Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Biggest Loser

I know that I said I wouldn't be blogging about the Biggest Loser this season, but if anybody caught Tuesday's episode please tell me you found the following things as humorous as I did:

The fact that contestants were being carted around in wheelbarrows. If you DVR'd this week, take a look back at when Cheryl from the orange team is pushed into the frame--it is classic.

Speaking of orange. . . did you see Daris (and btw. . .what kind of name is Daris?) in the helmet? Please tell me you saw him in the helmet. The guy already looks like a cross between Sideshow Bob and Chris Farley, but when you put him in an ill-fitting, double-chin strapping helmet--you are just sapping the poor kid of any sense of self-esteem. We rewound it twice, just so we could see how unbearably awkward it was, oh and laugh. Oh, how we laughed.

Speaking of helmets. . . did you see Michael in his helmet? He was wearing a white hockey-style helmet, which was different from the rest of the contestants--perhaps his head is a wee to fat? But it also made him look like a giant baby who has to wear the head helmet to prevent flat-head. Is is possible to publicly humiliate these people any more?

Good times. Good times.

Oh Sanity? Where For Art My Sanity?

I signed the Lady up for an art class one day a week at the local Children's Museum. This is a mommy and me type class, so I have to be hands on when we are creating.

All the Lady wants to do is paint. There is an easel set up in the middle of the classroom and she is all over it. In the car on the way there she tells me that she wants to paint, that it is her "turn to paint, all by myself," and that she wants the entire spectrum of colors at her disposal.

The class is structured a bit differently though, there are three specific crafts per class that focus on a main theme. The teacher seems a bit off to me, I mean I am all for explaining Chinese New Year, but the Lady has no interest in what each color symbolizes on the Dragon Masks. I mean this is a class for 2-4 year-olds, and almost all of the kids in the class are only 2. I think she kind of over prepares, these kids are not interested in the cultural colors of the Chinese.

All the Lady cares about is that there is glue and that the markers are permanent. (I have had to start telling her that the markers at the art class are permanent, because she is refusing to color with her own washable markers and insists on trying to get at and use my extensive Sharpie marker collection.)

Anyway, this weeks lesson was a little less heavy handed and focused mainly on snow. The Lady spent the first fifteen minutes of the class painting on the easel, sprinkling white glitter over a piece of cardboard and washing her hands over and over.

Then she had no interest in the closing circle time and instead chose to revisit the easel and work her magic. I have to say, she does enjoy the painting and I would rather her get the floor and easel in the classroom dirty than the floors in my house (although, God knows they need to be scrubbed!) She also tried to leave the classroom on multiple occasions, because she could hear things going on outside of the room and since we have been to the museum before, she felt like she was missing out on "pushing the buttons" on one of the exhibits.

So, I had the unruly child that day.

I hate being in the situation where my kid is the one who is getting negative attention. Not to mention that this is another one of those situations, where there are other moms in the room, but nobody talks to each other. I tried to break the ice last week with another mom, who had a six-week old with her. We talked briefly about how old our infants were and what the age difference was between them and the older kids. That is it. Not that I wanted to share any personal information about raising two kids, but you would think that we might have shared a polite nod this week. Not so much.

I was kind of happy when class ended. The Lady however, did not want to leave the museum. I mean, I guess it isn't possible to have a separate entrance for this art class that doesn't go through the main area of the museum. Normally, I wouldn't have minded if we stayed and hung out a while, but I had to pick up the little Lady and in all honesty, sometimes they keep that place so hot all I want to do is get out of there.

The Lady, wanted nothing to do with leaving, she made a bee-line for an exhibit, took off running and forced me to lumber after her in an attempt to convince her to leave. At one point, already in her pink coat and hat, she wedged herself between an exhibit, a little girl and a railing, and started coughing directly onto the glass enclosure. Can you say mortified?

I could see the little girl's mom glaring at me, like I was some sort of monster for bringing my kid with a cough to a public place and then allowing her to cough directly onto a shared surface, but what could I do? I kept telling her to cover her mouth, we have been practicing coughing into her elbow, but the best she can do is a half-assed attempt at coughing into her wrist or not covering her mouth at all.

I know I would have been grossed out and annoyed if it was someone else's kid doing the same thing, so I tried to carefully extricate the Lady from between the railing, taking extra caution to avoid her kicking the little girl in the head, while at the same time trying to cover her mouth with my hand and avoid the dreaded full-body limp + the deadly head throwback move that can occasionally crop up in these circumstances.

After that I think I need a little art therapy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cough. Cough. Mommy, I'm Sick

So both of the Ladies are sick.

The Lady woke up on Friday, feeling a little warm and with a cough. We decided to skip ballet and headed to the doctor, only to have her immediately perk up, name each individual fish in the fish tank, and have the doctor tell us that there was nothing wrong with her. She then refused to leave the office, wanting only to play in the horribly germ-infused play area.

I was annoyed about the ballet, but since we were going away for the weekend, I was pleased that there wasn't anything really wrong with her. Fast-forward to the next day, when we were at the beach house with a ton of their cousins and both of the girls were hacking. Needless to say, it wasn't a pleasant night sleep.

Now, the Lady's cough is still hanging around, but she is pretty much her normal self. She keeps on telling me that she wants everything she sees on TV, and would also like to go to Chuckie Cheese, a place I have never been and hope to never see the inside of.

The Little Lady, however, is still sick. The coughs coming out of that tiny body make me so sad. Her little eyes are watery and I was unaware that much snot could come out of a five-month-olds sneeze. I am debating going back to the doctor though. I always feel like an idiot when I bring my kid in and they are like, "this is a cold--call if she gets a fever," but I feel so helpless when there is nothing I can do to make them better.

I am lucky, because I can count on my hand the number of times the Lady has been sick in the past two and a half years, but because of that I am hyper aware of when she is not herself. I hope this clears up soon, because the last thing I want to do is be stuck inside with the two of them coughing on each other, plus I don't want to miss anymore ballet!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dance, Dance. . . The Lady Takes Ballet

Waiting for Class to Begin

Friday was the Lady's first day of ballet. We have been prepping for this class for a few weeks now. The Lady has a wide array of ballet paraphernalia, including at least three tutus and plenty of matching tights. We have practiced "dance moves" in the living room. These aren't the typical formal ballet moves, but the Lady's own interpretive ideas of movement. I think that if she shows up on any future episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance" she will fit right in with Mia Michaels and the contemporary crowd.

I too have been preparing myself for this class for a number of different reasons and with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. As you know from reading this blog, I am anything but comfortable in new situations. I really had no information about the class, except starting time and place. Would this be a mommy and me class? Could I bring the Little Lady? Did the Lady have to wear certain clothes in certain colors? (In the $340 ballet class I flirted with signing her up for--the girls had to wear pink tights and pink leotards--only!)

Luckily, this was a city run recreational program that took place in the gym of a Lutheran Church and cost less than half of that! And luckily the Lady is more open to new experiences. I was worried that she would cling to me or stand off to the side, I was worried that she would be bossy and argumentative, I was worried that my little girl who has been dancing and dancing all over the house for months now wouldn't even like the class.

Who knew you could have this much anxiety at a 2-year-olds ballet class?

Anyway, we walked in and I was glad to see that almost all the little ballerinas were dressed up in some sort of ballet-themed ensemble. There were girls in sneakers and slippers, leotards and t-shirts and every single one of them has some sort of tutu on--even the girl wearing jeans was wearing a tutu over it. The little girl who was wearing her green goggles was also in full ballet mode. (And I thought I had it tough with some of the Lady's fashion statements.)

I was also relieved to see a few other moms who had infant carriers in tow and in one case an older sibling. My anxiety lessened even more, when I saw some moms with their coffee cups in hand. I had left mine in the car, not knowing the coffee cup/ballet class etiquette, but will certainly not be doing that this week.

The ballet teacher introduced herself, but apologized because she had taken a tumble on the ice a few days earlier and wouldn't be able to do as much as she usually did with the kids. I am not sure if this is the reason that the parents were as involved in the class, but regardless certain parental intervention was needed, just to corral the kids into place.

We started the class by sitting in a circle in the middle of the gym. One little girl would run around the outside of the circle with a fake flower in her hand and then pass it off to the next girl until each girl had a chance and the circle was complete.

My heart started pounding, I prepped the Lady for her run, but was unsure if she would get up and do it. I was hoping I didn't have to fight with her, cajole her, or make any apologies for her behavior. When that felt flower got handed to her, the Lady ran. I teared up. I mean, I don't know if it is still the post-preggo hormones--they are surely still raging at 5 mos. postpartum right? But when I saw her determined run around that circle I couldn't have been prouder of her. How did she get so big and more importantly could this be the start of a lifetime love of dance that would leave her with a dancers body (sans eating disorder) and actual gracefulness? A uncoordinated, rhythm lacking mother can dream.

So the class progressed as many of you might have imagined. Organized chaos, where at some points the Lady was doing each move she was shown and at others she would be standing there asking me if she could go on the stage. (Did I mention she is a bit of a drama queen?)

When the girls had to skip, march and sashay down the gym and back, the Lady ran, and ran fast. (I am thinking of signing her up for Toddler Track-do they have that? I should start my own Toddler Track club--you pay me a small fee and I will watch your kids just all out run.)

When they had to step and swerve through the mini cones on the floor, the Lady bent down and straightened out each cone that was pushed astray. When we tried first position, she asked about going on the stage again. Second position, though she did pretty well with the arm movements to boot and only asked about going on the stage a few more times before the class ended.

The Little Lady, had a doctors appointment to ultrasound her hips for the second time for pretty much no reason (really, she still has laxity in her hips, have you seen this kid put her entire foot in her mouth? Sometimes her toes are wrinkled like she was in the bath for too long because she has been sucking on her foot for fifteen minutes!) Anyway, my husband took her to the appointment and was able to show up for the last ten minutes of class. The Lady was excited to see him, but more importantly she was excited to show him how she ran, back and forth in the gym.

The Lady with the Scarves

I am looking forward to this week and hoping that I can be more on the sideline watching, sipping my coffee and minding the Little Lady (while she naps, of course) than in the middle of the action. I am thinking of bringing the video camera though. Not only so we can see the Lady run, but so I can show you the girl in the green goggles and all those adorable 2-year-old ballerinas with their tutus on ready to dance.

Why You Should Always Check on Your Children Before Bed

This is a photo of how we found the Lady the other night. She was in her big girl bed the last time my husband had checked in on her, but had moved down to the floor (Big Gerry and Gerry in tow) in order to give her little Dora doll some space to sleep.

In case you are unsure of what you are looking at, it is Dora nestled snugly into the Lady's personalized sleeping bag right next to her green football. 

All the things needed for a good nights sleep!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Shy Pee--Or Why My Life Would Be Easier If It Didn't Take Three Attempts to Do One Thing

So, I just walked into the bathroom at work and the cleaning lady was in there. For many of you this probably wouldn't be considered an issue.

As soon as I opened the door and saw the giant garbage can in the middle of the room, I knew I wouldn't be able to pee. My initial reaction was to just turn around and leave the bathroom, but I thought that might seem too weird. I mean how many people walk into a bathroom and then just turn around? So, I actually went through the motions, opened the stall door and tried to pee, the whole time listening to the woman go about her work and hoping that she might leave in the next thirty-seconds so I could actually empty my bladder.

She didn't leave. I flushed (to continue the facade) and walked back to my desk. I don't know what the problem is. Am I embarrassed that this random woman might hear me pee? God forbid I get a little gassy. For someone who is so enthralled by bathroom humor, you might think it easier to actually go in public. It isn't.

So now, after drinking an entire water bottle, I still have to pee but don't want to get up from my desk again because I don't want the people sitting around me to wonder where I am going.

This is the reason it takes me a thousand years to get things done. I think I have to let go of the fact that anybody is even paying attention to what I am doing. I have to just get a little bit more self-assured and actually go to the bathroom when I am in there, rather than turning it into a thirty-minute process where I end up sitting cross-legged at my desk practicing my Kegels.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Few Quips from The Lady

Mickey Mouse

My husband told me that he had to tell me something that the Lady said. However, it was a visual.

When I went upstairs and he picked up my new black bra that was tossed on the bed and told me she had picked it up and said "Mickey Mouse," I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry.

Backseat Driver

My husband should not drive with the Lady in the car, or he should at least not beep the horn in frustration at other drivers. We all know how she picked up on "fuck you doing?" but she has now associated any time the horn is beeped with saying something inappropriate.

Case in point, we were driving home the other night and my husband beeped the horn. He refrained from actually cursing anybody out, but from the backseat the Lady said "Daddy said sucks?"

We told her that we don't say that word--although, I am pretty sure we both say it about 30 times a day, so maybe I should make a resolution this year to reduce the amount of time I say things suck during the day--or at least in front of the Lady.

Getting Organized

We have decided that in order to maximize the space in our home that we will be switching rooms with the Ladies.

My husband and I will move downstairs into the Lady's room and move her and her little sister into the upstairs bedroom, which is much larger and can act as a playroom as well.

The thought of actually having to move everything is getting me a bit anxious. I know that we have to get more organized and that we have to reduce and remove a lot of the clutter in our house. I also know that between watching Hoarders and Oprah episodes that maybe if we can keep only the things that we need and let go of the material stuff that perhaps our lives would actually improve, that we will become more connected and spend less time stressing out.

The first step of course is actually going through everything to see what we need to keep and what we can get rid of. This will require bins. A lot of bins. I will keep you posted on our progress once we begin.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Guest Post from the Army. . .

Another Guest Blog from Steadman's Army. . . Enjoy!

I feel I need to chime in here to remind folks that we are still living in the golden age of Reality TV. Time to take a bite and let the sweet nectar drip down your collective chins. The first Real World really broke the mold in 1992, and I thought the depth and quality of Reality shows peaked around the Temptation Island days in 2002-2003. But I was dead wrong, and plan on punishing myself severely later for it.

At no time have we had it better than our current bounty. Wife Swap, Supernanny, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, Intervention, Jersey Shore, Hoarders, Biggest Loser, Made, Super Sweet Sixteen, Project Runway, Kids Cribs, So you Think You Can Dance, Who wants to be a Hooters Girl… are you kidding me? I just want to nestle in front of the tube with my head resting in-between my boyfriends creamy thighs and watch these shows (and Street Court) all day long. DO YOU HEAR ME GOD? I am filling the DVR and calling in dead tomorrow, cause TV is the only reality I can stomach anymore. Later skaters.

Really? Really?

So, I came across yet another Tiger Woods related article. I am not going to get into the whole situation with him but ewwww--I think he is gross.

Anyway, apparently he has been hiding out on Strong Island with the CEO of Cablevision.

Perhaps this is the reason I can no longer get Food Network. For the love of all things delicious, Mr. Cablevision CEO, Jim Dolan--stop jetting Tiger around town and get to work on getting me some "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

The Biggest Loser and Other Updates

A new season of BL kicked off on Tuesday. Every contestant seems to get bigger and bigger, and this time around they have a guy who weighed in at over 500lbs.

The fact that each contestant had to stand up and weigh-in in front of their family, friends and community reminded me that I too, have to hold myself accountable for my own health and weight loss goals.

So far this year the only thing that I have done that could be remotely connected to fitness is read a SELF magazine on the flight home from Chicago and watch the first episode of the Biggest Loser. After the Turkey Trot in November, I basically stopped working out.

Now I know the Holidays are busy, but blah, blah, blah.

So, I have decided that I am not going to do a weekly BL update like I have been doing in the past. Instead, I will focus more on my own personal Biggest Loser journey and sprinkle in what is going on in the show along the way. I think that by switching the focus, I really can be more accountable for my own actions, be less prone to excuses and hopefully avoid ever having to stand up in front of you, my loyal readers, in a sports bra and spandex pants with my stomach hanging out.

Treats and Presents and Candy

Christmas came in full force to our house this year.

The Lady woke up Christmas morning telling me that she didn't hear the reindeer's bells, but was incredibly overjoyed with the dress-up clothes that Santa left her, the ballet outfit she will be wearing to her ballet classes starting next week and the candy in her stocking. (I had a small crisis moment, standing in Target on the 23rd of December at 10:30 pm, trying to figure out if I should put candy in her stocking. We never had it, but for some reason she got it in her head that she was getting the aforementioned treats, presents and candy. I settled on one piece of candy, with the hope that next year, she will forget all about it. A mom can hope right?)

Anyway, had we stayed at our house the entire day, I think that I would have been able to handle the influx of items that have come into our house. However, we headed out and what we came back with the next morning not only took over the already crowded and cluttered space we live in, but has forced me to rethink why I even bothered to buy anything for my own kids.

We left home at noon on Christmas Day, opened presents with my family at my brother's new place, had dinner with my sister-in-laws family (on lovely Christmas china, with beautiful centerpieces and an overall Holiday theme that I can only hope to replicate one day, when I actually have a house that can fit more then the four of us.) We left there around 6:30--which in Christmas Day time felt like 9:30 and headed up to my in-laws. When we finally got around to opening presents at 8:30, I knew that the car would be more then over-crowded on the way home.

Due to an ice storm, we made the decision to stay over, where I slept in the t-shirt my husband had worn the entire day, because the Christmas pj's I got had a top so sheer that I am pretty sure you could see the stretchmarks through it. The four of us slept in one room, The Lady in her new sleeping bag and the Little Lady in the crib. Can someone say Christmas Miracle? The Little Lady slept through the entire night! Thank you Baby Jesus, Santa, and the Sandman.

The only problem was that at like 7 am, my boobs were so full and hurt so much that I couldn't sleep. I just tried to lay very still so that I didn't have to move and waited for her to wake up. I then spent the rest of the day in that same t-shirt, now stained with breastmilk and still smelling like my husband, dealing with some wedding drama with his sisters, until we finally loaded up all the stuff we got and headed home.

Good times.

Three nights later we were back, dropping off the ladies and heading out to Chicago for New Years wedding, which was a lot of fun.

I just have to get through my SIL's wedding this weekend and hopefully, I can find some time to relax a little. Or at least try to focus on myself for a bit. My main goal for this year is to fit in the me time, so I don't end up like the moms on the BL, screaming in Jillian's face and 250lbs.

I'm Back. . .

Thank you to Steadman's Army for pointing out that it has been 15 days since my last post.

What can I say? The Holiday season has exhausted me!

I am happy to report that with the New Year, I am trying to implement a few changes in my life. I wouldn't call them resolutions, but rather small goals that I hope to accomplish in the next few months. I am hoping to avoid a winter like last year, which kept me homebound and incredibly unmotivated.

I have a busy January planned and am hoping it goes by quickly enough to ward off my self-diagnosed SAD and to usher in the Spring season, so I don't feel like such a terrible mom when The Lady leaves the house in Dora slippers and no jacket.