Sunday, March 30, 2008

Something af-FORD-able

Hello, My name is SallyHP and I'm a Ford*-aholic. When searching for a second car, my one-track mind kept going back to the cute little car that three of the four girls in my family have owned at one point or another in our college/post-college lives; The Ford Focus.

The Ford Focus, otherwise knows as the poor man's Jetta, has been a staple in my corporate whore family since their conception. For my older sister, who got the first model year, this meant going through the trial of a window mechanism that stopped working at random times, which was not completely fortunate in the frigid Eastern Oregon winter. Aside from that, however, it's always been a car with little to no mechanical defects, great gas mileage and a LOT of trunk space...good for both hiding bodies (except for that pesky safety feature/internal trunk release), and long road trips.

Another great feature that both my sister and I got to experience first-hand, is that when you're backing up, if you happen to 'snag' the side-view mirror on something immobile, it just pops right off! It's still connected by a cable, but nothing a little epoxy can't fix temporarily while you're waiting to go get it fixed. None of this crazy cracking of the surrounding fitting, or denting of the other "immobile object" aka the car parked next to you. Yeah...we're pretty cool.

When I say that we are a Ford Family, I am not exaggerating. Papa HP owns an F-150 and my mom is now in her fifth Taurus...we practically had to sit shiv'ah when the last one rolled off the assembly line in Detroit. Apparently we weren't the only ones, as the 500 was quickly re-branded the Taurus after three short model years (only one of which precluded the Taurus). Sister 1 has a Windstar, Sister 2 an Explorer; known to blasphemists as an Exploder, J and I have the Freestyle and now a prized Focus and Sister 3, another Focus. With only one exception (which I shall not name, as it's too painful) all vehicles owned in my immediate family are Fords. Our get-togethers could compete with a small dealership.

I felt almost adulterous yesterday when J was test-driving a Hyundai...but now that it's behind us, we can just pretend it never happened. I'm only sorry that H had to witness it.

J was listing off a number of different models he'd like to investigate, but I already knew what I wanted; A Ford Focus of model year 2001-2006 under $8,000 with less than 80,000 miles. I had all the arguments lined up to defend my dear car.

I, being the underemployed of the two, began calling dealerships with the requirements of a car with the above years, price and mileage, leaving off the make and model. When the dealer would come back at me with the 'perfect' car (a Pontiac Grand Prix and a Chrysler Sebring) I tried to control my gag reflex, but the scoff was unrestrained. I got a cold response of "well, whaddayah want then?" afordfocus! I blurted out in one quick burst like a tourette's patient. Seriously, when you have the cute, zippy focus in your mind, a Pontiac Grand Prix is just NOT going to do. Hello. 1984 called. They want their car back.

In the end, we got our perfect little car. An '05 Focus, with the right price and some great upgrades. Not to mention great customer service from a friendly salesman at Herb Chambers Ford of Westboro. (plug, plug)

I feel proud of the place we're at in our marriage when the best gift we can give one another is a little independence. We will no longer have to coordinate our schedules to within one minute of each other, and I will be free to take the kid(s) (Gulp, we're going to have more than one child in less than two months!) to as many museums, play dates and other activities as my little heart desires without dredging them out of bed to pick up J at the end of his shift.

What can I say? We really know how to Focus on the Family (pun intended).

*I am not being compensated by Ford Motor Company for this post in any way...although I probably should be.

Friday, March 28, 2008

1979 Called, It Wants It's Parenting Style Back

Isn't this the exact image you have in mind of the first glimpse you'll have of your new baby as a first-time mom? Who knew there'd be all that slime and goop involved? I grudgingly admit that I was a little relieved when they wiped him off a little before I held him. Granted it was a c-section, so I'll just have to get over myself next time...

When it comes time for a woman to bear and raise children there is no end to the advice they'll receive, the majority of which is unsolicited. 'Don't blow your breath in the baby's face, they'll suffocate.' 'Put a little rice cereal in the bottle, they'll sleep like a dream!' 'Well, I (left you alone/didn't use a carseat/layed you on your stomach/etc and you turned out just fine!' These and other anecdotes are passed around like a hot potato, although I wonder if they sometimes don't end up more like a game of telephone.

When I was pregnant with H, there were several other women in my office who were also expecting babies. For some, it was not their first child, and they were more than willing to share all the gorey details of labor, delivery and motherhood in general. I'm sure our male co-workers really appreciated it.

I was prompted to discuss what about pregnancy, labor or motherhood I wished I'd known beforehand, and Iwas a little stumped at first. (If you'd like to skip the long explanation, feel free to skip ahead to the asterisk at the bottom). Well, there really isn't anything to truly prepare you for labor or delivery, so that's a wash. Here's a few that I could think of off the top of my head; You need to rely on your friends and family to get you through those days when the night before was SOOOOO long, you think you'll die. You need to enjoy your baby, because the baby-ness is gone quickly, and then enjoy your toddler, because that will leave too. Let your husband help you's his kid too! Map out every Starbucks within a 5 mile radius from your house, go there daily and feel free to nurse your baby while you nurse a latte (and it doesn't have to be decaf!) Enjoy taking your baby out to share them with others. It's okay to cry (both of you). You really don't need 500 outfits, there are 4-5 that they'll REALLY wear, so keep that valuable storage space for diapers and wipes. Make social connections with moms of babies the same age as fast as you can! They will be up on the same research and will be where you are, so won't be relying on their vague memories of sleepless nights to advise you.

But above all that, I'd like to have known that you make decisions based one what works, and feels most comfortable, for your family as long as they are safe, and made after educating yourself about the options. You make the best decision you can, given what you know, and the current needs and make-up of your family...and you don't have to justify them to anybody!

Despite adamantly reporting to all who would listen that I would never co-sleep, it was only the second night at the hospital when I discovered that H slept the longest and best when he was sprawled across my chest. I apologized to the nurse when she came in, feeling ashamed that I'd been 'caught' co-sleeping. She stifled a laugh and said 'I co-slept with all my kids. It's how they always slept best.' I felt like I'd just been given permission, and it was great. After reading more about it, and implementing the recommended safety measures, it ended up being a mostly positive experience for our family during the first few months of H's life. I already have a co-sleeper ready for when Baby C comes.

Perhaps one of the hardest things about parenting is that the safety guidelines and philosophies change so much from generation to generation. The balancing act that results from following the current advice of 'professionals' while explaining the reasoning for not following the advice of your parents or parents-in-law is quite exhausting. It's really tricky to explain that current evidence and understandings conflict with past practices, while at the same time being sensitive to the fact that it will inevitably be translated as 'you did it wrong.' Ahh, the joys of parenting live on.

*In short, I'll use the words of the famous Isley Brothers; 'It's your thing, do whatcha wanna do.'

This post was inspired by the Blog Blast prompt from the Parent Bloggers Network, in conjunction with their promotion of the new Discovery Health docu-drama Deliver Me, which follows three female OB-Gyn's who are attempting the delicate dance of balancing family, work and friends. For more information, and a chance to win a fabulous prize, click here .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Horton Hears a Who!

I was at Borders recently to pick up the latest tome that we're reading for my mom's group book club, when I saw a huge display of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! After hearing that it was being made into a movie, I'd been looking for the book as I have a lot of fond memories of it from childhood.

Until that day, I had only been able to find it in pop-up form. I may as well just give H a $20 bill and let him go to town with it, because I spend the two weeks after buying a pop-up book systematically throwing away torn out shreds, and finding a book that is devoid of illustrations. I bought the 'plain' version of the book immediately.

I took it home and read it to H during our pre-nap story time, knowing that he would like it if not only for his current obsession with elephants.

I know that the theme of the book is all about the value of life ('A person's a person, no matter how small'). But it also talks about dying and trying to protect those that are more vulnerable that us. I'm not surprised that I didn't remember, or pick up on this when my Great-Aunt Stella was reading it to me at the tender age of 5, but it made me pause.

How do we talk to our kids about death? I know that for my mom, that time came when I was in the first grade, and the very same aunt who'd recited the rhymes of Mr. Geisel to me died. My mom was horrified when I candidly asked her, while preparing for the funeral, if we could bury Aunt Stella in the back yard so that if we missed her too much, we could just dig her up and look at her. She immediately called her best friend who reminded her that I did not understand the glamorous parts of death. You know; decomposition, rigor mortis, etc.

My mom explained to me that Aunt Stella would have to always live in my head and my heart, because we don't look at the person's body anymore after they're buried. She left it at that, but I'm convinced that the vague explanation is why I quickly developed a morbid curiosity for anything that it seemed we weren't supposed to know about. Kind of like when she explained conception by saying that a mom and dad just really love each other and God makes a baby come...hmmmm...interesting.

How much information is too much, and how much is just enough to leave kids' imaginations to come to their own conclusion? My friend Alex recently had to go through this after losing her Aunt and facing a plethora of questions from her very inquisitive four year-old. She seems to have handled 'the death talk' really well, but it's just so tricky. Hopefully I'll be able to just avoid the topic for a long time.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

To Everything Turn! Turn! Turn!

Today J and I celebrate our fifth anniversary. So much has changed over that span of time, yet we have had one huge constant; each other.

This morning, after dropping my friend L to stay with her friend for the last night of her East Coast vacation, I was staring out the window as the Mass Pike carried J, H and I home. My mind was wandering as it will at such times, and I somehow landed on the insistence by some who feel the 'negative' side of marriage is that you can only sleep with that one person for the rest of your life.

Something about that has always bothered me, because it makes it seem as if having that one partner will be unfulfilling. Having a healthy physical relationship with your spouse is a huge part of marriage, and I know that if you're compatible in the bedroom, and stimulating to one another in life's other arenas, you can be happy for a lifetime. Talk of the seven year itch and other feelings of restlessness contribute to the sense that monogamy equals monotony.

I looked over at J as he was driving home and then glanced in the backseat to see H fast asleep, mind again wandering.

Just after we'd had H, we were asked by someone close to us if our sex life had changed. J and I looked at each other and tried to contain our laughter because, quite frankly, sex was the last thing on our minds. At that point, if I had to choose sleep over sex, I chose sleep. Mind you, this was when H was barely two months old, and I felt like a glorified dairy cow with narcolepsy.

Our friend, who was newly engaged, responded that that was something that made him nervous about having kids. This was the opposite of the impression that I wanted to give, but I think it's also a reality of the ebb and flow of any physical relationship. I'm thinking it's not fast and furious all the time for most people unless you have some kind of disorder. Several months later, I was happy to report to our friend that everything was back on track in Lovah-ville. Although, at that point I think he'd forgotten about his earlier curiosity and politely tried not to shudder.

Back to the Pike; I let my inner thoughts bubble over to the good old outside voice and murmured, 'I think that when people get married, instead of looking at it like they can only have sex with that one person for the rest of their lives, they should approach it as they are the only person who gets to have sex with their spouse. It should be viewed as a privilege, not a hindrance." J, who was not privy to the prior fifteen minutes of rumination in my mind, nodded his assent and then half-smiled asking 'what made you think of that?'

Here's to another 70 years of you and me keeping life interesting, J.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An Inconvenient Truth

When faced with the prospect of moving all of our worldly possessions across this great nation, J and I (with me being the spearhead of the movement) decided that it would be best to reduce our possessions by at least one. That decision made, we traded in both my Ford Focus (aka the Poor Man's Jetta) and his '96 Ford Ranger in order to "get into" a new Ford Freestyle. Not only did this make economic sense in reducing the number of cars to drive 3000+ miles, it was also made keeping in mind that we planned to have at least one more child over the next five years, making a car with ample room very appealing.

As I would not be working outside the home, I started getting visions in my head of loading H up in the stroller and walking to the library, the farmer's market, the antique shops and all the other great things that would be in walking distance of our new apartment according to Googlemaps. I could just feel the pounds melting off my thighs.

In my deluded state, I failed to consider two of the biggest factors that would make the one-car family model result in an ultimately huge inconvenience;

1. There is no sidewalk access within one mile of my home, and
2. When you don't have a car, and you want to, you have to take your husband to work and pick him up...something that's fine if the job is 9-5, not so fine if you're lugging your toddler in a sleepy stupor at midnight to get your husband after his shift, only to find you have to scrape the eight inches of snow that have fallen since you finished your errands that afternoon.

Yes, it soon became clear that the dream would not become the reality. We had to face it, we needed two cars. At the six month 'check-in' about which I've previously written, J had announced that he'd get a second car in order to ensure that I could have our mommy-mobile full-time.

Then a week passed. I gingerly asked him, after secretly scouring Craigslist for used cars, if he planned to buy an older car for under 5k, or to finance a newer car, or if he'd thought anymore about it. He said that he hadn't really thought about it. Hmmmm...funny, because ever since he'd mentioned it to me, it was all I could think about. The thought of being stuck at home with two kids and no outlet was more than a little frightening to me, but I was loathe to voice that just yet. Granted, J had been working a lot of hours, so didn't have the free time that I did to research and finalize a deal. However, I'm known to have a one-track mind, and you really shouldn't commit to something with me, unless you're ready to go full boar.

At that time, J said that he'd been thinking about leasing a car for two years, since we'd most likely not want to haul two cars back across the country at the end of residency. Sweet! As you can imagine, I was on the phone with dealerships the next day in order to get their leasing specials.

It's now the end of March, and we each had friends in town during overlapping periods of time, lasting about two weeks. This was really the first time that J and I hadn't solidly coordinated our schedules in order to ensure that he wasn't left waiting, and I wasn't without a car. J had to take the final portion of his licensing exam during two of the days that my friend L was in town, and had to work during some of the time that his friend T was here.

Twice, he was left waiting for an hour or so while I finished what I needed/wanted to do. After the second incident, which included me brattily bringing to his attention that it was irritating only because it was the first that it had inconvenienced him, he announced that he was ready to spend some serious energy looking for a car. I've found people generally don't make a serious effort to remedy a situation unless the inconvenience directly impacts them.

You know what they say, fool me once...and J is certainly no fool.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Holy Cannoli!

My husband's friend T is in town, so we finally made the trek into Boston to explore a little bit. Our initial plan was to take in the Boston St. Patty's Day Parade, but we didn't quite make it out the door in time. In order to complete our experience, we decided to park at Alewife and take the T into town. I am SO GLAD we did, because my throat was constricting just at the thought of navigating the teeny tiny streets that make up the North End.

After a pleasant ride in, we exited at Haymarket, and walked straight over to the Union Oyster House, which is the oldest Restaurant in Boston, and the oldest restaurant in the United States that has been in continuous service; since 1826 its doors have always been open to diners. The historian in me was bursting with excitement and I reached for my camera so that I could look like the ultimate dorky tourist. Instead, I had the ultimate in disappointment; I had forgotten it at home. I guess that's the good thing about actually living here; I don't have to worry about not having my camera to capture permanent tourist sites...I can just go back next week!

After eating a meal of simple seafood fare, we left the Oyster House and headed out for the tail end of The Freedom Trail, where we saw Paul Revere's House, The Old North Church and the large statue of Mr. Revere on his trusty steed. Walking along the sidewalks, the West-Coaster in my just could not get over how old everything was. The cobblestone under my feet and the physical lay-out of the buildings kept reminding me that this was not a city that was designed with the automobile in mind.

My friends kept telling me that if I were in the North End of Boston, I could not leave without stopping by Mike's Pastry and getting some cannoli to take home. I had only ever had supermarket cannoli, and had enjoyed it, so thought it would be a fun novelty. The experience itself was great. There was a line almost out the door, but the women packing and whirling twine around the pastry boxes were so efficient that I was through in no time. I was SO excited to see that my choice of cream-filled confection extended to chocolate-covered and/or dipped. I walked out of the store carrying my little parcel, anxiously awaiting the moment at home that I'd get to try my first 'real' cannoli.

After we'd wandered around and felt sufficiently cultured for the day, we headed back to the T station, and were quickly whizzing along the Pike with the box tucked safely at my feet. When the time had finally come to sample the lovely confections, I took my first finger swipe of the sumptuous ricotta cheese-based filling, and thought I would expire on the spot. I had to make a concerted effort to not allow my eyes to roll back in my head as I let the creamy goodness dissolve down my throat. Mmmmmm, sugary goodness. Almost immediately, C began wiggling and kicking to give his approval. All I can say is I'm sure glad the old blood-glucose test was returned normal, because this was one experience I'd have been loathe to miss. Now I understand why the Godfather was willing to forgo his weapons!

Most of all, I'm not more excited than ever to return to Boston and explore another small section of the fair city. One of the things that I feel so fortunate about living on the 'right' coast is that we have access to so many of the sites that are tied to the creation of our Nation as we know it today. For a history dork like me, who still wears her Phi Alpha Theta 'History: It's Happening' T-shirt at times other than to bed, it's enough to make what started as a three-year sentence to time away from family and friends (although I can no longer be sarcastic and act as though I haven't made friends here) a true adventure.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Bird in the Hand

Each time I think I've dealt with the grossest thing I'll have to as a parent, a new one comes at me. For a couple of weeks, I've been looking forward to the hair appointment that I had scheduled for today.

Last night, H slept horribly but awoke in a great mood, such a great mood, that I found myself reciprocating even through my sleep-deprived fog! A couple hours later, the tide turned. He is not really a clingy kid, so it was odd, when he was my little spider monkey pal, begging me 'don't take a shower!' when I told him that I needed to have him play in his room so I could get ready.

That morning, he'd already given three "I pooped" false alarms, but I found a little suprise when I went to change what I thought would just be a wet diaper. After recovering from the shock, I called my friend Alex who is always calm even when asked about the most gross and quirky things. Following her advice I called the pediatrician whose triage nurse instructed me to slap on some diaper cream and put him in a warm bath....and then wait. I casually asked how long I should wait before calling back, and she said "it'll come all the way out, you just wait until it does." Awesome.

Is it bad that in my head I was looking at the clock and calculating 'if he just gets the job done, I can skip the shampoo in the shower and still have time to make my appointment'? Being the stellar parent that I am, I decided it would be better to call and re-schedule.

H was fine after about 10 minutes spent languishing in a warm bath, and I called my hairdresser with lightning speed, only to find that my slot had already been filled. Good thing I'm such a procrastinator. I never did clean the tub over the weekend, but you can bet that I cleaned it to a sparkling shine now!

Never fear, I'm getting those roots taken care of on Thursday. You know what they say...A poo in the tub is worth two in the tush.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ding, Dong My Husband's Gone

Of course I don't mean forever (that would not be cause for celebration); just the weekend. When I was asked recently by someone where J was going, I felt a blush rise in my face because I realized that I didn't know for sure. I only knew that it was for a military training and that, more importantly, I would have the car and the bed to myself for four days and three glorious nights. Please don't get me wrong, I obviously love sharing a life and home with my dearly beloved, but when you take two not-small people in a queen-sized bed and then add a body pillow and a seven-month's pregnant belly it's nice to have some time to stretch out and have some solo time every once in awhile. J hasn't even had any overnight shifts in awhile, so this is real treat for me.

Selfishness aside, I had decided that I would surprise my husband with a super neat and clean house upon his return. We have overlapping visitors coming into town starting Wednesday, so our 'guest' room/room of the three c's (crafts, cosmetics, candles, and the recent addition of items intended for Baby C) is in shambles, including a recently purchased used dresser that I'm re-painting bright green for H so that at least one of the new items in his room is for him, as the rest will be in anticipation of the baby. I already have the paint and supplies purchased and ready to go, now I just need the will.

Here is my to-do list for today and tomorrow morning:

1. Clean our bathroom
2. Clean H's bathroom
3. Sweep and Mop kitchen floor and entryway
4. Empty, load and run dishwasher
5. vacuum living room and hall
6. Shampoo the carpet in living room, hall and H's room
7. put away all miscellaneous 'C'rap in the loft area
8. vacuum loft area
9. remove hardware from dresser drawers and prep for painting
10. prime dresser
11. paint two coats on dresser
12. contact all interested parties from Craigslist re: entertainment center, as we now have two since I bought our new one before our old one was officially sold. Arrange for pick-up of said entertainment center
13. Purchase new crib mattress and assemble crib in anticipation of L coming with Baby O
14. re-assemble dresser with new hardware and install in H's room
15. Laundry
16. Wash Linens
17. Shower
18. Meet friends for dinner
19. Clean our bedroom (because I'm like a teenager and have to clean my room still due to piles of fabric and other supplies for various projects in-process)
20. Figure out solution to shoe rack that keeps falling off closet door, leaving large pile of shoes in closet making proper entry impossible.
21. Dust
22. Vacuum all furniture

Tasks accomplished thus far:

1. Two cups of coffe with Fat-Free Vanilla creamer consumed (after making H fresh buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, as am bona fide domestic goddess)
2. 2+ hours of PBS kids viewed with H
3. Biore clear pore strips applied
4. Said strips removed approximately 15 minutes later
5. Satin Hands treatment applied to hands
6. Teeth brushed
7. Bleaching trays installed in my mouth
8. Said trays removed 45 minutes later
9. Fed H lunch
10. Created list for mom's club meeting that I'm facilitating on Tuesday
11. Attempted to take handles off dresser drawers leaving chunks of wood behind; realized was going to be much larger task and would need to purchase sand paper, contrary to all instincts that said "just paint over it".
12. Checked email multiple times; realized am not popular as have almost no messages
13. Applied primer coat to dresser (Check!)
14. vacuumed living room (Check, again!)

Ahhh...I love days filled with productivity. It's not often that I get to accomplish so many self-grooming tasks! H is having his (not so) quiet time now, so I guess it's time for me to check 'shower' off my list. Oh, and I did run one load of laundry, but that doesn't count as a checked item, since there are several more.

Looks like I'll be up late tonight and working hard tomorrow. The things we do for love!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Glass Castle

I finally read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. My friend, L, recommended it to me a couple of years ago, but I never picked it up. It was chosen for my mom's group bookclub, so I bit the bullet and dove in. In talking about it, L had commented that while it was a very sad story in places, it was comforting in its own way to know that there are success stories among the kids that we worked with everyday.

It's not that people necessarily 'rise above' their childhood, it's that those events and experiences coupled with the way you utilize your current resources often determine what you become.

In reading this book, I found so many of the same emotions I had at work. I vacillated between feeling so outraged at the level of selfishness displayed by the parents and understanding that there were often deeper reasons that people make the poor choices they do; a history of abuse in their own childhood, untreated mental illness or a plethora of other obstacles and forks in the road where the path taken was not the one that most would have chosen for themselves or for those they loved.

I was especially frustrated with the mother who had an education degree, was raised in an affluent family, and had inherited property and real estate (later revealed to be worth roughly one million dollars) yet chose to live a lifestyle that exposed her children to extreme hunger, sexual predators (and victimization) and other potentially unsafe persons and/or situations. When made aware of the instances of sexual abuse perpetrated upon her children (disclosed to her by her children), she responded that "sexual assault is a matter of perception." That would be unforgivable to me, yet forgive the author did. It was also notable that the parents were so staunch in their refusal of 'hand-outs' that the children were denied the opportunity to have a regular source of food in the form of public assistance for which they would have undoubtedly qualified.

It was so striking to me that in the midst of all the neglect, alcohol abuse and (what I think was) untreated mental illness, this was ultimately a set of parents that legitimately loved their children, and attempted to give them a childhood that would mean something. These were not ignorant or uneducated people; they had a nightly ritual in which they sat as a family and read on their own, Mr. Walls explained complicated theories and processes to his kids, and demonstrated an extensive knowledge of the sciences. There were also specific instances in which they tried to preserve the innocence of their children (a specific example is one in which the mother will not explain the purpose of the neighborhood brothel.) It was also hard to reconcile that the overall tone of the book was so positive. In spite of all that happened, her childhood was full of funny anecdotes, making this a book that you really did not have to slog through to get to the end of a dreary life. I think it helped a lot that you began the book knowing that she 'got out of it' and is now happy and successful (not to mention gets to eat on a regular basis).

Reading Ms Walls' memoir during this point in my life reinforced what an awesome responsibility parenting is. The decisions you make on a daily basis impact the social and emotional welfare of the people that you've chosen to bring into this world, be that choice through purposeful family planning or lack of appropriate contraception.

As we discussed the memoir at book club, one member pointed out that it was interesting that Ms Walls did not have ultimately have children of her own. Was this a conscious decision based on her childhood, or something that just never happened for her? You'd have to ask the author that, but it was notable to us nonetheless.

In spite all of the sarcasm and facetious comments I make on an almost-daily basis, I do sincerely enjoy raising H and I look forward to Baby C joining our family. I would do anything to ensure that their welfare is not ever compromised.

Perhaps more than anything, reading this book made me appreciate my own parents even more. They sure set that bar high, and I have a lot of expectations that I place upon myself to provide an equally amazing childhood to my kids.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spinning out of Control

This morning, I decided to get back in the saddle (literally). I haven't attended a spin class since I was pregnant with H. (No Mom, spinning is not a bunch of people standing in a gym with their arms out like whirling dervishes). With that in mind, I decided that seven months pregnant was the perfect time to start up that nasty habit already have all kinds of issues in that area, why not add bruised butt bones?

I've also committed to entering in my first tri-athlon, which is scheduled for Sunday, September 7th (let's pray that I don't have a repeat c-section.) Because the biking portion is what I'm most nervous about, I knew that I needed to begin getting those muscles in gear (God, I'm just full of little exercise puns today) as soon as possible.

Yesterday, I went to the Y with the best kind of friend. Alex has been working with a personal trainer for a number of months on a weekly basis, and is committed to doing the workout provided for her one extra time per week. Not only is she in better shape than I, but she's also got to prove to someone (besides herself) that she does the work when her trainer's not there, so is invested in really doing her homework. I got the benefit of a creative weights workout without paying for it. I had not had a 'real' weights workout since my own days of personal training with a fantastic trainer at the Bally's in Hillsboro. I'm going to put her real name out there, because I would recommend her to anyone; Shelly Gonzales (hope she still works there).

Anyway, I got home yesterday and realized after climbing the stairs a couple of times that I was going to be sooooooore in the morning. Sure enough, when my alarm buzzed at ten after five this morning, I had to creak my body awake. As if I don't already have problems hefting my weight out of the bed, let's roll around on a ball and get the ole abs nice and sore...good thinking!

At the advice of Alex and some of the other women, I went against my better judgement and didn't wear undies with my bike pants (they had lots of reasons that really did end up making sense, although it's hard to get this Catholic mind to even think about foregoing said items), but I did have all my other layers intact, so didn't feel quite so naked.

I sweated my way through the entire class, feeling very good about the fact that nobody knows what resistance you have on your bike. I got home in time to shower before J had to leave for work, and am now ready to tackle the day. As I walked in the door, H peeked around the corner with his bowl of cheerios while watching Sesame Street, and said "I wanna go to the Y!" Uhhhh...too bad kiddo, mommy's done for the day.

Now on to the best part of the day; I get to meet a bunch of friends for coffee and have a real latte at Starbucks. I don't care if I do have to order in "Fritalian", because ordering in English at Dunkin' Donuts does not a better latte make.
*Image taken from this blog.