Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New look

What do you think of my new look? Does it mess anyone up (link wise) if I change my name?

The most amazing gift

Have you ever received a gift that made you cry? I never had until yesterday. My mother-in-law did the most amazingly thoughtful gift. In Ben's family, we draw names in August. It remains anonymous who's name you drew, and typically you spend the 4 months until Christmas trying to come up with a thoughtful and unique gift. Ben's family is enormously talented, and some of the gifts are unreal. His mom drew our name, and she decided to make us something to help us remember our childhood. She decided to make us each a quilt, as she has recently discovered a new hobby of quilting. Ben opened his gift first - it was a huge quilt made from all of his old sports jerseys from when he was young. It was wonderful.

Then, she brought out my present. She also wanted to make me a quilt to help me remember my childhood, so she decided to make me a landscape quilt of a scene from my grandparents' farm house. She had never made a landscape quilt before, so she thought she'd give it a try.

First, a little history: I grew up visiting my grandparents' farm house in Western Maryland. They owned a 200 year old stone farmhouse on a civil war battlefield (I say owned, because it was sold last year due to my grandfather's declining health). The house was used as a hospital during the battle of Antietam, and has now been restored. The adjacent mill on the property once had a large wheel out front, and was the town mill. It's actually no longer a working farm - in fact my grandparents were never farmers (he was an executive for a large corporation). The farm was such a quaint and wonderous place - almost spiritual because of its historic and nostalgic significance. I have so many fond memories of playing there as a child - exploring the fields and adjacent Civil War cemetery, trout fishing in the river on the property, and using a metal detector to find old relics.

My grandfather was meticulous in his restoration and maintenance of the property. Inside, every attention to detail was made, and things were refurbished as close to how they would have originally looked. Even the furnishings were antique. On the outside, the 14 acres were immaculate. My grandfather especially loved flowers, and had an amazing talent of making things grow.

Anyway - now that I have rambled on about my most fond childhood memory, I want to post a picture of the quilt. The quilt is about 2'x3', and framed under archival glass. Its the most amazing thing I've ever seen - I've posted some pictures. Keep in mind that this is the first landscape quilt my mother-in-law has ever made.

Here is the original photo that would become the quilt. The door in the foreground led to the cellar, where my grandma kept an endless supply of otter pops. The other door leads to the kitchen (if you're interested, you can see some other pictures of the farm. Of course, you'll have to wade through some other photos of my grandparents' 60th anniversary party). Something that my mother-in-law didn't even know, but that makes this even more special, is that my sister took this picture, and my dad laid the stone in the walkway.

Here is the quilt. This picture doesn't do it justice. Every piece is individually hand-quilted. The colors didn't come across very well in the scan.

I know I've used the word amazing 100x, but it really is. Somehow, she conveyed the spirit of the farm. Looking at the picture, I can smell the unique smell of the farm. I feel like I'm there.
Here are the 2 pictures side-by-side. Notice the detail, especially in the stone. Every piece matches almost exactly.

I didn't even know how to react - hopefully it was the right reaction. I cried - bawled like a baby. Its the most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me.

Christmas 2007

Christmas morning dawned cold and snowy - the perfect start to a Christmas day (of course by the time the sun rose, we had be awake for 2 hours).
We had a couple of inches of fresh snow on Christmas Eve - just enough that Daddy had to shovel. And at 22 degrees that morning, it was still not cold enough to need a coat and gloves when he shoveled (his body must still be used to living in Siberia, although he's been in Utah for 9 years).
Christmas for us comes in 3 rounds: our house, G'ma Debbie and G'ma Mary's house. Round 1 started bright and early - at 5:25 am. Lucky for Daddy, I kept the girls in G's room for an hour before they could no longer be contained, and Daddy got to "sleep in" unti. 6:15 am. Santa brought the girls a box full of dress-up items. Bryn immediately had to try on some of the items - the dress-ups were a big hit (which made Santa very happy, as he had been collecting items for months).
Mommy also gave the girls baby dolls, who appear to be well-loved . . .
Complete with their own strollers, which are incredibly fun to push around on the wood floors.

Round 2 began at 9am at G'ma D's house. The drive there was incredibly fun. My parents live in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, and they get lots more snow than we do. On some of the roads, we were the first car to have driven in the freshly fallen (and unplowed snow). It was amazingly fun. And our car did great - even when we tried to spin out, the car stayed in control. Shortly after arriving at G'ma's house, the present frenzy began again.
This is my brother wearing a new shirt. He loves shirts with funny sayings - especially the ones about the states (like "its all relative in West Virginia"). We also have a family joke that comes from driving I-15 through the state. Central Utah is very unpopulated, and 2 of the biggest towns along I-15 are Beaver and Fillmore. We always makes jokes about driving through the "Fillmore/Beaver" area of the state. This shirt came from my sister and her hubby, who stopped at the rest stop in Beaver a few weeks ago coming home from Vegas. Just in case you can't read what this shirt says, it has a basic map of the state, and reads "I found Beaver in Utah". Its very appropriate for my newly divorced, party-boy brother. And pretty freakin' hilarious.
I couldn't get a serious picture of G all day.
M and G (being silly again)
Daddy and Bryn

Round 3 began at 1:30 at G'ma Mary's house. Bryn fell asleep on the way there, and crashed for 2 hours in the play room. Notice how she is surrounded by toys?
Daddy and G - I love this picture.
My in-laws lived in Switzerland for many years, and brought home a love for European cheeses. We had the yummiest cheese bar, and I ate waaaay too much. But it was good. I think I ate about 20 apples and gouda.
Bryn finally woke up, and had a blast with her cousins.
Oh - and did I mention that we got MORE presents here?
It was a wonderful day. We are so blessed and grateful to have such an amazing family.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mister Sandman . . .

I don’t think that I truly appreciated sleep until I became a parent. Back when I was “without child” I could sleep-in whenever I wanted, and staying up late was no big deal. Sadly, those sleep-filled days are gone, and I fear I’m in such a sleep deficit that I’ll never recover.

Last night I stayed up way too late. But, I had so much to do. After the girls were in bed I ran for an hour (trying to make up for all the toffee I ate at work yesterday, and I had the season finale of Dexter to watch from the DVR). By the time I got upstairs from the “dreadmill” and hit the shower, it was almost 9:30. I wanted to work on finishing the beaded bracelets for my coworkers, but Ben wanted to hang out with me too. Needless to say, I didn’t get to bed until 11pm, and I had to be up for work at 5am.

Unfortunately the girls didn’t care that their mommy was tired. In the 6 hours I had to sleep, they were up 5 times. I had barely laid down when Bryn started crying. I went into her room, where she was crying “owie, owie”. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me, “Binny need a kiss, right here” and pointed to her forehead. I kissed her, and fortunately she laid right down and was quiet – for another 90 minutes. She woke 2 more times in the night – both times asking for milk (we’d eaten Café Rio for dinner, and she ate over ½ of my salad – and I’m always thirsty after eating that). G was up twice herself – once for milk and once because she said she was finished sleeping. I’m afraid I lost my patience with her that second time. I know I only had about an hour more of sleep, and I wanted every minute of it. I threatened her that Santa would be called if she didn’t go back to sleep. Luckily that did the trick.

But mommy is dragging today. Its insanely slow at work today (obviously slow enough to post a blog entry), and I’m struggling to keep myself from napping on the couch in the breakroom.

Its been a busy week. On Tuesday the girls had their daycare Christmas concert. G was super excited, and was so cute. She belted out every word to every song with a smile on her face (unfortunately I forgot my camera) – it was a big change from last where, where she just stood there stone-faced. Bryn wanted to be a part of the action too. She went up to the front and stood by her sister for a few minutes. But then she got bored – she wandered around jabbering to random people in the audience, and even asked a few of them to hold her. Then she tired of that, and decided to beat up the inflatable snowman in the corner of the room. She ended up knocking him to the ground (of course that would be my child). After the concert, Santa came. G excitedly sat on his lap and asked for a baby (we’re hoping this is a doll, and not an actual baby). Bryn was scared of Santa, and preferred to try and steal his candy canes.

And to add to the disjointed nature of this post, I wanted to add something else completely unrelated to the title. It does however relate back to a post from a few days ago, where I was complaining about my neighborhood. As it turns out, I may not be crazy – I think people may be snubbing us. Ben’s coworker also lives in our neighborhood, but on another street. We sat with them at the work Christmas party the other night, and now they feel more comfortable with us. He asked Ben yesterday at work how we like living where we do. Ben was honest, and said that we were so unhappy that we had considered putting our house up for sale. His coworker admitted to Ben that when they moved in, they were warned to stay away from the “Wildcat Court Clique” (we live on Wildcat Court). Apparently people at church think everyone who lives on Wildcat is a snob and won’t associate with them. I feel like I’m back in junior high school – how petty can adults be? At least I know I’m not crazy – but I still do want to move.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday, Monday

I've got 11 minutes until I go home for the day. Today has been SUCH a Monday. Ah. I remember the days of December being a slow and quiet time around the office. Even with the slow down of the real estate market things are still crazy around the office.

And I'm so tired today (thanks to a houseguest, who deserves a whole post of their own). I tried to combat the tiredness today by drinking a ginormous diet coke - so then I spent the afternoon feeling tired and jittery (how did I live on gallons of that stuff only a few months ago?) Then I gorged on holiday treats to the tune of probably 1000 calories. I'm skipping dinner tonight and running about 5 miles. Maybe that will help?

Anyway . . .

Thanks to Julia, I now have a blog to stalk that is SO me!

Can anyone belive that this whole disjointed post took me 11 minutes? And now its time to go home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Love and hate

After reading Tiburon’s “favorite things” list, and Chelsea’s “things I hate” list, I’ve decided to compile myself 2 lists in one post. First of all, my favorite things:

1. My sweet girls. How I got so lucky to be their mommy, I will never know. But I count my blessings every day.
2. My flat iron. Ben surprised me by buying it for me after I’d gone to the salon and felt beautiful. Not that I can create that same look for myself, but the flat iron helps a lot.
3. DVR. I have never been much of a TV watcher. In fact, when Ben insisted we get a DVR earlier this year, I was very much against it. Now I don’t think I could live without it. I record several shows, and watch them while I run. I get to fast-forward the commercials, and watch them when I have time.
4. My treadmill. We purchased it in the spring, and while it was probably a bit too expensive, I consider it an investment in my health. Now I can run when I want, whether Ben is home or not, in the basement, day or night, rain or shine.
5. Steep and Cheap dot com. I hesitate posting this one, because I consider it my little secret. It is a seriously addictive website that only posts one item for sale at a time. But in the past year I’ve been able to purchase my trail running shoes, ski parka, climbing harness, and countless other items at ridiculously low prices. And since they’re local, I can pick the items up and save on shipping.
6. Café Rio. I could eat there every day. Great food. Cheap prices. And my kids LOVE it there too.
7. My car. I’ve never been a car person – until we got the MDX. When the Chev broke down for the umpteenth time this summer, I told Ben to trade it in and bring me something reliable. He brought home the MDX. I’ll have to admit that I never thought I needed navigation, heated seats, a DVD player, and Bose sound, but it would sure be hard to live without them now.
8. Outdoors/nature. I don’t spend enough time outside – I love the mountains especially.
9. Dee’s Cereal. Love the stuff. I eat a bowl every morning. It is healthy, filling, and keeps me regular. ‘nuff said.
10. Running. I just became a runner this year. Prior to C25k, I couldn’t even run a mile. Now I’m the proud (slow) finisher of one marathon, and I’m planning what races to run in ’08.

Now for the things I hate (this list was much more difficult to compile):
1. Errant apostrophe use. I know I posted an entry about this about a month ago, but apparently not enough people read my blog. It really isn’t “that” difficult to understand the difference between plural and possessive. When in doubt, Google it!
2. Crappy bras. Ever since I weaned Bryn, I’ve had a difficult time finding a bra that fits. I’m not even sure what size I am. Perhaps I need to take Oprah’s advice and get fitted.
3. Laundry. I could wash and put away a load every day, and still be behind. It’s a thankless job.
4. Crumbs on my kitchen floor. I swiffer after every meal, and still my floor is dirty. Another thankless job.
5. McDonalds. Why the heck do my kids love this place so much? The restaurant is dirty inside and the food is nasty.
6. Money. I suppose that technically I like money, but I hate that I feel like we never have enough of it. I hate that it seems like I cannot work hard enough to get ahead. I despise that we have to spend so much of our income to live in an average home. I cringe when I fill up my car and spend $3.00+ a gallon.
7. Winnie the Pooh. What the heck is a pooh anyway? Didn’t like him as a kid, and I cannot stand him now.
8. Judgmental people. I guess I’m a bit sensitive, but I’m sick of disapproving attitudes. I could probably spend an entire post on this subject alone, but I think I leave my comments for now.
9. Fat. I love my kids, but I hate my jiggley, post-baby body. I don’t know that my poor stomach can ever recover from a 9+ pound baby – oh the stretch marks.
10. Bad drivers – especially people who think its ok to hit-and-run. Seriously hate.

Pics from our annual gingerbread house making party

Ever since I was a kid, we've made gingerbread houses at Christmas. When I was younger, we'd actually bake the gingerbread and go to the candy store for decorations. Now we just buy kits. Its much easier, cheaper, and the houses are just as cute. It was one of my favorite traditions as a kid, and now my kids love it. Even Bryn was putting small candies on the house (and eating her fair share as she went along). And sweet G didn't eat anything, because I asked her to wait until we were finished. Does that make me a mean mommy? She still had fun, and ate some of the left over stuff. Luckily G'ma offered to host the party, saving me from hours of scraping frosting from my floors.
My nephew and his house. It was a "chalet".
See how focused my girls were? G loves tedious things. She's very focused.
Finished products (and a bit of goofy-ness)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Has it really been over a week

Wow - I've really neglected my blog lately. I haven't even been stalking blogs like normal - so if you haven't seen a comment from me lately, don't fret. I've just been taking a break. Life has been flying by a break-neck speed, and I've not had time to keep up with my blogging responsiblities. I hope to remedy that soon.

With the holidays fast approaching and a grant application to put out at work, I've had actual work to keep me busy. And at home, I've been trying to stay away from the computer. My husband was feeling neglected, or something like that. I think I've also been in a bit of a funk. I've actually started about 10 different blog entries in the past week, but have deleted them all instead of posting. Maybe I should just try and put some snippits of each in now. Hopefully my random ramblings will be coherant enough to follow along.
Bryn is growing up! She's graduated the baby room at daycare this week, which I suppose means that she is a full-fledged toddler now - as much as I hate to admit it. Although her birthday isn't until February, she's now in the 2 year old room - full time! She even takes her nap on one of those cute little cots. She is so big and bright, and 95% of the time she's such a joy. (you can see my earlier post about her being Satan's spawn to find out what the other 5% is) She is talking so much now. Although much of what she says is still unintelligible, she's speaking in full sentences and she can count to 10. She can also sing several songs. The words may not all be right, but she's gotten the gist. She also loves her big sister, and wanted to have and do whatever G's into at the moment. Funny girl.
I want another baby. As completely impractical as it would be for us, I want one. I'm not sure why I'm so baby hungry right now. I've almost lost all of the 75 pounds that I gained with Bryn. And really, being pregnant sucks! With both girls, I suffered from hyperemesis, and threw up almost every single day (and still gained 75 pounds!!!) Financially, we could not afford daycare for a 3rd (we can barely afford 2 right now). And 2 kids to 2 parents is perfect odds - one more kid and the parents would be completely outnumbered.

But somehow I feel like there is still one more baby out there somewhere to call me Mommy. I want to be done having babies - really I do. But I know in my heart that I'm not. (At least I think I know. Maybe there is something about having a fully functioning uterus that makes a woman never truly feel "done"). I've actually been considering having my IUD removed and just taking my chances. Odds are, we can't even get pregnant on our own anyway. But somehow, I'd feel like I was putting things into God's hands that way.

UGH - if only I could get Ben on board. What if my IUD just "accidentally" came out (is that even possible?)
We're thinking of putting our house up for sale. I know - we've not even lived there 2 years. But there are so many reasons why I want to move:

1. The most important reason: money. We're paying so much for our house. I'm almost embarassed to admit how much, especially to anyone who has seen it, but our mortgage is about as much as Ben's paycheck (for the entire month) Of course this is post layoff, because his job sucks right now. But its still difficult to hand that amount over every month. I would like to use our equity to get into something much cheaper to lower our monthly payment. This is assuming we could actually sell our house right now.

2. I don't like my neighborhood very much. It is very cliquish (is that a word?) and I've never felt like I fit in. And in Utah, the people in your neighborhood are also the same people you go to church with. So I feel out of place there as well. So does my entire family. Ben even feels snubbed. And poor G came home from nursery on Sunday complaining that no one would play with her. Its like there's a black cloud around our family, and no one wants to associate with us. I've never had a difficult time making friends before, and G has lots of friends at school. I don't know what has happened here.

3. Our house is really nice, and for the most part I like it. But since we had it built and never walked through a house with our same floor plan, there are some aspects that I really don't like. The worst part, is that the kids bedrooms are right by the front door. Its really noisy up there. I wish their rooms were more secluded and quiet. I think I want a 2 story again.
I didn't get any of the 3 jobs I applied for last month. At least I don't think I did - I haven't actually heard back, which I'm pretty sure by now means I didn't get them. Oh well. I'm sure if I'm meant to change jobs, it will happen. Besides, I don't know that I want to give up my Fridays off. I would have to get one good job offer to even consider moving.

I just wish that either Ben or I could make more $$$$. We're so strapped right now. I keep waiting for something to happen for us to make more money, but I'm not seeing it. And all sorts of unexpected bills keep piling up: our property taxes went up by $1100 last year, our car got hit by some unknown person, and now our basement has water in it (our shower is leaking). Nice. Some days I want to just give up. It is so frustrating to feel like I'm working so hard, but we keep falling further and further behind (this goes back to why I want to sell our house).

UGH. See why I haven't been posting? It just turns into a pity-me party. I'd better get back to work. Maybe tonight I'll post the picks of our annual gingerbread house making party.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Snow day

I didn't take a picture of our poor phallic snowman. Utah is the greatest snow on earth - for snowboarding and skiing - but unfortunately not so good for snowman making (its too powdery and doesn't stick together). The kids had a great time anyway, especially Bryn, who couldn't get enough of stomping around in her "spoots"

Monday, December 03, 2007

Puke:1 poop:2 boogers: 4

That was the official tally last night of how much of each I'd had on my hands in the past 24 hours. Needless to say, it hadn't been a good day for my kids. (or their mommy)

G's really sick. She's got some weird gastro thing. Yesterday she woke from her nap saying she was sick. We were on our way to my mom's house, when she puked all over herself - which isn't necessarily weird in itself, other than the fact that her vomit contained undigested food from the night before. And it smelled like sulfury poo. We continued onto G'mas, and cleaned her up there. She seemed fine: no fever, ate 2 pieces of toast, and ran around for hours. Then she woke at 1am puking and pooping at the same time - and the weird part about it is that her vomit and diahrrea look and smell exactly the same. And she has no fever. After her 1am incident, she felt fine. Daddy held her while I ran to the C-store for some soda. As I drove over there, the radio was playing that stupid Hawaiian Christmas song, and all I could think on the way over was how I'd just uped my tally: poop and vomit may just edge out the boogers before the night was over. She and I wat up, watched a movie, drank some Sprite and went to bed. Then the entire incident repeated itself again at 5am. The part that is so concerning to me, is that she has no fever and that her excretions smell so strange. Have any of you ever experienced similar symptoms?

At any rate, I'm one tired mommy. Bryn also woke twice in the night. UGH

Sorry for the disjointed post. Bryn's awake in her bed now, singing "la la la". Hope she's not sick today.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ok, so I sort of fell of the NaBloPoMo wagon

Last Friday night, I fell asleep watching a basketball game. I completely forgot to post. And somehow, skipping one post, made me realize how burnt out with posting I had become. So, I decided to boycott the whole rest of the month. Here's a quick recap of what I should have posted (why is this underlined???): I had planned to do an entire post of the process I went through making my homemade pumpkin pie from scratch - yes, I used a real pumpkin. I also ground my own fresh nutmeg and ginger, and used all organic ingredients. I mixed them all in the blender, and it really didn't take much longer than it would have to use that disgusting canned crap (that isn't all really pumpkin). And I was really proud of my domestic abilities!
I know this is a horrible picture, but G insisted that we put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, she woke up at about 2am that night freaking out that we hadn't done our tree yet. So, first thing Friday morning, the girls did the tree while daddy was at work. What a nice suprise - Daddy HATES to do the tree. G was a very good helper, and Bryn kept taking the star ornaments off so she could carry them around singing "twinkle little star". I'm still finding ramdom stars all over the house.
The girls had a blast enjoying my domestic abilities. This picture is out of order, but it shows the girls enjoying the remnants of the organic chocolate pie we made. Yummy!
Bryn has decided that she likes to bath with her clothes on. I'm not sure where Daddy was, but he walked in to find her inside the tub with her clothes completely on. I undressed her in the tub, only to find that she also had a dirty diaper. Yuck. Needless to say, we ran a second bath that night. (and this was a different night from the one where Bryn pooped all over Daddy's pillow after the bath)
Out of order again, but doesn't this pie look divine? Pumpkin pie is seriously one of the world's most perfect foods - especially from scratch. Yummy. I had to leave it at my mom's house so that I didn't eat all the left overs in one day.

Maybe I'll be back tomorrow to post pics of the snow day we had today, and of the world's ugliest snowman in our front yard. The poor thing seriously looks like a giant penis sculpture.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Today was a good day. Grace has been sick, and woke up really early this morning. Despite having a fever all day, she was such a good girl. She helped me make some pies, and then we watched the Macy's parade - all while Bryn ran around like her crazy self. Daddy came home from football, and got the girls down for a nap while I ran (or tried to - I'm still sick myself).

After naps, we went to have dinner with my mom, sister, and brother-in-law. Although it was a small group, we still made the same amount of food: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato caserole, corn pudding, green beans, and home-made rolls. Everything was delicious. Probably because no expense was spared for the sake of calories. We added up the sticks of butter used in dinner, and just thinking about it made my arteries clog. But it was good.

My kids are strange though - they don't like mashed potatoes. Seriously, what kid doesn't like mashed potatoes? In fact, they didn't like anything except the rolls and chocolate pies. They will each eat a cup of salsa when we serve it, but they won't eat turkey and potatoes.

After dinner, we helped my mom set up her 14 foot Christmas tree. G wanted to sing carols, so I played some songs on the piano while we all sang. G's favorite is We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and she asked to sing it over and over - I think because she knows all the words. Even Bryn loved the "chris-chris lights".

On the way home, G told me that she was thankful for Grandma and Aunt Jen (my sister), and that the best part of her day was the turkey she got to eat, even if she spit it all out. Ha ha. What a sweet and funny girl.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I refuse to not blog

Its after 11pm and I'm tired. I made pumpkin pie from scratch (a real pumpkin) tonight, which I planned to blog about. But I'm too tired now to post. I'll have to do a double post tomorrow. Ben stayed in G's room all night. I went in 3 different times, thinking he just fell asleep, but finally he told me to just leave him alone. He is mad at me about something, but I'm not sure what. He's given me the silent treatment all week, and the fact that he's avoiding me only makes me realize it must be serious. I just can't figure out what it is. Some days I just long for a partner who will communicate with me, instead of hiding out from his feelings and the possibility of a confrontation.

But I'm too tired for all of that tonight. I promose a better blog entry tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Revised workout schedule

I've been so faithful with my workouts lately. I have such a great schedule: after the girls get to bed, I head to the basment to the treadmill. I turn the DVR on, and run. I feel like I'm multi-tasking by keeping up with all the good shows while getting my exercise. The problem is, my workouts are becoming more and more monotanous, and I'm finding them more difficult to get through. Instead of feeling like I'm getting in better shape, my legs feel like lead and I'm finding it more difficult to get run.

I'm wondering if maybe I'm not overtraining a bit. Maybe my body wasn't meant to run every day. So, I think I'm going to revise my schedule a bit. Here's what I'm going to try:

Monday - 60 minute run
Tues - weight train/cross train (swim, bike, walk)
Wed - 60 minute run
Thurs - swim
Friday - 60 minute run
Sat - long run
Sun - rest

Oh - and after Thursday, I'm back on a sugar fast. Wish me luck. I'd like to lose 20 more pounds, and be in shape to run a 1/2 marathon in April.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Well, I went. For those of you who know the geography of the area, the job is for the county located in the most northern part of the state. It took me just under 2 hours to get there, and I'd budgeted 3. I had time to stop at Subway and browse the bookstore (looking for that book G wants from Santa).

I was still a few minutes early to the interview, but I went in, just in case it was difficult to find. The office is a beautiful restored historic building, and the office was simple to find. The secretary handed me a list of questions, a yellow lined notepad and a pen, with the instructions that I had 30 minutes to complete the questionaire. There were only 5 questions, and fairly simple to answer, but I felt like I'd been given a pop-quiz and I was unprepared. Those 30 minutes flew by.

I was called into the interview, and immedately felt like a child. The interview panel was much more "mature" than I was. 3 of the members were mayors of towns I'd be working with, and I could almost read their thoughts: wondering if I wasn't interviewing for the secretary position instead. I felt very young. They asked me all the questions I'd prepared answers to beforehand, as well as some additional ones - which really threw me off guard. Other than having no budgetary experience, I felt very confident that I am qualified for the position. But I left the interview feeling as if no one in the room took me seriously. I'm pretty sure I'm not the person they were looking for. I caught a glimpse of the gentleman going in before me. He had grey hair and wrinkles - definitely the person they're looking for.

Oh well - at a minimum, it was good practice interviewing.

I came home and had my best run in weeks. I only did 2 miles, but I felt strong and good. And I ran at an incline.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Last minute jitters?

I've got a job interview tomorrow, and I'm trying to talk myself out of it. For some reason I just "feel" like I shouldn't go. It is about a 3 hour drive. I'll take the girls to daycare, run to the interview, and be home in time to pick them up again. Bryn is still sick - in fact she's got a fever right now. So maybe my hesitation is going so far away when my sweet girl is sick. There really isn't anyone else to watch her, and I do worry a bit if she needs to go home during the day.

I do think too that part of it is that the job is a stretch - I'm really not fully qualified. I applied anyway because it would be a great opportunity though. Maybe I just feel like I'm wasting my time.

Oh well - I'll still probably go

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just hear the sleigh bells jingle . . .

Can it really be the holidays already? Maybe its because the weather has been so unseasonably warm, but it hardly seems time for Thanksgiving. And then Christmas is right around the corner.

Tonight I went to a holiday sale with my mom and sister. It was crazy, all the holiday stuff. I guess I'm a bit of a bah-humbug, because I really don't like decorating for the holidays. It just seems like too much work. I do like shopping though, and I get my shopping done early every year. In fact, I'm already "technically" done. (one can never be "officially" done, just in case something comes along that must be bought)

I do think I've done a great job this year. We draw names in both families, and those gifts have long been purchased. I'm so excited for the karaoke machine we got for my sister and her hubby. And for the pair of Keene's that I saved up all summer to buy for Ben. But the gift I'm most excited for is the one Santa is bringing my girls: a giant box full of dress up items. I've been slowing adding stuff all year. There are princess dresses, shoes, tiaras, fairy wings, and so much more. The girls will be in heaven.

My mom told me tonight that G is expecting one more gift. She was reading a princess book with G'ma early tonight when we stopped by for dinner. She asked my mom if she could take the book home, and she'd bring it back on Christmas day because Santa was going to bring her one of her own. So I guess I need to start looking for a princess book. (see, I just said that I"m never done)

Friday, November 16, 2007

I take it back!

Ok- did I say that having a sick husband is the worst thing ever? I'm not sure that I actually said it out loud, or if I just though it. Regardless, I take it back. Being sick myself and having Bryn sick is waaaaayy worse. She's a whiney monster. Speak of the devil, she's crying. . . better go.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Now the post where everyone thinks I'm crazy

I think I may have MS. I have some weird things going on with me health-wise lately, that I have been ignoring. Today I sat at work trying to type, and realized that my fingers were numb - again. Add that to the fatigue, headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, passing out and diminished ability to run fast, so I decided to do a quick google search for some of my symptoms. Lo and behold, they all add up to MS. Now y'all should know me well enough to realize that I really don't think I have MS, but I do suppose there is the possiblity someting is wrong with me - other than being sleep-deprived and stressed. (although it makes more sense that the latter is the culprit) But I think I've convinced myself that I should see the doctor next week. Maybe on Tuesday, after my job interview of course.

I did take today off from working out, and celebrated by eating a huge Cafe Rio salad and part of a peanut butter cookie (yes, I am allergic to peanuts). I skipped my swim for many reasons; partially because I wasn't feeling up to it, partially because my arms are sore from lifting weights yesterday, but mainly because my hair looked really cute today and I didn't want to ruin it by getting it wet in the pool.

So tomorrow will be a nice, hard run. And then I'll feel silly for posting this hypochondriac nonsense.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Life isn't fair

Some woman have been blessed with great genes. Not me - I'm inclined to be fat. Despite my best efforts (and believe me, I do try) I think that I'm destined to be a big girl. Don't get me wrong - I'm not fat by any stretch. But I'll never be thin. And I contantly have to worry about my weight.

I do work out quite a bit. Since the marathon, my typical routine is to run 4 times a week, for a total of about 15 miles. Then, I try to either swim or walk 2 other days during the week, with one rest day. I've also been trying to get to the gym to lift weights twice a week. In fact today, I went for 30 minutes before I picked up the girls. My arm are killing me as I try to type.

I am in good shape. In fact, I refer to myself as "fat but fit". I do think I'm in better physical shape than my exterior would lead one to believe.

The problem is food. Its my nemesis. I love to eat. Luckily, I do love healthy foods (for the most part - I do have weaknesses). But even too many healthy foods is a bad thing. I think that I'm destined for a life of always feeling like I'm missing out on foods and always worried about skipping a workout. Life isn't fair.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Job interview

I had a job interview today. It was for a position that I applied for almost 3 months ago - right after Ben lost his job. My initial motivation in applying for the job was to find something that payed enough for Ben to be able to stay at home with the girls. I honestly went into the interview not expecting much. A developer friend told me last week that this was the worst City he works with. I actually contemplated cancelling the interview.

But I was pleasantly suprised. I really felt at east during the interview, and liked the panel of interviewers. It seemed like a great place to work. I found myself leaving the interview hoping that I would get an offer.

Then I got back to my current job. There has been lots of political turmoil lately, and today was an especially bad day. I've always been happy working there, but today I considered the fact that my position there may be short-lived. And it didn't seem so bad. I know the grass isn't always greener, but it did seem nice today.

Ben is still sick too. He has to go back to work tomorrow, because he's been taking time off without pay. His "job" right now sucks, and I don't think he'd be too disappointed to have to leave.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Time to eat some crow

Ben and I have both been sick for the past few days, and quite frankly he's been annoying me. He's been moping around the house for days, and its made me feel like he didn't understand that that I felt sick too. He called in sick to work today, and it had no sympathy. I really just thought that he was being a baby and I wanted to tell him to buck up.

By this afternoon, he asked me to take him to Instacare. Although I was sure he just had the same virus I've been suffering with, I obliged him. We got there at about 4:30, and he got called right back. I waited in the waiting room with the girls. After a few minutes, I heard one of the nurses yell that he needed help, because someone had passed out. I immediately knew that it was Ben. They had been trying to give him an IV because he was so dehydrated, and he passed out.

The doctor agreed that Ben was really sick. They did chest x-rays, blood work, and gave him 2 IVs. But, after 3 hours, they determined he must just have a virus and sent us home.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More tantrums

Satan descended upon our household today in the form of my sweet daughter. One minute Brynlee was just fine, but the next she decided that she didn't want her shower tonight. The only explanation I have is that she was overly tired and not feeling well. And I dared to try and wash the shampoo from her hair. She screamed, held her breath, turned purple, and then vomited. I took her out, wrapped her in a towel, and took her to the bed to get her dressed in her PJs. She continued to scream and then started throwing up again. She was lying on her back, and the puke shot straight up into the air. So that she didn't aspirate, I sat her up as she continued to scream. I expected her head to turn around - I swear she was possessed.

I cleaned her up and dressed her. Then I wrapped her in her favorite blanket and took her outside onto the porch. It was cold outside and raining fairly hard - and just the distraction she needed. Just as quickly as the tantrum came on, it was over. We rocked in her room, read stories and sang songs. She asked to go to sleep, and didn't even cry.

I am not sure what to do about her tantrums. She is so strong-willed, and some days is completely unreasonable.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lazy day

I refuse to not post every day. But today, I really don't have a good idea of what to write about. We had a pretty uneventful day: gymnastics, followed by a trip to Costco. Then lunch and naps. After naps, Gracelin helped me make some homemade chipotle salsa. We grilled the peppers and tomatoes on the grill, and pulled weeds while it cooked. The recipe called for 6 small peppers, and I think the ones I used were too big, because the salsa was really spicy. We even added 6 more tomatoes, but it was still really hot. The girls didn't seem to mind though, and they gobbled it up. It was too spicy for my sister and brother-in-law, but each girl ate about a cup of the stuff with tasty organic blue corn chips. Even now as I type, my fingers are still burning. But they loved it.

Dinner was spanish rice, enchiladas and lots of salsa. Then we had baths, and played hide and seek. We read stories, sang songs, and now the girls are fast asleep while we watch the Jazz game. It was a good day.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Five for Friday

I'm going to steal Me and My Guys great idea. In the spirit of November, every Friday I will post 5 things that I am grateful for:

1. I am grateful for the nice weather we've been having. Today was such a beautiful day. We spent almost 3 hours at the park, and didn't even need coats.

2. I am grateful for my kids. My kids are amazing. I am so blessed to be a mommy to two (almost) perfect little sweeties. I do need to be nicer to them though. Today Gracelin told me that when she grows up, she's going to be a nice mommy. That made me feel badly.

3. I am grateful for my job. I am blessed to have a good job with good benefits, so that I can support my family.

4. I am grateful for my health. This week, my coworker's husband had emergency surgery because they found out he had cancer. They removed 15 tumors from his abdomen. I am so blessed to be healthy, and able to keep up with my kids.

5. I am grateful to be American. Sometimes I get so sad when I think of the conditions that most of the world is living in. I am so grateful to have my freedoms.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Passing out, swimming and job interviews (not all at the same time thankfully)

I passed out this morning. Nothing like that has ever happened to me - it was the strangest thing. I woke up with my alarm, but was so tired that I decided to hit "snooze" for 10 more minutes. G must have heard the alarm though, because she came into my room a couple of minutes later, asking for toast. So, I got out of bed to go help her. I felt fine until I reached the doorway - and that is when things started to spin. I got dizzy and my knees buckled. I fell to the floor, and layed there about a minute until I could stand back up. I felt fine afterwards though.

I'm hoping it was just a fluke. I have felt really tired lately, and I've got a naggy headache. I probably should make an appointment to see the doctor, but I can't find the time until next week. I did have one of the EMTs give me a quick assessment. My BP was 100/60, and everything seemed fine.

I also was able to swim on my lunch break today. I hadn't been in a few months. In the spring, I was swimming faithfully on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But then summer hit, and swimming lessons were being held at the same time I was used to going to open swim. I got out of the habit. It felt so great to swim today - I remembered how much I love the pool. I swam 1/2 mile in a little over 20 minutes. I'm not super fast, but I'm pretty good. I've always felt that I'm a better swimmer than a runner. Maybe I should try a tri!

I also got a call back from another resume I sent, and scheduled an interveiw for next Tuesday with a City we will call WJ. Coincidentally, right after I scheduled the appointment, I was talking with a developer friend. He was praising our office for our efficiency and friendliness, and made a comment that we're so much better than the other cities he works with - especially WJ. How ironic! He went on to tell me all about the troubles he has seen with WJ, and how he thinks they're one of the worst he deals with. I laughed, and told him that I am interviewing there next week. He did offer to give me a recommendation, but I told him to wait until I interview and see what I think.

The job is exactly what I am doing now, only it pays about $20 grand more than I make in my current position. It would be a significant pay increase. But not worth it if the job sucks. Where I am now is such a great environment. While I don't make big bucks, I have great benefits and a relatively low-stress work place. Daycare is 6 blocks away, and I get Fridays off.

Hmmmm. Lots to consider. I am probably counting my chickens a bit too soon though. I haven't even interviewed yet.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Much better day

Well, the running helped my mood last night, and I had a much better day today. Of course, the fact that I have another job interview scheduled helps a bunch. Especially since this job is only 10 miles from my house.

I do think I may be getting sick tonight, so I'm off to shower and sleep. Sorry for the lame post.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rotten, no-good, very bad day

I am in such a bad mood today. I'm not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Bryn was up no less than 10 times last night, and that finally at 4am G woke up from her sister's cries and never went back to sleep. Or it could have been the fact that today is election day, and some of the canidates have stooped to new heights of slander and lies. It may even have had something to do with the fact that I had problem after problem at work.

I did have some good things happen today. I actually got a call back on one of the jobs I applied for, and I have an interview scheduled. I also got really good news from my brother who has been dealing with a bad situation, that something good has finally happened to him. But somehow those good things were overshadowed by my foul mood.

Then I picked the girls up at daycare. Bryn has another diaper rash. G lost her new bracelet that she made at our beading party over the weekend. And she'd peed her pants (for the first time in months). Her wet clothes were nowhere to be found. Great. The last thing I need is to find wet clothes in a bag somewhere 2 weeks from now.

We decided to go out to dinner, since I had no desire to try and create something edible. We went to Wingers, a local place that is so terrible. Every time we go there, we vow not to go back. Yet somehow we find ourselves there again and again. And tonight, our experience was no different than usual. I wanted to complain to the manager, and Ben didn't. So we left without saying anything.

I think I should just call this day a wash and go to bed, so that I could at least salvage a good night of sleep out of it all. But first I think I'll hit the dreadmill. A little exercise always lifts my spirits.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More complaining about daycare

Yesterday I was on my laptop, casually looking at houses for sale in a particular area where I’ve found a job posting. Gracelin came over to sit on my lap and to see what I was looking at. She sat with me and watched the slideshow for a house for sale, that just so happened to have a very cute, pink girls’ bedroom. She commented to me that she’d like to live there, and then she added, “I want to move far away to somewhere that I don’t have to go to daycare anymore”.

So often G doesn't want to go. She will beg me in the mornings to be able to stay at home with me, or to come to work. It is so hard for me to convince her to go, when I really don't want to have to take her there.

Its been a rough few days with daycare for all of us. On Thursday when I picked up the girls, it was really bad. I got G first, and her shoes and coat were no where to be found. She and I searched the center for a good 5 minutes before one of the high school girls who are there in the afternoon commented that she may have left her stuff out on the playground. I had G wait inside while I ran outside. And there was her coat and shoes on the playground, her socks no where to be found (did I mention that it was freezing cold outside?)

Then, we headed upstairs to the baby room to pick up Brynlee. She was standing at the gate looking very sad. As soon as she saw me, she started to cry. She told me “owie bum. Change me”. I picked her up and could immediately tell that she was poopie. I took her over to the changing table, and took off her diaper - only to notice that she had the most horrible diaper rash. She screamed as I changed her – it hurt so badly that she was physically shaking from the pain as I wiped her. It broke my heart to have to hurt her like that, but I had to clean her up. It was awful.

I left that place really upset that my kids aren’t being taken care of better. Is it too much to ask that they have their coats and shoes on outside? Its November, and really cold. And I hate to think how long poor Bryn was sitting in that dirty diaper. Obviously she is able to communicate that she wants a diaper change. I feel that it is negligence that her diaper rash was that bad.

I feel as if I’m literally at the breaking point. Something has got to change, but no matter how much sleep I lose at night, I cannot figure out what we’re going to do. Short of me getting a higher paying job out of state so that daddy can stay at home with the girls. I have applied for a couple of jobs so far, and plan to apply for one more that I found yesterday. All of the jobs really are a stretch for me though, and I'll be suprised if I actually get an interview. It would be sad to leave our extended family and friends. But I really feel that its for the good of our kids.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I cooked dinner!

Something noteworthy happened today: I made dinner! I know for most people, that is nothing extraordinary. But for me it is. I actually like to cook, and I think I'm pretty good at it. There just never seems to be time. During the week, I don't get home until after 6pm, so dinner is whatever we can warm up quickly. On the weekends, we typically eat out or at family's.

But today, we had no where to go for Sunday dinner, so I got the chance to actually cook. I made enchiladas with extra chilis and green sauce, black beans, and homemade tortilla chips dipped in fresh chipotle salsa with extra cilantro. It was delicious. Bryn with her love of spice was in heaven, and out-ate me. Even G ate quite a bit.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Chasing tail

I woke up bright and early this morning to participate in the above listed race. I met my mom and sister at a local historic farm/county park for the race, which was a benefit for an animal rescue group. It was a gorgeous fall morning, and quite chilly. I wasn't expecting it to be so cold, and I was not dressed appropriately. I am sorry too that I forgot my camera, because it truly was scenic. The race was mostly on wooded trails around the farm, and one of the rivers from a near-by canyon runs right through the course. Most of the trees were in the height of their autumn colors, and it was so beautiful.

Unfortunately I wasn't feeling very well. The cold air made it difficult to breathe, and I never felt like I caught my breath. I think I took my asthma inhaler 4 times during the race, and it never made a difference. And I had this strange stitch in my side. Needless to say, I ran the slowest 5k ever - over 5 minutes slower than my PR. It was pretty frustrating - I just freakin' ran a marathon, and this morning I stuggled to finish a 5k. I'm going to chalk it up to asthma problems and figure that everyone has a bad day.

Anyway - here's some pics of my crazy kids. Daddy is at the football game today, and they're bouncing off of the walls, which you can't tell by the pictures at all (note sarcasm).

Oh - and I found out some good news this morning: my brother and his kids are moving out here from Cincinnati the weekend of Thanksgiving! Whoo hoo.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Jewelry party

I almost didn't get my post in today, and its only the 2nd of the month. Whew!

It's been such a busy day. I spent most of it cleaning my house and running to the store. I had a party to get ready for and a baby shower gift to buy. I also had 2 little girls running around madly undoing all the cleaning up I was getting done. Finally they had nap time, and I was able to work while they slept. After they woke up, we had snacks outside and then went to the park, so as to keep the house clean. Then, we had time to run to a baby shower and make it home just in time. The party began at 7pm, and we made it home with only minutes to spare. Thank goodness for a daddy who was very helpful tonight.

Although I'd had over 10 people RSVP, only 6 showed up. But those who came had lots of fun. We were able to make our own beaded jewelry. She had lots of bins with loose beads that we could string into necklaces, bracelets and ear rings.
Gracelin had so much fun - she was very intent and did an excellent job. I actually had her help me make a bracelet that I finished. The part she did was better.
Here's the final bracelet that she made (she didn't want to show her face, because by this time it was 2 hours past her bedtime, and she was exhausted).
Here is Avery (Tiburon from Shark Bait's daughter). She had a fun time beading, and an even more fun time eating treats.
Part of the group hard at work making their jewelry.

Ok - so not the most exciting post, but I did it! I've got to get to bed - I'm running a 5k in the morning and I need my sleep.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

National blog posting month

In honor of National Blog Posting Month ( I hereby declare that I will post something every day. I don't promise every entry to be wonderfully thought out. But I will post something!

Wanna join me?


G's scary face
Me and G
G and G'ma
Scary pumpkins (thanks Pumpkin Masters)

Did someone say "mooo"?
Love those blue eyes