Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Movie star moms and me

I don't have television. Many people will ask me, "Did you see last night's Lost?" or "Do you watch The Office?" Always I have to admit, no. I don't mind though. I'm not big into TV anymore and I don't care for most shows that are made anymore. But, once in a while I wish I had a television. Last night was the Golden Globes. Now, it's funny that I should want to watch a TV program that gives awards to other TV programs, but it isn't the award ceremony I'm after. I want to see the female stars on the red carpet. I love to look at the dresses. Because I don't have television to watch the ceremony, I look at still shots on the Internet.

Last night had some real stunning outfits, and most of them in a good way. Some of my favorites: Reece Witherspoon's yellow dress. She looked really nice in that simple yellow and the dress was not too tight. I also liked Meryl Streep's gown. It had this middle-ages look to it and I like that style. Angelina Jolie looked like an old-fashioned, golden days of Hollywood, movie star. Very glamorous.

What really gets me, though, is the body shape of these women. So many of them have had baby's in the last year or two. They look like they have never been pregnant, like they never had a belly stick out like an oversized basketball. They are incredibly flat and show no baby tummy. It makes me sick. After four kids, I look like I've had ten. The weight never came off. So, what happened? Well, I guess if I had millions of dollars, I could hire a fully time babysitter, a personal trainer and a good gym membership. Then, while that babysitter takes care of my kids I could exercise 5-10 hours a day. As it is, I have no babysitter and no personal trainer. I have a baby who screams at me when I'm not holding him and a toddler who is pulling at my legs.

When I pop in that exercise video, the toddler first lays in the middle of the floor to watch, cutting my space in half. Then, she needs a drink of water - right now! Then a snack, then the phone rings, then I try to kick out my leg like the exercise lady and I kick the toddler who decided at that moment that she needed to be held. Toddler screams and the baby screams harder and the video goes off 10 minutes after I start it.

Let's try a different form of exercise - the walk. Every women's magazine will tell you, if you walk 10,000 steps a day, you will loose a pound a week without any extra work. OK! Great! I pull out my double stroller and fill it with two bottles of formula milk, a water bottle for the toddler, snacks for the toddler and lots and lots of blankets for the baby and toddler to wrap in. Load kids, give them bottles and make sure they are well wrapped and warm. I grab my cell phone and clip on my pedometer. We are out the door. Walks are pretty nice for me. As long as the stroller moves the baby stays quiet and eventually falls asleep. Later the toddler will fall asleep and I just walk and walk. After walking for 3.2 miles (or whatever I manage for the day) I return home and grab a huge jug of water. The kids wake up and I sit down to hold them. By the end of eight weeks I've walked over 230 miles - many, many more than the 10,000 steps a day. But guess what? I've gained 10 pounds. AHHHHH!!!!

So, I look at the stars in their tight fitting dresses as they show off their flat stomachs. So many of them are around my age, early 30's, have 2+ children, have millions of dollars and they look great. I, on the other hand, have my children, lots and lots of stomach, no money to my name, and big, dark, baggy eyes. I try not to let those kinds of things get to me, but I would love to have Reece Witherspoon's stomach. Well, since I can't, I watch the awards ceremonies and make fun of the dresses that I think are hideous and long to look good enough to wear the dresses that are elegant.

By the way, who is watching their kids while they attend these 6 hour long ceremonies? I can't get (or afford) a babysitter for a hour, much less six. A friend was going to watch the kids for me yesterday, but it fell through at the last moment. Mid-term finals were her excuse. Another friend was going to watch my kids for me tomorrow, but that fell through too. Her own children came down with a stomach bug. So much for a few hours alone. That is something that those movie stars will never know.

So, while the star moms are out and their babysitters are watching their kids, I'm home, raising mine. But it is me, personally who takes care of my children. I'm not missing a moment of their lives - for good or bad. I guess I'm not a total failure. I may not be skinny, I may not have money, and I may have baggy eyes, but the duet my daughter and I do when we sing My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean is something I wouldn't miss for the world. I think I deserve the next major award for my hard work.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Poetic thoughts

It has been a long time since I posted anything. Things have been very busy, but I want to start blogging again. If for no other reason than just to write my thoughts and feelings down. I guess I could use a journal, but this is more fun!

I wrote a journal entry just last night about poetry. It has been a kind of secret desire of mine to write poetry. What a lovely way to express a thought. I'm not for the deep, symbolic poetry that English professors like to force upon their students. I just like that it is such a lyrical and fun way to say something. I like the rhyming ones a lot.

Unfortunatley for me, I haven't written poetry since elementary school. Perhaps I wrote some in middle school or high school, but I really don't remember them. I do remember elementary school, though. My mother was my school teacher for two years. But, my 5th grade year I had a new teacher at my mom's school. Her name was Mrs. Neal. She was an art lady and had us do all sorts of fun art projects but she had us do a large personal book of poetry. What fun that was! I remember two of my poems: The Moss Boss and The Monkees. Let me provide some background on the titles of those poems.

First the Moss Boss. In the 5th grade, I was in a Girl Scout troop. I really enjoyed GS and loved when we went camping. Well, we had gone on a campout one week and sitting in great amounts on the lake's surface was algae. I called it Moss. I gathered up a handful and played with it. Many of the girls were grossed out by the slimy green stuff I was holding. Soon, though, others were playing with it, and they started bringing me this "moss" in great handfuls and I was dubbed The Moss Boss by my leaders. So, my poem was about my week of moss.

The other poem, The Monkees, is pretty self-expanatory. In 1987, the Monkees were making their 20-year anniversary comeback. I got caught up in it and loved watching the show on Nickolodeon everyday, Monday through Friday at 4:00. I loved the show. I loved the music. I had a huge crush on Peter Tork that only an 11 year old could have. I wrote about my love of my favorite TV show and band. ( I still love watching the Monkees on DVD and still love watching Peter Tork, but that is a topic for another day)

So, back to the poetry, it has been a terribly long time since I tried to lyrically write a thought. I can't even recall a haiku that I've written in the last 15 years. It is something that perhaps one day I'll try again. One day I'll express myself in rhyme and meter. Don't look for it anytime soon, though.