Friday, April 29, 2011

Everyone's battles

I came across the best quote today - "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Marjorie Ingall

Seriously, how true is that?!?

A few nights ago, I was going through the list of blogs I follow. I was sad to see that some of them rarely, if ever, post anymore.  I feel like I get to know these people through their blogs and I miss reading about their lives.

And that started me thinking about Top Mommy Blogs. I'm listed as a humor blog there, and I'm not sure that fits anymore. I'm not really sure where else I'd fit in...but then, hasn't that always been my issue?

Why yes. Yes it has.
And unfortunately, there is no category for 'truly means to be funny but doesn't always succeed'. Guess you can chalk that up to certain battles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Workout Wednesday

I'm not gonna lie, I had a great week last week. I followed up my appointment with the cardiologist with an appointment with my primary care physician and was pleased to see I'd lost a little bit of weight. Even better than that was how much better I feel. I have more energy and haven't had many negative side effects from the meds at all. Win-win in my book.

I pushed myself pretty hard on a workout Saturday and did well (shaving 10 minutes off my previous personal best) and still felt great afterwards. I retook the fit test on the elliptical and scored twice as high as the last time I took it. Sweet!

I've bumped my weights up another level and since we are pyramid lifting this week, I'm a little sore -but in a good way.

I'm sleeping better, the leg cramps have mostly stopped, and I made it through level one of Jillian Michaels 30 day shred on Sunday with very little difficulty.  I go back to the cardiologist tomorrow for a follow up on the meds and I'm seriously hoping we can work out a plan to phase them out over the next year.

I realize to do that I have some serious work to do....namely getting some of this weight off.  My primary physician told me to eat between 800 and 1100 calories a day. Unless you are eating mostly lettuce, yogurt, and broccoli that's not a lot of food. But I'm hoping it will knock me right off of this plateau. And, you know, I like lettuce yogurt, and broccoli. So it's all good.

Thankful Tuesday

Last week, I decided I was going to make some cookies. I didn't really want chocolate chip cookies, so I substituted peanut butter chips instead.

S and I get the dough made, the chips stirred in, and the first tray of cookies in the oven. Several years ago, I started using parchment paper when I made cookies because of how easily the cookies come off.

I was using parchment paper for this batch too. R came home just as the first batch was ready to come out, and for some reason I didn't open the oven door all the way when I went to get them out.

Add a moment of inattention, my inability to hold things level unless I'm really concentrating, and that tray of cookies slid right off the cookie sheet and onto the oven door and bottom.


By some miracle, nothing fell through the slot where the gas burners were. I was also able to pick/scoop up most of the dropped cookies pretty quickly. The rest of the mess I let cool off and then vacuumed or wiped it up a few hours later.

Those cookies might have been fugly and squished, but they tasted like peanut buttery heaven.

And how can you not be thankful about tasting peanut buttery heaven?!?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sunday night, there I was, minding my own business and harvesting some crops on Frontierville.

And then it happened - I was infected!

Viruses, spyware, and malware oh my.

Luckily, my husband, brilliant and sexy man that he is, fixed it because if I can't fix it with a virus scan and a button click or two, I pass it on to his way more considerable knowledge base.

So thanks, honey!

I'll post my regular stuff later on tonight.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a very joyous Easter and a beautiful, beautiful day with those you love.

A little pilfered chocolate from the Easter Bunny doesn't hurt either!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's for lunch?

We had two extra kids for a while today. I have a tremendous admiration for any family with kids, but especially for those with more than two.

I decided today for certain that I am mentally incapable of dealing with more than two kids at a time. God bless their little hearts, but they exhaust me.

I wonder if I can quit before the tween/teenage years happen?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

I was trying to figure out what to do for lunch today because of the four kids here, my two are the pickiest. And I quit my short order cook position right about the time I realized the youngest was capable of making her own pb and j if she didn't want to eat the food on the table. If she has to use her fingers to spread the pb on the bread, well, worse things have happened.    I think.


I decided on spaghetti because it's quick and every one likes it. The girls wanted to help me cook it, which I thought was a fabulous idea.

And then we started breaking apart the angel hair pasta to put in the boiling water.

I know that some of the pasta got in the water because we all ate. But there were little pasta pieces everywhere on the stove, around the burners, and on the floor.

Me: Geez, S, try to get some in the pot, okay?
S: The pot is hot, Mommy.
Me: Yes, but if no pasta gets in the water we won't have anything to eat.
S: Okay. (Showers of pasta pieces go everywhere but the water)

Tenants in this house for the next 10 years as they keep finding tiny little pasta pieces when they clean out from under the appliances: Good grief! Did they use angel hair pasta for flooring?!

But you know what? We had plenty in the end and I'd gladly sweep up that mess again to have such a great time with the girls.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Haircuts...they grow up so fast!!

S before haircut

Side view after
Silly girl! Front view after

T before

T after, looking very grown up for a six year old.

Workout Wednesday

I went to the cardiologist on Monday and he said words to me that made me want to do a back flip.

"No running."

While I admit this puts a serious kink in the mini triathlon plans, I am mostly just completely relieved. I'm mostly relived because I've been validated. I was not meant to be a runner. I have been fighting my inability to run for years. It made me feel....less...somehow. Like I wasn't really trying hard enough. Like a wimpy, lazy quitter.

Running comes so easily to so many people. I envy them that.

In the months leading up to my first wedding, I decided I was going to jog until I could jog a mile. It took me four months to be able to jog a mile in 15 minutes.Which is pretty slow even by jogging standards. And I jogged almost every day. Every single second of it was torture. My legs never hurt, my feet didn't was always my lungs that felt like they were going to burst. Or spontaneously combust.

Turns out that the heart valve that is the cause of my murmur owns that responsibility. I'm just not meant to be a runner, and I cannot even begin to tell you how much freedom I feel from that statement. So for the running part of the mini triathlon, I will be speed walking. I'm totally okay with that. And I'll probably be faster than if I did trog.

I started two medications on Tuesday. One is to manage my blood pressure, the other is to manage my heart beat. (It beats too fast). I don't want to be on meds. The thought of being pill dependant does not appeal to me. But the thought of dying early appeals to me even less.

So today, I hopped on the elliptical to warm up for my workout. I have to take it easy (going slower, lifting lighter) until my body gets used the the medications, so I didn't go very fast today. It also kinda felt like I was trying to ellpti-cise through applesauce or mud. To my huge surprise, when I checked my heart rate it was barely in the cardio zone. Sa-weet! Once I get used to the medication, I can start to amp it up again and actually be training and improving my heart rate and health. With my rapid heart rate issue, all that work I've been doing was basically doing...nothing. 

But things are looking up. Definitely!

The Invisible Mother

This was forwarded to me today. I wish I had written it but I didn't and have no idea who did. Either way, I had to share! To all you moms and moms-to-be out there...

The Invisible Mother

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was Almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know... I just did.

The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Temper tantrum Tuesday

Thought I'd try something a little different today. Wheeeeeee <--- that's me being whimsical. (Just so you know.)

Today I'm listing things that annoyed me. Feel free to chime in with your stories in the comments!

I took the kids to school this morning in a wicked thunderstorm. I was less than delighted to have the vehicle that entered the preschool parking lot in front of me decide they needed two spaces in which to park. *coughjackasscough*

We had some pretty serious storms run through the area today. We had great coverage by every local news channel. They've been talking about it since this weekend and most of the day today. I appreciate the....thoroughness of the various weather watch teams and all, but when they are obviously struggling for something to talk about, maybe that's a clue that there's not enough to talk about for an hour and a half. Besides, it made me miss Glee and the Biggest Loser.  Harrumph.

Acne. I'm 40. This should no longer be a problem. And what's worse, every time I pluck a hair from my chin or neck, I get a bump. Boo!

Dry, cracking skin. It hurts and it's practically summer. Heal, doggone it! (Get it?!!?! Heeeheeee!)

Obviously, I need to go to sleep now.  G'nite!

Monday, April 18, 2011

And this is how you make an ass of yourself in a convenience store

I'm sure I may have mentioned a time or thirty that feeling like I'm not being listened to makes me crazy. Like, Gary Busey sputtering nonsense crazy.

Last Saturday, we stopped to get gas after swimming at the Y. The kids and I went into the store to get drinks. R wanted hot chocolate, I wanted a cup of ice, the kids wanted smoothies.

My first mistake was not getting the kids' drinks poured first.

I went to get R's hot chocolate, and when I looked around, T had filled a 32 ounce cup with smoothie.

As if!

I said T's name in an exasperated way, then had to grab a cup from S who figured she could do the same thing.

Right about that time, R walks up.

I hand him his cup, and explain why I sounded so....umm...pissy.

R, thinking I'm mad, goes from 0 to pissy in about .0002 seconds.

Okay, okay - let's not make a scene.

So I propose this solution - just grab an extra cup, then when we leave we can pour some of  T's drink into the empty cup for S.

Seems logical, no?

My reasoning for this? No way did T need 32 ounces of a heavily sugared drink. No freaking way. By paying for the smoothie T already poured ($2.49) and then buying a smaller cup to pour part of it into ($ .25), we'd save almost $2. 

And naturally, my solution was the most logical, right? Right?!?

R nods and umm-humms me through my explanation, grabs a smaller cup, then pours half of T's drink into the empty cup.

O.M.G. Are you kidding me? Did you not hear anything I just said? And if not, why was I um-hummed?

Um-humming is dangerous around me on the third Saturday of the month.

Cue spinning head, smoke coming out of ears, and quite the nasty little tone.

I do believe I spit out a "REALLY?!? in his general direction. And then I followed it up with a lovely snarky "Yes, by ALL MEANS, let's pay for two over priced sugar waters!"

And I'm fairly positive some overly dramatic arm movements were involved.

I think I scared the poor clerk so much that he only charged us for one smoothie.


I really need to start doing yoga again. Immediately.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Food wars

My husband and I were both members of the 'clean plate club' growing up.

R got it at home with his Mom and Stepdad, I got it mostly at my grandparent's house.

All those starving children in China........never mind that the food would be molded and slimy if we had actually sent it to them. Just sayin'.


When we had kids, one of the things we adamantly agreed on is that we didn't want to install the same food issues we have on them. I, especially, wanted the kids to be able to eat when they were hungry and stop when they were full.

That went well for a while.

Eventually, we noticed that the kids would leave a pretty good amount of food untouched, but then be asking for dessert or snacks within minutes.  Or - they would beg for snacks all day and then not eat meals and then ask for more snacks. 

Umm, no. That's not going to work.

So, we started what we hoped was a gentle yet firm crackdown.

The basic food rules in our house are this:

Once you get up from the table, you are finished eating.
If something is served that you don't want to eat, your other option is anything you can fix yourself - once R and I have approved it. Ice cream does not fly as a meal replacement.
We are fine with not eating all of your dinner to save room for dessert (if we are even having dessert), but you have to eat a balanced meal.
If you want seconds, take what you want but eat what you take.
Leftovers are our friends, and we will see them again.

People? It's not working.

I'll go to throw away something in the trash can and see a banana with a couple bites taken out of it, an apple with only a bite or two taken, half a sandwich (never the chips, though - go figure)...and so forth.

At breakfast, it's not unusual for the kids to fill up the bowl with milk (to have a little cereal with their milk, I guess) and then pour 2/3 of the milk out after they 'finish' their cereal.

Did I mention we spend a fortune on food?

I don't want to teach them to over eat or to eat when they aren't hungry, but I'm SO not okay with blatantly wasting food. Any suggestions?

It's curtains for us!

R and I have been meaning to do something about the curtains that cover our french doors for, oh....about three months. When we first moved in here I really didn't think that I wanted curtains to cover the doors. I love the look of french doors, for one, and I wouldn't always have to be outside with the kids if I could keep an eye on them while they played in the backyard.

But really, who am I kidding?!? They aren't going to play outside unless I'm with them, which really isn't a bad thing - at least until summer when it's almost too hot to breathe outside unless you are armpit deep in a pool. Or sitting on a giant ice cube, but whatever. Po-tA-to, poh-tot-o.

However we did put curtains up because, as we found out almost immediately after moving in, curtains are necessary to keep the cold mostly outside on those 3-degrees-as-the-high winter days and to keep the sun out so that it doesn't spontaneously combust the carpet into flames of terror on the really sun intensive days. Plus the setting sun beams it's blinding light rays right through the back of our house, and it makes trying to see anything a pain in the keister.


What was I saying a minute ago?

Oh right. Curtains.  So we ended up with thermal curtains to keep the heat in and the cold out in winter and the heat out and the cool in in summer. They have come in awfully handy since this geographical region only has two seasons - freeze and roast.

To hang the thermal curtains, I bought a reeeaaalllly long curtain rod from the BX that was long enough to stretch across the tops of both doors. Over time, the middle support has started to pull out from the wall. It doesn't help that anytime you move the curtains aside to open the door, it causes extra strain on the brackets.

R and I agreed a few months ago we should fix the curtain rod situation before it actually falls and rips out a chunk of drywall when it goes.

And today we did it. When I say we, I really mean we talked about it, R did all the work, and I gave it the final 'looks awesome!' That totally counts as we, right?

But I'm all jazzed now because we can move the curtain over the door that opens completely to the side without it causing extra strain on any of the brackets or causing the curtain rod to come apart and smack someone in the head.

Sometimes it's the smallest things that make the biggest difference!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Workout Wednesday - another Thursday edition


It's been a rough couple weeks. I'm still working out. I'm not pushing myself as hard until I talk to the cardiologist and have my follow up appointment with my physician.

But at this point, to stop working out would feel like cutting off an arm or leg. And I have no desire to cut anything off, much less my workouts.

I'm still lifting, just not as heavy. I'm still doing cardio, but I'm keeping an eagle eye on my heart rate and how my body feels.

I did go for my first actual bike ride this week in ages. Riding an actual bike is something between freedom and flying. I have missed it so much, and I didn't even realize it until I was back on the bike. The bike/walking path in our neighborhood is just perfect. I grinned like an idiot the entire time I was riding. Lucky for me, there weren't too many bugs out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

I think I like my lists of things to be thankful for better than I like one or two things with explanations. I mean, really, does it matter why I'm thankful?

I didn't think so either.

So here are all the things I can remember being thankful for today:

A decent night's sleep.
Kids that have accepted the new routine - which involves making their beds in the morning (woooohoooooo!) - calmly and almost cheerfully (so far).
Whomever invented cold cereal - dude, seriously - THANK YOU!!!!
That we have money to put gas in the car, even at over $4 a gallon.
Temperate days that do not require running the heat or the air
Finally sitting down and planning a menu for the next couple weeks. It has made life SO much easier
Having the time to come home and clean while S was in preschool. I got so much done today!
Not having to mow the yard.
Blooming flowers
Green grass
The parks and playgrounds that are everywhere here.
Kids who still love to spend time with me.
The beauty of my sleeping daughter.
The absence of demands and tantrums while she sleeps.
Her much, much improved attitude once she woke up.
The sound of laughing children
The 'hi I missed you today' hug from my husband.
A great planning PTO committee meeting this evening
Cheerios for dinner for myself. YUM!
Looser jeans.
Beautiful weather.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I should have stuck with Nick Jr. tonight

I made the mistake tonight of watching the news today.

Gunshots within 100 feet of a childcare facility and the parents weren't notified?!? Most parents found out when they went to pick up their kids because there were news vans there. The daycare's explanation? Parents weren't notified because no one got hurt.  Umm..did I mention there was gunfire within 100 feet of the facility?

Citizens asking for an earlier curfew for kids in a nearby city because as an interviewed citizen explained, he can't eat outside on his patio because if he goes inside, things get stolen off the table.

Stolen and vandalized cars...

An elephant with TB that probably didn't get close enough to humans to spread the disease....

Kinda makes me wish I'd skipped it.

I also wish the news agencies would stop making every story sound like the end of the world. We get it, okay? Serious things are happening.

I'm still exhausted from the whole close call government shutdown from Friday.

I don't even want to talk about gas prices.

I'm gonna go read a Dr. Seuss book and go to bed. Sheesh.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday in the parks...

Today R and I are watching the kids of some friends of ours. Because of the timing of their birthdays, the ages of the four kids fall into stair steps right now: 6,5,4, and 3.

It can be a challenge to manage the four of them, so I'm always trying to think of ways to keep them busy with stuff they can all do.

Today's great adventure was going to be a playground tour. The housing area we live in has a walking/biking path that goes around the entire area, intermittently spotted with playgrounds or basketball courts. To get the kids on board with 'the plan', I sold it to them like an adventure: we were going to visit as many playgrounds as we could and compare them to see which one they thought was best. Clever, no?

It seemed like it would be so very, very simple.

After the zoo of trying to get everyone to go potty and put their shoes on, I should have realized that it was going to be a little more challenging than I expected.

We started out after I announced the rules: we all had to stick together, majority rules when there's a disagreement,  if the kids didn't listen to me, then I'd call R and they'd have to come back to the house while the rest of us had all the fun.

Off we went....R had a glint in his eye when we left like, 'good luck, sista!'


Early this morning, we had a thunderstorm, so the ground was pretty wet and really muddy in spots. And I decided against taking a towel to wipe off the playground equipment. I should have rethought that.
Within 30 seconds of our leaving the front door, T took off running. Ry, the youngest, took off after him. I called them back (miraculously they came right back) and explained - again - that we were all going to stick together. I got nods of agreement. 


We got to our first puddle. T runs through it and then runs off.  Sigh. Ry is right behind him. The girls are right behind the boys. I stand still with my arms folded until they notice. I dubbed that the 'Silent but deadly' pose. I don't have to say a word and they all walk back and mutter, "sorrrrrryyyyyyyy".  Then Ry runs back and forth through the puddle, splashing the girls with muddy water.


Then he does it again. I ask him not to do that again. He does. So, I call R and tell him that Ry isn't behaving and I need to bring him back. So we all walk back to our house to drop off Ry. And then we return to the first playground. The girls swing and T runs around, and they decide they want to play in the sand.

The sand is wet, natch, and with five seconds I hear a chorus of  "eeeewwwwwwwww! This is dirrrrrttttyyyyy!" and all the kids come up wanting me to wipe off their hands. I try to talk them into brushing most of the sand off themselves, but they all look at me in disbelief. So then I try a follow the leader approach and show them what I mean. They reluctantly do it, but they are not happy that after sticking their hands into wet nasty sand that their hands are still grimy after brushing them off.

I attempt to distract them by suggesting we go to the next playground, which works until T starts running towards the second playground, I assume the silent but deadly pose. He comes back as soon as he notices that we aren't running right behind him and gets upset with me when I tell him he's going to have to hold my hand since he keeps forgetting to stay with us. He announces, "I'm going home!" and takes off running towards our house. I call R and give him the heads up and ask him to call me when T gets there. It only takes him a minute or so before he calls me back, so the girls and I head to the next playground.

The equipment there is wet but thankfully free of bird poop, so both girls get to swing at the same time instead of having to take turns. As we get ready to go to the third playground, R calls to tell me T has decided to come back out with us and to keep an eye out for him. Within seconds, I see him running towards us. When he gets to where we are waiting, I give him a big hug and tell him how happy I am that he's decided to come back and walk with us.

Everything is fine for about three minutes until T decides he's thirsty. It's just a wild guess, but I'm thinking the running might have had something to do with it. When I point out that I have nothing to drink with me, he bursts into tears. O-kay. I'm guessing this has to do with more than my inability to turn into a vending machine.

We walk to the community center and use the water fountain, at which point T almost returns to normal, but still insists he wants to go back home. I talk the girls into agreeing by offering to let them decorate the driveway and sidewalk with chalk, but take them towards home a different way, which just so happened to take us by another playground where they played peacefully and tear and tantrum free for a long time. Voluntarily.

On the walk back to the house from the third playground, we find a huge puddle and all take off our shoes and socks and splash away. It was a rocky start this morning, but a fabulous ending!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A fabulous Friday - at least until midnight

What a glorious, glorious day! 

The weather was just perfect. R had the day off work, so the daily drama of getting S out of the house and to the gym was completely eliminated. I had a great workout. I finally heard back from the doctor, but will need more tests before we know for sure what's going on. I'm okay with that, for the most part. I've felt great all week, other than being anxious about getting the results back.

We grilled turkey burgers for dinner, the kids behaved beautifully all evening, and my flowers are flourishing. I had a massage appointment tonight and right now, I'm feeling goooooooooood.

Now, if Congress would just remove their heads from their butts and agree on a budget already, life would be grand indeed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If you really knew me...

A blog I love, Mommypants, had a post inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Since I didn't have the slightest idea what to write about today, I decided to jump on board.

If you really knew me, you'd know that:

1) Clutter drives me nuts, yet my house is cluttered despite my best intentions. So frustrating.

2) I'm horribly shy with new people unless I'm hosting or in charge in some way. I have no idea what the difference is. More than once my shyness has been taken as boredom or unfriendliness.

3) Despite my best intentions, I am a grudge holder. It takes a lot to piss me off, but once I'm there, I'm there for a nice long while.

4) My eye sight is horrible, which is why I squint even when I'm wearing glasses or contacts. I am not ready to admit I need bifocals yet. Because I totally don't.

5) R is my second husband. My first marriage lasted about a year. A stressful, horrible, meddling mother in law filled year.

6) I love being able to be a stay at home mom, but I miss a lot of things about working.

7) My first car was named Kermit because it was Kermit the frog green.

8) I'm training for a mini triathlon with my husband

9) Doing nice things for others for no particular reason makes me very, very happy. Especially if I can do it anonymously.

10) I love, love, love to read.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love and Logic?

R and I are taking a parenting class called 'Love and Logic'.

We just went to the fifth out of seven classes.

There are aspects of this method that I love dearly. There are aspects that I don't. I'm trying really hard to keep an open mind until we finish the class. I have to admit, the techniques that we've implemented really have worked. BUT - we also haven't had anything super challenging with the kids come up yet.

Until this morning. Here's how this morning went:

5:42: I wake up all out of sorts. S spilled some water on our bed last night and so I had to pull all the mattress pads off, which meant that the only thing between my back and our insufficient mattress was a sheet. It takes me three minutes to straighten up all the way so I could go to the bathroom.

5:46: I lie back down in what I hope is more comfortable position. I can sleep for 30 more minutes before the alarm goes off.

5:52: R comes in to kiss me good-bye. I'm still awake so he asks if I want him to turn on the alarm. Nah, I'm up.

6:02: S comes wondering into the bedroom, all sleepy and snuggly. She climbs into bed with me and we watch "The Andy Griffith Show" on the CW, which ironically enough mentions Winston Salem. Neato.

6:30: T comes in the bedroom.

6:30:10: The kids start bickering apparently over the fact that they were both breathing in oxygen in the same room.

7:05: We are all washed, brushed, and dressed. We head downstairs for breakfast.

7:06: S had a meltdown because out of the 40 or so spoons we have of assorted materials, colors, and sizes, T took the ONE spoon that S couldn't live without.

7:07: S sees me making T's lunch and demands a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast and a packed lunch, even though she isn't going to school.  (The answer was no. It did not go over well.)

7:10: T's lunch is packed, he is eating breakfast. S is throwing a hissy over my previous 'no' and flinging her Dora lunch box into everything in her path.

7:11: I have to chase S down (which just PISSES me off) to take the lunch box which is now in indefinite "Belongings Jail". Wailing and flailing results.

7:17: T has finished breakfast and goes to get his lunch box out of the car, where he left it from our park trip yesterday. S is still wailing and screaming.

7:19: I inform S that she can either zip it and apologize, or go to her room until she can be nice. This, too, does not go over well.  She ends up shutting herself into our most cluttered closet and I say a quick prayer of thanks that 1) it's finally freakin' quiet and 2) I haven't lost my temper.

7:26: S comes out of the closet, all teary eyed and pitiful looking to apologize to me and T and announce that she is "stopping my too-titude". ::Snort::

7:30: I ask the kids to put on their shoes, get their backpacks and coats and get ready to go.

7:31: I decide to eat a banana before I hit the gym. S has a meltdown that she can't have a banana since her full bowl of cereal is sitting, untouched and still spoon-less on the kitchen table.

7:33: I ask the kids to clear their breakfast dishes off the table. T does it, S does not. Tantrums ensue.

7:40: I ask T to go and get in the car and I ask S, again, to go get her shoes. More tantrums.

7:41: Deep, deep breaths.

7:42: I have to go to the bathroom, so I tell S that she has until I'm done to find her shoes, get her jacket, and get in the car.

7:44: I walk from the bathroom to the car, amazed that it isn't at least noon yet.

7:45: S gets in the car, crying, jacketless, shoeless. Lucky for her, her shoes were in the car from last night. I had not remembered this.

7:47: Everyone buckled, ready to go, garage door opens to find......the special needs bus across the street with red lights flashing and stop arm out.

7:55: We finally get to leave the driveway! S is still crying and whining.

8:07: I drop T off at school after the kids fought all the way.

8:08: S cries because she can't go to school

8:09: S cries because we are going to the gym

8:13: S cries because we are at the gym, she didn't bring a jacket, she's hungry, and she's cold. I am profoundly unmoved.

8:15: S is dropped off in the childcare room where she is suddenly sweetness and light. I fight the urge to make snarky comments about how hateful she's been all morning. I do mention that if she says she's hungry, she has to wait until lunch to eat.

Now you may be wondering, as I would be, where exactly Love and Logic fit in this morning.

Weeellllllllll.... S is still alive, so that's something. 

I kid, I kid.

Love and logic, in a quick summary, is about teaching your child to take responsibility for their actions - whether it's treating others respectfully, being truthful, being helpful, being responsible, etc.

So Love and Logic came into play this morning in the following ways:

I never lost my temper, which is pretty much a flat out miracle.
The lunch box she was swinging around is gone until she can prove to me she can be trusted to not mistreat her things and our things.
There was no more food until lunch. After lunch, there was no food until the afternoon snack she has when T comes home.
There was no playground trip. If she's going to be that nasty to me at home, how ever do I trust her to behave in public?
If she is going to behave horribly, she must take herself away from others until she is calm and ready to apologize. Now, in the car we are limited to where to put her because I'm pretty sure sticking her in the trunk would be frowned upon and illegal. So, mostly I pull over and wait for her to calm down without saying anything to her other than, "Go ahead and have a nice, good tantrum. Let me know when you are done and ready to apologize." And then I sit and wait. I've gotten a lot of reading done lately.

I'm happy to report that while this morning was horrid, this afternoon was pretty pleasant and virtually tantrum free.

Let's see what happens tomorrow.

Workout Wednesday

The weather is getting nicer, and for some odd reason that makes it harder to be motivated in the gym. BF (before kids), I'd do things outside - walk, ride my bike, hike...but until the kids get a little older or until they are both in school, most of my attention while outside is too focused on the kids to be of any steady cardio benefit to me. Oh but how I love, love, love playing outside with the kids right now. And the way I look at it, any movement is beneficial. The weather here goes from really cold to really hot fairly quickly (at least it did last year), so I want to get all the outside time I can with the kids before it's too hot for me to enjoy it.

Last Thursday, we took the kids swimming and I tried to swim laps, but it just didn't work really well. No worries - I got in lots of exercise diving for dive sticks, racing T, swimming around with one or both kids hanging off my back. Does it still count as exercise if you having that much fun?

Friday my workout partner Kristine was back. We did some cardio and then some pyramid lifting with free weights, followed by some abs. My in laws came to visit for the weekend, so the kids and I jumped on the trampoline for a while before and after dinner. Friday night I spent most of the night in the ER, so I didn't workout on Saturday.

Sunday I walked a couple miles on the treadmill, then did some abs, then walked and trogged around the track.

Monday I hit the elliptical, then did the push-up/pull-up workout from P90X.

Tuesday I didn't go to the gym, but S and I played outside for about an hour and then I took the kids to the park after T got home from school. It wasn't dedicated cardio, but it sure was a lot of movement.

This morning, I hit the arc trainer for 35 minutes, did the bicep/tricep P90X workout (twice, thankyouverymuch), then did a few more laps around the track and some stretching.

Much less intense workouts after Friday night, but I'm waiting to talk the the doctor to make sure what my limits are - if I have any. I've been playing phone tag with the medical office since yesterday, so I'm hoping that I can have an answer by the end of today. Either way, I'm not going to stop working out unless I have to, and I'm hoping I can step my training back up by Friday. I miss pushing myself  and I don't want to lose any progress I've made. Lord knows it was an uphill battle to make it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

It's a beautiful day today. It's sunny, breezy, slightly on the cool side....a recipe for temperature perfection in my world.

It was in the 80's on Sunday, the 40's yesterday, and the 60's today. It's degree averaging. Heh.


S got some really cute dresses for her birthday like this one:

Today she wore another one of them. After school, lunch and making her wipe off the peanut butter she smeared all over the the kitchen window, we went outside to play with chalk. We were sitting near the exhaust from the dryer so it was nice and warm. I took off my sweatshirt and let her draw all around me. Nothing like seeing your outline in chalk to bring things into perspective, lemme tell you.

After chalking it up, she wanted to water the flowers, so with my permission she made a bunch of trips from the faucet to the plants to give them a drink. I had to veto her apple juice idea. She took that with a surprising amount of grace.

Once all the plants were watered and given compliments "Mr. Flower, your purple is so purple-y and purple is one of my very favorite colors", we cleaned up a bit and came inside, where I noticed S was covered head to toe in chalk dust. Luckily it washes off her and out of clothes easily.

Today I'm especially thankful for sidewalk chalk, re-blooming pansies, and S, who has given me surprisingly little trouble today. It's like Christmas, only warmer.

Health watch 2011


A couple weeks ago I went to the doctor and he found an...oddity in my heart beat. Last week, I went for an echocardiogram.

As of today, I haven't heard anything.

However, I have managed to freak myself the eff out over this (why now? No idea) which landed me in the ER Friday night for heart palpitations. I told the ER doctor about the echo and concerns stemming from  my last office visit. He ran a bunch of tests, told me everything was normal.

Yeah. I'm still freaked out. The rest of the weekend passed without incident, but I was tired from spending all night in an ER.

Today I woke up and got ready, woke up the kids and prompted them to get ready for school. T wanted to take his lunch but he left his lunch box at school. We also didn't have any of the lunchables he prefers to take. As deals go, this didn't seem like it would be huge to me...he could take a paper bag and a pb&j. He could even *gasp* take his lunch out of the paper bag and put it into the lunch box he left at school. once he got there.

Apparently, I am absolutely determined to ruin his entire life.

Good to know that's my goal. I sure wasn't aware of that. 

But in the midst of lunch gate '11, I could feel my chest tightening up. I know - logically - that I'm still freaked out about the whole heart murmur thing, but that does nothing to ease my mind. And apparently, my body is reacting to the stress in ways that makes me more stressed out because they are symptoms that could be signs of serious issues. I feel better when I'm walking around, so I've been spending very little time blogging or on FB.  But what I am going to do is call the doctor's office right now and ask for someone to ease my mind or tell me what the treatment plan is.

Isn't it nice to act like a grown up every now and then?

I'll let you know if my unintentional plot to ruin T's life was successful. Stay tuned for breaking news.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sheesh. It's already Monday night.

We had a busy and long weekend. Posts are coming, really they are, but I'm tired, tired, tired. I think it's partly the weather. 85 on Sunday and 40 today. If I get strep throat again? Someone is going to die a horrible and painful death, mark my words.