Friday, January 30, 2009

The Pinnacle of my multitasking mommyhood

A few months ago I joined a running team, as most of you know.  And it was aptly named Run Like A Mother.  I think it can be interpreted in SO many ways.  Mothers are amazing.  They do everything.  They're the bankers, the EMTs, the chefs, the maids, the sweet snuggles and the list goes on.  So of course, we're women above it all.  We socialize while we run.  We seek out new parental ideas while we run.  We get fit and therefore more able to chase our kids while we run.  In short, we multitask.

As mothers I think that's what we do all the time.  I am never only doing one thing.  I mean, right now, I'm making a grocery list and eating breakfast in between typing and checking on the girls.  It's probably one of the reasons that I have such weird little tangents in my blog.  I think that's probably why I have weird little tangents in my life now that i think about it...

So, without a doubt I am always doing something that revolves around my children.  Even date night could be seen as something I do for them- to solidify my marriage so that my children can have two parents.  Since we've established that I am guilty of child centered multitasking ALL the time, why would I say I've reached the top?  Accomplished the unattainable goal?  Gotten the ungettable get?    *for those who are squeamish, now is the time to turn away...

I sold 12 boxes of girlscout cookies the other day, that's $42 worth of cookies, while... I was getting my brazilian wax.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vacuuming happiness

Well, the old vacuum cleaner broke down.  It's a bit irritating because in all honesty it wasn't THAT old, and it was pretty expensive.  I think we paid almost $400 when you factor in all the trips to the repair shop in the first three years.  It was a Kenmore and it was the LAST Kenmore vacuum we'll ever buy.  We got it because at the time it was top of the line in the HEPA department.  I'd say we probably bought it in 2002 or '03...  still, in the cost per year analysis, I wasn't thrilled about it.  

So, since it wasn't working that great, I bought the roomba.  Sure in the cost per year analysis it will probably also disappoint, but lets be serious, it motors around the house by itself picking up crumbs and fur.  It can almost do no wrong.  But now we finally had to break down and get another vacuum because, well, the roomba doesn't do stairs and we can't MAKE the old Kenmore do them anymore.  We'd been fiddling with it, and sort of coaxing it along, but now, well, it's just not going to happen.

So I put my foot down and said, you know, if we bought a CHEAP vacuum and it only lasted 2 years, I wouldn't feel stupid about replacing it or repairing it after that amount of time.  But this nonsense of buying the really expensive one and going through that again... well I just couldn't face it.  So H agreed with me (no need to put my foot down at all really) and we shopped around at Lowes, Home Depot and finally best buy.  Well, for $80 we got a Eureka Pet Lovers Bagless Vacuum.  I figure if it lasts 2 years, that's $40/year.  It has all the features we wanted- bagless, a little motorized piece for vacuuming the couch, etc.  So H opens the box and says, I'm going to go vacuum our room.  Now, it wasn't THAT long ago that we used the Kenmore up there.  Yeaaaaaaaaa, so about that.  Wow.  And then, Ew.  And then he came down the stairs... ew.  And even went over the living room for the sake of Roomba, (because we have a dog with really killer hair, so we always ran the Kenmore in there once a week so the Roomba wasn't trying to do it all by itself) and ew again.  He was just a vacuuming fool, and loving it.  

So, if nothing else, our new vacuum paid for itself in happiness alone.  I got to sit down (lay down actually) and watch H vacuum, so that made me happy.  Then H seemed really pleased with how it ran.  I really can't speak for it, because he hasn't let me use it yet.  I worry, that like a pet, it won't bond to me now... and it will have to be HIS vacuum....  Now THAT is vacuuming happiness:  1 vacuum that runs by itself, and 1 vacuum that runs with my husband.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Plain Old Fun!

Today was just a day for it!  Inexpensive old fashioned fun!  H and I were talking and we decided that in our new recession lifestyle (he works for a company who may or may not be about to layoff big time, so we're just being cautious) we're going to go back to good old cheap fun.  We talked about it and decided that this is where Game Night came about... people of course in the 60's just left their kids in their houses and went to their neighbors houses, but we're not really going to do THAT.  Still, we're looking for ways to fill our days with memorable fun, that's not expensive.  Today we achieved perfection in the low cost fun department!

This morning I ran the Frostbite 15K.  It was awesome.  Probably that's how I feel because I beat my ideal "goal" by 1 minute.  It was amazing!  I was super proud of my time.  I ran 15K in 1:29:01, for those of you who haven't heard me announce in in 3 other ways today!  And, I won a gift certificate for dinner for 2 to The Tavern, which H and I have never gone to, but we're looking forward to it b/c it's free.  So, HOORAY!  My race paid for itself!  For more details on my race experience, read about it here.

Then G had his Pinewood Derby Car race today for the Cub Scouts.  H and G headed out to the Derby at 1:30 for the official weigh in.  As soon as B woke up from her nap, the girls and I sprinted over and arrived just in time to see his car go down the track.  He got 2nd in all 3 heats, which no, that does not mean that he won a thing... but he didn't come in last, and he did have a mighty cute Dunkin Donuts Coffee car.  I'll post photos shortly.  And the cost of this adventure?  The car "kit" was included in his dues, so after we added $2.75 for paint and hours of work... the total cost came in under $3.  Pretty darned cheap.  And he's as PROUD of that car as I am of my 15K time.

So now, it's Sunday night and it's another madcap heres a cap wheres a cap handicap dash to ice skating, hockey, home for dinner, baths, bed and whew- hopefully I can get a few minutes of sanity this evening too!

Friday, January 23, 2009

awkward Pause #7...

OK, so you know when that mother's intuition goes off in your mind, and you don't know what to do about?  Well, for all you out there who read the blog, I would love a little help.   

G's teacher, Mrs Flower, is going to make me insane.  I'm sorry, but she is, and it's not nice to say but...  OK, here's the thing.  My mother's intuition is going CRAZY at the moment, and EVERYDAY it tells me not to send G back to school with that teacher.  I'm serious.  That's crazy in itself.  But here are some of the reasons, and while they sound little, once you realize how they might impact a child over a period of time (less than 2 weeks), maybe you'll agree that my intuition is right.  If it's not, or if you think I'm the crazy one, please feel free to let me know that too....  maybe i need to hear it.

1st event)  The other day G came home with a stack of graded papers.  One of the papers was a 45 math problem addition sheet (9+3=__).  On the bottom is a note:  Mrs F, G was not able to finish this in the time allowed.  Mrs Flower.  The next paper was identical lay out, again 45 math problems on the page, "Mrs F.  G was given an hour to finish this, and was not able to focus on the problems.  Mrs Flower."  WHoa- um.  An hour?  What person asks a 1st grader to work on something for an hour.  It's like she's SETTING him up to fail.  "Here G, work on this.... what?  You're not done?  Well that's an N".  (an F equivalent).  

2nd event)  G gets off the bus, business as usual, wash hands, have a snack, sit down to do homework...  and I notice that his eye is a little purple.  "G are you tired?"  "No"... and then he turns his head and I notice the other eye is getting purple.  Wait a minute.... so I look closely at his nose, and there's a blood rim around the inside of both nostrils.  What happened???  Well, I got a bump at school from a ball.  Why wasn't I called?  What is the deal?  I called the ped, called the school, called the ped, questioned G, and the bottom line is that I should have been called, even if it was well after the fact.  His nose wasn't broken, but the ped agreed with me...  it was obviously a big hit.  I iced the nose, just to keep the swelling/bruising to a minimum, and by today, he looks fine.  A little jaundiced (yellow), but fine.  So here's my chief complaint.  Did the teacher not tell me because she's afraid of me?  OR, scary thought, did she not tell me because she KNOWS better than me?  Because that's the impression I got from the phone... "It didn't seem like a big deal."  Am I over reacting?

3rd event)  And this is either huge, or small.  His lunchbox came home yesterday completely full.  He didn't eat his snack.  He didn't eat his lunch (he bought).  Why?  Why didn't the teacher say, "Mrs F never forgets to send a snack.  Never once.  Let's just take a quick look in his bag and see about this."  How he missed his bright yellow lunch box is beyond me, but he says he didn't see it in his bag.  I just don't get it.  Why would she let him go hungry all morning until lunch?  No kid could focus on 2 waffles at 7am and then nothing until 11:40am....

He's frustrated too, by the way.  We've now hired a tutor for him to the tune of $185/month because she is making him crazy.  He's borderline gifted.  No, I'm not going to call him "gifted", my Pediatrician calls him gifted though...  So, there's that.  He should be doing OK in school.  He shouldn't feel like a failure.  You know what?  A kid shouldn't HAVE to be "gifted" to excel in the public school system.  It almost seems that average children have the advantage over the "bright kids" in Mrs Flower's class.  SO damn it, why can't I have an average child.  Geez, he's 6 and he reads at the 2nd grade level.  He is willing to try anything I tell him academically, but it's as though Mrs Flower is taking a kid with no natural anxiety, and filling him with so much anxiety that he can't function anymore.  ARG!

Am I just overreacting?  She's requested another conference (4th this year)...   "Hi Mrs. F... it's Mrs Flower.... (awkward pause)...."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trade ya...

Ever had one of those days where you're pretty sure that ONE more thing can NOT go wrong, only the next thing you know, something has?  I would gladly trade today with anyone who reads my blog.  I'm sure their day was quieter.  Less Tantrum-full.  Less embarrassment filled.  More grammatically correct.

Today started just a TAD early for me.  At 5:42.  By 7:00 I was up in the kitchen making coffee and feeding the kids a quick pre-breakfast breakfast.  After I cut my finger deep enough to bleed through 2 band aids in 10 minutes, I crawled back into bed at 7:30... and was up again at 8 because B was downstairs SCREAMING.  ((OH, you heard that where you live?  Sorry.  I'm pretty sure that we were breaking several Henrico County noise ordinances)).  Now, why was she screaming?  Was her hand burned in the toaster?  Did she break a bone?  Was she trapped under a piece of furniture?  ....  was her sister sitting beside her on the couch doing nothing to her?  Yes, her sister was on the couch doing nothing.

So at some point we put her back in bed, and I took the big kids bowling with a neighbor and her daughter.  It was my worst game ever.  I bowled about 4 gutter balls for every pin I knocked down.  I couldn't get a stride or something.  I don't know what was wrong.  My worst game of my life.  At some point H met us over there w/ B freshly fed and up from her nap & joined the bowling "fun".  But by the time we were done bowling B was running like a lunatic through the alley screaming.  So as she sprints away from Sean I turned to catch her, and my bag swung out and bumped something.

Someone.  A 90lbs woman with a cane, who was knocked to the ground, flattened by ME.  Please God.  Let a hole open up in the floor now.  Not only is my 2 year old STILL on the loose at Bowl America (because i released her when the woman fell) but there is a woman on the floor because of me.  She had a sense of humor about it, but I could have died.  

Then I brought the girls home to eat while H took G to a cub scout event.  After lunch, let me clarify, MINUTES after lunch was finished B, C and I went to the library to return something and pick something up.  And B had a temper-tantrum in the Twin Hickory Library over me carrying her b/c she was Hummeeeee.  Hungry.  Oh, you HEARD that?  yea, well so did everyone else in the library today.  Everyone.  

On the way home I had to make a quick stop to pick up an art supply for a school project for G.  (you all KNOW how much I love those school projects).  And then I came in at 3pm and put B down for her nap.  At 3:05 I put the escape artist back in her room.  At 3:10 my neighbor came over and my dogs barked so loud that... oh, You HEARD that?  Yea well, so did everyone else.

So, B's nap had to wait until 4.  When I came to the sad realization that there wasn't going to be another nap.  She 'rested' for 20 minutes.  In the meantime, to add insult to injury, C turned on the Hannah Montana Miley Cyrus Best of BOTH WORLDS! concert.  OMG.  My daughter was dancing about in the living room singing and imitating a "pop star".

Meanwhile I cooked dinner, which didn't turn out very good.  All with the band aid wrapped finger that still hurts a bit.  Not enough for medical treatment, just enough to piss me off.  And now, just now, when I reached over and grabbed a rice crispy treat for dessert C says to me, you better not eat another bite of that mom, you're going to make yourself fat with all that sugar.  To which I sniped, "I'm running EIGHT miles tomorrow morning C.  If I want a rice crispy treat, I can have one."  Good god.  It's not like I was going to eat the whole pan.  Though I will admit, in her defense, it was a generous sized treat. 

I'm going to post this.  Clear the kitchen from the disaster, er, dinner, and going upstairs to drink my water and GO TO BED.  I don't care if it IS 7:45.

Friday, January 16, 2009

warm and toasty

and giggly.

Tonight I warmed B's PJ's in the dryer before I put them on her.  She giggled and said, "warm" when I put them on her.  Oh, you'll have to take my word for it.  It was supremely cute.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

how I spent my day

when I should have been doing something productive, I was menu planning around the 6 pounds of ground turkey I bought for $6....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

School Starts Today

Remember that BLOG we all used to read that was really funny, and the (vain) writer updated it almost daily?  Oh wait... that's my blog!  Before British Lit ruined it for all of us.  And then I came back to it over Christmas break, like a long lost relative with whom I needed to catch up a whole years worth of news.  Well, it's time to say, goodbye once again.  Or, if not goodbye, at least, "I hope we can catch up once in a while over coffee".

School starts today.  Spring semester at JSR, and I'm once again taking 4 credits.  A "three credit" class and a "one credit" non-class.  What is the point of the one credit class?  No, I don't know either, but it's required.  I have my first class meeting for my 3 credit course in a few hours and in anticipation, I went online to read the syllabus.  Seriously, I was braced for the worst.  Last semester I wrote 16 papers one - four pages each, 16 1 page discussion question answers, 3 major papers and 1 18 slide power point presentation.  I also read Beowulf, Morte De Arthur, 2 shakespeare plays, more sonnets than I care to count, and several short stories, essays and excerpts from various sources.  

So.  This semester I'm taking Developmental Psych.  And it looks like a cake walk compared to Brit Lit.  I'm not trying to belittle my class.  I'm sure it will be plenty hard with lots of nifty reading and such, but there's 1 chapter per week to read, and 1 discussion post per week.  The bad thing about this class is that there are only 3 tests and they make up the bulk of the grade.  Each one is worth about 25% of the total grade... so in other words, I can't screw up.  But still.  I think maybe British Lit was the BEST possible thing I could have taken last semester because anything will look reasonable compared to that insanity!

So, off to class.  This semester I'm going to the Down Town Campus for my first class meeting.  I wonder if they know how to park a little better at that campus...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ok, I'm ready to resolute myself....

New Years Resolutions 2009....

1)  Be Less Stressed.  Accomplish this by using the crock pot once a week, simplifying my schedule, be mindful of time drains (like facebook and blogger), and knowing my limits:  In other words, "Just Say No".

2)  Race 100 Miles in 2009, and complete my first marathon.  I will accomplish this by running 3 days a week, 4 days on the weeks I do not workout at another source and staying true to a training plan.  This is not like a diet, you can't cheat.  I put this one in here as a free-be.  I figure, I deserve one goal that is easy to reach.  When exactly did I start to think that racing 100 miles and completing a marathon is an easy goal?

3)  Complete 3 classes toward my degree, whether I want to or not.  

4)  Eat Vegetarian Once a Week.  Last year we went vegetarian one dinner a week.  Now, I'm ready to go Veg for a whole day at a time.  I don't think I can force this on the rest of the family.

5)  Stop having so much fun.  No really.  I spend so much time planning fun activities for our weekends, that about half the time I am not having fun when we're out supposedly having fun.  I'm really going to limit the children to one activity a "season", & we're really going to kick the habit of making so many plans on the weekends that we can't do anything w/o stressing.  No, that doesn't mean no more bowling, movie nights, ice skating, etc.  It just means, limiting these things to 1 event/weekend.  Hopefully this will make our quality family time together more special.  I'll let you know how it works out.

6)  And this is one I just came up with... run alone once a week.  No stroller, no company, nothing.  Why?  Because I need the time to think... and when I am running I can actually think about things that don't require notes.  I can't do homework, surf the web, check my crackbook page, balance the checkbook, etc while I'm running.  I can let my mind wander though, and that's what I need to do.  My most biggest "epiphanies" have come on long runs though, more than 6 miles, so I'll have to see if it works on short runs too.  

7)  Make the budget and stick to it.  Last year's budget was definitely made.  I know because I made it... but beyond the first month when we figured out it wasn't as accurate as we'd hoped, I never went back and revamped.  We had no allowances or limits for nearly 6 months.  It's stupid.  No, we're not worse off than last year, but damn it, we're not where we SHOULD be and that sucks.  So, this year I'm trying a few things I've learned in the past 6 months, only all at once, to see if they work.  IF they work, I should have about $2400 in savings over that time.  And if that's the case, I'll be sure to write up my new plan into a book and sell it.  Or, more likely, I'll post it for free on this blog.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm easily irritated

I've concluded that today I'm easily irritated by things that other people think are absolutely fine.  This is probably a good thing, but that's a blog post for another day.  I just want people to act their age, to stop using the "I'm just a girl" excuse, and to drive like adults & not little chicky's who can't keep their car in their own lane.

I just LOVE when you're driving down, say... a three lane road like "Broad Street", and... It's OK to take up two lanes if there's no one beside you, right?  I swear, the bumper sticker on the car should have read, "I think women drivers are getting a bad name for no reason.", as she drives her toyota hatchback right down the center of 2 LEFT hand lanes.  Irksome.

My next irk on women giving women a bad name is pure childishness in the interest of acting "cute"...  for example, when you're reading an e-mail or web post on a group chat :) and every line is like, totally :) punctuated with a little ;) or :) or, even sometimes I see a :~).  YES, I know I HAVE used a little smiley face emoticon before, I have even punctuated a sentence with a little :).  BUT, do they need to  be at the end of every line?  Seriously?  Are we 4?  Are we 9?  A NINE year old would TOTALLY think that was great!  :)  No.  We are not 9.  Some of us are 3o x.  We certainly do not need to :) at the end of every line.  

Oh, look, it's like totally 4 o'clock.  I bet I'm like, really hungary.  I think I better go get a snack before I like totally pass out or something!  :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Facebook Ads crack me up

"Don't get Botox!  Discover the NEW wrinkle remover that was discovered by a Mom!"

Um, yea, it's called, SLEEP.  Any mom could tell you that.  You don't buy it in a bottle.  You don't need to get a second job to pay for it.  You just need to go to bed a decent hour.  Duh.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Taking it literally

Last night at dinner B was eating her usual "sunday meal"... which is, whatever we are eating, minus the meat.  Now, I'm not withholding the meat, she just chooses not to eat meat at meals where we have other offerings like mashed butternut squash, sweet potato, and asparagus.  Why waste time on meat, when you could be eating all that.  The rule in our house isn't that you have to finish what's on your plate.  The rules are:  if you don't finish what's on your plate, don't ask for dessert; AND if you don't drink your milk, you may not be excused.
B "Stoooze peeze"
Mother (that's me), "B, you need to finish your milk".
B takes one sip of silk milk and sets her cup down, "Stoooze PEEZE."
Stupid Mother (that's me again), "B, all that milk needs to be in your tummy before you may be excused."
B pats her shirt, "tommy?" and then, in an instant, pours the milk down the front of her shirt.  "Stooze peeze?"

Weeeeell.... No.  That's not EXACTLY what I was suggesting, but it is EXACTLY what I said.  I guess that's what I get for talking to a two year old like she's a three year old.

Monday, January 5, 2009

~sniff~ I'm all ferklempt, again

This was supposed to be a day that was so far in the future that I couldn't imagine reaching it, and yet, it's here.

My baby is 9.  Nine.

I handled it really well I thought.  We did a big family surprise party for her down at Dad's house this weekend, which was a riot because she had no idea we were planning it.  Not even an inkling.  What a hoot.  It was a total spur of the moment thing, "hey, you know what would be fun...."  And the next thing you knew we were decorating the house in pink and yellow streamers while Jean hunted down a hannah montana balloon, and we grabbed a cake out of the prep'd cakes at Kroger- and we were off and running.  Instant party.  Fun fun fun.

Ok, except that the cake sucked.  I mean that.  It was $17 with sales tax, which meant that this 1/4 sheet cake cost as much as a whole double layer filled cake at Costco that feeds 48.  It was so gross though that there was no worry about not having enough.  When we left Dad's, we left the leftover cake behind.  ew.  It made all the adults sick feeling.  Not "sick", just "uhg".  

So, that was Saturday.  Today was her actual birthday, and I thought I was doing really well.  My baby is growing up.  She cheerfully pointed out to me that since she is turning double digits next year we should get her ears pierced in the next 12 months *yea right.  I hardly even blinked at the indication that 10 is right around the corner.  I'm a mother of 3.  I can handle anything even a negotiating 9 year old.

We decided that in honor of the REAL day I would go out to the little cupcake boutique near my house and get 5 cupcakes to celebrate with.  How genius right?  No leftovers, just enough cake for one event, and then done.  The special moment is over and the cake is gone at the same time.  Only, the cupcake store isn't open today.  I ended up at Whole Foods (because we know how I feel about Kroger cakes, and I dislike Ukrops cakes too, to be honest), where to my surprise and delight, I found that they sell gourmet cupcakes!  Yes, Whole Foods to the rescue.  I was prepared to pay $3/cupcake too, b/c I figured it was worth it to A)not have to do the work and B)not have leftovers in the house.  Only they were $1.50, filled with raspberry, uh, goo, and delicious.  Though, the vanilla ones are better than the chocolate, and usually I'm a chocolate kind of person.  And I bought 6 *incase of unexpected neighbor drop in, and guess what?  We have 3 left because they were so huge that we all split them.... I'm off track, as always.  SO- I thought I'd get teary eyed with the candle burning and singing... nope.  I was fine.  She was fine.  We were all fine.

... As I was saying, I was doing fine, and then tonight at 8pm I decided that I needed to do a grocery run, because it's been so hectic that I've run out of fruits and vegetables.  After the veggies I decided to go check out the bread, and I glanced toward the bakery and saw all the little number candles.  Suddenly I realized...  "oh wow.  they only go up to 9.  because after 9, it takes two candles to make the age.  Oh shit."  

And for just a second there in Kroger I thought, I can't do this.  I'm too young for this.  I can't be a mother of a child this old.  I just can't.  This was the day that was never going to come.  I remember when she was born and I thought, "when she's 6 I'll be XX age, and when she's 9 I'll be XX age, and when she's 16...."  But I never thought this day would come so fast.  I thought there would be time to prepare.  Time.

People say that time flies, and you never believe it until it happens to you.  People are right.  

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Years Resolutions

IT's time for half the blogs in the country to post their resolutions out so that all their friends and followers can see 90% of them fail by March.  It's true you know, most people make these outrageous resolutions that are unrealistic at best.  Last year I waited until Mid January to make a list, which I only made after a few weeks of reflection and thought....  this year, I'm not sure what I want to do.  As we saw from my "report card" that I was actually more successful than the average person, though less successful than I would have hoped.  It was a busy year.  I realized recently that I'm so busy doing fun things with my family that I'm not having any fun at all.  Crazy sounding I know, but totally true.  So, after a few weeks of careful reflection about HOW I want to change my 2009 lifestyle, I think I will probably consider "make fewer plans" as a goal.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Today I ran my fastest 5K ever.... which led to me running my fastest 10K ever~  I'm so happy I could scream.  I would, but I can't right now because I need to go to bed.  So, the long and drawn out saga of how proud I am will have to wait!  

*why did i post this?  I couldn't WAIT to at least tell the world about my new PR...