Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Proud Mama

Yesterday was a day full of awards for my boys. Yesterday morning I was able to attend the 7th Grade Awards Ceremony at Jonathan's school. He'd tried to tell me I didn't need to go. Glad I went, though, since he received two awards. The first was for the President's Award. This is for kids who had all A's. The second award was for the top 4 students in his Pod. He was one of the 4 and the things his teacher said about him made me cry. He said Jonathan was a student who no matter what always seemed to do the right thing. Then, as I'm sitting there fighting back tears, he gets up to collect his award and the kids all go crazy hooping and hollering their congratulations and approval of his being selected. I'm not sure if it was his receiving the recognition from his teachers or the approval of his peers that touched me more. I was and am very proud.
Then, last night, Porter had an awards ceremony with his Scout troupe. He received his Wolf badge. This was really an accomplishment. You just don't know how hard it has been to get him to put on his uniform and go to his meetings. So hard! I know scouting is not something he will continue with so you better believe we took the whole family to see him get this badge!
So, two boys awarded for great things. And here sits one proud mama!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Torn Between Three Lovers

Feeling like a TV junkie! My lovers? American Idol, Survivor, and the Democratic Debate. Yes, last night was hard for me. Without TiVo, I had no recourse. I became a flipper. I'd watch a bit of the debate and turn it periodically to see if Idol was anywhere near dashing someone's dreams. I never did flip to Survivor. Guess that should tell me something. Somehow in my flipping frenzie, I was able to watch Garrett Hayes get the boot. You know, Sweet little Garrett, you know him when you see him? The Leif Garrett clone? Well, actually the bi-product of combination of Leif Garrett and Peter Frampton. I cannot say I was surprised by his not making it to the top but I was shocked that he was first to go. There are several guys I would have picked to go last night. And, even though, the second to leave, Colton was not my favorite, even he was not one I thought would depart last night. Personally, I'm picking Michael Johns to make it to the final two. I think he's awesome. He's got the look, the stage presence and boy he can sing. And, I'm picking Luke to get a deal with a soap opera. He is dreamy and I think I could enjoy watching him for an hour each day. So I'm hoping the deal is with As The World Turns or The Guiding Light. (Two of my guilty pleasures!) As for the ladies, I missed the first one to go. And I don't know the name of the second one. I guess neither had made that big of an impression on me so I'm not going to miss them too much. I do like the girl with YES in her name, the Asian girl and Asia'h (who isn't Asian) is talented too. But I think there are too many of the girls on there just to fill in the weeks. They may be able to sing but they don't have that star quality.
The parts of the Debate I was able to see/hear were not what I was expecting. I thought that after the week of listening to the Clinton camp slap the hand of Obama for plagiarizing a portion of his speech, which I believe showed her desperation, we'd get more nastiness in the debate. The plagiarizing claim was strange to me since they only accused him of stealing the words of his friend and not those of Dr. King (whose words were in there, by the way). Do these politicians actually write their own speeches anyway? I've always thought they had speech writers. So what's the big deal? And what a tacky Xerox comment! Shame on you Hillary. So I guess you can tell who I support. Let me just say I'm not part of the country who believes Hillary is evil. I just don't think this is her time. She is obviously impassioned to improve our country and as a woman I think her amount of passion can be misconstrued. Now, would she make a good Vice President? Hmmm, something to ponder. Perhaps that would be too powerful of an administration.
Well, at least next Thursday promises to be a little easier for me. There won't be a debate so it's just an hour of flipping between American Idol and Survivor. That's just two lovers. Guess I'll just be feeling like a fool.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

She Says She Loves Me (Even) When I'm Sick

My seasonal allergies have begun. Somethings blooming and I'm sneezing, coughing, sniffing, and post nasal dripping. Not to mention my head is pounding and my teeth are aching. But aren't those daffodils gorgeous? Unlike my daughter, who suffers from allergies and asthma, I have no idea what I'm allergic to. I just know that every year this happens to me. I get it in the fall and I get it in the spring. This must be my spring attack, although it's a bit early if you ask me.

Well, just because I don't feel good, it doesn't mean I get to take time off. I still took Millie to and from school today and went to the grocery store for dinner tonight. It's just a little over an hour before Porter gets home and it will be time to fix a snack and dive into "our" second grade homework. An hour later, Jonathan will be home and he'll need a snack before getting ready for soccer practice. Dinner will have to be ready for him to eat before we start the carpool pick-up.

The good news in all this is Millie is able to entertain herself while I "rest." She just came in from swinging with a big smile on her face. She said she had a surprise for me. Behind her back, she had a couple of weeds. To her, they are beautiful flowers. She said she was so excited because these beautiful flowers mean we were going to have green grass soon and she loves green grass. She has told me several times today that she loves me even when I'm sick. If she keeps bringing me these weeds, I'm afraid I'm going to be sick forever. At least I know she'll love me forever, too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

When Fate Steps In

Yesterday, I ran to the grocery store to pick up one item. I was rather quick and returned to my car without missing a beat. I thought I was ready to return home but I was wrong. The guy next to me had other ideas, or just wasn't thinking at all. He was putting his groceries in his car when I got in mine. I turned it on, looked around, put it in reverse and looked again. Only this time, he was standing behind my car. "OK," I thought, he just needs to take his cart to the cart return (which was not far from my car), I'll wait for him to get back to his car before I go." If I thought he was inconveniencing me before, I was dead wrong. He actually began to take his time. He never made eye contact with me. But it gets weirder. When he gets right behind my car, he drops something. AND SQUATS DOWN TO PICK IT UP! Remember, my car is running and the reverse lights are on...and this is a grown man. Lucky for him, I was aware of what was going on and I was not going to hit him. But, if my kids had been with me and we'd been talking or the lady in Harris Teeter had given them a balloon and that had been blocking my view, things may have been very different, not to mention tragic.
I couldn't help but be disturbed by this. Was it his "La Ti Da" attitude at life? Was it his apparent trust of total strangers to put his wellbeing forefront of everything else in their lives? Whatever it was, we are both seriously lucky fate put me there on a day when I was alone and paying attention.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Baby Steps to Babying Self

I have long wanted to take better care of myself. To re-begin my yoga practice. To eat healthier. To take the supplements my body (as a 40 year old woman) needs. In short, I want to be all that I can be. Part of my struggle has been time. It takes about an hour for a good yoga workout. Finding recipes and doing the shopping for healthier meals (that my family will still eat) requires a lot of work. And, as for supplements, I have no idea where to start. But this week, all that changed. Dr. Oz was on Oprah and he listed all the vitamins/supplements I need. You can find the list at www.oprah.com. Then, while reading my new issue of Real Simple, I happened upon a great new website, zenhabits. Check them out at www.zenhabits.net. It has everything I've wanted to put to work in my life, mind, body, and spirit all in one place. While exploring there, I discovered iGoogle which provided me with a zillion cooking sites. Now, each morning, I receive a page full of links to recipes. Some are even healthy. Finally, today marked the first Thursday of Millie's extended stay at school. She will be there until 2:00, Thursdays only. I used my new-found time to put in an old yoga tape and stretch, pose and breathe. It was divine!
It is just my first week of taking care of myself. It will surely take some reminders (and a trip to the drug store for the supplements) for me to keep it up but I have faith in myself. I believe improving myself will only make my family better. So it's baby steps, one foot at a time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday is here and it has brought with it nausea, loss of appetite, and hope. No, I'm not in need of an EPT. Just a positive turn out in the vote. I have my idea of what a positive turn out would be. My candidate is offering an unprecedented presidency, change from what we've had for the past 8 years, and hope for the masses. The race is tight and I'm nervous. So, just 12 more hours of this before polls close in California. Who knows how long it will take to figure out the numbers. In the meantime, I guess I'll eat small meals of saltines and drink some ginger ale.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

He's Back...

No. Not Arnold, but Joe. After 5 long nights, he has returned. I let the kids stay up until he pulled in which was around 9:30. I even let our (his) one-year old Weimaraner puppy stay up. They were all thrilled to see him. I don't know which of us was more excited. Maisy (the dog) who couldn't stop wagging her tail and licking him, Millie who wanted to talk to him non-stop and do her twirly dance, Porter who wanted to tell him all about his recent air soft escapades, or me who just wanted to watch him with the dog and two kids. (Jonathan spent the night out last night.)
Yes, it had been a hard, long week for both of us. It was so good to have him back and see him return to our little world. This week teaches me one important lesson every year. It is simply this: Although there are times in parenting that I feel I can do a much better job than he can. I cannot, under any circumstances, do it without him. We are meant to do this together, learning from each other and trusting in ourselves.
Welcome Home Joe.

Friday, February 1, 2008

In My Quest To Become Green I'm Approaching Olive Drab

Not everybody's doing it but everybody should be. The state of our planet is in turmoil and we are the only ones around to do anything about it. We cannot take back every plastic bag we've used or every tree we've cut down. We cannot put back the water that we have let run on and on while we were washing our dishes or brushing our teeth. Nor can we replace the fuel we burned unnecessarily or air we tainted with chemicals from our hairspray. But, we can make changes now in how we live that will improve tomorrow. They call it being green.

I'm no different than you. I hear the simple steps that I can take and I want to join the movement. I take my own canvas bags to the grocery store instead of bringing home countless plastic bags that I'd no doubt add to my collection because I'm terrified to throw them away. I use both sides of the paper when I make grocery lists, to do lists and weekly menus for my family. I recycle my wine bottles, beer cans and #1 and #2 plastics from bottles of mixers. So, I'm approaching green but it's not a pretty green. The two cars we drive do not use flex fuel. I've not changed my light bulbs because, frankly, I think the "good" ones are ugly and most of my lamps would have them show. And I don't read labels for environmentally-friendly ingredients. Why? Because I don't know what to look for.

So, I have a lot of work to do before I can feel good about my part in this movement. For now, I am merely two-stepping to Soulja Boy. Which is about as attractive as the color Olive Drab.