Monday, January 31, 2011

LegoLand was awesome and here are the pics to prove it.

Inside the mouth of a lego lion               

Hey - you don't have to bite my head off!

The black stormtrooper guys didn't seem this nice in the movies

Someone get me a Mr. Clean sponge stat!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh, when will I learn?

Today after we had all the fun we could find at Legoland (and we had a lot), we headed to IKEA. Once you've wandered through IKEA and imagined the home you could have if you a) actually owned a home b) had an unlimited budget c) didn't mind spending the next two years assembling furniture or paying someone to assemble it for you or d) had a way to get said potential merchandise from the store to your house, you head down to the first level for checkout. Before you get to the checkout section, you are blessed with seeing the 'get it now' section for discontinued items (offered at a decent discount) and the scratch and dent section, offered at a fabulous discount. Plus, it's already assembled.

And when I say you, I mean me.

R and I were browsing both discounted sections because we are kinda sorta looking for a dresser. Right now, we each have a small chest of drawers, but I'd really like to have one larger dresser - especially if the drawers could refrain from falling apart periodically. A-hem.

While we didn't find the dresser of our dreams, we did see stuff we liked. Alas, we had no way to get it home today and we had no desire to make a five hour trip each way for a dresser we liked but didn't love another day. Guess what we did find? This really cool cabinet made to fit under a stand alone or pedestal sink. Already assembled, small enough to fit in the trunk, it was perfect for extra hand towels and toilet paper storage for our downstairs bathroom.  Plus, it was marked way down, but in excellent condition.  So we bought it.

Once we got home, we brought it in and I realized the error I made. While our downstairs bathroom has a pedestal sink the cabinet was made to fit around a sink without the pedestal stand. And, as luck would have it, it's about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch too tall to fit under the sink even if we removed the stand, which we totally wouldn't do because this is military housing and we so do not need this sort of headache.

Crap. No returns, refunds, or exchanges since it was a scratch and dent.

So what other uses can we find for this cabinet with a nice U shaped cut out on top? I guess we could put a potted plant of some sort down into it so it looks like it's sprouting greenery ::eye roll::. Maybe put in a closet for storage or in the laundry room under that counter. I guess I could try to sell it at a yard sale.


How could I have missed the obviously obvious? There's a big bar across the bottom of the back side of the cabinet. Hello! Pedestal sinks go all the way to the floor, Brooke. DUH! Even if we removed the bar, the cabinet is still too tall and we'd have to saw some material out of the shelves, which would then be rendered mostly useless - so what's the point?!?

I can't believe I missed the obvious issues with this one! I must have been high on IKEA's Swedish meatballs.

When will I ever learn?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sometimes it's better to put it in writing.

This morning, T announces that his throat hurts. Really? Crap.

He has allergies. I have no idea what, besides this particular part of Illinois, sets them off, so when he starts sounding really congested, I generally restart the allergy meds to see if taking them helps. If so, we chalk it up to allergies, if not, then we go from there. Unfortunately, at least twice a year T develops a horrible cough. I'm not sure if it's from the congestion and drainage or if it's virus related. There's no way to really tell.

I used to take him to the doctor when he'd develop it, especially once he was in preschool, but we were always told that there was nothing to be done but to let him cough and for situation to resolve itself. Not exactly reassuring words from your health care professional. When we moved here, I tried again hoping I'd get a different answer. I didn't.

So here we are, deep in the latest round of cough-gate. Does his throat hurt because of the coughing (which has been surprisingly helped with a humidifier and Vicks vapor liquid) or has he picked up strep from me? I ask S if her throat hurts. She says yes. I look at their throats. Both my kids have super sized tonsils, so it's extremely hard for me to tell when they are swollen because they always look swollen to me.  What to do? What to do?

Clinic. Strep tests. Yay.

However - better safe than sorry since we are going to Chicago tomorrow after the basketball game. Our reservations are made and paid for, so I really don't want to cancel. Plus it's Star Wars weekend at Legoland. None of us want to miss that. Ahem.

Off we go to the clinic. This time they get us in immediately. (woohoo!). The medical tech is all business. Weight, sit, swab, bp, temp. Rinse and repeat with S. So far so good. The rapid strep test (the other times we've taken it) was a five minute test. This one? Done in far less time. As in, T's was 'read' when S finished her rotation of medical intervention, and S's was 'read' right after T's. Seriously, did the swab even have enough time to get wet?

Of course they came out negative. I'm grabbing on to that ray of hope and assuming that our tech knew what she was doing. Yes, I have my doubts. The second swab for each kid was sent to the lab, which means that someone else will more carefully double check her work. I hope.

I had already decided that, should the need arise for medication of the penicillin variety, I was going to bite the bullet and ask for the kids to get one shot versus days of multiple doses. To prepare for that, I called R at work and told him of my evil, diabolical plan. I also asked if he'd come to help me hold down the kids. He said yes. Luckily, that didn't need to happen, so I called to give him the 'all clear' on the way back to the car.

We managed to cross the street together and safely, and then the kids just...scattered. In a parking lot. As if they thought no cars might ever come in there. Parking on base is difficult to find. It's also a very busy base. As I saw S and T running around cars, darting in and out, I just reacted and yelled at them to (and I quote): "Get over here RIGHT NOW. We do NOT play in parking lots! Do you NOT see all the CARS!?!???! What are you DOING!?! And thank you VERY MUCH for making me sound like I raised you in a barn!!!!"

Not that people were staring or anything. By the way, I'm still on the phone with R, who finds this amusing. As I would if the situation were reversed. Also? Not my finest parenting moment, which compounds itself a few minutes later when I accidentally drop T's Nintendo DSi. There were a few tiny black specks on it -- gravel transfer if you will--but it works just fine. T is majorly upset. Understandable. So I record a little message for him and it goes a little something like this.

I'm very sorry that I dropped your DSi. I promise to be more careful in the future. I love you T.

That didn't really help, so I tried this:

Mommy was wrong.
Mommy was wrong.
Mommy was wrong, Mommy was wrong, Mommy was wrong.
Mommy was wrong, Mommy was wrong, Mommy was wrong.
Mommy was wroooo-oooo-ooong.

That worked juuuuuuuuust fine.

Off we go to take T to school. We have to stop to get T some chapstick because his entire mouth is so horribly chapped. The only chapstick I could find in the shoppette was cherry, which meant that it would show up as pinkish when T put it on. ::Note to self - put some chapstick in the car!:: And it did. So T went off to school today a little pink around the edges. Worse things have happened. Like hearing my "Mommy was wrong" song repeated endlessly for about half an hour. As soon as I figure out how to work that dang DSi, I'm erasing it. He'll just have to accept it in writing.


I'm having a hard time coming up with something to write about today. I've moaned about sickness enough  in the last week for the next two years. So that's out. hahaha.

What did I do that was interesting today? Oh yeah. Car wash.

S and I took the car to be washed today. It had a serious layer of salt grime and dirt on it from the recent bad weather. I think it's hilarious to take the kids to that particular car wash - it's the kind where you actually stay in the car and ride it through the washing process. Why flopping straps of fabric and spinning giant wheels of soap laden brushes make them giggle and squeal is beyond me, but it does and I get a kick out of watching them. After we got through, S begs, "Again, again!" Yeah, that'd be great, but it isn't a free trip, kiddo.

Fast forward a few hours later, and S and I are coloring. What is it about kids that they want to drink what you are drinking, eat what you are eating, sit where you are sitting, color what you are coloring (with the crayon you are using, of course) yet if you offer them the exact same things or places to eat, drink, sit, or color, they aren't interested? Once we straightened all that out with a minimum of tantrums, I settled the world war starting battle over the wild blue yonder crayon and put in a movie and popped some popcorn. Thinking we could all chill out for 90 minutes of "Alpha and Omega" animated fun, I settled down on the couch. Where, of course, S automatically wanted to sit.

20 minutes into it, and I'd heard the word 'butt' (which is currently a no no word in this house, never mind that I let the occasional actual swear word fly) enough that T said, "Mom, this movie has bad language." I kinda figured that out because every time a character said it, both kids shouted, "Ooooohhhhhh! He said butt!"

So we went back to our standbys. Legos and cars.

I know! It's pretty damn doggone blessed life I got goin' on here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Workout Wednesday

Not my best workout week, frankly. Between R, S, and I getting the stomach flu over Tuesday night/Wednesday of last week, the snow on Thursday that had the kids' schools cancelled, and then my getting whatever this is Monday night, I missed workouts last Wednesday, Thursday, and yesterday. Boo! I also missed my workout today, but I'm honestly in no shape to workout. So I'm carrying the laundry upstairs no more than five items at a time. That way I'm having to go up and down the stairs. Kinda weird, I know, but it makes me feel better than just lying around on the couch again all day.

Last Thursday, I took the kids to Monkey Joe's which is this huge play warehouse that requires lots of physical activity. Unfortunately, it's kids only, so I walked all around whichever bouncy house the kids were on while they played for a couple hours. Then we came home and I shoveled our driveway and most of our neighbor's driveway. So those days weren't a total loss.

And, Saturday night was girls night out and we went to dinner and then dancing. And I got an awesome 2+ hours of shakin' my groove thing then. It's so true: when you are doing something you love, it's not like working out at all. Wish the same could be said for my laundry workout plan. That totally seems like work.

Thankful Tuesday (Ignore the posting date. It's really Tuesday. No, really!)

This next sentence is going to sound awfully familiar. I'm sick. Again. WTF?!?  I'm flat out irritated that since Thanksgiving, I've had the flu, strep, a stomach virus, and now I'm pretty sure it's strep again. What kind of toxic dung hole did the military move us to this time? Yeesh.

So for Thankful Tuesday, this is my offering:

I'm thankful that, for my kids to be as young as they are, they are skillfully self-sufficient. Today I dropped off the kids at school, came back home (skipping a waxing appointment and the gym, so you know I felt horrible), went back to bed until time to pick up S.

Picked up S, came home, made her lunch, sat on the couch huddled in blankets, and we read books and colored. After about an hour, I laid down on the couch and turned on Dora. I dozed off and on for the next hour, occasionally opening an eye to make sure S wasn't having a linoleum carving contest, or coloring the walls with a Sharpie. To my immense surprise, she wasn't.

T comes home around 3, and is content to spend some time on the computer. All I have to do is read the occasional sentence he can't figure out or look at something neat that he's found. S is so interested in what T is doing that there's peace and harmony all afternoon. And for that, I'm thankful to the point of tears.

R gets home, takes one look at me, and sends me up to bed. He deals with dinner, homework, and the bedtime routine while I alternately freeze and sweat until the kids' bedtime. I tuck them into bed, then come down and try to spend some quality time with R. And by quality time I mean sitting clear across the room from him and trying to avoid any possible way of giving him my sick cooties. He's got a huge project going on at work right now and cannot afford to miss work.  I'm thankful that after the stressful day he had, he jumped in and took over with the kids without my having to ask him to do so.

I'm also thankful for ice water, extra blankets, hot showers, and advil. I'll be really thankful, however, when I'm not freakin' sick for at least a month.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That costs HOW much?

Nickelodeon has been advertising their all access cruise. T and S have both seen the commercial and the inevitable "Mooooooooooommmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy! We want to do that!" hit my ears yesterday.

Frankly, I'm not entirely opposed to the thought of a family oriented vacation, but I'm almost certain that the Nick All Access cruise isn't going to be ranked 'affordable' by the majority of America. Plus, they only have two 'All Access' cruises for 2010. Two.

Ruh-roh, Shaggy.

I tell T that I'll look up information about the cruise and see if there's any possibility that we could afford to go.


That would be a no.

One cruise is stateside. The other is European. The stateside cruise is Feb 20th. Prices for the cheaper cruise (the stateside one) start - start - at $849. This does not include port charges, taxes, fees, airfare, or probably a room any bigger than a large closet. A small room is fine for two, not so fine for four.

I break the bad news to T that we just cannot afford it.

T thinks about that for a second and then asks how much it costs. I tell him at least $900 per person and he says, "I'll pay for it. You can take the money out of my piggy bank.'


I explain the difference between what's in his piggy bank and what the cruise costs.

T thinks about that for a few minutes, then comes up to me and says, "It's okay, Mom. Dora and Spongebob would get on your and Dad's nerves anyway. And that slime stuff looks gross."

True dat!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And how was your weekend?

Okay, This needs to be said to the weather here. Either be cold or be windy. This -16 wind chill stuff? No, thank you. That is all.

Friday morning I called Tricare to make a doctor's appointment for S. She had a stomach bug Tuesday night and complained for the rest of the week that her stomach was really hurting. She ate very, very little and it was even difficult to get her to drink much. Thursday, she was standing on a small chair while goofing off and she fell off the chair and onto the container of Legos. Later that night, she was crying and saying she was hurting but we couldn't quite figure out if she was talking about a stomach flu like pain or pain from falling. Since it kept her awake and she was still in pain on Friday, I called the doctor.

Unsurprisingly, the appointment maker told me "We don't make doctor's appointments for tummy aches." Ahhh, customer service...wherefore art thou? But I did manage to score a pediatric nurse callback. Her advice? If we were worried about S, take her to the ER.

Phhbbtttttt. I mean, really, isn't there a happier possible medium for spending health care dollars between 'stay home and suffer' and 'expensive ER visit'?

But by Friday night, S was still not eating and not really drinking and she was still complaining of stomach pain. So hi ho, hi ho off to the ER we go. Where S, of course, proceeds to act like she has no idea of what we are talking about.  Parenting is FUN! She gets checked out by the doctor who at least determines there's no internal bleeding or obvious complications from her fall (which is what R and I were the most concerned about).

And that was Friday.

Saturday we had our first basketball game. Neither R or I was sure what to expect. We are new to this coaching thing and I wasn't able to make it to practice on Wednesday because I was sick, so I really felt out of the loop. One of the great things about the Y league at this level is that no score is kept, and the focus is really on learning the fundamentals and practicing sportsmanship.

The game starts and I gotta say it - I have no idea how R and I got so incredibly lucky. Our kids were awesome! They passed the ball, they rebounded well, they made some jaw dropping shots, and they kept going even though they were exhausted by the end of the game. We have some seriously talented kindergartners. I am so excited for practice on Wednesday!

Saturday night was girls night out. Dinner, then drinks and dancing. And I did my best to dance my butt off. I had so much fun! I even got to see a bar fight. I also got beer spilled down my back, but hey - that's a small price to pay for such an amazing night. I will say this - it's been ages and ages since I went to a bar/dance club. I was a little shocked at some of the things I saw on the dance floor. My eyes! My eyes!! Seriously people, some things are better done in private. Also? Some of you gals need to put some doggone clothes on. Sheesh!

Today was a low key day. Hanging out with the family, a great workout, a yummy dinner. doesn't get much better than this.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The one where I get my first massage in six years

I hope I haven't already written about my last massage experience. I'm too lazy to go back and recheck (I've been blogging off and on for three years now) and I don't tag my posts. I think we can chalk that up to a bit o'the laziness too. If I'm repeating myself, I beg your pardon.

I got a Massage Envy gift certificate for my birthday and another one for Christmas. After fruitlessly trying to get an appointment during the day while S was in school or early enough in the evening so that I'd be home to put the kids to bed, I gave up and made an appointment for 7 pm last night.

Flashback time. My last massage was in February of 2004. I had just found out I was pregnant with T and R got me an hour long massage for a Valentine's Day gift. As far as massages go, I'm strictly an upper torso gal. That massage ended up being full body. I don't remember anything else about it other than the fact that the massage technician did my legs and feet.Any relaxation gained prior to the feet and leg portion was immediately reversed right about the first touch.  I have really dry, often cracked feet. So I hate for anyone to touch my feet. I love the idea of a pedicure, but the actual part where some unlucky salon worker gets to try to grind half an inch of dead skin off my heels? Skeeves me out. ::Shudder::

As she worked her way up my legs, I realized two things. 1) I've always thought my legs were pretty muscular. I mean, sure, there was fat there too, but there was at least as much muscle as fat. 2) #1, while possibly true in the past was for sure no longer true. Not. even. close.

How do I know this? Oh, just from the feeling of fat being shoved up my leg towards my hip. Then, of course, she let go and my leg fat made this totes lovely tha-wummping sound and I'm pretty sure the table shook a bit. Yay. I feel pretty!

So, that was my last massage until last night.

I was nervous. Understandably.

It's late and I don't want to bore you, so I'll sum up my massage as quickly as possible. The technician actually asked what I was comfortable with. We agreed upper torso only, I partially disrobed and hopped onto a lovely heated table and she came back in to begin.

50 minutes later, the massage ended.  Here's what I learned this time. I'm knotty.  Every time she started working on a new area, she'd say, "Wow. You have a lot of knots." In 50 minutes, she only got my neck, shoulders, arms and upper back done. There was an invisible line on my back where I could feel where she had and hadn't worked. In case any of you have never had a massage, 50 minutes is generally enough to do a full body massage.

Also? Ouch. Not in a completely bad way, but girlfriend had to use some serious pressure. I started to fight back giggles as she gave up switched techniques and dug in with her elbows. It reminded me of the Friends episode were Ross agrees to massage one of Phoebee's clients cause he thought he'd be doing the hottie and it was really her dad. heehee. At least no one used spatulas or Tonka trucks on me. I think.

Finally, I discovered I am one uber tense person. I kept having to force myself to relax my muscles, and that was before the deep tissue stuff even started. I'm holding a lot more stress and tension than I had any idea of That actually came as a complete surprise to me. I'll be working on improving that. It can't be good to be that keyed up.

When I went to pay, the receptionist told me the technician recommended I come back at least 1 to 2 times a month until we could get all the knots worked out. That'd be nice, but massages aren't cheap.

And then this morning I went to the gym. Whhoooo-eeeeeeeee! What a huge difference it made in my workout. I'm thinking of panhandling, "Extraordinarily tense. Need monthly massages. Please help. God bless."

Kidding. Mostly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Workout Wednesday

Last weekend, I bought Bob Harper's Yoga for Warriors.

Oh boy.

Does it count as exercise if you watch it and your heart pounds in fear? I mean, a raised heart rate is a raised heart rate, right?

I kid, it wasn't that bad. The 15 minute ab workout looks challenging but completable. The yoga just looks hard. I really want to be able to try the both the yoga and the ab workout today. I worked out every day last week too, and I'm liking this momentum. Between jumping rope, going back to Zumba as often as I can, and trying to really push myself on the elliptical, I can tell a difference in my cardio fitness. Finally! Seems like it's taken forever.

The worst of the soreness seems to be over and I'm back in the weight lifting groove too. I hope that by throwing in some 'warrior yoga' to improve my flexibility that I'll see positive results in other areas as well. And it would be great if yoga would help my back, because it has really been bothering me lately.

After jumping rope and two zumba classes last week, I ended up at a running shoe store yesterday for new athletic shoes. Foot. Pain. When R was having pain while running in South Dakota, someone he worked with recommended going to a running store for a proper gait analysis. I figured that since I'm starting to do more high impact exercise, it wouldn't be a bad idea for me to get a proper shoe too.

I left with another pair of Asics and a strap that fits around my foot to help my arches, which apparently are in need of serious helping. I kind of knew that because my feet are pretty flat and sometimes the built in arch supports make my feet ache. The owner also said that it will help with the heel pain - as long as I keep the amount of time I go barefoot to a minimum. Since I only wear shoes when I have to, that's going to take some getting used to. I'm under the impression that a properly supported and shod (shoe'd?) foot will help eliminate most of my back pain and honestly, it's worth a shot.

Although I do wonder what the caveman did when their feet hurt since they didn't have shoes. Of course, they weren't schlepping around on concrete and fighting a weight problem, either.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

Oh, so much to be thankful for today!

I'm thankful that the stomach bug that has now taken down both kids seems to pass within 24 hours and so far has passed by R and I.

I'm thankful that my husband has a strong stomach and the stomach virus output in this house didn't leave him gagging like it did me this weekend.

I'm extremely thankful for trash can liners.

I'm thankful that R's brother came up for a visit last week and that he had a safe trip here and home.

I'm thankful that I didn't drop dead in Zumba last Thursday, because I'm pretty sure there were a couple of us there who thought about it.

I'm thankful that my kids have distinct, definite personalities. Sometimes I'm less thankful than others, but I admire how unique and individual the kids are and I wholeheartedly hope that they both hold on to that.

I'm thankful that Tatted Mom asked me to guest blog. It made me feel like a successful blogger.

I'm thankful to have seen so many friendly, familiar faces when I started going back to Zumba.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Confectionary Redemption

R's birthday is tomorrow. Despite my last attempt at cake making and frosting (which you can read about here), R was brave enough to ask me to make him a cake.

Normally I make him this fabulous buttermilk chocolate cake with a hard fudge icing - similar to ganache - but this year he wanted yellow cake with chocolate buttercream icing. The kids voted for cupcakes when I talked to them about it, so I decided to be inventive. I had some boxed cake mixes in the pantry and had decided to use those after looking for a good yellow cake recipe online. My search for chocolate cake recipes online resulted in some...interesting....results. Boiling over cakes, smoke alarm triggering, burned cake smells that linger for weeks...good times.

But today the cake gods were smiling. The kids and I decided on on a combination of chocolate and yellow cake and used the extra batter for cupcakes. The ordeals I've had in finding good cake recipes is only overshadowed by my inability to create decent icing. But today I found a recipe that turned out amazingly. And here's the proof -

My first guest post - I think I won the blogging lottery!

Oh my gosh, you guys! Last week I logged onto Facebook and found a message from one of my favorite bloggers - Tatted Mom. She asked if I would guest post for her.

I danced around like a complete dork and then immediately replied yes. She's going to feature my post 'Peace, Love, and Two Tattoos' today, so be sure and check it out! Here is the link to her blog: The Inklings of Life

I'm really excited because it's immensely flattering to have you read my blog, but to be asked to actually post something I've written on someone else's very cool blog? Total blogger bliss.

So, while you are waiting for me to get my tushie in gear and finish my regular post, pop on over to Tatted Mom's blog and see what she (and I) have to say. And if you could throw her a vote at TopMommyBlogs (she has a vote button too), I'd be eternally grateful!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Be careful what you wish for

I'm sitting on the couch, flipping between Facebook, Blogger, and email, while watching a movie with R. (Yes, I apologized first thing this morning for my behavior yesterday and we talked it out. Then we hugged it out. Then I colored. It was therapy day at the Dahl house this morning.)

I'm trying to decide what to write about. I'm hoping for an idea to strike me. Throughout the day today I've thought, "ooooh! I should blog about this!" but for the life of me I have no idea what any of those post worthy events were now. 

I look over at R and he's all wrapped up in a blanket and I think...hey! I can write about temperature - whether in a house, in a marriage, in life...temperatures change and it's a balancing act. An act that, like a thermostat, is always in a fluctuating state..sometimes up, sometimes down...but always striving to achieve that desired setting.

In the middle of figuring out how to stretch the above paragraph into a post, I think I hear a funny noise. Did one of the kids come downstairs? I look around and don't see anyone. Maybe it was a sound from the movie. Then I hear it again, and it sounds like a whimper. I know that I wouldn't be able to hear either of the kids whimpering if they were in their rooms, so I look at R to see if he heard it. He did and he's already getting up to look around.

I'm not sure where T was, but I hear R talking to him and they head for the bathroom. T's apparently got a bit of an upset tummy and has gotten a little poop in his pants. R puts him on the toilet, and runs upstairs to get him some clean underwear and I hear T start to cough.

However, it's the cough that would wake me in an instant from a sound, dead sleep. It's the dreaded 'I'm going to vomit in the next 30 seconds' cough. I dash to the bathroom where T is sitting on the potty and looking so small and scared and as I say, "Do you feel like you need to.." he starts to throw up.

Poor guy! It just keeps on coming and it was just horrible start to finish. He was throwing up on the floor since he was sitting on the potty, so he got upset he was making a mess. I tell him that it's no big deal, the most important thing to Dad and I is that he's okay. We'll clean up the mess. And then he vomits again, and he's just so freaked out, so he starts shaking his head 'no, no no' and there is spewage going everywhere.

So naturally, I start to gag. R comes over and sits with T while I get a breath or twenty of non vomit air. R, God bless him (for real, God bless this man) starts to clean up the mess. I bring over a roll of paper towels and a trash bag, then head upstairs to get T some clean clothes and a cool washcloth.

The clean up from the digestive pyrotechnics isn't as bad as I thought it would be, and once we got T settled on the couch, it only took a few minutes and a general dousing with Lysol to revert the bathroom to a hopefully stomach virus free zone.

T falls asleep pretty quickly and we keep an eye on him for a couple hours then move him back to bed. Where, of course, he immediately wakes up and starts to throw up again.

Dear blogging gods, I promise to me more specific when wishing for blog topics. Please spare the rest of the house from the same fate as T. Pleaseohpleaseohplease.

Sometimes I just need to shut the heck up

When we bought our car in November, we were supposed to get 3 free month of XM radio. After the three months, of course, then you have to pay for it, so I really didn't listen to it much because I have no desire to get hooked. But XM does have some kids programming, which I thought would be wonderful for our epic car ride to North Carolina. But a couple weeks before we left, I realized that the XM wasn't working. I mentioned it to R and asked if he'd call about it since he's primary on the account what with me not having a paying job and all. Bummer.

I asked him again a few days before we left and could tell from his reaction that he really didn't want to do it. I didn't want to do it either, and I have an annoying habit of backseat talking in situations like that. Knowing R, it's got to drive him nuts. Put the shoe on the other foot, and my comment would basically be that if he didn't like how I was handling things, then he needs to call and figure it out. Actually, why he hasn't already said that is a bit of a mystery. But he hasn't.

This morning, I was finishing up thank you notes for the Christmas gifts we got, and R walks by and asks what I'm doing. I tell him, and he's like, "You are just now sending out thank you notes for Christmas gifts?" Well, yes. Since I'm the only one that sends out thank you notes, yes. Yes, I'm just now sending out thank you notes to people. How many thank you notes are you sending out? Oh, none? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Of course I didn't say that exactly, but I did get my point across. Rowr. Hiss. 

Later this morning, we were doing a couple errands and I pushed the XM radio button. I check it every now and then in hopes that the situation will automatically resolve itself. Which, of course, it won't. R makes a comment about the XM not working and I say rather snappishly, "Yeah. I asked you to call weeks ago..."

Tonight I went to a movie with Tascha. Last night R and his brother went to a movie and ended up ordering their tickets through Fandango. Seemed like a great idea to me, so I asked him to order them for me tonight as I went up to take a shower. When I came downstairs, he had ordered the tickets and also thought to grab our gate pass since Tascha was driving and I'd probably need it to get back in our development. Thoughtful right? 

Then we get to movie theater and I go to the Fandango kiosk and get the tickets. We are standing in line to get popcorn when I realize - there's only one ticket. Weird. Was there a mistake? We head back out to stand in the ticket line, and I call R to ask if he ordered one ticket or two. He ordered one. I'm not angry, just puzzled, but I know that R thinks I'm angry. But why on earth would I ask him to order a movie ticket for me and not for Tascha? Duh!

After the movie, Tascha and I run by Walmart to get glue sticks for our kids to take to school on Monday. When I got home, R had gone to bed, which was unusual for him not to wait up. I put my bags down, hang up my coat, take my cell out of my jeans pocket, and notice the red "you've missed something" light is flashing. I check my phone and see that R must have called me right back when we were at the movie theatre, but I didn't hear the phone ring.

And then it all hits me: how bitchy I've been today over what really amounts to nothing and how embarrassed I am now that I think about the day that R must have had feeling like I was constantly jumping all over him. And for what? Stuff I could basically have taken care of myself? So was I really irritated at him or am I irritated at myself and just taking it out on R? I'm guessing that it's the latter.

Therefore, in the morning, I am going to apologize profusely to R for not handling things better today. While I feel like my feelings were pretty justified, I handled everything poorly. And he deserves better than that. Maybe I should write him a thank you note really quickly. Lord knows he deserves one for putting up with me today.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What do the Beatles and Eminem have in common? S loves their music.

Yesterday, I got a gift from the gods. S and I both took a nap. I have no idea why I'm so tired this week, I think because all last week I was just really busy or made sure I did something to busy myself and this week I haven't put as much effort into it. R's brother is here for a short visit, and while he's no trouble, when there is someone else in your house it just changes the chemistry. The kids love him, and he's soooo good with them, but I don't want him to feel like when he visits that I sic the kids on him and then go do my own thing. So yesterday, when he went to lie down, I somehow talked S into same thing (probably because Uncle G was doing it). To my great surprise, S took a pretty significant nap. I had to wake her up after T came home from school.

And when S takes a nap, no matter how wonderful it is for me at the time, there is always payback. Yesterday, it was that she was in no way tired enough to go to bed. I was planning to go to the late Zumba class, so I just took her with me. Somehow, S translated that into 'special outing with Mommy' versus 'I need to be worn out because I took a three hour nap'. Hey, works for me!

As we were on our way to the Y, she wanted to hear the Beatles' song "Yesterday", which she refers to as "all my troubles seemed so far away song". I didn't have my iPod with me, so we sang it about six times in a row. On the way home, she wanted to listen to Eminem (it's edited!). I love that S is developing a wide range of likes in music. I love that she loves to dance.  What I'm not thrilled about is how loud she wants the music. Last night I cranked it up since we weren't on base or in housing or near a residential neighborhood. The car was vibrating and she was demanding that I turn it up "louder! LOUDER!" My teeth were starting to rattle and she was not pleased that we had to turn it down.

I really was beginning to wonder if she can't hear all that well, and I dread the day she gets an iPod and cranks it up all the way with the ear buds in her ears. But as I turn the music down as we get ready to turn into our housing area, she tells me she likes the music so loud because it makes things in the car 'wiggle'. I guess it's good to know that we are risking permanent hearing loss so that the base can make the toys and whatnot in the car shake for her amusement. How on earth does music that loud not give her a headache? ::Gasp!:: I just channeled my grandparents as I blared Duran Duran at top volume at their house. Payback is a pain, people. A pain! And there is always payback.

Shown up. By five year olds.

I've been meaning to do some volunteer work pretty much since we moved here. I wanted to get settled in first, and we've been here a year, which should be enough time, right?

Long story short, I volunteered and nominated R to volunteer with me to coach a session of basketball at the Y. Wednesday night was our first practice.


My mom is a sports nut. She is crazy about Wake Forest and rarely misses a basketball or football game. Now that she's married, she also watches a lot of baseball and, I think, hockey.  It's been a constant source of frustration for her that I wrinkle up my nose and roll my eyes at the word "game" for decades. But of all the sports I have watched or participated in, basketball is easily my choice to become involved in.

I volunteered for the 5-6 year olds because I figured my lack of sports knowledge would be less obvious with that age group.


These kids know more than I do. At 5. And while I didn't completely embarrass myself, it wasn't a moment of utter glory either. But everyone has to start somewhere, right?


But I have to say that I had a blast, and the parents were really understanding about R and I being new at this. I can't wait to see what happens on Saturday - which should be our first game. I haven't gotten a schedule yet, though. So tomorrow I have to make sure I know what's what and let all my parents know.

Should be an interesting seven weeks.

Workout Wednesday - another Thursday edition

I'm letting this become a bad habit. I switched, finally, to the new blogger editor which means that I can no longer get away with starting a post on one day, finishing it another, and having the date posted reflect the day I started it. So I guess I'll have to suck it up and actually post on the day I want it to appear. The HORROR!

But enough about my bad blogging habits and onto the real post.

Last Friday, I talked to my former personal trainer who is still in Germany. We met when I hired her as a trainer, highly recommended by my friend Julia, but Romi and I became friends as she tortured guided me towards becoming healthier and more fit. The lady knows her stuff! In the first six weeks we worked together, I lost over seven inches off my waist. To this day, I can hear her in my head when I'm working out. I miss her like crazy and was thrilled to learn she's moving back stateside this year.

So we chatted about my progress and where I was having trouble and where I was doing well. So that she could see my progress, I took a picture of me in workout clothes and sent it to her. And then I thought that maybe I should post it here.

A couple of things first: I've come a long way towards my goal, but I've still got a long way to go. I still have daily struggles with food. Like an addict, which I kind of am with food, it's one day at a time sort of thing. But since my eyes don't see the same me the camera shows, I'm going to take a picture once a month and post it as evidence of my progress. I'm hoping this will give me the incentive to push myself to the next level, and the next, and the next.  Because my weight has fluctuated my entire life and because I was so, so heavy for so long, no matter how slowly I lose the weight, I'm going to have excess skin and lots of it. My upper arms, my upper thighs and my belly are going to bear this burden. It's my hope that, after I lose the weight and prove that I can keep it off something can be done about that. I'm sure it will have to be surgical, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.

Enough talk. Time for photos. ::Groan::

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thankful Tuesday?

I'm determined to be thankful about something today.

Determined! Self, are you listening? I. Am. Determined.

I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. S woke up two or three times and even though each time she went back to bed in her room with no fuss (hey wait - I'm really thankful about that. Score!), I still ended up being awake from about 12:30 am until around 4 am. So I am really tired and just a smidge grouchy.

It snowed last night, but not enough to close schools for today. I'm supremely thankful for that - mostly because of my lack of sleep and the fact that there really isn't enough snow to make snow angels or snowmen. Not sure I'm up for an entire day of whining about how we don't get the 'good snow'. 

And, today was S's preschool day. I really was determined to take her to school and come back and take a nap, but I ended up going to the Y anyway. My workout ended up being kind of a half assed effort on my part, to be honest, but at least I went. That makes every day since last Tuesday. Yay!

I'm thankful that the roads were clear and in good condition today. The temperature isn't going to rise above freezing today and it could be so very much worse out there.

I'm thankful that on our way home from Walmart today where we totally failed in finding the Dora cake pan we saw just last week, when S flung her seat belt off on the ride home mid tantrum that:
1) the sheriff in the lane beside us didn't pull me and ticket me. There's no way he missed the fireworks inside the car with all the flailing about and toy flinging. When S announced she was never going to speak to me again, I was not really very sad about that. I was hoping for a vow of silence of the week lasting sort, but no such luck.  And yes, she's already speaking to me again. Sigh.
2) We didn't get into an accident. OMG the horror of the possibility of that happening is still with me.
3) It's a short trip home. I'm very, very grateful for that. Very.

For sure, today is filled with lots of  things to be thankful for. And right up there at the top of the list is that I've already got dinner ready to go in the oven and when R gets home, I'm taking a nap for dinner and then I'm going to Zumba. Booya!

Thank you Supernanny and Wilton!

This morning I woke up and got up before the alarm went off. Both kids were still asleep. S was asleep, again, on the floor of our bedroom. What is UP with that? She's gotten so good at coming in and re-settling herself on our floor that I don't even hear her come in anymore. Of course that's probably because she knows if she wakes us up, she'll have to go back to her room.

Long story short, T ended up missing the bus. Phooey. Now I'm going to have to wake S up and rush her along so I can take T to school. S was a good sport about being woken up, but she didn't approve of my clothing choice for her today. Normally, I'd just let her go pick out something else, but we were already downstairs and she already freaked out when I had the audacity to put her pillow and blanket back on her bed. That's generally not a good sign for the overall tone of the day.

A couple minutes later, S is in the car wearing only her shirt and underwear. She won't put on pants, socks, shoes, or a coat. You know what? Fine. It won't kill her. Right, Supernanny? Right!

The car is parked in the garage, it's cool but not cold and the heat in the car works quickly. I can take T to school without having to actually go on base, which means she can ride pants free somewhat incognito. It's win-win! ::snorts of derision::

Off we go. I get T to school in the nick of time. Whew! I've brought the rest of S's clothes with me and plan to go to the gym and sit in the parking lot and wait for her to decide to get dressed. I pull over and text my workout partner to let her know we are having some issues, when S decides she'll get dressed. That's great! And then she freaks out because she can't put her pants on what with being buckled in by the seat belt. I am amused at the level of rage this produces from my tiny little offspring, but manage to keep that to myself. Hey - I've had days like that too.

We get her dressed, head to toe, and head to the gym. Getting out of the car, S is still refusing to put on a coat. I'm okay with that too. It's a short distance from car to gym, and it's not worth the power struggle. Besides, when she gets cold enough, she'll put on her coat. Probably.

Fast forward through a pretty typical day, and it's bedtime. I've got some food channel show on, and S decides we need to bake a cake. Okay, but not at 7:30 pm. I start to say no, and then I think about it for a sec. I offer up a compromise. She goes to bed without any lip, stays in her room and in her bed all night, and tomorrow she and I will go and pick out a Dora cake pan and make a Dora cake. To my astounding surprise, she agrees and cheerfully - CHEERFULLY people - goes up to bed.


Fast forward to 2 am. I'm awake because of a sneezing fit and finishing up this entry, and here comes S stumbling down the hall. Al my sneezing and nose blowing probably woke her up. She comes into our bedroom and says, "I can't sleep".  Okay. But she can't keep her eyes open as she says this. I walk her back to her bedroom, surprised that I she's not throwing a fit and that I don't have to remind her of our deal. Two minutes later, she's fast asleep back in her bed with very little interaction from me.

Huh.  Also? Awesome!

Dora cake? Here we come!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hey, when you act like a baby....

The thing about my writing a blog is this: I write pretty much exactly like I speak minus some 'you know's, like's, and seriously's'. So, if you know me personally or have talked to me a couple of times, I think my entries come across a little differently than if you've never met me. My blog is waaaay funnier if you know me, right Marci? ;)

I needed to say that before I told this story, because while I hope it will come across as funny as it was when it happened, it might not.

Lately, S has been really into acting like a baby. She wants to be carried like a baby, she wants to wear diapers (as if!), she's reverting to some baby talk/babble, and a few other things that are probably a perfectly normal phase. T went through this to a mild extent around this age, but S had just been born, so I don't know if this is a normal phase for all kids or if I need to take S to the pediatrician and try not to sound insane when I explain my concerns.


We have been letting S wear pull ups at night. It's part compromise, part sanity saver, part eco friendly effort. I swear, this kid will pee in her pants on purpose, especially if she's mad. I have no desire to wash her sheets and comforter every morning. And this is where it gets interesting - she wears a pull up, she wakes up dry. She wears panties, she wets the bed about half the time. So we let her wear pull ups for a bit and then she started wanting to wear them during the day.


So she is, today, on her last pull up. Bye bye baby behavior? I sure hope so.

While we were in North Carolina, my brother, his wife, and their two kids came over to Dad and Susan's for Christmas. Their kids are two and four months old, so being that near an actual baby sent S into baby overdrive.

As Memphis (the four month old) was sitting on Dad's lap and my brother was feeding him, S was flailing about and trying to redirect attention towards her guessed it...acting like a baby. My brother, who was both amused and annoyed (have I mentioned how LOUD S can be?), told her at some point that if she continued to act like a baby, he'd feed her like one. S, being three, didn't pick up on the fact that he meant actually feed her baby food, so she continued to act like a baby.

My brother walked over, said, "Okay, baby, open up" and it was at that very second that S got what he meant. Unfortunately for S, she opened her mouth wide to say "Nooooooooo" and my brother put a tiny bit of baby food in her mouth.

You would have thought that he just fed her poison. She gasped and spluttered and freaked out. None of it, by the way, was done as a baby. It was done as a very pissed off three year old. And folks? She. was. not. amused.

Oh, but me? I was amused. Be careful what you wish for and blah, blah, blah....oh, but this was a tiny little dose of poetic justice. I laughed until I couldn't breathe. I laughed so hard no sound was happening. I laughed so hard I cried. I call it my Julia Roberts turns into a hyena laugh. Oh, and I also laughed so hard I snorted. Hours later, when I was trying to get the kids to sleep I thought about it and started to giggle. I was giggling silently, but was giggling so hard that the bed shook. This made T laugh too. But S? Still apparently traumatized from the taste of strained peas, S announced that we needed to "stop laffffffffing at meeeeeeee" and went to go sleep on the couch.

Even now, I'm wiping tears from my eyes just writing about this and remembering the look of shock, horror, and disgust S produced when this happened.

If you feel the need, judge away. If you'd been there? You would have laughed too.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday fun

This afternoon, S was lounging on the couch making noise. Most days I'm so used to it, it's just like background noise. That's when I realize that she sounded like some freaky prehistoric bird. I tried to get it on video, but when she saw I had the camera, it turned into a performance. But still, even though the sound she's making is a more of a meow on the video, you can still get an idea of what an original little person I live with. Oh my goodness, do I love her. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Divas, the minature edition

Ah, well.

By this point I've totally made my peace that some days are better than others when it comes to raising kids.

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours cleaning what can only be referred to as child grime from the car. As it turns out, it's much harder to keep a black car clean than I expected. I finally got the dirt out of the crevices and corners and off the seats and doors.

Today, I'm not at all sure why I worked so hard. The kids are in my car pretty much every day and even without food or drink, they seem to attract and collect dirt. Which they gladly share with any surface they come in contact with. But sharing is good, right?!? Harrumph!

So today, I picked S up from school and watched (both amused and horrified) as she managed to get as much dirt back into and onto the car as I removed yesterday. But, it's just a car, and dirt can be cleaned. Annoying, but manageable.

On the way home, S asked for a piece of gum. The kids and I have had some....differences of opinion about gum. Differences as in they want to chew it in the car and I'm not big on that idea. The reason I'm not so big on that idea is that the last time I cleaned the van, I scraped more than one piece of gum from the carpet and seats.

So, I've been really hesitant about the whole gum thing, but today I gave in and handed her a piece.

When we got home and S got out of the car there was no gum in her mouth. Uh oh. I found the gum a second later spread out nice and evenly on the seat belt buckle.


Several deep yoga-esque breaths later, I calmly explain to S why I am upset to be peeling gum off the seat belt buckle. S, never one to take such explanations well, takes umbrage to my speech and spends the rest of the day trying mightily to piss me off. Or so it seems from my perspective as she stomps into the house, demands a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and replies to everything I say for the next hour with "STOP TALKING TO ME MOMMMMMIIEEEEEEE"

By the time T comes home from school, I'm mentally exhausted. S, however, is doing just fine. She ends up in time out for sassing me and throwing her toys in anger. Oh, and for biting poor Toy Story Woody on the head. I'm sure he'd much rather have a snake in his boot. For real.

Her four minute time out took about 46 minutes because she refused to sit in the time out spot, then refused to stop kicking the walls, then refused to stop spitting. So on top of the eventful time out, she also lost all the toys she threw, hit, or bit for the rest of the day, got her coloring privileges revoked, and ended up going to bed about 30 minutes early.

R took her upstairs to brush her teeth and she fought him tooth and nail too. I hear stomp, stomp, stomp - 'I want Mooooommmmiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee' and then there she was right in front of me where she climbed right up into my lap when I held out my arms and let me snuggle her while she finally calmed the frick down.

I just don't get it. I really don't.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Workout Wednesday

Last night I drug my hiney to 7:30 pm Zumba. I can not ever remember having so much fun working out that hard....ever. Naturally, since it's right after the first of the year, Susan was teaching, and the newest season of The Biggest Loser has begun it was literally standing room only in there. I kid you not, I could not fully extend my arms without punching someone beside, in front of, or behind me. Most of the songs and routines were new too and while it took me a bit to catch on to some of them, best. workout. ever.

This morning I bounced into the gym all jazzed and inspired and got a great workout in just me, myself, and I. It's been awhile since I've done any serious weight training, and man oh man, tomorrow isn't going to be muscularly pleasant. But that's good, because I really pushed myself. A month ago, I don't think I would have. Progress! Definitely. Also? The fit test on the elliptical? Retook it and got average. This is way better than the incomplete the first time I took it and the series of poors and very poors I got for a while there. I credit my Sunday workout partner for making me jump rope and run, even though I bitch mightily about running. Which I am totally entitled to do because while she runs like a supermodel on a photo shoot (effortless and totally beautiful), my elephant stampeding gait and gasping for air heaving/breathing is not as pleasant to observe. Not really all that fun to be experiencing, but I'm bound and determined to get better.

And bit by bit and week by week? I do believe I am.

Thankful Tuesdays

Trying something new here! I like the idea of theme days at the moment because I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to blog about or remember all the things I meant to file under 'blog about later' but instead apparently filed under 'forget almost immediately'. Maybe my brain is truly full (seriously doubtful).

So anyway, each week I'm going to pick something I'm really thankful for and then over explain it, 'cause that's how I roll. Or blog. Or something.

I'm thankful friends.

Over the years, I've been so totally, incredibly blessed to meet what I'm completely convinced are the best people on the planet.

The kind of people who will be there for you no matter what. The kind of people that you can pick right up where you last left off no matter how long ago that was. The kind of people that you felt like you'd known your whole life after knowing them only a short time. Supportive, sincere, intelligent, funny, trustworthy...real. Real people and real friends.

I feel so thankful that I know you all. And, since I'm getting all mushy and sentimental now, I'm going to leave it at that.

PS - Oh, and for those of you whom I haven't met yet but will be friends with at some point after this one, never fear. I'll find you somehow. It's friendship karma.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Snow fun

When we got back to Illinois, there was still enough snow on the ground to play in and with. T scolded me in North Carolina that I hadn't thought to bring their snow gear. I know, shame on me, because the snow that fell in NC was picturesque and perfect for snowman building. T wanted to build an igloo, but after about 10 minutes outside getting wet and cold, he decided that he was happier inside since I hadn't brought his snow gloves or boots. Can't really blame him. Brrrrr! When we got home and could go out and play, I took the kids out and let them romp around. And then I took the pictures to prove it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Resolutely me

Hey. It's been a while. I missed blogging, but I needed a break too.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas (however you chose to or chose not to celebrate it), and a safe and fun New Year's.

The kids and I took off for North Carolina the Wednesday before Christmas. R wasn't able to work it out so he could come, and frankly, often the kids are better with one parent rather than two in situations such as those. And by 'situations such as those' I mean 12 straight hours in a car. There and back. Plus, it was all my family we were heading to see. R loves my family, but I think that sometimes the way my family is confuses him to the point of frustration. He grew up in a very different environment and we'll just leave it at that. Well, okay, we'll leave it at that after I say that when we are visiting his family I can clearly see his perspective on things. And let's just file that under "The joys of having in-laws".

The trip went really well and it was great to be able to see so much family in such a short amount of time. Home for me will always be where R is, but I still feel so comfortable and familiar in NC. I miss it. And then it started to snow and I was ready to leave. Props to the DOT, though, because the highways were clear, and it was snowing all the way from North Carolina into Kentucky. I got lucky that the southeast didn't get hit like the northeast did, because I'm not sure I would have risked driving through that with the kids. Oh, and I have to mention that my car? Got 482 miles on one tank of gas. Wooty woot woot!

Once back in Illinois, T quickly tired of not being in school. By Wednesday, he said, "No school again today? UGH!" when he got up. S, not to be outdone, started to cry and announced she missed her friends and teacher. I thought that was sweet.

On Thursday, we took the kids to see TRON, which was awesome for several reasons - shows before noon are $4 during the week, the movie rocks (you know that's true if it's a non cartoon and the kids still pay attention), and R somehow got off for the day so we could all go together.

On Friday, I was out doing some running around and all hell broke loose weather wise here. I ended up being directed to the commissary to take shelter because the base got locked down since tornadoes were spotted in the area. I would also like to mention that the security forces staff still had to stand out in that mess to make sure the rest of us were safe, so my apologies for being one of the the idiots that required such protection.

We spent New Year's Eve with our friends the Smiths and their neighbors. It was a low key but fun evening and the first New Years that we've spent with others that I can remember. Oh lordy, are we actually becoming social?!??! Shut the front door!

As for resolutions, I only resolved to declutter the house this year. That will be a challenge for both R and I because we keep things, but we keep different types of things, so it can be a little difficult during the decluttering experience. We made good progress this weekend, consolidating all our Christmas stuff and I'm going to take it one room at a time. The really hard part will be in not letting it recollect. I'm a sentimental collector, and R is more of a hobby/interest collector.

Other than that, I only resolve to stay resolutely me. Flaws and all. I think I spent too much time trying to turn into what I thought people expected rather than what I expected. Maybe at the end of the house decluttering, I'll have more insight about that. Maybe not. But I really like that at 40, I'm finally cool with who I am (which does not mean for one second that I will stop trying to be a better person). But just in case there isn't a whole lot of improvement with that? I can deal.

What were/are your resolutions for this year?