A couple months ago, I finally saw an orthopedic surgeon about my aching Achilles tendon. He examined me and explained that my tendon injury was caused my muscle tightness in my calf. Who knew, right? So, he prescribed stretching exercises and recommended that I wear orthotic inserts in my shoes. He gave me a full-length pair and told me to start wearing them.
So I did.
But they hurt! They hurt my arch.
I jumped at the chance–being very careful not to rupture my Achilles tendon, of course.
So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been wearing the Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts that Dr. Scholl’s recommended for me.
To get them, I went to my local Wal-Mart, where I stood on the FootMapping kiosk. It was very simple and before I knew it, my analysis was complete and I had my recommendation. (It was kind of cool, really, to use the kiosk.)
Now, I have to say that compared to the original inserts my doctor gave me, the Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts were super comfortable. Although they are 3/4 length, I didn’ t experience any slippage. And because they are only 3/4 length, you can wear them with a large variety of shoes. (Though I stuck with my Chuck Taylors, pretty much.)
After wearing them for these past weeks, my feet do feel supported. Sometimes, though, it does seem like the arch is too high–but my doctor told me that it takes some time for the foot to get used to wearing Orthotic Inserts. (I saw him for my follow-up appointment last week and confessed that I was cheating on him with Dr. Scholl.)
So, if you’re looking for an orthotic insert, I can recommend the Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts. I thought they were kind of pricey, but I hear actual custom-made ones can run hundreds of dollars, so fifty bucks isn’t bad. (Plus you can get a rebate here.)
* * *
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Dr. Scholl’s and received a Custom Fit Orthotics from Dr. Scholl’s to facilitate my review.
Unfortunately, I scheduled a dental appointment for my 13-year old this morning at 8:30. Normally, I’m not quite conscious at that hour, so it was sad for both of us. He missed a frog dissection in science class and had to go to school with a numb face and I was tired.
And when we got to the dentist office, I noticed the trash can on the side of the road and realized it was Thursday, aka Trash Day, and so I texted my teenagers who were still sleeping and they didn’t text me back and so after I dropped my daughter off at school I stopped by the house to drag the trash cans to the curb (well, if we had a curb–it was really just the side of the road) before returning to the dentist to pick up my numb-faced boy.
I returned home from dropping off my son at school just in time to shove our three mutant cats into crates so we could take them to the vet for rabies shots and health certificates. As you can imagine, they did not enjoy this. While waiting for the vet to enter the room, my 8-year old called from school to ask me to bring her forgotten glasses. (She’s nearsighted and gets headaches without them.) I told her I couldn’t right then but I would if I could.
I brought one of my 18-year old sons to help me carry the crates and halfway home, my other 18-year old called me to let me know that I’d left the veterinary’s office without paying.
So I dropped off the cats and son.
I grabbed the glasses and a package to mail.
Dropped off the glasses at Grace’s school.
Mailed two boxes.
Drove back to the vet’s office to pay.
Came home and took a 30 minutes nap.
Worked from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Gathered lacrosse equipment to turn in.
Turned in lacrosse equipment.
Picked up take-n-bake pizza.
Baked pizza, ate pizza.
Took a nap.
Worked from 9 p.m. until midnight.
As I was writing this, I remembered seeing my 13-year old wearing sweatpants to school because he had no clean jeans, so I went to the laundry room to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer and what do you think I found in the washing machine?
That’s right. The 13-year old’s cell phone.
Two days ago, I washed his iPod shuffle. I put it in a container of dry rice and amazingly, it now works again.
I put the cell phone in rice. I’m kind of feeling like my luck is running out, though.
Tomorrow I scheduled an eye appointment for my 18-year old at 10 a.m.
And so it goes.
So, I’m moving two weeks from Friday.
My calendar this week is dotted with appointments: sports physical and haircut for one kid, dentist for another, a trip to see my sister, an eye appointment for another kid, a birthday party invitation . . . I have to take my (stupid) three cats to the veterinarian to get rabies shots and health certificates so they can fly to California next week. I have to wash and turn in the lacrosse equipment.
And, of course, I have to pack.
I’ve done quite a bit of packing already but now I need to get busy and start packing all the stuff it seemed too early to pack before. Hello, Board Games, I’m talking to you. I’m also admitting that I’m not going to get my photographs any more organized than they are . . . so I may as well pack them. I did have to slice open a couple of boxes to find some beach towels for yesterday’s final visit to Wild Waves.
I’m spinning in the Let’s Procrastinate stage of packing. That’s why my recipe box is organized for the first time in at least fifteen years. (Who even has a recipe box these days?) I intend to graduate to the Let’s Panic stage of packing in mere moments.
Meanwhile, piles of papers have mysteriously appeared on my desk much like crop circles in wheat fields.
This can’t be good.
My life is one long “to-do” list which I am trying to cram into the spaces between my job and sleep.
Here are a few things I’ve done since I last wrote about the peaceful lives of monks:
1) Moved entire contents of storage unit back into my living room. Assisted by my three teenagers, plus three other teenage boys.
2) Left at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning for a lacrosse game.
3) Had two different moving companies assess the weight of my household goods and give me an estimate for moving us.
4) Had refrigerator repaired. Is it weird that I already owned the two replacement gaskets the repairman needed?
5) Drove two hours for the final lacrosse game in Port Angeles.
6) After the game, took my two youngest kids on the Port Angeles ferry to Victoria, British Columbia, and spent almost 24 hours there visiting my (ex)stepmom.
NOTE: Crossing the border is tricky! I have an enhanced license to allow me to cross the border both ways. However, according to one very stern official, I should have had a signed document from my husband giving me permission to take the children to Canada. Who knew?
ALSO: We happened to ride the ferry along with hundreds of middle school and high school band students who were traveling to Victoria to march in the Victoria Day parade. Great, except for the incredible noise level. Furthermore, every student appeared to drop his or her backpack in a seat and then abandoned said backpack to wander the ship, leaving people like me with NO SEAT. It’s a ninety minute crossing, so this was rather unpleasant. I did finally find a seat, but only one and hello? I had two kids with me.
7) In Victoria the kids swam until 10 p.m. in the condo pool. We went on a horse-drawn carriage tour. We sped through the Royal BC Museum, which was awesome, except for the fact that we had to speed through it. Victoria is a really beautiful city.
8) Rode ferry back to Port Angeles, then drove over two hours home. Arrived forty-five minutes before my work shift.
9) Went to dentist for cleaning.
10) Had hair highlighted and cut.
11) Took daughter to dentist at 8 a.m. Took son to dentist at 11:30 a.m.
12) Got estimate from house-cleaner.
And tomorrow? I’m getting a routine mammogram.
We move four weeks from Friday.
On Easter Sunday, I watched a CBS special about the monasteries at Mt. Athos. (Transcript is here.) I was riveted by the lives these men lead, the quiet lives of unceasing prayer and discipline and simplicity.
Women aren’t allowed at those monasteries. Not even to visit and certainly never to live. Why?
The irony is that while the Mother of God is revered there, no other woman is permitted to even set foot on Mount Athos, a ban that’s been in effect for a thousand years.
The reason for the ban, according to Orthodox doctrine, is that Christ gave the peninsula to his mother and all other women are excluded so as to fully honor the Virgin Mary. It’s also said that in the days before the ban, when women did come there, the monks became distracted and couldn’t devote themselves entirely to prayer. They say it became a lot easier after the last lady left . . .
. . . Mount Athos may be the last all-male bastion in the world.
And Father Arsenios says it has to stay that way. “Here we’re concerned solely with purity and our elevation to eternity. If women are permitted they would bring their families and children – this place would become a tourist attraction and (no) longer a place (of) silence.”
Bold font added by me . . . to point out that women and children are distracting and noisy.
Boy, you’re telling me.
I am in a constant state of distraction and chaos. I blame the children.
Is it more pleasing to God to live in a state of unceasing prayer in the seclusion of a monastery? Are the monks closer to Jesus? Or is the bigger challenge to live in the midst of cacophony without losing your faith entirely and faltering as you attempt to string together a few words of prayer before you fall asleep again only to wake up too early to start all over again?
I imagine climbing a ladder to prune a tree while repeating the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.”) as a life of ease compared to the daily onslaught of motherhood.
Then again, the grass is always greener on the other side of the planet.
Still. Even the monks admit that living with kids in their midst would prohibit them from concentrating on prayer. The bedlam that children bring would disrupt their ability to draw closer to God.
Interesting to ponder . . . if I had time to ponder.
In my fantasy, we eat steamed vegetables every day. A bountiful green salad with radishes and shredded carrots and purple cabbage appears at every meal . . . and we eat together in the dining room as a family. At a beautifully set table topped by a tablecloth and the good dishes. We have interesting conversations and no one leans forward with their elbows on the table and eats like a caveman.
In my fantasy, the floors are free of dust and popcorn kernels and regurgitated hairballs. The laundry has been folded and put into drawers and closets and every sock has a match. Sunlight streams through unsmudged windows.
In my fantasy, I walk five miles a day and fit into the clothes that are stored in a gigantic bin on my closet floor right now. My hair is neither too short or too long or too frizzy or crazy and for once, doesn’t make me scream when I look in the mirror. In fact, the mirror is my friend and I like what I see instead of wondering when I became old and puffy.
In my fantasy, my children are enthralled by novels, not video games. They never leave cups under their beds after drinking the last of the milk. They don’t put empty milk cartons back in the fridge. They all get straight A’s. The children laugh and sing and frolic and never, ever, ever raise their voices or engage in the enraged arguments over nothing that cause parental embolisms.
In my fantasy, I manage to get to bed early, even though I work until midnight. I wake up with the sun because who needs sleep? Not me or Martha Stewart! In my fantasy, I bake bread from scratch and grow my own zucchini and have a coupon for everything I buy at the grocery store. I throw parties for my many friends and baby showers for new mothers and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean every night.
In my fantasy, I have plenty of time to write, plenty of time to spend with my husband, plenty of time to volunteer in my church, plenty of time to spend with each of my children, plenty of time to read my Bible and pray, plenty of time to sew and plenty of time to serve the disenfranchised. I read a novel every week. I plan a trip to Haiti where I will solve the humanitarian crisis made worse by the earthquake and then skidaddle over to Alabama and help rebuild homes.
In my fantasy, when we move to California in seven weeks, I will be new and improved and everything that I am not now and never have been but have always wanted to be.
The first step in overcoming a problem is realizing that you have one. And I realize that I have an overactive fantasy life. Send help.
My mom has lived in my town just about as long as I have. And on Saturday, we helped her move sixty miles north of here.
She and I picked up a U-Haul truck Saturday morning at 9:30. I had to drive it to her house. The things you have to do when you are a grown-up and have no excuses. I was scared to drive that 17-foot truck but I managed not to run over any small children or mailboxes.
With the help of our neighbors (who I am so deeply indebted to now), we loaded up her furniture and boxes. (My 18-year old sons helped, as did our neighbor’s teenage son.) When the truck was crammed full, we resorted to loading up the back of my van and my mom’s car. The neighbor offered to let us pack his pickup truck as well and then volunteered to drive the U-Haul through Seattle. (His son drove the pickup.)
The neighbor went so far above and beyond the call of duty, I can hardly believe it. I had originally asked him just to help load furniture into the truck but he took charge and loaded the whole truck and then drove it to Seattle and helped unload the whole thing.
We finally arrived at my mom’s new apartment at 2:30 p.m. It was 7:30 p.m. by the time I finally left after helping sort things and unpack things and try make sense of things. Moving is hard! (Even with help. My sister’s family and my brother were there to help unload and unpack.)
Sunday morning–Easter!–I took my kids to Qwest Field where our church, Mars Hill, held a gigantic church service with 17,500 people in attendance. It started at 9:30 a.m.
I thought I gave myself enough time to get there . . . but I underestimated traffic, specifically the traffic clogging the perimeter of Safeco Field. Just when I reached the designated parking garage, a police officer waved me past it . . . and I had to circle around again.
The second time, I decided to take the easy way out and pulled into a paid parking garage. However, due to poor planning on my part, I had no cash in my purse and the garage only took cash or checks. (I haven’t carried around a checkbook in years.) The attendant (God bless her) told me she’d temporarily park my car and let me walk across the street to get cash from an ATM. So that’s what I did.
By the time we parked and walked several blocks to the stadium and the many ramps up to the 300 Level, we were twenty minutes late, but just in time for the sermon.
It was amazing to see so many people in that stadium. Most amazing to me was how many babies I saw around me. Those moms are better people than me for I never would have attempted that entire ordeal with a little baby. My kids were awesome and well-behaved.
When the service ended, we made our way to Safeco Field where we had a completely untraditional Easter lunch from the various food stands. The boys all had cheesesteak sandwiches and garlic fries, Grace had a cheeseburger and I had Ivar’s fish.
Our seats were five rows from the top of Safeco Field but still had a beautiful view. The kids seemed to have fun . . . Grace especially liked the souvenir shops. Of course. We left after the sixth inning.
Driving home through the rain, I was so exhausted. I was thinking about when I’d be able to drive back through Seattle to my mom’s new place so I can help her finish unpacking and organizing.
And then I noticed a sign on the freeway.
“Did I miss my exit?”
And I did. I have no recollection of a good ten miles of freeway . . . and I missed my exit completely.
When I arrived home at 4:30 p.m., I put on my pajamas and stayed in bed watching television and napping until I had to work at 9 p.m.
So . . . no Easter egg hunts, so egg-dye, no Easter baskets . . . and no ham.
But at least I managed to distribute a chocolate bunny to each of my kids.
Next year, we’ll be back to normal. I hope. (Does “normal” still exist?)
“Today was the best day ever!” she announced when I picked her up after school. She described how they learned to juggle during school and asked if I’d take her to the event at 6 p.m.
Wait. What? I may be a little distracted these days, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t seen any flier about an event.
She didn’t know what it was called but she knew that last year her dad took her and they brought back some toys (aka “fitness” equipment). Oh yeah. That.
I really did not want to go. I’m so over after-school events. That’s what happens when you space your children far apart. If you did something at school ten years ago, the chances are you don’t want to do it again now. Sorry, Youngest Child.
But I took her because of the guilt I am a good mom.
Fortunately, she overlooked the bedlam of the event and zeroed in on what she wanted. And what she wanted was a set of juggling balls.
She picked out a purple ball, a blue ball and a green ball. I paid and we went home.
I actually dropped her off at home in the care of her older brothers and went to my mom’s house to help her pack. My phone rang while I was up to my elbows in kitchenware and packing paper.
My daughter was crying.
She’d lost a juggling ball in the ivy.
Oh, have I mentioned the ivy? The English ivy was planted by the former and (one would assume) well-meaning owners of this house. The ivy has threatened to overtake the house at times. (Now we have an excellent yard crew who tames it.)
Anyway, my daughter and her little buddy were throwing the juggling balls back and forth and the ball flew into the ivy and she couldn’t find it.
I promised to find the purple juggling ball as soon as I got home.
Now, I should know better than to make a promise like, but I was up to my elbows in packing paper and I really wanted to hang up the phone.
I returned home just as dusk was falling. I asked her to show me where she last saw the ball.
I began a hand search of the ivy, systematically separating the ivy in a grid search.
That’s when I found . . . the Fiskar shears:
They were new the last time I saw them.
They are rusty now.
A few more desperate minutes passed. Then I found . . . the purple juggling ball.
It was a miracle.
Almost as amazing as the moment at Costco the other day when my receipt totaled $150 exactly.
I know. I am a rock star.
Tonight I was sitting in the rocking recliner in the family room, a place I rarely sit anymore. If I’m not working at my desk, I’m upstairs. But I was sitting downstairs in the family room tonight while chatting on the phone with my friend MaryKay.
As we talked, something caught my eye. Puzzled, I stood, crossed the room and pulled that corner chair from the wall to reveal a hidden pile of clothing.
A quick examination revealed the pile to be my 13-year old’s stash of dirty clothes.
Apparently, he’s been getting dressed in the mornings in the family room–he’s the only one awake at that early hour–and he’s been discarding the shorts and t-shirts he wears to bed behind the chair, out of sight to everyone except an eagle-eyed person sitting in the rocking recliner.
Now I understand why he’s had trouble finding shorts to wear even though I’ve been keeping up with the laundry.
Kids are so weird.