Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November / Birthdays / NaNoWriMo

Tonight is Halloween and can I just say, whose bright idea was it to have it on a Wednesday?  I seriously think kid-centric holidays should always be on a Friday or Saturday.  Like Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday.  Give us poor parents a break!  Regardless, I'll be taking The Tweedles out to trick or treat in their Halloween finest and The Hubs - whose professor canceled class tonight so she could trick or treat with her own kids - will hopefully be joining us if the traffic gods allow.  We'll hit Mimi and Nanny's house and prowl Mimi's neighborhood before hopefully making it home before 8pm so the kids (and us parents) aren't too exhausted for school/work the next day.  Here's hoping.

And then, we'll be in November.  NOVEMBER.  Where the heck has this year gone?  I swear, it was just January a moment ago and now we're already hitting the Birthday Trifecta (Bug / Bunny / GG) and Christmas.  My bank account and I are overwhelmed.  Thankfully, thanks to some summer sale shopping for Bug and Bunny, they're pretty much set.  We're still working out what we'll get GG and LW for Christmas.  and GG is turning 18 which is a pretty big milestone.  We'll have to find something special for that since we won't be throwing a party.  The last few years has been pretty GG oriented.  Two years ago she had her Sweet 16 which was a full on backyard bash and last year she graduated so we saved our pennies for a big graduation blow-out.

This year, I've decided it's finally time for Bug and Bunny to have their first friends over birthday party for what will be their 5th and 7th birthdays respectively.  I've been shopping around trying to find something that not only won't blow the budget, but will be good for both boys and girls and the different age ranges.   I think I've settled on Jump 'n Jammin'  which is an indoor playground of sorts.  The kids can bounce, climb, jump, run, scream and generally be crazy for two whole hours with cake and pizza and when they're done, hopefully they'll all be so exhausted the parents will thank us for wearing them down.  The best part?  No set up or clean up for us.  It's win/win people!

November first is also the start of another adventure for me.  I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where my goal will be to write 50,000 words in 30 days  - that's 1,667 words a day for those of you keeping track - which amounts to a novel.  I admit that I'm not sure I'll reach my goal.  I have a pretty good idea of what I'll be writing and gave you all a snippit of it last Sunday, but I have no outline, no character build up or really any kind of organization.  Just an general idea of what the story-line might be.  I plan to wing it.  Yeah, I'm surprised too.  That's not generally my MO being the uber-planner that I am, but I'll jump into the deep end and see what swims to the surface with me.  Hopefully it won't end up being some idea sucking tentacled writer's block.  I hate tentacles.

The blog may suffer a bit while I try to meet this goal.  I might try to supplement my blog with more story snippits or complaints of why I put myself through these things or well, random nothingness just to let you know I'm still breathing over here so bear with me.  I promise to make it up with lots of fun in December.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Overheard Vol. 2

Bunny - "How do you know?"
Bug - "My brain is smart."
Yes it is my man.. yes it is.

GG - "I'm SO excited about your scarf!  Wanna feel it?"
She burst through the door of her room and was so random I just about died laughing.

Bunny - "Cookies! Cookies!  Would anyone like some fresh cookies?"
Bug - "I want a cookie."
Bunny - "We only have tomato-red velvet."
Bug - "Yummy!"
Tomato-red velvet, can you imagine?

Bug - "Everyone be quiet, this is my favorite song."
Bunny - "You don't even know the name of this song."
Bug - "I don't know the name, but I love this song!"
You gotta love his enthusiasm - and I love Cowboys and Angels too!

Bunny - "I would never talk to anyone who makes potions.  Unless it's in science class."

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, October 29, 2012


Last week I took The Tweedles down to the costume store to pick out something for Halloween.  Yesterday I picked up some Halloween make-up to complete their costumes.  And because I'm not so good with make-up I felt the need to do a trial run last night before the big event on Wednesday.

I did Bug's Vampire make-up first.  He wiggled a lot, but it didn't come out too bad.

Bunny's she-devil make-up was a bit more complicated and she didn't like doing the parts around her eyes, but it came out okay I think.

Then I dressed them up and made them give me their scariest faces.

And they were pretty scary.  Even LW got into the mix.

But it was their happy photos that really did it for me.

Does Bug look like Eddie Munster to anyone else? Or is it just me?

Halloween, here we come!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Garden Fresh

We pulled this haul from our garden this morning for dinner tonight.

Cucumbers and tomatoes will go in the salad with fresh green beans to go with our BBQ ribs.  I would have loved to have a few more tomatoes but it's been a hard year on our tomato plants.  I am happy to report that we have a good number of new green tomatoes still on the vine, so that's a good sign.

Can't wait for dinner!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Intentionally Untitled

I watched his still form on the ground, all of his strength and power pulled inward and focused on keeping one heart beat going to the next.  I could almost hear it slowing down, could almost see his energy ebbing away.  I was so focused on him that it took a while to register Brian’s words.

“What a cluster fuck.  A sacrifice?  A fucking human sacrifice? No way he’d go for that.  No way.  It’s too risky. Maybe if we could find a pedophile, or a murderer, but we’re in BFE, where are we going to find someone deserving of that kind of death way out here?”  His rant continued but I stopped listening.

A human sacrifice.  That’s all it would take to save him, to save his pack and to keep the peace.  Without him, it would all fall apart. They needed him to stay in control, needed him to be the driving force he so naturally was.  Without him, those kids on the playground wouldn’t be safe.  No one would. 

I was on my feet and in motion towards the un-natural flames before I even completed my thoughts.  Sam watched me and growled as I grew nearer, but didn’t move to stop me.  I looked at him, allowing the grief and pain to show in my eyes. 

“When he wakes, tell him I’m sorry, I couldn’t keep my promise.” I whispered.  I thought for a second he’d refuse me, but he knew what was on the line.  He knew and nodded sharply once.  I turned my head to look again down at Liam, as if I could etch his face into my memory, then stepped into the flames.

Power, heat and energy sizzled and leapt at the top of my head and the bottom of my feet, as if I were completing some sort of electrical circuit.  And then there was nothing but pain and fire coursing through my body, forcing my eyes closed and ripping screams from my throat.  In the darkness that threatened to overwhelm me, I thought I could hear a voice chanting over and over – a sacrifice, a sacrifice - with sickening glee. The voice, neither male nor female was evil and rolled through me.  I felt like it was tearing into me stealing my thoughts, riffling through my deepest secrets, my worst nightmares, and my darkest dreams.  Then the voice hissed, pausing like a startled deer.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  My sacrifice!” it screamed, “My sacrifice!” and then the darkness and pain consumed me completely.

I felt the cool breeze first, blowing away the fire that had eaten at my raw nerves.  My eyes fluttered open to a warm grey nothingness.  A softer, gentler voice sounded in my head this time, “A willing sacrifice, of fire and love.  Like a phoenix, you are born again.  But a sacrifice was required and has indeed been made, and you are irrevocably changed.” I felt the whisper of a hand across my cheek and felt its overwhelming sadness and loss, and then it was gone.

The soft grey light surrounding me brightened, until I closed my eyes against it.  As it started to fade, I found myself on the ground on the other side of the fire with my head in Liam’s lap.  No trace of his weakness left behind, his eyes glowed as his wolf glared down at me, and anger rolled off of him in waves.  I looked up into those eyes knowing his wolf was too close.  I blew out the deep breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding and managed a wry smile. 

“Well, that could have gone better.” I whispered. 

The anger in his eyes flared brightly for an instant before he snapped them closed and visibly struggled for control.  I lay perfectly still but closed my eyes, knowing Liam would control his beast sooner or later.  And while I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, he’d been through enough for one day, and testing his wolf any more would likely end up with someone getting hurt.  Not me of course, but he’d feel bad if he hurt one of his pack.  I squinted across the room and could make out Brian and Sam.  Both men were on their knees, heads bowed as if praying, but I knew better.  Their heads intentionally lower than Liam’s and their complete stillness ensured their Alpha wouldn’t feel challenged as he struggled for control.  I noticed a small trickle of blood running down from Sam’s nose.  Maybe someone already had been hurt, I thought humorlessly, acknowledging for once he didn't deserve it.

Liam adjusted me in his arms, bringing my body up more fully into his lap and buried his head into my neck.  “I thought I’d lost you.” He murmured.

“Nah.” I said, trying to keep my shaking voice light. “I’m like a bad penny.  It takes more than sacrificing me to some f’ed up evil she-witch’s magic fire to get rid of me.”

He growled then, low and rumbling and I could feel it vibrate through my body.  “That, we will discuss in great detail later.”  The menace in his voice was hard to miss.  Clearly, I needed to make sure we avoided that particular discussion for as long as possible.  “For now, please explain to me why you smell like wolf instead of human.” 

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Story Time With Friends

Bunny was playing teacher yesterday morning while she waited for it to be time to take her to school.  I was working but could here her gathering all of her "students" for story time.

"Carpet time! Carpet time!  Everyone head to the carpet for a story."  She then proceeded to read to her class, The Gingerbread Man until it was time to go.  We were rushing out the door so I didn't notice her class wasn't entirely make believe until I got home.

Woody, Care Bear and Holiday Bear really did sit down on the carpet and listen to story time.  I think they each earned a gold star for the day.  Don't you?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels

It was less than a week ago that I complained about being overwhelmed.  Frustrated by not only my own busy schedule, but my complete inability to communicate my frustrations with the people who love me the best, and ask for help.  I got strong feedback from many women who agreed that this is not "just me".  That society does in fact hold women to an unreasonable standard and we perpetuate it by buying into it lock, stock and two smoking barrels - which was a great movie by the way.  See if it you haven't already.

In response to this outpouring of feminine love and encouragement, you would think any sane and normal woman would re-prioritize her life.  Actually find the courage to communicate openly and honestly with her family about the help she needs to take away some of the stress.  Maybe even schedule in some "me" time for a massage.

Unfortunately, I am apparently neither sane nor normal.  My response to this whole situation?  Take on another - albeit exciting - project.

Yeah, I don't feel bad for me any more either.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cookie Monster Cure

Bug is sick.. again.  This has been a bad sick year for him so far unfortunately.  He was up most of the night, which meant, I was up most of the night.  We're both having a bit of a rough Wednesday as we both still have to get up and function to get Bunny to school on time and I still have to work.  Subsequently, Bug has been dragging this morning.  Lots of moping and inarticulate moans and with his fever and upset tummy, I don't blame him.  But you know what cheered him up?

Yeah, it made me smile too.  I think we'll get through today just fine.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 1988

1988 was a busy year.  I say this with some authority because I just looked it up online.  On October 22, 1988 I was 13 (almost 14) and in 8th grade.  And despite my complete lack of interest, lots of things were happening all over the world.  

Some good:

Iran - After 8 years and 1.5 million dead the Iran -- Iraq war ends
Australia - Australia celebrates its bicentennial.
UK - Archaeologists uncover the original Globe Theatre in London
U.S. - US Shuttle program resumes 2 1/2 years after Challenger disaster

And some not so good: 

Armenia - Earthquake in Armenia Kills 60,000
Scotland - Suspected Libyan terrorist bomb explodes on Pan Am jet over Lockerbie in Scotland on December 21st killing all 259 on board and 11 on the ground
U.S. - A new drug Crack appears ( A derivative of Cocaine ) and is increasingly found in US Cities

Being the geek that I am, I can't pass up mentioning some of the great science & technological advances that year even though at the time, I could have cared less.

First transatlantic fiber optic cable laid able to carry 40,000 telephone calls simultaneously
Stephen Hawking Publishes " A Brief History Of Time "
The first major computer virus infects computers connected to the Internet.
The Hubble Space Telescope is put into operation.
The US Stealth Bomber is unveiled.
Using Carbon Dating it is established that the Turin Shroud Can Not Be the Burial Cloth of Christ,
The Antidepressant Prozac introduced which quickly became the market leader for treating depression.

It was also the year of movies like Rain Man, Who framed Roger Rabbit, Die Hard, and a Fish Called Wanda which were much more in my sphere of life experiences than all that other stuff.  Hey, I was 13.  If it wasn't entertaining or a boy, I wasn't much interested.

It was also the year of George Michael's Father Figure, which I admit I could sing by memory even today.

And which, to my 13 year old mind, was the sexiest song I had ever heard.  Ever.

In October of 1988 I was living in New Hampshire attending Oyster River Middle School.  I was on the field hockey team and my favorite teacher was Mrs. Andrews.  I had friends, went to middle school dances, laughed and cried in ways only a dramatic 13 year old girl can.  

And on October 22, 1988 across the country in Southern California, a woman was in a local hospital giving birth to a baby girl.

This girl.  Who would, 11 years later, enter my life.  Who would challenge me in ways I never imagined.  Who would - with the help of her father and sister - turn my world upside down and welcome me into her family.  Who would ultimately 13 years after that, still be making me laugh and want to pull my hair out all at the same time.  Who would become someone I could count on to be there for her little sisters and brother.  Who would grow into the amazing, confident and wonderful woman she is today.

Happy 24th Birthday to my Lone Wolf.  I know this year will lead you down new and challenging paths that you will face and conquer with grace and beauty like only you can.  It is my sincere pleasure to watch you continue to grow into the person you are meant to be.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Is It Just Me?

As a woman I play many different roles.  I'm the obvious wife and mother by virtue of being married and having kids.  I'm an employee by virtue of being employed.  I'm a daughter, sister, aunt, niece to my family just by virtue of being female and related.  And I'm a friend.  Sounds so simple right?  But mixed in with all these labels are a whole slew of societal responsibilities and expectations.

There's a very funny story I heard a long time ago about when a husband and wife are both ready to go to bed.  The wife, stands up, announces she's going to bed and picks up the dishes on the coffee table and takes them to the kitchen to rinse out and put in the dish washer, fills it with soap and starts it.  She lets the dog out and waits until he's ready to come back in.  She puts new food and water down for the dog as well as the cats.  She then wipes down all the counters and turns out the lights.  She goes into the laundry room and moves clothes around before starting a new load.  She takes the clean clothes to her room to fold them and put them away.  She walks upstairs and checks on the kids, making sure they're tucked under the covers and kisses them good night.  She picks up clothes, shoes and toys from their bedroom floors and puts them away.  She walks back down stairs turning off lights as she goes.  Then she heads to bed.

About this time, the husband stands up and announces to no one in particular that he's also going to bed.  He turns off the TV and goes to bed.

And here's the fundamental societal difference between men and women.  Men are supposed to be the bread winners.  That is their main job.  They take care of and contribute to their families by providing for the basics - food/shelter/security.  Women are supposed to take care of the family and the home.  We're supposed to be the main care givers both physically and emotionally.

When women started entering the work force, society forced them to choose between a profession and a home.  If you worked, you couldn't possibly have kids.  As more and more women entered the work force, something shifted and the expectation became that women had to "do it all".  You had to be able to be a super woman by working all day and then coming home and being the primary care giver, taking care of the house, the kids, anticipating everyone's needs and expectations on both the home and work front.  I don't know why this happened.  And we as women judge ourselves by these ridiculous standards (I know I do!!).  And we were expected to do it all without complaint.  We'd made our choices after all wanting careers in the first place and having kids.  We can't complain because then what kind of mother would that make us?  What kind of employee?  And we can't ask for help either for the same reasons.

And this has had some marital/familial consequences - at least for me it has.  For some reason, I find myself completely unable to ask for what I want / need.  It's so weird, because on the few occasions I have tried, I feel miserable.  I know part of this is my pride.  Society expects me to be able to do it all and when I can't, I feel like I'm a complete failure.  Asking for help makes me feel like a failure.  But another part is the unreasonable expectation that since I anticipate the physical and emotional needs of everyone around me, that someone in my family should be able to anticipate MY needs. I shouldn't have to ASK for what I want/need, they should just KNOW.  Irrational I know, but it's how I feel most of the time.  And when someone does ask me in complete bafflement if something's wrong, I compound the issue by saying 'nothing' and wondering why don't they already know what the problem is?  Am I really so complicated they can't figure it out?

Why can't the people I love see when I am overwhelmed/hurt/frustrated/sad and jump in to help me out?  How come I'm the only one who can see when someone is upset in our house, and work to try to make it better, or at least easier for them while they work through whatever it is themselves.  But yet, I suffer in silence and alone with my frustrations because I can't bring myself to ask for help from the people closest to me.  How messed up is it that I can't bring myself to communicate to the people who are supposed to love me and want what's best for me?  All because I don't want to seem weak, or incapable, or somehow a failure as a woman.. a wife.. a mother.

Is this just me?  Maybe I'm making it out to be woman thing, when really it's just a me thing.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Children's Book Display

I want to encourage Bug and Bunny to read more.  I enjoy books so much and I want them to have the same love for new worlds, beloved characters and adventures too.  In that vain, we have tons of little kid books for their respective age groups.  Unfortunately, they're all crammed into a bookcase in their play space and with little kid books, it's hard for them to see what's there and pick out books they really like without pulling them all out.  We read books daily as part of our homework routine but when they go pick out books, they end up getting the same books every time.  And those are always the ones they didn't put back the last time.  And we have so many great books it's disappointing.

If you remember back in this post about making-over the Tweedles bedroom, we plan to make their room a bit more gender neutral as well as more fun for both of them. It's a good plan, and I think we'll try to make that happen over winter break.
Since we got them bunk beds over the summer, I have an entire wall in their room that's empty.  I've been thinking about adding new book display shelves like this one.

I'm hoping if they can see the covers of their books, they might be more likely to pick out different books and learn to like reading more.  And while I admit we have way more books than will fit on a shelving system like this on the one wall I have available to me, we could swap books out every few months and at least they'd get a better sorting than the same handful over and over.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Favorite Hubs Story

One of my favorite all time Hubs stories takes place 6 months into our marriage.  I was at work doing that whole work thing when I got called to the reception desk for a delivery.  There waiting on the desk was a huge bouquet of flowers.  I gathered it up and took it back to my desk before reading the card and blushing as the guys I worked with all gave me a hard time.  The card wished me a happy 6 month anniversary and was of course, from The Hubs.

I love this story because I hadn't even been thinking about it being our 6 month wedding anniversary, but apparently he had.  Which made me feel loved and made my toes curl.  I like telling everyone how he's the girl of our relationship because he remembered and I didn't.  He's not of course, but it was so awesome knowing I was married to a guy who would think enough about me and us to send me flowers on our 6 month anniversary.  And I'm definitely the girl since I still have the card, which is saying something considering how anti-packrat I am.

I think he hates this story.  I think he thinks it makes him look whipped, or un-mans him or whatever.  But he's never asked me not to tell it and always smiles indulgently when I do.  I wonder if he knows how much those flowers meant to me?  Maybe he doesn't hate that story after all.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Walking the Path

Have you ever seen the movie Sliding Doors?  It's one of my absolute all-time favorite movies.  Like EVER.

First of all, who doesn't love Gwyneth Paltrow?  I've loved her for ages - ever since this movie which came out in 1998.  And of course, I about had a heart attack when she showed up in the first Glee episode.  But I think what I love best about this movie is it's plot line.  The story revolves around Gwyneth's character's two life paths.  One when she makes a train, and one when she misses it and how that one act dramatically changes the courses of her life.  And that's what I love about it - the possibilities.

When I think about all the small choices and actions that led me to where my life is now, it's a bit overwhelming.  What if I had made a different choice along the way.  Would I be here now?  Would I have the friends I have?  The life I have?  The Tweedles, The Hubs, GG and LW?  It's crazy to me that there might have been a path for my life that wouldn't have lead here.   Almost as crazy as all the choices I made that did lead me here to the life I have now.

Some good choices, like college which has allowed me to support our family while we get The Hubs through school.  Some bad.  I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I had to marry my first husband, to find my way to The Hubs.  Had to live through that relationship with all of its ups and downs and the ultimate demise of it all, for so many reasons.  I had to learn what a dysfunctional and bad relationship was so I could better appreciate the healthy and loving one I have now.  I had to live through our horribly managed finances and crawl my way out of overwhelming debt to learn not only how to manage money, but who to trust and how far with my own finances.  I had to learn what I wasn't looking for in a marriage and a partner so I could recognize what I did want when I saw it.  I made mistakes with my first boyfriend just out of my relationship with my first husband that further helped me find my way.  I thought I wanted someone who would take care of me.  Make all my decisions for me.  Make life "easy" for me.  Turns out, that's not me at all.  Turns out, I'm an independent woman who needs a partner, not someone to take care of, or someone who will take care of me.  But, like a child, I had to experience it to know for myself.  And when all those painful times were over, I had to choose to open my heart up again to someone new.  Choose to take a chance, and that was probably the hardest choice of all.  Who knows where my life might be now if I hadn't made that one.

It was worth it though.  Every mistake, every success.  I'm a stronger woman for it.  My relationship with The Hubs is stronger for it.  My life - our lives - are stronger for it.  So here's to possibilities and the choices we make - or rather, it would be, if it was closer to 5pm and I had a drink in my hand.  They shape us, mold us and can make or break us, but it's life.  In all it's glory and happiness and sadness, it's life.  And as long as we're moving forward, we'll always know we're on the right path.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekend Adventures 101

Saturday: 6:30 AM
Get up at 6:30 to make a 7:50 early morning Girl Scout Hike with Bunny's troop and a few younger siblings along.  Get to know the kids better.  Get to know the parents (and one grandparent) better.  Love that everyone seems to be having fun.

Hike 3/4 of a mile in to an amazing waterfall.  Have a snack and play with the water before heading back.

Saturday 10AM - 3PM
Clean the house.  No adventures here people, move along. Move along.

Saturday 3PM - 9PM
Head down to the California Science Center by train to get early seats to welcome the Space Shuttle Endeavor to its new home.  Get picture taken in front of the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum near the viewing area for the shuttle.

Have a picnic style dinner on the blacktop conveniently located near a trash can.

Hang with your old man and wicked step-mother.

Make sure Mimi has a comfy camp chair so she's not sitting on the blacktop.

Get your very own space Shuttle Shirt.

Then rock out on your air guitar.

Run around with your blankie pretending to be a super hero of some sort.

Make friends with the volunteer staff (That's Benjamin and Jonathan) so you can get updates on where the heck the shuttle is now that it's almost 8:30 and it's no where in sight.

Find out it's now not scheduled to arrive until 1AM.  Look at your two very tired Tweedles, an exhausted husband and call it a night with promises to see it when the exhibit opens.  Then head back to the trains.

Get documentation of how dirty you got on that blacktop.

LW and her friend Emily have a term for this.  It's called "Black Paw".

And the term should perhaps be extended to their faces too.  Go home slightly disappointed thinking about how you're going to title your blog post "The Unadventure" and sleep until 7AM.

Sunday 7AM

Be woken abruptly by your husband slamming open your bedroom door with the announcement of "I'm just going to throw it out there." immediately followed by an update that the Shuttle is now scheduled to arrive at 9:30 AM.

Rush to dress yourself, two kids and call LW to meet you so you can all (Minus Mimi who had to sing in choir) rush back down by train to the California Science Center to again welcome the space shuttle to its new home.  Arrive by 9AM then wait almost 2 hours before seeing this.

Look closely.  It's there.  I openly admit that LW and I hugged and did a little sob or two at the sight.  Powerful, emotional, amazing.   And then it was followed by this.

And this.

Then wait almost another 2 hours while they try to maneuver this beast around a corner and bob and weave through light posts and trees on either side.

Get your, by now good buddies Jonathan and Benjamin,

to take this photo from the street for you.  (THANK YOU GUYS!! You helped make the time go by faster and kept us all smiling!)

Have your brain completely blown by how surreal the shuttle looks going down a regular city street.

Be proud of how patient The Tweedles have been even though they've been waiting for so long with little to do in almost 90 degree weather with no shade.

Be thrilled by how excited they are to see the shuttle.  Then try to keep the crowd back as you try to get the perfect shot of The Tweedles..

The Hubs & LW

and history.

The shuttle finally arrived around 1pm.  Only 16.5 hours late.

Completely Worth it.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Give All Of Yourself To Those You Love

When I was pregnant with Bunny, I had to stop watching and reading the news.  I couldn't stomach the cruelty and violence that played out every night in sound bites and breaking news.  This is a cruel world we live in folks.  People hurt people.  People kill people.  People die from natural and man-made disasters.  People die from cancer and other illnesses. And children aren't spared.  Children are abused and neglected and hungry and sick and die every day.  And in my heightened hormonal state, I would be in whimpering tears in a matter of minutes wondering what right I had to bring a baby into all of this.

I can watch and read the news now, of course.  It isn't that the world has gotten any better, but my hormones aren't as raging and I'm better able to compartmentalize my raw feelings about these tragedies and disconnect them from my day to day life.  But some things I see?  Well, they bring down all my neatly compartmentalized walls and shine the truth on some ugly realities.

This beautiful woman?  She (as you can see from the video above) was a mother, a sister, an artist, a friend, a wife and so much more.  And yesterday morning, she passed away from Ovarian Cancer.   I don't know her.  You probably don't know her either, but this video just breaks me.   She looks like she was a good mother - you can see the love she has for her sons.  You can imagine how heartbroken they all must be from her loss.  And you can probably imagine, like I do, how easily it could be you or someone you know.  Your mother.  Your sister.  Your friend.

Bug and Bunny and maybe even LW and GG and The Hubs, must be sick of how many times a day I tell them I love them.  I wonder if they realize that it's not a "habit" or something I say just to fill the silence - Bunny in particular likes to roll her eyes at me most of the time I say it.  I tell them every day all the time, so if something ever happens, they'll know without a doubt, I loved them.  And I've told each of the kids, at one time or another, that even when I'm angry, even when I'm yelling, even when I'm handing down punishment.. that I never stop loving them.  I don't want them to doubt.  Not ever.  Not even for a second.   I can't shield my kids from the bad things in this world.  Eventually they'll really understand how "unfair" life can be.  But I can love them.. and hold them.. and show them in every way that they are cherished.  They are loved.  And I can make it so they'll never doubt me.  Never doubt our family.  Never doubt us.  Hopefully that will be enough to get them through whatever chaos they face in life.   

The world is still a scary and sad and dangerous place and while I can turn the other way and not look it right in the eye, the realities of an unfair world are unchanged.  I'm not about to get on my soap box and rage the question of why we can't all just get along, or why we can't find a cure for these terrible diseases.  Don't worry, that's not what this is about.  This is about something simpler, and something you've probably heard before.

Life is short.. you never know when you're time is up. So give all of yourself to those you love - every minute, of every second, of every day.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween Resolutions

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology (2002) 40-45% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions.  The top three New Year's Resolutions are weight loss, exercise and quitting smoking. Which are all really great resolutions.  But only 75% of those people who make resolutions keep them after the first week.  71% after the second week.  64% after one month.  And only 46% stick to their resolutions after 6 months.

One of my resolutions this year, was to lose 20 lbs.  When I went home for Christmas to my grandparents farm, I felt fat.  My Christmas Eve outfit didn't fit right.  Heck, most of my clothes didn't fit right.  And it had been over FOUR YEARS since I had Bug.  I could no longer claim I "just" had a baby.  I "just" ate a snickers, I "just" had some cookies, I "just" had another slice of cake is more like it.  So, I made the resolution despite not liking New Years resolutions.

And I started okay.  I created a diet I could live with (a combo phase II atkins and grazing diet), and we started hiking over the summer.  And I've done well.  I've lost just over 10 lbs.  But for the last few months I've been stuck. Stuck at the same weight.  Gaining and losing the same 3-5 lbs over and over and over.  It's been frustrating to put it mildly.  I know this is all my own fault.  I stopped hiking when the kids started school.  I'm not as strict with my diet as I was when I started.  And I've gotten in the bad habit of going back for seconds at dinner.

It's October now, and I'd really like to make my accomplish my resolution this year.  Mostly because I have an entire wardrobe of clothes that are perfect, if I just drop one more size.  They're my pre-pregnancy clothes.  Clothes I loved before I even had Bunny.  Clothes I would like to get back into because I've been resistant to purchasing clothes in my new size(s).  My wardrobe is limited people.. that's what I'm saying.  And if I drop another 10 lbs and another size, it won't be.

Since "New Years" is a ways, off and by definition the start of a New Year,  I'm opting for a Halloween resolution - which I think will work even though it's not quite Halloween yet.  I'm going to get back on the diet wagon.  I'm going to go back to the gym, and generally try to be a bit more active and see if I can't drop that last 10 lbs.  Who's with me?  Anyone else up for making a Halloween Resolution?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Picture Day Proof

It's picture day today for both of the Tweedles.  So I dressed them up, did their hair and since they can't ever seem to keep that polished look they have when they leave the house all the way until pictures are taken, this year I decided to take my own quick photo out by the tree.

I love how cute Bug looks in his tie and vest.

And that dress Bunny has on is so cute - with the cowboy boots that she's worn every day since we got them.

They look so shiny and new and wonderful.

Just remember this when I put up the school photos in a few weeks.  They did in fact go to school looking adorable.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And Gosh Darn-It Brownies Like You!

Monday I woke up super early so I could get off work at 1:30 to lead Bunny's Brownie Troop in a lesson on  hiking.  I cannot tell you how intimidated I was at the mere thought of standing up in front of 10 six to seven year old little girls.  What if they thought I was dumb.  What if they didn't like the activity I planned.  What if they wouldn't listen to me?  Just thinking about it made me a little sick, but I agreed to do it, and it wasn't fair that our two troop leader mom's have to do all the work, so I gave myself a quick pep talk - "You're good enough.  You're smart enough.  And gosh darn-it Brownies like you!" - and headed over.

I was well prepared.  I picked up 10 water bottles from the 99 Cent Store so each girl would have her own water bottle when we do our actual hike this coming Saturday.  I pulled together some trail-mix in snack bags for everyone as their snack along with an apple, some cuties and peanut butter crackers as more examples of what kinds of snacks you can bring on a hike.  I also brought along our Camel Pack as an example of yet another way to bring water along on your hike and a way to carry things as well as my trusty first aid kit.  I brought out different kinds of clothes (shorts, tank tops, skirts, jeans, sweatshirts etc.) so we could talk about how to dress for a hike and different kinds of shoes (sandals, flip flops, hiking boots, sneakers and teva style sandals) to talk about what kind of shoes you should bring.  We talked about what kinds of animals we might see, what to do if we get separated from the group and some basic hiking safety tips.

Then we moved to our craft project.  One of our troop leaders (thank you Stacy!) managed to convince some tree trimmers to provide us with some branches perfect for hiking sticks.

With some leather strips I happened to have on hand, and some fancy decorations the troop had, each girl got to decorate their own walking stick.

We used the leather strips to make comfy hand rests on their sticks and they added feathers, beads, and fake jewels to snazz their sticks up.

The result was pretty awesome!

And the best part?  Not a single girl laughed at me.  Everyone seemed to have fun with the craft.  And I think we're all a little excited about our hike on Saturday.  I cannot believe how well the whole thing went.  And I didn't throw-up once.  Win-win for everyone!

Seriously.. Thoughts?