Friday, May 31, 2013

If you're any decent type of stalker at all, then you know I have been devoted to fitness for days now. This week I tried Zumba and a cycle class in addition to some of the stuff I did last week. I'm not deliberately trying every class the Y offers, but I bet I would OWN water aerobics for arthritis. I'm about 90% sure I'm going to try the non-arthritic water class, just because I can. 

I can tell it's going to be a mental challenge to get dressed and out of the house, especially when my kids aren't in school. There's a relatively good accountability here, though, what with y'all expecting vlogs and whatnot. Let's just see how it goes.

The week in review:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My kids ask a lot of questions. Well. Mostly the middle two kids. R2 just points at stuff and Tristan mostly issues commands. But the talkers, they like to corner me and help develop my character, but only when I'm awake or sleeping.

Sometimes I sit in the big chair at 7 am and ask myself, "Does God have a mustache?", but not because I want to know. If I was asking questions, I'd be asking a lot more of the "What's the deal with calories?" kind of questions, because, obviously, the food thing is all injustice. I look at them through the cloud of the morning, and I know that if I don't answer the question no one will ever put on their shoes ever and the questions will keep coming.
"Well." I say blearily, "The Bible says He has a beard, so.."
"Tell me about His beard. Have you seen Him? Does the Bible say He has a mustache?"
"Um. Well, I don't think so..."
"But it could, right? I mean, have you read the whole thing? Has anybody seen Him?"
"I have... read it... I've read it. I don't remember a mustache...."
"Well. I  think He has a mustache."
"You're probably right. Have you seen your shoes?"
"I think God wears a stripey dress."
(soft weeping)

"Well, what if there was a meteor that we didn't detect and it came and smashed our car?"
"Um. That's not going to hap-"
"But it could happen, right?"
"I... guess?"
"What would happen to us? We'd be dead, right?"
"Guys, did you have fun at the park? Let's talk about the park."
"If a meteor hit the park..." MUSIC UP.

"What if God wanted to fly, or dig a hole and hide in it? I know He doesn't have to. But He could. It's possible, right? What if He wanted to punch the devil?" Is there a laser ray gun? Is time travel real? Are aliens real?"
"You know who you guys should talk to? Daddy. You should talk to daddy. He's right in there, in that locked office, with his earplugs in and ocean waves on his speakers. You should knock on the door and ask questions."
"Are there robots who fight? Can people fly? What would happen if this was a REAL light saber? So most people lose their teeth when they're 7 or something, but there are three-year-olds who have lost their teeth, right? I mean, somewhere in the world there is a three year old with no teeth. It could be, right?"
"Will I ever get to eat your special chocolate?  Can we add that cashier on Facebook? When will I be a grownup? I don't want to drive a car. Is this the future? When is the future?"

One thing I have learned from my daily interrogations is that technically, anything is possible. Except maybe running out of questions. Although I guess it could happen...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Last week I decided to try fitness. After all, we were fasting entertainment and the only other option was cleaning the house. Also, I have noticed an alarming trend in all my jeans, suddenly switching from normal low-rise jeans that a cool person would wear to a fairly tight, muffin-top inducing mom jean, and by suddenly I mean over a 6 month period. And now we're approaching swimsuit season and my only options have become fleeing to a nice Muslim country where people can wear clothes, or to face the problem head-on. ("What about loving you for you?" you ask. That is technically another option, but I really also want to look good in a swimsuit that no one will ever see because of my modesty tee and board shorts. Just roll with me.)

I've weighed options over the last months. I'll set up a TV by my treadmill! I thought. But then I remembered that I hate running more than I hate the devil, and also daytime TV stinks. I'll run in the neighborhood, I thought. But then I remembered that I hate running and also I hate nature. Eventually I decided to try every class at the YMCA. So that's what I did last week. Technically I have not tried cycling, Zumba or Pilates yet, and I don't know that I will. 

Now, you might be familiar with gyms on sitcoms and rom-coms where attractive people with just one big secret meet each other and sweat prettily in spandex stretched over their muscled 20-something bodies. That's not exactly the scene at our local Y. For one thing, the median age is about 70. "Active Older Adults" they call 'em, and those grannies can power walk something fierce. I don't mind this crowd a bit. In fact, I feel kinda like a PYT.

I did interval training, which is basically aerobics with a modern facelift, and I was very terrible at it, because there's a lot of hand to the right but leg to the left and by the time I figure out which side is right, the octogenarians are already walking backwards and stepping perkily up and down from risers. The other days I did things I was a little better at, like picking up stuff and jumping jacks and such. Friday, I did yoga and I was highly amused at myself but yoga is no time for jokes, because Buddha probably frowned upon gigglers. I did like how stretched I felt after the class. Planning on going back because I, like many of my senior comrades, have a little bit of a hunchback and I heard rumors that yoga might help out the ol' posture.

Also I ate good, for me, which might still be somebody else's very worst week, but I don't care so much about that. Will I sustain all this productivity now that I have the internet again? Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Time really sneaks up on you. A lot of the time with little kids, you wake up in the morning and fight your way till bedtime and it seems like endless hours of the day, but then you notice that your baby is a kid and it's a cosmic sucker-punch.

That is why, this week when I got the chance to buy them new summer clothes, I was disturbed to find myself in the big kid clothes for the older 3. It doesn't make any sense, because obviously they are still little babies and they are never going to leave me ever. Speaking of that, sometimes I think I'm only a couple traumatic life events away from dressing my adult children in sailor suits and making them pose with giant lollipops and balloons for family portraits.

I did okay for the boys. Lucky for me we live in a totally unrealistic eternal youth Peter Pan kind of culture for men, so I will be able to buy them Star Wars undies and Sesame Street shirts well into their thirties. Girl's clothes, on the other hand, are not cool. I have a SIX year old. Sometimes I think maybe everybody else's kids must be really calm and still all the time, because there are white clothes out there for children, and even white shoes... I don't think we've ever had a white item last one wearing before it is irreparably stained. Is it just us? And do other people have 6 year olds who can wear dresses with gauzy thin overlays? Because mine would shred that before I took it out of the Target bag. And I'm not even getting into the little sleaze-slogans, because that's a whole 'nother blog. Just the flowy, sequinny shiny grownup clothes for people who still consistently try to climb fences to meet neighborhood Rotweillers and carry tree bark and rocks in their decorative pockets.

I imagined, (as I looked hopelessly for a basic playdress with a nice pattern that could handle a lot of spaghetti sauce) a family of 6, like mine, only with children whose hair laid flat on their heads instead of rising in massive cowlicks as soon as it dried, hair that could be parted and controlled, and these children had no chocolate on their faces and clean fingernails and white shirts and blue jeans with knees and matching shoes. They sat on the couch on their bottoms, not even one family member was upside down or gleefully smashing a banana into the cushion or just barely touching his sister with one finger to make her scream, and not even one sister was smacking her brother hard. in the face. This family could eat a meal without a dish ever falling on the floor or a cup of juice being knocked over 3 times, even the mom in this family ate at the same time as the children! No one poured sauce down their shirts or rubbed pudding in their hair. The mom had white pants. And she had worn them multiple times.

I don't know these people, but I know that Target knows them. Evidently they are their (wait for it) target demographic. Me, I'm okay with my upside-down chocolate-covered heckraisers. Makes life interesting. Maybe I'll wear white pants when I'm 80.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

In honor of Mother's Day, which I usually kind of skip, I'm reposting last year's Mother's Day post. In fact, I'll just link to a bunch of Mother's Day posts. Tomorrow we are off on a weekend ministry trip with the Clarklings. And may God have mercy on my soul.

Mother's Day through the Blog Ages

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

this is the story of a garbage bag
its stench would be the devil's brag
take heed, ye ears it reaches
a harrowing tale, its evil preaches

a wretched mound of every ill
diapers, coffee, banana peel
ne'er noticed or taken away
"Room for more" thought he, e'ery day

"I could take it out," thought she
but filled with ire, she let it be
"Surely someone will take a hint."
and passed it by with face like flint

one thousand days and thousand nights
the horror stood, a holy blight
and though she stared with baleful gaze
her rage broke not his mental haze

a thousand years with words unspoken
brought to her knees, proud woman broken
collected the bags and those hauled outdoors
while ne'er he knew of her humbling chores

This is the story of a garbage bag
and also a cautionary tale to nag
learn from the woman with egg in her shoe
to ne'er be silent on what a man should do

Monday, May 6, 2013

Followed a train of thoughts today about my mental and physical coordination. The train led to nowhere. Still writing an entry about it.

I was a clumsy kid. I was also a hypochondriac, so that one time when I broke my arm, no one believed me until it turned purple and would no longer move. Then, a week later, when I tripped over a hose, fell, and broke at least one finger on the other hand, no one believed me again until a day or two later. 7 years old with a cast on one arm and a splint on the other. I was what you call "glamorous". To this day, I regard both roller skates and water hoses as enemy combatants.

I'm not bitter about any of this, because I have it all blocked and shoved way into a corner of my heart where no one goes. I kid. Actually I'm not bitter because I am a parent now, with a hypochondriac kid, and if she ever breaks a bone I'm sure we'll wait to be sure. True story: as I was typing that I remembered last year she broke her collarbone in the night and we waited till the next day to get it checked out. So I speak the truth.

One of my older sisters is a dancer. Every time I say that I feel I have to very quickly follow up with a disclaimer like, "A dancer like ballet and jazz and modern and stuff," lest someone suspect her of being a lady of the night. Actually, now, she dances with a troupe of black-clad athletic Stomp types, which is even harder to explain. The point is, she's athletic and coordinated. My other 3 siblings do not dance, and I don't know if they're klutzy or not, because I'm pretty self-absorbed, I guess. Also, I'm the baby by a decent number of years, so. But that sister, Leah, I always wanted to be like her, with the dancing and the backflips and stuff, but it's hard, because stuff like walking without falling down is challenging.

In addition to my lack of grace, I am kind of mentally uncoordinated. I mean, I'm smart, but my processes are complicated. When I cook, I use all the dishes. When I clean the floor, I never remember to clean the table first, so then I have to clean the floor again. Today I failed to read the whole recipe and ended up having to move the ingredients to a different bowl and then I realized I hadn't melted the peanut butter so I had to fish it out and melt it and then throw it back in, stuff like that. In the end my chocolate-peanut butter-pudding-pops will no doubt be tasty, but I just think most people probably have less kitchen carnage to arrive at the same result.

I think it's a disability, like someday if they examine my brain they'll find all the smarts squished up on one side like when Milk Duds melt in your glove compartment, and on the other 3/4 of the brain it'll be all squiggly and wacko, and then I will finally make sense. Until then, I salute you, graceful and logical ones, as soon as I remember how a salute works.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This spring keeps getting sucker punched by winter. Every time I'm like, "Hey. Where are my flip flops, anyway?", winter is all like "Sike!" because winter doesn't know that 90's catchphrase was probably really "psych". Also because winter is a punk.

Oh yeah, you're hilarious. Look at me laughing. 

And around here, weather is fairly relative, anyway, because most of us would prefer to remain in a climate-controlled environment at all times. The exceptions are Tristan, who we do not allow outdoors without a squadron of armed guards, and Brynn. Poor, poor Brynn. She would love to be outside in the snow and the rain and the fakey-spring and the summer, but nobody else wants to play out there. "Novel idea," you say, all sneeringly, like a guy named Brad in an 80's movie, "how about you parent and go out there with her?" Listen, Brad. You're lucky I don't have a can of paint or a pie or something right now, because you'd be getting it in the face. I can't go outside, because of nature. So now you understand.

But Brynn has been requesting an outside swimming day for months now, even though indoor swimming days with a blue food color bath seem like a super fun idea to me. Our annual pool strategy is like this: buy a $10 pool, use it for a couple of months, forget about it, throw it away when it's a slimy bowl of horrors. Wait 10 months, repeat. She's been putting the pressure on pretty hard, coming downstairs in her swimsuit on 40 degree days and such. Finally we had some nice days so I planned a trek to Walmart for a new Annual Petri Dish of Fun in the Sun even though it might snow tomorrow. 

That's right, snow. In May. Like I said, I don't care so much, because of the indoor factor. But this poor kid... I bought the pool and I brought it home, only to find that our air pump is lost. So I did what any nutso lunatic would do and blew it up by mouth and then spent 20 minutes trying to take a picture of myself before I realized I was a little high from the pool fumes and the lack of oxygen.

a little help from my friends

I set it up in the backyard, on a deep pillow of dandelions and tall grass, because we don't mow our yard here in Narnia, and I fought the water hose until it came loose and then I laboriously filled the pool I self-inflated with water.

"You do it," she says, "like THIS." 
Brynn was ecstatic. "WAIT," she orders, like I'm about to dive in. "I AM GONNA PUT ON MY SWIMSUIT BECAUSE I'M SO EXCITED AND I'M GONNA SWIM YOU'RE THE BEST MOM IN THE UNIVERSE EEEEEEEEEEE" and so on and then she ran inside and found her suit and put it on and put one foot in the water and said it was too cold and she had decided maybe she didn't feel like swimming.

Just before the War
The pool is now filled, not with humans, but with bathtub toys they will inevitably forget to bring in, and I will end up outside in the snow, collecting Tiny Rabbit because she CAN'T TAKE A BATH WITHOUT TINY RABBIT. 

For the next 10 minutes, they will be enthralled with thinking about getting in the water, and then they'll be done until spring comes again, maybe next week, maybe never. Somehow, it's all totally worth it.
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