Wednesday, March 12, 2014

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Housework Edition

This is just an example of the overwhelming, never-ending crap that happens daily when staying home with the kids. Just like "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", but terrible and mean--and involves zero cookies--where one chore leads to another, which leads to another, and to another and another and another.
If I want to do a workout video, I’ll see that the dirt, food, and dog hair needs to be vacuumed off the floor first.
If I get the vacuum out of the closet, I’ll see that the canister needs to be emptied.
If I take the canister to the garage to dump it in the trash, I’ll see the garage needs to be swept.
If I go to get the broom out of the laundry room closet, I’ll see the litter box needs to be cleaned.
If I clean the litter box, I’ll notice the washer and dryer are both full of laundry that needs to be processed.
If I process the laundry, I’ll have to take the dry clothes out of the dryer and fold them so I can put the next load in the dryer and another in the wash.
If I fold a load of laundry, I’ll have to take it to the bedroom to put it away (or to let sit on top of the dresser for a week).
If I go to my bedroom with the folded laundry, I’ll see that I need to pick up the kids’ toys and bring them to their rooms.
If I go to the kids’ rooms, I’ll see that they are a complete disaster and I’ll holler at the kids to come pick up.
If I holler at the kids to come pick up, I’ll realize it’s their lunch time so I’ll head to the kitchen.
If I head to the kitchen to make lunch, I’ll see all the dishes in the sink.
If I go to do the dishes in the sink, I’ll see that the dishwasher needs to be emptied first.
If I empty the dishwasher, I’ll see how badly I need to organize the cabinet where the plastic cups go.
If I organize the cabinet, I’ll need to have a beer (seriously).
If I get a beer out of the fridge, I’ll see how much the refrigerator needs to be cleaned.
If I clean the refrigerator, I’ll need to get the cleaner out from under the sink.
If I get the cleaner out from under the sink, I’ll see the Scotch guard I bought and remember how I was going to use it on the couches.
If I Scotch guard the couches, I’ll have to get the dogs off them first.
If I get the dogs off the couches and put them outside, I’ll see that the sliding glass doors are so dirty they’re opaque.
If I Windex the back doors, I’ll see how terribly our deck needs to be fixed.
If I fix the deck—F that—I go back inside.
If I go back inside I will see the kids are about done with lunch and I need to put them down for a nap.
If I put them down for a nap, they’ll need to go poop first.
If they go poop, I’ll need to wipe some butts.
If I wipes some butts, I’ll put the wipes in the trash (because they’ll clog the toilet).
If I put the wipes in the trash, I’ll see that it’s full and needs to be emptied.
If I take the trash out, I’ll walk by my half-finished painting.
If I walk by my half-finished painting, I’ll remember I need to use nap time productively, so I go into the dining room to work on a painting (yes the dining room is my studio).
If I go into the dining room to paint, I’ll need to clear off the table first.
If I clear off the table, I’ll have to empty the moldy food and dishes from my husband’s lunchbox, which was on the table.
If I clean out his lunchbox, I’ll find the letters of recommendation his boss wrote him for admission to a master’s program (the papers are nice and moist and smelly from having such an excellent choice of storage location).
If I find the letter, I will read it and be proud.
If I read it, I’ll remember his laundry. So I’ll go back to the bedroom to put our laundry away.
If I put the laundry away, I’ll have to try on my new dress.
If I try on my new dress, I’ll see how wide I look from behind.
If I see how wide I look from behind, I’ll want to do a workout video…
If I want to do a workout video, I’ll need to vacuum first…

Thursday, March 6, 2014

F is for Fitness: My 5-Year-Old Trainer

I’m struggling along with a workout video when my nearly 5-year-old boy enters the room. He stands there and watches me quietly for a few seconds before offering an oh-so-helpful observation:

“She’s in better shape than you.” 

“Thanks.” I say flatly. No freaking DUH, I think to myself. Thanks a lot.

“But if you keep working out, you’ll be better than her.” He smiles brightly. I feel like I’ve received a politely patronizing pat on the head.

Such a sweet and innocent remark. So na├»vely optimistic…and so spot-on. Well, I’ll never be as fit as the gurus on the DVD with their steely abs and buns, but I was impressed by his grasp of persistence and hard work.

If only I felt so confident and positive. Hard work and persistence in exercise SUCKS. Hard work and persistence in dieting sucks even more. But it’s been two months since my surrogate pregnancy was over, and I have some serious body baggage to lose. I still can’t fit in my pants. Or any of my clothes for that matter. (Except yoga pants. Love them. Can I just live in them? I don’t think I’d pass for a fitness freak if I wore them in public though—all stretched out from sleeping in them and covered in dog hair.) I thought the weight would fall off after having the baby like it did with my other two pregnancies, but that was dumb. 

Those pregnancies didn’t involve two rounds of fat-inducing hormones. Those pregnancies were each followed by six months of nursing, which, incidentally can burn like 500 calories a day. I was working full-time through my pregnancies too, which kept me more active. Sooooo…this time I started at a much higher weight, and somehow felt more deserving of relaxation and indulgence, so I stuffed my face with all the things. All the carb-erific, sugary, fat things. 

I pumped breast milk for a few weeks after delivery but then I got mastitis and had to take antibiotics, which totally depleted my supply and took me promptly out of the dairy business. And let me tell you, mastitis is a bitch. Ow ow ow. I guess those dehumanizing machines aren’t quite as effective as babies when it comes to *product extraction* without getting clogged ducts. While I had planned on doing it longer, I am overall relieved to be done because it’s really time-consuming to go bovine every three hours, night and day. Disappointed about the deflation though…sure was nice to be more buxom than normal to balance out my more-generous-than-usual behind. (It’s nice to have big boobs when you’ve also developed a fat ass--for proportion’s sake. It's just wrong being flat-chested and overweight.)

So I need to shrink the rest of me back down too. I got a set of workout DVDs on Groupon that’s just 20 minutes a day, three times a week, and promises results in thirty days (The Firm Express: Thin in Thirty). Sounds easy peasy (never mind too good to be true), but when you’ve done zero actual exercise in a year and your muscles have atrophied and you just had baby #3 and your whole body is fluffy sludge it’s really f-ing hard. Couple that with being the most uncoordinated human alive and fun times will be had by all. 

Not to mention the hard lesson I’ve learned in calories. I had no idea how many calories were in things!!! Things that I thought were healthy, even. I obsessively entered everything I ate in the myfitnesspal app on my phone and it was horrifying. Especially if I tried to stay within the caloric limit suggested by the app. Counting calories, much like mastitis, is a bitch. I’m not a fan. Although I will say the app is pretty cool, with its nutrition totals and bar code scanning feature and all. 

Even my darling husband was using the app on his phone, having conveniently gone on a health kick of his own due to a slightly high blood pressure reading. He’s really been the driving force behind my healthy eating; watching him cram his lunchbox/cooler full of salad and fruit makes me reconsider that cookie binge. Then he randomly goes jogging and wants to join the gym and I’m like, who are you? And of-freaking-course he drops ten pounds the first week. While I'm super proud of his drive and progress, I'm also a tad resentful cuz...NO FAIR. In any case, it's nice to have someone to help keep me motivated. To his credit it’s just through his actions, not his words. (That's eggshell business there—husbands telling their wives to diet and exercise. Tread lightly. Or not at all.)

Meanwhile I’m flailing along with my exercise movies as my helpful little boy sympathetically asks if they're going too fast for me. Is it that obvious? The cost of having a shorter workout, in these videos anyway, is that she doesn’t explain any of the moves before she does them. It’s like a mean joke when she says “now that you have that”, and then keeps elaborating on the moves and making them faster, and I’m still falling over trying to figure out the first part. Is it possible that my swearing under my breath at the workout chick isn’t as under-my-breath as I think? I develop a personal loathing of these ladies—not just because of their trim bodies and their nice muscles, but because of their smug encouraging words which are clearly meant to taunt and belittle the fatties laboring after them, gasping for air and dripping sweat off their flushed red faces with ungainly stumbling hops as their judgmental children look on. Or is that just me? 

Even the dog seems to raise a critical eyebrow my way. Or maybe it’s just concerned sympathy. But the cat…well we all know that cats are jerks, blinking slowly and turning away in disgust. My husband is explicitly forbidden to watch. And then there’s my sweet kids and their blunt honesty. When I finally make it through the longest twenty minutes of my life, my little guy is there with an enthusiastic “Good job Mama!” Best personal trainer ever.

I’ll keep you updated on any results I see this month. I’ll just be thrilled to be able to wear my clothes again. It might also be nice not to be excruciatingly sore and weak after a bitty twenty minute workout.

New Year New Me: Pony Progress

Today I thought I’d mix up my morning “internesting” ritual (coffee and computer time, usually comfortably nested on the couch); I brought ...