Thursday, December 23, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

The kids and I are staying with Dad and Susan this trip. They have this huge room downstairs that's been converted to a bedroom/family room and we are lucky enough to have the run of it. This morning, I woke up at some ungodly hour - between the time difference in Illinois and NC and this room being somewhat unfamiliar, I couldn't go back to sleep.

Well, okay, actually it was more that this is the most comfortable bed EVAH and after a few hours, I felt like I'd gotten a full night's sleep. This just confirms my belief that the hub-o-licious and I have the crappiest luck (or perhaps skill) in choosing a mattress that sleeps well after night 6. Seriously. In our ten years together we are on our second new mattress, and it's like I slept on a box o'rocks some mornings.

Also adding to my sleep issues is that S, who was sleeping with me, was having a bad dream night. This meant that whenever she got close enough to feel or sense my body heat, she'd scream, "noooooooooooooooooo" and kick or hit out at me. This is not uncommon, by the way. But it's a pain in the butt when I end up resorting to sleeping on a queen sized bed in various geometric angles to avoid the S zone, which changed constantly. She'd also scream and strike out if I moved her or covered her up or did anything else to show my maternal love and concern for her safety and well being. Sigh.
So early this morning I'm up, might as well spend some time on the ol' laptop. The kids have been delighted to have my full attention for two whole days now and have rewarded me by listening and being wonderful. It's like they've been invaded by aliens. I haven't had to speak sharply or raise my voice on this trip with the exception of coming back to Dad and Susan's tonight only to have some sort of target practice break out between the two of them that apparently used my giant, southernified hair as a target. More on the hair thing in a sec.
By the time I check my email, fiddle around on FB, do a quick blog entry, it's around 6 am. I realize that I should lie back down right this second if I ever plan on it and rest until the kids wake up. They are excited about seeing Mom and Richard so I expect them to be up pretty early. I should also mention that while sleeping S has not appreciated my body heat output while we were on the bed, once I left and was online, she didn't appreciate that either and pseudo woke up crying, "My mommy left me", which just means she was awake enough to realize I wasn't on the bed and she wasn't at home, not not enough to actually be awake. I solved this problem by sitting by the side of the bed nearest to her.

By 8 am, T was awake and I headed up to take a shower. S woke up in the meantime and so we got ready and headed out for the day. We headed to Mom and Richard's where the kids immediately forgot I existed. I was just fine with that, actually. Mom asked if there was anything I needed to do and I asked her if she would be willing to watch the kids if I could get an appointment with my old hairstylist. He's opened his own hair studio and the last time I saw him was about six weeks after S was born. I missed my last hair appointment in Illinois because there was a thing at T's school that night and I volunteered at the beginning of the year for it and then it was Thanksgiving and then life happened and then here it is almost Christmas and I still hadn't rescheduled an appointment. I love going to Wayne for the simple reason that I go in, he says 'what are we going to do today?' and I say, "whatever you want' and somehow I always, always love it.

So I call him and he's like, come on over! And I go. Since he fit me in, it took me a while to get done especially since he did color and cut. But man, do I love it! His styling assistant gave me some serious volume, and made it look like I have thick, amazing hair. That's really hard to do to my hair without making it look all product-laden. So I just took a picture with my laptop camera, after having slept on it a couple of hours and having the kids be unable to keep their hands off of it. Since the kids were asleep, the lighting is pretty dim so you can't see the color, but here's the new, improved me...

Workout Wednesday, the Holiday Thursday edition

Yeah, I know, it's Thursday. I spent all day driving yesterday with the kids and no dvd player. Other than their habit of insisting that I look at something they were doing which required that I have a neck a la Elastigirl from the Incredibles, it was a great trip. Not much of a workout, though.

Workouts last week were good - I did a lot more cardio than anything and I did enough eating to embarrass myself. Old habits are doggone hard to break as it turns out. Seriously, too bad there aren't nutritional pills like the Jetson's had. If I could figure out how to make food about nutrition instead of other things, I think I'd have way more luck with this weight thing. Plus, I am having the worst time getting past this number on the scale. It will not budge. SO frustrating!

Since I'm traveling and not really working out this next week, I can just stick to the Weight Watchers plan, move around as much as possible, and hope for the best. Life can get back to normal (whatever normal is supposed to be these days) next week. It's a marathon, not a sprint, right? ::Snort!::

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Time - actual time, family time, potty time. Time, time, time.

The alarm went off at 6:00 this morning. Actually, it was really 6:02 because apparently R has decided to compensate for my little habit of fast forwarding time by rewinding it.

I see what I assume is his point - that if I set the clock ahead and still run late, what difference does it make if the clock is set behind a couple of minutes? Best case scenario, setting the clock back a few might actually make me more aware of the time and more likely to not be late.

Not even.

It just annoys me when I think it's 6:00, and then I realize it's really 6:02. And, yes, I have moved the time up, only to have him move it back.

I have many possible theories about why he does this - it's actually a new thing for him (or at least one I've never noticed before) - but to put them down here would just prove that I have utterly ridiculous thought patterns and likely need professional help.

What?!? I'm totally fine. Really.

Anyway, the clock goes off at 6ish this morning. Let's focus on the positive. How awesome is it that R takes the time and trouble to set the alarm for me every single morning? It's like he thinks I won't get up on my own or something. What?!? I totally would...eventually.

I hear T come in the bedroom around 6:2oish. The snooze had just gone off for the second time and I was thinking through my sleep haze that it would be really nice if T caught the bus today. The kids and I are leaving in the morning to go to NC for a couple days, so I have so much to do today, including buying rhubarb pie for my mom's husband. (That's a long story.)

I don't want to go and buy the rhubarb pie because beside that pie at the country store I'll have to visit to purchase it? Are other pies...apple, lemon, apple caramel walnut, coconut...the list goes on. There are also muffins, brownies, fudge, cookies, and other pastries. I love desserts - especially really good ones. Lately, I've been really good about not over indulging, but I have to admit I'm feeling weak today. But I have to go today because we are leaving in the morning. I couldn't go yesterday because we aren't leaving until Wednesday, and that just seemed like pie roulette with no way to refrigerate it and 12 hours in a car ahead of it.

All of this flashes through my mind in a second or two and then T's face is there, right in front of mine.

Mom. Is it okay if I go to the bathroom in your potty?

Yes, T. Go ahead.

Seriously, do I have a magic potty? Both the kids want to use our bathroom rather than theirs. I have no idea why. T goes to the bathroom and then starts to lie down on the floor beside the bed. R has long since left for work, so I tell him to lie down in our bed. Naturally, then I have to go to the bathroom, so I turn off the alarm and head that way. To my huge surprise, S is on the other side of the bed, asleep on the floor with her pillow and blanket. When did that happen? She's been coming into our room every night for the last week or so. She never wakes us up, just finds a spot on the floor and curls up and goes back to sleep. Sigh. I'll worry about it later.

I've no sooner sat down on the toilet than in comes S.

Mommy, I have to go potty.

S, honey, use your bathroom.

Nooooooooooooo. I want to use that potty.

OMG. It's too early for the whining. So I lie.

Well, I'm going to be here for a little while. I pick up a magazine to prove my point. S makes a frustrated noise, stomps her food and whines, "I don't want to use mmmmmmmyyyyyyyy potty. I want to use yooooooooouuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrr potty."

Naturally.

I ask T to walk with S into the other bathroom and make sure the seat is down for her. He agrees and she actually goes with him. Yay. Ten seconds later I'm brushing my teeth and S runs back in, hops on our potty and goes. T walks up to the bathroom door.

Did S go in the other bathroom, T?

Yeah, but she heard you flush and hopped off and ran in here to finish.

Ah. It must be a magic potty after all. Maybe it's like the sleigh bell from the Polar Express and I can't hear it ringing, but the kids can. I'll have to ask that tomorrow during our trip. We'll need something to talk about at some point, I'm sure.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chicken soup for the soul

Tonight, after putting the kids to bed, R and I settled down on the couch. T, who rarely, rarely gets out of bed after the ol' bedtime routine, came downstairs and said he had to go to the bathroom.

When R asked him why he came downstairs, he said that he didn't want to wake up S, who has recently been most averse to the ol' bedtime routine lately, by flushing the toilet.

Clever and also smart.

After using the bathroom, he was trying to explain to R why he couldn't sleep. Sometimes T still has a lot of trouble getting the words in his mind to come out through his mouth. As he struggles to form the words, he gets frustrated and upset which starts a vicious cycle.

Seeing the process start, I asked him to come and cuddle with me on the couch. He folded up in my lap (not unlike an accordion - he's so tall these days!) and snuggled in.

What is it about kids in pj's all sleepy and warm and snugly? I felt myself relax as he did, which was funny because I didn't realize that I was tense.

So I sat and watched him fall asleep, trying not to seem like I was watching him fall asleep because similar to a watched pot not boiling, staring down a 6 year old isn't the best way to send him off to sleepy land.

Within minutes, he was breathing deeply and regularly and not moving if I shifted in my seat or moved his arm.

Oh, the hours I used to spend holding T as a baby so he would sleep...

It made me a little melancholy to realize that, for one reason or another, those days are almost over.

I'm so proud of the person T is becoming, but there are times I really miss the baby he used to be.

I don't think that I've felt so in the moment in months as I did tonight.

Who knew that for me sleeping kindergartner = chicken soup for the soul?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gingerbread houses

I have a confession.

I don't like gingerbread. I'm not all that fond of ginger, actually, unless I'm in the mood for ginger ale. And, while the idea of making gingerbread houses appeals to me, I can't say that I've ever been motivated enough to make gingerbread so that I could make a gingerbread house. But doggone it, then someone had to go and make it easy. Between the store kits and the pre-made, refrigerated dough you can buy in stores now, there's really no excuse not to try it.

And then I had a brilliant idea. The farm/country store place where we went to pick pumpkins and apples offered gingerbread house workshops. I assumed (incorrectly) that the workshop would also include tutorials. As it turns out, you bought the kit and assembled it yourself in specific area.

But you know what? The kits made it kind of foolproof. Plus, the store even supplied the icing at the perfect consistency and temperature.
So the four of us bought two kits and put them together (instructions were included). It was so much fun that we bought a kit when we went to the grocery store to do more at home.

I learned several things: 1) the icing recipe on the back of the grocery store box was blech. Although, it did harden beautifully 2) gingerbread is a much better choice for making gingerbread houses than graham crackers 3) while the kids liked doing this, I was the one who was really all into it 4) Nabisco 100 calorie Oreo thins and cinnamon bun packs are the bomb diggity both as shingles, paths, or snacks. YUM!

Here are pictures of our efforts, or as I like to call them, the good, the good, and the bad and ugly.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ballet!


Wednesday was S's last ballet class. She's taking classes through the local YMCA and the teacher that took over this program only lets the parents in for the last class. I was really excited and curious to see what she had learned in class.

All decked out in her ballet gear, we headed to the Y, first for my workout and then her class.

Oh my gosh, these girls are simply adorable!
While this was definitely not a recital, the class had learned certain skills and a few routines that they were going to do.

The only problem was that with all the parents there and watching, the girls were easily distracted. S isn't one for performing on command unless she feels like it, so I wasn't surprised that she tired quickly of the performance aspect of the class and started doing her own thing. But I have to give her credit - she was awfully cute.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Workout Wednesday

I skipped last week entirely in the gym. I tried to go last Sunday, but ran out of time after going to Weight Watchers and battling the snow that was blowing around like a blizzard. A two inch snow blizzard. I would have never believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself.

My first day back in the gym was Monday. I did cardio exclusively because I felt that was where I needed to concentrate and I just didn't feel strong enough for heavy weight lifting. Tuesday was a nice mix of cardio and weights and so was today.

At my weigh in, I was down 5 pounds. 5 pounds is good for a week, don't get me wrong, but I ate so little at the first of the week and I was already down 4 on Tuesday that it was disappointing.

This also puts me smack dab back to the weight barrier I have been unable to shatter. I hit this number on the scale last March and have been hovering around it ever since. I am seriously hoping that this week's weigh in will offer me some longed for success. But when I jumped on the scale this morning as a mid week check in, I was up two pounds. I'm frustrated enough that I'm thinking of doing the fat smash detox diet until I can get past this plateau. 7 months is long enough and with as much weight as I still have to lose, I should be able to zip past this number and move right along. Do you hear me body? Zip past and move right along.

I'll keep you posted. Cross your fingers for me :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas memories

I was thinking about Christmas traditions earlier today. Right around the time I met R, I was fresh out of Christmas excitement. Actually, until we had kids, both of us had serious cases of Christmas decorating blahs. We were still excited about the holiday, but not so much about decorating.

And then the kids came along and it just meant more all of a sudden. T had just turned one when we moved to Germany, and one of the things we packed in the 30 day shipment were our Christmas decorations. In that huge, empty apartment while we waited for our household goods, we had the Christmas tree up. T was fascinated, but never really bothered the tree. I remember sitting on the futon cushion and staring at the tree at night. It was like a small piece of home followed us to Germany. It was at that moment that I realized how much I wanted to make new traditions with our little family.

We do stockings and presents on Christmas morning, and while my family does a Christmas breakfast, so far it's turned out that we are more brunch oriented. Plus, the kids could care less about food with all the excitement of the day, and I want the magic to last as long as possible. This is the first year that both kids have been super excited and aware about Christmas, so I can't wait to see what happens this year and in the next few years. I want all of us to have a say in shaping what our Christmas traditions are, and I also hope that the kids take away that while traditions are comforting and wonderful, they are also adaptable to what works for you.

What are your Christmas traditions? R looked at me blankly the first time I asked him and in 10 years I haven't gotten much more out of him other than 'open presents' and 'eat ham'. So please, don't leave this nosy blogger hanging!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The first real snow of the year

It snowed yesterday. Where I grew up, snow before Christmas qualifies as a miracle. And they got snow before we did this year. Come to think of it, it snowed there last year before Christmas too.

Global warming or global cooling?

The wind was blowing so hard yesterday that the kids only wanted to stay out a few minutes at a time. I'm in full support of that, since the wind here has a way of cutting right through whatever clothing you are wearing. And if it can't blow through, it will blow up your leg or down your collar or up your sleeve. Persistent.

To try and keep warm while we were outside, I was going to shovel the driveway. Here's how productive that was: I shovel a path, start another one, and by the time I get halfway done with my second swipe, the first one has been recovered in snow. The embarrassing thing is how long I kept this up before I admitted defeat.

Score: wind = 1, Brooke = 0

Then we got smart and went to get salt to melt the snow. Hard work? Done. This morning all that was left was what had blown back from the yard or across the street and not melted because the temperature was too low.

I was surprised to learn that school was cancelled this morning for the kids. I thought we could go and make a snowman or something, but the wind chill this morning was 5 degrees, so I kept the kids inside. The last thing we need is a re do of last week's sickness fest.

But I have to say, shoveling and shivering aside, the snow sure was beautiful.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ho, ho, ho. Take your gifts and go

I had signed up at the beginning of the year for several PTO sponsored events at T's school. So far, I've helped out with reading night, putting up bulletin boards, counting box tops, and last night was my night to help out with Santa's Workshop by working at the gift wrapping table.

The timing was terrible. I'm still sick. I have no idea what is going on, but I'm heading back to the doctor first thing on Monday morning since whatever this is keeps morphing into something else into something else into something else. It's like the borg of sicknesses. Resistance is futile.

So, against the advice of my husband, I headed out for my shift yesterday evening. And then I sprang the whole - 'by the way, you should probably take the kids to this since S got to do this at her school already and this is a great way for T to get his Christmas shopping done. Cheaply.' He was less than thrilled at the thought of managing the kids through a Santa's workshop after a really, really long day at the end of a really, really long week. Totally understand, but life just sucks that way sometimes. Take. The. Kids.

I get there and finally find the gift table which has been supplemented by teens from the high school. The first three I ask have no idea who's in charge or where they are, so I finally just ask the only adult I see at the table, who also happens to be the busiest person. She says to just join the party and makes room for me.

To my huge relief considering the line of people waiting and the fact that there was no limit to the amount of gifts a person could buy, we were using bags for all the gifts unless the gift was too big to fit in the bag. That made things so much easier (and quicker).

The kids were awfully cute and I was impressed to see how many of them put a lot of thought into what they bought. I was also impressed with how polite they were. There are certain things I really love about living on a miltiary base, and this is one of them.

As the lines thinned out and we started clean up, I was really glad I came even though I didn't feel great. The other lady working the gift table was saying her family has been sick too, so I'm guessing that it's going around all over the place.

One of the last kids I wrapped gifts for wanted me to put different bows (which we didn't have) on all her gifts. I offered to make curly ribbon bows for her but we only had one color ribbon. She thought about it for a second, and then said, "Nah. I want everyone to feel special and if they all look alike, then no one will."

"But," I told her, "it's the fact that you chose, paid for, and wrapped their gifts that will make them feel special, right?"

She shrugged. "Maybe. But huge pretty bows wouldn't hurt."

Ahh, the wisdom of kids.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I got the amoxicillin, but the pharmacy got the last laugh

After two interesting conversations with medical staff on base, I got T's medication switched. What they didn't tell me was that the pharmacy was closing at noon today. Which would have been helpful seeing as how I got the good news around 11:15. But - the important thing is that T will get to take medicine that doesn't make him gag. I am astounded at how wonderful he was about taking that nasty, nasty crap. I'm also astounded that they think kids are going to take that particular penicillin with any willingness at all. I feel like I can still taste it, a day and a half later. They could market it as a lip plumper. OOH! It tastes like Novocaine feels, if that makes any sense.

S had a wonderful day today and so did T, so that makes me feel so much better. It's been horrible to be so under the weather and not able to comfort them the way I wanted to while they were sick. I'm grateful they have bounced back so quickly. Must be all that sheet and comforter sanitizing. ::snort::

And since I still can't shake this fever without meds, I'm off to bed. A whole week of going to bed at a reasonable hour and I'm STILL sick?

Oh wait - maybe that's the problem.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Workout Wednesday

This was, to say the least, not my best workout week. And yet, it kind of was.

I missed Friday because T woke up with pink eye. I got excellent workouts in this weekend, but I haven't been to the gym at all since Sunday.

On Saturday I had a cardio breakthrough. We did some time on the treadmill where I trotted along for almost half of my treadmill sentence...err...I mean stint. And by trot I mean it looked like jogging but it was at a walking speed. So I guess it was more of a trog... Hey, whatever works, right? Baby steps..

Then it was suggested that we jump rope. I laughed heartily. Did you not just see me trogging along? You did? And you still want to jump rope? Ugh. Fine. After an amusing first attempt that looked like a 3rd grader, we had a discussion about gravity's superhero grip on my mass.

A moment later with my behind sufficiently set straight, I actually jumped rope. For like, 20 seconds straight. At a very quick (even for a fit person) rate. The next round? I counted jumps instead of concentrating on time. This time I made it the 30 seconds with only one trip up. Wow. I had a Biggest Loser moment. I CAN do it. Maybe I've convinced myself I can't because I'm afraid to fail. But who says I'm failing besides me? Uh, no one. That's who. Even jumping rope for 5 seconds is better than sitting on the couch shoveling down _____ (insert food of choice here).

With that mental hurdle partially gone, I think I've opened the door to pushing myself beyond my current perceived limits. I really did think I was pushing myself. But my workouts this weekend proved that isn't exactly the case. Perhaps I need to have a little battle with my adversary gravity and prove that I can take what it throws at me and then? I'll jump rope right over it's ass.

And with that, I am proud to announce that in order to deal with the scale side of the equation, I joined Weight Watchers on Sunday. I had to face that I needed accountability. It's really hard for me to ask for help of any kind from anyone except maybe from R. But I need help with this battle. I can maintain my weight loss. I've been within the same 8 pound range since April. WW has rolled out a new program, and I'm excited about it.

When I stepped on the scales at the doctors office on Tuesday morning, I'd lost 4 pounds already BUT that's because I hadn't been eating and I'd been seriously sick. I had to force down some soup and crackers on Monday just so I could put some points on my points tracker. Yesterday was the same thing - I forced down dinner. Tonight? I was hungry most of the day, but the medicine I'm taking makes me nauseous so I was really careful about what I ate and when I ate it. That may actually be a blessing in disguise because by the time I feel back to normal, maybe I'll be better able to read my body's hunger signals rather than my emotional hunger signals. And that? Would be 60% of the battle.

Just goes to show you...

S got diagnosed with Strep on Monday. They gave her liquid penicillin - no big deal, I figured it was similar to amoxicillin and getting her to take it would be no big deal. To her credit, she was even willing since it was pink and looked kind of like the children's Motrin she takes. Her dosage was 5 ml. She tried to swallow it, but gagged, spit it out, and cried.

Fast forward 20 minutes.

More tears, lots of screaming and gagging and spitting and I have to hold her down to get her to take it. That night? It took me and R to get it in her. The next morning I had to be creative but since I was running a fever of 103, my creativity was severely limited. So I dipped the end of the syringe in motrin and gave her a tiny bit of medicine at a time. Then I called the doctor and begged them to give her something, anything else. The nurse called me back and said that the doctor was calling in the amoxicillin. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

In the meantime, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with strep too. Then last night I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at T's tonsils just to make sure they weren't swollen. I have no idea how this kid was swallowing anything. His tonsils were hugely swollen, and so were the lymph nodes in his neck. He hadn't complained of any pain, he never had a fever, no symptoms whatsoever.

So this morning, just to be safe, I took T to be tested for strep. Three days into the week, three of us tested, all three of us with strep. I call R on our way home - go and get tested! Since he wasn't showing symptoms, they didn't do the quick test for him. We'll know in 48 hours if he's got it.

We get home and I try to get T to take the medicine. His dosage is twice what S's is. He finished the first teaspoon, and tried really hard to take the second, but he kept gagging. Just out of curiosity, I tried it.

Oh. My. Lord. Words can not describe the awfulness of this medicine, because they do not exist. Need me to try anyway? Bitter doesn't begin to describe it. I felt like I was using my tongue to clean a sidewalk, that's how nasty it was. Actually, I think I'd rather lick a sidewalk - any sidewalk - than have to taste that again. I took a drink of diet 7up right after I tried the medicine, and hours later, the flavor of that nasty stuff is still on the plastic of my cup. I might have to throw the cup away. For real.

I owed S a huge apology for being so grouchy when she didn't want to take the stuff. Blech.

I had even tried to get T the amoxicillin before anything was prescribed today, but the doctor said that he really should be taking the penicillin. Obviously, the doctor hasn't tried it. And T, ever the good sport, was good to try as we mixed it with juice (gross), sugar (which just intensified the grossness), Pepsi (gag inducing), and then alternated with pudding, Popsicles, and rice krispy treats. Nothing worked, and he wasn't being difficult because I tried it all too. Yech!

I finally got him to take it the same way I got S to, but he's got two doses a day for ten days of this stuff, and he's actually gagging when he takes it. So I guess I'll be calling and begging the doctor to switch him to amoxicillin too. I even tried to teach him to swallow pills by using skittles, but his throat is too swollen, and he's having a lot of trouble with the concept of swallowing it without chewing. And the penicillin pill won't have the neat-o candy coating.

Oh the joys of parenting. But I can tell you this - the next time the kids have trouble taking medicine? I'll be trying it before I go all 'You are going to take this because you have to and I said so" on them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Update

We had a wonderful but busy weekend until S developed strep throat on Sunday and I got the flu.

I'll be back when I can stay awake more than 30 minutes at a time and my head doesn't feel like a donkey is kicking it for soccer practice.

Also? I get to wash every piece of clothing S has breathed on since Friday, including pillows, sheets, and comforters. So if you need any laundry done, bring it on over...if you dare. The entire house will be lysol'd and clorox wiped and shark steam cleaned to within an inch of it's existance, but not until tomorrow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

You don't need lessons!

Hectic day today so I'm going to offer myself up on a platter for your general amusement.

When I was in my early 20's, my friends Lee, Kevin, and I went skiing. I had never skied before, mainly because the thought of hurling my mass down a mountain on long sticks seemed, well, like a really bad idea. But they wanted to go and so I found myself spending a weekend driving to West Virginia to Snowshoe.

We got there, bought our passes, got our boots and started to gear up. Lee and Kevin both had ski bibs. I was wearing stirrup pants (it was the 90's, I was stylin!), a sweater, a turtleneck and had a lightweight, hooded fleece coat. Lee offered me his ski bibs because he's just really awesome like that, so I pulled them on. They were really tight around the hips and thighs, and when combined with my first experience in ski boots, walking was a bit of an issue as evidenced by my falling down the first steps I had to navigate. In falling, not only did I injure my pride, I also snapped one of Lee's bib straps. So far, skiing was not really all that much fun.

Once out on the snow, Kevin kept his promise to show me how to ski. It was a quick lesson. Point the toes of your skis towards each other to slow down/stop, never cross your skis, keep your knees slightly bent, point the skis in the direction you want to go, if you need to stop and can't, fall.

Not exactly confident in my 10 minute ski lesson, I dutifully followed Lee and Kevin towards the chair lift. While Kevin had covered the v stop on snow, the path down to the ski lift was ice. So when I pointed my toes in, all that managed to accomplish was taking out 2/3 of the ski lift line. Oops! The best part of that? Kevin and Lee stuck their arms out to stop me, and I took them down with me. That should have been Kevin's first clue that I might not have been ready to ski solo. Or on a hill of any sort.

Getting on the ski lift went well, but when I had to hop off, more innocent bystanders were included in my personal collateral damage radius. I did a lot of apologizing, but it was funny how all of a sudden, I had this huge, clear space around me. Lots of room to fall, which I did a lot since it was my preferred method of stopping since it worked immediately.

I went down the bunny slope a few times then moved to the next trail and did....okay. I was really slow, though, and ended up taking a break while the guys actually skied instead of babysat me as I inched down the slopes trying not to maim or kill anyone else or myself.

After a brief rest, I felt a bit better, so off we went for the last run of the day. I was following Kevin and all excited that I was only falling now on purpose, so I wasn't paying attention to where we were going or what the level of difficulty was.

Big mistake. Huge.

We were on the last section of our last slope of the day. I was wearing my el cheapo sunglasses, but they had gotten fogged up, so I was trying to un fog them and wasn't paying too much attention to the fact that I was slowly starting to move to the last hill. Putting on my sunglasses after mostly defogging them, my skis felt funny. I looked down to see the first 6 inches of ski sticking straight out.

WHAAAAAAATTTTTT?

Uh, we were on an expert slope. The hill was so steep that until the majority of your ski was on the hill, your skis stuck out straight. I froze in panic. I remember looking around in horror at Kevin as my body went over the edge of that hill. Lee was halfway down already and had stopped to wait on us. Once I headed down that hill, I think I went from 0 to 60, because things were racing by in a blur. All I remember thinking is 'don't cross your skis, keep your knees bent' over and over in my head. I tried pushing out the back of my skis in a V so that I would slow down, but I was going too fast. Then I zoomed past Lee, who was staring in horror at me hurtling down the side of this mountain. I think he yelled at me to fall or something, but I was still in mid "OH SH**T!" scream from my unexpected launch down this expert ski slope.

And then I noticed that at the bottom of the hill were a lot of trees. Big ones. All nice and barky and ready to break limbs and bones. There was no way I could stop in time, especially since my efforts at slowing down had done nothing.

So I fell. I just let my body fall back since that seemed like the smartest decision.

It was not.

Whether it was from the force of gravity pulling me down the mountain or what, when my back hit the slope, my body bounced hard on the ground and then hurtled forward.

My skis flew off. I'm pretty sure they were stuck in the snow like tomato plant stakes.
My hat flew off.
My glasses flew off.
So did the ski poles, gloves, my coat, and my scarf. And I started to tumble. I remember flipping over and over like I was in slow motion and seeing snow/sky, snow/sky, snow/sky, and then the people on the chair lift looking down at me in horror.

When my body finally stopped moving, the ski bibs were down around my knees, my sweater was up around my armpits, my coat was somewhere on the mountain, and I had snow in my boots, underwear, mouth, ears, and hair. I landed face down in the snow with my feet pointed toward the bottom of the hill. I sat up and tried to start putting my clothes back on and I see Kevin and Lee skiing effortlessly down the mountain, picking up my discarded clothes and equipment.

Somehow I got on the ski lift and back to the lodge. I don't really remember much of it at all, I just remember changing clothes when we got to the car to get something dry on and being chilled to the bone all the way home. Believe it or not, I hadn't broken a thing. At least, not that I knew about. But when I got up the next day? I was black and blue from head to toe. Kevin and Lee stopped by to ask if I wanted to go skiing with them again that day.

Ummm...no. No I didn't and I haven't done it again since. I mean, hello! I got the message, okay? Someone with such a strong connection to gravity such as myself should not, under any circumstances, tempt the gravity gods by putting on skis.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's KITT, only better because the Hoff isn't involved

A short time ago, I turned 40. No mid life crisis appeared, no hiding under the covers. I'm happy to see what my 40's bring...namely watching the kids grow up.


And now that they are able to climb into and out of vehicles unassisted, I started fantasizing about a vehicle with better gas mileage. I love my van, but it was starting to have a lot of things go wrong pretty early on for a Honda. But I'm not too surprised because the previous owners did not take care of it at all. And for me to say that -- well, it was pretty bad if I could tell.


One night a few weeks ago, R and I drove by the Honda dealership to look at whatever used cars they had on the lot. I'm not a fan of brand new cars. I think if you can choose carefully and wisely, that you can save a ton of money and end up with a great vehicle. Of all the cars I've had over the years, and that list is lengthy, my two favorites were my 92 Nissan Maxima and my 03 Honda Accord.


But back to car window shopping - we were curious about a CRV. We mainly liked it because it was smaller and more gas efficient than the van, but gave us more room than a sedan. Imagine our surprise when the new CRV's were only a few thousand more than the used ones. Hmmm...


Then I found out that our credit union here was offering a great rate on financing on Black Friday. Double hmmmmm.


So R and I went to test drive a CRV. It was nice. It was smaller than I thought, and had the feel of the van inside, only it drove better. Way better. Then the salesman mentioned they had one 2010 Accord left on the lot. And like an idiot, I drove that too.


Can you fall in love with a car? I say yes, because I sure did. I hadn't wanted a black car because I'm pretty sure I will at least partially spontaneously combust in the summer. What color was the Accord? Black with black interior, of course.

It also had a GPS. After all the s**t I've talked about with the GPS in the van - and rightfully so, that thing sucked - this car had a GPS. It's sweetly mounted in the dash, though. So I guess it should count for something that you are at least looking towards the road if you are following the Accord GPS versus down and away from the road with the van GPS.

Since it was a 2010, the price had been reduced $5k already, which priced it the same as a CRV and financing was being offered at 0.9%. Best interest rate available for the CRV? 2.9%

So even though we had just gone in for a test drive, we ended up trading in the van for the Accord.

It's almost been a week, and here's the awesome thing. This car? You can freaking TALK to it. My dinky ass cheapo phone has bluetooth, which I synced up with the Accord and now I can place a call by pushing a button, saying "dial" and saying the nickname or the number. The car even confirms it before dialing. With incoming calls, the number shows up and I can answer it with the push of the button. All this and 30 mpg highway. Sa-weet. The kids can talk to R or Grammy or Papa from the backseat without having to hand them the phone. So S's quest to actually dial Kai Lan so she can say Ne hao! has been temporarily thwarted. heehee!

The GPS also works on voice command, but I haven't really played with it yet. I'm still in a GPS snit and I'm not ready to deal with it. Plus I haven't needed it.

And this morning, when I was taking the kids to school? They were bickering and I said, "Let's rock out!" and cranked up the volume. They STOPPED fighting and rocked out with me.

Tell me, go ahead and just try to tell me, that this car does not have magic powers. I will not believe you.

I can get the groceries out of the trunk without having to leave the garage door open, which will come in awfully handy next week when the high is going to be in the 20's.

Magic!

But - and I mean this in complete and total seriousness - if the Hoff shows up in or near this car? Magic or not, it's dead to me.

Oh, and if you hear about some sort of super crime fighting going on the metro St Louis area? It totally isn't me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Workout Wednesday

For this Workout Wednesday I'd like to talk about guilt.

I've noticed that I have a lot of guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

Last week with Mom and Richard and Bob and Sandy here for Thanksgiving, I found myself trying really hard to make everything perfect and then feeling guilty when it wasn't. And when I feel like this? I deal with it by over eating. Then I feel guilty for over eating. And queue vicious cycle.

Obviously, this gets me nowhere except where I do not want to be. Which also happens to be just where I am, if that makes sense.

Workout wise, I'm doing fine. I've stuck to the additional cardio and I can see a difference in my workouts. Now I just need to get the mind/body/nutrition part back on track and I think I'll start seeing progress again.

As for how to deal with the guilt issue...that's going to have to be a work in progress.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tooth-o-riffic

Last year, before the military would clear us to PCS (relocate) from Germany, we all had to have dental and medical clearance. T has an IEP and is considered an exceptional family member which boiled down just means we had extra paperwork to do and hoops to jump through.

When I took the kids for their dental exam, the pediatric dentist mentioned that we might want to keep an eye on T's front permanent teeth. He didn't like the way one of his baby teeth looked and the x-ray concerned him too.


T has had two major traumas to his face - the first one was when I hit him in the face with the bathroom door in Germany. That's a long, guilt riddled story for me, and one I won't go into here because it's not the point, and face it - my posts are long enough already.

The second happened when T was jumping on the steps that led from the living room to the kids' play rooms at our house in Germany. I was putting away laundry when it happened, but from what T said, he was jumping on and off the steps, slipped, fell, and smashed his face into either a step or the floor (that part was never clear to me).

The second fall did major damage to his nose and it looks perma-bruised. I'm thinking that it was a combination of those two major falls and all the other minor ones that contributed to the dentists concern.

Both of T's top front baby teeth came out with no problems. The top left one has finally poked through and looks fine.

But tonight, when I was checking T's teeth after he brushed them, there is a bruised looking square where that right top front tooth is underneath the gum.

Crap. And bunch of other curse words.

I asked him if he hit his mouth recently, but T is like R in that short of blood and a missing body part, he tends not to notice injuries after they occur. Which means someone could have hit him (or he could have hit himself) with a baseball bat and he'd still say he couldn't remember anything happening. Sigh.

All I can do now is wait and watch. T will have to go to the dentist asap, which may be this week and may not be for a month, depending on space. I have everything that I can cross crossed in hopes he won't have to have major dental work or surgery. T is not so fond of needles, which is ironic considering that he keeps doing things that require stitches.

So we'll take things one moment at a time and do what needs to be done. With any luck, this won't involve creating a lifetime fear/dislike of dentists.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Maybe it's me

Remember the Friends episode when Chandler bet he could refrain from making fun of people for a week - or maybe two? And within a few days, he folded like a cheap plastic chair at a sumo wrestler convention?


I'm having one of those moments, only I prefer to think of it more as being snarky than making fun of people. The target of my ire today?


Nick Jr.


First up? Max and Ruby. Where are their parents?!?! WHERE?!?!? The grandmother is still around, so obviously there were some form of parental units at some point. Secret rabbit spies deep undercover to stop the lucky rabbit's foot trade? Or maybe their parents are as annoyed by the two of them as I am and ran for the hills. Ruby is the equivalent of a ten year old in girl scouts and she's just...in charge. How about some speech therapy for Max, huh Ruby? How about a time out every now and then. That dragon shirt stunt alone should have gotten him a time out or grounded at least. What happened? And exasperated 'Max!' and then....nothing. Oh, and also? Thanks a bunch for convincing my 6 year old that he should have a remote control helicopter that picks up the weight equivalent of a Tonka truck - 'cause FYI. Those don't really exist.

Next - Kai Lan. Two words for you Kai Lan. Butt out. If you are running around always solving everyones problems, how are they ever going to learn to do it on their own? Also? All this problem solving you insist on doing? It's kinda....life. People get angry, and sad, and frustrated, and jealous. Sometimes, sweetcheeks, it's okay to BE those things without the happy ending. But I have to admit, learning about the Japanese culture IS pretty cool.

Yo Gabba Gabba. Love your messages, hate your delivery. And DJ Lance Rock in his bright orange unitard gives me the heebie jeebies. And the Gabba Gabbas? Kinda look like they belong in a gag gift accessory pack for a bachelorette party, ifyouknowwhatImean.

Ahhhhhh! I feel so much better now. Whew.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Watch, wait, ???

Eat, Pray, Love was released last week on DVD. That book really touched me, so I was excited to see the movie.

Eh.

It's a long movie.

About 30 minutes after it started, R announces he's going to get his stuff ready for work tomorrow. A bit later he comes back into the living room and says, "It's still on?"

Yep.

A bit later he comes back. "Really? It's still on?"

Yep.

A few minutes ago, he comes in to say goodnight. He looks at the TV, shakes his head, and kisses me goodnight.

It's not a bad movie, it's just that the book was so, so much better.

And just in case you were wondering, as I am writing this? Yep. Still on.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sleepy Saturday

This morning, Mom and Richard and Bob and Sandy were leaving to return home.

We had a great Thanksgiving. I think everyone did...I really do hope so.

But after being up late on Wednesday and Thursday, and getting up at regular time the next mornings, I was wiped out today.

I heard the phone ring early this morning and cracked open one eye to see R pulling on his clothes. Mom and Richard were trying to leave to go back to NC, but their battery was dead and when they called AAA, the wait time was going to be over an hour. So R was going to head out and give them a jump. When he told me, I told him I'd go instead. So I jumped out of bed, brushed my hair and teeth, washed my face, pulled on some clothes and headed out.

It was a bit chilly out there this morning. Brrrrr!

We couldn't get their car started with my jumper cables or Richard's jumper cables, so we waited for the AAA guy to show, which he did shortly after that. He couldn't help get their car started either. The ticket got escalated to a tow, but the problem with needing vehicle service on a holiday weekend here is that most of the dealerships have closed their service departments for the long weekend. Luckily Dobbs was open, and I told Richard that R and I had used them before and were pleased with the service. While Mom waited for the tow truck, I took Richard to Dobbs so he could put his name in the queue.

Naturally, since I had said how wonderful they were (and they always have been), they were not very nice to Richard.

Sigh.

We went back to the hotel and waited for the tow guy to show up. I insisted on staying with Mom and Richard until I knew they were either going to be able to leave or need to stay. A few minutes after the tow truck pulls up, Richard trots up to the hotel entrance. There's something I need to see.

Side note: When we were trying to jump the car, I didn't see a battery under the hood. I asked Richard - where's your battery? He points to a black box with a negative connector and says it's right there. I open it up, and it's just a bunch of fuses. Odd. Also? Not a battery. I comment as much and he says, well, that's the battery. I am not going to argue the point, but I'm also not surprised that we didn't get the car to start by jumping it. I've had enough dead batteries in the last four years to know that if you are getting nothing but clicks when you try and start your car? Your battery has gone to meet it's maker.

Back to the present - I go out to see what it was Richard wanted to show me. The battery for his car? Is underneath his back seat.

How about them apples?!

And when the tow truck driver jumped the car battery to battery connection? It started.

I'm not really all that mechanically inclined, but every now and then it's nice to know that the very, very little bit I do claim to know is validated by someone (read: tow truck guy) who does know.

And I've gotta say it (please excuse the language and the fact that you don't know the incredibly long winded and somewhat boring back stories behind this) - just because I don't have a penis does not mean I'm not capable of knowing about things that are traditionally male. Just pointing that out.

Ahem.

So off Mom and Richard go to get a new battery (that conversation is a great idea for another post, actually) and I go home. They never called back to say they weren't able to leave, so I'm assuming everything got fixed. I hope the people at Dobbs were nicer to Richard on the second visit.

I came home and took a short nap and for the rest of the day, we all sort of lounged around and played games and snuggled on the couches. It was nice to have a down day after such a hectic week. I have one more down day before it all cranks up again.

Welcome, holiday season 2010! With any luck, I can nap every now and then until we bid you adieu. (Fingers crossed!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I did it!

Well, I did it sort of.

Last night I headed out with a friend with the intention of checking out the Toys R Us sale that started at 10 pm. By 9:30, the line wound all the way around the huge Toys R Us building and through the parking lot into the parking lot for the adjacent buildings.

So, obviously, we didn't stay. There was nothing we were dying to have from there, and that was apparently not the ideal time to go and just wander around. I'm pretty sure we would have at least been maimed. Possibly tortured. Definitely squished.

No Toys R Us? Well, then, Walmart it is! Their sale started at midnight, so we grabbed a cart and wandered around to look at all the sale items. I was beginning to think that everyone in the metro area was going to be at Toys R Us and that we were going to have a laid back, sparse experience at Walmart.

Well, that joke was on me.

Within an hour, Walmart was full. They had moved the Black Friday merchandise into the middle of the larger aisles and had wrapped the items in black plastic (how fitting, right?). People actually ripped into the plastic to see what the items were and were camping out by what they wanted most. People were sitting on trampoline boxes to establish their claims, and some bolder people even put some of the smaller items in their baskets. By 11 pm, people were getting possessive and cranky. I felt awfully sorry for the Walmart employees who had to try and manage this mob.

By 11:30, the staff gave up and unwrapped all the midnight sale items. Let the insanity begin. You still couldn't check out until midnight, but we managed to get what few things we did want without getting injured or injuring anyone else. I even saw people I knew there, which is cool because I don't know a lot of people here. (Amusingly, they were all people I knew from the Y..hahahaaa.)

While we were standing in line waiting to pay, my friend and I broke out her iPod and got our (mostly) subdued groove on much to the amusement of the people in line around us. But hey, all the people we were around were in great moods and really nice. If I can grab the silly pics of us from her FB page, I'll post them here.

SHHHHHHHH! It's only 10:35 but this is mine. Allll mine! (totally put it back on the shelf after we took the picture. No, really. I did.)


U can't touch this! And if you try, I will dance all over your a$$.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Workout Wednesday

I have to say - it seems a little ironic to do a workout Wednesday post the day before Thanksgiving.


Well, okay, it seems ironic because of the menu I've planned. The macaroni and cheese recipe I've made? Oh sweet lord, it's sin (and fat and cholesterol and lots-0-calories) on a plate. But it's a recipe I've been wanting to try for three years and will likely only make on very special occasions. Or when I want to spend about $50 to buy and prepare an 11 cheese mac and cheese. But by golly, it will blow your socks off. The recipe also made enough to feed all of us, all of you, and some neighborhood folks -- not that I'm really thinking about sharing. This stuff is G.O.O.D.

But macaroni and cheese aside, the rest of the menu isn't too bad, so as long as I manage my portions, I shouldn't blow the nutrition side. ::Snort:: Well, I'm going to try.

And then next week, it's back to it. By back to it, I mean a stricter effort being made nutrition wise to get past this danged plateau and to the next level. The last few weeks I've just inhaled a bunch of junk, and I can tell in the way I feel, the way my clothes fit, and especially in my skin, which has gotten super sensitive in the past couple years.

Okay then. With that decision made, I'm off to finish up the prep work for tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Painful lessons

This morning, S was deeply asleep when it came time for T to leave the house to catch the bus. Sleep has been a bit elusive for S lately so no way was I going to wake her up. I walked about halfway with T, so that I could see the front door (which I had left open) but I could also see T at the bus stop.

This morning, he wanted to take Scoop with him. Scoop is his Bob the Builder bulldozer/scooper toy. I have no idea if that's actually his name since we have rarely seen Bob the Builder and I'm not interested enough to look it up. I know, I'm all authentic and into research like that.

Kids can't take toys to school (thank goodness!), but T wanted to show it to his friend that lives up the street and is in his kindergarten class. I agreed to let him take it to the bus stop with the understanding that he'd have to run it back to me when the bus came.

T takes off all excited to show off his toy. He finds his friend in the crowd of kids and runs up to him. I can hear T talking, but can't really make out what he's saying. But from his tone, it was pretty obvious that he was excited. Which, actually, is pretty normal for T.

A few seconds later, T turns around and comes over to me, head down, feet dragging. He hands me Scoop and turns around to go back to the bus stop.

"Wait - ' I say. "What's wrong?"

"My friend laughed at me and at Scoop" says T. "So I don't want him anymore."

"Okay, I'll take him back home with me and you can play with him when you get home from school."

"No, Mom. I don't want him anymore. That's a baby toy and I'm not a baby."

"T, if you love Scoop and want to play with him, you should. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks."

T looks up at me, watery-eyed and skeptical. "It does matter Mom. It does."

CRACK!

Umm, that would be the sound of my heart breaking. I knew something like this would eventually happen, but I didn't expect it to be quite this painful. Or quite this soon.

I sent him off to school with a sad heart and a hanging head.

This afternoon when he comes home, he's happy go lucky again. I sweep him up in a big hug and ask about his day.

I had put Scoop on a table right inside the front door. I didn't say a single world about this morning or Scoop, but offered T a snack.

When he finished, he walked right over to Scoop and picked him up.

"Hey, Mom?"

"Yes, sweetie?"

"Can I take Scoop outside to play - just in the back yard?"

"Of course you can."

And right at the very second that I'm writing this? That's what I'm watching. And my heart? It's not so cracked anymore.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unstoppable and Walmart

Saturday night was date night. As a bonus we were also celebrating my birthday and our anniversary. We decided we were going to see Unstoppable with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. (As a very sweet side note, R offered for us to go see Harry Potter 7 -the first half, but I wanted to see a movie we both were jazzed about seeing. He gets a free pass for a pretty good while for going to see Eclipse with me.)

This movie was awesome - edge of your seat, 'what's gonna happen' awesome. Go see it. Immediately.

Afterwards, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then ended up at Walmart, looking for ideas that are also affordable for the kids for Christmas. Last Christmas, we were still in transit to our new base thanks to some bad weather, R's crotchety truck, and a series of follow up eye doctor appointments for me.

This year, we put up the decorations a little earlier and we get to be a bit less picky about what we get the kids since we don't have to fit it all plus PCS luggage in a vehicle and then drive for 12+ hours. I think this is going to be the first Christmas when both kids are fully aware, if that makes sense, of Christmas and tradition and just the spirit of things. I'm really excited to watch them this year and see how it all unfolds.

We got a couple of things before we left Walmart, but we ended up getting (and not for Christmas gifts) what I think are two of the best ideas ever for kids - pre brush mouthwash that stains the plaque on your teeth blue so you know where to brush and where you haven't brushed, and soap that clings to any dirt on your hands so you can tell when your hands are clean.

What will they think of next?

I also have a confession - I used the mouthwash this morning. It tastes like bubble gum and I can tell you this - I'm going to be brushing my teeth after every meal possible with no problem from now on. I was amazed..and let's just leave it at that.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Volunteering

This morning, the four of us headed out in soupy, spooky fog to pack boxes of food for one of the local Methodist churches. R does volunteer work several times a year for work, and when he asked me if I thought we should all go this morning, my answer was an enthusiastic 'Yes!'.

Every now and then, I get annoyed with the kids because they don't seem to have the same level of appreciation for all the advantages we have that I think they should. But then again, they've never known any different, so why would they? The solution to this problem? Let them see that there are many other people in this world who do not have the same advantages they do.

So this volunteer opportunity came at a great time. I want the kids to see R and I volunteering. I like even better that we can do this as a family.

When we got to the church, S threw a fit in the parking lot because she insisted on being carried, and we said no. Apparently it's going to be a day of valuable lessons. Had she asked nicely for me to carry her, I probably would have. But this whole demand aspect of S's personality needs to be gently addressed. And oh joy, today we got to address it in the parking lot. Woohoo!

When we got everyone into the church (and hallelujah, lightening didn't strike R), there was so much going on that S forgot all about her snit. (It's a miracle!)

There were a LOT of people there to help. It was impressive. The kids stuck close to us and behaved. That was impressive. We met the First Sgt and her family, and they had a daughter T's age, so the three kids ended up in the kids Sunday School room playing...get this...quietly. I KNOW!

We needed to stuff 288 boxes, and we were waiting on the food to be delivered. I was a little surprised and very impressed to find out that the church does this once a month. This kind of thing seems like it takes a lot of coordination. This church seems to have it down to a pretty precise science.

There was an issue with the meat delivery, so once the fruit and veggies arrived, we started the assembly line process of filling the boxes. There were tables set up so that the volunteers just added their food and slid it down to the next station. I was at the end of the assembly line so that I could help, but also keep an eye on the kids.

When those boxes started coming, man, they started coming fast, and I had to laugh when the people loading the boxes got all angry and started shouting that the boxes were backing up. Well, duh! It takes longer to pick up a box and stack it against the wall (we were in the middle of the room) than it does to throw in a bag of carrots and push the box to the next person. So, a stacking assembly line was started where the boxes were just passed down a chain of people until they could be stacked against the back wall.

Unfortunately, those of us at the stacking end still weren't moving fast enough for the people at the packing end, and the griping got bumped up a notch. People, we are supposed to be making joyful noises unto the Lord. Calm down!

The guy I was working beside suggested that we start sliding some of the boxes down the tables into the kids' Sunday School room, and so we started alternating with the stacking assembly line. One box for stacking, one for the kids room. Congestion problem solved.

The kids, who were all still behaving (woooohooooooo), came over and wanted to help, so they helped to slide the boxes for us. So sweet!

In no time at all, we had the 288 boxes filled, except for the meat items. There was a short delay while we waited for that delivery, and then we finished filling and packing the boxes, then we loaded them into vehicles.

During the lull, T runs up to me and says that S has scratched the little girl they were playing with. I walk over and sure enough, there was a scratch mark on her neck.

Sigh.

Really now, S, if you must be a pooty head, could you please not be a pooty head to the daughter of Dad's boss?!?

So into time out S went, and she was so mad about being put in time out that she refused to apologize. I wouldn't let her out of time out until she agreed to apologize and then actually apologized, so we ended up sitting there for a while.

According to S, she was mad because T and P wouldn't play with her and were leaving her out. But they are six and S is three, which is a pretty big gap at that age. S doesn't always play by the rules, unless they are the rules she has just made up and then immediately forgets and makes up new ones. It can be a bit confusing.

10 minutes later and S is still saying she's not sorry. So I switch tactics and explain that while I understand why she was upset, it's still not okay to scratch someone. And, that even if she doesn't feel sorry, she owes P an apology. 10 minutes after that, it worked and she apologized. And I have to give P credit...she expected an apology from S and wasn't going to accept anything less than that, but P also was really cool and laid back about the whole situation.

Right after that, the meat was delivered, so we finished the boxes and headed out. The kids want to volunteer again next month and so do R and I. It was nice that they also got to see some of the folks that came to the church to pick up the food boxes. Also nice? That one of my good ideas turned out the way I hoped.

Kids are amazing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful

Next week is Thanksgiving. Already.

Next week is going to be nuts in the Dahl household. Two of the four sets of grandparents are coming for Thanksgiving, plus we volunteered to take dinner to a family in Robert's squadron who's having a rough time of things right now.


So before things get all crazy and I get all stressed out, which is my favorite holiday tradition, I thought I would take a moment to write down things that I'm thankful for. That way, when things get crazy (and believe me they will) I can just re-read this and remind myself that I'm being a big ol' stick in the mud and that I need to quit that immediately.

I'm thankful for my family and my friends. Love you guys!

I'm thankful that you are reading this blog right now.

I'm thankful that my husband has a safer job than he used to but that when he goes to not so safe places he's had so much training and experience (which I pray will keep him safe).

I'm thankful that I live in America, as imperfect as it can be.

I'm thankful for music. My strongest memories are attached to music..kinda like a soundtrack.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to have lived in different places and to have traveled so much.

I'm thankful that even though I haven't always treated my body well, it seems to be forgiving me now that I am.

I'm thankful for where I am in life right now and how many blessings I've been given.

I'm thankful for fall colors.

I'm thankful that my kids have distinct personalities, even when they drive me crazy.

I'm thankful for holidays that give us all the opportunity to get on each others nerves.


What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Workout Wednesday

This morning, I retook the fit test on the elliptical machine. My heart rate stayed almost 10 beats lower per minute from last week, but my score was still "very low". I still see that as excellent progress, and it will be really interesting to see what it takes to get an average score. I thought about asking R to take it and see how he does, but when it comes back with "WOW! You are in PERFECT shape" I might throw something. So, I haven't asked.

This week we are revisiting the P90X Tabata training. Tabata training is a four minute series of reps - 20 seconds lifting, 10 seconds of rest. Repeat x7. Sounds soooo easy, but try it -- it's so hard! I went into the Y all cocky for this round of Tabata training because after the pyramid lifting series we did, I was feeling so much stronger.

The first day was chest and bicep. By the end of the first round, I was on fire, and the weight we were using was way lighter than I thought we'd use. By the end of the workout, I felt like my arms were hanging down three inches lower than when I walked into the Y. And sore? Yowsa.

Today we did shoulders. First exercise? Shoulder presses. What weights did I use? 3 pounders. Did it hurt? To the point of tears.

On the positive side, there is a lot of room for improvement.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trippin' Tuesday

Man, did I set myself up for failure today.

Every six to eight weeks, I have super extended chat fest with my cousin. Last night when we finally said 'bye, it was 3 am.

3 am. Ugh! I need to be up at 6.

I am sooooooo responsible. ::eye roll::

I'm too old for this stuff, but I also wouldn't trade it for anything.

I drug myself out of bed around 6:45ish (I think...I don't remember opening my eyes until I was in the shower and had lathered and rinsed) and took the fastest shower I could manage. I think I fell asleep in the shower, though, so I'm not sure how quick it actually was.

By the time I got out of the shower, S was up.

We had braided her hair last night so it would be wavy today. One of the braids had come out during the night, and when I saw that, I started taking the rest of her hair down.

That was a mistake.

S, like me, isn't very fond of mornings. This morning, she was less fond than usual. When I took the rubber bands off her hair, she lost it. I think she was trying to tell me something, but I couldn't tell what with all the shrieking and stomping around and yelling.

Since I couldn't understand her and since she wouldn't listen to me tell her that I couldn't understand what she wanted, I just went on about the business of getting ready and getting the kids ready.

It didn't go well.

T missed the bus, S screamed about her hair until I finally told her she could either deal with it and go to school or continue to scream and stay home, the kids and I had a standoff about breakfast which resulted in no one getting anything to eat before we left the house, S refused to carry her backpack or coat, and we were, of course, late. And the responsibility for that lies with me. Sigh. Being a parent is hard.

As I'm taking T to school, I realize that I'm representing all seven of Snow White's dwarfs and all before 8:30

Grumpy - dealing with the effin' screaming made me quite grumpy
Sleepy - 3 1/2 hours of sleep when I'm still battling allergies/sinuses (bad, bad idea)
Doc - administering allergy medicine and band aids before we left the house
Sneezy - doggone this area and my infernal sneezing fits first thing in the morning
Happy - I get to drop both of them off at school and take out my frustration at the gym
Bashful - in my multiple personality seven dwarf haze, I'm hesitant to talk to the other preschool moms today, especially after I snap at S when trying to get her out of the car
Dopey - staying up so late talking knowing that I needed to be up early

I just wonder if I get a happily ever after today. It's not looking good.

And by the way? S's hair today? Looked freakin' awesome, of course.

Sigh.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'd just like to thank the academy...

Holy crow, guys! Morgan just gave me my very first blogging award. I feel like I just won a freakin' Oscar or something!


*To accept this award there are 4 rules*

1. Thank the person who gave you the award:

An awestruck thank you to Morgan at The Inklings of Life (and congrats on your award too!)

I recently found her blog and became instantly addicted. How cool would it be to be a good enough artist to be able to tattoo someone and have your artwork exist for a lifetime or until expensive, painful laser removal? Pretty darn cool!

Her blog isn't even about her inking talent, either. It's honest and touching and funny and very well written. Check it out, mmmmkay?

2. Share seven things about yourself

Oh lordy - this could get interesting

1. I was born and raised in North Carolina, but used to dream about marrying someone from New York City (and how awesome would it be if they were in the mafia!?!?) and living out the rest of my life in the city that doesn't sleep.

2. I was robbed at gunpoint when I was one of the managers of a Tijuna Fats Restaurant. We were locked in the office and the robbers disabled all the phones in the restaurant by either taking them or ripping them out of the wall. When I was 99% sure they were gone, I left the office and crawled on my stomach to the front of the restaurant to block the door since they also took my keys. For whatever reason, they didn't touch the payphone, so I called 911. I was fine until the police got there and then I couldn't stop shaking. No one was ever arrested and I was terrified every time I had to open or close the restaurant from that point forward.

3. R is my second husband. I knew my first husband most of my life, dated him for 4 years before we got married, but our marriage only lasted about a year. When I was getting my undergraduate degree in an evening degree program, one of my classmates also worked with my ex husband. Her comment to me, "Man, does he hate you!" Oh my.

4. My hair is seriously thinning on top and I have no idea why. Some days I care, some days I don't.

5. Miley Cyrus (and her dad) freak me out on so many levels, it's not even funny.

6. I am quiet until I get to know you. And then all bets are off. Because I'm generally soft spoken, people who don't know me well are sometimes stunned with things I say.

7. I will forgive just about anything, but I never, ever, ever forget.

3. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.

Expect This

Frogs In My Formula

Managing Mommyhood

Casual Ramblings...of a Super Mom

Pretty All True

The LeMay Bakery

The Inklings of Life

Mrs. Muffins

Katherines Corner

Mad for Reading

Em Jay and Me

Hippo Brigade

4. Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award.

Done! Congratulations to my fellow bloggers and award winners! I love the reading all your blogs and thank you for writing them!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What did you do today?

Today was busy! We got up, I used my new Shark steam cleaner to blast some gross dirt and grime from the kitchen and bathroom, piddled around with the kids, went to the gym, came back, took a shower, headed to a birthday party, got back just in time to get the kids to bed and start some laundry.

Hard to believe an entire day fits so nicely into a run on sentence.

As we were heading back home after the birthday party, I had to take S and T's balloons away because they thought it would be great fun to play punching balloons with them while R tried to drive.

Yeah, we didn't think so either.

Mylar balloons are surprisingly noisy when being punched, especially when in a small, enclosed space and when two kids, all hopped up on sugar and soda, are the ones doing the punching and laughing manically.

Once the balloons were out the picture, S started demanding things. First it was the balloon back (not happening), then it was her drink (she left hers at the party), then it was A drink, then it was...oh, who am I kidding? I stopped listening after she started hollering about getting her drink back when she was the one who refused to carry it.

S and I have lots of fun like this, but I knew tonight was a combination of being tired and too much sugar, so I just let her get it out of her system. Until she yanked on my hair. I told her that it hurt and not to do that again, so of course she yanks harder. I popped her hand before I could even truly realize that I'm reacting.

And cue the tears, as understandable as they were.

S: You hit me!
Me: I asked you not to pull my hair because it hurt and you did it again on purpose and even harder. So, yes. I popped your hand.
S: You make me cry!
Me: I understand why you are crying. It hurt when you pulled my hair, and it hurt when I popped your hand. Maybe we can agree to not hurt each other.
S: I don't like you right now.
Me: That's okay, sweetie. You don't always have to like me.
S: BE QUIET, MOMMY!

::quiet::

::crickets::

S: (who cannot take the silence) ABCDEFG HIJKWWP QRS TUZ W X Y Z Now I know my ABC's, next time next time sing with MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Alrighty then.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's better than Botox and it didn't hurt a bit!

After hours and hours spent trying to create my special look for my blog, I decided my time could be better spent doing other things - like taking care of my family, sleeping, and getting to places on time. Everything I did looked amateurish because, well, I'm an amateur.



I found the super nice and fabulous Katherine through Bloggy Moms and while checking out her blog I discovered that she does design work for blogs and websites. I loved her work and she was WAY affordable, so I contacted her and before I knew it BAM! I had a button, a banner, and a header.



So check out her sites - she's a superwoman of entrepreneurship!



Start here: http://madeitforyou.com/

but also go here: http://goaskkatie.blogspot.com/





Thanks, Katherine!!!!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It wasn't really about the trash

Earlier this week, the trash can was full. It was full when we went to bed and it was still full the next morning when I straggled downstairs. By lunch time it was officially, non debatably, really shouldn't add anything else to it in case the bag bursts full. And every time I went to throw something else away, I'd sigh and think to myself, 'Jeez. The trash sure is getting full. Be nice if someone would take it out...."


Obviously, by someone, I did not mean myself.


I freely admit I'm no Martha Stewart/Bree Van de Camp/Monica Geller. My pictures are dusty (even after I have just dusted them), there is always laundry needing to be done, and clutter in the form of mail to be sorted and T's 20 pages a day of Kindergarten classwork sitting around.

Also? I don't really enjoy housework. Ever. I like to have a clean house, I just don't love to be the one to clean it. However, I'm too cheap (even if we could afford it) to hire a maid for something I could do and should do, but just don't want to do. Especially since it will need to be done again almost immediately after I finish doing it. Pointless.

I get annoyed when there is pee not in the toilet (and by this I mean more than a drop or eight), annoyed when S uses the soap that should be cleaning her hands to finger paint on the mirrors, annoyed when someone spills something on the counter, the floor, in the fridge and doesn't even attempt to wipe it up. I don't think it's too much to expect R and the kids to just help me maintain - put dirty clothes in the laundry basket, take your dishes to the sink when you are finished eating, wipe up any mess you make (from spilling your drink to missing the potty) or at least tell me about said mess before I realize there are apple juice (or worse) footprints on the floor.

All this was going through my mind as I stood there looking at the over full trash can, all annoyed that it hadn't been emptied.

Right then, it hit me.

If I expect my family to take action when they see something that needs to be done, shouldn't I lead by example? If I start keeping score about what I did or someone else didn't do, what kind of home environment is that creating? Not a pleasant one, as my level of annoyance proved.

I'm home the most, so obviously I'm going to see the most of what needs to be done. And there are things I want done that R and the kids wouldn't think of anyway - wiping down baseboards, anyone? Tracking down Cheetoh prints on the doors and walls?

If I expect to raise helpful, considerate kids then I think I need to be a helpful considerate person. And pointing out - even once - how and what a helpful, considerate person I am being would completely negate it all. Right? Right!

So I took out the trash. I didn't say a word about taking out the trash when R got home. He didn't notice. I didn't get annoyed. Why? Beats the hell out of me. Maybe because every now and then I take the time to pay attention to all the things R does that I take for granted. Shame on me for taking him for granted, and shame on me for doing the exact same thing to him that I get annoyed if he does to me.

So ever since then, I'm looking more often for things I can do rather than things that haven't been done by someone else.

And you know what? I'm way less annoyed. Although in all fairness, I'm also a lot busier. heehehe!

You know what else? Most of the things I was all annoyed about earlier in the week? Are being done now without my having to say a word.

How about those apples?!?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now, where was that edge again?

I think I'm losing my edge.

Oh hush, I did too have an edge.

In posting (okay, fine - in trying to post) everyday, I am often more focused on getting something written and clicking on the 'publish' button rather than paying attention to the story I'm trying to tell. I start off somewhere and end up somewhere else entirely. And then I'm too tired/lazy/distracted/out of ideas to go back and redo it, provided the story makes any sense at all. Since I'm more of a storyteller than a writer, this is a slippery slope on which to try and perch.

I went back and re-read some of my older posts. I miss my snark. Lately, I've kept it out of the blog (mostly) and saved it for annoying shows my kids watch, redundant stories on the evening news (really? you are going to stretch a story of the school board over three days? oy!), and people that I run into that leave me mentally scratching my head.

The downside to that? The TV doesn't appreciate my snark or my tendency to give people and things nicknames. Although I have to admit that lately my comments have made R laugh a lot. Since we don't really have the same sense of humor, I don't know if he finally 'gets' me or if I've adjusted my comments to suit his sense of humor. I don't guess it really matters, since I'm cheap and just after the laugh anyway.

So, starting on Monday, I'm going to bring my snarky back at least once a week. Bear with me, I'm planning my first post about how Ni Hao Kai Lan needs to mind her own business every once in awhile. ::Snort::

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Workout Wednesday

The sub title of this post should be "the slacker edition".

This summer, I was at the Y every day during the week and at least once, usually twice, during the weekends. Granted, that was helped by the fact that the kids had gymnastics on Saturday, so I had to be there anyway. Potato, patahto.
One of the reasons I really prefer to have a workout partner is that it keeps me motivated to show up. Once I show up, the hardest part is over for me. It's just the getting there that can be hard for me, especially if I don't feel well or am really, really tired. And, most mornings on my way to the gym, I'm thinking - oh, I need to do this and this and this and this and this. And rarely does that train of thought include what I need to be doing while at the gym.

My morning workout partner has kids too, so we've been missing at least one morning a week the past month or so. I've gotten a lot of running around done, but ironically, I miss going to the gym. Missing it doesn't seem to make it any easier to get me there some mornings, oddly enough, but I miss it just the same.

Last week, we didn't meet Tuesday or Thursday mornings, I didn't go to the gym on Saturday (but I cleaned my entire house from top to bottom, so there was a lot of non gym exercise going on for me) and then my usually vigorous Sunday workout got totally derailed by an ailing child. Being 100% honest, I could have taken the kids back home and gone back to the gym or gone for a walk, or done something movement oriented, but I didn't.

Even though this week didn't get off to a great start, either, there's always tomorrow. S wasn't feeling well on Monday, we didn't meet on Tuesday, and we got a late start on Wednesday. So, not my best week. The bright side is that I bench pressed 105 pounds today, and when R and I go on Saturday, we are going to see how heavy I can go. I'm excited to test myself. I can also already tell a difference in my cardio ability, even though the last 10 days have been wishy washy workout wise. Say that six times fast. Wishy washy workout wise. HA!


Sometimes I just have weeks like this. If I start beating myself up about it, though, it just makes it that much harder to get back into the swing of things. So I'm not going to sweat it. ::snort!:: For the most part, I've been working out regularly for a solid year and a half (minus PCS season last year). Not too shabby. I'm almost halfway to my weight loss goal.

Tomorrow I have the appointment I thought I had last Thursday, so my workout will be later in the day. Since it's Veteran's Day and the kids don't have school and R is off work, maybe we can all do something fun and active as a family. I think it's time to get creative up in here.

Salsa Chicken Pictures


Recipe: 1 bottle Bull's-Eye Carolina barbecue sauce
1 small jar salsa or picante sauce (whatever level of hotness you prefer)
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix barbecue sauce and about 1/2 the jar of salsa together in a 9X13 baking dish
Add chicken, spooning mixture over top

Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes until chicken is done (cooking times will vary based on size and number of chicken breasts)


I served ours with steamed brown rice and steamed broccoli sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

YUM!




Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You just never know what you are going to find

Sometime in the mid 90's, my friend Angie introduced me to a...different....sounding chicken recipe. When she described it, I wrinkled up my nose and thought to myself, 'No WAY am I eating that!'

Which, of course, I did.

Hey, someone goes to the trouble of making you dinner, the least you can do is try it, right?

And, of course, I loved it. Angie has an awesome ability to find easy, quick, delicious recipes.

I'm sure she told me the name of the recipe, but it was henceforth referred to as 'salsa chicken'.

You need one bottle of honey mustard barbecue sauce, one bottle of salsa, and four to six chicken breasts. I use the boneless skinless ones because I'm lazy like that. You mix the sauces together, put the chicken breasts in, bake it at 375 until done (about 35-45 minutes depending on how thick the chicken breasts are). Serve it over rice.

Sooooooo good. I made this at least once a week for years.

And then they stopped selling/making honey mustard barbecue sauce.

It was a sad, sad day in menuville.

I tried a variety of combinations - honey barbecue sauce with Dijon mustard and salsa, barbecue sauce with honey, mustard, and salsa, tangy barbecue sauce with honey mustard salad dressing and salsa...you get the idea.

Some of them were okay, but none of them were as good as the original. After we moved to South Dakota, I stopped looking for a replacement combination.

Today, I was at the commissary and for some reason I walked up the sauce/condiment aisle. Something caught my eye. In the barbecue sauce section was a funny color of barbecue sauce. Could it be? Seriously? Could it be? I swooped in for a closer look and discovered that Bull's-eye now makes a sauce they call Carolina Style, but is described and looks just like the honey mustard stuff I've been missing. I bought a bottle, went to find some salsa and chicken and made it for dinner tonight.

YUMMY!

So good.

So, so, so good.

And it wasn't just me...R asked me if we could have it for dinner again tomorrow night. And the answer is totally yes! I wish I'd thought to take a picture and post it. I'll do that when I make it again tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh bla de, oh bla da, life goes ooooonnnnnn, la la la la life goes on

This morning, R had guard duty and left the house around 5 am. Once again, I am thankful that he's in the Air Force now because the schedule is a bazillion times better than the Army schedule was. But I'm also grateful that he was in the Army, because I don't think I'd appreciate the benefits of AF life the way I do if I hadn't had a taste of Army life first.

A little bit later, T comes into our bedroom, climbs into bed with me, kisses me on the forehead, and says "good morning Mommy!" There is nothing sweeter. Nothing. We get up and have about half an hour together before S wakes up. I love it when I can spend one on one time with the kids. S gets more of it now than T does since he's in Kindergarten all day, so it's even sweeter when he and I get some unexpected quality time.


We were even all up, dressed, breakfast eaten, and teeth brushed in plenty of time to walk to the bus stop before the bus was rumbling down the street. Already this week is off to a better start than last week. And for the first time in ages, S didn't give me any lip about getting dressed this morning -- all thanks to some mint condition hand me downs from T's friend Allyson.

Once T was off to school, S and I headed to the Y. 40 minutes into my workout, one of the childcare workers came to get me saying that S was in the bathroom saying she thought she was going to throw up. Oh no! I dashed in there to check on her. She hadn't thrown up, but was crying and asking to go home. And that's what we did. Poor thing. She had started coughing and was coughing so hard that she gagged. And there is nothing I can do but hold her until she feels better.

After we got home, she seemed to be much better. The only problem was that she wanted to play with T's DSi. No way, Jose! There is no way she's going to touch that thing without T's express permission. I'm all for the kids sharing toys and whatnot, and I often have to enforce the practice. However, every now and then I fully support the right not to share. Being a parent is terribly hard sometimes, what with all the concern about how my decisions will affect, scar, or warp them for life. I mean, really, who needs that kind of constant pressure?!? I kid, I kid.

But my refusal to let her have access to the DSi started a massive tantrum. First she cried, all pitiful like, and when that didn't work she turned to tearfully demanding that I give her what she wanted. Umm...no. Then she got really mad and you could just see that she was trying to figure out what she could do that would cause me to react. She's a smart cookie, that one, and she picked up something to throw. Unfortunately for her, she chose a blanket. The thing about throwing a blanket is that there is rarely a satisfying whack involved. Especially when the blanket is 6 times bigger than you are and all you really manage to do is dump half of it on yourself and the other half on the floor right beside you. Naturally this only added to the anger at hand, so she went for the shoes lying on the floor beside the couch. In a dramatic show of defiance and an impressive attempt to show me who's boss, she held up the shoe over her head for a few seconds and then flung it as hard as she could towards the wall. The only problem with that? She let go too early and so the shoe landed about a foot (no pun intended) away from her.

Well. That just did it. She flung herself to the ground and just screamed while she rolled around and flailed about. She wasn't really even screaming any words, just trying to achieve her window rattling decibel level that usually gets a rise out of me.

In case you were wondering what I was doing during this impressive display of toddler fireworks? I was sitting calmly on the couch giving her my full attention but not reacting in any way. I was also trying not to laugh, because while there was certainly humor to be found, I have been that frustrated myself and there's nothing worse than being upset and having someone laugh at you. Well, at least in my book. After a minute, she stopped screaming and looked at me with a tear stained face, red eyes, and more than a hint of defiance in the set of her jaw.

Me: Want to go water the flowers with me?
S: (nods)

We put on shoes and jackets and went out to water the flowers. As I was showing her how to position the sprinkler so that as many of the flowers were reached by the water as possible, S puts her hand on my face and says, "I sorry, Mommy."

I scoop up the puddle my heart has melted into and pour it back into my chest. I give her a big hug and tell her I understand what it's like to be that mad, and that no matter how mad she ever gets I will love her just the same. She nods her head a couple times looking so much older than her three years. Somehow, I don't think being the kid is entirely a piece of cake either.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Falling back on my stack of good intentions

Happy Daylight Savings!

This has been a crazy week what with all my brain farts and other seemingly hilarious hijinks. This morning the kids and I, thanks to the time change, made it to the early service at church. Both T and S have been coughing a lot this week, which is pretty par for the course when the weather changes drastically, but still stinks because they don't sleep well and tend to be grouchy and more easily upset.

As we are walking back to the van, T announces that he's hungry. So we stop by a Panera Bread place and get them each a cookie and milk and then I get R a hot chocolate because he's getting sick again. Poor guy. One of the four of us has been under the weather on a rotating basis for the last six weeks or so. No fun.

We come back home and R has gone back to bed. Holy time change, he IS feeling badly. I try to keep the kids quiet and busy, which doesn't really work, so R comes down after about an hour. Surprisingly, he finds it hard to sleep with all the noise and activity. And by activity, I really mean grouchy kids. They were beautifully behaved in church, but I think they used up their daily supply of good there because it was bicker, bicker, bicker the moment we got home.

I eventually needed a moment away from the bickering, so I tag teamed R and went upstairs with the intention of taking a short time out. Of course I fell asleep, and the next thing I remember is R saying it was almost noon. Our routine has been to be at the Y by noon on Sundays. Since we'd been up since 6ish, and gotten back from church by 10:30, that should have been no problem. But we didn't get there until about 12:45. I'm signing the kids in to the childcare room and T comes up to tell me he's had an accident in his pants. I stand there momentarily stunned because T rarely has accidents. He and I head into the bathroom, and I realize that T has diarrhea. Oh no!

If he's sick, he can't be in the childcare room, plus he needs a change of clothes, so I tell the kids we have to leave. This brings tears and lots of vocal sadness because some of their friends are there and they want to stay. I totally understand and I feel horrible that they are upset, but there's no way I'm going to risk getting other people's kids sick.

Under loud protests, we head home. The rest of the evening passed mostly uneventfully, but I'm trying to decide if I should keep T home from school tomorrow. I'm also crossing my fingers, eyes, toes, legs, and arms that no one else in the house gets the stomach bug.

When I was at Walmart picking up Tums for R today, I noticed that Vicks has a vapor rub additive for vaporizers. Since we actually bought Vicks vaporizers, I bought some to hopefully help the kids sleep a little better tonight. After we put them to bed, which was blessedly easy tonight (thank you time change!), R refilled the vaporizers and added the vapor rub stuff. About an hour and a half later, you could easily smell it anywhere in the house. Heee! So we unplugged the vaporizers, lest the vapor rub goodness penetrate the walls and provide unwanted aromatherapy to the neighbors.