Thursday, July 8, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday (on Thurs): Week 4 of 10

Hi folks! Back down to a steady 73..that is, until last night....ooopsie daisy..ha! I finally got "let out of the cage" and went out with the girls! It was such a great time. A new friend of ours (the couple we spent Midsummer - drunk hubby crashing bike - with and celebrated her hubby's 40th - porcelain bus ride for me-) invited me out for drinks with her best girlfriend. We laughed, we drank, we laughed some more, we drank some more, we ate chili nuts, we watched Spain kick some German butt and I dismissed myself from their company at a respectable 10:30pm.

Boy did I need that. And I didn't feel bad about the rose wine, pear cider and rose mixed with Fanta? And today I was back at it. Back on the diet, back to the workouts. I even added 10 minutes of leg pilates! How proud of me are you guys? I plan on setbacks but I also plan to make up for them. Where before I would let a setback like this ruin the next 2-3 days, I now feel an increased sense of responsibility to myself and to you guys to grab the reins again.

I can't deny myself the plate of spaghetti I was served before we went out but I can choose to half the noodle portion and double up on the sauce! I didn't dare step on the scale again this morning though. Instead, I'll wait a few days if that's alright by you.

Been spending everyday (almost) at the local pool with the little man and this week we ran into one of his friends from school. Joy! Guess I should mention that this little friend of his is Portuguese and his mother barely speaks English or Swedish. So it's been fun having conversations that involve our invented breed of sign language. She really is sweet and I'll do just about anything to ensure the little man has a playmate :-). Day after day after day in a bikini. Should I be wearing one? Probably not. But neither should 85% of the women who are wearing them either. So I fit right in...LOL.

Alright a little uhmmm..treat...for you guys. Me, last night, before I went out. It's really not a flattering shot but gotta keep it real! Note to self: Soooo shoulda worn a bra.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Helicopter Parenting: My thoughts and yours

I just finished reading a very timely and insighful post over at MckMama's, "Today's parent: Promoting a new kind of Nanny State".  Here it is:

I have noticed that parents here in Sweden, generally speaking, are much more laid-back in their parenting styles than uptight, paranoid me. Or maybe they're too careless and I'm the SuperMom. Though somehow I doubt it. I think there's a happy medium here, one that I long to achieve.

There's this cute-as-a-button 2 and half year old, let's call her Dolly, who lives a few houses down from us. The first time I met her, she was with her Mom in the park area a couple of doors down from their house. Her Mom left the park. I thought maybe she had to go check on another one of her kids for a quick sec. She didn't say a word to me. She just left. And the time ticked away. And I became increasingly agitated as I watched this beautiful blonde bubbly babe start to scale the neighbour's fence. I ran over to make sure I was there in case she fell. She didn't. She made it to the other side (something my kid would never attempt) and came back over again. She ran, she climbed, she jumped on the trampoline and then she took off on her little tricycle towards the street as a huge bus was making its way down the road. I ran like a bat outta hell (along with her older brother) towards her. In the nick of time I might add. My heart was racing for the 15 minutes her mother left her alone, in the park with no supervision (except for mine, which was not solicited but came naturally). For the record, this is so not cool.

And then there's the two little boys, one a few weeks younger than mine whose parents let them run down to the pool (no lifejacket or floaties) while they chat out of sight, backs turned with friends. Water and kids and no supervision. Not cool.

And the many kids in the neighbourhood who run seemingly free, many around the same age as mine. Whose parents are perhaps looking out the kitchen window (or not) while their kids play in an unfenced yard.

Then there's me. I never let my kid outta my sight. Even when he's in our gated front yard, I'm there. Or hubby is. He's not allowed to run on the slippery pool deck or climb the rock mountain in the middle of the pool. Or run too far ahead of me. If I notice some questionable interaction with another child, I'm intervening on auto-pilot (protecting whichever kid needs it). Even at the indoor playpark, I'm usually right there beside him climbing to the top.

“If you take away the child’s ability to naturally explore jumping, climbing, space, their body’s response to impact and how to adjust the way their body needs to land on impact, then you are not promoting their natural development. In fact, you are hindering their innate physical development. The emotional component of development also needs the opportunity to explore how to take risks and gain confidence. Kids are made (and for natural development, required) to spin, jump, and most importantly fall…The more you restrict a child’s natural need to take risks, the more they will seek out even more risky behavior. For example, if all they hear is “no jumping off the couch”, “no jumping off the playground structure,” “no jumping off the table” etc., etc., they are only going to be forced to search out something they can jump off of when you aren’t looking and there to make sure they are safe.” From MckMama's post (a commenter)

Our natural instinct as parents is to protect our children. But I realize I am too much. It has become too much. I need to take steps back. But how far back is too far, is too close? What if I let him climb to the top of something by himself and he falls and hurts himself and I could have been there to catch him? Could have prevented it by not allowing him to climb to begin with? What if that fall could have taught him something valuable but I was too overprotective to allow it?

He comes home from his fabulous school all the time with bruises and scrapes. The same kind we got as kids. If something MAJOR happens, I always hear about it from the teachers. But otherwise, the war wounds are evidence of his being a kid. When I was a kid, I wandered around the neighbourhood devil-may-care and spent everyday of my summer at the local pool, without my Mom around (I was likely about 5 when that started).

Why can't I let go a little, loosen the apron strings? Why am I so afraid? Well obviously I have very good reason to be afraid: kidnappings, head injuries, bee stings, car accidents, etc. Is there a such thing as a balloon parent? One that rises steadily upwards without hovering like a chopper? I feel like I am stifling and smothering compared to many of the parents here who stand back or in some cases, dissapear.

I want my son to become his own little man. One who isn't afraid to take risks in life. Today's jungle gym represents tomorrow's corporate ladder.

Talk to me Moms.

Sunshine and Lollipops

The sun has been shining here in Uppsala and we've been soaking up the rays with the rest of the stay-at-homes at Fyrishov, the local watering hole. We're taking picnic lunches everyday so as to save some coin and only spending on drinks, etc. I was looking forward to getting a bicycle to bike there and back but hubby pointed out something rather insightful: These people (in Sweden) are born with a bicycle seat attached to their rears and I am not. Wobbly enough on a bicycle without the added weight of a youngster, I'm not sure I'm willing to risk "it" to save some gas and the ozone. Sorry earth lovers. But I do compost!

I've been all over the map lately with emotions. One minute I'm bitter. The next I'm lonesome. Today while we were chatting with some friends over coffee, hubby was asked how he's feeling (about the direction of our business, the future, etc.) and hubby replied, "I'm thinking about Canada". Or something like that. But it kind of threw me a bit as I had never heard him say this out loud before. But in the next breath he spoke about this adventure being our future and how we were going to fight to make a go of it. I'm just not sure how much longer either of us can sacrifice to chase our rainbow...or what that rainbow even is anymore. Maybe it's not even a rainbow. It could be an ardvark (little man's fave animal these days).

And then I got to thinking. Gosh, we are always wanting what we don't have in life. I know, not that insightful. But it made me take stock of what we do have. I, for one, am able to stay home with my son all summer long...working when I feel like it. Taking off to the beach if the mood strikes. How many of you in North America are able to just pick up and go right now? How many of your kids are in childcare all year long, with the exception of your 2..maybe 3 weeks of vacation/year? This would be my life back home, of that I'm almost certain. Daycare drop-off 7amish. Pick-up 6pmish. And repeat. But then it need not be I guess. We are the architects of our lives.

We have made some friends here and I'm feeling more and more of a closeness develop with certain people and for that I'm grateful.

But we do miss "home'" very much. Why can't we just have it all?

I really gotta keep up with this. I find I'm busier now than I was when I was "working" full-time.
Brekky: Egg Salad
Bad snack: Friends came over for coffee and brought a bagful of sinfully sweet pastries. I had half a weiner bread. Now it's not like it sounds. It's actually some kind of danish with amazing creamy filling..delish. No hot dog in there.
Lunch: Meatballs & salad
Dinner: Gaspatzcho (sp) and leftover hamburger pattie
Snack: Smoked peperroni stick.
Exercise: Been keeping up with my routine but I seriously gotta add another set of exercises for my legs. I'm no longer sweating through these...though they do remain challenging.
Comments: I don't seem to be losing any weight...low 73s. Gotta change up something to kick start the fat burning.