Monday, October 24, 2011

The Thing About Exercise...

Yes, yes. It's good for our physical health. It's good for our mental health. I know all these things. And don't get me wrong; we've been doing a lot of it lately. But I have a few beefs with exercise, and I think it's best to just get them all out there on the table. So the thing about exercise... that it takes a while to get the hang of it.
I've written in the past about Daniel's foray into organized sports. The first year he was less than enthusiastic about things like running, paying attention, or touching a ball in any way. This year was quite a bit better, in that he did some actual fielding in t-ball and even ran after the ball some in soccer. I wonder, though, how long it will take before he can get through a game without multiple reminders to continue playing. that it does funny things to your body.
Oh, not the good things that you expect to happen, like getting muscles and having more energy. I mean all the crazy pains and conditions and things not otherwise specified, like blisters and sore muscles and joint pain. From running, Kyle has developed hip pain, of all things, and therefore spends lots of time stretching and saying things like, "Ow! My hip!" like we're 75.

For my part, I have on-and-off pain only in the back of my left knee. I have a shin splint only in my right leg, callouses only on my right big toe. In addition, I have experienced a bizarre transformation in body shape. The more I exercise, the thinner my arms get. But nothing else. In fact, it's as if the fat from my arms has run down into my stomach, hips, and thighs, as I suspect they are getting larger. It's as if my body has decided it can give up a couple of limbs, but it's going to really insulate all the vital middle parts, which leaves me trying to propel my ample booty around with just these little chicken arms to balance everything out on top.

Here is me a little over a week ago, managing to look slightly chubby even as I finish a 4-mile race: that you have to keep doing more of it.
This is a complaint that is about to reach the tipping point around our house. This summer Kyle kept increasing and increasing the length of his runs, until he decided that maybe he should just do a half marathon. In training for this he would literally run from one end of town to the other and back some days. Now a 5-mile run, which used to sound like an impressive workout, has become chump change, a "short run." Pretty soon we are going to run out of time for each of us to get in all the running that we want to do in a week without abandoning the kids.

Kyle finished his race this past Saturday, a trail run through the local State Park. Despite the hip thing, he finished right around his goal time. He writes about his race and, uh, training here. I have to admit that I spent the morning pushing aside fears that he'd sprain an ankle or be attacked by some woodland creature, so I was equal parts relieved and proud when he made it to the finish line. Even though he's making all the rest of us look like slackers. that eventually your coach, instructor, or trainer will move or retire.
This was true in the case of Kyle's swim coaches, and it is true of my favorite Zumba instructor Claire, who is graduating and moving away in December. And if you are a sucker like me, you might be tempted to say something to the YMCA staff like, "If you don't find anyone else, I could maybe lead the class." And they might say, "Yeah, okay." And before you know it you're listening to Latin hip-hop during nap time, trying to figure out how you're going to pull this one off. that eventually everyone wants their turn.
Eva just passed the minimum age for tumbling at our YMCA, so we've been taking her to Tumbling Teenies. She really gets a kick out of the class, which is basically a minimally-organized free-for-all with trampolines, springboards, and giant wedge mats. By t-ball season she will be old enough to play anything that Daniel plays, which means we will have double the number of games and practices each season. We've already limited Daniel from doing fall tumbling because the older kids' class time conflicts with my Zumba. Seriously, we're having a hard time fitting dinner into our schedules some nights. I wonder how it will be in a few years when we're all having to advocate to fit in our favorite practices or classes. that it creates one heck of a lot of laundry.
Between the leotards, the soccer uniforms, the Zumba outfits, and all the running duds, I feel like we are doing piles of sweaty, stinky laundry every week. And don't even get me started about all the showering. Gosh, add in all the water we're drinking after exercising and we might be really exceeding our fair share in the utility usage department.

On the other hand... I'm sleeping like the dead every night, Kyle's lost 20 pounds, and they're gonna pay me to do Zumba. So maybe it's not all bad, but I'm keeping my eye on it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Funny Things are Everywhere (Fall Edition)

Recently there have been all manner of funny things going on around here:

Eva Sees Dead People
A week or so ago the kids and I were driving to the YMCA, past the Catholic cemetery in town. Eva looked over and very matter-of-factly said, "I see a ghoost."
"What?" said Daniel and I, looking out the window.
"A ghoost. Over there (pointing). Between those big stone things."
"I don't see anything," said Daniel.
"Ghost? Are you saying ghost?" I asked, a little creeped-out, craning my neck to look among the gravestones while driving.
"A ghoost. He looks all lonely."
"Well, we must have missed it, whatever it was," I said, trying to dismiss the subject.

But in my head, I was thinking this:

On the way home, Eva looked over at the cemetery and said, "The ghoost is gone. Maybe it wanted to be a mommy ghoost, so it laid an egg and when it hatched it had a friend and was NOT LONELY anymore!"

So really, what I should have been thinking is more like this:

...and the Silver Spoon...
When Eva goes to bed at night, she likes to sleep with a lot of "friends." Her usual crew is a water cup, a stuffed elephant, three stuffed monkeys, a pillow-pet unicorn, and one or more baby dolls. Oh, and Eva squeezes in there. A few weeks ago she won a beanie-baby cat from the prize box at her school, and this joined bedtime gang. The problem with small toys, though, is that they tend to get lost in the night or fall through the bars of the back of the crib, and 2am finds Kyle or I pawing around in the dark under the toddler bed. This usually leads Kyle to some sort of proclamation about the small toy and where it should "keep watch" while Eva is sleeping. After a few days, then, Kyle pronounced that the cat should sleep in the doll cradle next to Eva's bed. Stifling my instinct to keep a cat out of a baby's cradle, I got on board with the new location for the cat.

One night, soon after the ghoost incident, I was putting Eva to bed and having an argument about where the cat would sleep. Eva was proposing putting it in various locations around her bed, and I was getting increasingly frustrated. Finally, I just said, "Eva, the cat's in the cradle!" and then immediately burst out laughing at myself. I came upstairs shaking my head, and Kyle said,
"Did you just yell 'The cat's in the cradle?' You know what that made me think of?"

I know, it makes you think of this.

Just in Time for Hunting Season
Over the weekend I was in Walmart, which is generally a bad idea, but especially so on Saturday or Sunday. I was kind of in a hurry, but as I booked it across the store I saw something that just made me stop dead in my tracks.

Camouflage lingerie.

At the time, I thought to myself that maybe this would be a good way to get the attention of a hunting-obsessed spouse. Or maybe some women want to look really sexy while hunting.

But then I had the mental image of some man looking frantically for his wife, unable to find her anywhere because she's blended right in to the background.
"Honey?... Honey!!" he'd call.
But she wouldn't hear him, because she'd have drifted right off to sleep, totally unnoticed. Which makes this the perfect backfiring, sex-avoidance lingerie.

I am Cornholio!
Today Eva got up in the middle of lunch to use the restroom. After a minute or so, she called out my least favorite phrase of parenting, "Mom! I'm ready to wipe!"
When I went into the bathroom, I found her sitting on the toilet with her longish shirt pulled over her head like this:

"What are you doing?" I asked her.
"I'm trying to keep my shirt from getting poop on it."
"Okay, I guess that's one way to do it."
"Will you please wipe me now?"

And all I could think was, "So what you're saying is you need TP for your bunghole?"
Huh-huh. Huh-hu-huh.

I hope everyone out there is having a funny week!

From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere. - Dr. Seuss