Weekend Update

Yesterday we had pictures taken with my side of the family. This is a yearly tradition, driven by my mother's insistence that each new addition to the clan must be professionally documented, elsewise they don't count. In years past, we have always gone to JC Penny, Sears, Portrait Innovations, or some equally terrible establishment to have these pictures taken, and always around Thanksgiving. This year, at my urging, we waited until Spring to do the annual pictures. My reasoning for postponing the pictures involved my weight, as I hoped I would be thinner in May. I am not thinner now than I was in November, but, alas, the picture plan proceeded. Along with the seasonal change, we convinced my mom to switch photographers. Instead of the ubiquitous grey canvas background, we went with something more creative, more modern. A family friend has started a photography business, and we hired her for the frightful task of making five little children smile at the same time, or at least look in the same general direction.

The photo session started off well, but quickly deteriorated into chaos, with four little ones in various states of refusal to cooperate. Theo was the only one who didn't resist, but only because he didn't know he was supposed to.

When it was time for our immediate family portrait, I held Theo and Nate held Simon. Simon was burying his head in Nate's shoulder, hiding his face and thereby effectively preventing any pictures from being taken. A host of helpers stood behind the photographer, trying to get Simon to look at them. They pulled out all the stops, jumping, clapping, engaging in dinosaur-related discussions. Nothing worked. Finally, when the crowd had run out of ideas, Nate quietly said, "Simon, remember that show we watched when the bird cleaned up his area and then did a little dance?" Instantly, the face came out of hiding, grinning and telling everyone about the silly bird he saw. Brilliant daddy. Later, Nate told me that the bird idea had been in reserve for a while, he had just been waiting for everyone to shut up.


The bird who cleaned up his mating-display area in the rain forest was introduced to us by a program called Planet Earth. I've heard that Oprah gave big props to this show, so we are probably the only ones who haven't seen it already. We finally saw the first episode this weekend, and it was amazing. Our favorite part was the cleaning/dancing bird. There is also a scene in which a herd of elephants, having finally found water after a long, dry trip, swim jubilantly. Beautiful.


Today is the first pick-up for the CSA we signed up for months ago. From Henry's Farm we will get a bounty of fresh, organic vegetables. Delish. I'm excited about getting our veggies, but also a little nervous about finding ways to use everything. It would be sad to waste what I expect to be perfectly marvelous produce, and I know it will take some planning to avoid throwing away even one sprig of parsley.


As I mentioned earlier, I am no thinner now than I was in November. This standstill has occurred despite my best efforts, a combination of exercise and Weight Watchers. I don't mind exercise. It's hard to find time for it, but I don't mind it. I rather enjoy it. My big struggle is with the food. I love food, and I have a hard time telling myself no.

In the last few months I have been discouraged. I have seriously contemplated giving up, accepting my bigger size, and shopping for some clothes that fit my new, larger body.

But then I think, no, I really don't want to be this size right now. I can be this size when I'm 45, but now? Now I want to get those boxes down from the attic. I want to be a cute and healthy mama. So currently I am engaged in a last-ditch, all-out effort to get this weight off. Nate and I have agreed that as soon as I lose 20 pounds (or fit comfortably into my old clothes, whichever comes first),I can get a new tattoo. Even with this incredibly desirable inky incentive dangling before me, I can't seem to keep spoonfuls of ice cream from finding their way into my mouth.

Since I can't control my eating, my strategy is simply to spend enough calories to override my food intake. Here is the summer schedule: get up around 5:30, pack up the stroller, then snatch Theo out of bed. (He's usually awake anyway). Theo and I walk from 6 am to 7 am, returning just in time for Nate to leave for work. Then the boys and I go to the basement where I do a short (30 minutes) aerobic tape, usually with a weight-training focus. Later in the day, after dinner, I try to expend some more calories, with a walk, bike ride, or workout tape. All I can say is, this regimen had better work fast, as I can see serious burn-out just over the horizon.

My biggest fantasy these days is to go on The Biggest Loser ranch. They've been showing reruns of that show on the Style channel, and it taunts me. I know I'm not nearly big enough to qualify for that show, but it would be awesome to spend a month on the ranch, where losing 5 pounds in 7 days is considered a bad week. Personal trainers and a controlled food environment would make it so much easier, I think. Two or three weeks there, and this whole year-long battle would be over. If only I had a rich benefactor who could send me away to fat camp, all my woes would end. Sigh... a girl can dream, can't she?


In Theoville, we have toothage. He was a bit slow with the teeth-growing, I have to say. But he finally has one popping out on the top. It is very cute, and was dutifully noted in the baby book.

Here is a picture of Theo crawling into the play kitchen. He removed the box of toys that was in the bottom compartment, then removed the plastic sink, then crawled in and stuck his head through. Once he was up there, he promptly pulled the pictures off the wall. Pretty humorous, and a perfect example of the kind of hijinks this kid pulls on an hourly basis. He is nuts.


We've been struggling with Simon for the past few weeks. There are a couple issues rearing their heads: First, he loves to pester his brother. There is constant, endless pushing, prodding, pinching, squeezing, and toy-snatching. It drives me up a wall, and lately the two words that most often leave my mouth (accompanied by an angry to annoyed tone of voice) are, "Simon, don't...." At the same time, we have had a lot of asserting wishes and voicing opposition. We are not opposed to these two things on their own merits, but when they take the form of a shrieked, "NO! I DON'T WANT TO!!!!!!!" well, then we are opposed. We are both opposed and offended. Something needed to be done.

What we are trying can be called "Good Choice / Bad Choice." We have two bowls, each with ten stones in them. One has a sticker with a happy face (representing a good choice), and one has a sticker with a sad face (representing a bad choice). The stones move from bowl to bowl as good and bad choices are recognized. When all the stones are in the good choice bowl, there will be a reward of a one-on-one outing with mom or dad. So far it is a great tool. It forces us to look for moments of goodness from our firstborn, which, let's face it, can get completely lost amid baby-pummelling and voice-raising. It also gives a solid consequence to bad choices, which is better than relying on our disapproving [read: angry] words only.

Here is a picture of the bowls. It is poor. Forgive me.


Also forgive this very long post.

I'll try to balance it with a shorter post later today.


Colin said...

Laura, you have strongly taken the lead in the endless race for the title of Best Blogger amongst our circle of bloggerati.

The Tricyclist said...