Saturday, May 30, 2009

Winning Isn't Everything

Are you competitive?

I am but I also am not. I don't expect to win at games and competitions so when I do I am happy. When I don't, I'm not surprised. But I always try my hardest.

My husband though pretty much wins every game he plays. He is a great strategist and tactician, and he's just brilliantly smart. It makes a good combination for solving problems, advancing a cause, etc in any game. And we've had lots of talks about how I think he needs to let our kids win sometimes. At first he told me "no way!" half jokingly (I've always known he would do this when push came to shove though) but this week he shared an article with me and I thought I'd share it here. I thought it was a pretty good view point on winning some and losing some and the lessons we struggle to teach our children as we navigate this crazy world.

Has the Time Come for Me to Beat My Kids?

You know the cute thing now though? When he and the boys are playing a game on the Xbox and Joby doesn't win a mission, Brandon will look over at him and say "It's ok you didn't win Daddy. Let's try again."

I love that Brandon would rather just spend time with his Daddy instead of playing just to win. I love that.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I was tagged...

Katie over at Why Bother tagged me in this fun little blog tagging game!

This is my first time to be tagged so here it goes!

Here are the rules:

1) List Six Unimportant Things That Make You Happy.

2) Mention and link to the person who tagged you

3) Tag six of your favorite bloggers to play along, and comment on their blog to let them know they've been tagged.

My six unimportant things that make me happy are:

1. Clean sheets and a freshly made up bed.

2. Getting a pedicure and a leg massage.

3. Driving and not encountering idiots driving like lunatics on the road.

4. The smell of Fall when the air turns cooler and less humid, coupled with the rich colors of an Autumn landscape.

5. Walking on the beach - the cool water washing over my feet, the soft sand under my feet, a breeze tossing my hair around, the sounds of ocean swells, and the smell of the vast sea that generally just puts it all in to perspective for me.

6. Looking at the final victorious score of a Gator Football game! Chomp! Chomp!!

I tagged:

1. Vivien at Viv's Ramblings

2. Jessica at Do It Anyway

3. Angie at Our Lives as the Parents of a Preemie

4. Jackie at In Full Blum

5. Maria at Mommy Melee

6. Bekah at Bek's Lab

I enjoy all these ladies blogs and look forward to signing onto Blogger each day to see what they've got on their minds and in their hearts.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Made up with Make up

It's my favorite day to post! Girl Talk Thursday! Thanks Maria. :)

So today's topic is "what's your make up regimen?"

Oh Lord.

I am really not the model example of make up artistry or fashion. I don't love to wash my face and glop on moisturizer, then wait, then foundation, then wait, then powder, then wait, then blush, followed by powder, then wait... repeat, barf, repeat. Honestly I don't think it helps. And I live in Florida. By the time I've loaded the kids in the car and unloaded them where ever we were bound for, well, that crap sweats off and then looks like something out of a circus and I just end up grabbing a tissue and wiping it all off anyways. I can not stand the feel of sweaty-caked makeup on my face. If I have somewhere to go that is uber important then I bring everything in the car and apply the blush, eye shadow and lipstick in the car before I go in. That way it's fresh.

So, my daily regimen...

  • Wash my face in the shower, or forget - depending on the amount of sleep I got the night before or if my 3 year old is standing outside the curtain begging for a train documentary. I use Aveeno's sensitive skin stuff. I hate to use anything that dries my skin out and this is very gentle.

  • Lotion, or not. Since I live in Florida I don't like anything heavy or sticky on the humid days. Again I use the Aveeno night time sensitive skin oatmeal stuff.If I'm going out in the sun, I use the Aveeno with the SPF 15, again sensitive skin.

  • The thing I don't leave home without doing though without fail is my Neutrogena Mineral Sheer powder. I LOVE this stuff. It's not heavy like other mineral powders I've tried. It does balance out my skin tones and I can just stick the whole thing in my purse and use it again later if I need it. I love the design of this thing too. Check it out if you've never seen it or tried it. It's great.

  • The last thing I do daily - chap stick. OMG I love Carmex. Do you guys use that? It's like CRACK, not that I've ever tried crack. Just sitting here now though my lips are tingling and I feel the need to put some on. I never leave home without putting on chap stick. I also have this great natural organic one made by some woman in North Carolina that came in a goody bag from this wedding we went to in January. It's half way gone and I'm a little concerned about what I'll get next to replace it.

On special occassions or times when I need to be a little more presentable than just powder and chap stick, then I use the following things.

  • Mary Kay's medium coverage foundation in Ivory 100.

  • Some sort of eye shadow in either browns/neutrals or in purples depending on my clothes. Sometimes eyeliner, sometimes mascara. The amount of time I have is key here.

  • Mary Kay blush in Sunny Spice, or Clinique's blush in Aglow but apparently that color is not on their website.

  • Cover Girl's Outlast All Day Lipcolor. Seriously I love this. It does actually keep color all day. It does not kiss or smudge off. You get a little lip gloss to shine it back up later if need be... but the color does stay for like 5 hours. It also doesn't clump or get cakey. My color is Adobe Sand from the neutrals.

I have more make up in my drawer but I hardly wear any of it. I should probably throw it all away but when I go through it I see this pretty shimmery eye shadow and say "oh I might wear that" or something along those lines.

Isn't it funny that when we're little girls we can't wait to grow up and wear makeup and now so many of us could care less?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wicked Wednesday

So if you follow me on Twitter or know me in real life then you'll know I've had a rough couple of days computer wise. I am having serious locking up issues and those techy people in India have said it's Windows or some HP printer driver and have told me to reinstall my OS. Um... I trouble-shooted the freezing a long time before contacting them and I firmly believe it's BIOS and battery related. Why? Well, because if the battery is installed in the machine, it won't boot up. Just running on A/C, we're cool, for about 2 hours. Then a lock up from hell. And, I removed the hard drive and got in to the BIOS set-up and guess what? the laptop become completely NON RESPONSIVE. So if the hard drive isn't in there and it still locks up in the BIOS, how is that Windows then?

Hey a note for any of you out there with computer problems... use the online chat instead of calling. You don't have to hold the phone to your ear while you wait, you don't have communication issues... it's all good, or well, better. Is calling tech-support ever really good? I hate when you spend a few minutes typing up the problem and the first answer you get is "ok, so I understand you have a problem with your computer." DUH. I get the whole repeating the problem back psychology but honestly when you TYPE the words "I have a problem with the computer freezing up" and the response you get is "I understand you have a problem with your computer freezing, is this correct?" When you TYPE there is no accent issue to deal with, no static on the phone line, no lost in translationess. (yes, I just made up a word) Let's just say I got to work on my patience a lot the past few days. And as I type this the guy was supposed to call me back today at 9pm EST and so far, nada. Sigh. I don't know what else to do except wait and work on my old computer for now. (update - he called at 10pm)

I have lots of ideas for posts soon, not just this boring stuff about my everyday life. I want to talk about civil rights, circumcision, breast-feeding and lots of other things. I just need time to focus and think so I don't sound like a complete goober.

I have been getting a lot of support for this blog recently and my comments on some of your blogs. Thank you. Totally, totally needed that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tomorrow is Tuesday

I keep repeating this to myself, Tomorrow is Tuesday.

I'm going to forget this at least once tomorrow. I know it.

How did the weekend go by so fast? Seriously?

Stuck sort of between a rock and a hard place (no, that is not what she said) and just kind of figuring it all out.

Here's hoping that everyone has a good 4 day week until the weekend arrives again! :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Link Child Locater

I am catching up on all my blogs this morning and finally reached this one...

Link Child Locater

I immediately commented. I want two. I want to review it when it comes to market. Seriously.

The only thing they need to incorporate in to it is that one parent receiver should be able to track multiple kids. Or if both parents wear one then both parents receivers should be able to track all their kids. They could assign different colors or symbols for each kid on the display.

Just thoughts. I like this!

And I really love this blog too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Seriously

Here are some highlights from my week:

It rained. All week. Almost non-stop. A previously empty 5-gallon bucket in the backyard is completely full of water now. That's a lot of rain.

We have all been sick. Viral. Sucks.

I took the boys out last night to Target in between rain showers. I didn't go by the toy section and Bran yells loudly "Stop being a PITA Mommy!!!!"

After Target I had a wicked good time playing a game with Alex that involved putting mixing bowls on my head, knocking them over and laughing hysterically.

The boys slept until 7:15 this morning and I went to bed before midnight. Good times!

My Dad is awesome. So's my Mom. They are very supportive even when I told them they didn't have to be this week.

Dell had my laptop fixed in two days, not the projected 5-7 business days. Bad news is that I need a new battery if I ever want to unplug for more than 30 minutes. I'll be back... have to go check that money tree growing out back... nothing yet.

And now... looking forward to next week... that annual girlie doctor visit and yay, the MRI. I'm just so excited about all this, I can hardly stand it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Terrible TV

I've been waiting for this week's Girl Talk Thursday. I love TV and I am not ashamed of it!

I love reality shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race (I've dreamed of doing this show with my hubby), Big Brother, The Bachelor, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Next Top Model and Project Runnway. LOVE them. I also love regular shows like Grey's Anatomy, The Office, Heroes (I'm hoping the next seasons don't suck), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (sob!) and Brothers & Sisters. We also record shoes like Lie to Me, How It's Made, & Odd Jobs so when nothing else is on, well we have something. I don't even know what night of the week those ones come on though. They just show up.

Don't even get me started on all the kids' shows I now have ingrained in my brain. The sad thing here is that I will sing those songs in the shower.

Ok but - the worst two shows I have EVER watched but loved every ridiculous minute of...

Paradise Hotel & Flavor of Love

Holy crap you can't write drama this fantastic. Train wrecks in their epic gloriousness. I recently found Paradise Hotel 2 on Hulu and yeah, we'll be watching that through the xBox sometime soon.

Paradise Hotel was a show on in summer of 2003. The main premise - hook up or go home. There were like 6 couples and on odd person out that alternated guy or girl each week. The guy or girl who didn't get chosen to be "suite mates" with someone else got sent home. Then they'd bring a "contestant" on from the studio audience. Hilarious. These people were totally secluded in the paradise of their private Mexican hotel (dude, it was a hot place) and the stuff they came up with to entertain themselves was just awesome. If you like watching train wrecks, search the summer re-runs for this gem. We've watched the show in its entirety THREE times. I'm not sure I could stomach it one more time with Amy and Zach and that mess, but yeah, Tara was hot. Wait, that was last week's topic... Hmmm...

Flavor of Love. Lord, where do I start? Just like the Bachelor but, um, nothing romantic or rosey? Flavor Flav got his pick of something like 25 of America's finest trash to court. I think one girl spit on another girl in the face, a weave came out in a cat-fight and then there was the whole Tiffany aka "New York" thing going on. For heaven's sake people, I hope the pay and experience of being on the show was good. TRAIN WRECK. And yeah, I know exactly what it says about me that I found the show hilarious enough that I had to tune in each week.

That's it, all done.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Order Here, Order There, Semi-Chaos Everywhere

I haven't had time to write lately. I'm totally agreeing with Maria too. Girl, I feel your situation. I haven't even had a chance to read more than you in my RSS Reader. I will catch up on reading all your blogs, the blogs about your kids, etc, and I will love every minute of it, probably this weekend.

I swear this week has been a roller coaster ride emotionally. The weather has been awesome and not awesome - we need the rain, just not this much. The kids haven't really been out of the house like they are used to for the past three days because of the weather. Anyone with kids can appreciate that kind of stir-craziness I would think. We are all still sick on top of that too. And then the personal drama... oh the drama. Hey, yeah, kick me while I'm down. Go for it. You know I love it. (disclaimer everyone: that part about loving it... that was sarcasm. I know how hard it is to come across in this type of medium)

I am a Taurus. In the midst of all the chaos this week I decided to seize control of something just so I could feel more grounded. So I organized my email. And my RSS Reader. I re-categorized everything. It was refreshing. I know, how life changing, right? I also got my hair cut. Small changes can have big rewards. I even decided to go through some old photo albums of photos and cards that people have sent me. See the joy of being a pack rat is that I keep things, all the Birthday & Christmas cards and photos since I got married, and I can take them out and remember the good times when people told the truth and like, you know, considered others. A friend was telling me just last week that I should purge things like this, old Christmas cards, etc. That I should reclaim my closets. I mean what does it matter that I have holiday cards for like the last 7 years? But today, those old cards brought me great comfort and put a smile on my face. It's all about finding your footing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Week End Amazing

Despite a craptacular week the weekend was great. Our good friends Jeff & Eryn came to visit us and it was a welcome break from the daily grind. Saturday we just chilled and then were joined by Patrick, Hyesung and Grace for some BBQ dinner and general catching up. I seriously love my friends.

Sunday we went to the Jacksonville Zoo. We have an annual pass and it's always a good time to go. I decided not to bring a stroller (which was not a good idea because it's a portable crap carrier when your child isn't in it) and just carried him on my back with the Ergo. (That thing is amazing. Seriously.) This time Alex really got in to it. He could see the animals better since he was up high on my back and delighted in making the animal noises he knows. We did let him run around at one point and now I know why parents put their kids on those leash backpack things. Alex didn't want to hold my hand and insisted on his own path. Later he really didn't want to be on my back again so everyone took turns carrying him around. (THANK YOU)

Anyways - here are some photos of my favorite men and our friends.





I'm so looking forward to June when they will be back and our friends from Portland will also be here.

In case y'all couldn't tell - my friends mean the world to me.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Interview with a Three Year Old

Following the ranks of like every mom I know on Facebook and this Blogsphere... here is my interview with my little three year old Bug.

What is something I always say to you? “ Hmmm… Um…hmmm…what’s that mean?”
What makes me happy? “hmmm… uh, what?mac n cheese!”
What makes me sad? “I do bad things”
How do I make you laugh? “Make Silly Sillies”
What do you think I was like as a child? “Um hold on Mommy I’m trying to fix my truck. You gotta hold on… I don’t want to use my words anymore.”
How old am I? “um… 2”
How tall am I? “Um… ‘dis!” holding arms out
What is my favorite thing to do? “to go in the kitchen” (um, no, because it usually involves cooking or cleaning, not my strengths)
What do I do when you’re not around? “um… I don’t want to use words anymore… not anymore.”
If I become famous, what will it be for? “hmmm what for? I’m going to play with my trucks.”
What am I really good at? “hmmmm…. Whatchyoo good at?...I can’t answer that.”
What am I not really good at? “um. When I do bad things.”
What is my job? “hmmmm… what’s this Mommy? (playing with my Lion King mousepad) “Oh this is hot (the laptop)” “to go to JCPenny”
What is my favorite food? “hmmmm…. Chicken.”
What makes you proud of me? “Grammy?”
What makes me proud of you? “Trains”
What do you and I do together? “hmmm… so many things to do together…. Um… where’s Dad?”
How are we the same? “hmmm… you and I are big and Alex is little”
How are you and I different? “um… Mommy… I want to do train tracks… I don’t like to ask questions anymore.”
How do you know that I love you? “uh… Daddy does.”
What is one thing you wish you could change about me? “um…maybe these numbers… like 2… 2… yes.”
What do you wish you could go and do with me? “um… hmmm… what do you want to bake with me? Um… what do you want with me?... um…your ring spins around Mommy. Like this Mommy…. To make mac-n-cheese with Grandma… NOOOO! I know… Train Tracks!... not anymore questions now Mommy.”

That's My Heart, On My Sleeve

I have a question.

When is it "ok" to be rude to people?

Is it ok to be rude to the customer service rep who happened to take your call when you were mad, and heck you're never going to see them, and probably never talk to them again either? What about the person who's tailgating you or driving like a fool that you flip off? I'm guilty of these things, of trying to feel better in the moment. I am working on the first example by telling the person on the phone that "I'm not mad at you, I'm angry and frustrated about this situation, so will you please help me?" It's still not ok for me to be rude but I do try to let the person know that I'm not trying to shoot the messenger. The second example is also something I do less and less because my actions have a direct impact on my sons. And I want them to grow up to be decent, honest, caring and thoughtful men.

Is it ok to be rude to someone you cross paths with occasionally? Is it ok to tell someone who is reaching out to buzz off because you can't be bothered with mere acquaintances? Is ok to coat a slap (or two) with a velvet glove of politeness? I got smacked with velvet yesterday and today. Eloquent, calculated velvet.

Someone in the same circle I dared to call "family" once told me "you have to stroke before you poke." While that sounds funny, and is, it related to helping people grow as individuals, making them wiser, perhaps stronger in character. There were lots of reasons... I'm guilty of being harsh to my students, doling out the life lessons I am still learning myself. But I will tell you that I loved every one of them and I had their best interests at heart. I was tough because I cared. I never thought I was better than them and I always, always said to myself that we are human beings first, before we are professionals, teachers, students, moms, dads, friends... we are human beings with hearts and minds and souls. I don't think I ever smacked anyone in the heart and then walked away leaving them broken. If I did, I truly am sorry.

I am totally regretting putting myself out there. I should not have shared this blog with anyone in real life other than my family and few best girlfriends. But I did, to people who have somehow had an impact on my life for good reasons. I reached out to you to show you I CARE ABOUT YOU despite the miles or months that separate us. If you didn't want to share, that's fine. Don't click. Don't read. Delete the email I sent. But don't ever accuse me of dropping the ball on the family of my heart. The distance is not mine to cross any longer.

I am taking away a very valuable lesson from this. I am going to work harder on how my actions and words affect people. I have a lot of work to do because it is never ok to be rude to be people, the ones we know and the ones we don't know.

Thank you for teaching me again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crushin' on the Girlies

For our latest installment of Girl Talk Thursday, brought to us by none other than the fabulous Maria, we're dishing on who our girl crush is.

Hmmm... I've never really crushed on a girl before. I guess I called it idolizing which is sort of the same thing. (more on that idolization another day.) But I'm going to talk about who I think is HOT and why - and you know, who'd I'd invite over for hot times if I were the sort of girl who invited other girls over for hot times with her hubby. Sooo not that kind of girl but... It's Girl Talk Thursday...

Julianne Hough

Totally hot. Totally. Have you seen her dance? The Rumba? Ok here's a clip with her and Tony Dovoloni (not hot) if you want to see her.

Do you know how I drool over her body? How I'd LOVE for my body to look like that? I mean seriously. And she's got perfect hair and skin (with and without the fake Dancing with the Stars tan) and that sunny, giggly smile that lights up a room. And her eyes sparkle. It's ridiculous. Hello? I'm right here, despite her blond hair she's a head turner for sure.

She is a bit perky for me personality wise (Joyce, stop laughing. Now. STOP.) But I think she'd be fun to hang around.

I sooo want to look like that... but with my brown hair and brown eyes.

You know what my hubby said when I told him who my girl crush was gonna be? He said "Who?" And I said "You know that hot blond from Dancing with the Stars? Wouldn't that be hot?" And he got that far off look in his eye, and dreamily said "yeah, ok..."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor Said...

... It's not a tumor.

Well sort of.

I've had this odd bump on my left arm for years. No pain, just weird. I likened it to a failed board breaking attempt in karate years ago when I effectively "meatloafed" my arm. Today I found out that the karate "accident" was more than likely mere coincidence in the formation of the bump. I finally got off my butt to go to a doctor to have it looked at.

Now...Imagine going in to a doctor's office, being taken EARLY, seeing the doctor at the EXACT time of your appointment, not an hour after your appointment, after already having three xrays taken, all your paperwork filled out... nothing left except for the doctor to tell you that this bump is not growing in your bones (score!) and that it should be removed and it's probably only a fat deposit, a benign tumor called a lipoma and he's 99.9% sure it's no big deal. But hey you also have to get an MRI to be sure, let's do that and then we can schedule the outpatient procedure and you won't have to wear a splint but you'll have to come back 10 days later to have the stitches removed.


I walked out 15 minutes after my appointment time, spending a sum total of 40 minutes at the office, totally wondering why other doctor's offices can't operate in such amazingly organized fashion. I was fairly euphoric that I didn't waste my afternoon sitting around that place. Of course I have to go back next week for the MRI and the laws of balancing have already declared that will be an appointment from hell and I should just bring lots and lots of work to do because something or another will get completely screwed up and it'll take hours. Like a NORMAL doctor's visit.


The very best part about the visit was filling out the paperwork. One question was "on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most severe, how would you rate your pain? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10? I circled 0 and then drew a smiley face in it. Stupid people not checking their work. Don't they know someone with a marketing degree and a mild case of anal retentiveness will snort loudly in the waiting room while filling out the form?

Anyways - score that this is nothing serious and I'm on my way to having my arm back to a state where people don't look at me funny when they notice.

And even better - my body decided to stop growing so much fat in my ass. FTW people. FTW.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Design on a Dime

So I just spent like most of today re-designing this blog and my kiddos' blogs. If you read me in a reader then click out of it for a sec and let me know what you think. I started something yesterday and scrapped it and then re-did it again today. At the top there are links to my kids and other things that I like. I'm totally digging this.

And I am actually caught up with the boys' sites now too. I was three months behind on posting about them. Luckily we keep a calendar in our Google Calendars and jot down things when they occur. That with the timestamps on photos makes it pretty easy for me to catch up. Anyways - I started their blogs when they were born and they have served as a baby book because I didn't really write in the actual baby books here in the house. My goal one day is to "slurp" them in to a Blurb book, print them and keep them as their books. One day I'll have the time and energy to do that too.

I am getting sick. And that sucks. Woke up with a wicked sore throat and am hating on it even now.

In great news - our friends the Worcesters are coming to visit this weekend. Something Eryn and I have planned for like two months. This weekend was the only time our schedules synced, which is scary. Luckily too the Laffeys will be able to come over and we'll have a romping good ol' Cypress reunion of sorts. (explanation: Cypress was the name of the karate school we all came from in Gainesville.) I absolutely can not wait to see my friends.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh What a World, What a World

I seriously don't know why I feel the need to come up with some sort of clever title for my posts. Like you seriously know what's going through my head, what movie or song I am quoting or whatever. Anyone know where this one came from?

Today was a Monday. Sometimes I feel like I have to use Mondays to recover from my weekends.

The irrigation guy fixed our sprinkler system today. Guess what? It rained tonight. But hey, the roof was fixed Saturday.


Seriously, that has to be one of the best words ever.

I ran tonight, before the rain. I'm a rock star. I ran 1.45 miles in 9:56 each. It was magically under 10 minute miles. Oh the cloud I float on. Then I ran intervals. And that sucked. One of these days my fat will start to melt away. They say positive thinking is good. I bet the fuckers who said that weren't fat. I digress.

I shouldn't swear on my blog.


I'm feeling rather campy tonight. Could be the delusional exercise high I'm still on. It could be that I just read 100 blog posts and was not only laughing my ass off at times but also feeling highly educated and "in the know." Do you know the White House has a blog? Oooh yeah. I read the press releases. Mostly.

So I'm glad I found you bloggy world. 6 months ago I was sinking deep, deep, deep in to the darkness. Now I read that the rest of you feel the same way I do most days and damn if that doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Misery does love company. Funny how that company lifts us out of our misery too.

V - the sore shoulder is WORTH IT.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Mother who made me
Mother who gave me

Mother, you held me
Mother, you fed me
Mother, you showed me

Mother, your patience
Mother, your passion
Mother, you demonstrate

Mother, your wisdom
Mother, your kindness
Mother, you taught me

Mother, so thoughtful
Forever I'm grateful
Mother, I love you
Thank you.

Child who I made
Child who I gave

Child I'll rock you
Child I'll hold you
Forever inside my

Child you strengthen me
Test me and stretch me
Child you make me

Child I love you
with all I have in me
Child, my light, my

Child, so precious
Little one I so cherish
You made me a Mother
Thank you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lacey Frills and Not-so Cheap Thrills

Ok - Girl Talk Thursday... Lingerie. Yikes. Totally outside my comfort zone to talk about my underwear.

I don't really own anything sexified. I don't really think I have the body to pull any of that off and since I'm not happy with my shape it's hard to feel good about myself in the skimpy.. That being said I do like colors. I have my basic white and beige bras but I like red and black and blue and pink and... well if I could have a bunch in a variety of fun colors, then cool. No lace on the bras though. Lace itches. I don't like lacey bras. And bras are EXPENSIVE. Even at Kohls and JCPenney.

Last Christmas my sweet hubby got me a very generous gift card to Victoria's Secret just so I could buy new underwear. My thongs up until then were completely worn out and, well, after two kids it was time for something new. So I spent my entire gift card on a slew of lacy and beautiful colorful thongs, and then spent another $80 on like 3 new bras. I loved that present. Honey you can do that again if you want. Especially after I lose this flab. :)

I am mostly a flannel jammie bottoms and tshirt or tank top kind of girl but I do like satiny pajamas too. The ones I own though don't fit me anymore and I'm reluctant to donate them because damn it I want to wear them again. I slept in them in Tahiti on our honeymoon and no, they are mine.

That's it. Enough about my underwear. Jeez.

Next week... my girl crush...hahahaha! Yeah, ok!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Watch that big black sky. Hear that BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!.

Tonight after work I went for a run. (Go me!) Afterwards, while my Bug was playing video games with Daddy I decided to take my Bear for a little walk down the sidewalk. Nothing crazy, just me and the 17 month old who wanted to point out EVERY car and say "VROOOOM!" while pointing wildly at me, the car and freaking looking like an adorable fool. When we got back there was time for a quick shower and then we put the boys to bed.

40 minutes we hear Brandon crying. (He's the Bug. 3.5 yrs old.) Daddy heads in to check on him and they chat for a while. Then Bran comes out to go potty. While he's doing his thing Daddy tells me that Bran got a little scared watching him in a haunted mansion level in Banjo Kazooie. Damn. Brandon comes out and tells me about the scary music. I give him a kiss on his belly and tell him to keep it there all night and give it back to me in the morning. I utter a useless prayer that the belly kiss will ward off any more "scariness" and off he trots to bed again.

Enter... LIGHTENING and... wait for it... THUNDER.

Earlier this week I updated my Facebook status to BEG for rain. You know, that wet stuff that has eluded our state for WEEKS and decided TONIGHT to grace us. The night my 3.5 year old just happens to watch a haunted mansion scene in a video game. The night my 3.5 year old decides to be scared by thunder because of said haunted mansion scene in a cartoonish video game. My God I hope he's not around when the Great Giant Poo resurfaces in that game. What if a hurricane is upon us at that time? I digress...

Before tonight I was beginning to think I had defied the odds with Bran because we taught him at a young age that "The sky says BOOM!" and he wasn't afraid of thunderstorms. He thought they were cool. You know the age when you teach kids the animal sounds? "What does a cow say?" yadda, yadda. Well we added "What does the sky say?" and we'd all giggle and shriek BOOM! Oh I thought I won. I thought I WON!


I had to stay in his room with him for a while telling him not to smother himself with his stuffed animals and that he didn't have to hide from the lightening.

I suppose this is karmic payback for the years of running in to my parents' room in the middle of the night, terrified of thunderstorms, not able to sleep, unable to be in my perfectly cozy bed by myself. No, I had to wedge myself between my parents and cringe when the sky cracked. (Yes people, I outgrew this before middle school. But no, I still don't like thunderstorms in the middle of the night - waking me up, messing up the precious sleep I get, making me worry that the power will go out and the baby monitors won't work, and I won't be able to hear the kids, and they'll cry and scream and think I abandoned them, and so I get up and check the freaking radar on the computer and put out flashlights and count one-one thousand, two-one thousand after every flash... Damn... BREATHE GIRL!)

It was a short storm. Over by 10pm. Not even slightly bad. And the minute that Daddy told Bug that the storm was over and it was all ok, Bug fell asleep and we could finally close the door and finish watching our TV show.

Productivity FAIL for the night.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Be the water, not the rock

I am pensive tonight. I could write a novel about my standards and how high they are but honestly I posted two long, long, long entries in two days and yeah, I just don't have it in me right now to be profound. That sounds more conceited than I mean it to. I'm also considering you people! I know your readers are full too!

I will write something about my standards someday and how lowering them compromises my integrity but keeping them often leads to disappointment. Does anyone else have this problem/virtue?

Integrity. It totally sucks sometimes.

Patience. I need more of it.

Perspective. I really do try to seek it.

Peace. I wish for it globally, nationally, and spiritually for this Earth.

Damn I need a hug!

If you need a good laugh (I snorted mashed potatoes when I read this) go read about Mommy Melee's experience with her girly check-up. What does that even mean? It's not on Google!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've always loved my birthday

So today I am 32 years old. I've always loved my birthday. Not because I got presents or because people noticed me more that day, but because I share this day with my dad's father, my Grandpa Al. Today he is 91 years old too. I've always thought it was pretty special to share a birthday him and I'm happy this year to actually be celebrating it with him. I think in my lifetime I've only actually seen him on our day maybe 3 times before today. He now lives here in Florida just down the road from me and we're going to my parents' house for dinner. This makes me happy.

So birthdays are supposed to be a celebration of life. And today I want to do that by remembering people who are no longer with us. Today I want to celebrate a little piece of their lives because each of them has touched my life somehow and made it better. Forgive me for the long post everyone but it's my birthday and I'll write if I want to.

My darling Noah. You are my son that never breathed life outside of me. But your heart beat, and that has strengthened mine. Your arms danced and your legs kicked, and we still love you. We look at your twin brother Brandon everyday and we remember you. I miss you.

Grandpa Bruce - I remember the smell of your pipe as you sat on the sun porch and listed to the police radio while Kristin and I watched cartoons all cozy in the nest of blankets you tucked us in to. I remember you giving me a quarter and a piece of paper with your phone number on it and telling me to call you if I got lost in NYC. I was 7 and going to the circus with my Mom. You worried but you were prepared. And you taught me about patience and always made me feel loved. I miss you.

Grandma Jeanne - I miss your laugh and staying up late watching Johnny Carson with you on the weekends. You liked creamer in your tea, just like me, and to this day I will not buy Cling peaches in a can because they are not as good as Freestone. I appreciate every meal you made just for me because it was what I wanted and I sometimes kiss my boys on the back of their necks and call them "my darlings" because you did that for me. I'm sorry I didn't like that you put sour cream in your cranberry jello-mold though. I still think of you when I sing "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" to my boys and when I sit down to play your piano at Mom's house. I will never vacuum and sing without laughing either.

Grandma Dot - I remember every loving stitch or piece of material you put in to the crafts you made us. You taught me to crochet. Every summer for 8 years I'd anxiously wait at the mailbox to watch for your's and Grandpa Al's RV Motor home coming up the road. I thought it was so cool that your house was in my driveway for a month. I'm not sure as an adult that I'd feel the same! I remember playing Scrabble in that RV and looking at all the photos from every place in the US you traveled to. You made me iced tea and we watched Judge Wapner. You got to meet all 8 of your great grandchildren. I love how proud you were of your family and I hope to be as sharp as you were at 91 before you died. We do miss you.

Grandmom Dottie - I can't imagine a nicer Grandma-in-law. You welcomed me to the family with open arms and I am so happy you met your first great-grandson before you left us. I will always remember your gentle spirit and homemade strawberry jam. That stuff was so good!

Noel - You, my friend, ended your own life and once told me you thought no one would remember you. To spite you I send blonde jokes to our mutual friends on your birthday every year just so your spirit knows how wrong you were. I still have my orange and your blue car magnets (from our sales tracking board at work) on my refridgerator. Brandon knows they are Mommy's cars and are not for him. I think everyone should learn to say "humuhumunukunukuapua."

Jim Thrift - My old soul friend. Whenever you fell you jumped back up. You were a natural leader with charisma and wisdom. I will always try to spiral up the mountain instead of forging straight for the top. In the end it'll still be the same place but I'll have better vistas burned in to my memory.

Jon Hack - You were so kind. That seems like such a small thing to say to remember you but it carries so much weight. I am happy you are at least with Caleb and my heart breaks for Andrea when I think of you.

Master Mary - Your spirit glowed with fiery passion that burned me more than once. But I know how much you cared and learned so much from you. I am thankful you were so happy in the end and I will never sell "Mary's Car" in a garage sale even after our kids outgrow playing with it. I think I'll always carry a few bruises from the mat work but they'll be second to the pride I have from working with one of the best.

O'Sensei - You are probably the person who has influenced me the most in my life outside of my family and close friends. Your vision and dreams changed my life for the better and I am still amazed at the depth of your mind. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with the rest of us.

Jake - Little child born and gone too soon. You taught me how strong and brave your parents are, and how lucky we are to have their friendship despite our differences.

Josephine - I think of you nearly every day. You look out at me from photos with such soulful eyes I sometimes think you see right through me. How do you do that little girl, little daughter of my dear friend? How could one little girl carry the soul of a thousand years in her heart?

Maddie - There are few leaders who could unite people as you did and continue to do. You opened my eyes to a community I knew existed but didn't share in until now. Your beautiful blond curls and shining eyes will forever remind me of the goodness of people. I hope your family knows how powerful your grace is.

So today I celebrate these lives that have reached me. You all deserve to be remembered. I also celebrate my family and my friends. Without you I can not be me and I love you all.

Friday, May 1, 2009

"I don't know"

I have been a loyal reader (fan girl) of Zen Habits for about a year now. I've found Leo's articles to be in close keeping with philosophy from Cuong Nhu, the martial arts style I have participated in for the last 14 years. Zen Habits provides good reminders for being more positive and productive, and sometimes gives me those head-smacking "Oh yeah!" moments of clarity through the fog of my own over-thinking.

This morning I read the most recent post "Are These Three Words Ruining Your Life?" by contributing writer Jonathan Mead, and while I believe that pretty much everything written here is a great idea, I am inspired, for the first time, to respond with my own philosophy of the words "I don't know."

Let me start by saying I love to teach, not only Cuong Nhu, but any subject I feel fairly well versed on. I love it. It charges me. I am passionate about it. I've taught Cuong Nhu for 10 years to people ages 8-70. I've seen a lot, taught hundreds, experienced a lot of egos, and seen much humility, openness, patience and love. I've been knocked down (on purpose and not) and mostly picked back up. Sometimes I have to drag my butt to class to teach because I'm tired or uninspired that day, but I go and by the end of class, I'm so happy I went. Teaching inspires me because I love to learn, I like to help people. And wow, teach a class of people about how to move their bodies and stretch their brains at the same time, challenge them physically and mentally, and you can learn a lot about human nature, including your own.

In Cuong Nhu we have a philosophy called The 10 States of Growth. So as not to reinvent the wheel, here it is, quite simple and strong:

The Ten Stages of Growth
By Robert First (currently 6th Dan in Cuong Nhu)
Every learning process starts as a clean slate, an empty cup, NOBODY and begins by being a LEARNER. Any learning process takes time and hard work, thus one becomes a WORKER. When you work at something and really want it you will fight for it, evolving into a FIGHTER and when you fight for something you will be an ACHIEVER by definition, and to achieve is to be a WINNER. When you're a winner you teach others to win also and you evolve into a TEACHER. A good teacher will naturally be a LEADER and blaze the path for others. A leader must plan and understand therefore becoming a THINKER and in essence a thinker begins to understand with more depth and understanding without ego,thus evolving into a PHILOSOPHER which is like evolving the ego from a liquid state to a gas,which can take on all shapes and situations. This egoless state is enlightenment, "the greatest person is NOBODY".

Many years ago I was observing one of my younger instructors and I noticed he had an answer to every question a student asked. I listened and heard a lot of quick, short answers given in an authoritative tone. I agreed with some responses but not as many as I disagreed with. I felt the instructor was too hard in his thinking. I also sensed fear - something to this day I am not sure he'll readily admit. Let's face it though, when placed in a position of authority who likes to say "I don't know" if asked a question?

I'll go out on a limb and say to most people admitting "I don't know" gives an impression of weakness, of doubt. I say it's a strength. To be able to shed your ego and admit that you don't know something is very difficult, but if it leads to a place of knowing then you've grown at least twice from the admission. To force yourself to think, to challenge yourself to learn, to open your mind and grow your awareness of others can be life altering and quite fulfilling.

There have been times in class where I knew a good answer to a student's question but I have specifically said "I don't know, let's figure it out" or "I don't know, let's find out." The first allows for the student to analyze the situation and hypothesize the answer. It opens the door for a discussion and in turn, helps that person grow. I have been pleasantly surprised too over the years at how much I have learned by putting aside my response and opening my mind to other ideas. The second engages the student differently. You are openly putting yourself at the same level of understanding as him (or her!) and, in essence, saying "we're all human, let's grow together."

By responding with "I don't know" to questions like "What do you want for dinner?" is a display of vacancy in a conversation and a form of bad communication. I agree with Jonathan Mead that you should perhaps look at the situation from a different perspective and answer with something "you'd like to have" in an effort to be more engaging. What I take away from that part of his article is the choice to change your perspective and become more active in a relationship. Much good can come from this type of interaction.

The bottom line, for me, is that I think it's ok and a healthy ego check to say "I don't know" sometimes. If it is completely within your power to learn the answer and you are passionate about the subject - then saying "I don't know" puts you on the path to a higher understanding, towards enlightenment. It's my opinion too that to "know" all the time is to not grow - and for me, that is not acceptable. Besides, the path towards knowledge isn't about the destination, it's about the journey and milestones you mark to get there.