Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Countering your Zen

Several weeks ago I made a trip to World Gym, the only gym worth going to (in my area) if you are a mom, and signed myself right up! Several locations! Tanning! Classes! Pool! Kid's program! FREE CHILDCARE. And that is the best, right there. Seriously, I can make my way to the gym as many times a week as I like, leave the kids in good hands and exercise with other adults, tan and take a shower all without yelling, 'WHO IS BANGING??" It is possibly one of the best investments I have ever made in my life.

Tuesday and Thursday I go to yoga (assuming the kids are healthy and have clean clothes to wear) and contort myself into the most delicious poses. I am rediscovering my flexibility and strength and I feel so alive! But I am, in fact, a yoga n00b and feel a little self conscious about unwritten yoga etiquette. Everyone is so focused and limber. And I just don't want to screw it up!

Something my husband and I have talked about it the fear in the unknown. How when you talk about those fears, you take away their powers. Today, I took away the powers of one fear and possibly created another. There is a pose that involves getting into a squatting position, placing your hands on the floor in front of you and resting your knees on your elbows. Then, then, you lift your feet off the ground and balance on your arms. Of course I could do this when I was six. Very simple. But sometime between six and the age I am now (oh-ho! you thought I would let that little secret?) I have grown a couple of feet worth of legs. Lots and lots of leg. So this is not so easy anymore.

Today I was pushing myself a little more to try the poses I have, in the past, shied away from due to the extreme chance that I would fall on my head. Today I felt so alive and so strong! I balanced! And I pulled my feet off the ground! And it was exhilarating! But mostly because I fell on my head. Loudly. Very thumpy falling. And then I laughed. Everyone was still, focused on this position, breathing, gaze to someplace tranquil and then an elephant hurtled to the floor and lol'd.

I am simply grateful they didn't kick me out or worse, talk to me after and tell me it was okay. Everyone pretty much pretended it didn't happen. Much like farting in polite company.

Not that I have ever done that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Death by Christmas

I have always loved Christmas. But then I was always the supporting role. The one who helped set up the tree and decorations and then helped take it down. Helped with cooking. Helped with eating. Helped with shopping and then wrapping.

But not now. Now I am the mom and I am responsible for the family's Christmas Cheer. You would think that since my son is 7.5 years old that I would be used to this but really we haven't had a "normal" year, ever. Not a single year where it is just us and the kid(s). Where we aren't expected to make people happy or people aren't visiting or we aren't traveling *shudders*. This would be, in fact, our first real Christmas as a family. And if I had my way, there would be no trees and just some yummy cookies and gifts (because those are easy! and fun!).

How does one get to the point where they are wondering what the very smallest number of days is required for the Christmas tree? I don't even want to pull out my Christmas music and that is weird. Once upon a time my husband actually had to make a rule that I wasn't allowed to pull out the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Christmas cards? Count yourself lucky if you get one from me because Scrooge has taken over, my friend! Once I was little like Walmart: Christmas was fair game after Halloween (well, I did have the common decency to wait for Thanksgiving but it was not a patient wait).

I could argue that now, since I am responsible for EVERYTHING, I am feeling overwhelmed. But I think that would be a cop-out. I think mostly I just want summer back and so I am protesting the season. Ice? Freezing rain? lumpy jackets? The only good things about cold weather are: fires in the fireplace (they are less fun out of the fireplace), sweaters (the soft ones, not those scratchy torture devices) and scarves (my new love). Other than that? Okay, maybe snow. I will concede on that one. But other than THAT? blech.

With ALLLLLL of that in mind I have made a decision: Christmas will not be about the lights, gifts and pleasing people. It will be about the time I get my family all to myself. It will be about watching the kids' wonder at the lighted tree. It will be about the bounty, abilities and grace we are blessed with. And it may, in fact, include a vast number of cookies.

Monday, December 8, 2008

After each meal....

You know how when you were a kid you would go into the bathroom and suck the bubble gum flavored toothpaste off your toothbrush and call it done? I miss those days.

When I was a teenager, I was an adamant 2+ a day brusher. No less and more if there was a social engagement. I stayed this way until I was preggers with #1. Then, every time I put that toothbrush in my mouth, I would gag my way through my hygiene ritual. I was so confident about everything in that pregnancy, that I knew the reflex would go back to its old abilities. And you know what? It did!

Then I had baby #2.

My gag reflex went berserk again and I soldiered through it but this time, everything was different. I was having a girl, I was much smaller and I actually had weird pregnancy aversions. Like bread grossed me out hardcore. And some of those weird pregnancy things stayed (fear not, I devour bread again).

Needless to say, I don't like to brush as often. I still aim for 2 times a day, but there are times when my husband will ask, "Um, aren't you going to brush your teeth before we go to sleep?" And I seriously have to weigh the consequences. Because gagging for 2 minutes is really no fun.

Maybe I should just go brush with the kids. They have this Fruit Punch flavored toothpaste that smells so tasty!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Flow it, show it

Ever since I moved to Northwest Arkansas, I have had the worst problems with dry skin. You would think that since I was born and raised in Las Vegas (an honest to goodness desert) a nice humid place like the Ozarks would be so refreshing. Like lotion in the air. Yet every winter my knuckles crack and bleed, my hands look like I am shedding my reptilian skin and my scalp goes itchy. The itchy factor isn't like, "Ooo! Little itch!". It is more like, "DEAR GOD! IS THERE A COLONY OF LICE UP THERE???" And every year I have someone check, just to be sure. And every year some smart aleck says, "Do you think you have dandruff?" To which I scoff, turn to the uninspired observer and commence killing them with my eyes. Tragically, I have lost a couple of good hair checkers to this ability.

I don't have any flakes. I just have a very dry scalp. Dandruff by (my) definition is the presence of skin flakes in your hair due to dryness. And it is that last part that made me look closer. I have always believed that basic dandruff people have dry scalps and their heads are more resembling a desert with dunes,
in that there is all this loose sand and when the wind blows you go, "AUGH! SAND IN MY EYES!"

Whereas my head is dry but there is absolutely nothing to blow around. More like the dry cracked desert
with it's dead, life sucking neediness. It is surprising the me that my head even supports hair.

It finally hit me that they are, in fact, both deserts. Huh. So maybe you would just say, I have desert head and should do what all other people with desert head do. Plus, on the commercials they are always so pretty and seem so happy. This leads me to believe that, really, I can't go wrong!

With this uplifting new attitude, I went and bought me some fancy Head and Shoulders (that does NOT smell like a nursing home!) and now I am itch free, gorgeous, and making millions. You should try it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Castle of Now

Once upon a time, there was a girl who found true love. And soon, as the song foretold (that K-I-S-S-I-N-G song), a baby was on the way. "Hmmm," she thought, "this isn't what I had planned, but sure! Let's do it!"

What resulted from that baby (a strapping boy) can only be described as "Life". Because life has a way of getting in the way, if you look at it wrong. It has been 7.5 years since that girl gave birth to that strapping boy. She doesn't call herself a girl anymore (though she still talks to herself) but sees that she is a woman traveling on this amazing Journey with the best people in the world! The original hubby and son have been joined with a (surprise!) daughter, now 2.5 years old (oh, and a dog, but whatevs).

Part of the Journey is to find ways to love the life she has. The bonus is that she loves to share! Usually too much sharing! And pictures! And videos! And stories! And helpful advice because she totally is pushy!

And so the woman decided to take the internet by storm and share. Just in case there are other people out there who love their families and homes yet refuse to lose themselves. Plus, her therapist said it would be a healthy outlet (I kid! I can't afford a therapist, silly!).