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Monday, August 31, 2009

I will NOT surrender!

I weighed myself this morning. I gained 5 pounds. I'm feeling pretty bad about this. Not surprised, just bad. I've really kind of fallen off the wagon lately and now I'm paying for it. It would be so easy to just let it all go, to just give in and accept me the way I am and to heck with the consequences. I'm just so tired.

However, I'm also tired of being huge. I may not be the fattest person you'll ever meet, but my height combined with my weight makes me feel like I'm ALWAYS the largest person in the room. I'm tired of words like "plus size" and "obese". I'm tired of gigantic clothes that don't look good or fit right and I'm tired of mirrors that refuse to lie to me. I'm tired of asthma and hypothyroidism and sore muscles and joints. I'm tired of the knowledge that I probably won't be around for my grandchildren if I don't change RIGHT NOW.

So I'm serving notice right now (again) to those three demons: Disappointment, Depression and Despair. There will be NO white flag above my door! I might give up twenty times a day but I will NEVER SURRENDER! It might take me two years, or three, or the rest of my life, but I WILL DO IT! You might win every battle, but I will win this war! I will take back my life if it kills me!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I really AM as smart as Chloe!

Kai and I were in the car today on our way into town and we had the most hilarious conversation:

Me: Kai, stop picking your nose!
Kai: How did you know?
Me: Because I'm smart!
Kai: You're not as smart as Chloe.
Me: (a little peeved) What do you mean?
Kai: Chloe knows how to spell "paleontologist".
Me: So do I!
Kai: How do you spell it?
Me: (knowing full well that he doesn't know how to spell it) p-a-l-e-o-n-t-o-l-o-g-i-s-t
Kai: Wow! I guess you really are as smart as Chloe!

Who knew?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I'm feeling a little peeved about a couple of policies at Chloe and Graeme's school and I'd like to know what you think.

It turns out the kids are not allowed to share or trade food with other kids at lunch. At all. Also, they can't leave the lunchroom until a certain sign is put up on the wall, even if they're already done and they can't leave if their table is at all dirty. Now, I understand wanting to teach the kids responsibility and cleaning up after themselves, but Graeme won't let me put cookies in his lunch because the CRUMBS will get him in trouble. I'm not exaggerating here.

Last but not least, Graeme's class (2nd grade) has to EARN their third recess each day. I'm not sure how this works, but they haven't earned a third recess yet.

Is it just me, or is this a little odd?

It's baaaack!

Hooray! After 12 months of waiting (okay, it was closer to 2, but it sure felt like 12!) we finally have our camera back! It even works and is just as pretty as it was when we bought it (1 month before it broke)! I have to say once again, buying the warranty/service plan was a stroke of genius on Brian's part. Sure, it was a little pricey, but we didn't pay a penny for this repair and we didn't have to go out and buy a new camera. I'm pretty happy about this.

Anyway, I've been dying to show you all what I've been doing all summer. Of course, there are no "before" pictures and the cool nights and grasshoppers are certainly taking their toll, but I'm still very proud of myself. So without further ado:
These are day lilies and other plants in front of our house. It took me about 2 and 1/2 hours to clear the weeds out of this bed. It was really stunning when the day lilies were blooming, the flower stalks stood up at least another foot above the greens.
This is our sumac family flower bed. The biggest tree was already here when we moved in, but all those babies have only been growing for about a year. I love my sumac mommy and her babies! The only problem is that we have to constantly cut down all the sumac babies that we don't want to keep. Better too many than too few, right?
This is a closer look at the flowers I planted in this bed. They're not doing well. I've also got a couple of really nice iris plants here. It took me about 6 hours to clear the weeds out of this bed.
This is my piece de resistance, my garden! The weeds are returning now, but it was gorgeous when I first finished weeding it! I spent probably ten to twelve hours weeding and hoeing, but we're really starting to "reap" the benefits now!

This is Kai demonstrating how ginormous our onions are.

Onions and peppers. I put Miracle Grow on the garden months ago and I can't believe some of our pepper plants. We have a couple of teeny plants that are loaded with peppers! I love Miracle Grow!

This is Kai with more peppers and eggplants. He wasn't terribly thrilled about standing in the garden with all the grasshoppers, hornets, and other creepy crawlies, but oh well. I wanted him in there to show the scale of these plants. The eggplants are huge! The tallest one comes up almost to Kai's chest! Our only surviving cucumber plant is also in the very back of this shot. We may actually even get a cucumber from it!

Finally, here's Kai among the beans. Aren't those lovely plants? Of course, you can't see all the grasshopper damage in this photo, thank goodness. Someday I'll get the bug killer out BEFORE those critters feast on my poor, defenseless garden!

So there you have it. I'm very pleased with myself for all my hard work, but I have to admit, I'll be glad when winter comes and I don't have to weed, hoe, mow, water and harvest anymore! Although then I'll have to shovel snow........ Sigh.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day

The first two days of school were great! The kids both love their teachers and are excited for the year ahead (mostly). We finally got our camera back Friday evening (turns out it wasn't in Texas after all, but that's another story) but we didn't have it for the first day of school. Fortunately, my neighbor was kind enough to take a couple of pictures with her camera.

I've got to take another picture of the boys in the outfits they were wearing because they're hilarious. I bought them matching orange hawaiin shirts and Graeme insisted on wearing his the first day of school so Kai, of course, had to wear his. They look really cute. Oh, and this wasn't actually Kai's first day of school, he starts after Labor Day.

Okay, it was very windy that morning. And, in case you were wondering, Graeme is, in fact, as tall as Chloe. It happened sometime in the last couple of weeks. I'm a little scared.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

From my heart

I am (quite understandably, I think) very excited for school to start. That being said, however, school brings with it a whole different set of challenges and difficulties. The biggest challenge for me is dealing with teachers. Here's what I wish I could say to each one of them:

To my kids' teachers,

Thank you for taking on this most difficult responsibility of being a teacher. I know how much time, effort and money you put into getting where you are now. I understand how little respect, gratitude and compensation you are given. I truly appreciate your dedication and the sacrifices you make.

I also understand that each of my children will be one among many for you and that your concern is for the welfare of the class as a whole. I understand that you will do your best to teach each child how to read and write and get along with the other children. I think you will probably even do your best to get to know each child in your class a bit.

Here's what I want you to understand: each of my children is one among few for me. I only have three and their welfare is the highest priority for me. To me, my children are more precious than diamonds or gold, more important than the President of the United States, more intelligent than Albert Einstein, more beautiful than Tyra Banks and more creatively brilliant than Leonardo da Vinci. I accept that none of them is perfect but only grudgingly.

I accept that my children will, at times, misbehave and I will support you 100% as long as I feel that you are dealing with them fairly. But, because my children are so dear to me, if I feel that they are hurt, threatened or even just misjudged, I will come after you. I will use every weapon in my considerable Mommy Arsenal to make right whatever is wrong. I only have a few more years to be the center of their world, the Righter of Wrongs and Fixer of Breaks, and I won't force them to fight these battles alone until I feel they're ready.

I know that you will never love them as I love them, but if you treat them with kindness and understanding, they will love you. In fact, they will adore you.

Please understand, I willingly gave up my body, my mind, my money, my sanity and my freedom for these unique little people. I have worked endlessly to feed, clothe and nurture them. I have tried to instill in them the morals and faith that I believe will help them become the best people they can be. But you can wreck all of my hard work with one careless word, one unfair judgement, one cruel punishment. You hold my children's lives in the palm of your hand, you have all the power to lead and direct them; please, please take this stewardship seriously. Please, watch what you say and do. Please give them a chance.

Chloe, Graeme and Kai's mom

Monday, August 17, 2009


School starts Thursday. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mercy and Love

We've reached critical mass. The kids and I have spent so much time together that we can no longer be in the same room without spontaneously exploding. For instance, this morning, I was outside weeding (enjoying a rare scream-free moment) when Kai came out sobbing. Further investigation revealed that Graeme had punched him in the stomach. Again. I'm pretty sure that's the twelfth time this week. Don't ask why, I no longer do.

Anyway, since I wasn't done weeding, and sending Graeme INSIDE for timeout was exactly what he wanted, I made him help me weed. As it turns out, that was the PERFECT punishment. He was totally miserable and repentant and I actually got help coping with the current weed epidemic. I wish I had thought of that two months ago!

A couple of hours later, Graeme had miraculously not punched Kai again, so I took the opportunity to eat lunch. Of course, five minutes later, here comes Kai crying and sputtering something about Graeme and hitting. I admit it, I reacted badly. I told Graeme to get in timeout without even attempting to hear his side of the story. I was yelling, Graeme was crying, and suddenly Kai blurts out:

"It was an accident, he didn't mean to do it!"

That one sentence stopped me cold. Here was Kai's big chance to get back at Graeme for an entire summer of misery and he didn't take it. All that mattered to him was that Graeme didn't deserve the punishment I was attempting to mete out. After making sure Kai was okay, I explained to Graeme about mercy and sent them on their way.

But I couldn't understand WHY Kai showed such mercy until I sat down and really thought about my sons' relationship. Yes, it SEEMS like Kai is constantly screaming and crying, but it turns out that the only time he screams and cries (mostly) is when Graeme won't play with him. Just two days ago, he sat on the couch and cried for 45 minutes because Graeme went in his room and closed the door. It turns out Kai loves his brother. Loves him with all his heart.

It was a small epiphany moment for me. Clearly, mercy is the result of love. I guess this is what Jesus meant when He said to become as a little child. I haven't been very merciful to my children this summer and today Kai unknowingly showed me that I probably haven't been very loving, either. Maybe the next time World War III breaks out in my livingroom I'll remember that I love my kids and maybe, just maybe, I'll scream a little less and hug a little more. Maybe.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Better than a poke in the eye (but not by much!)

Since yesterday was the last day of July, I weighed myself.

I was only down 6 lbs.

Of course, since it's that time of the month, I'm probably retaining at least 5 lbs of water, but it was still a bit of a disappointment. I am surprised that I wasn't more upset about it, it's probably because the little voice in my head keeps saying things like: "Hey, at least you didn't GAIN 6 lbs" and "It's okay, we're still on track to lose 50 by October" and while I do appreciate the supportive nature of the little voice in my head, I'm pretty sure that all of this positive-ity is what got me into this mess in the first place. Hmmmmm......

Anyway, in case you were curious, I've now lost a grand total of 35 lbs. Only 115 to go. Sigh.