Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Feeling much better today. But I need some assistance.

Will someone familiar with Casino Royale, the latest James Bond movie, please explain why this is supposed to be a “prequel” yet it is full of the latest technology (understandable; Bond movies have to be full of cool stuff) and references to it being post-Cold War and 9/11? Because it MADE ME CRAZY when I watched it last weekend. Why go back to the beginning if that's what you want to do?

That's all for now.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Weirded Out

Ever wake up in a strange mood because you dreamed strange things the night before? Sort of like a stain the subconscious left in your mind when it was in charge. Clean up after yourself, subconscious--I don't like dealing with your mess!

I'm generally against telling my dreams to anyone except my husband, because no one really cares about anyone else's dream. Suffice it to say that it felt like I dreamed ALL NIGHT LONG. Some dreams weren't nightmares, but had a weird mood about them--one was about a gypsy love potion a wife buys to use on her husband, and another was about the most gigantic garage sale of clothes I have ever seen. Like, it filled a warehouse. What's wrong with THAT? I should only have been bummed that the dream wasn't real!

One dream, though, was about a serial killer being tracked by his father, a cop. He was trying to kidnap a little girl and his father was desperate to stop him (I guess I was another cop or something). Now that was a yucky dream. I sometimes have dreams like that--in which I am trying to protect an innocent person from harm. I am always very afraid that I won't succeed. I can't think about the bad things that happen to children for very long.

I'm also feeling bad for a good friend of mine. She is dealing with something that cannot be fixed overnight. I wish I could do something to help her, but all I can do is listen and care and pray. And wait with her for things to get better.

I think it was Anne Lamott who said something about we need shiny miracle tools to fix the bad things in life, and we look in our tool box and all we have are these rusty, broken-down tools like kindness and empathy and hope. And somehow it's enough.

Anyway, I went and worked out and that helped. It DOESN'T help that there's no chocolate in the house. Who didn't buy any chocolate? No one needs to be that healthy! (Oh right, it was me. Oops.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why I Am Becoming an Exercise Addict

So I've been going to the local fitness center with a two-week free pass. This is the second week, and I've been going almost every day, for--wait for it--an hour at a time.

I haven't worked out for a hour four times a week since one semester in college when I was REQUIRED to take an aerobics class. I haven't worked out for more than an hour a week since Mr. Blue was born.

It's kind of addictive, to tell you the truth.

What could make an admittedly slothful person go to the gym so much? And like it, even when she is just a leeeetle sore everywhere below the neck and above the knees?

Three words: FREE CHILD CARE.

I make the appointments for the upcoming week with the Kids Klub people (don't get me started on "kreative" misspelling of names), which reinforces the idea that I really DO have to get up off the couch and go. Then at the appointed time I drop them off, with their labeled cups and snacks, and...ah. Kid-free time. I used to have to work out during Mr. Blue's nap time/Miss Pink's TV time. I resented it because it was my only free time, and I'd rather spend it reading blogs writing the Great American Novel than (bleah) working out. Then the piles of clean laundry and dirty floors were always lying there accusingly, saying, You should be taking care of us instead of prancing around in Spandex (I agreed about the Spandex).

Today at the gym I read two copies of Us magazine on the stationary bike. The 30 minutes just sped by--nothing like brain candy to make time fly. Then I did some lower body exercises, stretched, and called it a day. By that time I was happy to pick the kids up, feed them lunch, and play with them until Mr. Blue's nap time.

And now I have more time to waste on the Internet. What's not to like about that?

P.S. Unintentionally funny blurb from Us stating that Jordin Sparks, the American Idol winner, and Ugly Betty's America Ferrara look alike: both have long dark hair, big smiles, and both "claim to embrace their curves." Subtext: "They CLAIM to, but we the editors know that nobody over a size 4 can ACTUALLY love their body. And here are 900 pictures of girls who starve themselves/throw up after meals/are genetic freaks to show you how you SHOULD look!"

Friday, August 17, 2007

Underwhelming Transformation

This morning I said to my husband, “I think that after 10 years of marriage, you’ve changed me more than I’ve changed you.”

And then I couldn’t immediately offer any concrete evidence, except that I now eat toast this way: bread buttered and toasted under the broiler instead of toasted in the toaster and then buttered. (There is a whole complicated process to Toastmaking Justin’s Way, which involves spreading the butter ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGE of the bread to prevent excess browning, and turning the bread over to let the back firm up just a bit so it’s perfect for holding jelly so he can fold the piece of toast in half with the buttered side outside and the jelly inside—it’s making me tired just thinking about it. So I figured if I had to make toast according to his specifications anyway, I might as well make some for myself. If you can’t beat him, join him. And it is yummy.)

But at least that was ONE thing that marriage has changed about me, whereas I couldn’t think of ANY way he’s changed to accommodate my habits. I mean, we’ve both had to change since we had kids—but just for each other? Ha! The only change I can think of was mutual, and happened even before our kids arrived: we both decided that sleep was more important than staying out late so we can feel cool. We both know we are uncool; we embrace the uncoolness and OWN it. (This will come in handy when our kids tell us we are uncool. We will just smile and agree.)

OH! I just thought of something! I make a concerted effort to close the cabinet doors after I get something out, even if I am just going to open them up again in 2 minutes, because he can’t stand seeing the cabinet doors left open. It is his profession to build beautiful cabinets, after all. So I close them. But does he remember to put the lid back on medicine bottles or re-fold the towel after washing his hands? NOOOO! (He is in deep denial about this, by the way; doesn’t even believe he forgets to do these things.)

Okay, I can see that dwelling on this issue too long could lead to marital conflict. Better move on.

Justin said he didn’t think my statement about our comparative changing was true. When challenged to name ways that I’ve changed him, he did. 1) He feels he is less harsh with Miss Pink than he would tend to be, because I have helped him see when discipline needs to be tempered with gentleness; and 2) I force him to express his emotions when he is upset and tries to bottle them up, and he is glad because then we can work things out.

After he said that, I told him that he had helped me to become less dramatic and overemotional. For the first seven years or so, he tried to do this by telling me not to have negative emotions. I think he actually said once, “Well then, just don’t feel that way.” Might as well tell me to become a guy: it was impossible. Then he learned to make me feel safe and appreciated, so I gradually didn’t feel that I had to make a big scene to get my needs met.

Thanks, honey. We might not have changed each other much, but we’ve learned to live with each other pretty darn well.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Please, No One Tell Her About iPods

Miss Pink's current favorite songs, in no particular order:
  • "Politik," Coldplay
  • "Unwritten," Natasha Bedingfield
  • "Makes Me Wonder," Maroon 5 (and now because of Google I am thanking God that the lyrics to the verses are incomprehensible--she only sings the "I don't believe in you anymore, anymore" part
  • "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," Cyndi Lauper
  • A medley of "Come Into My Heart, Lord Jesus/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/Gentle Hands" (I have to sing this every single night before she goes to sleep)
  • "Hey There Delilah," Plain White T's
  • "Stayin' Alive," The Bee Gees (God help me)

Friday, August 10, 2007

A New, Healthier Me

So: Operation Slim-Down. First, it’s not my doctor’s fault. He didn’t say anything even though he’s seen me every three months for my postpartum depression and anxiety, when I weighed less than I do now. I’m not overweight, so he really couldn’t say that; my BMI is right smack in the middle of the healthy range for my weight. I am still a small woman, just not as small as I was just a few months ago.

I am only planning to lose 7-10 pounds, and then my clothes won’t be tight. I refuse to buy new clothes. The clothes I have are cute and I like them. Which is more than I can say for my current physical state, which could be termed Untoned. While I know intellectually that I’m not fat, I jiggle. Not good. I caught sight of my butt in the mirror one day when I was wearing a tank top and underwear, and I almost screamed. Aaahh! I didn’t need to see that! I put a robe on, but I don’t want to have to avoid all mirrors.

I just need to be healthier in general. Like many moms, I’d fallen into the trap of eating too many meals of chicken nuggets, pizza, and pasta. Plus, I guess I was snacking out of boredom. I stopped doing exercise videos because it’s a lot harder to do when preschool’s out and your youngest only takes one nap—so many things I’d rather be doing with that precious time, plus Miss Pink WILL NOT entertain herself when I’m working out. Walking with them isn’t much good because with her, we have to stop every 2.6 minutes to pick a flower.

So we’ve decided to join a gym that several of my friends belong to. They have good child care so I can combine working out, which is not one of my favorite activities, with being kid-free, which is a nice break. Plus, since I get bored with doing the same old thing every day, having different workout options is a good thing. My husband is planning to do the same, although he may go before work on most days (after work is possible, but not every day; it’s hard enough to get the kids in bed at a decent hour).

I’m also using www.sparkpeople.com to track my eating habits and I’m eating better. Just having to enter it all in makes me reluctant to dig into the chips. It’s very silly, in a way, to count how many Wheat Thins are in a serving, but it does make me think about my choices. Yesterday the kids had begged for a few mini marshmallows, so I gave them some and sat down with my raw cauliflower florets. Before I knew it, they wanted the cauliflower and I had to get some more out for myself. Yay for modeling healthy habits!

But I’m not gonna lie. Last night by dinnertime I was HUNGRY. I’m a little hungry now. I’d better stop thinking about it or I’ll be into the ice cream before I know it. Moderation in all things, right? If I eat well and exercise, I can still have my (occasional) cake AND my girlish figure. I certainly hope so.

Because there is no way on God’s green earth that I’m giving up all desserts. As far as I’m concerned, life just wouldn’t be worth living.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

One of Those Days

Some days, I am filled with a mystical sense of wonder that I have such an amazing life. On those days, my heart wells up with gratitude when I see my kids' smiling faces or give my husband a hug. On those days, I think, How did I get so lucky? Every little thing seems to be another example of grace, of the inexplicable gift that makes it possible to make a good life in this broken world. Those are great days.

This has not been one of those days.

First of all, it has gotten really freaking hot (duh, it's Texas, what do I expect?) and I had no energy today. I can't just slack off with the housework; I have to feel guilty about it. It is really the dog days of summer and there is an entire month until Miss Pink goes back to preschool. Last week I was in Louisiana counting the days until I got home, and now that I'm back I'm at a loose end. My best friend and playdate partner (i.e. sanity saver) is on vacation and I don't know what I'm going to do to keep the kids occupied for the rest of the week.

Second, I went to the doctor today for a routine checkup and found out that I, like practically every woman in the world, weigh more than I want to. Crap. I LIKE eating. Now I can't do as much of it.

Third, my husband is dealing with some stuff with his business which I can't discuss here. It looks like everything will work out all right but in the meantime we have to wait and see, which is not fun. I am just glad I am on anti-anxiety medication, is what I'm saying.

Fourth and finally (I promise), Miss Pink has her glasses and she alternates between liking them and NOT liking them. It has nothing to do with the looks of them; it's because they're uncomfortable, she says. I am letting her wear them some and go without them for a while, as the doctor recommended, but by the end of the week she needs to be wearing them full-time. She cried for a while today and I just held her and told her I knew it was hard but she does really have to wear them and that she will get used to them and they won't bother her at all, I promise. Dear Lord, but it's hard when you have to make your kid do something that is good for them that they don't understand.

So. End complaining. I do realize that in the grand scheme of things, these are tiny little problems that will not matter this time next year, or even next week.

All I'm saying is that I could do with one of those days. Just to make it a little easier.