Archive | January, 2009

Nine Words Defined

30 Jan

Whine: Two Words: Cardio Mix. I went to the gym today and did a class. My thighs and glutes realized halfway through class that taking two months off from the gym puts me back in the “beginner” category.

Cheese: Two Words: Surprise Donuts. Good thing I managed to do some of those “advanced” moves and burned some extra calories (right before I passed out) because when we arrived home from the gym, there was a bag of donuts in our mailbox from Uncle A. When Big Sis saw the donut bag in the mailbox she said, “That’s so in-ster-est-ing.” My tummy thought so, too.

 

 

I just made a disturbing realization about myself. I am becoming aware that I sort of run from making decisions.  (See? Even that sentence is indecisive.) And not just hard ones like which parenting philosophy to choose, but stupid, easy ones like creamy or crunchy. Maybe I already knew that about myself. I’m pretty sure Mr. Dad has been trying to point that out for, like, ever. But I didn’t realize just how gutless I’d let myself become.

The last few months have been tough. Fun and exciting, to be sure. But also frustrating and exhausting. Starting with Thanksgiving until now, we’ve been in and out of town, hosted lots of people and just generally burned the candle at both ends (whatever that means, my candles only have one end.) Now that I’m through to this side of it, I look back and wonder what I could have done differently so that I came out a little more me at the end of it all. To be honest, my initial thought was that I should have cut something out. So where do I start? Maybe I should have cut Christmas? Or my sister-in-law’s wedding? Or the memorial service for Great-Grandma? Or parenting my children in general?

But I realized that my calendar, which is filled with connections to the people in my life,  is not the problem. Which is good, because as I figure it, my family and circle of friends are not going to get any smaller. No, the problem is me. I have a hard time making decisions. Or taking care of myself.  Or saying what I need. Or knowing what I need for that matter.

But I suspect that through these last few months, I was stuffing down my inner Mom. You know, the part of you that isn’t afraid to admit that she gets especially cranky when she’s hungry and tired. The part of you that knows how to best take care of you so that you can take care of everybody else.

When my inner Mom told me to speak up and ask for help I said, “No, I got it.” When she told me to go to bed so that I could face the next day, I said, “Oh, it’ll be fine to stay up just a few more hours.”  When she told me to shorten my to-do list so that I could make it to they gym for my own health (physical and mental) I told her, “Oh, be quiet.” (She was just getting irritating at that point. And I really didn’t feel like exercising.)

The point for me is, I don’t necessarily need to give my life a makeover. Just like with money or dieting or anything else, I lost myself when I wouldn’t do the little things. Like sleeping or eating or taking a shower or blogging. (Ok, some of those aren’t so little.) I just need to listen to my inner Mom. And be willing to take a little time for myself here and there. Be willing to let someone, somewhere be disappointed in me because I can’t do everything all at once. Be willing to take a risk and actually make a decision for myself .

And so, in light of today’s post about embracing your inner Mom to know and say what you need, here’s a hilarious email forward I received (Thanks, Kellie!) about the ways in which women “communicate”. Note: I DID NOT WRITE THIS. I wish I knew who did so I could give her (or a very insightful him) a huge high five. This could save marriages everywhere. . . .

 

Nine Words Women Use

#1 Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

#2 Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

#3 Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

#4 Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!

#5 Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

#6 That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

#7 Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say ‘you’re welcome’ That will bring on a ‘whatever’).

#8 Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying “I’m done with you!”  (Temporarily, at least.)

#9 Don’t worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to # 3.

 

So this week I’ve challenged myself to figure out what I need and be grown up enough to say it.  I need a donut.

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Baby Fat? Who, Me?

23 Jan

Whine:  Watching Food Network on an empty stomach and wishing Paula Deen were my very generous next-door neighbor. I can practically smell that melted butter.

Cheese: I do, in fact, have a very generous next-door neighbor.  I went by the other day and was treated to homemade tortillas and some delicious fillings. Eat your heart out, Taco Bell.

 

On a good day if you ask me I’ll tell you that my weight is not a big deal. On the other 360 days a year, you’ll probably get a very different answer. The main reason you haven’t heard me whining about it here  is because I’m really hesitant to talk weight-loss in this format. There are just so many things to take out of context. The other reason I haven’t been whining about it lately is because I’ve been using the ostrich (stick your head in the sand) method of dieting and weight loss.

 

So when my friend Spaghetti Pie asked me to read The Baby Fat Diet as part of a blog tour, I thought, hey, why the heck not? Obviously the forget-to-eat-then-supplement-your-flagging-energy-with-candy diet has not quite gotten me to ideal healthfulness, not to mention weight, so what have I got to lose? (Besides 10 pounds or so.)

The Baby Fat Diet is a book constructed for mothers. The chapters are short and able to be read in any order at any time. And at the end of each amazingly short chapter are bullet points summarizing the few pages you probably still didn’t manage to read, amidst wild toddlers and screaming babies. The authors also leave plentyof space for you to write out your response(s) to and/or action plan for each chapter. Action plans are a good thing. Especially when it comes to weight loss.

 

The topics in the book range from vitamins and minerals to how to cheat (my favorite chapter). As suggested by the authors, I skipped around the book, reading the chapters that I felt most pertained to my current situation. Remarkably, the authors do NOT recommend skipping meals, eating off your child’s plate or supplementing your nutrition with peanut M&Ms. They do, however, give you lots and lots of information on how, when and what to eat.

 

I found lots of helpful info in the book, including my healthy weight range, my necessary calorie intake (which as a former Weight Watchers member I didn’t know) and some suggested meal and snack ideas. Some of this was news to me, some of it was a good reminder. But the bottom line that I walked away with was this: healthy eating takes time. Until I am willing to spend time thinking about and preparing healthy food, I won’t lose more than a pound or two. This is a problem for me because I am, in fact, the laziest eater on the planet. I have been known to open a can of condensed soup and eat it directly from the can. No water. No heat. Disgusting, I know. But that’s how lazy I am. So, I have discovered that I may actually have to do some work to be a healthy mom.

 

The only thing I felt was missing from the book was a strong motivation for implementing any or all of the strategies. Knowing I’m lacking riboflavin doesn’t exactly coerce me into going out and eating more legumes. Perhaps I’m foolish to think that I could derive motivation from the pages of a book, but at this point in my life I probably don’t need information quite as much as I need a drill instructor yelling in my face.

 

All in all, I would recommend The Baby Fat diet as an incredible, easy-to-use source of information on nutrition and exercise. If you need to know the ins and outs of a healthy lifestyle, this is the book for you.

 

If , however, you need a kick in the pants, you’ll probably have to do that yourself. Good luck with that.

 

For more info on The Baby Fat Diet, please visit the website. To read other reviews and interviews with the authors, plase visit these sites.

My Buddy

22 Jan

Whine:  Bird Strikes. As if I didn’t have enough things to worry about. By the way, did anyone else picture an Alfred Hitchcock-like attack when they first heard that term?

Cheese: The Miracle on the Hudson.  Thankfully there are people out there whose job it is to throw frozen turkeys into jet engines just to see what happens.

 

I’m feeling some ambivalence about my role in life right now. I simultaneously feel blessed to have such gorgeous, delightful children and also desperately WANT THEM TO LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!

I love being a stay-at-home mom; I can’t believe I get to do it.  But I really wish I could sometimes, just occasionally get. something. done. Seriously. I spend much of my time in an inner dialogue (not monologue, mind you, there’s lots of voices up there) wondering why I never get to cross anything much more than “Get slobbered on” off my to-do list.  I can’t seem to figure it out.

So anyway, both my kids were supposed to be away today and, well, I had locked my keys in my car and Lil’ Sis couldn’t go with Grandma because the car seat was locked inside the car along with my keys and I saw all my dreams for a productive and AWESOME day go up into flames and I almost cried. And that’s when it dawned on me: I don’t get anything done because I’m never alone. Big Sis goes to preschool or to Grandma’s house on a regular basis, but Lil’ Sis, she’s always with me.

Even on the days she does decide to grace me with a decent nap, by the time I get into the shower and throw on some clothes, I’ve used up all my “free” time on basic hygeine, and elective pursuits such as makeup application or meal preparation are just pipe dreams.

Throughout the course of a day, I carry Lil’ Sis around in a sling on my hip, or let her crawl around after me as I make my way through the house. Her ever-presence in my life has led me to dub her “My Buddy.” And if you were a child in the 80s (or a parent of such a child) this may bring back memories for you. “My Buddy” was a doll for boys. Yes, you need to admit it, boys, it was a doll. One of my friends (who shall remain nameless) said her husband had one. Hee hee. Even if you only have a faint memory of My Buddy, I’m sure you remember the theme song:

My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy

Wherever I go, he goes

My Buddy, My Buddy

My Buddy and Me

 

So I’ve been singing this song all day to my Little Buddy because wherever I go . . . she goes. The irony of it is, I spend much of my day trying to figure out how to get around my Buddy, how to get things done in spite of her, but really, truly, deeply, I wouldn’t give this up if you paid me. I really wouldn’t. I might really, really, really, really, really need a break from her sometimes, but I wouldn’t give it up. And as much as I moan and complain, I actually kinda like toting her around like some sort of extra appendage. Perhaps in my next life I’ll be a kangaroo.

Have You Ever?

9 Jan

Whine: I must confess, I’ve been avoiding my little blog. I have so many things whirlilng around in my mind, Funny! Amusing! Alarming! things. And I guess I decided that if I couldn’t write them all, I wouldn’t write anything. Not to mention that our house has been  Grand Central Station for every virus in the world for the last few weeks, so I’ve been up to my ears in well, you don’t want to know. But I’m here now, and I must say that I’ve missed you all.

Cheese: Just sitting on the couch, listening to the tumble tumble of the dryer, watching basketball and savoring my Christmas candy (Hot Tamales) and Diet Coke.

 

Today we’re going to play a little game I like to call “Have You Ever?” mainly because I’m trying to give you a snapshot of what you’ve been missing, but also because I’m hoping someone else out there has done at least one of these things so that I don’t feel like such a weirdo.

 

Have you ever. . .

. . . had to sort your shoes into two piles: barfed-on and not-barfed-on? Why did she run into my closet and then vomit??

 

. . . put yourself in the “line of fire” so to speak, so that your baby didn’t vomit all over your carpet? What?!? I had just gotten it cleaned.

 

. . . tucked your child in bed wearing the clothes they’ve been wearing all day, then gotten them up the next day and left them in the same clothes? Yeah, I’m that kind of mom. The lazy efficient kind.

 

. . . discovered that since you’re going to have to discipline your little one, you’d better stop cracking up first?  Sometimes even their naughtiest moments are adorable. Especially if they happen to be clad in their red footie pajamas at the time of the offense. Everything is cuter in red footie pajamas. Except cockroaches. Even footie pajamas can’t make a cockroach cute.

 

. . . eaten just one Hot Tamale? Me neither.