Friday, December 28, 2012

Who Are Your Giants?

In this short life that we have, we can either be makers or takers. You have to find inspiration in small ways, and you have to use your own to lift up others when you can.

To paraphrase - badly - Isaac Newton, If I've seen farther than others, it's because I stood on the shoulders of giants. Who are your giants?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Words Don't Work Here

While alternately avoiding the news on Sandy Hook and compulsively watching it, my husband said something out of the blue to me that made my heart break all over again. We were discussing the last few Christmas gifts we're buying, when he asked simply, "What about all the Christmas presents they already bought?" Of course he didn't need to come out and say he was thinking of the parents of the victims at Sandy Hook, because I knew. My only reply was, "Those people will never be the same again."

This morning it was so hard for me to let go of the kids for school. All I could think of was, "How do I know they'll be ok?"

I'll preface this by saying, "You don't want to read this."
About a month ago, as I dropped Isaiah off at school, I had the worst feeling. As I watched him go in, and the door close behind him, suddenly a horrible feeling of absolute dread came over me. Not a vague fear, but a very specific one. I could almost see a man walking into the same door my son just did, wearing black and carrying a gun. It took some serious self restraint to not go right in and get him, take him home with me and call it a day. Now, I don't believe in premonitions or future telling or anything like that. I believe that my fears got the best of me that day and allowed me to imagine my worst nightmare, maybe as a way of thinking you'd be prepared should it ever come true. But you can't be. Ever. And all of those parents in Sandy Hook know that. I can't help but wonder if anyone had one of those feelings on Friday, and wishes they'd followed their instincts.

My heart is heavy with sadness, my mind runs with horrible thoughts, and tears escape my eyes as I sneak peeks at the news.

Although I know I don't have the strength to face the immeasurable pain of the families there, I wish I could hug each one and tell them that there is love in this world. That millions of people all across the world mourn with them. And that while it will never be "ok" again for them, they are not alone.

Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook, CT. Clackamas, OR. Oak Creek, WI. Virginia Tech. Aurora, CO. Columbine.

Lives lost, countless families devastated, a country cries. The blame begins, the finger pointing.

Then it happens again. What kind of a world is this?

I have no more words.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Have Had Enough!

*said in my best Bill Cosby impersonating his wife, Camille, voice*

I-i-i-i... have had ... E-nough!

What was once my Golden Child, the boy I'd have cloned, for all of his perfection, is now numero uno on my shit list. So help me baby Jesus, I've had to walk away to keep myself from smacking the crap out of him. And the day is still young, folks, so I may break before it's over.

He is about to be thrown out of his wonderful private school, because he is going to lose his academic scholarship, because he won't do his work. Reality is going to hit him hard in the face when he A) has to repeat his freshmen year and B) does so in a shitbox of a public school.

He's going to miss out on so many opportunities because he just won't do his work. Scholarships and clubs and all of the GOOD things high school has to offer. Oh and not to mention all of the social things he has missed out on for being on punishment ALL of the time. Can't have a girlfriend if you're never allowed to leave the house. Can't have fun with your friends if you're never allowed to leave the house. And the simple solution - just do your work - seems to escape him.

So check in next week to find out whether said child has been allowed to continue living.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Four More Years

It is with restored faith in my fellow Americans that I woke up today secure in the knowledge that the progress made in the last four years to repair our economy and improve the health of our citizens will not be undone. In the face of blatant hate and unapologetic attempts at minority voter suppression, we have won. Men with extreme views on rape and reproduction were soundly shut down, and replaced by sensible voters. 

On a larger, historical scale, we have proven that Barack Obama was not an anomaly. He is a strong leader, chosen again by the people. Fearing a white backlash, the same kind that killed Reconstruction, led by Mitch McConnell, we minorities claimed our right to choose our leader. Because you know what? Those angry white men (or grey faced males with $2 haircuts, as Tina Fey called them) are truly a dying breed. 

The idea that there has been a "war on women" was really not so far fetched. It frightened me to be faced with strictly religious men legislating based on their personal faith rather than the freedom of the people. It's that overly paternalistic view that they must make decisions for us, because they believe we are too feeble minded and immoral to make them ourselves, that today allows us to say goodbye to Akin (and his ridiculous "legitimate rape" comments) and Murdock (of the "rape pregnancy is god's will" infamy) 

Our Supreme Court is, by and large, an aging bunch. With the chance to appoint hard liner ideologues, Mitt Romney would have been "delighted" to overturn Roe v Wade. His party's desire to restrict birth control based on their religious beliefs, and their willingness to return America to the days of back alley abortions (because let's face it, making it illegal will not stop it) they were a dangerous duo. 

Lastly, if you cannot say emphatically that you support the Lily Ledbetter Act, then fuck you. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kids Know What Beauty Is

This morning, in the car, as we discussed my little one's recent grades on his social studies tests:

He: I'm getting good grades in math and science, and those are important. I'm not getting a good grade in art, but it's not important, right mom?
Me: *gasp* Of course art is important. It helps you see the beauty of the world all around you. Don't you want to see beautiful things?
He: I already know what's beautiful.
Me: Ok, what do you think is beautiful?
He: You are.

Score 1 for the little guy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

My dear, sweet nine year old boy just told me that he heard at
school that since Mitt Romney is a republican, he wants to bring back

He looked at me so seriously, and so aware of what he was asking, that
it broke my heart. He is really afraid that slavery - literal slavery - is going to come back.

Of course I assured him that Mitt Romney does not want to reinstate slavery. (For the record, I don't know Mitt Romney's views on slavery, only on the benefits of shipping jobs overseas for profit, his desire to overturn Roe v. Wade, and his desire to invalidate the marriages and rights of gay couples, and belief that he should choose whether or not my birth control is covered by my insurance... given all that, I may start to suspect he'd reinstate slavery, too)

It scares me that he hears things like that. What scares me more is
that he has to ASK a question like that, that he's honestly afraid
someone will be elected and literally reinstate slavery. What kind of
world is this?

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's a Hard Knock Life

Daimean - General complaint meant to make you feel bad for him.
Isaiah - "I feel bad for poor momma, cause she has to raise us kids. Mom, did you want to have kids?"
Me - "yes, I did."
Isaiah - "well not me!"
Daimean - "why?"
Isaiah - "because I don't want to fork over my money to ungrateful kids."
Daimean - "you're saying you're ungrateful?"
Isaiah - "no, not me. I'm grateful for everything."
Daimean - "really? Cause last week you said you hate your life, remember?"
Isaiah - "oh. Yea. Sorry about that. I was going through a rough time."
Daimean - "rough time!? You're 8....."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Inappropriate Children's Songs

"I don't know how to love him, what to do, how to move him..... And I've had so many men before, in very many ways, he's just one more."
Questionable choice for 7th grade chorus, ya think?

Back in the olden days (1991) no one questioned the junior high kids singing this song. Our school was a small, poor school. We had no music program until 1991, until then, I believed that playing the piano was a necessary skill for teachers. When music came to our school, we all excitedly signed up for every program that was offered. Not only did we sing - proudly! - from Jesus Christ Superstar, but we discussed the meaning of this deep lyric by Bel Biv DeVoe:

Never trust a big but and a smile.

That's all you really need to take away from this post today. Never trust a big butt and a smile, indeed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Case of the Missing Eyebrow

Before I share this little gem, I’d just like to plainly state that next to my own children, those of my family and friends are the most charming and adorable children in the world. Just like Lake Wobegon. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for these above average children.


So when I received a text late last night from one of my dearest friends, telling me that her eleven year old son shaved off half of his eyebrows, of course I offered to help. Which is why my bewildered husband found me in the kitchen this morning, drawing eyebrows on an embarrassed young man. Ok, not “drawing” per se, as that makes it sound like I was making him into one of those women who look like they have commas stenciled on their foreheads. No, I was using my favorite Maybelline brow powder to make it look like he still had eyebrows. When I asked him what on earth possessed him to do that, he said, “I don’t know, I thought they were too long.”


I can’t fault the kid. I remember being about his age when I decided I didn’t like the hair on my upper lip. Now, my mother wouldn’t allow me to shave my legs, so there’s no way she was going to take me for a waxing. Before you ask, yes, it was really necessary, as my ethnic heritage includes both Puerto Rican and Italian, and they’re not known for their fair, delicate women. Oh no, they’re a hairy bunch. So, adolescent me looked in the mirror and thought, “I’ll just shave that right off.” Managed to cut myself right at the top of my lip, and it bled like hell. I was running around like a chicken with no head (and seemingly bleeding as much as one) and trying to figure out what to do. Eventually I called my mother at work, and gave some half assed excuse for how it happened, and told her it wouldn’t stop bleeding.
Later in life, I made friends with the nice lady at the salon who handles the waxing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Updates from the Trenches

Hello? Is this thing on?

Serves me right, I suppose, for ignoring this blog for so long. But I'm doing really important stuff, I swear! Stuff like
1. Planning a birthday party for small child
2. Meeting with teachers because big child still won't do his school work
3. Preparing for an out of town wedding in which I'm standing up
4. Finishing my history degree
5. Showing up at the office every day (actual contributions may vary)
6. Walking my mother through her first home purchase
7. Laundry for 2 children, including school uniforms and spirit week get ups
8. The dog's colitis is acting up again, my life is full of poop and puke and I don't even have babies
9. NOT having a nervous breakdown
(I really screwed those numbers up, but my persistent OCD made me go back and fix them)

I mean, really, when you look at it in nice list form, it's almost amazing that I still walk and talk with some level of normalcy. Add to that some extra strength family stress and you've got a recipe for momma disaster. For the second time in my life, I've considered seeking counseling. But then I ask myself what the heck a counselor can tell me that I haven't already told me, and it kind of seems like a waste of time. I much prefer walking around in a funk and repeating, with the zeal of a convert, "Everything is fine, nothing but good times ahead."

What is it about weddings that brings out the worst in people? A series of unfortunate events led to a break between myself and one of my oldest friends during my wedding planning. It was over FIVE YEARS before we spoke again. We missed out on five years of companionship and kids and crazy because of what? We got mad and stopped talking and just didn't start again. I'm so sad that we lost that time, and so thankful that she stepped up and said THIS IS STUPID let's be friends again. Because really, I missed her and her kids. (I really do love all of my friend's kids)

Now one of my dearest friends is facing something like that, a little thing that turned into a big thing which all revolves around her wedding. It hurts me to see what's happening, and know just what's at stake, and not be able to help stop someone else from losing their friend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cats and iPhones, A Short Play

The setting: 4am, my bedroom
Cast of characters: Ozzie, my iPhone, Cordless House Phone (CHP), CHP's base

Ozzie enters room, glances to the left. He sees some phones that urgently need his attention.

Cordless Home Phone: Clunk
Me: Whaa? Ozzie, go away.
CHP's base: Thunk
Me: Ozzie go! (as Ozzie is repeatedly pushed off of side table where phone once resided)
iPhone: *ding ding* (as Ozzie stands on it and activates the voice control)
Me: Dammit Ozzie!
iPhone: Playing Stone Temple Pilots

Which leads to me wrestling the phone away from Ozzie as Scott Weiland sings Lounge Fly at 4am.

Ozzie triumphantly walks away, into the night.

*end scene*

Friday, August 10, 2012

Awful News Story of the Day

Man calls police, hysterical because he'd beaten his dog to death.

Do I really need to say that people who hurt animals are soceital scum and just one short step away from hurting humans?

Today's blog is dedicated to my two dogs. Eva came to live with us in early 2006, when she was just 3 months old. She's barky, she pees on the floor, she chews things, and she's deathly afraid of storms and fireworks. Also, I love her. She likes to prance, yes PRANCE, around when she has a rawhide treat, as if she wants to show off to everyone else in the house. It's adorable. She's pretty small, 28lbs at last check, and if you sit on the floor she'll curl up in your lap because she loves to nuzzle and cuddle. She doesn't have a problem with the cats or the bird. She started out a little food aggressive, but for the most part she's been over that for years.

Ilio came to us as a foster dog in the summer of 2008, I think. Could have even been 2007, I just don't remember. He's built like a horse with a big head made of rock. He had scars on his muzzle when he came to us, and I promised him I'd never let anyone else hurt him. He's great with kids, but wary of males that don't live with him. He's sweet and funny, and he chases laser dots just like a cat. I love that dog. He sleeps at the corner of my bed, and is the first being to greet me every day, and the last one I see every night. This cannot be overstated - I love that dog. He chases the cats and is fascinated with the bird. He's a happy guy, that Ilio.

And so there it is, I will hug my dogs a little tighter today and hope that maybe some day people will stop abusing their animals and pick on someone their own size.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Need a Bigger Wine Glass

And for the record, I already use pretty big wine glasses.

Last night, I peek out the window to be a nosy neighbor and investigate some suspicious sounds (um, everyone does that, right?) when I see that our front gate is open. After alerting Hubs, he goes out through the back, and informs me that the side gate is also open, leading us to believe that someone has walked through our yard.

With the back gate being locked, said person would have to either jump a fence or go back out through the front. At this point, we're debating buying a gun, cause really.... when he looks out the window and says, "Mystery solved." Yes, just like we were in a Scooby Doo episode.

I jump up to see my 14 year old child SNEAKING in the front gate. Literally sneaking, doing an exaggerated Pink Panther-esque tip toe. At least he was, until I stuck my head out and let loose with a volley of expletives regarding his ass and where it was SUPPOSED to be at 10:45pm.

It took some major restraint on my part to not break my previous vow to not use corporal punishment on my children. But it leaves me option-less for the moment, because I really don't know where to go from here.

Today I'm toying with the idea of pushing legislation to expand the Safe Haven law, by oh, say, 14 years or so. Is it too late to retroactively change my mind and decide I don't want children? We could be one of those trendy Double-Income-No-Kids couples who travels and buys expensive toys for our dogs.

As a kid, I never understood kids who would run away from home. I mean, you're a kid for shit's sake, you don't have any income and when you get caught - and you will - you're just going to be in trouble. BUT as an adult, I can totally see the appeal. I'm college educated and have marketable skills! So if you see my husband and I in some exotic locale, wearing dark shades and referring to one another as "Boris" and "Natasha", it's because I've decided to run away. The kids can keep the house, the dogs and the last box of Cheerios. I'm moving to a coconut hut where it never snows, and will no longer answer to "Mom"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Own Worst Enemy

After burning the roof of my mouth with hot cheese and slicing and dicing my legs while shaving, I've decided maybe I should stay away from me for a few days. It's obvious that I'm dangerous.

My dog got nervous around a kid this morning (not one of mine) and he actually growled at said kid. My first thought wasn't, "What's wrong with you, dog?" but instead, it was, "What did you do to my dog?" Is that wrong?

Yesterday I walked down my own street, where I've lived for many years, knocking on doors to get signatures on a petition for a block party. Half of those people opened their doors with obvious irritation. Was it because they don't want to be bothered? Or because after this long, we still don't know one another? I'm not sure, but I won't be asking to borrow a cup of sugar any time soon.

One neighbor that I do know has recently added a downspout extender to my gutter to keep the rain water from landing on her walkway. The irony? They put the extender in a place where it's going to go - you guessed it - right in their walkway. I sure do hope they feel better about that now. Do I feel bad for not doing it myself? Nope. Am I a bad neighbor? Yep.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In Which I Admit to Being a Horrible Human Being

These past few weeks have been crazy ones. I've had to tell my distressed mother that she cannot come and live with me. My grandmother - the Chief's wife - was hospitalized, which caused her children to act like anarchist asshats. Really just one child, but she sure did mess it up for everyone. As I sat at her bedside in the hospital, she told me of her concerns for the health and well being of her youngest son, who is... what's the word du jour? .... differently abled? Mentally disabled? Learning disabled? Who knows. She is afraid of what will happen with him when she's gone. And as I sat there looking into her eyes, I silently begged, "Please don't ask me to do this."

Because honestly, that woman never said no to me in my whole life. Her favorite saying was, "You can have anything your little heart desires, as long as it's within reason." So if she were to ask me directly, I'd never, ever say no to her. But thankfully, she didn't. She said she's taking his desires into account, and he's said that he would like to go live with someone else, if he had to. I guess I'm just on standby in case that doesn't work out.

One might asked what caused me to be so awful, selfish and uncaring. Was I not loved enough as a child? Did no one hug me? Yes, I was loved - and quite a lot, I'll add - but somehow in the last year or so I realized that it's ok to say no. Apparently the world won't stop turning if I don't take on everything, every request, every dilemma, that comes my way. I'm not saying I won't lend a hand. I am saying that I won't upend my life because others are unwilling to take on responsibilities. And that's just going to have to be ok. If it were an uncontrollable situation that someone was in, then of course, I'm there. But if it's due to a lifetime of bad decisions and refusal to plan, then no, you're on your own this time. How does that saying go? A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

Whew! Now that's putting some heavy family shit out there. None of which they'd appreciate, and I mean, who would? Good thing none of those people read my blog, huh?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Going Paul Revere on This One

My sister is coming! My sister is coming!

The very same sister I blogged about trying to find (of course, because I only have one... that I know of) and that I flew across this great nation to surprise after she found me - she is coming here to visit! To say I'm excited would be a dreadful understatement.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Karma is a Bitch

A long time ago, when I was a young child, we had sleep overs. At these sleep overs, parents routinely threatened to kill us for staying up all night, which we didn't understand.

Payback is a bitch. Now I understand.

Last night my dear child had a friend sleep over. This, against my better judgement, as he has to work today. (Yes, he has a part time job over summer vacation) I sent these children to bed - which happens to be located right next to my bedroom - and for the next THREE hours had to repeatedly tell to to be quiet and go to sleep before I eventually walked out and announced that I was going to kill them and no jury would find me guilty.

So for all those times I kept parents awake, I sincerely apologize.

And for the kids that kept me up last night - I woke them up at 6:15am. I prefer quick payback.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In Which I Become The Parent of a High Schooler

One day, you're sick with exhaustion, bleary eyed and stumbling into work with some unidenified bodily fluid on your half tucked in shirt, the victim of a tiny dictator person who depends on your for, well, everything. You've spent the night feeding, cleaning, rocking and possibly negotiating with this baby in the slim hopes that he'll let you sleep more than ten minutes a stretch before you are expected to arrive and act like a fully functioning human at the office that day. You'd be secretly pleased with yourself for keeping it togther, if you ever had a moment's time to actually reflect on the whole thing.

The next, your now independent child walks into high school.

Just like that.

Wow. It's like a time warp. Know what else you missed during that time? You've lost all sense of fashion, popular music, and let's face it, your hair style is probably outdated, too. I can't help but think that this isn't just a new time for him, but a new time for me as well. Instead of propping him up as a child it's time to point him in the right direction as a young man.

And I guess updating my hair wouldn't hurt.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What ARE These Emotions?

As I get older, I'm finding small cracks in my armor. Last night at the kids' concert, I found myself actually getting choked up when my boy was on stage, thinking about how after next week, he'll be done with this grammar school where he's spent so many years, and he'll be moving on to something new.
And then when I went to say that to my husband, my voice cracked. And I thought, "What the ..??" That's not supposed to happen!
When tucking my little one in last night, he sang me a lullaby. My heart almost exploded. Leading me to question, who has turned on the great faucet of emotion I've got going on here?
Last month, while on vacation, we were watching a fireworks extravaganza in the happiest place on Earth, and I looked over and saw my 3 guys looking up, eyes wide, smiles wider, and the light and colors from the fireworks reflected on their faces, and the absolute love, happiness and gratitude I felt at that moment literally made my chest hurt.

Once upon a time, I held these people when they were tiny and brand new, and honestly believed at the time that it was humanly impossible to love them - and their father - any more than I did at that moment.

I was wrong.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kid:1 Momma:0

Tonight my little one argued over dinner. No surprise, as he argues over everything. He protested the dinner offerings, pleading for something else. After explaining to him that it would take too long to make something else , I kept saying NO. At last he said, "But mom! I had such a rough day!" "So did I, and no one's making me dinner." was my reply. He stood up, and with tears in his eyes and absolute sincerity he said, "I'll make your dinner mom. With all of my cooking abilities, I'll make it for you!" Sweetest offer ever. Instead, I took a big hug, and then promptly caved in and made him a special order dinner. Such a con man, this one. But he's a really cute con man.

Monday, May 21, 2012

No Chip Manicure!

No, seriously, it hasn't chipped and I think I may never buy nail polish again. Yes I've said that before, after trying Incoco and Sally Hansen nail color strips. Those, they look great, but they start to come off the next day.
Allow me to explain. If I spent as much time studing as painting and maintaining my nails, I'd have a PhD already. For mother's day, my husband got me a gift card for my favorite nail salon. Decided to spring for the no chip manicure and found it to be pretty fricken awesome.
It's not nail polish, so they're kind of misleading. It's a gel overlay with a super shiny and durable topcoat. Voila! Nail polish look, overlay durability.
Since this isn't your standard polish, it takes a little more oomph to get it off when it's time for a change. If you've seen women in your local salon with aluminum robot fingers, that's what they're doing. I think I can live with that.
*only complaint: The color I picked out was a very deep red, dark and wine like. What I ended up with on my fingers is a bright hooker red. Not sure if they had the color mislabled or whether there's something else that accounts for the variation.
After 2 weeks I'll update on how it's held up. Depending on how much growth is visible, I may even let it go on a little longer.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diet day, Um, 19 or so

Since I've gone ultra restrictive and lived to tell the tale, I feel like it's time to transition to an easier to follow, low calorie diet plan. Mostly because breakfast and lunch are kind of a pain in the ass when you're low carbing it. You have to MAKE breakfast, then take the time to eat it. Then you have to MAKE lunch (whether it's a chicken breast or a pork chop, it takes time!) and really, who has time for that? If I don't do that, then I have to shell out $9 for a freakin salad. Frankly, I'm getting tired of that.

Now I'm going to go for healthy choices and portion control. Today I ate half a sandwich and some fruit. I'll stick to sugar free coffee, and low carb dinners. The diet journey continues.

In other news, the NATO conference is here. A group of us went over to the center of the action today, and so far, it's very peaceful. Lots of groups, a lot of talking, music playing, singing. And this woman here. What you don't see is that she's facing the perimeter line of police, giving them this gentle reminder. That's what it's all about.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Baby's First Day of

Today my 8 year old walked home from school for the first time. Not alone, of course, but with his big brother. While in my heart I knew they'd be fine, I still felt like he wasn't ready for that kind of a trek. Of course, big brother stopped off to buy them snacks, which is awesome, and then they arrived home in one (well, two) pieces. This was not my idea, I would like that noted for the record. Hubs suggested it today, and the little one hesitantly agreed to it. I worried that the walk was too long for him, or that he'd run ahead of his brother and somehow get hurt, lost, hit by a semi, whatever. But when the time came that I knew they'd be close to home, I sent a quick text, found out they were close to home, and my heart returned to it's normal rhythm.

Diet Day 21 - Rated M for Language

It's Monday, that's weigh in day. This morning I pull out the scale and step on.... and..... no change. Wait. No change? How could there be no fucking change? I've not eaten so much as a motherfucking torilla in 3 weeks. I'm wearing clothes I couldn't even close a few months ago. My goddamn wedding rings are loose! What do you mean, no change, dammit? So I set about testing the scale. Put an 8lb weight on it. It says 7lbs. Then I stand on the scale and hold the weight. That's a 10 lb increase. Not only is my scale off, but it's math skills suck, too. Verdict? Fucking scale's broken. So I remain dutifully on the diet, since I can see and feel the weight loss. It would be nice to feel vindicated by stepping on the scale and seeing a decrease. But since my scale is an asshole, that's not seeming to be the case. So where do I go to get a good, accurate scale???

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Diet Day 17

Good things are happening. Things like, I have on my favorite pair of jeans, which I haven't been able to squeeze my ass into for months. Also, Daimean is no longer failing any classes. (Why yes, I've set the bar pretty low) Sure, the low carb thing is getting boring. Better bored than fat, that's the theory I'm going with. Been eating a lot of salad and that's got to be a good thing. Yes, it makes me sad to dig out all the fun stuff like corn, black beans and tortilla strips, but for now, I can live with it. Found some amazingly low carb flatbreads which have allowed me to pretend I'm eating pizza. That's been kind of a saving grace. Mostly I've realized just how bad my eating habits had become. Not just the careless amounts of food, but it seems like I ate everything that was bad for me and nothing that was good for me. I'd gotten away from veggies and replaced them with potatoes. Are potatoes actually a vegetable? I'm not sure. But I do know that eating fried has browns in the morning, french fries at lunch and mashed potatoes at dinner cannot be good. Dessert lately has been jello, and if I'm feeling really adventurous, maybe some sugar free cool whip. Before the diet, dessert would be a cupcake. And not just once, here and there. But all the time. Now I'm considering getting a cupcake tattooed on my arm, you know, like you would for a fallen war buddy. As much as I hate to admit it, I obviously had a very unhealthy relationship with food, and I wonder whether I'll fall back into that. Where a half a bag of chips seems normal, and pizza is one of the food groups. It didn't happen overnight, I'm sure. But at some point I made the decision that I had too much going on, and I wasn't going to beat myself up over my weight. I guess that was my own free pass to eat whatever I wanted. Enought with the analyzing today. I've got a few more weeks to go before I loosen up the restrictions, and I hope to have my little food demons worked out by then.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Diet Day 14 and The Scale Says ....

4 lbs down since last week's weigh in. I'm still skeptical about this digital scale, so we're considering getting an old timey spinny with the red needle one. And yes, I'm quite aware that sentence didn't exactly work, but whatever, you know what I mean. With some apprehension, we went to our Sunday gathering and what there did I find? My awesome, wonderful (and skinny but I don't hate her) friend had veggies and hummus and chilled skinnygirl cocktails ready to go! Guilt free partying! To make things even better, I wore a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to wear for MONTHS. Score.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Diet Day 10

Still going strong! Yesterday I made mashed cauliflower and well, it was terrible. But that's ok. I'll stick to steamed then. One challenge I know we're going to have is social gatherings. We tend to have snacks and drinks, and plenty of them. I don't want to get sidetracked, but I also don't want to sit them out. Plan? Low carb buffalo chicken dip, with veggies for us and chips for everyone else. Not sure yet about drinks. I picked up the skinnygirl cosmo, but haven't tried it, and don't feel particularly compelled to. Just not worth the delay in weight loss at this point. We'll see. Maybe I can get that low carb/low cal beer for hubs. He'll probably hate it, cause I'm pretty sure it's just beer flavored water, but at least it's something! Since I've only weighed myself once, and can only guess at what I weighed the week before, I'm going on the fit of my clothes to determine whether this is working. The gradual loosening of my jeans says "yes!" I know me and my tendency to obsess (no, really, I do) so I'm only going to allow myself to get on the scale once each week. And I *really* hope to see that number going down.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Diet Day 7

Finally got on a scale this morning. When it got done laughing at me, it flashed my weight in big, ugly numbers. 147. That's a hell of a high number for someone my height! If I were 5'8 that would be ok. Alas, I'm not. Took me a while to come up with a goal weight, honestly it's because it seems almost impossible and I didn't want to give myself a goal I can't reach. Yeah, I like to set the bar low. After much thought (read: Goading by my husband) I set my goal as 125. That means I've got about 25 lbs to lose. It's going to be a long journey.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Diet Day 4

Still going well. Main challenge right now is that Hubs doesn't want to go anywhere outside of the house, because he "can't eat or drink anything there" While I can understand that, I'm sure as hell not letting it keep me in the house. Starting to think that at 1 week, I may even get on a scale, if for no other reason than to see the numbers as they go down :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Diet - Day 3

Haven't had any crazy cravings, haven't looked at anything and thought, "Just one won't hurt" so I'd say it's going pretty well. Finding myself more tired, don't know if that's because I'm not eating often enough to keep my blood sugar up, or what. OR If it's my SINS - Stress Induced Narcolepsy Syndrome. Last night when I got home from school and realized I had no one to cook dinner for me, and I couldn't just grab whatever, that made me kind of sad. Sad because I had so many other things to do, that stopping to make dinner was a hell of an inconvenience. Making and eating breakfast was fun this morning. I picked up chopped ham, and tossed some in a pan with butter while I was getting ready. A few seconds (minutes? Who's counting) later, I heard a sound like popcorn popping, and turn to find the small cubes of ham popping right out of the pan - and onto the floor, much to the dogs' delight. Must revise that plan for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Diet - Day 2

Woke up with a blazing ocular interruption - what some people might call hallucinations, but having spent a really, really lot of time with retinal specialists, I know that it's just the result of something overstimulating my optic nerve. It floats over my vision, sometimes it blinks, shimmers or looks wavy. If I stand or sit still for a few minutes, it will go away.

Of course I blamed it on the lack of sugar in my body. I'm pretty sure my body is drawing up a letter of secession from my brain for making a choice like this. Actually, I still feel pretty good though. I was really too busy yesterday to dwell on it.

One admission here - I won't have anything concrete to measure my success against, as I still refuse to step on a scale. Later, after I've lost some of this weight, THEN I'll check the scale so I can monitor my progress. No sense in depressing myself over it - and giving me a number to obsess over - right now.

And so, on to finish my finals so I can also put this hellish semester behind me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Diet - Day 1

Haven't killed anyone. That's good, right?

In my attempt to be fancy and cultured with this diety thing (you know, I misspelled that and it came out "diety" - freudian?) I made a version of Rachael Ray's chimichurri in my blender. It was a total loss. Going to buy a food processor and try again.

My little man had his first communion this past weekend, and his 1st grade teacher snapped this picture. Love it so much, had to share.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stolen Cars and Areolas

It's been a weird week.

Yesterday someone abandoned a stolen car right in front of our garage, blocking in my car. Awesome. After having our garage broken into, and our front window broken, if we were the only latino family on the block, I'd start to worry. So since it's not racially motivated, what the hell is it about our house that just invites this stuff?? Like the hobos sitting behind the garage drinking thier breakfast, not wanting to leave because, in their words, "We ain't hurting nothin'" Or the guy who passed out against the garage door and fell in when we opened it. And no, we don't live in a bad neighborhood, but we do live down the street from the scummy liquor store.

Had a conversation with a customer that included the word areola. Yes, it made me laugh. My professionalism may have suffered a hit, but that's ok, because when your customer says "No, I mean it, I could see her areola!" what else are you going to do?

I'm trying to write a research paper. At the risk of sounding like a petulant child, it's just not fair to have to write these papers AND attend class. I mean, I can do one or the other, but I have serious trouble doing both.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's All Relative

When I was young, everyone told me that once you're an adult, time will go by so fast you won't know what happened.
Oh. My. God. So true.

My oldest child will be 14 tomorrow. How in the world did that happen? It happened so gradually that I almost didn't notice he's becoming a man right before my very eyes. Just add water and copious amounts of groceries, apparently.

Each day, I have a mental to do list, and I'm finding things get put off for ridiculous amounts of time. Especially phone calls. I just don't have the time to make them. Sure, I make plans to SEE people, but I'm often running from one place to the next, and by the time I want to make those phone calls, it's past the polite hours of non emergency phone calls.

In some cases, I look back and realize it may have been literally months since I've spoken to someone, or that I've owed someone a response or answer for weeks (Ummm, sorry Titi Doris and grandma....)

Here is the sad part. The people I have lost contact with, they don't use text messaging. I don't mean to sound like a 12 year old here, but it really is the quickest and easiest way to communicate. I mean, email is good too, but they don't have that either. (Talking to you again, Titi Doris and grandma ....)

I'm off to go text someone now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Somebody That I Used To Know

Ugh - that song has been mercilessly playing in my head, and it just won't go away. I'm far too old to be hearing random xylophone solos in my head.

At this moment, I'm sitting in a class that I usually love, listening to a professor that I usually love, talking about a topic that - you guessed it - I usually love. But today I just don't have the patience to sit still for this long. Especially knowing I'll be hopping on a plane soon to go on vacation. How is it that the days leading up to vacation suddenly seem to last longer than the last ice age?

Today's conflict - what good is a blog without conflict? - is that I need need NEED to get my fat ass moving and lose some weight. The last few months have been a study in sedentary life for me, and my body is feeling and SHOWING the effects. Problem? Besides me being lazy? I'm so out of shape that exercise sucks more than it usually does. Solution? Atkins.

In this case, the somebody that I used to know is named Dr. Atkins, and he came up with the faddiest of fad diets - the low carb craze that swept the world a few years ago. After having my second child, I needed to lose some weight, so I jumped on the bandwagon and did Atkins. Sure, it sucked, but I lose a lot of weight. And even after getting off of the diet, I didn't gain the weight back. It was all good right up until my horrid experience with prednisone, and the weight gain from that vile drug. That weight never went away. Even when I dieted, even when I exercised - which admittedly, wasn't much. Now I find myself embarrassed by my weight. I literally apologized to my husband for "being a cow." He, of course, says I'm not. But the fact is that we both know we're overweight and not getting any younger, so we've decided it's time to kick start a new lifestyle, otherwise we'll be in our 50s and too unhealthy to do anything.

I am NOT going to torture myself by going on vacation and starting a diet at the same time. My plan - and I do have one - is to begin Atkins after returning from vacation. Hubs is going to do it as well, which will make it easier for both of us. I'm excited about it, because I know if done correctly, it works. I'm nervous about it, because let's face it, if it was so easy to watch what I eat, I'd have been doing it all along. The nice thing is that even though the fad officially died, it's still pretty easy to stick to it the way it was meant to be done. Not with low carb versions of food, but with fresh veggies and lean meats. So I think it will actually be better this time around, because I won't be trying to buy everything in the store that says "Low Carb!" on the label.

Coming soon - my weight loss journey! This blog has seen a lot of my life come and go, so I may as well document this phase, too. I may even get bold enough to step on a scale so I can measure my progress. Scales are not my friend, so I don't ever look at them. I go to the doctor, she writes down my weight in my chart, and she doesn't tell me. She's cool like that. She still tells me I need to lose weight, because she's a doctor after all.

And with that, I will say that I'm going to enjoy my red wine, my mashed potatoes and my Cheerios right up until D Day. And when I start crying for "just one McNugget" please, dear readers, remind me that I can do this, ok?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A New Low

My dinner consists of Fritos and Mountain Dew. I'm sitting in a class discussing a lot of -isms and peace treaties. Is this the college experience I missed the first time around? If so, I don't think I missed much. I miss my waist line, and I guess I have Fritos and Mountain Dew to thank for that.

EDIT: Next class, next bunch of faceless seat fillers. Until one in an I <3 Zombies shirt sits down in front of me, and we have the geekiest conversation about zombies, vampires and other fun stuff AND how much our kids like them too.... and then find out that the odd duck who sits in back in a tie and jacket every day is actually a stay at home dad, and he dons those clothes just for school. Wow. And you know what's funny, on my way across campus this afternoon, I realized that I literally don't know anyone here. Any friends I've made here have already graduated, or seem to permanently reside at the other campus. Now, I'm a very, very social person, so it's kind of weird for me to come to school and NOT bother to talk to anyone. Sometimes I forget that lots of the people here are also struggling with work and parenting outside of school, and maybe that's why we all LOOK like zombies when we're here. I suppose even small connections with the people is good, right?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What now?

Sure, I should be following along with tonight's lecture, but after writing my midterms, I just don't have it in me. My intellectual stores have been emptied. So I bring you tonight's Idiot Blog.

First, let's review the week, shall we?

Dropped my kid's cell phone in the toilet. But wait, there's more. It started making some crazy, beepy, blippy R2D2 noises when I pulled it out. The intense light for the flash turned on, and wouldn't turn off. The phone started getting really hot, sooo of course I put it in the refrigerator. Well, what would you have done? So I dry it off as best as I can and put it on the charger. Later in the day, my husband calls my cell phone, and although I'm in a meeting, I answer the phone. What follows is the one sided conversation my poor co-worker heard:

No. Should I?
In the toilet.
Well no, but I did put it in the fridge.
Yes, it made weird noises, so I put it in the fridge.

Well that was a fun little phone call to explain afterwards. I've often said they keep me employed there only for the comic value I bring.

Allow me to amend my statement above that I'm not paying attention. I was sitting behind my little laptop, minding my own business, and I heard the professor admit that after all the drinking jokes he's made, he's actually given up alcohol. The classroom went dead quiet. At least until I, seeking to understand such a decision, asked, "For lent?" SO there, I am listening. Then I went back to my own little world, when I heard him proclaim "and that was Marius" so I picked my head up again, realized I have no clue who he's really talking about, but I'd really like to go home and watch Queen of the Damned even though they screwed it up because Marius didn't make Lestat, Magnus did, and everyone knows that.....

And aren't you glad you read this post?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cake Vodka, How Do I Love Thee?

So my new favorite beverage is cake flavored vodka. Sure, I still love a classic, big girl martini. But give me a glass of cake vodka and I'm pretty happy with my non-sophisticated self.
Found a recipe that mixes cake vodka with chocolate vodka and cherry soda and I can't *wait* to try it.

Have I developed a drinking problem?

I hear it's only a problem if you run out.... and I'm not out!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Old and Sentimental

Beats old and senile, huh?

Yesterday my darling husband arranged a birthday party for me. Standard sarcasm aside, it was very sweet of him, and it was wonderful to celebrate with everyone that came.

Unfortunatley, I'm a bit tired and um, dehydrated here at work today. Maybe if I have a beer, it'll help ....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

So now my plan to make him fall in love with me and run away to France will never happen.

Aside from my own personal sadness at that, I'm happy for you, Mr. Bomer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Tooth Fairy

My little one is 8 years old, and very sensitive. He believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. That last one is hanging on by a thread though, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to cause the other two to become extinct soon.

The last tooth he lost, he overheard me tell my husband that I have given my last $5 to him. He’s not stupid, he put 2 and 2 together and realized the only $5 he had ALLEGEDLY came from the tooth fairy. So he asked me about it. I stood behind my lie until he looked me in the eye and said, “Tell me the truth.” So I did. I told him that I put the money there.

Fast forward to this weekend, when he looses another tooth. Puts this one under the pillow, wakes up in the morning and there’s no cash there. Now he’s really mad, and comes to me saying that he thinks the tooth fairy is a lie. I stalled, didn’t give an answer either way. Told him he could put his tooth back under his pillow with a note and see what happens. Talk to hubs, we agree to continue the Big Lie. This morning I hand hubs $5 to put under the pillow. Figure I’ll tackle the talk about non-existent gift giving fairies another time.

THEN I get a text from my small child calling me a liar, and saying the tooth fairy is fake and that he believed it. I apologized and explained that when I was a kid, I loved the tooth fairy, so wanted to do the same thing for him. I don’t think he’s speaking to me now.

Anywho, I had hubs check that note that was left with the tooth. It was asking for demanding $10 (twice the normal rate!) for being late. That little extortionist!

After I apologized to the little guy, I told him to go talk to dad. It went something like this –

Little Guy: Dad, is the tooth fairy real?

Hubs: Whatever you believe in your heart, that’s what’s real.

WHAT?! Well I believe in the winning lottery ticket fairy, and that bitch hasn’t made any stops at my house. I digress. There’s something horrible about the change you see in a child’s eyes when he stops believing. That magic is gone, and replaced with a shitty reality in which your parents lie to you, and some of the best things you know are fake. They never look at Christmas morning the same again, after finding out that Santa isn’t real. Sure, they’re excited, but it’s not amazing and magical.

So now we’ve got to have a little talk, my darling sensitive child and I. And I’m going to tell him the truth. And it’s going to be harder on me than on him. *sigh*

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Touch of Smurfitis

My little one is obsessed with food coloring. He thinks it makes everything more palatable, so he uses it a lot. As you can imagine, he's made quite a mess. Yesterday I wanted to avoid the mess so I offered to do it for him. Mistake. He'd left the blue food coloring partially open the last time he used it, so when I pulled it out, one single drop escaped down the side, right onto my thumb. Which is, of course, very blue now.

I am going to refuse to explain this to anyone at work today. Gotta keep some kind of mystery.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today is ...

not my day, that's what.

After running late to take the kids to school, the little one forgets his lunch. The older one was ratted out by his teacher for having his head down all through math class. I find there is a spot right in front of my left boob on this once pristine shirt - but I find it after I've already left the house. Then I find there's a hole in the sleeve under my right arm, so I'm wearing a sweater all day. well, I guess I was wearing one to cover the spot anyway.

It's the first day of school for my spring semester, maybe that's why I feel like there are dodos chasing me around and chanting, "doom on you... doom on you...."