Life as a reformed Zookeeper. Now living a life as a working mother who dabbles in karate, scrapbooking, and Coors Light!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Long Time.....

I can't believe how long it goes between posts these days..... that's what happens when you're busy, I suppose....

My life has largely revolved around Crossfit, running, Boy/Cub Scouts, camping, karate and family right now. I am spreading myself a bit thin... this I know.

Crossfit: I've been going to a boot camp class twice a week for the past ten weeks now. I have hated and loved every minute of it. Testing my body in ways I've never really done has been a good thing for me. The people at the gym have been really uplifting and supportive. That is the Crossfit way.

Running: I've still been running between two and four days a week. It's been hard to get in all the runs because of various commitments and weather. But because I've been doing Crossfit, running has been getting easier for me. My partners' dog is getting older and is starting to slip health-wise, so running the entire length has been hard for him. Therefore, we've been adjusting our workouts around him. One of us walks with him while the other sprints out and back. Then we switch. It's been good, but it's hard on my shins.... ice is certainly my friend.

Scouts: boy, oh, boy! I never wanted the Scouts to take over my life, despite the fact that it's been a good thing for my boys. We don't do church youth groups, so this is the closest thing that they have to it. The emphasis placed on good character, enjoyment and respect of the outdoors, success in life, and fellowship is what keeps our family involved. Erin is in Girl Scouts, but they historically don't do as much as the BSA does, which is unfortunate. So, since Erin knows many Cub Scouts because of Griffin, she will be attending Cub Scout camp as a Tag-Along. She finds this funny, since it's also a GS Cookie! My vacation days are slowly dwindling away, largely because of Scouts. But I'm spending time with my kids... time that will not be regained.

Karate: I really wish that there was enough time in my day to be all that I want in karate. there just isn't right now. I really need to carve out the time to practice more, despite having little space to do it. We'll see. It takes some adjustment on my part, but I feel the need to keep going.

Family: we've had some great family time recently. At the beginning of the month, we went to Rend Lake, IL to celebrate my parents' 25th wedding anniversary, which was in March. Our entire family rented two cabins and we spent the weekend together. It was fun and relaxing, which was a pleasant surprise for all. Everyone got a long and we had some time to have fun as a family.... which is a nice change from the hurried obligatory feeling that the holidays bring.

This past weekend, we went to Springmill SP in southern Indiana and camped. We went with a friend's family and had another nice time. Since we were so close to Huntingburg, my mom came up to hang out with us, as my dad had to work the whole day. We took a canoe trip through one of the Twin Caves, and hung out at the camp site. After my dad got off work, we met him in French Lick at a place called Jody's. It was so good to see my dad on Father's Day. I can't tell you the last time I did see him on Father's Day.

Life is busy. But life is good.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Paradigm Shift.... life is going through a change. Over the past year, I've been slowing down on karate, which I love. The reason this is happening, is because I slowly came to realize that I wasn't seeing my kids very much. Not kissing them goodnight. Most of the classes that I go to are during their bedtime. I can't keep doing that. Pretty soon, they won't care if I tuck them in at night, and go through the five minute rigmarole that is our crazy little tradition.

...So, of course, what do I do? Go to extremes in good Steph fashion and sign on for Cub Scout duty. And, while this is more for the benefit of my sons (because I'm actually spending a little MORE time with Collin than I otherwise would, and being involved in Cub Scouts also ties me more into being in tune with Boy Scouts, which Collin has ramped up his involvement over the past few months), it's still taking me away from the kids to a degree.

...last night was my first Pack Meeting as Cubmaster. And, being that I'm a Byers, the plan wasn't carried out exactly as it was laid out. But, being involved in Scouts has taught me nothing if it's not taught me to "Be Prepared," and contingency plans were in line. Of course, there is no contingency plan for not being on time due to traffic, so by the time I got home, I sat down to a hurried meal and was about to blow a gasket. Griffin knew that it was a Pack Meeting, and asked me what we were doing. "Buddy, you're going to graduate to Wolf tonight." I told him. His face lit up, and he said "Really? I'm SO excited" (lisp and all). That, my friends, is why I'm doing it. I didn't WANT this job. I didn't want to shift my life like this. But I did. And that is why.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

So Close to Adulthood, Still Stuck In Childhood

Collin never ceases to amaze me with how grown up he looks and often acts. The transformation has happened in a few short years. He's often sarcastic and wickedly funny..... yet there are times when he shows that he's definitely still a child.

Case in point. This past week has been Spring Break. While many of our friends have headed for warmer destinations, we don't have the time or money to go on a Spring Break trip.... and nor do many of our neighbors. This is an awesome time for the boys in the 'hood to play together without the worries of school and homework cutting their time short. So, Collin has been playing a lot with his friends. And, with the unseasonably warm weather we've been experiencing, the wildlife is booming around us. The bees and wasps have come out in full force. The boys decided that they needed to eradicate the bees and wasps, and therefore went on a hunt for them. Their first mode of attack? Squirt guns. Upon finding the squirt gun a less than suitable means of killing off the pests, my son decides to grab a broom. All fine and dandy if you're hunt wasps in trees and swingsets. Not so fine if you're hunting them in the neighbor's front window. Needless to say, Collin is going to find out what it means to have a loan. Because he's going to borrow from his savings account to pay for the window and then work to pay himself back.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Cub Scouts

So, after much deliberation and soul-searching, I took it upon myself to fill the vacancy of Cubmaster for Griffin's Pack. If you're wondering how the Cubs Scouts work, there is a den, which is five to six boys that go through the ranks of Scouts together. Then you have the pack.... that's all the dens from every age group.... typically a whole elementary school. We've had the same Cubmaster for the past several years, and his youngest son has now gone on to Boy Scouts (middle school and high school years). He's done a good job of it. And no one, as of a few weeks ago, had stepped up to fill the void of his position, which he's been advertising for about two years now. So... I did. I got word this past week that they've accepted my offer. This is going to be no small job. Why the heck would I do it, knowing full-well I don't have the time for it, really? Well. For the next three or four years, I want Griffin to have the best scouting experience possible. I want this for the five other boys in my den, for which I just resigned as Assistant Den Leader. I want them to look back on this time as some of the most fun in elementary school.

I'm still uncertain on how this will impact my little crazy family. And it's certain to impact it. But I do believe that I'm doing what is right for the good of the boys.

Wish me luck, because I'm going to need it.... :-)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I Survived!

So I survived last night's stint at the dojo with my sanity in tact. I did have help, which was good. She just got her black belt and has been an assistant instructor for a long time now, so she helped me with the things that had changed or I'd forgotten in the three years or so since I was in some of these classes.

We did have only one issue that I feel a bit badly about. A brown belt student that I'd never had came to a white belt class. I didn't talk to his parents before-hand, so I had no background information whatsoever on the child, who appeared to be about 10 or so. I try to treat everyone the same. So when he talked back to me as I was trying to help him, I told him to give me ten pushups. After all, he is a brown belt and should know by now to respect whoever is teaching the class. He told me that he wasn't going to do pushups. I told him that he had the choice of either doing the pushups or bowing off the mat, because I wouldn't be spoken to that way. He sat down on the mat and howled. It clicked to me then that he had special needs and no one bothered to let me know. Not that I would treat him that much differently, but you know not to go quite as hard on the kid when he/she doesn't exactly behave as expected. I feel bad to a degree about what happened, but do feel that the mom should have not assumed that I knew what was going on with her child. I suppose it's a very tricky situation for the parent, too, because you don't want the child to be known only for the special needs that they have. I went out after class and talked to the boy, and told him that I wanted him to try class again next week. I hope that he's ok.

The rest of the night went really well, actually. I am feeling more and more comfortable up in front of the classes, but know that I have a while to go before I feel like I do a good job with it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Teaching Karate...

Today will be the first day that I've actually led the instruction at our dojo. While I'm ok with most of it, I'm still nervous. Usually I come in to help, but my Sensei does most of the instruction, and I help. We'll see how it goes. But I'm a bit on the nervous side.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crazy Busy....

We've been quite busy Chez Byers.... Between all the kids being in scouts, karate, and school, it seems there is never a night at home. Most of the time it's ok, but lately it seems to be taking its toll. I can't wait for summer to be here so that life will calm down a little.

I did my second 5K run, this past weekend. My time was 34 minutes, plus, but I had to walk and jog for the last mile or so. I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't finish it running. My body is not happy with me right now. I'm going to the doctor soon to get checked out. For the most part, I'm ok, but I'm not feeling 100%, so am feeling the need for a checkup. I've not been for a physical in a while, so I'm certainly due.

I've gotten to know a few people in my neighborhood (thank you Gruesome Twosome and your activities!). We hung out with about four neighborhood families at Howl at the Moon on Friday night. One of the girls in the 'hood won a party, so we had free cover. We got there a little too late to enjoy all the perks... like half-price drinks and free food, but we got in on some of the festivities. It was fun!

I've been busy at work with various crochet projects. I'm working away on Judy's sweater, but have been taking breaks here and there to work on baby hats. A photographer in Indy (the brother of one of the aforementioned neighborhood ladies!) is interested in making them available in his studio for families to purchase. So I've been working on them. Need to get back to the sweater, though!