Friday, September 19, 2014

Life Lately According to My Cell Phone

I was realizing that we haven't gone on many formal adventures lately and I was wondering why. Then I realized how much energy and brain power my new job has taken up. All of the restlessness I get when I'm not actively pursuing goals or learning new things has been satiated by work. I'm finally getting my bearings a bit.

Back in May the manager at my gym recruited me to teach BodyFlow, a tai chi/pilates/yoga class by Les Mills. The training I signed up for got canceled so my manager convinced me to do the RPM instructor course. It's a spin cycling class and, oh man, it was an intense 20 hour training over two days and I felt like the bike seat was going to need to be surgically removed from my butt. The Flow training the next month was much more pleasant, but still intensive.  It is all choreographed so I am constantly learning new songs and moves in addition to the 5 classes a week I teach. This weekend I finished up the Silver Sneakers training so now I can teach classes for seniors as well. It's been amazing getting paid to workout instead of giving money to the gym. With 5 classes, I make more than I did subbing once a week and I'll tell ya my legs never looked this good while teaching. The childcare is much easier to arrange since it is on site and my kids love it. M has all of 10 words and one of them is sweet mispronunciation of Heather who manages the gym daycare. Seriously, this job is the best gig ever.

And I get a bunch of gold stars. At my class last night, one of the members told me I was born to teach yoga. I don't get those gold stars for motherhood and definitely missed recognition when I stopped working.  Even if someone tells me my kids are so well-behaved, I laugh and then get nervous instead of taking it as a motherhood gold star. It was much easier to accept, "My daughter loves your class!"or "You are the best sub ever!" No one gives me a star when I manage to find the source of the funky smell in my van or get the laundry put away the same day I washed it. Working is good for me. However, I now have an unhealthy obsession with workout clothes and manage to spend quite a bit of my paycheck on Fabletics, but that is a post in and of itself. 

So yes, the whole point of this is that I don't have many photos because we haven't been on adventures. Thankfully, I always have my phone handy to record the every day adventures. Like M waking J up from a nap with a vampire kiss.

J's remarkably accurate drawing of a camel. We will ignore the 6 legs part.

J asked me to "make her hair flat" and this was as good as I could do with a blowdryer. It is down to her shoulders when it is straight.

We got a Baby Alive doll from BzzAgent. J loved it but got bored with it. She named it Panda Sleeping Beauty. M has now appropriated it and loves to feed the baby. Since it distracts him from trying to shove half eaten food in MY face, I fully support this.

This exists at Target and the world needs to know about it.

 J thought the pillowcase would make a great hiding place.

My single friend turned 40 and I found this amazing gift for her. Ever since I bought it, Amazon suggests VERY amusing things for me to buy.

M inherited this onesie and it pretty sums up all of our communication difficulties.

And this smile sums up all the fun we have despite the frustrations.

This is why everyone needs a sibling.

I went paddleboarding with some friends and they brought their dog, complete with life vest. He loved chilling on the front of the board.

When you are stuck in isolation from all Sunday worship, it's best to entertain your son with selfies. Especially when he is wearing a bow tie.

 I went shopping with J and she insisted on taking pictures with all the mannequins. I blame Legoland.

"Hold me up and take one with me!"

Awkward selfie.

She is holding the outfit she picked for preschool.

I went to go see a punk rock show with my sister and we had a blast. Both of our cousins' bands rocked it and made me remember why I love the music still. There is something magical about listening to great music incredibly loud and dancing and jumping with a bunch of strangers who love it as much as you. Although I will say the ringing in my ears afterwards and the sleep deprivation the next day served as a reminder on why young people are the biggest audience. Still worth it though and I have resolved to go to more shows.

Hopefully I get some more adventures now that I don't feel like I'm drowning in choreography to memorize. I mean, October is just around the corner and fall just demands mommy blogger excursions. Until then, expect more mediocre cell phone pics.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

10 Books That Stayed With Me

My Sis-in-law Sara tagged me for this on facebook, but I'm writing it here so I can look back on it in 10 years and see what else makes the list. So, in no particular order.

1) A Wrinkle In Time

I read it once as a kid and it was just a lovely story. Then I reread it as a teen and had my mind blown.

2) The Giver

I read it in high school and loved it. It gained even more power when my teacher followed it with

3) Man's Search For Meaning by Victor Frankle

"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." A psychologist analyzes his experience in concentration camps. It stays with you.

4) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

It's not a book I've never even reread and just found out they made it into a movie a few years ago. Yet it's tone has stuck around in my head even when I can't tell you the character names. It's sort of raw and haunting and it just lingers.

5) Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

YA fiction written from the perspective of a kid with cerebral palsy. It's influenced all my interactions with severely disabled people ever since.

6) I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown

Powerful social research presented in a highly engaging way. And concrete examples on what to say when you don't know what to say. Like how to veer a gossiping situation away from gossip without drawing a giant target on your back. Or how to deal with attention hounds in an empathetic way. It's seriously a game changer without being a self-help book.

7) The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The first piece of literature I read without it being part of a curriculum.  Give it time to draw you in, especially if you aren't used to little character vignettes instead of a linear plot. It's a book you have to talk about with someone after you finish it.

8) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I blame this book for my kdrama obsession. I like having the same plot served up in different ways with a Korean twist.

9) Crown Duel

My favorite YA fantasy book. It's best when you are 13 or 14, but I still reach for it when I need a good fluffy book.

10) Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace

Am I allowed to say something has stayed with me when it really hasn't been that long since I read it? It has one of the most interesting perspectives on how we view eating animals and a portion on abortion that I want to xerox and have everyone read.  The longest and most hilarious usage guide review has an amusing overuse of footnotes.

So tell me readers, what books have stuck with you over the years?

Thursday, September 4, 2014


The beloved princess umbrella from Spain finally met its demise after much abuse from various toddlers. Since its last moments were assisted by a cousin, said cousin bought J a replacement even though it was unnecessary. J loves it and has been using it as a makeshift lean-to.

Then she realized it matched her dance outfit and pearls. I was wishing for a perfect white backdrop.

Ever the egalitarian, she insisted her friend Taylor have an umbrella to play with as well.

Please note my pants-less son with one shoe on in the background. Keeping it classy.


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