Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Anger Issues

Me, calmly: Would you mind feeding the kids so I can finish this?

Darling: Okay.

...10 minutes later...

Me, noticing the kids are not being fed while Darling is watching TV: Would you please feed the kids while I finish this?  It has to get done.

Darling: Got it.

...15 minutes later...

Me, filthy from the job I'm working on, seeing the kids aren't getting fed: Honey, would you please feed the kids?  I can't leave this right now.

Darling: What? I don't know what they want to eat.

Me: How about grilled cheese or cereal or sandwiches?  Ask them.

Darling: I don't know what they want to eat.  What do they want to eat?  When will you be done?  Why did you even start this now when you knew they'd be hungry?

Me: I'm doing this because you asked me to get it done today.  You told me it needed to get done today and because we're trick-or-treating later, it has to get done now.  Please feed the kids.  Offer them cereal or grilled cheese or PB&J.  Please feed them.  Get them started and they can help make whatever they choose. They're hungry and starting to melt down.

Darling: What do they want to eat?  I don't know what they want to eat.

Me:  SERIOUSLY?  ASK THEM!  Give them a couple options and ASK THEM.  Feed the kids, PLEASE!

Darling: You really have anger issues.

Yeah.  I obviously have serious anger issues.

~ G

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Don't Negotiate With Terrorists

I don't negotiate with terrorists.

If you fling yourself on the floor and cry in protest...

If you whine and complain and carry on...

If you stonewall and act like the world owes you something...

If you pitch a fit because you aren't getting your way...

If I ask you to do something and you fail to do it...

If you can't seem to get along nicely with other people simply because they exist...

You are a terrorist.

I don't care if you're only 3 or 5 or 7 or 9 or 12 years old.

I will not negotiate with you.

Don't mess with me.

I have enough self-control to outlast you... and I will.

Make no mistake that you will lose your bid to control this family.

I make no apologies for doing my dead-level best to turn you into a decent human being and I am willing to go down in flames trying.

Feel free to tell your friends.

I make no apologies.

I'm a mean Mother.

~ G

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Loving Attention

Darling just got home.  Late.

The boys have been waiting for him because they practice spelling words together.  Darling just walked in the door and Middle One immediately started talking about what he's wearing for Red Ribbon Week tomorrow.

Darling stood there and looked at him and gave him such loving attention that it took my breath away.

I love that man.  I love how he loves our kids.  I love that even after a long day at work, he can come in the door and even before dropping his briefcase, he can stand and listen to our son with rapt attention.

How does he do that?

~ G

Twix Issue

Let the record show that there's a whole bag of mini-Twix sitting in the Trick-or-Treat cauldron and I. have. not. had. one.

It is taking great, huge, heaving, overwhelming, breathtaking amounts of self-control to not rip into that bag and roll in it's chocolatey, crispy, caramely goodness.

Oh.  The agony.

Yes, I have a Twix issue.

I'd better start thinking of something else quickly.  Suggestions?

~ G

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not Such A Crap Mommy

Every now and then one of the kids will do something so sweet it takes my breath away.

Today, Little One walked her stuffed puppy to her bed.  She carried him and said sweet things to him as she laid him... wait, he's a her.  The puppy's a "her."  She told me that on our drive home.  So she was tucking her into bed.

I followed her silently, listening.

She repeated what she's heard me say to her over and over and over and over...

when I'm not cranky.

This is what she's heard.  This is what she is enacting.  She's remembering the sweet mommy times.  She thinks this is how a mommy behaves.

Sigh.  Relief.

Maybe I'm not such a crap mommy after all.

~ G

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This WAHM Stuff

I've been a SAHM for almost ten years.  This summer I took a job that uses my skills from my pre-mom career to work part-time at home.

It has kicked my butt.

It has changed my family dynamic.  It has changed how I managed time.  It has changed my friendships.

I don't care for it, it's been a nuisance, it makes me sad, respectively.

The truth - the hard, ugly, truth is that we need the money.  We have to have the money.

I like the paychecks.  I like that I'm remembering what I did before kids and that I was kinda good at it.  I like that there's an opportunity to make it full time from home.  I like that the money for the full time position would be so much awesomer than what I make now.  Yes, I said awesomer.  It's not a word.  In case you felt the need to confer with a Dictionary.

I'm here to tell you that this WAHM stuff is hard.  It's hard.

There are a few things I have learned, though.

Excuse me.  I have to wake up the kids and get them ready for school.  I'll be back later to tell you what I learned.

Maybe I need to work on my time management...

~ G

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm a Sucker for a Smile

Have you ever noticed how smiling at someone can lighten your day and make a grump smile back?  Little One and I were grocery shopping today.  We had made our way through the store to the toothpaste and toothbrushes.  With coupons, Crest was $0.25 a tube and toothbrushes were free.  (Amen.)

Anyway, a store employee was in front of the display with her huge cart.  Seriously, it was huge.  It was one of those ladder cart things.  It looked like fun to climb, actually.

If the boys had been with us I would have had to hold them back and threaten them with no TV for a week to keep them off it. It looked like the grocery store version of an amusement park.

She was kind of grumpy.  She asked if she was in the way and I said, laughing, "Yes!  You're totally in the way."  I smiled at her.

She laughed.  She smiled. I smiled.

When Little One and I were checking out, the employee was working as a cashier.  She caught my eye and smiled at me.

My grocery shopping day felt so much lighter - even though Little One declared, LOUDLY, in the line that she had to make pee NOW and we had to race to the potty.

*Grin* I'm a sucker for a smile.

~ G

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In Case You Have Forgotten: The Oil Spill

Was surfing and found this oldie, but goodie.  Does three months ago count as an "oldie?"  I'm guessing it does in our current "I remember nothing from last week, much less farther back" culture.

As you go to the polls, remember this and consider those in his party who defended his actions.  Do we really need to vote for them?  If you need more help making your decision, consider this.

Oil Spill Timeline Update Day 84 from RightChange on Vimeo.

~ G

Friday, October 22, 2010

Best Thing I Read All Week

Hands down, this is the funniest thing I've read all week.  S.E.'s Mom, I just might start quoting you.   The whole page - heck, the whole site - is excellent.  Here's a sampling:

Dear Beloved Readers, 
S.E.'s Italian grandmother has a classic line that she would deliver to my brother and I when our sparring reached a fever pitch and she was seconds away from grabbing the wooden spoon. It stopped us dead. She would look at us with wide eye and gritted teeth and exclaim,... read it here - scroll down the page.

It's just wonderful.

~ G

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lying Scale?

What's the deal?  I got on the scale yesterday and was *at* my wedding weight.  (Yea, me!)

Fat percentage was down to 28.4% - huge improvement. (Yea, me!)

I stepped off the scale, turned it off.  Weighed again and got the same results.


How come my measurements are the same and my jeans don't fit any better?  Anyone?  Someone?

~ G

Sarah's Got It

Sarah Palin just posted this on Facebook.  If you're on Facebook, I encourage you to "friend" her.  You'll get her notes at the exact time as everyone else.  It's lovely, lovely to read her thoughts at the same time as the MSM.  I like reading her thoughts without having to rely on some talking head or a snail trail.

Juan Williams: Going Rogue

by Sarah Palin on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 12:45pm

At a time when our country is dangerously in debt and looking for areas of federal spending to cut, I think we’ve found a good candidate for defunding. National Public Radio is a public institution that directly or indirectly exists because the taxpayers fund it. And what do we, the taxpayers, get for this? We get to witness Juan Williams being fired from NPR for merely speaking frankly about the very real threat this country faces from radical Islam.

We have to have an honest discussion about the jihadist threat. Are we not allowed to say that Muslim terrorists have killed thousands of Americans and continue to plot the deaths of thousands more? Are we not allowed to say that there are Muslim states that aid and abet these fanatics? Are we not allowed to even debate the role that radical Islam plays in inciting this violence?

I don’t expect Juan Williams to support me (he’s said some tough things about me in the past) – but I will always support his right and the right of all Americans to speak honestly about the threats this country faces. And for Juan, speaking honestly about these issues isn’t just his right, it’s his job. Up until yesterday, he was doing that job at NPR. Firing him is their loss.

If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it’s time for “National Public Radio” to become “National Private Radio.” It’s time for Congress to defund this organization.

NPR says its mission is “to create a more informed public,” but by stifling debate on these issues, NPR is doing exactly the opposite. President Obama should make clear his commitment to free and honest discussion of the jihadist threat in our public debates – and Congress should make clear that unless NPR provides that public service, not one more dime.

Mr. President, what say you?

- Sarah Palin 

Funny.  What she's saying about NPR and Juan Williams also applies to my thoughts on the bullying discussion.  Are we becoming so afraid of offending the easily offended that we're dumbing down our ability to speak?  Is it possible we have looming issues before us because people are simply failing to speak truth for fear of being offensive?

~ G

Monday, October 18, 2010

RED - Most Excellent

Darling and I had an unexpected date night last weekend.  It was unexpected because we hadn't planned it, but were able to secure a sitter mere hours before heading out on the town.  Well, "out on the town" is a bit of an exaggeration for our dates.  Really, we're just happy to be out of the house and to have the chance to hold hands.  Ah, how lovely to hold a hand that doesn't feel slightly sticky or crunchy... where do the kids get the grime on their hands?

Last night we saw RED.  Just in case you haven't see the trailer, here it is:

We loved it!  It's a fast-paced, smart, treasure-trove of all the actors we've enjoyed watching for the past twenty years in a witty format.  It was a blast!

What made our experience so much fun was exactly the same thing that made Gran Torino so fun.  We saw it in a theater packed with grown-ups.  There were no kids in the theater.  I'm in my late 30's and was probably one of the youngest people in the theater.  We all laughed at the same references and we laughed at the same jokes.  The same things made us snort.  That made it fun!  It's a movie for grown-ups.  We've all seen Die Hard.  We all saw it in the theater... when it was new.  We know these actors and have a history with them.  Seeing them in the same movie, some of them (like Malkovich) vamping on their reputations and others (like Mirren) thumbing their noses at their reputations made it positively enjoyable.

Darling and I saw the movie first, then tried out a new Asian fusion restaurant.  Eh, I'm not a fan of the "fusion."  Choose what you do and do it well, stop trying to be all things to all people.  It was acceptable food, with delightfully charming company.

We got to connect, we got to laugh, we got to talk uninterrupted, we got to be grown-ups.  Most excellent.

~ G

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Could It Be?

A baby for Rachel Zoe and her hubby Rodger Berman?  Joan Rivers said it on this Fashion Police and then I saw it online in several places.  It's online so it must be true... right?  No, no, that's not outrageous, hysterical laughter you're hearing.

How sad is it that I'm grinning and happy for a woman 1) I don't even know and 2) who might not actually be pregnant?

Come to think of it 3) would throw out most of the contents of my closet because I'm a mom and most of the last decade's budget has gone to the kids and not my clothes, but 4) from whom I would gladly accept a makeover.

And yes... I watch Fashion Police.  I like "Bitch Stole My Look."  Please give me some time to come to terms with my latest tv guilty pleasure.

Ahem,  I'm just sayin'

~ G

Sweet, Sweet Racism

Woke up this morning after having a fabulous date night with Darling (more on that in another post), dropped the Sunday paper out of the plastic sleeve and plucked out the two eh, sections I read first on Sunday morning: the Target ad and Parade Magazine.  I heart the questions on the back of the Parade cover.

Per my usual Sunday ritual, I read Parade with coffee in hand.  The fam was fed and the kids had happily scampered off to play trains.  (No joke, it was like a Norman Rockwell painting around here this morning.)  I sat in my chair and read Parade, finally get to Soledad O'Brien's piece on how racism spurred her to succeed.  Great.  I just love me a good article about someone pontificating about racism.  Crap.

So, I read anyway because I happen to like Soledad O'Brien - but I'm getting mighty tired of hearing people trade their wares using the race card.  And here's why:

Has it ever, possibly, maybe, incidentally occurred to anyone who's carrying a racism chip on their shoulder that possibly, maybe, incidentally, they misinterpreted someone's statement?  Maybe?  Possibly?

O'Brien's story, in a nutshell, is that she and her sister were going to a photo studio to get their portraits made as an anniversary gift for their parents.  The photographer asked, "forgive me if I'm offending you, but are you black?"  Her older, 14 year-old sister squared her shoulders and they stalked off in a huff at the obvious, terrible racist comment of the racist photographer.  "Forgive me if I'm offending you..." As we all know, 14 is an age of rational reason, maturity, and clear-thinking.  Obviously.

Just a question: Is is possible, just maybe, that he was asking because he had a compliment for them?  Is it possible that he had something else to say that might not have been racist?  Is it possible he was asking "forgive me..." because he wasn't thinking they should be ashamed of their heritage, but that it's just rude to ask?  Is it possible he was asking forgiveness because he wanted to say "you have the most beautiful skin/hair/eye color I've ever seen" and he knew a grown man saying those things to young girls might be a little creepy?  They'll never know, will they?  They were so busy carrying their boulder-sized chips on their shoulders, they didn't bother to find out.  They huffed out of the store with self-righteous indignation.  That incident spurred O'Brien to make something of herself and prove that racist man wrong  and show that she was something.

Now, pardon me, but I think we have a problem here.  We're so sure that people are insulting us we don't bother to find out why  - or even what - they really mean.  This applies to many situations.  Let's explore this a little more:

When I was 10 and at the neighborhood swimming pool, I was about to jump in the water when a kid from my class yelled out, "there she blows, a hump like a whale!"  Now, that was nearly 30 years ago, but I can still tell you everything about that day.  I can tell you his name.  I can tell you where he was standing.  I can tell you what his swimsuit looked like.  I can tell you how I felt and I can tell you that for the first time in my life - because of that comment - I began to worry that I was fat.  Forevermore, my ears pricked to any possibly comment, insinuation, fart-in-the-wind-notion that I might be fat.

The truth is, he was also 10 and for all I know, he had just seen the movie "Mody Dick."  He had (still has?) older brothers and it's possible one of them read "Moby Dick" for class the previous school year and he'd heard that line a gagillion times around the house and thought he'd try it on for size when he was at the pool.  It probably had nothing to do with me or my size.  Looking back at pictures, I wasn't fat - not even close.  He was just a dumb 10 year-old kid, wasn't he?  But, I gave him power over me with that comment and I attributed meaning to those words that probably had no grounding in his reality.  I based my self-image on that dumbass comment for decades.  What a colossal waste of my energy.

Want another example?

A few years ago, I was talking with a neighborhood girl about possibly babysitting.  She was very sweet and just breathtakingly beautiful.  We were talking in the front yard one afternoon as she walked home from the school bus stop and I asked where she lived.  She lived 6-7 houses up on the right.  I was thinking that her mom was the children's book author (and fabulous gardener) who lived 6-7 houses up on the right.  So, I asked, "what does your mom look like?"  I was thinking she might be that lovely author with the long hair and the lovely jawline (yes, I notice jawlines because I wish I had one - thanks punk kid at the pool).

The girl got very quiet, suddenly looked withdrawn, and responded, "my mom's white."  Whoa.  Frankly, I hadn't noticed the color of her skin.  I was looking at her hair and her pretty eyes and jawline and thought she looked like the author and was really just trying to place her geographically on our street.  Damage done.  I had offended her.

Somewhere along the way, she willingly placed a chip on her shoulder (like Soledad O'Brien about her heritage and me about my weight) and couldn't just hear the question as someone trying to figure out which mom up the street was hers, but rather that it was an indictment about her heritage.  I was so flummoxed as to why she got quiet and offended that it didn't occur to me to say I was thinking she might be the author's daughter.  She slunk home, probably convinced that she'd been insulted - never having heard that I thought she was beautiful and might be related to the beautiful author.  She heard race.

So I ask you, dear readers, is it possible, just maybe, that comments people hear and take to heart as an indictment of them have nothing to do with the them but are actually questions that might lead to something they want to hear?

Most Americans are kind people.  Most Americans have open minds.  Most Americans don't live to hurt others' feelings.  Most Americans don't even see color.  Yes, some do.  Some are racist.  However, most Americans are not racist.  So how come so many people try to make a buck (or win elections) preying on the notion that racism is alive and well and we have to fight it?  I guess that maybe when it comes to not having a story to tell or needing to explain a bad attitude, it's better to just rely on sweet, sweet racism.  It's politically expedient to attempt to shut down conversation by calling any dissension "race based."  It gets everyone so riled up, no?

Chances are good I'll be vilified merely for deigning to write about race.  In that case, I thank you for proving my point.

~ G

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Totally Worth the $30

For the past 6 years, I've had a basic little cell phone.  I didn't text, nor did I feel the need to text... until recently.  Suddenly, everyone said "text me" or asked me to text them.  Groan. Poo.  Sigh.  Growl.  We'll see.  Bah. Okay.

I upgraded my service.  Darling wants to keep his basic phone, so I left his phone alone and upgraded mine to a smartphone and signed on for the obligatory data/text package.  In the process, I added *gulp* $30 to our bill.  If you don't know already, let me tell you: I don't like spending money if I don't have to spend it.  The concept of "to text or not text," to spend money on an upgrade, has weighed on me.  Is this really worth it?  I wondered and wondered...

Until this morning.

Last week I volunteered to take a meal to a new mom today.  She said she lived "in the 'hood," but that didn't phase me.  No problem.  No sweat.  Make the meal, get it packed, pull out my nifty new smartphone and use Google maps to figure out how to get there.  Excellent.  Directions and map in hand, Little One and I head out.

We pull up to the house and the sidewalk doesn't exist.  No prob.  Little One and I get out with the food and head to the door.  The door isn't latched and looks... abused.  The house isn't locked.  The man who answers the door may or may not look slightly menacing.  Still, no sweat.  I smile, tell him congratulations on the new baby.  I hand the bagged meal over and proceed with Little One back to the car.  It's all good and we're on our way.  I open Little One's door.

And then... without warning...the hair on the back of my neck stands up.  I don't know what it is.  I don't know why I suddenly feel scared.  But I feel scared.  Scared.  Vulnerable.  I glance around and don't see any reason to be scared, but the feeling that something is really, desperately, wrong won't leave me.  My personal feeling is that the good Lord has given each of us an internal Holy Spirit alarm system and when we feel scared, uneasy, worried,  or alarmed, we had best listen to that still small voice and get out of there (be it a place, a relationship, or whatever.)

Naturally, Little One chooses this moment to pitch a fit about getting in the car.  She then proceeds to pitch a fit about getting in her car seat.  Then she proceeds to fuss about getting buckled.  "No!  I DO IT!" she screams.

My heart is pounding.  I try to breathe into it and settle myself.  It isn't working.  My usual tough-mama-bear sensibility has been replaced with I'm-no-tougher-than-Bambi's-mama-and-I-have-to-get-us-outta-here.  And I can't get Little One in her seat and buckled fast enough.

Finally, we are both buckled and I can drive.  And drive I do.  And get lost.  I rarely, if ever, get lost.  I'm lost. I still feel uneasy.  Really, really uneasy.  And find myself deep, deep in the 'hood.  My usually awesome-sense-of-direction is shot and my usually calm-in-the-face-of-danger persona has all but fled.  All I can think is I have to get us out of here, but I have no idea how to do it.

At the next stop sign, I snatch up the phone, plug our home address into Google maps and within seconds, I have a map out of the 'hood.  No shuffling around for the Mapsco.  No looking at street signs and trying to remember where I am in relation to the highway.  (Which is good, because as I just established, my reasoning skills are currently shaky.)  Thirty minutes and some "thank you, Lords" later, we are home.

And my revised thoughts on the smartphone?  Totally worth the $30.

~ G

In Case You Missed It

I refer you back to this.  Repost it.  Print it.  Pass out copies.  Tweet it.  Post it on Facebook.  Share it with your favorite college student.  Send a copy to your spouse, your mother, your father, you crazy aunt, your brother who only believes what he can read.

Just a friendly little PSA, just in case you missed it.

~ G

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eh, One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days when every interaction feels somewhat unsatisfactory?  That would be my day.  Every conversation, every interaction, every little thing has somehow felt unsatisfactory or somewhat "off," and, maybe, possibly... annoying.  Just a little.

Chances are good that the feeling is connected to this being my "Fancy Lady Time."  But, as we've discussed in other posts, we are living in an era when personal responsibility is out of vogue.  Today, I'll just be in fashion.

Eh, it's just one of those days.

And may the good Lord protect Darling should he attribute my foul mood to FLT...

~ G

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yet Another Suicide

Another young person has taken his life.

It's a tragedy.  I'm sorry for his family's loss.  My heart aches for them and I'm so sorry they have to pick up the pieces.  I'm sorry for the friends who will miss him and I'm sorry for all the things he'll never get to do, share, and be.  I'm sorry the world lost someone who had only begun to live.  It's a tragedy.


When did the societal focus shift from teaching coping skills and asking for help to blaming society for not being appropriately warm and welcoming?  I remember a rash of suicides and attempted suicides when I was in high school.  The administration of my school took it very seriously and we had several assemblies and break-out counseling sessions to address suicide.  A decade or two ago, there wasn't a single discussion about blaming bullies, but rather how to cope with the difficulties in your own life and how to watch for the signs that alert you to an attempted suicide.  

When we did lay down the mantle of being responsible for ourselves and begin expecting the world to be nice to us?  Bullies have been around since the beginning of time.  Hey, it's not a coincidence that when someone's acting like an ass we call him a "caveman."  We aren't going to eradicate asinine behavior.  We aren't ever going to rid the world of jerks.

The only ones we can change are ourselves.  No one is ever the single Alpha all the time.  Someone who is a bully has been bullied.  Unless we're talking about lobotomizing society, it isn't going away.  Ever.

The only one who can change how things are perceived is the one who perceives them.  Why are we not focusing on how to cope with being bullied instead of blaming the bullies?  Why are we not focusing on teaching better coping skills (the world isn't going to be nice to you, so figure out how to make it work)?

And, by the way, when did "we" decide the only suicides that are newsworthy are those committed by homosexuals?  

~ G

I Love This Bed

I do.  I know it isn't fancy.  I know it's not fabulously chic.  But.  I love it.  It's the Hemnes bed from IKEA. I like the black/brown that goes with the bedding we have and want to keep.  I like the simple lines.  I like that there's enough architectural interest that it isn't boring, yet is simple enough it will work with my changing tastes over the years.  I like that it's strong, but won't dominate the space.  We currently have a home with high ceilings and lots of square footage in the master.  If we move to a smaller house with lower ceilings and a smaller master, I don't want my bed to overpower the room.  I like that we can adjust the mattress to be higher and above the side rails or lower and level with the side rails.  I think we can even choose a middle option.  It just works for me.

And, when we buy it... well, you need some back story on why this bed is such a big deal.

Here's the backstory: Darling and I have been married for over a decade.  We do not have a bed.  Well, we have a bed, but not a frame other than the $25 metal frame that holds the mattress set off the floor.  We don't have a headboard.  We don't have a foot board.  Why?

Significant lack of agreement on bedroom furniture.

For years, even before we married, we looked at furniture.  Couldn't agree.  So, rather than spending money on something one of us didn't like, we opted to not spend the money.

Then, last month we got a sitter for the kidlets and made the long trek to IKEA.  I love IKEA.  I don't know why.  But I do.  It makes me deliriously, ridiculously happy.  It makes me Target-happy.  I know.  Huge, right?  I walk in the store and have a nerve-tingling happy feeling.  Maybe I'm channeling my ancestors?  I don't know.

Darling and I had our fancy dinner of Swedish meatballs and shared a perfectly decadent slice of Overload Chocolate Cake.  We then wandered the store, holding hands.  Cute, I know.  We wandered the store, found ourselves in the bed area, and decided to look at beds.  I had zero expectations and figured we'd move on to whatever it was that brought us to the store in the first place rather quickly.  I saw the bed from across the room and decided to not even mention it, because I was sure Darling wouldn't like it.

To my humility at not being able to read his mind or know everything about him, AMEN, actually, he led me to that bed and declared he wanted it.  Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Money's a little tight right now with other obligations, so the plan is to save our pennies and buy it for ourselves as a Christmas present.

I'm so excited about getting a bed we both want that I can hardly stand myself.

It only took just over a decade to agree.

~ G

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thinking About Legacy

Today in home church we covered the story of Ruth.  The following Scripture is in my head and I'm thinking and thinking and thinking about it.  "Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." Ruth 1:16

What does it say about our legacy?  Ruth says this to her mother-in-law, Naomi, when Naomi is returning to her homeland of Judah.  Naomi's sons have died and her two daughters-in-law have followed her half-way home.  She bids them goodbye, but Ruth insists she is going with her and says:

"Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." Ruth 1:16

Naomi concedes and takes Ruth with her back to Judah.  Once there, Ruth works with the gleaners to gather enough grain for their sustenance.  Little does she know, but she is gleaning from a field owned by Boaz, who is a relative of Naomi.  Eventually, Boaz and Ruth marry and Ruth bears Obed.  Obed matures, marries, and fathers Jesse.  Jesse becomes the father of David.

David, if you will remember, is the David of "David and Goliath" fame.  He also grows up to become King of Israel.  He pens most of the Psalms.  God calls David a "man after his own heart."  David is the one who taught me, through the Psalms, that there is nothing I can say or do or feel that will make God stop loving me.  David taught me that God is bigger than anything I can throw at Him.  David taught me what it looks like to truly trust God.  David is no joke!  And, through David's line comes ... do you remember?  Jesus.


Ruth embraced Naomi's God and pledged herself to live as a Hebrew.  Through her faithfulness she was part of the blessing to come.  Our faith, our devotion to the Lord affects our children.  Our prayers touch the generations to come.

My faithfulness, my worship life, my prayer life, my devotion to God have a direct effect on my children, their children, and their children and beyond.  I have no idea who my great-great grandchildren will be and what plan the Lord has for them.

What am I doing that ensures God's blessings on my children?  Is it just putting Scripture around the house where the kids can see it?  Is it just going to church (or home churching)?  Are they hearing me when I talk to them about God?  Or is overhearing me talk to my girlfriends about God helping, too?  Am I doing enough to train up my children in the way they shall go so when they grow old they will not stray from it?

So again, as I tend to do in my mothering, I'm looking at our lives.  I'm judging what we're doing and weighing the consequences.  What's good, what needs tweaking, what's in need of excising?  Above all, though, I wonder... and I worry and try to remember to give my worry to God... are the tracks I'm laying in my children's hearts be what they will follow?  Will they accept this legacy of faith?  And am I doing enough?

What is my legacy?

~ G

How My Sons Spent Yesterday

We stopped by the video store the other day.  This is a BIG treat for my kids.  Usually we request movies from the library.  Hello, the library is free.  The video store requires money.  Anyway, we went retro and  checked out rented "Short Circuit."  I loved it as a kid.  Hoped the boys would love it, too.

I, uh, forgot about the low-level cursing.  Lots of "shits," "damns," "hells," and a "son-of-a-bitch."  Gads, today it would be a PG-13.  Oh, well.  The boys love it.  What do they love?  They love the nerdiness of #5.  Oh, my sweet boys.  How well I know thee.

~ G

Sleep... Not So Much

Well, I kinda got to sleep in this morning.  "Kinda" as in, I had to remind Darling he was getting up and I was sleeping in today.

This was after I got up to let out the dog.  And after I padded down the hall to tell the boys (who had woken up on their own at 6:30) that they needed to clean their room before playing any electronic devices.

I got back in bed and tried to not sound like a maniacal fog horn bellowing at Darling to get up because it was my turn to sleep in.

The thing is, once I'm awake, I'm awake.  Thank you, Motherhood.

So, I laid in bed, tossed and turned, could hear everything happening in the kitchen and everything happening in the family room, but felt determined to take advantage of "sleeping in."  I rested, but sleep... not so much.

It was still nice.  And the kids got some time with their daddy - who made their breakfast and watched "The Universe" with them.  Well worth it.

~ G

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Whom Will You Serve?

I've mentioned a couple times that we're home churching.  Last week's lesson was concluded with the story of Joshua and the wall of Jericho.  The Scripture we wrote on our wipe board is Joshua 24:15.

It has been too long since I've dedicated myself to memorizing Scripture and since the fam and I are talking about the week's Scripture (even if only for a moment) every day, I felt compelled to learn it by heart.

Years ago, a friend gave me a little 3 1/2" x 5" spiral note card notebook and wrote on the cover "Bible Verse Book."  Her hope was I'd write my memory verses in it.  It sits on the raised bar above my sink so I can read it while doing dishes.

Let's face it, I spent a lot of time doing dishes.

So, I wrote in the book what is written on the wipe board:

"Choose... this day whom you will serve.  But for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

The part that has hit home this week for me... and I need you to understand how hard it is for me to admit this... is "whom you will serve."  For years, I thought that meant you either serve Satan or you serve God.  Well, duh.  That's a no brainer.  I serve the Lord.  Please.  I'm a God Girl.

But what if I'm serving food?  What if I'm not sold out to God and his provision, but to food?  I treat myself to good food.  I splurge on myself with food.  I'm not dramatically overweight.  Depending on the brand, I wear a 10-12.  I really have no desire to go lower.  I like me.  I like how I look.  I'm comfortable with how I look all nakey and stuff.  And, frankly, Darling has not complained.  But my go-to for relaxing, having a good time, rewarding myself, and socializing is food.  Food is always involved.

This week I've been thinking about what "we will serve the Lord" really means.  I have a feeling it will be a very long and thoughtful process.  There are lots of layers to me and when you throw in Darling, Big Kid, Middle One, and Little One, the layers increase exponentially.  I just know that when God lays a Scripture on my heart, there's a reason.  That word "serve" has hit a nerve for me and I need to find out why and how and where and, yeah.  Maybe it's time to make like Beth Moore and look up the original Greek word from the Scripture and learn what was originally intended?

Make no mistake, I'm still baking.  God gave me a gift.  I can bake.  I can cook.  But how do I use it?  Who am I serving?  How much of what I'm doing am I dedicating to God?

~ G

Some Day

Some day, some day soon, I would like to be the one who gets to sleep in and pretend I don't hear, in this order:

- the dog whining because she needs to pee after being in her crate all night

- the cats crying because they are hungry

- the boys whispering in our doorway, deciding to let us sleep (AMEN)

- the little girl asking for her morning sippy and a snuggle, and oh - a report that she wet the bed

Some day the house will be quiet and I'll remember these days with a wistful smile.  Right now I'd just like an extra hour or so of sleep.

~ G, who is The Mom

Friday, October 8, 2010

This Is Exactly What GOP Candidates Should Be Saying

I'm so tired of hearing Republican candidates whiffle and prattle in response to asinine accusations, red herrings, and false choices.  We need more Republican politicians who can respond like this:

~ G

Huh. Ca-razy!

So, I've been inspired by the Jackie Warner This Is Why You're Fat thing.  What I've really changed is how I do cardio.  The settings on our elliptical weren't high enough and I wasn't getting enough of a fat burn off it.  That has changed.  Now I'm using the "peak" setting and have raised the level as high as I can go and get moving for 20 minutes.  Then I cool down on it for about 5-10 minutes.  About 5 minutes into the first 20 minutes, I'm dripping with sweat... aren't you glad I told you that tidbit?   Before I was doing 30 minutes of lower intensity, even on the peak setting, but wasn't getting the intense cardio experience.

I'm also dropping and doing (girl) push-ups at least once a day, sometimes three or four.  I've progressed from barely being able to do 10 at a time to doing 40 at a time.   The push-ups have made an enormous difference in my lower back and abs.  For the first time in years, I can see my obliques again.  Hello, 6-pack!  How I have missed thee.  :-)

The truth is in the numbers, though.  Today I measured again and here are my results.  In the past 2.5 weeks, I've lost:

5 lbs - which puts me 2 pounds from my target
5.5" - which makes my brand new Lucy top too big... grrr for wasted money/ yea for getting smaller!
29.6% body fat - which means I've come down from around 32% fat.  Yes!  My goal is to have less than 25% body fat.  Fat percentage is the one aspect I'm really working on because that's the number (on my broken scale) that bothers me the most.

I want to be healthy and feel good about my body.  The truth is that when I move and exercise, I feel better.  Period.  I was feeling good, but after checking my numbers today, I feel GREAT.  (Pralines and all.)

~ G

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Forget the Foreclosure Idea

Just got off the phone with my mom.  She reminded me of things I had forgotten.  For instance, I hardly have time to get my WAHM job done, I'm already mentally/emotionally strapped and adding the stress of messing with house issues probably isn't such a good idea.

What would I so without the reason of my mother?


Yesterday at my ladies brunch, someone mentioned they just bought a foreclosure.  It occurs to me that if we sell our house and buy a foreclosure in the same school zone, we could save ourselves a TON of money.  Something to ponder.  Maybe I'll do a little research and contact our Realtor with my list of questions.  I always have questions.

Anyone know anything about buying foreclosures?  I'm all ears... or eyes.

~ G


Um, fat percentage today is 29.8.  EIGHT.  29.8.  My new evaluation of the scale is it might not be broken.

Also, I saw a number on the scale I haven't seen since my doctor told me I was just fine and healthy and to live my life and stop worrying about my weight.  That was in March.

I, uh, lived my life a little too large after she said that and lost my nice numbers on the scale.

Until today.  HA!

~ G

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

PSA - Undecided Voter's Guide

Please share this with your friends.  Post it on Facebook.  Tweet it.  Blog it. Print it in mass quantities and share a copy with everyone you meet.  Send it in an email to all your friends and family.  Here's the wonderful link from the Right Network should you want my source.

Doug Ross, you are to be congratulated.

~ G

The Pralines Delivered

It would seem that the pralines have not helped my fat percentage.  This message is brought to you by the number 32.5%!

Obviously, I was right the first time.  The scale is broken.

~ G

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Hi, Mama. I Just Made Pee."

Ahhh... such sweet words.  Except at 9:30 at night.  When she's been in bed for two hours.  Sound asleep for at least the last hour and a half.  In her Dora undies. And not a diaper.

So, I'm standing in the kitchen, assembling cinnamon rolls, when I hear Little One's sweet voice from the hall behind me.

I gather myself.  I'm calm.  I ask, "where did you make pee?"

"I make pee-pee in the potty."  She says so matter-of-factly.

Do you know what this means?  Do you?  Does anyone know?  Cinnamon rolls to the winner!

She woke up from a sound sleep, realized she needed to go, got up, unzipped her footed jammies, pottied in the potty, dressed herself, came in to report, and went back to bed.  With. Out. Me.

Amen and Hallelujah!

Just had to report.  Now back to the kitchen to clean up my mess.  Cinnamon rolls create quite the pile of dishes.

~ G

Dogs Have Some Serious Sniffing Power

Let me be the first to tell you that dogs have some serious sniffing power.  Okay, I'm probably not the first to tell you this tidbit.  Unless you're 4.  Or have never been around a dog.  Or have a short term memory issue.  Or is it a long term memory issue?  I don't remember.

A friend and I traded rawhides for bones.  Yeah, I'm that kind of girl.  Some girls trade cups of sugar for frozen veggies or baked goods for baked goods or I don't know what else.  I trade rawhides for bones.  I just roll that way.

Seems my stealthy attempt at keeping the bones out of sight and out of mind didn't work.  She (the dog) found the bag.  The dog, not the friend, found the bag of knuckles, bullies, and assorted cured skeletal bits.

The bag (of bones, not the friend) is almost empty.  Seems the dog has the same problem with moderation as I do.  Well, at least we deserve each other.

I think.

~ G

Maybe, Just Maybe...

the scale isn't broken.  Maybe.

See, I bought the scale maybe... five? years ago.  It is a fancy Taylor scale that I paid clearance for at Target.  It calculates BMI, fat percentage, calories required to maintain current weight, and water percentage.  Oh, it also calculates weight.

Never once have I broken below 30% fat.  I KNOW!  It's obviously broken.  BROKEN.  Until...

this morning.  My fat percentage was 29.9%.  I broke 30%.  Maybe, just maybe... the darn thing isn't broken.

Of course, this doesn't help my mental state because I did devour, singlehandedly, a box of pralines yesterday.  I even weighed less today.

Just don't ask about my sugar-hangover headache.

~ G

Monday, October 4, 2010

So Here's the Thing

I've been watching Thintervention on Bravo.  It's the Bravo version of "Biggest Loser" and the scary gonna-get-ya-in-shape-if-it-kills-me chick is Jackie Warner.  Last year (last year?) I watched her reality behind-the-scenes at her gym show, but lost interest after the first season.  Eh, too much for me.  But, watching porkers try to slim down is far more interesting than watching a bunch of whiny buff-bots attempt to nail each other, literally and figuratively.  My favorite person from the first season was the chunky girl who hired Jackie as her trainer.  I kept thinking, "show me more of her!" Any hoo, I'm watching Thintervention and getting inspired.

I requested Jackie's latest book from the library.  Yes, we're on a first name basis.  If the chick can tell me through her book, of course that sugar is my smack, then I'm calling her Jackie.  I digress.  Again.  Finally, the book came in and I've been trying to "eat clean."  And I was.  Mostly.  Until today.  Um, yesterday.

See, the thing is, we had a party and some friends brought me a box of candy.  Pralines, to be exact.  Yummy, delectable, no self-control pralines.  I ate the whole box in 30 hours.  That would be ~2,000 calories.  To my credit, I ate cleanly when I wasn't shoving sugar smack in my face.  Progress.

So here's the thing.  I'm exercising.  I'm lifting weights.  I'm using the elliptical.  I'm using my yoga mat.  I'm weighing in on my scale that I'm convinced is broken... and I'm debating how much of my journey to get fit should be on the blog.  Is anyone even reading this?  Does anyone care that all I want is to fit into my jeans right out of the dryer?  Maybe some toned arms for next year's sleeveless season?

Is it TMI to put my weight, fat %, BMI, and inches on the blog?  I'm kinda game... I mean, this is an anonymous blog and all.  No one knows me.  Unless I get a book deal - then all bets are off.  Well, that or if Jackie Warner shows up and makes me purge the pantry.  And that's not a euphemism.  What kind of euphemism, I do not know... but some people have really dirty minds.

~ G


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