Friday, December 30, 2011

Yes or one

Last night I took my 9 yr old daughter and her friend to Roll On America for some good old-fashioned roller skating fun.  On the way, I listened to them talk.  "If L. is there, are you going to ask him to skate?"  "Ya."  "I'll give you $2 to ask him to skate."  "I don't have $2."  "$1?"  This continued until the rate became a quarter.  I had to giggle, remembering my own visits to the roller skating rink.

Will so-and-so be there?   Will he ask me to skate?  Should I ask him to skate when it's Ladies' Choice?  Will he hold my hand if we skate together?  I remembered being at the rink with my friends, all dressed in our tight Jordache jeans, scanning the crowd for our Ladies' Choice victims. And as soon as the beginning sounds of Total Eclipse of the Heart started playing, and the DJ announced, "Ladies' Choice", we would skate over to our choice and shyly (not really) ask, "Want to skate?"

Then I started sharing with the girls how we used to communicate in the past before texting and emailing took over the world to a time way back when you didn't call a boy after 9 PM because when you were calling him, you were calling his home phone, and you didn't dare wake his parents. You also had to be careful when leaving messages on the answering machine, because the answering machine was one that was played by hitting a "play" button, with your message sounding aloud for all in the near vicinity to hear.  There was no texting; you had to actually speak to say what you wanted.  You had to actually dial the phone number and ask to speak with the "boy of your dreams". And most times you had to ask this of one of his parents.

Then I asked if girls and boys still write notes to which they giggled and never answered. I assume that is a "yes".  I explained how our notes were quite simple:  Do you like me?  Yes or No (circle one).  My daughter responded, "What if the answer was maybe or a little?"  I said there wasn't a choice for that, it was yes or no.  She said I was kind of bossy for giving them directions like circle one. What can I say, honey?  Sometimes the boys Mommy liked needed it spelled out for them.  Her friend asked if the boys always circled yes, and I had to honestly answer no.  I told them of a time when I stepped up my game a little, and the note you see here had further instructions, such as "Leave the answer by the pencil sharpener."  So I passed the note and waited and waited.  Finally, the "boy of my dreams" went to sharpen his pencil, and when he left, I saw that he had left my triangular-folded note behind.  So I tried to suppress a smile and my excitement as I went to sharpen my own pencil and retrieve the note.  I was giddy as I raced back to my seat and slowly unfolded the note, only to read "Get off my case toilet face." Clearly this boy didn't realize he was supposed to ONLY circle yes or no, and a "no" would have sufficed because clearly I am still bitter over his response.

So L. wasn't there at roller skating, and there was no couples skate or Ladies' Choice, and no one owed anyone any money for their courage.  And there was no Total Eclipse of the Heart and no Thriller video played on the big screen and so...I didn't see the need to rent skates for myself.  Until....I saw the girls of Roller Derby practicing after our session, but that's a whole other blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Is it already the end of another year?  I feel like I'm still coming down from the Christmas holiday.  And now, as we approach 2012, comes the talk of New Year's resolutions.  I am one who does make resolutions with the best intentions and follows them faithfully...for about a couple of weeks.  I am one of those people who irritate a friend of mine, who writes on Facebook, that he can't stand those who make resolutions to exercise more and clog the gym, holding up faithful, daily gym fanatics like himself, while he now has to wait to bond with his precious Elliptical or Treadmill for the fatty in front of him to tire of their resolution and go out for a snack (paraphrased, but that was the gist of it).  Ya, I'm that fatty.

So I try not to tell anyone of my resolutions. I can vividly remember telling my children years ago when they were about 5 and 7 that I was going to go on a diet to which they both burst out crying. I couldn't figure out why they were crying at that announcement, and I wasn't, so I asked them to which one responded with "We like you just the way you are," and the other responded, "Ya, we like you fat."  As they got older, I asked them to be my willpower, and asked them to remind me in a loud voice, when I reached for something I shouldn't be eating, "You're on a diet Fatty, you can't have that."  That was all well and good while we were home, but I neglected to tell them that on the rare occurrence that we went out to eat, and I tried to eat something unhealthy, they shouldn't yell those same words to me, because not everyone understands that I told them to say that to me.

Why is it that I feel that I need a harsh kick in the pants, or harsh words or a rude awakening to chase me to the gym and the fruits and vegetables section of the market? Why do I immediately wonder who is out to get me when I get Free Registration mailings from Weight Watchers? Who reported me?  Who knows I am so cheap that the word "Free" might actually get me there?

I guess I've always loved food. I love to cook, I love to bake, and I love to eat.  I don't always eat bad, and to be honest, my favorite meal is a well-balanced one with a meat, a starch and a vegetable.  And, of course, if it's followed up by something with chocolate in it, I'm not complaining.  I've tried Weight Watchers, I know how it works, and I do try to follow it in my eating habits.  I don't count points, but I have a general idea of what each food's point value is. I know that a sandwich on light whole wheat bread with one piece of ham and one piece of cheese is about 6 points. Add 15 Baked potato chips for an extra 2 points, and to get the most of your 2 points, pick the largest 15 chips out of the bag - say no to crumbs, I always say.  I know that vegetables for the most part are 0 points, and fruits for the most part are 1 point each.  I know that a  BLT on light wheat isn't bad, and neither is a taco.  But I also know that a sundae will consume all of my points for the day and so when I have one, I should eat a dry salad for every other meal that day.

So, this year, I'm resolving to become healthier...healthier in my eating and exercising and healthier in my relationships with others.  I'm NOT resolving to go to the gym 3 days a week, or to lose 25 lbs. in 6 months or to be the best mother and wife and friend and daughter and sister ever.  But I will try to eat better, exercise more (which shouldn't be too hard considering I don't exercise at all now), and be a nicer person. I will try to enhance my relationships and disenhance (is that a word?) my waistline.

Good luck with your resolutions and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Rage

Obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist, anal-retentive, all things I have been called. I acknowledge it, I know it, I own it, and I have no intention of doing anything about it other than to try really hard not to inflict my personal issues on anyone else around me.  And all that was diagnosed without sitting on someone else's couch, but admitting while sitting on my own couch... for free.

My friend and I have a term we use for the period of time before birthday parties, vacation and Christmas. We call it rage, meaning "too much to do in too little time".  Party rage and vacation rage end once the shopping, cleaning and party end, usually within a few days, but Christmas rage lasts the longest.
Christmas rage, for me, begins the week of Thanksgiving when I begin to ask the kids for their Christmas lists in preparation for Black Friday shopping.  Thanksgiving Day finds me surrounded by flyers, paper, a pen and their lists trying to find the best deals.  Then after we come home from dinners with family, I tuck the kids into bed and head for the stores, armed with my lists, checkbook and Diet Cokes.  The following day is spent getting a little sleep and then checking the internet for the items that I was unsuccessful in getting the night before.

Then there is a couple of days reprieve before Cyber Monday deals.  Then comes the beginning of December when, I swear, new commercials and toys come out and get added to the kids' lists as "must have items".  So back to the drawing board of trying to find deals in stores and online, coupons and online codes for percentages off and free shipping. 

Then I start with my own that must be done before the holiday, baking, recipes, etc.  And for some reason, I have started to add more to my rage.  Instead of making the 3 kinds of Christmas cookies my Mom always made, I have added another kind as well as pecan bars, Rice Krispy treats and 2 kinds of fudge.  Instead of going to visit family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I have decided to host my immediate family of almost 30 on Christmas Eve which brings on a whole other list of festive appetizers and desserts to try out on them. 

And Christmas shopping brings out a whole other rage...parking and driving rage.  People cut you off when you're driving, they turn in front of you when you're walking, they steal parking places, and sometimes they're just plain mean and make you really feel like decking their halls, if you catch my drift. my family and friends, if I seem a little stressed or smile a little less, it is a day of Christmas Rage, please don't take it personally for it shall soon pass.  Oh yeah, and be prepared to duck, in case it's a particularly bad day, and a cookie sheet flies through the air like a frisbee at the beach, or a ball of wrapping paper cut too short to wrap a gift gets thrown across the room.  I promise, I really do try to control it LOL.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bring On the Baby!

My sister Terry is in labor right now getting ready to deliver her second child and my new niece Giana.  I can't wait.  For those of you who know me, really know me, you know how much I love babies.  I love to hold them, cuddle them, feed them, bathe them, rock them to sleep, smell them, there isn't much I don't like about them.  Whenever I "borrow" my nieces and nephews, I return them to their mothers with apologies for rocking them to sleep and holding them for most of the time we were together with hopes that I didn't destroy whatever patterns they were trying to create, whether it be by laying them in their cribs to sleep or getting them used to not being held all the time. 

My babies are 19, 11 and 9, and they no longer like to be held and rocked.  They also no longer like me to pick out their clothes or smell them, and to be honest, they no longer smell like baby powder and Johnson's baby shampoo.  They do, however, still allow me to feed them and hug them.  I can still vividly remember the details of each of their births, the two times they sent me home from the hospital when I was in labor with Jake because things just weren't happening quick enough, the frustration I felt as I left and labored at home and on the 5 mile walk I took that day, and the satisfaction I felt when I finally went back the same day and they kept me, and then the incredible joy as I became a mother for the first time.  I remember when I was induced with Nathan, going in one night and not having him until lunchtime 2 days later.  I also remember not eating or sleeping that entire time, and being really slap-happy due to lack of sleep and exhaustion.  I remember feeling that each method they used to induce me was going to "do the trick" and being disappointed when it didn't.  I also remember 8 year old Jake saying at the time that he wouldn't want to come out either to just have formula and bottles when he could stay inside and get pizza and sundaes.  I remember when Allie was born, waking up at 1 AM and feeling contractions, timing them and wondering if it was the real thing, calling the on-call doctor and being told that since I had just been in the office 2 days earlier and nothing was going on then that I could probably just wait until the morning. I remember an hour later waking up the boys and telling them it was time to go to Grandma's because Mom and Dad were going to the hospital.  I also remember a normally 50 minute ride to my mom's taking only 30 minutes while the contractions intensified and I held onto the handle at the top of my door in the car, trying to deal with the pain without scaring the kids, while Brian drove faster and faster and treated red lights like stop signs.  I remember him dropping me off at the hospital before bringing the kids to my mom's and then his surprise when he got to the hospital 15 minutes later and they hadn't given me a room yet.  And then I remember delivering our little girl only a couple of hours later, and how easy that delivery was compared to those of her brothers. 

More than anything, I remember how happy I was to be pregnant with each of them, how much I enjoyed my nausea-free and calorie-filled pregnancies, how every night following my due date I would go to bed wondering if that was to be the night I'd go into labor and waking each morning angry and frustrated that I was still pregnant.  I remember the thrill of washing and folding the little clothes, preparing for their arrival, and then seeing their precious faces and holding them tight. I remember the nurses coming into my room at 11 PM and asking if they could take the babies to the nursery so I could sleep, and my answering each time, "No, just a little longer, and I'll bring him/her in to you" and then holding them close for a little longer.

I remember sharing my maternity clothes with my sisters as they became pregnant.  I always felt a tug at my heartstrings passing those clothes off, and even though I don't plan on having any more children, I always ask for the clothes back, just to have them.  And each time I pass along my baby clothes to them for their babies, I have to take them out of the bins and unfold them and refold them, and a tear or two always fall.

And tonight I'm a little envious of my sister, envious of the joy that she will soon feel as she sees her new baby's face for the first time, holds her, cuddles her, smells her and kisses her, and I can't wait to get my hands on her tomorrow!  My gift bags are ready to go, and I've cleared an hour out of our busy schedule tomorrow.  Yes, Auntie is ready to hold a baby again.  Let's hope she smells good.