December 26, 2009

Starting over and remembering to write a new date on my checks!

I'm starting to really understand why New Year's resolutions are so popular.
For me, nothing makes me certain of how much of a glutton and how disorganized I am than the holidays. The planning, the shopping, the baking, the parties, the cards...it all just involves so many details that it's easy to feel like you're on a treadmill that's going slightly faster than you'll ever be able to run. I eat more, yet I cook less. I shop more, I sleep less...it's just a vicious downward spiral of my confidence in myself and more and more things get put on the back burner every single day.
I don't know why I do this to myself. Come the day after Christmas, I have all sorts of ideas and plans in place to make next year's holiday season much more organized and less stressful. But, the same thing happens every year anyhow: I put things off until the last minute so I can spend five minutes shopping for what I want to buy only to spend 35 minutes in line to get that lip gloss that 13YO's Christmas will not be complete without. (That's not my rational side talking, that's the panicked one who feels like they're forgetting something important and starts just buying random crap to fill in the gaps that aren't there.) At least it's nice to know that other people procrastinate too. I just wish I'd gotten to the store before them!
This year seemed harder, for some reason. Something was missing. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that 2009 won't be missed. I am so blessed to be as fortunate as I am, but I still see so many hardships going on around me. So many more negative things seemed to stand out this year rather than most. So many people I know lost their jobs, their homes, loved ones...my own happiness seems rather bittersweet, really.
But, in six days, the calendar will grant many of us a 'clean slate' of sorts. Sure, it will probably only take a couple of days, or even minutes, for many towns to have their first murder of the year. Let's just hope a baby is born first to make it feel like a more positive beginning. In homes all over the country, people will notice their pants getting tighter (mine, TOTALLY) and start to exercise and eat better. People buy or unfreeze their gym memberships. Healthy food disappears off the shelves of supermarkets slightly more quickly than the Twinkies. Beds get made and teeth get flossed twice a day. Closets are cleaned out and people are either going to bed earlier or staying up later to finish up everything they intend to do, if they never usually finish things. (ME AGAIN!)
This month, I think I became more tired than I ever had before. As a lifetime biter of my fingernails, I was shocked to realize that I had been too tired or preoccupied to BITE MY NAILS. Seriously. My nails have never been longer. At least, not without having to purchase them! Normally, the stress the holiday season brings has me chewing my nails down to the skin at least once or twice. Nope. I've been cutting and filing them down. I've been too tired to chew on my fingernails. Or too lazy, I don't know. My DVR is about to burst with all the things I've put off watching and deleting. And with all that I've been doing, I still feel like I've gotten so little done. It's almost like running in circles and forgetting to put a bra on..it's not pretty!
So, I plan to welcome 2010 with open arms. And well-flossed teeth and a tidier closet. I might even dust off the elliptical machine, (I really need to!) and spend less time on Facebook and...okay, so let's not go crazy here! I do hope that I do things a bit better this year. I want to spend more time in the here and now and less time worrying about what might happen tomorrow or dwelling on yesterday. Yesterday is in the past and I'm sure, no matter how bad yesterday was, I learned something from it. I seems that the more I learn the more I realize how little I actually know. And really, I can only do so much about what tomorrow holds. I need to find joy in each day and each person in my life no matter what is tossed my way.
How are you planning to make your life different in 2010?

December 17, 2009

HO HO HO-liday Exhaustion

*YAWNS*
I seriously just yawned three times between the time I typed the title to this post and the time I typed this sentence. I feel like someone just turned my 'treadmill of life' up to 'HIGH' and I forgot to bring my inhaler.
Did that make sense? Who knows? I have to be honest and tell you that I'm typing this blog to A) Vent and whine a bit about the stress of the holidays B) Actually type up a new post and dust the cobwebs off my last post and C) Maybe I can actually finish SOMETHING today in completing a blog post. So, don't expect much of this to make actual sense.
That sort of reminds me of my friend Jenna. I call her my friend, yet we have never met. Possibly will never meet, actually! Isn't it funny how the world has changed that way? There are people in my life who affect me on an almost daily basis and we may never meet face-to-face. Well, Jenna's one of them. HI JENNA!
Choo choooooooo...CRASH! My train of thought just derailed again. Sorry about that. I'd like to say it won't happen again, but who are we kidding here?
ANYWHOOOO...Jenna writes about the chaos in her life that would make Erma Bombeck proud. When things are the most crazy, she often includes a little jibberish note to her husband about her day and it's just hysterical. A chaotic Jenna note would often include rambling about the toaster with the mailman and coffee grounds. Yet, in the moment, it makes SO MUCH SENSE! Here's a sample of something that would be written in true overwhelmed Jenna fashion:
Dear HBD,
The light bulbs on the toaster with the comcast guy and all the dog poop. Coffee is gone and the stamps aren't stickers and the all the screaming. Fondue? Doorknob clock dishwasher flooded in the water pik with the crayons.
I'm so sorry. That's not nearly as wonderfully clever and crazy as Jenna can put it.
*Bowing down*
I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!
CRASH! There goes my train of thought again....
I need to hurry up and get my Christmas cards out. Yes. I'm late. I used to be so on top of things. Okay, so maybe I've gotten lucky a few times...this year is not one of those times. I need to make myself a list and stick to it. Luckily, 3YO is still sleeping. She's still catching up on her sleep she lost a few nights ago when she decided to cough all night long and not let either of us sleep. Even though I got my seven hours of sleep last night, I still woke up this morning feeling like THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE MOST EXHAUSTING DAY OF THE YEAR. Seriously. Tomorrow is the last day of school before they get THREE WEEKS OFF for Christmas vacation. I would still like to find out why they feel the need to tack another week of vacation on at the end. I could really use that extra week BEFORE Christmas. I remember being a kid and having the traditional two weeks off. It was normally a week before Christmas (give or take a few days) and about a week after. We ended up going back to school a couple of days after New Year's Day and we were ready. The thrill of all the new toys and Christmas cheer had worn off by then and I'm pretty sure we were just basically annoying. That's about how it is here, only we have ANOTHER WEEK to contend with them! I firmly believe that the people who came up with this new schedule don't actually have children of their own.
Okay, so on a completely unrelated matter, what is UP with all the socially awkward Target commercials? I get uncomfortable just watching them. The last thing I want to do is buy someone a gift from Target if it's going to put me into the awkward predicament that the people in the commercial are in. Target really needs to analyze their marketing strategy. Most people try to avoid the situations that we are witnessing in those horrible commercials.
'Nuff said there.
Since I'm whining about time and energy and all that, I need to stop spending time on this blog and get those cards out. This year my cards have taken the least amount of effort...which makes it that much easier to put off! Why do we do that to ourselves???
Anyhow, may you have just enough 'BAH HUMBUG' in your holiday season to really appreciate the 'Merry Christmas' when you see it! Sometimes, you just have to look a little harder to find the joy but it's always hiding there somewhere...

December 7, 2009

FALALALAA-AAACHO! *COUGH* *HACK!* *MOAN*

I must say that we've been pretty lucky around here. Health-wise, anyway. That being said, we have not fully escaped the cooties. Thanksgiving week was full of fevers and coughing and those preschool-type sneezes that shoot snot out of both nostrils at once and make your child look like they have walrus tusks. I guess we've had our share.
So many people that I know have been affected by H1N1. I've known a few that know for sure they've had it. Others just assumed. I've heard it described as the worst flu you've ever had...times TEN. OUCH.
My worst problems this time of year have to do with headaches. Cramming more planning and shopping and stressing messes up my eating and sleeping routines even more than ordinary life can. When my eating and sleeping schedules are messed up, I am much more susceptible to migraine headaches. Ironically, migraine headaches mess up my eating and sleeping regimens even more.
Do you see a downward spiral forming here?
Plus, today's weather seems to have brought on a sinus headache of some sort. I just want to squeeze my eyes shut tight and wait for it to pass...but that might pop the invisible balloon I have behind my eyes and my brain could fall out.
Ever feel like that?
Really, it's enough to make you want to say, "BAH HUMBUG!" Then, I turn the lights on on my Christmas tree and put something 'Christmas-sy' on the televsion or stereo and things seem more managable. I just need to grab another cup of coffee and take a few more ibuprofen and I can be back on top of things again. The weather outside really is 'frightful' today. It's dark and gloomy and cold and rainy and windy. I just crank up the heated a big higher and focus on the sparkly lights shining on my tree. I've only put a few wrapped presents under the tree and none of them have names on them. That's really just my way of having fun with my family. (Okay, so I'm TORTURING THEM.) 3YO is not entirely clear on why we can't open the presents NOW. She'll get over that. (I hope.) Last year was too long ago for her to remember any of the specifics on how we do things at Christmas.
6YO actually wants a guitar for Christmas. Since I would love for her to find an instrument she loves to play, it sounds like a good idea to me. Only, this does mean that I have a lot of research to do! AACK!
Well, with the last load of laundry in the dryer, I think it's time to pop in a movie and grab a blanket. I have a bit of time before I need to get ready to pick up the girls from school and lying on the couch on a day like this (if only for a couple of hours) sounds just perfect.

November 27, 2009

I Am Thankful...really! I am!!!

I've seen a lot of places online where people are trying to find one thing to post about being thankful for every single day in the month of November. While I love that idea, I'm not sure I could actually keep up with it.
I'm flaky like that.
Anyhow, I decided to just to make one list of thirty things (one for each day) that I am thankful for. Now, these are in no particular order. I'll just list them as they pop into my head.
1. Thanksgiving leftovers. I could probably list thirty things I've eaten in the past few days that I am truly thankful for. For instance, the apple pie and coffee I had for breakfast this morning certainly took me straight to my happy place. I'm working on pecan pie right now. The stuffing and the turkey and the ham and the...okay, I won't list EVERYTHING!
2. I am thankful for NOT shopping on Black Friday. Okay, so I did do a little online shopping today, but I did it in the comfort of my PJ's. So there.
3. I am also thankful that David DID choose to brave the crowds today. He took 13YO with him and ended up buying her two pair shoes that she desperately needed and a dress for an upcoming dance.
4. I am so thankful that I did not have to take her shopping for those things. I would most likely have had to drag the other two along and it isn't fun having to shop for something specific when you can't concentrate. When I'm trying to think, they get all antsy and running in circles and getting in the way of other shoppers and then I have to scold them with flames coming out of my eyes and channel my inner demons and...I just don't like to do that very often!
5. I am thankful for my husband. He puts up with a lot and works hard for us. He makes me feel safe, he makes me mad as hell, he makes me laugh. I am grateful to share a car with him on this roller coaster of life. (But if you tell him I said that, I'll deny it!)
6. I am thankful for my kids. They taught me how to grow up. (Okay, so they're still teaching me that!) They teach me about frustration, patience, and how to shoot flames out of my eyes without having to raise my voice. They remind me that I really know NOTHING about life and to just roll with the punches because I'm really not in charge anyway. I'd like to be more on top of things and organized, but I get the feeling that my kids want me just the way I am. (I'm nicer this way. When I try to keep things a certain way, I yell a lot more.)
7. I'm thankful for my family. They did the best they could with what they were equipped and I think I turned out okay. I never ran away from home, never ditched school (okay, so there was that one time, but I never left campus and just sat on quad and watched the diving team practice. Plus, the teacher didn't even notice and didn't mark me absent. Obviously, it just wasn't meant to be.) They raised me to believe that, if I were to ever end up in jail, they would leave me there. While love is unconditional, respect is not. It must be earned. You don't scream in your parents' face and you respect authority. There's enough drama in the world already. Don't add to it.
8. I am thankful for being able to write. I'm not saying that I am in any way an outstanding writer. That's not for me to say anyway, now is it? But, this is my passion, my release. When I put something into words that I can actually look at and read, things seem to become more clear to me. It's nice to have an outlet.
9. I'm thankful that 13YO loves to read. I never really cared for reading books for pleasure as a child. I just hated to sit still that long! There are only a couple of good books I actually remember reading that I didn't have to. She has loved to read ever since she was in first grade and could read independently. Being a strong reader makes the other subjects a lot easier to keep up with.
10. I am thankful that 6YO is so good with numbers. She holds her own with reading, but numbers just come naturally easy for her. She could do so much in life being good with numbers. It makes sense that she likes math, since she's so 'black and white' about things. She's very literal and has little room in her life for grey areas. She loves school and takes it very seriously...so far!
11. I am also thankful for 3YO's ummm...err...'personality?' She has taught me more about patience than anyone else in the world! It will be some time before we know what she'll succeed at in school, but she succeeds in making me angry and melting my heart in the same breath most days. She is an animated little person and will probably end up a temper mental actress or something. She is constantly repeating lines that she hears on TV and coming up with her own 'script' that I have to participate in. She will come up to me and say, "Mom, I'm going to walk out with these shoes on and you say 'I like your dress!' and I say 'Thanks. I got it at Taaaaar-get!' Okay Mom?" It's always something with her. And if I get it wrong or miss a word, she makes me do it over and over until I say it exactly the way she told me to. When she says her 'part,' she does in full character and everything. I think she's definitely my performer.
12. I am thankful that I can type without looking at the keys. This keyboard has black keys and the white letters have faded quickly. (Overuse, maybe?) I forget about it until someone else tries to use my computer. The typing class that I loathed in high school has served me well. Who knew?
13. I am thankful for true friends. I'm not sure if I have what you'd call a 'best friend.' Certain people are in your life for certain reasons. I have a few friends that I've known for YEARS and I can trust them. I never feel alone and I feel very lucky for that.
14. I am thankful for our church. David and I attended this church when we were first married and we drifted away, blaming our daily stresses. We have been back for a couple of months now and it feels even more like home than it did before. Our whole family is enjoying being there each week.
15. I am thankful for my new/not new cousin. She is a member of our family that we haven't always known about. I look at her as a success story when it comes to adoption because she turned out to be an incredible woman with strong values and amazing character. However she came to be, we are so lucky to have her in our family now. And we're not letting her go...she's stuck with us now!
16. I am thankful for my car. Yeah, it's ten years old and always dirty, but it goes when I tell it to and stops on command as well. The radio, heater and a/c all work. It keeps me dry in the rain and I don't worry too much about it getting scratched or spilled in. The first dings and stains happened way before I ever owned it!
17. I am thankful for COFFEE!!! Nectar of the gods, I tell you! I love the taste of coffee, I love the smell of it brewing...that's how mornings are supposed to smell.
18. I am so thankful for warm socks with grippy little dots on the bottoms. HEY! It's November people! Also, I'm pretty clumsy. The grippy dots certainly have their place in my life!
19. I'm thankful that I can knit. Even though I sometimes give myself deadlines that cause pressure, knitting is usually very relaxing. I can sit in front of the television with David while he watches some show that bores me to tears...and it's totally fine. I am completely happy and in my own little 'knit 1, purl 1' world.
20. I am thankful for the three HUGE bags of roving I was given, along with two drop spindles. I've always wanted to learn to spin, but it has always been pushed down on my list of things to do further and further. Our librarian gave me the roving and spindles because she was pretty sure she didn't want to spin anymore and they were taking up space in her garage. When you want to do something but can't necessarily justify it along with all the other things you have, it's nice to have that thing just fall in your lap. And I've already spun a little yarn with the help of all those videos on YouTube. I think I could really like it!
21. I was also just reminded that I'm thankful for Spellcheck. That really is a wonderful thing, isn't it?
22. I'm very thankful I get to stay home with my girls. Even though I could rip my hair out many days and it would be easier for me to just go to work, I am too easily distracted and overwhelmed and the kids would suffer for it. I wouldn't be able to be nearly as organized as I am now...and that's a REALLY SCARY THOUGHT.
23. I'm thankful that we can totally start decorating for Christmas now. The weather is cooling down and the lights and smells of Christmas are so inviting. The girls and I started listening to Christmas music a few weeks ago. (Shhh...don't tell anyone! A lot of people probably think that's really weird!)
24. I am thankful that I've been able to eat enough food to make my rear end this large. I'm not fat...I'm LUCKY!
25. Hopefully, I'll find it in my heart to be thankful for my elliptical again soon. It's collecting dust!
26. I'm thankful for my slow cooker. Seriously! Thanks to my growing collection of slow cookers and the help of the SLOW COOKING QUEEN, it's been easier to stick to a grocery budget and taken the stress out of what to make for dinner. Plus, my family is even eating a little healthier!
27. I am thankful for my doggies, even though I speak harshly of them at times. (Especially Aly..she's a real stinker!) They are both really good dogs. (Okay, so ONE is a good dog and the other is a LARGE PUPPY WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BE A GOOD DOG. There's a good dog in there somewhere...there's gotta be!)
28. I'm thankful for my kitty. He makes me feel VERY SPECIAL the way he tries to swim through the air to get to me when someone else is holding him. He even forgives me when I put a little hoodie on him that the girls picked out. He will truly follow me anywhere...silly cat! He will put up with any amount of abuse to be able to stay in my arms.
29. I'm thankful for where I live. It's a small-town atmosphere and the schools are great. Almost everyone knows each other and the lots are big. What more can you ask for?
30. I'm thankful that I'm learning more every single day about how to appreciate what I have and not worry about what I don't have. I still have a long way to go, but I've never been so comfortable in my own skin than I am today. (Especially since I'm still in my PJ's! HAHAHA!)

November 18, 2009

Bad Doggies and a Question for Ya


Gooooooood Morning!


Now that the coffee and Allegra-D have kicked in and I've cared for my pretend farms on Facebook, I guess you can say my day has officially started.


Our beloved, lucky-to-be-alive boxer Aly has made the 'naughty list' for the day. Apparently, Aly knows more than she lets on. Boxers are tricky when it comes to learning things. I read an article somewhere that said that, while they can learn things very quickly, they can just as quickly 'unlearn' them. They seem to have a very large capacity to learn, but the thickness of their skulls get in the way just the same. Aly can learn things quickly. With the help of a clicker trainer and a couple of treats, I had her lying down on command in a matter of minutes. But, at the same time, she still forgets to answer to her own name!


So, why do we choose a breed of dog that can be so totally frustrating? Because, even with all of that, they are amazing dogs for families. They respond really well with children and can come off quite intimidating to strangers. Even though it's not a good idea to be right in a dog's face with your own, that is where Aly prefers you to be. Her favorite moments are when her face is mere inches from a person's face so she can stare lovingly into their eyes. Her eyes tell such a story! They make the anger melt away, even if she did just steal another five pound bag of apples and sneak them out the dog door to spread them all over the yard, rendering them no longer fit for human consumption. She does the same with loaves of bread and my yarn. Yes, MY YARN. Her favorite yarn is sock yarn, which can also be some of the most expensive yarn I own, not to mention the most difficult to untangle.


Some days, that stupid dog is lucky to be alive!


Then, just as I'm at the end of my rope with her, she finds me sitting somewhere and lays her head in my lap and looks up and me with those eyes. THOSE DAMN EYES, I TELL YA! They work like a charm on me. And she knows it.
(See above picture if you don't believe me. The face and body have changed significantly, but she still has those SAME EYES!)
I just wonder how long her eyes can save her. It has come to our attention that Aly knows how to work a zipper.
A few weeks ago, we had gone somewhere for a couple of hours and my new camera was sitting on a table in the living room, carefully zipped up in its case. I swear it was! However, I came home to the camera bag sitting on the floor next to the table, with my camera sitting a foot or two away. There wassn't a single scratch or mark on the camera to be found, yet it wasn't where I had left it. Though I KNEW that I had left the bag on the table zipped closed, I couldn't bring myself to believe that a dog could have unzipped it. In addition to the whole 'no opposable thumbs thing,' I'd just assumed that she would have sooner chewed through the bag to get to whatever was inside. (And my best guess as to why she would even want the camera is that it smells like me and had been regularly attached to me in some way a good portion of the past couple of months. I mean, who doesn't love a new toy right?)
So, it bothered me that I didn't know for sure how the camera had gotten there, but I got over it just the same. After all, nothing had been damaged and I learned to keep my camera someplace else. Someplace HIGHER, to be more specific. Plus, are dogs even capable of learning how to use zippers?
This brings us back to this morning, when we awoke to find the backpack that David keeps his laptop in unzipped. David had left it zipped up, sitting in the living room floor when he went to bed last night. (Which also proves that he might 'unlearn' things just as quickly as the dog!) A Ziploc bag full of random little 'extras' that David likes to keep with him while he's at work was missing, but quickly recovered from the backyard. (Who said men don't need to carry purses?) The most aggravating part of the whole thing was that the power cord for his laptop had been chewed on. This caused various expletives to pour from David's mouth, which caused the dog to to hang her head and hurry out the dog door before he'd even uttered her name or made eye contact with her.
I've read a few books and Googled the topic a bit, and I'm pretty sure that we need to get a larger crate that we can start putting her in when we're sleeping or away from the house. While she's completely housebroken, she's still only nine months old and cannot completely be trusted. Poor Aly lacks any sense of impulse control. While she loves children, she usually ends up knocking them over at the sight of them. She even does that with our children...the ones she LIVES WITH. She would never hurt fly. Wait. That's not true...she actually eats flies! But she lives in the moment so much that she ends up being a giant pain in the arse most of the time.
Then, she looks at me with those &#%$ eyes.
We chose to get a boxer because of Hogan. Hogan was awesome! However, Hogan was around eleven years old when we started letting him come into the house. He had been an outside dog all of his life, happily living with his companion, Hercules. After Hercules passed, we knew it wouldn't be fair to leave him outside all alone. Instead of getting another dog that he may or may not bond with like he did his old friend, we started letting him into the house. He was the perfect dog...with the exception of the the smell! He was a old dog that began to be covered in tumors (which is another 'boxer thing'...YAY!) and he just got this smell about him. But he was an old man, he still had the 'puppy-like sparkle' in his eyes but he was the picture of calmness and self control. While neither David or myself never knew Hogan as a puppy, I get the feeling he might have been almost as obnoxious as Aly can be.
So, I guess a new crate and some obedience classes are in Aly's near future. I mean, so we can ensure that she'll actually have a future here!
Speaking of Hogan, I was watching some old videos I'd uploaded to YouTube a few years ago. This one video grabs my attention and, evidently, it grabs the attention of others. Around 126,000 others, to be precise. This video has been viewed more than 126,000 times. And I have no idea why! It's nothing special, really! 3YO (who was 1YO at the time) has the phone in her hand and she's talking to Grandma. I try to get the phone back from her, and she resists. Hogan makes an appearance. The lighting is dim, the video quality is atrocious, and it's not even all that interesting. I think I only uploaded it so I could share it with my mom and maybe post it on my blog when I had nothing of interest to blog about.
So, here's the video. If you know something I don't about this video, like where it could be linked to be getting such an obscene amount of traffic, I'd love for you to share. In the meantime, this is certainly no 'Charlie Bit My Finger' but...enjoy!

November 17, 2009

If you think something is fool-proof, that might just prove you're the fool!

My name is Leann and I'm a 'calendar junkie.'
I haven't always had this problem. At least, I don't think so. I feel like spent most of my life taking things one day, one minute at a time. Then again, I still feel like I sort of do that. But, then what exactly would explain the many different calendar and planner-type thingies that I have surrounding me?
Maybe the main thing I really lack is focus. I can't remember the last time I started something and finished it without dropping it at least a dozen times, and finishing it at all is a rarity!
I have this huge desk calendar that is completely blank. (You know, you write in the days and everything.) I just decided to update it, especially when I looked at it and noticed the last month on there was MAY. Geez...I really need to follow through on things! How are my children even still alive at this point?
I have so many calendar and planner pages and books and websites that you might even think I'd be organized. Nothing could be further from the truth! I just feel like, if I found the perfect calendar or system, life would just fall into place. Isn't that what happens?
It's not???
I also go very 'gung ho,' if you will, when I first get a new idea or system. I try to put every detail and thing on it. Then, I fill it up, get overwhelmed at what my life actually looks like on paper, and put it away for a week (or twelve!). I mean, I even end up scheduling the day I need to clean out the fridge before the garbage pickup every week and when my regular bills are due. I thought it would be easier to have my online calendar sending me messages a week or so before each bill was due. But, do you know what I do with a reminder that tells me I need to do something in a week? Yeah, I ignore it. After all, I still have another week before it's due!
Did you see that one coming? I certainly should have...but I didn't.
The same naive optimism that helps me roll with the punches also causes me to drop the ball here and there. But, then again...I usually have a lot of balls in the air! I am so apprehensive to commit to appointments because I have a little voice in the back of my mind that tells me I could be forgetting something. I'm usually not. Truthfully, when I am really forgetting something I don't even think about it until I missed it. That little voice that makes me doubt myself is nowhere to be found when there is actually something to forget.
Now, I need to close this before I forget (AGAIN) that I need to be somewhere in an hour. It keeps slipping my mind somehow. I KNOW!
I have plenty of time, so I'll just get ready later.
I keep thinking that over and over again, until it IS 'later' and I'm still in my PJs with my messy hair and eye boogers. (I know...HAAAWWWT!!!) And when it comes to showing up on time with eye boogers or showing up late without them, I choose the latter. And I'm sure the rest of the world is grateful for that.

November 16, 2009

39 Day's 'Till Christmas!!!


Heeheehee...sorry! I just couldn't resist!
We've been busy with more decluttering and moving some things around. I have to say, I feel like I can breathe a lot better now! I found this little 'Christmas Countdown' thing that never got put with the Christmas stuff and decided to just hang it on a doorknob as a reminder of sorts.
We put some more shelves up in the living room and I officially have a 'yarn and craft corner' that is organized. For now. We'll just see how this new system actually applies to real life! I'm really encouraged that David and I seem to be on the exact same page when it comes to the living room. I think we may have been in sync all along, we just assumed we weren't!
Evidently, communication is a GOOD THING. Who knew???
Well, I have some furniture to rearrange and an actual deadline, so I can't be here long. 3YO has been golfing on the Wii most of the morning and I've misused most of my time. I'm feeling the pressure of the impending holidays and the chaos that they bring, but I'm also pretty excited about it.
So..if my blog title gave you a knot in your stomach...SORRY!

November 13, 2009

Christmas Knitting, Cordless Sharks, and the Cat in the Dryer

Yes, 3YO has that look of ultimate suffering while 6YO gets a turn 'vacuuming.' This is probably the only time in our lives where they will argue over to *GETS* to do a chore!
Hmm....we should buy a new vacuum more often!
So, the weather is finally cooling down and some of the trees are actually changing color. Thanksgiving is officially less than two weeks away, leaving Christmas right around the corner. I love this time of year, but so much of it seems to go by far too quickly. (Unless, of course, I'm standing in line, which is when I tend to cuss this time of year under my breath and ten minutes feels more like a week! I think we all have our own 'inner Grinch' in one way or another!) So, we are already embracing all that we love about the holidays. Yesterday marked the first day this year that we've listened to Christmas music in the house. I listened to my favorite Christmas cd in the car a week ago because it takes me to my 'happy place' without getting on the nerves of others....yet! My girls love it and we all sing our hearts out in the car together. (Another plus: It's a great change of pace from all the arguing, which DOESN'T take me to my happy place!)
It's also the time of year that the tea kettle earns its keep, along with a permanent place on the kitchen counter....at least until spring! Break out the peppermint tea and oatmeal packets...cold weather has arrived!
In anticipation of Christmas, I've been knitting like madwoman. I wish I could post what I'm doing, but that would almost guarantee that the recipients would choose to read this blog post.
It's 'Murphy's Law of Blogging'...haven't you heard?
I like having several projects on the needles at once. I am not meant to be a 'monogamous knitter' and like to have projects that could suit whatever time, place, and/or mood I might be in. Sometimes my knitting needs to be mindless to mesh with the chaos that might be surrounding me. (Okay, so that's most of the time.) On rare occasions, things get a little quiet around me and my brain needs a 'exercise,' if you will. I've got a project for every situation...along with about a dozen or so that I may never touch again because they are evil and make me feel stupid.
In other news, I broke down and bought another Cordless Shark. I bought one a few years ago and loved it...until it died on me! Those things could pick up almost anything...anything but bananas, that is! It was good while it lasted, which was a good couple of years. I was looking for a new, simpler way to pick up the confetti my children habitually leave a trail of when you give them a piece of paper and the remnants of whatever something was before Aly got ahold of it. Plus, they have gone down in price! It also give the 3YO and 6YO a chance to help with the vacuuming, which makes sense because they are usually the reason the place needs a good vacuuming anyhow. For now, they take their job very seriously. It hasn't even been a week, so any minute now they are bound to hate it. For now, they have one more reason to cry and argue.
I just can't get over how bittersweet this whole 'parenting gig' can be sometimes.
Also, with the ever-cooling temps, all the creature seem to be seeking warmth. The houseflies have invaded us and we've almost gotten a handle on it. The dogs have decided to actually share the recliner that they always fight over in a effort to keep warm. And the cat has discovered the clothes dryer.
In an effort to not get buried by a mountain of clean, unfolded laundry, I've made it a habit of folding each item as I take it out of the dryer and sorting it on top of my washing machine. I'm not able to even switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer until all of the things in the dryer are sorted, folded, and put away so I never get behind. It works well for me.
It also means that I often have the dryer open with warm clothes inside for a good ten minutes or so. Snickers has discovered this and thinks it's his new bed. I turn my back for a second to find him most contentedly curled up on a load of fresh, warm towels. He looks at me as if to say, "Hey...THANKS! Has this bed ALWAYS been here?"
You don't have to tell me that it's not a good idea to let your kitty hang out in your clothes dryer, not to mention the 'ick factor' of a cat lying on clean laundry. I tend to guard my dryer a little more closely now, closing it when I know I'm going to turn my back.
Well, these fingers need to stop typing and get back to the knitting and cleaning I really need to get done. Isn't real life fabulous?
*giggle*

November 3, 2009

"Umm...my grandma called and she wants her underwear back."


Someday, I plan to write a book about all the charming things my husband has said to me. What are the chances that Hallmark will snag some of them for their greeting cards?
That's pretty much what I thought.
We have been out of the loop, but for good reason. We spent a good part of last week at 'The Happiest Place on Earth!'
For those of you who live under a rock, I'm talking about Disneyland! It was sort of spur of the moment but it just seemed to work out so we went for it.
Once we got back home, we hit the ground running. Halloween was just a few days away and there were costumes to get ready and powdered donuts to buy. (Which, by the way, is a fairly sore subject for me. When I can actually find where I put my mind, I plan on giving the people at Hostess a piece of it for no longer supplying my local stores with the boxes of large powdered donuts. Do they have any idea how much that has complicated my life??? Do they? DO THEY???)
Okay, back to what I was rambling about. Once again, my train of thought has derailed somewhere just oustside of making sense.
Sooo...yesterday was to be my day to finally regain some control of the grocery shopping, laundry, meal planning, and blogging. However, a migraine headache had other plans for me. This one was worse than the ones I've had lately, so I tried to call in sick. NO. SUCH. LUCK. My bosses would not have it. (Yes, I don't have a job that proves itself with a paycheck, but I have three or four 'bosses' that dictate where I'll be and what I'll be doing in a day.) There was a 3YO who WON'T STOP TALKING, a 6YO with a ton of homework and THE ATTENTION SPAN OF A GNAT, and knitting group to get to. Okay, so the knitting group was mostly for me, but I had to find some joy in my day for myself, right? Besides, 3YO and 6YO were excited to go and knit. They have both learned to knit hats on a loom and were super excited to sit at a table with and 'knit' with the grownups!
Now, what is it about a migraine headache that makes my family SO OBNOXIOUS? Seriously! Is it just me? Just getting through the homework and getting out the door to get to the knitting group was so much more work than it needed to be. I blew my cool at one point, stooping down to my 3YO's eye level (Supernanny would be so proud!) and yelling, "PUT YOUR SHOES ON" with actual flames shooting out of my eyes.
Evidently, I need to blow my top more often, because that was the most peaceful car ride we've EVER HAD TOGETHER. I mean, WOW. Once they did get the courage to talk, they were super polite and got along beautifully. It's nice to see them get along and work together on their own, even if they are uniting as a team IN FEAR OF ME.
Getting down the driveway also presented its own set of challenges, as David had parked a trailer in the middle of the driveway and I had to pick it up and move it out of the way. I did learn that, even with the sheer exhaustion that a migraine headache can bring, the adrenaline rush from real anger and irritation can get you the super-human strength you need to pick up a trailer and drag it across the driveway.
So, there you have it. Now, I'm not trying to tell you that my kids are more annoying than normal kids....I just think that ANYONE is annoying if you get to know them well enough. Anyone who denies that is either LYING or HASN'T BEEN MARRIED OR HAD CHILDREN FOR MORE THAN A FEW DAYS. No one is immune...trust me on this one!
And that's OKAY.
My family is still annoying this morning, but I'm sure it's more the 'migraine hangover' that I feel. Once that subsides, I'm sure the people and things around me will become more pleasant. In the meantime, my family is just sort of staying out of my way.
And I'm liking it.
: )

October 24, 2009

Me and My 'Cowboy'

I certainly can't speak for everyone else's marriage, but I can see how this song can ring a bit true for so many of us.

There is so much to be said for dating, courtship, and being a newlywed. It's like a BIG DEAL. There's also a lot to be said for growing old with someone. That's like the ultimate for a lot of people. But, the journey to get there isn't always (Read: USUALLY or EVER) easy. But, for most people, the space between the beginning and the end is HUGE and not always the part we want to talk about.

While I can certainly identify with this song,I can't say it totally rings true for me. I can't say my husband is out 'having a beer' when he's not home with me. He's working. He's doing his job the best he can so that I can stay home with the kids. That was something that was important to both of us going into this whole 'arrangement.' Granted, if I had to go back to work tomorrow to make our lives better I totally would. I believe in doing what is best for one's self and their families when it comes to working outside the home. But even agreeing on that puts us in the place where our jobs are not 'equal' and never will be. They are both measured in completely different ways and it's so easy for each of us to feel as though we're getting the short end of the stick at one time or another. Plus, he's a man and I'm a woman. We are wired in completely different ways and to hold out hope that we'll ever completely understand one another is just setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Okay, back to my point. What I'm saying is that the big 'middle' section of a marriage isn't all that talked about. They don't usually tell you how easy it is to settle into a rut and how sucky things can get sometimes. And that's okay. I mean, it's not okay to want to stay that way forever, but it doesn't make your marriage BAD if you have your fair share of bad days as a couple.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think it's actually okay to have days where your partner comes home and you're thinking, "OH. It's you. AGAIN." Perhaps the divorce rate is so much higher than it needs to be because people give up too easily. But, life happens and (often) so do kids and inlaws and jobs and money worries and the clock just keeps on ticking an you can feel like all you do is run and try and sometimes you really don't know if you're ever really getting anywhere at all.

But it will almost always get better...if you let it!

I am probably more guilty than many people of staying in my own 'corner' of the relationship, not willing to really give anything but angry if I think that he's not giving me anything either. If you ask my husband, he'd tell you that keeping to myself is what I'm probably best at. He knows to not try to play 'silent treatment' with me. I'll win. Partly because I do truly believe that, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Sadly, it can take so much longer than it should to say something nice if I don't put a little effort into it. The other part of my reasoning stems from my own stupid stubbornness. It's a wonder there is any brain in my head at all with how thick my skull can be!

But, more than anything, it helps to just trust myself. I did, after all, choose to marry this man. I wasn't held at gunpoint or anything like that. Neither was he. I was of sound mind and good judgement. And I need to trust that on the bad days. And it's okay to have bad days. I find it really helps to vent to a friend I can trust, then do something nice for him. Things seem to fall into place when you get the ball rolling in the right direction. At the end of the day, I married a good man who works hard for his family and really does love us. And we will, one day, be that old couple that sits on the front porch yelling at each other...not because we're angry, but because we can't hear as well anymore.

To be honest, things are really good with us right now. I am in no way venting. I was just playing an old cd in my car while driving alone today and just started to think about my 'single days.' There were some fun times, but everything I did back then was just to pass the time to get me where I am right now. I'm a lucky girl, even if I'm not ALWAYS willing to admit it!

Ultimately, I think we're responsible for our own happiness. I honestly think that the secret to happiness is to know and accept that we're not supposed to be happy every single moment of our lives. Besides, how boring would that be, huh? As much as I would love for David to be able to read between the lines (In other words, READ MY MIND) and grant me my every wish before I can even voice it, it's just not possible. And that's okay. Truth be told, I'd probably get bored with that too and take it for granted. And I'd still complain that he turns the television channel to something boring and falls asleep right away with the remote control tightly in his grip. Actually, I'll probably always complain about that. But, instead of just complaining, I learned to knit. Unless it's something I specifically want to watch, I've learned that I could care less about what's going on in the glowing box and find something better to do with my time. We're both happier that way.

Besides, I'd rather save the arguments for the more important things, like where he chooses to squeeze the toothpaste tube and how he doesn't change the toilet paper roll when he replaces it, but just sets the new roll on the counter. You know, the big stuff!

October 22, 2009

Sadistic Trainers, Long Tongues, and Apple Cider Vinegar

From my calculations, Aly's tongue seems to be about an inch and half too long!
I don't know what's come over me, but I've been sitting less and exercising more. Now, I'm not ready to give up my candy corn crack just yet...that would be CRAZY TALK...but I'm trying to eat a bit better and trying to exercise every day. So far, so good. Too bad it's only Day 3 and my track record for being consistent at anything sucks! The Sprint 8 program on my elliptical totally rocks though! And the Wii Active...that sadistic virtual trainer is trying to kill me! I started their little 30-Day Challenge thingy, so I wonder if I can stick to it. I was so sore today that it winced and moaned a little just to sit down and stand up. (Pitiful, I know!) I hopped on the elliptical and BAM...I felt BETTER! The soreness was almost gone after that, so much so that I decided to take on the sadistic virtual trainer after all, even though I had originally given myself the day off.
I've recently heard of some health benefits from apple cider vinegar. I'm curious as to what people know about it, so comments would be much appreciated. I figure it can't hurt to try, though there are a ton of things that it is said to be good for.
I think our new kitty has 'mommy issues.' He only wants to be held by me. ALL THE TIME. He's currently perched on my shoulder, shifting his position as necessary so I don't put him down. We were gone last weekend and my mom stopped by the house to check on the critters. She was amused by how 'needy' the cat is in always wanting to be carried and suggested that we make some sort of sling or infant-carrier like thing to put him in. I tell ya...holding that cat could easily be a full-time job! When I'm not holding him, he's watching me, just waiting for me to sit still for just a moment. If the kids try to take him elsewhere, he's like a little boomerang and just runs right back to me.
Since he was in the shelter for so long, I can only imagine what happened to him there. Or even before that. Was he taken from his own mother too soon? He's very needy for a cat that's a good seven months old!
Anyhow, I have to get dressed and ponder snipping the tip of my dog's tongue off. (I'm not gonna do it, but she walks around like this ALL DAY LONG now and it's fun to joke about.) Is an extra long tongue some sort of genetic thing, or do I just have the Gene Simmons of boxers?
Don't forget to check out my FREE PATTERN! I'm working on a smaller one right now made with worsted weight yarn and 16-inch size 7 Knit Picks circulars. It's the same exact pattern and turning out like a baby hat. YAY! I'll post pictures when it's done.
Have a great Thursday!

October 20, 2009

Ten Random Thoughts for Today

1. First ride on the BART. Grab a seat anywhere you can...this train waits for NO ONE.

2. 3YO was pretty excited about riding the BART, too. If I had taken the picture at a different angle, you'd see just about everyone there on their IPHONES! I think it might be an actual requirement to own a iPhone if you live in the Bay Area. I'm just sayin...

3. Despite what David originally thought, this was not a bounce house but a KITE. A kite that's bigger than a car!

4. See them fly? It was really cool. This was at the Berkeley Marina.

5. This is my friend Meri. Five months ago, Meri decided to train for a marathon. So she did. I guess you could probably call her 'Marathon Meri,' but I'll just stick to the name that I've decided to call her...which is 'CRAZY.' Seriously...26.2 miles. I won't even run down to the corner of my block right now without my inhaler and a ride back!
6. Meri is my hero...AND the craziest person I know! She's super pumped now and is already looking for another race to train for.
7. Now, where did I leave my candy corn?
8. I think that candy corn just might contain crack cocaine, because it's pretty much all I can think about these days! It's not the bad kind of crack or anything...just the kind you find in Girl Scout Cookies and Facebook Apps.
9. Speaking of which, I need to take care of my farm, park my cars and get a better Farkle score. Don't judge me.
10. Remember my pattern? The one I posted last week? Yeah, well...it was PUBLISHED on an actual pattern site! WOO HOO! I want to make more patterns for people of my easily distracted nature. Speaking of being easily distracted...I just found a workout on my elliptical that I can actually DO! I hadn't tried it because I was intimidated by the concept, but it's really cool! It's called 'Sprint 8' and has eight 30-second intervals of really intense stuff broken up by a minute and a half of sort of taking it easy. I can totally do that! Trying to keep a good pace for 30 minutes or more makes me want to bang my head against the wall! I feel like I'm being held captive in my own living room.
And on that note, I bid you farewell!





October 15, 2009

FREE PATTERN: Easy Ribbed Cable Hat

Easy Ribbed Cable Hat


Skills Needed:
Long-tail cast-on (CO)
Knit Stitch (K)
Purl Stitch (P)
Knitting in the Round on Circular Needles
Knit Two Together (K2TOG)
Purl Two Together (P2TOG)
Knitting Cables
Knitting in the Round on Double-Pointed Needles

Materials Needed:
1 skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky or any other bulky weight yarn
1 set of 16” circular needles in size 10 ½
1 set of 5 double-pointed needles in size 10 ½
Stitch Markers
Cable Needle
Yarn Needle


This hat is knitted in 3.5 stitches per inch guage and measures about 20.5 inches around to fit an average-sized woman, so adjust your measurements accordingly. Using your circular needles and a long-tail cast-on, CO 72 stitches and join to knit in the round.
*K1, P1 * Repeat to end of first round and PM.
Continue in K1, P1 ribbing until your piece measures four inches long.
Round 1: P2, K6 (for cable), P2, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, PM
Repeat this pattern three more times, placing a second marker at the beginning of your second round, so you know where the next round begins.
Round 2: Same as Round 1.
Round 3: P2, SL 3 sts onto the cable needle and place it behind your work. K the next 3 sts, then K the 3 sts from the cable needle back onto your circular needle. P2, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, SM. Repeat this pattern three more times to complete Round 3.
Repeat Round 1 for 5 rounds, repeating round 3 on the next round.
Continue this pattern until your hat measures 8”.
To begin decreasing, P2, K2, K2TOG, K2, P2, K2TOG, P1, K2TOG, P1, K2TOG, SM.
Continue the pattern 3 more times for the rest of this round.
Onto a DPN, P2, K5, P2, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1.
Continue in the pattern to the end of round so you have 14 sts each on 4 DPNs.
Next Round: P2TOG, K2TOG, K1, K2TOG, P2TOG, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1. Repeat this pattern 3 more times until you have 10 sts on each needle.
P1, K3, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, repeating this pattern for the rest of the round.
K2TOG for the entire round, leaving a total of 5 sts on each of the 4 DPNs.
K2TOG for another round, slipping the last st on Needles 1 and 3 to the next needle and leaving a total of ten stitches. Cut the yarn, leaving 6-8 inches of yarn and thread it through a yarn needle. Slip the sts off the DPNs and onto the yarn needle, running the yarn needle through the last ten sts and pulling it tight. Weave in all the ends and fold up the brim.

Now, wasn’t that easy?


October 14, 2009

Now Available in HDTV


Awhile back, we acquired an HDTV. It’s a few years old, but much newer than the one we'd had before. Since my husband was designed with that 'Y chromosome,' he was sort of excited about the HD part of it. The picture itself was a huge improvement, so we were not in a hurry to actually switch our cable service to the HD package. That is, until yesterday.

We swapped our box out for an HD box. And David is in love.

I guess it’s a better picture, but how much better can you get? Honestly, I didn’t really have a problem with the picture before HD. David spent several minutes switching the television back and forth from the regular picture to the HD one, trying to show me how much better the picture really was on Phinneas and Ferb in HD. I just didn’t see a big difference. Then again, how do you make animation more clear? It’s not as if the picture is going to get so much better that you’ll be able to see their mother’s laugh lines or their dad’s acne scars. It’s a freaking cartoon!

This brings up another point: How much more do we really want to see? I don’t know about you, but I sort of prefer the fantasy aspect of television. I don’t want to see Kelly Ripa’s smile lines or the acne outbreaks of Cameron Diaz. I’m pretty sure they don’t appreciate it either, for that matter.

It seems odd to me that special effects can come so far only to be canceled out by the technology that allows you to see right through them. I miss the fantasy of it all. Now, I’m not saying I want to go back to the truly lame days of the original ‘Land of the Lost’ or anything like that. Now, that was just sad. But I really do long for the fantasy, you know? I’m afraid we could lose the airbrushed, dreamy glow of the old picture. Now, I don’t know about you, but I watch television to be entertained. If I want something real, I turn it off and look around.

What do you think of how far technology has come? Think it will go too far? Think it already has?

October 12, 2009

I have an assignment for you...




There is no way on earth I have time to sit down and compose an actual, thought-provoking, laugh-at-me-while-I-cry-inside kind of blog today. Seriously, I really wish I could. But, I DO feel I need to pop on here really quickly and plug something.




So, we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...




My most favoritest slow cooker guru has a book coming out. Like, TOMORROW. She is the awesomest (yes...that is a word to me!) and she's going to be on Good Morning America to talk about it. She has literally saved dinner in my house, as well as the houses of so many others I'm sure! She also has a terrific blog on organization that is not only helpful but reasonable. Easy little things to get one's house in order.




Anyhow, you should really set your DVR to record Stephanie's appearance on GMA. Then, go buy her book. Seriously. I plan on buying it ASAP. Or, go and leave comments on her Slow Cooker Blog or her Totally Together Blog. This is life-changing stuff here and I would hate for you to be left out!




Have a great Monday!




October 9, 2009

Greetings ffrom NOWHERE!


She's pretty, even with her occasional glimpses of intelligence.
I'm so not sure where the time has gone. The treadmill of life keeps me plugging along without really going anywhere, yet afraid to blink! These days, 13YO has way more of a social life than I do. I'm in a knitting group now and I love it! It's at our local library and I take the girls with me. While I already feel overscheduled most days, the rest of the week seems easier when I know I have some time carved out for me. (Next thing you know, I figure out that exercise actually gives you more energy..NAH! I wouldn't go that far just yet!)
I knitted my first cabled hat. However, I grabbed a pattern that was meant to be knitted flat instead of in the round and had to do some tweaking. That's what I get for starting something without reading it first! Once I've weaved in the ends and closed the top and all that, I'll post some pictures. I really like it and want one in every color now, though I'll probably put a few more cables in it than this one. Two just doesn't seem like enough for a whole hat.
We had a flu scare the other day with 13YO, but no other symptoms developed and she went right back to school the next day. She was just nauseous. We're awaiting the results of David's bloodwork to see his cholesterol levels and such.
See how exciting my life has become? I'm talking about health stuff...and it's not even real stuff now!
I'd better sign off before I start talking about the weather and the price of gas! Going to try to get one of those 'life thingys' everyone keeps talking about so I have some good blog fodder.
Right after I make my menu plan for next week and go grocery shopping.
AAAAACCCCKKK!!!!!

September 22, 2009

...and the growups say, "NO! DON'T WANNA!"


I need to learn how to cook.


Okay, not really. I mean, I know how to cook. I guess I just need to re-learn how to cook. Actually, I just need to put less fat, more fiber, and fewer carbs into the rotation. Shouldn't be too hard right?


SO WRONG!


I mean, on paper it doesn't seem all that hard. But I have to take into account how PICKY certain members of this family can be. (And I'm mostly not talking about the kids here!) While David is the one with the high cholesterol, high triglycerides and aversion to broccoli, he and I both could stand to drop some poundage. Our girls, on the other hand, are all on the thin side. With genetics on their side, they most likely won't have to worry about weight until they've had a few kids. Then again, if we can instill healthier habits now, there's a chance they may never have the struggles that so many of us have. I was the smallest, thinnest girl with the flattest chest through pretty much all of junior high and high school. (At least, that's how it seemed in my insecure, pubescent mind...) I was jealous of the girls with a little more meat on them. They had hips and boobs and the boys noticed them more. The heavier girls may have had the own crosses to bear, but they got boobs first, by golly! Boobs are so important to a young girl. They mean something. They are what separates the girls from the boys, in addition to the tragically blue mascara and earlier understanding of basic hygiene.
This just goes to show you that the grass is always greener in your neighbor's yard!
David has had cholesterol and triglyceride issues for a few years now and you can only medications for those sort of things for so long before your liver starts to complain. His liver is just starting to complain a bit.
I do find it very amusing that David's doctor recommended that he quit drinking. David doesn't drink. I can count on both hands the number of alcoholic drinks that he has had in his entire life! As a matter of fact, I think I had more to drink at one wedding in particular than he has ever had. And that was a few lifetimes ago!
Aaaaahhh, the memories!
As difficult as it seems to instill healthier eating habits into our lifestyle, I know the whole 'exercise thing' will be even tougher. David works a very physical job. He is running and walking and stopping all day long. He comes home dead tired. Now, I know that exercise gives you more energy over time and yadayadayada...but good luck convincing David of that at this point in his life! He leaves the house at 7:45 in the morning and gets home anywhere between 8 and 9:30 at night. He then eats a big dinner and passes out in front of the television. As much as I know that's not the best thing to do, telling him so just makes me more the 'nagging wife' and him less cooperative. (I can't really blame him, since I react the same way when the roles are reversed!)
It's even more terrible that this is happening right now, when October is a week or so away and it's still so flippin' hot here.
Is it wrong that I want to cold-cock the weatherman when he uses the term 'century mark' to describe the high temperatures for the day? Not only is that just ridiculous at this point, but the whole idea of the word 'century' sounds like forver! 'Forever' is not the ideal message to come across when we are ready for summer to be OVER. Basically, the kids are wearing out/outgrowing their summer clothes that are appropriate for school and my capri pants could us a break! Bring on the sweaters! Bring on the jeans!
The hot weather just makes him more tired and cranky, as it does so many others.
To top it all off, I'm probably the laziest person I know! I don't really care for exercise and have no real stamina. My limbs are not very cooperative so anything that requires them to actually move is, franky, just asking too much. The day goes by much more smoothly if I can just spend most of it sitting on my tuckus.
So, there you have it. I guess you could say that I'm searching for that magic wand to wave around and either make us LIKE healthy food and exercise or make us not need them. The kids, well they're just along for the ride and stand to benefit a bunch from this in the long run anyway.
Shouldn't that be reason enough?

September 18, 2009

3YO vs. Sleeping, Boxer vs. Humidifier, and WHY GOD MADE COFFEE

Oh, ray of sunshine...you are sorely misplaced this morning!

Sleeping like a baby, or an angel, or like the horrible little person who kept me up last night? 3YO has a cold. Well, her version of a cold is to get a horrible cough and have it linger for a month or so. So, there we are. Of course the cough gets worse at night. Of course we're always on the lookout for the pesky recurrent croup that she seems to get with every little sniffle. And of course that means that we bring out this little guy:


Since we got Aly in the spring, she'd never actually seen the humidifier in action. It was bad enough that I was lying in 3YO's bed to help her get to sleep. Aly really isn't okay with me lying in my own bed during the day or even lying anywhere else in the house besides my bed. She gets really nervous and paces and barks. So, I was just about asleep in 3YO's bed when Aly barked to let me know that I shouldn't be there. Apparently, she takes her job pretty seriously when it comes to patrolling the perimeters at night and nothing gets past her. Just as I was attempting to hush her and let her know that it was okay, she noticed the humidifier. OH BOY! HERE WE GO! She got that instantly confused but trying really hard to understand what she's looking at so you can't decide if she looks smart or dumb boxer head tilt thing going on. If you've ever met a boxer, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Cutest thing ever. (Even at 1:00 a.m. apparently!) She stalked the humidifier for awhile, creeping up ever-so-slowly until it would quietly bubble. That would send her back several feet. Then, she would proceed to look at me as if she's protecting us from some evil force. Each time she got a bit closer to us. Once she finally got close enough, she stuck her head directly over the frog humidifier and inhaled the mist as if it were some kind of drug. Then, she crawled under the bed and peered out from underneath the comforter to spy on it for awhile. She had to make sure it didn't try anything funny!
I really wish I'd had my camera on me, but it was after one in the morning and I wasn't about to move any more than absolutely necessary.
3YO seems to be doing fine this morning. Well, except for all the hacking! It doesn't seem to bother her when it't not keeping her from sleeping. I see a lot of television in our future...
And...as for me? Nothing ten hours of sleep, half a pot of coffee, some mascara and about 3 1/2 pounds of concealer coudn't fix!

YEAH! Like YOU'D look any better after a night like that! I'm sure the DMV would be more than happy to make this my next driver's license photo. They're nice like that!
Some days definitely seem longer than others, don't they?





September 15, 2009

New Camera and My Inner Brat

With this much loose skin around her face, Aly seems to never make the same expression twice!
Whew! When it rains, it pours! Speaking of rain, we got some yesterday. It was cold and breezy and WONDERFUL. Of course, come this weekend the temps will be nearing 100 again, but it was good while it lasted!
I just had a birthday. Since my camera stopped working properly, I did my research and found just the camera that I wanted to replace it with. First, I did my part to conserve and called our local camera repair place to see what it would cost to fix. The only thing wrong with it is that it no longer acknowledges the flash. When your flash doesn't flash, you end up only being able to take pictures of people facing the sun like they did when my mom was a kid. All of her childhood pictures have her squinting. The guy at the camera repair place laughed at me. It was too old, cheap, whatever to fix. Not worth my money or their time, from what they tell me.
Once again, it's a disposable world we live in.
Anyhow, my new camera is a Canon Powershot SX20 IS. She's PURDY! I couldn't really justify anything more than this because I'm pretty much using it to take pictures of kids and dogs. (See above picture...and I already have like a hundred of that particular pose!) I'm still learning how to use the camera and, so far, the most frustrating part is that it only comes with a tiny little manual to get started and the real user's manual is on a cd-rom. You have to download and print it yourself, if you want to keep it on hand! That part is a little annoying, but the camera itself doesn't seem to need that much explanation. There are a few things I definitely need to read up on, like how I changed the color of the whole eveing sky to orange when it really wasn't. I'll figure it out....eventually!
In the meantime, folks around here will probably be suffering from their share of 'flash blindess!' We seem to be back in the full swing of school. We have even added church on Sunday, knitting group on Monday, and gymnastics on Wednesday into the mix. So far, things seem to be falling into place quite nicely.
Great...I bet I just jinxed myself now!
I'm starting to try to get back into good habits when it comes to keeping the house running smoothly. That being said, my worst enemy on this frontier is my inner brat. I do better when I don't feel like I MUST do something. Then it makes me want to. Even when I don't have to do the things I do, doing too many of them puts me in a bad mood. It's the strangest thing, but being especially productive really messes with my head. For example, I had quite the productive day yesterday. Really, I did. I did like five loads and laundry and got it all put away. I made three beds. I cleaned the bathrooms and got the kitchen the cleanest it's been in long time now. It wasn't hard, even 3YO was good about not making messes while I was cleaning up the other messes. (Usually, that puts me in a TERRIBLE MOOD!) When I was done with all of that, I knew I could relax and feel accomplished. I knew I was going to get to knit with a local group that evening and was really looking forward to it. But, my problem was that I just started to settle down and relax a bit when the two older ones were getting home from school. That meant I had to start arguing with 6YO about her homework and sight words and that I had to hear about every teensy-tiny little detail about 13YO's day. I was trying to get something done (but not for fun!) on the computer and it was taking forever. By the time it was done, we had to rush out the door for my knitting group and we were late as it was. I was cranky. I never had any 'down time' and my brain was overstimulated. Getting a lot done puts me in a bad mood.
My inner brat is winning today because I'm doing as little as possible and my mood is outstanding. I really need to do something about my thought process, don't I? I can almost picture myself with a spotless house and standing at the door screaming at my family as they come in the door. They like me better when my house is a little messy. HECK, I like me better too!
Maybe there's a pill I can take for this sort of thing. In the meantime, I'll have my good days and my bad days. Today, my goals are to maintain the high score on a solitaire game on Facebook and learn a little more about my camera.
Poor 3YO and the dogs will probably be seeing spots for the rest of the day....

September 7, 2009

Flashbacks and Gag Reflexes

Was this a part of your childhood? Do you remember it?


Somehow, David and I were talking about this show today. Does it ring a bell for anyone? While I remember the show fondly, I think I really only actually watched a few episodes. A friend of mine had to make sure she was home on Thursdays by 4:30 (or whenever it was actually on!) so she could watch it. I liked it too...I guess I just wasn't that devoted of a fan.

That or it was apparent at an early age that I would be a flaky and inconsistent growup!

Thanks to the marvelous creation that is YouTube, it took only seconds to find this clip and dozens of others. You know that little blonde girl? That's Fergie! WOW...I so wanted to be her when I was a kid. Her hair was really blonde and fluffy (while mine was blonde and stringy) and she could do all those handspring-type things. Who wouldn't want to be cool like that, right?

When I was older, long after I'd seen any episodes of Kids Incorporated, I thought Marta was awesome. But, that's only because she then became Martika and did that song 'Toy Soldiers.' Hey...when you're a fourteen-year-old girl in the late 80's, that song is DEEP.

Shutup. I'm sure you were as lame as I was!

Other names like Mario Lopez and Jennifer Love Hewitt came out of that show as well. Who knew? David and I giggled as we watched some of the videos and reminisced. Then, it was time to get back to real life, like mowing the lawn and arguing about the holes that the dogs have dug in the backyard. Life goes on.

Hey...that was another great show!

I other news, I discovered a movie that triggers my gag reflex like no other. Let me start by explaining my tolerate/hate relationship with chewing gum. I chewed gum as a kid. On rare occasions, you might even see me chewing it now. But, I have a mild form of TMJ. It's not too serious and I usually find I can avoid pretty much any suffering by not chewing gum. I can even chew a bit of gum, but I have to remember to dispose of it the minute it no longer has flavor. If I chew it too long, the jaw gets tired and the headache starts coming on. I also need to avoid going to bed really stressed, because I clench my jaw when I'm sleeping and wake up with one of those awful headaches then too. I have a bite guard, but haven't worn it in years because I've found other things that work....for now.

Wow...I just went a bit off-track there, didn't I? Welcome to another episode about the derailed trains of thought in my head. Confused yet? I am.

Anyhow, I'm not really used to having gum around regularly. And, I have this thing where whenver the gum leaves my mouth, it cannot go back. BLEH! Seriously, it's just gross to me. So, sticking a piece of gum behind your ear (do people even still do that? ) or sticking it to your plate while you eat a meal is BEYOND DISGUSTING to me. Chewing ABC gum (Already Been Chewed, by someone else) is even more disgusting. I guess you could say that I'm not a big fan of saliva-related things in general. (We're not talking about babies though. Baby drool is completely non-toxic, as opposed to the stuff in the mouths of the gum-chewing generation. Those people need to keep their saliva in their mouth!)

So, you can probably imagine how much my stomach turned when I watched Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. On the whole, I liked the movie. Really, I did. It was entertaining, even made me laugh. I can pretty much watch any movie, so long as I can begin to care about the characters. And I liked them, for the most part. The thing I had the problem with was the scene (for those of you who have seen it) where Norah's friend throws up in the bus station bathroom. Then, her phone rings and she accidently drops in the in toilet...before she flushes! Then, she manages to drop her gum in there too. She really needs to talk to her friend, so she fishes her phone out. (I had to look away!) She also reeeeeeally thought she needed that gum. And, even typing it is starting to make me dry-heave, so I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Needless to say, I wasn't enjoying the rest of the movie so much as I was keeping track of where the gum was. The gum got around....

Yup, now I just threw up in my mouth a little!

So, as much as saliva and gum gross me out, saliva and gum combined with vomit in public toilets really pushes me over the top. Imagine that!

And that, my friends, is pretty much what was left in my head today. Now that I have it out, there seems to be a clean slate now. Hmm...what to fill it with next...