I got this from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law:
Beautifully perfect -- I just love the big pink daisies. Thank you Mom and Terri!
From my wonderful husband I got this:
And a Wii!!! It was 100 degrees here and Benny was feeling too sick to go to the birthday party he was scheduled to attend, so we just stayed in the air conditioned house and played Wii all afternoon! Glorious. We got more laughs and cackles out of Wii Sports than it's decent to report, and Wii Fit is completely fun even for the kids.
I love Wii Fit. You get a little avatar that's as fat or thin as you are. Then you do games and exercises to improve your balance and strength plus aerobics and yoga. The most awesome part about it is that each member of the family has their own little avatar (called a Mii) and you compete on the games and there's a scoreboard and stuff. Every minute you spend exercising goes into a "bank" that unlocks new games and moves and exercises and yoga poses and whatnot. It's COMPLETELY RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME! You get to stamp each calendar day that you work out and you can keep track of your BMI and your balance ability and other things.
Susannah gave me some lovely perfume, Shez has a plan to take me out for a massage, I have more presents at Ahno's house, and it's all wonderful. Beyond the presents though, I am just feeling very cheered up, very encouraged, very optimistic in general.
Dan also got me this last weekend:
I didn't think I would be able to ride a bicycle very well, with my back problems. However, Benny is getting so fast with his bike that I can't keep up with him marching along with the stroller. The first time I rode this bike, Dan took me on a very easy 2 mile ride. The next morning I woke up with great trepidation, to find that my back was no worse. The next day I went on the same ride with Benny. Again, no ill effects. For the last three days, including today, I've been riding between five and eight miles, and I am *NOT* having back pain from it. This is just so encouraging because I was so worried that bike riding was going to be another fun thing (like riding horses, doing karate, etc) that I can't do because of the spinal issue. Turns out, at least AT THIS MOMENT, it is going to be fine. I've been riding in traffic, feeling good, getting stronger.
Another thing that's been bothering me was not being able to work out at the YMCA because Sadie was refusing to go to the toy room. Dan and Ahno both volunteered to work with me so I could leave the kids to go work out, but I don't like asking for help like that and they both have other things to do. Plus it makes it such a production to get 30 minutes on the elliptical. Swimming with the kids is great, but doesn't get my heart rate up. Anyway, now with Wii Fit, I feel like I will be able to work out when I want to, with the kids right there.
2. Wii Fit
3. I have a plan to have the YA novel revised and the "real" novel drafted by the end of the year. Between trips to PA, the kids being in summer camp, and Nanowrimo, I believe I will get this done this year.
4. Weight Watchers is working -- I've lost 4 pounds.
5. Here's one final thing that's really helping my mental health. Doing the science fair, and now working on putting together the book extravaganza for fall has been really good for me. This is a way that I can really feel like I'm stretching myself, learning new things, experiencing growth, all within the parameters of parenting my children. Of course I learn by homeschooling, but doing the science fair and the book fair are really "grown up" things that have taught me a lot and continue to do so. Working on these massive projects and helping as an administrator at the co-op has given me a new feeling about homeschooling and parenting in general.
This may get a little goofy and sappy. You have been warned.
As I sit here at the beginning of 36, I am starting to see myself as a person again, not just as a mother, not just as a homeschooler, not just inside the walls of this house. Whether it's tearing down the street in traffic on my new bike or calling NYC publicists about organizing guest authors or spending the time and attention to get my figure back, I'm not sure, but something is reminding me of the person I used to be and I'm feeling a little braver, a little more certain, more driven than I have in years.
I'm thankful to my husband for seeing me this way when I didn't, for finally making me get that bike, and always encouraging me to go big, and for repeatedly telling the kids "That's Mom's birthday present, so she gets to decide what game to play next!" HAHAHA!!!