Sunday, September 27, 2009

I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind, if I put down in words ...

Sorry, I just have that song stuck in my head.
(The version sung by Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge, if you're being particular.)

Yeah, I have been a little busy ... which explains (in part) why I haven't blogged all that recently.

What have I done? ....
  • Had my mom up to visit.
  • Had Michael's folks and the cousins (Bruise and Bucket's cousins over)
  • Got a haircut (Thanks Mom for paying for my hair cut!)
    (It's shoulder-length and mostly evens out out the layers that I had gotten the last time I had a haircut ... which, eventually, left me with a noticably-shorter-than-the-other-layers layer on top. And was irritating me. Yeah, I did lose about six inches of length in my hair (mostly in the back), but it looks much better.)
  • Got Bucket signed up for a dance class (One of my friends from church teaches it. She's willing to let Bruise come sit in for free. And they NEEDED one more student so they wouldn't have to cancel. Bucket's excited. And I'm coming to grips with the idea that I'm a MOM-mom now. Like, I have a kid who has a (albeit only for 4 weeks) CLASS to go to. What's going to happen next? Soccer practice? Luge lessons? Ballet? Football? ... I'm a little scared. But a bit excited, too. And I hope that Bruise will participate a bit.)
    - I've also told Bucket that if she likes this class a lot ... I will let her join the ballet class (also taught by my friend) when she is four. That's, what, THREE MONTHS AWAY? Crikey.
  • Gotten caught up with the dishes ... which I've fallen behind in AGAIN.
  • Gotten caught up with the laundry ... and have falen behind in THAT category, TOO.
  • Read a few books
  • Had Bucket wet her bed for a couple days in a row ... when the kids were both doing GREAT when they went to bed wearing underwear.
  • Washed a few windows (LOVE microfiber cloths!)
  • Had the washer (which I still pronounce as "war-sher" in a throwback to how my Nana says it) leak this morning. [NOTE TO SELF: Pillows should not go on the top of a full load.] But the washer seems to be back to normal, thanks be.
  • Bought red spray-in temporary haircolor for Bucket (Mom bought the kids their costumes: Bruise will be Spiderman, Bucket will be Ballerina Ariel, hence the need for the red haircolor. She's also asking for a purple crown.)
  • Bought the nail polish to discourage nail biting. Have been putting it on the kids at least once per day.
  • FINALLY found a nice nude-colored nail polish.
  • Gave my mom a mani-pedi while she was up. This will be repeated when she comes up next week. I figure it's a good incentive for her to come visit more often, no? ^_^
  • ... ... Um ... I'm sure that there's more, but I'm not recalling everything.
But, yeah, Stuff's been going on.

And writing that list has plum tuckered me out.

I'll try and write something wonderfully witty and though-provoking tomorrow.
Or later tonight, if I'm feeling energetic. *shrugs* There's always a possibility.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My day, let me tell you about it ...

I just feel like I've had a semi-busy day ...

Usual Tuesday:
  • Storytime @ 10:30 AM
  • Go home
  • Read books and/or watch a show (if the kids are watching a show, you know that I'm most likely on the interwebs)
  • Feed the kids
  • At some point, send the kids to nap ... and read or clean or browse the intertubes
  • Fix dinner
  • Dinner
  • Watch shows with Michael
Whereas today:
  • Storytime @ 10:30 AM
  • Go over to Grandpa and Grandma C's (Michael's grandparents, the kids' Great-Grandparents)
  • Go out to McDonald's with G-Grandparents for lunch
    (Seriously, they were so sweet to treat us to lunch!)
  • Rush over to pick up my VT companion
  • Rush over to VT K (YAY!! We've got 100% VT this month! Woo-hoo!!)
  • Take VT comp home/Go home
  • Kids watch a show
  • Get through blogs that I've fallen behind on ... like my FRIENDS' blogs. (Yes, I was a bad friend)
    .... Now I need to make dinner, fold laundry, clean the kitchen, clean our bathroom and bedroom, clean my desk, vacuum, clean the car ... all in preparation for Mom and Dad C to come up and spend the weekend up here (ESPECIALLY since we missed them the last time they were in town!).
Do I REALLY think I'll get all those things done today? Oh, H no! I'm not quite that energetic. Too bad, huh? Because if I did, I'd totally be Miss Powerhouse.

Really, I'm about ready to take a nap. Or maybe a bubble bath. ... Unfortunately, Bruise is already up from his nap (if he really took one at all. Who knows? He does seem a lot more chipper than he was when we were leaving K's house. ^_^), so my taking a bath in PEACE? The chances of that happening are slim to none ... and the arrow's heavily skewed towards "none." *sigh*

But I have been blazing through some books. Not as many as I SHOULD be getting through ... but I'm reading more than I was for the last few months. And I'm even being okay with not getting to some books that I've checked out. *sigh* I just need a few more hours in a day. Like ten or twenty. That my kids are sleeping or something. ^_^

Oh well. It's good that I love these crazy kids. ^_^ Because 99% of the time, they're very awesome. More than I deserve. Thank goodness I'm not getting what I really deserve. I'd be in an institution by now. *sigh*

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My children are growing up.

Case in point:

Scene - In the car on the way home from church.

Me: So, what did you guys learn about in Nursery?
Bruise: Jesus (A regular answer) and we play wif toys.
Bucket: We learned that Jesus loves us (again, another pat answer) and there were people. And they didn't have enough food. They had only a little bread. And fishes!
Me: (agog ... my kids are listening and REMEMBERING and reporting to me???) You mean you learned about how Jesus fed the five thousand?
Bucket: YEAH!

Or, say, how at the baptism yesterday, Bruise kept insisting that I give him kisses (and, really, who'd argue? He's CUTE) ... and then he'd wipe them off.

Other REALLYREALLYREALLY cute thing he does: When I fake-cry, Bruise will say "Not DO that! No. I YUV YOO!! Not cry, I yuv yoo!"
(SRSLY: HOW FLIPPIN' CUUUUUUTE is that????????)
(Answer: ReallyreallyreallyreallyREALLYreally cute!)

Of course, I can balance that with how Bruise had an accident in Nursery, which neccessitated my driving him home to get a dry pair of pants, socks, and shoes. Poor guy. Good thing I had an extra pair of his undies in my church bag. Now I've replaced it and added a pair of pants and socks. And, hey, if Bucket-Bug needs to use them, they'll work. *sigh*)

Or how I did Bucket's hair SO prettily (like I mentioned in the last blog) ... and she took it out before we got home. *sigh* I still love her. Or how she pushed herself up by digging her ELBOW into my BOOB (we were all lying in Michael's and my bed). Owwwwwwww.

We've also started reading a chapter of the Chronicles of Narnia each night. We're starting with The Magician's Nephew. I'm amazed that the kids actually lie quietly to listen to the chapter (we've only done the first chapter so far. Tonight we'll read Ch. 2).

I also need to finish Winnie-the-Pooh with them. We're almost halfway through. Maybe we'll get some rainy days for that. And I can start being a cool mom (in one way) and limit the amount of videos that they watch every day. *sigh*

-----------------------------------------
In other news, most everyone seems to like the new hair! Even my MOM liked it! And I was really worried that she wouldn't, since she LOVES me as a blonde. (She loves me all the time, but she especially loves my hair being blonde. ^_^)

C-c-c-c-c-changes ...

I colored my hair.

Depending on the light, it looks different. In front of the bathroom mirror, it looks lighter. When I'm out of direct light, it looks really dark. It's like chameleon hair. Which is kinda cool.


Here: LIGHTER


(Yes, after taking multiple pictures of myself, I cannot keep a straight face. Sorry if you were expecting anything different. :D)
(Also, this is Bucket's FAVORITE picture. It makes her laugh.)

And DARKER:


This is Michael's favorite picture out of the ones I took.


Here I am with my Felicia Day impression ... Since her pretty, pretty hair was inspiration.
(So I asked my cosmonaut- cosmolotologist-friend-extrordinaire, Bri, if she thought that I could pull off that hair color ... if my skin tone would be able to carry it off. Triple-salchow-yay for friends who give good advice!)

(Also: bonus trivia - I took that last picture mostly with my feet, laying on my bed ... since my pretty, pretty blue sheets make a nice backdrop, no?)

------------------------------------
In other news, we've just been a little busy. I've been reading a lot. We went to the Zoo to the new Predators of the Serengeti exhibit (Didn't get to see the Caracal. They were hiding/napping. And I only got DiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiSTANCE shots of a couple lioness' heads. But I was able to take some decent pictures of the cheetahs and the African wild dogs. Oh, and the mongooses/mongeese/mongoosi were hiding. I was hoping to see those, too. *sigh* Next time.)

I bought some new nail polish. My toes are a true black. (Rimmell #403 - Hypnotize) and my fingers are a pretty goldy-green ... like cash-money green. It's called camouflage (also by Rimmell, but I can't find it on their website. *sad* This, however, is pretty close. ^_^)

Okay, I need to leave for church in, like, two shakes. But I just found two AMAZING nail polish blogs. TEMPTATION.

BUT. I. AM. STRONGER. THAN. THIS.
(They'll still be here when I get home. I can make it. And I have to find a shirt to wear with my skirt. *sigh* I have to get ready and to church. At least the kids are dressed and ready. And Bucket's hair looks really adorable. I'll post pictures .... sometime.

(Hey, if you are on Facebook, I tend to post pictures there a bit more often. Just FYI. I really suck at posting pictures at all, really. But I usually have more there. Just sayin'.)


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Is it Fall Yet Already?

Wow, when I'm renewing library books and I was AMAZED at the date it is TODAY, I know that time's going by WAY too fast sometimes.

Let's see ... since I last blogged, what's been going on?

We went down south last weekend to visit my dad and stepdad since this week is BOTH of their birthdays. (Dad's was yesterday. My stepdad's is Thursday.) Went down Friday morning and came back up Saturday evening. Kinda short visit, but a good time. We had to miss my stepdad's family reunion, since it was at the same time that we needed to be back here for church. But I was able to visit with my stepsisters Saturday. Then we got to see my Nana on our way home.

(Have I mentioned that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being close enough geographically that my kids have great relationships with their grandfolks? ... Speaking of, I REALLY need to be better about taking the kids over to see their great-grandfolks here in town. I really suck at it.)

Thursday, at storytime, Bruise surprised me by actually participating more in storytime than he has in the past. He actually followed directions for the songs ... even though he did stay close to me the whole time (instead of sitting up with Bucket and the rest of the kids). But that was a nice surprise to me.

I got a few changes to my visiting-teaching route. I still have two of the same sisters on my route (though one is moving next month) ... and I have one "new" sister to visit. However, that shouldn't be too hard, since I see her quite a bit, since she's the YW president (and, as her secretary, she and I email back and forth almost daily :P). I did lose H, my VT companion, which makes me sad. Now I'll barely see her, since she's so busy teaching a Sunday School class at church. My new companion hasn't had a lot of experience Visiting Teaching ... We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Yesterday, we cleaned the house and the kids took a nap. Then Michael took us out for a drive. We ended up driving our past Sweet Home to the Green Peter Dam. (And I got Bruise to say, "Dam rocks," to refer to rocks that Bucket was trying to kick around onto the dam. Ha!)
Then we headed back into town for dinner at Carl's Jr (the kids were ENTHRALLED that there's a STAR there. McDonald's doesn't have a STAR. :P) and a bath and PJs for the kiddos ... and then we had family home evening.
(I know! Go us!!)

I've also been reading a bit ... had to do that book review. JUST making the deadline for that one. ^_^ I also bought the LEGO Indiana Jones game for my DS. And I played it and played it and played it. ... I wonder if I should buy the Batman one? It'd be fun to play the Catwoman LEGO figure. ^_^ Of course, I think that Dr. Layton and the Mysterious Village would be fun, too.

(Also: LEGO Indiana Jones? Pretty cute ... if you're into LEGO figures. Just sayin'. I like him best as his professor self.)

(Also: When we were driving to the coast at the end of August, Michael had on his glasses as he drove. He got a little weirded out that I kept STARING at him. And I was all, "*sqee!* I've got a handsome husband!!" ... I know! I'm such the geek! I love it when my man wears glasses.)

Well, I need to get ready to take the kids to storytime. And I should be productive and, idk, do the dishes and fold the laundry and read a TON of books that need to go back. (Or do that other book review for Thomas Nelson books.)

... In other news, I've got Bucket watching Fairie Tale Theater. I LOVED that show when I was a little girl and it came on Showtime. Probably my favorite thing EVER from Showtime. The only episode I'm missing on DVD is the party where Shelly Duvall falls and hits her head ... I know that if I wanted to pay like $100, I could buy the COMPLETE collection and have that episode. But I know that I have it taped off of TV from like, 20 years ago. Maybe when I'm rich, I'll get that one. And Bucket can have this DVD set. ^_^

(I also NEEEEEEEED to buy The Storyteller collection. You know, that set by Jim Henson? Yeah, I need that one, too.)

Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado

DISCLAIMER: I am a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson. I have received a free copy of Max Lucado's book, Fearless, for my review. This is my honest opinion regarding this book.
If you'd like to join Thomas Nelson's book bloggers (and get your own free books to review), you're more than welcome to join here.

----------------

Fearless is all about how to maintain hope in the midst of adversity and these increasingly perilous times. Max Lucado draws upon scripture, real-life examples, his own experiences and one of the stories he’s written for children in order to help teach how one can live without dread and worry. The main concept that helps to eradicate this fear is faith. Where there is faith (and hope), there is no room for fear. If we know that God loves us and will help us, we will be able to withstand any and all trials with which we find ourselves faced. Lucado shares this comforting message with love.

As I read Fearless, I was gladdened to find some tools to help me stop worrying so much. (Confession: I’m a world-class worrier. Just ask my husband!) I need to remember to rely more on the Lord and His teachings.

Out of fifteen chapters, Lucado spends thirteen discussing fears that people might have. One of them is about money and preparedness (Chapter 9), which is usually what I worry about most. I also found chapter four (Woe, Be Gone) with its list of eight ways to stop worry to be very helpful.

With the world in this state of unrest, I think that a lot of people would welcome the calming message of this book. This book would also be a nice gift for someone struggling with having quite a bit of misfortune on his or her plate.

Friday, September 04, 2009

In which I finally blog. And I use bad words in italics sections (so you can skip them).

I had opened Blogger to blog on Thusday ... but I had NOTHING to write.
Then I had a busy weekend. And yesterday was a little hectic ...

First point of interest (which you probably already know): Brooke Wilberger's body has been found. I'm glad ... and also so very saddened. Because, deep in my heart of hearts, I really and illogically HOPED that she'd just run off to Aruba or something. I never knew her (but I did go to church with her brother for a while. We weren't at all close.), but I always hoped that she was realy okay. And not the victim of a rape and murder. Which is what ended up happening.

You Might Not Want To Read:

The thing that really pisses me off is that the man who did this seems completely unrepentant. He's waited FIVE EFFING YEARS to tell ANYONE where he left her. He killed her BECAUSE SHE FOUGHT BACK as he raped her. ... I'm not a very good/Christlike person. I say this because deep down in the dark corners of my heart, I rather hope that he'll be shanked in prison. And that it won't kill him ... but will be a festering wound that will make him so miserable, that he'll have nothing to do but to consider how his actions have affected all these people ... and that he'll learn how to regret and repent ... and, somehow, he'll try to make it right. But, oh, how I want for him to SUFFER and UNDERSTAND what he's done.
Especially since, right after killing Brooke, he drove down to Mexico to stalk and rape another girl (who survived) ... And then he made his family hide him. And then he ONLY told where he hid her body IF he was guaranteed not to receive the death penalty.

And now, we're left wondering what would have happened if Brooke hadn't fought? Would he have let her live? Would she have been left a broken girl, loathing herself because he violated her and she COULD have fought back and hadn't?


WHY, really WHY THE HELL do people DO these finds of things?? I mean, ......... It just pisses me off to no small amount that ANY person can think that THEIR NEEDS OR DESIRES are more important than another person's well-being. (Those Wiccans have it right with their motto: "an it harm none, do what ye will" ... There is NO way in HELL that anyone can think rationally that abuse is not harming anyone.)

Maybe I take things like this to heart too much. I have family members that were abused. I know some of my friends and acquaintences that have had to put up with more than I'd ever ask of any person. (I mean, I KNOW that our trials are to help us grow and develop. I also know that Satan wants to bring us to a point where we will follow him -- and getting up in a state of hopelessness and self-loathing is a pretty effective way to do that.)

Why, WHY, can't people just REALIZE how precious each and every one of us is? If we would all just understand how loved and cherished we all are by our Heavenly Father, we couldn't ever CONCEIVE of hurting one another like this.

And if it weren't for Facebook ... well, I JUST learned that the body of a girl who went missing when I was in high school was found. Yes, ten years later, they've found Stephanie Condon's remains. I never knew Stephanie ... but I knew people who did. And, in the small place that I grew up, well ... things like this aren't supposed to happen. But they do. Stephanie was abducted and killed. Kevin (brother of one of my best friends) is killed and hidden ... and I knew him. And I saw what it did to his poor family. I always knew his mom as a chipper lady --- and then, when I saw her next, her hair had lost all its color and she wore lines of grief on her face, like his murder had stamped them there.

Learning about the recovery of Brooke's body, though, took me back to that night in 2004.
Michael and I had gone to bed. I think we may have fallen asleep. We got a phone call ... maybe around ten or eleven that night. Our bishop had called to ask us to help search. So we drove over to Avery Park in Corvallis, very close to where Brooke had been taken. I hadn't really been talked to, so I was under the impression that she could have been a teen runaway. I thought we were just looking to find out if she had cuddled up to sleep somewhere or passed by. I never really thought that we were looking for a body.
We got home around 3 AM ... the police had called our house, since we had parked our car when we arrived to search on the other side of the park. I'd never been called by the police before. We explained that we'd been out at the park, helping search.

Then we waited. And waited. We went to a memorial for her ... it must have been in 2004 or 2005 at the Corvallis courthouse. And we waited. And waited.

(For Kevin, Meryl called me to tell me her brother was missing. I hoped that he'd just gone on a trip, on a whim, to Vegas or something -- see what an optimist I am? I posted a picture on my blog in hopes that someone might find him walking around. Maybe he had amnesia -- see? I'm a total optimist! Then, about a week later, they found his truck and his body. Definitely murder. Mom, Roxy, and I all went to his funeral.)

AGAIN: WHY DO PEOPLE DO THINGS LIKE THIS? Do they not understand that each of these people have families who love them and grieve for them? For YEARS and YEARS and YEARS? How can anyone be so selfish that they think that they can just DO THESE THINGS??

I just don't get it.

And I READ crime and forensic novels and case studies. I just don't GET HOW people can do these things.

Can't we all just RECOGNIZE that every person (no matter who. No matter how annoying/ugly/beautiful/irritating/whatever) is a living soul? And that it is NOT our right to do ANYTHING unseemly towards them at ALL??

Maybe this is why I love that yoga sentiment: Namaste ("I respect divinity within you that is also within me." or "The spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you.").

So, namaste. May you and your families be safe and protected. May your burdens be light and your days full of enough joy to balance all sorrows you are faced with.

(if we didn't have storytime to go to and kids to take care of, I'd think of curling up in bed and hiding under the covers all day. Sometimes the world is a scary place. ... And I really just want it to be happy and sunny and wonderful.)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Epic World Suck

Reading Rainbow has been dropped from PBS. They made the decision to go with their early-literacy shows ... and so there MIGHT be reruns on your local PBS station (Not MINE, dammit. YES, I do believe that this is serious enough that I WILL use a curse word for it. You do NOT take away one of the last of my FAVORITE childhood shows without any warning ... or AT. FRIKKIN'. ALL).

I mean, really. They cancelled Square One. They took away Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. NOW they've taken Reading Rainbow.

I mean, I know that my kids LIKE Word World and SuperWhy ... but neither of those have that je ne se quoi that LeVar Burton and his show possessed.

And I shall not even DEIGN to think of WHY THE BLOODY HELL that travesty of a purple dinosour or Teletubbies even EXIST when people who are SUPPOSED to CARE about the future of our nation and the BRAINS of its wee, little children are CANCELLING SOME OF THE BEST CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING EVER TO EXIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!one!

Yes, I AM a tad bit upset. How could you tell?
(No, really. Was it the plethora of capital letters? Or, perhaps, the myriad exclamation points?)

Really ... I I were in charge of instilling knowledge in the heads of children, there are a few shows that I find are mandatory:
  • Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
  • Sesame Street
  • Reading Rainbow
  • Schoolhouse Rock
  • Square One
Those are the shows that I really recall totally influencing me as I was growing up.
Sesame Street taught basics (letters, shapes, numbers, counting, basic arithmetic, and some social skills). Mr. Rogers totally taught social skills and gave a glimpse into the world (LOVED the mini-field trips where we watched how things were made!!). Reading Rainbow helped to cement my love of reading.
(Michael often tells me that I obviously wanted to be one of the kids on there giving a little book review. And he's SO totally right.)
Square One (especially Mathnet, their parody of Dragnet) actually made me interested in Math. (I never have totally LOVED Math ... but this helped SO much.)
And, of course, Schoolhouse Rock was a great way of teaching concepts through songs. Very, very catchy songs.
(My Sophomore year of HS English felt like SUCH a waste of my time since I already KNEW what a noun, verb, pronoun, and adjective all were. I even knew what an adverb was and how to use one. ... And, because of Schoolhouse Rock, I'd known what all these things were since my mom brought home Grammar Rock and Multiplication Rock on VHS. -- I've since bought the DVD with the whole collection. And I LOVE it SO much.)

Last time something like this happened (i.e., when Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was cancelled), I wrote to both PBS and OPB ... and nothing happened.

So I am not doing anything really this time. I'm just kvetching to you and going to curl up in a corner and cry.

Seriously ... if Reading Rainbow and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood are cancelled while *shudders* Barney still stays on the air ... well, I'm not surprised that the world is in the state that it's in. Grrr.

At least I've raised my children right. Bucket will tell me, "We don't watch Barney."
And my kids know a good portion of the lyrics to "This is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas. And their numbers and letters. And they usually will remember to say "please" and "thank you" and not call people fat.

I mean, I can understand that maybe there's not the funding for full seasons of new episiodes of Reading Rainbow. I know that money's tight. I know that the government doesn't seem to want to spend money on educating people instead of lining their own pockets and their own medical insurance and pensions ... but why can't there be a promise that Reading Rainbow and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood would ALWAYS be on ALL public broadcasting stations ... I mean, Fred Rogers was a HUGE reason there even WAS public broadcasting.

Yes. I'm sad and cynical today. *sigh*

It just sucks. Really, really, really, really sucks.

I mean, really. REALLY, really, really, really, really sucks.
Do you understand the magnitude of the suckage? Because it is VAST.

Counting ...

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