Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Thought I Posted This Two Weeks Ago. Whoops

So remember last year when I was all "I'm so fat, I'm going to change all my bad habits and lose 30 lbs" and I started a whole new blog that was going to chart my progress and keep me on track?  And then I petered out and stopped writing on it because it turns out there are only so many ways to say "I'm not making any progress or even any effort towards my goal" before you make yourself want to puke.  And that is not a valid form of weight loss.  So.

I'm going to try it again.  Well, I'm going to try to keep up the blog - I plan to actually succeed in the weight loss, which despite my best efforts to the contrary is only 22 lbs now.  Hooray for random unexplained fat disappearance!

I'm probably not going to be writing on there regularly - "hey, I ate this this week and did this workout" posts are just about as boring as "hey I'm a big fat failure" posts, but I do want to check in from time to time and let you know how I'm doing.  I'll probably post a teaser here with a link, so you don't have to worry about checking that blog if you don't want to, and hopefully Sarah will be back too.

Last year was just practice.  This time it's for real.

ps: I was also a better blogger last year.  Where did that go?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Say What

Izzy: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
Me: That's ok, you don't have to decide right now. 
Izzy: I know. I'll probably decide after my nap

I just don't have any songs in my brain right now. They'll probably come back by my birthday.

Circles are the shapes of 'o's. And our faces. And the bottom of drum sets.

Izzy: that's one good cup of water
Jack: you said it sister

into a pretend phone: I'm sorry I'm late Mr. President. I just have to eat my breakfast

drinking water: That's one good cup of joe. I love cup of joe

while playing with her dolls: Welcome to the marymae baby store. We sell babies around here.

Izzy: Can you tie this on me, my princess? I mean, queen?  Queens are taller.
Me: Yes your royal highness
Izzy: I'm a princess.
Me: yes, a princess is a royal highness just like a queen
Izzy: Except they don't do any work.

Mommy, know what? When I wear this purple jacket it looks like I have boobs

Izzy: Don't call me "princess" call me the name of the princess who always wears the same dress as I'm wearing.
Me: Ok Cinderella

She has also recently become interested in telling jokes.  Which means we are treated to many gems such as this:

Why did the popo man turn into a christmas tree? Because he had a broken football.

um.  okaaaaay.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Measured And Found Wanting

I have a secret confession.  I am a terrible mother.  Okay, I'm not TERRIBLE.  I mean, I feed my kids every day (many times and mostly nutritional foods), and I wash them fairly often, and they always have warm clothes and their coats on when we go outside (although not always zipped because they fight me on it), and I don't hit them or leave them home alone while I go out partying, or pass out drunk or anything.  So I'm not terrible.  But I'm not good either.

People always say that I'm a good mom, like "Oh, I know your kids are good, but it can't be all that, some of it has to be you," but I'm here to tell you that, nope, it really was all them.  My kids were just the great and magical and angelic and perfection.  And you know how I know?  Because they're not anymore and I totally can't handle it.

Now, they are still super sweet and angelic and magical perfection.  But they're getting older, and require parenting beyond just the basic life necessities and I'm finding myself severely lacking.

Case in point: after almost 5 years of sitting on the couch reading while the kids entertain themselves, Izzy has finally noticed that I never play with them (I told you I was an awful mother - what kind of mom NEVER plays with her kids.  Lousy).  As such,  when she is mad at me, or I'm not acting in a way she'd like, she says in her most disgusted voice "mom, you're BORING."  Like, literally in a tone you would use to hurl the most vile insults.  Which I actually find amusing that the worst thing she can think of to call me is boring, but still.  I don't really ever play with my kids.  BAD MOM.

Next example: Jack has begun The Whys - you know, repeated constant why questions even about the most obvious of things?  Every kid does that, right?  Not Izzy.  And imagine my relief when other parents would complain about how annoying it was having to answer all of the endless whys so as not to injure your delicate little flower's psyche.  I can only imagine I'd think while thanking my lucky stars that MY kids never did anything so commonplace.  Ha.  Hahahaha.

I think my record is 3 whys before flipping out and demanding he stop asking me questions.  Not exactly setting the patience bar very high.

And Sophie.  Well, let's just say Sophie has taken to two with a vengeance.  I wish I could capture the rage on camera, but I feel it just wouldn't do it justice.  The screaming, and crying and hitting- she actually slapped the refrigerator the other day after falling down and bumping into it.  My other kids have certainly had their moments, but somehow they were also easy to deal with.  Izzy I could totally ignore without feeling guilty (that right there should cement my permanent status as MOTY - easily ignores her first born child).  Jack was harder to ignore, but he also somehow really gets my own anger up, which makes it easy not to cave in to whatever demand has trigger said tantrum (takes delight in denying child what he wants - Mother of the Decade, anyone?).  But Sophie.  Sophie alternately makes me think she is just so adorable (even when red in the face from fury) that I want to give her whatever she wants, or else there is some other subconscious indication that arguing is never going to work so I might as well  just give up and get her what she wants.  It is terrible.

I have always tried to make sure I never make a promise or a threat I can't keep - if i say you can't have dessert without eating another bite of dinner, then I mean it.  Even when in my mind I want to waiver, I usually manage to stay strong.  In most battles of wills I win, and if not, well, I'm still bigger and can shut them in their rooms.  But with Sophie there is no will - anything I try to enforce upon her I immediately feel myself backpedaling and trying to think of justifications for why I can go against what I said and give in without actually contradicting myself and losing face (because the other kids are watching and judging and looking for chinks in my armor). I'm looking for loopholes in my own rules!  It's pathetic.

Sophie totally gets away with everything.  And I feel bad because a) she's going to be spoiled rotten, and if any kid has the perfect personality to turn into a spoiled diva it's this one, and b) the other kids are going to think she's my favorite because I always give her whatever she wants.  I really think she must be using some kind of Jedi mind tricks on me to reduce my will power for discipline to zero. But whatever it is I've got to find a way to counteract it fast because the excuse "well, she's still too little to understand"  isn't going to last forever. (unless she stays two like I dearly wish she would). BAD MOM

Now, lest you think this is just a post ragging on myself, I assure you I am not depressed or down in the dumps at the moment in anyway.  I don't need to be cheered up or reassured of my mothering skills if that is how this posts reads.  It just more of a rumination on how amazing my kids really are - they have  presented no real challenges up to this point because they are so unusually well behaved and wonderful, and so I hadn't been given the opportunity to see just how weak I was as a mother.  And of course, it is also a wake up call to myself on just how much improvement I need to do. I never expected motherhood to be easy, but in many ways so far it really has been, and so it is quite alarming to really discover just how poor my parenting skills are.

But better now than in 30 years when my kids' therapist calls to tell me just how badly I screwed them up.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It Turns Two

Where did this little baby go?

Babies, they start off so sweet and wonderful,

that's just to reel you in.

Because before you know it

they're giving you the stink eye.

sure they go back to smiling and acting cute

but don't be fooled - that sass is still in there.

they aren't laughing WITH you.

And once they're up

They're off.

So squeeze 'em while you can.

one year ago:


Happy birthday my sweet Sophalina!  I love you!

ps: for pictures of the cake, go here

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Latest Reviews: Black Swan, True Grit, The Thousand

Black Swan

I found this movie to be utterly captivating.  The story of a ballerina slowly unraveling after being chosen to play the swan queen in a major production of Swan Lake, Black Swan manages to be creepy and elegant, tragic and inspiring all at once.  Natalie Portman does an exceptional job in every aspect of her performance, from capturing the timid, fragility of a woman cracking under self applied pressure, to displaying skill worthy of any true ballerina. 
Read more....

True grit


True Grit is a good movie.  Beautifully filmed, superbly acted; a fine Western tale.  And yes, I would recommend seeing it.  In fact, I ask that you go see it, because then maybe you can explain the ending to me.

The Thousand

The Thousand by Kevin Guilfoile
Read my review....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Flash Dance (updated with Official video)

Yesterday, around 4pm at the Millenium park skating rink in Chicago, the employees of Infinium Capital Management performed a flash mob:

As you can see, they all wore orange caps.  And it may be hard to see, but the guy I've circled in this screen shot:

is MY DAD*.  Seriously.  If this was me, it would probably be to coolest thing I've done in my whole life, but it's my dad, so it's probably like, only the coolest thing he's done this week.


Here is the official version of the video, with some good shots of my dad at 1:45 and 3:05 (at the 3:05 mark he's in the back, far right looking very confused):

And a few more screenshots in all his glory:


Weather Pussies

You know that whole concept of hardy Mid Westerners?  Unflappable farm folk, salt of the earth, who don't let anything get in their way and go about business as usual despite obstacles and regardless of petty concerns?

They sure as hell don't live in Omaha.

Last year when I wrote about this, it was the heavier than normal snow fall that had everyone incapacitated.  Today, it is the cold.

Schools were all closed Monday because it snowed.  It was a decent amount of snow (10 inches), and it continued snowing all day, so I'll grant them that cancellation as valid.  But it stopped snowing last night about 5pm, and today it is bright and sunny - albeit 8 degrees.  But is are the schools open?  Nope.

Of course they're not.

Oh, and you know what else?  The number of companies that have "policies" dictating that they are also closed if the schools are?  Is embarrassing.

Does Isabelle have ballet today?  Nope.

Could I take the kids to the gym this morning so I could get a little exercise and they could play?  Nope.

Gym policy says there is no kid's club if the schools are closed. So basically, if mom's are stuck home with their kids because of school closings, then that's just tough shit if they had anything else planned.

Is 8 degrees cold?  Absolutely.  Is it incapacitating?  Hell no.  News flash, people: it's WINTER and we don't live in Florida.  Single digit temperatures and the occasional snow storm should not be a surprise, nor should it stand in the way of going about your life.  SUCK IT UP.  There are three, maybe four months of the year when you might have to go outside in below freezing temperatures.  That's the risk of living somewhere it gets cold.  Deal with it.  Wear a coat, bundle up in a scarf and hat and gloves, and MOVE ON.  I promise you won't die.  I know, I know, the whole idea is that it's too cold for kids to be waiting for the bus or whatever, but let me tell you something.  I grew up just North of Chicago, where the weather is every bit as harsh (if not more) as it can be here, and as far as I can remember there were only three or four snow days MY ENTIRE SCHOOL CAREER.  And two of those days were because the windchill factor was NEGATIVE 80 degrees.  Honestly.  In other words, there have been more school closings in the 2 years I've lived in Omaha than there were in the entire 12 years I attended school in Illinois. Pathetic.  Negative 20 degrees in Chicago? So what, there's work to be done (and I know from experience - there were definitely days where the temperature was -20 if not lower and my mom and I still WALKED to school).  3 feet of snow overnight in Steamboat?  You can bet your ass the kids still have school*.

I have seriously never lived anywhere as quick to surrender to the weather as they are here.  Might as well be in France.

*update 2/2/11: Steamboat closed the schools today for the first time in 30 years.  The temperature was NEGATIVE 40 degrees.  Without windchill.  Suck on that, Omaha

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mama's Got A New Toy

I got some Amazon gift cards for my birthday (thanks MIL!) which I used to deplete my book wish list by a serious margin.  So when I got even MORE Amazon gift $ for Christmas (again, thanks MIL, you rock!), I didn't feel the need to gorge on even more books seeing as I have a drawer full of to-be-read delights (hopefully) waiting for me, and most of the rest of my wish list is only available for preorder anyway (and some of those books are notorious for being delayed so I'm not ordering anything until they are actually in print).  Anyway, I was unsure what I might want to get instead, and I thought I might sit on the money until later in the year when something struck my fancy or those books were actually published. 

And then my husband mentioned an ipod touch.

I have a nano, which work fine for most of my purposes like going to the gym, even though I prefer to work out to movies and stuff rather than music and the screen is pretty small.  Still, it was fine.  But my main ipod, which is like first generation I think, and the one that can hold ALL of our music and serve on long car trips or if we ever need music for ambiance or something, died last year.  So I was technically in the market for a replacement with more memory than a nano. 

And then of course there is my latent jealousy over everyone taking hipstamatic photos, and playing words with Friends and Angry Birds all the time.  I want to be part of the current social obsession too, you know?  So I got an ipod touch.  And promptly bit the bullet and entered into the realm of Angry Birds (and refreshed my love of bejeweled blitz which I've long enjoyed but is way too hard to play on a laptop).  I'm smitten.

My family plans to see me sometime around Easter.

Not So Good Morning

You know how annoying it is to get woken up ten minutes before your alarm is going to go off (and by alarm, I mean Isabelle's alarm which tells her when she is allowed to finally leave her room and come wake me up - the kids is a MAJOR morning person!)?  Especially if you're in the middle of a really intense dream?  Well, I've discovered the only thing worse than that - being woken up from a very deep sleep ten minutes before you have to be, disturbing an exciting dream, by a kid telling you they have a poopy diaper.  And then hearing the cat puke on your carpet.

Rise and shine indeed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


We do not have a dog, nor are we ever around people who have dogs.  There are very few realistic type portrayals of the dog/human realtionship demonstrated on Nick jr.  As far as I know, Sophie has never seen a dog play fetch.  And yet, when Izzy randomly "gave" her a toy by throwing it at her (so lovely), this is what ensued:

Monday, January 3, 2011


Kraken by China Mieville

This book is hard to fall in to. The plot starts off very intriguing, but the language is so dense and enigmatic that you can't just flow into it and get swept away by the story. Read more...

Square One

I do not typically make resolutions.  Sure, there is always the whole the new year is such a great symbolic starting point to make life changes thing, but in general I don't make any drastic changes starting Jan 1.  In general, I view resolutions more as vowing to stop something - "I resolve to quit smoking" or "I resolve to go to the gym every day (ie, to stop being a lazy couch barnacle)," but I don't smoke and I already frequent the gym, so those types of things are not very meaningful for me.*

But this year I feel on the cusp of BIG THINGS!  So I have decided to make, not a list of things I want to change about myself, but a list of things I want to achieve this year.  Things that, in the grand scheme of things, probably won't have much of an effect on my overall life other than in the basic way setting and achieving any goal can bolster your self confidence.

Some are physical: improve my running (by actually being able to run AT ALL), master crow pose, etc. Some are what? mental?: like finish my NaNoWriMo novel and participate again this coming November.  And some I'll keep to myself (but mainly because I can't remember what else I put on the list and I'm too lazy to look it up right now, especially since it is pretty boring anyway).  Basically, this year I aim to take a few things off of my "the woman I want to be" list, and integrate them into my actual life.  As in, the woman I want to be does yoga three times (or more) a week, so I will do yoga three times or more a week.  Radical thinking, I know.

Anyway.  Big things this year people.  BIG THINGS.

*okay, I have vowed to lose 25 lbs (that I've been trying to lose for almost two years now), but I'm changing my thinking from "I'm so fat right now I have to lose 25 lbs" to "well, I'm fine as I am, but wouldn't it be an accomplishment to be in the best shape possible."  I expect my new mind set to cause the fat to just melt right off.  ha!