Saturday, August 15, 2009

Erve, we were never ON aisle 5


Every day I seem to be getting older.

While this is probably no big surprise to you, I'm totally shocked.

While checking out at Kroger recently (without the children), I happily asked the cashier "How are you today?"

Polite teenager (who I'm sure has a fabulous mother) replied "Normally I ask that question, but I'm happy to be the one to respond. I'm good - how about you?"

I shared that I was great as I was shopping with no children - that normally when I shop, I feel like a bad clip from the movie "Mr. Mom" - "Erve, we were never ON aisle 5."

To which said teenager looked at me like I was from another planet.

Apparently he has not only never SEEN Mr. Mom - but doesn't even know it is a movie.




Really?

I am that old - old enough that people that drive to work no longer know about life when I learned to drive.

That got me thinking - of ten more reasons that prove that I am old.

10 - I not only care what my kids wear - but I care what other people's kids wear. Who lets their pre teen hang out at the mall unattended for countless hours wearing victoria's secrets as outer wear? Not only do I notice....but occasionally I even comment.

9 - I base ALL shopping decisions on comfort. Elastic waist pants....flip flops in multiple colors......jeans from the goodwill that someone else has already broken in for me. Gone are the days of fashion concerns (i'll admit it was a reach for me anyway)

8 - The last time I was in a bar all I could think about was the laundry I was going to have to do the next day. The smoke smell infiltrated my shoes, my purse, my clothes.....and everything in my suitcase that my shoes, my purse, my clothes had touched. I remember a time when I went to a bar to not have to think about anything - and when I am sure that laundry NEVER crossed my mind.

7 - I have children old enough to think I am old. When the kids were little, no one commented on my age. Just last week, Pumpkin told Bubbe "Bubbe - that book is old, REALLY old like when mom and dad were little. They didn't have color pictures or fancy pages back then."

6- I get excited when new furniture and appliances come into our home. A few weeks ago we got a "new to us" couch - I'm still ecstatic. I couldn't wait for the Sears appliance delivery man to show up with our new dishwasher a few years back. Like, paced around the house peeking out the windows. For a dishwasher. If your house had four kids under the age of 4 at the time drinking out of sippy cups and eating on curious george plates every half hour all day - you would miss the dishwasher too. However, grandpa from Sears - not the kind of guy I used to get excited about catching a glimpse of. Before I got old.

5 - TV shows that I like are on Nick at Night. And no one watches them. I think there is no better reference about parenting than Cosby. Just saying.

4 - People tell me I sound like their mother. I need a contract for tutoring for my teens to sign. Something to the effect of "I, _____, do promise to not get any zeros, show up to sessions with some facsimile of supplies, and never comment that my tutor sounds like my mother." I realize it doesn't help things when I begin a conversation with "you know, I understand where your mother is coming from." Then again, I'm old.

3 - It's 8:32 as I type and I am yawning. It is approaching my bedtime.

2 - Children I taught as sweet 6th graders are now grown up, college graduates who are married with classrooms of their own. (some are probably in prison - but one is definitely a grown up with her own classroom - so amazing!)

1 - I am always thinking. I am trying not to worry (will the children ever leave home? will we ever pay off the home that we want them to leave? will they love us enough to come visit some? and so on and so on), but my brain is always moving. I don't remember having a hard time sleeping as a college kid - in fact, quite the opposite....I slept whenever I could get away with it. But now, as a real grown up - I awake in the night, my brain switches on and I begin the discussion with myself about needing to go to sleep. Or in the midst of a movie, my mind wanders to the "to do" list of the day - did I actually do anything on it? Do we have milk for breakfast? did we show up everywhere we were supposed to today? Perhaps this is what they mean when they say "older and wiser" .......all this thinking might make me smarter???

And so, for those 10 reasons and many more - I am embracing old.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Too Big?



As I put Bubbe to bed tonight....for the third time, but we won't go there........he inquired,

"Mommy, do you weigh too many pounds to get in the top bunk?"

Sweet dreams to you too kiddo!

I spent the majority of my life (quick math check there) wearing skinny jeans because I was skinny. My first driver's license showed me at 5' 9.5" and 98 pounds. Yes, at today's standards I *think* I should have been in a booster seat when I drove to college.

Then, there was the college 10, and the married 10, and oh yeah - those two amazing pregnancies with peanut butter twix candy bars and mexican cheese dip. Good times.

While I think the top bunk will be fine if I climb in for a while, skinny jeans are definitely a thing of the past.

Yes, I am wearing the same black capri yoga pants as I had on Wednesday for church. I wash them - every day (and never dry them). I love them. Not only do they have an elastic waist and are the most comfortable garment on the planet, they are black - my favorite color. They say black is flattering - or is it forgiving?

I watch on facebook daily as many of my fb friends go about their day filled with walking, water drinking, P90X work outing, gym visits, new diets, weight watcher meetings, races to run..............one would think I would be inspired.

One would be wrong.

I wish I was inspired. I wish I wanted to drink only water and eat only colorful things from the exterior of the Kroger aisles.

But, alas. I am mostly happy in black yoga pants, with my coke in hand (I've had many vices over the years and let's just say that coke in the red can is a good evil) enjoying my day without the limitations of diets.

I wish I enjoyed exercise. I love to play with the kids - sparkpeople gives me exercise points for that one, but come on people - I'm not really burning a whole lot of calories playing the wii, building the lego towers, or participating in the new make over of the day. Nor am I loosing pounds with all the dishes, laundry, and vacuuming that I do either (they give me points for that too!).

Coach LOVES to exercise. It's crazy really. He would rather be down in the dungeon torturing himself than just about anywhere else.

Not me. Nope. No desire to push myself to my limit.

Oddly enough, I am fairly picky about what my kids eat. No caffeine EVER for either. I actually keep track of their daily intakes of fruit/veggies/calcium (and my never ending dairy war with Pumpkin). I monitor sugar intake (if you have ever given Bubbe a candy bar - you know why!). I've always said if I ate the way I fed the kids - I'd be super healthy!

Every fall I typically begin some sort of "hey - I'm going to be a smaller, healthier me" campaign. Week one always goes really well - healthy food, lots of water drinking, and a good dose of that exercise stuff.

Week 2 - 4 go okay - mostly healthy food ( a few splurges here and there), some water drinking (now I am up to limiting myself to one coke a day - forbiddens and I never get along), and exercise trickles to walking.

By week 5- 6, the campaign has died out - and I am back to my normal life.

Typically, a few pounds heavier by week 8, but usually nicer to be around than weeks 1 - 6.

So, this fall I have made an executive decision that there will be no fall campaign. I will save us all from the facebook posts of my demise in week 5. Some would say that I am just being negative, or not giving myself enough credit.

Me, myself and I have been hanging out 34 years now - we are real tight. We are giving ourselves just the right amount of credit!

This fall I am going to be grateful for the body that God gave me and be happy in it.

And should I wake up one day with a craving for exercise or dislike for cokes in the red can, well, then ..........let the campaign begin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is Bubbe really going to Kindergarten?

Bubbe in 3's
Bubbe at 2


I remember the day that I found out we were pregnant with Bubbe.

To back up, I remember the day he was conceived - don't worry, I'm not about to give you too much information.......but let's just say that I KNOW I uttered the phrase "you know you'll be sorry in 9 months" more than once.

He didn't believe me.

I wish I had some cutsie story to share ......but really, there was just a pee stick and Coach brushing his teeth....and a quick reality check as our 15 month old was waking for the day.

And from the get go, life with Bubbe has always been not what you were expecting.

As a baby, he refused bottles.

Then, he refused baby foods.

He HATED the swing, the ultra saucer, the bouncey seat....don't even get me started on the crib drama.

I described him last week as our walking oxymoron.

He is loud, the life of the party, always the musician, funny, impulsive, and a bit of a danger junkie (with a high pain tolerance - thanks to Coach's genes).

But he is also anxious, nervous, timid about new people/situations/places.......has the soul of an old man, and can worry with the best of them.

Doesn't seem possible to have it all in one kiddo - but then, life with Bubbe has always been that way - making the old "expect the unexpected" a way of life with him.

Today we met his kindergarten teachers.

It's really happening.

Bubbe is going to kindergarten.

Why is it kindergarten is on the big list of milestones?

Why do all us mommy people freak out like they were going off to UCLA without us? Why is it we feel like they are grown when they go off to kindergarten?

When I put down my emotional panic attack hat for a minute (life with Bubbe has always been about reality checks), I realize that...........kindergarten is really no biggie.

Bubbe isn't leaving me behind as he goes off on some big kindergarten adventure.

Bubbe still needs me to read him a story, sing his special bedtime song, and create a plan for our dreams in order to go to sleep.

Bubbe still needs me to kiss booboos and make them better - complete with Star Wars bandaids.

Bubbe still needs me to set the boundaries, keep things safe, and read the directions in board games.

So, for now (theres still two weeks left - stay tuned), I'm not going to go into full mommy panic mode about the kindergarten thing.

If Bubbe starts playing Don't Wake the Hulk with out me............I might need some support!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What a Ride!

Yesterday was a LONG day.

If you are a mother - you know exactly what I mean by LONG day. I don't have to define it, or share with you how nothing went as I thought it would, and what was supposed to be simple wasn't, or that children and husbands often complicate life.

Life with children is complicated.

Now, don't start bashing me. I know some of you mommy people are all alpha moms lovin the mom thing all day every day. We've met.

I, however, am a realistic.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Parenthood.

In BK (before kids) life, it was funny.

Now, the movie is part gospel, part "oh my goodness its happening to me" for me.

The wisest character (to no surprise) for me is Grandma. I have a feeling that me and grandma are going to be peas in a pod someday. Chick is SMART. But people think she is crazy.

Perhaps that is just wishful thinking on my part.

Wander back to 1989, with me - you don't have to find your parachute pants or jelly shoes (though I see that at least one of the two fashion trends is on its way back in):



I've got to confess.

Some days - I wake up and beg with God - "God today I need to ride the merry go round."

I don't wake up every day ready for the roller coaster that is life with kids (at least not the two that live in my house....).

Yet, I know that life with my two kids is always a roller coaster.

Case in point. Today we are busy at the dining room table cutting out pictures and creating a family tree. We are laughing. We are having a good time. We might be learning something. We are coloring - we are creative.

And then, as it always does the stuff hits the fan - there is green marker all over my table (I'm still calm - the table is old), the yelling begins "he colored on me" "nuh uh - she was like ramming her marker onto my side"......then the craziness is so loud no one can hear me - that is until my heads starts spinning around, and my inside voice is .....let's just say missing at the moment.

So - here's the question:

Is the good stuff the ride up? When you know you are about to fall? When your stomach is excited and nervous?

Or, is the good stuff the ride down? Let the fun begin as you rush around - waiting for the next climb?

I guess it probably doesn't matter - the good and the crazy with kids seems to be intertwined - like one is a necessary part for the other.

I am also guessing that because moments like the marker all over the table and massive sibling fighting happen, that I then appreciate and recognize the happy coloring and creativity as a good time.

Perhaps its too much to ask for a merry go round, but maybe some days we could hang on the kiddo coasters instead of riding The Scream Machine?