Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sun Up to Sun Down

I've been waking up at sunrise lately. Usually it's about 10 minutes before X-man does. I swear he's got some kind of low-jack on me. "Alert, Mommy is out of bed." I can't even go to the office to make a phone call without him immediately asking MacTroll where I went -- and then he goes on an exploratory search to find me. 

And I'm like, "Dude, Daddy's home. Let him watch you a bit while I do something I want to do -- that I can't do when I'm standing over you."

Standing over him, which has, of course, led to him getting used to having me right next to him as to ward off any more household destruction (MacTroll's nickname for our son has long been Capt. Destructo). 

But at the same time as all this happens, he's been ridiculously good about the potty training this week. He's even starting to pull down his underwear to pee on the potty and outside. Today I saw him jump down from his "kitchen helper" step to rush across the room to his potty and pee. He returned a minute later and pooped. He was pretty proud of himself. So I guess while that part of his brain is adjusting the rest of the behavior chip is just a bit fried.

I'm sitting in my bed at 8:45 p.m. MacTroll is downstairs with X-man, who should have been in bath 30 minutes ago (maybe MacTroll forgot it was a school night?). He's listening to the Wiggles. I can't complain though. 

I went out to pick some Baby Spinach and sat in our grass, which is seeding. I spent a couple hours at the park tonight around grass that was seeding. And now I feel like scratching my eyes out of my head. I took my allergy meds this a.m. before my 3-mile walk. Supposedly, they're good for 24 hours... no so much. Anyway, I'm in clean sheets. I took a shower. 

And as the sun goes down my eyelids start to droop. 

Tomorrow is June. That's just crazy. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

15 steps away

Right now, I'm really frustrated with my son. I'm also really frustrated with myself. 

In the last 24 hours he's left about 18 dents with a hammer in the door to the garage from the house.

While I was attending to another child in my yard, X-man opened the backdoor and sprayed down the inside of my house.

And yesterday, while I was getting out the groceries, he climbed from his carseat to the driver's seat, pulled out the tape adapter that runs my iPod, thus breaking my tape player in my car.

In each of these incidents, I was within sight of him. In each of these incidents, I yelled stop at least 5 times in the steps it took me to get to him. 

In each of these incidents, he looked at me, smiled and laughed as he continued what I was asking him not to do.

I feel so inept, but at the same time I feel angry that I'm now going to have to stand over him every moment of the day. Not 5 feet away. Not 10 feet away. But over him. I can no longer take him out of his carseat until I've emptied the car. Then I'll have to walk him into the house. When before the last few days, he was so interested in helping me, so interested in doing what I was doing... gardening, shopping, cleaning... 

Now, he just wants to make me react. And I will admit, I reacted like someone lit my pants on fire each time. Instead, I need to calm down. Other than taking some drugs -- anyone got any idea on how to keep cool when you want to tear your hair out?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Musical comforts

So today I walked into the Tiger room during Music class. X-man adores music. He loves his music teacher Ms. Mary and singing with his Spanish teacher Ms. Nora.

Today, Mary was teaching the tigers forte and piano. It won't be a surprise to any of you who have heard me sing that I had no idea what these terms were -- until I sat down with X-man and listened. When the Tigers finished as a group going through the flash cards, X-man decided it was time to go and pick out new sippy cups, since ours our shot.

On the way out, I stopped to talked to his teachers, and suddenly there was music behind me. It was quiet. The kids were crawling toward Ms. Mary from their group spots very quietly. Then the horns cranked on and the kids all danced.

And what made me feel awe and comfort. She was using a song sung by Bjork.

How freaking cool is that? I remember music in pre-school as being the 10 Little Indians (yes, wholly inappropriate now). But "It's, Oh, So Quiet" is the perfect example of forte and piano.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mandatory Rest Requirements for Parents

Pilots have them.
Truckers have them.
Doctors have them.
Why don't parents? 

I'm not a woman who does well when she's deprived of sleep. I can't function. I'm a terrible international traveler. It takes me 2 days to even show up for breakfast. I'm dangerous behind a car. I'm dangerous walking on flat land. I fell up my stairs last night partly because I was pooped and partly because my pj bottoms are getting too big and I tripped on one of the legs. 

I have a lot to do today, but I'm exhausted from a long drive home. I mowed the front lawn yesterday before it started to rain (well, okay, I was still mowing a bit when the rain came). And I wrote my short feature article on preventing heatstroke for the CCHS newsletter last night. Today I have to get a lot of the June newsletter edited and prepared for my review committee. The weather doesn't seem to be cooperating for outdoor activities this week, which may lead me to cancel the race tomorrow afternoon and reschedule my sensory activity since I'm really not prepared to bring the experience indoors after being gone for five days. Mother nature has a way of screwing with me when I plan anything outdoors.

But I do have a little boy who woke up at 5:30 a.m. and upon my insistence, curled up next to me and went back to sleep until 7 a.m. He's now eating his breakfast like a champ (which is unheard of lately). 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brothers, baseball, BBQ in Baltimore

Our 5-day trip to Baltimore to visit family out east went very well. X-man was a champ in the car as long as he had a partner-in-crime. My Aunt Terry sent along a bag of gifts for him to open along the way. He loved the stickers and cars and games... not to mention the Jelly Bellies. 

We also took the kids out to see the Frederick Keys, a minor league baseball team. X-man really dug the fireworks after the show,

He also had a great time running around with his cousins. Uncle M built a teepee out of the bamboo growing around their house that they sat in. He also enjoyed exploring the Wii, monster trucks, big kid bike and Legos at their house.

On the way home, we visited our old neighbors Curt and Megan in Columbus. They have an awesome new house just down the street from the Easton fancy pants mall (I didn't know Design within Reach had stores not in California or NY!). 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Moving along...

Monday we went to Great America.

Thursday we're driving to Baltimore for a long weekend. 

The Sunday after we return we're headed out to California for 8 days. 

Then we'll be up in Rockford for Father's day.

Then my Mom will be down here for a long weekend.

Then it's July 4, and that's when I usually consider summer over. 

It's so short when you write about your whole summer in six sentences.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Review of Great America with a Pre-Schooler

Today, we took X-man up to Gurnee to visit Six Flags Great America. He has an appreciation for the Wiggles, so we thought we'd check out Wiggle World. I looked into going about a month ago when it was still cold and gross outside. I decided a Monday before Memorial Day and before school got out with be a great time to go. We waited to see if the weather would agree, and today we took off for the 3-hour drive to Gurnee. 

X-man didn't know much, besides the fact that we were going to see the Wiggles and he'd get to drive the Big Red Car. He was a little grouchy on the way up, but once we stopped for lunch outside the park at Panera, he was a pretty happy camper. 

We took our own stroller and packed a few snacks at the bottom of the diaper bag. They don't allow coolers into the park, but the security didn't seem to care about my raisins and granola bars. They had a metal detector on the way in, which seemed strange because you have to put your items into their bucket by reaching your hand through the detector (thus setting it off). Plus, the stroller sets it off. 

It was a very clean park. Something they apparently pride themselves on because signs to pick up are everywhere and all of the park security are armed with one of those litter picker uppers.

What was nice was that they have a deal online now through July 10, 2009, where you can pre-purchase your tickets at a discount. Everyone gets in for the children's rate -- which is still expensive -- $34.95 per person, but beats the $55 per adult without it. Kids 2 and under are free. Children who are 36" tall can ride on most of the kiddie rides with parents, but the key height is 42". Then they can ride by themselves or with an adult on most "medium" level rides.

Once in the park, we took X-man directly to Wiggle World. He was very excited. He climbed into the big red plane all happy with MacTroll (see below) and immediately got scared and freaked out and they both had to get off the ride.
When he bailed on the plane, we took him over to the Big Red Car ride, and we all got in the car. X-man liked that we could all go together. And it gave him enough confidence to go back to the airplanes (after playing on Capt. Feathersword's pirate playground) with Mom. We also caught part of the Wiggles show, which was a female singer with the costumed Wiggle friends: Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Wags the Dog and Captain Feathersword.

X-man's favorite ride was driving the boats. By the time we got to it, he was a champ at rides. And he loved that he got to go, "ALLLLLLL by myself!" He rang the bell on the boat, let the employee help him in and buckle him in and didn't fall in the water. I'm so calling that a giant big boy success. You'll note in a lot of these photos -- he's the only one on the ride. We waited in NO lines. No roller coasters had over a 10-minute wait as far as we could see. Spinning rides were literally walk up and get on, so were all the kiddie rides. Some of the rides weren't open yet (including the train that goes around the park) because they haven't gotten all of their summer staff hired yet (college did, after all just get out), but I think I'd rather have no lines with an antsy 3 year old than worry about the fact that the Tilt-a-Whirl wasn't open. 

And here was the biggest surprise of the day. In the cartoon area across from the boats was a mini Jetsons' roller coaster. X-man went on it with Daddy. He held on tight, but he did it!
Outside of the cartoon area X-man heard the Sheryl Crow song from Cars. (I was shocked that the WB haven would do that with a competing movie company.) X-man sat down on the bench and listened to the speaker in the foliage bobbing his head until the song was done.
We all went on the Mystery Machine ride, where X-man's favorite part wasn't the ride going up and around -- it was putting his arms up so the safety bar could spring up. :-) 
X-man and I also went on the double decker carousel. He named his horse, Cutie. I named mine Marlow. He held on tight and liked seeing the rest of the park from up  high. 

And the sign of a really good time -- a pre-schooler who fell asleep within 10 minutes of getting in the car in a fresh diaper post juice box. You'll see what he chose to purchase for $10 or less -- a stuffed Superman for $7. 

You can also purchase meals and parking online, which helps with shortening lines into the park because no transactions have to be made. You just hand them a print out to scan. Parking is $10 for the cheap parking -- which is NOT that far away. Expensive parking is $25 to be like 100 yards closer to the door. I wouldn't find that a worthwhile extra expense. 

All of the extra games in the park appear to cost extra ($5) each at least (including the "family dryer" for after water rides -- which it was a little too cold for in MacTroll's opinion.) There are some discounts for food available online, if you pre-pay, but none of it is healthy. They do advertise a fruit bar at the water park (which is still closed) and "steamed vegetables" at the Panda Express... which are your only really non-junkfood options. And all of the food is 3x more than you'd pay out in the real world ($26.99 for a large 2-topping pizza from Papa John's versus $7.99 according to the billboard in downtown Champaign). We stayed longer than the 3 hours I had anticipated because we were having a pretty good time. We were on the highway at 4 p.m. (about an hour later than I'd hoped) but the drive was pretty painless minus a bit of slowdown around O'Hare airport.

We went to Six Flags not just because it's a fun thing to do, but because we're going to Disney in California in a few weeks and I wanted to see how he'd do with rides and a park for $35 before we spent a mint and thought about a 2-day park hopper pass. As it is, I think he'll do really well. He was excited and once he knew the rides he could go on he'd run from one to the other, and learned to wait for his turn. Obviously, I think you'll have more to do with a child who is over 42" and is not afraid to go on things by him or herself or with a brother/sister or friend. But it was a great introductory experience for X-man, who tends to lean heavy on his parents before finally flying free. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ruffles suck

I've been walking around with this discount card to Banana Republic/GAP/Old Navy/Piperlime in my wallet since December. So today, MacTroll and I went to the mall to see if we could use it. He needs a black suit for a wedding. I need shirts that don't show the world my breasts when I lean down to pick up my kid or dig my garden. I've apparently lost enough weight that this has become a problem. 

So I went to all the stores. I even went to Ann Taylor loft to check the sales rack. Alas, everything was either sheer (to play up the lacy cami that doesn't look sexy on anyone over the age of 25) or had ruffles and bows everywhere. 

Do I look like the kind of person who wears ruffles and bows? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Live Long and Prosper

The Dads and I went out to see Star Trek tonight. And it was the best movie I'd seen in a while. It was fun, adventure packed and sexy all at the same time. It was also nice to get out in the middle of a week where MacTroll is gone all week and between taking my psych final today and taking my infant/toddler one tomorrow. 

I schedule movie nights out and I've been making really bad choices lately. But the other issue is that I tend to love Sci Fi movies -- and so it's me -- and all of my friends' husbands. Seriously. When I first put it on the calendar Mr. Quigs made the joke, "Wait, is this an even or an odd Star Trek movie?" I laughed. Quigs sat there in the living room with her eyebrows raised and stated, "I don't even know what the two of you are talking about right now."

Freak's RSVP was, "Love you. Hate Star Trek."

So, yeah, there I am with my 3 Dad friends -- geeking it out on a Wednesday night.  Oh, and did I say it was the best use of a Beastie Boys song in a film -- ever?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Work in Progress

The work on the garden is in its final few stages. You can see where PremierScapes dug out all the grass along the fence line (it also continues around the corner. They also extended and installed edging around the front gardens. They just have to go back through and amend the soil in those spaces. We added a Whale-shaped garden area in the front that is amended and edged. 

You can also tell that MacTroll still has a bit of fence left to paint around the hot tub. He wants to stain the wood on the hot tub too. But I'm getting the itch to plant. Hopefully the soil will be done by the weekend. So I can start planning a giant purchase from Prairie Gardens next Tuesday with my 10 percent discount card... 

What is this listening that you speak of?

When I picked X-man up from school yesterday, he was in his group spot in the middle of Spanish with Ms. Nora. I always feel guilty that it seems I get him during Spanish more than any other time of the day. He loves Ms. Nora. She sings the Chocolate song from Dora. I sat down on the floor by one of his teachers and watched. Ms. Nora held up a photo of a pineapple and asked the room what the name of the fruit was. Everyone said pineapple -- except X-man, who apparently gave it to her in Spanish correctly. She praised him. He got this huge smile on his face. The next fruit card came up. Everyone gave it in English, except the little boy next to X-man, who also gave the right word in Spanish. You could tell they felt pretty proud of pulling it out of their little memories. Then he noticed my presence and came over ready to go to the park to play with Curious J. Usually we have a 10-minute struggle at he car over the fact that he wants to take his own sweet time getting into his carseat. Yesterday, he flew into it, buckled the top buckle and was happy to get going.

When we got to the park, I noticed X-man's diaper was heavy. So I told him we needed to change his pull up before we went to play. No fight. He changed it, let me apply some sunblock and then happily went to play. When we got there, he saw one of our neighbors T-man from down the block. T-man is also in the Tiger room. The two eyed each other, smiled and then hugged. The park district in Savoy is currently pouring concrete to create a sidewalk from the park to the new parking lot. The boys were jabbering on and on about Bob the Builder and cement trucks. Then they named the toddler play area the fire truck and started driving it to "fires" around the park. We'd all jump off (yes, I did this) run to the fire, pretend to put it out with firehose and run back to the firetruck. Curious J staffed the truck while we put out the fires. A new friend Evan joined in, too.

Then I felt hungry and gave X-man the 5-minute warning. Then a 2-minute warning. Then I called time to go -- and he started walking for the car. No fight over the car seat. No fight over going inside while I made dinner. No complaints about having to sit at the table and eat dinner when he wanted to play Legos. He was so good that I asked him if he wanted to go to the CARE meet up at the softball game at Mommy's school. He was very excited. He took his foam baseball with him, and it was a good thing he did. When we got there, they were a small group of pre-schoolers and one "big kid" having a BLAST running around the grass between the fields playing follow the leader, ring around the rosie and other games.

When I gave him the two-minute warning, he started to half cry. He said, "I want to stay and play with my friends!" Then I pointed out the sun was going down and that I'd like to show him my school. He waved goodbye and took off with me. We drove by the building where I have classes that's attached to the Parkland Daycare Center. He was fascinated. "Mommy go to Building G at Parkland! It's brown like my school!"

Then I drove through Sonic near home and got him a mini scoop of vanilla with M&Ms on top. When it was bedtime, he went up the stairs, got himself into his overnight diaper, put the old diaper in the genie successfully, brushed his teeth and washed his face and hands. Then he had some gas. A lot of gas. And he ran over and sat on his potty. And he sat and sat, face all clenched, as toot after toot came out. But no poop. I tried to explain to him that the pressure in his belly was gas, but he wouldn't hear it. He sat there for 45 minutes -- which got us to 10:15 p.m. Very, very late. He finally gave up and fell asleep, but so did I. I woke up to the dog scratching at the door to go out around 12:30 a.m. 

I guess this post is about realizing that some stuff actually sinks in and when the stars align... my preschooler's brain has some clarity among all the hormonal mess he's dealing with.

Monday, May 11, 2009

When Shitty Things Happen to Good People

I remember when I was a kid one of my best friends in my neighborhood lost his father. He died of heart issues. I was little, maybe 2nd grade when it happened. I remember going to the funeral. I remember watching Daniel play in the park outside the church for a few minutes. I remember sitting down on a bench and thinking about how weird it was that Dave wasn't going to be at their house any more. I understood the finality of it, but not the every day consequences. Like when I ran down the stairs in 6th grade and Dan was over having my father show him how to tie a tie. I went into the kitchen and asked Mom what was happening. She had to explain that Dan was going to a school dance, and he needed someone to show him. I guess out of all the things moms do, they really don't ever have to tie a tie. He needed a dad.

I remember being in high school when two of my friends lost their parents. One due to cancer and the other to a drunken driver. I remember both of those funerals. Again, I understood the finality but not the individual consequences. 

I remember my favorite family member being diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought and beat it, but the idea of it coming back scares her a lot.

I remember visiting my sister-in-law's father as he fought lung cancer. My grandmother fighting alzheimer's. The hospital trips... and sometimes the funerals.

And for the most part, most of the people I've known who have gotten sick or passed away have been older than I am. They've been in their forties or well beyond, and I've been dreading what's coming. Not my own mortality, really, but the mortality of those that I care about. That's the way it happens right? First it's old friends, acquaintances. Then it's close relatives of your best friends, then it's one of your best friends or your parents.

In the last three months, three people who were very key in my younger life have been diagnosed with cancer. One, my favorite high school teacher, is fighting it for the second time. This time she's in her sixties. She wrote me a note to tell me. And I thought I'd think over how to respond, but nothing comes to mind. I hate platitudes. When you're not there fighting the good fight with them, words are completely empty. But when that person isn't in your life every day -- when you're not part of their core, you feel even more stupid and useless. They fight for their lives and you wait and hope. 

The second friend gave me my first public relations internship. He's fighting testicular cancer at 40. He has kids not too much older than mine, and he really is the most fun Motley Crue fan you'll ever meet. 

The last friend I just found out about. We worked together in D.C. She is an awesome woman, 32. Ovarian cancer. She's the girl who put me in her car on Sept. 11th as the world fell down around us and drove me to her family's house because I had no way to get home. It took us 4 hours to drive 5 miles through Arlington that day. I'm reading her blog. And I see the comments are empty. And she's pouring her heart into it. 

But I can't find the right words. Words that don't make me feel like a complete dolt. Words that will convey how badly I hope they all kick cancer's ass. Three quality people that I'm privileged to know. Three amazing people... each with their own illness, which has nothing at all to do with me. Except that I think of them fondly, more often than they probably realize, with or without cancer in their lives. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Moms and Their Boys

This weekend Quigs and I took our boys to Schaumburg overnight to see Thomas the Tank Engine Live at the Sears Centre. We've had our tickets since January and have been very curious about how our overnight was going to work out. Since Quigs is a former Schaumburg resident, she offered to drive, which was a great help, because I am an excellent travel attendant to three year olds. 

As it turned out the boys were happy watching Quigs' DVD player on the drive, which was pretty painless and less than 3 hours long. We checked into the Hilton Garden Inn, where we enjoyed free lodging, free water, free apple juice and free breakfast (the good cooked kind that included pancakes and custom omelets versus the continental) thanks to MacTroll's points and status. 

We did lunch and playtime at Woodfield Mall at their WB cartoon character play area. Then we took the boys to the Lego store and the Disney store. Bubba brought home a Nemo fish and a Sarge car. X-man chose a Wall-E phone and a Lightening McQueen car.

After a nap, we headed to see Thomas for the 5:30 show. The show runs around an hour and 15 minutes, but there's a 15-minute intermission for potty breaks. I'm glad we went to the 5:30 p.m. because, as it was, by the time we picked up the pizza and salads that we pre-ordered from the California Pizza Kitchen, it was almost 8 p.m. when we had dinner. (Good thing X-man consumed 1/2 of a giant thing of popcorn by himself during the show.)

The boys were fascinated by the show. X-man loved the dancing. Bubba was singing along. 

After our pizza, it was time for bed. The boys wanted to try to sleep together, but they couldn't stop touching and tickling. Quigs and I were trying not to laugh at them. But it was hard for them to be sleepy in a strange place. Still in the picture below, they seem almost sleepy. :-)

We finished our trip with a stop to Ikea, where we had to miss the free massages for mothers on Mothers' Day, but did find Quigs the table she wanted for her office. 

If the measure of a good time is by how many tears were shed after key moments of the trip, this was a pretty good time. Bubba cried when it was time to leave Thomas. He would have happily sat through the show again and again. X-man cried when it was time to leave the hotel. I think he likes all the crazy exploring he can do in one simple hotel room. Quigs was all verklempt driving around Schaumburg remembering life as a DINK... and I swear she was wiping away tears when we were in Ikea. :-) But she was a great friend to travel with, and she dealt with X-man's bedtime mania with a lot of patience and understanding. It was a great Mother's Day weekend activity, and we got a lot of quality time with the boys.

But we so want to take a Mommy-only daytrip back up to do some shopping sometime in the fall... any other mommies want to come with?

Oooh, and since we got home at 1 p.m. and I took off X-man's wet pull up, he's peed in his Superman potty (I taped pictures of Superman on a red potty) three times and pooped on the potty once today without any rewards... 

Update at 4:36 p.m.: Make that 2 poops (he had LOTS of popcorn last night) and 4 pees.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grubs, grubs, everywhere, grubs

I dug out a lot of grass that had grown into the garden today. (I can't wait to have my edging installed soon!) 

And when I did, you want to know what I found in a single 12" x 12" space... over 20 ugly, nasty, white grubs: the precursor to Japanese Beetles.

Which may be another leading cause to my weird, extra thatchy yard... 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I am, I am Supergirl and I can do anything

I was going to blog about my annoyance in class today. But that can wait, because I'm having a good time right now. I'm loving that I am 2 finals away from being done with the semester. I love that I've got LOTS of fun plans made with people that ROCK. And I'm over the moon a bit that my self-motivation and hard work is paying off with my weight management program. I just finished 11 weeks, and I'm doing really well. Which inspires me to make even more future plans.

I finished planting my vegetable garden. I'm really excited to have a pro gardener spending some of the summer at my house with me. That's right! Ms. KTDID is going to come and visit this summer. She may take up temporary residence at my house, which awesome. I'm also excited because we hired someone to come take care of the building the garden project, and Aaron, one of the workers from Premier Scapes based out of Savoy, is working his butt off digging up the grass. He did as much as he could with a machine, and now he's got to do all my pain in the butt work by hand, but I really appreciate it. And I know MacTroll now thinks I'm brilliant when he sees that at the end of two days, Aaron is about 70 percent done... and he's been working at it six hours a day... and they still have to amend the soil with good top soil (it hasn't dried out from last week's rain yet).

Other good things from today: 

• I rocked my final project for Program Planning for Young Children today.

• I got to talk with Quigs about our Saturday road trip up to Schaumburg with Bubba and X-man to see Thomas the Tank Engine -- and do a quick stop by Ikea... and maybe Woodfield. 

• X-man, who hates pajamas, suddenly asked to buy some because tomorrow is Pajama Day in the Tiger room. He also has to take a sleeping bag or blanket and a story book. So, we've got his sleeping bag out and his copy of Go Dogs Go! We also stopped by Meijer. I thought for sure he was going to freak out that there weren't any Cars PJs in the big boy area (he's now most definitely wearing 4-5 clothes in the big boy sections -- no more infant/toddler!). But instead he bypassed all the video games and Spiderman and Batman and even Scooby Doo (which would have been my choice) for a set of Baseball Pajamas. Then, on our way around the corner to check out he saw something I completely missed -- Superman underwear. So we bought some. Then he picked out a pair of pink and purple sunglasses. 

• I took Rileybug on a walk after my weight management class tonight and got to check out my neighborhood. Supershawn's jungle of grass has been mowed three times this week, and I'm starting to see the benefit of having crappy grass with thatch. I have mowed once this season -- to remove thatch from the top. Oooh, and all the lawn care companies bidding on that say not to dethatch, they say it tears up more good grass than it should. They all seem to suggest waiting until September and doing a complete aeration and possible slit seed.

• X-man is obsessed with How It's Made. He was particularly excited about the one about hot rods and the one where they made a 20-year-old woman  a latex mask that made her look 80.

• X-man ate his whole dinner, showered, chose to wear a t-shirt and cotton pj pants, brushed his teeth, read his three books, turned off the light and went to sleep with no hassle. 

I'm just so looking forward to the next several months of fun and freedom and getting things done. Mostly, I'm just happy I won't have to spend the summer painting the damn fence

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Garden Renovation begins!

On Sunday, I set up 3'x12' worth of garden boxes in the backyard. Yesterday, I filled them with dirt and compost and planted vegetables.

Last night, I marked up the yard for the landscaping company that is coming to rip through the sod and then amend the soil beneath in several areas around the house... just as soon as the top soil dries out from last week's 5 consecutive days of rain. Then I have to go pick up some perennials to plant. 

In other news, MacTroll has backpedaled on his offer to dethatch the yard. Instead, I'm calling a yard company to come do it and to slit seed/aerate. 

I'm also finally going in to get blinds on the first floor of the house in the next couple of weeks. And then we should be completely done with the summer 2008 big projects. Only a hundred little things left to do. :-)

Next summer... we're going to look at installing a walk to go from the west side gate to the patio.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Temptation and the Turndown

When I first started working with my nutritionist I craved things like cheese and crackers. I wanted a crunch. I wanted some fat. I've gone the last 8 weeks without having any craving, although I still have nightmares that I eat outside the box. Thursday will be my 11th week completed in the program. 

But right now, right now, in the sea of my exhaustion with school and getting stuff done around the house all I want is a freaking skillet cookie.

Unfortunately, I can't have one. I will probably never have one again. But, what I can do is go downstairs and make myself some chocolate mousse out of HMR shakes and no-sugar, instant, non-fat Jello pudding.

Doesn't that just sound yummy in comparison? Sigh. I think this is what it's like. You get through the occasional "want" and focus on the "need." 

I'm hungry, and a little bit thirsty. But rather than eating 1200 calories, I can eat 100. Maybe I'll just have an apple. I'm feeling a bit lazy. Maybe I'll just go to sleep and get over it. Tomorrow is a new day. 

But this week, I think I'll buy more than one chocolate Benefit bar... just in case. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Out! Out! Outside!

This morning began with a simple breakfast, then a tree planting, some garden box building and then a massive impromptu neighborhood play date followed by lunch, some more garden box building, a trip to the grocery store, another impromptu neighborhood play date. Then a scheduled cookout with the neighbors. 

By the time X-man had a bath, read three stories and turned off the light he was so tired that he needed help into bed. I love the warm weather, even if my kid had to change his clothes three times today and we both got a little sunburn on our forearms.