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    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Fruit Salad Thighs

    Ladies, the swimwear industry really has us covered. (Yes, I can hear your sarcastic laughter.) If you have a problem, they have a solution. Cleavage challenged? There’s bust enhancing tops. Pouchy paunch? Try the tummy control panel option. Hips wide as a three lane highway? There’s cute hip minimizers available.

    But for my particular “body issue” there seems to be no hope, short of a mumu. I have a condition I like to call “Fruit Salad Thighs.” You know, they’re chunky, lumpy, and an ambiguous shade of pink just like your grandma’s fruit salad.

    Now, our family has a vacation planned in April which regrettably involves a beach, so about a month ago, I got desperate. You see, my gym membership has failed. (Am I supposed to actually go in and do something, or does waiting by the snack machine in the lobby count for something?) My Atkins diet failed. (Help! I’m a protein prisoner!) And in a few short months, I have to put on a bathing suit in the only place with skinnier people than stinking, granola-hiking Colorado. (In case you don’t know, Colorado always tops those ‘Fittest Places’ polls that mean people conduct in order to make people feel even worse about themselves.)

    Anyway, back to my dilemma. I’d spotted ads for a cellulite-reducing product in several magazines, so I visited their website. I saw the fantastic pictures of smooth-bodied people and read the ticker commentary. One woman mentioned how she wished she’d taken before and after pictures. I snickered. Who in their right mind would willingly pose for before pictures of their problem areas?

    Fast forward two months. I wish I had taken before and after pictures. As far as I can tell, the miracle product met its match with my fruit salad. I don’t see any difference. My thighs are the same mixture of pineapple chunks and marshmallow lumps. No smooth, gleaming, glorious limbs for me.

    Which puts me right back where I started. At least I think it does. I don’t know for sure, because I didn't take before and after shots.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Exciting News!

    Yes, I have exciting news to share, and although I did visit a certain unpleasant doctor today, it is not news of a reproductive nature. So with that disclaimer out of the way, lets get on to the good stuff.

    My mom is the famouserific author of the Dragonkeeper Chronicles, Donita K. Paul, in case you didn't know. She and I co-authored a series of children's books, and today we received our official offer letter from Waterbrook Publishers. Woohoo! We are both thrilled!

    The books feature the unlikely duo of an adventurous turtle named Roger and his easy-going dragon friend, Padraig. Together, Roger and Padraig embark on imaginative journeys on the high seas, through the creature-ridden jungle, and in their own backyard. It doesn't matter where these two find themselves. They can create adventure out of nothing. Rather like two boys I know.

    And yes, my youngest son helped Roger into existence by refusing to fall asleep one night, prompting his desperate mother to squeeze a story out of her poor, tired brain. My little guy fell in love with Roger the night that intrepid turtle crawled out of my imagination, and Roger has been a family member ever since. By the way, we have several other imaginary family members. This makes dinner conversation quite entertaining.

    I will keep you up to date on Roger and Padraig's journey toward publication. The publishers are shooting for Fall of 2009, but you never know, turtles have a way of slowing things down. And now, I will go back to jumping up and down.

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Lying Down Part 2--"Where's My Teddy Bear?"

    Okay, so we've established that I'm a frazzled mother who needs more rest. But right now I want to talk about extreme fatigue. You know, the kind felt by soldiers after battle, firefighters after a blaze, and moms on, say, a Tuesday. If you have kids, you know what I'm talking about--muscle-mashing, eyelid-dragging, tear-inducing exhaustion.

    I'd like to introduce you to my coping mechanism for when this dreaded condition strikes and I am the sole responsible party in a house with destruction-capable kids. It's a game called "Where's My Teddy Bear?" Played correctly, this will get you a good ten minutes of adequate, if not totally refreshing, horizontal time. Now, you already know that if you lay down on the floor, your kids will find your prostrate state irresistible and begin pounding you. So the trick is to capture them in your arms, snuggle them close, and pretend to go to sleep. Snore loudly. Make drool-slurping noises. Imitate your hubby's best sleep grunts. Inevitably, your kids will try to escape. Let them. But as soon as they've gotten a few feet away from you, wake up. In your best three-year-old whine ask, "Where's my teddy bear?" Proceed to cry like a baby, repeating "Where's my teddy bear? I need my teddy bear." At this point, if you're lucky and your children have even a smidgen of humor, they will return and snuggle up next to you. Simply repeat this process until you've recharged your battery enough to continue with your day.

    Now I realize that the day is fast-approaching when my oldest son will figure out my secret and refuse to play the game. Don't worry. I'm preparing a new game for when that happens. It's called "My Backside is made of Lead just like Yours." My plan is simple. I will park myself on the couch next to him and tell him "My backside is made of lead just like yours, and I can't possibly get up and get you chocolate milk and cheese crackers." Of course, this game is yet untested. So if anyone would like to give it a whirl, feel free. You know, this just might with husbands too!

    Lying Down

    I have a long and glorious history of lying down. It started when, as a child, I would eat too much (we’ll discuss dysfunctional food issues later), and I would get up from the table and lie down flat on the floor. This position provided the best digestion and, in my opinion, still does.

    In fact, as an exhausted mother, I find horizontal to be imminently preferable to vertical. My favorite moment in the day is when I throw my extra pillow on the floor around 11:00 and lie down flat to go to sleep.

    But lying down isn’t just for sleeping. It also comes in handy in other situations. For instance, after Thanksgiving at your in-laws when you would much rather digest your turkey than help clear the dishes like the good girl your mother raised you to be. Simply lie down, flat on the floor, and your extended family will think that something is wrong with you, either mentally or physically, and not only leave you alone, but give you a wide berth.

    And, my most favorite use of the steam-roller pose: diffusing tension. This is especially useful when you have young children who tend to transform you from an intelligent, gentle woman into a mutant psycho whose blistering screeches makes smoke-detectors downright dulcet. When this happens, flatten yourself on the floor. Your children, much like vultures, will discover your weak condition and take advantage of it. Yes, this may hurt a little (or a lot if they’re the jack hammer type), but it will also produce smiles. In between the pounding, you’ll find yourself giggling as your little ones discover "Jungle Gym Mommy" in place of "The Mominator."
    Give it a try, but don’t be surprised when you find bruises in odd places the next day.