Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vanity Rehab

For many months now I have been too fat for my cute clothes.  In my head I look exactly how I want to look, and I get all motivated to stop wearing only pseudo jammies all the time, and I'll work up the extreme effort it takes to try and wrangle an outfit out of my closet, only to be thwarted by chub that refuses to squeeze itself into the proper size.  It's depressing.*  And I would try and persevere, be disappointed, and repeat.  It's really fun and super great for teh self esteem.  Also helpful in your dieting efforts when being depressed about your weight leads you to cram food into your face even faster than being cheerful does.

Anyway, this is not meant to be a downer post.  Because lo and behold, I was blessed with a haircut I absolutely detest.  So now, not only do my clothes look bad, but my head is beyond redemption as well.  But suddenly, I feel better.  Because there's nothing I can do.  I'm not going to worry about my hair, because short of a miracle growth elixir (which I am SO in the market for if you have one) I'm pretty much out of luck in that department for at least the next 6 months.  And since my go to hair style involves two barrettes in wet hair and letting it do its thing, putting much effort into my clothes seems kind of like putting a silk dress on a pig.  Fancy, but kind of besides the point.  So I don't care about not fitting into my clothes so much anymore either.

I hardly ever see myself in the mirror unless it is intentional, so taking any preoccupation or effort out of how I look means I rarely if ever glance in a mirror, meaning my only impressions of myself involve how I feel.  And since I wear oversize t shirts and cut off sweatpant shorts everyday, how I feel is comfy.  And comfy feels pretty good.

Of course, any surprise reflection results in complete horro at my actual image, but in general, I feel pretty good.  In fact, a large part of the reason I gained so much weight in the first place is that I don't FEEL fat - I didn't notice the changes in my body until it was way too late.  In my head I still look basically the way I always have, maybe five or ten pounds heavier, but in general, I can still wear everything I want, and I still look young and hot and stylish.  it's only when I actually see myself (in a mirror to some degree, or for best effect, in a photo) that I see what has really happened, and as a result feel bad.  So this hiatus from vanity is actually helping my self esteem.  At least on a day to day basis - in general I still know my hair looks terrible and I would really like to get my wardrobe in shape and start making more of an effort in that area.  And at some point I will do so.

But until then, I'm going to keep on avoiding the mirror, looking like a hot mess and not caring a bit.


*none of this references AT ALL the ability of people of all sizes to look great and stylish, so don't tell me I can still look wonderful even with a few extra pounds, blah de blah blah.  I am aware of this.  But when you have $0 in your new clothes budget, a closet full of size 8 clothes and a size 12 body, there is very little you can do to remedy the style situation.  Pffft

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And It Only Feels Like 4 1/2

Five years ago today I walked into the Routt County courthouse, signed my name to a slip of paper, and came back out a with a new last name. And amazingly, the past five years have been pretty great anyway (wink wink).
Happy Anniversary, husband.

Judging by how much older we look now, I think I'll say we've been married ten years

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Spell School S-I-C-K

So, it's been three weeks since Izzy started back at school, which means of course, that jack, Sophie and I are all sick.  Jack has had a bit of runny nose for about a week now, Sophie was trashed last Wednesday - feverish, no energy or smiles, cruddy nose, but she snapped back by the next day, and has been pretty much back to normal since then.  I managed to make it until Sunday, but have had a bit of congestion and that lovely post nasal drip throat tickle since then.  Awesome.  Of course, Izzy is healthy as a horse and hasn't even had the slightest bit of runny nose or anything.  She just brings it home to us.  Pfft.

In completely unrelated news, I finally started a book I've been meaning to read for a while now: The End Of Overeating by David Kessler , and I am simultaneously wishing I could just read it faster faster, finish now! and also kicking myself for not reading it sooner.  It is so amazing to hear someone talking about the addictive quality of food as a legitimate issue and not just lack of will power or laziness or whatever.

I realize that for many people, food is not an issue.  Resisting temptation doesn't seem like a big deal to them because they don't truly understand the exact nature of true temptation.  They cannot imagine literally thinking about eating food all day.  They do not understand what it is like to literally feel no ability to resist the call of certain foods, or to stop yourself once you've started eating them.  I tried once to explain to my father-in-law that I had to completely avoid certain foods because once I start eating them I am powerless to stop, and I could see the disbelief in his eyes.  I could see that for him, my saying that was a sign on weakness - an admission that I just lacked the will to control myself.

And honestly, I will admit to a lack of willpower.  But I am also not exaggerating when I say that there are foods I literally cannot stop eating once I've started, until I reach the point where I am sick.  It was so amazing to read anecdotal evidence of others' experiences that echo mine.  And it was eye opening to read some of these accounts in such detail - the obsession and anxiety that arises when presented with a trigger food.  One thing that resonated most was one woman saying that as soon as she accepts that she is going to eat the food, it's only a matter of time, all of the anxiety is replaced with calm.  I never noticed it before, but that totally happens to me.  Once I admit I'm going to eat something (and eat all of it most likely), I'm no longer obsessed with it.  I don't even have to be eating it right then - it can be an acknowledgment of something that will only happen after the kids go to sleep, but once I accept I'm going to do it, I am no longer plagued by total preoccupation with the food. Part of my biggest struggle every evening is just sitting with the constant anxiety of thinking about eating food without actually eating it.  Because nothing will distract me from my craving.

But back to the addictive qualities, the main focus of this book is the effect sugar, fat and salt have on our brain chemistry and function, and the actual addictive responses that create our cravings and overeating.  Some of the studies mentioned involve the use of increasing work required to get a reward (ie, push a lever once for a treat, but 3 times for the next treat, and 7 times for the next, etc).  Scientists measure how far the subjects (usually rats) will go before the amount of work is too great and they quit rather than get the reward.  The rats will quit working for a sugar/fat solution, only slightly sooner than they will for cocaine - meaning it is almost as addictive and rewarding.  There are also correlations between the opiate centers in the brain and response to sugar and fat, and drugs that are meant to block the enjoyment of morphine and heroin also stops the intense reaction sugar creates in the brain.

Amazing. 

in general, I would say that so far nothing in this book has come as too much of a surprise - it is stuff I have believed for a long time.  But seeing it in print, and validating my beliefs, is such a pleasure and a relief.  I'm only a little into this book, and I'm sure I'll have more to say about it when I'm finished, but for now I'm just so excited to be reading it and I waned to share that in case you want to read it too!  I can't wait to get to the parts that talk about rewiring the brain and fixing all of the conditioning that has been done by these terrible "reward" foods.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Updatage

In case you were wondering about a few things I've mentioned lately:

1) Sophie has taken to her new bed fabulously after the addition of the safety railing.  There have been no more necessary cuddles, although I have managed to force a couple on her before she got fed up and shoved me out of the room.  I didn't want to make it a habit, but that didn't mean I wanted it to stop so soon.  Oh well.

2) My hair is causing me less misery now that I have managed to wrangle to bangs under control of a trusty barrette and some industrial strength hair spray.  I still try and avoid the mirror as much as possible (even like this I don't love it), but I no longer want to cut off my entire head.  Please, if you pray at all, spare a moment to wish for quick regrowth.

3) My intention to cut Jack off from the diapers at his 3rd birthday has gone completely by the wayside.  I didn't want to ruin his actual birthday with pants wetting, and the morning after he was completely unwilling to even try on his new underwear that we had been hyping so much.  I basically took a good long look at the future of butting heads with him over the potty training and gave up before I even started.  I fight enough stupid battles with him every day - this just wasn't worth it.  I'd rather continue changing his diapers than have to constantly clean up messes all around the house while also engaging in an interminable battle of will.  No way both of us are coming through that alive.  So we are back to the ever vague "when he's ready" which I hope will come within the next 6 months or so, and be followed by a super fast transition.  We'll see.

Well, I think that's it.  Anything else you've been wondering about?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Time For Bed

Yesterday Sophie got a big girl bed.  I realize that 20 months probably seems very young to move out of the crib to most people, but seeing as Izzy and Jack were both in twin size beds by 18 months (due to the pressing need of new babies for the crib), this is actually late for us.  And frankly, I probably could have lived with her staying in the crib for a while longer (mah baby!!!) but the fact that she's been climbing into Jack's bed and laying down lately combined with finding a super cute bed at the used furniture store seemed to indicate the universe thought it was time.

I don't know why this photo is so terrible - and it's the best of the bunch





I cannot say the transition was as wonderful as I expected. There were smiles and so forth, but none of the glee and general cavorting that the other two children displayed to greet the milestone of getting a big bed.  And then of course came time for sleeping (we tried it first at naptime), and the horror that she was being left all alone on this big, scary new contraption.

There was much screaming.

But along with the screaming came a new, and wonderful moment for me.  You see, Sophie is a cuddler.  Isabelle is NOT a cuddler and never has been.  I can't play with her hair, put my arm around her when we're sitting on the couch, or rub her back.  She is totally not into that kind of thing, and while she sometimes wants me to lay in bed with her, she rarely lets me actually touch her while doing so.  Jack has always been a little more cuddly than Izzy, but he rarely sits still long enough to get a proper snuggle in, and you can't lay with him in bed for fear of being beaten around the head or kicked out of excitement that you're there.

But Sophie is a different story.  She will sit on my lap for long stretches of time, and does so almost every day.  She loves to be snuggled and hugged and cozied up to me - and I love that I get to do it.  So it was with great glee that I discovered that wrapping my arms around her and laying with her on her bed was what she wanted when the big bed proved too scary.  And while I would hate to ruin the ease with which we put her to bed right now (especially given the troubles my friend is having getting her son to go to bed easily), I can honestly say that the 30 minutes or so I spent laying with her at both naptime and bedtime until she was sleepy enough to sleep alone were some of the best times I've ever spent.

Today we got the protective railing put on so she can't roll out of bed (yes, we forgot to do it yesterday, and yes, she fell out once last night - Mother of the Year right here), and there wasn't a single tear shed or cry to be heard as we left at naptime today.  I'm glad she's already adjusting to the bed, but I hope those two bedtime snuggles aren't the only ones I get.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Next They'll Be Discussing Whaling

Yesterday when I went to pick up Izzy at school, I noticed a sign up on the wall.  It was titled "What To Bring On A Bear Hunt" and it was filled in with suggetsions from all of the kids.  There were the typical random 4yo suggestions, like snacks and your backpack or whatever, and then, as expected, right in the middle of the poster said "a gun to shoot the bear."

Now, I'm not super anti gun or anything, and while I don't own any guns, or ever plan to own any guns, I have no problem with other people owning guns if they so choose.  And while I am really not a fan of hunting at all, I get that some people are into that, and in many areas it is necessary to keep some animals in balance given how we've already killed off all the natural predators.  But it strikes me as kind of inappropriate to be discussing going out and shooting animals in a preschool class of 3-5 year olds. Even if I went out hunting myself, I don't think I would be really discussing it in depth with my children at this age, and I find it highly assumptive that the school would take on a topic that has the potential to be so offensive to people. 

After all, I consider myself pretty moderate and tolerant of other people, and if this sat wrong with me, imagine what would happen if I had been the type of parent who takes everything personally.  I can only imagine the reaction of a PETA member helicopter mom after seeing their delicate flower had been exposed to the logistics of bear hunting.

In general, it is not my natural response to freak out over this type of thing, or deny to my children that things like guns and hunting and killing exist.  But that doesn't mean I want them discussing it at school either.  I know that the few times Izzy has said anything about something killing something else (sorry, can't think of any specific examples of what she's said before) it has been very unsettling to hear such a harsh word come out of her mouth.  I don't like hurting animals, and I try very hard to promote gentleness in my kids - we love seeing the bears at the zoo, do we really have to then speak of shooting them in the wild?

I don't know.  I'm assuming this activity stemmed from perhaps a book that was read (at least I hope so - if they are just talking about hunting bears without any correlation then we do have a problem),  but it seems to me like the exercise could have been just as fun if we had perhaps focused on what do we bring into the woods? or what do we bring camping? instead of on a bear hunt.  I guess I just would expect a preschool program to try and redirect the scenario away from something that will naturally lead to guns and killing and into more childlike, innocent pursuits. 

Do you agree?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Birthday Fun

this is what I get when I ask him to pose with his presents






his first look at his train cake




A pretty good day.

Happy 3rd Birthday Jackson

My Dearest Jackaroni -

What a kid you are.  So sweet and sensitive, and rambunctious and funny and 100% all boy.  You are my little man, my best friend (even if you don't want to be) and absolutely the best hugger in the whole wide world.  Sure, we have our share of butting heads over the whining and general histrionics, but when you laugh the whole world smiles.  Truly, there is no better giggle in the universe.  It has been so fun this past year watching you learn to speak and communicate, and it is such a pleasure talking to you.  When you hold your little finger up and say "I have idea!" or poke me saying "let me tell you something."  I can't wait to hear all of the things you are going to say.  I love your hard little round head, the way you play with your sisters, and the way you can flit from heartbreak to joy (and back again) in the blink of an eye.  I even love The Mope, although I wish it wasn't so often present when I'm trying to take your picture.  You are my blue eyed boy, with the smile that lights up his whole face.  From the days when you were just a rolling chub of smiling baby, to now when you have grown so handsome and big, you have been a treasure and a trial and we both get better every day.  Whether you are a robot, a monster, or just plain Jack, you will always be my guy and I love you with all my heart.  Have fun being three, sweet boy.

Love, Mommy

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cut

I'll show you the final cut, but let me tell you first that I am completely miserable and totally hate it.  I like the sides and back (although I don't know if they are so great it's worth losing two years of growth), but the front is beyond redemption.  Way too short bangs that I can't even pin back or to the side make me look like a reject of the home school of hair cutting.  I get the look he was going for (and no disrespect to the stylist - he is wonderfully talented) but it is SO not me and I am really upset.  Everything I loved about my color was cut off, too, which is disappointing as well.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  I had a really fun time doing the shows though, and I would probably consider doing it again.  But next time - NO BANGS!!!!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Color Me Good

When they warned us yesterday would be a long day, they weren't kidding.  I arrived at the convention center at 8:30am for prep day, where everyone would get colored and cut and whatever.  By 10:35am, I had had my hair washed at least four times - I've lost count if it was 4 or 5 times, I just know I sat with wet hair and various treatments applied and rinsed out for over 45 minutes.  Then, I had to sit under a blower with my hair combed out as it falls naturally - meaning, combed right over my face so I couldn't see and the hairs kept poking me in the nose.


After that I was just back to waiting around, and I read, ate a little lunch, and chatted with the other models.  I didn't get into the colorist's chair for consultation until after 2, and then the assistant didn't start actually coloring me until almost 3pm.  Oh, and it took her an hour just to apply the color because it is graduated really subtly, so for each of five sections she had to remix the color formula.  35 minutes of processing, and I was rinsed and blown dry.  And done.

Until the colorist decided I needed a little pop.  After all, this is a hair show, and while my color was "gorgeous" and "perfect" for a salon client, it just wasn't hair show.  So I got back in the chair for a blonde chunk.


Then it was off to rehearsal (foils still in my hair), where I got to stand around for another hour and a half, this time in 4 inch heels.  Good stuff.

By the time rehearsal was over, it was after 6:30pm, the exact time my husband needed to be leaving our house for a wedding he was attending.  But I was too busy back in the model room getting rinsed out and blown dry (again) and then having a glaze applied to the blonde streak.  A quick check, slight hyperventilation by the assistant who applied it when he realized he used the wrong color, then I was off to the sink to be rinsed and blown dry, one more time (you can't color wet hair, in case anyone is wondering).  The final, correct glaze was applied, ten minutes later I got my final shampoo and blow dry.

I was out the door, in my car by 7:15 pm.  And yes, my scalp hurt.

The final color: a dark brown, almost black on the bottom layers that fades to a lighter (but still dark) brown, with a little pop of blonde.  Right now the blonde is hidden by my top layers of hair, but I'm assuming it will be more obvious once I get cut - which will happen on stage Sunday.  After which I walk an actual runway- ha!  I'll post another update with the final look on Sunday night!


Saturday Say What

"Do my ballet clothes make me look fat, or squishy?"

"Just wear your boobs, Mom (meaning bra).  I like when people laugh at you."

Jack, to Izzy: "Want my sticker?"
Izzy: "No.  I only eat one sticker a day."

watching an episode of Hoarders where the house was full of collectible displays and dolls and twinkly lights as opposed to the usual garbage: "Oooh, his house is beautiful!  Are they going to turn his house into a restaurant?"

Singing: "I love my mom.  She gives me things I want."

"My arm hurts." (I reach out to pat it) "Don't touch me while you're eating oatmeal."

"That is an idiot show!"

Izzy: "You are really good at this."
Me: "At what?"
Izzy: "Getting jack into trouble."

Me: "I was a really bad mommy today.  I let you watch way too much tv."
Izzy: "But you're not going to jail, right?"

and first thing the very next morning: "can you be a bad mommy again and turn on the tv?"

Izzy: "I love Justin Bieber."
Me: "You love Justin Bieber?"
Izzy: "What?  He's a singer."

I fear for the teenage years.

As always, 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.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

America's Next Top (Technical Hair) Model

How funny is this?

ignore all that junk on the counter behind me

Seriously.  I'm a model now.  I got picked to be in the hair show here this weekend, and some super snappy stylists from Redken are going to go wild on my hair.  For real - I was pretty much only picked because I said they could do whatever they wanted.  So even though I kind of like how my hair is looking these days, and I had a plan all mapped out for how I was growing it out long again, I'm going to put myself in their capable (hopefully) hands and at their mercy.  I don't know yet when I'll have the final results, either Sat or Sun, but I'll for sure show pictures.  Then you can ooh and aah, or laugh at me as the case may be.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In Training

As Jack's third birthday fast approaches, so does the day we will do away with diapers.  I am a firm believer in the whole "wait until their ready" approach to potty training, but that basically goes out the window when faced with a child seemingly uninterested whatsoever in doing anything for himself, and entering preschool age.  So cold turkey here we come.

Isabelle was a breeze to potty train.  I got the book Toilet Training In Less Than A Day when she was just over 2yo, employed the methods and pretty much that was it.  And while I think the book helped me get the basics across, I also think most of the credit goes to Izzy.  After all,  she would remove her pull up diaper and use her potty chair all by herself, even at night time,  right from the beginning.  But we are also talking about a kid who cold dress/undress herself (and did, constantly) at 15 months, so she is definitely a special case - she was just very interested in being self sufficient.

Jack is totally different.  He still refuses to even attempt to dress himself at all, and will only try to undress himself under severe duress.  He is fully capable of peeing on the potty, and has done so on many occasions when he feels like it.  But in general, he shows no real interest in being free of diapers, or informing me when he has t go to the bathroom or anything.  And since we're getting up in years (after all, I expect to potty train Sophie in 6 months or so), I decided a different tactic was called for.

So for several weeks now we have been planting the seed: after we turn three, there will be no more diapers.  of course, they will still be employed at naptime/overnight but the rest of the time it is underpants only.  We mention this every day, and he is getting more accepting of this fact, if not actually excited about it.  when asked what happens on his birthday he will now answer "no more diapers" before any mention of his train cake or presents or anything.  So that's a step in the right direction.

My next step was to initiate his reward system, to try and spark some sense of excitement for the whole potty training idea.  With Izzy we used M&Ms, but that didn't seem to entice Jack very much, so instead we have gone the sticker route.  He has a new little green notebook, and when he successfully uses the potty (or even tries right now) he gets a sticker.  Plain little boring stickers for pee, and I have some really big Ironman stickers for larger productions.  He didn't seem too thrilled when I presented the idea, but once I handed him that notebook with the first sticker in it, he very slowly broke out in a pretty proud grin.  So I think that will work.

What I'm aiming for now, is to get the first poop in the potty out of the way before we drop the diapers.  He already knows how to pee (and even hold himself down so he doesn't spray everywhere, thanks to Dad for handling that issue), but we have yet to cross the poop barrier.  I think it is such a big hurdle to get that first poop over with because until that point they really have no reference point on what it is we're actually trying to do.  Obviously he knows when he has pooped, since he's pretty quick to call down for clean up services, but I don't know if he's really that aware of when it is happening, or even more crucial, when it is about to happen.  And he ALWAYS poops when in his room, either in the morning before we get up, at naptime or right after bedtime, so I have no clue of the signs to watch for either.  So I'm really hoping to get one out of the way before we are wearing underpants, because while I don't mind terribly cleaning up a dirty diaper, cleaning shit filled underwear is a totally different story, and so much grosser.  Of course, this means I am following him like a hawk, asking constantly if he has to poop, and spending lots of time hanging out in the bathroom with a chatty kid just hanging out on the toilet.  I think it's already been over an hour cumulative today.  Super fun.

Anyway, this is where we stand right now.  Four days away from lowing the diapers forever.  And until then I will remain perched on the edge of the bathtub waiting for the kid to poop.  God, my life is glamorous.


update 9/26/10

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wallow

I am so full of self loathing/pity lately, I've been finding it hard to blog.  I like using this blog as a place to work through my issues, but I also don't want it to be a total downer, and of course, my family reads it, so I don't entirely want to go into full detail of how I'm feeling sometimes. 

I'm trying really hard to improve myself.  Be a better person, a better mother, lose this weight that is so literally and figuratively weighing me down.  But nothing is really happening, and nothing is really changing.  I have a clear vision of what I want to be.  How I want to approach my life and eating and whatnot.  But I'm finding it impossible to change my self perception of myself.  I have the "I want to be..." but I can't seem to reconcile it with the "I am..."  I don't know if it is self confidence or what, but there has been so long that I have built my persona around self deprecation.  Maybe I think that is a way to get people to like me or just a general modesty that has mutated into something else, but it is in direct opposition with the image I want to embody and inhabit.  I look up to people who exhibit the habits I would like to have myself, and it's disturbing to think that my failure to adopt those habits myself are some subconscious signal that I don't feel worthy to be on that pedestal with them.

For a long time I really had a problem with shopping (some would argue I still do albeit to a lesser degree) and what finally helped me work through it was realizing that I held the belief that if I had the right clothes/shoes/bag, and if I looked like the person I wanted to be, then I would BE the person I wanted to be.  Accepting that buying the right outfit wasn't going to change anything about me really made a difference in my desire for acquisition.  Acknowledging that no matter how cute, clothes just weren't going to look how I wanted them to look on me unless I lose weight, also helped.

But nothing has helped push me past that first step and into actually changing my behavior.  I still can't stop putting food in my face.  I still sleep in every morning instead of getting up and doing 30 Day Shred or a yoga tape.  I can't get my mind to the place where it needs to be.  The place where what I want to be becomes what I am.  It feels so hypocritical (and holier than thou) to say "I don't eat sugar" when everyone I know has seen me shovel cake into my face.  I imagine this must be what it feels like to suddenly stop drinking.

I have to find some way around this mental block.  I have to find some breakthrough that will allow me to finally grow up and become the person I want to be.  My entire life up to this point has been a series of vague and arbitrary if, then scenarios.  When I'm this, my life will be like this.  When I have this, then I can do that.  I don't know what I'm waiting for exactly, but inspiration isn't striking.  I can't be the person I want to be, without BEing the person I want to be.  I've got to find a way to trigger this change.  I don't want the rest of my life the be spent waiting for some magical transformation.

I'm sinking.  Under fat, and failure and the lure of giving up.  That's no place to be.

Friday, September 10, 2010

If It's Not One Thing...

Oh.  Hello there.  Been a while, huh?  Well, I've just been so busy here, um, you know, doing stuff.  And things.  Lots of things I've been doing.  Things like trying not to pull my hair out over these kids of mine.  It's been really fun.

Jack's whining reached an all time high, or at least my patience reached an all time low this week.  I just really cannot deal with his poor attitude and inability to deal with even the tiniest problem without screaming and whining and general breakdown.  I came as close as I've ever been to actually smacking him this week (followed by an hour in the gym locker room trying to recover) and we just cannot come to that point again.  I think consistency is going to be key here, but of course, I have to stay calm myself.  And of course, come up with a plan of attack to be consist on so that i have something to focus on and am able to stay calm.  Ommmm.

There have also been some really lovely battles over dinnertime recently.  We are working on maturing the kids palates a little and getting them off their steady diet of chicken nuggets, and it hasn't really been pretty.  But my approach has mainly been to put the food down, and if they don't eat it then they go hungry.  It usually works, and the one time Jack didn't have even a single bite of dinner, he also didn't seem to upset by it, and certainly wasn't starving the next morning so I didn't have to feel to bad like I was starving him.  Of course, my efforts are somewhat defeated when Izzy sneaks downstairs early in the morning while I'm still sleeping and eats TEN string cheese like she did this morning (seriously - TEN.  That's practically a whole pack), but in general she is better about eating her food anyway, so hopefully she won't be the one skipping dinner too often (and she got a stern lecture about getting food without permission and stuffing the wrappers in her jammie drawer, so maybe she learned a lesson.  Doubtful).  But last night after the conniptions and taking away of dinner, she did finally sit down to eat and actually turned to me after the first bite and said "you're right Mom.  I should try the food before I say I don't like it."  So that was something.*

Anyhoodle.  Those are the happenings around here lately.  Riveting I'm sure.


*such sweet behavior made up a little bit for the tantrum and the sopping wet hand towel I found in her room, followed by the water poured all over her floor during naptime today.  Fun times.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Here And Now

Lately I have been thinking a lot about growing up and my life, and I've realized that I really don't have that many memories.  Memories of daily life, specific occurrences, anything really.  And I know this is because I pretty much do everything on autopilot.  Most of the time my primary concern is getting everything done as easily as possible, setting reminders that I can't miss so I don't actually have to think.  And while this might work in general to keep me from being overwhelmed, it has also allowed me to completely shut off my brain, and thus my experience of life.  I have always heard so much about being "mindful" and "present" in life, and I have always liked those ideas.  But I have never really actually done anything towards increasing my engagement in my own life.

I think the time has come to change that.  My kids are growing up so fast and it is all just such a blur anyway - as school and activities get going I'm going to be ever more pressed for time and focus so now is the time to really hone my attention skills and make the most of each and every day.  I'm not sure exactly how I plan to go about it yet - I have a few books I would like to read about meditation and mindfulness that I hope will give me a better idea of a jumping off point.  But I am going to find some way to make strides in my own perception and involvement.  Hopefully I will find a concrete way that I can share here, but even if there isn't any tangible proof I can offer, I'm sure the improvements will come across in my writing and sharing the stories of my life.

Have you ever undertaken anything like this?  How did you go about it?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Heaven Returns To Omaha

I will make no excuses for how much I have hated Omaha this summer.  It has been high nineties with super high humidity and it has been miserable.  For months we have been shut ins, playing in the basement except when Daddy is nice enough to take the kids to the zoo or park.

Mama don't do hot.

Tuesday, August 31st, it was 95 degrees.  I remember, because I was wishing it wasn't too hot to enjoy a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, which is the unofficial symbol that fall has indeed arrived.  And let me tell you, mother Nature must love her some Starbucks, because Sept 1st dawned rainy and in the mid 60s, and it has only gotten better from there.  rainy at night, never higher than 73, the past three days have been heavenly.  Today was 68 with crystal blue skies and sun.  Gorgeous.

Of course, not having intense heat means I actually have to take the kids outside, and now that Sophie can almost climb to the top of the slide by herself there is no more sitting in a nice shady chair for me.  But that's okay - I'll trade that for inferno any day.  I actually had this brief moment today as I opened the windows where I felt like we were finally coming out of winter - like "ah, spring finally" and I had to remind myself that it was actually fall and would be winter soon.

But you know what?  I don't care.  I am accepting as I get older just how deeply I hate being hot and that I prefer winter over summer.  I suppose it makes sense since I have never enjoyed being outside, being more of a curl up on the couch with a book type gal.  But fall will always be my favorite season, and I am so happy to see it finally has arrived.

And yes, I realize this post totally just jinxed me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

But Amputees Love Them

There is this company called Little Miss Matched, the premise of which is patterned socks in mismatched patterns so you can mix em up.  It is a pretty cute concept, and definitely appealing once you've searched all over for the thousandth time looking for the mate to the hello kitty sock your kid wants to wear (which is why I try and keep miy kids to all white socks - nothing to match up if they're all identical).  But here's the thing I don't get: they come in packs of three.  THREE.  Now, I understand that the concept is to stay away from pairs of socks, but don't we all typically still have TWO FEET?  Is that just us?  Cause I don't see why we couldn't possibly have four different patterns of socks in one set, or hey, even just one pair of socks but they have separate patterns and therefore don't match.  Why three?  Why did this seem like the optimal choice?  Because it seems to me like you wear two of the socks, and then you have to wait until you've done laundry to ever get to wear the third one.  Unless you pair it with a plain sock or maybe wear one sock and one bare foot - that would be interesting.  So stupid.  Plus, I saw on the website and they have packs of six as well (thank you even numbers!), but even though they are presented as six single socks, there are only three patterns - meaning you have *gasp* actual matching pairs in each set! To me calling them single socks indicates that each sock doesn't have a mate - and therefore there should be six separate patterns in the group.  Having two of each patterns defeats the mismatching concept - just because you didn't fold them together doesn't mean they aren't pairs.

Over all opinion: cute idea, terribly stupid execution.

A New Page, Er, Blog

So. You may notice that there are no longer any daily photos on this here bloggy blog. Well, While I really like the idea of posting a photo everyday (with the intended goal of actually TAKING each photo that day), I didn't really like it all jumbled up with my regular entries. And it threw off my numbers in terms of how many posts I've written - I want to know that if I have 820 posts (wow!) they are all actual writing, no photos thrown in there to increase my output. Not that anyone is keeping score. Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and just went head and started yet another blog for my daily photo. The link is still at the top of the blog under Picture of the Day, except now instead of just taking you to a group it takes you to Daily Pablum. If you want to bookmark it or add it to a reader, the address is www.lonek8365.com otherwise just click on over there from here. I know it adds a little bit of work to the whole Pablum experience, but hopefully it also cleans up the overall look of both the writing and the pictures. I like it at least.


(because of the change I'm going to have to add in new labels to organize the photos, but since there are 245 pics to go through it may be a few days before they are complete. bear with me)