Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Voice

A week ago, I traveled to my Alma mater to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of Duke Lacrosse - which I was fortunate enough to be a part of from 1998 to 2001.  To commemorate the incredible program players from varying years were asked to speak on "What affect did playing lacrosse at Duke have on them?"  As I sat in the audience, listening to their speeches, I was struck on how similar the sentiments were, even though we all played during various years and stages of Duke Lacrosse.  I also found myself reflecting on my own time at Duke and wondering, now that I'm almost fifteen years from the experience, how did playing lacrosse in college affect me?  The following would be my answer:

In 2012, I entered a hospital to be induced with my first child, who was showing no signs of coming out.  While we were going through the initial paperwork, the nurse asked me one fateful question: "What is your pain tolerance on a scale of 1-10?"  Immediately, I found myself in a moral dilemma - Do I go with a low two, and set the bar way low, so then if I scream for an epidural after one contraction all the nurses will turn to each other and say, "You know, she said a 'two' and got through ONE FULL contraction.  What a trooper!?  I didn't think she was going to make it through getting her IV placed in her vein.  She really out did that '2.'"  No, I couldn't do that.  I couldn't do that because as soon as I went to say, "Well, I think a three would be generous," I heard the voice.  For those of us who have played lacrosse at Duke, we know this voice.  This voice talks to us almost every day.  It says, "You can apply for that Masters Program," "You can perform that brain surgery, " "You can sprint at the end of that marathon," "You can bring in the groceries with one hand, holding your child and opening the door with your foot," "You can face any challenge life brings, and you are definitely a 9 to 10 on the threshold of pain."  This voice is Kerstin Kimel, my coach for four years and the powerful leader of Duke Lacrosse since its conception.

For my four years, Kerstin, along with amazing coaches, expected everything out of us.  She expected us to show up, play, sweat, overcome, join together and do something greater than we thought possible.  Of course, the execution of these expectations were not always 100%, but the important part was that she and our coaches never gave up on us.  They saw something greater in us than we, as 18 to 22 year olds, saw in ourselves.  We saw our limitations and they saw our greatest potentials.  That's an amazing and life altering experience to go through, and once you've lived under that voice and that confidence, that high bar becomes the norm.  So, when I graduated, and I imagine my other teammates could testify to the same effect, I relied and clung to that voice.  That voice was my calm in the storm, my rally in the face of battle and my reminder that I would do better the next day.

Kerstin was not just a blip on my radar, but someone who will always have an effect on my life.  Her belief, support and encouragement of me has truly made me the woman, wife and mother I am today.  I am honored to be among her players, and will forever be in debt to her for recruiting me and allowing me to see myself in a greater light through her eyes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Fear List of Boys

So, as I mentioned I just found out that I'm having a boy.  If I'm honest I have some fears of having a boy.  I'm going to list them and you, I mean Mom and maybe one other reader, who might have forgiven me for past entries, can tell me if I'm being crazy:

  1. He'll pee all over me.  I mean, all the time.  What can I say?  I'm slightly afraid of the boy hose.  I feel like that thing has a mind of its own.
  2. I will spend the next 12 years stepping on razor sharp legos in the middle of the night.
  3. Everything from a stick, to a roll of wrapping paper will become a sword that he will wield like a Nordic Viking.  I sort of did this as a kid and now I'm regretting all those times I attacked my mom while she was making dinner.  Karma.
  4. He will spend the rest of his life trying to marry a woman like me and fail miserably.  Oh wait, that's not my fear.  I fear he'll bring home some floozy (do people still use that word?) and say, "Mom she reminded me so much of you," and I'll be utterly offended.
  5. He will grow up to be that guy who takes his shirt off any chance he gets.  I went to school with this guy named Louis Cohen who, as soon as the bell rang, would walk out to the parking lot (snow, rain, hail, wind...didn't matter) and would proceed to take his shirt off.  Did he have a good body?  Does that even matter?
  6. I'll have to buy video games for him.  I hate video games.  Can't I just show him videos of real wars and save some money?
  7. He'll come to me to talk about "changes" taking place in him...and I'll try to not giggle like a little girl.
  8. He'll go to UNC,, University of Maryland or Virginia...and love it.  Ew.
  9. He'll look like his father.  Just kidding.  Or am I?  My husband doesn't read this, so I can say whatever I want.  He can and will have his father's legs...and then my Scandinavian genes must take over.
  10. Again, back to the girlfriends.  Please son, date someone I won't hate.   


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

There's the Spine, you are having a boy, there's the heart...

So, a few hours ago I went in for our 20 week ultrasound to find out what we are having.  Two seconds into the ultrasound the nurse nonchalantly says, "Okayyy....there's the spine, you are having a boy, there's a healthy heart..."  Um, wait, did you just say "boy?"  And did you just mutter that under your breath?  Do I care if my child has a spine?  Of course.  Am I curious to see if it has a workable heart?  Absolutely.  But, seriously, let's be a little more excited and maybe try enunciating the most important information we are seeking.

I mean seriously, nurse, if I may passive aggressively speak to you in this slightly anonymous blog, I think we need to work a little on your job performance.  First of all, no one in their right mind can follow the ultrasound.  Seriously, as soon as it starts, I have to restrain myself from screaming out, "Call NASA! An Alien has invaded my body!"  And when I see the "leg" you are pointing out, and I say, "Oh look at that," I really mean, "What the beep?  That's not a leg, but a creepy claw of some prehistoric frog."  So, please, stop acting like we are jumping ahead of your grand pageantry of fetal anatomy.  We have no freaking idea what's going on, so let's not just throw out the, "Um, yes, and it's a boy," like we had already figured that out.  We didn't.  And still when you pointed out the "obvious" gender indicator, and we said, "Oh look at that," we really meant, "Okay witch doctor.  Good prediction, let's see if your reading of the tea leaves comes true."

And lastly, let's work on delivering the big news.  Let's try a question like, "Are you guys ready to find out what you are having?"  Or, "Do you guys have any guesses?"  And lastly, why not try, "Guess what, I figured out what you are having...oh my gosh, I can't wait to tell you, please, can I tell you?  Please, please, please."  Now that would be better.  With a little preemptive question I could gather myself and say, "OKAY we are READY!!!"  And then we all scream and laugh when we hear the good news...instead of, "Did you just mutter the gender of our baby?"

Honestly, how do you deliver the bad news?  "Yes, I see a heart, no sorry 2 hearts, one hand, two tails, yes, that's an alien, 1 giant lung sac that looks like it's eating your placenta..."

Did you just say, "Alien?"

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sorry for the Sample

A few weeks ago I went shopping at a local outlet mall, and while shopping, I had to use the bathroom.  So, in I went to the public restroom, closed the door, started to pull down the coolest invention ever (Maternity Shorts...Oh, why do we insist on going back to real waist bands, zipper and buttons...these clothes not only make life in general easy, but there's something so liberating about just pulling a large elastic material over your protruding stomach and saying to yourself, "Big meal?  Bring it.  Extra layer of warmth?  Sure.")

Anyway, back to the image I'm trying to create of me going number one in a public restroom....I closed the door and looked up to see a sign on the door that read: "Stool Samples?"  What?  Then I read on and found out some lab/school/gross ex-bus driver wants to pay people to donate their stool samples for research.  What?  Then below their contact information it said "up to $500 for your sample."  As always I don't even know where to begin.

One, should I be mocking this or applauding this for being a marketing masterpiece?  I mean think about it.  Contact people who are blowing money, they come in to the bathroom to talk themselves into entering Forever 21 one more time to purchase another lace/see through/knock-off of the 80's skirt, and just when they are considering their credit card debt, you hit them with a chance to make some cash.  Brilliant.  Why not sell some poo to buy some sh#t at Forever 21?  It actually seems like a fair trade.  

Two, what does "up to $500" mean?  Was I never told this, but do some people have more expensive and unique poo than me?  If I donated would I only be paid $250, where as Juan, after Chipolte, gets paid $500?  It doesn't seem fair or totally clear on the parameters.  

Three, does anyone want me to stop this post...because I sort of do.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Paid For Waterboarding

Three weeks ago the husband and I placed our child into swim lessons.  Seemed like a great idea since we are constantly around pools, the ocean and live next to a lake.  It also seemed like a smashing idea because our kid seemed to like water.  Bath time is a favorite, the beach is one of her favorite places and the pool was her playground.

So, off I went to embark on a lifetime of happiness in the water for my daughter...and then I placed her in the arms of her teacher and the crying began.  I'm sorry not crying but actual words of, "All done," "Want to get out," "No swimming," pointing to the exit and then just going with the tried and true of, "Momma."

For three weeks this continued and we had swim lessons everyday.  Eventually I stopped calling it swim lessons and started calling it what it was: waterboarding.  I felt like I should have been over the water, as she kicked and swam to the stairs, yelling, "Why didn't you eat all your dinner last night?!  Why?  Tell me what Heaven looks like.  I know you remember.  Tell me.  Did you see Grandma?  Tell me!!!"  (To her credit she never gave up any information.)

And then, after three weeks of trying to emulate the Korean parents I saw at other lessons, who only say, "Stop crying," followed by something scary in Korean, my kid stopped crying.  All of the sudden swimming became fun and I stopped feeling like I should call CPS on myself.  So, it was a win all around.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Does This Award Make Me Look Amazing?

A few weeks ago I flew out to Utah to run my annual lacrosse camp.  I've been doing this camp for almost ten years and I have to say, with all honesty, this was probably the worst group of kids I've ever coached at a camp.  Sure, they were some kids, who could play (my niece - not biased AT ALL) but on the whole it was pretty mind numbing.  So, after the first day, myself and the coaches dropped expectations and tried to do our best with what we had.

By the last day, I started seeing some improvement and was glad I had done the camp....blah, blah, blah.   (To protect myself from any defamation charges.)  Anyway, at the end of the camp we had an awards ceremony.  Each coach was allowed to pick one camper from each level who they deemed "Most Improved," "Or Greatest Hustler" etc.  (Basically, the best overall camper.)  I chose a small girl, probably only 5"1, because she hustled a ton and seemed to take instruction well.  So, I made a little speech about her, clapped my hands, and I think, gave her a pair of shorts.  (Big, big, big time prize.)

Anyway, as we were cleaning up and preparing to leave the camp, my "Best Overall Camper" came up to me to tell me thanks for the award.  I followed up with more encouragement and a nice pat on the back, to reinforce my belief in her and my desire for her to go home so I could do the same, when all of the sudden she asked, "Now you went to Duke right?"  Yes, I said.  And then she said, "Cool.  I really want to go to Duke.  Do you think you could contact the coach?"

Wait a second.  What?  You just got a pair of shorts for being, let's be honest, "The Not As Bad As These Other Kids, But Really, It Was A Very Close Call."  After I composed myself, and hopefully wiped off the, "What the..." look off my face, I said, "Yeah, Duke...awesome.  Totally.  Um, tell me your email address.  I'm really good at remembering stuff."  To which she rattled off something that went like this:  Totally got it locked down.

As she walked away triumphantly, I started to laugh.  I have never seen an award go faster to someone's head than this time.  I don't think even Heisman Winners take the trophy and then scream out, "What NFL Team wants me now??!!!"

How do I start my email to my coach....Dear Kerstin, A few weeks ago I coached a semi-athletic girl, with giant ovaries of confidence...her email address is...oh crap...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Nominate This To End

Before you ask, I'll answer your question, which is - why am I coming out of blog retirement?  What pressing issue or story has caused me to actually open up this old website, dust off the keyboard, reach into my depths of sarcasm and write?  Well, folks, it's the recent Ice Bucket Challenge going on around the world in order to support ALS.  (For posterity sake: The Ice Bucket Challenge consists of people dumping cold buckets of water of their heads to bring awareness to ALS, and to escape the punishment of donating money to ALS research - or some money bags/kind people, do the challenge and then donate.  Once the bucket is emptied people then get the opportunity to nominate other people to participate.  I just looked up the origin of this fun game and found that it all started on some golf channel and then went viral.  Go Golf!)

Now before you get all excited about seeing a wet t-shirt contest gone bad with an 18 week old pregnant woman, let me just say, it's not going to happen.  Call me cold hearted, call me a poor sport - honestly, call me whatever you want.  (Just not the "B" word...I hate being called big.)  I'm not doing this.  Why?  For the same reason I never made a "Call Me Maybe" parody, never danced gangnam style on a crowded subway or filmed myself putting mentos in a diet coke bottle just to see it explode.  Sure, this has raised all sorts of money and yes, I now still have no idea what ALS stands for, but can we finally raise the white flag on this?

Honestly, each morning I open up Facebook and Instagram (What?  You eat breakfast?) and scroll through countless videos of friends and acquaintances (sorry, I mean "friends" - wink, wink, wink Facebook) dumping ice water over their heads.  And then, I hold my breath waiting to see if I have again dodged a bullet and not been called out to participate in this strange pop culture/mob challenge.  Friends, I can't take this any longer.  Sure, I didn't mind when my neighbor I grew up with did it.  (Haven't talked to them in 20 years - totally safe.)  And then, it was fun to see some college friends.  (I mean to see them in person, talking and not in a photo.)  But, again, I was safe.  I wasn't on their radar.

And then, people I talk to each day started getting challenged.  People. I. Talk. To. Every day.  Crap, I thought, now I'm going to have to fill a warm bucket of water and pretend I'm all freezing when it comes over my head.  Do I still have the acting skills?  What if everyone I know has already been nominated?  What then?  Do I just look like a loser, who has no friends?  Will someone from the ALS organization call me to verify the temperature of my bucket?  Would I get fined?  Would people forgive me if I filmed myself singing "Let it Go" with my daughter?  Or filmed myself scaring my roommate?  Would that make the viral Gods forgive me?

Seriously people, it's been fun.  But let's call it a day.  I mean, the water being wasted is just disgusting...