Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Help me....please, for the sake of the children.

1. I finished Gilmore Girls and Parenthood is over till who knows when, now there's a gaping hole in my TV life just waiting around for April to get here and bring some new episodes of Mad Men. Why oh why do TV seasons have to be so short? Woe. So......what should I be Netflixing? My favorite shows ever are 30 Rock, Mad Men, Seinfeld, Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, ER (Man, didn't you love ER?), The X-files, and *The Love Boat. (I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot great shows (like Mork & Mindy, Three's Company, and Dallas), but you get the idea, tragic with a twist of dark humor.) K. Your favorites...GO!

2.  Food. Meal planning specifically. I need meal suggestions. Badly. It's a problem for several reasons. I work all day and don't have a lot of time to spend making a fancy meal. (fancy = tuna casserole at our house......Side story, once I was on a plane with my daughter and she was watching Paula Deen on the seatback TV and I asked what Paula was making, {I was too cheap to pay for both of us to watch airline TV} and my daughter told me, "Eggplant Cassarow". Which made me die laughing, but not until I made her say it 3 more times because at first I didn't understand what a "cassarow" was. ) My daughter and I stopped eating meat a few months ago and now when I do make a meal (which honestly is rare, 2-3 times a week tops) I'm really making 2 meals because I have not yet figured out how to make the vegetarians and the meat eaters happy at the same time. (We're like polar opposites, I could eat fruit and vegetables all the time, I don't even miss the meat at all, where as the boys would be happy never seeing another stalk of broccoli as long as they live.(which won't be too long on their current diet of meat, cheese and starch)) Also, I've been making dinner for over 20 years. I am OUT of ideas. All of our meals, even the ones we can agree on, are boring. I need fresh meal plans. The only requirements are that they work for the plant eaters AND the meat eaters and that they can be thrown together quickly AND that they don't have curry in them. I'm not a fan of the curry. Easy, right?

3.Remember the Seinfeld episode when the valet stank up Jerry's car? Well, I know how he felt. Over the weekend some milk spilled in the backseat of my car and now the whole car smells like rotten. At first I couldn't figure it out. I was taking my son to school and I thought maybe it was "boy smell", but later I was alone in the car it was still there, that's when I remembered the milk spill. Oh my gosh you guys!!! It is so awful! I tried scrubbing it out. I've drowned it in Febreze. No relief. For now I'm riding around with the windows down, but soon it will be 10,000 degrees here and that won't be an option. Help! How can I get rid of it?

*Just kidding about The Love Boat, though I did go through a phase where I seriously considered becoming a cruise director because I so loved Julie's hair and uniforms.

**Parenthood deserves a whole post/discussion of it's own, which I TOTALLY plan to do, soon. Probably.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Well, now I've gone and done it.

This morning I joined Facebook*.

After years of swearing I would never ever ever do it, and after YEARS of family and friends trying to get me to join, and mocking me when I wouldn't, I broke down this morning and sold my soul to Mark Zuckerberg. I hope he's happy. I feel kind of icky now. I'm not sure what my deal is. It's obviously not a privacy thing. I offer you my blog, twitter, and instagram accounts as evidence. I think it's more of a "bandwagon" thing. I hate hate hate to do what everyone else it doing. I offer you my resistance to watch Downton Abbey and wear skinny jeans as evidence.....wait a minute.....

Whatever. You all know I'm nuts, just add "Never accepted Facebook into her heart" as more proof.

Like many of the other defining moments of my life, I owe this sell out to one of my children. They've given me gray hair, laugh lines (and frown lines), sleepless nights, and almost driven me to drink on many occasions. Now this, the ultimate caving in, Facebook.

Last night I found out that there is a Facebook group (? Page? Thingamajiggy?) where the Navy sometimes posts pictures of recruits, but if you're on Facebook you know that you have to have a Facebook account to see those pictures. Such a mean trick. I wavered. Back and forth, should I? Shouldn't I? In the end I couldn't come up with a good reason not to, so I did it. The chances were slim that there would even be any pictures that included our son, but there was a chance, and it turned out, I did get to see him. The pictures aren't great, just a bunch of guys marching, but it was so good to see his face. (His very serious and very cold looking face.) It made me happier than you can imagine.

There's also a Facebook group for family members of the recruits in our son's group (ship/div). How could I live with myself if I let my silly blood oath to never join Facebook keep me from possibly getting the skinny? I couldn't. So there. I'm on.

*Technically, according to Facebook's records I joined in 2008. I have no memory of this, I must have created an acct then then come to my senses and tried to back out because there's no activity between then and now. It does seem to confirm my suspicions, that once they get you they never let you go. Damn you Zuckerberg!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dry Shampoo

Can someone please explain this craze to me? I mean I get WHAT it is, I just don't understand why it's a THING now. I seem to hear it mentioned everywhere I turn. There are tales of people (mostly women I imagine) using it to allow them to go as long as a week (or more) without washing their hair. Eww! I know there are grannies out there who see their hairdressers once a week and sleep on satin pillows and all that jazz, but this is different, right? We're talking about regular women with non-purple hair, right?

That just seems icky to me. I assume these people are not going that long without bathing, correct? But what about exercise? Do they exercise then take a bath or wear a shower cap to keep their hair dry? And is the intent to not have to style your hair everyday? I just don't understand.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm sure you know what I'm going to say.....

Poor poor Edith. Left at the alter. Will she never get a break? Or a man? Bless her heart, she was so happy in her elegant dress and jolly hair.

PS-In battle between Thomas and O'Brian I'm leaning towards O'Brian. I wouldn't cross her for a million bucks. Or should I say pounds?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

For posterity's sake.

If I don't write things down I forget them, and as you'll see, these are things I'm sure to be glad I remembered someday. Plus, if I hold it in my head might explode, and I'm pretty sure no one wants that to happen.

1. Did you guys watch the Miss America pageant? Please tell me you didn't miss it. There was baton twirling....to Donna Summer no less, some kind of interpretive dance to Journey's Faithfully, and tap dancing, not just tap dancing but TAP DANCING TO JAMES BROWN!! The music choices of this generation's beauty queens is a real treat. (There were also several examples of the obscure talent of holding your head up while wearing giant dangly earrings. Between the earrings and the hairspray it's a wonder any of those poor malnourished things stayed upright.) After the talent portion came the stupid question stupider answers event, then finally the crowning and presentation of the most hideous bouquet of roses I've ever seen. Television at its best.

2. Friday I wanted to make a smoothie so I went into the fridge looking for yogurt, but, for an assortment of reasons(number one being I just don't like to), I haven't been grocery shopping lately and wouldn't you know we were out of the delicious sour chalky tasting Greek yogurt I usually eat. All we had was some vanilla yogurt with a sell by date of 10-25-12. If you do the math, that's like two months ago (even if you chose not to do the math, it's still like 2 months ago), so I threw it away and ate cereal for breakfast........Or I would have.....except that it had never been opened and I really wanted a smoothie. So I broke the seal and checked for physical evidence of expiration, finding none I used it. Now I'm just waiting for death to set in, all because I just had to have a smoothie.

3. Have you guys heard about this? Thieves are stealing Tide Laundry detergent and trading it for drugs or money. My husband tells me that I told him this story a year ago and was just as stunned then as I am today. Whatever. Here's what happens, apparently Tide is like the Calvin Klein of laundry soap, it's such a hot item that people are willing to buy it for cheap out of the back of a van. They aren't even doing anything shady with it. Just washing their clothes. With stolen detergent. What next?

4. My husband and kids are in the next room playing mancala and listening to Beyonce. You just never know what's gonna go on around here on Sunday afternoon.

My two favorite Miss America moments.....

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It has been some day......

First, The Box came. Ugh. I work from home, sitting at my desk I can see the street in front of our house, so when the FedEx truck pulled up I knew what it was. I started to cry before he even got to the door, then while I was signing for it, I started babbling on about my son and the box that contained his worldly possessions. I'm telling you what, that FedEx guy deserves a prize, he did not, even for a second, let on that he was desperate to get off my porch and away from my crazy self. 
I took it back into the office and cried my stupid eyes out before I opened it. Dumb. It was just his phone and the clothes he was wearing the last time we saw him. Wah. 

Then, a little while later, the mailman came and brought THE LETTER. (By the way, I think we have a new mailman. I mean, I KNOW today's mail was delivered by a different mailman than the mailman who lost my holiday packages {and who knows what else}, but I got to thinking about it, and I haven't seen "irresponsible mailman" for over a week, maybe more.  I really want to get my mail {especially now!}, but I hope I didn't get him fired. Reassigned I can live with, but fired?! Ugh. The guilt.)
Anyway, the letter, it didn't really say anything. OK, that's not true, it said A LOT of things, things the Navy wanted us to know. It's a form letter with blanks that my son filled in with stuff like "Dear Family" and his new address and whatnot. But YAY!! We have an address now. And an envelope with his very tidy handwriting on the outside. I immediately sent my husband off to the post office with the 4 letters I've written since last Thursday, and I did not cry. Not a tear. 

Dun dun dun......until tonight, when I sat down to watch the last disc ever of Gilmore Girls. Sobfest! Seriously, watching Lorelei help Rory get ready to go out into the world, and that graduation party Luke threw? Oh my gosh. The weeping. The wailing. The using of half a box of tissues.

I'm telling you what. I'm tired of kids leaving home. Mine and the ones who live in the TV. Enough is enough already.

The Willpower Instinct

The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal is fascinating.  Seriously. I'm not much of a self-help book girl. I used to be, but at some point I realized they weren't really helping me as much as they were making me feel like I was failing at life, so I stopped, I have enough things to feel guilty about, I never would have read this book if it hadn't been part of the Blogher review program but I'm so glad I did.

Remember when I said there were a few things I wanted to do more/less of this year? Well, this book might be just the ticket to making some real changes in my routine. It's good.....and also timely (as in, if you're gearing up to hunker down on that long list of resolutions this book might be for you).

Dr. McGonigal (not to be confused with Professor McGonigal, except now that I think about it, she does teach university courses, so what I should say is, not to be confused with THAT Professor McGonigal.) includes studies to try to help you understand why we do the things we do and techniques that can help you train your mind and become more in control of, well, pretty much anything you want. It's intended to be read and implemented over a ten week period, I read it in about 2 weeks so I could write this review, but I plan to start over and take it slow to see if I can form some new habits (or get rid of some old ones). I'll let you know how it goes. Or maybe you'll just be able to tell how it goes because I'll be able to use restraint and not ramble on and on about nothing someday soon. Or not, since that's not really on my list of things to stop doing.......even though it probably should be.

*This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A very entertaining weekend indeed.

Whee! Downton Abbey is back.
Sometimes I just want to give that Mary a hard pinch, you know? And how about that Bates, tsk tsk. I think this is going to be a very interesting season. Oh, and Shirley MacLaine!! Fantastic!

Look at these.
I can't decide which is my favorite, but I really think I need at least one of them hanging in my office.

Saturday afternoon we went to see Zero Dark Thirty and my faith in the movies was restored. It was PACKED. We had planned to go to a 3:20 show but when we got there it was sold out so we bought tickets to the 4:30, luckily, we decided to quickly make sure there wasn't a line before we ran out for some food. Good thing because there was a line, an hour and a half before the start of the movie. An hour and a half! Is that just a thing here? People lining up so early for movies? Or are people doing that everywhere? I tell you what, for a weirdo like me who has to have a good seat or she gets a rash, it's getting to the point where I have to clear my calendar for half the day if we're going to the movies.

Anyway, blah blah blah, we had great seats and it was totally worth the wait. Very interesting and discussion provoking, but be warned, some of the interrogation scenes are a little intense. (Or possibly a lot intense, depending on your tolerance for persuasive techniques. Mine is not very high, I almost had to cover my eyes a couple of times.) 

Last but not least. Oh my gosh! Have you guys played Just Dance? Well, neither have I, but our kids did yesterday and I thought I would DIE from the hilarity. My face hurt from laughing so hard.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Warning: This is a photo heavy post for the grandmas.

*We got a call from our son late Thursday night. He arrived at boot camp in one piece. He sounded serious but not scared or sad, so that was good. We won't hear from him again for a week or two when we get his first letter and he won't be able to call again for a few weeks. So that's that for now.

Now, on to the December recap.

Last year, after Christmas, I decided to throw out our artificial tree. It was old and had been beaten practically to death by the cats. My theory was if I got rid of it I'd be forced to get a new tree this year. So that's what I did, I threw it away, then promptly forgot to think another thing about it until Thanksgiving, at which time I surely did not feel like spending $300 for a tree when I was up to my neck in Christmas shopping. I am an awesome planner. That's how we ended up with a real life used to be living tree. It was lovely and pine smelly and fun, right up until it was time to take it down when it ended up being dry and dead and pokey. It was great while it lasted. Which was about 10 days. I think it's just too dry here for real trees. Or real grass. Or human beings.
We took our horse head mask to see the temple lights. As always everyone posed nicely for pictures.
I spent an entire day baking cookies and making fudge. When I was done there were about 10,000 sugar cookies and I can't even think about how many pounds of fudge. I'll probably have a pretty good idea the next time I dare step on the scale since I never got around to delivering them to family and friends and ate most of them myself.
We also had band concerts and dance recitals and a trip to see the Nutcracker. It was a very cultural month, that I forgot to take pictures of. Sorry Mom.
These boys thought they were the grand prize winners at our annual family white elephant exchange. Nate ended up with "The Vase", it's been THE gift to snag for about the last 7 years. It's just an ugly pink vase. All the kids LOVE it and it's an "honor" to have it in your possession for a whole year.  Mason got a Darth Vader watch and Eli scored a water powered alarm clock. (Not pictured, Berlin and her shake weight, the photos are hilarious but not exactly, "appropriate", proving once and for all that I CAN be discrete if the occasion calls for it.)
 I'm pretty sure that, no matter what anyone says, I won the best gift of all. 
A Breaking Dawn slap bracelet.
It's really nice. Don't be jealous. 
 I also had 2 pieces of extra rummy rum cake.
Best cake ever.
 Here we have Nate, Eli, and Ivy, on Christmas morning.
 (It seems that it's physically impossible for Nate to act normal when being photographed.)
Ivy got her dream shoes. One Direction Toms. 
Her parents are clearly huge suckers.
I got a nice nerdy Civil War book. 
I forgot to actually double check the syrup supply, and found out on Christmas morning that there was no syrup supply so we ended up getting Nice! Syrup from Walgreens because it was the only place open. It's no Mrs. Butterworth's but we made do. (Does anyone else think it's terribly pathetic that I have a picture of our icky syrup but none of my daughter's dance recital? Mother of the year right here.)
Nate was super excited to see the Ninjabread Men cookie cutters his favorite aunt and uncle sent. 
Do you see? He never never never makes a regular face when I take his picture. Ugh!
 Massive amounts of explosives were purchased for New Year's Eve.  
Does everyone do this now? Ring in the new year with pyrotechnics?
I don't get it.
Sadly, they could not be set off until Dad got home from Urgent Care.
 It was a non-firework related injury. He scratched his eyeball with a tape measure (don't ask) and was in quite a bit of discomfort, so we went and had it checked out. Luckily it was a minor abrasion and he was able to return home and blow things up before midnight.
 I wore my fancy New Years get up to the Urgent Care. You wouldn't believe all the compliments I got.
One last picture together before we dropped Wesley off. For some reason we decided to have everyone stand with the sun in their eyes, thus the squinting. Though, all things considered it's probably the most normal looking picture we've had of Nate in years.

And now we're all caught up.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It kind of sucks, but, you know, in a good way.

Our son left for the Navy today so I'm going to be all sentimental for a few minutes if that's okay with you guys. 

When you have a baby everyone from your mother-in-law to the crazy guy at the post office tells you to "enjoy it because they'll be grown before you know it". Naturally you, with spit up on your shoulder and an extra diaper in your purse, think to your sleep deprived self, "Shut it old guys!", because you're so tired and consumed with not losing the backup pacifier that all you can think of is getting to the next stage...Please let him sleep through the night, hurry and crawl, walk, talk, feed himself, and oh, glory hallelujah potty train. You don't have the time or the energy to enjoy your baby, especially if he's not an only child. Good grief, you're happy if you make it to the end of the day without having to call poison control. Are these people NUTS?

What should really happen is that someone needs to sit new parents down and give them one of those movie slaps and say "Look at this baby!! LOOK AT HIM! One day he is going to have the chubbiest cheeks you ever saw.....
...the next he's going to be in kindergarten. He'll start thinking for himself and being funny and stubborn and his teeth will fall out. For a while his cheeks will remain chubby, though not nearly long enough.
Eventually he'll drive and like girls and learn how to blow things up. He'll probably survive all of those things and talk you into buying him dumb stuff like horse head masks.
Then one day he'll come home and tell you that he has decided he doesn't want to go to college right now, but he does want to do something productive with his life and so he has decided to join the Navy. You will be proud of him and support his choice but your heart will break because you know that this is it, there is no way a young man leaves for the Navy and comes back your little boy.
And even though you know that's how it's supposed to be, and you will honestly happy for him, you will cry, maybe a lot, but you'll try not to do it in front of him. Mostly.

Someone should really tell new parents all of that. Someone should tell them that it doesn't get easier when your baby learns to walk and dress himself. The kind of hard just changes.

This morning we went to the swearing in ceremony. They started out showing a video whose music was that stinking Proud to be an American song, I guess they want to ensure that the parents are crying when they say their final goodbyes. No need, my husband and I have been crying since last week. I'm proud and excited for him but sad to see him go. The older I get the more I hate change, even so, I know it's good and right and that he's going to be fine. We're all going to be fine.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In with the new..or in with more of the same. Whatever works for you.

I don't really make resolutions. I'm constantly making lists and setting goals, but I'm not one of those people who says, "Starting March 2nd I will eat better and only wear blue socks." I'm more of a put things off for a while then decide suddenly to switch it up. I believe the scientific term is Procrastinatia Impulsivoso.


There are a few things I would like to do/not do more of, I'm not sure the exact details of those things at this moment. It's been on my mind, but so have a million other things. Our son leaves for the Navy this week, the Christmas tree is still up, and I have some kind of stomach virus, dramatic life changes will have to wait a few days (or months).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Out with the old

I wasn't going to do a 2012 review post, but it's really kind of nice to have the "highlights" all in one place. You know, for future generations, who will surely be dying to know how often I went to the movies and complained about running.

Here we go, my most "interesting" posts of 2012~

In January I discovered ketchup flavored potato chips. When I say discovered, I mean their existence was made known, not that I started eating them. Ew.

In February our son bought a motorcycle and I decided I would hang this sweet family portrait in my house. I still have not done that. I'm pacing myself. I like to make a decision, then take 10 to 12 months to act on it.

March, as usual, was a time for me to write non-stop about basketball and even got my brother to write a post about it. I know y'all must be so excited that another March is just around the corner.

April saw Kentucky win the NCAA championship while I paid the price for running. The price being that I was forced to wear closed toed shoes for half of the summer due to toenail loss. The Universe giveth, the Universe taketh away.

In May I skipped Mother's Day, and was told by the old guy at the Y that, despite my attempts to be fit, I wasn't quite there yet.

I finally got an iphone in June. It was so much fun.

Our son opened a bank account in July, the weather was funky, and the Summer Olympics came to town. Well, only in the sense that they were on my TV which is in town, the Olympics actually took place in London. Life can be confusing sometimes.

In August I experimented with getting out of my pajamas and into "real" clothes more often. It was exhausting. I decided there was no point and now strictly wear pajamas all day everyday. I went to driving school, because learning is fun and education is the future, and also, I got a speeding ticket.

In September a rooster landed on my front porch, naturally, then I got worked up about politics. Or rather, people talking about politics. Which was awesome since there were still two months until the election and an eternity of Fiscal Cliff watching in my future.

I got glasses in October and the world was new and less blurry. It still is.

In November I saw a scuffle at the bus stop, I remembered my Rick Springfield days, and set unrealistic Christmas shopping goals.

In December our son got a horse head mask, it provided many hours of immature joy, my mailman lost my mail, and I did not love Les Mis.

I also stopped eating meat and drinking soda this year. I exercised consistently for the first time in my life (the Army years don't count, that was most certainly forced physical activity). Let that be a lesson to you future generations. I'm feeling pretty good. Holy cow, if I'd started taking care of my body 20 years ago I could have taken over the world.

Here's to 2013 being just as fun and productive as 2012, heck, maybe even MORE fun and productive.

Happy New Year!