Thursday, January 22, 2009

Argh!

I am having another Alexander week. You know – Alexander from the awesome children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

Except mine’s been a bad WEEK.

And that's Calvin in the image there, not Alexander, but still. He gets me. Just look at his face!

The kids have had a zillion and one activities, so I’ve been flying all over the place. I love being a mom, and I’m glad that my kids are involved in things. I love watching them do things that I never could have done at their ages. But it all just gets to be so much at times. I worry that they’re overextended. Hollywood, especially, who is currently busy taking AP classes, playing basketball, participating in show choir and mock trial. All at once. That doesn't include her social life and church activities. And track and softball are yet to come! I don’t know how she’s not stressed to the max, but she seems to handle it well. It’s good preparation for when she’s an adult like me with seventy balls in the air at once, I guess.

Work has been hell this week. H-E-double hockey sticks. HELL. I won’t bore you with the details, but one of the projects I’m heavily involved in is coming to a close and things are stressful to the max here at Giant Ass Bank. And don’t even get me started on our stock prices. My 401K has lost almost half it’s value in the past 8 months. Good thing I have eleventy billion years until I retire.

My muscles are So. Damn. Sore. I know, I know, I’m doing it to myself with this stupid kickboxing class that I can’t stop talking about. Isn’t it funny that I hardly ever blog anymore but when I do it’s always about my kickboxing class? Are you sick of it yet? I love the class - it makes me feel strong. But it hurts my muscles. And when your muscles hurt, it’s hard not to think about much else, so until the muscles don’t hurt anymore, I’ll probably bring it up again. I’m sorry-ish.

My hair is being stupid. Seriously. I can’t figure it out. Last week - great hair! The fruits of my latest haircut were finally paying off and the layers looked nice. This week - uncooperative mess. Seriously annoying. What is the deal with that?

My dog has bilateral something-or-other propecia. Which means that her hair is falling out in clumps but since it's doing it equally on both sides, it's likely caused by a hormone imbalance. I found this out after taking her to the vet on Tuesday. This is bad because it's COLD in Iowa. And a dog without hair probably gets cold. About the only thing Merlin hates worse than going to the vet is getting bathed. So what is the prescribed treatment for her maladies? You guessed it: medicated shampoo baths. Twice a week. Poor thing, she just sits in the tub and shivers. The stupid shampoo has to be left on for 10 minutes. That's a long time to sit there and try to calm down a stressed out dog.

I tried to be good and donate blood today. I wanted to do it and have been taking vitamins for several weeks in the hopes of boosting my hematocrit level. Didn’t work. My friend who went with me to donate also had a low count, so we left the donation area, doing the walk of shame with our bright red pamphlets full of helpful information about how to boost our iron levels. I tried. But I’m irritated that my blood didn’t cooperate. This has happened the last couple of times I’ve tried to donate. I really thought the vitamins would help, but I guess not.

I completely forgot The Boy had basketball practice last night. They meet once a week, every Wednesday from 6 – 8. You’d think I could remember that, right? You’d think, but you’d be wrong… I missed it. Part of my brain kept thinking that it was Tuesday night, although I knew Hollywood had to be picked up from Youth Group, and that only meets on Wednesdays, so who knows what my brain was thinking. Clearly it just wasn’t. Thinking, that is. The Boy is so sweet – I apologized to him for forgetting and he said, “That’s ok, mom. I should have remembered too, but I forgot. We both must have been out of it last night.”

I’m not sure about him, but I know I was out of it. Still am.

Weekend? Please hurry.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Totally Random Quote of the Day

From Bumblebee, completely at random:

"The devil is the boss of the mean team, isn't he, mama?"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Reason to Hate Winter

Warning: this post is a complete buzz kill. If you're in a cheerful mood and want to keep it that way, you might want to pop in another day...

***
We've been battling brutal cold temperatures here in the Midwest. I hate the cold for many reasons. I don't handle it well - give me 95 degrees with full humidity any day over negative temps.

I don't like the cold, I am a worrier, and maybe a tiny bit OCD. This past week, temps dropped into the negative teens and twenties before windchill. Hollywood and I get up early in the mornings to get our butts kicked in kickboxing class. (It should be called butt-kicking class.) On Friday morning, Bumblebee woke up before we left and wanted to come into the living room and rest on the sofa until we got home. I wouldn't let her; I made her go crawl in bed with The Husband instead. Why? Because I had visions of her going outside for some reason and freezing to death while we were gone. On Friday morning, my brain kept replaying those horrible thoughts, so when I read a news story that basically confirmed my fear/hate of the cold, I was seriously freaked out.

A wheelchair-bound man who lived in a rural area not far from us was found unconscious outside in the cold by a garbage worker. He appeared to be frozen to his wheelchair with a shovel in his hand. They figure that he'd gone out earlier in the morning to shovel his driveway and got stuck somehow. The garbage worker who found him took him inside to warm him up until paramedics arrived, but the man died shortly after he got to the hospital.

Maybe it's because I'd been thinking about a similar situation with Bumblebee, or perhaps because this story is just so abjectly horrifying, I can't get it out of my mind. I keep thinking of how frightened that man must have been while stuck in his wheelchair with nobody to help (he lived in a rural area, with no neighbors in close proximity.) What were the thoughts that went through his mind as he was stuck there? Was he a praying man? Did he know that this was it for him? The news articles say that he has two daughters, and I can't imagine what they're going through today. My heart goes out to them.

As I look outside at the gusts of wind creating new snow drifts, I can't get thoughts of this man out of my mind. It's just so sad... I'm thankful for the warmth of my home, and pray for everyone who doesn't have all that I do.

After all of this, I think it's appropriate to tell Old Man Winter to get the hell out of here. Soon, please.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What I've Been Doing...

You may have been wondering where I’ve been. More than likely you’re thinking "She’s been gone? Huh. I totally didn’t notice!"

Either way,

Here’s what I’ve been up to:


***
Reading. Reading. More Reading. Here are the books I’ve read since the beginning of December:
  • Loving Frank (ok book with a ‘never saw that coming’ ending)
  • A Thousand White Woman (loved it!)
  • Twilight (I am not ashamed to say that I really enjoyed it)
  • The Shack (very enlightening book on the Trinity if you’re into that)
  • Three Cups of Tea (amazing!)
  • New Moon (Twilight Series, part 2. Good!)
  • The Kings of Nonfiction (Excellent compilations of – you guessed it – nonfiction)
  • A Chicken Soup for the Soul book about Christmas (these books are so cheesy, but I still love them!)
  • All 23 of the Beatrix Potter books.
***
All of those hours spent sitting on the couch with a good book, a cup of tea, and a snuggly blanket literally bit me in the ass. My newer, bigger ass. Ugh. So I started working out more. Then, while doing a particularly tortourous ab workout in kickboxing class, I threw out my back and was completely useless and immobile for almost a week. But I’m well again, so now I’m back to working out. Hollywood and I have kept up with the class, which is really a lot of fun - but oy! The muscle pain! I’m running a 5 mile race in a little over a month, and I need to prepare for it so I don’t make an ass out of myself on race day, so I’ve been running some too.

***
Along came Christmas, and our holidays were lovely and relaxing this year, for a change. (Except for when my poor mother-in-law broke her leg, had to have surgery, and was in a lot of pain. That part wasn’t lovely or relaxing.) We got to spend a lot of time with family, and that’s always a blessing.

***
I became an auntie – twice! My brother-in-law and his wife welcomed an adorable baby daughter (adoption) in mid December, and N gave birth to another daughter on Dec. 29th. Ellie and Sophie. How cute are those names??? They live in Nebraska so we haven’t gone to visit yet. I’m dying to get over there to see them!

***
Spending WAY too much time on Facebook. That place is crack on a computer screen. Sheesh! Now that I've found the games Scramble and Pathwords, I may never be productive again!

***
And then there’s the usual stuff: work, basketball games, school stuff for the kids, and all of that. Hollywood received her first official high school report card and endured her first round of semester tests, and wound up with a 4.0. (our school doesn’t offer A+ grades, so this is the best score to be had.) We are extremely proud. The Boy also got awesome grades at semester. Bumblebee got a bunch of snowman certificates, so she appears to be doing well in school too.

***
And that about sums up what I've spent the last several weeks doing.

What I haven’t been doing:

  • Cleaning
  • Blogging
  • Writing
  • Flossing

There’s always next month... Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Help a Fellow Blogger...

I've been a slacker about blogging, and don't have a lot of time to write up something today either, but I wanted to link to a fellow blogger's site because he's going through a really rough time right now. Travis Erwin's house burned to the ground a few days ago. You can read more about it here.

Some friends of his have put together a fund raising blog, and you can go to that here.

Travis, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I can't even imagine the chaos you are living through right now, but I'm very glad you and your family are safe.