Friday, December 30, 2005

We Survived!

We’re alive friends, we've made it through the holidays mostly unscathed and I'm tearing down the decorations right now. Yippee!!

There is so much that we have done and so many places that we have been over the last week to catch you up on, but I beg your patience just a little longer... just let me unpack and catch my breath and I promise to give a full account.

I hope your holiday was a peaceful one... and that your New Year's will be memorable.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Holiday Cheer

What is it about this time of the year that makes people and children specifically, absolutely insane?

I can't count the number of times on one hand that I almost had a car accident yesterday while trying to run errands. It was like the whole bloody city forgot how to drive... all at the same time! Drivers pulling out without looking, changing lanes without signaling... I could go on and on. By the time I made it home yesterday I felt like I had been to war and back. I guess in a way I had.

Then last night The Brain, who is usually a pretty good child, came to me about an hour after his bedtime and said that he couldn't sleep. Every once in a while I'll let him get into my bed and sleep with me, I think he just gets lonely. So, being the kind and benevolent person that I am, I told him to climb on up. With him came his cat, Sarafina, and all of his pillows and blankets (without which he can't sleep). I spent the night being forced to the side of the bed, being kicked, and generally tossing and turning. You'll be glad to know that I monitored the clock for everyone last night. I can personally attest to the fact that there was actually a 1am, 2am, 3am, and 4am. Around four I decided to just take a sleeping pill and be done with it.

I could've moved him back to his own bed, but to be honest I just didn't have the heart for it. Besides, he's too big to carry now and there's no guarantee that he'd have gone back to sleep.

So here I am, exhausted, pissy, and ready to take on the last day before Christmas.

The Brain of course slept great and is bouncing off the walls.

It's so unfair.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Seems pretty accurate to me!

This came through over my email this morning... it fits my current mood so I decided to post it. I'm not sure where it came from...

Carpe Diem

So today's the day.

Today is something of a deadline for me this Christmas season. All loose ends have to be tied up or they just won't get done. The last minute purchase miscellaneous stocking stuffers. The frantic sending of Christmas cards to people that I barely know only because they have sent me one, so now I feel like I have to reciprocate (and really, how sick is that?). The last Christmas party of the season that I will attend, held at a law firm filled with third generation lawyers with old Southern money that recognize that which is truly important in life... "Honey, this is the South, no one cares how you feel, it's how you look that matters!" I swear one of them told me that last year!

Today is the day... should guarantee a headache by the time it's all over. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I rest my case.

Creative Mothering...

Sometimes I wish it were possible to freeze time. Just for a few minutes.

Today is the official start of The Brain's Christmas vacation. Unfortunately, I still have reports that have to be typed... Not a good combination. This child has absolutely driven me nuts today. I mean it. I'm ready for a drink and it's not yet noon!

I had to come up with something to keep him busy. His chores are all finished so I gave him a choice. He can do 100 three digit subtraction problems or one Billy Blanks DVD. Tough choice, right?

He chose the DVD.

God I wish I could freeze time! It is the funniest/cutest thing I think I have ever seen. He's really getting into it. He's all arms and legs!

Mission accomplished. Now, where are those reports...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

If y'all only knew how close I was using this picture with our Christmas cards... It so completely sums up our family!

Notice my niece, Talia, a beautiful little girl even with the black eye, looking dazed and confused, The Brain's look of complete angst... "Mommm...How many of these stupid pictures are you gonna take?!", and poor little Talan, my nephew, only six weeks old, looking for all the world like he's wondering how in the hell he landed in our family.

I must have taken thirty pictures that afternoon, but this one is still my favorite.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Dieting...

I decided that because this was such a tough time of the year to diet I would post a few of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes. If you have any favorites that you'd like to add, please feel free to do so!

Five Can Soup

1 can whole kernel corn
1 can Ro*tel
1 can Healthy Choice Country Vegetable Soup
1 can Hormel Chili, Turkey with Beans 99% Fat Free
1 can diced tomatoes

Combine all ingredients and heat.

1 cup = 2 points

1 Serving Brownie

2 tablespoons Krusteaz Fat Free Brownie Mix
1 tablespoon water

Mix in cup and cook in microwave on high for 1 minute.
You can top this with Fat Free Cool Whip for no extra points

1 serving = 1 point

Butterfinger Trifle
Serves 16, 1 serving = 4 points

1 Box Fat Free Krusteaz Brownie Mix
2 small boxes Sugar free/Fat free instant chocolate pudding
1 8oz container of Cool Whip
4 Slimfast Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and add two beaten egg whites. Bake and cool. Prepare pudding with 4 cups of fat free milk. Cut brownies into about 12-16 squares. Layer in this order: brownies, pudding, cool whip, and chopped crunch bars. Repeat. 3 layers total with crunch bars ending on top.

I Have a Secret

I have a secret.

I have always driven very economical cars, cars that get close to 30 mpg and zip in and out of traffic on a whim.

I've always hated huge SUV's... I can never see around them in traffic and their drivers annoy me. WHY drive a vehicle designed to go off road but then come to a full stop before going over a speed bump? Learn to drive the vehicle you bought! Sheesh!

Last week I got a new company car. I didn't have a choice; they simply forced it on me. It's a 2006 Jeep Liberty. I feel like the driver in an 18 wheeler when I'm in it, I've never been up so high before. I swear, I feel like I'm getting a king of the mountain complex or something. It gets like 17 mpg in the city and I've already had to fill it up twice. I know it's not that big compared to a lot of the things out on the road, but to me, it's huge!

So here's my secret... I actually like driving it. I hate the way it handles, I believe that if I ever was chased or had to go in pursuit I'd probably die, but I don't care. For someone who's 5'4" on a good day, I like being big for once.

Don't tell. Shhhh!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Four Seasons... Southern Style!

So it seems the Professor is becoming a little more insistent, he's traveling to Memphis this week to head up an internal investigation there, and wants me to join him. Nice thought, but one that proves that he really has no concept of what my life is like right now. People without children have a hard time understanding life for those of us who do.

Agent C is still hanging around, I think that we're both just kind of in a holding pattern until we determine where we are going to be. I am considering a position in Nashville with the Federal Court; it would mean more money, but less room for growth. If I got the job there, it'd be great for about three years, after that, I'd have to move on. I really just want to get somewhere where I can just relax, somewhere where I could retire from if I chose to. It may be a pipe dream, but it’s my pipe dream.

Our trip to North Carolina looks like it may be put off until the spring... nothing says Christmas in the South like a good old fashioned ice storm.

I've always heard that Southerners have four seasons just like everywhere else... ours are just a little different. Instead of spring, summer, fall, and winter, we have almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.

Gotta love it here!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Things Change

This time of the year is so strange. It seems like we spend so much of our time frantically running from one obligation to the next, all in the attempt to ensure that we "enjoy" the holiday season, that in the end, we don't.

Over the last week I've decided that enough is enough. I finished my shopping and decided that once the obligatory cards were mailed out to friends and family that I'd say to hell with everything else. The decorating isn't done but the tree is up. No supplies have been bought for the goodies that I usually make to send out for friends and family, but Norm Thompson has some great looking desserts so that's gonna be that.

It's funny that now that I've stopped worrying about it, I'm actually enjoying it a little more. Last weekend Agent C and I got together and went out for drinks. He was in town for a seminar and we wound up staying up until well after the sunrise talking and laughing and comparing cases. It was really nice talking with someone in the same profession that has had the same experiences that I've had. He's trying to put in for a position here at this field office, but the way things are looking, I'll have transferred by that time. Oh well.

I've also been getting calls from another guy that I actually do work with right now. He's been nothing if not persistent. He teaches some of the defense classes at the academy... I think he's like a 5th degree black belt in something or another. Despite that, he seems to be a very gentle person and has a great sense of humor. I think we'll be working together over the next week or two on a couple of cases, and I've agreed to get together with him sometime this next week for dinner or drinks. I don't know if I want to date him or not, but I like what I've seen of him so far. He's great on the job and definitely someone you'd want to back you up. That's always nice.

All in all, it's strange to be single again, but it's nice to see that it's still a choice.

This is not what I thought my life would be ten years ago, but ah, hell... it's been a great ride so far.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Works for me...

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.

The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!

Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...

You'll love living in the most chic place on earth.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tis the Season

So remind me again WHY this is the season to be Merry? It seems to me that I have the same amount of time everyday, the same amount of money on payday, and the same amount of responsibilities, but NOW I also have about three times as much to do.

I've barely been keeping up during the non-holiday rush, how in the hell am I supposed to do everything that needs to be done (no, really.. needs... we're talking stuff like cooking and laundry here), if I also have to decorate, shop, plan a trip, and play Santa?!

I must be missing something here... twice as much work in half the time?

Bah, Humbug!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Daddy's Rules

The first time I brought a date home my dad walked us to the door on our way out. He shook my dates hand and said something to the effect of "My daughter is a lady, she'll come home a lady, or you'll become a lady... Have a good time!"

I think I was home by 8:30 that night. My date sat one seat over from me in the theatre and didn't speak the whole night!

Daddy looked like a cross between The Godfather and Perry Mason. 6'3" 300 lbs of pure Italian father. It's a wonder that I managed to marry in the first place!

I've kept these rules of dating because they reminded me so much of him. I don't know who wrote them, but I thought I'd post them anyway for all you protective parents out there who need a laugh. Enjoy!


Rule One:

If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.

Rule Two:

You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If y

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Conflict of Interest

So I think I really rained on my mother's parade this past weekend. It wasn't intentional... really.

She suggested that we spend some time over the holidays volunteering in the soup line at the homeless shelter. Great idea, except for one small problem...

When I worked with the police department I arrested what I imagine must be at least 80% of the regular tenants there. Not just once, but often multiple times.

Somehow I doubt that my face is one that they'd want to see working in the line this Christmas!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Question of the Day

Since I have given up any hope of appearing that I have all of the answers to The Brain's unusual questions, I thought I'd enlist some help from you.

His most recent question was:

"Hey mom, what's the opposite of Cinnamon"?

I'm stumped, and this isn't the sort of thing the internet can help with... It does make you wonder what line of thought led to that particular question though, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Purpose of Motherhood

I never thought that I'd say this, but I was wrong. Homeschooling is better than public/private education.

There, I said it.

I live in an affluent area of Northern Alabama; my son attends one of the best schools in the state (which basically means it's about an average school in a state with a decent educational system) and is taught by some of the best teachers that the South has to offer. They try their best to make learning fun and to give the kids a well rounded education. They are failing. I blame other parents more than I blame the school. I believe that most teachers really want to teach, they are just so bogged down in maintaining order that there isn't much time left over for anything else.

I blame the parents that had children and only then considered their role in raising them. Parents who consider it vital that their children like them and want to be friends with them; that want to be considered "cool" by the friends of their children. Parents who turn on the TV or buy the latest gadget to entertain their child so that they don't actually have to (gasp) talk to them. Parents who are lazy.

I may get lynched for saying this, but I'm going to anyway.

As mothers it is not our job to be our children’s friends. Sure, that should be part of it, but parenthood should never be turned into a popularity contest. You have the right and the responsibility to be obnoxious to your kids, to demand that they learn responsibility by doing chores and then actually making them follow through by checking their work. By making them do the same chore over and over again until it's done right. By demanding honor and honesty and respect from them everyday. By teaching them the value of working hard and being self sufficient. To accept that your kids may not always like you, but chances are, it just means that you must be doing something right.

Mothers of the world, I suggest to you that you can control your children. They are not "bad", they are not simply "spirited", they are undisciplined and desperately trying to get your attention. Step up to the plate, get off your ass, and ask yourself what you want to teach your children today. What are you going to work on with them, and how are you going to do it. It's your job, and it's the most important one you'll ever have.

Until you do, I'm going to continue to look into ways that I can hold down a full time job and homeschool at the same time. The Brain needs a decent education. Your kids do to. It is after all, their job.