Thursday, March 31, 2011
We have a black-and-white copy of this on our wall. When we were living in San Diego, I had book club at my house one night, and this particularly outgoing girl (for a new and funny version of the term "outgoing," visit here) was looking at this picture. She turned around and stared at me, open-mouthed. "Whoa," she said, "You do NOT look the same as you used to..." By the tone of voice that she used, I could tell she meant that I look a lot worse than I did when I got married. I just laughed inside. That girl had what Pooh calls "OPD" - Obnoxious Personality Disorder.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
This winter has felt so long and hard. I just really wanted to do some fun stuff for St. Patrick's Day. I have no Irish heritage whatsoever, but Ben's birth mother and father have quite a bit, so I thought it would be fun to do some St. Patricks-ey stuff for his sake and for the kids' sake. And for my sake, let's face it.
The first step was decorating (I'm doing another post on the food I made that day). I had NO St. Patty's Day decorations, and all of the store decorations seemed really ugly and cheesy. So one night while I was scanning at work, I was searching for fun decorating ideas. I came across the Better Homes and Gardens website, which had several really fantastic ideas for St. Patty's decor.
I had a very, very limited budget, so I decided to try this idea. I went to D.I. and found several green glass vases of various sizes. Then I went to Wally's and got some fake greenery - I left some vases empty and put the greenery in some. I put the vases and bottles on a white serving tray I already have:
I still had some space left on my tray, so I kept my eyes peeled for green glass bottles for the next couple of weeks. That's when I found the Mexican Currant Soda that I talked about here. So that's been added to my collection. It's weird; once you start looking for green glass bottles of different shapes and sizes, that's all you do forever. I really do need to add a few more skinny, shorter bottles to the tray, so if anyone comes across some, send them my way. And I want a cooler tray, one like they show on the Better Homes and Gardens website. Maybe I'll go to Pier One next year and find one.
I also implemented this idea from that same website:
What do you think of my decor? It really made things feel festive. I'm totally going to utilize a couple of the other ideas on that website for next year.
Now it's Easter decorating time, and I quite honestly hate all of my Easter decor, so I've been visiting the Better Homes and Gardens website again for the last few days. I particularly like these ideas and these ideas.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
They are such good grandparents. Very hands-on. Always playing with the kiddos. Gloria very patiently played Littlest Pet Shop with Sadie and Micah, for like two hours. I think I'd rather shoot myself.
At one point, they decided to play "Hot and Cold." They were hiding some object in the living room and playing - I don't know what the object was. I was in the kitchen making rolls. Benny took the following pictures. The kids had sooo much fun playing. Closing their eyes while Sadie hid the object:
Monday, March 28, 2011
Anyways, I've been wanting to get him into a sport for a zillion years, but I've never felt like we had the financial means to do it, but enough is enough. I'll let my grocery budget take a little cut. I've got to get him out and realizing that there is more to life than video games. I need to get him busy. We kind of missed the deadline for spring sports, but I had a talk with him and asked him what he wanted to do this summer - martial arts (he has asked to take Kung Fu before), golf, tennis, baseball... He said he definitely wanted to do martial arts. So I called around, and there were two places that were within our price range - the rest were REALLY spendy.
So we went to one - a Taekwon Do class. Um, all they did was yell. Maybe two kicks and two air karate chops. And that was it. At the beginning, they turned and faced the mommies, siblings, friends, etc., and asked/yelled for permission to start the class. They held up their hands weird - it looked like sign language for "tree" - "Permission to start taekwon do class!!!" And the parents had to stand up and yell back, with the weird hand thing, "PERMISSION GRANTED!" And then again, like, halfway through class, the kids turned around and were like, "I PROMISE NOT TO BACKTALK, AND TO DO MY CHORES, AND TO BE AN HONORABLE PERSON..." It went on forever. I mean, I liked what I was hearing, right? But then the parents had to stand up AGAIN and yell some chant back, something to the effect of, "I LIKE YOUR PROMISE, AND I PROMISE TO TAKE YOU TO TAEKWON DO FOR TEN BILLION YEARS AND SPEND TEN BILLION DOLLARS ON IT." And then again, at the end of class, there was the yelled permission to finish the class, and the permission granted by the parents. It all felt reaalllllllly cheesy.
During the class, I did like that the teacher taught them about strangers, had them define safe strangers and unsafe strangers (safe strangers are police officers, etc.), asked them if they knew their phone numbers, asked them if they knew their parents names... So when he asked who knew their phone number, I was proud of Dylan that he raised his hand and said our phone number. That is soooo not to my credit. He is just really good with numbers. Sadie doesn't have one clue what our number is. I'm bad. I need to work on that. So then, the teacher asked who knew their parents' names. And whoever raised their hand, and he called on, said their parents' names. Well, he calls on Dylan, and Dylan yells, "JAKOB AND BROCK!" The teacher cocks his head to one side, like, "Okayyyyyy..." Dylan turned around and smiled all big at me, like, "I'm so smart." And I mouthed to him, "JAKOB AND BROCK ARE NOT YOUR PARENTS' NAMES." Dylan mouthed back, "He said 'names of family members.'" I mouthed back, "No he didn't." It was really, really funny.
Anyways, (Sorry for the use of "anyways," Patty. It's just how I roll. I know it's not grammatically correct. But I know you love me ANYWAYS.) when I went up to the teacher afterwards, and said we would have to think about it and talk about it, I found out that the per-month price that I was quoted over the phone was only for the first month. Then, it doubles for every month thereafter. I was thinking, "Huh? You are asking to be paid how much? For yelling the whole time? Dylan yells at my house all day. For FREE." And this class only meets twice a week for half an hour each time.
So we tried the other cheaper place, also a Taekwon Do place. Which was for reals cheaper. Not pretend cheaper. It's actually offered at the same gym where I work out. It's four times a week, for an hour each time. And they actually DO stuff. Lots of running, kicking, punching, chopping, sparring, etc. It's awesome.
I picked him up after his trying-it-out class.
"Soooo," I said, grinning from ear to ear,"What did you think??"
He sighed. "It hurt my body soooo bad."
"What do you mean?"
"My leg muscles and my arm muscles really huuuuuurt."
I laughed. "Welcome to exercise, Dylan. That is how exercise feels. Ain't it wonderful?"
I told him he had to do this, or tennis, golf, baseball, or something else active this summer.
"Will those other things hurt my muscles?"
"You can bet on it."
"Well, then I guess I'll stick with Taekwon Do. I wonder how long it will take me to get my black belt. Maybe a year."
"Um, try ten years. Or fifteen."
"Are you serious?"
"From what I've heard."
We'll see how it goes. He liked his second and third classes a lot more. Although I mixed up the times and picked him up 15 minutes late today. He was totally crying when I got there. I felt really badly. I just can't get my act together.
I like what I see and hear there. The teacher is very into personal responsibility. If Dylan is late, he has to do push-ups. Even if it's his mom's fault that he's late. His uniform is his responsibility. If Mom forgets to put the washed uniform into the dryer, it's not her fault. It's his responsibility to make sure his uniform is washed and dry. They are constantly talking about courtesy, respect, and self-control. I've already seen a bit of a difference in Dylan's attitude this week. He's quicker to do his chores. He came home today and hung up his uniform nicely in his closet. I've NEVER seen him put his clothes away nicely. So hopefully this will be a really good thing for him.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
My friend, Megs, and I went to a Black Light Zumba class on Friday night. Ohhhh so fun. I mean, first of all, I love Zumba. Tonsandtonsandtons. I'm not quite as obsessed with it as I am with spinning, but still. It's up there. I think there are a couple of reasons it's not number one for me right now - 1) I think it's something that is really, really fun to do with a friend, but not really when you go by yourself. You just feel dumb by yourself. 2) I don't mind shaking my booty. I love dancing. It feels natural and wonderful for me. But I DON'T like looking at my fat belly in the mirror while I'm shimmying. Which is why Black Light Zumba was perfect for me. It was dark. So I felt free to just shake what the Lord gave me.
I heard about it because it was held at the gym where I work out. It was a fundraiser benefitting colon cancer - a worthy cause, for sure. But the minimum "donation fee" was $7, and I wasn't gonna spend $7, no matter how much I like black lights. But my sweet dad paid for two tickets and told me to invite someone out. Megs is obsessed with Zumba, so I, of course, asked her to come along.
It was packed. Like maybe 200 people? 250 people? It was in the big gymnasium, but still wayyyyy too crowded for an exercise class. Megs and I went over to one side to kind of avoid running into people or stepping on peoples' toes.
They handed out glow-in-the-dark bracelets to each person going in - I gave mine to Sadie when I came home, and she felt so special. Dylan was quite put out that I didn't have another one for him.
You know how, when black lights are on, anything you have on that is white is, like, blindingly bright? Some crazy ladies I saw bought some white thong panties and wore them over their dark yoga pants. It was funny. One of the teachers wove bright white ribbons through her hair, which looked crazy cool once the lights were on.
A local dance group did a hip-hop dance at the very beginning. I couldn't see very much, but I was REALLY impressed with what I saw. I had to try hard not to cry. It's weird - I get really emotional about dance. I start to cry and gulp a little bit whenever I see people dancing. I just miss it SO much. I was watching some dance competition the other night - is it called "Just Dance"? I think so. Anyways, there was a couple doing pas de deux, and I was just sitting there on the couch, giving Gage his bottle, and sobbing. When I was at spinning last night, the teacher played this song that I adore, and I closed my eyes and started choreographing a dance inside my mind. And the dance was so awesome and the music was so awesome, and before I knew it, I was tearing up, right in the middle of my speed pedaling. I had to open my eyes and think about something else. Ben and I were talking about this last night. He says I need to get back into dance and teach it. I would love to, but dude. I need to lose like 30 pounds. Not just to look good while dancing, but for safety's sake. I would twist the crap out of my ankles at this juncture. And I've been away from dance for so long, I don't know if I can get back in. It's been, like, 12 years since I last put on pointe shoes. I don't know. I consider it all the time, but I'm just not ready yet, maybe? And I'm so stinkin' busy. When would I find time to teach dance classes? I don't even have time to pee. Or, like, trim my fingernails. Seriously. I'm in full-blast Mommy Mode. I can give like half an hour a day to working out, but I can't give like four or five hours a day, a must for a dance teacher.
Anyways. Then they finally started the class, and it was so much fun. There were five zumba teachers up on the stage, and each of them taught maybe four dances. Those ladies have crazy amounts of energy. I get really jealous of people who have energy. I used to have energy, but thyroid disease will rob you of that. The energy in that room really was palpable. The music was fantastic, and I felt like I was in a high school dance. It was so much fun.
There was some confusion among the crowd about direction. Usually, in a class, the teacher is in front of you and facing the mirror. And if she goes left, you go left. If she goes right, you go right. You don't want to get seasick. But the teachers were on a stage, facing the crowd. Nobody could figure out what to do. Some people (like me) were avoiding the seasickness - if the teacher went left (our right), I went right. Some people were using the same foot as the teacher. So people were bouncing off each other all evening. It was funny.
So here's something new - there was a time when the teacher was having us jump up and down in place, feet together, one arm fist-pumping, Jersey Shore-style, and dude. I totally had some bladder leakage! How old am I, 86??? I guess this is what happens when you have four kids. I had to stop the jumping and just kind of march in place. Sad. I told Ben about it later, which was a huge mistake. He made fun of me for like three days, making jokes about buying me some Depends, blah blah blah. One thing about Ben - if you confide something embarrassing to him, he will tease you about it UNTIL YOU DIE. I should have learned my lesson by now. :)
The class was only supposed to last an hour, but it went way overtime, which was fine, but it was a Friday night, and I was missing my hubs, and Megs needed to get home, too, so she and I left after about an hour and fifteen minutes. They had free frozen yogurt for each lady as she left, which was awesome. Some new yogurt shop that wanted to get its name out there. I got the peach-flavored kind. Yummm. Dylan was also very jealous of my frozen yogurt.
Anyways, I had a great time. Thanks, Dad, for the tickets, and thanks, Megs, for coming with me!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
...of the 31 Day Blog Challenge - Create a list of your top 5 previous blog posts.
Yikes. Bikes. This was hard. I mainly chose posts that make me laugh:
Like a Freaker - a funny story about Dylan.
Mondegreens - this post makes me laugh sooooo hard. I am my own best audience.
Country Crock - a little poetic justice for my Nappy Neighbors.
Fantasy Football - again with the "own best audience" thing.
Look Like an Egyptian - my friend, Lish, wrote me an e-mail specifically to tell me how much she liked this post, so I thought it probably qualified.
Friday, March 25, 2011
But this little Dylan of mine wins soooooo much stuff. When he was in preschool, I took him to the dentist that I had grown up going to, and guess what? He won that big stuffed teddy bear. When he was in kindergarten, he entered a city-wide poster contest about bullying. When he turned his paper in, he said, "I KNOW I'm going to win, Mom." He was so confident. I told him that there were so many kids entering, that his chances were pretty narrow, but he just knew it would happen. And he won in the Kindergarten division for the whole city. He just won 2nd place in a city-wide coloring contest a couple of weeks ago, and now look what he got in the mail:
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
My dear friend, Megs, took Gage's six-month pics a few weeks ago. I LOVE HER WORK!! The kids brought home crappy school pictures again last week (which drives me crazy. Nowadays, they send you home this big packet of pics. Then you have to send a special note saying that you DON'T want to buy them. Such a racket...) and I kept telling them, "I'm not ever getting pictures from anyone but Megs. So let it go." This spring's pics were really bad. They're sitting in front of a backdrop of a fake cabin. Seriously.
Anyways, to see all of the gorgeous Gage pics, go here. You did a great job, Megs, as usual. I'm having the hardest time deciding which ones to buy! So I'm opening this up to my readers. All two of them. Which pics are your favorite? Like, your top two favorites?? Which ones would you hang on your wall?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Today, my mama came to visite moi. It was a nice surprise. I was about to settle my brain for a long winter's nap, but her visit refreshed me just as much as a nap would have. And let's be honest - can I really, truly get in a good nap with my oldest two awake? No.
So anyways, Mom was on one side of the couch, and I was on the other, and Sades was in between us, cuddling with Mom. It was cute. At one point, Sades looked up at Mom and said, "Did you bruss your teef dis morning?" Mom's all, "Well, yeah. Why?" Sadie paused, trying to find a nice way to say it. And then Mom figured out what Sadie was implying. "Ohhhh. Do I have bad breath? I'm sorry!" It was really funny. I felt like I had bad breath, too, so I got some gum out for all three of us. Then Mom and I continued to chat.
Suddenly, Sadie jerks away from Mom, looks at her accusingly, and says, "Thay it, don't thpray it, Gramma." I guess Mom had gleaked on her. Mom just couldn't win, I guess. It was funny.
Sadie really just says what she feels or thinks. She doesn't have much of a filter yet. My aunt is a little overweight. She came over a few months ago. Sadie looked at her and said, "You're big and fat! You're like a big round ball!" It was awful. I was so embarrassed. I talk to her about this kind of thing all the time. Hopefully soon she'll get it.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I like the areas he chose. Very urban.
I gave Lex those earrings for her birthday. Go me.
Don't they make a beautiful couple? We're so excited for them. We love Chris and are excited to have him in our family.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
frustrating moments, but on the whole, it's a really great job. I like having solitary time, and I like cleaning something that will stay clean for a few days, instead of for a few minutes. I have to go get some janitorial supplies tomorrow with my pops, including a zillion more kleenex boxes for the Mysterious Nose Blower to use up in one month. My least favorite janitor thing I do there is vacuuming. It takes two hours straight to vacuum that office building. It kills me. I literally get blisters on my vacuuming hand. My most favorite janitor thing to do is.... um, getting paid? Hahaha! Job #3: Scanner
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
He used to do the yelling thing when he was bored, but now I'm noticing that he also yells when he's hungry or tired: "Bahhhhhhhh!!! BAHHHHHHHHHH!!!" He's got a set of lungs on him. He gets that from his daddy. We were at Nat's house the other night and he was yelling so loudly that we couldn't hear each other, so I put him in Nat's bed and he fell asleep. He had just woken up and eaten before Nat's, but I guess he was still tired.
He is a daredevil. He loves being tossed in the air and lifted really high. He loves roughhousing. He really, really wishes he could stand up. His favorite toy is his bouncer, because he can just push and push on those legs. He doesn't really like to cuddle. He likes to use me as his human jungle gym.
I think that he thinks I'm the most boring person in the world. He hardly ever looks right at me. He looks around me, to the side, up high... never right at me. Unless I'm roughhousing, like he likes. Then he looks right at me and smiles and smiles.
He's very easy to smile, but he doesn't laugh very often. I love to hear his laugh.
He really isn't a fan of eating or drinking. They get in the way of him wiggling around. Meal time is not a fun time in our house for him. Or for Micah, come to think of it. Or Sadie. Hm. I introduced meats and fruits this month. He detests the meat and tolerates the fruit. It's weird. My other kids were so in love with eating, and with the baby fruit, especially. He's just not interested. We try our best.
The Thick-It continues to have been a miracle in our lives. He hardly barfs AT ALL. It's amazing.
His torticollis comes and goes. This week has been a really "crooked week" for him. For like three weeks before, he was straight as an arrow. I don't know what brings it on. We do lots of stretching to help. (By the way, we have a new OT!!! I'm sooooo excited. Go me for standing up for my kiddos. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, go here.)
He is still so in love with his feet, and it's his constant quest to remove his socks. He does this thing now where he brings his fist to his face and extends it out, several times, rapidly. It reminds me of what cheerleaders do with their fists, you know? In-in-OUT. Bringing their fists from their chests and out. Anyways, he does it so rapidly that sometimes he ends up smacking his face. He stops, looks confused, like, "Who just punched me?" and then continues.
He's a self-soother. He's always sucking on his fist. I love that he soothes himself. That's a very nice quality for a baby to have, in my experience. :)
He likes to scratch stuff. When I'm changing him on his changing table, he just scratches and scratches at the wall. Or, if we're on the floor, he'll scratch at the baby wipes container.
He loves bath time, and he splashes very, very violently. I'm usually soaking wet by the time I'm done washing him.
He is definitely all boy. Maybe he can give Micah some Boy Lessons. :)
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
I was really jealous of his membership, and I was busting my butt on my rapidly deteriorating treadmill at home every day. So I finally asked him if I could have his membership. He readily agreed, so I went in and switched it from him to me. This was in November or so, I think.
Anyways, normal treadmills are so EASY compared to my crappy one. (I hauled the crappy one to the dumpster. Much to the chagrin of my kids' Judgmental OT. She used to have Micah walk backwards on it. But I can't stand having stuff in my house that I don't use. I have to get it out, ASAP. It's a bit of an obsession with me.) I feel like I'm jogging on a cloud when I'm on a nice treadmill.
For a really long time, I just went in and jogged six days a week, and it was all good. Then I went to a spinning class with my dad, and I was HOOKED. I've gone to spinning before, and I liked it, but I wasn't in love with it. For some reason, this time, it stuck. Actually, I think I know the reason, now that I think of it. I think, when my dad showed me the part of the monitor that shows how many calories you burn, that's when it hit me how much I love spinning. I burn between 450 and 500 calories in just an hour. I only burn 150 calories when I jog for half an hour. If I jogged for an hour (which would be SO HARD), I would still not burn as many calories as I do in an hour of sitting on my butt and pedaling. Sitting on my butt? Yes, please. Mind you, it's not easy butt-sitting, but like I said, way easier than jogging for an hour.
I'm so obsessed. My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest, as Train would say. I get sooooo excited when it's Spinning Day. I go Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I actually WAKE UP EARLY on Saturdays so that I can get to spinning class. That's saying something. Because I REALLY love sleeping in. And then I jog on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Just because I don't want to lose where I've come in my jogging, you know? It's taken me so long to feel comfortable jogging, that I don't want to lose it. It's like if someone asked me to change from skiing to snowboarding. No thanks - I spent way too many years perfecting my skiing technique. I'm not throwing that away. You know what I mean? I was worried that cutting into my jogging by half would make jogging more difficult for me, but the strengthening of my legs through spinning has actually improved my jogging, which is nice.
Spinning is a blast. They turn on black lights in the spinning room, so you don't have to see peoples' nasty sweat flowing off of them (spinning is a sweaty business). I look really tan, and my teeth look really white. So I like those black lights. :) And there's such a sense of camraderie within the class. People yell and whistle and bellow smart-aleck remarks to the teacher. When we complete a particularly hard hill (heck, all hills are hard; let's face the truth here), you hear everyone yelping in relief and see everyone sitting up in their "saddle," wiping the sweat off their face with their towels, gulping gallons of water, and "jogging" (standing up and pedaling) to give their legs a break.
I've never drunk so much water in my life. You just can't get enough of it in spinning class. I usually go through two bottles of water in one class. When I come out of the room, you can see where my fat rolls are on my stomach, because my sweat has made lines above and below each roll. Sad. :) But that's why I'm there, right? To hopefully make those rolls get smaller. But if they don't, oh well. One of our instructors isn't a perfect size 3, but she's strong. And she's really funny. Which is all that matters, right?
Each teacher has a different taste in music. I often sit there and make a list of what I would play if I was a spinning teacher. It would be so awesome. Well, I might be the only one who thinks it's awesome. Not many people like Prince. Whose real, given first name is Prince. I just found that out today.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
After I got my medicine, we headed down to the teeny-tiny toy section. She immediately saw the object of her desire - a little Disney princess purse that comes with two kinds of lip gloss and a hand mirror. It was well within her price range, so I said okay and started ushering the kids down the aisle.
And then I saw Micah's little eyes. He was staring at Sadie's new purse soooo longingly. He wasn't begging for it, but dang. He just melted my heart. So I went ahead, and for the first time, bought him something girly - his own identical purse to Sadie's.
It's just that... he doesn't play with any of his boy toys. He spends his whole day, every day, stealing Sadie's toys. I thought it might be nice, for once, for him to have a toy that he likes and doesn't try to steal from anyone else. So there you have it.
He LOVES his purse. He applies and re-applies his lip gloss, to the point where it's almost gone. And he sneaks over to Gage and puts lip gloss all over him, too - his cheeks, his hair, etc. Gage has been greasy for a few days, thanks to his big bro.
He calls his lip gloss, his makeup. But he doesn't remember that it's called "makeup." He calls it his "hiccups." "Mommy, where my hiccups?" He's funny.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
31- Day Blog Challenge:
Day 1 - A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2 - Tell us about your job.
Day 3 - Your idea of the perfect date.
Day 4 - Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 - A photo of yourself two years ago.
Day 6 - Create a list of your top 5 previous blog posts.
Day 7 - Your Favorite Photo from your Wedding.
Day 8 - A song to match your mood.
Day 9 - A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 - A photo of your favorite place to eat.
Day 11 - What's in your makeup bag?
Day 12 - A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 13 - Your favorite musician and why?
Day 14 - A TV show you're currently addicted to.
Day 15 - Something you don't leave the house without.
Day 16 - A fond childhood memory.
Day 17 - A photo of you and your family.
Day 18 - Share a quote that you love, and why.
Day 19 - Your favorite place to travel.
Day 20 - The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 - A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 - Your favorite flavor of ice cream.
Day 23 - 15 facts about you.
Day 24 - A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 - Your 5 favorite shops.
Day 26 - Top 5 items in your closet.
Day 27 - A picture of you last year and now and how you have changed since then?
Day 28 - Tell us about your spouse.
Day 29 - Ten books on your book shelf.
Day 30 - Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 31 - A photograph of yourself today plus three good things that happened to you today.
Friday, March 11, 2011
I'd never heard of The Aluminum Show before, but when I heard that there was a lot of dancing, I was, of course, game. I love me some dancin'.
Kay. So, I thought maybe there would be a lot of drumming, like on aluminum trash cans or something? That's what I imagined. But the aluminum show has no drumming. Almost the whole show is done with those vent thingeys, like that go from your dryer to the outside of your house. The ones that are expandable and bendy, like a covered slinky.
There was a bit of a storyline - there are these two big slinky animal thingeys, and they have a little baby animal slinky, and the baby gets seperated from his parents. He makes friends with a human, and together, they try to find the parents. Honestly, I didn't think that a storyline was necessary. I think the show would have been better with just several different, cool, aluminum-inspired dance numbers. But I know the story tugged at the heartstrings of the kiddies in the audience.
And it was extremely kid-friendly. I kept thinking about how much Dylan would have loved it. There's a part where the dancers release hundreds of these filled-up aluminum pillow thingeys into the audience, and the audience hits them up into the air, and the music is loud and pumping, and there are strobe lights...it feels like a big party:
My favorite part was these giant slinky creatures that did a hip-hop dance:
They did one number with the slinky thingeys and no music, just kind of hitting them and opening them and closing them. It reminded me of what I've heard of that Stomp show:
There was one part that reminded me of Carnivale down in Brazil, with crazy headdresses and capes and things:
Anyways. The show was phenomenal. It was so fun to do something different. The music was so wonderful - I would love to own it. It's all fast, with a heavy beat. Perfect music for working out. Or scrubbing my floor. I had to constantly fight the urge to jump up and do some Jersey Shore-inspired fist-pumping.
Thanks so much, Mom!!!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Anyways, though the professors mainly gave us free reign over our extracurricular activities there in the city, they would sometimes suggest things to go to. Dr. C, the main professor of our group, is a humanities professor. Obviously, VERY into art. He arranged a time for whoever wanted to, to go to a furniture exhibition. I really didn't care that much about spending my time to see furniture, plus I had to read and write a paper on Heart of Darkness, a novella by Joseph Conrad. Our studies over there were EXTREMELY rigorous. I swear we were all trapped in the center for a month during midterms. It made me resentful. Here I was, in this amazing city to which I might never get a chance to return, and I was sitting in the library, studying my brains out. Oh well.
Anywho, I was with a couple of friends when I went down to breakfast the day of the furniture exhibition trip. We saw Dr. C there in the foyer.
"So, Karlenn, are you going to this furniture exhibition with us today?" he said, with a huge anticipatory grin on his face.
"Um, well, no...."
"What? Why not?"
"Well, I still have to read House of Darkness. And you know, it's just... furniture. It's not like it's art or anything."
He stomped his little foot. He is a very little man. "Karlenn," he yelled, "Furniture IS art!!! And it's HEART of Darkness, not HOUSE of Darkness! It would be a lot more of a convincing excuse if you at least got the NAME right!"
My friends and I laughed and laughed. We quoted him for weeks after that - "Furniture IS art!!!"
Last weekend, my sis, Lex, invited the fam to go with her to the Bodies exhibit that's being displayed at our city's museum. She's gone to it before and just adored it. She's all sciencey. Always has been. I was a little trepidatious. I remember when I took Anat and Phys in high school - we took a field trip up to Ricks, as it used to be called, to watch the pre-med students there dissect human bodies. I'll never forget how awful that was for me. I could see the peoples' hair sticking up out of the cloths that were covering their faces. It was the hair and the fingernails that really got to me. I kept thinking, "A few weeks ago or whatever, those fingernails were moving. They were writing and gesturing and helping, and now they're not." It was traumatic for me. I'm a sensitive flower. :) Plus, the formaldehyde was a killer for me. Oh, the smelllllllll..... As Joseph Conrad would say, "The horror! The horror!!!"
When Lex initially told me all about the exhibit when she saw it in Vegas a few years ago, I was like, ugh. Dissection flashback. Nooooo thanks. But, when she invited us last weekend, I went along in the interest of not getting left out. That's always a huge motivator for me.
But that was not the case at ALL. The feeling in the exhibit was absolute reverence. The man who came up with these things was not trying to be funny or bombastic. He wanted to show us how amazing the human body is. People spoke in respectful whispers. Yes, there were peoples' testicles and breasts, just out there for everyone to see, but there were no snickers or snide remarks. It was just a feeling of awe. It honestly, seriously, reminded me of the reverence and respect that I feel when I'm in the temple. I kept thinking, over and over, "God is amazing. Our bodies are amazing. They are a true miracle."
I'm here to say that bodies ARE art.
Some things that stuck out for me -
They had a little thyroid display, which is interesting to me for obvious reasons. I got to see a real thyroid gland. And I got to see a thyroid gland that has a goiter on it, from untreated thyroid disease. I thought to myself, "I had one of those in my neck! And there it is!!!"
The bodies, and the body parts, looked...plastic. They are preserved in such a way that makes them just seem like plastic displays. I had to keep reminding myself that these were real bodies and real organs. They also injected certain things with colors, making them very bright. Which made the plastickeyness even more defined. Yes, I just made up a word - plastickeyness.
The alveoli that function within the lungs are BEAUTIFUL. They look like baby's breath. So pretty. True art. And the liver is really pretty. So smooth. It looked like clay.
I have a friend with a pituitary tumor, and there was a brain that was cut in half, showing the pituitary nestled right there in the middle of it. It's so tiny. It's amazing that something so tiny controls so many really important things.
Speaking of tiny, the brain is smaller than I thought. And the ovaries are smaller than I thought.
And the kidneys are ENORMOUS! I always thought they were little, like, I don't know... kidney beans, honestly. But they're the size of my fist!
They had a room of just the circulatory system. This scientist dude figured out a way to inject something into the veins that hardened them and turned them bright red. Then he put some kind of chemical onto the skin that melted the skin, muscles, everything else away, leaving an entire, intact circulatory system, just by itself. It was suspended in some kind of liquid. That was amazing. I thought that we had, like, a few veins in each arm and leg, and a bunch of big ones in our thoracic area. But there are billions of littler veins and arteries that branch out of the big ones. The poster next to it said that there are 10,000 miles of just veins and arteries in one body! AMAZING!
There were lots of displays showing a normal organ, vs. a diseased organ, side-by-side. I got to see all kinds of organs with cancer in them. There was a whole woman body who had died of undetected breast cancer. And you could see the cancer, right there in her breast. Which made me panic. Should I start to get mammograms? I need to look that up. I feel like people say you start getting them when you're forty, if you don't have a family history of breast cancer, which I don't. Other cancers, yes. But not breast. So far.
The most interesting thing for me was the smoker's lungs, vs. normal lungs. OH MY GOSH. What a difference. A normal set of lungs is pinkey-peach. Beautiful. Smooth. The smoker's lungs were dark grey, with big black spots all over them. It was such a stark contrast. There is a big, clear, plastic box in between both lungs, with a slit in the top for people who want to stop smoking to throw their boxes of cigarettes in. There were a few packs, plus a big cigar in there. I've heard that, in different cities, as the exhibit goes on, that box fills up and up and up to the very top by the end of the exhibit. This is the very beginning, so there wasn't much there. It made me wonder if those packs were put there by a museum curator, or by real people. One little girl led her grandmother over to the lungs and said, "Look, Gramma. Look at what you're doing to yourself." The grandma just chuckled and walked away. That's probably what most people do. :)
There was a cross section of a person's head, a person who had suffered from a stroke. It showed a dark area where the hemorrhaging had occurred. I thought that was really interesting.
The Fetus Room. Ah, the Fetus Room. They have a sign outside of it, warning you that, if you're sensitive to things like this, don't go in. I worried at first, but then decided to go in and see. I'm so glad I did. All of the fetuses in there died of natural causes during pregnancy. And again, they all looked plastic. They had fetuses clear from one week old to about 25 weeks old, all lined up from youngest to oldest. It was so amazing. Again, I kept thinking, "Heavenly Father is amazing. It's a miracle!" How quickly they grow and develop. I was just blown away. It was kind of hard for me to see the little fetus that was 8 weeks old. I had a miscarriage three years ago, and I just... couldn't take my eyes off that little guy. I shed a few tears. But it really was okay. It didn't traumatize me. It just made me think, Wow. I'm glad I got a D&C instead of passing the baby at home. They really are quite big by then, and they definitely look like little babies. I don't think I could have handled that. It's amazing that they already look like babies at only 8 weeks.
So anyways. It was wonderful. I'm so glad I went! I'm a very sensitive girl, but it was not hard for me to see these things at all. Heavenly Father is amazing. Our bodies are amazing. And we need to take better care of them. That stuck out to me, as well.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Dude, I've had it up to here with Gage and Micah's O.T. I was just going to kind of wait it out until Micah graduates from the Infant/Toddler program in May, but now that Gage has qualified because of his torticollis, I'm stuck with her for like another two and a half years. I don't think I can do it anymore.
She is sooooo judgmental of me. And she gives me the third degree every single week:
OT: So how has Gage been eating this week?
Me: You know, not that great. I find that he's too full after cereal and veggies to drink his bottle. So I wait an hour and then give him the bottle.
OT: Does he like his veggies?
Me: Yeah; I put a little sugar in them. I've done that with all four kids.
OT: You are NOT supposed to put sugar in their veggies. Then they all taste the same, and they won't acquire the taste needed to enjoy veggies in later life. Do your other kids like veggies?
Me: Um, Micah doesn't, but Dylan and Sadie do.
OT: Are you sure?
Me: Uh, yeah... And doesn't squash with sugar just taste like...squash with sugar? And doesn't green beans taste like green beans with sugar? I don't think they necessarily all taste the same.
OT: Trust me on this one. How do you feed Gage his veggies and cereal?
Me: Um, veggies first, then cereal.
OT: Do you ever mix them?
Me: Nah, but my husband does.
OT: That is a BAD idea. Then Gage will get confused about differentiating tastes. Tell your husband not to do that anymore.
And on and on. As the Black-Eyed Peas would say, "On and on and on and on and..... onandonandonandonand..."
And she tells me roughly ten zillion things I'm supposed to do with all of my kids every single day. Not only for Gage and Micah, but also things that I'm supposed to do with Dylan and Sadie. Based on her meeting each of them, like, once. If I did everything she said to do, then I would never cook dinner. Or go pee. Or take a shower. Seriously. And some of the things she tells me to do contradict one another. I'm supposed to give him two hours of tummy time. And two hours of side-lying time. And two hours of practicing-sitting time. But if we did that, he would never take a nap, you know? Yet I'm supposed to give him three to four naps per day.
I'm trying to do as much as possible, but I'm kind of stretched thin here. I'm taking care of four kids, plus a neighbor girl 24/7, I swear (the drug dealer's daughter. I actually took her with us when we got haircuts, and paid for her to get her hair cut, too. It was gross). I work roughly 20 hours a week at my job. I'm up at 7 and to bed at midnight. My husband doesn't do much cleaning or cooking, so it all falls to me. There's only so much that one girl can do, you know?
And here's the thing - my OT doesn't have any kids. So I don't think she understands my time constraints. Or my stress level.
I just miss the good old days, when Micah liked his OT, Lisa. She would come, work with him, give me a couple of ideas, and leave. And the next week, she didn't put me in the hot seat about it.
I think I told you that Micah and the OT fought for an entire hour over him eating one grape, right?? The other day, they fought the entire hour over him unzipping a zipper on a purse. She wanted him to unzip the zipper. He didn't want to. He tried to get away. She held her legs around him to keep him there. He screamed for an entire hour. She spent the entire hour saying, "Wow, you must really let him get away with murder. It's like he's not used to hearing the word 'no.'" And me saying, "No, trust me, I don't let him get away with murder. He's just stubborn." Tired of the judging, dude.
I know that I need to call and arrange a different OT for us, but I've been putting it off. I just don't want to be one of THOSE parents, who are like, "Wahhh, this is hard, I'm quitting." Like the parents of the students I used to teach, who, when their kid messed around in my class and got a bad grade as a result, transferred their kid to a different teacher. You know what I mean? I don't want Micah growing up to think that it's okay to give something up just because it's hard, or that if you don't like a person with whom you're working, that you can immediately get someone new. So for now, I'm just... thinking. And complaining. :)