Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not the real me

This week's topic is to create an outline of a character for a fiction story that is based on you.  Dang it, I had it in my head that it was a fictional story of your life.  I was going to be freakin' awesome.  Like super nice and down to earth, really pretty, rich, amazing athlete, perfect mother, amazing house was clean all the time and never pissed itself (that's right, I haven't told you all in blog land about how my house pissed itself... putting it on the to do list), kids are well behaved, etc.

But, since the character is supposed to be loosely based on me, I guess I have to walk past that concept.  Still, this character is going to have a house that does not piss itself.  It is still fiction, and it is bad enough that real me has a house that pisses itself, fictional me does not need that.

Ok, so our character lives in a nice suburban community in a house that does not, would not, can not ever piss itself. 

She has three kids.  One of these kids has some behavior issues that she helps him work through.  She gets to deal with lots and lots of issues with the school and various teachers.  It is always the highlight of her day to get an email about something that he did.  But, she is always secretly impressed with the type of mayhem he comes up with.  This kid never comes up with your garden variety of trouble.  No, it is always new and creative, such as being the Don of an illegal homework pass operation. 

The other kids are active into sports and what not.  They do well in school and generally don't give her too hard a time.  There is garden variety mayhem with the younger kids.

There is a dog.  The dog tends to eat everything on the counter and chase people out of the house.  At least people that don't live there.  So, there is always a certain amount of unexpected comedic chaos as it relates to the dog.  Dog does things like getting picked up by the cops and hauled to doggie prison.  Barks incessantly at the HOA President and things like that.

Our character attempts to be fit.  But, really, with three kids and the dog, it is hard to fit it all in sometimes.  She secretly dreams of running a marathon, but isn't sure her old tired body can actually do that.  But, hey, she can do a 5k and for now, that is good enough.  She is freaky strong though. 

Her ride is a mini-van that is so full of crumbs and kid mess that you could probably live in it comfortably for a week and not starve.  Assuming you could get past the fact that you are eating crumbs from the floor of the mini-van.  There is a Barney DVD that has been jammed in the CD player for three years.

There is always a lost library book, forgotten spelling words, dinner that burns and other sorts of out of control activity.  She tries really hard to get on top of it, but can't and really regrets that she stopped drinking wine.  Oh, and she is in the running for the crown of worst mom of the year.  So, when her kids yell at her and tell her she is the worst mom, she can say with full honesty, "Yes dear, I know.  I have the crown."

She has a pretty good sense of humor about it all and doesn't seem to mind that her style is an austerity special, jeans from goodwill, a sweater that is 15 years old and a Tee from Target.  Oh, and her husband is Mark Harmon.

I think there would be a tone of exhausted chaos around her, but at the end of the day, everyone has a good time.

Want to read about the other characters?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Giving up baby

Recently, a 19 year old girl walked into a fire station in the city and asked the nice firemen to take her 6 month old baby.  She said she could no longer take care of him and relinquished the child to the firemen.  From all accounts, the baby was well cared for, clean, arrived with a diaper bag loaded with necessities.  The girl did not offer up her name or identification and through tears left her child.  The police are looking for her.  I hope not to punish her.  She did the one last, most courageous, thing she could do when she finally realized she was in over her head.

Taking care of small infants is hard and thankless.  You are exhausted and alone.  There is a lot of crying, from the baby too.  While you could fault this girl for not coming to the conclusion she couldn't raise this child before she had the baby, you can not fault her for realizing she was in over her head and doing something about it.  She did not abuse the child.  She did not abandon the child in a garbage can.  She treated the child with respect and gave up her child.

40 some years ago, my mother made the same decision.  She made it before she had me.  She was 16 at the time.  Having three kids of my own, I can not imagine how hard it is to give up a baby, especially one that you have cared for for 6 months.  It is the most selfless act of kindness that has ever been bestowed upon me, and I am generally pretty lucky.  While my life is not perfect it is a darn site better than it most likely would have been being raised by a 16 year old with no money or education.

When Sam was about a year old he screamed all the time.  He did not sleep, he did not play, he did not walk, he did not talk, all he did was scream.  After dealing with this and a 3 year old by myself for most of the time (my husband traveled M-F every week), I called the Dr. and told her that unless she had some idea about how we could make him stop screaming I was going to take him to Target and leave him in a cart in the store.  He was cute, Target was in a nice neighborhood, someone would take him.  The Dr. thought that perhaps I could swing by there on my way, since I had to drive by there to get to Target anyway.  Sam got help, and he stopped screaming and now he is a lovable, adorable, sweet child.  While I don't think I ever really would have left him, I was seriously considering it.

My point is that if I, a parent with a lot of resources and support, wanted to give my child away and was overwhelmed imagine how a young woman/girl would feel.  I don't know how much support she had, but clearly not enough to handle the situation she was in.  We should not judge her decision, we should applaud it.  She did no harm to her child, she did what she thought was best.  If the authorities punish her for not making this decision sooner, then I think we need to seriously reconsider our rules.

May this young girl know that she has bestowed upon her child the one last thing she could, a chance to have parents that have the support and resources to raise her son to do something great.  I hope she does something great too.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet my peeve, named fat hater

Today's topic to to discuss our biggest pet peeve.  The idea was mine, and it was born as I was outside removing snow from my driveway.  It annoys me to NO end that I am ALWAYS the one doing the driveway.  We had a freakin' blizzard last year and I cleared the driveway with the help of Sam and our neighbor, while my husband was warm and toasty inside.  No, he is not injured.  We have a new snow blower, it is really too big for the normal amounts of snow we get, but I was over our stupid snow vacuum.  Bob put the level of the blower up, so it wouldn't crack out concrete driveway.  Sadly it also won't actually clear the freakin' snow off our driveway so I still had to shovel.  To say I was unhappy about this development would have been an understatement, so, the pet peeve idea was born.

I am not going to talk about how much I hate that my husband does not manage the snow on our driveway, except to say that if we ever divorce, the driveway will be why.  I am going to talk about trainers at the gym that are fat haters.  There I said it.  Fat haters.

It confuses me when people decide that they want to be fitness instructors and yet they also dislike fat people.  Aren't fat people the ones you want to have in your fitness classes?  Aren't fat people the ones that you want to motivate to keep coming back?  Yet, there are so many instructors that try and move the fat people along and get rid of them.  It is so annoying.  The gym I go to has a pretty good group of instructors.  There are only a few fat haters in the group.  Most of the instructors are happy to have folks show up and participate to the best of their ability.

There is one instructor in particular who is a bit obnoxious.  What ever, is what I have always said about it.  Her class is challenging and I get a good work out so I just put up with her bs.  But, at the beginning of the year she said she wanted to learn all the names of the new people that were coming.  To try and motivate them to keep coming was her premise.  She proceeded to give name tags to everyone, not just the new people.  I didn't go and get a name tag because I have been taking the class off and on for over a year.  She didn't know my name, but I figured she should have.

After she handed out tags to most people, she said "did I miss anyone."  I half heartedly raised my hand.  Another skinny chick also did the same.   She looks around the room, and says, "good, I only missed one."  I jokingly said to a friend that she must not be able to see me with my invisible work out clothes on.  She looks directly at me and says I can hear you.  She then returns to the front of the room and says that is everyone.  As the class went on, she talked about how she used to be heavy after her kids and how she just started to work out more.  That all you need to be trim like her is to work out more.  Don't get me started on that.  I ignored her.

The next week I went back.  I was running late and I ended up right in the middle.  She talked to everyone around me, but ignored me.  I then was subjected to a running commentary about how all you need to do is work out more if you want to loose weight.  But, what put me over the edge was while we were doing bicep curls, and she points to a cute thin girl in the back who was curling 12 pounds.  She calls her out as doing the most of any female in the room.  I looked down, I had a 5lb weight and an 10lb weight in my hand.  Last time I checked 5+10 was 15.  15 is more than 12.  I am female.  I guess I really do have invisible gym clothes.

I realize her point was that you can still be skinny and lift lots of weight and that I would not help her drive that point home.  But the fact remains that in spite of my weight, I am as fit or fitter than anyone in that class.  I work out 6 times a week for at least an hour.  I am not blessed with the genetic disposition to be thin.  It is not because I am lazy or because I eat donuts all day long.  But, really that shouldn't matter.  What she does in that class is hurtful and inappropriate.  I will probably take the class mostly because the time is good and it is a good work out.  I shall embrace my invisibility.

I ask anyone who is reading this who might be a trainer or want to be a trainer to realize that 1) not everyone will be thin just because they work out.  Do not over estimate the impact of working out on weight loss.  2)  Not everyone who works out even really cares about being thin.  Unless that goal is expressly communicated, don't assume.  3)  Encourage everyone, regardless of their weight or fitness level.  Everyone can improve, everyone will benefit from exercises.  It isn't just for thin folks.

Some day I may grow a set and go and talk to her about how she is perceived.  It isn't right, and it isn't ok. 

Until then, check out   Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl and see what peeves them.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Favorite Things

Today's topic for our Thursday blog project is to create a list of our favorite things, the way that Oprah does every year.

I have never really paid much attention to Oprah's list before.  But, I am going to assume that I have Oprah's budget.  Although, my audience is pretty small, so if we take an Oprah sized budget and split it amoungst the handful of us, we could make out pretty good.  I think you will get 8 things.  I like 8.  It is a good number.

1.  Merino/Cashmere/Nylon yarn, in a variety of colorways and dyers.  I love MCN yarn.  It is so soft and squishy.  It makes my feet feel like they are wrapped in little sweaters from heaven.  I would like you to have that exprience too.  But you have to make the socks first.

2.  Godiva Truffles.  I love the way they melt in my mouth, but no raspberry ones, because they are have seeds and seeds aren't my favorite things.

3.  6 months worth of work outs with a trainer, 3x's a week.  I haven't really ever had this, but I would really like to.  I would like to have a trainer help me with my running form.

4.  Housecleaning every two weeks.  Having someone clean my house for me every other week is absolutely one of my favorite things!

5.  Trip to Hawaii.  Not much needs to be said about that.

6.  American Express Gift Card for $5,000 because we will need some spending money in Hawaii.

7.  Knit group.  I know it isn't a thing persay, and it is a bit hard for me to give it to you, but the people in that group have kept me sane, make me laugh, held my hand and been there for me during the good times and bad.  Everyone needs a place like that.

8.    Chai Tea Lattes.  I really enjoy those.  They are a special thing I only have occasionally.  For everyone, gift cards to Panara, because the Chai Tea Lattes are best there.

I hope you enjoy your goodie basket! :)

Want to get in on the hand outs?  Check them out at:   Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

No Resolutions Here

It is Thursday, and we all know what that means.  Yeah, I realize that it means I will post on the blog, not something I do very regularly anymore.  Your point?

Anyway, this week's topic is to do a 2011 wrap up and talk about your resolutions for 2012.

As for 2011, it was not a horrible year, but it was not a spectacular year either.  It just was.  I am ok with that.  I don't need drama, be it good or bad.  We have had some pretty bad years recently, and I am happy to just be boring.

  1. I knit some stuff, not as much as in the past, but still I think I made 45+ things. 
  2. I blogged a bit, not as much as in the past.
  3. I worked a bit, probably more than in the past, but not enough to pay off the house or anything.
  4. I cursed my house a bit, probably about the same amount.  Currently there is a roofer on top fixing the most recent leak/issue.  I will never get living room furniture or the hole in the kitchen fixed.
  5. The kids did kid stuff.  We made some pretty serious decisions about Mac, and that situation has resolved very nicely.  He is doing super and we are really proud of him.  More importantly, Mac is proud of him.  I feel that we are going to need to make some next step decisions soon, but they will be easier because they will be positive!
  6. I finally realized that I can run.  So, now I do that.
See it was a fairly bland year.  I like 'em that way.

Number 6 on my list is where I am going to start as I talk about my plans for 2012.  I don't like the idea of "resolutions."  Life is fluid and every single day I try and do better than I did the day before.  So, arbitrary points like the new year are less about changing things.  I do have plans, because there are things I want to do.

Ok, so Number 6... I have some fairly specific goals around what I want to do with this running thing.  I would like to get my speed up.  I am very slow, and I would like to be able to complete a 5K in 30 minutes.  I have weekly goals set as it pertains to speed, and the plan is to have my race in May be completed in 30 minutes.  Once I get my speed to where I want it, I am then planning to work on my distance, and would like to do a 10k in October/November.  So, that is the plan with that.

I also am working on eating better foods.  I think that will help with the plan above, but more importantly, I have reached an age where living entirely on carbs is no longer an option.  While I am in no way worried about my sugar levels, it would chap my hide significantly to every find myself diabetic.  My mother insists that it will happen, and I would HATE for her to be right.  So, in order to ensure I get to tell her she is wrong, I am going to stop eating cookies for lunch.  Sounds reasonable doesn't it?

Otherwise, I will probably knit some stuff, blog a bit, the kids will do kid stuff and I will continue to pray that my husband keeps his job and doesn't do anything rash.  He seems less inclinded to do something rash at this moment, but, you know, life is uncertain.

What are your plans?

Everyone else shared theirs, so take a look:  Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl