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, 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."


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


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


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.


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. 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.


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.