Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

You know you were sleeping hard when you don't just have bedhead, you have bedeyebrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All I wanna do is Zumba-zoom-zoom...

I was supposed to go to the Zumba class at my local YMCA branch tomorrow morning with a friend of mine. A friend whom I've been wheedling, pleading, begging and otherwise generally nagging into joining me so she can see how fun it is and then want to immediately join the Y so I don't have to go work out alone. (Yes, Hubby belongs to the same Y, and yes, we do sometimes work out at the same time. It is SO not the same thing, though. You see, Hubby likes to *work out* when he's working out, all running at crazy fast speeds on the treadmill and pumping the iron and such. Me, I'm more of a "chit chat while walking at a moderate clip on the elliptical machine" type of worker outer. Hubby doesn't even watch the same things on his little TV that I'm watching, so I can't even make a joke about The View or Regis or Who Wants to be a Millionaire. So, not really the kind of working out at the YMCA companion I'm looking for, my beloved Hubby, and this is why I'm desperately trying to get a friend to do the Y workout thing with me.)

I thought this would be the week. The week that she'd finally go to Zumba with me. I've been working on her for ages now, but one thing or another (her dentist appointment, my kid's eye surgery...) kept getting in the way. This was going to be it. I was so sure of it that
I bought myself a cinnamon streusel friedcake donut from Wegmans earlier tonight. I went to Wegmans to buy every hair-related product I could find with tea tree oil extract in it because I hear lice don't like tea tree oil and today for the second time in a month, we got a letter from the nurse that head lice has been confirmed on at least one kid's head in Kiddo's class (though Kiddo's head was checked and is clean *KNOCKING WOOD SO LOUDLY YOU PROBABLY CAN HEAR IT ALL THE WAY AT YOUR HOUSE, WHEREVER IN THE WORLD YOU ARE RIGHT NOW*) but of course, getting to the Nature's Marketplace groovy organic section means walking straight past the bakery. Did I ignore the siren call of the cinnamon streusel friedcake donuts? Of course I didn't, because I am GOING TO ZUMBA tomorrow. At least that's what I told myself, Kiddo and the random lady standing next to us at the donut display as I was reaching for the bakery bag, although out of the three of us, I think only Kiddo actually believed me. But I *WAS* going to be going, because my friend was going to be going too, so I couldn't POSSIBLY slack off, stay home in my jammies, reading one of the SEVEN, count them, SEVEN books I brought home from the library today, eating donuts and NOT going to Zumba. This was how I would overcome my PMS and sore neck and shoulders from spending eleventy million hours hanging clothes on racks two feet above my head in the past two days doing volunteer slave labor at the PTSA SuperSale set up and my warm jammies and snuggly fleecy blanket and cinnamon streusel donut who will all, no doubt, conspire against my showering before 6:30am, wrestling my way into a sports bra, cramming my bloated midsection into exercise appropriate clothing (deepest, darkest confession: a few weeks ago I went in a pair of pajama bottoms because I couldn't find a clean pair of yoga pants and because most of my yoga pants are more often worn for pajama purposes, not actual yoga anyhow.

Really - this is me that particular day. I photographed myself when I got home from Zumba class:

That was me setting the timer and approximating a Zumba maneuver - action shot!) See, now all of those things, conspire as they may (will?) tomorrow, would not vanquish me because I had a friend going with me, forcing me to be good and go no matter how much I don't want to in the morning. A FRIEND. Meeting me there.

Until she emailed me just now and said she can't, because she has a sick kid of the barfing variety in her house.

Le sigh.

I started to write back to her, to explain all of this, all the conspirators ganging up on my flimsy, flabby resolve, how she was the *one thing* that allowed me to get that donut (which, seriously, is probably enough calories to undo any good an hour of me sweating my rear off at Zumba might do) and how she was the *one thing* that was going to ensure my attendance at tomorrow's class.

But then, I realized it wasn't fair to my dear, sweet friend to hold her responsible for my health, well being and food - even donut - choices would make a better blog post, so I deleted that email and here I am blogging away now.

I've been meaning to post about Zumba for ages now. Have you heard of Zumba? I hadn't until I first walked past a class at our old Y before we moved last spring. I've since done extensive research a quick googling and discovered Zumba is, in fact, some sort of worldwide exercise craze. There are tons of clips of people Zumbaing available on Youtube, for example..

Look - it is a worldwide phenomenon, this video even says so:

Okay, I admit it - I didn't realize it was an actual revolution until I saw that last video clip. I mean, the only revolting going on that I've been aware of is the revolution of spandex and lycra and elastic in my clothes against the body they're attempting to contain and/or cover. And the class I take doesn't remotely resemble either of those clips, except for some of the moves and music. Let's just say that the demographics are a little bit different in my neck of the suburbs.

For example, the average age of the participant at my Wednesday morning class is a lot closer to 70 than 20. Hardly any midriff-baring tops are worn (except by one dogged old dame who seems to think that you're only as young as you dress, and dagnabit, she's going to wear the rolled-down-waistband pants and sports-bra-baring, cropped tops like she is still a lithe 16 year old) and hardly anyone has been able to master the moves. Did you catch that arm maneuver in the first video with the two hottish chicks who look NOTHING like anyone in my Zumba class (except perhaps the instructor)? The one where the arm is raised, does a circle-y, whippy thing down and then up again? We have done that move in my class. And by "we" I mean "everyone other than Heather" because in my case, by "done" I mean "flailed around wildly like an alien imitating an arthritic New Yorker trying to hail a cab in vain" 'cause my arms just don't do that.

I just don't - or can't - do a lot
most any of the Zumba moves. All the step-ball-changes and jazz squares and whatnot that utterly eluded me back in my high school musical-participating days as well as cardio classes going back to the very first Jane Fonda aerobics tapes we did for gym in high school through the step aerobics craze of the early 90s and on to today......... still elude me. Age may have brought me wisdom (and a slower-than-a-turtle metabolism plus a generous sprinkling of wiry, silver "highlights") but it hasn't brought me any better a grasp on basic dance steps. Alas.

Not that this stops me, mind you. I may not look like a hot, young thing shaking my booty for all I'm worth (which, by the way, is one Wegmans bakery cinnamon streusel donut. Just sayin'...) but neither are any of the other class participants! They're all, at best, only slightly better than me. Some of the older broads don't even attempt the Zumba moves. They just sort of gently sway and shuffle and occasionally lift an arm into the air. Some of them don't even do that - they just come, stand there, chat, move once in a while, then go have a swig from their sports bottles and towel off. So even in my worst Zumba mess-ups (like, say, when we're supposed to be doing some sort of convoluted turning maneuver with arm motions and feet motions and hip motions, and during which I invariably, consistently manage to wind up out of sync with the rest of the class and thereby facing them all since they at least can manage to, you know, turn in the right direction to the beat) I'm not that bad. I find them funny, usually, and wind up cracking myself up regularly. I also seem to be highly entertaining to the various patrons of the Y who pause in the doorway with regularity to watch for a while. They get a good view of me as I always position myself at the back of the room, closest to the door which is also closest to the giant fans mounted halfway up the wall. Thankfully, our class meets in the gymnasium, which means no walls of mirrors to reflect my sweaty, panting redfacedness over and over to everyone.

So, why do I love Zumba so much, if it kicks my behind and I can't possibly do the moves properly? I do enjoy all the moves I can't do and they are a refreshing change of pace from any other cardio-aerobic type class I've ever taken. Zumba involves a lot of different genres in the moves - everything from samba and tango to hip hop and belly dancing. Even if I can't do the moves, they're still fun to attempt. One of the biggest reasons, though, is the music. The Zumba music is really fun. Our instructor (who is fantastic, by the way!) mixes the music and the routines up each week, and the songs range from crazy, Latin remixed mashups of 80s classics like Walk Like an Egyptian to mixes of songs that are apparently popular these days. (Not that I'd necessarily know them, mind you, as my knowledge of current music is limited to the occasional five minutes of VH1 and MTV viewing in the mornings. I mean, come on, I referenced the freaking Spice Girls in my post title, for crying out loud. Current is not my middle name.) Just the other day, we were all huffing and puffing and swaying away to a song when I actually began listening to the lyrics and realized that the singer was exhorting all the shawties to go burn up the dance floor. This had me doubled over in a paroxysm of mirth (which undoubtedly could have been mistaken for the onset of a major myocardial infarction) as there was no one in this room besides perhaps the teacher that would ever, ever be addressed as "Shawty" although it was true that the chafing action my thighs were producing in my pajama bottoms posing as exercise wear definitely would qualify as burning up...

So, anyhow, that's the story of Heather and Zumba. It nearly kills me each week, but I do enjoy the class enough to keep going back. Although it would be so much better to go with a friend, I must say. You know who you are....... But don't worry, I'll try to overcome those conspirators of comfort and laziness and get myself there, all alone, again, tomorrow. Wonder if Hubby could be persuaded to do Zumba with me...?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What do you give to the kid with the bloody eyeballs?

If you're Kiddo's godmother (and my BFF), you give her these. As a "feel better soon" kind of present, mind you.

Yep, those are gumballs in the shape of bloody eyeballs.

Kiddo thinks they're hilarious.

(That's Kiddo, her godmother, the bloody eyeball gumballs, one of the books her godmother brought her and Merlin the Halloween cat, who is apparently related to Jack, the Halloween cat Kiddo got from her godmother a couple Halloweens ago.)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Convalescence: a Big, Fat, Hairy Deal

So, our first full day of movement-restricted, post-surgical convalescence is now 14 minutes from over. Okay, technically it ended for Kiddo about 4 hours ago, but still. She is doing remarkably well overall, I think, given that just yesterday she was under general anesthesia and having surgery and all.

She did *not* sleep in and in fact was up by 6:10 when Hubby was heading out the door for work. I had been pulling for a "sleep in until at least 9 or 10" kind of morning, mostly because I was tired enough to sleep in until at least 9 or 10 myself, but no such luck. Flipping on the TV in my room and trying to roll over and go back to sleep while she watched Disney channel didn't buy me many more Zs either. Nope, Kiddo was all about getting herself set up on the couch in the family room so she could watch DVDs. (With the movement restrictions mandated by her doctor, Kiddo's usual strict limitations on "screen time" have temporarily been lifted and she is watching as much TV as she wants, so long as she's doing so while chilling out quietly on the couch.) Well, she mostly wanted to watch one DVD in particular.

This one:

I had picked this up almost as an afterthought when I was frantically scanning the shelves at Blockbuster looking for movies that (a) Kiddo hasn't seen, (b) were longer than 22 minutes, (c) were not objectionable in any way according to my admittedly puritanical judgment scale. I saw Garfield grinning up at me from a box on the lower shelf and grabbed it because Kiddo has developed quite a love for Garfield in comic book form ever since she discovered a few of my Garfield cartoon collection books sometime last year. She thoroughly enjoyed the Garfield Christmas special when I DVRed it in December, so I figured she might get a kick out of the DVD and added it to my pile.

She has now watched this DVD enough in the past 24 hours to have the dialogue, scene order and likely the closing credits memorized. And yet, she wants to watch it again. And again. And again.

Now, I've been a Garfield fan myself since I was a kid. (Side note: Garfield debuted back in 1978.) I mean, those are *my* Garfield books that Kiddo has appropriated, after all. I have watched pieces of the DVD (hard to avoid it when it's playing nonstop on our largest TV) and will confess to chuckling aloud a few times. But, still. This is not the height of comedy, folks. It's a talking cat. How many times can one human being watch the same talking cat cartoon over and over before one goes a little bit nuts? Four is the number, if you're asking about one's mother.

When the repeated viewings of Garfield and Co had hit the upper limits of my sanity threshold, I suggested a different means of entertainment, namely, playing princesses with me on the family room floor. Kiddo got a castle and all the Disney princess figurines to go with it for her birthday two years ago, except for Snow White. Well, as a "hey, I feel lousy that you have to go through all this" kind of a post-surgery present, I picked up the Snow White (who, by the by, is much more Snow Tan than Snow White) that matched the rest of the set and Kiddo was over the moon with Snow's arrival (even better that she came accompanied by bonus Dopey and Grumpy figures) when I showed her the set the night before her surgery. So, Kiddo was content to play princesses, with one teeny-tiny problem:

Those are Snow White's shoes, as held by Kiddo's not-abnormally-large, 6 year old hand. They're raisin sized and skinny and a total PITA to put on to the princesses' feet. Moreover, they're impossible to put on if you are experiencing double vision from recent eye surgery. That meant it fell to me, Man Hands Mommy, to repeatedly jam teeny-tiny princess piggies into teeny-tiny high heels. I don't even jam my own piggies into great, big heels, for Pete's sake. Haven't these girls heard of Birkenstocks? Perhaps a nice, sensible clog? After the assorted princesses had made like Cinderella one too many times and lost yet another shoe, I convinced Kiddo to let them just go barefoot since they were in the family room which has lovely, new carpeting after all.

Garfield and ridiculously minuscule footwear aside, Kiddo had some ups and downs today. Downs include the persisting double vision, eye pain and headaches (though, true to her general good spirited nature, she was joking on the phone to my mother about how she could see "all four of her feet" and how she was so happy to have "two cats" instead of one.) The two biggest downs include the having to stay still, calm and quiet (which, seriously, could someone please order me to lounge on the couch in my jammies, tucked under a fleece blanket with total dominion over the TV and someone to fetch me snacks and ginger ale? Please?) which is especially hard for my SPD kid, and the eyedrops. The steroid/antibiotic eyedrops that must be administered by me four times a day in each eye.

You wouldn't think that something as small as this:

could produce so much misery. Misery on both our parts, mind you. Kiddo gets her full-fledged freakout going on as soon as my hand approaches the airspace above her head with the bottle poised for action. Misery on my part because DANG, that bottle is small. (I photographed it with an ordinary sized pen and paper clip for reference. Note that is my tres cool, official Nanny Goats in Panties pen, courtesy of the ever-fantabulous Margaret.) The bottle is so small that it is virtually impossible to carefully squeeze out one drop into the squirming, blinking, bloody eyeball of the squirming, blinking, screaming bloody murder kid. I certainly don't want to miss, either, because those eyedrops are apparently made out of fairy wings, pixie dust and hens' eyeteeth. Or possibly gold, diamonds and George Clooney's cell phone number. Whatever they're made of, they're danged expensive and I'm not willing to waste them by spritzing them willy-nilly into the general direction of Kiddo's head in the hopes that a veritable rain shower of medicine might inadvertently make its way into her eyes in something akin to the proper dosage.

So, yeah, that? Not the fun part. Even less fun is how her tears are blood right now. Okay, fine, technically they're just bloody, not actual straight blood, but the effect is still quite disconcerting despite all the advance warning from helpful surgical staff. Also staining - Kiddo's pillowcase has some icky spots on it now, as does the shirt I was wearing yesterday.

Now then, let's talk about the ups. Kiddo has had several phone calls and emails from folks wanting to check up on her, and has felt well enough to take some of the calls in person. Kiddo loves to talk on the phone anytime for any reason, so having calls *specifically for her* is a huge thrill. She also spoke with her surgeon last night when he called to follow up on her. I don't think he speaks to many of his actual patients when he makes such calls, being a pediatric eye doctor and all, but Kiddo heard me say hello to him and requested a word. She gave him several, specifically "You know, I did NOT like what you did to my eyes, because now they're bloody and they hurt and I do not EVER want you to do that to them EVER again." Heh.

Kiddo also has had some visitors. Her in-town grandma came over yesterday and today her aide from school came over, bringing a lovely, large card that Kiddo's classmates made her. Kiddo also had a visit from one of her Daisy troop friends who lives a few blocks from us and with whom Kiddo plays during recess just about every day. She walked over with her mom and younger sister, and they came bearing get-well gifts to boot. (Who doesn't love presents? My kid sure does!) They baked us some delicious apple bread (which Kiddo and I both enjoyed during her dinner), lent Kiddo some books with tapes so she can listen while she's reading (though she was getting frustrated with the difficulty her vision was giving her with reading earlier today) and brought us the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. I had far greater appreciation for the flowers than Kiddo did, but I guess that's to be expected when one of us is six and more into endless viewings of Garfield and Odie and the other of us is closing in on 38 and has had more experience in the realm of bouquets. One can never have too many flowers, I don't think... at least I never have!

I'll leave you with a shot of the patient, listening to Howard Jones on her iPod (yes, along with appropriating my comic books from the 80s, she's also appropriated my 80s music) as she ate her orzo in chicken broth and a slice of apple bread for dinner, sitting at the table with the flowers:

Here's a close up of the flowers, because they're beautiful enough to warrant their own close up. Despite being meant for Kiddo, they really brightened up my afternoon!

At least they'll be something to look forward to when Kiddo invariably wakes up too, too early again tomorrow and wants me to get up, too...
or maybe I could just put the Garfield DVD in now and let it run so that it's playing when she gets up...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eye surgery update

We're home! The surgeon said it went very well. Kiddo is really, *really* miserable now. Her eyes hurt, her throat hurts from the intubation, she's vomiting... She's groggy but not so groggy that she is out of it and unaware of what's going on, so in true Stubborn Kid form, she's refusing to just go to bed and sleep it off. Instead, she's on the couch in the family room, tucked in with a contingent of her Stuffed Animal Entourage, a cool washcloth over her eyes, "watching" a DVD.

I'm so glad it is over and really hoping the healing goes well and completely and this surgery worked. She poked herself in the eye(lid) in the recovery room with the straw as she was leaning forward to sip some water, so now my overactive and extremely overtired imagination is envisioning complications from that. I am in dire need of sleep and food, having had neither of both since yesterday. Need to make sure she's okay first though.

The doctors, nurses and OR staff were all talking amongst themselves about how awesome a patient Kiddo was - cheerful, cooperative and extremely polite. She even used her manners when she was coming out of the anesthesia, demanding quite politely that they take the IV out and get her mom and dad using lots of "please"s. Heh. We also had a surprise visit from one of the other nurses there, who is the mom of one of Kiddo's friends from preschool. She came in to say hi and chat before the surgery and stopped by in the recovery room as well.

Thank you to everyone around the globe who said a prayer and thought good thoughts for us. It was very much appreciated!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nine and a half hours

In nine and a half hours, we'll be leaving our house to take Kiddo for her eye surgery. I have been a bit of a total nervous wreck about this for a few days now. It got to the point where I couldn't even respond to an email, Facebook comment or tweet about it without tearing up if not actually breaking down into sobs.

Fortunately, around midday today, I found these:

And then I cowboyed up...

and I managed to otherwise pull myself together so that by the time Kiddo came home from school, not only was I able to hold up my end of pleasant but mindless chitchat with our neighbors as Kiddo went around our street selling Girl Scout Cookies, but I was able to explain to her about where she's going tomorrow instead of school (for School Picture day *and* Domino's Pizza Day, nonetheless) and what's going to transpire. Whew.

Still, despite my big girl panties and my cowboying up, I'm still going to be extremely glad when it is this time tomorrow and the surgery is behind us. Sigh. I've got a pile of books, DVDs and books on CD ready and waiting, as well as a list of folks who've offered to come by to visit the patient once she's up to it and a few new toys and arts and crafts things for when her vision is improved enough that she can play. I want to get to that point of the recovery and be beyond the dreading and the counting down and the waiting.

So, in all seriousness, please, if you are a praying sort of person, would you say a prayer for us tomorrow morning around 8:30am? I won't detail the nightmares I had last night or the even worse thoughts that ran through my head as I lay awake in between them, but suffice it to say my ridiculously overactive imagination is running haywire with the thoughts of scalpels and eyeballs and anesthesia and the bad things that can happen... So, please, say a prayer or send out good thoughts or whatever it is you might be able to do, because we'll need it.

Updates to come post-surgery... Also, if you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies, I know a kid who is about to be very brave and strong who is selling some...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Phriday Photo Phiesta: Doggone it!

This is Teddy. Teddy is an 18 month old Cockapoo. Kiddo's honorary grandparents adopted him about a month ago. Kiddo's grandpa had to go to the hospital unexpectedly earlier this week for emergency spinal surgery. (He's doing very well and is expected to go home this weekend.) So, Teddy came to stay with us on Tuesday night for a few days.

Teddy loves his squeaky alligator toy. Kiddo picked it out for him as a present and gave it to him that first weekend he came home from the animal shelter.

Did I mention the alligator squeaks? It has two different squeakers inside. One is loud and sustained, the other louder and sustained-er.

He also loves his toy Kong. It doesn't squeak, but it is irregularly shaped (kinda like me) and heavy (ditto) and bounces unpredictably when it lands (ditto again), so not the best toy for playing Fetch in the house.

He loves to play Fetch. Especially with the squeaky alligator.

Kiddo loves Teddy and thinks dogsitting is a fantabulous thing. Hubby loves the dog and has taken him running in the evenings after dinner. I love him because he makes me get out of the house and exercise, and because I look less crazy when I'm walking around and talking aloud since when he's there, I'm not talking to myself, I'm talking to the dog.

The crazy cat is the one member of the family who is not so fond of the dog. She's decided that avoidance is the best policy, along with sitting just out of reach and glaring a lot, plus major hissing whenever he gets too close. She's not peeing on anything other than her kitty litter yet, though, so that seems to be a good sign. (*knock wood*)

Teddy is not crazy. He's mellow, well behaved, doesn't bite or chew on things, doesn't bark much (except at the cat), doesn't seem to shed and is crate trained. He loves to just be where the people are.
Even, it turns out, when where the people are is in the shower.


Being as near-sighted as I am, at first I thought I'd missed a spot while shaving near my ankles. Whew, close one.

I haven't been to the gym much this week, but I have been going for 2 or 3 long walks each day, along with lots of hurry up and pee so we can go back inside because it's dark and cold and drizzling and I'm freezing, shorter walks.

When we get a dog of our own (and that seems a foregone conclusion), it will be *after* we fence the back yard in so that doggy business can be conducted without the need for
hurry up and pee so we can go back inside because it's dark and cold and drizzling and I'm freezing walks in the early mornings or later evenings. Also so Kiddo can play Fetch outdoors with the dog without worry of him spotting a squirrel and taking off for Parts Unknown.

Speaking of Fetch - gotta get back to it. For more Phriday Photo Phiesta Phun, be sure to drop by Candid Carrie's!

* About the shower: yes, I know it is hideous and horrible. The pink tile - ugh. The grey and pink tile floor - double ugh. The stained, grotty grout - quintuple ugh. Kindly just notice the cute dog and not the rest of it, mmmkay? Thanks.