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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Day....

 today was a good day. We went to see my friends Ryan and Marie, who live in Ohio. Ryan is a friend from high school, and I met Marie in college after she and Ryan started dating. And when life got in the way, we lost contact. But thanks to good old Facebook, we've been reunited. And it seems like forever ago when we made plans to get together today. But today has come and gone, and I'm so very glad we got together. It had been entirely too long. Their kids are sandwiched around Erin and Griffin, so they both had a playmate. Collin found a playmate in the cat, who sacked out on his lap. We ate, flipped through Marie's scrapbooks and photo books, and talked. And it was relaxing. Ryan and Marie are two of the sweetest people I know, and they have made two very sweet kids. And I sincerely hope it's not another six years before we see them again. I highly doubt it will be. We've already made plans to go and see them in April! *grins and happy dances*

....speaking of further grins and happy dances, I have tentative plans to go with my mom and aunt to Tulsa to see my two cousins row at the end of April. Cross your fingers that this trip happens for me. Aaron's given me approval, so we'll see! It will be a long trip, but a fun trip. I've kind of always wanted to do a girls' weekend with my mom. Hopefully this works out.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Weekend!

...I'm so happy that the weekend is here. Tomorrow we are going to Ohio to see some friends of mine from high school/college. Got to love Facebook and the ability to reconnect with people from your past that you like tons, but have lost touch with. Life so gets in the way of being able to be close to everyone you connect with. Am way excited to be able to see Ryan and Marie again, and be able to see their oldest again (haven't seen her since just after she was born!), and to meet their youngest (who's a year younger than the twins). The weekend will be a little nuttier because of it. The house will be a little dirtier. But I couldn't be happier!

Eastern wisdom quote of the day: "Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness." --Confucius

Thursday, February 26, 2009


...not much ado around here. I went over my lunch hour to Lowe's to buy a curtain rod. A curtain rod that will disguise itself nicely as a bo staff for karate. Speaking of bo staff, we made one from a broom handle for Collin about four years ago. A good rule of thumb is for the bo staff to be about a hand's-length above your head. We adhered to this philosophy. And, four years later, it's about two hands'-lengths BELOW his head. Talk about a slap in the face of the momma who's realizing her baby boy's not so little anymore! Yes, he's getting bigger all the time. And sometimes, I'm so ready for it. Other times, I want to crawl under the covers and hide until he's about 25.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday....

...yes, I'm that lame with titles these days....

....It's BEAUTIFUL out today. Took a walk over lunch and it's gorgeous. Love this time of year when you think that maybe, just maybe, we'll see nicer weather.

....Am amazed at just how stressed out some people get with everything in general. Seriously. If you are healthy, your family's healthy, you have shelter and food, and you aren't being shot at on a regular basis, is life really so bad that you have to run around every day like someone peed in your Wheaties? Is it necessary to slam doors and bitch about everyone and everything? Sometimes I swear that if I were a dog, I'd develop the nervous habit of picking my own fur out (This is my work life... hence the walk outside at lunch).

Awesome Eastern quote of the day: "The main purpose of life is to live rightly, think rightly, act rightly." ---Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras! evening's festivities included a dinner of lil' smokies, mac-n-cheese, and fried okra...a trip to the gym to do about a mile and a half on the elliptical and some arm weights. It will end with a shower (alone, gutter-brains!) and some light reading before crawling into bed. Boy, do I know how to live it up, or what??

...went back to work today, and the rest of the family went to school. Taking yesterday off has made me disoriented. I seriously had thought it was Monday on my way to work. Sheesh!

...Happy Birthday to Nana! I hope you had a wonderful day! In honor of her birthday, she made me and my friends the best doggone strawberry cupcakes a girl could ask for. Methinks they might trump her white cake....nah! But a close second for sure.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sick Day.... my baby girl is sick now. Am hoping that she's at the end of it. But she's got the fever and the bad cough. Am feeling a lot like last year at this time. Of course, they gave us a break last year. The twins were sick together. Not a week apart.

...I increasingly felt worse myself yesterday. I love when the kids share. Is so thoughtful of them. the girlie and I are hanging out together today. Just the two of us. I put Griffin on the bus alone this morning. I let him sit in the front seat that whole block-long journey to the end of the cul-de-sac. He thought he was big big stuff. thinking that we'll go to Wal-Mart to get some more cough medicine. If I hadn't been so busy sleeping in until 8 today, I probably would have gone earlier. Oh, well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

First Black Belt Tournament.... yesterday, I went to my first tournament as a black belt. Wow... the difference in things is pretty amazing. First of all, since I'm now a black belt, I get to judge. After many protestations on my part, I went ahead and judged. My first bout of judging was kata and weapons. For one of the largest and most competitive divisions in the circuit. Seriously. Nothing like going before the firing line. And as uncomfortable and inadequate I felt about that, those were easy compared to my second bout. I got to judge sparring for little kids. Some points were a free-for-all boxing match. More often than not, it's hard to tell who is doing what. Then again, some of these kids had AMAZING skills for someone so little. I saw things I can't even do! far as competing goes, it's a bit of a different ball game, too. First, the women have been competing for a long time. Second, they are more competitive. Much more so. In the underbelt divisions (Kyu ranks for those of you who know karate-ese), when a match is done, everyone's friends again. Not as often with black belt women. There's a cool-off period. And that's ok. Because everyone's friends again by the end of the night.

...OK, the run down of how I did. I got 4th of 4 in weapons. I expected this, as I've been running the tonfa (which is the weapon I used) for maybe two months now, if that. My goals for weapons? Not to drop the weapon. Not to hit my head with it. Finish the kata. I did all three. And that's good. Next! I got 3rd of out 3 for kata. Again, it was to be expected. But from what some of the judges told me, I just need to clean it up, and then I could actually be a contender for it. I run kata differently than most people. For one, I'm still new at running kata. For two, I'm less theatrical about it. We'll see. I highly doubt I'll ever really do very well with kata. Next! I got 3rd of 4 in chanbara. I lost my first match to the woman who took the state title last year for it. And the next match, I won. So I took third. Not too shabby! Next! For sparring, I got 2nd out of 3. The first match, I lost to the woman who took 2nd in the state. I got one minute to rest, and then beat the woman who won the state title last year. Was a bit surprised with that one.

...OK, now you can all give me your I-told-you-so's. Am feeling like, in a few years after being a black belt, I could probably be doing even better. Two of the three women I went up against yesterday have been doing martial arts for 20 or more years. That's a tad different than my measley three years total of the last five years!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Feelings of Inadequacy....

...there are many reasons for me to feel inadequate. And this is going to sound stupid. But I'm feeling inadequate with my karate right now, especially where competing is concerned. Tomorrow, I'll compete for the first time as a black belt. And I'm positively shitting-myself-nervous about it. Why? Because I'm trying new things. Things that, because the weather prevents me from going all Funakoshi in my backyard, I've not had enough practice with. Doing kata in a six by six foot space in my living room? Not enough space. Spinning tonfa around when I have low ceilings and fans in every room? Uh, not THAT stupid! So I've not had enough time to really feel prepared for stuff. In my heart of hearts, I know that I've improved so much over this time last year.

...Am still going tomorrow. Am fully prepared to be the newbie. Getting my butt kicked. But I know that the black belt women in the tournament circuit I run in are a bunch of wonderful women. Tough women. But with hearts of gold. I know many of them already, and am excited to see them tomorrow. And have my ass handed to me on a platter. *winks*

....Roll on Summer!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Body Rx....

... so the new program I'm thinking of trying is called Body Rx. We'll see how it goes. He has some very conventional viewpoints on nutrition. High amounts of lean proteins. Low amounts of starchy carbs. High amounts of fiber. However, he has some very unconventional viewpoints as well. Eating as much of the good stuff as you want. Not counting calories. Not stepping on the scale.

...He also has some very unconventional viewpoints on exercise. Screw cardio, he says. Do weightlifting.

...and while I can't say that I'll be able to subscribe wholeheartedly to his program, I am going to see about making some long-lasting changes to my diet and exercise. I can't subsist on fewer than 1,000 calories most days, with days where my lunch alone has 1,500 calories. It's just not good for my body. I know that my body needs more protein and fiber. I just have to find good ways of getting it.

...and am still debating on whether the high-fructose corn syrup scare has a ton of merit. Kind of like the global warming thing. Sometimes it makes perfect sense... other times. Who knows who's right anymore?

....So I'm going to make some changes. Going to eat more protein and less carbs when I can. I'm going to make sure that I get weights into my regimine. But I'm probably not going to go whole-hog into anything. I like where I'm at right now, as far as body shape. Thanks to Facebook photos, I'm finally seeing just how much I have changed my body. I don't really need to change it more. But I know that I can be healthier. Leaner, stronger. I'm not going to go all bodybuilder on you guys. But I like that I can become even stronger.

... I am man-woman! Hear me roar.


  • Griff's finally fever-free and back at school today. Am thankful that it appears so far that this illness was short-lived.
  • Got new sparring gear yesterday. Am anxious for tomorrow to try it out.
  • Am trying not to be nervous about Saturday, which is my first karate tournament as a black belt. I know that I'm nowhere near where I want to be as far as competing. But then again, there are only so many dojo hours in the week. Oh, well.
  • Had class last night, and did some kata to try and prepare for Saturday. A girl who'd come as a friend to another black belt complimented me, saying how good she thought I was. That makes me feel good, but I still don't see myself in that light.
  • Also at class last night, we did a fighting drill with the guest sensei. He's the one who usually brings in his sticks for us to do stick fighting, and has some really neat drills and workouts to share. Love it when he's around.
  • The economy is really starting to scare me a bit.
  • Tonight I'm going to help Judy out by cutting Noah's hair. He wants it cut close, but she's nervous about it. If all else fails, it's a free cut, and his hair will grow out again in a few months. I think we'll be able to start out with the longest attachment and work our way down from there. Maybe I'll cut Griff's tonight, too. He's looking a bit shaggy.
  • Speaking of Shaggy, Collin's letting his hair grow. Everyone keeps razzing him and us about needing to get it cut. But you know what? If he wants to express himself that way, I'm not going to tell him he can't. It's only hair, after all. Now, if he starts going all Shaggy and has the munchies more than the average teenage boy, I'll start to worry. *winks*

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


...not much ado here Chez Byers. Griffin spiked a fever yesterday, so he's at home today with Aaron. I hate not having sick time to use. I burn up vacation days when I have to stay home. Could be worse, I suppose. I have a job. Back to the boy. He has been coughing a bit, too, so we're preemptively using the albuterol to help open him up so that he can cough the stuff up. Lovely visuals for you so early in the morning, eh? Sorry.

...Other than that, we're just keeping on. I'm looking into starting a new healthy eating/exercise kick. Maybe. I did find out that I don't have to give up diet Coke (woot!). But I do have to limit my alcohol intake. I would get a free day on this program, though, and I would make it Wednesday, I think, so that I can have my beer guilt-free. Priorities and all. But this program seems to be what many people are saying. Lots of lean protein. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut back on things like pasta and bread. Makes sense. We'll see. This dude also says to not worry as much about cardio exercise as you do weight training. While I believe that you need a mixture. But I'm not an expert, so we'll see how this works. I just want to be healthier and on top of my ever-out-of-control blood sugar.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Love Her, Too....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Saturday! this is what I got the other morning when I told the twins they could play their DS's AFTER they got ready. Love it!

....Had a nice, laid back day today. I scrapbooked a bit. And for lunch, we went to a local Cajun restaurant called Mudbugs. We'd never been there before, but it is absolutely yummy! Then we braved the Castleton traffic to let the twins spend some of their birthday money. They both got more games for their DS's. Surprise, surprise! After we got home, I scrapbooked some more. Then I went to the gym to work out for about an hour. All in all a nice day!

Happy Friday!

.....and because I really have nothing of note to say.... Here, look! Birthday Cake!
....Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


.....I get so disoriented when my schedule gets thrown off. Feels like it should be Friday. the twins had a nice birthday. I totally don't think of things like inviting their friends to their birthday dinner. So the kids were sad that their friend and neighbor-girl didn't come to dinner with us last night. And it so could have been arranged. But we packed it all up and went to Chick-Fil-A with Aaron's parents, sister, and niece. I do love me some waffle fries! After we ate, we went back to our house to open presents and eat cake. The kids absolutely loved everything they got, which included new bikes and sparring gear (the headgear were both too small, though! Which makes me sad that they won't be able to go to class with me tomorrow... and they were so very excited about it!).

....I've been trying to shake off a cold-type thing. Have congestion and chills. Good times!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Erin and Griffin!

Seriously? Six? My babies are six? What the heck is happening?!

Nah, not really verklempt. I'm happy and excited that my babies are becoming big kids. Erin is turning more and more into a little lady every day, and Griffin a young man. Is so weird to think just how very far they've come. From being so very scared for their well-being, to being so very proud of them for being able to do things like read their own birthday cards (with some help, but they're certainly getting there!).

Love you, Erin and Griffin!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is Love Week, After All.... last week I had lunch with Judy, who so kindly watched my kidlets on Monday. She's a gift giver. And she gives stuff to people who will appreciate them. Even if they're her cast-offs, she gives stuff away to the appropriate people. And, well, people like me appreciate it. She knows that I have a thing for Frango mints. And had a can of Frango cocoa mix. She didn't like it? So I got it. And damn, if it isn't yummy. Included in this little package, which was tied with a colorful ribbon, were some packets of tea. Just what I needed today. I might go through all eight packets today. You're a gem, girlie. And you know it.

...This morning (and I don't even think Aaron reads my blog anymore), Aaron put a cute card and bar of chocolate on my steering wheel. Too sweet. Thanks, babe!

....wishing I felt the love from Griffin today. Usually he spares no expense on the cuddling and loving I get from him. This morning, however, he was feeling like a jerk (am wondering if he's not getting sick). He was mad that I'd asked him to stop his game to get upstairs to finish getting ready. He threw the Game Boy. So I told him that he would not be allowed to play it later tonight. To which he threw an all out, fists-pounding-feet-kicking-the-floor tantrum. Swell.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Shout Outs.... Katie and Judy, who both called me today to make sure that I was a happy, caffienated-by-diet-Coke bunny. To Katie who delivered a 20 oz. cold bottle and 12 pack to my door for me. And to Katie for not bonking me over the head when I found the case that Aaron had bought. You two are the best. And again, I don't deserve how well you both treat me. Love you both! Aaron, who actually went out and purchased a 24 pack of caffienated diet Coke without telling me to ensure the safety of the family. Love you, too.

....feeling the love today. :-)


...reasons why this morning has sucked so badly....
  • Got home from southern IN last night at 11. 6:30 was just so not a happy hour to be up this morning.
  • Cold shower. 'Nuf sed.
  • During aforementioned cold shower, Aaron lets me know that Collin's complaining of his stomach hurting.
  • Taking the morning off to be with aforementioned sickie.
  • There is no diet Coke with caffiene in this house.
  • I'm feeling all sinus-y because of the stupid weather.

...update on my Grandad. He's off the vent during the day. They give it back to him at night so that he doesn't have to work so hard to breathe. He's not had dialysis since Tuesday, so that's a good sign. He either needs to be off the vent and able to do dialysis as outpatient, or he needs to be off dialysis in order to move him back closer to home. If they could get him closer, it would relieve a lot of my Gran and Mom. We didn't wind up going to see him yesterday, but wound up hanging out with my Mom and Gran. It was a good visit.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Two Blogs... I wish there were a way to meld my two blogs together. Because. Well. It's hard to manage them sometimes. So, for today's post, see my other blog. I updated that page you guys helped me with!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Compassion... calendar quote for the day: "Each of us in our own way can try to spread compassion into people's hearts." None other than the Dalai Lama said it. And, while there are days I go from Sweetness to Unkind Bitchiness in 5.2 seconds, this is something I try to live each day. I'm not always patient and kind. BUT, I do know and have access to people each day who don't even make a half-hearted attempt at following this philosophy. And it's sad. Because it takes so very little to make a person at least feel tolerated. And that's all I'd ask out of people. You don't have to love me (but thank you if you do!), but tolerate me. That's all. And it's not that hard (well... for those of you who tolerate me, I know that there are times it is. And thank you for that, too.).

"Don't Tap Out!" I had about 20 minutes to get my make up on and get the twins dressed and teeth brushed this morning. Just enough time to watch a bit of my DVR'd UFC. Of course, I had to turn it off, because Griffin couldn't bring himself to watch and get dressed at the same time. But it was so hard not to just let him watch, because he's getting SO into it.... The guys had gone down to the ground (so for all intents and purposes for those of you who don't know much about MMA, they were wrestling... and they try to find ways of getting their opponent in a situation where they will give up by "tapping out"). So what do I hear from Griffin? "Oooh... don't tap out!"

...Yes, we shall be watching it when we get home. I do so love that boy.
...Got my hair cut. Am still debating on whether I like it. Am thinking I probably should have left well enough alone. But am glutton for punishment. *sigh*

Thursday, February 05, 2009


...nearing the end of the week. And I'm good with that.

  • Cowboy Mouth puts on a good concert. They're a funky punk-ish type band. And they're just a fun band to see. If you like Barenaked Ladies, you would appreciate this band.
  • The opener last night was Wheelhouse. They're a cross between southern rock and blues. And definitely worth a listen. They're a local band.
  • Protein shakes a good for a variety of things. The new one am trying has a muscle recovery blend to it. I find that if I drink one of the shakes after working out, I'm not as sore. I also find that if I drink it after a night of imbibing, the hangover doesn't last as long. Woot!
  • I ordered sparring gear for the twins' birthday. It should arrive today or tomorrow. They both want to try it out, so we'll see how they do!
  • I'm getting my hair cut today after work. It was cut a little unevenly last month, and I'm starting to get a little pissy with it. It's showing the more it grows out. Am thinking that I'm going to go shorter. We'll see.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Why I Love Having a Girl....

...... "Here Mommy. I made you a crown. You gonna wear it to work?"
...."Yes, baby."
.....And I did. Good to think that she still sees me as royalty for the minute.
....The kids had a two hour delay, and this afforded her the time to make this for me. Love it!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Going South....

....yep. Am going to Southern Indiana again this weekend. My Grandad is still in the hospital. And I think that maybe a visit to see him will cheer him up a bit. He's had a setback. I know that they're to be expected, but suck, they do. His heart rate was elevated and his blood pressure low after dialysis one day, and he vomited, aspirating.....again. Pneumonia....again. Intubated....again. My poor Gran and Mom are getting the runaround with being told that certain tests NEED to be run, only to be told a few days later that they don't need to be. It's been two months since this noise all started. Grandad only wants to go home. But he can't go home until he can do dialysis as an outpatient. Or he's off dialysis altogether and is only needing all the other stuff.

...Keep up with the positive thoughts for my family as they go through all this. It's been so tough and is getting extremely wearing for them.


Can't think of a good title for my post. A bullet list of things that happened over the weekend:

  • I am still contemplating on what to do for the layout posted Saturday. Thanks for the ideas! I'm afraid that if I screw too much with it, I'll ruin it. But it really does need some pizzazz.
  • We went out on Saturday, after reassurance from the sitter that she was ok with Mr. Conjunctivitis. Dinner was no so great, but the UFC fights were pretty good.
  • I drank nearly 100 ounces of beer. That's just too much.
  • I woke up a little bit worse for wear on Sunday morning. So I really didn't do much until the afternoon. Heh.
  • Getting together on Super Bowl Sunday with some of our friends has now turned into a bit of a tradition, I suppose. I thought about it, and believe that we've spent five of them in a row together now. Good times with too much food.
  • My eyes itch like none other. Methinks that it's sympathy pains for Griff. He hates getting the drops... and I'm hating giving them. And am not sure how it became my job to do so, but it's been all me. *sigh*
  • Judy is watching my crazy crew today while the teachers have an inservice day. She's now currently deciding on where we're going to do lunch this week. *winks* You're awesome, Miss I'll-Ask-Aaron-Before-They-Even-Realize-They-Need-Someone Judy!
  • My ploy to get more protein in my diet is working. I do protein shakes in the morning. Of course, they're nothing more than a scoop o'crap in milk, shaken to all heaven. But they're not terrible tasting. If I'm not feeling eating meat, I tend to grab a protein bar. But it's going pretty well. Am also trying to cut out a lot of the sugar I take in (as I've just finished off a Frosty from Wendy's....heh). We'll see how this works in my quest to manage my blood sugar and gain muscle (I don't want to be grotesque with the muscles... just want good muscle definition).