Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back on the Wagon

First of all, What the hell is this nonsense all about? I mean seriously, it's messed up: Check out this story about Clay Aiken.

And now that you've all lost your appetite, back to the main point of my post...

Holy shit. I seriously have to get a grip.

In seven months I have gained back ALMOST HALF of the weight that took me two years to lose on Weight Watchers. I've gained more weight these past seven months than I did during my entire pregnancy with Hollywood.

Good grief. That's really scary.

I am 16 pounds heavier than I was this time last year and nothing fits me from last summer except stretchy things.

And guess what? Stretchy and my ass should never be allowed together. In fact, my ass was granted a temporary restraining order against stretchy, and as a result, he isn't allowed within 100 yards of my ass or he'll be thrown in the slammer.

**Tangent Warning**

Oh my GOD. I totally know better than to do what I just did... I went to google images intent on finding a clever graphic to go with the little ass vs. stretchy thing in the paragraph above. What the hell was I thinking when I googled 'big' and 'butt' from my work computer??? Uh, Husband, if I get fired for inappropriate internet use, sorry about that. I'll try to find another job that lets me write blog posts all day soon, ok?)

**End of Tangent**

So where was I? Oh yeah, my pitiful lack of control when it comes to stuffing my face.

Weight Watchers here I come. I lost 40 pounds on it a few years ago (took me 2 years, but still, I did it...) so I know it works, and I know I can lose these 16 pounds. Again.

Sonofabiscuitwithbaconandcheeseonit.

I officially joined again this morning. I'm going for a run tonight so that I can eat more for dinner. Lovely system they've got there, isn't it?

Guess how I'm doing today?

Yeah. I'm hungry. But whatev.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

School's Out!


Today is the last day of school. Which means by the end of the day, I'll have a high schooler, a sixth grader, and a kindergartener. Holy moly. The Boy was so excited about it being the last day of school - he had a grin the size of New Jersey on his face last night.

I, for one, couldn't be more excited for summer vacation! We're not doing a big family trip this year. We took the fam to weddings in New York and San Francisco last year, so our travel budget was obliterated for this year. But that suits me just fine, because I'm taking two afternoons off per week (all summer long!) to hang out with the kids and do fun, summery activities. We got season passes to the amusement park, will go swimming at the lake and the pools, go to the art and science centers, the zoo, the library, etc. Oh. And we'll be watching a lot of Hollywood's softball.

Summertime, here we come! Now, if you'd kindly cooperate with warm (I'd even take hot) temperatures, I'd be oh so appreciative.

Here's another example of why I should hide out in my basement with a box of nutter butters and a good book instead of going out into the real world while I have PMS: As I said, today is the last day of school for many of the area kiddos. On my way to work, I stopped in front of a school and watched a dad walking his two kids across the street. The little girl handed each of the two crossing guards a little gift card - as a present for the last day of school. Nice, right? Then why in the name of Fred did it make me weepy? I am a mess this time every 28 days. A complete blubbery fool, I tell you.

Speaking of blubber, my sis-in-law is FORCING me to run a 5K this Saturday. (and NO! My sis in law isn't the blubbery one. That would be me. Keep reading...) She threatened my life if I didn't run with her! Well, maybe not. But she did ask me to run and I did say I would, so now I have to, even though I'm so chubby and out of shape that it's unreal. Hollywood (or, as she entered herself in my cellphone registry as, the eldest spawn) and I ran 3 miles on Monday night and it took 41 minutes. Yeah, that's like a 13:45 mile. Those Kenyans have nothing on me, I tell ya. I'm pretty sure a baby Kenyan could crawl faster than we were jogging. As long as I finish this 5K on Saturday without dropping dead, I'll call that a victory. And hey - I'll get another t-shirt out of the deal. So that'll be swell.

I owe y'all a post on my other set of grandparents who I saw this past weekend. I haven't uploaded pictures from Sunday yet, but will try to do that this afternoon.

Happy Wednesday, everyone, and kids...
HAPPY LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend With the Grandparents... Part 1

I am 35 years old and still have all four of my grandparents living. I realize how lucky I am that they're still around to tell me stories of times I never knew and to show my children the wealth of knowledge, experience, humor, and love our older generations have to give us.

Yesterday, I went with four of my brothers up to visit my dad's parents. Grandpa Bernie and Grandma Viv are amazing. And aren't they a good looking couple?


I've written about them before. A while ago they moved from the house they shared for fifty years into an apartment in a retirement village in their town. We got to visit the place and it is lovely.

I felt bad because there were a lot of us - check out this picture below to see the crew:

I think we may have overwhelmed my Grandpa a bit. We decided to go out to lunch, and Grandpa and Grandma treated the entire clan to a lunch at KFC. We pretty much took over the restaurant, but enjoyed our time there.

After lunch, we came back to their home and had dessert in the billiard room. Here's a picture of my brother E, Grandma and me after we'd cleaned up from dessert. As usual, E asked me if I needed help, just as the last fork was going into the drawer. I need to learn a lot of his techniques at getting out of things... he's a master at it.

We wanted to get a big picture of the group, and Grandpa had gone back to the apartment after dessert. Grandma and I took the pie plates back to her home and she went to the bedroom to tell Grandpa that we wanted a photo. I stayed in the foyer - I felt like an intruder, but overheard a beautiful scene:

"Bernie, the kids would like to get a picture of us all together." Grandma told Grandpa.

"Oh." Grandpa said, sounding kind of worried. "Do I look OK?" he asked.

"Oh, Bernie, you look wonderful. You are very handsome." I heard Grandma give him a kiss. She said those words in a soft, loving voice that put a giant lump in my throat.

Grandma has a lot to do these days. It's a lot of work taking care of Grandpa and keeping the house in order, but she's doing a marvelous job. And through it all, she still talks to Grandpa like she did 63 (or maybe it's 64) years ago when she married him.

I'm going to close with a poem that Grandma showed to me yesterday. She wrote it in 2002 and told me I could post it on my blog. Here it is:

The Mirror
I looked int he mirror and whom did I see?
A little girl at her mother's knee

Her hair was straight, bangs short as could be

I knew right away that child was me.

I gave the mirror another glance

And there was a teenager dressed for a dance

Her hair was now curled, each ringlet in place

I knew that girl; she had my own face
I stared at the mirror and then I spied

A happy young girl now dressed as a bride

Without a doubt, I knew it was true

This was the day I would say I do

I looked again, for another peek

And saw a woman rocking a babe to sleep

I was that woman, the babe was mine

That time is long past, for it I now pine.

The mirror beckoned and I looked once more
There was my mother coming in the door

The hair was gray which she did never allow

"I'll always be natural" has been my solemn vow

I looked one last time, and what a surprise

To see my grandmother before my eyes.

Thousands of smiles etched her loving face

Worry lines too for they won't erase.

Her hair was snow white, but where is the bun?

Grandmother's hair was long, so I'm that one.
I tiptoed away, the mirror has told
I'm no longer young; in fact I'm quite old

I'll not look again for what the mirror did show
Was a collage of my life as each phase did go.

But this question remains: "Will I ever see
That happy young woman I think of as me?"


Grandma Viv - December 2002


I can see that happy young woman in her. She has always been there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm Not Dead

Bumblebee has had strep and is covered in a nasty rash from head to toe.

I have been swamped with work, which was complicated by two home office days and one day of PTO this week.

I chaperoned the 5th and 6th grade band trip to the Amusement Park yesterday.

My back is out of whack.

I'm still trying to keep up with my running. So far, I'm on track. (ha! get it?!)

My house is messier than a super messy thing.

That's all the update I have time for.

More later, I promise.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Slacker!

I have neglected my blog this week. I'm not sure why - I was frantically running all over the place from softball practice to baseball games and so forth. But I was no busier than usual. I guess I'm just a slacker.

I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love for my book club. This is one of the most amazingly written books I have ever read. It's funny in a wry sort of way, and I love that. But what fills me with writer-wannabe envy is how well she describes the abstract. The book is written about her journey of self discovery where she found pleasure, faith, and love. Check out this paragraph:
I'm tired of being a skeptic, I'm irritated by spiritual prudence and I feel bored and parched by empirical debate. I don't want to hear it anymore. I couldn't care less about evidence and proof and assurances. I just want God. I want God inside me. I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water.
I love that she got the 'couldn't care less' part right - holy cats, that irritates me when someone says 'I could care less'. But of course she got it right. Did you read those words? How does someone aptly describe their yearning to know God? Clearly, that's how. "...the way sunlight amuses itself on water?" GENIUS!

Anyway, as you can tell, I'm enjoying the read. And, speaking of enjoyable books.... My blogger pal Jess Riley's novel Driving Sideways comes out on May 20th. I am so excited. You can check out an excerpt of the first chapter here. I pre-ordered this thing last year and am so excited for it to arrive in my mailbox. Target is making it a break out novel in June - so if you're shopping in Target - and really, who doesn't shop at Target - and you see Jess's book, check it out. I'll be doing a little interview session with her soon - after I've read the novel. Can't wait!!

That's about all I have for today. This is a rare weekend without a softball tournament to attend. And the weather is gorgeous. I hope to get a ton of things done in my yard, but first I'm going to go for a nice run.

I'll leave you with this - a picture of Bumblebee in the outfit she dressed herself in: a pink dress that's a bit too small, red tights, and brown clunky sandals. The outfit is topped off with purple cat's eye sunglasses. She just told me this: "Mom, I wish I could have this same outfit on when I get married. I look so pretty!"

Indeed she does:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Isn't this an awesome picture of The Boy?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cock a Doodle Doo

My brother just called me and said that since I've been posting a bunch of pictures of myself on here that I'm getting cocky.

I said, "When you get down to it, isn't that what a blog is all about? It's total self promotion."

But, just in case he's feeling left out, I have a few nuggets to share:

Here's S on his trike. Look at the size of that noggin! It houses his Berkeley educated brain:

And here we all are - S is the one on the right who looks like someone spun him around in circles and he can't catch is balance. I think maybe my brother K's fly is open, and check out E with his "where's the beef?" t-shirt. Man, I miss the 80s.....


Anyway, this is just a bunch of fun to get my little brother to stop calling me cocky. As the song goes, "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble..." Love ya, S, my second little brother!! I'm looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stay Off the Roads!!!

Seriously, folks. Check this out:

There are two scary interesting things about this picture. The first is that Hollywood's hair is the same color as my car, at least for another 24 shampoos or so... The second is that she's in the driver's seat of my new car!! And, just like Hillary Clinton's latest "win", Hollywood got her driver's permit by eeking by with a barely passing grade on the test. My straight A student apparently gets confused by traffic questions.

The thought of her driving makes me look like this:

Actually, to be fair, we drove around the block and to and from softball practice without getting a single dent in the car. Reversing out of the driveway was a bit tricky, though. See the nice house in the rear view mirror in the picture above? Yeah, we almost ended up in their living room. Hollywood got a tad bit pedal happy and shot straight backwards out of the driveway. And then there was her frantic query about why, on the gearshift, the P and the D letters were the same color... (She kept confusing "park" with "drive" and wanted to know why the car wouldn't go anywhere...) But it ended well. For now.

So anyone driving near Tinytown, be very careful if you see our car heading down the road....

Snapshot of the Prissy 'Do



Isn't photoshop cool? This is the poster edge filter of the photo I took just for you of my new haircut. If you look closely at my nose, like I've been doing for the past few minutes, it looks like a mini foot/leg (with a disproportionately large heel) is trying to kick my laugh line. Or, no! The laugh line is a "line drawn in sand" by the toe!

I'd better stop analyzing my weirdo face.

So I ask my fine readers... Is my new 'do...

PRISSY, SASSY, or GASSY?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hair Confidence Issues

A few weeks ago, I got a new hair cut, inspired by the Jenny McCarthy bob:

See? Isn't her hair pretty? Even if I'm not a leggy, busty blonde, I loved the cut at first. I'm still playing around with it. Sometimes I wear it curly, other times I wear it straight, and sometimes I even let it air dry it for that special flat, drowned rat look.

My boring hair has lacked style for years - so much so that I usually pulled it into a ponytail before lunchtime.

But not now. Now I have this above the shoulders Jenny bob.

Today I actually took the effort to style it. I wore it sleek, straightened, and (I thought) stylish.I thought I was having a good hair day until a co-worker of mine told me that my new hairstyle seems too 'prissy' for me.

What the eff does that mean??

Did she mean: "You're an awesome gal, Monnik, and SO MUCH FUN, that your stepford wives hairdo is bringing me down..."

or, was it: "Dude- you usually look so disheveld that it's catching me off guard to see your hair fixed."

Hmmm. I also recently noticed that when I wear my rounded sunglasses, I look like Willy Wonka (The Johnny Depp version, not Gene Wilder) as seen here (sans the hat):

And although Johnny Depp is about as sizzling hot as they come, his hairstyle isn't what I was going for.

Yeah. Maybe it's time for some layers.