30 March 2006


I hate to exercise. I really hate it. I am generally unmotivated (well, other than wanting to drop about 7 or 8 more pounds) and easily bored. My entire life, I have preferred to be indoors reading a good book. I’ve tried going to the gym and I loathe sunscreen and bugs and that go with being outside. The 8 or 9 pounds I lost shed while I was sans-sugar back in the fall. (Other than this past week or two, when I’ve indulged heavily in sugary foods, I still try to choose my sugars carefully—make a dessert WORTH having—but I am not strictly off of it now. And, no, it did not solve my migraines, either.)

Several weeks ago, my husband's cousin Jan (much like a sister to him) called me up and said she needed to lose her after-baby belly and I should join a kickboxing class with her. I hedged around, dreading the mere thought of it, and told her to get some information and I’d see. I was visiting my mom that day, and mentioned it. She promptly told me I should do it and held her ground. She had several arguments, and it began to sound remotely worthwhile to me. So, I told my husband, who immediately said, “We’ll work it out with the kids. You need this.” Did I feel pushed from three sides? But, that felt good for some reason.

The place Jan had called no longer offered kickboxing classes, but by this time, I was feeling motivated—a serious first for me! I did a bit of mild research on local classes, but it was not proving too useful.

Then, after Little B's therapy one day, he wanted to follow the painted lines on the sidewalk for kids to goof off with. It’s located in a shopping center where at one time the right side of it was exclusively for kid-related stores and facilities (some of them didn’t stick too well, so it’s not exclusive anymore!). One such place is a Tae Kwon Doe. And, hanging there by the front door is a large sign saying, “First Kickboxing Class Free.”

Now it held my interest and I went in to ask about it. It’s five dollars a class, plus the cost of wraps and gloves; Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday morning. While weekdays are harder for me to get to with timing, I’ve now gone about five or six times and—surprise—I love it! Jan goes, Angela is going sometimes, and another friend of mine has joined us as well. Having someone else who goes makes a huge difference to me. We vary by when we go and how often, but I like it!

And, I only feel about halfway stupid now that I know a bit about what I’m doing (well, trying to).

22 March 2006

new friends

When I was in third grade, we moved into a new school district. I had plenty of friends at church, but felt a need to make new friends near my home, and set about advertising. This was accomplished by placing a very large, green chalkboard (the kind too slick to hold chalk well) in my front yard, close to the garage with the straight-forward message:


Of course, it was full of bubble letters and what-not, and I believe had other specifications, and to be honest, I cringe in embarrassment now over that sign. No life-long friends were made, though I did meet a cute "older" boy from up the street (the recieving end of a crush at some point), Sean, and his two younger sisters, Jessica and Star. Jessica was a year younger than me, I think, and while they were a nice family, we never really spent much time together except on the bus. Meredith lived in the house behind our cul-de-sac (I was about half way up the street), and was in my class, but was quite the snob in my experience (though we had a close mutual friend, and made some efforts to be nice). Nearby streets had a few more classmates, but what I longed for was a friend right there, available often and ready to be real, not full of themselves. I was sorely disappointed in the long run. On the other hand, those were idyllic, happy years for me more often than not.

I do not make friends easily. I struggle with rejection and had a few too many kids poke fun when I was younger. I am secure in myself and my family, but I waver when it's time to step up to the plate and extend the hand of friendship. I no longer hang a sign announcing my heart's need, either in the yard or on my sleeve. Rather, I secretly hope someone else--normal and nice--will take a small step and initiate an opening into their lives. That done, I can be welcoming and flexible and open myself up.

Little B has been taking swimming lessons for four weeks. In his class are a little boy and a little girl. The first few classes, I chatted with the boy's mom during the lesson, and the girl's mom in the locker room (she has another, younger daughter as well). Both ladies were nice enough, and Little B loves being friends with anyone he can. He showered with the two little girls (ahem) after their lesson, rinsing the chlorine from their swim suits and then we'd scoot off the other end to change. Little B quickly became fast friends with the little girl, Kaleigh, and her younger sister, Mackenzie. The mom and I chatted a bit outside while we let the kids run around crazy-like in the unseasonably warm weather and I found myself comfortable with her.

I also followed her all the way home; well, within a few houses of it. By accident. It turns out that she lives down the street from us--literally. And so my son's begging for a playdate turned into a reality (taking that step for me was hard--really hard). We have had them over to play three times recently. I feel I've found a true friend; one who has time to be a friend. It almost makes me sad we're trying to sell our house.

For once in my life, I have found a friend on my street I am comfortable with. It hasn't been long, but I feel open and I trust my son with her kids; I don't worry about what he might learn from them or what I will hear later. And I definitely hope to stay in touch with her after we move.

And I didn't even have to advertise.

03 March 2006

moving forward

Our house has been for sale for three weeks now. We’ve shown it about a dozen times and had one offer that remained unreasonable even after we countered twice. So, we’re waiting and praying and hoping. And trying to keep it insanely clean behind two fast-fisted children who know how to empty toy bins and strew things behind them faster than lightning. This on top of the food dropped beneath the table at each meal and birdseed around Buttercup & Wesley’s cage makes for frenzied tidying and vacuuming when I get a lunch-time call asking “Can we show your house in fifteen minutes?” Uh, NO. Make it thirty or forty (what I’d like is one or two hours, but they’re always “in the neighborhood”). I can barely get it straightened before we shove out the door, and my poor kids are the brunt of my “hurry; we gotta go NOW; please stop; wait; DON’T empty that; etc., etc.” My secret is to stay in one part of the house, leaving less to tidy in a short notice (can we say bored kids?). And, this happens on an average of three times a week. Yeah, fun. I feel like life is on hold at the moment.

On the other hand, we put a contingency contract on the house of our (current) dreams. It’s a narrower yard, but the actual acreage is larger (I’m still working on that, since it looks smaller; my husband assures me the house is larger as well as set back from the street more, but the visual has me stumped). Other than the steep driveway which I swore I would not do again, and the lack of pantry or large laundry room (my current one has me spoiled), the house is fabulous. It’s large and roomy, has a bonus room and walk in attic (!), two car garage (we only have one at the moment) with a mud-room hallway (where the washer and dryer are also found), a huge master suite (sitting room, two closets, his and hers sinks), and the kitchen. Oh, gasp—the kitchen is large and has two L-shaped, deep counters with tons of cabinet space, a fancy-do faucet in which the sprayer is part of it (this makes me giddy!), deep sinks, some under-counter lighting. . . oh, I could go on and on. Every room is spacious and the kids each have two windows (now that I think about it, I'm going from a bay window to ONE window...hmmm). It even feels like home. I know I will be crushed if it falls through.

therapy mom

Yesterday was a long, long day. Little B had his first swimming lesson. He was so very excited to go, and I think he did pretty well, but he hated certain aspects and now says he won’t go back. Just great. First, he loathes—and I do mean loathes—getting his head wet, be it hair or face. It’s a tactile issue for him, which now makes perfect sense (we were encouraged to go ahead with the lessons to help work on this). He is not allowed to wear a mask, and we couldn’t find the goggles (not in the place I last saw them—shocking, no?). He also doesn’t like backwards motions, whether a swing or a back float, etc.—need I say more? I believe I will ask the instructor to try floating him forward first to help him adjust to the sensations.

Late afternoons on Thursdays are the big Therapy Appointment for his Sensory Processing. He is in group therapy (just two other boys), and it started yesterday as well. Once again, he was excited, and as we left he talked about looking forward to next Thursday. Thank goodness.

Also, I got two miracle tips: play-doh and Mozart. They use “thera-doh” each session, and have beads hidden inside (they find and re-hide said beads). It works their tactile senses, and so on. At home, it doubles as a way to keep his hands busy when we need his attention, and this morning it calmed him down considerably (hey, whatever works). The music is part of his music therapy, and Mozart specifically is organized which helps to calm him and organize his thoughts.

While Little B was in his group session, “the moms” sat in the waiting room comparing notes. It felt like a secret club, sitting there with moms and siblings of the therapy kids. I have the freedom to leave if I want (which honestly surprised me), and likely will on occasion, but it was mildly comforting to have the support of moms in your shoes and moms with kids of other problems. I felt like I’d joined a secret club. (Membership runs out in three or six months, depending on your child.)