Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

So, I just watched the movie Akeelah and the Bee. It was a very good movie, and I would recommend it to anyone. It is even okay for kids, although younger ones might not be too interested in it. And if any of you are wondering who Akeelah's older brother is played by (as in, you can't figure out where you've seen him before), he is the guy from The Famous Jett Jackson that used to play on Disney Channel. Anyhoo. This movie is one of those that makes you want to run out and buy a dictionary. Okay, not really. But it is one that feels inspirational, that makes you want to push yourself a little bit harder at what you do. It also made me want more for my kids. It made me hope for more for them. It made me dream of what they might accomplish if I give them the support and love that they need. There was also a very good quote in the movie. I think they used part of this quote in the previews, but I'm going to post the entire thing here. I think I'm also going to print it out as a reminder for me. So, enjoy. And maybe be inspired.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-Marianne Williamson

One Bottle of Water (or, The Post in Which I Call Myself a Schlub Five Times)

Yep. One bottle is all the water I drank today. I’m such a schlub. I have been so negligent lately about eating healthy and exercising. For a while I was doing really great about working out every other day. I was going to yoga twice a week, on my off days. I was drinking more water than soda. I was eating healthy foods and cutting back on my addiction (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Somewhere, that all stopped. Actually, I can tell you when it stopped.

It stopped when we went to Etna to pick up The Girl from her visit to GG and Papa’s. We were down there for three weeks. I did pretty good at first. I went to the gym every other day. I took a really long walk (almost five miles). Pretty much all I drank was water. I was eating really healthy. I only made it to yoga the last Monday we were there because of the holiday and a family dinner. I’m not so sure it stopped there, or if it stopped when we got back. The working out stopped when we got back. I don’t know why. The Hubster was unemployed, so I didn’t have to take the kids with me, so I don’t know what my excuse was. I was still going to yoga twice a week. Then, mid-August I cancelled my gym membership. And even though the membership doesn’t actually expire until the end of September, I stopped going to yoga. Like I said, I’m a schlub.

Something I’ve learned about myself over the last few years: I’m one of those people who have to start with working out, and the healthy eating follows almost without conscious effort. Therefore, when the working out stops, the healthy eating stops as well. So, since I’ve given up pretty much all physical activity, I’ve given up pretty much all healthy food. And really, it’s not that I’m eating tons of unhealthy food. Really, I’m just not eating much at all. I usually skip breakfast, which I’ve heard is a big no-no. Some days I have lunch and some days I don’t, depending on how much energy I need to put into the kids (meaning: more energy, no lunch; less energy, yes lunch). I usually eat dinner, because most nights I cook it. But I have been eating smaller portion sizes lately, since I was shocking myself with the amount of food I was consuming at the evening meal. My water-drinking has become almost non-existent. I’m back to eating lots of candy and chips, especially late at night (which again, I’ve heard is a big no-no). Again, I’m a schlub.

Something else I’ve learned about myself over the years. I am not very self-motivated when it comes to working out. I can’t pop in an exercise video at home and have a great workout. I don’t like to use the treadmill in the dining room, or run on the road, alone. The thing is, even though I didn’t talk to anyone at the gym, I was so much more enthused about working out when I was there. I could run on the treadmill for an hour. I could do a weight machine circuit in no time. I would just put my headphones on, sweat like a fool, and watch people. But the thing is, my life isn’t very conducive to gym memberships. I’ve got two small kids and a husband at home. I have other things I could be doing with that time. But I enjoyed that time so much! I enjoyed feeling healthy. I enjoyed being able to touch my toes for the first time in my life after four months of yoga. And let me tell you, after a month of no yoga, my body is protesting. That is definitely something I need to keep up with.
Anyway. I’m not sure what the point of this post is. I guess just to tell you what a schlub I am. How I don’t take care of my body. And I’m not even getting into showering and hair products and make-up and how many times a day I brush my teeth. Hygiene is a whole other post. But only because I’m a schlub.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Kids Are Short

As our kids get older, we all say things like “You’re growing up so fast,” or “You’re getting so big.” I myself have said these very things to both my kids in the last few months. Sometimes they seem like clich├ęs, over used phrases meant to praise our kids. But really, physically, emotionally, and mentally, they are so true. The Girl has a pair of pants that used to fit her, but are suddenly capris. The Boy can sing most of “Jesus Loves Me,” as long as you can keep him calm, and he doesn’t turn into his rabid, weird self. My baby boy is no longer a baby, but a crazy, loud, energetic toddler. My chubby cheeked, big-eyed girl is no longer a toddler, but a slim, to-smart-for-her-own-good preschooler. The days go so fast, even when they seem so slow. But anyway, all this melancholy wasn’t the point of this post. I’ve gotten all swept away in the nostalgia and sadness that is motherhood. Here’s the point:

I realized something tonight, as The Girl came out of her dark room, “needing to pee” (even though she had gone right before bed, a half hour before). My children are really very short. I know this seems to be one of those “Well, duh!” statements, but it’s really meant in a profound way. I was irritated with her, because I don’t think she really peed at all, or that she really needed to go in the first place. I ordered her back to bed, and as I was walking behind her out of the bathroom, I realized how short she is. (Speaking of peeing, it’s now 1:00 am, and The Girl just stumbled in here bleary-eyed and half awake, needing to go. But she really had to go this time.) And in that instant, in realizing that she was short physically, I also realized that she is “short” emotionally, and behaviorally. I don’t mean to say that she is behind or that she has problems. Just that she is four years old, and The Boy is two, and sometimes I forget that.

The Girl, in my opinion, has always been a bit ahead of the curve. She hit all the milestones just slightly ahead of schedule. She walked at 11 months, she started talking around 15. She has always been so intelligent that I guess I’ve begun to think of her as being older than she is. Even in all the times I’ve reminded The Hubster “She’s only four!” I guess I too have been guilty of forgetting her physical age. As I walked behind her to her room, to lay her back down in bed, my anger dissipated. How could I be mad at someone so small for something so…small?

Sometimes I’m disappointed in myself, for how upset I get at the kids for such insignificant things. The Girl will ask me for chocolate milk when I’m in the middle of making dinner. I get so irritated with her, even though she hasn’t done anything wrong. She isn’t throwing a fit, or demanding that I get it for her NOW. She has simply made a request for something that she can’t get for herself. Most of the time, when I change The Boy’s diaper, before he can lay down, he has to hug me. Why should this frustrate me? My wonderful, loving son is only trying to show affection to me. And I’m annoyed because he’s taking up my time. Time that I could be doing what? Surfing the internet, watching TV, reading my book? How could any of these things be more important than getting a hug from my baby? Why am I letting myself miss these opportunities? Opportunities to make memories with my kids, build up their self-esteem, or show them that I care? I always said, growing up, that I wanted to be a mother. Why am I not taking this chance that God has given me to BE a mother? To BE involved, to BE loving, to BE there for my kids. How have I let everything else become more important to me than my own flesh and blood?

Whew. Okay. Guess it’s back to the melancholy, isn’t it? The whole point of this thing was that my kids are short, and I need to start treating them like they are. But then the Guilt Monster came in and took over. Well, I should go to bed now. Its 1:30 and I’m afraid the battery on my new laptop is going to give out soon. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m sitting in bed, typing this on my new computer I bought from my bestest friend? Sweet. Good thing The Hubster is hunting for the week, or I would still be exiled to the freezing dining room.

***EDITED TO ADD: This morning, at 6:30, when both of my children are already awake (one having been up for at least an hour already), and after getting five hours sleep, doesn’t seem like such a good time to test my “be nice to short people” theory. But I will try.***