The One Where I Praise My Body Instead Of Curse It. For Once.

Early on in my adult life (the one post-college, with a real schedule) I realized that I had weird sleep habits. No matter what time I set my alarm for, I would start waking up an hour before (even if I had gone to bed late) and just keep waking up every 5 minutes until the alarm went off.

Needless to say? I stopped using alarms.

I haven’t used an alarm regularly in years. I’ll set one as backup sometimes, but I rarely (never) need it. And these last two weeks when I’ve been getting up in time for 5:30 a.m. bootcamp? No exception. I got up the first two days at 4 a.m., not really sure how much time I’d need to get going and ready for exercise. After two days I decided I could push it to 4:20 a.m. I’ve not used an alarm any day, but I’ve woken up spot-on-time. Even this morning, when I’m so very tired, my body woke me up on in time. Not too early, even. Just ON TIME. Exactly.

It’s one of the few amazing things about my body/mind that I really like. It’s like the internal clock inside of me is just that good. It works better than an alarm clock too because it is unsnoozable. Once my body decides it’s time to get up? There’s no going back to real sleep without consciously acknowledging that I’ll be missing whatever I needed to wake up early for. If I don’t want to miss it? I won’t be able to go back to sleep.

Quite handy, YES IT IS.

Anyway – I do so much moaning and groaning about my body, I thought I’d give it a break today. Even though we’ve lost NO weight in two weeks of working our ass off (GRUMBLE), my body has still held up quite well this week. We’ve (Yes, I’m pluralizing my Mind and my Body, THANK YOU.) been to bootcamp every weekday and even done a run on two nights. That along with the ability to still wake up up when I want to wake up? I’ll give it credit where credit is due – Way To Go, Kim’s Body. You’re Rockin’ It This Week.

Yes. That will probably be the last time you ever hear such a sentiment. Let’s cherish it.

Chip Boy
Helping me lose weight by eating all of the chips in the house.
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Autumn

I’m sitting on the back porch right now. It’s screened in so I’m not worried about creepy crawlies from the night outside getting me. I have the light on so I can see when Sweetie makes it to the door. This is a necessity, that I wait out here, or else I won’t know when she wants to come in. We haven’t installed a doggie door yet to the outside so that they can at least scratch on the house door. If they scratch on the door they come to now, I wouldn’t hear them from inside. So…I sit out here and wait.

It’s 4:30am and it’s damn chilly. I love it, because that means Autumn is here. The leaves are already changing in just the slightest way. The leaves are definitely falling. Everyone is talking about when they’ll make their trip to Tate Farms Pumpkin Patch, the local Autumn tradition for most families. The kids are talking about their Halloween costumes and Nikki is getting excited about her big birthday part coming up.

In terms of weather? Autumn doesn’t seem to last long here. We get a few weeks of chilly weather and then the cold stuff hits. Same thing with the holidays, Target actually has Christmas AND Halloween stuff out right now. No one seems to want Autumn to linger. Except me. It never seems to last long enough. I hate being cold. I don’t mind being chilly. I love Autumn activities, hayrides, pumpkin patches, costume parties. I hate overdosing on Christmas fudge and wearing sweaters. I HATE SWEATERS.

So I try to enjoy it while it’s here. Camping at the Botanical Gardens this weekend where we’ll get to go on a hayride, hitting the Pumpkin Patch next week while the kids are out of school. We’ve got our costumes chosen, if not ordered yet. We’re finishing up the soccer season, although last night’s game showed us we may need to start wearing long sleeves under our uniforms.

I know in a few short weeks I’ll be bitching about the cold and how much I have to do before Christmas. But for now? I’ll just sit here and wait for Sweetie to finish her business. I’ll go to bootcamp and shiver a bit until the blood gets pumping. I’ll try to find a good pile of leaves around town to let the kids play in. We never got a chance to last year, so this year I’ll make it a priority. If for no other reason but the pictures from two years ago? Are too irresistible to not try to recreate them.

Close Up
For Framing
Holding him up
Brother and Sister
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“Just Make Time”…and do 10 other things to make it work.

With Daddy
This picture, of course, has nothing to do with the entry. But it’s a great one and I wanted to share.

I think what bugs me a lot about people who exercise, is when they say, “If you want to do it, you’ll make time.” Like, you know, it’s just that easy. I know they have good intentions, and I know that most of my irritation with that statement is more about me being bitter that they make it sound so easy, but I think that – truthfully? It’s a little more complicated than that. At least in my life, and I’m assuming in yours.

First – you have to find the exercise you want to do. That’s the most important. No one is going to do exercise unless there is some sort of appeal there. You won’t ever catch me riding a bike. Or swimming. So, if what you want to do doesn’t come with childcare, or isn’t easily doable with kids, then there are more factors than just making the time.

Running is about the only thing I can stick with, and usually only if I’m training for something. Like a 5K. Or a half-marathon. But there’s no childcare for running and I have no desire to try to run with a running stroller. So, I have to find time to run when MrZ is home. Then comes the battle of the guilt when, on some nights, he’s had a hard day at work and I’m not sure if it’s fair to leave the kids with him or not when he really needs a break. Or maybe there are 90 million other things going on because, once MrZ is home? That’s when all of the kid’s extracurriculars start. Soccer games, rehearsals, meetings – those things all happen after work hours, eating away at my running time.

Then there’s the dark issue. I am scared of the dark. SERIOUSLY. Now, last night I ran with Sweetie and that helps, but still. SCARED OF THE DARK. I don’t like it.

Finally – there’s the fact that if you’re adding a 30-minute or 1-hour workout into what is surely an already busy day. What do you shift to allow that? Do you stay up later to make sure you still get everything done you needed to get done, or do you not do some of it? Or do you beg for extra help from your family which – AGAIN – adds to the guilt issues. I don’t have guilt issues asking for help when I’m doing stuff for other people: carpooling the kids, volunteering, etc. But when I’m doing something solely for myself? Like working out? Total guilt issues.

I’m not saying any of the roadblocks I face getting out the door are insurmountable. And I know most of them are in my head – mainly the guilt issues and the fear of the dark. But my point? It’s not just about Making the Time. If you are already busy (and aren’t we all?) then you have to find a good system. It takes a lot of trial and error and a lot of times the errors make us quit. The do me, anyway. The gym with a daycare? FAIL. The getting up early to run? FAIL. The begging for help from family to help compensate for the hours I’m working out? SOMETIMES FAIL. It’s not always easy.

I guess I just want some people like me, who don’t feel like it’s that easy – JUST MAKE THE TIME – to know I understand. Too many factors besides time. But yesterday? I made it work. I took the dog to conquer my fear of the dark. I squeezed the run in between drop-off and pick-up of E from rehearsal. I took the guilt of leaving the kids home with Donnie when he had a long day at work AND was sick – and stuffed in somewhere in the back of my head to worry about later. (Try it, when the voice in your head says, “You’re being a shitty wife,” try to ignore it. Sometimes it works for me! Ignoring myself, who knew?) I put on my shoes, strapped on my iPhone queued up to Harry Potter and let Jim Dale talk me through a 2-mile run.

It took more than just making time. But I found a way around those other factors and did my run – ONE NIGHT. Will I make it work tomorrow? Who knows. That’s my point. You try. Try different scenarios until you find one that works one day. Maybe you’ll be lucky and the same scenario will work the next day. I don’t mind running so much. It’s the one form of exercise that doesn’t hurt me too bad. (Probably because my speed is just one small notch above walking.) I got to zone out to Jim Dale, bond with my dog, and get closer to the 5K distance I’ll be running on October 16th.

Will I be able to do the same thing again tonight? Who knows. That’s what I like about this bootcamp, it’s the “no excuses hour”. The kids are still in bed and I’m not making MrZ do anything. And I’m with other grownups so the dark is not scary. But the bootcamp is expensive and I can’t do it forever. Maybe another month, but not much more. I have to get used to doing other things too, hence the trial to find a good time to run.

I guess I’ll just try every day to do more than just Make The Time. I also find someone else to wash dishes or bathe the kids, get a bodyguard to save me from the boogeyman, hire a therapist that tells me it’s OKAY to leave the kids with the husband once in awhile while I do something selfish, and make sure I don’t leave anyone stranded at soccer, school, or rehearsal. And if I manage all of that? Then I totally deserve the beer I drink before going to bed. And, really – isn’t it always about earning your beer?

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Teachers

Headshot for Beauty and the Beast AuditionsE has taught me about bravery. With every audition he does or song he sings on stage, I learn about confidence and courage. I tell him, “You just did something there’s no way in hell I could or would ever do.” And I mean every word. His courage and talent in theatre has brought so many wonderful things into my life – great volunteer opportunities to hang out with him and his friends, and opportunities to make friends of my own in the other parents. He has, literally, opened up a whole new world into my life. And if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone sing about that whole new world (…A new fantastic point of view…) I’d be rich. (We’re doing Beauty and the Beast in the Spring…my house has now become a focal point for any and all Disney musical numbers.) His life, his hobbies, his talents – they have changed my life, entirely for the better. He’s introduced me to a world I never dreamed I’d be a part of. BACKSTAGE…a land I never thought I’d visit. All because of his own passions and talents.

***************

So Serious Nikki has taught me more about being a girl in the last year she’s been controlling her own style, than I’ve learned in the 35 years I’ve been a girl on my own. Wearing jewelry, headbands, pretty clothes – these things make her feel good. She smiles, she twirls, and she exudes confidence because she feels so good about her image. Even at 4, she encourages me to do the same. She goes through my jewelry and finds a ring she thinks “is really cute!” Or she picks out headbands or shirts for me to wear. She really wants me to get as excited about getting dressed for the day as she does. The possibilities! It’s intoxicating! So sometimes? I wear skirts because it makes her happy and you know what? It makes me feel good too. She sees me pick out earrings – and while they may not be the long pink feathers she loves (Why do I have those again?), she always compliments me on the ones I choose. I predict lots of makeovers in my future. And I’m completely okay with that. It’s something I never really cared about, until she came along. And she brings this joy with it so it feels less like torture and more like something fun she and I do together. I think I’m actually looking forward to the teen years, when she really can help me pick out my clothes and I can be confident she won’t choose anything overly pink and frilly.

These two kids – have expanded my world in ways I never dreamed possible. Not in the Motherhood sense you hear so much about. That’s there too – but just in their own personalities. Their own interests. Their own passions. The individual traits they are showing as the grow, those have changed me. Have given me my own interests so we can have things in common, have helped me grow into a better person. Having these two children has taught me more than Unconditional Love and Motherhood (Which are great, don’t get me wrong) – they’ve taught me about me, and unrecognized potential.

I can’t wait to learn what this guy is going to teach me –

New Car
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How I Do It…

(First and Foremost: Go watch the newest Deathly Hallows trailer because it will BLOW YOUR MIND. The wedding! The Lovegood’s Home!)

People often as me, “How do you do it?” Do they mean raising three perfect children? Keeping Writing such inspirational and brilliant blog entries for 6 solid years? Staying fit an gorgeous? No. They don’t ask me any of those things (probably because they’re not true). They ask me, “How do you watch so much TV?”

My superpower – the ability to watch copious amounts of television while still finding time to feed and bathe my children.

But here’s the thing – and my husband will vouch for me – I cheat. Most hour-long dramas? I watch in under 30 minutes. First, you take out commercials, which brings the show down to about 42-47 minutes. Then, you account for the Zoot Factor. There are a lot of things I’ll fast-forward thru. Scenes that make me uncomfortable. Or stories that bore me. Often times the long several episodes story lines are the ones that bore me most. A good example is the show Burn Notice. It always has two storylines. The single episode storyline and the multiple-episode arc. The multiple-episode arc? Bores me. So I fast-forward through those parts. I have no idea what the whole Michael/Jesse drama was about last season. But the single episode stories? LOVE THOSE.

When I saw I watched 2 1-hour dramas last night? I was actually in front of the TV for under an hour. It’s like speed-dating! Now, some shows I never fast-forward through anything. Like Vampire Diaries. Or Castle. But then shows like Criminal Minds? Sometimes so many things irritate me about that show? I watch the entire episode in 15 minutes.

So…while we’re talking TV…what new shows are you watching? I tried Lonestar and The Event so far. I have a few other shows recorded that I haven’t watched yet. But those two? Liked them. I guess no one else but me watching Lonestar because they’re already talking about canceling it. The Event was really fascinating, but I refuse to compare it to Lost. It’s just a really interesting show. Lost wasn’t that great all the time, as a matter of fact it irritated me often. The Event was just a good pilot, we’ll see from there.

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