Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties Likes it Hot?

I've been practicing yoga pretty regularly for about three years.  Aside from a doctor-ordered hiatus during my pregnancy with Aaron, I've tried to go at least once a week.  Before I go any further, let me be 100% clear:  despite all these visits to the studio, I am still really bad at yoga.  My body, particularly my old lady back and shoulders, make some positions impossible for me.  But I love the way yoga makes me feel, both during and after.  I like what it does for me mentally.  So I keep going.

Suffice it to say that things have been a little hectic around here for the last few months.  Hectic wonderful, but still hectic.  Carving time out for myself to work out is difficult, but I have found that if I don't do it I become kind of like one of those characters in a horror movie, the ones that always seem like they're barely clinging to sanity, the ones that always end up in the straight jacket by the end of the film.  In an effort to avoid that fate, I made time to get to hot yoga on Tuesday night.

Here's what's awesome about hot yoga: The heat in the room makes you more flexible.  The heat also makes it so you are less sore the next day, at least for me.  And every time I've gone to hot yoga the lights have been very dim, which is a good thing because it makes it hard to make out the smelly, sweaty people around you.

My class Tuesday night began like most classes do:  child's pose.  The teacher, in his perfectly-suited-to-yoga voice said, 'Let your forehead melt into the mat and leave your day at the door.  This hour is just for you.'

I breathed deeply.  An hour just for me...  I could already feel the sweat dripping onto my forehead, but that was okay.  This guy,  this teacher, was going to make it all worth it.

And then the rap music started.  Not even the bleeped-out versions you hear on the radio.  This was hard-core-make-you-blush rap.  I actually love working out to that kind of music, but hearing it during yoga was a little disconcerting.

'Down dog!' the teacher barked.  Gone was the sweet instructor from the beginning of class, the one I was sure was going to 'invite' me into a pose.  As he walked around the room, he started shouting orders.  'Heels down!' 'Fingers spread!'  'Get your EFFING BUTTS in the air!'

The whole hour went this way.  I was so confused most of the time, partially from the sweat flowing in rivers into my eyes, partially from the way in which I felt like I was in boot camp for the United States Army.

When the class was over, I had to take a few minutes to towel off and wipe up the sweat pool around me.  The teacher came up to me, shook my hand and said, 'It was an honor practicing with you.'


Usually a woman in her thirties can tell pretty quickly whether she likes something or not, but I can't even answer that simple question.  In some ways, the class was awesome.  Two days later, and my abdominals still feel sore.  But in some ways, the ways in which I felt like I carved an entire hour out of my life only to be yelled at, I didn't like it at all.  

Here's what I do know:  I've never been happier to walk into 33 degree weather in my life.  

And, more importantly, I maintained sanity at least one day longer.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties and her Mini-Me

Dear Mister Mister,

This week, you are five months old.

My little Mister, my Mister Buddy, my Mistermistermister. How can five months have gone by?

I'm going to start this letter off by telling you a secret.  Well, it's not that much of a secret, not to a few select people.  But it has taken me five whole months to wrap my head around, so here goes:

You look like me.

Now keep in mind that a woman in her thirties has a rudimentary understanding of biology, and somewhere ostensibly I knew that any child I had through my body might look like me.  But when your sister came out and looked like this:

(Anna at five months. That hair.)

I felt pretty sure that L's Chinese genes were going to always dominate, and that was just the way it was going to be.  

But, well, here you are.  Looking like me:

 (That's right, homies.  That's me.  You know you love it.  Mom, can we talk about the bangs, please?)

Anyway, your turning out looking like me has proven problematic.  When people tell me how cute Anna is, my normal response is, 'Yeah, I know.'  Not in a sarcastic way, in a she-really-is-ridiculously-cute way.  But now, when people tell me how cute you are, their remark is usually followed by, 'He looks just like you!'

Which I'm not totally sure how to respond to.  You look like me and yet you are completely, heart-meltingly adorable.  Pretty sure the two are mutually exclusive, but there you go.

I do a lot of talking about how great you are, so maybe I should use this opportunity to say a few things you need to work on.  You know, when you're up at night soul-searching.  

First, buddy, you scratch yourself constantly.  It's getting a little out of control.  

I've resorted to putting socks on your hands to stop you, but for some reason you still find a way.  Quit it, okay?

Next, there is the pooping.  It's not just the sheer quantity of disgusting blowouts, it's the fact that you seem to NEVER do them in anyone else's presence but mine.  I usually go to yoga Saturday mornings, okay?  Could you at least save ONE for your Dad?

And finally, there is tummy time.  If there is one way to make you mad, it's to put you on your tummy.  

Look, I'm sorry.  It's got to happen.

Five months seems like such a short time, but when I think about June and when you arrived, it feels like ages ago.  I hardly remember what it was like to be the Mom of one, mostly because you have brought me so much joy that it's hard to imagine my life without your smiling face and big brown eyes.

Happy five months to my little mini-me.  It's been crazy, and will probably only get crazier, but I definitely know how lucky I am that we're in this together.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties, On the Occasion of Her Second Birthday

Dear Bubbies,

On Monday, you are two years old.

Two years ago Monday, you were born.  You are this many (I'm holding up two fingers).  No longer this:

But this:

And this:

And this:
(Your first school picture. *Melt*)

You're going to have to forgive me, Bubbie, because this letter is going to be tear-jerker.  Probably not for you, and probably not for most people reading this, but for me.  Definitely for me.  Because I am currently writing this while you are off on a weekend getaway with your Dad, to be a flower girl in your cousin's wedding.  

And I am missing it.  And missing you.  

How do I even begin to talk about the last year.  Believe me, it's been a whirlwind for both of us.  Last year at this time you were playing with your birthday cupcake (and not eating it):

And I was... well, let's just say I was trying to keep my cupcake, along with anything else I ate, in my stomach.  I'd just found out that you were going to be a big sister...

... and I was scared.  It seems like forever ago.


You've done all the things a little girl is supposed to do by this point.  You walk, you sing, you talk.  And talk.  And talk.  Just yesterday, when I asked you what you wanted for breakfast and brought the requested yogurt to your highchair you said, 'Great job, Mommy!'

And every time you hear your brother cry you say, 'Aw, Mister!  It's okay, Mister!'

And every time Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood comes on you sing, 'It's such a good feeling, A very good feeling...' all the way through to 'I will, too.'

And it never, ever gets old.

But this is not to say that you are not a normal two-year-old girl figuring out her place in this world.  Over the past few months, you have become the pickiest eater I've ever seen, so much so that it's a wonder you're still alive based on your diet of string cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and the occasional pudding cup.

You don't even like juice.  Or pizza.  What you do like is PANERA mac and cheese, whipped cream, and anything confined to a squeeze pouch.  Oh, and hard boiled eggs.  Not exactly the most refined pallet, Spunkeroo.

And then there are the tantrums.  Keep in mind that when I told your preschool teacher you threw your first tantrum last week she looked at me like I was crazy.  ('My daughter has been throwing tantrums since she was nine months old,' she told me.  Oops.)  But you, my sweet, darling angel, my beautiful, perfect little cherub...

Really threw me for a loop.  So much so that I started torturing myself with more parenting books, books I promised myself I would stop reading because they mess with my head.  Did you know that in France every child sleeps through the night at three months old and not a single child throws a fit when she does not get her way, all thanks to 'the look'?

Me neither.  But we're working on it.

I have so many things to say to you on this second birthday.  That I'm so glad you are such a wonderful, devoted big sister:

That you are so ridiculously beautiful that sometimes it keeps me up at night, praying that you never, ever date.  Like, ever.  

That the mere sight of you in the morning is enough to make me smile, that when we play Play Doh together it is the most joyful time of my day, that when I pick you up from school and you run to me and say, 'Mommy! Mommy!' I have to catch my breath sometimes, knowing that it is enough, that you are enough, that if this world were to crumble tomorrow I would have known the happiest a person could ever be, being your Mom.  

Happy, happy birthday to my wonderful girl.  I love you as much today as I ever did, as I ever will, which will always be eternally.