Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Maternal Brain

Original post date- 12/06 on MySpace

As I sat waiting for my Chinese takeout the other day, the only reading material available was American Scientific Magazine. Awesome! I've got at least a good 6-7 min., these guys are quick. Long after my food was ready, I sat absorbed in an article called "The Maternal Brain." Outings by myself are rare and I wasn't in a hurry to get back. What a wealth of information! (Yeah, Matt. I get it, I'm a nerd. Let's move on...)

The article was about how a woman's brain changes beginning THE DAY she conceives. I won't go into detail about specific areas of the brain or what hormones kickstart it, but it was fascinating. As she practices her foraging (yardsales), nesting (Under-the-Sea themed nursery), and other survival skills necessary to have babies, information that used to be vital (Lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) is replaced! I need the music to get it started...

It's a creepy visual, but mommy rats run races to food sources twice as fast as virgin rats. They can find their food AND their babies that have been moved to a different area of the maze faster than it takes the virgin rat to find the food. It gives me a certain satisfaction to know that I could kick Hannah Montana's ass at something.

I also learned that breastfeeding is addictive. That explains my mom. (Mom, after 12 years of "nourishing," your boob job is completely justified!) When a mother is breastfeeding, the brain releases endorphins making it a pleasurable experience. NOT the same kind of pleasurable...nevermind. I always wondered how a new mommy dog could tolerate her leaping litter attaching like leeches. She was high!

I thought I was going nuts when Lexi was about 6 weeks old. My brain wasn't in pristine working order. (It didn't help that we were living in an RV because Hurricane Isable knocked out power for 17 days.) I even got in the car to go somewhere, and after 10 minutes forgot where I was going. I had to turn around and come home and never remembered where I was going. That's when I really got worried. Now I know that it was just my brain sweeping away which alcoholic ingredients go into a Pissed Off Japanese Minnow Farmer to make way for what time she ate last, and when she eats next.

Mommies, I would love to know what knowledge you've sacrificed to provide for your puppies...

How Friends Are Made

Original post date- 2/08

I was on the treadmill today at the gym, getting into a groove when a BIG dude got on the one next to me. I smiled at him and noticed that underneath the belly there was definitely a lurking athlete. He probably played ball in college, but like me, is several years removed. So I was trodding along to "Bring Me to Life" when I looked around and noticed that all the shirt and tie crowd had commuted off to work, leaving me and the dad from "Family Matters."

Although it was like sitting next to a stranger in an empty theater, it didn't get awkward until our feet were obviously CLOMPING in sync. No biggie, let's just kick this baby up a notch. I increased the speed giving my much shorter legs a half step advantage. Before I knew it, we were pacing again. I looked over at him. Was that a smirk on his face? Alrighty, then. Kick it up again….

I was swinging my arms to will my legs to go a little faster, and I guess I let out a little giggle or snort or something because my buddy laughed apparently at me. (Now I know why deaf people make…unusual noises.) I turned down the volume on my ipod just in case, and noticed him increase his speed again to match me.

Oh, it was on like Donkey Kong! I let him sweat a little bit, and then smiling straight ahead increased my speed to an easy run. I use the term "easy" relatively because running hasn't been easy since Mr. Wooldridge's "soccer" camp in 2nd grade. He immediately said, "Oh, hayl!" and started to run too.

Now let me be clear, neither one of us had any business punishing those machines, and there was the definite sound of skin slappin' skin. Coulda been my thighs, although he had just a tad of man-boob…

I had my arms in front of me like a T-Rex, trying to copy Forrest Gump's easy lope. The only person I was fooling was myself! Have you ever tried to suck wind quietly, so no one else would notice how out of breath you are? I was dying!

Next thing I know, one of my arms decided not to play nicely and struck out at God knows what. It caught the cord of my ipod, launched it out of the holder and smacked me right in the face! This threw off my gait, stumbling backward…I braced for the brick column behind me.

Apparently, I was right about Buddy being an athlete because I've never seen such a big man move so quickly. He caught me from falling, and even saved me total humiliation by saying, "I'm so glad you did that, you're killing me!" We agreed that if we meet there every other day at 10 am, we'll be ready for 'Dancing With the Stars' in no time. I didn't know large black men watched that show!

Alas, a friend was made.