Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving and Control and Mashed Potatoes and The Talk

We are heading back up to Massachusetts on Tuesday night for an extended stay, and, just to beat a dead horse here, I am so excited. The excitement/thrill of it all is not fading at all. And this time I am not just excited to be escaping the city for the country, but also because this means for the first time ever, Nicole and I will have Thanksgiving alone. Normally, we are the one trotting off to everyone else’s home for this (and every) holiday. And not just holidays: We usually are the family members that go to other’s homes, period. We established this paradigm way back, and it is one that is hard to shake.

I said that once we had kids, we would stay put more often. So we had kids (nothing like reducing years of infertility down to a few words; like it was soooo easy) and we still are all over the place. Yes, the holidays are about family and spending time together but I have to remember that we four are a family, too. And I don’t want my kids to remember holidays as blurry images they see from the back seat of a car as we drive from family home to family home. I don’t want them to rush through Christmas morning so we can get in the car and beat traffic. Maybe I am saying all this to assuage my guilt, but, I must say, I am looking forward to our first Thanksgiving alone.

Thanksgiving dinner will be a semi-simple affair: Turkey, stuffing; mashed potatoes with crispy shallots and a roasted fall vegetable medley. I’m thinking a few well made dishes will trump an abundance of so-so dishes. The thing is, I am really good at making so-so dishes. I would never say I am a great cook, but I would say I do make a few great dishes and then mostly a range of solidly just fine, it’ll do dishes. And I am really good at ordering pizza. I am trying to have patience and concentrate on making the best mashed potatoes I have ever made and an extra flavorful fall veggie medley that is appropriately tender and crisp. Nicole is in charge of the turkey and stuffing because I can’t handle stuffing a raw turkey. Nor can I handle reaching into the birds cavity and pulling out that bag of…what is IN that bag anyway?

I wonder what the girls will eat. I have tried to get them to eat mashed potatoes about 10 times and they turn their little noses up at it. Over the summer, my mom made them mashed potatoes from a box and of course they LOVED them. How oh how could they love that crap? How do they have a taste for synthetic food at such a young age? Fresh, homemade mashed potatoes eschewed for flakes of potato product mixed with water and milk? I don’t understand the toddler palette at all. I just can’t make those fake potatoes for them and will keep trying to get them to eat the real deal.

Speaking of food, Nicole had The Talk with me. The Talk about weight loss and unhealthy attitudes and all that. Two summers ago, I was running a lot and eating too little (it was summer, and hot and humid) and just on the go with the girls and I lost a little too much weight. Once I saw femur bones and ribs I cut back a little on the runs and ate a little more and tried to find a happy medium. Of course, this lead to….massive weight gain. No one does yo-yo dieting like I do. I am the Oprah of my social circle in that way (without the billions). My yo-yo range is about 20/25 pounds, and I gain and lose it almost yearly. When am I going to stop that? Good question. I know it is not healthy. I am not sure what exactly yo-yoing does in the long run, but I am sure it isn’t good. People will talk about how it destroys your metabolism, but mine seems just fine. My body responds to exercise really well, and it always has. It also responds to a lack of exercise really well, and it always has. Lesson here: If I exercise regularly, I lose weight. And if I don’t, I gain weight. Simple. So I usually exercise. What helps is that I really do love to exercise: It is my hour of alone time every day. I really look forward to it.

When it comes to food, my biggest issue is I don’t know moderation. Actually, that is my biggest issue in life. I do everything full throttle. I don’t overdo it on most food, but, like most people, I have some trigger foods. Pretzels are top on that list, followed by things like Samoa cookies or Gummi bears. All those things I can eat in their entirety in one or two sittings. And then I will punish myself for eating so much but cutting waaay back on what I eat the next day; in part organically (I am stuffed) and in part to create a calorie deficit. This creates an awful cycle. So because I don’t know moderation, I cut out. It is easier to say no to pretzels than to say, ok, I’ll have a few. And that sucks. I need to master control and balance and moderation, and quick, before my girls get any older.

While I am about ten pounds more than I was at my crazy summer bone-showing low, Nicole pointed out that she could feel a rib or two. So I have been put on notice. My attitude toward exercise is healthy, but I do suffer from body image issues, which never seems to alter no matter what end of the weight spectrum I am on. Where does this come from, this bad body image? I need to figure that out too, so I can make sure my girls don’t go through all this BS.

On a random note, I asked Nicole to pick up some strawberries on her way home from work, and she came home with two pounds of strawberries; two pints of white raspberries; a pint of blueberries and a pint of blackberries. Talk about lack of moderation! Looks like I will be packing fresh fruit to take up to Massachusetts.

Pictured above: Toddler pile up. I was trying to read on the floor, but me in this position usually attracts company. And trees glorious trees, in our backyard! And the girls running around the house. In Christmas sweaters that are too big but I don’t care. They are so cute (The girls and the sweaters).


Anonymous said...

I've never posted before...but I've been reading for a very long time. I finally have to pop out of lurking to let you how much I enjoy your blog. The house looks wonderful, please share more than just that one window, even though the view is awesome (if you feel comfortable doing so). The picture of you and the girls lying on all that bare floor space is complete happiness. I understand your feeling of running here and there for holidays, been there done that, stopped doing it, when my daughter was about the girls age. Enjoy your first of many holidays in your new home. It's time to start traditions that will be with you, Nicole and the girls forever. Thank you for sharing your journey. L

Jess said...

Great pics! I am with anonymous...would love to see some more pics. I am so excited for you guys to spend Thanksgiving in your new place. The girls are getting so grown up. Looks like they love their new place....all that yard to run around and have fun. They really are getting the best of both worlds....lucky girls (and moms)

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K J and the kids said...

So many mixed feelings with that picture of you on the floor. It's beauty and happiness has been captured PERFECTLY. However...I know how it feels to be playground equipment with jabs to the head, neck and face....or bouncing on your back or stomach.
But the memories....speaking of that you are getting them with this new place of yours.
Enjoy my friend.