Tuesday, November 30, 2010


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.


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?"


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


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.


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.


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."


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


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.


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


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.


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: (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.


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.


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.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Best idea I've heard in ages


  • Create, inspire, and admire rather than compete with fellow bloggers
  • Be understanding of each other -- in the blogging community, as well as in the world
  • Stay away from internet/blogging bullying
  • Speak my opinion freely, while still being mindful of other's feelings--be tactful
  • Make an effort -- no matter how big or small the gesture, to spread kindness or joy to others
  • Acknowledge that I will make mistakes, (I am only human) but remember to learn from them
  • Know that at times I will post about the negative stuff in life, and maybe even some complaining (I am human) but I will always follow up with something happy/positive too
  • Believe that this world is a good place, filled with good people

I stumbled on this button on TopMommyBlogs.com. I love this and I'm committing to it, like, yesterday. If you'd like to take this pledge as well, just click on the button and it should take you to the Jo-Annie's blog. If not, then please visit Jo-Annie's blog here: http://emjayandme.blogspot.com/ or by visiting TopMommyBlogs.com and clicking on the link there.

Life is short. Be kind.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I've got to start paying attention

The movie theater here offers 'rush hour' prices. All shows between 4 and 6 during the week are only $4. Who can turn that down when there are three or four of you going?

Only problem - there hasn't been anything I thought the kids would sit through since the promotion started. And then we saw that Megamind opened today. Excellent! Let's GO!

I told R that I wanted to take the kids to see the 5 pm showing. He thought it was a good idea, and he said he'd meet us at the movie theater after work.

I didn't tell the kids until after T got home from school. I wanted it to be a surprise, and I figured it would be easier to get them in shoes and coats and into the van if they were excited about going somewhere. (It totally was.)

We got to the theater and were standing in line to buy tickets when I noticed: the rush hour offer was for all shows between 4 and 6 pm from Monday through Thursday.

Oooooooops. So instead of paying sixteen dollars we paid almost twice that. But it was my mistake for not paying enough attention to the details. This has been a bad week for me in that respect.

I have to say, though, the price was well worth it in the long run because we all had a wonderful time and the movie was really, really cute. I think it was more geared for tweens and up rather than kids T and S's age, but with Will Farrell, Tina Fey, and Brad Pitt doing the voice overs, how could you possibly lose? And besides, we got the large popcorn/drink combo and the kids went through two large popcorns (refills are free) which meant not only did we put a minuscule, barely noticeable dent in popcorn profits, but I didn't have to fix dinner. Double yay!

I think we should totally add family date night to the agenda. On, say, a Thursday or something.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Silver Bells

A few minutes ago, I pulled up Facebook and saw that my one of my ex sister in laws posted something about a new Scentsy candle called Silver Bells. And just like that, I had a flashback.

What's the point of having a flashback if you can't share it, right?

My freshman year in high school, the drama teacher decided to have a talent show right around the holidays. It was a long time ago so some of the details (read: most)have been shoved out of my mind to make room for such things as the kids' birthdays and likes and dislikes, the current fundraiser-of-the-month for my daughter's preschool, and how much money is left in our checking account until payday. Bothersome!

Anyway, for some reason I thought it would be a great idea if I signed up to present a talent in the talent show. One problem with that. I don't really have an obvious talent. When I tried out for school plays, I almost always made the generic cast, so acting wasn't a good idea. I had taken dance for years, but hello! It was high school and there was NO way I was going to put myself directly in the path of that level of ridicule. Also, it was the 80's and it would have messed up my wall of hair. I can't read music or play an instrument, can't twirl a baton or swallow fire... hmmm...

I wish I could remember why I ever even signed up for the stupid talent show. It had to have been a drama class requirement or for extra credit. Or - and this is the most likely scenario - a boy I liked was probably involved. ::Shaking my head at the teen aged me::

I did write poetry, but it was all sad, morose, dark stuff, so that didn't seem like a good idea at Christmas time. Plus? Way too personal. Way.

I ended up signing up to sing. The song? Uh-huh, you guessed it - Silver Bells. Mr. Anderson, who was the pianist for all the plays our school produced, was supposed to be playing the piano for any of us that wanted to sing, but something happened and he couldn't do it. I got someone else to do it for me and I think we might have had one rehearsal before the talent show. Emphasis on might.

Fast forward to the talent show. Someone played the piano, I sang Silver Bells, people clapped politely when I was done. Yay me! I sang in public.

And then I saw the tape.

Oh. My. Geezers.

If American Idol had been around then and that had been my audition? I SO would have made the hall of shame. It was horrid. Awful. Out of tune. Out of sync. Just....ugh. The stuff that teen aged nightmares were made of. It was so bad, in fact, that no one every said a word of it to me. People, that's not good. And the worst of it? I genuinely had no clue at the time. My only hope? Is that it was on beta video and not VHS so that it's now gone forever.

So, while I'm sure that Scentsy's Silver Bells is delightful, I don't think I'll be asking for it for Christmas.


The last week or two, I've been feeling restless in my skin. Usually I change the furniture around and clean when I feel this way, but I really like the way we have the furniture arranged so I haven't changed it. Therefore, I am completely convinced, I am still feeling restless.

Restless sometimes turns into distracted. Like yesterday when I tried to unlock and load groceries into the wrong van. It was the same make and color as my van, same interior...a bit cleaner, but since it was windy I can chalk that up to hoping the breeze/gusts blew some of the dirt off my van. I was parked in roughly the same area, just one row over. This would be much more concerning if I tried to get into a different type of car altogether, right? I also believe that they call that grand theft auto - or at least breaking and entering.

Further proof of my distraction? Today I had a waxing appointment. Ironically, I was sitting in my car (I was early - that happens when I don't have the kids with me) thinking about the great van goof up from the day before and thinking how not funny it would be if I had missed my appointment. I take my dehairing quite seriously since the dark hair or seventy had started to appear on my face. (WTH hormones...I'm not even 40 yet!) When the magic hour arrived, I went in and gave my info to the very, very nice lady at the reception desk. She looked up with a frown - she didn't have me down for today.

Well, that's odd. I have an appointment card and everything. So I go out to my van to get it, and pull it out of the sun visor and notice that my appointment is next week. Really, self?!? At least I wasn't rude or obnoxious about being certain the appointment was today. I slink back in and apologize profusely for being a dork. But to do this kind of stuff twice in two days? I am definitely distracted. I dislike that feeling.

On the bright side of this issue? Blog material! That is, if I can remember it. HA!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Workout Wednesday

Oooooooooooooooooooooooo yeah! Thanks mostly to the stomach flu last week, I'm down 5 pounds. The way I figure it, the stomach flu jump started it for me, but I maintained it. Which, considering the amount of candy lying around here and the batch of oatmeal cookies I made, is not too shabby.

Sunday I had a great cardio session. I don't think I've been that sweaty since my last Zumba class and man, it felt great. This lead to a shorter, but still intense cardio session on Monday. Also on Monday? I bench pressed 95 pounds! Talk about an endorphin high! I absolutely love lifting weights. But I also realize that I need to focus more on cardio if I'm going to lose weight. And considering I want to lose at least 80 more pounds, I'd better get to it.

The elliptical machine at the Y has a five minute fit test you can take. Just out of curiosity, I took it towards the end of my workout on Sunday. In a surprise that made me giggle, the machine stopped me at 4 minutes 15 seconds and scored me at 0. ::Snort!!::

Today I took it again and just like Sunday it was at the end of my workout. I got to finish today but my rating was "very low" and my score was 17.7 or something. I'm guessing that the range goes from 0 to 100. So if on Sunday I didn't even get to finish before the machine stopped testing me, then I take it as a huge sign of improvement that today I got to finish and got a score, even if the score was really, really bad. So I'm going to take it again on Friday and see what happens. I like the idea of being able to measure my progress against something, you know?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Last week, Mom and Richard took the kids out for the afternoon. I cleaned the kitchen and then sat down to watch Sophie's Choice. I hadn't seen it before, and while I knew the gist of the movie, actually watching it? It was....powerful. Heartbreaking. Terribly, terribly sad. Meryl Streep was amazing.

How could anyone survive making a choice like that? Worse, how many people had to? I can't bear to think about it.

It certainly put things in a clearer perspective.

I also started thinking about choices. We make so many of them every day...what to wear, where to go, what to eat, what we say, how we act and react...

I want the kids to grow up with the ability to make good choices. One of the hardest things about letting the kids make their own choices is respecting their right to make choices I wouldn't. And then I think about how imperfect I am, and how I learned way more from my mistakes than I ever did by blindly following someone elses choice direction (even when they were right).

Why is this so hard to do as a parent? Or maybe it's just hard for me...

But I am so utterly, humbly grateful that I live in America where I have the freedom to make choices (and mistakes), and that I will never have to face a choice like Sophie did.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I really need to give up on the idea of naps already

Today started off well. No problems with the kids this morning while getting them up and ready for school. I needed a homework sheet for T that I couldn't find, and while I frantically searched through where I thought I put it, I couldn't find it. Somewhere in my panic of misplacing T's sheet, I recognized the rumble of the bus coming up the street. T and I dashed outside, me in bare feet and leaving S in the house with the door wide open so I could hear her and so that she wouldn't lock me out, only to see the bus pulling away from the bus stop. Sorry T! I would have looked for that paper last night if I'd had any idea it was no longer where I put it on Friday. Or where I was sure I'd put it. Don't you hate it when that happens?

We took T to school and got there in plenty of time, then headed off to the Y. S, for whatever reason, decided to balk about going to the Y this morning. Loudly. Repeatedly. Publicly. Undeterred, I gave her a few minutes in the parking lot to get it out of her system, then I enticed her into the Y by splitting a bottle of water with her. Seriously? Sometimes it's the simplest things that snap her out of a funk.

Workout completed, we headed to the car where S buckles in, immediately complains about being thirsty while simultaneously realizing she left her water bottle inside. Queue the dramatic and loud protesting and demands that we go and get it. Since we were already in motion and on the main road, we didn't go back. S was most unimpressed by this decision.

By the time we got home, she had calmed down considerably, helped I'm sure by the fact that we have bottled water a-plenty there. And juice. And milk. After we had lunch, played, and read books for a while, she curled up on the couch with a blanket and looked like she was getting sleepy. Thinking she might take a quick nap if I sang her some songs, I sat down beside her.

Guess who fell asleep? Uh huh. Not S. I dozed for about 30 minutes, and when I woke up, S was at the kitchen table, quietly going through Halloween candy. Honestly, could I make it any easier for my kids to do whatever they want sometimes? ::Snort::

Happy Halloween

This week has been a struggle to post blog entries. This happens from time to time and I know it will pass. Just knowing that someone out there is actually reading what I write? Wow - it's a powerful thing and a great motivator. I cannot say this enough - thank you for reading this. And for coming back even when it takes me two or three days to post the entries that I start every day.

Okay then. On to today's post....

Halloween! This is our first Halloween with the kids in the States, so I was pretty excited. They are both old enough to get a kick out of it, and we live in a kid friendly neighborhood. Where I grew up, in order to get a full bag of candy, I had to walk at least three miles. Houses were a lot less close together then, and I loved candy so I was willing to walk for it. It was also much safer back then and no big deal for a kid to take off for a couple hours of trick or treating without an adult going with them. Those were good times. But with smaller kids, it's nice to live in a military neighborhood with lots of kids and houses that are closer together. My kids (thankfully) aren't nearly as motivated by candy as I used to be. But I love that they said thank you the majority of the time without being prompted. I also love how much the people in the neighborhood went out of the way to decorate and make it a great experience for the kiddos.

My friend Tascha came over with her two kids and she and I took the kids out while R handed out candy. With four kids under six, you never know how well or how poorly things will go, but all four kids listened really well and did what we asked, which meant that trick or treating tonight went beautifully. And as a bonus for the grownups? The kids were done in under an hour. And they were so, so cute.

As an additional bonus, once we got home, Tascha and I sat outside the garage to try and get rid of the over abundance of candy I bought (after the Trunk or Treat at the Y a week ago, we decided we should buy double the amount of candy we thought we needed. In defense of that decision, in Germany we always ended up running out in no time). To my intense and great surprise, our neighbor -- yes THAT one -- was outside handing out candy too, and she ended up coming over and hanging out with us. And it was fun. She was hilarious and friendly and I tried really hard not to look as surprised as I felt. I'm still never, ever going to block her driveway, but I think great strides were made tonight.

The only down side? We ended up with a lot of leftover candy. But all the leftovers are in sealed bags, so we are going to use some of it for stocking stuffers and the other we'll throw in the freezer for those days when ya just need a bit of chocolate. Or something to take to a potluck. If I can't see it and I can't smell it, I generally don't want to eat it. Unless it's really good cheesecake. Freezing cheesecake just makes it more appealing to me, oddly enough. Which is why I don't buy or make cheesecake.

I hope all of you had a safe and happy Halloween. And I believe this officially marks the beginning of the holiday season, even though I think the Christmas decorations have been out since the middle of October. Is it just me, or does it seem like Christmas marketing comes earlier every year?