Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like September

It's that time of the year again! Line up, troops! Backs straight and eyes forward! Pencils sharp and lunchboxes packed!



And as if to herald this busy time of the year, I was on the phone for over an hour the other day making all the necessary doctor and dentist appointments. (Gotta keep those kids in tip-top shape, dontcha know!) I even scheduled a check-up for the dog!

And last night, I was going over various extracurricular classes for the kids to take this fall. In the end, I chose swimming, gymnastics, karate and music for the both of them. (Well, Jesse's not old enough for karate yet, but he, too, will be taking swimming, gymnastics and music. He'll also have a "toddler playtime" class on days he doesn't have preschool.) Despite the busy schedule in place with all of these activities, Jennifer wants to do one or two more things! As it is, she will have Friday and Saturday "off." I told her, "You will be grateful for those days off!" Still, she wants to do more. So I thought that maybe it would be a good idea for me to find a "mommy and me" class that we could take together, on Saturdays. Since Jesse will have a "mommy and me" class for the swimming, it's only fair that Jennifer has one, too. We've narrowed it down to a few options: Yoga, art and cooking. I hope I can find something that will take place on Saturdays. She wants to be a chef, so I am hoping I can find a cooking class we can take together. (I love to cook, too, so that should be fun!)

We've been buying the kids new clothes and shoes for the new school year. Jennifer also wants a new backpack, even though her dad says the one she has now is fine. But we both think it would be neat to have a new backpack for the new school year, so we'll keep our eyes peeled for a good one. She also wants a new lunchbox. After three years with the same old lunchbox, I agree that it's time to retire it for something new.

As to Jesse, I am planning to enroll him in the same preschool Jennifer went to. This time, however, he'll be attending two days of the week, instead of four. I also want to start him off on the "half day" schedule, just until he gets used to this. (OK, OK. Until I get used to this, too!) We have been working on pottytraining him, to get him ready for this. That in itself has been a work-in-progress. He has done well with it but just having trouble recognizing when he has to go to the bathroom. So we have to keep asking him, "Do you have to go potty?" So we are working with him on that. I can't believe my baby boy is almost three years old! Time sure flies. Wow.

But I know this will be good for him. He needs to build those social skills and explore his physical skills. I have every faith in Kim to be able to work with Jesse and also nurture his creative growth. I just hope we can still get him in there!

It's not just the kids who are going to school this year. I will be "attending" school, too! But, only on a part-time basis -- one, on account of the baby, and two, because the school I'll be taking classes at is soooo far away. It's about an hour away! And, three, because by going part-time, it won't cost an arm and a leg to take the class. I'm starting with ONE class and I'll work my way through it. The classes I'm taking are mostly available online. I think there are one or two of them I'll need to take that are not available online at this time. But that can come later. By the time I'll need to take those courses, the baby will be in kindergarten (not a baby anymore!), so I'll have time to make that commute. I have been talking with an instructor of the courses and checking out what I need to do. This is for the medical coding job. The training will last for 3-4 years at the rate I am going -- which is fine by me, really. I need to have this time so that I can still be available for my children and be at home until the baby is older. I DO want my kids to be independent and self-sufficient, but they are still too young for a lot of things that go with that.

Overall, it's going to be a REALLY busy autumn/winter. Of course, I'll also have to get Jennifer signed up for basketball, when that time comes. (She plays it every year.) I'm excited about this new adventure and I know the kids will be happy to learn all these new things, too. They have enjoyed their "lazy time" during the summer. Now it's time to get back to that old school desk, and to get busy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Normally, I am not a very talkative person. After I lost my hearing, my mom was afraid I'd lose my voice, too, so she was encouraging me to talk A LOT. And quite loud, in fact. And I guess being around so many people to actually talk to, I had no choice but to yak my head off every day. Ever since moving to Eugene, however, that has changed. Sure, I talked with the friends I had (emphasis on "had"), but it's not like we chattered away at all hours. Mostly, I was quiet. And I have grown quieter still, despite writing so much and being a virtual chatterbox on the World Wide Web.

But that's as far as it goes.

These days, I don't have friends to hang out with or family to talk to in person every day, so I really don't feel so compelled to talk so much. I guess I'm trying to salvage the kind of silence I could not have during my teen years. But because I have small children to care for, silence is darn near impossible. There are many times I have to talk with my children ... A LOT!

I suppose I should be grateful my kids want to engage in so much conversation with their parents so much (even the baby, who will be 3 in October). After all, they'll be teenagers before we know it, and they would rather talk with their friends instead of their parents. But all of this yakking can get frustrating, especially when I am trying to drive and I have to keep my eyes on the road and NOT on my daughter's face to read her lips. These are the times I'll announce "Driving!" when she tries to tell me something, and she'll know she'll have to wait until we get to a red light or when I can stop briefly to turn around and read her lips. (She is learning she can't take these small windows of time to sit there and go "uuummmmm....").

It's also frustrating when I just want to STOP talking so much. As it is, my throat hurts if I have to talk so much, even if I drink water while I am speaking. So sometimes, you know, I just have to tell the kids, "Give me 5 minutes of peace!" OR..."Eat your food and stop talking so much!"

This evening is a perfect example. At dinnertime, the kids just yakked and yakked. My husband and I are not big talkers when we sit down to eat, so both of us tend to get a bit rattled by the kids constantly getting our attention to tell us something or ask questions. Or, as often happens, to go over words in sign language. (And, yes, he does speak, just as I do.) At one point, I had to tell Jennifer to wait before telling me something YET AGAIN because I had to run to the baby, who was getting into something.

Then, when putting the baby to bed, we spent time together in his room as he pointed out things and I had to say what had to go to sleep now, because ALL of us had to go to sleep now. So I kept having to say "Caterpillar has to go has to go sleepy....chair has to go sleepy....night light has to go sleepy....backpack has to go sleepy..." And just on and on.

Then, finally, after a while, my throat was hurting from talking so much, so I just calmly sat there nodding and saying "mm-hmm" every time he said something to me from his crib. (Heh. What if his baby talk translated to "Mom, there are aliens outside my window"?? Mm-hmm.)

Then Jennifer showed up, asking me to read them a story. I was tired, wanted to STOP talking, but how could I turn away a child who wants to be read to? So I read them a story. Afterwards, Jennifer went back to bed. Eventually, the baby fell asleep. And I could once again fall silent without any need to talk again.

At least....until tomorrow comes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So long, and thanks for all the fish

In my last post, I noted that I made the switch to a vegetarian diet. However, it was not a TRUE vegetarian diet, for I still ate seafood. I did this because I know there is nutritional value in seafood which is not in any other foods.

After a while, though, I got sick of eating so much seafood. I ate so much of it, my breath started to taste like tuna! I know it is dangerous to eat too much seafood, because of mercury, but I still ate it, anyway.

Until now.

Today, after some serious thinking, I decided to end my semi-vegetarian ways. That's right; I will go back to eating meat! And poultry.

Did I make this decision because I'd grown weary of eating so much seafood? Well, partly, yes. But the other reason why I abandoned this diet is because the rest of my family is not vegetarian, or even semi-vegetarian, and I hated seeing meat and chicken going to waste. One thing I CANNOT stand at all is waste. Wasting money, wasting energy, wasting resources, and, especially, wasting food. My grandma made it through the Great Depression and she, too, always made sure food never went to waste. Even if she had to give food away so it would not waste, she gave it away. (I do that, too.) I sort of picked up that habit from her. So, this was the BIG reason why I decided to start eating meat again. And, to make it official, I made meatloaf for dinner tonight. And ate it, too.

All the same, I won't go nuts eating meat, like some people do. I will try meatless meals whenever possible -- and, of course, the seafood, though not as regularly -- but I will also be eating meat again.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Jeans weirdness

Last weekend, I went to Old Navy to finally buy a new pair of jeans. The ONE pair of jeans I owned were getting holes in them and I don't like wearing clothes that have holes in them. (I usually assign such old clothes to my pajama drawer, but not jeans.) I just got really fed up with them so I threw them out and decided to get new jeans. The plan was to get two pairs for now, since I'm trying to lose weight and want to get to a smaller clothing size in the near future. So, I finally made the trip to buy them, and since Old Navy had a jeans sale going on, that's where I went. I grabbed a bunch of jeans and tried them all on. All of them barely fit me -- and they were ALL a size 14! I almost cried. The only time I've been more than a 14 was when I was pregnant. And since I'm not pregnant now, there's no reason for me to be that size! But I DID need jeans. I decided to get ONE pair of the 14s (I was too humiliated to get 2 pairs, or even to try on the 16s) and maybe I will "fill them out" later so they won't be too tight.

Oh, boy. Did I ever fill them out!

Now, four days later, I put the jeans on again. I seriously debated keeping them, since it would be an even bigger rush to see how many inches I could trim down from a size 16, but I just couldn't bring myself to exchange them for a bigger size. And, anyway, like I said, maybe they won't be so snug later on. So I took the tags off. Threw the receipt into the recycle bin. Washed them and dried them.

Then I put them on.

Guess what? THEY WERE TOO BIG!! What the heck!

I tried to wear the jeans, anyway. After all, they weren't exactly sliding down to my ankles. (I hate wearing belts and won't wear them.) But later on in the day, it got to be REALLY annoying how they slid down so much and how I had to keep pulling them back up. UGH! They were so big, you could literally pull them right off of me! That's crazy!

Finally, out of frustration, I took off the jeans and changed into pajama pants. I was angry and upset that I NOW have a pair of jeans on my hands that are too big for me and I can't return them to exchange them! What a waste of money! I've already washed them and worn them. I don't understand how this happened. How can a pair of jeans that are tight one day end up being too big to wear four days later??

I considered the possibilities. One, maybe I dropped too much weight in that time. But I don't have a scale to weigh myself and see if that is true. I DID go back to a vegetarian diet as of the first of this month, and even as I know my weight plummetted the last time I was a vegetarian, it couldn't happen that fast! I DO look a bit skinnier in the mirror, but like I said, don't have a scale to find out. All the same, four days to slim down like that is just too scary a thought. And not very likely, either. Besides, I haven't been exercising -- unless you count the insane amount of housework I have been doing lately. That definitely has made me break a sweat! And I've noticed I've been more flexible because of it (sit-ups are no longer a nightmare, for example).

Of course, I thought, maybe it's the jeans? Maybe they're the kind that just stretch out when you wash them? Or...that's the style? But I made sure they were regular jeans when I bought them. Not low-riders, or something like that. Normal jeans. I thought if I throw them into the dryer enough, they will shrink to fit. Maybe.

Nevertheless, this is really confusing. I wish I could exchange the jeans. Maybe I will be able to. I'll have to stop by Old Navy when I'm out in that area this weekend and find out. And, meanwhile, stick to wearing the two pairs of pris I have that aren't too big for me (got a lot of clothes like that now), or the dreaded skirt.