Monday, April 26, 2010

Nothing Unexpected...

I went upstairs at bedtime last night to force the kids to turn off all things electronic and I see that Zack is watching a news program.

Me:  "Hey Bud?  Are you watching the news?"
Z:  "No.  It's this show called Dateline".
Me:  Ah.  Okay, that's a grown-up show honey.
*Now I'm impressed thinking he's getting into current events or something so I stick around to make sure it isn't about a murder or child predators or something that I should watch with him*
Me:  What are they talking about?
Z:  I don't know.  I'm just waiting for Minute To Win It.
HA!  And now the world shifts back into place.

Just when you think they're impressing you, it's all exactly as you would expect...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fun in the Rain...

The kids are getting ready to compete in a soccer tournament so I was looking through pictures from last year.  It was warm and rained buckets.  It's still the most fun game we've been to yet.

The funniest part was that the league gave volunteers these cool tie-dye shirts.

They hadn't washed them after dying them.  Everyone had rivers of red dye running down their pants and legs.  All we could do was laugh.  I hope this year is as much fun.  All we need is some warm weather.  Soccer is no fun in the cold.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Will...

  • I will still be married to the same wonderful man.
  • I will be living my 41st year.
  • I will not have been beaten by Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • I will be mothering two teenagers.
  • I will have an eight and a sixth grader.
  • I will be devising ways to know what my children are feeling because they are no longer open about it.
  • I will be a stay-at-home Mom who writes.
  • I will have furthered my education.
  • I will spend more time each year with my mother.
  • I will have driven to thousands of sporting events.
  • I will have done hundreds of thousands of loads of laundry.
  • I will have given billions of hugs and kisses.

Today There are Twelve and a Half...

This is what my life looks like now.  None of those are vitamins.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Women Don't Sleep....

Well, finally an explanation as to .....


Have you ever wondered how a woman's brain works?
Well .... It's finally explained here in one, easy-to-understand illustration:

Every one of those little blue balls is a thought about something that needs to be done, a decision or a problem that needs to be solved.

A man, only has only 2 balls and they consume all his thoughts.
I don't usually like email forwards but this one is so accurate that I had to blog.

Update:  The picture isn't showing up for some people.  I'm going to try to hotlink another site.  If that doesn't work, here's the link.

You Dumb Goose...

For the past three years, this pair of dumb geese has made their nest in the middle of my office parking lot.  The office is in an area that has lots of green grass and waterways nearby, but each year Mrs. Goose chooses this busy parking lot and Mr. Goose spends weeks on high-alert chasing employees down and hissing at cars.  This year someone took pity on them (or on unsuspecting employees) and blocked off the adjoining two parking spaces.  When I arrive in the morning, there are but a few cars in the lot.  If I have to drive between Mr. Goose and his sight line of Mrs. Goose to get to my parking space, he attacks my car.  There have been several days when I thought that I hit him because he came rushing up so fast.  Clearly goose fatherhood makes him believe he his invincible.

Silly Geese...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Changing Room Ruminations...

Do you have a changing room method?  When you go to try on clothes do you have a process?  I'm just checking to see how weird I am.

I went to Old Navy at lunch time to find some pants to fit because getting myself dressed in the morning is becoming a traumatizing experience.  I am currently in the oh so easy to find size of 12+/14-.  I was quite happy when I found some pants similar to the ones that my friend Ashley recommended here.  I brought five or six pair of bottoms  into the dressing room where the nice young girl takes them from me, unlocks the dressing room door, and hangs one item on each of the hooks along the back wall making each item slightly overlap the other.  This is where I realized that I have a method that she had screwed up (not her fault) and began to wonder if I'm weird (shut it Matt).

When I enter a dressing room, I like for there to be at least three hooks.  Old Navy has a good five so that's nice.  I hang all items on one  hook, if possible, in the order in which I want to try them on, with the first in front.  As I decide whether or not I like an item, it goes either on the like hook or the dislike hook (also known as the this-doesn't-fit-me-either hook).  At the end of the exercise I typically have all items on the dislike hook, maybe if I'm lucky one on the like hook.  I hand the dislikes to the attendant and off I go with my likes.  I don't get sizes mixed up.  It's all nicely organized.

So tell me, do you have a method?  How weird am I?

Vegas. Getting There...

I've been asked kindly by multiple people to detail my trip.  I'll try to make it less than boring as it all seems horrendous when you're going through it but seems mundane when you try to relay the story to someone else.

I had plenty of time to spare after work on Thursday afternoon to head home and say goodbye to my kiddlies but they had other plans.  They were invited to an amusement park and when I reminded Skyler that she wouldn't see me until Monday she replied "Mommy.  I have the rest of my life to see you!"  She literally could not care less.

So rather than driving home first, I drove straight to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  I decided to check my bag and got in the very short line to do so.  I got the sense that there were some disgruntled people around me but I wasn't paying much attention and certainly hadn't checked any screens.  I got to the counter and Mr. Airtran Worker (asshole) told me that my flight was delayed due to weather (fine) and that I would miss my connection in Atlanta.  He suggested that I fly out tomorrow.  He had this smirk that put my irritation on high alert.  I asked what my options were for flying out the next day.  He indicated that there was some chance I might not get on a flight then either as they were "sort of full", he also suggested that I could fly as far as Atlanta that evening and have better chances of getting on the Vegas flight from there tomorrow.  I asked (as any NORMAL person would) what I should do when I got to Atlanta.  He shrugged, smirked, and said "I don't know".  At this point, I was starting to lose my voice from the laryngitis that was sneaking up on me all week.  I took a deep breath and said "You work for an airline changing flights and you don't know what I should do when stranded over night in an airport?".  He replied "I can tell you what I would do but I have no idea what you should do."  I expressed my displeasure with that particular statement.  He got pissy, ripped a coupon for a hotel off a pad, shoved it at me and said "HERE tell them you're a disgruntled passenger".  At this point, while he's typing away I become aware that the people he had "helped" prior to me were standing to my left speaking to a supervisor.  I half listened to them, half continued to question Mr. A-W.  At some point, my  level of irritation maxed out and I asked him to stop arguing with me and to stop smirking like this problem was funny.  He took my ticket and my ID, shoved them back at me and said "I can't deal with you, step aside".  My eyeballs about jumped out of my head.  I loudly got the supervisor's attention and said that I was having trouble with my flight and having trouble with HIM to which I got laughs and claps from the audience (OMG it was awful).  The supervisor ended up refunding the entire trip of the party in front of me and moving me to another flight the next day, putting me up in a hotel in Atlanta, and upgrading my seat to business class.  I was shaking by the end of it.  I was also barely able to speak in more than a gaspy whisper and I still had two and a half hours until my delayed flight.

My flight took off without further issue at 9:30 pm and  I got to the hotel in Atlanta at about 11:30 knowing that all my buddies in Vegas were arriving there and having loads of fun at the Piano Bar in NYNY.  BLAH.  When I called my Mother to report my whereabouts (like a good daughter) she couldn't even understand me I was so raspy.

In the morning, I made sure to give myself plenty of time as the Atlanta airport is ginormous.  I got there and had another horrible experience with the desk people as they could not access the notes that the supervisor from the night before had written and had no idea about my upgrade or my checked bag.  They performed several Acts of Congress and I was on my way.  I toured the airport.  I ate breakfast.  I sat at the gate.  I read.  I began to notice that there weren't any other people crowding around my gate.  I checked my ticket.  I checked the time.  I decided to find a screen to check.  The fuckers had changed the gate.  To another terminal.  I ran. I got there just in time to sit on the tarmac for an hour.  I did sleep a bit on the flight and played laryngitis sign language with the chatty lady next to me.

I arrived in Las Vegas at about 12:45 pm local time, only twelve hours late but it felt like days.

To be continued...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Long Time Gone...

I know I've been MIA for about two weeks but I've been in recovery. Ha ha. I wish there were recovery for exhaustion.

The weekend before last I did this:

and this:

and ate this:

and this:

It was wonderful to meet up with twenty-five of my closest internet friends (I like to call them Imaginary although they're not imaginary any more), I must freely admit that I am not well enough to travel. It was horrible, awful, horrendous traveling with RA. I can't even describe the air travel (although while it was happening I was composing angry blog posts in my head) as the PTSD results in me curled up in the fetal position crying. Oh and I had laryngitis so I couldn't speak. Fun. Loads of fun.

Then I got back and slept and slept and got a sinus infection and some sort of bronchitisy thing. There were doctor's visits and antibiotics and more sleep. My kids were beginning to wonder if I'd ever leave my room.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and full of promise. I was feeling a bit better. The kids' soccer games were loads of fun until Zack fell and rolled his foot. It isn't broken thank the fsm but it's sprained and he's on crutches. Matt and I spent the rest of the weekend waiting on him to which Skyler declared "It's NOT FAIR!" I told her that when she breaks her foot I'll wait on her too.

That's where I've been. Don't come looking for me, it isn't pretty here.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Love What You Do...

About six months ago, Big Daddy (as we affectionately call Matt) got a new job. It was a job he longed for, one he interviewed multiple times for, one he had to pass multiple tests for, and be subjected to background checks and other personally invasive inquiries for.

Five years ago, he got out of the Navy. It was sudden. It was unexpected. It was a giant shock to our whole family. We didn't want the change and we weren't prepared for it. Matt had unique military qualifications. He took the first job that could make use of those qualifications and although doing very very well at what he did he endured almost five years of job suck-i-tude. The work was potentially fun and interesting but the employer didn't support their people or promote employee satisfaction. Matt has a high tolerance level due to his easy going nature so it took a long while before it broke him and he started the hunt (in the middle of the recession).

To say that this new job was a relief for us is an understatement. It eased so many areas of concern for our future. The best part though, is that my husband comes home every evening with a sparkle in his eye. If asked, he says he "LOVES" his job. He competes with the kids in the afternoon for time telling me about his day. He has true joy at going to work every day. I can't tell you what peace that brings, what enjoyment I get out of seeing him so happy.

Do you love your job? Are you happy to go there in the morning? Are you brimming with stories at the end of your day? If so, I'm so happy for you. If not, I'm here to attest that it makes all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Fifty Book Challenge...

Fifty Books/One Year
Begin April 24, 2009
End March 31, 2010

On April 24 of last year, I challenged myself to read fifty books in one year. I didn’t think it would be hard. I knew that I was easily capable of reading four books a month. What I didn’t realize was how the challenge would affect my enjoyment of reading them.

I started by making a list on my iTouch where I could keep an ongoing tally of books I read. I joined Good Reads. I wrote down titles of books every time I heard someone mention their love of a book. I got suggestions from friends, family, internet acquaintances, amazon, NPR, and even my kids.

I assumed I would sail right through and be done well before the end of December. After all, I love to read. Something I don’t particularly enjoy though is a competition. The feeling of having to read fifty books sort of killed the joy. I had a harder time getting into books I thought I’d like. I felt the enormous pressure of my ridiculously long library hold list and each person that was waiting to read the book after me. I LOVED keeping my lists and linking my Good Reads links to my blog and always having a suggestion when someone was looking for a good book. I just didn’t enjoy the actual reading as much as I usually do.

In all, I read:

32 - Fiction
17 - Non-fiction
1 – book of Poetry

1. The Princess Bride
2. Next
3. Bless Your Heart, Tramp
4. Bitter is the New Black
5. Dewey
6. Firefly Lane
7. The Age of Reason
8. First Family
9. Mommywood
10. The Offer
11. Saving Faith
12. Handle With Care
13. Losing My Religion
14. The Doctor’s Wife
15. The Art of Racing in the Rain
16. Tailspin
17. Me & Emma
18. Finger Lickin Fifteen
19. The Woman in White
20. The Book Thief
21. The Outliers
22. The Solace of Leaving Early
23. The Nineteenth Wife
24. The Lost Symbol
25. The Red Tent
26. Long Lost
27. Permission Slips
28. Saving Sammy
29. The Possibility of Everything
30. Forest Born
31. The Book of a Thousand Days
32. The Blind Side
33. The Help
34. Year of Wonders
35. The White Queen
36. SuperFreaconomics
37. Unlikely Allies
38. True Blue
39. The Lightning Thief
40. Push
41. Hunger Games
42. Catching Fire
43. Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me
44. Women, Work and Auto Immune Disease
45. The Weight of Silence
46. Woe is I
47. The Checklist Manifesto
48. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
49. Open
50. Time You Let Me In

I truly enjoyed far fewer of these books than you would think. Several stand out as favorites, one was complete trash. I learned something from many, and was simply entertained by others. Over there ----- on the side, you can link to my Good Reads site where all these books are listed. You can see my reviews, other’s reviews, write a review yourself. It’s fun keeping track of all the books you’ve ever read. I’m going to get the kids started too. How fun would it be to have a chronicle of every book you’ve ever read back through elementary school? The geek in me would enjoy that.

In January I started a new list, just the list that I would keep as a tally through the year. I’m not aiming for a certain number, I’m just keeping track. I like it much better this way.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I'm The Fool...

Zack got me before I even got out of bed this morning.

Me: "KIDS wake-up. Get moving. Come on."

Zack: Stumbles into my room holding his stomach. "Mom I can't go to school today, my stomach hurts".

Me: "Oh you're going to school. You have to. Eat some breakfast and you'll feel better." *annoyed that he's pulling this crap but also wondering if his stomach really hurts*

Zack: "APRIL FOOL'S!!! HA! I got you!"

Me: "Oh My God. You little sneak. You did get me!"

He got Matt too. We were both really impressed that he didn't giggle or smirk, he played it off perfectly. My eyes were barely open yet.

My SIL Lashelle challenged me to get her this year. She's ready. She's up to the challenge, but I've got nothing. I guess I'm not feeling foolish this year. The day isn't over, maybe something will come to me!

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