Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WW update 2

OK, so apparently the WW Cheerleader was right. Not that I expected my fat cells to flee like teenagers from household chores. My fat cells and I are life partners. I can't divorce them. My only hope is to kill them off one by one and hope their children don't come back to avenge their parent's death.

But I was good last week. I'm practically living on raw vegetables and food that comes in Weight Watchers boxes. And I'm working out.

So what happened when I stepped on the weekly weigh-in scale today? Up I went. Zero point two pounds.

The intern (I love her and one day I will learn her name) was quick to tell me that it was nothing and that my work outs probably are to blame.

God love her. I've fallen for that old, "muscle weighs more than fat" routine. It's a crutch that led me to stay in double digit sized jeans. My calves alone could feed a small country should I be left there and the only protein in sight. I can't really change that. But I'm not ready to give up.

But get this: in two days, I go on a four-day work trip to Miami-Ft. Lauderdale where booze and dessert and fat-filled entrees will be dangled before me 24-7. I'm determined to work out, but I don't know if I can stay on the straight and narrow. If I know me, I'll at least spend a moment or two on the curved and pudgy. I might even visit the crooked and bloated.

But I'll try.

Wish me luck. They have raw vegetables in South Florida, don't they?

Monday, January 25, 2010

The iPod Cometh

I wasn't feeling the PhotoShoot yesterday. Just didn't seem like I had enough to really report. But tonight, the inspiration arrived.

It came in a small, re-used cardboard box courtesy of eBay and while you may think Alison was the most overjoyed to see it. (The contents were, afterall, hers) Jeff was even more ecstatic.

Because, you see, the apple didn't fall far from the Reed tree. The box contained Alison's very own iPod. She has, for the past couple of months, been heisting Jeff's iPod so she could listen to "his" music as she fell to sleep. At first, he was thrilled that she loved music just like he does. And then he was over the moon that she prefers rock-and-roll to just about anything else.

Just yesterday, she asked me why I liked country music. "Is it because you grew up in the country?" she asked.

I agreed that maybe, yeah and asked her if she didn't like it even a little. "Well, it's OK, but I like rock and roll better," she said. "And hip-hop."


She and Jeff started off slowly with the Beatles and she wore a hold in a CD he made her that was mostly Crazy Frog. Axel-F was her favorite, hands down. But then, she started wanting to listen to it. All the time. First it was the B-52s and Rock Lobster. Then came Vampire Weekend.

But then Jeff shared his iPod and its gazillion tunes. Soon, it was the rare evening when 9 p.m. came and she didn't wheedle his iPod from him. She had him at, "Dad, do you think I could listen to your music?"

Her own iPod came about after much wrangling. It started, I think, when Ali found out that Jenna got an iPod for Christmas. Ali hadn't thought to ask for one -- why should she? She had Jeff's.

But when she thought of having one of her own, she was determined. She proposed the purchase first to me. I sent her to her father. They discussed budget. She has some cash laying around (she likes to have some on hand just in case), and she just sold her Leapster for $50. (She graduated to a DS lite and the Leapster has loads of great fun still in it.)

She was willing to dip into her savings account, but that was a deal breaker -- even for her music starved dad.

Now, Ali and I are not long-term shoppers. We like to get in and get out. But she suffered through going from store to store looking at new iPods and getting prices with only a little frustration. They discussed color choices.

She sat with him as they perused the hundreds of opportunities on eBay.

Music genes notwithstanding, Ali has a lot of her Auntie Jen in her, and when she discovered that she could plunk down $150 or so for a new unit or wait a few days/weeks and spend less than $50, she was in for the delay. She said she didn't care what color she'd get if she could save some money and the unit still worked.

They won their bid last week, I think, but he hasn't mentioned it since. And he's dutifully turned over his iPod to her at bedtime.

But right after dinner tonight, he whips out the box and she has no idea what's in it. She opens it and I swear to all that's holy, she swooned. I could have blown up and flown away through the chimney and neither of them would have noticed.

They've had their heads together ever since. She just now walked in, ear buds firmly in place, huge smile on her face and shared, "I got it to work!!!"

I'm never going to see either one of them again...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colts win!

Like a lot of folks in Indy, we gathered with some good friends to watch the game this afternoon. We were together for last week's win, so we have to be together for the Superbowl now. It won't be a sacrifice.

The good thing about getting together with other parents is that the kids can entertain themselves while we fixate on the game or gossip in the kitchen.

At one point this afternoon little Sarah Christoff came in on her hands and knees asking if we'd seen Alison. Neither Lisa nor I had, but we did ask why the search was on.

"We're playing cat and rodent and if we catch her, she's our lunch!" the feline Sarah informed us, turning to trot, still on all fours, to another part of the house.

Here's hoping we're all more cat than rodent this week!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WW update

After bitching about Weight Watchers last week, I feel the need not to recant but to temper my ranting just a little bit.

Today was weigh in day and while the thought of seeing the scales woke me up in a cold sweat this morning at 6:02, the big reveal showed that I have somehow rid myself of 7.2 pounds.

Do I believe it's really gone? No. It's out there hovering in the air like one of those tiny flies that you can never swat even though it keeps buzzing your face while you try to sleep. My fat likes me too much to leave for good. We've been together too long for it to just take off and leave.

So I'm not celebrating yet, but I AM sticking to the points system like grits on a redneck.

I had a conflicting meeting this morning with my WW weigh-in/meeting, so I darted in and out of it. The Mistress of Perk heard my number and this is the support she gave: "Don't expect that to continue."

She'd already given the warnings about plateauing on weight loss. I'd listened. I even followed the directions on calculating points and the extras for activity. I set my expectations really low.

I know it's going to get harder. And I know she was just trying to help. Hell, I don't even believe the scales. But a little: "You go girl" might have been better received.

Earlier in the week, I was describing my nascent WW experience to Jeff and Alison said, "What's perky" mean anyway? How can you be too perky?"

Cringing that I'd been less than nice about someone in front of Ali, I said, "It means too happy. You know, someone who's too cheerful and tries to push you into being too happy with them."

"Did you say too heavy?" she asked.

I sighed. "HAPPY. I said HAPPY."

So I remain too heavy but happy that this WW thing might not actually be a scam....Light some candles for me.... it's the start of another week and my great success on the scales means I lost a whole point of food I could have otherwise eaten!

No good deed...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lazy PhotoShoot

We're having a very lazy Sunday after staying up late to watch the Colts win against the Ravens. Ali and Jeff have tomorrow off from school and work, which I'll be back in the salt mines of Angie's List.

So today, we're taking it easy: me in anticipation of a busy but fun work week and those two layabouts just because they can.

We haven't been true sloths. Jeff played basketball and Alison re-created Mount Rushmore with modeling clay and she's finishing up her homework now. The clay mountain is part of a school project due Friday. It should be fun to see if the round balls designating the dead presidents get any more humanoid in the next five days.

I'm fighting the urge to maintain the point count for what's now Day 5 of Weight Watchers. Yeah, I've caved in to the group think that has helped millions drop some lbs. I've done OK, though I'm seriously amazed at how tiny portions can be.

My fat ass and I are living proof of what country living will do to you. Well, OK. if that country didn't consider food cooked unless there was bacon grease somewhere in the pan. While it's been a long while since I lived in the country, the fat cells I cultivated there are clinging on like chubby baby monkeys. It's hard to club a baby monkey. Even fat ones. Really. I've tried.

I haven't worked out this weekend, but I put in four days at the company gym, and I'll be back at it tomorrow. You earn extra points if you work out, but not enough to make it worthwhile. If I could have a bag of Hersey kisses after working out, I might work out harder. Anything less just doesn't seem worth it.

Anyway, wish me luck with Weight Watchers. If I don't strangle our perky WW Team Leader by Week 4, I'll at least survive the program without a felony.

Note to Jen: you'll be proud to know that my fridge and cupboard is now full of imaginary food. How long, again, before my body believes in it?

The shot today is Alison's first successful bubble gum bubble. She's been trying, off and on, for about a year to get it right. Her Aunt Lois showed off a huge bubble on New Year's Even. Ali has a ways to go. And now that Valentine's Day is among us (at least in retail land) she's off gum and on those tiny hearts with little stamped message on them.

I wonder if those teeny tiny hearts have a Weight Watchers point value....

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Sometimes I worry that Alison is going to be one of those self-centered only children who think they're the focus of the world and that everything should stop when they need something.

I can't count how many times people have advised me that I should have another one to stave off the "only child syndrome. For the record, if it was that easy, yeah, we'd have had another. It wasn't. Leave me alone. We're just find thank you very much.

Alison isn't really suffering anyway because she has pseudo siblings in the Ogdens and the Tokashes. And I'm grateful every day that Karin and Amy let us share.

I teased Alex Friday night that I considered him my almost son and Ali's almost brother. He'd been telling me about a club he's joined called Brothers from Other Mothers. It sounds a little crazy New Age hippy stuff, but really it's a bunch of boys who are around the same age and are buddies. Kind of like the Boy Scouts but with moms instead of dads.......Why? I don't know. I just know it exists and gave me reason to tell Alex that he was like a son/brother to us.

This set him and Ali down a path of deciding that he'd spend a year living with us and then a year with his own Mom. He thought he'd probably miss his mom too much so he thought he'd go month to month. It was funny.

Anyway, after a hilarious Friday night/Saturday morning with Alex, Ali got to spend Saturday afternoon/Sunday morning with Jenna and Drew.

After a quick movie with me, I got the girls to Amy's around 3 or so. They disappeared immediately and I was off. Here's the highlight of the sleepover, courtesy of Ms. Tokash:

After spending time hanging out in the basement entertaining themselves, the girls decided to see what was going on upstairs. Drew had been happily watching football in a giggling girl-free zone.

The Tokash home is a racing, hockey, fishing, any sport with a ball kind of home. They never miss the Colts, and most of the games/events on the big screen attract the whole family. At our house, Ali and I are fair weather sports fans. We'll stay in the room to watch baseball or football with Jeff -- for a little while -- but we don't really pay attention.

At Team Tokash, Jenna's been so exposed to it so often, that she's at least familiar with terms like downs and passing. She plays that game where one person holds their fingers up like goal posts and someone flicks a ball through. But she doesn't really pay attention either. More than Ali and I, for sure, but she couldn't call a game or anything.

Drew, on the other hand, is his father's son. He's 10, a veteran of the Little League and a curren hockey All Star. He cheers. He groans. He does everything but spit and curse the men in stripes. He's served the longest tour of duty as Alison's brother by another mother, and he's endured countless hours of Ali and Jenna.

They torment each other -- not the point of near death like I suffered as a kid from my real-life siblings (say it with me: 7 is too many) -- but to them, it's still torture.

Anyway, after staying out of everyone's way with their squeals and dance moves, the girls invade the family room where the NFL playoffs are on the big screen.

"Hey, Drew who do you want to win, the Jets or the Tigers?" Ali asked, making an effort.

"They're not Tigers, they're Bengals," he replied.

"Well they look like tigers to me," she asserts. (Those glasses are helping...)

"Well, I know," Drew says patiently. He is 10, after all; the girls are just 8. He likes Ali. "But they're Bengals, and Bengals are kind of a tiger."

Either Drew didn't follow the National Geographic Kids definition of what a Bengal tiger is or Alison just wasn't on her, um, game, but she didn't quite understand. And she kept pressing home her point that they were orange and striped so they must be tigers. After about 10 minutes, Drew was just done with the whole thing.

So Jenna chimed in "What's a Bengal?"

"I told you! Bengals are kind of a tiger," he exploded. "Can I just watch the game? What are you guys doing up here anyway?

I'm not sure how Amy got them out of there, but it likely involved the great equalizer: food.

The next morning, Drew had a hockey game and the girls were outside. Amy noticed that Alison was in the snow without her hat and yelled at her to put it back on. (She's still crowing about last week's frigid bike ride and her better mothering skills.)

"Um. I can't Miss Amy. We filled my hat full of snowballs so we can pelt Drew when he gets home."

I think she's all set on the sibling front.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Big Chill

In retrospect, riding our bikes to the newspaper stand might not have been the best idea this morning.

At the time, though, it seemed like the right thing to do: we'd been virtual slugs since we go home, minus all the work to have a tiny NYE part, de-Christmas the house, unpack and basically get back to life after a week in Maine.

Maybe it was the relatively balmy weather that caused me to forget that it's winter, but in any event, I tore Alison away from the television where she'd been affixed like Mighty Putty and declared we were going to get the paper.

We could have walked, but I thought the bikes would be faster, and she'd wanted to get them out a few weeks ago.

Jeff got home from basketball before we went, so off we wheeled.

"Mo-om. I'm cold," complained my little screen addict.

"It'll get better," I said, "Let's go!"

Alison eschews layering even in the dead of winter, but I'd tried to bundle her. I failed to layer her pants, though, and she'd complained that her hat didn't fit under her bike helmet. But the sun was out and I thought it wouldn't be too, too bad.

What I didn't know was that it was 17 degrees out. And I'd forgotten how much wind you generate when you're on a bike. Even going slowly, it's like sticking your head in the freezer and having a wind tunnel at the back blowing bits of invisible ice against your ears.

Ears aren't much meant for cold weather. She complained the entire way, her tears freezing on her little cheeks. I would probably have turned back by the time we got to the park, but we were with Captain Reed, who has the mistaken beleif that Ali needs to toughen up.

So we soldiered on. He warned her to be careful coming down the hill because one portion of the street was ice-covered. She did well through it but wiped out on a smaller patch of ice about a block away.

"I want to go home," she said for the 195th time. I think she would have sobbed but it was too cold for her emotions to flow freely.

"We're almost there, honey," I said, "We'll zip in, get warm and zip right back home. It'll get better. I promise."

She looked at me, red-faced, miserable. "I think my fingers have fallen off inside my gloves," she wailed.

Pretty sure hypothermia was still hours away, I encouraged her to get up and we'd be home in no time.

The captain was frustrated. He stopped, looked back from his bike and told me to stop babying her.

I'm there in the street, guilt-ridden for pulling my baby out in the frigid air and wondering if I can convince him to go get the car and he tells her, essentially, to "man up."

She's 8. It was frickin' 17 degrees outside. And she'd wiped out on a patch of ice on her bicycle.

We didn't yell at each other; we didn't even curse. Hell, maybe we did but our words got frozen in those quote bubbles you see in the comics. They could still be hanging there in the air in Forest Hills, waiting for the Spring thaw.

In any case, she got up, we biked onward and got to the newspaper stand. Jeff got there before us and from the sound of things, Matt was clued in to the angst. I got Ali in the door, put my ear muffs on her and gave her my gloves. We got the paper and went back out to face the frozen tundra.

By the time we got back to the park, I could see the house and it was all I could do not to sob, "I want to go home." My ears were bare, my hands were freezing and I swear the wind was playing tag with itself inside my fleece jacket. Ali, however, was doing well.

I warmed her up with some piping hot Ramen and she was de-icicled in no time.

We stayed inside the rest of the day. We had a visit from Drew, Jenna, Amy and Aunt La so all was forgiven and/or forgotten.

Amy awarded me Mother of the Year 2010, and I have to admit I deserve the title. She'd been carrying it around since she took Jenna to day care without a diaper on the day Jenna decided to have explosive diahrrea.

It's early. She has plenty of time to win it back.