Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Heartbreaking Conversation

Every night before bed, my little tazmanian princess and I recap our days. I start with mine first. "Well, I was asleep, and then you came in and told me that it was daytime so I had to get out of bed..." Then I explain to her in full detail everything that happened from the minute my feet hit the floor, to the minute we sat down for that very recap.  Some days I am surprised at how little I can fit into my day.  Then it's her turn.

She sits in her little tiny bed, with her long legs hanging over the side. She tells me about how Grace took the last purple lollipop during Chinese class and how she told Grace that since purple is HER FAVORITE that Grace is not very nice. Not. Very. Nice. At. All. She's shaking her pointer finger at me to punctuate her point. Then she realizes that she is holding up one finger. So she starts to count. One, two, three, four... Sometimes she does it in Spanish. Then she sings me a song that has something to do with shaking a tree and a rainbow. I think they are two different songs, but she has mad mixing skills, so I applaud her musical vision.

Then, out of nowhere she throws her face into her hands and says "Oh My God."  She says it like she just walked to her first class in college with the back of her skirt tucked into her underwear. I am wondering if I heard her right? Then she says it again, like she has the best secret to tell me and can't wait until I ask her what it is. Now I am speechless. Then she says it again, like she's 23 years old. And for a million reasons my heart breaks.

I mentally scramble trying to figure a way out for her to unlearn this. How to change my 23 year old baby back to her 3 year old self. (As I type this, I realize I will be trying to figure this out her entire life.) I gently tell her that we don't say that.

Me: We say "Oh my lanta"
Her: Oh my wanta?
Me: Yes
Her: Do I have a wanta?
Me: MMmm hmmm
Her: Is it in the shed?
Me: Yup.
Her: And then the cows gonna kick it over?
Me: (with a sigh of relief) Yes.
Her:  Momma, we bof had a really rough day.
Me: (with another sigh) Yes, yes we did.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holly Jolly

It's that time of year when I put fresh batteries in the camera and set out to capture what will be some sort of Pulitzer prize worthy Christmas card photo. One that will conjure up such feelings that the recipient will want to call their family and tell them how much they love them. One that will invoke one's sense of good will toward man.  A heartwarming, heartfelt photo that stinks of peace, joy and love.

Here's a sneak preview:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Week of Thanks

Well it finally happened. And just like anything else that you wait and wait and wait for, it happened while I wasn't even paying attention...or even remotely prepared for.

School let out early for the girls for the holiday. It was 82 degrees out when we picked them up so when The Taz asked if we could go swimming, it sounded like a good idea. We rushed home, threw on our swimsuits and walked over to the pool.  The pool was deserted, so we checked the clubhouse door for any notices to make sure it was really open. No note. We were just the only ones who thought 82 qualified for outdoor swimming.

Right about the time we were getting the teeth chatters and feeling a little silly, a mother and her daughter walked through the gate. The Taz, having no problem  making friends, runs up to the girl asking if she wants to play. We make introductions and talk about the weather.

Nice day for November.
Thought we were done with swimsuits.
Yes. This is new for us.
Us too.

As the conversation continued, we began to compare situational checklists:

New to town.
Us too.
Two daughters.
Us too.
No family close by.
Us either.
I love facebook.
Me too.
My husband's in the food and beverage industry.
Mine too.

Around this time, I realized that she was digging around in her purse for a pen and scratch of paper to write her phone number down. I turned away from her under the guise of monitoring the children only to hide my  stupid "yessssssssssssssss" face.  My elation quickly diminished as I looked at my sad diaper bag knowing there would hardly be diapers in it, little lone a pen and paper. The whole success of nurturing this tiny encounter into a full fledged friendship would rest on my shoulders alone...and mainly my ability to not lose the tiny scrap of paper she had written her digits on.

On the walk home, I start imagining coffee dates and park pals. I imagine running into her at the grocery store and having a 15 minute conversation in the soup aisle.  My first friend in Floriday. Whoo hoo.

Two days later, Troy and I were at The Boutique, when I hear a familiar voice. It's my new friend. She is too far away for me to say hello without shouting. That's when I seize up. Suddenly I am 15 years old with no social skills. Why can't I just be cool and say hello? My mind starts racing. Should I ask her to do something now? No, not right now, but next week? Will she wonder why I don't have a shopping cart on Black Friday? Will she think I just troll the store because I have no friends.

One thing is for sure. I won't be able to tell her about this blog until after we've gone out for happy hour and she's said something completely embarrassing and stupid.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23rd

Tuesday's List:

Favorite Quotes From Conversations I've Had This Week

1. "Sometimes it's OK for you to look nice."

Troy Handeland - after pointing out that I had paint splatters on not only the shirt I am
wearing today, but most of the clothes currently in my dresser. 

2. "I think my hair makes me the most intersting person in the world."

Ben Hunter - said during a conversation about our Irish Afros.
For the record, he may be right. Last time we were on skype, he hid an entire
silverware drawer of utensils hidden in his hair.

As I type this, I realize that I have not talked to very many people this week. Dang.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Catch 22

It may be evident by this photo that I need a job.

It's a tin foil turtle dove.

But if I have a job, I may not have the energies (that's a Taz word)
to create such masterful refrigerator art sculptures.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Made With Love

My Chef and I have a little routine that we play out every time it's my turn to cook. Sometime during diner he will compliment my culinary growth. I am sure this is to encourage the practice. It doesn't work, but I love him for trying. Then he follows up with the same question: What's your secret ingredient?  Knowing full well that my go-to spices are salt and pepper. However, sometimes when I am preparing a really complicated dish (read multiple ingredients using more than two steps), I will get fancy and use a McCormick seasoning packet. Regardless of the dish, my answer to his question is always the same: It's made with love.

Sorry if you just threw up a little bit.

So yesterday afternoon I might have been feeling a little guilty on accounta all the nights the past two months that My Chef has come home from a long day of work to me wearing pajamas with no plan to fix dinner.  I look in the cupboard and see my good friend McCormick Meatloaf Spice and know exactly what I must do.

As I am squishing the raw egg, beef and bread crumbs between my fingers I see some of it go under my wedding band. Out of the blue a warm nostalgic blanket wraps around me and I see my mother. She is taking off her wedding ring and setting it on the kitchen counter above the sink prior to washing her hands. As a child I would watch her make dinner. I loved watching her form the loaf, patting it on each side, making it nice and smooth. Then she would go to the sink to wash again and put on her ring. It's a simple memory. My mother making dinner for her family.

My heart swelled a little as I thought of her ring. The ring my father had designed for her. The ring that embodied the love my parents felt for each other. The kind of love I held out for and found years and years after my father passed away. The very ring that My Chef asked for along with my hand in marriage because he knew how very much it meant to me. The very ring that I was now getting raw beef under.

My dreamy trip down memory lane was abruptly interrupted by the cries of my hungry babies. I hurriedly dished out the meatloaf, which was more like meatcrumbles, along with it's under seasoned side dish of acorn squash. I set the table and we sat down as a family. Midway through dinner, My Chef thanks me for making a delicious dinner and asks me what is my secret ingredient. I smile and I mean it when I tell him. It's made with love.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dang. Part II

So here it is, Thursday again. Time to discuss making healthy choices and check in on my weight loss progress. I think if you've read any of the last week's postings you'll agree that I need to check myself before I wreck myself.  If anything, there are several lessons that can be taken away from this past week.

1. Banking on getting the stomach flu is not really a good weight loss strategy.  Especially if part of that strategy is to eat half a pan of brownies in exchange for the calories you don't think you'll be able to intake due to the flu. Because you may not get the flu. And then you may stress yourself out thinking that there is some crazy reason you have a heightened immune system; causing you to eat the other half of the pan of brownies.

2. You know the saying about never grocery shopping on an empty stomach? I think we should extend that to never going grocery shopping with an upset stomach...yours or the baby you are toting along. Because you may just find yourself cleaning up your cart in the booze aisle of the store doing this kind of math: Alcohol kills germs. Wine is alcohol. It may take a whole bottle to kill the germs I am probably carrying around. 

3. Just because you were too busy staring at the wall to get up and bake cookies, does not mean you made a healthy choice. It may just mean you are incredibly lazy. And if you are incredibly lazy, then you probably didn't even come close to "exercising" in which case you probably would have burned more calories had you gotten off your patooty to do a little baking.  Either way, you should check yourself.

I think the most important part of this journey is not to beat yourself up. So, after checking myself and determining that I probably didn't make one healthy choice this week, and that I am currently on week 3 of making no progress whatsoever; I am going to go back to the basics.  According to my good friends at WW, there are 9 Good Health Guidelines. Over the next 9 weeks, I plan on tackling one each week. Because I am a ninny, I am going to start with the easiest one. Taking a daily vitamin. That seems easy enough right? Who's with me?

Disclosure: The fine people at Weight Watchers neither pay me to be a spokesperson, nor do they probably condone my giving away all of their tips. whatdoyado?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


When we were only four months pregnant with The Taz, Troy says to me "You gotta kinda wonder when we should have the next one." WHAT? This was out of left field because A. The sound of a child screaming in a restaurant would immediately send his eyebrows into the scowl position and B. we didn't even have a name picked out for the FIRST one. But, it did spark the conversation of how we wished we were closer in age to our own siblings.

My closest sibling. He's not a yetti. We are close now and like to talk about our Irish Afro's.

I try to explain to Rylee that Maggie is her present. That before she was even born, we planned on getting her a friend, a compadre and confident as soon as we could. And she was on board with that, at least while Maggie was just a large lump in my belly.

 She liked her at first. Then two days after we brought her home,
Rylee started calling her by another kid's name.

 Some days she tolerates her little sister. 
Her real best friend is in her left hand.

 I promised to let her watch Elmo if she'd hug her sister and say cheese.
Her eyes are on the tv to see if Elmo has shown up yet.

Somedays, there's just no masking how you feel about each other.

And then there are nights like this. When out of nowhere, Rylee says
"c'mon Maggie, I'm gonna wead you a book."

I'm glad we made her a little friend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 16

Tuesday's List:

I've had this page open since 7am. Here are the things I
would have, could have and should have done today instead of staring at the wall.

1. Baked cookies

2. Taken a better picture of this crazy bird that visits our pond.
It looks like part crow, part wild turkey.
We call it the Turcrow.

Seriously. What a crappy picture. This bird is crazy.

3. Picked up the 62 toys that have been on the living room
 floor since last Thursday and that I've walked past or
tripped over 78 times since Sunday.

4. Baked cookies.

5. Written some sort of facebook status update about staring at the wall.

6. Shoveled out the dining room floor.
(But then what would I do on Wednesday?)

7. Watched the Movie Preview Channel to see if there is
anything that I want to add to the Netflix Que.
(Can you believe there is a whole tv channel dedicated to just movie previews?)

8. Logged on to ParentsConnect.com to download fun Thanksgiving projects for
the girls to work on while My Chef prepares dinner.

9. Prepared dinner.

10. Baked cookies.

11. Tried to even kind of look for a job.

Yep, lots of things I could have done today instead of stare at the wall. But, today was not a complete loss because I bought  those silly little window cling-on things of snowmen and santa clauses and Christmas trees. I also bought two Christmas cd's. This year, the day after Thanksgiving, we will open our tote labeled BEWARE, CHEER INSIDE (which is on tomorrow's To-Do list to create) and put on our holiday music and start to make some family holiday traditions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the hits just keep coming....

Have you ever had one of those moments where you are caught off guard and you have to think quickly on your feet and you hope that you make the right move because whatever choice you make is going to determine how bad the current situation is going to get? I found myself in that situation yesterday.

I was on my way into the grocery store. Bear Cub was in tow. My stomach started to feel a little queasy. My little family was recovering from a bout of what can only be compared to Montezuma's Revenge.  I was the only one left unscathed.  I paused before the front door for a quick self-analysis and determined that my body was just telling me to pick up some cookie dough.

We cruise down each aisle, taking our time. I give Maggie the chance to tell everyone hello. She is in good spirits so we are in no hurry to rush back to the petri dish we call home. She's laughing, making race car noises and flapping her chubby little arms like a chicken. We are two rows from covering every inch of the store when she looks at me with big doe eyes. Her mood changes and I start to think she's ready to be out of the cart.

She does want out of the cart. Before I know it she is standing on the seat reaching for me with pleading in her eyes. She was not crying or whimpering; she was just begging with those big blue eyes for me to save her. Then I saw it. Right there on the back of her dress and on the seat of the cart. Mustard. Only we hadn't made it to the condiment aisle yet.  My nostrils flared and my mind raced. Where's the diaper bag? In the truck? Do I try to check out? No, it's Sunday, too many people. The smell is horrific. What do I do with the cart full of food? How do I get her cleaned up? What. do . I. do?

I push the cart to a register that was just closing and tell the woman that I need to do a quick diaper change in the parking lot. She assures me I can leave the cart right in her lane and it will be there when I get back. We get to the truck and the only things in the diaper bag are a cereal bar, a swim diaper and some sunscreen. I curse myself for not being more organized. No wipes. No extra clothes. No cloths of any sort. Maggie just laid still in the cargo area of the truck, waiting for me to figure it out. I peel her dress off and use it as best as I could to clean her up. I pull the swim diaper up over her cheeks and get her strapped in the car seat.

I find my mind racing again. Do I just drive off? Do I try to find a guy collecting carts and tell him about my cart full of groceries in the last check-out lane? Do I tote Bear Cub back in there, no clothes and smelling like I pulled her from an outhouse?  Do I dare even touch the groceries after what I just had to "clean up."  Oh my lanta...the seat on the cart. What do I do about that? Ahhh. I went with my first instinct and just drove off. 

We don't live far so I had her home in no time. After a quick explanation of why I didn't have any groceries to unload, Troy tells me I should return to the store. Begrudgingly, I agree. So I scour my hands, toss the travel size Lysol wipes in my purse and hop back in the truck. (It's not a truck truck, but I feel like I should be on a ranch driving down long dirt roads, checking on cattle in this thing, so I call it a truck)

My mind is racing again. Is my cart is still there? It's only been 12 minutes. What if it's not? What if the Head Grocer is putting on his hazmat suit right now trying to decide if he should dump all the food in the dumpster or if just the seat is contaminated. I curse myself for making fun of those ladies who buy the cart seat liners for their babies.

I walk into the store and see a small team of people by the customer service desk. They are 10 feet away from my cart. MY CART! It's still there. But it's been moved... so they know. They are probably making a plan of attack. I don't care. I walk up to the cart and start pushing it along like I never left it. I aim straight for the last aisle and pull out my sanitary wipes. The damage isn't as bad as I recalled and I have it cleaned up before anyone can see.

Then I look up and realize that I am surround by a huge selection of wine and only one question comes to mind. Which one goes better with M&M's, red or white?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Team Handeland takes one in the chin

I am patiently waiting my turn. This time, I have no problem being patient. This time, I wouldn't even mind being left out. 

Let's rewind to Wednesday.

It was late. Sometime between laying my head on my pillow for the first time and my alarm going off. Maggie is doing her usual squawking request for help in locating her nuk. I am doing my usual part, trying to ignore her so maybe she'll forget about the dang thing. Her squawking is escalating to serious cries. I go in and rub her back, find her nuk and shush her. It's not working. So I pick her up and start the gentle bouncing. Before I can process the sounds her belly is making, there is puke dripping down my neck and chest and arms. I employ the assistance of my partner in crime (in sickness and in health) and we manage to get everything cleaned up without tossing our own cookies. (Although, it may be a long time before I can eat ham or cantaloupe again.)

We stayed up for a little while to make sure "the well was dry" then tucked our sweet girl back into her covers. And just as my breathing was settling back into a nice slow rhythm, I hear her little cough gag. We ended up repeating the entire process twice more that night and twice more the next morning. By noon, we were out of the woods. Or so we thought. 

The rest of Thursday was uneventful. But come Friday night, when all of our heads were in our beds, The Taz starts in with the belly achin'. "My tummys hurt. Sometings not right. ooooooooohhhh" I hear Troy console her. Then I hear the splatter in the tub. I go to assist. We get her cleaned up and back to bed. I know from our previous nights' bout that we will be in to hold her hair a few more times before dawn.

Sometime between the first and fourth round, I wake up to "splattering" noises and head out of our room only to realize that the sound was coming from OUR bathroom.  Now my chef is tossing HIS lunch . I check on him to see if he needs a washcloth. Then I hear the baby. I go into her room and the smell hits me. Deflated, I say a small prayer that if I am to get whatever it is that has hit our family, that it not get to me until the rest of my brood are out of the woods.

We make it through what was left of the night. We were exhausted and didn't plan on getting out of our pajamas for another 24-48 hours.  Maggie didn't make it. She had 17 cheerios and "reversed" 58 of them. (I wouldn't have believe it was possible if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.)  Before I know it, everyone was ready for a nap.

I was exhausted. But I did the math; I was next. There was no time for me to nap, I had to make preparations. I started with the bathrooms. I cleaned every surface twice. If I'm gonna spend 24-48 hours in one of them, I want it lemony fresh.  Since I was still doing the math, I figured I wouldn't be eating either. So I baked a fresh batch of brownies and had half the pan gone by the time naps were over.

So here I sit, still waiting my turn. Not really excited about it, but at least tomorrow is Monday and I can take my turn in peace if I have to.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So it's Thursday. Weigh-in day and a discussion on healthy eating.

A while back, I heard some gal on the radio say something like "If you can't wash it, don't eat it."  I liked that.  I like little quick sayings that can help you pass up the fleeting urges.  My biggest downfall is being around tempting food and mindlessly eating things when I don't even want them.

Another saying I've heard is "if you're really hungry, you'll eat an apple"  I liked this too. Around 2:30pm every day I think it's time for a snack.  It's a good benchmark to ask myself if I would eat an apple right now because I need something in my belly or if it's just that time of day.

Both of these sayings would have been really usefull this week, had I actually remembered them before today. The good thing is that the scale did not move one way or the other from last week. It's not real motivating, but then again, at least I didn't go backwards.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deep Thoughts on Politics...well maybe not

I try to stay away from political discussions. This is mainly because I'm a lover, not a fighter (read debater).  But something happened yesterday that thrust me right into the midst of the longest political discusion I've had in years.

As I was driving home with the girls, I noticed a man on the busiest corner of our little suburb. (apparently the busiest corner of Florida's 8th District). He was in a white button down shirt and chinos. He was holding a huge placard with a political candidate's yard sign on the top half and the bottom half was a handwritten Thank You.  I looked closer and gathered from his gray hair that he was most likely the winner of the recent election. (A quick search on the webz just confirmed my inclination)

I say outloud : Now that's something you don't see everyday.
The Taz replies: Whacho say?

Me: I said there's a man on the corner holding a sign saying thank you to the people who voted for him. That's the first time I've ever seen that.  Is it wrong that I wonder what his angle is? Can't I just accept that he is genuinely thankful and wants to say so?

Her: Whacho say Momma?
Me: There was a man holding a sign saying Thank You for voting for him.
Her: What?
Me: There was a man back there man holding sign
Her: On his back?
Me: No
Her: His legs are tired like mine
Me: Probably
Her: He's gonna eat goldfish like me
Me: Probably
Her: There's a fish party in my tummy
Me: Mmm. yes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 9

Tuesday's List:
Things that are Broken

1. The inside door handle on my truck.

2. The air conditioning on my truck. (This is actually OK, since it is "fall" and I can have the window open, which is also good since I have to have the window down to open my door anyway.)

3. The dryer. (Which is OK since delivery of a new machine is free when you have an old one to "donate")

4. My desire to do any laundry. (Which was OK before the new dryer arrived)

It's a short list today. (Which is OK considering the topic.)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I tend to get a little homesick on Sundays. (Thankfully it's Monday now.) Troy and I are in the process of finding a new church and so far, the ones we've been to only leave us missing our church family in Hopkins. I won't do it justice trying to decribe all of it's positive attributes, but we loved it because the Pastor is funny and we got what he was saying. We never felt preached to, so much as we felt that something was being shared with us.  We never felt guilt or fear, but rather blessed by gifts and grace.  And it truly felt like a family. Both times we were pregnant, I was one of ten women expecting. There are children covering every inch of the place. Mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles- unrelated family all working together to teach and love and pray for them.  But my favorite part was the music. 

The music is led by a man and his wife. He seems serious, and she's the funny one. He plays guitar and she plays the piano. They are the consistent pieces. Coming and going are different singers, but never more than 4 total. Sometimes there is a brass instrument, or a bongo player, or a bass guitar. Sometimes there is a cello or violin. Hardly ever are all of those players serving at the same time. There isn't enough room.

They don't sing from hymnals, but the words are typed out in the weekly bulletin for all of the songs. And maybe only one or two songs have the sheet music printed with actual notes and parts.  And there is every kind of voice in that church. Loud, soft, pitchy, squeeky, in-tune, shaky... you name it. But for some reason, when the music starts and that church sings there is one harmonious sound that seems to beg heaven for it's ear. Two songs into the service I find myself shedding the worries, and tensions and just plain stupid things from the week. By the third song I'm usually wiping away a tear of gratitude; my heart ready for the lesson it most likely needs to hear. By the time we are singing in line to communion I feel so filled with love I may actually burst.

So yesterday, as Troy and I stood in an unfamilar parish hall waiting for the words to pop up on the monitor (churcharoke) I couldn't help but feel like I'd heard the song before. And before I knew it, the words were coming out of my mouth before they popped up on the screen 9eee I eeen. 867-5309. It was the same melody! Jenny Jenny who can I turn to... Luckily Troy was the only one who heard me because as it turns out, it was not the same song. And even though the music brought us to tears (because we were laughing so hard) there was something still missing and I was left a little homesick.

Friday, November 5, 2010


It's not easy having an irish afro. It's even harder finding someone who has the chops to cut it properly. In the 23 years I've been in charge of my own hair, I've only found ONE! lady who had the skills.  Knowing this, and knowing that The Taz has the same hair without the curl (that won't happen until about the 9th grade - or after 16 failed perms), you would think I would be diligent in finding a professional to cut her hair.  It is important to note that she does get regular hair cuts at a real salon. But these appointments are always a month after I have gotten my hands on her and botched what are supposed to be her bangs.

Here's how it happened this week. She is sick. Down and out. Her bangs have been hanging in her eyes for a week now. I started adding it up in my head. The only reason her bangs came out bad all the other times was because she wouldn't sit still. Not because I have shaky hands. No.

So I stared at her for a good twenty minutes. Plotting how I would do it. I'd give her some halloween candy to ensure she was extra still. But let's face facts, she hadn't squirmed in an hour thanks to a pretty good fever. Then I'd be able to section off portions of her hair just like they do at the salon. I'd tie a cloth around her neck too, just like the pro's. Troy will ask me where I took her and how much I had to pay for such a good haircut.

I've done worse.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


A little over a year ago, I started Weight Watchers. Bear Cub was four months old, and I was just squeezing into the "transistion" pants I'd been wearing since The Taz was born.  I started doing the weigh-ins at an At-Work program where you have to pre-pay.  That was the beautiful thing. You already paid, so why not just go? Because the meetings were set up for the people in just that office park, it was the same people week to week. After 3 months, people start to get to know each other. We start to have lunch together. A few of us start a walking group together. Next thing you know, these are your friends. A safe little group of people that won't judge when you tell them you go to the garage to scream, and you ate three mini-snickers bars before you even knew that you had opened the package.  Things were going swimingly. I had lost 25lbs. But then this whole Let's Move To Florida plan came along and I found myself sidetracked. Let's face facts - my focus on reaching my goal was not sidetracked, it was derailed completely.

Already joining the YMCA (and having a healthy desire to support the local retail businesses) I found myself hard pressed in justifying a weight watchers weekly fee. So, in an effort to keep myself accountable and create a virtual support group, I thought I would dedicate Thursdays to the cause.  I am stealing the idea from my friend Mel who started emailing a group of her friends/family/co-workers when she started her weight loss journey 40 weeks ago. She's lost nearly 75 pounds. She is my inspiration. And as fitting, I'd like to copy a portion of one of her recent emails to kick off this weekly tribute to a thinner/healthier me.

Recently I have been struggling with portion size.  I don’t want to eat a measured amount of food.  ½ cup of granola, 1 cup of milk, 8 oz of beef and broccoli, ½ chicken breast, 1 cup of grapes….pffft.  I want to eat something until I am done eating it.  I feel whinny and I want to collapse on the floor and throw a tantrum like a little child.   I want decide what is right for me….. And there’s the rub.  All my adult life I decided what was right for me and we know where that got me. 

My two constant companions were always “I deserve this” and “That was totally worth it”.  I have been trying to break these two phrases down lately….analyses them a bit.  Here is what I found:

“I deserve this” - If I had a hard day.  If it was a particularly emotional day or it was that time of the month….wait, I guess the day didn’t need to be that hard.  How many emotionally bad days did I really have?  Seemed like that time of the month stuck around longer than normal.  Sunny days deserved pasta and chocolate cake.  Rainy days deserved, ribs and corn muffins, crisp fall days deserved a Mexican feast.  Monday deserved a drive thru because I didn’t want to cook,  Friday’s deserved Pizza, Right?!..........I know I still reward myself with food.  I haven’t learned how not to yet.  Plus, why not reward myself when I am successful with my favorite thing.  But, one thing I know for certain.  My body did NOT deserve what I was feeding it.  

“That was totally worth it”- This is an easy one.  I used those words to comfort myself.  It was like a little mind game.  If it was worth it then it was not a bad thing.  What a delusion I created.  Just smoke and mirrors.  It is never worth what I did to my body, what I did to my mind and what I did to my soul.  My body didn’t deserve all that carp?  All that fat and sugar?  All that inactivity?  For what?  That one moment on my tongue?  For that next favorite tv show?  NO.  It is worth so much more that that.  My body proves to me everyday how much happier it is now.  There is just no going back.  So…..

As much as you annoy me, proper portion size, I guess I am in for good.  What is it they saying?  In for a penny, in for a pound.  That’s me!

So. Here we go!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


What I am to 'fess up to is disgraceful.  I can already see the slow, disappointed, side to side head turns from many of you. From a few I can hear the tsk-tsk. And there is a small handful of friends that I fear will drop their jaws in disbelief. But I am ready for it.

 i did not vote.

There. I've said it. It's out there. And since 'Tis the Season For Placing Blame (aka election time), I am going to point my finger right at the State of Florida. Two reasons, and I think they're valid.

One: A social security card, marriage license, birth certificate, out of state driver's license and proof of current residency is NOT enough paperwork to get a Florida driver's license, ergo I am unable to register to vote.  It is a little known fact that I was born into this world with a last name that is now so foreign to me it may as well have been Jinglehymerschmitz.  I hand the woman at the DMV my documents. Which by the way, in FL they appropriately call it The Tax Collection Office- seriously.  As she is opening my birth certificate, I realize that her next question will be "where is the documentation that shows baby Jinglehymerschmitz was renamed to little miss Hunter?"  And I do not have said documentation.  After 3 hours in line, I am sent home with nothing but a list of what to bring next time so I do not waste the State of Florida's time.

Two: As we leave the Tax Collection Office - Troy says to me "MN could learn a thing or two from them." His reasons being that A. they print your license right there so you don't have to carry around a yellow peice of paper for six weeks while you wait for yours to come in the mail and B. they register you to vote at the same time.   I was in no mood to think Floriday is better than MN.  (I had spent the previous day sitting at the FL Department of Health wanting to punch fight.) To be quite honest, I left there thinking that I would spend the next 2-4 years driving very carefully so as to avoid ever returning to a state office. But then, Troy's words "registered to vote" rang in my ears. OK. I thought. Surely in the two to three weeks it takes me to get my missing documentation, I won't be salty anymore and I can get this taken care of. Election time isn't until Fall, so I have plenty of time.

But here's the thing. Fall never came. Sure, there were candidate signs in every other yard, and you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing how Guvna SoandSo wants to rip the last dollar out of my unemployed pocket. But I thought it was like Macy's putting out Christmas decorations before Halloween. I thought they were just starting the push really early. I mean really. I'm still wearing flip flops and shorts. It can't be fall. It can't be election time. Forida is too Hot.

But alas, I open up Facebook this morning and read about everyone who voted and I feel like a total loser. Oh well. I guess I will self-sooth with some candy from the girls' halloween pumpkins.

Wait a minute.

Did I just say Halloween?

Isn't Halloween in the Fall?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bear Cub

Tuesday's List:
Reason's We Call Her "Bear Cub"

1. Her laugh is more like a growl

2. She loves a pic-a-nic

3. She looks sweet and playful, but one fast swoop of her paw and there will be damage.

4. You can always tell when she's visited your campsite.

5. She's soft in the middle and full of honey love.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mother of the Year

For the past three years I have said to myself that the day after Halloween I would go shopping and pick up decorations for next year's festivities. I'll pat my thrifty self on the back for having saved on decorations and then I will be prepared for the holiday like everyone else three weeks in advance. My house will be adorned with ghouls that are cute and cheerful. Our doorway will be trimmed in skeleton lights. I'll pass out candy wearing friendly witch attire. Our windows will have paper kitties dressed up as pumpkins taped to them. And our pumpkins will be CARVED! 

Our little family will bond in the annual tradition of opening the tote labeled BE WARE. We will pull out cotton cobwebs, plastic spiders and a fog machine. Visions of fun sized snickers bars overflowing the GIANT candy bowl will make our eyes sparkle. We will wear eye patches and out the sides of our mouths say "arrrrg matey, hand over the candy or walk ye ol' plank." The children will look up at me with ear-to-ear chocolatey grins that will serve as my Mother of the Year trophy.

And year after year, I find myself in the discount aisle scattered with combed over decorations and unwanted bulk candies (can you say "root beer barrels") trying to ignore the sour feeling in my stomach. My visions quickly turn from tasteful to tacky. I hightail it out of there. I tell myself that the children are too young to form year long memories anyway. That NEXT year I'll be on the ball. NEXT year will matter. Next year I will go a month EARLY and our front porch could make Martha Stuart nod in acceptance. And year after year, this is what it comes to-

Two sad pumpkins we picked out either from a mall parking lot, or a banquet table at the local boutique. Not even from a real pumpkin patch. Not even carved.

Oh well. At least I still get the trophy....