Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aqua Fit

Every once in a while my workouts need a bit of a shake up. Usually this means shifting from 4 pounds weights (too light) to 6 pound weights (still too light) for a few strength training classes or switching from the elliptical trainer to the treadmill for a couple of cardio sessions. This time, I took the "shake up" to the next level. So much so, that I switched gyms. Or maybe I should say that I switched from a gym to a "health and fitness" club. So mature and fancy of me...

Mostly this shake up involved the well being of my little C girl. She is ready to rock and roll and the health club has a pool with many open family swim times. Plus the child care is big, busy and full of fun things - including a mini basketball court! So cute. I should also mention that child care at the health club is F-R-E-E, included with my membership, totally gratis. Can you believe it? You many be thinking that I must spend well over $100 a month for my membership. Right? Nope, $62 a month. Just five dollars more than the gym - where I was paying a daily child care fee on top of the $57 a month for myself.

The problem with all of this goodness is that I am a total creature of habit. A lot like my 'ol daddy. I don't really like change or interruptions in the flow of my schedule. Which is why many of my posts have had to do with my inability to function on the disrupted sleep schedule that C has brought to my life.

C and I are getting into the groove of things at the new club. She loves it and is showing the many women that work these just what being a "busy" child really means :) She wanders around the place, and gives them a run for their money with diaper changes, but she also uses her sign language skills with them, dances to their music and blows them kisses goodbye. What more could you ask for?

Today was the day. Day six at the new health club. The day for the big plunge - Aqua Fit. I've been wanting to try this water aerobics class. My joints still hurt from child birth - I swear - and I hear these water classes are easy on the bod. Last night I began the preparations. I got out my "swim" suit (that is a little dig at my husband because where I am from it is called a bathing suit) and tried it on to make sure there was not too much cleavage showing. I knew the population of this class would primarily be made up of an older crowd and I didn't want to embarrass myself. The first suit was a total no-no, but then I found my "mom" suit from C's swim lessons last summer.

Let's just take a minute and talk about something depressing, embarrassing, personal, true and HYSTERICAL. No matter how much I diet or work out or switch things up, there is nothing (besides going under the knife) that I can do about the change in the skin elasticity that occurred during pregnancy. There is something unnatural about a 26 inch waist growing to the size of Santa Claus's belly. My old taunt inny belly button has now, apparently, developed a hood. This is not something you would notice or be horrified at upon staring at it, but I know it's different. Now I am not used to this little hood of skin, because if I were, I would be more careful in dressing myself. I should mention that my bathing suit has a zipper on the front of it from lower abdomen to chest. Need I say more? That's right, I caught my belly button hood in the zipper of my bathing suit. I call it a "mom" suit, but the zipper up the front makes it cute - kinda Bond Girl-esque. CAUGHT MY SKIN IN THE ZIPPER...ouch. There's nothin' like a stinging belly button to remind you that your body has changed...

So here I go with my gym bag, C's bag, swim stuff bag, and C in tow on the way to the gym at 7:55 in the morning. It was like the first day of school all over again. Where do I hang my towel? Bring it into the pool area? Wrap it around me? Let it all hang out? I decided to ask an older lady dressed in a bathing suit and aqua socks standing on the scale in the locker room, surely she'll know. All you have to do is engage an older woman in a locker room in conversation and you have a friend for life. Anya. My new friend. She and her sis have been taking this class for two years. Great, I have a mentor!

Life is SO funny. I consider myself to be somewhat fashionable and definitely someone who likes to be "in the know" about popular trends and what's hot. Never, in all my life, did I think that Aqua Fit would be the place that would make me feel like the odd ball, the uncool one, the newbie who doesn't know what's going on because I didn't have my "water shoes."

How would I survive? I could SLIP! SLIP while doing water aerobics. Oh no.

There I was amongst a group of men and women who were easily 30+ years my senior, and I was envious of their apparent preparedness for this class. They all have Speedo suits - without zippers to get skin stuck in. They had on water shoes. It was slippery in there! Why didn't I think of this? Some even had bathing caps. CRAP. I was going to have wet hair and stubbed toes to go along with my burning belly button. Shit.

I'm in the "water walking only lane" (who knew?) before the class started, tryin' to up the 'ol heart rate, and I am secretly laughing hysterically inside my brain. If-they-could-see-me-now. I don't want you to get the impression that I am knocking anyone here. If anything, I am knocking myself. These people are amazing. I mean they had to range in age between 60-123. These people got up, got on bathing suits (and water shoes) and got themselves to the club and into a pool. That is down right amazing. I love to see people of all ages keeping up with their fitness and challenging themselves. That's what it is really all about. I mean was Aqua Fit anywhere near as challenging as a spinning class with heavy metal music blaring in your ears and an instructor swearing in your face? Uh...let's go with no on that one. BUT, I could feel my core and glutes burning and working really hard. I was doing the moves a bit more vigorous than gram and gramps, but I am sure they were exerting themselves as much as they could. All in all, I loved it. I had some energy afterwards to get some time in on the elliptical, but I am pooped out now.

Through all of this I realized some things.
1. I no longer think it is necessary to have a "dark as night" tan before putting on a bathing suit.
2. I don't even think I own a bikini.
3. No one cares if I have a pedicure with the latest nail polish color.
4. I constantly try new things and that feels good.
5. I can hang with anyone - regardless of age - and feel like I fit in (well maybe in spirit, apparently not in fashion).
6. I really don't like being splashed or getting water in my ears.
7. I will never get naked in the locker room and talk about what I'm making for dinner while standing there with my business out.
8. Wet locker room floors are gross, not matter how fancy the club, and if the edges of my pants gets wet, I might vomit.
9. I am terrible at working my heart rate monitor and that irritates the heck out of me.
10. I really need to be a bit kinder to myself. I try really hard to be fit and if I want to eat some chocolate - it'll be alright.

I'm exhausted just reflecting on this whole experience. From the outside looking in it would have looked seamless. I guess that's due to the fact that I started preparing for this a DAY ahead of time. I'm looking forward to taking another class. I really want to get my hands on those Styrofoam "weights" and we didn't use them today. The men and women of Aqua Fit were truly inspirational. As we got our "sweat on" together I wondered what their life experiences were. Were they always into fitness? Is this something they have been doing for years? Will I be doing this when I am 75? Lord, I hope so.

Don't be fooled though. Even if I didn't have a Speedo or water shoes, I had the best towel. Hot pink with a lime green monogram. A matron of honor gift from Michelle. She keeps me in fashion, no matter what the social setting may be. She too may even agree that I need to invest in this Speedo athletic swim suit. I should look the part, shouldn't I?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This Old Mare Ain't What She Used To Be

So Tuesday was my husband's 33rd birthday and I am thrilled that he has the same philosophy about birthdays as I do. Birthdays are holidays, in a sense, and are meant to be celebrated and made special. The only way to truly do this if your day happens to fall on a weekday is to take it off from work. Even though when I was teaching I didn't do this because if I did I would just sit home alone. Besides, first graders have an even better view on birthdays so they were always fun to share my day with. So when your wife is a stay at home mom, if you take the day off, you are most definitely not going to have to spend the day alone :)

A took the day off for two reasons. 1. because he worked the overnight shift on Monday and needed to sleep (a basic human right). 2. because it was his day and I told him we would do something fun! I had a nice little day planned for us. Thank goodness the babysitter was available for us to go on our "day date." We have both been wanting to see Avatar (a-w-e-s-o-m-e movie, nice job James Cameron) and the movie is 2 hours and 40 minutes long. I would never be able to stay awake for the whole thing if this were a night date so it's better to go to a matinee for this lengthy film. After the movie we would grab something to eat and then head home where our friends would meet us for cake and ice cream! One of my favorite things about my husband is his sweet request each year for his favorite cake - Pillsbury Funfetti. How cute is that? A grown man who requests a white cake dappled with rainbow sprinkles. Plus it is super easy to make - hello cake mix - so I am not complaining!

I was all excited after I put C down for her nap. This was my time to "get ready" for my date! Yippee, a date!

OH MY GOD. I had totally forgotten what "getting ready" entailed. For the love of God how did I get ready for work EVERY morning and then, on occasion, do the whole routine again if I had plans in the evening? I mean seriously, I am lucky to get my hair brushed (which has been happening less and less these days for some unknown reason), teeth brushed and face washed on a regular day. So I started my primping at around 1:05 pm. First a shower AND hair washing (woo-hoo). Second, moisturizing and full makeup application (ok, now I am starting to sweat). Third, a cute outfit which involved boots WITH heels and earrings which were NOT studs because I am pretty certain no one will be trying to yank them out of my ears. Lastly, this head of hair. I think I have as much hair has humanly possible. Now ladies, I know you understand this. Blow dry with a styling brush and to REALLY finish it off, ten minutes with hot rollers. Now I am really sweating and needing to stick my head out the door to let the tundra cool me down. After which I remove the hot rollers, run my fingers through my hair, spritz some hairspray on my locks and finish my lips with some gloss. I give myself the once over and am pleased BUT I am already exhausted and I notice it's 2:04pm. ONE WHOLE HOUR OF MY LIFE to prepare to go out with the man who sees me everyday looking like I am on the brink of death. Now if that isn't love then I don't know what is.

The best part is that when he came back from the gym, he noticed. He complimented my outfit and that made it all worth while. I guess it's easy to notice an outfit when I am usually wearing Guitar Hero themed pajama pants and an oversized t-shirt covered in dog hair, yogurt and drool. I won't tell him that I am totally wiped out from preparing for this date. Who cares if I fall asleep from exhaustion caused by getting ready. At least my eyelids will look nice since I took the time to put on eyeshadow. Then again, it is a 3D movie which means I'll be wearing special glasses. No one will know if I am sleeping!

The movie was fantastic (so good in fact that I didn't even doze off once) and a dinner at the Outback is always a treat. The babysitter even managed to put C to sleep before we got home at 7:30. Although I was sad that I didn't get to say goodnight to her, it was a treat to enjoy our company, cake and the first night of American Idol. I hope my husband had as much fun on his birthday as I did.

I hope you take the time to do something fun on your special day. After all, you deserve it! Happy Birthday A!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Things I Forget To Tell Them

I should be ashamed of myself, and part of me is. That is the reason for this post.

I walk around every day in such a sleep deprived stupor, that I find myself telling anyone that will listen about little C's runny nose, poor sleeping habits, or the way she turns the house upside down. I don't know why I do this. Perhaps I'm trying to make light of the tough parts of parenting? Again, no clue.

As I climbed the stairs with C in my arms, she wrapped her little legs around my waist and gave my head a bear hug, like she always does on the way to go night-night. It was at that moment that I realized that I rarely share these moments with my friends and family. For that little one, I apologize.

More often I should tell of the times she giggles as I lay her on her back and cover her with her blankie, waves hello when she sees me in the morning and laughs when I take her out of her crib, sits alone in her "toy corner" looking at books giggling at the pictures she thinks are funny, rubs her daddy's ears when she's sleepy, reaches for me when she's tired, hungry, sad, happy, lonely, fearful, or giddy, plays peek-a-boo with me when she catches my eye in the rear view mirror of the car, caresses my hair when she's trying to relax, sits in my lap and snuggles.

Parenting is tough, no doubt, but there are no words for the rewards. This year I plan to take it all in stride and share more of the treasures of parenting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Mother Should ALWAYS Follow Her Instincts (Part I)

In my frantic attempts to get little C the H1N1 vaccine, I went on a kick of calling her pediatrician's office on an every other day schedule to see if they got any of the vaccine. Of course they did not. The nurse who answered the phone on one of my calls was very kind and knowledgeable about what mothers of young children were going through with this epidemic going on. Her words rang in my ears, "Don't take her to grocery stores or church where people could be touching her and be too close. If you go to a play group or story time and there is a child there that appears sick, don't even take her coat off. Just turn around and leave."

And that is exactly what I didn't do. Shame on me. Last Wednesday I did my best Olympic attempt in planning our morning to keep C awake until her 11:15 music class at the rec center. We went to the gym and the grocery store and stopped home quickly. I was feeling all proud of myself as we pulled into the rec center with a happy child in the backseat. That is until I put the car in park and realized that she was sound asleep. Should I just take her home and put her down for a nap...? NO...this is MUSIC class! She loves music class. I undid her straps and removed her from her car seat, big puffy winter jacket and all (even though it warmed up and it was like 55 degrees by now and she was dressed like the Nanook of the north). I carried her almost all the way into class before she woke up. I expected her to bounce from my arms with an "oh my goodness mommy, look, we are at music" hop to her step, but she was very calm staying in my lap for most of the class. See, she knew we were in the company of the seasonal enemy. I knew she was smarter than me.

Upon entering the room I noticed a little boy, one I hadn't seen at the first session, nose running and cough in full swing. At that very moment I heard his mom say, "Sorry we couldn't make it last week. I had the flu." Ummmm...wait...what did you just say...???? She must have said she likes the color blue, for she could NOT have just admitted to having the flu and now she is HERE coughing in the crook of her arm and wiping her child's running nose. Oh. No. She. Didn't.

Well she did, and I was the one who didn't run out of there like the nurse had told me to. For all of the class I played defense trying to keep C away from buggies and protect her from the germs that I swear I could see coming from said boy's mouth as he coughed. Those germs were looking right at me. I could hear them whipsering, "We're coming for you..." That was around noon on Wednesday. Around noon on Friday (there's that pesky 48 hour window of the germ world) a little trickle of clear liquid came sneaking its way out of C's nostril. Deep in my heart I knew. I knew what this meant. But I pretended it was just a little water and wiped it away. I knew what was coming. I just did not want to admit it to myself. I did not follow my instincts and now I would pay and the germs would win.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Save Me A Seat

Check out my new adventure:

Something Smells...

So here I am, exactly two months from my last post. Shame on me. My goal was to write at least one thing per month. September got away from me, with traveling for the weddings and all, and apparently so did October! It took me about a month to get the house organized after being away for three weeks. Who knew traveling with a toddler would require turning the entire house upside down and bringing along everything that she has every touched.

Anyway, this morning was a flashback to April. You remember, when my life revolved around poop? Today was no different. Poor Q lost his manhood on Wednesday. That's right, he's already nine months old and our appointment for his "fixin'" came exactly one day late. I don't mean to give you the wrong impression, we aren't expecting puppies with the neighbor's dog or anything. It's just that he found C's life size blue stuffed bear and basically had his way with him. The whole senerio was very disturbing so I won't post specifically about that.

Last night was his first night home from the vet. He slept down in his bachelor pad in the basement and was very happy to do so. When I went to get him this morning around 7:30 he was laying in a cage of diarrhea. It was stinky, gross, and everywhere - including on him. I didn't know what to do first, so I woke up A. Remember his vow to take care of the dog and help out? Despite the fact that he worked all night and was on his first hour of sleep, I was totally cashing in on that promise. As he was getting on his "clean up the crap clothes" to join me in my sh&*$y morning, I decided to leash Q and bring him outside. As we were mid way through the kitchen, he did one of those huge doggie shakes and got poop all over my cabinets and refrigerator. Thinking back it was kind of like a slow motion scene in a movie. You know the ones, you are watching and can't believe the mess that is unfolding in front of the character's eyes. No character here, no cleanup crew, just my REAL life. Lovely. So now a gross mess in the basement has become a full on disaster in the living space of our home.

There was a time in my life when something like this would have brought me to immediate "why me??" tears. I was so utterly defeated and exhausted this morning that I didn't even have the energy to make the tears come out from wherever they hide. I mean seriously, what a horrible way to start a day. S*$t on the refrigerator?

I worked cleaning the kitchen, while A worked at cleaning the basement, then together we went outside to tackle the dog. I am going to make a mental note of that the next time I whine and say, "We don't do anything together anymore." I need to be careful what I wish for...

So you are probably wondering what little C was doing while her parents were preoccupied with poop that did not belong to her. She was gated in the fortress AKA living room. We peeked in and there she was standing on a push toy that she rightfully pushed up to the desk, full on clacking away at the laptop keys! Can you believe this? We are cleaning up after her dog and she's trying to surf the Internet? She didn't successfully log on, but she did manage to change the font size of my email inbox to colossal. I have no idea how to fix it. I'll have to wait until she gets up from her nap to help me.

Little Q is all cleaned up and sleeping soundly in the kitchen. I feel bad for the poor guy. He's had a traumatic week. I look forward to his full recovery and getting back to the days of living with a potty trained dog. I say dog now because that little fourteen pound bundle of joy we brought home in April is a whopping sixty pounds of pure love!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cold Feet?

Footed jammies are the best. Well, not my cup of tea, but for a baby they are perfect. It's like wrapping them in a second skin before bed, certain to keep them warm when they inevitably pull their covers off of them in the night.

After a long, long day I mustered up the energy to wash the few dishes that remained in the sink. We don't have a dishwasher so I wash dishes at least 7-10 times a day. It's so defeating when you get them all done and then notice that butter knife laying on the table. I give C her bath in the sink because bending over the tub is something that my creaky body can not tolerate. I guess when she gets a little bigger I won't have a choice, but then again, she'll be "solid" by then and I won't have to worry about her slipping away and going down the drain. Anyhow, you know the drill. Clean the sink, prepare for bath, chase child around living room, undress child - whoops poopy diaper, clean diaper, put child in sink. Then the hard part. Keep child from pulling the drain plug out and chewing it, turning on the scalding water, remaining seated and somewhat still. In our case, lather up a wild mane of hair, scrub and then try and rinse as much soap out as possible. Drain the sink, dry the babe, comb hair, diaper and finish the squeaky clean situation with the last CLEAN pair of comfy cotton footed jammies. Now you are thinking, perfect! There's probably a little milk in this scenario and then off to bed, right? Wrong.

Now that the baby is clean and ready for bed, she gets loaded up in the stroller to take the puppy for his nightly walk. She usually likes this walk. She sucks vigorously on her binky as she stares up at the trees and sky. It's the perfect way to calm her down and get her nice and relaxed before bed. On most nights as soon as we get home from our walk, I take her upstairs and put her to bed. This night in particular I did not bring her milk along on the walk, I figured I'd give it to her when we got back.

We get home and I de-collar the dog of the walking collar and re-collar him with his inside collar. I take the baby out of the stroller and put her in the kitchen - now I am completely exhausted at this point. I'm standing there in the kitchen thinking about how in just a few short minutes I can retire to the couch where I will lay motionless for at least fifteen minutes, staring at the ceiling, before I will decide to do my favorite thing - eat dessert and possibly read a little or watch TV before I too, drift over to dreamland. The thought of relaxing put a little hop in my step and as I was pouring the milk into the sippy cup, I look over and you will never guess what I see...

Little C, in her nice comfy footed jammies, is S-T-A-N-D-I-N-G in Quincy's water dish. That's right STANDING in three inches of water - in her footed jammies - the last clean pair she has! UGH! You can only imagine that my dessert and rest was preempted as I undressed the 'already ready for bed' child, redressed her in some sort of sleeping attire (something nowhere as comfy as footed jammies) and eventually put her to sleep!

Did I mention that she's into everything? Exactly why is it that kids make an absolute dash to any and all areas/things that are not intended for them? After she was asleep, seeing the trail of water across the kitchen floor provided a little (more) comic relief to my day. But cleaning it up reminded me of just how exhausting raising a toddler can be.

I'll save what happened in the morning for another day. Let's just say that it left me unexpectedly cleaning (on my hands and knees) the dining room floor at 7:30 in the morning. (Did I mention that I'm not a morning person?)