Monday, April 30, 2007

If only...

At church on Sunday, one of the members played flute during service and I about died it was so good. Immediately, I wished I had never given up flute when I was younger. Which got me to thinking: if I had unlimited time and resources (don't all great questions start this way), what skills/hobbies would I like to pursue, new or revisited. And I came up with 4:

  1. Photography - I would love to take a photography class. This is my favorite form of art and it always has been. I'm particularly drawn to landscape shots. I could seriously sit in a room for hours on end and look at shots of nature without getting up except to eat and use the bathroom. I just love it.
  2. Flute (or Clarinet) - Once upon a time, I played each of these instruments. But then I got an attitude and decided it was much cooler to play sports. Once I realized this wasn't the case, I never thought to go back and pick up the instruments again. Every time I hear one of them playing, I imagine it's me and it makes me smile.
  3. Piano - I can't really pinpoint an origin for this one, I just think it's way cool to watch someone who's playing. And it would help out a lot when Dave or I are trying to learn a new song for an audition.
  4. Dancing - I guess I'm just all about performance stuff. I love shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. I think dancing is incredibly athletic and ballroom dancing in particular is a great reminder of a time in our history that was a little simpler and more romantic.

So that's just a little insight into my life. Nothing too crazy, just something I was thinking about over the weekend. What would you do/learn? I'd love to hear from you!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays

This has just been a crazy, crazy week. Schedules were out the window, and evidently most of my habits with them. Ugh. Sometimes I wonder about myself. Talk about a long, lonely road...

Anyway, the only habit I did keep up with this week was the pedometer. I wore it every step of every day for a week and kept track of the info. Armed with that knowledge, my new habit for this week will be to walk at least 8,000 steps a day. All of this is leading up to some exciting news that (once I get permission), I will be sharing with the world. No, I'm not pregnant. Check out Lara's site for other's habits

Dave's parents will be visiting this weekend to celebrate the kids' combined birthday party, so it will be a very busy weekend. Everyone have a safe and wonderful weekend, and hopefully you'll get to enjoy a bit of the outdoors without the threat of a tornado siren blowing your eardrums out!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:

Happy Birthday, Emma!

And then there were 2...

Happy Birthday, Emster! We love you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Go here for more WW

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My kingdom for a doorknob

I installed a doorknob today. All by myself. Go me! Here are some tips and things I learned along the way:

  1. Gather all your tools before you start (in this case, a screwdriver set, a hammer, a new doorknob, and a copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice)

  2. Don't wear your favorite Phil Collins shirt, just in case the job gets messy.

  3. If you are installing the doorknob in a bathroom, fill the sink with water to give your 2 year old daughter something to do.

  4. Small screwdriver bits are hard to see once they've been dumped in the toilet.

  5. When the instructions say "Use a wood block between the latch and the hammer, lightly hammer latch into place", go find a piece of wood. Evidently Pride and Prejudice didn't do the job I thought it would.

  6. Once the latch is in place, DO NOT SHUT THE DOOR until the doorknob is on.

  7. If you do shut the door (thereby locking yourself and your soaked 2 year old daughter into the bathroom), don't panic. You'll figure something out.

  8. Until you figure something out, don't forget that you brought a book with you! Sneak in a few pages of reading. You're not going anywhere!

  9. Pins in door hinges are a bugger to get out sometimes.

  10. Despite your will and desire for the door to come off after you nearly broke your arm trying to get the pins out, there is, in fact, still no hinge mechanism on the door so your "solution" turns out to be a dud.

  11. Thankfully, pins are much easier to put back in. Just try not to dent the door. Or your thumb.

  12. When in doubt, break the whole latch mechanism to free yourself and your unbelievably content and "helpful" daughter (why in the heck can't she be this calm and focused when she has the whole house to play in???)

  13. Get another doorknob and start over, reminding yourself that mistakes are a good thing. How else would you know what NOT to do?

  14. A sink full of water and a frantic mommy can keep a young girl entertained for an hour or more.

  15. Step back and admire your handywork, knowing that your daughter can no longer get to the toilet or the sink that kept her entertained so.

Monday, April 23, 2007

My testimony

I am a Christian.

I was raised in the Catholic Church and I currently attend a Methodist Church, but those are just denominations. In my (obviously liberal) opinion, no one denomination is the right one and each one has its own unique set of flaws. But the one thing that they have in common is that they believe in God, and that works for me. The other thing they have in common is music, and that is generally what keeps me coming back. More on that in a bit.

I have never been one to stand on the rooftops and shout about my faith. I have always seen my faith as very private and personal. I'm more of a "faith through action" kind of girl, as opposed to "faith through testimony", but that's just me. I've never really been comfortable getting into discussions about religion and faith. I've never joined a bible study. When in school, I tended to clam up in classes on the subject. I'll answer a direct question, but not after a bit of uncomforatable silence while I take my time to form what I would deem to be an adequate response. But I have found a way to express my faith: through song.

No matter what church I have ever attended, the musical portions have always been my favorite, even if I didn't particularly care for the song at the time. For me, music can make or break a service. I really think a well sung song (either as a solo or by a choir) can outpreach even the best minister. On the flip side, nothing ruins a service for me more than a bad song.

And what has brought about all this religious contemplation for me today, you ask? I attended a funeral today for a member of my church choir. She has been ill for awhile but not dangerously so. She died unexpectedly this week. Her husband asked the choir to sing a couple of songs for the service, and they also had a "Witness in Song". They chose 6 songs whose lyrics embodied everything this woman was.

One of those songs was "I Love You, Lord" and it's lyrics pretty much sum up everything I've ever felt about singing and my faith. So hear I am, singing it from the rooftops, because for me, singing is the ultimate testimony.

I Love You, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship You, O my soul rejoice!
Take joy, my King, in what You hear,
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in
Your ear.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Enjoy it while it lasts

Aaaah. Spring. Spring has finally arrived here. The weekend was beautiful. The weather was beautiful. The kids were...pretty good. Having Dave home is beautiful. Sigh.

We spent the majority of the weekend outside because it was just so durn nice. We went to the park, we took walks, we played outside, we looked at all our flowers that died when we had frost last week...It's still 76 degrees here at 8pm, and I decided I would much rather hear the terms "unseasonably warm" instead of "unseasonably cool". We even cooked out on the grill tonight and ate dinner out on the deck. It was bliss. And I'm quite certain the neighbors didn't mind us yelling at Emma to stop throwing her food.
I've even gotten fairly optimistic about turning the TV off next week. Yes, you heard me. I'm going to participate in Turn Off the TV Week. I'm actually going to do it, at least during the day with Jake. Dave and I haven't fully decided if we are going to do it in the evenings, too, so we'll have to see what happens tomorrow. But anyway, the weather has me all hopeful of all the outdoor activities we are going to partake in that will be capped off by a visit from Grandma and Grandpa from Illinois to celebrate the kids birthdays.

And then I checked the weather for next week...

Why, oh why, can't nice weather last for more than 2 days here??? Ugh.

Wait, I think I hear the remote calling...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays

I am actually quite impressed with myself with how I did this week on respecting myself. It was a hard week with Dave being gone and all, but I hardly yelled at Jake, ate a lot better than I have been and got back into my reading habit. By no means perfect, but that's not really the point, right?

I went to the gym today with a friend of mine and it is amazing how much better I feel (mentally and physically) after I've gone. How come that's so easy to forget? This week, I will start using my pedometer again and writing down my daily step counts in an excercise journal I already own (which has just been sitting there doing nothing, kind of like me!) Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wonder of wonders!!!

Honestly, in the 8 years that I have known Dave, I don't know if this has ever happened before.

Dave is coming home EARLY!!! Granted, only 2 hours early, but that's still amazing. He didn't have one single flight delay today and when he got to Chicago, he was able to catch an earlier flight by putting his name on standby. SERIOUSLY!!

Hours of travel from home to Canberra, Australia: 58 hours
Hours of travel from Canberra, Australia to home: 36 hours

A definite improvement, I would say!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Beautiful Banshee

O.K. Maybe banshee is a little bit harsh (i'm sure her screams aren't warning us of an impending death), but my girl has got a set of lungs on her.

Call it a scream, call it a shriek, call it what you want. It's loud. It's high pitched (she once made a wine glass ring in another room). It's annoying. And at times, it's actually physically painful to hear her. And she does it ALL THE TIME. It's usually when she's mad or wants something and we had the audacity to make her wait. But it's starting to trickle over into playtime. She and Jake are starting to make it a game, and I really think they get some sort of satisfaction out of seeing blood coming out of poor Dave's ears.

And how do you deal with that? We can't scream back. We have learned from experience that you can't always do things with earplugs in your ears (especially drive 7 hours). We can't yell. We've tried ignoring it. To no avail. And I think duct tape might be taking it just a little too far.

So if you see Dave or me in the streets, remember we're losing our hearing so you may need to speak a little louder. But, please, PLEASE...just don't scream.

Oh my God

It's 1am. I'm dead tired. And yet, I can't seem to bring myself to got to bed. Why? Because I'm still not convinced that I've made a wise purchase. I've been spending most of the day researching my latest obsession, and I finally made a decision and went out and bought one tonight. Then I came home and immediately got back online to second guess and do more research on a product I've already got. What could be so interesting and important?

A mop.

I think I've reached a new low of loserdom and may need serious intervention...

Wordless Wednesday

Miyajima, Japan
Check out WW for others pics!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Count me in!

For Heather I've been hearing for several days now on several different sites about Heather and her recent devastating news that she has an inoperable brain tumor. She and her husband will be traveling to the Mayo Clinic on April 25th to meet with doctors there to see what their options are.

On April 18th, her friend BooMama is organizing a free will love offering that will help Heather and her husband offset some of the costs of their trip to the clinic. There will be a PayPal donate button on her site that you can click, and all money collected will go to Heather.

Do I know Heather? No, I don't. Does that matter? No, it doesn't. As I read just today:

"A life of doing is better than one of regretting what you didn't dare to do".

Toothless wonder

On a Friday in June of 2006, Jacob was running with a toy and fell on top of it. He hit his mouth on the rim and it pushed his tooth back into his mouth at a 45degree angle, but it never came loose. I don't think I had ever seen so much blood in my life. Well, we frantically tried to get a hold of our dentist and then Jake's pediatrician. Our dentist never called us back, but the pediatrician referred us to a pediatric dentist that same night and off we went to get xrays.

When we got to the dentist's office, I think he spent more time talking Dave and I down off a ledge than anything else. We were totally freaked out that our little boy would have to have a tooth pulled at only 3 years old. But sure enough, he wanted us back in first thing Monday morning to have the little bugger pulled.

Jake (and Dave & I) got a crash course in the tooth fairy that weekend. Again, he was taking everything in stride while Dave and I would bust out crying every time we looked at him. It just looked so PAINFUL! But our little guy went about his day like nothing ever happened. He even went back to the offending toy on Saturday evening wanting to play with it. O.K. At least there was no trauma from that aspect.

Dave had to leave for a business trip on Sunday so I called my unbelievably wonderful Mom & Dad to come stay with us for a day or two. Dad stayed home with Emma while Mom and I took Jacob to the dentist. I almost had to leave I was so heartbroken. I myself have had a lot of work and surgeries done on my mouth so seeing him sitting in that chair just brought back a lot of icky memories, but anyway, this story is about Jake. He could not have done any better at the dentist if he tried. He was unbelievably calm through the whole thing, even when the put the "funny gas" mask on his face, it never phased him.

Fast forward to this past weekend. I was reminding Jake that he had a dentist appointment on Monday and he got all excited as he usually does when I mention the dentist. But then he got quiet and said "Mommy, is he going to take another tooth?" I assured him that this was just for a cleaning. I told him the dentist had a special tool that would clean his teeth and tickle them at the same time. He seemed fine with this answer, but had just one more question. "Mommy, do they clean them in blood?"

I was now beginning to think that he was traumatized forever by his first meeting with this guy, but then I noticed the tone of his voice. He wasn't at all scared, he really just was curious. And who can blame him? His question makes sense now that I think that the only exposure he's ever had to the dentist involved blood and coming home with one less tooth. He was about to have a new procedure done and just wanted to go in with as much information as he could.

Pretty cool for a four year old, if I do say so myself...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, J-man!!

So, I cannot believe it's been 4 years since you came into our lives. Where did 4 years go? I remember taking a walk with Daddy on April 14th, 2003 and wondering WHEN you were going to come into this world. And lo and behold, 12 hours later, there you were! All 10 lbs, 1.3 oz of you. Daddy and I had no idea how much different, or better, our lives would be once you came around. We wondered how someone so small could ever grow up into a "real person", and then...

Happy Birthday, Jacob! We love you very much!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays...R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Alrighty then.

I didn't write one thing down in my food journal this week and I ate off my kids' plates all week. There you have it. I can make all the excuses I want in the world, but there's no reason for it. I just didn't do it. As always, I am wallowing in self pity, plain and simple. So here's the new game plan...

Respect is the new buzz word in our house. We are trying to teach Jake (and Emma to an extent) to respect himself (brushing teeth and washing hands), to respect his stuff (putting caps back on markers), and to respect us (good listening, no hitting, etc.). You know the routine.

So I had another duh moment (or aha moment if you are the optimistic type), much like the one I had last Saturday that lead me to reinforcing my WW habit of keeping a food journal and not eating off the kids' plates: I need to respect myself. I can talk to Jake until I'm blue in the face about respecting me, but if he sees me disrespecting myself, well then what did I think the result would be? A sudden sense of sympathy from a boy who still occasionally eats yogurt with his hands? Sure. Whatever.

So this week for SHS, I will make a new habit of respecting myself with a 3 pronged approach (look at me soundin' all businessy):

  1. To respect my body, I will journal my food and not eat off my kids' plates (I like to repeat "My body is not a trash can" when I feel tempted to eat their discards).
  2. To respect my own authoritah, I will keep a level head and not fly off the handle with Jake while disciplining him (in through the nose, out through the mouth).
  3. To respect my brain/soul, I will reinforce my reading habit.
Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
Food Journal and Scrounging
Increased personal reading time
Limit personal computer time

1 on 1 kids time

Dave Update

Sorry for the rant yesterday. I just get so frustrated with airlines. But as my wise father says "Really, what are you gonna do?"

Anyway, after 58 hours of travel, Dave has reached his final destination of Canberra, Australia. His bags, however, did not. The good news is, though, that they are at least on the same continent. Woohoo!! Hopefully he should get them before tomorrow morning. If not, he'll have to go out and buy some clothes. He did pack one extra outfit in his carryon, but not 3, and in his own words: "I stink."

There was a quote in an e-mail I received tonight, and really, it could not fit Dave's experience better...

Dave, here's a quote for you:

'Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. Begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with old nonsense.'--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 13, 2007

Airlines, how do they do it?? (Very long)

One unfortunate part of Dave's job is travel. When we first met and started dating, he took 1 (at most 2) trips a year and at the time, he said that was a lot. 7 years later, he travels at least 4 or 5 times a year and it's usually international. This month is no different.

He had a 2 day stint in Washington, DC on Monday and Tuesday. Since he was only gone overnight, he did not check any of his luggage. It was a small plane, and on the way home his bag would not fit in the overhead bin. He gave it to the attendant at the door at the plane and was assured it would be there when he got off (kind of like you do with a stroller when you are flying). Well, it wasn't. He landed at home on Tuesday and the unchecked bag didn't. All of his toiletries and prescriptions were in the bag, along with his tennis shoes and other necessities. He was told that his bag was still in DC and that it go out on the next flight and we would have it "first thing in the morning". He then needed to go to the pharmacy to get an emergency refill on his prescription since he needed it that night and would need it to pack for Australia (whose flight left on Thursday).

What we consider to be "first thing in the morning" came and went on Wednesday and we made another call to Delta's baggage claim center at about 11am. The bag was, in fact, still in DC and would not arrive here until at least 1:30pm, after having made a trip through Atlanta, first, of course. I mean, really, isn't it obvious that an overnight bag would have to travel an extra 300 miles in the opposite direction before reaching home?

We make one last call to the baggage claim center around 2:30pm to make sure the luggage was at least in the right state. We were told that it was out for delivery, to which Dave asked "When can I expect to see it? What's your delivery window?" Evidently that's not a straight forward question, because they put him on hold. When they come back, they now said it was scheduled to go out for delivery by 3:00pm and that there is a TWELVE HOUR WINDOW! Seriously? 12 hours? How many bags do they lose that it takes them 12 hours to deliver them all???

Fed up, Dave decides to go out and buy new toiletries just to be on the safe side (just in case 12 hours wasn't enough time to bring 1 overnight bag). While he was gone, the bag showed up. So that drama ended. Finally.

Fast forward to Thursday. The first leg of Dave's flight to Canberra, Australia is scheduled to leave at 1:30pm. We decide to drop Jake off at preschool, drop Emma off at the sitter's and go have breakfast together. Amazingly, that all went as planned. We picked the kids up at 11:30 and then went straight to the airport to drop Dave off. That's never an easy thing to explain to the kids that they won't get to see Daddy for a week. This time as we drove away from the airport, Jake's response was "Mommy, I want to see Daddy! He's sooooo cute!" I agreed that he was, in fact, very cute but that we still wouldn't be able to see him for a week. He sighed and then didn't talk the rest of the car ride home. Emma just kept saying "Where's Daddy?"

Once I get home, I get a call from Dave that his flight has been delayed by an hour. Not a surprise, I can't remember the last time one of his flights WASN'T delayed. So I told him to keep me updated. He finally gets to Chicago O'Hare and finds out that his 5:30pm flight to Los Angeles is delayed. And keeps getting delayed. Later. And later. Until it is so late that there is no possible way for him to make his connecting flight out of LA. And, oh yeah, there's not flights out of LA to Sydney, Australia until 10:30pm on Friday. Awesome. So finally, at 10:30pm Thursday night, his 5:30pm flight is "rescheduled" for 8am on Friday morning out of Chicago to O'Hare. At least he got a hotel voucher.

The reason for the delay? They couldn't find the plane. Then once they found the plane, it was dirty so they had to clean it. By the time it was found and cleaned, the crew was gone. So they had to find a new crew that wasn't exhausted. Apparently, that never happened.

During all this, he kept trying to call the American Airlines customer service number to see if he could get information on different flights (the attendants at the gate were giving less than NO information). At one point, the lady on the phone told him to double check his flight number because the flight that he was referring to already left Chicago at 6:20pm. He assured her that they had not left and that he had 400 people sitting around him to back up his story just in case she still doubted him. She didn't.

Once he found out that he was not going to make his LA to Sydney flight, I had to call the hotel in Canberra, Australia to let them know that while he was going to be late, he was still coming so please don't give his room away. Three international phone calls and 5 people later, I was assured that there will be a place for him on Sunday, but since he cancelled so late, he would still have to pay for Saturday night. Great. Thanks for understanding.

So as I write this at 11:44am on Friday morning, my husband is somewhere between Chicago and LA, his original flight delayed 14.5 hours. Hopefully he won't have any more delays after this - he still has 2 more legs (LA to Sydney and then Sydney to Canberra) before he reaches his final destination. His delay in Chicago was longer than the entire flight from LA to Sydney. He is going to Australia for a 3 day conference. On one of those days, he has to give a presentation. How long of a presentation, you ask? 17 minutes. He has gone through all of this to talk for 17 minutes.

I don't even want to think about where his luggage might be...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Finding my happy place (or Delta sucks)

Here's today's rant:

Everybody's sick.
Delta lost Dave's luggage on a flight from DC to here...even though he never checked it.
They couldn't give us an accurate time of when it would be returned to us.
Dave leaves again tomorrow for Australia.
He had to go out and buy all new toiletries to replace the ones that were in the lost luggage.
The luggage got to our house while Dave was out buying all new stuff.
He forgot to bring his cell phone so I couldn't call him at the store to tell him not to buy all new stuff.
I am evidently a human punching bag for my children.

Good stuff that happened or will happen later:
McDonald's new Southwest Salad is really good (I even ordered the chicken grilled and the lowfat Italian dressing)
Jake discovered the security camera and monitors at McDonald's and had a good old time hamming it up...for himself.
We're getting ice cream later to celebrate Jake's birthday early.
Emma had a hoot stealing the pieces to Hullabaloo while Jake and Dave were playing it.

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Easter!

Go here for more WW

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Jake's art gallery

So I've been working on going through all of Jake's artwork to decide what to keep and what to (it kills me to say) toss. But once I made the decision to just do it, it became much easier. I mean, do I really need to keep a white sheet of 12x18 paper with one lone red crayon line? NO!

Anyway, here is the before picture, just to refresh your memory

And here are the piles after I sorted through them. I came up with three piles: keep (the pile in front), toss (the pile in the back on the right), and wrapping paper (the pile with the big orange blob). I read a tip somewhere that using kids art as wrapping paper was a good way to keep it useful. There's still a lot of white space left on most of it so Jake could even decorate more if he wanted to. I ended up rolling this pile up, securing it with a rubberband, and putting it with my wrapping paper stuff.

This is the wall in the basement that I decided would become the gallery. I got a level and made a line all the way across the wall. I then found these Command Decorating Clips and small binder clips at Target. I hung the Command clips and then hung the binder clips off of them. I got the "clothesline" effect without putting any holes in the wall.

This is the finished product. I had more artwork than space so I had Jake help me decide what to hang (I think he likes the end result, don't you). I have a plan, too, for the stuff that didn't fit this time and the stuff that eventually gets rotated out. I am going to get a box for each of the kids like this one from The Container Store for the stuff that I want to keep long term. For the stuff that I like but not enough to keep, I'm going to take pictures of it and start an art album.

So that's it for the first part of my Organizational Challenge being hosted by Laura. Hopefully, I'll be adding an update on the second part of my challenge (the craft supplies) next week.

Updated: There are a few questions that Laura wanted us to answer to see what we got out of the challenge:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

This would definitely be throwing out Jake's stuff. Even though it was just paper, it was hard to toss it, but once I made the decision on the first piece I decided to throw out, it got a lot easier.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

Every new thing Jake brings in the house, he gets to decide where it goes. We have a whole rotation between the refrigerator, the new wall, and giving it as gifts to people. If he decides he doesn't want to do any of those 3 options, I then decide whether to toss it or reuse it as wrapping paper. Whether it's leaving the house via the mailbox or the trashcan, I now take a picture of it right away to add to his art album.

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

I either tossed it or repurposed it as wrapping paper.

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?

That it's O.K. to throw things away. It's just taking up space. It is also giving us a little insight into the type of art projects Jake likes. It's always interesting to see the things he wants to display and the things he doesn't care about. Sometimes we think the same, sometimes not. It's pretty cool.

5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?

Yes, Jacob really likes showing off the stuff that he's done and it's a relief to me to know that I have a plan in place to avoid drowning in glittery paper!

Monday, April 9, 2007

It's all in the timing

So I think I picked the worst possible time to pick a healthy eating habit for this week's goal. Here are the odds stacked against me:

1. Easter candy. Need I say more?
2. Dreary cold weather. It's still a little hard to get outside right now. This weather just depresses me and depressed = overeating.
3. Dave is out of town for basically the next two weeks. Boredom in the evening + stress from kids + missing Dave = the biggest spoon I can find for the ice cream.
4. Whatever daily excuse I come up with to shove food in my face.

Come to think of it, April in general is a bad eating month for me. I've got Easter party food, Easter candy, Jake's birthday, Emma's birthday, and then a joint party for Jake's and Emma's birthday at the end of the month. I should just pack in my scale and dust it off again in May.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays

O.K. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I'm a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I have been doing WW on and off since before Jake was born (they don't let you be an active member when you are pregnant) so going on 5 years now. I would lose the weight, gain a little bit back, lose it again and so on and so forth.

Well I finally hit my goal weight and became a lifetime member at the beginning of 2007. But I am by no means "in the clear".

For those who don't know, the WW system is based on points. Every food has a point value. The healthier food, the lower the point value. Each member has a certain number of points that they are allowed to eat in a day and staying within that point range helps you lose or maintain your weight. The little explanation is crucial to the next part of my story.

The other day when Jake had his meltdown, I didn't have time to eat breakfast in the morning. So after dropping Jake off at preschool I went through McDonald's drive-thru and got myself a Sausage Egg McMuffin w/ cheese sandwich and some of their new Cinnamon Roll bite things (whatever they're called). So I sat there and thought "there is probably enough points in one bite of this sandwich to bring me up to my daily total" and then proceeded to eat everything I had purchased. And it was then that I realized something very important about myself:

I don't have a weight problem; I have an eating problem. More specifically, I have a self-control problem. This point was driven home to me again today when I caught myself finishing my kids' lunches that they didn't eat. While polishing off the mac & cheese, I was also thinking about what my habit for the week would be. Being the intelligent woman that I am, I was able to connect the dots and come up with my new habit. Well, actually 2 that go hand and hand.

So my offical SHS goal for this week is:
I will start maintaining my food journal again and I will STOP eating off my kids' plates.

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
Increased personal reading time
Limit personal computer time

1 on 1 kids time

Friday, April 6, 2007

I will live to see another day (and make Christine think about it)

It's crazy how much better Jake is today than yesterday. We've had a couple of rough spots, but there has been no physical violence, and that's always a good thing! I had plans for this morning, but I decided to clear the calendar and just hang at home with the kids. I think Jake was burnt out because we've had a very busy week. So at 4:15pm, everyone is still in their pajamas. It's a good day.

Looking back through old posts, it appears I missed a compliment/invitation to compliment others from my friend Christine. Apparently, I make her think! Woohoo!! I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm happy to oblige. There's even a cool little graphic that I get to add to my sidebar now. I'm all about the graphics. Now I get to list 5 other bloggers that make me think. So in no particular order, here goes:

  1. Beth - I'm pretty sure we were separated at birth. Her blog is like a mirror to my own life and I always feel like I am not alone in the mad, mad world after visiting her.

  2. Christine - My own path of faith is fairly muddy, but Christine inspires me to break out of my comfort zone and really examine the choices I make and why I make them. She's already been given this award a couple of times, so I am going to officially relieve her of her duty of coming up with 5 more names.

  3. Zany Mama - She is a much stronger person than I think she gives herself credit for. Sarcastic to the core, she helps me appreciate that while it might be hard to find, there is humor in all things.

  4. David - My husband's blog. He is crazy busy at work and doesn't have a lot of time to post, but when he does they are zingers. I live with him, and I still learn new things about him when I read his posts.

  5. Deedee - Her posts make me want to be a better writer. Whether a recap of her day or an awesome recount about a life experience she's had, every post is like a little book.

Here's what the blog award rules are, so they say:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think;
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme;
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote. Here are the two versions of the award:

So there it is in a nutshell. I'll try to post a new habit tomorrow for Smart Habit Saturdays, but if I don't get around to it, I hope you all have a great Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

And THEN...

...Dave told me he would take care of the kids' bedtime so I could go out and get a Butterfinger Blizzard (my absolute favorite) from DQ...and they were out of Butterfinger.

I'm glad this day is over...

Trying to figure it out

So, today has not been a good day. Well, I can't even say that. The morning was great (no timeouts for Jake), I got a lot of errands run (minimal screaming from Emma) and I wasn't late picking Jake up from preschool. I was planning on running through the drive-thru to get chicken and french fries, but Jake said he didn't want that, he just wanted to go home. I asked him if he was sure and he said "I don't want chicken and french fries. I want you to turn left instead." Turning left is the way home. So I turned left and we went home.

I didn't even have the car pulled into the garage yet and Jake said he wanted chicken and french fries. I knew it. I should have seen it coming. But I reminded him that he said he didn't want that and I was not going to go back out. And then all hell broke loose. I tried to get him calmed down, but there was no consoling him. So I told him he had to go to his room, and then the screaming started. On the way to his room, he bit me and grabbed my face and I spanked his bottom. Once in his room, the chaos continued and he started kicking and hitting. I took him to the bathroom and he tried to bite me again. So I spanked him again. And no, I did not intend to leave a handprint, but that's what happened. And now I can't go back.

After he had been in his room for a little while, I went in to see him and just started to cry. I apologized to him but he won't forget that I spanked him, just like I won't forget that he bit, kicked, and hit me. How do we move past this? I ask myself that question everyday and I have yet to find an answer.

My side of the family has a history of depression. After episodes like this, I begin to wonder if I am missing the warning signs in myself and if some of the condition has been passed on to Jake. He gets so violent and I don't know why. "They" say that kids exhibit behavior that they are exposed to. Am I that violent and just not realize it? Is all of this just part of "growing up" and I'm just not dealing with it well? Do other kids have the same problems and I'm just exaggerating the problem in my own head?

I'm so tired of the questions. Sometimes it would be nice to just have answers.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Tagged again

My "big brother" Gumby tagged me for another meme. I get to name 7 songs/CDs that I've listened to recently and write a little bit about each one. Doesn't seem to hard, considering my new love affair with my iPod...

1. Dave Matthews Band - This is one of those nice combinations of angst and happiness. There are some songs that make me feel like I'm floating, and others that make me feel like a rebellious teenager. Always a good combo.

2. Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians - This is one of the first bands I remember getting into when I was younger. I don't remember whow introduced me to them, but it's just happy sometimes silly music where making sense is optional.

3. James Taylor - He's a master storyteller. Sweet Baby James always makes me smile.

4. Norah Jones - I am so glad I listen to her. She's bluesy and cool and she has great hair. Oh yeah, she has a beautiful voice and plays piano. Shoulda been me...

5. Pat Benatar - Really. Do I need to say anything about this one? She rocks and I always feel like a stronger woman when I listen to her.

6. Genesis - This was a musical hand me down from my brothers and sister. I'm just glad it fit so well. Oh yeah, I'm in love with Phil. And I'm going to see them in concert in September. I almost threw up when I bought the tickets.

7. Marvin Gaye - I love old stuff and Marvin Gaye just makes me want to dance. People working out on the treadmills behind me at the gym have got to wonder how I can dance and walk on a treadmill at the same time without hurting myself. He just makes me want to move.

And that is all. Again, I feel like I just tagged everyone I know so this is an open invitation to tag yourself. Leave me a comment, I always love reading about music!!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Let the organizing begin

So the 30 day challenge has begun over at Laura's place, and since I recently dubbed myself "Little Miss Joiner", I'm throwing my hat into the ring. I'm actually going to do 2 small spaces, both of which I have just been putting off. The first is where I put all of the artwork that Jake brings home (I've just been piling it on a shelf), and the 2nd is his craft area. Both really small spaces so it should be totally doable (famous last words). Here are pics of both spots.
Jake's art pile

The craft stuff

The craft cabinet

Monday, April 2, 2007

Home Sweet Home

So after a much needed break, we are home from the wild blue yonder. Well, actually, it was quite green there because it RAINED THE WHOLE WEEKEND!! But that didn't stop us from getting out there and hiking for 6 hours on Saturday. We had a marvelous time and I even finished a book. I can't tell you the last time I read a book so quickly. Not only did I finish one book but I started a second. Unheard of. Anyway, onto the pictures...

This was actually one of the last places we visited, but I just love the shot. This is the place where it rained on us the hardest, but much rain means beautiful falls.

Dave has always been intrigued with the plantlife whenver we go on vacation, and this time was no different. This is a shot of this weird mushroom stuff growing up the side of a tree. I must admit it was pretty cool.

I didn't even realize until I got home that this was almost the exact picture I used as a teaser on my last post to show where we would be going this weekend. I guess I like this shot.

Besides making the falls beautiful, the rain really brought out the green in the moss. It was shocking how green it was against the color of the fallen leaves and rocks.

And yet another waterfall shot. This particular area of the state is crawling with them because of all the rock formations.

This was another of Dave's favorite spots. I'm not sure if you can tell from the shot, but the roots of this tree are exposed and growing over the rock trying to get down to the ground. The picture doesn't do this tree justice!

So that's just a few of my favorite shots from this weekend. We had a blast and we were a little sad to come home. But this is definitely one of our favorite places to go and we can't wait until the kids are able to handle the trails by themselves so that we can all go together.