Halloween


Piglet and Snow White
Halloween 2007
31 October 2007

We had a really excellent Halloween this year.  We spent the evening with our friends, Ray and Leslie (Ray married us) and their two children.  We went trick-or-treating, ate excellent cheese, and caught up with each other’s lives.  We all had a really good time.

Our baby is already asleep.  Lily and I have already eaten way too much candy.  And we’re watching the latest trailer for The Golden Compass (we all really want to see this movie) before we brush our teeth and go to bed.

Good night, all.  And Happy Halloween. 🙂

October 31st, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Schedules and chicken pies


Our adorable, amazing, perfect baby.
He’s almost 10-months-old now.
28 October 2007

Did I mention that I love love love this DIY planner website?  I’m a planner, a list-maker, a scheduler.  You know how there is “the crazy cat lady?”  Well, I’m the “crazy list lady.”  You can’t hardly turn around in my house without bumping into a list.

So I gathered all my various lists from around the house, and I made a schedule and list of priorities yesterday to put in my lovely DIY planner.  We’ll see how it works.  Schedules and children don’t go together well.  Sure, I may really want to get the breakfast dishes done, but when both children are demanding my attention, well… the dishes have been known to pile up.

But, none the less, full of hope and armed with a daily planner, I’m going to try to follow a loose schedule.  I even set the alarm!  I quit work when I was pregnant with Lily and haven’t set an alarm these past three years except when we are leaving on a trip (we have to drive at ridiculous hours of the morning, like leaving at 4am, because our children hate long car journeys and will scream — literally scream — if they are trapped in the car too long; so we have to travel when they are guaranteed to sleep).  But this morning, my alarm went off at 5am, heralding a new day and a new plan. 🙂

However, while making my schedule, I realized that there was no room for podcasting or sewing.  Shoot, there isn’t even room to keep the house completely clean at the moment.  The children require too much time right now.  So my hobbies have to wait a bit longer.  I sure do miss my hobbies though.  Just a bit longer… hopefully… just a bit longer…

On an entirely different subject, Matt stayed up late last night to make my playgroup a homemade chicken pot pie.  We are having our Halloween party today, and everyone is supposed to bring a dish.  Matt, being the super-amazing-mega-sweetie that he is, is treating all of us moms with his very yummy chicken pie.

October 30th, 2007 | Planning Nerd, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Discipline


Pumpkin-carving time!
28 October 2007

I lack discipline and willpower.  I have always lacked discipline and willpower (thus, the seven years it took me to get an undergraduate degree), and it has always annoyed me.  With discipline and willpower, you can achieve your goals more consistently… and I am very goal-oriented.  You’d think I’d have more discipline since I am so goal-oriented, but there it is.

Matt and I have put ourselves into debt — you know, the new American Dream for our generation — somewhat due to circumstances but mostly due to our own lack of discipline with money and spending.  While surfing one day, I was reading someone’s profile, and he described himself as a “recovering consumer.”  Well, I’m not recovering yet.  I’m only on the first step: admit that you have a problem.

We would like to move to a larger home for our growing family in a neighborhood with better schools.  We were both bullied and teased in school, and we’re not keen on our children going to a rough school.  I don’t think the elementary school in our area is that rough, but the high school certainly is.  I hated high school, but that is a different story.  And I would like my children to enjoy their school years, if possible.

But we need to get out from under this debt.  And so we’re back to discipline.  We have made an aggressive debt-reduction plan, and now it comes to executing it.  If we stay the course, we can start looking for a new home within two years.

Developing a new personality trait, though possible, is never easy nor quick.  We’ll see how I come along over the next two years as I try to build discipline… yet again.

October 29th, 2007 | Recovering Consumer | No Comments -

For everything there is a season…


Lily and Daddy fixing one of Lily’s toys.
(You can see Lily’s sunburn that she got
during the Fall Festival at Logan’s elementary school yesterday.)
28 October 2007

I’ve been missing a lot of my former hobbies recently… well, actually I’ve been missing my current hobbies as well.  We haven’t had time to do anything except take care of children and keep the kitchen and laundry clean (the rest of the house has gone to sh*t).

What I’ve been missing:

  • Playing video games (in particular, playing EverQuest with Matt until all hours of the morning)
  • Learning Japanese
  • Having manga laying all about the place
  • Snuggle lie-ins with the hubby
  • And innumerable other things that come with being young, in-love, and child-free

But I know that, in a few years, my list of things that I miss will look like this:

  • Nursing my children
  • The children’s very cute and inventive use of language as they learn (ie. Lily currently says, in her very cute little girl voice, “Look what my did.”)
  • Snuggling next to a warm, cute baby
  • And innumerable other things that come with having small children

And then I will have time to learn Japanese again and play video games and snuggle with the husband again, but I’ll miss all the wonderful things that came with having small children.  I try to remind myself of this fact when I’m longing for the things that I just don’t have the time for now.

October 28th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Fire may temper the sword, but it still hurts…


Matt has the day off today because
he has been working a lot of overtime
to complete a large project. They finished
the project yesterday. (Everyone worked
really hard. They are all so excellent
at what they do.)  So, today, he is
rocking the baby and himself to sleep
in the massive La-Z-Boy while listening
to Yanni.  What a perfect day off.
26 October 2007

Having two small children is taking a toll on our marriage.  We have been under a phenomenal amount of strain because the children are taking all of our energy and time.  We don’t spend any time with each other anymore; we merely pass children off to one another as we rotate chores.

So what does this mean to you, dear reader?  Why, it means: 1) don’t have children right after you get married; take time to be with each other and enjoy each other.  And 2) don’t think that children will strengthen a marriage.  It has the opposite effect actually.  Children will test a strong marriage and destroy a weak one.  Children are hard hard work.

They are such hard work because they are constant.  It’s not like you go dig a ditch for a couple of hours and that’s hard work.  No.  Children are constant; the ditch is never finished so you must constantly dig — never ending, never stopping, not even if you get sick.

Hmmm, here seems like a good spot to add:  Matt and I really love our children and each other.  It’s just hard work right now.  But we’ll get through it.  Matt and I have been through several hard times since we’ve been married, and we’ve made it, intact and still in love, to the other side. 🙂

ps. We do have a date planned though!  We already have tickets to see the annotated version of Showgirls at the Lake Creek Alamo Drafthouse.  We’re really looking forward to our “dinner and a movie” date. 🙂

October 26th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | 2 Comments -

Childhood Revisited


Double sleeping cuteness.
Our children look so similar that it is hard
to tell which one is which in this photograph.
I’ve already had someone ask me if they are twins.
(You can see Lily’s eczema on her arm
coming back with the cold weather.)
23 October 2007

A lovely, perfect, wonderful cold front blew in yesterday.  Since it was so cold and yummy, we got some firewood and made our first fire of the season, and then we went to Blockbuster and got Hocus Pocus.  We brought the aerobed into the living room and all piled onto it next to the fire to watch our Halloween-y movie.  Hocus Pocus did not hold the children’s attention, but I really like that movie.

When the movie was over, around 10pm (Damian had already fallen asleep on the aerobed), Lily said she wanted to sleep in the living room next to the fire.  So we turned off all the lights except the Halloween pumpkin lights, and the room was lit by the fire and the Halloween lights.  It was so nice.  We didn’t all fit on the aerobed, so Matt slept in his humongous new La-Z-Boy right next to us, and the children and I fell asleep on the aerobed.  Around 1:30am, I woke up and the fire was out.  I was worried about the children getting cold, so Matt and I moved the kids into the bedroom, and we all fell asleep in there.  The picture above was taken right before we moved the kids.

I asked Matt if he had ever slept in the living room next to the fire when he was a kid, and he said yes, at Christmas time.  And I remember doing that myself!  I remember wanting to sleep in the same room as the Christmas tree because it was so pretty all lit up.

There is something really special, and really heartfelt and warming, about reliving childhood memories with your own children.  The children are really hard work right now… very very hard.  But then you have a moment like last night where you remember what it was like to be a child, falling asleep to the magic light of fire and holiday lights, and there you are, creating that memory with your own children… and it makes all the hard work worth it.

Kids really do bring magic into your life… because they still believe in it when we have become too weary and heartworn to believe in magic anymore.

October 23rd, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

More Macquarium Fun


I added live plants and took out some of the gargoyles.
I also added a tiny filter. It was weird having a tank with no filter.
21 October 2007

Well, it turns out male bettas are aggressive towards female bettas unless they are mating. Learn something new every day.  🙂  So Fan will not be having a friend join him. He gets the Macquarium all to himself.

While surfing Macquariums, I stumbled upon the G4 CubeQuariumVery cool.  My desire is fierce.  The bizarre thing is that I am not a Mac person.  I am, however, an aquarist and a nerd (I have the Academic Decathlon letter jacket to prove it).  Maybe that is where this Macquarium obsession originates.

I don’t really want an iMacquarium because, though very beautiful with its neon colors, the illusion is not complete.  You cannot fill the tank all the way to the top with water.  But maybe I will feel the need to complete my collection after I make a G4 CubeQuarium.  We’ll see.

Anyways, I’ve been surfing eBay for G4 Cube cases.  We haven’t the money right now, but I see a G4 CubeQuarium in the near future.  And having a small, and very fun, aquarium has made me really miss my 50-gallon tank.  Once again, we haven’t the money or the time, but I think I will have my 50-gallon fishtank up sometime within the next year.  It will be so nice to have a large planted community tank again.  I’m really looking forward to it.

October 21st, 2007 | General | 1 Comment -

Macquarium


The Macquarium (or, as Lily knows it, “Fan’s House”)
You can see Fan, a betta, in the lower right hand corner of the Macquarium.
15 October 2007

I’ve been jonesing for my 50-gallon fishtank.  It is tucked away in the garage, unused these past three years.  I mentioned it to Matt, but he quickly and decidedly said, “No.”  I was pretty sure that would be his opinion.  Our house is a mess as we redo the living room, and a 50-gallon tank is a major project.  It requires a lot of upkeep as well, and we don’t have a lot of extra time between maintaining a house, two kids, and ourselves.

But, just the same, I’ve been missing a tank.  So, while we were at PetSmart yesterday buying dog food, Lily and I wandered over to the fish area to look at the fish.  She, of course, immediately wanted one.  I told her she could have one and took her over to the bettas.  I figured we could clean up the Macquarium and keep a betta.  (Macquariums hold only two gallons, and very few fish can live in such a small amount of water.  Bettas are quite happy in two gallons.)  You should have seen Matt’s face though.  It was a picture.  He was not a happy Daddy.

She picked out her betta.  Kids love fish.  She wanted to constantly hold her new fish and feed him.  When we got home, I pulled out the Macquarium from the garage and spent maybe an hour cleaning it.  It was pretty dirty.  Then we put Fan, as Lily has named him, in his new home.

I asked Matt why he was so upset.  He said, “It was another project.”  Our house really is in a state.  I can see why he was upset.  But he didn’t stay upset.  It only took an hour, and the Macquarium looked horrible before.  Now it’s all pretty and working again.

I want to get a female betta and name her Fin.  Then Fan will have a little friend.  🙂

October 15th, 2007 | General, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | 1 Comment -

Theme ADD


Little D helps Daddy get the TV ready to mount on the wall.
09 October 2007

Please forgive my WordPress theme ADD I seem to have at the moment.  For some reason, I just can’t seem to settle on a theme.  I really like the chocolate stripes theme, but I want a new one for a little while… and that’s where the ADD starts.  This is the Halloween theme I developed last year.  Let’s see if it will satisfy me for more than two days.

October 12th, 2007 | General | No Comments -

Processed Food is Poison (or What I Have Learned Recently)


Lily sometimes likes to take her nap in the dog bed.
(Since we have a 92-pound German Shepherd,
we have quite large dog beds.)
26 September 2007

I am quite moody.  Living with me is an emotional rollercoaster ride.  The ups with me can be quite fun — laughter, silliness, happiness.  But the downs, when I become a fire-breathing b*tch… well, those aren’t so fun… for anyone involved, including me.  And my sweet almost-three-year-old daughter seems to have the same emotional make-up as me.  She is our moody little diva.

What I have learned recently: processed food makes Lily and I much much worse.  Candy or processed food bought in boxes at the grocery store or fast food and sodas all will do the trick.  Have you seen the t-shirts that say “Instant a**hole, just add alcohol”?  Lily and I need t-shirts that say “Instant b*tch, just add processed food.”

I have been trying to stay away from processed food, but it is hard.  1) Processed food is ubiquitous in our society; it has saturated every nook, cranny, activity, moment… everything.  There is definitely a learning curve when one has decided to live without processed food in modern American society.  And 2) I have cooked, eaten, and lived with processed food all my life.  It not only requires learning new skills, but also changing habits.

I think we’re doing quite well.  And trying to stabilize my moods is definitely a motivation.  When I go on a processed food binge and then become evil incarnate to all the people I love, I remember, in a very harsh way, that processed food is poison.

October 12th, 2007 | Marathon/Fitness | No Comments -