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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dommy on it

There is a part on one of the p90x workouts where Tony is getting Dom to 'bring it' because he is 'Dommy on it'. (“He’s Johnny on it… You’re Dommy on it).

Some days I feel like I'm running out of steam.  Those days especially I dread taking stock of all that I need to accomplish… well, the list of what I already *know* is ahead of me, seems like whenever I cross off one thing, two more things get added.  If I stop to contemplate it, I get this mixture of panic and weariness that makes me want to see just exactly how much a ticket to someplace tropical and solitary would set me back.  But I can't rest.  I have to 'bring it!'  I'm 'Mommy on it'. 

I look around at the disaster that IS the kitchen and wonder how it deteriorated so quickly.  I'm glad I don't have time to entertain because I would be mortified for someone to see the mess.  Plus, I'd have to clean it. Which, of course, I have to do anyhow.  At some point.  Soon.

If I was smart I would have started a load of laundry while the dishes ran.  (I did actually turn the dishwasher on, right?).

If I was *really* smart I would have taught my kid to pick up her toys when she was old enough to walk.  (kicking myself for that one).  Oh, crap... Meant to go to the hobby store to get chore chart supplies.  They are closed tomorrow and I have customers coming in next week at work.  And maybe another 2-8 inches of snow.  In a state that doesn't have snowplows.

Speaking of teaching.... school.  Uggh.  The swirling vortex of academic papers.  Writer's block?  Pfffft.  We don't have time for no stinkin' writers block!  Get those words out girl!  And they better be good!  Sure the grading is subjective, but you better figure it out.  Chop-chop.

And c'mon... It is January 22nd for cryin' out loud... Ummm what kind of redneck keeps the tree up that long?  Not planning on an Easter tree are you?  No?  Didn't think so.  Take it down already.

Oh?  You're tired?  Wahhh. Wahh wahhh.  Maybe someone shouldn't have stayed up past 11 playing video games.  Hmmmm?

And.. Psssst.. Just what are you doing right now?  At the mall letting the kid blow off some steam in the play area?  Don't you have stuff to do at home?  Yeah, I wouldnt be able to take staring at those walls for yet another day either.  Can't blame ya there. 

Boy, am I hard on me.  You should hear the lecture I just gave myself for swapping a shorter work out today.

Don't worry; I was only half paying attention to myself.  I was too busy trying to figure out how I was going to finagle the kiddo to leave here, go grocery shopping and to buy some crickets for the frog.  (on a side note:  I named the frog.  His new name is whatthehellwasIthinking).

I hope she doesn’t fall asleep in the car… not only will that make the other stops nearly impossible, but will make bedtime another nightmare night.  (and I mean the waking sort of nightmare that are my nights lately).

I gave her the 'time is almost up' warning and a preview of our stops on the way home.  I'm sure ‘time’ is way past up... But she looks so cute and happy playing with her new-found friends.  *sigh*

So... There ya go.  I am looking at my quest for supermommydom through bleary eyes tonight.

 I'm exhausted. 
And miles to go before I sleep.  And miles to go before I sleep.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Night time battles

I’m pretty sure that it was Marianne Williamson that said “if you set boundaries you get flack”.  So, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the turn of events when I decided I was going to get my little night-owl back on track at night.  Early to bed, early to rise… well, you know the rest.

Night one:

She had spent the day with her dad (it was his weekend, but she has refused to sleep over since around Thanksgiving) and he had mentioned that she was a tired little girl.  He lives about 4 miles away and she was nodding off on the ride home.  Then we did a little sledding for good measure.  *Really* tucker her out (plus the warmer weather was setting in and I knew it was the last night of snow for who-knows-how-long).  So… I figured “score!”… great night to get back on track!  I still had some school work to do, but I put it down and concentrated on the task at hand… I know from previous experiences there is a window of opportunity and I happen to be on the right side of it for once.  Maybe she would fall right off to sleep, and then I could get up and do some more school work… maybe play a video game?  Maybe get a good night sleep myself, since the next day was going to be busy with finishing school papers, work, etc. 

“This is going to be great!” I thought as we settled in to read our night-night stories.  Mwuh-ha-haa.

The joke was on me.

Turns out “sleep is boring.”  So boring, in fact, a five year old can cry for over two hours over it.  Ask me how I know this… go ahead… ask.  ; )  Bedroom light: off = negotiations: on.  Remembering an episode of Super Nanny where she makes the mother sit quietly like a sleeping robot, I tried to remain still like I was sleeping.  I gave her a gentle “If I talk to you, it will keep you awake, so I’m going to lie quietly and not answer.  This doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it just means it is time to go to sleep”.  “Momma.”  “Momma.” “Momma.” Ad naseum.  I brought up the “I love you” because, apparently, “Parents that love their children let them watch tv with the sound on in bed.”  Wasn’t gonna happen.  No TV, No video games.  (I knew I was going to get flack over the “no” because we just don’t tell her that enough).   If she couldn’t get me to agree to TV or a game, then by God, she was going to get me to agree to SOMETHING.  I could feel the power struggle.  I just didn’t know how to control it or defuse it.  Then my patience started wearing thin.  I finally got up and went into the living room, which turned the tears into hysterics.  Finally I realized that she was just too worked up to calm herself down, so I went in and tried to sooth her.  Of course, this put her in the power position and she took advantage of the opportunity to cry “I’m HUNGRY!  I can’t sleep without food!!!”  And I’m not proud of it, but I broke- “FINE!  GO GET A SNACK THEN GO! TO! SLEEP!”  Hey, I’m human and it was after 10 and I had a looooonnnnnngggggg day planned for Monday.  Plus I just didn’t have any patience left.  She got her sesame seeds, took one bite, and then fell fast asleep (a little past 10).  Victorious.

Night two:

I needed a plan.  Since I couldn’t send her to Auntie Charlene’s boot camp (although I did consult), I decided we needed a new plan of attack.  So… at 7:30 I gave her a 30 minute warning and a preview of our night.  She had 30 minutes to play and eat a snack.  Then the kitchen closed.  She was allowed a snack and a drink to be placed on HER side of the bed.  If she was hungry or thirsty she was to get it herself instead of asking me (5 or 6 times a night) for it.  She could have three stories read to her (or some out of a chapter book), then she was to read quietly to herself while I did my homework until I shut off the light.  Then it was sleep time.  If she cried, for any reason, I would leave the room for 5 minutes.  I would only come back if she was calm.  The next time would be 10, then 15, etc. 

Went very well.


Light: off = negotiations: on.  She had been falling asleep in the buggy at Wal-mart, but now she wanted nothing to do with it.  She only cried once and I left the room.  We both had a good laugh at her calling from the bedroom “Momma... While you’re in there… can you get me another brownie??”  When I came back in (with the brownie she never touched) she promptly fell fast asleep (a little past 10).

Night three:

New Plan.  I needed to diffuse the power struggle.  I read about the difference between being authoritative and asserting power.  I’m not really sure I understand the nuance… but if they have the power, they think “wow, this is cool… I have power.”  If you assert your power, the think “Wow… that was cool.  *I* want to do that.”  Either way you lose.  So, the trick, I figured is to have them perform the action, not because “I told you so” but because it is the right thing to do.  I had been ‘parenting’ her to sleep for five and half years.  Of COURSE she doesn’t know how to do it herself… I never let her.  She goes to bed because I tell her to.  She falls asleep because I sing to her, scratch her back, squeeze her cramped legs, tell her stories, or just wait long enough for her to fall asleep because it is so late.

Plus… Getting her to sleep on time, means me having to go to bed early.  I really would happen to enjoy a little ‘me’ time.  If I had a partner, I would spend quality time with them after the kiddo was asleep, right?  (Of course I would have reinforcement, too).  So, I figured… if I’m *already* in a lose/lose situation… why not make it a lose/win situation?  If I’m going to have to listen to her cry/fuss for 2.5 hours… might as well work towards getting her out of my bed.  Step one… have her learn to fall asleep without me in it.  So, a new plan was born.

At 7:30 she got a half hour warning to play/eat.  I explained the plan to her:  At 8:00 the kitchen closed.  I would set out her snack/drink.  Pick out 3 (or 4) stories.  I would read to her, then go into the living room.  I told her that I have been putting her to sleep, and that I think she is old enough and SMART enough to figure out how to do that on her own now.  I told her I would trust her to MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES.  She positively beamed at the idea, and I knew I was really onto something.

So… everything went fine until I went to leave her.  She protested that she would be lonely, and I assured her I would be in the living room.  I went the restroom, and then settled on the couch to do some homework.  All was quiet.  I was thinking “wow… she’s staying in her bed!”  Then she jumped up from next to the other couch with a “Hi MOMMA!”  lol.  I asked her if she thought she was capable of making the right choices and choosing bed, and she said yes.  I asked her if she was tired in the morning from going to bed too late and she said yes.  I asked her if she wishes she had gone to sleep earlier and she said yes.  She said she wanted to sleep in her closet, and I (not knowing what else to do since I didn’t want to “demand” she go to sleep, because that wasn’t letting her figure it out on her own) let her take a pillow and blanket into the closet.  Finally, she came into the living room, crawled on the back of the sofa and fell fast asleep on her own (a little past 10). 

Not the best night, but I did get two hours of homework done, enjoyed a glass of wine, and it was peaceful.

Night four:

Same plan, modified.  I asked if it would make her feel better if I sat in the living room, but on a chair in the doorway so she could see me, or by the bed (but not in it).  She actually chose for me to be in the living room.  She said she didn’t like “being my servant” and I asked her what that meant to her and she said “you tell me what to do and are bossy.”  I told her that it is kind of part of the job description of a mom, but I would try and let her figure things out for herself and that when she finally gets it right, it will feel good knowing she made the right decisions.  Plus she will feel better getting more sleep.

First part went well.  Then I got my chair by the door and put my video game on.  She was ‘scared’ in the bed and put a pillow and blanket by the door of the bedroom.  Soon she got up and went to the couch.  She made a comment on the game, and I asked her if her plan was to ‘help’ me play, or to go to sleep.  She chose sleep.  Rolled over and after a while fell fast asleep (around 9:30).

On an interesting note… I’ve had ZERO problems with her in the morning.  We have our “star” chart going, and this helps tremendously.  But the mornings have been smooth.  As a matter of fact, there haven’t been any ‘power struggles’ since night three.  She has even put her Nintendo DS case away without being asked this morning.

So… am I being too lenient?  Am I leaving the reins a little too loose?  I feel like teaching her to choose because it is the ‘right thing to do’ vs. ‘because I told you so’ is an important lesson with her.  Sometimes you have to let them make mistakes and guide them in the right direction (Lord, give me patience… Amen).  She is very headstrong and when I look to the future when she is a teenager, if she doesn’t know how to make the ‘right’ choice and that there is repercussions from your actions, then she will be so focused on getting what she wants (or thinks she wants) then I’m going to have a huge problem on my hands.  My dad used to always say “you’re only fooling yourself, little kid”.  This equated to “you think you’re benefitting by ‘getting away with something’ … but you’re only screwing yourself” or something like that anyhow.  It was a very effective statement (with me anyhow).

Wonder what will happen on the weekend?

Monday, January 10, 2011

P90X Lean Tracking

Day 1 – Core Synergistics (Jan 9, 2011)

Since it had been more than a week before I had worked out and several since I have been consistent, I decided to start over in earnest.  I feel ‘blobby’ and out of shape, even though yesterday I wore some older corduroys that used to fit snuggly and they were literally falling off me.  I also decided to switch it up and try the Lean version.  I’m not convinced it is as effective, but I’ll know by a few weeks, and can always go back to Classic.

I like the way core works in with the rest of the workouts.  By strengthening and engaging the core, you just get an all around better workout. Other than that fact, I’m not a huge fan of this workout.  Synergistics means working more than one muscle group out at a time.  This equates to “hard” and I translate it as “UGGH”.  There is a lot of ‘superman’ / ‘banana’ where you either lay on your stomach or back then stretch up in a curve.  There is also a lot of push ups, and I do have to admit that I’m getting much stronger in the push up department and although I still can’t get super low, I can do WAY more than I used to be able to.  I did modify some; I tried to keep the balance of keeping motivation up, but still feeling like I was making a difference.  I tried to ‘bring it’, but sometimes I just ‘showed up’.  Oddly enough, one of the hardest exercises (deep lunge, back fly, keep in lunge and do a curl, then do a press, then reverse curl and repeat) is my favorite.

Today I’m sore, more like a bruised feeling on my sides and my shoulder joints feel gravely.  My upper chest feels a bit stronger, and my neck feels like it’s tight a bit.

I didn’t modify my diet at all.  I rationalized that it was Sunday.  I had an extremely productive day cleaning, and normally I would have rationalized that was exercise enough, but instead I put it on my list of things to do.  : )

Day 2 – Cardio X (Jan 10, 2011)

Today is a snow day (although I am working some from home).  So the diet is mostly comfort foods: Eggs, sausage, and Thomas English muffins with butter.  There was also plenty of time for several relaxing cups of coffee.  I’m sure a glass or two of wine is in my future tonight.  The guilt is setting in though.  The ‘plan’ was to be strict during the week and more lenient on the weekends.  But… snow… in Alabama?  Makes it hard to get out of ‘vacation mode’.

Cardio X is only slightly under 45 minutes and can be used as a supplemental workout.  It combines moves from a bunch of different workouts.  Again, I’m not a huge fan for the same reason as core.  The momentum just isn’t the same as some of the other workouts.  Too much time to ‘think’ and what I usually think is “UGHHH”.  With workouts like Plyo and Kenpo, you’re ‘moving and grooving’ and spending so much time thinking about the choreography that the time is gone before you know it.  I might eventually swap this workout with Plyo, but I’m going to give the Lean a chance and do it as written for a few weeks.  I should have my diet modified by week 2, and should know by week 3 if I need to step up the gain.   Maybe by then I’ll have my treadmill and can just supplement with walking or running.  I will miss Plyo though, because it isn’t in Lean.  With Plyo you just feel like you’ve been through Hell and made it out to the other side, and that’s a good feeling.  I just don’t get that with Cardio X.  Not that it’s easy; it’s just hard in a different way.

I’ll post when I’m done. 

Okay, finished and showered.  Man!  Am I glad I made time for this workout today.  First off, it was quick.  Not only is it a short workout, it goes by quickly… a little yoga, then Kenpo, then Plyo, then core and next thing you know it’s cool down!  I really ‘brought it’ today because compared to some of the workouts it felt easy.  I’m still dislike the yoga, but have to admit that it is more ‘bearable’ now that I can actually do a sun salutation without collapsing. 

Second of all, I was getting cabin fever and I was getting that frustrated, short-fused feeling.  Now I feel stretched and although I’m a bit sore (especially around the waist) I feel almost invigorated. 

Yesterday I started off in my running pants and cami top, but then soon switched to proper workout attire, today I started off in the right gear.  I have it pretty warm in here in case of a power outage due to ice, so boy! After 10 minutes I was in a light sweat already.  You start out at a pretty good clip right out of the gate, so that made me feel better about the 40something minutes only.  Plus there aren’t any breaks in this workout.  I did hit the pause with about 10 minutes to go to cut out a rainbow and trace a shooting star for the wee child.  It was easy to jump right back in.

Tomorrow is shoulders and arms and then Ab Ripper X.  Surprising how much shoulders the first 3 days entails. 

Oh, the funny part was that the ‘tip of the day’ was “make sure you eat enough calories”.  Yup.  BIG check on that today!! 

Day 3 – Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X (Jan 11, 2011)

I have now been cooped up in the house for so long I think a case of the stir-crazies has set it.  We did have a little night sledding session that was incredibly fun, but other than that besides going to the grocery store and work, the only time I’ve left the house in over a week is to go see a kid’s movie and straight home.  So, needless to say, I really needed the workout.  The cool thing about P90x is that every day brings something new.  You just pop in the DVD of the day.  I like the Shoulders & Arms because I find the exercises creative, and after a few weeks it is apparent that they really work, too!  I have paid for professional trainers in the past and only found one that was really worth the money, and believe me it was WAY more than double what I paid for the DVD set and that was just for a month. 

This DVD is (relatively) easy because you work at your own rate.  I’m not to the point of writing it down (even though he lectures you to no end in the video).  The reason I don’t is because I only own a 3 lb set of weights and a 5 lb set of weights, and I really need to buy some 8 lbs… I’m happy I’ve graduated from no weights/3 lbs, then 3 / 5 lbs, now strictly 5 and needing 8s, but really I’m probably somewhere in the middle of  5 and 8, but since they only make them in those increments… well… guess someone is going to be sore for a while : 0

Since I worked from home, plus started my double classes, I spent a LOT of time on the couch in front of the computer.  I did get to send my Very Bored child off with her dad for a few hours, so at least I didn’t feel too guilty to take another hour for myself.  And the Arms & shoulders portion is just a few seconds shy of an hour.  The Abs is about an additional 16 minutes.  (When I first started P90x I didn’t know they added it to the end of the DVD and I kept switching DVDs – D’OH!).  The time goes by extremely fast.  You do shoulders, then bi, then tri…. Then repeat the same set.  That takes roughly a little less than 10 minutes.  Then ballistic stretching, then more sets of 3 x 2.  The warm up is about 10 minutes.  I did contemplate bypassing the cooldown for Abs, but it was only 4 minutes, so I just finished.  The kiddo liked when I did ‘pot stirrers’ (I let her name what kind of soup it is) and made a boat out of a cardboard box to swim in the ‘soup’- that occupied her for most of the cool down and abs.

I did have a lot of interruptions, but unlike some routines (like Yoga X), it was easy to jump right back in.  If I was pulling more weight, it might have been a bit harder.  Tony is in a jovial mood in this DVD and does a great job keeping the banter up throughout the workout. 

The abs portion had its high and lows for me this time.  The low is that my tailbone has been bugging me.  I probably need to go to my chiro and see if it’s out of alignment or something because it seems like it’s got a big knot in it?  Weird.  So I had to modify by either putting my hands in a diamond shape to protect it, or a pillow when I needed my hands.  The high point is that I can actually do most of the exercises at full reps now!  I used to have to stop because my legs burned too badly, but I can push through.  I do still modify the Pfeiffer Scissors (sp?) by keeping my legs bent though.  All in all, I have to agree with Tony on this one… I hate it… but I love it! (Because it works!).  You can definitely see a huge difference in my abs.  Sure, right now instead of a 6 pack, I still have a 4 pack of wine coolers and a 2 liter Dr. Pepper, but you can easily see the definition forming.   : )

Day 4 – Rest Day (Little early) (Jan 12, 2011) – I decided to make dinner and then cookies with the kiddo in lieu of working out.

Day 5 – Yoga X (Jan 13, 2011)

Ah, Yoga X.  My least favorite workout.  I know a lot of people who swap this DVD out for something else.  But I’m not going to for two reasons… one is that I’m giving the workout a chance as designed, and the other is because my sister told me I was just wimping out because it is 90 minutes long.  Really, 90 minutes is only about 14 minutes longer than yesterday’s workout… so…

Zen Tony just doesn’t do it for me.  I have to approach this video as a tough workout to get through.  When I think ‘Yoga’ I think peaceful and relaxed.  The first portion of this workout is what I consider WAY too many ‘sun salutations’ (plank, chatarunga, upward dog (or cobra), back to plank, pushup, then downward dog).  I think the original fault in my thinking is that somehow this workout (although long) would be fairly easy and it totally isn’t.  Now I try and focus on how much more I can do each time.  In the past I have even quit the workout with 45 minutes left (but I did finish the next day).  Now I know that right around the point I think I just can’t do another sun salutation, it moves on to balance moves and the mood of the video changes as well.

One of my ‘tricks’ is that when the counter gets down to the next number, I call it out.  For instance it starts (for a majority of the workouts) with fifty-something minutes… so that’s 5, then when it goes to forty something minutes, that is 4, etc.  (This is also more fun when working out with someone to see who can call out the new number first). 

With Yoga X, since the number is so daunting… I go by moves.  Warm up, then sun salutations, then poses, then around the 45 minute mark is balance, etc.  It gives me something to focus on rather than OMG ANOTHER CHATURUNGA??? WTH???

Since I swapped rest days, I wondered if I should shift the work out down, or do a complete swap.  Since I was geared up to do Yoga- I just did that one.

Day 6 – Legs and back (January 14, 2011)
I should have posted right after the workout, but it is several days later.  This is another workout that goes pretty fast.  I like how you swap between leg moves and pull ups.  Since I can’t really do a pull up, I have taken to putting chair at good distance away and doing sort of a reverse push up, using my body weight.  I’m trying to focus on my chest.  Can always use a little extra perkiness, right?  Luckily my legs are pretty strong.  Tried to stay lower in the wall squats now that my legs don’t shake as badly

Day 7 – Kenpo X (January 15, 2011)

Was a Saturday AND Kenpo Day!  Can’t beat that!

Kenpo is getting easier… seems eerily too easy sometimes.  I brought it, and sure I needed a good shower afterwards AND I was sore the next day… I just didn’t feel like I had burned as many calories as I used to think.  I had balance issues, but I think once I get used to staying in the routine, that will go away.  I used to be able to do the three kicks without touching the floor (or falling over).

If you want to know if P90x is right for you then Kenpo X is a good place to start.  I know it got me hooked.  It has just the right mix of challenge and fun, and Tony is at his best.  Plus the girl on the video has great form.

Day 8 – Core Synergistics (January 16th)

I had a lot to do for school on Sunday, since my internet had been crashing for a couple of days and I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out or just dealing with it almost inoperable.  But! I MADE time for my workout.  It was nice to get it over with in the morning and then shower and put on actual clothes (since I could work out in whatever haphazard sweat/PJ/jean combo working from home and snowed in for a week).

I really focused on engaging the core this time around, and I think I got a much better workout. 

Day 9 – Cardio X (January 17th)

Had !TWO! papers for school due.  Still, I MADE time for the workout.  It was only about 43 minutes, so that worked out.  I even had enough time to spare to empty and fill the dishwasher.  Luckily I had such a big lunch I wasn’t all that hungry at dinner, because by the time I got off work and went to the store, it was late.  Sometimes that is a struggle… if I eat first… well my motivation is shot.  If I wait too long, then my sugar gets too low.

He did say something that got my attention- something about if you are doing lean this is your second work out of the day… I hope that he meant “doubles”?? I have to look it up.

I’m starting to not dread sun salutations as much.  I hope that trend continues.  And I even did all of the Superman/Banana because I noticed after Core I was sore in some good places : )

Still need to modify my diet.  I’m eating some pretty crappy things lately.  It is amazing what you get used to.  Need to get out of vacation/snow mode.

Day 10 – Shoulders and Arms/ Ab Ripper X (January, 18 2011)

Boy oh Boy the Sabastiani Merlot and baked pork chops were calling to me!  “Screw the workout” they said “It’s late!  You have to get a jump on school… it’s been a LONG day… wouldn’t it be nice to sit down and have a nice dinner?  It might help make your child better rounded to sit down and eat with her.”  The last statement was the most compelling.  So, I fought justification with justification- when I get a new kitchen table we’ll do better.  Maybe by then I’ll be working out in the morning.

So, I made my child her dinner, popped in Pipi Longstockings and changed into my workout clothes.  I think the deciding factor was that I knew the workout was strictly weights, and ‘just hit play’ is easy on this workout.

It is easy, no thinking required.  A shoulder exercise, a bicep exercise, and a triceps exercise.  Repeat those.  Small break.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Small break.  The time flies by.  Since I don’t have the option of using heavier weights, I don’t even have to think about that right now.  Next week will probably be different, but it was the perfect fit for the night.

Abs… well… Abs get a FAIL.  I did the first three:  In and outs, bicycle and crunchy frogs.  I even lifted my arms for a set (I could feel it in my back too much still).  Then my tailbone started to bother me again.  I tried to fast forward to ones that didn’t involve smashing my tailbone on the floor… but after one more set I just said “f it”.  I need to go see my chiro at the very least… but I just don’t know when I’ll have time.  Maybe Saturday.  I think a spongy mat is in order at the very least.

I’m glad I sucked it up and did the workout.  I could really feel how sore the other workouts have made me and that equates to ‘they are working!!’ Although, I do have to admit that I don’t think the results are the ultimate reason you do P90x… I mean, you chose it because it does work (why do something that doesn’t, right?)… but you make the daily choice to “press play” because you are part of something (sometimes because ‘what happens if I don’t’).  I feel much more energized, stronger, healthier, and I am in better shape.  But mostly I feel like I’ve accomplished something substantial sticking with it.

Day 11 - Swapped Rest day (January 19, 2011)

Was *just* about to go work out when there was a knock on the door.  Cable guy.  While he *might* have enjoyed watching me do downward dog… I wouldn’t have : p

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday is a day of rest?

I think a list is in order for today. 

It is Sunday and the house is pretty much a disaster.  We’ve been doing a lot of crafts and not much picking up after.  It is surprising how messy that stuff is.  It’s like it multiplies over night.

Then there is the Christmas overflow.  I just look over by the tree, shake my head and then look away.

Which is why I need a list… Not knowing the full scope of the damage weighs too heavily on my tired brain and I don’t want to deal with it.  Writing it down on paper relieves that for me. 

So far this morning I’ve started laundry and dishes are running.  Made coffee, cooked Quaker oats with honey, prepared sliced strawberries, blueberries, apple slices, and hand-pitted cherries for the Panda’s breakfast, lectured said child about the rudeness of calling “hurry up in there” when someone is doing something nice for you (*sigh*), held a “stuffed animal doctor’s workshop” where I fixed Moose’s antlers, Zee’s wing, baby moose’s antlers, fixed bunny’s bow, and ran diagnostics on the zu-zu’s cart.  Then I started my list.

But where to start?  This week I did manage to finally organize the walk in closet that was floor to almost ceiling with boxes and bins with virtually all of Panda’s baby clothes and clothes that I hadn’t seen in months or years.  I was intending to have a yard sale, or do the consignment thing… but I soon realized that I was over estimating my spare time to deal with those things, so everything goes into the donate pile.  About 7 boxes.  There is still one box of dryclean (don’t want to know how much that is going to cost), one giant box of shoes to organize, 1 suitcase full of CDs I don’t really need but don’t want to throw away, 1 box of junk I don’t feel like sorting through, a giant spacebag that needs to be re-spacebagged because it was so big it blew up, a surround sound that needs to be hooked up still, a basket of baby socks and shoes to deal with still, pants that need to go to the tailor, a giant stack of jeans I washed and folded but still need to sort… and that’s just off the top of my head.

The top of my head is Very Full.  So that brings me back to my list.  Even finishing a list seems hard today.  It’s Sunday.  Day of rest.  But I know I won’t be able to really rest until most of this stuff is done because otherwise that puts it onto the weekday, which is full already- PLUS we are expecting a blizzard (yes, I know I live in the South) and I start double (full time) classes on Tuesday, and I *REALLY* need to start my P90x back up.  As a matter of fact, I think I’m just going to start fresh and make today “Day 1”.  Remind me to put that on my list.

I have the easy stuff on the list:  “make bed”, “clean catbox”, “scrub toilets”… but then I look over at the tree my child won’t let me take down yet… and see the clutter.  Writing “deal with tree mess” just doesn’t take that frustrated feeling away… I need to break it down into more bite sized pieces.  I know it will feel good to check the box afterward. 

And tonight, when I’m sitting in my clean house, drinking a glass of wine (remind me to put “buy wine” on my list), I’ll be tired and my back will be sore, but I’ll *really* be able to relax.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A shiny new year

I decided to join the blogging bandwagon this year to document my attempt at becoming the Super Mom I always dreamed I'd be.  With the new year gleaming it seems pretty promising.  Especially with people like my sister setting the pace... you know the *real* Super Moms... the ones that make it look so damn easy.  People you look up to, aspire to be, and yet get a smug satisfaction when they bring their kids to school in their PJs for PJ day... a day too early.  Not that she would *EVER* do that.  (Yeah, okay... she really did do that- heehee).

I have a very bright child.  A very loving child.  She is extremely witty.  Fun to be around.  She is also a handful.

I always knew I would have the most amazing child.  She is everything I could have hoped for and more (much more).  That was pretty much the only thing I was right about.  My child was going to come out of the womb a blank slate that I would mould and refine with my Super Mommy powers.  I had no idea that statement was a non sequitur.  I'm sure when I talked to more seasoned mommies about my ideals, they were just humoring me by listening and not cluing me into the fact that kids come out of the womb with their own Very Unique personalities.

Here is a list of things I was absolutely certain of:
  She would sleep through the night in her own room.
  I would nurse for the requisite 6 months then wean her overnight.
  She would be polite but personable, empathetic but not a doormat.
  She would be an independent thinker but thoroughly obedient.
  She would be wildly popular because, well, we'd be the "cool" house.

And as for me... well, I'd be the "cool" mom in the "cool" house.  I would be nurturing but my own person.  I would stay at home until she went to school, and then rejoin the workforce.  I'd be homeroom mom.  Girlscout leader.  Live in a show room house, serve dinner of a meat and two different colored veggies AT THE TABLE every night at a certain time.  I'd lead the kid(s) to the bath and laugh at their silly bubble adventures.  Towel them off with fluffy towels and don them in PJs freshly warmed from the dryer.  Read them a story all tucked in their beds, kiss them and admire them from the doorway after I switched off the light.

I didn't know about the huge 'monster problem' I'd be having.  Didn't foresee the FIVE year old clinging terrified to me night after night as I promise to stay on 'mommy alert' and keep her feet safe from the claws, since she likes to sleep with one leg out of the covers.

Or how life keeps smacking me like a wave and knocking me back.

But I still have my ideals.  I do lead the bath and laugh at the silly bubble adventures.  Then grin and pray for sanity as she collapses into tears because she is "cold" but won't use two towels or get into her freshly warmed PJs shrieking "NOT THOSE ONES!!"  I also won't admit to having to wash her hair as she screams in protest or holding her nose and dunking her flailing body for a rinse.  And if I won't admit to that, then you'll never know about the time I held her down and scrubbed her teeth after two days of refusals and quickie brushing.

I know I'm not the only single mother in the world, and I know I have it comparably good... no, *GREAT* compared to a lot of single mothers.  I'm also not the only single working mother who has decided to go back to school (online) at night.  Or who has been known to let the wee child stay up until almost midnight promising myself as soooooon as I finish this last bit of my homework, I'll start the war with the monsters and get her to bed properly (since the 'lay on the couch and fall asleep next to me' idea was an utter failure).

But I have ideals, dammit!  I will learn new skills to make mornings smooth for both of us.  I will research techniques on how to deal with a child who questions EVERYTHING (although that isn't completely a bad trait, mind you).  This will be the year my child gets to school before the bell, and thus picked up from school at a decent time.  The year I get organized.  No, *really* organized!! Once I get a table, we will eat there instead of in the living room.  And please, God, let 2011 be the year my child sleeps in her own bed!

You are welcome along for the ride.  It might not be pretty, but growing never is.