Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do we have a winner?

OK today is the 31st, have you exercised? I'm ready to give out the fabulous prize but I need to know if any of you who took the challenge... met the challenge? There were 8 of us. Depending on whether you started on the 1st or 2nd, you should have exercised 31 or 30 consecutive days. Let me know, either here or via email! YOU DESERVE SOME PRAISE and A FABULOUS PRIZE!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Mommy, don't see me writing!"

I walked upstairs after switching the laundry, to find Fischer standing in the family room with his hand under his shirt...

Fischer: "Don't see me writing, Mommy."
Mommy: "What?"
F: "Don't see me writing."
M: (there is no paper in sight, just a few broken crayons) "Give me the crayon from under your shirt. What did you write on?"
F: "Nothing."
M: "Show me what you wrote on."
F: Points to a toy (of BFF's) with crayon on it.
M: "What else did you write on?"
F: "Nothing."
M: "Show me what you drew on."
F: "You mean give it to you?"
M: "Yes, give me whatever you drew on."
F: "Well... the couch is really heavy!"

Sigh, thank heaven for leather couches and Magic Erasers!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

That guy better not come into our house!

Last night (Christmas Eve) we were driving home, late at night from a party, when suddenly after a month of anticipation and admiration for the guy... Fischer decided that he was afraid of Santa Clause and DID NOT want that guy coming into our house while we are asleep. No amount of description of Santa, the chimney, presents under the tree, etc. could change his mind about that. So, luckily, Andy knew Santa's phone number (only Dads know this number) and called him to request that Santa put Fischer's presents on the front porch. Fischer called Grandpa to ask him to tell Santa a to do the same. Sooo, the cookies and milk went onto the porch last night and Fischer found his gifts on the porch this morning! He was so glad!! Although we did have to reassure him a number of times today that Santa NEVER came into our home!

I hope you are all having a lovely day of sugarplums and family. We've already visited with my parents this morning, Andy's family this afternoon, and are headed back to my parents for dinner in a while... So fun. We feel very blessed with good friends, good family, good food and plenty of surprises!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

missing you...

Workmen, drywall, mess, snow, Christmas cards, lost address book, lost cell phone, found cell phone, shopping, wrapping paper, laughing, students, basketball, the Polar Express, elves, road trips, hot chocolate, cold chocolate, exhaustion, candy, cookies, Amish friendship bread, hotels, parks, malls, turkey pepperoni, haircuts, friends, parties, gifts, groceries, cooking, baking, packing, unloading, shoveling, cleaning... OK- not cleaning, phone calls, nausea, fun times, Santa, Go Fish, Crazy 8s, stories, fast food, Subway- 4 days in a row, hockey, sleeping... sound familiar? I've missed you... will return soon. Maybe tomorrow after I climb laundry mountain, or maybe instead of!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Updates and Challenge

So, I am happy to say that today was a very good day. The guys came to fix the pipe, so now we can use our dishwasher, our sink and our washer and dryer. They have to come back on Monday to replace the ceiling and the wall, though. OH, GUESS WHAT? When they removed the drywall from the ceiling they found... a stack of smutty magazines from 1994! Gross. I don't know why anyone would have put them there, there was no way to get to them... so strange. Someone must have stuck them up there when they were finishing the basement. When we moved in a few years ago, that was all said and done. Anyway, gross. I want to put them in someone else's recycling bin!

Fischer and I ran errands and did some shopping today during the snowstorm. It was great to scratch a few things off the big To Do list! The snow is beautiful and has been coming down on and off all day. Fischer's new L-Bow gloves arrived just in time for the fun.

Today Andy and Fisch and I played at least 20 hands of Go Fish (Fisch's first time). He caught on really fast and can certainly hold his own in the game. Although, I was a bit startled to find myself getting competitive! Seriously embarrassing.

Finally, it is time to check in on the December Exercise Challenge. Today is December 13, how many of you are still IN? You should have 12 or 13 days of exercise depending on if you started on the first or second. No skipping. Anyone? I know a few of us are out (including me) but have still been working out past the slip-up. There were a few who joined the challenge too late for the prize, but still wanted to push themselves. So, how are you? I'd love to hear the good and the bad. If you missed a day or a few days, keep going... you are making good healthy habits regardless of the challenge or the prize. By the way, the prize is still totally fabulous and I'd love to give it to one of you. So please chime in.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lisa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

It had been building up for awhile.  I was feeling crummy and falling behind on my To Do list (which has about a million no-fun responsibilities along with a hundred fires to put out).  So the night before the bad day, I asked Sheila to pick up Fisch in the morning and keep him for a few hours, so I could catch up.
The next morning... 
  • Fischer wakes up too early and won't go back to sleep
  • I get over it and start the laundry and clean the kitchen, I turn on the dishwasher
  • I hear water falling in the basement
  • rush down to find water pouring from the ceiling and all over the washer, dryer, shelves, clean folded laundry pile, and floor in the laundry room
  • run back upstairs to find the source
  • can't find anything
  • run back downstairs to see that it has stopped but there is an enormous mess of water and gunk
  • start to cry (I don't know why) and call my dad
  • still weepy... call Andy
  • while on the phone with Andy Fischer falls off his chair and is screaming bloody murder
  • My stress level hits the roof
  • Doorbell rings, the dogs start barking and jumping on the furniture (a no no), Fischer is still screaming, I'm falling apart on the phone
  • I open the door, yank the dogs into a bedroom, shove a screaming half-naked Fischer at Sheila, go into the office and slam the door (very grown up of me)... still on the phone with Andy who cannot be very helpful because he is an hour away!
  • Off the phone, find Sheila in Fisch's room trying to get him dressed, I put on a nice face... as if I'm not falling apart at the seams and go out to the garage to grab his car seat
  • I drop it on my toe, which splits open
  • Sheila tells me to get out of the house and go sit at Starbucks for a few hours
  • She leaves, I call a bunch of fix-it guys who are too busy to come.  I am trying not to let them hear that I am crying
  • Did I mention that my hormones are a bit out of whack these days?
  • Look at the mess again and realize it has to be a sewage pipe because the "gunk" is actually bits of rotted and disgusting food!  Probably from the dishwasher.
  • Finally get a guy to agree to come in a few hours.
  • Find chocolate and eat it - feel a tad bit better, complain the entire story on the phone to Wanda
  • Feel sick to my stomach, can't accomplish any of my to do list with the water off and the HUGE mess lurking in the basement
  • Go to my parents' to go to the bathroom and then get the brilliant idea to randomly, take a bath in their giant jetted tub.  Ahhh, much better.
  • Come home, wait for the guy.
  • He comes and tells me it is worse case scenario and he will have to rip apart the basement ceiling until he finds the pipe, then we'll have to rip open the wall too because of all the food.
  • He can't come till Saturday.  He tells me to clean this up immediately because of the dangerous bacteria, and If I don't he will lecture me when he comes back.
  • He leaves and I have to leave immediately to go pick up Fisch and meet Andy to close on our refinance of our house.
  • Rush home to start cleaning up the mess before my student comes
  • He never shows
  • I'm just saying...  yesterday sucked!  Oh and I can't use my dishwasher, my kitchen sink, the washing machine or the dryer... fun times.
  • Sooo, how are you?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book of the Day

Out of the enormous box of holiday books that we have been reading this month, Fischer continuously insists that we read Margie Palatini's Mooseltoe. It is about "Moose" who happens to have an incredible mustache - or rather Moosetache, and his Holiday to do list. This moose is on the ball with holiday shopping, cooking, decorating, card writing the works... but come Christmas eve he and his family discover there has been one Major oversight... he forgot the tree! Anyway, this is Fischer's Christmas book pick this week. I'm hoping that we can start reading more of the others, because while this one is cute, I'm ready for a new story!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just clicking around: Christmas ideas

As I've been clicking around the Internet I've come across some fun new holiday traditions and Christmas ideas.

  • The first ideas was from my good friend Emily (on the phone, not on the net). She told me that she'd heard a new idea that she was going to try and use with her children this year. Everyone gets 4 gifts: Something you want, something you need (like clothes), something to share (like a video or game), and something to read. I thought it was brilliant! It would really make kids think when they are making out their Christmas list. it would also help moms and dads to not go unnecessarily overboard (that's what Grandma is for).
  • The Green Phone Booth had some great alternatives to the traditional toys and candy that come in the advent calendar. There were even better ideas in the comments. One mom wrapped up books that her kids already had and they unwrapped one each night to read together... how easy is that? You might also be interested in this thought provoking video.
  • Next Liz had a bunch of great ideas that she gleaned from her mother-in-law and Oprah. I really liked the idea of a T-shirt quilt and I loved the idea of giving your family "dates" to be together rather than gifts. Check her out.
  • Recycle now has a very fun video tutorial for using fabric to wrap gifts (no tape or bows). So cute and the fabric can then be reused however the recipient likes or you can print out a little tag with a link to how they can turn their fabric wrapping into a cool bag (no sewing)!
  • Finally have you checked out the Mother Letter Project? One family is sending Christmas to a village in Africa instead of giving to one another.... but as a special surprise, the husband has secretly and anonymously created this little project. He is asking women to submit a letter (via email or comments) about motherhood for his wife. He is going to make them into a book for her for Christmas. If you submit one, he'll give you all of the letters too! The posted letters are fabulous. people have written letters about their mothering experiences, about or to their own mothers, I saw one written to the unknown birth-mother of one woman's adopted child, some are written to children who have yet to be conceived. Very thoughtful and each letter is quite touching. He has already received over 300 letters! I haven't submitted mine yet, but I will. If you aren't into this... it might inspire you to collect letters for someone in your life... maybe not to this same scale. last year for Andy's birthday, I collected letters from many of our relatives and compiled them in to a leather journal for him. I thought it would be a great keepsake and a reminder to him about all of the people who love him and whom he has had a positive affect on.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Looking for a good read?

Back in September I received a new book to review, James Patterson’s and Hal Friedman’s Against Medical Advice. James Patterson is best known for his best-selling thrillers. But this book is different. This is a true story of co-author Hal’s son Cory. Cory has Tourette Syndrome. The story spans 12 years of Cory’s life with this syndrome. It begins with his first symptoms shortly before his 5th birthday and ends during the high school years, he is 17.

I knew that Tourette Syndrome involved typically to highly intellectual people who experience involuntary movements and verbalizations, but I had no idea that it could possibly cause such an incredible living hell. I was riveted by Cory’s story. It is told with his permission, from his viewpoint, which made it that much more fascinating. I felt as if I was experiencing his life with him.

I could easily picture the shock, humiliation and fear that would accompany being out of control of your own body. At times it was painful to read about the ways his body would contort repeatedly , sometimes injuring him with torn muscles, broken teeth and falls – yet the contortions continued after the injury causing even more pain.

The strength that Cory has to live day to day with Tourettes is incredible and inspiring. It sure makes my own aches and pains seem ridiculous. Cory is strong but of course the syndrome accompanied with OCD and anxiety takes a toll on him. He doesn’t have many friends and the ones he does have are troubled, he becomes deeply depressed and turns to alcohol and cigarettes to help him cope… his life is unimaginable.

What really struck me while reading this book was not only what life would be like with these illnesses, but also the frustrations of the medical assistance. During the 12 years that the book relays, Cory saw many doctors, specialists, hospitals, rehabs, AND was prescribed over sixty medications. Each one was for trial and error with dosages and combinations with others. Each one had its own side effects and added to the unbelievable discomfort that living in his body was.

It really made me think about all of the students that I’ve had who have been on and off a variety of meds and had to endure the effects as dosages are raised and lowered and combined with others. The medical field can offer so much, but with every body being different… the trials have got to be frustrating and sickening.

I would definitely recommend this book. I read it in a day. It was a page turner with short chapters. Cory’s life is fascinating and inspiring. I was also really inspired by his family and the way they have persevered, supported, and advocated for him. A definite good read!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

4 days in... how are you doing?

Today is day four of the exercise challenge. There are 8 official participants, and not quite as many in the running for the fabulous prize.
How is it going for you? I figured we'll check in once a week over here... I'll post about it and you can let us know how you are doing. If you miss a day, you'll be out of the running for the prize, but just jump right back in and finish out the month with us. No use in quitting ;)

So, as predicted, I have a raging cold and feel like I've been run over by a truck. It is not getting the least bit better, only worse. HOWEVER, I have still exercised every day. Granted my sessions haven't been aerobic (since I can't breathe) BUT I have challenged myself nonetheless, which is WAY more than I would normally do when I am sick. So, I figure that is good.

I'd love to hear what you've done the past 4 days. By commenting about it, we'll inspire each other to keep on sweating!

Anyway, let's cheers to healthy habits!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A December Exercise Challenge

Last night I announced my personal challenge to exercise 31 days in December. I just wanted to remind you in case you'd like to join. That exercise can be whatever is right for you. You know what would be a good personal challenge for yourself.

So... If you are in, leave a comment below or email me. Then at the end of the month... whoever made it all 31 days will be entered for a fabulous prize. I'll let you know what the prize is later.

No excuses. Today I woke up with nausea, sore throat, runny nose, itchy ears, the works... and I'm still going to run today. Usually when I start a new exercise goal I immediately get sick, or sprain my ankle or the jogging stroller tire is popped... or ... the list goes on. My goal is to not let any setbacks stop me. If I sprain my ankle today, then I will go swimming tomorrow or work on my abs and my upper body. I can do this, and I'll feel so much better too!

By the way, if I can do this, ANYONE can! Whoot whoot! Let's do it!

UPDATE: If you don't get to read this until Tuesday, then your Challenge will be 30 days of exercise in December... and it will still count for the prize. The rest of us will just be one day healthier ;).