Monday, September 19, 2011

Kinder Care

My lack of posts of late is not because I don't have a million ideas swirling around, but because I haven't had the time or presence of mind to sit down and translate them into actual words. Here's my best attempt.

Last year, we made the decision to retain H in Kindergarten. As an August boy we understood that he would be the youngest in his class and that might go over like a toot in church, but that's how we roll so we sent him anyhow. I don't regret that decision because he learned a ton and I became a better mother to him, which I attribute to being able to appreciate his sweet quirky self a whole lot more when I wasn't bombarded with it 12-14 hours a day. Over the summer, we had a great time and I didn't ever feel that 'when is school going to start?!' panic that so many of my friends described to me.

Then school started. For the first week, he was the model student with a normal amount of testing his limits and missing his mama. Then the shenanigans came to a head and culminated in the use of the 'D' word by more than one person at his school. That's right; they were calling my little cherub defiant! Okay, so I know that he's stubborn, willful and really likes to do his own thing, but defiant just seemed like such a harsh word. And, that's when I realized that if I, as his mother, didn't advocate for him and take the bull by the horns, then who would? I don't know how many of you have had to take 'the call' from school, but I started to dread that number flashing on our caller ID. We had stopped watching TV during the school week at the suggestion of a friend, my kids are asleep every night by 7pm and we practice 'the family meal' at night with healthful breakfasts at home and lunches packed each day. I don't know what else I could be doing while still maintaining my sanity (and three blogs, a marriage, a running training schedule, a 3 year-old, Clifford the big black dog, the rest of my household and a small knitting business, ha!)

After a consult with his pediatrician and collaborating with his teacher (who I really like) on an informal behavior plan that was very concrete, Mr. H has had a much better time at school and is even starting to (gasp) enjoy it! He has two things to focus on: Listen and Follow Directions.

I found an article online about living with strong-willed children that gave me goosebumps as I read it because it could have been written about H. He's a super smart kiddo who's pretty quirky, and has a huge heart. However, he's a six year old boy who doesn't seem to understand (or yet care?) how all of his actions affect other people. Being super concrete, setting specific limits which are consistently enforced, along with physical exercise after school everyday and trying my very, very hardest not to raise my voice with him have all seemed to culminate in positive behavioral change. This could be just a honeymoon phase, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my voice to zen-like tones in hopes that this school year is the true gift of time that we intended it to be.

School should be enjoyed, especially kindergarten! I'm finally starting to see how fun school can be for him, so here's to a banner year for Mr. H (and his mother who would most likely be put on Zoloft if I cry one more time when his teacher calls.) What fun has the new school year brought for your family?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Pound of Flesh: No More, No Less

I'm smack in the middle of a round of Game On!. This time J is in on the action, and we're competing against my sister and her husband, plus the perfect fifth wheel of our baby sister who is playing solo. She is diligent and disciplined and does not have a partner to drag down her average; dang her!

So far, it's been like a marathon. The first week we were jubilant and constantly saying 'This is so easy! This food is so good! We feel fantastic!' By the end of the first week, I'd lost 4.6 pounds and J was down 5 even. I was a little sick of spinach, but whatev' I was getting results, baby!

The second week, ended with me kicking up my game by having my first Cardio Strength Bootcamp class (highly, highly recommended) and I could just feel the metabolic disturbance that was going to rocket me to record weightloss. Aunt Flo be damned, I was on track to still lose the 1% of my body weight required to earn the weekly points bonus. I even passed up elephant ears at the fair. I! Know! I did succumb to bubble tea (the smallest size then had, thank you), but I still count that as a success, because I would have previously had both. Plus a corn dog. And a Hawaiian Shave Ice. And maybe some onion rings. You get the picture. And on Saturday's weigh-in, I'd done it again. Success!

Now, well into my third week something has happened and I'm bloated and up three pounds, which is making me feel frustrated, annoyed and just a touch on the childish side. Why is this happening? How is this possible?! I'm following the rules, I'm exercising consistently, drinking tons of water and getting a great night's sleep.

I would feel great, if a tiny bit bloated, were it not for those little numbers taunting me on the screen. Why do I do this to myself? I know that what I'm eating is healthy, nutrient-packed unprocessed food. I'm exercising (real exercise, not 10 minutes on the eliptical while I read a book) and properly rehydrating. This should be enough but alas, I want those numbers to give me instant bio-feedback that I'm a success and my efforts are being rewarded by an ever-shrinking gut. Forgoing peanut butter fro-yo that was calling my name from Blue Palm and instead having a serving of non-fat plain greek yogurt with some berries and almonds (see? lean protein, carbs and a healthy fat.) should feel like a victory, not a fruitless exercise in self-restraint.

For anyone that's made big diet changes, were there times that you felt like your body was revolting against the change? Fat Cells that felt suddenly empowered, crying 'Hell No! We Won't Go!"? Please tell me I'm not alone in this! Otherwise, it's okay, don't mind me; I'll just sit quietly in the corner, drinking my quiet juice-aka a spinach and greek yogurt smoothie with almonds and frozen strawberries. I know you're jealous. Don't hate me because I'm bountiful.

As for my kryptonite, otherwise known as Ben and Jerry's, they've just come out with a new not-to-be-missed flavor based on the awesome SNL skit with Alec Baldwin. Yes, their new flavor is 'Schweddy Balls.' I'll be eating a reasonable portion with my next meal 'off'. Mmm...those balls are tasty!

And now for a taste of the deliciously inappropriate. If you're easily offended, please don't press play!