Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Book For You and a Book For Me

As I walked into the library yesterday a book caught my eye primarily because the cover was bright and multi-colored. It was Maya Angelou’s Letter to My Daughter. I remembered reading about it about a year ago, thought it sounded interesting, and then simply forgot about it. I picked it up and decided to check it out. It is an easy read (I read it in under 2 hours while the kids actually napped) and interesting. While it is filled with advice and life lessons, I didn’t find that component especially profound. What I did really enjoy was the stories of her life and experiences. Of that I would like to read more. She’s interesting, engaging, self-depreciating, insightful, and funny.

I have been doing yoga on and off now for about 3 years. I have started doing it at home again and my daughter has joined me in some of the easier poses. When we were at the library I discovered My Daddy Is a Pretzel by Baron Baptiste. It is one of the Barefoot Books and I order from that site frequently and have deliberated for a couple of years now whether or not to buy this book. The answer is now YES. It is a great book that shows different yoga poses, primarily the easier ones, for parents and children to do together. My daughter, upon arriving home, started flipping through it, looked at the pictures and then mimicked each pose. I was floored. She was awesome. Some of the easier poses my son could do as well. Needless to say, she loves the book and spent close to two hours last night doing the poses over and over again. She now refers to herself as the Yoga Master. Indeed she is.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My First Year of Blogging

A year ago yesterday I posted for the first time on this blog. In many ways it feels like I have just started. I began without any specific idea about what I wanted this blog to be, other than a place for me to share ideas and experiences. Along the way, I have realized I really enjoy it. Looking back some of the posts are simply awful or boring or uneventful and then there are some I am really proud of. As I continue I am still not entirely sure where this will lead or where I want it to lead. It has provided me with an outlet and a sounding board and for me right now that is enough.

So, I want to thank you for reading, commenting, commiserating, offering advice and support, and for simply just stopping by. I appreciate it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Cockroach

We went to dinner. In our haste we grabbed a pair of our son's shoes that we had left in the garage and put them on his feet sans socks. We get to the restaurant and are sitting in the booth. Our son starts whining about his shoes. He keeps saying they hurt and he needs them off. My husband repeatedly tells him he has to keep his shoes on in the restaurant. Our son continues to fuss about his shoes. My husband finally takes his shoe off and out crawls, up my husband's hand, the most gigantic cockroach I have ever seen in my life. Serious gross out!

Living in Arizona I am just extremely thankful it was a cockroach and not a scorpion!

And The World Goes Black

All across the globe on Saturday lights went out in honor of Earth Hour. By all accounts it was a huge success and I’m sure those that spearheaded this movement are pleased with the results. While we participated I realize there are many that didn’t and frankly I don’t really care. So, that is why it surprises me so much that many of those NOT participating were so vocal in their opposition. What’s it to them if others do choose to participate? Why do some view it as a personal affront to their ideology if someone wants to shut off his/her lights?

Furthermore, I really don’t grasp the REASON behind the opposition to conserving resources. Even if you don’t believe in global warming, which unfortunately many don’t, and even if you feel it is your duty, mission, and God-given right to rape and pillage our earth and waste its resources why is the general idea of conservation so ridiculed and loathed?

Why would anyone want to pump vast amounts of pollution into our air making it more difficult to breathe? Anyone who has been to California can attest to the fact that pollution is a problem. Even if you feel it does nothing to actually damage the earth’s ozone layer or contribute to global warming why would you want to breath that air or allow your children to breath that air? Why is one’s concern for the quality of air he/she breaths criticized as part of some liberal left agenda?

Additionally, why not cut down on water, electric, and gas usage simply as a means to cut costs? For those that consider themselves fiscally conservative it is amazing the amount of waste (in the form of their almighty dollar) they are willing to waste just out of spite. Even if you believe, in my opinion naively and incorrectly, that there is an unlimited supply finite resources (there is a reason they are called FINITE as opposed to INFINITE) wouldn’t we all like to see a lower water bill or electric bill? While my husband and I are conscious about the resources we use because we do believe we have an obligation to treat the earth responsibly not far in the back of our minds is the bottom line: how much will this cost?

It is interesting to me that so many who disagree with the science of environmentalism have to not simply just disagree but to make it their personal mission to insult, criticize, and ridicule those who are concerned about the effects we have on our earth. Is it not enough to just simply disagree? If not, why?

Going back to Earth Hour. If it is not important to you why not leave your lights on, watch your TV, work on your computer, or take a drive you would have otherwise taken? But why lambaste those who choose to participate for an hour. Not only that but why make it a point to use more electricity or other resources than you would normally? To prove a point? What exactly is the point and to whom are you proving it? To me it seems the only point made is that you are a moron who just increased your utility costs for no reason other than spite.

I simply don’t know when, for many, caring about our earth became such a bad thing. Why is that something to mock and ridicule or label a liberal conspiracy to undermine the family or other individual rights? It must be a heavy burden to constantly feel so persecuted. As my husband likes to say, “Get down off that cross, we need the wood.” I guess simply I’ll close by saying that the illogical rational of many in our nation is simply frightening and mind-boggling. It is one thing to disagree, but another to make it a personal obsession and mission to relentlessly try to discredit, insult, or crucify those who hold beliefs opposite to your own.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Pride and Joy

On many occasions I have jokingly said, "Our daughter is the reason we had another child and our son is the reason we will not have any more." I say this only because he is a typical boy: he is loud, active, all over the place, a complete handful. But in all seriousness if I could have another child as sweet, loving, and sensitive as he is I'd have a handful in a heartbeat. He's been sick for a week and so I have been holding him, snuggling him, and comforting him a lot. And I love it. The truth of the matter is though, that he is like this when he is well. It is just a bit exaggerated now. Sure, he is this rough and tumble boy but he hugs and kisses me and cuddles with me too many times throughout the day for me to count. Inside this typical boy is this kind, compassionate heart that I sit in awe of. I seriously hope he never loses this "gentle" side because it is what makes him who he is.

I love my children every day. Some days it is easier than others, but I love them nonetheless. There are times though when my heart feels like it will literally burst with the love and pride I feel towards them. It is almost unimaginable sometimes that I was a part of creating something so wonderful. They are these sweet, compassionate, intelligent, loving children who unconditionally accept others. It makes the sleepless nights, the frustrations, the tantrums, and the non stop questions completely worth it.

I don't think anyone can really understand the capacity a parent has for loving a child until he or she becomes a parent for him or herself. Even those glorious, delirious early days of a newborn don't adequately prepare you for the amount of love you are capable of giving to your children each and every day. As time goes on, as my children grow and I watch them become these amazing little people my heart swells and feels like it is in a constant state of near bursting.

When I see my kids interact or when I see how they treat people when they don't think I am watching or when I overhear them in conversation I am at times simply amazed and it is then that I think I would take a couple more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In Your Face

The sound, smell, sight of vomit repulses me whether it be my own or someone else's. Obviously when having kids you kind of get over that and deal with being thrown up on, pooped on, and a host of other disgusting things. My son has been sick since Saturday with respiratory issues as usual. Poor kid has been so congested and he coughs and coughs and then chokes on the phlegm.

Today he has been beside himself. Totally out of it, crying, wheezing, and hacking up a lung, possibly two. So, I have spent the day holding him, rocking him, consoling him, etc. All was starting to go better until he looked at me and then vomited (a ton of phlegm) all over me, face included.

Oddly, it didn't gross me out, send me into fits of dry-heaves, or otherwise repulse me. I must be getting the hang of this parenting thing. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We Will Eat Red Meat No More

For years I have had a love-hate relationship with meat. I have gone through phases where I ate absolutely no meat, including fish. I have then gone through no red meat phases and also phases of consuming vast quantities of red meat: steaks, burgers, ribs, and the like. Looking back over all of these dietary phases I realize I felt my best when my meat intake, red meat specifically, was limited or eliminated entirely. Then I read this.

So, it is in that vein that my husband and I have decided to kick red meat for a while and just see how we feel. For now we plan to keep some chicken and fish in our diet, although I also go through phases where the thought of chicken repulses me completely, so that may be the next to go.

There is no anti-meat stance or moral opposition to eating meat that triggered this quest. Lately I just haven't felt like eating much meat so I stopped cooking it and started making more vegetarian based meals. It's only been about a week and how my husband does will be the real test as he loves red meat, steak especially.

So anyone have any good vegetarian recipes to throw my way?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Look Who I Invited To Dinner

This evening we were all in the kitchen decorating cookies when our doorbell rang. My husband and son went to the door and opened it to find a sheriff's deputy. She informs us that she is responding to a 911 call from our house. Needless to say we were a bit confused. We asked what number the phone call came from. The number she relayed was not ours. We were pretty sure she had inverted the numbers of our address with that of one of our neighbors down the road. As she called dispatch to get the address of the call I invited her in and offered her something to drink and embarassingly, eat. She came in (declined the food and drink) and made small talk.

I have limited experience with police officers. I have never had one show up on my door step and honestly, it unnerved me a bit. So, I did what I'd do if a friend came over and invited her in. After she finally realized what house she was supposed to be at and left my husband was like, "What the heck were you doing? You now realize you are going to be the lady that the sheriff's department will now be making fun of for inviting one of their deputies to dinner."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Two Conversations I Was Not Quite Ready To Have

Conversation Uno: Our daughter has asked in the past who makes babies. Wanting to be truthful and accurate, without going into the graphic specifics, I have told her that mommies and daddies make babies. That answer has pacified her until now. Today on the ride home from the zoo, out of nowhere, we had the following conversation.

Daughter: Mommy, how are babies made?
Me: (after a long pause fighting for composure) What do you mean?
Daughter: How are babies made? Like how did you and daddy make me?
Me: Well, um, when mommies and daddies love each other very much they get together and make a baby.
Daughter: I know, but how do they make it?
Me: Well, they take a part of mommy and a part of daddy and mix it together and that makes a baby.
Daughter: And then that baby grows in your tummy?
Me: Yep, then the baby grows in the mommy's tummy.
Daughter: And then Doctor Howie (my ob/gyn) pulls the baby out of your tummy.
Me: Yeah, Doctor Howie or another doctor.
Daughter: Will I get to do that when I get older?
Me: Do what?
Daughter: Make a baby.
Me: Yep, you sure will.
Daughter: Mommy, let me tell you something very important.
Me: Sure, what is it?
Daughter: When I am a mommy you can come live with me and my kids and I'll take care of you.

Conversation Dos: Tonight we went out to dinner at a restaurant that has stuffed heads (animal, not human) mounted on the wall. I never really paid any attention until my daughter seemed a bit bothered.

Daughter: Mommy, where is the rest of that deer?
Me: Well, I am not really sure (I didn't want to tell her daddy was probably about to eat it)
Daughter: Did someone kill it? Is it dead?
Me: Yes, it is dead.
Daughter: But mommy why would someone want to kill that sweet, cute little deer?
Me: Well, some people hunt animals sweetheart.

The rest of the evening she sat silently, staring at the mounted head. I was heartbroken for her.

And This Is Why I May Never Leave My Home Again

....because the roads in Tucson are filled with idiots that hail from Mexico and California.

They don't know the reason why there are lines painted on the road. Uh, hello they are to designate which lane you should drive in. And, no, if you are not sure you should not just drive in both. Also, that lever on your steering wheel column is a signal. It lets the drivers that you routinely cut off and narrowly miss hitting know where you plan to go ahead of time. Crazy concept, I know. They clearly haven't learned their colors yet as most view a red light as a challenge, as in "I bet I can get through this intersection without slamming into an oncoming car." Half the time they are wrong. They also rarely have car insurance so when they do cause an accident they certainly won't be held responsible. If they drive drunk and kill someone, which sadly happens often here, they just run back to Mexico.

As for the Californians. I know you have 51 million freeways and I know in your state driving like a maniac is a badge of honor. But here in Tucson with our one freeway, there is not enough road to drive like you do in California. So maybe you could tone the speed down to 75 mph from 125mph and maybe you could limit your lane changes to one lane change at a time instead of trying to cross four in a single maneuver. We locals would be appreciative.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Duck Duck Deuce

My husband has, upon occasion, referred to a certain act involving elimination of waste as "dropping the deuce." I hate the term and when my daughter repeated it was quick to inform her that that was not appropriate word choice. So, today when I picked her up from the child care at the gym she tells me that some kids were saying "deuce". I was a bit confused because I couldn't really understand the context that they might be using it, so I asked her some questions for my own clarification. She continued to say that they said, "deuce" and that they should not be saying that word because it is a bad word. I asked her what else they were saying. She said, "They were running and saying, 'Duck, Duck, Deuce'."

The light went on and I asked her if maybe they were saying, "goose" as in "Duck Duck Goose." She insisted that it was "deuce", not "goose". So, apparently at the gym the game all the cool kids are playing is "Duck Duck Deuce." :)

Growing Pains. Please Make Them Stop

When I became pregnant with my daughter my husband and I decided I would be staying home with her. I love being home with both of our children and while we have had to make a lot of sacrifices I am thankful to my husband for working his tail off in order to enable me to remain at home until our children are in school. That being said, there are days, or portions of days, like this morning, that I would give my right arm and possibly part of my left to actually get to leave my house and drive to a job outside of my home. A job that doesn't require me to to be at the beck and call of little people. Right arm, people! And I'm predominantly right handed.

Some of the issues today stemmed from an unexpected change of plans. Once my daughter has been told something is going to happen or we are going to go somewhere specific, it must happen or it throws her off. She gets this wonderful aversion to last minute planning and cancellations from me, which is usually why we hold off telling her about anything until it is an absolute certainty with no possibility of changing. Today's change in plans was unforeseen and while she handled it well initially I could tell she was not thrilled. I planned another activity in its place and this is where the breakdown occurred. New surroundings, lots of people, and a brother who, gasp, touched and dared tried to read her book.

There was crying, gnashing of teeth, general unhappiness and frustration by all involved. In the cross hairs is my happy, easy-going, flexible son wondering what the heck happened to his peaceful morning. What happened indeed? Part of me is very excited to be sending our daughter to preschool two mornings a week next year just so that I can have one on one time with my son. Then I realize how much I'll miss her and feel guilty for even thinking that.

This month has been rough, though. I'm told it is "growing pains" in which case I pray it ends soon. While our daughter continues to assert her independence, my husband and I continue to remind her of what is appropriate and acceptable behavior, mostly in regards to how she speaks to us. This past month she seems to have either forgotten or willfully ignores all she has been taught in the past 3 1/2 years. She is getting older and accordingly earns more privileges and responsibilities. Along with that, though, comes expectations of how we, as her parents, expect her to treat us and others. She pushes as far as she can to test those boundaries and then doesn't much like the consequences when she has pushed too far.

So, we will continue this battle of wills and hopefully ride out this emotional roller coaster. I am hoping, as with most things, this too is a phase that will pass. In the meantime I will console myself with thoughts of, "If it doesn't get better, I can always go back to work" or start consuming large quantities of alcohol each night to ease the pain.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Happens When There Is No Filter

We take safety pretty seriously in our house and I use any opportunity that I can to teach these lessons to our kids. It is the way it was for me growing up and so it is for my children. For example, my husband and I and anyone else who rides in our car always wears a seat belt. Our children ride in the appropriate car seats/boosters for their height and weight. When I ride my bike I always wear a helmet, even if it is just down the street or around the block as does my husband. Likewise we make our kids wear their helmets even if just riding their scooters or bikes in our driveway or along the sidewalk in front of our house. It is habit and both know it is an expectation, a non-negotiable. They know no other option will fly. We don't let our kids play in the street but apparently we are one of the few as it seems most of our neighbors view the street as their personal playground that does not require caution or supervision. I also know that others don't take the same precautions when it comes to safety and while I cringe at what I perceive to be their irresponsibility it is not my place to interfere in other people's parenting, or lack thereof.

My daughter, on the other hand, has no qualms about pointing out the error of other's ways. She has not quite mastered the filter yet between what she thinks and what she says. We have a lot of kids who ride their bikes in the late afternoon and early evenings, usually at the same time I am outside with my children. Each time a child, usually helmet-less, rides by my daughter says in an extremely loud voice, "He should not be riding in the street." Or, "She should be wearing a helmet. She could fall and be dead." And she's relentless. She says it over and over and over again until I agree and repeat verbatim what she has just said. A simple, "Okay baby" will not suffice. She wants me to make sure that I know she knows that what they are doing is not what I allow. For that I am proud. However, I also don't want her to be the kid that no one will play with because she tattles on everyone.

So, we are working on that balance. When she asks why those kids don't wear helmets and those kids play in the street it takes every ounce of self-restraint to not answer with, "Because sweetheart their parents are idiots and don't care enough to take proper precautions. These are the same parents that then freak out and sue everyone and their mother when their child does get hurt when really it is their own fault. That is why." However, I instead give her some version of "Each family has different rules and mommy and daddy make rules for you and your brother that we think will help keep you safe because we love you." Isn't that big of me? :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Luck of the Irish; Happy St. Patty's Day

St. Patrick's Day is a pretty big deal in my family. I won't go as far as to say that it rivals Christmas in significance or importance, but in terms of festivities it's pretty close. My mom's family is directly from Ireland so growing up my mom decorated the house, had green pastries decorated with shamrocks for breakfast, cooked a big feast for dinner, and celebrated the day in honor of a man who returned to Ireland after being held captive as a slave there for many years in an effort to convert the masses to Christianity and who also supposedly rid Ireland of all snakes.

When my husband and I were first married and I proceeded to decorate our house in preparation for St. Patrick's Day, he was not really sure what to think. In the 6 years since it has become a given and has only gotten more elaborate as we have had children. So, I spent the past couple of days making loaf after loaf of bread, I'll make potato soup in the morning that will cook all day, filling up my house with a delicious smell, and cook sausage for the meat eaters later in the evening (despite all the Irish in our family, very few of us enjoy corn beef and cabbage, so this year I am leaving it off the menu....oh, the horror!). There will be beer, cake, and wonderful music filling our house as we pass on the importance of this day to our children so that one day they can instill in their own children the significance of St. Patrick's Day and honoring the nation from which their maternal side and some of their father's side hails.

So, what are your plans for St. Patty's Day?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend Recap

The temperatures here are starting to creep back up. We had a welcome reprieve where the temperatures dropped into the 70's but this weekend seems to be the final weekend before we start seeing regular temperatures in the 80's and then 90's and before too long the dreaded triple digit numbers. So, we decided to take full advantage of the nice weather and spend the weekend primarily outside.

Saturday we attended the Inaugural Tucson Festival of Books. It was held at the University of Arizona and had a lot of activities for children and adults alike. There were book readings, signings, activities, lectures, food, and games. We spent 3 hours down there and really had a great time. The CSpan traveling bus was there, which was really neat to see. There have been numerous Presidential candidates interviewed from the mobile bus and the interior is really pretty nice. Elmore Leonard (of Get Shorty fame) was there, which was pretty cool to see. For eighty-three he looks pretty good and was very gracious.

Sunday we packed a picnic breakfast and headed to the park early. The kids had a great time rock climbing, going down slides, swinging, mock-repelling, and just running around. While my husband and son napped, my daughter and I started making some bread. It all has to "sleep" 12-20 hours so we'll finish it up tomorrow. I try not to eat a lot of bread, but there is nothing more tasty than freshly made bread with butter. After the boys woke up we headed to the local community college for the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Festival. We walked around and took a look at the booths, but spent most of our time on the huge slides and obstacle courses for the kids. Our son fell in the parking lot before we even started and got pretty skinned up and bloody so he and I sat and watched our daughter play.

So, while it was a busy weekend it was a lot of fun and we got to spend a lot of time outside, which is always a good thing. So far this week is filling up pretty fast already and my husband has many evening meetings toward the end of the week, so it could make for a looooooong week.

What do you have planned for the week?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

They Call Me Tin Tin....That's Not My Name

I'm not big on nicknames for kids, but am guilty of giving my kids silly nicknames that anyone outside our family would find strange. My daughter seemed to have a dozen different nicknames at different stages. When our son was born we really only referred to him by his actual name. Then I started calling him Beastie Boy because he was such a big baby. That morphed into The Beast or Beasters. My mom then started referring to him as Bubba occassionally, but still he is primarily called by his name.

Well, this week he started referring to himself as Tin Tin. If we would ask him his name or anyone else would ask his name he'd say, "My name Tin Tin." And he's insistent about it. Our daughter will tease him and say, "My name is Tin Tin" to which our son will say, "No, no, my name Tin Tin." We have no idea where he got it, what it means, or what he may really be trying to say. It is the strangest thing. It's like he has given himself a nickname.

My daughter then tells me today that she wants a new name too and henceforth wants to be called "Princess Tinkerbell."

So, apparently we now have Tin Tin and Tinkerbell.

Friday, March 13, 2009


There are some days where my children drive me crazy. It takes every ounce of restraint to not freak out. But then I am reminded how lucky I am to have two happy, beautiful, healthy children. And for that I am so thankful. I really couldn't imagine losing a child at any age, but especially a young child. Yet, here I was today reading an article about a family who just lost their 11 month old daughter. I don't think there is a parent around who can read something like that and not think about how painful it would be if something were to happen to one of your children. Devestating. Heart stopping. It makes me that much more thankful and grateful and humbled that those are concerns I don't have to deal with and hopefully never will. That article was devestating to me, but it made me that much more thankful when I tucked my children into bed tonight that they are both here to tuck in.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Big Cheese Hunt

We're big on cheese here in our house: string-cheese, cheddar, feta, blue cheese, goat cheese, edam, gooda, havarti. The list could go on. We love cheese!!! One type of cheese that I am not big on is the spray cheese from a can. I find it disgusting. My 20 year old brother, however, loves it on crackers and when he was still living at my parents house he and my daughter would snack on that when we'd go over to visit. My daughter loved it because it was something she did just with her uncle. I think the last time she had the spray cheese was probably a year ago, so it should be long forgotten.

So, this morning my daughter asks if we can go to the grocery store. I asked her what she needed. She went and grabbed her "list" (a girl after my own heart) and "reads" off "milk, ranch goldfish, strawberries, hummus - not the spicy kind, and the kind of cheese Uncle T eats." Huh? Where did that come from? She then goes to the pantry, shows me the crackers she found and proceeds to explain that with that type of cracker she needs the spray can cheese.

How could I argue with that logic?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Side of the Story by Hodges

I heard this song for the first time at the end of Criminal Minds tonight and it seriously gave me chills. Has anyone ever heard of this guy before?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Barbie Boom

I spent hours today calling various toy stores: WalMart, Target, and Toys r Us and then driving like a bat out of hell to aforementioned toy stores all in an effort to locate and purchase the 50th Anniversary Barbie Dolls that were promotional priced at $3 each. Four times I got to the store as they had "just sold out." By this time I had realized the ridiculousness of my quest. After all, it is just a doll. My husband, on his lunch break, was able to locate and purchase one on the other side of town. I was happy with that, even though I ideally wanted four: two for play at our house and two for play at grandma's house.

As I gave up, my husband located a WalMart that actually had quite a few in stock and so like a man returning home from a big hunt, proud of his kill, my husband walked through our front door tonight, four Barbies in tow, and received a hero's welcome for the mission he accomplished. While my daughter is playing gently with her new Barbie and Princess dolls, my son is currently looking up the Barbie's skirt and trying to remove her shirt.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Knees, Don't Fail Me Now

I have a history of knee problems, primarily from overuse and playing through years of injuries. My sophomore year of college after tearing cartilege and ligaments in a basketball game I underwent surgery and minus occassional pain and stiffening when the weather gets cold it has been fine since.

Last year I tore the miniscus in my right knee and since I was no longer a "competative athlete" the doctor said it could heal itself if I stayed off it, which I did, and avoid surgery.

When I started my return to exercise last April I started off slow, knowing I am not as young as I used to be. My knees did pretty well. I took a 5 month hiatus and recently returned a couple weeks ago. I didn't ease back into as I should have, but instead started interval training at high speed and incline on the treadmill. Not my smartest decision. I felt something pop last Thursday, had quite a bit of pain, and while I quit sprinting I did finish my remaining time on a bike in pain, stupidly trying to push through it. By that evening I was in horrible pain and by Friday I could hardly move.

I was given an array of pain meds until I can get in this week to see the surgeon and they alleviated enough pain this weekend that I was walking around pretty well. I was even able to do "light" gardening. The problem is that the meds make me so tired and groggy and mess with my vision quite a bit. Fine if my husband is home to help with the kids as he was all weekend, but not so fine now that it is Monday and he is back at work.

So, now my choices have become a)take the meds and possibly lose, hurt, scare, or pass out on my children leaving them to fend for themselves because I'm royally doped up or b)be in near excruciating pain but completely sober. I have chosen b for obvious reasons, but let me tell ya, it was not a fun day. Worse yet, I am dreading the possibility that the doctor will recommend surgery which is a real likelihood for this type of injury. My grandma is 80 with severe back problems, my mother is in a cast recovering from foot surgery, my father is in DC, and my husband has to work. Who the heck will take care of my kids if I can't walk for weeks?

So, I ask you to send good vibes my way and hope that surgery can somehow be avoided or postponed to a more convenient time. Like when my children are grown.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hoe-ing and Poppin'

This weekend was a pretty great weekend. Friday my husband came home two hours earlier than planned, which was terrific because I then got to go out sans kids for dinner, drinks, and then perused Barnes and Noble for a while. By the time I got home the kids were in bed and the house was quiet. Very nice.

Saturday my husband decided to work a few hours of overtime in the morning so while he went in to his office I took the kids up to see my mom. On our way I came across these signs pointing to a train exhibit. I followed them up to a house in my parent's neighborhood. Well, in their backyard they had a huge model train with tracks, 8 trains running along them, full models of people, places, etc. I have never seen such a thing. A bit strange that this was their entire backyard. Did I mention it was huge? However, the kids loved it and it was certainly original and the owners were very nice as it was a part of a local "Train Tour" that they were supposed to charge for, yet allowed me to bring my kids for free. (Being neighborly and all :) ).

In the afternoon, while my husband and son napped, my daughter and I worked out in our garden. We planted some more flowers, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, cilantro, mint, chives, onions, and sweet banana peppers. We still really want to get some strawberries planted so that is the goal this week. We planted them all from seeds, which could turn into a disaster. I do this every year and the majority of our vegetables and herbs do just fine, but on average we always botch one. I know you can plant many that are already started, but to me I feel like that's cheating. I want to grow it from infancy, I guess. Afterward the boys woke up and my daughter and I finished outside we went out for a late lunch/early dinner and pretty much called it a night after I played a few songs on the guitar for the kiddos. I don't know how many times I can play Puff the Magic Dragon before they tire of it. Apparently I haven't reached that limit yet.

Sunday morning we went to a Farmer's Market. It was wonderful and beautiful outside. There are these women who call themselves Mama Llama's (ironic since my daughter often calls me that) who make delicious empenadas. We walked around for a while, ran into a few friends, and left with organic melons, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and a few apples.

The afternoon was spent just hanging out and relaxing. It was nice. My daughter and I did work a bit more in the garden, as the boys napped yet again, and we also set up her greenhouse and got her flowers planted in that. We also bought tickets for Disney on Ice: Disneyland Adventure Show that is coming to Phoenix in April. Thanks Jodi! The kids are really excited about that and both my husband and I are stoked to take them. Sunday night we had another BBQ, which is becoming a weekend ritual. The weather has just been too beautiful to pass up. It won't be long before we are baking in sweltering heat and standing by a hot BBQ will hold zero appeal. We made a quick trip to Target to buy Mary Poppins, which was a hit with both kids, our daughter especially, and settled in for an early movie night. My husband is now putting the kids to bed and he and I will probably end up watching Celebrity Apprentice.

All in all, it was one of the best weekends we have had in a while. So, how about you? What occupied your weekend?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Technology Haitus

I love technology and gadgets. I love my blackberry (sorry iPhone users), email, blogs, etc. Lately, though, I am beginning to feel it is often more a pain in the ass, more of a hindrance, than it is anything else. What is it about this instant communication that really makes people communicate less in a way? We shoot off quick emails, send quick updates via twitter and facebook, check news updates like our life depended on it. It's all just getting old right now. All this technology seems to depersonalize correspondence in a way. When is the last time you received a handwritten letter that wasn't some to do list from your spouse? When was the last time you opened your mailbox and found something other than bills addressed to you? (For us, I think it was Christmas season).

I don't know. I'm just frustrated with technology right now, frustrated with how it is used and abused, frustrated how intent and meaning is often lost in written correspondence sometimes resulting in unintended meanings. Just frustrated. So, I am trying something new for a while. Aside from this blog (and yours, of course) I am disconnecting myself from my various email accounts, from facebook, from news alerts and updates and all the other random things that are just really pissing me off right now. I don't know how long it will last; I guess until I don't feel annoyed anymore.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who Needs 31 Flavors?

I love ice cream. In fact, if I bought some and kept it in my house I would eat it every night. That is how tempting it is to me. About a year ago when I started getting serious about my health and exercising each day I gave up ice cream. I think I have maybe had it twice in that time (both times from Dairy Queen so that I wouldn't be tempted to have "just one more bowl").

Tonight my kids really wanted ice cream and I relented. I'll be honest....I was pretty easily convinced. So, I asked my husband to stop on the way home and pick up a couple of pint sized ice creams (they were on sale for 90 cents a piece). He calls from the store and starts listing off the flavors. We are pretty plain in our family. Our daughter eats vanilla and our son chocolate. My husband and I like pistachio, cookies and cream, or rocky road.

I swear there are like a million flavors of ice cream now and they are all random flavors. Whatever happened to the old school regular flavors from my childhood? Why does each ice cream have to have a mixture of 27 different ingredients? Seriously. If I wanted very cherry mint chocolate chip or chocolate-caramel turtle crunch I was set, but just a simple cookies and cream? Virtually impossible.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No Regrets

My senior year of high school I went over to my grandparents' house (they lived across the street from my high school) everyday for lunch. I didn't have a class the period right after lunch, but I did have Physics the class period after that. Driving home was too far and so I'd go have lunch, visit with my grandparents, my grandfather mostly since he ran a camera repair business out of his home, and would then take a quick power nap before heading back to school. The following fall I went off to college. While I came back to town a couple of weekends and was able to see him, he ended up dying a month into my freshman year of college. I have always been thankful for that time I spent with him that final year of his life.

I moved back to my hometown seven years after I left it. I saw my family (my parents, siblings, and grandmother) fairly regularly. In 2005 when I had my daughter I started making it a point to spend more time with my family, with the time spent with my grandfather always in my mind. I started taking my daughter (as an infant) over to my grandmother's one day each week. I did the same with my parents. Since we lived in the same city I wanted my children to have a close relationship with my family. And they do. I still go over weekly, sometimes more than that, to visit my now 80 year old grandmother. Due to injury my mother is still here in town (my father accepted a job in DC and left in January. My mother was supposed to leave then too, but broke her foot two days before) so I try to take advantage of the time she is here and take my kids up once a week to see her as well.

I don't really know where I am going with this post except to say that I think if my parents or grandmother were to die tomorrow I would not have any regrets about time spent with them. I know once my mom leaves for DC we will see her less as we obviously now see my father less. Great distances have a tendency to do that. I just want/need to feel like I have done everything and made the most of the time when we live close so that I won't regret it if they were gone...not spending more time with them...and so that my kids never feel cheated or feel like they didn't get to know or spend enough time with their grandparents.

I think one of the follies of youth is that we think we will have forever and then one day we wake up and we are in our thirties with children of our own and realize, "Man, my parents are getting old." While it is not always the most convenient thing to traipse small kids across town for a visit I am glad I make time to do it because my children love it....and so do my parents and grandmother.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And Yet Another Example of Why I Need To Watch What I Say

Tonight I was reading (or more appropriately singing) Puff the Magic Dragon to my kids. My daughter makes the comment that the dragon doesn't have any teeth so he must be a nice dragon. She then says, "Does the dragon not have any teeth like that lady at my preschool doesn't have any teeth?" Oops!

Yesterday, after I enrolled my daughter I told my husband (apparently within earshot of my daughter) that one particular woman enrolling her son was not very friendly and when she finally did join in the conversation with me and some of the other women I noticed she was missing more teeth than she possessed.

Lest I want to be publicly embarrassed by my 3 1/2 year old repeating private observations and remarks I might want to a)keep these thoughts to myself or b)make sure my human recording device isn't anywhere in the vicinity when I am sharing these observations.

Neurotic Mom of a PreSchooler

So, we got in! To preschool, that is. My daughter could not be more excited about it and while I am excited for her I am also nervous. I don't really know why. Maybe it is simply anxiety over the unknown. I know my daughter will love it. I can predict that after the first week she will be asking why I didn't sign her up for more days than just two a week and really I won't have a good answer other than "it was a feeling I had." My husband and I decided about 4 months ago we were going to send her to preschool. I called around and got all the information. Our options were 2, 3, or 5 days a week. My husband and I settled on three days a week.

Then came Sunday night. I tossed and turned and kept coming back to preschool. She wants to go, so I want her to go. But I couldn't help but feeling that 3 days was too much....for ME. I'm sure our daughter would be fine three days a week, but I started feeling too committed. What if I wanted to go to the zoo or the Children's Museum or a playgroup or a variety of other activities we do on a weekly basis? That leaves only two days for those things. (Are you sensing I'm a bit neurotic about this?) So, I woke up and told my husband about my misgivings. He said either two or three days would be fine, but that I should decide since I am the one home with them.

I was seriously torn. I stood in lining fretting the entire time and when I got up to the registration table I stuttered a bit before signing her up for 2 days. I am not sure if I made the right decision. I am hoping I did. I figure between those two days at school, a day possibly for ballet if we choose to continue, and possibly another day for karate that she wants to join those are a lot of activities.

So, until August 3 comes I will be anxious, constantly second guessing my decision. I know you, my internet friends, have kids in preschool. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, both good and bad.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

School Bells Ringin'

Last year we contemplated enrolling our daughter in preschool primarily for the social interaction. She was adamantly opposed and since I don't really believe preschool is necessary for future educational success we opted to enroll her in a ballet and tap class instead. That, coupled with regular play dates, more than compensated for the previous lack of social exposure. Then I started going to the gym and leaving the kids in the Child Watch and she loved it. She made friends easily and looked forward to that each day.

So, my husband and I started thinking she may like preschool and revisited the idea. We had no idea how she would react so we brought it up cautiously to gauge her interest. To our surprise she insisted on going. So we took her and showed her around and she loved it. She now can't wait to turn four so she can go to school.

Truly, I am a little sad, but I am also really excited for her. She has blossomed so much socially in this past year that I am amazed. She loves other kids and makes friends with such ease that it is hard to believe that she is the same little girl that just a year ago wouldn't consider speaking to another child unless forced.

Come Monday, I will be standing in line bright and early trying to ensure my child a spot in a preschool class at a school that she loves. Because while I would love to be able to keep her home one more year, she has her heart set on going to "her" preschool. And because I am her mommy and love her dearly I want what she wants. Wish me luck.