Monday, December 31, 2007

The one where we come full circle...

Remember my "recent" post about what a great mom Bryn thinks I am?

As anticipated, that feeling has vaporized over the Christmas break.

Now, her catch-phrase is "Mommy, be nice to me." Sometimes she mixes it up and says, "Don't be mean to me, Mommy." Usually that last one is offered up through very dramatic tears.

In the spirit of full disclosure, these pronouncements usually occur after I've had to get on to her about something. The most common somethings of late are not listening, not obeying (aka taking one's own sweet time to comply), not being safe in the street, and the like. Given the weight of those infractions, I think I'm more than within my rights to raise my voice a little. I am an exceedingly patient person...until I get pushed WAY too far. I suppose it would be more fair to her for my breaking point to have some sort of signage, but still....I'm certainly not being MEAN to the child.

So when she starts with the "be NIIIIce, Mommy...don't be me-ee-eeaan to me, Mommy" stuff...I have even less patience for her 'tude.

Last night, we were driving to grab some dinner...talking about our upcoming trip to see GG and Papa...and all of the sudden Bryn squeals with delight. I naturally assume it is related to her delight about going to see all the Princesses....

Nope. She just says,

"I'm so excited that you're being nice to me!"


Thursday, December 27, 2007

PHOTO UPDATE: Christmas Day Shenanigans

What began as a perfectly normal, delightful Christmas day, quickly turned into one head-shaker after another. See if you can tell when the day took a turn. It was hard to tell when I was living it, but--man--by the end of the day, I was whooped and ready for bed.

1. Bryn slept late, but fortunately Santa didn't mind. That allowed me to start some "breakfast" (also known as Pillsbury quick bread) to cook while we opened gifts.

2. We opened gifts. Glee abounded.

3. We ate the "breakfast"--but I had to be stingy with the milk because I only had about an inch of it left in the jug (more on this later). If anyone older than 3 asked for milk, I had to quickly assess if they really meant it--and by how much--as that affected my choice of glasses. Luckily, we made it through breakfast without incident.

4. Bryn received an electric car for Christmas. Naturally, she wanted to hit the road in it. After grazing both of our cars, she made it to the "open sidewalk" and when she went to turn---one of the wheels fell off. OK, that's a slight exaggeration, but it did slip off the axle in such a way that the car wouldn't turn properly. Soooo, within 3 minutes of having the thing---it was back in the shop. The adage that a car depreciates dramatically when you drive it off the lot apparently holds for Disney Princess convertibles as well. But...Dad and Papa got her up and running again pretty quickly, so she took a quick spin around the sidewalk. (technically, we have A LOT of work to do on steering, lest we take out the neighbors' landscaping more noticeably.)

5. GG and Papa left to drive back to Florida.

6. We lounged for a bit while deciding what to do for lunch. Our Christmas lunch will require a separate post--mainly because I'm still a little traumatized and can't speak of it just yet. Suffice it to say, it was a head shaker, too.

7. As imagined, Bryn wanted to ride her car when we returned. As I mentioned, I was traumatized a mite, so I thought resting was a better idea. We cracked into her Cinderella movie that she got for Christmas--with the promise that she didn't have to sleep. I took my cell phone to the playroom to make some holiday calls while we were at it. As Bryn sat transfixed at the sight of her favorite (a word that somehow doesn't seem adequate) princess, I decided that it was rude to talk through her first viewing of such a classic. So I promptly fell asleep.

8. Following Cinderella, we (read: Beau) made good on the promise to take Bryn and the Princess convertible to the parking lot of the neighborhood school for a little joy ride/steering lesson. While they were gone, I attempted to pick up the house from our guests and Christmas morning, etc.

9. Beau and Bryn return. Bryn was wailing; Beau was steaming; my "hey-how-much-fun-was-that" grin was suddenly very inappropriate. As I helped her out of the truck, Beau told me that she needed to go straight to her room. EEK. Was getting the impression that it was, in fact, NOT a fun trip to the parking lot. Apparently, Bryn declined Beau's "request" to put her jacket on in the sharp wind, and when Beau required it, she basically made a run for it in her car. (Beau still cannot speak of the fit-of-epic-proportions, so I can't confirm any of this....but my mind's eye pictures Bryn driving around erratically in circles with Beau chasing her like a little kid trying to catch a football that doesn't bounce straight. I'll be sure to correct this image if I'm way off--when he's up for it.)

10. Back to Bryn in her bedroom...very upset...she knows that she's in trouble because she didn't listen and wouldn't put on her jacket...she basically proposes a "do-over" which isn't going to happen since dad's still steaming and the whole affair required loading up the electric car into the truck and hauling it elsewhere. I leave her to calm down on her own and go to try to calm Beau down.

11. Bryn gets very quiet, and Beau decides that they should make up. Next thing I hear is "Honey, what are you doing?". My gut says "grab the camera," and I head upstairs. Bryn has a small aquarium in her room. When I turn the corner in her room, I hear: "The fish were hungry. ... Look, Mommy! It's snowing! Only it's not snow, it's food!" She was so proud of herself. In the quiet of her mind, she had decided that the fish really needed some food---all of the food. It truly was a blizzard of orange flakes, and little "food drifts" were forming on the bottom of the tank. The fish (although you could hardly see them for all the "snow") were swimming around in seeming ecstasy. I can see how she thought they would just LOVE some extra food for the holiday. Beau proceeded to siphon out all the food, but in the process had to take out more water than is good for the fish. Basically, we were going to kill them with too much food or too much new water. Don't know which is the worse way to go. (I can happily report that all seven fish are alive and well at print time, however.)

12. After our big lunch, we weren't really hungry, so we poked around for dinner. And afterwards, I decided to get back to making my phone calls to family. Remembered my cell phone up in the playroom, so off I went to retrieve it. Didn't see it on the couch or on the blanket I was using, so I started to feel around in the cushions. I kind of, sort of felt something WAAAAYYYY back in the cushion--but it could have been anything....a pen, a piece of Bryn's plastic food, or a telephone. My fingertips aren't highly calibrated...and I just barely caught a feel of the thing before it fell off the back of the cushion. Geez, I thought. So I moved the couch to see what fell behind there. That's when I realized that whatever it was had fallen INTO the couch, not behind it, and that the bottom was sealed up with fabric. I called down to Beau to call me...I wasn't up for retrieving any fake eggs or pancakes. While I waited for Beau to call, I just stared at the couch...waiting for it to ring. And it did. ARGH! Went back to the top of the stairs and asked Beau to come help...and bring a knife. Minor surgery (and the creation of a cool hiding place) under the couch and my telephone was reborn.

13. 10:00--I was exhausted and ready to call it....try to start again the next day. I put on my pjs and just went to bed.

Merry Christmas to all....and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How Not to Behave at a Funeral

I’m sure there are plenty of parenting resources out there that explain how one should approach the subject of death with a three-year old. Having none of those resources around, I found myself incredibly short of words and ideas the week of Thanksgiving. We had a death in the family—a great uncle whom Bryn and I had never met—so we loaded up the family and traveled to Oklahoma for the funeral. I tried to explain where we were going and why, and why Daddy and Grandmother were sad and would appreciate us being as helpful and nice as we could be. But in saying the words “Grandmother’s brother died,” I realized that those words—to a three-year old—probably sound no different than an explanation about why the batteries in the remote control don’t work anymore. Obviously the implications are dramatically different.

The Southern rule book indicates that you always attend funerals and weddings to support your friends. Attending funerals—I believe—is all about empathy, and I’m not sure when people hit that developmental milestone. Some people never develop much of it, I guess. But three years old may be a little early to have a robust empathetic bent. I was pleased when Bryn showed some signs of understanding, telling Grandmother one time (unprompted) “I’m sorry your friend died.”

In other cases, she was just taking it all in the festivities with seemingly no grasp of the weight of the situation. After we filed into the chapel for the service, she was settled preemptively between me and Beau’s mom. Her response to my request to be very quiet can only be described as a poorly executed stage whisper. As the last of the family was seated, Bryn whispered, “Is the show about to start?” Me: “Yes, honey. Now, please. You must be very quiet.” Bryn: “oh-KAY.”

But, being very still is clearly a different request than being very quiet. I hadn’t covered that in my “how to behave at a funeral” crash course that morning. She wanted to stand in the pew (to better see the show—no doubt) and was quickly yanked back into my lap. So began the struggle to stay seated without too much hub-bub. I tried to sit very still to compensate for her movement, but that worked about as well as when my sister and I would get the giggles in church and try not laugh and instead our heads would bob uncontrollably and the entire pew would shake. I’m sure—to those behind us—we were a bonafide mess. I’d be surprised if all the extended family that we didn’t know weren’t thinking “who brought the zoo and elected to sit up front?”

I had promised that I would take her out if she needed to go, so I had to debate the exact moment that her behavior in the service was so intolerable to justify the shrieking that was inevitable if I were to forcibly remove her. Oh, and I forgot to mention her unbelievably inappropriate outfit. It’s really most important at this point in the story. She received a dress for her birthday that was navy blue corduroy with a sweet white turtleneck underneath. The weather was quite cold and rainy so I thought it would be our best option: dark color and relatively warm. I hadn’t had Bryn try it on, but when I put it on that morning, it was REALLY short—as in barely covering her bottom. Ok, I’m rounding up…it really didn’t cover her bottom all that reliably. Add to that the fact that she “declined” the tights that I brought to keep her warm-ish. So, as I escorted her out of the service—shrieking for GG and other family members—her pink princess panties were on glorious display.

At the end of the day, our real comfort in times of loss is the next generation. I would like to think that Bryn’s spirit brought some comfort to people in the room, (she says hopefully). At any rate, I’ll still be tiding up my “rules of behavior” manual in the meantime.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A New Trick

I think--without question--this photo speaks for itself.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is my sister's birthday. And since I have generally not been able to pull together a package (or even a card) in a timely way, I will substitute a birthday haiku in honor of my sister.

Hope today serves you
Pampering, remembering
You are loved by all.

Happy Birthday, Sis.
Many years in the making--
Funny, Smart, Older.

Honestly, my sister is my best friend--always has been. Even when we were growing up, I can remember only ONE fight that we ever had. I still have the note of apology that we were required to write to each other. Even though I could have easily been the annoying younger sister, she never treated me that way. I was welcome to hang out with her and her friends even when she was in high school and I was a dorky junior higher.

Wendy, I want you to know that you are hilarious, brilliant, creative, an incredible author, mother, wife, friend--an inspiration. I know lots of people have been blessed by having you in their lives, but I am incredibly fortunate to trump nearly everyone on "time on task". I've had the joy of your company for most of your years. Thank you for being such an awesome sister to me.

I love you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

In the WORLD???

I've had many heart-warming moments as a mother. Among them, Bryn's first smile at me, her first "I love you, Mommy," and the first time she picked up after herself without my having to ask.

Yesterday topped it all. My first "heart-in-the-throat-mouth-open-cannot-believe-you-said-that" moment.

We had our big day yesterday. First, the friend's birthday party at the jumping place. Bryn was having a blast as expected, but at one point she just gave me the sweetest, not-at-all-hurried hug (which was delightful, in itself). About halfway through the hug, she said, "You're the best mommy in the whole world."

I told her that I was so happy that I thought I might cry--a reaction that delighted her so much, she elected to say it a couple more times that day (just to get the big payoff, I'm sure.)

Not usually one to toot my own horn (and I'm technically thankful that Bryn's experience with mommies worldwide is somewhat limited--as it makes my chances a little better), but since I think she's the coolest kid in the universe, I appreciate the title while it lasts.

**Note: it was just last week that she announced that I wasn't her friend anymore (repeated about six times in rapid succession so I REALLY got that I wasn't her friend). So I do understand that all is vanity, as Ecclesiastes suggests.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I may have mentioned that I like to make lists. In particular, I like to make lists of things that I can actually accomplish. There are a few things that I get around to that aren't on a list, but those few things won't win a person any medals (i.e., shower daily, wash clothes, go to work). Generally, I have to plan things or life just happens to day at a time...and then I look back and think, "geez, where does the time go?" I've had to get a lot more organized about running the household so that I can enjoy life more or else all of my time is taken up just getting the bare minimum done. SO... I've started really planning meals.
I love to cook, but have a really difficult time planning to do it. In the past month, I've started planning meals for the week, going grocery shopping either Saturday or Sunday, and basking in the mindlessness of coming home and starting to cook without fretting about what or where.
Laura at hosts Menu Plan Monday and if you head over to her blog, you'll see jillions upon jillions of plans. She (and probably all others participating) plans from Monday to Sunday. Since my deal is Sunday to Saturday, I'm a little out of step, but I'll see how it goes.
Sunday 11/11: Tuscan Tilapia, angel hair, and salad. I am in love with this dish. Have to put Bryn to bed but I'll type up the recipe next time. MMMMM. and EASY... my favorite combination.
Monday: Baked Spaghetti, salad, corn, rolls
Tuesday: Pork Chops, peas, parmesan noodles (noticing a "P" theme tonight--and also that I've fed my folks noodles for three days)
Wednesday: Hamburgers, beans, oven fries
Thursday: out--I'll be out of town for most of the day, then need to bake some pies for an office potluck and school bake sale.
Friday: sandwiches, but haven't thought beyond that (Technically, Beau will be working cattle some evening this week, so I'll have a left over meal that will likely substitute.)
Saturday: piece something together because we have a big day with a friend's birthday party, fall festival, craft fair, and some other stuff that will surely NOT be making a grocery list for next week or planning for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Trick or Flashlight

Halloween has never been a big deal to me. Now that we have a child, however, I feel considerable pressure to "do" all the holidays. There's only one problem (okay, there may be more problems, but one really big one.).

We have a little policy at our house. Perhaps I've mentioned it. Limited to no unnecessary sugar consumed by people for whom the grown-ups of the family have assumed responsibility for their dietary and dental health.

It's fairly easy policy to abide by in normal life, and the rule has relaxed somewhat in the past few months--for those of you who are close to calling us un-American or cruel. But Halloween is one of those days (are there more?) that exist for nearly the express purpose of encouraging people to beg for and consume large amounts of unnecessary sugar. That's the whole entire point. Nothing more to it to come close to redeeming the holiday.
So this is Bryn's third Halloween (fourth if you count being three weeks old). Each of the three years, she has dressed up even though we didn't go trick-or-treating, usually for a party at school.

At one, she was a duck, thanks to a homemade, puffy costume that my mom made that has passed down through all the grandkids. She happened to be taller than the earlier guys, so the pants rode up a little bit. But, c'mon, can you get cuter than that?

At two years old, she was a giraffe (again, a hand-me-down, that was a "smidge" too small, although you would never know by the sheer delight that the costume brought the sweet thing.)

She is definitely learning the holiday customs and norms, so I was starting to wonder how long we could get away with not trick-or-treating. So we decided on a compromise. She could get dressed up, and we would take a walk around the block. The kicker--which nearly trumped it all--was that we were going to carry flashlights. Mom, Dad, and Bryn all had mini-flashlights of their own. She thought that was the coolest.

So, at three, Bryn was a princess. I'd have to say, the most beautiful princess ever there was to be. Some of the neighbors were sitting in their driveways handing out candy and would offer it as we walked by. Beau would simply say, "no thanks, we're just walking." I felt compelled each time (again with my issues) to explain: "See, we're just taking a walk around the block in her costume with a flashlight because we don't really let her eat candy. No, no, it's okay. It's just our thing. You know. Might not last, but she's fine with it one more year. ... She's really enjoying her flashlight." Then I'd run to catch up with the family.
The one drawback I see to not associating more closely the dress-up walk with Halloween in particular, is that Bryn asks to do that nearly every day now as we drive up to the house. So far, we've managed to talk her down each time to just carrying the flashlight.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Astronomy Lesson Part Two: Student becomes the Teacher

Following my miserable attempt at explaining (away) day and night, I have pledged to be more precise in my answers to the flood of three-year-old "whys." Even ventured a little science lesson on the way to school this morning. After several days of overcast, fall weather, the sun was shining brightly this morning.

I mentioned to Bryn that the sun is really a big, big star. (smiling to myself that I had gotten it right this time, and that I would little by little add to what she knew about the solar system--and correctly from here on out.) I think her first response was "Oh." But about a mile later, she added.

"Mommy, the sun is a biiiiig, biiiiiggg CIRCLE, not a STAR."

Honestly, how can you argue with that?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Still 2, but counting down

It struck me that today is nearly a trifecta of 2-ness. October 2 and Bryn is least for another week.

I was looking through some pictures last night, so thought I'd pull some quickly to capture her 2nd year.

At her 2nd Birthday party...

Christmas morning....

At the Wildflower Center...

At the beach for the first time...


And kickin' it with all her fairy friends. (August)
She's grown so much in the past year. The "terrible twos" weren't at all terrible. We've enjoyed watching her grown, learn, and develop into a precious, thoughtful, determined, smart, beautiful little girl.

Monday, October 1, 2007


As Bryn nears three years old, I'm constantly taken with how many of my words and idiosyncrasies are telegraphed back to me like SONAR or something. I hear plenty of Beau in Bryn's words, too, particularly when she's pretending to be on the phone.

Yesterday, Bryn and I went to the grocery store while Beau was out working cattle. She is an AWESOME helper when properly rested. Cart selection is a big deal at our grocery store. There are carts that have working radios (at $1 per visit--only used once, but still a temptation), regular carts, little carts that Bryn can push but that don't hold very much, and the find-of-all-finds the cart built to look like a race car. The race car carts are such commodities that they have their own covered parking out in the parking lot--strategically placed by the "Customers with Children" parking. The wise people at HEB have it ALL figured out.

We apparently were due some good fortune because there was a red race car cart with our name all over it--totally out of place in the normal "cart corral" right by my normal parking space. So Bryn carefully buckled into her seat and commenced to "drive" all through the grocery store.

I was searching for a package of ground beef with a tolerable amount of fat mixed in (I'm really a 90% lean kind of gal regardless of application), when I hear Bryn (leaning over the edge of her "car") saying, "I want a cheeseburger, fries, and a milk....white milk." I must have chuckled audibly because she offered, over her shoulder, "I'm pretending. I take it home." By the time we made it to dairy, she was leaning out punching all manner of imaginary buttons. I asked what she was pretending now.

"I have to go to the bank," she said.

Is it wrong for a three-year old to know how to use an ATM?

Friday, September 28, 2007

An Astronomy Lesson

As we drove home last night from dinner (after I embarrassingly overcooked my roast, I simply couldn't ask the people I love to endure it...even though they would have if given no other options--because they love me), we were explaining to Bryn what to expect when we get home. She--like her mother (or perhaps because of her mother)--loves lists.

"First, we'll drive home. Then, we'll take a bath. And then, we'll pick out and read books. And then, we'll go night-night." Sometimes she'll correct missing steps in the list like putting on PJs or brushing teeth, but it's a pretty standard routine.

Wednesday night had a gorgeous full moon that was fairly low in the sky. Bryn asked where the sun was, and I offered the painfully inaccurate explanation "The sun has gone to sleep." As an educator, I should know better. I just created a neural pathway that will have to be corrected later on simply because it was the first thing I thought of. Nice work, Mom.

Last night, however, was cloudy, so we could not see the moon on our drive home. Bryn started asking again about the moon and sun, but this time she offered a pretty thorough description of what was probably going on in the heavens. I'm paraphrasing considerably, but it went something like this.

"Maybe the daddy and mommy moon are getting ready to wash he. Yes, the daddy moon is giving the baby moon a bath to get ready for night-night, and the mommy moon is reading books, and the sun is at school playing with her friends."

I wish I could remember all the details because it went on for a while and ended up with "Maybe that's it."

Yep, honey... maybe so.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Um, who's John?

Bryn has started using more sophisticated terms for family relationships. Now, all men don't have to be daddys. In fact, she's worked out a pretty good list of the fathers and daughters in our family, thanks to a Paul Simon song.

She has also started talking about husbands. I thought we came to understand that husbands are a smaller universe of men. That is, until a conversation in the car yesterday.

Bryn: "Who's my husband?"
Mom: "You don't have a husband, sweetie. Only grown-ups have husbands or wives."
Bryn: "I have a yittle husband."
Mom: "Oh, you do?"
Bryn [matter of factly]: "Yes. It's John."
Mom: [not knowing a John in her life right now] "Is John in your class at school?"
Bryn: "No."
Mom: "Did you meet John at church?"
Bryn: "No."
Mom: [silently trying to figure out who she might be talking about]
Bryn: "I need to find him. He's my husband."

Beau would like to find him as well.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I love you but...

My beloved daughter has just recently started prefacing many sentences with "I love you, but..." What's funny is that usually the phrase following "but" is pretty consistent with the idea of "I love you" (or at least isn't contradictory) so we have some work to do on the point of using "but." Once she said, "I love you, but I want you to sit by me." "I love you, but I want to read that book."

Last night around 2:30 she realized that I had snuck out of bed after she fell asleep (to sleep in my own bed with my own husband--not, of course, to just be mean), so she started crying and calling for me or dad to come in. Daddy, being dead to the world, wasn't up for it, so I stumbled in, scooted her over, and settled down to go back to sleep. She flipped over to announce, "I love you, but I want you to lay down with me." Yeah, I got that part.

I started wondering where she might have picked up this phrase--because we're nearing "personal catchphrase" status with it. As all children, she listens intently to what we say around and to her. We hear ourselves more often than we'd like sometimes. I'm pretty sure that I must have the habit of saying something like, "I love you, but I'm not pleased with how you are acting right now." or "I love you, but I would rather you not hang on me while we're trying to eat."

If that did come from me, I hope that she always dwells on the first part of the sentence more than whatever the second part says.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fairy, Fairy Quite Contrary

Today began the birthday party season in our circle of friends. We were invited to a Fairy Tea Party to celebrate Sophie's 3rd. The invitation kindly offered to provide fairy wings for any "wingless fairies," but GG and Papa (having the direct line to the Mouse) hooked Bryn up with a sweet Tinkerbell outfit. She was fairy from head to toe--including a purse to top off the outfit.
It was a fun to watch her play with her fairy friends from school. They danced, played ring-around-the-rosy, were dusted with "fairy dust" (which turns out to not be all that different than body glitter), and ate cute little blocks of sugar made to look like mushrooms and tea cakes. To be fair, the mushrooms were large marshmallows with some sculpted gummie stuff on top to look like petals or something, and each of the cupcakes were tied with a little ribbon....nice touch. The raspberry punch was served in sugar rimmed teacups. The table was beautiful, but of course, the entire thing was a mine field for parents who prefer their daughter not consume refined sugar.
As a result, I suspect Beau didn't have much fun because he was being hyper vigilant about the quantity of sugar on the party table, the safety hazards that lurked in the goodie bags, and Bryn running around a wood floor in fairy flip flops.
Bryn was a lovely guest (apart from crowding the gift opening a little bit). She sang Happy Birthday with conviction, and she even thanked Sophie for inviting her to the party.
Over the coming months we get to celebrate just about one party a month. Thinking I was getting a jump on things when buying Sophie's gift, I bought presents for all of her friends with upcoming birthdays. One point for my foresight. All the gifts are variations on a theme, but I thought the theme was an awesome one so if they were all different it still works. I didn't quite consider that all these kids would be at the same parties and SEE the theme unfold, seemingly uninspired month after month. I'm going to have to scramble or else Bryn's going to end up with a mess of floor puzzles for her birthday. Maybe eBay is still working.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My collections

I'm really trying to reform myself from a "collector of things" to a "user of things". There are several areas of my life where I like the idea of doing something--apparently--more than the doing of it. Well, that's not true. Whenever I do the something, I really enjoy it and think "why don't I do this more often?!" But, I just don't. I'm not sure what it is about me, but I have several examples so I'm growing into the idea that it's just a pattern/habit/character flaw that I'll need to work on or otherwise come to grips with. Perhaps an example would help illustrate the dilemma.


I am probably the best outfitted non-scrapbooker on the planet. When we joined our church, they asked for my hobbies to share as a way of introducing us to everyone. I carefully looked at the line on the form, and honestly struggled with what to put down. There is a rather large and serious scrapbooking contingent at the church so I didn't want to misrepresent myself as one rather than a wannabe. So, I very nearly wrote down: "I like to collect scrapbook supplies." That would have obviously been a joke, but the pastor said, "thanks for wanting to be so honest." OK, if he didn't find it funny one on one ...that wasn't the direction I wanted to go in front of the entire church. So I proceeded with "scrapbooking (knowing in my heart that wasn't very precise), cooking (knowing in my heart that we eat out on a frighteningly regular basis), and being with family (knowing in my heart that would happen without ANY effort on my part because we all live in the same house.)...but alas.

My daughter is nearly 3 years old, and I have carefully organized pictures from her birth through about a year, some less organized pictures of her first year, and some digital photos I haven't even bothered to print out of her second year. All of that has yielded a total of about 8 scrapbook pages. (Nice work, Mom. Way to capture all the memories.) In the spirit of full disclosure, the great majority of those pages were completed when my sister came to visit for a scrapbook weekend in April. We had a blast...I felt great about what I was doing... It's just that I had apparently no ability to keep it up unsupervised.

Another example of this pattern came up just recently...Running.

I decided to start running--which could also be called "collecting things one would need to run." I have some sweet shoes, socks (which my colleagues say are really the key to running), an awesome watch that has interval timers on it, even "wicking" clothing. I've taken out all this gear twice. That doesn't sound too bad until I add on "in a month" to the end of the sentence. I work with lots of runners, and they were very excited that I was tackling this---sending me links to "Couch to 5K", advice on apparel, where to shop for gear as a newbie, how and when to stretch, that we should get a group together to do one of the many races around here, etc. Until they, too, know that I collect things far before I really use them, they began asking me how the running was going. Started off with a bang on July 4, but took a couple days off from work after the holiday so I didn't have to account for anything for a little bit. Naturally, they asked about it when I returned. Um, yeah, I haven't been back out--my shins hurt a little bit. After a couple of weeks with no running, one guy observed, "you know, I'm a big believer in recovery time, but I think you might be milking it a little." Truer words have never been spoken.

Anyway, I ran again this week. It felt great. I reported to the office with pride.

But haven't done it since Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

So here we go...

So my sister has essentially dared me to start a blog. That's how most of my productive endeavors start out. So here's hoping that works out for me. She's a tremendous writer, so any attempt to be overly clever will fall way short of her vicious wit ( I'm going to stick with the basics until a) I prove that I'm up for the whole blogging regularly thing and b) I figure out how to work what is seeming to be a straightforward "Click here now" kind of interface.

A couple of things to know before we get started....
1) One reason I've put off starting a blog is because I couldn't think of a good name for it. I thought of "My Humble, Yet Usually Accurate, Opinion" as I was falling asleep last night, so thought today was a good day to get started. I love that everyone has a humble opinion and often labels it as such, when what they really mean is "I'm right and you're not, but I'm going to thinly veil that point because in addition to not being right there's a chance you're not bright either."

2) My writing is fairly stream-of-consciousness. I'm not writing for work or school, so I think I deserve the luxury to be unstructured. That is unfortunate for readers, however, so stand by for revisions to that policy. If I'm annoyed when I reread this later, I'll make a greater effort to collect myself and have a clearer point.

Right...I guess having a point next time should be at the top of my to-do list for the blog. Can only tackle one thing at a time. So today's thing was getting started and naming the thing. More to come....