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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I got Not a Lot....


.....so here's a cutie boy for you to peep at. *grins* I can't believe how much he's growing up. He's got bigger feet than I do now. Bigger feet than his dad. He's nearly as tall as we are, too. He's got no more baby teeth....I don't want him to stop growing. But could someone please stop the clock for just a little bit?
....on a side note, the whole lot of us went to the dentist today. Can I just say that it says not a whole lot about you when your dentist is shocked that you won't be paying him any "in between cleaning" visits? He was totally shocked. Was kind of funny. I asked the hygenist if I should call home and say "Look, ma! No cavities!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Book Worm....

...so those of you who know me well know that I'm a hopeless book worm....although I'm a relatively slow reader, I do love me a good book..... So... here comes another bullet list, brought to you by yours truly....

  • The Other Boleyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory
  • The Constant Princess, by Phillipa Gregory
  • The Boleyn Inheritance, by Phillipa Gregory (It might be Phillippa or Philippa, but I can't remember... and yes...I tend to be a creature of habit and read all I can by one author before going on to the next.
  • Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer... even if you don't like the thought of vampires and werewolves, this is a good series. Not scary, not vulgar by any means. Just good reading...think Harry Potter vampire style, maybe? Good clean fun....
  • New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer (if you wound up liking the first one. I do know of a manly man who read this lately, who stated that it was just too girlie for him....)
  • Pendragon series, by DJ MacHale....this is another one of those crack-type book series. It's about a group called the Travelers, who can travel through time and space in order to save the common good. I do believe that these are a little less easy to read than the Stephenie Meyer books.
  • The Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordon....this is a series about kids who are half-breeds between humans and Greek gods. Is more interesting than I can describe.
  • The Eragon series by Christopher Paolini.....The third book just came out!

Now...my bullet list will come also with a bitch and a moan....no surprise at all for those of you who know me well.... I tend to do that a lot. So what's my big hairy deal? ALL of the series that I'm reading have new books and ALL of the brand new books of the series are in HARDCOVER ONLY! Sucks, bro! The good news behind all of this is that the series are really YOUNG ADULT books (shuddup, you all...they don't have pictures or anything...), so they tend to run a bit cheaper. But I don't like to hold hard cover books....

And my final bitch and moan for the evening before I get back to work is that I ordered a couple of books on Amazon on September 14th. One of them was a pre-order that wasn't due out until the 20th of September. So, I would have thought it would have shipped last week, right? Wrong. It's not supposed to ship out until today or sometime until the FOURTEENTH of October! WTF? Am so sad not to have my book. But that's ok, Collin snagged the 8th Pendragon book for me from the library at school (I do so love that boy!), so I am not without reading material.....

So yes, folks...that's all my life revolves around right now. Karate and reading. There are other things, too, but do you really want to know whether I've shrunk my newest gi in the laundry? Or that I finally got all my clothes folded and put away? There are so many more interesting things to talk about! Oh, Oh, Oh! I shall not forget that I had a loverly time on Sunday afternoon....after my nap outside, that is. I went to Uno's with Rebecca and Stephenie to make good on my birthday present of taking Rebecca (I know, I know...her birthday's in JULY... I do so suck as a humann being!) to dinner. And we had some yummy yummy food. Sans kids. And it was so very nice. I do not get to hang out with them enough.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Could it Be Better....

...than laying on a comforter outside in the warm autumn sun?





....Nope... I don't think so.

A Good Time....

...so while I've been instructed not to divulge too many of the family secrets, we went out last night to celebrate Andrea's 30th birthday. I may or may not have partaken in more alcohol than anyone else....but I feel no worse for wear today. Amazingly enough. I think that everyone had a good time. I know I did. I ate and drank like it was my last meal, though..... Aaron teased me and said that I'd have to be working the kata in the yard today to make up for it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Looky What I Got!



....So after an hour and a half of review, I did it. Has been five years in the making, but I did it. And what's funny is that after talking to other black belts....ones that have been black belts for several years now, the feelings of inadequacy of living up to all that a black belt symbolizes aren't uncommon. But just because I got this, doesn't mean that my journey with martial arts is over. Nope. Not by a long shot. It's just beginning.....













....and for those of you who know me in real life, talking incessantly about my karate life, here is a picture of some really awesome people. They have certainly helped to make this journey more worthwhile.

(Kelly, Jill, Steve, and Kim)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Loose Tooth....

....so how come I didn't tear up much at all when the kids went to Kindergarten, but am getting a bit verklempt that my baby girl has her first loose tooth?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Family.....


....so here is a picture of some of my favorite people in the world. My dad and mom are standing next to Aaron, who is standing directly behind me (am sitting down in a blue tank top). My brothers are standing next to my mom (birght pink shirt). And my babies are sitting on my grandparents' laps.
....Can you tell I had a good time? *winks*

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Aaaahhhh.... To Be Learning Again....

....so the past two days I went to karate class and bowed on with the black belts. We did katas, with and without weapons, and did grappling. I learned that I really want to start wearing my gi top to class, no matter how hot it is....mat burns on my elbows weren't fun. But I also learned how it feels to be learning again. The part where you're humbled because you're looking a bit like a foal learning to walk, bumbling about just trying to keep up. And the part where things finally start coming together....still so much to learn, yet enough to where I can practice at home. Excited.

....the kids have the day off on Friday, and we waited to the last nanosecond to arrange for care. So I've arranged to work late the next few nights, work a bit from home on Friday, and work a bit on Saturday. We'll see how it rolls. The kids are excited about me being home with them on Friday, though, so we'll see if we can fit some fun in someplace. I shall take some suggestions for all three of you who read me on a regular basis....... Come on, delurk and give me some ideers.... *winks*

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Bullet List.... Because I Can...

Funny things that happened this weekend:
  • Upon getting caught sniffing around my beer, Griffin announces: "I can't have beer because it's got caffeine in it."
  • Erin, upon seeing my dad with a cup of coffee: "Oh, did you get that at Starbucks?"
  • Laughing at my mom because she didn't know the alternative definition of "tap" after she told my brother "Tap it, don't slap it!"
  • Drinking at my childhood home....never thought that would happen. We filled my mom's recycle bin with beer cans.
  • Threatening my mom that my baby brother and I would sober up enough to make a Run for The Border and being gifted with Merkley Burgers at midnight.
  • Listening to my baby brothers argue like an old married couple about the gifts they had bought for my dad for his birthday....

These are memories that will make me smile for a long time....

A Good Weekend....

....so we went to Southern Indiana this weekend to attend a reunion for my mom's side of the family. The only negative of this is the sheer amount of driving we had to do. It was a lot. The bright side to that was that we got to take my car instead of the van, and I got to drive half-way on Saturday morning.

...the reunion was nice. Fried chicken abounds, as customary in Southern Indiana. *winks* And everyone brought their tastiest dishes to share. I continued my sumo diet that day! It is nice to see everyone from year to year, and it's such a nice time.

....so after the reunion, we went to my parents' house, and two of my brothers, my sister-in-law, my mom, Aaron, and I all played a card game called "Swap!" and did our civic duty to rid my brother of some leftover beer (He'd hosted a bachelor party and they didn't finish off the beer...WHAT?!). I tell you, I haven't laughed as hard or as long in a long time. My baby brother is one of the funniest people I know, and always seems to be the life of any party he attends. We'd actually sequestered him for the night to hang out with him. He always seems to have someone to see or someplace to be.

....so today leaves us back to the grind, and kind of wiped out.

...Four days and counting until my black belt test! Friday night I went to sparring class, and knocked legs with a few people. All the exercise has left me with awesome muscle tone. Too bad I feel the need to hide all the bruises I've acquired!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Too Fun To Have a Girl Sometimes....


...totally makes up for the other times when she's screaming her fool head off at me. *winks*

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ponderances of the day....

  1. Does it seem oddly fitting that the person who should pull out in front of me so closely that I have to slam on my brakes in order to avoid a collision would have the "In God We Trust" license plate?
  2. Does the fact that Griffin repeated his Jack-Ass performance of bellysurfing down the stairs and thus getting rug-rash on his stomach mean that I'm somehow deficient in my child-rearing skills?

And by the way, Judy.... NO ONE should EVER wear horizontal stripes on their ass. EVER.

Nance....I did pair the tone-on-tone brown striped pants with a patterned cream and brown shirt today.... No one said I looked like a clown... do you think they were laughing behind my back? Am currently paranoid.....

Greg...nice navy. Navy's not blue. Not by a long shot. *winks*

Stripes....

....have noticed an increasing trend in what I am drawn to as far as dresspants go.... stripes. Nearly all my pants have them. And when shopping Saturday, I was drawn ever to fun pants with stripes. Does anyone else get in a clothing rut? Would stripes be considered a signature thing? Am not used to noticing this type of thing. Could my testosterone levels be decreasing? If so, why doesn't the friggin' facial hair go away already?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Fairly Relaxing Saturday....


....love it when the day isn't a hustle and bustle of trying to get everything done. Heather is the wife of one of Aaron's good friends, and we found ourselves kindred spirits since we met. The boys do Fantasy Football together, and we met during a "Draft Day." The twins were babies, and we spent the day nursing our respective babies and taking care of them while the boys did their thing. We're both working moms, so we relate to things such as insane schedules and daycare costs. Both married to teachers, we relate on that level, too. Unfortunately, because of nutty lives, we hardly ever see eachother, and we NEVER do anything just the two of us. Not that we mind that much, but we thought it would be nice to at least go to lunch together. So we made plans about a month ago to have lunch. And it happened! So we had a leisurely lunch at a place called Barcelona Tapas. Such a nice place. And we had some yummy, yummy food.
.....Heather always looks put together, too. Yesterday, she shared her secret with me. We went to a consignment shop called the Toggery. It's in a nicer part of Indianapolis, so you're likely to find name brand clothing. And since I'm finding it harder and harder to keep my dress pants up, I was in desperate need of some new ones. So we went there yesterday, and I was able to snag the CUTEST. JACKET. EVER., another really cute blazer (yes, I'm seeing the irony of the lack of pants thusfar!), three shirts, and two pair of dresspants. All for $85. The downside to this is that the money was supposed to be my camera money (which I'm giving up the dream soon, as I don't think I'll ever have the necessary funds amassed for such a large purchase). I was happy with my purchases, though, and can't wait to wear my new stuff.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Keeping People in Thoughts....

...so am thinking of these people. One is probably in the process of evacuating her Texas home, thanks to the impeding hurricane. The other is traveling for fun, but had a hellish trip yesterday. Wishing them both well!

Hey, Look!

....It's ME! *grins* This is the competition that I actually won at the tournament. Kind of fun to see myself at the head of the pack at the moment.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Working Out....

....so we went to one of the guys' houses tonight to work out in his HUGE garage. It was hotter than a muthafucka, but we were able to work out for almost an hour with very few interruptions. We're getting better as a WHOLE. Which is going to make for an AWESOME test night. So very awesome to see us in synch with eachother. Even more awesome to know that people are going home and working on things themselves. And I see major improvement from when we started this review belt in May. I was the only one who was running them all along. So I remember the MOVES. But getting BETTER at the moves is something I've managed to do over the past few months. And I still see the need for improvement. But what I see in my classmates is astounding to me. They were bumbling around and had forgotten the moves. So the first few classes were really kicking their asses both physically and mentally. But now? They remember them. And we're all showing good improvement. And it's fun.


....OK. Next post I promise to find something else to talk about other than karate. Deal?

Black Belt.....

....so the teacher's set the date on my black belt test. It's September 26th. My grandma's birthday.


....I have such mixed feelings about this test. For all that I've actually been taught, I'm ready. But for what I feel is going to be expected of me, I don't feel that I've been taught enough to be able to do well. I get this feeling because we went to our dojo to work out in "the back room" last night. And I feel like we didn't get enough accomplished. Twice our teacher came back and twice he interrupted us. The first time was for about ten minutes. The second time was for 40 minutes, and by the time he left, we all were cooled down and irritated that he just talked to us and didn't actually do anything but critique us on the way we did things but he's never taught us any differently. I know, because I pay rapt fucking attention to most everything that he has to tell me. Now. It's not that I can't take criticism. But if you're going to criticise something I do, then you better put your money where your mouth is and be willing to take the time to show me the right way. I don't want to be a half-assed black belt. It means nothing to have a three-inch belt to cover your ass if you can't live up to what it symbolizes. Don't get me wrong. I've learned a lot in the past two years. And the teacher is good at his own martial arts. Very good. Scary good. But sometimes I think that he's having trouble passing along the way to improvement, especially for the adults.

....OK, rant over. So tonight we'll go over to work out at one of the classmates' houses. We'll be able to work out uniterrupted. Which will be good. A few of us still need a bit of work. Not everyone has been going all Funakoshi out in their back yard. And that's OK. If one of my classmates has it right, I helped along a bit last night. And that makes me feel good. Because, in my mind, that's what the true Way in martial arts is. Passing along what you have learned to those who wish to learn it and better themselves. And they will have things that they're good at to teach me about what we're doing. I don't excel at it all. But am trying to.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Has Anyone Seen My Dietary Self-Control??

....If you've seen my naughty dietary self-control hiding out, will you please tell it to come home?

....Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Relaxation.....

....so last night I went over to a friend's house after the kids were in bed and sat in her hot tub with a few bottles of beer. Afterward, the guy that was over, the friend, and I all shared a really good cigar. (Hey...after four bottles of beer, it seemed like a good idea!) Was up way too late. But had a nice time relaxing.


....am still on my rampage for food. Ate Taco Bell for lunch today. Because I've no self-control. It was yummy. But I so need to cut this shit out!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Should Have Known....

....that the boy would be accused, but he was just trapped by a girl trying to kiss HIM! Aaron asked him this afternoon whether he kissed a girl on the bus today. He said no, that C was trying to kiss him. Aaron asked Griff if he let her. His adamant reply was "No!"

Oh, My.....

....so here is the text message that I just got from Aaron:


"Some kid just told me that Griffin kissed a girl on the bus."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And So It Ends....

....the celebrations, that is. I can now resume my normal eating and exercise regime.


.....we did have about 24 people over last night. Aaron and I concurred that it was the biggest party we'd held at our house. All done on a whim. But a lot of fun. So there were 29 people, 14 of whom were children. Aaron did tease me that I was the only person who could make a decision to have a party and start inviting everyone at 10 o'clock and have 24 people agree to show up around 7 o'clock. It was fun. And, all in all, a success. With that many people in my house, am very happy to report that nothing was broken, no one got hurt, and everyone pretty much behaved themselves. Am hoping that people had fun. The only downside to things is that my house is tiny for entertaining the masses. But I think that those who came had some fun. I think more than one set of the families said that their choice of events for the evening were to either come to my house or do laundry. Girls after my own heart, I tell you! Thanks to everyone who came. You made my birthday a fun event! Sadly, I didn't get a single, solitary picture of the entire day.....

Saturday, September 06, 2008

If I Keep Up With the Celebrations....

....single digit pants will return to their elusive state! I have celebrated three times already (four if you count opening my presents from the kids AS.SOON.AS.I.WAS.UP thankyouverymuch), and mostly with food. And I've not really celebrated yet today. Feeling the need to exercise right now!

....but in the realm of celebrating, I just want to shout out about how awesome my friends and family are..... yesterday, I went to lunch with my sister-in-law Alaina. We went to G.T. South's for lunch and she gave me a really cute earring and necklace set. Then, four of my closest girlfriends and I went out to T.G.I. Friday's for supper. I got some fun bath stuff, a Colt's bracelet, an ├╝bercool necklace, and a tote bag. And the company of my favorite four friends. We then went over to one of their houses and watched "The Other Boleyn Girl". So completely different from the book, but a good movie nonetheless.

....so the funny part of a birthday when you're my age is that most people have young children at my age. And those young children are STOKED BEYOND BELIEF about a birthday. The twins have been supercute in their quest to make sure I'm being celebrated. They came in early this morning to tell me "We're not going to tell you what your presents are!" Of course, this was a cue to Aaron to bring them out so that they would still be surprises. They got me a book, a cd, and a t-shirt that reads "Don't Make Me Use My Super Powers!"....oh, and some scrapbooking stickers that Erin said "we'd share."

.....so this afternoon, we'll do lunch with Aaron's family, and then this evening, we've invited friends over to hang out in our back yard. We'll drink, eat, and have a fire pit. Am excited about having my friends around tonight!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Snot, Snot, Go Away.....

.... and never come back!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thursday....



....nothing much ado on a Thursday night. The kids are in bed. Aaron was supposed to have been out playing with a friend. First Thursday night football game of the season and all. I really don't have a lot to say, but thought I'd share a piccy since I hadn't in a while. Griffin has to be my most photogenic child. Not sure why. Probably the ham factor.



.....ooooh.... I said ham. Am now hungry. What the hell is wrong with me that I feel the need to gorge myself???

Seriously.....

.....this sounds so good. Am really in the mood to eat junk right now. Lots of it. If broccoli cheddar soup is good, having it in a bread bowl is even better. If one bowl of chicken and noodles is good, two is awesome!

.....self-control don't fail me now!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

People Amaze Me.....

....this girl amazes me. Many people have always marveled at how I've been able to do it with twins. Preemie twins at that. But this woman has had to deal with things that I didn't. And she amazes me. And will continue to amaze me.

Sexist?

...is it really that awful of me that I think a woman who has a baby with Down's Syndrome should have a job closer to home and be instrumental in caring for that child?

...I suppose everyone has their own philosophies on these kinds of things. Am certainly one of the most independent women I know. I certainly don't think a woman should be nailed down to her home. A woman should be where she is happy. BUT, if she chooses to bring life into this world, the choice isn't souly hers anymore is it? If her children fare better because their mom is an integral part of their lives, that's where she belongs. And anyone who's even had a small glimpse into special needs children's lives knows that it's a tough life; one in which both parents are essential in making sure that child has the utmost chance.

OK... I'll be climbing down from that ol' soap box now.

Feeling Like a Pig...

...so I had my first-ever weekday lunch with Katie today. Was weird to admit that, yes, I've known her for 26 years now. What?! So we went to Panera, where you can't really get anything too good for you. Funny how they disguise themselves as a sandwich shop that's better for you than a Big Mac, all the while hiding the calories you will consume. So, instead of eating in moderation, I completely stuffed myself on a Bacon Turkey Bravo and Broccoli Cheddar soup (in a bread bowl, thankyouverymuch).


...Am not eating for the rest of the day, just so you know. And I would give my right arm for a nap!


....by the way, I tried to take a picture of my reddish nose, and it didn't give the full story of how red it actually is. You'll just have to trust my word for it. Am just thankful I didn't bleed on the mat.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sparring Class....

....so I took another shot in the nose tonight. No bleeding, but the Rudolph look is quite stunning on me!


....Is what I get for hitting and kicking my friends for fun....

Happy Tuesday....

...nothing much ado here. The best part of my day was eating lunch with my friend Judy, who surprised me with a call this morning, asking for a lunch date. Am still feeling a bit under the weather from the cold/allergy thing I've got going on right now. It's not stopped me from eating more than my fair share, though! Good job sparring class is tonight so that I can work some of it off. Dinner tonight shouldn't be too terrible for me, though. BLT's! One of my friends had about twenty or so tomato plants in his yard...only lives with two other guys...and doesn't eat tomatoes. So he let me have some. Boy, I do love me some home-grown tomatoes! So I'm excited about the prospect of a good BLT tonight.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Posers.....




....so oftentimes when I bust out the camera, Griffin is ready to grab his sister in the sweetest hug and smile nicely for the camera. Erin most often will oblige both him and me.
.....we had a nice leisurely day to celebrate Labor Day. We went to a small town just north of us for a car show that Aaron's dad was in. Then we went to their house to hang out with everyone. Hadn't seen everyone in a while, so it was nice. At the car show, Aaron did his best to embarrass me by bringing one of my trophies and toting it around. He put it in front of his dad's car, and we all watched as people bent down to look at it and shrug when they realized it wasn't a car trophy. Sheesh.