Sunday, January 31, 2010

Perfect Moments Monday

All together now:

We have all had a little bout of sickness this past week (seems just like a little nasty cold virus). My time finally came this weekend. She had been on/off again sick all week, I had stayed home with her on Friday--about the time I started feeling icky and she was obviously starting to feel better.

Saturday early morning. She started coughing herself awake. So, I brought her into our bed. I do not believe in family beds, but I do feel that if a child is sick or needs comforting...or the parent is just too damned tired to take the child into their bed for the umpteenth billionth time...its okay on occasion. My son sometimes comes into our bed within the last hour of the morning, just for that sleepy/awake-ish snuggle. So, she was in our bed around 5 a.m. Around 6 a.m.--my son comes into the bed to snuggle. And then the cat comes up to me, begging to lay on my hip and be petted.

7 a.m. - we are all together now. The bed is: me on the edge, cat curled up on my hip, son and daughter in a mish mash/cross over each other type thing in the middle, husband on the other edge. I laid there and enjoyed the moment, if not the sleep.


More Perfect Moments Here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Plan: January

Here is my update on The Plan:

Physical Health

This is a work in progress, of course. I would say that I have gotten in the habit of taking my vitamins and brushing and flossing my teeth to the point that I would say that is a success. Of the things to try to lose weight, I think that I have maintained my morning exercise routine with a minimum of success--the past 2 weeks have been more chaotic than usual, so trying to get up early enough to do my full morning routine has been hard. At least I am getting up at doing at the minimum 20 - 30 mins on stationary bike...this would be on average 3-5 days a week. The WiiFit and Cardio Boxing--also been hard hit by the chaos, but I was able to work out 15 - 20 mins. an average of 3 nights a week. The more active bit--kinda been harder hit by the weather and people being sick in the household...

Where I have failed totally and utterly--eating better. Last week was Carb heavy AND then this week, hit with the time of the month of cravings, etc....and the chaotic week(s)...trying but failing on the whole eating better, cooking more, eating less....Guess there is next month to redeem myself (although being at a gaming convention at a hotel--kinda hard, but at least this time I got us a kitchen in the suite).

  1. Lose and keep off the baby weight
  2. Take vitamins
  3. Become more active
  4. Maintain my morning exercise routine; expand it to working out of WiiFit at night for at least 15 mins.
  5. Brush and floss my teeth more often



Mental Well Being

Despite the past two weeks being fraught with things to throw us off, I am very proud of how I have worked on these goals. We have still not had a family meeting, per se, I would say that this weekend will be one. We have had several dinners in the kitchen table and have had meaningful discussions. I have used a huge helping load of patience and I feel that I have been much less prone to anger when it comes to the children and situations. I have taken times to just relax and breathe easy. Still working on some alone time with the husband and still working on some domestic issues related to that. I have tried to have more of a social life outside of the family, and I think I have made some in-roads on that.


  1. Re-start our Family Meetings – try to make them bi-weekly
  2. Simplify (Throw things AWAY)
  3. Use alone time to relax, not just to get things done
  4. Take a step back from situations that frustrate me, try to use patience.
  5. Make more of an effort to connect with people


Self-Improvement

Our babysitter is AWOL. We cannot seem to connect with her through her cellphone or home phone number. SO, we are back to square one, trying to find a routine babysitter. We had a wonderful time at an Eddie Izzard concert, but had to have our neighbor watch our kids...so, we definately need to get that situation dealt with. I have some leads. Other things still need to be worked on....

  1. Save more, waste less
  2. Make an effort to spend more alone time with my husband
  3. Use our babysitter once a month; try to utilize other people for babysitting
  4. Complain less
  5. Enjoy what I have; quit worrying about what I do not have
  6. Scrapbook more

Family

Working on all of these with mixed results. The chaos of the last 2 weeks have screwed up some of these things, but I have been cutting back on computer, video games and television viewing in the household...
  1. Re-start family gaming night/afternoon (?)
  2. Cut back on the computer/video game ratio in the household
  3. Involve the kids more in food preparation

I would say that I am off to good start, not a great start, on The Plan.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life In General

Random stuff:

Bought a new DVD player. Its a combo DVD and VHS player like our old one, but also has dubbing function. Because of this, we have been watching some old VHS home movies and its been bittersweet to see people and places from our childhoods. I cannot even fathom how I am going to feel when we get to the VHS tapes I have of Michael when he was a baby...

Funny story about the old DVD player. I bought it without husband along. I bought it a few years back. And its never worked that great. And husband especially complained about it. And I said--if you don't like it, lets get a new one. And each time, not wanting to part with the money or whatever...he let it go. So, finally, we were out getting a humidifier (cuz that is what you do when your husband has been coughing for 2 weeks and the doc says its "just a cold going around") and while we were there--got the new DVD player. Husband wants to take the old DVD player out a la "Office Space" fax machine. And I think we will sometime soon....maybe we can borrow our neighbor's bat?

This week has been a bit rough. Husband working late, Willow being on and off again sick. She seems to be dealing with her first real illness, probably a cold, but will find out tomorrow at doctor's appt. Husband and Michael have been coughing and dealing with something for the past 2 weeks, so I think that is what she has. And she has no problems playing with me--kissing me directly, putting her hands on my mouth...yep, you guessed it...I think I am run down enough so that I might be getting sick too....

Michael had the blues the other night. He was saying time was going by so fast. And then he was complaining about the daily grind of school...I think he has been working so hard at school that he is burning out (kinda how I feel after the last 2 weeks of choas). I think he is feeling better now, but it was hard for me to hear him so sad. Luckily, Feburary vacation and his birthday are coming up...

Speaking of birthdays, I am in quandry as to what to get him...there are a few things on Amazon that he says he wants, but I am not too sure. I was originally toying with the idea of another pet (maybe another cat?) but Husband shot down that idea (at least the cat/kitten/puppy idea). Last year we got him Pepi the Iguana, which promptly turned into, Pepi the Missing Iguana, Pepi the Returned Iguana and Pepi the Dead Iguana...followed by the short-lived Pepi II (the Petstore refunded the money--he was obviously not a well Iguana). SO, what do I get my soon to be 11 year old....he got enough video games this year for the holidays....he has plenty of books...he has LOTS of lego sets....uh...still working on that one....

Now, Willow's birthday isn't until April, but I have TONS of ideas for her...no baby dolls or strollers--she's got plenty of those. No, I think cars and trucks are the way to go...she really seems to like those too...
I have already bought some party supplies for her party--Spongebob Squarepants themed!! Its so funny to watch her sit down next to Michael to watch "Sp-bob!" as she calls it.

It is bittersweet too, planning for these events. I did a full out party for Michael last year for his 10th one...partially because I told myself that was the last one for a while. This year I am going for the "pick a couple friends and we will take them out to the movies/somewhere cool for your birthday" type party. Not really a party, per se, but still a way to celebrate. I just think 11 years olds don't need the whole gift bags, going to a party for 2-3 hours experience....especially since we host a Halloween Party at our house each year. So, while I am happy not to have the headaches involved with planning a birthday party this year---it is a bit hard for me to let that go. And its not like Willow's party is going to be big or anything, just friends/family and perhaps a couple kids from daycare....so, I get a break from the Birthday-Go-Round...and I am not sure what I think about that.

Okay, 5th night in a row that I have not been able to get my butt in gear to go to bed before midnight...no wonder I am tired and burned out!!

Night all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Show & Tell #59

I sent in our pre-registration forms for Total Con today. Its a gaming convention in late February that we go to every year.

One of the things we signed up for is this special event:

"Special Event: G[uest]O[f]H[onor] Frank Mentzer will be
running the First D&D module ever printed
in 1976 "Palace of the Vampire Queen" as
run at Gary Con 1, the first convention to
commemorate the passing of Gary Gygax
and will be offering special signed souvenir
certificates for those who play this event."


And that got me thinking about one of my favorite combinations: Futurama and D&D:

Click Here to see a cool little clip I found (just now!) with the creators of Futurama talking about Gary Gygax.

I like the line "I"m a tenth level Vice President!"




Show and Tell

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Moments that are perfect can come when you are tired...

Moment #1:

It is getting time to go to bed and its time to read to her. He has been at a Babysitter's Introduction Class most of the day. So, he volunteers to read to her. And then he proceeds to multi-task...he needs to finish his Einstein biography (so that they can do the report this week). So, we all cuddle up to my almost eleven year old reading about Albert Einstein going to school. She listens intently for a while. Then she starts poking him in the face. And then she hugs him and kisses him. I have no idea how she realized this--but she showed her brother such affection at such the right moment...

Moment #2:

It is a half an hour later. We are sitting down to some adult time television viewing. We hear some rustling up stairs, but figure they are settling down. We think he is going to the bathroom; we think she is talking to herself in her crib. And then, they are at the top of the stairs. He says that she was so cute, that they just wanted to cuddle in his bed for a while. And then he promised her they could come down and visit...we acknowledge them reluctantly, but with full hearts--Bed Time Take 2...

(and 1/2 hour later, we did get to have some adult time again)


More Perfect Moments Here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Show & Tell #58

What does this:



Have to do with this:



Well, I think this article sums up:

Willow put about Four of the above up her nose tonight...

I like that the article says this:

How can I prevent this from happening?

"...You'll also want to teach your child that it's a bad idea to put anything in his nose and ears."

Yeah. Reasoning with a toddler. I will mark that down.


* Note: No toddlers were harmed in this post...but, there was an "ewww" factor...



Show and Tell

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time Marching On

Its been taking some time for me to get back into my groove for the New Year. I think the last couple of months have been stressful and I think we are still dealing with changes in our routines/family. I have been pretty good about my exercise routines, its more about the other facets of my life--like eating right and getting enough sleep, getting things done around the house, etc. I am usually the person planning things to do on the weekends, etc. I like to be busy, I like to do fun things to enrich myself and my family. But, the last couple of months-- a lot of the weekends have been my time to collapse into exhaustion. A few Saturdays--I did not get out of the house--a few Saturdays, I did not get out of my pjs! I was just that exhausted. Unfortunately, I find that people in my family rely on me to set the standard--so, when I do not plan anything--then nothing gets done. Of course, with the holidays I did DO things--but not as many things as I usually do. And, it did not help that we had a few weekend snowstorms.

So. I am at an end to that. It does seem like late January I usually come out of my post-Holiday slump. I usually have Total Confusion to plan on, Michael's Birthday coming up, then, in April - Willow's 2nd Birthday...I love to be busy with these fun things!

Michael has been very observant of time lately. The other day, he pointed out how changed Willow is compared to our first family portrait when she was 3 months old. And he noticed how she is changing, and how time goes by so fast. Then today, he was being nostalgic about some computer games he used to have. It is so bittersweet to see my little boy grow up. It is hard to realize that time goes on, whether you are busy or slothful. Whether you will it to slow down; or wish it to hurry up. Time goes at its own pace. And all I can do, all we ever can do--is make the best of the time we have.

And remember these small moments:

video

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Show & Tell #57


Being creative with toys.



Show and Tell

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Moment #1: I don't do as much socializing outside my comfort zone--usually my husband, a few mutual friends. Sometimes that can be isolating. So, one part of my Plan this year--try to reach out to others and find my social life again. Yesterday, I was going to a Meet Up for Ruby Feathers (see sidebar badge). As I was leaving, my husband and she were sleeping on the couch. My son--he was acting dejected. He knew he needed to do some homework, but did not want to...and suddenly--he was clingy. I told him if he wanted me to, I would stay. I told him that nothing is more important to me than him. But, he said I could go. I left him my cell phone number, I told him to call if he wanted me to come home. LATER, when I got home, my husband and I were expecting company--and I expressly ignored them (with their permission) to go watch "Monsters, Inc." with my son next to me in my arms.

Moment #2: The men of the house went to get the garbage cans from the street. She was upset, did not understand where they went! I told her--"here, look out of the window...they will be coming up any minute..." and we wait. And we wait. (Seems they went to the convenience store down the street too). And we wait. At the window for daddy and brother. Who finally come up the driveway. Once she seems them, she bangs on the window and jumps up and down...they are here again!!

More Perfect Moments Here.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saturday Laying Low

Except for Karate this morning, we did not leave the house today which is unusual for us.

Things did get done around the house. And the kids had some fun...


Michael Assembled his Star Wars Robotic Arm that we got him for Christmas:

video

And the hand MOVES:
video
(Looking at this video again, I see there is a diaper in the foreground--that is not a dirty diaper--Willow likes to take the real diapers and put them on her baby dolls--so that is just a disguarded "pretend" diaper diaper) (ahh, chaos)

Willow looked like she was going places:

video

Sometimes it is nice to just "hang out".

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Show & Tell # 56

For the holidays, I received Gold's Gym Cardio Boxing for the Wii(we have had a Wii since they came out--LOVE it). As part of my Plan, I am playing this (or WiiFit) 15 mins a night...and here are some screen shots taken from tonight....


This is Nina--pretty nice lady, and often she encourages me (with the same phrases every time)


My Japanimation version of me. I wish.


I did hooks and jabs. Fun fun! (Notice the forest in front of me--I can also have a seaside or the gym)


To play, you kinda do like Dance, Dance or Rock band--with your fists! (and with either remote and nunchuck, or my preference, two remotes).





Show and Tell

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Plan 2010 - Log Entry: Stardate: 63478.8

(Yes, I went to this website to get the Stardate)

Last night/this morning was typical on how things can get off track. Just for the record, here is my plan again...with some updates on how I am doing so far:

Physical Health

Lose and keep off the baby weight - Have kept off the 7 lbs. I lost before holidays.

Take vitamins - been taking my Vitamin C; have resisted going out and buying new Multivitamins because I know Willow hid my new bottle I just bought at the store SOMEWHERE in the house... (hmmm...perhaps those left over Pre-Natals will do until I find them?)

Become more active - does shoveling snow count? Cuz done lots of that!

Maintain my morning exercise routine; expand it to working out of WiiFit at night for at least 15 mins. - pretty much--this will be expanded upon momentarily...

Brush and floss my teeth more often - doing good

Mental Well Being


Re-start our Family Meetings – try to make them bi-weekly - a lot of talk on that, but no meeting yet...

Simplify (Throw things AWAY)

Use alone time to relax, not just to get things done - forced to do this a bit because of snowstorm...

Take a step back from situations that frustrate me, try to use patience. - oh yeah, been working on that, prime moment--Willow throwing her food AT ME while Michael is interrupting our conversation yet again at the dinner table...

Make more of an effort to connect with people - trying but failing.

Self-Improvement

Save more, waste less

Make an effort to spend more alone time with my husband - more on that in moment...

Use our babysitter once a month; try to utilize other people for babysitting - have babysitter emergency at moment NEED someone to watch children next Tuesday...

Complain less

Enjoy what I have; quit worrying about what I do not have

Scrapbook more

Family


Re-start family gaming night/afternoon (?)

Cut back on the computer/video game ratio in the household - doing so.

Involve the kids more in food preparation - actually did some of this during the weekend...


Okay, so how can things go off-track? Well, it started yesterday at 2 p.m. When my husband texted me that he was going to work late--meaning he was not going to be home until 9 p.m. Which meant that I was not going to have the energy/time to make the dinner I had planned. So, got home--oh, wait, before getting home, had to stop at music store and get new reeds for my son's clarinet...then got home, had to take the dishes out of the dishwasher (husband's job, not done), then put dirty dishes in--while giving Willow a sippy of milk, the cat some food, Willow a bowl of SNOW--because now she likes to EAT it...Help Michael figure out what homework he is going to do...get mail....you get the idea.

However, going with the PLAN--I resisted (very strongly) just ordering food--and I made a reduced menu--fishsticks, fries, broccoli/cauliflower and butternut squash...unfortunately, not the most low carb meal--but, hey, I did make a meal and not spend money on Chinese.

AND, after getting the children to bed, WAY after I would normally do this--I went on my Wii Cardio Boxing for 15 mins.

Going to bed WAY later than wanted to, we were awoken @ 2 a.m. with dirty diaper Willow, who then did not want to sleep...so we were taking shifts a four a.m....which meant this mornings exercise routine--not so much. ALTHOUGH, I did work out for 15 mins (while hubby AND son slept in my bed next to me!!)

So yeah. Plans/goals--pretty much ontrack considering my life!!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Perfect Moments Monday

Sometimes a little chaos can bring perfect moments.

Moment #1: He has a friend sleeping over. They generally end up falling asleep around 10 p.m., so it really is no hassle. Until they both come down the stairs. At 10:30 p.m.—just as my husband and I were going to play Beatles Rock Band. They have scared each other silly with ghost stories and stories of the supernatural. We talk to them, making sure there is no real issue here. There is none, they just want to be up for a bit. So. My husband and I play Beatles music (pretty well, too) while the boys play on my laptop. It was chaos controlled--and I got to spend time with my husband before we all went up to bed...

Moment #2: I hear "It's a level 10!" and I know what that means. I jump up from what I was doing (cleaning peas and carrots off the kitchen floor) and I go upstairs to start the bath. Husband deals with the icky diaper and clothes, I deal with icky toddler. She plays in a bubble bath while I finish cleaning her up. Then, she grabs washcloth. And dumps a whole bunch of water in my hair. And I let her continue to do this. Because it is fun and perfect.

More Perfect Moments Here.