Friday, April 25, 2008

Number 22

Ya'll know how much I like to talk about my refrigerator...

I have been in denial for about a month but my refrigerator...ok, typing that whole word is taxing me. At the risk of sounding stupid I am going to say fridge. Bear with me.

So anyway...My fridge has been dying a slow painful death for a while. On Monday, in an effort to do number 22, I went grocery shopping and loaded up on veggies. I purchased most of my groceries from the periphery of the store just like all those healthy people tell you to do. I went home and unloaded all $150 worth of groceries into my fridge and freezer. A little while later I opened the fridge to grab something out and it was room temperature. Hmmmm. Very strange. I called my mom (when all else fails run home crying to your mommy and daddy...I do this a lot) and she said that sometimes it gets dirty under the fridge and a simple whoopy-woo swish of your vacuum can help your fridge run more efficiently (I call her Martha. But with much stricter moral standards. How can a person be more uptight than Martha, I do not know. I love you mom and mean this in the nicest way.) So that evening Jimmy and I pulled the fridge out (OMG YUCK!) and cleaned on, in, under, around, over and out. We put a thermometer in and left it overnight. In the morning the fridge was at 50 degrees. Ew, throw away the mayo!!

Oh my gosh this is a long story...

Wrap it up...frantic repair guy phone calls ensued, I was without a fridge for 2 1/2 days and I ate popcorn for dinner on Tuesday because this is "No eating out" month. (April 22-May 22). End of story.

So, I have my food back (It was at Martha's) and I have a lot of veggies staring at me and yelling "Eat me!! With cheese!! And butter!!" Any suggestions on how to get my family to eat all these veggies? Without a lot of cheese or butter?
I found a yummy grilled eggplant recipe that I am making tonight but I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who will be excited about it.
Oh well...I believe it says, "Eat more green stuff. ENCOURAGE my family to" I won't be a failure if they choose not to, right?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Erika and Number 2 on the list

My super super sweet friend Erika sent me a birthday present today!
I love mail!
I especially love boxes in the mail!
I dashed home to meet the refrigerator repair guy, checked the mail and there was a bright fun little box in my mailbox. Oh Happy Day!
My elation over this just further reinforced my resolve to check Number 2 off the list.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Number 18 starts today

I was so disgusted when I ran a report on Quicken that showed how much money we spent on "dining" in the last few months. I could have gone on vacation with that amount of money!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Number 3

Yesterday we rode the bus to school!

To quote Olivia,"Lisa, guess how I got to school today?! The City Bus!!!!"

They loved it! We spent a blissful 1/2 hour looking out the window at people and trucks and landmarks we recognized. When we switched buses downtown we stood up against a building and soaked up some sunshine while the bus driver took his 2 minute break. The bus comes right to our corner (They loved sitting on the bus stop bench), we switched downtown and took it a few more blocks to the Co-Op (which is only a block away from school).
I was not looking forward to this little adventure but I am pleasantly surprised at how...well...pleasant it was.
We plan on doing it once or twice a week for the next few weeks that school is in.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


3. Figured out the bus schedule. I can catch it at the corner by my house at 7:55, switch buses at State & Glenwood and take it right to the shop. I'll be to work by 8:30. Woo!
I am so annoyed every time I put $50 into my gas tank and it seems like I have to fill up every freakin' week! Taking the bus is not my idea of a rockin' good time but it will cost a dollar and I'll have a 1/2 hour to do anything besides driving....sit and stare out the flippin window and enjoy not being pissed off by traffic. On Saturday I am dragging Jimmy and the kids on a "test ride" to school on our bikes. My brother suggested a route that would be easy and safe so we are going to try it out to see how long it takes.

6. Which 5 movies? What would you classify as a "classic movie"? Suggestions?

7. I know this is really lame but hey, it's who I am! I haven't switched yet (I do use paper and I do reuse them) but I hate the yucky green bags that the grocery store has so I ordered these. So cute! (Go ahead, laugh at my "eco fashion"!)

10. I have a Kids and I trip planned for the weekend of May 30th. We're going to Joe and Kelsey's and Yellowstone!

15. I am an unsubscribing crazy woman! It is amazing how much email shit I get on a daily basis.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

27 Things To Do Before I Turn 28

1. Make a collage

2. Write letters

3. Park my car once a week. Take public transportation or ride my bike to work.

4. Surprise someone with exactly what they want.

5. Make out at the drive in movie.

6. Watch 5 classic movies.

7. Switch to re-usable bags for grocery buying.

8. Take Olivia skiing.

9. Go on a weekend trip with my best we used to.

10. Go on a weekend trip with just my kids and I.

11. Go on a weekend trip alone.

12. Remember to floss every day.

13. Call my oldest brother.

14. Keep in better touch with my sister.

15. Unsubscribe to all that crap that floods my inbox.

16. Take my kids rollerskating with my dad.

17. Go paperless as much as possible at home and work.

18. Go without eating at a restaurant or fast food for a month.

19. Get a front porch. However it has to happen.

20. Spend at least 4 nights of this summer with my backpack only.

21. Get out of the city limits once a month all year.

22. Eat more green stuff. Encourage my family to.

23. Write in a journal 2 times a week.

24. Don't flinch.

25. Say what I want.

26. Read more non-fiction.

27. Figure out that whole map and compass crap.

Happpy Birthday To Me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Check It Out

This is really long but it's a great read on parenting

It is an excerpt from a new book, Parenting, Inc. How we are sold on $800 strollers, Fetal Education, Baby Sign Language, Sleeping Coaches...You get the idea.

If you want to read it, please do but I just wanted to share the part that really speaks to me:

This parental money warp has distorted our entire approach to raising children. That million-dollar estimate doesn't account for the uneasy combination of guilt and desire that has become the artisan-bread-and-butter of the parenting industry. It doesn't factor in the thousands of potential saviors that loom before worried parents in baby gear catalogs or the enticing amusements heralded in parenting magazines, piled on shelves at baby emporiums, and charmingly displayed in specialty gift shops. It doesn't calculate the pressure to buy something because everyone else's child seems to have one.

Today, the "mom market" is said to be $1.7 trillion, with the toy industry for babies between birth and age two alone generating more than $700 million a year. "Parents will do anything to provide for their children. Marketers now know that this category has tremendous opportunity for growth," said Jan Studin, publisher of Parents magazine.

The marketing pitch is usually predicated on fear—and it starts right away and relentlessly. Advertisements scare women senseless about all that can go wrong in pregnancy in order to sell supplements, classes, massage therapy, shopping therapy, and pillows, when a bath and a bar of chocolate would probably suffice. Parents are bludgeoned over the head with statistically warped safety warnings in order to sell childproofing gear, strollers, changing tables, helmets, restraining devices, and high chairs. We are inundated with information about early childhood development that trumpet the need for children's cognitive stimulation in order to sell toys, DVDs, video games, computer programs, extracurricular activities, programmed family outings and vacations, and a host of products bleating "sensory overload!" in moving, shaking, music-making primary colors. Books, tutors, teachers, test prep companies, and admissions officers startle parents into action with scare stories about the merciless competition of school entry requirements and academic performance and the need for every child to find his ideal "learning environment," in which he can meet and exceed his abilities—all to sell parents on sky-high tuition, tutoring fees, test-taking courses, test prep books, and consultant fees.

We are terrified of what might happen if we don't do "something" (that is, everything) for our kids, and too often this translates into buying something or hiring someone.

Read the whole thing for more food for thought!

And here is my soap box...
If you've read my blog or know me, then you know that I am a firm believer in less is more, especially when it comes to kids and all the demands of modern parenting.
I do have to confess that I am relatively new to this parenting gig. I've only been doing it for four years but I came into it with a lot of opinions about parenting because of my experience as a teacher. I have fallen on my self righteous ass over and over again. Most of those "I will never" statements disappeared the second Olivia fell asleep in my bed attached to my right breast. All of the sudden 4 hours of sleep was 400 times more important than all that bullshit I spouted about never allowing kids to sleep with you.
So, with all that in mind...I have stuck pretty firmly to my belief that kids are over-scheduled, over-"provided for", over, over everything. I was feeling pretty proud of myself in our age of crazy consumerism. My kids aren't running all over to their after school activities. They have so few toys that they actually play with all of them. We own one TV, one internet-less computer, and my kids spend 90% of their day using their plain 'ol imagination.
But I have been seriously tested on this lately. My kids are getting older and they are more aware of what other kids have. They also go to a school that is populated by people that are...lets a higher income bracket than we are. I have found myself feeling like I am not doing enough or I'm not buying enough. I was starting to give in to the fear-driven logic that says your kids won't succeed in life unless you provide them with every possible advantage.
I have found myself checking out the summer camp programs and thinking about all the ways I can make this the BEST SUMMER EVER! for them. I think I came across this in just the nick of time. It has reaffirmed for me that the way I choose to live is what's best for my family. I am doing the best for my kids by NOT doing all that stuff, by not buying all that stuff.
So this summer you will find us playing outside without a structured activity in sight! We will swim, we will dig in the sand, we will lay in the grass. All for the pure pleasure of being a child. And it will be the BEST SUMMER EVER!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Last weekend. Picture this...

I'm standing wellie-deep in the pond. It has been mostly drained so the crap that is left in the bottom is exactly that...crap. Power washer hose in one rubber gloved hand. Jimmy and the kids standing on the side watching me. The entire time I am worried about coming across the partially decomposed body of the fish that was living in there last fall.
Whoosh, here comes the fish!! It flies out of the water, aided by the force of the power washer, and hits me on the leg.
But, it's alive!
I send Jimmy into the house for a colander but first I have to explain what a colander is for about 5 minutes. (Do you know what a colander is?) I catch the fish and at this point my mom has arrived. She points out that I have peeled the skin off half of the fish with the power washer. So of course the kids want to see it. Fast forward to that night...Fish is in a bucket on my kitchen counter. (What the hell?!) I peek in and notice that he looks like he's gulping for air. Hmm. Mention it. The kids start a running list of all the possible ways that I have killed the fish. "It's starving to death, mom". " You peeled it's skin off, mom". It can't breathe in that bucket, mom". "It was cold all winter, mom" and on and on. The next day the fish is officially dead. It is waaayy too big to flush so I decide to fling it over the fence into the canal. But then I get a picture of the fish landing barely on the other side of the fence and Harvey retrieving it then tearing it up all over my yard. Hmmm. Call dad. "Dad, can you come over?" "Sure, why?"
"Well, I need you to fling a dead fish over my fence and into the canal. And make sure it gets all the way into the canal."
"Oh, ok. I'll be there in a few minutes"
No questions. Nothin'.

There you go. An entire weekend of my life. Riveted aren't you? I lead such an exciting life.