Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Search for a new bathing suit or Mission Impossible

"Swimming technology inside. You will feel more confident as soon as you slip into a shapewear suit." Land's End spring sale catalog. Well, SIGN ME UP. I want to feel more confident simply by slipping into a new swimsuit. What woman doesn't? Is it really that easy? If so, order me up 10. When I saw this I was almost EXCITED by the prospect of catalog shopping for my new suits.

Yesterday I bravely ordered a new swimsuit. Two in fact. (To the tune of two hundred some dollars - yeah, hear's hoping my husband is not reading my blog.) This is HUGE for me since I have been wearing the same suit since somewhere around 1999. I seem to have an enormous challenge when it comes to swimsuits that is really hard to get around. This particular challenge involves - marks that come from having given birth to four babies, items that seem to have shifted downward since breast feeding four babies, a backside that is...........where?, a stomach that is...................well, highly visible, a pocketbook that cannot afford plastic surgery, some serious issues with not wanting to expose others to my body form, a brain that cannot seem to make a decision, serious fashion-impairment, and a BUDGET. And as I browsed through the catalog these past few days (yes, this painful process has taken about a week and the "no shipping" sale ends today - but no pressure) there doesn't seem to be a suit to solve these problems.

So, what should be a 30 minute process has evolved into a three day process. First day: tackle the catalog and try to make sense of: the targeted control, the quick measurement chart (quick being the operative and at the same time deceptive word there), the all-new combinations which helpfully include the do/don't chart where I manage to actually have a DO and a DON'T on the SAME BODY - how is that humanly possible? I don't know - ask Land's End, helpful codes so that you can find the suit that suits your body (puns are never bad, right?), and last but not least the guarantee that you will be perfectly happy with your new suit and how it shapes and suits your body.

Second day: measure said body. You are probably thinking - why does this take a day? Well, first I have to find a tape measure, then I have to figure out how to take a measurement (there are helpful guides on how to do this in the catalog), then I have to match the measurement to the size. Okay, so how hard can this be??? I have a master's degree for heaven's sake. Well, I have come to the conclusion that preparing to buy a new suit when you have a body like mine apparently IS brain surgery. Okay, so if you are still reading just read this and tell me what you think. The torso measurement is taken like this: "Run tape measure down your back from where shoulder meets neck, through your legs and back up in front. (In other words make a loop)." OH, I say. A loop! Well, that's helpful. Now I am stuck IN the tape measure and looking, quite frankly, like an IDIOT. Sheesh. Finally I got my measurements and it turns out I am four different sizes. Well, thank God we did that. That was helpful.

Third day. Can you feel my enthusiasm fading? Maybe the old suit isn't so bad. I have been working out, after all. Make the call. Perfect. I get an operator who by the sound of her voice is older than me. I am loving that because at this point had I gotten a teenager I definitely would be sporting last year's suit for one more year. This kind woman takes me through the process of ordering two tops and two bottoms and together we again consider which sizes and colors will suit me best (it's always good to have an unknown second opinion, right?). "Do I want a cover-up?" she politely asks. Hell yeah I want a cover-up. What else am I going to do if after all this planning it STILL doesn't work out??? She laughs politely (I am sure she is thinking I am a crazy woman who needs to be committed by this point). The cover-up comes in 12 different colors and by this time my ADD is kicking in and I am tired and it is three minutes to the bus and I can't even remember which suits I ordered in what sizes let alone colors. Just make it brown I say - remembering that brown is the new black! Okay. It's done. I owe about 8000 dollars, but guess what! She tells me that if I am not completely satisfied I can return everything (and wear my old suit). Somehow I make it through the call and after 22 minutes on the phone with this woman (who I consider my friend now and may try to look up later) I am the proud buyer of two new suits. Completely returnable!

I'll check in later and let you know how it all worked out. Or, if I don't - know that I will be sporting my 1999 fashion once again this summer. Happy tanning! ;o)

Monday, March 29, 2010


Week List
1. Buy girl's lavender Easter dresses that they can also wear later to Malcolm's First Communion.
2. Make sure my brother is bringing Easter dinner.
3. Begin the search for a suit for Malcolm because it might just take till his First Communion and I am not sure he has anything except jeans to wear for Easter.
4. Check calendar to make sure Easter is Sunday???
5. Begin the 87 prints due before Mother's Day. WHAT???
6. Manage to be a good mom this week.
7. Drink lots of fluid so that this nagging bad sore throat does not turn into something serious.
8. Exercise. WHAT???
9. Pick up Sofia's charm bracelet at James Avery (after having had her Valentine's charm put on) so that I can drop it right back off to have her Easter charm put on. Just considering buying the charms and having them just hold it there until graduation (from high school).
9. Color eggs.
9. Finish Easter baskets.
9. Plan a dessert for Easter dinner.
10. Cook or pack 20 more nutritious meals, do roughly 10 more loads of laundry, keep the house fairly clean, sleep, and try to be kind to others. ;o)

Monday, March 22, 2010

And it's back to the grindstone...

Good-bye Spring Break 2010. :o( That is my face today. Alarm rang - 5:00 a.m. UGH! No exercise today, though. Still can't bring myself to do it. But, sandwiches made, sleepy kids roused and dressed and sent off to school. Husband's lunch packed (he claims he starved last week since I made him no lunch - boo!). Husband off to work. Me, sitting here drinking third cup-o-joe writing some hopefully good stuff (I just looked and it is still March - how long is this month for heaven's sake???). First, some catching up to do....

I found one picture of the kick-off fire-pit. Some of the kiddos playing in the dark. And, I found a great picture of the BMX clinic. So I have posted those.
And now for today's post....................Can I just say, "Yesterday was fabulous!" We headed off to the river despite the 30's temps and winds blowing fiercely. Call us crazy. Have to digress here for a second to Thursday's girl's night out. I heard tell of a discipline technique that frankly I am in awe of and can't believe I didn't try when my kid's were smaller. I will not describe it because some people I do not know might read it and wonder. Let's just say it involved COLD WATER, kids throwing HUGE FITS, and SUCCESS at stopping the fit. So.................despite the frigid cold we went to the river with three extremely loud and obnoxious kids throwing a few fits. Does that make any sense? If so, you are probably a parent, can read between the lines, and know me. If not, don't worry you can still read the blog post. ;o)

Just a great day yesterday with some great pictures to boot - thanks Eddie! I am so happy you control that since if it was up to me we would have no record of ever having had four kids and that would just be wrong. I cannot really describe the fun yesterday because it just wouldn't capture it, so here is what happened in pictures. I love my kids and I love my husband (I put that in writing precisely so I can go back and read it around 3:30 today when the three older kids are in extreme meltdown due to first day back to school after nine off, husband is calling to find out what's on the menu for dinner - which I will not have started - and baby is screaming for some unknown reason).

Friday, March 19, 2010

As Promised...

Well, we have come full circle. Friday of Spring Break 2010 has ended. As spring breaks go, it was pretty good. There were a few times I wanted to send my children back to school, but there were also plenty of memorable times. Wednesday was another lazy day. I can't even really remember what we did, but whatever it was it was minus Sofia - which was difficult. Sofia is my peacemaker, so when she leaves - no matter for how short a time - all hell breaks loose between Malcolm and Corina. I think they fight until there is literally nothing left to say or do. It's crazy. So, I do know that a great deal of Wednesday morning was spent breaking up an ongoing fight. I think we then ran errands and by then the desire to fight about everything and nothing had subsided somewhat. It was a gorgeous day so they got a lot of energy out in the great outdoors. Sofia decided to spend more time at granmy's and aunt lucy's after having somewhat of a craft-fest - which is her ultimate dream. We headed to Kerrville Thursday for a picnic and to take Sofia more supplies. It was another gorgeous day, and we had a great time at the river. Friday we relaxed, Sofia finally came home, and we rested from our busy week. Ed managed to get home early and the kids again spent most of the gorgeous weather day outside. Today it's back to work and we hope to spend tomorrow - our last day of spring break 2010 at the river. Although, as luck would have it a cold front hit last night, so we may end up here eating hot dogs instead. ;o) Here are some pics from our week. Happy days!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 Spring Break Report #1

This may be the only one, but in case I am ambitious I will number them. So, we have only sat down one time since Friday. Here is my report:

1. Friday ended with a Spring Break kick-off fire-pit. None of the pictures Ed took came out (not that I would ever post them on my blog since I am terribly computer-inept), but a great time was had by all. Kids finally petered out around 10:00 p.m. after their sugar-high finally wore off. We celebrated a week off with beverages and lots and lots of sweet treats.

2. Saturday was spent largely in our pajamas. Malcolm and Ed took off in the afternoon to a BMX "clinic" (which means there is a semi-famous BMX guru charging lots of money to teach the kids tricks and techniques of the trade). I spent a large part of the day researching our family vacation. And, after STILL being undecided I have decided travel agents earn a respectful living. Us girls finally got dressed around 2:00 p.m. and played outside in the sunshine with some good friends. I cooked a pot of spaghetti for dinner everyone ate and us girls promptly got BACK into our jammies. The boys headed BACK to the track where Malcolm was destined for a second place until another boy wiped out and in the process clipped Malcolm's tire which then wiped him out. Boy child was sad, but admitted he'd had an eventful and worthwhile day.

3. Sunday began with church and then an interesting trip to and then around the zoo. Little did we know - all 100,000 spring breakers in San Antonio for the week also wanted to go to the zoo on Sunday "after church." When we rounded the corner and saw a sign "parking $5.00" that I have never seen before and few spots left going for $5 - we made a smart decision to forgo the zoo for another day. We headed to a city park right downtown and had a fabulous time. In a rare move, Ed decided to spend a small fortune on the kids and he took them to the top of the needle and they saw a 4D movie (included in the price of the ticket) and got to go on the observation deck and had a lot of specific things to relate to me in screaming voices upon returning back down. We headed to Sonic for happy hour and then back to the house for a yummo dinner of burgers and even got to play outside with the neighbors after dinner.

4. Monday we attempted the zoo again. Time 2 proved successful albeit CROWDED. The news cameras were there and it was later reported that the zoo had record numbers of visitors Sunday and Monday. But, we GOT IN and we didn't have to pay for parking - bonus. I spent $.98 on a refill popcorn (after popping the first round at home - he-he-he-he!) and a few dollars on a train ride for all of us. The girls had a great time and baby had a ball on her third official trip to the zoo. Malcolm made the decision to go with a friend to Pump It Up and not join the girls for the zoo. It was a little sad (for me), but it was a mature decision for him and I decided to let him make it and live with any repercussions. He was a little miffed that we rode the train, but quickly remembered it was "his decision," and got over it.

5. Today we ventured out again on an unsuccessful journey. The Witte Museum is free on Tuesdays after 3:00, so we headed down there around 2:00 with my dad and my sister and all the kids in tow. Well, it did occur to me that I should know better (after we were already looking at the STREAMS of people)...........holy cow! All the people that were at the zoo on Sunday and Monday were in line to get in free at the Witte. Once we got through traffic we decided to go to Half Price Books and hang out instead. Not nearly as fun, but no waiting in line. ;o) I promised the kids we would try again - not during spring break, but again sometime.

So, that's it for now. Sofie is hopefully tucked in at grandpa's house thanks to her Aunt Lucy's invitation and promises of craft fun, and Malcolm and Corina are sound asleep on my bedroom floor happily enjoying a mom's room sleepover. I hope to report back in at the end of the week if I am still alive and well. And maybe I will even be able to post a few pics. I am still thoroughly enjoying not getting up, not making lunches, and not having a schedule. Happy days, my friends.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Is It Still March?

Yes, it is. Seems like I've lived at least a month in the past few days, though. Funny because January and February moved slow as snails and I felt like I was in January the whole blessed time. Now that March is here it is just blowing right by. I guess that's why it's wind?

Well, since it's still March I feel compelled to write well. Can't wait till April and the pressure's back off. It will be back to the writing worthy of deletion for me. So, today was Malcolm's First Communion Retreat. Wow. Big title for second graders, huh? It was actually fun, funny and bittersweet. Fun because the religious educators are really good teachers and they know how to make learning fun. Funny because........well.......Malcolm is my kid and he's funny. Bittersweet because I know how much my mom would have loved to share this with Malcolm and it makes me and him think of her a lot. It's funny because driving to the church I was thinking of ma and how I would like to talk to her on the phone after the retreat and let her know how it went and tell her some funny story about Malcolm. And.....it's as if she heard me.

I have composed a list - albeit a short one - for the day. I find I write well (and I use that term loosely. "Well" when referring to my writing means just that it wasn't deleted. ;o) when forced to stick to the confines of a list. So, a list it is!

March 6, 2010. First Communion Retreat

1. Malcolm was uber-excited (are you paying attention?) about getting to see the "back of the church." This is a little seen area behind the altar. I must say I was a little excited, too because I couldn't for the life of me remember what the heck was back there (I was pretty sure it wasn't Jesus, though ;o). So, he's first in line during the entire church tour part of the retreat (right behind the deacon). And when he goes behind the altar the microphones just happen to be set to pick up all noise behind the altar. So, the entire church heard him when he said, "Wow! It's a big kitchen back here!!!"

2. He had a strange look on his face when he sat back down next to me after practicing receiving the unconsecrated host and wine (stick with me all you non-Catholics ;o). I said, "Are you okay, bubby?" He said, "Yes, but that tasted awful." I said, "Yeah, I know. It doesn't taste all that great." He said, "No, it doesn't taste like Jesus." ;o)

3. He cried while we watched a movie called, "Grandma's Bread." Curiously, we both pointed to it when we saw it on the agenda. I was dreading it and I am not sure what he was thinking. It was a tear jerker and I did my best to maintain my composure. It was about a grandma who makes this special Easter bread with her grandson. She dies right before Easter and he goes on to help his family make her special bread for his First Communion celebration. It was probably from the 50's, but surprisingly it was not hokey and it was very sweet. In the car on the way home bubby said, "Mama, I had a really good time at the retreat." I said, "I did too, bubby. What was your favorite part?" He said, "Well, I really liked finally seeing what the heck was in the back of the church. What was your favorite part?" I said, "Well, I liked seeing the back of the church, too. And I really liked that movie." He was surprisingly quiet. Then he said, "Yeah I really liked it, too. It was good, but it was really, really sad though and it made me think of grammy."

"Yeah, I said. Me too."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Attention Deficit Disorder? Check.

Got it. Did I always have it? Nah. It was brought on in a mild version after the birth of three children. After the birth of the fourth it was kicked into high gear and I probably should be on meds for it. But, somehow I manage to get four people (sometimes five) out the door daily, so I am what doctors I suppose would call "functional." ;o)

I read a funny article in the restroom the other morning. Love to read the paper. Love it, but rarely do it. And when I do it's in the restroom - not USING the restroom, but rather hiding in there for refuge. Y'know, like the song, "Give me refuge?" The author was a mother of TWO (ha! like she should have any disease) boys - one of whom was "on the spectrum." That's one of my pet peeve words "on the spectrum" - it's like "uber." How could we use those together in a sentence? I'll think on that and get back to you. ANYWAY, I'd read similar amusing articles like hers before. Going to put a toy away, see a sock, wind up in the laundry room putting a toy in the washer, and so on. The thing I'd not heard was the wrap up. Either you are thinking, "Wow! That is JUST like my life." OR you are thinking, "Wow! This woman is INSANE. How does she function???" That made me laugh.

And it got me thinking, seriously...how do I function? As pure luck would have it - after all I have dedicated the month of March (as soon as I found out it WAS March) to good writing since I have been writing awful drivel since January - I had a pretty writable day yesterday.

So, today's post is a wrap-up of yesterday appropriately titled "ADD." Here goes.

Malcolm had a presentation on Carson Elementary TV at 8:00 a.m., so mission before 8:00 was Get Out of the House Clothed. That was going off without a hitch. We all arrived (clothed) at school BEFORE 8:00. Can I get an amen? I got to be Proud Mama while my son received a prestigious award for a photograph he had submitted last year sometime (that the PTA lost - oh, well) and a medal worthy of Mr. T. Okay, so we are rolling - no ADD present. SMACK DOWN. That's when I somehow managed to scoop baby off the library floor after she hurled her milk at one of the teachers and had a holy hell melt-down (much to the amusement of several onlooking fifth graders) on the ground, quickly retrieve Malcolm's award, and forget his camera somewhere in there. I carried all my stuff and baby who by this time was doing her best to scare the school, out as quickly as possible.

I realized when I got to the Yukon that I had forgotten said camera (which contained the only record of the day since the PTA so graciously LOST the actual photograph that was the winning item) in the library. So, I grabbed baby again (because I don't want to go to jail for leaving baby in the vehicle) and trudged back in the school. Amazingly, no one had seen the camera???? What the heck? It had been like two minutes?

Okay. No biggie. Until I got to the dentist about two hours later and was thinking about how mad my son was going to be. Ugh. So, I am at the dentist making arrangements to see the new pediatric dentist and thinking about how this is really going to stink....telling my son I lost his camera. But, we should all live through it. The day wore on....painfully. I addressed about 25 envelopes for work, completed the grocery list for today, did two prints, worked out, took a shower, did two loads of laundry, (I had no kids - which is why my ADD was at bay and I was actually able to get a few things done) made a few phone calls for work and a few for the pure joy of talking to friends that I only get to talk to when there is an "emergency" or when I have free time (HELLO? free time???), and called Ed to tell him that I had lost Malcolm's camera - oh, and I answered an email from the art teacher at my son's school who had inquired about the camera and told me she would alert "all the staff at Carson" to be on the lookout for the camera. Ugh. The embarrassment. I spent about three hours of the day (if totaled up) thinking regretfully about losing my son's camera.

So, 3:00 p.m. Malcolm skips off the bus and I say to him, "So, did anyone give you your camera?" He says something like, "No, that would be weird. Why would anyone give me my camera?" I say, "Well, because I had like the whole school looking for it after I left it in the library this morning. I am so sorry." And he says, "MOM, I picked it right off the table in the library and put it in my backpack. Didn't you see me?" Doh!

So, lessons of the day? Too many to list. Teach responsibility. Your kids might actually listen and heed. Don't beat yourself up. Don't put off dental appointments for yourself or any family members even if you have other things on your mind. Work-out it will get your mind focused if only for 45 minutes. And, possibly the most important: Do not let your ADD get the best of you. Nine times out of ten you will be obsessing and ADDing about something that didn't even happen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time Sucker Thy Name is Laptop

Wow. I had about one million things on my to-do list yesterday and my house cleaner called to tell me she couldn't come over to clean my filthy house. So, with all the things I had to do I decided to clean my own house (which was not a good decision in the end since I have now been four weeks without a professional cleaning my house ;o). So, because I cannot stay focused and cleaning is not my best subject I had to veer off-task several times throughout the five to six hours it took me to clean. In my veering off I checked everyone's Facebook statuses (what is the plural of that word - statusi?), checked the blogs on my reading list, checked out a new coffeemaker online that I had seen over the weekend, checked out a new VISA card that would allow me to rack up miles to places Southwest travels since I cannot afford to fly six people across the street, etc., etc. While getting up to date on my blog reading, I managed to check MY blog and I saw that I had posted only a few times since the new year. This got me thinking...............what month is it anyway? MARCH??? When did THAT happen (I have been told that it happened over the weekend)? Holy batcar, Robin. It's March and I find myself mentally in January. So, this post is going to be a quick (WAS going to be a quick) list of what I have been doing since my last post - which as I recall was sometime in February.

What I have been doing since my last post (I know, you are stunned by my creativity - join the club):
1. Laundry - has this multiplied? Honestly people, I think it reproduces.
2. Making lunches for five people
3. Writing really bad stuff every morning while drinking three cups of coffee
4. Trying to stay in January by not changing any of our calendars
5. Re-doing my downstairs (which although it is only comprised of about 900 square feet is very problematic since I cannot make a decision about even which pillow to buy)
6. Trying to make money so that I can re-do my downstairs
7. Mothering four small people
8. Cooking three meals a day
9. Having an internal debate as to whether or not I should return to full-time work
10. Making countless pro and con lists
11. Running errands
12. Inventing ways to not do my taxes this year
13. Attempting to keep in touch with my family (the ones who live and don't live with me ;o)
14. Re-doing the budget each day in an attempt to find extra money
15. Working out
16. Squeezing in prints when I am not too busy wasting time
17. Trying desperately to stay focused on tasks ahead
18. Preparing my oldest for his First Communion (the anticipation of another possible Examination of Conscience is killing me)
19. Yes, #15 said "working out" - I am IN SHAPE, baby. My core is tight. Wow, that's something you don't see often on my blog.
20. And drum roll please because twenty is a multiple of 10...................................Keeping all of my new year's resolutions (check the list, friend).

That's a wrap. What have YOU been up to?