Wednesday, April 30, 2008
My oldest child, Jake, has inherited this lovely attribute from me, and he plans way in advance too. From January on he plans his next Christmas wish list. From the beginning of the school year he plans for the next summer. From the early morning he plans his pajamas for that night. I love him for this. We, together and/or separately, get labeled every name in the book from "over anxious" to "extra excited" to "paranoid". But that's okay with me. The people who aren't "planners", those are the ones who will worry if their underwear is clean during an emergency.
Jake also plans his birthday parties a year in advance. I'm absolutely NOT joking about this. When he turned two he celebrated with a Maisy party and the next day began talking about how his next party would be a Buzz Lightyear celebration. I changed his third birthday for him at the last minute to Animal Planet, but the day after his party he decided that Spiderman would be the theme for when he turned four. And on his fourth birthday, while the Spiderman decorations were still freshly hung, he planned his fifth party: a sports-themed extravaganza.
I loaded the kids in the car this morning and we headed off to the party store in search of decorations. The party is four weeks away, and to get the invitations out right on schedule, we needed to buy them ASAP! Taking two boys to a party store was a lot more tempting for them than I originally thought. All of my son's plans slowly began to drain from his little excited eyes when he surveyed the spectacle around him. Before I knew it we had Transformers, and Baseball, and Football, and Star Wars and Backyardigans themed supplies piling high inside our shopping cart.
"Just a minute here!" I declared. "We have too much! You need to decide on what theme you like best and we'll go from there." His little face slowly turned from excitement to bewilderment and he looked at me like, "How exactly do you expect me to do this?" So I carefully reminded him that he originally planned on Sports for the theme, and I further explained that we didn't really need to get the Tyrone and Uniqua Backyardigans dolls or the American Idol trophy to accomplish this. He held up a Star Wars decorative ribbon and with the biggest puppy dog eyes I've ever seen asked, "Please don't make me put back the ribbon!" I then had to be the "tough" Mom that I dread (my kids usually see right through me) and told him that he could buy the Star Wars ribbon if he was going to choose that as his theme. He reluctantly put it back.
Then he saw a plastic archeologist's hat (I know, I gagged too) and begged once more for me to buy it. "That hat is part of the dinosaur party. Is that what you want?" I asked him, knowing full well that to him dinosaurs ranked in the same category as My Little Pony. Another hour (no exaggeration), and fifty dollars later the back of our car was filled with Sports-themed stuff. And in place of the beloved Star Wars ribbon was a red, white and blue ribbon with a gold medal that said #1 in the center.
When we arrived home I think he was still a little unsure of his decisions, but he layed it all out on the counter for Daddy to see. And as soon as Daddy made an inappropriate "poop" comment in reference to the football pinata, I knew Jake was hooked. He was ready to pass out the invitations today!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Last week was a slow week for us, no big outtings or adventures planned, so I did some creative thinking and got out my big binder of children's activities (literally, it's a black spiral binder stuffed with art project ideas, songs, games, etc... and when I pull it out my kids act like Santa dropped by for a visit). I came up with "Sticky Floor" for the kids to experiment with. I used to do this when Jake was younger but it's been awhile. You take contact paper, roll it out sticky side up and then tape it to a hard surface. It works better on a hard floor, or even outside, then on carpet. If you don't have tape, then cut off pieces of the contact paper to "tape" it down.
My kids thought it looked really exciting! Jake was so anxious to try it, he literally dove head first into it (see photo below) and then started laughing hysterically because he was "glued down" as he cried out.
The next time he tried it a little more cautiously and then lost his balance (see flailing arms) and began to fall, landing again, all fours down. It was hilarious to watch!
Ben on the other hand did NOT enjoy this. I'm sure it didn't help that Jake had previously flew on top of it and remained "glued down" in a fit of giggles until I came to rescue him. It also didn't help that Jake was screaming "it's got my toes and won't let go!" So Ben ventured one foot only (see photo). He stayed like that for about 5 min. before I told him to "step off" if he didn't want to walk across.
Oh, it was hilarious to watch, and Jake enjoyed it for several hours. Ben decided he wanted nothing to do with it and would very carefully walk around it, seriously like two feet away from it, to pass by.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The boys started by sitting on stools at Daddy's feet and handing him tools and screws at Daddy's requests... and then the mundane boringness hit my kids like sugar to their tummies and they went into silliness overdrive!
Yes, this white contraption is part of the light fixture that Daddy is patiently waiting to be handed, while perched up high on a ladder... but not before the boys have some fun!
Benjamin had to try it too! It's only fair of course. Daddy is still on the ladder, and even though Jake is smiling happily at him, I think Daddy is beginning to lose his patience.
Then the boys notice I have the camera turned on, and the goofiness escalates. "Take one of us like this!" they yell. And when Jake no longer had the lighting fixture for a frame, he grabbed the next most practical item, a stool, and made due with that.
So then Daddy was a little tired of waiting and suggested that I take the boys into the living room to assemble the fan blades. The more the boys "helped" me, the more work it became. Here's Benjamin bound and determined to continue screwing in the screw that I've already attached... and he's using the wrong tool at his insistance.
Ben soon becomes bored with the screwing, and after careful examination decides the fan blade looks like a surfboard. So he hops on and refuses to get off. Seriously, five, ten minutes are rolling by. Jake is howling in the background behind me, because as all 4-year-old's know, "a fan is not a surfboard!"
Ben then tries to "surf" down the hallway to Daddy and I'm yelling at him, "get off the fan before you scratch it!" and Jake is yelling (and giggling), "It's not a surfboard!" and Daddy is yelling from the top of the ladder, "Babe! Where's the fan blades?!" So Ben goes running in to his room, holding proudly the blade, and says, "Here's the surfboard Daddy". I started laughing and I could hear Daddy chuckling too. Ben ran back to me, grabbed another blade and ran back to Daddy yelling "Here's one! Here's a surfboard!" This was repeated for all four fan blades.
Oh, maybe you had to be there, but it was pure silliness in our home this morning. After all that, after getting it installed and working properly (surfboards and all), we found the motor to be broken. It makes a very loud "whirring" sounds as it circulates. *sigh* Back it goes to the store tomorrow, and the drama continues...
When I stepped on that cold piece of plastic this morning the numbers literally began to jump all over the place. It was 142, then 147, then 145, then 138 (I swear I whispered "Stop there!" on that number!) and so on. I felt like I was in Vegas at a slot machine! "Land all three 138's in a row, and win a muffin-top reduction!" Then the numbers stopped... on 143. That's not too terrible... I tried to reason with myself.
I mean let's be honest here, if someone was to ask my weight today, then weighing in at 143 I could clearly say, "Oh, I'm just about 140..." which sounds like I'm just under it, and not a couple notches above it. And in all honesty, if I stick to my "better lifestyle choices" (I've been told dieting doesn't work) then in a couple of weeks I might actually be 140. Okay, so at that point I can just claim to weigh 135, because we all know that if you weigh between 135-140 you can automatically register your number as "135". It's basic math really.
So I'm back to my "better lifestyle choices" today, and had a nice, but slightly bland, bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. Even if I don't lose weight by eating Cheerios for breakfast, I can still have piece of mind that my cholesterol is being lowered instead.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
“Alright, so I'm going to be brave. I'm going to face my diet fears and jump in Vader-head first. I asked Hubby to take some pictures of me so I could have before and after shots. When I came out with the Vader-head on, Hubby just shook his head at me and said, "Whatever". Then as I was taking the photos, he was yelling things like, "No sucking it in!" and "That's right, let it all hang out..." and "Don't squinch your butt!" Squinch my butt? I wasn't purposely doing that, but note to self: when around other people, try to make butt look un-squinchable.
After he took my pictures he noticed I had earrings on and asked, "Why are you wearing earrings if you had a mask on in the pictures?" I just kind of gave him a weird look. "It's still a picture, and mask or not, I don't want to look like a complete dodo." I sure sidestepped that one, huh!
So here I am, weighing in at a whopping 143.5 lbs. on day 1 of my adventure in dieting. It's never fun to weigh myself, but I go all out. I strip to my birthday suit, use the bathroom, blow my nose, take off jewelry, pull my Scuncii hair band out of my hair (you never know what helps)... and then step on the little white box that will forever taunt me. I am determined to lose weight by my Hubby's reunion in 4 months and now 7 days (which, he informed me, I have even less time since I'll "need time to go shopping before then" so I'll need to lose the weight even sooner then expected). Good grief. Right after these peanut butter waffles, I'm going to jump on it!”
Here's me in my all-together (as my Grandma would say):
I hated taking these photos. The whole time Hubby was yelling things like, "Suck it in." "Don't hold back!" "Don't try to perk up your boobs, let them be saggy..." Oh, yeah, a real self-esteem booster he is. "Don't make your butt look so squinchy"... Like I'm trying?? That's just my natural butt. It's huge, and round, and if possible still a little on the flat side. Good grief.
I have 4 months and 6 days to get skinny before my Hubby's reunion and so far I have done one day of dieting and almost killed myself with starvation and had a slight relapse involving my couch, my Prison Break dvd's and a bag of Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks. Stop right there, for the record, I did NOT eat the entire bag... I believe there are still a few sticks left in the bag amongst the crumbs at the bottom. This is my defense:
Yesterday I started off by having an Eggo waffle with peanut butter for breakfast, and for lunch I had some strawberries and a breaded chicken breast stuffed with cheese and broccoli (and no, it was not made by me, it was courtesy of the frozen foods aisle at Win-Co) ...and then I had a few pretzel sticks (literally like 6) for a snack in the afternoon and most, but not all, of a can of coke. At dinner I had a huge salad with a low fat Asian sesame dressing that my Hubby said looks like "baby diarrhea", and a very very small portion of spaghetti.
So understandably, I was absolutely starving by 8:00 and could not wait until morning. So I tried some grapes. That did nothing. So I started by having a small handful of pretzel sticks, and then I had another 6 after that, and then my dvd's got soooo good and I was so involved that I didn't notice I wasn't hungry anymore!
And after awhile I thought, well what do you know! So I picked the bag up to put it away and realized it was extremely light. I very cautiously glanced down into the bag and realized my demise. Well of course I wasn't hungry anymore, I'd eaten almost everything... I'm honestly a little surprised I didn't started tearing off pieces of the bag and eating that too! But in my defense, when your starving from lack of food throughout the day (and NO chocolate... ooh, I'm getting a little light headed just thinking about it) and you're staring at the beautiful Wentworth Miller on the dvd screen, you just sort of lose yourself.
*sigh* Back to square one today. After I told Hubby this he just kind of shook his head and recommended that "maybe you should just weigh yourself every couple of weeks instead of every day" so I would "see results". Yeah, because he knows that if I weigh myself every day and the scale goes up again then, the depression will sink in and he's back to t.v. dinners.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Yelled from the bathroom: "Mom!! I got some pee outside of the toilet!" That was a real treat to listen to and clean up.
Then my youngest one sees me sitting in a chair with my stomach pushed out slightly over my jeans (give a girl a break; I'd just eaten) and he decides to push it and say, "Wow! Tummy Mommy!" totally mesmorized pushing it in and out. Just lovely... "Thanks honey, if you really want to see a show, go check out Daddy's tummy"... I felt like saying.
Or this morning when I was literally stepping outside to head for the grocery store, I had my keys in hand and purse on my shoulder and my oldest was absolutely bewildered that I might run over a slug on the driveway when I backed the car out. *eyebrows raised* "A slug??" I ventured carefully. Sure enough, both boys rushed over to the top edge of the driveway and pointed at a small black creature inching it's slimy way across our pavement. So I had to very, very slowly back out, with my oldest standing on the sidelines and carefully guiding me with his hands "around" the precious slug. Then, when I apparently had cleared into the safe region, I got a thumbs-up of approval. *rolls eyes* Just what the world needs: one more alive slug.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Hubby joked "Do I have time to start Rogaine?" haha... Don't tell him, but I checked out some boxes in the supermarket on this hair stuff, and I didn't think they'd kick in in time. I just told him, "You're tall. Just stand up straight and try not to bend over. Maybe no one will notice." As it is with us, I have to stand on a step-stool to kiss him goodnight, let alone notice his receding hair line. He's so tall he usually yells down to the children instead of talking. He also notices the rain before the rest of us, too. Oh, I could go on... but I have much bigger problems to face than his hair-loss fiasco.
First, how to lose the weight? I'd like to post a shout-out to a lovely woman named Karen who is always coming up with delicious recipes that are healthy, low-fat and look absolutely delicious. This is a woman who wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to bake earth-friendly cupcakes. Not just regular Betty Crocker packaged cupcakes, but from scratch, organic, good for the environment, eat the dirt from your backyard, cupcakes. When I wake up early in the morning, my first decision is powdered or chocolate (donuts). Maybe I need to start here: establishing a low fat, low calorie diet that will enable me to eat the foods I enjoy and still lose weight.
Secondly, should I... exercise?? AUGHH! It's a frightening phrase to spit out of my mouth. I had to take a sip of water before I could continue with this thought. I am a horrible exerciser... shall we revisit the dreaded running spectacle. *shudders* Okay, I have some videos I can work out to, but it's really hard when I'm trying to "Walk with Leslie Sansone" and my two-year-old drops my weights on my feet then runs in-between my legs while I'm kicking. Note to self: while it's good that legs are getting kicked high enough in the air for a small child to pass underneath, it's not good that I'm landing on Darth Vador's light saber and tripping over my own weights. I need to start working out in the evening when the children are asleep (or pretending to lay in their beds).
Third, what do I wear? I'll need new makeup, new shoes (ooh, a pedicure for sure), new underwear (don't ask... there was an incident involving some Crayola brand sissors and a marker and my bra...) and of course, a dress. What does one wear to a fifteen year reunion when one is 7 years younger than everyone else? I need to look pretty, and elegant... young, but not like I'm 18. Is this the event for a cocktail dress? Would a long gown be appropriate? Jeans with heels? Oh, help!
For the next 4 months and 8 days I'll be worrying about everything I eat, if I'm getting enough exercise (someone told me chasing an ice cream truck down the street at the requests of my children doesn't count), if I be able to find something to wear (and I'll have to lose some pounds before I can begin looking and trying on), will Hubby's hair line stop receding... oh the drama. I think I need a cookie to calm myself down... and maybe a soda to wash down the cookie.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Then the other day our Directv box broke down in the living room, and I almost broke down with it. Could I possibly function as a Mom without a television?? My worst nightmare was coming true--I might actually have to entertain my kids myself! And what would I do if I needed to take a shower? Or make dinner? Or pluck my eyebrows? Utter devastation set in...
Hubby called the Directv hotline (thank goodness for those lovely people; I'll have to send them a package of cookies at Christmas)... and they put a new box in the mail which would arrive in three days. "Three days!?!?" I exclaimed to Hubby. He tried to sympathize with me but truth be told he leaves for work in the middle of the day, so frankly I didn't think he cared much.
I woke up in a panic the first morning when realization hit me that there would be no cartoons with breakfast. I suggested a movie to my boys and they quickly agreed. Then for the rest of the day I found several instances in which I thought to myself, "I could put on another movie now..." but then I'd look at my dirty, sweaty, angels knee deep in outdoor play, and sending pb&j-stained smiles in my direction every few minutes... and I'd decide to let them be.
Then I became creative. Who knew K'nex were highly entertaining in the bathtub (not when shoved up a bottom, though)? Or that transformers can become "sand creatures" outside. Hide-and-Go-Seek became a favorite (alright, boring) indoors and outdoors game... but it made me smile every time my two-year-old would call out "Marco" and my four-year-old would reply "Polo" from his hidden spot. Who knew "Marco, Polo" wasn't just for swimming pools!?
Surprisingly over the next few days I realized that my kids don't actually watch that much television. Sure, they start the day off with Dora and Boots and a couple of other characters, but really for the rest of the day they're too busy to stop and sit... for longer than lunch. And I will purposely put on a show during the late afternoon when I'm trying to make dinner, or in the middle of the morning when I'm desperate for a shower, but I'm willing to negotiate with my "inner-mother" for those few thirty minutes of quiet. Sometimes my inner-mother talks back to me about my parenting, but I just shut her up with a brownie, or an extra serving of ice cream, and peace resides again.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This morning my son got milk on the couch (gross), and then his toothpaste fell on the floor. I poked myself in the eye with my finger when I was applying my eye liner, and my comfy jeans were in the dirty clothes so I was forced to wear a pair of old capri pants that make my butt flatter than a piece of paper. I hate those pants.
There was nothing to eat for breakfast but an Eggo waffle, so I cooked it and piled it high with peanut butter. Before I could endulge, my littlest son wanted juice and my oldest wanted a pancake. After I fixed them their breakfast, I realized my baby had wet through his pj's and both boys were squabbling over the most coveted spot to sit on the couch. After I pried them loose and changed my baby, I returned to my waffle to find it cold and very unappealing. Then I made the mistake of stepping on the scale and found I had gained two pounds! It was the start of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I received some photos I ordered in the mail and half of them had people's head's chopped off, and another third were extremely off-centered. I called the customer service line and told the woman I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and she kindly explained the service options I had chosen, and "helped me to understand" why it was indeed my fault. I asked her, "Why would I choose to cut off my niece's head all the way down to her eyebrows?" and she went on to again "help me understand"... after I "raised my voice" I began to realize she may be right... and I hate to be wrong. It annoys me terribly. So I ended up ordering a few pictures from Costco instead, to later be told by my Photographer sister that Costco's development is "doo-doo". Just great...
And then I received a call from one of two women who had purchased some Pottery Barn Kids items from me off of Craig's List, and she informed me that she did not receive what she bought, and "did someone else also buy Pottery Barn Kids bedding from me?" I soon realized that I had mailed the two packages yesterday to the wrong women--I had switched the address labels by mistake. This women was in Sacramento... the other was in Texas. I apologized profusely but she was still pretty irritated even when I explained I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. So now I have to pay for each women to ship the box to the other woman, which will cost me another $24 out of my pocket.
I think I'll just order a pizza tonight and head to bed early... My hubby is working an earlier shift and should be home by nine tonight, which is a rare delight. I got all excited to watch Lost with him and then he informed me that it was a repeat. I informed him I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and he told me... some days are just like that.
Monday, April 14, 2008
So as soon as we arrived home I got out my sewing basket to observe my scraps. I had soft cotton blue-and-white pinstripes and blue cotton with light yellow stars. "I can make the cape from this (gesturing to the blue-and-white stripes) and I can make the tie-straps out of the stars..." Jake thinks about it for a minute and slowly nods his head. "Yes. Yes, I think that will be fine. I'll also need a crown I think, otherwise they won't know I'm a King..." I'm thrilled to please you Your Majesty, I want to mutter but stifle in protest...
So feeling like Cinderella's twin, I get out my needle and thread and get to work. I never did get around to making a crown. His Majesty was pleased:
I asked him to model as a King and this is what I got...
And in this picture, the Royal Subject is stealing the King's thunder with his cheeky grin.
I see you've noticed the shield is back in the last picture... well, he decided after all to be a Knight... again. At first he was going to be a King with a shield and so I had to explain the roles of a Knight and a King: usually the Knight carries the shield and is a protector of the King, and the King sits on his throne and gives orders. After much consideration, apparently both options sounded appealing, he chose to be a Knight again. I told him this was the last cape I was making, and if he chose to be a Knight again on Friday he'd have to choose from one of the capes we already had... he replied, "We'll just wait and see Mom. I'll think about it." I just rolled my eyes.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
"Beautiful...absolutely beautiful. When they started singing this song, I got off the couch and just stood in my family room, totally blown away. An amazing song, whether you are a Christian or not. Who can be offended by such an uplifting & positive song? Our kids need to hear more songs like this, instead of the trashy, negative, destructive lyrics they are exposed to on a daily basis."
"Hooray! Someone in American Idol got it right! America was founded by people seeking a place to worship God in spirit and truth A nation founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ."
"I commend the singers for singing that song it shows the world how much that God is still alive and working and no one can compare to him Great Job Idol I commend you."
"When did the FOX network become a religious supporter? Bizzare choice of song, for me."
"No religion in music on TV. Music is about passions. Hate, love, loss, joy, fear. It's all art (some of it admittedly crappy). We should be willing to hear all of it and appreciate when true feelings can be expressed in music. The Doors, Black Sabbath, Metallica all have sung beautifully about darkness to help us undertand it. I also want to hear songs about light for the same reason. What about U2 -- ever listen to their lyrics (heavy on the God/spiritual stuff); same with Johnny Cash."
"whats wrong with it? its a good song. all the people who are whining need to get other it. I'm Buddhist. STILL a good song."
"perfect song choice, to GOD be the glory"
"Wholly Cow! I am having a hard time believing that was actually on American Idol!! Incredible! (in a great way!!!!) "
"this gave me goosebumps..as always! praise the Lord!!!!!"
"With all the violence, sex, racism... and every offensive thing imaginable in music today, it is unbelievable that this was allowed. Praise Jesus. We all know that being a white man or christian is very very unpopular in the world today."
"Praise to the Most High God."
"Hooray for Jesus! Thank you American Idol for being bold and going with your gut! I was starved of good music and you stood out with this! That's the beauty of America to me (and I am not Amreican)"
Here's one person version of the song that they downloaded on youtube. There's tons out there!
Friday, April 11, 2008
me: What did you have for snack today? (in school)
son: I don't know.
me: Really? Was it crackers?
son: No... (skeptical)
me: Well, we brought the milk today, so you had milk... (trailed off to silence)
son: Oh yeah! I know. We had those... you know... those things that you cook in the oven. And then we put that stuff on top. And then we ate them.
me: Okay... (hesitant)
son: We had that... with milk.
me: *sigh* Was it good? What did it look like?
son: I don't know.
This was our conversation on our way home today after I picked him up from preschool. Keep in mind I picked him up at 3:30 and they usually have snack around 3:00. Good grief...
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
So this morning I decided to take up running. A little background: I HATE running. I actually detest it. It makes my lip curl and eye twitch just thinking about it. But I'm a little naive early in the morning and decided this was the way to go if I was going to crack down on my "diet" and "weight loss".
When Hubby learned of my early morning adventure to go running, he grinned a little and then raced outside to set up the jogging cart. I was a little irritated at how quickly he jumped at the chance to "assist" me in my exercise preparations...
I bundled up Ben in the jogging cart and got my "tennis" shoes laced up...(this is how little I exercise: I don't actually own a pair of work-out, sports, high-top shoes. I am forced to wear my Simple brand lace up regular everyday shoes...) Hubby looked me over and grinned again and suggested that maybe I should buy a pair of running shoes. (I was beginning to hate him a little...)
So off we went! Great, I thought, we'll head to the park at a nice steady walking pace and then I'd run a couple of laps around the park and speed-walk home. We got to the edge of our driveway and Ben decided he no longer wanted a ride. Out he went and in hopped Jake instead. Terrific. Not only do I detest running but instead of pushing a cart with a thirty pound child in it I was now pushing a cart with a kid weighing well over forty pounds.
We headed around the corner and found the sidewalks were closed due to construction. Just great. Now I was forced to jog through my neighborhood where people I actually know might see me. Nevertheless, I began my jog... it sucked from the very beginning. My nose was running, my head was pounding, my lungs were going into overdrive trying to keep up with my heart.... it was a disaster. I couldn't imagine the sight I was portraying...
I ended up walking some, running some, walking some, running some. Every time I ran Jake would scream "Woohoo!" "Fun!" and my all-time favorite, "Faster Mommy! Faster!" Was he kidding? We passed some elderly woman sipping a hot beverage on her porch. The look on her face read: that poor child is being chased by a sweaty baboon in bad shoes.
When we finally got home, Jake was exhuberant from his morning escapade, and I was, well, wheezing from lack of oxygen. Hubby met us at the door and said, "Well? How did it go?" with that stupid grin of his. If I wasn't so tired, I would've smacked it off him. Panting and chugging water I managed to spurt out, "I...am...so...out...of...shape..." He laughed and asked if I'd be going again tomorrow morning. I just glared at him and collapsed in a chair.