Sunday, January 29, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

Nothing makes me happier than random acts of kindness. Especially when they are directed towards me.

This week I was on the receiving end when I was given a new (gently used) computer from a good friend of my dad. I have only met this man a few times in my life and I was lucky enough to benefit from his generosity, certainly kind to say the least.

Now every time I type on my new computer I am reminded to act in the same manner whenever possible. Doing for others and helping someone when you can not only makes someone else feel good, it also keeps the karma flowing. What a great way to live.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hot Sweaty Torture

This week I tried out Francisco's newest fad: Bikram Yoga.

I went with him to the studio in Sunderland where the instructors crank up the heat to 104 degrees (before counting the body heat that will then raise the temperature to what must be at least 130). I started the class by lying down in the relaxation pose that I will not even try to spell (I am not afraid to admit that I am a complete yoga novice, having only ever taken a few classes here and there throughout my life). When they had us stand up the wall of heat that had risen to the surface literally took my breath away, and the oxygen breathed in felt like fire in my lungs. Good times.

Then came the sweat.

The only way to describe the amount of sweat coming off of myself and all of the other bodies in that room is to say that we could only have been wetter had we been underwater. Sweat from my eyes, my shins, and my elbows. Unbelievable. So. Damn. Hot. Our towels were soaked underneath us after the 90 agonizing minutes of twisting and bending into unlikely positions, and I felt a strong urge to throw my clothes out before leaving the locker room.

The yoga itself was not all that impressive. It felt like I was in a military boot camp of flexibility. The man yelled at us to stretch to the point of pain (something I don't remember happening at other yoga classes I've attended), and the woman instructor barked out orders like a tape recorder, clearly she has this script memorized. It seemed almost dangerous, the commanding voices yelling at us to push harder when my head spun from the heat. Several people had to sit down, and one girl had to leave, even though the first thing we were instructed was to try and stick it out.

I am proud to say that I did not leave the room or pass out from the heat. I was by far the oldest and fattest woman in the room and I made it through (barely) two days in a row. I think if I kept it up I might not be the fattest person in the room for long, as it does seem like the pounds would probably sweat off quickly . I'm just not sure if that's worth the unbearable pain of a room that hot, staring up at the fluorescent lights and praying for the instructor to open the door for only a few seconds.

The good thing about Hot Bikram yoga was that the next day I definitely felt rejuvenated and limber. I had more energy than I've had in a long time, and my body felt healthier. I've been motivated to take up salad again, and fill my body with better things, so this might be worth the torture. I have never experienced anything so simultaneously hideous and fantastic. Maybe that's part of the appeal.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Girls' night: the unattainable dream.

I spent last night tucked on to a cozy couch talking about all things sex and child rearing. It was moms' night at my friend Lu's house. We try and get together at least every few months, waiting until our children are tucked into bed and then sneaking out into the cold winter night armed with champagne and brownies. We meet up at Lu's house to spend a couple of hours letting out our grievances and laughing about our various mishaps and parenting follies.

 Long ago, this was just a regular night hanging out with friends. Now it feels like the event of the year. When did girls' night become a momentous occasion unattainable more than three times a year?

Today I couldn't wake up. Went to bed late and got Nathan off to school late, the unfortunate side effect of a night out. Now Sofie and I are off to gym-and-swim. There is nothing I hate more than stripping down in the middle of winter, suiting up for the world to see my back fat and cellulite, and hopping into a heavily chlorinated, urine-soaked public pool for an hour. But the kid loves it, so off I go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Witching Hour

Today was a very busy day.

I spent the morning cleaning the hell out of my basement. Not just cleaning, I mean hauling crap by the bucket load out from the creepy cobweb-ridden, offensive smelling storage room that hides in the dark recesses of our home.

I'm sure everyone has a secret place like this in their home (although maybe not so hideous as mine). A place where you shove and toss all of the things you don't want to deal with, but maybe aren't ready to throw away yet. So today I threw it all (and then some) out. Satisfying? Of course. Purging our house of unnecessary crap is like popping the world's biggest pimple, a complete emptying of that which we do not need to perhaps make the house somewhere that someone might actually want to live, or at least visit.

So I cleaned it all out (by myself no less) and called my dad in a panic to come and haul it all away before my husband comes home and tries to paw through the pile and squirrel-nutkin the junk back into our lives. Francisco is secretly a hoarder.

So after all the hauling, cleaning, vacuuming, and scrubbing, I turned to spend a bit of quality time with my television zombie three year old. We went to the library and Dunkin Donuts, doesn't get more quality than a chocolate donut.

After picking up Nathan we headed home to embark on what I refer to as the Witching Hour. Other moms must know about this terrible time. It's the hour upon arriving home from school (especially in the cold dark winter) before dinner time. My kids immediately set into the "I'm boooorrreeedd! There's nothing to dooooooo!" before settling in to battle each other until somebody bleeds.


Pure. Mother. Torture.

When I'm tired after a long day I am powerless to prevent this inevitable hour of endless fighting, so it generally ends up with me in a threat-fueled, time out sending, power struggle until I give it up and let them watch PBS.

We somehow make it through dinner and bedtime routines before I collapse in a heap like the collapsible frink, unable to move, speak, or do anything but curl up in the fetal position, gearing up for another busy day tomorrow.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Last Straw

I was chatting with a friend of mine at work tonight about things about our husbands that make us crazy. She says that her ex-husband's loud coffee stirring was the straw that broke the proverbial camel (or wife's) back, and sent her running for a divorce. Another friend says that her husband shovels their stuff into drawers and closets to get the appearance of cleanliness in their house, making it impossible to find anything.

My husband doesn't have me running for the door at this point, but there is one creepy horrible habit that I have to get off my chest (and man am I glad that he doesn't read my blog). Here it is...

He eats almost every meal with his hands.

There, I said it. Rice, chicken, beans, you name it, he shovels it in by the finger full, and I get nauseous every time I witness it. He saves this display for meals that are just the family, so I get a full viewing of the finger food all the time. Nothing else grosses me out quite so marvelously, and I am convinced he does it all the more to piss me off.

What's your spousal pet peeve?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Welcome 2012! Here you are, there is no choice but to welcome you, time is slipping away and I can either jump on board or live in dread of the passage.

We spent New Years Eve at a fun party at my friends' farm in Whately. Ainsley and Dave created a kid and adult party wonderland in their greenhouse. Toasty warm with heaters blowing, music crowing on the stereo, hoers-de-oeuvres lining the tables, and champagne punch overflowing my glass. This party was not one to be missed. They had the kids' evening organized down to the last detail, with fun stations for kids to stop in a do an activity or two, a pinata, and impressive balloon drop to boot.

The kids ran around and stayed out of the parents' way while we feasted and chatted about. Great conversation, yummy food, good times. The only disappointment? We were in the car and on our way home (the last to leave) at 8:45. Ah, the joys of partying with young children. I'm hoping someday to stay at a party until the new year again, but I'm thinking I may have to wait a few years. That's ok with me, time can slow right on down and let me enjoy it...