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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Honey Bees... feeling like I should be singing a Winney the Pooh song at this point. I'm working on one of our properties this week, and it has been a better experience than the other one I used to help out. Today I come in to a message that we have a bee problem in one of the trees. So when the exterminator came in today, we told him about it. He said that they were honey bees, so we couldn't exterminate them. Very interesting little delimma I've got working here. I have spoken to two beekeepers, one of whom is trying to help me find a good home for them, and one of which has told me to leave them alone and they will find a home on their own. Despite the fact that it looks like they've started to set up house in my tree, they are actually a football-sized SWARM of bees, which means that there are probably 15,000-20,000 of the little helpful but mean little things in that tree! The one helpful one is calling the people he knows around my area. And, he did say the same thing to me that the other lady said. They are likely to find their own home. I'm just hoping that it's NOT in the eaves of one of my apartment buildings....but for the kid with a rock could start a nasty nasty thing!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Don't Need Another Addiction....

....but I could potentially get addicted to Guitar Hero. I played it for the first time last night with Aaron and Greg (sorry,'ll be out here soon!). And,'s fun. But it's difficult for me. OK, maybe it wouldn't have been so difficult for me to do had I NOT had the three beers (and a muscle relaxer at dinner...) before I started. yesterday found me with friends wondering if I had fallen ill over the weekend. I seriously cleaned my house top to bottom. Cleaned all the bathrooms, did laundry, and vacuumed. I even vacuumed the stairs (hence the need for a muscle back is ANGRY at me).

...yesterday morning found me across the street at our neighbor's house. They are the scoutmasters of Collin's Boy Scouts troop. A bunch of boys, Collin included, needed some scoutmaster's conferences and boards of review to promote to the next class of scout. Collin will be a Tenderfoot class. I sat on the boards of review for everyone but Collin. And it's amazing to see the boys grow and mature. It's also fun to see all their personalities at work. Boys can be so frustrating and icky at times, but it's times like yesterday when you see how neat they really can be.

...the concert was good. The only bad part is that I didn't get to see as much as I would like because the girl I went with had to use the bathroom during every set. But I was inebriated so I couldn't be too mad at her.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can't Believe....

...that it's Memorial Day weekend already. Where the heck has the time gone? We're not traveling this year. Tonight I have karate. Am helping out, since sensei is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Stone Temple Pilots concert. Hope he brought his poncho, because it's pissing down rain! Tomorrow I'm going to the May Day Concert. Am excited, as I've not been to a real concert in ages. Sunday, we're getting together with some friends. Monday, we might be getting together with some friends, should they decide to have a party. So very low key.

....enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Michael Godard... loving this stuff....Michael Godard, for those of you who don't know of it. Someone told me about him last night. He has a wicked, wicked sense of humor. This pic is now on my desk top. And I will eventually buy it should I ever find a good print of it.

I'll Pay You.... take my kids off my hands. I know that no one would pay ME for them. So I'll pay someone to take them.

...why this sudden burst of displeasure? See yesterday's second post regarding the "good kid." Then, I drop the twins off at preschool this morning to hear Griffin's teacher go "Did you talk to Mommy about what happened yesterday?" Uh, no? Apparently he's been hitting his friends at school. Great. So we have a little chat in the hall before school about how we'll have to stop karate if it doesn't stop. other words work is a bit of a pain lately. Sometimes it really sucks to be the auditor of everything. I have a tendency to try not to nitpick the little things if someone's not getting the bigger stuff. Of course, this has a tendency to backfire when you get to the point where you need to have them step it up a notch. Because then you didn't tell them. I could get into points about this, but you'll be bored. Suffice it to say, I suppose I'll just nitpick everything from now on and we'll see how it goes. Sometimes it's better to break up the pill to swallow instead of jamming the entire thing down the throat....but I am probably wrong on this.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So My Kid....

...usually I don't talk about Collin much. Why? Because he doesn't drive me nuts like the other two. But today I catch wind that he's getting in trouble on the bus? WTF? He's my GOOD kid! What am I going to do now?

...honestly it just proves that the kidlet is a kid. Sometimes he's so good, it's scary. He's a mini-me waiting to happen. Which just cracks my shit up. He's got my sense of humor with a lot of things, and that's just scary. He's also got my sense of having to open his yap to say whatever's in his head. That's a blessing and a curse. electronics tonight, though, for disturbing the force on the bus.

Life, in a nutshell.... pretty well the same old, same old. Unless it has to do with karate workouts, I really have nothing interesting to say. So I s'pose I should just keep my yap shut, eh? Nah.... karate it is. I went to sparring class last night. I feel a bit cheated...the teacher has decided to drop the class for the summer, but just NOW is deciding that it's worth actually teaching us stuff. Does anyone else see the insanity of that? Last night was a good class. Not only did I get instruction from sensei, one of the other guys who used to instruct more at the school worked out with me. He worked the same drill pretty much for 25 minutes straight with me. How awesome to get instruction like that! Of course, then I thought about how pissed off I was to not get that from sensei, and how the other guys WEREN'T getting that kind of attention, and I feel a wee bit guilty. That's ok. I s'pose it makes up for the times that I didn't get that kind of attention. But I worked out so hard that I had to take off my head gear because I sweat so much. Icky!

...and I've told you all how I'm so loving the Phillipino stick fighting. I went to Wal-Mart on Sunday and found dowell rods that are nearly the same size so that I can practice at home. With willing participants, of course! *wink* I do need to cut about 10 inches off of each stick to make them the size that we work out with, but it certainly was a cheap alternative. If I really stick with it, I will get some cool "real" ones. But the other instructor hasn't been to the classes where we're learning the stick fighting, so I told him that I'd teach him. So after sweating my ass off sparring, I stayed for another 20 minutes or so teaching him the basic combination that we've been learning. It was fun to actually teach the teacher who'd been teaching me so much about everything else karate.

...I can't tell you all enough about how karate has slowly been transforming my body. I feel so much stronger than this time last year, albeit with more aches and pains. And all my clothes fit looser, even though I've not lost any poundage. But each thing I do seems to work a different part of me and make that part stronger. Kata helps with my core and with my leg muscles, and can be good cardio when done repeatedly. Stick fighting helps my arms and shoulders (which tend to be the weakest part of me anyway). And sparring is awesome cardio.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

4 More Days...

...until the May Day concert! Am excited. I don't know if I'm the only nerd who does this, but before I go to a concert, I grab all my cd's by the artist/s who will be performing. You know, doing homework to prepare for the event. And if there are artists at the event that I'm not altogether familiar with, I search their names on so that I can familiarize myself with them. So this May Day concert will have 3 Doors Down, Finger Eleven, Seether, Atreyu, and Theory of a Deadman. I have apathetic feelings toward 3 Doors Down, like Finger Eleven and Seether, and am not familiar enough with Theory of a Deadman or Atreyu. Atreyu is a bit on the rough side for me.

...other than that, the only thing to report is my frustration on where I've gone wrong with the twins. The whole shoe thing from yesterday morning...and Griffin and the rain last night. You see, when the door handles on the car are wet, neither twin will open their own door. Sensory issues much? And then, yesterday it was raining. Sprinkling. Griffin would not step out of the house without his head covered. Where in the hell have I gone wrong?

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Little Over Two Weeks....

....and my daily commute will not include the Gruesome Twosome. Can't tell you at this point how excited this makes me. Next year, they will be going to school. Kindergarten. Perhaps later on I will wax nostalgic about the fact that they are growing up. But not now. Now I'm counting down the days.

...before you consider me the worst mother in the world, you would have to see life when things don't go precisely as either twin has planned. I give it a few tries of being preschool-teacher-patient before I explode. This morning, it was a knock-down-drag-out over shoes. Yes, it was Erin's turn to get screamed at and get spanked. Yes, spanked. Why? She wanted to wear a pair of black patent leather shoes to school today. And it's a beautiful day here at the Crossroads of America. So they will be going outside today. And no, she didn't want to lose the shoes. So I tried to patiently tell her that she needed to wear different shoes so that she could play outside. And she screamed at me. I asked her twice to get different shoes. Then I took the black shoes off of her, put them up high, and proceeded to give her some swats on the bottom. And then I screamed at her. Why, yes, mother of the year I'll never be. And I'm OK with that. But at least she had on soft soled shoes when she got to school this morning. A bruised bum, yes.... a broken arm from falling on the playground...nope.

...thank goodness there is only one of her. She's probably saying the same thing right now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Don't Get Me Wrong...

...I wouldn't drink snotty beer, aside from my own snotty beer. And when you've already had about four or so beers, you wonder why anyone wouldn't want to drink your snotty beer. LOL

...I so need to grow up.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hi, My Name Is Stephanie, and I'm Drunk....

...these were taken at Alaina's birthday do. Was a wicked good time, but the hangover was a bitch! Not sure if I told blogland that I laughed when Alaina took the picture of me drinking out of the pitcher....and it came back up out of my nose and into the pitcher. I proceeded to pour it and share with my newfound friends. One of them decided that snotty beer, albeit free beer, wasn't worth it. The other, remarkably, thought free beer was worth snotty beer. So I wound up only giving away one glass out of the pitcher. It was the beer at Hooters that put me back up to the eight glass puke limit. Oh, what a night!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Work Outs...

...Have been working out a lot lately. The last week has been filled with a lot of training for the competition. Plus, the twins have me do "Mommy dojo" sometimes. We go through what they've learned at karate. And, even though it's nowhere near as tough as the workouts I do in my own classes, it's still a workout.

...karate is much more than sparring, or fighting someone. It's getting your body to move and be powerful. It's about getting to know your body and what its capabilities are. Doing the series of punches, kicks, and blocks (called a kata) repeatedly is a fabulous way to get your heart-rate up without even realizing it. And it tones you at the same time.

...of course, should you participate as much as I have lately, your body might start to scream at you a little.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We Made It...

...a whole half-hour class. Both kids. On the mat. I wasn't on the mat, which is why I believe they stayed the whole time. There really is nothing cuter than looking at Erin's tiny little fists and feet punching and kicking. She's getting longer, but the rest of her is as big as a toddler. I shit you not. other real news Chez Byers. I came home with the twins last night and worked out a bit on my Swiss ball. Trying to ensure that my back doesn't get any worse. I still have pain from time to time, but it's not nearly as bad as it once was. I took a muscle relaxer for good measure and slept like a baby. Good times. Feel like an 80 year old woman with this kind of talk!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Feeling Like a Rockstar...

...I went to a karate tournament this weekend. I got 4th out of 9 women in sparring. Which means I won a match. Won it. The next two matches I lost, but I wasn't swept. I got points off of them. Can I tell you how much this means to me? Well, it means lots. Fourth out of nine. Not three out of three.

...Methinks I shall have to do the tournament on May 31st, too. Because now I'm addicted.

...otherwise not much ado Chez Byers. I've been addicted to reading the Pendragon books. Lots of fun, they are. Collin, Aaron, and I are all fighting over them. We're all so addicted to reading them, that Collin missed my sparring matches on Saturday. Why? Because he was in the stands, reading.....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Have I Just Been Challenged??

...I think so....

...methinks I might have to give up beer and McDonald's....

...just kidding. I am to the point in my weight-loss journey where I'm happy with the way I look, for the most part. Sure, it'd be great to be in sigle-digit pants. And if I get to the point where I have extra cash to blow, I will be in single digit pants because they always run bigger at places that cost more than Target, Kohl's and Wal-Mart. But how realistic is that goal, really? I'm a thirty year-old mother of three. The fact that I'm NOT 165 lbs. says a whole lot. I'm OK with staying in the 135-140 lbs. range. But that bit of bulge on my tummy and thighs isn't likely to go away entirely. And it's funny how AWFUL my skin looks on my stomach and legs where I have lost weight. Stupid stretch marks! I do hate that I still have a bulge. BUT. Getting rid of it entirely is going to take much more self-control than I will ever possess. So I have to let it go.

...But if I'm being challenged..... ;-)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stick Fighting! Woohoo!

So I'm a big, fat dork. I know this is a new concept for you all. But it's true. We have been doing some things with Phillipino stick and knife fighting at our adult karate class. And it's fun. Lots of fun. And I feel like I'm getting pretty good at it.

I did wind up talking to my sensei yesterday about how he only pays attention to my friend in sparring class. I think he's going to help me tomorrow. We shall see if it works out. I really want to be someone to compete against. Not just pummel.

So Erin might not be cut out for karate. In class last night, she went ape shit becuase she couldn't see herself in the mirror, so she wound up bowing off the mat and sitting with Aaron. And she continuously tells me she doesn't want to go back to karate. And I swear, I've NOT been micromanaging her. We shall see what happens with her. Griffin is doing well, though, and is really made up about going to class and earning stripes for his belt.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Girl Vs. Boy....

...typically, I do not feel that on the whole I'm slighted for being a woman. I usually get pretty fair treatment from most people. Karate, lately, has been another thing, and it's kind of pissing me off. We have sparring class, as I might have mentioned before. I'm really into it...again, might have mentioned it. The instructor knows this. He knows I'm trying to get better so that I can compete. There are two other people interested in sparring. Both men. One is very much into sparring. The one very much into sparring is the ONLY one who seems to be getting any attention in the class. The ONLY one to be getting any real instruction. Not sure if it's because of the guy vs. girl thing...but it pisses me off nonetheless. Am thinking I will gently say to the instructor tonight that this guy's not the only one who could use help in sparring.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Break In the Crafting Drought....

....sat down this weekend and cleaned up my scrap-space in order to make this layout. Very rarely do I make them for ME. They're usually for the kids' albums, which I hope they will treasure when they're old and gray. So I will tell you that I *heart* having a laser-level. It helps me create straight journaling and titles!'s absolutely beautiful here today. I hated to go back to work after lunch and the errands that I ran. I voted this morning. I am sure you'll never guess for whom my vote was cast.

...tonight's sparring class. Am going to see if I can muster up enough skill to participate in the tournament on Saturday. Collin wants to do the one at the end of the month, so I think if I'm going to do one, now is as good of time as any. I've really been practicing the kata (forms routine), and feel like I'm getting better and better. We'll see.

Monday, May 05, 2008


...for my economic stimulus check. If they go by Aaron's SSN, we should have had it by now...deposited directly into our account as of Friday. If they go by mine, we'll have it this Friday. Am hoping that it's not stuck in limbo. Want my freakin' money. hehe

...had a lovely weekend. My niece's birthday was Saturday. She had her party at Forest Park. Am so incredibly sad that I didn't know what was going on. I would have camped my sorry ass there for the rest of the afternoon. Hours, I missed him by. Mere hours!

...yesterday shaped up to be a wonderful day. We had our friends, the Phillips', over. It was a very relaxed time in our backyard. Collin actually recognized right off that they've changed the Coors Light bottle. Not sure how proud I am to admit that....

Friday, May 02, 2008

Second Karate Class the kids did very well for their second class. I went to it straight from work, so, needless to say, I wasn't helping with this class. For about 30 seconds, though, I thought I might have to stay on the mat, though, because Erin decided that she wanted me on the mat with her. I was only worried by this because I was wearing a dress. But eventually she let go of my leg and bowed on with her class, telling Griffin to stand on the line. And they did well. Very well. And you know what? I don't usually say this for fear that I'm turning into "one of those parents," but damnit, they're so CUTE! Griffin threw me a look during his class that totally melted my heart. He was cheesing it, and he was just so freaking cute. And Erin was the smallest child on the mat, albeit not the youngest. And she was just too cute with her tiny little fists and feet punching and kicking. Too freaking cute. I *heart* my kids.

...Which is good. Because it prevents me from committing manslaughter in the mornings when they're little jerks getting ready. Yes. That was this morning.