Thursday, December 31, 2009

Well, here we are...the last day of 2009.

Normally I eschew all New Years Resolutions. I'm a pretty rigid person to start with, so adding structure to my coming year is rarely something I need. But this year I am considering setting a resolution, but I'm not sure what it should be. I think it would be fabulous if I could think of something that wouldn't be a temporary change, something that would actually stick in my life.

I could make some kind of resolution about exercise or weightloss, but seems an especially temporary resolution. It isn't that I don't think having a healthy body is important, but I think that goal will ever be before me. It is easily a goal that I could imagine having every year. While I am starting a 8 week diet/exercise plan on January 3rd, it won't be this years resolution.

I'm tempted to make my resolution something about my laundry room. It is always such a mess and right now I can barely walk into it. seems like a good cleaning it probably just what the doctor ordered...I'm not sure it rises to the importance of a New Year's Resolution. I suppose my resolution could be something about not just dumping stuff onto my laudry room counters and making sure I put things where they really go instead, but it is such a useful way to quickly "clean" when people are coming over that I'm not sure I want to commit to not doing that.

Perhaps learning to pick up as I go, or making sure I clean the dinner dishes before I go to bed at night, or something about not leaving the half-folded laundry laying around could be my resolution. I do think that I would benefit from those things. But I don't know if I feel inclined toward any of those things. I'm kind of attached to my bad habits. Someday I want those things to stop being a part of my life, but I don't feel any impetus to fixing it right now.

The one thing that I do feel an impetus to change is my tendency to say things that I think are funny, but really shouldn't be said and might hurt another person who heard me joking around. I don't want to be someone who makes others feel bad for the purpose of making other people laugh. I don't know how to wrap my arms around this goal. My friend Zach taught me 5 "P" words to making a good goal. I can remember 4 of the P's. One was Personal...the goal has to personally relate to you for it to be effective. Another was Practical. There is no sense in making a goal that is too big to be practically completed. Another was it within your control? Another was Provable. You have to be able to show that you succeeded at a goal. I can't remember the other P word. Hmmm...

So, does this goal of watching my smart-mouth comments pass the "good goal" test?
* It definitely passes the personal test. It definitely relates to me personally and is something that I want to work on.
* Does it pass the practical test? While I think it is a big goal, I don't think it is too broad. I'm not trying to work on every single thing I shouldn't say...I'm just trying to work on the things I say to be funny that aren't funny to the person I'm referencing. I'm going to say it is practical enough.
* Is it possible? Yep. Challenging for someone who likes to be comical, but definitely possible.
* Is it provable? I'm not sure how one would prove improvement in this area. It isn't like I know how often I actually do this...I just know that I do. I sure don't inform people that I said something terribly funny about you to another person and he/she really laughed. Snarkiness just sneaks up on me...

This goal has the possibility of being my resolution...but I'm not committed to it yet. I've got 16 more hours to think about it.

Your thoughts?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Tis 7 am on Christmas morning and I sit alone, watching the lights of my Christmas tree. Tomorrow that tree will be laying out in the cold, stripped of its beautiful lights and ornaments and no longer the fire hazzard that it currently is (a result of buying our tree in November).

My Spunky Girl just got up, so this blog post will be shorter than I intended. She is so happy this morning. We tricked the kids into thinking Santa came early so we could open presents and stockings last night. She looks so cute in her new jammies.

I am astounded by how much my kids believe in Santa. When the girls were little, I told them Santa was just a game and not real...but that it was fun to pretend. Yet, still they believe. They write their letters to Santa, they wonder about what he is going to bring them, they constantly talk about him and look forward to his arrival throughout the holidays. Both last year and this year, my Sweetness said "Look mom, Santa uses the same wrapping paper that we do!". Uh...yeah...sure. They always wonder about how Santa knows what presents will go along with what they already own. I've stopped telling them it is a game and let them believe if they want to. We like to open our presents from Santa on Christmas eve, so we always make an excuse to leave the house and one of us will sneak back in as we are leaving and quickly set out the Santa gifts and stockings. Then when we return, we let the kids enter the house first and they find that Santa has visisted. Yesterday when we were returning to the house, Scott told the kids that he saw Santa's sleigh driving away. They were thrilled! It just makes me laugh to think of how much they believe when the evidence (the same handwriting on the presents...hello?) suggests otherwise.

Tis 7 pm and I'm tired and happy. We've spent a marvelous, food and present filled day with family. My kids are all playing quietly (?!?) with each others presents without fighting. I feel so blessed by our family and how much love we are showered with.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fell off the wagon so hard that my tailbone hurts

My resolve has been slipping away over the last few days, worn down by awesome cream cheese dip with fresh cranberries...or homemade peanut brittle...or the Ferroro Rocher that I won at a white elephant party. It isn't the daytime that gets me, it is the post 8 pm I-quit-working-for-the-day-and-now-I-am-going-to-have-some-me-time attitude. Last night my resolve was no where to be seen.

My dad dropped by in the evening, as he often does, to chat and check in about my day. I was asking him if I could borrow a bag of Ruffles, a jar of French Onion dip and a can of Dr. Pepper from his house...knowing full well that he is dieting too and doesn't keep that stuff around. About a half hour after he left my house, the doorbell rang and it was my dad...back from the store with a bag of Ruffles, a jar of French Onion dip and a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper. How could I not indulge in the face of such kindness?

So indulge I did. I did not set out a serving size of each item onto a plate. Noooooooo. I put the bag of Ruffles on the sofa next to me, the dip in my lap, and a glass of Dr. Pepper (which my husband poured for me, so I wouldn't have to get up from the sofa) at my feet. Munch, crunch, dip, slurp, repeat a few dozen times.

This was my second time of indulging in Dr. Pepper during the holiday season. I'll remind you that Dr. Pepper becomes a bad habit for me very quickly. I need to make sure I don't start having a glass of Dr. Pepper every day, but there is now a 2 ltr in my fridge that will be haunting me.

My friend Melissa, who created my ab workout from earlier this year, is hosting a "Fitter in 2010" group. It is basically a diet and exercise support group for the first 8 weeks of 2010, where people are trying to lose 1 lb a week. There is a website where people can sign up, get motivated, and post their joys/agonys. There is a cash pot for the winner. My husband is going to sign up, I think. I'm wavering. 1 lb a week is certainly a fine goal. It would get me thinner before my March trip to Maui. Perhaps after another week of eating like this, I'll be ready to sign up.

Okay...I need to get moving on my day. It is the girls' last day of school before holiday break and the Big Guy has another dentist appointment to discuss pulling his front two teeth. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Christmas Pageant

I got this in an email from a friend of mine. I loved it!!! Hope you do too.

My husband and I had been happily
married (most of the time)
for five years
but hadn't been blessed with a baby.

I decided to do some serious
praying and promised God
that if he would give us a child,
I would be a perfect mother,
love it with all my heart
and raise it with His word
as my guide.

God answered my prayers
and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us
with another son.

The following year,
He blessed us with
yet another son.

The year after that we
were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd
been blessed right into poverty.
We now had four children,
and the oldest was only
four years old.

I learned never to ask God
for anything unless I meant it
As a minister once told me,
"If you pray for rain,
make sure you carry an umbrella."

I began reading a few verses
of the Bible to the children
each day as they lay in their cribs..

I was off to a good start.
God had entrusted me
with four children and
I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day
the children smashed
two dozen eggs on
the kitchen floor searching
for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding...
when they started a hotel for
homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours
to catch all twenty - three frogs.

When my daughter poured
ketchup all over herself and
rolled up in a blanket to see
how it felt to be a hot dog,
I tried to see the humor
rather than the mess..

In spite of changing over
twenty - five thousand diapers,
never eating a hot meal
and never sleeping for more
than thirty minutes at a time,
I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn't keep my promise
to be a perfect mother -
I didn't even come close...
I did keep my promise
to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark
just a little when I told
my daughter we were going
to church to worship God,
and she wanted to bring
a bar of soap along to
"wash up" Jesus, too.

Something was lost
in the translation when
I explained that
God gave us everlasting life,
and my son thought it was
generous of God to give
us his "last wife."

My proudest moment came
during the children's
Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary,
two of my sons were shepherds
and my youngest son was a wise man.
This was their moment to shine.

My five - year - old shepherd
had practiced his line,
"We found the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes."

But he was nervous and said,
"The baby was wrapped
in wrinkled clothes."

My four - year - old "Mary" said,
"That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly.
That's dirty, rotten clothes."

A wrestling match broke out
between Mary and the shepherd
and was stopped by an angel,
who bent her halo and lost
her left wing.

I slouched a little lower
in my seat when Mary
dropped the doll representing
Baby Jesus, and it bounced
down the aisle crying,
"Mama - mama."

Mary grabbed the doll,
wrapped it back up
and held it tightly as
the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward
wearing a bathrobe
and a paper crown,
knelt at the manger
and announced,
"We are the three wise men,
and we are bringing gifts
of gold,
common sense
and fur."

The congregation
dissolved into laughter,
and the pageant
got a standing ovation.

"I've never enjoyed a Christmas
program as much as this one,"
laughed the pastor,
wiping tears from his eyes

"For the rest of my life,
I'll never hear the
Christmas story without
thinking of
common sense
and fur."

"My children are my pride
and my joy and my greatest
blessing," I said as I dug
through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants,
yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree,
yet they called Him Teacher .

Had no medicines,
yet they called Him Healer.

Had no army,
yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles,
yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime,
yet they crucified Him..

He was buried in a tomb,
yet He lives today.

Feel honored
to serve such a Leader
who loves us.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I woke up early this morning, before 6 am. For some reason I couldn't sleep. I don't know if the Christmas to-do list is what woke me up, but I'm fairly sure it is what is keeping me up. Only 3 days left for me to figure out teacher gifts. Only 4 days left for me to figure out what to bring to Grandma's Christmas event on Saturday. 12 days left for me to figure out what to get Scott...but I need a plan fast!

I've made some good progress the last few days. Sunday I picked up my Christmas cards and yesterday I made great progress on updating my addresses. Yesterday I also got my bro-in-law's present mailed, Christmas pictures sent out to all the Great-Grandparents, and a holiday letter written for our construction clients.

I know I need to narrow down today's todo list, but I really want to get everything done.
* Get the address labels printed
* Get the Christmas cards out the door
* Get a plan for Scott's gift
* Purchase the 2 gifts I still need for G-ma's house on Saturday
* Purchase and wrap the teacher gifts

Oh, and make a stop by the consignment store...and maybe...costco...and

Oh, and I hear the patter of little feet. My children are up and quiet time is officially over. Let the school day ritual begin.

You were a nice way to start my day...thanks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Be Angry...but don't act angry

This is my challenge lately. Be angry, but don't respond in anger. I DO get angry when my kids misbehave. I do get angry at the constant sibling rivalry. I do get angry when the Big Guy throws a tantrum. I can try to claim that I don't...I can even try to convince myself that I'm not angry...but I'm still angry. The trick is to not show them that I'm angry.

I love John Rosemond's book Six Point Plan for Raising Happy Healthy Children. It is a book that comes from a parenting era long past , but it resonates with my soul. Maybe that is because he talks about a parenting style that produces happy parents. He freely admits that parents ought to be angry when the kids act up. He argues that you should choose that moment, when you are angry, as the right moment for doing something about their acting up...and not to ignore it and pretend that they aren't making you mad. To ignore your anger turns it into rage, and in rage you make truly bad parenting decisions.

I know that the Big Guy responds better when I can calmly carry him to his room during a tantrum and drop him off. He doesn't respond to trying to reason with him, he doesn't respond to yelling back at him and he doesn't respond to ignoring him (oooohhh...that makes him MAD).

Sometimes I forget that I know this mantra (say it with me: Be Angry, don't Act Angry) and get caught up in the feeling that my girls should know how mad I am and then they might feel a stronger impetus to change their behavior. But I know that they will feel more respected if I can respond to them firmly & calmly, and that respect will help them to act positively.

Today my two girls have been fighting something awful. We already had several "discussions" about it when I told Sweetness that I was going to give her one warning to try harder to solve whatever they were fighting over and if they didn't make an effort, whatever they were fighting about was going to be taken away. It was only a half hour later when they were fighting over a stupid plastic apple. It happened as we were driving in the car, bringing my mother-in-law Jan back from the airport. There was no effort made to reconcile after my warning, so I told Sweetness to hand me the toy. That blessed girl actually chucked it at my head. Because Jan was in the car, my ever-so-sweet controlled self told my daughter that there would be consequences later and declined to deal with it right then. Had my mother-in-law not been in the car, I'm sure I would have lost my cool and discussed it with anger. After we dropped off Jan, I told Sweetness what her punishment would be and she accepted it without complaint and even apologized for throwing it at me. Somehow I don't think that would have happened if I had lit into her in the heat of my anger.

I wish someone would take a picture of me when I am angry and have lost my cool and am yelling about something. I have a feeling I would be horrified by how I look and perhaps I could keep that image in my head to remind me of who I don't want to be. Not that I want any of you chasing me around with a camera...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Car Conversations

We are driving down the road (with elderly guests in the car, of course!) and Sweetness asks "Mom, what does that sign say with the funny purple letters?"

Me: " says Lovers".

Sweetness: "Oh, what do they have there?"

Me: "I guess some stuff for people in love"

Sweetness: "like what?"

Me: "stuff with lots of hearts on it, I suppose"

Sweetness: "we should go there the next time we need to get a wedding present"

Me: "Well, that's an...idea"

Spunky Girl: "Do they have dummy heads?"

You can always count on Spunky Girl to come up with something completely non-sensical and a little bit asinine to change the direction of a conversation. Sometimes I love her for that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Being Thankful for what I've got

Today I got the opportunity to go to the grocery store without taking my three kids along. I collected the groceries I needed without anyone asking for a cookie, or asking to buy junkfood, or without telling any kids to "knock that off" or "quit fighting". I didn't have to remember whose turn it was to drive the kiddie shopping cart or ask anyone to stop licking the produce (don't ask).

I selected a checkout line, and it was (of course) the slowest line in the history of mankind. I had a lot to think about while I was standing in line. The reason the line was so slow was because the lady in front of me didn't have enough money for her groceries. Here are a few of the things I was contemplating while I stood behind her:

1) Thank goodness my kids aren't in line with me.
I knew the right attitude to have while I stood in line for all of eternity: To be thankful that it wasn't me up there, trying to figure out what food I could do without. I was thankful for that, but I also knew it would have been a lot harder to remember that gratefulness if I had been at the end of a shopping trip with my kiddos. Those darn nice checkers always ask me "how are you today?" and the answer is always a crazy-eyed "fine but nobody else better touch anything or mom's gonna lose it". The thing is, I ought to be able to be patient with life's road bumps even with the kids in tow. I'm not sure I would have been. My kids are an amazing blessing on their worst day, but I think I get overwhelmed by the constancy of motherhood and lose perspective a few million times a day.

2) If she knew she only had $90 to spend, why didn't she add up her food as she shopped?
Okay, this sounds a litter meaner than I actually felt in the moment. I just felt so bad for her and wished she wasn't in this situation that she clearly felt mortified by. Then I thought...maybe she doesn't have the math skills to do mental calculation or even the math skills to add everything up on paper. I think a good education is something I take for granted. Maybe she didn't have the benefit of that, so adding up a bunch of items in a grocery store is a little beyond her. An easy time with math is something else I should be thankful for...

3) Why can't I look at her?
I found myself looking at everything in the store except for that poor woman. She was really embarrassed. She kept having the checker take a few items out and then retotal the bill and then try to run her credit card again...hoping to get under her credit limit I suppose. I didn't want to stand there staring at her, watching her trying to decide if it would be easier to do without the milk or the meat. I didn't want her to think that I couldn't bear to look at her or that she was somehow beneath my notice. I think the right thing to do would have been to give her an encouraging look...but somehow I couldn't master that and so I just avoided her gaze. I think Maybeth would have known how to be more supportive.

Just wanted to share my experience at the grocery store while it was on my mind. Just reflecting on people that have to struggle to buy food makes me want to do more to support local food banks. Let's all reach out to help our neighbors who are struggling this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

misadventures on ebay/craigslist

As the Christmas season approaches, I find myself looking online for my desired purchases...hoping for some spectacular discounts. But...I'm pretty lousy at online shopping. I don't know what comes over me. Perhaps it is my excitement for "winning" the auction or getting the craigslist deal before anyone else, but I always forget to do my proper research. Then I find myself the proud owner of something that I thought was similar to what I am looking at in the stores, but in reality is 6 years old and lacking in features. Or...I don't notice the "like" word in the title and purchase some knock-off instead of the brand-name item that I wanted.

You would think that just one of these experiences would leave me smarter the next time. Apparently not. When Sydney was 2, I bought one of those Little Tykes climbers for the backyard via ebay. It looked delightful in the pictures, so I won the auction and borrowed a truck. I drove down to Olympia to pick it up and discovered that I didn't need the truck. It was a "mini" version of the little tykes climber. It was only 2 feet tall, instead of the 5 feet I thought I was buying. It didn't occur to me to confirm the dimensions.

Just 4 days ago, I purchased something for a Christmas present from Ebay, but realized afterwards that I didn't get the brand name I thought I was buying. I thought about writing this post then, but didn't get around to it. Then today, when I bought a different item of craigslist...and now realized that I yet again failed to determine if it was a current year model...the blog post became a reality.

I haven't learned yet if today's craigslist purchase will be a " is a current model" or a "lame...I did it again". While I am waiting to hear my fate, perhaps those of you on my Christmas gift list should be hoping that I'm not purchasing your present. =)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I learned something new

The title of this blog post makes it sound like learning something new is a rare occurance for's is just that I rarely find such a striking moment to discover a whole new facet of one of my children.

I took my three kids to the memorial service for my Great-grandma Bea on Saturday. I expected I might have a few questions to answer about the service, but I was surprised by Spunky Girl's reaction. She seemed fine on the way to the service. She asked a few questions about death. We talked a bit about what a coffin is...she wanted to look inside (of course). I gave my usual speech to the kids about what behavior is appropriate during the service. She gave me the "we know, mom" response.

When the service started, she burst into tears. She crawled up into my lap, buried her face into my shirt, and just bawled. Spunky Girl isn't a quiet crier. She gets a high pitch hiccup-y wail that goes on as she cries, and her body shakes. It seemed like 5 minutes went by (but was probably more like 1 minute), and she pulled herself together. We were good for a bit, and then she started bawling again. By the time the service was over, she had such red puffy eyes.

I was surprised. I guess I would have expected Sweetness to be the one crying. She was much closer to Grandma Bea, as Grandma would often cling to Sweetness when we visited the Care Center. Spunky Girl and the Big Guy would usually just run around and play.

After the service, Spunky Girl was really thoughtful about the memorial. My Grandpa Jim died last year and now she realized that he didn't have a funeral. Actually, he did, but the Big Guy threw up all over everything on the way to the service so we didn't get to attend. I knew when Spunky Girl was talking about Grandpa Jim that she was processing death on a larger scale than just Grandma Bea.

I think I've learned that Spunky Girl has more powerful emotional swings than Sweetness does. I don't think Grandma's death is harder or will be harder for Spunky Girl than Sweetness, but I think that she feels things stronger in the moment. Im glad to learn that now...and hopefully I can remember than when we are in the midst of histronics and be more understanding and loving.

I'll leave you with a picture of my dear Great-Grandma Bea Hatfield. She was loving and funny and friendly. I'll always remember her, dressed in her white keds and ready to go for a walk on the beach.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember the excitement?

My kids love changing sizes. Getting bigger means new shoes, new clothes, and a certified "I'm growing up" stamp of approval. Sweetness is thrilled to be wearing some size 10 shirts. She keeps asking me if this means she *IS* a size 10. The answer is not really...size 8's fit just fine too.

I remember when I was a teenager how excited I was to need a bigger bra. Of course, I missed the important fact that your cup size is what you want to get bigger, not your ribcage. Sigh.

Remember how exciting it was to have your 10th birthday? Being a double-digit age was a big deal. Or how great it was to finally be a teenager. They didn't have the term "tweens" back then, so you were either a kid or a teenager. I can't remember at what age I stopped being so excited to be another year older. I'm certain it was after age 21. I don't dread getting older now...but I'm sure not excited to see the years piling on. But I do dread going up sizes. Now my joy is when I can stay out of double digits clothing sizes.

How about you? Do you remember what age you stopped being excited about getting a little older?

P.S. I was struck by this thought as I wrote my post "how great it is that Sweetness is still excited to get bigger. I think it means that thus far, she hasn't bought entirely into the media image that you have to be tiny to be beautiful. I know she is impacted somewhat by wanting to be skinny, but not enough to be unhappy about changing sizes!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kidde Post

How did I end up here? Suddenly I am den mother to 9 dogs. At first, the Big Guy had one favorite dog, "Pink Poodle". Pink Poodle belonged to his sister Sweetness, but he absconded with it and decided it was his own. Daddy didn't like his Big Guy carrying around a pink-anything, so "Nopo" a dalmation arrived on the scene. "Blue doggie" used to stay in his crib (a shower present from Barb Bass), but later became part of the dog posse that the Big Guy carries around. As his sisters acquired new webkinz dogs, they became part of the Big Guy's collection. It wouldn't be so bad if the doggie collection just stayed in one place, but the Big Guy insists on carrying them around. When we get up from naptime, all the doggies have to come downstairs with us. When we go down for bedtime, woe is the mother that is missing a dog.

I've noticed a dog missing before and tried to fool him, saying the dog's name as if he was already in the crib...but the Big Guy always catches me. "But I don't see my puppy" he says. I've tried telling him that he has plenty of doggies and he doesn't need me to go find the missing pup, but he just cries like his heart is breaking. "I need my Nopo, mommy". It is hard to stand there and say "no" when you know you can just go downstairs and find the stupid dog.

Doggies: Sparky (in his arms), Nopo, Bulldog, Scruffy, Gray doggie, Cheetoe, Puppy, Blue Doggie. (Pink Poodle is missing).

Oh...and how did the Big Boy bed experiment go? We're still working on that. He slept in there for 2 naps, although slept probably isn't an accurate word. He did make it through one nighttime, but last night he wanted back into his crib. On the upside, all my kids think it is great fun to hang out in the Big Guy's big boy bed. All the kids playing nicely in one room is good for mommy!

Okay, one last piece of business. I think the new Facebook layout means my blog gets read less...or it least it seems that way based on the comments I get back. For just this one blog, will you put your initials into the comment field (or a comment would work fine too), just so I know you've read my blog. I promise I'll only make you go through this once. Thanks. I appreciate it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dream time

Nearly every week, I have a dream where I am in school and trying to get to my class and I can't find it. I search and search and start to freak out a little that class is starting and I'm not there yet. I had one of those dreams last night and have decided that it is worth a little analysis. After all, a one hour long dream every week adds up to a lot of hours as the years add up.

So, what possible meaning could there be behind the dream. I can think of three possibilities:

1. The dream represents my desire to go back to school. My analysis: I find this one unlikely. I do want to go back to school. I think it would be great to get my Master's degree and one day re-join the working world. But...I have NO desire to try to go to school right now with how busy I am raising the kids. Going to schools seems like an "oh-that-would-be-fun" luxury for when I have extra time on my hands. I don't think my subconscious would haunt me once a week because of a desire I have to go back to school someday, especially given that it isn't THAT important to me.

2. The dream represents some dissatisfaction with my life, that I chase after something that I cannot catch. My analysis: I find this one unlikely too. I'm not dissatisfied with my life, not at all. I feel like my life has purpose, that I have a opportunity and responsibility to live my life for Christ. I feel like I've been given a husband to love and three beautiful children to raise. I'm grateful for the life I get to live. Sure, there are moments of frustration, but I don't think that is lack of contentment.

3. The dream represents my frustration with being late. My analysis: I think this option has some merit. I had my dream last night after I spent the entire day rushing around getting ready to host a 4-course sit down dinner party. I don't want to just pick this one, though, because it is the only option that I have left. The reality is that I am usually on time. I do rush around like a crazy person, but that is so that I'm not late...not because I already am. I plan time into my day for a variety of happenstance and pitfalls that rarely befall me, but that keeps me from arriving late. Perhaps the dreams come on days where I've been pushing myself and stressing about being on time. Perhaps it isn't a reflection of my worrying about being late, but a reflection of a day spent under pressure and that pressure manifests itself in a crazy dream after I go to sleep.

I don't know...but I suppose that is possible.

What do you guys think? Any other obvious interpretations for my "I can't find my class" dreams? The setting for the dream is varied, BTW. Sometimes I can tell that the location is supposed to be the University of Washington, but other times I suspect it is a high school. The dreams are never set accurately at a campus that I recognize. I'm usually late for Math any theorys about that?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


At long last, I have picked up my camera from my Grandma's house. It is soooo sad that it took me nearly 3.5 months to pick it up. September brought school and sports activities and it became really difficult to find a time to bring the kids to Hoodsport. Welcome back dear friend (my camera)! Lovely to see you Grandma!

Hopefully having my camera back will help me blog more often. I blog about things that I photograph, so I have more to talk about when my camera is in my hand. Ironically, though, I am going to blog about Grandma's house...and I took no pictures of her house to show you.

My dad's mother (Grandma Bea) is passing away this week. She is in hospice care and they don't expect her to last much longer. Since she has had Alzheimers disease for years, she has lived in Memory Loss Care Centers. She hasn't had a home for years that is filled with "grandma-ness". Today I went to visit my mom's mom (Grandma Dot) and her house is filled with "grandma-ness". I think I was extra-sensitive today to all the things in Grandma Dot's house that I may not be able to experience in 10 years. Here is my highlight list:

The cushioned toilet seat
You know the one. It is the cushioned seat that slowly loses air as you sit on it, providing its own theatrics to whatever noises you've got happening as you use the toilet.

The large print Reader's Digest in the bathroom
I don't have to fear about this one. I'm sure I'll be able to order the large print Reader's Digest for my parents bathroom in another 10 years.

The endless silk flowers
Grandma has silk flowers everywhere. In the bathrooms. In the kitchen. In the sun room. On the deck. In the landscaping.

The wood fireplaces that keep the house at a toasty 80 degrees at all times
Woe to the person that forgets how hot Grandma keeps her house and wears a sweater to go see her. It is like your own personal hot flash for the entire visit. Of course, Grandma is always freezing and wanting to put on a third pair of socks. A side effect to being less than 100 lbs I guess. I wouldn't know.

The gilded gold mirrors and wall sconces
Clearly something from another time, but who knows...maybe they will return to interior design fashion someday.

Avon booklets
Both of my grandma always had Avon booklets for me to flip through at their houses. I guess I'll need to get my own.

There are also 2 experiences common to each visit to Grandma Dot's house. First, she tries to feed me constantly. Today she asked me if I wanted a snack as we were putting our jackets on to go out to I'm going to faint from hunger on the 12 minute car trip. Second, and this one is always my favorite, Grandma's need to give me something of hers. Today I got a pair of Halloween tights and some support hose. Who could live without those?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What I learned from Wii Fit

For all of my adult life, I've been scared of taking an aerobics class. I know that sounds crazy to most people, but it always seemed beyond me. I know normal women can do aerobics, but somehow I knew down deep in my heart that I could neither keep up with the foot steps nor make it till the end of the class without passing out.

Enter the WiiFit. Hubby bought one for the family last week and we've been having a fabulous, family-centered time playing with it. In a quiet, semi-private moment, I decided to try out the aerobics part. It turns out I was right. I absolutely stink at aerobics. It was so bad that hubby stopped by to watch the sideshow. I shooed him right out of the room. I don't think it would enhance his attraction to me to see me unable to follow simple foot steps.

I've gotten a tad better with practice. I'm fine as long as I'm familiar with the foot steps that are coming, but if I try to follow along with some new steps...I end up walking into a wall. I'm a long way from ever being willing to walk into an actual aerobics classroom. The good thing, I think, in all this is that I no longer feel like I have some weird self-esteem issue about aerobics, where I think I'm lousy for no apparent reason. Turns out my view of myself in this area was entirely accurate.

Another thing that I've found enlightening about the WiiFit program is the avatar you create for yourself in the system. I created my avatar to look like I'm a young, hip mom complete with pigtails. My oldest daughter, whom I affectionately call "Sweetness" but may have to change that as she starts rolling down into the tween years, also created her avatar...but she made herself look older and added a bunch of makeup. The end result? Sweetness looks like a 36 year old mom and I look like her 7 year old daughter. Hmmmmm. I'm sure a psychologist would have something to say about that!

As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied. ~Oscar Wilde

Friday, October 30, 2009

Time for a new challenge

My current personal challenge, the daily ab workout, officially ends tomorrow. How did I do? I did quite well for the first 6 weeks of the 9 week challenge. Of those first 6 weeks, I only missed 1 ab workout...which cost me 10 stupid dollars. But, by week 5 I was having serious back pain all the time. I don't know that the few minutes a day of ab exercises can be said to have caused the issue, but I do know that it was exacerbating the problem. By week 6 I had to take "medical leave" from my challenge. This week (week 9) is the first week that I'm not having constant back pain, so I guess it is time for me to restart my challenge. I'm not willing to restart the same set of exercises in case I start having the same back issues, so I'm going to keep up with the isometric (non-repetitive) exercises and add in other exercises that will be easier on my back.

Hubby and I are about to get serious about a diet and exercise plan. We both want to be hot-hot-hot when we go to Maui in March. We plan to start calorie counting on November 1st, stop feeding our faces when we sit on the sofa at night, and exercise. To that end, we bought a Wii!!! We're having fun playing with the Wii tonight and for sure are expending more energy that we usually do sitting on the sofa watching television. We know that the Wii games don't count as exercise, but hopefully we can score some Wii Fit games for Christmas. Those should be actual exercise. I know that Yoga and strength building exercises come with the Wii Fit and I also want to get the Daisy Fuentes Pilates program that just came out for Wii.

Hopefully working together on our weightloss and exercise goals, with our shared trip incentive, will be successful. Anyone who wants to join us should create a profile on It is a good time of year to focus on eating moderately!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It is a sickness

I love to torture my husband. It's true. I enjoy hearing him say something awful to me that I will get to remind him of over and over again. I love retelling stories where he looks like a jerk-husband and I look like a poorly-treated wife. Of course, nothing can be further from the truth...but for some reason I like telling the stories anyway.

I've told the following story a zillion times:
When hubby and I were first married, I wanted my first dinner to be memorable. So I decided to make beer-battered coconut shrimp with rice. It was bad. I burned the coconut on the shrimp, the beer batter tasted terrible, but it was the rice that was truly horrendous. Hubby took a few bites and then said "well, if I run out of grout at least this rice will give me something to grout the countertops with."

Come on...that's funny...but that's a horrible thing to say about your wife's first meal. It still makes me laugh (just as it did that night).

A few nights ago, we were watching The Amazing Race. The contestants had to go down a huge water slide in Dubai and were all wearing swimsuits. There was one contestant that looked cute in her suit, but wasn't super thin. I commented "I wonder how much weight I would need to lose to look like her in a swimsuit." Later that night hubby and I were talking more seriously about teaming up for some weightloss before our trip to Maui in March. He asked how much weight I'd like to lose before the trip. I said that I would be happy with 5 lbs. He paused for a moment, then looked at me and said "you're not going to look like that girl on the Amazing Race if you only lose 5 lbs."

Once again, the statement is true...but woe is the man that says that to his wife. So now I have to torture him by bringing it up every half hour. I drop little comments about how he said I was fat (he didn't) or how he hates how I look in a swimsuit (he didn't). Why do I do this? I don't know. I just know that it is fun for me; perhaps it is my way of paying him back for the lovely comment. I'm not offended. I wasn't mad when he said it. If anything, I was gleeful when he said it because I knew I'd have some torture material to work with for a week or two.

Maybe my desire to torture hubby is a sickness, but it isn't one that I'm looking for a cure to anytime soon. Can't wait for some new material!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

H * U * S * T * L * E

Hustle. That's all I'm asking for. I would like my kids to learn to hustle. I'm tired of standing out in the rain by their car doors while they slowly meander over for me to strap them in. I'm tired of saying "grab your shoes and let's go" and having them decide that it is a good time to look for a pair of shoes that have been missing for a month.

I've learned the hard way that trying to make the Big Guy hurry up by pulling him toward the car produces the exact opposite result. He digs his feet into the ground and refuses to budge. The girls aren't quite so difficult, but they don't seem to feel any inclination to hurry. Is double-time too much to ask for? I've tried to be cutesy and sing the Madagascar song "move it, move it", but that just makes them stop what they are doing and join in the song.

There is a part of me that wonders about the psychology of always telling the kids to hurry up. Am I teaching them to be just like me...always stressed that I'm late when I almost always arrive places early? I don't want to teach them that...but I hate the stress it gives me when I've allowed 5 minutes for them to get their shoes and coats on and it somehow takes them 20!!!

I find myself doing everything for them just so we can hurry up. It shouldn't be faster for me to put on three pairs of shoes, put on three jackets, and shove them into the car than for them to individually do those things themselves. Arghhh. Hey, wait a minute. Maybe they are being slowpokes on purpose because they know if they stall long enough I'll do it all for them.

Maybe next my next blog post will be about S * E * L * F S * U * F * F * I * C * I * E * N * C * Y.

Monday, October 12, 2009

bubbles in my pancakes

A while ago, I attended a brunch event where the host was making pancakes for all the kids. I was chatting with her as she flipped the pancakes. I laughed as I said "who taught you how to make pancakes? You know you can't flip them till the bubbles start popping." She looked at me and said "we didn't all have mothers who taught us that."

That moment has stayed with me. I think it was almost 2 years ago that I went to that brunch. The host knew my mom well and knew without asking that she had taught me how to make pancakes.

I know that teaching your children to cook isn't necessary to being a good mom, but I'm sure glad that I had the kind of mom that taught me to cook...and taught me to sew...and taught me to clean house (not that I keep mine to her standards). About the only thing my mother didn't teach me to do well is to iron, and perhaps I just wasn't a very good student.

I've heard from other friends whose moms didn't take the time (or have the ability) to teach them things that they feel like they are behind everyone else, like others have a head start on life. I suspect that is more of a mental hurdle than an actual one, but a hurdle none-the-less. Just because my mom taught me how to crochet doesn't mean that I actually know how to crochet, but it does mean that I might have more confidence that I can figure it out. And I know who to call when I get stuck.

So, thanks mom, for all you did for me while I was growing up and all you still do.
( dear mom takes HORRIBLE pictures. I had to really look for a good one! That is her mom, Grandma Dot, in the background.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The neighborhood crazy lady

We have a new neighborhood crazy lady and she is me (or she is I?).

We live on a private, barely-paved road. Officially it is a 2 lane road, but it is overgrown enough that cars have to slow down and pull over a bit to pass each other. With it being a private road, there is no stated speed limit sign. Generally speaking, people drive about 20 mph down the road. That seems a fine speed to me. Some, however, think 30 - 35 mph is better. They are clearly wrong, but who am I to specify the correct speed limit? I'm the neighborhood crazy lady, that's who.

I've taken to yelling "slow down" at the black cars that whiz by (and they do seem to be always black...either SUV or sports car). Sometimes the car just gets lucky and only receives the "slow down" hand gesture from me. No, not THAT hand gesture. The one where you make your hand flat and move it rapidly toward the earth. That's universally understood, right?

I walk the road 4 times a day...2 times down to the bustop and 2 times back. My children walk with me. There is no sidewalk. I think people should slow down when they see kids on the road. I know people without kids may not agree with that. They may wonder why my decision to have children should impeed their ability to drive at whatever speed they think is right. Actually, I think people should slow down as a courtesy when they see ANYONE on the road, but especially for children who could easily fall sideways for no apparent reason.

Curse me as one of those insensitive moms who thinks the world revolves around her kids if you long as you slow down as you think that.

P.S. I think this is my 100th post!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The importance of everything

I hate how everything is important. Really, the list of things that are important is endless. Off the top of my head:

* it is important to eat together as a family
* it is important to be on time
* it is important to eat healthy
* it is important to supervise your childrens' teeth brushing
* it is important to make time to date your husband
* it is important to turn off the radio in the car and talk to your children
* it is important to get the kids homework done
* it is important that the kids actually do some portion of that homework
* it is important to maintain relationships with your friends
* it is important to maintain relationships with your extended family
* it is important clean the house...repeatedly if possible
* it is important to pump the septic occasionally
* it is important to clean the filter in the dryer
* it is important to remember to feed the pets
* it is important to make and keep the kids appointments to doctors, dentists, etc.
* it is important to keep up with your vehicle maintenance
* it is important to pay the bills
* it is important to save for retirement
* it is important to save for the kids college
* it is important to take family vacations
* it is important to provide the kids with opportunities to play sports
* it is important to have at home bible studies with the kids
* it is important to bring the kids to church services
* it is important to have alone time with each of the kids
* it is important to maintain a certain (fairly low)level of safety
* it is important to take downtime for yourself
* it is important to make time for exercising
* it is important to make time for your own bible studies & prayer
* it is important to help out in the kids schools -- they depend on volunteers
* it is important to be active in helping others in your community and abroad
* it is important to replace the lightbulbs that continuously burn out
...oh yeah, and everyone should probably get bathed on a regular basis.

How can anyone possibly make time for everything that is important? And yet, which items can you really take off the list? And so, we get by with a little help from our friends, a lot of help from our family, and the commiseration of others who try along side of us. Oh...and we blog. =)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This cracked me up...

maybe you've got to be a fireman's wife to find this funny, but hopefully not...

Ambulance Driver Reports - Fire/Rescue Memorandum

Office of the Fire Chief
To: All Ambulance Personnel
From: Chief of Operations

Subject: Proper Narrative Descriptions

It has come to our attention from several emergency rooms that many EMS (Emergency Medical Services) narratives have taken a decidedly creative direction lately. Effective immediately, all members are to refrain from using slang and abbreviations to describe patients, such as the following:

1) Cardiac patients should not be referred to with MUH (messed up heart), PBS (pretty bad shape), PCL (pre-code looking) or HIBGIA (had it before, got it again).

2) Stroke patients are NOT “Charlie Carrots.” Nor are rescuers to use CCFCCP (Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs) to describe their mental state.

3) Trauma patients are not “CATS (cut all to sh*t), FDGB (fall down, go boom), TBC (total body crunch) or hamburger helper.” Similarly, descriptions of a car crash do not have to include phrases like “negative vehicle to vehicle interface” or “terminal deceleration syndrome.”

4) HAZMAT teams are highly trained professionals, not “glow worms.”

5) Persons with altered mental states as a result of drug use are not considered “pharmaceutically gifted.”

6) Gunshot wounds to the head are not “trans-occipital implants.”

7) The homeless are not “urban outdoorsmen”, nor is endotracheal intubation referred to as a “PVC Challenge.”

8) And finally, do not refer to recently deceased persons as being “paws up, ART (assuming room temperature), CC (Cancel Christmas), CTD (circling the drain), or NLPR (no long playing records).”

I know you will all join me in respecting the cultural diversity of our patients to include their medical orientations in creating proper narratives and log entries.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Boy am I in trouble

All kids are unique and special...but when I describe my kids as "unique" and "special" I am usually making a derisive comment. I don't know why it is easier for me to complain openly about my children than it is for me to brag openly about them...but it here goes:

My Spunky Girl is going to be a handful. For some reason, that girl cannot keep her clothes on. When she was a little bit younger, I'd find myself getting weird looks at Costco and turn around to find her NAKED. At 4 years of age, she routinely asked people "do you want to see my bottom?". At 5 years of age, I have to keep asking her to stopping pulling her shirt above her nipples.

The other day I laid the kids down over some long paper and drew their outlines. The girls then got to draw in their faces, their clothes, etc. Sweetness, my eldest child, drew herself in a lovely green t shirt and mid-length blue shorts. Spunky Girl drew herself in an off-shoulder shirt with some bicep high matching gloves & a pair of capri pants. Somehow she even managed to give her hips a sexy curve. She doesn't own any clothes like that, of course, but that is how she drew herself. She is just really body conscious...but not in a "look at myself in the mirror" kinda way (that would be Sweetness)...more in a "who can I get to look at me" kinda way.

If I pull my hair out with Spunky Girl's antics at 5 years old, how am I going to handle her when she's 16?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Posting Blahs

Well friends, I haven't been blogging as much lately. There are several reasons why, I think.

First, I'm climbing toward my 100th post. This might be screwing with my head a little. I want my 100th post to be something good, but we all know that I write about nothing. My 100th post will be about nothing unless something extraordinary happens in my TLC deciding that I'm their next client on What Not To Wear and they whisk me away for a week of shopping in New York. Or I win the lottery, which I don't even play, and suddenly have $100,000 with which to remodel my basement and give to the needy.

Second, using an RSS feed to import my blog posts to Facebook changes the nature of my blogging. I was slightly more anonymous when I only wrote for Yes, my picture was up there, but I wasn't specifically inviting all my family and friends (& my husband's family and friends) to read what I wrote. The ones that wanted to read my inanities had to go look up my posts. On Facebook, my thoughts push across cyberspace and land on people's front door...complete with a creepy picture of my face next to them. The posts that I would once write about personal issues (my underwear, sex, etc.) just seem WRONG on Facebook. Also before Facebook, I could write about people I knew. Even if I changed the names, too many people could guess who I'm talking about on Facebook and so I find myself refusing to post stories I've written because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. The flip side of the coin, of course, is that I've got dozens more readers on if I go back to only writing for, I'll have to accept that.

Third, my camera is STILL at my grandma's house. There are so many times that I'll blog about whatever pictures I've recently taken, and without my camera that just doesn't happen. I've got to find time to go get that back and visit my dear Grandma.

Who knows, mabye my post about not blogging will inspire me to blog more. This is post #95. Let's see how long it takes me to get to 100.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hubby's Fishing Trip

I had decided not to post about my husband's absence this week in case any cyber-stalkers were out there who wanted to come figure out where I live. But, given the amount of facebook posting about my hubby's fishing trip, I think the cat is out of the bag.

While I am THRILLED that hubby gets a chance to go enjoy himself with the boys, the thought of a week on my own with all three kids was a tad terrifying. I was afraid of getting overwhelmed on day 3 and having 3 more days to go. I was afraid of becoming emotionally overwrought and screaming inanities at my children. I was afraid of spending my time silently crying in the powder room while trying to calmly say "kids, mommy needs a minute."

But, here I am on day 4 and none of those thing have come true. I'm actually...okay. It has been a good couple of days. While we all miss hubby/daddy dearly, his absence isn't resulting in anyone's heart failure.

I have a three point plan for surviving my week and I think it is helping. It is:

I really need to start heading up to my bedroom by 10 pm. I usually grab my iTouch for a half hour of You-tubing or iTunes-ing before I roll over to go to sleep. So far, I've managed to get enough sleep to be sane for the early morning wakeup calls (the Big Guy has started an early morning pattern that I don't quite understand). And I'm all caught up on lots of online comedy videos.

I don't usually have a problem eating, but when hubby is gone my choices tend to be poor. Like having a milkshake for lunch or making the kids eggs for dinner (which I hate and so won't eat). I've been making regular old dinners in hubby's absence. Last night was Tex-Mex Casserole, which I thought was tasty but my kids threw HUGE fits about. they have to gag over lasagna noodles?

While escaping into a good book sounds like a successful way to get through the week, the "me" time actually works against me. Once I start reading, I get frustrated by the interruptions...and I get a little obsessed. Soon I'm snapping at the kids to let me finish my chapter and staying up late reading (see point #1). So, no reading for me this week. I pledge to try to stay in the present with my kids and not look for ways to escape the job in front of me.

And so, Day 4 w/o hubby is looking like a nice one. The sun is shining. The kids have swimming lessons today, so we'll be busy. On Day 5 w/o hubby, my delightful MIL is taking the Big Guy for a couple of hours, so I might even be able to go out to lunch with a friend. And then hubby will be home late on Day 6. Day 6 is the day that I'll probably fall to pieces...somehow I always manage to behave myself right up until the time where I've almost made it. I wonder what that says about me?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Frugalista. I suppose that is a combo of fashionista and a budget freak. Sounds just like me! I just heard that term on a Target commercial.

And speaking of a love of shopping on a budget, I got the chance to visit 2 high-end consignment stores in the last week. The first one, called Between Friends, is fairly new. It is on 106th street in Bellevue. It has a limited amount of clothes, but is a pleasant non-cramped place to shop. They also have some cute new home furnishings. Check out their website at

Today I was in Kirkland, so I attempted to stop by an old favorite consignment store on Main street...but it was closed. The experience of pulling up to a store and realizing it is closed for good happens TOO often lately. So, I walked down to the main drag (Lake Street) to visit Rebekah's consignment. The store has changed names, and assumably ownership, to Serendipity Consignment Boutique. This store has 2 - 3 times as many clothes as Between Friends displays. It also has nice dressing rooms and really big mirrors, which is nice.

Anyway, I think you all should go patronize those stores so they are there the next time I want to go shopping! Please and Thank you. =)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What? Embarrass My Kids? Me?

It was inevitable that my thrift-store shopping ways would eventually embarrass my children. I buy most of my kids clothes, probably 85%, from children's consignment stores. I occasionally will buy something new, but only if I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for second hand. My kids do get some new clothes because their grandparents often purchase clothes for their birthdays, Christmas, & sometimes new school shopping.

Luckily Spunky Girl hasn't caught on yet that there might be anything amiss with her wardrobe. I found these adorable white flats for her at Value Village. They were only $2.99 and looked like they had never been worn. She wore them to school on her first day. She and I were in the school office when the principal came by and stopped to compliment her on her super-cute shoes. When the principal asked where she got them, I was happy to reply that I got them at Value Village. Spunky Girl didn't care at all where I got them, she was just glad to have them.

At age 7, Sweetness is starting to care. I bought her a great pair of black boots. They were in awesome, like new condition too. She wore her new boots on her third day of school. When someone complimented her on her boots and asked where I got them, I replied that I got them at the consignment store. It was clear from Sweetness' face that my answer was embarrassing and she added that they were "Nine West" boots. Perhaps the name brand of the boots somehow redeems the second hand nature of the purchase.

I know when we go to the consignment store, Sweetness can certainly find things that she wants me to I know she doesn't TOTALLY hate the second hand shopping. I guess she just doesn't want me to be so verbal about our family shopping habits. Perhaps I should make it my mission to make Sweetness understand economics so well that she is proud to be frugal...or maybe I should just cut her a break and not blab where I got her stuff.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School Starts Today

The alarm clock rang at seven. It rang like it hasn't rung since early June. Lucky for me, I don't have to hear it. Sweetness has it in her room and she has the responsibility to get up, turn it off, and come wake up momma. It belongs on my "best of" motherhood list.

She jumped out of bed this morning and made her bed without being asked. I love it when they are excited for school. I'd love to post a picture of her dressed in her first-day-of-school clothes, but I forgot to take a picture. I also forgot to take a picture of her getting on the school bus. That probably won't make it into my "best of" motherhood list. I wish I had a picture of her face when the boy she doesn't like sat down next to her. The silent telepathy of "help me mom" works through the bus windows. "Bye honey" I yell "have a great first day" and turn my back on her pleading eyes.

We're back on a schedule. Tuesday schedules will be full:
7 am -- Sweetness up and getting ready for school
7:50 am -- walk sweetness to the bus stop (hope and pray that mom or hubby is around so I don't have to drag the other two kids down the hill with us)
9:20 -- get Spunky Girl and the Big Guy in the car for swim lessons
9:30 -- Spunky Girl's swim lessons
10 am -- the Big Guy's swim lessons
11 am -- early lunch for the 2 little kids
11:55 am -- walk Spunky Girl down to the bus stop
1:30 pm -- put the Big Guy down for a nap (please please please)
3:12 pm -- pick up Spunky Girl and Sweetness from the bus stop
4:20 pm -- get the kids in the car to head back to the pool for Sweetness' swim lessons
5 pm -- start dinner!

Should be a full day. I'm looking forward to it! Happy First Day of School!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It is challenge time again

Free Orkut and My Space Tuesday  Graphics Glitters

Tuesday is it.

The day I have committed to start a new exercise program.

I've tried to ignore that the day is coming, but it will be here in 2 days now and I'm gonna have to face reality.

Some of you know that I periodically create or join into challenges...committments to myself or others to force me to do things that I think are good for me but that I won't do except under duress. I think it would be good for me to work off a little of this tummy gush. I'm hoping 2 months of ab exercises will do the trick.

So, here is my latest challenge: For 5 days a week for the months of September and October, I will do 5 minutes of ab workout a day. My friend Melissa created the ab workout for me. If I fail to do 5 days on any given calendar week (Sunday - Saturday), then I pay Melissa $10.

Here's the workout Melissa decided upon:
There is a total of six exercises each done approximately 20 times (reps) so that once completed the whole series takes approximately 3.5 minutes. You do this 2 times through for a grand total of "7 Minutes"... hence the 7 minute abs. I would recommend doing one set before you job/walk and once set afterward or somewhere in the middle. The reason for this is to break it up and make it seem less daunting. 7 minutes doesn't sound like much, but it will burn at first!

20 x Leg Extensions - Lay on your back, hands under hips unless you're strong enough to just have them by your side. Start with your knees bent toward your chest. Push you feet straight out about 6-8 inches off the floor. Bring your knees back toward your chest.

20 x Leg Lifts - On your back with hands beneath your hips, keep your legs straight with your feet 6-8 inches off the floor. Bring your legs straight up perpendicular to the floor and lower back down. Do not let your feet touch or rest on the floor.

24 x Bicycle - See picture. 1 rep = going right/left one time

20 x Straight Arm Crunch - Crunch position on your back (knees bent, feet on floor). Put hands directly above your face, arms straight, in a prayer position so that the palms of your hands are touching. Crunch up so that your hands go straight toward the ceiling (not forward). If this is too difficult at first, keep you hands behind your head for support.

20 x Oblique Crunch - See picture, but keep both hands behind head. 20 each side. To make this more difficult, keep your foot off the floor.

20 x Oblique Twist with weight - See picture, but make suggested adjustments: Sitting up (with or without weight - I use a 10 lb medicine ball, but you can use either lighter weight or a dumbell etc). Put your heels on the floor and push through your lower back so that its straight (don't slump over or slouch). Hold the weight in both hands directly in front of your chest while leaning back in a "V" position. Twist right till your elbow taps the floor, keeping the weight centered in front of you. If you're not using a weight, just clasp your hands in front of you. Repeat going Left. This is done quickly and going R/L is one rep. To make this harder, you can keep your feet lifted off the floor so that you're balancing on your tail-bone.

I would recommend two other super important expercises. Plank and Side-Plank. These are great stabilizing exercises and give you strength and definition without crunching. Check out the two pictures attached to see what they look like. Try holding each one for no less than a minute each. Obviously on the side-plank, you need to do both sides to be equal.

For the record I am only committing to 5 minutes a day. Melissa thought she'd sneak in an extra 2 minutes a day unnoticed...2 minutes plus those silly plank and side plank exercises. We'll see about that. Maybe I'll do them and maybe I won't. But I will do the 5 minutes a day, 'cause I don't like to pay out.

So, anyone want to join me? I won't make you pay Melissa if you fail. =)