The reluctant homeschooler

This week we have BigBoy's kindergarten registration and Open House. I'm really nervous and I know I shouldn't be apprehensive, but I just am. I want to love it. I want it to be the best damn kindergarten in the world. I want the teachers to knock my socks off and the parents to be totally involved and interested. I want them to have a kick ass curriculum school-wide with lots of arts, PE and recess. But in my heart, I know it probably won't be.

We live in the country, kinda. And that in itself isn't the issue, but typically the more 'burby areas have the more innovative schools. My concern isn't so much for Kindergarten- they will have lots of singing, dancing, circle time, etc- active learning. But after that? butts in chairs, one recess, no/very little PE and then Teaching To The Test. That's my problem. No time to teach. No time to deal with the kids that need different techniques. God forbid a teacher get a "problem child". I don't blame the teachers, I really don't. They have to work within their system, but the system sucks. And teaching to memorize what's on a test is no way to learn. And BigBoy will most likely hate it. And I'm scared he will be That Kid. And then the ADHD label will kick in because he is busy and can't sit still. And they just don't have time for that monkey business.

Living in the Kinda Country, we also get a lot of religious views thrown into the mix. I'm also not cool with that. That belongs in the home, not in my state/federally funded public school. I was talking to a friend of mine who is student teaching and the 1st grade class she was observing was reading about planets and the universe. Many things were issues for me, but one thing that struck a chord with me was a response to a kid's question of "Where did the planets come from?" Teacher: "God created them." Uh, excuse me? So apparently we don't teach science in our district. Yes this was my district, not our school, but same district. She also rushed the kids to the next subject since they didn't have time for more than one question.

I was the Talker. My name was always on the board... with check marks (this was not for being good or "helpful"--they did those things back then.) Then in 2nd Grade, I had Mrs. Maddox. She looked like a pig because her nose turned up and we all called her Miss Piggy behind her back. She was mean. I got put in a desk facing the corner, by myself, for talking too much. Thankfully Big Papa saw it at Back to School Night and threw a fit. Miss Piggy changed it the next day. I hated the 2nd grade.

But then in 4th grade I had Ms. Smith. She was the first "Ms." I had ever met. She was beautiful, to me. She had freckles and gorgeous red hair cut in a bob. Her breath smelled like that pink fluoride treatment you got as a kid at the dentist- medinciny sweet. At recess she played handball with us- in heels. I can't remember anything else from 4th grade exactly, but I loved it. I loved her. I loved the 4th grade.

The next 2 years I went to the MGM/GATE program at another school. Now my learning world got rocked. 5th grade with Mrs. Sweraski (sp?) where we played LOTS of Greek dodge ball and jumped bamboo sticks and Chinese jump rope. We had reading groups and math groups that worked at our own speed and level. We sat on the floor in bean bag seats. 6th grade with Mr. Keith Johnson (one of the first teachers that told us his first name and my first male teacher.) This was a fabulous time for me and learning. We spent the entire year funding and creating a business to raise money for an end of the year production- Lil Abner. We sold stock to our parents for a dollar a share, decided on a name "Kids Stuff" (in big puffy lettering) elected a board, created departments (I was in purchasing- go figure), developed a product line, built it (frustration pencils, wiggle worms, etc), made a profit, used the money to buy materials for our production backgrounds and costumes, made THOSE, hired a piano player, bought the script and then did our show at the end of the year for family. I think we even did some journalism and created a newspaper. I remember doing so much and it was such a fantastic experience, but only because I was a "smart kid." And how would you even do that today? The Test wouldn't deal with starting your own business, so how would we have done on The Test? Unfortunately, we just wouldn't have time for all this now.

So where does that all leave me? I have pretty fond memories of elementary school, but I think it will be vastly different for my kids. I don't really want to homeschool. Selfishly, I want some Me Time back. Plus I am not confident in being my kids' teacher- "learning expert." We don't have a lot of options in the middle, unfortunately. I talked with our Fabulous Babysitter yesterday about this. (She just stopped by to give BB a bday card and ended up hangin out a bit-- can I love her more??) She was homeschooled and if she isn't the poster child for homeschool, I don't know who is. She is the kid you dream of having- sweet, kind, thoughtful, AND smart. So if homeschooling is the way to go, we'll go there. I never in a million years thought I would be considering Homeschool for our family. But it's about my kids after all. If this is what it takes, so be it. We'll get creative, we'll find options, we'll get a game plan. And there will be no names on the board for talking.


Weekend recap: nightmares, art and cake

It's 3 a.m. I can't sleep. It's BigBoy's birthday and I'm having nightmares. I even have a headache from clenching my teeth. We have family visiting and I am beat and overwhelmed.

I'm not going into the details because at the end of the day it doesn't matter. It is what it is and I love them. I'm just a wreck by the time they leave and totally exhausted. My kids have played, yelled, giggled, and argued their little hearts out. My son has had pancakes and hot chocolate for dinner and then french toast and chocolate milk the next morning (can you tell I was NOT around?) My house is more of a disaster than it typically is, which is bad enough as it is. It will take at least week for us to get through the "family hangover."

So moving along to happy thoughts... BigBoy and The Babe had their big art show this weekend. The rain stayed away and we had a great day. It was such a fantastic feeling watching the kids see their paintings and photographs displayed in the downtown windows. Total pride. The event coordinator, one of my homeschool group moms, planned the entire event. The kids even got little booklets with comments and words of encouragement from local artists. What a terrific keepsake! I was total proud mama.

That night BigBoy went to spend the night in the hotel with MIL and the nephew, while we hung out at home and got the Babe asleep by 8:30 for Earth Hour. We powered everything down and just hung out. It was actually pretty nice to not have any electrical options- at least for me. :) I know BigDaddy was all about March Madness, but it was a nice, quiet time for us- which is rare these days.

The big event: Five years ago today I became a mom! I can't believe it. My baby is 5. But as he reminds me, he will "always be my baby boy." pitter patter! I let him choose dinner last night (homemade nuggets, carrots, apples, bananas and milk) and did a sundaes for dessert. We've got a big day planned for today. Cake in bed wake-up call then off to a gourmet lunch at Chick-fil-A as it's his favorite place in the whole wide world for lunch. He loves the play area and gets ice cream when he turns in his toy. What's not to like? :)

On the weight loss front I'm hitting a bit of a plateau, which is a bummer. I'm hoping my early birthday gift will help.... wii fit!! whoo hoo! As I mentioned before, I'm more concerned about how I feel and how my clothes fit. I'm close to getting in my skinny clothes so we shall see how this latest addition affects my weight loss. It will be nice to have another option to use at home. Our weather is also getting so much warmer, yeah!! I'm going to start up my t/th workouts again now that my back/neck are better, try to get OUTSIDE to walk and focus on the garden and healthy eating.

Okay team, everyone on board? BREAK!


PSA- Earth Hour is tomorrow!!

Don't forget people!! Earth Hour is tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. your local time. It's something so easy, just switch off your lights for one hour.


My entourage.

Yep. That's how I roll. With my entourage. It's a burden that us VIPs have to live with. Attention 24/7, arriving en masse, special requests, dietary needs. You know, cuz we're VIPS.

I never realized what special treatment I would get once I became a mom. Traveling with my peeps wherever and whenever I leave the house. Well, actually, even at home. Trip to the bathroom? There they are. Relaxing and stretching to my yoga tape? You know it, right next to me. right.next.to.me. Throw out my back? no worries, I have my people to attend to my every need. I can get you a Kleenex Mom! I'll get you a pillow Mom! I'll cuddle with you and put my head on your chest and help you feel better Mom! When do I get the hot pad?!? Me turn!! I want to be on this side!!

So here I am now. Cringing in pain from working out on Tuesday (the kickboxing? the sit-ups? not warming up enough?) and cringing from looking around.... the dishes, the laundry, the junk... no what? Thankfully a birthday present arrived a bit early from my stepsister. (Hallelujah!!!) Now there's play-doh all over the kitchen table and floor. But my peeps are busy. And not attending to my every need. thankfully.

But now I have this jacked up back. I even went into the athletic training room on campus. Being an official volunteer coach has it perks! But what could make me feel like a bigger dork. I'm surrounded by athletes, with REAL sports injuries. We aren't really sure how I did this, the AT said it could even be from just picking up the Babe. The little tank IS 38 lbs. She applied heat stretched me out. Something about my trap. Once it starts to "protect" itself, it gets guarded and the BANG. You get it all at once. Basically it means my back is throbbing from mid neck, both shoulders, and down my entire back. I have to go back again tomorrow. Is this what I get for trying to exercise, trying to be healthy??

I'm also I'm frustrated with my weight again. I had my junky eating weekend and went down two pounds. During the week I worked out, watched my eating, got back with my program and I'm back up again. uuuugh! I decided to get some of my warmer weather clothes out, which also included some pants that were a size smaller. Lots of the pants fit and lots of the shorts didn't. They were too big. I have to take it. If the scale is going to hold out on my, the least I can do is see that my body is changing for the better.

I know, I know, I need to look at the big picture. My peaks and dips are lower overall. But Man! When I saw that lower number I was fired up! And I want it back. Instead I am sitting upright, in pain and can barely move. The house is better thanks to BigDaddy, but still not totally picked up, and no way cleaned. It's BigBoy's birthday weekend, the kids' art show (forecast for rain all day) and my MIL and nephew are visiting. Can you say overwhelmed?

I'm having a pity party, I know. I need to snap out of it. Try to focus on the good stuff.

A few good things to share:
The Bolt Bus. Mid-Atlanticers have you heard about this?? From DC I can ride the bus for only 20 Bucks to NYC to see my sis!! It goes to Phillyand Boston too. I'm excited because this will allow my sister to come visit and vice versa. The train is great, but about $150 round trip. $40? Super Easy Peasy.

Where the Wild Things Are is going to be a movie. We loooove this book and it looks pretty cool. Not out until October.

BigBoy's birthday is almost here. My first baby will be 5! 5?! Okay back to my pity party...


Victory Garden

Apparently The First Family was also starting an organic garden this weekend. But here's the best part... they are calling it a Victory Garden. (Find out lots of cool tidbits here) We are so on-trend for once I can't stand it! We were calling our little garden A Victory Garden (Thanks to Boomer Papa) . I hadn't realized they were calling the Obama garden a Victory Garden too.

I showed BigBoy some photos of Michelle Obama (like this one from the Guardian) with a bunch of 5th graders getting the garden started. He was so excited that we were doing the same thing as "The Obamas." I think it rocks that this is something the White House is doing. I know it's a PR photo op, but if I can use that photo op to get my kid excited about organic gardening and show him that even the president does this, all the better! It provides us with a great example from the top on down on what we all can do; one little victory garden at a time.

Now to decide on what yummy veggies to plant! Are you jealous yet? Ready to plant your own?


My response.

I started working on this post a few days ago, but got busy with the weekend and going to Home Depot for yard supplies. Then RonisWeigh beat me to it and had this post: Weekend Quote post. I love Roni's blog and knew this quote would be right up her alley. It's right up my alley, and probably right up your alley too. That's what I like about it.

It's my new mantra:
I'm responsible for my response.

I usually don't get all preachy or try to get inspirational (Heck, I'm just trying to get my own booty moving, not everyone else's!) But I stumbled upon this quote somehow here. Shiny Object Syndrome maybe?? But it really struck a cord with me. I liked how it really could apply to my life in so many ways... the kids, the jerk on the hi-way, BigDaddy, comfort eating, going Green even dealing with this recession and all the bleakness that seems to swallow us up wherever I turn. Though it got a bit churchy, preachy for my taste, I liked the overall message. And it really applies to so many aspects of my life.

Papa's visit rocked. Great weekend, lots of perfect weather, worked on the yard a bunch and then ended with lots of fun family time. We played bocce ball, horseshoes and ran around chasing bubbles. The best: I have raised vegetable beds!! (yep, that's them up there in the pic!!) Now we just need to fill them with soil. PW hasn't posted yet, but I talked to my step dad who had a killer organic garden and he suggested doing a lasagna bed. What's a lasagna Bed? Lasagna Gardening 101

We ate more junky food than I would have liked: Pizza, cheeseburgers, big breakfasts, etc. But my Whooper Theory kicked in and I'm down 2+ pounds from Weigh In on Thursday. go figure. I'm really getting used to smaller portions though. I ate so much less than I would have a few months ago. Need to figure out this week's meals and start planning our veggie garden. woo hoo!

The natives are getting restless, so off to my day job as short order cook. Happy Monday everyone!


The secret blogger... or not.

I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning. On a Sunday no less. And now I can't go back to sleep. The cat got out of the bag yesterday. I can't stop thinking about it, and then I think about why it I can't stop thinking about it. So course I'm just going to blog about it.

My little blog isn't read by many people. My biggest spike was when I begged people to visit and share some Going Green Wisdom. I do post updates on Twitter and when I do blog comments. Nothing major, but it's out there if you are in the same place that I am in cyberspace. I also share a link on Facebook, where most of my readers come from. So most people already know me. For the most part, it's people from high school or friends I don't really get to see or talk to much. It's a nice way for us to connect. A few are the polar opposite- total strangers. And I'm good with that. It's always been a part of my world. I've been on the internet chatting about life with internet friends for more than 10 years now. My online friends have become REAL friends and that was at a time when it was a little more weird-- a little more "creepy." I've met quite a few In Real Life (IRL) and have kept in touch with others over the phone or email. Many of them agonized with my over wedding details, which then became baby details, which then became, well, life in general details. The Stranger or I've-Never-Seen-Your-Face-For-Real thing is totally cool with me.

So the Cat. The Bag.

Yesterday as I was supervising my dad and BigDaddy on the PW's garden bed construction, when a friend/coworker of BigDaddy's stopped by. A FaceBook "friend" of mine, a lurker here. We were all hanging out, admiring the beds, and playing with the kiddos when The Boss' Wife came by (as in BigDaddy's Boss and our neighbor and my new friend, one of my only friends here). I had called her earlier in the day to ask for some input on where we should put the garden beds. She promised to stop by on her way home to check them out. I adore The Boss' Wife (TBW). She's funny, down-to-earth, easy to talk to- good people. So the friend mentions something about my blog to her. I lost my breath. ooooooh nooooooooooo! I saw the train wreck. I tried to shoo it away, then shrug it off, then totally redirect the conversation. (Picture the Side-to-Side Foot Shift Shuffle for full effect) Then flat out I mumbled something like "I don't want to talk about this right now and most people don't know about it and I don't tell people about it and even my dad doesn't know about it okay." Then I think I ran into a cardboard box and shivered in the corner. I've blacked out the rest. But it was over. The damage was done. "You have a blog?!" OMFG.

Later after TBW left, we were inside the house and he mentioned it AGAIN, in front of, drum roll please....MY DAD. Kill me now. please. No, really. PLEASE. Apparently my rant above didn't hit home. Then he threw out the big whopper (and not my favorite yummy kind of Whopper) "So you'd rather have strangers reading about your life than people you know?" (or something to that affect. It's seriously filed in that not-so-happy place in my brain that I can't access.) the answer to his question. Yes. Yes, I'm more comfortable with strangers reading my blog, kinda. It's that fine line. Strangers are fine here. Welcome Strangers!! Think of AA. the key word here is ANONYMOUS. Strangers. as in people that don't know me. I'm also good with people who actually know me, but don't see me IRL or have any effect in my day-to-day activities. OR people who are so close to me that they know all The Uglies. Or my internet friends. But NOT TBW. I just wasn't there yet, you know? It's not that I complain about BigDaddy's work at all or say anthing that would get him in trouble/fired if it got to his co-workers or boss. In fact, I've never seen him loving his job so much. ever. but I wasn't ready to share so much, this much. Not yet. and NOT MY DAD. The fact that my parents aren't very tech savvy is a big bonus for my sister and I. 'Nuff said.

Now I feel like a total jerk. If I open up this blog to them, I feel a bit (well, a lot) exposed. If I don't share this world, my world, it seems like I don't want them around me or like I don't want to talk to them about stuff that matters in my life. And if I don't pass along the link now, they already know my big dark secret exists and it looks like I'm holding out. If you aren't a part of the internet blog/Twitter/chat/discussion board world this probably makes no sense that I'm guarded in a totally public, open arena. And no, Facebook doesn't count. It's like all the people that claimed they were on the internet, but were really just surfing around on AOL. FB is a really a vanilla, watered down version of sharing your life on the 'net. And it's protected for the most part.

I love blogging now. But this certainly has morphed into something very different from my first posts in January that were mainly my food journal and what I ate or was going to eat. So full disclosure? Not sure if I'm there yet. I'm not in a place where I want to include my blog in every email I send. Comments on other blogs, yah, I'm good with that and I like to find other blogs that way.

I think I'll beg for visitors again... strangers, friends, people in between: If you blog, how do you handle this and what do you do? If you need to get a hold of me, I'll be in the cardboard box next to my lovely raised garden beds.



Listen, I REALLY don't visit I Can Has Cheezburger seriously. (although I believe my sister is a lifetime subscriber) But there was a link from Dooce and I just happened to wander over again. You know... oh! tiny shiny object! syndrome. But this really DID make me LOL. So enjoy. LOL a bit today. Have a great weekend. We're supposed to have fantastic weekend. My dad, aka Papa is here, Hooray!

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It's a sunshine day

(I actually wrote this yesterday, about the day before... and then accidentally on purpose fell sleep in BB's bed before posting. oops!)

I'm not really sure what was so great about yesterday. The GAWGEOUS sunshiney day? Being outside more than inside? Walking around campus searching for BigDaddy and seeing other grownups, ahem, adults? Feeling good about the direction my life is going? Maybe it was a day for everything to just come together. The Universe being aligned for me. It definitely wasn't a clean house (it looks like a tornado ran through) it wasn't my oh-so-cute ensemble (I threw on some jeans-that no longer fit!!! and are too long, my favorite shirt, a baseball cap and ran out the door sans a shower). It was just a great day.

As soon as the horses came 'round we ran outside, cameras in hand. I had our parental model (Luminex), BB had our older sony, and the Babe had our kiddie fisher price. We set out to be photographers. We had a blast. The day was beautiful and we hadn't spent a lot of time with "our horses" in a while. They were eager to see us and say hello. Even Old White Horse sniffed my hand for the first time. Zip, the most popular guy (he would be the high school QB that is gorgeous AND nice AND smart AND all parents love) hung out for quite a while letting BB get some great shots. That's him in the last two shots, with the white stripe. Then we ran around the yard taking "interesting" shots. I told BB to look at things that might be interesting or are special to you. Daffodils. His shadow. More horses. Our house. a bush. Then the kids wanted to go for a nature walk. This means walk over to BigDaddy's office and check out what's new on campus. Um... okay. Gimme 5 to pretty up a bit. *** run in, wash face, put on powder, pit juice, ball cap, ponytail) We're off!

The kids looooove going to BD's office. They say hello to everyone in the offices, sometimes get treats, and get doted upon. What's not to like?? BB had his camera out the entire time. I love it. The Babe? Not so much. She prefers to chase the cat with the camera and run around the house and document "Doll. Sitting pretty." or "Vacuum hose" or "BigBoy-Spiderman" or "FamilyDog...Backleg" That kind of thing. Outside she's my dreamer. Lost in nature, checking out blades of grass, playing in dirt, looking for birds. She can't be bothered with looking through a lens.

We finally found BigDaddy and walked home with him for his lunch. I STILL don't have his schedule down, probably won't til the end of the semester. But what else is new?

I took off to the bank and post office with BB while the babe napped at home with BD. He loves going to the bank. We don't do candy for the most part and he gets a sucker from the bank. So he was pumped. He yelled into the intercom "Thanks for my sucker!!! I love it!!" Off to the post office to grab some Priority boxes. I'm gonna do it. I'm actually going to sell some stuff on ebay. * Thanks Roxy for inspiring me!!

The kids are in an official Art Show next weekend. I'm pumped. We have some paintings and maybe some digital pics. But I still need to print the pics, do some matting, get it all ready to go by..... tomorrow. ack! I also called the local elementary school to see about registration. April 2. wow! glad I called. They will have an open house as part of registration. But I really want to see how the classrooms are when they don't have an audience and with, well, kids in them. So I left my info with the Principal's secretary and waited for a call back. I was actually getting a little stressed. Like wow, this is real. and wow. I'm waiting for my kids PRINCIPAL to call me. I know he's our "pal" and all (do you remember that spelling rule??) but it felt weird. Like I/he was in trouble. Can you say flashbacks of ditching in high school and just praying you weren't gonna get caught. Yeah.... moving right along.....

I tried to come up with some type of meal plan, but instead figured on doing meals in general, not necessarily day-by-day. I'm feeling overwhelmed and this is getting the job done, but still halfassing it as much as I can. Is halfassing a word? anyway.

Meal Plan:
Tilapia with Pimiento Sauce Recipe (made this tonight with brown rice, cooked in chicken broth. It rocked!!)
Chicken Enchiladas, coleslaw, Santa Fe rice and beans (going to try and duplicate the smart ones entree)
Baked Chicken, homemade nuggets for the kids
Roast Pork Loin w/ broccoli
Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf w/??
Scrambled Eggs with bacon bits, fruit, cottage cheese

Banana Berry Oatmeal Cups
Maple Syrup Scones

Our sitter comes every Wednesday, which is great, but she let me know last minute she had to leave early. aaaaack! NOT today. But even that didn't mess up my day, more crazy, yes, but BD said to just drop off the kids with him and we are good. Go BigDaddy!! I headed off to WallyWorld feeling good. really good.

I had my sunroof open, cruising down the highway, music crankin' in my jacked up minivan. I looked around and said "Self, life is good!" I feel great about the choices we are making. My body feels good, I've lost a little more weight. But now that I'm losing it again, little by little (3 lbs. from last weeks food fest damage) I'm not all that worried about it. I like what we are doing and I'm pretty satisfied with that feeling.

Tomorrow starts a crazy weekend. Homeschool co-op with a long lunch, rush to clean up for Papa, Dinner, Papa! This weekend should be nice again and we are going to build our garden boxes just like PW ordered me to!

Burning butter and gettin' rid of the clutter

2 A-Days. uuugh. That phrase. I shudder as I hear BigDaddy remind me that Spring Ball was upon us, but ooops, it's actually 2 a days instead of just the evening workouts we have listed on our family calendar. Basically what that means for me is that BigDaddy is gone, gone... gone. He's out the door before we wake up and home for good after we are all asleep. Thankfully he is able to walk home for lunch and dinner. I'm a volleyball widow and once again become a married, single mom. BUT I was determined to work out today per my life overhaul (workout t/th) I also did some sit ups, only 20, but it's a start and I will do them everyday and just build on it. I ran in my room while my coffee was heating up in the microwave. Seriously, how easy was that?!

I got up, got the kiddies all set with breakfast, put on some "educational tv" (actually I think they voted for Scooby Doo this morning), got all situated. Okay ready for MY time, my workout. Oh, the dog needs to potty... Okay, ready! Oh, the phone! It's T and I haven't talked to her in a few days.... Okay, ready! Oh now it's a poopapalooza in the bathroom with everyone needing help... Okay. Ready? Ready! really? I can do it now??? Alright, I'm doing it!!! I popped in my Denise Austin Blast Away 10 lbs kick boxing tape. I have to admit, this is really one of the worst cued videos ever. EVER. The poor people in the group are all messing up, which is really bad since you know they've done the workout 50 million times. But the cheesiness, the bad music, the totally unrelated "boxing moves" workout with the yoga pose cool down, and her lame phrases get me. I love it. I soak it all in. I agree with her. YES! I AM burning butter! I DO feel my strength! LOOK at my powerful pose! I DID IT! and Yes, I can feel the effect! She cheers for me at the end, a little jump up even with clapping. go me!!! I love it. I actually just found this VHS tape when I was de-cluttered. Surprise, surprise!

Now I need to figure out my meal plan. We forced ourselves to eat what we have, BigDaddy ran to our mom and pop grocery IGA for some produce and milk, but we are clearing out the pantry and using up frozen convenience foods. I'm serious people. We held a family meeting and discussed what we were doing as a family. I, well WE, think it's important to talk to our kids and do things as a family. It's amazing how much they soak up. We had our meeting at lunch and talked about how we need to have a healthier life and take care of the earth more. To do that we need to eat better food, like growing our own garden and getting rid of more junk food. So we are making some changes and we need to help each other.

We do this thing, "hands", at meals. This started at Thanksgiving and we hold hands and talk about what we are happy about, thankful for, etc. The kids held on tight and insist we do it at every meal. Usually the Babe says "I love my family" and BigBoy says the same and adds some other tidbit. Like praying, but not. Anyway, BB says "I'm so happy we are going to be healthy and take care of the Earth". Seriously? Oh pitter patter. I love this kid.

So we are clearing out the cupboards, freezer, fridge and then starting anew. Now I need to figure out what the heck I'm going to make and my shopping list. I also started The Purge. I have laundry baskets filled with various items- trash, donate/sell, keep a la Clean House. I read all the comments- thanks!! I feel so loved. My biggest day of traffic ever, lots of lurkers still though. Come on, people!

I'll end on this note. After I got into this mindset yesterday, we ate pasta last night, lots and lots of glorious pasta. I lost another pound. Burnin' butter, baby... burnin' butter.


No Mas!

Today was an A-Ha Moment for me. (Yes, I realize I managed to quote both Beverly Hills Chihuahua and reference Oprah in the first 2 seconds....) I'm in a state of reevaluation. Feeling overwhelmed without a concrete reason. Cluttered beyond belief, though we've only lived here for 7 months. Struggling with weight loss/healthy eating/meal planning. Constant cleaning and re-cleaning of our house that we live in 24/7. Trouble with incorporating fitness into my lifestyle. Trying to keep up with homeschooling/parenting/keeping my sanity. I really could go on and on.

This month's O Magazine (yes, I'm a subscriber. Don't judge.) anyway, this month Martha Beck wrote about being a Hoarder. That would be me. Hoarder with the capital "H"- in bold even. ** bummer - no link on Oprah.com. well in a nutshell, she talks about two states of mind: The JIT (just in time) mentality vs. the JIC (just in case) mentality. I'm all about JIC. Save that electrical charger even though I have no idea what it goes to! I might find the actual appliance/radio/ whatchamacallit and I will NEED that. I have an entire storage bin in our hall closet of them. The JIC thoughts are keeping me surrounded in clutter. I don't have space for it, I can better use that space and it's holding me back from simplifying my life. I hold on because I'm used to not having extra money to pay for things. BigDaddy comes from a long line of Hoarders- but it's more of the sentimental mindset. EVERY piece of "memoralbilia" makes it way from my MIL's house to our house. Why oh why is this still around and has now made the trek, cross country, to MY house?? But I digress as usual... Being a hoarder means constantly being stressed. What if __________ happens?!? It also puts you in a state of panic and your body too, so says Martha. (like programing your body to hold on to fat JIC. Now my Whopper theory has some proof!!) So get rid of the JIC Hoarding and supposedly my life is easier and I lose weight. Viola! If only life were so simple. I think it goes beyond that for me, for us. It's time for a life overhaul.

Okay, now what? What the heck do I do NOW? Admitting you have a problem is the first step right? So, "Hi everyone. I'm Lisa. I'm a wasteful, not-so healthy, trying to lose weight and exercise more, hoarder." (Everyone, together now...."Hiiiiiiii Lisa!") Next step? I'm not really sure. I guess I need to figure out what exactly I want to do. here goes, in no particular order:

Focus on our Physical and Mental health. We are cutting out alcohol for a while. BigDaddy wants to detox a bit and while I do enjoy my vino here and there, I'm willing to give it up to keep all alcohol out of the house. Less sugar. Less items with fake anything. Using more whole natural foods. We don't use a ton of processed foods to begin with, but we are a bit dependent on them for the kids. No mas!

Exercise. I just need to do it. Starting with T/Th. build from there. I really can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can walk at night. Until then, do my tapes/DVDs. I've managed to do a bit here and there, I just need to do more.

Grow my own food. We had a little garden in Indy and I want a bigger one. More space, but also more work. Need to discuss with BigDaddy. (check out PW's tutorial on how to make a raised bed. ) BigBoy is all about Helping the Earth as I mentioned before. He really wants to compost. So we'll take the trip to Costco again, see if they their composters are in now, and call it a birthday present.

Which brings me to the next item. Purge the toys. With BB's bday just around the corner, I'm sure we will get more. We are actually mentioning the Costco composter and a swingset to family and friends when they ask for the "wish list". Nothing says I love you like a gift card to Walmart or Costco. ;)

Purge the baby stuff. Our friend just had a baby girl. The Babe has sooo much stuff we don't need now. I found a home for lots of BigBoy's stuff, so that's already done.

Cutting back on plastic. We have so much "pretty plastic" items. The kids are older now and we don't use sippy cups (per dentist orders). I'm not really sure about the whole BPA thing, but it scares me just enough. I'm in love with Corelle dishes- the open stock ones. Sexy? Stylish? no way. But cheap and chip/resistant. Call me a fan. I also love the old school glass storage containers. love them!

Scale back our wants and focus on needs. Downgrade cable (getting rid of it really isn't an option right now). Check out other bills (cell phone, regular phone, etc.) BigDaddy already walks to work. Talk to the kids more about turning off lights, TV when not using.

Buy cloth bags for groceries. Start with a few and add to them. Something I want to do but just don't ever go through with. so dumb. so easy, just a little effort.

Now I call on you, my faithful blog readers. I need all 7 of you to help me. What advice, suggestions, tips do you have? Cool website sites you love? Or just say "I need to do this too!" I challenge you, make a comment. ** Nikki is exempt cause she always comments :) and she knows I'm going to call her for advice like I always do.


Showing off the uglies

For our "spring break" we loaded up the kids and traveled 12 hours, yes 12 hours, to Indianapolis. (Thank Gawd for DVD players and snack mix.) BigDaddy had some work to do so we decided to make it a family trip and visit friends, celebrate BigBoy's birthday a bit early and pretend to be on vacation. We moved from Indy last summer, so BB was eager to get back, see his friends and be back in his 'hood.

We had a great time, really we did, but came home beat. A 5 year old bday party, followed by a fender bender (thankfully only that), followed by a cracked windshield, and so many hours in the mama-mobile was a bit taxing. But seeing great friends, having a girls night out and getting a pedi was fantastic!

I hadn't had a pedicure since we moved last summer. I soo miss them. It was my special treat that my girlfriend and I would do together. Pedi dates at our little Vietnamese nail salon around the corner. The place just cracks me up. The owner? manager? receptionist? always calls me sweetie or honey when I call to make an appointment. They always have something random on the tv. Usually ABBA videos or The Travel Channel (International Version), but this time is was The Punisher. Totally violent, totally bloody and not at all relaxing. Perfect! They have one ghetto massage chair (the last one). There is always some random lady with a weird request or question. We always have the only other guys that work there. J and A. Always.

I haven't had a pedi mainly because of my big toe. When we were moving in I pulled a box on top of my toe and well, my big toenail was basically gone. Is now semi-normal,
kinda, and about 3/4 the way to growing totally back again. Not normal. Not smooth. Still a bit ugly. My nail guy J. named it Stubby.

I thought it was funny that I waited until going back to Indy to get a pedi. I love them. But to show Stubby to a stranger seemed, weird. hard. uncomfortable. But with J. all I had to do was say "Okay, heads up. The Big Toenail is all jacked up!" And even when we heard an "OH! wow." All I could do was just laugh.

It felt good going back. Back to close friends. Back to knowing where I was going at all times. A place I could show my ugliness and laugh. Hang out with my mom-friends and commiserate, wipe cracker crumbs off the car seat, and order another round of cheese fondue with dessert. Hang out with my non-mom friend and get a pedicure for an icky, stubby toenail.

Then it dawned on me. They were good friends because they saw my uglies. They already saw my mommy meltdowns. The frustrations with BigDaddy et all. The days I wanted to hide because my rosacea was on fire. The dust in my house (and the piles of laundry). The cankles when I was preggo. The millions of crumbs in my van. Me in a bathing suit running after a 3 year old. That's how they became my good friends. Through the Uglies. With the Uglies. In the Uglies. We weren't friends until we let our guards down a little. Or in my case, forced to reach out, ask for help.

Now that Spring is starting to show up, I think I'll let Stubby get all dressed up in red. Show off my Uglies a little and see what happens.


A week on "vacation"

12 hours in a van with 2 kids under 5. Days of in a non-child, big dog, house. Pedicures. A birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. A perfect day at the zoo. A fresh start. A car accident that could have been REALLY bad. Fondue, chocolate, wine and girlfriends. Jacked up cupcakes. A Kick Ass children's museum. A city I was miserable in. Tokens and tickets. Familiar surroundings. A city I loved. 82 degrees in March. No shorts. Beatboxing children. Heavy BREAKABLE dishes. Princess haircuts. Mario Kart. Overeating. Not enough time. Welcome home poop.


Baby Fever

It seems like everywhere I look or read, people are having babies. In real life and On-line, I am literally surrounded by preggos or new moms. Was there some summer of love I missed? Was everyone trying to forget about how much money we were all losing in our home values? I can't even keep track of everyone's due date, overdue, having a boy/girl, twins, you name it. Baby Fever is definitely in the air, or the water, or whatever.

But guess what? I don't have it! [insert me doing the happy dance here] This might be the first time ever that I don't have those "Awww" moments. No pining for a baby of my own in my arms when I see a little bundle of joy. I don't feel my ovaries calling to me. My belly doesn't swell. Nope, not me. Instead I kind of cringe. Aw man, can't imagine going through THAT again. Or oh, poor thing, she's in the baby coma still (this would be the first 3-4 months for those of you without kids). I get tired just thinking of the sleepless nights, the non-stop nursing, the diapers, and how fragile the babes are at first. Granted, I've never claimed to be a Newborn-kind-of-mom anyway. I'm not a fan. Cute to look at, but give 'em back to me when they can fire off a toothless gummy grin, babble and coo at mama. I need the mutually beneficial relationship. Something in return. (yes, I just quoted Dr. Broom and Public Relations 101)

I'm also fired up about being back in shape. I want my body back again. My post-preggo, post-nursing, post-finally-getting-some-sleep-and-eating-regularly body back. I'm slowly doing some pilates and yoga DVDs that I have. The soreness hurts so good. really. I just wish the scale wouldn't be so mean and try to beat back into submission.

I've gained weight. I hate this part. The part where I've lost my beginners luck weight, I'm eating less food, healthier food and I'm trying to do the right thing and workout. Why do you spite me scale?? I've gained weight this week. I need to listen to the advice I just dished out last week to my fellow WWer. "You're body is going into shock, it's holding on to the reserves, just in case." blah blah blah. why is it so much easier to realize all this when its not happening to ME. I also think I'm not eating enough. I've been journaling all day and then guesstimating for dinner, and I actually think it's too low or I'm doing to many low days instead of mixing them up, which seems to work best for my body. You know, my Whopper Jr. theory. (maybe it's a MDs thing, no more Mickey D's, only BK!) Whatever the case, I need to be more in tune to what I'm eating, keep my chin up and know this is working. My jeans are getting loose -yeah!! I FEEL better and I'm motivated. One week shouldn't kick me down.

I'm also stressed. BigBoy's bday party is this weekend, I'm planning from a far, we have lots of trips coming up that I need to plan for, etc. So my strees is slowing climbing. BigDaddy's theory is this is not helping.

Note to self: You are making progress. This is Good. Number of pounds is NOT the end all be all.

I also have a girl's night out this weekend. So if nothing else, I'll just toss points out the window, focus on catching up with great girlfriends, my emotional well being, and drink lots of wine. Vino always makes mama feel better.

  • The look on BigBoy's face when he read a"whole book" (BOB books 1,2,3).
  • Listening to The Babe sing the Oh Oh Oh part of Single Ladies. By herself. In her room.
  • Having a dance off with the kids.
  • BigDaddy making dinner AND cleaning the dishes AND kitchen- with a shiny sink.

Also, I know it's difficult to go a day or more without visiting my blog, all six of you. But I'm taking a little break until next week. Stuff I need to get done, bday party action, etc. I'll throw a little snuggie on here and it'll be all warm and cozy when we come back. promise.

Tuesday's FoodUnits
pilates 20 min. tape. yippee!
egg, ham, lc chz sammie. coffee with milk. 5
snack- string chz, ww yogurt, granola 4
ham & chz sammie, strawberries. 3.5
pasta and homemade chicken sausage sauce 9

Table provided by Roni's Food Tweet, Eat, Post Generator.


Just a mom

I love being a mom, really I do. But now that making regular words into mom-isms is becoming a common thing, I'm getting a little sick of the whole Mom Movement. Seeing "MOMocrat" was cool, "momnesia" was sorta funny, sorta. momversations? I'm done. (don't even get me started on the "-ista" action- a la fashionista turned frugalista, recessionista, depressionista.)

And maybe this is just hitting a recent wound. I was on twitter (really, no lie) and I stumbled upon a guy who owns a Advertising/Public Relations agency in San Diego. I really admire this guy a lot, think his agency rocks and they always did the cool, fun stuff you only dreamed of working on. I actually knew some of the same people he did, lived in the same area of his agency, yada yada. But this was all in the time of Lisa B.C. (before children.) Anyway... so I thought it would be really cool to follow him- interesting person, in my old city, in the same industry I used to work in. Then I got an email that he was following me. okay, cool. whatever. I go to see my followers and there he is with a "follow" button. huh? I already was, but okay, I'll hit it again. BLOCKED. WTH? blocked.

So... either he either doesn't know he can see my profile by just hitting the button (not following me officially) or he followed me, read my profile and then decided to block me because maybe I'm "just a mom". Seriously, this was all in a matter of a few hours, if that. He doesn't have a ton of followers/following so maybe he wants to be all exclusive. So have a protected account where you have to approve your followers and only they can see what's going on. Whatever the case, it pissed me off. A lot. Petty? sure, but why bother with an open, public twitter account, follow someone and then block them. I'm not a spammer, or pushing a product or business. Just a mom, who happens to like your professional work and thought you might have some fun updates and stories. But now he pissed me off.

I then went on and channeled my inner mom, the one deep down in my core. The UN-Mom. she's still there, Lisa B.C. I decided that yes, I'm a mom and really proud of that. But that's really just part of me. Granted, a REALLY big part right now, but still one part of the whole. I decided to change my profile. It's snappier, more about me and not "just a mom."

I'm still pissy. and now I don't like him or his agency (okay, maybe just a little.) and I'm gonna blog about it and he's lucky I only have 6 readers and that most of my contacts moved away from SD. He's real lucky.


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