Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Das' My Boy!

I found out today from Patrick's teacher that starting yesterday he will be spending 20min every day in a second grade classroom for reading group, along with another boy from the K class next door. Apparently, on their school reading chart test thingamajig, which rates kids' levels from A-Z, he's reading at Z and comprehending at M, meaning he can read words and entire paragraphs he doesn't understand. That puts him in second grade for comprehension, and basically middle school for plain reading ability, at age 6.

(Before any of you make comments on what a brainiac my boy is, consider this: he got in trouble today for swatting the other children in his class with a flyswatter he found during center time. Yeah. That's my boy!)

He is pleased as punch at this new development. I know it makes him feel about nine feet tall, plus he gets attention from bigger kids, plus he gets to leave his class (like today, when he was supposed to be at his seat with his head down after the teacher caught him with the aforementioned flyswatter). My first thought (OK, my second) was - I hope he doesn't make an arse of himself in front of the second graders, who won't like being swatted by a Kindergardener, especially one who may be showing them up at the reading group table!


I began two big projects today.

First, I took off the old wallpaper border that I had put up when we first moved in, but never liked. It was a little harder than I thought it was going to be, but not too bad. The room looks better already! I probably won't put up the new paper I bought until Friday at the earliest, since I have MOPS tomorrow morning and then Thursday is the last day (!!!) of that parenting class I babysit for, plus Josie's class in the afternoon.

Second, I've started downloading tracks from podrunner that will tell me when to run and when to walk when I start the C25K program this week with AndreAnna, who is beginning her . I'm not sure if I'll be able to start it tomorrow or not, but I hope to. That would work out well, since you're supposed to do it three times a week, and I won't be able to do it on Thursday. I'm debating whether I should take a dog with me when I do it. I don't think I'd take Delilah, since she's too interested in everything else, but Baci would probably be OK. Plus, that would give her time alone, which would be a good thing for her to be used to. We never did that with Baci, separate him from Tyler when he was little, and now he practically has a heart attack if he's left alone. I have very optimistically downloaded five weeks' worth of podcasts for running. I really want this to work out, but also, I know myself, and we'll see if this can happen. I'm going to do it outside (obviously, since I'm thinking about doing it with a dog), and I'm hoping that will help in the motivation department.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Various Updates

My mother has officially left the building. I officially apologize for spewing all that negativity all over the internet while she was here. That is the raw, unfiltered stress pouring out of me. Yesterday, I literally gave up trying to deal with any of it, and laid on the couch and read all afternoon. She did a crossword puzzle. It was pouring outside, to boot. That helped, because I kind of forgot she was here for awhile, and it was a little break that helped me get through the rest of her visit.

My last comment on her visit is this:

On the way to the airport, she told me that her Sig Other's of 20+ years daughter's son, K, had called a few days before she came down. K's parents have separated due to his father's drinking, and his mother, who is planning on moving to SC soon, left him with the father a few years ago to 'force the father to stop drinking because he'd have to be in charge'. K is now 15. Apparently, after they had talked to each other for awhile, K mentioned that he had a vacation coming up, and he'd never seen their new place (where they've lived for over a year), hinting that he'd like to go to their place to visit (he lives a few states away). From what she said, she immediately backpedaled, because she works nights and sleeps during the day, and she doesn't know what he'd do while he was there. The woman has several weeks of vacation each summer, her SO is his grandfather, and K has known her his whole life. He's obviously in an awful situation, and probably is looking for a place to be able to relax for awhile, since I'm willing to bet that he gets free lunch and breakfast at school, so during the summer goes without a lot of things. I said as much to her, and her response, I kid you not, was, 'Well, he should get a job. It'll get him out of the house. He's not my problem, and I don't want to chance that his father would come up, too.' Yeah. I don't like having someone that is more concerned about being inconvenienced than about a struggling boy who is basically her grandson around me. It revolts me. *I* want to have him over now, for heaven's sake, and I've never even met him, but not this woman he calls Grammie. Ugh. If the situation came up, I know it would be *my* kids being treated like that, and it makes me sick.

Anyway, it's over, and I won't see her for months, which is good, because it always takes me awhile to rid myself of the tenseness and feeling of being silently judged and get myself back on a keel where I could deal with a few more days, and another potential speech that will make me want to push her out onto the street.

Other things that have happened recently:

-- Delilah (Dilly, for short now) has aged to the 2yo phase. She is just big enough to get on the couch, meaning nothing is safe, including my poor potted plant, may its leafy soul rest in pieces. She apparently grabbed it by its leaves and shook it, judging from the size and scope of the mess on my floor, and then ate most of its remains. Oh, the humanity botany!

-- Josie fell down our stairs. Thank GAWD she only fell down the last four or so, but she landed on her butt and then on her head, and I was PETRIFIED. I mean, I almost threw up and cried and totally lost my shit, but I didn't somehow, and got her settled on the couch with an ice pack where I could keep an eye on her pupils and awareness level. All I could think of was the headlines recently, and I was terrified that I was missing some important sign that she had brain damage. Rationally, I was pretty sure she was fine, and had just gotten a good bump, but ... I checked her eyes about fifteen times that afternoon and evening, just to be sure. She was fine within about a half hour, but I am still a nervous wreck even thinking about it.

-- It has rained for days, both inside and out. By that I mean, we've had to keep the back door shut, after leaving it open whenever we've been home, for the past week or so, and Delilah had gotten very used to going outside to pee and poop whenever she needed to. I'm pretty sure she was still going to the door to go out, but we weren't as used to having to watch her every move, so when she found the door shut, Little Miss Tinklebell went in the entryway, which TG is hardwood. She had four accidents yesterday, and three the day before. ARGH. I'd get those bells to hang on the door, but she's probably just eat them.

-- My veggie seeds are doing really well!!! I'll post a photo soon. The beans are easily 18in tall! Hooray!

I guess that's about it. I'm looking forward to getting caught up on all your blogs!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Currently I am trapped in front of the computer, waiting for the precise moment that Southwest will allow my mother to check in to her flight. The earliest you can do it is 24hrs in advance, and she insists that she be logged in as soon as possible so she can get Her Seat. She wants a particular seat, in section A, and Lord forbid that I don't log in in time to get her into section A. The one time we were out, supposedly doing something fun, she was pissed all the way home that we weren't at home at the 24hr mark. She starts talking about it, reminding me, first thing in the morning, and it doesn't stop until the minute I print the freakin' thing out.

And, today, she's gonna be pissed, because in the three minutes I spent writing this, the 24hr mark passed, and enough people logged in that she's in section B. Here we go.

(She's still rubbing her scaly foot up and down on the edge of my coffeetable, in a different spot this time. I swear, if it wouldn't make such a mess, I would cut that foot right off, and any judge in the world that could see that thing wouldn't blame me.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is the Glass Half Full, or Half Empty?

OK, my mother has been here since eleven yesterday morning. It is now 7:30 Saturday night. I will leave her at the airport at around eleven on Monday morning. That makes us half way through the visit. I am trying to look at it as, 'hooray, we're halfway through!', rather than 'oh, sweet Jeebus, there's still half of the visit left!'. It is going so-so.

She doesn't DO anything. She sits there and tags along at whatever. She never offers an opinion, never makes a decision, doesn't really seem to have a lot of thoughts. It is mind-boggling how stressful that is. If I ask her what she'd like to do, all I get is, 'anything is fine, whatever you all want to do', but if I don't ask, and just announce that it's time to go to the library, or whatever, I feel entirely rude. Today, we went to the library, Uno's, Borders and Michaels, and she just tagged along everywhere. When I was a kid, that kind of silence was always an indicator of Very Bad Things to Come, and I'm pretty sure it's triggering that emotion in me now. Realistically, I know there's nothing that can or will happen, but... yeah. Plus, she's currently rubbing her scaly, crusty bare feel on my coffetable. There are long pieces of bleached-blond hair from the back of her mullet downstairs on my bathroom floor, because she cleans out her hairbrush and flings the hair. GAH. We have nothing in common, and nothing to talk about, so it leads to a lot of silence. I am a big fan of silence, but not when I feel like there's someone silently sitting next to me expecting Something, but they will not share with me what that Something might be. I feel entirely uncomfortable in my own home, and I HATE it.

DH has gone out tonight, and once I have to kids in bed I think I'm going to plead headache and go upstairs with my bottle of Zoloft and a big glass of wine. And maybe a chocolate poptart. Or three.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Waking Up to the Mess

I think I'm finally coming out of hibernation.

Unfortunately, as I wake up and look around, I can see that the house and yard have gone to hell in the proverbial handbasket while I have been in my winter stupor. I realized finally that i hatehatehate the yellow color we painted the kitchen, and ditto for the color combination in the dining room. Sigh. So, I went to Lowes, my favorite store on earth, spent about an hour thumbing through wallpaper books, and settled on this:

I love that it has birds in it! The color of the lovebird, the pumpkiny tone, is the color of the bottom half of the walls in the dining room and the entire turret-shaped wall where the windows are in there. This wallpaper will go on the top half of the wall. The paint chip is what we're going to paint the kitchen. It's Laura Ashley Gold 3, and matches both the wallpaper in the dining room as well as the original 1920's wallpaper in the entryway, plus all the tile work I did in the kitchen before we moved in. I'm REALLY excited! The colors in these two rooms were such a mess when we first moved in (the kitchen in particular, which was GREY and FUSCHIA, for the love of God!) that redoing them was almost overwhelming at first, like I could find things that I knew I wanted to do, but then the trick was finding things that would look nice with those things, if you know what I mean. The yellow we picked for the kitchen is actually pretty, but the lighting in there is weird, and it all ends up looking really greenish-yellow, which isn't pretty at ALL. It looks like a lemon mirangue pie exploded in there or something.

So, today I will go to Lowes and return the wallpaper book, order the paper, and buy a can of paint. One gallon should do it for the kitchen, since there isn't a lot of wallspace in there (there are four doorways and a lot of cabinets). I'm hopeful to start on the painting tomorrow afternoon, but unfortunately....

my mother is coming this weekend, so along with needing to take a lot more Zoloft in preparation, I have to clean the mess of a house. Sigh. I spent all morning cleaning the basement level of the house, washing the windows on the main level, and doing laundry. Ya-freakin'-hoo.

I've also been kicking my own ass in the yard, doing hours of work out there both Sunday and yesterday. It's starting to look a lot better. I cleared both the garden area and the adjacent part of the yard that really has no purpose whatsoever - it's on the side of the house, but because of the location of the stone wall on the property and the dining room window outcropping, and the wrap-around porch and lilac bushes coming around from the front, isn't really useful for much of anything, so the previous owners had let it get all overgrown and had apparently thrown a LOT of trashy stuff in there. Yuck. I ripped up all the gross Lamb's Ear plants, which had died over the winter and were looking like piles of rotting newspaper, and dug up all the giant rocks that the owners before us had used to decorate the 'water feature' area they had had, and moved the rocks to where the Lambs Ear used to be to discourage doggy digging. PHEW. I love yard work, actually, so I'm not complaining, but I AM pooped!

I can't wait to start on the kitchen and then put that wallpaper up, though. I'm so excited!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nothing Much To See Here...

...so head on over to Literally Booked and let me know what you think of my new site design!!! Also, our book for April is The Book Thief, which after over 500 reviews is at 4.5 stars, so while you're at it, take a look at that, too. It's out in paperback, so it's on the cheap, and it looks really, really good. Discussion questions won't be posted until April 1, so come on and join us... you know you want to... first person to respond that they're going to join the group for the first time gets a free copy and a little box 'o love from the company of Me, Myself and I!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Choices, Choices...

Swistle's Wii Fit's comment to her today was that she should have sugar and protein after a workout. First of all, I think I want to bring MINE back to the store and get whatever model SHE has, since mine is a hard-ass. Second of all, mine would never suggest such a thing anyway, since I have (sigh) gained a little weight this week. In all fairness, I think I didn't actually *gain* weight; it's more that I think that the adjustment they make for clothes is a little off. I mean, who works out in 4lbs of clothes? Then, the thing has the nerve to ask me WHY I gained weight since the last time, and it gives me a few choices to pick from as an answer, like overeating, nighttime snacking, etc. THEN, it makes a suggestion on what I should do.

Well, I have a few comments for Ms. Wii Fit. She needs to offer more reasonable choices. My personal picks would be as follows:

Additional choices Wii Fit should provide / ask, and corresponding suggestions:

1. Have you pooped recently? Pooping can reduce body weight by several pounds. Try a laxative.

2. Are you, or are you about to be, on The Rag? Hormones, and their resulting food binges, can make youre weight fluctuate by the approximate weight of a Volkswagon.

3. Did your partner do the shopping this week? Never let your partner go to the grocery store, it can cause you to gain as much as twice your husband's weight.

4. Is it raining / snowing / hailing locusts outside? This can result in hibernation-related weight gain. Move to Hawaii.

5. Did you read Swistle's blog today? Looking at photos of other people's yummy foods online can cause you to gain an amount of weight that is proportional to the weight of your computer. Run / waddle away.

6. Were you depressed by my calling you Obese? Depression causes eating which causes weight gain. Stop being obese.

There, that should about do it. Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grocery Roundup, March 16

Before I start, I have to say that I put down the sticky paper yesterday, and we've caught three mice so far. I don't know if there are more, but I'm putting down more today. I *HATE* using this stuff, and I cried like a nut when we found the first one, but it really can't be helped. Sigh.


Our grocery store is having a promotion this week where they're giving away sizeable register coupons based if you buy certain items from various categories. There are five groups of items, which are made up of paper goods, dairy, cleaning supplies, etc, and if you spend $20 on items from a group, you get a $7 register coupon good for your next trip. This is true for each group, and four of the groups offered $7 coupons, while the other group offered a $5 coupon. While I don't use anything from one of the categories, I did complete each of the other four gruops, so got $26 off my next trip, plus one $1 coupon from some deal Kraft must have been running! Hooray! I did end up getting multiples of things, like four boxes of granola bars (which were on sale 4/$10 anyway), but we'll eat them all eventually, and they keep forever, so why not? Because of that, and the good sale they were having on all meats this week, this was a two-week trip, and we probably won't have to buy meats for much longer than that.

Items Purchased: 95
Coupons Used: 15
Coupon Savings: $15.14
Store Coupons: $3.90
Club Card Savings: $43.17
Percent: 18% ($62.21)
Total Spent: $283.80
Gas Points Earned: $.60 off per gallon
Additional: $27 off a future visit

My favorite part of the whole trip is the end, when I give the clerk my club card and watch the register count down the total club savings, and then the coupons on top of that. Yippee!!! Hopefully there will be some real kick-ass sales when I go back to use those register coupons, so I can reall rack up the savings next time! I want to get my percent saved back up at least into the 20%'s.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello, This Is The Fluid Family, How Can I Be Of Service?

OK, today I have cleaned up:

2 pee's (puppy)
1 poo (puppy)
1000 turds (mouse)
1 massive vomit (Patrick)

Yes, it's been a moist day.

Poor Patrick (it's been about an hour since The Event, so I can talk about it without gagging now) woke up this morning saying his tummy hurt. However, on closer questioning, he said that he felt OK, he just didn't want to go to school. So, off to school he went, with a stern talking to about how lying about being sick wouldn't do him any good, but that I was glad he'd told me the truth.

I took Baci to a private puppy training lesson, to talk to the trainer about using a remote collar, and after using it for the hour, I am sold. I will be saving up and getting one of those babies forthwith.

I came home, and discovered Delilah pees and poo. When I opened the cabinet to get some cleaning supplies, there was mouse poop all. over. the. place. Also, the drawer where the ziplock bags are kept was full of it. Under the sink, there was a ring of poop all around the traps I had set up, both kinds (spring and live-catch), although the food was gone from both. I gave up and went to Lowes and got some sticky paper to trap them. I'm through being nice.

Then, I went to school to get Patrick, who said he was feeling fine. (Josie said that the teachers are nice, and both have names that start with G, so they're just calling them both Mrs. G. I still haven't gotten a letter from the principal, but there was a note from the new teachers about how the new discipline will involve, I shit you not, Warm Fuzzies (!!) that they will put in a jar to earn a prize. Whatever, if it doesn't involve yelling, I'm good with it.)

We went to Target. My first clue that something was wrong was when, after about five minutes, he asked to lay down under the cart on that shelf thing. I told him no, but that he could ride inside if he wanted to, and finished shopping. I asked if they wanted a drink, and got him an OJ. When we got to the car, I got them each an oatmeal snack bar from the shopping bags. At first he didn't want to eat his, but then he saw Josie eating hers, and changed his mind. Good, yes?


As we were PULLING IN THE DRIVEWAY, he announced that he thought he was going to throw up, and I said, HANG ON!!!! We're almost there!!!!! To which Josie answered, Too Late. He barfed that oatmeal bar all over the back of my new car. I mean, ALL OVER. In between the cloth seats, down the seat belt, in the seat belt latch, on his coat, his pants, one of the Target bags, EVERYWHERE. THEN, he said, 'I knew you were going to want me to barf outside and I didn't want to, so I just did it now.'

Did I mention it's raining today? It is. So, I got him inside, helped him out of his coat and sweater, and told him to get his pants off and change while I went outside and scooped his vomit off my seats in the rain. My favorite part was sticking my hand down between the seats and scooping it out, that was the best. God, I could gag just thinking about it. I nearly barfed right there in the driveway. Lord only knows what my poor car is going to smell like tomorrow. :(

I came inside, and guess where he had put the pants? On the antique green velvet chair in the living room. Oh, yeah. GAH!!!!!

Patrick is doing OK. He's hanging out on the couch in his pjs. He'll be home tomorrow, of course. Josie is still hacking up a lung, but her school has MSA testing tomorrow, and she also says she feels fine other than the cough, which I think is post-nasal drip-induced. So far, I myself am OK, although I'm sure it's coming. I mean, how much crap can one woman clean up and still not get sick?!

hmmm.... since Patrick's going to be home tomorrow, I guess that means I'll be going grocery shopping tonight. In the rain. In the Barfmobile. Oh, the joy!

Ding, Dong, the Witch is GONE!

Guess what?!?!

Yesterday at church, the school secretary, who also goes there, pulled me aside and asked how I felt about Chloe not being in Ms. Teacher's class any more. I about fainted, since I had no idea what she was talking about, and Josie had told me that she didn't want to switch classes. But, no!!!! It turns out that our mental health day was even more healthy than we knew, because it was (drumroll, please)

Ms. Teacher's LAST DAY IN A CLASSROOM!!!!!!

(slight pause while I do a jig of joy!)

Apparently, Ms. Teacher will be doing intervention work for the rest of the year, and one of the intervention teachers, plus another part-time person they've hired, will be taking over the class, one in the morning and another in the afternoon!!!!! YAHOO!!!!! No more screaming (which had made a comeback recently), no more chaos in the classroom, no more rudeness! I think Ms. Teacher may actually be OK at intervention work, since that's one-on-one, and I do believe she'd be better that that since there will really be no discipline involved, and I'm glad that she didn't lose a job entirely, since I would honestly have felt bad about that. I don't want to think about anyone trying to enter the job market in this economy, regardless of profession, although I imagine that she's looking for work elsewhere as we speak. I mean, this has to be a demotion, because while I don't think intervention teachers are less important, being forcibly removed from a classroom isn't a positive thing, and how humiliating it must be to have to go to work every day and face everyone, including children, who knows that you have been removed from your job. I would rather crawl in a hole and die, frankly.

The secretary said that the principal sent letters home, but we didn't get one. At first I thought, oh, the mail was probably late, but then later I realized, duh, it probably came home with the kids on Friday, which is why we didn't get it. I wonder if she said anything to the kids? She didn't say anything to Josie when Josie told her that we were going to be away on Friday, and I somehow doubt that she would have mentioned it. I mean, how would *THAT* conversation have gone?! I can't wait to see the letter, though, which I assume is waiting for Josie in her cubby.

Since the kids have MSA testing tomorrow, I won't be in the classroom tomorrow, and actually I sent in a note asking if my current schedule is still OK. I'm thinking that they'll probably try and keep as close to the same schedule as they can, but we'll see. I'm interested to meet the new people. After all, it certainly can't get any worse.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hookey Day = Awesome!!

First of all, I have to say, GO JON STEWART!!!!!

That having been said, the kids and I had the best time today! However, why is it, pray tell, that when I say, 'we'll sleep in since you're not going to school', that is like putting an alarm clock in their little brains that translates to 'get me up at the ass-crack of dawn, will you? I hate to be blinded by the sun as I wake.' Seriously, these two kids that I have to drag myself out of bed in order to drag THEM out of bed were up and ready to party long before I would have normally woken them up.


We started our little party with breakfast to go from Starbucks - seriously, is there any better way to start a day than with a raspberry scone and venti soy vanilla latte? I think not! The kids had their books, didj, and leapster-math-practice-twister-thingy in the back, I had NPR, and we partied Morning Edition and Star Wars didj theme music all the way to DC. Oh, yeah. We're rock stars like that.

We started our tour with a drive-by of several monuments that we've visited before, although Patrick was too young to remember them well (but he's seen himself there in photos, so he 'remembers' them somewhat), and then finally parked on a street with a meter. I would have found a parking garage, but it was chillier than I had thought it was going to be, and frankly, I didn't feel like walking. I put in a few quarters, which got me a stunning EIGHT MINUTES apiece. So, I started the day knowing that I was definitely going to have a parking ticket waiting for me. However, since parking garages in DC are about $25 a day if you enter after 9am (and that's if you can find one that isn't full), I wasn't too worried about it. We could have parked at a metro stop somewhere along the way and ridden in, but parking there is always at a premium too, and by the time we'd paid for parking there, passes for three of us, and factored in the extra time it would have taken us to get there and the fact that you're not allowed to eat or drink on metro, I was willing to take my chances.

After walking the two blocks to the Natural History Museum (my personal favorite), we got tickets for an afternoon showing of the 3-D IMAX Dinosaur film and set off to see the Undersea and Dinosaur exhibits. The kids were SO GOOD. I mean, Patrick actually HELD MY HAND, hugged me, and even hugged Josie, too, several times. That in itself was worth the entire trip, even if my car had ended up being towed or something.

We had lunch at one of the museum cafes for the first time today. DO NOT DO THIS. We got two slices of pizza, a hotdog, and three fountain drinks, and it was $27. I'm not kidding. I actually shrieked when the cashier told me. I know the museum is free, but OMG. There were no prices on anything, and now we know why. Holy SHIT.

Luckily, right after the food was the movie, so I was able to sit and recover. The movie was great, of course, very thrilling at parts, and Patrick was only a little bit scared at the beginning because it was loud AND in-your-face. I think he's going to be a scientist when he grows up. He was fascinated by all the enviro-machines they had set up to calculate carbon footprints and earthquakes and whatnot.

After that, we went through a new exhibit they have - a walk-thru butterfly area!!!! There were butterflys (butterflies?) everywhere, and they even landed on people! It was beautiful and amazing and I could have stayed in there all day. The kids were mesmerized, but after awhile the heat in there got to Patrick so we had to leave. WOW.

I got the kids a couple of inexpensive things at the gift shop - an iron-on patch and a baseball with endangered species for Patrick and a box with special paper and instructions on how to make origami endangered animals - and we went to the car, which had a ticket, of course. But it was only $25! Hell, I'll pay that to basically park ON the Mall!

As we were leaving, the kids wanted to drive by the White House, and guess what?! The Presidential cavalcade drove right past us as we were at a red light!!!! That used to kind of annoy me when I worked down there, since they stop all traffic while several police escorts, then a few SUVs, then the limo, then MORE police go through, but the kids thought it was AMAZING. I don't know if they thought he just apperated places or what, but they thought it was so cool he was driving around. OK, I have to admit, I was a little swoony myself. After all, that was BARAK OBAMA two yards in front of me!!!! HELLOOOO!!!!!

After that, we did drive by the WH, and then started home. Since it was near rush hour, I decided that we would stop at a new-ish amazing playground that I saw online in a town on our way, and then go out to IHOP for dinner. The kids loved the playground, which is modelled in a castle-pirate theme, complete with a castle for climbing on with planks, ropes and swinging bridges, and a giant wooden ship with the same.

It was pretty awesome. This is a photo from their website.

By the time we did that, ate, and got home, it was after 7!! But, we had the best day ever.

I would have photos, but guess who forgot to put the memory card back into the camera after uploading the Doggie Debacle yesterday? Yeah, that would be me. Oh, well.

Every day should be like today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh, No He Di'int!!!

This morning, I decided that I would take a shower alone.

As in, I wouldn't let the dogs be in the bathroom with me.

So, I shut the door on them.

When I came out, Baci was laying on my bed, waiting for me. Delilah was nowhere to be seen, but I could hear banging downstairs. I thought she had a boot again (Josie's pink furry boots are her fav-o-rite thing in the universe). Baci and I came down to investigate. Delilah met us at the bottom of the stairs.

This is what I saw:

See that chair under the window? This is/was the filling for the huge pillow that makes the back of it. It looks like a Santa beard factory exploded in here!!!

The thing is, Delilah can't jump up on the furniture. She tries, and bounces back and falls down. BACI loves this pillow, and I have caught him more than once playing with it when I've forgotten to close off the downstairs when I've gone out. So, even though it was Delilah rolling and jumping on the stuffing, it was really Baci who had gotten it down and pulled the zipper open (yes, he can do that, don't ask me how)! He framed her, and ran upstairs to wait for me when he heard me get out of the shower!!!!

Thankfully, since he'd only opened the zipper, I was able to stuff everything back into the pillow and zip it back up. This time.

It's a good thing he's a dog. Otherwise, he'd be a criminal mastermind.

Apparently, being naughty is exhausting work. Good for them they're cute.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Playing Hookey

I am officially caught up on reading posts. Phew!!! You all are some prolific people!!!!

I have decided that the kids and I will be playing hookey from school and chores on Friday and going to the Smithsonian on a field trip instead. Patrick really needs a break - every morning he moans that he doesn't want to go to school, it's boring, he doesn't want to have to sit still, and he's been getting in trouble for getting out of his seat and doing weird things, like crawling around on the floor or peeking through the doorway to the classroom next door. Josie just deserves a break from her class, period. While things have been slightly better, the word is *slightly* - there's still a lot of yelling, and two more kids have been moved to the other class. There's one new girl in there this week - I wonder how long it will be until her parents have her moved, too? I don't know how many other kids that other class can hold - they're up to 31 now that they took in three from Josie's class since last fall. Sheesh.

Anyway, we're either going to go to the Smithsonian or to the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore, which I have always wanted to go to, but never have. Maybe we'll wait to do that until May, when they have their annual Kinetic Sculpture race, which is a LOT of fun. We missed it last year, but went the year before, and it's a hoot! People make sculptures and then have to make them moveable, either by having them built around bicycles or unicycles or something, and then they have to race through Baltimore and sail around a pier. They're always funny, too, shaped like elephants or Dr. Seuss contraptions.

Just for fun, here are some new photos of Delilah. She couldn't be cuter!!!!!

She and Baci nap together all the time now, isn't it cute?!
See that nose? She's wearing part of my garden on her face. Oh, well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting It Up

Get your minds out of the gutter, people. :) I mean my big, fat ass!

I know pretty much everyone that comes here also reads AndreAnna, but in case you happen to come here first today (although I don't know why you would, because she's way cooler than I am), she's issued us all a fitness challenge - work out, report your total time per week to her, and she'll donate $1 to breast cancer research for every five hours logged!! Plus, she's doing Couch to 5K, which will coincide with her running the Komen 5K in the fall.

I'm going to do the C25K program too. I also joined sparkpeople.com this morning, which is a site devoted to all aspects of fitness - meal tracking, calorie tracking, exercise tracking, animal tracking (oops, not really that last one), you name it. I need to get myself in gear, and overcome both my mental and emotional insecurities. In the name of full disclosure, I'll admit my dirty little exercise secret to you.

I am afraid to really work out in public. There, I said it.

I have been heavy all my life, to varying degrees. When I was in school, until high school, I was The Fat Kid. I had almost no friends until junior high, and was the constant butt of every joke you could imagine. I was laughed at, ridiculed by people I knew and those I didn't. As I got older, I gained friends and lost some weight, but still the habits of children die hard, so even though I was an acceptable weight in high school, I was still called names by those looking to have someone to pound on. Those names have stayed with me my entire life.

Even as I have gotten older, I think I still radiate the expectation of being ridiculed, because I still hear comments sometimes, mostly from either kids or low-class types, but regardless of the source, they still hurt. Ironically, the times I am most likely to hear comments is when I'm exercising - nothing like being told you have a jello ass when you're doing the very thing it would take to get rid of it, because the first thing it makes me want to do is go home, put away my sneakers, and hide under a blanket with a book.

I used to feel relatively safe at the gym, in lifting classes. I have always been strong, and yoga and weights have always been my strong suit. That is, until last year, when I was in a strength class at my new gym for the first time and was singled out by the trainer as being off balance and 'doing it wrong' in front of the entire class, and I had to admit in front of everyone that I have scoliosis and one of my legs is longer than the other as a result. She was slightly abashed, but the damage was done - everyone was staring at me, and I was humiliated. I never went back.

Over the years, I have learned to compensate for whatever it is that attracts people to pay me attention. I exercise quietly, by walking - never running, which would make my boobs jiggle and invite comments - or doing yoga at home. I always have my dogs with me when I'm outside, both because I like having them with me and because they distract attention from me / give me a focus other than what people may be thinking about me.

I am 35 years old, was most way to an MBA before I stopped working while pregnant with Patrick, and can sew fabulous party dresses for Josie. I volunteer, sing in a choir, and can deliver children's messages in front of an entire congregation with ease. I did the Avon 3-Day a few years back. In short, I'm a smart, sometimes interesting person, and I generally don't care whether people agree with me or not. However, if someone should make even the most remote comment about my body, I want to die. This is a ridiculous state of affairs, that I should have reached this point in my life and still be internalizing what people think about my looks. It will stop here. I'm going to do this workout schedule to join AndreAnna, to raise money, and most importantly at the moment, to show myself that I can do it. I will shut those people up, yes, but I will shut up my own demons as well. I WILL.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quick Update.... Blahhhhhh

Ugh, blah. I feel like I haven't been here in forever, but my inertia is so bad that I'm not sure how long it's really been.

I woke up this morning with my period and what I think might be the beginning of an eye infection. Sigh. At least I can call the vet and tell them that I need another bottle of eye drops and they won't think anything of it, since the dogs are still supposed to be on them. Yes, I gave up. It was almost impossible to get them into their eyes, which seem fine now, anyway. Plus, I think I probably touched Baci's eyes with the dropper at least once, between his flailing and my trying to do things one-handed while sitting on him and holding him down, which means the bottle is contaminated, anyway. The vet told me when I asked last week about whether people could use those drops too that, technically, she couldn't say anything about people, but the medicine comes from the same place. That's good enough for me, people!!!! At least giving myself eyedrops won't be an ordeal!

My nephew is recovering. Apparently, he had a whopping sinus infection, and his snot was so extra-germy that it was spreading the infection to anything it touched (see, I told you he's got a funky immune system). His doctor, the regular woman he sees, said it's not MRSA, which she sees on a regular basis, and that the medicine he had been on would probably have taken care of it if it was. So, he's on something new, and it seems to be working. PHEW. Patrick's still not going down there this weekend, though, because, yuck.

Patrick's behavior has been a lot better lately. We're doing a new reward system - he has a necklace, and I bought a variety of beads. When he does well getting ready for school, he gets a bead. If he gets a 'green' behavior at school, he gets a bead. If he goes to bed well, he gets a bead. Ten beads = a playdate. He wears it all the time, and his teacher knows we're doing it, so not only does he get reinforcement at home, and from wearing it all the time, but also his teacher asks to see his new beads every day. This morning was his tenth bead, and he was so excited and proud! I told him I'd call his friend's mom and see if they could play together today, so I have to get on that in a little while. Hey, whatever works, right?!

I know I'm WAAAAY behind on reading everyone else's blogs, too. I still love you all, and will be catching up over the weekend. Between my period coming, which is always awful since I'm not regular and my PMS is usually an increasing thing over about two weeks rather than a few days, and the weather, and being tired from Delilah-watching, I'm just drained. Plus, I had MOPS babysitting on Wed morning and yesterday morning I babysat for a parenting class the church is running, and it was TERRIBLE. It's a mixed-age class, from babies up to prek, and while there are four of us in there, one of the women really only seems to like sitting in a chair holding a baby, and one of the others is that idiot who can't hold a baby right, and yesterday she literally laid on her stomach on the floor and wrote out a food journal while the room swirled around her. Meanwhile, I had a baby on my hip and six preschoolers/toddlers glued to me. Ugh. The class ends in a few weeks, and I CAN'T WAIT.

I will catch up on all your lives soon, my lovelies. I promise!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quick Update on Rash

Brandon still has the rash, after the entire five-day course of antibiotics the doctor gave to my SIL for him. Now my little 2yo niece has it coming on, too. They're going back to the doctor today. She said that it's a little better, but nowhere near gone. I really wish he had been able to see his regular doctor the first time, the one who knows how serious things tend to get with him - he's been in the hospital twice with just regular colds because they get so bad that he gets dehydrated within days. CRAP.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Busy Bodies and Doggie Eyeballs

I woke up on Friday with Baci's giant head on the pillow next to me. Sweet, sweet, boy. I started to pet him, and he rolled over onto his back, waving his paws in the air... and showing me his other eye. His crusty, moist-looking, eye. Which he promptly began rubbing with his paw.

Eeeeewwwww. I took one look, and my first thought was, 'if this was one of my kids, I'd say that was pink eye.'

It was. And Delilah had a touch of it, too. Yeehaw! I have been throwing out my back wrestling the dogs to the ground in an attempt to give them eyedrops not one, not two, but THREE TIMES a day since then. Do you know what it's like trying to give a ninty-pound dog an eyedrop that he *decidedly* does not want to get?! It's not pretty, I'll tell you that much. I get ten days of this joy, if I make it that long. I know, I know, you're supposed to finish antibiotics, but really, it's probably not gonna happen. Half of them probably aren't making it into his eyes, anyway. Delilah tries to bite me with her baby teeth when I do it to her. Oh, the joy.

In more fun news, Josie and went to a local beading store (which is really more like a polished-stone palace, since it sells everything from ceramic decorative to glass to stone beads in all shapes and sizes) to take an intro to jewelry making class. What you do it, grab a soft board that has grooves and pits in it to hold beads, and then wander through the huge store, looking at wall sections, tables with multiple drawers, and various other stations that are stocked with strands, bowls, and cups filled with beads. It's a beautiful place, with wood plank floors, vaulted ceilings covered in white decorative tin, and loft where the classes are held that looks down over the entire rest of the store. There are also stations in the beading area where you can stand and make jewelry if you're not taking a class.

We had so much fun! Originally, we were supposed to go with a friend of mine and her daughter, who is a friend of Josie's, but they had to back out at the last minute, so it turned into a special mother-daughter experience. It took us about a half hour to pick out our materials, and then we went upstairs and sat at a round table with the other mom and daughter, who were older than Josie and I, and made our stuff. The teacher was wonderful, and showed us what to do, and then let us do everything outselves. What we ended up with, for the cost of the class and the materials for us both (altogether about $70), was this:

The top things are mine, and the pink ones are Josies. She did a great job.

Then, today was a strange one. Dh had the day off, because he works over an hour south of here, and they got a lot of snow there so his place of employment was closed, but we really got about nothing here, so after a delayed opening, the kids went to school and DH and I were alone together at the house. We hung out doing various things for awhile, and then went out to Panera and to run various errands. We ended up at AC Moore, to get funky beads for Patrick's new behavior incentive (he gets two beads a day to put on a necklace - one for good behavior at school and one if he's good at home - and 10 beads=having a friend over plus also a cool necklace that he will eventually have created himself full of animal beads and funky painted-pottery looking ones and silver ones that look like pirate booty), and we found in their new inexpensive section up front these wooden kits that make 3-D things like boats, animals and helicopters. We got a pirate ship for Patrick and DH to do together, and a tiger for Josie and I.

The directions were written by a monkey left a lot to be desired, since they comprised of tiny numbered sketches of the pieces (which were NOT numbered) and words that said, I shit you not, sort the pieces into groups and put the project together. Yeah, thanks for that, Bueller. Anyway, the ship was too hard for Patrick to do himself, so DH did the assembly, and Patrick colored finished sections, while Josie and I split the construction on ours pretty evenly. It was pretty fun, but next time we'll definitely get Patrick one of the smaller, easier kits, or return to getting him the foam ones. Still, we all sat at the table and did something together, and there was no screaming or fighting or crying. That, my friends, is a success in my book.