Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Out of the wilderness

These days I feel as if I've just returned to civilization after the six-year long wilderness camping excursion that was my children's early years.

I now sleep all night long.

I shower several times a week and my legs are shaved with some regularity. I no longer sport a mustache. (You brunettes out there KNOW what I'm talking about.)

The kids leave me alone and play with each other for up to a half hour at a time.

I only wipe one child's bottom on a regular basis. 

My youngest turns three this week. I can see a diaperless, self-dressing future for him from here. Do you know what that means??? I will be able to leave the house without diapers and wipes. I will no longer have to wrestle clothes on a rabid porcupine hell-bent on just not cooperating.

This is a huge milestone.

For years, I've been too tired to maintain all but the most convenient of friendships: neighbors, church friends, family. For years, my appearance, fitness and general health have taken a back seat to my children's needs. For years, I've not made efforts to socialize widely because of the unpredictability of young children and the strong possibility that I'd fall asleep if I sat down anywhere.

My M.O. has primarily been to stick to a kid-centered schedule with as little deviation as possible to achieve the most peaceful environment for all involved, including myself. That has been my way of taking care of myself all these years.

Things are changing, though. At the beginning of the year, I was ready to quit my gym membership. The kids had had runny noses since Thanksgiving and it was impossible to take them to the gym. I thought my membership was up at the end of January. Turns out, it was up at the end of March. An employee there convinced me to stick it out until then and try some group exercise classes.

I then inadvertently walked into one of the toughest classes in the gym, kettlebell twice a week, with a Golden Gloves boxing champion for a trainer. I didn't think about how intimidating it would be to walk into a class alone for the first time. Right away, a few women approached me and encouraged me through my first few weeks. I didn't feel judged or inferior. I didn't have to hide my sense of accomplishment.

Since then, I've become more mindful of my eating habits using a fitness app called My Fitness Pal. I've lost 12 pounds, 7 inches off my waist, 3 inches off my hips and 2 inches off my thighs. And when kettlebell started to get easier, I increased my weights. When that got too easy, I started running.

Now, I used to tell people that if they ever saw me running, they better run, too, because something was chasing me (and it was probably a snotty child). I also used to sit in the breakfast nook in early January watching the newly resolved joggers going by and telling my husband "I wish I liked running."

Well, guess what? I don't like running. I love running. I want to do it every day, but I'm taking it slow to avoid injury. I'm using the Couch to 5K program and listening to podcasts that tell me when to run and when to walk. I'm on week 3. I've run three minutes in a row and didn't feel like dying. I am even considering doing the Rambling Rose Triathlon in October with my best friend and her daughter. Oh, who am I fooling, I will do this. I can do this. It will be special. (Jen, I'm all in!)

All this has opened my eyes to the process of change. Change often happens too slowly for my taste. But the good thing about blogging the way I do is the opportunity it provides to see where I've been, physically, mentally and emotionally. So in the spirit of recognizing change, I give a blast from the past ...

Screaming Uncle (yeah, it's as bad as it sounds!)

Till next time!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


What's it been? Six weeks since my last post? Yeah, I'm getting lazy. Or as a friend pointed out this weekend, it's hard to write when the bucket is empty. Nothing seems out of the ordinary enough anymore to write about. Until suddenly it does.

One day, my sweet daughter came in the kitchen all excited and breathlessly explained to me in about 200 words that she had changed the toilet paper roll all by herself.

All of a sudden Fiona can hit a baseball and Danny can catch a football and Owen, well, um, he's kind of a pain in the bum. So some things take a little longer to change.

Owen is a handful these days. He's loud and belligerent. I've had to wrestle him out of the public eye and into the van, kicking and screaming (him, not me), all the while afraid someone will call the cops thinking the poor child is being abducted. He also truly believes that anything he has touched within the past 30 days belongs to him and no one is allowed to touch, look at or play with that item. Danny summed it up best.

We're having a bad Owen, Danny says. Indeed. I want to remove my eardrums.

He's also exploring the potty. Since he's my third child, I am not touching potty "training" with a ten foot pole. I'm just letting him figure it out. In the mornings and evenings, he often just sits on his little potty which sings when he pees in it or when you push the little button under the pot.

Pee not coming out. I push button and pee will come out. He then proceeds to push the button under the potty fully expecting his pee to come out. Oh, if only it were that easy!

We've also had two more rounds of the stomach bug. Owen was the first to fall.

Look at this, Owen exclaims after throwing up in his hand. He'd never thrown up before. At least he was perky.

I want a marshmallow for dinner, Fiona says after a day of throwing up. I think my stomach can handle a marshmallow.

You have frog in your throat. We got to get it out, Owen exclaims. He was coming at her with a back scratcher. Toddlers are so literal.

Here's a phrase I never, ever thought I'd utter ...

You two stop shooting each other with your penises, I tell the boys. They were running around naked after bath time, wrestling and, well, you know.

And another ...
I going to eat on trash can, Owen tells me as he stumbles around the kitchen with a big bowl of refried beans that he sets atop the trash can.
Don't eat on the trash can. You're not a hobo, I tell him.

And another ...
Stop flipping my flip flop around with a spatula and get in the bathtub. Don't even ask me why there was a spatula on my bedroom floor.

And still another ... 
I swear if you don't settle down I'm going to tie you up. (Hey, I was desperate. My husband was working a double shift on a Saturday and the kids were jacked up.)
Why you going to tie me up, mommy? Owen said sweetly.

I also once threatened to glue their bums to the grocery cart if they didn't stay seated. I think they understand hyperbole better than most children.

Hey, there's popcorn on those trees, Danny says. The white flowers are coming out on the trees. I will probably call them popcorn trees forever now.

What is she saying, mom? Danny asks about a lady on the radio.
I don't know, honey. 
No, you're supposed to know. You're an adult. You know more, he says belligerently.

Look, mom, Owen says as he and Danny are watching the Dukes of Hazzard on YouTube.
No, she doesn't have to look, Owen. It's not her thing, Danny replies.

My kids are obsessed with poop ...

Owen, stop climbing the windows please. (Yes, I actually had to utter that phrase.)
Yeah, that's what I don't do because I'm six and I pooped, Danny explains. I have no idea how poop came to be mentioned here. His brain is such a mystery to me.

I just had one little peanut come out of my butt, Danny informs us. That's weird. I poop peanuts now.

She's going poop. [Fiona] did her poop dance, Danny tells me. 

After a less than stellar report for the day, Danny informs me: It was dad's fault. He gave me sugar for breakfast.

Till next time.