Saturday, January 31, 2009

End of the Month Report

Today is the last month of January. How are those resolutions going? I think this is an important part of the whole resolution making deal - accountability. People tend to slide, but if you just say, "Ah well, I didn't make it, I'll just not do it," you're missing out.

So far, my resolutions are going well. My mileage is 92.3 to 65.7. The 92.3 is the bike/walk mileage. There was one nearly 10 mile trip by car that I almost didn't count, thinking that, because the trips were combined, it wouldn't count. However, when I finally checked it out, there were no legs longer than 3 miles, so it counted. I want to keep an honest tally and not let things slide that should count. I will be on myself about that.

I got up by 7:30 every weekday morning except one. That was yesterday. I was really, really tired with the visit from my best friend, Chris, and the Great Wolf Lodge trip. That is an excuse, I know.

However, I also decided that I could have one floating vacation day a month for sleep purposes. I usually don't sleep in well on the weekends because I'm not used to Anthony being in bed with me after 4:30, because the cats are often still around rather than being shut up in the kitchen like they are on weekdays and doors tend to stay open, letting in light that bothers me. I'm a sensitive sleeper.

I'd have a harder time with the resolution if I never got to sleep in. So, once a month on a week day, I can take a sleeping vacation. It seems reasonable to me.

Speaking of sleeping and reasonableness...on the next two Saturdays, we have to be at meets by 8:00 am. Yikes! One of them is in Salem, which is about an hour and a half drive away. The other is in downtown Portland and, thus, only about a half an hour away. I'm not liking that. Grrr.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Did Jump

I had my first Do Jump class Wednesday evening. It was...okay. I really liked playing on the trapeze, but I found several things to be a bit disappointing.

We started about 15 minutes late. Then we stretched - sort of a gentle yoga sort of stretching session - for an hour. An hour! I didn't want to take the class to stretch! I wanted to take it to tumble and do the trapeze!

There was an awful lot of down time - waiting for turns on the trapeze, being told, after our hour of stretching, to just stretch out for another 5 minutes - anything that didn't get stretched, that sort of thing.

The class, it turns out, gets out at 9:00 instead of the posted 8:30. Plus, we didn't actually get done until 9:15. It was quite late for Davan by the time we left.

Next week, and all the following weeks, I will take extra food for her (she was also starving by the end and had to eat before going to bed once home) and take her pjs and toothbrush. She can get ready for bed there, listen to a book on tape on the way home for Wednesday night reading and just pop into bed once home. It'll be okay. It's only once a week for a couple of months, but it rather took me by surprise that first night.

As I said, though, I did enjoy the trapeze. What I'd like to see is about 15 minutes of stretching, some instruction on the trapeze and then some free time to explore what we learned and do favorite things.

I suspect we're doing so much stretching because most people can't do that much trapeze. I was a little shocked at how few people, most of whom had taken the class before, couldn't get their legs up on the trapeze. Many, many people didn't do second or third turns on skills because they were worn out and afraid that if they did, they wouldn't be able to do the upcoming skills.

I suspect intermediate would be better. Apparently, if you can do an upside down straddle on the ropes above the trapeze, you can move up to intermediate. We didn't work that still Wednesday, but I'm pretty sure I can do it, given the skills I can do.

Sadly, as it was with Davan, they don't move people mid-term. I'd have to sign up again to do intermediate. I won't be doing that because I don't have that much extra money. My spending money is tapped out. Besides, it would cost me about 4 months worth of spending money for the two month class.

So, I'll try to chill out about all the gentle stretching, I'll get the enjoyment I can out of the trapeze and I'll make it work for Davan. It's just too bad that they don't do placement tests when you first start Do Jump. That would have been good for both Davan and I.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


That would be the past tense of meet, right? Davan had her first real, against other gyms, meet this weekend. It went really well!

I was so pleased that she didn't get too panicky about it before. There was a little stress, but not too much. I was so, so pleased that she was happy and smiling through most of the meet. The one exception to this was that she missed both of her warm up cartwheels on the beam and ended up crying. Her coach was great about it, though, with helping her through and Davan stuck the cartwheel when it counted. Other than a step on the vault landing, I believe she performed as well as she can do in practice, which was great for her.

Additionally, she placed on beam, bars and all around. She qualified for sectionals. She helped the team place third.

It was a very successful first meet!

We were at Great Wolf Lodge, as you readers know, I'm sure. We took two friends with us, an adult friend and a 14 year old friend. That worked out really well. Everyone got along and it enabled Anthony and I to do the work we needed to while Davan got to play at the water park with the 14 year old and close by adult assistance, if needed.

I got to play at the water park for a while on Sunday and a long time on Monday before we came home. Again, I enjoyed it, but I don't need to spend that much money to do it. If Davan sticks with gymnastics and we stick with the same gym, though, I won't have a lot of choice about it.

A lot of parents bailed out on the tearing down of equipment at the end of the meet, which was 9:00 Sunday evening. I can understand why and it didn't end up really mattering. Next year, though, I'd say that they shouldn't make everyone do both the set up and tear down. Knowing how it went, it would be enough for most parents to do one or the other, which gives families a lot more flexibility about their weekend and how long to stay. If we're still at this gym, I will suggest that for next year.

I did shave. I felt confident about my appearance, but also like I'd given in. My armpits did get sore and were difficult to shave. I guess I haven't shaved them since loosing weight and there was a rather deep part of the pit that gave me great difficulty. I will be letting it all grow back out and I'm not sure I'll ever do my pits again, although I would do my legs and bikini area, even if it makes me feel a little cheap.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

To Shave or Not To Shave

For some of you, this may fall under too much information, but here goes anyway. I don't shave. Not anywhere. Not my legs, not my armpits, not my bikini line.

Sometimes I'll shave when the warm weather hits and keep it up through the fall. When we went on our cruise 5 years ago (wow - has it really been that long), I kept the shaving up through early November, when we went on the cruise.

I have not shaved for the summer even in a few years. Most of the time, I'm okay with this. I just don't want to spend the time on shaving and both my pits and my bikini line get rashy when I shave. Also, I tell myself, this is what a mature female's body looks like. It's normal. All the shaving to look like a prepubescent girl, now that's unnatural. Most of the time, I even believe it.

Sometimes, though, I feel self conscious about it. I have to admit that I think I look sexier shaved. Although, I can still feel the sense of "What is that about? Why does a woman shaved to look like a prepubescent look sexier? Really, that's just wrong." Back to the self conscious thing.

When I'm at the pool, I do sometimes feel like I don't look good because of the profusion of hair. I don't skip the shaving because my various bodily hair is unnoticeable, let me tell ya. For a blond, I've got some thick, dark hair in places other than my head.

However, here's the thing. We're going to Great Wolf Lodge this weekend. The last time we went, I did not shave. I thought about it and felt a little bit like people would be looking at me like I was a lunatic, but I did not shave. I felt a little self conscious, but it was alright. Other than the people I'd brought with me, who are all used to me and how I look, I didn't know anyone there anyway.

This is the crux of the issue. All the gymnastics moms will be there. They will talk. It happens. Am I okay with them talking about me and my hair? Do I want to shave to avoid that? Do I want to shave because I'm a rather competitive person and want to look better than the other moms? Or do I stick by my guns and say, with my actions, "Hey! This is what a woman looks like! Get over it!"

This is my dilemma.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm Still Alive!

We had an exciting weekend of high winds and flying trees around here. Not one, but two trees crashed into our house. One was more of a glancing blow to the house while taking out the trampoline

but the other fell full on the roof.

There is some damage that we're still assessing.

We had power outages off and on all weekend, with surges that were blowing out power strips and computers all over the place. Thus, we chose to leave the computer off and unplugged until the most serious of the winds were over.

With the high winds and other factors, I drove a lot over the weekend, making me glad I'd built up a strong lead with the bike/walking earlier in the month. Sadly, I discovered that my SIL's house is exactly 3 miles away, causing it to count as a local trip. My totals, therefore, are currently 58 to 34.7; bike to car.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Check This Out

Look! The Geneva Convention says that you can not punish a person for an offense he or she has not personally committed.

It is generally agreed by the leaders of the world that you should not impose group punishment. So, why are we still doing it to our children in school and sports?

I've been searching a bit and have found a couple of interesting takes on the idea of group or collective punishment. Here's one. And another. No one, that I've found thus far, says it's a good thing. Again, why is it that we, as a society still do it, then?

Then, of course, there is the charged question of if punishment at all even works. It's something we try to avoid with Davan, but we did use punishment with Max when he lived here. Was that a good idea or not? I don't know and I'm not sure I ever really will, as far as how it effected his behavior.

Generally, though, I think that punishment just creates resentment and people who do good things only because of the threat of punishment, not because they want to do good.

Okay. I'm way tired. I feel like I'm relapsing a bit back into my cold. I need to get off the computer and go to bed.

Well, I Handled That Well.

Davan got anxious about gymnastics when it was time to get ready today, to the point of tears. I tried to work with her to pinpoint what she was anxious about because she doesn't usually get anxious like that about gymnastics. She couldn't figure out why.

So, I switched gears to just trying to get her to change her self talk. Rather than, "I'm so worried about going to gymnastics!" think, "I like gymnastics. I love doing the skills. I'm glad that I get to go today."

Through all this, she was sniffling. After a while, I did what any sensible grown up would do and yelled at her to, "At least try, damn it!"

Contrary to what you might be thinking, this didn't actually help the situation at all. Davan started crying in earnest and told me, "That is only going to make it harder, Mom!" which is nothing but the truth. Sigh.

We get on the tandem to go, with her still semi-crying, get out of the drive way and I realize that she hadn't given me something important that I needed while she was away. I asked her where is was and she didn't know, so I came back so we could find it. Screaming crying ensued. Not pretty.

We found the item and made it to gymnastics on time, contrary to Davan's firm belief that she was going to be late and then, I can only assume from the strength of the fear, be flayed alive.

Once she was to the gym on time, she was fine. Me? I was a little pissed off about the whole thing still. Although, I only yelled the once, I know I was testy and probably not very comforting about the whole thing. Chalk that up to one step back on learning to deal with the whole anxiety issue.

After all of this and what with the great mood I was in, I opted to have a little heart to heart with Davan's coach. Seemed like the perfect time to me. Davan had told me that there was some group punishment going on, complete with examples.

Now, group punishment is something I'm pretty much totally against. In this case, I'm really against it. Davan doesn't have a lot of sway with the girls on the team, so her choosing to follow directions doesn't make them do it, either. Her having to suffer along with them doesn't make them feel badly about their choices. If she were to speak up and tell them to clean up their act, she would only be vilified. There is nothing she can do to avoid the group punishment. This doesn't help her anxiety levels at all. So, I talked to her coach about it.

She was very nice and pretty understanding, but what she told me made me think that, even if gymnastics is the sport for Davan, which is doubtful because it's so high pressure, that she needs to change gyms. You see, it is the policy of the gym that the girls are a team and they need to be taught to act as a team. You do this through group punishment, you see. After all, one score can effect the whole team. One person's attitude can effect the whole team. They really drill this into the girls.

If Davan has been having it drilled into her that her one score can sink the whole team, I'm not at all surprised that she is a nervous wreck about meets.

Her coach went on to tell me that gymnastics is a tough sport and it only gets tougher, so maybe she and coach #2 can help Davan get ready for that. Davan, I was told, has a lot of potential, but she'll need to toughen up because that's what it takes to make it in gymnastics.

All this from a person I actually really like. It's too bad that these are the thoughts about conquering difficult things and team building that are prevalent out there. I wish I'd been able to think of some counter points on the spot. Like maybe, "Punishing the whole team for a few people's infractions will more likely make people unhappy with their team mates, rather than glad to be on the same team."

How about, "Physical toughness is one thing and Davan has that in spades. I know that there is an aspect of mental toughness that should be cultivated along with that. I see you guys forming that with lengthy hold the position type drills and Davan holds up the best with those, as far as I can see, showing that she's pretty tough when it matters. I don't think group punishment cultivates the right sort of toughness. If they were all rooming together, it's more likely to cultivate soap in a pillowcase sorts of attacks."

But, no. I just said that I understood that they couldn't change their whole policy for one child and that I understood that they were trying to build the team. I thanked her for talking to me and walked away, much dissatisfied. I think that's a lot better, don't you?

As is usually the case, though, Davan was fine post practice and even said that she was kind of looking forward to the meet to see if she's improved from the last one already. That's a good attitude to hold onto!

Living Locally

In a blog I've been perusing lately, the author was talking about keeping activities close to home. For her two kids, if the activity isn't in walking or bike riding distance, then the activity is not done. Her kids, the oldest of which is somewhere around 9 or so, are, thus far, at least, cool with it.

This is a concept I've toyed with myself. Doing lots of driving is not good for, well, for anything except getting audio books listened to, really. As I've mentioned here, before, though, it's easy to just let those driving boundaries expand, often for no great reason other than it's easy to get there in a car.

So, I try to keep regular activities fairly local, when possible. Currently, we can ride bikes with a fair amount of ease to all of the regular activities minus Do Jump, the new session of which starts next week.

However, that brings me to my next point. I'm not sure I totally want to limit our activities to local ones. Yeah, I think being local is a strong selling point, but would I want Davan to miss out on the opportunity of Do Jump just because it's further away than we want to ride? I think, for me, the answer is no, even if it means that we have to use the car more than I might like.

Do I want to never go to the zoo because it's further than biking distance away (our biking distance, at least)? Not really. And I don't want to take public transportation there unless we're making that part of the excitement of going because it actually costs more to pay for Davan and I to take public transportation than it does for us to drive there.

And we will continue to own a car for a variety of reasons. I've checked into things like Car Share, which is a great concept, but A) there are no convenient pick up sports for us in the suburbs and B) it's more expensive for us in the long run because we go skiing and backpacking and such.

I've also checked into just renting a car as necessary and that would come to cost more than owning a car within a couple of years.

So, where does all that leave us? Trying to walk or bike when possible. And, if you're looking at moving, particularly, you might want to check this sight out: Walk Score. It'll give a walkability score any address. Ours is 62 out of 100, which wouldn't be too bad, but they list our closest grocery store as a convenience store - yeah, right - and seem to do things on a as the crow flies basis, which seems silly. But, it still can be a helpful tool, if you're aware of it's weak points.

Also, it leaves us with making wise choices. This year, for example, Davan had a choice of homeschool swim lessons at our local community college (just under 2 miles away) or homeschool swim team at the aquatic park (15 or so miles away). It's a no-brainer which to choose there. Not to mention that I get to swim at the swim lessons, too. :)

However, will we limit ourselves to a 5 mile (or so) radius? No. I'm not willing to do that. For those who do it and have it work for them, great. You are doing good things for the enlivenment and, probably, your pocket book. I can admire that. But, I think some things are worth the extra, as long as it's done mindfully.

Recent Pictures

Davan at her intermural meet. You wouldn't know that she was unhappy most of the day from the picture, would you? She looked nice in her team sweats and in her team leo. We were proud of all her hard work.

She has an interesting way of sitting at the computer:

Davan and her friend built this fort in the living room:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seriously Lustful

There is something I really, really want. But, I don't need it. And it's expensive. But I still want it. If we got rid of the van, I could have it. It'd be hard to take skiing, though, which I still want to do, too. What is it? A bike.

Why, when I, personally, have three bikes? (Yeah, three - a road bike that is rarely used, a mountain bike that I do use for solo errands and trips with hills, never for mountain biking, and the tandem. So, yeah, the tandem is both mine and Davan's, but still.) Anthony has three bikes, as well. Or is it four? More? I'm thinking of his commuter bike, his mountain bike, his fancy shmansy go fast bike and the tandem he captains.

Okay, to be totally honest, I'm not sure which bike set up I want. But, I do know the general idea.

So, what will this new bike do for me? Let me tell ya.

I really like this Oma. You'll have to click to go check it out. I want a bike designed for what I mostly use a bike for - putzing around doing errands. This bike is designed for a heavy load on the rack - a whole adult, for example. So, I could put Davan back there if she didn't feel like pedaling. Because, let me tell you, if she's not feeling like pedaling, it doesn't help to have her on the back on the tandem, that's for sure.

I also really like the idea of the Xtracycle Longtail. This lets you transform a bike of your choice into a Longtail - long, heavy duty rack on the back. Many people use these for hauling children around. Yes, multiple children. I could transport other kids, if necessary. The link takes you to a picture of two longtails outfitted for camping, with a child seat on one of them.

I'd really want an different bike for the longtail. I want a more upright, cruiser sort of ride. This bike here is a recommended choice for converting to a longtail.

Now, because these bikes let you haul so much stuff, I could need some help, especially for bike camping. In comes the Stokemonkey. You'll see the same picture here as for the Longtail link at the top of the page, but then more stuff about the Stokemonkey, rather than the blog entry about camping with the longtails. Any-who, what the Stokemonkey does is give you a power assist for hills. It doesn't make your bike into a scooter, you still have to peddle, but it does help with large loads or with hills. And with one of the heavy bikes I'm lusting after, believe you me, I'm lusting after this, as well.

So, for the Electra Townie ($750) with longtail conversion ($489) and the Stokemonkey ($1,668) to make it so I can actually move the thing about on other than downhills, we're talking $2907. I'd gladly trade my three bikes in for this, but, sadly, they wouldn't come close to covering the cost.

Let's try the Oma option out. The Oma, straight up, is ($1,600). Of course, there is no conversion necessary and it comes with all sorts of cool things already built in - lights, fenders, rack. Thus, the Oma plus the Stokemonkey is $3268.

I could maybe do better by buying used on Craig's List...but I'm not sure that I could find these things. People use them. Let me just take a quick look see. Yeah, that's a no. Maybe if I keep my eye out, something would pop up.

And then there is Anthony. I'm not sure he'd agree with the whole trading for the tandem thing. Although, if I can still get Davan around, I'm not sure why not really. But, the tandem in the shape it's in and being the size it is, probably won't move for much money. Sigh.

And can I live with the set up we've got? Yeah. But, I'm lusting! Seriously lusting! So, if someone wants to be my wish granting fairy, you know what to do. Email me if you need an address for delivery. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

36.9 vs 8.8

I'm beginning to think I should have made my resolution more challenging. So far, I've done 36.9 bike/walk (mostly bike) miles and 8.8 countable van miles. Maybe 75% of local miles would have been a better goal?

Of course, I'm still in the car for more over all miles. Davan and I drove probably 30 round trip miles today to go to open gym and the Dave's Killer Bread factory. Dave himself was manning the counter, but I was too shy (read: anxious it wouldn't go well - Davan does get it from somewhere!) to mention that I recognized him.

And there have been those times that I've done local trips that I've deemed "uncountable." Falling into that category are picking Davan up from gymnastics after dark, combining local trips with longer trips and the infamous library to gym combined trip that I dithered over so.

It might be interesting to keep a total miles log, as well. But, then I'd probably be feeling like my 36.9 miles are pretty shabby, so maybe not.

For now, at least, I'll keep my goal where it is, but consider upping the challenge as the months go on. I'm thinking there could well be days of rain or even more snow during which I'll be very glad I've gotten ahead on the bike/walk miles.


At first this morning, I felt like I was much better today. Then I got out of bed. I was dizzy in an almost falling over sort of way most of the morning. I seem to be mostly over the dizziness now, but I'm feeling tired and drained now. Ah well. I still could be much sicker. The sun is out this afternoon and I'm debating if I can get Davan and I out for a bit before gymnastics. Of course, first I have to convince myself and then her. We shall see.

The dizziness reminded me of an interesting thing that happened on Friday. In retrospect, I was starting to not feel well on Friday. I only realized at the time that I was kind of tired. I wanted to leave Anthony's work party a bit early. Of course, that can easily be explained away by the fact that his work party involved being in a loud room crowded with people I don't know, so it's not that remarkable that I didn't realize I was coming down with the beginnings of a little something.

Any-who. In the afternoon Davan and I were playing a dance game on the Playstation. It's the only game she and I ever play and that very rarely. It's a dance to any song game, so you can put in your own CD and it will create a dance for it. It's not as good as the dances that are designed as part of the game, but still fun. You can also create your own dance for the song. Davan and I were doing that.

It was Davan's turn to create before we both danced and I was watching her do her thing. The background on the screen was a swirling pattern. After watching for a couple of minutes, I looked at the stereo next to the TV and, low and behold, it started swirling. It lasted for maybe a minute and was pretty darn impressive. Nothing like a good visual hallucination.

Now on to the rest of our day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not 100%

I got up this morning at my 7:30 time. I did my chores. I even did a very easy yoga tape - only 20 minutes. However, I'm still not feeling great. It could be much worse and I still think my immune system is doing a good job. But, it's still not fun to not feel one's best when one has a regular, full day ahead.

We'll still be going to swimming. I'll just let our teacher know I'm under the weather and will be swimming slowly. She'll be cool with that. We'll probably even still ride over. I won't want to ride Davan down to gymnastics tonight, I'm sure. The thought of that hill on the way back up, feeling not up to snuff isn't appealing. So, I should make sure to get in non-van miles when it won't be so hard.

I've been reading Freeing Your Child From Anxiety. It's been helpful already. From reading it, I think that Davan is somewhere between a more-worried-than-average kid and having Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I certainly don't think that she has Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but I think she does tend toward it a bit, with some phobia, separation anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies thrown in. Nothing serious and certainly not diagnosable, but enough that it's good for us to be working on it before anything did become too serious. Plus, it would make our lives smoother for her not to worry so much.

We've had a couple of conversations now that have helped her turn her thinking around some. I'm not expecting miracles, but with time and consistency, hopefully there will be less and less worry happening.

As I told Davan this morning, she comes by the worry honestly, it often being passed down genetically and definitely tending that way myself (and Anthony and my mom and, and), but that doesn't mean it has to rule her life.

Check Things Out

I was in the kitchen, peeling garlic. I jabbed some garlic peel under my finger nail. It was not what one would call comfortable. It hurt at first, then was numb. Then it really started hurting. I said to Anthony, "This is terrible. It's getting worse."

A few moments later, Davan, who was playing keyboard in the adjoining room, comes in looking down. "Were you talking about me?"

"What do you mean?"

"When you said, 'This is terrible. It's getting worse.' Was that about my piano playing?" she asks, very depressed sounding.

"No, silly girl! I jabbed myself under the finger nail!"

"Oh," she says, very relieved.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I've Succumbed

I've got some sort of illness. I'm not dying. I'm not even overly stuffy. I am, however, very tired, week, have a sore throat and a mildly elevated temperature.

Regardless, I still managed to go out with Anthony and Davan to run some errands yesterday. However, once, I stayed in the car and, when I did go in with them, I discovered that I couldn't keep up in the parking lot. That was kind of odd, trailing behind.

Today, they went to the library and back to Home Depot (we went there yesterday, too) and I opted to stay home. Sitting or laying at home in my sweats, a muffler, hat, a blanket or two over me and a mug of tea near by is much preferable to running errands.

Still, I'm well enough to not be miserable while hanging out quietly, which is excellent when one has the luxury of indulging a mild illness. Now if I can just convince Anthony to actually dote on me, cooking and cleaning up after, it would be a lovely day, even with the not feeling well.

It's not that he's not well intentioned. It's just that he doesn't know what to do in the kitchen, really, always needing direction, and he never really totally cleans up after himself. So, the day after I "take time off," I end up doing double duty, which sucks. So, if I can, I still get up and take care of stuff so that I'm not overwhelmed the next day. Sigh. One can't have absolutely everything in a spouse, I guess, and he sure is a great guy in a lot of other ways.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I will not count the driving from home to the library to the gym as a local trip. Here's why - there is a leg of the trip that is well over 3 miles - 4 miles, to be exact - from the library to the gym. So, it's not really a local trip.

Now, if I were to go back home after dropping Davan off at the library, that part of the trip would be local and would have to be counted as such. I'd already decided, however, that if I make a local stop on the way to a non-local place, it didn't count as a local trip.

Justifying? Maybe. But, I still think I'm staying in the spirit of my resolution and I feel comfortable with the decision. Besides, so far the tally is 23.5 bike/walk to 3.5 car. That's not too shabby, me thinks.


This afternoon I'm taking Davan to the library for a homeschool class. Then, we'll be going straight to gymnastics. All told, the trip will be 8.9 miles. That's more, if you were to break it into there and back, than 3 miles, and yet, I never go 3 miles from home. Do I have to count that in the car tally or is it a freebie because it's more than 6 miles total?

If we were to come home in between, I'd say the trip counts as local. Is it not if I'm combining trips? I think, to be honest, that I should count it. It would sort of be like not counting driving to and from swimming because we had another person in the car. This is the sort of thing that I've planned for with the more bike/walk than drive wording, right?

But, I don't wanna count it. And it is more than 6 miles! But, never more than 3 from home. I guess I've gotta count it. Sigh.

Thank You, Thank You (Bowing)

Thanks to Ami for awarding me with the Honest Scrap award. I would like to thank all the little people who helped me get to this point. First, my parents...blah, blah, blah...and, finally, to the person who checked out my books at the library today. It's because of all you that I am where I am today.

The rules are as follows:

A) First list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep.

B) Pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.

As we're being truthful here, I think I'm going to have problems with both of these requirements.

A) I already feel like I bare my soul here, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

B) I will try to come up with seven bloggers to pass this award onto that Ami didn't already mention. (I read a lot of the same blogs.) However, I'm not at all sure that they read my blog and I'm not a big poster, so I don't know if they'll actually receive the nomination after I make it.

All that said, here we go:

1) When I was 11, I went through a shoplifting phase, until I got caught and the shop owner pressed charges because, out of the three of us who did it together, all 10 and 11, I "looked old enough to know better." It did put an end to my shop lifting, that's for sure. Up until that point, where we were trying to take most of the Hallmark store, I'd only lifted candy here and there. What the hell was I thinking?

2) I miscarried before I got pregnant with Davan. While I like and mostly embrace the idea that the spirit of that baby hung around and became Davan, I sometimes think, when Davan is showing her "special" side, what life might have been like with B.C.

3) B.C. was the nickname for that baby I miscarried. Anthony thought it stood for "baby coming," but really, it was the nickname my friend Chris came up with when I told her that I was pretty sure we'd conceived on her bathroom counter.

4) This you probably knew, but even though I gripe about Davan here, I would choose her over any other kid in the world to come home with me every day. And, you've noticed, I haven't shipped her off to school yet, so we must be getting along okay. Truly, though, I love her deeply and mostly even enjoy her company.

5) Sometimes I want very, very badly to go out to eat on non feast days. However, when we went out to eat at Chevy's for Davan's birthday last month, I had total sticker shock. I'm glad we don't eat out much, but I still really, really want to often. Why is that?

6) Even though I'm doing pretty well with my weight - mostly staying around 125 - I still don't like the fat on my belly. And I'm not anorexic about it. It's really there. People don't believe me until I show it and then then do.

7) I will be feeding Davan soup for lunch today. It's the same soup I served to her friend yesterday which said friend took a couple of bits of and then didn't eat. Notice that I'm giving it to Davan, not myself.

8) When Max lived with us, I worried that I would loose it and hurt him.

9) There are people I'd like to spend more time with, but I have a hard time initiating contact. What if they don't want to spend time with me?

10) While I'm morally against war, making it both funny that I was in the Army and so that I'd never recommend to Davan that she join up, I'd sort of like to do Basic Training again - at least the physical part - just to prove that I could do it better than I did the first time around, being much more able to suffer now than I could then. And I'd like to see what sort of shape I would be in at the end.

Now for the passing on portion of the festivities. I nominate the following blogs (most of whose authors probably don't read here, but never-the-less are worthy of the title Honest Scrap):

Miserable Bliss

Smiles and Trials

Growing While Shrinking

When Love Was Not Enough

Okay, so that's only 4, but I have to admit to not reading a ton of blogs - I keep myself strictly limited to reduce computer time. (And today, with the four posts, it really looks like that's working, eh?) I do read others, but not others I felt truly qualified. I mean, does blogging about food count? I decided not, even though I enjoy several of these types of blogs, whose authors do also do sometimes share about other things. Still, those didn't seem like appropriate recipients.

So, there it is. Ami is following the rules and I'm breaking them. Of course, if you read this blog and feel like you'd like to participate, please do and then let me know about it. Maybe I'm missing out on something good.

One Week Out

It's one week post Christmas (for us) and the house doesn't look like Christmas anymore. It's been a gradual process, with the last of Anthony's gift paraphernalia being tucked away just this morning, along with the snowman table cloth being put away. It's nice to have the house back.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas and I had a really good one this year. It's just nice to go back to not so much sensory input. The snowman table cloth was getting to me with it's attention getting pattern. I'm glad not to have lights strung up anymore in the living room, play room and hall. It makes playing ball in the house so much easier. It's nice to have it all and it's nice when it goes away, too.

We've taken care of all returns and cancellations. My mom had signed me up for a Do Jump class for adults that I can't do due to timing. Sadly, I'm 5th on the wait list for the class that happens when I can go. Next term, perhaps.

The one outstanding Christmas issue is Anthony's watch. He's having a hard time deciding. He's found a couple he likes, but it's difficult because, being on the thin side, his wrist is too small for many of the massive men's watches that are out there. Plus, he isn't sure if he wants to just go cheap on the watch and the extra money for other stuff or get one he really wants. Decisions, decisions.

The new year has prompted me to look at pictures on the computer. We point our screen saver at the current year so that we see our current pictures. So, I got to thinking about replacing some of the old pictures on the walls with pictures from 2008 so that when we move on to 2009 pictures, we'll still have our favorites around. That was a large-ish project that Anthony, Davan and I finished last night. While our picture hall still looks messy, I like the new pictures and it's slightly less messy than it was before.

Talking it over with Anthony, I decided to make a favorites folder of pictures from all the years we have on digital. That's five years now. I spent bout 7 hours over the last couple of days going through all of our pictures and copying over favorites. It was mostly fun to look at all the old pictures, but also hard on my shoulders. I'm not used to sitting at a desk for long periods of time!

I had a hard time with 2007, which was the year Max was with us the whole year. I surprised myself by feeling a little sad. Mostly, I've just felt so much like we made the right decision that sad hasn't gotten in there very much. It made me think about him and wonder how he's doing again. Not that I don't anyway. And it made me feel sad for what a rough life this little boy has had. However, I'm still very, very glad we disrupted. It's still a huge relief.

We're back into swimming, gymnastics, playdates, book groups and all the rest and glad to be. Yay for holidays and yay for regular routines.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

How Far?

I found a fun new tool. Okay, I didn't totally find it on my own. My friend, Chris, showed it to me this summer, but I remembered and searched for it, so that counts, right?

At any rate, it's a running map which you can use to chart your run/walk/ride/whatever. Not having a bike computer, this is a handy tool for me to figure out how many miles I've done by bike to keep track of my resolution.

As an aside, I did modify my resolution just a wee bit. The main thing is that going to pick Davan up from gymnastics is a freebie. It's late and dark. Perhaps in the summer I'll reevaluate that, but for now, it seems reasonable that I just get to do that in the van for both our sakes.

Also, my bike/walk vs van has to tally on a monthly basis. Okay, back to the cool tool.

There are several offerings out there. I checked out three of them. My favorite is Map my Run. It was the most intuitive to use and the fastest, once it loaded up.

I found out that I was over estimating my miles, having gotten myself up to 20.5 after yesterday, when, in fact, 19.7 is the accurate count. So, it wasn't too far off, but I did make the adjustment on my tally. So far, it's walk/bike: 19.7; van: 0. That will change today, as I'll have an extra kid going to swimming and a different extra kid coming back from swimming, so we'll be driving and that will count as a local trip, even though there is a good reason to drive.

As an aside, I'll be going to pick up extra kid #1 from her house shortly. If it were less than 3 miles away, I'd have to count that against myself, as well, but, she's just over 3 miles away, so it's all good.

I've been realizing that I could have made my limit 2.5 miles and not had any appreciable change. Every place I go nearby is 2.5 or less. If it's more than that, it's usually quite a bit more - a trip to Costco or to Do Jump or the like, all of which are more like 10 miles away. Well, Costco may only be about 7 or so. I'm really not sure and I'm feeling too lazy to look it up.

Yesterday I chose to ride to book group (4.8 miles round trip) and to take Davan to gymnastics (4.5 miles round trip) even though the weather wasn't wonderful. It wasn't truly horrendous, either, but it was windy and drizzling. However, I knew I was going to be driving today and I also wanted to keep my options open for being able to drive another day if the weather was truly nasty - heavy rain, for example. So, the resolution is working for getting me on the bike and out of the car so far.

Of course, it's working for getting Davan on the bike, too, like it or not. Yesterday she commented that this resolution really effected her, too, ya know. I said, "Sure, but in a good way, honey," and smiled.

Right now, I'm not sure she agrees. Other times, though, she's told me we should never take the car, but it is hard in the winter. She'll adjust, though. We haven't been late anywhere yet and, as that's one of her anxiety points, the more we're not late, the more she'll probably relax about taking the bike.

How are your resolutions coming, if you've made any?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


My post yesterday got me to thinking about resolutions in general. Not for the first time, mind you, but there it is, floating around in my mind, so I thought I'd share. Aren't you lucky?

I know there are those who are against resolutions. Reasons vary. Some say that resolutions never stick anyway, so why bother? To this, I say, is it better to never try to improve yourself or to at least give it some consideration and try it out, even if it's only for a few months/weeks/days? How are you going to improve yourself if you're not willing to ever even think about it? A small step may take at some point, leading to bigger steps.

Some people say that you should lead a considered life all year, not just at New Year's when everyone else is. Sure. Yeah. That's true. However, what's wrong with having a time of year that you give it extra thought? A time of year that you specifically are going to think about if there are any changes you need to make and what those may be? I dunno. Seems like that is a good plan, even if you also think about changes at other times, as the need arises.

So, I'm a fan of resolutions. Even if they kind of suck, i.e. "I will eat better." I mean, what does that mean? But, at least the person is thinking about it and recognizing a change should be made. That's a step, so, even if they don't follow through, it's still positive.

What makes a good resolution? It should be definable with goals to be met and it should be public. Otherwise, there's no one to know if you just give it up. That helps you to be accountable. Rather than, "I will eat better," one might say, "I will follow the Weight Watcher's plan for this whole year," (I think the core plan is a reasonably well thought out plan, personally, although I also see room for improvement.) "I will eat at least one fruit every day," "I will read Eat to Live and follow the six week plan outlined," "I will not order french fries with my daily double cheeseburger."

You know, whatever works for you. Where ever along the continuum you are. Whatever your goal it. State it clearly and tell people about it. If you have kids, they will do their best to keep you in line. "Mom! You can't eat those fries!!!!"

This works for anything, not just food. Think about where you can make a positive change, but don't try to do too many. One to three (smaller) goals is enough. Otherwise, you'll have a hard time sticking to all of them.

Are you lonely? Try volunteering. Your library/animal shelter/school needs you and you'll meet people.

Need to exercise? Commit to a 10 minute walk a day 5 days a week all year. It's a small do-able step.

Have you been yelling at your kids a lot? Plan to read one parenting book every two months to help get tools for coping. Join a support group. Swear that at least once a day you'll count to 10 before you speak when you're mad.

Of course, all of this is just my humble opinion on the subject. Take what you can use and forget the rest. I'm certainly not perfect. Try as I might, I never was able to get a handle on Max. I do try, though, and once a year, I truly consider resolution and decide if there is a step I should take. I think that's a good thing.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Yay Me!

I did yoga this morning. It was a gentle sort of yoga, rather than power yoga, but still, yoga was done. I rode my bike a grand total of about 11 miles. I swam for an hour. I definitely got in my exercise today.

Better yet? I didn't take the car out until I went to pick Davan up from gymnastics this evening. At times in the past, I have been good about riding my bike rather than getting in the car. However, it's a habit that is hard to get back into. I do well from time to time, but there has been nothing sustained. It felt good to run errands, go to swimming and take Davan to gymnastics all on bike. I'd very much like to keep it up.

I've gotta be honest, though. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. I'm thinking we'll be going to book group in the van. How do I juggle giving Davan and I a break from riding in miserable conditions and still keep up the bike habit? I don't know. It's something to work on, though.

That brings me to the topic of New Year's resolutions. What with Christmas being celebrated on New Year's here, New Year's kind of got bypassed. We did, briefly, discuss if we wanted to do New Year's resolutions, but didn't really go anywhere with it.

Anthony would like to have a weight lifting goal. Davan didn't really have anything she was thinking about. Me? Well, at the time, I mostly just said I was trying to think of something non-food related, as we're already doing a year long challenge of eating "on plan" with the exception of our feast days.

It's been marinating for a few days and I've got some ideas floating around. I'd like to bike or walk more than auto for trips of less than three miles one way. (Wording it that way just popped into my head. Writing things down really does help!) Or I'd like to bike all the time for those same trips, except when the conditions make it truly unpleasant. That seems too vague, though, leaving too much room for just hopping in the van. So, maybe the first. I'd have to keep track, though, of miles in the car vs miles on the bike/feet so I'd know if I were meeting my goal. It's not undoable. It might work.

Also floating around has been some sort of yoga at least five days a week resolution. I'm pretty good about that already, though, so I don't think I need the resolution for it.

Getting up at a certain time of day during the week has run through my mind, as well. As I've mentioned here before, a lot of times I pretty much feel tired no mater if I've slept 8 hours or 10, so why sleep the extra 2 hours? Plus, studies show that people who sleep between 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 hours a night are healthier than those that sleep less or more. So, seeing as how I turn the light out around 10:30 usually and not after 11:00 almost always, getting up at 7:30 seems more than reasonable, even if it takes a while to actually fall asleep. I do enjoy laying in bed for a while before getting up in the morning, so I'm thinking my soft radio alarm clock can go off at 7:15 and I can get up by 7:30. I've usually woken up several times by then, so the alarm clock is really more of a reminder to not go back to sleep. I'd enjoy the extra time to make sure my yoga gets done before Davan's up and we're off to chores.

So, maybe two resolutions:

I will ride or walk more local miles than drive. Local is defined as 3 miles or less away.

I will get out of bed by 7:30 every weekday morning, being truly sick earns an exception.

Those seem do-able. Now I just have to share them with my family for accountability and hop to.

Of Course I Love Her

But, right now, I don't think that Davan believes that I do. For the second time today, she's in tears, thinking that I'm mad at her. And she's right. I am. Some. I'm not so angry that I've yelled or anything, though. I've just stated consequences - natural or logical - and she's ended up in tears.

As far as she's concerned, that means that I should be stepping in, cuddling her and letting her know that I still love her. And I do. Still love her. I just think that she should be able to suffer the consequence without having to go through all that every time.

This morning, she dawdled again at chores. Now, for a while, at least, we're going to have separate chore lists. If she wants to dawdle at chores, fine, but she still has her share to do. She freaked out, begging for another chance. Well, we've been over this a few times in the last couple of months, so I'm not feeling like another chance is a good idea. Lots of tears.

Then, I was getting our stuff together for swimming and I asked her to go get her water bottle. It's missing. It's either in the van or at the gym. If the latter is true, it could well be gone. I stated that fact. She is now crying and looking at me like I've been torturing her. Can you say overreaction? Or, at least, be upset about the bottle. What have I done here? Is it too much to think she should be able to cope with this stuff? It's not she'll go thirsty, even. I did give her a not so wonderful water bottle to use (it's not the first one lost).

She's upset because I've told her what the consequence is. Not about the consequence itself. She's upset because she thinks I love her less. I don't. But, do I have to show her that every time? I am a little mad about these things, yes. And I should be able to be a little without it having an adverse effect on our relationship, I believe. I'm not yelling. I'm not name calling. I'm just a little bit curt. A little bit. Sigh.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Wonderful Christmas - Now Back to Reality

We had an awesome Christmas, celebrated on New Year's Eve, though it was. Dinner at my MIL's was nice and not too late. We came home, Davan opened her way too big PJs, but as they are the next size up from her too small ones, she's opted to live with them, then Davan went to bed.

My mom and I did stockings and put out gifts that weren't already out - Santa gifts and their gifts. They had bags and bags of gifts. So much for keeping it simple. :P

After a good, broken up 4 hours of sleep or so, I finally gave up. Anthony was awake, too, so we talked and snuggled and did other stuff. :) We got up around 7:30 to get coffee and tea going. Then Davan was up and the day moved on.

The day had a great pace with lots of pausing for enjoying gifts as they came, talking and eating of lots of food. The gifts were all very thoughtful and some were tear jerkers. My parents spent until after an early dinner with us. After they left, Davan, Anthony and I listened to Trickster's Queen and played with the new pattern blocks while eating even more....I ate a lot, but I actually did fairly well at stopping early enough not to go to bed with a sore tummy.

The very next day, Davan had her first meet. She was very, very nervous, so much so that she couldn't enjoy it and was totally drained afterward. She didn't want to go to practice that night, even. However, even with all that, she did very well. She scored between 8.5 and 8.8 on all four events, placing 5th overall out of 14 girls, 5 of whom have competed in whole seasons as level 5's before. I was proud to see all her hard work showing, but disappointed that she was so unable to enjoy herself. I hope the other meets go better. By Saturday, she was feeling good that she'd been in a meet and done so well.

Anthony, indeed, didn't like his present - a watch. He decided to return it and get a different one. He's been spending a lot of time on that for the last couple of days - researching and trying on. He still hasn't decided. I told him from now on, I wasn't going to actually give him any gifts. I'd tell him what he was getting and give him a rough price to work within. He loves the shopping around part, unless it's clothes.

Tomorrow, it's all back to regular life. I'm having a hard time facing the fact that our feast days are over for a long while. I did put on a couple of pounds and now I'm having to detox again. Is it worth it? I don't know, but I'll do it again, given the opportunity.

Anthony is back to work and Davan and I are back to swimming. Davan has told me several times today that she's nervous about swimming. I'm kind of pissed about that. Does that make me a bad mom? I just really feel like it's because she isn't the fastest anymore, although she's still near the top, and because it's much harder work in this class. I'm tired of everything being stressful for her and, thus, me, too. Her anxiety is getting to the point that I feel like we maybe need to go see a therapist. She's pretty resistant to that idea, though. I guess, at least, that I need to read up on anxiety issues and get some ideas on how to deal.