Thursday, November 21, 2013

I love my kid

Because I'm getting on a plane tomorrow, I need to replace the rude post I wrote last week with something more maternal and caring.

The day after I told you Edie was a jerk, we strung fairy lights around our dining room. Edie helped set the table and we turned off all the overheard lights to dine with just the string lights and votives. It was very fancy eating just the three of us at our 60" round table, but I loved it. Edie has requested we eat there every night since and we are all too happy to oblige.

I have mtgs in California tomorrow and then Jeff is meeting me there to enjoy the weekend before flying home Sunday night. I have more mtgs Monday and then fly home that night. I'm SO looking forward to some R&R, but also looking forward to seeing Edie's face on Tuesday and hearing all about Disney On Ice, which my parents are taking her to see this weekend. I'm actually a little jealous.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Jerk We Live With

Lately, my kid has been a jerk more than she has been charming. I thought 4 was going to be a party but so far, Edie's been splitting her time between being bossy and being whiny, with only the occasionally charming 15 minute break. What can you do but roll your eyes and write a blog post about it?

But Jeff says we are entering an age where posting gratuitously about Edie and her shenanigans will become inappropriate. Her privacy is to be respected. She can't enter high school with a record of her every move out in the public for her friends and their parents' to read. I'm rebelling against this idea while also knowing that he's right. Over the next month or two, I will make an attempt at cutting back on personal stories involving Edie.

I'd make my blog private, but I know for a fact that there are many lurkers out there reading my blog who never comment and I fear they wouldn't admit to their lurker status and ask for blog access once I made it private. And I kind of like my blog-lurkers. Occasionally I check my blog stats and despite my average of 1 comment per post, I can see that there are usually 60-80 people checking the site every day. Jeff is quick to point out that 5 of those are probably my Mom refreshing the page to see if anything new has been posted, but still!

So instead of going into detail about Edie's unbecoming behavior, I'll discuss how I feel about it. Because that's about me, and we all know I don't care who knows MY business. In a nutshell - I feel badly about it. Picking my battles is getting more and more difficult because my whole LIFE feels like a battle when I'm parenting. At least lately. I catch myself giving in and saying yes as often as I can, just to avoid a knock-down-drag-out fight. But even as I'm saying, yes she can have a piece of Halloween candy after dinner, I'm thinking - "No way in HELL has this kid's behavior earned her any kind of reward and what are you doing reinforcing this?!" At the end of the day, I often feel defeated and like I probably should have waded through a fight to make my point.

The other night we went out to eat and the experience was narrated by Edie with such gems as: "MOM! The waiter is taking TOO LONG. (dramatic, exasperated sigh)" and then 2 minutes after the food comes: "Can we GO now?!" We came home and Jeff commented, "It's sort of like we just have to invite a jerk with us every time we go anywhere now."  Which I found hilariously funny. Because that IS what it's like sometimes!

Recently, we put Edie to bed after much struggle over tooth brushing, quantity of bedtime stories, and a false claim that she was hungry right as I was about to turn the lights out. We came downstairs and I said, "I really thought 4 was going to be more fun than this. I thought 4 was the 'little buddy' age." Jeff rolled his eyes in agreement. I offered, "I've heard 5 is super awesome." Jeff laughed and said something like, "Yeah, I think maybe every age is just going to be like this - really hard with moments of greatness. I think maybe this is just what it's going to be like. Forever." (Jeff is going to read this and claim he is totally misquoted and he is right - but I think I captured the sentiment)

So here we are. In the thick of parenting - as Edie would say, "Four and quarter years" in.  And I think it's true - this is just what it's like being a parent. I was totally a jerk growing up. Karma is a BITCH.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Physical Fitness Update: 1 week in

I'm one week into my training sessions at the gym and feeling FANTASTIC. I met with Mike on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of this last week. It was a rushed schedule to get 3 meetings in during the week with a busy work schedule, but moving forward I will typically be meeting with him every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The only exceptions being when I travel for work and/or holidays when I'm in Bellingham. 

After my first session on Wednesday I pretty much felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I was nervous going into the second session the very next day because I was so incredibly sore. But we spent that day taking measurements and finding out super fun facts like my body fat percentage (hint: that was sarcasm because actually this is only medium-low fun). Then he showed me some fancy stretches for all the parts of me that hurt, talked about his observations from the day before, and then made me do a few circuits of funny and awkward exercises focused on balance and abs, which was the one part of my body not killing me from the previous workout. 

I spent pretty much all of Thursday walking like a one hundred year old woman who just finished riding a horse all day. But Friday was a "rest day" and I woke up feeling less sore. And Saturday I was only a little sore, but not all over - just in the areas the most out of shape - you know, like my glutes (i.e.; my butt). 

On Saturday I tried bringing Edie with me to the gym and she used the Kid's Club for the first time. When she was a baby I used a different gym and would bring her there but that was before she was walking and talking. Thankfully, Edie LOVED the play area at the gym, which includes a huge, multi-level play structure with tubes, nets and slides. She told me she went down the slide "eleventy million times" while I exercised. I felt good about the staff working the Kid's Club and it wasn't too crowded, so I think this will be a nice way to get weekend workouts in, especially given the shift in weather - it's a great way for Edie to burn off energy indoors.

Saturday was all about making my arms and back super strong. I am going to be a walking gun show soon! I lifted weights (which has always been really intimidating to me so I never try) and some of it was really hard, but in a good way. I feel the backs of my upper arms in a way that implies that I've never worked those muscles before.

And I will say this - when I said I wasn't going to use the scale in my earlier post, I wasn't sure if that was going to be true or not. I wanted it to be true - but the real truth is that I have a very ingrained habit of stepping on the scale every morning and it's hard to break. BUT, it's been really liberating to avoid the scale and just focus on how I feel. In the past, I've weighed myself during brief stints of exercise and expected immediate results on the scale - only to be disappointed when they don't happen. Or even worse - when I gain weight while exercising more. But this time I'm going to try something different and so far, it feels great. 

I return to the gym tomorrow for the start of week 2 and so far am not losing enthusiasm for the process. The only catch so far is that my gym wardrobe is not extensive enough for this type of plan... a  little shopping may be in order.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


A week or two ago we took Edie and her second cousin Sophie to see Pippi Longstocking at the Seattle Children's Theatre. Edie's loved the book forever, so when we saw it on the schedule and noticed that it was almost over, we bought tickets for the final show. Before the show, we met up for lunch with Jeff's cousin, his wife and daughter and then we took Sophie and Edie to see the show. Her Dad picked her up right afterwards. Photos on the way to the play from lunch and in our seats before the show:

Aside from the weird mannequin in the back store front, I love this photo:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

And for my next project... ME!

I signed up for an expensive package of personal training sessions at my gym this week (you know, the one I almost never go to).

It was scary to type that. And truthfully, since I had my first training session this morning, it also hurt a little to type that because I can literally feel the typing all the way to my shoulders, which are so sore that I could barely lift my arms to wash my hair in the shower, post-work out.

I've been feeling shitty about my level of fitness for ages, but something possessed me earlier this week and I drove to the gym (repleet in gym clothes and Nikes) and instead of walking over to the elliptical machine like I had planned, I felt myself being pulled toward the personal trainer desk. I've eyed this desk for over a year, trying to gather the courage and motivation to talk to a trainer, but I'm always too worried that I'll quit after a few sessions and I convince myself it's not worth starting if I know I'm not up for finishing. But on Monday, I spoke with a trainer, talked about my goals, and paid for 8 weeks of sessions, three per week with my new trainer, Mike. And full disclosure, I then felt like I'd done enough for the day and drove home in my pristine gym clothes without working out. It was only 2 days until my first session, I needed to save my energy, right?!

Recent conversations with friends (and myself) have helped me lately to focus more on being happy with myself where I'm at, and not basing my self-esteem on the number on the scale or the size of my pants. It's actually working. I'm hearing more of the nice things that Jeff says to me/about me and I'm actually starting to believe that some of them are true. I see myself differently in the mirror even though physically, nothing has changed. I've hung on too long to this idea that there is an ideal weight for me and that I have to lose every pound I gained with my pregnancy in order to be happy with how I look. I don't hold anyone else in my life to this standard I keep for myself. It's unfair and I'm letting it go.

All that said, it doesn't feel good to spend every single night after Edie goes to bed laying on my couch, working on the laptop or watching TV, knowing that the most physical activity I got that day was walking the 2 blocks from my office to Trader Joe's to buy lunch. I was watching an old episode of Glee recently and as I laid on my couch while all these actors danced their hearts out on the television, I had the same feeling I get every time I watch a dance performance - a physical memory of what it felt like to have that kind of energy and throw myself around on a stage dancing. And every time I experience that, I crave it. I'd like to be flexible again, strong enough to leap across a dance floor and learn a routine.

Full disclosure (again, as always), I've also spent a fair amount of time lately, obsessing about taking a tropical vacation with Jeff for our 10 year wedding anniversary this coming June. I'm having imaginary debates with myself about the pros and cons of  traveling to the Bahamas vs Bora Bora. Or maybe Tulum, Mexico! The options are limitless (until I start looking at prices, then limits creep back in). I want to go somewhere with turquoise water I can swim in and lots of places to stroll and read a book. And I'd like to wear a swimsuit and feel good prancing around in it. I could wear a swimsuit now and tell myself to feel good about it, and it might actually work. But when I picture myself there, I know that I'd like to do some work before I'm the me that I envision on this trip. I need to spend more time working on loving myself wherever I'm at, but for me, I think part of loving myself includes taking better care of myself physically. I deserve to be in better shape, to be stronger and more capable of doing more shit. You know, like touching my toes and other important things like that.

I told my trainer that weight loss is not my goal. The number on the scale is not as important as feeling stronger, more flexible, possibly sleeping better and getting less sore from simple physical activities. I want to turn 35 in March feeling like hot shit.  And I think if my mental pep-talks and physical fitness level can meet in the middle, I can totally be hot shit. Right?

But all that positive thinking aside you guys: That workout was HARD. I almost fell down the stairs walking to my car in the garage after my work out. I had to hold onto the railing with BOTH HANDS to side step down the stairs like a drunk person and when someone passed me on their way up, I paused and acted like my phone was ringing in my purse and I HAD to dig it out. And! That's not all, because I have to return tomorrow for my next session! Right now, I'm still in the early stages of feeling motivated and excited about having a new project - ME! So I'll keep you posted as that excitement fades and I grow to hate Mike and his interval-training-ways. What I will not do, is keep you posted about weight loss stats as a result of this project - because I'm going to try and avoid the scale during this process.

Wish me luck?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall walk

There's a house a few blocks away that we often walk to because it has a huge collection of tiny plastic critters on their retaining wall for kids to play with. These photos are from this weekend.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

Literally none of my photos are capturing Edie accurately lately and Halloween is no exception. She will be busy looking adorable and then as soon as my camera comes out she either hides, becomes a sullen teenager, or does her weird smile that renders all photos terrible. Halloween night was seriously fun and here are the photos that don't really prove it, but are cute nonetheless. Pre Trick or Treating:

Super pumped:

And sassy:

Doing ballet:

First house/next door neighbors):
Our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween and it's pretty fabulous. For whatever reason, people actually drive from fancier neighborhoods to trick or treat in ours. You run into all your neighbors and there are groups of young kids with clusters of parents crossing your path at every stop. It's just like I remember from my childhood and I'm so grateful not to have to do mall trick or treating because barf. I was literally running to keep up with Edie all night, but paused for one second while Edie and her crew were walking down this lit path to get to the side door of this house. They had strung ghosts and posed a spooky princess outside so as not to be overlooked:

At the end of the night when all the other families were heading home, we back-tracked to the decked out house Edie had spotted earlier in the week. It was lit green with a smoke machine and scary noises. Edie ventured up by herself and after getting a packet of Cheez-its from the super friendly tech nerd that lived there, she informed him that, "you have the spookiest house." He seemed pretty pleased with the praise. Here she is contemplating going up alone:
Another house, just across the street (that's Edie up there at the door):
For our final house, we stopped by Edie's babysitter, who lives directly across the street from us. She was giving out candy in costume and it was a perfect end to the night:

Then she was ridiculously thirsty and literally drank 2 of these full glasses before going to bed. We just won't mention the giant meltdown she had at midnight when she woke to pee. It's better for everyone that way. We also don't need to go into detail about the screaming fit she had immediately after waking the next morning when I told her she couldn't have candy for breakfast. 
Candy hangovers are the worst, man.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Edie is reading more and more these days, sounding short words out solo and long words with just a little help. She's also trying to spell.

Our pumpkins were smashed late last night and Edie was outraged this morning. She came to find me in the kitchen tonight and gave me this letter she'd written all by herself. She said, "we need to send this to the market where we bought the pumpkins mom!" It says "I'm sorry" and she sounded it out and wrote the letter all by herself: IM SRE


Trick or treat

This video pretty well captures the pure mania that was Edie + Trick or Treating. She maintained this level of excitement all night. It's like she thought it was a race. My favorite part of the video is at the very end when she yells, "Grayson, keep up with us!"
Edie was totally the boss of Halloween.