Archive for April, 2009

You Capture – Joy

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In last week’s post I said that I was looking forward to the “joy” challenge because I was going to take pictures of my girls at the airport picking up their great-grandmother – Granny.  I was being proactive and pulled my camera out of my purse to charge the battery because it was almost dead.   About 10 minutes after we left the house to go the airport, I realized that I never put mky camera back in my purse.  So, long story short, I didn’t get airport pictures.  The good news is that I did get a good picture of all three girls with Granny and a couple other good ones.   So without further ado, my contribution to Beth’s “Joy” challenge.

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Sunday the two older girls were gone and Sweet Pea and I had some silly time together.  She was blowing bubbles and having a great time, giggling the whole time.  I love her giggle.

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On Tuesday Sweet Pea had an ophthalmologist appointment, so we stopped at McDonald’s for a happy meal on the way up to Reno.  Instead of a toy it had a Kidz Bop CD in it (which is really annoying after the first time through).  She ended up punching out the microphone from the happy meal box, put the box on her head, and was rocking out to herself singing the ABC’s.  I got this picture by holding my camera backwards and pushing the button – while driving.  Don’t tell, okay?

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This is Lake Tahoe.  I love the beauty here.  The lake is amazing and I feel so lucky to be living so close to it again.  It brings me joy.

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So, what did You Capture this week?

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Weekly Check-In aka Shredding Sucks

I Shred with the Sisterhood!

So it’s that time of week where I will share with the internets (and the sisters) what kind of exercise I’ve accomplished.  To start the week off, I did both run and shred last Wednesday.  It wasn’t fun, but I did it.  On Friday, which is a normal treadmill day for me, I didn’t make the treadmill.   I had a meeting that lasted significantly longer than I wanted and I didn’t get home in time to do both run and shred, so I opted for shredding.  I shredded all weekend…even though I didn’t want to.  I never keep up with Natalie.  That last ab move on the 3rd circuit of level 2? Well, I’d say it kicked my arse, but really it just made my hips pop painfully, so I didn’t get a whole lot of ab exercise in that last minute.  I focused more on the plank and keeping my abs tight than the actual twisting.  On Monday I didn’t get to shredding earlier enough, so when I finally finished school with the big girls, it was time for lunch and then Sweet Pea’s nap.  I shredded first and then got on the treadmill.  I made it a mile before I had to stop, but I did walk the remaining mile and three-quarters.  (I’m owning that 3/4 of a mile.  It wasn’t 1/2, it was more..and I’m gonna take it!)

Yesterday, after not nearly enough sleep due to nightmares and girls missing their daddy, I got up at 6:30 (this is amazing after being up at least 4 times between midnight and 3:30) and shredded on day 1 of level 3.  I’m really hoping that it was just because I was exhausted, but that was the most horrible thing I’ve done.  I just couldn’t do all the jump moves.  I was barely coming off the ground.  The rock star jumps? I swear my knees barely bent.  Horrible, I tell ya.  I’m hoping day 2  is better.  I am not counting on running after shredding (because I couldn’t pull myself out of bed at 6:30 this morning), but I am definitely going to log a couple of miles on the treadmill.

I have to admit that my legs are feeling smoother.  Does that make sense? I think it is my muscles getting firmer and therefore my thighs don’t feel quite as floppy and jiggly as they used to.  So even though I finally agree that Jillian is the devil, I’m thankful for this shredding business.

I am totally on board for the 3 dairy servings a day.  But does it count that I can do that with my eyes closed.  I always have a big bowel of cereal in the morning and then a big glass of milk with dinner.  That usually satisfies the 3 servings, and usually I’ll have some other kind of dairy throughout the day.  So I guess I really should try harder to get my 5 fruits and veggies a day because that is actually a challenge for me.  *shrug* We’ll see.  I make no promises on that one.

My eating hasn’t been fantastic, but I’ve been trying to have a decent dinner every night.  My heart hasn’t been into cooking.  Luckily my mom’s heart has, and we’ve been eating at my parent’s house on and off over the last week.  And we will probably swap dinners over the course of the next week.  I have the stuff, I’ve just been too scatterbrained/lazy/slug-like to get my chit together and make a salad and prepare that good quality meal I know I need to keep my energy up to exercise like I want to.

So, have you been shredding?  And if not, why?  I hear Tracey has started, and her schedule makes mine look like I sit on the couch and eat Bon Bon’s all day.  Keep the motivation up.  I’ll keep plugging along and see if after all this shredding is done, my running endurance and strength picks up.

What I learned

In the last week I have learned a couple of things.

1. This is not a new learning, but I love when my Granny comes to town.  She is my dad’s mom, almost 88 years young, and she is fantastic with my girls.  They love her pieces.  My youngest is named after her.  She is so special to me, and I’m thankful that she made the trip from Pennsylvania for Smarty Pant’s first communion this weekend.

2.  Sometimes I have to be mean mom and threaten to throw my kids’ toys and stuff in the trash to motivate them to clean with me.  Because of said first communion happening this weekend, we have family coming into town and my uncle and his SO are probably going to stay at our house.  My house is not the neatest and our “guest room” (I use the term loosely!) is rarely used and usually needs a good dusting, mopping, and reorganizing before it is liveable space.  With Traveler being gone until late Saturday night, I needed all the help I could get and I wasn’t getting any.  So I broke out the things are going to be mine or go into the trash if you don’t get up and start moving.  Somethings had to actually make it in the trash before they took me seriously, but my house is significantly cleaner than it was yesterday at this time.

3.  It is hard to know when your aging animal is having an acute problem or is just part of the chronic health issues that are normal.  Our sweet chocolate lab has been a little odd lately.  Last fall she was diagnosed with a nerve cancer, but the vet felt she had removed all of the cancer with surgery and reassured me that it is the one type of cancer that doesn’t metastasize.  I’m probably being pessimistic, but she has been more acutely touch sensitive lately and not eating as well.  I’m hoping this is just another down to be followed by an up.  But we have spent literally thousands of dollars on this dog over the course of her life.  (Okay, that doesn’t sound like much.  We have probably spent close to $2000 on her in the last 2-1/2 years.  She was a greater starter kid.  She cost us more in her first year of life than our first daughter did.)

4.  I’m thankful for every day my kids are around.  Even when they drive me crazy, like they did last night.

So, why don’t you hop on over to Jo-Lynne’s Musings and see what others have learned and maybe even join!!

Belonging

I’ve been thinking a lot about my place in the different roles I play as a mother.  I am the mother of 3 girls.  I am the mother of 2 girl scouts.  I am the mother of a soon-to-be preschooler.  I am the mother of 2 kids schooled at home.  I am a controlling (some say) mother.  I am a too messy (some say) mother.  I am a healthy-appearing mother.  I am a liberal mother.

All of these things define me to some extent.  The one I want to focus on now is the different role I (feel) I play when dealing with homeschooling parents.  When I am around my public-schooling friends there is some school talk, but none of them pass judgement on me for not public schooling my kids.  I am significantly more guarded with my non – schooling belief system if I am around homeschooling parents (especially ones I don’t know that well).   Take, for instance, a couple of weeks ago, a month ago, I don’t remember exactly, I took the girls out to participate in a fundraising, promote homeschooling event.  While looking at the wares of the evening, I was stopped by a seemingly nice lady who asked me if I was a homeschooler.  I replied in the affirmative.  (I rarely correct in this type of environment and say that we are using an online charter school and “school at home.”)  We chatted a bit about our kids, who were about the same age, and the difficulties sometimes of keeping the younger ones occupied while working with the older ones.  She then made a comment about getting everyone together and moving to the middle of nowhere and forming our own little community.  I laughed and agreed.  (If you know me, I’m pretty introverted, and would prefer to be at home with no one around me.  Our current house is as perfect as I can get while still being in town. And I’ve conversations with close friends about exactly this.)  But then she continued and added that she had been making phone calls last fall for McCain/Palin and mentioned that we should all just take our guns and kids and get away from the crazy liberals who want to control our lives.  It was at this point, I subtly disengaged myself from the conversation.  Her comment turned my stomach.  (I staunchly supported “That One” last fall.)   Then, later that week I received an email (as I am on a couple  email lists for homeschooling – a girl’s gotta network!) stating the perils of our right as parents to homeschool was trying to be passed in the legislature.  This bill was to allow for state-sponsored early education.

Let me take a minute and expand on the state of education in Nevada.  Nevada is in a horrid place right now with our budget.  It’s an understatement to say that things are looking bleak.  With Nevada being one of the worst rated for education in the country, schools are actually having to lay off teachers because they can’t afford to pay them.  The likelihood of anything being implemented even if a law was passed is pretty minimal due to lack of funding.

My liberal slant tells me that we need to look out for the other guy.  We need to look out for those, especially kids, that are in a shitty place and are trapped there.  I have always been afforded the opportunity and finances to provide private preschool for my kids.  This fall Sweet Pea is going to be attending.  But we can afford to send her.  There are so many families that can’t afford it and want it, and at the same time there are so many families that don’t realize how important it can be for kids.  This is what gets the hackels up with some stauch homeschoolers.   They honestly feel that the government is trying to take over their children and take them away at an earlier age.  This is an extreme perception.

I know part of the reason I am afforded the opportunity to choose homeschooling is because of the fight parents had in order to legitimate homeschooling as an option for families in Nevada.  I know personally how hard you have to fight to introduce a “new” idea to people who don’t like change and have the mentality of “we know what’s best for you.”  I am indebted to their tireless hours of hard work fighting for this option.  My conflict arises because I don’t believe that anyone should have to fight this hard for opportunity.  Families that want quality early childhood education in a public setting should be able to take advantage of that – even if they don’t have the money to pay for it.  I don’t believe that the government should mandate that young kids attend an early education program.  Families that want to take early education into their hands should also be able to have that opportunity.

Are there some homeschooling families that aren’t taking the time and effort to ensure their kids are learning?  Yes.  Does that group give homeschoolers a bad name?  Yes.  Are there public school families that don’t take any initiative to be a part of their child’s education, when it has clearly been shown that parental involvement in a child’s education only benefits the child? Yes.  Do we live in a world were one size fits all?  No.  So why must people try to squeeze everyone into the mold which we have chosen for ourselves?

You know how I feel I’m coming across?  Like someone out there might read this and think, “damn, she just wants everyone to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.”  Well, in a way, yes, yes I do.  Am I the most tolerant and non-judgemental person around?  No, I have my moments, but they are moments in my head and I do my damnedest to quickly kick them out.

I look at people and see superficial differences.  We are taught from an early age to distinguish differences between things.  Colors, shapes, letters, numbers.  And so it is natural to look at people and notice how they are different from ourselves.  As I said above, I’m an introverted person and even though I like to be in control I know that people that are different are not to be controlled or feared or demonized.  (Even when we vehemently disagree with their viewpoint.)   We have to try and see the similarities between us.  We are all people, men, women, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters.

People yearn to belong, to be accepted.  I am no different.  But I struggle with wanting and trying to belong to a group of people whom which I share very little ideology with other than the belief that schooling at home is the right thing for our families.  I must be practicing my tolerance.

Videos

(I updated below to add the link.  Heck, here is it if you don’t want to scroll and find it.)

I have two videos I want to share with you that seem unrelated but really aren’t.

Here’s the first one via MinivanMom.

Here’s the second one via Bouhammer.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

So how are these two related?  The first may be controversial.  Hell, it is controversial, but I’m on the side of those who produced the video.  I don’t feel that “allowing” non-heterosexual people to legally marry will diminish in any way my own heterosexual marriage.  I posted a link when I first started this blog last fall to this lady‘s viewpoint.   It neatly summarizes my feelings.  So the second video is from the mouths of the soldiers who fight and have fought in wars for OUR country.  To protect our FREEDOMS as a country.  I know this country was founded on Christian ideals…but it was also founded on FREEDOM OF RELIGION.  Freedom for people to disagree and still get a long.  Freedom for people to try to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  These warriors are fighting and state that they are willing to give up their life because of the ideals that America as a whole stands for.

I believe that some of the ideals America stands for does not include pigeon-holing certain groups into second-class citizens based on religion, color, country of origin, or who they love.  I was raised to believe in the goodness of people – not just white people, not just educated people, not just Catholic/Christian people, not just heterosexual people – but all people.

You Capture – Letters

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I had grand ideas for this challenge.  I live in Nevada.  We have lots of casinos.  Some of them are old and fun.  Did I get this done?  No.  Every time I thought about it, it was too late, Sweet Pea was sleeping, the older two were doing school work, or I was “planning” on finishing my project.

So tonight I snapped some pictures that mostly describe something about me.   The first one.  Well, this is a man I need in my life…every morning he’s there for me.

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HA! I bet I had a couple of you regulars thinking, “but wait her husband travels.  Who is she talking about?”

The next picture is of magic…at least for me it has been.

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I’ve been taking this stuff since February, and I can lay flat on my back, I can hang my head upside down to put my wet hair in a towel, I can lay in bed with my girls and read them stories – all without the room feeling like it was going to spin.  I tell you, magic pills.

And since I have shown you my “other man” and my “happy pills”, I have to introduce you to my husband’s “man”.

capture-sailor-jerry

He swears by this being the best rum for a rum and Coke.   Now since I, for one – don’t like rum, and two – am a Coca-Cola purist (no flavors allowed), I can’t personally vouch for this stuff, but Traveler has made many a convert.

My last picture has always piqued my curiosity.

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This is carved into one of the bricks on our front porch.  For one, this house isn’t that old.  It was built in 1964.  Second, we bought it from the original owners who had the place built and their last name was Smith.  I’m assuming it was in memory of someone.

Okay, I lied, I have one more.  This is a picture of something I try to do every day.  Some days it is harder than others.

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So next week’s challenge is “Joy”.  I have three girls and my Granny (my dad’s mom) coming into town this weekend.  I’m thinking I will be able to find joy somewhere in there.  Can’t wait!

Pop on over to Beth’s and see what other’s have captured this week.

Weekly Check-In with the Sisters

I Shred with the Sisterhood!

This last week has brought me into level 2 of shredding and making myself be accountable to running the 3 miles 3 days a week.  I started level 2 of shredding Saturday.  It was good timing.  I didn’t have to run on top of it until day 3.  And then I actually got up at 6:30 AM in order to shred because I knew there was no way I could get it down immediately before or immediately after running.  I would have wimped out on something.  That level 2 is a killer, but not in the way level 1 was for me.  Level 1 left me aching, sore muscles the first three days.  Level 2 has just exhausted me.  I honestly feel just as tired, if not more so, than after running my 3 miles.  I’m breathing hard, I’m sweating.  I can’t manage the plank-jacks or the other plank jump move thing more than a couple of times at the “normal” level.  On these, Anita is my friend.  My eating hasn’t been great, but I’ve been trying to make myself eat better, because it really does make for better fuel for the workouts.

I haven’t been doing the WiiFit consistently since I started level 2.  It’s just too much for me…and I don’t want to burn myself out.  I do feel significantly stronger in my legs, especially when I run.  I can feel the potential power increase.  It truly is mind over matter.

I was supposed to get up early this morning and shred.  A night filled with obnoxious cats and 1230 and 3 AM potty breaks with the 3yo, I didn’t not get up to shred.  So, since my day is crazy ahead, Im trying to decide if I should run or shred.  I’m kind of thinking shred.  I’m ahead of schedule for my April mileage goal, but I don’t want to procrastinate on the 30-days straight.  I might just give up.

So, how did you do?