Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
There's a Buzz Lightyear ride, which was bound to be popular. He loves, loves Buzz. You ride through, shoot lasers at targets and eliminate the evil emperor Zerg. He was so happy that he was bouncing up and down. He took a nap right after the ride, and we had a few minutes to kill. I asked him whether he wanted to ride again, and he kind of shrugged and said, "No." I asked him why and he said, "At the end of the ride, Buzz told me I did a great job and he took the evil emperor Zerg to jail. We're done."
Monday, November 15, 2010
Looking up after his soccer "practice" Saturday, Aidan asked, "Mommy, did I do a great job?" He sat by the edge of the field for part of it and didn't participate for a good portion, so I called out, "You didn't do a great job, but you didn't do terrible." (Not one of my stellar Mom moments, but a history of swim lessons explains my answer a little.) No one heard that, though - they heard his next question. Everyone heard it. "Mommy, did I do terrible?" Like I run around having "terrible" be his measure for everything. Ugh.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Last week he was talking about his love of strawberries and generally all things pink. I asked him if he wanted to have a strawberry cake for his birthday next year, and he said he did. Then he said, "BB likes pink strawberry cake, but Uncle Brett likes cheesecake." That doesn't sound like much, but what it means is that he remembers the desserts my siblings had for their birthday dinner, which was in April, seven months ago.
Monday, October 25, 2010
At our house "All the Single Ladies" (a Beyonce song - he learned it at school, believe it or not) is called by its name, but Michael Jackson's "Shake your Body (Down to the Ground)" is called The Pointing Song because we did a pointing-type groovy dance to it the first time; other songs have similar titles. MJ's "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," it turns out, is the Batman hula dance. Go ahead - try to picture that. I dare ya. It involves Aidan's wearing his Batman mask/cape that he's going to wear for Halloween, and then running through the house (so his cape flies up in the air), hands on hips and moving his hips in circles as he runs. It's maybe the funniest/best dance EVER.
I have to get video of it, because he'll never believe when he's older that he came up with this when he was little! What an awesome kid.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
As I was checking out, the cashier asked me if I had a frequent buyer card, and I said that I didn't have one because I don't do a lot of sports-like things. I got to thinking that probably I'll be needing more and more sports paraphenalia here soon. I may become a frequent buyer. Oh dear. The boy may soon figure out how unprepared I am (literally, not figuratively) for the world of sports. Piano lessons? Got you covered! Theater or choir? Ready to help! Language? Sure. Sports? I've got nothing. Been flying under the radar with that to date, but for how much longer?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
We've tried about everything, and it's clear that we've erred in waiting 3 1/2 years to try and get him to eat the same thing we do. I see the error of my ways, but it seems too late. We now are trying something new in which he gets a small serving of what we eat and must have some of that before he can have what he'd like to have. It's kind of working except that it takes about an hour and a half for dinner. By the time I'm finished beg, borrow and stealing to get him to try something (not liver and onions or something - last night it was homemade spaghetti sauce), I've about had it. I keep thinking it has to get easier, though.
At my biggest client, several people have kids about Aidan's age. It appears that none of them eats without coersion, which is a little bit comforting. However, I'll feel much better when this stage passes.
Fear of lifelong baldness in a very odd pattern, namely most of the front of his head, has caused us to take action. Thursday we took him to Cookie Cutters and got him a buzz cut. I was worried that I'd be upset, but honestly, once I got over how big the actual thin spot was, he looks adorable. His eyes look huge. Well, they are huge, but it really shows with short hair.
He's told me several times that he needs to keep ("peek") trying to pull his hair, but he can't because it's short. He likes it; we talked it up and he agrees that he looks cool. He doesn't want it to grow back long, which is good. One fewer epic battle, that. I'm hopeful that it'll start growing back in noticeably (or unnoticeably, depending on how you look at it) by Christmastime. It could happen.
Funk Break has expanded to my living room. I've finally joined the iTune generation, and have been very much enjoying downloading some of my favorite songs. Aidan and I put on some oldies but goodies and dance our patoots off before bedtime, getting ready to crash for the evening. Aidan's dances are pretty awesome - many involve lots of hip action, some have pointing, some have locked hands. It makes me so happy to hear him singing Michael Jackson circa Off the Wall or Shake Your Booty. I'm not sure how long it will be until such songs are very uncool, not to mention Funk Breaks not being cool, but I'll take it for as long as I can.
Continuing swim lessons. After one and a half introductory Red Cross set of lessons and five (yes, five) sessions of beginning lessons at a swim facility, he has graduated to Level II. Here he'll be in Addison's class, which is also very exciting. Steven asked whether this means that if he fell into the pool he'd be able to swim back to the side to safety. Um, no. Not at all. But it does mean that he'll put his head in the water without a battle of wills, which is a great first step to not panicking should such a fall occur. I think we're on the right road.
Monday, August 30, 2010
"I think maybe it's a present for someone who needs it." Touche.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Clearly, I struggle with where and who I am. I've kind of assumed it had to do with being a new mom, focus necessarily and happily away from myself, at the same time that my body and face have started to change pretty noticeably (to me, anyway). She strikes a chord; I'm wondering whether she's not entirely off kilter.
I've ordered her book but not read it yet, so I can't say whether I agree or not. I am pondering, though, what I was that I miss, and who I might be that I've not yet discovered. It definitely feels like a time of transition, but from where to where?
Formerly interesting? Maybe not, but likely Formerly Doing more Interesting Things
Formerly pretty? Kinda.
Formerly busy? Nope; got busy covered.
Formerly into the arts? Well, I was formerly more involved myself, but now more able to afford to patronize them and with a hubby who loves it too.
Formerly getting together with friends a lot? Definitely. Working on that one.
Formerly a window shopper? Yup. Seems unfair that at the time that I might be able to afford to shop at all I don't have the time, and my body looks good in approximately nothing that I like or would've liked.
Formerly jealous? Probably more accurately, formerly more insecure. Happy to let that one go.
Formerly using different evaluation criteria? Yup - on all sorts of things.
Formerly too critical of myself and others too? Working on that one too. It stings.
Currently feeling in transition.
Currently working out the best way not to lose precious time.
Currently involved in the never-ending process of finding balance.
Currently very interested in being grateful and giving back. In the beginning stages here.
Currently changing the way I eat to match this new post-40 nonexistent metabolism.
Currently struggling between motivation to get in shape and trying to let go of caring about my shape to focus on health.
Currently wishing my husband didn't have to work so much, but knowing that his success leads to good things for my family and my retirement. Connundrum.
Currently enjoying a hilarious three-year-old.
Currently able to cook a little more.
Currently better at letting people be who and where they are.
Currently still me.
Future still me. Keeping several of the currentlyies and building on them.
Future more involved in the community. The beginning of today will have sprouted.
Future soccer mom. Excited to see where Aidan's interests take us.
Future traveling more where we don't have to plan around an afternoon nap.
Future at peace with my face/body. Hey - a girl can dream.
Future interesting girl again. Doing things - maybe back in ballet class, taking a cooking class, etc.
Monday, August 16, 2010
In the midst of some tough battles about whether or not Aidan needs to listen to what we say (and not hit us or shriek at us or refuse or simply pretend he can't see us) it's pretty refreshing for someone to wish for what I'm struggling with. She spoke of the wonderful qualities that a strong-willed child brings and what an asset it can be, well-guided. Interesting.
I realize that his future is not solely based upon what I say and do, but I also know that I'm responsible for so much. I want everything for him - he's beautiful, smart, creative, funny, self-assured, bright-eyed. He's so much; Steven and I keep saying that if he doesn't turn out well, it's not his fault. I want him to feel good about himself and what he can do. I want him to be the best him. I need a way for him to understand that he needs to listen for safety's, if no other, sake. I want him to be respectful both of people and of danger of all sorts. How to balance that with his still feeling good about himself and not being fearful, while also being creative, unafraid of throwing out ideas? Therein lies the challenge. I'm really excited to get to know her and get some good ideas from her.
In the meanwhile, his new teacher's got just what she's looking for.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
I can't say when it happened, but at some point I noticed that I wasn't really having nightmares anymore; pretty great revelation. When we got engaged, I would dream that I was awful to Steven and he had to leave me. Not cool, but not really frightening, especially when he was often so near that I could see it wasn't real. When I was pregnant, I had very vivid dreams, in many of which I was screwing up either with the yet-unknown Aidan or with Steven. I remember one in which I was bad to Steven and so he left me with a blonde, unattractive little girl. Woe is me. There was another in which I had the baby (a girl - always a girl) but would forget and leave her in her carseat in different places. I couldn't figure out what to feed her and tried french fries, and when someone asked me her name, I had no idea. Terrible mother. Not really frightening or scary, though. Kind of funny, even in the half-asleep moment.
In the couple of weeks I've been up two full nights with nightmares. We saw a story about a high school coach who was clearly a wonderful man and family man. The short version is that after teaching 35+ years, a former student who was schizophrenic walked up during practice, shot him in the head and killed him. That night, I had vivid nightmares of someone walking up and shooting Steven in the head, the same nightmare with the same images again and again as I woke and fell back to sleep. I won't go through the details, but I held him and watched him go.
I knew that my dear friend Joe's passing was hitting close to home, but didn't realize how close until I was up all night with nightmares last night that Steven was dying.
Both times, he was right next to me in bed, and I could see that he was fine. However, I couldn't shake them. I have no idea what's bringing these back, but I can't help that think it's because I have so much to lose now. My boys are the most beautiful thing in the world, and it turns out that losing them is, quite literally, my worst nightmare.
His latest is that he doesn't want to go to bed, and if he does, not in his own bed. Not at all. Not. At. All. He discovered at my mom's about a week and a half ago that, since his potty training, a great way to get out of bed is to have to go potty. Between this, asking for things, asking questions and such, he gets up every 2-5 minutes for one to two hours each night when we put him down. No amount to beg, borrow or steal will get him to stay in the bed; he just walks out and comes down the stairs as quietly as possible so as to get far before he's discovered.
It's not like it works. Consistently, every single time, we put him back in bed and talk to him about staying in bed. He's got his dad's persistence, though, certainly.
Steven was out of town at the end of last week, and it lasted 1 1/2 hours one evening and 2 hours the next. I'd wake up in the morning, and he'd be laying next to me. I asked him, "Aidan - how'd you get in my bed?" "I just crawled in." He learned that if he waits until I go to sleep and then doesn't ask, I can't say no. Daddy came home Friday night, and so the other side of the bed was taken.
After my two-hour battle to get him down, we kissed him goodnight as we went to bed. A couple of times in the night I woke up because a little man was standing next to the bed asking to get in. I'd tell him no and put him back in bed. Woke up again and thought I was losing my mind. I could swear I heard him breathing, but he was nowhere to be seen. I got up and looked, and he was curled up under a blanket on the rug at the foot of our bed. Sweet, but no go. Same routine - put him back in, kissed him and talked about staying in bed. Woke up in the morning, back on the floor in our room. Come. On.
Talked about it in the car on the way to school, and told him it was important he stayed in his own bed tonight. He said, "No, I won't." I told him that he needed to, and that I'd put him back in bed if he got out. "You won't know, Mommy - you'll be asleep." The little stinker knows exactly what he's doing.
It's been a battle (of course, not for my parents - he stayed at their house Saturday night and was "angelic"), but last night he slept in his own bed. However, we may have a new challenge: Steven was reading to him before bed tonight, and it was taking much longer than usual. I went upstairs to check on them, and the two of them are curled up together in Aidan's single bed, sleeping like angels. Wish I could take a picture, but I know it would wake them up. I love those boys.
So, to be fair, the kid was right. Humble? Not so much.
We and the Brookes (I refer to my sibs' families that way - the Bretts & the Brookes) took Aidan and Audrey to the Jazz & Ribs Fest last weekend, which was lots of fun. Our fave Columbus Jazz Orchestra closed the show. He was so proud to be able to help her sit up and take care of her; you can see how much he loves her.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
As much as he'll be missed, though, my heart is absolutely broken for his wife and kids, young enough to be scared and not old enough really to understand. Hell, it seems that I'm not old enough to understand. It's unthinkable.
He passed with his family sitting with him, singing to him. Bless them all. I hope they find peace in how much he knew he was loved by them and his friends, and I hope they feel held by the love that eminated from him. I'm trying to be grateful that he lived to see the birth of his son when they thought he wouldn't, and that his family did get some wonderful time together, including memories on the beach at Hilton Head. What a small consolation, but at least he got to say goodbye and hear all of his friends' goodbyes too. He knew we loved him.
It's still just unthinkable.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Sometimes the cutest things happen when I'm not around.
Aidan went to Grammie & Poppie's house, and Audrey was there too. He insisted on reading to her before he went to bed, and apparently was very detailed. He read every page of several books to her (in his own way), explaining as he went. He'd read it, then hold it up in the air and say, "Look up here, Audrey!" She needed the whole experience. My understanding is that he was extremely loving, sprinkling kisses on her head as he went. Yummy boy.
(to the bank teller) "Wow! Look at your package! It's green like the green goblin!" (I believe he meant necktie, as the gentleman's necktie was, in fact, green. I think he's been trying to figure out what a package is, because he also told me on the way home that he hurt his finger on his package, when he meant something in or around his carseat. Things with straps or that tie, maybe?)
(on wearing some of Diego's hand-me-down jammies) "Oh, Golly! It was so, so nice of Diego to give me these racecar jammies!"
"Daddy married Amber. Mommy married Steve. (with gread sadness,) I am not married."
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Walked over to see him, and he was just in pieces. I look, and he's got an icepack held to his head. His teacher, Cheryl, told me that he'd fallen and was crying, and she asked him right away where he hit, and he pointed to the same eye. By the time she could get a look at it, it was swollen again. Went down faster the second time, thankfully. I'm also thankful that the second one was at school. I'm wondering whether they'd have been concerned about me had it happened at home again.
Since then it's happened one other time, but the swelling only lasted a couple of hours. I'm hopeful that we're finished with that now.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
"Mommy come here. Mommy! I need to tell you something." I lift him up, he leans into my ear and whispers, "I love you."
"Mommy, you're my friend. I think you're my best friend. You're my best friend and Daddy."
"Mommy, you love me in the whole world." (I'm guessing from "We love you more than anything in the world," or "You're my favorite boy in the whole world.")
"Aidan, why do I love you so much?" (Whispering, he replies) "Forever."
He hears me.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
My child will not - WILL NOT - do something he doesn't want to do. He doesn't care what the crowd's doing, what the group is doing, what the class is doing, what his friends are doing. If it seems like a good idea to him, then fine, but if not, no go. I think this will be a great asset when he's maybe a little less susceptible to peer pressure (though I'm not convinced it will be that way), but right now it can be a challenge.
We just spent a week in Mexico going to the pool every day. One might think that his swimming would improve, especially in the light of recent swim lessons. Nope. Not even a little. The child still won't jump into a pool, float on his back, get his head wet. We tried everything - encouragement, cajoling, a little bit sterm, making a game of it, bribery and thinly-veiled threats. That kid just isn't going to do something he doesn't want to do, and if you try to force it, you lose ground; you don't gain any. Your only hope is to make him think it was his idea, but that's no easy feat either.
'Sgonna be a handful.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"He's nice, Aidan. Ariel doesn't follow his rules, and he wants to keep her safe."
"Why he thinks she isn't safe?"
"He thinks it's dangerous out of the water."
"Ariel doesn't think so. He should listen to her words."
"Mommy, why Ursula is not nice?"
"Why do you think, Aidan?"
"Maybe somebody pushed her and she didn't like that."
"Ursula is not nice. She should say sorry and listen to her mommy. Maybe she needs to sit on the stairs."
"Why King Triton breaks Ariel's office?
She didn't listen to his rules. She needs to follow her daddy's rules.
He shouldn't break her things, though, Mommy - that's not nice."
The amount of pondering on The Little Mermaid is pretty impressive.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Two days ago a certain little man went potty five times. Five times in one day. Five Spidey stickers, five candies, five times. Five! Yesterday we went out and got some big-boy underwear that he picked out and is super excited about. Awesome. Progress! He even wore them for awhile with no dipe or pull-up, knowing that meant he couldn't go unless he went in the potty. He did it. Dry overnight, again.
Today, not once. Not one time. Nada.
His only problem is that he marches so much to the beat of his own drummer that he has trouble listening at times. If he doesn't want to try something, "I'm not ready." If he's having fun, no amount of reminds from an instructor (or me) will get him to stop taking off with his noodle across the pool.
However, the reason that I'm going to have to embarrass him as a teenager happened after class: We were going to visit a friend and her new baby after class, so to hasten our changing after class, instead of taking him to the lockerroom, I had him hold his towel around him while I changed him. Don't be worried - there were maybe two people in the whole facility, and neither of them was paying a lick of attention to us. Good thing. Just as I was about to replace his diaper, he very theatrically (don't know where he gets that) threw his arms (and towel) open, yelling, "Surprise!......Happy Birthday!" at the top of his lungs. In all his glory.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
He is, as I type, standing on an exercise bike that I should be riding giving a diatribe about a myriad of subjects. They are, as you can see, both interesting and varied. That might be my favorite quote of the whole thing, though.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The other day when we were riding bikes, Aidan was asking what Daddy does at work. After a little struggle of explaining a tax accountant to a person who really doesn't understand even what money is, I landed on, "He helps people with their money." He liked that; being very into heroes, it struck a chord with him. He told his grandma on the phone, "Daddy helps people - he helps with their money." Perfect.
Today at school we were talking to one of the teachers about what her daddy does (policeman - very cool). I asked Aidan to tell her what his daddy does. "Everything." I asked again. "Everything." I knew he had "helps people with their money" in his pocket, so I asked one more time. "Everything. Everything! Are you hearing my words? Everything."
So we did. Last night we went to the second lesson, Spidey goggles in hand (they work fashionably for many occasions). Lesson is a half hour long. It took my child 15 minutes to join the class. He didn't want to. He wanted to watch his friends. Ugh. Got a little better throughout the lesson, and by the end he didn't want to leave. Figures. It does make me glad, though, that we're doing these lessons - obviously, they're needed.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Then yesterday, as I was pedaling him home from the park pulling his chariot behind me (even he calls it that now), he was talking to his grandma on my cell phone. Out of nowhere I hear, "Oh my gosh!" I've never heard him say that before, and it kind of struck me funny. Sadly, I was terribly out of breath pedaling after a weekend of working in the garden and couldn't really laugh like I wanted to. I digress. Over the next several blocks, I heard him say it several more times. Odd. Then I heard, "Mommy, what does, 'Oh my gosh' mean?" I asked him, "What do you think it means?" "I think it means riding bikes." I told him it was more like, "Wow!" "Oh." Back to conversation with Grandma as though it never happened.
This morning, as we drove to school, Aidan yelled to no one in particular, "Oh my gosh!" Again, "Mommy, what does, 'Oh my gosh' mean?" Again, "What do you think it means?" "I think it means, 'Oh, what a beautiful morning!'" I told him it could mean that, but it was really a little more like a Wow! "No, Mommy; it means, 'Oh, what a beautiful morning!'" Seriously? Oh, what a beautiful morning? I was thrown enough at the, "Oh my gosh!" much less the "Oh, what a beautiful morning!"
Who is this kid? Is this how we roll now?
Saturday, April 10, 2010
We have some very fun things planned here right quick, to spend time together as a family, so if we can just make it a few days more, all will be well.
Monday, March 29, 2010
We started tonight. We went to the pool tonight, just the two of us. We played, baby steps to get ready for lessons. He will easily jump in the pool to me from sitting, and a little less frequently jump in from standing. If I support him, he'll lean on a kickboard and kick, though his forward progression isn't quick. He was very excited, wanting to try different games and different equipment to see how they worked. We went in the shallow end for the most part, but I kicked him on a little boat from one end to the other. We made waves and splashes, and we had a blast! I'm hoping that it's enough that we're ready in time for his class to start. We'll be going to the pool as much as we can fit in between now and go-time. Can't wait!!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Well, Nona got a ToysRUs gift card, so we went, armed, yesterday to find some toy in existence that he didn't already have. Quite a challenge! We found the section with Imaginext, and heavens! What a find! There are sets that have to do with a pirate ship, the jungle, the Batcave, and a castle with knights. After much deliberation, we came home with a fabulous castle, a big dragon, and a griffin. I'm really excited about these playsets, as is Aidan; took us at least 1/2 hour to choose. Seems fun that there are inexpensive accessories that can go with all of the sets, too. So, we're now a house full of knights, armor, dragons. It's a magical place in my living room, even more than ususal.
Regarding birthdays, I have mixed feelings about a party such as we did at Magic Mountain. I grew up with parties at home, often outside (September birthday), but in our little house in the wintertime, a party at home for more than one or two kids is difficult at best. Magic Mountain seemed like the perfect solution - they even had a Spiderman-themed party, and Spiderman ("my hero") is a trump card sure to make any venture a success. However, when we got there, the "room" we'd rented was actually one row of a larger room that was very crowded. There was hardly room for parents to help their toddlers eat lunch. They were also very much a "turn and burn" operation, where we were informed even before the start of our party that we had less than an hour to vacate our "room." That said, the kids all seemed to have a great time, and they did a decent job of assisting with passing out food, making wrapping paper disappear and such. As a hostess, I was a little harried and frazzled throughout, but I kept thinking, "thank heaven this isn't happening in my house." We're hoping to have a bigger house by Aidan's fourth birthday, in which case I'll likely be braver and do a "normal" party at home. Or maybe I'll find a place that's a little less crazy to have it.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
*She knows I love her.
"Aidan? Three birthday parties? That's crazy!"
"That's not crazy, Mommy - it's perfect!"
(Let it be known that it's really one party and two tangents - one at school and one with family.)
Friday, March 5, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Honestly, it's amazing to see my baby sister as a mom and see her fall into it so naturally. What a gift!
Aidan has been horribly afraid of any type of mascot or costume for quite some time now. My sister is convinced that it's her fault due to an unfortunate costume store excursion and his continuing questions about whether they have to go back to the costume store, but I understand that it's very common at this age. I think to excrusion was a coincidence.
We had a slight turning point when, a few weeks ago, Brutus the Buckeye showed up at his gym class. At the beginning, Aidan was extremely wary and not at all interested in interacting. He told Daddy that "I don't like Brutus; he's not a nice guy." However, after watching Brutus stand on his head, play with other kids and be all-around charming, he had an epiphany. About three minutes before Brutus left, Aidan yelled, "I like him now! He is a nice guy!" Ever since, he's been talking about Brutus.
Yesterday, at Disney on Ice, Aidan was not at all scared. He didn't try to run from the room (as he did at Sesame Street Live), and he didn't cry or hide his face. In fact, he was excited about it, clapping, singing, waving at the characters, and asking whether we could skate with Mickey. I hate to get my hopes up, but I believe this may mean we're turning the corner. Fingers crossed....
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I'm planning. I'm planning a trip and things I want to accomplish, as well as planning little projects and such with my boy. I'm planning get-togethers with friends instead of wondering when I might see them. I'm starting to be able to give more, of myself. I'm beginning to work on a committee for a new venture related to the United Way in my city. I believe I'll be able to start volunteering at the local children's hospital soon, if only I can pass the FBI background check. Fingers crossed.
I'm not sure what brings this on, but maybe it's something to do with the restoration of balance. I would love to spend every second with my boy(s), but I'm starting to be able to back up a little and do things for me too, or someone else. I've been able to cook for my sister to help out, when not too long ago cooking at all seemed a distant reach. I've been reading much more for fun, and am starting a book club with a neighbor.
It's a little of everything. It's good. I recognize this, and it's good.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I also just read The Wednesday Sisters, another book club book. I love book club! The sense of true friendship shown there, through thick, thin and growth is wonderful. It shows the best in friendships among women, even when we're not exactly at our best. Can't wait to read the next couple of books. It's February 14, and I'm ready to start the June book. Hee hee!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Any Spidey devotee knows that web swinging is an essential skill. My little superhero swings through the house often. Today he found a new gizmo to help him in lieu of "real" webs, a pink (his favorite color) plastic hanger. A hanger has a hook on it....
Friday, February 5, 2010
I've been thinking about how weight is such a struggle in one way or another. Aside from pregnancy, on my adult frame my weight has ranged from about 95 to about 145, and at very few points anywhere on that scale have I been happy with my body. Okay, at none. That's asinine! I've seen photos where I can see now that I looked dang near perfect - how could that not have been enough for me? Why am I still, in my forties, struggling with what I look like? More importantly, who cares what I look like? Honestly, who does? Who cares if I'm a couple of pounds heavy (which is what I've thought I was at all of those 50-pound range of weights)? Nobody. Why can't I drop it? It's one step forward, not two back, but maybe one back. Slow progress.
Along those lines, what's with changing faces? I think that I look at least a couple of years younger than I am, but even if I didn't - who cares? Who cares whether I look 20 or 60? Why do I care? Why should I?
Men. Through many years of being single, I made what I thought were good choices along the way, but looking back it's clear that I tried time and time again to force square pegs into round holes, and/or trying to change myself to be acceptable. Tried to be perfect, interesting, and assumed that if something didn't go right, it must be something wrong with me, not just not a fit. Square pegs don't go in round holes - they just don't!
And then, as a mother, so many women seem to struggle, aside from all these other issues, with losing their own identities in a way that doesn't seem to affect men. Our whole being changes when we become mothers - our bodies are unrecognizable, and our priorities are so different. I'm happy to have different priorities - I love these priorities, and I'm grateful for them. When I think about things that happened a decade ago, it seems like another lifetime or someone else's experience. It's not that I don't like who I am, it's that I don't really recongize myself. Is there such thing as a happy struggle? I want to be the best version of myself, but I don't always hold up to it. Keep trying.
Monday, February 1, 2010
First, our "nice" TV - the one that, instead of getting a flatscreen, we built into a wall so as not to take up as much space - is on the fritz. My brilliant husband has figured out that, if you unplug it overnight, it will work for a period of time the next day. This is extremely handy.
Second, as I mentioned before, our brand new Wii died. Naturally, you can't just take a new, dead Wii back and get a new one - you must send it out for repairs. Got it back, and guess what? Same issue. They were unable to find anything wrong with it, but magically, at our house, no go. Luckily, I've found a way around its "feature." Cool feature, too - the screen goes blank white at random times with no discernable pattern.
Finally, as noted in my vindication of Sucker Punch, I bought my son a new CD player. Never mind that the old one died; the new one also isn't quite right. Seriously? How much more simple can electronics be than a CD player?
What's going on around here?
Got it back at the end of last week, and, once I got it set up again, I'm having lots of fun with it. Steven can't understand why I'm motivated by Bob Harper (Biggest Loser trainer) when we had an exercise bike in the basement the whole time. I can't either, but I am. Wasn't even a little bit tempted by that bike.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The first is from a group of instructors who worked for me until December. I have been the lead instructor for a CPA Exam review course for over 5 years. It's been really fun, and I very much enjoyed it as well as teaching. I have done many speaking engagements to promote the profession in my career, and many to promote the profession and the review course (and review courses in general) in that role. I love connecting with the students, and I love watching the lights come on, so to speak.
Over the last year, it's become clear to me that teaching evenings and weekends is tough with a family, especially with a husband who works a lot and has a not-very-flexible schedule. Reluctantly, I resigned. I got a note from my sucessor that one of my instructors wanted to put together a thank-you dinner. Knowing why I resigned, and knowing that these people also have families they'd rather be home with, I was amazed when I got there and every one of them was there. The marketing guru that I've worked with for the last three years was also there, thank-you gift in hand.
It was wonderful to see everyone, but what a compliment that they thought enough of me to get together, buy me dinner, and say thank you. I really was very touched.
The second is somewhat related. Through the CPA Exam review course I began teaching the CPA-related parts of a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Exam review course several years ago.* I taught that course last year at a nearby university, not as University faculty, but for the course itself. Several of those students, unbeknownst to me, went to the chair of their department and asked him to hire me to teach for the university. Wow. Anyway, I found out about it when I got an e-mail asking me to teach financial statement analysis this spring. Wow. I would really love to teach college students - it's kind of a dream of mine.
I don't think I'll be able to take advantage of the opportunity right now; the time required to prepare for 10 original, three-hour classes with midterm and final, and probably some projects and papers, is a little much for me right now, given said husband's busy season right now. I'm really hoping that I'm able to do something like this when I "retire" and Aidan's a little bit older. Then I could teach during the day and devote the kind of time students deserve. The review courses that I teach have prepared material - I probably spend 6-10 hours preparing for each 3-4 hour session, so I can only imagine the time needed for original material. Especially given that it'd be my first time through; that 6-10 hours turns into 1 or so to review when I've taught that particular session before, but this would be a maiden voyage.
Still, what an incredible compliment. I feel very lucky.
*I know - you're wondering why I have all the fun and you don't. Honestly, you're welcome to sit in anytime. I'm still teaching a few CFA review sessions each year.
On Saturday my sister and I went to BabiesRUs to register for her upcoming shower, and the woman helping her looked at me and said, "You're the grandmother, of course." I said, with what my sister says was a horrified look, "No, I'm her sister." This wasn't enough to deter the woman from further comment - "How many years are there between you two anyway?" was her next incredulous question. "Ten." Okay, enough for now, but not for long. A few minutes later, she commented that, of course my kids would all be grown and gone by now as she spoke of some new gadget that I wouldn't know about. I said, "No, he's two." "Really?" Yes, really.
My lovely sister just kept muttering under her breath, "I'm so sorry." Later she claimed that the woman was clearly developmentally challenged based on a couple criteria that I can't argue with too vehemently:
- Having clearly shaken me, she did not know to change the subject.
- Being in the service industry, she didn't have the foresight to butter up the customer. (What mother, whether plausible or not, wouldn't love to be asked if she were a sister?)
I should point out that the resemblance between us really is striking. People must know we're related. I should also point out that my sister could probably pass for about 20. She still finds this annoying, especially now that people glare at her belly thinking that she's way too young (not that it would be up to them), but I've told her repeatedly that it's a blessing.
Could I have a 20-year-old daughter? Sure. Could my son be my grandson? Sure. Could I have a 31-year-old daughter? Um, no. Ew.
I've had very slight vindication. Tuesday I stopped, on my way to book club, to pick up a new CD player for his majesty (someone I know is becoming more demanding), who likes to listen to music as he goes to sleep. As the gentleman was checking my ID with my credit card, he started to pull it away to see it. This gentleman was easily 15 years older than me, so I said, "Yes - once you turn 40, you need more light and longer arms, right?" Another woman, probably a little younger than me, got kind of salty. She said, "What do you know about it? What are you - 32?" I told her that she had no idea what she'd just done for me and that, in return, I would refrain from kissing her. I did, but just barely.