Friday, February 22, 2008

A New Word for Ben

Ben's speech has been coming along very slowly. So when he says a new word, it is like gold to me. Normally if we ask him to say he is sorry, he will walk up to the "offended" person and give them a little hug. Today, while sitting at the table, he dropped a piece of toast on the carpet, peanut butter side down (of course).

He looked at me, blinked his little brown eyes, and said, "Tha-wee."

I couldn't love him any more.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One I'll never hear at my house

After I got the boys all tucked in tonight, I went over to Gertrude's* to hang out. Her husband is away for, like, the thousandth week in a row and it was good for me to get out of my cocoon at 1171.

I arrived right in the middle of her daughter's nighttime ritual of avoiding going to sleep. Gertrude and I were sitting on the couch, trying to commiserate about life, while listening to little Heloise* come up with any possible excuse to get her mommy back in her room:

"Mommy, I need to go pee pee."
"Mommy, I need to go poo poo."
"Mommy, I need my binkies."
"Mommy, my blanky fell."
"Mommy, my bed is wet."
"Mommy, I'm not a big girl, I'm a baby. I need you to rock me."

Sometimes, I think as a Mom of three boys, I have heard it all. But I can assure you, I have never heard this one in the dark of night:

"Mommy, my ba-gina hurts."


*Names have been changed to protect privacy. "Gertrude" is an internet privacy freak. But she doesn't just give out false names and addresses when asked by clerks for bio data (like I do). Instead she launches into a lecture about privacy and security and confidentiality to the poor clerks who are only doing what their bosses tell them to do. If I am with her at the store, I try to slink quietly away before her friendly but firm tirades begin.

But I figure since she asked me to give her an alias, I would give her and her daughter the silliest aliases I could come up with. Gertrude and Heloise fit the bill.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day, by the numbers

Number of Valentines created: 91
Number of Valentines parties invited to: 6
Number of Valentines Parties attended: 4 (3 school parties, 1 neighborhood party)
Number of heart cookies baked for school parties: 50
Hours of sleep gotten by mom last night: 5
Time first Timm kid woke up this morning: 5:45
Number of chocolates boys allowed to eat at party: 3 each
Number of chocolates actually eaten by boys: 50+ each
Number of chocolates eaten by mom: stopped counting
Number of times dad asked about getting lucky on V Day: 3
Number of times he wondered about it: 1000
Chances he will get lucky on V Day: 0
Hours until bedtime: 2

But who's counting?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Everywhere

I'm very cautious about the foods I feed to my children. On the whole, I would say they eat a nutritious diet and I provide lots of whole, organic foods whenever possible.

There has been a lot of research about the devastating effects of high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. As a matter of fact, there is a direct correlation between the introduction of HFCS and trans fats into our diets and obesity in America. I know correlation doesn't imply causation, but it is something that makes you stop and think.

I would have told you that those two nasty "ingredients" were almost absent from my children's diets. But yesterday, for no particular reason, I noticed that the 3rd ingredient in rice krispies cereal is HFCS. The second ingredient was sugar. WTF? In my mind, I don't feed my children sugar cereals. So then I started to look at other package items in my pantry:

All Natural Peanut Butter - HFCS and trans fats
Organic Yogurt - HFCS
Organic crackers - trans fats (in a clever but maddening marketing gimic, the box says "no trans fats per serving" on the front. Apparently, if your product has less than .5g of trans fats, you can call it "trans fat free." But a serving size is 3 crackers and I can't think of a time my children have eaten only 3 crackers at a sitting. Give me a break.)
Strawberry jelly - HFCS
Cheerios - HFCS
Ketchup - HFCS

Food (if you can call it that) manufacturers use HFCS and trans fats because they are very cheap and prolong the shelf life of their products. Too bad they decrease the shelf life of their consumers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An old classic with a new name

Sam and several friends were running around like mad and playing super-loudly this afternoon. "What are you playing?" I asked.

"Cowboys and Native Americans," replied Sam.

Pick Your Poison

It has been many years since I went to a gym regularly. In fact, the last gym I belonged to was in the mid 90s in Massachusetts. When I worked out, I wore running shorts and a big cotton t-shirt.

Since that time, however, wicking materials have been born. My big "Black Dog" tshirt is SO not the thing to wear to the gym. I have noticed that the women at the gym - whether big, small, soft, hard, round, or tall - they all wear tight pants, I'd call them yoga pants, and some sort of form fitting wicking bra/shirt combo. While I am certainly not fashion forward, I can usually pick up on a trend. So I hit the racks at Tarjey in search of the workout uniform of the new millenium.

In addition to these new have-no-secrets workout clothes being a slap to my pride, I now have a dilemma with the yoga pants. It is much more comfortable to wear underwear but underwear gives you very pronounced panty lines. So the alternative is to go commando, as my boys call it (OK, they learned the term from me). But that gives you the dreaded (cue horror music here) camel toe. Now, if you don't know what the dreaded camel toe is, I am not going to tell you. But look it up on Wiki and you will see that this is not an easy dilemma. Camel toe or panty lines?

And for you daring women who are going to suggest thongs (you know who you are!), I tried that. The thong panty line is worse than the regular panty line.

Between avoiding DBT and choosing my panty/no pany poison, what started as a simple desire to get in shape has become very complicated.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008

Proud to be from Northern California

In today's news:

Berkeley City Council approved a measure last week urging the Marine recruiters to leave their downtown office. "If recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders," the item says. "Military recruiters are salespeople known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults into contracting themselves into military service with false promises regarding jobs, job training, education and other benefits."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

DBT returns

So, Dirty Bastard Trainer (DBT) saw me at the gym today. I was just doing my own thing, lifting weights. I saw him coming. How can you hide when you are standing in the middle of a room with 5 lb dumbells in your hands? You can't.

"Hey," he says, "do you want some help?"

No, damnit. I do not want his help. I want him to leave me alone so I can have my wimpy little workout and go home.

"Sure!" I said with a smile (through gritted teeth). But what I was really thinking, was "No! No! No! Go away!"

I don't even know if I can describe what he had me do. I was lying on a machine that strangely reminded me of my birthing beds at the hospitals where the boys were born. My back was almost staight up and my legs were extended straight in front of me. But at the bottom was what looked like a big footboard, and, oh yeah, there are 30 lb weights attached to the "chair." So I would pull my knees up to my chest and then straighten my legs and spring off of the "footboard," alternating one foot on the upper part of the footboard and one part on the lower. That sounds draconian enough, right? But, no. DBT never stops at stage one of hell. He keeps it going. While I am springing and alternating, he also has me lifting weights above my head.

"Just do it in one easy, fluid, motion," he says.

"Fuck you," is what I say. Only I don't say it out loud. I just smile (but not quite so warmly this time) and try not to think about what I am asking my body to do.

After a few repetitions of this, I really hate him and I really want to stop. I am not paying him so I am sure he will go away. Only this DBT actually enjoys pushing peoples' bodies to their limit. So he doesn't go away. He stays. And he makes modifications and adds repititions and gets excited that if I turn my writs this way I will be working my triceps and if I turn it that way I am working my bicepts. I kid you not, people, he actually gets his kicks out of this.

I try to do a polite, "Oh, thanks so much but I don't want to keep you." He doesn't fall for it. "What the heck, I'm here anyway. I'm happy to help."

I then start to pray that Ben, who is in the gym's childcare, will have separation anxiety or a poopy diaper or a sudden 105 degree fever - anything to get me out of there. But, no, Ben continues to be Ben. Never a wimper. No trouble. Always happy. Argh!

So, I'm stuck. DBT then takes me over to the big balls, has me put my ankles on the ball, lift up my back and butt, and squeeze the ball in towards my butt. So now I am not only trying to do this exercise properly, but I am trying to not let him see how much this KILLS me, and how much my ass is shaking under the strain. And, oh, guess what? He tells me this exercise has a tendency to give people gas. So, I'm trying to lift my butt, squeeze my butt, breathe and not fart. Great.

I really have to have a talk with him. Because my idea of a great workout is riding the bikes for 1/2 hour while I'm reading People Magazine and then grabbing a latte and a scone afterwards. I do not like this DBT one bit.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Madame President

I have voter's remorse.

I had a chance to vote a woman into the White House and I didn't take it. Luckily, I am not the only voter so I may still get that chance. But as I watch the Super Tuesday results come in, I am realizing the enormity of this election. Either way, the Democrats will make history and I am so proud to be one of them.

In the early days, I was not sold on Barack Obama. He had charisma and enthusiasm, vision and hope. But I wasn't sure he had what it took to be elected (my main priority) and then successful. As I have watched and listened and read about him, my mind has been changed.

When Bill Clinton was President, I was a defender of Hillary. Now that she is a Senator and a candidate, I admire her. She made a big mistake with giving our current President the power to go to war. But I truly believe she will make good on her promises to make strides with health care and bring troops home and help the least fortunate in our society.

My fabulouso sister (in law) expressed exactly what I have been feeling - "I wish I could just put the two of them together, shake them up, and out would pop the perfect candidate."

Alas, that is not possible, at least not yet. So I had to make a decision. My decision was based o two factors. One, Barack Obama moves me. He fills me with hope and inspiration. Second, the past 19 Clinton-Bush years have been so filled with hatred and anger. I want desperately for our country to move beyond that. I would like to find a person who can rally Americans together so we can once again be a great nation. I believe that Barack is that guy.

But as I watch the results pour in, I can't deny that I am feeling a bit sad about not voting for Hillary. And if she wins the nomination, I will stand behind her enthusiastically and whole-heartedly.

May the best person win.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Vote Hope

Be inspired:

Random stuff

I've written several blog entires in my mind since I last "published." Here are some of them in their briefest form:

First, Jack has worn his Brett Farve jersey for 2 and a half weeks straight now. He wears it to school, to bed, to church, to gymnastics.... The checkout guy at the market gets a big chuckle out of it. "Still wearing it, huh?" he asks me with a wink. Yes, still wearing it.

Second, when I joined the gym I got a free workout with a personal trainer. Let me just say that one hour with him kicked my ass in ways in which it has never been kicked before. I told him my goal was fat burning. Word to the wise - NEVER TELL A TRAINER YOUR GOAL IS FAT BURNING. He had me ride the bikes at level 8, keeping the rpms at 80. I don't really know what that means technically, but trust me that it sucked. And as if that wasn't enough, the dirty bastard made me lift weights while doing it. For 40 minutes we did weights for one minute, then rest for one minute. Weights for one minute then rest for one minute. Just when I'd get some momentum with the weights, he'd yell to keep my RPMs up. Oh crap, so I'd get the RPMs up only to find my arms literally shaking under the weight of the 3 lb (!) dumbells. I hope I never see this bloody man again in my life.

Third, I went to a spiritual retreat on Saturday. Three and a half hours away from the hustle and bustle of home is a spiritual experience in itself. But three and a half hours of guided meditation really filled the soul. Here are some of the big
a-ha learnings for me:
1) The kingdom of God (however you define it) is within
2) Wherever you are right now is exactly where you are meant to be. This is mind-bending. What is it that this experience of mothering my three boys is meant to teach me?
3) Prayer and meditation is not so much about searching as being found.

Forth, two of my closest friends are pregnant. One pregnant with her third. One pregnant with her fourth. I went through birthing classes with these women when we were pregnant with our firsts seven years ago. We've always been pregnant together. I am so jealous that they are going to have little newborns that I could just spit. Oprah has this editorial at the end of her magazine every month called "What I Know For Sure." Well, what Sandie knows for sure is that if she had another baby, she would lose her mind. But, oh, the scent of a newborn's tiny head...... it's enough to make me ovulate on the spot.