Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bonus Music: Swan Lake

On the car ride home from Chattanooga after Thanksgiving, we listened to a LOT of music.  A LOT.  Because the rain and wrecks made it a 3 hour jaunt, instead of the usual just under 2.  During which, we listened to Swan Lake.  And Charlotte piped up from the back seat!  "Ooooh!  Barbie!"  Now, I am amused that she recognized it from a Barbie movie, but I was impressed that she recognized it from the music and bopped her head to it, with pleasure.

I've spoken about my enjoyment of the the Barbie movies.  I find it funny that while the Barbie Doll lines get sluttier, the movies and their corresponding Barbies get more wholesome and classic.  I've called Mattel and told them of my disappointment in their "Street Walker" Barbies and my pleasure in their celebrating the classics in the movies...hopefully other mothers are registering this, too.

Anyway, I love that she responds to the beauty of the Good Music regardless of it's transport.  :)

LATE Musical Monday: Fantasia Dance of the Hours

I watched this with the girls for my birthday last week.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the intricacies of this!  And it was especially fun to watch the girls watch it, too!  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Musical Monday: Tim McGraw

This was the first song that Charlotte sang that Ethan actually believed me that she was really singing.  I actually have her singing it in the dark at a Lacrosse practice on a video on my phone...I played it for him, and his jaw dropped.  It was funny!  Never disbelieve a mama.  :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Running Away

So, unexpectedly, I am running.  Again.  It appears to be a middle aged woman's Oh-my-I-really-ought-to-get-my-life-back-on-track kind of plan.  And I am one of them, now.  But that's okay.  It did,indeed, help me get my life back on track.  :)

That said, I have a lot of very fond memories of running.  And not because I really liked to run. 

My dad has run since I have memory of him.  He ran marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, trail runs, street runs.  You name it.  It was a somehow core part of my "whole picture" of him. 

Imagine my surprise when I suggested that he come run with me for my "homework" run when my folks were here a few weeks ago, and he said "no".  And not just no, I hurt myself and I really shouldn't, but no, my knees have gotten excruciating and I cannot run ANYMORE.

I acted fine, of course...I ran without him after he left.  But the more I thought about this aberration to my universe the more it hurt me.  And not because I didn't get a running buddy.  It hurt because it was a passion, a talent, a joy of his.  It was kind of like when I heard that Julie Andrews could no longer sing because of a throat infection and surgery.  A desecration, almost.

I started running with my dad when I was little.  He jogged and I ran up to the horse farm across the street.  This started when I was somewhere between ages 5-8.  Seriously.  I was not probably the world's best running companion, but I did love the big-ness and camaraderie of it.  I ran with him for years.  I even ran about a mile race on his hospital team for the Deaconess Dashers for a fundraiser run.  I felt like such a part of something.  It was so cool!

As I got older, I kept running.  Not because I loved it, but because I enjoyed how it made me feel after.  Wiped...but triumphant.  Tired...but successful.  I ran track in High School.  Again, not because it was fun, but because I was reasonably good and I loved being a part of a team.  I enjoyed the common goal, the sisters-in-arms kind of relationship with my teammates.

I appreciate my father setting the family goal of health and involvement with the out-of-doors.  I tend to dismay when I am not exercising.  Not depression, but not a great emotional place.  I think that is the same for my father.  I know that he knows that of me, so I suspect it's genes...

All this to say.  I am randomly thankful for my father's passion and sharing of that passion of running.  I am thankful for his sharing his secrets to a certain peace of mind.  Running to exhaustion and to prayer.  He is a great man.  And I am blessed to have run along side of him for 36 years. 

Ethan despises stickers on cars.  I mean really hates them.  I asked him this morning if I managed to get myself in gear and pull off a half marathon, could I put a "13.1" sticker on my Suburban.  He said, "Sure.  I guess."  I find myself thinking that reason alone is almost worth the insanity.  :)

But just know that if I do pull it off.  It's for the running trips to the horse stables, Daddy.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gabriel and Our Tea Addiction

"My Randomly Thankful moment: I love that my13 year old, 5'11", brown-eyed, Lacrosse supastar is not too big to tuck his giant self into my side on the couch and drink Earl Grey and chat about everything."

This was my Facebook post this morning...and it got me thinking...how did it happen??  And as it is one of the tiny things I am proud of, I thought I'd tell the story...

I always wanted a boy.  Multiple boys, if truth be told.  I love the up-front-ness of boys, the brash honesty.  But I love tea.  I love the tradition of it.  I love that you cannot drink it fast.  I love the way it forces talking and reflection.  When I had my boy, I basked in it.  Treasured it. 

When he was about 3ish, we watched Winnie the Pooh.  And Gabriel asked about "Tea".  He wanted to have tea...I am pretty sure this was because he wanted snacks, but I was game.  I poured out cold Southern Sweet Tea and gave him cookies.  He thought this was fantastic.  So it became a tradition that summer. 

When school started back that winter, I changed over to my beloved hot teas.  I kept the tradition alive, he'd get crackers or peanut butter toast and iced tea.  One day, it was particularly chilly and I asked him if he'd like "High Tea" with me.  I made some tiny meat sandwiches and made some heavily sweetened Earl Grey.  It was a total hit.  We had High Tea most of that winter.

The Summer Tea Time fell by the wayside that summer because we were in and out of my parents and in-laws houses due to Ethan's internships.  We also missed out on some tea times when I started back to teaching that fall because I was so very pregnant with Elise.  It fell back to about once a week, tops.

When I had Elise, I felt so discombobulated and uncertain about everything, I am sure he felt it.  Even though he was only 4.  We took up our High Tea tradition again, a few times a week when Elise was sleeping.  It was time for just us.

It fell by the way again, as he got "too old" at 7 or 8 and we had Amelia.  We only broke it out when he was sick and was having trouble with his throat.

Interestingly, it is something that has come back full force over the last year.  It has become a morning treat, with breakfast.  But then, after the meal is over, we finish our tea together on the couch and talk...sometimes about important things.  Sometimes over his future plans.  Sometimes over what kind of Lacrosse socks he'd like.  But we don't rush.  Because you don't rush tea. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cute Baby Deer

Last night I posted up a comment Charlotte made about Ethan's deer:  "Ooh, MY cute baby deer. My EAT him!!!"....

My mother thought it was a little cold...

Today's Randomly Thankful moment is a further explanation: I am thankful that my kids have a respectful, yet practical view on meat and the animals they come from. None of my girls had seen a dead animal whole before last night. And I considered shielding them from it last night. But on the way home from the farm where Ethan hunts, he realized it was eligible to enter it into GON (Georgia Outdoor News) because it was taken with a black powder rifle....so he took it from the truck and put it in our back yard to take a picture for his submission. All the girls wanted to see the deer so they all trooped out to see him.

They all three ooh-ed and ahh-ed over "how pretty" he was...they all three asked to "pet" him (we said "no" because of ticks)...and they all three expected that we would trundle him into the basement fridge and eat him for supper.

None of the three of them got gag-y or squeamish. None of the three were callous to it's loss of life. None of the three were unaware of it's beauty or it's imminent edibility.

I fully expected that at least one would get upset later. Or have nightmares. None did.

I am genuinely proud of their respect. I am proud that they saw his beauty. I am equally proud that they appreciate his practical sacrifice in feeding us.  It was an unexpectedly neat moment.

Christmas is Coming!!

I am still excited at this point.  I am hoping that I can hang on to it for a while to come...  I am not saying this as a Debbie Downer or anything...but Christmas trappings stress me out.  I love Christmas, with or without gifts...I adore the carols and I cry over the Story and traditionally read stories!!   But all the shopping (I HATE shopping), the get-togethers, the cooking, the dressing of all my kids, the keeping clean of all my kids, the keeping clean of the house...you know, all that...it gives me an ulcer.

To combat it this year I plan to try to add another thing to my list...but as I am excited about it, I think it will be a blessing.  I plan to read all my family's traditionally read books...last year it was too much, but I think it'll work this year...  I plan to do a Jesse Tree similar to what I did last year.  I read about it on one of my favorite blogs HERE.  Our plush Elf-on-a-Shelf brought the advent ornaments and then we read the Bible verses that went with them when we went to bed, Amelia chose a scary 1950's pink tree to hang them from....Charlotte will be getting an elf this year, too.  I am trying to find a CHEAP plastic nativity with a TON of pieces that I can dole out as her Elf gifts.

If you know where I can find or order a Nativity that will fit the bill, PLEASE let me know!!

Here is my current beloved reading list:

The Christmas Movies will come later...

What are your favorite traditions?

Musical Monday: Mama Cass

I have to giggle in pride over this one.  I stumbled upon my The Mamas and The Papas Greatest Hits CD set a few weeks ago...and turned them waaaay up...I was proud to notice Charlotte grooving with a Stevie-Wonder-Happy-Head-Dance on this one...also one of my favorites!!  :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rat 11-3-11

Yes.  I know it's been forever since I ratted myself out.  I forgot for a while, then I was too tired to do it.

Current status:
I have logged in to myfitnesspal.com for 147 days.  I only missed one day when my phone crashed.  I log all my food and exercise.

I am on Week 9 of Couch to 5K.  I am running non-stop 30 minutes when it's warm.  When it is cold, I am running 10 minutes, cough and retch for 2, run 10, and so on for 35 minutes...  I have cold triggered asthma.  It's not cooperating as Georgia decided to actually have a Fall.

I am planning to go back to skating and Chalene Johnson (TurboFire or Chalean Extreme Hybrid) after I wrap up the C25K.  I really ought to register and run a 5K, but I think I will redo the program and run one when it gets warm in the spring.  Hacking one's lung up at the finish line takes out a lot the personal pride.

I did not manage to do the in-line marathon.  I didn't get to skate more when the kids went back to school, I actually lost time.  It took Gabriel and myself a while to find the days' rhythm in our school day....but I am still consistently able to skate 10-20 miles.  I will catch that another time, I guess.  But I still love to skate, and my legs like it too!

Grand total of weight lost? 24 lbs. Seriously. I am stoked! 

I am in my goal jeans, but they aren't comfortable to sit in yet, so I am still fighting for those.  I am heavier than when I was skinny before Amelia's pregnancy, but I look better and feel better than I have since before even Gabriel.  I feel like I got "me" back in the exercising!  I'm emotionally in a much better place because of it.

I had to go out and buy church slacks because I've lost so much weight since this spring.  It was actually a pleasure to try stuff on...that's been a LONG time.

I have not made a pre-packaged meal, other than my freebie Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice, since June.  Well, and an occasional pizza, and even that, I try to make from scratch now.  (We did buy corn dogs for Elise's birthday, and I had one when I was sewing Halloween costumes, 3 days later.)  I cannot tell you how proud I am that we've gotten away from that. 

This year has been a great year for me and my family.  Good choices beget good choices.  It's a nice discovery.

Amelia-isms and Food

Okay.  So I don't know if this counts as an Amelia-ism, but it is very her and very funny...so I'm going to catalogue it as such...

We were OUT, out of food this weekend.  I mean like it was all gone.  We managed through the weekend, but there was going to need to be a grocery run first thing on Tuesday.  (Monday was an teacher's inservice, but the kids were out.)  But since we had no food, there was no food to pack a lunch.  So I wrote a check and told the girls that they were going to be buying lunch at school.  Elise spit, but accepted the inevitable.  Amelia totally flipped out.  She commenced to yell and boohoo about me not loving her, and how she hates nasty lunch food, and how I had to have something I could pack....I mean complete breakdown.

Eventually, I got her calmed down enough to get to school...I figured a trip through the cafeteria would convince her that it wasn't all bad...I mean, Amelia is my junk food kid, what is there not to like about cafeteria food? 

The SECOND she got back into the car on Tuesday afternoon, the first words out of her mouth were, "I am never going to have to buy my lunch again, right?  That was the last time, right??"

Umm.  Not going to commit to that, but I am loved again, and flattered that they like me packing lunches.  I certainly have more control over what they are eating and what I want them avoiding.

Ever since the whole fiasco with Charlotte...which, by the way, is indeed the color triad, Red #40, Blue #1, and Yellow #5...additionally, we've seen reactions over Red #33 and Red #5.  So we don't buy colors at all or things that don't disclose (juice concentrates don't have to!).  We've also discovered it affects her attitude drastically. 

Anyway, as I was saying, ever since everything broke with Charlotte we have been reading everything.  All labels.  Nothing like that to really make you look at was actually IN food.  Really disturbing.  We have over-hauled our eating habits even more. 

I have to say, I am really proud of the changes made and really proud that my kids like it.  And that they like it enough to proclaim:  "Yesterday was the last day I will have to buy lunch!"

Very, VERY late Muscial "Monday": Thompson Square

Another song that totally took me by surprise when Charlotte belted this out in carline Tuesday!  :)