Random Navel Gazing…

This time next week, I’ll be in South Africa. In fact I'll have been there for a couple of days! The house is a WRECK, I have a ton to do before I leave and even without a solo international 2 week trip, this is a crazzzzy time of year. So naturally, it is a perfect time to blog.
I am all knotted up in a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Excitement about seeing my family in South Africa, anxiety about leaving my family here (and a dash of fear of flying to keep things extra,extra exciting.)
My husband is in many ways more capable to run a household single-handedly than I am so I have no fear that my kids will be in excellent hands, but I do feel guilty about leaving him in this permission He with his characteristic saintliness not only adamantly insisted that I went, but also  keeps assuring me that it will be no sweat to deal with five kids, their many extracurriculars and his very busy full time job… alone. In fact, he is quite looking forward to it..it will be fun.  That guy is a gem of note. Wish he was coming with me.  And I wish this little sweetie was coming with me too.  I wish they all were. Sniff. Stupid ridiculously expensive tickets.
our future soccer star
Ella has been particularly sweet the last couple of days (just to ensure that I am especially sad to leave her). One of the most endearing things she does when we ask her to do something she doesn’t want to do is say in this very high, very sweet wheedling voice, “ohhhhhhhhh”. (meaning “NO”). She says it so sweetly that we generally find it impossible not to laugh and let her have her way. It will be a sad day for all of us when she adds the “N” and a defiant tone. If only we all realized that if we said, “Noooooooooooooo” in a sweet and kind way we’d probably get our way more often. Hmmmmm……
It only took me about a year but I finally cottoned onto the fact that Ella would bite me only when she was extremely hungry and couldn’t make me understand that she needed FOOD. I used to think that she was just a “biter” and was mortified that after 4 non biters I actually had one, but when I really paid attention it seemed that she only used it as a last resort when she was staaaaarving. Poor kid. It must be tough to have idiot in control of your nourishment. Anyway when  realized this, I explained to her that instead of biting she should use a sign for food (I never did get around to that baby sign language thing but now I guess I should have…oh well..better late than never) and I showed it to her and then mimed chewing in that yumyumyum way. She found this very entertaining.  Days later she was hungry and got my attention doing the sign and the yumyumyum thing with her mouth. When I asked her if she was hungry she clapped and giggled with joy. She was so proud of me for understanding! I was so proud of her for remembering the sign all those days later. It was quite a magical. Isn’t communication so exciting? Toddlerhood is not easy for anyone but moments like those make you forgive and forget all the times you threw your hands up in exasperation and wondered what the heck you were thinking going through this All OVER AGAIN (and then realized that erhem..you weren’t thinking at all. D’oh).
Speaking of EATING (oh we weren’t….really? Excuse me but I’m a tad obsessed).  Later this week we wean off HCG and the maintenance phase be damned, by Sunday I will be eating some pizza in Chicago.  My friends! I’m so excited..I just can’t hide it.  Dude’s it’s been tough, but since the our second course (of 6 weeks) is almost over I think I can say it was worth it…   I am almost 30lbs lighter than I was at my heaviest a few months ago, and although I am not where I ultimately want to be, and certainly not where I once was (which I think was probably a bit too skinny especially now that I am getting older and have to consider my face as well as my rear), I am within spitting range of my pre-pregnancy self and that’s a good feeling. It’s taken me 17 months so it’s high time, (although only about 4 months since I weaned…that sounds a bit better).  While it’s fun to fit into old clothes, it’s infinitely more fun to feel closer to myself again. Having a baby really makes me feel like a stranger in a strange land.  Maybe this one more than any of the others. So while my life is still very different, and that’s definitely ok, it is very reassuring to see and feel some semblance of who I was before.  A person who was infinitely more energetic, organized, positive and capable than I have felt this year.  Looking more like that person again, gives me hope that I can feel like her again. 
As for the horrible diet itself, I can reiterate once more that although there were plenty of times where I did feel hungry, by far the worst part was the emotional/social sense of deprivation. Food is everywhere and in everything. We have been to countless picnics, potlucks and tailgates with our sad little plain grilled chicken breasts. And it sucked. Plain and simple. I have several foodie friends and the bounty…was bounteous and beautiful. If there had been no social occasions to contend with, I’m pretty sure this would have been 80% easier.  But that is life my friends. There will always be something.  You can’t put off a diet or make exceptions every time a social occasion comes up. Because they constantly come up!  Truly, food is a lovely, lovely thing, it helps us to connect with other people, with different cultures, with the changing seasons and with our senses of nurturing and creativity. It can comfort us and make us feel happy but it can also be too much of a crutch. I think it has been far too much of a crutch for me..I am hoping to find a happy medium from here on out.
I seem to have run out of self absorbed things to write about for this moment..I suppose I should get on that whole cleaning, organizing, shopping, packing thing now…

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Anonymous said...

Well done on getting the whole thing together, especially with the little passport intervention! It was so great to have you ALL here (sniff, by that I mean kids - wish it could really have been ALLLLL)at the same time. Thanks to Aaron and the kids for making such a huge sacrifice.Kisses and hugs to them all. Glad that you have worked out how not to get eaten by Ella! Pay back time for all the "She is SO cute that I could just EAT her" stuff that we moms dish out. Sure you are also guilty.