Monday, December 29, 2008

Year end "report Card"

Ok, I'm going to pull a Bridget Jones here and recap the year's resolutions to see how I did...  It's interesting because I think that this is the first year I had written them all down.  I had a long list... so here goes.

1) Be less stressed by working out and managing my time (by not taking on new leadership positions).
Well, I'm sorry to report that in typical Bridget Jones fashion I have not become less stressed.  I'm still a freak.  I've transferred some of my stress from one "basket" to "another", but no, I'm definitely still a freak.  The one good thing is that I'm a little less stressed about stupid elementary school volunteer commitments that are unimportant but I'm still in the class doing stuff with the kids (which is important to me).  So, after reflecting, I'm going to give myself a C+ on that, not a lot of improvement but definitely some.

2)  Be more "Green"- by sending more e-cards, eat vegan once a week, be diligent about recycling, keep the house cleaner to save energy and finish replacing the light bulbs with HE bulbs.  
Didn't send e-cards, but didn't send cards either- so that equals environmental improvement and loss of friends which should mean less cards in and out this year, so surely that is some improvement.... we DID eat vegan once a week... I was more responsible about recycling about 1/2 the time, I didn't really keep the house cleaner, but DID replace almost every bulb w/ HE bulbs.  So... I'd say I got a B on that goal. 

3)  Get dressed every day (i.o.w.- no workout clothes to the bus stop)
Um.  Yea.  About that goal.  I followed this goal about 10% of the year, which is so much worse than before I started working out.  So, that's a "Fail"... is that an F or an E.  Depends on the school system I'd guess.  In G's class that's an N.

4)  Write.
I did NOT pick back up into a novel or short story movement.  I had a few thoughts over the year, probably wrote about 20 thousand words or so in the fiction arena, so in the way that I intended it was a D or so, BUT then I realized that i kept a blog AND took a literature class, and that counts as writing, so on a whole, that was an A.

5)  Take 15 minutes to meditate each day.
Again, good intensions, but I didn't really do this very often.  Maybe once a week.  So, what's that, 1/7 of the time?  I'd say that's a D, because it was more than last year, but less than desired.  

6)  "Eat Healthier than before"
Yea, well, I definitely succeeded in that, even though I am NOT applying to Victoria's Secret to be a model at 104 lbs.  Yes, I ate healthier, because eating junk makes me feel like crap when I'm running.  So, really, this is not a success in the traditional sense.  Who cares?  It's a C+ in my book.  I improved, but didn't completely uproot my entire life.  I guess some people would rate that as an A, and some would rate it as a Fail.

What's the final run down?  C, B, F, A, D C...  I guess the A & F average to a C.  And the B and D average to a C.  And the C'a are Cs.  So, I'm a C student for the year.  You know what?  That's the best "resolution" report card I have ever had in the history of ever...  typically I just fail at my goals, because they're so unrealistic they're completely unreasonable.  Except, here's some real irony, that this year I succeeded in my 1994's resolution, which was to take up an exercise program and stick to it for a whole year.  Holy snap.  Who would have guessed?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

stepping out for a few days

I'm probably stepping out for a few days.  Mom's coming into town, then hosting giant Christmas Family celebration, then probably having a nervous breakdown because I hate HATE HATE the mess of Christmas (boxes, wrapping, little twisty ties, piles of non-recyclables, piles of recyclables, etc.)

Anyway, just didn't want you to think I'd forgotten my blog.  I'm sure that I'll have PLENTY to share with you all when I get back to normal... given that i'm hosting 19 people in my house for a meal, all with distinct personalities.  Should be, um, fun.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A "little" behind

So, I'm a little behind this year.  It's the 21st and I have no food prebaked and in my freezer.... and yet, I'm planning a giant holiday meal here on the 25th.  Two actually if you consider that I'm hosting Brunch and Dinner.  Not only that, but I'm still only about 50% wrapped and assembled.  There's a STEP 2 kitchen waiting for me and the electric screwdriver.  Wait!  Isn't that H's job?  Normally, but this year Santa left him in charge of setting up a flat screen TV on Christmas Eve after the kids sleep, SO, I was thinking only assigning him that 1 thing, and once that's done, then we'll evaluate how much is left.  And, I have guests arriving in less than 3 days, and is the house clean and ready for guests?  Um.  No.  The house is not clean and ready.  It's about 50% clean, and now that Rory's running, the floors are 90% clean.  (he's not allowed in some spaces).  If you took all the hours in the day and eliminated sleep from my schedule, I MIGHT be able to get everything done before everyone gets here (including Santa)... maybe.  Who needs sleep?  It's practically just a hobby to the modern mother.  The human body can go without sleep for 3 days, right?

I think we've established at this point that I'm seriously behind.  So why, when i could be sleeping or folding laundry, am I dressed and ready to walk out the door to running at 6:48AM on a Sunday morning in the 35* rain?  Who knows.  I need to run to get rid of some of this, um, energy.

And speaking of burning off stress, I'm seriously stressed.  So stressed I'm NOT HUNGRY.  Not hungry?  Why is that a big deal?  Well, I'm sorry but I'm ALWAYS hungry.  Even when I've just eaten I'm hungry.  I eat for the sake of eating, so to have no appetite is pretty strange.  I don't feel sick, i just don't want food.  I mean, I feel like I want food, but when I try to eat I can't get anything down.  Nothings good.  And why eat it if it's not good?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ki-YAH!

I was INSPIRED tonight by my KARATE final exam.  YES, I completed the Gengi (Genji?) Kata, 4 one step sparring episodes, 2 free sparring incidents and then, after all that, I BROKE A BOARD!!!  I did.  I walked right up, and kicked it, and it broke with a resounding crash!  On the first day of class when the prof told us we had to break a board, I almost dropped it (class, not the board) on the spot.  But I hung in there...  I persevered and... I broke a board.  Man, what a stress release.  I'm sorry but that needs to be at the end of every Stroller Strides class....  "Now, 3 deep breaths, and our final most important STEP is to BREAK A BOARD!"  OK, MAYBE not.  But I was inspired to write a song tonight.  Just a little diddy I thought up.  COMpletely original....  If you happen to think to yourself, "Damn, g. this is amazingly like John Lennon's War is Over Christmas Song", I will tell John you thought that the next time I see him...  And so, Happy Christmas...

So this is Christmas....
And what have you done?
One semester over....
A new one just registered... uh, begun...
AND so this is Christmas....
I hope you had fun,
The near and the dear one,
The old and the young.

A very merry Christmas,
And a happy new gelati (tough rhyme on that one...)
Let's hope it's a good one,
without any Karate!

And SO this is Christmas!!!!
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong!

And so Happy Christmas!
For black belts and white,
For yellow and red belts
let's stop all the fight!

Karate is over over...
If you want it....
Karate is OVER... over...

See- look at all that Christmas cheer just OOZING off the computer screen.  I KNEW I would feel better once it was over.  Or, it could be the Bailey's over Ice I'm drinking right now...  

It doesn't even FEEL like Christmas.

I'm sorry, but I'm NOT festive this year.  No amount of movie watching seems to be helping, though I still have Charlie Brown in reserve....  You see, I'm trying to avoid baking cookies, cooking pie, making rice crispie-treats... fudge and all those other sweet traditions that I normally partake in....  I'm just trying to live like it's a regular week (instead of the week b/f Christmas) so I can avoid the extra 5 pounds of the season.  So far, it's been successful in avoiding the weight, but also successful in avoiding the "holiday" feel.

I've wrapped about 20% of the gifts, strung about 20% of the lights outside (trust me, the house looks pretty pathetic),  hung exactly 2 wreaths.... pitiful.  And, is it COLD outside?  NO.  no, it's not even December outside.  I'd guess I'm not the only scrooge.

I have my last final exam tonight, and I'm wondering if that will have a magic effect of "Done with SCHOOL, TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!"... though I'm dreading the exam because it's Karate and my last 2 classes weren't as fun as they should have been.  Next semester I'm taking CPR to get the rest of my PE credit.  I concluded that it's just a good idea to avoid Karate again.  Though, the prof keeps insisting I'm doing fine, Karate hurts too much.  I can break a board though- and how many SAHM's can say that?

And finally, my college mate will be arriving home tonight as well...  she's my neighbor and she is sometimes my "source of fun" around the holidays.  We have made some strange traditions together....  but they work, and it really does feel like christmas when you're drinking Bailey's making a cheese platter at midnight on Christmas Eve....  is it the togetherness, the Baileys', the cheese platter, or the excitement of Christmas Eve that makes it so magical?  I don't know if it's one, but surely a combination of all those things that defines Christmas for me.

Ah well.  Bah Hum Bug.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's GATE!

It's hard to explain WHY I would drive 2 hours to a "festival" at the camp where I grew up.  I attended the camp or worked there from 1987 - 1993.  I lived there during the summers, coming home once in a while to do laundry or disrupt my mother's life.  I say that, because I always arrived with 200 pounds of dirty horse scented laundry.  So, on Friday when I decided to take the kids to Christmas in the Country at the Triple R Ranch, it didn't seem like a crazy idea.  We've done it before.  In past years they've had a hay maze (inside the barn hayloft), pony rides, a live nativity, hay rides, crafts, hot cider, cookies, chuck wagon meals and other fun stuff.  Too much to name really... I could go on and on.  I was meeting an old friend of mine, just to see each other and show off our kids, at 6:30.  It was a plan... totally doable.  It's exactly a 2 hour drive from door to door without stops.  Key words there- "with out stops".  We left from Art Class at 4:07.  Giving us time to park and get to the meeting place...
At 5:30 when I was sitting still on I-64 and I saw the first ambulance drive past me I got concerned.  By the time the SECOND fire truck, 2nd ambulance, 2nd police car, 1st tow truck, and 1st Vehicle Assistance flashing pick up went by, I was beyond concerned.  I was watching the time click by.  I was still about an hour from the ranch at this point.  SO I thought, depending on how long I sit here I may not make that 6:30 meet time.  So, I called Charity and said, let's make it 6:45 and meet inside by the pony rides (indoor ring).  Yea, about that...  

In the end it took 3:15 hours to make the 2 hour drive.

So, B had her first pony ride, and laughed and giggled the whole time.  I asked her, "Are you OK?" (because it was a small horse, not a pony) and she says, "It's GATE!"  (great), and continues to say, "Gate!" every 10-15 seconds or so between giggles.  What a riot.  Anyway, here are the 3 photos I was able to take of the kids before the camera battery died.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas...

So... speaking of torture.  I realized I really need to post the photo of the kids with Santa.  B was, well, for lack of a better word- scared silent.  G was optimistic as he asked for a LIST of things 20 items long.  C went for the old "going to ask for ONE big item" routine.  Fortunately it wasn't a pony this year and Santa can probably come through for her.  Anyway, enjoy the baby torture...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What's that saying?

You don't have to win every battle, as long as you win the war...

Well, how exactly am I supposed to win the war if I don't win the battles?  We could break it down, but I don't have time.  Why G?  Why don't you have time?  Well let me share that with you...  I'm too busy cleaning up the war torn neutral zone. 

TODAY, like every day, I put B in her bed to nap.  I shut the door.  I locked it.  I put up the gate.  I came downstairs.  The next thing I hear is little feet RUNNING back and forth and back and forth and back and forth across her room and back again and... for 20 minutes.  Now.  She's asleep ON the floor.  In the middle of the room.  The door is open.  The gate is hanging on by a thread.  And her room is trashed.  She is surrounded by every little toy/animal/blanket AND article of clothing she could shake loose.  How nice for me.  Makes me question if the nap is really worth all this.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Hell... OH.

The people who design the singing dancing sledding Ho Ho Hoing critters for Halmark have now made the NAUGHTY list.  The person who mails this sh*t to me has been on the NAUGHTY list since she sent the sledding dog/penguin/snowman last year.  

This year's Halmark Hell is summed up in the form of tap dancing snow globes.  If they're all attached to each other they dance together and the music plays in sync. If they're not attached, they play 3 songs at once with little tap dancing feet clicking in the background.  Add that to the fact that B likes to push them all and then sing "hap bird day tooo oo" while she's listening to this blob of music and sound... yes.  I said blob.  I can't think.  Language is completely escaping me.

I... can't... think.  My head is going to explode.  Why deal with it G?  Just take the batteries out of them...  I can't.  I mean, I could, I have the skills and all, but, I can't take it either way.  B was devastated when the sledding dog/penguin/snowman "broke".  (it's called an OFF SWITCH)  

"It boke?  Boke mommy?  Boke?  Mommy?  Mommy?  Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-mmeeee?  Boke?"  Which is worse?  Tap dancing critters, or a screaming toddler?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Give Peace a Chance...

The promotion of independence is something I'm always for, after all, I'm an American.  It's important to realize that Freedom is something that is earned, sometimes fought for, and to earn it, you sometimes must go to war.  I, however, am against war.  I think it's unnecessary in so many cases when a good negotiation team could just hammer out details and trade agreements can be reached.  Being of the Anti-War opinion though, doesn't mean that you can just take the "no war" approach when it's being waged in your own backyard; you have to stand up, stand firm, and above all, hold the line.  And, by own backyard, I don't mean Canada.  

When B declared "War" on me yesterday, I felt a little unprepared.  I didn't know we were even in prewar negotiations.  To be frank, I think that she just declared it with no talks at all.  I could be mistaken though, because we didn't have a reliable interpreter present who spoke both languages, and like French, I understand more "B" than I speak, which I think she finds frustrating and just a little insulting.  Her portions of the conversation were broken and garbled, and came spilling out of little lips along with snot and tears, but from what I understood, the statement went a little like this:

B does not sleep in a big girl bed for nap.  B sleep in mommy daddy bed.  Now!

Being a mother of some skills, I simply scooped her up, dropped her in her big girl bed, shut and locked her door, and then put a gate up in front of her door.  Sounds reasonable right? Case closed.  Bed selection has been made.  Well, B has apparently done extensive SEAL team P.O.W. training and can now escape from anywhere, because the next thing I knew there was a LOUD crash upstairs and 30 seconds later, B was standing at the top of the stairs continuing her tirade about beds, naps and what exactly was going to go down.

In short.  She's a climber.  I don't know what I thought a baby gate designed for the containment of babies was going to do.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Moms Being Bad...

I thought of the next great reality show, sort of circa "Real Housewives of Short Pump" meets "Girls behaving bad"...  What, you ask, would have made me think of this?  Well.  I have class tonight, and I'm going to be gone for bathtime/bedtime... and I'm feeding the baby dinner right now because I'm just helpful that way.  

She likes chili.  A lot....  With Beans of course, why do you ask?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WTF... a RANT. better skip it if you're not in the mood...

OK.  Now I'm pissed.  How many hours did I invest into that stupid, er- highly enlightened paper on The Black Plague?  Well, I don't need to do the math.  Let's just say "many".  Many many nights I stayed up past bedtime working and reworking, rewriting and correcting... until it was as perfect as I could make it.  I re-wrote, finessed, fought with images to make sure they were visually interesting...  15 pages of text, 9 works cited, 8 images imbedded, 5 discussion questions at the end, 1 cover page thoughtfully produced.  Yes, I did a lot of work... so our teacher "publishes" all the papers for our peer review, which is part of our grade.  

SO...  I opened the first one and start to read.  "King Arthur led a veried life...";  the next one, 4 pages poorly written in first person with 2 different tenses; the next one 5 pages with ONE reference cited; the next one, I looked up the cite and guess what- it's all plagiarized.  No, really- word for word.  I was tempted to call her out on it, but I'm not.  The prof will figure it out the same way I did, she pasted two things together that just don't match.  I swear... by now I'm a little bit freaking out because I spent 2 weeks writing a major paper and if you use mine to compare with these other papers, they're all D's.  

I'm serious, one girl, who's name is SPECIAL, so that should be a clue, wrote a TWO page paper.  TWO.  ~gasp~  No cover.  No title.  No "discussion" questions which was part of the assignment.  (part that took me HOURS to figure out).  How am I supposed to review that with any positive comments when I spent so much time working on mine?  Ok, perhaps I just don't understand college these days.  I thought the purpose was to get an A.  As it turns out, it's to just do as little as possible and get passing grade.

Ironically, I had JUST commented to someone today that I thought my project was only worth a B in my own grading scale.  I amend that.  My paper is F'ing genius.  It's BRILLIANT.  No WONDER the prof sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago thanking me for my insightful paper on some topic or another.  Ok.  Off to read the next 6 papers and "review them".  I guess I need to cut them all some slack.... or not.  I really want to e-mail the prof and say, "I spent 2 weeks, 4 hours a night researching and writing my paper... WTF is all this?  Fail them all!"  

Maybe the next 6 are good.  Maybe they're enlightened.  Maybe... just maybe...

Monday, December 1, 2008

But I wasn't ready...

Last night when I was loading the dishwasher I had one of those "Holy carp" moments that can only happen when you're doing something mundane like sweeping the floor, clearing the table or, in my case, loading the cups into the washer.

I wiped lipstick (not red) off my glass from dinner, and loaded it.  And then I wiped lipstick off C's cup and put it in the washer.  Suddenly my life flashed before my eyes.  I wasn't ready.  No one drinking from a bright yellow plastic cup should be wearing frosted lip color.  The color is so light you can barely see it on her lips, but still, the principal is there...  she's wearing makeup on Sundays.  

I realized at that moment that she doesn't need to be drinking from a yellow plastic cup.  She could graduate to a glass.  She's mature enough, and certainly careful enough, but...  I wasn't ready so I've been holding her back.  So, tonight when I got down the cups and glasses to set up the table, and I said to C...  "Do you want yellow, or blue?"