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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


....someone tell me that I'm not making a mistake? The letter is ready to be sent, save putting in the envelope and licking a stamp.

....the fear is of the unknown. when i confronted my mom at 15, i later found out that she contemplated suicide afterward....of course, this is also the same woman who chose a damn dog over so nervous about the consequences. of course, what is the worst that could happen?

....growing two. *winks*

am here but still struggling.... many of you told me to go ahead and get all this stuff off my chest. i appreciate everyone's candidness...and am secretly happy that no one thinks i'm a selfish brat for wanting to say these things. i've never been one to purposely want to rock the boat. it's just not in my nature, which is why it's been nearly fifteen years since my last real confrontation with her. one point, about six years ago, i'd not heard from her since i'd graduated from college in May. Well, the time for me to move came, and i didn't tell her where i'd gone. i figured, if she didn't care enough to check in every now and then, then perhaps she didn't care enough to know where the hell i'd moved. so after thanksgiving, i get this call from her, asking me why i didn't tell her where i'd gone. and i told her. and of course, being equally as mature as her 22 year-old daughter, she told me that the phone works both ways. and you know what? i'm sick of being more mature than a woman twice my age. sick of being the one to be so concerned about her feelings, when she's done little to look out for me. granted, she dealt with a lot of nasty shit herself as a child, but she's unfortunately let herself be defeated by this. i refuse to pretend anymore that i'm ok with all of this. i think i'm really ready to face whatever letting my feelings be known will get me. perhaps my letter will be a bit different than what i wrote yesterday, but the gist of it will remain the same.

and Gina, you're right. the best thing that has come from all this is to do the very best i know how to show genuine love for my children and to do what's best for them. this is something i've never gotten from her. she doesn't know how, but i'm sick of everything being fine because she never learned any of this for herself. it's not fine, and never will be. i suppose i've always been secretly hoping that she'd change to where i could at least tolerate her, but that's a very difficult thing for me. and it's because i've never confronted her with my feelings of everything that's happened over the past.

yes, quite obsessed with this, i am....perhaps i'll not be so wrapped up in it if i actually do something. lately i've reminded myself of the joke about the man who refused help fleeing a flood. all because the "good lord will save him." maybe i'm not any better than that man, for i've been waiting for someone else to help my mom see what a mess things are, when it's been MY job all along to do this. to tell her how i feel and face the consequences of the unknown.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Heart: Exposed....

...this is a letter I may or may not send to the woman who gave birth to me. This has been written in my off-line's the naked truth about my life, and the reason why it hurts me so badly to think of her taking any of my children for any length of time.

There are so many things I wish I could share with you. The sadness and anger that comes with thought of our relationship, or lack thereof, is so much more than I can bear at times. What you will never be to me, especially now that I have children of my own, is something that makes me want to cut you out of my life completely. For years, you've taken a partial role in my life -- only when it suits your own needs. Never do you hear about the mundane bits of daily life, but you'll certainly never miss the bits where you'll be in the limelight as a mother or grandmother. It amazes me that someone could truly not know how to love anyone as fully as mother is to love her own children, but I'm more and more convinced that you truly do not. And this makes me want to have nothing to do with you. You have no idea what work goes into being a mother because someone else has always done it for you, and the brief time that the job was yours, you pissed it away and nearly had us taken away from you. Do you even realize this? Because of you, I had to wash my bedding before I could sleep at night, because one of your animals had either pissed or shat in it, and you hadn't bothered to clean it up. Because of you, I was embarrassed of how I smelled, and wondered if everyone else could as well, because the smell of animal waste permeated everything that came into your house. Because of you, at fifteen, I had to make the decision to never spend another night in your house unless you cleaned it up and got rid of your animals. Only for you to choose them over me, because they apparently "wanted" to be there. Do you even realize what it's like to have your own mother choose you over a damn dog or cat? Have you any idea the pain that I carry around and try to ignore every damn day of my life? Yet here I am, always concerned to try to make some sort of fucked up place for you in my life. One that you've done little to earn. And I do this simply to spare YOUR feelings.

Because of you, someone else was forced to step up to the plate as mother in my life. First, it was my grandmother, and then it was my stepmother. And because of you, my stepmother has earned that place as "mother" in my heart. And it's no one's fault but your own. When I talk about my mother, do you realize that I don't mean you? Do you know how sad that makes me?

Because you haven't changed in the 28 years of my life, I will never be staying at your house, despite the fact that you apparently bought it for us to stay there. And even if you do change, I'll likely never stay at your house, and nor will my children.

I wish I could tell you all this. But it's likely that I never will. And the only thing I have left to do is to keep going. To be the mother to my kids that I'd wished for with you, but never had. To try my hardest to make it so that my kids never feel the things about me that I do for you.

Feeling a Little Psycho-Depressed Today.... talk amongst yourselves and tell me what you did this weekend!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day....

...It's been a good weekend, despite the mental exhaustion that looms so heavily among my family. There are so many conflicting emotions that come with a visit to my hometown. The exhiliration of seeing my baby brother graduate from high school. The nostalgia of seeing my old high school teachers. The exhaustion of not sleeping well. The sadness that comes with seeing my father's inability to bounce back from the failure of his business. The anger at my brother for not taking care of his family. The pride of seeing my middle brother taking care of himself and getting his life on track. The hilarity of seeing my baby brother hug, not shake hands with, those who gave him his diploma. The frustration at my biological mother for cornering my nine year-old and talking him into staying with her sometime this summer. The anxiety on the aforementioned mother's insistence that I stay with her. The tenderness that I feel toward my stepmother, the woman who raised me. The gratefulness I have toward my (step)grandparents, in whose driveway we parked our camper and with whom we shared breakfast every morning.

...I'm home now, and this is the place where I feel most at peace. My little family. Away from the madness that is my ancestry. In our little house that will soon be all ours, with no daycare kids to share it.

Friday, May 26, 2006

To Do List Today...

1. pack twins and myself for the weekend
2. go to license branch to get plates for camper
3. go to PetSmart and get Carefresh for the guineas
4. go to Wal-Mart and get gift cards for all the high school graduates
5. Vacuum living room

so not too bad, but all needs to be done before we jet out for my baby bro's graduation. am excited to see everyone again!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


....we forgot to renew the trailer license plate on our pop-up camper. Am hoping that we will be able to pick up the sticker tomorrow at the license branch. Go me.


...the sinuses, filled with questionable congestion, are driving me crazy. Along with the tattling daycare children...bitch, whine, nag...and it's not always me doing the aforementioned three.

...on a much lighter note, it's my Friday today! The last of the Rayls clan is graduating this year, and I'm taking tomorrow off in efforts to not have a repeat performance of last year, where I walked in the same time as they were cooking up "Pomp and Circumstance." Not a happy Zookeeper at all, I was. So, tomorrow will find me sleeping in as long as humanly possible (with three year-old twins), and I'm honestly not sure what else. But at about one o'clock, you might see the Byers Bingo Bus trailed by our pop-up camper, heading down the interstate.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm out of Sudafed...

...nuf sed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I AM: excited about my new the point of distraction and the ability to annoy everyone around me...
I WANT: to go back to bed
I HATE: mean oxymoron, i suppose
I MISS: my old boss. don't get to see her enough.
I FEAR: losing those I love.
I HEAR: a bunch of whining and fighting...did i mention that i have 6 days, 7 hours and 20 mins left of this bullshit??
I WONDER: what the new designers were thinking when designing the current workwear...
I REGRET: never having gone to Germany
I AM NOT: a good sorry, Aaron!
I DANCE: to the Wiggles right along with my kids...
I SING: pretty well for never having a professional lesson.
I CRY: pretty much when i have an extreme emotion...
I AM NOT ALWAYS: so negative...
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: awesome cookies! ;)
I WRITE: exactly what i feel.
I CONFUSE: everyone, because i can string coherent thoughts together sometimes.
I NEED: to tell Aaron not to forget to pick up Market Day tonight...
I SHOULD: do anything but sit here, filling in this survey....
I START: cleaning and get interrupted by just about anything, leaving the mess.
I FINISH: all the cookies within a day (or a few hours...)

6 days, 9 hours, and 15 minutes....

....until my new life commences. Sounds dramatic, doesn't it? I really do feel like I've acquired a new lease on life. To think that I've already been working for nearly three hours this morning, and to think that I have nine ahead of me still is so completely daunting! And the thought of being at work for eight hours TOTAL feels like a fucking vacation! *giggles*

Monday, May 22, 2006

A New Era Needs A New Name.... part deux

So, go look at the choices, and tell me what you think? I think I'm wrapping this up by Wednesday. I am leaning toward some things, but still want to see if anyone else has anything to add before making the switch....

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Skeletons Are Coming For Me....

....sounds pretty creepy, but it's not, really. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. Mine usually stay pretty hidden. The pain of long ago, and what should have been is something I try not to share so often. I often live for the future, and try not to dwell on the past.

...That is, until I have to go home again. The holidays are very difficult for me. This is because I have to share my time between two families. Both love me. There is no question of that. But one loves me with the unconditional and typical love of a set of parents, and the other loves me with a very skewed and unnatural love. If it were easy to write my own birth-mother out of my life, I would. This thought makes me feel like the most horrible person in the world. I feel obligated by some form of horrible guilt to make her a part of my life. And what's crazy, is that on a day-to-day basis, she really has not a whole heck of a lot to do with me. She'll swoop in on the holidays and steal my time and perhaps give a gift or two, but she'll not call my kids on their birthdays. She'll want to stay with me when something really horrible goes down, but never hears me bitch about typical, mundane everyday life. This, in my mind, is not what being a mother is about. This makes me angry. Makes me hate the fact that I came out of her womb. I'm a part of that. And I suppose nurture has more to do with how a person turns out than nature, but it sickens me nonetheless. Which leaves me sad, angry, and guilt-ridden about what there will never be with her. Ever. There is much more to the history of this story than you're likely to read here. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and the dysfunction is deeper than just emotional indifference.

...and this always brings me to the point of whether or not to let fly with all these pent-up feelings. Is it really worth it? Or am I opening up a can of worms that will make the future even harder than it already is? I'm really not sure. All I am sure of is the fact that I don't like how I feel and act with this situation, and I know for certain that Aaron doesn't.

...I always thought that when I was out of high school and had my own family that this wouldn't matter as much to me. But I now know how difficult it is to raise a family, and how much of an emotional investment that it is, which throws it back in my face that I didn't get this from the woman who gave me life. I know that I feel guilty when I can't be everything to my children, becuase I don't EVER want to be like her, and cause my children so much pain and irritation. I thought, when I left home (not that I lived in HER home, but when I was out on my own for real, I suppose), that I could leave this behind me. Instead of these feelings easing with time, they seem to get worse.

On a much lighter note, don't forget to put your two cents in about my new name. You could win a high-quality burned cd of all my favorite songs! lol

A Nice Weekend Thusfar....

....for the most part. We did have a puke episode (What I get for controlling everything my child eats and then letting her have at it at a picnic!), so I spent Friday night on the sofa, flanked by the twins. We didn't have any puksters on Saturday, so that's all good. We wound up going to a park yesterday, which was just so much fun. The twins had a blast, and once again I was reminded of how hairy this whole twins thing can be. You have two kids running in completely opposite directions. At the children's museum, it's much easier to feel safe by strategically placing myself between them. At a park, you have so many more people looking at you, rolling their eyes at you, because you're standing there kidless while they hoist their children up on a slide. Bite me, I want so badly to say. After the park, we swung by my new office building so that I could show Aaron and Collin where I'd be working. Then we went to Kohl's to find me some new workpants. Can I just say that I'm officially old? Why, you ask? Because I find today's standard of "careerwear" appalling! Absolutely appalling! The stuff that passes for business attire wouldn't have worked at my old job. Not in one million years. Capri pants? For a business suit? Gauchos? In the business attire? Those pants look like they belong on a goddamned beach, NOT an office? And need I start a rant about the shoes these days? Not only are they not business appropriate, I SWEAR TO GOD MY MOTHER WORE THEM IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES! See. I'm officially old. will be spent doing all the housework that didn't get done yesterday. *sigh*

don't forget to go and help me find my new name! a Stephanie mix-cd will be awarded to those who help generate my new name. I have a few ideas brewing, thanks to the entries so far, but I want to hear EVERYONE'S ideas!

Friday, May 19, 2006

A New Era Needs A New Name....

....Zookeeper isn't necessarily fitting anymore, is it?? Gimme ideas, faithful following! ;)

1. Working Girl
2. Parolee
3. Zookeeper Unleashed
4. 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs
5. Blonde Moment
6. Cubicle Monkey (I'm still pissing myself over this ya, Nain!!)
7. Minimum Wage
8. Working Class Hero
9. Just Another Suit
10. Escaped from the Zoo
11. Working for the Man
12. Commrade for the Prolitariat
13. A Job Well Done
14. Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Why, yes, Judy, there should be a prize. Not sure what as of yet, but I think that we should make a game out of this. I will keep adding to this post over the next two weeks, adding names that have been selected. Then everyone should tell me what my new name should be....Whaddaya think? Come on, guys, I am not going to know what to name myself now!

*****Blonde moment********
You would like to know what my new job is, right? I will be assisting an accountant with the administrative tasks behind a properties management group. I will also be doing other administrative tasks as required. I could rename myself "Glorified Secretary," as I always used to call myself before being the Zookeeper (back in the blogless days), but I'm not sure.... see why I need your help?? You think of a name for me, and I'll think of a boobie prize to send the magical mind behind my new name.

Prize....a wonderful CD compilation of the Zookeeper's favorite songs. Provided you're willing to give me your snail mail address. (Yes, CMHL, I stole this idea off of you.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Do you smell that??

Yes, as a former blogging buddy said. Those, my friend, are the winds of change. I feel like my life is on the brink of a new beginning. What's funny is that my internet life has been quite slow lately. Not sure why, but it has. And this is ok, really. For the average stay-at-home person, I think that having an internet life these days is a life-saver. And for the past three years, it's definitely been mine. And there are the typical waxes and wanes of activity on here, that usually have to do with the seasons. Late spring and summer are always slower. And rightfully so, for if you have to spend another damn day indoors with the curtain-climbers, more than little white pills are necessary in order to find any sort of happy place. Perhaps my internet life is slower because I spend more time on the phone these days. No one would really want to know how much I get done while chatting on the phone. Luckily enough, there are a few people like me, perhaps with several of their own children rather than a slew that aren't theirs, who need that brief second to yell at their child mid-sentence. This, lately, for me, has been the life-saver. My life-line. Not that my internet friends aren't near and dear. But I like the reality that hearing someone's voice brings. The reality that comes with having been in the same room as this person. Having seen their house to know exactly where they're at when they talk to me while standing at their kitchen sink. Of course, most of my time these days is spent talking to a friend that I know like the back of my hand. Her house, however, is farther than Aaron's willing to travel, so there's a chance that I might not get to see it (which I hate hate hate). But I know this person, and where her tattoo is located. And that means a lot to me. She's seen my c-section scars... has not flinched in the slightest as I lift my shirt to nurse my babies. That's been my lifeline the past few months. And I'm so lucky to have her.

My other reasoning for lowered internet activity has been absence during the evening. Aaron has rediscovered love for Baseball Mogul (if anyone has any copies more recent than '04, please "share" them.). He's been playing on the computer, which has "forced" me to rediscover my scrap-space. Of course, all the cleaning I did in here a few weeks ago is shot to hell, but that's beside the point. I'm USING all the fun stuff I've acquired over the past three years. All that money that people usually spend on clothes? Yeah, it went to stamps and scrapbooking stuff. And I'm really starting to use it all. Good job I have all of it now, because I soon might not be able to afford to buy a ton of new stuff. I might even have to actually make the envelopes my homemade cards come in! hehe

There is definitely a huge current of change with me right now. "This is the start of something good. Don't you agree?" (who sings that song, anyway??) While I hope that I can maintain the friendships I've made online, I'm finding that being online isn't the center of my life anymore. And this is good. Now...I just need to get Katie to move back to the midwest.... I'm not even pushing for Indiana anymore. Three hour drive. Four maximum.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll.....

....when I'm nervous, I shake. When I have low blood-sugar, I also shake.

....this afternoon, I've been shaking like a leaf. I thought it was nerves. Then I realized that my total food consumption has consisted of:

South Beach Chocolate Cereal Bar
one slice of buttered Wonderkids Bread

The End of An Era.....

Dear Daycare Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that my last daycare day will be Friday, June 3, 2006. Another job opportunity has arisen that I wasn’t expecting, and I’m going to take it. I feel that it will be best for everyone involved, especially my family. They have been so patient and gracious throughout the daycare experience, which hasn’t been easy on them.

Please understand that I have loved working with you and your children. I love all of them, and am sad that I won’t be the one to take care of them. I will miss each and every one of you!

Please stay in touch, as I would love to know how everyone is doing.

Miss Steph

P.S. I know that it puts the burden on you of finding alternate care for your children. Please know that the (local) Library has a binder in the Children’s section that lists other people who provide daycare services.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


...have been out of the interviewing gig for too long. Am writing thank you notes. Am feeling like an even bigger dumbass, to be honest.

...i think i can, i think i can, i think i can......

....just keep swimming, swimming, swimming......

I've Officially Decided....

...that I really HAVE to get a new job. The interview went well enough this morning, but it does depress me that I feel like I'm getting to the point where I can't string together an articulate thought. I've been off the adult rollercoaster long enough to where I'm getting frightened to be out in that "other world". Don't get me wrong in the slightest, though. I WANT to be out on the ride. BUT, I'm scared. Scared of looking ultimately stupid.

...So if this interview is as ill-fated as the rest of them have been, I'm pounding the pavement the nanosecond that Aaron gets out of school. I'm sad that I have to stop and leave these parents to find new care. BUT, I can no longer keep going the way I have been. It's not healthy in the slightest. I should have been a little more forceful from the onset of this career, but it's of no use to look back now. I have the future to live for, and I need to start living again. Otherwise, I'm afraid that there won't be much of a future left for me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stupid Scale....

....hasn't moved from the 155 mark for a while now. *sigh* of course, i've not been helping it along much, either... hehe. Why is it that it's so easy to gain the weight, but very very difficult to take it off?? And it seems that there are so many things that thwart all plans of "being good." i've managed to hit the gym two days in a row. Tonight will be three days. I think that I'm only taking Thursday off this week, if I can help it. Getting a gym membership and a scale could seriously turn me into a crazed lunatic. Shuddup, you. I know I've a very very short trip for that! *wink*

....the only other news of note today is that i found a chipmunk in my garage this morning. at first i thought it was a mouse, and thought "yep, finally caught the little bastard!" but upon further inspection discovered that it was one ugly mouse, or a chipmunk. we've kept the garage door open today.

....i played good Zookeeper this morning and had them watercolor paint. i've realized why i do not like watercolors, and that is because the kids always mix up the bloody colors, so that all of them are a shade of shit. positively nervous about the interview tomorrow. am hoping that this or some other job happens for me soon, as i easily lose confidence in myself. i can get through the interview, i imagine, but i'm afraid that people will be passing me up for people who have been in the industry for the last three years, and not playing Zookeeper. when these feelings of inadequacy and inferiority hit, it's very hard to present myself as capable of returning to the outside work-world at all.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday, Monday....

...So today hasn't been too terrible. Just busy. There were two birthdays in the house, which can lend for some happy, yet hectic times. Nap was spent largely making cupcakes for this afternoon, so no rest for the wicked. Is ok, because now I get to clean up the mess from it all! *clicks heels like a lumberjack*

...Sent a kid home sick today. Go me.

...Have an interview on Wednesday for a job OUTSIDE the home. *bites nails*

...Saw cutie-tootie niece yesterday. Still can't believe that Erin and Griffin were actually SMALLER when they came home. They didn't seem so small at the time. She's still laying around in the fetal position, which I remember Collin doing when he came home, leaving inches of empty pj legs. And she has the absolute fullest head of hair on any newborn I've ever seen close up. Loads of it.

...Celebrated my TENTH Mother's Day with a baby in my arms or a kid at my side. TENTH. God, do I feel old.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day....

...and a happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there that visit my blog. I hope that you all had a wonderful and restful day today! For me, it was fairly restufl and uneventful. I got up around 9:00, and went to work out (new iPod in tow!) for about an hour and a half. It doesn't kill me at all to work cardio for an hour, and I'm amazed how much more energy I have on any given day when I've worked out in the last twenty-four. Very strange, as more activity should equal less energy, no? loving the new iPod. Why didn't I think I needed one before? Love to hear MY music at the gym, despite the fact that they gym's music isn't half-bad to begin with. I've discovered that I have way too much Ben Folds downloaded into iTunes, so I need to remedy that. Not that I still don't have a torch for old Benny, but he's not always great gym music. I need all the rappy-type stuff that I don't listen to very often for the gym. Dance music and all that shit. Stuff I generally wouldn't let the kids listen to. I did manage to figure out how to pull Laurie Berkner's sorry ass off my iPod. The last thing I want to listen to during my kid-free-mind-moments is shit that I've bought for THEM! hehe Any suggestions on what to get for it? I'd love to hear what songs you love to move to!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Congratulations, Alaina!!, my brood and I went to Dayton to celebrate Alaina's graduation from law school. I'm so very, very proud of Alaina and all that she's been able to accomplish. It seems like yesterday that a self-conscious young undergrad came to visit me at lunch (while I worked OUTSIDE the home and could GO to lunch, mind you!), and told me over adequate Mexican food that she intended to go to law school, but was afraid that everyone would make fun of her. Now, four years later, this same girl has grown so much, and can laugh at any sorry ass who ever doubted her ability to do this. I knew she could do this, if she really wanted to do it. And she really wanted to do it, because I got to witness it today. And make her feel like the biggest nerd by joining the rest of the family and waving like a maniac at her when she sat down. And whooping for her as she got her diploma. Alaina, girlie, I'm so very proud of you, and can't wait to see what you do next! I love you!

Friday, May 12, 2006

i had a dream...., it's totally not as profound as Mr. Luther King Jr.! But I have been having some very vivid, very strange dreams lately. Last night, I dreamt that I had just given birth to my second set of boy/girl twins at 26 weeks. Instead of them being encased in isolettes, they were contained in plastic tube-like things that dolls used to come in. Instead of laying down, they were upright. And not only these oddities were to be found in my dream...I dreamt that there were rats in the hospital, and that I was bitten by one. *shudders*

...the other night, my dream was that the boy and girl combo from hell last year returned to my daycare unannounced. the mother paid me what she owed me, but didn't give any further explanation as to why she was dropping them off. the girl, who'd been ripping her hair out of her head when i met her, had a full head of curly hair.

...makes me happy to wake up and face the hell that is usually my waking world!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Can Do Just One More Day.....

....this feels like it has been on eof the longest weeks ever. I'm not sure why, but it has. I'm feeling quite tired, but I think much of that has to do with the dreary weather.

....So I went to the Stampin' Up! lady's house last night and did a tin using their new line of paper. I'd been jonsing for the paper, so I'm so happy I got to go and use it finally! The tin is a card organizer for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. I hope she likes it. I've been making some cards to put in it, and am actually liking most of what I've done. This isn't a very common occurance for me. I think this has more to do with low self-esteem than modesty, but I don't think much of what I do is magazine worthy or anything. Anyway, a-card-makin' I will go until I feel like I have a good present to hand over on Sunday.

....I'm hoping to get my behind on an elliptical trainer for an hour tonight. It's totally amazing to me how great I feel when I've put in an hour or so of exercise. I do not like, however, taking that much time away from the family at night. This is yet another reason on the long list of why I should get a job outside the home. I could wake up early and go to the gym and STILL have enough time to come home and help get the kids ready to go. Instead of now, where the first kidlet shows up at six, which leaves me not enough time to go work out in the morning.

....I'm officially down to 155, though, which makes for a happy Zookeeper. 20 more lbs. to go until I feel like a sexy beast again. We shall see! My goal is to be a good girl until Andrea's wedding ceremony, which is next May. I'm going to be put into a bridesmaid dress, so I figure I might as well look good! So exercise and dieting it is around here. Which is a good idea anyway, since I've gained about 25 pounds in my time as Zookeeper. YIKES!

....Anyway, happy Thursday to you all. Leave me some love. Peace out.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


...nothing much going on here today. Thanks to my wonderful friends and family members who helped Aaron to raise all the money he needed for the Tour de Cure. If you're still interested in donating (I know that there are more than just five of you who read my blog, ahem!), please see the May 8 post.

...other than that, nothing much going on. Trying to keep everyone alive by feeding them and making sure they don't kill one another. Typical day, really.

...can you tell I'm losing my mojo?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You Guys Are Awesome.....

....shout out to Judy and Rebecca for sponsoring Aaron in the Tour de Cure. And just another shout out to anyone else to GO SPONSOR HIM! *winks*

Sheesh....'s been one funky day. The kids are climbing the walls today. It's as if there is some sort of conspiracy going drive over the edge on which I so frequently teeter. It's been one thing after another today. And the best part? The twins have leared the refined art of tattling. And they display their skills masterfully!

...the bonus is that I got the rest of the laundry folded. Not that I'll be able to put it away until all the animals go home. *sigh*

Monday, May 08, 2006

Plug..... do it for the diabetics!

So, my dear husband, Aaron, is doing the Tour de Cure in June. This is a 30 mile bike race for which the donations go to the American Diabetes Association. Our family has a significant history of diabetes. Please consider sponsoring him! Thanks, guys!

"just another Manic Monday...."

...same old, same old here at the Zoo today. For some reason, the animals are always fiesty after a weekend. So, it's one o'clock, and I've got most all of them down for a nap.

...To help me track my progress with dieting, Katie and other fellow bloggers suggested I try Spark People. I have to say, that I love this site! So far, I've been able to get fantastic tricks of the weight loss trade, track my eating habits (instead of having to manually enter the caloric/nutrition content of your food, it does it for you! HUGE in my book!), and set myself up on some forums. It's very informative and so much easier to navigate than things I'd tried previously.

...What's on the agenda for the week ahead?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I'm Almost as Cool as Katie....

.... cos I'm getting this for Mother's Day. And I'm not as sneaky as you all would think. I sat at the computer this afternoon, putting receipts into our electronic check registry, and foung a receipt from this store. The funny thing is, is that Aaron forgot that this was in the pile of receipts that he handed me. And the funnier thing is that I NEVER put receipts onto the computer. EVER.

.... now, perhaps, I'll get down to 133.4 pounds, too...ya think? *winks* the step....spandex.... muhahahaha

Shin Splints....

...I get them. And I hate them. I pronate, and have yet to find a pair of shoes that does the trick for it. So I've just been sticking to the elliptical trainers and elliptical cross-trainers at the gym, in hopes that I can work through this. Hate it! ****ETA*** shin splints do not equal pushing myself too hard. the MINUTE i step on a treadmill, i get them. the very minute. i didn't get them until i walked for 20 minutes the other day.

...In other Zookeeper news....well...there isn't any Zookeeper news. Just a lot to be done on this sunny Sunday. What's on your to-do list?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Working Out....

.... ok, so the pudgy little Zookeeper has joined the gym, and has experienced some of the cardio equipment there. She has not, however, tried many weight machines, other than the standard Hip Abductors, in efforts to tone her thunder thighs, which are the yuckiest part on her body, next to the "what? you're not realy pregnant?" stomach. For those of you who work out at a gym (or are lucky enough to have a weight system at home), what do you do with regards to strength training? There used to be a free site online that would help you with this, and it was very user-friendly for the good old Zookeeper. This, however, was also five years ago (yikes!!), and the site has since closed down. *sigh* Anyone have any FREE sites they go to for workout plan assistance?

BTW, the Zookeeper's scale said 155 this morning!! That's ten pounds lost since the big "freak-out" back in March. This gives the lowly Zookeeper hope that she just might be able to reach non-overweight status!

elliptical cross-trainer: 30 mins
torso rotator-thingy at the gym
arm weights for about 10 minutes (weak weak arms....bah)
10 minutes ab-crunches on exercise ball

*********ETA Again*************
waist: was 39"....NOW 36" go me!! :)
thigh: was 24"....NOW 23.5" go me again!! :)
is paying off...will exercise more tomorrow! hehe

Friday, May 05, 2006

Feeling Better....

.... after closing down the gym with 30 mins on the elliptical trainer, 15 mins on the treadmill, and about 15 mins or so working with leg weights. After my efforts, I'm proud to report that the Zookeeper is under 160 (had been up and over 165 earlier) and am starting to feel a little teeny bit of a difference. which makes the end of my day a little more tolerable.

.... update on *odd* dad. i confronted him about the fact that it's unconventional to drop a kiddo off with someone without having first met the provider. he said that his sister had said that "everything's taken care of". This in no way shape or form in my mind absolves him of any further responsibilities toward me or his child! oh, well, he was undergoing a move, etc, but I still was VERY uncomfortable in having her here yesterday. She turned out to be a lovely little bit, and I look forward to next week. It's still a very strange situation, though! was a very long day, and i'm going to go to bed and read or sleep and let Aaron have at the computer. He's got a baseball season to finish! (he loves the game Baseball Mogul...'tis a shame, really, that he is sucking up the sand with his Yahoo! fantasy baseball league...)

On the Roof.... you might as well stay away unless you can talk my sorry ass down, k?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Zookeeping at its Best!

So today, Zoo would be more appropriate than on any other day I've done daycare. I can't believe the nerve of some people. It amazes me! The beef I've got going on? I started a new boy for the month of May. He is just one day a week. It's Thursday, which is my slowest day. No big deal. Honestly. So this little man's mom asks me if his niece can come along, too. I said, "That shouldn't be a problem, just have him (her father)call me." No call. My assumption is no niece. Wrong. She comes wobbling up the walk today. She is upset and clingy. No wonder, eh? Just shoved into this new lady's-could-be-an-axe-murderer-for-all-she-knows house? She wouldn't even let me fix lunch without screaming her full head off. I picked up the phone to call her father to give him a piece of my mind, but just put the phone back down. What's the use, man? But I will gently let him know that he really shouldn't do that to people. One more kiddo, I can handle. I don't know how. I just can. Is it tough? Damn straight, it is, but it's doable. But to not gear myself up mentally for the extra kid? Has been more tough than should have been. I don't know these parents. They have no fucking clue who I am? HOW ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH COULD THEY JUST LEAVE HER WITH ME??????

OK, I'm off to perfect my game of Bounce Out.

Oh, by the way, my little niece is one of the cutest little humans I've ever laid eyes on. Of course, she's related to me, so I kind of have to say it. But I don't feel the need to say it. She's freaking cute. And I'm so happy to have an infant for which I get snuggling rights! ;)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

In a Very Contemplative Mood....

....and really can't talk about much here. So make this count as delurking and identify yourselves! hehe the way... my sis-in-law had her baby this morning. so far, everyone's doing well. i can't wait to see her after work!

Fluff for the day.... I've been tagged, so here it is....

5 things in my fridge:
1. whole milk
2. skim milk
3. 18 ct. carton of eggs, sans 5
4. bagged salad
5. 3 bags of carrots that are on the verge of spoilage...not sure why we keep buying...

5 things in my wardrobe:
1. jeans
2. jean shorts
3. track pants
4. t-shirts
5. sweatshirts
(toddlers so don't care what you wear...they're only going to give you fingerprints anyway!)

5 things in my bag:
1. wallet
2. hardly used compact of face powder
3. lip gloss
4. miscellaneous change (as wallet has no coin
5. pens

5 things I would save on TiVo, if I had it:
1. I don't watch much television.
2. see number one
3. see number one
4. see number one
5. see number one

there you have it folks. now talk amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

1 hour 15 minutes.......

....of having a heart rate well above the target heart-rate for the average 28 year old. Why is it that I have to move at a snail's pace to stay within my THR?? Anyone? Anyone?

....but in other news, I feel fantastic. Even if I do look like a fat cow in lycra/spandex knee-lenth pants, despite the fact that I have a shirt that is two sizes too big to cover my ass. Can I just say that I was frightened to see the circumference of my thighs?? Funny...I don't remember them getting quite that large?? Of course, THIS is why lycra/spandex is a priveledge, not a right, eh Nance?? other other news...I have two happy things to report. Nain, the sister-in-law with a blog formerly known as Nain's World.... got a jobby-job!! :) And also, the sister-in-law, Andrea, is gonna give birth soon, as they will actively induce her tomorrow! There is much ado in the Byers family tonight! hehe

Keeping Up with my mojo.... was a pretty good day, all things considered. I still had six extra kids today, which is enough to wear anyone out. BUT, I was able to get some stuff accomplished around the house, which makes Mr. Zookeeper VERY HAPPY. I, yes I, even made dinner tonight. So what if Chez Byers dining wasn't fine dining, and was simply sloppy joes, tots, and salad. I, yes I, even made Mr. Zookeeper toss the leftover tots down the sink before I could devour them. *pats self on stomach that won't be growing any more*

...OK, fine readers o'mine. I'm off to the gym to work off some calories and frustration.

....BTW, keep fingers crossed for the lowly Zookeeper, as she has put in a resume to an accounting firm that's hiring glorified secretaries. At this point, I would so rather shovel shit than wipe shit off butts anymore. We shall see, though.

....Yes, Walter, I think you're smelling the winds of change. I just hope that they don't turn into a tornado. And I sure as hell don't want to wind up back where I was in October, where I thought I would slit my wrists if I did another minute in daycare. At least I'm not there this time.

...And yes, anonymous, I'm STILL NOT TELLING MY CURRENT EMPLOYERS!!!!!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

My Four-leaf Clover.....

....since finding it, I might not have gotten the job I interviewed for that night(which, turns out, I really didn't), but I am in the beginning phase of turning over a new leaf. Evidence thereof:

1. I worked out for 45 mins. tonight, instead of sitting my fat ass down here for 45.

2. I am currently in the beginning stages of finding alternative employment, therefore regaining the status of a Working Mother (muhahaha...and I'm NOT right now?? lol)

3. I cleaned all three bathrooms tonight AFTER the 45 minute workout! (I live with three boys...three. and i watch another handful. please. pity me!)

4. I'm sending in a resume to a place in which I feel I just might be qualified to work, and have received word from my former supervisor that they are, in fact, looking for glorified secretaries!

Please keep everything crossed that at least my trend of goodness (not necessarily the job, maybe) will work out!

ATT is the DEVIL....

...and I really mean it this time. This morning, I dealt with internet issues AGAIN.

...and to make matters worse, all of the children have a huge case of the Mondays today. Huge.

...I'm so going to the gym tonight to get some of my frustrations out. Wearing big ol' baggy track pants and a t-shirt. You won't be seeing me in anything lycra anytime soon. I've one pair of those exercise capri-type things, but there aren't many shirts long enough to cover the bits no one would ever really want to see, so it's the bag-wear until I get as thin as Katie.