Saturday, May 30, 2009

And one more thing...

I really miss my dad.

Too Much Caffeine

It's 2 AM and I'm awake. I had a VERY strong latte about 14 hours ago, and I cannot sleep. (Usually I conk out by 10:00, 11:00 at the very latest.)
But it could also be hormones. That time of the month.
Or the fact that I ate too much pizza at dinner and am now paying the price.
I mean, seriously, I KNOW I'm gonna feel like crap if I eat too much, but I do it anyway. Over and over again. Almost daily.
And then I wonder why I keep putting on weight.
For two days, before yesterday, I DIDN'T overeat. And I felt GREAT!!!! But today, well, I guess it was just a bunch of things. Including my love of pizza. But also just general exhaustion (see post regarding the 3-day weekend). I also taught 6 Pilates classes, took the kids to the park 4 times, walked with kids and dog often, barely slept all week, and we are going through Elmo withdrawal.
Yes, LG's teachers have asked us to get rid of Elmo. Because LG has become obsessed. he quotes "Elmo's World" by heart, plays with his Elmo plush toy (but not at school, 'cause we don't let him bring Elmo to school), and generally cannot focus on anything else. So the other day we hid Elmo, as well as all the DVDs, and have forbidden LG access to YouTube (which he figured out how to get to on his own). Then yesterday he found Elmo, and we had to hide him again. This time in a place where LG cannot find him. So he cried and cried, and kept asking for Elmo, and looking for him, and saying "Elmo, where are you?" and it was just so freaking hearbreaking!
So I took him out on a walk, and we fed the ducks and geese. He was feeling better, but as soon as we got home he began asking for Elmo again and crying.
When WG first started Occupational Therapy (at 18 months old), her therapist told us about perseverating: kids with autism will very often focus on a single toy, object, or even movie or TV show. We'd never seen it, with either of them, at the level we've seen it recently with Elmo. It was kinda scary, because he's almost 8, and he's NEVER done this before.
I know he will eventually get over it. But it breaks my heart and worries me at the same time. I try not to think too far ahead into the future, because that way madness lies. But I do worry about what will happen to them when they are grown, when Hubby and I are no longer around to take care of them. Will they grow to be self-sufficient adults? I believe they will. But I don't know for sure. And who knows? Maybe by then we will have discovered a cure, or at least a way to manage it, the way we manage Diabetes.
In the meantime, they are sweet, loving, (mostly) happy kids. They are loved. They make us laugh. They let their opinions be known, even if they can't speak very well (or at all). I feel very lucky and blessed to be their mom.
But I would REALLY like to get some sleep!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why I Oughtta!!!!!!!

First off, Happy Memorial Day, and, if you live in the U.S., take a moment to remember those who have and are sacrificing so much (including the families of our service men and women).

Hubby is coming back from another camping/climbing trip to Yosemite. I've been here with the kids since Saturday, and I'm remembering why life was so hellish when my son was younger.
Because his sister is now going through that exact phase. Climbing on the counters, standing in the sink, playing in the toilet, dumping any liquids she can get her cute little hands on onto the floor/carpet, sticking her face in the dog's water bowl and blowing bubbles, and, my personal fave, dumping water from her bath onto the bathroom floor, where it proceeds to leak not only into the hallway, but through the ceiling and onto the floor below.
Added to that is the waking-up-screaming-for-no-apparent-reason-at-6-AM, the yelling-kicking-scratching-Mommy's-face-with-her-fingernails, and the growth-spurt-hungry-every-10-minutes-but-no-she-won't-eat-that-that-OR-that.
I subbed a Pilates class in the morning. In was OK, but definitely not me in top form.
Gee. Can't imagine why.
I couldn't take the kids anywhere because it was cloudy, windy, cold and wet. Not AT ALL what was predicted for the weekend! So I spent the rest of the day dealing with two cranky, fussy, cabin-fevered kids and a neurotic dog who wouldn't do her business once I managed to get her outside.
And to add to the gloriousness of the day, I got my period.
Oh yeah, it was a red-letter day all around!
I ended up cleaning the house a bit, washing dishes (only to have the dishwasher leak, grrrr!), giving the kids their baths, and doing a "Core Rhythms" workout 'cause I had all this excess energy to burn.
Today? The kids slept until 8:45 AM!!!!!!!!! We had breakfast, then piled into the car to go for a drive. I found a GREAT park in the middle of a residential neighborhood: it's a kid AND dog park!!!!! There were two dogs when we got there; a little one who looks kinda like our dog (they got along great) and a big ol' mastiff, who apparently gets along with everyone and everything, 'cause he's the sweetest big guy! (Poor thing was quite hot, though. It's been very warm and sunny today. Yay!)
The kids played on the play structure, which includes a mini climbing wall. My son was up and down it like a monkey and my daughter was climbing up and sliding down BY HERSELF. Which she couldn't do just a short time ago.
The best part, though, was when the dog, who is part Corgi and has a strong herding instinct, followed us up onto the play structure, then followed me down the slide!!!! The poor thing had a look of absolute terror (mixed with a bit of "Oh, what have I gotten myself into now?") on her face.
She's so cute!
When we were leaving, I noticed one of WG's shoes had come off. So I asked LG to get it, and he did. The he walked back to the car without my having to hold on to him. A year ago he would have dashed out in the middle of the street.
Anyway, we went to the crocery store, and they were both so good! LG didn't try to bust open the chips before we paid for them, and WG didn't drop anything on my foot. (When she was REALLY little, she thought it was hilarious to drop cans of dogfood onto Mommy's flip-flop clad toes.)
They were quiet, they were a little tied, and they put up zero fuss.
Now, I think we might just all want to rest a bit.
Oh, who am I kidding?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More PMS-Induced Ranting

Anna Wintour has a special place in Hell waiting for her. She told Oprah that she had to lose 20 pounds before she'd be able to "grace" the cover of "Vogue." Her (Anna's) daughter appears to be wasting away. She loves photoshopping because "it helps people look their best." And she has made millions of women feel badly about their bodies. Never mind what she does to her own employees!!!! (Read or see"The Devil Wears Prada" for more on that.)
I believe that what goes around comes around. Ms. Wintour will get hers.

Lately we're seeing all the ads, on film and in print, about "swimsuit season" (formerly known as "summer") being right around the corner and are we ready? Who is going to win, you or the bathing suit? As Dr. Stacey ("Every Woman Has an Eating Disorder") posted so beautfully last year, a swimsuit is an inanimate object, so even is she WERE to fight it (which is hightly unlikely), SHE would win. 'Cause a bathing suit isn't gonna fight back. We see the lovely-at-any-size Ms. Valerie Bertinelli prancing around in a bikini and a (fugly) purple sorta- one-piece, talking about how she used to hide her body, but not anymore 'cause she's THIN!!!!!! We took the kids swimming the other day. I wore board shorts and a rash guard, along with SPF 70 sunscreen. Because my dad died from melanoma, and today is my parents' wedding anniversary. The first one without him. My mom's having a rough day, as you can imagine. So even if I had a "perfect bikini body" from eating nothing but yogurt and Special K (yuck!), I'd cover up. (My kids wore their rash guards, too.)

The winner of "The Biggest Loser" quit her job and works out 6 hours a day.
Yeah, that's practical.

I went to Bikram yoga yesterday and had to practice in one of the warmer sections of the room (in the middle, away from the doors). I survived. Barely.
Afterwards I went to vote in a special election. I voted "yes" for propositions that would have given more money to schools, firefighters, police, and special needs programs. Apparently I was not only one of the few who actually voted, but who voted yes. The measures failed. Miserably. And that just sucks.

Today is LG's IEP. He's already finished with his in-home therapy, so that's not an issue. I'm going to ask for indivdualized occupational therapy for him, though. (Right now he gets group OT, in school). And we'll find out where he'll be going to school next year. I'm REALLY hoping he stays in the same class. His teacher is AWESOME, and she loves him!
We know WG will stay in her classroom for at least another year, which is GREAT. They're going horseback riding next week!!!! They are challenging her, and they love her. She gets in-home therapy 3 days a week, OT twice a week, and we're getting an evaluation for speech therapy, as well. I just hope it doesn't all go down the toilet because of the budget crisis.

Yesterday, looking in the mirror at the yoga studio, I realized that what I hate most about my weight gain isn't so much my tummy (although, sadly, I'm not thrilled with that), but my boobs. They are, quite frankly, huge. And they're headed south. And they get in the way!!!!! I don't want to have to wear my Ennel corset bra every day! But I also, a few hours earlier, had given up on trying to lose weight. I vowed that from here on out I will focus on being ealthy, on getting stronger, and on improving my skills. I'd like to be able to do Balancing Stick, or a full Standing Bow pose, or regular pushups, or even ONE SINGLE &*%#@$-ING PULL-UP!!!!!!!
What I DON'T want to do is buy a whole new freakin' wardobe! I'd like to get back down to the size I was at when we moved here. I have a closet full of clothes that are a bit too small, and they are nice, and I'd like to wear them again. I'm not asking to be a size 6, just back to a 10/12. Which is where I've spent most of my adult life, anyway.


Guess I'm still hung up on the whole weight loss thing.

But it could be worse. I could be related to Anna Wintour.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


OK, I know it's still officially spring, and in some areas of the country (like my former hometown of Boston-hey guys!) it's 40 degrees (hee-hee!), but the pool here is open, it was crazy-hot over the weekend, and grills all over the bay Area were fired up! (Mmmmm...Amy's Texas-style veggie burgers on the grill=a little slice o' heaven!)
As kids, of course, I'm sure we all looked forward to summer because it meant no school. As parents, we all dread it for the very same reason! My kids actually have 4 weeks of summer school, which is awfully nice. (And they actually enjoy it.) It leaves us with 6 weeks of summer vacay, looking desperately for things that will keep them interested, occupied, and ideally makes them tired. 2 years ago we took the kids to Hawaii for 2 weeks, but finances prohibit that this year. I also found a day camp specifically for kids with special needs. But it's $600 a week, so that ain't gonna happen, either.
We do have memberships to places like the California Academy of Sciences (which is AWESOME, and both kids love) and the Exploratorium (also awesome, LG loves it, WG HATES it; cries every time we go). There is also the fact that we live near San francisco, which has lots of great stuff for families that don't involve huge entrance fees or large crowds. And, of course, we have The Pool. Thank goodness for the pool!!!!! I don't know what we'd do without it! I'm also hoping that the in-laws will have some free-hotel-room-in-Tahoe stuff going on in August. My mother is coming out to visit and she's never been to Tahoe. Plus, the kids love it, and it's only a 4-hour drive.
I'll just say this: summer in San Francisco is a whole heck of a lot better than summer in L.A! (Of course, EVERYTHING is a whole heck of a lot better in S.F. than in L.A. IMHO.)
So. What are your summer plans? Going away? Staying home to save money? Day trips? Let me know!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tired of Fighting

I'm very tired. Not just because BOTH kids were up half the night (one sniffling from allergies, the other one giggling), or from the duck that took up residence outside our window at 4 AM (what is up with the ducks lately?!?!?!), or even teaching 2 classes yesterday.
I'm tired of hating my body. I'm tired of gaining weight. I'm tired of thinking about food: what to eat, what I can cook that everyone will eat, what to send to school with the kids in their lunchboxes, etc. Am I feeding them enough healthy stuff? Too much salt/sugar/fat etc.? (Actually, I think we're doing pretty well in that dept. Yes, LG loves ramen noodles and WG adores her cookies, but they both also eat apples, salad, bananas, watermelon, whole-wheat pasta...) And WHY is it that Hubby can go rock climbing one day a week and look like the statue of David, while I work out endlessly (see previous post) and look like Winnie the Pooh?!?!
I'm trying, I really am, to accept my body. But it's kinda hard to do when it keeps chaging on me. And not in the way I'd like. 4 years ago, I cursed the scale when it wouldn't budge. Now, I'm wishing it would STOP moving-up-and start moving down again! Back to where it was 4 years ago would be nice! To the weight I was at when I thought I was fat. (Hey, that rhymes!)
I try to stop putting myself down for being fat, but that kind 0f self-loathing is hard to un-learn.
Yes, I have calmed myself down considerably in the past fews years. I have a MUCH better relationship with food than I used to, but it's still not where I want it to be. (Diet programs still call to me; I try to avoid their siren song. I know I'll just end up dashed against the rocks, as well as putting on even MORE weight.)
I look at a recent post, in which I was feeling so optimistic, and wonder what has happened.
And then I look at the calendar.
Ah. Now I understand.
It's enough to drive a saint to drink...too much coffee.
Luckily I don't turn to alcohol or drugs or cigarettes when I'm feeling low. I turn to pizza.
Hey, at least it's legal!

Which leads me to this:
I have to wonder how Kirstie Alley's daughter is dealing with her mom trashing herself in the media for putting the weight back on that she lost on Jenny Craig (*cough* spawnofsatandiet*cough*) . I'm sure she's getting the message, in a big way (no pun intended) that fat is EVIL, that she is nothing if she's not thin, that she will be unworthy if she puts on a pound, and that the world will be watching to see if she gains weight the way her, IMHO, gorgeous mother has.
Kirstie Alley is 58. 58!!!! And she's beating herself up for not looking 25. What the hey?!?!
And what is her son learning? To value women based on how they look?
My heart breaks for her kids. When she puts herself down I'm sure they feel it. It can't be easy for them to hear their mom talk about herself in the way she does. I remember, when I was a kid, my mom disparaging her body and her looks. I felt so sad because, to me, she was beautiful. And she couldn't see it.
I don't want to do any of that to my kids. I want them to grow up with two parents who love them, each other, and themselves unconditionally.
So, I'll keep plugging along. And when I find the answers, I'll let you know.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taking It Easy

These past few days I've done something I haven't done in a really long time. Or rather, NOT done something. For the past 3 days I have NOT worked out. On Friday I taught a Pilates class, but I taught off of the reformer. On Saturday, I hung out with the kids and watched "Doctor Who."Yesterday we had our Mom's Day picnic in Crissy Field. I was going to go to yoga this morning, but I woke up feeling really tired and dehydrated, and I figured doing yoga for 90 minutes in 105 degree room wouldn't help. So I ran errands and took the dog for a walk. Tonight, I'll take the kids for a walk through our 'hood, then I'll lift heavy weights for a 1/2 hour.
See, last month I had all these great plans: I was getting a new Pilates class, I started Bikram yoga, and I started a new weightlifting program. I was going to combine all three, plus cardio, of course, and be the FITTEST and HEALTHIEST I've EVER been!
I was going to follow all the recommendations: Bikram AT LEAST twice a week, weights 3 times, a little cardio every day, and my 3 classes (plus whatever classes I subbed).
You can see what's coming...I'M FREAKIN' EXHAUSTED, lol!!!!!!!!!!
Will I EVER learn?!?!?! I did something similar in grad school. It didn't work then, either. That was quite a while ago.
Now, I have special needs kids and a job, and I'm STILL overdoing it! And it's backfiring. I sometimes wonder if part of the reason for my weight gain is that I'm not letting my body rest. But it's hard. I'm used to working out 1-2 OR MORE hours a day, 6 days a week! And it just seems so WRONG: if I'm execrising that much, should't I be SKINNY?!?!?! What's wrong with this picture?
So, I'm adding rest to the picture. I've cut down to 2 days of weight training, easing up on the cardio, going to yoga 1 or 2 times at most, and teaching more off of the pilates reformer. I'm also going to walk more, but it will be moderate. I miss walking. The good thing is, the days are longer and I can go outside and walk with the kids. It's fun, and we all get some fresh air and (light) exercise. Plus, a walk after dinner helps the digestion, dontcha know?
I know some of you out there can relate to this. It's a struggle. It seems like I go from one disordered practice to another. From ED to overexercising to spending too much at the grocery store, what have you.
But I'm working on it.
I just wish it didn't take so damn long. I'm almost 40, dang it! I've been dealing with this for more than 20 years!!!!! Enough already!!!!
OK, I gotta go chill.
Maybe i'll lie down for a bit.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

We're not going out to brunch. I won't be getting any stupid diamond earrings/pendants/necklaces/whatever. I MIGHT be able to finagle breakfast in bed, if the kids aren't jumping on it.
I'm not going to work out. I'm going to try to avoid doing the dishes, and I'll let Hubby give the kids their baths.
Hopefully we can take the kids to the beach near Crissy Field. We'll let them run around "their" tree, and maybe even get some food from Greens and have a picnic. Perhaps my in-laws will want to come, and we can make a day of it.
Being outdoors (in view of the Golden Gate Bridge) with the family, eating good food, and NOT having to wash dishes? Yeah, that's MY happy mother's day!

Have a great one, everyone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am the QUEEN...of Indecisiveness

Remember that show "Sheena, Warrior Princess?" I used to call myself "Sheena, Worrier Princess."
OK, it wasn't that funny, but I liked it.
But now I've gone from princess to queen. OK, not THE queen (that title goes to WG), but the Queen of Indecisiveness. The Waffle Monarch. Her Majesty Can'tMakeUpHerMind.
A few posts ago I wrote that I was postponing my yoga teacher training in order to pursue voiceover work. Well, I've been reading a book about finding your true passions, been talking about it to my therapist, and watched "The Last Lecture" on PBS. I've also been waking up at night and doing a lot of thinking.
The truth is, I DON'T WANT TO DO VOICEOVERS. It's just too close to acting, which I have NO DESIRE to return to. There's also the fact that I'm still in the actors' unions which, contrary to popular belief, actually means there's LESS work for me than for non-union actors. (Basically there are a lot of areas not covered by the unions, which makes union artists ineligible for the jobs.) And the fact is, the more I think about doing V.O. work, the more itchy and uncomfortable I get.
So I had to ask myself, "Self, what DO I want?"
And the answer was "To teach yoga. Teach Pilates. Learn massage therapy. Maybe even, someday, to work with physical rehab patients. To help heal and prevent disease and injury. THAT'S what I want!"
So, that's what I'm gonna do. It may take a while, but that's OK.
And you know what? I FINALLY feel settled!
For as long as I can remember, I've felt restless. Like something was missing. I think for a LONG time I was persuing a life that focused on outside approval; from parents, teachers, colleagues, friends, critics, etc. I completely forgot how to listen to my own instincts. Or maybe I never really learned that in the first place. Now, after nearly 40 years, it's time to listen.
Yesterday would have been my dad's 71st birthday. I'm sure, when he turned 40, he didn't believe that more than half his life had already been lived. I also know, no matter what, that he wanted us to be happy and fulfilled.
I also believe that those feelings of restlessness led, at least in part, to my EDs and my distorted relationship with food. The book I mentioned earlier is actually a non-dieting book, a guide to weight loss. But I've gotten a lot out of it beyond how to lose weight. I really feel changes happening inside me, and I feel really optimistic!
I'll let you know how it goes!