Friday, January 29, 2010

Playing Fair

I organize a playgroup for moms over the age of 35 with young children. I didn't create this group but it sounded good to me so I took over organizing when the previous organizer stepped down. I realized early on why she stepped down. It's very difficult getting members to attend events. Even when they say they will attend something, they change their mind at the last minute or they just don't show up. Infuriating!! Here's the rub: there's another playgroup in the area for moms of any age and they are super active. They have about 5 different events going on every day. I attribute this to the fact that there are about 200 members and they are younger women. When you're young, you have the energy to do just about anything and everything while dragging your little one along with you. When you reach a certain age, you're just more comfortable sitting at home with the little one playing on your carpet in the living room. Needless to say, I don't plan 5 events per day. I have on average 2 events per week. For me, that's plenty. I have 2 little ones to tote around and quite frankly, it's exhausting. Add the cold weather into the mix, and I'm fine not going out every day. My frustration comes from the fact that most of my members are also members of the 200+ moms group. I find my members attending the other group's events instead of mine, or worse, cancelling on mine when something better pops up on the other group's calendar. I know I shouldn't care, but I do. I find my attempt to make friends for me and my children futile. It's hard staying at home with the kids. It's hard to find women in your situation that you actually have something in common with other than the children. Uh oh, I hear those January blues singing again. Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I need to let it go and let it be what it is. Or leave the group and let someone else deal with the aggrevation. Or go back to bed and hope I wake up in May.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh What A Beautiful Morning

I'm feeling a bit better today, but I must admit it's only 8am. Way too much time for things to drastically change course. In any event, I am taking the boys on a scavenger hunt this morning. These things all sound good on paper when I'm planning them, but when the time comes to actually get out and do them, it doesn't sound so good anymore. It's 30 degrees outside - what am I thinking? I organize a playgroup for moms who had babies when they were 35 or older, and I borrowed this idea from an organizer forum. A winter nature walk/scavenger hunt - sounds lovely. I can predict the baby will be fast asleep in the car by the time we get to the park, and the 3-year old will either be whining or sleeping as well. I'm not waking up the baby to take him out in the cold for 15-20 minutes. If he's awake, I'll put him in his carriage for a few minutes for some fresh air but that's it. So what do I do with the 3-year old? See what I mean - sounds good on paper but poses a dilemma when the time actually comes. I suppose he should breathe in some nice cold air for a few minutes. I'm just afraid he'll run off somewhere, and I won't be able to chase after him because I need to stay near the car if the baby's sleeping in it. This is what's running through my mind as I prepare to take the children out on this beautiful morning: disaster!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January Blahs?

I'm in a funk and can't find my way out. I know it's January and sometimes being inside all the time brings people down, but that's not it. I don't know exactly what it is, but whatever it is should just leave already. I go to sleep every night hoping my dreams will make me feel better and I'll wake up anew in the morning. No such luck. It's that sense of another day and what am I going to do. Don't get me wrong - I have a TON to do. It's just actually doing it and enjoying it. I know you're not supposed to really enjoy cleaning and housework, though I think there are some women who do. That's their calling. That's what makes them happy. This does not make me happy. I don't wake up in the morning thinking, "Yeah - I'm going to mop the floors today!" I want to be one of those people who get excited about what the day is going to bring. Pleased with what I'm going to accomplish today. I don't feel that way . . . at all. I don't look forward to what the day will bring and I don't feel that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. I straighten up, feed the kids, do some laundry, maybe vacuum and dust, cook some dinner, and call it a day. I feel no accomplishment here. That's just every day of my life. I know raising children is the most important job - and the hardest - but I don't feel pleased with my work when the day is done. Especially if it's been a bad day behavior-wise. You know those days - the kids are just bad. They don't listen, they don't eat, they don't care about time-out. I dread those days. But then I feel like I dread every day. I have nothing to look forward to - nothing to make me want to get out of bed and get going. Sure I exercise and project declutter is slowly creeping through the house. I'm still not feeling success when I turn out my bedroom light. I suppose I need to change my outlook. Maybe tomorrow . . .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Digression

Another week gone by and there are still remnants of Christmas in my house. Considering I have 80+ nutcrackers that I display, is it really any surprise there are about 10 that still need putting away? I will finish it up today, fingers crossed, and hopefully be done with the holidays for another 10 months or so. Then I could possibly get on to clearing out some stuff. I did get rid of a couple of items this week despite the Christmas clutter. The baby's bouncer chair has been retired. I wasn't even sad to see it go. I put it out on the curb and it was gone within 2 hours. Don't know who took it and don't care. Just glad there's a little less mess in my incredibly shrinking house. What else? I need to get out and purchase another basket for the living room. The baby's toys are splayed all over the living room floor, and it would be so nice to be able to put them in a basket at the end of each day so I'm not tripping on them at night, setting off that damn music that every single toy makes. Why does everything have to make noise. I don't remember every toy I had when I was a kid playing music. We made our own noises as we played. But I digress. A little organization goes a long way. The trick is getting out to shop for the basket. It's impossible to shop with a 3 year old, at least with my 3 year old. I fear digression again. Better change topic altogether.

The exercising is going well. Every day there is a little aerobic routine accomplished, and the hubby and I have scheduled 3 days per week for weight training. So far it seems to be working out fine. I wish I could do more than 15 or 20 minutes of rushed aerobics, but it's just not feasible now. The baby's still little and will only give me so much time. He'll laugh at first when I start to exercise. I suppose seeing mom bouncing around is funny for a while. Then he just wants me to pick him up. When he's napping I try to get other stuff done - like shower and straighten up my bedroom - so I don't have a lot of time then either. It's a juggling act to get almost anything done these days. I know it's temporary and he is growing up fast, but when you're living it 24 hours a day it just doesn't feel that temporary. It feels like I can't move, like I can't get anything done. It feels very frustrating. More digression. Better call it a day and go declutter something.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weights and Clutter

Since my husband again expressed his willingness to whip my flabby post-baby body back into shape, I finally took him up on his offer to work out together. Yikes!! He has this weight-training routine all laid out for me, and he took me through it for the first time yesterday. He's working my whole body - arms, shoulders, chest, back, abs, legs, calves. He's starting me slowly with only 2 sets on each area with light weights, sometimes no weight but for the bar, and it was about an hour long workout. It was too stressful on the body, or the relationship, but I did feel VERY tired last night and my body hurt in a non-specific area as well. I think that's a good thing. I'm not sure how many times each week we're going to do this together, but I hope it does some good. Especially that arm-flapping problem that women of a certain age develop. I'd really like to get rid of that since I can't reverse my age.

Project declutter isn't really going that well. I'm still in Christmas central around here and think I need to work through that stuff before decluttering the rest of this mess. Our basement is Christmas-free so I suppose that can count as yesterday's decluttering event. Today, can't really say I accomplished much of anything. I'm still working on taking down the tree in the living room. I say working on it because I COVER the entire tree with ornaments and it takes quite a while to get them off and put away. I love ornaments and feel the need to purchase at least one new one each year. Makes it a bit difficult for storage purposes but I can't help myself. My mother insists one year the tree is going to fall over from the weight of the ornaments pulling it down. But I digress. Once Christmas is gone from the house, I think it will be a bit easier to clean up and clear out. At least that's my excuse for not accomplishing anything today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Project Overwhelmed?

I'm really at a standstill when it comes to this decluttering situation. My plan is very well thought out and clear . . . in my mind. Take a section of a room and clear it out. Throw out what's not being used, put away what needs to be and clean while there. Problem is I don't know where to start. Yesterday I put away some toys that were laying around the family room for about 2 weeks now. Whoo hoo!! I do that on a daily basis. These just happened to be new toys the boys got for Christmas. When I feel overwhelmed, I tend to shut down and not do anything. I was feeling that way all morning. Where do I start? What should I tackle? Then I took a nap while baby boy #2 was napping and got up feeling rejuvenated. Okay, partly rejuvenated. I saw this corner of my kitchen countertop that always has papers on it. You know that corner, you have one, too. Instruction manuals go there. Missing toy pieces get put there. Mail you're not sure about keeping or throwing away winds up there. I just couldn't stand looking at it anymore. So, I did it. I decluttered. I put things away. I threw things away. I cleaned the countertop. That felt great!! I'm not sure if I should keep going or be pleased with my baby step for the day.

Exercising is going well. Not great, but well. Five days in and I have been doing some for of exercise every day. Aerobics, crunches, calf machine, and even some buns of steel moves. That's right - I'm exercising my buttocks, too. I can't say that I feel better yet. I can say some muscles are a little achy though. My biggest weight-lifting endeavor is carrying around baby boy #2 these days. He's almost 20 lbs. of loving, and he's killing me. My arms hurt like crazy and I think I'm throwing out my back. You know the move - carry the baby on your left hip so you can do things with your right hand. The entire left side of my body should be replaced. That little meatball needs to start crawling soon so I can realign my spine.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Project Declutter

I've decided I can't stand the clutter in my house anymore. Since it is a new year, I feel a wee bit inspired to tackle something else other than my exercise regimen. I am on a mission to declutter my home. This is a HUGE undertaking. We have a lot of . . . clutter. I will go room by room and slowly begin to put things away, throw things away and just make things go away. This is not simple either - I have 2 boys and a husband. The boys come with a lot of stuff and that stuff is usually all over the floor on a daily basis. I'm not too sure how to handle that one other than with one word every mother has come to love - basket. I have baskets all over the house and I think I'm going to have to invest in a few more to tackle this project. They are lifesavers when you have children. Just dump everything in a nice-looking basket, stick it in the corner and voila, organized room. That's a little trick moms love. As for everything else that's taking up precious space in my house, well, I'll cross that blocked bridge when I get to it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Good and The Bad

So far, so good on the exercise front. I'm not doing as much as I would like, but I am getting in about 15-20 minutes of aerobic activity in the morning. The kids really don't allow for much more - this one is waking up from a nap, the other is trying to trip me while I'm doing a little salsa routine. It's just not easy, but I am committed to doing something each day so I do.

I'm in the midst of trying to take down all of the Christmas decorations and am failing miserably. There is not one room in the house that is Christmas-free yet. OK, maybe the master bedroom is, but that's easy because I only had a candle in the window up there. The clean-up is yet another thing on my list of "stuff that makes me feel like crap." What? You don't have one of those lists? You're lucky!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Off To a Good Start

I am pleased with my first day of exercise. I did 15 minutes of aerobic activity and 50 crunches. I thought that was an excellent start. I figure I can get some exercise in while baby boy #2 naps in the morning before I take a shower. Only problem is the 3-year old likes to try to join in on my exercise routine. He kind of gets in the way and throws me off a bit, but at least I'm moving! So I think I've got a schedule started when at some point in the afternoon, dear hubby asks if I would like to start working out with him. Is he reading my blog? Anyway, I don't want to say no so I agree. He's putting me on some weight training schedule. Scary!!! I only managed to do a couple sets of leg presses and some minor work on the calf machine before baby boy #2 started yelping for me. I can't imagine what dear hubby has in store for me. I'm sure I'll be complaining about it in no time.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My 30 Day Exercise Challenge

I've been thinking for the past 3 days about something I can do to challenge myself and give myself a goal to work towards. After seeing the movie Julie & Julie, I understand that goals are something that provide purpose to a somewhat mundane life. Having children puts you on the backburner, and I thought I could really use something to put me on a front burner for a while. I'm NOT going to cook every recipe in a cookbook - that would just be silly since I barely have time to get dinner on the table now. As I was laying in bed last night thinking about this, I realized I don't feel great. Why don't I feel great? I haven't exercised in . . . a long time . . . probably since before I got pregnant with baby boy #2. He's 7 months old. You do the math. So, how about this? For the next 30 days I will do some form of exercise every day. Whether it's a 30-minute aerobic routine, a walk in the mall, or 20 crunches, I will do SOMETHING that constitutes exercise. I will start today and post tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Yes, it's been a while since I posted here. I don't know what happened really. I suppose having 2 boys has been a bit time-consuming. However, inspired by the movie Julie & Julia, which I received as a Christmas gift, I've decided to start blogging again. Without too much detail, I'll just give you an overview of where we are.

Baby boy #2 is now 7 months old and all in all a good boy. He's very pleasant and smiles and laughs quite a bit. Most of the time he sleeps through the night, and I mean from 8pm - 7am. No complaints there. When he does wake up overnight now, it's mostly due to teething. Ugh - teething is terrible. Another little secret most moms forget to tell you. I hear stories of how in the old days, parents/grandparents would put a little whiskey over the gum area where the tooth was coming in. Since I'm opting out of that time-honored soother, I'm dealing with a miserable baby who just wants to be held by mom. And I specifically mean mom. Dad just won't do in these situations and I'm not exactly sure why. It's mom or screaming. Most nights it's mom. Some nights when mom is just too tired, it's screaming.

The 3 year old is adjusting well to life with another one in the house. He's come to realize he's no longer the center of attention, albeit he doesn't care for it much, but he gets it. He's a little wise guy who doesn't really listen and puts up a good fight, but I still love him to death. What can I do, he's mine.

I'm ok, I guess. It's been an adjustment for me. There have been days where I swore I just would NOT be able to make it through with 2 of them in the house and zero time for me. But I somehow muddled through and have come to the conclusion it gets easier. I think it gets easier because I learn how to handle things better. The baby is becoming more independent and can play for a little while by himself (I stress little while) so I can squeeze some things in that I need or want to get done. It's a true juggling act and it's compromise for everyone, even the baby. He needs to realize I have a life too that miraculously does not involve him. Ok, so maybe he doesn't realize that yet, but someday he will. Maybe in about 20 years.