Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Agony of Defeat

Don't you love those "lessons of parenting" days?  Wonderboy had his second karate tournament yesterday.  In his first one, last fall, he received first place in his age group.  To say we were beyond thrilled is an understatement.  We were SO proud.

He practiced really hard leading up to this tournament.  At his karate lessons four times a week, going over and over his form (routine) at home.  He was ready.  I was worried leading up to it - how to walk the line of keeping his confidence up while still cautioning him that he might not get first place this time.  Which he seemed to think was in the bag.

The competition is made up of a few different schools in our area, so he is not just competing against kids from his class.  Unlike the first tournament, where only one other girl from our group participated, almost every kid in WB's class entered.  Some were younger and therefore were not in the same age group as WB, but it did mean that all the parents were there.

We watched and cheered on the younger kids.  All of whom got trophy's - which is cool.  One little boy in the 5yr old group totally froze and started crying!  It made me get all choked up.  Poor kid.   Finally, it was our turn.  There were nine kids competing in WB's age bracket.  That's a pretty big group for this kind of thing.

Wonderboy gets up and begins.  His presentation (the speech they make to the judges telling them their name and what they are going to do) is strong and loud.  He steps back and begins.  Great moves, nice loud ki ai's (the yelling part).  Guard stance, back fist, body punch, round house kick, slide up, second round house ki- WHAM.  Lost his balance and fell on his butt.  (Although I'm sure it wasn't actually this way - in my head I heard the "Gasp!" go up from the crowd.)  I looked over at the Mr. and I swear we both had tears in our eyes.  He worked so damn hard!  It just didn't seem fair!  Immediately I begin thinking about how hard it was going to be to console him.

Meanwhile, without hesitation, WB got back up and finished the form strong.  He bowed to the judges and went back to his spot on the floor and, as people were clapping for him, gave me a wink!  And when he was called  into the "runner up" row instead of first, second or third, he never once seemed sad or felt badly about it.  He was excited about getting a ribbon since he, "didn't have one of those yet!"

There were no tears.  There was no regret.  At least not from the Wonderboy.  The Mr. and I?  That's another story.  We were both so bummed out for him.  Truly upset - although only when we were alone.  I mean, we weren't disappointed in him, clearly, just sorry that his hard work hadn't mapped out as we'd hoped.  Thank god my kids haven't shown any Olympic-like skill sets!  I don't think I could take it.

But we learned from him today.  He was the one who took it all in stride.  Who lived by the, "it's not important if you win or lose - just have fun" mantra.  And I have to say, that was what made us the most proud.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Pang. (With additional thoughts)

I didn't expect it.  Not one little bit.  But suddenly, a couple of days ago, it was there.  The thought just snuck into my brain.  Me!  The person who has been so adamant - especially after finding out the Pixie's gender - that two kids would be it.  We had our boy and our girl.  What I had always hoped for.

And yet....Sitting there at our desk at home, I thought, "Am I really never going to be pregnant again?  Couldn't we have one more?"  (That thud you just heard was my parents hitting the floor.)

I said something to the Mr. a bit later and after his initial reaction, "You're crazy," he realized I was serious.  We actually talked about it.  The fact that we barely survive financially right now.  That my current health insurance wouldn't cover it, so we would have to figure that out before we even started trying.  The fact that we barely survive financially right now.  That the Wonderboy would be eight or even nine years older then his brother or sister.  The fact that we barely survive financially right now. That we would be back in the world of diapers and sleepless nights.  Oh, and did I mention the money concerns?

I've felt for a long time that this is our family.  The four of us.  And now that the kids are getting older we can do more things together and have a great time.  How would a baby effect that dynamic?  I don't know.  But for some reason, the thought of never having another baby is making me sad.  And even with all those factors that show why it, perhaps, wouldn't be the best thing for us, I can't seem to shut the door completely.  Am I crazy?  Probably.  Am I just having an emotional reaction to the fact that the Pixie doesn't want me sing songs to her anymore at bedtime?  Maybe a smidge.  But it's in my head.

Are we going to do anything about this sudden pang?  I have no idea.

UPDATE:  In thinking about this more, I wanted to add that I do realize how incredibly lucky I am to have my two kids.  I know, and have witnessed in my own family, the struggles so many couples go through to become pregnant and bring those pregnancies to term.  I in no way mean to sound ungrateful or take for granted that we could get pregnant again if we decided to act on this idea.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Check out my new look, yo!  Just wanted to give a shout out to the Mr. for all the help getting this together. He's wikkid smaht with the technical mumbo-jumbo.  Thanks, honey!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Get down, get funky.

A month or so ago I was driving to work and rockin' out to the Blues Brothers.  Singing and air guitaring/keyboarding my way through my daily commute.  I sort of half notice this pick-up truck alongside me - because, truth be told - my ride to work is kind of like my own little NASCAR track.  I see which car I can get ahead of and stay ahead of, or who is determined to stay ahead of me.  It's like chess.  You get the idea.  So I pull up next to this pick-up at a stop light, singing my head off to Aretha Franklin's "Think."  Light turns green and off I go.  Pick-up is keeping up with me, but then I get ahead and move into his lane.  We come to another light and he pulls up on the left of me. 

Ah-ha.  So now it is on, Mr. Pick-Up.

With Jake and Elwood as my background, I pull ahead as the light turns green.  Leaving Mr. Pick-Up, and his "hemi" in my not quite an SUV dust!  HA!

Not long after, I'm at work, getting my morning going.  When the restaurant manager, Sean, comes in and says, "Hey!  Did you know that was me driving next to you?!" 

Uuuummmmm.  No. No I didn't.  Then he proceeds to tell everyone about driving next to me as I was speeding my way along and obliviously singing my heart out.  I was slightly embarrassed.  Until he got to the part about me blowing his doors off - then I felt better. 

The thing that struck me then - and again today as I was driving home and singing my heart out to U2 - was that I hardly ever see anyone else openly enjoying music in their cars.  I started to pay attention to it tonight.  I was at a red light, and also at a particularly good guitar section of "Breathe,"  and as I pan my vision to my rear view and side mirrors I don't see anyone in their car who is obviously listening to music.  There were no drum beats on the steering wheel.  No singing (which, has anyone else noticed? can totally be mistaken for crazy talking to yourself.)  Not a single air guitar in site!  I mean, I can't be the only one, right?  If you are alone in your car, do you not take the opportunity to listen to something other then The Backyardigans?  And really get into it?  What is wrong with all of these people?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's only day one. And it's already ugly.

I am finally, actually doing something about the fact that I have wanted to start some sort of exercise program for the past...oh, several years.  Today I started Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. Basically, you do this twenty minute non-stop work-out every day, for 30 days.  And then you go on to the level 2 work-out for 30 days, followed by level 3.  Sounds simple enough, right?  HA!

I'm really not sure which is worse:

1.  That when I watched it last night to get a feel for what I was going to be attempting this morning, the Wonderboy decided that he wanted to try it.  (Reminder, he is six.) 

2.  Sitting on the couch watching him attempt bicycle crunches. (Actually, that was pretty funny.)

3.  Giving it my first attempt this morning only to have him come downstairs and want to talk to me in the middle of it while I'm gasping for air.

4.  Once I made it through to the bitter end (cursing that cocky wench after about the first five minutes), having Wonderboy ask to see my "abs" so he could check my progress.

5.  Feeling sore and achy all day and pounding three Tylenol this afternoon to just please, make it go away!

6.  Having Wonderboy insist on doing his "fitness," as he calls it, again tonight.  Since he wants to go, "all 30 days!"

7.  Wonderboy trying to convince me that "his legs are already getting fitter."  Even though I've explained to him several times that "It doesn't happen that fast!"


8.  The fact that I am going to attempt to get up at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow to try to do it again.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Order of Things

I was thinking about birth order today.  Specifically wondering if it actually plays any role in how our kids behave.  In reading about it here I think we may have some reverse syndrome going on.  In case you don't feel like clicking over, it's the bit about the younger child being spoiled and pampered and the older child being "dethroned" when the younger one comes along that interests me.  Because I think we have somehow done that backwards.

When the Wonderboy was a baby, and into his first years of toddler-hood we did the epic bedtimes.  The sitting in there until he was asleep.  Or doing the commando crawl across the floor, freezing at the slightest exhaled breath or body twitch like we were in the sites of a sniper.  And though we no longer have to endure that specifically - he is almost seven after all - his bedtime is still way more involved then the Pixie's.  Hers tops out at fifteen minutes.  His story/chat/bathroom/drink/need to tell you something/now I need to tell Daddy something/I just want that toy/book/music on/dog with me in my bed/cat in the room/no cat in the room/how do you spell light/connect/freezer/when are you checking on me? can last an hour and a half.  GAH!

I wonder if that is due to the fact that the Pixie just tends to be mellower?  Or did she become mellower because she was the second one and we were way more relaxed by the time she came along.  Putting her in her crib and letting her cry it out was a cinch.  Maybe that's because she was a better sleeper all along though?

He is drama, pure and simple.  Kid hasn't met a good melodramatic breakdown he didn't love.  She can pitch a fit - don't get me wrong - but it's over so much quicker then his storms. How did they get this way? Each of them born to us, but different in so many ways.  How much of their personalities are based on what they see and learn, and how much is inherited or innate? Does any of it come from which one of them was born first?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions, really.  Yet it plays in my head when I look at the two of them.  Not only as to what kind of little people they are now, but what they will be like as tweens, teenagers, adults.  So much unknown.

I do know one thing though.  If we have to deal with these bedtimes much longer?  He's going to have to find his own apartment a lot sooner then expected!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's all technology, all the time! Kind of.

Did you hear the angels singing last weekend?  From up on high?  Did you hear them exalting the song of the Mr?  Because they were.  (And, NO! Jeez, get your mind out of the gutter.)  They're voices were raised in joyful singing because the Mr. FIXED OUR TV!! He went on-line and figured out what was wrong.  We finally had enough money to go buy the part and - thanks to the internets - he not only found the instructions on how to do it, some guy put an entire video up on You Tube showing the process! Whoot to the internet!  And Whoot to the Mr for being so technologically savvy. 

It was kind of sad how entranced the children were within five minutes.  I mean, it wasn't like we were completely void of TV the whole time. We just had to watch it on a very small screen.  Well, not anymore!  Plus it means we can play Wii again.  My professional bowler status can't go to waste!

I must admit that I am completely in love with my GPS.  I've had it for awhile - it was a very generous gift from a friend - and it lay around the house for too long because I wanted the Mr. to upload some music to it.  (Since I am apparently one of the last few people on earth not to own an Ipod.)  Although there is not a ton of space on the GPS, I have a nice sampling now that I can listen to as I drive to work.  And I love seeing where I am going!  Is that totally geeky?  I know I'm like a year behind the times as far as GPS goes, and even more then that regarding the MP3player - but hey - I'll take it when I can get it, you know?
 On a non technology related note,  I am re-reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Man, I love that book.  I remember being excited when they were making a movie out of it in the early 80's, since I had read the book. And then I remember my first experience with being disappointed in a Hollywood adaptation of a book.  Especially at the age of 11, I just didn't understand why it wasn't exactly like what I had read! What the hell, Hollywood?

I initially picked it up to see if it was something the Wonderboy might like.  He enjoys some "chapter books," so I'm getting excited, now that he is almost seven, to figure out what beloved books from my childhood I can introduce him to.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

And now I'm off to drive home, listening to some of my tunes and checking out every upcoming street on my route. 'Cause  I'm all wicked modern like that.