Archives for September 2008

When You Laugh So Hard People Give You Dirty Looks

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my favorite days of the week. I know it’s going to make me sound like a rotten mom, but the days when both my kids are off and doing their respective things and I’m able to get work done, have down time (because that’s IT, y’all – Tuesday and Thursday – Saturday and Sunday? Doesn’t mean squat to me – same stuff going on!), and recharge my mental batteries by taking some time out to just be me. I’m not talking “Mom” me, but Me, the Sarah that doesn’t have to wipe noses or help put someone’s underpants on or cut crusts off sandwiches.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I get to get huge chunks of work done. I get to deal with lunch when I get hungry (I forget lunch a lot – especially Thursday when I head out for my guitar lesson realizing, “Oh crap! I did it again!” and grab a protein drink or pick up an iced latte on my way home to quiet my grumbly tummy). I don’t have to struggle with Pumpkin’s nap. On the whole, my productivity is awesome.

Sometimes I throw some fun stuff in the mix. Today, I went out to lunch with my best friend. She’s been in a funk lately – and I can relate… we both figured we’d catch up and chill out over some lunch. We planned on a whine fest.

Instead – we laughed… a lot. Sure, there was whining (are you new here? Of course there was whining!), but instead we turned it around and laughed our asses off and made fun of our crazy and the craziness in our lives, and made the people sitting near us give us these looks like, “Oh my god, who did I stab in a former life to get stuck sitting next to these loud mouths?!” (That’s what their faces were saying, but deep inside I know they really felt lucky because yeah, we may be loud… but we’re entertaining!).

And when it was over I went home and finished my work, folded six loads of laundry and didn’t entirely feel like Cinderella about it.

Good friends make things suck less. 🙂

DeLurk For A Minute, Y’all

Okay, I have finally seen the Google Reader light and am getting that set up and ditching the often glitchy Bloglines. However, I figure I may as well find some new reads. Can you comment me and make sure you leave me your link (I’m sure I’m reading you already – but just in case you’ve been sitting there quietly, make yourself heard!) – also, any links of blogs that are worth reading. I’d love to check ’em out!

Things I Thought I’d Never Have To Say To My Kids, Volume 1

“Leave your sister’s butt alone!”

“Get your underpants off your head!”

(No, only one of those was this morning, but the other was a few days ago.)

Thursday Ten, Not that I’m Complaining Edition

1. Last night, I got some crazy awful back pain and just started feeling like crap in general. Fortunately, I had my yearly girly exam scheduled for today with the doc (there was some good timing if ever there was good timing to get hit with somethin’) for this morning, so though I am otherwise healthy, and have lost the pounds I gained with my thyroid mess, I also have a kidney infection. But I’m not complaining, oh no, not me. Nope, I looooooooove this. I feel so great! No sympathy needed. (Anyway, you can pick through that and find the sarcasm – I think I left some in there somewhere).

2. New music this week – I went to the way back machine. Fatboy Slim’s “Rockafeller Skank” and one from 2 Live Crew. I’m not saying which one. They’re all about the same.

3. Guitar lessons are going well – no new chords today. Today was all about strumming. And eight notes. And hammer-ons and pull offs. Look at me tossing the lingo around. The plus side is that conceptually I’m getting it. I am developing the muscle memory. And I’m not too old. Yay.

4. The theory of crock pot cooking appeals to me, but I really hate having my house smell like food all day. I have pork slow cooking, because I really love bbq pulled pork sandwiches (a fact that always surprises people – I’m not sure why) – but I’m so sick of smelling it that I doubt I’ll want to eat it. Sigh. There goes that idea.

5. The fact that I get really crappy cell reception in my house is starting to really annoy me.

6. It was so dark when I got out of bed this morning, I literally walked into a door. Yes, my grace is astonishing, isn’t it?

7. School fundraisers, how much do those suck? We got hit with TWO for The Princess last week (two? How is that necessary?!) and one for Stepson. Hate to be that parent, but I can’t stand the thought of spending $12 on a roll of ugly, flimsy wrapping paper. I’d really rather just write the school a check for twelve bucks and have them get the whole amount. Hubby, on the other hand, now wants to go sit in on a school board meeting and find out just what it is that they spend money on that necessitates so many fundraisers.

8. Project Runway… Suede and his third person talking are auf’d. And I don’t mind that so much, but really? Kenley was horrible last night. So mouthy and so annoying. How does that not catch up with her?

9. I wonder if I can get my kids to give me a back rub without hurting me? I think that would be quite nice, but I’m kind of thinking they might be a bit over-aggressive and that would defeat the purpose. But I’m not complaining. (ahem).

10. My best friend is now older than me for the next three weeks (three and a half?). Just wanted to rub that in. Hope you had a good birthday!

That Whole Nature Vs Nurture Thing

I was one of those people once, dumb enough to think that by nature of Hubby and I having two kids together, they would have this nice common gene pool and Pumpkin would totally be The Princess’s mini-me. How many of y’all are laughing at me?

I honestly thought so.

I thought maybe they would look kinda alike (doesn’t help that of the several other pairs of sibs in our neighborhood, they are nearly identical!). Thought they would act similarly. Thought, sure, they’d have their differences, but, they’d still have so much commonality that the second go-round would be a cake walk because hey, been there done that.

Stop laughing at me!

Instead, I’m reminded constantly (more often than just daily) that they are completely and wholely different people.

That’s alright with me.

The Princess is a little bit of a diva. She loves to look just so. Last night, my sister said something to her and The Princess gave her a look and was all, “WhatEVER!” (Damn you, Hannah Montana!!!). She’s six going on 16, and she is so smart you forget that she’s still just a kid. She’s also pretty head strong, independent as all get out, and puts on a really tough exterior.

On the contrary, Pumpkin is very high energy, very physical. She often sits back to gauge the crowd before jumping in. She wants to be curled in our laps or held high in someone’s arms (“Lift me!” is a common refrain). When you give her a kiss, she pats it into her face and says she’s saving it for later.

I have said for awhile that I thought that Pumpkin’s personality was more like mine. My dad laughed in my face when I said that. He said, “NO WAY. You were just like The Princess.” My mom (ahem) has said the same thing. Diva? Moi? Noooooooo. (I outgrew it, I guess, as I sit here rocking the pony tail, no makeup and workout clothes).

But, it’s amazing to me anyway, how different they are.

What brought me to this long winded post was tucking the kids in at bedtime. Pumpkin asked for a story, a glass of water, and after I read to her and hydrated her, she asked me to cuddle up with her. I laid down for awhile and snuggled next to her. She grabbed my arm and held me close as we talked about our plans for tomorrow (survey says: cupcakes with sprinkles, no frosting). I got up to leave and she said, “Two more minutes please?” I asked what she meant, and she repeated, “Cuddle with me for two more minutes.” And after that, she still wanted me to stay curled up for a bit longer.

The Princess never needed me in that way, so it blows my mind to have a kiddo so snuggly. Granted, The Princess and I bond in different ways like rocking out in the car, going to Starbucks together (oh yes, she’s already hooked – she loves those blended lemonade things that are probably straight up sugar), baking, and reading together.

I guess it’s just one of those never ending processes – learning who my kids are and how to give them the kind of love they want and need from me. Knowing and keeping in the front of my mind that they may be sisters, but they are so unique and individual, and that there is no cookie cutter way for me to be a mom.

This Is How I Spend My Time

Lest anyone think that the sole way for me to spend my time is to play on the internet or drive to Starbucks or other assorted things, let me reassure you, I am a very busy woman. Oh yes. I am. You see, I’m busy because my kids are busy.

I give you EXHIBIT A:

Rules of My House, #218

When I ask you nicely to clean your room, the correct answer is not: “You’re not the boss of me! I don’t have to!” Grounded, young lady… grounded.

Oooh, Sometimes it Gets Pretty In Michigan

Because I’m Full Of Useless Information (Well, Full Of Something Anyway)

I find that my head is the home of a lot of information that bears no practical daily application in my life, to my family or friends. However, this random bunch of hooey that hangs around in my brain does give me stuff to talk about, or write about on a day when I feel like I should have something to say.

Yesterday in the course of chatting with someone, I brought up Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. You have to realize, first, that my college gen ed classes involved a lot of psychology (particularly since I find psychology to be pretty fascinating – people confuse the hell out of me sometimes – having any insight whatsoever in how they work? Awesome). Second, you have to know that my dad was a pysch major – perhaps the worst kind of psych major: the kind that didn’t make a career of it, but instead theorizes about random stuff and ties it to principles and concepts other people have created and talks about it, and talks, and talks. Which is not to say that it’s not interesting – but… it means that this stuff gets further ingrained in my noggin.

Annnnnyway. The theory of multiple intelligences basically says that there are several types of intelligence and to a varying degree, each person has their own unique mix of these different intelligences. What this basically boils down to is that everyone’s got their strong suit, and our mix of where our strength is doesn’t make us any smarter necessarily than someone lacking strengths in those areas. My brother is a whiz at those 3D puzzles, any puzzles actually. He likes to put them together, and he’s always been able to build these elaborate Lego dealies in a really short period of time. This might indicate that his strength lies in visual-spatial endeavors, whereas for me? Eh, not so much.

The different areas, as defined by Gardner are:
Bodily-kinesthetic Has to do with movement and doing
Interpersonal How we relate to others
Verbal-Linguistic Has to do with words, spoken or written
Logical-Mathematical Has to do with logic, abstractions, inductive and deductive reasoning and numbers
Naturalistic Has to do with nature and relating information to one’s surroundings
Intrapersonal Has to do with introspective and self-reflective capabilities
Visual-Spatial Has to do with vision and spatial judgement
Musical Has to do with rhythm, music and hearing
Other Intelligences There’s a few others, including spiritual, moral, etc…

I’m guessing when you read the list, you already found in your head the places where your strengths lie. I can easily tell you that I’m far and away strongest with verbal-linguistic, intrapersonal (I’m thinky), and Musical. And I think I probably have a bit of bodily kinesthetic in there.

This concludes your lesson for the day – I expect to be back to mindless fluff shortly. Very shortly. (And hey, if you wanna, let me know what you think your intelligences are!).

Thursday Ten, Waiting for the Never-ending Download (Insert Expletive Here)

1. I am currently trying to download an FTP file to see whether or not the XML file that was supposed to be included with the download was or was not included. My laptop has been chugging away for about 15 minutes downloading this (I realize now that I should have run a test with only one asset versus twenty, but I’m an idiot, and making things complicated is the way I roll). If the XML file was NOT included, I’m gonna have to kind of recreate a file. I’m not happy about that. That option takes a long time.

2. My other work project that would not die is now 2/3 dead. Yay.

3. I learned three new chords at my guitar lesson today. I bombed “Twinkle Twinkle” but easily played the two chords I learned last week, so I basically cancelled my efforts out. I love that I’m learning stuff and it’s getting easier to wrap my head around it (and my fingers – holy crap do you really need to be able to stretch your fingers playing guitar. I had NO idea).

4. You can check my very longwinded Project Runway recap (if you are so inclined) here. If you don’t follow the show, you may be disgusted (as one of my friends has told me) that I can pay such close attention to a television show – a reality show, no less – and then write about it… But, hey, I love me some PR. And as much as I want to feel sad about our Michigander gettin’ auf’d, well… His garment was some serious ugly and it made his client’s boobs look really funny. Buh-bye.

5. Had to go to Back to School night at The Princess’s school the other night. That coulda been awkward – but nope… No ex-boyfriends in attendance. Whooo!

6. My only download this week was an “oldie” (like a couple years old): Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On”. I love that song.

7. Facebook people – do you love or hate the new layout? I don’t mind it – but I’ve gotten a few messages from friends asking if I can tell them how to switch back to the old (save your breath, I have no freakin’ clue).

8. That file is STILL chugging away. (UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH).

9. Do you know how hard it is somedays to find something to take a picture of that is representative of my day? I’m still loving the 365 Project (I’m Sarah Two), but some days I think of how low key of a day I’ve had. Does anyone really want to see a picture of the laundry I’ve been folding or my vacuum cleaner? I have a feeling at some point there will be a picture of my vacuum. I really do love that thing (A Dyson, in case you were curious – totally worth it). Today’s picture was of the sky – at nearly 9 a.m. the moon was still visible high in the sky and Pumpkin was so excited that she pointed it out to me three times. I love a child’s wonder.

10. I won movie passes from a local paper this week (Twitter, gotta love it!). Not sure what I’m gonna go see, or when… but it will be free.

P.S. This file still isn’t done yet. This is not looking good.