Saturday, January 31, 2009

The case of the disappearing husband

I don't know how many times now Andrew's return date has changed. First it was Monday, then maybe Wednesday, then - hooray! - Sunday night. Now it's just "sometime next week". And each time, it's another let down and I get sad and pissed off all over again.

I need to get a life. I'm pitiful, really. When he's working in town, I spend my days looking forward to the moment he walks in the door. I turn down play dates, shopping, lunches out whenever he's off for the week because all I want is to spend my time with him. And now that he's out of town I'm kind of lost, without purpose, because my husband isn't around to reel me back in at the end of each day. He grounds us, really, and without him around life is sort of chaotic and unstructured because we're all just waiting for him to come home.

Jesus, just reading that makes me sound pathetic.

So I'm done. I'm done sitting around missing him, wishing he were here to see funny things the baby does or hear Chloe sound out a new word. I'm not going to be sad anymore that I can't share with him from the hilarious book I'm reading, or show him my latest knitting experiment. I'm not going to waste away while I refuse to cook for only the children, and I'm not going to depend on him anymore for my "adult conversation". Everything is so centrally located on all four of us together, even if for only an hour or two a day. I think it's time to re-center. It's time to restructure a new little world that doesn't depend on him so much. We can do this - we're girls, we're tough. We don't need a man to hold us together, right? I can do without companionship and conversation and good lovin' at night.

I need to make more friends. I need to get out of the house more. I need to find things to do that occupy my time.

Blah. Don't listen to me, I'm pathetic.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stories from the gym

So yesterday at the gym, Ashley was having a slight wardrobe malfunction. You know, that kind when the back seam of your pants sinks deeper and deeper into crevices where pants don't actually belong? Right.

Ashley's way cooler than I am in those moments. Instead of doing the "Oh my God, can anyone else tell I have a wedgie from hell?" or "Can I hide against the wall long enough to rescue my pants from my butt crack?" and stressing out and being embarrassed, she faces it head on.

We were walking side by side and instead of trying to hide it, she says out loud to me (in a show of supreme femininity), "Oh my Gawd, my asshole is eating my pants. Rahhhhr!"

And then we realized there were two men walking behind us that were definitely close enough to have heard her lament.

It was splendid. For me, anyway. :o)


I've decided to start tanning. (Ashley is, after all, the Enabler of All Things Girly, and we've been spending a lot of time together while our husbands are out of town.)

I have tanned before, but it's been years, and I forgot what it was like. I never did it religiously like some girls, and 6 minutes in that bed was enough to remind me of why.

I'll start off with Jared. Jared is the trainer at the gym, and I'm pretty sure he's a fourteen year old boy that has been trapped inside the body of an over-compensating body builder. He's decided to befriend Ash and I. And by befriend I mean "attempt to flirt whenever possible." Which is exactly the last thing on the To-Do list of two married mothers of small children that are at a gym in the morning with no make-up, teeth un-brushed, and perhaps a bit of chewed up and spit out cereal caked onto our sports bras for good measure. Right.

So Jared shows me into the "tanning booth", a room behind the office with a door that locks. Of course, what good is the door that locks when the entire top fourth of the wall is missing? Awesome. So we're sitting in there, he's stalling pitifully, trying to discuss with me the merits of pubic hair. (No, I'm not kidding. It was the strangest thing...) Finally, he leaves me to undress, warning me that I have only three minutes to get nekkid before the bed turns on.

So as soon as he's out the door, I strip down to nothin' (Ashley assures me that everyone tans naked. Everyone must be more comfortable in their own skin than I am.) And then I sat there perched on the edge of the bed, waiting for the rest of the two minutes and fifty seconds to go by. When was the last time you sat stark naked in a strange room surrounded by hundreds of ultraviolet lights? Well, lemme tell ya, three minutes can take a looooooong time to pass depending on one's situation.

I was just wondering if Jared was playing some kind of horrible prank on me, hoping to get a glimpse of my not-so-glamourous naked body, when Ta Da! The lights came on, and I lowered that lid down on me, briefly considered the possibility of being stuck inside forever, and then tried to relax for six minutes.

Everything went smoothly. I managed to extricate myself from the bed when it was over without injuring myself or any technology. My face is nicely tanned, and my stomach is a nice pink color that Chloe tells me is quite pretty.

Gosh, I can't wait to do it again.


I woke up this morning feeling a little bit dizzy, weak, and light headed. I really wasn't in the mood for the gym, but decided to suck it up. Afterall, I have four weeks left to look good in that Victoria's Secret swim suit. No slacking off is allowed. (For some reason, it really matters to me that it's Victoria's Secret. As if the brand name alone means I must try harder to look good in it. Or maybe it's because I've seen it on a model, and I've seen it on me, and the difference between the two is enough to make me cringe.)

I spent yesterday evening with the in-laws. Which of course required maybe something like half a bottle of wine to recouperate from. Which I'm certain is not the reason I felt dizzy and lightheaded and slightly nauseous, but I suppose it's a possibility.

So Jamye decides we should do the bike class - Race and Pace they call it. It wouldn't be so bad, I think, except that the Bike Nazi is ruler of the class, and she's a monster. I had no idea an exercise bike could hurt me like that. I hurt in places I didn't know I had.

As a result, I've spent the entire day sitting around, reading, drinking coffee, eating carbs, and trying to recover from my date with the Bike Nazi. I think this is the last time I'll be attending Race and Pace. I'll stick with pilates - you spend a lot of time lying down in that class.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What really matters? Who really cares?

Do you ever go through these phases? The "who really gives a damn, anyway?" phases?

My life revolves around the most mundane things. Unloading the dishwasher, folding diapers, cooking child-friendly concoctions meant to nourish my little nestlings, and an unending supply of poop (kid poop, baby poop, dog poop, cat poop, seriously, we have more than enough poop to go around.)

I get stressed out about the stupidest things. "For Christ's sake, WHERE is that fluffy pink hair tie?!" "Do NOT throw another dried cherry on the floor or I will not feed you for the rest of your life!" I might be a little obsessive about some of those stupid things: I always clean the windows before my in-laws come over, for example, and I always scrub my sink before my mother stops by. And it always stresses me out, at least a little.

But for the love of God, who really cares? Why do *I care? Does it really matter that the hair ties in the bathroom cupboard aren't properly organized? (Well, okay, actually the bathroom cabinet is actually vomiting hair ties most days.) Does it really matter that the books on the bookshelf are never straight, my six year old's hair is always in her eyes, the laundry is NEVER completely caught up?

No, it doesn't matter. I know it doesn't matter. I know the world will still rotate on it's axis even if all of my silly little mundane chores don't get finished each day.

I deny myself much-beloved knitting time, story time, giggle time, so that I can make sure the floors are mopped (which I just did three days ago, and will have to do in another three days), the beds are made, the towels are clean and dinner is cooked. Okay well, I suppose dinner really *is sort of important. Can't let them starve, afterall... though maybe they'd prefer that to the recent bowls full of glop I've been serving.

Every so often, I do this. The "it doesn't really matter" phase. And I'll go on cleaning strike for awhile, doing only the most basic and necessary little things.

And then, in a week or two, I'll go crazy, I'll be overcome by the chaos and disorganization that is my life, and I'll spend another week or two cleaning, scrubbing, organizing and perfecting.... so that I can begin questioning again whether it really even matters.

For heaven's sake, I need something more important to do.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bad Mommy

It's three thirty in the morning, and Cora is fussing in bed beside me. In a sleepy stupor, I feel around in the bed to find her bottle of water, hoping to quiet her. The bottle is empty. I stumble, still mostly asleep, to the kitchen and fill the bottle with more water. I hand it back to her in the dark and lay back down.

Moments later, she's screaming - really screaming. I spring into action, switch on the lamp, and assess the situation: baby is screaming like someone might actually be trying to kill her. Upon closer inspection, I notice baby is sopping wet. Sheets are sopping wet. Bottle is empty.... and there is no nipple on the bottle. Did I honestly not screw it on tight enough? I searched the bed, but could not find the missing nipple.

And then I go back to the kitchen, and look on the counter.

Yes, I did in fact hand my baby a bottle full of ice cold water - without a nipple. She went to put it in her mouth, and poured that ice cold water all over her face.

This happened last week. I'm only now able to see the humor in it, and chalk it up to a "bad mommy moment". I'm glad she won't remember that a few years from now. :o)

Note to self: have an extra bottle ready BEFORE I go to sleep at night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rockin' good deals

My mom and I hit the mall today after breakfast. I've been on the lookout for some cute stuff for the Mexico trip - I've been hoping to find a cute semi-formal for a fancy night out, but at a reasonable price.

So I tried on dresses in a handful of stores with no success. Then we went to Penney's. They had some really cute dresses, all kinds of styles and colors, on clearance for $19.99. I picked out a couple that were my favorites, thinking I did pretty good, right? You can't beat twenty bucks for a formal dress. Until the lady at the register told me they were buy one get on free. Flippin' sweet. My total savings at Penney's, on two dresses? $100.

Actually, the mall was chock full of great deals. I got myself a lightweight hoodie, perfect for the gym, for $6 at Herberger's. And don't forget the free Vera Wang Princess body polish. Apparently Clinique and some other cosmetics companies lost a lawsuit, and everyone who's ever bought "find cosmetics" at certain stores is eligible to receive a free gift. If you have a Herberger's near you, go by Jan 27th and get yours - they have a few different things to choose from.

Target had some cute Valentine's scrapbook stuff for $1 each at the dollar spot. I got Chloe a cami tank top for $1.98 and overalls for $11 and some change. I'll chop up the overalls and put them back together with some cute fabric and lace. Why wear plain overalls if you don't have to? :o)

Shopping is fun. Especially when my mom goes to help take care of the kids. By the end of our excursion Cora learned a new word: "M". She'd turn around in her stroller, look at her Grammy and say "M?" and her Grammy would promptly hand her some more M&M's. LOL What spoiled girls I have.

Friday, January 23, 2009

If there was a depression...

Every so often, I hear the "what if there was another depression" worry from someone I know. What would we do? How would we live? Would we survive?

Maybe I'm too hopeful. I'm sure I don't really have any idea what it would really be like. But I don't have any doubt that my family would survive, and we would be alright.

We live with a lot of luxury now. We have a very nice home that is warm and comfortable, filled with nice furniture, good food, and fancy appliances.

If I had to, could I do without it? Absolutely. I have a big antique trunk downstairs that I would pack full of the things that mean the most to me - handmade things, little memoirs of the girls' childhoods, scrapbooks and probably computer hard drives. The rest, though it would hurt, I could walk away from.

So many people these days wouldn't have the first clue how to survive if they didn't have a house, a computer, a car, electricity. Thankfully, between my husband and I, I'm pretty certain we'd be alright. We've got everything we need to go camping... it would just have to be an extended camping trip, I suppose. I have enough seeds on hand to plant a garden that would feed us, and I know how to collect the seeds from those plants to save for another planting. My husband is quite skilled in hunting, and could provide meat. Between the two of us, we know how to handle the meat and I could probably even tan a hide if it came to that. A friend of mine said something about "I guess I'd have to find a way to get propane if we couldn't afford electricity." Thankfully, I'm quite skilled in cooking over a campfire.

My obsession, my fascination, is pioneer history. No, I've never lived that kind of life, but I have a pretty good understanding of it - how hard it was, and what was necessary for survival. I'm thankful that I've read the dozens of books that I have on the subject. I could sew clothing from fabric scraps if needed - many women couldn't! I could turn plant fiber into a diaper, treat many common ailments, forage for food and know what I was looking for... if it was necessary. I take a certain amount of pride in that.

My husband is incredible as far as his ability to figure out a way to make anything work, anything happen. I know I can always depend on him. Many women are married to men who are so modernized that they aren't even capable of changing a flat tire.

Will there be a depression? Eh, who knows. And it probably wont' be that severe, if there is. But I find much solace in knowing that if it really did come down to that, my family would be alright. Heck... it would be one hell of a homeschooling lesson, wouldn't it?


In other news... I just found out that Mark's girlfriend is pregnant again. I'm really, really irritated. He can't support either child he has, they live with his mother for Christ sake, but they get to have another baby, and I don't. Someone feel sorry for me, please?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My grandma

...had a stroke of the spine. She doesn't have feeling from the waist down, and likely won't get it back. She may eventually be able to walk with a walker, but that's not certain.

Last week she was up and moving and walking around and active and normal. She's older, but she's always been active. She's watched little girls for family and friends for years. Even in her 60's she's able to chase around toddlers all day long while their mommies work.

And now she might not walk again.

I'm scared for her, and sad for her. I just can't imagine. I want to pick up and go to Kansas, but it's not feasible and probably wouldn't be at all helpful. I just want to go and give her a big hug. She must be so terrified and shocked. :o(

They're transferring her to a rehabilitation hospital today where she'll spend four weeks or more, hopefully learning to walk again. Thankfully it's near her home and my grandpa will be able to sit with her there when she's not in therapy.

:::sigh::: I hate feeling so helpless, I just wish there was something I could do for her.

Hooray for Homeschool

Check out these quotes from my blog, about a year ago, regarding Chloe's school:

"We're working on her concept of the proper order of numbers - i.e. 1 comes before 6, etc. It's harder to teach than I thought. Yesterday I wrote out 9 rows of three numbers each on the sidewalk with chalk. I had her jump from 1-9 in order over and over again. Then we started jumping on the smallest number in each row,"

"We're gonna work on memorizing our phone number and address, since she hasn't done that yet, and work a little harder on numbers and number recognition and some other math concepts. Her reading is amazing - she's got several blends down really well, and she's starting to understand the "silent e changes the vowel to a long sound" concept, like in plate and face."


Now for an update on school. One year ago we were learning numbers 1-9. Now, she recognizes all numbers up to and past 100, and can tell you exactly which order they go in. She's learning addition (though she hates it, sigh) and bits of subtraction. She's learning to tell time, and can do so with a fairly basic accuracy so long as the minute hand is actually on a number and not between two numbers. (Telling time is AWFUL to teach. Way too flippin' complicated.) We're starting a unit on money, understanding what each coin is worth, and slowly working to understand the concept of 100 cents equals 1 dollar. Math isn't her strongest area, but only because she doesn't like it. If I could find better ways to work on it with her, I bet she'd fly through it, because it clicks for her in ways it just never clicked for me.

Teaching a child to read is amazing. A year ago she was learning basic words, basic blends and vowel sounds. Now, she's reading paragraphs out of books not intended to be read by six year olds. The other day she asked me how to pronounce "ancient." That's a tough word! Even just a couple of months ago she hated to sit down and read to me. Yesterday she read five short books cover to cover with little or no help. We drive around town and it's like a new world has opened up around her, because she can actually read signs. I can't listen to music anymore because she's always asking questions or telling me what signs say. I have to be careful reading blogs (or anything else) because she will read over my shoulder. The other day she asked me "Mom, what is a vag-ih-na?" Omgoodness. Must remember to be more careful about what text messages make it into my phone, since she'll apparently be reading them.

So yeah, school's going great. We do about 15-20 minutes of sit down work each day, mostly practicing writing sentences and doing addition problems. Other than that, we have fun, we read, we play games, we talk, we look stuff up on the computer. I love how her little mind is such a sponge for information. Homeschool is good.


So I taped the inauguration speech the other night. I've also taped American Idol and some fun crafty shows. I figured I'd spend some time in the evenings knitting and watching TV after the girls were in bed, while Andrew's out of town. Sadly, by eight thirty I'm ready for bed too. I fell asleep on the living room floor yesterday for awhile while Cora slept and Chloe played next to me. I keep waking up super early to get things accomplished, and I go go go all day long, and I just can't keep my eyes open much later than bed time. :o\


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Geez, I'm exhausted.

I've been getting up at 5 am the past few mornings to make up for the hour I've been spending at the gym. It's 9:30 pm and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open right now. Sheesh, I'm old.

'Twas a busy day. Got the girls around, got the house in order, got breakfast done and headed to the gym for the 10 am pilates class. Oh my goodness, I'm in love with pilates. Ah, it just felt so good. My body hurts like a mo-fo now, but in a good way. I'm totally down to do that twice a week. I'm sure eventually I'll be able to sit down to pee again without cringing in pain. LOL

We did the cheerleading thing. I'm still 50/50 on whether or not I should be doing it, but it seemed to go pretty well. Mostly Chloe is in a little group with some of the little girls she already knows and plays with, and the high school girls running the camp are very sweet and peppy and upbeat with great attitudes. She seemed to enjoy herself tonight, so we're going back tomorrow. There are some pretty stiff stipulations though - one hint of a snotty attitude and she won't be going back. I can't say I'd complain - sitting in a high school cafeteria for two hours in the evening, chasing around a toddler isn't my idea of a great time.

I got my passport back today - exactly two weeks from dropping it off. They're quick! Everything is set now for our trip, and there should be anything now to stop us from going and having a great time. We leave February 22.

Andrew is officially losing his weeks off in the middle of February. They'll be doing a "6 and 3" schedule: six days on, three off. Not as much time for big camping and traveling trips, but we can still sneak in a few short ones. I'm disappointed, but I'm trying not to pout about it. At least my husband has a job, and a good one, in such tough economic times.

My grandfather in Kansas City called this evening. My grandma is in the hospital. (This is biological family - found them when I was 19 years old.) She's lost the feeling in her legs, but they aren't sure why. She's in a whole lot of pain. They're talking to a specialist tomorrow who may be able to figure out the problem. I know it's hard for my grandma - they're older, but in relatively good health. She's quite active and I'm sure it's bothering her to be stuck in a hospital bed. I'm very worried about her, and am hoping everything turns out okay. This has happened a couple of other times, and it's hard for me not to pack up and drive out there. In the winter though, that would be less than smart, so I'll sit here and wait for an update tomorrow. If you're the praying type, maybe say a prayer for her... I love her so much.

I had a little chat with Mark this afternoon, letting him know that we would be claiming Chloe on our taxes this year, despite the divorce agreement, and that it would be ludicrous for him to think otherwise. He hasn't paid child support for a year and a half. He agreed to let us claim her without any argument, which seems to be the norm lately. I think he's actually lost all the fight he used to have in him. It's wonderful.

I can't think of anything else to ramble about. I have a bunch of half-finished art and craft projects that I'll probably start posting soon, once I actually finish something. I Tivo-ed the Inauguration speech with the intention of watching it tonight, but I'm so flippin' tired I think I'll just go to bed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Speaking of...

So I went to the gym today. I met with a trainer for about an hour, and he got my list of goals and showed me some some different things to do to meet them. We'll see how successful I am. I felt good afterward though. Tomorrow is pilates at 10:15. I'm looking forward to that.

The gym has a daycare room. Both girls have done great both times they've been in there, but I'm still struggling with it. Putting my children in daycare makes me feel guilty, like I'm a slacker or something. However, there were five children in the daycare that were all school-aged, which led me to believe they were homeschoolers. That pleases me. :o) Maybe they'll be nicer than normal kids. LOL


Speaking of, Ashley is desperately trying to convince me to put Chloe in this week-long cheerleading camp thing that Tori is doing. Tori did it in the fall, and it was cute and all, but I'm just not sure. There are something like 40 kids from kindergarten up to about fifth grade. They practice every night for two hours during the week, and then they perform at a basketball game on Saturday. I'm just not sure how I feel about it. I'm all for cheerleading. I was a cheerleader. What I'm not all for is the kids she'll be around and the influences they might have on her. She's so dang impressionable. That's why we homeschool, ya know? So I'm not sure at all what I should do, and I have to decide by 3:15 tomorrow. I'm hoping Andrew calls tonight so we can talk about it. I want his opinion.


Speaking of Ashley, ugh, I'm frustrated. I adore her - we are good friends, and I'm happy about that. But she's going through this thing where she's decided to leave her husband. She wasn't happy to begin with, but then she met this guy she thinks she really cares about, and decided to tell her husband it's over. Now, back when I was leaving Mark (because I wasn't really happy to begin with, and then I met this guy I really cared about) I had a close friend that didn't agree with my decisions. As a result, we're not even friends at all anymore, and that saddens me. I don't want that to happen with Ash and I. But I'm having a hard time supporting her in this decision she's making. Her husband isn't what Mark was (lazy, obsessed with computer games, self-absorbed...) He's a great dad, he works hard and takes good care of his family without complaint. I'm sure it's not all perfect (what relationship is?) but I see so much good that she's walking away from, and I don't think she's seeing it. I'm afraid for her that she's going to end up leaving her husband, realizing The Guy isn't all he was cracked up to be, and will regret her decision. I don't think people should be able to walk away from marriage so easily. (But then, I did it.) And she brings that up a lot - that I did it, and look how happy I am. But not all guys are like my husband. No, scratch that, NO guy is like my husband. I honestly see what we have as something really unique and special, and that's because of who HE is. I'm afraid she's not going to find what we have, what she wants, and that she's walking away in vain.

so anyway, any advice? What do I do? How hard do I push for her to stay? How much do I support her leaving?


We did a cute craft today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

It's a pin that she wore on her shirt all day. Cute, eh? Found it in a book of winter crafts we picked up at the library. We invited Tori over after the gym to make one with us since she was out of school today. I love this age. They are so impressionable. (That sounds familiar...) You can teach them such important things now that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Perks? Yep.

I'm not going to say that I like having my husband out of town. I absolutely don't. But I won't deny that there are a few perks that go along with being on my own with the kids for two weeks. Tonight, I served leftover tomato soup and string cheese to Chloe for dinner. Cora opted for leftover Spanish rice and, not to be outdone by her sister, her own string cheese. Me, I'm having a Saint Bridget's Porter by the Great Divide Brewing Co.

And if that isn't easy enough, you have to consider the dishes. I absolutely abhore washing dishes. When you're serving leftovers and string cheese for dinner, you don't have many dishes to wash. At this rate, I'll only have to run the dishwasher once a week (which means I only have to empty it once a week, a chore I hate even more than actually washing them.)

See what I mean? Definite perks.


Chloe lost her tooth the other day. Yeah, her first one - remember back in, what was that? September, October? that I announced we had our first loose tooth. Yes, it took like four months to get that sucker outta there. I think the idea of having one of her teeth actually separating from her gums was traumatic. Far more traumatic than the actual losing of the tooth, which was met with much glee and enthusiasm.

A picture:

Sadly, it took so long for the tooth to come out that the permanent tooth grew in behind it. For that reason, we don't get that awesome "missing tooth" shot for the scrapbook.

And of course, we put it under the pillow (in the fancy "first tooth" silver jar we had for the occasion). The tooth fairy brought $5. Can you believe the going rate for the tooth fairy is five flippin' dollars? Talk about inflation.


It was a pretty good day. We had breakfast at my parents' house, then came home and had a very nice Sunday kind of day. Chloe watched TV all afternoon - she didn't ask for a whole week to watch TV, so I granted it to her when she did ask today. Cora took a long nap, and managed to actually play by herself for awhile, which allowed me time to scrapbook a few pages, sew a sling for an expectant friend, knit 10 or 12 rows on Noelle's mittens, organize my scrapbook desk and the toys in the bathroom.

The sling:
(That one's not yours, Kim! I still haven't found fabric I think is right for you, but I'm working on it.)

Unfortunately, period cramps set in and all hope was lost for any more productivity. When my husband was packing his bathroom bag, he asked if it was alright if he took the Ibuprofen. I said that was fine - I don't really ever use the stuff. And of course as soon as he leaves with it for two weeks, I'm desperate for anything to make my tummy and back feel better. :o\ I could take the Percocet the doctor gave me a few weeks ago for pain, but I find it entirely too pleasant and am trying not to take it at all based on that fact.

So I'm sitting here suffering, drinking my bloating and cramping away. Well, attempting to. I need something stronger if I'm going to succeed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The blahs

I'm in a funk - which is probably obvious, since I've not been blogging lately. I'm just not in the mood. Nor am I in the mood to knit, or sew, or clean, cook, or homeschool, or anything else that I usually enjoy doing. I'm an emotional disaster, crying or getting angry and the drop of a hat, just going through the motions of daily life without any real feeling.

I don't like it, and I'm sick of it.

Maybe it's post-Christmas depression. Andrew told me it's "seasonal affective disorder", something he read on some website somewhere. Whatever it is, it's kind of crappy. Normally I'm a happy and cheerful person. I try to always look on the bright side, even when things just kind of suck. I need to remember how to do that again.

I think blogging is good for me - it at least lets me feel like there's a progression from day to day, that I'm not stuck in one place. It's easy to feel like that when you're a SAHM, when the little day to day tasks seem to outweigh the milestones, the accomplishments and progress.

I joined a gym. Andrew and I both did, along with my friend Ashley. It'll be good for me, I think, maybe help conquer some of my body-confidence issues (and the fear of wearing a bathing suit in Mexico five weeks from now.) I went to Target and bought a cute little work out outfit, just 'cuz I could. I'm meeting with a trainer on Monday morning at 10. They also have pilates, yoga, some abs and spin classes that are all included in the monthly dues, and a babysitting room for $2 per visit. Not a bad deal. I'm sort of obsessive about my body, have been ever since Cora was born. I've lost something like 25 pounds, I'm down to the weight I was at 13 years old, and I'm down to the same pants size I wore then too, but I'm not satisfied yet, and I still find my body rather disgusting. I need to do some serious toning, do something about all the loose flabby skin that droops from every inch of my midsection, and find a way to look good in the Victoria's Secret bathing suit I'm about to go order. (I found a one piece VS swim suit that I LOVE on clearance for $19.99. That's cheaper than Wal Mart. Sweet.)

I'm trying to get a head start on spring cleaning and organizing. For some reason cleaning and organizing always makes me feel a little better. I've been on a purging kick for the past week or so, and it'll probably continue for awhile: I'm tossing everything that takes up space and doesn't get used, and there's a lot of that around here. Andrew helped me clean up the computer room (half of the junk was his) and it makes me feel so much better to be in here. He also built some shelves in a closet, which allowed me to organize some of Chloe's "heap of crafty goodness". Little by little, I WILL get this house in decent order again.

And I'm starting on a pair of Bella's Mittens for my sister-in-law for her "Miller Family Winter Gift Exchange" gift. (We can't call it Hannukah since we're doing it in February, and it's definitely not Christmas since Christmas is evil, so I just made up a name.) I also have some sewing to do for some friends, which I'm looking forward to now that the craft room is straightened.

Hopefully I'm getting back on track to feeling human. I need to. Being cranky and depressed all the time is so not me. :oP

To all my friends whose blogs I've been neglecting - I'm sorry. I'll be around again, and look forward to catching up on what's going on in your lives. And Tricia, I'm so excited you're blogging! I'll definitely take a look soon and add you to my list. :o)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Better late than never, right? and in no particular order...

Some of our little Hula girls :o) (Chloe, Elizabeth, Tori and Allysa.)

She just couldn't wait for a taste of her cake.

Ashley was as excited about this game as the little girls were, LOL.
They were divided into two teams and did a relay race that involved taking all of the items out of a beach bag (sun hat, sunglasses, towel, flip flops) and putting them all on and racing back and forth across the room. It was a total hit, and could easily be changed up for any party theme.
The limbo... hard to enforce the rules on five and six year olds, but they had a great time with it anyway.
Chloe with her best friend, Tori.
My little Hawaiian princess.
She got some awesome gifts - lots of fun crafty stuff, perfect for her at this age.
And of course, the Hula Baby - she was so good for the party, and had a ton of fun with the big kids.
The cake. I made it. :o) As much as I hate decorating cakes, I was pretty happy with the outcome of this one, and Chloe was very pleased with it.
All of the partiers that were dressed up for the event. (Some of the mamas didn't dress up. Party poopers. :oP)

So yeah, the luau theme totally rocked. I'm all for birthday themes that don't involve licensed characters, and we had a blast with this. I saved all the decorations and plan to throw myself and Cora a big luau party in August, completely with tiki torches and a fire pit since it will be outdoors.


And a few pictures from her actual birthday. She opened presents first thing in the morning, then her Grammy stopped by with some gifts from family members. After that we packed a lunch and headed to KidzPlex, a local indoor play gym place, with Tori and Ashley and Dalton (Ash's baby boy.) And for dinner that night, Chloe picked Old Chicago's where she got a free giant cookie with a candle in it. It was a pretty great day, I thought.

Friday, January 9, 2009

So easy to forget...

They say time heals all wounds. I'm not sure about that, but it does certainly soften those sharp edges quite a bit.

It's easy to forget the pain of labor. It's easy to forget the long months of sitting in uncomfortable hospital chairs. It's easy to forget the fear when the doctor says she won't want or talk or play or learn. It's easy to forget those first important decisions you make as a parent - signing consent forms for blood transfusions, vaccinations and surgeries. It's easy to forget the pain in your heart when you see your tiny, helpless little baby with IV's sticking out of her feet, hands, and head. It's easy to forget just how fragile she was, how scary it was to hold her. It's easy to forget the misery of waiting through surgery for an update from the doctor. It's even easy to forget a long, sleepless night spent watching a nurse resuscitate your baby 8 times every hour. It doesn't take long to soften all of those emotions - the pain, the fear, the tears and the heartache - and make them seem just like a little piece of the distant past. What once consumed your entire being, now you look up on and talk about with ease, with a non-chalant air.

That will never cease to fascinate me.

Six years after that experience - one of the most formative experiences of my young life - I'm watching my little girl learn to read at a pace I can't keep up with, run circles around me (even on four legs!), laugh and giggle and play and talk more than I really even care to listen. She's sleeping peacefully on the couch right now with her dog at her feet, and it brings tears to my eyes to think of all she's been through, how strong of a little fighter she was, and just how amazing she is now. She brought me more pain and fear and heartache than I could ever have imagined I'd be able to survive, and each day she brings me joy and laughter and happiness, more than I ever thought I'd have.

I'm a lucky mama. She's an amazing kid.

And she turned SIX yesterday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ooooh I'm obsessed.

So a couple of months ago, my husband said "We should go somewhere warm this winter." I kind of blew it off, not knowing how serious he really was. Then he suggested I get a passport. Then he suggested I call a travel agency.

We have plans. Real plans. OMGoodness I am so excited. I'm more excited than I was for Disneyland, and that's hard to do.

How on earth do you find a specific "somewhere warm" when there are so many stinkin' choices?! I looked at cruise options through the Western Caribbean. Cruises and hotel packages in Hawaii. After much chatting with the very pleasant and very gay man at the travel agency, I made a decision. We are going to Riviera Maya, Mexico.

We're going to Mexico!

The vacation package the travel guy found for me is all inclusive - air fare, transportation, hotel, food, drinks, even some water sports like snorkeling, hobie-cat, windsurfing - it's all covered for one price. The resort is HUGE, which intimidates me, but I'm sure we'll have a blast.

And the things to do! Ah, I'm overwhelmed! How does one decide what to do with five days in the Mexican Riviera? There's a tour you can take that involves snorkeling through underground rivers and caves, rappelling into a limestone sinkhole-turned lagoon, canoeing, a bit of hiking through a jungle, and zip lining through it, plus exploring some Mayan ruins. Seriously, can you think of anything you'd rather do? There's that one little bit about the fact that I've never snorkeled, or rappelled, and I'm a rather useless canoe-er, but hey, who am I to let that stop me? I'm all for a little adventure! We've only got one life to live, and there aren't any guarantees, so I'm all about some crazy jungle expedition.

The dinner dress codes at all of the restaurants at the resort are pretty formal - slacks, button-down shirt, sometimes a jacket are required. That excites me far more than it ought to, but I'm a stay at home mother - my daily uniform involves jeans and a comfortable shirt, or occasionally a casual skirt if I'm really looking to dress up. The idea of high heels, pretty clothes and sparkly jewelry makes my stomach do cartwheels. What a silly girl I am. :o)

I found a website called "Undiscovered Mexico" - it tells you places to go that most tourists don't but that are totally worth seeing. I'm all about a big fancy vacation, but I'd love to spend some time doing things that everyone else isn't already doing, and avoid some of the tourist crowds. My list of things we "absolutely have to do" is growing very quickly, and I'm afraid I'll have to whittle it down a bit to fit everything in and still give my poor husband a few hours to sleep here and there.

And the girls will be well cared for - Andrew's sister Noelle has offered her babysitting services for the trip, and will stay here at our home with them, with my mom and a close friend offering relief babysitting when needed. Leaving Cora for 6 days may be a little tough, but I think she'll do just fine.

Ah. I just can't believe how lucky I am, to be going to MEXICO! Spoiled rotten housewife, right?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A sling schpiel

So I called the Gyn office, I have an appointment for next Monday. I felt great yesterday, got a bunch done, did school with Chloe, got my passport info into the passport office, got the floors cleaned and laundry caught up. I hope today is as great. I'm babysitting a friend's one year old for a couple hours this morning, so I don't plan on getting too much done. :o) He's great fun though - it's kind of fun to have a boy in the house when he's here.


Deb asked about slings. Here's a picture of Cora in hers when we were at Disneyland last spring:

It's basically just a long stretch of fabric with a couple of rings at one end, which learned to use properly allows you to carry your baby for long periods of time without actually using your hands at all. I canned applesauce one day with her in the sling when she was just a couple of months old (except for the hot parts!) It spreads the baby's weight around your body so your arms don't get tired, and you can feasibly carry the baby for hours on end without much trouble. Especially great for babies that love to be held, or for crowded places that a stroller would be troublesome in. You can start them in the sling as soon as they are born, and use it as long as you want - I carried Chloe in a sling through the airport when she was three years old - it converts into a sort of back carrier when they get heavier, allowing them to ride piggyback style with support.

Honestly, I don't think I could live without a sling. Especially with two kids - it keeps baby held constantly when they need it, but your hands are free to care for big brother or sister. And it's great for the baby - huge bonding, as compared to sitting around in one of those awful plastic carriers or a stroller.

Anyway, that's my schpiel for slings. I think they're great. When I carried Cora in one all the time, people were always asking me about them. I think I sold probably 8 or 10 slings in a two or three month period. She was great advertisement. :o)


Chloe's party plans are coming along well. Does anyone want to offer some suggestions for games for a Luau for five and six year olds? I need a couple of other great games for them, preferably some that take up some time. It's gonna be the cutest thing though, and I can't wait to share pictures. She's tremendously excited. She also keeps insisting to her grandmother that she wear a grass skirt AND coconut bra. ROFL

Oh, and does anyone have any recipes for something sweet and coconutty, but easy to make and store? Thanks for any tips. :o)


Quitting smoking isn't going so well... I'm failing miserably, actually. I only had two cigarettes yesterday until about 7:00 in the evening, when I gave up and just smoked. I have no will power. :::sigh::: I'm trying again today - half of a cigarette at 8, 12, 4 and 8. We'll see how that goes. If I can get this down to where I'm not going crazy, maybe then I can decrease to one a day for awhile, and then quit altogether. Cold turkey just sucks, ya know? Blah, I hate being a smoker.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Misc. updating

Thanks to all of you that left helpful and encouraging comments. I had no idea ovarian cysts were so common. I'm still not certain that's what I have, but we'll see. I'm calling for an appointment today.

It's weird, the pain comes and goes in a way that makes no sense - some mornings I wake up hurting, other days I feel great. Thankfully I felt mostly well yesterday (after a Percoset first thing in the morning, ugh.) I'm trying to keep up with everything I've got going right now, and managing fairly well so far.

Chloe's birthday is Thursday. We're going to KidzPlex with one of her friends in the afternoon, then out to Old Chicago's for dinner (her choice.) Her party will be on Sunday - I've got most of the decorations and such bought, but I'll need to make a snack list and buy groceries for that, plus decorate her cake on Saturday. Kid's parties are such a pain, but so worth it sometimes. :o)


I've not been in the mood to blog lately, not sure why. I have a ton of pictures of things I've knitted lately that I just can't muster up the motivation to post. I guess I'm just busy doing other things, or something.

I'm working on yet another beanie, this one for Andrew's dad's birthday on the 7th. That leaves me two days of knitting left - probably not a good thing, as I'm only about 3" in. I'll need to work on that today. I bought some awesome scrapbooking stuff at Joann's yesterday, it was clearanced out, and then half off the clearance prices. I got something like $150 worth of stuff for about $30. I've got it all out already, making a book called "Two Little Girls", full of pictures of both girls doing things together. I wonder what people scrapbook when they don't have children....

I also have some sewing to do - a couple of slings for pregnant friends, curtains for our bedroom, which is now painted, with a new bed spread and new night stands. It's almost finished, and I'm loving it.

And now that Christmas is over, I can start planning this year's garden, always a joy. I have a stack of seed catalogs to pour over, something I truly enjoy.


My New Year's resolution was to quit smoking (again.) I'm struggling along, but making progress. I stopped at Ashley's and bummed a couple of cigarettes yesterday, but I still have one left. It's amazing how hard it is to quit. Since I've been feeling bad, I haven't really been in the mood to drink coffee or alcohol, which is odd for me. I usually have 3 or 4 cups of coffee throughout the day, sometimes more, and usually a drink or two before bed. I've just been drinking water and juice instead. I wish whatever this illness is would affect my desire to smoke, but alas, it hasn't. I'm pretty cranky, and just sit and watch the clock waiting for the next time I'm allowing myself to smoke (usually about once every 6 hours.) Argh. Wish me luck!


My husband went out last night and bought me an iPod Shuffle and a stereo to hook it up to, so I can have music during the day. Cora, darling that she is, has broken Chloe's CD player and the CD-drive on the computer, so I've been without music for some time. Now I have a fancy new little stereo, mounted on the wall in all it's high-tech glory, and I'm excited. I'm not generally a big technology lover, but it's going to be so nice to have music to get me through the day. I'm such a spoiled mama. :o)


Alright, it's time to get showered and get my day going. We're starting school back up this week, and I have some errands to run today, so I need to get a move on!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mystery Ailment

I've been feeling kind of off the past week or so. It started a couple of days after Christmas, I guess, with this sort of achy pressure-pain in my back and lower abdomen. By the end of the day most days, I'm pretty much incapacitated, curled up on the couch in a fetal position. If I move around, it seems to make the pain worse, so I try to stay still (which is, of course, impossible with two kids to care for.)

I'm fine for the most part in the morning though, so I'm just trying to get enough housework and such done early in the day that I can just sit and be in pain all afternoon and evening.

It's been bad enough that I went to an urgent care clinic on Tuesday. The doctor was essentially worthless, told me it was back pain, prescribed me Percoset, and told me to take one three times a day for a month. A little excessive, I think, but whatever. It does make the pain go away... and everything else, for that matter. I can't take it when I need to take care of the girls, it renders me completely useless.

So the pain didn't get better, I saw the chiropractor a couple of times, and he said it's gall bladder related. Gave me some digestive enzymes and told me to avoid fat for awhile, let my body get back to normal after all the holiday junk I've been eating. Made sense to me, so I did for a few days, but the pain didn't stop. By Thursday night I had actually taken two Percosets just to stop the pain, and then of course spent the entire night sleeping it off. I went to the ER yesterday (I don't have a regular physician, so I don't have many options.) They did a pelvic exam (for which I waited a total of about four hours, not exaggerating.) Their findings? Nothing. I appear pretty much normal. They did some tests, they were all normal. They suggested I go see a gynocologist and see if there's something more going on than what they could find. Thought maybe it was an ovarian cyst, or maybe cervical cancer. They gave me a list of gynocologists to call on Monday to try and get an appointment.

So I guess we'll see. I read up on ovarian cysts, and the symptoms they describe seem on par with what I've got. Not so much for cervical cancer, which makes me feel a little better. Andrew wants me to see a gyn, so I guess I will. In the meantime, I have something like 85 pain pills left, and a very messy house. :o\