Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why I love gymnastics

Today was our second session of gymnastics. It was, of course, amazing!
I'm loving the coaches. I feel like we got the best one. Lucky us.
Here's why I love the coach, Brianna. Of course I love her because Matt thinks she is cool. And he does whatever she says. He hangs on her every word. It's pretty cool. And, she's patient.
I also love her because today she told me that she had assumed that I had done gymnastics when I was younger. Ha! I'm not kidding.
Alright, so it's not because I showed off my cartwheeling skills. It's actually because I got really excited when she told the parents they could hop into the sponge pit with all of the kids. While some parents held back a little fearful I hopped right in. Gleefully, in fact. (This was to encourage Matthew, of course).
I had never been in a sponge pit. It looked fun. It was not. I got stuck. Seriously. It is like wading through quick sand. All the little kids who were throwing themselves in the pit and crawling around ... I'm at least 100 pounds heavier than them. It was not fun for me.
As I was desperately trying to get out of the middle of the sponge pit (without being hit by a flying toddler) I looked up to the coach for help. She was trying very hard not to laugh.
And that's when she said it.
"I thought you had taken gymnastics. I assumed you knew what the pit is like."
Ummm ... no.
I couldn't help myself. I started to whine. I finally said "I feel like I am in a nightmare or something."
She responded "yeah. That dream when you're running in mud and get move."
Basically, yes.
Don't worry. I made it out. The group waited for me. Matthew didn't. But the junior coach caught him while I climbed out.
But seriously, I'm loving that someone thought I was a gymnast. That's almost as funny as when someone told me that I look like Twiggy. (apparently it was the hairband I had on, but really, Twiggy???)
Anyway ...
Matthew did really well in class today. He flipped over the bar a couple times. He did the balance beam without holding my hand. He totally rocked out in the wiggle time at the end. It was fantastic and fun.
I love that in the class he just randomly comes and gives me a hug, or announces that he loves me or says, "it's just Mommy and Matty today." I love that.
We got home around 10:30 and by 11 we were both ready for naps. Loved it.
Today is also Mike's birthday. We bought him a digital camera which he loves (a new one because this one is 7.1 megapixels and his old one was 1 megapixel.). He gets another super wonderful gift tomorrow. And then I will blog about his birthday. Because the big day is tomorrow when we go to the Monster Truck Jam (yes, I know ... hick!) and then have a birthday party with my parents and sister. We also had cake tonight. Matt and I made the cake. It was fun. But more on that tomorrow.
Monster Truck Jam here we come!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Random Friday - The Bellydancing Post

What's so random about Belly Dancing, you ask?
If you knew me you would understand.
Yes, I may have spirit. I may enjoy music and dancing and having fun. These are all somewhat known facts about me.
However, my dance skills are not good.
So the fact that I decided to take a bellydancing class is pretty darn random. The fact that my sister took it with me is just plain crazy. And the fact that I'm blogging about it. Well, that's not so crazy.
Here's a brief history of my dance skills. My parents wisely avoided dance classes for me when I was really little. I had a tendency to run into walls and tables and desks and the like. They figurd that I may kill myself if I had to spin around and do other things like that.
It wasn't until I was about 9 that my parents had the courage to enroll me in a dance program. This program encompassed various aspects of dance including jazz.
I was horrible.
Sure I had the spirit.I tried. It was a summer class and by the end of the summer I had mastered the Step-Ball-Change. That is all I had mastered. I think I was a tree or something. It was horrible.
My sister is talented. She mastered it all.
I dropped out of dance.
Fast forward a few years. I had visions of being in musicals. My parents enrolled me in a musical theatre program. Again I took dance. Again I sucked.
Not a good sign.
I quit the formal dance training (and later learned that I couldn't really sing or act either). When I hit the legal drinking age, or so, I learned that dancing is much more fun after a few drinks, when it doesn't really matter how you look or what you are doing as long as you are moving. This sufficed for several years.
Until this week. When Becky and I decided to learn to shimmy in a bellydancing class.
Sadly my dancing skills had not improved at all.
When we got to the class we were given some interesting scarves to wrap around our waists. I just couldn't help it. I started to do my own little belly dance. And I started to giggle.
And, the thing about me is that when I get into a good giggle, I can't stop. I really mean it. I snort and I breathe funny and the harder I try to stop the harder I laugh. My sister, who has been my sister for the last 28 years could see it coming. And started to shush me. But it was infectious. So there we were, not even into the warm up with me on the floor laughing.
We get started. As the poor teacher is trying to show us moves I'm losing it. We started out with a neck movement. I understand that the purpose of the class is to learn all the various isolation movements and then put them together.
But seriously.
How on earth are you supposed to look at a room full of people doing neck movements and not laugh. I made the mistake of looking at my sister who was trying REALLY hard (and succeeding, I may add) and lost it.
This basically went on the whole class. I'd try something and screw it up, catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and start laughing inwardly. Then I'd look at my sister and see her doing the thing, realize how ridiculous it is that BECKY IS A BELLYDANCER and start to laugh.
So we get through the first 35 minutes. It felt like 6 hours. I was tired. My abs were aching (from the laughing) and I thought to myself "cool, maybe we will have time for coffee."
But NO!
It's time to "put it all together" and do some dances.
By some I mean 3.
Three separate songs where we had to use all the movements we had learned and put it all together following the teacher.
Do you know how hard it is to shimmy? It's even harder to shimmy and then do a neck thing and then do pelvic thrusts and then prance around the room backwards and forwards. My sister, of course, did not find it that hard. She just followed along. So did I.
The problem is that in any class where i have to follow a teacher I just watch the teacher and pretend I am her. I find it very distracting to look in the mirror. I either start obsessing about the rolls of fat or I throw myself off with my jerky movements. Plus, the teacher is usuallay prettier.
However, since we were at the back (Becky insisted on this - I prefer the front) I was right next to a mirror. And I caught a glimpse of myself.
Was I ever bad.
In my head I thought I was really catching on and learning some of the fine art of belly dancing.
I looked more like a lumberjack trying ballet for the first time.
So I decided that I had had it with this whole sensual dance thing I was going improv!
I skipped. I flitted. I spinned. I shimmied. I loosely followed direction. Becky kept dancing away from me. I didn't care. I was having fun.
At one point the phrase "this is bellydance not interpretive dance" may have escaped from her lips.
But let's be honest.
What did you expect.
When the three songs were over we had cool down. The breathing exercises actually did me in. I just sat in a tiny little ball and laughed. And so did Becky. I finally sucked her in to the giggling of the day.
I think we're going back. Next week.
We are on the hunt for coin belts. I think I would be an even more excellent shimmier if I made noise while I did it. Next week, also, I have decided I'm going to add some leaps in. Just a few balletic movements. Who knew bellydancing could be so fun.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

If it's too cold to go outside ...

Last night was cold. Frigid. And since there was snow Matthew wanted to play outside.
So, I decided to entertain Matt with my incredible skills.
So ...

I became a one-woman rollerblading band. In addition to playing guitar I also played the drums.

And I also mastered the marraccas.

All the while
my husband took pictures, and matt played and sang along. We sang songs like Jingle Bells and Happy Birthday and had a whole lot of fun. Of course, my rollerblading skills are not the best. But, it would turn out, they are far superior to the skating skills that I tried to master on the weekend.
I was so inspired by this that I did several laps of the basement screaming "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee"!!!!
You think I'm kidding. But, I'm not. Matt chased me screaming the same thing while Mike finally retreated scared that I was less mature than our two year old.
See ... fun! I recommend it. And then I went to the gym and ran (3 and 1's for those of you who care about such things)
And, what did Matt think of my performance??? His face says it all.

Stay out of the cold everyone!!!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just something I'm thinking about

Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a runner.
I was telling him how I'd starting going back to the gym, and that for some reason I have this running bug, and I keep thinking about running a 5k.
It's not like I have done this EVER.
I'll be the first to admit I'm not a running. I don't have a runner's body, I don't have a runner's stamina, and I have asthma.
And, as this friend pointed out to me - I don't exactly have the mindset of a runner. (that would be a mindset that focuses on one thing).
Now, I should tell you about this friend of mine. First of all, the reason I saw him yesterday was because he was celebrating a birthday - his 65th!! The man runs marathons. He's incredible. I know him through his son, a friend (and sometimes boyfriend) of mine in high school. So, yep, if anyone has any right to think they know how my mind works he probably would be one of those people.
But what I have going for me is a somewhat obsessive streak. If I want to obtain a goal, I usually do - through sheer will power.
In this case I will need willpower and a whole lot of stamina.
So we sat and figured out a bit of a plan in order for me to be able to run a 5k by my birthday (that is May 20th - mark your calendars, people, I like chocolate cake!). This is not to say I will run the whole thing. I think the goal is to make it through 5 k even if that means crawling part of the way.
And, I figure what is not to love about the runner's life? You get an uninterrupted time to listen to music, you get into shape, and you are encouraged to eat a whole ton of carbs!!! I love it.
So, tonight I will stick to my plan.
We'll see how long this lasts.
Mind you, tomorrow I'm attempting belly dancing. Seriously. I've done it once before and it is not something I am good at. I plan to drag my sister - after all I am going to Pilates ....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Laural (another one) and Skating - oh the excitement!!!

I'm soooo excited.
Let me introduce you to Laural!!!
No, not me silly. Another Laural.
I was reading my comments this morning and I got this comment from another Laural. Another Laural whose name is spelled correctly.
And, I laughed because when I read her blog I noticed that she also had Random Friday. Just like me. Cool. I'm so keeping up with Random Friday just because of this.
If you don't understand my excitement about this, then you likely have a name that is common. A name that you could find on stickers or barrettes or mini licence plates. Don't get me wrong. I like my name. I have grown to embrace it. and I wouldn't change it if I had the choice. But hearing from someone with my name. It made my day.


So yesterday ... What a crazy day! After gymnastics we decided to take the kids skating. We being my sister and I and our husbands. I HATE skating. I love to watch it, but I hate doing it. I am not coordinated and I don't really enjoy the cold.
Kyla really wanted to skate though. And Matt was on the Kyla bandwagon. I admit, I tried to bribe Miss K with licks and chapters but she just kept saying "maybe AFTER skating" so we went. Matt and I did not last very long. (Mike just took pictures).
He can't skate at all, so it's up to me to keep him upright. I wasn't good at it. We tried just holding one hand, but he kept tripping. We finally discovered I had to hold him from behind and tell him to walk. Good thing I'm short. It wasn't too bad.
Three minutes in he lost his balance and I lost my balance and we both went flying. OUCH!! I had wisely ought him a nice helmet and he had snowpants on. He was fine. I, on the other hand, am still nursing a sore knee :(
The bruise is great. I must remember to wear pants and long skirts this week to cover the knee.