Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The bragging rights of Coraline

My foster daughter loves the movie Coraline. I find it creepy and unsettling. I'm sure you can wikipedia the plot but it goes something like this:

Coraline, the little girl pictured above, moves to a new city with her family. In her new house, she finds a door that leads to another family's house. The other mom makes cakes and cookies. She's odd and wildly permissive. Coraline shuttles between the two families. Eventually, things get super creepy. The other mom becomes possessive and morphs into spider. She traps Coraline and tries to sew buttons on her eyes. It's creepy and I can't watch it.

My foster daughter can't get enough of this movie. A thousand times I've asked her why, but no clear answer is found. I'm sure it has to do with her, living with us. I'm sure she can relate to this kid on the screen, going back and forth between two vastly different worlds. Two moms and  what not.

She does a lot of things I don't understand. She is a lot of things I don't understand. Everything from her hair to her way of tearing up napkins while she eats. I'm learning about her hair and we finally found a decent hair shop (read: black people salon). It's a struggle since I didn't birth her. I'm still learning how to operate her without triggering meltdowns and tantrums. It's a process and it's coming along.

One thing that she does really bugs me. It's the bragging. She constantly brags about her mom.  Whenever she spies something she likes, she claims her mom has it or has given it to her. For example she'll say, "My mom has that shirt" "My mom has that car" "My mom takes me to this park" "My mom buys that shampoo" "My mom has these socks".

The thing of it is, it's all lies. Her mom is in jail, facing some significant jail time. She'll be sentenced next month and it looks like her parental rights will be terminated. Termination of Parental Rights is the legal term. Her mom given over a year to get her act together and be a mom. She can't though. For a lot of reasons she can't.

So, when I hear my foster daughter brag about her mom, I get irritated. I am not proud of this. I realize she brags because she's scared and wants it to be true, this super mom in her head. I pray for the Lord to protect my heart. Anger is not helpful with any of this.

I'm mad at her mom. I want her mom to be a full grown human being. One that behaves without irrational actions. One that doesn't smoke weed or spend tons of money on crap. One that has a decent credit rating and doesn't depend on sugar daddies. One that doesn't strike out with violence. But--that's not going to happen.

So, I'm let my foster daughter brag till the cows come home. I'll be with her until she can't brag anymore. I let her talk, wax poetic and be whatever she needs to be. Because I'm her foster mom and I want to be something to brag about.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Psychology of the Snatch

This is Camille Leblanc-Bazinet showing us how it's done

The snatch is a weightlifting movement wherein the snatcher grabs a weight from the floor and hoists it overhead whilst squatting. Once everything is locked, as seen above, the snatcher stands the hell up.

Google for more detail if you want.

This week, my crossfit practice has been heart breaking. My head screams for me to sleep in before I leave for the gym. It's unrelenting these days, starting a good 12 hours before I go. SHUT UP BRAIN! IT'S NOT HAPPENING! WE'RE GOING! GET OVER IT!

Also of note, this month we're deep in the thick of pull up progressions. My goal is to improve my pull up capacity-which is zero. I'm not getting very far. pfft.

On Wednesday, we did death by thrusters. 'Death by' means  you have one minute to do one lift--like the thruster.

Thrust                                                ers

Then, the next minute you need to do two. Each minute means you do one more than the previous minute. Until you can't surpass the previous number. I was the first one out. BOOH :(

Sometimes I really REALLY suck at crossfit. I fell twice this morning doing my snatches. Butt to the dang floor! Sometimes it's all I can do not to fricking cry. And I can't cry because then I'd be the girl who cries. So I don't. There's no crying in crossfit!! I save that for the ride home. :)

The problem is, I'm starting to care about crossfit. This isn't someplace I go to put my earbuds in, hop on the ellipse and blank out. There is no TV to stare at. Its us, the mats, the bars and humble pie.

Right now I'm laying the foundation. Learning how to squat down and stand up. Learning how to fall and to fly. The weight will come. The pull ups will come. It's a process.

But, I need to remember, my badassery is already here.

                                        Mrs. Hall, in the pony tail, showing us how it's done

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy in the dressing room

I had a moment in the dressing room last week. At my house, there is no full length mirror so it's quite a shock seeing myself in technicolor. The evidence of three, hard fought pregnancies is undeniable. Yet, I was quite pleased with myself. In fact, I was happy.

Imagine that. Happy in a dressing room.

I don't have a flat, concave belly. I don't have chisled anything. Yet, I'm pleased as punch. I never expected this. My goal was not to be the fat mom. That was my first and only goal.

I can't express the relief I have, not being the fat mom. At the park I'm wearing skinny jeans and crawling in the tubes with the kids. I'm trying to do pull ups on the monkey bars. I'm laughing and chasing my tiny kids. Pretending I'm a hungry monster trying to eat their toes. They squeal with wide eyed happiness. I don't feel exhausted or dehydrated. I feel strong and pretty. Mr. Hall gives me hugs and pats me on the tush. It's all very exciting.

Let me tell you about the dresses.

Downtown, there is a consignment store I've been eyeing for years. All manner of dresses and cool vintage wear. I've been coveting. Deeply, privately and with hope. Last week I was there and wow. I am a fox when dressed properly.

There was one dress I loved the most. It was from banana republic. Retro inspired, black and white pattern. There was a red dress so beautiful, it made me blush. The owner gave a frowny face. She loved those dresses too. "But I'm too big for them". But  I'm not. To the victor go the spoils.

This is my real life. I'm capable of lifting heavy things, hopping on boxes and jump rope a mile a minute. Nothing seems impossible now. I feel smoother and taller. And it's not going to stop.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nobody, but nobody . . . loves you like your Mama

Me and my toddler, getting in a snuggle while he still snuggles  . . .

You can find anything online.

Court cases are updated hourly in some counties. Thus, I was checking for any movement on my foster daughter's mom's case. Today was not the day of her sentencing but scheduling the sentencing. It'll be another three months before her sentence is handed down.

 I also scanned the county jail inmate list for my foster son's mom. I already know her sentence but was curious to see if she was out of seg. Seg is segregation--meaning she can't be housed with other inmates because she was fighting.  She has her very own sad cell.

I sent out prayers and thought about them. Would they behave in court? Would they flip attitude with the judge? What happens if the sentence is nine months?  How are they doing in jail? Are they taking the time to read and grow? Are they going to their drug classes and learning what they need to learn? Are they ok?

I realized I was worrying about them like I do my kids. I have kept track of court dates and names of their lawyers. I've prayed for them. I want them to do well. Well enough to take their kids back.

Sometimes it really pisses me off, these moms. I help house and Mom their miracle kids while they frick around with drugs and dumb choices. I tie shoes, wipe noses, put on time outs and tuck them in at night.

Because nobody, but nobody loves you like your Mama.

Nobody worries about your fingernails or bowel movements like your Mama. Nobody watches endless youtube videos labeled "how to take care of black hair" like your foster Mama. Nobody is flooded with tears by a photo taken just 3 months ago, marveling at your growth. Nobody except Daddy of course.

Every time I breathe, in or out, they are on my mind. And the longer I take care of these kids, the more the Moms are on my mind too.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How men talk to each other (in the gym) + crossfit games

Was in the gym and ear witnessed the following.

One guy was on the floor--foam rollering the kinks out. Another guy walks buy and says, "Dude! you're getting a gut--you need to work on that." And foam roller guy nods, agreeing and smiling a bit.
Then they were done.  
My jaw hit the floor as I heard this. SERIOUSLY??!! IS THIS HOW GUYS TALK TO EACH OTHER?? This would never EVER happen between women. EVER. I almost did a spit take!!!

Moving on.
The Crossfit games are going right now. Which means all the crossfit gyms do the same workout on weekends. We all compare our scores.  There are super athletes who rack up the numbers and there is me. I'm NOT last but more middle of the pack. Mid to lower give or take.
The problem is, the work outs are secret until Thursdays. Which goes against everything I am. Which is a type a planner obsesser type. Because seriously,

We're still kicking ass though. And I"m doing almost better than Mr. Hall. Which I celebrate by prancing around the house announcing he got beat by a girl.

Awesome stuff indeed!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Waking the dead lift

Went out to lunch with friends the other day. I couldn't stop talking about crossfit or the crossfit games currently going on. Then I realized I COULDN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT CROSSFIT AND THE GAMES. I had to forcibly shut myself up because seriously. I am a learned, cultured woman. Sure, my brain doesn't work what with the five kids. And I'm running out of walking dead material, but still. I should have more to talk about.

Then I apologized.

And my new mommie friend said, "At least you HAVE something to talk about!"

So, ya'll can expect a bunch of crossfit related posts. Enjoy!

Tonight, at crossfit, we did an AMRAP or As many rounds as possible in X amount of time. Rounds of what you say? Rounds of hard, grunty work. Like 11 pull ups, 2 dead lifts and 10 push ups. Then repeat these things until 10 minutes is up.

I was slow tonight. Well, not slow, but intentional. I took my time. I felt no need to chase the highest score. And, the dead lifts are no effing joke. That stuff can hurt you if you don't focus on form. It looks easy but nope....

Also, the pull ups . . . dear LORD. There just comes a point where I can't get more out of me. There's a point in the work out when I'm done. But I look at the clock and it says YOU STILL HAVE 3 MINUTES LEFT and YOU CAN'T JUST SIT THERE.

In end, after a grunty 10 minutes, I did 55 pull ups, 10 dead lifts and 47 push ups. To be clear, it was 55 pull ups with a band, 10 dead lifts and 47 push ups on the knees.

I'm not a total badass yet.

But I'm getting there.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Four seeds and counting

I look back and see the seeds of revolution.

Some 14 years ago, I was looking through my parents' wedding photos. The photo above is not them, but, close enough. All decked out in 1950's wear. My dad with a 28 inch waist and my barbie doll mom.  She had a Jackie O pill box hat.

I remarked to my friend Sarah, "Hmm... I guess when you get older you just get big." I said this because my mom and dad, 30 years later, are big. Like 300 lbs big.  

"It WON'T happen to me!", she declared. Her confidence befuddled me. Sarah is a marathon runner and I was not like her.  Not yet.

It was the first time I questioned the inevitability of getting fat. Was there another choice? Did I have a choice about this? I didn't know yet.
But, the first seed was planted.
Enter the ultramarathon man

8 years ago, I read that book up there.  It was fascinating and fun stuff. Surprisingly, Dean Karnazes is just a man. Who runs. A lot.  Running isn't that hard he explains, it's the mental battle.

The idea of a  'the mental game' was new to me.  Could I  push past comfort and survive? I didn't know.

I still read this book every so often. It is my all time favorite memoir. And I've read thousands.

Working the mental game.

Two seeds now.

Enter bikram yoga 

Around the same 8 years ago, I sought  professional help. There were demons in need of mining. The counselor put me on a program of weight watchers and yoga. For the next nine months, demons flew out at a furious pace. The wind nearly knocked me over.

Once I stopped waging war with my body, I needed to deal with things like a grown up. It was so tough.

It was nine months of hot, sweaty bikram yoga. Buckets and buckets of pain being poured out. Tears came and I let them. Everything that had been done to my body, from age 13, was leaving. On that mat, in that still space, I pushed out mountains of pain. I told Mr. Hall all these horrible things I had never said out loud before. It was so hard.

Yet I wheeled, downward dogged and revolved triangle. I let it all come and let it all go. My body started to feel like home. 

More bikram, more sweaty, more tears and more counting. I bought smaller jeans and marveled at my figure. The pain was gone. I felt amazingly, truly beautiful. Mr. Hall came and partner posed along side me.

Tears and sweat are the healing waters.

Three seeds now.

The next seed begins a year and half ago. My third son was born, making me a mom of five. We have three of our own and two foster kids. My goal was NOT to be the fat mom. Every time I tell people about my family, I want them to see a healthy mom. Something to aspire to so they can be inspired to be like me. And then, more kids will be helped.

So--back to weight watchers I went. I lost 55 lbs and was very happy. Emotionally, it was so much easier. I was ready for the unsteady and now it's ok. I didn't need to see a counselor.

Around this time, a man name Josh walked in with crossfit. Hearing the call of something, I went for a look see. Now, I am smart woman, boardering on genius. (muwhaa haa haa) . This is part of my problem, being a mensa member.

The problem with smart people is the thinking. The living in the head. Like most bloggers, I have a rich interior life. How else would I be able to write these many paragraphs?

Too much living in the head makes the body grow still. Pockets of crazy develop. Left unemptied, they become hard and block the movement of crazy. Make no mistake, I am crazy.

Did I mention the part about my 5 kids? Or my job as a full time mental health nurse practitioner  where I tend to war veterans?  Did I mention that sometimes I feel so blessed I can't breathe? That I feel God's love so much it makes me mute?

 I need to be strong enough to withstand the blessings in my life.

Which brings me to this morning.  To the kettle bell swings that did me in. I started things with a lighter weight I could swing all day. But that's not going to make me stronger. I was given a heavier bell. A simple increase of four pounds winded me. Which is humbling. Huffing and puffing and not being a big shot is humbling. It pops the pockets of crazy like no other.

When it was done I just laid there. Letting the crazy burst and sink into the floor. Just like I use to do in bikram yoga. When I was done, Mr. Hall reached out his hand and helped me up.

It was a good morning indeed.

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