Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You've Got to Move It

In the highly unlikely event that you haven't noticed, I am what you might call "sturdy."  In graduate school, one of my classmates referred to me as the "husky mountain girl"- offensive, but true. Plus, we both knew I could kick his ass in a heart beat. I am such a lady.

Despite my extra padding, I live an active life. I go to the gym, I try to hit my 10,000 steps each day, and I generally avoid putting foods in my body that have an ingredient list I can't pronounce (except for when I'm pregnant and Hot Tamales are involved. They call to me). As part of those efforts, I also look for opportunities to be active with Morgan. Whether it's riding bikes, swimming at the Y, or playing soccer in the backyard, we are always "doing." 

Last summer, I invited Morgan to participate in her first 5k with me. It was more fun than athletic, but it was still just over 3 miles of movement among thousands of other people who were crazy enough to get up at dawn and head outside. We had a great day, and she ran like a champ. What I didn't recognize, however, was the lasting impression those few hours would make on her.

Just a few weeks ago, Morgan's teacher sent home her most recent report card. Her packet was full of work samples, including math, science and writing. As I proudly perused its contents, I encountered Morgan's most recent writing sample. Her class is working on more complex narratives, complete with illustrations. 

To say I was shocked is an understatement. We ran the Color Run last summer, and it's something we rarely talk about. In fact, I had contemplated not doing it again this year. But as I read her words, I couldn't help but reconsider. In just a few short sentences, Morgan had captured everything about not only that day, but the types of memories I am trying to build with her. And it worked. With the most pure of insight, Morgan was able to reflect on being outside, being together, and being healthy. Maybe, just maybe, I am not going to completely screw this kid up after all.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

No Butts About It

Having children changes people in such weird and inexplicable ways...or at least it should. As David, Morgan, and I gear up for round two of this madness, each of us appears to be motivated into action as sort of random coping mechanism.  Not surprisingly, Morgan is asking lots of questions about her place in our family. Right after we announced she was getting a baby sister, she started quizzing us with questions like, "Am I still important?" and "Will you have enough love for both of us?" You know, the superficial questions that are super easy to answer. In an attempt to secure her pecking order (as if there was any real question), Morgan's bedroom door now includes her new title:

For my part, I have been playing Dave Ramsey. We have been transitioning to a cash-only system for most of our purchases, and every time we want to splurge on something, boxes of diapers and wipes flash before my eyes. It's become "waters only" at restaurants and "only matinees" for any movies we attend. My family loves me so much right now.

David, on the other hand, has become obsessed with health and wellness. He has scheduled physicals, put in more time at the gym, and is basically just consumed with gearing up for this new little person. A search of his Google history reveals phrases like "older fathers" and "becoming a dad after 40" - the baby's actually due one week before David turns 41, so I keep trying to convince him that he's over thinking all of this...then I go balance the checkbook one more time.

As a show of solidarity for his health-related efforts, I entered (and won!) a poetry contest this month that focused on colonoscopies. For those of you who don't know, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. We don't actually have a history of colon cancer in our family (prostate cancer seems to be our genetic disease of choice around here), but colon cancer is extremely prevalent and extremely preventable. While I know the idea of a colonoscopy sounds about as much fun as being on the night shift with a newborn, it's absolutely a worthwhile torture fest. In fact, I think a free colonoscopy might just be the perfect gift to get David this spring. Just one more pain in the ass for him to tackle.

Twas The Night Before My Colonoscopy(yes, read like the Christmas poem)
Twas the year I turned fifty, when my doctor did call
“Time to check polyps, both large ones and small.”

I said I’d be in, that I wanted to know     
But I was so scared of what the test might show.

I hemmed and I hawed, too nervous to think
In the pit of my stomach my feelings did sink

I gathered my courage and dialed the number
Ready to face my colonoscopy slumber.

“No food or drink, we need a clear view”
I emptied my guts all the way through.

I drank and drank, staying close to my home
Far from a bathroom I dared not to roam.

In the end it was worth it, so glad that I went
Just one simple test; a few hours spent.

The results could’ve been scary…6 polyps found,
Caught and snipped before becoming cancer-bound.

Cancer can lurk in the unlikeliest of places
Especially your colon, full of small spaces.

So my advice to you, as you read every line,
Get yourself checked, even if you feel fine!