Saturday, February 27, 2010

on my mind

Earthquakes, beach front property, tsunamis.

Lost Dutchmen, gold mines, mini-horses, parades. (Gabe was SO excited to participate and ride his school's float down the parade route, Lily was SO excited about the miniature horses.  She re-named one "Black Shadow")

Birthdays, ponies, sea-ponies, and parks.

Baby showers, adoption, love and compassion. (so nice to see friends from the old neighborhood and to meet the new little guy.)

Music, pianos

Summer! Swimming, sunshine

Gray hair. (I really want to color my hair, but as I mentioned above, summer, swimming, and sunshine are on my mind, because really, they're just around the corner.  None of those things are very easy on colored hair, and I'm not going to stay inside to protect my colored hair.)

Freezer meals, fast food

sleep, nightmares, sheep

polar bear livers. (thanks Joel, I guess that story made an impression on me since I keep catching it crossing my mind at random.)

Cable TV, Netflix, Fringe season 1

Oranges, Grapefruits, Marmalade. (hooray for Arizona citrus.  SO delicious!)

black belt (I'm like 4 belt promotions away, which is still more than a year away, but its kind of within sight.)

beaded bracelet watches (didn't figure I'd love mine so much, such a silly little indulgence.)

Then there's the best $15 I may ever have spent.  The Hamilton Beach single serving smoothie maker.  The container you mix it in is the container you drink from.  With fresh berries starting to come in season, I've been buying in bulk, freezing, and making such yummie smoothies and shakes for the family.  AND...I'm getting breakfast every morning, because its so quick and easy.

I participated in my first consumer research panel discussion the other day.  Trident wanted some ideas on how mom's view gum.  It was really fun and I got paid $75 to be opinionated.  Not bad, eh?

Our "Total Money Makeover" is still rolling along nicely.  Or is that "snowballing" along nicely?  Either way, what a difference.  Funny how the extra work that hasn't been around is suddenly popping up right when we needed a little motivation.

Weight Loss.  Its good for your marriage! Feeling fat and depressed, its bad for your marriage.

JP accidentally threw me over his shoulder the other day.  He really, truly did. And it really, truly wasn't on purpose.  It was actually kind of funny. (after I recovered from the shock of hitting the floor and falling stupidly on my arm.) We were at karate practicing a self-defense technique.  Suffice it to say, if a guy the size of JP attacks me, I'm screwed.  Either that or I'll have to fight VERY dirty.

Home buying.  I'm starting to feel the pull to find "our" house.  I don't know where it is, but I do know its got a great-room layout and a pantry the size of a laundry room.  The pull's gonna have to wait a little while longer though.

Lacrosse.  Annie's started training for the season and I can't wait to see a game.  Its so neat to see her so enthused about a sport.

Em.  I'm missing my hamster.

Why do all kids movies sound the same?

Why do I like some shows that follow a set formula? (House, Kitchen Nightmares) but can't stand others?

Ironing.  Its what I need to get off this computer to go do.  That and some dinner fixing activities.

Marketing.  Need to spend some time on that tonight for our Martial Arts classes.

Love notes.  Got one the other night left on my pillow.  :)

Kid compliments.  Being called "My special mommy" and "cutie pie" make my day.

Lunch Boxes.  Save lots of money, but bring a certain amount of "stink" with them far too often.

Weekend.  Why am I thinking about what I need to do next week on Saturday afternoon?  Can't I just enjoy the weekend?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Brains are gross.

I recently instituted the "If you've got a critique of dinner, then you may submit it in writing" rule, and tonight was the first time it was put to the test.

I grilled rib-eye steaks for Valentine's day dinner.  They tend to have some fat on them.  This is what Goob had to say about dinner:

I don't like fat.
Becas its gross.
It's like a brane.
It is olso lik goo.
But its for your brane.
And it looks werd.

Apparently his portion of steak had more fat on it than he would have preferred.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

When Lessons from Above Hit You Over the Head with a Frying Pan

Recently I got a new calling at church.  It was one of those "are you sure you've got the right person?" moments when they told me what they wanted me to do.  To which they replied, "Oh yeah, you're the one."

They wanted me to be the Visiting Teaching Coordinator.  The what?!?!?!  I'm going to be totally and completely honest here, Visiting Teaching has not previously been a part of my life. At least not in a regular way. My mom had an extremely bad experience with visiting teaching during my formative years and I think I was (am) a little bit afraid of it.  Couple that with having been raised to never invite myself to somebody else's home, but to always wait for the invitation, and getting called "hester the pester" every time I asked for something more than once, Visiting Teaching just hasn't been something I can really wrap my head around.

I've also never really had visiting teachers who ever came to see me.  I'd be willing to bet that in the 20 years I've been an adult, I've had fewer than 20 visiting teaching appointments kept by women assigned to me.  Its not a complaint, I'm sure if I "needed" it, I would have had them, but it wasn't something I really felt was missing from my life either.  But I do think that because there was not the example of regular visits too me, that I didn't/don't quite fully comprehend the importance that it may carry for other people.  I know intellectually that the program is important, but its not something I've felt in my heart, or experienced in my life on either the giving or the receiving end.

So, they call me to be the visiting teaching coordinator and I'm a little flabbergasted, and a little nervous, and ALOT confused by all the reports and various versions of the lists, and it feels like a little much.  But I know (again, intellectually, not fully with my heart) that there is a reason for all this and am willing (even if without the best attitude) to do what I'm asked because its not really anything I can't do.

But I'm still feeling a little unwilling, or uncharitable, or un-something.

Then, the other day Marsha, the owner of the Martial Arts School calls me to check on how a friend of mine who has been ill has been.  During our conversation she says:  Its so important that our students know we care about them and we notice when they're gone, and that we have genuine concern about them and their families.  It was easy for me to keep up with everybody when we first got out here but now that we've got about 300 students, I just need people who are willing to help check on them and see how they're doing and let me know if there's something I need to do to help them.

well FINE!  Seriously?  Do I have to get hit over the head with a cast iron skillet to get the lesson here?  I get it.  The military is using companies of women only to make headway in Afghanistan because they understand that the relationships women form are more likely to produce the kind of free-flow of information necessary to understand what's really happening in the communities they are struggling to get a foothold in.  Now Marsha's talking about how with about 300 people she has to have help to know what her students need.  I think I'm getting the message.  Maybe even LOUD AND CLEAR.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Clearly you never had a 3 year old of your own.
I read this article last night and just can't stop thinking about this.  How on earth did this doctor get immunity from prosecution?  Will she keep her license?  Is she going to continue endangering children with high doses of ADULT medications based on their parent's reports that they are behaving like ungodly brats? Or in other words, they're acting like THREE YEAR OLDS!

You find me a three-going-on-four year old that doesn't seem hyperactive and or bi-polar and I submit to you that you have found a three-going-on-four year old who is either developmentally delayed, sick, or an absolutely perfect angel who will rain hell-fire and damnation on her parents when she goes through puberty in order to make them pay for the perfect toddler years.

Three-going on-four year olds are emotional! They are famous for being happy one part of the day and distraught the next.  Is it even possible to diagnose this kind of illness in a toddler?  This is an age where they are confused about the world around them, trying desperately to control their lives and separate their identity from their parent's.  I'm no psychiatrist but I know how three-going-on-four year old's behave, and its not pretty.  I'd be willing to bet that if I described any one of my children's or niece's or nephew's behavior at this age to a psychiatrist without telling them the age of the child (the article seems clear that the doctor knew this was a very young child, but relied solely on the parent's description of behavior) that they too would diagnose the kid with bi-polar disorder.  4 year olds have good days and bad days, and frankly, the bad days are really bad days.

Maybe I'm out of line even sharing my opinion on this given that I have no experience in the field, but something tells me this doctor behaved recklessly and should not be treating pediatric patients.  Its horrifying to think that a child died because of a selfish mother who found a way to work the system and get disability payments while simultaneously exempting herself from even having to try to parent or teach her children to control themselves, and that she was enabled by a licensed mental health practitioner.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cavemom tips for finding the perfect house

We've been renting the past two years here in AZ and we've learned a thing or two about what Cave People want in a house.  For starters; we basically want a cave.


I think not.

We live in Arizona.  The summer heat hits 112 regularly.  A dark, mostly windowless cave would probably suit us quite well, especially given Mr. Cave Hair's penchant for daytime sleeping.

In addition, a cave provides sound barriers that a home located adjacent to a main thoroughfare, not far from a freeway on-ramp and a convenience store could really benefit from.  You ask what on earth does a main thoroughfare, a freeway on-ramp, and a convenience store have in common with requiring sound barriers?  Think police (yes, I am aware that I'm making a generalization about police everywhere my stating that my home's proximity to a convenience store is related to the number of police that go screaming past my house at 2:00am...and I don't care, its a well-informed generalization.)----sirens/speeding/flashing red and blue lights.  These things have a tendency to wake sleeping bears, or hairs, or whatever.  A couple of times a week I find myself contemplating such things as the  intricate melodies of Robert "Tin Tin" Duffy's "Kiss Me With Your Mouth" and wondering why he felt it necessary to explain that it is your MOUTH he wants to be kissed with, as opposed to some other body part? All due to speeding cars and flashing lights and screaming sirens.  Sure, they're gone in no time flat, but the wakened Cave Mom is none too quick to return to what was probably a fitful sleep to start with.

Finally, a cave generally has sufficient sub-caves which theoretically would provide sufficient space for entertaining, sleeping, meal preparation, and food storage.  While the average house could potentially offer each of these things, the Cavehair's have yet to find just the perfect combination in what would be deemed the "affordable" range.

Of course a cave wouldn't be perfect, there are dirt floors to contend with, and those pesky stalactites hanging from the ceiling...I'm sure Mr. Cavehair would love those just as much as he loved the last chandelier we had. (and by chandelier, I mean the cheap-o brass'n'glass octagonal hanging light that was found in the dining area of the last home we lived in.)  Plumbing could be an issue, as could keeping creatures like woolly mammoth's out of the living room.  There's also that whole "living on a cliff" thing that I was never really that fond of.

Well, the good news is, we've still got a year and a half in the current abode, its not even time to be looking again yet, but one thing is for sure...THANK HEAVENS WE ONLY RENTED THIS PLACE! (Which has also come with as many positive attributes as negative, primarily the ability for the kids and I to go about our business every day without waking the sleeping Cave Bear.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Apparently I AM getting Old

As if not understanding the current context for the word "Dank" isn't enough, I now have 2 gals I welcomed to beehives engaged to be married, and a lady I used to babysit for (when her kids were like...toddlers and babies) is now a grandmother.

Pretty soon I'm going to be referring to Doctors and Lawyers as "young kids".