Friday's Feast 12/31/04

Appetizer: Using only 5 words, describe how 2004 went for you.

Not that great. Pretty crappy.

Soup: Name something you did in 2004 that you'll probably never do again.

I will never again eat the Turkey Wrap at Barnes and Noble. Not ever.

Salad: What did you learn about yourself in 2004?

I'm a stronger mom than I thought I was. There's that saying that goes "God never gives you more than you can handle in a day's time."

Main Course: What notable news event from 2004 will stand out most in your memory?

Um. Hmmm. I can't think of anything really..... Maybe it was the one about Bush winning the election. I STILL don't understand it. Makes no sense...

Dessert: Name something you purchased in 2004 that you really, really like.

I like the Gym membership that I purchased for myself. I really suprised myself that I have stuck to it this much. I feel a lot better and I expect that I'll look cute once the warm weather comes.


The Christmas Loot

At the request of my beloved, I am going to discuss my "Christmas loot". Overall, I did pretty well. As I've said before, the kids are more important than what I get.

A Coat-Sweater from my mom and stepdad. I have been eyeing up my mom's for quite a while so she decided to put me out of my misery and get one for me. I got it early but that's okay because I have gotten tons of use from it.

An Ice-Cream maker from my boys. I think that this might have been a bit self-serving (get it? That's a joke) because even now my 7yo is aching to use it. I get to pick the first flavor. Chocolate-marshmallow... YUM!

REM's Around the Sun from my beloved. This may have been an obvious present because we have every REM CD that has ever been made. I asked him when we were going to buy this one. After a few listens I have to say that I like it. Not LOVE it like the older stuff. That subject is a whole 'nother topic.

A bracelet. It's very pretty. I seem to remember when we were dating that I received something similar to this. That one turned orange. This one won't. Maybe he is drawn to such types of things.

Running socks. Purely self-serving (but still a cool gift). He didn't want me to wear his precious running socks to the gym. They are very comfy and make my feet feel fine! (Sing to the tune of Bo-bo's)

A nomination charm. I love my nomination bracelet. I wish that he'd get some more. I always have to buy my own!

A snowman napkin holder. Our 2yo made this for us. Home Depot came to his school to do a craft project and this was the result. When I asked him what did they taught him that day he said, "Don't touch!" Sounds great to me!

A globe pen set from Santa's secret shop. The 7yo wanted me to take this to school and put it on my desk.

That's it. It just goes to show that I have a great family!


Resolutions? Maybe!

I try not to make New Year's resolutions. They are too hard to keep and I feel like a dork for not being able to keep them. That said this is what I will attempt to work on ASAP. (in no particular order)

1. I will keep going to the gym four days a week. I have never been able to do this before. I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking with it for 3 months in a row. (3 of those days are at 5 am, thank you very much!)

2. I will pursue only reciprocal relationships. Let me explain. It is exhausting trying to maintain relationships that are completely one-sided. It is all work and no reward.

3. I will try to be more patient in dealing with my children. I love my children unconditionally but I promise to be more patient. When they go through emotional stuff, I will be stronger.

4. By extension, I promise to do more to take care of me and my marriage. This is not to say that anything is wrong with either. It's been a long time since I have had a sincere date night with my beloved or had the kids sleep over someone's house. The last overnight visit was around a year and a half ago when they went to Granny and Pop Pop's house. I don't think that they have the stamina or desire for this anymore.

5. I can't really promise that I won't rant about the current administration. What is going on is wrong and I won't be silent.

6. I promise that my job will not overtake my life. I have made it clear that my family is number one and so far no one has really objected. This is so different than previous teaching gigs. I like holding the cards. It's nice to be appreciated.

Have a great New Year everyone!


My REAL Christmas Wishes !

I figured that on Christmas Eve, I should offer up more of a selfless Christmas Wish list.

I wish that all of my family and friends stay healthy and happy this year. I hope that the "stuff" that my 7yo is going through will get worked out. I know that if we work hard with him like the way that I have planned, then he will. It's just never easy to see your child in any type of distress and know that you have absolutely no idea of how to comfort him. I hope that my 2yo is potty-trained in the New Year. As long as we offer up M&M's as a reward for "going" then we will. I am very lucky because through all of this craziness, my beloved and I are still going strong. We are managing to perfect the art of "Tag-Team Parenting" and still are as crazy about each other as ever.

I hope that we get out of Iraq soon. I don't think that will happen. I hope that someone gets that we were lied to about why we were in Iraq...but I don't think that will happen. I hope that Bush comes to his senses and gets rid of Rumsfeld.... but I don't think that will happen either! I hope that I can understand why the conservative agenda was passed in November because I still can't fathom that fact. I hope that the 51% soon comes to their senses and realizes that they have messed things up for all of us. I REALLY HOPE that will happen. I hope that we wake up and realize that OBL is still out there and all those guys are the real ones that we need to be worried about. Not some "trumped up" war!

In the Chicago Sun Times, Father Andrew Greeley (take that Bible-Thumping Bush lovers!) puts it best:
This time of the year we celebrate ''peace on Earth to men of good will.'' Americans must face the fact that they can no longer claim to be men and women of good will, not as long as they support an unnecessary, foolish, ill-conceived, badly executed and, finally, unwinnable war. If most people in other countries blame the war on Americans, we earned that blame in the November election -- not that there is any serious reason to believe that Sen. John Kerry would have had the courage to end the war. Perhaps if he had changed his mind, as he did about the war in Vietnam, and opposed the Iraqi war, he might have won. Too late now. Too late till 2010 -- or 2020.


Spoiled, Bratty Kids

Someone explain this to me:

Why do parents make such a big deal over every little milestone in their children's lives?

Case in point:
My 7yo recently made his first Reconciliation at church. For those who aren't in the Roman Catholic Church, it's when the kid first goes to Confession. There's a HUGE amount of preparation for such an event. The PARENTS have a whole book that has to be completed with the child at home. So on top of EVERYTHING else that the average kid has to do, we have to get them to complete a 50 page book in a month. I don't think that college was that hard! It would seem to me that this whole bit could be seriously condensed:

Lesson #1- Be nice to everyone. (If you are doing your job anyway, they should already know this)

Lesson #2- If you goof up, say your sorry (taking responsibility) and go to confession.

Done and Done! Why be redundant?!

Once you get to the actual ceremony, parents are dressed to the nines, along with the kid. There are formal pictures taken. Family upon family upon family is there. I will say that we went out to a BBQ joint per the 7yo. It was a good excuse not to cook.

I saw a news article that was about a KINDERGARTEN prom. How many possible graduations could one child have in their lifetime? What about the first birthday party with the pony rides. I won't even get into the whole stage kid phenomenon. (those guys are a bit weird) It seems to me that if every little moment in a child's life is celebrated, then nothing is special anymore. It's EXPECTED.

There's a difference. C'mon, admit it!

No Picture of Mental Health!

I plucked this little nugget from the CNN website:
Before Lisa Montgomery was arrested and charged with kidnapping resulting in death, she and her husband showed the abducted infant to people in their Kansas town, residents said Saturday.
I am completely horrified by this woman. As a mom, I feel sorry for the thought of the baby's dad having to later explain the incidents surrounding his daughter's birth. I don't know if I would even go there because how do you explain this to someone? Clearly, some screws are loose in Ms. Montgomery's head. Very sad for all involved and I hope that they throw the book at this broad. What possible motive could there be for such an act?


Oprah as Guardian Angel?

I watched Oprah today. I hardly every watch it (I'm serious!) because I'm usually doing homework or sitting with someone on the potty.

Anyway, I watched it and I'm convinced that she is going to heaven. Why? She had a whole studio of underappreciated, over-stressed, and broke teachers. She gave out vacations, cool watches, BEDS, clothes, computers and MORE! They were besides themselves. I was too but that was because I WASN'T there! Yes, there may be taxes to pay on such items but DANG!

It must feel good to be appreciated....

Oprah, come look me up!

Friday's Feast 12/17/04

Appetizer: What is something that never fails to grab your attention?

Scented Candles. I probably have more than any one person could ever need or want but I love them just the same. I love the ones that smell like food the best. (for obvious reasons)

Soup: Who was the last person who gave you money, and what was it for?

It was probably my beloved for something related to the boys.

Salad: If you were a Smurf, what would your name be?


Main Course: Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?

The stars have nothing to do with your fate. To a certain extent, we control our own destiny.

Dessert: Have you seen any snow this year yet? What's the weather like today in your area?

Snow is supposed to be coming. I doubt it though. Weather-guys are always wrong.


The Trip to TRU

My beloved and I have made our annual pilgrimage to the toy Mecca around here. Toys R Us was crazy. (or to borrow a line from the kids, it was "off the chain") Tons of spoiled, bratty children everywhere. They were all screaming and demanding toys. The carts were full of toys of every kind. I don't know why parents would bring kids here at that time of year. I try to avoid it at all costs all throughout the year. My 7yo is currently being mesmerized by an (ugh) Ashlee Simpson JuiceBox commercial. He told me that he HAS to get that!

I haven't commented on politics for a while but this story was too much to ignore. I'm going to switch gears for a minute.

Did you guys hear that Rumsfeld was grilled by the troops in Iraq?! Good for them for giving him the "what for". Once again, I am completely mortified (but not really suprised) that not only do our troops have to go "dumpster diving" to make themselves safe that there will be NO CONSEQUECES for Rumsfeld who has once again dropped the ball. His response was right in line with this administration... completely arrogant.

Did someone need to read a billboard to realize that this guy is an idiot? These guys are seriously the ones who %51 of you voted for ( I sure as hell didn't!) and who will be making decisions for us. Great job!

Now, that being said, are we still "anti-American" for being outraged by this story? I think that we are more sincere than those who slap those "Support our Troops" magnets. If you stand for this and think that Bush/Rumsfeld is still doing a great job, then you aren't doing that much supporting.

To all the Bush-voters... Now, is THIS shortfall Bush's fault?! Just wondering what the boundaries are... I shudder to think of what the next 4 years have in store!

***end of my rant***


Friday's Feast 12/10/04

Appetizer: Make up a word and give us its definition.

Symblo- a Russian Egg Dish

Soup: What is currently your favorite song?

I love U2's song Vertigo and Moby f Gwen Stefani's Southside.

Salad: What's at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

Kids, are you listening? I want to be able to sleep in every once in a while. Beloved?! Jewelery and to sleep in every once in a while. Not everyone can sleep though loud and obnoxious noises like you. (love you!)

Main Course: Name a scent that reminds you of someone special in your life.

Baby scents remind me that my kids are getting too big too fast. Thanksgiving dinner smells remind me of the holidays when I was a kid.

Dessert: Who is someone on television that you feel probably shouldn't be, and why?

PARIS HILTON!!! There should be no explanation for this! I will say that struggling actors everywhere look at her and go WTF?!


The Holiday Bug

While dropping my 2yo at Nursery school, his teacher said that kids were dropping like flies because of a stomache bug. I SHOULD have known that SOMEONE would get it. I wasn't counting on us both. The 7yo called it right away.... right after his little brother yakked gallons! We are both home today. I missed the holiday luncheon at work though. I can't think about food but am bummed that I missed what was supposed to be an easy day.


Friday's Feast 12/03/04

Appetizer: Tell about a toy you remember from your childhood.

Nobody remembers this one but I had a "Suntan Tuesday Taylor" way back in the day. When you held her up to a lightbulb, her skin turned brown. She had the tanlines to boot.

Soup: If you could make one thing in the world absolutely free for everyone, what would it be?

Healthcare and education. It is something that everyone needs and should get, no matter what their income level is. It seems like those who are well off manage to get the best of both of these.

Salad: Approximately how many times per day do you think about your significant other?

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm.......... NEVER! Just kidding! I think of him quite often probably around 30. Songs or something will happen that make me think of him.

Main Course: Name something you believe in 100%.

I believe that I have a great family and that I am a good mom.

Dessert: List 3 things you did this year that you would consider a "good deed."

checking up on my elderly neighbor.

when needed, I advocated strongly for my children

I came up with a school store for my students.


Go Granny! Go Pop Pop!

This elderly couple is awesome! They are really sticking to it. I was suprised that Don and Mary Jean have really stuck to it. I expected them to give up after it took them forever to count/build a desk at IKEA. Don had that all important "shot" of adrenaline and found the clue in the haystack. It's impressive that everyone is counting them out and they are still there.

I like Gus and Hera too. Talk about worst to...third! They are the other underdogs that I am rooting for.

I felt bad for the sisters. Lena worked like crazy to get the clue. 7 hours surrounded by haybales is deserving of mad props! It must have been awful to be in third and have every team (grandparents included) pass you.

Could someone please trip Jonathon and Victoria? Wasn't someone temted to yield these guys? These two have their picture next to "Ugly Americans" in the dictionary. I am disappointed that CBS did not step in when Johnathon hit Victoria. It wasn't a huge punch but I would be concerned for that dingy's personal safety. My beloved made a disturbing prediction that these chuckleheads will make it to the final four. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!