Tuesday, April 29, 2014

3 Small Gifts You Need To Buy Yourself

I truly think that you can tell how well people know you by the gifts that they give you. This past week I received three gifts that I know you will agree are very appropriate for someone like me (and if you read this blog, probably appropriate for someone like you).

The Princess Wipes:


I do believe that the invention of the wipe has been, historically, the most genius expression of human creativity (well, the sticky note is pretty clever too). Initially devised to clean an infant’s bottom of feces and urine, the wipe is now widely depended on by runners everywhere. 

Need a quick clean up? Use 5-6 wipes to hit the major sweat regions: pits, crotch, cleavage, crack. Trusted a fart while running and shouldn’t have? Your wipes are there to tide you over until you can get home and do the “real” clean up.  You don’t have to use the Princess Wipes, but they may just make you feel a tad more dainty and Kate Middleton-ish as you are cleaning yourself up (tip: keep in console of your car!).


The Hand Sanitizer:


Please note that you do not have to  have touched your genitals to use this sanitizer. That is just a suggestion. The hand sanitizer is a necessity for anyone who is around excessive germs. As a runner, you are likely exposed to many bodily fluids (yours and perhaps others if things get messy). Having a sanitizer at your disposal to decrease bacteria on your skin is essential. In actuality, you could combine the Princess Wipes and the Hand Sanitizer and never have to shower or bathe again. No one would know the better (another item to keep in console of your car).


The Grown Up Sippy Cup:


For a long time now, I have felt very cheated. You see, I was born in the 60s (1967 to be exact), prior to the invention of the sippy cup. I was part of a generation who walked around with cherry Kool-Aid spilled down the front of their shirt and dried milk spots on their Lee jeans.  At the age of two and three we were too cool and old to drink out of bottles, but too young and careless to consume beverages out of real cups.

As an adult, I have now found some redemption. No more careless wine spills down the front of my blouse. No need to put my good quality wine (i.e., Woodbridge $9.99 for the big bottle) in a red Solo cup when I walk the dog. I now feel that my life has come full circle. (btw, you can find this cup HERE).


Yes, I do sit on my steps and drink wine

What did I learn about myself by writing this post? That if you give me a keyboard and a subject, I can write about anything.

As a runner/triathlete, what do you keep in your car? Clif Bars, gels, wipes, lotion, shorts, hand sanitizer, gloves, gum, Motrin, Altoids, suncreen, lip balm, tampons.

Best “personal” gift you have received lately? I have also enjoyed the book given to me recently - The Kama Pootra - 52 Mind Blowing Ways to Poop. An example (don’t try this at home):



Saturday, April 26, 2014

My New Favorite Race

I’m not spontaneous (unless I get the runner’s trots, then I am very spontaneous going to and in the bathroom). Overall, I’m more of a Type A planner.

Yet, two days ago I started living on the edge and signed up for the Ft. Collins Trail Half Marathon that was today. I don’t know. I had a 2 1/2 hour run scheduled for today and felt like racing. Plus, if you read this blog, you know how much I love the trails. This one, north of Ft. Collins, promised to be a scenic course. With just a bit of climbing. Holy sh*t. After a 60 mile bike ride yesterday, I wasn’t sure if my legs would work and be able to reach that pointy nipple at the top.


I talked Joie into doing it with me. We started out early to a beautiful sunrise.


I love any race where you have to turn on this road to get to the start.

We picked up our packets and enjoyed a nice continental breakfast (I called it the Costco-tinental breakfast because it was all from the big “C”, but I love Costco’s stuff so I was thrilled). I had some big pieces of loaf cake. Carbs, man.

The only bathrooms available were in a church near the start line. 2 stalls for women, 1 for men. Those poor church people. Sweet Jesus the smell was bad by the time I went in for my second deposit. No, the smell wasn’t ALL my fault.

I love trail races because they are super mellow. No corrals, no feelings of being smashed in like sardines or weaving around people.

This was to be a half marathon, but when we got there, we saw this sign. Yay! It’s the special of the day! Only 12.5 miles today!


I think it should be illegal to start a race going up a huge hill, but that is what happened. Why do pictures never do climbs justice? I swear it was 95x this steep.


The first mile was brutal.

I didn’t bring water because the website said aid stations were every two miles. Well, I suppose if you averaged the aid stations they were every two miles. But, the first three were close together, then there was  a five mile span with nothing (due to the trail being too remote), which is a long time when you are climbing on the trails.

I have to tell you - I had the time of my life. I LOVE the challenge of climbing up (and occasionally walking) these huge ass hills then screaming down them. The scenery was probably the best I have ever had on a run. There were a lot of single track trails that wound in and out of little canyons and small streams to jump over or splash through. I wish I had pictures for you, but I don’t. There were, however, two younger girls (women) taking selfies of each other for  a good part of the race. WHAT?

In total, this race only ended up being 11.5 miles. A bit short of the half distance. But, I was okay with that. I finished in 1:56 for an average pace of 10:07. For me on the hills (1,900 feet of climbing) that is very good.


And, I was shocked to learn I got 1st in the 40-49 old lady age group. There were only 10 of us in this age group but I’ll take it!!! Us old women can still rock it, clearly. And, drink beer at 10:00 a.m. after a race.



Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

What is the most scenic race you’ve ever done?


PS: “Hi” to reader Sonia who introduced herself today. WTG on the 10K! And nice meeting you out there, Louisa! Sorry about your leg.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day In The Life

I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time (2011 maybe). I am really not sure anyone cares or should care about a day in the life of me, but for some reason I really like it when other people do these posts, so here goes (and if you do one of your own, let me know, I will read it!).

To start, you should know my days are all completely random and are never the same. This is because I work from home, set my own hours and have no clue when things are going to come up or where/how I’m going to fit in my workouts. Woe is me.

6:30 a.m. Woke up to these guys (Heidi and my parents’ dog, Kleo) ready for a walk and a crap.


Switch on the coffee, take my X2 Performance and vitamins and head out with two poop bags because no matter how much I let them out in the backyard they like to poop on our walks. I think it has something to do with enjoying watching me pick it up. I am going to invest in some dog training soon.

7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Get my running stuff on and eat an almond butter/jelly sandwich. Clean up dishes, feed dogs, feed guinea pig, take out recycling.


I’ve always only eaten the almond butter from Costco (because it’s affordable – MaraNatha brand), but now that I’ve had the Barney Butter I won’t go back. So much more full flavored and smooth.

7:48 a.m. Took Emma to school with some coffee to go because I am Beth and I am a caffeine-aholic.


7:53 a.m. Got caught in the drop off cluster. This is the only time when I really don’t like other parents. Try not to flip anybody off. Great self discipline.


8:00 a.m. Met up with Joie and drove to Picture Rock trailhead. The sky was unbelievably blue today.


8: 20 a.m. As always when you run with me, there has to be a pit stop prior (and many times during):


I really mean PIT.


On a side note, is it just me or is anyone else afraid some animal or snake is inside the pit toilet? I always assume some creature is going to bite my ass.

8:30 a.m. Off to run. If you are wondering if I still love my Hydra Quiver hydration pack, the answer is YES. I use it on every long run. No more fuel belt for me. Check out the pony tail. Crazy wind today.


8 miles. Gradual elevation gain of about 850 feet. Had one plain GU at 4 miles and some Nuun. Joie is trying to eat “real” food like dates when she runs. I just like processed things.

10:00 a.m. Run is done. Head to Starbucks to pick up and drop off donations for the high school after prom party. Think to myself that Starbucks is very generous with this type of thing. Consider hoarding all the mugs, coffee, etc. for myself but don’t do it.

11:00 a.m. Home. Answer emails, makes some work calls. Start writing a report. Yes, I work amidst chaos.


Wake up Sam because he is starting school late today. He is 16 but says he needs help “making” a bagel. I ask what he needs help with. The part where he puts it in the toaster or he part where he puts butter on it. “The whole thing,” he says.

11:30 a.m. Take 5 minutes to watch this video. It made me smile. It made me want to reproduce and have many more children. Okay, just for a fleeting moment.

12:00 noon. Sam says he feels really crappy. Allergies? Cold? Bubonic Plague? Who knows. He decides to stay home. I make him cinnamon apple tea with honey and force him to take a picture of me at my desk. What the children of bloggers have to go through.

12:30 p.m. Have a satisfying lunch of Anytime Vegetable Soup that I made yesterday and a bagel with melted cheese. Then some cookies.

1:00 p.m. ----->>>> whatever time. Probably 5:00 p.m. More work. Too boring to talk about. Eat some of this leftover from Easter (carrot cake). Yes, I do in fact like my icing to be as thick as my cake. That pink spot is where a Peep used to be.


You notice there has not yet been a shower. I do smell, but I don’t mind my own stink. I promise I will rinse off in the near future. Or, wipe down with Huggies at the very least.

6:00 p.m. Going to attend an Ironman Nutrition Seminar here. The head of my training group says, “IM is really an eating and drinking contest with some swimming, biking and running thrown in to make it fun.”

7:30 p.m. ++++ Wine and popcorn and Mad Men.

WAKE UP! Were you really that bored with my life?


Would you rather go in a pit toilet or behind a bush? I usually pick the bush, but toilet paper was a necessity today.

What is your favorite hydration pack/belt?

What’s better in your mind – working from home or being in an office? I have to admit that I love the flexibility of my schedule and being able to smell with no one caring, but I do miss having colleagues and the camaraderie of the workplace.


Monday, April 21, 2014

What Meb And I Have In Common

Please tell me you watched Meb win the Boston Marathon today.

He is the first American male to win Boston since 1983 (a US female, Lisa Larsen Weidenbach, won in 1985) . This year, especially, the win is poignant. I had chills throughout my body as I watched him cross the finish line, only about 8 seconds in front of the second place finisher from Kenya. I watched him dig deep for miles and miles and then give a final kick at the end.

Seeing Meb made me know that I always have more to give. That it is a choice whether to embrace the pain and find inspiration from deep down and to keep going, or to give into the pain and suffering and to slow down or even stop. What choice will you make?

When I saw Meb sobbing after finishing (about 1:53 in the video), I remembered why we do these damn races. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, as satisfying and rewarding and fulfilling as giving every last ounce of what you have and seeing it come to fruition (childbirth anyone?). I know that this is why I race. 

So many things in my life are not quantifiable – when you are a parent it is hard to know exactly the moment when/if you have been successful. As a social worker, I am constantly trying to advocate for children, but there is not a defined minute when I know I’ve done it right. In my marriage, I do my best to think of my spouse's happiness before mine (very tough to do), but I never truly know if I am doing it “right.” Same with my friendships.

But, running a marathon or finishing an Ironman? Now that I can measure in hours, minutes and seconds.


IM Florida November 2013

That moment allows me to know exactly when I was successful and accomplished my goal. That success is only mine and no one else’s. It’s a feeling of triumph I carry inside all the time, my little secret (unless you read this blog or are my friend or family member because then I might tell you too much). Only I can know when I race if I have left it all out there, and it is only in knowing that that I have no regrets.


Colorado Marathon 2010 – Got my BQ!

No, my running does not define me, but it has become a very important part of who I am. I know for a fact it has made me a better person, because I simply like myself more when I run. This isn’t because I am burning a certain umber of calories or wearing a certain outfit or achieving a certain time at the finish. It is because running makes me feel strong and capable and this translates to all areas of my life.

sanfran2 San Francisco – Summer 2013

Running is the great equalizer. I could never in my wildest dreams be the runner that Meb is. But, I have run the course that Meb ran on today. I did push myself on the hills he pushed himself on today. I dug deep like he did and I embraced the crowd like he did. I used the same porta potty he did. I cried at the finish just like he did. When I saw him grimace while he ran, I could almost feel how he felt during that last mile of a marathon because I, too, am a runner.


Boston Marathon Finish - 2011

Go Meb. Go all of us!


In three works or less, why do you run? Makes me better.

Have you ever run Boston? If not, is it one of your goals? I ran it in 2011. To be honest, I am not sure I will go back if I ever qualify again. I just have too many bucket list marathons to do the same one twice.


Friday, April 18, 2014

The Things You Take For Granted

On my way to swim this morning, I passed a church with this sign.


Not the “actual” sign, but you get the idea

Being on only my first cup of coffee, it took me a minute to grasp what the sign meant.

Just that morning I felt hassled by having to drop off something at school my daughter forgot. This was after I overslept and got annoyed with my son for dripping butter all over the leather couch. I’ve had a few tough, headache-producing cases at work this week and sometimes I feel completely ineffective at everything I do.

Yet, what I realized after digesting the words on the church sign, is that all of the important things are in place in my life and I rarely stop to just revel in how grateful I really am.

I thought to myself that right now someone is:

  • Praying that their child overcomes a life threatening illness, while my kids are healthy and I forget what a blessing this is.
  • Praying that they will walk/run again after an injury, while I am training every day and have no clue how to not be able to move my body the way that I want to.
  • Praying that they can afford a place to live for their family, while I have a home and have never had to worry about where I am going to sleep at night.
  • Praying that they will get that job so they can pay the bills, while I am not worrying about having enough money this month and have never known what it is like to be truly hungry.
  • Praying that their marriage/relationship will not disintegrate, while I have been married almost 19 years and am hopeful for at least 19 more.
  • Praying that a family member will live a bit longer or get over a grudge or overcome their addiction, while my parents and brother are still healthy, active and part of my life.

And, the list goes on.

On the flip side, I am sure there are things I am hoping for that other people take for granted.

On this day, right now, I hope we can all remember and acknowledge the many gifts and blessings that we’ve got.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

6 Ways To Recapture Your Running Motivation

I have many faults – we all know that! However, lack of motivation is not one of them. For some reason I have no tolerance for making excuses, not honoring commitments, complaining and playing the victim. We have all had our share of ups and downs in life. We all have reasons that we think we can’t run (But, I don’t have the time! But, running is hard! But, it is too hot/cold/rainy/windy! But, I pee myself when I run!).

I don’t buy any of it. If you really want to run you will find a way. If you simply hate it beyond words or it hurts your body, then find something else. But, don’t sit around rationalizing why you aren’t doing something you’d really like to be doing.

If you need an extra kick in the butt, or just some suggestions for how to get your running mojo back, consider these 6 tips to help you revitalize your relationship with running.

1. Think Small – If you have been sitting on the couch since December, do not expect to hop up and go run 10 miles. Many people get stuck and self-sabotage by biting off more than they can chew. Then, when they are unable to reach their goals, they quit. Pick a manageable goal. Tell yourself you will run 1-2 miles a few times a week. Or, if you are new to running, try walking for three minutes, then running for three minutes and do that 8 times. Work up from there!

2. Pick Something – While starting off small is important, I also am a huge believer in having a “carrot” to motivate your training. For me, this usually involves signing up for a race in the near or far future. Something happens mentally when you make that type of commitment. You become more invested in the process. You don’t want to waste your money. You don’t want to have to save face when you tell everyone you signed up for that 10K and then pussied out (I’m pretty sure “pussied” is a verb).

Use this race calendar from Running in the USA to find the right race near you. Just don’t do it while you’re drunk.


3. Make Some Music – I know many of you run without music. I happen to love listening to tunes when I run. It inspires and motivates me. If music is your thing, make a brand new playlist and “let” yourself listen to it only when you run. For running playlist favorites, go HERE. Here’s a peak at part of my long run playlist (get your magnifying glass):


4. Ignore the Voices – My greatest bit of advice for you – and I know you will be shocked as hell - is to shut up and run. Shutting up and running means that you stop buying into all of your excuses and you stop playing the victim. If you have a body that can move then you are luckier than millions of other people.  The moment you engage your brain and listen to why you shouldn’t take a run, you might start to believe it. When I am getting ready to go on a run and I have the slightest thought that I don’t want to go, that is the exact moment when I spring into action lacing up my shoes and hauling ass out the door.

5. Go to Netflix – Movies can motivate. Seeing and learning about someone else’s story and how they persevered is relatable. Use the energy and inspiration from those who have worked hard for their goals. The Spirit of the Marathon is a favorite of mine because it highlights the elites, but also us normal Joes and Josephines (You can watch on Hulu HERE). Here is a list of running movies available on Netflix.

6. Outfit Yourself – Not to be shallow, but sometimes having something new to wear gives you that extra boost. If buying a cute new running skirt is the thing that is going to get and keep you out the door, do it. You don’t have to break the bank on this one. Get creative! Just today I bought a brand new (yes, there are some things you do not buy used – swimsuits and underwear) Nike swimsuit from eBay for $23 (goes for $70 at the Nike site). Look for coupon/promo codes, go to consignment shops, even ask companies if they might let you review one of their items. This was a favorite outfit a couple years ago:



What is your favorite running movie? Run Fat Boy, Run is  a good one if you’re looking for a bit of humor (which I usually am).

Best running song on your iPod right now? I still like Timber.

What’s the next race on your calendar? Bolder Boulder 10K in May.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Who Needs Ambien?

I just finished week #4 of Ironman training, which means I have 16 weeks to go until IM Boulder (if I can count).


My training hours were only 10 for the week, but apparently this is right where I should be for now. Here’s the breakdown.

Swim: 7,800 yards ~4.43 miles
Bike: 75 miles
Run: 16.65 miles

Total miles: 96.08
Total time: 10 hours, 5 minutes
Total # of workouts: 9

Total bowls of peanut butter Cap’n Crunch consumed? 40

While training for an Ironman, or really any triathlon, you have to be super OCD organized. This is because there is so much damn gear required. I am usually pretty good about having my stuff together. I have found that the trick is in planning everything the night before from laying out clothes, to putting the coffee on self timer, to taking my morning dump (just kidding, that would defeat the purpose – plus I never poop at night unless I have food poisoning - TMI).

On Sunday, I had an early morning swim, which was to be followed by a simulated duathlon (some of my team mates were racing, I wasn’t). This meant that Saturday night amidst a few glasses of wine  and episodes of Mad Men, I organized my crap for MSS (Multi Sport Sunday). I failed miserably at this task, and I’m just glad I wasn’t racing because I would have been naked. And crying.

I got to the pool at 6:30 a.m. It was 32 degrees, sleeting and starting to snow.


I once again wondered why I do this crap. There are few things in life I hate worse than to be cold. Okay, I hate vomit worse than being cold. Good thing I didn’t vomit in the cold water.

After swimming with my group for 1.25 hours, I stopped in the hot tub then quickly dressed and headed out for my next round of workouts. I was planning to drive to the gym and do a run-bike-run sequence for about another 1.5 hours. That is when I realized I had my running shoes, but no shorts, shirt or bra (fail #1). I could have gotten in the treadmill in my one piece bathing suit and running shoes, but I don’t think my  Mizunos go with this:

Mirror-mirror One Piece Monokini Swimwear Swimsuit Bathing Suit - ...

I talked Ken into bringing my stuff to me. My view while waiting in the car was beautiful (I spy with my little eye something beginning with the letter “f.”).


After my run-bike-run I learned an important lesson (fail #2). It is possible to dry oneself off completely after a shower with a hand towel. Yes, I forgot my towel, so I used those little ones they give out to you for when you sweat. It was kind of like mopping up a spilled bottle of beer with a postage stamp. Or, something like that.

Regardless, the workout got done in plenty of time to come home and fall asleep on the couch while watching the Masters because that is what golf does to me. Who needs Ambien or Melatonin when you can watch golf?


Have you ever forgotten something important on race day? Yes, once when doing a 70.3 I forgot socks. Funny story HERE.

What’s worse for you when working out? Being too hot or too cold?


Saturday, April 12, 2014

6 Random Things To Bore You

1. The weirdest thing happened to me in the middle of the night. I wonder if this has happened to you before.

Out of nowhere, my calf seized up. Like the worst charley horse you have ever had in your life. I immediately started writhing around moaning and sweating. I was glad I wasn’t on a first date. Then, just like that, it subsided. The next morning I was sore. What the hell? (btw, did you know that the phrase charley horse originated from a horse named charley who got leg cramps? True story. This is not to be confused with charley horsing. Two very different things).


Re-enactment (or I am constipated)

2. Last night the kids wanted to order pizza. I am sick of pizza, at least of the cheese variety, which is what everyone around here wants. So, I went out on a limb and ordered this bad boy. This is my newest favorite from Blackjack. You’ve got to try it (cracker crust is the best IMHO).


3. I am a library geek. I love the library. I love everything about it (except that one time I borrowed a book that had tons of dry boogers in the pages – WTF people? I thought readers were above that). I will never live down the fact that I know my library card number by heart. I would give it to you, but then I would have to kill you.

Anyway, I always want to put really popular books on hold and there is always a long wait. So, I decided the way to get around that was to reserve the large print editions because not as many people want them (genius!). I don’t mind reading large print. In fact, then I don’t have to wear these.


I have been wanting to read Goldfinch for forever. I reserved it in large print because otherwise I would have to wait in line behind 100 people. It came in and I went to get it. This is the hugest book I have ever seen. Reading this book will help me to multi-task reading and strength training. (Did I tell you it’s 1,296 pages?)


4. Yesterday was 80 degrees and I rode in my shorts and short sleeves. Tomorrow this happens. Spring can be a dick.


5.  I took a ride today – a loop from Longmont down to Boulder and back. There were 5 million other cyclists out. At a few points I got passed, once by a peloton, once by two women. I know it’s stupid, but I hate that people can’t just say a casual hello as they blow past you. I mean it’s not as if we have to have a long conversation about our poop cycles, charley horses or Santa Fe pizzas, but we are all human beings out there – why pretend someone is invisible?

6. Sometimes when I’m eating lunch I watch The Doctors because that is all that is on. The other day they were talking about the book, The Doctor’s Diet. I am not a fan of diets whatsoever because I think they don’t work (just eat well and move is my philosophy). But, I did like this one recipe for Anytime Vegetable Soup. It’s called “anytime” because it has so few calories you can just eat however much you want anytime. I LOVE vegetable soup – it always feels healthy to me and calms my stomach, so was happy to find a recipe for one that is so very simple:


That’s all I’ve got for today.


Are you charley-horse prone? Nope. This was my first.

Favorite pizza? I told you. For some reason I am a HUGE fan of green chilis on my pizza.

Best book you’ve read this month? I am reading a book called Probation that I really like. I would start Goldfinch but I can’t pick it up because I am too weak.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Damn Hills DO Make You Stronger

Before I get to hills, let me tell you that my baby girl Emma becomes a teenager today. Hard to believe 13 years ago I was cussing and screaming as I pushed out this precious child.


I don’t know why this birthday is hitting me so hard. Well, yes I do know. I am now officially not a parent of little children any more, but a parent of teenagers. There is something so bittersweet about this. I have been honored to watch my kids grow and learn and become more of themselves. But sometimes I wish for just a few more days of the age when they were cuddly little dough balls with big diaper butts, smelling all sweet from their latest bath.


Last year at this time (when Emma turned 12), I wrote a post about what I wanted my daughter to know. You can read it HERE. I went back and re-read it today. And, I agree with everything I said back then.

Now onto my morning with my other child, Heidi, who is still very much a toddler. I had hill repeats on the agenda today (from my Fast Forward training plan), and I was trying to figure out how to make running up and down hills fun and not hellish. I decided to go here (Eagle Trail/Boulder):


We got out there and the first thing Heidi did was take a huge dump (told you she was a toddler).


I love dog’s faces when they crap. It’s as if they’re thinking, “What? I’m not doing anything. Don’t mind me…just looking around.”


Yeah. You need to move here.


Heidi was patient during the warm up.


Then the prairie dogs started taunting her and she got pissed.


She wanted to poop in that hole, but I wouldn’t let her. It’s not nice to poop in someone’s house.


After a 10 minute warm up, I did 8 hill repeats. Heidi was so confused as to why I kept running up and down the same trail.  But she joined me anyway.


I can never remember where I am in my repeats (because I am trying to not die), so I kept tracks with rocks. I am pretty much a genius. I could SO live in the wild.


By the 8th repeat I was very ready to be done. In all it was 6 miles. The up hills were done in heart rate zone 3 (very hard effort, anaerobic).  The down hills were recovery.

Here was Heidi’s reward:


And, here was my reward. Not overly healthy, but it contains protein for recovery so I am going with that.


You may think running up and down hills is stupid, but here’s why you should do it:

1. Combines strength training with running
2. Strengthens tendons/ligaments
3. Improves form
4. “Hills are speed work in disguise,” said Frank Shorter.


Favorite cereal? I’m not a  huge cereal girl, but I do like ^^^^^^^^ this one.

Do you make hills a part of your training? If so, do you do them outside or on the treadmill?

How old are your kids? If they are older, do you ever miss the younger days? I’ve got to say I love the ages they are now, but sometimes I’d like to go back to toddlerhood for a day or two. ONLY a day or two. I don’t miss crappy diapers and tantrums and having to be so unselfish (hah!)