Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We Need to Get Off Our Butts

School is still not in session.

I still have lots of work to do.

Therefore, I ask you to read this little gem of an article, and be alarmed, as I was.

And then, as soon as you're done reading, get up off your rear and do something about it.

We've got to do something about our health as a nation and it starts at home. Put down the doughnut. Drop the remote. And get out there and save your life. Take a few friends and neighbors along with you, too. Clearly, we could all use a little more activity.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Time for Summer to Go Away

I'm sure if you're a kid, you don't feel the same way. Or maybe if you're a teacher, these last few days of summer are depressing. It's the run up to fall.

But it's time. The kids are bored, but they don't really know it. They need to be on a schedule. I need to be on a schedule. Their brains need some stimulation beyond Lego and the Wii. I'm out of ideas.

Last week we made a Jell-o volcano that we have never made erupt. I'm just out of enthusiasm.

I want to work during the day. Does that sound crazy? I want to work during the day and sleep at night like normal humans do.

I also want it to cool off. I still see temps in the 90s in our 10-day forecast. I do not like that, Mother Nature. My people are fair. I am fair. I do not want to look like an old leather boot in another 10 years, so I shun you. So it's time for us to spin away from you for the next half of the year.

I want to eat soup on a cool day.

I want to eat lunch and actually sit down and eat it.

I want to read the newspaper.

I want to plan out my day and have it go accordingly. At least a little bit.

I want to check things off my to do list instead of them endlessly rolling over to the next week.

I want to tackle some projects without feeling guilty.

And there, right there, you have it. Guilty. Mother Guilt.

I feel guilty for even writing these things down, that I am ready for my children to go back to school. That I need some space from them. That while I love them dearly, I am ready to have a little separation.

Because I will feel guilty. I'll think about that Jell-o volcano that was left un-erupted. About how someone else is basically raising my kids during the day (albeit, teaching them things I have no idea how to teach them). About things we said we'd do this summer, but didn't. What will they remember? The things we did? Or the things we didn't? I thought I did well balancing work, letting them have time to get bored (I'm a firm believer that if you let your kids get bored, they'll finally get creative), and getting them out and about doing fun stuff, whatever that fun stuff may be.

But, it's time. Declan starts one week from tomorrow. Finn starts one week from Wednesday (and don't ask me how the heck I'm going to work for those two days with only ONE kid home--one kid home is much worse than two kids home, I think).

To try and save my sanity this September, which is normally a very stress-filled month from a work and back-to-school volunteer perspective, I have dialed back on what I'm involved in this year, so that I don't come to the end of September and wish it was summer again already.

We'll see how that works out.

But I am already looking forward to Christmas break. Strange and slightly ridiculous, I know.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music for the Masses

When we have to go to Denver, like today, I love listening to this "oldies" station, 105.1 FM. I put that in quotes because I can't bear the thought/truth that they're playing 80s music on that "oldies" station. Sigh.

Anyway, we're motoring along and I pretty much know every single song that comes on there. I'm famous for knowing a few words to just about every song ever. They're not always the right words, but whatever.

So there I was, belting out the lyrics to "Magic" by Pilot, when I realized, I had a little choir singing right along with me.

What the heck? How did they know that song? Once at an event at the boys' school, the DJ played it and said he'd give a free hot dog to the person who knew who sang it. I sent Declan right over with the answer (because I love hot dogs almost as much as I love being right). He said the band was "Chilot"--WTF???--clearly he was having trouble hearing me in front of the blaring speakers, but the DJ gave Declan the free hot dog anyway. Which Declan then ate before returning to me. Again: WTF?

But there was no way he would know all of those lyrics from hearing the song once two years ago.

Turns out, "Magic" was used in the second Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, which we own because my friend Rachael is in it so we've watched it at least 100 times. At least. And that's how they know it.

Over the course of the drive today, we were all singing together on tracks by Bon Jovi, Elton John, AC/DC, the Beatles, and there may have been some Queen in there for good measure.

What does crack me up is when they hear an "old" song and say something like "Hey, I thought Flo-Rida sang this!" Then I have to explain about what a "cover" is.

I think it's probably how my parents felt when I was insistent that Kylie Minogue invented the Loco-Motion.

What goes around comes around.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

That's What Kids Are For

I've come to a conclusion: People have kids so they can eventually stop doing stuff and make their kids do it instead.

I've long suspected this is the case based on my own youth, and now I'm doing it to my children, so it must be universally true.

When I was a girl, as we like to say around here, I figured my mom had me only so she had someone to clean the silver, unload the dishwasher and vacuum the basement steps. And also maybe to wash the baseboards every spring. Even as I write those chores, I cringe. The silver, the dishwasher and the basement steps were my most hated--HATED I tell you--chores. There was other stuff, dusting, general vacuuming, and lawn mowing, but the silver, the dishwasher, the basement steps--drudge work. It was like I was Cinder-frickin-ella when I had to do those. Minus the singing cartoon birds and woodland creatures, of course.

I remember also sitting on the couch, my mom plucking her eyebrows, "Can you go get me a tissue?"

What? No! What am I? Your slave?

I usually ended up getting the tissue--you don't really mess around with the person who has the power to not drive you places.

But the short answer as I look back now is yes, our children are like tiny indentured servants that we need to take advantage of. They'll be gone soon and we'll be sad there isn't anyone to do stuff for us anymore.

A few of the things I used to do, but now make my children do. In no particular order of importance:
-Get out of the car and put library books in the drop box
-Get out of the car and check the post office box
-Go stand in line at the post office to pick up a package
-Get out of the car and get me a newspaper
-Get me a tissue when I'm sitting on my rear on the couch
-Get me a piece of paper towel when I'm sitting on my rear on the couch
-Pick things up off the floor because I'm almost too old to bend over now
-Help me pick up things that appear to heavy

And the list goes on.

And reading this list makes me realize that:
1. I spend too much time at the post office
2. I wish we had home delivery of mail AND newspapers, but alas, we do not
3. I'm glad my kids aren't in car seats anymore and can take part in these activities
4. I'm entering a lazy phase of life.
5. I'm going to be very sad when they leave for college, for a variety of reasons, but most of all because I will have to get out of the car and get my own newspaper. That makes me all choked up.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Zillion Years Ago, We Went on Vacation

OK, so it wasn't a zillion years ago. It was about 3 1/2 months ago. But it feels like it was an eternity ago. I look back at the pictures and I can't believe how it sped by. I'm ready to go back!

Anyway, at long last, here are the pictures from our trip to England and Germany, April 27 - May 2.

Someone let me know if that link doesn't work.

As if any of you wouldn't.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Heart Athleta

So Eamonn made a comment the other day that we needed to rein in our spending a little. Oops. Reading between the lines, I think what he was really saying was: "You know all of those clothes you've been buying? Stop it."

I confess, I have been terrible over the course of the last few months and it's for two reasons: Buying clothes if fun after you lose weight, and my friend Wendi kept waving the spring Athleta catalog under my nose. Really, I think it's mostly her fault.

Athleta. I love that catalog beyond anything that's rational. I used to receive the catalog sporadically, and I'd look through it and think, "Nothing in here would fit me or look remotely good on me."

But as I started to lose more weight this spring and get fitter, here came Wendi with a new copy of Athleta. And I thought that a pair of yoga pants from the catalog might be just the ticket for the long flight to England.

I ordered a pair and it was love at first wear.

The pants are a little too big now, but oh well. I'll keep wearing them because they were a little on the expensive side. Hope Eamonn isn't reading...

Anyway, that sort of opened the Athleta floodgates. And clearly they know that I am now a sucker. I receive two catalogs and two promotional e-mails constantly. A screw up on their part or are they crazy like a fox?

I ordered some new workout clothes. Loved them. I ordered some new clothes just to wear. Loved them, too.

Then the sale came. If there's anything that I love more than Athleta in general, it's Athleta ON SALE.

If you've never seen an Athleta catalog, go to Athleta.com. The sale is still on AND for the next four days, there's an additional 20% off promotion if you enter SUMMER20 at checkout. What I got and am LOVING: the Whatever skort, the Hopkinton Hoodie (more about my hoodie obsession in another post), the switchback tank, the PR tank, and the chase skort. I also ordered the Dipper skort, but it's not here yet so I cannot comment on whether I like it or not!

It's a long list now that I look at it. Yikes! Especially when you consider I have several of the same items. Yes, that's how much I like Athleta. Frankly, I also find the women in it inspiring--more athletic looking rather than model-y looking. I don't really relate to model-y, truth be told.

Anyway, get on over to Athleta and check it out.

Disclosure: I am not paid to endorse Athleta. I do not get free clothes from Athleta. I wish I did because I love Athleta.
The end.