Month: February 2015

Updates

Bea is quickly catching up in size to MG.  They are now sharing some of the same clothes.  Today MG took Bea upstairs, changed her diaper, and dressed her in one of her Aurora nightgowns.  It was a little loose and saggy on her, but precious none the less.

Every meal is a battle with MG. “how much more do I have to eat?  I don’t really like that.  I just want noodles with no sauce.”  Bea multitasks with her spoon and fingers; stuffing gobs of runny food into her mouth with abandon.  And then firmly but politely asks, “more? more? more?”.

The girls are still sharing a room at night.  MG claims she can’t fall asleep without “telling stories” first.  The only person who is privy to these tales is Bea….but she usually falls asleep before the ending.  Every once in a while we will walk by and catch a snatch of monologue.  Stella is a brand new baby.   Isn’t she sweet? Princess Aurora gets sick a lot and has to sleep with a bucket.  Prince Phillip is coming to rescue us but we have to be quiet so Maleficent doesn’t hear us.  There are songs, there are villains, a lot of princesses and babies, but they always end well.

They say that children make sense of their world by processing them through story.  And I guess in many ways, that still makes me a child at heart.

-smk

Vignettes

Today was a work-out center day.  Which means that instead of waking up at 6:30am to run before the girls were awake,  I didn’t get up until 7am. And we all go to the work-out center together where I will run, shower, and get dressed by myself, or something humanizing like that.

It was also Tuesday which means that the pool is open and I try to take the girls there after my workout is done once a week as a sort of bribery/good job you survived the childwatch program today.

Tuesdays are slower days and usually it’s just us and a collection of our gray-haired friends there.   How they cluck over MG & Bea.  “They are just so sweet.”  “I look forward to seeing them here.” “They look like they could be twins!” <–this one always baffles me, but I smile with pride anyway and use one  of my saved up responses like, “well people say that about their daddy and me.”

We go to the locker room first to hang up coats and drop our bags.  One of our special friends is in there.  She has her cellphone on her this time and shows us pictures of her granddaughters who are the same ages as these sisters.  She talks to the girls like one of the good grandmas..getting down on their level and asking them pertinent questions, about Disney princesses and the like.  She’s one of our favorites.

The girls walk confidently into the kidzone.  No hiding behind my legs and barely even a goodbye.  They know the place (and its toys well). The older of the two teacher exclaims, “hi girls!”  and puts matching clips in their hair while I’m away.  I like her too.

I run on the indoor track.  I developed a fear of treadmills when I started experiencing lightheadedness during runs.  The fear of fainting is gone, but I haven’t been on a treadmill since.

I run long enough to block out the noisy basketball players and sink deep into my thoughts.  I pray over a few key things on my radar and let excitement wash over me as I think about some future endeavors.

Just as I’m starting to sweat and become out of breath, my time is up.  I go to the fitness center to lift some weights. Today is arm day.

I try out a machine I’ve never used before and realize that I still have the extremely self-centered middle school phobia that everyone in the room is watching me.  I fumble through it and figuratively pat myself on the back for doing it anyway.  A quick glance around the room tells me there might have only been maybe one person watching me.  I think they were trying to figure out the machine too.

It’s been an hour since I dropped the girls off and it’s time for me to shower.  The locker room is filled with old ladies in swimsuits and in various states of undress.  There is something about being old, and nearly nude and vulnerable that brings out the sisterhood of friendship.  One woman who I swear is 80 was offered an extra towel by one of the staff (and they are s-t-i-n-g-y about extra towels).  I witness another pair help each other out when one’s shirt becomes stuck behind her neck.  It reminds me of my little ones.

As I’m wrestling with my combination lock (which always brings a bout of anxiety, thank you middle school gym class), I see in my peripheral vision, a lady round the corner, stop, and walk back by me.  She opens her mouth and I assume she is going to ask me a question about a class or directions to the gym.  She says instead, “I’m just wondering where you get water shoes.”  She’s looking at me, but then she’s looking past me and I too turn to look, now involved, by proxy, in this conversation. Another gray lady, decked out in polka-dotted swimwear, is reaching into her locker and answers, “Oh anywhere.  Kmart, Meijers, Walmart”.  I know she is a state native because she pluralizes Meijer.

After the inquisitor exits, she confides in me that her water shoes are really old and she doesn’t remember where she bought them.  I realize that when she says really old,  she means they could be really old.  Like older than me old.

I make my way down to pick the girls up from their designated room.  MG is sitting at a table, playing with a princess castle (surprisingly not in front of the tv).  Bea is in a box of blocks. The older teacher says, “why do you have to pick up the good kids?”  I smile and say, “were they good?”  “Oh they are always good.  This one (pointing to MG) is the quiet one and this one (pointing to Bea) is the busy one.”  Yes, that is my observation at home as well.

MG has a forlorn look on her face as I approach.  “They turned Sofia on.  I tried not to watch but I just kept looking.” (we had asked her not to watch this show at home because it has some things that have negatively influenced her).  I am proud of her effort and can’t help but smile at her honesty.  She can’t let it go, “I just kept looking.  I tried really hard but I was interested in what Sofia was doing.”

“How was your hang-out?” she asks.

We head back to the locker room (third time if you’re counting), this time to put on swimsuits.  An elderly friend approaches the girls as we are about to walk out and says hello.  Bea walks to her with arms outstretched in a hug invitation.  The friend can’t resist.  Not many people can.  “I bet she would go to anyone”. she says approvingly.  MG has to be coached to say “hi” to people.  When she does, the word sounds like “hi” but the tone sounds like “goodbye”.  It doesn’t matter, Bea has smoothed things over.

The girls hold my hands as we walk by the pool.  There is a water aerobics class in session and Bea waves unabashedly as we walk by.  There are audible coos and awe over the girls.  We are the only ones under 50.

We stay and play until our stomachs and beds beckon us home.

I counted on three separate occasions, “you are such a good mom” spoken to me today.  How could you not love this place?  Good for your body and heart.

-smk

Practice and Theory

One of my FB friends posed a riddle the other day that for some reason has stuck with me and I can’t stop applying it to meaningless scenarios in my own life.

What are things do you enjoy better in theory than practice?

What are things do you enjoy better in practice than theory?

She gave her own examples and I have since made endless lists of my own.

Theory:

-Smoothies (I wish I could enjoy them for their health benefits, but the fact of the matter is, I miss chewing)

-converting from a Dell to a Mac  (I’m sure I will love it someday, but it has been like learning a foreign language…and I was so fluid with my Dell)

-naps (most days, I’d love to take an afternoon snooze, but reality is, I will wake up grumpy and then it messes with my nighttime sleep.  so unfair)

Practice:

-FitBit (I, admiittedly, thought they were silly and a fad.  Instead, I have found that I really enjoy the mileage tracker when I run and have gotten into the spirit of it)

-Pedicures (I’m not one that seeks out or enjoys being “pampered”, but I realized that my toes needed some attention when I started wearing sandals in CA and thought, “why not?”.  I forgot how nice it is to look down at your feet and feel pretty)

-Paleo (our little fam has pretty much become grain/dairy free due to allergies {still eating sugar though, as a consolation prize} I never thought I would be a person who would enjoy this kind of food, nor learn how to cook well with it, but I have found myself pleasantly surprised –and even more so with the results–)

N/A:

Traveling Solo with the girls. (I always dread, and It always slightly exceeds my expectations).

The girls and I just returned from a little holiday with my parents in CA.  The weather put its best foot forward and we were welcomed with 60/s-70’s and sunny.  This was my first trip by myself with just the two.  The trip out was a 12 hour door-to-door excursion.  Bea got a quick nap before we left the house and then both girls adrenalined-themselves awake until nearly 11pm that night–our second flight.  We had an hour and a half layover in Vegas where the airport is filled with shiny slot machines in a hub of every terminal.  There are leather chairs and blinking screens–the perfect attraction for little ones.  Of course though too, there are game masters stationed at each hub because it is illegal for children under 21 to go anywhere near.  Thanks, Vegas.

The second flight took off at 10:30pm our time and Bea was able to fall asleep while we were still taxied.  MG said, “oh no, I’m not tired” about 5 minutes before losing control of her body and slumping down in her seat.  I layed her out on my lap and settled in for the remainder of the flight.  The peace lasted about 15 minutes and then Bea began stirring uncomfortably.  I pulled her out of her seat to keep her from crying and tried to rock her by holding her above MG’s head in my lap.  This was the trenches of the trip.  Bea never went back to sleep, including in the car ride to Granny’s house.  Both girls willed themselves awake long enough for snacks and a thorough inspection of the toys before finally laying their heads on the pillow around 3 am our time.

The way back was a bit easier as Bea slept for an hour and a half of the second flight (turning her carseat around backwards was a game changer)  and our layover in Vegas was shorter.  So much shorter that I walked-ran the stroller across the airport (I logged 2 miles on my fitbit) and barely made it on the plane to find a seat of three open for us (Southwest).

 

Many, many kind people offered help with the girls and carrying things for me.  The Southwest employees were so helpful (one of the kind stewards watched a sleeping Bea for me while I took MG potty on the plane). Plus the girls and I received lots of accolades and remarks from the well-wishers of the world.  So I guess when I think about it, I will file this one under Practice.

-smk