Monday, May 31, 2010

Random Things

I think of all these random things a lot. Then I think "Oh I should write a post about those things." Yeah, there's a meme for that. Do you think I remember what day it's supposed to be or where it started? No.

Then this awesome thing happened when I sat down to write said post about random things my brain mulls. Nothing. Well, there is one thing but I can't write about that HERE because I'm pretty certain that the person it's about would decide TODAY was a good day to read my blog. It figures. And yes, I'm paranoid about that. My mom always said if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Oh the guilt that courses through my veins at the mere thought of offending someone.

Gah.

I'm terrified to go in my garage most of the time. I have this fear that there will be someone out there. I imagine someone hiding behind the side of our house and as I hit the garage door button to close and step instead then that person jumps in to the garage to wait for an opportunity to invade. I usually deadbolt the door behind me. And when I have to go out there again? Well I either A.) Make sure I'm ready to punch someone or B.) Send my kids first. I'm awesome, right?

There is also a mouse in our garage.

Where's the snake that was on my driveway last week when I need him? Oh wait... I hate snakes.

I'm screwed.

Bug earned all of his responsibility magnets this week which resulted in a trip to the toy store with Daddy for a new Transformer yesterday. It's already broken. It's partially a design flaw but also partly that he hasn't figured out that not all the parts move the same way as other Transformers that he has. "What? This one's wheel doesn't turn in to a hand?" SNAP. Sigh.

We are on week 3 of the Mommy Boycott. It's getting old. It's still sort of funny. But it's still really old.

I have not had a laundry pile last more than 24 hours in the past month. I made a goal to just put it away when it came out of the dryer (novel concept). The only times I've not stuck to this is when the laundry came out of the dryer late at night and it was Bug's and he was, you know, sleeping.

I'm going to Denver in a month to see my girl V! Just me. By myself. I can't decide which might be more exciting (besides seeing my friend!): sleeping without a 4 year old waking me up in the middle of the night, sleeping in, or going somewhere without a diaper in my bag. Of course it will be my luck that her neighbors keep my up all night.

Hubs and I can not talk to each other in the car. One of us will start to talk to the other and immediately Bug starts with the "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? MOMMY?! EXCUSE ME MOMMY?!" business. "Yes Bug?" "uh, Mommy... uh... Mommy... you see that *insert some street sign or flower or car type thing* over there?" (repeat with "Daddy" ad nauseum too.) Oh my GOD this drives me batty. First of all stop interrupting, I'm talking about YOU already or your brother (mostly). Second - you don't need to be the center of attention all the time. And last? SPIT. IT. OUT. My little man's brain is racing way faster than his little mouth can process the words. It's cute and funny though too.

The worst thing about this? This makes me feel OLD. I don't know why but it does.

I am struggling with a site design for someone. It has to be perfect. But it's not perfect yet and sweet Mother Mary, this is difficult.

So... my brain hurts.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Clearly I am doing something right... RIGHT?!

Earlier this week I noticed a new movie show up on the Netflix instant queue, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. This is a favorite book in our house so I thought it'd be fun to have another family movie night (or afternoon) watching this movie together. To prepare, we convinced Bug to EAT spaghetti for lunch (you know, my picky eater agreeing to TRY something in order to watch a movie was incredibly awesome!). So I started rummaging around in the pantry and somehow managed to knock over the box of orzo I had in there. It was closed but didn't seem to want to STAY closed as it tumbled from my shelf to floor.

Meanwhile I have water about to boil on the stove. Oh and then Bear decides to RUN THROUGH IT.

So I find the spaghetti, throw it in the pot and get out the vacuum cleaner. This caused my Bear to run up and say "I DO IT!"

You want to vacuum kid?

Let me think about that for a second.

OK.

(Ignore the bottom shelf. Note the Orzo box where it landed, upright, damn it. And that Tassimo box covered in Orzo is where I keep the coffee discs. The actual coffee maker is on the counter, thank you.)



(Picking up one piece of Orzo at a time and feeding it to the vacuum cleaner is a totally efficient way to clean up the mess. Totally.)



(Note Optimus Prime (above on the left) supervising the cleanup, ensuring my Dyson was not an evil Decepticon. So glad he had our backs.)



I made sure, you know, Bear didn't stick the end up to his eyeball or anything.

Clearly I am doing something right... RIGHT?!

Earlier this week I noticed a new movie show up on the Netflix instant queue, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. This is a favorite book in our house so I thought it'd be fun to have another family movie night (or afternoon) watching this movie together. To prepare, we convinced Bug to EAT spaghetti for lunch (you know, my picky eater agreeing to TRY something in order to watch a movie was incredibly awesome!). So I started rummaging around in the pantry and somehow managed to knock over the box of orzo I had in there. It was closed but didn't seem to want to STAY closed as it tumbled from my shelf to floor.

Meanwhile I have water about to boil on the stove. Oh and then Bear decides to RUN THROUGH IT.

So I find the spaghetti, throw it in the pot and get out the vacuum cleaner. This caused my Bear to run up and say "I DO IT!"

You want to vacuum kid?

Let me think about that for a second.

OK.

(Ignore the bottom shelf. Note the Orzo box where it landed, upright, damn it. And that Tassimo box covered in Orzo is where I keep the coffee discs. The actual coffee maker is on the counter, thank you.)



(Picking up one piece of Orzo at a time and feeding it to the vacuum cleaner is a totally efficient way to clean up the mess. Totally.)



(Note Optimus Prime supervising the cleanup, ensuring my Dyson was not an evil Decepticon. So glad he had our backs.)



I made sure, you know, Bear didn't stick the end up to his eyeball or anything.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Books, Books, Books

Do you read?

What are your favorite novels?



I love to read. There have been periods of my life when I have done nothing but read. As a kid and teenager I brought books with me everywhere. Going to the store with my mom? Well that was 10 more minutes in the car where I could read, and then 10 more minutes going home. Those were the days of Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High, Danielle Steele and The Babysitters Club. (Dear Lord the things that Girl Talk Thursday makes me admit publicly!)

Thankfully for my brain and unrealistic views on romance I was introduced to Sci-fi and Fantasy very early in college. And I couldn't put them down.

I read the first six books of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordon back to back. I loved them. By book seven I was completely lost with the bowl of winds or something like that and I ended up giving up the series. I have always said though if he finishes the series I'd read it all. We'll see. You know, in my spare time.

Some of my favs:

Orson Scott Card - I first read Ender's Game. Then the entire Ender's Series. The Alvin Maker and Bean (Ender's Shadow) books. I loved them.

Robin Hobb - Have you read the Farseer Trilogy? Then it goes straight in to the spin off trilogy about the Tawny Man. Beautiful, tragic books. Her later series for The Liveship Traders and Solider's Son were very hard for me to get in to. But I pushed through because I loved her other books. Normally it takes me about 50 pages to become attached to a story. These two series took well over 100 and sometimes I had to re-read chapters and push, push, push myself to continue. In both cases I was happy I did. But if you read this author, don't start with Liveship Traders or the Solider's Son.

The Ender's books, the Liveship Traders, and the Solider's Son completely ruined Avatar for me by the way. I liked the movie but the story wasn't extremely original.

The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. I need to read these again.

My current favorite author and series is George R.R. Martin and A Song of Fire and Ice. This series is tight. It's compelling, creative, gritty, and Good Lord do not get attached to anyone. He has no problem killing off characters you think are, like, kind of important. It's epic high fantasy. And I have read the published books all two to three times each. I am anxiously (ANXIOUSLY) waiting for the next book, A Dance with Dragons. So anxious I follow his blog and read all his stuff about NFL football and other books he's writing, all the while wanting to comment and be like "DUDE STOP WRITING OTHER BOOKS AND FINISH THIS SERIES BEFORE YOU DIE AND RUIN MY IMAGINATION." I don't comment. But I want to comment. And if you like strategy board games there is an awesome, AWESOME - YES, THANK YOU I AM ADMITTING THIS TOO - board game based on the series that is so great I want to read the books again every time we play because it makes sense, it brings the story to life and OMG, I love it. (breathe)

Other books I've read and loved and worn out reading many times are:

Not Without My Daughter, the story of an American woman who married an Iranian, went to Iran to visit his family with him, and was held hostage for years before escaping through the mountains to Turkey in the dead of night with her young daughter.

Gone With the Wind and Scarlett. Yup. I'd read them again too.

In to Thin Air A heart wrenching true story about the Mt. Everest disaster. I cried.

Right now I'm in a lull for reading. The most time I make for reading is opening up my Google Reader and scrolling through my blogs. Then I hit CNN and a few other news sites and that's about it. I have two books on my nightstand that I want to read and am looking forward to a couple upcoming plane rides to dive in. The first is probably boring to most and is a book about improving your running without injury. The second is Wicked. Yes I love that play/music so much that I want to read the series.

No I have not read any Twilight Books. Yes I loved the Harry Potter books.

Hubs sort of laughs at me now. He introduces me to books (many more than mentioned here) and I end up reading the entire series before he does.

I need to read more. I love getting lost in a story. I love putting a book down and wondering what will happen when I sit down to read again. I love a satisfying ending to a well written, thoughtful series. I love discussing books.

I need to read more.

Do you?

Monday, May 24, 2010

I love my Daddy!

My little Bear has been on a Daddy streak lately. As in, a full on Mommy boycott.

Me: I love you!
Bear: I love my Daddy!
Me: I love your Daddy too!
Bear: NO!!!!!! I LOVE MY DADDY! NO MOMMY!
Me: Daddy loves you too.
Bear: Not you. I love MY DADDY.
Me: Who loves you.
Bear: Me. And Daddy.
Me: Who else loves you.
Bear: Daddy.

Rinse. Repeat. Daily.

Today he was running around yelling "I love my Daddy!... Daddy?!" You see, Daddy is still at work and he was looking for him. So I grabbed the camera and filmed a little.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saving Time

Today's Girl Talk Thursday is about Saving Time. What do you do to cut corners?



I really have only one thing I do that saves me time and that is to prep everything for the next day the night before. I put out breakfast bowls, cereal boxes, my tea bag, Splenda packets, mug, fill the tea kettle so all I have to do it plug it in and turn it on. I set the silverware. I make lunches. I pick out my clothes. I pick out the kids' clothes. I set out shoes and socks. I sometimes will pack up the car, or at least make sure all the day bags are packed.

Honestly though? This is not necessarily about saving time. It's more about sleeping longer and operating as efficiently as possible while I'm in my grump mode, I mean early in the morning with morning children. The mornings after nights I don't prep everything? Not as good. (p.s. I'm also much happier to wake up to a clean kitchen then a dirty one.)

Beyond that, I've got nothing. I just do what I do to get through all the things that need to get done during the days. Hopefully others will post some words of wisdom that I might, ya know, use for my benefit. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Teach Me

I grew up in Western New York and we moved to Northeast Florida when I was a sophomore in high school. To say that the educational systems in both locations were different is laughable to me. They were night and day. Yes, there were school buildings with teachers and students and administrators. Yes they both had English, Math, Science and History classes. Yes, both schools had school buses. But the academic standards in Florida paled in comparison and so did the social scenes.

But in both places there were teachers who stand out in my memory as the best educators I could have had.

Who were your favorite teachers? Why? It's Girl Talk Thursday. Let's chat. (p.s. Technically the topic was FAVORITE, meaning one teacher. Sorry! I have more than one!)



Top Honors go to my 7th and 8th grade math teacher Mrs. Siegel. (I think that's how you spell her name now.) She had this great way of teaching Algebra that involved rhymes and cadenced phrases that to this day stick with me. She was tough but she was fun. She taught the way that I now know I learn best and since math has never been a strong point for me, well, I'm glad for the foundation she helped me build.

Coming in an extremely close second was Mrs. Balon (she got remarried after I moved away but when she was my teacher, that was her name. So it's gonna stay that way in my brain.) This woman was my French teacher for 5 years. Most people couldn't stand her. I don't really know why. Maybe they should have taken Spanish classes instead of complaining? I thought she was great and she is the only teacher I have ever gone out of my way to visit again when I returned to Western New York years ago for one of my cousin's weddings. If I could reconnect with her again, I would.

Mrs. Cooney, my 4th grade teacher. She hugged everyone (I love hugs) and she once told me that I'd be the first female President of the United States. (cricket)(cricket) Sorry about that Hillary.

Mr. Saylor - Senior High School Physics. Ok so back when I was young and afraid of Math, no one told me that we'd have to APPLY IT ALL THE TIME. Physics? Me? Not so much. But Mr. Saylor let us have cheat sheets on the tests. We could put anything we wanted on an index card to help us with the tests. Do you know how small I can write now? Plus we always had exams "on Thursday" and there is no way for me to convey the funny inflection in his voice when he said "on Thursday" but everyone thought it was hilarious and it was a running joke for anyone in his classes.

Mrs. Basney - Senior Applied Economics. You know how in high school most people don't know what they want to go to college for and they sign up for Psychology and then go to college and figure it out? Last semester of my Senior year I took her class and although I had accepted attendance at UF and declared Psychology as my major, I ended up changing it the first week of classes that Fall. I changed it to Marketing because of her class and that's what I've stuck with and done with my life since. She made me believe I could be really good at business and the creative aspects of Marketing and she was a really, really good teacher too.

So thank you teachers! I was too young and naive to thank you back when you were my teachers, so I hope you know how awesome you were and hopefully still are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Refills To Go

When Hubs and I go out to eat I usually order an Iced Tea or a Diet Coke. I know I should drink water. But water tastes blah and I don't like to drink plain water. So I maximize the $2.50 soft drink I purchase and I almost always get a drink to go at the end of the meal.

It drives Hubs craaaazy.

I'm not exactly sure why though. I mean this third (usually) drink makes my expenditure *almost* worth it. Right? You see I'm now getting old enough that I can say "Back when I was young soft drinks were $.99 or less at every meal." Now they are $2.50 and mostly ICE. So getting refills and getting them to go means I *might* end up consuming enough of the beverage. Oh the store owners hate when I ask for "only a little ice please."

When I don't get a drink to go Hubs' jaw usually drops and I am mocked. "What?!" (feigned shock and horror) "No drink to go?!" It happens. But not often.

I don't know why I decided to write about this. But I like my refills. I like getting To Go cups. I like my Iced Teas and Diet Cokes.

And that's all there really is to say about that.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Week

I didn't feel like posting for Girl Talk Thursday this week. It was prom week and I just wasn't in the mood. Not because prom was good or bad. It just was. And The only thing I remember really about that night was a gazillion people crashing in one tiny hotel room and then getting up really stupid early and eating breakfast at IHop.

So there isn't really anything more to say about that.

The thing that got me most though was that Wednesday night late, after I hit the send button on a final email with the last report of the day, to my boss, I got an email from him. An email that told me his 34 year old son had died suddenly that evening from a blood clot. I tiny little blob of blood after a relatively routine and easy surgery on his leg to repair a ligament or tendon or something like that.

This gets to me. My boss is difficult to work for - he's always in business mode and rarely satisfied with things even when they are perfect. But he's a nice man. And if you ever heard him talk about his son and his grandchildren, well, you know he loves them dearly.

I can go down a hundred dark paths of thought. His son was 34. Hubs is 34. He had two boys, 5 and 3. Our boys are 4 and 2. His wife stayed at home. I work at home, not really the same thing but certainly I am not the bread winner and if anything happened to Hubs - I'd have to scramble so much it's not even funny. My boss and his wife are my parents' ages. They have to bury their son, their grown son on Monday. The day after Mother's Day.

That sucks.

So as much as I complain about how undervalued I feel at work, I wouldn't wish this on anyone. I have no words of condolences I can offer that feel appropriate. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

So keep their family in your thoughts please. There is a long road ahead.