Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
So, I give you...the audible blog post. Read these phrases aloud and you will be speaking Alex-ease in no time flat (just tell your co-workers you're meditating).
"thseee peee tah-tree" (see pretty Christmas tree)
"mee-kit-miss! ha-heh-ho!" (Merry Christmas, ho-ho-ho!)
"thseee kit-miss lie-eeeets?!" (see Christmas ligh-eeeets?!)
"thseee tooonnnnn-ulllllll?!" (refers to tunnel at Christmas display in Hometown)
"tah-waaainn" (train. over and over and over again.)
"thsee gow-mah?!" (see grandma?!)
You'll notice a lot of ?! after these. That's because he is usually demanding something. His voice is so tiny yet so laaarrrrrge! I hear it in my head even after he's gone to sleep. When Pete and I are out on a date night I find myself lapsing into Alex-ease ("can we go to a movie, pleeeeaaaase??!") All day I try to appease Alex in order to, how shall I say this nicely...shut him up. But he keeps on and on and on in his relentless way and pretty soon I give up and give in. Proud parenting moments they are...
I know, I know...in a few years I'll look back and miss that sweet voice and even the shrill upswing at the end of his words. I'll wish again for those moments when it feels like only he and I know what he's talking about.* When he's thirteen and sitting in silence at the dinner table I'll remember a time when his voice filled the corners of our house 24/7.
People are constantly telling me to savor the moments when my kids are little. I'm all for that...I just wish they would savor them with me. Quietly.
* Except for the times when Mickey translates for me...not kidding.
Pete's off all week and boy do I, uh, we have a list of to-do's. We did break away to go see I am Legend last night...ooooooh, love me a Will Smith movie and this one did not disappoint.
This week Pete is off and I, uh, we have quite a list of to-do's around here and uploading a few pics out here is on it. Whether it actually gets scratched off the list is another story...
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I came home and happily logged on to my computer and for an hour or so I was back in the groove. Then the next morning I was greeted with the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD as the technician wrote on the ticket).
To make a long story short, I had to re-install Windows XP, which means we lost all our data files. "Data files" is short for 10 or so Word documents (resumes included...yikes!) and about 1500 photos.
But let not your heart be troubled: I moved my pics to CDs but for November and December of this year. I'd heard one too many horror stories about losing precious photos, which, right now, are infinitely more important than my resume. By the time I need that thing I should be able to fabricate something pretty believeable.
The bad news? I lost all my email addresses. THAT, friends, is sad. If you would like to help me replenish my stock, please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So all that being said...I'm taking a little break from bloggin' for a few days. Really I'm just taking the pressure off myself to post. So if you don't see anything new for a while, it's on purpose and not my usual slacking.
Merry Christmas, folks...hug your loved ones.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
As of 1:30 p.m. this afternoon our house is back in electric mode after nearly 12 days of nuttin'. And mom never moved so fast in her life, packing up what ended up being many, many bags of stuff we'd accumulated while we were on our 10-day vacation at her house. I think she probably flung it out the door at my sister (who graciously offered to bring it to Tulsa from Hometown) but she would never admit that...
I have a few pics to post of the frenzy of activity that we found around our house this morning, but right now I'm just enjoying being home and doing laundry. Yes, you read that right. I'm lovin' the laundry at home.
Wonder how long that'll last...
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
That's sort of NOT THE ANSWER I WAS HOPING FOR.
So now we're in the last 2,000 of 186,000 that were initially without power. I've never been in the last 2,000 of 186,000 anythings in my life. What an honor. My sis and I agree someone ought to be holding prizes for the last 100 or so poor souls to get turned back up...
Alex and Mickey are going to school tomorrow again...it's Christmas program day. Mickey told me tonight his class is singing "Go Tell It On the Mountain." For just a few minutes maybe I can forget about our problems and enjoying watching my sons onstage staring into space while their teachers frantically try to get them to sing. It'll be a welcome moment of tranquility.
Start a gift-giving tradition with a loved one by buying a sturdy gift bag and using it for their gift year after year.
About ten years ago, I gave my mom a bottle of bubble bath in a tall gift bag about the size of a wine bottle (which she may have preferred!). The bag was nothing special, but it was a Hallmark: well-made, sturdy, and so cute.
So at the end of our festivities that Christmas, she happened to save it and handed it to me, almost as an afterthought, to save for the next Christmas (throw away a perfectly good gift bag? Horrors!).
Now you have to understand something: we have a crowd of nearly 50 people in mom's house every Christmas. A bazillion gifts spill out from under her tree and the "opening ceremony" is chaotic and loud and frenzied. I don't keep track of that gift bag, but somehow it has found its way back to me, emptied of its contents, every year. It still has the original to/from name tag, altered to add Pete's name, then Mickey's, then Alex's (no more room on the tag, thankyouverymuch).
Every year I try to get a little more creative with what goes in the bag. It's a fun challenge to find something to fit into it, but lucky for me Mom is so easy to please that a rolled up dish towel would bring a tear to her eye...
For more Christmas-y good stuff, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.
Today my nephew (lives next door to Mom's) told me we should just stay until Christmas.
I may take him up on it...
Monday, December 17, 2007
Tomorrow the boys are going to school, though, and I'll go to the house and stare at the walls or something. Maybe open the front door to let out the smell that's bound to have collected in the refrigerator.
As for what I learned this past week...it was a bit of a lesson in contradiction as I thought about it. See if any of this makes any sense:
The boys need to learn flexibility.
The boys need their routines.
Letting their diets (and mine) slide in an out-of-the-norm situation is okay.
An out-of-the-norm situation isn't an excuse for eating junk.
I'm the mom. I shouldn't whine.
I'm the mom. I get to whine.
I'm so glad to be in Hometown.
I'm so glad I live in Big Town.
Why can't the electric company work any faster?
I'm sure the electric company is working as fast as it can. I think.
Christmas is only a week away and I haven't done any baking.
(No, that's not really something I learned, just something I don't like.)
Right now I'm so tired I don't even know how to end this post. Alex is playing with the cords on the blinds right by the crib so I think I better go...wait, okay, now he's safely away from the cords. I know this because I hear him jumping up and down.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I called this evening for the umpteenth time to check the status of our outage, and instead of Tuesday at midnight, it's now Tuesday at 10 p.m. that we will be turned back up (we hope).
This afternoon when I talked to them it was this evening at 8 p.m...a glimmer of hope we'd be home tomorrow. The next time I called...after 8 p.m., we were informed that was an old deadline.
So Pete borrowed my bro's generator to take back with him since he has to go to work tomorrow. But apparently we do not have the necessary equipment to hook it up to the heater. Darn. But Pete, in his ever resourceful way, figured out how to get the TV and DVD player running with it. So off to get a movie (cable's out) and right about now I believe he's a semi-happy, albeit shivering, camper. Which, for Pete, beats being warm without movies...
Friday, December 14, 2007
Christine: "Hi, Bob. Do we have power?
Bob: "What do you think?"
Here are some storm pics. Sorry if the spacing gets jacked up; Blogger's just that way. The captions come before the photos.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Then expect them to act as if nothing is different. Tell them they should have the same eating habits. Tell them they shouldn't be disagreeable, angry, or upset when you say "no." And always say no when they want to go outside when it's 36 degrees. And be sure to tell them they should have the same sleeping schedule down to the minute, no matter where they are.
And then feel terribly sorry for them and hug them until they say "mom, you're squishing me..."
And then remember that you're not acting the same, either. You're not eating the same, sleeping the same, and heaven knows you're not exercising the same.
And then pray for some patience: for the boys, for yourself. And be thankful you have computer access and a mother who welcomes all three of you with very warm, open arms into her very warm house.
And pray your husband gets back from traveling soon and safely.
And pray for some power.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Just now I called to report the outage again (as instructed by PSO on TV) and the estimate for restoring power in my area is midnight on December 18.
As in SEVEN days from now.
Thank goodness for Hometown and a very welcoming mom.
The boys think they are on the neverending vacation. This all started on Sunday morning, and for three days (or was it 10?) we stayed at various friends' homes who had power and spent one night in our house with the fake/realistic gas logs blazing all night. Mickey was thrilled to get out his bean bag (sleeping bag) and off to sleep he went. Alex was thrilled to sleep with mom and dad once again. I was thrilled to wake up four times in the night with pain in my backside, since that meant I had not died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Pete, uh, was not thrilled about anything.
As for damage to our house, our wedding gift of a patio table and chairs is demolished. The chairs are bent at the "waist" from the impact of the very large limbs that fell. Sort of weird, though, the glass tabletop survived unscathed, more or less... Other than that, we could not see any damage. Except if that power pole has fallen behind our house since we left, then things could be ugly.
The whole thing has been very inconvenient, but through all of it the streets have not been iced over. The biggest problem has been navigating a clear route through the neighborhoods. Grocery stores are CRAZY. I was in a very large one Monday night trying (in vain) to find "D" batteries, and the lights just went out. All the way. Audible gasps everywhere, and then the generators kicked on. And I kicked it out the door.
I've got plenty of pictures on my camera but have to get them loaded on mom's computer somehow. I hope soon but no promises.
The good news? Hometown has a couple of very nice Christmas light displays that have my boys totally enthralled. We've already driven through one of them twice, and this is only our second night here. Pretty soon I'll just hand Mickey the keys and say "be home by eight..."
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
And I have Shannon to thank for it.
So if you know me, keep a safe distance while this CD is playing unless you want to hear me singing at the top of my lungs. In my car, of course. With the windows rolled up. Poor Mickey and Alex... And Pete.
(If you really want to get in on the giveaway action, visit Shannon's blog devoted solely to free stuff. Five glorious days a week.)
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
You Didn't Do What???
A man came home from work one day and found total mayhem. The three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud. Empty food boxes and wrappers were strewn across the yard.
When he went inside, the mess was even worse. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against the wall. In the front room, the TV was loudly blaring on a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, cereal had been spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over more piles of clothes and toys, to look for his wife. He was becoming worried that she may be ill or that something serious had happened.
He found her in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a book. She looked up at him and smiled and asked how his day went.
He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
She smiled and answered, "You know how every day when you come home from work, you ask me what in the heck I do all day?"
"Yes," he said, baffled.
"Well," she said, "today I didn't do any of it!"
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
My Superficial site is full of mostly tawdry but benign news about Paris and her big lips, Jennifer Love Hewitt and her big hips, and Kathy Griffin and her big trips. Won't they please let this kind of quality gossip waste my time and forego the news about Ms. Winehouse, who is only interesting like a trainwreck (yeah, but Brit has kids and that makes her life/trainwreck interesting).
And if anyone comments to me any information about AW you will be in big trouble. I'm kind of proud of the fact that I don't know anything but how to spell her name.
(What?! So you think I'm being judgemental? Ahhhh, the beauty of having your own blog...)
Monday, December 03, 2007
So, ignoring our own blinking lights on the dashboard of the Toyota, we ventured out in 39-degrees-and-windy weather to show the boys the incredible sight. We threw their jackets and mittens in the car but didn't really intend to put them to use.
Then we got there and lo and behold a parking space presented itself and we couldn't resist...we zipped and hooded up the boys and set off in the dark of the early evening.
The lights...they were truly beautiful. We walked up and down the sidewalks and the boys gazed and pointed and Mickey provided an endless string of questions and comments. The large body of water in the middle of the campus had me gripping Alex's hand unnaturally tightly, but there were ducks and a fountain so I held him in my arms so we could still get a look. For a minute.
Then next to the pond was a white gazebo with a swing (are you hearing Hallmark commercial music yet?) and then horror struck me:
I didn't bring my camera.
Me...the photomaniac in our family, the one who had 20 complete family photo albums in her possession, BEFORE husband and sons even came along. I found myself without my camera for what could have been a beautiful seasonal shot...maybe, (gasp!) even Christmas-card quality.
So the photo-op was lost, but just between you and me...it was kind of nice. There was no pleading with the boys to stay still for a picture. I wasn't begging Pete to help me get "just one shot." I wasn't agonizing over lighting, backgrounds, smiles (or lack of), hoods over eyes or extraneous people in the viewfinder. All I was doing was enjoying watching the boys on the swing. And Pete took out his cellphone and snapped a couple of blurred shots for me (bless him). And I have those to remember the outing by, and the memories in my mind and in this blog post.
Maybe sometimes that should be enough.
(But just in case maybe I should also get a couple of disposable Kodaks to keep in my car...)
Saturday, December 01, 2007
2. When your husband volunteers to take your two toddlers to a high school basketball game while you go scrapbook for eight hours, snicker and say "...that's a great idea for an activity, honey." And then marvel at the wonderful job he must have done since everyone made it home uninjured and fed. And he stayed for the whole game!
3. Two-year-olds and glass Christmas ornaments do not mix, even over carpet. Alex popped two of them together and shards went everywhere. As well as I vacuumed I'm still finding them. And he broke them last week.
4. A three-year-old can sometimes come up with better words than what they should actually be. "Puffit" for puppet. "Pushin" for cushion. "Organ" for ornament. Maybe not that last one but it is funny to hear "MOM, we NEED to PUT the ORGANS on the TREE!"
5. My Toyota user manual is just a tease. Three lights on my dashboard illuminated themselves tonight and the book's only advice is "see your Toyota dealer." No explanation whatsoever. Wouldn't it just be easier if the three lights just said "TAKE IT IN"?
...wow, I hope next week is just as fruitful.
Friday, November 30, 2007
(And if you're like me you'll breathe a sigh of relief that your fav. menu item did not make the list. So that makes it okay to eat. Right?)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
First, there was Mickey's request to "have Barney come out of the TV and help us decorate..."
Then, the "workers" need to "build us a house like that one..."
"That one" would be the IMAGINARY house in the "Barney's Christmas" video (thanks grandma) that my boys have been watching over and over since, um, August. But now it's actually relevant content, which is not at all lost on Mickey.
Ugh...so I guess pretty soon he's going to start asking for smiling, singing children in his living room, too.
But I'd almost rather come up with that than bake gingerbread cookies. Blech.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Love getting back to normal.
Except for Mickey getting way sick yesterday morning, it was a fun-filled weekend for everyone. And last night I cliched myself into wrestling with tangled Christmas lights for about 45 minutes, but I prevailed and they now grace our new tree. The ornaments? Not so much just yet...although getting through today without pulling out all my ornaments with the boys so eager to help is going to be a lost battle.
Oh, and as far as winning the holiday battle against food (and by the way, why are all the cooks in my family Paula Deens and not Ellie Mae Clampetts?!), I would say I suffered quite a blow. But, I was back at the gym this morning with all the other guilty parties...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Today, however, is more than just Thanksgiving Day for me. It’s the one-year anniversary of the day Pete came home from the hospital after battling a pulmonary embolism for seven days.
Actually, he’d probably been fighting it a lot longer than that. Prior to riding in an ambulance to the hospital from a doctor’s appointment, he had been short of breath and had weird pains in his chest. No telltale signs of a heart attack, mind you. But not being able walk up the stairs or to his truck in the driveway without stopping to rest. The shortness of breath was consistent and worsening daily.
What’s that they say about hindsight…it’s almost tragic to think about here. To be brutally honest, we ignored all those very obvious signs. We thought somehow his symptoms would magically disappear. He’d been to the doctor before but for some reason his condition was not detected until that day a year and a week ago (through no fault of the doctors, we believe).
I’ll spare you all the details and ominous things the doctors and nurses told us during our Seven Days of Hell (save for this: when our priest visited us in the hospital, his first comment to me was “…when I hear about a parishioner with a pulmonary emboli, it’s usually after he’s died…” We chuckled nervously, but he didn’t know how much I was teetering between a smile and tears.)
But later on today, there will be only happiness tears during the blessing at Thanksgiving dinner (just a prediction). And I'll want to say thanks again: to God for bringing him home safely. To our families and friends who so quickly made me realize how lucky we are to have them. And even to my boys…for being so young and thinking they were getting so much attention from their grandmas and aunts just because they’re cute.
Today is all about being thankful and appreciating the life you have. Well, this mom and wife appreciates it all right...more than anyone will ever know. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Hug your loved ones today.
(P.S. I'll be taking a blogging break during the holiday...I'll let you know next week if I gave Thanksgiving Dinner the same treatment as I did Halloween candy. But ooooohhhh, that Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting I just made...)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Well anyway, I recently established another one. My other contest/junk email address actually had the word "junk" in it and I started to feel a twinge of meanness each time I used it. What?! Web sites do too have feelings!
Now all that's not the point of my post. So I got this new email address at, say 9:00 a.m. By 10:00, not kidding, I had my first email...from a "Nigerian." The one that promises you fortune if you'll just help them get their inheritance to the U.S. Or some such nonsense.
One hour, people, is all it took for one of these freakishly-strong machines to comb the Internet for my new, totally made up out of my little brain, email address.
Be careful out there...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
And be sure to come back with something for me 'cause I'll still be asleep.
* Thanks to my friend Pat who sent me the link. She and I did not research the legitimacy of all the ads so please don't come running to us if your TMX Elmo isn't $5.99 like the ad said.
When your toddler gets a bottle of milk with a fast-food meal (since that makes the whole meal healthful, right?), punch a hole in the top of the foil liner and insert a straw.
Confession time. My two toddlers know the golden arches well. And Sonic. And Braum's. They don't, however, drink soda (yet). Most fast-food restaurants now offer milk of some kind that comes with a lid and a foil liner. Simply punch a hole in the liner with a plastic knife or your thumbnail and insert a straw. Works great for keeping spills to a minimum and it's faster than wrestling the liner off when time is short.
For more incredibly useful tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
That last picture may not seem like it belongs here but I wanted to post it anyway since I took it with the rest. No, it is not our backyard. Our house does not have a backyard...instead, a very lovely deck. But it's not a good play area for the boys to run and throw things at each other.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
-- If your son gets carsick while riding down a freeway and you have to let the "sick" soak in for 10 minutes while you break the sound barrier to get home, it's bad. Carpet cleaner, upholstery cleaner, Febreze, and Car Jars help a lot. So does a husband who likes to clean and take car seats apart.
-- I was off a week on the Biggest Loser contest, so I found out the final weigh-in is next Tuesday. I hope I don't need to eat before then.
-- Cooking with red bell pepper did not kill me or my family. It was actually quite wonderful. Go here and see what I mean.
-- I had more blog posts in October than any month ever in the history of this blog. I'm not sure how that happened since there are still 24 hours in the day. My early New Year's resolution is to get some posts with substance out here. Or at least a useful tidbit once in a while.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Once upon a time there were two little boys named...
Mickey and Alex.
Okay, Mickey and Alex. And Mickey and Alex were going on an adventure.
No, a trip.
Mickey and Alex were going on a trip. To the beach.
No, I don't like the beach.
Why don't you like the beach?
Because there's fish that swim in the beach water.
Yes, but they don't swim by the people. They like to swim by themselves.
So Mickey and Alex are going on a trip. Where do you think they would like to go?
Well, they can't go without a grown-up.
What grown-up will they take with them?
Mommy and Daddy.
Okay. So Mickey and Alex are going on a trip and they're taking their mommy and daddy with them. Where are they going?
On a rocketship.
What will they do on the rocketship?
They won't have any toys. But they'll have a play area for us.
What will mommy and daddy do on the rocketship?
Where will we sleep on the rocketship?
Well, we'll stay at the place where they make rocketships.
What will we eat while we're at the rocketship?
Well, we'll drive to get something and then come back to the rocketship.
How long will we stay at the place where they make rockets?
Four nights. Then we'll come home.
...and they say making up bedtime stories is hard.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
At the end of this week, as in Friday around the boys' naptime, I'm going to post whether or not I won the war on Halloween candy. By that time, I think I will have given the boys a healthy candy dose and found a loving home for the rest of it, outside my house.
So let's be clear: a win in this battle means not having even one piece. I know that one piece of candy does not a diet ruin, but that one piece tends to bring a lot of friends with it.
And I'm going to be honest about the results, too. I have too many real-life buddies reading this who I will have to face with my results.
(Okay, should I really post this? Do I really want to set myself up? Oh, well, publish or perish, they say...so GO!)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Don't worry, I will not leave you hanging. I'm going to see this eight weeks of brutality through to the end...for better or, more likely, worse.
And now for the Results Show you've all tuned in for, this Week 5 of 8 of my gym's Biggest Loser competition.
A half-pound loss.
And I took off my shorts at the scale to accomplish that.
This is all the proof I needed that me and Halloween candy cannot happily coexist in my household. Either Alex is getting a crash course in chewing up Starburst or some of it is going to Pete's office on Thursday.
Oh, and to update you on Chad the Trainer's off-the-cuff remark that sounded to me like nails on a chalkboard?
I did approach him about it and yes, he did back pedal but not at warp speed like I thought. His reasoning behind his "well I don't know about that" comment was that he wants me to get there and just see how that goal weight feels to my body (bliss, I'm thinking, but okay). He said sometimes people lose weight only to lose energy, too. So their bodies are telling them that maybe it's too low and they should gain a few pounds back.
He was very apologetic and encouraging and told me I'd been doing well to date and keep up the working hard, etc.
I feel better having spoken to him about it; after all, he needs to know that someone could take that to heart. And lose sleep and then blog about it...
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
But Mickey to the rescue, without even cracking a smile:
"Well, Mom, can I lick your fingers?"
Friday, October 26, 2007
There's an article in this issue about planning for the "big day." Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, and how to keep on program during a time when it's so tempting to overeat.
So there's tips for the day before the big day, the big day itself, and the day after. The part on the day after suggests you have some leftovers, in moderation, of course:
2 oz. roast turkey breast. Yum.
2 Tbsp. canned cranberry sauce. I'm not cran-crazy but okay.
1 c. steamed green beans with 1 Tbsp. toasted almonds. Getting better.
And then the bottom falls out of this little menu:
1 c. warm canned pumpkin.
Excuse me? You want me to eat pumpkin without cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg and evaporated milk, all snuggled up in a flaky pastry?
I didn't realize such a thing was possible. Are there people out there who rountinely eat un-doctored canned pumpkin? By the cupful?
Now maybe I'm missing out on something here, but this just doesn't seem right. There's a reason every Libby's can in the world has a recipe for pumpkin pie on the back of it. It is not meant to be consumed any other way!
I suppose not every tip in these mags is the best one they could come up with. But please...something tells me some college intern took a dare and snuck this one in.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The fires are not so much a weather story and definitely lack the needed precipitation factor, but the Weather Channel is a bit confounded by that so they air updates, too. But the winds! Oh, the winds make it weather related...woo-hoo for the WC!
So without the 'round-the-clock fire coverage from the Weather Channel, I get to feed my news appetite with CNN, MSNBC, and the others. See if you haven't been thinking the same things while watching "California Burning":
1. A no-brainer: the press couldn't wait to give these fires their own title. "California Burning" splashed on the screen, complete with animated flames, was the logical choice.
2. At the speed of light, FEMA rushed to spend thousands to accommodate the evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium and other locations. They would do anything to avoid the criticism that Katrina brought them. In fact, they have probably ended up overspending on resources in order to avoid it.
3. Wolf Blitzer is going to implode if he doesn't find out why the fires burn one house and leave its next-door neighbor untouched. Here's a newsflash, Wolf: tornados do the same thing. Move on to another subject (like how you expect us to keep up with your six TV screens).
4. Reporters are actually asking evacuees what their plans are as far as rebuilding if their house is destroyed. WHAT ELSE ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO DO?
5. When a reporter is broadcasting from an area and they say "...this whole town is evacuated; no one should be up here..." It doesn't really make them look very good to be, uh, standing there.
6. This morning my local radio news boasted that theirs was the only reporter in town who went to California to cover the fires. Hmmm, maybe that's because everyone else realizes that people in northeast Oklahoma don't really care about it that much. And there's 847 national news people out there who are already covering it. But good luck trying to report something to us that we haven't already heard.
Oh, well...my persnickety attitude will not prevent me from continuing to watch the coverage. After all, I'm sure those Californians were glued to their TVs when we had our own fires a couple of years ago.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I took Alex and Mickey to a pumpkin patch today where they had a fish pond. I don't think there were actually fish in it, but it was hard to tell because the water was so dark.
As the boys flitted about inspecting the pumpkins and flowers, I noticed the pond out of the corner of my eye and made a mental note to be especially watchful over the boys when we approached it. Minutes later I was sternly instructing Mickey to keep back from the edge, which he did. As I was making my mental notes and barking at Mickey, Alex stayed two or three steps ahead of me.
And then he bolted.
He ran toward the pond and didn't stop until he splashed (I believe all of South Our Town heard me screaming...). He went in up to his neck and then his cheek hit the water's surface just before I caught him up under his arm. I was quickly in up to my thigh. I was holding my camera in my right hand and raised it above my head to keep it from getting wet. (I'd like to think that if I thought Alex to be in grave danger I would have let go the camera.) So that meant I got to will all my strength to my weaker left arm and hoist him and his wet sweatsuit up out of the pond while trying not to lose my footing on who-knows-what at the bottom of the pond.
We managed to get back on shore without me getting completely submerged and the camera only a little splashed. Alex cried only a little, thank goodness...as for me I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
In case you're wondering if anyone else was there, we were the only customers. The man working there just sort of stared at us and offered to help. But I think he was wondering who these crazy people were who had disturbed his peaceful fall morning.
So what of Alex's soaking wet clothes? I happened to have a large bag of the boys' out-grown pajamas in the car that I was saving for a friend. I dug through it and found a shirt and some pants and we were in business. And that plastic bag came in handy, too.
I feel so irresponsible for not making sure I had hold of Alex's hand. I totally overestimated his two-year-old mind...thinking he would just be a little curious, not a lot. And I totally UNDERestimated how fast his little legs could move.
Oh, and as for Mickey? He watched and dutifully helped where he could. And also had some simple but sage advice: "Mom, we should go to a pumpkin patch where they don't have ponds."
And something for Alex, on our walk to the car:
"Alex, 'member you can't go in the water without a grown-up!"
Yep, Mickey, I suppose that is indeed the best advice.
...turned into "I can't believe it's 55 degrees and windy and my son is soaking wet but I'm still taking a picture."
Shiny floor? Or bilge water? Hard to tell...
A little tight, but dry.
No way I was leaving there without my friggin' decorations.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Anyway, I'm watching some of the other moms going in as I'm singing at the top of my lungs (and trying not to move my lips so they don't know just how loud I'm projecting...I do have some pride). I figure most of them were babies while I was busy committing Alan's words to my memory forever. For a minute I thought...wow, I'm freaking old. At 41 I'm the mom of two toddlers, and most of my "colleagues" are 10 to 15 years younger than me. And some of my long-time friends have kids who almost aren't kids anymore. They're thinking about homework and who their kids are hanging out with and ACTs and curfews and driving tests.
But you know, I'm okay with that. I really am. The important thing is not my age, but how I feel. And I feel great (Biggest Loser contest notwithstanding). Sure, my boys will probably get teased about their geriatric mom, but I will teach them to say "hey, at least she would fit right in in Hollywood..."
Okay, well, maybe they will need to learn a right cross, too.
I have heard at least three horror stories in the last month about people whose computers crashed and took precious photos with them. I couldn't stand that thought one day longer...
As a friend of mine once said: in the name of cute children everywhere, back up your stuff. Today.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I didn't want to post this week's results. And lucky for me, the gym is closed today so I could not weigh in. Oh, sure, I could step on my own scale and see the damage, but when every ounce counts it's important to stick with the same equipment every week.
Ahem. Where do I begin? I was sailing through last week just fine, then the curve balls began flying:
Curve ball #1: Impromptu midweek card game at our friends' home. We put the boys down to sleep and played until 1:30 a. m. Ordered pizza at 12:30.
Curve ball#2: Alex gets his first ear infection of the season. Not such a curve ball in itself, but the pain caused him to wake, for good, at 6 a.m. three mornings in a row. And wake up two or three times during the night (luckily, pat, pat, pat and he goes back to sleep). Hang on, I'm getting to the point: lack of sleep makes me too tired to care about watching what I eat or exercising.
Curve ball #3: Gym is closed today so I had to go to another place to workout. Without going into detail, it is not as conducive to a good treadmill session as my regular gym. I was on the treadmill for a lackadaisical 30 minutes instead of my usual 45.
Curve ball #4: I am a good cook. Well, not really a good cook but I have recently happened upon a couple of so-good-you-forget-any-kind-of-eating-plan recipes that I just had to make. (Check out www.cookscountry.com.) I don't know why I make these dishes; I tell myself I can handle the pressure and then I just cave. So now it's back to my bland cooking again (sorry, Pete).
Okay, that's the ugly report. I know the curve balls aren't going to stop...I just have to get better at catching them.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Some friends and I got together last evening to work on our scrapbooks. And eat. And talk. And eat some more. And talk. I think I got two pages done. But that's beside the point.
The conversation turned to blogging do's and don'ts. None of these girls actually author a blog, but oh, my friend, do they read them (now I don't know why they don't blog; I think they would all be interesting reads). Anyway, we talked about the issue of blogging personal things about your friends and relationships and knowing your posts could be read by the subjects.
This, people, I do not friggin' understand. Can you say "light the fuse and stand back"? I don't understand why someone would post ANYTHING they would not say at a podium in a convention center filled with all the people they've ever known.
To me, that's what blogging is. It's putting your thoughts on the INTERNET people. You know: that thing that has taken over the world? That thing that is accessible by everyone? Even kids? And your friends? And your mother?
It's up to you, ultimately. If you want to be the kind of person who airs personal things, things that could potentially hurt someone's feelings or cause them embarrassment, then that's your business.
But as for me and my blog, we'll have respect. I consider the podium scenario before each time I click "publish post." And I see my mom sitting in the front row.
And then sometimes I hit "delete."
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
So I showed up like a good BL and prepared to sweat with the rest of the BLs, only there weren't any rest-of-the-BLs. I was the only one there. Great.
"Sarah" showed me to the room where our interval training was to take place. A room with mirrors on every wall. Every single wall. Did I mention Sarah's last name? It's Buffbody. Sarah Buffbody was wearing a very revealing but all-business workoutfit. As she demonstrated each interval I noticed how good she looked and how skillfully she performed each task with a smile and a steady voice.
So we set to work and she was very sweet and encouraging, but I could not keep from seeing my struggling reflection in the mirror at every turn. Ugh. So I tried to concentrate on myself instead of SB working quietly behind me and annihilating each station like a pro.
After the workout, she and I chatted a bit about the Biggest Loser contest, and I confessed to her that I had indeed lost a lot of weight at one time in my life.
"Really," she says, in that we-have-something-in-common voice. "I used to weigh 203 pounds."
So with one sentence, she put me in my place and she didn't even know it. She had worked extremely hard to get her body in that kind of shape, and was probably standing where I was standing at one time in her life. And not once had I considered the fact that her build was due to hard work and determination and persistence. I took it for granted that since she was so young, being in shape must surely be easy for her.
I know that good health is a journey and not a destination, and even when the contest is over in November, I will still have a long way to go before anyone dubs me Christine Buffbody. But for sure, the only way to get there is the route Sarah took. No other roads lead to where I'm going.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Just because he really was going in for a kiss. No really, he was.
Just because we should all reach for the...wait, that's just corny.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
So if I want to reply to or comment on your comment, I will leave a comment on that same post. Whatever...you know what I mean. If you say something and you think I might want to say something back, check the comments again later. There. Now if you can't understand that, give me a call; I'm in the book.
Monday, October 01, 2007
So what do you think? Should the boys stay with their mom, who is unstable but probably loves them, with supervision? Or go live with their dad, who has a pretty checkered past but seems to not be a drug user?
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Enjoy...it's nice to dream anyway.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Beyond that, we visited the McDonald's "R" Gym yesterday after MDO. Crowded and crazy as usual. We did have an "awww" moment when a little boy took Alex's ball from him. Mickey swooped in and told the other little boy "hey, he was playing with that." Then he took the ball from him and gave it back to Alex (all the while holding on to his own, of course). My hero!
Oh, and I'll leave you with this Overheard from Mickey: the other night he was half asleep when I went to check on him. He rolls over and says "...mamma I need a hig and a kuss..." Of course, honey.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The winner of the contest will have the highest increase in fitness score over a period of eight weeks. Eight, grueling, no-donuts-after-Mother's Day Out weeks.
The good news? I have been sticking to my workout and eating plan for nearly two weeks. Almost 14 days. Part of me wants to get up from the table and say "okay, I paid my dues and it was hard. Where's my goal weight please?" But I know it's gonna take a lot longer than that. Drat.
Visit me next Tuesday for another update.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I will resume regular stuff tomorrow night. And tonight I'm praying their family will draw on God's strength as they cope with their loss.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Okay, here goes. I'm committing myself to blogland about my latest endeavor to lose weight. I'm sure this time is different than all the other times and I'm going to stick to my plan. (A little de ja vu anyone?)
I posted a while back about joining a gym, which I've been using regularly for two weeks and I love it. I had been trying to get active by walking in my neighborhood a few times a week, but working out in a gym environment is more motivating. So far it's been great. I go on MDO days and before Pete and the boys wake up on the other three days. Theoretically.
So this gym is getting ready to start a "Biggest Loser" contest next week. I'm in it. I'm in it and I want to win it. It's only eight weeks long, not enough to lose all the weight I want to lose, and the prize is only $100. But I'm trying to tap my not-really-very-competitive side and use this as a starting point for my ultimate goal.
The first weigh-in is next week. I don't know if they weigh weekly or not. If they do, I'll post my loss (and it WILL be a loss). Now don't be silly: you're not going to see how much I weigh out here. Even Pete doesn't know that (and even if I posted out here he still wouldn't know). Anyway, progress is more important than numbers. So that I will post every week. I believe this contest even has challenges like the real Biggest Loser.
So here I go...the next "Biggest Loser." But if they make me wear spandex I'm out.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
I DON'T, however, like to pay for a bakery to make them. So until my boys start asking for a sculpted volcano cake or a Lightning McQueen car made completely of chocolate, this frugal mom is making their cakes. I figure twice a year I can push my creativity to its very limits and still come up with something that won't draw snickers and tastes decent. Here's this year's attempt at Alex's cake for his Blue's Clues party:
The pawprint is blue sugar, sprinkled onto a template I drew on a piece of paper. The M&Ms around the side are his new tradition (see last year's cake). The cake is chocolate; I used the very simple recipe on the Hershey's Cocoa can. The frosting is another simple recipe I already had. The beauty of the whole thing? I had all the ingredients already in my kitchen except the sugar and M&Ms, which cost about $6 together. Compare that to the $26 that was quoted to me for an official Blue's Clues cake and I think I successfully beat the system.
(Unfortunately, the system still won in the birthday gifts department...)
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Melanie tagged me today and what Melanie wants, Melanie gets.
You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
Players - You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
D -- DREAMING about my next vacation on the beach. With or without kids. If kids are with us, we'd have a full-time nanny with us, too. Heck, we'd have THE nanny, as long as I'm dreaming.
I -- IDENTIFYING the areas of my health that need attention. It didn't take me a lot of time to do this. Maybe someday I'll blog that journey...
A -- ALLOWING myself to make mistakes from time to time. I usually judge myself too harshly. But maybe that's a little harsh.
N -- I try to NEVER lose sight of what's important. One of my best friends likes to say "...but in the big scope of life, does it really matter?" Helps me not shudder when Mickey is running around an indoor play area with no socks on.
E -- ENJOYING my boys. Especially the little moments, like Alex snuggling me when he wakes up. And Mickey squealing on an incredibly big swing at a friend's house today. I want to remember those moments forever.
Now I'm tagging one person for each letter of my middle name.
Brittany at Back for Round II
(hmmm, now here's where it gets interesting. I really don't have a lot of bloggin' friends. I'm a wallflower in blogland, and I suppose here is where it's most obvious. My "tagging one person for each letter" requirement is now shortened to "tagging one person." Thank you. Now go feel sorry for me... Brittany, when you're finished with the meme maybe you can tag EIGHT people to make up for me being the social outcast.)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Not bad 'eh? He was very curious about it at first, then I showed it to him in the mirror and that was pretty much it. He didn't try to get it off at all.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
IT HAS A CHRISTMAS TREE ON IT.
It's only September 11 and the arrival of this catalog makes me feel inadequate since I haven't even thought about Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. Or Halloween (sorry Mel).
But I suppose I'll be drawn out of summer and into fall anyway, kicking and screaming the whole way. I did send the boys to Mother's Day Out this morning in pants and long-sleeved shirts. But I protested by wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
The good news? It is finally cool enough today for fingerpainting on the deck after MDO. Not fingerpainting the deck, but fingerpainting while sitting at a table on the deck. And...probably...fingerpainting the deck. Check tomorrow for pics...
Monday, September 10, 2007
These friends have twins: a boy and girl who are Mickey's age (almost 4). As soon as we hit the door the expected chaos ensued and the toys came out, with Alex trying to keep up as best he could. The four adults settled down to watch the game and yell at the TV.
Pretty soon, I said to Pete "where's Alex?"
"I don't know..."
I calmly got up and went to kitchen area near the back door where we'd entered the house, and panic rushed over me.
The door was unlocked.
Almost instantly I laid my eyes on Alex, who was wandering about in an adjacent room. He hadn't yet been attracted back to the door, the door he could have easily opened and stepped out, putting him about ten feet from the edge of the pool.
The possibilities didn't register with me at that moment. I noticed an open child-lock on the door and engaged it, and bolted the door, too.
The rest of the day was uneventful. The kids played and football continued.
Then the magnitude of what could have happened started building up, and I nearly got upset just sitting there watching football. I thought about all the times I'd heard about pool accidents with toddlers, and thought to myself what a negligent parent that child must have had. Surely they must have been white trash or drunk or abusive. And here Pete and I sat...none of those things, having made the same mistake with our own children that one of those parents might have made. Only we were lucky. We were proceeding along with our day as planned, instead of asking ourselves how we could have been so stupid.
(big sigh). I don't like to get dramatic for drama's sake. It's not my nature. But since I had kids I think about things a whole different way. I cherish every minute I have with these boys, in spite of my sometimes stressful days. If anything, this non-incident on Saturday proved to me that even though I try to do everything right for them, sometimes I fail. And that's a scary thing to think about...