Wednesday, October 28, 2009

*Insert voice of an adult in a Peanuts cartoon here*

Okay, I need to address the elephant in the room - Why I'm not writing anymore.

What? You don't see an elephant? It's right there. It's soiling the rug as we speak. It's an abomination! You just see a lumpy, smelly couch in need of replacing? Elephant, old couch. Toe-may-toe, Toe-mah-toe.

Yeah, I'm busy. The kids are kicking my ass. They take up so many more hours than I was prepared to give up and most days I just don't have the time to give to my own creative outlets. Blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, I just don't have the words. I use so many words every day - words to admonish, to soothe, to share, to order, to read countless board books and sing even more songs - but mostly my words seem to bounce back at me, refusing to stick to the intended receiver. It's maddening. So when I sit down to write I find that I have no more left in me to give.

When I started this blog my tagline was something like, Why am I always repeating myself? Or, Doomed to repeat myself. I forget exactly but that's the basic gist. It was a joke and a play on the title of the blog but I could never see how true it would become. As a dog trainer I had taught many people one of the cardinal rules of having a well trained dog was to not repeat things over and over. Give a command, mean it, and follow up if the command is not followed. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Now as the mother of a four year old, an almost 17 month old, and wife of a man with a taxing job who travels frequently and always seems to be rushing out the door, I'm constantly repeating myself. Just further proof that I'm better with animals. My dogs listen to me but my family? Not so much.

These days I seem to be talking at my family more than I'm talking to them and some days - okay, most days - it gets to the point where I want to throw up my hands and say, What's the point? Usually followed by more than a few expletives but always to myself. Who's listening anyway?

I don't like this feeling of not being heard. As a stay at home mom I'm already in a position of not feeling like a respected member of society, no matter how many times Oprah tells the world how wonderful and necessary we are, so the compounded frustration of talking to people only to be ignored is not sitting well with me. Now I find myself reserving my words and saving them for when I really need them. I could have a great discussion with friends or chat up new people in the checkout line at the grocery store... Or I could save my strength for when I need to get two little people dressed and out the door, buckled in the car seats, sing Wheels on the Bus fifteen times and bark order to Don't Kick the Seat and Stop Annoying Your Sister and I Said No Snacks and NO WE'RE NOT THERE YET for the hundredth time. Lather, rinse, repeat x infinity.

And that's just when we're in the car.

I guess I should take my own advice from the dog world and tweak it just a bit for those of the two-legged variety. Maybe.

These days I feel my words bear no weight and honestly, seeing them here next to the blink, blink of the cursor is not really helping. Do they mean anything? Do they matter?

Come to find out, yes. I guess they do matter.

I took some time to go through my archives and I was surprised by what I found there. Moments I had forgotten, absolutely, and I was so grateful to my earlier self for having the foresight to write them down, but there also were actual pieces that I was proud of. There were posts that made me go, Damn, woman, you hit that one out of the park. Good for you! I was a little pissed off that I don't write like that anymore but still pleased that those words, at least for a period of time, came from me. Proof that I could string to sentences together! I'd like to say I was struck by inspiration and the words flowed like a mighty river from then on... But they didn't. More like a trickle from a leaky faucet, calcified and sort of stagnant, but I'll take what I can get at this point.

I may bitch and moan, it may be repetitive and dull, but they are my words and someday they'll all add up to something. To that point, someday my words will start sinking in with my kids too (Dear sweet Jesus, someday they will, right?) and my husband may look away from his work long enough to acknowledge my pleas for help (That's actually already working - Huzzah!). And my words here on this blog, no matter how trivial, will become precious to me when I look back on them.

And in the meantime, I'll start talking to the dogs more. They're great listeners.

Shit, I just realized this post sounds a lot like the whining from this post. Sorry, I suck. Um... Who wants to teach their dog to balance a treat on their nose?!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I know as their mom I should have warned them their faces would freeze this way

But as the woman who vomited for a combined 18 months while carrying them in my womb, I'll take the silly where I can get it.

This is what happens when I say, "Make a silly face!" Wow.

Friday, October 09, 2009

But if I do lose I'm totally going to rock it Olivia Newton John style.

Apparently, it takes another bet to force me out of hiding and writing on my blog again, but this is so worth it.

But let me back up a bit.

There comes a time in every person's life when they see the handwriting on the wall, where it is written in HUGE BLOCK SCREAMY LETTERS -


I've never been one to pay much mind to HUGE BLOCK SCREAMY LETTERS, especially when they're being insulting, so I kept eating the doughnuts. Lots of them. Because I love them dearly. Mostly the apple cider type because it is apple season around here and, oh my sweet jeebus! Have you ever tasted a fresh out of the fryer apple cider doughnut? Lightly sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar?? That's a little piece of heaven on earth right there, I'll tell ya. Uh huh. A little piece of doughy on the inside, crispy on the outside, fried in lard and covered in sugar heaven...

[Insert picture of me with a thought balloon over my head with a picture of a warm apple cider doughnut and a big goofy grin on my face here]

What I'm trying to say is, I may have partook of the baked goods a little too much lately. I've gained a bit of weight (a small child) and my jeans don't exactly fit anymore (sausage thighs) and after going through all that torture to find jeans that fit, well, that's just not acceptable. Also, I'm cheap and instead of buying new jeans that do fit I'm squeezing myself into jeans that don't fit and it's amazing I make it through the day without passing out at least twice from lack of oxygen.

I wish I could say this was a gradual process and it sort of snuck up on me but the truth of the matter is, most of my weight gain has happened since BlogHer in July. I had lost some weight before the conference (mainly to fit into those new jeans and as not to embarrass myself too much in front of size 0 boutique sales associates named Kimmy) but since I've been home it has been a nonstop baking and gorging extravaganza around here. And also more than a little late night Nutella eating. Straight out of the jar. Maybe a spoon was involved, but probably not. I have no shame.

And did I mention I broke my toe in June which made putting on a pair of sneakers really difficult? It's hard to exercise when you can't put on sneakers. May as well just sit on the couch with a full jar of hazelnut spread and practice my french kissing technique.

(No. Shame.)

I'm not the heaviest I've ever been but I'm close, and this is certainly the saggiest I've ever been. I waved at CC the other day while I was getting ready when I caught sight of myself in the bathroom mirror. My hand stopped saying hello but my upper arm flab was still flailing enthusiastically. Guess how I dealt with my sorrow.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, But Tania, why don't you stop eating so many cupcakes, and cookies and doughnuts and for heaven's sake take your head out of the Nutella jar and start working out. And to you I say,


I love food and I love to bake, and as strongly as I feel for all things fatty and sugary I have equal hatred for working out. I hate the gym. I loathe everything about it. I lack the inclination and desire to go and honestly that steep monthly price tag for a gym membership is not enough to guilt me into dragging my saggy parts to a facility that smells like body odor to work out on weight machines that are really torture devices in disguise. Torture devices that may or may not have been wiped down after the guy with the back 'fro used it before me.

No, what I need is outside motivation - for instance, a) a team sport or b) a personal trainer who is waiting for me to show up, or c) someone to work out with each and every day who also has the same messed up schedule as I have. Since none of those are readily available since a) Team sports for women of a certain age (ahem) are hard to come by, b) did I mention I was cheap?, and c) okay, that's a possibility but that still requires actually going to a gym. And did I mention my broken toe that isn't broken anymore...? Do I need to continue? I've got a million excuses, none of them good. Bottom line, there is one thing that can properly motivate me to work out and that one thing is my desire to WIN.

And also to fit into these again.

My favorite jeans. I bought these for BlogHer '07. Then I got pregnant and haven't really worn them since. Sigh.

And maybe if I'm really good, maybe these.

Zexy. I'd like to order the ass too. Size small.

What's really not sitting well with me is the fact that I am of a certain age (ahem) and I can't shove cupcake after cookie down my gaping yap while washing it down with a big juicy steak and not expect that it's going to affect me adversely. I've been having some health concerns lately and it's high time I start taking care of myself better so that I can live long enough to be an annoying, pesky, meddling burden on my children.

Which brings me to the bet.

After chatting (okay, bitching) with Matthew from Childsplayx2 about how many pounds we've both gained since BlogHer (My misery! It loves company! Huzzah!) we realized the only thing that was going to motivate us to lose weight was our ultra competitive spirits and threats of public humiliation.

So we made a bet - Who can lose the bigger percentage of weight in six weeks.

Yes I realize I've already made a bet with him recently and I lost but this time the bet is more interesting and the stakes are higher. Much higher, and possibly wider, but without a doubt, more embarrassing.

The wager - The loser has to post a picture of himself (or herself, but let's face it it's going to be him) on their blog wearing spandex. And maybe a neon pink headband.

(Psst, anyone know where I can find a neon pink headband? You can send it directly to Matthew. Heh.)

The threat of not only stuffing my thighs into stretchy shorts but also posting photographic proof of it for the internet and friends and family to see is more than enough motivation to get my ass in gear and get healthy. Skinny jeans are a powerful motivator but fear is BETTER.

We started our bet yesterday, Thursday, October 8. I have until November 19th to lose a higher percentage of weight than Matthew. Since everyone knows men lose weight more easily than women, I'm going to need some help from the internets to keep me focused. I'll take suggestions for weight loss plans (I already know about the Shred. I lasted 3 days. That should tell you something.), diet tips, disgusting pictures to tape to my refrigerator... Anything.

Also, excuse my crankiness. I'm starving.

Wish me luck!


Starting weight as of October 8: 139.5 lbs

Friday, October 02, 2009

It would be cheaper to tape his mouth shut

How to guarantee you'll need a new car:

Sit down with your wife to discuss your finances. Talk about how certain things will be paid off by a certain date as long as your car keeps running well, therefore keeping you both out of a second unnecessary car payment. Specifically point out that there shouldn't be anything to worry about in that department unless "the transmission goes".

Watch your wife visibly cringe because she thinks you jinxed things.

Scoff at your wife's unreasonable jinxing fears.

Maybe make a crack about how she worries too much.

Come home from work one afternoon less than a week later and mention how your car won't go into reverse anymore.

Start making plans to purchase a new car.

How to keep the peace in your marriage:

Start listening to your wife more. Or invest in a lot duct tape.