Thursday, May 31, 2007

I've MOVED!

Well, folks, I've decided to up and move my blog. But I'm not sure if I like the new place or not. It's very big and complicated, and I feel very small and simple while I'm there. But go visit and tell me what you think: http://grinningellie.wordpress.com

Sticking with what I know.

Something seems to be out of whack with my comments. (Oh, isn't that the truth!) No, let me say that differently, something is out of whack, not with the comments I write, but with the comments I receive on my blog. Some come through immediately and I publish them as soon as I see them, and others don't show up until the next day. And it irritates me. However, having no earthly idea what I'm doing on here, I cannot fix it. I can just complain.

But I'm very, very good at the complaining.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is tying shoes back-breaking labor?


Lately I've been overcome with an inexplicable desire to sleep. And sleep, and sleep, and sleep. But not in a depressed, I'm going to hide in my bed because I can't face the world kind of way, but more because I'm just plain exhausted at the end of the day and morning always comes an hour or two too early. It's not a dull kind of lethargy, it's a bone weary tired. The kind you get after a long day of physical work. But I'm not engaging in any back-breaking physical labor.

My husband is getting very frustrated by my desire to go to bed immediately after the children. He wants me to stay awake and interact. He wants to watch a little TV together, have a little late night snack together. He's been very vocal in telling anyone, once the subject of sleep comes up, about how I'm in bad before the sun even sets. He always says it with tone of voice that says, can you believe it? And I always shrug and say I've always been an early to bed kind of gal.

But really, I'm starting to wonder why I've been getting so exhausted. I know the whole dynamics of energy and rest, and that if you use a lot of energy you will need a lot of rest. And I also am very aware of the fact that being constantly on (and vigilant) with children all day takes a lot of energy, to say the least. But I didn't get this tired before. I seem to remember only getting very cranky by the time the end of the day rolled around last year, but I do not remember being so tired that I collapsed into bed. This year, however, I am tired.

I'm not really sure if I have a whole point in telling you this. There's not a story to regale in any of this . I am just confounded by my fatigue, and I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Riding off into the sunset...*







*actually, it was away from the sunset, but they're riding all the same.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Actually, I love you, McD's.

Dear McDonald's,

First of all, thank you so very much for the Happy Meal. I mean, who would have ever thought that putting the very same food the children would not be very enthusiastic about eating at home into a box with a cheap toy would mean wonders to a child and have them screaming for McDonald's every time they pass one? (Which, I might add, we do every five minutes or so because they are conveniently located near everywhere and everything .) Who would have thought? Why you, of course, you clever, clever marketing genius, you. So thank you for that.

Now onto the reason for this letter: I would like to say that I agree that making the talking Shrek toys you are currently placing in Happy Meals was a very good idea on your part. Not only does it promote the movie (now showing at a theater near you) but it also makes the kids want more, more, more! And we as parents are helpless to their cries of more and bring them to McDonald's every week for a new toy, buying them more, more, more! But while they are cool and all, I have to ask, why are they so loud? (And by loud, I mean, holy crap, make that thing stop!)Is it because you think we parents are no longer able to hear well after being trapped inside a vehicle with the children screaming for your food? Is it because you don't think the children can hear well after all of their yelling? Is it because you have a test group of deaf children testing the marketability of your toys? Am I even close?

Whatever the reason, I just wanted to give a hearty THANK YOU for putting loud Shrek toys inside your wonderful Happy Meals. Genius, pure genius!

Yours ever so sincerely,
E

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Even better than being smart...

Have you read this article: How Not To Talk To Your Kids?

It's a long read, but very, very worth it. Go ahead and read it, I'll wait here.

Go.

When I first started to read the article, I was getting the impression that I wasn't supposed to praise my children, that I should give more constructive criticism, and I was worried about making them feel like they could never please their mother. Then I read more and realized that it was not really saying that at all. It was saying I need to give more specific praise; praise for what it is they do, not just for what they are. And that is information I can really get behind. It goes on to state that in studies, children who were told they were "intelligent" did not apply themselves as much as children who were told they "worked hard". The "intelligent" children didn't apply themselves as thoroughly because they were then afraid of not appearing as intelligent if they tried and failed, so they just opted not to try. The children who were told they "worked hard", when confronted with a project that was difficult, worked even harder. They knew they had the ability to work hard, and therefore had confidence in their abilities.

I can see this being played out in my very home. My daughter is so very smart. She really is an intelligent girl, and we've heaped boatloads of praise onto her. But she lacks any self confidence, often refusing to try anything she knows she won't ace on the first go 'round. She's afraid she'll look stupid. My son, on the other hand, is also intelligent. But he's had problems with his reading and we've always praised him extra whenever he tried harder, went beyond what he thought he could do. He's not afraid to look stupid. He just tries even harder.

Now, don't get me wrong, both of my children are children, and therefore they want to give up on things that require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. They want us to do it for them. But I have noticed this pattern of working/not working, trying/not trying in their schoolwork. And you can bet I'm going to be heaping more praise on my girl for the work she does; more specific praise for how hard she tries. And I'll be telling them both about how they can exercise their brains and make them bigger (and smarter) by trying harder things. Also, I'll be telling them that not being able to do something at first just means you have to try and try again. They tell my son that in his Tae Kwon Do class - "Do not give up!" they shout, "You can do it!"

Yes, kids, you can. And now I can help you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

One more.

You guys, I really shouldn't have access to something like YouTube. I mean, I have much better things to do with my time than watch videos of really useless, senseless things, but I still can't seem to tear myself away. So to heck with better things, I'm going to spend all of my time watching videos on YouTube. Who's with me?

After the success of yesterday's misheard lyric video, (at least one person liked it, so I consider it an overwhelming success) I wanted to show you another that I found. This one is for Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam, which is an amazing sounding song, but I've never known what the lyrics were. Obviously, I'm not the only one.






And now I'm all done, I promise. (With the videos, not YouTube. Can't. Tear. Myself. Away)

Not Fallin' for It.

I came across this video while searching for the lyrics of that Fall Out Boy song - the one about the arms race or something or other. (Before I knew the title, I thought they were saying "dead horse race.") I'm not a big fan of the song, but it gets stuck in my head. In fact, I am not a fan of Fall Out Boy in general.* I just don't get it. And seeing that one guy (Pete Whatshisname) plastered all over the gossip columns with his eyeliner and women's jeans on just doesn't help their case any. Add to that the fact that I do not know what they are saying in this song, and it annoys the crap out of me. So, anyway, I searched. And I found this:

(warning: could be considered mildly offensive)






*A little while ago I had a friend request on MySpace from someone who called themselves Fall Out Boy's Biggest Fan (or something like that) and I denied the request. I couldn't help but think that I wouldn't want to be friends with their biggest fan. We just wouldn't have much in common. But then I started to wonder if it was someone who was an old friend, someone who I'd lost touch with and might want to renew a friendship with. Then I felt bad for denying the friend request. So if by any chance you are reading this, Fall Out Boy's Biggest Fan, email me. And I'm sorry about denying you on MySpace. But I'm really even more sorry that you're their biggest fan.


**Also, the boy can now ride his bike! He got on yesterday and wobbled a little, then took off. We still need to work on turning around and starting by himself, but by golly, he's got the whole balancing (and braking) thing down! I knew he could do it...meanwhile, the girl is qualifying for land speed records - fastest girl on a pink bicycle.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I still feel like I'm so young sometimes. Sometimes I feel so old.


So far 32 is pretty darn nice. I've been spoiled rotten by friends and family, and that always makes a day even better.

B took the kids shopping last night for a birthday gift for me, and they ended up giving it to me last night as an early present. I think he wasn't too confident that the kids would manage to keep the present a secret. (Also, I think he was excited.) They got me an MP3 player and now I've officially entered into the 21st century. I'm still trying to figure out how to use the darn thing, but I have managed to download a couple of songs - Give It To Me and Move Along. (Move Along was per my son's request. My daughter wanted me to rip the entire Kids Bop 8 CD, I declined. Give It To Me is because I'm a secret Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado fan - shhhh) Now anyone know anything about these here players? Got any hints for me? (Mine's a Zen V plus, if that matters.)

Now I must go and play with my new toy some more.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On your bike.

I feel like it's been a while since I've had time to sit down at the computer and do more than check the weather (and various gossip sites, of course.) I'm woefully behind on my email and, also, my blog. It's been what, a few days? *gasp*

We've been busy around here. We haven't been doing anything important, I mean, there's no cure for cancer here at our house, but busy all the same. The weather is nice and here in suburbia it means that the children all play outside. (Well, you have to kick them off of the XBox first, but then they play outside.) And while our children are now old enough to go out and really get into some playing, they are not yet old enough to just shove out the door and wander the neighborhood. So that means they need parental supervision. And, hello, I'm the parent.

We did cross a major childhood milestone on Sunday - my daughter learned to ride her bike without training wheels! And my son, too - sort of. We've tried several times in the past to get them riding. We took off the training wheels amidst their cries of protest. We stood at intervals along the street and had them ride from one parent to another. We kept them doing it even when they wanted to go inside. We tried and tried. And we failed several times. They would walk their bikes to park them around back, holding their heads down, while we tried to tell them how much fun it is to ride a bike. I don't think they believed us. So we left the bikes parked for several months. We even pondered putting the training wheels back on. But we didn't give in. We knew, just knew, those kids would ride eventually. We were just hoping that it would be before they turned 12.

Well, this past Sunday we mentioned, again, that we would take them to the store and let them pick out whatever kind of bike they want if they would just learn to ride. My daughter finally thought that was a good idea and she strapped on her helmet. (As an aside, who the heck promises their child they can pick out whatever bike they want? I can see her pick now, a big purple Bratz bike with a matching gaudy helmet. Oh man...) My son was not as enthusiastic, but we kind of made him come out and try. "Just try," we said, "and you'll see it's not that hard!"

It took my daughter about three times going back and forth before she just took off and went. Once she figured it out, she was off like a shot. She even talked our neighbor into going around the block with her. And now she lives to ride.

My son, on the other hand, didn't like it one bit. He did ride a couple of times with me running alongside, but he didn't like the feel of going fast. He's much more of a leisurely stroll kind of guy and careening down the road on a piece of metal that he doesn't know how to stop just isn't his idea of fun. (And the brakes, well, he knows the concept, but the practice just eludes him.) We made him come back out last night to try again, and he did a little better. He even emerged from a crash with his hands held high in the air in triumph after a successful ride down the street. So maybe after nightly practices he'll have it by next week. Maybe.

And before you get worried about the poor boy who is being forced (forced!) outside to ride his bike, know that he will never willingly try anything like this. As an example, he was once scared to death of water. But after repeated exposure and a lot of convincing, he finally went into the pool. And now we can't keep him out of it. But, um, he still doesn't really know how to swim, so maybe that's not the best example.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Soooo not alone.

After my post yesterday, my husband couldn't help but wonder if I had finally tripped over the thin line I've been teetering on right into full blown crazy. I told him not to worry, that I'm not quite there yet. And I feel like I should just tell y'all that I don't normally find stuff like that funny. I don't usually laugh out loud at pictures of cats with bad captions on them. But for some reason, for these past few days, I have found that stuff hilarious. HILARIOUS!

(Okay, so maybe I am in Crazy Town - Population: a whole hell of a lot of other people. So at least I'm not alone.)

And a real post, with more than one paragraph, will follow sometime soon(ish). I've had a couple of things rolling around in my head that I've wanted to write about, but I haven't had much of a chance to sit down and get it all written. This life thing - it keeps getting in the way!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

lolrus

I'm not sure what it says about me that I've been following this saga - it's been cataloged at that site, but you can search lolrus (on Blingo!) and see it on icanhascheezburger.com. And OMG it's hilarious! And teh catz, OMG teh catz!


Okay, so maybe you don't think it's so hilarious.

(Or maybe you do!)

Out of the mouths of babes.

"Mommy, you are skinny."

"You know, you've always been my favorite, son."


But I think he may have to go have his eyes checked. Soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

That child.

My son has been having a hard time at school lately. Not with his school work, he seems to be doing well with that, but with another student. When he came home yesterday and told me that he was in trouble, I was so mad. I tried to remain calm and talk it out with him and get to the root of the situation, but all I managed to do was stammer out some sort of punishment - removing the Xbox and computer games - and send him to his room.

Then when I got the remaining kids involved in something (okay, I just told them to go outside, GO!) I took a minute and gathered my wits and tried to think of a solution to the problem. I managed to come up with a little something: he had to write apology notes to both the child at school, and the teacher. He also had to go apologize to the child in person, nicely. (That last one was my husband's idea, and a much better one than mine, I admit.)

He has been having a hard time with this child ever since the child came to school here mid-year. The child was not a bully, per se, but someone who was insecure about being in a new school and acted out. The child is a rough-and-tumble child who acted tough to hide the insecurity. And now my son has it in his mind that this child is a bad child, and is acting on that by not being very nice.

It's given me pause, this whole situation; made me sit and think about the kind of childhood I had and the kind that my own children have. In raising your children, you try to give them all of the good from your own upbringing, and also remove what was "bad". (And I say "bad" in quotes because I didn't have a bad childhood. There were just certain things that were harder for me because of who I am and also because of situations I was in.) I want my children to have the good things in life and never feel like they are out of place; like they don't belong. (Tall order, I know.) But I also do not want them to be spoiled brats. So they don't get everything they want, but they do get extras. They do not go everywhere they want to go, but they do visit special places. They don't necessarily get all of the latest things (like Crocs, for one - I hate those things) but they do have nice clothes and nice shoes. And I think I had a point here but I seemed to have lost track of it...

Oh...I don't know how to say what I'm trying to say without getting knee-deep into a lot of psycho-babble that I just don't want to write about. Let's just say that I've never been on the other side of making a child feel bad, and my son was that child yesterday. That child who may have made another feel bad in school, and I really don't like it. No one should be made to feel bad in school. It happens, I know. But not from my child, ever again.

(I hope.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pictures (finally!)

While the hotel we stayed at had many a beautiful thing (seven or more restaurants, two pools, waterfalls, fountains, ballrooms, statues, bellhops in nice white uniforms...,) they did not have a battery for my camera. So I don't have any pictures of it. (Which, by the way, may be a good thing. I think I would have embarrassed myself by taking pictures of all those things while exclaiming, "Look! Wow! I've never been anywhere this fancy, y'all!") But I do, however, have pictures of the zoo because we had to go eat at a McDonald's for breakfast - $7.95 for a bagel and juice at the hotel(!) - and there was a Walmart across the street from the McD's. Walmart kicks all kinds of hotel ass when it comes to camera batteries.




Here's the girl being a bear(?):
And the boy being a bear(?) also. A very surprised bear:
Now they are spiders:
See how spidery they look?
Here's the boy on the carousel:
And the girl, who couldn't take her eyes off of herself:
There we are in the butterfly chair. Don't we look pleased? Excited?
Meerkats:
The boy and the girl:
Again, boy and girl:
Climbing:
And here I am looking haggard:
And again with the haggard:
This is where we tried to lose them in the minotaur maze, but they found their way out:
They also built a tee-pee. Well, she did. He just aimed the sticks at people:







Weekend wrap-up (lite)

I hope you had a happy Mother's Day. And if you're not a mother, I still hope you had a happy day. Happy days all around! I had a wonderful day. I spent it surrounded by family, watching the kids play with their cousins and just generally relaxing. It's was the perfect kind of day.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have the day off today - woohoo! for days off - and I'm going to spend it browsing around a book store and doing some other general relaxing. Oh, and I've also got chores to do because of our weekend away, but I'm not going to think about those right now. Nope, right now I'm just going to la-la-la-la-la-la my way right to the mall.

Pictures from the ZOO coming soon. That's right, zoo. Now five bucks* to anyone who can guess where we went on Saturday after our luxurious hotel stay...


*not really, because I don't have five bucks. But you can just pretend.

Friday, May 11, 2007

E-out

We're headed out of town tonight for an over night trip. My husband reserved us a room at a ridiculously nice hotel in a town not too far from here. We're not going to do anything special, just hang out in a different town. And I'm so excited!! Sometimes the need to get out of town is so strong...

I still don't have a battery for my camera. Need to get right on that.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Flummoxed.

I went to Target yesterday to buy a new battery for my camera*. And while I was there, I was in the swim aisle picking out kickboards for the kids when I heard, "Will you do me a favor and bring me the pink one?" Sure, I thought, but I'm holding a blue one and a purple one. Which one do you think is pink? I looked up at the person who wanted me to bring the non-existent pink kickboard to them and she smiled at me and said, "I think it'll be better if maybe we go away in June versus August."

Now this, my friends, had me totally flummoxed. I didn't know this woman, yet here we were planning our vacation together in the middle of Target. I did not understand. But while I stood there with my brow furrowed and my mind feverishly trying to figure out what to say to this obviously crazy lady, she turned around and I saw the little phone attachment connected to her ear. And this is when it dawned on me that she was talking on the phone. She was having a conversation with someone who did know her (and who obviously had something pink she wanted.) And that someone was not me.

So I continued on with my shopping and stewed in my emotions a little. I ended up leaving the store teetering on the mad side; a little pissed, if you will. I mean, I know that she did not do anything intentionally mean to me. Nor did she even try to be rude to me specifically. But what made me mad was that I felt like a fool. Because she looked me in the eye and smiled and spoke, I thought she was talking to me. How silly of me.

At least when I have a phone conversation in the middle of the store--oh yes, I do it. I am not the paragon of politeness I wish I was--I have the decency to cower at the end of the aisle so no one thinks I'm speaking to them. I do not make eye contact unless it is absolutely necessary. And I don't have one of those attachments that makes it look as if I am not on the phone at all. You'll know if I'm speaking on the phone because of the phone attached to my head; the universal signal for I'm not speaking to you, I'm on the phone. In other words, I do the exact opposite of what this lady was doing.



*And I still don't have a battery for my camera.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Beautiful.

A little boy was over at our house and had a toy that he pretended to be a ticket puncher. He was punching tickets for people to ride on his imaginary train. As he took each person's ticket, he called them by the name that was "written" on the imaginary tickets. "Thank you, Mr. Stinky Pants." "Yours says you are Miss Stinky Socks." Etc...

My daughter was getting a little tired of all the "rude words" (as she called them) and wanted to be called something nice. "Say something nice for mine," she asked. And when her request was ignored, she tried to be more specific. She demanded, "Say 'beautiful' before mine! Say BEAUTIFUL! BEEAAUUUTIFUL!"

So fearing for his well being, the boy timidly said, "Thank you, Miss Beautiful Pants." And she replied, "Awww, thank you! You're so nice! You called me beautiful!" She said it as if she had been paid the biggest compliment, and it was totally unsolicited; as if she didn't just yell at the child and demand he say something nice.

Sometimes I don't know what to do with my daughter. Sometimes she gets a little* bossy and demanding. But I console myself by thinking that, as she grows, she won't be afraid to ask for what she needs. And if she needs to be called "Miss Beautiful Pants" then, by golly, she'll make sure she's called that.


*by little, I mean, a damn whole lot.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Self-Medicating.


I just bought a chocolate orange.

And I plan to eat the entire thing all by myself.

That's what kind of morning I'm having.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Restless, schmesstless. I think I'm just tired of the hum-drum.

I haven't posted lately because I've been waiting for inspiration to hit - I didn't want to post the same old, same old - and I have yet to be inspired. In fact, lately I have been hit with a very big bought of restlessness and have not been able to sit down and concentrate of much of anything. I want to be doing something else, but what, I'm not exactly sure.

We had a busy weekend, and maybe throughout the week I'll tell you about it. But when I sat myself down to write about the baseball game on Friday night, I just couldn't focus on anything to say. It was fun, and that's all I've got right now, just fun.

I'd like to post pictures because that's my regular go-to post when all else fails, but the battery on my camera has died. And going to the store to get one is evidently much too hard for me to do. (Also, batteries for my booklight are much too hard for me to get. My eyesight is going bad from trying to read a book in the dead of night with the teeniest, tiniest of beams of light shining onto the page, one word at a time.)

So if you have any cure for restlessness that get me moving and focusing on something - anything - let me know. I sure could use some help.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Floaties!

My mind is racing around in several different directions today. And while none of those directions is really important in the whole scheme of things (like world peace or saving the environment,) I thought I'd share. Because y'all know how much I like to share. (Unless we're talking chocolate, in which case sharing time would be over. Because I never said I was selfless.)

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Give a one and a half year old a bowl of cereal, and he will give you a mess. Maybe you knew this, and deep down I really think I knew this, but today I was shown, again, how true it is. But...if it's Apple Cinnamon Cheerios he's eating, he'll smell like an apple cinnamon muffin when he's done. Yum. And it's causing intense muffin cravings for me.

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After several days of 90 degree weather, the fact that it's now barely making it into the 70's is very, very nice. And tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler. But we also have tickets to a baseball game (football to you, my son) and I hope it doesn't get rainy and too cold. Baseball is just supposed to be enjoyed in warm weather.

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Having a cold makes my son the world's grumpiest child. I should put that in all caps - THE WORLD'S GRUMPIEST CHILD. And it also makes his eczema flare up. So not only is he grumpy, he's also all red and inflamed looking. And snotty. Good Lord, the snot that comes out of this child.

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McDonald's has put double cheeseburgers on its Dollar Menu. Which makes my husband a Dollar Menunairre (or whatever the heck it's called in that commercial with the guy from Married...With Children. And have you seen that commercial? Doesn't that guy look awfully tan? Maybe even kind of orange? Like maybe he got a little too liberal with the self-tanner?) Anyway...what I'm saying is that my husband is very pleased that he can get a double cheeseburger for only a buck. And apple pies for a buck. Don't forget the apple pies. (He's drooling right now. Aren't you, honey?)

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I want to go to the beach. My husband wants to go to the beach. My kids want to go to the beach. And we live about an hour and a half away from the beach. Yet we cannot get ourselves to the beach because mother nature will not cooperate. Or sometimes it's our bank account that will not cooperate. Or sometimes those pesky kids' friends have birthdays and they will not reschedule them and cooperate. Cooperate, damn you, so I can go to the beach before Memorial Day, when everyone and their mother will be at the beach, cluttering the place all up with their coolers and blankets and umbrellas and radios and buckets and floaties!!!!

(Sorry, I think I may have spit on you a little bit when I was saying that. I got a little emotional.)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In ruins.

Hey guys, I am tired. T-I-R-E-D.

I got up last night with my stomach growling and my head feeling very hurt-y and went downstairs to get something to eat. I ended up eating three peanut butter crackers and going back to sleep on the couch. Also, my husband's CPAP mask (for his sleep apnea) had sprung a leak and no amount of nudging him could get him to wake up enough to re-situate the mask and I couldn't sleep with the constant BRWWAAAHHHEEEEE sound it was making. So couch it was. And while the couch is perfectly comfortable, and somehow soothing to my achy back, it is still not the same as being all snuggled in my bed. And I did not get my beauty sleep. So today I am not beautiful. In fact, I am so very far from beautiful that I feel like...well, like I'm far from beautiful.

Ever have those days? When you do the same things you normally do to get ready (brushing, drying, makeup-ing) and you still feel like cow dung? I do every time I haven't had enough sleep. I really does ruin my whole perspective on things.

So, um...I guess I just wanted to tell y'all that. I may have had a point I was going to make when I first started to write, but I don't remember. Apparently, lack of sleep also ruins my memory.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How does your garden grow? (really, I'd like to know)

The nice weather has brought out the desire to "beautify" the outside of my house. I love the houses that have beautiful flowers growing in the yard and hanging baskets with lots of blossoms overflowing over the edge. The only problem is, I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to gardening.

This weekend we planted some daylilies. And even though the name should have been a big clue, I didn't realize that the daylily's flowers only last a day. But there are supposed to be lots of them, so it's not just a one day show (I hope.) I picked them because they're pretty red, and also because they're perennials (which means they grow back every year) and I also heard that they are pretty easy to grow. That right there sounds like it's right up my alley. Now just keep your fingers crossed that they manage to take root and grow.

My mother-in-law is a whiz with this garden stuff. She's got several beautiful flowers growing in her yard, and has promised to come plant some stuff here. I can't wait! She came last fall and she and the kids planted some daffodil bulbs. This spring the daffodils came up big and bright and yellow. It made me so happy to see them out there. I never knew seeing flowers would make me so happy.

I'm full of ideas on what I'd like to see in my yard, but I'm not even sure where to start. And did you know that while the flowers themselves may not be too expensive (unless you get a whole bunch of them,) the dirt, tools and other essentials will end up costing you a fortune? I mean, we went to buy some dirt to re-plant our tree in the front yard and left the store with only one arm and one leg left. It was horrendous.

So maybe my ideas will be of the gradual kind - gradually the house will have some flowers and landscaping.

Probably just in time for us to sell the place and move on.

Monday, April 30, 2007

We might all need to be soothed.

Somewhere along the way I picked up the germs that have led to this horrid, horrid cold. On Thursday I was taking my son to Tae Kwon Do and thought that maybe my allergies were getting worse. I felt that little tickle at the back of my throat, and my nose was starting to get stuffy. By Friday afternoon, I realized it wasn't allergies, but a damn cold. And the damn cold is still here.

Damn cold.

So while we did a lot of things this weekend - went to the neighborhood's Festival and got sunburnt, planted some flowers, mowed the grass that insists on growing, got the kids to put away their clean clothes (Hallelujah!) - the most I feel like talking about is this damn cold. Now never mind me while I climb into your lap so you can soothe me while I fall asleep.

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While I'm sleeping, send your congratulations on over to my friend Sara, her husband, and her friends who ran a half marathon yesterday. Way. To. Go!!! I kept checking the results on the website yesterday until her name appeared. She did really well. I'm so proud and happy for her!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sometimes you just have to get it off of your chest.

Today I'm having a hard time with one of the children I babysit. This child and I have gone around and around several times, and some days it just gets to the point where I begin to think to myself, why am I doing this again?

My job is taking care of these children. There are two of them - siblings - and it is enjoyable being able to care for kids here in my home. And while I know that because this is just a job I am free to leave it at any point, I feel a sort of responsibility to stick around for these kids. I feel like I can't just turn in my resignation like I would at any other work place when the situation gets as difficult as it periodically gets here. I don't necessarily want to say that I feel like a parent to these children, but at times that's what I feel like. It's unlike working at the preschool, where children were in my class for just a school year, and then new children came in their place. These children have been in my home for 9-10 hours a day, five days a week, since January 2006. That's a long time.

And because it's been that long of a time, I feel like the problems the oldest child is having are not being resolved in my care. I do not feel like a failure - no, I don't feel like I'm not doing anything right - I just feel like maybe I cannot provide the kind of care he needs.

He's a very emotional child with special needs (as his parents are discovering.) He's going to evaluations to determine if he has any true "special needs" and to help his parents learn how to help him, how to give him the best possible care. And while I am very familiar with some of his issues - my own son had some of the very same issues - I am very overwhelmed with giving him the care he needs while also caring for his sibling and my own two children. And that leaves me wanting to throw my hands into the air and say, "I give up."

Yet this sense of responsibility (I keep using that word) keeps me from giving up. I know that his issues would be worse if his childcare situation were to change. I feel like I, of all people, should be able to provide him with the routine, structure, and most of all understanding, that he needs. It's just difficult.

And then the whole, is this situation best for him question comes into play. And my mind goes in circles trying to figure out the answer. I know what I would do if he was my child, but I also know that that may not be the best thing. It would just be my answer to the situation. And we're all different in the ways we handle our children.

I know that I may go through these days when things are very difficult for me (and him) and I also know that right now I can't quit. I have to see it through.

But, damn, it's HARD.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Last night...

Okay, guys, I have some things to tell you. My quest for a subject has been successful, and it wasn't any of my doing. The problem is, I don't even know where to start. So I guess I'll go in chronological order (?) I'm really not sure...

Last night was the First Grade Musical entitled "The Cheese Stands Alone" at my son's school. He was a duck, and, no, we don't have any pictures. because we're just not smart enough to remember to bring a camera. He was in the chorus, so I feel that at least we didn't miss getting pictures his Broadway debut or anything. But I digress...

It was the night of the musical, and we had to drop off my son in his classroom to get ready while we went to the cafeteria (where there's a stage) for a brief PTA meeting before the kids sang. It was very crowded in there, all the chairs were taken and people were lining up against the wall. (By the way, if you are young and healthy, get up and give the older people a seat. And the pregnant women, they need a seat too. And if you have a small child with you, put them in your lap, do not save them a seat and turn away elderly people by saying that seat is reserved. It's common courtesy. And y'all should know better.) It was very hot and stuffy. Also, overcrowded.

There was an elderly gentleman who finally found a seat in the back corner, near where we were standing. The PTA meeting started, and we listened to the basic PTA meeting stuff. Amidst the budget talks and thank yous, this elderly gentleman turned to get up out of his seat. He had his hand on his chest and looked as if he was going to cough. He looked right at me and made a kind of half smile, which I took to mean that he was apologetic about something. He looked as if he was going to have a coughing fit and was trying to remove himself from the room so he wouldn't disturb anyone. How polite, I thought, that he would try and get up while they were talking and not disturb them.

But the man was not going to have a coughing fit. Oh no, he was not going anywhere. He stood up, took about three steps, and fell face first onto the cafeteria floor. And I'm not talking about a fall to your knees and then go down kind of fall, I'm talking about the kind of fall them meant he was standing upright one minute, then he went straight down with sickeningly loud thud onto the floor the next minute. Face first. Right in front of me, my husband, and my daughter.

There was a moment when I just stared at him, lying there face first, and wasn't sure what to do. It took a minute for my mind to register what had just happened. And then I remember moving towards him while others rushed to help. I also remember then taking a step back while trying to see of anyone there looked like they knew what they were doing. And I'm very embarrassed about taking that step back. You see, I'm certified by the American Heart Association for Heart Savers First Aid and CPR. Technically, I should have helped the man, yet I was frozen.

Luckily amidst the shouts of "Call 911!" (which my husband did well in his booming voice) there also came help from people who could help him. And then I noticed that my daughter was right there, right in front of the man who had just fell face first onto the floor and wasn't moving, and she was crying. So we quickly got ourselves out of the way and to the front of the room.

It took a long while to get my daughter calmed down. She had never seen anything like that happen, and neither had I. While I tried to tell her that people were helping him, and it was okay I tried very hard to stop my voice from cracking, but I didn't succeed very well. (And thank you to Jenni - who probably doesn't read this blog, but I'll thank her anyway just in case she does - for coming over and helping comfort my daughter. That was very wonderful of you.) I finally got her calmed down and we sat there on the floor just talking while the EMT people helped the man.

I couldn't see what was happening in the back of the room because I was trying to keep my daughter from looking too, but from what I was told, the man was breathing and was carried out of the room without oxygen or anything. So I think he was okay. I hope he was okay. But he did crack something on the front of his face. He couldn't take a fall like that without breaking at least a nose. I can still hear the thud. It was awful.

While they were cleaning up the blood, the PTA played a DVD about upcoming bonds they wanted the parents to vote for, and it all seemed really weird. They continued on like normal. And I didn't hear a word they said. But I guess, what else could they do? There was a whole part of the cafeteria that didn't even know what had happened. And there was a musical to get on with.

The kids danced and sang and it was wonderful. My boy was so cute up there moving around and grinning. It was great. Amazing.

But there was some child up there who didn't have his grandfather watching him. He didn't even know that while he was in his classroom getting ready, his grandfather had a horrible accident. And that thought just kills me. Anything can happen when you least expect it to.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Who has pants? I have pants!

My husband has informed me that is my responsibility, nay duty, to post here often. He has called me a couple of times in the last two days to make sure I am still alive and well. Because if I haven't posted, then that must mean somethings wrong, right? Well, worry not my friends. I'm not sick or out of town. I'm just lazy.

Today I went shopping for some new capri pants. The weather here is hot, hot, hot and one of my whopping two pairs of pants has finally given up the ghost. The zipper broke on them, and it just wasn't worth it to me to fix them. (Not that it would be an easy fix for me anyway.) And me being me, I do not like to wear shorts unless the weather has made it absolutely necessary. So new capri pants it is!

I managed to find two pairs. And I count myself lucky that it only took me two trips to the dressing room to do so. I just pulled every pair in my size, regardless of style, and tried them on. I figured that even if I didn't like how they looked on the hanger, they may fit like a dream and be the pair for me. That strategy seems to work. But boy, it is not fun trying on all those pairs that make me look horrible to find the two pairs that fit well. But, but, the store was having a buy one, get one promotion, so I only had to pay for one pair! Or I got them both at half price. Whichever. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to.

I also found my little girl two pairs of shorts. A khaki pair and a light camoflaouge pair. She'll have to try them on to see if they fit, but they look like they will. I'm having a heck of a time finding her plain old khaki shorts. All I seem to find are ones that have some sort of sparkles on them, or that roll up and tie, or that are so short that she might as well be parading around in her underwear. And she has short legs, so there are only a few of those cute bermuda shorts that don't fall at a weird spot on her leg. She does have 2 pairs of denim ones that look so cute on her. But plain old khaki is a different story. I must be a boring mom, not letting her have all those sparkly shorts. And the camo pair is purely for her. I didn't want to buy her any, but she begged. And I figured I would pick my battles and give in on this one. That way when she begs for that leopard print purse again I can say no without feeling guilty. I've got it all planned out...

Anyway...Have a good day. I'll try to keep on posting so that no one worries. (See! I'm still alive, honey!) And hopefully by tomorrow I'll have something better than pants to talk about. We'll see...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ballgames are better with cream cheese.

Last night we took the kids to watch the local Minor League Baseball team. My son was especially excited. He kept saying how much he "loved football" and how he couldn't wait to see the "football game." It was so glaringly obvious that he really doesn't care about the technicalities in sports; technicalities like what the sports are called and all that nonsense. He kept asking when halftime was, and I think he was expecting a show.

The kids had a ball though. After we filled their tummies with all sorts of stadium junk food - remind me to tell you about the best food ever - we found our seats and proceeded to watch our team lose 5-0. But it's early in the season. And maybe they will find their stride. Or maybe they'll just not be that great this year and we'll be able to enjoy a relatively empty stadium. Either way would be nice.

My son may not know what the sport is called, but he did know a strike and a ball when he saw one. The pitcher for our team seemed to be an expert at the whole ball thing. At one point he threw the ball so wild, it was questionable as to whether or not he was even a member of the team, not just some man who put on a uniform and wandered out onto the field. My son kept yelling for him to concentrate. "Focus!" he said. And at one point he was just saying that it didn't matter if you win or lose, just have fun. You know your game is bad when a seven year old who doesn't even know when halftime is at you baseball game is trying to coach you through it and keep your morale up.

When we got home I proceeded to quiz my husband on what kind of team we had watched, exactly. I knew it wasn't a Major League team, but I didn't know if there was Minor League, and then some sort of sub-Minor League. Like the Minor Minors. And when he began to explain to me that, yes, they are a Minor League team and that there are different divisions (or something,) my eyes began to glaze over. He lost me somewhere after "yes." And then I was full of questions about other sports and their equivalent of the Minors, and he patiently answered them, all the while wondering how it came to be that he married a woman who knew so little about sports, I'm sure.

Now, onto the important stuff... the junk food. Along with funnel cakes, slices of pizza, peanuts, and more Mountain Dew that a seven year old should legally be able to drink - I swear I thought he was going to bounce right out of his seat and take flight - they had these big pretzels that were filled with yummy filling things. My husband got an apple cinnamon one and he brought me back a cream cheese one. A pretzel filled with cream cheese. Filled with cream cheese! Now whether or not that is a disgusting or mouth watering thought depends on your love of cream cheese. If you are like me, it makes your mouth water so much you may have to start wearing a bib. I'm wondering how long such concoctions have been available, and why I never knew about it before now. It was so good, I gobbled it all up despite not even being hungry. Because if you mix cream cheese with sugar and then stuff it into something, you have got yourself the perfect food. Well, according to me, anyway. So I ask you, how many other things are there that are filled with cream cheese? How many other things am I missing out on? I've already discussed my love of jalapeno poppers (YUM) and I also love those toaster strudel things, the strawberry and cream cheese ones. But is there more???

So in recap, we had a lot of yummy junk food last night. Oh, and we also watched some football. Or something.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Landlord

Have you seen this yet?



When I first watched it, I sat there stunned for a few minutes because I couldn't believe what the little girl was saying. So be warned, there's a little girl and profanity. And know that I am in NO WAY ADVOCATING teaching children to cuss!!! That being said, it's frickin' hilarious! "I'm just buzzed." Ha ha HA!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I likes me some...

There is this perfume that I have wanted for a very long time. I got a free sample once when I ordered something mundane like soap - or was it lotion? - from Sephora. I haven't bought myself any because it just feels like a luxury I can do without. But someday...

I don't normally go for large bag/purses, but as any mother knows, they are sometimes necessary. I've been eying this one in particular. I think that something that went across my body, leaving my hands free, would be a great thing to have when I take all of the kids to the park in the summer. That way I can lug diapers, wipes, tissues, sunscreens, cell phone, etc...and not have to keep pulling my bag up on my shoulder while wrestling with a small child.

I'm not sure what the "innovative ratchet system" is on this paper towel holder, but I want one. The description says it "allows you to tear off a sheet using one hand, without the roll unravelling" and, by golly, that's exactly what I want. I'm tired of my plastic paper towel holder and the half a dozen paper towels it rolls off while I try and just get one sheet with my clean hand. I end up having to put my messy hand - usually covered in yogurt that the baby half ate, half wore - on the paper towel roll and leaving a mess on the top of the roll. It never fails.

I once had a cloisonne ring that was blue and beautiful. Alas, I seem to have lost it. I've been searching everywhere for another one, but have yet to find exactly what I'm looking for. I don't remember where I bought the ring at. I thought maybe in Russia, but it also could have been in Germany. Or heck, it could have been in England for all I know. I wish I could show you what it looked like, but the closest things I have found are these bracelets. Now just imagine them in ring form, and much prettier. That's what my blue ring looked like. If you find one in a size 6, let me know. Thanks. I think that if I were to ever have so much money that I didn't know what to do with it, I would start collecting Russian and Chinese cloisonne. There are some breathtakingly beautiful things. Also, there's these. (Which, by the way, scares me to no end.)

Speaking of things that I would buy if I had money to spare, this is high on my list. Or maybe I can talk Starbucks into setting up a shop here in my house, just for me. The odds of me having either are about the same.

I love these shoes. I want one in every color, except for maybe the black and white stripe. Oh, and these! Aren't they cute? And these, too, please. I've had several different pairs of their original black shoes throughout my life, and while I sometimes feel like I'm a little too much like a suburban soccer mom to wear these things anymore, I still heart Vans. I big pink puffy heart them. And that's a lot of love.

This is the point where any males might want to stop reading for fear of getting too much information. But, girls, I feel like I need to share this with you. You see, I've been struggling with finding the proper attire to cover my, um... sizeable rear. Because my rear is sizeable, I have been trying to find something that, when viewed from the back, does not draw attention to it's size. And the regular old underwear I have just gave me visible panty lines and drew unwanted attention to my rear. And while the answer to that problem is to wear thongs, those just aren't that comfortable. And to be honest with you, they made me feel very unsupported; I felt very much like I wasn't wearing anything. So I decided to try a boyshort at the suggestion of a friend. And let me tell you, you should try them too. But do not expect them to look half as cute on you as they look on the models. (Unless, of course, you are built like those models.) I was very surprised at how very un-cute they looked on me. Like granny panties, only bigger, but they do sit lower on your hips. They are not little scraps of fabric, but in fact are more sizeable than any other underwear I have owned. But they cover without riding up, and there are no lines drawing attention to my backside. Enough said.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Without.

We were without power for a good deal of yesterday. There were strong winds, and by strong winds I mean strong enough to take out power for much of the state. When I called the electric company to report my outage and bemoaned the hours they predicted it would take to get things up and running again, they all but laughed at me. But I tell you, I'd like to see them try and explain to a 4 year old why he can't turn on the light, or the TV, or some music, or play on the computer - and tell it to him over and over and over again - and see how long they're willing to be without power. I tried all kinds of things to entertain him. But he didn't want to dance around if there wasn't music. He didn't want to play board games because he "didn't feel like it." And he didn't want to read books unless he could turn the light on. He didn't want to play blocks, or legos, or farm, or trucks, or even Power Rangers. Nope, he wanted to play on the computer and then watch TV. And there was no swaying him. It was the longest morning/afternoon ever. (At least the 1 year old slept through the majority of it.)

When the power came back on (finally!) I was bombarded with news of the shooting in Virginia. And that kind of bummed me out. I felt a little frivolous about posting something as petty as complaining about not having power. So I didn't post anything. And I still feel a little funny about just going on with the frivolous posting now. So I'm leaving y'all with this, and maybe tomorrow you'll have more...

I'm working on a follow-up to the link post. Because who doesn't want to look at all the stuff I want? Wait...what? You don't want to look at pretty things?!? Then consider yourself warned. You can just skip that post altogether.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Lovin' the links.

My friend Sara suggested that I do a post with links to some pretty things because my birthday is next month - May 23, if you must know - and she would like an idea of what to get for me. I thought that was a great idea. Not because I'm trolling for birthday gifts (necessarily,) but more because I've been doing some online window-shopping and found some things I'd like to share.

But when I started figuring out what links to put here, I began to have a hard time choosing. I was thinking about how much money some of the things were and hoping no one would think I wanted them to spend outrageous amounts on me. So then I took a deep breath and just decided I would write a disclaimer. So here it is: These are things I think are pretty. Please do not think I want expensive gifts for my birthday. There, I feel better. Now on to the goodies...

These earrings from Sulu are very pretty. I love the shapes. And I love the colors in these.

I'm not sure if me being half Japanese is the reason behind why I am drawn to these necklaces from ishdesigns or not. I guess it doesn't really matter because drawn to them I am. I also think it's cool that they're made from Kimono fabrics.

How I stumbled upon this necklace, I am not really sure. I don't usually check out the Signals website. But I think it's pretty.

Here's a necklace that would look great with t-shirts. This from Shop Doxie (Miss Doxie's store) is awfully cute. I like it in songbird. And it's not overpriced, which is always good.

These key fobs at Lindsay Designs are too cute. All of them. Now, I don't really have a need for key fobs, but I just couldn't help but show them to you. Because maybe you need a key fob (or two) and you never knew where to find them. So there you are. Key fobs found.

This is a pretty necklace from suchprettycolors. Isn't it pretty? I think it would look nice on a ribbon. Or maybe a simple cord. Pretty. Oh, and this, too. Pretty!

The colors in these earrings at Zanisa are right up my alley. They would compliment my skin tone, and my eyes, and my hair color. In fact, these earrings would match me and most of my wardrobe. But I do think they're a little too expensive for me. Because I'm cheap. But if you have coloring like mine, you should get them. They'd look so nice on you. There's also a matching necklace. It, too, is oh so pretty.

I like both of these necklaces at Uncommon Goods. I've tried and tried to figure out which one I like better, but I just can't decide. Maybe the blue...?

I am a sucker for sentimental thing like these at Red Envelope. I can just imagine my daughter and I walking around in those necklaces. But what I can't imagine is spending that kind of money on them, so they'll remain in my imaginary world for now. (My imaginary world is so full of things. Pretty, pretty things. Like Paul Walker.)

And last but not least, this bracelet. I think I've linked to this once before, but it's worth repeating. It's gorgeous. Oh heck, I'd like just about one of everything at Red Envelope, please.

So now that I've shown you some of what I like, is there anything you've* been eyeing lately?

(And by YOU, I mean you, Sara, because your birthday is right after mine and I need ideas too.)

Because it's Friday and I have nothing else for you...

My neighbor bought me a necklace as a thank you for a favor I did for her. It is really beautiful, and above and beyond a simple thank you. I was really touched that she bought it for me. And while I don't usually wear jewelry, I decided to wear this necklace. I've worn it twice now and realized that I really like wearing it.

I'm not sure at what point I stopped wearing things like necklaces. It was sometime in adulthood, because I clearly remember wearing jewelry in high school. I used to have several necklaces, a couple of rings and earrings, and maybe even a bracelet or two. I constantly wore a locket I received as a gift from a very special person. But somewhere after that I stopped bothering with it all.

Well I think I've finally come back around full circle, because I would really like to go out and find some pretty jewelry for myself. So, you know, if you ever need to thank me for anything, you can buy me something pretty. Maybe I need to go and see if my neighbor needs any more favors done...

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Also, I had to tell you about what I have been reading lately. It's a guide to grammar. And while you wouldn't be able to tell that I've been learning anything by reading any of my writing, I have enjoyed going through its alphabetized contents - often taking a letter a day - and brushing up on my grammar.

(My God, now you know how much of a geek I really am.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Remember me fondly, for I think of you often. (YOU being the computer, of course.)

There's a downside to teaching the kids how to navigate through certain web sites: One of them is constantly wanting to play on the computer. Which, really, is a good thing when there are three kids who may not want to play the same thing at the same time. One of them can play solo for a while. And throw in a little bit of learning and reading while they're on the computer, and it's a good thing. However, it's a bad thing for ME when I want to go online. And not just for email and blogging either - although that is important stuff, very important stuff - I also have not had a chance to check my bank account and therefore have absolutely no idea how much money I have (or don't have, whichever the case may be.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go fix all these kids lunch.

I miss you, computer. I miss you so very much. *sniff*

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lucky (?)

We live in a place that has a lot of affluent people. A lot of them. Much to my dismay, I have fallen into a how do they do it? rut and have found myself wondering how I, too, can have as much as they do.

I am not the type of person who covets others' things (usually.) I am not defined by what I have and what I can show others. I don't need to know that my purse, for example, is better that yours, or that my vehicle is the top of the line. But sometimes, just sometimes, I drool at the thought of having things. Or, more precisely, having the money to just go buy the things I want without giving it a second thought.

Now I know that there are very few people who can do such a thing - go buy what they want - without giving it at least some thought. They may have more money than I do, but nobody, save a precious few, has a seemingly unlimited supply of money at their disposal. But, man, those people with the four car garages and the ability to have a full time house cleaner really do have me envious.

Then I remember that I have things other people may desire too. Once upon a time, I would have driven by my house and lusted; I would have wondered what I had to do to get things like what I have now. Sometimes I have to take a step backwards and remind myself that its all a matter of perception. Because while I mourn the loss of the bigger house with the separate playroom and office and den and living room and big garage and everything that we lost when we moved here - darn you higher cost of living and my desire to downsize! - I am very lucky to have all the things I do have.

Also, I am very lucky for the things I do not have, including a high mortgage payment, a huge car payment, etc...

But still, you may have remind me how lucky I am when I find myself daydreaming about a house cleaner and a huge garage, among other things. Would you please? Thanks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bike riding.

Last weekend we went and bought the kids a motorcycle helmet so they can ride around the neighborhood on the back of B's motorcycle. I did not get one, however, because it will be a cold day in you-know-where before you find me on the back of that thing. But the kids, however, love it. It gives me several heart attacks and a couple of strokes to see them going down the street with nothing but their tenuous grip on B's waist to keep them on the bike. When I begin to imagine all of the things that could happen to them, I have to put an immediate stop to my imaginings. It's just too much to think about, and I think they should walk around in complete padding all of the time - never to get on or in anything with an engine or combustibles inside - and stay very far away from anything that might hurt them in any way. Unfortunately, they have different ideas:



That's The Girl, even though you may not be able to tell because she's wearing her brother's jacket. But see the hair? Sticking out of the helmet?




That's The Boy. See how he's barely holding on? That right there has taken several years off of my life.




Monday, April 09, 2007

A little bit of this and that.

We were in the middle of trying to tell my son why he may not want to go insert himself in a game of basketball going on with the "big boys" across the street when he protested by saying, "We practice playing in PE at school and once I got it in the score-hole!" And that right there just put big flashing neon lights around the reason why we didn't think he should go try and play. Because getting the ball into the basket was not in his vocabulary nor within his skill level. Clearly he got his athletic prowess from the mother who once asked how many halves of the game there were. (Sorry son, so, so, sorry.)

Also, we then made several crude remarks about getting it in the score-hole throughout the rest of the evening, because B and I have the emotional maturity of 14 year old boys, apparently.

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I do not have any pictures of Easter this year. Because I forgot to tell the children to wait for us to wake up before they went downstairs to tear into their Easter bounty. I was awakened by the sound of plastic rustling and the thump, thwump, thumping noise of them dragging their baskets upstairs to our bedroom, where they exclaimed, "Look what the Easter Bunny brought us!" And by the time I made it downstairs, it was a carnage. So I figured, what the heck, I won't even worry about taking pictures.

(Mostly, I didn't take pictures of the aftermath because I was out of coffee and it was a horrible, horrible thing for me. Luckily for me, the grocery store did not see fit to close and I was able to get some coffee. After, of course, our early morning tennis game. Because who doesn't play tennis on Easter morning? In the freezing cold?)

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It was brought to my attention that my ex is getting married. And to the girl who was his girlfriend before I was. To which I say, good for them! I wish them much luck, love and happiness. And those of you who know all of us, do not worry, it is not awkward or weird to me in the slightest.

Well, except for the fact that it was brought to my attention through MySpace, and that just seems really weird to me.

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I just noticed that I know someone whose initials are BS. And it made me giggle to see them written down. (See, there's the 14 year old in me rearing it's pimply head again.) When we were naming our children, we were very conscious of making sure their initials or shortenings of their names did not spell anything funny. I've known a few people in my life whose names just made me think what were your parents thinking? Like the boy in middle school who was named Ben Gay, and also the guy named Mike ****(something that when said, sounds like a very crude thing.) Were you hyper aware of your children's initials and name shortenings? Was it something you considered? Or am I the only one?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Settling for a cup of coffee in front of the computer.

Today the weather has taken a break from the heat and brought out the kind of day that makes me want to live outside. It is cool and breezy, yet sunny with blue skies. It is beautiful. Also, it makes me want to go away somewhere and get away from my daily life and all of the things daily life entails.

I was reading Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King, and the main character was away at a lake house, which made me start daydreaming about having a lake house to get away to. She described being outside at dawn and I re-read the passage several times, just imagining what it would be like were I there. It said:

The last stars were fading as the sky grew light; the lake was a sheet of black glass with a mist gentle over its surface. Everything was so completely still and utterly magical, merely drawing breath seemed a disturbance.

I must have spent an hour there on the tapestry lawn that flowed into the lake, sipping my tea, wrapped in a fragrant blanket, watching the morning come. The fish began to rise for insects, dotting the sheet-glass water with rings; a tall white bird stood in the reeds near the dock, perusing for frogs. The beauty of the moment made my bones ache with pleasure, and when at last the morning's ethereal perfection had faded and it had become just another lovely day, I felt complete and calm in a way I had not for many weeks.

I can just picture myself wrapped up in a blanket, watching the day begin. I want to feel complete and calm, too. I wish I had the opportunity to just be - without any obligations or responsibilities - for a day. Wouldn't that be nice?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

You're talking, I'm sighing.

In my mind, there are two types of people: the talkers and the listeners. I find myself firmly rooted in the listeners side. I cannot make conversation with people to save my life. That is, unless I'm conversing with a talker. Then, and only then, I can be considered a good conversationalist. Because all that's required is for me to listen and interject my opinion here and there. But if it's me who is required to carry a conversation, then forget about it. It will be several moments of awkward sighs and looking around the room until one of us can find a reason to flee, and quickly.

I've always been shy. I have a ton of things to say in my mind, but I can never get them to come out correctly. And if I don't know you well, I have a tendency to speak loudly and awkwardly, with lots of little giggles and sentences that start and then trail off like, well...yeah. *sigh*

Since I've had kids my shyness has subsided a little. Mostly because it has forced me to have to interact with various people. And I've always got the kids there to focus on. For instance, when we are at Tae Kwon Do practice, I can speak with the parent next to me about the class, and then stare at my son, all the while pretending that what I really want to do is concentrate on his movements, when instead I have just run out of things to say. Also, I can use them as an excuse to leave, when really all I'm doing is bailing - getting the heck out of dodge.

When I was younger my shyness was based on my lack of self-confidence. I was afraid of doing or saying something that I shouldn't, or what someone would see as wrong. But now it's more out of a lack of skills. I think I missed out on all those years of honing my abilities. When other children were trying out their conversational skills and getting through the awkwardness, I was busy hiding behind my father. And then I was hiding behind my more outgoing friends. And then I was hiding behind my husband. And now I'm hiding behind the computer. (So much for honing my social skills.)

So if you don't get phone calls from me, know that it's not because I don't like you, it's because I'm not comfortable talking on the phone. And I don't go to many big events because of the talking - oh my god all the talking - that's required. And it's always small talk, which, of course, is the kind I'm worst at. But if ever you have to unload a whole bunch of words, I'm your girl. I can listen and listen. Just don't expect me to fill in too much when you finally stop and then there's that awkward silence. Because, well, hee hee, well...*sigh*

Are you a talker or a listener?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

He's been watching too much TV.

Last night my son declared that there actually is an animal called a Pikachu. And when my husband said, "No, no there isn't," he got very upset. He said, "Yes there is! It's got a long tail and eyes that see in the dark. It's called a Pikachu." And my husband, not wanting to argue the point with a boy who so clearly saw himself as in the right, escaped to the bathroom. At which point the boy came to the bottom of the steps and starting telling me about the Pikachu. He said again that it had a long tail, eyes that see well at night and it didn't say "pika pika" nor was it yellow with pointy ears. He said he saw it on Go, Diego, Go, and not wanting to argue with the boy, I said, "Well, if Diego says it exists, then it must." (What I really wanted to say was, OKAY, whatever! Just shush!) And I admit I started to wonder if maybe there was some sort of Pokemon alternate universe out there and if maybe, just maybe, some of the characters were named after actual animals.* It was then that my husband came out of the bathroom - where he must have been thinking about this so called Pikachu - and said, "Do you mean possum?" And my son's face lit up while he yelled, "YES!" Then his expression drooped a little and he sheepishly said, "Oh. Oops."



*If ever you need proof of my craziness, there it is.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Skin and bones and beauty

I read this post and knew I had to write a little something.

When my husband, B, and I met, I was fairly thin. I had always been fairly thin. I was 5'2" and my weight always hovered around 100 and 120 pounds. Not stick thin, but thin all the same. When we began dating I was probably at one of my thinnest points, even though I thought I was not thin enough.

That was always the case for me; I thought I was not thin enough. I have short, stumpy legs that naturally have a lot of muscle in them. I have a butt. And I have broad shoulders. All of those things were far from the tall, willowy build I wished I had. But I tried to make the best of it. However, I was always dieting and exercising. I used to say it was to make myself healthier, but mainly it was to make myself skinny.

When I was pregnant, I piled on a lot of weight. I went from a 110 pound size 2 to a 185 pound size BIG. I no longer even recognized my face. I would hold up my old clothes and they would look like a child's clothes to me. I was much bigger. And after I had the baby, I didn't lose all of the weight, much to my dismay.

Not long after my son was born I became pregnant with my daughter. While I didn't gain that much more weight, I did remain large after she was born. It seemed to be my new size, no matter what I did.

When the children were both toddlers I embarked on a diet and exercise program that took off some weight and helped me feel a little better. That was 5 years ago, and I'm still at the weight I was then. I haven't lost any more. I'm now a bigger version of what I was before.

I tell you all of that to tell you this: my husband likes me better this way. He says he used to feel like a giant around me. He used to be afraid to roll over at night for fear he would crush me. He used to think I was too skinny.

So while there are those husbands out there who do wish their wives would take off any extra weight they put on, I am lucky enough to have a husband who wishes I would never lose a pound. You see, I was skinny once, and he loved me anyway, not because of it. While I struggle with self confidence issues and wish - especially during swimsuit season - that I could fit back into that size 2, he is always there to tell me how much he loves my body now. And no matter how many times I roll my eyes and tell him that I don't love it, it's always good to hear him say so.

How lucky am I?