Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stepping Up

Last week I decided that I needed to face this winter head on so I went to see a chiropractor that looks at your total body and lifestyle and has a proven record of helping people with anxiety and depression like I do.  I figured it couldn't hurt and I didn't have anything to lose. 

Of course, his main suggestion was to give up pop.  Good Lord, I don't smoke, I rarely drink, I have no bad habits but my Polar Pop which, even though it holds 32 ounces, I fill it all the way up with crushed ice and then fill it up with about 12 ounces of Coke, the equivalent of a can a day.  Can I have no fun in my life? 

I am now on day five of little to no coke.  I have to tell you that I have been kind of cranky, but I am feeling better.  I have also cut out cookies and bread.  Oh, and M&M's and donuts. 

I addition, he said that I needed to keep exercising.  Today my friend Emily and I went to the gym to play racquetball.  I took it in college and thought it would just come right back.  She played tennis and thought that we could make it work.  We were wrong.  I took my racket from college that has not been used in about 15 years.  Let me tell you what happens to a racket that has not been used in 15 years.  The grip disintegrates in your hand.  At first I couldn't understand why my hands looked like I had been working in the garden, but I quickly realized that the grip was missing.  Who knew? 

After a half an hour Emily suggested that Power Step class was starting and maybe we should give it a try. I told her that I have never taken an aerobics class in my life, and was rhythmically challenged, but I would give it a whirl. 

I ran track all through high school and was in good shape when I went to college so I never joined in when my roommates would go to these classes.  I knew I would make a fool of myself and couldn't see how this would benefit me in any way.  The one time they talked me into it I tripped on the step outside of my apartment and scraped my knee.  I took this as a sign from God himself that I was not cut out for this type of exercise and went back home.  Here I am, a 40 year old woman, and thought that this would be a fine idea. 

Let me tell you, it was a BAD IDEA! I thought it would be okay because the instructor had said they didn't do a lot of complicated choreography.   I did okay as we were marching in place.  I was fine while we did the stretching.  I was even hanging in there while they did the step up and down, and then it all went horribly wrong. 

First let me say that I was standing behind a woman that had the definition of BUNS OF STEEL.  You could bounce quarters off that behind.  She also had TWO STEPS.  That means that she made the step higher to work harder.  I was trying to follow what she was doing and still maintain an upright position.  They started to do this "L" move that I still can't figure out.  Turns out that was the easiest move they did.  I can't even tell you what the other things were.  I alternated between marching in place and laughing out of control.  I managed to move the entire time, and not take anyone else down with me. 

Tomorrow I am going to try Zumba for beginners and seniors.  You might want to stay away so I don't hurt you with my attempts at dancing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Being Fully Present

Yesterday was one of those days that the kids have off of school for no apparent reason.  I think it had to do with conferences or something like that.  Dave took the day off too, so we decided that we would go to Fun and Stuff which is a local place where you can do a bunch of things like laser tag.  I decided that I was going to go and be fully present and participate in every activity that the kids wanted to do, even if it killed me. 

The first thing we did when we got there was go on the Krazy Kars.  They are round bumper cars so not only can you ram into your loved ones and various strangers in the 15 and under crowd, you can also spin around and make yourself sick.  It was pretty fun.  As I was being crashed on all sides I had the thought that the new chiropractor I had started to see would not be amused. 

The next thing we did was go sign up for Laser Tag.  To Colin, this is the BEST! THING! EVER!  I have played with him a few times, but it has been a few years.  I have a confession to make.  When I am put in competitive situations, I can not be held responsible for my actions.  I get a little bit crazy.  Once we were playing a holiday version of Trivial Pursuit with my in-laws.  I believe I went a bit overboard when I was yelling at my team because they did not know the colors of the candles in the advent wreath off the top of their heads.(The answer is pink and purple in case you had a burning desire to know.)  Another time we were playing Monopoly with Dave's 80 something aunt and I plotted to bankrupt her so I could win.  I am not proud of my behavior so I often avoid situations that unleash the beast. 

During the first game of Laser Tag I was able to keep myself in check.  I made a respectable showing and stayed close to Colin's score.  It was when we went back later in the day that things got kind of ugly.  There were four kids that were in the 11 to 12 year old set that were talking smack.  They were acting like typical tweeners on their own for the day.  I was doing fine until they started trash talking me.  It was at that point that it was game on!  I took no prisoners and cornered one kid and shot until I was out of shots.  He said "geeze, I am just a kid".  Again, I am not proud of my behavior.

Dave decided that he wanted to roller skate.  If Dave was going to do it, by God I was too.   That is, until I had my skates on and stood up.  I made it about 10 feet and decided that a broken bone was not worth being fully present, and common sense took over.  I have not skated in about 30 years.  Yesterday was not the time to start.  Dave and Colin made it around the rink and Ryan and I went off to do some arcade bowling. 

When we met back up Colin wanted to do the Rock Wall.  He is really good at it and makes it look kind of easy.  You guessed it, I tried it, too.   I made it about a quarter of the way up, but my hands got sweaty and I was having a hard time finding a good place to put my feet.  Having big feet does not help when climbing the rock wall.  Have I mentioned how big my feet are?  Big!  I can now cross that off my bucket list. 

Colin did this thing where you had to try to make it across a room without breaking a laser beam.  He was really good at it.  The whole time he was crawling and bending and jumping his way through, I couldn't help but sing the "Mission Impossible" theme song in my mind.  I am sorry to say that 24 hours later it is still stuck there. 

Finally, we went outside to the go-carts.  I am now disclosing that I am a graduate of the BMW test track driving school.  You know, the one in South Carolina.  Yep, That one.  The Real One!  Lets also remember the beast had been unleashed in Laser Tag.  Also, I had the two person car because Ryan is still too short to drive on his own so he rode with me.  The first time we rode, I had a bad car.  Ryan was fine with this because he is not a speed demon.  We were out for a leisurly ride waving as people lapped us.  It was the second time that got a little heated.  You guessed it, the laser tag kids were there.  I had a fast car.  I got to go first and after about three laps around the track I started to pass people.  I approached the LT kids and they were not about to be passed by me.  They swerved in front of me to prevent me from passing.  They bumped me on the turns.  I decided to be the adult and back off.  Again, they started with the trash talk.  I guess they had not learned their lesson so I had to school them on go-cart driving.  There are some advantages to being behind.  I stalked them until the last lap and then passed on the first turn.  They ate my exhaust the whole way around. 

I have to say the day was an all around success.  We had a great time as a family and had a ton of laughs and fun.  I think we created some good memories for the kids, and I got to see pure joy on their faces.  Their giggles are music to my soul.  I am happy to report that the beast is captured back in the cage and hopfully won't unleash itself again for a long time. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

State of the Blog Address

This blog started as an outlet for my creativity, frustration, joy and life in general.  I told a few people about it and then started posting it on Facebook when I did something new.  I never expected to stick with it, or that anyone besides my family would be interested. 

Flash forward to now.  I have had 4200 hits to this little hobby and have been read in over 10 different countries.  I found out that I can't count Spain because it was my friend Lynn reading it while he was there on business.  I have posted over 100 times and have shared some things about myself that I used to keep quiet but now have told in the hopes of helping someone else who might be in my shoes. 

I have also made $7.00 on adsense ads.  This is kind of funny since they don't pay you until you hit $100.  At this rate I might be able to get something fun for myself when the kids graduate from college.  They are currently 6 and 11. 

Anyway, I appreciate all of the people that have been reading.  Thanks for taking the time to hang out with me.  I hope to see you around soon. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall is not for the Faint of Heart....

On an unrelated note, I think that Dave and I should sell ourselves to other cities that are in big sports markets. It is no secret that there has not been a championship team in Cleveland since 1964 when the Browns won. It seems that any team that we root for loses. My loyalties are for sale to the highest bidder. If you want me to root for your opponent, let me know and, for the right price, I will take them out of the playoffs. This will almost certainly mean a winner for your city. I am mentioning this because as I write this post, the MLB playoffs are on my television. We were rooting for Milwaukee, but since Dave has been watching, the Brewers are blowing a one-run lead in the ninth inning of game 5. For the sake of the city of Milwaukee, I have asked him to turn it off, but he insists on watching. I will apologize in advance to the city of St. Louis since that is who he is rooting for in the next game. Detroit can thank me since I distracted him last night during their game with the Yankees. I commandeered the remote and made him watch the DVR'd episode of "The Big Bang Theory."

I can tell that fall is coming.  The hickory nuts in the back are falling and when they hit the deck in the back yard they sound like bullets.  It is colder than I am prepared for, and the leaves are changing.  The final straw is when the Goldenrod starts to bloom and makes me miserable. 

Can you tell that Fall is not my favorite season?  It is the precursor to Winter which is my black hole.  I can already feel myself falling into the pit that is called winter depression.  Last year I just let it happen.  It was a long and brutal winter that went on FOREVER!  That is really not an exaggeration.

This year I am doing something about it.  I have joined a gym and plan on taking Zumba classes.  My friend is going to play racquetball with me and we will take out all our aggressions on a little blue ball.  It is better than taking them out on Dave, or our kids. 

Last year was the closest that I have come to losing all my marbles.  It was a true white-knuckle ride.  It felt like the walls were crumbling down on me and for every foot I would make up the tunnel I would fall back about six inches.  I really need to move from here to a place where it is warmer for more of the year than it is cold.  The fact of the matter is that until I can get 24 immediate family members to move with me, it is not going to happen.   Until I win the lottery or convince them that we would all be happier moving to South Carolina, I will stay here in Ohio with our cold weather and losing sports teams and dream of a day when I will be warm again. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hey, I Haven't Forgotten About You

Colin pointed out that it has been awhile since I have posted anything.  There are a few reasons for that as we have had some stuff going on.  Let me detail it for you. 

Last week on Sunday Ryan came up from watching Star Wars (again, sigh...) and said that he was hot.  Because Ryan likes to act out all of the fight scenes complete with a light saber and Rocket from "Little Einsteins", I didn't really think anything of it.  With hindsight being 20/20, I should have paid a bit more attention.  He came into our room around 4:00 in the morning and said he thought he was going to throw up.  I am happy to say that he made it to the bathroom each time.  I am sorry to say that he threw up six times over the following 48 hours.  He was so sad and it broke my heart. 

Wednesday was a day of playing catch-up.  I was busy all day.  Wednesday night I wasn't feeling so well so I  went to bed after dinner.  I had a headache, sore throat and my stomach wasn't feeling so great.  I was sure it was the power of suggestion and that I was just tired.  No such luck.  When I woke up my throat felt like there were razor blades inside and even my hair hurt.  In short, I was dying.  A quick trip to the doctor showed that somebody had shared Strep Throat with me. 

When Colin came home from school I asked him if he could get Ryan off the bus because I had Strep.  He said, and I quote, "I told you all week I didn't feel good and you didn't believe me."  This is true.  He had been telling me that his throat and stomach had hurt, but he would say this as he was going about his daily routine.   He had no fever and was acting normal. 

On Friday I sent Colin to school but made an appointment for him at lunch time.  Before the doctor even took the throat culture he said he had strep.  Usually it takes forever for him to come back, but this time the door hardly even closed behind him before he was back with the results.  I almost cried.  How could I have missed this?  More importantly, how was Colin functioning when I was sure that I wanted to crawl into my bed and sleep for a week. 

Just when I thought it was safe to come back and face the world, Colin started complaining that his stomach hurt.  I tried to chalk it up to the medicine upsetting his stomach, only to be faced with another child throwing up for another 48 hours. 

Today was the first day that everyone was where they are supposed to be.  I think we are all back to a good place, and the cleaning ladies came yesterday to help disinfect the palace.  Here is to better days ahead.