December 22, 2011

A Little Justification Goes a Long Way

Good news, blogger friends: a) I remembered what I was going to write about yesterday, and b) The Biggest Loser is over until January, so you have at least two weeks until I rave about it again.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the aquarium with my parents. Jacob had a wonderful time—there were four people to chase him/carry him around/feed him rolls, plus all kinds of fish and whatnot to look at. We went to celebrate my mom’s birthday, but Jacob probably thought it was his.

 

When it was time for the walrus feeding, the trainer went through a routine with the I-forget-how-many-hundreds-of-pounds beast to show off all she could do. The best part was when she explained that what the animal was doing weren’t tricks, per se but “behaviors,” skills she would have naturally used every day in the wild, but that she was doing on command while in captivity in order to keep her mentally and physically fit. “Behaviors, not tricks?” I thought to myself. “I can use this.”

 

So, friends, today I share some of Jacob’s recently developed “behaviors”—things he does naturally (in the wild?), but will do on command to his parents’ delight. I wish I could have captured some of this in video, but whenever I pick up the camera, all I get is a video of the little man whining to hold it himself. Maybe letting him play with it that day wasn’t such a good idea.

Jacob’s skills run the gamut these days. He’s a bit of a Renaissance man, tackling a little of everything. If we ask him where his ear is, he’ll point to it. If we ask him what a cow says, he’ll say, “Mmmmmmm.” And perhaps the most exciting trick, I mean, behavior, is that when we say “J-E-T-S!” he answers, “Jets! Jets! Jets!” For serious.

The performance isn’t always flawless. Honestly, if you ask him where any body part is, he’ll point to his ear (although he did make one valiant attempt at “belly button” yesterday). The other day, I asked him the two verbalizing questions too close together, so he ended up telling me that a cow says, “Jets! Jets! Jets!”

I’d like to meet that cow, for sure.

 

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December 21, 2011

Gets Me Every Time

Okay, so I know I’ve written about this before, but I forgot what I’d planned to write about today. Better luck tomorrow.

 

In the meantime, here’s the thing: I love The Biggest Loser. I watch it on Hulu while I eat lunch if Jacob’s napping or dinner if John’s not home. The irony is not lost on me.

 

I don’t cry very much at books, movies, etc. I considered crying during Titanic. I guess The Notebook made me tear up (book and movie). Oh, don’t get me started on Where the Red Fern Grows. But every time a contestant on The Biggest Loser talks about his or her family, or sees his or her spouse or loved one after weeks away, I lose it. It’s like flipping a switch. I’m fine one second, and the next I’m totally blubbering.

 

I recognize that most “reality” TV is a lot of drama, and not an honest representation of real life. It is atypical to have twelve weeks—and three professional trainers—to get yourself healthy. But apparently, if you have the opportunity, it works.

 

What I loved about what I watched from this season was that it seems that more people came to the show ready to make a change. There was plenty of emotional breakthrough and enough struggle, for sure, but not a boatload of drama.

 

At the end of the day, it seems to me at least, this is a show about doing something positive for yourself, your family, and your community. It’s about being healthy inside and out and having a positive self-image—not because you’re skinny, but because you believe you’re worth it. And you can see it in their smiles and in the way so many of them point to the heavens in gratitude for their success.

 

There’s not a whole lot on TV that does that, and I’m grateful for a show that seems to be doing something right. And that gives me a good cry when I need it!

December 20, 2011

Spelling Bee Gone Horribly Wrong

Jacob may not be saying a whole lot of words, but he certainly understands a lot of them. John and I are at the point where we have to spell anything that involves food, eating, or a trip to the park, unless Jacob is going to be involved with any of those things immediately. The little man knows the names of all three meals, most of his food, and “hungry” and “thirsty.” Can you say “one-track mind”?

 

This made for an interesting conversation over the weekend. We’d been out to a Christmas party on Saturday, and on Sunday there was still some f-o-o-d left in the stroller for Jacob’s afternoon s-n-a-c-k—crackers, to be specific.

 

As we prepared to go o-u-t, John wanted to be sure there was enough for our little food monster, but all the spelling can get kind of time-consuming. He shortened things and ended up asking me if there was “c-r-a-c-k” in the stroller. I confirmed, then doubled over in laughter so that I could hardly breathe.

 

Yes, dear, there’s crack in the stroller. Just the kind Jacob likes, too.

 

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