Thursday, July 12, 2012

Doin' It All

Scene: Playing with the baby in his room. He was trying to climb onto his scooter toy, while holding a book and reaching for a ball.
B-rex: Why can't he get up there?
Me (shaking head):  D-man hasn't learned that you can't do it all.

Wow. Profound.

At thirty-seven, I'm not sure I've learned that you can't do it all. I think back to this spring:

  • Lil' C was playing travel soccer. Practiced every Tues/Thurs evening and had games out of town on most weekends. 
  • B-rex was playing rec soccer. Practiced every Mon evening and had games in town on Saturday mornings. 
  • I had an infant. Who couldn't walk for most of this time span and was still eating baby food that I made.

That would seem to any sane person to be enough going on.

Not me. I decided that coaching the middle school girls soccer team would make my life perfect. That meant practice every day after school until 4:00. Games on Mon/Wed after school. When the parents were on time to pick up their daughters after practice (HA!), I had an hour and 30 minutes to pick up all three kids, get them home, fed, changed, and back out the door to practice.

My life was insane. Completely, bat guano, insane. And I did this for just over 3 months.

I was ragged. Tired all the time. Eating fast food because there was no time to cook. Irritable as all hell. Occasionally, I would ask my mom to pick up and take to practice. And Weston would meet me at one of the boys practices (usually Lil C's) and take over so that I could go home to deal with the baby.

When will I learn that you can't do it all? Seems like never.

Have you learned that you can't do it all? What's your secret?

Sunday, July 08, 2012


I am not a runner. I hate running. It is tedious, boring, sweaty, and just all around no fun. I have never been a runner. I was a cheerleader in high school, back in the days when it was just pom poms. We just had to be skinny and cute.

I was those things: skinny and cute. I had the ability to eat whatever (Snickers or pizza and a Dr. Pepper every day for lunch!) and stay that way. I did not diet in high school. At least not that I remember.

In college, I wasn't terribly active. I cheered one basketball season, but wasn't able to overcome my fear of my life literally being held in someone's hands. I played soccer for my sorority's intramural team. For one season. But I stayed more or less the same size. I was doing okay.

Then, senior year happened. I moved in with some "sisters" upstairs from some frat boys. And I drank. A lot. Nearly every weekend that fall. There were some issues out there, involving a young man (or two), that I didn't know how to maturely handle. So I partied instead. During the day, I was unhappy. And when I wasn't in class, I drove my little Tercel with the sunroof open. I drove up toward the mountains with the music blaring. Trying to get myself out of my head.

Needless to say, it didn't work.

I went on foreign study and met a great guy. He didn't drink. Instead, he treated his body as a temple, the way God intended it. He ate right and worked out. I started jogging and using the Nordic ski thingy at the PAC. Then we broke up, and it was back to business as usual. I still tried to run some, but my heart wasn't in it.

After graduation, I started dating the guy (man) whom I would eventually marry. He was in ROTC and was very fit. Still is. He loves to run. Runs every other day. Would probably do it every day if I'd let him. Anyhoo, I still had issues with weight. I put it on, and couldn't seem to keep it off. I used the gym membership that came with my first apartment.

Then we got married. I gained 10 pounds. My new husband could COOK! We bought a house, I gained more. We had a baby, then another two years later. The weight wouldn't leave. I tried joining a gym. I tried different kinds of diets. Nothing worked. Until something did.

A couple of years ago, I found a very low-carb diet. Coupled with the Zumba classes I loved, it did the trick. I lost 35 pounds! Then, we had another baby. Now, I'm losing and gaining the same 5 to 10 pounds over and over again. I'm trying to eat the right things. And I've started running again. Ick. I wish I could fit the Zumba back into life, but I don't have time to stand in lines. And my sweet hubby is rarely home in time for me to make it to a 6:00 class. (Excuses. Hear 'em?)

I also have issues with food. I eat, a lot. Sometimes, I don't know why I eat. It's not like I'm hungry all the time. I just get bored, or sad, or happy, or whatever. And I want to eat. Summer is the worst time for this. Especially when I'm home all day, in a house with three kids.

I'm working on it. Working it out, I guess. Running and fighting myself every day.

Friday, July 06, 2012

best kept secret - book review

I love to read. I believe that I have mentioned this before. I have been having a field day this summer, reading nearly every day. It's amazing what you can do when a baby is napping for 2 or 3 hours. Wow. If only I could keep the big two quiet as well! Clearly, that is wishful thinking.

I've been reading a book every couple of days, sometimes in a day. It just depends on how long D-man naps, or how long the book is, or how good the book is.

Yesterday, I read a book. The whole book. Granted, I did send the kids over to a friend's house to play and swim (even baby). So I had a little bit more quiet time than usual. But even after the kids got home, and I cooked dinner, and the kids were finally in bed, I read. I don't always do this. I like to watch a little TV, snuggle with my husband. Have some quiet and peace. Last night, I wanted to finish that book.

It's called best kept secret, written by Amy Hatvany. And it is spectacular! I have read a lot of books, not just this summer, but throughout my life. I have meet a few books that I am willing to part money for. Maybe more than a few, looking at the bookshelves in our house. But there are VERY few that I am willing to spend hardback money on. If I had not checked this book out from the library, I would have spent hardback money to get it. It is that good. I may still go and buy it, so that I can have my own copy to read whenever I want.

It is the story of Cadence, a freelance writer who was staying at home to raise her son. She is a heavy drinker, some would say (correctly) that she's an alcoholic. Her now ex-husband takes her son one day, and she is too drunk to do anything. She thought she'd been hiding it, that no one had noticed. Cadee is through rehab, is meeting with a counselor, in a group, and attending AA meetings. She is also fighting to get her son back. She is forced into self-examination and finding new friendships.

I am not like Cadee. At least, not on the surface. I am not divorced, a single mom, a writer (ha!), or an alcoholic. But I felt myself in her on nearly every page. I knew her struggles to keep her temper with her son (my sons). I know how hard it is to cope with the boundless energy of children while holding down a job and managing a house. I know how hard it is to feel people looking at you, judging you, while you stand there not being able to do anything. I know what it is to feel powerless to stop something over which you wish you had more control. I know how hard it is to open up and let other people into your life.

Cadence is every mom. I know moms who would deny it, and say that it's not that hard. I know there are moms who make it look easy on the outside. But we all have things we can't control. We all have addictions. We all have issues, we just don't show them all the time.

If you are a mom, or even if you're not, I would recommend reading this book.

By the way, another book I was willing to pay hardback for? Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume. It's not a kiddie book. But that's a whole other post.