Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Feb '09

I Heart Zumba

Just came back from teaching another Zumba class. I can’t help but love it. The class I teach on Wednesday nights is an eight-week course and will end in two more weeks. I’ll miss it, but I’m exploring options for starting other classes elsewhere. I also teach at Anytime Fitness twice a week. Next week they’re changing my schedule from Tuesday/Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to Friday at 6 a.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m.

I love love love teaching aerobics. It makes me stronger, fitter, happier, and introduces me to lots of people I wouldn’t meet otherwise. I think the best part of leading aerobics is seeing how you’re helping others be happier, too. Some people have told me they don’t know how I can have the guts to stand in front of a mirror and move and dance while a crowd behind me watches every move and follows along. But when I’m standing in front of people showing them how to move their bodies to the music, absolutely everything else is washed from my mind. Even tonight when I got to class early and was setting up I looked in the mirrors lining the entire wall in front and thought, “Oh. My. Gosh. I really could have chosen my outfit better.” It wasn’t especially flattering. But once the music started and I was teaching, it didn’t matter anymore. It was just Zumba. I feel so lucky to be doing something I love so much.

In other news, this little guy is quickly getting to be a pro at turning himself around and coming down the stairs. Here’s another video of him doing it, but you can see he initiates and does it all on his own. He’s getting super confident.

Video of Wes coming down the stairs all by himself.

He’s walking nearly all the time; I hardly ever see him crawl. He loves those feet and legs of his! He’s still a little guy, though. He’s seventeen months. but can still wear pants size 0-3 months (although he does also wear pants size 3-6 and 6-9 months, if they’re very elastic-y). His shirts and onesies are size 3-6 or 6-9 months. And his jammies are 6-9 months.

And, yes, we’re still waiting for his first tooth.

Feb '09

Makes My Mom-Heart Proud

Sometimes I see other kids do stuff and it seems so effortless for them. Wes gets visits from three different therapists four times a month (occupational, physical, and speech). His physical therapist started coming last July, when Wes was about ten months old and getting close to crawling. Once he learned to crawl (11 1/2 months), she started working with me to help Wes climb the stairs. He caught on to that pretty fast. The next thing was to help Wes learn to turn himself around at the top of the stairs and come back down.

She told us to pick a single, short phrase to say to Wes every time he was at the top of the stairs so he would learn to start coming down when we said it. I chose, “Turn around.” Whenever Wes was at the top of the stairs I would say, “Turn around,” grab his legs and hips and physically turn him around and then help pull his legs downstairs.

I think we started working on this last August. Every month when the physical therapist came she asked how Wes was doing turning around at the top of the stairs, and my answer was always the same: He’s not. Not without a lot of direct intervention, anyway. Like, basically me doing it for him.

Then after a few months when I said, “Turn around,” he would actually turn himself partially (go from sitting up to putting his hands down on one side so he was angled away from me). This was major progress because it meant he was starting to connect “Turn around” with actually turning around. Then I would help him turn the rest of the way and help pull him downstairs.

After a while longer, maybe in December or so, I didn’t have to pull him downstairs all by myself; I could just nudge his legs and he would move them down on his own.

So envision working on a single skill with your baby for six months, with a lot of the time feeling like he’s not making progress at all, and then suddenly:

Video of Wes going down stairs 1. (Also check out some of his awesome standing and walking in this one.)

Video of Wes going down stairs 2.

He started doing it all by himself last Thursday. He’s 17 1/2 months old.

It makes my mom-heart proud.

Feb '09

The Little Guy

Yesterday my sister took these photos of Wes while he was visiting her. Thanks, Tara!

Feb '09

More Stuff

Wesley is doing so great with walking. You can just see his little boy bravery level increasing daily. He can push himself to standing from a squat and then take steps. When he stumbles, sometimes he’ll just push himself right up again and keep walking. I’ve been starting to count his steps, and at his best I’ve seen him take about ten at a time across a room. Tonight I saw him push himself to standing in order to walk towards a toy instead of crawl to it. He’s seventeen months old, and really growing up. Still no teeth, though. His physical therapist comes on Friday and I think she’s going to keel over in amazement at his progress this month.

In other news, I learned last week that my miscarriage was only partial and am therefore still in the process of miscarrying. Four weeks and counting. I’m still pregnant, fourteen weeks now, but not with baby, just with “stuff.”

I went to get an ultrasound last week, but since my doctor’s u/s technician was sick they got me an appointment at the hospital. It was one of those full bladder ultrasounds where you have to drink 32 ounces of water an hour beforehand. All I have to say is that these might also be known as The Ultrasounds of The Devil, particularly when the technicians are running behind and you have to stand in the waiting room (because it’s too uncomfortable to sit), bouncing back and forth and crossing and uncrossing your legs for half an hour until they finally get you in and then proceed to push on your full bladder for another twenty minutes to get the pictures they need. Add to that a fussy kid who was crying for half of the appointment, and then add a bonus intra vaginal ultrasound. And to make it the very best experience ever, add the bill we got today from the hospital for $729.15.

Futhermore, the next day I went back to my doctor, and since their technician was well again I had another round of ultrasounds (thankfully sans full bladder). The verdict: Yeah, there’s stuff in there, all right.

So still I wait.

The good news is that John and I booked a week-long vacation to Mexico at the end of April at a resort on the ocean, south of Cancun and north of Playa Del Carmen. Whenever I feel down I revert to thinking of warm sunshine, bathing suits, reading by the glorious blue lagoon pool, and snorkeling. It helps.

Feb '09


Since December I’ve been studying and preparing to take the AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) certification exam for primary group exercise. I’m already certified to teach group exercise by Fitour, but AFAA is more highly accredited. And the AFAA exam process is harder.

Yesterday was the Big Day. I woke up on Friday morning at 5, wondering if I should go ahead with the exam. I’d already paid for the test, I had spent two months of my life preparing for the test, and it costs a bit of money to change the date of the test. But on Thursday night as I was studying I had a miscarriage. I had been expecting it; I was twelve weeks pregnant but at a routine ultrasound at ten weeks had learned it was no good. So I’ve been waiting for the miscarriage and worrying it would interfere with a multitude of commitments I considered too important to miss, including my AFAA test. Was I done miscarrying? Was my body able to endure a day of aerobic activity and three exams?

I opted to go and drove two hours in the rain and, later, snow to get to the testing site. The workshop presenter was fabulous with an equally fabulous British accent. We spent hours reviewing anatomy, kinesiology, proper form and alignment, and preparing ourselves for the practical exams. There are two practical exams: One tests your knowledge of strengthening exercises (“Demonstrate at least two strengthening exercises for the pectoralis major…”) and stretches corresponding to each of the ten muscle groups. That test is done in a group setting, so you’re all demonstrating together. I think I passed this part, although I know I made at least one mistake.

The other practical test is an individual presentation where you stand in front of the class and demonstrate a movement (cardio, strength, or flexibility) and teach the class three variations of intensity. You’re encouraged to speak a lot during your presentation about proper form and alignment. This was my favorite part of the whole day; I had fun teaching my cardio portion to the class. I got a lot of whoops and hollers, which to an aerobics instructor is a good thing. I’m sure I passed this exam, even though I accidentally made a reference to table dancing. During the most intense part of the exercise we were jogging and jumping, and I told the class to land softly on the balls of their feet and, to help them do this, to pretend they’re moving on a glass surface. Except I couldn’t think of the word “surface” on the fly and instead said “on a glass table” and added, “Like you’re table dancing.” Just after it came out of my mouth I realized maybe an AFAA examination wasn’t the place to be talking about table dancing, so I quickly added, “The good kind of table dancing!” Thankfully, the table dancing comment got me a lot of those happy-sounding whoops and hollers, the loudest of which came from the examiner herself.

Finally (and by this time the day was starting to feel long) it was time for the 100-question written exam, which we had an hour to finish. The last thing I expected was to be the first one done, but that’s what happened. When I answered the last question I looked around and everyone was still hard at it. I didn’t think I had gone particularly quickly through the test. I mean, either you know it or you don’t. There were a few questions I had circled to come back to at the end that I wasn’t sure about, and I took a few extra minutes reconsidering my answers, but even with that I finished first. That could either be a good sign or a bad one. I have to answer at least 80 of the 100 questions correctly to pass, which I think I did, but I’ll find out for sure in 4-6 weeks when the results are in.

To celebrate the end of my studying days (which made me feel like I was back in college) and the end of my pregnancy, today I am cleaning the house, doing laundry, listening to Harry Potter on tape, and playing with Wesley. It’s a good day to move on.