Friday, August 31, 2007
Here are my dancing queens, doing what they do best. When Mommy leaves Daddy blasts the stereo and it is DANCE PARTY time. We don't know where PDQ learned her pole dancer moves but were pretty surprised the first time she did them in front of the entire church! We like to call the whole routine, dance party groove.
In other, non-dancing news. The campaign for MILF-ness is back on! Check out Mom-0-matic the queen of the MILFs and her latest progress. This week I committed to doing the Ryka Iron Girl Triathlon next summer. In order to do that, training and eating better are on the agenda. Since Monday I've lost 3.2 pounds! I walked 7.7 miles and put in 15.77 miles on the bike. Tomorrow morning I get to go back to the gym for cycling class with Esmerelda and just hope the kick butt teacher is back from his trip to South Africa! This weekend is Boobah's birthday party and I ordered the smallest cake I could get away with so I don't have leftovers haunting me throughout the holiday weekend.
If you like gross, go check out the discovery behind the dashboard in our new car over at ManOverboard!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Yesterday morning as I got ready to ride I got out my iPod. I realized that I only pulled out the headphones and figured I had lost enough time getting my tires pumped up and just threw the ear buds back in my bag. Last night when I got home I realized that I didn't have my iPod and hoped it was in the van. No such luck. I did find it this morning. In the parking lot at work, right beside where I parked yesterday run over. Serious, serious bummer. I told Gman this morning and of course his response--save it so I can take a picture!
I rode 8.29 miles in just under 50 minutes this morning. It was actually a little cool when I got started. I was more confident (less brakes) and felt strong but a little sore from yesterday. I did better at stretching today so hopefully I'll be less sore tomorrow. I managed to get up one of the hills this morning but the second one is around a turn and caught me by surprise again today. My comfy bike isn't the most efficient for getting up hills, the suspended seat raises up with you and standing and pedaling is nearly impossible.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
PDQ: Came home the first day to inform me that there is PE on M, T, W and no dresses, no clogs and no flip flops. She has decided that her teacher is good--the reasoning, she is best friends with her teacher from last year. Thus far the only "work" that has come home is a picture she drew of someone that they cut into parts and re-assembled (glad they are using the glue sticks!). She says that none of the parts are her.
Boobah: Came home the first day and lectured me that I didn't send sunscreen, she needs sunscreen, it needs to have her name on it and I need to fill out a form. See a pattern here, my children might just be as directive as I am! I also got a dissertation on the cot arrangements for rest time, when she "restes" but she doesn't sleep. I was really worried about her transitioning to the new place well considering she's spent her whole life with the same few kids and provider. I am still a little sad about saying good bye to the wonderful, calm Lois. Boobah told her on Friday she'd never see her again. Lois and I both ended up in tears and Boobah was oblivious.
Beginning Tri Training Report
Training: I walked between 2-2.5 miles at a 15-17 min/mi pace both Monday and Tuesday, for that effort I ended up with sore shins and achy feet. I was definitely right about not being able to run until I am a bit lighter. This morning I did my first bike ride, I did 7.57 miles with an average speed of 10.1 mph on the Patuxent Ridge Trail (I love my little bike computer, thanks Gman!). It was a relatively flat ride, just enough people to make me feel safe but not so many people that I worried about hitting someone. The ride was reasonably comfortable, there were a couple of hills I just misjudged and couldn't get up them without falling over because I was messing with the gears--definitely something I need to learn to do better. Other lesson, check all your equipment before you ride. I got to work this morning, got the bike out, helmet on, only to discover that my tires were too low to ride on. Resolving that cost me 20 minutes of ride time and keeping me from riding the whole route.
Boobah's Birthday Report
Boobah's birthday is Labor Day and we are having a small party at our house on Saturday afternoon. The theme is Strawberry Shortcake. I spent an inordinate amount of time last night driving all over God's green earth trying to find the appropriate cake and filling for the goodie bag. I am ordering pizza for lunch and praying it is nice so they can play outside the majority of the time!
Monday, August 27, 2007
So, today it was just a 30 minute fast walk but I started exercising with a goal in mind. I know running is going to be the hardest part, I am just not built to run and with my failed MILF-dom exercise right now I would be risking serious joint pain. I am going to try to be patient and not stress my body too much in the beginning. Before starting to run I want to get my weight down a bit. I have nearly a year to get there and I will get there. In addition to Es I've found other inspiration mainly Slow Fat Triathlete--definitely the first book I am going to read on the subject.
Friday afternoon was PDQs end of skating camp show. Boobah was a complete PITA, running all over the place, I finally got her to sit still and was watching PDQ skate when the woman 3 rows down tells me that PDQ is kicking her repeatedly. I put PDQ on my lap and the woman says she was fine--obviously not if you had to tell me about her 30 seconds ago. I left wanting nothing more than to climb into the cave and climb out on Monday morning.
Sunday morning it was church with a great substitute pastor. Then home to get ready for the afternoon activities--pool and birthday parties! They were both fun but I was dragging, big time. We got to spend time with our former neighbors who have spent the last year in England while she works on a degree in Victorian Literature. It was nice to catch up with them.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Thanks Es, the food and the company were great as always!
Friday, August 24, 2007
I have to admit, I wasn't quite ready sign up for driving you. I used to make fun of people who drive minivans. I declared "I will not, under any circumstances drive one." Just like my declaration that my children would never watch Barney that has fallen to the wayside and I realize you both make my life easier even if you are sometimes annoying. The final straw, four kids. Even our last SUV couldn't haul us all at one time and forget bringing along friends!
So why did I pick you out of all the minivans in the world? First, your Honda cousins have never steered us wrong. The Civics and Accords that came before you were always there for me, always ready to go whenever I needed them. Reliable is the first thing I needed in my vehicle of choice. Second, Gman was drawn in by your cool (for a minivan) features. The remote sliding doors, the cargo net in the back, all those cup holders, the rear outlets for gadgetry and don't forget the DVD player. It doesn't hurt that around here it seems everyone drives on of your siblings, on our street alone there are 5 Odysseys and if they aren't driving you they are driving your cousins, there is a Honda in almost every driveway which leads me to believe that people like me drive you (as much as I hate to be a conformist, this is one of those times I'll go along with the crowd even if it did get Gman surrounded by police thinking he'd stolen you). Finally, the price was right. Honda was offering a sweet lease deal on you and we couldn't pass it up and even after the lease was up we decided to keep you, we know you'll be with us for over a hundred thousand low-maintenance miles.
I do wish sometimes you could morph yourself into a new color, really the gray is getting old. My other complaint, what is up with the radio controls on the steering wheel that sometimes change the channel and sometimes the volume. Keeping me guessing? Same with the gas gauge, really should it be telling me you are empty when there is still a quarter of a tank--is that you trying to get me to quit living on the edge?
So, van of destiny, thanks for the last three years. School, work, soccer, ice skating, camping, and long trips to grandma's house you've been there for us through it all. Thanks for never making me wonder if you are going to start or if I am going to get stranded somewhere. I appreciate the fact you are always there for me even when we pack you to the tail-lights with people and things. I hope you appreciate that GMan lets me park you inside every night so you don't have to face the elements. I'll try to get the kids to be a little neater but you know how that goes. I'll also try to get you to the car wash a little more often, I know you like to look your best inside and out.
Have your own car story to tell? Join in the Blog Blast love fest, write your own letter to your car today and send the link over to Parent Bloggers (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be entered to win one of FIVE circle bags in conjunction with Ask Patty. If you register at Ask Patty the women friendly car people give you additional chances to win stuff and I know you are all about winning stuff so go check it out. The Ask Patty site was reviewed on Cool Mom picks last year and is debuting CarBlabber.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I persuaded Gman to build me my own compost bin for the back yard over the weekend. I have grand plans for a fabulous garden next year and having good dirt is a big part of a great harvest. As you can see from the picture I think it even looks good enough to pass inspection in suburbia. I've now gone completely over the edge, next on my reading list are Let It Rot and Great Garden Companions.
I've added to our store of yummy stuff for the winter including finishing up the bright green pickles and two batches of Peach Hot Pepper Jelly. The version I put together yesterday and today used bright red Anaheim peppers that give a little heat and fabulous color. The jelly is a beautiful orange color with bits of peach suspended throughout. The debut of the jelly over the weekend was a big hit. I am thinking of doing a fancy lid and nice ribbon to make holiday gifts of jelly.
Jamlady's Original Hot Mango Jam (Hot Picante Peach Jam variation)
5 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups peeled, chopped peaches
1 cup seeded or unseeded chopped jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1 3/4-ounce box regular powdered pectin
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice or lime juice or 1/3 teaspoon citric acid
1/2 teaspoon butter (optional)
Blenderize the peppers and vinegar. Mix the lemon juice, butter, chopped mangoes, pepper mixture and pectin in a pan and boil for 1 minute. Add the sugar; boil for 1 minute more. Check the set. BWB 10 minutes. Hot Picante Peach Jam - Use peaches instead of mangoes and ripe, red jalapeno peppers (I used anaheims since I couldn't find red jalapenos). The resulting jam will be orange-colored.
Check out my review of Printakid's personalized kid books over at Maven Says. The short story...PDQ loved it!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
He even read a book and wrote about it for me this week, serious stuff at our house!
Monday, August 20, 2007
On the way to daycare this morning
Boobah I broke the TV.
I turnoff the radio and ask her "what?'
Boobah: I broke the TV in the basement, but it still works.
PDQ: Yeah, I didn't do it, it was Ellie but Daddy took care of it
At that point I stopped listening the two of them launched off into some other totally unrelated conversation. I didn't remember until hours later to call Gman and find out WTF.
The insomnia from hell is back and worse than ever. This weekend I went to bed early, got up, went back to bed, got back up. I did get the pantry in the basement re-organized around midnight last night. It was 2:42 when I finally got in bed for the last time and at least an hour after that before I fell asleep. I put in the emergency e-mail to my amazing acupuncturist. He, thankfully, had an opening this afternoon. I certainly hope it helped get the energy flowing correctly 'cause I. need. sleep.
Check Out Maven Says for my review of Fathering Your School-Age Child: A Dad's Guide to the Wonder Years, 3 to 9 by Armin Brott featuring a little guest blogging from Gman.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Grandma is in a nursing home after a stroke last November (right after she got off the red hat float in the Christmas parade). She isn't quite who she was before mentally or physically and it has impacted me more than I might have thought. Part of me wants to make sure I can preserve (pun intended) our family history. Unfortunately, no one can find the recipe. I have scoured the Internet and found a similar sounding recipe and the wise ladies over on gardenweb.com confirmed that their family recipes included green food coloring which they have since omitted.
I was originally a bit daunted by the prospect of making ANYTHING that takes 8 days. Really, my attention span is more like 8 minutes. I like to bake bar cookies because it takes less time. Like so much else, this has been a process and I've learned to enjoy it. Yes, you do something everyday for 8 days but the work isn't hard. The first 4 days I boiled water and poured them on the cukes. Yesterday I made the syrup, added my food coloring and cut the cukes into chunks. Tonight, it is syrup boiling and on Sunday the final canning of the pickles.
Just seeing grandma's crock in my kitchen makes me smile. During the summer it often sat in the chair by her back door. There was a smell of cucumbers and spices in the air. My first batch is a single recipe and it fills maybe one third of the crock, I remember hers being filled right up to the top and I realize how much work it must have been--I bought my cucumbers, she and my grandfather grew theirs in a rocky plot in the backyard. I have the crock, hopefully the recipe will be close enough that we can all remember the "good old days."
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I get to work from home tomorrow. The Verizon guy is coming (at least I assume its a guy, very sexist of me) to hook us up with FiOS TV. I'll admit it we are TV and gadget junkies. We've waited through a year of our DirectTV contract to get to this point--they have a bundle for the right price so we are going for it. For us the holy grail is the multi-room DVR. I can record in the living room and watch it in the bedroom. Yes, we are sick, sick TV junkies.
On Thursday my whole department is going to a training class on negotiations skills. My two fears, it is deathly boring OR the whole thing is role playing. I don't mind doing the role play with strangers but doing it with the people I work with makes me want to hurl. Yeah, stupid I know but me.
Okay, off to clean the TV shows off the current DVR before they disappear into never-never land!
Monday, August 13, 2007
Boobah LOVES her Baby Jogger and I have to admit its one of the few baby purchases we still use. I loaded her up and we were off. After a short walk we came to handicapped access to the falls. Given that I was pushing her it seemed like a no brainer. Apparently the no brainer would have been to read the slip and fall warning on the big sign more carefully. About halfway down the deck of the pathway my feet went out from under me and I landed on my rear pulling the stroller back on top of me. Boobah was just fine but surprised to be looking me in the eyes from flat on her back. Thankfully I had the loop around my wrist and she stayed right with me. After that Dad took over stroller duty. You can see him, my sister, Mom & the girls below. Also, the park is named after Swallow Falls but our view of it was much less spectacular than the other we saw.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Then there is a small world is playing in my head. We went to the weekly party thrown by the rental company, ran into someone we know from church here in Maryland. Her brother was with her and he and my brother-in-law know each other from their hometown in Pennsylvania--what are the odds?
Friday, August 3, 2007
Tonight we saw a portion of a sermon by the founder of the program. He talked about his experience growing up in church. He was the youngest boy and didn't live up to the fine example of his three older brothers. He said no one called him by name, he was that fourth boy who was trouble. He was kicked out of Sunday School, he wouldn't have been there if he hadn't been forced by his parents, 52 weeks of the year, 2-3 times a week. When you think about it, that's a lot of time to spend somewhere that you don't want to be and they don't respect you. Finally a new pastor came. He put his arm around him and asked him to help him with something. He knew Dale's name. It was a seminal moment for the boy who went on to get a doctorate and start a youth ministry program that is now in 1500 churches across 20 denominations.
Hearing the story made me think long and hard about my relationship with the kids in my church. It also made me think about relationships that adults form with kids in general. I guess I hadn't given much thought to what my interactions with kids, especially teenagers, outside of my own kids really meant. We have a very active group of little boys in our church. I know there are days when many of us have to steel ourselves to deal with them. Hearing this story made me think I need to work harder at creating and maintaining a positive relationship with one or more of those boys. The statistic I have heard is that 8 out of 10 kids stop going to church in their teens. A time when we could all use some adult influence other than our own parents (having our niece here this week made that clear). No matter how much they love their parents and their parents love them the growing up process is not an easy one. Its a lot easier to be deal with an adult who doesn't have to love them and who they don't perceive as trying to control them.
We have very few teenagers in our congregation, many families have left to find places that engage their children. Thankfully we have this program and my kids started while they are very young. I hope that they will develop those relationships and when they are teenagers they will want to go to church to be with those people who they know care about them--even if it means getting out of bed and doing something Mom and Dad think is a good idea. It does take a village, or in this case a congregation, to raise a child.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Overall I just feel better. I am sleeping better which was my whole goal when I started. I was a bit discouraged when things didn't start to change immediately but was reminded its a journey. Now that I have been going regularly for several months I can see the journey and all its benefits. I am generally calmer and things don't get to me like they used to--my boss has noticed and so has my husband. I feel more in control of my emotions too. Maybe NOW I can get back on the road to MILF-dom after this little side journey to get the rest of my life in order. Seeing the connections is really quite amazing.
If you've ever thought of trying acupuncture I encourage you to take the plunge. Really there is nothing to lose, there has never been more than a slight twinge of pain and that has been rare. Concentrating on your own well being is amazingly restorative. I know this probably sounds a bit like a testimonial and in a way it is. Go, do something good for yourself.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Greetings Recovering Housing Friends!
Waking up today was not stressful. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until the news anchor noted the date that I realized it was even August 1st.
Everyone remembers the significance of August 1st RIGHT (or you wouldn’t be getting this email)…training started.
Yes, days and days of policy review, opening of school information, team building exercises, copying lots of stuff, finalizing late RA hires, eating lunch at the Schwebel Room, planning for the RAs to arrive and 1000 other things!
So, nine years after my last August 1st training day started, I can finally enjoy the day. Why? Because I’m NOT going to TRAINING!
Now, this doesn’t mean I didn’t like training, after all I was assigned nine of those years to coordinate some part of training (RA, RD, KIC and GA).
Yes, we still remember it, vividly all these years later. I worked as a Resident Director for 7 years. Seven years of safety and diversity and communication training for two weeks followed by another couple of weeks of passing it on to my own staff. Team building, did she mention the team building exercises? It had fun moments but in some ways it made you long for the craziness of the school year so you could wake up from the training haze. Every night after the numbing training sessions there were rooms to inspect and forms to fill out--ah, those were the days. The good news was 2 months off, or at least 2 months doing something slightly different and enjoying the summer slow down on the campus.
Sometimes I miss those days--mostly those school schedule induced breaks that don't happen in the corporate world. One day someone at work remarked about how calm I was in a crisis. I looked him in the eye and told him I didn't have to worry about keying into a room and finding a dead kid, no drunks threw up on me and the police never called at 4AM so as crisis went this was really nothing.