Saturday, January 22, 2011

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Speaking of bunk beds...okay, so I was speaking of them in my head because I was again going through the really fun process of changing the sheets on them...I'm reminded of my excellent bunk bed story from college.

I'm pretty sure this is exactly how it happened.

FACT: I had a "job" at the stables to reduce the Equestrian Team fees I (read: my parents) had to pay.
FACT: Said job had to be completed prior to 7:45 am when students showed up for their 8:00 am lessons.
FACT: I had no car and it was a LONG walk to the stables, so Susan and Asuka picked me up at 5:45 am every weekday morning.
FACT: It's cold at 5:45 am.

SITUATION: Thursday night (must have been at a party, because there is no way I could have been this drunk from underage consumption at a bar) I mysteriously make it into my top bunk.


In the wee hours of the morning, suddenly awake and realize the alarm has been missed. Creep quietly from the top bunk so as not to awaken anyone else...or maybe jump/fall off the side, perhaps kicking Joni in the head.

Proceed to put on sweats over whatever outfit I went to bed in. After all, it is cold outside. As a matter of fact, it is really cold. Probably need more than sweats, so what else should I put on quickly....hmmm...ah, perfect solution, the sheet from my bed.

Ever so quietly, with lightening speed, remove the sheet...or maybe pull and tug so hard that the sheet AND the mattress fall down on top of me.

Wrestle the sheet off the downed mattress and wrap in toga style around my body. There may or may not have been an ignored roommate intervention at this point.

Trip over the mattress on the floor, race down the three flights of stairs, and run as fast as my toga can carry me to the parking lot.

Silence. No sign of movement anywhere. They must have gotten tired of waiting and now I will have to walk the mile and a half. I'm obviously dressed inappropriately for this and head back up to the room for more suitable gear.

Trip over my mattress and finally hear Allison's voice through the fog telling me..."It's only 3:30, go back to bed."

Climb up and realize mattress is still on the ground, hence the tripping.

Climb down and stare at mattress to decide how to get it back up.

Give up and collapse onto the mattress.

One hour later, suddenly awake and realize the alarm has been you see a pattern?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Saga Continues

Okay, I'm not going to turn this into an exercise blog, but...

I did it. I managed to take two more group exercise classes.

I should note that my secondary goal in exercising (after getting a less-squishy pooch) is better posture. I have horrible posture. When I see myself in pictures I always think if I had just put my shoulders back I would have looked 10 pounds skinnier. But damn, that takes a lot of effort.

And I will take an “I told you so” from my dad, who constantly told me to sit up straight as a kid (and thus I defiantly slouched over whenever he wasn’t in the room). Lessons from a man that wore a back brace in high school. Maybe I’ll try reverse psychology on Morgan and Zoe.

On Sunday I took Hatha Yoga, which was different than other yoga I have done. In the past I’ve done something closer to “power” yoga which accelerates your heart rate because you move through poses repetitively and fairly quickly.

It was led by an older Frenchman named Bejan. I’m pretty sure he asked us to call him BJ, but his accent was so thick I don’t think I’ll be referring to him by name any time soon. I told Scott he looked more like somebody who just got off the Tour de France than a yogi.

I liked the class, but I definitely can’t “quiet my mind”. I tried, but all I could focus on was the woman on the other side of the room that sounded constipated.

Every time we entered a pose, “OhhUgghh.”

Every time we came back to center, “Ahhohh”

Bless her heart, she looked to be in her 70’s and I’m not holding it against her or anything, I just could not help but be distracted.

It reminded me of the ashram in “Eat, Pray, Love” where Liz would go to the meditation room to empty her mind, and all she could think about was how she should put a meditation room in her own house and how she would decorate it.

And it was 90 minutes…90 minutes of exercise…90 minutes of quieting my mind…90 minutes of not yelling at the kids. AH HA! Sign me up.

The last class I chose kicked my ass more than the other two combined.

It was called Studio Workout. “15 minutes of stretch and warm-up. 20 minutes of leg and arm strengthening at the bar. 20 minutes of aerobic dance.”

Ballet. Actually, it’s Ballet For Old People Who Should Not Be Taking Ballet. And that bar is not the bar I’m used to strengthening my arms at.

In theory, I love this class. It made me sweat, but didn’t kill my respiratory system. I got to listen to music from Phantom and Les Mis and The Nutcracker the whole time. I got to learn fancy French words to use on my yoga instructor.

And I really do like it. Really. I just have one thing I need to get over. I never have, do not currently, and never will look like this girl when she dances.

She is a AA size 2, light as a feather and graceful as a swan.

I am a foot taller, 36C top and size 6 (okay, 8) bottom, and can barely do a jumping jack without falling on my face. Don’t get me wrong…I know I am a very normal sized person…and I don’t have a completely whacked out self-image, but…

I look like a woolly mammoth next to her.

This is no joke – a frickin’ woolly mammoth.

I just couldn’t stop looking in the mirror and thinking, "Woolly Mammoth" and “I am not built to be graceful” and “Why did I wear this outfit?”

But I do think I have come up with a solution. Next Monday I am not going to wear my glasses.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Prepared for Battle

I'm not really a New Year's Resolution sort of girl. Mostly because every week I tell myself I'm going to do something different. Whether that is spend more time with the girls, make lunches before bed, or stop eating so many damn oreos.

And it usually lasts about a day. Which is to say, if I were to wait a whole year to start over, I'd be in big trouble.

So even though I did go to a group exercise class yesterday, it's not really a resolution. Just a response to the fact that my jeans were getting tighter and I really don't want to buy new jeans. And then there's the fact that we have a club membership that Scott uses extensively and the only times I have gone in the last year are to take the girls to swim lessons. It's economics.

Two years ago I asked for a few personal trainer sessions as my Christmas present and I had a bit of a routine, but eventually I stopped pushing myself as hard as the PT had told me. Which only confirms the fact that I lack self-motivation.

I knew if I was in a class I would be forced to work harder.

Three problems with that:
1. I don't like people watching me.
2. I don't like to do new things.
3. I don't like people watching me do new things.

My choice of classes for Wednesday evening were Pilates, Turbokick, Cardio Circuit or Hatha Yoga. I would have been all for the yoga, but I had already decided I was going to try that class on the weekend, since there weren't any convenient cardio classes that looked appealing at that time.

There was no description for the Cardio Circuit available, but the very word Circuit sounds too complicated.

I really would like to try pilates, but this class was being held in the "Pilates Room" which meant they'd be using the pilates machines instead of just the moves and such. Basically, take my three problems above and multiply them buy 10 when they involve any sort of external equipment.

That leaves Turbokick, which is kickboxing on aerobic steroids. So you will have to give me that I didn't exactly pick the easiest way to enter the world of the physically fit.

But I used to do a boxing workout (from the comfort of my living room) in college, and I figured at least I would know the upper body moves. Jab, Cross, Uppercut, Hook. Pretty easy when there's no one punching back at you.

Guess what. When you add footwork and jumping jacks and a lady yelling in a microphone, it's a lot harder than boxing. There are surprisingly few actual kicks in the class - not that I'm complaining - but a lot of bringing your knees up really high when you punch.

And she gave us the option of occasionally doing "air jacks" instead of regular jacks at certain points, which basically looks like a cheerleader's spread eagle jump a bunch of times in a row. I did not choose that option.

Amazing part - I didn't do that bad. I thought for sure I was going to have to quit halfway through, but I just stopped bouncing quite so much for a while and was able to catch my breath.

And the instructor was a tiny powerhouse of energy, but not bubbly - excellent marks on that front.

Headed home through the arctic cold, where Scott gave me a small look of concern that my face was still so red. It was pretty red. I think I might have a slight oxygen intake problem. It was a good two hours before I returned to my normal pasty-white self.

I'm a little sore in my shoulders and hamstrings, but considering I thought there was a possibility of needing a wheelchair today, I'll take it. Bonus is that I can now include a roundhouse kick in my self-defense repertoire. I'm bad ass.

So any other five season members who want to take this class with me...I'm pretty hooked.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back to Reality or Week 1 in Review

1. Last Monday, Zoe woke up in the middle of the night and insisted on joining us, which meant I had exactly 10.5 inches of king-sized mattress to lay on from about 1:00 - 6:00 a.m. Not conducive to the sleep that is needed before my first day back to work after over a two-week vacation.

2. It's a good thing I didn't spend much of my vacation time analyzing the data I was given for a last minute project an hour before my vacation started, because in a fortunate twist of events, they did not need it. Score!

3. I need to stop stalking Facebook. I keep having dreams with random high school classmates making guest appearances. And I mean RANDOM.

4. My new staff officially started last week and that makes me officially ancient, as I am officially old enough to be her mother. That's not true. Well, it might be biologically true, but I wasn't doing things like that at age 13.

5. I also need to stop playing Soduko on my nook. I had it charging at my laptop in case I had a chance to read at lunchtime and it taunted me all day. I could just play one quick game...,nobody would know...I could stop whenever I wanted.

6. In my on-going quest to read as many Young Adult fantasy books as humanly possible, I have been enjoying Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. So I borrowed The Lightning Thief movie from the library.

  • Portraying the gods as giants is NEVER going to look right no matter how good your special effects are?
  • Although Sean Bean (Zeus) and Kevin McKidd (Poseidon) were perfectly cast, how could you leave out an entire MAIN CHARACTER? I mean, you might as well have left out Pierce Brosnon as the centaur (clearly the most miscast of all of them) if you aren't going to include Ares, god of war. COME ON, PEOPLE!....
  • ...otherwise a thoroughly entertaining movie.

7. Morgan is still lice-free, according to the recent school check where they actually made her take her braids out! If you didn't know, Morgan is VERY particular about her braids. I mean psychotically particular....she doesn't even let Nana do them. But this woman who, according to Morgan, had never braided hair before got a giant stamp of approval from my OCD 5-year-old. Unfortunately, Morgan couldn't remember who it was. So I will send this thank you out to all the random lice-checking moms, because this is definitely one of those cases where I am happy I "work outside the home."

8. In Morgan's journal center, she had to write what amounted to a New Year's Resolution that would be some way in which she would help out around the house or with the family. Morgan said "I will mak mi lunch." So now I have to let her help make the lunches, which I thought couldn't possibly benefit me in any way until I came to the conclusion that it will force me to pack them the night before because the idea of having to get through that in the morning with her is altogether unappealing.

9. Week one of the basement purge is over...I have what equals three drum liner Hefty bags of stuff going to the curb (before we get limited to those new nifty trash cans in March), 3 more bags and one super large plastic tote of potential items for the re-sale, and my entire trunk full of clothes and bedding for Amvets. This does not include the 2 kitchen trash bags full of stuffed animals that I had segregated prior to the holidays for donation. And yet, our crawl space is still full. I do not understand how this happens.

10. And for the miracle of the week...Morgan learned to pogo stick...kind of. She asked for a pogo stick for Christmas, for god knows what reason. Nana Turtle found one with an extra wide base for beginners and Morgan tried it out on Wednesday night in the basement.

First, she just wanted Scott and I to hold her up on it and I kept telling her it wouldn't work that way and she wouldn't be able to go. So we did a few select pseudo-demos (because we technically are too large for this thing). I expected her to give up pretty quickly (she is, after all, my daughter). But damned if she didn't work her little butt off and managed three bounces in a row by the end!

There was only one instance where she fell backward and the stick kind of hit her in the nose. I quickly told her she was fine because there was no blood, which she accepted and got right back at it.

First of all...this is unprecedented. This is the same girl who drags her knuckles on the ground one minute into a soccer game and cannot manage to sit straight up in her chair long enough to write the letter "a".

Second of first. Before she attempted this, she put a stuffed chair shaped like Elmo behind her and announced it was her butt pad, which did come in handy. This is contrary to the fact that when she asked if she should wear helmet like the child in the picture her dad and I shrugged our shoulders..."ehhh, what's the worst that could happen?" We are also in contention for Parents of the Year.

Author's Note: This post was drafted over the weekend. As I was going to print, Morgan informed me that she had already contractually filled her obligation to pack lunches when she helped me last night. Didn't see that coming.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Now Pronounce You...

Morgan: Can Murray and I have a sleepover?

Mommy: Hmmm...Murray's still little, he might miss his mommy.

Morgan: No, I can sleep over his house.

Mommy: I have no response to that.

Morgan: Mommy, I have a funny story to tell you in the car...(now imagine a story told through a giggling 5-year-old voice)

Today I told the whole bus that I am going to marry Murray. And Addison said she wasn't getting married because kissing is gross. But Murray told me that he told his whole class he is going to marry me. And then...and I only did this because he asked me to...then Murray asked me to kiss him on the lips so I did. Isn't that funny?

Mommy: You are not going to sleep over Murray's house.

Note 1: Murray is 4-year-old boy at sitter's and I cannot hear his name without thinking of Gavin McCloud on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Note 2: Pretty much up until today Morgan has told me that kissing is gross, also.

First of all...yikes!

Second of all...the fact that I am not ready for this stage does not bode well for her tween years.

Here is a list of questions I will be asking Murray the next time I see him to determine compatibility.

Concern for the environment: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Appreciation of the Arts: "Yo Gabba Gabba", "Jack's Big Music Show", or "Fresh Beat Band"?

Humor: Woopee cushion or prat fall?

Earnings Potential: Fireman or Football Player?

Deductive Reasoning: How many taxi cabs are in New York City? (That's just there because my boss asks it in every interview and I think it is unfair.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Year of the Teacup Piggie

(or What I Did On My Christmas Vacation)

Somewhat cool that my first post of 2011 will be my 101st post ever. Not really cool, I guess...a little interesting...okay, not really interesting either...

About the title...

Morgan has been telling me what she wanted from Santa since this summer. It revolved around a Pillow Pet and a "spy kit". The spy kit has something to do with (1) a boy at daycare and (2) my cousin Neil, but I had nothing else to go on in that arena.

This should not be confused with her Christmas Wish List, which was at least 2 pages long...single-spaced...8 pt font. Every page in the Toys R Us and Target catalogs was marked up at both our house and Nana's.

So, naturally, I was well-prepared this shopping season.

That is until Santa came to Crocker Park for a visit and we stopped in. The Friday before Christmas. All other shopping completed.

Santa to Zoe: What would like for Christmas?
Zoe: A baby...and a stroller for my baby...and clothes for my baby...and diapers for my baby...
Santa: Got it...
Santa to Morgan: And what about you?
Morgan: A Teacup Piggie.


Okay...not panicking...there was an entire end-cap full of them at Walgreens last week. I head out on Tuesday. None left at Walgreens...hmmm....head over to ToysRUs Express.

Me: Do you have any of those Teacup Piggies left?
Dude (holding back hysterical laughter): Are you f-ing crazy?? As soon as we toy stores figured out the kids wanted them, we pulled them from the shelves and started selling them for three times their value on Amazon through the guise of independent retailers.

Okay, so he didn't say that. He was actually very pleasant and wished me luck.

Fortunately, this story actually has a happy ending because the Teacup Piggie had also been circled in Nana Turtle's catalog and she had been on the hunt a couple weeks earlier with a final stop at Amazon. Teacup Piggie, I come to find out, was already wrapped and ready. Disaster averted.

We kept up with the tradition we started last year of gathering with friends on the 30th instead of New Year's Eve. This year we invited a few couples over to our house for appetizers and drinks and I'm happy to report there was no drunken texting to my co-workers as per the year 2009.

On the other hand...we played something called The Game of Things...which was only mildly entertaining until someone (and I won't name names, but I'm married to him) gave the answer "my testicles" and things went horribly obscene from there. Thank God!

I also had pictures to post of my first Easybake Oven experience, but I'm just too damn lazy to download them. It wasn't pretty. Trust me.

Since we had a random heatwave two days ago, Scott was able to take down all the exterior illumination, which means I can stop counting how many times the Santa blow mold falls off the porch due to the Arctic blast coming off the lake.

Things I didn't get to on my vacation:
  • Snow Days at Progressive Field.
  • Hanging all those pictures up that came down when we painted our stairway a year ago.
  • Sending Christmas cards. They are addressed, so I'm still going to send them. Screw it.
  • Sorting through the basement toys.
  • Potty train Zoe. A well-intentioned effort. Just didn't take.
On the other hand, I got to go to a I got that going for me...which is nice.