Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Didn't Get That Memo....

I've recently been making an effort to get back to the gym.  After all, I've been paying for the membership.  Since I've been back, I've decided to try a new approach.  I mean...I've never really been a fan of running on the treadmill.  It always kind of makes me feel like I'm a little rabbit chasing after a dangling carrot that I'll never catch.  Not to mention watching the little timer clock tick away one second at a time...all the while, hoping you don't lose your balance and go flying off the back of the treadmill, prompting a member of the gym staff to rush to your side while other gym-goers gather around your machine snap pictures with their cell phones....then you have to spend the next half hour filling out an "incident report" in the gym office.   No, I've decided I'm more of a "weight machine" girl. (Please note that the above scenario is strictly hypothetical and to the best of my knowledge has never happened to me).

So last week I was back at the gym, ready to conquer my new weight routine, when I realized that I had no clue how to use the machines that look very much like little torture contraptions.  I mean sure, there are instructions with little illustrations of stick figures that are meant to be helpful, but honestly, I was still in the dark.  You really don't want to be standing at a gym machine squinting to read to itsy bitsy directions while other gym-goers are impatiently waiting their turn.  No, you want to "blend in"...get on the machine, do your "reps" (see....I've got the lingo down")....and get off.   The key here is to look like you know exactly what your doing, as if to say..."ya, I got this..."  otherwise, well we all know what will happen....some creepy, weirdo lurker just WAITING for just such an opportunity will pop out of nowhere to show you how to use the machine. You know the type - he's typically hanging around the weight machines never actually using one.  He's always there ready with a helpful tip.  Don't make eye contact or else he will assume you want to have children with him.

Using the machines at the gym is sort of like ordering beverages at Starbucks for the first time.  At first it's everyone else knows what's going on but you.  People at the gym are hopping on and off the machines without incident.  People are Starbucks are ordering things like Venti Soy Caramel Macchiatos and Grande Skinny Vanilla Lattes...and you feel like there's no learning curve.  Like everyone else got the memo and you didn't.  How do they know how to use the rowing machine and what a Venti Macchiato is??  Have you ever tried going to Starbucks and ordering a medium coffee 2 and 2?  You can almost hear the collective sighs of the barista and other customers.  Their sighs communicating to one another..."we have a code 547 here - newbie at register 2 - no clue.."  After a few eyerolls, they give you your ordinary coffee and you scamper off and head back to Dunkin' Donuts where there's a better feeling of acceptance & community.  Where a small coffee is a small coffee.  Don't get me wrong, I've come to understand & love Starbucks.  In fact I'm currently having a love affair with their new Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher...and it's been fabulous.  A summer to Trenta Very Berry Hibiscus and I skipping hand in hand through flowery fields.  Yep - it's costing me a small fortune, but that's what second mortgages are for, right?

So ya, new gym routine, here I come.  And I've found the best way to figure out the machines is to pick one you want to use, then watch a few people use it.  It's by far the easiest and best way.  That way I at least know the basics of where my head goes and where my feet go.  What I do is get on a treadmill closest to the weight machine area - so I don't look like a stalker freak just staring at people on the machines - and observe.  Typically, I tend to always get next to "The Overacheiver" on the treadmill next to me.  You know the type  -a quick glance at her display panel will show that she's running 8 miles per hour and she's already on mile 6.  You get on the machine next to her for 30 minutes and when you get off shaky legged and sweating profusely, she's still on her treadmill - on mile 12 - and has barely broken a sweat.  Oh....why can't there just be a gym IN Starbucks???  Me & my Trenta Very Berry could figure it all out together :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Oh TOODLES.....Where's My Wine?

Parenting -although beautiful and lovely - can be very...well, monotonous.  It's the exact same thing every day - day in and day out.  Same routine... same arguments ("Mom, Ben pulled the legs off my Barbies!"), same requests ("Mama, I need goldfish...I'm thirsty, I want to fly in outer space, Can I have a princess dress?  Can me have another strawberry?")  same TV shows (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - on a sidenote - where the hell is Toodles when I need a refill on my wine??) , same things for breakfast - every single day.  It's kind of like that movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray.  By day 73, you want to mix things up a little...see if you can't change the course of the day by getting  a little crazy and changing the order of the morning routine.  Brushing teeth BEFORE letting the dog out or trying something different for breakfast??  Nah, all that accomplished was a mastiff whining at me while I brushed my teeth and 2 unhappy kids who wanted nothing to do with scrambled eggs - which the dog ultimately got in the end anyway. 

And so the monotony continues, until one day something really out of the ordinary happens....I got bit by an earwig last Friday.  Or maybe it's pinched...pinched by and earwig.  In any event, I was sitting outside enjoying some peace and quiet after the kids went to bed...chatting with Brian, when this unpleasant little insect decided to pinch my arm.  Thanks to google images, I've managed to wrassle up a picture of this unsavory creature....

Yes, ask and you shall receive.  Want some excitement?  Here's an earwig bite to really rock your universe.  Apparently, you really have to be more specific when asking life to shake up your routine.  Anyway, besides being really skeeved out, I managed to survive the Earwig episode of '13 with nothing more than little pincher marks on my arm.  So rude!  Who DOES that?!

Sometimes we just have to create our own fun.  For example, Brian fell asleep in a lawn chair last weekend and I decided he bore a striking resemblance to Grumpy Cat - so here's a little side by side comparison. 

Yes, Brian gave me permission to post this :)   He's a good sport.  Plus it's really funny...and the kids have been getting a kick out of calling him Grumpy Daddy. 

The thing with parenting is that you're stuck in this little routine,  and then all of a sudden, the whole thing changes and your stuck in a new and different routine.  Just when you think you've mastered this one stage - things do change.  It's sometimes easy to lose sight of the big picture when you're in the day to day grind, but looking back - things really have changed quite a bit.  My kids (4 and 3) are now so much more independent...they have such active imaginations and play together very well.  It used to be that they were amused to play with toys and books in our job was to keep them safe and nurtured. Now they want to be out on adventures everyday.  Each morning they ask where we're going that day.  My biggest challenge is finding new and exciting adventures while balancing housework, grocery shopping, and of course the checkbook.  It's hard to convince them that we're going on yet another adventure to the grocery store.  The other day I was taking them to the library to check out some books and Lauren informed me that we've already been to this library, so let's try and new one.  I also took them to their first movie the other day and they did great.  I thought they'd be scared of how loud it was, but they loved it. Anyway, as I write this I realize that Lauren will be going to preschool in the fall and the routine will completely change again.  Ben will miss her terribly, and I'll probably miss their little arguments over dismantled Barbie limbs.  I've said it before...this parenting thing is such a catch 22.  You want them to grow and learn and mature, then you long for the days they were babies.  And on that note, I'm off to find Toodles..slacker!