Make My Tummy Go Gooey! (Aka the post with 1000 pictures)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fear of heights. I remember climbing along rooftops with my father as he was building houses when I was really young, but since about 4 or 5 years old, heights and I do not get along. As a kid, we went to carnivals when they came to town and have been on roller coasters at Disneyland and never had a problem as long as we didn’t go on anything that went upside down. Upon having minions, however, I get the gooey-tummy syndrome whenever they get up on something too high. In our house, the kiddos love to climb on some crazy playground structure, find me, then holler, “Hey mom! Is your tummy gooey when I do this?!” Meanwhile they are balancing on one leg, faking they are falling, or otherwise tempting fate and trying to plummet to their demise! My shudder and having to look away makes everyone just roll with laughter.

Before the tummy gooey fun, we had a preschool field trip to the sea lab at Fort Casey:

IMG_5638
“Pirate” Keith showing the kids the random sea creatures….this was a sea cucumber that “spits out of it’s bum”. When he described this, the kids roared with laughter. Gotta love anything toilet humor related.
IMG_5641
Hannah touches a sea star. She was a little more hesitant the bigger the creatures got!
IMG_5644
I can’t remember what this thing was called, but the longer he held it, the 50+ legs kept clinging tighter and tighter to his hand! Yikes!
IMG_5646
The sea urchin wasn’t quite as pokey as she thought it would be!
IMG_5650
Jake was not touching ANY of it! Ha! I don’t blame him! This particular creature was a spiny crab…and let’s face it, crabs are just spiders of the sea. Just say no to spiders; sea or otherwise!

After the preschool adventure, the kids decide they want to return to the beach and do some more exploring. So after a quick lunch at home – we head back to Ft. Casey!

IMG_3159
By the big gun. Hannah kept wondering if it was going to shoot bullets.
IMG_3160
Running all over the fort
IMG_3163
Here’s where the gooey tummy starts….It’s about an 8 foot drop. To my stomach, it might as well have been a 50 ft. drop! I must have said, “Back up from the ledge” in a strained voice about 100 times!
IMG_3164
Ooh look Mom! A place where I can plummet to my death! Shall I jump?
IMG_3168
Follow Jake the leader. He’s never been here before, but he’s showing us the ropes!
IMG_3173
This place is just cool. Had to take some randoms
IMG_3175
Please mom! Let me fall down and break my face!
IMG_3176
OOH! Let’s explore these dark and cavernous spaces! I bet they have spiders to creep mom out! Yay!


IMG_3178

IMG_3181
Is it just me or is it a mom thing? All I can picture is him falling off the side of those dang stairs?!
IMG_3182
I really don’t need to ever buy these kids toys. They were so content for HOURS out here just climbing and exploring.
IMG_3183
King of the world!
IMG_3184
Squeamy tummy continues….at least this time she’s holding a hand rail!
IMG_3203
Yeah, you can get down now. Really. Now.

I don’t want to pass my fears on to my kiddos. I don’t tell them what I’m really thinking and feeling (My hands get clammy, I start to sweat, feel the need to pee, all combined with a deep gut-churning nausea.) What I do say is, “Watch your step!” “Ooh, that is cool!” and “Where to next?!” praying that they are ready to climb down.

Eventually we made our way to the beach. Ahhh, sea level. That’s my kind of “height”!

IMG_3208
The BEACH!

IMG_3213

IMG_3216
I’m sure it’s true for many people, but it’s astonishing to me the effect the ocean has on my kids. The minute we get near the ocean, they just get calm. They mellow. They don’t fight. We all just relax….
IMG_3220
Checking out the seagulls….taking it all in.
IMG_3226
Drawing in the sand.
IMG_5681
There’s always room for everyone at the beach!
IMG_5692
This was one of my favorite pictures of the day. She’s mellow, exploring, and completely enamored by the rocks and waves.
IMG_5694
Back up the hill to the lighthouse!

The lighthouse….here’s where my worst fears come alive!

IMG_5701
There it is! But we must climb rocks first!
IMG_5705
Every. Single. Rock.
IMG_5712
The lighthouse! Oooh! Stairs. I bet these will make her tummy flip flop!
IMG_5713
The last portion is more of a ladder and less of a staircase. Wearing flip-flops, she fell right after I snapped this shot. I dropped everything and caught her. I thought I was going to die.

(While reviewing all these pictures, they just don’t do the reality justice. Not only did the ocean seem more vibrant, the sky bluer, the water sparkled, etc. than the photos show, the heights were definitely higher.)

Basically I think that when we give birth, they must install some kind of protective-freak-out-device that OVER-reacts when any possibility of danger arises. Even the slightest chance that someone may stub a toe and a little warning bell goes off. Ladders in lighthouses make me feel like a national emergency alert system is going off in my body!

Despite the heights and my physical reactions of their impending doom, the day was simply magnificent. The weather was perfect, they were great, and we were all up for an adventure. I consider myself lucky that as antsy as the hubs and I are, these two crazies love exploring the world with us!

IMG_5637


Advertisement

Tough Mudder and My Glass Case of Emotion

We have this thing in our house: we love Will Ferrell. This scene above from the movie Anchorman has become a reminder to laugh when things get overwhelming. As I sat lost in thought about my new swim-bike-run sticker getting ready for Tough Mudder this weekend, my husband looked over at me and asked, “Are you in a glass case of emotion?!” (This is of course belted out in his best Ron Burgundy voice.) Yes, I was. And I still am.

Tough Mudder is like nothing else. It really is no joke. Last year I signed up for this race event when it came through Seattle, but due to illness and hubby being deployed, I just couldn’t do it. I am certain I made the right decision to delay. I never would have survived. I had no team, and a team is indeed what you need. I have mixed feelings about this race. There are so many things I loved about it! I reconnected with a childhood friend for this one!

Tough Mudder with CP
We were in elementary school together!

11+ miles of obstacles and muddy fun. Tough Mudder comes complete with electro shock therapy, mud, muddy water, ice baths, and heights.  Ah, the heights. (No, sadly I’m not referring to the ill-fated early 90’s sitcom spin-off.) Heights as in serious alto phobia – the irrational fear of heights. I can get on a plane. I can climb up a few steps on a ladder. I have a visceral reaction to carnival rides. I literally wanted to vomit, cry, and poop my pants when faced with this:

Walk the Plank

The “Walk the Plank” obstacle is a 20 ft plunge into a mud pond. I can swim. I have no problem with water. I can even dive. It’s the free fall drop that I can’t make myself do. Not that I didn’t try. Oh, my did I try. I felt like hot acid was being poured into my gut.

Tough Mudder sucks

Fear is not a good look. I was wrestling with myself trying to force myself to just do the damn thing. I really wanted to be the one to face this fear and come up through the other side.

Tough Mudder with help

The first aid dude even came up to jump it with me. He was rooting for me. They all were. Sadly, I just couldn’t do it. (I’m literally trying not to puke on this guy.) I shame-walked back down and met up with the rest of the team and on we went. Black wetsuit dude stopped me and gave me the biggest muddy bear hug and whispered in my ear, “Girl, you got up there and tried. It ain’t no joke facing fear. It’s tough. You did good. There is no shame in that.”

And as I sit here in the coffee shop relieving it, I’m wiping away the tears of frustration that I just couldn’t do it. And yes, I’m in my glass case of emotion thinking about the graciousness of that guy and how he really didn’t have to say anything to me at all. He could have said nothing. I’m so glad he spoke up. As I ran the next leg wiping away wet anger spewing from my eyes, I knew I had two choices. I could either cry and bitch in my head for the remaining 10 or so miles and mentally beat myself up and have a miserable time, or I could wipe away the hot sting and do my damnedest to get through every other obstacle to the best of my ability.

I chose the latter.

Tough Mudder walls That’s me climbing over walls! With the assistance of a kick ass team – I climbed over walls, rocks, slid down a 60ft mud hill, and experienced Arctic Enema. That was a thrill like no other!

arctic20enema203

Obviously, this is not me, but you get the idea. It’s a double-length dumpster that you jump into on one side, have to submerge completely to get to the other side, and when you come up, you realize that it’s SOLID ICE. Before your body is completely numb, you have to heave your body out. It’s insane. I loved it. I kind of wanted to do it again. There were other obstacles – climbing through drains filled with muddy water, icy floats on your back clinging to chain link fence where only your face peeks out to breath.

Even Mt. Everest:

Mt. Everest 2
Taking a run up a wall! (a few times!)

Mt. Everest conquered I finally did it on the 4th or 5th attempt. It was crazy hard.

Tough Mudder Mt. Everest

And it was crazy fun.

Tough Mudder

I actually didn’t get shocked. I strategized my movements and slithered through! Kind of feel like I cheated. But apparently, the Tough Mudder people didn’t think so:

 

The Headband is mine

Cause I got my orange headband!

Band in hand, I went off to retrieve my bag and catch up with my family.  Stopped twice by different volunteers, they each came up to ask if I was the one that couldn’t Walk the Plank. I affirmed that it was me. Steeling myself for the pity, I looked up to discover myself in another hug, and a hearty clap on the back. I was told I was awesome despite the lack of a jump. “Even people who do jump can’t finish this race. You done good, kid.”

And you know what? There’s always next year…

%d bloggers like this: