Archive for September, 2006

Sep 29 2006

Blurry Camera-Phone Pictures! Yay!

Published by under moblogging

Something Ethan made at school.
It is titled, “Me and My Sister”.

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Sep 29 2006

Project Skinny – Week 3 & 4

Published by under daily,project skinny

so. hi there. project skinny! thought i fell off the wagon, didn’t you? well, you’re right, and you’re wrong. i have been meaning to post since monday, but it’s been a busy week and i had other stuff i wanted to say (puzzles?! puzzles were SO important?? You just HAD to share your precious handmade totoros??) (Oh shoosh, inner self.)

So I did not post anything for week 3, and am terribly late here posting about week 4. But I have NOT fallen off the wagon, though I have been a bit discouraged. Last weekend was a Not Good Points weekend. I had Bunko friday night, and it was filled with booze and taquiros and booze and chips and booze and trail mix with m&ms and more booze. And then some more booze. Saturday night we actually had a SITTER for the first time in months, and had fried bar food before the movie and then mexican after the movie and why is it I always seem to think mexican will be ok? Because the big bowl of (fried) chips and the yummy food with cheese and sour cream and quacamole and all sorts of yumminess, well, that can’t be good, and I can never guesstimate what the points would be but I know that they’re probably high (even without the guac. and the sour cream, which I did NOT have). I actually think I did ok at the mexican place, compared with bunko and the fried bar food. But it all added up for a very disappointing weekend, and a gain at monday’s weigh in.

So I did not count it! I told James I was just going to NOT weigh in, and just weigh in the next week (this week). He claimed that was cheating. Which may be. But I don’t care if it’s cheating if it means that I don’t get SO frustrated that I just throw in the towel. Mind games. It’s what’s for dinner! How Can We Trick Your Mind Today! Now, with Lemon Fresh Scent!

So anyway, I did not “officially” weigh in last Monday, but I pretty much step on the scale every morning so I knew what the damage was, and it wasn’t pretty. However, by this last monday (which was week 4 weigh in) I was back on track with a 1/2 lb. loss from week 3. (Which means that even though I gained week 3, i lost it all as well as 1/2 a lb in week 4. yay me.)

I have to say, it has been a hard couple weeks. week 4 after my set back was especially hard. It was a lot like week 1, where you SEE ALL the stuff that you want and shouldn’t have but still WANT WANT WANT. Week 2 it was like, “I see you! But I don’t need you no sirree bob! I’m just fine! Ha-HA!” Well, week 3’s weekend kicked my ass to the curb and when I saw all that stuff, it was like pressing my face to the window staring and not being able to look away and wanting to lick the glass — that’s how hard it was. But I managed it. I didn’t succumb to unplanned stuff, but did plan many many things that made it easier. there were much brownie snacking (3 pt brownie bites from costco, i love you) and even planned peanut m&ms (6 pts never tasted so good) and so it made it easier to steel myself against the BOX OF DOUGHNUTS IN THE KITCHEN AT WORK. HOW DARE THEY. Ahem.

So this week has been a lot easier, in fact, I think there have been a few days I’ve been under points, which isn’t too good because your body can trigger into starvation mode, and then it’s REALLY a hard to shed pounds. but still. Under points? Me? WHO IS THIS AND WHERE DID YOU PUT AMY??! It really is kind of shocking.

So the moral to the story? I need to persevere with the points counting even on the weekends, because that is where I get into trouble. At work, it’s easy to keep track and not really stray off the planned eating, but at home, the kitchen is ALWAYS right over there! Waving to me! Hi Amy! Come have some chips! Come rummage around in me! I’m full of food! And what with the onset of cooler weather, I have been getting all these nesting crafty sewing BAKING urges. We had some bananas that were on the brink of super-bad, but just at that stage where they make wonderful banana bread, so of course I did. and then I ate about 6 of them over the weekend. However, I realized what I was doing, COUNTED THEM, and took the remaining muffins (i made them into muffins instead of loaves for easier points figuring out) over to my neighbor Selena so she and her husband could enjoy them and they would be OUT of my house.

So that’s the Project Skinny update. I remember thinking how nice it would be to be in the 250s instead of 260s by the end of the month. I don’t think that is going to happen, but I think I will be pretty close :)

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Sep 28 2006

I Bet God Has Abs Of Steel

Published by under photos

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Sep 27 2006

pigtail boots daddy cuteness

Published by under daily,kids,photos

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Sep 26 2006

IG now in my hot little hands – yay me!

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

My new Indigo Girls album has arrived, Despite Our Differences.

I’m so happy! I don’t know why. I didn’t really get all excited about the last…. 4 or 5 releases. Not since Shaming of the Sun. I was living in Atlanta at the time and there was quite a lot of publicity on that release. I stood in line at Tower or some such and got it signed by the girls. It was fun.

I have all the other albums of course. But one of them I found while thumbing through the IG section at a store and not recognizing the album cover. Some fan *I* am! Not even knowing that there had been a release! So really, I am not sure why I’m excited about this one, but I am. I blame Linda, who’s hyped it all up for me (and by “hyped” I mean, “mentioned more than once”).

It’s nice to be back in that place though, that place where listening to the girls make me feel warm and fuzzy.

It got me thinking about music and stuff. Isn’t it funny how there are some albums that you know by heart, and love more than anything, but it doesn’t necessarily fit into your musical tastes. For example, I own and love The Best of the Doobie Brothers. Love love love it. Dance with me momma all night long! I think this is because my older sister had it when I was a girl and it’s just something I grew up with. I don’t think that I would love it as much as I do, if I had never heard it until later. I am sure I wouldn’t, it definitely isn’t in my typical musical taste. Cat Stevens is in this category, as well as a few America songs – I have one album of theirs just for “Horse with no name” (which by the way, makes great kid listening music).

I am not a huge audiophile. I am in awe of folks who are. I had a friend, whom we’ll just call ‘shoeshine boy’ who I was able to just describe a song I heard on the radio once A FEW YEARS BEFORE and loved, not remembering ANY of the words, just the way they made me feel, who after 5 minutes of hearing me ramble, said, “Ben Harper” and sure enough it was Ben Harper’s “Faded” from The Will to Live album. I basically listen to the radio (alternative/modern rock) and am fairly undiscriminating. As long as they can sing and aren’t too heavy, I will generally like it. My husband James is into the heavier stuff, and it’s a good thing the guy in Metallica can actually SING, because his favorite had been one of those screecher hair bands that can’t sing, just screech, we probably wouldn’t be married.
And that’s another thing. I don’t know about anyone else.. but I need some time to connect with a new album to really love it. I spent time with, totally bonded and connected with that Ben Harper album. I own all his other albums as well (except the latest one) but haven’t really spent the time to get to know them as well, and therefore don’t adore them as I do The Will to Live. Another example is the Wonder Stuff (which is probably the only time I’ll list a band and you’ll go, “huh? who’s that?” because i’m not very non-mainstream, honestly, i’m not) whose “Never Loved Elvis” album is in my top 10. And yet, I don’t really care for any of the others. I just haven’t gotten into them.

While waiting for my album to arrive from Amazon, Linda pointed out how some folks will say I am not missing much. I asked Linda what SHE thought of it, and the way she put it was perfect. “I have loved them for 17 years. It’s like a marriage now. I will always love them, even if I have to work at it.” (Sorry if I messed that up Linda.)

She’s right. It’s time I reconnect with the girls instead of just remembering “the good old times” (rites of passage, swamp ophelia, 1200 curfews).I skipped around until I found the song that made me cry when I saw them in concert, which was “Lay Me Down”. I turned it up as far as I could, and it made me cry again. here’s part of it:

Why can’t I let go of the feeling
That I’m lost somehow
Just a ghost looking in
Out of my own life just visiting
In search of a body to have and to hold and to keep and to sleep
I wanna lay my head down on you
Because you’re the only solid thing in this room
A room full of missed chance, slow dance, cold fate, heartache

To me, this song is about losing that connection. Losing the connection to others around you. Feeling like a stranger in a room of friendly acquaintances. Looking around the room at Bunko and wondering if you really are this person, sitting in this room. Wondering if you can just be Amy, and not the wallet-loser, Not the wife. Not the mother. Not the Web Designer/Editor. Not the bill-payer. Not the appointment-maker. And who exactly is amy? She doesn’t feel like this person, this life. Wondering how you got to be in this place in your life. Do these labels fit me? Mother, wife, responsible adult. I feel like a ghost looking in on this life. I need to connect, I need to anchor, I need to lay my head down on you, because if I don’t I may drift away because I don’t know how to fit into this life, this world, this house, this perception that people have of me.. I need to connect or you will just be another mishmash of songs that are vaguely familiar, by voices that I loved once, or still do, but in another form, another album.

And so, I settle in to connect with this album. I pore over the words as they flood over me. I will make the effort to connect, just as you have to in a marriage.

And it’s like falling in love all over again.

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Sep 26 2006

Mobile Blogging – Live from the field!

Published by under moblogging

Aaaaahhh acronyms!

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Sep 26 2006

puzzles

Published by under daily,kids,photos

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Sep 25 2006

totoros!

I came across Hilary Lang’s Wee Bunny pattern (it’s free! it’s easy! even I could do it!) and thought that perhaps I could make one, put a totoro face on it (from My Neighbor Totoro), call it a totoro and maybe be able to pull the wool over my kids eyes that they’re ACTUALLY supposed to be bunnies. (it hasn’t worked, Jocelyn called them “little BUNS!” during the construction process, although she has readily adopted the “totoro” title now that they’re made.. )

I’m pretty pleased with how they’ve come out, actually! I am going to make a few more, one more at the very least, because I WANT ONE TOO. A little “sad” totoro! More on that below.

Jocelyn’s Totoro when it was still clean (completed).

Ethan’s Totoro still in progress

I tried out a few different mouths when finishing up Jocelyn’s totoro. The totoros in the movie are never exactly giddy, except in certain scenes. Mostly they have a serious sort of look to them. Almost grumpy. So the first mouth I did, Jocelyn took one look at it and said, “It’s a SAD totoro!” and demanded a HAPPY totoro.

Ethan however, wanted a sad totoro. “Not too sad. Just.. sad.”

I like the “sad” totoro better myself. (Jocelyn has already had 24 hours with her completed totor, and it already had jam on it by the time Ethan’s was finished, and there was daylight for photo taking with both completed totoros.)

I don’t know why this picture tickles me so, but it does. they look so cute looking at each other.

And now, some real totoros, for reference (for more totoro goodness, visit totoro.org):

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Yes. I am way off. But still, I think I did ok on the faces :) Honestly, IT COULD BE WORSE! SO JUST SHOOSH!
-amy, hey let’s GO! HEY LET’S GO! WE’RE HAPPY AS CAN BE!

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Sep 25 2006

working at home

Published by under daily

is wonderful when you can put on (the movie) Phantom of the Opera as loud as you dare (without hurting the speakers or your relationship with our neighbors) and sing along as you work.

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Sep 22 2006

If you praise my son, I will love you forever.

Published by under daily,kids

Ethan has always enjoyed puzzles. He has been doing puzzles for quite some time, including the huge floor type puzzle with the train and the first car that has “Aa” on it and it goes all the way to “Zz” and by the time it’s done it stretches from the family room all the way to the front entry. We have always indulged his fondness for puzzles, and he has gotten pretty good at them. We have a whole cupboard of puzzles.

Saturday, I sat down to make some Totoros. My kids love the movie, “My Neighbor Totoro” and I thought that Hilary Lang’s Wee Bunny pattern could easily just be called a totoro as well as a bunny. If I were snazzier, I would be able to adapt it so that it looks JUST like a totoro, but I’m not that snazzy.? So I was starting out, and Ethan decided he wanted to do a puzzle. Not any puzzle, but the 100 piece, age 5+ yellow cement mixer puzzle (a photograph, not an illustration). We get it out occasionally, but it is pretty difficult, being mainly yellow, and green (the trees in the background) without a lot of variation on these two colors. The ones he usually does are in the 50-60 piece category with several bright colors (usually with characters on them) that are age 3+. Anyway, when we do the cement mixer, one of us usually sits down with him to do it also, because it definitely is too difficult for a 4 year old.

I was getting started on the totoros, and told him, “I can’t help, because I’m going to be making totoros.” and he was fine with that, so we both sat working, he at the kitchen table and me in the family room for about 15-20 minutes, in silence. I called out, “How’re you doing?” and he sighed and called back in a wan, frustrated voice, “This puzzle is very hard. I really need some help.”

“Ethan honey, I told you I wouldn’t be able to help, because I’m making totoros, remember?”

(weary:) “I know. (pause.) It is just very tricky, mommy.”

Of course, I gathered my stuff and carried it into the kitchen to help him / work on cutting out the totoro pieces. I was astonished with what I saw.. in 20 minutes, he had about 60% of the truck done. The wheels were all together, though separate from anything else, he had the entire back end of the truck (which I think is the hardest part, and I always do it last) and a couple of sections of the front worked together.

I was truly amazed. I expressed my astonishment and lavished on the praise for doing so well and he positively glowed. It was like I had flipped a switch. Instead of seeing how far he had to go, he saw just how much he had accomplished, and he got excited and very proud, and eager to keep working.

So the next half hour, I cut out pattern pieces and helped him now and then with the puzzle, and then together, we finished up the surrounding background pieces. Ethan very proudly showed James the puzzle when he came upstairs.

The next morning, we slept in a bit. Ethan usually gets up and goes and plays by himself on the weekends. James got up and went downstairs to see what Ethan was up to. He had taken the puzzle apart, and was just finishing up the last pieces. I was a little dubious, actually. Could he really do the whole thing by himself? I thought maybe he had just taken some of it aparat and James saw him putting that together, but I was WRONG. Later that afternoon, with me sitting next to him sewing away on totoros, he completely destroyed the puzzle, making extra careful that every piece was disconnected, and then started working away on it again. And again, he did every piece by himself.

Judging from when Ethan usually wakes up and when James went downstairs and found him, we figure it took him about an hour to get to the 75% point where James sat down and helped with the finishing touches. When he did it again that afternoon, it took him about 45 minutes.

I am still flabbergasted that he did this puzzle – not so much that he COULD do it. The boy has been working on puzzles for a long time now, and he really does know the HOWs of it all, but he would have the patience and determination to keep at it until it was finished. I am so proud of him I could just burst.

_________

I took the kids in to school today, which is a juxtaposition from what usually happens – James takes them in every other day of the week, and I pick them up. Fridays, I drop off, and James picks up. It’s the only day I get to actually see their main teachers, because by the time I pick them up, they’ve already gone and it’s the more general caretakers in charge.

We got to Ethan’s room today, and he ran right in to start playing with the Legos. His teacher was leaning on the door, and I asked how he’s been doing.

“He loves the blocks,” Mrs. M. said, “I put them out in the morning just for him. He is doing very, very good. He is so smart. So intelligent. He tries very hard. He was a little sad the first few weeks of school, I think because he didn’t know any of the other children, but now, now he is playing with the others. He is doing very well.”

She showed me a project they did of picture of themselves with a family member. Ethan did himself with Jocelyn. They cut out fabric and glued it onto the paper. She showed how he cut out very small pieces to make the details on the legs and shoes.

“See these small pieces he did? I was very impressed. He is very patient, VERY determined, which is very unusual for this age. He is a very smart boy.”

I told her how the puzzle and she agreed that it was impressive. Being that I’m only around my son, and of course, I’m horribly biased, I do wonder if some of the things he does actually are advanced for his age or am I just being motherish about it all. It’s nice to hear that it’s not just all in my head.

Today is going to be a WONDERFUL day.

– amy, wallet schmallet – I AM RAISING A GENIUS!

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