Lots on my mind lately. Took the girls in to meet the new pediatrician. Appointment went well except my oldest is severly underweight and needs to be seen in three months for a weight check. Really liked the new doc - very no nonsense approach to medicine and parenting. Her advice was to allow my kids to graze during the day instead of sticking to three meals a day. The focus will be on healthy foods with a high fat content: olives, avocadoes, peanut butter and she told my husband that if he was worried about her weight then there was no room in her diet for empty calories. Pediatrician does not believe that weight loss is from gluten free diet. My daughter is eleven years old and weighs fifty-eight pounds. This is up from fifty-five pounds at the beginning of the month so we are hoping that the infection and hospital stay are to blame for recent weight loss.

My youngest is now forty-six pounds. 96% of children her age weigh more than she does, however she is following her growth curve so pediatrician is not worried. Jill is anemic, that was one of the things we discovered when her labs came back. Jane is not so we can keep doing what we have been with her. Lately Jane has been very into gymnastics. She took a six week summer school class at our local high school and I think that gymnastics may be her thing. Although many of the girls she practiced with have been in classes for years, Jane took fifth place in the floor exercises competition. We bought her an outfit for the big day. Unfortunately my husband didn't notice that the top and bottoms were different sizes so her shorts were slightly baggy, but they stayed up and she was super cute in red, white and blue.

After the competition Jane was upset. I think she expected to do better in the competition, although she wouldn't say what was bothering her. I drove home not knowing what, if anything, I should be doing. Jane internalizes a lot of things and it's hard to get her to open up about what is going on inside of her head. She wants to continue taking classes and after seeing how many hours she's spent practicing at home, we as parents are going to look into what it would cost for her to keep going. Since Jill was a weak performer in math this past year, we enrolled her in a six week math class. She missed a few classes due to being hospitalized and the one time that mom let her skip since I had an errand to run in another city, but when her report card came in, we were relieved to find out that she has the skills she needs to perform well if she chooses to apply herself.

The last time Jill took a bath, she stood in the bathroom crying while I combed her hair and removed the plastic bag from her arm. The PICC line is coming out on Friday and Jill is beyond thrilled. After her bath was finished, she told me that this was the worst summer ever, citing the fact that she missed the fireworks, because she spent her Fourth of July in the hospital. Having children can be one of the most frustrating things a parent can go through, however the lessons your children teach you pay dividends beyond your wildest dreams. Our family had a horrible Sunday, a hectic Monday, and a pretty crazy Tuesday. We need a new refrigerator, the seals on ours need to be replaced so now we are investigating and weighing our options. Does it make sense to pay the $300 it would cost for new seals or would we be better off putting that money towards a replacement?

In other news, my adult swim class is officially over and I am really pumped for the next session which won't begin until September. During August the YMCA closes down each of the pools for maintenance and cleaning. Some people think that this doesn't make sense during summer, but the beginning of the school year marks the return of after school swim teams to the Y and it makes sense to get this done before school is in session. After talking to my instructors about it, I am going to give each of the girls the option to participate in either swimming or soccer. I'm fine with Jane pursuing gymnastics, ideally she will stick with soccer as I think the fresh air, sunshine, and a team sport are good options for her future growth and development. Jill tends to view sports as an opportunity to chat with her little friends so we are nixing school sports where coaches are more lenient and giving her soccer or swimming as options because those are two activities where she will have fewer opportunities to chat and more opportunities to strengthen her body.

The other day I had a long talk with my sister about various things. I've been trying to get into better shape and I've been using a three prong approach: swimming, yoga, and biking. I swim once a week during class, I always mean to hit the pool at other times, so far that hasn't happened. There's a store near us that sells performance swimwear. Down in Florida I picked up two suits, however now I realize that I spent very little time lounging on the beach and considerably more time trying to learn how to swim with my face in the water. Although the character in Swimming, with Ted is fictitious, Ted represents a compilation of three people. Two of them are wheelchair bound and one of them is an amputee. All of my characters stem from some inner compulsion I have to write about them. Ted is one side of me that I like, even though he is a fairly dark character. We all have struggles in life, and Ted's no excuses attitude is one that I've been trying to adopt in my real life.

Today I rode my bike to the bank instead of driving there. I did my yoga DVD before I left and I've discovered that there is an exercise trade off between biking and yoga; yoga lengthens while biking compresses you. So I've taken a step backwards as far as yoga goes, however I've been able to increase the distance I can ride while reducing my time. Sunday I rode my bike to church, my new approach is to see how many places I can ride to without getting into my car. It's been frustrating to get on the scale, I have not only not lost any weight, I've gained quite a bit, but my sister said that she doesn't think I need to lose anything. A cool thing about me is that I meet people wherever I go. After swimming, I sit in the sauna. Last week I met a woman that has really made an impression on me. I saw her again last night and I really like it when I can just be myself when I meet new people even if I happen to be naked at the time. There seems to be an unwritten rule that you must wear a swimsuit in the women's sauna. To me this is uncomfortable and makes the sauna smell like chlorine, I also don't get it because we are all girls and I don't see why we can't accept people for who they are regardless of what they look like unclothed.

There's probably a lot more I could say about the things that have been going on at home recently. I want to change things, I want to change who I am, and how others perceive me. I'm tired of making excuses for myself, I've been making progress in several areas which is good, but I can't afford to get stuck on my successes as I still have a long ways to go. Right now, I'm super proud of the girls for being amazingly beautiful young ladies whose personality and charm are tempered by loving hearts and generous gestures. My oldest bought her sister a necklace for her birthday and my youngest bought her big sister a present because she didn't want her sister to be left out of her birthday festivities. We've made a lot of progress on the health and wellness front despite Jill's infection. I'm really hoping that Jill's school year reflects her considerable intelligence and we as parents are better about supporting her. I feel honored and blessed to have children, I feel bad that I haven't always been the mother they wanted, but I still love them and am glad that they are quick to forgive me when I ask for it. Currently I'm really excited for this school year and some of the other changes that have taken place, here's to hoping that we as a family move towards a brighter and better future together.

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