Thursday Ten: Ow

1. Spring weather is coming, so I got a bug up my butt yesterday to do the Turbo Jam Ab Party. Twenty minutes of ab work. And I’m feeling it today.

2. I tried to find a YouTube video of Turbo Jam but could only find a video of someone DOING the video and I can’t for the life of me figure out what would make someone post their workout on YouTube. (And her form was atrocious).

3. American Idol… Disco week. Wow. Y’know, there’s some disco that I just love – and I’m relieved no one sang that song about leaving the cake out in the rain. But that was too much Donna Summer. I so loved Kris’s version of “She Works Hard (For The Money)”. But was glad to see Lil go, especially when I got all distracted by her super shiny pants.

4. And then LAST NIGHT’S SHOW? With the medley of faded disco stars long past their prime? Yeah. That was interesting. The women woulda done so much better had they worn something more suitable to their current body types (and maybe not tried to bust out the gold lame’ from the 70s), and KC and his “girls”? That was… somethin’.

5. Somehow I manage to miss all previews for nonchild related movies which is how I ended up at “State of Play” on Friday having NO clue what it was about. Actually, you know what? That’s the way to do it with movies. No expectations, no clue. It was a decent movie, even though I don’t normally like Ben Affleck.

6. Hooray for Albuterol. Pumpkin’s sleeping schedule? Oh my god. Amazing. I’m sleeping past 6 a.m. again. And that shouldn’t be nearly so exciting – but yay! 6 a.m.!

7. Still working on Matt Nathanson in guitar. Week 3. Getting better – learned the instrumental and the bridge today.

8. Got my nails done last week. Less than a week later, they are all chipped and scruffy looking. Should have gone for a pale neutral instead of a bright OPI shade. Wish I could make a mani last longer, but I’m brutal on my nails.

9. Craving Doritos.

10. I broke my digital camera. Throwing a camera in my purse probably isn’t the best idea because the lens cover is now broken. Guess I need to replace it. Do y’all have a point and shoot camera you love? What is it? (I’m not talking SLR – I’m not enough of a photographic genius to require something too fancy).

Let Me Squeeze My Back End Into One of These Little Bitty Chairs

Last night was parent-teacher conferences for Pumpkin at preschool. I wasn’t really expecting much – she’s only been in that particular classroom for a few weeks (and during her first week she had a tantrum that involved dumping a full jar of glitter all over the place. Stubborn streak? Not this kid). In conference with her previous teacher, the woman tried to tell me that Pumpkin didn’t recognize any letters or numbers – a fact I knew wasn’t true. Granted – I knew she didn’t know them ALL, but she knew some. Three year olds are tricky that way – if they don’t want to do something, they will drag their feet – even if their mom wants to hear from the teacher how their genius kid knows the alphabet forward and backward and how maybe next week she’ll be moving on to doing advanced math.

With that in mind, I was prepared to hear the same ol thing. Instead I was pleasantly surprised. My kiddo knows all her shapes (well, she knows ten of the eleven they tested her on – she knew hexagon and octogon… but not rectangle? Huh). Recognizes the letters and numbers – or most of ’em. They were THRILLED beyond belief that she chooses to “read” – that in free time, sometimes she’ll grab a book and sit down with it.

And oddly enough, it was surprising to hear them heap all this praise on her because at home she’s pretty content to hang out in The Princess’s shadow – following her big sis all over and wanting to be like her (though there’s no doubt in my mind that that is how she soaked up some of her information. Guess sibling worship CAN come in handy).

The conference went amazingly well.

Well, until I had to try to get up from those itty bitty chairs so close to the floor. It was then I vowed never to do lunges and squats the day before conferences EVER AGAIN. You definitely need your leg muscles to not be all hurty and useless trying to get out of those chairs!


Becky tagged me and since it’s hard to resist a Meme, I figured, “Why not?”

8 Things Iā€™m Looking Forward To
1. Possible trip to California
2. Parent Teacher conferences for Pumpkin. Really.
3. My sister’s wedding
4. The Avon walk
5. Warm weather
6. A soft serve twist ice cream cone while enjoying the warm weather
7. Oddly enough, library story time
8. Chicago

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1. Went to the grocery store
2. Rented a few movies
3. Made Cuban black beans for lunch (with enough for leftovers – whee)
4. Watched Big Bang Theory
5. Went for a walk in the cold.
6. Laundry.
7. Work.
8. Read.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do
1. Run for extended distances.
2. Sing (well)
3. Eat cookies three meals a day without getting fat
4. Get tons more sleep
5. Make spa days a habit
6. Fly on a plane without white-knuckleing the arm rest
7. Be creative on demand
8. Have some Chinese food. Sounds good.

8 Shows I Watch
1. Prison Break
2. Project Runway
3. Big Bang Theory
4. How I Met Your Mother
5. Grey’s Anatomy
6. Top Chef
7. American Idol
8. Yeah. I don’t know what else.

8 People I Tag (with my apologies)
Gah! I don’t. Do or do not. (There is no try?)

Stinky Socks and Clothes that Walk Away By Themselves

Stepson is thirteen now. That means on top of the whole puberty thing he’s got going on, he’s also got this lovely lack of interest in basic hygiene taking over. It’s GROSS. Yesterday, as he lay on the floor watching a movie, I realized he was wearing the same socks he’d been wearing when he came over. Over 24 hours prior.


(And who knows when he’d actually put them ON before coming over).

He wore those socks through a two hour baseball practice. Wore them while helping Hubby clean the garage. Wore them to bed. Wore them all day yesterday.

And it never even occurred to him to change his socks until he was prompted to. Showering requires a reminder. To top that off, you have to remind him that while he is IN the shower, the use of soap for his body and shampoo for his hair are also necessary.

I’m told it’s not just him. That a lot of young teenage boys are a little… lax on the whole “getting-clean” thing. Makes me actually pretty eager for the whole “girl crazy” thing. I am looking forward to him WANTING to shower and primp and look nice.

Having daughters, it’s the opposite extreme. It’s not uncommon for them to have at least one wardrobe change mid-day (just “because” — the number of wardrobe changes ups considerably if red koolaid is involved). And though I’m told that girls also tend to go through the whole “Showers? Who needs showers?” phase, I just can’t see that happening. Not when there are fancy blue glitter hair gels and four shirts all begging to be worn on the same day.

Thursday Ten – Up To Tempo Edition

1. After having a week off from guitar lesson, I got to go BACK today! We’re still working on Matt Nathanson… only difference? We took it up to tempo today. Wow. I’m finally starting to kind of get it, but when I hit a wrong chord with my left hand, my right hand tends to stop and then I’m all flustered and, well, frankly… it’s just bad. My assignment for the week is to work on that – to get the speed and quit spazzing about wrong notes.

2. Also got to put together a cd of some songs I’d like to learn for my teacher. This means that in the next few weeks, I’ll probably learn one or two new songs that I really LOVE, which is awesome. It makes a huge difference to play stuff I like.

3. I have had “Falling Slowly” stuck in my head since watching American Idol the other night. I’m glad Matt was saved last night, but can’t believe he would have been the one voted off. All I can think of is that Lil has a HUGE family that voted for her. Or she’s the “Vote for the Worst” candidate at the moment.

4. I think I need to find a better guitar pick. I have 1003 (or so it seems, they rattle around in my guitar case), but only one that feels good in my hand, though it’s kind of on the flimsy side. Need to go find something that feels better.

5. I made homemade bagels again last night. As good as a bakery? Nope. But… still… Not bad. I pulled them out of the oven and the girls and I tore into them before they even cooled down. Worth it, though.

6. Music of the week – Inspired by a friend’s status message, I picked up “Boom, Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas which is awesome for working out. (And of course, “Falling Slowly” from Once. Like I said, stuck in my head).

7. It’s almost 60 degrees today. I have short sleeves on. Actually, it’s a smidge cold yet for me to be in short sleeves, but I can’t help myself. It’s warmer than it’s been. Finally.

8. I am so burned out on cooking. I have run out of ideas. Cooking is not fun.

9. I figured out the macro setting on my digital camera and now I’m taking closeups of every plant in our yard. I’m sure I’ll lose my enthusiasm soon. Hope so. There’s only about four plants.

10. We ran out of syrup the other day. The Princess was pretty upset and refused to eat her pancake with no syrup. I, on the other hand, have never liked syrup. The only exception to my anti-syrup rule is bacon (because bacon is so healthy it needs a little syrup?). I have a feeling I’m in the vast minority with my lack of love for syrup.

Another Mangled Nap

This morning, I took Pumpkin back to the library for storytime. I figured I rushed her outta there so fast last week, today we would go and be mellow – no rush. We would stay and at the end of the story time we would take the time to make whatever craft project was set up and then we’d mosey out when we were done, at our own little pace.

I actually don’t mind story time half as much as I did when we went the first time. The first time we went, the room was full of kids screeching at a pitch that nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was a chaotic mess, but man, my daughter had SO MUCH FUN that, yeah… we went back.

The next time? It wasn’t so bad.

And now, I’ve gotten kind of used to it. Doesn’t mean I’m that mom sitting on the floor with the kids doing all the hand motions to all the songs (just ONE mom does it. The rest of us sit in our little plastic chairs watching the kids and catching our breath – that one camps out right in the thick of things on the floor – more power to her, I suppose), but it means that I love the whole library ritual anyway. Today, I checked out six books for myself, even though I’m already behind on reading. I let Pumpkin pick out several. After the songs and the stories and the goodbye song, we ventured to the crafts table to make bookmarks (paper covered with stickers and then laminated – cute).

After we were done, we got into the car and ventured home. About ten minutes from home, I looked back in the rear view and saw her drifting off to sleep. I started making conversation – the desperate “PLEASE DON’T FALL ASLEEP NOW” conversation – asking her what she liked best about story time, what book she wanted to read first — but she was fading. By the time we pulled into the driveway, she was completely zonked out. I gently carried her into her room and thought to myself, “Oh well, guess we’re having naptime a smidge early today. I’ll roll with it.”

Not twenty minutes later she was awake and refusing to nap any longer. Bleergh. Hooray for Storytime.

Madeline Alice Spohr

Missing The Window

When a child is tired, one has a window of opportunity to get said child to bed before the tides turn and the kiddo finds a whole new burst of energy, a second wind. After that point, the kid is likely bouncing off the walls, convinced he or she will NEVER EVER be tired and refuse to sleep. And when that happens? You have MISSED THE WINDOW.

This afternoon, I missed the window.

I took my daughters to the dentist this morning, dropped off The Princess at school (Spring Break over!), ran some errands with Pumpkin while scheduling an appointment with the doc to get her checked out because she’s been coughing for a long time and now it’s interfering with her nighttime sleep and I needed to be sure that it wasn’t anything I should be worried about. We zipped home to do some work, back to the doctor’s office. Her 11:15 appointment resulted in her being seen thirty plus minutes later (Scheduling FAIL), and after being diagnosed with “reactive airway” (Or a URI. Or asthmatic bronchitis. Pick your name), we ventured to the pharmacy for a lovely bottle of albuterol. And waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally got Pumpkin’s Rx so we could motor on home. In the car, she started to get verrrrrry, verrrrry sleepy. Upon our arrival home, I gently took her car seat straps off and gently eased her out of the car. So far, so good. We got into the house. So far so good. I walked through the living room on my way to put her in her bed. So far, so… “Mom, can I watch ‘Bolt’?”


Since she hadn’t had lunch yet, I made her some soup and let her watch a smidge of ‘Bolt’ before taking her upstairs for her nap.

It’s two hours later and she’s sitting next to me cutting scrapbook paper and making cards “for the Easter bunny”. She’s been sitting here for oh… ninety minutes. Yeah, that nap never happened. Totally missed the window. I can only hope that the lack of nap plus the ease of her cough results in some good sleep tonight.

I’ve Gone Purple

Maddie and a Community of Mothers

This morning, I awoke to Pumpkin nudging me awake. I plodded downstairs and as is my ritual, opened Twitter to see what happened the night before. I almost immediately saw that Maddie, the daughter of Heather (@Mamasphor ) & Mike, passed away last night.
I sat on the couch with Pumpkin on my lap, and soon The Princess woke up and came downstairs to sit with us on the couch. I sat with my daughters close and my heart just ached for the Spohr family.

I can’t even imagine what they must be feeling – because I have been reading these amazing tributes to Maddie all day and I keep thinking, “It’s just NOT FAIR. No parent should have to lose their child. This isn’t right.” Having never met this family, I still can’t help but mourn their loss and be saddened.

I vowed to spend the day with my children. We planned an outing to story time at the library, a freebie movie at the theater, with a picnic lunch of peanut butter sandwiches from one to another. As I was trying to get the girls ready to leave the library, Pumpkin had a hissy fit. She wanted to stay at the library and do the craft project and I hadn’t left enough time to do the craft and make our movie on time. She cried. Loudly. Another mom, witnessing the tantrum, asked if I’d like her to gather up craft supplies so that Pumpkin could do the project at home. She gathered the paper bag (they were making puppets), yarn, and other assorted goodies and helped The Princess put them in our book bag while I got Pumpkin in her coat. I was so grateful for her help.

On a larger scale, that’s what the mom community has been doing all day. Moms have been there to help a mom who needed their help – some with actions and some with words. So much love has flooded Heather’s blog that it’s been suspended and a team of friends are working to get it on a different server. And people are showing their amazing generosity by donating to the March of Dimes in Maddie’s honor. Donations have topped $11,000 to help other families with premature babies. In addition, Heather’s friends have been tweeting to let people know how the family can be helped. And prayers and kind thoughts have come from all over the place, from people who, like me, have never met the family.

Her life was too short.

Madeline Alice Sphor
November 11, 2007 – April 7, 2009