Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Survived Flying Solo With the Chickadees

This past weekend, Team Pink and I went on an adventure to the Great Northwest and we survived the journey! (I'm a little worse for wear, however, but alive.)  

It actually wasn't too bad flying solo with them and the girls did great.  I made sure to pack very light and not have a lot of extra carry on bags to lug around.  1 suitcase and 1 carry on backpack total.  1 toy and 1 book for each girl, 5 magazines for me.

Seeing my brother and his new baby girl was wonderful.  I removed my prejudice and judgment about his life and situation and just shared my joy over this new and beautiful life.  I do hope and pray that my brother does make better life choices and remain clean and sober from here on out.

My mom was on better behavior this weekend and really had some good interaction with the girls.  She did do many of the things that irritate me, however - watching Y&R soap opera on VHS tape with the volume up full blast, falling asleep in front of the TV and then rewinding to play over again, chain smoking and reading books outside and nitpicking/second-guessing/nay-saying everything.  

She really has lost a lot of weight and is generally easily fatigued.  I worry about her and I'm scared for the test results.  I just wish they could hurry and do the surgery to find out if it's a cancerous tumor and then tackle treatment. When we said goodbye, I gave her a big hug and took a good look at her.  I don't know when I'll get to see her again and what her condition will be then. I felt very sad.

Life is so fleeting and I've assumed my mom would always be strong, invincible and cantankerous.  I'm not ready to see her health fail.  I'll continue to pray for her though.  We don't know if it's cancer, but my mind just automatically goes there.

At least she has put her will and financial affairs in order for the most part.  I'm her executor and health power of attorney and that scares me.  She has not been a very good steward of her finances, so I don't want to be responsible for cleaning up any financial messes.  Especially from out of state. 

On a lighter note, Easter is coming! New life, new beginnings.  The chickadees are excited to wear their new Easter dresses and eat lots of candy.  The in-laws are coming to town and we will attend a HUGE church event on Sunday.  

We will also have to have a 1st birthday celebration for our St. Bernard puppy!  She is so beautiful as she went to the groomer yesterday for her birthday present.  I'm sure she'd prefer cake and ice cream though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Heart Stress

Life just keeps getting better and better!  As I don't want to lose any more sleep than I need to, I'll provide a quick list of things that are bogging me down:
  • My mom's health - 2 kidney infections in the past few months, big time weight loss, and now a discovered 6"x6"x3" mass in her uterus. She has been in remission of breast cancer for over 10 years, so this frightens me. She's also very stubborn and stunted emotionally and that always frustrates me. She refuses to talk about it and shuts down and rushes to get off the phone.
  • My brother's mental/emotional state - he's been released from the slammer and struggling to get adjusted to civilian life again, with new rules.  He's been deemed 'unemployable' due to some mental and health conditions, not sure what. It concerns me that might not be taking the best care of himself and following up with the professionals. Also, what if what he has is genetic?! If so, I think I'll need to re-assess having another child. It's hard to watch your family member destroy their life.
  • Zits - I am not a teenager anymore - why must I be plagued with a forehead of mini-Mt.Rainers?
  • Taxes - I really should have been better organized with my record keeping last year.
  • Work - I have better things to do. Do I really have to go there every damn day?  Don't you know I have baby albums to compile (only 4 years overdue), write letters, sleep in, play video games and other recreational pursuits? P.S. Mr. Bossman, does it really hurt to have a sense of humor? Please don't smirk condescendingly when I attempt a joke.
  • Blog - I set a goal to write twice a week, to be more creative, add some photos, etc. and it's just another thing that I'm half-assing. So much for being able to quit my day job... Also, I want to read more blogs and get to know other bloggers and learn from them.  Not sure how to squeeze that one in with all the other demands.
  • Marriage - when was our last date night??
  • Chickadees - I need to spend more time with them and quit getting home so damn late. I also need to plan healthier dinners. I need to stop raising my voice and barking orders. I'm very impatient and short-tempered. 
Honestly, I really just need to get more sleep.  Starting tomorrow...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wonderful Guest Speaker Tonight at MOPS

Susan Peterson, author of the book, "Fun and Educational Places to Go with Kids and Adults in Southern California," came and spoke at our MOPS group tonight.  

She is such a lively and energetic person and her book is incredibly comprehensive!  She wrote an entire book listing out family-friendly and affordable locations to visit throughout southern California broken up by category, city, price and even has a calendar section to check events by date.  Places you wouldn't even know about on your own!

I wish we had more time to hear her speak, as she had so many wonderful ideas for kids. For example, collecting small key chains when you travel to new places and display them all on a plastic chain so children can visualize all the places they've been and remember them.  Or collecting postcards from places you've visited, writing the date of the visit on the back and a quote from the child of what was the best part.  She even sewed patches on a quilt from all the places they'd been for one of her sons.  Also, allowing your child to make their own photo album of their trip giving full creative liberties. *GASP* (I'm a control freak when it comes to crafts).
She had so many good ideas how to make the most out of the time you have with your child and igniting their interest in subjects with these enriching field trips.  It was inspiring presentation and I got a lot of good ideas from it.  

My friend mentioned to me after that it made her feel a little guilty that she hadn't done as much of these types of things with her kids and I could relate to that little twinge of mommy guilt.  Life gets too busy and filled up by checking things off my To Do List!

Now that I've purchased this book, however, I can come up with some creative activities to do with the Chickadees.  Perhaps take a sick day for the hell of it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Month of Firsts

We've had an awesome month so far with several new 'Firsts' for the girls. We went on our first ski trip where our 4 year old actually skied (and wiped me out in the process).

And tonight we went to our first hockey game in which the Ducks actually won!

I love our family adventures! I just wish we could afford and had time to do more fun things. Chickadee A is now signed up for intro to soccer, so that should be interesting. I'm not sure if she will enjoy team sports as she is very independent, but we'll give it a shot.

I never did anything fun like skiing or sporting events as a young child, so I hope the girls have a fuller life because of it. (I did make up for it later though - don't worry about me.)

I am determined to fit more leisure and recreation into my life. All work and no play makes me a dull chick; my new motto - "See Mom Play."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training Continues

Unfortunately, we are still struggling with the madness of potty training.  I am not sure how many weeks it's been - I think we're in the months now.  I haven't had to buy any more disposable diapers, but I sure do a lot of laundry!  

The hardest part of cloth diapers is using them when on the go, traveling, at daycare and at bedtime.  Which is pretty much all the time!  We've had success with her going #2 on the potty for 3 days in a row though, so that's promising!  I just listen for a sequence of farts around dinner time, and I know it's time to go!  I don't think my husband got the signal fast enough last night though - apparently he had a bit of a mess to clean up in the bathroom...

I'll keep up the efforts, but it can be fairly discouraging, to say the least.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

To reflect my lax attitude lately, I really let loose yesterday in the grocery store. 

I usually try to be very conscious about making healthy choices in foods - whole wheat, organic, fresh, no added preservatives or chemicals, no sugar or sodium-laden foods.  We usually shop at Trader Joes and Fresh and Easy - you get the picture. 

It hasn't always been like this, however.  Most of my young adult life and into my 20s, I didn't care as much about the quality of the food or about chemicals/preservatives as long as it was affordable, easy to make, tasted good and I stayed relatively thin.  

Needless to say, I got wild yesterday and bought some of my all-time faves: Beef Stroganoff H@mburger Helper AND Kr@ft Macaroni and Cheese.  Oh the guilty pleasures!  Good thing I stopped before grabbing for the Tw!nkies...

I really can't wait to make them - mmmm - so delicious.  I'll just wash them down with a big glass of water and do an extra few minutes of cardio this week.  Then go back to proper, healthy family fare.  I really should set a good example, right?