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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Things Come To Those Who Weight

I'm down 8 lbs (total) so far by my scale.

This morning I was 2 lbs lighter!

I'm in a new "tenths" place!

To my Fat I say: Take THAT, blubber. And wash it down with a nice tall glass of suck it!

I feel fantastic.

I went to the gym last night and felt so great on the treadmill. I told Joe it's nice to know that whatever calories I burn, I can be confident that I am making progress, not burning off PART of that donut I ate.

I felt so good that I was able to totally disregard the fact that my orange and pink flowered grannies were dangerously higher than my sweat pants. And I'm almost positive that you could see the design through my white t-shirt. I'm talking at least 2 inches higher.

But I didn't care.

I'm actually moving forward instead of struggling to tread water.

Don't misunderstand.

I'm still hungry.

But darn if those girls at Jenny weren't right...it IS getting easier!

On the other hand...my core is still completely shot and my back "catches" if I move wrong.

That is compliments of all those babies calling my belly home.

I need to do some kind of pilates. That's what the lady at the gym told me when I signed up for a membership.

She said she recommends it for all her new mommies.

I hadn't told her I'd just had a baby.

She "figured it out" just by looking at me.

That was depressing.

But who do I think I'm fooling.

I've completely lost the ability to "suck it in."

So I tried doing some planks the other day.

The directions online suggest doing the kind that look like a push-up and also the one handed ones where you are on your side.

They say to hold that position for about 60 seconds.

60 seconds? No problem.

I can do anything for a minute.

So, I assumed the position.

For exactly 3 seconds.

That sh*t is hard.

Look at this guy who's demonstrating the move on the Mayo Clinic's site.

LOOK at his face.

Does he look like he's having fun??

He looks like he's going to vomit.

That's probably exactly how my face looked.

Who knew pilates could be so hard!

But today's another day. I actually can't wait to go to the gym so I can plug in my data afterward and see how many steps I walked. Yesterday I walked a total of +13000 steps. That's +5000 over my goal.

Sweet.

This is starting to get fun.

Thanks for tagging along with me on this train wreck journey. =)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So That's GOOD News??

The results are in...

According to Jenny's scale I lost 3 lbs.

According to mine I have lost at least 5.

I'm going with mine.

I got to have a sit down with my counselor Elaine yesterday and review my first week on the program.

I asked when I can bump up from 1200 calories.

There were crickets for a minute and a tiny staring match and then the reply,

"You don't."

Pardon me, but WTF?

You mean I am relegated to bird seed sized meals for the rest of my life?

That light at the end of the tunnel is dimming.

I get to bump up a little when I reach "maintenance."

Joe reassured me that "we" will always be the kind of people who have to "watch."

I've always watched.

I watch the ho ho go down the hatch with a Funyon chaser.

That used to be my "road food." When I used to travel for work, I'd stop for gas and load up on road food.

Funyons were a staple of that.

1 maybe 2 packs of ho hos.

A "Fun Size" bag of Funyons.

And a Diet Coke. (No, the irony isn't lost on me)

My idea of a fun evening was getting chinese (lots of chicken fried rice), some raisinettes and a movie. I'd lay on the couch and gorge myself with raisinettes.

Ah, the good ol days.

Now that I'm eating healthier and active, I don't miss that.

That's a complete lie.

I DO miss it...but I also miss wearing a belt.

My husband says we're having a burning party after I reach my goal.

We're burning all my old sweatshirts, every pair of enormous yoga pants I own, and--his personal favorite--the granny panties I just bought that Joe mistook for a fitted sheet when he was folding laundry recently.

I will feel confident and good in anything I grab out of my closet. I won't have to do the lay-down-on-the-bed-to-zip-my-pants-and-then-hope-the-zipper-doesn't-split-when-I-stand-up routine anymore, ignoring all the "ew" that is spilling over the waistband.

I can workout on the machines at the gym without worrying about all the people on the balcony staring down at my hideous backside.

I can feel attractive again.

I can stop poking fun at myself in the effort to deflect how uncomfortable I really feel.

Who am I kidding...I'll still poke fun at myself.

And then unicorns will dance, birds will sing, and rainbows will light up the sky, right?

Don't look at me that way. I AM being realistic.

I just realized I haven't even told you about this awesome body monitor I got yesterday. It's like what the contestants on the Biggest Loser wear. It straps on my arm and tracks my calories burned, steps taken, activity completed and calories consumed. There is no guess work here. I'll KNOW what I need to do to lose weight.

The software that goes along with it is addictive.

I keep uploading my data just to see where I am for the day.

You don't realize how many steps you take in a given day. My goal is 8000. I thought that would be nearly impossible, but in just 5 hours last night (when  a lot of it was standing at an event) I walked almost 2000.

Can't wait to see what happens when I go to the gym.

This thing monitors when I sleep too. Or, in my case with a newborn and 2 kids who constantly want to sleep in our bed, how much I'm NOT sleeping.

For those of you who have commented...THANK YOU! It's you guys who are keeping me going. Seriously. This is no fun. In fact, I hate it, but I can't wait until we're all having a drink (and a slice of greasy pizza- a girl can splurge once in a while) and laughing about how much I hated it.

xoxoxoxo
Until next time...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'D' Day-Time To Weigh In

This is it.

Today is weigh in day.

My first since starting Jenny Craig.

I'm expecting good things.

But also being realistic.

-25 lbs is pretty realistic, right?

Feels like I should be down 100 by how hungry I've been.

I don't want to knock the meals because they ARE proportionate to how we all SHOULD be eating (remember that whole " a serving is the size of your fist" thing you've probably heard? Turns out it's TRUE! Much to my chagrin.)

They are also REALLY good. There just isn't enough of it!

We made two stops on our grocery shopping trip yesterday.

(Target) for the kids.

Stuff for their lunches/snacks: Cheez-its, pretzels, cookies, and a treat of M&M's at the checkout.

Then we stopped for "my" stuff.

Raddichio, spinach leaves, a cucumber, carrots, and lettuce.

*sob*

I almost burst into tears at the checkout when I picked up the bag of honey wheat pretzels. I took a deep sniff of the package.

No joke.

Joe felt so bad that he surprised me with a Diet Dr. Pepper as a "treat." =)

I may be the whiniest person on this diet ever. (No need to chime in about that.)

The girl at Jenny said that lots of people say, "I was so full I didn't even eat my snack!"

Bull s*@#!

I don't know how anyone can be "so full" from 7 chow mein noodles, 2 flourettes of broccoli and a few peppers.

But maybe that's just me.

Their dessert is my idea of a warm-up.

BUUUUUUUT...I know it's necessary. If I had watched my portion sizes before, I wouldn't be getting tortured now.

And I can't wait until 20 weeks down the road when I am at the weight I want to be.

And my back doesn't lock up if I turn the wrong way too quickly.

And small children no longer mistake my jolly belly for Santa's.

And no one askes me when I'm "due."

And let's talk about how many veggies are recommended with Jenny...

I am not a fan of veggies. Or salad.

So you can imagine the challenge this poses for me.

Maybe, maybe if it was dipped in chocolate, I'd find it appealing.

Can I get an amen?

I know...defeats the point.

And that many veggies is actually a detriment to other people's health....

like the poor guy behind me when I'm on the treadmill. If you catch my drift (which, unfortunately, I'm sure he did...)

Joe isn't sure if he's in the room with me or a truck driver.

But enough of that...I have to run. It's time for my three flakes of bran cereal garnished with 2 cranberries and a drop of milk.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Light At The End?

It's getting easier.

I didn't say it's easy.

But I no longer have to stop myself from gnawing on my own arm.

Or licking chocolate smears off the kids' faces.

Or asking a perfect stranger if they're finished with the half eaten hoagie they're about to throw away.

It's the end of Day #5.

So far, I have survived pizza night, an event that included nachos and popcorn, and a family gathering with delicious, drool inducing home cooked food as far as the eye could see.

And cake.

With whipped pink frosting.

Know how much I ate?

Nada.

Not one bite.

How awesome is that?

Instead, I sat with my just-as-good-as-what-you've-got chow mein and chocolate peanut butter "anytime" bar, compliments of Jenny.

Joe was polite enough to leave the room when he inhaled ate his cheeseburger topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo and enormous slice of cake chaser.

What a gem.

My first weigh-in is Tuesday.

I'd better see some awesome results.

If not...I may need a word in private with Jenny.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Postcards From The Edge

I could eat my own freaking arm.

I'm a hateful, crabby, ornery human being lately.

I could kill for even a smear of chocolate.

So, YES! the diet is going smashingly.

I wish I could report that I'm feeling terrific on Day #2 of my Jenny Craig Friggin Meal Plan, but I cannot lie to all of you.

I know that this will all be worth it in a few weeks, but at  the moment I wanna kick Jenny Craig's ass.

If...and that is a very BIG "IF"...I make it through this diet without cheating, my head exploding, or running down an innocent pedestrian eating a donut, I will LOOK and FEEL fabulous!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Putting My $$ Where My Mouth Is


I'm learning some things about me and food. Well, things I've KNOWN but have chosen to ignore.

Like I have a weird fear attachment to it. I fear not having it handy. (And most times- in my mouth!)

I remember going to Barbados a while ago and staying in a crappy apartment-like time share. There was no restaurant and no room service. I actually felt panicked until I went grocery shopping and found some food that at least resembled American food.

I also get really antsy when we need to go grocery shopping here. Of course, to me  that means the snacks and junk are all gone.

Yesterday was a really hard day.

I am still all over the board with hormones. I was obviously in a valley yesterday and out of control.

L was due at preschool at 11:30. Of course, that meant I walked out the door at 11:45. As I'm stting in the van waiting for L to buckle, he dropped his thermos. Sooooo, I proceeded to berate him and use a really ugly tone with him for a full 5 minutes. In my head, I could hear myself saying, "WHAT are you DOING?!" I knew I was unhinged. But I couldn't stop.

Finally, I got a hold of myself enough to zip my lip and immediately apologize to L. Of course the damage was done. I had succeeded in making him feel like an inch tall. You know what he said?

He said, "I'm sorry for dropping my thermos."

That gets me.

I bawled when he said that. How ridiculous that a 4 year old feels he should have to spologize for dropping something.

I told him he'd done nothing wrong and that I was the one who was wrong for talking to him like that. When we got to preschool I hugged him fiercely and repeated that I was sorry.

He's the greatest. He acted as if nothing had even happened. Little ones are resilient that way.

After that, I drove on to my appointment at Jenny Craig (late of course).

I originally set out to do the 20 lbs for $20, but after experiencing that emotional roller coaster and ugly scene with L, I knew I had to get a handle on myself and pull this together. SO I went for the full monty. The plan I chose includes the armband like what the contestants on the Biggest Loser wear. I will be able to track everything in detail and almost exactly so there is no guess work about how many calories I've eaten, how many calories I've burned, or how my metabolism is working.

I am so excited.

They took my measurements and by "Before" Pics. I could have done without that, but I know it's necessary to know how far I've come. (And I will go far!!)

This is the beginning. I can't wait.

I've also taken a couple of hip hop classes. My back and sore legs can attest to that.

It's funny...I feel so good (a la Britney Spears) while I'm dancing, but then I catch a glimpse in the mirror and I see that I look much more like Chris Farley.

Perspective.

Tonight...break from the gym. Some much needed down time with the whole fam and a rest.

I will do my very best to hold the detox at bay. Even though the Jenny Craig meals have been good so far (LOVIN' the turkey burger!) I'm still hungry. I wish there was a diet where you eat whatever you want, in as big a portion size as you want, and as often as you want...and STILL lose weight! Wouldn't that be fantastic? That's called a dream.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Hate [My] Big Butt(s) and I Cannot Lie

Last night was my second time to the gym. I'm on a roll, HAHA.

40 minutes on the treadmill, another 2.3 miles and 200 odd calories burned. Feels good.

Afterward I sat in the steam room. It was nice. I just envisioned sweating out all the daily grind crap. All the stresses. All the sickness that has been coursing through our house for the past few weeks. All the stress. All the annoyances.

And I sang along with my MP3.

Luckily, I was alone in there.

Yesterday I also logged on to somne of the top weight loss programs to compare and see if I wanted to give any of them a try. One in particular offers a BMI calculation based on your height, weight and gender. I knew mine was going to be pretty ugly, but I dutifully typed in my info and held my breath as I hit enter.

Here's my result:


What a blow.

It might as well have looked like this:



But it actually has empoweered me to get off said fat ass and get this party started. I am very close to signing on with one of the leading systems, but I have some questions first. I'll report back, as I'm SURE you are waiting with baited breath for my decision.

Next gym stop: Hip Hop class tonight. This should be a sight. I'm really coordinated in my head, but that doesn't always translate to real life, so I'm anxious to see how this all goes down. If I could get video, I would, but I wouldn't want to exploit the other dancers. Yeah, that's it...the other dancers.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm Waging War...On My Fat!

Google images
Tonight was Day 1 of my commitment to reclaim my body.

It's been a long time coming and waaaaaaaay overdue.

My weight is and has been an albatross around my neck for...too many years.

It seems like the moment I got engaged to my ex husband the pounds literally jumped on me. I no more than had to LOOK at a cookie and I would gain 10 pounds.

True story.

I noticed tiny things then that made me uncomfortable, but not enough that I actually did something about them.

Like when I would pull up my jeans, a large part of my arse would move up along with them. Suddenly, my hips were a little wider and my thighs rubbed together a little more.

But I still looked good and felt good in my clothes (or thought I did, at least), so it was no big deal.

Fast forward 4 1/2 years and a miserable marriage, I was 50 pounds heavier...and my arse did more than "move up" when I pulled up my jeans. It now had its own zip code. Businesses were offering me money to paper it with their advertisements. I had grown a legitimate, bona fide ba-donka-donk.

It wasn't just my backside that had grown exponentially. No. Lucky me, I now had back fat that poured out around my bra, thighs that could set fire to corduroy or pantyhose, and forget the "muffin top"...I had an entire bunt cake around my waste. My face was puffy, I had creases around my eyes and mouth that didn't used to be there. And we aren't talking laugh lines.

I hated myself. I was lonely. I ate as a way to be happy and enjoy myself. I started hanging out and going to happy hour with friends from work. We all know that alcohol is not a friend to the belly (or the brain cells.)

So...I decided it was time to make a change. I joined a gym and started taking step class. I got a personal trainer.

That all sounds great right?

Well, it was. But something you must understand about me is that I don't really like being told what to do. It's a...thing...I have. So, my trainer (Lisa) would tell me something to do and I would say, "Oh, Lis...do I really have to? I'm just not feelin' it today." And she would let me do something else. God bless Lisa.

While it did a lot to keep me from hating her, it did nothing for shedding weight.

There came a time though when I lost about 170 pounds...it's called a divorce. Miraculously, when that happened, I also lost about 20 pounds from my bod. I may make light of it here, but it really was no laughing matter. It's a subject for a whole other host of blog posts.

Then, I met Joe. C'est L'amour!

Everything happened at lightening speed. You know: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Mandy with a baby carriage...or 5 baby carriages...in 5 1/2 years... Although our version was in a slightly different order. *ahem*

I gained 25 lbs with R. Lost it the first week after delivering.

Gained another 25 with L. Lost it in the first 2 months after having him.

Gained about 35 with E. Amazingly, I was actually the fittest I had been in years WHILE I was pregnant with her. I have pics to prove it. Then it all went downhill. I'm the only woman I know who blew up AFTER having the baby. I don't know what happened. It looked like I sucked on an air hose after she was born. And it stayed that way until I got pregnant with M.

Gained about 30 with M.

And now.....gained about 25-30 with H and here we are at present day.  I lost all the "baby weight" the first 2 weeks, but the saggy skin, stretch marks, and re-arranging of the fat that's left over is what's depressing me. I'm back to that annoying back fat, thunder thighs, separate time zone buttocks that I experienced way back when. At least this time it's because of something happy, not something sad.

And now we're all caught up at tonight...my inagural workout since having the 5th baby.

I walked into the gym--totally self-conscious that everyone would judge me. I was okay until I caught a glimpse of myself in the glass doors and saw that unbeknownst to myself I was expecting rain--and lots of it--because my pants were flapping around my ankles all flood-y like. After a brief flashback-to-high-school moment, I pulled myself together and strolled in like I belonged there.

I went over to stretch on the mats, but there were too many hot guys working out over there and I was too embarrassed that my size 42 granny panties (that are soooooooo comfortable and my husband hates) would show since the waist band is about 2 inches above the top of my pants.

I stretched for about 5.2 seconds and then practically ran up the steps to the treadmill, pant legs flapping in the breeze all the while. I loaded up my MP3 player with some great music and reacquainted myself with some old workout buddies (Beyonce, Britney, Coldplay) while getting in a groove. I alternated speeds and incline a little until I broke a mild sweat...didn't want to overdue it. I was pretty happy with the 2.5 miles I did, even though I only burned about 2 and half tic tacs worth of calories.

When I was done, I got off to go find a paper towel to wipe down the machine. I was dizzy. That's pretty pathetic. I had motion sickness from the treadmill. HAHA.

I felt petty good although I could envision every single fat cell in my body freaking out the moment I started walking on the treadmill. I pictured a fat little guy stuffing his face with twinkies, screaming in fear and running around looking for a way to make it all stop. Take THAT! Mama means business.

This time around, though, I don't have a picture that I cut out and hung on my refrigerator. I don't have a mental image of what I want to look like because I don't want to set unrealistic expectations for myself. Who knows if I have the same build or body makeup of that MODEL in Fitness magazine. I just want to be healthy and toned. I don't want  to be rail (which is good since it will never happen) and I don't need to hit a certain number in weight or clothes size. I just want to be strong and healthy.

So, hold on to your hat. I plan to drag every single one of you on this journey with me. If you're brave enough to watch my successes and those times when I will inevitably fall on my face. (Although I hope not literally since that IS a fear I have on the treadmill...especially when I start mentally choreographing routines in my head and really get into it.) What a sight I must be.

Until next time...

Define 'Normal'

Joe took the 4 oldest kids to the park to ride their bikes. The baby is sleeping in her swing. There's a strange sound in my house right now and I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Oh yes...it's silence.

Silence is so rare these days.

So why am I not sitting here enjoying this time? Maybe reading a complete sentence, having a thought from beginning to end, or even taking a much needed nap?

Because I'm still thinking about the ugly scene that just unfolded in the living room about 10 minutes ago.

The kids have done NOTHING but cry and beg Joe to take them to the park so they can ride their bikes. R cried for 30 minutes straight yesterday because playing at the park WITHOUT bikes for 2 hours wasn't enough. So, Joe decided to load all 4 of the bigger kids up, along with bikes and helmets, in the van and head down to the elementary school's playground and parking lot. It took about 40 minutes to get everyone dressed, coats on, shoes on, tires pumped up, bikes loaded, dad dressed, etc. Finally, with 3 of the kids' noses pressed to the storm door waiting for Joe to tell them it was time to go, R stopped half way out the door and completely shut down. Joe told him to hurry up, but R said he was "scared."

Scared?

Scared of what?

I quickly put two and two together and figured out that Joe had probably been talking about when they would be taking off the training wheels and learning to ride a 2 wheeler. I assured R that his training wheeles were still on and he wouldn't fall.

He still wouldn't budge from the front steps.

I said that this was ridiculous and he should just get in the van. He'd been crying about going for 2 days. He said "I can't choose."

I am still puzzling over what that meant.

And truth be told...that kind of statement reminds me WAAAAAAY too much of my ex-husband. The guy who used to use a battery operated, miniature bingo ball machine to choose things like which CD to listen to, which movie to watch and which tie to wear to work. Because he COULD NOT make a decsion on his own.

Let me pre-emptively put out there that there is NO chance R has ANY PART of my ex's DNA.

Anyway...I went from confused to enraged with R. I can admit now that I was kind of in lunatic mode. I snapped. I raised my voice (Read: yelled) that he needed to get in the van or get in the house.

Maybe it was a little more like this:

"GET IN THE VAN OR GET IN THE HOUSE!!!!!"

Not sure that's how the neighbors like to wake up at 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday.

I then launched into what NO PARENT should say to their child, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"

I am incredibly embarrassed by that. I KNOW better. You don't imply to your child (who is obviously struggling with something) that there is anything WRONG with them.

But I am at the end of a very tiny and fraying rope.

I have hesitated to blog about this because it's really personal and I don't know quite yet what to make of it.

Maybe, though, someone reading can help me figure out what this is...if this is anything.

I'll start at the beginning...

R was a very fussy baby. He didn't sleep well. He didn't eat well (he constantly spit up.) He didn't react to loud nosies well (like cheering during a football game.) The doctors chalked it up to acid reflux and colic.

As he's gotten older, we've noticed some things but never really took note. Like sometimes, for no reason, he will completely shut down. He would be mid-sentence in the car, telling us a story, and then--out of nowhere--take on this Linda Blair like voice and say, "No! I'm NOT Telling!" And then he'd stop talking. It was like his thoughts were fighting to get out of his mouth, but he just couldn't make it happen.

Now that he's in school, we have noticed other things like how he chews on everything (especially his sleeves) and has a heart attack when we try to put certain shirts on him. (He does NOT like collared shirts or turtle necks.)

He still shuts down mid-sentence sometimes.

I can't greet him with a loud and chipper "Hello!!!" or "Good Morning!!!" like I can the other kids. I have to tip toe up and very quietly say, "Hey, Buddy!" or he will become very crabby and go into the fetal, grunting mode again.

I am getting concerned because none of the other kids display this kind of behavior.

I have contacted a friend who is also a special education teacher. I am hoping she can spend some time with him and see if she notices anything out of the ordinary.

I'll tell you what I'm thinking: Sensory Integration Disorder or Sensory Perception Disorder. I've read some about it and I see a lot of commonalities. I have not listed everything here that concerns me about R, but just a general idea.

I don't want to be that mom who jumps to conclusions. But I also don't want to be that mom who may be in denial and robs her child of a chance to learn how to process things better.

Is R's behavior "normal"? I don't know. I've never had a 5 year old before.

And what exactly is normal anymore? There seem to be so many kids falling somewhere on the Autism Spectrum now that I don't know if there really is a rise in the disorder or if there is merely a rise in the diagnosis.

Or is R just a typical 5 year old little guy who gets crabby? A lot. ??

Thoughts? I welcome them. I am trying to navigate my way through this, but having a tough time.

I appreciate any feedback.

Monday, March 7, 2011

When All I Want To Do Is Tear Someone's Face Off

Ever felt like that? I know the title elicits a graphic, mental image.

Ever get SO sick of being the "bigger" person? Minding your business? Letting things roll off your back? Turning the other cheek? Waiting patiently for some tool to "get theirs"?

Me too.

I know it's the right thing to do, but sometimes seeing some immediate gratification is all I want. Seeing that smug grin punched wiped off someone's face.

How do so many ignorant people survive in this world? Worse--how do they thrive?

I stumbled across a webpage today for a consulting business owned by the people who let Joe go. It's a consulting business all about holding the employees in high esteem and-- they are offering to TEACH OTHER MANAGERS HOW TO HOLD THEIR EMPLOYEES IN HIGH REGARD. What a joke. The clincher? Here's an excerpt from their website:

"We Encourage Family Participation - Shows the Employee That You Also Care About Their Family"

I don't know whether to laugh or explode with rage. I can tell you FIRST HAND that this company doesn't give ONE RIP about your family. Their biggest concern? The bottom line. The Benjamins. End of story.

Or maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe I live on some alternate planet where people actually care for each other.

I know what goes around comes around. I don't believe in "karma" per se, but I do believe that we reap what we sow--good or bad. It will happen. Maybe it's wrong that I hope I'm there to see it.

One good thing...it does make me more conscious of how I treat others.


And...that is all for today.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

But I Want It Nowwwwwwwwww, Daddy!

Helllllllo all my loves! And you DO know you're all my loves, right? All 135 of you. Even though we've never met (some of us) and even though I have idea if any of you are still reading...yes, I still heart you.

I passed a parental milestone last night. I took our oldest daughter to see Disney Princesses on Ice. It was awesome. Minus the three spills the "actors" took on the ice (an especially un-graceful tumble by Jasmine's Aladdin was one. Not sure how well the honeymoon will go after that one.) Tinkerbell's bottom was introduced to the ice as well. And yet she managed to still not lose her sparkle and bounce. Luckily, I don't think a single little person in the room even noticed. Unfortunately for the actors, falls are my comedic bread and butter. I live for them and laugh at them. Always.



E. and I got to enjoy a tub of popcorn, an enormous soft drink, and a package of licorice. All without sharing with the boys. My first mistake was at intermission when I foolishly stood in line with the intention of buying E. a princess wand that "spun." The kids around us all had one. Naturally, she wanted one. So, here we stood 10 deep in line while 1 guy (albeit incredibly talented and fast) waited on all 100 people in line. I scanned the merchandise until I spotted the wand...and the $22 price tag. Are you serious?? I stealthily backed out of line and explained that we would go to Target and I would buy her one there...for less "monies." Of course, she handled that news like the consummate professional that she is...she screamed her fool head off and dangled off my leg, begging. The only consolation being that I wasn't the only parent there with a child hanging off an appendage, sobbing and begging for something.

So...I piggy-legged her back to our seat and managed to calm her down. We watched the second half with Cinderella. E. was adorable. She laughed, clapped, and yelled hello to everyone. The lights came up and my little cherub's smile turned right back upside down. She resumed screaming and crying while I dragged her up the 542 cement steps to the lobby (the only down-side to having terrific seats so close to the ice.)I dragged her through the lobby, to the exit (naturally it was the furthest one from where I was sitting.)Much to many people's chagrin, she blubbered the entire elevator ride. It went something like this: "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease get meeeeeeeee the waaaaaaaand! *hiccup* Pleeeeeeeeeeeease get meeeeeeeeee the waaaaaaaaaaaaaand!*sniff, sniff*" I tried to act as casually and as normal as possible, but that's hard to when you have a small, snotting, boogery little person hanging from you in the dead-weight-tantrum-throwing position.

I threatened her as much as I could with my eyes while giving that ha-ha-kids-will-be-kids half hearted smile and shrug. We made it to the garage, waited in line until it was time for her to start college and paid our ticket. Then we wandered around for about a half an hour in the cold parking garage, looking for our car. We searched avery corner, trying hard not to be obvious that I was totaly lost. I got the knowing smile from several people anyway. Finally, the Lord had pity on me and  reminded me that I parked one level up. We stepped off the elevator and *eureka* there was the van.

Thankfully, the ride home was uneventful. We made it. Our next trip...the circus. With all the kids. This should be interesting. We'll have to remember to take out a second mortgage and break into our Roth IRA for all the kiddie crap paraphenalia that will surely be for sale there.
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