Monthly Archives: August 2009

Summer is almost over

We have been spending hours at the pool the last couple of weeks.  I feel like we need to savour these last few days before the pool closes.  Piero is swimming like a fish.  Kylie finally let me dunk her under water this last weekend without howls of protest.  I keep telling her that Big Girl classes will require her to put her head under water.  She is really psyched about becoming a big girl and tells me that Kelly is sad that her little girl is turning into a big girl.  I am a little happier actually that she is getting to be a bigger girl.  She is so much more capable of doing things that we can enjoy together.

I am going to miss going to the pool.  It was an easy way to entertain the kids and spend an afternoon together.  The kids were almost constantly in the water but there was plenty of opportunity for an adult to sit under an umbrella and read a book too.  I even got a little bit of a tan despite using 50SPF sun block.  Basically, my arms and upper back are brown but even my legs are a bit less white.  You can see the line of the my bathing suit.  Eduardo laughed at me when I told him I had gotten a tan.  Ok… so its not much in comparison to how black he and the kids have gotten but I am less pasty white.

I am going to miss this summer.  I have lots of good memories of our time together at the pool.

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Control or Courtesy

Eduardo thinks that calling me to tell me that he is heading off somewhere for the evening/afternoon or whatever is not required.  The mere fact that I ask him to keep me informed of his whereabouts indicates that I am a control freak.  In other words, if I would normally expect you to be at home on Monday night after work and you decide to head out to see the kids until 8 or 9pm, then I would like a quick phone call telling me that you are heading out to see the kids and you won’t be home until late.  When I get home on Monday I don’t want to be wondering why you still aren’t home 2 or 3 hours after you normally arrive.  I don’t want to be asking: Dead? or Alive?  I am NOT referring to getting a blow-by-blow of your day.  No need to call me if you are 5 minutes late due to traffic.  I don’t care if you stopped in at Home Depot to pick up something for work and are 30 minutes later than normal.  I do care if you are going to be gone hours longer than anticipated and would like some notification.

Of course, the irritating thing for me is that if I run an errand that took significantly longer than I expected, he is calling me to find out why I am not where I usually am.  If I am controlling when I request to know where he is… it is no less controlling of him when he does the same thing.  Either it is controlling and neither of us do it or it is a courtesy and both of us should perform the courtesy.

So readers… control or courtesy?

Nugget of wisdom

Carolyn Hax always has these nuggets of wisdom.  This one really spoke to me.  She was referring how to tell the difference between a person who genuinely appreciated someone’s flexibility and accommodation and someone who was just taking advantage of it.

Givers keep giving (because they like you) and users stop (because they were generous only to snag you).

This one spoke to me because it has reminded me of several men who I dated.  While we dated they were awesome – not perfect awesome but awesome enough that I thought we were compatible.  We went for walks, we went to the zoo, we cooked together, we did all sorts of things together.  Then we got serious (moved in together/married whatever).  The more seriously we were intertwined the more they felt comfortable revealing their true selves.  And their true selves were not someone I would have gotten involved in.   They couldn’t understand that I felt completely deceived by their actions.  They had lied about themselves and felt no remorse whatsoever.  One even said that they did what they had to do to ‘catch’ me.  But catching me and keeping me are two completely different things.  I might be caught by your lies but your true self will not keep me if it was so incompatible that you felt the need to hide it from me.

An example to ensure that I am not referring to the end of the honeymoon period where you are slowly ending your ‘best behaviour’ because you really can’t keep that up for the rest of your life.  I am referring to instances were you acted like you enjoyed something that you would never have contemplated doing voluntarily because you completely loathed it.

And to my example:

We used to cook all the time together.  He even helped me cook for one of my dinner parties.  It was so amazing to be involved with someone who wanted to share being in the kitchen with me and ate everything I cooked.  I had no desire to live – again – with a man who wanted nothing to do with the kitchen and thought that I sucked as a cook.  I even commented to the guy several times that it was so nice to be with someone that liked to share in cooking and liked what I prepared so we could enjoy meals together.  Now fast forward to when we are in the serious part of the relationship after I am ‘caught’ – he won’t participate in any cooking whatsoever with me.  If he has to cook for himself because I won’t do it (and why would I want to do all the cooking including food designated solely for him?) then he will do it without my help and don’t expect a lick of help from him for any joint meals.  Fast forward a little further and now he is complaining about all my cooking.  Apparently, it seems he never liked it from the beginning. 

That is not a wearing off of the honeymoon phase.  That is deception.

Strides in Swimming

Kylie has made a huge leap (pun intended) with swimming.  Last weekend,  she finally, finally jumped off the edge of the pool into my arms!  She makes sure she doesn’t go under water but at long last she will push herself off without me being within reaching distance.   She is also able to ‘swim’ between Papa and I.  She only lasts for about a minute but she is finally making some headway.

Piero on the other hand is a complete fish.  He is allowed anywhere in the shallow part (5ft and under so still over his head) but needs adult supervision to go into the deep end.   He has gone from not being able to swim at all to being a great swimmer this summer.  All it took was a couple of swim classes.

This fall, Piero is going into Level III swim classes and Kylie is going into Level I PeeWee classes.  I would put her into Level II if she would go under the water voluntarily but she won’t.  We have told her that she is going into Big Girl classes and big girls put their heads under water so she will have to start doing it.

Results of No Plastic Challenge

I have been on this No Plastic Challenge now for 11 weeks.  It is hard to believe that it has been going on for so long.

Results: 7lb weight loss

Conclusions?

  • Plastic is freaking everywhere!  It is just about impossible to eat without touching plastic especially if you want to eat for a reasonable amount of money.  Yes, I can buy pasta with no plastic involved but I am paying 4.30$ for the equivalent of a box rather than 99 cents.  Not reasonable so I am not doing it.
  • I was consuming about 16 pieces of plastic on average over the first 8 weeks.  This is old plastic that I already had and can reasonably replace it with no plastic or is plastic that I am not willing to give up.  I will have to see if my second 8 weeks has a smaller average.  This really does translate into a shocking amount of plastic in a year despite my efforts.
  • I have completely changed the way I eat.  I eat significantly more vegetables because they are available plastic free.  I wasn’t a huge meat eater to begin with and even less of one now.  Those styrofoam packages really add on the plastic weight – esp. the beef ones.  Before I started this challenge, I really was eating quite a bit of junk food and having a hard time keeping away from it. For weeks after I started the challenge (8 or 9), I would continually find myself roaming around in the kitchen looking for ‘something’  I am fairly certain that something was junk food that didn’t come in plastic.  It wasn’t until I went on my business trip to Portland and got myself out of my normal environment that I have noticed that my roaming is completely done.  When I go into the kitchen, I have a goal – get X.  X might be a piece of fruit or crackers and cheese but it clearly has nothing to do with junk food.  Not only that, I don’t have any cravings for chocolate, chips or pretzels.  I look at them and think – ah… not really.

This plastic challenge is tough but it makes me think about my food choices and clearly it is finally translating into lost weight.

” I need to study”

in response to the question, "Can you help me do…?" or "Do you want to go to…" means:

a. I am going to take a nap.
b. I am going to check out You Tube (or whatever else on the computer)
c. I am going to watch TV or
d.  I am going to study

You might be surprised to know that it does NOT mean that the person is going to study.  It often means that the person is going to do anything but study.  Oh yes, they will get some studying in but they could have done whatever they were questioned about in the length of time that they DIDN’T study after the question was asked.  Or you might not be surprised because I wouldn’t have written about it otherwise.  Nothing worth writing about if the person actually wanders off to do what they said they were going to do.

This frustrates me to no end.  And the answer isn’t always directed to me.  I feel just as frustrated (and sad) when Piero asks for help for something and the response is "I have to study".   If you have to study… THEN STUDY!  Don’t make your child wonder why you aren’t doing what you said you were going to do and yet not helping him either. 

All roads lead to the fair

Yesterday, we went to Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.  We started out fairly late partly due to the fact that nobody but me had been to a fair so nobody knew if they wanted to go. So we all dillydallied with other crap rather than getting ready to go to the fair.  Why is it that in our household any new thing is confronted with the attitude "I haven’t done this before – what if I don’t like it?" instead of the attitude. "Oh cool… new thing… I can’t wait to check it out"?

So we got to the fair about 3pm and left at 9:15pm.  It was a completely full day!  We started out with checking out the animals.  The kids got a chance to see some sheep sheared and even got some wool in the bargain.  We also saw some goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens and cows.  The kids were really big on the rabbits and Piero wanted to buy one (many that didn’t place well or were disqualified were for sale).  We said no because we already have our limit of 2 domestic animals.  Kylie was terrified of the chickens and cows and that extended to the ‘nursery’ where you could see calves that were a day or two old.  Old McDonald’s Barn was more of a hit where you got to see things like llamas, alpacas, Brahma Cattle, draft horse, bison, donkey and other things.  We ate ice cream and pizza.  We saw pig, goat and duck races.  Ok, the kids saw them because they were on our shoulders.  We saw almost nothing except people’s heads.  The kids got their faces painted.  We picked up some trinkets for the kids from a stall.  My family graciously (well maybe not so graciously from Piero although he tried) allowed me to go through the arts and crafts building.  We got to check out needlework, quilting, tatting (they had demonstrations earlier in the day), knitting, crochet and sewing.  They had a "You be the judge" for about 60 pillowcases so each of us picked out our favourite pillowcase and put in a ticket.  Even Kylie managed 1 out of the 2 numbers she needed to put on her ticket.   We also got to watch the parade and Kylie just loved the ‘princesses’ that went by.  I think they were something like Ms. Montgomery County or something like that.

Near the end of the day we went down to the carnival area for a ride for the kids.  On the way there we met Ziggy.  Ziggy made balloon creations.  The kids were totally entranced so we stayed for about 30 minutes waiting our turn.  Kylie got butterfly wings and Piero asked for a surprise creation.  He got a really neat Alien (think Roswell type).  We then paid for the kids to go on one ride. EXPENSIVE!!!!  The kiddie rides were 3$ a piece.

The kids fell asleep on the ride home.  We sat through some very frustrating traffic due to construction and didn’t get home until 10:30pm.  The kids got into bed in under 10 minutes and were probably asleep within 1.  I still had to do cooking for lunches the next day (I cook supper on Sunday plus the kids get the leftovers for their lunch the next day) which Eduardo was kind enough to help me with.  We made Fried Rice within 15 minutes.  Everything was cooked, I just needed to put it together.  I cleaned up the kitchen and collapsed on the couch.  And then I proceeded to head into work very late.  Despite getting up 1 hour late (I felt terrible), I was only at work just 45 minutes later than normal.  The kids were champs and got ready to leave in super quick time.

I think that pretty much summed up our day.  We all had fun despite the heat and the kids are asking to return to the fair again.