Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guess what I did last night?



Yes, I was finally convinced to try a new game. It's the console version, which means a great deal of the time spent playing was taken up with Damm showing me how to work all the little toggles. Once or twice he laughed at me, but I can't blame him, my character did look funny running into walls and other things. I had created a human warrior but I might be switching-an entire family, including a little boy, dies. It is just a game but stuff like that instantly takes the fun out of it for me. I am guessing most of the plot lines are depressing, though, so Damm might have to play me past the sad parts.

Anyhoo, there you are.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Adventures


We are back, loaded with presents and pastries. It was an interesting week, one in which I was deprived of my laptop because it needed repairs, so no posting. I'm not sure I would've remembered to; when we first switch to a new schedule I have a tendency to forget things. Anyhow, here are some snippets from our Christmas Adventures:


1) The trip up was the most delightful twelve hours we've ever driven. When there are four adults in the car it seems they can contrive to keep two little kids happy.

2) I was told, by Damm's grandmother, to help myself to her coffee. It's that newfangled kind, with the little cup that brews one cup of coffee and costs about fifty cents each. I tried, I really did, to get my coffee elsewhere, but I have a suspicion that she didn't know about my "three cups to consciousness and the fourth to converse" habit (quotation shamelessly taken from a Julie Czenerda book and which I have adopted as my own).

3) Speaking of coffee, this is the first Christmas I have been gifted coffee. I've never asked for it, but I'm surprised that it's taken this long for someone to think of it, given my coffee mania.

4) Miniorc threw a fit about having to open a present. He's like me: too many people + new surroundings = disaster. Damm's grandmother had wanted them to open a present a night and the Orclette was delighted. Miniorc was wondering why all the adults were pressuring him to tear some paper apart. When we got to the present part-a book-he threw it down on the ground and yelled "No!"

5) Damm and his brothers played ENDLESS rounds of Settlers of Catan and Shanghai. I think they had fun, although those games can get pretty violent in tone (although I have been told that's how they communicate love to each other).

6) The Orclette proved she can be sensitive. One night, about midway through the visit, Damm's grandmother was visibly tired and, like many people, had gotten a bit snippy (bear in mind that my kids get LOUD and have no volume control). The Orclette fled to our bedroom and asked me to sit with her until her great-grandmother had had her "quiet time". After I got over my initial impulse to defend my poor offspring I realized this was a good thing: she had figured out how to make it quiet enough for her great-grandma without being told.

7) I had an awesome time with my sister-in-law. We went shopping, wrapped gifts, baked cookies (well, she baked cookies and I watched as she masterfully flew threw the kitchen whipping up dainties and delights).

8) My parents came for a couple of days and they brought Damm's favoritist game ever: Diplomacy. Turns out my dad had played the game when he was younger and they eagerly pored over the instructions for a couple of hours.

9) I ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my brother. He ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my dad. My dad ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my brother. My brother called me later to laugh over our "gift of the Magi" episode.

10) I pulled the muscle I was supposed to be resting by getting out of Damm's grandmother's incredibly comfy couch. No one believed me and defended the couch, but I know when my muscle began to spasm and it was as I got out of the couch.

11) Damm spent two hours putting together the kitchen set his grandmother had gotten the kids. They were properly grateful and spent another two hours playing happily with it, although Miniorc began to open some of the play food that came with it in hopes of  eating it.

12) Last night I had planned to stay up after putting the kids to bed. We were going to watch "Conan" (the new one) and enjoy a night alone at last. I had underestimate the power of a 3 a.m. wake up followed by eleven hours of driving. I fell asleep while putting the kids to bed, woke up some time later and dragged myself out to the living room, and then fell asleep cuddled next to Damm while he played a video game. Not exactly romantic, but we did get alone time of a sort.


So there you are. We are back, there's no-place like home etc. I go back to work tonight, we go back to our frugalish diet and we start prepping for the upcoming semester. It's going to be a doozy: Damm's parents are moving due to a familial issue so it's just us now (something I do not fault them for, I'd be moving if I were in their situation). My parents are planning on moving here this summer so the fall semester will hopefully be easier but I'm increasingly glad that I have a very easy course load this semester. Enough of the doldrums. Today I brave the shops to scour the discounted Christmas stuff. It's gonna be fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011

PRESENTS, PRESENTS. PRESENTS EVERYWHERE


My kids are being SPOILED this year. You see, my mother sent her "12 days of Christmas" package early in December. Then their other grandma did a similar series of presents. We're finally reaching the end, tomorrow will be the last day they open presents before Christmas. Well it would be, except I went to the Dollar Store and grabbed some new toys to pull out at regular intervals during our trip to Grandma's house. I wrapped them too, since I had paper left over from last year.

And when they get to Grandma's house (technically great-grandma, but they don't understand that difference)? MORE presents. She asked for the list in November. The day I sent it she emailed me back explaining everything she had gotten for them, which was every item on the list. They're going to have an AWESOME Christmas. Plus my parents are dropping by and that means even more presents ... sometimes it can be advantageous to be the only grand kids (yet, anyway) on both sides of the family.

But what is really, really cool is the Orclette's reaction to the Salvation Army bell/donation people outside of Walmart (are those ubiquitous?) and the Children's Miracle Network (I think that's the right name). She had asked me what both were for and I explained that they helped little kids and families who need to go to the hospital or don't have enough to celebrate Christmas. She immediately asked me for money so she could help them. It was incredibly heartwarming, since giving, especially at such an iconic time of year, is what I think we all should do.

And since my last paragraph was about giving I thought I'd segue into something very dear to me (this is not sponsored, I don't know if either of these organizations do that, but just so you know): Compassion  , an organization devoted to lifting children out of poverty (among other things). It's certainly not the only organization out there that does this but I like it because it is a Christian organization that works through local churches to reach the communities. I also appreciate World Vision, another organization that is unashamedly Christian but that works with any organization in a community in order to aid them (both of these descriptions are what I've gleaned from reading their sites and hopefully they're accurate). I think both approaches are valid and needed; churches should be strengthened, Christians should be helping anyone who needs help, regardless of race/religion/etc.

This is dear to me because we are involved with Compassion. After my kids were born I found that I could no longer even contemplate harm being done to little children. I won't watch movies or read books that place little children in harm's way (although I did read The Hunger Games Trilogy). This feeling developed into a desire to help kids who didn't have enough to eat/were orphaned/etc. Compassion has enabled us to do that, and it is just so incredible to know that we are actually having an impact, we are actually doing something to help alleviate the grievous conditions some of these children are in. It helps me in my history classes when I read about the horrific things that people have done to each other, to the littlest among us. I remember that we are helping, and that we are not the only ones, that others are also doing everything they can to help. It's the greatest present, in my opinion, that you can ever give yourself.

So there you go. I hope that didn't sound like an infomercial (I have a tendency to do that); I attempted to actually write what I felt about the whole thing. May everyone have a lovely Christmas, may your children have presents waiting for them under the tree and may everyone have joy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Something I never thought I'd hear ...

So my mom called me tonight (10:15 p.m. their time), which was kind of weird because my parents don't generally call people after 9 p.m. I picked up, of course. And this is what transpired:

Mom: "So, you're probably not going to believe this. I have a question for you."

Me: "Ok?"

Mom: "How do I inoculate the owl thingies?"

Me: <-busts up with laughter (my mom just doesn't play video games)

Turns out she rolled a Drenai and got herself to level three. She's enjoying the graphics and got a laugh out of one of the guards telling her "Aren't you cute?" when she wandered out of the starting area.

Just when I think I know my parents, they bust out a new one. My mom, playing WoW. Never been prouder:)

Something I never thought I'd hear ...

So my mom called me tonight (10:15 p.m. their time), which was kind of weird because my parents don't generally call people after 9 p.m. I picked up, of course. And this is what transpired:

Mom: "So, you're probably not going to believe this. I have a question for you."

Me: "Ok?"

Mom: "How do I inoculate the owl thingies?"

Me: <-busts up with laughter (my mom just doesn't play video games)

Turns out she rolled a Drenai and got herself to level three. She's enjoying the graphics and got a laugh out of one of the guards telling her "Aren't you cute?" when she wandered out of the starting area.

Just when I think I know my parents, they bust out a new one. My mom, playing WoW. Never been prouder:)

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's over. It's finally over.


I thought this was an apt picture. I haven't burned any of my school paraphernalia but I have thrown away an awful lot. It's been a joy tossing things (that I won't need in the future, obviously) into the trash can. Done! Done with another semester!

What shall I do with myself now that I have all this free time? The creative urge has struck, I have ideas, I feel the weight that has been lifted off me. There is joy in life. Man, is this what normal people with normal jobs feel like? Hahahahahahahahaha oh shoot I'm verging into a mini-hysteria ...

So, yes, the Orc family (should probably come up with a new name for ourselves) is finally on Christmas/Winter Break. The tension that has filled the house these last few months has dissipated, stress levels are eased, and the Christmas spirit now has room to flourish.

Monday, December 5, 2011

ROTC Ball and Snow+Finals Week

I am recovering from two finals earlier today. My hand cramped, my neck hurts and my back feels thrown out of alignment. I think my face had a grimace of concentration on it most of the day. I'm sure it was very attractive. But now that's over and I only have online stuff to work on. Damm still has finals left though.

Or does he? The last time it snowed in Las Cruces the city shut down for several days. Look what it's doing right now:







So I guess we'll see about the school remaining open. I know those of you in the North are laughing but we here in Las Cruces are woefully unprepared for cold weather. Heck, I saw girls walking around in non-winterish looking skirts today. We were so not expecting this.

This is what we have also been up to:




This is our "serious" face. We took some smiling photos too but I am ALWAYS smiling in pictures. I needed some non-smiley ones. I went for the black dress this year; I have trouble finding dresses in brighter hues that work for me. I really like this one, although this picture hardly does justice.

Yo, so I am done, the kiddos are already experiencing "cabin fever".

Monday, November 28, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

I hope your Thanksgiving went well. Mine did, although it was a bit weird-it was at my house this year. I didn't host it, we all pitched in, but it was at my house. And therefore it couldn't be Thanksgiving, because Thanksgivings are spent at grandma's house with all the relatives. My grandma, to be specific. For seventeen years holidays-most of them-were spent at my grandma's house, so now the holidays feel weird 'cause I'm not at her house. Oh well.

I also hope your Black Friday went well. I was facing the hordes at 8 a.m., but really everyone was very nice. We at the bookstore didn't get any of the crazy, pepper-spraying people (if you haven't heard of that read this). It was busy though, so when I finally got home around 4:30 p.m. I collapsed on the couch. I did take advantage of the games being 50% at my store, so I guess I contributed to the madness.

And now it's Cyber Monday and we college kids have to go back to school. Every part of my being is screaming "NO! WANT TO STAY HOME WITH FIREPLACE AND TREE!" but of course I can't do that. There are papers to write and tests to study for. December 10 is when we are officially free. /sob.

So have fun on this Cyber Monday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Arrgh Moment is Justified.


So I read the Hunger Games Trilogy and felt absolutely awful Monday morning. Book hangover. Definitely don't drive while under the influence-trying to navigate the car while reading what happened next just doesn't work. Anyway, I was on our school's online thingymajig (it's called Blackboard but I have no idea what you call it in computer parlance-platform?) and noticed that our final essay assignment had been posted for my mythology class. Turns out I can write about any hero/heroine from any novel/movie. Score, right? I'm totally writing about Katniss Everdeen. My reading marathon over the weekend turned out to be just the right thing.

In other news, I have a group presentation today. Judging by the laughter, goofing off and cookies we made it's going to be a good one. Ask me anything you want to know about jazz and I might be able to answer you. We had some confusion over what, precisely, we were going to cover. I thought jazz and I thought music! and researched accordingly. The person who was to cover the dances thought swing! and researched accordingly. I think it all works though, 'cause you can't really talk about the dances without the music and vice verse.

In yet other school news, this is it: the last three days before Thanksgiving Break. It isn't a true break, I have homework that must be done, but there will be at least a couple days that I don't do anything at all. Isn't that exciting? I know I'm looking forward to it. Plus the turkey, ROLLS, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and the DESSERTS comprise Thanksgiving dinner. Did you catch on to what my favorite parts were?

So, have a good day. Think about me/us as we do our group presentation, as most of us are pretty frazzled. That might work to our advantage, though, because our dance class is CRAZY. Fun crazy, but crazy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Arrgh.

I feel grouchy. Kind of hungover, but not a alcoholic hungover. It's a book hangover.

The Hunger Games, people, the Hunger Games. By Suzanne Collins.

Ok, I'm going to go medicate my head with coffee now.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oatmeal, Shirts and Economics.


First, the Oatmeal. I was out shopping the other day in the middle of the afternoon. I had actually made a shopping list and was going to stick to my budget so I was feeling pretty good about life. We (meaning myself, Orclette and Miniorc) got to the cereal aisle and I thought about buying some. Cereal is rather expensive, however, when you compare it to Oatmeal, so I decided that I was going to be virtuous and buy the cheaper option. It was a great idea until the next morning when my morning brain threw a fit against my afternoon brain because my morning brain DOES NOT COOK. Not even the minuscule amount of cooking that it takes to make Oatmeal. So the moral is: do not do your breakfast shopping with your afternoon brain.

Secondly, the Shirts. I was switching out the kiddos summer clothes for their winter ones (it's just now getting cold here) and I discovered that the Orclette had practically nothing warm to wear. So I packed the kids up and headed out to Savers, one of our local thrift stores. We found some really cute things, including a Shirt that had a design I would actually wear. This raises a conundrum for me: am I dressing my daughter in clothes too old for her? She's no longer a toddler so (to me at least) the frills and bows don't look right. But do I really want her to be a mini-me at age four? (The Shirt was in all other respects appropriate. I don't dress skankily and neither will my daughter as long as she lives in my house:)

Thirdly and finally, Economics. I took Macro Economics a long time ago and got a "D", the only time I've ever received a grade that low. I think it's safe to say I don't understand the subject matter all that well. So one of my teachers assigned a reading that was written by a sociologist who used economic terms indiscriminately throughout the reading. I really have no idea what he said, but I had to write a paper on it, so I let my brain take a back seat, tried to remember that Macro Economics class, and let the words flow. The paper actually sounds intelligent but I have no idea what I said. I'm turning it in today. Hopefully it'll sound intelligent enough to garner me an "A".

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Am I more stressed out this year than last year?"


I think we are. Everybody we know is having a rough or stressful or life-changing semester. Ours is simply stressful; some grades haven't been what we wanted them to be and there are always teachers/fellow students to grapple with. And it's been this way every semester. I have end-of-the-semester stress symptoms every May and December.

It seems to be worse this year, however. Last Fall I was still baking, actively planning Christmas and making sure my friends felt the love of the season. This Fall I collapse on the couch to start watching my stressed-out go-to show: The Gilmore Girls. No baking has been done, Christmas planning will just have to wait, and does anyone actually want a Thanksgiving dinner or can we just do pizza?

I've analyzed the situation, of course, and I have come up with two reasons for our extra-tiredness:
#1: Our class levels are higher. There is a huge difference between a 100-level course (that's a beginner class) and a 400-level class (that's a class that grads can also take). Three of mine are 300-level classes and one is a 400-level. Damm's are constantly getting more complicated and building on what he learned the previous semester.

#2: We've depleted our backup stores of emotional and physical energy. We started this whole college thing back in the Spring of 2009. We still have (after this semester) three more grueling semesters to go. This is the Hump Semester, if you will.

I think the Spring semester will be better. I'm filling in some educational gaps and I'm taking a 100-level course and a 200-level course (and also a 300-level and 400-level). My stress will most likely be lower. Damm's won't, but at least he'll feel like we're finally going downhill (to the summer) rather than uphill (building towards another semester).

In the meantime I have a PowerPoint project to finish, a research paper to write, a group presentation to prepare and several papers and tests that I know are coming up. Not sure what Damm is doing. Feel free to offer up a prayer or two for us this week:)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Middle-Aged Biker

Man, how did the week go by so fast? Just a moment ago I was having a case of Mondayitis that was NOT being solved by coffee (I think I got up to eight cups that day). Now it's (almost) Friday and a weekend full of fun Halloween festivities are about to begin, starting with a 6 a.m. costume run tomorrow morning. I'm going as a middle-aged female biker who has had a middle-aged crisis and bought herself a fancy bike and a few tattoos. Here's my pretend bike:




I even have a fake tattoo sleeve. It looks kind of odd juxtaposed with my real tattoos, but it's fun. Damm is going as Gru (from Despicable Me), the Orclette is a bundled-up fairy and the Miniorc as a bundled-up knight. It finally got cold on us, hence my mentioning the bundled-upness. It's going to be a fun run (cue resigned voice). I remember my parents and grandparents doing early morning runs and activities on holidays/celebrations. Now it's our turn to create memories (muahaha!).

Then we have a Harvest Party on Monday night. It's hosted by our church and provides the games and candy the kiddos like without actually doing Halloween things like "trick or treating" (we don't actually do Halloween since we're not big fans of this particular celebration although dressing up and getting candy is fun). Sugar overload, anyone?



Friday, October 21, 2011

Orange, Orclette and Overworked


I'm thinking orange. Orange pumpkins, orange candles, orange foliage. Mixed in with a few other fall colors, of course. Rather than jump immediately into Christmas-planning mode (like I usually do) I've been mustering up enthusiasm for Thanksgiving, and even in some measure Halloween. I do not celebrate Halloween because I am not enthused about the origins of that particular celebration but we do participate in festivities if they are kid-friendly. For instance, this year Damm and the Orclette will be participating in the ROTC Halloween Run dressed as (we're thinking) Dorothy and the Tin Man/Straw Man. It'll be awesome.

Speaking of the Orclette, I had a moment yesterday that I was strongly tempted to say "Why can't you just be more like Miniorc!" I didn't say it, in case you were curious. What had happened was that she and I were in the bathroom getting ready for bed and Miniorc and Damm were already asleep (bathroom connects to bedroom). She was singing loudly, playing with the toothbrushes and completely ignoring my whispered "Hush!" es. Occasionally Miniorc is the one who manages to stay awake and when he's with me he quietly sits on the floor and reads books. He'll occasionally point out a "fly" (bug of any sort) to me in one of his books. The difference is extreme, but I still don't think it's wise to verbally compare one child with another. Or maybe it is? Anyway, in that situation I chose not to.

Overworked! Yesterday I listened to an hour-long lecture on the psychology inherent in the story of Cupid and Psyche. I am a history major, not a psychology major, so it was, to be blunt, rather boring. Then I wrote a four-page paper and participated in a Discussion Board for an online class (usual format is: create a post to teacher's specifications and reply to two other students' creations). All in three hours. I usually don't have that much time at once so I was fairly exhausted by the end of that session. I guess you couldn't really called me "overworked" as I enjoyed getting that much done but it fit in the title.

There you go. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Air Show Fun

This past weekend we went to an air show at Holloman Air Force Base. The Miniorc in particular ADORES planes and the Orclette is also fascinated by them. It was perfect weather: crisp and cold and clear (although we didn't dress the kiddos warm enough, we just aren't used to the cold weather yet. Some of the adults had to go without their jackets:)



Some of us weren't quite awake.



Others were armed with their planes and were ready to go.



Experiencing one of the static displays.



I had fun too, although the face-painting lady looked at me oddly when I asked to have my cheek painted. Paid my two dollars and I see no reason why adults can't do silly things like paint their faces.


I didn't take any pictures of the kiddos during the aerial displays. We were having too much fun pointing out the planes. Miniorc, after watching the first display, turned his face to me, pointed at the airplane, and very firmly said "mine!". It was awesomely funny.

Afterwards, as we were coming home, it occurred to me that this is what it felt like to be a kid. Dad (and sometimes mom, although not my mom) would work hard during the week and then the weekends were time for fun. That feeling ended as soon as I looked at my homework load, but hey, it was fun while it lasted.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

What I've Been Thinking About Lately

(Is me)


For my mythology class: project on various archetypes in different cultures. For example: Creation/Origin myths, the Flood archetype, the Great Goddess etc. I'm researching Judaism, which has been fairly smooth sailing so far. The only issue I've had is reducing my focus to just the Torah. I've always read those first five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) as part of a greater whole and it's been interesting to shift my viewpoint to the Torah/Tanakh.

For my Latin American class I'm reviewing for the midterm. One essay, which I'll be writing at home, and short definitions to be written in class. Thirty options for the short definitions given on the review sheet, professor will give eighteen to choose from, I choose ten to write about. Ask me anything about the various independence movements and political infighting. Hurry though, data dump will commence after the midterm on Monday.

For my terrorism class: nothing, really. The professor that teaches this class is incredibly laid back and is easy-going with his red marker (referring to the red remarks professors make on papers. I realize not everyone is in school:)

And finally, my dance class. We practiced the Samba and Lindy-hop this past week. The kiddos and I watched YouTube videos on couples dancing the Samba; when it was over and I was demonstrating the basic step the Orclette, very seriously, said "Mama some of us dance different things and that's ok". I think she was concerned I was going to make her try and dance the samba to the exclusion of ballet:) She might also have been alarmed by some of the costumes; most of the dancers we saw were, compared to how we dress, rather scantily clad.

So. Thunk any good thoughts lately?



Monday, October 3, 2011

I got called a "Blogger Mom"

Last week the Orclette and I were talking about how our ancestors had to use candle for light (during our school session) and I had the brilliant idea of researching how candles are made. We hopped onto YouTube (my kids love watching videos) and watched a couple of demonstrations. It looked easy so we made a trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up candle-making supplies. Here are the results of our adventure:




The Orclette helping me. One candle vase was a girl and the other was a boy and they lived happily ever after.


The Miniorc was "opening" everything with his screwdriver.



Prepping the gel candles. I really like having the marbles at the bottom of the glass.



We went with the orange dye.



And ta-da! Two new candles to go on my mantle (the ones on the sides).


Anyway, I was describing out adventures to a classmate (or was it a co-worker? my days are all jumbled) and she exclaimed "You're like one of those blogger moms!" So I figured I'd better blog about this adventure. It was fairly easy and I'm contemplating making more for Christmas gift baskets (yes, I am already planning Christmas gifts. I am that type of person).

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's interesting when ...

You know it's going to be an interesting morning when, after you drink an energy drink, you have moved from the How did I end up in the kitchen stage? to Man, I think I need some coffee stage.

Have a great morning!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This is what I spent the morning doing.

Read the following. Was I neutral enough? Nice enough? Too nice? I didn't bother complaining at the store; usually the peons can do nothing and it wasn't their fault in the first place (I jokingly refer to myself as a peon as well so no offence is meant by that word).


To Whom It May Concern,

I recently left one of my purchased bags at Store #5155 (Store Manager Anthony Martinez). Within the hour I returned for my items only to find out that they had already been put back onto the shelf. From my conversation with the employee at the Customer Service desk it seemed that this was a store policy and not an individual blunder. While it was my negligence that caused the situation in the first place it also was, in my opinion, an egregious lack of customer service. It would be a courtesy to keep purchased, non-perishable items at Customer Service for at least a few hours before returning them to the shelf (and necessitating the customer to shop for those items once again in order not to waste their money).

I would like to emphasize that my distress was caused by what seemed to be a store policy and not any individual employee. I have always had friendly and courteous treatment by the employees of this Walmart.

Thank you for your time,

Rebecca Roelant


That complaint has been submitted, I have my items, all is well. I managed to comport myself with dignity throughout the entire episode (at least I thought I was dignified). One whole hour wasted, though, on a day when I had everything planned to a "t". There goes my schedule:)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lovely Title

"Mistress Para Ventura, Our Lady of Chrome"

Love the name.  Schlock Mercenary is still the comic that draws me in the most and enraptures my attention.  I avoid the archives because I can easily lose days there.  Props to Howard for an awesome comic that lives on the strength of its story telling despite early struggles with art(I like his art now).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The BBB Poem
"We're the battling bastards of Bataan;
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam.
No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces.
And nobody gives a damn.
Nobody gives a damn."
~Frank Hewlett 1942



Because a buddy didn't know about Bataan I would like to take this moment to remind you to remember Bataan.
Always.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This might not translate well.

Frequently things that happen in life just do not translate well into story form. Something occurred last night at work, however, that was just too funny to not tell. So, here goes:

Two coworkers of mine were chatting, discussing a variety of topics including whether or not Barnes & Noble would build us a bigger building for the store we work in (a very large campus B&N had just been built, I assume this fueled the speculation). I came along and our discussion ranged from the mundane to whether or not that space station was ever going to be built. At this point one of my coworkers asked "So do you think we'll ever move someplace bigger?" while indicating with her hands what appeared, to me at least, to be a globe. Completely confused (because I had not heard that part of the conversation) I asked "You mean a bigger planet?" Amid the gales of laughter that followed this question I managed to get out "'Cause I don't think we'd actually get to see it, the terraforming would take too long!"

I obviously read too much science fiction.

Hope that translated and brought a grin to your face.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Life After Percocet.

I did not throw the percocet pills away. The pain did not go away, and seemed to be getting worse. Then I looked and saw what appeared to be white bone. In a panic that I had dry socket (a very painful condition) Damm called the surgeon's office. The surgeon himself called back within five minutes (I still need to write him a thank you letter) and concluded that I did NOT have dry socket but that I needed to be taking the percocet so I had some periods of time without pain. I thought about it, it made sense, so I started amping up ALL my painkillers. Now I'm off of them and the pain is gone. I guess sometimes doctor's know what they're talking about. Although the first two days off percocet were AWFUL. I don't even want to imagine what people who have been on it for longer than two weeks have to go through.

In addition I am glad to report that we are fully moved in. Not fully unpacked, just fully moved over from our old house. We turned in the keys yesterday and apologized for not getting to the painting of the walls. She (the office lady) looked at me funny when I said that. Maybe she thought I was trying to get out of paying for it? Which is ridiculous, we (Damm and I) both knew it would come out of our deposit. But this time we really were trying to do it right, the way we had been taught by our parents: do everything as unto the Lord. And that's not a guilt trip or an impossible standard; we truly wanted to be the best tenants possible. ANYWAY. That's a rabbit trail. Although I had spent a lot of time thinking about some previous moves where we had not cleaned, not taken everything out of the apartment. We knew our deposit would be docked because of it so legally we were fine, but again that's not how we were taught to do things. So that's why I went down that particular rabbit trail. To talk it out of my system.

Damm has taken pictures of the new place. Once he sends them to me I'll post them here. I really like it and I REALLY like how my stuff has been transformed. In the old house our furniture looked like college furniture; here it looks newer and more sophisticated. I'm guessing that's because of the different kind of paint and also the lighting. Plus everything here looks new. I feel like I can really entertain now; I'm not worried about the old and drab contents of my house. I shouldn't have been worried about that in the first place, my friends were coming over because they valued my company, not my possessions, but it still distressed me. Although I think I had finally come to a place where I was content with our old house, our stuff, and wasn't driven to constantly improve things. It's a good place to be; even our new house in all its glory cannot compete with many neighborhoods in this city. And I don't want to always be disliking where I am and wishing I was someplace better. I think that kind of striving has its place but there is also something to be said with being content. Anyway. I am off on another rabbit trail.

So school is going ok. Both of us feel like we're winging it right now because we've been moving, setting up our new house, etc. The Orclette LOVES preschool. I am homeschooling her with the aid of my mother-in-law, who does the more hands-on projects because workbooks drive her nuts. I happen to like workbooks so it's worked out well. The Miniorc learned about the letter "y" and was able to point it out to his daddy and point out the yo-yo that he scribbled on. Speaking of the Miniorc, my household is about to come alive with yells for "mama! I'm awake now!" so I better go. Hope my ruminating wasn't too boring, pictures soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life on Percocet.

So earlier this summer I experienced the excruciating pain of a tooth infection. Due to the long process of being referred, waiting for insurance to kick in, waiting for an appointment to see the surgeon and then waiting another month for an available surgery I just now had my wisdom teeth removed. Want to hear about it? It's fairly non-entertaining.

I had to fast for eight hours. Not a big deal, surgery was at 9 a.m. The lack of coffee was a bit hard, but I (obviously) survived. I was escorted back to the surgery room, put on laughing gas, told the nurse about my brother who burst into hysterical laughter when he was put on laughing gas, and then tried very hard not to laugh at the story. I succeeded. Then the doctor came in, put the needle in my arm, and I was out. Apparently the nurse had to manhandle me to get me out/in of the wheelchair. I somewhat remember the drive home; it was hot. Damm told me later that I asked him several times to turn on the air conditioner. I remember stumbling through the house into my bed. The rest of the day was a blur.

The next day I forced myself to be active. I had school, I had homework, I had kids. It was a bad, bad day. Apparently percocet (doctor prescribed of course) makes me extremely irritable. Saturday wasn't quite as bad but I was still irritable and people touching me (i.e., my kids) was THE MOST ANNOYING THING EVER. A break came Sunday morning when I took my dose of percocet and allowed myself to relax. Fell asleep cuddled next to Damm and my kids. Most relaxing, blissful sleep ever. Then it was Monday and I decided to wean myself off the percocet because I had to work that evening. Another bad day. Felt like I was having withdrawal symptoms PLUS I was still in pain.

Now it's today. I made it through most of the day without any serious painkillers but I decided to take another dose of the stronger stuff so I could be pain-free for a while. I'm contemplating chucking the stuff once I feel the pain is mostly subsided; those symptoms I experienced on Monday are not something I'm wanting to go through again.

Want to hear the icing on the cake? We're moving. Still in the same town, but to a newer, slightly bigger house. With refrigerated air. REFRIGERATED AIR. No more swamp cooler. You have no idea how excited I am about that. Well, maybe you can guess. It's pretty much the only reason I/we were willing to move in the middle of the semester.

So yeah. Life on percocet. Oral surgery, no rest, pain, homework, school, work, kids, Damm, moving. It's all good though. I'm getting refrigerated air.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our much much less hectic fall schedule.



What isn't posted is the number of questions per metric ton that I have answer via text per minute. Otherwise a very nice and lovely schedule.


p.s. holy crap I actually made a post. Pretty sure at this point though anyone reading is only reading for Wulfa's sake.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What we've been up to.


That pretty much sums it up. Last Friday one of my professors asked for a paragraph on Monday. It didn't occur to me that this was an actual assignment (because usually they wait until Monday; Thursday and Friday classes are usually hand out the syllabus) so it wasn't up to my normal standards. Slipping already:) I also forgot to drop off the Orclette's school assignments with the mother-in-law. Mondays.

Damm has been busy with his new ROTC responsibilities. If he isn't busy typing out texts/emails he's anxiously checking the phone to make sure he hasn't missed any communications. We knew it was going to be like that, but because I feel the need to check my phone whenever he checks his phone it has been brought home to me just how few people actively interact with me via text/email.

And there ya go. Have to leave now to pick up Damm, drop me off to class, pick me up after that class, dash to the doctor's office (for Damm's knee), then dash back home so I can get ready for work at 4.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And we're back.

The kids and I returned to this barren desert on Sunday. Damm returned Tuesday. School starts today. I return to work tomorrow. No rest. Oh well. We're army tough:)

I've always thought Damm and I integrate back together fairly well. We haven't experienced a real deployment yet but I'm confident we'll weather it just as well. The only issue I have after this separation is Damm leaving the toilet seat up. Once you've accidentally sat on the toilet rim because your spouse left the seat up you never, ever want to repeat the experience.

The kids were ecstatic to see Damm. The Orclette has adjusted to him being home with no visible problems. The Miniorc has been acting like he isn't sure Damm is around to stay, or maybe he's thinking "Why did you leave me? I don't like you anymore!" The Miniorc's vocabulary has been expanding but it's not up to explaining complex emotions. So we're being patient and understanding with him, trying to stick to a routine, etc. It'll be good.

And that's really it. For now, anyway. I shall be back (I've got one-liners from movies going through my head: Sam from LOTR in my title and now Arnold from Terminator. Or was it MacArthur in WWII? Bah.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Adventures

While Damm is off on an army adventure we have been having adventures of our own.

Here's meself and the kiddos at the Butterfly Museum in Houston:


A closer look at the Orclette's "Fancy Nancy" type hair (Fancy Nancy is a children's book character. She is always dressed fancy, hence the name):



Fun at the park. Forget the slides, lets play with rocks and dinosaurs!



At the NASA Space Museum. My dad works at NASA (not one of those getting laid off) and we figured the kids should see it, since the whole astronaut era is over (at the moment at least).



At the Space Museum (that's not the official name, just what I call it in my head) they had various kid activities. They enjoyed the ball park the most.



Miniorc finally figured out how to dunk the basketball. He had been just pushing it.



The Orclette can jump in all by herself. No fear there.



The YMCA we've been taking lessons at has a Splash Park. Both the Orclette and Miniorc enjoyed running through it.



So there you have it: our Summer Adventures. Along the way my kids have discovered Rugrats and Angry Beavers, both cartoon shows that my brothers enjoyed (and still enjoy). My brother insisted they must see Nacho Libre, and Miniorc in particular enjoyed the fight scenes. I had hoped to see Cowboys vs. Aliens today but some of my mom's lifeguards (she's a pool manager at the YMCA) didn't show and so she's guarding and not babysitting. Oh well. Another day.

Next up (maybe): a post of nutritious things I have eaten/learned while I've been here. My mom is a health nut. She's also a bit of a conspiracy theorist. If you've read The Host by Stephenie Meyers she's the type that would've survived because she prefers to be off the grid and has a whole stash of emergency food and supplies ready to go. Someday I hope to have my own stash.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain.

The rain in Texas is incredibly different than in New Mexico. In NM it'll rain for maybe 15, 20 minutes and then it's over. Everything is muggy, if you have a swamp cooler it feels like it's continually raining in your house, and then the sunshine starts. I don't like sunshine after the rain. I'm actually not a huge fan of sunshine; my house has sunlight-blocking curtains over all the windows and I keep lights off if I can manage without them. It's like a nice cozy bear den.

In Texas, which is where we are at the moment (visiting my parents) it rains for a good long while. Frequently it even stays dark and overcast after it stops raining. And because Texans would never hear of having swamp coolers (because in this humidity it wouldn't work at all, whereas in NM it just doesn't work during the summer months. Works fine in spring and fall. Yeah, it's totally wrong) the house stays nice and cool, and it even gets a wee bit nippy.

I'm also soaking up all the green. To me this part of Houston looks like a cross between a swamp and a forest. I love it either way. Green, green everywhere. And rain. Wow, have I missed the rain.

So I'm thinking going back to NM is going to be incredibly hard. It is every time, but I have been particularly missing the green and the rain this year. Thank goodness I still have a couple weeks left to enjoy the scenery:)

Coming up next post (if I have time to write it): My kids love the water. I have some cool photos of them playing and taking swim lessons (the Miniorc's new favorite word is "splash"). I made it into some of the shots as well, although I think I'll leave those out. No makeup+bedraggled hair=one interesting orc female.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My daughter: mini-me in training.

Last night I was up past midnight watching The Return of the King. I didn't finish, but I figured my kids probably wouldn't sleep in if I actually needed them to sleep in, so I called it quits right after the battle for Minis Tirith. I was woken up this morning by my daughter, the Orclette, telling me quite seriously that "It's morning time momma. The sun is up! We need to be up! It's morning time!" She does this every morning, so it wasn't a shocker, but I haven't been sleeping well lately. I believe I growled at her and then groggily made my way to the coffeepot.

She didn't stop there, however. She thought it'd be a great idea for me to get her milk and could she please sit in the chair that I painted with flowers and turn on a movie and oh could the drink be milk and I am cold momma so I need some cold water to make my tummy feel better and where is my milk?

As you can imagine, I did not find this amusing. I think I had managed to get the coffee pot filled with water by the time she finished that particular soliloquy. Then she started telling me how we should go about getting Uncle Boddert from the airport (he arrived back from India today and we were very excited about this) and what we needed to bring and how we needed to clean out the car. The coffee was brewing at this point so I was in a kinder frame of mind which allowed me to recognize her chatter as almost an exact copy of how I usually explain our plans for the day. I never talked babytalk to her when she was a baby; I talked to her as though she were an adult and found out that explaining how we were going to do things (even though she didn't really care because she was an infant) helped me to better organize everything. So I've continued doing it.

I guess you could say I've brought the officiousness and bossiness on myself. On the other hand, she appears to be developing a well-organized mind, so it'll be worth the years of having my mini-me help me plan things.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Children+Food=Grossness


As anyone should know, little children + food usually=grossness. Sticky messes, bread that had milk/juice/whatever spilled on it, food that has picked up additional flavor from being on the floor, etc. I didn't have any problems with encountering child-enhanced food until this past week. You see, I'm mental, as Ron (from HP) would say. The calorie count would get messed up if I shared with my kids or if I ate something they shared with me. So we just stayed far away from each others food.

I had a recurrence of pericoronitis, however, and was anxious to get started on the antibiotics. I was in my car, racing to get to work on time, and couldn't find any type of liquid. Finally I spotted one of the kiddos' drinks, which I thought had contained water and/or gatorade. So I washed my antibiotics down with it. Then it struck me that the "water" tasted a mite funny, and then I noticed there were red dots in the cup. I still don't know what the red dots were, and I didn't get sick, but that was a close call.

Then I had another encounter with grossness. We were all watching the World Cup game, and I was a wee bit hungry. So I asked the Orclette to fetch me a tortilla. She first had to get one for herself, and then Brenden, which he refused. So I said I'd take it, and he trotted it on over to me. I ate most of it before it occurred to me that it was a bit soggy. I also found a dog hair on it. My only excuse is that I was completely absorbed in the game.

I wish I had a third example to relate, but I don't. It would have made for nice symmetry (I like the number three). I'm back to being rigid on the "don't touch my food and I won't touch yours" policy in my house. It's an attitude that has rubbed off on the kids; the Orclette gets extremely loud if you take a fry (or anything else, that was just a recent example that came to mind) and the Miniorc gets extremely anxious. I'm all about the sharing when it comes to toys, choosing movies and stuff like that but I'm completely fine with my kids NOT sharing food. We're just working on expressing our feelings in a quieter voice.

I shall leave you with an example of my kids sharing.



Piggyback rides on daddy. Very big hit. Giddyup horsey! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Women's World Cup. And me.

In case you didn't know, the Women's World Cup is currently going on. There was a teeth-clenching, tension-building quarterfinal match-up between Brazil and the USA which we managed to win in PK's (penalty kicks, taken when the game ends in a tie and both 15-minute overtime periods have been played and the teams are still tied). Japan, a team who hasn't really been considered a team likely to win the tournament, beat powerhouse Germany in their quarterfinal 1-0 in one of the most splendid displays of defensive and technical skill I've seen. Then Japan beat Sweden 3-1 in the semifinals, proving to everyone that a collective playing style can win games (I've said that all along but the commentators didn't agree with me until Japan scored their third goal against Sweden). The USA beat France 3-1 in a slightly less emotional game.

So now it's the USA vs. Japan in the final game on Sunday. I'll be cheering for the USA, although Japan is now my other team to cheer for when they're not playing the USA. They won my loyalty through their impressive defensive display. I was a defender back in the day. I'm always a soft touch for beautiful defenses. So it looks to be an exciting day on Sunday. And an exciting day on Thursday. Damm and I are going to the Harry Potter Double Feature event going on (first half of movie at 9:00 p.m., new one at 12:05 a.m.). I'm not used to all this excitement.

But watching the Women's World Cup has made me think about my soccer-playing days. The men's World Cup did too, but not as much. I never could have played in their tournament, obviously, but it was within the realm of possibility (barely. In fact almost not barely. I'm no Wambauch or Solo) to have played in this one.

My thoughts are mainly regret that I didn't try out for any college teams. I'm pretty sure I was good enough; as I got older my confidence (which was my downfall) was improving and I was becoming a pretty good defensive playmaker. But then again, at the time I chose not to continue my soccer career because 1) neither my parents nor I had any idea of how to go about it because we had just moved to Houston when I graduated and 2) I was concerned about my level of dedication to the game. I was obsessed. When I transitioned from rec play to "select" (it's called different things depending on which state you play in, but basically it's when the sport gets expensive because you're constantly traveling to matches and tournaments) I saw that I needed to lose weight. I developed an eating disorder on the way and also became OCD about exercising. Improved my game astronomically. And I would've been willing to pretty much do anything to become better. And when I say that know I was devoting one hour per day to working on mastery of the ball, at least one more hour exercising, and then practice each night (either mine or my brothers) and games on weekends.

So most likely my younger self was preserving my older self, but my older self has been through some confidence-wrecking injuries and looks back on younger self as rather silly for not at least trying out for a college team. Older self regrets not being in the shape it could be in had I not stopped playing. Older self comforts itself that one day it will have time to play again in the adult rec teams.

And now I'll stop referring to myself in the third person. I love watching soccer but it will always be something that makes me somewhat sad. Maybe my kids will want to be soccer superstars in their own right and I can live through them (just kidding. I've seen parents who do that and I won't be one of them. I certainly hope they play soccer but I won't force them).

In the meantime, go USA!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I was sooooo right.

Last fall I had a powerful hankering for pumpkin bread. I think it was around September/October. Went to Walmart and lo and behold: no pumpkin. Desperate for pumpkiny goodness I finally ended up buying organic pumpkin puree from the local health food store. It had a very interesting taste, but it was pumpkin.

So I stockpiled pumpkin puree throughout last fall when Walmart finally started carrying it. I'd buy 4-5 cans a week, use 2 of them (reduced calorie/fat and protein enhanced pumpkin bread was a staple because everyone liked it) and save the others. Didn't actually end up with as many as I had wanted (there were weeks I forgot to buy pumpkin so I had to use what I had) but enough so that, when the pumpkin craving hit, I was able to make pumpkin bread. I have now used the last of my hoarded pumpkin, and man is that bread good.

Here's the recipe, in case you wanted it:

3 C. Flour (I use a combination of white and whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder (the base recipe doesn't call for baking powder, but it tastes weird when I don't add any)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Lots of cinnamon
Less of nutmeg
Some clove, mace, allspice, and pumpkin pie spice
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. applesauce
2/3 C. water
4 eggs
1 can of pumpkin. I usually use Libby's, the 15 oz. can

Mix, pop into a 350 oven for 60 minutes.

Made that way the whole mix has 2,990 calories. Each loaf (cause it makes two loaves) has 1,495 calories and if you cut it into 12 slices each slice is 125 calories. I have no idea what the fat/protein content is. One of these days I'll get around to calculating that so I can enter it into my Spark database.

Along with my pumpkin bread craving I've gotten nostalgic for Christmas. In case you didn't know it's my FAVORITIST HOLIDAY EVER so don't give me weird looks. So this morning whilst making pumpkin bread I had on Christmas tunes. It's a 100 degrees outside. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was weird when I took out the trash and left the music blaring through the front door.

I always thought Christmas in July would be a good tradition. I have now started it:)




Monday, July 4, 2011

Puppet strings.

It all started at 13, suddenly jerked out of bed and started doing pushups and sit-ups with no control over his body. Other events happened along the same time as well. Walked past a sign up for swim club when his body stopped listening and he just walked over and signed up. Random sudden loss of control became common. He’d lose control every morning and night for what was apparently a regular workout session; same with swimming; same with weekend runs. He had no control over what he ate but only ate healthy. Side effects of this were nice, a healthy strong body with excellent form and reflexes. But loss of control was harsh. Testing showed he could slightly hold back intensity or contribute to it but mostly control wasn’t his. His hobby was apparently to be a puppet, a glove to someone else’s hand.

As a side effect, he laughed at others ideas that “such and such teacher was controlling” or that “so-and-so’s parents were so intrusive”. Teenage movies about kids who ran from crushing obligations made him cry inside and shout at the fools. What did they know about freedom…his life was not even his. At any point he might wake up and find himself just an observer to his body’s actions. Every free breath was a treasure he didn’t dare waste. People admired his dedication to his workout regime and complained that he never interrupted it for social events. Too bad it wasn’t his dedication. He began to practice memorization of poems and verses and doing math in his head. Whenever he lost control he started that mental recitation, working through geometric forms and structured verse. He never lost that. He never lost the fortress of his own soul, and that he clung to. His thoughts were his.

You the observer might wonder why he never told anyone else about this situation, why he never went for help. That was simple, no matter what he tried any attempts to explain/describe his situation led to loss of control. His voice was not his own anymore than his hands were. Once someone noticed that his personality was a bit different when he was working out or about to work out and the body-which-is-not-him replied smoothly that it was just because his endorphins were higher and his body was anticipating or reacting to the physical stress of the workout. The friend who noticed had laughed and said of course that must be it.

So now after almost ten years of this prison he had given up on any chance of it changing, he only hoped that one day he might understand why others weren’t trapped like him and what made him special. And to one day meet this person who controlled him so tightly.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Standing in line to pay for his gas, he idly wondered how much longer it would take. There were at least five people in line in front of him and no one seemed in any kind of hurry…especially the lone cashier. He let loose a long slow sigh, and settled into wait when the door opened and he lost control.

His hand reached back and grabbed the knife he’d been forced to buy about three years ago. It was gone and thrown before the door chime had gone off. He was too shocked at this sudden loss of control to follow what was going on for a second or two. By the time he caught up to the action not-him had him laying on the ground behind an shelf and of the three men he had seen coming in one was dead with a knife in the eye, another was half blind to a sharply thrown pair of glass bottles. The third had a gun out and was yelling into his phone.

Half-way through a reflexive recitation of “Now sleeps the crimson petal” he recognize the feeling of muscles building up and then not-him was moving in a high arcing forward flip over the shelves, his hand flashing with a pair of knives that had been purchased when he turned 17. The gun flashed twice as the phone was dropped. Both flashes were too early, before the gun had come on line. The knives slashed downwards through throat and arm respectively before continuing on their way in a twirling stab into the blinded man’s neck.

Not-him sheathed the knives and grabbed the first one he’d thrown at a dead sprint out the door. He stopped the Tennyson and swapped to Euclid. Not-him settled into a good pace and ran about three miles before stopping at a random suburban house to use their water hose to wash off his knives and the majority of the blood. As soon as the wash was done not-him ran another two miles. They walked the rest of the way home after that at a brisk pace.

Once home to his apartment he changed rapidly gathered a few more knives and grabbed a small pre-packed bag. Two hours later he was on a bus to another district. Only once he was on the bus did he regain control and begin shaking violently and weeping internally.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wherein the King is crowned.

Behold, one and all, the Bear King! He has been crowned by his lovely daughter Princess Orclette.




Damm: "The bear is trying to eat my face."



Princess Orclette: "These photo ops take the LONGEST time. Are we done yet?"



Princess Orclette: "Ok, seriously, we done yet?"


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back in the Game.

Last year I signed up for the DailySpark at the behest of my mom, who uses the site extensively. It's completely free and has tons of stuff to do: blogs to read, tools for tracking your nutrition, fitness, water intake, etc, and much, much more. Way too much, in my opinion. I dabbled around with the site for a couple of weeks, but it was just too much given that we were still in the midst of a grueling semester.

I have more time during the summer, however, and in an effort to cultivate more things my mom and I do together I decided to take another look. So far I have tracked today's calories and the exercises I have done. At first it's annoying: you have to enter or find caloric values for your food, enter "groupings" (i.e. combinations of foods you regularly eat) and enter your workouts in detail. You can save everything, however, so at this point I point and click to enter my foods and also the strength training and cardio I've done. And I like it. I'm still trying to avoid getting sidetracked with everything else the site has to offer, but I think given a bit of investment it could be a fun and valuable aid in making our (i.e. my family) lives healthier. There's a book as well: The Spark, by Chris Downie. Barnes & Noble has-at this point for some stores it may be had, since the Bargain section changes constantly-copies at $5.98 (ISBN 9780594123002).

This is not an endorsed post. Is that what they call it? When a site pays/compensates someone for making them sound good? Anyway, I have not been paid/approached/what have you. I actually do like the site. If you do sign up, look for Wulfawolf. No, I have no imagination when it comes to my online monikers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The wisdom of a 4-year old.

Orclette, very sagely: "We should go there (Kazakstan). We went there when I was a baby."

Also: "Maybe my uncle could take me to Argentina when I get big big bigger."

And, for your viewing pleasure, since I have no words left to say.







She made sure they color coordinated that day.



She kept on trying to swipe my hat. She finally succeeded.



And the Miniorc being cute.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Parenting is hard. Duh, right?

I knew parenting was going to be hard. I was under no illusions. But the part I most dreaded was when my children got old enough to want to play with me. The early part, while mind-numbingly exhausting, is fairly free of mental interaction with your child. You feed them, get them to sleep, hold them, make eye contact when they're actually awake, and you're good. I'm excellent at performing routine and dull tasks. I was really good at newborn parenting and got lots of compliments. Of course, I'm sure most new mothers get lots of compliments, but still.

No, the newborn part didn't phase me. The toddler part and beyond did and does scare me. You see, given the choice I will find myself a nice pleasant spot away from people with a book and stay there. You don't have to talk to me or play with me. In fact, just leave me alone. I'm sure I was different when I was younger, but starting at the age of ten the previous description fits me to a T (until I get done with the book and have no other books at hand. Then I get bored and make Damm play with me. Nothing dirty intended or implied there). I don't like games, most of the children's shows are BORING and INACCURATE. What's with Diego giving kids the idea that a jaguar makes a suitable pet? Or Dora. Dora is worse. I can't even think about it right now. I don't like baths (they get five minute or less baths), the park is fine for about ten minutes, and aren't you glad I wasn't your mother?

On the other hand, I am confident that my kids will get the best schooling it is possible to get. I grew up around women who didn't have any degrees to speak of raise intelligent kids who got excellent grades in college and in general succeeded in life. I will have a degree, the support of both my mom and my mother-in-law, and a husband who is in total agreement with homeschooling. I have no fear. I am also good at reading to my kids and making time for the bookstore and library. They like to watch me exercise, and that has to be good, right? Setting a good example and all that.

But still, I worry. What parent doesn't? I worry that somehow I will be denying them something because I never forced myself to religiously go to the park, or play games all afternoon. I worry because I don't know that many parents with kids so they have yet to have a playdate. And during the semester? Forget it. I don't even have time for dates for Damm and myself.

But then again, I must have been given these particular children for a reason. Perhaps they need my quirky personality to achieve their personal best. The Orclette's vocabulary is certainly beyond the other four-year-old girls I've come into contact with ("Momma, will you situate my book for me?" or "I am not perspicacious momma! Stop saying that!") and the Miniorc seems to enjoy the very detailed explanations I give him when he asks "Was" which means "What is this?" So I should probably stop worrying. Ha.

Friday, June 10, 2011

To those of you still following our lack of posting:

After vanquishing the TMJ symptoms I came down with a bad case of pericoronitis, which is basically an infection of a wisdom tooth that didn't fully come in. Hurts like the dickens, but I found a dentist willing to see me yesterday morning (another said I had to wait until the 20th, even after I told her about the extreme pain I was having, and obviously I found her help inadequate) so I'm on antibiotics and big doses of ibuprofen. Even Vicodin, which I didn't take until this afternoon. I used to have a martyr complex and wouldn't take anything stronger than regular ibuprofen, but after going through labor (four and two years ago, not anything recent) and major jaw and neck pain I have no hesitations about taking the strong stuff. I discovered this afternoon that I felt like "airy love" and that I was "floating clouds" and that I definitely should not drive or text anybody while under the effects of Vicodin. Part of my reaction was probably the sudden cessation of pain which has been my constant companion since Monday.

So there you have it. My mouth has revolted against me, and I feel as if this is a wakeup call to get serious about our healthfulness. We're not unhealthy, just not as healthy as we could be. My teeth have never been cleaner, and I have flossed more times these past few days than I have in years (that being one of the ways to prevent the situation from occurring again. That and rinsing with warm salt water, which is plain icky). I have to do something about our stress levels, because I think my issues are in part due to the ruthless way in which we drive ourselves. The same type of schedule has to happen, but I think there might be a way to be kinder to ourselves in the process. I'm still mulling over how to do that. And in case you were curious having mouth issues is one way to lose weight and get lots of fruit and dairy servings. It hurts to eat and bananas, milk, and yogurt are the easiest on one's mouth.

It is now time for round two of Vicodin. I must prepare myself for feelings of "airy love".

Thursday, June 2, 2011

We sure know how to disappear.

There were three weeks of a semi-break. Damm didn't have school, I was working but not a prohibitive schedule, we had time to relax. And then it was over. Summer school started, my work continued, and relax time got squished. I'm not complaining-we were the ones who decided going back to school was a good thing, and by gum we're gonna see it through. Two more years. Four semesters.

In other news: behold, the girl that reads a lot! I'm finishing some of the historical books I picked up this past year, but I'm also diving into Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series. Historical fun, bodice ripping, with a good dose of modern reality. I love the series, and am eagerly awaiting her next installment (not sure when that's happening). I tried to reread Carol Nelson Douglas's Midnight Louis series but I've discovered that her books are quite a bit darker than I remembered. So that's a fail. Next up is David Gemmel's Troy series; I like his other books so hopefully these will be good. And they tie in neatly with what Damm is studying right now: the awesomeness that is Greece. Apparently his teacher (a female) went through a slideshow of nude Greek statues, pausing at each one, not saying anything, just looking. At least she appreciates her field.

To update the pain situation: I've still got tightness in my shoulders and neck, but the horrible pain is gone. I'm thinking a real massage is in order (i.e. one that I have to pay for), and I've been wearing those nifty little heat pads when I can't manage to relax those particular muscles. I'm optimistic that I won't have to go back to the doctor.

The kiddos are fine. Birthdays coming up and all that. The Orclette simply MUST have a Tinkerbell/Princess cake. Every character needs to be represented. I'm thinking I can't just make her cake this year. The Miniorc doesn't care. I'm sure he'll be happy with whatever form of sugar I give him.

And, you dudes, I'm out. No inspiration and whatnot (I'm still thinking like some of Lauren Willig's characters. Top of the ton and all that).

Until next time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Great opening line: "I'm on drugs".

That's the line I greeted my coworkers with yesterday. Let me hasten to assure you that the meds I'm on were prescribed by a doctor. I just had gotten a wee bit giddy with the lack of pain. You see, for the last week I've had pain in my jaw, neck, and raging headaches. I'm guessing it's TMJ; the doctor has yet to confirm my diagnosis. He wants to wait and see what happens while I'm on the pain reliever thingy and muscle relaxant. I can agree with that; in the past I've had some pretty wacky stress symptoms that eventually went away. I'm hoping that's what this is, otherwise I'm facing a future without gum. I chew gum all the time. Maybe that's what happened to my jaw: it decided to protest the gum chewing.

So that was yesterday. I'm still having some symptoms, but I'm trying to relax my face and neck muscles and follow all the advice I can get on how to relieve TMJ. I'm no longer giddy. That's good. People are not used to seeing me giddy. Also yesterday-because it obviously wasn't enough to just have me loopy on medication-the belt on our car slipped off. Damm was absolutely wonderful and fixed it himself (my dad is NOT a car person and would've had to call a shop and a towtruck so I'm not used to the awesomeness that is someone who can fix their own car). But then, as the kids and I were waiting for him to finish, Miniorc backed into our cactus. I had to cut his shirt off him. Fortunately most of the thorns (is that what you call them?) were in his shirt, not his skin. Anyway, it was quite a day yesterday.