Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Say What

After barging into the bathroom, and then standing just standing there chewing and swallowing: "Now I can speak with you."

Her new addition to the "watch this mommy" oeuvre, said during displays of truly unremarkable feats (like touching her face) and with finger held up in warning: "Wait for it."

Asking me to lay in bed with her for a minute: "I can smell the dinner in your arm." Sorry I'm stinky. "It's ok. I'm dealing with it. I just don't want to lay right next to you."

"Mom, when you're really old and can't walk maybe we can get you a chair that moves around. So I don't have to push you."

Izzy: "I need a drink."
Me (amusing myself): "oh yeah? Rough day? You need a stiff one?"
Izzy: "No. I need a lemonade. That's a stiff one."

"When you get old you can sit on my lap and I'll take care of you. But I'm not living with you. When somebody moves out of their house I'm going to live in that house. And I'm going to sleep with kitty even when I'm grown up."

Talking about painting her toenails and fingernails different colors: "Sometimes I want them to match, and sometimes I don't. you're just going to have to live with it."

And from Jack:

Several times this week after I threw something away/changed the tv channel, turned down the radio/etc: "Thanks mommy. That freakin me out."


Don't forget Saturday Say What accepts submissions! Send any funny, astute, precocious or precious statement your kids (or anyone's kids) make to practicalpablum@gmail.com and it will appear in the very next Saturday Say What post. Don't forget to include your name, your kids' names and ages, and any relevant context.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ex-Pectant

One of my blogger friends, Sarah, led me to Corinne, which led me to the red dress club and Friday night fiction. And because I am a copycat with nothing else to talk about today, I thought I'd give it five minutes of my precious time.

assignment: write about seeing an ex in the grocery store - from the man's point of view
---------

I find myself face to face with the canned peaches, wondering how I got here. Ducking behind the rows of canned fruit, suspended in viscous syrup, I am shocked into stillness and the air congeals around me.

She was gone. Out of my life so completely, so finally, after so many years of hints and hurts and foolish hope. It was such a relief, not having that adoration, that constant need to fill. I welcomed the hole I had dug for myself so carefully; I didn't want that connection. I didn't need that kind of constraint, or want the comfort that came with strings tying me to another person.

So what if maybe I loved her? So what if her smile lit up the room. She wanted more than I wanted to give and she had every right to leave. Honestly. I'm glad that she's moved on with her life - she deserves to be happy and now I'm free to do all if the things I want to do. Whatever that may be.

I move down another aisle. I can see her in the security mirrors above the produce section, sorting through the tomatoes. Her long hair is hanging down her back - I remember how soft it was, brushing up against my arm or tickling my cheek when she rolled over in her sleep. She was always so beautiful when she slept.

I know I should snap out of it. Finish my shopping and get the hell out before she sees me, or man up and go say hi. I don't have to tell her how much I've missed her. I don't have to tell her that seeing her now, after all these months is like finally coming out of hibernation, or taking that first sweet taste of air after being held underwater.

I can do this. I can walk over there and say hello.

I take a deep breath and step out past the apples prepared to look surprised to see her.

And then I see the baby.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Inception

I wanted to see it the moment I saw the poster with the tops of buildings spelling out he word Inception. The previews of buildings folding in on themselves added to my excitement, and seeing it was from Christopher Nolan, the genius behind Memento only sealed the deal.

I have been reluctant to write this review because frankly, there is little I can think of to say about this movie beyond "it was awesome." A spectacle of both visual art and mindbending storytelling, this is not a movie you go into to doze through. Inception requires focus, both from the characters trying to perform it on screen, and by the audience attempting to unravel the mysteries.

read more...


*****SPOILER ALERT****** PLEASE DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE AND DON'T WANT ANYTHING GIVEN AWAY*************

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chicken Salad Pablum Style

I have a recipe for a chicken pasta salad that has been around forever. I don't know if it is an old family recipe or something my mom found in a magazine, but we've been making it my whole life so I think that counts as forever. It is light and summery and perfect for these hot days. And because of the fruit and only very light curry flavor kids like it too. i say this because I ate it as a kid, not because any of my kids will even come near it. Here is the recipe:

Exquisite Chicken Salad:
2.5 cups cooked chicken cubed
2 cups diced celery
1 apple peeled and cubed
1 can pineapple, drained
2/3 lb seedless grapes
1 cup almonds, pecans or walnuts
3 cups cooked macaroni
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix last four ingredients in small bowl. Pour over everything else in larger bowl and toss gently until mixed. Voila!

of course, this is not at all how I make it, because I don't really like the pineapple in it and most likely never have all the right ingredients on hand anyway. Also, the above recipe makes A TON of salad (seriously, only use the above measurements if you're throwing a party), and I can only eat so much. here is how to make it pablum style:

1) throw out all measurements. measuring is for sissies
2) two packages precooked sliced chicken (because handling chicken is gross and will almost certainly result in my being unable to consume the meal due to total squicked-outedness. yes that is a word. Also, one package is enough, but won't look like enough so I'll use two. This will be a mistake)
3)cut up half an apple into small and/or smallish chunks
4) slice one stalk of celery lengthwise and then into small pieces
5) slice some grapes in half. Yes, some is the right amount.
6) reminisce about when your kids were small enough that you had to slice their grapes. Miss the little, but not the choking hazards
7) add some cooked (gluten free, whoo whoo) macaroni pasta
8) in a second bowl combine mayonnaise and greek yogurt
9) add a dash of soy sauce
10) add a dash of champagne vinegar because you have no lemon juice and hey, you watch Top Chef, an acid is an acid, right?
11) add chili powder
12) scoop out chili powder because you are supposed to be using CURRY powder.
13) hunt for curry powder in the cabinet
14) wonder why you have so much dill
15) add dash of curry powder
16) mix with spoon, taste in case it's totally gross, then add to rest of ingredients
17) realize that even halving everything you still have way to much salad
18) ENJOY!!
19) realize you forgot the nuts

Numbers And Hobos

In 9 days I will be getting on a plane, and flying between 2 airports I have never been before.

I have not been on a plane in almost 2 years.

I have not been on a plane without a child on my lap or in my body in 6 years.

My husband has never been alone with three children for more than 4 hours. He is about to be on his own for 4 days (not that he can't do it, but I'm interested to see what he thinks).

I am on my own with three kids for 3-4 days every week.

My oldest child will start kindergarten next year. My son in 2013 and my youngest, in 2014.

They will graduate highschool in 2024, 2026, and 2027. This sounds so far in the future as to be completely unbelievable - flying cars!

I will be 38 (for the 12th time) on 2027.

Weird.


and now for something completely different:

The other night I had this dream where we were at a beach party or something, and grandma was supposedly watching the kids. But then it turned out she only had Sophie, and I asked my husband who was watching Jack and Izzy and he said "hobos." HOBOS!!! He had given our kids to drunken hobos while we went out, and was completely at a loss as to why this was inappropriate. of course I completely freaked out and was yelling at him while getting ready to go find my children on the streets of wherever, and he was all like "why do we have to go, They're fine. They're with the hobos." He was telling me I was overreacting and of course the hobos wouldn't sell the kids for booze; "your parent's wouldn't sell the kids. Your friends wouldn't sell the kids, why would the hobos sell the kids?" Like my parents and hobos are totally equal as competent babysitters.

Needless to say it was a most frustrating and ridiculous dream, and I felt the need to share it here to work out some of the residual emotion because I'm really having a hard time not sitting
him down and explain just why you don't leave your children with hobos.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Project Mom Casting Submission

There is a production group looking to do a program about moms who blog. Moms who have an online presence, moms who utilize social media as way of sharing and enriching their lives.

Hey, I'm one of those moms!


I started this blog a little less than three years ago as a way of sharing my story and my life and my opinions with my family, and anyone else who wandered into my corner of the blogosphere. I expected to have a good time writing, and I expected not to have too many readers beyond my family. I never expected to make new friendships, and find a new sort of family to belong in.

When I started writing this blog, I read very few others. I was sadly unaware of the amazing community of parents and people out there opening up their lives on the internet. But slowly I discovered blog after blog, life after life that became a part of my story just by reading. And my writing took on new directions, becoming part of a conversation rather than just me speaking into silence.

Life is a journey. Motherhood is a journey. Sharing stories of bumps along the way, opening up about your failures, lets you know you're not alone out there, blazing a trail no one has walked before. Nothing can compare to the relief of confiding that today was a bad day; today you yelled or let your kids watch tv all day, or fed them only processed cheese for dinner, and hearing "I've done that too." I've been there too.


I am a stay at home mom with three children 34 months apart. On a good day the only person I talk to over the age of 5 is the grocery checker, and my usual routine involves copious argument negotiation and pleading for less screaming and more sharing. My blog helps me keep it in perspective. Nothing is merely inconvenient or only amusing anymore. Now it’s bloggable. There is an art to taking the ordinary everyday occurrences and turning them into good storytelling, and I don’t propose to be Van Gogh.


Writing my blog has helped me become a better mother, a better person, and a better traveler on the road of life. Writing my blog has helped me identify where I am weakest, and sharing my faults helps me turn them into strengths.


And that’s a story worth telling.


My one line description is right up there in my header:

The ever engaging observations of a stay at home mom trying to find the humor in the challenge of raising intelligent, loving people.


That’s my point of view, and my reminder to not take anything in life seriously, except the stories.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Say What

Telling my mother why Sophie doesn't talk yet: "She doesn't know all the questions."

"When I'm older and I grow up, when I'm 5, I'll get married and have a baby."

After I sang her a bedtime song in a slightly lower key than usual: "It's not as good in the man voice."

As my husband and I were discussing job prospects for someone so attuned to dismantling everything (without any interest reassembling): "First I got to go to kindergarten. Then I'll be workin'."

And in the WTF category:

Izzy: "Mom, you know that dinosaur that was big and then got small?
Me: "Huh?"
Izzy: "You know, the dinosaur that was big and he got small. His name is Steve."
Me: "Um..."
Izzy: "Can we get that?"


Jack's contribution this week was the hundred and one times he told me "Never you mind, never you mind Mommy."

Cracks me up every time.



Don't forget Saturday Say What accepts submissions! Send any funny, astute, precocious or precious statement your kids (or anyone's kids) make to practicalpablum@gmail.com and it will appear in the very next Saturday Say What post. Don't forget to include your name, your kids' names and ages, and any relevant context.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Few Of My Favorite...Salads

Okay, despite my sorrow that there are no sample size salad dressings, I took the plunge the other day and bought a new flavor. A few weeks ago I went out to dinner (I know! so amazing!) and had this awesome salad that, despite being WAY over dressed, I have been kind of dreaming about ever since. And it was super simple - I just needed to find the perfect dressing. And lucky me, I got it on the first shot:

Brianna's Homestyle dressing in The New American (creamy balsamic vinaigrette)

Delicious. Put on spinach, tomates, a little gorgonzola, walnuts, and hard boiled egg (the resturant used bacon, but I don't have bacon) and it is divine. I've eaten it 3 out of my last 5 meals and am actually sad now because I ran out of spinach.

My previous favorite salad (still in rotation) consists of: mixed baby greens, goat cheese, glazed walnuts or pecans, olive oil and champagne vinegar. This was also a recipe I copied from a restaurant, the now defunct Tobiano's in Steamboat Springs, CO which had the best lobster mashed potatoes EVER. You can easily substitute any other vinegar (strawberry balsamic is delish) and adding a few blueberries on top is yummy too.

The final meal on my must have list right now is chicken enchilada filling (I can it chicken pseudochilada). Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled in enchilada sauce (green, yummy), and then shredded. I add in frozen mixed veggies (thawed), frozen chopped spinach (thawed), black beans and cannelini beans and then a little of the enchilada sauce. A regular person might add peppers too, but seeing as I would rather plung a fork into my eye than eat bell peppers, that will never happen in this house. Top it with a wee bit of shredded cheese (and guacamole!) and it has all the flavor of regular enchiladas without as many calories. And of course, you can also go full out and wrap it in tortillas, cover in sauce, smother with cheese and bake it for REAL enchiladas, too.

What are you eating right now?

Maybe, Just Maybe, It's Working?

I'm down about 3 lbs. For the first time in almost a year, I'm under 160. Whoop!

I have abandoned my calorie counting and instead adopted a plan where I don't have any processed sugar (fruit and a little agave syrup are ok), and try to avoid breads and pastas. And it's working! I feel better, and I even think I already look a little better - the dress I'm trying to get into already has more breathing room.

Yay!

I definitely could not have done this the other way around. Without spending a few weeks really counting calories this plan of avoiding sugar and breads wouldn't have been as successful because I would have been dumping cheese on everything or loading up on too much salad dressing. but now that I've gotten in the habit of measuring and doing without those high calorie extras, basically eating whatever I want as long as it is the fruit and veggie category is so much easier. And effective.

I've actually lost a little weight!!

(for the salads I have been obsessed with enjoying lately, click here

If THIS Is A Cosmo Girl, Count Me Out

Have you seen the latest issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine? I highly suggest you run out to the nearest grocery store/gas station/newsstand, but in case that isn't a possibility, here is a photo*:



Have you ever seen a worse job of photoshopping someone's head onto another person's body in your life? I'm pretty sure I could cut and paste actual photographs with SCISSORS AND TAPE and get a better result than that. Does the magazine not have an editor? Does the cover not bear inspection before millions of copies are printed?

Maybe it is a sly commentary on how irrelevant Britney Spears is now - they couldn't be bothered to use modern technology to make her look good.

Maybe it is a comment on what a hot mess she is - that would explain why they also made no effort to airbrush out the black circles under her eyes.

Maybe it is a silent protest from the employees, complaining about having such a fallen "star" on their magazine despite no current efforts at a comeback or return to her "career" whatsoever.

I seriously cannot understand this cover. I think my kids could mock up a better alternative, and I KNOW I could have - especially given the tools and resources I'm assuming are available at a large magazine.

I've never been more glad to be out of the Cosmo demographic.


*this photo is centered terribly because ever since my husband got yelled at for taking a picture of a ShamWow in Walmart to show me (true story), have been a little paranoid at snapping pictures in stores. So I always try and do it real stealthy, like "oh don't mind me, I'm just waving my phone about, certainly NOT taking a picture of this here stupid merchandise" so no one suspects (no, I don't know what they would actually DO to me- besides scold. But I hate confrontation so it seems best to avoid it). Of course, this time the checkout lady totally caught me, although given the way she smiled at me she either had not the slightest clue what I was doing (she was of an elderly persuasion and may not be all that up on technology) or it is completely normal for people to be taking pictures while in line at Target.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ideas, I Haz Them

Here is my latest stroke of brilliance: tiny little sample size salad dressing bottles.

Today I was perusing the salad dressing aisle, because I would like a new option now that I am basically only eating salads for lunch and or dinner. For years I have been coasting on ranch dressing for taco salad, or just adding vinegar and oil in an improved dressing. Tasty and delicious and I will never give those up, but it might be nice to have some variety - mingles better with experimenting with new ingredients. And there are so many choices in the aisles that look tasty.

But here's the thing - when I pick a flavor, I usually have some idea in my head (right or wrong) about how it is going to taste. And when it doesn't, I don't like it. And I won't eat it again. Which means I spent my money on something useless, but perfectly functioning, so of course I can't throw it away, and I end up with a fridge cluttered by almost full, totally unwanted salad dressing bottles.

So I propose that the salad dressing companies start making little sample size bottles so we don't have to commit to full size of a mystery flavor. they won't be losing money because people will want to try every flavor of the sample size, and anything that they like they will get the full size of. You don't expect people to buy a car without test driving it first, do you? So why can't we test out the salad dressings too?

As it is, I have to assume that you want me to start opening the bottles at the store and dipping my finger in to see if I like it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Motherhood

Although the music played
and I would move across the floor
the reason never burned in me
I never knew before.

But then I came upon a cliff
and leapt without a glance
and so my child, I tell it true

Because of you I dance.

Fat Math

Remember how six months ago (or whatever - not counting) I started writing on this blog? About how I was going to finally get rid of this extra padding I've been carrying around? About how I had 30 lbs to lose, and however many months to do it before I hit BlogHer this summer? Yeah. BlogHer is now two weeks away and I have lost... nothing.

Not. An. Ounce.

Pathetic.


Turns out that intending to eat right doesn't actually make you lose weight. So while I have been faithful to my gym membership, the scale hasn't budged a bit because I've paid no attention to what is going in my mouth. it is all "this will be the last time" or "having one of these every once in a while isn't so bad" never mind that once in a while is every day.

So.

I have actually begun paying attention. I have been counting calories religiously - monitoring my intake and maintaining a reasonable level with fanatical attention. If it's going to put me over or to severely restrict my numbers for the rest of the day, I don't eat it. It has really changed the way I look at food, and while in many ways it is depressing (try watching a travel channel food show and imagine the calories contained in any featured meal. takes away the fun of dreaming of visiting those restaurants when you know it will blow two days worth of calories), in general it has helped.

Except weight wise. That hasn't changed at all. Now, I realize that I can't expect to see miracle results when I've only put in a few week's effort. But I should have lost at least a little. Let me break it down for you: 1 lb = 3500 calories. I have cut AT LEAST 500 calories from my daily intake. 500 calories x 7 days = 1 lb a week. Seeing as I was maintaining my current weight with my previous eating habits, a weekly deficit of 3500 calories should result in a perfectly reasonable 1 lb weight loss. And we're at zippo.

Super discouraging.

And here we are at only two weeks until BlogHer. Not enough time to make any sort of difference at all weight wise, especially since being as good as I have been has shown zero results. But hopefully, it is a short enough time to maintain a super strict eating plan (no sugar!! no breads!!). Because my dress for Friday night is a hair tight and I'd rather not have to hold my breath all evening. So.

Goal #1: eat super clean for the next two weeks to debloat and slim just enough to wear my dress comfortably.

If I do this and the dress fits, hopefully it will be the inspiration I need to continue on. If I I do it and the dress still doesn't fit, well, then there is a good chance I'm going to pound some cake when I get home from New York.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Anger Windmill

When I was little I was famous for my "death stare." An intensely dismissive gaze than managed to convey disgust as well as the threat of bodily harm should the offensive behavior continue. I used it often.

And I had thought that perhaps this most effective of expressions had not been passed down to any of my offspring, seeing as they are all possessed of much sweeter natures than I ever could be. For a brief period I thought that perhaps Jack might have inherited the ability to produce the perfect withering gaze, but he has chosen instead to employ more colorful weapons in the face of unpleasant behavior. Namely shouting "STOP IT" at me and then telling me to leave him alone. it is most charming.

But hope springs eternal because Sophie is definitely showing some promise in the death stare arena. She is currently hovering on the precipice of deciding whether complete disdain is the way she wants to go or if she wants to play the pitiful card and emphasize her cherubic beauty. As such, her version of the death stare mingles the distaste in the eyes with a pout of such epic proportions it is almost impossible to resist. I have tried to capture the pout, but unfortunately the wonder that is the camera often serves to ameliorate even the greatest of sorrows and so my efforts pale in comparison to the real thing. Behold the pout at 10% power:


But the anger is growing stronger with each and every "no," and I have great hopes that she will one day fill my shoes in the glower department.

She also has one more expression in her anger arsenal, which is too cute to believe. I call it the anger windmill, and it consists of running in place, arms flailing, wiggling and head shaking, all while emitting a high pitched squeal not unlike a stuck pig. It is hilarious. Sometimes she deploys it directly at you, which results in a kind of one sided sissy girl slap fight of most amusing proportions. But usually it is just this full body exertion as if the anger has actually boiled up and only by flinging and shaking her limbs about can she vent it. It only lasts a few seconds, so I'm not worried about it devolving into full blown tantrums, but it is about the cutest thing I've seen.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Say What

Izzy: "Can we get going please?"
Me: "Can you be patient please?"
Izzy (super cheerful): "Sure!"

After Izzy was pestering me for a candy bar (which is actually a granola bar, but sshh, don't tell): Me: "You're just not going to lay off until I give you a candy bar are you?
Izzy: "No. I hate laying off."

And Jack's first entry (which admittedly was cuter in person than on paper, but whatever):

"Nebber do that again Mommy." pointing finger in my face "Nebber."



Don't forget Saturday Say What accepts submissions! Send any funny, astute, precocious or precious statement your kids (or anyone's kids) make to practicalpablum@gmail.com and it will appear in the very next Saturday Say What post. Don't forget to include your name, your kids' names and ages, and any relevant context.

Friday, July 16, 2010

First World Problem

I have to say that it really bothers me when someone couches a complaint with "oh I know, it's just a first world problem." Like their issues shouldn't matter because the involve customer service rather than starvation. Who cares?

Am I really not supposed to ever get aggravated or inconvenienced or upset because at the end of the day my children are fed, there is a roof over our head and two hundred cable channels available on our flat screen TV? Can nothing bad ever happen to me because I live in a safe community where I am unlikely to be persecuted for my faith, skin color, political views? Bullshit.

I am not going to feel guilty because I live in one of the richest countries on Earth, or because I'm better off than many of the people in this country. Should I feel grateful? Absolutely. Should I try and do more to help those less well off and share the gifts I am so fortunate to have? Yes. But that doesn't mean I don't have the right to complain when something annoying happens to me.

It is somewhat similar whenever I complain about the kids and I get comments like "well, you wanted them" or "and you think you want another one?" Screw you. Yes I wanted kids, and yes I am happy I have them. I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything. But where does that mean I can never get overwhelmed or frustrated or pissed off at them? I didn't realize that popping out a few children meant I had to worship at their feet forever and never lose my temper. And guess what? Maybe do want to get pregnant again because I'd like to experience it one more time and I'd love the baby that comes along with it. Doesn't mean I'm not allowed to express my discomfort occasionally.

I just really don't get these people. Do they actually think their problems are worth less than other people's? I guess in a way they are- getting shot down on a date is certainly less critical than getting shot for going on a date- but you know what? They're YOUR problems. That automatically makes them of utmost importance to YOU. If your really feel you aren't entitled to complain about them, then stop opening up your thousand dollar laptop or getting out your brand new iphone and telling everyone about it. Because the way see it, they are only clarifying their complaint as first world folly so that WE won't think they are unaware of the suffering out there. So WE will see them as compassionate and acknowledging their selfishness rather than as petty greedy villains bitching about how long the line was for the ipad.

Who cares?

If you have a problem that you need to vent about, I say go for it. Don't drill it to death, but you also don't have to justify your complaints to me - if it's a good story I'm going to enjoy it. If it serves as a helpful warning about doing business with someone or the way something works, I'm going to be thankful for the advice. What I'm likely NOT to do, is sit at home judging you because there are starving kids in Africa.

After all, it did occur to me July 4th, that the explosions happening all around me could have been worse. I could have been in one of the parts of the world where those explosions happen every day, and on the ground to kill rather than in the air to celebrate. And I was relieved that I was safe at home surrounded by idiots rather than war. But that didn't make it any less annoying. And it didn't make me feel bad complaining about it here the next day.

That is why I have a blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Group Therapy

I do not like doing things with people watching me. I am extremely uncomfortable, cleaning, cooking, reading, working on the computer, getting dressed, putting on makeup, doing homework (back when I had it), or talking on the phone if there are people around who can see me doing it. I realize this is weird. I realize that just because someone is in the room with me does not mean they are scrutinizing my every action, and in fact, I don't really feel like I'm being watched or judged in most of these instances. I just feel uncomfortable, and would prefer to do said activity by myself.

The exception? Yoga class.

Being the solitary soldier that I am, of course I have done yoga at home by myself. I have done it on my own, and I have done it with a video. And while those are nice and all, they can't hold a candle to yoga in a class setting. I can't explain why a circumstance that should have me self conscious and uncomfortable (as indeed I am before and after the class) feels so wonderful to me. There is something about practicing yoga in a room full of people that relaxes me in ways it just doesn't when I practice alone. I don't know if it is everyone breathing at once, or the dim lighting and soothing music or what, but yoga in a group setting is where it's at. It is like church for me.

Now, I hate to get all new agey spiritual, but I had no idea yoga could be like this. I have always believed in the power of yoga for the body - I don't think anything else can give you the combination of strength and flexibility the yoga provides, and I don't think anything plays a role in staying young and fit as well and strength and flexibility. It has always been an activity I am perfectly suited to, and I try and encourage others to take it up whenever I can (without being pushy - that is so annoying). What I didn't know was how emotional and, yes I'm going to say it, spiritual, yoga could be. Sure, I knew people preached that it was, but people preach about the healing power of crystals too, so I took that with a grain of salt. Until I had my first yoga class. The emotional relaxation and stress relief is just incredible. I have left every class feeling so much happier, lighter, freer, calmer than I ever could have expected - it is just the best feeling.

What I don't understand is why there aren't yoga studios out there offering childcare. Gyms do it -the only reason I have a gym membership is because I can work out and someone will watch my kids. Every yoga class I have ever taken has been 99% women, I guarantee some of them are mothers who would appreciate being able to take a class at a studio that had a playroom. I for one would drop my gym pass in a second if there were a studio that would watch my kids for the hour and a half I was in class - I'd be there 6 days a week.

I may have to open my own. What do you think - would you go?

ps: I realize yoga is not for everyone - some people find their best meditation and peace in running or more energetic pursuits. My mom doesn't understand why she should drive somewhere just to lay on the floor. So I get it if it doesn't appeal to you. But you should try it. I guarantee you will feel better.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Memory Lost

Things I have forgotten today:

-my phone number
- my zip code
- what I needed at the store
- if I had started the car I was shifting into gear*
- to paint one fingernail
- to post this entry (written several hours ago)

I seriously think I may be losing my mind.

I'll let you in on a little secret: it isn't just not having anything to say that has kept me from blogging. To be completely honest, I do think up topics almost everyday that may not make for great entries, but would at least be a little tidbit to post, and I generally cannot remember them 30 seconds later. This is definitely NOT typical forgetfulness for me. Usually if I set myself to remember something I will. Perhaps not in the time frame I intended, but if I actually try and apply my memory I can usually recall what it is I wanted to remember.

Not so much anymore.

I don't know if this is because I have been spending so much time reading so intensely and as a result my engagement in my own reality has suffered or what. I beginning to get a bit alarmed because I really have no other explanation for what is becoming a detrimental lack of short term memory. We're not talking little blanks either that short you out and then everything comes rushing back in - when I forgot my phone number I actually had to go look it up because I couldn't get past the first number. It is disturbing not being able to trust your own mind, not to mention more than a little annoying to be incapacitated to the level where just waiting for someone to finish a sentence results in forgetting what I was about to say. I wasn't the best conversationalist before, but I can't see how having to choose between standing in mute silence and blurting out whatever I think the second I think it it is going to make me any more fun to talk to.

...And, now I'm going to just trail off because I have forgotten the last point I wanted to make. Seriously. I'm not just doing this for comic effect. That's just a bonus.


*the car WAS on- which is impressive in terms of how quiet and gentle the motor runs. Which in turn is all the more impressive because I was driving my husband's car which is 14 years old with well over 100,000 miles on it and basically could totally break down at any moment. Go Isuzu!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Books And Birds

I have done nothing lately besides read. No television, no internet (which you may have noticed since I never blog anymore), definitely no cleaning or housework. Just reading, reading, reading. Okay, there have been trips to the gym and store, as well as at least one or two times when I've played with my kids, but mainly I've been curled up on the couch reading my books and just having a wonderful time ignoring everything else around me. It's the cheapest summer vacation ever.

Of course, that all gets into some more existential arguments about if I am really present in my own life when I spend all of it engrossed in stories, and perhaps I should practice more mindfulness and savoring these days while my kids are young, but whatever. I can get deep about it later. right now I'm reading and having fun so I'm not going to waste time thinking if there's something better I could be doing. Where's the fun in that?

However, i do feel I should get back to blogging more - I miss it, I'm getting complaints and snide comments from the peanut gallery about never writing, and we're heading into BlogHer soon, so I figure I should probably have something fairly recent up in case I meet anyone who actually checks out my site. Ha! Of course, there isn't much to write about when you spend all day reading (want a synopsis of my book? no?), and I can't even really fluff this out with picture because I have hardly been taking any. but I do have one little topic I haven't talked about, and was apparently saving for some unknown date since the pictures have been in my camera for a while, so let's trot that out now, shall we?

This spring we have had some swallows making a home above the light fixture outside our garage. They apparently were here last year too (before we moved into this house), but their old home had succumbed to gravity and so they had to build a new one this year. After a few weeks I noticed that one of the birds was spending an awful lot of time sitting in the nest, so we knew there had to be eggs in there:


Unfortunately, because the light is so close to the eaves I couldn't get an angle to take a photo of the eggs. I had planned to try it with a mirror, but since swallows are prone to dive bombing whatever they see as a threat, I was worried I would be startled and fall off the ladder. And since I am totally freaked out on ladders anyway, this was a daunting challenge. Still, I was fully intending to try, and just working my way up to the necessary level of bravery, when I noticed something peeking over the edge:


Babies!! This of course, was more than enough excuse to get back on the ladder and get some photos regardless of mama and daddy bird's issues because, c'mon, baby birds! So cute. And of course, I didn't have to get anywhere near as close with them popping their little heads up over the edge. Mama and Dad still kept and eye on me though:


But they relaxed enough to eventually feed their kids even though I was still up on my ladder watching:



I did get much closer for these next pictures, and kind of pissed off the parents, so now I get swooped on every time I go outside, but whatever. It was worth it. I'm just worried they will accidentally get killed because they are always swooping on the cat too, and she has claws, so she could kill one just by reflex. That happened once with a cat I had growing up, and if one of the parents dies a lot of the time the babies will too. So keep your fingers crossed that they stay clear of my cat.

Aren't they cute?





I know there are at least four babies, but I'm pretty sure there are five and maybe even six in there. I honestly don't know how they all fit. And they are so loud - always chirping away.

Then, the other day as we were returning home from somewhere I can't remember, we spotted a hawk sitting in the neighbor's yard. I wasn't able to get as close as i wanted before he flew away, but I did get one good shot:


He was just sitting there the whole time we drove up and I went to get my camera and as I was approaching and then whooosh! gone. So cool!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Omaha Is Getting On My Bad Side

So, yesterday, right after venting all of my delightful anger about the jackholes with explosives, I made the astute decision to call the trash company. Because, you see, they had failed to pick up our trash in teh morning, despite it being out on the curb well before the usual time.

And I was informed that A) there is apparently a rule that all trash cans have to be on the curb before 6am, and B) that because no one had their trash out on time the guys just drove through all the neighborhoods really fast and that's it. Oh, and C), no you can't schedule another pickup for this week (even with the extra charge option) you'll just have to wait until next week.

W. T. F?!?!?!?!?!?

Seriously? First of all, where the hell does this "on the curb by 6am" bullshit come from since NEVER ONCE has this been mentioned to me, despite several calls about missed pickups before. I mean, I have called because I was late putting out the trash before, and NO ONE has ever mentioned that it should be out by 6am. So blow me. Second, why the hell can't I schedule another pickup? Are they planning on blowing through every route all week or what? Seems to me that if ALMOST EVERYONE missed their trash pick up on Monday, you might like the additional revenue generated by charging all of those schmucks $15 for a special pick up. Annoying to me to have to pay the money, but it's just bad business on your part to not even offer it. Duh.

And third, can we please just address the issue of gleefully giggling at me that practically everyone thought Monday was a holiday and therefore did not put out the trash cans on time so the guys JUST DROVE AWAY? No, ok, let's give it a few hours and run back through because WE KNOW PEOPLE ARE RUNNING LATE today? WTF is that about? I can just imagine them sitting around thinking:
Whoop de doo, our customers are all idiots who didn't put their garbage out at the crack of dawn because we've never told them they have to, so instead of running our usual route let's speed through everything and make sure they can't get the trash to the curb fast enough for us. Then we can all just go home - maybe we have some left over fireworks to set off or something! Yeah, and I know, when they call to ask NICELY if they can please PAY US to get another pick up, let's just LAUGH AT THEM and say no. We don't need that stinking cash, right? It's not like there are other companies they can go to..oh, wait. There are? Maybe we should rethink some of this...

They are SOOOOO lucky I am too lazy to drive my garbage down to their offices and dump it at their front door because I REALLY want to do that right now.

Now let's just all hope nobody else gets on my shit list for a while.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Putting The Redneck In Red, White And Blue

The fireworks displays put on last night by people all over my neighborhood were obscene. We're not talking cherry bombs and poppers here either, we're talking professional grade fireworks being launched hundreds of feet in the air from the middle of the street. In every direction. It was totally over the top, royally offensive, and oh yeah, ILLEGAL.

From my yard I could count more than ten separate celebrations within probably a three block radius. Two of these were within three houses of us. We probably didn't have 5 seconds without an explosion of some sort for over THREE HOURS. Explosions that you could actually hear hitting and rattling the glass in the patio door. Explosions that were so loud I couldn't help cringing when I went outside - where the air was so thick with smoke it looked like fog had rolled in. So choked with sulfur it was painful breathing.

Explosions that woke up my kids and made them cry. Homey don't play dat.

So we called the police. First, the non-emergency information line where I was hoping to get some information on just what was allowed and what measures were being taken to enforce any laws in place. A call; that was greeted with no information whatsoever, other than a snapped "it's illegal" repeated over and over, along with the instruction to call 911 to complain.

Which we did. Twice. As was expected, they were very busy, and not especially interested in the fireworks - I'm pretty sure no one ever even drove by our neighborhood. And frankly, that is unacceptable.

I should NOT be tying up emergency phone lines with complaints about fireworks. I realize that. But if the official stance on fireworks is "it's illegal" than they should be doing something about it. It's not like these hundreds of citywide displays came as a surprise or anything - I'm betting they could have guessed some people would be setting of fireworks on the 4TH OF JULY, for chrissakes. And if you know it's coming, and you are fielding phone call after phone call of complaints, and yet you are still doing NOTHING, then you are failing to DO YOUR FUCKING JOB.

Do I think they can stop everyone from setting off fireworks? No, of course not. They don't catch every speeding driver either. But that doesn't stop them from writing tickets to the ones they do catch, does it? NO. And guess what? I guarantee you that fear of getting a ticket is a deterrent for most people in terms of their driving the speed limit. Works for me. And I'm betting that giving out a few $5000 fines will serve to cut down on the number of ILLEGAL fireworks set off every year. They could have raised $50,000 in revenue just driving through my neighborhood. And it's not exactly like they are going to have a hard time finding perpetrators - they are standing in the street launching EXPLOSIVES in the air. And given the fact that they spent HOURS sending up beacons where to find them, there is no excuse for the police to have done nothing.

The lack of consideration for public safety, neighborly consideration and THE FREAKING LAW exhibited by my neighbors this weekend is just astonishing. But the indifference and blind eye shown by the city in failing to enforce the law is infuriating.

And you can guarantee that anyone in the remotest position of authority (as well as every press outlet I can find contact information for) is going to hear from me about it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Hands We Hold

This week's You Capture gave a choice of chairs, green, or hands. Guess which I chose?













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