Saturday, June 20, 2009


I have had a lot of time to reflect lately.

Reflection on Love:

I am in love with my husband. I am not sure that he believes me when I go postal but I am. He works his ass off for us! He is underappreciated and under paid. I try to make up for that by showing him how much we appreciate him. I have enjoyed (almost) every minute of the past 8 years. I am so grateful he has been willing to do without a nicer car, vacations, a fancy phone, a bigger TV, a decent bathroom, a higher thread count, and more dates with me so that I can be home raising our children. I am so blessed for the opportunity he had given me. Being a single income family is tough on both of us but our kids don’t notice what we do without and it is worth the sacrifice! In the words of New Radicals “We’re flat broke, but hey we do it in style”. My husband has never complained that I am a bad housekeeper (which I am). He has never mentioned that I am a horrible cook (which I am). He has never criticized a thing about me (even when I have given him good reason to!) We are approaching our 10th anniversary. We have some fun things planned including a mini-getaway. October cannot come soon enough! I can’t wait for some alone time with him!

Reflection on School:

I am an over achiever. This quarter I had 4 classes. 100 points possible in each. I finished the quarter with 407 points overall. Full points in each class PLUS extra credit. My college does not give A+’s. If they did, I would be getting 4. I have to settle for A’s. I love school!!! I love learning, growing, working, sharing, just feeling my brain grow! I have loved being home with my kids for 8 years. What a gift I was given! It has been a blast! Fun! Exciting! Joyful! Amazing! But it has not been the most intellectually stimulating thing. Being a housewife can get monotonous if you let it. Not so much when they were infants and toddlers. Then there was no time to even breathe, however once they got into school, I got bored. It became very routine, for them and me. So I shook things up a bit for all of us. I started taking online lasses and going one night a week. That stimulated me and gave them some time with daddy…much needed time with daddy. I can say that I had my husbands support in this. I can say that my kids are proud of me. I can say that I am happy I did it. I can’t say that I am done. I finish my last class for the visual impairments credential this summer. I still have another year of classes to finish my MA in special education. This is the really easy part. There are two big hurdles that have me nervous. First, student teaching. I have the option of doing 10 weeks of full time traditional student teaching, 16 weeks of part time, or get a job in the field and get credit while getting paid. Yeah, getting paid sounds nice but this family is not ready for me to be at work full time. I am not ready, my husband is not ready, and my kids are not ready. So I am pushing my advisor to place me in 16 weeks part time. Then I can focus on my kids, finish my MA with little added stress and get it out of the way. Except this week I learned that since MOST people get a job to get credit for student teaching, if you are not working, it is two quarters of student teaching. This is because VI teachers are so in demand that they need to push people to finish and get jobs ASAP! This means, I take a full time job, OR do 20 weeks of full time OR do 32 weeks of part time. Basically 100 of 180 school days full time OR the whole school year of part time FOR FREE! NO PAY! WHAT???!!! Why would I do any of this? It makes more sense to get a job. I am willing to get a part time job. All the jobs posted are full time. This is not good. I don’t know what I am going to do about it! The second hurdle is the Comps. Instead of writing a thesis, I have to take a comprehensive exam to get my MA. Basically all my BA stuff PLUS my MA stuff, PLUS my credential stuff on one test. I have a year before I take it. The problem is, how am I going to study for that, while finishing my MA AND student teaching for the entire school year. I have thought of quitting now and paying back my grant. I do not want to do this. I have considered just slowing down, doing 10 weeks full time student teaching now, taking my time to finish my MA and then get a job to finish the last 10 weeks of credit. I can’t walk until 2011 anyway so the only difference it would really make is money. I am only on a grant until August 2010. Anything after that I have to pay for out of pocket. If I had the money to do the MA, I would have started it a long time ago. I guess this gives us a year to start saving. I don’t know. I really don’t know what the best option is.

Reflection on the past 12 months:

I have accomplished many things in the past year. I did the mud run & muddy buddy, pushed my limits on my mountain bike, lost 35 pounds, taken care of my body, finished another teaching credential, led Daisy Scouts, worked in the classrooms, worked on committees, volunteered at Church, worked 2 part time jobs, learned braille, ran the streets of LA dressed like a chicken, made lunches, cleaned house, folded laundry, done dishes, driven carpool, cared for other children, shuttled kids to practices, supported my husband, loved my family, wrote papers, took exams, assessed children, made new friends, made virtual friends, connected with old friends, laughed, cried, planned, procrastinated, danced, sang, rushed. Yeah, it’s a lot. But there are three important things missing. I cannot remember the last time I read my Bible. I have opened it to look things up. I have heard something in a sermon and gone to Bible Gateway to read more. I have read chapters in my daughters Children’s Bible to her. I have been to Church. But I have not sat and read my Bible. Read it for pleasure, support, answers, connection. I need a place to start. Suggestions welcome. I have also not prayed enough. I talk to God all day long. In the car, while at school, while making dinner, while putting my kids to bed. I know this counts, however I also know that I need to sit, focus and pray more. Not just Sundays at communion. Not just in bed as I fall asleep. I need to pray for guidance, answers, thanks, praise, insight, reflection, and relationship. I need to reconnect through prayers. The third thing I have been neglecting is pausing. Pausing to rest. And I know if I would take the time to pause, I would feel the connection, I would use the time to pray and read my Bible. I have heard of people who put it on their calendar like an appointment. I never miss appointments, however there is something about scheduling time to rest that just seems odd to me. I was doing great at all this when we were in a couple’s small group. We set aside time each week to read the Bible, talk about it with other people, pray, focus, be together in the Word. I was almost a date for us! There were a few factors that led us to leave that small group. I will not go into them all here. I don’t miss he group per se, but I do miss where I was in my spiritual growth when we had that. This is something I need to pray about. It is something I need to think about. It is something I need to get back to.

Reflection on sleep:

It is overrated. At least that is what I am telling myself since I am getting so little lately.

Reflection on Girl Time

I have always shied away from close friendships with females. I can’t take the drama. I have always felt that with women I am walking in eggshell, never really being myself. I am always waiting for some to get hurt feelings or put the moves on my man. I have always felt that they are judging my clothes, my purse, my shoes…these things are not important to me. I don’t care what others think of me, I am who I am but I have just stayed away from it all because it is exhausting. I have been this way since I was 18. As I got into my 30’s, I have met a lot of amazing women with whom I don’t feel this. They love me in my jeans and messy hair, know that I will always tell them the truth and can count on me for anything. I have a group of people who I trust with my kids, who will make me dinner if I am sick and who will call me just to chat. I wish I could spend more time just hanging out with these friends. I was reminded of this when I went to bunco last week. I only knew 4 women there. But I had a great time! I want to spend more time like this with MY friends. I want to hang out and chat and laugh and just be us! So if I plan it, will you come??

Reflection on Serafina

Serafina has been sick for about a month now. She was hospitalized after what we were sure was a stroke. She was acting strange, walking funny, couldn’t see, wasn’t barking. They did an MRI, spinal tap and observed her for 3 days. They felt she had a seizure or stroke right resulting in the sudden change in vision and personality. They never investigated her vision since she is under a specialists care for her eye. It took her 2 weeks to become her old self with the exception of her vision. Her right eye went gray and she couldn’t see anything. It was sad to watcher her walk full speed ahead straight into a wall. I have a new compassion for the dog. As annoying she has been for 16 years, she is God’s creature and it is not her fault she was born with so many challenging medical conditions. 3 different eye drops, 2 different seizure medications, special diet and the barking have made for a lot of headaches over the years. The animal hospital recommended to follow-up with her doctor. A week later, her doctor suggested we follow-up with her ophthalmologist about the eye despite his belief that it was as we were told by the Doc. at the animal hospital, blindness caused by a stroke. A few days later, the ophthalmologist did a pressure test. Normal pressure is 25, she was at 44. Every time her heart beat, she was in tremendous pain as the eye pulsated. The lens had detached and was covering the eye, the reason she couldn’t see. It is likely this happened as a result of a stroke or was the cause of a seizure. Either way, the injury had happened almost a month prior at this point. We felt horrible for her. She was on medication to reduce her pain since my grandmother refused to consider surgery at her age. We really pushed for the surgery and after a week, grandma finally considered it. Once she made the call, the ophthalmologist said to do it right away, that day! However Serafina’s surgeon wasn’t available for another week. My grandmother did not want any other surgeon to touch her. So we waited. Her pressure went up to 55. Poor dog. Wednesday she went in for the surgery. The plan was to remove the lens and freeze the eye. After evaluating her that morning, they determined it had been too long and too damaged for this to be the best option. With this option she would still be susceptible to eye diseases and infections. They felt the best option for hr overall health was to remove the eye. This was a hard decision for my grandmother to make. But she did. So her entire eye is gone and sewn shut. She also had a cancerous mole removed off her back. She is full of stitches, wearing a cone and very confused. She has two additional medications I must give with peanut butter. So we have been a bit more patient with the barking, the smelly farts, the dribbling water as she walks about the house and the licking the floor. She is what she is. We inherited this problem. We will continue to treat her well. Even when she is keeping me awake with her snoring.

Reflection on the Gym:
I have been going to the gym during the day for the past year. Last week, my husband came home early so I could get out of the house. I had been housebound for 5 caring for my son with pneumonia. I desperately wanted to go to the gym. I went to an early evening kickboxing class. They gym is a completely different place at night. During the day, the gym is filled with housewives and people with alternative schedules (bartenders, realtors, students, bouncers, pastors, strippers etc.). All these people are there to work out, take care of their bodies, and have fun! There is a happy energy during the day! At night, the gym is a meat market. An angry meat market. The machines are full of people in makeup and cute gym clothes pretending to exercise while they scan the room for hotties. The class was full of working people who were there to blow off steam. There was no happiness in my class. No yee-haw’s or claps! No energy. I prefer the daytime gym where the happy people are. The daytime gym where I don’t have to worry about what I am wearing or how my hair looks. The daytime gym where I can have fun!

Reflection on food:

I love food. Everyday is a battle for me. One year ago this week I embarked on a life style change that would help me lose 35 lbs and gain back some confidence. But EVERY day I struggle with what I am eating, what I want to eat, and how I will feel about what I eat. I love to eat, yet I hate to eat. I DO eat. I eat a lot. But everyday I hate myself for either allowing myself to indulge a little bit or for indulging for the previous 10 years. If I had had more control in years past, I would not have to battle every day today. If I had never allowed myself to get so fat to being with, my body would not look like drapes today. Rows and rows of sagging skin. Skin that was taught when I was heavy. Ironically I felt more confident being naked in front of my hubby when I was heavy. This is a problem I created. It is my fault. Well, mine, pizza, tacos, burgers, onion rings, beer, bacon and popcorn. It’s a shared responsibility. Now my body is so sensitive, I can have a glass of wine and gain 2 lbs. Seriously. So I battle with food every day. I will repeat, I DO eat. I eat healthy. I indulge myself a bit (helllllloooooo Cheese It’s at midnight last night!) I work out. But I still struggle. I want to celebrate with a nice dinner out. I want to drown my sorrows in a bag of burnt popcorn. I want to go on a date with my hubby to a fancy restaurant. I want to eat nachos and beer at the ballgame. I want food. Lot’s of it. I love food!

Reflection on Housewives:

There is this silly show on Bravo called the Real Housewives of Orange County. Real? Really? I know this show has been on for a few years but after being quarantined for 8 days I finally had a chance to catch a few episodes. This show is ridiculous. Let me tell you about real housewives. I know a few. In Orange County no less. For example my friend…let’s call her Schmegan. Schmegan is a REAL housewife. She drives a used car with stickers all over the insides of the windows. Her car is never clean. Inside or out. She works in all 3 classrooms, volunteers for committees, helps PTF, is room mom. Schmegan has a pile of clean laundry on her garage floor through which her husband must dig for clean underwear. If there isn’t any, he goes without. Schmegan sends her children over with a measuring cup to borrow milk. When her microwave broke, she used mine for a year. Schmegan drops off dry cleaning, drives carpool, shuttles to 3 different practices at 3 different times. Most Friday nights, Schmegan is at a pizza party for one of her kids. She spends Saturday’s on the ball field. ALL day! Schmegan wears her hair in a pony tail, and sometimes drops of her children at school in her pajamas. Some days, she doesn’t get a shower. Schmegan’s floors are dirty, there are dishes in the sink and toys all over the living room. Schmegan feeds her family healy meals, changes their sheets, wipes their noses. Schmegan’s furniture has holes, and names written in sharpie. Her baseboards are dirty, her bed is not made. Schmegan will have all the neighborhood kids over for a play date. She’ll feed them snacks and popsicles and juice. She’ll send the home dirty, and sticky, and tired. Schmegan does not spend her days lunching with the girls or having coffee with her financial advisor. There are no martinis at the club after playing tennis. Her only shopping is at Target. She doesn't go tanning, get her nails done or have extensions. Her purse is not Prada. Her shoes are worn down. She wears an outfit more than once. Sometimes without washing it. Her breasts are her owns. She has never had botox. She has gray hair. Schmegan is busy. Schmegan is always smiling. She loves her job. Schmegan is a real housewife. And I am a lot like her. Perfectly imperfect!

Reflection on Cheese:

Everything tastes better with cheese. Everything.
Potato = cheddar
Crackers = sharp
Steak = blue
Pregnancy = lacy swiss
Ham = white American
Ritz = whiz
Bread = sharp swiss fondue
Chips = nacho crap
Salad = feta
Panini = gouda
Breaded = mozzarella
Snack = colby jack
Fish = crusted parmesan
Tomatoes = buffalo
Hot = Brie
Cheese makes everything right with the world.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Don't Forget To Stretch

Me in 60 years. Thanks Heidi!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fashion No No...

Unless you are Fergie, do not leave the house in short shorts and heels. It doesn't look good on you.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I often don’t blog because I can’t come up with a witty title for the topic. Titles are important. They can make or break the whole piece. So sometimes I just delete what I wrote and figure I will tell you all in person what was on my mind that day. That never happens. So my thoughts just build up and are then spewed in one rambling blog I like to call…randomness.

I play little games with myself.
When I get gas, I push no receipt and then try to get back in my car and close the door before it beeps 3 times to tell me thank you. I am always disappointed when the beeps win. Sometimes I will flush the toilet before getting into the shower just to see if I can perfectly time when to turn the water temperature down so I don’t get scalded.

I wonder…at what point are you considered “elderly”. Is it by the way you walk, when you retire, your age? Who determines that someone will be called elderly in a newspaper article about them?

Which reminds me, at what point does a garage sale become an estate sale?

I love that the mannequins at Sport Chalet have muscles. That is a realistic mannequin in my book.

I have recently learned that you do not have to be very smart to be a notary. All you need is an ink pad and a bunch of pens. No brains required.

My son wanted to see how the female gondolier’s dress in Italy for a school project. Without my knowledge he googled “Italy girls” then clicked on images. There were a lot of interesting pictures for him to peruse. Thankfully the one he chose to open was just of a pregnant belly. He thought it was funny enough to call me into the room where I quickly quit his search and reminded him he needs permission before Googling ANYTHING!. Close call!

I come up with some really good thoughts in the shower. I forget them before I am finished drying my hair. I will be very happy when they invent a water proof laptop I can use in the shower so I can share my randomness with you more frequently.

I scratched an itch. My Mom took me to Jimmy Buffet as a mother’s day treat to us. I have never been to Buffet. It was exactly as I expected. And I got to introduce concert Gina to concert Peg. WOW! That was interesting. Now I know where I get it! Except concert Gina never yells at the drunk teens dancing wildly next to her. She usually just joins right in and makes friends with them. Otherwise, concert Peg had a great time! So did concert Gina!

I don’t use Twitter. I signed up a few months back because the Great Urban Race was having a virtual race and you had to post your pictures on Twitter. I never did anything with it. But I do think it is cool that about once a week I get and e-mail that says someone is following me! WOW! My website with nothing on it actually has fans! I am awesome!

I love going to college! I got asked to join a Sorority a few weeks ago. I felt special! They didn’t want me when I was their age but they want me now! Do you think it’s because I am old enough to buy them beer?

My college houses the Los Angeles County High School for Performing Arts. You can imagine the colorful characters that go to this school. I say that with love because my younger siblings both graduated from this high school. Nonetheless, there are some interesting kids roaming the halls when I get to campus. They get out at 4:00 just when I am arriving for class. One of my classes is at the end of a long hall that is lined with lockers. On most Monday’s I spend my time walking that hall staring straight ahead. I just cannot bring myself to witness the saliva exchanges that are happening all over the place. Really, I am not a prude but there is something about watching teenagers with green hair making out. It is just wrong. So I avoid looking. But if by chance some decent youngster is opening their locker to get out the reading material which will be required if they ever want to graduate, I sneak a peek just to see who the hottie is right now. I see posters of “Twilight” and Marilyn Manson. But I am yet to see High School Musical. You would think at a school that focuses on the talents of impressionable kids, you would have a large fan base for this important cinematic accomplishment. I mean seriously, he plays basketball AND sings. WOW! How can they not like this movie???!!!

Oh and as a bonus, I am often treated to naked teenagers in the bathroom! I am rushing to class and they are in there changing into tights, costumes, whatever nonsense they can create. And they sing! YES! They make beautiful naked music! Can’t a lady use the restroom in peace?

FYI-today is Evan’s birthday, Prom tickets were reduced to $90 and yearbooks can still be purchased for $80. I can bring home a flyer if you are interested in any of this!

So here I sit, waiting for the most boring class of my college career to begin. I am remembering when I was one of those teenagers making out by the locker. Ick! I would like to publicly apologize to all my high school teachers for all they had to witness. And on that note…have a happy day!