Friday, February 26, 2010

Me, Me Happy

Jack has made leaps and bounds in his talking recently, and in the past few days I've been getting these new statements that make me just want to squeeze him to death. They always start with this little piping "mommy?" that is so sweet and earnest (and, I must admit, irritating the 900th time) and then he follows it up with one of these bon mots:

"me, me happy."
"me, me tired."
"I missed you."
"I love you."

None of them are that readily understandable wither, and the babyish pronounciations (I wub you) just make them that much cuter. It is so adorable I fear for my health. That much darling can send you swooning.

And then there is Sophie who is just this whole little person now. In the past week she has gone from a developing baby into a recognizable little girl who just happens to still be in a tiny body. She has such personality and fire in her eyes - and I am getting ever clearer and increasingly frequent glimpses into the child she is going to be and it is so amazing. One of the most emotional and precious aspects of parenthood has to be watching your children as they grow and
experiencing them turn into the people they will become, and it always seems so profiund and so surreal when I look at my baby and see that hint of a much older girl. Shadows of the child she will become, passing over her face.

Shadows of the children they will all become, filling my house.

Today Izzy was sitting on the ottoman, eating grapes, doing exactly the same snack time activity she has done everyday for years, but suddenly I saw her as much older. Exactly the same as she looked that morning, but with layers of growth and maturity layered on top. I felt as though I was seeing her at 6, at 10 at 13, all while she sat there enjoying her fruit. This must be what it is like to look at your adult child and see the teenager, the child, the baby they once were. I could see her sitting there as a three year old, but I could also see the young girl she is fast on her way to becoming.

It was surreal. And all too soon.

The relativity of time is never more apparent than when dealing with children. Naptime can never last long enough, bedtime can never come soon enough. And all the while the sands of their babyhoods are slipping through our fingers. The briefest of breaths and those layers of growth are not superimposed upon their little bodies, but real and solid and sunk in their flesh.

And they're grown. Gone and busy and no longer telling you "mommy? me, me hungry."

*sigh*



ps: I also wrote a little something about the Olympic curling coverage today, if you feel the need to keep reading my literary genius.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Books Are My Friends. And My Blog. And You Too, Of Course

Tonight was my book club meeting, about the book The Girls From Ames (my review is here) . I was not really enthusiastic about reading this book. Personally, I have always been a loner, an outsider briefly flosting through other lives but never making a lasting connection. I have no friendships that are close or deep or older than a few years. There is no one in my life who was there in college, or middle school or grade school. I don't even have siblings. My memories are my own, and I thought that reading about a group of women who have been together their entire lives would only serve to highlight the solitude of my recollections.

Fortunately it wasn't that way, and while I certainly think the book could be stronger and more engaging, it was a pleasant enough read. And even though most of the exposition was inaplicable to my life given that I have no close relationships, there were a few parenting tidbits tucked in there that I found profound (ew, awkward sentence).

The first was advice given by one of the main character's father to alway treat your kids like they are 2 years older than they are because they will rise to the occassion. I absolutely love this advice. I think it should be applied to everyone frankly given the current constant pandering to the lowest common denominator by the press and the government and entertainment, but for it to apply to every day life and interection it must first begin with our kids.

Perception is such a transient thing. How you see others affects how they seem themselves. Self perception colors our every achievement and failure. Treating our children as if they are already responsible, well behaved, whatever we hope them to be, can only help them see themselves as those things. I admit I have a hard time doing this when it comes to the simpler things like learning to feed yourself or helping around the house. I can do it faster and better so I jsut go ahead and do it without giving my child the chance to try and learn. I need to foster growth more than I need to fear messes, and that is something I'm trying to work on. but in other ways I think we embody this advice - fully expecting our kids to keep their rooms clean (or at least pick up the toys after throwing them everywhere), hang up their own coats and other simple tasks and chores that they can or almost can handle on their own. It is hard not to leap to your child's rescue. It is hard to sit back and watch them struggle or wait for chubby fingers to fumble through menial tasks at a tenth of the speed you could manage. It is hard not to baby them. But they will be stronger, more capable, more confident people if we can resist those urges.

The other thing I found of interest and worth discussing here is the concept of parental grading. At one point the women are discussing what grade they would give themselves as mothers - it isn't relevant to the story and it is only mentioned in passing, but it really struck me because once woman gave herself a B, until she thought about the linds of parents there really are out there and then upped her score to an A.

I found this so interesting because it is a perfect example of the inequality of the standards to which we hold ourselves, and the standards to which we hold others. If I were to visit another mom's home, with the exact same cleanliness and amount or lack there of of clutter, I would think it was in pretty great shape. Even if it was significantly dirtier or messier I wouldn't think anything of it bceause hey, she's got kids and she's busy and that's just how it goes. But I consider it almost unacceptable to myself the state I keep our house in. i don't clean it often enough. I don't pick up the toys enough or put away the clutter constantly piled on my counter tops - everything does NOT have a place, and the things that do are probably not in them. I feel like a failure so many times because the way I want to maintain my house and how much I'm actually able to do are so different. If I judged myself on teh standards of what I wish to achieve I would come away with a B- (up from a low C, I've made STRIDES people).

But if I compared myself to the mothers that are really out there? The ones who neglect or abuse their children, the ones who are drunk, or high, or mean or withholding of approval, emotion, attention. Against those mothers I think I rate pretty high. In the grand scheme of motherhood I think I deserve an A. My kids are happy. My kids are loved. My kids are fed healthy, well balanced meals that I put thought and effort into (most of the time anyway). I work hard to ensure each child gets one on one time, and I damn well make sure they know that home is a safe haven where they will always be loved, welcomed and accepted. And I know I'm not perfect, but I always try to be better, and I think that counts for something.

It is a shame that there is a such a disconnect between what we think of ourselves as parents compared to our ideal, and how we see ourselves as parents compared to what other parents are doing. So many women measure themselves with an unreachable yardstick - one they would never hold up to their friends - and feel so incompetant when they cannot measure up. The Golden Rule may say "treat others as you want to be treated" but for mothers there is a second part: treat yourself the way you treat others.

If I had friends they would probably have told me that. Ha!

Okay, I have to idea how to end this, so I'm just going to trail off. . .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sloth As Weight Loss Tool

I haven't written anything here in quite some time, because frankly, it gets kind of old (not to mention boring) consistently writing about how you aren't doing anything to lose weight. And that is exactly what I have been doing: nothing.

But there is one way it kind of pays off, and that is when I get so lazy (or engrossed in the computer/a book/whatever that I can drag my lazy ass off the couch and into the kitchen for a snack. For example, right now it is almost 10pm, and I have yet to eaet any sort of dinner because I have spent the last three hours reading and writing within the blogosphere.

Sure, I may spend all night THINKING about food and what I want to eat next, but as far as I know my metabolism hasn't slipped so far that the mere thought of food translates into cellulite so I'm okay there. And sure, I may come close to wetting myself whenever I finally do get up because when I put off getting up for food I am also putting off getting up to pee, but whatever. Beauty is a sacrifice.

this message is not an endorsement of starvation or any other eating dosorder. The writer is not a licensed nutritional expert, nor is she qualified in anyway to dispense advice on any subject, including but not limited to dietary practices. If you are unaware of this, you are probably also unaware of the $100 membership to this blog. Arrangement for payment can be made at practicalpablum@gmail.com

The Uterus Is Back In Play

I had my Mirena removed today. Rest assured we are NOT trying to have another baby (at least not physically - I am mentally wearing Brett's defenses down in the hopes of more babies next year), but it just wasn't really working for me. I have been developing increasingly insomniac like symptoms where my night owl tendencies have moved past staying up a bit later than usual and into I can't go to be before 1am if I tried. So that's no good. I have also been experiencing some major hair loss (like immediately post pregnancy type loss) which is atypical and while not a recognized side effect I have seen a lot of anecdotal evidence posted online in the blogs I read and on Twitter. I have also had my period since basically October, and I know there was another symptom, but I can't remember it now, so let's just go ahead and add memory loss as another issue.

None of these things are necessarily related to my IUD. In general it should only afect my uterus and not my body as a whole, but there are certain people who are super sensitive and can be affected more than normal, and given my acknowledged princess and the pea like reactions to any kind of stimulant and familial sensitivities to other types of drugs it wouldn't be too surprising if I fell into that category. There is also the factor that my sensitivity to the hormones in birth control pills had so suddenly heightened (which is why I got the IUD in the first place) after having no problems with them for years, so obviously something is going on with the balance in my body.

But regardless, even if my problems are unrelated to the IUD I felt that I needed to rule it out. No other causes were apparent, so the obvious foreign body had to go. If the problems continue, well we can explore other avenues of testing to figure out why I'm no longer able to sleep soundly and deeply at night, and why I'm suddenly shedding like a sheepdog (hopefully before I go bald!). but if this is the reason, then it's been sorted out and we can all go on with our lives.

Except my husband - who no doubt will hesitate to even enter a room with me for fear I will get pregnant again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

We Be Bouncin'

Tonight we went to a free party at a place called BounceU (which I think is supposed to be something like Bounce University or something, but to me sounds like a family friendly way of saying fuck off). There were huge blown up slides, and bounce houses, and bouncy obstacle courses, and face painting (whch we didn't do because the line was too long) and cake and ice cream (which we definitely did because, Duh), and just generally had a great time.

Not that you could really tell from the above picture, but it was really the only non-blurry shot I got. On my cell phone. Because Little Miss Aspires-to-be-a-Photographer forgot her camera. As usual.

Not that I would have gotten many pictures anyway (although I did get one of Jack at the beginning before he was too sure about trying any of the bouncing and he went over to stand by the wall in an epic mope. But my phone memory was full and it didn't save ARRRGH!). I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking this evening would be like, but while I was pretty accurate about the set up/proliferation of bouncy houses and whatnot, and I knew it would be crowded and full of sugared up children and parents, I somehow also thought I would just be sitting around watching. I would really like to understand where that notion came from because as anyone with children small enough to get knocked around knows, when you go places, you don't sit still.

Ever.

And when you are outmanned 3-2, you pretty much run around like a chicken with your head cut off, all while toting a 22 lb toddler. Unless of course you are following said toddler through the maze of people, in which case things actually get pretty easy because you no longer have a clue where the other two kids are and can only hope someone else responsible does.

So, it's probably just as well that I didn't bring my camera because I never would have gotten to take any pictures in the first place.

And honestly, given what a disaster of epic proportions this could have turned into (crowded, right at dinner/bedtime, sugar fueled, etc), everything was really great. The kids mainly liked the slide so they were fairly easy to keep an eye on, and even though it was crowded there was a minimum of pushing and shoving and jostling for position that might have ended in injury. Jack was super slow crawling up the ladder (it was HIGH. and steep. And the hand/foot holds were not the greatest) but in almost every case children just backed up behind him rather than pushing past and knocking him down. Which is good because it really would have put a crimp in our schedule if Brett had to bail me out after I smacked some rude kid for pushing my baby.

Sophie was an angel. Content to be held, happily watching all the activity, toddling around without fear or awareness of the potential for being knocked down (one kid actually HURDLED over her head, which, aside from being dangerous and stupid and potentially deadly if he'd kicked her, was kind of impressive). Aside from weighing a gazillion pounds after a while, and being the hottest little thing ever, leading me to sweat like a hog and take off the sweater which was making my outfit publicly appropriate, she was perfection.

Izzy was also amazing. She ran around like a dervish, not giving two hoots whether we were following her or not. She was up and down that slide a hundred times at least, with short intervals where she would dash off to bounce or run through the obstacle course. She wanted to get her face painted, and we waited for a short time even though it was apparent the line was WAY too long for our time limits, but after realizing that everyone coming into the room was lingin up, and the end of the line kept moving with no regards to who was actually in it or in what order, so we just gave up. And amazingly Izzy was totally fine with this and didn't seem disappointed at all. Of course, she also keeps saying she'll get her face painted "next time" so I'm thinking we better find a way to come up some face painting for her soon or we'll never hear the end of it.

The infamous Erin was how I heard about this party, so she was also there (by herself with all SIX kids!!!) and I introduced Izzy to her 6yo twins (one also names Isabel) and they promptly ran off hand in hand. So that might be great in the future. On a related note, Izzy was almost the same height which was freaky - shouldn't she look WAY younger than a 6 year old? That's like first grade - she was just a baby!

As for Jack... well, he started off slow. He didn't want to try anything, and he pulled some really great mopes - standing around with his head down as is his wont. One of these days I'm going to snap a picture of The Great Mope as I call it and you will see the majesty of pout-itude that is exhibited everytime something doesn't go exactly the way he wants (but isn't so bad that he needs to full on flip). It's hysterical. But he warmed up and once he got into the slide, he was hooked. He went up and down, up and down, with only a break for cake and ice cream, and then it was back to the slide. Until it was time to go. And he went into tantrum mode. Only this time Daddy was there, and I guess Daddy hasn't seen our new behavior before (I got it every time we leave the gym for the past week). So that was fun - having Brett see just what a pain sweet little Jack can be when he doesn't want to do something. And also have someone else get to be the ogre carrying the screaming kicking child out of somewhere under their arm.

Good times.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yelling

Tonight I yelled.

The kids were shouting; clamoring and racing and rolling like puppies. Playing and rambunctious and loud. Kids.

And I just couldn't take it. I needed five minutes, or fifty minutes, of quiet. No, not quiet, peace. Of their attention NOT being on me. No more questions and look at me and knocking about. No more crying and whining and begging and me mom, me mom, pick me, look at me, I'm over here, look at me mom, oh my god just STOP!

Just stop playing with the baby like she's a stuffed animal you can wrestle to the ground.

Just stop asking me for candy, I told you could have a piece but if you don't leave me alone to finish what I'm doing you will never get it.

Just stop racing around and tackling each other before someone gets hurt.

Stop pushing the baby.

Stop running around the baby.

Stop running, falling, jumping, crashing.

Stop asking me questions.

Stop. Stop. STOP. STOP!

So I yelled.

I try to be patient. I try to let things roll off my back, to remember they are just kids doing what kids do. But sometimes I need some peace. A little bit of neglect from my kids. A little "go do whatever the hell you want just LEAVE ME ALONE."

I cannot be everywhere at once. I cannot do everything that needs to be done at one time. And sometimes when thos demands and questions start flying I just can't take it. Why does one kid pipe up with a queation the second I've agreed to help another? Why is some stupid comment lobbed at me before I've even finished answering the last?

Just give me a freaking break! Please.
And so I yell. I beg and explain and whine and ask, too, but that never works.

Then I yell.

When I just can't take it anymore right then, and I'm fed up and no relief is coming and I have to vent or burst. The kettle is boiling and the steam has to go somewhere or the wreckage will claim us all.

I yell.

I don't want to yell at my kids. Not when they haven't done anything wrong other than pick the wrong night to go apeshit. I don't want their memories of me to be about yelling. I hate when Izzy cries and says "I love you Mommy" because she doesn't want me to be mad anymore. I always apologize and soften my words as soon as I can. I promise to be better. But you can't unspill the milk.

I do not want to yell. I worry so much that my kids will become afraid of me. That they will feel I'm some sort of raging monster and always tiptoe around themselves so as not to wake the beast. I don't know how to explain that my yelling is a way of getting my anger out of me and letting it go so I can return to calm. They only know its scary.

Tonight I yelled.

And I will sit here absorbed by guilt that I was impatient, angry and harsh. While they sleep, I will regret their last moments before bed were loud and violent and threatening. I will go to bed vowing to be better. Vowing to be more in control of myself.

Vowing that tomorrow will be quiet.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shutterbug

Can I tell you how much I love my new camera? Because I freaking worship that thing. I have taken more photographs in the last few months than I did in the last couple of years; thank heaven for digital memory! It is so fun for me to click away and have the continuous shutter feature capture every second. Makes getting the right shot so much easier! Of course, it also means there are TONS of not so right shots, and I am working hard as editing myself so that I'm not downloading every single picture whether they are suck or identical or whatever.

It's just so fun!!!

I can't wait to take some classes or something and refresh everything I learned in college (which is pretty obsolete anyway since it mostly concerned developing and printing actual FILM which is not so relevant these days. Why yes, I DO predate the digital revolution, thanks for asking). I especially want to take a class in Photoshop and learn how to really manipulate and enhance my pictures until they are the super bestest they can be.

Wheeee! I'm such a dork right now, but I'm just in love with taking pictures. I'm reminded of why I wanted to be a photography major all those years ago. It is such a thrill capturing the exact moment you see in your head for everyone to see.

Geek. ing. OUT.

Oh well. I just spent an hour going through all my shots from today so you'll have to excuse my fervor right now - I'm on a photo high. And yes, I realize that it is somewhat ironic to have an entry expounding my newfound obsession with photography and not have a single picture, but I just selected all my favorites and set them up as the daily photos for the next week and I don't want to ruin the surprise. So you'll just have to keep checking back if you want to see my shots.

And don't worry. I'l take more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself. And Heights. Or Falling. Or Both

I've never been all the great with heights. Give me a solid, opaque railing and I'm all good, but give me slots or god forbid clear glass and nope, not going over there, no thank you. Makes me nervous and I don't like it. I don't do ladders above the first three steps, and the stairs with no backs completely freak me out. Because my fat ass can totally slip through the slats and fall through, you know.

Anyway, I've always been a little cautious of heights, but nothing really debilitating...until now. Having kids has made me completely paranoid about all things heights or slipping or squeezing through tiny little spaces and falling. Which is weird considering they climb all over the couches and whatnot in our house and I'm like "la di dah, if they fall no big whoop." But give me a railing and suddenly they are going to squeeze their giant bodies through those tiny spaces and fall, oh my god, save them! Seriously, it's crazy. I stopped even WISHING for the money/time/whatever to go on a cruise vacation because I was worried one of my kids would fall overboard. Fall off a hypothetical cruise ship on a fantasy vacation. Looney.

So imagine my delight when, upon check in to our hotel in Dallas, I discovered that not only was it one of those hotels with the inner courtyard that reaches all the way up to the roof, but we were on the very top floor. And the elevators were in the middle. Meaning we had to traverse a walkway, with totally kid sized gaps in the railings and a ten story fall on either side.


AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHH!

I was literally swooning the first time we crossed. My vision was swilring around and my stomach dropped. I had visions of uncontrollably swerving over to the railing and being unable to stop myself from tripping and somehow dropping Sophie off. I had visions of one of the kids looking over between the bars and somehow falling through. It was ridiculous, it was irrational. It was sickening.


So naturally I made the kids stay in the very center of the walkway and RUN across as fast as they could (and even then I still worried that they might run too fast and go through the elevator hub out onto another walkway and... somehow fall off.


It was horrible and it was nauseating, and I have no idea how I got this way. but think if I keep racking up lunatic fears at the rate I currently am, I'm going to be homeschooling a bunch of agoraphobics here pretty soon.

ps: lest you think I'm a total liar by virtue of these pictures, let me assure you they were taken in almost blind panic, with my camera held out as far away from me as possible and as close to the edge as I could stand to hold my arm (my body was well away from all railings). And I still couldn't look at the drop or my camera or what the hell I was doing, and the whole time I worried about somehow dropping my camera over the edge.

pps: do you ever have the worry that you will suddenly be unable to control your body and do something like drop your baby off a ten story walkway or drive off the road? Like your body will be totally out of your control and just do these things? And how weird that would be if it happened? I have them all the time - is that normal at all? It certainly is unsettling.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There Will Be Blood

Never say you have nothing to write about, or that you are hoping for a nice quiet evening, because you will be smote. Smited? Smote.

Smacked down with vigor.

Last night I was all ready for a relaxing night at home - my first in four days. I had fed the kids dinner and was seconds away from putting the baby down for bed; just lifting her out of her high chair when, BAM! there was the crash of a chair flipping over and the wail of crying. Now, I was understandably concerned about the crying, but this is not the first time a chair has been flipped (we've even snapped a leg off once), so I murmured reassuring noises to the child I was sure was mostly crying in fright, while I rushed to get the baby gate shut so Sophie wouldn't fall down the basement stairs while I tended to Jack (the above mentioned crying child).

Except when I finally got around the table, he wasn't scared. He was bleeding. My first thought was his mouth - I figured he split a lip or bit his tongue or, my personal random fear, knocked out a tooth. But there was alot of blood. ALOT. Too much. All over his hands, and the floor, and his toys, and my curtains, and his feet, and his clothes, dripping in a steady staccato as he stood there crying. Pouring tears slower than he was pouring blood.

And then I saw the gash.

Right on the back of his head, at least 2 inches long, maybe closer to three, and over half an inch wide - just gaping open. Demanding immediate medical attention and closure.

A half hour before bedtime.

My husband is out of town.

I don't know anyone.

Fortunately I met a lovely woman at my new book club a few weeks back, and we had been in contact a little bit on Facebook, and because I am a lousy friend who asks you for favors after meeting her for only like five minutes, I had gotten her phone number in case I needed her to feed my cat while I went to Dallas. Seeing as my only other option was running down the street knocking on doors, I called her up and she was sweet enough to come over to watch Izzy and Sophie so I could take Jack to the ER by himself. I just didn't want to have to deal with all three while he needed my undivided attention. (unrelated: why is it now the Emergency Department instead of Emergency Room? I get that it's not literally a room, but I going to keep saying ER- ED sounds like a venereal disease.) Anyway, because of her gracious help I was able to rush my boy to the ER to get all stitched up. (Thank you so much Erin! I owe you big time!)

waiting and watching the Olympics
Oh, except they didn't STITCH him up at all - they used staples. I totally get why too - it took about two seconds to get those suckers in, and even without any local anesthetic he only cried for a minute. But still, ick. I'm not sure why the idea of sewing the gaping hole closed is less gross - maybe because it seems more thorough like you will be sure to get it all together? But, whatever, it is less gross. Staples in bodies are creepy.

Through it all Jack was a true champ - he barely even cried, and after the intial shock wore off and I stopped pushing on his head to stop the bleeding, he was more concerned with being dirty than anything else. Sitting on the gurney he was totally happy playing with his toys and watching the skiing, and except for the few minutes when it happened and literally 10 seconds when they stapled him up he didn't cry a bit. What a brave boy!

It's probably a pathetic testament to my compulsion as a photographer (and blogger) that on our way to the hospital I kicked myself for forgetting my camera (the sky was amazing on the way - really cool pale turquoise with scattered clouds and just the slimmest sliver of moon), but I was too busy comforting and holding Jack once we got there to have gotten any pictures anyway. The one above was snapped quickly with my cell phone because he looked pretty cute in his bandage and you have to document the very first ER trip at least a little, but that and an after shot are all I got. It's not too terribly gory, but you can see blood and the staples so just scroll past if you're squeamish.



When we got home and Jack showed Izzy his new toy and super cool dinosaur sticker she turned to me and said "I want a bleeding." Ha! That was pretty funny and I reassured her that she does not in fact want a bleeding, but we could get her stickers anyway.

Today Jack is is usual rambunctios (and occassionally cantakerous) self. You'd never suspect anything traumatic or scary had happened, and it certainly doesn't seem like he's hurting at all. So that's good. I'm not sure my system can take anymore adrenaline right now - it took several hours for the jitters to end last night.

As for tonight? Well, I know what I'm hoping for, but I'm not gonna say it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Home Again

Twenty four of the last 72 hours have been spent in the car, driving one direction or the other between Omaha and Dallas.

The children were absolute angels - they didn't complain the entire drive down, they didn't complain the entire day Saturday when they were forced to attend a memorial service and the boring adult reception afterwards despite not having had naps for two days, and they barely complained yesterday on the drive home, even though they were once again forced into car seats for an entire 12 hour period. They spent three days living on crackers, grapes and McDonald's cheeseburgers, with no naps, very little sleep at night, and extremely long periods of inactivity.

My kids are heroes.

I am exhausted. I wasn't sleeping well before hand, and then spending three days with three little kids (and sharing a bed with two of them, fun) didn't add up to any extra rest for me. So I'm afraid this is all you get today. I've got a lot of sitting still and relaxing to do - shows backed up on the DVR, 83 (!) blog entires backed up on my reader, and a pile of books calling my name. The plan is to curl up on the sofa today and get some much needed rest and equilibrium back before the full grind starts up again tomorrow with preschool and swimming and unpacking and cleaning the house...

But that's tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sleep Gods, Why Have Ye Forsaken Me?

I usually sleep pretty well (in other words, I sleep great as long as my husband's snoring is out of earshot). And while I do tend to stay up a little later than is in my best interest, once I lay down, I fall asleep easy, stay asleep unless disturbed, and return to sleep after said distrubance is dealt with. I get my 7-8-9 hours a night and I do just fine during the day.

But now it seems the gods of sleep have banded up and turned against me. They are throwing me curves all over the place.

Up first we have some new-found insomnia-like symptoms. Instead of beginning the drowsy process around 10:30 and making it to bed by midnight, I'm not getting sleepy at all until midnight. Meaning I can stay up well past 1 am if I'm not careful. i have always been a night owl, but this is a bit ridiculous. Also, while I am still mostly able to fall right asleep, there have been several nights where I'm never really THAT asleep. You know that stage where you are sleeping and dreaming, but at the same time KNOW you are sleeping and dreaming? Yeah, that. Annoying. And not restful.

Then we have the disturbances. The baby seems to have finally outgrown her nightly bottle, so I'm not stumbling downstairs to prepare that anymore, but Izzy has stepped in bigtime to fill the gaps. I am getting at least one visit every night between the hours of 4-5:30 am where I am asked if she can 1) watch tv in my room, 2) sleep in my bed. Neither of these are acceptable situations in my mind because at best they mean we are both just up and awake all day and at worst that I am just awake and up all day. No thanks. My insistance that she return to her room is then met with more requests, namely if I will 1) read her a book 2)sleep in her room for a little while. On really good nights I will get multiple visits for each of these requests, and also some hugging and soft sobbing about how much she loves me and wants to sleep with me. To bad "sleep with me" is code for "kick, poke, squirm and chatter all night."

Add in a cat who wants to sleep with me and also explore the house and so keeps curling up with me, leaving, coming back and repeating all night, and I'm not getting much rest.

So my question is this - what can I do to appease the sleep gods so that I can get back into my lovely restful routine? Anyone know any good rituals? Do I sacrifice a baby gouda?

Also, remind me why we stopped locking Izzy's door at night? Bah!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oops I Did... Oh You Know The Rest

So here I am, in the middle of this intense self-discovery and renewal and life changing diet right? Striving to remake my body and my mind and lifestyke right along with it - all the stuff I've been blathering on about these past five (six?) weeks. Right?

No. Not so much. No dieting for me thanks.

I made cupcakes today. I ate 2 1/2 cupcakes today, and it took every ounce of restraint I have to stop there.

Seriously, what is my problem? I'm not trying and failing, I'm not finding it hard to stick to my diet; I'M DOING NOTHING. And this complete failure to find the motivation to even try is crushing. It is disapointment and disgust in myself at it's keenest, and it makes me want to quit. To just accept being a lumpy tub and get on with being a mom, back fat to the mirror.

It makes me want to eat the rest of those cupcakes.

I'm not sure how to get out of this mindtrap. Wanting to look better hasn't worked. Wanting to feel better hasn't worked. I reward myself with food, and I soothe myself with food when I fail.

Maybe it's time I start punishing myself by witholding food. I haven't earned it, I don't deserve it, I certailny don't need it to survive (I mean I don't need the treats, obviously I need some food).

I just don't know. I can't get my mind aorund it and I haven't found the right approach. the only other time I've lost weight was right after I had a baby, and the lightness and momentum you get hen you have just lost 20 lbs in a week made it so easy to keep it going. I don't have that now (and husband is NOT falling for my argument that I need to get pregnant and have another baby so I can lose some weight), and I'm finding it impossible to start without that initial boost.

I'm finlly understanding just how negligent I've been towards my health and eating habits for the past 10 years - and I'm finally paying the price. I need to do some real introspection (gag) and figure out how I'm going to change my thinking and correct my course.

I should also probably stop baking cupcakes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Farewell Pixie



Tonight we said goodbye to Pixie. She was the sweetest most beautiful cat, but she just wasn't adjusting to the activity level in our house. She has become increasingly anxious and withdrawn over the past several weeks, and I finally had to accept that she wasn't happy here. We have found her a wonderful home with a nurse from my vet's office, and the couple were both obviously cat lovers (the husband admitted to occassionally giving his cats tuna fish as treats) and so visibly enchanted with her that I know she will have a more wonderful, calmer, happier life with them. I'll miss her greatly, but I know it is for the best. Have a sweet life, Pixie. We love you.

Mommy! Take My Picture When I Jump!






Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Say What

Several weeks ago I took Izzy shopping with me. Earlier that day she had gotten to go to the movies with her dad, and I commented on what a special day she was having getting all of this one on one attention.

me: "This is a big day for you. No little brothers and sisters around."
Izzy: "They're around somewhere. They're not at the neighbor's house."

As we drove I explained that we were looking for a dress for mommy. When we got to the store:

Izzy: "is this where the dresses live?"

others:

"My leg hurts cause I was eating too much cereal."

"Excuse me, Mom. Can we take a bath this year?"

indeed you can. But only ONE

Thursday, February 4, 2010

From Downstairs

The scene: A basement playroom. Mommy upstairs on the computer, Daddy has just said his goodbyes and left for basketball. A small boy stands at the base of the stairs crying for several minutes.

Izzy: do you want to give daddy a hug?
Jack: yeah
Izzy: but he's gone
Jack: *sniffles*
Izzy: I'm sorry. you can give me a hug
Jack: no
Izzy: I'm baking a special pie and you can have a piece and then give daddy a hug
later
Jack: *sniffles*
Izzy: I'm sorry honey
end scene

Moments later they were playing and laughing and tussling - doing all the things kids do. And I was just so awed and amazed and grateful for their relationship. They are best friends, and siblings and life long companions. I love watching as their relationship develops and changes and becomes just about them with nothing from me. It is so beautiful.

And ever so much more special to me because I have nothing like it. No siblings, no close cousins, not even any old friends. No one who knew me as a child. No one that I grew up with, no one that has a shared history and childhood.

Right now my grandmother is ailing. She suffered a major stroke over the weekend and is not expected to live much longer. And while in the end it is for the best (she has been suffering from Alzheimer's for years and recently has declined quite a bit) that certainly doesn't make it any easier for my father, aunt and uncle. It makes me feel better knowing that during the terrible ordeal of losing their mother, they have each other. To lean on, cry with and reminisce about better days. To share the burden of the tough decisions.



I am grateful that my children will have that as well. On the off chance that I die someday (hehe).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jack's Swim Lesson

It started rough. I woke him from a sound sleep and the entire diaper change/ swimsuit and clothes application was set to a steady soundtrack of crying and nonononononononono. But then he woke up enough to accept the chocolate I was giving him (I am totally not above bribery) and it smiles from there on out. he gripped my hand sooooo tightly - watching through the windows as the kids before him swam. But he went off with the teacher without a word, and as far as I could tell he never spoke the whole class except when the teacher asked his name (she couldn't understand what he said anyway).



He was the most ridiculously cute thing out there in his little swim trunks and goggles. Simultaneously smaller and so much more grown up. My little man.



Afterwards my brief phone call home was hijacked by Isabelle (DO NOT get her on the phone or she will tell you she is going to talk "for a long time" and then endlessly tell you how fun things are over and over and over. Well, I guess she warns you at least), and I asked her if she wanted to talk to Jack. At first she wasn't interested, but then she changed her mind, and let me just tell you, listening to my 2 year old say "Hi, ... okay" on the phone knowing he's talking to his 3 year old sister is just about the most adorable thing ever! how I wish I had their little conversation on tape!

There Is No Tomorrow

one of my favorite jokes goes like this:

What is the most popular day to start a diet?

Tomorrow. har de har har

Everyday I want to eat something. Lots of somethings. And right before I shove them in my mouth I think "well, I'll just eat better tomorrow."

Tomorrow I won't eat sugar. Tomorrow I won't eat at 11:30pm no matter how hungry I am - I'll just go to bed (where I should be anyway!). Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

Well, there have been a year's worth of tomorrows. Sophie is one year old and I am the same weight I was a week after her birth, despite at one point weighing almost 15 lbs less. Pathetic.

I have done nothing. I have changed nothing. I have rationalized hundreds of meals and snacks, thousands of calories, and ten pounds that is rapidly turning into fifteen.

And this stagnation, this failure to motivate or even try is eating away at me. I'm fat, I'm frumpy, why shouldn't I just sit home in my sweatpants eating?

If I felt better, I'd eat better. If I ate better, I'd feel better. And the snake eats its own tail forever and ever.

I don't know what it is going to take to get me moving forward. I don't know what it is going to take to keep me moving forward once I start.

I just know I can't wait for any more tomorrows.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Few Days Of Firsts

Isabelle has had an exciting couple of days. First, on Saturday she attended her very first birthday party.


oooh, princesses, rockstars, and dress up, OH MY!


she has been bursting with excitement. Seriously. The ennui in this photo is all from mommy taking pictures AGAIN


here she is with three of her little friends from school. Three friends I didn't even know she had, because she never tells me anything about school


they played musical chairs, made a music video, decorated tiaras and rings and microphones, whacked a pinata, ate pizza, ate candy, ate ice cream, ate cake. And all before noon. Phew!

ps: the set of photos I have of her all dressed up and ready to go really emphasizes to me that I am ALWAYS behind the camera - I never get down and take a picture with my kids. Got to remedy that so they can gaze upon my youthful beauty when I am old and wrinkled.

Then today, Isabelle had her very first swimming lesson. She didn't want to go at first (when I woke her up from her nap), but she quickly got excited to wear her new bathing suit, and once we saw the pool she was raring to go.





The butterflies and pride I felt watching her get in the pool, wearing her goggles and green striped suit, talking to the other little girl when it wasn't their turn really surprised me. The teacher told me she did very well (she was surprised she'd never had a lesson before) and when we were leaving she was already asking when she could come back. Score.






pps:okay, so this is not the most interesting entry ever. And yes, I'm totally trying to distract you form that fact with cute pictures and videos. What can I say? See all those things above? I had to do them too. And I am NOT a four year old bursting with everlasting energy. I be a tired old lady.

ppps: tomorrow is JACK'S first lesson. Right at naptime (and the last two days he's slept until 6pm instead of the typical 3pm). Pray for me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Change Is In The Air. Like A Germ

I've got the bug. The bug that nips at you every so often and whispers "you can do better" in your ear. You see vestiges of it right here on this site, which I spent three+ hours redesigning last night, despite being a total tech noob.*

This bug is whispering to me that my pictures can be better, brighter, more fabulous. That I can indeed learn Photoshop, and perhaps take some classes at the community college to help me with that. And with web design. And with writing.

This bug whispered to me that I could make pasta from scratch, and that, in fact I WANTED to make pasta from scratch despite having boxes of Barilla in my pantry. And if my kids scarfing it down tonight at dinner is any indication, perhaps I CAN make pasta, rather than just edible paste strips that loosely resemble pasta only because I told you what it was.

This bug is whispering dangerous, motivational, life changing things to me. And I kind of want to listen.

But don't worry. I'm sure I'll get over it.


*please tell me if you like/love/loathe the new look in the comments. Unless you loathe it. Keep that to yourself.