Thursday, December 24, 2009

Professor X on Stage

Tong ht my older two children are in their first Christmas program as big kids. They will be on stage singing two Christmas carols at church with 30 other kids. I am definitely bringing my video camera because Professor X never fails to entertain when he is the center of attention. Even while racing in the 50-yard dash during a city-wide track meet, he turned to the crowd as he ran by the stands and waved with both hands and a big open-mouth smile. The crowd loved it. When he went up on the podium to get his ribbon, he threw his head back and raised both hands in the air, as if he were getting the Olympic gold. I love that little guy!

Actually, I should add that both of these kids have already played baby Jesus when they were younger. Professor X was only 20 days old when the director of the Christmas drama asked to use him as baby Jesus, and Princess O was 5 months old when I played Mary in the living nativity and she was baby Jesus. Mr. M has yet to have his 15 minutes of baby Jesus fame.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

End of the Year Thoughts

This month of December seems to fly by some days and crawl by on others. This week seems incredibly slow to me! Is it only WEdnesday? Not even Christmas Eve yet? Sigh. I don't know what is making me so antsy, but I feel like just getting through New YEar's and getting back to life as usual. Being ab;e to stop spending money will be nice too.

I have a few things I have decided to work on for next year. One is to dust off my guitar and learn how to play it well. Of course, this involves taking lessons of some kind and I don't know how that will work out, but if I am determined, a way will be made. Another goal is to finish my online Transcription program. The deadline is April and there really is no other option than to finish, so there it is. I have been working pretty steadily these past two weeks so I think that is attainable. Then, there is the usual, I-need-to-lose-weight-so-I-better-exercise-more goal. Isn't that a given? I think this one is one of the goals I am most motivated about. I have seen both my parents go through medical problems this past year and my thought is always, "In a little while, that could be me if I don't make more of an effort to get healthy." I'm hoping to get on the track and go back to my step class with my bestie.

That's all I have so far. Obviously hobbies and reading will be included somehwere on this list, but I don't have solid thoughts on those yet.

And I have to say, only because this has been knocking around in my head, that to discover my 1 follower hasn't been online for over a year was a bit disheartening. That's why I haven't blogged for so long. So now, I have to admit, which I don't have a problem admitting, that this blog will be solely for my own writing. I think that's fine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Too Much Stuff

With Christmas right around the corner, I always turn my eyes to the kids' room and the plethora of toys and books they have. This year it doesn't look too bad since I have been getting rid of bags and bags of stuff (where does it all come from??) throughout the year. My next big idea is to completely prune their book collection.

We check out massive amounts of books from the library. Massive. I don't think they even read much of what is strewn amongst the shelves of their bookcase. It's a grid bookcase with 9 squares and it would be really perfect to give them each a row with a basket to hold their very favorite things. One shelf each for books.

I am hesitant to do this because I love to read and my number one prayer come true about my children is that they love to read, too. We all love to read, but these books are dated and old and not read that much since we always have "fresh" books from the library! This should be a no-brainer. But I love books and it's hard to let go of such a huge amount.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thoughts on the New Year

I'm the type of person who enjoys the changing of seasons, not just in nature, but in life all around. I enjoy my new season of motherhood where I can have my own stall in a public restroom since my daughter can oversee the hand washing. I am enjoying my new knitting season which is especially gratifying as I taught myself. I am also enjoying the end of my season as a student in college since that frees up my time for other things. I am also enjoying our first season of homeschooling through a charter school.

I see this year coming to a close and I'm anticipating what I want next year to be like. I am thinking of way more knitting, way more reading, way more exercising. I always like to learn a new skill and my focus right now is on finishing my medical transcription online program. I want to get more involved with the new families at our homeschooling PE class. I want to redecorate my bedroom, something we have never done.

This is just a start, the seed of a plan that hopefully will grow and mature.

Friday, December 4, 2009

An Observation

I was in the bookstore with my husband and Mr. M tonight. As I walked the aisles, one particular section really jumped out. The shelves were full of books with red or pink covers. Some were red and pink. What was the section you ask? Sexuality and Relationships. Big surprise.

Maybe there should be a section for men since these books are obviously targeting women. Do men even read relationship books? I've bought 2 for my husband in the past and I read them more than he did. If there was a section about Sexuality and Relationships for men, what color would the covers be? Blue and Black? Or would they all have paper bag covers so a man could buy one without being embarrassed?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FB Fall-Out

A month ago I deleted a bunch of people from my Facebook account. These were friends, but no one really close, and actually a lot of just acquaintances. I am finallly getting questions about why from the people I dropped. A month ago. And they are just now realizing this.

My reasons for doing this were varied, but mostly due to a handful of people who I am not friends with anymore being connected to some I AM friends with. These non-friends are fake, phony, hippocrites and I have no desire to see their comments on other friend's posts, or be notified when they comment after my comments. Why do I have to be reminded of their existence when I do so much to avoid them in real life? I don't. So I did it.

It wasn't hard and I don't feel bad at all. Actually I feel great about it and Facebook is a lot more fun and stress-free now.

Lesson Learned

I went for my last class at school tonight and since I had only a small portion to study for the quiz, I decided to take along one of my knitting projects. Did I take the baby blanket easy project? Noooo. I thought I would put my iPod on and be ab;e to focus enough to work on the seed stitch scarf. BIG mistake. HUGE. I messed up that scarf big time. Mental note: Don't take a difficult knitting project to the school cafeteria and think you will be able to focus enough to do a great job. You can't. You won't.

But I did well on the quiz and had a great time with my homies who came to pick me up and go out for dinner. Good times.

Almost made me forget about my botched up scarf. Almost.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Quick Fix

I worked on my red seed stitch scarf in bed last night. To the incessant snoring of my husband. It gave me an irregular rhythm to my knitting, but it felt comfortable and sure beats the late nights playing Bejeweled while everyone else sleeps.

I thought about taking my baby blanket project to the park today when I took the kids to play, but figured either the stitches would suffer or the kids would since I would be absorbed in my knitting. Boo.

I know that on Wednesday I can take my project to the PE class at the park for the kids, BUT...this involves knitting amongst a snobby group of homeschool moms that knit continental. I knit English/American. You can almost hear the patronizing collective sniff.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Short Story

I have been trying to wind up all my schoolwork and have been incredibly busy, hence the lack of blog entries. Another deterrent is my broken camera. Well, it's not so much broken as much as it is crappy.

I have a few projects on the needles right now. I started a red suede yarn seed stitch scarf this weekend. I can only work on this when the kids are in bed because I really have to concentrate and even in the quiet I get lost sometimes. (Is that a knit stitch? Did I start that row with a purl?) I also started a baby blanket with some yarn my mother passed on to me. I have doubled the strands from a pastel mix and a light yellow skein to use up this awful yarn. I think the blanket will be handed off to Princess O. For now, it serves as the project I can work on at any time without much thought. It's a stockinette stitch with a garter stitch border and it has impressed my husband to no end. He was surprised I could knit the border right in! Yay for me! What else. Oh, I started to finish adding the tassels to a dark blue Christmas scarf on which I intend to add a snowman applique. I finished the tweed tri-color scarf that is incredibly long. I love long, long scarves. Alas, no pictures today.

The rest of the short story: homeschool, college medical terminology class, online keyboarding class, online transcription course, husband, children, holidays. Pick one when you wonder where I have been lately.

Looking forward to: all things ending by the end of the year, to include: family birthday season, college classes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Hate My Keyboarding Class

I enrolled in an online keyboarding class thinking it was an easy way to get 3 credits and boost my financial aid package. Wrong.

What I didn't realize is that it was a document processing class and now I am having to type and format various documents. I seriously hate this class. The teacher sends out messages or returns work with snippy comments and is not very friendly at all. I am turning my lessons in on time and doing everything required, but I seriously hate this class. It is a waste of my time since it's not focused solely on typing. I dread having to sit and do the work every night.

This is the first class I have ever taken that I am wondering, what is the least amount of work I can do and still pass? Hmm.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Knitting Projects

I love reading all the blogs about knitting! I saw someone has a widget showing how many miles they have knitted this year. Gotta get one of those for next year! My BIG PLAN is to knit all year and have a good inventory by October to launch. We'll see how that goes!

I finished my first scarf prototype for my Christmas line. I think it looks wonderful and all that remains is to trim the sides and sew on the appliques. I love to knit because I am relaxing but also being productive. Of course today I have yet to knit but I completed three projects already this weekend so I just watched football today.

I have gotten a lot of compliments on my ultra-long black scarf that I knit earlier this year. It was my first project with the big, fat bamboo needles. I really love that scarf.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Goals and Projects

This week is the week when I will make all those appointments and take care of all those annoying errands that have been hanging over me for the past month. Eye and dental check-ups, Girl Scout sign-ups, and blood work. Not a bunch of unnecessary things, but a lot of out of the way things.

I checked out some books today and I wondered what the heck I was thinking. I have started War and PEace, and now Jerry Seinfeld biography. (I think it's incredibly sexy that my DH has the same birthday as Seinfeld - why is that?) I also have a few old holiday knitting magazines to photocopy and help me get started on projects for building my inventory through the next year.

I saw an amazing scarf today that was very thick and able to wroap around shoulders, but tapered to the ends and even had a buttoned pocket about 3 inches from the the tassels. I loved it! But it was $20 and I think I will ask my DH for it for Christmas. I also bought a graph/lined tablets of paper so I can keep track of all my scarf designs and get moving on my BIG IDEA. More and more knitting. I have some cheap yarn to use to teach myself some new stitches. I really, truly enjoy knitting and I am so proud of myself for learning how to knit on my own.

This week also holds the beginning of new homeschool units. I am excited for our next book,, 50 American Heroes Every KId Should Know. I think the professor will get into this book and enjoy it a lot more than anything else so far. I hope.

Full speed ahead.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Night Before

Why do kids have to vomit the night before a big event? My daughter awoke at 4:30 a.m. vomiting this morning, and we were scheduled to get on the road to drive home at 8:00 a.m. Why? I was up with her every 20 minutes as she bolted to the bathroom and then we both blearily climbed back on to our respective air mattresses and dozed until the next bout. All I could think about was what the heck made her so sick and would she be barfing into plastic grocery bags all the way home.

My husband flew home a few days ahead of us. The drive was going to be a solo trip, sort of, as I drove my van with my kids behind my sister and her family in their van. I was already exhasuted from the few days of extra vacation without my husband, but the two-hour vomit episode really sapped the last of my strength.

I had been looking forward to the four hours of driving to clear my mind and just enjoy the time with my kids. The scenery is pretty much the same all the way, flat. I was planning to put on the kid's favorite tunes in the back speakers and let my mind wander all over the next week, next month, and far beyond.

What I ended up doing was letting my sister drive my van while I dozed in the passenger seat for two hours, then took the last two hours for myself. We hit some serious traffic which prolonged the journey, but by that point I was just eager to be home. I enjoyed the extra chatting with my sister, and we analyzed the whole visit which was fun. No vomiting either.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Heading Out of Town

My time will not be my own for at least a week. I am happy about that in a lot of ways, but I will miss my blog. Even though the past week I have had so much to get done my blog has been rather neglected, I will miss the freedom of deciding to blog or not.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaBloPoMo - I'm Out

For some reason, when I feel the pressure to blog every day, that kind of kills my desire to blog. I want to do this for myself, I guess and not because I feel like I have to. So there. So now that I have missed one day and am no longer in the running for a prize, I feel like writing.

We are having a pajama day at home today. I love homeschooling! Today is foggy and chilly so far and I am so happy to not be rushing the kids off to school. They are all cozy on the couch with mugs of warm tea and big muffins. Everyone is still recovering from the cough they passed around last week, and I have decided a day of rest will do them al good.

I have not been able to see my sister every day. I expected this, and I wonder now why I felt so much pressure to get so much schoolwork done before she came. I have a few days now, while she is visiting other relatives, to get a head start on things due when she leaves. We head out to Nevada soon and there we will have several days and nights with their family and I am so excited for THAT!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today

We went to the park, Costco, and Wal-Mart. Yet I still feel like I need to run to Target for some things I forgot.Why?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Waiting

Today has been all about waiting.

The training site for my medical transcription course was down and then running extremely slowly all day. That was a huge issue for me since this was one of my free days to work while my family is visiting. Here are some things I did while waiting for pages to load: plucked my eyebrows, applied and rinsed a mud mask, arranged my transcription schedule for November, and checked FB way too many times.

Now, the site is still down and we are waiting for my sister to call and say she and her family are on their way to our house. The kids are whining every 5 minutes, "when are they gonna be here?" and I'm doing my best to resist the urge to call and check on them. It's their vacation and I want them to enjoy their time with everyone and not feel rushed or pressured to be with us the whole time.

So, once again, we are waiting.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Quick Shot of Thanksgiving

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love all the cooking, all the eating, and all the football. I love to be home, surrounded by my close family, and spend the day in happy buy-ness. I always decorate and this year, I have my decorations up a bit early to enhance my sister's visit.

We bought a couple last minutes items for the front door and coffee table. I rushed over to Big Lots this morning and was very happy to find a couple displays still up full of Harvest type decorations. I got the pumpkin candle I wanted, too! The mantle, which is my favorite decorating spot, looks beautiful.

My awesome DH dragged the stored decorations out of the garage, and even hunted down the twinkle lights I wanted. He gets big points for that!









Friday, October 30, 2009

My Day Today

Plans for today include 2 drop-off play dates, errands, turn in bookmarks at the library for the design contest, clean the house some more, and type a bunch of reports. I am not going to drink any coffee today because I have a physical feeling that I have been drinking too much. Yes, it happens.

Last night I should have done a lot more reports, but DH and I watched a movie, "2 Weeks", which was listed as a "poignant comedy". It's about 4 adult children going to tend their mother during her last 2 weeks of life. She is dying of cancer. Not much comedy, a whole lot of poignancy. DH continually accused me of tricking him into watching that movie since I didn't read the synopsis to him before I put it on. He is a very sensitive guy, but doesn't show it. His family always says not to talk about death or dying, because then it might happen. Riiight. So, the movie put him in the mind frame of his own mother and stepfather dying. He said he didn't want to think about those things and I told him that it's GOOD for us to think about those things. He thought the movie was good, just different than what he was expecting. I swear I didn't know it would be such a tearjerker! I give it 2 thumbs up.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So Tired

but I have to keep going. I have 6 reports to edit and 10 to type. It's going to be a long night.

Tomorrow is a full day of cleaning the house. My sister and her family arrives soon adn I must have my Thanksgiving decorations up! I'll post some pics tomorrow. I should have taken before and after pics of my kitchen. That was more impressive. It looks so good I couldn't possibly make dinner tonight!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shadows and Art Projects

I love to scrapbook. I have tons of paper, lots of tools, and many ideas. It is a relaxing way for me to spend some time. Thus, when my children are gluing pictures to paper, making mattes, and adding text, it is EXTREMELY difficult to be hands-off!

We just did a project where the kids took pictures of shadows and then the object making the shadow. I though Princess O would be the most interested, but actually she had a hard time getting going. Professor X really surprised me with his artistic eye and enthusiasm. I got the prints developed and then the kids glued them onto paper with a flap over the object making the shadow so you have to guess what it is. Tana Hoban inspired, for sure! The paper was not evenly aligned, way too much glue or not enough was used, and the handwriting is sub-par. BUT, the kids are absolutely thrilled with them and had a great time. I'm glad we did it. I think I learned more than they did.












Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Facebook Rant

One problem with Facebook (hereafter referred to as FB) is that the semi-anonymity gives people a boldness to say what they normally would not say to your face. For instance, contradicting advice or making a comment about your comment. Then there is all the random information given out. I really don't care if you're eating at a restaurant or if there is a cat on your lap! I know it's my own fault for getting involved there, and spending so much time, but I have come to realize FB is a bad influence.

So there.

Husband Awakening

We have family members coming this weekend to visit us and they are staying for a couple weeks. I am totally excited because it's my sister and her wonderful family whom we last saw in June when we went to visit them. There is a great time of coffee, conversation, and late nights about to start. But, in the meantime...

I have a unit of transcription reports to finish. I have two more medical terminology quizzes to take. I have homeschool lessons to plan, no matter that they will be light, some schooling must take place. I have a house to clean. Something has to give! I told my husband that I was relinquishing dinner duty to him for the next week. He knows how to cook well and actually he did all the cooking the first year we were married. This is not an unreasonable request. He gets home in the late afternoon and has time to make dinner.I told him that as soon as he got home every day that I would retire to the bedroom for hours of studying and typing. He said, okay. I know he understands, even if he is not excited about it.

Well, ever since he has been on dinner duty, his domestic skills have gone into overdrive! He has begun cleaning, making the kids clean, and generally taking care of things so I do not emerge to a messy house every night. He vacuumed! He has an area of our room that is stuffed with papers and odds and ends that only he can go through, since I will just dump it all in the trash or a plastic tub in the garage. He is motivated beyond what I asked. It is a very pleasant observation.

To make things even more interesting, my friend who was going to come over and clean for me was exposed to swine flu and now is quarantined. (She has my Avon order, too, but that's another post altogether.) I bewailed this to my husband and his response was, "Don't worry. I'll do it then." Bah? He is really stepping up to the plate. This is a man who wakes up very early and puts in a full day of work, usually coming home and lapsing into a semi-coma with snoring until dinner is ready. He then zones out in front of the television for the next few hours until he puts the kids to bed. In the midst of his inactivity, I am a whirling dervish of cleaning, disciplining, planning, and studying. But not this week.

He has awakened from his slumber and unfolded his hands. I wonder what the motivation is? Maybe his domestic skills and desires have lain dormant because I was doing it all, no matter how bitterly. Does he see with new eyes the energy and effort it takes to keep going after dinner? Making dinner every night is a challenge! Is he determined to not disappoint me? I don't know and I don't want to ask. I don't want to break the spell.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Day Today

I think that using a curriculum for homeschool this year has been stressing me out. The last month I have been much more relaxed, skipping things we just can't do, or don't want to do. I did make the professor finish our unit book, Sarah, Plain and Tall because I thought it was a meaningful story. He hated it. Princess O enjoyed the read aloud sessions a lot more than he did. I don't want him to hate reading. I need to make a move out of this curriculum and into something he enjoys.

Today was a school-out-of-home day. We did some nature drawing at the park with magnifying lenses and colored pencils. We took pictures of shadows for our new photography project. I played catch with the professor and the princess. Mr. M made a friend and had a great time playing in the sand. No shoes, of course.

We made a quick venture into the library where the kids found books they need for our research projects this week. I should have stuck to our foundation of unit studies. Dinosaurs and hippos were the topics of choice. I also found a lot of graphic novels, books about drawing, and a fantastic nugget buried between two huge books about making flip books. I think we will have a load of fun with these, especially because I am planning to participate myself with my own drawings and comics. Hopefully they will get as excited as I am!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Newest Obsession

I have been an avid reader my whole life, yet I never entered the realm of comics. I always associated that genre with boys, and my one attempt at reading a comic was purely to be able to strike up a conversation with a boy I liked in 8th grade. It was a TMNT and I didn't care for it much.

This week, my hubby and I watched the movie "Watchmen". I have heard so many conflicting opinions about this movie that I wanted to see it for myself. I am a huge fan of superhero movies and Batman is my ultimate favorite. I loved this movie "Watchmen". There were some very explicit scenes that we skipped, but on the whole, the movie was very interesting. I have always expressed my opinion of a true hero is one who makes the choice to be a hero, who has to override their own selfish desires to act. For example, the true hero of the "Star Wars" movies was note Luke Skywalker, but Han Solo. Han consistently put aside his own agenda to help and eventually ended up frozen on Jabba's wall for all his efforts. Luke was destined to become the Jedi knight. He simply had to live and follow the path marked out for him. My point is, the heroes of Watchmen were very realistically portrayed. For once, I have decided to read the book AFTER watching the movie.

I was amazed at the popularity of graphic novels, and even more so at my own ignorance of them. I am excited to begin reading Watchmen and have already discovered a list of must-reads. This is going to be my new reading list. Hmm. Maybe I can find one of War and Peace.

An Observation

I find myself having a daily habit of checking Facebook whenever I have my laptop out, but that is not all bad. Since I am staying off FB more, I end up posting here more. I can post personal things here that would never go over well on FB.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Day Today

I have a really great blog entry written about my new interest in graphic novels, but I cannot seem to be able to paste it on here. Hhmmm. Have to work on that.

This morning I had to get up achingly early to drive my mother to the airport. She is visiting my sister and her family in the Pacific Northwest for several weeks. Her flight departed around 8am, but she wanted to be at the airport by 6:30 am. No unreasonable I suppose, except the airport is extremely small and I did not want her to be waiting so long alone in the terminal. I was overruled. So i got up at at the indecent hour of 5:30am, and off we went. Did I mention the airport is 10 minutes from my house? It is. Then I went back home and discovered my littlest son had taken my spot in bed next to my husband. I contemplated sleeping in my son's bed, but was not sure if the toddler mattress and bed frame would support me comfortably. Instead, I curled up on the footstool and leaned back on a pile of fresh clothes, and promptly fell asleep.

My husband found me there, mouth open and snoring, a couple hours later, and we all got ready and rushed Professor X off to chess class. We stopped for breakfast t McDonald's on the way because we have been collecting Monopoly pieces and are sure we will hit it big on one of those hashbrowns soon.

Quick trip to the library after chess snagged us some fresh books and videos for tonight. DH is at a show and I have a bunch of reports to type, so the kids must be enticed by something in order to be quiet. I also received a new library card to replace my old one that had a scratched barcode. Wouldn't you know, those smart librarians, I got a small card that I can put on my keychain! Love that since I switch purses a lot and tend to forget to transfer everything each time.

Now, I am on the verge of working all night, DH is off at this show, and the lovely redheads are having their turns on the DS and Mac. Should be a great night.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Few Scarves - Finally

Here are some pictures of the latest group of scarves I knitted. I had knit one for my niece and one for my sister, so of course my nephews wanted their own. What kind of scarf can a boy wear? Camouflage! Thankfully there was a variety of camo yarn so everyone will be able to tell which one is their own. My boys had to have their own knitted, too. I am still working on Mr. M's in a yarn called Earth which is not exactly camo, but I am hoping he won't notice.














I have also knitted a couple for friends and for myself. This next picture was my first attempt at knitting a second color into an established piece. It went well, for a first time, and the yarn is very soft and woolly, so I love to wear it. I have another extremely long black scarf that I knitted with my big fat bamboo needles. That scarf is soft and stretchy and goes with anything. I love it. I love yarn. I love to knit!





My Day Today

My DH is on forced furlough today. The bad part is that he loses money, but the good part is that he is home with us all day.

Today we are heading out to the park again so we can do PE with the kids for our homeschool program. I am really looking forward to stretching my legs and having a good workout early in the day. Fresh air and vitamin D. Love it. My legs are sore from yesterday's walk/run. I ran one side of the track and walked one. I don't think I can do that today!

Later I am going to edit some reports and hopefully finish my unit. DH has plans to watch Gammera with the kids. Good times! No movie for tonight for us grown-ups. Hmm. Maybe we should plan a library run to get something.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today I needed to get out and walk. While my husband does physical education with the kids, I walk on the nearby track. Whenever my life seems to be getting filled with drama or things I "have to do" and my shoulders start inching up to my ears, I know it's time to walk.

I put my iPod on and just circle the track, not thinking about anything in particular, except who can I pass and why can't I get that thin again? My music consists of fast beats and inspiring lyrics. A little Mary J. and some LL, throw in some Cyndi Lauper and Beyonce, and I am sweating out my stress. Walking is good.

Currently Reading

Yesterday I ordered the graphic novel Watchmen from Amazon. We are totally tight financially right now, so I am sure my husband raised his eyebrows when he saw the charge online. Hee hee. I have taken an interest in this novel due to the fact I enjoy comics and superheroes and I love to read. Plus there has been a lot of buzz about this book and I have the movie from Netflix, so I just want to soak this one in all the way. Do you ever get the itch like that?

I have yet to start War and Peace. I am waiting for my mother to give the green light since we are reading it together. We want to meet once month for coffee and talk about it. I love to analyze literature, so hopefully this will be a good project for us.

Other tidbits about my mother and me. Our Avon order should be in soon and we are collaborating on Christmas scarves to make and sell. Good times. I want to post my scarf pics today. I will. I WILL!
So this will be my day today since I stayed up late with my hubby listening to old tunes instead of doing some medical transcription like I had planned.

I give the kids an assignment they can work on without me and I rush to the computer to type a report. They come in and interrupt me with questions they should already know the answers to. They leave and then finish the work much faster than I had anticipated so then I have to get up and give them something else to do.

It's going to be a long day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I started a medical transcription training program in April. I have one year to complete the program and be certified. I am so close to the end and somehow I have lost steam. The training is now simply typing reports from the audio files. It's not hard and I actually enjoy it when I get in the groove, but it's the before-groove time that I find myself wishing I could be doing anything else.

So, now I am off to type my reports. I was good and did my blog first. Yay for me!
The thing about writing is that so often I feel I have nothing worthwhile to say. I lead a small life. My world can get extremely small if I don't make the effort to get and see people and mix with society.

I have a medical terminology class right now. I love all the big words and serious explanations for diseases. I find myself repeating after my teacher, under my breath, all the long complicated pathology terms and body parts. Words have a definite pull on me. I enjoy being studious and making flashcards every week. I think in words. I think in full sentences with punctuation. I don't know if all people do this, if it's normal. But it's me.

I recently acquired a brand-spanking new book, War and Peace. No, not War, What is it Good for? The actual big, fat War and Peace. It's sitting on the shelf next to my bed and I can't wait to start reading it. I need a big mug of fresh, hot coffee, my special blanket, and a long, lazy afternoon. I'll get there.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Babies, Babies, Everywhere - Almost


Wednesday I started reading Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner. I took it with me to my GYN appointment. The nurse noticed my book and said it was really good, or at least based on her reading two other Weiner novels, the book must be good. It is entertaining, as chick lit is meant to be, but everyone in this story is pregnant, except one poor lady, but I haven't gotten to the details yet. So, back to my GYN appointment, my extremely perky doctor, who I usually love, decided to fill in all the blanks on my medical history. Great. She briskly reviewed everything, I nodded and smiled. There are a few things there that I don't think about very often because the experiences were painful, literally and figuratively.


I have had two miscarriages. I lost my very first pregnancy on Easter day at my in-laws house. I lost my fourth pregnancy on Dec 22nd, during a Christmas season when I had just been pushing myself to do too much. The doctor glossed over these miscarriages, and showed me the computer screen , on which I noticed the miscarriages were classified as "spontaneous abortions". How horrible. I was stunned. One minute I am just trying to get through this appointment, the next minute I am reliving the trauma of the D&C. That doctor was either incredibly insensitive, or has never experienced a loss of pregnancy. Miscarriage is not something to be brought up, confirmed, and shuffled away. Not to the woman who experienced it, at least. I was suddenly plunged back into those memories and at a moment I least expected it.


I don't think a woman can ever forget a miscarriage. I wonder about those little lives, those heartbeats that slowly stopped fluttering inside of me. No extensive research was done on my body to find out why. Of course, I have a theory blaming my hormone levels since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after the birth of my first baby. With every successive pregnancy, I held my breath, wondering if this one would make it. There were always close calls, always a rush to L&D to reaffirm the little heartbeat was still there. And now, at the end of my child-bearing road, I have three beautiful, healthy children that I love so much it hurts. God is good.


So, reading this book tonight, about these pregnant women, must have triggered some deep feelings from my doctor's visit. I went into the kitchen to refresh my coffee just now, and my husband heard me sigh and asked if I had finished my book. No, I told him, it's full of pregnant women. Then I found myself in the kitchen blinking back tears as I grabbed the milk from the fridge. I do not want to have any more babies. I wonder about the ones that were taken away so quickly. There is a lingering sadness, that dwells on some level of my mind and spirit, connected to these two little babies. I'm not sure I can finish this book.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Things

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. (Thanks Ang!)

This will be easy, since this is my semi-secret blog! Here are 25 totally random things about me. I will try to make them interesting.

  1. I start my day with a cup of coffee every day, but I rarely get to drink the whole thing.
  2. My favorite shirt color is robin's egg blue.
  3. I think in written sentences.
  4. I am horrible in confrontation because I always start crying.
  5. I never take my mascara off, or at least I put it back on right after I remove it.
  6. I dream of what my single life would be like.
  7. I hate to watch television for hours at a time, but my husband loves it.
  8. I enjoy Bollywood movies when I can invest the time. (kind of contradicts #7!)
  9. I will not let my children see a book-based movie without first reading the book.
  10. I look at license plates while I am driving and make them into words.
  11. I hate competition so sometimes I let people win, especially Scrabble.
  12. I know how to cross-stitch but I don't get to because of my tendinitis.
  13. I was once a top-level manager for a premiere fitness company, before I developed tendinitis.
  14. I am not a good cook without a lot of preparation and effort.
  15. I can play the guitar very ill indeed.
  16. I love to sing when I am alone in the car.
  17. My toenails are always painted, and I do my own pedicures.
  18. I love country music and always beg my husband to put on some tight jeans and a big belt buckle. (he always refuses!)
  19. I read part of my Jane Austen treasury every day at lunch.
  20. I have a Sudoku book but all the easy ones are done, so I cheat a little by filling in the grid from the answers at the back.
  21. Documentaries are one of my most favorite things to watch.
  22. I grew up watching the Three Stooges on late-night TV.
  23. I had a big poster of Sonny Crockett on my wall when I was 12. (seems odd now)
  24. I never wear hats because I get awful hat hair.
  25. I eat chocolate every day. I need it. I am not kidding.

Hope that wasn't too boring! I'm sure later I will think of better things I could have written!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Some Thoughts


Yesterday was library day. I checked out mainly chick lit and devoured one novel throughout the day, Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. This is also the author of the Shopaholic novels, which were originally what I was searching for, but there were none on the shelves. I usually avoid chick lit, so I am not expecting a whole lot of plot or really great phrase turning, mostly I just want to be entertained. Remember Me? is an excellent novel to entertain. Two thumbs up, I couldn't put it down all afternoon! I also checked out some Jennifer Weiner novels, and the more literary Anne Tyler.


I love the fact that my children look forward to a library trip. We all spent productive time reading, playing with puzzles, perusing the stacks, and came home with a bag full of goodies that are ours alone for the next 21 days.


Not much else has been going on here. I am still in limbo, waiting for results, on our charter school applications and our Washington trip tickets. I am not used to depending on other people to green light me for something I want, how typical of our generation! I have found myself being quiet and grouchy with my husband, and then I realized last night I was experiencing PMS. sigh. No that's not an excuse, actually it is very rare for me to feel like this, so I think the waiting is influencing me, too. I need to be more vigilant, make more effort to keep my attitude positive.


I am really enjoying this Facebook thing. I have gotten in touch with a couple friends from ages ago who are truly excited to know how we have been all these years. That's a pleasant feeling, to know someone is happy to see you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

An Epiphany


Many of my friends have a Facebook profile and they were always telling me I should "get one, too!" I have a MySpace profile and I didn't feel a need to get another profile. However, I started realizing that I was missing out on events and conversations that were being referenced, so I caved and created a Facebook profile.


When I was growing up, I was a complete nerd. I was smart but I was very awkward-looking. My hair is naturally curly and we always lived in areas of high humidity. My parents made me keep my hair short, and with all the moisture in the air, I ended up sporting an Afro from Kindergarten through my freshman year of high school. Not a great look at that time, although I see many kids with them now. Anyway, I was never one of the "cool" kids, in fact, if I was horribly teased and learned to laugh at myself, to avoid the public humiliations from being too severe. Well, I no longer have that Afro. I am no longer the awkward-looking girl.


On Facebook, people register with their real name, supposedly, and I was bored one night (don't judge me, you know you've done it too!) and I searched some names from junior high and high school. What do you know, but the coolest guy from Junior high was there! This is the guy that I let cheat off my science quiz so he would pass the the class. He would talk to me in class, but outside class, acted like I was invisible. Fine. He was the ultimate cool guy, with tight jeans, Van Halen t-shirts, and spiky hair, and don't forget the huge high-top sneakers unlaced. And there he was. And there I was. So I emailed him.


I told him, "you probably don't remember me..." and he responded to add him as one of my friends. I doubt he remembers me, there was no personal note, no "oh yeah..." Whatever, at least now I could see his profile. His pictures of himself. Well, let me just say, the spell was broken. Here he is, 30 years later, aged along with the rest of us, beer-belly and receding hairline. I always imagine dhim married to some tall, gorgeous blonde, but he's not. His profile friends are mostly girls I recognize from junior high. Let's just say, this guy peaked at 13.


One reason I emailed him was so that he could see MY pictures. My handsome husband, my lovely redheads, and my long curly locks. Who knows what he thinks, but I know the name "Afro-turf" and "Bird-Nest" will never apply to me again. I felt like I wanted to prove something to him, but in the end, I bet his pictures proved a lot more to me. I don't need to show my picture to all those bullies and horrible "cool" people from my past. I can be happy with who I am now, resting in the fact that all those past experiences made me who I am today. Just as they made him who he is today. Closure, good for the heart, good for the soul.

Monday, January 19, 2009

List of Books Read for Novel Reading Month



That's right, just a list. Here are the books I have finished so far.






  1. The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald
  2. The Penderwicks, Birdsall
  3. The Jane Austen Book Club, Fowler

What I am reading now: two Agatha Christie mysteries, The Pale Horse and After the Funeral

As of January 27th, I have finished four more books.

  1. The Pale Horse, by Agatha Christie (I figured this one out right away)
  2. After the Funeral by Agatha Christie (did not figure this one out)
  3. Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie (my favorite one, very difficult to figure out)
  4. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (entertaining chick lit, devoured this in one day)

I wasn't sure I would make the gold ten books read, but I think I might! I have a couple Anne Tylers and Jennifer Weiners to read this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The First Friday

Today is Thursday, or what my dh refers to as, the first Friday. This means tonight is a night to stay up late, or run errands, basically start getting ready for the weekend.

Our plans for the weekend were pretty slim. Friday night we have a commitment at our new church. I want to go and take the older kids with me so they can hang out with their friends. We only see these people once a week and I never stay around long after service. This will be a good opportunity for us all to get to know each other.

DH has jazz practice all morning Saturday so I had planned to drive out to my mother's with the kids. She lives about 30 minutes away in a college town that is pleasant to walk around, and also has a huge library at which my card will work. The kids enjoy getting a strawberries and cream and checking out the expensive toy store.

Sunday is church, as usual, that's not even a question unless one of us is sick.

However, my father called this afternoon to say he is driving out tomorrow due to his uncle being admitted to a nursing home after ankle surgery. This uncle is 80 years old and my father wants to take advantage of this time to see him a bit, just in case he doesn't get well. My father always stays with us, no problem. But, he asked me to accompany him to see our uncle. The home is a few hours away, and obviously I cannot take the kids. This throws our weekend into upheaval, a necessary upheaval though.

I called DH to tell him about the proposed plan, and he informed me that he may need to work after his practice. Wow. We could really, really use some overtime pay! I told him to absolutely work, that I will handle getting the kids taken care of, but he MUST work! Maybe we can split the child care between a friend and my MIL, we'll see. The priority is visiting my uncle. I am also looking forward to spending some solo time with my father during the drive.

Thankfully our plans are some that I have no firm hold on. We can still Netflix and stay up late. With my father sleeping on the couch, the romance aspect of the weekend is somewhat dampened, that's for sure! But on the whole, I am taking all the changes in stride. I just need to get my housework and grocery shopping done before my father gets here!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday is Book Review Day


I have decided that around here, Wednesdays will be book review day. Today I will review the novels I finished for the January contest, but hopefully in the future I can offer more productive or practical books. But then again, maybe not.


First, I finished The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall. I read this YA fiction novel to see if it would interest my kids as a read-aloud book for homeschool. The main characters are a family of young girls who have very different yet creative personalities. I enjoyed the writing and most of the time I was anxious to know what would happen next. The family is without a mother, she died of cancer, and the father is vaguely present due to his interest in botany. The family is vacationing on the property of a wealth woman and her young son, in a cottage rented out seasonally. The mother is unpleasant but her son makes friends with the girls. My biggest problem with the girls is that they were always breaking rules or being completely disrespectful. The author portrays these issues as good, but to me the representations were frustrating and not fun to read. Am I too old for this book? Maybe. But I sure won't be reading it to my children. I am going to keep looking and hopefully find some better role models who don't get into so much trouble due to their disobedience or disrespect.


Second, I finished The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler. My husband raised his eyebrows at me when I mentioned I was reading this because he knows (we Netflixed the movie but didn't watch it) that there is a lesbian storyline. Ok, yes, there is. It's a book, not a movie. But I did feel like I should being using my mind filter a little better. Anyway, there was nothing graphic, so there. Overall, the characters are interesting, but the Austen imitations were a bit much for me. I definitely felt as though some of the storylines and personalities were copied from Austen books. I am sure this was the authors intent, however, I didn't enjoy it. I can't put my finger on exactly why this took away from the novel, maybe because it was done in wisps, and I think if that is part of the purpose of the novel it should be done with great big thumbprints. The storyline was good, I really wanted a happy ending for most of the characters.


Is this a good book review? No, I don't think so. But I will research what makes a good book review and do a better one next Wednesday.


As a postscript, I blew the Blogging Month contest because I missed a couple days. Seriously I could not think of anything worth writing about. This blog has so little personality and focus, it can be overwhelming. I'm sticking to it though! I will persevere and make this place more appealing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Don't Know, Sometimes...


Even though I am adult, sometimes things happen and suddenly I feel like an awkward adolescent or the jerky young adult that I was. I have to remind myself that I am NOT that person anymore and I would NEVER do those things again. Sometimes, repercussions of things that happened years and years ago, not even anything that I did, still affect my day. That's how it feels right now. I have to blog something, so I'm just blogging my state of mind. This would be a night that I would just go to bed and toss and turn, but thanks to NaBloPoMo, here I am. Cathartic? Mmm, no. I am just biding my time until the kids are in bed and I can really talk to my husband. Sigh.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Morning Routine

On a perfect morning during the week, I get up at least an hour ahead of the kids. I roll out of bed without waking my nightly sneaker-in, Mr. M, and stuff my feet into my slippers while grabbing my cozy red sweater. I walk through the house, opening curtains, possibly windows if it is warmer outside than in, which here in Southern California, that's normal. My pre-progammed Gevalia coffeepot offers me a hot cup of delicious joe, and I settle into my favorite chair to read the Daily Bread and chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the date. If I am still the only one awake after this, I refill my mug and settle back into my chair with a book of some kind, or I just spend time praying for the day, my husband, the kids, anything that comes into my mind. As the minutes tick by, my thoughts turn towards breakfast.



Without fail, once I think about breakfast, one by one the kids wake up and come stumbling into the living room to find me. I greet each warm bedhead with a kiss and a cuddle, ask if they had "good mimi", and acknowledge that my quiet time is over.




Once all the redheads are awake, we head into the kitchen for a group preparation of breakfast. On the best days, I have everything to make pancakes, on the worst day we have cold cereal. Our conversation revolves around dreams, plans for the day, and school. We all scurry off to get dressed and meet up again after beds are made to discuss what is next. Usually we start school, or if I am not quite ready for that, we head out to run errands, probably including a stop at the park.


Of course, due to late nights and broken sleep, I rarely get this morning. I am usually jiggled awake by someone crawling across my bed, or poked awake by a constant, "mommy" and a waft of child morning breath. Nonetheless, I still get my hot coffee and devotional on the run. The kiss and cuddle are doled out in a row. Breakfast is still a group effort, with more whine than not. Yet, I still enjoy the walk-through. I enjoy waking the house by opening the curtains, ushering in the fresh air breezes, and greeting the day while in my slippers.



Monday, January 5, 2009

Another Reading Challenge!


I am becoming addicted to another blog, Reading Adventures, just for finding new reading challenges. I found one today to read 100 books this year, 2009. I have never kept track of any books I read on any kind of list, so this should be fun. I don't know how many books I usually read in a year!


To start, here is the list for this month:


  1. Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald

  2. After the Funeral, Christie

  3. The Pale Horse, Christie

  4. Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lewis

More to come.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Seasons Change - Finally!

I am so happy to say that tomorrow is our first day back on our regular schedule. My dh is off to work after a ten day vacation, the kids are back to home school, and I can put my homemaker hat more firmly on my head. I thrive on a routine. I need a routine. Tomorrow is a great, great day and I am so excited!

On my agenda for tomorrow is ridding the house of all holiday decorations. Dh wants to wait until Tuesday, but I honestly feel like one more day of that pathetic Christmas tree will make me scream! I want all the tablecloths with snowmen melted away, and no one better dare to turn on those window lights tonight, or I will FREAK OUT! Yes, the holidays are over and not one day too soon for me.




My menu planning efforts now have to be in full swing if I am to stay ahead of the game. Did I roast my chickens? Yes, I did! Unfortunately, I was out of freezer bags, so one chicken is wrapped tightly in foil waiting to be picked clean. I roasted the other one for dinner tonight, a much-needed change from nachos - ugh.


Since I homeschool, every meal requires kitchen time. Breakfast this week is cold cereal, unless someone prefers instant oatmeal. My dh and I are doing the Special K for breakfast diet plan, except we are eating the store brand cereal. My lunch this week will be Slim-Fast, the Target store brand, which I love. I know my weight is teetering on the brink and I need to get it snapped back under 150. Lunch for the kids will be Top Ramen. They love those noodles and my cupboard is stocked full of them! Dinner will be bit more difficult. I'm planning lots of rice and vegetables, some red meat, maybe a pork roast from the freezer. I think we're all tired of the Mexican food gluttony that has gone on this past month!


My only other thoughts are on homeschool issues. First day back and all the fun plans I have to make, everything is full of hope right now. Fresh new year, inhale deep, exhale, looking good!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Novel #1 is Finished!



Today I finished The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. My favorite line was about wet moonlight soaking the tangled clothes on the floor. Wow. I want to read some good critical essays about this book to completely understand why it is considered one of the best pieces of American literature ever written. I enjoyed the themes and the plot, good food for thought woven throughout, but I want to really get it. You know? I would love to sit down with an English professor and just let them explain everything about this book that makes it so highly regarded. Anyway, here is my first winner badge for the Just Read More Novels monthly contest, which is here: http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/01/fourth-annual-najuremonomo.html (still trying to figure out this hyperlink thing!)

Yay! I think I will cozy up to one of my Agatha Christie mysteries next.

Friday, January 2, 2009

National Read a Novel Month






January is National Read a Novel Month, according to some. I have discovered every month has some type of reading or writing challenge associated with it. Is this new? I can always use inspiration to read and write more. I'm determined to read ten novels this month so I can post the big badge on my blog! Check out livebythefoma.blogspot for more details. (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink, yet!) My dh just started reading Fellowship of the Ring and I told him if he finishes it, I will post a badge for him on my blog, too.
I checked out some novels from the library today to get started. I wanted to pick a few that I wouldn't normally read, so there is a fantasy novel,

and also work on my literary goal for the year, so there is my F. Scott Fitzgerald, but also read some I just want to read, so there is Agatha Christie.



See my starting list below. Last year's winner read 13? Bring it, honey!






  1. Prophecy:The Blending by Sharon Green


  2. Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie


  3. The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie


  4. After the Funeral by Agatha Christie


  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


  6. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald


  7. The Sempster's Tale by Margaret Frazer


  8. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler


These are just to start. I am a very fast reader, and yes, I do comprehend and remember what I read. Last weekend I devoured a Grisham in one afternoon. Of course I had to burrow deep into my blanket and let the family fend for themselves for a while, but, hey, it was my vacation, too.


On my nightstand is a Slate diary entries book that I am thoroughly enjoying. The chapters are blog entries from various people in various lines of work and I love to unwind to their daily lives after my own. I am also still working through Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. I love the language and the imagery.



We are starting back on our home school schedule next week, so I checked out some new chapter books for the kids' read-aloud time. First we are heading onto the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis. I know the movie is coming out soon and I prefer to have read the book before seeing it. Considering how poorly Hollywood interpreted Prince Caspian, I have low hopes for the next installment. Sigh. I love to read. I love books. I love words.





Thursday, January 1, 2009

And so it begins...

Day One of 2009 has been spent mostly on the couch watching football. DH made the comment that it is so funny to start a new year full of hope and energy, with a day off work. I asked him what his thoughts or goals were for this new year, usually he has none, and his response was, "Lose weight". Ah, yes. The classic, the stand-by, the one uttered by many, many people on this day. Maybe he will. I told him he could get a jump rope like me.

So, one of my goals is to get my freezer stocked via Freezer Gourmet, and start some progress on the meal-planning aspirations I have. Right now, I have two roasting chickens, that I bought on sale, thawing out in my fridge. My plans is to cook one for a meal tomorrow, and cook the other at the same time, but just to get the meat in the freezer. A bag of cooked chicken has so much potential. I think that is a great start.

Another issue I have with meal planning is making menus. This is difficult right now with our regular schedule being thrown off with the holiday. DH will be home until Monday, so I'll be leaning heavily on getting all the leftovers eaten. There is a crock pot full of nacho cheese in my fridge right now, and a huge bag of tortilla chips on my table. By Monday, these should be gone. And we will all hate the sight of cheese. I have a carnitas roast we will be making sopes with tomorrow. See that? I have planned a roast chicken for tomorrow, too. Hm. Maybe I will have two bags of cooked chicken in my freezer, since I do need to get those chickens cooked. This is why I need help. I need a notebook to keep my plans straight.

Good thing I have so many notebooks laying around. Isn't that a mark of a writer? Talk about potential! I love notebooks, note pads, list pads, any stack of paper bound together by glue or spiral, speaks hope and invites words. But, I digress. See? I need to focus. So, I'm off to read the Freezer Gourmet daily digest from Yahoo Groups. Maybe later I will post a menu for next week.