Monday, March 26, 2012


March is almost over. Sara turns five this month.


Watching the kids develop their personalities, their senses of humor, their ideas of right and's such an amazing thing to get to experience. Every day they are more like little people and less like kids. And I know that I'm totally biased, but gosh darn it, I really like these little people of mine.


It makes me wonder about Chris, although not in a sad way. He and Tucker look so much alike. I wonder if Chris was like Tucker at this age, although from what little I know, he and Sara seem more alike temperament-wise.


Tonight I was putting the kids to bed and Tucker asked me to stay with him a little longer. I know I don't have much longer that he'll want me to tuck him into bed, much less hang out in his room with him.


But isn't that my job as a parent? To raise kids who look forward to exploring the world and coming into themselves?



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Apparently I am a taxi service

I am constantly pointing out to the kids that I am NOT their: maid, chauffeur, personal butler, taxi service, personal chef, etc, etc...

Lately Tucker and I are having issues in the morning. He will get up fairly easily, but he will drag his feet and waste time until he misses the bus. And I probably wouldn't mind except that it's just so much easier for him to take the bus. The parking lot at his school is a joke in the mornings. And not a very funny one. The kind of joke that makes you want to drop kick puppies and slash through rainbows while using monster boots to stomp on the cars and idiots that apparently cannot understand that pick-up/drop-off lane does not mean park and hang out lane. I can see how easily the two could be confused ::eye roll::.

Anyway. I was really just kidding about drop kicking puppies. I would never do that. Other drivers, probably. Puppies, never.

Anyway again.

The best I can figure is that Tucker wants to be driven to school so he can play his 3DS in the car. He gets plenty of time to do this (my opinion), so the 15-20 minute ride to school shouldn't be that much of a sacrifice. And, when he gets all pissy about not being able to play his 3DS, that's a pretty good sign that he needs less time with it. Even if he is just about to defeat General Grievous.

So I came up with a great idea last week when I was motivated by my complete inability to exist anywhere other than the couch or my bed.

I am going to charge Tucker to take him to school. Tucker spend his own money on something he feels is unnecessary, so this should be a win-win. He'll get to keep his money, I won't have to deal with the elementary school parking lot.

This morning, he comes downstairs, dressed and ready with 15 minutes to spare. He turns on the TV. I give him a 10 and 5 minute warning. The time comes to relocate from TV land to bus stop land and he's not moving. I open the front door and stand there saying, "Come on, T. If I have to drive you today it will cost you."

No response.

I can hear the bus coming down the street. "Tucker! Here comes the bus. Let's GO!"

He hops up. "But I have to go to the bathroom!" And he runs into the bathroom and goes.


He comes out as the bus drives by and slows down at the bus stop. He could still make it. I practice looking unconcerned and nonchalant.

No shoes, no coat, no back pack.

No way is he going to make the bus this morning.

I hear the bus start to leave the bus stop. I probably could have stopped her, but would that really be helping Tucker out in the long run?

Tucker comes flying to the door trying to put on his shoes. I let him run past me, down the sidewalk and see that the bus was leaving him behind. In all honesty, he didn't look that upset.

He comes back in and says, "I missed it."

I reply, "I know."

T: "Guess you have to drive me to school now."

Me: "Guess you need to pay me $3 to take you."


Me: "Because you had plenty of time this morning and you could have chosen to take the bus for free, but you didn't. Now I have to spend a half hour or more taking you to school and my time is valuable, too."

T: But you're my MOM. You're supposed to take me to school.

Me: Had we overslept, had I not given you 10 and 5 minute warnings, had we not talked about this last week, then yes. I'd take you for free. But you chose to watch TV this morning instead of doing what you needed to do. So now you have to pay me to take you. And trust me, I'm a lot faster and cheaper than a taxi.

T: AARRRRRGGGGGGGH. FINE! ::Stomps upstairs and comes back with $3.:: HERE! HERE IS YOUR STUPID $3.

Me: Awesome. Let's go.

I take him to school and as he gets out of the car he asks me if he's going to get his money back.  HAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAA!

I explain that he can earn it back by doing extra stuff for me around the house. And just by being awesome.

His response? He gets out of the car and slams door and stomps off.

Guess he doesn't feel like being awesome.

But I bet he feels like catching the bus in the morning.

I'm back!

Holy holey sneakers Batman! What a couple of weeks it's been!

First - Lee came for a visit. Lee is that unique hybrid of friend-who-morphs-into-family that, if you're lucky, you get one of in your life. I've got Lee, but also my dear friend/sister Chris. I don't know how I got lucky enough to have these two amazing people in my life, but I'm grateful for both of them every. day.

I've known Lee now for over two decades. Half my life. That's crazy to stop and think about. So when he texted me that he was coming ::for certain:: for a visit I was so very happy. One of the things I love most about being able to see Lee is that I just...relax. I become less stressed, I laugh easier (especially at myself. Ask him about the cookie story), and I'm just very go with the flow.

It blows my mind to remember in this life that I used to be so go with the flow in that life. I could use a little bit more of that life in this life. I'm working on it. It's that whole balance thing again. Of course, in this life, I get a lot more done because I don't procrastinate as much, so there's a trade off  - as there usually is.

We spent Friday in St. Louis and were lucky enough to have incredible weather. We saw the Arch then we walked to Union Station, grabbed some lunch, then walked back. It was wonderful.

Sunday morning I woke up knowing that I was getting sick. Not just with a cold, either. I drug myself to Zumba at two and somehow made it through the class. And that's pretty much all I remember until Thursday when I could think straight again. So I guess it was the flu since I felt like I'd been hit by a very, very large truck and my fever would not go away. I probably slept 18 out of 24 hours a day and my dreams were really, really, really weird.

That the kids survived this with me is a testament to how awesome they are. I know I didn't cook all week - I vaguely remember microwaving chicken nuggets one night and Sara announcing that they tasted 'yucky!'. I'm pretty sure they survived most of the week on cereal (until we ran out of milk), cookies, chips, and carrot sticks. Oh, and apples. We had a bunch and now we have two left. Friday night I actually cooked and Tucker said, "Really!?! We're having actual food tonight?!?!"

Ouch. It must have been worse than I thought.

But these are the things you look back on years later and laugh about. At least, I hope so.

And on Friday, I had a double rainbow over my house in the morning. Surely a sign that everything was going to be just fine.

And you know what? So far, so good.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Even the best advice can go awry

My dear friend Chris sent me an article about ways to discourage sibling rivalry, which I then turned into ways to torture my children.

Case in point:

Today after the kids got home from school, Sara asked if she could have a ring pop leftover from Valentine's Day. I had no problem with that, so I said yes.

A few minutes later, Tucker wanted one. Of course, there weren't any more.

Cue bickering.

I looked over to find Tucker sitting on the kitchen counter and Sara standing in front of him yelling.

Aaaaaaaaaaand then she bit his foot.

No, I'm not kidding.

So as he walked by, he took a swipe at her and slapped her arm.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no! That's not okay on any level - from either of them. (But seriously, Sara? Biting his foot? Gross!)

I made them come into the living room and told Sara she was going to have to say something nice about Tucker.

She refused. Tucker wanted to watch TV. I said no, so they were both upset.

The deal about making them say something nice about each other is this: the person who is the first offender has to go first.

Sara is really, really bad at this.

So bad, in fact, that after five minutes, she has to say two somethings nice. Every two minutes after that if she  still refuses (because as she puts it, 'I caaaaaaaaannnnnnn'tttttttt chooooooooooooooooooooooose'), one more nice thing gets added.

Tonight it got up to 15 somethings.

And no, I'm not kidding.

The bonus part of this is that by the time it's finally over, they dislike me waaaay waaaaay more than they dislike each other so their compliments and 'I love you's' are much more sincere.

So in certain ways, not only does the advice work, it's a bonding experience.

And of course, blog fodder.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Motivation Monday

Here's the thing. Last Monday? I lived in Motivation City, somewhere between Motivation Avenue and Motivation Court. 

Today? Meh. 

Sara got sick last Tuesday and didn't go back to school all week. I was going to make her go on Friday because a) I was going crazy having to stay at home all day without being able to accomplish one.single.thing., and b) I think she may have been playing it up a smidge. 

I know. Shocking. 

But as the week progressed and her health did not, I got to take a nice, long look at my life and the rapidly multiplying ways I could improve. 

I'll spare you the list, because it's huge. 

Me + spare time never ends well. 

Because I wasn't working out, I was afraid to eat. For the two billionth time I wished there was something a la the Matrix that provided perfect nutrition - preferably a pill I could pop a few times a day and be done with it. Then they could invent Willy Wonka-esque chewing gum in actual food flavors so everyone could still taste their favorite foods without actually having to eat it. Or suffer the caloric consequences. I mean, really. Why hasn't this been done yet?

Because I wasn't eating well, I was grouchy. Almost the only thing I did right last week was to drink Shakeology, which is in reality probably the closest thing to perfect nutrition that exists at the moment. AND it tastes great. 

The problem with my not eating or exercising correctly is that my weight loss comes to a screaming, screeching halt. 


And that's not exactly motivating either. 

By Thursday night, I was desperate enough that I hired a sitter so I could go to Zumba. It was glorious except for two things - whatever is going on with that area in my back is horribly agitated by Zumba. By the time we were halfway into the class, I felt like I was getting stabbed in the back. Look, I'm already actually watching myself in the mirror against my better judgement, so you'd think someone, somewhere would cut me some slack. 

And the second thing has to do with Zumba property rights. I'm just going to say it - you are welcome to have a space you PREFER to dance in. But until someone carves, tattoos, or engraves your name on that spot, don't hate and pull an attitude worthy of my four year old. It makes you look redonkulous. Almost as redonkulous as saying redonkulous. Also? I outweigh you and I'm pretty sure I could take you in a rumble, if it came down to it...without having to sit on you or your hateful attitude. So unless you're willing to come every class and earn (yes, earn) your spot by Princess Stephanie the incredible and near Michelle the great (my terms, not theirs) then you don't get to bitch about it. Well, okay, that's not entirely true. Bitch all you want, but my ears are closed to it. And if you think you can invade my dance space, I leave you with this thought from Johnny aka the Swayze in Dirty Dancing..."Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine."  

Complete with dramatic arm movements.

Just sayin'...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who's Grumpy Now?

As if you couldn't guess, since I'm writing this.

Oh. Well....wait. My whole family has a history of the grumpies, so we would all be fair game for this title.

But today, it's me. And grumpy is putting it kindly.

Sara has been sick since Tuesday. I've done my best to deal with not being able to do all the things I needed to do - like work out, grocery shopping, public appearances (hahaha, I accidentally typed pubic first..and wouldn't that have changed the meaning if I hadn't proofread!), work out, general errands, work out, and of course we can't forget work out. I'm in the middle of a fitness challenge and trying to start one of my own and I need to be working out. Weigh in this week is going to bite. I can feel all the undone things piling up and that makes me anxious and jittery. On top of that, I was counting on this to be a heavy cardio week because that muscle in my back that I've tweaked is getting worse instead of better. I'd love to go to the doctor (which should tell you RIGHT THERE how much it's bothering me), but I can't can't bring kids with you to the appointment.

Grumpity grumpity grump

I have been trying to do P90X dvds but Sara is having none of that. And I'm giving in because I am so very tired of the whining and being worried about stepping on her since she literally will crawl underneath me and then lie down. WTH?!?! Do you not understand that my enormo clown feet will squash you like a bug? Much worse if I actually land on you, child. Good grief.

Last night I was so desperate that I hired a baby sitter so I could go to Zumba. That was an expensive Zumba class, which just added to my general grumpiness. Usually, Zumba fixes what ails me. Yesterday, not so much. So I was still grumpy when I got home and when I went to bed.

Then Sara shows up in my bed for the fourth time this week. I get that she's been feeling horrible. I'm willing to cut her some slack. But last night she just sat up in the bed and whined and cried. Not really a true cry, just a whimpery 'ehhhh-hhhhhhheeehhhhhh' which means she want attention. And for me not to sleep because she is not sleeping.  And this went on for hours. 

I was not kind. I remember yelling at her around 4 a.m. and then coming downstairs to sleep on the couch. I'm pretty sure I dropped an curse word or two. Yeah, it was bad. No, not the f-bomb.

I haven't gotten much sleep lately, which is never a good thing for my attitude. And she mopes around all day and wants to be in my lap or attached to my leg until it's time to get Tucker from the bus stop and then she's fine. Last night when I told her that the babysitter was coming, she cried because she wanted to go to the Y with me. I tried explaining that since she was sick, I couldn't take her with me and she just freaked out.

I. need. a. break.

So I was determined that she go to school today. Like it or not. But since she's been up all night, she's super tired and super whiny and complaining that her tummy and head hurt. And I honestly have no idea if there's something actually wrong, or if Sara is just being more dramatic than usual. I mean, really, how does one tell these things? She's a very good actress.

If I were well rested, or even sort of rested, I'm sure I could look at this objectively and figure out a solution that we could both live with.

However, I am most certainly not well rested. I am not looking at this objectively. And my solution sucks. She's home from school. AGAIN. And sleeping on the floor by my feet, having thrown a massive tantrum because I wouldn't let her walk out to the bus stop this morning because if she's too sick to go to school, then she's too sick to walk to the bus stop. Of course, when I came back in, she was sound asleep.

Are you freaking kidding me? As soon as I finish this blog post, I am waking her butt up and we are going to the commissary, Sam's, and the 14 other places I need to go. Except for the gym, becasue I can't take her to the child care area if she's home sick from school.


This just sucks.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Methinks a new blog is in order. Fun things are on the horizon!

Sara is still not feeling well. She was up this morning before 4, still complaining about her head hurting. Poor thing, she's so congested that I'm not a bit surprised her head hurts. She tries to blow her nose and very little comes out so it's really packed in there. I don't like to give the kids medicine for every little thing. It's just not my style. But I do wish there were something I could give her to make her actually get better versus just masking the problems. She's just miserable right now.

With that being foremost on my mind today, I thought I'd throw a quick post out and let you know what's happening.

I've mentioned before (at least I'm pretty sure I have) that I was thinking of becoming a Team BeachBody Coach.

Voila! I am now a coach. I keep waiting for them to change their minds and tell me that I can't be one. How's that for awesome self esteem? LOL! It just seems too good to be true...a chance to earn money doing what I'm passionate about by helping other people help themselves into better habits and healthier lives. Dream. Come. True.

My first order of business is to set up a fitness challenge. Email me if you want in and we aren't Facebook friends. Or, you know, just friend request me. I'm all easy to get along with that way.

Don't want to participate in the Team BeachBody way of fitness challenges? That's okay too. I'm here for you and I'm setting up a general FB group to support and encourage healthy habits and lifestyles. From that group, my Team BB groups will be formed. I'm all group-y like that. So let me know if you're interested and I'll add you. There's no such thing as too much support. Just ask my boobs. (Too much? Yeah, I thought that might be the case.)

Anyway, I'm going to continue to post Motivation Monday posts, but I'm likely going to start a new blog for the Team BeachBody/fitness stuff. I love my readers and I don't want to seem like I'm shoving it down your throats.  Supportive, not controlling is my motto.

Yes, I know I have some work to do on that.  Jeez. Give a girl a break already.

With that said, I'm off to take care of my daughter today and try to muscle my way into the base clinic for an appointment for her. May the force be with me.