Saturday, June 30, 2012

GLEE, Glorious GLEE!

College Boy and I watch some shows together. Glee, on FOX is one such show.  So, I waited for him to come home to watch the May Sweeps and season finale.  And slowly over the last month we've watched the April episodes, but this week, we watched all of the May ones and I can honestly say, I think they returned to their glory days!  There were episodes that I feel like the LRHB can watch with us... cause it is about the singing and about topics that are not inappropriate for a little guy to watch.  Mostly.  They took one detour that I didn't think they needed to, so we'll fast forward through that one!  And I am on pins and needles for it to return next fall and where they are going with it!  I just loved it!  So, if you were a Gleek and decided that you weren't enjoying it so much anymore, try watching the end of Season 3... it was a return to fun episodes and great singing not centered around one person/group but around a solid storyline. 

In the meantime, while I am waiting for Season 4, I am watching the Glee Project... and I am enjoying it!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Saying Something and Nothing

I don't really know who reads my blog.  So I deliberately don't use my children's names.  And I've tried to avoid making it clear where I live.  So today I am torn.  I really feel compelled to blog about something going on in my life.  Yet, I really feel like I cannot without taking a HUGE LEAP OF FAITH and reveal Where In The World I Blog From.  I know that Glennon is very open about both where she lives and her children while others are more vague, giving their children WAY MORE ADOREABLE nicknames than I do (think Snuggles).  So I am in a quandry.  Perhaps no one is reading this (short of those that love me... Cousin L, I am thinking of you!) and therefore it doesn't matter.  But those who love me, follow me other places (think FB) and so they know what I/we are enduring right now.  It is scary.  And unbelievable.  Somewhat inspiring.  And nauseating.  I've been quite ill with a migraine most of the week from the stress of it all.  But we are perservering and are so blesssed in MANY, MANY WAYS.  I now have a BRHB (Big Red Headed Boy) living with me, but that is the easy part of the story.   His mother thinks I am doing her the favor when in reality, helping her pulled me out of the depths of ickyness.  So today I am trying to say SOMETHING while truly saying NOTHING at all. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4 to Score, Home at Rose Cottage

The upside to summer is I often take more time/have more time to read.  So I have finished Four to Score, by Janet Evanovich and Home at Rose Cottage, by Sherryl Woods.  Now I cannot tell you HOW MANY TIMES I FELL ASLEEP while reading Home at Rose Cottage... but I did read it while trapped inside by heat index and air quality which are 2 conditions ripe for napping.  And I am reading Return to Rose Cottage so that I can find out the rest of their stories.  There are 4 sisters and book 1 tells 2 tales, book 2 the rest.  So I am finishing it out, but I don't really recommend it.  They don't make me laugh outloud like Janet's romance novels make me laugh.  I mean, its fine.  It's not bad. 

However I read Four to Score in ONE DAY.  At a swim meet, but really I read it in ONE DAY.  Now if only I could actually get to the library when I have books on hold so I can read book 5. 

In case you are counting, these are books 27, 28 & 29.  I am counting Home at Rose Cottage as 2 since it has 2 books in it.  Who's calling me a cheater?  Anyone?

This I know...

These things I know:  I am a stress eater.  My number one downfall is chocolate, my number 2 downfall is the drive-thru line.

These things I am learning:  I committed April to a Healthy 30 Day Challenge.  And I lost weight.  And semi-following it during May, I lost some more weight.  And not following it in June has had lousy results... not only did I gain weight, but I feel LOUSY.  My body is craving a HEALTHY way of LIFE.  When I eat crappy, I feel crappy.  So I threw away some chocolate today.  And I had a healthy breakfast.  Okay, lunch was crappy, but I spent the morning listen to a group of folks that are going through a tough time right now.  Stress eating.  Again.  So, planning ahead, next week's goal is going to be get BACK OFF SODA.  Which is my recent friend.  Which truly leads to my demise in other areas.  But for now, I will go finish the Diet Coke that accompanied my fries and Big Mac for lunch.  Acknowledgment of a problem is always the first step.  I am hoping that by Monday I will be ready for step 2.  I know I should say tomorrow, but the MAJOR stressor in my life, affecting many I know, isn't going anywhere that soon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Books vs. TV

I am a TV junkie.  I am and I think I always have been.  I can remember my earliest TV days of watching Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo and Emergency with Johnny Gage (swoon).  I can remember the best thing about sick days being watching the Dick Van Dyke Show reruns.  I knew all of the words to the Love Boat theme and remember wondering Who Shot J.R.?

But as my list of books gets longer and longer, books that I want to read, series I want to tackle, I find my TV watching time is dwindling.  So I have been making cuts.  Once Upon a Time... taped 14 episodes to watch over the summer.  dumped them.  Dallas, the redo, I watch episode 1 & 2 and decided that it was true, I still want to shoot JR and why the heck didn't Kristen Sheppard do a better job of it the first time around.  dumped.  I thought maybe I would rewatch the entire season of Glee this summer... nope, dumped those from my dvr box too.  I've already watched many of them twice.  I don't need/want to watch them again.  Smash, dumped.  Even though they have Jennifer Hudson coming on next season.

Now, let's be real... not giving up the Bachelorette.  Also, picked up Around the World in 80 Plates... kinda an Amazing Race meets Top Chef show.  And picked up the Glee Project.  And I am watching So You Think You Can Dance with the LRHB.  Actually, all 3 of those with him.  So, I am still a TV junkie... I'm just trying to cut back.  Doesn't really sound like it, does it?


In theory, I am halfway there.  I am still blogging and choosing resolutions and improving myself and my life.  I kinda can't believe it!  The in theory part is that I haven't been blogging about some of the stuff that I've been working on.  Today, I get caught up!

So, I've been out of touch the last couple weeks... trying to find my summer groove and my blogging time.  Trying to get on a schedule... that only lasts a couple minutes and then life happens.  I was chatting via email with Cousin Handsome about our summer life, it sounds quite hectic.  However, the empty hours are truly that... empty.  No homework.  No other stuff to fill the gaps.  Just hanging out and reading, watching TV and napping.  Sure, some days are busy.  But the gaps in between are delightful!  LRHB and I spend a lot of those gaps at the pool trying to keep cool.  I like to read poolside, he likes me to play with him so we balance it out and both get what we want.  The lazy days of summer are truly that in spite of the fact that I have to drive to swim practice thrice daily 2 times a week, twice daily the rest of the week, deliver Teen Boy to/from work (but he has 3 jobs and they are all in one spot which does help!), average a doctors appointment at least once a week, and often feel like I am just counting the time down until it is time to go again!  These days will be gone so quickly, that I am truly trying to live in the moment and enjoy being a mom.  It isn't always easy to do, but I am really trying.  That was resolution number 24... enjoy the moment.  I urge, beg, pray that you too try it for the summer.  It helps make the hectic times more relaxed and (along with 10 deep breaths) keeps the blood pressure down!

Resolution 25 was stop preaching and start leading.  I have been on a soapbox with folks since reading The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma.  The fact that I can remember her name is a testimony that I was truly impacted by her book.  And all around me I find that parents are providing their kiddos plenty of summer reading incentives, but not taking the time to actually read to them.  So I started a summer reading book club for parents/kids that we know.  I invited a BUNCH of folks.  In fact, I began to worry that I had put it out to too many.  I really shouldn't have worried... many never replied.  And some of those that committed didn't follow through.  HOWEVER, I am focusing on the positive here... the families that did read the book came over last Friday and we had a nice book chat then ate popcorn and watched the movie.  Watching this group that come from several different areas of my life mix and mingle and enjoy made my heart soar!  I am leading by example and not just giving lip service to reading to kids that can already read to themselves.  I have compiled a list of books with suggested ages that also have that movie follow-up component (I get my movies at the library!).  If you are interested, leave me a comment and I will send it to you.  Okay, reading over this sounds a bit braggy, but this is my blog and I'll brag if I want to!

Let's go back to Week 23, developing a prayer journal.  I am going back to this because I am really pleased with myself.  I looked around the house and found an old notebook that was not used very much this school year and turned it into my prayer journal.  Love recycling.  As it turned out, I am so happy that I will be using this very style of notebook from now on and the reason I got started using it was sheer, dumb luck!  It is a steno notebook... with the binding on the top.  I use one side for taking notes on books that I am reading for my bible study book club and then I flip it over and use it for making prayer notations and additions and such.  If I want to remember a scripture that I came across while reading, all I have to do is flip it over and flip through the pages to find what I want... I is all right there!  Okay, that may not sound like much to you, but it brings me great joy!

Is it cheating to make Week 26's resolution to keep blogging and changing and improving?  I think it is.  And I'm in charge, making the rules here.  Bummer.  But isn't it like renewing wedding vows... it doesn't make the initial commitment any less.  And it kinda rewards me for sticking with it.  And it will help me get back to blogging regularly.  So yes, I am making Week 26's resolution to be with you for the rest of the year.  Choosing goals and improving my world, my life, my family's life.  Join me.  Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book 26... Smitten

Trashy, G-rated romance novel.  Someone said, how can it be trashy and G-rated and someone else agreed.  I read to them a scene in which the horizontal mambo had happened.  If you read it closely enough, you can figure that out.  However, as those ladies commented... hell, anything could have just happened.  So it is trashy, because it is happening outside the context of marriage.  But it is G-rated because you do have to make inferences and read between the lines.  By whom?  Janet Evanovich, of course. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Books 24 & 25

I'm not sure how I ended up with a romance novel with three short stories, but I did and I've been reading over the last few weeks.  Took me several weeks just to get through the first short story which I didn't enjoy.  Which begs the question, I did I feel compelled to finish it?  The book is entitled Summer Brides and I did enjoy the other two stories which were by authors that I have read before.  So because it is summer and because I love some easy on the brain romance novels, I found their websites, learned about some series that they've written and requested them at the library.  So I may have a bunch of trashy reading this summer, but I will be REALLY ENJOYING MYSELF!  I also really like reading series so once I find one I usually just plow right through.  Which is why it is interesting that I'm NOT plowing right through the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series.  I'm taking that a few at a time.  I'm picking up another at the Library today!

I am also slowly munching through her romance novels... The one I read over the last two days is Back to the Bedroom (Evanovich).  Again, brainless fun read, mostly by the pool either during swim team practice or at the fun pool or waiting for doctor appointments etc.  At the hair salon waiting for College Boy to get his hair cut, a lady commented on how much she liked them because they made her laugh.  I said, "I laugh out loud no matter where I am!" and she said ME TOO! 

I had kinda fallen behind on my reading cause I was catching up on my TV.  But now (though not completely caught up on TV) I am back to reading.  Happy Thursday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

WEEK 23... We are almost halfway!

So resolution 18... take 10 deep cleansing breaths each day.  Yes, still working my way up to 10.  When I started:  I would take one, two, three...cough, hack, cough, cough wheeze, stop.  Actually, that may have started at cough 2, but I worked my way up to three and then four and then I shared this story at breakfast when I was out of town at boys state swimming.  The coach and the team managers (sweet girls) thought I was crazy, until they actually tried it.  Resulting in fits of laughter.  So apparently, this is not something we're programed to be good at doing.  BUT, 4 weeks later and I CAN DO IT.  Take 10 deep cleansing breaths.  Now, I'm not sure that I feel that much better after doing it, but if I can do it for 4 more weeks, maybe I'll figure that out too.

Resolution 19 was to clean the ceiling fans.  Do you know we have 5 of them?!  I do, because teen boy moved the ladder around the house and held it while I was up on it cleaning.  And just in time because the heat of summer has arrived and we need those fans going!  And they were icky leading me to think that perhaps more than once a year cleaning would be good, but really, it was about 2 hours of work by 2 of us.  Granted, he spent a fair amount of time standing around.

Resolution 20:  not only is the weighted hoop out of the closet, but I have worked my way up to 3 minutes.  Now, that may not sound like much, but I can actually go around several times without it falling to the ground AND I can actually work on it for more than a minute.  So growth.  Take that.

Resolution 21:  Catalogs.  Got another one in the mail.  Some of them come because I am in their "club", like the Lego one.  Which we want to keep coming.  This one came because of a membership we have.  So this morning I got on with the live chat and cancelled it.  Rockin!

Resolution 22:  Summer Contracts.  Yes, even TB did one.  We discussed his goals (building something) and my goals (summer reading in a timely fashion, not the week before school starts).  His was half the size of LRHB probably because he has half the time due to coaching a swim team, teaching swim lessons and life guarding.  Busy boy.  LRHB and I discussed it and in the end, he came around to my way of thinking.  Although we fulfilled the terms of the contract for last week, the first week of summer, it was crammed into 2 days.  I am hoping we get into a mode of doing some each day instead.  And really, the only reason we got it all done in 2 days was because of the rain.  And our outdoor pool being closed for repair.  That's right, second weekend of summer and the outdoor pool needs to be fixed.  REALLY!?

Week 23:  My resolution is to develop a prayer journal.  I have been considering this for some time. It usually comes to mind while I am in a bible study and then is gone when the bible study session is over.  But having been inspired by The boy who came back from Heaven, I have decided that this is this week's goal.  That sounds easy enough.  But it also means that I have to devote time each day to it.  And I gotta figure that part out.  Another reason that I am doing it is I am a visual learner.  And writing helps to seal stuff in my mind.  And when I was swimming laps the other day, I couldn't remember the correct order of the first chapter of Genesis.  That's right, what I learned in Lent, I already forgot.  BUT instead of sweeping it under the rug, my goal is to fix it.  Now maybe a prayer journal isn't your thing, but a summer journal is more your goal.  Or journalling your babies journey in a baby book.  Hopefully, you too can find a way to be inspired by this week's resolution!  Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cheshire Cat... this one is for YOU

Book 23:  The boy who came back from heaven, a true story by Kevin and Alex Malarkey

My bible study group takes off the summers... but we sometimes feel a strong need to continue connecting.  This summer we decided to do a book club and read a book and discuss it from the Catholic mom perspective.  So in April, we decided to read The boy who came back from heaven.  Now I am going to divert for a moment...

When College Boy was going to start Kindergarten, we went to the school and looked around.  We met one of the Kindergarten teachers and I filled out a form (with help from a staff member) to help get my boy placed in this teacher's class.  WHY?  Because College Boy had had a poor experience in a Mom's Morning Out program where he was labeled "bad".  In reality, he was "bored".  And I yanked him out of that program a solid 2 months prior to the end of the year when I had observed what was happening to my boy.  His next year in preschool had gone BEAUTIFULLY with 2 caring women as his teachers, slowly rebuilding his self-esteem.  However, he was very apprehensive about going off to Kindergarten and being "bad" again.  He bonded with the Kindergarten teacher we met and was from that point on excited about going to his new school.  Then the welcome letter came and we discovered he was NOT in the class with the nice lady we'd met.  OY!  Call to the staff member friend resulted in learning the teacher we did get had declared during Spelling Camp that it wasn't camp unless they had S'mores.  Now, that's my kind of gal!  In the end, it was a wonderful placement for College Boy and he has grown into a fine young man, full of positive self-esteem.  BUT, I have always said that God gave me that teacher not for College Boy, but for Teen Boy who had her 2 years later.  Under the sweet teacher that we didn't get, CB would have been fine, but TB would have been IN CHARGE.  Never a good thing for a 5 year old to be in charge of a group!

BACK TO THE BOOK... This book is inspiring!  Did I ask questions?  SURE.  Did I question why?  YES!  But the reality, is that this young man is truly a gift from Heaven.  And he has had to fight to be here on Earth in spite of the fact that I truly think he'd rather be in Heaven.  This book is a testimony to faith and God and Angels and prayer.  It has inspired me to create a prayer journal for my nightly ritual because I do think that it (prayer) is powerful and that I could be better at it.  So I really encourage you to try this story.  As a mother, parts of it were horrifying.  As a wife, some of it was incredible.  As a person of faith, this book is a testimony.  And Cheshire Cat... this is a read for you.  I am sure now like I was sure when Teen Boy went to Kindergarten that the Lord put this book in my hands so that it would find its way to you.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Let me BREAK it down for you...

The "That Mom" post that says it was posted Friday was really about Thursday afternoon.  I hadn't been to bed yet, so I was still thinking it was Thursday and when I looked today and it said Friday... I was SO confused.  Then I remembered it was already Friday when I wrote it... 3 am Friday.  And I wrote it while I was winding down.  Really?  Winding down?  At that Hour?  All good questions...

Just before 9 on Thursday evening, College Boy called me.  He wrecked his bike.  He thinks he broke his wrist.  NO he did not hit his head.  YES he was sure he didn't hit his head.  But his wrist hurts.  A LOT.  So we talked through coming home, but quickly surmised that that wasn't going to work.  So by a few minutes after 9 I was headed to his school (if anyone is counting, that is the third time in 4 days, 4th in a week cause I went and got him Friday so he could work Memorial Day weekend, returned him Monday evening, realized that he left his performance clothes home so trekked up mid-day Wednesday to deliver those for 2 performances on Thursday.  In fact he was coming home from a performance when he wrecked).  We had LOADS of time to talk in the ER.  We chatted about his classes and what work he had remaining.  We chatted about his siblings.  About the Bachelorette.  About all kinds of things.  Can I tell you that the hospital staff FINALLY convinced him to wear a helmet!?  Thank heavens he didn't hit his head because he was NOT wearing the helmet.  And as per usual trips to the ER that require not only x-rays but stitches as well, we were there 3.5 hours.  And is really wasn't crowded.  Wrist fracture.  The kind that usually requires surgery to heal correctly.  So, after finals next week, he'll be seeing a hand surgeon.  And there was a cut in his underarm area that we have NO idea how he got, but required stitches internally as well as on the surface.  I think that is actually giving him more discomfort than the arm.  And it is his left hand... did I mention he's a southpaw?  With finals to do?  He got finals covered on Friday while I was rearranging Wednesday to accommodate a trip to the hand surgeon.  The gal at the ortho office politely asked:  "Do you know where we are located?"  Why yes, I do!  I was there on Tuesday having a cast removed from a different child's leg.  OH MY LIFE IS SO FUNNY!  And did I mention he has TWO jobs as a life guard and a third teaching swim lessons?  REALLY!?  But we are so BLESSED!  We really have to remember that... at the same time my son had his bike accident while crossing campus, another young man was crossing his bike in a crosswalk (off the bike, following the letter of the law) right adjacent to campus.  He was hit by a car running a red light (hit and run driver) and later died.  We are BLESSED.  Prayers to that young man's family.  And that, my friends, is why I was posting at 3 am Friday morning thinking it was still Thursday evening.  In fact, I had just started that post when College Boy called.  I am SO glad he called.  I am so glad he is close and I can drive an hour to him.  I am glad he wanted me to come and help him.  Another great MOM moment.

So I will move College Boy home on Tuesday afternoon, not evening like originally planned.  And he will not have to go back up on Friday for graduation ceremonies as he cannot play the sax.  Stay tuned, but hug your children!  Hug them tight, even if they are already annoying you one week into summer break!  We are blessed to have them with us.

Friday, June 1, 2012

That Mom

Today, I was "That Mom".  The one that got up off her duff and played with her kid.  And I am tired, it was like a real workout!  And my legs are sore.  But for almost an hour I played chase with my LRHB in the pool.  I feel like this is in a state of disarray... let me start at the beginning...

Today, the LRHB and I went to the pool.  He got his cast off on Tuesday morning and swimming is really the only approved form of play for the boy.  So Tuesday afternoon and this afternoon we went to the pool once the Angels had gone home.  The main reason I took him was because his friends were playing out back and he CANNOT RUN so I will not let him go outside.  It's killing him slowly.  And me.  Back to today... for the first hour, I sat on my lounge chair reading a magazine.   I have MANY to read and I find I get them read in the summer by the pool.  So I read all but 2 pages of the May Parents magazine when LRHB yelled for me to come get in the pool.  As I did the other day, I hemmed and hawed and FINALLY got in.  The other day we played chase for like 10 minutes.  Today is was 30 minutes of chase all around the pool.  During the "break" time, I got a kick board and kicked 3 decades of the Rosary.  And then it was another 30 minutes of chase... me running, high knees, working out those legs!  And he was SO HAPPY!  I was THAT MOM.  The cool mom.  The mom making time for her kid(s).  That's my job and it's the best one ever so I really am going to try to be THAT MOM all summer long. 

I am sure I am feeling a renewed interest in being THAT MOM because of something said the other night at Bible Study Summer Book Club (more on that soon).  One mom reminded me of a truth in my house... I may not have clean floors or counters, but if LRHB or the Big Boys ask to play a game, I am ALL about it!  And apparently that inspired her.  I wonder if she knows that she inspired me right back!