Friday, May 29, 2009


by Suz at 3 Peas in a Pod.

1. What are your current obsessions? Summer dresses and sandals.

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often? Gorgeous wrap dress that draws comments like: “Have you lost weight?” Which is, of course, why I love it!

3. What's for dinner? Baked fish with brown rice and veggies.

4. Last thing you bought? Lipstick

5. What are you listening to? Sugarland and Memories & Dust by Josh Pyke

6. Do you play a musical instrument? If so, what… the clarinet for 8 years and the piano beginning with elementary school. I haven’t touched the clarinet in the past 15 years and my piano fingers are extremely rusty. I’d have trouble hacking out Mary Had a Little Lamb now.

7. Favorite vacation spots? Canada! So clean, so temperate! Rob and I aren’t big on travelling. He likes home and I have the attention span of a hummingbird… which isn’t conducive to long flights/car rides. It’s not a vacation, but we both love our annual Anniversary trip to Savannah… shopping, a nice QUIET dinner for two… nice.

8. Reading right now? “And God Said What?” and “Blue-Eyed Devil” (oh the irony, huh)?

9. What is your perfect day? No alarm clock beeping, just sleeping until I wake by sunshine. A quiet breakfast of toast and caffeine followed by a morning of lounging about reading one of those books that almost turn the pages by themselves… Harry Potter, brain candy books (paperbacks), etc. Lunch with Angel followed by window shopping and a good chat, a nana nap, a raucous game outside with the kids and a dinner with Rob (with a nice wine) that I didn’t cook and don’t have to clean up afterwards. Snuggles with two freshly bathed, sleepy children who softly say: “I love you, too” and some one on one time with my better half.

10. Guilty pleasure? Brain candy books and chocolate chip mint ice cream. Better together.

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you're weak? Tina Fey. Love, LOVE her on 30 Rock.

12. Favorite things to do in the summer? Read, enjoy the long sunny days which the kids spend most of outside… at least until it gets too hot. Which is about 20 minutes into our outdoor excursions.

13. Planning to travel to next? Wild Adventures in Valdosta GA. It’s our first overnight trip off with Abby, the carsick queen. We haven’t had any motion sickness issues in several months, so we’re crossing our fingers that we can make the 300 plus mile round-trip without using a bucket or pulling over for a clothing change.

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately? Warm yeast rolls with honey butter… Diet? What diet?

15. When did you last get tipsy? I cannot remember. Probably on an anniversary date with Rob. I did have two glasses of wine one night this week and might have been headed toward tipsy towards the end.

16. Favorite ever film? ONE?! Are you KIDDING? In no particular order: Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Casablanca, Harvey, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Philadelphia Story, Crash, Love Actually, While You Were Sleeping, Grease, Dirty Dozen, The Natural, Citizen Kane, To Kill a Mockingbird, Star Wars, Goonies, Indiana Jones, … and on and on.

17. Care to share some wisdom? Here's a quote which I love.

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – E.E. Cummings

18. Least favorite thing about driving in the boondocks? Deer, tractors, squirrels, possums, snakes, cotton trucks, four wheelers, and rednecks in big trucks with big tires.

19. Least favorite part of your day? The horrible beep of the alarm clock that ruins a perfectly good sleep far too early in the morning.

20. Why do you blog? Blogging allows me to express my thoughts, share my life, learn about new things, people, adventures, places and ideas! It is MY place to do with whatever I please, as often as I please.

Rules of the meme:

Respond and rework. Answer questions on your own blog. Replace one question. Add one question. Tag 8 people. Too lazy to tag. If you like, feel free to join in.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let's See How Far We've Come

In August of last year Rob and I had some serious concerns about the path J.T.'s education would take as he began his second grade year at school. He was a reluctant reader who took lots of time and made lots of mistakes and was an entire grade level behind in reading. This academic weak area was threatening to impact him negatively in other subjects as well: Science, Social Studies, Math... We were also concerned about the erosion of his self-esteem and worried that we would see our bright, confident child buckle under the pressure to perform.

The first month was a little rocky as he and his teacher, Mrs. S., adjusted to each other and we worked together to create the best learning environment for him. The boy is distracted by his own thoughts (something he inherited from me) and can barely stay focused long enough to write his name, which will be an ongoing issue, unfortunately. He will have to learn strategies to keep himself on task, get himself back on task and put in extra effort to be mentally organized. Eight is too young to master those complicated skills, but we were quite proud to get these home from school last week!

We are very proud of his hard work and appreciative of all of the efforts his teacher put in to help him reach his potential and exceed all of our expectations for this year. She has gone above and beyond what we would have deemed her responsibilities to be sure that J.T.'s attention issues did not get in the way of his learning and mastering new skills. Thank you Mrs. S! Way to go J.T.!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

E-free days

The E-free challenge was a little harder last week than I expected. Once the novelty wore off and the kids realized this was a regular deal, they weren't very impressed with giving up their favorite entertainments for two whole days each week. Two days is a really long time for those in the single-digit age bracket.

We muddled through, despite some whining and moaning (I swear it was them and not me doing that). Instead of twitchy wii fingers and a couple of choruses of the Dora theme song, we did this:

and this:

and I got this done:

Quite an accomplishment.

And in miscellaneous news from our house, Abby informed me that I have a square butt while hers is round. THANKS Abby.

At least she didn't bring up cellulite. I think.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To Forgive?

You have probably read this quote elsewhere this week. It was particularly timely for me. I have been struggling with the idea of forgiveness for some time. My head knows that healing and happiness, genuine heart-whole happiness, are impossible if you let bitterness and hurt flourish in your soul.

But it is so hard to let injustice be. To not be able to 'fix' and make right what is wrong. To not get the point across that it hurts so deeply when others cherish things more than people. More than love. So I am resharing what has already been shared (I hope the person I lifted it from doesn't mind.... I haven't been able to get it out of my head nor my heart since I read it).

"What if forgiveness has nothing to do with stopping feeling hurt and nothing to do with letting the person off? What if it's something that is under our own direct control and that we can wholeheartedly choose to do?

Suppose it's this: forgiveness does not mean pretending that the other person did not do wrong. It does not mean switching off your feelings. Rather, forgiveness means depriving the other person's wrongdoing of any consequences in your life.

I forgive by deciding that I will not pass on the hurt by harming others. I will not let the wrongdoing influence me to do wrong. I will not let it damage and distort my life nor alter my relations with others. I will go on doing right, no matter how hurt I feel, no matter what.

You don't decide who I will be, but I do. It makes the wrongdoing irrelevant..." Catherine Gower
It does indeed make the wrongdoing irrelevant.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Ask me what I like about me.

I would have to think about it.

Ask me what I don't like about me.

The answers trip over themselves to get out of my mouth.

My body. My teeth. My distractability and lack of organization. No creative talents like crafting, sewing, quilting, photographing, painting, dancing, etc. My wobbly triceps and the width of my hips and thighs. It would be very fair to say that I spend more time cataloguing what I'd like to change than appreciating what I am. Literally standing in front of the mirror finding fault!

I've decided it's time to look at me. Really look at me and see me, beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful me. Not "needs to be improved" me.

I love my hands. Long fingers with nicely shaped nails that wear polish well and are just the right span to fit an octave on the keyboard of a piano.

The smoocher on this face is pretty hot. Not too thin, not too fat, looks great all glossed up.

My eyes are a lovely hazel color that turn green when I wear green and brown when I wear red. They have a nice gold ring right around the pupil.

My figure is quite feminine. Round in more places than not, but I'm learning to accentuate those girly bits with a nicely fitted dress, a great pair of shoes and some cool accessories.

Fairness, improving the world, justice, equality, friendship, love: I am passionate about the things I care about.

I have a strong work ethic and love figuring things out. I never made a C in college.

Need a birthday cake? I make a delicious cream cheese cake with caramel or chocolate icing. My cooking is fairly simple, but I like to do it and while it's not gourmet, it is usually pretty tasty.

Reading is a life long love and my bedside table usually has a stack on it. Not always anything deep (mostly brain candy) but it counts!

I'm a good listener and rarely meet someone with whom I can't strike up a conversation.

My kids are always at school on time, with lunch in hand and homework completed. They are happy, healthy and confident. I count that as good parenting.

I feel very embarrassed and self-conscious posting this. Isn't that a little sad? That I find it much easier to discuss improvable me than lovely me? Have you looked at yourself lately? Were you looking for the bad or rediscovering the good?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The E-free Challenge

One of the authors at Before Our Time posted about an E-free week. Challenging the kids (with the enticement of a reward) to go one full week without electronic entertainments of any kind. No video games, no PC games, TV, DVDs, etc.

While it is a frightening prospect for me to consider shelving the Pixel Nanny, of whom I am very fond, we were game to wade into the e-free pool. Notice I said wade, not dive in from the 10 meter platform. So we have implemented two e-free days into our week. Wednesday and Thursday will be electronic entertainment free... permanently. No TV, no Wii, no PC (other than at work for the grownups) for every family member, adults included.

We started this last week and really, really enjoyed it. Instead of watching iCarly or Drake and Josh on Nickelodeon, J.T. read in his room and Abby made a colossal mess sorting through her numerous toys, dolls, etc. Our outdoor time doubled and the kids helped me (for two minutes at least) in our vegetable garden and splashed under the sprinkler. We interacted more, got more done, and were less cranky (them) and snappish (me).

Much to my surprise, Rob and I got more of the household nitty gritty done than we usually do while employing the Pixel Nanny! Less noise to distract easily distractable me and more helpers to put away laundry, unload the dishwasher and pick up toys. J.T. really pitched in to help while his sister.... not so much. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be and the kids were pretty cooperative.

Are you up for the challenge? Do you already have e-free days?

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Nice to be Appreciated!

Even if someone ages you by 9 years and gives you a new hair/eye color. I wouldn't be that light, even if you doubled my weight. Funny things do happy when I'm angry. Not sure what the TV show thing is... some really, really good jokes there though. Strawberries are my favorite food, not Cheerios.

I don't know who yddA is, but didn't she make me a nice Mother's Day gift?

P.S. Have we determined if it's Mothers' Day or Mother's Day? M? Tracey?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chaos Theory

Chaotic behavior is observed by scientists in their studies of electrical circuits, chemical reactions, weather patterns, etc. Our house tends toward chaos too.

Abby's room, for example, is a mish mash of Mr. Potato Head parts, flash cards, doll clothes, hair bows, lip glosses with no caps, markers with no caps, books, and dress up outfits.

J.T.'s room is slightly more organized. The little action figures and their paraphanelia are grouped by theme, ongoing game, etc. The clothes I ask him to put away are rarely where they belong, though. Socks mingling with bathing suits, underwear stuffed in with the shorts and so on.

The kitchen counter is a mixing pot of homework papers, notes from school, receipts, junk mail, book bags, lunch boxes and cookbooks. Underneath, shoes are scattered about with abandoned toys.

The dining room table is playing host to mateless socks, clothes that the kids have outgrown, dish towels that never find their way to the drawer by the sink.

More toys (beginning to think we have too many) are on the couch, the floor, the bookshelves in the den and despite a ban on eating in there, cracker crumbs seem to have taken up permanent residence.

You know, I wouldn't mind a more ordered universe. Especially at home.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The F-word

The daily school commute turned interesting for poor Rob last week when J.T. asked the question. Or one of the key ones anyway:

"Is the F-word a really bad word?"

Rob is shocked. Our 8 year old knows the F-word?! Where did he hear it?

"Why? Where did you hear that?!" he asked.

"William said it."

Rob is thinking we need to have a talk with my sister to let her know that her son has been corrupted (he does have a teenage brother) and is sewing further seeds of corruption and goes on a long spiel about not saying the F-word. J.T is looking at him like he's sprouted Darth Maul horns.... okay maybe not Darth Maul horns because he'd think that was cool.... but otherwise is eyeing him like his father has lost his mind. So much so that Rob is rethinking the conversation and shrewdly, albeit a little late in the game, asks:

"What does the F-word rhyme with?"

J.T. thinks a minute and says: "Art?"

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