Thursday, November 29, 2012

A letter to my 18-month-old

ThumperNatureMuseum My dearest littlest,

You are now a year and a half, but instead of lamenting just how big or old you already are, as I most often do these days – because, let’s face it, you’re my last baby and it’s hard to let that go – I’m going to celebrate it.

18 months is such a great age. You are now sure of your gait, although missteps and spills are still a daily, if not hourly, occurrence. You follow your sister endlessly, yet when she tries to boss you around, you’re not afraid to stand your ground, your own minute frame against hers as you out-scream her. And boy, that scream? I will not miss. But then again, it’s also a good deterrent for anyone who tries to mess with you. Even me.

We’ve referred to you as our easy, laidback baby. At the back of my mind, I was afraid Little Miss would walk all over you, but you’ve put my fear to rest. I think you’re going to do just fine.

DressUpTime Dress-up time!

When you’re not fighting, I see an emerging best friendship with your sister, and it melts me completely. I love hearing you both on the monitor in the mornings, playing, giggling. What a way for me to be awakened! You’re also often concerned when she’s crying, and you would walk over to console her. You’d sometimes even give up the toy you had first in your hand, just to appease her.  I’m not sure if it’s a little sister thing or if it’s just your personality, but if there is peace to be had in our house, it is you who often initiates it.

Lately, however, signs of the impending Terrible Twos are emerging as you continue to push your boundaries, climbing on tables, spitting and hitting when upset. I know this change is inevitable, and maybe it’s all the more reason for me to capture you as you are now because today, you're an absolute delight.

I admit, we still think it’s adorable when you’re pouty and cranky. We also have the luxury of blaming your undesirable behavior on teething woes, but this won’t last very long, I know. You’ll soon have all 20 baby teeth (you already have 16!), and the tantrums won’t be so cute anymore.

 CheekyLilThingThe cheeky and mischievous look? Still cute.

But I digress.

Let’s get back to the part where you’re awesome. Because you are. I love that you’re so goofy and funny, even though only a handful of people – the lucky few – are privy to that side of you. Ever since you were born, you’ve always met people, familiar or otherwise, with the same serious look on your face, as if you’re studying them behind cyborg lenses, waiting for all of the digital information to appear before you would make the decision to open up to them (see the movie, Terminator, for reference, although she’s far less menacing than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character).

SeriousFace
Serious face.

 ThanksgivingFamily2012
See? She can be goofy.

Your smiles and giggles, often synonymous with your trust, are reserved for those who earn them. Thankfully, I have, because goodness gracious girl, when you burst forth with your twinkling eyes and belly laughs, I just want to swallow you whole – in a good way. In contrast to your tween-in-training sister, who’s often sullen these days, I find your easygoing nature such a refreshing change. A warm, gentle hug on icy days.

Because I’ve been home with you, we spend a lot of time snuggling and talking. And when I say talking, I mean you point and say words that I guess at and get right most of the time, not all. You started forming words at 12 months, but it was at 15 that they rapidly multiplied.

Your doctor was surprised that at your 15-month visit, you knew that many words, but then again, she could barely tell what you were saying. She doesn’t have the stay-home-all-day-with-you advantage like I do. I also learned that it’s crucial to note the context surrounding your words because when you say “Beebah”, it could mean zebra, pizza, or Beeka, your sister’s pink bunny, her favorite sleeping buddy.

“Duck” could mean duck, truck, or stuck. Context is king. When you’re struggling to get out of a tight spot and you’re yelling, “Duck! Duck! App! App!”, it’s safe to assume that you’re saying, I’m stuck, help, and not that you’re afraid of ducks.

You’ve lately been putting together two- to three-word sentences, like “Bye Bye Mama”, “Dinkiew (Thank you) Dada”, “No! Mine!”, “There it is!”, “Where Dada go?”, “Dada mo doop mees” (more soup please), and “This my butt-butt”. That last one was uttered on the changing table, with a finger aiming at your naked behind. Very important stuff.

You also make up your own phrases, like “Down me!” when you want to get down, and even though you know how to say cat, you continue to refer to ours as “Mau” (Meow). I love hearing that because that’s exactly how we say it in Cantonese, and I’d like to pretend you know another language. My own mother tongue, nonetheless!

Something else you’ve been doing recently that utterly disarms us is that you’ve started to relate your surroundings to the hierarchy in our family as you understand it. For example, when you see similar shapes in different sizes, you point to each and assign them roles you grasp well: mama, dada, baby.

We noticed that when you pointed at the stars in your story books. The biggest star was “dada”, medium was “mama” and the little ones were “baby”. And all this time, I was thinking, once you start to understand and learn the words of our language, the world will open up to you, when in fact, I’m only half right – you are opening yours to us too!

And what a wonderful world, my dear girl. I feel like I’ve written so much here, yet it doesn’t even come close to capturing just how incredible you are. You, who completed our family when you arrived 18 months ago. You, who is still, and perhaps will always be, my baby. I call you that so much that when we ask you your name, you reply with, “Baby!”

You, who is the bright start of my morning, and the highlight of my night as I think back upon some of our sweetest moments together throughout the day. You, who were the catalyst for one of the biggest changes of my life yet – from being a full-time working mom to a stay-at-home mom.

However, every time I think about the career from which I veered away and the lifestyle we’ve had to sacrifice because I chose to stay home with you, I don’t feel a sense of loss at all. In fact, I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling and rewarding than to be here, right by your side, deciphering your sounds, making sure that your “tuhdle” meant you wanted to eat some noodles, and not a turtle.

I love you more than the mama, dada and baby stars in the sky. More than you’ll ever know.

Always,
Your mama.

 

GoofyGirls

Monday, November 26, 2012

I think I can, I think I can…

5KRace
On a balmy, 60-degree Thanksgiving day this year, I ran my first 5K Race. If I had told my one-year-ago self that this would happen, I would never have believed it. Before this, I couldn’t get past three minutes of straight running without feeling like I was going to die, and yet, I now have a race bib and an ugly turkey sweatshirt to prove it. (Why’s racing gear often so unattractive?)

And you know what else? I didn’t run alone. My Guy ran it with me. Double shocker. In the seven years we’ve been together, he’s worked out maybe 25 times. Okay, I’m exaggerating. It’s 30. At most. But now you’ll find our matching sweatshirt in our closet (where they’ll mostly stay) to prove that we’ve achieved what we once thought was impossible.

When I decided to try running in early September this year, I suggested that he gave it a shot as well. Much to my surprise, he did. However, we never ran together before our race because someone had to stay home to watch the kids while the other hit the pavement, which means our little Turkey Trot held a couple of firsts for us - running together and completing a race. The jerk also beat me, in case you’re wondering, but, in all seriousness, I’m incredibly proud of him. Well, us, to be honest.

We then went home and enjoyed the rest of our Thanksgiving Day with our family and friends, minus the guilt of that extra serving of stuffing and pie. But that isn’t the end of the story.

I continue to run, practicing 10K’s on my own, feeling strong, capable, and empowered after each session. And while this motivates me to keep going, I also notice how much more open I am these days to trying new things and challenging myself. And I think it has something to do with running.

Since early Fall, I have been on a mission to give the girls’ room a makeover, and instead of purchasing decor like I used to, I started to create simple little accent pieces on my own. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but had you met me a year ago, you would understand what a feat this is for me.

My lack of time and drive, plus having the luxury of my own paycheck from a full-time job, had made me perfectly content to turn to retail to spruce up our house. With the exception of making thank you cards and party decor once or twice a year for my girls’ birthday parties, I didn’t think I was creative enough or patient enough or precise enough to make anything worthy to be displayed. Leave it to the experts, I would think.

Lately, however, I’ve started to see the appeal of toiling away to create something, even if it takes me longer than most, because the result, even if it’s imperfect, is far more satisfying than anything I can buy from the stores.

ButterflyMobileCollage

Like this butterfly mobile for example. I happened upon it on my favorite DIY craft blog while I was looking around for a guide on making our last project, the Fall banner, and I thought it would be perfect for the girls’ room, right above Thumper’s crib. We had already painted one of the walls hot pink, as per Little Miss’ request, and we needed some colorful accents to complement the wall.

What took the blogger probably two hours to make took this newbie crafter closer to four as I had to make a few modifications due to the lack of recommended tools, but I was happy with the results. It’s far from perfect, but it’s homemade, and it looks the part. I’m okay with that.

Just like these wall cubes that were inspired by a picture I saw on the Internet. This time, I only had my own vision to guide me. With no instructions, I had to wing it. For someone who loves decorative paper and appreciates paper crafts, this was a dream project for me.

YellowCubeI can’t tell you how happy this yellow makes me, painted at around midnight one Saturday.

PaperCubesBird motif on the paper. Not surprising, considering the theme of my blog.


It took me several shopping trips to gather the materials and a few late nights of labor to paint the plain white cubes from Target, and size and adhere the carefully chosen paper to the cubes. At the end, it felt like I had just given birth to a set of wall cubes rather than just embellishing them - that’s how proud I was of them.

WallCubesCollage
I think our Star Wars friends feel right at home here, don’t you?

The sense of accomplishment is addictive. Much like running. I’m not in it to compete with others; just crossing the finish line, knowing I had achieved what I had set out to do, was a win in my book.

I realize now just what a gift this new (hobby? sport?) is to me, and it goes far beyond the calories I burn and the muscles I build. I started at a pace and distance my preschooler could probably match, and now I’m running my own 10K’s with relative ease, repeating a mantra to get me through the hardest parts, one foot in front of the other - I can do this.

Apparently, the can-do spirit  has spilled over to the other aspects of my life. Who knew that running would also influence my crafty side? It has even improved my yoga practice! I don’t think twice now about kicking up to a headstand in the middle of the room, whereas I never could before. Granted, I haven’t perfected my pose yet – my legs and torso still do not form a straight line – but I have no doubt I will get there.

This new confidence is invigorating, and, for the sake of my daughters, I hope it’s also infectious. My one-year-ago self would not recognize the me today, but it’s a good thing. Because now I don’t just think I can accomplish anything I set out to achieve; I know I can.

It’s just a matter of time.

CraftyFamily A family crafting session. All can-doers have to start somewhere right?

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It was not my dream birthday, and that’s why it was perfect

 candles 

It all started with this birthday banner we saw on the Internet for a kids party, “May the Fourth be with you!” For a couple of nerds with an affinity for puns, that did it for us. We quickly scrapped the Star Wars themed party idea for Little Miss’ third birthday and decided to save it for this year instead.

She was already a fan even before she saw the movies (thank you, ingenious Star Wars ABC books), and we thought we’d have the year to mold her into a nerd in our likeness. Except, something happened along the way.

Disney.

The transformation was quick and insidious. My little girl, who could hum Darth Vader’s Imperial March, started to sing Disney songs from Beauty & the Beast and Little Mermaid. The girl who could tell the difference between an X-Wing and a TIE Fighter began asking for tiaras. I panicked, what is happening to my little girl??!

Well, I guess a little girl happened to my little girl.

I was just too proud of this girl who asked for a Darth Vader last Christmas to admit that her allegiance had changed. She had moved on from the Empire to the empire with a franchise on happily ever after.

I saw the transformation, and yet I was in denial when it came time to plan her fourth birthday party. Maybe, perhaps, hopefully, she’d still be excited for a Star Wars party. She could be Princess Leia! And My Guy and I convinced ourselves it could work.

The guests would be different characters in the movie, and we’d have a quest, with Leia leading the troop. Her little sister could be an Ewok; there’d be light sabers and a pretty impressive Storm Trooper, courtesy of Little Miss’ uncle’s incredible costume from this Halloween. It would be so cool. She would love it.

But as the day to her party neared, I found myself losing my conviction. Would she really? Then the details of Disney’s infiltration in our lives slowly came back to me.

The Pandora music party we had almost every day in the summer, where the girls and I danced to Disney tunes. The thing is, I knew the words and sang to most of them, and I still do when I put my girls to bed at night.

Little Miss would request, “Mommy, please sing Tale as Old as Time...” (from Beauty & the Beast).

And I gladly do, with 17-month-old Thumper in my arms, another Disney casualty, humming along. At the end of the song, where Mrs. Potts says, “Off to the cupboard now Chip” is what I say each time I lay Thumper in her crib. Even when I don’t sing that song. It has become our thing.

Then there were the Disney Princess movies that would enthrall Little Miss and the fairy tales she’d ask us to read her at bedtime. Over and over and over. Until she could recite the easier stories, word for word, from memory.

As someone who loathed the idea of a princess having to be beautiful just so she could be saved by a prince someday, I couldn’t stomach the idea of my daughter modeling after that. I am determined to raise strong, independent girls who use their talent and wit, not their beauty, to get ahead.

But when I overheard my little girl sadly admitting no to a friend who asked if she had any princess dress-up costumes for their play date, I knew this couldn’t just be about the woman Little Miss would someday become. This has to be about the little girl she is now. The one who was crestfallen she didn’t have the things she wanted the most because I was too stubborn to give in. The one who simply wished to emulate the beauty she admired - something most of us do on a regular basis. (People magazine, hello?)

That’s when I decided to snap out of it. There is certainly a time for Princess Leia and all that girl power stuff; this just wasn’t one of them.

Little Miss loves her pink and princesses. And that is what she had. With some purple, her second favorite color, thrown in for good measure. By the end of the party, I was dreaming in pink and purple. Or rather, lavender.

CupcakeStand  

The funny thing was, I thought I’d dread the party-planning process, so opposed I was to the princessification of my daughter, but, much to my own surprise, I was wrong. That was the same time that I came across this quote on Lindsey Mead’s Facebook page, which, ironically (serendipitously?), was posted on the actual day of my daughter’s birthday:

“Joy is being willing for things to be as they are.”
― Charlotte Joko Beck

Suddenly, everything snapped into place. The party, the planning, and above all, my own pleasure in putting it all together. They all started to make perfect sense to me. It wasn’t just about celebrating my daughter’s age. It was about celebrating my daughter and every ounce of that little girl she was - Disney princess hopeful and all.

PrincessParadea parade of princesses

When I let go of my own expectations, I was finally able to delight in the process and create the same for her. And that’s how, between laboring over the right kind of pink and lavender cupcakes to match the balloons we strung up the night before the party, and the little prancing princess in one of her many new dress-up costumes, I had found my own joy.

BalloonsThe balloons are still up. Because it makes us all happy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A birthday letter to Little Miss Four-Year-Old

SmileyPrincess2
My dearest Little Miss,

Today, you are four. I can’t believe you’re actually, finally here. It seems like you’ve been three for the longest time. Before you even turned three, with friends about a year older than you, it felt like you were already there. And when they turned four, you did in our minds too, for some reason. Yet, you were only three.

But now you’re four, “for real,” as you would say. I’ve been a little afraid to write this letter, not trusting my own stream of consciousness and where it would take me. Because, to be perfectly honest, this past year was difficult. I’ve written about my struggle with you and my shortcomings as a parent when it comes to dealing with a headstrong three-year-old who seems hell-bent on living her life on the contrary.

I acknowledged that I know you don’t mean to be difficult. I know you’re just being, well, three. Boundaries are meant to be tested – at least at your age. And that means sometimes we have spectacular days. Sometimes, not so much. But every day, we try. And I love that we do.

I also love that from you, I learn forgiveness. As mad as you get with me from the heat of the moment, your anger dissipates as quickly as it rises. It’s all tulips and roses with us again, even before the tears dry from your face. And you don’t begrudge me my decisions. You just forget them. Conveniently.

From you, I also learn patience. Actually, I fail at that quite miserably a lot, but your capacity to forgive makes it easier for me to keep trying. And perhaps someday I will be better, because I want to be, so desperately, for both your sake and mine.

You know what else I love? Your smile.

SmileyPrincess
Your bright, beautiful, sunshine-y smile. Its cheeriness only made more brilliant by your white, baby teeth - even the one that’s slightly chipped, reminding me to always caution you against playing in the bathroom downstairs, the offending area in which you lost that miniscule part of your front tooth when you fell from the stool and hit the sink.

But one of the best things I love about you is how you proudly wear your role as big sister. We were at a new play area one day, and the first thing you did was to pick out toys you knew your sister would enjoy. “Look, Thumper, a choo-choo!”

Then you found other toys and taught her how to play with them.

“This is how you cut the pizza. Can you say pizza?”
“Beep-Pa”
“Good job, Thumper!”

A mom nearby admired your ability to think of your sister first before plowing into the toys that interested you. It’s not new to me, of course, but it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who notices.

I’ve always felt I could trust you, even at three (and now four), to look out for your sister, which is why I don’t hesitate to leave you two to play together in your room, behind closed doors. My instincts aren’t perfect of course, but then again, what is? I still need to give you the chance to succeed, and more often than not, you’ve proven that you’re up to your big sisterly tasks.

And that makes me so incredibly proud of you.

SistersInJammies

The fact that you’re a four-year-old who eats just about everything we place before you? Bonus. You are still a slow and distracted eater, but never picky. Words like dim sum, shrimp, injera, dosa, parsnip, rainbow chard, sushi and clams are all in your vocabulary because you have consumed them. Sometimes with glee.

ConeDosa

For someone who loves food as much as I do, it’s a wonderful thing.

I started off this letter with some trepidation because it felt like the rough year we’ve had would darken the hue of this letter. Yet when it comes down to it, those were mere moments of anger and helplessness. They were not you. Writing this is a good exercise for me, because it forces me to see that.

Despite those less-than-stellar moments, the you whom I love still shines through. I don’t always see it when we’re swimming (drowning?) in the muck, but I see it now. Clearly. Unequivocally.

I see the girl who is torn between wanting to stay little and being a mommy’s baby, and wanting to be heard like a big girl, demanding our attention with big words and exerting your influence on your sister (a.k.a. bossing her around). “No, Thumper, do it this way!”

I see the girlie girl who is a blur of pink and princesses (despite our best efforts to steer you away from this phase). A courageous girl, undaunted by novelty, tearless on your first day at the new preschool this year. A sentimental girl, who misses your friends from your old school despite swiftly making new ones at the new place.

On some days, my heart aches for the girl who used to be this tiny little bundle.

LittleMissTinyBaby

But I console myself with the fact that there is so much to look forward to with you. So much for you to discover. And in the process, grow and change. I could dwell in the loss of the little girl I once held in my arms, or I could celebrate the girl you are right now.

Today, to commemorate your birth, I choose the latter. I’m excited for the person you will become, but I want to savor this one right here in front of me. One who’s sassy, smart, sweet, funny, obstinate, goofy, and every bit as lovely as you are loving.

Happy birthday my not-so-little-anymore Miss. I love you fiercely and completely, and I am, as always, so honored to be your mother.

With all my heart,
Your mommy.

AdlerCollageBW

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This is who we are

You know how you have these moments with your family where your heart swells a million times its size, and you just want to squeeze each one of your loves (the big one and the little ones) till they pop? Well, I’ve had a few of those lately.

Actually it happens a lot, but more often than not, these moments escape me through that rabbit hole in my mind. And it’s sad when I can’t remember that funny thing Little Miss said, or the hilarious reaction from Thumper. What was it again?

These moments are small, seemingly insignificant in the grand scheme of things because they’re fleeting, and as such, easily forgotten. Today, I want to bottle some of those up right here, for the someday where we may need them to remind us that it’s moments like these that make us who we are as a family. And why, no matter where life takes us, this is where we will always belong.

* * *

(Naturally, a family of eaters will have plenty of food-related stories.)

Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is a hit in our house. It’s so easy to make, and everyone loves it in their own way. All white meat for daddy, back, wings and thighs for me, and skin and drumsticks for Little Miss, who’s starting to be adept at eating bone-in chicken, which makes my Asian genes tingle.  As for the little one, she’s happy with anything. It’s like we all have our assigned parts, with Thumper as our backup.

The only problem is that we never have any leftovers.

ChickenCarcass

Dynamic Dinner Duo

My Guy and I decided to make dinner together one evening, dividing the task by preparing our own course. I made salad with some spicy candied walnuts that I whipped up that evening, sprinkled over some pear, dried cranberries and goat cheese on a bed of greens in balsamic vinaigrette.

CandiedWalnutSalad 

He made…Sloppy Joe’s.

Sometimes, I think that’s our relationship in a nutshell.

Sushi

Me: What shall we have for takeout tonight?
Little Miss, 3yo: We haven’t had sushi in a long time...

(Have I ever mentioned how much I love this girl? Sometimes she’s so me, it’s scary. And a little bit awesome.)

At our sushi dinner that evening, I looked forward to the end of the meal as usual, when I could indulge in my favorites, fresh salmon sashimi and Ikura (salmon roe). I saved the best for last to savor the flavors, a sushi ritual I’ve enjoyed for a long time.

I knew Little Miss loved Ikura too, which was why we ordered two pieces, but when Thumper began to eye the other piece, I had a sinking feeling. We gave her a morsel, and she asked for more. And more.

I panicked. But...but...but...

Gone.

At that point, I wasn’t sure if I should be proud of her or sad for me. I went with both.

Running Ritual

YeeHaw
For me, I am stretching after my morning run.

For her, it’s an invitation to play, climbing on top of me, bouncing and saying, “Yee Haw!”. Even when I’m not ready to get down on the floor yet, she pulls me down, “Yee Haw?”

This is now a part of my running ritual.

Pumpkin Family

As a fun fall decor, I arranged these mini pumpkins to resemble our family size-wise. My Guy took one look at it and got it immediately. Little Miss got a kick out of them too, pointing from left to write, “That’s daddy, mommy, me, and Thumper!”

Pumpkins

Later, when the girls were preoccupied and with a smirk on his face, My Guy turned my attention back to the pumpkins, and I found this:

Humpkins

From pumpkins to humpkins. Sadly, it wasn’t even surprising. That’s what happens when you live with a boy in his twenties going on 14.

 

Election Colors
On the day of the election, Little Miss, who has been dressing herself to school lately, came out of her bedroom clad in red, and I was aghast. Not the color I was hoping to see on an important day like that, but I bit my tongue. I didn’t want to discourage her from dressing herself, so off to school she went, looking like a supporter for the opposing party.

After she left, and just before going to vote, My Guy and I dressed ourselves in blue, and we did the same for Thumper. We couldn’t take anymore chances. Yes, I can be a little superstitious, but being Asian, I don’t have much of a choice. I think it’s in my DNA.

Later that evening, Little Miss was home from school when the TV was showing election coverage after the polls started to close.  I knew it was early, but it didn’t stop me from worrying about the too-small gap between the two presidential candidates. When I snapped out of the numbers on TV, the first thing I noticed was the red on Little Miss, and I couldn’t take it anymore: “I think you should go change now.”

She knew what I meant because we had discussed the colors earlier, and when she heard the gravity of my voice, this girl, who normally fought me at every turn and said no just to spite me, mirrored my concern on her face and uttered not a sound before running downstairs to get into her blue nightgown. You see, she was also rooting for the same guy.

Then she came back to the living room and cuddled with me while My Guy dressed Thumper for bed in our room. As he made his way into the girls’ bedroom, it was Little Miss who first noticed and exclaimed, “Uh-oh. Thumper’s in red.”

We looked at the girl in her red fleece footie pajamas and gasped. D-oh!

RedPolarFleece

We scrambled to find her blue sleepwear, but, having found none, had to settle on seafoam green instead. Hey, it was closer to blue than pink and lilac. With our family in blue (and seafoam green), all was right-ish with the world again.

And that, ladies and gentleman, I believe was how Barack Obama won his second term as President.

You’re welcome.

* * *

 

How do you capture your family’s favorite moments? Do you remember one in particular that you’d like to share?

Monday, November 5, 2012

And on the 30th day, she rested

Last Friday, for the first time since I started running two months ago, I had to stop. I felt pain on the side of my knee from my session on Wednesday, and in my consultation with a seasoned runner friend, she identified the pain to be ITB related and advised against running until it subsided. 

Running is hard (at least for me), but now that I’ve finally gained some momentum, not running is much harder. There is a drive in me to push myself to run faster, run harder, to just get out there to run. But when I can’t for a reason beyond my control, it’s frustrating. The spirit was strong, but the body was weak. And when it comes to running, I have learned that the body must win.

I spent much of Thursday on recovery mode, mainly following her advice: RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. I figured, since I’m Asian, that should be second nature to me. (“Rice” get it, get it?). While skipping Friday’s session with my running buddies was tough, I couldn’t wait to lace up and run, albeit on my own, on Saturday, after an entire day with no pain.

And you know what? It. Felt. Great.

I ran faster and stronger than I ever did. So elated to be out there again, feeling the cold November air in my lungs and the yellowed leaves that lined my path, as if to welcome me back. And, of course, who could tire of this view that greets me every morning at the beginning of every run?

photo (17)

I am thankful to have recovered because I fought my own need to be in control, listened to my own instincts, as well as the advice of a friend, to stop when I needed to. For someone with control and instant-gratification issues, heeding my body and slowing down was a tough lesson for me. But a necessary one. Apparently, the stopping is just as much a part of the discipline of running as it is the going.

I’m also glad I remembered an article I read on the plane, on my way home from our vacation in Puerto Rico, that made a big impact on my decision to allow myself the time to heal, especially this part:

The one thing that's absolutely, positively known about running injuries is that old injuries lead to future injuries. The key, then, is to avoid injury the first time around. Today you might have a tender spot on your shin. Keep running, and it could become a full-fledged injury that leads to chronic problems or to other counter-balance injuries. You could spend a lifetime regretting the days when you continued running; you'll never regret the three to seven days of rest.

So, rest I did.

I have run twice since missing my scheduled session. Today, for the first time, I ran five miles straight(!!!) - no walking intervals, and no pain either. It was amazing.

This, from a girl who used to say things like, “I hate running. I’m just not built for running. I will never be a runner.”

I have now debunked the first two nay statements. As for the last, I am determined to prove myself wrong; I will get there yet.

 

* * *

 

What demons are you fighting and what have you learned about yourself in the process? Have you debunked your own theories about yourself? If you’re a runner, when did you start calling yourself a runner?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ghoul and goblin

WitchOLantern‘Twas the night before Halloween, when this important lesson took place:

Me: Say trick or treat.
Thumper: Treat!
Me: Trick…or…treat.
Thumper: Treat!

Well, I guess she knows what she wants.

I’m just glad she’s not able to pick her own costume yet as she had to go with yet another hand-me-down from Little Miss.

As for her sister, she chose to be a princess (surprise, surprise), but when she chose Merida, Disney’s latest and most progressive warrior princess, I was truly surprised. And ecstatic.

I think I hit the “Buy” button on Amazon.com before she could even finish her sentence. If it had to be a princess, at least it was one I could stomach. No prince or white knight needed to save this princess; she can take care of herself and kick ass while doing so, thankyouverymuch. 

As for Thumper, by the end of the evening, she had mastered the whole trick-or-treat routine:

1. Walk up to strange people smiling with bowls in their hands.
2. Say “Treat!” (although it sounded more like cheat).
3. Get shiny thing in Elmo basket.
4. Say “Dinkiew”.
5. Receive compliments and see proud mama beaming.
5. Examine shiny thing in Elmo basket; pick one up to hold in hand, just in case others get lost or stolen by sister in weird hairdo.
6. Move on to next stranger with a bowl. Especially ones that say “help yourself”.


Giraffe

I’d say more about Little Miss’ experience except she was often four houses ahead of us, in her own world with a couple of friends a little older than her. She wouldn’t even slow down for pictures, probably worried they’d run out of candy or that she’d be left behind. Neither happened, of course, but there’s just no reasoning with a kid focused on candy. Hence the blurry pictures. In fact, we’re lucky we got any of them together at all.

Halloween2012


At the end of the day, my girls were replaced by a ghoul and a goblin who ran laps in their bedroom before spending the rest of the night in bed, chanting, giggling, conversing. While I wasn’t too thrilled that they were still up at 10pm, I was grateful that they were behind closed doors.

Because wrangling kids is bad enough, but kids with candy? Oh. my. lord.

Thank goodness Halloween comes but once a year.

 

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Hope you had a great Halloween yourself!

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