dispute. You'll see sense another day, I suppose, LOL.

Posted by: MN | November 9, 2007 3:43 PM

Army Brat - we disagree only on the brownies not on the importance of butter or the critical nature of the dispute. You'll see sense another day, I suppose, LOL.

Another hard hitting day at ON BALANCE..;)

Posted by: pATRICK | November 9, 2007 3:57 PM

"Another hard hitting day at ON BALANCE..;)"

OH, THE HUMANITY!

Posted by: chittybangbang | November 9, 2007 4:00 PM

Oohhh! I have accomplishments!
I was a Sing-along winner!
I've earned TWO rides in the Creepy Van(tm)!
I did NOT kill my boys! They survived middle school, driving practice and high school nonsense without p***ing me off too much and made it to legal adulthood!
I get asked for recipes! By my MOM!

Oh, yeah, I joined al-anon and got my act together. That was actually pretty big.

But not as much FUN as dropping a son off 200 miles away!!!!!! Wahoo!

And scratch brownies every time!

Posted by: educmom__615 | November 9, 2007 4:07 PM

BTW, I have had the same Kitchen Aid mixer since 1990. When I redid my kitchen a few years back,I actually included a cabinet with a pop-up shelf with a plug inside for The Mixer. Yeah, I bake a lot. I don't know what they charge for one these days, but they're worth every penny.

Posted by: educmom__615 | November 9, 2007 4:10 PM

I have no opinion on box v scratch. Honestly, I don't think I had scratch until I was in my late twenties, and was somewhat surprised that people made them that way.

I feel strongly about them not being overbaked, and preferably, a little underbaked.

Posted by: LizaBean | November 9, 2007 4:17 PM

"We don't congratulate moms enough in this country. We act like, well, it's natural to be a mom, so who needs a medal for it? But it's big stuff, motherhood. And we're all better off recognizing how big it is."

Oh give me a break. How on earth can you say that, when 95% of women on earth (just guessing) eventually do it and an similarly equal number of men become fathers?

Being a good mother is important. Being a good FATHER is important. But I certainly don't need or want to be congratulated for doing the right thing (I'm saying that it's "right" to be a good parent once you've become one, not that it's not right to not become a parent.)

Amazing that people can't just live their lives joyfully and stop worrying about being congratulated or accomplishing HUGE things.

Posted by: fake99 | November 9, 2007 4:26 PM

Chitty,

I would still like to know why you are flabbergasted by my service in RVN? Some 8.1 million men served in Viet Nam. 58,256 died due to the war.

Veterans Day is this Sunday, November 11. The date that the armistice was signed ending WWI which was known then as "The Great War".

We should all honor our living and dead veterans this weekend.

Fred
US Army 1971-74
In RVN 1971-72

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 6:54 PM

I just ran across this article while doing research for my Expository Writing class. I feel like I am loosing my "marathon". I am taking nine credits-all online-working full time, I have four kids, one worthless husband, a farm, and my worthless husband's business to deal with every day!! I feel like I am out of time every day. After having my last child, I decided to go back to school to pursue my dream of being a cardiac surgeon. Kind of sounds ridiculous now. I have already earned my Medical Transcriptionist certificate and am working on my Associate of Arts degree right now. My oldest child is 12 and my youngest is 4. Actually, I had to get my GED first; that I did in the spring of 2005, then started college that same fall. I got my first-ever job seven weeks ago and am already assistant-manager. I had my first son when I was 16. I think, like most of you have said, that the parents who don't have millions of dollars and a network of cronies to do their every bidding are the ones who should be applauded. We are in the firing lines every day--and night for those of us who have new-borns--yet we get no recognition or special news coverage. But who cares, our reward is in the future of our children; how we raise them and how we love them.

Posted by: kooshlamania | November 10, 2007 10:30 PM

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