Sunday, October 30, 2005

She's back!!!

I picked up my bike from the shop last night, and was able to take her out for the first time today! Strange how I'd let her sit and gather dust for 4 years and then missed her so much when she was being fixed!! The brakes don't squeek anymore, the gears actually shift when I want them to (rather than having a mind of their own!) and overall I just feel safer knowing that all parts are in working order.

INCLUDING MY ON-BOARD COMPUTER!!! I didn't really understand the depth of my control-freakishness until I tried riding without knowing all the data - how far, how fast and how long!! For example, I now know that I rode for 1hr and 3 minutes and covered 13.2 miles with an average speed of 12.7 and max speed of 19.4. Useless knowledge, really, but to coin Nancy's phrase, it makes me feel "fierce". Dug my riding gloves out from underneath years of stored crap-ola and off I went!

I really love this time out riding. The weather was lovely, the traffic was light so I didn't really fear being hit by a car, and my legs felt great - until I got off my bike! In a strange way, too, it gives me time to spend with Dad. He bought Steve & I these bikes about 5 years ago so we could ride the trails in the Oakland hills. We used them quite frequently until we moved here, and then let we them waste away in the garage. But being alone out on the roads gives me time to think about Dad and all the wonderful things he did for me during my lifetime. It certainly gives me the "attitude of gratitude", and I can't help but feel that that, along with the endorphins, does wonders for my overall mood and demeanor!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ahhh, fall...


We took the boys to the pumpkin patch today. As witnessed by the above photo, all had fun, even my own littlest pumpkin!

Matthew is a child after my own heart. He had to find the perfect pumpkin, and knew exactly what it was he was looking for. I think my mother can attest to many hours spent looking around the Cider Mill in Avon, looking for one that was perfectly round, with little or no blemishes, just enough stem... and this was Matthew's decree as well - we were not leaving until he found the perfect pumpkin!

We found it. Whether or not he will allow us to carve it has yet to be seen! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Work week #1 over and out..

This was the week I'd been dreading for months - my first day back at work. There are many reasons why I was dreading Monday: leaving my 2 month old baby, leaving my 5 mo old puppy to her own devices (would the house still be standing when I got home??), retuning to the Middle School when I'd vowed before God and my colleagues that I would not be going back there, and the overall fear that I did indeed deliver both a baby and my brain on August 15th.

The good news - it was not nearly as bad as I'd feared. I will try to post more this weekend, but suffice it to say that other than cleaning up a few piles of poop (from the 5 mo old, not the 2 mo old!) and nearly missing the bus, all is going smoothly!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Just Briefly...

We went to the haven for fun tonight for dinner... Charles E Cheese was our host. The boys have so much fun there and had been asking for days to go, so I finally gave in and said yes.

As we were sitting there, I started thinking... Matthew's favorite thing about CEC is riding the train thing-y. Parker loves playing Skee-ball. Steve loves shooting hoops.

What does it say about me that my favorite thing to do there is play Smash the Weasel??

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Haggis Baggis

Anyone care to guess what Haggis is? I am sure some of you know - I threaten to make it for my lovely offspring whenever they say that dinner is yucky.

They know, don't they... they are programmed to know from birth when Mom is about to loose it and they go hog wild. They also know when Daddy is not around to help out.

It began last night. Yesterday was Christopher's first day at Nada's house. Nada will be our substitute for a sitter at least until Christmas. If it goes swimmingly, we will stay. If I am going even slightly mad, we will look into a nanny again.

Christopher came home a rather unusual crankpot. He's my easy going guy, and yet I could not put him down for more than a minute from about 3:30 till somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00. He'd eat, spit up, cry, eat, burp, barf, cry, eat... this went on and on. My demeanor was probably close to she-devil by the time the boys went to bed.

It did not get any better with the rise of the sun. (Or, of the SON, either!!) Chris was up for about an hour in the middle of the night, and Matthew came in for reasons unknown to man or beast. 6:15 Parker comes in - wide awake and wiggly. He has learned NOT to purposly wake me up, so he stands at the end of my bed and breathes loudly. Think Darth Vador. Then he starts clicking his mouth.

"Parker, Stop That and go downstairs. We are not getting up yet!"

2 minutes later...

"Mom, the baby is awake, and he peed - I felt it".

Bad enough to wake me up, but when you wake up a sleeping baby that I had to hold for 6 straight hours last night - well, that brings you to within inches of death.

Baby is up. I hear Matthew get up while I am changing a soaking wet baby. I hear him go downstairs (I think possilby the town of Scottsdale hears him go downstairs - he does very little quietly.

Furious at being up well before my time, I go downstairs and demand they turn off the TV and go clean their rooms. This was to be done before bed last night but Parker was "too exhausted" to clean before bed.

I go downstairs to find Schooner has been outside swimming in the mud and has found a new home on my sofa. She also attacked and distroyed a USC pony-tail holder that, the last time I saw it, was nestled safely amongst my hairbrushes. It was cute and made from about 5000 beads. Those beads were now strewn all over my office. One can only imagine how many have been ingested.

I hear giggling upstairs. Tell-tale sign that there is not any work being accomplished in the "operation clean room" mission. (Little do they know the baby's monitor picks up their voices, too!!) So I go up and sure enough, the room is a sty still. There are toys and other various boy-things strewn across the hall. Matthew was hiding in the guest room and I spotted toys in my room, too.

All hell breaks loose. Ever hear Bill Cosby give his definition of a Kiniption fit?? It was like that. Even the dog cowered next time she saw me, and she was downstairs at the time...

All this before I even had time for a cup of coffee... And I go back to work Monday. God help me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Today is my anniversary.

After the post from a few days back, I felt it necessary to "vent" why I love the man I married... I often post the things that drive me crazy, so to be fair, I need to tell you why I love him so much... 8 reasons for our 8th anniversary.

1) He makes me feel safe. They say that your spouse should be your best friend, and he is most certainly that... he is my safe place to land, he will gently pick me up when I fall, and will be with me every step of the way as I get my feet back firmly underneath me. My life is in his hands and I trust him completely.

2) He makes me laugh. We can be having a heated discussion about something, and just when I'm about to go from friendly banter to angry, he will say something that makes me laugh out loud!! Our senses of humor work together like music.

3) He is a wonderful father to my children. Yes, they are his too, but I gave birth to them and feel like a preditory animal about them, and I loved them even before I knew him... He is all I ever wanted for my kids and I take such delight in watching him interact with them. It makes my heart spill over to see how much he loves them

4) He cheers louder than I do at USC games! This may sound trivial, but he loves rooting for SC because I went there and I root for them. He has been so wonderful at reaching out into my world and meeting me there - he enjoys my friends from college and my youth, he loves Jimmy Buffet because I do... while we have many things that are "ours", he has just fit seemlesly into the life I had before him, too.

5) He's cute! I remember my friend from High School, Margaret Blaydes, said once that she didn't really care how cute a guy was, so long as he was kissably-cute, meaning she didn't recoil from the sight of him after a kiss... well, Steve is mighty hunky, IMHO, and I love looking at him. Still!

6) I love his family. Many folks complain about their inlaws. Many folks really dislike their inlaws. Not me - Steve comes from a great family, with wonderful parents and sisters! Warren & Greta would come out and stay here in AZ for 3 months, and it was wonderful. To some, this sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but truly, it was teriffic having them here.

7) He loves my family. I come from a small family, but we have our share of Fruitcakes! (me being one!) My family is the antithesis of his family and he loves them all just the same. He made my father very happy in the last years of his life, giving him the father-son relationship he'd always wanted with his own child but never had. When my father died, it was the first time in nearly 10 years I'd seen Steve cry.

8) I cannot imagine my life without him. He is a part of me, as much as my own skin. We are a team - and a good one. Where one is weak, the other is strong. He is my one true love, my soulmate and partner in everything. I would rather spend time with him than just about anyone else on earth.

Happy Anniversary my love - I feel so blessed to be your wife!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Things I've learned about myself from biking...

1. I am more of a control freak than I realized.. I just HAVE to know how far I've gone...
2. Hills, even the slightest incline, makes a huge difference in how I ride.
3. Going down hill is far better for my ego that going up hill, though far less so for my heart and waist.
4. Climbing the stairs after I get home from a 45 minute ride is difficult.
5. Going down those same stairs is nearly impossible.
6. I love that I can just go... me, my music, my trusty Trek and some water. Who knows where we will go, who knows when we will be back... It is really freeing.
7. I've got a long way to go before I look like those packs of Tour-de-France wanna be's that whizz by me like I am standing still.
8. The scale is not my friend. (It has not budged in 4 weeks)
9. The scale is NOT the best indicator at how my progress toward better health is going.
10. I love that I am doing this for ME. This may be the only thing I do just for ME for quite a while... 3 kids, a FT job and DH, Ya' Know...

Friday, October 14, 2005

The good news..

I did get my ride in this morning. Didn't go yesterday. Went to the zoo instead. Good news?? I pushed a Thanksgiving Turkey around in a stroller across about 1/2 the zoo. Bad news?? The kettle corn machine was up and running. (Thanks for that one, too, Nancy!!)

I rode for 40 minutes. I've got to get that darn odometer fixed on my bike. It sort of defeats the purpose of being gas-friendly when I have to retrace my bike route in the car to see how far I've gone!!

Wife kills husband over ink stain, News at 11...

Let me preface this rant by first saying publically... I love my husband. For those of you who may be reading this and are from his family of origin, please do not fret. These homocidal ideations on my part will not be played out - his life is not really in jeapordy... well, at least not much...

I've been under a bit of strain lately. You could go back to this spring with Dad's diagnosis, his death, the birth of Christopher, etc.. or you could look at the last week. I know I will sound like a whiney-spoiled who-knows-what, but so be it. First, my housekeeper quit. True, she's been superfluous this summer, but still... She's been with my family since before Steve and I were married and one would think LOYALTY might come into play, and its not like the house is in shambles and its too much work for her. I think she got into a pissing contest with our sitter and gave me an ultimatum. She lost.

Then this sitter disappeared. Well, not really - you can hold off calling "America's Most wanted", but she has pretty much fallen off the earth. Her son is sick (She has 5 kids) and she called Monday saying she would not be able to come that day. Today is Friday and there's been no word. NONE. NADA. ZIPPO. I go back to work in 10 days. I'm not a happy camper.

Now we come to the part where I am ready to kill Steve. Its a long story but suffice it to say he's taken to sleeping in the guest room (to hear the baby better, and it works) and is typically flanked by both boys. I have said to him that its time the boys go back to their OWN beds. I said this rather emphatically last night, but it fell on deaf ears.

Fine. Don't listen to me... I really do just like the sound of my own voice.

Matthew comes downstairs this morning after having a bath before bed. He's adorable in his just-waking-up innocence. He snuggles with me on the stairs, and that's then I see it. Ink. Marker ink. Its on his hands.. and legs... face, neck, chest, stomach, back...

Me: Matthew - how did you get so covered in ink??
Matthew: Shrugs shoulders.
Me: Matthew, did you draw on yourself?? (He's been known to do this)
Matthew: Shakes his head 'no'
Me: Matthew - did you sleep on some markers?
Matthew: Smiles very coy-ly (think Mona Lisa) and nods his head.
Me: In your bed?
Matthew: Nothing. Blank Stare.

I go upstairs to find marker seeped into my sheets, pillowcase, blankets, mattress. Steve was next to this child all night. Steve is 6'3" and was sharing a bed with two boys weighing close to 60 pounds each. He was so close to Matthew he was practicly wearing him. He did not notice that the child came to bed with two (2!!!) markers in his hands? I know he is the most non-observant person on the planet (Self-proclaimed) but still...

And can anyone give me advice for how to get the MEN in my house (all of them) to Aim For The Middle???

I'd have them clean the bathroom, but I'd just have to go in and do it again anyway...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Keep moving forward

The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.

I think I'm taking some artistic licence with that - the journey of about 50 lbs begins with one pedal... I am really enjoying the idea (and the action) of biking. Last night, after another day of no child care (not that I was unable to go to the gym, but it was such a lovely day it seemed a shame to waste it) after Steve got home, I was able to go out for a short ride. All told, about 30 minutes. I could most certainly feel Sunday's ride in my legs so I know I did not cover the mileage, or at least not the speed, from the other day. Still, 30 minutes is my daily goal - if I can do something that looks like working out for at least 30 minutes a day, I should be able to get back down to the physique I had two years ago. (see, aren't you all proud of me - I'm not using Christopher as an excuse for the extra fluff - I did this all to myself!!)

I do, however, need to invest in 1) a good cleaning and repair job for the old Trek 2) good biking shorts (How do guys do it??) and 3) some repair on my sped/odometer.

Yes, Nancy - no new endeavor goes un-shopped for!!! :-)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Road Warrior, extraordinaire...

It is finally a lovely day here in the desert. Our high will be somewhere in the mid to upper 80's, and that's a little slice of heaven after the summer we've endured!

I took advantage of the weather, decided to forego the gym and hit the road - along with my trusty, and slightly rusty, mountain bike. The wind whirled in my ears, the breezes kept me cool, and the road ahead was straight (and, luckily, very flat!!)

I think I covered about 8 miles. I completed my usual 3-mile walk/run course in about 15 minutes, so I guess that my 40 minute ride took me around 8 miles of my neighborhood. I think I have found a good route, and if my legs actually allow me to stand tomorrow, I may do it again.

Of course, now I am already spending mental money - I need a good water bottle, I'd love to have my odometer/spedometer fixed, the bike needs a good tune up and probably new tires, and how much fun would it be to have a carrier/trailer on the back and we could go biking as a family.... the list goes on and on and on...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

They grow up so fast...

My girl is growing up!! The only daughters I will have are my fur-babies. The cute fuzzy one who has been causing all kinds of heck is now 5 months old. I can see that there will be a regal, refined lady in there, someday!! She and Maddy are developing a good relationship... unless, of course, Schooner wants what Maddy has... Typical siblings! Posted by Picasa

I'm Goin' Back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali...

Anyone old enough to remember that song from the vintage files of about 1988??

I went back to Berkeley this week to say a final goodbye to Dad. We had a memorial for him at St. Clements on Thursday, so Chris and I flew up Wednesday and home on Friday. It was a quick trip to say the least, but a good one. We stayed here, at the Claremont. Known as the White Lady on the Hill, the Claremont is home to many memories for me, my family, and scores of Cal grads! (We won't go there - this is a family-friendly site!!)

Steve and I met at this hotel. Steve was the Front Office Manager at the time, and I was working for Mom's store located in the lobby. We've gotten many a kick out of saying that we met in a hotel - sounds far more sordid than it really was...

The hotel has been renovated and the lobby looks nothing like it did when we worked there (and that is a good thing!) and resembles far more accurately the lobby of yester-year when the hotel was in its glory. Much can be said for the former owners, but they "done good" when it comes to the asthetics of the hotel.

It was strange to be back. First off, I had truly forgotten how hilly the area was! I know that sounds odd, but I've seen flat land surrounded by mountains for so long I had plum forgotten that I'd lived in the mountain just a mere 4 years ago. Houses are stacked on top of each other, defying gravity for ages until a big quake or mudslide gets the better of the 50 year old foundation. Imagine this guy after a 6.0 quake...

The other thing that struck me was this sobering thought - Other than my best friend from college, Vicki, I have no friends left in that part of the world. The people I knew well when I lived there were few and far between and are now living elswhere. In many ways I was returning home, and yet I was nothing more than a visitor. A very strange feeling, indeed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fly-by posting

More quick patting myself on the back - actually rode my bike to do two errands that would otherwise have required my car... feeling a bit healthier and happy to NOT use gas!! (Thank Nancy - see, you are an inspiration!) Missed the gym yesterday, but the errands were about 3 miles all told... Knee still hurts and that is pissing me off!!

I am off for the next few days. Christopher and I are going up to Berkeley for Dad's memorial up there. Will meet up with old and new friends, and that will be fun. Don't know about re-hashing all the feelings of grief - maybe this one will be easier to NOT cry through than the one last month.

Will check in on Friday or Saturday and tell y'all how it went...

Oh -and any silent prayers for no diaper-disasters mid-flight will be appreciated!! :-)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Workout update

Went to the gym, sore knee and all... 45 min on the elliptical!! Covered 3.3 miles, burned somewhere in the vicinity of 450 calories. Knee feels fine!

Rabbit, Rabbit

The fact that I started this post two days ago, ON October 1st, shows that things are moving rather quickly here... or, more accuratly, when Christopher is awake, he is wanting attention... a lot!

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately - luck, attention, the status-quo. Let's start with attention...

About 3 or 4 days ago, Matthew became destructo-boy again.. This was a role he played, and played very well, when he was about 2. It started with his artistic rendition of toothpaste. His canvas?? The bathroom counter and mirror. Then, he takes scissors to something I thought he'd considered sacred - a Thomas book. Then, I found that he had drawn on the refridgerator with a marker... At least it wasnt permanent... I've learned my lesson about Sharpie Markers in my house!

When I asked him if he felt he needed attention, or if Mom and Dad were not spending enough time with him (after I calmed down and the urge to put him in a straight jacket waned) and he said that he felt lonely, I knew we had to do something. So, Matthew got some 1:1 time with Gilly... He went over to her house Saturday night (and was SO excited to go!) for a special dinner, to spend the night and then have breakfast out... It went perfectly!! Not only did Matthew have someone attending to only him, but my mom got to see the side of Matt that we know is there, but that is sometimes hard to reach... Its the same side that Dad saw in DC... and both my parents loved him more deeply after this revelation.

Luck... Find a penny, pick it up, all day long, you'll have good luck...

We went to the USC pep rally on Friday night here in Scottsdale. My beloved Trojans were here to play ASU, and so I just HAD to take the boys to hear the band play. Really, nothing more inspiring that listening to that band... and the boys loved it! We were not going to actually go to the game, as it would be over 100* in the stadium, and had planned to watch at a local watering hole with a big screen TV. Well, it wasn't looking to good at half-time.

We decide to go home and watch the rest from the comfort of our own home. Parker finds a penny in the parking lot, and well, as you can see from the score, we came back from an 18 point deficit to win by 10. Coincidence??

On the workout front - I've managed to follow in Nancy's sneakers... I hurt my knee running, which sounds utterly pathetic because I was only able to do 2 .25 mile sprints at my "best" lately... and now I must go back to the beginning and try to nurse my injured knee. DRAT!

So, does anyone know what the Rabbit Rabbit title means?? If not, you can check here... But its something I was introduced to back in High School and my friend Angie reminded me of earlier this year. Chaulk this one up to another superstition, or is it like the penny in the parking lot??