Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This Just Happened.

I did the stairs (all 62 flights for me!) with my good ole friend Barb for the second day in a row. We are recommitting without recommitting. You know, it's just like when you've been married (and divorced) before, and you're totally committing to someone without committing. Because you don't want to jinx it. Or because you've been burned too badly before. Or because you *like* stairclimbing, but you also like biking and running, and you just can't be tied down to one activity, it's so much pressure!

I saw this on facebook, and I was so motivated by it that I thought it would be life-altering from that very moment onward. But that was a few days ago, and I am still eating goldfish crackers until my tummy hurts. And then I remembered it, and I am newly renewed and committed. I shall endeavor to make sure I don't forget about it again!
Here's the picture that motivated me today. I have no idea who took it (well, I have a pretty good idea who took it, haha, my daughter). I just found it on my phone. I did not know my phone could take pictures like this! But I looked at this picture and I was so puzzled:

Who is that?

Uh-oh, I am not liking the shape of my body right now. To the point that I didn't even recognize myself standing in my own kitchen. :) Mental block, maybe? Ignore the kitchen and dining room, ugh, that kitchen hasn't been touched since the house was built in 1960. Remember, with real estate, it's location, location, location. Or at least that's what they tell you to justify the sky-high prices and 50 year old kitchens. :)

Firstly, I am making what I affectionately call my "carp face." Sigh. I should be nicer to me, but MUST I always look like a fish out of water?? Disclaimer for my benefit, I had just come from Blake's football game. It was hot. I was tired. :)

I hesitate to post this picture or comment on it, but really, I am hoping to use it to motivate myself just like that saying, above.

I just woke up one day and decided I didn't want to feel like that anymore, or ever again. So I changed. Just like that.

For my part, I did take an almost two-mile angry walk at lunch time today. And the stairs the last couple days, and a four mile run the day before yesterday.

I am trying, anyway.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What's the Mantra with You?

What a discouraging time this is for me. I am trying not to wallow, but it isn't easy. This morning I was checking out my reflection in the bathroom at work - I am not blessed with an unobscured full-length mirror in my own home, haha. Thanks to the miracles of combined households, it seems like every wall and floor surface is stacked high with stuff. I long-since gave up unobstructed view of my bedroom full-length mirror to Greg's nightstand. Deep sigh. Oh, pity me, single woman who longed for love and companionship, only to find it meant blocked mirrors and extra towels in the laundry. Mine is a tale of travesty and woe.

I have always used that line on my kids, too. Poor waifs, whenever something doesn't meet their liking, I comfort them with "Yours is a tale of travesty and woe..." They do not like it. They also do not like it when I make them sing the "I Love Mommy"* song whenever they are mad at me.

(*The lyrics and tune of the "I Love Mommy" song are at the child's discretion, as long as they are not derogatory or menacing toward their mommy, haha. This started when Alli was just a toddler and she would spontaneously burst out in song, "Mommy, is my mommy, and I love her, yes, I love her!" Little did she know what she was getting herself into, now, at 14, having to sing the I Love Mommy song when she really wants to poke me with pins.)

I was thinking about mantras and the I Love Mommy song this morning. I was waking my 8 year old up for school, and I was cooing over him the way I always do. I think I have mantras for each kid when we have a quiet moment like that alone, but I couldn't tell you what they are, really. Just words that automatically come out of my mouth at that time. Reid's includes, "My son, mama's sweet boy, mama loves you so much. I am so proud of you..." and Alli's, "What a wonderful Bug you are. Mama loves you so much, you are such a wonderful girl..." and Blake's "Oh, my wonderful son. You are such a good boy, mama loves you so much."

Anyway, this is all a very long (and personal) preamble to say that this morning,  I was waking up my 8 yo, Reid. I realize I must automatically coo the same words each morning and he lays there quietly, still mostly asleep. Because this morning when I called him a "handsome character," as in, "What a handsome character you are," his eyes flew open.

"What??" he said, bewildered.

"A handsome character," I said. "It means you're good-looking and interesting."

"Oh," he said, "just tell me the regular parts, please." And he closed his eyes and curled up against my legs.

There is a point to all this, besides the fact that I have pretty cool kids. I was thinking about these little mantras and how Alli has a toddler in her life (X's GF's sister's kid, if you can sort that out) that she loves and adores. And Alli has her own mantra for her, a modified version taken from The Help: "You is smart, You is kind, You is important."

I have my own little mantras for myself, but I don't build myself up the way I do my kids. No, most of mine are little tear-downs...you're going to regain all this weight you've lost, you are blowing all the hard work and expense of the tummy tuck surgery (and, for that matter, the weight loss surgery), etc.

Wow, for as loving as I am to my kids, I am downright mean to myself! I am working on this, trying to reprogram some of these subconscious mean-spirited mantras I play as my internal soundtrack.

Cut me some slack, Jack!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Lazy Bones

Too lazy to exercise, too lazy to blog, too lazy, too lazy! How about a nice little brain dump post while I eat an early lunch? (Fresh salsa and chips courtesy of my man, yummm...)

  • Back to school this week. I've got a high schooler, a middle schooler and an elementary schooler. My daughter is loving high school so far! Although there was a fair amount of angst today about the "Friday Freshman Block" in which seniors purportedly block the hallways so freshmen can't get by. Plus, it's spirit wear Friday and her school sweatshirt and sweats have not been delivered yet. Nothing to wear to show her colors! She painted her fingernails in the school colors and hoped that the seniors didn't kill her. As a freshman, I remember being afraid of the seniors. As a senior, I remember being way too caught up in my own life to even notice there were freshmen at the school. :)
  • Speaking of high school; I am (re-)reading Henry James "The Turn of the Screw." I purportedly read it in Junior or Senior year honors lit. I have no memory of it except my classmate titled her paper on the book "In Need of a Screw," which must have struck me as so HILARIOUS that I still remember it 5 10 15 20 25+ years later. Anyway, I am HOOKED on this story and again, do not remember it, so I only know that there is a shocking twist to the plot, but I am gleefully unaware of what it will be. My cluelessness reminds me that although I was a solid straight A student in high school, I think I was largely just going through the motions. College, too. Very little actual book learning seems to have stuck with me over the years. 
  • My half-time kids are now full-time kids. X and I discussed it over the last several weeks. The decision was two-pronged: our boys, who need structure and consistency at home to hopefully improve their at best, mediocre, and at worst, abysmal, school performance. Plus, X is in deep financial straits due largely to a struggling small business he and his GF bought a few years ago (despite my many admonitions against the purchase, citing three identical businesses we knew of over the years that failed. I will say I told you so here, but not to X, who really is sad and overwhelmed right now). Anyway, he's broke, which puts untold extra financial pressure on me, which is straining our co-parenting, which makes everyone's existence a little harder. I pointed out that his financial struggles mean I have to pick up the financial slack, which I can only do because Greg is sharing expenses with me, which puts a strain on me and Greg because he wants me to be putting my own financial house in order for our own future. Me using Greg's money to effectively raise my children effectively means Greg is supporting X's kids, which is not a position that I, X or Greg want to be in. So, for now, the kids are with me full-time while X seeks gainful employment to get back on solid ground. It's a hard time for everyone. The worst part of it is that X is moving to GF's house, which is rather far away...too far for joint custody while the kids are in school. That, in itself, has rather telling implications toward the permanency of this arrangement. I have decided not to overthink right now.
  • I'm glad to have the kids around f/t, and admit that joint-custody is a crutch that I've used to not be as good of a parent as I should when it comes to the boys' school work. It's hard to get a good, consistent routine with kids when you know they're just leaving again in a couple days. It's hard to track homework through to completion, etc. I will be sooooooooooooooo tired from all this parenting but everyone will be better for it.
  • F/T parenting sort of kills bike commuting. My 8yo is a complicating factor for both the morning ride in (because I have to leave so early) and the afternoon ride home (mainly because of daycare pickup and not wanting to push Alli or Greg into what I consider my responsibility). Eh. I'm a bit stuck right now on the work outs. I know if I want it badly enough, I'll figure it out. Problem is, right now, I don't want it. 
  • Which brings me to my always fun change of season blues. Where would I be without you, depression? Here, in Seattle, we have had the most GLORIOUS summer! It has been sunny and dry for months now. I have basked in the sun nearly every day. And then, throw in a couple rainy days, and some chemical switch flips immediately in my head and I am blue. Not depressed, just blah. And blue. After this beautiful summer, spent largely outdoors, I have to say, body chemistry, it seems ungrateful. :)
  • Holy smokes, could anyone hate their hair more than I do mine right now? Ugh. I'm at an in-between stage growing out my bangs, and it is all out war against this one awful cowlick. 
It's really awful. Plus, the humidity doesn't help.
  • I had another awful plastic surgery appointment this week. I think it's mainly the culprit for my funk. This was the other doctor in the practice, who took my pictures, made me get on the scale, and recommended about a bazillion dollars worth of additional work I should have done on my face and breasts. I should stop going to plastic surgeons. I love *mine,* but hearing about facelifts and treatments I'll never be able to pay for...well, it's hard. Plus, I've gained fourteen pounds since my tummy tuck in November 2012. He was like, "What are you doing??" Ah. What am I doing??
  • Ugh, bummer of a way to end a post. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Get back on that horse, if you've fallen off like me! :)