Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weight loss for moms of toddlers

I'm beginning to think that such a thing does not exist. Unless you just don't mind wasting food. I do. I mind throwing away an entire bowl of raisin bran with freshly poured milk because someone noticed there were miniwheats or cheerios. I mind the 1.5 inch margin of crust with nutella or pbj that had to be abandoned because it wasn't the middle of the sandwich and there was a ball somewhere. I also am vulnerable to half eaten bits of chocolate laying on the table, the first several gulps of root beer because the more I drink, the less they spill, and the cake left behind after the frosting got licked off.

In addition to these temptations, there is also the issue of what they do when I try to do something healthy like walk on the treadmill. I'm on the treadmill, they need to go potty, but they don't "how". Or I'm on the treadmill, and they are pretending the back of the treadmill is a jungle gym. Or I'm on the treadmill and she's sitting on his head and he can't breathe.

These are all hypothetical situations, of course.

Then there are birthdays and holidays. From mid February to Mother's Day, we have either a birthday or holiday nearly every two weeks, just long enough to not set up a pattern of healthy eating long enough to be able to stick to it through a Challenging Event Involving Delicious Food, like Easter, Valentine's Day, a birthday or Mother's Day.

Tonight I went out with a friend for dinner and made a pretty healthy choice, drank water, was on track. I came home and loaded the dishwasher. There were 3.5 toasted raviolis on a plate. I'm not going to let those things just die. My husband worked long hours earning the money to pay for those suckers. My daughter labored for minutes to cook them. There are children starving in Africa for crying out loud. And, yeah, I could have put them in a baggy in the fridge. In fact I did put them in a baggy. Then I got them back out. And I ate them all!

I'm not really trying to excuse my weakness for my kids' food. I know better. Some days I have the will power to be the mom I want to be, to set a good example, to suck down the spinach smoothie at breakfast and go through the effort to make the completely comfortless salad for lunch. Other days, most days, I don't. Some days I reach all the way in and find a trace of the faithfulness of my Maker that He put in me, and I get on the stupid piece of crap treadmill and walk nowhere for 20 or 30 minutes. Some days I don't. Usually because I'm doing something fun like reading really entertaining literature called my kids papers on communism or taking a child to the amusement park we know as the pediatrician's office. Or maybe even because I got to go get the heck drilled out of another molar and have several (ugh) impressions made so they can give me a new expensive tooth to replace the other one I used to have before they drilled the heck out of it.

It just isn't the easiest thing to change. That's all. I'm not good at it sometimes. And right now is one of those times. Not giving up. Fessing up. That's all.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Some days are like that ...

I had a day like that recently.

My big kids were finishing up book reports. Equals - not maybe as helpful as sometimes are.

Second tier big kids, well, daughter number 2 is a reader. I can pull her out of her book. With effort. In an emergency.

So I was down to kid-5, who is mostly extremely helpful, but is also mostly kid.

The weird thing was that the next 4 kids were missing, at a friend's house. You would think that would make everything easier. You would be wrong.

The 6-11 year old crowd are the go-getters. They're the ones you send to the bathroom to see what the terrorists are up to. They are the brute squad. They put babies in bed, hold crying infant while mom goes to the potty, tattle on whomever for whatever. They are important people. And they were gone.

All I really had was kid-5, who sometimes does a freakish hormonal downward spiral thing, and the smallest 5. I have 5 pre-schoolers. Five.

Kid-10 is the platinum curled, blue-eyed, snuggler, the manipulator. Kid-11 is my gorgeous, ornery beyond my wildest imagination, and makes a hobby of pushing k-10's buttons, and biting kid-12. Kid-12 is anal, uptight, particular, intense, and has me completely whipped. He is also a very easy target for k-11, especially since she bites and he is frequently naked. Kid-13 is pretty much standard issue 20 month old, climbing on tables and counters and throwing everything from them down to the floor. Kid-14 is a baby. Cute. Vulnerable. Nurses or cries or sleeps.

It was a long day. (I should mention that I did sneak out for a lovely lunch with some young friends who have been in my life for a long time.)

The middles arrived home just in time to leave for Awana. My plan (mastermind) was to leave husband at home to get work done and hook up with another mom while kiddos played. However, my friend got her hair cut instead (it looks lovely) and I was alone, in a small room with lots of toys which hurt when thrown but don't leave a mark. There is a little miniature playgroundish thingy in that room, which k11 and k12 decided needed repurposing, so, instead of going up the little steps and down the little slide, they jumped off the other two sides, under the rails, head first. Repeatedly. Screaming bloody murder. I wasn't really concerned about the concussive activity, just the screaming.

Well meaning adults kept peeking in on me, and walking away quietly with heads bowed.

Right about the time I had had enough, one of the three year olds winged a small plastic banana across the room, tagging me in the back of the head. I rapidly moved to deal with child and banana, and the other three yr old, as if on cue, from a movie script, made a one in a million shot smacking me in the face with the same flying banana. It was stunning.

I cried. Hard.

Then kid-12, who you'll remember has me whipped, takes my face in his little hands and looks in my eyes with his big blue ones and says, somberly, "Mommy, you be ok. It ok. You ok Mommy."
It was so cute, I decided not to murder anyone.

I said very few words on the way home. I did text my husband to insure he had gotten lots of important work done on the back of my banana beaten labor. He did.
I stayed up later than 42 year olds should reading about Islam in my kids' papers, was up during the night with the mostly sleeping through the night baby who went to bed with a less than fresh diaper, and was up early ironing a shirt for my man, because I am ironing pretty much day to day right now.

Treadmill? Ha! Eating healthy? No. Getting by? Yes indeed, and that will have to do for right now.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I lift my eyes to the hills
Whence cometh my help?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of heaven and earth

Ok, I'm quoting that from memory, half from the Bible, half from songs people have written from the Bible.

And it's a funny passage, because I've heard it interpreted different ways. Some people say/sing it in a way that kind of makes it sound like our help comes from the Lord via those hills. (Cue: Climb Every Mountain from The Sound of Music). I've heard others say something along the lines of the opposite, that people were building false altars on the high places, and the psalmist is saying, "Ya'll can go to the hills, but MY help comes from the Lord."

Either way, I think we all pretty much mean the same thing. Our eggs are all in one basket: His. (nice little Easter touch, eh?)

I recently hit a roadblock of faith. I need God to move. I need to see Him move. I don't want to pull a Hagar/Abram/Sarai type of stunt, in which I have a pretty good feel for what God is going to do but assume He needs me to take over. But I also see that I have some responsibility to walk in what He does give me to do. (That whole thing we made up that isn't really in the Bible but is maybe sort of true: God helps those who help themselves.)

So I shut down and gave up and stopped trying for a month or so. And the nearer I stayed to the Lord, the more grace I had for what wasn't changing. But I wasn't always near. And the farther away I got, the more sarcastic and snippity I was, and nasty, and spewing and flailing. And nobody likes me like that. And one day I just said, "This isn't working."

I don't think God wants me to sit on my hands and stew. And I don't think He wants me to take over and assume He's apathetic. I think He wants me near, and nearer, and still near. Everything else is details.

So my baby steps are just that, and I'm holding His hands, and if I let go, I will fall and get a bloody lip. But then He'll give me a popsicle, a red one, so my friends don't all know what a mess I am, maybe. And we'll try again.

It's like that with everything. The point is not winning or succeeding or losing or failing. The point is nearness. The rest is background.

My hope is in the One Who made heaven and earth. A thousand may fall at my side, and 10,000 at my right hand. But my hope is in the Lord. He will not allow my foot to stumble.

Here's an old song that doesn't fit the modern American church:

Let sorrow do its work
Send grief and pain
Sweet are Thy messengers
Sweet their refrain
When they can sing with me,
"More love, Oh Christ, to Thee"
More love to Thee
More love to Thee