Saturday, March 24, 2012

Today's funny story

L had a dance competition this weekend. Since it included a 6:30 am call time in a city 2 hours away, we stayed in a hotel Friday night. Another dancer came with us and between the little girl giggling and the nightlight she had to have and the allergy-induced sniffles, it took L awhile to go to sleep. Then she woke in the middle of the night for a little while. Then she woke up at 5 when my alarm went off.

Needless to say, L was one tired kid

She plowed through the competition, though, and their very first dance of the morning even won the award for 1st place small group. After awards, we hauled the mobile dance closet to the car and headed toward home. A stop at a McDonalds/gas station scored us lunch and Benadryl for the perpetual sniffles. Shortly after she ate, she collapsed into sleep practically mid-sentence and stayed that way the rest of the trip.

At home, she woke up, stood up, and started gathering her stuff, so I grabbed my own trash and headed in. I set things down, chatted with hubby, and kept waiting for L to appear, but she didn't. I finally said she had either gone back to sleep or was crying over something in the car, so I headed out to check on her.

Yep, she was crying. One false eyelash was sliding down her face and the other cheek was smeared with eyeliner. She was a sorry sight. When I asked her what in the world was wrong, she sniffed and sobbed and the only thing I could make out is that she couldn't figure out how to get out of the car and it was h-oo-o-ooo-ttttt.

A perfectly capable, independent 8-year-old couldn't open a door she has used hundreds of times. Hummmnnn.

Lessons learned today - make sure L washes her face before we head home and maybe I should only give her half the dose of Benadryl.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This train keeps chugging along

Both girls are gone today on a church field trip. Woohoo! I love my kids, but we could all use a little time away from each other. Them for learning independence, me for sanity.

So today started at 7 when the alarm went off and I got the girls and their friend up and ready and out the door. I love this age because that meant I turned on some music, turned on the bedroom light, and reminded them that needed to get breakfast before they left. Then I sat and read the Internet while they did everything themselves. Yep, this is the life.

After they left, I attempted to go back to sleep, but my brain was already busy with all the stuff I wanted to get done today. After trying to force myself to relax, I gave it up and am now at Panera with some hot cross buns, a chai tea latte, and my iPad. The rest of the day will involve a quick stop at Walmart, tie-dying some t-shirts, and painting a new picture of a blue gate. Maybe. That's the nice thing about today - there's nothing I absolutely have to do. Except go to work tonight. I'm filling in and teaching a painting class. It's a different teacher's painting and while I did help create it, that was a couple of years ago, so I'm kinda nervous about teaching it. Of course, my "kinda nervous" involves periodically remembering I have to teach tonight and a small twinge of nerves, then I forget all about it.

Then there's the temptation to go for a pedicure and a massage and continue the search for a cute comfy pair of sandals for my summer "go to" shoes. The sudden arrival of spring has meant that I've been traipsing around in my black ones from last year that are okay, but they're not well suited for extended periods of walking. I painted my toenails so they'd look passable, but a pedicure would look nicer. And I have my first 5k tomorrow and I think a massage would help avoid the sore shoulder that plagued me when I ran earlier this week.

Which reminds me. I signed up for this 5k two weeks ago. I wasn't planning one so soon, but it's a fundraiser for the sole guy in my youth group to help pay for his Young Life camp. My whole youth group (all 6 of us) agreed to do this together and I figured 2 weeks would get me further through the couch-to-5k program I'm slowly working my way through. A couple hours after I signed up for the race, I got sick. Nice. For the past 2 weeks I've fought this stupid cold. I've gotten in about 3 runs total with all the coughing and lethargy. The most exercise I've gotten is painting and cleaning my house. My house looks great, but I'm not really feeling ready for this race. Thankfully, none of the kids in my youth group have been training either so they won't be too far ahead of me, but they're in better general shape than I am. I guess we'll just plod along together in our matching tie-dye shirts.

If I decide to tie-dye today. I think the mall with its chair massages and shoe stores may be calling first.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I got the best compliment

A few days ago, one of my daughter's teachers stopped me after Bible study. "I wanted to tell you that you look are looking fabulous. It's not just your haircut, but you are just glowing lately."

Do you know how good that makes me feel? When you get a wonderful compliment from someone, it just lights you up inside. And honestly, I feel really great lately. I was trying to think what the change is and there are a few factors.

Last fall, I had a really bad allergy attack, ended up getting a high dose of cortisone or steroids or something, then had a glucose test come back on the extreme high end of normal. My doctor said it was probably the medicine, but he wanted to err on the safe side and suggested I lose weight. He was incredibly diplomatic about it, but I knew it was time. Besides that high dose of medication had performed an outright miracle and my 5 years of hives and allergy issues were suddenly and completely eradicated. I could actually stop taking the antihistamines that were slowing me down and causing my weight to balloon. Exercise became a possibility.

So I started the very day I got the test results back with a long walk. For 2 months I walked or used the elliptical at least 3 times a week. My glucose levels dropped dramatically and my doctor was shocked that a patient had actually listened and followed orders :-) Just after Christmas, I started a couch-to-5k running program. For a woman who hated working out and never saw herself running, I was doing it and really kinda enjoying it. I've continued the program on a much more drawn out scale as I repeat each week until I'm comfortable with that amount of running before moving on. It's Now March and I'm only on Week 4 of what's supposed to be an 8 week program. But I mix in other types of exercise and my goal is to exercise enough that it's a challenge, but not so much of a challenge that I start to hate working out.

Yes, I've lost a little weight. Yes, I've lost a whole lot of inches. Yes, my old clothes are far too big and I'm having to pull out even older smaller clothes from my stash (I only saved the cute ones;-)). But the biggest benefit of the exercise is that I have soooo much more energy now. I can go and do and not feel like such a slug. I'm up and moving and can keep up with my kids. That is a really awesome feeling.

Another thing that has recently changed is that I got a new haircut. I know, I know, that's so superficial, but just stick with me here. My hair is gray. I'm 38 and have a serious head of black and white hair. Lots of it. That grows fast. Coloring it just became too much of a hassle, so I let it grow out. It was getting long and boring and I just didn't really do much with it. I've long wanted to cut it into a really funky style, but my stylist sees large lady with gray hair and thinks way too conservatively, so it never came out like I wanted. So I found a picture online and took it to a new stylist who finally gave me the cut I wanted. And it was awesome. The perfect cut for my hair and my face and my taste.

The new haircut was a smashing success, but it actually required a few minutes of effort every morning to style. So I'd fix my hair, then since I was already in the swing, I'd pull out my makeup and put on more than the simple powder I usually wore. And my awesome hair was short enough that my ears showed and so I'd put on earrings. And since I was putting on earrings, I'd find a necklace or a bracelet or a funky ring. And with all that hair and makeup and jewelry, I couldn't wander around in sloppy clothes, so I started paying more attention to what I wore.

It was like a modern-day woman's version of "Give a mouse a cookie". I went from drab and okay to someone who looks like she cares about herself.

So that's the secret formula. Exercise and a haircut. Simple really and amazing how good those can make you feel.