Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vrrroom vrrooom

"Engines pumping and thumping in time. The green light flashes, the flags go up. Churning and burning they yern for the cup...she's racing and pacing and plotting the course...she's going the distance. She's going for speed."

Loop that for the five and half hour drive from Mena to Dallas and the three hours needed to dry the wet track and you have the pep talk Skip gave me before turning me loose on the Texas Motor Speedways track. Skip gave me the ultimate anniversary gift--his VIP pass to the Tony Stewart Smoke Show. AWESOME!

Doug, my nemesis.
We were the esteemed guests of Doug Turnbull, a creative physics gun genius who made Skip's beloved Big Medicine. You know, the gun he sleeps with while I care for Pippa. And I had no idea what I was in for. Here are some facts:

Skip talked me up and trash talked with the other contestants.

I am a sleep deprived woman and my infant sleeps poorly in new places.

I drive slow when tired...real s l o w.

Skip has driven the speed I hit on my first 10 laps, on a twisty volcanic road.

I now own a firesuit, driving shoes, and Smoke Show helmet.

Skip is jealous.

Yeah, those first 10 laps were unexpected. Even after the driving school. It's hard to tell your mind not to stay in the lines and that you want to head straight at the wall 25 feet away while driving 115 mph. That's why I only drove 115 mph for the first session. And I was lapped. By Doug. Twice. Oh the shame.

Then I rode shotgun with Tony Stewart. I was giggling and happy for the first straightway. Once we hit the curve a weird lack of oxygen happened and I start coughing up phlegm. Imagine the free fall ride at an amusement park. This is cooler.

Pippa's a little upset she couldn't ride with me.
I'm the blurr back there. 
For my second round of driving I had a clear vision of what to do. Doug had coached me on the turns and when to accelerate (they have specific rules). Skip told me to punch the gas pedal, "Make the instructor tell you to slow down." It worked. I maxed out at 150 (they have governors, insurance policy). And it's much easier to drive into the wall at that speed ;)

Fan Club!

All the girls gave Skip 'Father of the Year'. And Pippa charmed everyone, even Tony found an excuse to play with her.

Men look at your lady. Now look back at me, in the Old Spice car.


Pippa has inspired me and we will be visiting the Ice Cream Shack in our old 'hood. I expect to answer many questions on our absence over the last week (family reunion in AR and a chance to race Doug Turnbull and the Texas Motor Speedways). But, hey, when you've got NASCARS to race, you can't be contained in Sunnyland.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baby Ink

We moved. To a large house with a basement (tornado watch) and a Pippa play room (parent approved). Our new house came right out of the 80s, but was actually built in the 60s and wouldn't you know it already feels like home among our many piles of boxes. And yes, mothers, our 5 month old has not transitioned well. Do you know how well you sleep with three people in a double bed?

With the move I misplaced our cameras. I wanted to show off our new place, more specifically the large tropical flowers in our yard. Remember this because later, when I find the cameras and post the pictures, I will let you all believe I live in paradise.

So here we are with our boxes, completely disheveled new mom stressed about a life-altering test coming her way this September and Skip decides to give our couch and towels a makeover. Plus Pippa gets her first tattoo. This is not a joke people. I have scrubbed her good, with a variety of baby-safe techniques and she's sporting three black ink marks. Maybe it's a good thing I can't find the cameras (all four!) because there are some things a child should not be privy to.

It went down something like this:

Skip to me: "What did YOU do to our beautiful daughter?! What is that black streak on her leg?"

Me: "........huh?.....what?.....was I snoring?.... what did you do?...."

Skip: "Look at this. What is it?"

Me (totally concerned): "It's too dark. What did YOU do to our daughter?"

Skip completely offended that I would ever blame him for anything so ridiculous. "No really what is that? When did she get it?"

Me: "What are you talking about?"

I left the comfort of my green chair knowing full well that this must be a ploy for Skip to steal the prized seat. Nope. Pippa had a black streak on her thigh. And her arm, her calf and many a scuff on her white outfit. Any mother's nightmare. It didn't come off easily, and two hours and a bath later it had only faded.

Somehow Skip's black shirt worn for motorcycle purposes had evolved to permanent marker. A mixture of deodorant, sun, fumes and sweat created an ink pool on his side, leaked onto his backpack and marked up anything he came in contact with. If I can prove it's non-toxic and safe, we may have stumbled onto a henna-like substance. Otherwise I just proved child endangerment.