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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lazy Sunday....

....we all got up around 9:30, which would classify a good "lie-in," by most standards in a family with five year-olds. I've been scrapbooking pretty much all day. I have come to relish the weekends where we are literally doing nothing. We get together with friends, but otherwise we are LAZY. And I LOVE it.

....So the twins decided to help me craft. It's funny, and I had LOTS of clean-up!

....The testosterone imbalance of mine is rearing its ugly head again. I am really thinking that I need a new camera. Not wanting to just go out and spend needlessly, though, I'm going to take my time (which is so NOT like me for those of you who know me!) and really see if I can learn more about the camera that I have before shelling out the big cash on a bigger, better, more expensive toy. We shall see. I'm taking a class in two weeks and am thinking of buying a field guide for my current camera. Again. We shall see.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The After-Effects of a Good Snack....

.... so we had round two with the fire pit tonight.... s'mores and all! Hope everyone had a happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday! the twins tested for their gold belt on Wednesday. At first I wasn't very happy about this, as I had intended to hold off until July. But on Tuesday night, Erin attempted to cry herself off the mat....again. I wasn't at this class. But Aaron told me that Sensei told her that she needed to stay on the mat if she intended to test the next day. Doh! Trumped by Sensei....But they have their gold belts now, and will be going to a new class. Which Griffin is absolutely stoked about.
...Am going to be working a bit this weekend to get a bit caught up on my work, since every time I go to a property, I feel like I fall behind a bit. It's month-end, so there is a lot to review that hasn't been yet. I'm getting some of my vacation time back that went negative while I was in pain and high out of my mind on medicine in April. Of course, I'll go negative again if I take a week off, but am feeling the need to recharge.
...Why is it that all the weekends are full of rainy days lately? We're bracing ourselves for more clouds and rain again this weekend. *sigh*
....I went to the chiro again this morning, and he's not seeming optimistic. He suggested that if he's not helping me that I go to a physical therapist to get exercises that might help my back. I'm not sure that I'll do this, as the main reason I went to see him was for my neck last week. Which he's helped tremendously. After my appointment, I went to the gym and spent 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer. It felt good to get my body moving again. Am headed back to karate on Monday. I can't take it anymore.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Feeling Pretty Good... I went to the chiropractor yesterday. He did more of the same. And I'm not entirely sure that I feel much difference. And that frustrates the doc. He said that I should feel different, and that if I didn't start noticing a difference, then he wasn't the doc for me. Am thinking perhaps I really do need a shrink? But I do know that the things that he says makes total sense. The pain in my right side is probably caused by the karate. My thing is that unless I give up karate altogether, the pain will likely not go away, will it? What does that mean for me? The good news is that when I'm active (as I have been until my neck gave out...but that feels much better from this time last Friday), the pain in my side isn't as severe. It's been MORE severe since I've laid off karate for over a week now. Quite the enigma on what to do.

...and you would think that after three 23 oz. glasses of beer (aside from the few ounces I spilled on the table..hehe) that I would feel a little worse for wear this morning. But I feel great. Of course, I ate a TON, and didn't dehydrate myself by working out like a fiend before drinking. Anyway, we had a babysitter last night, and Collin spent the night at the neighbors' house. She seemed to have the whole house under control when we got home. Upon asking her whether she'd be willing to come back, she said yes, so we'll see! The downside is that going out is EXPENSIVE! We spent 60 bucks at BW's and 20 for the sitter.... YIKES! But it was a lot of fun to hang out with Matt and Nay and Steph and Paul.

...I ordered pictures from Father's Day, which came in yesterday. Am so excited to scrap them. Am feeling a little more balanced lately. For a while I felt like I'd lost my crafting mojo. But throwing my neck out helped me get back in the swing of things. Am having fun with it lately. Which feels great.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Since I rarely Drunk Dial People.... get a drunk post. I had fun tonight. We went to BW's with Matt and Nay and Steph and Paul. I had three tall beers. And this has been very hard to type., friends... dear friends.... why is it that my dear husband got more comments than me today....some say it's because my site is in German...others because I don't allow anoynomous (sp? am not drunk...just drinkin'.) comments. Whatever... comment, will you?? LOL

Quiet... it's been steadily busy, but eerily quiet today. Am working by myself at a property. When the phone isn't ringing (which is often), it's too quiet! I should bask in the solitude. Aaron's joined up in the blogging world. He doesn't realize that most of the cool kids have been blogging for years now, but you can go and visit him here....

...nothing much ado otherwise. We're going out on a date tonight! You will find us belly-up to the bar at BW's, playing trivia, drinking beer, and hopefully hanging out with good friends.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chiros and Craft Night... I went to the chiro yesterday and he did tell me to stop karate. For a week. OK. Can do that. Because really? I don't want Friday to repeat itself. And if he can make my back feel better in the process, it's worth it. Best part is that since I've met my deductible for the year, it's totally affordable. It's just a matter of my time. So we'll see what happens with this. Let me just say, however, that some of the stuff he does is definitely strange to say the very least. And, being the pedantic girl that I am....I giggled. Please. The stuff that chiropractors do puts you in positions closer than what is typical with people other than your spouse. Nothing untoward, but it still made me giggle.

...craft night was a success. I like how the project turned out. I didn't, however, get a picture of the final project because Aaron and our friend Paul were putting in a graphics card on the computer. So Stephenie and I wound up crafting until nearly 11 while they played with the new computer. It was fun, but I daresay that the children, who were also up with us, are going to be just lovely today. Good luck with that, Stephenie and Aaron! At least they get the chance to veg out on the sofa while Paul and I wobble into work in our sleep-deprived states!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


....When I found out that I was having a girl, I was petrified. I think I've told you all this before. But I was. I know the limitless boundaries of my lunacy. I knew that a girl... MY girl...would be the same. And she is. BUT. I can't tell you how happy I was that she snuck herself in there. She is totally my girlie. She has a style all her own (evidence in the first picture...), and likes nothing more than to get herself dirty with markers and various art supplies. When I am home, she's right at my side, wanting to do everything I do. She's my crazy girl. And I'm so glad she's mine. tonight we're reinstating craft night with the girls. I'm way excited about this, as it's been months since we've gotten together to craft. Too long. I'll post a picture on my scrapping blog, which I've started updating again, should you wish to see. *winks*

.....I go back to the chiro today. We'll see what happens. Ever since I've been given the ban on karate, my right side has been hurting again. Drat. Am hoping that this guy can give me some tricks on making my neck and back healthy again. We'll see. If he doesn't, then I stop going. Simple as that. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, June 23, 2008

....Collin. My oldest. The kid who looks most like me (for which I say that he's lucky I'm a boyish kind of woman...). The one who made me a mommy for the first time. My karate buddy. He's so much like me that it's scary sometimes. I look at him and watch what he does, and I see me at that age. It's tough to find a picture of him these days, as he doesn't much like to pose.

....It's so amazing to see your kids get older. It's a wonderful and scary thing. You hope so much for them. You hope that it will be so much better for them. Yet you hope that they experience the same joys that you have, especially when it comes to parenting. And the mean side of you hopes that they'll experience some of the frustrations....the same frustrations they're dumping in your lap!

.....the first picture is from Christmas morning (which is why I'm at the heighth of loveliness!). I was surprised he posed with me. The second picture is more recent. We spent a lovely afternoon at Cool Creek Park in Westfield with the Phillips family.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


....while you love all your kids the same, you love them all differently. Griffin, while the most frustrating of the lot, is certainly MY boy. He cuddles me relentlessly. Always has a way of giving me good snuggles. And he has a crazy boy sense of humor. Love it. And, if you haven't guessed...he will ALWAYS pose for the camera. I went to the chiro today. He seems to believe that my neck hurting certainly was a long time in the making. He did give me the sentence of death, though.... no karate until he sees me again. But let me just say that the dude was more about popping and cracking my neck. He spent most of his time on my MUSCLES. Which were so happy to receive some loving. I go again on Tuesday evening. We shall see. But having full range of my neck will have distinct advantages....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oy... I have incredibly bad luck. Today while stretching my neck out at my desk, it siezed up, immobilizing me. So badly, in fact, that I made Aaron come to my work and bring me my muscle relaxers. So any questions of whether I am going to do the tournament tomorrow are answered for me. I'm so sad. I'd also signed up for a nuchako class at my dojo that was today that I had to cancel.

...getting old sucks, folks. I'm headed to bed soon. And tomorrow morning at 8:30, I'm headed to the chiropractor. How freaking old is that? *sigh*

...hope everyone else had a better day than me and my girlie Nay. Some dumb truck shot a piece of debris at her while she was traveling at 75 mph down the interstate this afternoon, and it dinged her hood pretty good. I'm very sad for her, as I know how much she loves her car. So as your friend I wish you a better time than we have had today.

As If You Needed Further Proof....

....that I am, indeed, a man walking around in a woman's body, I now have irrefutable proof. Not sure if I've already discussed the ever-increasing amount of facial hair that I'm getting? Well, my beard and mustasche hair, albeit light in color, is getting out of control. Out. Of. Control. I periodically take scissors to the straggly bits to make sure that I don't look like the woman from Throw Mama From the Train. But anyway. That's not all. Not. By. A. Long. Shot. No. Yesterday, I was doing my daily food run to get the office food. Was sitting in the drive-thru at Taco Bell (we have serious TB issues, here.) and I was checking myself out in the mirror (which should give me sufficient proof that I am, indeed, female, but it's just not enough), when I spot a stray hair. Thinking it's a head hair that's gone astray (remember my penchant for driving with the windows down and sunroof hair is completely a mess all the time), I go to move it. Only to find out that it's attached. And it's not just one of those quarter-inch stragglers. It's over an inch long. I know. I'm grossed out by it myself.

....other things that make me believe that perhaps I'm a man include:
  1. the fact that I do love me some bacon. I think they made that Taco Bell commercial for me.
  2. my salivation over going into a rib house and smelling all that smoked meat.
  3. my favorite hobby includes hitting people.
  4. I would rather go to a Colts football game...scratch that...ANY football game, than to a ballet.
  5. I would rather see 300 instead of Becoming Jane
  6. I can't cook anything without burning it.
  7. am not disturbed by the fact that my diet Coke is nearly frozen solid when it comes out of the beer fridge, because that means the beer is very cold and that the Mountains Are Blue! positive that there are more, but I can't think of them now. So now I have given you something to feel better about yourself. Carry on. *grins*

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


...on whether to do the karate tournament on Saturday. As much as I want to go and see if I can do better than last time, I don't feel ready at all for it. I've not had any good sparring time for a long time (no Tuesday night sparring class, and the teacher isn't keeping up with his plan to institute sparring every other week for adult class...). Aaron put up the new computer last night. The monitor that he bought is not only a flat screen, but it's GINORMOUS! I thought the screen that I use at work was big, but this puppy's huge! Aaron's already grumbling about the graphic card that he didn't get for it that he would like to have to play games. Such a boy. the way, in this picture of Erin, what you can't see is that she's wearing the bike helmet backwards. She takes after me in so many ways. A few weeks ago in sparring class the instructor pointed out that mine was on backwards....and I didn't even notice! lol

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Katie... lives closer to me than ever before in our lives, both adult and childhood. It's very strange to think that I can just bop by unannounced (kind of hard to do STATES away...but STREETS? No problem!). That her Target is MY Target. That I can bop by her house and there's Coors-Freaking-Light in the fridge, ready for me to drink! That our baby girls can see eachother and perhaps remember eachother's names instead of referring to them as "your daughter".

...otherwise, the other big piece of news Chez Byers is that we have a new computer! No worries, folks, I'll soon be bitching about my credit card debt again. It works that way. *winks* But when you have to dump half your stuff just to load Norton AntiVirus, and the computer will NOT do two things simultaneously, and some iPods have almost as many G's as your computer, it's time for a serious upgrade! I just have to figure out a way to burn all my pictures to CD (in several copies so that they'll be SOMEWHERE in case of emergency) so that I can eventually get them all printed off. Eventually.

....tonight is karate night. Stick fighting, hopefully. But then again, last week was supposed to be sparring, but that so didn't happen. *sigh* Will try to remain positive and not pout.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

System of a Down....

...yes the music group System of a Down. Anyone know enough about them to think that they might sound like They Might Be Giants on crack?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Time has flown... that's my old house. I can't believe how much time has passed. The date says 2003, but it's really 2004, and my babies are still babies. Griffin is a cute little toddler at this point. That's the back ayrd of our old house. I'm still working 60 hours in daycare...nursing full time...going slightly mad (short trip, I know, Matt!).
...and now...I'm not much saner, but I'm happier for the most part. I'm working less, that's for sure. My body's forever my own more babies and nursing. I'm taking strides to at least make it smaller, if not more healthy (though everything, including me, works against it at one point or another!).
...Nearly everyone asks me if I get sad that my babies are growing up. And I have to say, that, while, I do miss me some baby-chubs snuggling, I am happy to see what each new stage brings. Sure...I might not sound so happy sometimes. What parent doesn't? But I love watching my kids grow and morph into what they are. And love the tiny glimpses of the people that they'll someday be when they're old. I know, for example, that Collin will do his damndest to be a certifiable smart ass like me. He's well on his way. I'm taking the bad with the good on that one. Sometimes I have to quell the urge to strangle him with my bare hands. But the times that he makes me cry laughing certainly make the bad times take a back seat. And Griffin will likely be the one who never grows up. He's certainly my Mamma's Boy through and through. And Erin will be like most good daughters and vacillate between being my mortal enemy and my best friend. She will be a charmer to the men and quite the party girl, methinks. Who knows? But you know what? I'm going to have a kick-ass time (and perhaps hair-pulling and weeping-and-gnashing-of-teeth kind of time) finding out.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sad... anyone else sad by the loss of Tim Russert? Am I odd that I'm sad by his death?

Thursday, June 12, 2008


...I would really be in a mess without the good friends in my life. Whether they're there to listen to me whine, to show me the wild world of papercrafting, or to hold my head up while I'm piss-drunk, I know my world is better because of them. You all know who you are. And I love you and thank you for putting up with my sorry ass. to tame the wild beasties now and go to bed myself. It's been a long, tiresome day. Sweet dreams, all!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Easy Day....

...had a pretty good day today. I worked at a property that was five minutes from my house. A nice commute change from the typical 30 minutes in the car. And the biggest and best event of the day was snagging a relaxing lunch at Chili's with Judy and her son, Noah. It was awesome. I've already disassembled the wonderful gift basket she gave me, otherwise I'd show you a picture. She really should go into business.

...I'm off to a night of karate and Coors Light. Hope you all had a good day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lettuce.... tonight I get a text message that says:

"Griffin just told me that lettuce is good for the soul. Didn't know that one."'s times like these, with little nuggets of wisdom shared that make the little meltdowns more tolerable.

My Daughter, the Yoga Queen... last night I was giving the twins a bath. All of a sudden, Erin puts her palms together at her chest (think Catholic schoolgirl, here) and starts doing the Yoga "ohm." Totally cracked me up, and I asked her how her Yoga was going. She giggled and kept doing it. Then she said "This is the spirit of Mommy." would never guess that just shortly before, the little screamers really had me wondering what was behind Door Number Two, as I would have cheerfully traded them for whatever it was....

Monday, June 09, 2008

Making the Best of It... anyone who had a wedding in the Southern part of Indiana knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about here. I know of two ill-fated weddings to happen this weekend. So Aaron's cousin got married on Saturday in Terre Haute. Which so happened to be under a state of emergency. Half of Aaron's family, ourselves included, didn't make it to the wedding because we were stuck on the interstate and diverted roads. The interstate just so happened to collapse due to the flooding. Nice. The reception was moved to a bar in town, which had been closed down for the party. Good job, too, considering my children may or may not have been belly up to the bar, right in front of the little machine on which people play Naked Photo Hunt. We made the best of a bad situation. We were much more lucky than a colleague of mine who was stranded at the place where her sister's wedding was to take place. I hear there was free alcohol involved.

....Other things that may or may not have occurred this weekend include:
  1. me sharing a cigar with Aaron's cousin's husband
  2. with my daughter milling about
  3. finding that I actually do like beer OTHER than Coors Light
  4. shopping with Erin on Friday evening
  5. me being driven into a panic when the lights at Target went out on us and not being able to see Erin
  6. me being utterly relieved that Nay came to bail me out of what would have otherwise been a really bad shopping trip
  7. me fitting into sizes smaller than the 10's and 12's I'd been putting myself in

Friday, June 06, 2008

happy friday!

...nothing much ado around here. I've been leaving the kidlets in bed in the morning to get to work early. As much as I love my kids, and really wouldn't pay someone to take them off my hands (permanently, at any rate), not having them with me on my daily trek to work has been nice. The sounds of their tired whining and occasional screaming have been replaced with music that I don't tend to listen to while they're with me. Oh, like, say...Korn. Loving Jonathan Davis' quirky vocals. Appreciate the fact that he does more than scream in the microphone. Don't get me wrong. He does that, too. But he leaves lots of room for this traditionally trained soprano to sing along. And if I can't have a bit of a concert in my car, it's just not as fun for me. So, the screams of my five year-olds have been replaced by the occasional screaming from Jonathan. But I couldn't have the twins singing along to one of my current favorites of the moment, which is "Right Now." If I am in trouble for having my daughter say "Goddammit!" I certainly would be in trouble for them to sing "Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up Or I'll Fuck You Up!" No?
....oh, oh, oh...forgot this the first time around. We're finally joining the ranks of those with internet and cable television! No, you've not just time-warped back to 1998. Yes, we are one of the only families I know without such luxuries (until today!). Am quite excited to have the potential to watch UFC..... and blog at home!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"School's Out. For the Summer..." Aaron and Collin's last day of school was yesterday. I left home this morning with them all asleep. Aaron and Erin in my bed (Erin woke up from the storm that we're in today) and the boys in their own rooms. Assholes. Kidding. Kind of.

...and to celebrate my vanity, here's a picture of me helping teach karate classes last night. While I sweated my ass off helping teach the class, the assistant sensei who was SUPPOSED to be teaching the class nicked my phone and had some fun with it. It's fun to teach the classes, but it's a little nerve-wracking too. The aforementioned sensei has had to work when we've done our stick fighting, so I've been teaching him in ten minute spurts. So between our classes last night, we had at it with the sticks. Is too funny. And because I do this for him, I get to do things like bow on for the black belt class. Aaron and the twins actually stayed to watch the class, and were shaking their heads at me for breaking the rules. What can I say? Rules are meant to be broken. *winks*

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Babies! and Collin... I'm a great-Auntie again. You can't see them all, but there are FIVE guinea pig babies here. Doing my good auntie duties, I'm watching them while Alaina travels the state to provide knowledge to the lawyers of Indiana. Swapping off with her last night swept me back to my college days. Only this time it was animals instead of a young Collin that I was exchanging, and it was Alaina instead of Andrea with whom I was doing the mad exchange.

...Can I just say that anything in miniature form is cute in my eyes? ANYTHING.

...So last night I made a mad dash home (after the aforementioned guinea exchange) to make dinner (Yes...I made dinner...NO...nothing was burned in the process!). After a hastily eaten feast of smoked sausage and mac-n-cheese (gourmet I'm not!), we made another mad dash to see Collin promote to Tenderfoot class in the Boy Scouts. Am proud of the little man. He's been working a bit harder with scouts than last year. Of course, he also has a bit more support from a leader standpoint than he did last year. Am always stuck in the point as a parent on whether I should keep pushing him along with scouting and what he might need to do for advancement and letting him do things on his own. It's hard to know how much pressure is too much and how much is just right. *sigh*

....go give Katie some love. There is so much that goes into moving half-way across the country...I don't envy the stress that she's under, but I'm way excited to have her close by and to see her house. That I've vowed not to see until SHE herself gets to step foot into it! Sorry Greg!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Random Thoughts....

....getting to meet author Jen Lancaster Friday at her book signing was a treat! She is just as funny in person as she is in her books.
...Happy 7th Birthday to Maggie! (the girl on the left is her momma and a good friend of mine) Seven years ago, she gave me the scare of my life by being born at 23.5 weeks gestation. It was that scare that gave me the strength and hope to get through Erin and Griffin being born at 26 weeks. Yesterday we took those three miracles to the park to play. And you would hardly realize that those were the same kids who were not even six pounds between them at birth! Thank you to the P clan for the wonderful time and the wonderful gift of your friendship.
...Saturday found me in Lebanon, IN at a karate tournament. I was in no way prepared to actually participate in the thing. Well, physically in sparring, I felt like I was, but wasn't prepared by simple essentials....such as a uniform! You see, I was going to take a step back and simply enjoy watching. Watching Collin. Watching and learning from the others while they sparred. But what wound up happening is that there was only ONE other woman who came. And it stinks enough that there were only two of us competing, but for her to have signed up and to not be able to even compete against ANYONE would have been horrible. So I bought an extra gi (can never really have too much workout wear, though I hadn't intended to spend that money...roll on economic stimulus check!) and signed myself up. Thinking they were going to run the tournament schedule the same, I raced to the dressing room to throw my gi on....only to miss Collin's first and only chanbara match. *hangs head in horrible mother guilt* Collin, despite the fact that he didn't place in anything, is getting better and better with competing. And we had the conversation that I'd been reluctant to have with him, since people already call me a stage mom. I'll give him the tips that I have if he wants them. And he agreed. So we'll have our work cut out for us. Now....I did wind up beating my buddy in both chanbara and sparring (coming back from behind both times). Not sure if it has any merit, but it was fun.