Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Geez, I'm a lousy poster this month. Sorry. This whole exercise-an-hour-a-day thing is seriously cutting into my sitting-on-my-ass time.

And trying to fit in the exercise and figure out what to eat is cutting into valuable brain space that I usually use to file away humorous anecdotes and pithy opinions.

I'm glad I live in CA right now. Ben and I walk every day after dropping A. off at school, well, he rides and I walk, and it's much more pleasant to do it in the sunshine. A newspaper headline last week, during a brief drizzle, exclaimed, "Finally! A break from all this sun!" Now there's a headline you won't see in Portland.

We're also currently occupied with finding a kindergarten for A. The public schools right by us are awful, the worst in a state that is one of the worst in the nation. There's a kindergarten in the Montessori school he attends now, but G. was appalled to find out it was an all-day program. I, on the other hand, do not have a problem with that. So we went to two Catholic school open houses this past Sunday, only to find out that they are all-day programs as well. The three programs are fine. It's just a matter of deciding between them.

He's used to Montessori and really likes it, but the classrooms always seem sort of dry and colorless to me. I mean, compared to other kindergartens that have kid's crafts hanging from every ceiling tile. Maybe that's my issue because A. doesn't seem to mind. On Saturdays he says, "Is this a weekend? I don't have to go to school? Awww. Because I love paperwork."

Monday, January 29, 2007

In-Box Irony

International Internet-Free Day

Posted: 27 Jan 2007 04:30 PM CST

Today is International Internet-Free Day! “Do you check your inbox every five minutes? Do you lose track of time surfing the online shops? Have you e-mailed a colleague at a desk next to you? Do you podcast your daily thoughts, rather than call your mother? Fear not: hope is at hand.

Visit Kiddley for more!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How to Write a Letter, By A.

1. Tell your mom, "I want to write a letter with my flashing Lightning McQueen pen."

2. Sit down at the table in front of the blank card your mom gives you. Look condescendingly at Mom when she offers to help you write it. Say, "I don't need help. I will tell my guardian angel what I want to say and my guardian angel will tell me what letters to write."

3. When your guardian angel remains strangely silent, tell your mom to grab a pen and paper and write down what you say. Tell her you'll copy the letters onto your card when she's done.

4. Talk as fast as you can.

5. Roll your eyes when your mom can't keep up. Geez - and she's supposed to be a grown-up?

6. Start copying all the letters. Boy, there are a lot of them. Did you really say that much? Get through, "Dear Auntie Sha" and decide you've had enough.

7. Cover card with Christmas stickers because they happen to be nearby.

8. Give to mom and tell her it needs to be sent immediately.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tonight, A. was telling his grandmother about his calendar that helps him "know what week it is." Then, completely randomly, he asked her, "Have you ever seen two 51-year-olds on top of each other?" I don't know how she answered.

In completely unrelated news, we went to Lowe's to look at bathroom tile, and I decided that I don't like home decorating. I feel like I should, since everyone else seems to. love the result (usually), and I really appreciate a well-appointed room, but I hate the process. If we were to build a custom house, I would probably end up gouging my eyes out just to stop having to look at swatches and tiles and samples. I get bored watching the home renovation shows on HGTV. I do watch Extreme Home Makeover, but I'm much more interested in the people's stories and am happy to watch just the reveal. That would actually be a perfect setup for me....send me to Hawaii or Disneyland and have it done when I come back.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Spittin' Image

I need a better picture of myself. Apparently, with no makeup and all grungy, I look like Jared Padalecki.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Brain Drain

  • Every time I read something on the debate over whether or not lethal injection is a humane way to execute someone, a big "Unclear on the Concept" sign lights up in my head. We're killing them, right? To make sure we're doing it "humanely" seems a little, I don't know, disingenuous.

  • On those Nasonex commercials, the bumblebee has what sounds like a Mexican accent. Why?

  • I swore I wouldn't join the Grey's Anatomy cult and here I am, totally into it*. It made me cry last night, and it never makes me cry. Don't like Meredith, though. Got a total girl-crush on Sara Ramirez.

  • I did over 1,000 dumbbell squats today. Yes I did. It was part of the challenge I signed up for. I'm regretting telling A. that we'd drive to the museum tomorrow because I'm not at all sure I'll be able to walk, let alone get in and out of the car.

  • Ben is getting very bossy. "Sit Here!" "Go Dat Way!" "Cawee Me!" He even yells at me to "Drive!" if the car is stopped at a red light.

  • "Mama, I like you and Papa very much," A. told me while we snuggled in bed yesterday morning. Awwwwww.

  • Why is all this type in green?

  • *I'd say "drinking the kool-aid" but I read an article written by a survivor of Jonestown who described the horror he feels every time he hears that phrase. That never occurred to me, but I never really thought about what it would be like to survive such an event.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm Here, I'm Here

Sorry for the long pause.

Went to Seascape last weekend with the Sisters, the Nieces and Sister's sisters-in-law et. al. for a celebration of Big Sister's birthday. It was cold, beautifully clear, and filled with various 'tinis. Check out this dessert platter:

This was after a melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon with gorgonzola sauce. Damn. There was more to the weekend than food and drink, but the food and drink were pretty darn good.

In other news, I've been busy uploading all my food and exercise to Sparkpeople.com and trying to figure out when I can exercise. I joined a Biggest Loser challenge on my digi scrapping board (that started after the weekend, fortunately), and it's not really all that blog worthy.

Cute things: Ben is calling the Alphabet Pal "Apple-bit! Apple-bit!" So of course I can't say "alphabet," I have to say "apple-bit" now.

I've gotta start taking notes. I know there's other cute or weird stuff I've thought about, but I can't remember it right now.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ben continues to request the morning paper with his breakfast. A few minutes after I took this picture, he requested coffee.

I'm not kidding.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

And Then We Shoot 'Em

As mentioned previously, A. has been telling some tall tales. We’re working on the difference between the truth and stories, and I’m not sure he gets it. I was at a DoReMi and You party this morning while he hung out in the super-cool playroom upstairs. One of the mothers came down and told me that A. had had a full conversation with her about his school, our “cool” house and our backyard. I smiled and nodded, wondering what he’d told her, but it wasn’t the right time to ask.

So we were getting into the car and I said casually, “So Bree told me you told her all about school?”

A: “Yeah, I did.”

Me: “Did you tell her the truth, or did you tell her stories you made up?”

A: “Weeeelll, mumble mumble mumble. But right now I need to take a nap.”

I find naps to be the perfect escape, too.


We were talking about hands and how they get bigger when you grow up. A. said, “Mama, when I grow up….”

I thought he was going to say, “My hands will be bigger than yours.” That would’ve made sense.

Instead, he came out with, “….you’re going to get shot.”

Huh? I think he’s trying to figure out how people die, and he knows people die from getting shot. I told him (when he asked me when I was going to die) that I hoped I would die when I was really, really old, so I think he has this idea that we take all our old people out and shoot them.

He said something similar to G., who reminded him, “Grandma and Grandpa are old and they haven’t gotten shot.”

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Language Skills

Ben, over oatmeal: I wan' read paper! I wan' read paper!

Me: You want to read the paper? The newspaper?

Ben: Yeah!

Me: OK, how 'bout you look over the business section? (set it in front of him)

Ben: Yeah! (studies it intently)

Few minutes later:

Me: When you're done, it's time to go night-night.

Ben. No. I go night-night right here. (proceeds to demonstrate)

Ben: Take picture A! Take picture A! (once I brought the camera out, he wanted me to take a picture of A.)

Me: How 'bout you try not being so controlling? Hmm?

Ben: Yeah. :::pause::: Mama! How 'bout take picture A!

Ya Think?

We have a new dentist. I told him the first time I saw him that I was hard to numb. I've always been told this by past dentists, and notes have been made on my permanent record. Some dentists seemed to take my lack of numbness as a personal affront, like I was doing it on purpose. Anyway, I don't know why I'm hard to numb, it's just another thing that makes me quirkily charming.

So he "deep cleaned"(yes, just like carpets) three parts of my mouth last year. No problems - I numbed up just fine, listened to my iPod and thought, "Why am I so afraid of the dentist? This is a piece of cake." We postponed the left bottom row until today, and planned to do a filling replacement. No big deal.

If I ever again have any dental work on the bottom left molar, remind me that that particular tooth never completely numbs and it should only be touched if I am completely under.

One dentist (probably the last time this tooth was worked on) told me that he couldn't give me any more Novocain and if the last shot didn't work, I'd have to get a general. I only remembered that after this new guy had given me six shots of Novocain and my tongue wasn't numb yet. "That's weird, the tongue is usually the first to get numb," he kept saying, like I'd have an explanation for him. "Sorry," I said.

Meanwhile, my lip was drooping down to my chin because it was about 5 times its normal size. Or felt like that, anyway. (Yes, it's 6 hours later and I'm still drooling. The lip numbs just fine, thanks).

He shrugged, started drilling and I leaped out of the chair and through the ceiling.

"Now I remember," I told him. "Last time I got a filling in this tooth it never got completely numb. I just had to soldier through."

Soldier through? Right after I said it, I thought, "Where did I come up with that?" And I tried to distract myself by coming up with another way to say the same idea, and I couldn't think of anything. Bite the bullet? What am I, a WWII fighter pilot?

Anyway, I had to grip my shirt with both fists, clench my eyes shut and soldier through him doing his best Sir Lawrence Olivier impression by drilling directly on my tooth nerve. It was a little numb, but it still hurt. And you know how when the dentist starts drilling and you're afraid you're not numb yet and you're waiting for that stabbing pain? I kept anticipating it getting worse and sending me through the ceiling again, so I was a little tense.

As I unclenched every muscle of my body and staggered out of the office, a light bulb went on over his head and he said, "Hey! Maybe that's why you have a phobia of dentists!"

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I've been sort of fascinated with the Compact since I read about it. Essentially a group of people pledge not to buy anything new for a year, except things like groceries, toilet paper and essentials that can't be bought used. Otherwise, they barter, trade or substitute with what they already have.

I had a significant amount of credit card debt from my grad school days, and it's finally almost paid off. Actually, it is paid off, but I'm still working on the plane tickets to AZ. When that's paid off, I'll be totally out of debt. I was stupid about money in my 20's, and I'm determined not to make the same mistake again. Unfortunately, it goes against my nature, which is to roam Target aisles aimlessly looking for bargains on stuff I like but don't need.

I think it's a really good idea to think about what we need versus what we want. Don't get me wrong - I love stuff. I love new stuff. Cute stuff. Pretty stuff. But the problem with liking shopping is that the glow from the new stuff wears off and you have to go out and get more new stuff. A columnist I like once said something like, "Luxury is always one step above what you're used to." I remember that often because it means that you'll get the same pleasure from 300-count sheets if you're used to cheaper sheets as someone who's used to 300-count sheets would get from 500-count. You know? I try to keep my life simple so I'll really appreciate the more indulgent things. Starbucks is indulgent. My iPod is super indulgent and I'm so grateful for it. Dinner out is really indulgent. We had dinner at the Elephant Bar on New Year's Day and I'm still enjoying it (and I don't mean that in the indigestion-kind of way). Getting cable in a hotel room is indulgent.

In my quest this year to reduce my consumption, I joined the Yahoo Group for the Compact. I'm going to un-join it pretty quickly here, because there has been about 400 posts TODAY. Just today. They're debating WalMart & capitalism, dryer sheet toxicity, and shampoo made from baking soda. Where do these people find the time? I'm searching for hedonism and pleasure among reduced consumption. As A., quoting Jack Johnson, says, "Reduce, reuse, recycle."

You know, ideally, I'd save enough money to pay for services instead of goods. Like a housecleaner. That'd be a fine goal.

Pat Could Ask G_d to Make Ben Take a Nap

If Pat Robertson has such a direct connection with the Big Guy, why doesn't he ask him to BE A LITTLE MORE SPECIFIC??? That'd really help a lot. Thanks.

Ben is not 2 years old yet and wants to give up his nap. Everything I've read says he needs a nap. Also, since our travels he's gotten out of his usual sleep routine and wants us to rock him to sleep every night. I've gradually been working that from rocking to patting, from patting to standing near the crib, etc. Now I can stand in the doorway while he's falling asleep, but I have to stay there. Any slight move on my part will make him scream. If he just complained for 5-10 minutes, I'd be fine with it, but he doesn't. He gets hysterical for up to an hour (I've tried it). Really, really hysterical. And when I go in there, he's sweaty, red, tear-streaked and it breaks my heart. Once he even threw up. But this is ridiculous. When I'm by myself because G is working late, I can't stand in his doorway all night - I have to get A. to bed, too. It sucks.

But he is a true charmer. Here I quickly caught a photo of him complaining about nap time:

But once he saw the camera, he was all smiles:

Kid LOVES having his picture taken. He'll even say: "Take picture Benj-min. Take picture Benj-min." He's one of those kids with whom it's really, really hard to stay mad.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

So Perhaps Knitting Isn't for Me

I'm trying, I'm really trying. Some of my favorite bloggers are knitters, and I'm really trying to get into it. After seeing these sweaters at Squeaky Weasels I got all remotivated. I mean, LOOK at that second one. That first sweater looks totally like something I would wear, but the second one I would have to hang on my wall and admire it. I wouldn't wear it because I'd get my fingers all caught up in those holes and rip out the darn thing the first day, but damn! Isn't it beautiful?

Anyway, I'm having a hard time with the knitting. I watched some knitting how-tos on the 'net, and did manage to cast this thing on myself. Until then, my MIL had to do it for me, but you know, she's in another state so that's not really very convenient. I don't get the pleasure of it. How do you keep those needles moving so fast? I either have to work the thing in to the loop with butter because it's so tight, or it's way too loose. On the plus side, I think I may have invented some new stitches.

Is It 2007 Already?

I love New Year's. I love fresh starts, goal planning, office supplies and all that stuff. I think I would make a great coach if I were more organized. I know lots of people hate resolutions, but I like the idea of always working toward improvement, as long as you're not thinking life will suddenly begin once your goals are met.

All the big goals I once wrote down on a piece of paper have been reached. I finished my dissertation, I got married and had kids, I own a house. I am much more in control of my spending, and the credit card debt I racked up in grad school is almost completely gone. We've cut our expenses so that I am able to work part-time while the kids are little (it's a good thing our kids are brilliant and will be earning full scholarships for college to become doctors and will also be supporting us in our old age, though).

I eat more whole grains, less sugar, and I cook more. I pay all my bills well before they're due. I play with the kids every day. I have an iPod.

So before I think about what needs to be improved, I want to give myself a big pat on the back for all these changes. (Not that I had anything to do with the iPod, except be fortunate with my choice of sisters and husband).

OK, so now, as I look back to last year, I see that I wrote "I need...more energy and organization." What a coincidence! That's exactly what I was thinking I was going to focus on THIS year!

Hah. So, my goals essentially are to have more energy through exercise and nutrition, and to streamline my routines to save time and energy. To that end, here are my smaller goals:


Keep calories under 1600, or points under 21.
Gym or walking outside 3x/week.
Yoga 2x/week.
Lights out before 11pm.
No recreational shopping (Buy only what I need)


Return calls w/i 24 hours
Progess notes done same day as appointment
All billing done monthly, including paper claims (instead of just the ones I can do on-line).
CE units done by end of summer

template by suckmylolly.com