Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Must Be Bad Luck

When Craig runs with Caroline, she doesn't get side cramps; when she runs with me, she gets epic cramps.

I must be bad luck.

This morning Caroline and I ran in her school's annual 5k race.  I have pictures, but Caroline is on my laptop, therefore I cannot post them right now.  Our other computer (the one I'm on) is a dinosaur and I don't like to upload my pictures on to it.

Anyway, unlike the Cherry Blossom 5k, where a cramp appeared almost immediately upon crossing the start line, the first mile of this race was great.  Caroline ran up ahead of me with her friend and turned back a few times to rejoice in her lack of cramp.  We were both very relieved.  After about 1.25 miles, she said 'it's back.'  Unfortunately Caroline, who is normally very cool and collected, has a habit of panicking a bit when this happens.  Her breath becomes shallow and she acts like she's going to hyperventilate.  We walked; she acted like she couldn't breathe; I told her she was fine and tried to encourage her to take deep breaths.  It wasn't much fun.  

It took a good bit of coaxing and encouragement, but she finally got her breathing under control and sprinted to the end.

She has the gas and the legs; it's the cramps that bring her down.

In two weeks we run the Girls on the Run 5k.  We're going to focus on her breathing from the start.

Hopefully that will help.

Otherwise, the race was fun.  Although I don't know any of the official times, I'm pretty sure if I had been able to run my own race, I would have placed first or second in the women's category.  Obviously, this was a very small race because there isn't any other way that could happen.

It's been a long day.  Besides the race, which required an early wake up call, I made a test batch of scones for Teacher Appreciation Week, but I didn't love them, so I'm going with plan B....whatever that is?  We also did a little shopping for a birthday present and for the aforementioned Teacher Appreciation Week related supplies, followed by Caroline's soccer game.  The game ended in a 0-0 tie, but I was afraid Caroline's coach was going to go all Bob Knight on the field because the referee was calling lame calls against our team only.  She seriously blew the whistle when one of our girls' elbows touched another girl.  Then she'd scold them and tell them to play nice, just like a mother would do to her children on the playground.  It was odd.

The other team had a clear handball incident, which the ref let slide.

I seriously thought the coach, who is extremely soft spoken, was going to blow a gasket and start throwing things out on to the field.

It was all very exciting.  In a soccer mom kind of way.  Trust me.

And now, it's almost bed time (sort of).  Hooray!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Good News, I Didn't Lose Any Kids!

Evidently, I'm a very competent chaperone.

However, I think I'm more exhausted after a four hour field trip then I would have been had I run the ten miles I had planned.

I didn't get any more pictures because I was too busy counting heads.

It appears that all of Fairfax county and its neighbors in all directions planned their school field trips for this very day.  You wouldn't believe the crowds and the masses of yellow school buses waiting to unload eager kids in front of the museum.  I felt really sorry for random visitors who came just to leisurely peruse the museum; I bet they hadn't imagined they'd be in the same place as a zillion elementary school aged kids.

What a madhouse!

It was fun, though. The traffic ridden drive to DC ate up a majority of our museum time, so in total, we had about an hour and 40 minutes to look through the exhibits and eat lunch. 

To say it was a drive by field  trip would be an understatement.

The teachers allowed the option for the chaperones to bring their kids home when we arrived back at the school at 1:30, but most of us chose to forgo that choice.  Including me!

I'm sure Caroline is bummed, but I have to be back at the school at 3:30 to hand out race packets for tomorrow's Croc Trot 5k, followed by soccer practice at 5, so really wanted a few minutes to relax in solitude.

Now that it's over, I'm glad I went on the field trip.  It may not be my favorite thing to do, but it matters to Caroline, so I suppose it wasn't that hard of a decision to skip my much anticipated run for this event.  It won't be long before she wants nothing to do with me; I have to soak up any and all opportunities in which she requests my presence.

You know, I whine and complain about how 'hard' my life is, but I hope you all know that I'm being facetious.  I know my life is good.  It's not necessarily easy and it's definitely not charming, but it's safe and comfortable.  I'm grateful for all that I have and I may abuse my flair for the dramatic when I tell my tales, but it's all in jest.  With people now homeless from the damaging storms that ravaged parts of our country this week, I realize I should probably stop going all 'woe is me'  over absurd things, when I truly have it made.

It's just a shame that tragedies have to occur in order for me to get a grip on reality.

Spoke Too Soon

Guess what I'm doing this morning?

If you guessed chaperoning a field trip, you're a smarty pants.

Brandon's mom has a hurt foot and cannot comfortably walk around the Museum of Natural History and keep an eye on her charges, so I'm the lucky soul who gets to take her place.

I realize it's not a huge problem since I was already guilted into going, but now I have to ride the school bus.  And be accountable for other people's children in a crowded museum.  Oh, my life!

Did I mention I have to ride the school bus? 

Here I thought I'd read a book while the Metro transported me downtown, sweep in, eyeball the exhibits with Caroline, not having to carry the other children's lunches or, you know, pay attention to them.  But now?  So long easy life!

On the bright side, now I don't have to pay $6 for Metro fare and $4.50 for parking at the Metro station.  Cheap speaks to me, so I guess I'll just be a big girl and chaperone my heart out.

Do you think this means I'm back in the running for Mother of the Year?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stormy Weather

We, along with a huge portion of the US, were riddled with storms last night.  Thankfully our area remained untouched by tornadoes, but I can't say the same for poor Alabama.  I think it's safe to assume that everyone will be happy when April is over.  Hopefully all these April "showers" will bring some lovely May flowers.

The thunder started to rumble when we were at soccer practice last night; we quickly gathered up all the gear and made it home before rain started to fall.  As soon as we walked in the door, Caroline, weather nerd extraordinaire, was glued to the Weather Channel.  At one point, a tornado warning, along with a request to take immediate shelter, was issued for Fort Belvoir.  Since Fort Belvoir is two miles from our house, Caroline started to get a little spooked.

"Relax," I told her. 

"It'll be fine,"  I said rather zen-like.  Because I'm nothing if not zen-like.

Instead of freaking out, seeking appropriate shelter and protecting my first and only child from imminent danger, what do you think I did?

Why, I grabbed my camera and took pictures of the sky, of course.

Hello, responsible parenting.

I was secretly hoping to be an indoor, protected-by-the-storm-door, storm chaser.

Alas, the tornado never happened.

How is it that I can spend hours fretting about errand running logistics or how much milk I have in the refrigerator but the prospect of a damaging tornado doesn't incite in me any anxiety or worry?

Go figure, eh?

I suppose a part of me doesn't want to get Caroline freaked out; if I stay calm, she stays calm.  But also, I think storms are all kinds of awesome.

The sky has looked threatening all day today, but aside from a few sprinkles, we've remained safe and unscathed.  Tomorrow is supposed to be lovely and mild.  I had planned to run in the promised gorgeous weather, but it looks like I'll be field tripping it third grade style, instead.

Tomorrow the third graders are going to the Museum of Natural History. My name didn't get picked in the chaperon lottery, but that didn't exactly make me cry.  Who wants to ride a school bus into Washington DC with a bunch of screaming third graders? 

Um, not me.  That's who.

Honestly, I wasn't exactly bummed that my name wasn't picked.  I only volunteered because Caroline wanted me to.  Last year I managed to escape chaperone duties, too.  It's just not my thang; I'd rather stuff folders and glue things.

Feel free to send me my Mother of the Year award any time.

Caroline's teacher said he felt bad that I wasn't picked (it was a random hat draw), because I'm one of the classes' main parent volunteers, but I tried to assure him that I really didn't mind.   Quite honestly, words cannot express how relieved I felt to not be picked.  It was like the opposite of being picked last in gym class.  This, in my opinion was the greatest oversight ever. EVER.  A wonderful, magical, off-the-hook-from-wrangling-obnoxious-third-graders oversight. 

Should I give you my address so that you can mail that Mother of the Year award right to my house?

However, because some misguided parents actually want to accompany their precious spawn on these field trips, Caroline's teacher suggested that I just meet the group at the museum, therefore bypassing the obnoxiously loud bus ride. Not having to ride a school bus is a huge bonus, but I really want to run tomorrow.  I have very few Fridays left before school gets out to get a long run in.  Plus, the weather is supposed to be really nice.  And, not to mention, I'd really prefer to not lose any of my awesomeness in the running department. ;)

Up until this morning, I planned to be my usual selfish self and forgo the field trip thing to do the run thing, instead.

That is, however, until this moring when Caroline's teacher once again reminded me that I could join them at the museum tomorrow.  He's very persuasive in a non-persuasive kind of way.

So, I guess I'm going on a field trip tomorrow.

Guilt:  1   Run: 0

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Berry Good

Strawberries have been on sale everywhere lately.  As a strawberry lover, I happen to appreciate this muchly.

Last week one store had them 3/$5; in the course of a week, I bought six containers.

Today, another store had them on sale for .99!  I haven't seen strawberries for .99 since we lived in Arizona.  Why I remember that, I do not know.  However, I clearly remember walking with baby Caroline (we were a one car family then) to the commissary several times to fit as many cartons of .99 strawberries as I could in the stroller. 

Even though I had two containers of strawberries in my refrigerator already, I couldn't resist the .99 special and I bought three more.

It's a good thing Caroline and I like strawberries. 

And because I have a boring life I'm a crazy blogger, I took pictures of my strawberries.   Because that's totally normal, right? 

I couldn't help it;  I was inspired by this odd berry with the cluster of seeds at the tip.

My eye went to that one immediately; in general, I tend to eat the 'odd' ones first.  The misshapen ones; the ones with crazy seed clusters or the ones with an odd shaped tip.  Weird looking strawberries need love, too.

Likewise, I eat the curled up tortilla chips first.  They're my favorite.

I suppose I could do something special with the surplus of berries I have, but I hate to waste them in a baked good.  I much prefer fresh, juicy berries in their most natural state.  Especially since these  are particularly tasty.  Up until very recently, I haven't had much success finding tasty berries; they've all been sour and tasteless.

But not these.

In other news, it's very windy today.  And humid. 

My hair has seen better days.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waving the White Flag

Dear pollen,

You win.  I give up.  I'm not going to even try to dust my furniture until you're done sprinkling all of creation with your yellow dust.  Last year I was sneezy, snotty, drippy and generally miserable, thanks to you; this year, all I have is a dusty house.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful you're not wreaking havoc on my sinuses, instead focusing solely on coating my furniture with your 'gift.'   However, I'm declaring you the winner.  My dust rag can't keep up with your offerings and I'm officially throwing in the towel.


The Neurotic Housewife

I'm beginning to regret ever purchasing a black kitchen table and chairs, which I've now lovingly named 'the pollen magnet.'

It's pretty gross seeing everything coated with a thick layer of yellow dust, but, as I've finally admitted, removing it is futile.  What's that saying about nailing jello to a tree...or trying to heard cats?  Yep, that's what springtime pollen removal is like.

I suppose I could keep the windows closed to keep the pollen outside where it belongs.  However, the breeze is really nice and our house is stuffy, otherwise.

Maybe a good rain will come and wash it all away so my furniture can once again be restored to its shiny glory.  Just be sure to pay no attention to the dings, nicks and permanent marker stains, okay?  I suppose I should say our furniture should be restored to its 'functional, well worn, loved and slightly mistreated shiny glory.'

In other news, I misplaced my favorite running shorts.  Which, aren't even mine, by the way; they're actually Craigs, but I claim them as mine. I searched high and low for those beloved shorts, including behind the washer and dryer.  I'm generally not one to put things in places they don't belong (ahem, like other members of my family), but I searched every nook and cranny, anyway.  To no avail.  It was a fruitless search, indeed.

I was beginning to think they fell out of my gym bag one day as I left the gym.  Which, to me, would have been mortifying.  Could you imagine just dropping your sweaty clothes right there in the middle of the gym as you walked out the door?  Well, others might not find this traumatic, but I sure would have. 

I kind of gave up hope on ever being reacquainted with my shorts.  I figured they were gone for good.  I even had a little pity party about that very notion.  Because being so attached to running shorts is incredibly normal, right?

So, imagine my surprise when I popped open Craig's car trunk this afternoon and saw my shorts.   Eureka! Hooray!

Evidently, I failed to remove my dirty gym clothes and towel from the trunk the last time I drove his car to the gym, which was almost two weeks ago. 


They're in the washing machine as I write this.

Sigh.  You know, I can hardly believe I just typed so many words about something so ridiculous.  It's a shame my life is so boring.  I hate to waste all this God given writing talent on my completely boring life.  Ha!

Sorry, I make jokes when I'm feeling pathetic.  And also?  My face has broken out like crazy.  It's more of a rash than anything, but its right by my mouth and it certainly isn't helping my mood at all. 

It's probably the pollen's fault.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Together We Can Fight Easter Seals

I have to share this funny story with you all.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Safeway doing my double coupon thing when a Safeway employee came over the loud speaker to encourage the shoppers to give a few dollars at the register to support the March of Dimes.  She went on to talk about the importance of Easter Seals and the March of Dimes' efforts to eradicate birth defects, etc.

At the end of her little speech, she thanked us all for being wonderful customers, blah, blah, blah and then said "with the help of your donations, together we can fight Easter Seals."

I laughed out loud right there in the cereal aisle when she said that. 

Last I checked, Easter Seals wasn't a medical condition. :)

Craig left this morning to make the long trip back to Savannah.  I'm glad he had the chance to visit, even though his stay was short and sandwiched between two nine hour car trips.  Our Easter was nice, if not a bit unorthodox.  It involved a trip to the gym, bowling, eating dinner at Noodles and Company and concluded with a rousing political debate, which didn't really end well.  In case you didn't know, Craig's favorite game is 'let's push Alison's buttons and watch her head explode by playing the devil's advocate." It never gets old for him.  Never.

So, like I said, our Easter was definitely unorthodox, BUT chocolate bunnies were consumed, so I suppose it all evens out in the end.

It's rather warm today.  So warm, in fact, that I broke down and turned on the air conditioner.  I didn't intend to, mostly because I'm cheap  I'm hardcore like that the rest of the week is supposed to be much milder in temperature, but it was hot when I got home from the gym and I don't particularly enjoy sweating inside my own home.

Some may call me weak, but I really don't care. 

And so this concludes a rather disjointed weekend review.

Hope you all had a nice weekend, too!  Minus the political debate, of course.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good News Bad News

 The good news is I'm keeping this picture to use for bribery/paybacks/good old fashioned embarrassment purposes when Caroline is older.

The bad news is Caroline inherited my ability to give 'the look'; something tells me this look, coupled with the certainty that she'll tower over me in a few years, might cause me to rethink this plan to humiliate her in front of her friends.

Guess I'll just keep it on the blog for posterity purposes.

PS--this picture was taken last year, using the bow from her Easter basket.  Also?  That's a rub on tattoo on her cheek.  In case you were wondering.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes.  The good news is Craig drove up from Savannah to see us this weekend.  The gooder (!) news is that he can stay an extra day because he and his crew have Monday off.

The bad news is  this is the last time we'll see him until mid-tour R&R.  We were hoping for a January 2012 R&R, but it appears departure dates are done by a lottery type system, which basically means you get what you get. And whether or not you pitch a fit is based on the date you get. ;)

The good news is I survived spring break with *most* of my sanity intact. 

And the bad news?  Well, in this case, there really isn't any.  School is back in session on Monday and there are about two months left before they're done at the end of June.

The good news is  it's my sister's birthday today.

The bad news is  I'm 6.5 years older than my little sister, who is now 28.  There's nothing worse than realizing you're getting old.  Like for real.  When your baby sister turns 28, there's no more messing around.  Aging stinks, which is the worst news of all.

The good news is Easter is tomorrow and I'm about to sit down and read the resurrection story to Caroline. It's time to de-Easter Bunny ourselves, forget about all the jelly beans I've eaten and focus on what really matters.

And the best news of all is that there isn't any bad news; the resurrection story has a really happy ending!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm Beginning To Think People Don't Know Me Well At All

Last Thursday I did my usual Thursday Folder thing at the school, followed by helping some of Caroline's classmates work through a Thurgood Marshall activity book.  I then purposefully skipped the volunteer luncheon the teachers provide for the parent volunteers each year.  In the three years Caroline has gone to this school (and the three years I've volunteered there) I've never gone to the luncheon; I considered going last Thursday, for like half a second, but I ultimately decided against it because I was feeling particularly anti social that day.  I was in quite a funk and didn't feel like being too smiley. 

What I really wanted was to get a big coffee from Dunkin Donuts and pick up some much needed groceries from the commissary.

And that's what I did.

So when I got home from my grocery shopping excursion, there was a voice mail message from one of the PTA ladies.  She called because I forgot to include Caroline's tshirt size on the entry form for the school's upcoming 5k race.  Oh, and also, she wanted to know if I'd consider running for one of the PTA offices next year.  Because, you know, "you'd be really great at that."

Or whatever.

I've met this woman like twice; once while stuffing Thursday folders last year and another time when she asked me to watch her stuff at a school event while she ran to her car to get something.  You know, good quality time together.  Clearly they're just trying to get anyone to run for PTA treasurer because if she knew me at all, she'd know that I am not the PTA officer type.  Since, you know, I never go to the meetings.

I mean, I pay my $8 each year to join.  I bake for every PTA sponsored bake sale or luncheon at the school.  I go to Basket Bingo; I volunteer to hand out race packets; I even show up to greet veterans near the baked goods table for the school's yearly Veteran's Day celebration.

But like I said, I NEVER go to the monthly meetings.  Not once in three years have I gone to a meeting.

So why on earth would anyone suggest I'd be 'perfect' for the job. 

Clearly, I'm an enigma to many.  And even more clearly, they're lacking for quality volunteers.

So, I did what any weenie would do when they don't want to tell someone "no thanks, I don't want to be PTA secretary," I waited to call her back when I figured she'd be out picking her son up from school.  My plan worked!  I dialed her phone number just as the school bell was ringing (Caroline was at Girls on the Run, so I didn't have to pick her up until an hour later) and her voice mail picked up.  As I was leaving the message, my call waiting was the PTA lady.  And again, I did what any weenie would do, and I continued to leave my message and ignored the call waiting.

I gave her the correct tshirt size information and failed to even mention the whole PTA officer thing.

Because I'm a grown up like that!

I actually found this all quite amusing; in an I-must-really-have-them-fooled sort of way.  However, if I see PTA lady's name come up on caller ID again, I'm still not answering.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Tried To Hold Out

I tried to hold off.  No really; I did.

I tried to ignore the behemoth tent in my living room.  I tried to refrain myself from tearing it down prematurely to appease my neat and tidy sensibilities.

I tried.

I just couldn't take it anymore.

But they caught me.

And made it worse.

"Okay," I told them, begrudgingly.  "You can keep it up for now."

"But it comes down tonight." 

Oh dear.

And then, my child had the nerve to say to me, 'Mom, where is the Wii Fit game? It's not where it's supposed to be."

To which I replied, "Caroline, please do not lecture me on where things are 'supposed' to be when there is a steak knife on the floor,

 and a jump rope, shoes and dirty socks in the front entry way."

So there.

Oh, and I found the Wii Fit game in the Wii.  Caroline just didn't bother to look in one of the most obvious places.

I quit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Come Sail Away

It's been a slow week around here.  Slow and long.  And it's only Wednesday.

It's spring break.  For Caroline and pals, it's the best week ever.  For Caroline and pal's parents, it's most definitely NOT the best week ever.  My house is a wreck.  There is a huge tent in my living room which has been built using every single sheet, blanket, towel and chair I own.  The girls have requested the tent remain up for the entirety of spring break.  I've given them until Friday.  After that, all bets are off.

I even had to barter so that a pathway could be carved out to make getting to the front door easier.  What if there is a fire, I asked?  Or better yet, what if the ice cream man comes along and we can't get out the door fast enough to get our popsicles because the tent is in the way?

The ice cream man line worked and I now have a visible and walkable path way to my front door.  It's the little victories that mean the most.  However, the ice cream man hasn't made his way to our neighborhood.  If he doesn't make an appearance by Thursday, I have a feeling I'll lose my walkway.

So, my house is a mess and we haven't done much of anything.  I've fed Caroline's pals more meals than I can count and hosted a sleep over last night.  We did take a walk to 7-11 for Slurpees yesterday.  Which, quite honestly, was the highlight of my afternoon.  Behold the healing powers of fresh air and frozen, sugary red dye #40.

I'm finding myself feeling a bit down in the dumps today.  Mostly because my schedule is out of whack, my house is in chaos and my gym time has been seriously infringed upon.  How selfish does that make me sound?  Wait...don't answer that.  I'm usually at my worst, mentally, when I haven't been able to exercise as much as I'd like.  Also? I'm wearing a wife beater tank top today.  Clearly, this has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I'd share, anyway.

Just a few minutes ago I caught myself thinking out loud, 'I just want to be anywhere but here right now.'  Have you ever felt that way?  Obviously, spending spring break not picking up stray popcorn kernels off the floor left by careless snackers, not making quesadillas and spaghetti tacos (!) for a mass of hungry girls and not being trapped by an unsightly, behemoth tent structure in my living room seems quite peachy.  Oh, how I long to sip something fruity by the edge of the pool and read a book without interruption. To get in a full workout and not have to hear the front door slam fifty seven times a day.

I can wish that I was about to sail away somewhere exotic, leaving my messy house and my lunch lady duties behind,  but wishing will get me nowhere.

This is my life.  As messy and uncharming as it is.

On most days, I'm okay with that.  Because there really isn't anything more important than being around for your kid. 

This is know.

But it's also hard to not want more.  To not want what I *think* will finally make me happy.  To not want what will please my self serving desires.

Writing this out only further proves how selfish I am.  I thought mothers were supposed to be martyrs. Selflessly sacrificing for the good of the children.  Denying myself and my wants and wishes so that my child can have more.

And me?  Well, I'm no martyr; that's for darn sure. 

I'm just a whiner.

A whiner who really wants a vacation.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ridiculous Pet Peeve

Earlier today I started writing a different kind of post.  A more thoughtful and dare I say, deep kind of post, but I chucked it. It was stupid.  And I'm not good at emoting.  Verbal or written.  For starters, it makes me insanely uncomfortable, but also, I feel like I have a hard time making sense in a pithy fashion.

I honestly don't like writing much at all, which seems dumb considering the fact that I write a blog.  I'm pretty self conscious of my ability (or lack thereof) to get all the words out in a coherent fashion.  That's why I blog about frivolous things.  I suppose it's just monumentally easier to write about food or how my child and her friends torment me with their tent building, mess making schemes, then to talk about real stuff.  You know, like feelings and such.  I've never been a fan of 'heart to heart' talks; I'm much better suited for shallow topics like food and shopping.  I hesitate to even think about what this means about my character. 

It's funny, though.  Because earlier today I was drinking some coffee and thought to myself that drinking a cup of coffee is nice, but it's much nicer when you're able to share a conversation with a friend while drinking that cup of coffee.

Anyway, since I've chucked my original post, I thought I'd share with you one of my most ridiculous pet peeves.  Because you know your life won't be complete without knowing this valuable information.

Drum roll, please....... I really hate when people type or say ice tea or ice coffee instead of iced tea or iced coffee.

I know this is completely insane, but so help me God, it drives me nuts.

The tea or coffee is iced; it's cold and poured over ice, therefore rendering it ICED.    You drink an ice cold soda when you're thirsty, but you order an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  You pour ice cold milk over your raisin bran in the morning, but drink iced tea with your lunch.

Whew.  It felt good to get that off my chest.

Who needs to write deep, emotive posts about feelings when you can unload your pent up pet peeve frustrations instead?

Talk about catharsis.

Also?  If you happen to be the kind of person who types or says ice coffee or ice tea, please know that I did not intend to offend you. I certainly don't think any less of you and hope you understand that my pet peeve rant was merely a way for me to vent a bit and help me get over the fact that I'm an emotionally stunted, sub-par writer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winner, Winner Lentil Loaf Dinner

This kind of looks like meatloaf, right?


I think I must be turning into a crunchy, earth mother vegetarian because I made lentil loaf last night.  Lentil loaf might not sound all that appealing, but it was actually very tasty.  Let's be honest:  anything referred to as a 'loaf' doesn't exactly scream tasty sophistication.  Loaf cake, aside, that is.  You can call cake just about anything and it will still be delicious.   Anyway, given the deliciousness of my lentil loaf experiment,  perhaps there is something to this earth mother crunchiness.  As my twitter friend said:  'there are worse things to be.' 

He's probably right.

Although, I was quick to say that I may eat flax, drink green smoothies and bake lentil loaf, but I will never, I repeat, NEVER give up diet soda.

We all have our vices.

Lentils are tasty, healthy and cheap and I think it's safe to say that even though my dinner didn't taste exactly like meatloaf (which isn't exactly my favorite dish), it was a winner in my book.

Come to think of it, anything topped with that ketchupy-brown sugary glaze is a winner.

Too bad Craig isn't here to dine on this new delicacy.  I hear leftover lentil loaf sandwiches make for a pretty fantastic lunch.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Practically A Grown Up

Caroline lost her last baby tooth today.  She's practically a grown up, now.

Man, she lost those teeth fast...all twenty and a half of them.  That extra half of a tooth (a permanent one!) was lost in a pillow sliding accident two years ago.  Of the teeth Caroline was SUPPOSED to lose, the first one came out a month before she turned five (pictured above); the last one just two and a half months after turning nine.

Honestly, I'm glad to be done with the tooth losing stage.  It's kind of icky.

Caroline's glad, too. 

Especially since someone (ahem, my mom) told her the tooth fairy gives out $10 for the last tooth you lose.  Thanks,  mom.  Of course, in this house, the tooth fairy is always short on cash so she'll have to pay up at a later date. 

I told Caroline that since she's practically a grown up now, she'll have to get a job.  Hey, someone has to pay for the braces she's going to need, right?

The loss of baby tooth #20 has been the highlight of an otherwise uninteresting day.  I woke up early to the chirping of some very happy birds and decided to squeeze in a short little run before Caroline and her friend would most likely come back from their sleepover.  If they want breakfast early, they come to our house so I, their ever faithful servant, will make them something.  Otherwise, they either have to fend for themselves at Bailey's house or wait for one of Bailey's parents to get up and cook them something.

I left the girls a note, ran a quick three miles or so and came back home to find Caroline and Bailey sitting on the front porch.  Just as I expected.  And, of course, they were STARVING and needed to eat before they died.  Or something like that.

Because I don't want any child to die of hunger on my watch, I made them breakfast.  And then some lunch.  Even threw in a snack for good measure.  They're well fed and typing up an Easter play script.  The play is being masterminded by Bailey and is about the Easter bunny, named Skittles.  It's cute.  However, either Bailey is being creative or she's under the assumption that Easter is the Easter Bunny's birthday. 

I really hope she's just being creative!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rainy Day

It's wet out there today.  Thankfully, we don't have snow like they have in South Dakota, nor did we have to evacuate our houses or wake up to tornado sirens blaring in the middle of the night, as those in Oklahoma and Alabama did.

It's just wet, wet rain.  Cloudy, dreary, wet, wet rain.

I love a good rainy day.

To top this great rainy day off, I got to spend some time drinking coffee and reading in Panera this morning while Caroline and two friends were at a birthday party.  And even more better (!), Caroline is going with a different friend to another party this evening and then sleeping over at her house.   I mean, I love my kid and all, but she likes to sleep in my bed on the weekends;  between the rolling around and these odd popping noises she makes while she sleeps, my own sleep suffers.  And that's no bueno.

Rain + coffee + reading + uninterrupted sleep = yee haw!

It's funny how I went from being happy to run in the gorgeous, sunny spring weather yesterday to being equally as happy to enjoy this rainy day.  Who knew I could be so agreeable?

Perhaps someone sprinkled happy flakes in my coffee this morning?

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Lovely Day For A Run

It was a beautiful morning for a run on the Mt. Vernon Trail today.  And that is exactly what I did.  Like the addict I am, I ran my planned eight miles and then stopped for a drink at Starbucks, before walking back to my car.  The weather was so lovely that I walked a little extra, covering about 11.5 miles in total.  Enjoying a nice drink from Starbucks and walking through lovely Old Town Alexandria is my favorite part of the whole long run experience, and totally makes the 70 minutes of running absolutely worth it.

When I arrived back at my car, I was happy to remember that I had my small camera in the trunk.  The colorful blooming trees and shimmering Potomac river were begging to be photographed.

Last but not least, I captured a picture of the Woodrow Wilson bridge, which I'll be running over as I tackle my second half marathon this October.  This picture is actually for my friend, Mandy, who will be braving the race with me.  Mandy is a loyal reader and my very first Army wife friend; I'm excited that she'll be moving closeby and is willing to run crazy races with me.  My sister is running it, too...but I don't think she reads my blog.   But, if you are reading, Laura, this picture is for you, too.

Sadly, this is only half of the bridge...I couldn't capture it all in one shot.

Have I mentioned I'm slightly terrified of bridges?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

They Melt in Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands

I currently have a whole lot of plastic Easter eggs sitting in my living room.

Two tubs full, to be exact.

And why do I have two tubs full of Easter eggs in my living room, you might ask?  Well, I have two tubs full of Easter eggs in my house because our community is having an Easter egg hunt on Saturday.  As a renter, I am not a member of the community association nor am I on the social committee, however I still have the plastic Easter eggs at my house.  Because that's the way things work around here.   I'm pretty sure this is Caroline's doing.

Anyway, the mom of Caroline's friends Sarah and Rachel, works at the community management office and has tasked her girls (and any willing friends) to stuff the eggs with candy.  Naturally this meant they should stuff them at my house.  Because...well...why not?

The eggs have been in my house for several weeks, but with the hunt quickly approaching, the girls got down to business yesterday, stuffing the plastic eggs with delicious sugary candy.

Tough job, huh?

I forgot how much I love plain M&Ms.

Over four pounds of festive spring colored, crunchy coated milk chocolate gems of deliciousness.

Just look at them!  Behold their simple beauty.

I'd be lying if this didn't happen a few times yesterday:

They're undeniably irresistible.

Hey, if my house has to get trashed every time the kids work on the eggs, leaving me with a horrifying mess to pick up, then I think I deserve a handful or six of M&Ms.

Honestly, I knew I shouldn't dive into the bag because they're not mine...they're for the children (!), but I couldn't stop myself.  Can you blame me?

All I know is that it's a good thing these babies weren't also opened:

Four pounds of jelly beans!

Oh my.

At this point in my life, as I recover from yesterday's candy coated milk chocolate induced coma, I'm so thankful I don't have diabetes.  For if I did, I'd probably lose the will to live.

Sugar makes my world go 'round.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Confession time:  I hate the word journey.

Random, much?

It's sort of an odd word to hate, don't you think?    I mean, there are SO many other words in the English language which deserve to be hated much more than the innocuous 'journey.' For instance, most everyone hates the word moist, and I happen to be one of them.  UNLESS 'moist' is used in a sentence such as this: 'moist layers of rich chocolate cake, filled with fluffy chocolate butter cream and topped with a luscious, shiny chocolate ganache and festive chocolate curls.'  When cake is concerned, moist is an acceptable word choice.  Otherwise?  NO.  Just no. 

Moisture?   Yes.  Moist?  No.

I think I hate the word journey most when it's used in the phrase 'weight loss journey.'  One of the contestants on this season of The Biggest Loser (Courtney) used the term 'weight loss journey' no more than three hundred times per episode.  After awhile, it began to bug.  So, I blame Courtney for my hatred of the word journey.

Thanks, Courtney.  Thanks for ruining a completely useful word with all of your obsessive, self righteous blathering about your 'weight loss journey.'  Thanks a lot.

In the interest of not embarrassing myself any further, I'll refrain from telling you how long and how often I've found myself thinking about, pondering and rationalizing my hatred for this word.  I will say, though, that it's often.  Pretty much anytime I read or hear the word, I think about it.  Unfortunately, journey is a commonly used word.  But, quite thankfully, Courtney's weight loss journey time on The Biggest Loser is over and our ears have been spared from that overly used, annoying phrase.   However, I'm sure she'll be back at the finale ready to share more about her damn journey.  I may need to invest in a pair of earplugs for that portion of the show.

So tell me, other than the word 'moist' (and any offensive slurs), are there any words that rub you the wrong way?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When Your Quesadilla Smiles at You

The other day, I made a quesadilla for lunch. I think it was for me, but it may have been for Caroline. Now I can't remember.  Anyway, I got a little side tracked and let one side get a wee bit too brown.  When I remembered to flip it, I'll admit I got a little too excited when I saw the happy face smiling up at me.   And, of course, I immediately thought to grab my camera to document my smiling quesadilla.

Because that's what everyone does, right?

Anyway, I thought it was worthy of photographic documentation.  After all, if your lunch isn't happy, what do you have to live for?

Can you see the face, or am I just crazy?

Here's a close up, with a diagram:

Sure it's not the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich or Mary's silhouette in a slice of pizza, but I, being one who is easily amused, got a kick out of if.

In other news, I took some pictures of the flowers I bought last week.  I'm obsessed with this big, multi petaled white flower.

I don't know what kind of flower it is, but I think it's pretty.

And, because we all need a little green in our lives,

I wish I had something interesting to report;  alas, I do not.

When all I have to share is a smiley face in my quesadilla, you better believe I'm scraping the bottom of the  barrel.

Hopefully something interesting will happen soon.  :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lots of Pictures, Not So Many Words

We toured the Capitol Mall area (and Chinatown) with my mom yesterday.   We even did a fun (and free!) walking tour, which allowed me to take pictures while learning all sorts of hidden facts about the Federal City.   It has taken me nearly three hours to upload, edit and post these pictures, so I'm short on patience and not really in a chatty mood.  I should mention that 1) these pictures are in a random(ish) order because Blogger is pain in the butt, which is also contributing to my lack of desire to chat and 2) I played mighty heavily with the editing features on Picnik, so some of these pictures are a little funky.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.