Some Thoughts on a Saturday

~ Today I got my kids all ready (and excited) and took them to a birthday party that it turned out is actually tomorrow. #epicmomfail Their disappointment was compounded by an event at the park that boasted not one, not two, BUT THREE mega bouncy house/slide combinations, which they of course thought were for the party. They were understandably upset but handled it well. We went to another playground with their scooters and they each got a lollipop as compensation.

~ My daughter grew out of both her size 1 and size 1.5 tennis shoes (ack! she is so big!) this summer so I ordered her a new pair, but didn’t really point out that they only had laces until it was too late to cancel. She freaked out, but I’m glad she has an incentive to learn how to tie her shoes because she’s seven and starting 2nd grade and it’s time. I can’t really believe we haven’t tackled this milestone yet; I suppose it was easy enough to avoid with so many sneakers having velcro at the top. She really likes the shoes so I hope she’ll attempt to learn. Right now she is absolutely refusing, but we’ll see.

~ Speaking of refusing to learn, I can’t get my son to even try to ride his balance bike. My daughter never wanted to either but she wasn’t a very physically daring kid so I didn’t push it. My son does love to run and jump and climb and can put in the time (and manage the frustration of) learning a new skill when it comes to all things balls (like shooting baskets or hitting a T-ball), so I hoped he’d want to learn on a balance bike, but he hates it when I ask him to try. It makes me sad, and I’ll admit, frustrated. I’ve read a lot of articles responding to parents who want to encourage their kids to ride balance bikes, but the main piece of advice is to go with friends whose kids can already ride. I don’t really know any of my son’s friends’ parents well, and no one is ever riding one when we take it to the playground, so yeah, that hasn’t happened. Blerg, I just wish he’d give it a try because I know he’d love it once he felt comfortable.

~ I took my daughter to the mall yesterday to buy birthday presents and we also got a bunch of uniform pieces for her for next year. We ended up being there for three hours and even spent a large chunk of time in the Disney Store and she handled herself beautifully. Why she can handle that but was such a mess for most of our trip I don’t understand. Maybe just because her brother wasn’t around? Ugh, they make each other so crazy, which in turns makes me crazy. I don’t know how other parents navigate sibling issues… we seem to be failing on that front, big time.

~ The other reason she might have been good was because I got her a Moana doll (I had told her beforehand that I would). She has a whole collection of plush Disney princess dolls and is currently obsessed with Moana (an obsession which I endorse wholeheartedly as I love the movie and soundtrack), so I offered to get her one. She loves it and has been carrying it around ever since. It really is an excellent movie and I’m okay with her being into it for a long, long time.

~ I have amassed an extensive library of advanced Spanish materials and am working through them slowly. Most of them were created to prepare for a Spanish language exam given in Spain (much like the TOEFL, which English speakers can take to demonstrate mastery and get English-teaching jobs around the world). The materials focus on Castellano (the Spanish spoken in Spain), and the test I might take focuses on Latin American Spanish, but I don’t think I’ll find anything else that challenges me at my current level (there don’t seem to be any preparation materials available for the test I would take, only one practice exam). I am excited to work through the writing and speaking activities with my tutor from Guatemala.

~ I have (what I suspect is) heat rash, which (I suspect) I got in St. Louis where it was in the high 90’s, low 100’s for most of out trip. The little red bumps are concentrated in small areas behind my knees and elbows, and on my legs and arms, and holy shit do they itch. I’m glad it didn’t hit me until I left the heat because man would it be uncomfortable if I were still in that oppressive heat and humidity.

~ Having said that, I appreciate that we faced that weather and not only survived, but had a lot of fun. I was really worried my kids wouldn’t be able to handle it, but they did a nice job. Of course there was AC whenever we went inside – if we were in a Spanish speaking country with that kind of heat there wouldn’t be AC everywhere – still, it’s nice to know they can handle it, despite almost never spending time in temperatures above 80. Dare I say I was becoming accustomed to stepping out into a solid wall of water-infused heat every time I went outside. By the end I hardly noticed.

~ I’ve written a few times before about my thrice weekly workout combo of elliptical machine followed by push-ups and ab work (and ended with stretching, which for me is incredibly important). I’ve been doing the same basic routine for what feels like an eternity, only ever switching it up to train for a run last summer (though I do try to run once a week during daylight savings). I’ve been considering trying something new for a while now, but didn’t have the slightest idea what to do. I really liked some of the Jillian Michaels DVDs when I was losing my 2nd pregnancy weight and I spent a few months doing some of the PiYo workouts, but I don’t love having to watch something while I exercise and really wanted a weight lifting routine I could get through quickly after my cardio (which I need because it helps me avoid becoming depressed). Then on my trip, I was struck by how amazing my cousin’s wife looked less than a year after having her THIRD child (girlfriend is RIPPED) and I also asked my other cousin about how he stayed in such fantastic shape (also RIPPED) when he works a million hours at the hospital, and he gave me the kettlebells sermon and oh man, did he convert me. So now I’m signed up for a foundations class at a gym all the way across the city on Monday, where I’ll learn how to perform the basic moves and find out what weight kettlebells I should get. I’m SO EXCITED to actually be weight training again (I haven’t weight trained regularly since college) and doing something new after my cardio. YAY! I don’t usually take before and after picture but maybe this time I will; I’m curious to see if there is a noticeable difference in my arms (which I like, but always want to look better) and my abs (which I hate, and always want to look less awful, or at least easier to hide under my shirts).

Sorry for two bullet point posts. I guess that’s where my mind is at these days.


  1. Wrong date for birthday when you go early is really a big win! Teaches children about disappointment without actually missing the event.
    SOunds like things are doing well at your end. WIll be intersted as you learn more about strength training.

  2. My kids are on their own timelines for bikes and swimming and shoelaces too. My almost 8 year old just learned to tie her own shoes at the end of school in June. I told her she had to because I couldn’t find velco shoes in her size anymore (size 4.) She said “ok” and did it. Same with riding a bike, we only took off the training wheels for her six months ago and she just rode, like it was no big deal. Usually, these things are a big battle and both of these had been and her stubbornness just won. My 5 year old is just now contemplating actually sitting on a real bike with training wheels. I gotta be ok with this stuff!

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