Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day?

Oh, this week. This week nearly did me in. But I'm in sight of Monday, and the start of a new week, a fresh start. Plus the kids are sleeping, my husband is folding mountains of laundry, and I have a (second) cosmo sitting next to me, perspiring and pink and very, very palatable.

So Mother's Day. A day to be celebrated, showered with love, etc, etc. Except I spent most of mine wishing I wasn't with the two little people that ushered me into this club. And I feel terrible about it.

To be fair, I don't think I was at 100%, phyically, this weekend. And not without good reason. Here is a play-by-play (major points only) of the past 7 days for me.

Monday - in the midst of a several-meeting day, I get a call that Finn has thrown up at daycare. It's just once, so the teacher doesn't say I need to come get him, but I know what's coming. This kid doesn't just "get an upset stomach." He's sick. The gross kind. Sure enough, as I'm driving to pick him up, I get another call about more vomit. I bring him home, pat his back as he pukes some more, and do some laundry. His pillow pet did not fare well, it is now irreversibly lumpy.

Tuesday - Finn must be kept home, even though he is done throwing up. M. takes the morning shift as I head off to an off-site meeting. I head for home at lunch time to spell M. so that he can tie up some loose ends as he prepares to leave for a business trip. We both wash hands as often as possible, and fret quite a bit about who might be next.

Wednesday - Finn has cleared the 24-hour mark and can return to daycare. We all leave the house around 7 am - the kids and me for school/work, and M. for the airport. M. and I can't believe that Lucy, our little stomach bug-magnet, hasn't gotten sick yet. M. arrives safely in Albequerque, I work all day, and manage to get myself and the kids fed and to bed.

Thursday - I wake up around 3:30 am, tossing and turning. I eventually realize what's coming. I'm going to be sick. And then I am sick. Repeatedly.So now I'm sick - the BAD kind of sick - and I'm alone. No one to run interference with the kids. This is not good. I drag myself out of bed when Finn wakes up, and get the kids dressed. I don't brush Lucy's hair, I don't brush their teeth. I tell them that I won't be able to come to the Mother's Day Tea scheduled for that day. The kids try to convince me that I can come and just throw up in the trash cans at school. I decline. I drop them off, and give my regrets for the tea. I go home and sleep for a few hours. I drag myself out of bed around noon, and as I sip some water, my phone rings.

Lucy is throwing up everywhere.

I go get Lucy. AND Finn, because fuck if I'm going to go back again around 5 pm to pick him up seperately.

Lucy is sick, but full of energy and asking for food. I do my best to NOT give her food. She is clearly nauseous, but not puking.

They both essentially run circles around me for the  next 6 hours.

I studiously ignore the plastic bags of soiled clothing that came home with Lucy, unable to contemplate washing it yet.

I give them cereal for dinner, as I can't face cooking.

I get them to bed, eventually (after a bath), I shower, and tuck myself in to bed by 9 pm or so.

Friday - We all sleep through the night, and wake up feeling better. Lucy and I drop Finn off at school, and then I play the game of "entertaining an energetic toddler while simultaneously trying to put in a full day of work." It is hard. I paint her toenails in the morning to put off turning on the TV, so I can wait and do it just before the start of an important contracting meeting I need to call in to. She resists the idea of me running her around outside to tire her out, and makes us go inside after just a few minutes. She still manages to nap for a couple of hours during the afternoon, which is nice because I have a call with a Rear Admiral from the Navy I need to be completely present for.

I find a package outside the front door. A mother's day gift from M. - a coffee mug, coffee, and shortbread cookies. I eat some cookies.

We pick up Finn, eventually, and I get them Burger King for dinner. I don't get any for myself, because my stomach still isn't totally back to normal. There are many short cuts.

They go to bed, and I scrub 4 toilets. I wonder why we have so many goddamn bathrooms. I also wash Lucy's puke clothes, including her sneakers. The sneakers don't fare too well, I think we're going to have to get new ones.

Then I work for a couple of hours to make up for my time lost during the day, and go to bed around midnight. M. crawls in to bed at 2 am, back from Albequerque. I welcome my relief by turning over and getting back to sleep as soon as possible.

Saturday - I wake up at 6:30 and can't get back to sleep. I'm up before the kids, but not for long. They are both up within about 5 minutes of each other, around 7 am. I hadn't even finished some more of my shortbread cookies and a cup of coffee. I entertain them until 8-ish so M. can sleep in, then we start a busy day of spending money. I am exhausted by breakfast. I vow, once we are finally home, that the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc that M. has purchased is MINE, but I don't make it all the way through. Tummy still not great, tired - it's all working against me. Why can't I bounce back the way these kids seem to?

Sunday - I sleep in, as is my right. M. mixes up some cookie dough, and he and Finn make a heart shaped "cookie" for us to split for breakfast. More than decadent - sinful! I am now at my fourth day straight with the kids, and it's starting to show. I have little patience for the din they produce at Lowe's. I can't stand the "help" they offer as we try to knock out lingering yard work. Lucy insists on "sweeping" up the sidewalk (before we're even done with our projects), and manages to drop a broom handle on my head. I cried a little - not so much because of the head, but because I feel like I'm doing it all wrong. I'm not enjoying these kids at all. They don't listen. They talk at me all the time. They are SO LOUD.

I send Lucy inside and sulk. I shower and take a short nap. We go out for frozen yogurt, and this happens:

4:20 - (we are leaving our car, headed toward the fro-yo place) I ask Lucy "Do you need to pee?" She says no.

4:30- we are sitting at an outdoor table down the street from the fro-yo shop, just starting in on our yogurts. Lucy decides she has to pee. We leave our yogurts with M. and Finn to melt, and trek back to the shop to use the bathroom.

4:38 - Lucy and I are back; I've eaten a couple of bites of yogurt. Finn declares he needs to pee. M. takes him.

5:00 - We head quickly to Kohls to find Lucy new sneakers (since her's are pukey). Finn declares, as we are parking, that he needs to use the bathroom again. To poop. He and M. spend 15+ minutes in the bathroom, while I search fruitlessly for sneakers that fit Lucy.

We leave without sneakers, and also with a little less poop.

Possibly one of our most frustrating outings ever.

Followed, eventually, by dinner. And anyone who has ever eaten with a 3-year-old knows that THAT wasn't exactly fun, either.

But we eventually go to bedtime. Clean kids listening raptly to the stories I read. Snuggles and kisses. Some "I love you to outer space" declarations.

I wish I had more patience. I wish I had more energy. I wish I had more kind words, and less yelling.

I love my babies, who aren't really babies anymore. I just wish I could appreciate my time with them more - in the moment, not in retrospect, not in the abstract. Not because I feel like I should. My heart is full of them, and that is a double-edged sword. Nothing makes me happier, and nothing makes me more upset. This is what it's like, loving two (crazy, volatile, wonderful) beings so much, I guess.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Positive Thinking

It was supposed to be the perfect plan. Sign up for a 5-mile race to be run the week before we leave for our Florida vacation, train for it, and be in fabulous shape when it's time to don all those shorts and tank tops. It shouldn't have been hard - I've been slogging away at the jogging over this past winter, if not regularly, at least sporadically. By late May, I should be able to run 5 miles in my sleep, right?


I kept thinking I had plenty of time, until eventually I didn't.

I had other things to do, like baking and frosting cakes.

Could I have licked my fingers less? Probably.

Could I have run a little more? Definitely.

Luckily (I think), my vacation will be spent with many, many little kids in search of a human-sized mouse, and I don't really need to impress anyone with my bathing-suited figure. But I WOULD like to do a decent job during this race. And I WOULD like to resume feeling satisfied with my, erm, physical status. Not weight or appearance, really... except yes, that's what I mean. How I look, AND how I feel. I don't want to backpedal in how far I've come in the past two years. I want firmness in my limbs. I want to go for a run and not feel obliterated. I want to maintain my weight loss so far, and get a little bit farther.

Will I be satisfied, when I get a little bit farther?

When my kids squeeze my various body parts (which they ALWAYS do, no matter how many boundaries I try to set), I make a conscious effort not to recoil. I stand my ground, I smile, I make sure they know that while yes, this touching may be inappropriate (butts are not for touching, kid. No matter how much I want to pat yours), I am OKAY with everything they are feeling. Those lumps and soft parts and jiggly bits? Totally normal. I do that now, and I did that when I was 25 pounds heavier. I want my kids to think (to know) that there is no one body type that is better.

I believe that is true, intellectually. My body? Perfectly normal. My body 25 pounds heavier? Also perfectly normal. And yet emotionally, I can't get there. Why can't I do with my husband what I do with my kids? Is there a point where I will accept that when he (very appropriately) grabs my various body parts, they feel perfectly normal and OKAY? If I lose 10 more pounds, will I feel OK then?

I am disappointed with myself lately. Too many indulgences, and not enough discipline. I feel like a quitter, like a loser. Which I KNOW is stupid.

So this week, I want to focus on what I LIKE about myself. Including my body. And I'll start with this post. So please excuse me, I'm just going to step over here and compliment myself:

I always thought that my mom had beautiful hands. I think I have her hands.

I have a great smile.

My eyes are more than a little smashing. Especially when I wear mascara.

My hair may not be the thickest, but it's a nice, completely un-grey, natural color.

I have delicate wrists.

I can rock the shit out of a sexy top. It's all in the collarbones and shoulders.

I didn't get any stretch marks from my two pregnancies.

I have eyebrows I barely need to pluck.

*I* like my nose. You (and when I say you, I don't mean you, of course) may not, but I do.

If you play the right music, I WILL shake my booty. And I will enjoy it.

I can run faster and farther now than I could in high school.

I am beautiful.

How about you? What do you like about your body? How do you try to embody high self esteem for your kids (and yourself)?