Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Just Play Along With Me

I've been going to the gym for a couple of months now. I've even been working with a trainer since early December.

The reason I started all of this was simple. Last Summer, my dad had heart bypass surgery. He did not have a heart attack, thank heavens. His heart is in great shape and strong as ever. I think the cardiologist said something along the lines of "the heart of an 18 year old". It's a miracle Dad didn't have a heart attack. He'd been having some tightness in his chest (oh, for about a year without mentioning it!!) so he went in for a heart cath to check it out. The doctor was thinking that they may have to put in a stent. So, when the doctor came out of the cath lab and said Dad was going to have bypass surgery ASAP and that he had a 98% blockage in the main artery to the left side of his heart, we were all a bit stunned to say the least.

Now, when you add the fact that my mom is a diabetic to this, I decided I either had to chuck in the towel now, or actually get off of my ass and do something about it. So, as I said before, I've been going to the gym regularly since the end of November.

My main goals were to feel better on a day to day basis, to build up a little cardio-vascular stamina for when I carry Twinkle upstairs when she's dead asleep, and to hopefully avoid the genetic destiny I seem to have.

I do feel better almost daily. I can actually carry the 42 lb. sack of potatoes up the stairs without feeling like I'm going to puke at the top. I have hopefully had some effect, though I realize I haven't been at it long, on my genetic destiny. I'm even one of those people I used to want to smack when they'd say, "I just don't feel great on the days I don't exercise." OK, I still don't actually say that out loud to others, but it is technically true.

Despite already reaching the above goals, I'm a bit annoyed. Today, my trainer did a "re-evaluation" that involved weighing myself (which I've decided doesn't matter) and, AND, re-measuring my body fat percentage. UGH. My weight had not changed, AND my body fat percentage had not changed. It doesn't help that my husband, who has put on a little weight himself lately, went to the gym for his "free trainer" session and his body fat percentage is a full TEN points below mine (He was nice enough to point out that he doesn't have boobs). My trainer reassured me that she's not wild about the little machine they use to do this measurement, and that the reading can be effected by water you've had to drink and time of day, etc., etc., but I was still a smidge bummed.

I feel tighter. I feel like I have more muscle. I feel healthier. I am happier and easier to get along with on a daily basis. So why am I letting that silly little machine bother me so much?

Monday, January 29, 2007


Yes, it is the end of January. Yes, there are only 4 months left of the school year.

Better late than never, I guess. There's a girl in Twinkle's class who lives less than a minute from us. There are probably even more than just the one girl. Her mother and I usually end up following one another on the way to school or on the way home. It's crazy. We've been doing this for about 6 months now. I noticed this back in October. The school had a Blessing of the Animals and I saw her there with her 2 dogs and noticed that I followed them almost home afterward. I mentioned this to her and kind of mentioned carpooling, but I was very non-committal.

There's just something about carpooling that seems like too much commitment for me. I feel like we rush around enough in the morning that I don't want to worry about whether Twinkle is ready when someone arrive to take her to school, much less trying to go pick someone up on our way to school. Is it bad if it's my fault another kid is late to school? What if they aren't ready and it makes us late? These are the questions that kept me from doing it. Let's face it, it probably comes down to a control freak issue.

I told the mom last week that I'd be happy to take turns giving rides home from school, but I wasn't sure I was reliable enough for morning carpooling. Long story short, now that we've figured out what we'll do, we're doing morning and afternoon carpooling. Rip me out of my comfort zone and toss me in the deep end!

I know this is actually going to be great. That I'm going to love the whole thing. I know the questions listed above really aren't that major. They're barely even minor. But, it took someone else just not even taking me seriously about my reservations and going full steam ahead to wake me up to the joys. Of carpooling.

So, this morning, I got up when my alarm went off instead of lying in bed as usual. I didn't have to do as much to get ready. I got Twinkle up a little earlier than usual. We had a non-stressful, non-rushing around morning. And had 15 minutes to spare before Twinkle's ride arrived.

Tomorrow, it's our turn to drive. Hopefully things will be just as peaceful around here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

What Kind of Gorey Death Will You Die?

Over at Blog con Queso the above question was posed. I just had to take the quiz and here's what I got:

You will perish of fits. Repeat this to yourself: "Things can work out even if I don't get my way. Things can work out even...."
Take this quiz!

Now, how did THEY know? I shall repeat my newly given mantra daily.

It's NOT the SATs!

I just dropped Twinkle off for testing. She's in Kindergarten. Next year, for 1st grade, she's switching to a different school that's a combination between private school and home schooling (blogging should be interesting next Fall).

So, this morning, she's at the new school being tested. Mind you she's never taken a test before. When I told her yesterday what she was doing this morning, she said "What's a test?" (Any Simpsons fans out there? - "What's a truck?") I left her in a room with a teacher and three other kids about to learn how to use a Scan-Tron form.

Did I mention she'll be there for 2 hours? Sure, I leave her at school every day for 6 1/2, but this feels different. Oy.

Mind you, she wasn't nervous at all. I'm glad I didn't rub off on her. SHE has no idea that being nervous is an option. I'm not really sure why I'm nervous, now that I think about it. It isn't as if they are going to come back and say, "Sorry, your child is a baboon". They aren't going to say she can't go to the school - I guess. Why am I nervous? She's a smart kid and she handles herself well. No nerves, maybe a little shyness that comes out of nowhere in new situations. I know she may look to me to see how to behave in new situations, so I try to not exhibit negative freak-out behavior.

I'll leave to pick her up in about half an hour. I'm sure she doesn't know what the big deal is. Now if I could just learn from her, we'd all be doing great!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Swing, Pendulum, Swing

Yesterday, Twinkle and I went to the Black Hole . We were there to purchase a snack for her to take to school today, as she's "snack host" today. She sang and danced and really cracked herself (and me) up while at the store. It was a mercifully short trip.

When we got into the car to leave, she asked if she could have a Slurpee. No. She started whining. Double No. So, as we drive along she's whining, etc., etc. about wanting a Slurpee. Well, you'd think she'd know me better by now. Any chance she had of actually getting a Slurpee went away when the whining started.

We were almost home and on a narrow, two-lane road when people in front of me started slowing down as we approached the railroad tracks. Then I realize they're slowing because there's a guy on a bike that they are each passing in turn. When I get to be the car behind the guy on the bike, we are at the railroad track and he veers a little more into the street in front of me. I'm almost stopped anyway, which was a good thing, because he put out his arm indicating he was turning left. No problem. As he makes the turn, his baseball cap blows off of his head straight at my truck. So, I stop completely - not wanting to run over his cap. He stops, looks at me and smiles, makes sure there's no traffic, then comes back for his cap. He smiles again and waves and goes on his way.

Meanwhile, Twinkle, who had been whining up until we started slowing down, says "Why did his helmet fall off?". Me: "It wasn't a helmet, it was a baseball cap. The wind blew it off of his head." T: "Why did the wind blow it off of his head?" Me: "Because the wind is like that."

The whining stops. The laughter starts. T: "Mom, that's funny." Me: "What?" T, almost sounding like Beevis and Butthead: "His hat blew off." More laughter that would have been rolling-on-the-floor laughter if she hadn't been strapped in.

If you can't find the humor in that, you must be older than 5.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Just Another Day

This week has really been an odd one. Monday, Twinkle didn't have school because of the holiday (not to mention hazardous road conditions). She went to school Tuesday. Then, no school again Wednesday, this time JUST for the ice on the roads. Today is Thursday. Twinkle went to school. I was going to IKEA with my BFF since we didn't go Monday. After doing carline at Twinkle's school, I called BFF- she and her chilluns are sick. No IKEA. So, home again, home again. What shall I do with all this alone time?

Nothing. Twinkle's teacher called around 10:15 and said Twinkle wasn't her usual self. She asked if I'd noticed Twinkle feeling bad, No. She said Twinkle seemed tired and clingy and had a very low fever. That's when I showed my Mother Of The Year promise and asked "Do you think I should come get her?" So, Twinkle's at home. Again. Today.

She's disappointed because she was supposed to go to a friend's house after school and now that isn't going to happen. I'm trying to force her to rest. She really doesn't seem that bad.

It just takes a lot for me to get riled up. There usually has to be some sort of excess of bodily fluid on the outside of her body that should be on the inside. So, she's tired. She's laying her head down on her desk. Is she bleeding? hurling? No? What's the problem?

She is clingy, which is out of the ordinary. And she is happily lying on the couch watching a movie, which is a bit out of the ordinary. She loves school, so I know she wouldn't leave without complaint if she felt normal. I guess we're having another snuggle under a blanket in front of the fire kind of day. Again. Today.

Could be worse, huh?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Constant Sound

I've commented before about Twinkle's constant chatter.

I am, by nature, a quiet person. I come from a quiet family. My parents, my brother and I can all be in a room together and not speak for minutes at a time. This may seem not entirely familial, but it's just the way we are. Hubby and his family are the exact opposite. Again, a family of four. They can all be in a room together and be having 4 conversations, the TV on and a CD playing. I get lost and it feels so chaotic to me.

Twinkle, at 5 1/2, definitely takes after Hubby. I think that's great. I want her to be outgoing and confident that what she has to say is something that others want to hear. I don't want her to question whether she should speak up. I DO want her to stop and think about what she says before she says it, but I definitely want her to be a "talker".

Having said all of that, it takes everything I have sometimes to not just scream, "Stop Talking!!" I truly love her non-stop narration of her day. I love how creative she is. I love how joyous she is about everything - EVERYTHING! During a recent drive to dinner, she was just going on and on about something and laughing and making goofy sounds and my best friend (Twinkle's God-mother), said "You just love life, don't you?" It hit me, my Twinkle DOES love life!! How can I take THAT away from her.

I need to get a handle on myself. Whenever the chatter is getting under my skin, instead of quieting her, I guess I just need to leave the room for a while. Obviously, I don't want to crush her spirit. I wonder if there are things that I do unconsciously that are crushing her anyway. She has learned to identify the sigh that manages to escape my lips when I'm exasperated with her. I don't want her to feel like she can't express herself for fear of annoying me.

She is certainly the joy of my life and I need to make sure that she knows that.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Live and Learn

After a second night in a row of Twinkle getting great sleep, I'm starting to wonder: Has the poor child been uncomfortable in her bed this whole time (since the nightly waking began in the Fall)?

She DID wake up briefly last night. That was because of a bad dream involving not being about to find a ring on Saturn. (uh, yeah). Waking up and calling mom after a bad dream is different from what she's been doing. She's been coming into our room saying she can't sleep and needs to sleep with us.

True, when we bought her twin mattress a year and half ago, we didn't exactly splurge, but that didn't seem to matter for a while. Now, I'm wondering if as she's grown, she has grown more uncomfortable on the econo-mattress (she said while trying to wave away "Princess and the Pea" fears).

I guess, technically, she is a person; small though she may be. Why did it never occur to me that she might be affected by the quality of her mattress and the sheets thereon? She told me last night that she LOVES her new sheets (flannel) because "they feel just like YOUR sheets".

I go straight to "Is she stressed about something?", "Is she hot? cold? lonely? finally having separation anxiety?" What?!

It's always the simple things. Occam's razor right here in my five year old's bed.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Can I Have a "Thank You God"?

We all slept. Yea!

Yes, it's just one night, but one step at a time. Not only did Twinkle not wake up during the night, I had to wake her up at 7:15 this morning.

Yesterday, I bought Twinkle some nice, soft flannel sheets, a memory foam topper for her mattress, and threw in some new jammies just for grins. I also had a revelation while at the gym yesterday. How about turning off the night light after she goes to sleep? Maybe then, if she wakes up during the night, it'll be dark enough that she doesn't realize her eyes are actually open.

I don't know if any of those things did the trick or if she was just so exhausted from the previous night. I'll take what I can get. It's the little things that make my day. Like sleep.

I read a great post over on Half of the Sky this morning about how you choose to approach life. Go check it out. It'll make you think. It made me really consider how I approach those things that seem so mundane in my daily life.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's Up With Twinkle

I guess Twinkle somehow knew that I hadn't posted in a week and needed new material.

She's getting up in the middle of the night again. She really hasn't stopped doing it. It's just become less often. But, she came into our room twice last night. I'm not sure what time it was the first time, but it felt like I'd just gone to sleep. The second was around 4:30.

She says she can't sleep in her bed. She needs to sleep in our bed. We didn't let her sleep with us. There were tears and frustration, but she didn't get in our bed.

This morning, she said her sheets were "wrinkly". At Hubby's suggestion, I told her that I'd go find some nice soft sheets for her bed. Our sheets are definitely softer than hers. Hubby loves the 5 million thread count sheets. I'm also going to try turning off her nightlight after she's asleep. Maybe she likes our room because it's dark. Sure, it probably comes down to wanting to be with us, just like she says. But, we have to find a way to keep her in her bed and sleeping.

It has an effect on all of us. I may be crankier than she is after missing sleep.

I've got to find a way to end this "phase".

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I Can't Find the Mute Button!!!

Today is Twinkle's last day at home for Christmas break. I had the grand idea that we could run a few errands this morning.

She's 5 1/2. She can handle errands. Besides, the girl desperately needs pants. She's had a growth spurt and, go figure, the 4's from last year are too short. AND we desperately need some form of sustenance in the house besides Christmas cookies.

We had a snack before we left - at, like, 11. I realize as I'm typing this that she actually did great for the 2 1/2 hours we were gone. I, on the other hand, apparently have someone lurking inside that takes advantage of low blood sugar to burst forth and spew green pea soup.

First, we went to TJ Maxx looking for Twinkle pants. Nope. Nothing.

Then, we went to Pier1 to look for a calendar for me. Who knew that the only time to buy a calendar was November and December. Oh, it's January 3rd? Sorry, you're SOL. We here in the year 2007 don't buy things like calendars so FAR into the new year.

Next, we went to Target. Somehow, every time I go to Target, it becomes a black hole that sucks away my will to live. Truly, I love Target, but there comes a point when suddenly "urge to kill, rising" comes to mind. Knowing that this could happen, I decided I was ONLY going to Target to look for a calendar and Twinkle pants. Yes, I need to buy groceries. Yes, they conveniently SELL groceries. But, if I try to buy things on BOTH sides of the store I could end up driving into a bridge abutment on the way home. (Not that there is one. But, I'm sure I could find one.)

So, the journey into the black hole begins. We choose a cart. Twinkle: Mom, this cart has trash in it. Me: All carts have trash it them. Let's remove the piece of paper and move on. First stop, calendars. Hmm. I need a wall calendar for Twinkle. Napolean Dynamite? Kittens? No to both. Desk calendar for me? Nothing but the "Mom Planner" with a section on each page for "this week's menu". Yeah. Right. I'm standing in the calendar section within the book section. So, I wander over to office supplies. Several cursings later over why I could possibly want to buy an UNDATED calendar, I found something that will work.

Oh, did I mention that the cart won't actually turn? When I "turn" corners, I actually drag one end of the cart making a lovely sound on the floor. But, no, I didn't go get another cart. Twinkle's already in this one and we're ONLY here for calendars and pants. So, on to the pants. Turns out Twinkle is somewhere between a 5 and a 6. OK. Calendar? Check. Pants? Check. Time to go. We wander toward the checkout. I'm tired. I'm getting hungry. It really doesn't make any sense to drive to Kroger when there is a grocery store IN the store I'm in. [Insert ominous music here]. So we go to the OTHER side of the store. The swirling vortex begins. 40 minutes later we're finished with groceries and back at the checkout.

Now, mind you, this ENTIRE time Twinkle has been talking non-stop. To me, to other shoppers, to boxes of fruit snacks. NON-STOP. Eeek.

So we stand in line behind one other person who insists that she really doesn't think she's already used that gift card. So 3 different Target employees come over to perform the same actions with the gift card to try to make it work. Hey guess what! The computer says you've already used it. MOVE ON!!!!

15-20 minutes later, the crap is loaded into the car, Twinkle is loaded into the car, I'm about to back out and I notice something on my pants at the knee. Turns out that the non-turning cart from hell had mostly dried laundry detergent down the front of it where I'd used my lower body to make the damn thing go around corners.

Now, my dog keeps coming up and sniffing my knees. And Twinkle is STILL talking.