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Friday, April 25, 2014

Lent is over.

I gave up desserts for Lent.  I learned a few things along the way.  First, I really look forward to desserts.  I think I said to Stephen one night after dinner the first week of Lent, "Well, dinner is over.  We might as well go to sleep because there is nothing else to look forward to today."  Dessert was the wonderful prize at the end of my meal and sometimes I would just eat a meal so I could not feel guilty in having a sweet snack.  This confession comes with a mixture of shame and pride.

A couple weeks in, I discovered that I really didn't long for sweets everyday.  We went to a party where a super delicious stack of brownies was sitting on the table, and I had a real deep desire to eat one.  I could practically taste the chocolate.  Then I realized that I really hadn't had that experience all week.  I realized I buy chocolate to have in the cupboard afraid that I would be unprepared should a craving strike.  Really, though, I would eat it one way or the other.

It was a revelation to me.  Maybe I don't have as big of a sweet tooth as I thought.

And I did lose a few pounds, and believe me, I would know because I weighed myself (too) often.  At one point, I thought my scale was broken.  I tried the scale at the Y, and realized I like mine better.

I decided I should be encouraged by other signs of change.  Being "active" was one of my New Year's Resolutions.  I started walking on my treadmill several times a week and I can definitely walk a faster mile than I could to start.  In February, I started attending a strength and endurance class at the Y on Monday mornings and I can definitley hold a plank for longer than I could.  And while holding a plank really has no value in my life, it seems to translate into my posture, helping me stand to my full 4 foot 10 inches with more ease.

I've been watching Julian move, lately.  He doesn't usually walk.  Instead, he bounds and skips and runs and dances and jumps and climbs.  I'm trying to learn to move like him while simultaneously teaching him to sit still.

I'm obssessed with not becoming obsssessed with how my body looks.  I'm determined to not give weight goals too much room in my brain, in my life.  And yet, taking care of myself is important. Making good decisions about eating and activity is a daily, lifelong chore.

I've been reading a book called "Bread and Wine" by Shauna Niequist.  Among other topics, she writes about her love of food and her body frustrations.  She presents her rythym of feasting and fasting in the book.  Some seasons are about indulging and enjoying and some seasons are about self-discipline.  For her, the holidays and summertime tend to be her seasons of indulging, and when those seasons pass she knows that she must pull in the reigns a bit and make wiser, healthfull choices.

I'm coming out of a long season of feasting.  While I was pregnant and as I've been nursing Penelope these ten months, I've given myself permission to enjoy and not worry.  And now is a time of self-discipline.  I'm trying to embrace it with joy the same way I did the season of feasting.

I'm a big fan of Mindy Kaling.  She used to be in the Office and now has her own show.  She does a good job of having, what I see, to be a strong, healthy view of her body in Hollywood.  She wants to look good, and she works at it.  And, yet, her goal is not to be skinny.  I dig it.  She read my mind.  Watch a little snippet from her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel (link).  Here are a few quotes that make me smile.

"I always get asked, "Where do you get your confidence?" I think people are well meaning, but it's pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, "You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You're not skinny, you're not white, you're a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you're worth anything?"

"By the way, I like run and work out. It takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This legohead is five!

Schroe man is officially five.  Some things haven't changed.  He's still a guy of few words.  Even when he's excited, he doesn't express it with many words.  Instead, he just smiles and snuggles.  He still loves blueberries and can down an entire container if I'm not looking.  He told me the other day that he loves food that is juicy.  He also gets excited for bacon and tortellini and cantaloupe.  He's still pretty small, but I've stopped obssessing too much about it.  I measured him the other day and he's 39.5 inches tall which puts him smack dab at the fifth percentile.  Being tall is overrated.
And although so much has stayed the same, Schroeder has turned a corner.  He's quickly becoming a big kid.  I'm beginning to group him with D'arcy and Julian instead of with Maggie and P.  Part of that has to do with the fact that he's finishing up his year of preschool and is registered for kindergarten in the fall.  He also left the room he shared with Maggie Lu, and moved in with his big brother Julian.
He and Julian (and his cousin Gabe) have become great friends this year now that they are playing on the same level.  It's LEGO heaven in their room.  And really, they don't differentiate between their toys.  Julian's legos are Schroeders legos and vice versa.  This has been a relief because there is a different scenario in the girls' room.  Getting those dudes to pick any of their legos up has been a big challenge this year.  
He decided just recently that he doesn't want his Imaginext toys anymore.  He tried to give them to Maggie who wasn't super impressed.  He's now fully committed to LEGO, and when he isn't building, he's watching Evan build on youtube.  Evan is this kid who has every possible lego set.  He starts his videos with the stats of the set, what set number it is, what minifigures come with it.  Then you watch him build it in a timelapse.  Schroeder thinks Evan is fantastic.
He and Maggie still play well together, but I think he has a hard time with kids younger than him.  He can play pretty rough.  I got some negative feedback about him playing ninjas at the Chik-fil-A playground so I asked him to stop that storyline.  He told me that wasn't a problem.  He could just play cops and robbers.  I'm wondering why climbing up and sliding down the slide isn't sufficient.  
This destructive boy does have such a tender spot in his heart for babies especially his new baby sister.  About a month ago, he came in my room in the morning and declared that he loved Penelope.  He loved her more than LEGOs.  He asks to hold her daily and likes to walk her around the house.  He's really determined to teach her to walk.  I remember when we went on vacation last June he asked if we were going to teach her to walk while we were in Florida.  She was a month old.  
If he gets in trouble it's probably because he got some instruction and instead of following though, he finds some little spot in the house to hide in.  And there is a good chance he took the iPad and an applesauce cup with him.
We spend a lot of time emphasizing caring for people.  Schreoder gets to practice caring with his siblings.  When someone gets hurt, even if he didn't hurt them, even if he did hurt them by accident, we ask and expect him to comfort that person and express that he is sorry they were hurt.  Comforting needs to come before defending himself.  I don't want one kid screaming  and the other kid standing there with hands up saying "I didn't do it!".  This is a hard lesson to learn, but sweet Schroeder is getting it.  I've seen him care for Maggie, hugging her neck when she's hurt.  And I've seen Maggie accept his care because she can feel it is genuine.  None of the kids want an obligatory hug, they would rather get a hug from me.
Last May, Schroeder had to go to a GI specialist after he had some concerning symptoms.  Ultimately, all was fine, but the day I initially took him to the pediatrician, I was literally 40 weeks pregnant.  I had been relatively calm and steady about my pregnancy, but I was obviously in a vulnerable spot.  I let my mind run wild with thoughts of Schroeder having cancer or crohn's and I layed in my bed for hours crying.  I just love him a lot and I never want to lose this dude.