Friday, September 12, 2014

Kicking My Ass

My legs are aching tonight as a result of something I never thought I'd do: Kickboxing class. I've been back to my local YMCA three times this week (Hallelujah! The kids are back in school!) and have participated in three aerobics classes, each slightly more torturous than the first. Today's class was painful on so many levels.

I have never thought about kickboxing. Never even dabbled in the idea. Sounds hard, I've always thought, and it was. But the funny thing was the aerobic intensity of the class wasn't what bothered me the most. What bothered me was the creepy look of rage in the eyes of the other (seemingly mild-mannered) ladies in the class when the instructor told us to "knee him in the groin!" and "punch him in the jaw!" These ladies strolled into the gym with their small coach purses and bouncy ponytails, and then became psychotic killing machines thirty seconds after the spastic techno beat came blaring through the speakers. I looked around me after just a couple of minutes in the sweaty mirror covered room and thought "Have I gone insane? Why am I the only one who doesn't get joy out of jabbing an invisible enemy in the face while he's lying on the floor?" Jab Jab Jab! Left hook! Upper cut! Speed bag! It was like a weird alternate universe of tiny fighting women (and one old dude who didn't look that angry, but was struggling to stay alive). 

After pondering it for a bit this afternoon (before my three hour nap and mega dose of ibuprofen), I realized that I had no idea how pissed off so many women are. I guess I just don't have anyone I seriously yearn to punch in the face, and that makes me a bit of a freak in this town. But who are these invisible faces they desire so greatly to sock? Are they husbands, bosses, their parents? Is the invisible face just a metaphor for how society has kept these gals down? Maybe that's too deep, and maybe they're not mad at all, but man, did they sure look it. 

All I know is I won't be rolling up to kickboxing class again any time soon. I prefer my gentle Jane Fonda-esque step aerobics with the happy music and peppy instructors cheering me on, encouraging me to let my ponytail keep bopping and to leave my rage face at home.  




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tooth Torture

Yesterday I went back to the dentist with my five year old. As many know, the poor gal has terrible teeth, and they have been terrible forever. Unfortunately for both of us, this situation does not seem to improve without significant medical intervention, as the teeth that are rotting out are not due to fall out for several years. For the past week she has been complaining of pain in one particular spot, rendering us, once again, at the mercy of the pediatric dentist.

I hate everything about the pediatric dentist. Or let me clarify, I hate everything about any dentist, but the kids' dentist is particularly bad. I hate that there are three kids getting work done in one big room (read: one screams and they are all horrified). I hate the stupid cloud covered walls, the hanging birds and monkey masks, and the faux friendly hygienist who is quietly judging the crap out of you every second of the way. ("Well, you know, juice is not that good for them", as though it was the apple juice that rotted her teeth out before they even came in). The last time we went for a cleaning the woman taking x-rays got so fed up with Sofie not being able to hold still enough (wait, hold old is she again?) that she huffily jerked her head back and forth and brought tears to my girl's eyes. It was enough to make any mother go postal.

Yesterday Sofie had to endure yet another crown placement, and let me just say, this is definitely getting harder each time. It took me, Francisco, and the assistant to hold her down while she screamed bloody murder and wept, leaving me a sniveling wreck of a mother, while the dentist tried her hardest to get that damn cap on quick. Hideous. My poor girl just kept saying " I want to go home!" through her wrenched open mouth and her gas mask covered nose. When it was over she collapsed in my arms and sobbed, thoroughly worn out from the experience. If she ever makes it to the dentist as an adult it will be a total shock to me, I know I will do my best to avoid taking her back there any time soon.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Countdown

Well fellow parents, we're in the home stretch. The week before school starts, and I know many who are counting down the minutes until those double doors open wide and swallow up our kids for another school year. Normally I am chomping at the bit by this time, but I have to say that this year's start is bittersweet.

Nathan is going into fourth grade and, like the typical fourth grader, is not at all excited. He wants to lie around playing on his iPad in only his athletic shorts all day for a few more months, and who could blame him? The spelling tests, the lining up, the paying attention, all exhausting for the nine year old brain. He just wants to stay home and hang out with mom. That would be sweet, if he weren't such a ball of preteen angst most of the time. I think school is just what the doctor ordered for his moody ass, but I love that he still wants to cuddle with me, so I am also sad to see him trudge back to the trenches.

Sofie, on the other hand, is very excited about starting kindergarten. Unfortunately I can't help but weep silently to myself every time I imagine her climbing onto that bus and coming home hours later, each and every day. What a big girl she is, and man, does that make me feel old. The baby off to kindergarten is so simultaneously awesome and depressing, I don't know where to begin with my emotions.

Carlos is going to be a high school sophomore this year, and everyone is excited about that. No back to school tears for this boy who has spent most of the summer with a camp counselor job and the rest of the summer in his underwear, sleeping the day away. Time to get back and at 'em with the football team and learning stuff, that's enough of you loafing about. Apparently when they're teens they really have angst (huh, you don't say), so out the door you go, keep them busy until nightfall. He agrees wholeheartedly with this plan, and I love that about him.

I am really hoping to enjoy this last week of summer vacation, before the homework rolls in, and everyone needs a ride to the next activity. I'm hoping to spend at least a couple of days lapping up the lazy days of summer with my favorite littles before it all rockets us back into routine and we quickly forget how good summer can be.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Family Time

I just returned from a glorious fun-filled week in Pennsylvania with my extended family. Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, we span the gauntlet from ages 5 to 87 with everything in between. We pile into a giant old house and prepare to relax for a week of serious family bonding.

I love a lot of things about this vacation, but the top of the list for me is the fact that we put away our phones and iPads, computers, and televisions (with the exception of the World Cup) and spend the week completely with each other. We march around the gorgeous lake, spend hours sunbathing on the beach and jumping off the long dock. We gather on the porch for cocktails and stories in the evening, and sit around a huge table for dinner, each night a new meal carefully crafted by a different chef.

This week we made time for charades and board games, Olympic water balloon tossing, and capture the flag (even my grandfather was making a go at that flag). We played endless rounds of our favorite game "What would you rather do?" and made many trips to the ice cream shop. We had costume night, fancy night, my cousin's birthday celebration, game night, and home movie night, among a few others. At one point after dinner we went around the table to talk about what we hoped we'd be doing at this time next year. The only thing that I honestly could say was that I hope I am lucky enough to be this happy next year, because this is pretty hard to beat, and I am feeling pretty blessed.

Packing up this morning was bittersweet as always, hugging good-bye for the long drive home. I was psyched to be home but once again, our glorious family week went by too fast. I am so grateful to be part of such a wonderful group of people, who I enjoy so thoroughly that I want to spend a week under the same roof. I can't wait to do it again next year.

Photo: Celebrity game night
Game Night

Photo: Time for the family Olympics complete with Chariots of Fire theme!

Kan Jam, my favorite Olympic sport

Photo: E
M

Aunties

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hitting My Stride

So it's been just over six weeks since I began this new lifestyle overhaul (see previous post here) and I have to say I am pretty happy with the way things have been turning out. I have lost 14 lbs so far, and have actually, shockingly, taken up running. I don't know if "taken up" is actually the term I would use for huffing along with a cherry red face, pausing every 10 minutes or so to pant heavily in a doubled over position for several minutes as my dog looks downright embarrassed, but we'll go with that for now. It is, for sure, the most I have ever done about my weight/ health/ well being in my entire life, and that makes me feel like a rock star.

I am shocked to report that it's actually not that hard. I mean that in the most liberal sense though, as I assumed that giving up my bagel-based diet and strict policy of never getting up would feel like my arms being torn from my torso. Come to find out (and you will find this insane), I actually feel freaking amazing the more I don't retreat into my own bad habits. I have energy like never before (and all the ladies at work scoff, as they think I am the most energetic person on the face of the earth). But this energy is different. Not a caffeine or sugar-fueled burst that would charge me through life for an hour at a time, only to have me lying prone in a coma when it ends. Now I just feel really really good most of the time, and that is beyond my wildest dreams.

I realize that this probably comes as a no-brainer to all of you thin and fit people out there. But for those of you who have struggled with weight and terrible habits, I know you feel this. I am deathly terrified that this good streak is going to end, and I will tumble off the wagon onto a sidewalk made of quesadillas and inactivity. I don't yearn to be thin (although I am not complaining about my new found ability to button my pants), but I do want to keep up with my children and be the happy, healthy mom that they deserve. So I will set my alarm for 5 am tomorrow and head out to keep on huffing and puffing my way to a new me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Turning Over a New Leaf... Spinach Leaf That Is.

I have very righteous news to report. I have spent the last eight days actively trying to improve my physical health. This may not seem like much to some, but for this gal, who has spent the last 33 years of her life on a gradual weight incline, it is tremendous. I have attempted this before, and eventually end up forgetting that I am trying to be a healthier me, and relapse into the carb-smothered lazy pool of life. Well, for now I am doing it, one day at a time for as long as I can. Today I am eating spinach salad and running on the treadmill. And it feels awesome, like I need a large medal or something. Maybe I'll make myself one.

The funny part about being a person who is neither naturally thin or fit, or fitness inclined (if I'm being honest) is that I completely forget about how unhealthy I am for months at a time. I sometimes walk by a mirror and think "Who is THAT?" and then am sent into a momentary panic when I realize that "Oh shit! It's me...uh oh". Other times I am completely shocked when I am running around with my kids and am completely out of breath after two minutes. "Who's lungs are these? Certainly not mine..." I try on clothes at the store that are three sizes too small for me and then am outraged when they don't zip up "Who makes these pieces of crap anyway?" I think I might have a problematic case of inflated self-esteem, it sometimes keeps me from keeping it real. Or maybe denial is a powerful and all-encompassing force.

Well, I hope this time it lasts, one spinach leaf at a time. I want to be a healthier mom for my kids, and I want my pants to zip. I don't want the heart attack at 50 like my mom, or the diabetes that runs so rampant in my family. I may be back into the grilled cheese soaked haze of my regular life next week, but for now I am feeling righteous and I am trying, and that's all that matters.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bad Citizen

I write this post with only one eye open, as I may have stayed up too late last night with some of my best girlfriends acting just a tad too rowdy. Today is what Jane and I call a "Bad Citizen" day, where all you can do is lie around and watch bad TV, and it takes everything you have to muster up the energy to toast a bagel and bring it to your lips, in hopes that the carbs will absorb some of your pounding headache. It's really not that bad today, but I think many of you can relate to the feeling.

I can't remember all of the specifics of what our conversation rolled on about last night, but I do know that I (per my usual) made an outstanding number of travel plans. I often do this when I have drinks, with each cocktail I make another plan to fly off for a girls' weekend in New Orleans, or rent a beach house on the Cape, or head to South America for a month of backpacking. Huh, lofty goals. I also, apparently, am independently wealthy.

So, if I made a drunken travel plan with you please do not expect me to necessarily show up as I a). may not remember it and b). probably can't afford it anyway.