Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Magnificent Freak speaks

Quote from my daughter tonight while I was in the shower and she finished going to the bathroom.
MF: Mom, I didn't flush because I didn't want to burn you
Me: Thanks, that was nice of you
MF: If I burned you, I wouldn't have a mom anymore. I would just have a dad and a dead mom in the bathtub.
Me: Um, ok (WTF is she watching on TV)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tis the Season

I hate the carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". Seriously? You are going to show up at my house uninvited, demand food and then refuse to leave until you get some? STFU!

Just one more reason that I'm not a holiday fan

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let the depression keep on rolling

In the theme of my past posts, this one is another depressing one.

Today after school we went to FCC to play. After we had been there for awhile, The Charming Phantom came over to the table to tell me that The Wild Freak was crying. I went to see him and see what was happening. He laid his head on my lap and cried for a while. While I'm asking what is wrong, CP was standing over my shoulder saying "things didn't go well at school today. With some force, I finally extracted from him that one of the other kids had been mean to him about PK and then that PK had been mean to him to. That instead of playing with him she ran away. Then he wailed "Everything used to be perfect and now it isn't"! Oh to be a second grader in love! CP comments, "I think he should break up with her and find another girlfriend" then shrugged at me and walked away ROFL No ulterior motives there. No sirree! :) Eventually he calmed down and told me that his new friend who is in the 3rd grade is the problem. His friends in his class don't want to play with the older kid so he has to decide who he wants to play with at a given time. I explained that sometimes your friends aren't friends with each other and you just have to decide which game you like playing better that day, that time. He told me that it sure wold be easier if all his friends could be friends. Isn't that the story of life!

Unfortunately, the way things are going, I'm betting I'll get to use my shiny new "drama" tag a lot more often.

Important names to know

Anyone that I blog about that didn't pick their own nicknames gets run through the superhero name generator. TB's friend O has earned a spot in the blog so they get names. Her mom K is the Fearless Phantom, O is The Charming Phantom, her sister M (MT's age) is The Daring Phantom and the little sister E is The Acrobatic Phantom.

Also MT is henceforth named The Magnificent Freak and TB is now The Wild Freak. Just cause I was tired of their old names. I'm not so good at forever names. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Body movin'

I get the National PTA newsletter through our local council PTA email list. In it, they had an article talking about different styles of learning and how to help them learn better. I took the little quiz they gave, fully expecting TB to fall into the "word smart" category because the kid NEVER stops talking. He doesn't write well because he is such a good story teller that writing limits his abilities. He can't write as fast as he can think and he ends up playing the "tell a complete story in 3 lines or less game" and leaves out a lot of detail that he would include if he were telling the story instead of writing it.

So anyway, the quiz came up with mostly "a"s, which placed him in the Body Smart Learner. Ok, he is also pretty active, I'll read the description and see what they say The following is text from the article.

Your child is a body-smart (bodily/kinesthetic) learner -- she probably has a natural sense of balance, making her a good athlete or dancer. These types of kids learn best when it involves their body in some way -- either through hands-on experience (think using objects to count with or blocks for building) or by doing something as they listen, even if it's just chewing gum or kneading a stress ball. Your child is probably also the touchy type; when she has something to tell you, she'll demonstrate it using hand gestures and pantomime, which is why she's likely to be a good actor, too.

Possible Careers: Athlete, dancer, actor, doctor, military, construction, artist, landscape designer

Homework Helpers: •Let Her Move• Give your child an exercise ball to sit on as she does her homework -- the sheer act of balancing on it will help her focus better, says Bennett. Or let her do it standing up. Want your body-smart kid to remember better? Tell her to move her finger under the words when she's reading books, notes, or spelling words, says educational psychologist Michele Borba, Ed.D. Have her write out spelling words or sums in big letters with chalk on the sidewalk, or on a big piece of paper inside, and hop on them. Or have her spell them out with her body. •Work It Out• Whether she's kicking a soccer ball or jumping rope, let your kid go out in the backyard and get her energy out before she settles back down to study.

The bold part is the part that really rang true for me. We are CONSTANTLY on him to SIT DOWN. When he does his homework, when he is eating, etc. Last year it was such a problem that his teacher had him evaluated by the school OT and he ended up with a little seat cushion to help convince him to sit. Since he never actually sat, the cushion wasn't so overly helpful. This year, his teacher said she hasn't noticed as much of a problem with it. I still see it at home all the time so I'm guessing that he is doing it, he just isn't as obnoxious about it this year. I hate to suggest doing things at school that would separate him from the other kids, like the stress ball thing while listening. Or something different to sit on but I really wonder if that wouldn't help him.

Regardless of accommodations being made, he really is doing better this year. Until recently, he was doing his homework without protest every night. He has started Handwriting without tears and since I know that he knows how to actually form most of the letters now, I'm making him take his time and write so I can read what he is writing and that makes him irritated. He doesn't like erasing and re-doing but that is just too bad. He can do it and he is going to do it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

What a waste - depressing

Earlier this weekend, my cousin was killed in a car wreck. From what I know, he was alone in the car and it was single vehicle. I know that he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Of course, my information is coming 5th hand so I don't have any details about what happened, specifically. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if alcohol was involved. He recently joined Facebook and all of his posts were about how much his life sucked and how nothing ever went right and how whiskey was his only friend, etc. His birthday would have been Tuesday and he would have been 29. I would not be surprised if he was either out celebrating his birthday early or drowning his sorrows.

He is 9 months younger than me and when we were kids, he was my closest cousin. There were 3 of us on that side of the family that were about the same age and I never really got along with the other one so it was he and I. We spent a lot of time with that side of the family growing up so i saw him several times a year, although not so much recently. He caught the garter at my wedding and the next summer married a different girl. Not surprisingly, they were going through a divorce, which is part of his depression. His dad also died about 3 years ago just before Christmas, so he was really having a bad time of it. I simply can't imagine what his mom is going through right now. Losing her husband days before Christmas 3 years ago and now her son. A parent's worst nightmare.

He has two kids who are the same age as my kids. We've not spent nearly as much time with them since we have been adults, but our kids do see each other at weddings and other family parties.

The males in my family are genetically cursed and they rarely live to see 60, however, this is something different. This is the first person MY AGE that I have lost. The others, while sad and certainly before their time, didn't bother me as much. And so far I'm not as sad as I think I should be about this. Maybe because we didn't see each other very often, it is sort of unreal to me that this happened. Occasionally, it will hit me and I'll think about it and I'll be sad, but then it kind of goes away. Mostly I'm sad for his boys. He was really into them and a pretty good dad for everything that was going on in his life. I just feel like I SHOULD be more sad about it.

The thing I'm really struggling with right now is that I DON'T want to go to the funeral. I actually probably won't go to the funeral because it is during the day and I don't feel comfortable taking time off work for it since I'm still really new there. I just know that it will make it real. I don't want to see his mom and his boys doing the receiving line by the coffin. I feel really guilty about this because I've gone to all the other visitations in my family. I feel like this one is one that I should be going to since he was my age and I did know him well. I'm sure I will go but mostly out of guilt that I don't want to :(

RIP Kevin, I will be thinking of your family and I hope that you are happier where you are now

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cookies

I decided to take Looseyfur's route and pre-bake my cookies for tomorrow (seems like an even better idea now that I've spent 2 hours on the baking). I told TB he could help me put the cooled ones on a plate. Now he is stalking my cookies, prowling around the kitchen demanding to know when the next batch will be cool. Perhaps I shoul dhave let him make the cookies? :)

The joys of 30 and the future

Pounds that is. I haven't yet hit that age, although I got my notice in the mail that it is time to renew my license so I can feel it breathing down my neck :)

When I was at my starting weight, I never thought I felt that bad. I knew I didn't have much energy but that wasn't that big of a deal because I've always been basically lazy. Even at 150 lbs, I didn't have much motivation to get off my backside and actually do anything. I knew I had trouble getting up and down but I chalked that up more to being not 12 anymore instead of being overweight. Then I joined WW and lost 30 pounds. Now, at school, I'm able to crouch and tie shoes. I can bend over and pick things up. I have more energy but still not motivation to do anything. Last night TB ended up in the Parade of Lights (apparently, my dad commented that the guy driving the old Willard Fire Jeep had a fire suit on. The asked if they wanted a ride and off they went!) After I stood and watched the end of the parade, I walked to the end of the parade route and saw the front of the parade coming down the street. I decided to walk down the street and catch them and just walk back with them. I caught up with them at West Side Park and walked back to the Orpheum, via Main St. Once they got past the reviewing stand, the rest of the parade really picked up the pace. They were done and the people were done and so they took off to get out of the cold. I ended up jogging (despite not being dressed for it in slip on shoes and jeans) from the News-Gazette office to the municipal lot behind the Orpheum to keep up. The driving asked me if I wanted a ride and I was able to tell him that I was doing fine. And I really was. They got off the float and we hoofed it around front to get inside and I was a little winded but not dying. By the time I got my coat off, I was breathing totally fine. Afterward, we went to 1 Main for the tree lighting and TB and I didn't want to mess with 12 layers of clothes just to get there so we raced from the Orpheum down there and again, I was ok. This is practically a miracle since the last time I worked out was when I was walking TB to school each day in September. Being able to do that kind of thing and being ok makes me want to want to exercise. I still don't actually want to but I fell like I should want to. Strange conundrums.


I left WW in August when I felt like the result wasn't worth the cost anymore. My plan was to go it alone and I haven't been terribly successful at it. I've maintained my weight, which is good but I haven't lost much of anything either. Randomly, I'll get blips in my weigh ins that drop me below 180 but by the next day, I'm back over. I'm not really doing much of anything so I can't really complain much (well, I can, because I can always complain, but I shouldn't). I set a goal to have lost another 30 by the end of the year. I am desperately off track for that, needing to lose something like 10 pounds a week to achieve it. I changed my goal time to my birthday, which brought it down to just over a pound a week. The thing is, I'm not sure if I care enough to do it. I didn't realize I felt bad until I had something to compare it too. Would I feel better another 30 lighter? Probably but I feel good now so how much better? I set myself a goal because I felt like I should set a goal but I'm just not sure if I'm going to do it. I'm at the point that without much thought or deprivation, I can comfortably maintain my weight. While I would like to be 30 pounds lighter, I'm not sure that is maintainable goal. Quigs said to me once that to maintain her weight loss, she would have to track food and go to meetings for the rest of her life and I thought "if the choice is meetings and tracking forever or being fat, I think I'll take being fat". I didn't enjoy WW. The meetings were something I felt like I had to do to lose the weight. Karen was riot but even that wasn't enough to make me feel like it was something I WANTED to do. I took no joy in finding lower point sub for favorite foods. I either didn't eat the food or ate a bit less and I did ok with that until I didn't. It seems like my friends who have been successful in their weight loss find joy and happiness in the process of the weight loss. It might not be easy but they don't find it quite the drudgery that I did. They are ok with the lifetime aspect of it, where I never was. My plan was for it to simply be a short term solution. I don't intent to gain the weight back but I'm not sure I can commit to losing further. Maybe in the spring, when I can start grilling food again (I joined in April and lost all my weight during the summer) and find veggies easily. Or maybe not. I was over 200 pounds for 7 years before some switch flipped in my head that made me decide that I was ready to lose weight. I'd like to not take that long this time around but I know me and really, this might be it for my weight loss.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Signs of the apocalypse

Tonight after dinner, about 5:10, MT was leaning on the couch with her head and neck on the couch and her feet stretched out on the floor in front of her. She looked at me and said "I can't even stand up" I said "do you want to go lay down in your bed so you don't have to stand up"? She popped her head off the couch and said "can I watch a movie in my bed?" (she has a portable DVD player that she can watch movies on if she lays down early enough). I told her sure and she took off at a dead run for the bathroom. No fighting or fussing at all. By 6 she was sound asleep!

I think just maybe decorating the Christmas tree and going to the pool wore her out!

It's Buster Bunny Time

video

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm dyeing over here

The drawback of facebook is that I post status updates there fairly frequently and don't update over here hardly at all. Some of the highlights of the last few weeks:

-The Boy turned 8 last month and we went to Bloomington to the rock gym for his party and the kids had a great time. The kid that ran the party (he was 18 or 19 but that is still a kid IMO) was pretty impressed with TB's climbing and suggested he consider the climbing team. I pointed out to the kid that we live in CU and that was too far to drive. I checked the only rock wall we have locally and it is a small wall (34 feet, compared to the 65 he climbed up there) and mostly focused on classes for outdoor climbing and not really for kids. I thought some more about it and we signed him up for the team. We will be driving 45 minutes to Bloomington twice a week, starting in January. Plus other competition around the midwest various weekends throughout the spring. Crazy? Yes. Will he love it? I hope so.

-I'm busily wreaking havoc and creating chaos where I go. I have adopted a new cause. At school, the music teacher has decided that, instead of doing a holiday concert for all the kids, that she wants to concentrate on doing musicals with only the 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade. K, 2nd and 4th won't perform at all. I don't agree with this. Even if my kid were performing, I would be angry at the injustice of this (Like a young friend of mine, I have a "highly develop sense of justice"). So I'm pursuing a way to address the performance needs of these kids through various means. At this point, I'm championing the inclusion of an after school music program, run much like our after school Spanish, self defense, jump rope, drama, etc.

-The biggest announcement? I got a new job! I'm working at MT's preschool. Earlier in the year, I asked the director if she was looking for subs. She said she was always looking for subs and suggested that I apply for it online. I attempted it, but there were no positions listed as available. I contacted HR and they contacted the director who told me that she made an error but to hold off, because there would be an regular teaching position coming open soon. She suggested I apply for it and, then several times over the next few weeks, updated me on the status of the posting. I went in last week for an interview, she called my references that afternoon and offered me the job the next day. Right now, I'm working in the 5 day class but once they get one more person hired to cover some off site classes, I will move to the 3 day class. That happens to be MT's class and she will be moving to the 5 day class since me being her teacher won't work out well.

-The title's meaning? As many of you know, I have a tendency to ruin clothes. Working in a messy environment, such as preschool, only ups the chance that I will spill or splash something on myself. I went a bought a bunch of plain undershirts to wear to work so I don't destroy my regular clothes but after 2 days of plain gray shirts, I was already bored. That didn't bode well for the rest of the year. So today, I went and got some Rit dye and tonight I spend some time wrapping rubber bands around sections of cloth and dropping them in blue dye in my sink. Tomorrow, I intend to wrap the other side of the shirt and dunking it in green to make some pretty blue and green tie-dyed shirts. So, tonight, I'm dyeing over here :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Barely better than feral

TB's class had a field trip today. We went to the Early American Museum at Lake of the Woods. The point that I'm quite possibly the least domesticated person in the world was driven home time after time during our trip. First, the woman was talking about life on the prairie and showed the kids a cast iron skillet. She pointed out that some of their family's might have one. TB turned to me and asked if we had one. I told him no because they can't go in the dishwasher and I don't use dishes that can't go in the dishwasher. A little bit later, she was showing them some wool and said "if you have any wool coats or wool socks at home, this is what it is made out of" Again, he turns to me and says "do we have anything like that" and I responded "no, because wool doesn't do well in the washing machine and I won't own anything that can't be washed in the washing machine"

Of course, I was beaten over the head with the point when they went to the "blacksmith shop" and there was a kitchen stove. Sitting on top of it were iron pieces and she asked if the kids knew what they were. Because some of the kids have moms that do things like that, some of them knew they were irons that were being heated for use on the stove. TB did not know what they were. After his classmates revealed the answer, he turned to me and said "what is an iron for?" His teacher thought it was pretty funny and of course, I laughed because I don't own an iron. Honestly, I have a dryer, what do I need an iron for (and before you say it, iron on transfers are a legit use of irons but I've had a need for those twice in the last ten years)?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cooking and eating

I've been feeling the need to cook recently. I've been hungry a lot more often and wanting warm, heavy fatty comfort foods. I, of course, blame the weather for my desire to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I hate cooking as a rule so this is the only explanation for it.

Tonight, I made a faux Outback potato soup and it was DELISH! It took quite a bit longer to make than I anticipated (apparently, potatoes take a long time to boil and onions also take a while, who knew) but it made an ENORMOUS pot, which would probably freeze ok. I gave some of it away and I plan to give more away tomorrow because there is no way we can eat it all. Like I said, really good but not really on plan. It had around 8 billion points, if I did my math correctly! It started with 2 sticks of butter and went on to heavy cream, filled with 5 pounds of potatoes (it called for 6-8, depending on size but I like lots of potato) and topped with cheese, it was a calorie extravaganza! After eating 2 bowls of it, I should be stuffed but I really want a milkshake. Or hot apple cider, either would be fine Too bad (or not, depending on how you look at it), I don't have the stuff to make either in the house and I'm not going back out in the crummy weather to get it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How I used some of my parent blogger swag



If anyone knows my kid, they know she LOVES stickers. She was absolutely beside herself when I told her that I had huge stickers, they were PINK and we could PUT THEM ON THE WALL! The kid couldn't have been happier if Spongebob himself had walked in with the whole crew from Bikini Bottom and offered to cook her a crabby patty.

This is the first bit of swag I've had a chance to use since I went on vacation (Dells, Kalahari, fantastic time, pictures maybe, if I get unlazy LOL) 3 days after the event, but I'm sure you will hear about more of it as I dig through my "big bag of cool stuff" :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good things happening

Last Friday was our walk. Despite some rain, it was great success. I got there early and helped set up and then worked the hospitality tent until it was time for TB to see the exhibits and then walk. We made, pre-walk, over $11,000 to fund the PTA budget for the year and invest in Smartboards for all the classrooms! A local high school marching band showed up and marched with the kids and then played in front of the school for awhile. Their concert was sadly cut short because it started to rain. The second and third graders also had their time cut short for seeing the exhibits because of the rain but shortly after they packed everything up, it cleared off enough that they could walk. All of the volunteers and students were given shirts and I heard that some of the kids were so excited about getting their shirts the day of the walk, they started crying. We are talking shirt sponsors for next year to offset some of that cost, which is by far, the biggest expense of putting on the walk. Hopefully, we'll get a couple and our bottom line will come out looking even better.

Enormous thanks to all the companies who donated supplies, people who donated money and volunteers that donated their time to make this event a continued success. We simply couldn't do it without the community support that we receive!

The other good thing was that we bought a new van yesterday. The plan had been to keep RF's car another couple of years, pay a significant down payment on a new car that point and he would take my van, while I got the new car. Unfortunately, as tends to be the case, the plan went astray when RF's transmission went out. After looking at it, we determined that we did not want to put 3000 plus dollars into a 9 year old, that was only worth 3000 so the hunt for a new van began. We had anticipated trading it in and trying to a little bit out of it. Sadly, as RF and FIL were driving it to the dealer, the transmission went for real. There was a loud bang and something hit the floor of the car and when they coasted off the road, they went back and picked up pieces of the transmission that were scattered around the road. The mechanic that works on our cars might be interested in buying because he has another Saturn with a good transmission and a bad engine.

I knew that I wanted a few things, including power sliding doors, fold in floor seats and rear heat and air. We struggled a little to find a low milage vehicle that had those things in our price range. We found a few things that were "almost there" but weren't totally right. Fortunately, we were in a position to walk away from the not quite right ones until we found one that really worked. We found it last week, although it was a little outside our budget. I wanted FIL to take a look at it so we had him go with us yesterday morning, with the idea being that we would go back Thursday morning while MT was in school and do all the paper work. FIL gave his approval and I ask the guy if we could stat running the number and playing the waiting game and that we would come back today to finish up the paperwork and pick up the van. He said we could but then offered to "make us a deal" if we could get it finished yesterday since it was the last day of the month. I was willing to make a deal so we spent the entire day out there yesterday, doing the paperwork to buy the van.

MT was an absolute ROCK STAR about the whole thing. She played and chatted with the salesman (dude scored major brownie points because he was nice to her) and ate popcorn and walked around and only got whiny once, an HOUR after she normally eats lunch. We got there about 8:15 yesterday morning and I pulled off the lot at 2! Big thanks to my friend K, who I called at 12:30 and asked if she could get the boys at school, while she was there with her girls, since, as it turned out, there was no hope of me getting there on time!

My van is awesome. It is black with gray interior. It has my fold down seats so I can fold the seats into the floor and gain a ton of storage space or make it easier to get to the back seat but I still have them with me if I need the seating once I get somewhere. It also has power sliding doors, which are fantastic! I couldn't pay the kids to shut the door in the old van but now they fight over who gets to push the button. Eventually the novelty will wear off but even then, I'll have my buttons so I won't have to yell at them to close the doors all the time. It also has the rear heat and air so I don't have to listen to "I'm so hot" or "I'm so cold" all the time. Now, if I could just get them to quit touching the vents all the time!

The final good thing that happened was I went to the Make a day better blogger meetup last night. It was for local bloggers and was done in conjunction with Office Max's push to end teacher funded classrooms. It was great to finally put faces with screen names (the pictures don't do you justice, ladies!) and hang out with good friends as well. Besides all that, there was food donated from local businesses and fat bag full of post party swag! You can expect a future post with more details about the event and the swag, once I get the email with all the company links so I can link to everything properly. When I heard about the swag bags, I expected pens and notepads and other lame things that you get at all those free events. We got bottles of lotion, brownie mixes, water bottles, reusable bags, etc. And not the tiny little travel sizes either. Full sized stuff! With companies being that generous, the least they deserve is a shout out on my little blog :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Negligent parents

I get that not all parents are interested in being "helicopter parents" I get that many of them feel like I'm crazy because I do hover. However, there is a line between "hands off" and full on neglectful. Tonight, I observed (yet again, I see it far too often in this town) the latter at the park. TB has soccer practice at a local park. RF is helping coach so while the boys run around, I've been taking MT to the playground. While were there tonight a little boy, probably 3 or 4 came out of his house, which borders the park, and came over to the playground. The first problem is that his parents were no where to be seen. The much larger problem was that it was 55 degrees, the sun was setting so it would only get colder and the kid was wearing NO PANTS! He had on a jacket, shoes and just his underpants. While I have no issues with kids who don't want to wear clothes, there are limits to that and a time and a place for everything. On to the rest of the evening. This kid was horribly behaved! He was pushing the other kids, sliding down the slide into them, grabbing them as they came down the slide, etc. There was another little boy who was not even two and twice this kid came flying off the slide and nearly kicked him in the face. The other mom and I both told him to knock it off and both times he ran a little bit away and then came right back, only to start over again. I finally told MT that if he touched her again, she had my permission to stop him, however she felt necessary. Those of you that know MT, know she doesn't take well to being pushed around and I have to say that she showed admirable restraint in not ending his behavior right away.

Finally his dad came out of the house and sat on the park bench talking to his dog. Eventually, the boy ran off with another boy. His dad didn't seem to notice that he was gone. I could see him from where I was at and he was clear outside the park, playing IN THE STREET, in front of the houses that border the park on the other side. Several minutes passed and finally the dad noticed that the kid was gone and he gets up and says to the dog "gee i wonder where they ran off too" He looked around the rather small playground and then said to MT "did you see were the boys went?" She turned her back and ignored him. By then, practice was over and we headed out. I have no idea if he ever found him. I have to assume that at some point, the boy would have found his way home, because it seemed like he was turned loose to roam the neighborhood on a fairly regular basis.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hair

when we actually do hair, it can be cute!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm Freak...

And I have an attitude problem (I'm also a little petty, which factors in here as well). Most of you know this. However, I have an attitude about something in particular this time so you all get to read about it.

The walk is Friday. Although I didn't chair a committee, I have put in quite a bit of time working on it. I plan to put in quite a bit more time before it is all over because, as part of the hospitality committee, part of my job is to help set up, be there for the event and help tear down. Last year, I was at the school from 7am until 12:30. I don't anticipate it being any different this year. That is not an insignificant amount of time and energy on my part.

I found out today, that despite all that time, I won't be getting a t-shirt this year. I won't even have the opportunity to buy one because they simply weren't ordered. I understand that t-shirts are a huge expense and take away from the bottom line of the event. I realize that it is cost prohibitive to hand one out to anyone who shows up the day of the event. However, this feels like a huge slap in the face to anyone who actually did any work for this event. Honestly, we had several meetings this summer, they knew before today that people wouldn't be getting shirts. They knew the day they ordered them and we should have been given the opportunity to buy one if we wanted one. I would have gladly purchased one because I don't care if they are GIVEN out, I just want a shirt because I think they look cool this year (I have on from last year and it is pretty lame. The only place I will wear it is to work out). Was this done deliberately to cause ill-will and bad feelings towards the PTA (cause, seriously, thinking about not actually joining this year over this whole thing)? I doubt it. Was it poor planning and general jerkiness? ABSOLUTELY!!

Am I still going to the walk? I thought about not but TB wants me there and I wouldn't bail at the last minute because I know the chair of the hospitality committee is counting on me being there. Will I work very hard while I'm there? Not as hard as I would if I had shirt.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nomination of a deserving teacher

Last year my son had a teacher who seemed to be done teaching. Everyday was a struggle to get to go to school because he was so bored and frustrated with much of the stuff that happened in the classroom. By the end of the year, he was proclaiming daily that he hated school. This was first grade! It made me really sad and frustrated to hear him saying that.

This year is a VASTLY different story! His teacher loves her job and loves her students. She is engaged and so are the kids. She is incredibly enthusiastic and her students feel that and respond to it. He comes home everyday how much he loves school. We are getting notes home telling us about his progress in class and how well he is doing! His behavior is improving and he is progressing academically. Besides inspiring her students, she is actively involved in the PTA, although she has no children of her own, to help all of the school’s children succeed.

Our school has a large ESL population as well as a high percentage of kids who live below the poverty line. All of the teachers spend money out of their own pockets to help the kids have the things they need to succeed. So far this year, I know for sure his teacher has spent her own money to purchase special pencil grips for some of the kids to teach them how to hold a pencil and learn to write correctly.

If there is a teacher who deserves this award, it is his teacher this year. She took a little boy who hated school in May and within 2 weeks of starting school in August, made him love learning again. I’m sure before the end of the year she will have spent additional money to keep her kids learning ad growing throughout the year.

or @adaymadebetter

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wow

It is 7:15. I've been in my jammies since 3:30. I've watched one of the movies I rented from the library. I've completed the school directory. I'm still struggling with the labels and I hate them (if you ever do labels in Word for Mac, email me, I need help). They look crazy cool, if I could just get them to print right. I am watching "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" out of desperation. I'm considering getting redressed and going to the library for an iced coffee before maybe meeting RF for a late dinner. I'm bored to FREAKING tears.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I just made you say "underwear"

I was just doing laundry and found out that of the 20 pairs of underwear we bought for my son when school started, 10 pairs had been shoved under his bed and only saw the light of day because I insisted that he clean that pit up last weekend. He also had 5 pairs of shorts and uncountable socks.

This, right here, is the reason I buy the kids 2 10 packs of underwear and at least that many socks. If I didn't, they would be naked all of the time because they would run out of clothes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Overheard at the Freak house

MT at the fabric store, looking a Disney Princess Fleece: My daddy loves princesses.
Me: I don't think Daddy is interested in Princess fleece, kiddo.
MT: yep, my daddy loves me and he calls me princess so he must love princesses.

Not an altogether wrong logical leap

Not overheard really but still funny as hell. I was going through some stuff on my desk today and found some papers that came home from school at the end of the year, last year. Some of them were writing prompts and one said "I my heart" and the kids were supposed to write about something they were feeling. TB's said "I don't have anything in my heart. Ask my brain" ROFL The next one was just a blank page with no prompt and he wrote "I have nothing to write about" Nothing like being honest on your writing homework LOL

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The latest injury

I started my yearly purge this week. In purging stuff from my bedroom, I managed to severely stub my toe. Today, 24 hour later, it looks like this.



This picture so does not do justice to the bruising and swelling that this injury involves. I'm fairly certain it is broken, although it doesn't hurt much anymore so I could be wrong. Either way, bruised and swollen and cut open and ugly looking. See what I get for cleaning the house! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Whole lot of things

So, basically I suck at blogging. Even Quigs is doing better than me at keeping up with hers and that is saying a lot! :) Since we got back from vacation, nothing much blog-worthy has happened. There have been lots of little things but nothing worthy of a post on it's own so now you get a bullet point list of all the things that have happened in the last month.

-TB started baseball this fall. He has never played before and missed the only two practices of the season because we were on vacation. He jumped right in to playing in a real game and we have been doing 2 games a weeks since then.

-Baseball bores me to tears. I cheer for our team, but I would rather be almost anywhere else. TB feels the same way. He likes to hit but hates being in the field. He is the kid in the outfield, kicking the dirt, chewing on his glove, chasing butterflies, dancing like Michael Jackson, etc. At least twice during every inning the coaches are yelling at him to pay attention

- We are at 3 losses, 2 wins, and 1 tie. I'm surprised that we have done that well because most of these kids are young and not exceptionally good at baseball. Instead of telling them where to make the play, the coach is simply teaching them to get it to the pitcher to stop the play because most of them aren't able to process the situation fast enough to do any good.

-We started school last week. We got the teacher we requested which is fantastic. She is active in the PTA, she taught drama club last year and we both knew her and like her a lot. I think she is the kind of teacher that TB needs and I'm hopeful that she will have a very positive impact on him this school year. Let's cross our fingers for reading by the end of the year!

-I'm babysitting a little boy after school. His mom works with my mom and she was concerned about the after school program. We worked out a deal and I pick him up 4 days a week after school, while I'm there picking TB up. It works out well because he has the teacher TB had for K so she knows me and knows the routine. It is a good deal for all involved. He gets to come and play with the kids and do the other fun things we do after school each day. I get a little a little extra money and she gets someone that she knows watching her kid every day. Good all around.

-We've been spending time with some kids from TB's class. He is thrilled to see more big kids.

-Soccer started last week, but due to conflict with baseball, this is the first practice we've been able to make.

-I can not tell you how much I LOVE soccer. The coach is good, if a little tough. There is at least one other kid who has never played and one girl who isn't interested in played (she spent a lot of time standing around at practice tonight). The coach believes that a sport isn't played by kids alone and requests parents assistant at practices. He asked me tonight if I could help out at future practices since I have soccer experience.

-TB was FAR more engaged in every step of practice than he has been at any point during baseball.

-Poor TB was a red little sweatball when practice was done. Apparently despite the running and playing he does, he is pretty out of shape. We are going to have to work on that.

-Speaking of getting in shape, I think, while it is decent weather, TB and I are going to think about the C25K program. Probably not 3 days a week between soccer games and practices and baseball games but as often as we can. With playing soccer, he is going to need to get in running shape and he wants to play basketball in the winter, which is going to require running. As an added bonus, he is hoping to get faster than the other boys at school because he kind of gets left behind sometimes.

-We are, hopefully, going to take karate this winter as well. Assuming it doesn't conflict with basketball, he and I will sign up for TKD through UPD. He took it through CPD a few years ago and I hated the instructor and I pulled him after 2 classes. I tried to get into the CPD karate class, but could never get the person to call me back about he and I taking it together (it was divided by age, which defeated the purpose of taking it together).

-My weight loss is slowing way down. I've been in the 180s for over a month and I'm SICK of it!! I gained over 5 pounds while on vacation and lost it all but I'm still stuck here. Hence all of the activity increases in our house.

-MT is starting school next week. She is really excited about it and I'm hoping she is keeps that up. She is going to be sad when she finds out that H won't be in her class this year but I'm hoping she will make new friends as well.

-I have a wedding to go to in October. I'm by turns excited about it and irritated by it. I like wedding receptions and dancing. I just hope I have someone to actually dance with. I'm not thrilled with the idea of going to the wedding but it is expected.

-This is the wedding that I had expected to be asked to participate in and then was not only not asked, I feel like I have been actively excluded, despite multiple offers of help. I didn't want to be in the wedding. Being in a wedding party is a PITA and costs more money than I'm willing to spend. Plus, it is usually a lot of work and terribly enjoyable. So yeah, I wanted to say no but I wanted the OPPORTUNITY to say no, instead of not even being asked. This friend and I, although tight throughout school, are in vastly different points in our life. She is just now getting married, working full time, etc where I'm staying at home, have kids in school, etc. Not a whole lot in common anymore but really, being friends since we were 8 should hold some meaning. Done ranting, I'll go to the wedding, I'll have fun and I'll move on. Eventually.

-We were supposed to move upstairs this fall but that isn't happening. My mom decided that RF and I weren't putting forth enough effort to facilitate the move. She said that it didn't benefit them so if we weren't going to do things how she wanted them, then we weren't doing it. Fine. We'll stay in the basement.

-We are supposed to be getting new windows this week. That means tearing apart the bedrooms for a couple of days. That gives me an opportunity to rearrange the rooms which have been pretty set in stone the last 6 years. I'm excited for a new look! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The long and short of it

*Have you heard about Michelle Obama's shorts? She had the NERVE to wear SHORTS in AUGUST at the PHOENIX! How could she ever think that even a little bit acceptable? Thank all things holy that she finally had the sense to put a t-shirt on over her tank top! She is the first lady, for crying out loud! We all know that means that she is never allowed to "dress down" or be comfortable while traveling. She should always be dressed as if a state dinner could break out at a moment's notice.

Everyone can tell that this is a far better outfit for a First Lady to wear while hiking with her family, in the desert.

The thing I don't understand is why people aren't jumping on her tennis shoes. I mean, OMG, they are so not stylish and aren't portraying the proper image for a world wide fashion icon. How DARE she!

*In case you can't tell the whole above rant is pure sarcasm.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

To do or not to do

Do I eat the ice cream and go over by 1 point or do I suck it up and go to bed without, putting me under by 7 points for the day? Weighing into this decision is the fact that I'm once again stuck at the same weight for several weeks in a row and I'm starting to think that it doesn't matter what I do, this is where my body wants to be. Suggestions?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Biker Babe

After getting my scooter, then wrecking my scooter, I finally got around to getting licensed to actually RIDE the scooter today. Shortly after I got it, I went to DMV and got my permit. It allowed me, much like a driver's permit, to ride with another licensed rider. I figured that was ok and not that big of a deal until I started wanting to go places and didn't have an escort. I couldn't take it to Weight Watcher meetings, I couldn't ride it to trivia or to the library or anywhere. Kind of a PITA since I'm not comfortable riding with a passenger yet and we always had to wait until someone else was home to watch the kids so we could take the bikes out. Since I wrecked, I've been back on it several times and I haven't had a problem. I had not been near DMV and I was ok with that too. RF has been encouraging me to get back over there and get it done. I kept putting it off for this reason or that and today, I finally just had to suck it up and do it. I posted to FB last night that I was doing it and I knew that would hold me accountable because I knew people would be asking me if I had done it. So I did.

I got up at 6:30 this morning so that I could get everyone up and fed and out the door in time to be at DMV when they opened at 8. RF rode the scooter over for me, since I couldn't, and I followed in the van with the kids. I was in line and ready to go when the doors opened at 8. I was the second person in and the only one taking a motorcycle exam. I handed over my info, visited the cashier (I didn't have to pay because I paid when I got the permit) and waited about 5 minutes before the lady called me out to test.

We went through the standard light checks then she had me set up for the course. The first test is a sharp left hand turn. You have to stay inside the lines, not knock over any cones and not put your foot down. As soon as I entered the shoot, I knew I was going too slow and wouldn't be able to make the turn in the space. I ended up putting my foot down but completed the rest of the test fine. After that was weaving and U-turn (we had been doing the U-turn in the wrong area and it was a lot harder the way we were doing it), which I was confident about. Following that was stopping. I had no issues with that because if I can do anything on that scooter, it is make it stop! There is a foot break pedal on it and when you hit it, it stops NOW! After that was the swerve. I freaked out to no end about the swerve because that was were I wrecked before. I told RF that I sort of wished that I had passed on breakfast because I felt pretty sick at the thought of having to swerve again. On the one hand, I was pretty panicked at the thought of wrecking again. On the other, I knew I wasn't going to do it so it didn't matter. She showed me how to complete the test and I found out I was doing it ALL wrong. Not as wrong as I thought I was doing but wrong enough. Basically, you start at the same point as the stopping test, ride through the shoot and swerve around the red "stop" line. We were starting right, just trying to swerve around the outside boundary line instead. I pulled around, fairly certain that the foot down had failed me. I've heard other people talk about getting their license and most of them that failed the first time failed because they put their foot down somewhere they weren't supposed to. Imagine my surpise when she told me that was only worth 1 point and the only point I missed. If I had kept my stupid foot up (something we worked and worked and worked on while we were practicing), I would have had a perfect score!! Back inside to wait a few minutes and now I'm the proud owner of a shiny new license, listing me as class DM. Ask to see it sometime, it is pretty neat looking, with holograms and two pictures and stuff :)

Most people have been pretty happy that I was able to pass fairly easily. The notable exception to that is my mom. Since I first started riding the little scooter a year ago, she has wanted me to take the U of I motorcycle class. I felt (and was obviously right), that I didn't need the class to get my license. The class is not without virtue and merit, it just isn't for me. It requires 4 hours, 4 different days, pre-committed with no exception. It is rain or shine, hot or cold, doesn't matter. First of all, I would like to know where I was going to fine 16 hours to devote to the class? My weekdays are open enough (although still busy) but I have the kids and my weekends are packed! We had to cancel a trip a couple of weeks ago because it was simply too much. Had we gone, we would have had 6 solids weeks where we weren't home either day of the weekend, then a week off and then vacation. Too much. I'm also nothing if not a fair weather rider. I don't want to do it when it is raining or cold or too hot or anything else. Committing to taking a class in July sometime in April just didn't work for me. Had I needed to learn to ride a motorcycle (motorcycles have manual transmissions and require clutching and shifting and what not. Scooters are automatic and a much smaller learning curve), the class probably would have helped but it still just wasn't me. So basically, I practiced the course for maybe 2 hours and rode it for maybe an hour and passed just fine. That is 13 hours I saved by doing it my way

Anyway, my mom took the class a couple of years ago and really struggled with it. She ended up sick all 4 days from the heat, she struggled and struggled to pass the test and just generally didn't do well with it. Then she bought a bike she didn't really want, dropped it a few weeks later trying to park on gravel (she was stopped, the kickstand just slid on the gravel) and sold it last summer. I think she really wanted someone else to have as hard a time passing and riding as she did. Of course that isn't the case because RF and my brother basically breezed through the class and I never took it. And I don't think she was in anyway happy when I wrecked but I sort of got the feeling she was hoping it would put me off riding. Since I had just bought the bike, I had to get back on it or it was a HUGE waste of money. And I didn't wreck it riding it, I wrecked it at DMV. Basically the same difference but a huge divide in my mind. Her attitude today was "oh, isn't that nice, well anyway" and I think she was irritated that I did as well as I did without the class because that meant I was right. Getting a license isn't rocket science and I didn't need a class to teach me how to do it.

My first motorcycle ride is this weekend too, which is part of the reason I decided to get my license today. Although I was perfectly legal to ride in it, I felt better knowing I had a real license and not just a permit. My mom is following the ride with my van and a trailer in case anyone has problems. She will also have MT with her and since TB is riding with my dad, she will be available if he wants to get off before the end of the ride. Last year, this ride was plagued by busted bikes. 2 guys never made it out of town. One guy blew a tire, one guy had something else happen to his bike, it was crazy. My dad worded his statement about the trailer very carefully. He said "your mom is going to drive the van and pull a trailer in case something happens to one of the bikes or if you decide you don't want to ride anymore". My mom was not as careful. She told me "I'm driving your van with a trailer so when you decide you can't do it, you have a way to get home" Well, by God, I'm finishing it now, if just to show her. I don't care if my ass is on fire, my arms are completely numb and my head is pounding, I WILL finish that ride!

If you see me around town, feel free to wave. I'm getting better about waving back because I'm more comfortable than I was last summer and my new scooter is heavier and less squirrely so I don't have to have quite such a death grip on the handle bars :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Big Lovers

People that watch Big Love, I just finished season 2 on DVD and I'm starting on season 3. I feel like I've seriously missed something. Barb is getting a CAT scan, Niki is working, Margie had the baby, etc. Is this right, am I missing episodes?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Evolution of Dance

I've been going to Trivia on Tuesday nights. Last week, there was a category about viral videos. One of the questions was "this video features a guy in an orange Crush t-shirt dancing his way from the 1950s to the 2000s, what is the name of the video?" I didn't do well at the category and I'm glad my brother was with me because he rocked it. He knew that the video was called "Evolution of Dance" The trivia was bagging on it and said that it was lame he didn't know why it was viral so of course I had to come home and watch it. It was actually pretty awesome!



If you haven't seen it, take the 6 minutes involved and watch it. The best part is that he took the time to learn the dances.

He also made a second video, which isn't as long or quite as good as the first. It is still worth watching



Like all good viral videos, this one has some parodies.

This one isn't the best out there but big dudes gettin' down and the Thriller Dance always make me laugh



This is the BEST parody out there. Be sure to stay tuned for YMCA! Of course the end is funny as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Over-education

Looseyfur posted an article on facebook that I just didn't get. I've read it clear though, including the first page of comments, twice and I still don't get it. Read it here for yourself and tell me how it goes together.

Basically, a professor took her kids and some friends (ages 12, 12, 8, 7, and 3) to the mall and dumped them. Awhile later, the police called her back to the mall and charged her with child endangerment. They threatened to arrest her when she showed up and tried to "explain her actions" (personally, there is no explanation except that she is a lazy, irresponsible parent). Then, she decided that she was being persecuted for being a highly educated woman because the court wouldn't offer her a plea, instead charging her with the crime she committed.

My take on this is that she got exactly what she deserved. She endangered those kids by leaving them alone at the mall, thus "child endangerment". I also have issues with the fact that not only did she endanger her kids but she was equally cavalier about the safety of SOMEONE ELSE'S child! Besides the child endangerment charge, I know a lot of malls have their own rules about how many children can be in an unsupervised group. I believe our local mall's policy is 3 people under the age of 18 but I couldn't swear to it since I don't hang out at the mall.

I feel that bias is, often, in the eye of the beholder. Too many people feel that being some minority, be it black, female, highly educated, low class, whatever, gives them the right to not only break rules and laws but to expect some type of special treatment because of their minority status when they do. RF is forever having people on the bus say to him "you didn't stop for me at that place that wasn't a stop because I'm such and such minority". In reality, the bus didn't stop because it wasn't a stop but that person felt that it was done on purpose.

In this case a highly educated woman did something stupid. Another highly educated woman (the prosecutor, as I can only imagine a lawyer would be classified as highly educated) chose to not allow her to use her money and education to get a slap on the wrist. Seems like that is exactly what should have happened. It isn't class war-fare or a hatred or fear of educated women. It is exactly how the justice system is supposed to work.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend in review

Friday
Spent the day shopping and cleaning for the 4th

Saturday
Spent the morning cleaning and monitoring Twitter for 4th updates
Took a nap in the afternoon, in case fireworks were a go
They weren't but we still had our cookout, it just became a cook-in.
Lots of people in my little house but everyone had fun and ate way too much

Sunday
Morning workout, while my mom took the kids to the park
Then my parents decided it was too nice of a day to stay at home so we took the kids to BN
They had a lot of fun playing in the sprayers at Miller Park (even if it was cold water) then we did Chuck E Cheese for lunch
We were joined by Ms. LL and family for fireworks later.
I was a little disappointed to miss the Brat Pack on Parkland but after seeing the traffic by my house, I realized it was SO not worth the hassle to see them

Today
I got nothin'
Maybe a trip to the pool and possibly park this evening

On a not weekend related note, I'm not doing weight watchers this week. I haven't been feeling it for the past couple of weeks and have been slogging through anyway. I've also been stuck at the same weight for the past 2 weeks and I'm not pleased. I've said all along that my goal was 150 but that I would quit if it got hard. Instead of quitting out right, I'm not doing it this week, at all. I'm not tracking, I'm not weighing, I'm not measuring, nothing. Saturday, at the meeting, we'll see how I'm doing and how I feel about starting up next week. I'm paid through the 20th of August and I have until the 2nd of August to decide if I want to keep it up. I'll know way before then if this is the end of my weight loss journey

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Half way there book list

We are half way through the year so here is my current book list. Title, Author, month read, and short review for the ones that I felt strongly enough about to review :)


Tippy Toe Murder Leslie Meier Jan

Too Many Crooks Tamara Myers Jan Good book. Quick read. Interested to read more

Mom, Apple Pie and Murder Nancy Pickens Jan Boring. Several short stories. A few were good and made me want to look up the author but most I just couldn't wait to finish

Star spangled Murder Leslie Meier Jan

High Heels and Homocide Kasey Michaels Jan This started off slow but wound up nicely and I'm looking forward to more

Crime Seen Victoria Laurie Jan Best VL book yet. Abby and Dutch weren't fighting the whole book and it was less creepy

Blue Blood Susan McBride Jan Took longer that I would have liked to read but it was decent. Read out of order but other
than her relationship, I couldn't tell.

Just Plain Pickled Tamar Myers Jan Took a little to get into but it is quite funny once it starts

3 willows Ann Brashares Jan Continuation of the Sisterhood

Drop Dead Blond Nancy Martin Jan Anthalogy Well done books from good authors

Nothing to Fear but Ferrets Linda Johnston Jan Kendra Ballantyne mystery

Fine Feathered Death Linda Johnston Feb Much easier to get through than ferrets

Meow for Murder Linda Jonhston Feb More development of the story awfully predictable

Mail order murder Leslie Meyer Feb First book, many contradictions to future character development

A crazy little thing called death Nancy Martin Feb Not the best Blackbird book, a little crazy premise

Bubbles a Blaze Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Bubbles is quite fun.

Bubbles All the Way Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Good until the end, then it just got strange

Nursery Crimes Ayelet Waldman Feb Meh, decent story, bad characters

Murder of a Smart Cookie Denise Swanson Feb Totally out of order. Need to read the rest of the series to get a better handle on where things stand

Murder of a real Bad Boy Denise Swanson Feb Follows right after Cookie. Starting to make some sense

Death Perception Victoria Laurie Mar Good whodunit but a little predictable

Don of the Dead Casey Daniels March Slow to start but a solid base to an interesting series

The Chick and the Dead Casey Daniels March Further charcter development, she seems to be getting in to her role as Gifted

Are you there Vodka Chelsea Handler March Way Funnier than expected. LOLed in many parts

Plum spooky Janet Evanovich March JE. Laughed so hard at parts, I woke up Lizzie. Super quick read

Nip, Tuck Dead Lori Avocato Mar Took some getting into but then was fairly fast. Main character was a little annoying and the story was Predictable!

White Witch,Black Curse Kim Harrison Mar Resolved the mystery at the end of the last book. 500 pages, so took a little while to read

On What Grounds Cleo Coyle Mar Quick read, finally first in a series. Interested in further developments

Killer Cocktail Sheryl Anderson Mar Second in a series. Seems to really need the other book to make sense. Main characters whines about guy too much

Muder with Peacocks Donna Andrews Mar Read fast and I was happy with the ending. Of course, I knew about the guy but it was kind of obvious

Contents Under Pressure Edna Buchanan Mar Good book, good characters, fast read

Ice Maiden Edna Buchanan Apr Read out of order, already tired of her killing of characters

Miami, It's Murder Edna Buchanan Apr A little slower read, still good

Suitable for Framing Edna Buchanan Apr Good

Act of Betrayal Edna Buchanan Apr

Margin of Error Edna Buchanan Apr Suprising ending

Garden of Evil Edna Buchanan Apr Read fast, a change of pace because we knew the bad guy early on

You Only Die Twice Edna Buchanan Apr Sadly, predictable, especially given how well Margin of Error ended

Cold Case Squad Edna Buchanan Apr Not Britt and not nearly as good

Shadows Edna Buchanan Apr

Love Kills Edna Buchanan Apr Britt is back, sharing space with Cold Case. Not as good as the books that are strictly from her POV. Left open ended

Tombs of Endearment Casey Daniels Apr A little predictable.

Night of the Loving Dead Casey Daniels Apr Finally some resolution

Murder Melts in your Mouth Nancy Martin Apr New Characters, same plot line. Still decent

Legally Dead Edna Buchanan Apr Did NOT like the ending. No resolution. The rest of the book was good though

Sucker Bet Erin McCarthy Apr Vegas vamps. Only read because it was in the series. Mostly boring

Murder of a Small Town Honey Denise Swanson May First Scumble river book. Gives back story to characters

Murder of a Sweet Old Lady Denise Swanson May Scumble River Fast read, nice twist

Murder of a Sleeping Beauty Denise Swanson May Fast Read, not surprising

Murder of a Snake in the Grass Denise Swanson May Fast Read, typical ending

Murder of a Barbie and Ken Denise Swanson May

Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher May Read super fast. Very funny!

Murder of a Pink Elephant Denise Swanson May

Murder of a Botoxed Blonde Denise Swanson May

Murder of a Chocolate Covered Cherry Denise Swanson May

Murder Between the Covers Elaine Viets May

Dying to Call You Elaine Viets May

Pane of death Sarah Atwell May

Just Murdered Elaine Viets June

Murder unleashed Elaine Viets June

Murder with reservations Elaine Viets June

Shakespeare's Landlord Charlaine Harris June Quick read, straight mystery instead of her usual supernatural bend. Nice surprise ending

Shakespeare's Champion Charlaine Harris June

Dead and Gone Charlaine Harris June I liked these books when it was just vamps and weres. Faeries are a little too much

Shakespeare's Christmas Charlaine Harris June A little different from the rest of the series, also a little too easy to figure out

High Heels are murder Elaine Viets June Decent heroine, interesting enough to read

Carpe Demon Julie Kenner June Adventures of a Demon hunting soccer mom. Funny enough to entertain, dark enough to thrill

California Demon Julie Kenner June

Demons are forever Julie Kenner June

Deja Demon Julie Kenner June

Shakespeare's Trollop Charlaine Harris June Last one in the series. Not so great

The Givenchy Code Julie Kenner July Espionage with a fashion twist

Manolo Matrix Julie Kenner July

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Crash test dummy

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a scooter. I've been taking it to DMV to practice riding the course so I can get my license. The first night I took it out, I managed the left turn ok, although it still needs work. I had the sudden stop DOWN cold. If nothing else, my scooter can STOP! I had a lot of trouble with the weave/u-turn part and the swerving was a nightmare. Thursday night, RF and I went over there while mom took the kids to the pool. I decided there was no reason to practice stopping because I was good. I also decided that I was comfortable with the left turn so I needed to spend our limited amount of time working on weaving and swerving. I wove and wove and wove and finally managed to do it several times in a row with only a few minor issues. We were running out of time so I decided to move on to swerving. That is definitely the hardest part of the test and I just wasn't getting it. RF kept telling me to really push, both with my hand and my foot to force the bike where I needed it. The last time down, I really pushed and I think I made the right turn and as I tried to swerve back (part of the test is to swerve around the red line and bring it back inside the yellow line), the bike slid out from under me and I hit the pavement. My foot got caught between the seating the fairing and as I rolled coming off, my foot didn't go with me. I also slid across the pavement on my left elbow/arm. Despite being a helmet nazi any other time, I wasn't wearing mine then. I had taken it off because we were in the parking lot and not going over 15 mph and I couldn't hear RF who was reading me the test directions and offering pointers on how to do stuff better. Fortunately, I didn't hit my head. I also, because it was stupid hot, was wearing a tank top while I rode. I had a long sleeve shirt in the trunk of the scooter but just wasn't wearing it. I was wearing long pants, which seriously saved my leg. No matter how hot, I always wear long pants riding because I seriously burned my leg climbing on my dad's motorcycle when I was 5 and I still have the scar. So good for me because the pants were trashed. The knee is covered in black tar and the pocket is all shredded. That would have been my leg if I had shorts on.

RF got me up and settled down. Although I was hurt, I was more angry than anything. I was mad that I'd only had the bike a couple of weeks and managed to put it on the ground. I was mad that I had hurt myself. I was mad that I couldn't swerve right, etc. I was yelling and cussing and everything else. Eventually, he helped me up and got me back on the scooter. I got it going again and we rode home. Other than the fact that my leg hurt so bad that I couldn't even put my foot on the floor board of the scooter, it wasn't terrible to ride home (and way better than the time I broke my ankle when I was 9 and rode my bike 3/4 of a mile home. This time I didn't have to pedal home) and the bike had to get home somehow. We got home and RF got our stuff together and took me to the ER, since I couldn't put any weight on my left foot at all. While we were waiting in the ER, he took a picture of my elbow, with blood swears and everything. See that top bit that looks like it is already scabbed over? Yeah, it's not. That is tar from the parking lot embedded in my elbow. Despite scrubbing, it hasn't come off. I'm hoping as it heals, it will be forced out. If not, I'll have a permanent black spot on my elbow

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They never did look at my elbow. When we got home, my mom helped me clean it up and get it bandaged. The X-ray on the ankle came back saying no break (I'm very surprised). So now I'm in a splint and on crutches for the next several days. I'm supposed to follow up with my doctor sometime this week. In the meantime, rest and ice. Keep it elevated, etc. So far, I really don't have time for rest but I'm working the ice in occasionally during the day.

We finally got some decent gauze pads to bandage the elbow with (we had been using plain gauze and it was sticking like crazy) so while it was off today, I took another picture of the elbow, just for comparison :)



I found out today that there is a chance I was actually doing the test wrong and that would explain the wipe out. The way the course is set up there is the potential that you could either swerve left or right. Right is hard right turn, left is much more gentle. I'm going to talk to some people that have taken the test at DMV, not through the U of I motorcycle course and see if left is acceptable. I'm also going to call DMV and ask if I can fail a section of the test and still get my license. Because honestly, if it the right swerve, I will likely never be able to do it. The one and only time I used enough pressure to actually swerve around the object line, I dumped the bike. Not something I'm likely to try again. So I need to find out if I can just attempt it and hit the object line or the side line and still pass the test. We'll see what happens

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm a loser, baby

In fact, I'm the biggest loser in my Weight Watcher's group! For the second week this month (unfortunately, non-consecutive because a new member clobbered me last week). My 3.6 pound loss puts me at 191.6. My 10% goal was 191.7!! I've lost over 21 pounds in 6 weeks time. My next goal is 20% which is 172.5 and I'm setting my date as the second weigh in in August, which is the 8th. That is 7 weeks. After that, I'm one more 10% increment plus pounds from my goal. That puts me at goal in 16 weeks, if I maintain my current pace. 16 weeks is TB's birthday, which was my original goal.

I find myself saying "that just isn't worth the points" about a lot of things now. Today at the meeting, we talked about the importance of eating breakfast and the leader was asking "what is you standard breakfast"? "What do you eat a resturant for breakfast"? and "if you want to use the extra points, what do you induldge in for breakfast"? My answers were "sandwich thin and 1 TBSP of peanut butter" "I don't eat breakfast out" and "I don't. There isn't a breakfast food I've found worth the points" She asked me to clarify what I meant by "not worth the points". Basically, I look at every piece of food and say "is the satifaction of eating this worth the potential sacrifice that I will have to make in order to justify eating it?" The answer depends on the day. Sometimes, I'm just desperate for candy and then the answer is yes. Other times, I could eat it, but missing it wouldn't be the end of the world. In that case, I "just say no" :)

The problem that I have is that once I start eating something, I eat it until it is gone. This is why I HAVE to weight and measure everything I eat. My estimating skills suck so I actually have to weigh or measure to ensure accurate points. If I weigh out a portion, I will eat that amount and be able to not go back for more. If I just put the whole mess on my plate, I'll eat every bite, even if that means I'm so full I'm sick.

PS, I wrote this earlier and forgot I didn't publish it. I spent the day thinking "geez, no comments, what's up with that" and then I realized that of course there would be no comments because no could see it but me LOL

Boot Scootin'

see my new toy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monster muddin'

My dad got a wild hair a few weeks ago and bought the kids a new play structure. In addition to buying and building the structure, my dad bought the water slide attachment for the slide, then he rigged up a shower head attachment that we hook the hose up to and it sprays water on the slide, the attachment and the whole yard around the slide. We had some people over tonight and since it was stupid hot, we set up the water slide. The kids were a little tentative at first, because the water was awfully cold. Once they got over that, they LOVED it like a fat kid loves cake!

X-man and MT had optimum density and were able to shoot off the extension, way out into the mud.

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Lightening McColin was a little lighter weight and didn't quite make it to the mud

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X-man had some issue staying straight on the slide

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Fortunately, Loosey wasn't horrified by the mess on her child

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Bubba wasn't impressed with the cold of the water at first, but he got over that shortly

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PG liked it until she had a crash

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Quigs kisses the boo-boo away

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Curious J went down once, then did his own thing for awhile. Bubba joined him to warm up a bit

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Thunder McGavin so wanted to be with the big kids but the water was just too cold for his little body

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Loosey, MacTroll and RF watch the fun

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Quigs was appalled and horrified by the mud and the mess her kids were getting in to

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RF and MacTroll act as "life guards" to the water play

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Curious J rocked the sand box

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Quigs may not have liked it but how can you say no to this much excitement?!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bring it on

We were driving in the car the other day and following conversation came from the back seat

MT: Hi, my name is The Boy and I like cheeeeeese
TB: I do not like cheese. Cheese is my mortal enemy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cruisin'

If anyone is interested in riding or donating to the event, you can find more information by visiting the website

Hey! It's almost that time again. Our fifth annual motorcycle marble run is right around the corner! This year's proceeds will benefit Camp COCO. I have attached our commercial that will air soon on WGKC 105,9. Pass on the ride info to your friends and family that ride. All makes and models of motorcycles welcome! Our event will be held rain or shine. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. at Andrae's H-D and we will end at Fifth Dimension Collision Repair.
Enjoy the ride!
Jane

Cruisin' 4 Kids with Cancer
July 25, 2009
http://cruisinforkids.tripod.com

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Preview of things to come

We took TB (MT voted to stay home) to see UP today. It was barely "meh" The opening short (often as good or better than the movie) was ok. It was cute but nothing great (my fave has to be the rabbit and the magician at the beginning of Wall-E) and the movie didn't go far from there. Ellie was funny and my kind of character. Dug, the talking dog, was, as predicted, the best part of the movie. There were lots of REALLY slow, sad parts. He spent a lot of time thinking about Ellie and those parts were always sad. There was some action and a few LOL parts (RF didn't think so and was torn between shushing me and living) but over all, pretty boring waste of almost $20 (I didn't dislike it as much as Wall-E because there wasn't as much of a message and it didn't beat over the head with it's social conscience and it might have been more in 3-D but I'm just not understanding the raves that I've been hearing about it)

The part that irked me was the ever loving previews. I like previews as much as the next girl and those are often the best part of the movies. However, these went on FOREVER! Not only did they show previews for Imagine That, G-Force, Transformers, and Harry Potter (plus a few others), there were commercials too. We, mercifully, missed most of the commercials because it was a last minute decision to go to the theater but even one is too many. TB had Pokemon club at the library at 1:30 and I assumed that seeing an 89 minute movie (which includes the credits) at 11:30 would leave us plenty of time to get home and get his stuff and get him there on time. Unfortunately, I was wrong because there were 30 MINUTES of previews! Forever, I tell you!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Schools out...for summer

Wed was the last day of school. They went for a whopping hour and 15 minutes. It was a waste of time but he got his report card so that was all good. After spending the whole year behind grade level in reading, he suddenly doubled his reading level and jumped right up to grade level. Let's hope he hangs on to that over the summer and starts close to grade level in the fall.

Since school is now out, we are going to be busy. Pools and parks and travels are calling our names. If I manage blog, it is going to be the same old same old. Stay tuned for blogs saying "We went to the pool" "We went to the library" "We went to the park" "We went to the children's museum" and hopefully "I lost weight"

Nothing big or exciting going on here

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You KNOW you are jealous

I totally got into Quig's pants today. Usually it's Looseyfur's but not today :)

They are very comfy :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Applications now being accepted

On Thursday, I went to DMV and took a written test to get my motorcycle permit. It rained all day Thursday and RF had to work on Friday and Saturday so today was my first time to get on a real bike. I've been riding my little scooter for a year but it only tops 30 mph going downhill with a tailwind. A 400cc motorcycle is way different! So I spent some time earlier this morning riding it around the parking lot. But there was an issue with the battery so when I killed (pretty much every time I stopped), it has to be push started which was a pain and eventually, even that quit working so RF pushed it home and plugged it in. It got charged a little bit ago so I spent another hour on it, practicing right hand turns and shifting into second gear. Woo hoo, I can now go over 30, even if it is just in the parking lot :)

I will practice riding for the next few months and I'm hoping to actually get my license by the end of summer. Once that happens, I'll being taking applications for bitches to ride with me :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Too random for Twitter

Too many little things going on and none of them deserve there own blog post or status updates but lots of things going on so I'm going to post them all here.

First of all, I have the BEST friends. They are super generous and just generally awesome. Big thanks to them for passing along their clothes as they don't fit them anymore.

I finally bought a new bra today. This is something I hate doing because I hate spending money on something that is basically a societal approved torture device. However, I found some at Karen's Closet that were discontinued stock from Confidentially Yours so they are brand new but they were only $7.99. If I could have found more in my size, I probably would have bought a couple.

Weight loss is going well. I lost 4 pounds last week and I'm down a total of 13 over all. I'm 2 pounds from my 15 pound goal and 8 pounds from my 10%.

I've joined another workout challenge at the gym and part of this one is actually losing weight. In order to get the full points, I have to lose 8 pounds in the next 4 weeks. I can SO do this! I wish my starting weight would have been what I weighed last week, so I'd be half way there but that is the way the cookie crumbles.

We went to Six Flags last weekend. It was MT's first trip and TB's since he was big enough to remember it. MT LOVED it. She went on every roller coaster she was big enough to go on and was really ticked that she couldn't go on the bigger ones. TB wasn't interested in most of the rides, although he did love the water rides.

Of course, the prices were outrageous but it was to be expected.

We ended up having a great day. The weather was a little cool and it was threatening rain all day so a lot of people stayed home. About 3, the storm broke, closing the water park and a bunch of the rides. We waited it out while we ate lunch and by the time we were done, it had absolutely poured but was basically done. Tons of people left the park then so we were basically able to walk on to rides after that. The longest ride we stood in all day was 15 minutes to ride the Batman (my dad and TB spent 30 minutes in line for Scooby Doo but we weren't in that line)

MT got to meet Batman and Robin! She was just thrilled senseless. My dad saw Batman at the theater and ran up the hill and grabbed her and took off back down the hill. I took off after them so I could get pictures of the big event. I'm sure we looked like idiots racing down the hill like we were being chased but it was well worth it to get the pictures. I didn't get pictures of Robin because I was in line for food when she saw him with my dad.

I ate like a horse all weekend but got right back on the wagon once I got home. I gained one pound while I was gone but I've lost that and a bit more since then. Hopefully, I'll manage at least a one pound loss this week. That would make me quite happy :)

I'm thinking about taking TB to see Night at the Museum tonight. It looks really funny and he has been begging to go see it.

School is almost over for the year. I'm ready for 1st grade to be behind us. Besides the fact that I'm ready to be done with his teacher, I'm REALLY ready to be done with getting up at 6 am!

He seems to be reading much better recently. At least stuff that interests him. He can read his Pokemon cards and know what each attack does because it is interesting. He doesn't seem to be able to read the early reader books they send home because they are boring. Quigs asked if I thought he was not being challenged and is some kind of evil genius. I told her I agree with the evil part LOL

He has started meeting with the speech pathologist at school because he stutters a little bit. I've been asking his doctor since he was 2 about it and have been told repeatedly that he would simply outgrow it. At 2, 3, 4, and 5, that was fine but he is 7.5 and still hasn't outgrown it. I emailed the SP and asked her about it. She observed him and said she agreed he needed intervention.

The SP met with him and then met with me and told me that she just wasn't sure what to do with him at this point (shock, neither am I but totally different reasons). She said he is aware of his problem but knows how to stop himself and get it under control. She was going to do some timed test for stuttering this week and we have a meeting setup for Monday morning to discuss the results.

She said that he has an advanced vocabulary and used advanced sentence structure and that basically, she thinks his stuttering is because he is too smart for his own good. She feels that the facial muscles aren't developed enough to handle his advanced speech patterns and doesn't want to put him in the IEP system if that is the case.

I tried the asparagus raw and it was kind of gross. I'm going to attempt roasting some on the grill this afternoon when I make dinner but I'm not holding my breath that it will improve that much LOL RF said it was fine but both kids agreed with me.

TB came home from school today complaining of a stomach ache. I told him I thought he needed to eat more fiber and that is why his stomach hurt. I told him he had to start eating veggies and he asked me to pick him up some celery at the store. So I did and he sat down and ate a big stalk of it. Madness!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Now what?

I bought asparagus today at the store. Now, what do I do with it? I'm thinking about maybe grilling it but as you all know, I prefer veggies raw so suggestions for that would be good too :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Check out the package on that one

I can't wait to see what kind of referrals I get from that title :)

MT's birthday was last weekend and she got a lot of really fun presents from her friends and family. She has really enjoyed playing with all her stuff but I have a complaint to make about most all of them. No, they weren't too loud or needed batteries or covered in lead based paint. No, no, they were all packed in pounds of packaging and were practically welded to the boxes. She got a cute Barbie pool and while Nonni was putting it together, I thought I would start opening some of the LPS stuff because one was a bath set and I thought they could go in the pool too. Instead, it took me longer to open the LPS bath set and get all of the pieces out and unraveled from the stretchy cords that were choking them than it did for my mom to put together the pool. That didn't take into account the LPS beach set or the Barbie that went with the pool, which each also took forever to open.

MT really enjoyed the toys and she says the animals had fun in the pool so it was worth untangling them but, holy cow, what a pain.

In all honesty, I'm not that "green" of a person. It takes time and money and energy and I just don't have an over abundance of any of those things and my issue with excess packaging is simply from a convenience stand point. But even being un-green, I can still see how much impact the sheer amount of stretchy ties tossed every year has on the environment.