Friday, July 27, 2007

Its over, and I'm sad...

I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows tonight. I'm rather proud of myself that I plowed through a nearly 800pg book in less than a week, but now I am left with this very empty feeling. I devoured the book, but now wish I had taken it slower -sort of like the Ice Cream Sundae you'd get as dessert as a kid and practically eat it in one gulp because it was SOOO GOOOD, but then be regretful when it was gone?

What to do with myself now??

I've been looking forward to this book all summer. Put my name in to the local bookstore to reserve a copy. Got it last Saturday, though I refused to wait in line for anything after sneaking out of Miss Porters with Hilary once to stand in line for U2 tickets (we go them, we went, it was worth it, but we were 17, not 38!!)

The story was great - I am satisfied with the ending, how everything wrapped up in the end, but I do feel a bit as though I've said goodbye to a friend. I'm not a huge PotterManiac or anything, but I've enjoyed watching (reading about) this trio of friends grow up, beating the bad guy despite some harrowingly near-misses... and I've enjoyed the fantasy of it all.

I've actually plowed through 9 books so far this summer. Some were great, some were fun, some were like sticking needles in my eye, but I was determined to finish them. This one was like a big, LONG roller coaster ride and now that its over, I am torn between standing in line for another ride, only to fear being disappointed, or just wait it out until the desire really strikes again to crack the binding of another new adventure.

I seriously doubt, however, that the thrill of this 7-series ride will be duplicated any time soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Same Old, Same Old...

There's not much happening in the land of Jensenville. The boys continue with swim practice daily, Chris is still making Napping an Olympic sport and I play both clean-up crew and referee with style, if not much grace lately.

There are 17 days until school begins. Where the time has gone is anybody's guess. We've had a nice repreive lately, weather-wise, as our Monsoonal patterns have actually developed this year. We have not seen temps over 100 for the last 5 days or so, which is a welcomed relief! What is odd, though, is that our humidity levels are higher than those in Minnesota!! Its been downright sticky lately... but I will gladly take that over searing heat. Yes - most of the time it may be a "dry heat" but then again, so is a forest fire...

I've been logging on average 20 activity points for the last several weeks... this means, approximately, 5 hours of physical activity, or 20 miles per week. I ran my personal best yesterday on the treadmill.... 4 miles in 48:04. My last PB was 40:40, so I shaved "36 off my time. Was pleased to be able to finish up the last .3 miles at a 6.0 pace. My friend Terri normally runs at that pace - and sprints at an 8.0. In my dreams, maybe... but she's good inspiration!!

Christopher has learned to "sing" lately. Its adorable, if not a bit hard on the ears. He is also beginning to recognize numbers, and has 3,4,5, and 6 down cold! Matthew lost his other front top tooth and really looks like a tooth-less wonder as the other top tooth has not really started coming in yet. No corn on the cob for Matt, for a while!! Parker continues to amaze us with his talents for both swimming and baseball. We've littered our neighbors back yards with fly-balls and need to wait until they return from vacation to retreive them.

It seems like things don't really change much around here. Perhaps that's a good thing...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Make that 4 large laundry baskets of clothes donated to the Church... I started on my closet as well!!!

I actually parted with a sweater circa 1989 that came 1/2 way down my thighs with this big ole cowel neck that I used to wear with leggings underneath. Watch - the fad will return in about 10 years, but the moths were the only ones having fun with that sweater, so it was time to say Adieu!!

Sole Purging

I used to LOVE watching Oprah when I found myself with nothing better to do at 3pm. The last several years of her show have been really great at times - fun interviews with celebs, helpful hints for making life better. I am, however, rarely free at 3pm. Thank heavens for TiVo!

Yesterdays' show, which I enjoyed this morning over coffee, was all about getting rid of the clutter. I quickly turned up the volume on this one!! It seems that a household with 5 humans, 2 canines and 2 avians can collect STUFF. Amazing, huh? Betcha have a hard time relating??

The guest is an author and a rather funny Aussie, and he takes delight in entering the domestic chaos of people's homes and transforming them into works of organizational genius. I am free to admit that I walk through the Container Store and drool, but alas have nay an organizational bone in my body. (Lucky for me, Steve has quite a few, but I've just about abliterated them in 10 years of marriage!) I would love to be clean, clutter free and organized, but was raised by a self-proclaimed pack rat (Dad) and one who espouses the "scorched earth" style of organization (Mom). I'm very confused as I am deeply embedded and stuck inbetween the two worlds.

Yesterdays' show gave me a start... I caught the last 10 minutes yesterday, and was inspired by just those mere moments to attack my makeup drawer. No small feat, I might say!! It took under an hour, but I cleaned out not only my cosmetics, but my under-the-sink-depository for all things that have no home.

I filled the garbage can, and felt 15 lbs lighter!

Today it was the boys' room. (EEEK!!) I have a complete dislike (loathing) for laundry. I don't mind the gather, sort, wash, dry, fold part. I detest the putting-it-away part!! Why? Well, it could be from having to jam clothes into drawers that are already bursting. Today, we found the solution!!

I employed the boys in the task of tossing out everything in their drawers (they loved this part) and going through each article of clothing, piece by piece. (The did not love this part) In the end, we filled (STUFFED) two laundry baskets with clothes they either can't wear or don't like anymore, and we filled another one with books they no longer want to read. We folded, labled and organized ourselves silly!

After my 3 mile run at the gym, we dropped off all our cast-aways at their repective donation-spots and can now enjoy drawers that not only have room for the clean clothes, but are now organized enough that we can SEE what we have.

Truly - I feel lighter!!

Next stop: The storage room!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Added to mention - for those who might be worried what ever happened to Christopher's finger, upon close inspection of previously posted photo, you can see that it has grown back in nicely.

Into the mouths of babes...

There is a wonderful blog for all you mommies out there - Sparx is the author and she is absolutely hysterical! Wonderful wit, teriffic use of words... and her son "spud" has many similarities to my little bubbah.

Today's antics into all-things-spud begins with his affinity for her coffee, and the occasional can of beer. We have the same strange delights in our house as well. Christopher becomes visably and audibly annoyed if I do not share my things with him... namely coffee, the phone and any alcoholic beverage that happens to be within reach (either his or mine). He tosses back an (empty) longneck with surprising grace for one so young... he also shows a preference for white wine over red, but in a pinch will gleefully sip a Cab right along with us.
(The age-old trick of letting them taste wine because they won't like it?? Yeah, that worked for Parker, but was worthless with Matthew and Chris!)

I've often wondered where they get the idea and then the desire to actually consume these "adult beverages". I've spent quite some time (nearly 6.5 years in fact) believing that is was some rogue gene in my offspring that led them to their atypical toddler tastes. Comforting is the fact that, evidently, this phenomenon is not unique to my children - even 'across the pond" they have issues that raise eyebrows...
Makes me wonder what parlor tricks they will come up with later in life.
*please note: this photo shows Chris with his two favorite things - my phone and my morning coffee!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mr. 8 turns EIGHT!

Happy Birthday to the boy who made me a Mom!!! 8 years ago today, after a greuling 18 hour labor, 2 epidurals and tons of swear words, you made your way into the world, just a bit after midnight and turned your Dad and I from just husband and wife into parents.

The last 8 years have been wonderful, filled with love and joy and frustrations and worry and angst and delight and pride.... often all at the same time! You paved the way for your brothers, and will most certainly bear the brunt of being "first" for everything. So far, you are blazing the trail marvelously.

I am delighted by what you can do, by who you are becoming and by what I see in your future. You have so much talent that you, thankfully, inhertied from your father (athletic prowess being one) and yet I also see much of myself in you.

Happy Birthday, dear Charles Parker... and many happy returns of the day! I love you more than there are words.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Invasion of the body swtichers

We have been witness to a strange and unusual occurrence around here lately. Being one who believes strongly in the whole "family systems" theories, I know that we each have "roles" in the family. All families have them - one's the "perfect child", one is the "black sheep", one may be the "peacemaker" while another is the "screw-up"... you can probably pick out each one in your own family of origin.

Where it becomes odd is when the roles begin to change. For the last 6.5 years, Parker has been the "never stray far from the line" kid, while Matthew is the "marches to his own beat" kind of kid. For years we suspected that Matthew may have a hearing problem - his name would need to be repeated in rapid-fire succession about 8 or 10 times for the sound to penetrate into his brain, and then it took a bit more time for the brain to alert the body that a reaction was required. Forsight is not his strongsuit. Honestly - neither is reacting.... he just moves at his own pace, when the mood strikes him and is generally a very happy if not frustrating kiddo.

Parker has been "analytical boy" since day 1. He follows the rules, imposes stiffer punishments that either Steve or I would dream of, and has been one to do exatly what was asked of him.

That is, until lately.

Something has happened to old Mr. Nearly Eight. He's acting more like "Mr. Nearly 14" or something. He's grouchy, disinterested, has actually been overheard muttering "Yeah... what-ever!".

And even more amazing? Matthew is now becoming Mr. Responsible, Mr. On-Top-of-Things, Mr. Reliable.

Family systems theory in practice!