Friday, December 28, 2007
It is a short-term gig which will get extended if we all get along and they like what I do.
We all like each other so far, but it's the details, they liked the ideas I had, but now I have to write for them :) and that they have to like.
If the gig gets extended, sweet, if not, at least it's a new, current bulletin on my resume, AND, I'm working from home, did I mention that?
It's perfect since I have two classes left from my master's and can't really afford daycare just yet for the twins. What I want, though, is full time salaried eventually, because lets face it, contract work is nice but not stable.
I've got a 'we've got someone who can hook you up with gigs' response, but honestly, that never has worked for me. We shall see!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I can't recall.
All I know is I am Swamped. With a capital S. SWAMPED as in all caps.
I have a 15 page paper due Sunday (working on) and a term project for a class I barely understand due the week after, but of which is somehow more time consuming.
I have Christmas presents to buy (have I done any Christmas shopping? Heck n crap no... too busy) and we are going through a thing with Drama Girl which requires weekly appointments for the next month (well, through Dec. 21).
I'm not looking forward to Hubby McRed's office Christmas party at all.
...and by the way, what does one do, actually, when one finally gets a masters, but hasn't been in the work force? It's very difficult to find a job, no matter what you do or what you have, but I've essentially given up (I think) a job in writing, public relations, or communications, because those three areas seem incredibly unbelievably difficult for me to get into, and perhaps I should just read those signs...
(Yes, I am going to join the communication's writers group Blister to My Eye sent me, as soon as I can find the link, but I've given up hope. I can't decide if I'm an idiot or I'm just not really in the field I think I am)
Wish me luck, I'm off to a phone conference for my incredible difficult class! Tah!
Oooh and if I"m lucky, I can still GET to the Enterprise's Christmas Party... argh.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Anyhow, I've applied to a few jobs but it feels like I've applied to a hundred... ha ha ha.
I know that is January's resolution, but I'm getting an early start. I think I mentioned that I generally get, for three months worth of looking, one or two interviews or phone interviews. I'm not going to go into long laundry lists of who I applied to or where, or my networking attempts, or anything like that, but every now and again I'm sure I'll feel compelled to blog about this hunt.
See, it gets under my skin. I start dreaming about it. I dreamt, for instance, that I was hired as a crisis communications coordinator, and that I had to fly to Kansas to help a small start-up hard-drive manufacturer handle their crisis communication plans, mainly contingency plans for what to do in case of tornados, (run to the basement and hide under a mattress?) and how to get their men in the separate shop out of dodge, (secret underground tunnel to basement stocked with mattresses?) as well as corporate scandals that may arise. Now I didn't say the dreams were accurate, but the amount of detail is a bit spooky and they are very weird.
Start up hard drive manufacturer in KANSAS?
With top secret shops (to hide their uber secret that will make them an uber corporation)
The fact the guy had three kids (weird, I know)
And, we all drank amber beer.
Dreams never have to make sense, but it felt a little eerily weird. I woke up feeling like I actually worked!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
They coulda won. But they didn't.
It was a good game and don't tell me my team is the evil empire. They play really well.
But, for you, my 'stuck in Korea' friend...
nanner nanner nanner my team kicked your team's ass nanner nanner nanner....
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Drama Girl is being incredibly obnoxious about it. It's not even two inches, and worse, not even 8 a.m. Ah, yes, the children woke up at 6 a.m. today.
Turbo is not feeling well, and sleeping on the couch, with his 'throw up' bucket. I gave it to him after the previous night's (night before last) event. It came to my attention that my almost-four (two weeks) son was so eager to throw up and get every icky thing out of his stomach that he paid no attention to how perilously close to falling into the actual toilet head-first she was. Flooded by horrendous thoughts of my little baby getting up at 3 a.m., yakking into the toilet, falling in and well.... yes, I'm a mother, these thoughts occur to me... I told him we don't throw up in the toilet without mommy, and handed him a throw up bucket. It's just his head was so close...
Bear is being silly and happy, and Drama Girl is irritating him, so we may banish Drama Girl, on account of her being too freakin obnoxious this early in the morning.
So the snow is well, white. And it's, well, cold. And I have to go out today and pick up a pie. Weeeh.
At least it had the courtesy to snow politely the day BEFORE the holiday, though it probably sucks for travelers.
Monday, November 19, 2007
My new resolution, made in November, well, there's two.
The first is to finish the first draft of my book idea. I should be able to start this once the holidays are over and, more importantly, school is.
The second one is to find a job. Not just any job. A job I actually like, in my field, no less.
Those who have read this have heard about me and my job and so on and so forth endlessly. I'm not going to whine, or fuss, or mope or moan. I'm just going to keep an update, and just write about it, and we'll see, for ourselves, how long it takes, you know, all in good fun...
This of course is not like other job searches where people have had jobs. I've been out of work for four years, ostensibly to get my masters :).
So we shall see.
But that is my New Year's resolution, which I'm starting.... now.
To kick it off, I've applied to three jobs. Go me. Keep in mind, I"m not going to bother about jobs I've applied to, I"m only keeping track of things that actually 'happen.' I figure, so far, I average interest once every three months...
As for the book? Well, I have a break in classes over Christmas, and the characters and plot will be hashed out. They are in my head, have been since i moved here, and are the major reason I ditched the freakin 17 chapters already written for another book, so go me.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
But I did a bit of reflection and realized, without realizing it, how much I've changed, for the better, but they are all, except for the first on the list, internal changes that haven't yet manifested externally.
In other words, I've changed a lot on the inside, and now some of those changes are beginning to affect me 'outside'.
Since moving to Colorado, I've lost about 20 pounds (and we shall not discuss how I managed to put on those 20 pounds without really even noticing it...) going down two and a half sizes in the process... so close to three... That is the biggest internal change that is clear and obvious.
Here are some that are only evident to me, and that's only because it came to me in a moment of sudden insight.
I used to whine I had no friends in close proximity. I still don't, but I realized, I don't need friends in close proximity so much as I need to like me. It wasn't that I didn't like me, it was that I was very unsatisfied with what was me.
I used to obsess about writing... must...be..published... now, I write for the sake of my stories and the love of my tales. I guarantee I will now finish stories. I lost the most important ingredient to successful writing... letting the story be what it is. I would force it to a convention that I didn't like. Writing the story I want to tell, well, much more fun. And in doing that, I realized, the writing that is true to me, not the genre I have been trying to write in. Feel like slapping myself for that I do.
I wanted to do everything right. I wanted the house to be clean, the grades to be A's, the stories published, the dinner a culinary delight and enough time for it all. HA. Now, I realize the grades can be A's, the stories one day potentially published, and well, frankly, we don't have a lot of company and pizza works for us all.
I used to obsess that my kids just weren't like other kids. They aren't. So what? So I will never be a soccer mom because my kids don't do soccer. Nor will I be posting Drama Girl's grades. So my daughter has ADHD and acts a bit immature and needs more hands on parenting. Whatev. Right? She's mine. We'll do our own thing. The boys? Who knows who they'll be. But they're mine.
So, overall, I'm calmer about things. I have an inner confidence I seemed to have misplaced. Exercising has made my brain less cluttered somehow. Oh that didn't happen at first, but it's been about six or seven months of exercising a good hour a day for three days a week, and something has changed. My mind seems, lighter... full of oxygen.... not toxic....
I've almost finished my degree.
And, to be honest, I'm getting bored at home.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Sunday. I am so there. I"m doing some classwork early so I won't be distracted by 'not doing classwork mindfully' guilt.
Colts vs Pats
I can't wait.
But let me just say here, with all this whining about how the Patriots are not being 'honorable' and going for those extra points instead of 'being nice' and not rubbing it in too badly... well...
If every one of those teams hadn't jumped on the Pats and name-called and whined and cried about how they were cheaters, than perhaps the Pats wouldn't have to put up these points to show the NFL that while what they did was wrong, it was only a more advanced form of getting the same information all other teams try to get.... (logic may be a bit flawed, but I don't think what they did 'changed' games)
No one can say the Pats aren't the best team in the NFL right now. They dominate. They just do. I think the Colts are the only team that can stop them right now.
Which is why I'm so stoked about Sunday's game.
Go Pats.... yeah.... and I hope it's a good game, but don't whine to me about how many points they put up. You don't like it, well, play some frakkin' football then!
Had birthday, underwhelmed. We didn't do much, October was just a crazy month.
Trick or treating was nice, since Drama Girl elected to go with a friend to her church event. I took the boys out, but this neighborhood is not the most festive. I'm hoping they have a little more enthusiasm over Christmas.
I have just officially gone under 30 percent body fat... thank you all very much... it helps to sign up your kids for programs at the place you work out. You're kind of trapped into doing something exercisey...
I know I used to be a daily blogger, and now I'm turning into a weekly one, well would you believe, I'm busy now? Not just busy, but overwhelmed busy! So busy, that I'm reading "I Don't Know How She Does IT?" the Only Thing is, it's about a mom who works and is jugging everything and handles it. I relate to her, only, the part where we aren't alike is where I don't have a job.... and I STILL am barely doing it! Yes, October was overwhelming. November looks to be overwhelming as well. School... ah... school.... is killing... me....slowly....
I'm striving to not procrastinate on these next assignments... seriously... send... help...
So here's the quick update:
Turbo potty trained
Bear still adamantly refusing to use pot
Drama Girl very moody... it's a tween thing... has glasses, very cute on her, but overpriced... went to wrong place so paid out of pocket, and can't seem to remember to submit 'out of network' forms... someone please remind me
Hubby McRed cranky about work, that is norm.
Hoping to not forget to register my truck this month....
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Some of you are saying 'lucky beatch!' or 'damn wish I were' or 'hey, me too...'
Others might be saying,
"WTFRAKKINHECKNCRAP are you doing woman, at 1:40 p.m. in the afternoon wearing pajamas?"
The answer is, a whole lotta crap that needed to get done.
I started this morning at 8, at my computer which is now right next to my bed. I ordered a new cell phone and cell phone plan with a new carrier online (some people go to the phone stores, I live in fear of cell phone plan salesman...) Then I started through my stack of index cards (All my to-dos are on index cards... most people use notebooks. Notebooks don't work for me. I need to constantly jot, rejot, and jot again on cards...)
I made appointments.
I called about our crap television (HDTV, DLP.... color wheel gone, bulb fading, what IS the point?) /// we're using this as an opportunity to see if we miss cable, if not, bye bye crazy bill...
I paid some bills.
I called the school.
I did transcript ordering stuff.
I did other things, all these other little nit-noid things that only take a a few minutes each, but because the few minutes is extended by web pages that are down, phones that aren't answered or have long hold times, letters that have no stamps, forms without information et al et al, they don't get done.
Well, for months.
You all know what I mean. There's a list we all have, secretly, not so secretly, or simply lost, full of things that NEED to be done (emissions testing and registration for my vehicle is one I have managed to put off for months...) but never gets DONE because it's just a little nit noid thing that can wait, and wait... and wait.....
You get the idea.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pay my overdue library fee before I get dressed for the da.... night.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I've been gone a while.
It's been a busy week or more...
Drama Girl is having tween angst and we need to deal with it before it becomes full-blown teen angst. There's so much going on with her, I really feel for her, I do. I wish I knew where it comes from, but I don't really. We seem to be making progress, slow but progress....
The boys... well, TURBO IS POTTY TRAINED! Weee! My goal is to have both potty trained by four, but Bear is being a BEAR about it, and I do mean a BEAR. He won't even sit on the toilet, not one of them, not the cushiony ones we bought for the boys, not his own personal little one, not at all... not for candy, not for stickers, not for hugs or love or anything.
I informed him that we had to, and that this was his last batch of diapers for the day. I ALREADY said this, but it didn't work. He just watches Turbo use the potty and makes encouraging noises, but, he won't go near the thing! Well, to be fair, he goes. He sits on it with the lid down, and fills the toilet part with lego.
Great. ha ha. But I still have one and a half months left before their b-day, and my goal is before 4. Once Turbo got on the pot and went, it was a matter of hours before he 'got it' and he only had three or four accidents total. He's now in underwear full time. So I have hope.
Hubby McRed had some work drama, but that is over, as well.
Life is mellow, and if it gets dramatic again, I'm going to scream.
HA and I had a funny dream a blogger called me. It was ironic. Odd, but ironic, how our mind works.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
They climb into our bed at night.
Only, there isn't room in our Queen sized bed for two adults and two squirmy, bed-hogging germ incubators.
Yesterday was Hubby McRed's turn to go to the couch at about 4 a.m.
Today, was mine.
They are playing well, with their sniffles and moodiness, but I can't take them out today. Turbo boy missed swimming twice, but it's okay because he starts again next week in a new session and is repeating the same level.
I wanted to check out the Y downtown because I need an indoor exercise outlet that has good programs for kids, since um, it's proving difficult to leave the cozy smell of coffee and peace in the morning to go running in the cold.
So instead today i'm going to clean and write and hope the boys are tired enough to nap.... plleeeassee
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Drama Girl is almost 11.
Where do I stand on room cleanliness?
It seems to be a physical impossibility for her to keep her room clean.
There are many people who say that having a clean room helps clear the mind, that they feel better when their houses/rooms are clean.
This does not seem to apply to my daughter.
Drama Girl has a simple rule to follow.
I need to be able to see the floor.
In order to allow me to see the floor, she has shoved everything into the closet or in boxes behind her chairs.
When I was doing her laundry, her rule was to also fold and put her clean clothes away neatly in the closet. This was so I wouldn't redo her laundry over and over... which has happened on many occasions. But, after months of re-washing clean clothes, I gave her a crash course in laundry, and now she does her own. I give her 50-50 odds on whether or not the clothes she washes are actually dirty, and the ones she wears actually clean, but you see my dilemma.
It's her room, I can see the floor, should I just give in, and let her exist in that pile of clothes, art projects, books and junk, occasionally handing her a garbage with instructions to throw out ten percent of the junk, and just let her have her little refuge al a crappola? Let her exist in that pit, buried between American Girl books, tween mags and clothes?
Maybe just a sign on the door that says 'this room not representative of the house' or 'quarantine, do not enter' and call it a day?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I loved last night's episode, but am confused about 'the Master' particularly the scene, the final scene, where the Doctor apologizes to the Master.
Was he apologizing because the Master was insane and he felt sorry, or was he apologizing because he didn't address the Master by his proper name, or was he just apologizing, for the hell of it?
So I thought the whole pointed teeth thing was silly, but then, what good is a Doctor episode without the Doctor being stranded on an alien world and being chased.
And, my general opinion question, for my Doctor fans (I think there are, what two?) Who is your favorite Doctor?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I really wish I had one stocked somewhere, or that one of my previous clips would do.
So here I sit, writing a one page expository writing sample, already annoyed that this is not even a guarantee of an interview, and while I should view it as an OPPORTUNITY, at this stage, I only view it as another potential waste of time. I know I know, I shouldn't pre-view it as a waste of time, after all, I could conceivably get an interview out of it, but that's not the point, is it.
The problem really isn't the job posting requiring this, the problem really is I have no idea where my writing skill stands compared to others, so I honestly can not tell if this particular job is in or out of my writing league, so I get frustrated easily, because I imagine the world is filled with far-brighter people than me.
Oh that I had more of an ego!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
So I took thereaflu last night and felt immensely better this morning. (I really think I needed just the full night sleep, but the actual medicine part probably helped) and nothing all day, and tonight I'm taking theraflu.
I live for theraflu.
My parents lived for Robitussin when I was a kid. Everyone who was sick, Robitussin, or St. John's children's asprin.
My husband gets theraflu and the occasional Emergen-C tablets.
I do the Theraflu.
My children? Tylenol and Children's Benadryl (mainly for Drama Girl and her many allergies. We used to give it to her whenever a cold started to prevent a full blown ear infection, now I keep it on stock for the strange allergic reactions she, and occasionally a boy, gets).
Anyone have any medicine cabinet staples they want to share?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I was fine alllll week.
Now I"m sneezing and have the WORST head cold and headache, well, not worst, I've had worse, but it's icky.
At least I finished some of my class stuff!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
But not enough of an idiot to not be slightly offended when the e-mail read 'pleasantly surprised by the high number of quality candidates' that totally outshone me, only to find the job re-posted.
So essentially I failed the pre-screening test.
Okay. Maybe you were trying to make me feel good.
Unfortunately, seeing the re-posting made me think you just thought I was an idiot.
Maybe I really am an idiot.
I know I know, they don't really care, la la la, I'm just one of a gazillion people who'd like to work, waah waah me.
At this point, I think it would be easier for me to get published than to actually get a job.
I KNOW you're not supposed to give up, and you're supposed to keep trying, but my word.
I don't know what hurt me more, staying home with the little babies for a few years or the industry I was in prior.
I'm going to drink a beer and feel sorry for myself.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Now, let me explain something about Drama Girl.
We put her in swim lessons when she was about six.
One day, there was a substitute teacher.
It was toward the end of the class.
He was helping her float on her back.
He turned to look at another student, and removed his hand.
She fell under the water.
He thought she could float.
Mind you, it wasn't over her head, but it didn't dawn on her to actually, oh, say, stand up.
Since then, she's been afraid to put her feet off the surface, and actually attempt to swim.
So we put her in swim lessons, and though the kids are all three to four years younger, she seemed to do well. In November, she'll be eligible for the tween kids who don't know how to swim, so she can change to that class. But I told her she had to start now. Seriously. She loves the water. I can't let her play in water without her knowing how to swim. So, we start now. For a full season of 'swim' lessons.
The boys, however, are 3.5. They have been in the water only a couple of times, and once they are in, love it. Twice at a lake, twice at a pool and once at a river. Yeah yeah, I know, I stayed home all summer, and that's the only water play they got... bad me.
They are signed up for Turtle classes.
Turbo babbled about swimming ALL MORNING.
Bear, who was up at 2 and 4 a.m. playing, told me he wasn't going. When he realized he was going, he said "I'll just watch. I'm just going to watch."
We get there.
Other smarter moms didn't bring them in their trunks, and changed them there, because it was cold today. Whatever. LOL I'll bring sweats on Wednesday.
We get there.
We go upstairs to the place where you can watch your kid swim. You go upstairs and there's this whole glass wall you can watch everyone in the pool.
Turbo is trying to run out the door to get to the pool.
Bear is just saying he's going to stay with me.
Finally the instructor calls them. SEVEN kids like the boys age, yeesh. I worry, of course.
They go down the stairs.
Turbo just lollygags and is walking alongside the VERY EDGE of the deep end. I'm flipping out. I actually gasped. The other moms honestly were like 'it's okay there's tons of people to jump in after him.' OH GEE THANKS.
But Turbo is Unpredictable! Nobody can fully appreciate how unpredictable Turbo is! He's nicknamed Turbo for a REASON!
I had to turn away. I couldn't watch the walk past the VERY DEEP end of the pool. What if he slipped and fell? Or just jumped in? Or fell in? Oh. I panicked. So I just buried my nose in my magazine.
When they get to there pool area, Bear, true to his word, sat on the edge the ENTIRE time.
Turbo walked in and out, but never quite got in.
He did try to a) run to the deep end where the slide was, b) climb into the toy locker, which they finally moved, and c) tried crawling into the water and d) was grabbed by the second teacher they brought in for trying to run again and e) given multiple 'no running' lectures.
He also yelled at the lady twice. Did I mention lady? Oh that's right, yes, because they needed a second individual to help the instructor, courtesy of my boys. There was one other boy, but he mainly sat and cried til his mom took him home.
So all the other kids are jumping and bouncing and walking and having fun.
I'm sure they will be fine, but I worry, because my kids seem to have this genetic aversion to just 'following the leader' or 'doing what the other kids are doing under the guidance of a teacher' or 'following instructions' or 'playing reindeer games' or something!
So they are having two people in the pool on Wednesday, and they assured me that it's not unusual (except for the kid trying to run to the deep end part) and they will work with them.
And I will do my best to not watch. It's probably for the best, if I don't see.
However, I may have to buy them new swim trunks, seeing as Turbo and his bright blue and white floral trunks and Bear's green and turquoise fish trunks seemed a bit, loud, compared to the other subdued trunks. Then again maybe I'll keep em, easier to see bright colors and all...
So how hard can technical writing be? Seriously? I'm not talking an article on, say, "Learning Lua by Friday' or anything. I'm talking articles on, say, airplanes, engines, pizza ovens, etc etc.
I took an editing test for an editor job.
Now, I want to be confident. Edit? Ha. I can edit in my sleep. I can, too. I find it very relaxing. I can find my zen when editing. However, I have edited resumes, game fiction, design documents, and articles, oh so many articles, about Air Force stuff, from simple 'news' and 'feature' stories to 'The Definition of Airpower' and 'Night Vision Technology' etc etc.
But editing isn't that simple. I don't know how good an editor I am compared to the gazillions of other editors out there that probably applied to this job. And, in fact, I totally destroyed the article I was meant to edit, so I cut it down by about...um. Half. Maybe a bit more. Because that's what I do. But, it was journalistic editing. "This is EXTRA. Words take up SPACE. Be gone, Evil Excessive Wording." So I may have edited it a tad too much. Also, I'm not from a tech background. For all I know, I edited out the ENTIRE point of the article. I don't think I did. But I may have.
Then there was the proofreading test. Which is semi-bogus. I mean, WHAT editor or writer now- a-days doesn't employ, oh, spell check? But there were other things to proofread. I had a nightmare I left half the errors in, and missed GAZILLIONS of simple errors.
So, I am fretty.
I may be an idiot. Only I won't know for sure if I am until later this week/early next week. I don't know what I'll do if I discover that I did an exceptionally poor job of editing and that I'm an idiot. It's rather stressful.
And I'm not even including the pre-stress I'm having about whether or not I'll even get an interview at this place.
See, Fretting, for me, it's something I do well.
Stay tuned, to find out if I'm an idiot or not!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
...... and then...
Bear used green watermelon toothpaste to draw on the carpet.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
There is nothing worse than opening up your e-mail from a friend or relative to see seven lines of 'fwd' 'fwd' 'fwd' with corresponding gibberish, only to get to the message 'fwd'ed directly from your friend or relative to you, to discover, yep, it's a variation of the following message:
This is a warning to all humans, everywhere, please pass this on to everyone you know, so this won't happen anymore.
One day, in the middle of the brightest day ever, in the safest parking lot ever, the SuperTarget parking lot located next to the safest city in the world's police department, who were having a barbecue, an alien ship landed.
At first everyone thought it was a publicity stunt, and so gathered round, when all of a sudden, the ship opened up and let out, Target employees.
We thought they were Target employees, anyhow, until, suddenly, they started grabbing customers who were in the Target parking lot.
"We are hungry carnivores from planet zeldoid, you are our lunch" they said over and over.
Luckily for us, the police officers at the barbecue were wearing expensive, modern laser beam side arms, because it's also the richest city in the world. They ran over the fence with their weapons and shot all the aliens dressed as Target people, and rescued the passengers from the ship. They then sent it off into space with a warning. "We won't be fooled again."
If it weren't for the fact it was also the richest city in the world, with modern laser technology, who knows how many innocent customers would have been taken away to become appetizers for alien entities!
God was clearly with us, this day. But there are other parking lots out there, with ships carrying aliens dressed as employees from Target, Walmart, Costco and who knows how many other retailers!
Pass this on to as MANY people as you know, telling them to be careful.
P.S. I checked this out at snopes, and it checks as TRUE. So you know this isn't a lie.
Friday, August 31, 2007
I'm pretty sure it won't improve until I have a job and meet people.
Contrary to popular belief, having kids doesn't help you meet people, not even all the other people who had kids and wanted to meet people. Mom to Mom competition in the preschool years is pretty intense, so it's usually just stressful.
Learning from how frustrating it was to join a mom's club, I won't join one here.
I suppose really I'm doomed socially until my boys enter school, and I can start volunteering. See, I have Drama Girl in school, but I can't really volunteer because I have no one around to watch the boys while I do.
Or until I get a job.
Whichever comes first.
But tonight, alas, my husband is staying late at work, because, yes, Fantasy Football time.
Drama Girl is at her first sleepover at a friend's. Drama Girl isn't involved in a lot of activities, so friendship making time is limited. She has to complete two months of swim lessons successfully before I let her do gymnastics.
Why? Because Drama Girl is almost 11 and can't swim. Won't let me teach her. Or daddy. Nope. So back to lessons.
So tonight, I am stuck with Turbo and Bear, both who told me to 'go away.' Shoot, even they don't want to play with me.
SOMEONE come and play with me.
um after Dr. Who....
Friday, August 24, 2007
"Who's that," she asked, pointing to one of several pictures of Elvis, this particular one being in our bathroom stall.
"That," I said, "Is the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley."
I may have been a bit dramatic, but we were in Tennessee after all. And who doesn't love Elvis?
She was entranced. Riveted by his looks, as so many women were. His eyes twinkled from the picture. So, I ruined the moment. I'm a mom. It's what I do.
"He's dead now," I said. "He died a long time ago."
Drama Girl looked visibly sad. She'd never heard his music, but seemed to sense from one picture in a bathroom stall the magic that he was in life, those years ago.
"How'd he die?"
Well, this was the tricky thing, really. She's six. I could lie. I could tell her he had an accident. I mean, she was ONLY six. But one of my fears in life is that I would be one of those moms that never talked to their kid about anything, or worse, one of those moms who sit their kid down at 13 and tell them EVERYTHING. Too much too fast is as useless as not at all.
"Well, he died from DRUGS. He had a problem, he took drugs he didn't need and one day, he took too many by accident, and he died." I looked at the picture in our stall. "In his bathroom."
Drama Girl looked at me with wide eyes.
"In his bathroom?"
"Yes, he passed out, because the drugs had made him sick."
"Drugs killed him?"
"Drugs are bad for you?"
"VERY bad for you, except the ones your doctor tells you to take, for medicine, but you only take medicine the right way. But yes, drugs are bad for you."
"Yeah, because they KILLED Elvis."
"Yes, they did."
And thus began the dialogue between Drama Girl and I about drugs. It was light, really, drugs was a word that represented something 'bad' and 'dangerous' at first, and as she became older, the talks became a bit more specific. You can smoke it. Your friends might try it. It's bad for you like smoking. It looks harmless, sometimes like an asprin, but it's really not. Never take medicine from your friends, you know the talk. It's the talks the parent moms and dads on television have with their kids. Always in casual moments, never out of the blue, just consistent reinforcement of the same message.
I believe in these talks. I believe they are her best defense against drugs and peer pressure. We'll have more talks, too, and I hate them, I really hate having them. I hate telling her about the darker side of life. But I have to. We've talked about stranger danger. I've even gone through scenarios with her, based on her 'what if...' questions. And I challenge her with my own... 'what if someone asks you for directions, to help find a puppy, the way to the school, knows your name...' It's not fun, I hate that the world isn't safe enough for her to go out without having to be somewhat savvy, but it's not, and she must be prepared as much as she can.
Our latest talks were on the changes she was going through. Drama Girl is going to be eleven soon, and we had to buy her, well, bras. At first she was excited, but then the constant necessity of wearing either a bra or a thick camisole, depending on the shirt, has begun to annoy her. I have to remind her every other day. We talked about 'periods' because I know soon she'll either learn it in school or well, have it. I had the mental image of my daughter beginning for the first time, not knowing what it was because I never told her, screaming in the bathroom. She'd then hold a grudge against me for months, after the horror and tears faded. She's not called Drama Girl for nothing. I remember my first time. I thought I had a cut. Yeah, I wasn't really bright back then.
All of the time I talk to my daughter, she's responding, talking, asking questions, and I hide my twitchiness, my innate desire to have her magically become a woman without having to tell her the hard things, by cooking, cleaning, playing with my hair, playing with her hair, anything, and all the while, I'm watching her, listening to her, because I don't want to tell her too much, too fast. From her reaction I can tell she isn't ready to talk about sex, which is fine with me, but I did tell her the biology of it. Frankly, I'm surprised one of her friends already hasn't. But then I dropped it. She thinks kissing is gross. I'm good with that. However, she kept going back to drugs and bras. Those were the things I focused on. How to say no. Why she should say no. How hard it can be. The tough choices she would have to make.
Man, I hope she listens.
I wondered then, what do other moms do? How and when do they talk to their kids? I know I'm not the only one. I know I come from a generation of women who either were told nothing or too much, a generation of women who now want to get it right. We don't want our daughters to stumble into the unknown unprepared. We've been to the unknown. We have the ability to map it out for them, give them a compass and a guide. Avoid this, stay close to this, don't stray here, if you get lost, head this way... How do others help their kids navigate these years?
And, will they listen?
My cable went out for like, a day, (YES< a whole day) and I was very very very mildly grumpy about it. Turns out we needed a new modem, but that's not the point. The point is, I felt very very very mildly grumpy, not to mention I do bills, shop, socialize (I'm a sahm, give me a break) and schoolwork all online. It was a rough day.
Saying that, Drama Girl is back in school, and on this, the first cool day in a while, it dawned on me, she doesn't have a fall coat, and my boys don't have fall shirts/coats either.
See that was the thing about Washington State, it was mostly the same weather all year round, with a short hot break that I complained about.
So next week I'll make a Target run for the boys fall wear and Drama Girl's coat.
My school starts up next week, and really, four classes left to go, I just want to be done. But, I have to get through those four classes, you see, and now that I'm settled, hopefully I can do better. I really want As this semester. Not that I'm driven or anything.
Other news in brief...
My writing is doing well.
My boys seem to be done their major growth spurt for the time being.
Drama Girl finished a whole week of school without forgetting to turn in or bring home homework.
Hubby McRed is happy at his job, but stressed because he IS driven and an overachiever, and hasn't quite conquered a new territory yet.
I have a new modem so SHOULD be able to actually CONNECT to the internet.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I've been blogligent.
It's just that school starts early here, and so last week was spent doing last minute school shopping, a couple of days visiting the Manitou Cliff Dwellings (cool) Joe Buckskin Frontier Town or Something (kids loved it) and some caves.
I've also created a New Writing Commandment.
Thou Shalt Not Do Anything Til Thoust Hath Written 1,000 word or more.
This Includeth Dishes.
This actually works, except for today, but today was Drama Girl's first day back to school.
I celebrated this day by not doing my morning Wogging or Exercising, the dishes, or anything else that normally needs to be accomplished.
First day back to school for kid, Lounge goof off day for mom.
Never mind Turbo and Bear, they have been pesky all day, but haven't really noticed their sister is gone. Except for Turbo who is upstairs laying down with a particularly foul mood of unknown origin.
Hubby McRed suffered a flat tire today, so he has my truck. Which means even if I were inclined, I couldn't do any errands. Aw, shucks.
It's quickly turning into afternoon, however, so time to write those thousand words, do those dishes and discover the source of Turbo's foul mood.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I know this isn't a common love, but I adore them.
How to get your children to adore them as much as you do?
Don't cook them turnips.
Cook them yellow and white mashed potatoes.
Boil turnips and potatoes, mash em like you would potatoes, and serve them like potatoes.
It's the same ole trick used with the cauliflower, only with turnips.
Now, if I could find a way to make rutabaga's appetizing, but frankly, I've never been fond of them myself!
Yes, I am inflicting a variety of palettes on my children in the hopes they will not be 'meat, potato, soda, chips, ice cream, candy eating American diet.'
Omigosh but tell me, WHY are my children addicted to their vitamin?
Thursday, August 09, 2007
But let me just pop in to reiterate one more time....
I am not going to learn how to play Bridge, because I'm not interested in playing Bridge, and while I would love a night out once a week, I would not love that night out once a week if it meant going to bridge class, in which case, I would rather stay home with a netflix video...
I'll be reading all my fave blogs soon!
But let me just pop in to reiterate one more time....
I am not going to learn how to play Bridge, because I'm not interested in playing Bridge, and while I would love a night out once a week, I would not love that night out once a week if it meant going to bridge class, in which case, I would rather stay home with a netflix video...
I'll be reading all my fave blogs soon!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
For any who remotely care.
I finally got a scale, that measures body fat, too, oh joy...
The thing is, I've gone down a full size, and the new size I am is loose now. I'm not done dropping pounds and inches, but for the first time, I have a number. I KNEW I lost weight. I just didn't know how much. Oh my oh my oh my.
What it's been, three months, since I first made some small changes, and then noticed a lost inch?
Here it is.
I've lost..... FIFTEEN POUNDS!!!!! and about three or four inches, I honestly can't remember for certain what my waist was before.
That is a lot. I mean, Ten is hard to lose. I've lost five before. Everyone can lose five. Ten is dreadful. Everyone WANTS to lose ten. It's this golden number.
And I'm not done.
I'm not saying that as you are reading this, inches and pounds are dropping off at incredulous rates. I'm just saying that I'm doing really well in my exercising and eating, and hope to continue losing a pound a week. Yes, that's right, I only want to lose a pound a week. Two would be ideal, but one is more realistic. I have 15 more pounds to go. But really for me it's about the body fat and the size of clothing.
I'm THIIIIIISSSSSSSS close to my goal size which I want to be by fall. Then I want to spend the full winter going down the next size, because that is a hard one to hit. My goal is to achieve bathing suit hotness next summer. I know, it's a vanity, but whatever :).
I'm not going to write about this every day. It's dreary really, 'lost .3 lbs today...' lol no, we're not doing that. Especially since I'm trying to build muscle as well, so it's give and take. But I'll give you an occasional update :). Cuz I'm just so tickled pink with myself.
The thing is, I didn't do this with diet pills (which I'm totally against unless you REALLY are obese and need medical help to lose weight) or with weight watchers (the reason weight watchers doesn't work for me is because it doesn't change the way you eat, just how much, so yeah, frankly, for me, the sugary stuff had to go) and the places that prepackage your meals. Now, I think they are a great idea, the ones that ship you meals, so if you only eat what they send you, you lose weight, I think those are nice. I was tempted to try them before, but the only thing about them is they are expensive, they are processed, and if you don't learn to cook the healthy stuff and readjust your normal diet, as soon as you stop eating them, you end up reverting back to old weight gaining habits.
This isn't just about weight loss. This is about changing my lifestyle and my family's to be healthy, eat healthy, eat the right amounts, and to keep the weight off. My favorite side effect is my family has never eaten healthier. My boys, ate spinach! and cous cous! They only eat whole grain bread. I tricked them into fried tofu! Yes, they thought it was chicken, hey whatever works (I only do tofu once in a while, I'm still not sure if it's good for you or not ha ha). All our cereals are naturally under 6 grams of sugar. I got them eating quaker oats from the big container, rather than the instant sugared packets.
Mom and healthy meals, 1
Family and desirious junk, 0
Mommxxor for the Winxxor.
Oh and please, I think I mentioned, I don't believe that if you 'deprive your children' of super sugary treats and soda and cup cakes and twinkies, that they will go out and binge. I think that's an excuse. I believe in having healthy food in the house, including lots of yummy fruits to munch on, and letting them have cookies and stuff once in a while, and explaining why we don't have all the junk food in our house. No child wants to be fat, so if you appeal to the 'this is what makes you healthy and fit and looking good' they will continue with that trend. If one of them starts getting chunky I'm just going to readjust the diet and pipe up the exercise, but if you eat healthy, it's not usually an issue. So bleah.
And yes, this isn't just about me, it's about my children and my husband. And if my three year olds can be convinced that salmon is 'pink meat' and trout 'white chicken' and tofu 'chicken' then your kids can, too!
oh and to ensure you all understand nothing is perfect, Drama Girl ate raw brown sugar at the coffee shop yesterday. /boggle....
I mean, okay she's ten. She was already sugared up from the fruit berry smoothie. I asked her to get me some brown sugar, and she got me a quarter cup.... /boggle... I meant the packets... and then she munched on the brown sugar before I saw what she was doing... so we had a little chat... I mean... that's the equivalent of one of those powdered sugar treats, remember those, you'd cut open the tip, open your mouth, and down all the sugar? Egads. She'd just have a cookie, too... so you see, it's ESSENTIAL we don't let kids make these decisions on their own... impulse always wins...
Sunday, July 29, 2007
See, every time buffalo meat goes on sale, I want to try it. I hear good things about it... it's lower in fat and cholesterol than other types of meat, it's got those good omega 3s, more protein, and it's a leaner cut. I also hear it tastes better.
So I bought me a pot roast. You have to be careful with buffalo meat usually because it cooks faster than other meat, but for the pot roast, long, slow cooking was key. So seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic, browned it, and tossed it in my crock pot with a can of diced tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions, a dash of worcestershire, a sprinkle of basil, a few tablespoons of white wine, and a couple of cups of water and a beef bouillion cube (it was a 1.8 lb roast), and let it cook for about six and a half hours (yep, I looove crock pot cooking). I thought it'd take longer, but my crock pot is a large one, and most foods on the 8 hour setting are finished in six.
My family loved it. It, they told me, was a keeper recipe. Six ounces of this meat had only 200 calories in it, and only 20 from fat. Egads! That's good for meat.
Now, I am not a big fan of pot roasts, which is ironic, considering it's my family's favorite meal. They love my pot roasts, and I can't stand them. But this one, this one I could stand. I'm going to try a few more cuts of buffalo when they aren't crazy pricey, but the pot roast was worth the cost.
So, um, yeah, Go Forth and Eat Buffalo....
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
See, I have a thing for tousley hair. Nothing is more adorable and cute to me than little messy haired boys running about with the wind blowing their loose, untamed locks every which way. Nothing is more adorable than those sights of bleary-eyed, bed-head, sweaty brows crawling up to me, just waiting for my hands to brush those soft, sandy brown bangs back, to nuzzle kisses in the depths of their boy-meets-shampoo scented heads. Nothing is more natural, correct, right, than boys with unkempt hair. It goes with their dirty elbows and scraped knees. It matches the dust clinging to their shorts and shirts. It's Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. It's living without worries or inhibitions, it's freedom to just be...
And every time they run out back, their toes free of kicked-off shoes, their hair flying whichever way it may, diving into the grass, digging in the dirt, I think how wonderfully marvelous it must be to be a little boy playing outside, doing their own thing, running just to run, digging to dig, and falling in the grass just to feel how soft it is, and it is then I can't bear the thought of those scissors cutting away a piece of that haphazard existence. Not yet, not quite yet. Maybe, maybe I'll do it this fall.
Monday, July 23, 2007
About aisle 23 he looked tired and I put him in the carriage. Almost done boys, almost done...
Checkout line... almost done boys almost done... but Bear looks like he's going to pass out... awww poor wittle Bear.... I pick poor wittle Bear up and bring him round to the card swiper... when... without even so much as the 'mom I don't feel so good' I got from Turbo with the Milk Yak, I got regurgitated produce, brightly colored regurgitated produce, all over me.
They brought me a chair and a roll of paper towels to help me and the yakking child.
They swiped my card for me.
They told me it was okay (it better be, I spent more than $300 bucks there... family of five, don't go agoggle on me).
We get to the car.
We get home.
Bear EATS MORE.
Bear throws up more.
Bear lays down.
Bear is happy.
Mom gets sick.
ALL AFTERNOON.... and evening, yak yak, and later that evening... just...miiissserrraabllle...
Bear got over it in an hour.
I ate toast on Saturday.
I couldn't stand the sight of all the fresh produce on my counter. It made me want to yak more.
I couldn't make anyone food. It was nauseating.
Later in the evening I ate harmless looking breadsticks from the local pizza place.
That was it.
Sunday, I was finally able to actually eat something, by around noon.
Today, I walked instead of wogged, I wasn't up to wogging speed this morning.
I had breakfast.
I feel relatively normal.
I have no idea what made me so ill. I thought the two yak events were unrelated, but clearly, we had SOMETHING, because all three of us got sick. I don't know. I'll know for sure soon, though. Hubby McRed has about a week delay time on getting whatever is running round the house. If he starts moaning around Wednesday, we can say it's a bug.
So that's where I was... aren't you all feeling so well informed now?
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Everything today is just hitting me wrong.
I read a My Turn Essay that made me want to find the whining pre-mom prima donna and slap her upside the head with a 'Aren't you a bit full of yourself chickie' which, my friends tell me, was me possibly being over-sensitive. I'd link it, but then you may think I was being over-sensitive, and we can't have that.
I discovered a new blogging site by parents about parenting, and it hit me. I'm a parent. Hey! But nobody really cares, because I'm not a parenting personality. Which led to, come to think of it, the fact I don't actually have an identity in my blog as anything other than.... a blogger....
My daughter ate EVERY STINKIN" BASIL LEAF off the basil plant I carefully brought back to life after finding basil-eating bugs on it, and I reacted not so calmly. I plan to have a full container cottage garden/herb/veggie garden next year... and she killed this years one and only crop...
My son yakked Horizon's organic vanilla milk all over me. They aren't supposed to have dairy, but Turbo usually tolerates it well. Surprise! He then proceeded to take a four hour nap. I'll never get him to bed now.
I'm preparing for back to school and fall, and it's only mid-July, but I FEEL it's Mid-August, so my seasons are off, which is throwing me off, because I"m now craving temperatures below 85.
And I just am craving... salt.
See? I am just in an off mood.
Monday, July 16, 2007
It's really cool, only 3'8" deep, has a waterfall rock, a cute slide, and little mini-geysers. The boys went nuts. They had a blast. I paid way too much money, frankly, but I'll probably go again since Turbo was so happy he clenched his fists and started shaking. He does that when powerful joy and glee strikes him, it's hilarious. Bear was a bit more hesitant. He didn't go in the creek/river like Turbo did, so was a bit slower. Once they were in though, boy, were they in. They kept running up to me to tell me how much they loved the pool. Repeatedly. As if they've never seen water before...
I am so excited they finally go in the water now, that I'm going to hit Target this weekend and hope they aren't all out of floatie tube thingies.
We only stayed for an hour, because Turbo started falling and swallowing water every two seconds. I hated to ruin his fun, but when kids get to this point, it's really best to remove them from the water. You know how it is, too tired to stay, too happy to leave... they got up early this morning so that may have been part of it. Next time I'll let them stay longer. This Friday I'm planning to take them to the lake again. They can build more mud tunnels.
They were so good at the pool and I was in such a weirdly relaxed, good mood I took them to McDonalds *I had a grilled chicken sandwich with no mayo and a yogurt and it STILL managed to be almost half my day's portions!*
Then I brought them home thinking they would crash. HA HA HA HA. No. Ah well. I sent them upstairs to play for an hour so I could have mommy time. I've started reading the local newspaper. I feel old fashioned, not getting my news online...
Drama Girl enjoyed it, but we're having a bit of a hard summer with her. It's not too bad, because she's ten, but because school is out, she's not in any summer activities and we moved here in April, she doesn't have a ton of local friends to hang with. I don't actually recall having anyone to hang out with in summer until high school, but I was hoping her experience would be better... well, next summer she'll have a camp or something, so she won't be bored, only one more month to go... and as long as I give her crafts and take her to the water, I think we'll be okay.
Playgroups, I'm a fan of, lets get the kiddies together, but lets face it, before 2 or 3, you're really doing it to get yourself together with other moms, cool.
Preschool, okay, if it's free... I mean no offense but, I don't believe the high cost of preschool justifies the result. As in, I think my kids are brilliant, of course, but I don't need to send them to preschool for them to learn letters and numbers and run around and play and socialize. That's what playgroups and neighborhood kids are for, and what school is allegedly for.
Music class, tumble class, swimming class, tae kwan do for toddlers, art class, yoga class....
Great... if you have the money I suppose. I don't have the money, not for two of them. But even if I did, I'm just so not interested. I've tried some of those classes, and it left me feeling... well, worse than if I hadn't ever gone, and my boys didn't really enjoy it. It may be because I hate the compare game. It may be because I dragged them there knowing they secretly want to play at the park. It may be I just haven't found the right magic classes.
It's the mom compare game I hate more than anything though, and there isn't one class I've gone to where the compare game wasn't played....
"MY two year old loves the guitar so much, we bought him one and he practices because he's so musically gifted..."
"MY little gal is already singing her ABCs, her numbers and yesterday, started reading Harry Potter, I mean, her older brother didn't start on Harry Potter til he was FOUR!"
"My son's preschool teacher said I should consider having his IQ tested because he's so mature beyond his age..."
"Hmm, your sons are pretty rough and tumble... Jr. is more of a gentle soul..." (you calling my kid thugs? only I can do that...)
"I've got our girl into soccer, and she's a natural..."
"what about your sons?"
Well... um they make some AWESOME tunnels with mud, they can run like a sonofa...runner... i've never seen kids move so fast... they love scootering on the sidewalk, and I do believe Bear is musical, because he likes to bang on things and dance and sing to "you are my sunshine' and Turbo is CLEARLY going to be an architectural genius because you should see the towers he can build with lego.... both could go in the direction of Hollywood though, in stunt choreography, because let me tell you, they've staged some brilliant crashes in our upstairs hall with their trucks and trains, total mayhem and chaos... "
I mean what am I supposed to say? I don't KNOW what my boys are good at yet, they are only three and a half. They try EVERYTHING. They play drums, they sing, they build blocks, they build tracks, they toss balls, they kick balls, they tackle each other, they make up stories, they act out different characters using different voices, they run outside, they ride scooters, they don't like Sesame Street but love Dragon Tales, and they can count and recognize some letters. No, they can't read, but they put the books on their laps and pretend to read, sometimes they take mommy's books, they love stories, they love the kid yoga videotape, but classes? No. Compare them to other kids? How can I?
Kids are sooo different, and to say one is musically gifted at two is fine, but in my opinion ALL kids at two are musically gifted. Because all kids love music. They are ALL brilliant. Unless your kid REALLY is a genius, and if your kid really is a genius, he's probably not in a playgroup or kiddie class, s/he is just as brilliant as every other child.
But modern mommyhood makes us play the compare game... Johnny is social, Timmy is not, but Timmy is introspective and shy, whereas Johnny is a bit rough. Susie is musically gifted but Tina is already a star ballerina and clearly athletic. Ugh.
So, then, we move on to the next favorite question...
"What parenting method do you use."
"You know, what method?"
"There are methods?"
"well, what books did you read on parenting"
"That method is...?"
"Oh, um, naughty wall, time out, toy time out, mommy time out, mommy hide in bathroom, just listen to me this once puhleeeze and guilt (as in, okay i've had it if you want to go ahead and destroy mommy's special things and make her cry go ahead...) and a belief in the 'I can't take it honey you deal with them"
"So when they act up in the store (not that Lizzie ever does, she's SUCH a good girl) what do you do?"
I mean... can we stop? Am I the only mom who's kids just play outside, and at the park? Who's not in a playgroup, music class, swim class, genius in training class... Am I the only mom who doesn't make a conscious choice to not leap up when one of the kid falls down and cries... "I am not going to go to him, I am going to watch him for a moment, and determine the nature of his injury, and then, decide if I should respond, I read that's the best way to handle it..." as opposed to "oh huh, he went boom. well then. just a scrape good. No no it's okay, I don't need neosporin. No I dont' think it'll get infected. No really, he doesn't need a bandaid. Wash it off? Nah, I'll just let him play a bit more....we'll wash it at home."
I do believe in certain uncompromising principles:
Early bedtime (8 p..m)
Three healthy meals and two snacks.
Shoes when you play oustide
Helments when you scooter.
Time outs in your room.
No pushing, hitting, yelling, screaming or throwing things.
You know, things like that.
I make it up.
And, apparently, according to the eldest male brain in the household, my hips have returned.
I haven't seen a doctor, but I know when I do my main issue will be 'do I have the cholesterol issue my sister has...' I hope not. I mean, really, I'm doing what i can! My sister is very active and a size 4/6, so you see, it's quite probably hereditary.
Friday, July 13, 2007
I don't really want this to be a lose weight/recipe blog, BUUUT it's something that I'm doing that's really working well, soooo MUAHAHAH...
This is a recipe I made, including the paste which is awesome if you like spicy. But I tweaked it, because i didn't have all the ingredients. It's sooo yummy. There's the original recipe, from the vegan website, and then there's mine below...
Cous-Cous (From Morocco)
Got this recipe from a Moroccan friend.
- 1 Onion
- 1 fennel
- 1 green pepper
- 1 Carrot
- 5 large potatoes
- 200g Instant Cous-Cous
- 200 ml hot vegetable stock
- 5 tomatoes (peeled)
- 1 tbs ginger
- 1 tbs turmeric
- 1 tbs coriander
- 1 tbs cumin
- 1 tbs cinnamonm salt and pepper
- a twist of lemon
- 1/2 tbs Harissa
Wash and chop up the vegetables.
Put some oil into a large frying pan and heat. Add the onion and fennel and fry for 1 minute. Reduce heat and add the other vegetables. Simmer for 5 Minutes.
Meanwhile put the cous-cous into the vegetable stock and leave for 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Add all the spices to the vegetables and finally stir in the cous-cous.
What I Did: (it's not very much like the original after all lol but still YUMMY)
I cut up some carrots, onions and small potatoes.
Put some oil in frying pan. Add vegetables and fry. (I used some broth to keep the potatoes from sticking, but whatever works) When almost done, added two tomatoes.
Microwaved a cup and a half of chicken broth til it was bubbling (about four minutes)
Poured cup and a half of couscous in chicken broth, covered, let sit for five minutes. (I LOVE couscous)
Added cooked vegetables to couscous.
Added 1 tbsp ginger, ground tumeric, ground coriander, and ground cinammon. Added a dash of salt and a tsp or two of pepper. Added the paste. Spritzed lemon over it all.
Put in whole red pepper that had it's seeds removed. (I.e. I stuffed the pepper with it). There was extra couscous so I just put it around the red pepper, since no one else would eat it, I didn't bothers stuffing more peppers.
Baked at 375 til red pepper was done.
Harissa is basically a paste made from taking about ten dried chili peppers, soaking them in hot water for 30 minutes, then taking the stems off and seeds out, and adding it to a food processor with three garlic cloves, minced, two tbs of olive oil, a tsp each of ground coriander, ground cumin and ground caraway, and puree' it until it's a paste.
It's clear to me that I need a food processor, as trying to make this paste in a blender only really made the blender very dirty, and me very annoyed.
"Damn. Let me see."
"Damn, you look skinny! Ooh boy! Damn. That outfit is great on you."
(Hubby McRed, it seems, has a thing for yoga pants and work out tees...)
There is no other greater motivator than sincere enthusiasm from the male side of life.
Later, I'm going to expound on the merits of cous cous, but for now, tah, I have a free day to play with.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
It's stuff most women already know, because, duh, women know everything... but I suggest all you 'only use 7,000 words a day' men consider reading it.
I think the most interesting part is where women's brains change throughout our lives while men's seem to stay the same...
Jobless Wonder Mom.
So you know what I've been doing unsuccessfully today.... yep... job hunting. I took about a week or two break before I lost my mind.
The search is on. I wish it were more like American Idol. Only it'd be Lahdeeda's Employer... that's right, HUNDREDS of employers can interview with me, but WHO will be the lucky one I choose to work for? Find out, on our new show, Who Will Lahdeeda Pick, airing weekly after "The Apprentice." Instead it's more like sitting on a desert island in an uncharted sea hoping someone will find the smoke signals, words spelled out of coconuts and such.
So on to other things.
I didn't wog this morning (wogging is when you start by jogging, get tired by the time you hit the curb, walk, see people, then jog again, til you can't breathe, then walk, then feel almost athletic, and start jogging again... repeat this for 40 minutes... or until you finally manage to wog back to your door...) so this afternoon I decided to make the trip to the store for milk a walk rather than drive. It's about a mile, maybe a bit more, round trip. Then, rather than down a Starbucks 400 calorie loaded frappucinno, I made myself an iced coffee frappe which is like, 50 calories and very good.
I realized today the true difference between dieting and changing your lifestyle. Dieting is temporary. You THINK and truly believe once you lose the ten pounds, you'll eat right and be good, but you never are, and it's because to really keep the weight off, you have to change what you eat daily. And you can't just do it five days a week and munch out on the weekends. It doesn't work that way. I also think low fat foods aren't really helpful, unless it's low fat dairy. Like all the low fat chocolate, ice cream and crackers? All they do is leave an unsatisfying taste in your mouth so you eat too much, or make you want the real thing so bad you end up eating it.
So, I'm still drinking tons of water, avoiding the diet coke, which ALWAYS makes me want to eat potato chips, and not ordering pizza as much as I used to. Go me. My biggest challenge now is incorporating strength training. It's not even that much of a challenge. Honestly, I just need to pick a program. I've got all the stuff. But so many choices!
Last night, instead of mashed potatoes, which are yummy but make me feel like a big log, I steamed, mashed and pureed cauliflower with some butter. It looked like mashed potatoes and tasted great without making me feel like a log.
My lunch today was actually a breakfast...
Whole grain bagel
Tomatoes, cooked in a skillet
Egg (Protein! if you can't handle the cholesterol do egg whites)
I cooked the egg
toasted the bagel
sauteed the spinach and tomato
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Thank you Momma's World! I didn't forget, I SWEAR!
I was just so shocked... I love Rosie the Riveter, btw. She is one of my favorite images of that era, the first women to really go out in great numbers in America and work...
I'm also going to give the rockin' guy award: to Capt. Picard's Journal. He gets a gazillion nominations as it is, but I haven't seen this one. His writing is a nice little escape for me. A little sci-fi that takes me to the Star Trek universe, but a more comical, funny one. As a child, I watched Capt. James T. Kirk, and then, when it came back, devoured Deep Space Nine (a bit soap oper-y) Voyager and New Gen, along with every single freakin Star Trek movie... As a child, I used to dream of one day working on space ships. I was upset for years when I realized we'd never get to that point in technology during my lifetime. His posts are fun and help me de-stress.
Friday, July 06, 2007
I'm sure this isn't new to everyone.
It's the Raw Movement... a belief that the best way to eat everything is... well, raw. Your stove becomes storage (can you believe I just almost got my finger stuck in the corona bottle? How embarrassing would that have been? but my lime is stuck in the neck!) So you sprout beans and other things that sprout and eat those, you eat all your vegetables raw, and you incorporate more nuts into your diet and make milk out of nuts, like almond milk. Now, don't laugh at the almond milk. Seeing as my son can't have dairy, we run the gamut (is gamut a word?) from soy to rice to almond milk. Unless you're a total raw-ie, this essentially means you become a vegan, though some eat raw meat... You can use a dehydrator though.
Where am I on this? Well, I have the book, and it's got some interesting ideas and a lot of good information.(Lime has vitamin C, I think, so that's like, a plus for the beer) It's one of those situations where you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I cannot live without soup, my favorite meat, lamb, and warm cooked veggies such as eggplant and squash. Some eggplant just is BEGGING to be cooked. However, if you try to eat as much as you can raw, you end up, SURPRISE, eating healthily, because processed foods are not, well, raw. I really think what Americans need are a 'VEGGIE FAD" seriously. Lets face it. Most of our problems stem from the fact we have an aversion to vegetables more exotic than say, frozen brocoli, corn on the cob and carrots. Lettuce without a wrapper is suspicious. (Mmmm chilled Corona... I'm a simple woman...)
So, where does this leave mua? Nowhere new, really, except with some nifty new recipes to help me incorporate veggies and grains this family tends to lack, such as cauliflower, sweet potatoes (I LOVE sweet potatoes and replace russet potatoes with sweet potatoes, healthier and yummier) coconuts etc. I do plan on trying the Almond Milk recipe as soon as I figure out where to find a nutmilk bag. Not to be mistaken for other nut products, and having nothing to do with nut jokes or the nuts of the male half of the species.
Today, I just returned from the grocery store so my fruit-n-veggie platter is overflowing. That little idea for that big platter really is the best thing I did. Whenever it is empty, I know I need to shop, and the rule is the veggies and fruit get used, not tossed, so if something is looking pretty ripe, it's used somehow in dinner. The best thing is my kids eat tons of fruit and veggies, because it's what they see all day long.
I did add two new things that aren't usually there, and my new goal is to add a new veggie once a week, hopefully finding yummy recipes for usually ignored veggies.
This week we have butternut squash, which I love, and cauliflower, which I understand, is great cooked and mashed.
So the raw movement is great for the promotion of vegetables, but what I am interested in is traditional Chinese medicine.
According to my supermarket flyer magazine (yes they have one) food in TCM (traditional chinese medicine) is warm, cool or neutral. Yang is the energy that dominates the summer months and Yin the winter, and when we are in the Yang months, we need cool, foods such as vegetables, fruits and juices, mainly raw, and fish and chicken. In the winter, we need warm foods such as red meat and pork, and heavier herbs and butter and so on and so forth. This seems to be more in line with how I feel.
This is my courtesy recipe of the week, but it's my normal breakfast. This is quick and filling, and frankly, not original... but boy did I feel clever figuring it out on my own... Oh, and my kids LOVE this breakfast, too, though Turbo and Bear get soy yogurt. BTW, I hear soy milk is great in smoothies, rather than milk. I know this because Turbo and Bear didn't drink all of it at Mama and Papa Bear's house, so Mama Bear used it in her smoothie.
Some vanilla or plain yogurt, not flavored, and light.
Put in cup or bowl (even if it's one of those individual sizes, but it's becuase I'm picky about my granola)
Toss in some granola (proper granola, that's healthy and good for you and does not contain chocolate, or m and ms..)
A bit o flaxseed, cuz why not.
Fresh berries if any are on hand.
Yum. And better for you than cereal, and a lot more filling than you'd think.
Oh and, anyone have any ideas on what to do with coconuts? I bought them since they were on sale!
(new cast notes... Mama and Papa Bear equal Fatherinlaw and wife... Grandma Bear and Grandpa Bear equal Motherinlaw and husband... and yes yes it's corny but whatever)
It was the view. See, on one side of me, mountains. On the other, flat lands. I can see for miles... and miles... The lake part is all plains. The mountains were behind me and 30 minutes the other way. It's nice that we are only 15 minutes from the mountains, but sometimes, when I don't see them, I get confused and think I'm in Nebraska.
Minus the corn.
So, guess what I did today?
Yep. Took the kiddies to one of the few natural glacier deposit lakes that is now a reservoir, and let them play right by the water, because they love the lake, but aren't inclined to actually go IN it. Drama and I went in it.
Highlights of the Day:
* Spending an hour finding one swim shoe
* Hottie McLifeguard
* Daughter seeing member of opposite sex she found appealing and blurting out 'Cutie Alert'
*Making water tunnels for trains
*Realizing not a lot of people bother going to this big empty lake, and prefer crowded city swimming pools
* Realizing it's cheaper for me to take my truckload o' kids and pay for parking rather than pay for all the kids and me in a crowded city swimming pool.
* Going grocery shopping with toddlers that had fallen asleep two minutes prior to entering the parking lot
* Hubby McRed suggesting I may be turning into a vegetable because I bought him organic beer... he meant vegetable as in vegetarian. It seems that for a primordial carnivore, a diet consisting of lots of vegetables is slightly alarming, and can throw word usage off. Why he equated organic beer with vegetables, I'm not certain. Perhaps he thinks they snuck some carrots in it?
* Buying organic beer because, why, heck-n-crap, it cost as much as regular beer and I was curious
* Coming home and not having to cook (Tonight's dinner is a yummy cheat salad of mozarella, basil and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and black pepper... not a full meal per se, but it's hot and I'm not that hungry)
* Figuring out the secret to good iced coffee made in the blender
Okay, on that last one I cheated, and googled it.
It's how I find my calories, too, I google for calorie calculators.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Because I'm short, I am allotted less calories than, oh, everyone else.
Ahhh... the HORROR....
Truthfully though, I'm not craving or starving, and since I'm eating the right foods, I'm not starving.
My real concern is when I hit the point where I'm only eating 1500 calories a day (I am, like, five feet tall, so technically should only eat 1200 calories a DAY...HORROR...) I will need to be really good and it will take a bit longer unless I discover a love of long distance running.... ha ha ha....
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Drama girl was grumpy because she can't do yoga since her room isn't clean, and she's also going to do the adult yoga, she's old enough.
Turbo doesn't just jump into new things, so he sat and watched me and Bear and the show, and occasionally did a pose or two.
Bear loved it, so Bear and I were trees, butterflies, volcanoes, dogs, and other things. He liked being a tree, and said we should also do branches, and the volcano.
Bear didn't quite hit the correct form, but we can work on that once it is routine. If I tried to get them to do every pose right, they would revolt and not do it. Because Bear did most of the poses, he's expended some energy. Of course, they didn't do the relaxing poses, but again, I think that will come.
This is a 35 minute tape so we'll be using this as our bedtime routine. It's fun, too!
Do Not Fly.
If you do fly,
Do Not Check Your Bags.
If you check your bags,
Don't Say I Didn't Warn You.
If you check your bags, and your flight is canceled or delayed and you don't have your bags, you can't just get on a stand by list as easily, because they also need to find and move your bags.
The horrors, oh, the horrors, of popping out about 1K in tickets, only to find that your flight was canceled, and that they scheduled you for the FOLLOWING day without, of course, notifying you. That was not acceptable, and I had to get to my destination using two different airlines than the one I booked, and giving up the shorter tail end flight, making my brother drive two hours instead of twenty minutes to pick us up.
This, of course, is the 'norm' now.
The problem is, is when did Americans become so complacent with bad service, that they accept 'it's the weather and we can't control the weather' as an excuse for overbooking, lost luggage, bankrupt airlines (probably because of their wonderful customer service) lack of actual PEOPLE to help you when you have issues (try finding an airline representative at a gate, inside security) and a complete disregard for the American flying population that they simply brush off our complaints with an arrogant contempt? Or with canned managerial responses that equate to 'It is not our fault, it's not our fault, it's not our fault, it's never our fault.' It's the equivalent to the Air Force's "It was a weather balloon" explanation for everything from natural phenomena to test flights to things they themselves couldn't figure out.
They also accidentally wiped my daughter and I off of our return flight. /roll eyes/ there is nothing like paying for something, not getting it, and then, being expected to be happy that eventually they got you to where you were going. Imagine buying a red convertible with four seats and when you pick up the car, you get a two door, two seat hard top. No one would put up with it. But we put up with an antiquated airline system run by airline companies that don't seem to care about their passengers. Shoot, some airlines don't even offer cheezy bags of peanuts anymore!
Someone needs to put a swift boot in the airline industry's ass and help them join our century.
Another time, probably my other blog, I'll talk about this past week, the three days I spent in the middle of nowhere Indiana with my brothers and sister and father, visiting my very ill mother. She was expected to pass away, but apparently, no one informed her. You go Ma. But sadly, there is only one destination for her now, and it's not so much a road as a short, dirt path that will reach it's destination soon.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Right now, I regularly toss the boys toys away, but they are too young to notice...
My eldest, Drama Girl, is ten though.
We've been employing this method successfully since she's been four.
You give her the news ahead of time, and set up the rules.
You have to clean your room, and you can't come out until it's done, have fun, knock yourself out, however, if it's not done by Friday night, then Saturday we're going to do it Mommy's Way.
Mommy's way is the Garbage Bag method. I usually have to employ it once every four to six months.
It helps children prioritize between their best loved treasures and things they could (and should) get rid of.
The rules are, clean everything up in this amount of time and what ever is left on the floor gets tossed, and you don't get to be in the room....
I say, okay, and go in and empty out the toy bins of things that don't belong there, leaving actual toys in the bins. Tags, cardboard boxes, socks, shoes and t-shirts, along with empty shopping bags, get thrown into the middle of the floor. Sometimes it's necessary to throw the whole bin out but that's up to Mom.
Then I pull the red metal bin out. This is the bin where she can keep all her papers, drawings, pictures etc. I bought all her bins from target, by the way. This one is on wheels and hides in her closet, where Mommy rarely has to see it. Once this bin is full, she has to go through it, or never add to it again.
She has a predetermined amount of time to take all the things in the middle of her floor and put them in bins, toss them in the trash, throw them in the laundry pile, or put them in her desk.
Usually about an hour, two if I'm feeling generous.
At the end of this time period, Mom goes in, kicks Drama girl out (it is imperative they leave the room) and tosses everything left on the floor in the trash can.
She always asks for more time. The answer has to be no. This, in their eyes, means that you won't actually throw the toys away.
The first few times I got to throw a LOT of junk away, because she didn't believe I couldn't be as attached to her 'things' as she was. HA HA HA.
Now, I only need to throw things out every other year or so. Today, I may throw things out, because it's been so long since I've done this she seems to have 'forgotten' I am big on throwing things out.
And you never get mad at them for not finishing, and never say 'SEE< if you just cleaned this big bag wouldn't be going in the dump....'
Just say, Sorry, I wish you finished too. It sucks. Okay, well, it's clean now, sooo... enjoy!
Off to go fill up the garbage bag now....
Friday, June 22, 2007
You are what you eat.
So every time I pick something up, I think, do I want to be this?
For instance, sugary cereal. Do I want to be a big sugary blob? No.
Kashi whole grain cereal. Do I want to be thin stalks of wheat and happy grain? Yes.
Big refined bag of white flour? No. (i.e. good bye white bread and processed foods)
Light, ethereal mass of floaty cous cous? Yes.
Fresh, bright eggplant? Yes.
Okay some of it is the language, but you know, it works!
And when I get hungry, I drink a glass of water before I eat... that also helps.
Like you know, I KNOW that this information is not new, but it's the only thing that helped things 'click' for me, so now I'm seeing results.
Betty Crocker's Healthy New Choices cookbook is where my yummiest healthy recipes come from, that and the 'best of' cooking light seasonal mags. Though this latest summer issue has some yummies in it.
Okay, here goes....
Mixed salad greens (duh, it's a salad) any kind you like
2 cups cooked, cut up chicken breast
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup plain fat free yogurt (I used lowfat)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon rasberry or red wine vinegar (I found a raspberry vinegar dressing)
Mix in blender for 15 seconds on high until smooth.
The dressing is sooo yummy especially if you chill it.
Toss everything together.
Put Raspberry dressing on it.
My daughter LOVED it.
I made a fruit salad for the boys because they don't like raspberries (what is wrong with them?)
This was more filling than I thought it would be, and it is so perfect as a summer dinner. If you want to impress your friends with your healthy cuisine and culinary expertise, I suppose you could add chilled white wine. It's literally refreshing. Considering it was 90 last night here, it was perfect.
For those who think this sort of eating is a waste of time, HA, I'd like to announce that another inch is missing, and I am not looking for it.
I might also point out this also means you must eat a fairly healthy breakfast and lunch...
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I had a cool job. I had an office, with a window even!
I got to wear jeans to work. I got to wear shorts. Sneakers. Hats. If I really wanted, I could have worn pajamas.
And no, I didn't work from home.
Ah, and here I am, in Colorado...
Monday, June 18, 2007
The one creature I swore I would never be.
You have all seen Her, for it is always a Her.
She is the woman with the half filled grocery cart, list in hand.
She is in comfortable clothing, never heels, never anything that will constrict her movement.
She comes with children, messy-haired, often with food-encrusted faces, and stained clothing. You can't be sure what they look like, they move to fast, speak too loudly and if you do try to stare, you will slowly begin to feel dizzy, followed by a mind-numbing thrumming you hear in your head, and then, you will see the yellowish color that usually precedes a faint.
These children, who start off with shoes but may lose them at some point, are an extension of the Woman.
They are loud, and She is loud. They do not stay in any one place, but rather move around the Woman in a circular motion, dancing, stomping, crawling, singing, fast, fast, loud, loud, never slow, never soft. She too, is in constant motion, an arm stretching here to pull one back, a twirl there to catch another, a bend and reach to look into the eyes of a third. A 'good job' and kiss when one surprises her with obedience.
Her voice can be heard loudly several aisles down, corralling the wild ones, her goal -- simply to keep them as close to the cart as possible. She does not deal with the noise. The noise is to them what oxygen is to us.
She is a menace to those trying to get down the same aisle, because though there is room for two carts, the constant motion of Children and Mom around the cart block the way. It takes a large and loud effort of high-pitched noises on the part of the Woman to make the cyclone of children stop and stand by the cart. This noise can be heard 14 aisles down, and in produce.
The elder sibling, who should know better, brings organization to the scattered children, leading them to higher and higher states of frenzied behavior. They now dance and sing loudly in the aisle, rather than simply hopping and jumping around the cart.
The Woman is always trying to find a bottle or box or carton of something, usually pushed all the way back by one of the children. At the same time, she is imploring the wayward creatures to use walking feet, enticing compliance with a mix of rules, threats and treats.
By the time this Woman, this MOM has made it to the cash register, she has lines on her face that were not there before, a cart full of mostly things on the list, some strange items she politely explains she does not want, and usually spends a few moments digging through the cart for her purse, since during the first few aisles, it becomes buried. By this time, she's composed herself, and dons a fake plastered smile that dares the world to believe she wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world, that this is nothing to her, not even the zle in frazzle. And when they kindly ask if she would like help, the answer is most usually yes, because it takes everything just to get the children to the car, never mind the groceries as well.
This is the Grocery Store Mom.
If you see Her, be kind, and simply go down the next aisle and back track, because She can not leave and come back later. She needs the food, has already put off the trip several times, and is there because She can no longer wait. It is not her intent to annoy you, make you grumpier, or inflict her misbehaving bored children on you. In fact, She went because it is a time that nobody else ever goes. If you feel you must scowl, or glower or glare, it is okay. She will not see it. She will not even be aware of your presence, such is the strength of her resolve to 'get this shopping done' and the intensity with which She tends to the children.
Her goal is to get in and out as fast as possible, and while She would love it if her children were silent, complacent passengers on the trip, it is the nature of her children to be loud and in motion, and the mere fact they are in the same aisle as the Woman is an amazing achievement that can only be appreciated by other creatures with multiple offspring.
Occasionally, we have random drug talks. Along with random alcohol talks, random cigarette talks, and some skirting about the sex talks.
Today was random drugs.
Today's discussion included prescription drugs, her friend's prescription drugs, her friends ADD drugs and the sad sad truth that if her friends started doing drugs, she'd have to say no, and would more than likely lose them as a friend, but it was far more important to be true to yourself, then make the wrong choices your friends make.
I also explained that, no, it is not possible to be friends with your friends if they do drugs, because they would hang out with other kids who do drugs, and when you got together, that would pretty much be what was going on. I mean lets give our kids credit, if we teach them they can say no, then they can. At the same time, lets understand the pre-teen and teen mentality... do as others around you do. This doesn't mean they aren't capable of individuality, but the reality is, they are far more prone to try to be like the kids around them. If you are constantly hanging around kids that do drugs, eventually, you're not going to see the point in saying no.
Also included in this little random chat that she started, was the issue of adults giving their teenage kids and friends alcohol. This is where my rant starts.
I do not believe it is ever okay for an adult to provide alcohol to a kid's friends. I do not want my daughter drinking underage. Will she? Possibly. Will I laugh it off? No, I would have a very serious discussion with her about it. If I sent my child over to a party, where there was parental supervision, to me, parental supervision means there will be no alcohol served. Another parent does not have the right to break the law and provide my child with alcohol. If said parent does that, said parent deserves to be in court. I just don't approve of parents making the decision to serve alcohol to another parent's child, because they think hell, the kids will do it anyway.
Which brings me to 'kids will do it anyway, might as well do it where we can control it.'
Well that's a good attitude. First, your kids 'may not' do 'whatever' anyway, if you as a parent have open discussions and talks. They may actually say 'no thanks.' Second, if your child did do it anyway, doesn't necessarily mean you have to condone it. You could, oh, say, parent your child. You could impart consequences to this action. I.e. you go out and get drunk, you then get grounded., along with a nice nifty lecture on the dangers of drinking at such a young age.
I am not against drinking, just irresponsible drinking, and lets face it, teenagers who drink do not drink responsibly.
My daughter will be confronted with the issue of drugs, drinking, smoking and sex, throughout the course of her teen years. I am teaching her to say no. I am talking to her about how dangerous it is and why. On all four issues. Does this mean she will never drink, smoke, take a drug or have sex? Hopefully, she will say no. But if she does, I, as a parent, will not just shrug my shoulders and say ah well, she's a kid, they all do it. I will address the issue, talk to her about it, explain the consequences and if it's drugs, there will be parental consequences, if it's drinking, the same, if it's sex, yeah, that's a tricky one, but there'd be a consequence, but more of a very serious talk about sex and partners and all that, that one is tricky. Hopefully, she won't get there until she's mature enough to handle it.
I will never, however, help kids drink or smoke or any of that, just because 'they would do it anyway.'