Monday, September 22, 2008

These are a Few of My Unfavorite Things...

So you already know how much I dislike goody bags. And balloons. And Sharpies. And anything of that nature that either a) destroys my house, or b) destroys the peace and goodwill amongst my little ones. This past week (and actually all in one very mischevious day) we added a few more culprits to the list:

1. packing peanuts

2. baby powder

3. shampoo

Funny thing is, all of the above happened in about 2 hours, with Tanner as the prime instigator. Here's my guess at the dialogue--

Tanner (while I'm doing dishes): Hey guys! Mommy got a big box in the mail and it's full of little white fluffy things. Lets smash them all up and make snow . . .

Tanner (a half hour later, while I'm shop-vac'ing up a blizzard of crushed packing peanuts): Hey guys! I know another way to make snow! Mommy got some new baby powder at Target, and I figured out how to take the lid off . . .

Tanner (another half hour later, while I'm distracted on the phone talking to Uncle Dan the ER Doc about the possible dangers of baby powder inhalation and wondering how to fix the shop-vac for another round of action): Hey guys! Since Mommy won't let us make snow and made us get in the tub, let's be Santa Claus! Turn the water back on, 'cause I got Mommy's new bottle of shampoo and I figured out how to take the lid off . . .

Several days and several cleanings later, we still have shampoo sludge in the tub, baby powder mist in the guest room, and tiny pieces of packing peanuts that stubbornly refuse to be picked up or vacuumed. Good times!

I can only imagine what else will be contraband in our household by the time the triplets make it to kindergarten!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Overheard: "You're Very Sneaky, Lauren!"

Driving home from Sam's Club and all hopped up on 32oz Big Gulp sodas, the car was full of six noisy kids and two weary parents. Somehow over the noise, we heard Riley's fluttery little voice: "Hey you guys, you need to be quiet! I can't even hear myself drink!"

I made the mistake of buying a package of chocolate chip cookies and leaving it visible on the counter. It got awfully quiet while I was putting laundry away upstairs, so I crept down and peered into the kitchen where they were all huddled around the box of cookies, fists full. I stood there and just stared at them in their joyful feast until Sydney spotted me. She jumped a foot and then became indignant: "Hey! You sneaked on me! That was a bad choice!"

Along the same lines, Bailey got into a package of chocolate chips on the counter. When spotted, I took them away and put them in a cupboard while she was watching. I then saw the wheels turning in her head as she looked around for a chair and then looked back up to the cupboard with the chocolate in it. Then, ever-so-sweetly, she said, "Mommy, could you please go away now, please?" Like I was born yesterday.

I went to pick up Tanner from his third day at preschool and, with a line of parents behind me and a smiling teacher in front of me, Tanner announced: "Tomorrow is going to be a very special day, Mommy! It's Hoe and Tell!"
"It's, uh, what?" I sputtered.
"Hoe and Tell! And you can come!" he hollered. Hmmm...

I was making dinner when Bailey hollered, "Mom! Come quick! There's a amergency!"
I dropped what I was doing and followed her voice to the bathroom, where she was staring at herself in the mirror.
"What's wrong?" I asked breathlessly.
"Look! There's no flowers on my dress! Hurry- go get some paint!"

Recent excerpts from prayers:

Sydney- "Thank you that we can hop from one foot to another..."
Tanner- "Thank you for the hearts under our skin. And our tentacles." (?)
Riley- "Thank you that I did not get puked on by Sydney or peed on by Bailey cuz then I would be all ruined." (following an outing to Sam's Club that involved both disasters.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

10K a Day... And Then Some!

I went for my yearly physical last week, and was pleased to be given a clean bill of health. "Your numbers look great, your bloodwork is good... so I'll tell you what I tell everybody in your age group," my doctor concluded. "Don't smoke." (I rolled my eyes. Duh.) "Always wear a seatbelt." (Again- Duh.) "And keep on exercising."

He must have seen the look pass over my face because he said, "You DO exercise, don't you?"

"Uh, well, um... not so much," I hung my head with shame. "Unless you count chasing after six kids every day as exercise?"

I was hopeful for a moment until he smiled and said, "Nope. You need to be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio at least 3 times a week, and at least 20 minutes of strength-training at least twice a week if you want to stay as healthy as you are."

Oh. Because I actually wouldn't mind getting a lot healthier than I currently am. But I at least want to maintain what little fitness I've got!

"Did I mention that I have a lot of kids?" I persisted. "I mean, seriously, I'm not making excuses here, but I honestly have no idea how to fit all that into my schedule."

"Where there's a will, there's a way," he said, closing my chart. "Make it a priority. Schedule it into your week. Make it happen."

Spoken like a man. A man who doesn't have to drink his breakfast while dropping carpool kids off to school and rushing back to get the next kid onto a bus. Spoken like a man who has an entire hour off for lunch in which he can either chow down at the nearby Chili's or go for a jog and still fit a shower in afterwards. Spoken like a man who can probably eke out more than 5 minutes a day to himself without somebody else having a major melt-down.

Sorry, did that sound bitter? It's just that my days are so crazy-busy that I can only dream of having an extra 30 minutes in a day where I might actually have enough energy to do more than drop onto the couch and promptly fall asleep!

But the fitness thing is a priority to me. (I mean, I drink a protein/beet/spinach/wheat germ concoction every morning for breakfast. I am really trying here!) So I was working up a plan for this dilemma when I saw an article in the newspaper (as I was cleaning off the coffee table) called, "10K a Day". It was all about how research has proven that the average American only walks 3000 - 5000 steps a day, yet people in top physical form walk at least 10,000 steps a day. The article suggested that you can vastly improve and maintain your fitness level if you can work up to 10,000 steps a day.

And a ray of hope shined through my fitness doom. This might actually be something I can do! I bought a pedometer, calibrated it to my stride length, and prepared to add a lot of extra pacing to my usual routine. I made up a little chart in my head for how to gradually increase myself to the 10,000 steps a day. I was set.

I clipped the pedometer on the next morning and forgot about it until around 9 am. It said I had already walked 3000 steps. Worried that it was malfunctioning, I tested it a few times and was surprised that my pedometer was working correctly. And then I forgot about it again until noon, when upon checking, I was stunned to see that I'd clocked 6000 steps. So I tested it again. It was still working.

By 10pm (and my day not near over yet), I was near 13,000 steps, which is over 6 miles. I mused over the fact that it had been just an ordinary day. I hadn't even added in any extra pacing yet! Weird.

The second day was much like the first: I ended up at nearly 13,000 steps.

The third day was a bit of a let-down: I was tired and not feeling well, and spent a lot more time sitting down than usual. But I still was at nearly 11,000 steps.

I haven't worn the pedometer since. It served its purpose by proving to me that I do, in fact, exercise EVERY DAY. I just didn't know it! And, yes, I realize that 30 minutes straight of cardio would be optimal. And I also realize that I need to someday work in some strength training (bearing in mind of course that I regularly lift 30 - 40 pounds of kids up and down off countertops, couches, carseats and beds on a nonstop basis... does that qualify?) But I'm still happy to know that I'm not atrophying away while I'm too busy to officially be working out.

So the proof was in the pedometer. And, in answer to your question, Doc, apparently chasing after six kids all day does, in fact, count for something!