Friday, February 27, 2009

Lent, Day Three: Some Observations

Cookie Friday at the bank would be vastly improved by adding a variety of cookie other than chocolate chip.

Iced tea is my new best friend.

Ten-year old boys should think before asking their mothers if they are really going to “wear those tight yoga pants to Pilates” while clucking their tongues disapprovingly because; yes, I am. Also, your allowance? Yeah, gone.

Wind blows. No, really, wind blows; I tire of chasing our trashcan down the street.

Just when I think I am familiar with every form of torture offered by Pilates, the evil genius instructor comes up with some new way to hurt me.

Tomorrow, I am going to sit through eight hours of Pee Wee wrestling. Without a Diet Pepsi.

That last sentence made me laugh in a manner that could be described as slightly hysterical.

This does not bode well.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Still Good. Wow. Who Woulda Thunk It?

Lent, Day 2. No chocolate, no Diet Pepsi. Surprisingly, no temper tantrums nor inexplicable desire to wrench some idiot’s head from his body. I’m almost in awe of myself and, I fully expect you all to remind me that I said that when the inevitable happens and I open up a can of verbal whoop-ass on some poor unsuspecting citizen whilst in the midst of withdrawal rage.

Clock’s tickin’, is what I’m sayin’.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well, This Isn’t So Bad

Day one of Lent and so, far, so good. I haven’t had a chocolate craving yet and, although I often catch myself automatically reaching for an imaginary bottle of Diet Pepsi; I am making do with bottles of water and a super-sonic sized iced tea. In short, I’m doing great! Feeling good! Sunshine! Unicorns!

I make no promises for such a sunny attitude tomorrow as, by then, my body will have woken to the fact that I am holding out on it and rebellion shall ensue, no doubt tossing me into A Mood.

Speaking of things that toss me into A Mood; this morning, I spent fifteen minutes trying to politely remove a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses from my front porch. To their credit, they were a persistent couple of proselytizers but, in the end, they were no match for my declaration that Xenu will descend to the Earth in his spaceship to carry us all home any minute now and, didn’t they want to be a part of that glorious moment? And, don’t worry, Xenu forgives all and embraces all and, hey! Where are you two going? I wasn’t done yet!

I am nothing if not resourceful in a crisis.

Also, I totally believe that God will forgive my little moment of theater because, helloo, I gave up chocolate for my faith.

Let’s see the Jehovah’s top that.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Even Jesus Had a Doubting Thomas

Today is Fat Tuesday, the day all good Catholics live it up before beginning the arduous six-week period of self flagellation known as Lent. For 46 of the 52 weeks of the year, I don’t consider myself a very good Catholic but; I pride myself on my devotion to the Lenten ritual for those remaining six weeks.

Seriously, I am a Lent animal; I rock the meatless Fridays and, sacrifice? I am all about sacrifice. To the surprise of no one in my family, I will be giving up my beloved chocolate again this year.

In a surprising twist, however, I have also decided to refrain from drinking Diet Pepsi.

Yes, really.

Don't feel bad for doubting me; Hugh doesn’t think I can do it, either. Nor, for the record, does The Teenager (will I ever get used to calling her that?). Hell, the Man-Cub, who is usually my biggest supporter, is dubious and, if I’m correct, my Dad just read my declaration and went pshaw.

Whatever, you doubters.

I can do it. I know I can because I’ve done it before, twice and, granted, I was incubating fetuses both times but; I’ve got the willpower and I have faith and, really, isn’t faith what Lent is all about?

Yes, yes it is.

On an unrelated and uninteresting note; I have also decided to grow out my current hairstyle.

Let’s recap:

Six weeks of bad hair days, no chocolate and no Diet Pepsi, surrounded by people who have no faith in me.

I am going to be so pleasant to be around.

Isn’t my family lucky?

Monday, February 23, 2009

And Then We Blinked

February 23, 1996, 6:50 p.m. Seven pounds zero ounces and nineteen inches of complete perfection. You slept like an angel, ate like a champ and wrapped us completely around your tiny little finger. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement.

And then we blinked.

Six months later you weighed considerably more than seven pounds. Your chubby little arms and legs were deliciously kissable, squeezable, and ticklish in all the right spots. Your personality had emerged, painting a fairly accurate picture of what our future with you would hold; giggle fits at the most absurd moments and temper tantrums to beat the band-a tiny tempest in a delicate little teacup.

And then we blinked.

A small person took the place of our easy-going infant. You had always been a team player; effortlessly blending into our lifestyle, traveling easily, accompanying me to work and never making it difficult for us to continue to do the things that we liked to do or that we had to do which, we appreciated all the more when we became a family of four and you were pressed into the duties of being the Big Sister; a role that you took to much like you took to swimming, effortlessly, enthusiastically and with the desire to exert more than your fair share of control (one could call it bossiness but, it’s your birthday and I am being kind).

And then we blinked.

Your march toward independence began at an early age; you had a clear view of The Way Things Should Be and you set your mind to getting there. You danced to your own drummer and one couldn’t help but wonder at the melody playing inside your head. One still does.

And then we blinked.

February 23, 2009, again, considerably heavier than seven pounds, zero ounces, in fact; this weekend you finally triggered the passenger-side airbag sensor in the SUV, a feat that left you proud and quite inexplicably excited. Your chubby little thighs and screw-on hands have been replaced with long, lean legs and gracefully long fingers. You resemble a fine filly more than the roly-poly caterpillar we once knew.

As you have changed and matured so, too, has the love we feel for you, evolving into the love that only a parent knows for a child; it is a mixture of awe and wonder, so strong that it squeezes the heart in its’ fist, controlling the very beat and, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What comes next, we cannot guess. The person you will be a year from now, ten years from now, we can only immagine but, as our time with you this far has taught us; it will happen in the blink of an eye.

Happy birthday, Teenager.

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth but, that’s not your fault.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

And, by storm, I of course mean The Girl’s birthday slumber party. It went better than expected, with no teen drama save for the angst caused by the temporary loss of a cell phone belonging to one of The Girl’s friends. All’s well that ends well, and the phone was turned into the mall lost and found office just as we were leaving Neighboring City to begin the forty-five minute drive home.

The Girl was suitably spoiled; she and her friends roamed the mall, did a bit of shopping for matching sunglasses and flip-flops and generally asserted their independence while the Man-Cub and I did our level best to avoid running into them (being the tag-along brother does have its’ advantages and the Man-Cub made out like a bandit on samples at Sam’s Club).

Upon our return to the house, there was pizza to eat, a three-movie marathon of horror flicks and, of course, cake.

I’m happy to say; the cake was not the disaster I predicted and The Girl was thrilled with the end result, the theme of which was apropos for the occasion as those girls were on their phones (when said phones weren’t lost) pretty much non-stop from the moment they hit my house to the moment we dropped them at their respective homes this afternoon.

As Forest Gump would say, Teenagers and phones go together like peas and carrots.

Amen, Forest.

The destruction left in the wake of the storm.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spin You Round, Round, Baby Round, Round

Have you ever squished a spider in a tissue, not hard enough to kill it, just hard enough to incapacitate it then; tossed the tissue into the toilet and flushed only to see the startled spider scurry to the top of the tissue, waving its spider legs in a vain attempt to escape its certain fate?

I am that spider.

My personal spiral down the shitter began yesterday, when I almost choked on a Tic-Tac upon hearing that an hour-long Perceptual Evaluation at the Behavioral Ophthalmologist had just cost me $235. The entire forty-minute drive home the only thoughts playing in a mental loop through my brain were “We can’t afford to do this” and “We can’t afford not to do this”. One after the other, over and over.

I think that’s when the migraine started.

Back in Petticoat Junction, I dropped the Man-Cub off at school and made a quick dash for home where I took a nice hit off an Imitrex bong and settled in for an hour-long nap before picking the Cub back up from school and heading to wrestling practice.

For the record, Hugh is out of town, officiating at the State wrestling tournament. He had, however, assured me that his assistant coach would be at practice so I, and I quote “Had nothing to worry about”.

Which were also, I believe, Custer’s last words to his troops right before the scalps started flying.

The assistant coach? Never showed up. There was some whispered discussion among the parents, something about charges of insurance fraud and prison time and, I don’t know; between sweating bullets over what the hell to do with thirty wrestlers between the ages of 5 and 8 and how to handle the group of hostile parents staring daggers at me, I was really too busy to pay too much attention to the gossip mill.

In the end, I recruited The Girl and the Man-Cub to start practice off with some stretching exercises and a few laps around the gym to warm up. Then, God bless his giant heart, the Man-Cub suggested that we practice some of the moves that Hugh worked on last week. The Cub grabbed one of his classmates and demonstrated the moves, had the kids pair up to practice the moves and he, I, and a couple of moms who can be counted on to pitch in during a crisis (note: NOT the Hostiles), wandered the room, checking form and pretending to know what the hell we were doing.

It was the longest forty-five minutes of my life and it ended with the expected complaints from The Hostiles. Where are the coaches? Um, officiating at the State wrestling tournament, wrestling at the State wrestling tournament and, apparently, in jail, thanks for asking. Is this going to be an on-going situation? Um, no, the State tournament happens but once a year. Jail time, however, could be a trickier proposition but, we’ll keep you informed. And, my ultimate favorite; Are you planning to get any more coaches? Absolutely! Thanks for asking! Now, are you volunteering yourself or your husband?

I’m pretty sure you can all guess how that one went over.

The downward spiral to my ultimate doom continued after practice, when I got into the car only to have it start beeping at me all DANGER, DANGER WILL ROBBINSON, DANGER ! SERVICE ENGINE SOON! STABLITRAK OFF! TRACTION CONTROL OFF! SERVICE STABILITRAK! SERVICE TRACTION CONTROL! THE BRITISH ARE COMING, THE BRITISH ARE COMING!

A frantic call to OnStar for diagnostics did nothing to allay my fears; their advice being that I see my mechanic at my earliest possible convenience which, being a rational adult I translated into OH MY GOD, MY CAR IS TOTALLY GOING TO BLOW UP AND WE WILL ALL DIE.

The Girl, sensing my panic, launched into a wailing fit, “WELL, THAT’S JUST GREAT! NOW MY BIRTHDAY PARTY IS RUINED!” because, she’s no dummy and, if the car blows up, the trip to Neighboring Town to scope out cute boys in the mall blows up as well. It certainly didn’t take a $235 Perceptual Evaluation for her to see the handwriting on the wall.

Thus, I did what any woman in my situation would do; I drove the car home, parked the son-of-a-bitch in the garage and pretended it didn’t exist, la, la, la, what car?

Then, I drank a glass of red wine, stumbled upstairs and authored a letter to the parents of our wrestlers, apologizing for the situation at practice. It was a great letter, containing such lovely prose as; Doors are located to the east and north ends of the gym, please don’t let them hit you on the ass on your way out as we wouldn’t want to add injury to your insult and We will gladly refund your registration fee of $15, however, we have assessed a standard Complaint Fee and you owe us $50. See you next year!

As I said, it was a great letter and I felt better after writing it.

I'm no fool, though so; I deleted it, drank another glass of red wine and went to bed.

Today, the coffee pot over-flowed onto the countertop and floor, I lost the key to my car in the car and, the mechanic at the local dealership informed me that the problem with my car is probably just a wonky sensor (where have I heard that before?).

This evening I am supposed to decorate The Girl’s birthday cake and, already; I am envisioning tragedy.

If I were a spider I would totally be waving my tiny little spider legs at you and staring forlornly at the rim of the toilet bowl as I go


Thursday, February 19, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'em, Might As Well Join 'em

Lately, I have done more than my fair share of bitching about how over the snow I am, yesterday; I finally quit bitching and gave in.

I went snowshoeing in our national park with thirty Cub Scouts and, in a surprising turn of events, did not once feel the urge to throw someone over the cliff, not even myself; that right there is what they call personal growth.

And, as it turns out, snowshoeing is fun or, at least it is fun when one is in the company of women who share one’s slightly perverse sense of humor and, luckily for me; I was in just such company, yesterday.

An example of this occurred as we were trekking through the wilderness; I jokingly inquired as to whether or not it would be ok to eat my companions’ dead bodies in the event that we became hopelessly lost and died, one by one, from exposure. The mom who volunteered the opinion that she would consider it an “organ donation” rather than cannibalism, is exactly the mom that I want tromping alongside me through the snow.

(Or, come to think of it, going down in a plane crash with me over the remote Andes Mountain range because, if you’re ever in the unenviable position of having to eat your seatmate in order to ensure your very survival; you want to be sure there will be no hard feelings in the afterlife.)

So, yes, I enjoyed a winter sport, one which required me to:

a) Be outdoors, in the cold
b) with 30 very loud boys and
c) during which alcohol was strictly prohibited.

Personal growth, people. Personal growth.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Letter to Myself, Post-Dated February 2010

Dear Self,
Please, for the love of all that is holy, just say no to running the Pee-Wee wrestling program again this year. Please. Do it for me.
Love, Your Sanity

Honestly, why do I let myself get suckered into these thankless and irritating positions? Last night’s wrestling practice just about broke my will to live and people? This was only our second practice.

Already, I have mothers whining to me about the limited amount of one-on-one time that their preshus babies get to spend with a coach. And, I realize that little Johnny’s entire wrestling career is at stake, I mean, he might only be four and a half but he will be a State champion one day. If only Hugh spends a little less time with the other thirty-nine kids and more time with little Johnny, that is.

But, Hugh is only one man and, unless some other parents step up, say Little Johnny’s dad, perhaps, the kids-and their parents- are just going to have to deal.

And, for those of you who are counting, yes; we are up to forty kids in the Kindergarten through Second grade session and, ten bucks says we hit forty-five by Thursday.

So, forty kids. Three parents who have stepped up to help coach.

What is wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

OMG! Seven More Days and I’ll Be a Teenager!! Can You BELIEVE IT?!! SQUEE!!

The exact sentence The Girl squealed into my ear last night as we sat on the couch watching Heroes and, for the record, no, daughter: I can NOT believe it.

Also, my ear is bleeding, please stop squealing into it.

In less painful news, wrestling practice begins in earnest tonight (make that: in equally painful news). Rumor has it, we have our first tournament of the season next weekend and, although I have yet to see actual written documentation of this alleged tournament; I am preparing myself, Hugh and the children accordingly.

To that end, I have a meeting scheduled with the local printers today following my Woman’s club meeting. Last year I ordered 143 t-shirts, sweatshirts and wrestling singlets for the program and, this year, we are adding sweatpants to the order. I’m hoping the prices of the items haven’t gone up too much and that turn-around time for the printing will be speedy. If we can have the t-shirts, at least, by the tournament; I’ll be a happy camper.

If not, the kids (the parents) will just have to deal with the disappointment and, hopefully, will have their uniforms in time for our home tournament which is the first weekend in March. After that; it’s all wrestling all the time throughout the middle of April, giving wrestlers-and parents alike-ample opportunity to grow weary of even looking at the uniforms.

And, then, it’s on to baseball! SQUEE!! Can you believe it!?

Yeah, somehow I don’t think The Girl would find that nearly as exciting as turning 13. In SEVEN DAYS!! SQUEE! OMG!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ok, so, technically, Valentine’s Day was yesterday however, rather than enjoying the fawning company of my lover yesterday; I spent my time doing mundane chores around the house and covering a few hours at the hardware store.

The day was no chocolate and roses picnic for Hugh, either, as he spent the entire day in a gymnasium full of sweaty boys and rabid wrestling fans.

In total, I believe I saw him for a grand total of five minutes yesterday, one of which occurred through a cracked eyelid as he left the house at six a.m. and four more through bleary eyes a little before midnight so, a lovely Valentine’s Day it was not, hence the need for a do-over.

And what a nice do-over it is; Hugh presented me with a gorgeous garnet necklace this morning as well as an amethyst necklace which he claims is “from the kids” and, really, it is the very least they could do considering the fact that I pushed their gigantic heads out of my tiny little…rescued them each from beneath damp cabbage leaves.

I appreciate both gifts and, all joking aside; love my Valentines with all my heart.

Tonight, I am planning to cook Hugh one of his favorite meals, steaks and French Onion soup, as well as indulging him in a back massage and, um…a rousing game of Scrabble. Neither of which quite compare to gold and precious jewels but, you know, they do say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and his… Scrabble board.

I think I have my bases covered, is what I’m saying.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, Hi! I Could Just Kiss You!

And not because you are the day before Valentine’s Day and I need to get warmed up, either; I would never use you like that.

No, I could kiss you because your siblings, Monday through Thursday, left me beat down and tired and you, Friday, are like an ice cold glass of water slaking an eternity of thirst. A buoy thrown to a drowning man. A piece of chocolate on the day that Lent ends.

What I’m, trying to say is that: I love you, Friday.

I love you, man.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good News is My Favorite Kind

The Girl’s Parent/Teacher conference went really well last night. She is doing quite well, academically and; her attitude in the classroom has been top-notch. Oh, her PE grade slipped a little again but, like I’ve said before; not the mountain I choose to die on.

In other good news, I got the results back from my recent blood work and my cholesterol is not nearly as high as I had feared it might be. I would like to drop it another four points as well as raising my good cholesterol level a few more points but, my triglycerides are awesome.

Apparently, healthy living really does make a difference; I shall alert the media at once.

In other other good news (my high school Honors English teacher would be rolling in her grave. If she was, you know, dead); tonight is the last night of baseball registration and we don’t have Pee-Wee wrestling practice due to some scheduling conflicts with the min-gym so, I don’t have to try to be two places at one time. Also, this crazy-busy week is almost over and next week will be a walk in the park in comparison.

I do have to start the process of ordering uniforms for wrestling but, la,la,la… I’m not thinking about that right now. Right now, I’m thinking about sleeping in on Saturday morning and about spending the rest of the weekend on the couch with a good book.

In reality, I will get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and will spend the weekend cleaning the house and trying to get organized for the next busy week but, you know, my brain can’t quite wrap itself around all of that just yet.

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yesterday Was a Busy Day and I Am Glad to be Done With It.

As expected, The Girl’s science fair project earned a good grade but failed to place in the top percentage of projects. We weren’t at all disappointed, however because; she enjoyed her project. In addition, she learned a lot about what will be expected of her at future Science Fairs and she is actually excited about competing again; I’m so proud of her.

Plus, I take great comfort in the knowledge that my daughter wasn’t responsible for the project entitled: Which Brand of Lip Gloss is Most Kissable? Because the data collection involved in that particular project would have thrown her father completely over the edge (and, um, yeah…I’ll try to get a copy of the results and report back to you all).

Yesterday’s other duties went as well as could be expected; we had nineteen Pee-Wee wrestlers registered for the program and thirty-seven showed up to practice. Luckily, the woman who works for the Town Activities Department was also in attendance so; I didn’t have to track down all the parents of the non-registered kids by myself and, by the end of the evening, I think we had them all registered with money in hand.

Now, I have the pleasure of collecting uniform order forms and of wrangling a decent price from the local printing company, a responsibility that I am actually good at and somewhat enjoy.

Or, not.

Speaking of things I am good at, I made a sign to put on the table at last night’s baseball registration and my drawing of a baseball was top-notch. My handwriting left a lot to be desired but you can’t have everything.

You know what can have everything? Minestrone. Sunday afternoon I made a big pot of it using all the least-fresh vegetables in the fridge (waste not, want not) and that soup? Was…good. It was even better after a couple of days in the fridge which was a blessing when one takes into account that I got home way too late to cook last night.

And, like I said, thank goodness yesterday is over and done with.

Because today won't be busy at all.

I'm sorry, did I just get sarcasm all over you? My bad.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dear Winter: How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?

We had another light skiff of snow last night and the wind blew like crazy. The snow is melting now, leaving us to wallow in the mud it leaves behind. I am so over this winter bullshit.

On a brighter note, yesterday’s conference with the Man-Cub’s teacher went really well. The Cub’s test scores in reading have risen over six points which may not seem like a lot to us but was apparently quite impressive in the teacher’s opinion. The tests also indicate that the Cub surged ahead of last year’s tests scores rather than showing a decrease immediately following summer break, as is often the case with students. I credit the tutoring sessions for that and have every intention of continuing with them again this summer, with any luck, that combined with the eye therapy will place the Cub squarely at grade level in time for fifth grade.

Fingers crossed.

In other school news, today is The Girl’s science fair at the Middle School. This morning she wore a dress. A dress. She wanted to look professional for the judges and, while I’m certain she will achieve that goal, I personally thought she looked adorable. I didn’t tell her that of course; I’m no dummy. I did, however praise her professionalism and wish her luck.

I’m sure there will be a lot of really cool and interesting projects at the fair but, The Girl worked her ass off on her project and, even if she doesn’t win a prize, she’s still a winner in my book.

In case you are just dying to know what her project was (hi Mom and Dad!); she studied the effects that motor oil has on plant life, specifically to prove that used motor oil flushed into our storm sewers contaminates our ecosystem.

Which it does and she did a great job proving it. I must confess that I felt pretty sorry for her test subjects because, for a while, they were the only evidence I had that summer is really just around the corner and they looked so cheerful sitting on my windowsill. Until they choked on the motor oil and died that is. The lone control plant is still kicking but; now it instead serves as a sad reminder that summer really isn’t just right around the corner and, who do we have to thank for that?

That fucking groundhog, of course.

Damn winter.

Monday, February 09, 2009

It’s Going to Be One of Those Weeks

Monday: Hugh and I must attend a Parent/Teacher’s conference with the Man-Cub’s teacher. I am relatively certain that it will be painless based on the Cub’s most recent report card and the fact that we give his teacher chocolate at every available opportunity.

Tuesday: I am scheduled to attend my Woman’s club meeting, as usual then; I will race home to cook and deliver a crock-pot of chili to the school to feed the teachers during evening Parent/Teacher conferences, a chore that I volunteered for through our PAC (which is old-school PTA). Later that evening, I have to set up and supervise the registration table for the first ½ hour of baseball registration at the elementary school before racing to the Middle School for the first wrestling practice of the season where I am in charge of making sure that every tiny wrestler in attendance has actually paid for the privilege of being there (and then begging money from the parents of those who have not, what fun!). Sometime in the course of the day, I need to stop by the Middle School Science Fair to see how The Girl’s project did, as well.

Wednesday: After joining the Man-Cub in a half-mile walk during his lunch recess walking club, I will once again set up and work at the baseball registration table, this time for two and a half hours. Next, I will race back to the Middle School to attend The Girl’s Parent/Teacher conference where I will pray that her recent good humor and respectful attitude have not gone un-noticed. Then, I will stagger home to frost fifty mini red velvet cupcakes for the Man-Cub’s Valentine’s Day party on Thursday.

Thursday: I will deliver above-mentioned mini red velvet cupcakes to the Man-Cub’s classroom and will assist with the party games (where my efforts will be rewarded…with chocolate) before running home to throw dinner in the oven before leaving for my third-and final- stint at the baseball registration table.

Friday: The kids are out of school but that doesn’t mean that I get a day off; the paperwork from baseball registration alone will keep me busy for hours not to mention my actual job and the fact that it is Emily’s birthday and she and Oscar have invited us to dinner. In addition, I need to make time to drive to the pet store for the Cub’s weekly cricket sacrifice and I need to find time to go over the Cub’s Scout handbook so that I can report to his Pack Leaders as to which badges he has earned at home.

Saturday: I am scheduling a coma. A drooling coma complete with sweet dreams and snoring.

Sunday: Laundry, after all; someone has to wash the drool out of the pillow cases.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Doing Our Part to Save the Economy

Yesterday, Hugh, the Man-Cub and I went to Neighboring City to pick up a few of life’s essentials (The Girl opted out of the trip to attend a sleep-over). On our list were:

-Life jackets for on the boat this summer.

-After shave for Hugh, who managed to drop and break his most recent bottle, leaving our bathroom to smell of Stetson until the end of time.

-Jeans for the Man-Cub who grew three inches seemingly overnight and who really would rather not be caught dead in high-waters at school (ok, that part was all me…bad Junior High flashback…shudder).

-A birthday present for Emily, who will turn another year older on the 13th (Friday the 13th, as she gleefully reminds us every time the subject arises).

-A water bottle for The Girl, who is too good to shop with us but not too good to partake of the spoils, apparently.

-Free weights and a yoga block for Hugh who has recently started Tony Horton’s P90x at home-fitness program.

-A yoga top that my boobs don’t fall out of during Pilates and

-Bulk grocery items from Sam’s Club.

Things that we picked up that weren’t on our list? Almost too many to count including:

-Two new bottles of the OPI- Suzi and the Lifeguard and Conga-Line Coral

-A new football for the Man-Cub who really needs to remember not to leave it where a certain giant mutt can utilize it as a chew toy

-Lost season 4 on DVD

-Battlestar Galactica season 4.0 on DVD and

-Rubber mats to cover the floor in our fitness room.

In addition to all that, I finally used the Victoria’s Secret gift certificate that Hugh got me for Christmas to purchase new bras and underwear and, I’m, pretty sure that Hugh made a stop at the jewelry store to do some Valentine's Day shopping while I was fretting over the fact that bras these days are so pumped up with foam and gel inserts and crap that women who are naturally endowed, such as myself, barely stand a chance of finding something that doesn’t make us look like we are preparing for our audition at the strip club.

We finally left Neighboring City at almost five o’clock and apparently; shopping is an exhausting exercise because, I fell asleep on the couch not long after dinner.

Today I get to go into town to do my regular grocery shopping as well as picking up a few things for The Girl’s science fair poster-board.

I am literally hemorrhaging money.

But, I’m doing it for my country.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

My Kingdom for a Cup of Coffee

This morning, I am headed to my doctor’s office to have blood taken for some tests; nothing serious, just routine maintenance now that I am old. The tests required that I eat nothing after eight o’clock last night which was no big deal since I generally try not to eat late, anyway.

Unfortunately, the whole fasting for twelve hours thing also means that I have had to start my day off without my usual two cups of half-caf and, people? I am apparently addicted to the habit of having my two cups of half-caf in the morning because, right now; I want that coffee so bad I can’t even tell you.

Me thinks it might be time to start weaning myself from even the half-caf.

In other news, a water main in our neighborhood broke yesterday, leaving us without water until 7:00 last night. You never really appreciate a fully-functioning kitchen faucet until you no longer have one and, the importance of toilets that actually flush? I’m not even going to go there.

Changing the subject to less shitty news (Ok, I went there); Hugh was invited to officiate at the State wrestling tournament again this year. He is quite proud of himself and, rightly so.

Unfortunately, the tournament falls on the weekend before The Girl’s 13th birthday (I just threw up in my mouth a little) and, she really doesn’t want to spend it in Denver watching sweaty boys roll around on a mat. I can’t say that I blame her, so; while Hugh travels to Denver, The Girl and I will host four of her best friends at a sleep-over complete with a shopping excursion to neighboring city, dinner, a slew of horror movies courtesy of Netflix and chocolate-chip pancakes in the morning.

I can hardly wait; I’m thinking of investing in a really good set of earplugs.

Or a prescription for Xanax.

Although, right now, I would totally settle for a really good cup of coffee.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Life Is Going To Be the Death of Me

Remember how I vowed to stick to my diet and exercise program no matter what life threw at me? How I planned to take care of me first and how that was going to enable me to take care of everything else?

Ha, ha, ha!!

Who was I kidding?

Right now, I am staring down a box of donuts; a box of donuts that has been calling to me in the sing-song siren call of EVIL for the past eighteen minutes.

Box of donuts, are trying to seduce me? Do you think your pink frosted goodness will break down my willpower? Do you think, for one minute, that I am going to abandon all semblance of dedication to my own good health?

Well, you may be right but, that doesn't mean that I'm going down without a fight.

Ha, ha, ha! Who am I kidding?

Come here, donut.

Monday, February 02, 2009

It's Not Selfishness, It's Self Preservation

Things have slowed down quite a bit at the hardware store, so much so that we have had to cut the hours the employees are working; it’s not an easy thing to do and I wish there were another way but, there isn’t, really.

With any luck, business will pick up again with the coming of spring but, in the meantime, I am working more hours a day which, is not a big deal except for the fact that it has forced me to re-evaluate my daily schedule once again and, let’s face it; I’m not the greatest at organizing my time as it is.

Generally speaking, when life throws these types of changes at me, one of the first things to go is my diet and exercise program, a fact that I am loathe to admit but, ‘tis true. This time, however, I have vowed to adhere to the Oxygen Mask School of Thought, that being; in the case of an emergency landing, able-bodied adults must take care of themselves before offering assistance to those who cannot help themselves and, by god, this time I am going to take care of my needs before I worry about the house, the cleaning, the groceries, dinner, homework, laundry, the baseball association, the Pee-Wee wrestling program, my up-coming woman’s club fundraiser, the pets and/or the husband (who can put on his own oxygen mask, see above).

It may sound selfish but, I also plan to subscribe to something an old philosopher once said: If momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.

I think it was Confucius. Or, you know, Mark Twain.

Either way, I’m pulling on my mask first and I’m not going to feel guilty about it at all.

Really. I’m not.

Ok, I am but, I’m pretty sure I can live with it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

So, He'll Never Be a Fighter-Pilot

The Man-Cub’s first appointment with the Behavioral Ophthalmologist finally took place on Friday afternoon.

The doctor ran all the usual tests that ophthalmologist generally do including the test that requires the pupil to be dilated (the disposable sunglasses the Cub got to wear home were THE talk of the school, I have to say) and, the Cub did really well through all the testing. When all was said and done, the results were pretty much what Hugh and I had expected; the Cub’s eyesight is first-rate.

You know, other than the fact that he is most definitely color blind but; we knew that already.

The test on the visiogram- the fancy computer used to track how the eyes work together during reading- however, delivered similar results to the test that was done at the tutors and; there is clearly an issue with the way the Cub’s eyes and brain function together. The doctor prescribed twenty-four sessions of occupational therapy for the Cub which, at one session per week (which is all they do), will take about six months.

The doctor is highly confident that the therapy will make a huge impact on the Cub’s reading skills and that we will see a vast improvement in his abilities. I hope so because, at $78 a session, we can’t afford for it not to work.

The Cub won’t be able to start his therapy until there is an opening which could take weeks -if not months- to happen (limited staff, limited number of appointments, etc.). In the meantime, there are a number of exercises that we will continue doing with the Cub at home and, with any luck; we will have a head-start on building the eye muscles before he even starts the official sessions.

Fingers crossed that this all works.

As an aside, in the regular testing; the doctor found the Cub’s eye tracking and hand-eye coordination to be superb which probably explains his athletic ability. So; a career in professional sports isn’t necessarily out of the question.

Due to the color blindness, a career in the military is probably not realistic (Chelle: Oh, how sad. Not)) and, interior decorating or fashion design are probably not his best bets, either (Hugh: Oh, how sad. Not).

I think we can live with all that.