Friday, April 18, 2008
I don't remember high school and college boys being as buff, rugged, and sculpted as they seem to be these days. I guess I'm talking about boys in the heyday of their teenage years. Teenagers! On the flip side, I don't recall children being the chubby little roly polys they are today. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I've met little kids with a bigger waist than mine. I'm referring to the under 10 set. The definition of irony, no?
When Bird was a baby he was so fat that his wrists looked like someone wrapped rubber bands around them. Deal's cheeks were so chubby that we were seriously thinking he secured an acorn self storage gig with the squirrels shacking up in the attic. Oh, how I loved to nestle into that baby fat and just relish the kinetic energy it held.
That same baby fat ain't so cute when the kid is conjugating verbs. The obesity epidemic in America is startling. Ditto to the crap our kids are eating, rather the crap we are feeding them. And how long til our sons and daughters need physical therapy to manage the Wii thumb they've developed. Seriously, is playing tennis with a new fangled joystick thingamabob better than hitting topspins outside on some real clay? I can see the benefits of the Wii for the elderly, but come on, kids should be playing for real. Screw this virtual crap.
And don't get me started on the demented body image issues that we as a society are inflicting upon young girls. Apparently a local kindergarten teacher even bestowed an award for "Best Dressed" to one little beribboned girl. Shame. Shame. Shame. Is this what we call education these days?
What happened to the age of the naturally active kid? Neighborhood? Preponderance of over scheduled activities (like the 5-year old kid who took tennis lessons wearing his baseball uniform only to leave the lesson early to play in a baseball game)? Busy parents? No friends? What the hell has changed from the "Be home before dinner" mentality from my youth? Don't you remember running amok in the neighborhood, stopping to pee at whomever's house was closest?
In steps my friend Jen. For the record, she is one of the smartest, most grounded, generous spirits I have crossed paths with in a long, long time. I'm lucky to now count her among my friends. She, with a friend of hers, is trying to affect childhood obesity and overall health awareness in our little neck of the proverbial woods. I think their approach to overall health, self discipline, and mindfulness is a refreshing change of pace for which our children are hungry.
In Jen's words:
"I recently went to New York and went to training to teach children's yoga. This whole process has kind of been my "aha" moment if you will. Most of you have heard my tirades about the state of the health of America's children....from the food they eat to their lack of exercise. I have been trying to figure out a way I could do something about it instead of just complaining about it.
I began doing yoga when my mother was very sick with cancer years ago. It has been such an amazing change in my life. I find clarity and calm, balance and stress release. Can you imagine what it would be like to have these skills to just calm down during your middle school and high school years? Especially in today's world of computers, text messages and video games! I had fourteen 4 and 5 year olds playing a game where no one spoke because they were focusing so hard on what they were doing. They didn't even realize it! They also were champs at relaxation at the end of class. It was truly amazing."
Jen and her business partner will initially be starting a children's yoga program at a local school, Learning Together. The ultimate goal is to bring yoga to Wake County Public Schools. Their efforts and passion have been rewarded with an awesome grant opportunity from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Million Step March grant campaign. The winner is chosen by total number of votes: this is where you come in.
If Jen can get the most votes, the winner, her kids' yoga program, will win $75,000 to start up a yoga program for school children. More information is available here. Bird and Deal have a couple of kid yoga DVDs that they love. Both boys can do a mean down dog.
You can help Jen out by going to Blue Cross Blue Shield's website and voting for the grant. Also, if you know of anyone whom you think might be interested in helping out by taking a minute or two to vote, please forward this to them! You can vote everyday (unrealistic, I know, but whenever you can remember to would be great!). Here are the instructions...
1. Click here.
2. Scroll down to the Learning Together proposal and select vote now (they are in alphabetical order). You will need to enter your email address and confirm the vote when you get a return email.
Each email address is allowed one vote per day. The voting ends May 16th.
Think of the shame, anxiety, and self esteem issues you'll be sparing an overweight, unhealthy youth. Or the confidence you just might impart to a young girl.
Do it for my friend Lori. She was a chubby, taunted kid when we were too young to read Judy Blume or wear training bras. She died of heart failure due to anorexia when we were 16.
Some stereotypes are true. I first was smitten with firefighters after 9/11 when I truly realized their sacrifices and commitment (for next to no pay, mind you). And to be honest, they're hot. Pardon my shallowness.
Come on, what a personification of testosterone (in the best ways of course, not in that primal Fight Club way). What other profession creates calendars for fundraisers? Meet the hunky podiatrists of America! A close look at our country's Fed Ex drivers (granted, the Wall Street Journal did once have a middle column about UPS drivers being the new office hotties)! Fast food nation of fabulous fry chefs! Corporate C-suite schmucks bare all!
Today at the grocery store Deal and I chatted with three firefighters. Under the guise of Deal being enamored with them, natch. H-U-N-K-S. All of them. Don't think that we won't be delivering some brownies to Fire Station #9 in the near future.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Though I am a confirmed neat freak, my house is currently dirty. Really dirty. As in, call in Kim and Aggie. I'm ashamed of its condition, so don't be offended if I haven't invited you over for a while. It's not messy, cluttered, or in disarray. Of course the house is still orderly. A Virgo can only let things go so far. You wouldn't even notice the dirt until you pulled up a seat and realized you were stuck to it. I have a hunch that some AWOL Peeps are hiding amidst the cushions.
But trust me, my house is dirty. The Ty-D-Bol Man needs to unpack his bags and stay a while. The dust bunnies are, well, doing what real live bunnies do. All over the place. I'm thinking about collecting them to knit Christmas stockings for the whole family. There is a crunchiness underfoot upon entrance from any of the three doors into my home. Who am I kidding? The crunchiness underfoot is everywhere. You'd be hard pressed to find a speck of floor not covered in dried mud, crunched up leaves, grains of rice, crumbles of scone, or strands of hair (mine and the cat's). Pebbles of Tidy Cat leave the hallway far from tidy. Deal has been potty training, so the random sprays of pee have quadrupled. That's not even counting the poop he left on the toilet seat this morning. How the hell does that happen?!
I'm not even including the oh, 30 or so flies (the fat, lazy Tom Arnolds of the insect world), that Mac Daddy killed in Bird's room today. I guess the dead squirrel stuck between the walls is finally decaying. BLECH. ICK. YUCK. GAG. The mere thought of it makes me want to pull back my hair and let my dinner fly. Except the toilet is too gross to even toy with the idea of getting anything but my ass close to it.
And the dust. The damn dust. It's pollen season here so there's a green film coating every surface in the area code. The simple act of opening the screen door to let some fresh air in leaves a green powder all over the hardwood floors. The house doesn't stink like boys yet, but it's close. No amount of orange spray will mask the sty that my family is living in right now.
I suppose my family is taking this blog's name to heart. At least there are only two more days until the cleaning people come. No use tackling it now, right? I mean, what's the use? I'm sure those two days will fly right by.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Now this is what I want my boys to don on Mother's Day. You know I'm not opposed to using Bird and Deal as my personal billboards. It's always fun to gauge the public's expressions of wonderment, disdain, and judgement. It's not like the boys are sporting this. Even I have boundaries and a modicum of taste.
Regardless what your kids wear, it's a reflection of you. Like it or not. No different than what you drive, where you live, where you shop, how you vote, where you worship, what you in fact wear. Your kids represent Brand You. Now go get them some duds that tell the world how much you rock.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
OM - the Order of Motherhood. No wonder it's also the Hindu symbol of one who protects, sustains.
Sure, motherhood brings it's overwhelming joys, pure love, gaggles of giggles, and immeasurable hugs and kisses.
It's no secret that motherhood also brings 365 days of no thanks, no pay raises (no pay, for that matter), no kudos, no awards ceremonies. Come on, when's the last time you looked your mom in the eye and said thank you? I know I haven't done it lately. Perhaps never. So here you go, Mom, for all the blogosphere to witness: THANK YOU.
There are certain rites of passage that all moms experience. Here are a few of my own:
I knew I was a mom when...
I went out in public to get my oil changed with nipple shields on (under a white T-shirt!).
my son peed on my foot instead of the tree trunk he was supposedly aiming for at the park.
I showed up to a big presentation with gunk that resembled oatmeal or snot on my shoulder.
I spent more money on my sons' spring wardrobes than my own.
I cut up fruit in teeny tiny pieces for fruit salad...that I'm serving to adults.
I was smacked square in the face by my irate 3-year old mid-tantrum...in public.
I could sing along (at the top of my lungs, mind you) to the theme songs of the Wiggles, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Dragon Tales.
I left for a meeting and was halfway there when I realized I grabbed the diaper bag instead of my laptop bag. (I had to stop at Rite Aid on the way to grab a pen and legal pad to appear at least somewhat prepared.)
I could map all public restrooms in every kid friendly venue in town (bonus points for knowing which ones are cleaner than others).
I fireman carried two screaming kids away from the children's museum that they clearly didn't want to leave.
I hung a giant canvas that we all took turns painting as the focal point artwork over our couch. (It's abstract at its finest.)
I was covered in pee, poop, and puke all at one time, and didn't care because I was more worried about what my poor kid was going through in his time of utter misery.
I seriously considered mixing a bloody mary/mimosa/insert drink here at 10:00...AM.
How about you? What rites of passage have you experienced?