Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I did enjoy myself on vacation, including NOT counting Weight Watchers Points for everything that I put into my mouth. We were very active, walked miles and miles every day, but apparently not active enough.
Time for some tough love or better yet, honest appraisal. I have not been working the Weight Watchers program for a few weeks now. I'm not mad at myself. I'm not giving up, resigning myself to this weight, this body. I'm not sad. I really don't want to give into that feeling of failure that causes so many people just to say, the hell with it.
For over a year now, I've been trying a different approach. Self love sounds too New Age or pornographic to me. But, that's pretty much what it is. I'm not going to beat myself up for a number that a box of springs flashes at me. It's just not in me anymore to be hard on myself. I'm worth more than that.
Admitting the truth is so much easier. I haven't been measuring my food, I haven't been counting Points. I haven't been formally working out. Back on track, back on the wagon, whatever you want to call it, that's where I am right now.
I can't imagine a life of constantly measuring my food, but at this point, I can't imagine a life still at the size I am. So, I guess if I need to measure my food til the end of time, that's what I need to do.
On a related note, I would like to know why it is physically possible to gain a big number of pounds in a short time period, but that it takes three times as long to take that same number of pounds off. I don't want a scientific explanation for this, I'd just like to know, WHY? As in, kicking, screaming, three year old tantrum-like fit, drawn out, whining, WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEE?
We're all working on it and mostly it's me insisting that I will not move one more step or allow anyone else to until a picture is taken. It's kind of a tantrum in a silent, tenacious mom way.
All of that said, we've had our camera for quite a few years now. It's been on many trips and we love it. For the price, it takes great pictures. It's a Kodak EasyShare Z740 if you must know. Extremely user friendly, which was so important to me, and it shoots stills in various settings and videos. We've rarely used the timer function (for all of the above mentioned reasons) and so I was determined to get a family picture somewhere on this trip, even if it meant using the timer.
Now, I took countless pictures of families while we were strolling the theme parks. They all looked so awkward, trying to use their timers without success. I just had to step in, but one thing amazed me about every one of these encounters. Not one family offered the favor returned. Not one. I won't go on and on here about their manners. I'm hoping that it was a cultural difference (in many cases the tourists were Japanese or Argentinian). I'm hoping that we haven't lost all sense of courtesy to each other in this country!
It was our turn to try using the camera timer. We had taken a much needed nature break. I couldn't handle the contrived perfectness of the theme parks anymore. We visited a 14,000 acre wildlife refuge, which, I found out once we got there was owned by DISNEY. Of course, I couldn't escape their reaches even for one minute. This park, however, only cost a few dollars to get in, and it was blissfully EMPTY. No whining kids with their rude parents trying to cut lines, no expensive concession stands, and best of all, no rides ending in gift shops. It was "old Florida", raw and untouched. We hiked for about an hour and came to this beautiful, quiet lake. I was hoping to see a gator in the wild, I've always had a fascination with them since my best friend from nursing school who was raised in Florida told me that occasionally a kid would get eaten by one when they went swimming. A part of me knows she was kidding, a part of me knows she was not. We joked that once we got home after all the craziness of taking these pictures, that there'd probably be half a dozen alligators in the background that we missed because we were so busy.
Here's the lake. Isn't it eerily beautiful? Spanish Moss would look so funny in Minnesota. Young One said, "You can just buy it at Michaels and hang it on our trees." Yes, we could, but then we'd be the weird family on the block.
D: "You're never going to make it, run. It's flashing, the green light is flashing, hurry..."
No gators in the background! At least, none that I can see!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
If you must know, the pain started early this morning when I walked across our family room. Yep, I'm talented enough to injure myself just walking. I was rushing around looking for something to send with Young One to his class garage sale today. Yes, he knew all about it last night, and yes, we could have done this earlier, but we like to leave things for 4 minutes before the bus is coming, when lunch isn't made yet because I forgot about it last night, and Young One's stuff is scattered all over the house. I finally found a card game to send along and in my rush to stuff it in his backpack while he was trying to run out the door to the bus stop, I felt a little lurch. "I don't have time for this," I thought. I had errands to run and the house to clean, laundry to do, and a ton of paperwork to catch up on. There were library books that needed to be returned, a couple of letters to be sent, and I needed to drop off a donation at the food shelf.
I headed out to run my errands, hitting the grocery store last. It's funny how there's not much time in Minnesota that is ideal to leave your groceries in the car for any length of time. Summer is too hot, winter is too cold (frozen lettuce is not delightfully crisp). You've got to plan the timing on these errands and the grocery store is always last on my list. Anyway, I was picking up a few things, including a ginormous bag of dog food, when I felt another twinge. "Nope, not going to give in," I thought. As I sped through the rest of the aisles, it was getting more and more painful to walk. Crap.
Remember the good old days when they unloaded your cart for you, bagged your groceries, and carried them out to your car all for much cheaper prices than we're paying today? Well, I don't shop at a store that still does that. Yes, I'm a cheapskate and I guess I could have asked for help at the store because they will help you if you ask, but I was too embarrassed to admit that I hurt my butt. I can just imagine in the lawsuit happy society that we live in that if I would have admitted my injury, they would have called an ambulance. Imagining my red face when they overhead paged, "butt injury aisle 2". I soldiered on.
Groceries in the car, home again, and hauling everything in, putting everything away, sweating, cursing, but not because my butt hurt again. Sweating and cursing are part of my routine of getting the groceries home and put away. I figured it was just a passing pain because it was just a twinge at that point. Onward and upward!
I needed to get some laundry tumbling and vacuum the whole house. Down to the basement, then up two flights to the upper story to start vacuuming. Vacuum down the stairs and into the kitchen, breakfast area and family room. I'm in the home stretch. Alanis is screaming through the acoustic version of Jagged Little Pill on my iPod and I'm loving it. Thank you Alanis for giving me angry music to clean by, it gets me through. One last room and I'm done and can have a late lunch.
Snap. Rip. Burn. Howl. I broke my butt. I quit.
Now, I'm a RN. I know I didn't really break my butt and this has to be just a passing thing. But, grrrrrr. I have so much to do and it all involves moving. Right now, I can't do much of anything. It's funny how this works, right. Just when you think you've got it all planned out, WHAMMY, God hits you with a curve ball. I'm going to use it to my advantage and do some of my sit down jobs. Now please, God, clear this up for me so that I don't have to go show my doctor my butt. I don't think I could stand the humiliation!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
This isn't a bad behavior by any means. Being mindful about your dietary choices is important, but I'm missing the carefree days of our vacation when I wasn't keyed in on Points. I made relatively good choices on our vacation, although I caved in to a donut craving that seemed to have no end. I can't imagine traveling without nibbling my way through the region. In fact, that's one thing that I refuse to do.
Now, at Disney's Epcot, watching your Points might as well go out the window. Your choices at visiting Epcot's world are to either shop or eat your way around it. Being the cheapskate that I am, there's no way you'd catch me shopping with those prices. We snacked, alternating salty with sweet, through the countries. It was fun, I rationalized that the miles of walking we were doing was balancing it all out, but in reality, I know that I couldn't possibly work off the fish and chips from "Great Britain" and the pastries from "France" in a day's worth of walking.
I think what I'm trying to say is that I'm crabby. Maybe it's donut withdrawal. Maybe it's the fact that I came home to more laundry than one should be allowed to do in a week and dirty bathrooms (I just didn't get them done before leaving, although I wholehearted tried.) I have a hard time transitioning back into our real world. I'd love to figure out how to be on vacation for a living, but I haven't quite gotten that one sorted through yet. Sometimes, I just don't want to be a grown up and this is one of those times.
If I was a devout Weight Watcher, perhaps I would have counted and measured and played the game on our vacation. I should have, I know, since it's a "lifestyle change" as WW crams down our throats! I just don't think I'm ever going to change that part of my lifestyle that says, enjoy your vacation, run away from life for a while (including worrying about everything that you eat), and just relax.
No, there's no thinking about it. I'm positively, 100% sure that I will never count Points on vacation. Sorry, Weight Watchers, I just don't have it in me.
I've been more mindful lately of planning around what's on sale and what I already have on hand. All Recipes is a great website that will allow you to search by ingredient. Check it out if you have a few things in your pantry that you think you will never use up. You just might be surprised.
When we were newly married, money was really tight. I planned right down to the specific day just what we would eat. I had this great calendar that eventually ended up being on the computer. That was right around the birth of the Internet which, from what I remember was used for saying hi to people in chat rooms and asking "What are you doing?" This calendar was really slick and looked so organized. It actually made me feel like I knew what I was doing and that I was much more organized than I really was. The problem with the calendar was that we never felt like eating chicken on the day chicken was planned. It became a mess of crossed out meals and arrows pointing to the new day things were planned. I just knew Martha Stewart didn't have this problem. She'd probably eat something just because it was on the calendar for that day, right?
My planning is just a list now and I keep it in a big drawer in my kitchen where I also store recipes I've printed off the Internet or ripped out of magazines. Never take a used magazine from me. There's a guarantee that the calorie free fudge brownie recipe will be missing. If you get really into an article, I'll have torn out the last page. I wouldn't want you to miss the last four rules of the Ten Rules for a Blissful Marriage because there's a fabulous recipe for buttermilk pancakes on the the reverse side of the page.
Lunches are sandwiches, soup, fresh and frozen leftovers, salad, etc. I don't really plan for lunch except to make sure we have deli lunch meat, cheese slices, bread, salad fixins, etc. I always plan for treats, desserts, baking, etc. It helps me get a good picture of how many calories I'll be using during that week. I always keep a freezer drawer full of frozen vegetables and then just pick and choose from them when it's time to make dinner. I sometimes will eat a bag for lunch. I also always purchase whatever fresh vegetables that catch my eye at the grocery store (and are affordable).
Chicken Vegetable Stew (from the freezer)
Sesame Garlic Steak with sauteed baby bella mushrooms (Steak marinated in Bragg's Sesame and Ginger Dressing--you must keep a dressing like this on hand for stir fry, marinades, and of course salads!)
Baked Potatoes with Butter Buds, fat free sour cream, and dried chives
Oven Fried Chicken
Honey Ginger Cooked Carrots
Frizzled Ham (deli ham, quick heated on the griddle)
Split Pea Soup (using the ham bone from Christmas from the freezer)
Biscuits or garlic bread
Coffee Roast (Eye of Round roast rubbed with Velvet Hammer Merlot Beef Rub I got to try these rubs when I owned my food business. They're phenomenal! You can make your own coffee rubs too, just search the Internet.)
Roasted Root Vegetables (drizzled with just a touch of maple syrup in the last 30 minutes of roasting)
Honey Mustard Chicken* served over Jasmine Rice or on buns (depending on my mood!)
Fettuccine with Feta and Shrimp*
Baby Green Beans
Roast Sticky Chicken (If you didn't catch this one when it first stormed the Internet, you'd better try it now. I use this method every time I roast a chicken--just change the seasoning. I always stuff my Roast Sticky Chicken with quartered oranges and onions. Squeeze the orange juice over the bird before stuffing
Crustless Pumpkin Pie--just use a can of pumpkin pie mix (not plain pumpkin), add egg substitute according to can directions and fat free evaporated milk, bake in a 9x13 inch pan until set and chill. Serve with Cool Whip Free.
Black Bean Brownies--Young One ate 3 of these before I told him what was in them. Then he refused to eat any more. He LOVED them before I told him the secret ingredient. I'm just going to make them again and tell him that they're "normal" (as he put it, "I just want NORMAL food.")
*Starred items were recipes that were developed by my partner and me and sold as intellectual property when we sold the business. These recipes cannot be shared, although I've altered the titles. I wish I could share the Feta Fettuccine recipe--that one took me so many trials to get right!!! I added shrimp to my original recipe just to mix it up a bit.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I don't like fast amusement park rides. So, while the boys hit a few rides that would turn me inside out, I watched people and took pictures.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup salsa (your choice hot or mild)
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Put the breasts in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Whisk remaining ingredients (except cornstarch) together until they are well blended. Pour over the breasts. Coat both sides of the breasts with the sauce. Bake in 400°F oven for approx 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Remove breasts, keep warm pour the sauce into a sauce pan stir in the cornstarch that has been mixed with a tbsp of water, bring to a boil and allow to thicken whisk constantly.
Pour over the chicken & serve.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
These quotes are from Oprah. The Great One.
Her weight gains and losses have all been in the public eye. I've talked about how much I feel for her because of this, but that's not what I'm going to write about today.
Today, I want to talk about how so many of us have taken ourselves off our to do list. It's so true. And I don't think Oprah is enlightening or earth shattering in making this declaration. I did it. I did it for almost ten years.
I gave and gave and gave and self-sacrificed to the point that my well went dry. Oprah said that she is happiest when she is giving to others. That's me. Totally. And about 2 years ago I started to get really crabby and resentful and pissed off at the takers in my life. And a year and a half ago, I put myself back on my to do list and joined Weight Watchers.
I'm no longer resentful for giving of myself because I'm not doing it to the point of being self-sacrificing. I'm back on my list and I'm not taking myself off again.
I'm writing this on January 5th, the day that Oprah discussed her weight gain, scheduling this to post when I'm on vacation. So, it's probably old news. It's probably been blogged about endlessly. That's OK. It's still relevant now. In fact, it will always be relevant.
If you're reading this, I challenge you to put yourself on your list. Take a little time each day to take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. You are worth it.
Find your bliss. Find your self. You can.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Combine all ingredients together.
Spread in prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Immediately spoon into a bowl. Top with warm milk, fresh fruit or brown sugar if desired.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds round steak, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, shredded or chopped--I like them in bigger pieces
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste
In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Lightly coat the round steak pieces in the flour mixture.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the celery, onion, and carrots about 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, and set aside. Brown the round steak pieces, and cook until lightly browned.
Place the vegetables and steak in a slow cooker. Mix in the tomatoes with juice, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
Cover, and cook 8 to 10 hours on Low, until the round steak is very tender.
Monday, January 19, 2009
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
In a large glass bowl, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, oregano, and garlic; add pork, onions, and green peppers, and stir to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Thread pork, peppers, and onions onto skewers.
Lightly oil grate. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or to desired doneness, turning skewers frequently for even cooking.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pound fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Saturday, January 17, 2009
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Rinse tilapia fillets under cool water, and pat dry with paper towels.
Place fillets in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over fillets, then drizzle butter on top. Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and pepper.
Bake in preheated oven until the fish is white and flakes when pulled apart with a fork, about 30 minutes.
Friday, January 16, 2009
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken
1 (10 ounce) can chunk chicken--I use cooked, chopped chicken breasts
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cut French bread into 9 slices and layer in pan. Combine milk and next 4 ingredients (through eggs), stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.Preheat oven to 350.Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Heat marmalade in microwave until warm. Cut into 9 servings, top each with 1 Tbsp warm marmalade.1 serving = 4 points
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Little did I know they would be so delicious. Low in WW Points because the beans are so high in fiber, you won't notice there are legumes in your dessert.
Black Bean Brownies
1 can (15oz)black beans
1 box (16 oz) plain brownie mix
2 egg whites
Process black beans in food processor till smooth. Add to dry brownie mix with egg whites and stir till mixed. Bake in 9 x 13 pan sprayed with PAM. Bake at 350 for 15-18 min. minutes or as directed on the brownie box.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Two years ago, we went to Orlando to escape the stress of our business and to make some very crucial decisions about it. It's hard to be anything, but a big smiling kid in that town! So, when planning our trip and looking at where we could get super cheap flights last fall, we ended up choosing Orlando again. We thought it would be nice to go back without the weight of the world on our shoulders!
We're looking forward to escaping the cold, escaping the stress of day to day life, and watching Young One grin. We take a very relaxed approach when it comes to exploring Disney World or any other theme park. We watch the harried families rush around and we just relax and enjoy whatever we're doing. We also like to escape from the theme parks and explore some of the other things that Florida has to offer. Last time we were there, the highlight of the trip, was watching manatees in their natural habitat.
I've scheduled some posts for when I'm gone.
We'll be home on the 24th!
Friday, January 9, 2009
But, I want to go as a man.
I don't gripe about my husband. I don't like sitting with a group of women listening to them bash their husbands in a united front of naggy bitchiness. I would never do that to D. He's just too good to me for me to be so disrespectful of him.
So, this isn't a gripe aimed directly at him. I'm aiming it at the entire species, sorry, sex. Along with the ability to pee just about anywhere you wish, getting ready for a vacation as a guy is one of the things I most envy.
My lovely neighbor asked me if I was excited about heading to Florida next week and my answer was a hesitant, yes. But, then I quantified it. "There's too much to do standing between now and then." She's one of my kind, she got it completely.
You see we women have a lot on our plates and we can keep them up on those itty bitty sticks spinning in record numbers. Guys just can't do that. And I'm OK with that. If D and I traded jobs, I would fail monumentally and he'd most likely get everything done at home, although it would happen one task at a time (and my standards would have to change.) I'm not saying I couldn't bring home the bacon, I have. But he can bring home a bigger pig than I can, so he works outside the home.
I'm definitely fine with the roles that D and I have. We're very traditional in that respect. I take care of the home, he makes the money. I'm liberal, independent, and strong, in no way the "little woman". He's right there vacuuming, cleaning, helping around the house when specifically directed OR when I have a hissy fit or don't feel good. We're a team, but I'm definitely the team captain when it comes to our home.
That brings me to why I'm not quite excited yet for our vacation. If you're a woman, you're going to completely understand this. My to do list has spread like a virus to become several volumes. My to do lists have to do lists. I have sticky notes and reminders, packing lists and lists of errands. I've got the next few days planned out better than Patton planned his battles.
By the time we leave next Wednesday, I'll have cleaned the house (because who wants to come home to a mess), done the laundry, done the laundry again, done some more laundry, packed, repacked, and reorganized the repacking, purchased anything we need, stopped the mail and the paper, figured out the timers on the lights, and figured out who's going to babysit Young One's rodent (hamster) and the fish tanks. The thermostat timer will have been reset and the library books returned. I'll have helped Young One pack more than his iPod and two Legos for his in-flight entertainment. I'll have cleaned out the refrigerator, emptied all the garbage cans, and wound the grandmother clock. I'll have fed the birds (since the bird store lady told me that's a sure sign your not home) and made sure that the neighbors all know we're not going to be around. I'll have taken the dogs to the vet for their last minute vaccinations and picked up a new comfy outfit to wear on the plane (since I have none because my clothes are too big~ insert victory dance here). I'll have refilled prescriptions, cleaned the bathrooms again, and taken the dogs to the kennel. I'll also have visited my grandmother, gone to the middle school open house, and taken Young One to play dates, orchestra, and book club. I'll have asked someone to shovel the driveway or at least drive their car on it to look like someone's home in the event of snow. I'll have tried to fit in a lunch with my mom and maybe coffee with my friends. Somewhere in there, I will have tried to sleep, waking in the night to add things to the to do list!
D will throw some shorts and t-shirts in a bag, toss in his toothbrush and razor the morning we leave and wonder why I collapse into our plane seats with a People magazine and a stricken look on my face (WHAT DID I FORGET?)
No no no, it won't be like that. By then, I will have been lulled into vacation land, having wandered the airport buying the above mentioned People magazine at an inflated price that makes me feel GREAT that I'm on vacation and I'm spending a lot on a magazine that I could have purchased before to save a few bucks, but then it wouldn't be my traditional spend too much at the airport on a magazine and gum ritual.
I guess I'd be excited right now if I was a guy. Until then, I'm off to cross some things off the lists!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Chaotic Peace has detailed them, reviewed them, and is giving them away here.
Yes, I'm trying to win the sample, because I'd love to give them a try. But, I'd also like you to know about this blog that I stumbled upon. I really like it. So, throw your hat into the contest and check out Chaotic Peace. I think you'll like it too.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I use chicken broth to cook wild or white rice in. I use it to start soup on a busy day. Cook potatoes in it or add to potatoes as you're mashing them and they taste great without additional fat.
Always a cheapskate, I have a hard time purchasing something that I can so easily make on my own. After we have roast chicken, I always make soup or broth from the carcass. If I don't have time that week, I'll throw the leftovers in the freezer for another time. The spices you've used to roast the bird taste great in the broth!
You can make broth in the crock pot too, which is great if you have to be away during the day.
Chicken or Turkey Broth
One chicken or turkey carcass
2 bay leaves
one chopped onion
garlic--lots or little, you decide
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
several stocks of celery cleaned and roughly chopped
water to cover
In a large stockpot or crock pot add all ingredients. Cover and simmer on low on the stove top several hours or on low in your crock pot for 8 hours. Strain and refrigerate until fat rises to the top--or use a gravy separator to remove fat. Label and freeze. If you're placing in ice cube trays, freeze until solid and then store cubes in zip bags.
When we owned our business, I had to make a lot of appearances. TV, radio (which wasn't painful), newspaper, and public speaking. I liked the appearances, but I hated mine. Seeing yourself in full glory with the additional pounds the camera adds (rationalization yes, I know), is painful.
You see, when you're overweight, you go through life in denial of your true self. And then when you see it, wham, it hurts. The biggest misconception about heavy people is that it's something we have in our control and that we're lazy and just won't do something about it.
It's bigger than that. As Oprah is finding out, it is about love and loving yourself. It is about putting yourself back on your to do list.
I'm tired of hearing, "If I had Oprah's trainer, chef, wealth, (or fill in the blank with whatever you think she has that is the secret of her weight loss), I would be thin too." Apparently, she's just like everyone else and all her riches, her privilege has nothing to do with her weight loss or gain. She's just like the rest of us.
Monday, January 5, 2009
"Um, kid, neither do I."
We were whiners this morning. That first day back to school after vacation is rough. Why is it you can continue to get up early throughout most of a vacation, but then the first day back, your alarm will jerk you awake? I swear, we could have slept until noon today.
Young One and I talked about how there isn't one kid that's just dying to go to school on this day. Sort of misery loves company. All uniting as one displeased crowd today. He found it astonishing when I told him that there isn't one adult that's just dying to get back into the routine today. (Like we're all just bounding out of bed saying, "Yes! I get to slog to work today." Or "Fantastic, the dirty bathrooms and mountain of laundry are calling my name!")
We were both better by the time we drove to school for early orchestra practice. Yes, of course, the first day back we have to get there EVEN earlier! (insert whining tone here) I truly believe that a little whining is good for you. Get it out there and over with. As long as you're not making a day long habit of it, whine away.
I was raised to hold it in, always paste a smile on your face, don't talk about it, and pretend everything is always OK. That can be so very damaging. I suppose that's why we talk and talk and talk in our family. I'm always pushing my guys to talk it out, talk to each other, let your feelings out. You feel better once you do.
Now, if I could just approve of procrastination and avoidance. Somehow, I just can't rationalize why I'm sitting here typing and not working out! All right, all right, I'm going!
Friday, January 2, 2009
These sort of things don't bother me. I can laugh things off pretty easily. Not so, my Young One. Perhaps it's just this age, but I feel as if we've entered a whole new planet. Pre-teen Pluto. Didn't they take away Pluto's planetary status, though? What a bummer that must have been for all those poor Pluto-ites.
I can't do much that doesn't embarrass him in public. I won't hug him, smile, tell jokes, or in any way show that I have a relationship with him. It's sort of an unwritten rule we have. Privately, at home, I'll tease him on ways that I could embarrass him if I chose to do so. Or, I'll reminisce about the time my dad picked me up from school wearing his 1957 letter jacket (ripped, torn, and worn to shreds), his pull on muck boots, complete with assorted muck, and his underwear showing through the tear in his pants (This, before that was the style. These were the Preppy years of plaid skirts and argyle). I was mortified.
At home, however, he still calls me Mommy. I love that.
I remember this age very well. Feeling so self conscious about everything. Your feet are too big for your body, it seems. You're awkward and trip or knock things over easily. Perhaps it's just that you're humiliated at the normal bumbling that comes with being a human being. Heck, I drop things, fall down, and am just generally clumsy and I'm almost forty! I don't know, though. It must be more like your body is growing disproportionately and just when you think you have your spacial relations figured out, you grow out of them.
Remember that age? When you start noticing people as more than just that guy in your math class, but he's THAT guy in your math class. Remember, after your health class on reproductive health, when you realize that your parents have had sex? It's about this age. Remember blushing at everything? Remember feeling like you walked around with a spotlight focused on you and that everything you did or said was under scrutiny by all your peers?
There's nothing easy about it. You just have to slog through and be mortified and embarrassed and sensitive. It's part of figuring out who you are. I have to admit, I'm both enjoying and sympathizing with Young One as he goes through this age. Every day that he gets older, the problems become bigger. A slight by a good friend at a party can wound deeply. Then in the next moment, he's trying to impress our neighbor's son (who's OLDER) by speaking with a deep voice.
A friend that I worked with long ago told me that your kids need you more as they grow older. She was so right. It's nice to know I'm still needed. Just please, give me wisdom to say and do the right things.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!