Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I could give you many reasons, I'll settle for one

Without getting on a soapbox about why you should see Waiting for Superman, I'll post my #7 from my Mondo List:

Fight for Education reform because it’s immoral to let any child settle for a lifetime of missed opportunity

Regardless of the intention of editing in the final minutes of the film would you be hard pressed to find anyone without a lump in their throat. This movie is uplifting, heart breaking, and inspiring as you follow five families in their quest to make the best of the educational options in the public school system.

While there is a definite agenda in the direction of reform, the case is convincingly made that we are failing not only urban but also suburban students. The statics are staggering in regards to drop out rates, the minority achievement gap, and the lack of lottery seats available in non-traditional school options. Most notable is the featured work of KIPP schools, SEED, Teach for America, and Geoffrey Canada.

I hope that much in the same way that the director's first first film, an Inconvenient Truth, started a national dialogue about the environment, I hope Superman will do the same for public school reform.

The cynic in my says, enough grad school classes have taught me that for the duration of public education, someone has proposed the panacea for the perpetual ailments. How can this be any different?

If anything comes of people viewing my hope is for a greater public realization of how we set up, fund, assign students, and ultimately grade our schools flies directly in the face of sanity. I know this firsthand from the inside out. Taking this year off has only amplified how unhappy I have been for the better part of the last 5 years. A common complaint among teachers is feeling you are trying to quell a storm of bureaucratic mandates that takes time away from the focus of simply teaching.

I know that even before this movie, and in light of the controversies that have now gained national attention here in our home school district, I am moved to action.
Of my Mondo goals, this has the most potential to impact someone other than myself or family.

I am starting with the smallest of baby steps believing something greater is possible:

1. Encouraging friends to see this movie. I want to help start a conversation about supporting not only their children's school, suggest considering the same support for other schools in the district that are also needing of the same attention.

2. Compel teacher friends to see this movie and not take a defensive position. There is quite a bit of public backlash from teachers who fill vilified by presentation as lazy and obstacles to reform. We all know and have experienced good versus detrimental teaching. A good teacher can set in motion success, and but the same token disinterested teaching can damage and demotivate.

2. We are choosing 3 schools within our district to fund their needs on DonorsChoose.org as part of our holiday giving. We are involving Ben by adding this giving to our month of Advent practices and nightly gratitude jar. In addition I want to follow up with these schools next year to ask how we can continue to support the work they are doing with students.

3. Last week I was offered additional sections of my online class for the spring. I cannot tell you how much the transition to teaching online has renewed my love of the sheer connection to working with students on the most basic level.

In the next few months I will find out where I will be reassigned at the end of leave. My heart is pulling me where I think I will be happiest and also can likely do the most good. If at all possible, that is working from home.

Please see this movie and more importantly be moved to react and not take a position of apathy.

Monday, November 29, 2010


The Unexpected Thanksgiving Weekend-

For the trip to go so well, one of the best trips home, ever.

For Ben not to ask a gazillion questions at the funeral.

He simply took my explanations at face value. Including the rationale for caskets as the special boxes needed for God to take you back to Heaven. I equated it to a race car covered in flowers. He now thinks Heaven is filled with dead hamsters, his cats, and old ladies that lived on a farm with cows.

For Ian to have let out a huge belch during a prayer.

For the response from Lu's son when I went to apologize, "mom was laughing, indeed"

For a beautiful fall day to say goodbye to this memorable great aunt when heavy rain was forecast

For the Thanksgiving meal to have reheated as well as it did. The whole meal did feel a little like Holidays on Ice, even without the freeze ahead aspect.

For my ability to roast a Cornish Game Hen and attempt to carve it.

For the patience to sit through Oprah's recent interview with Barbara Streisand without snarky comments.

For smiling as my mom relayed how my brother and I fought over setting up the Nativity scene breaking off the angels wings. This story as I was telling Ben that the wise men didn't kick each other in the face.

For her to be able to play the piano for Ben to dance and Ian to crawl to the music

For us to get her house fully decorated before we departed.

For me to find my own home with lights strung outside, leaves raked, and the tree ready to be decorated.

I made it a 2010 goal to approach relationships with new eyes and a positive attitude. It has made all the difference and lead to the unexpected.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Some Kind of Wonderful Holiday Cards

This is the time of year when I get out all our holiday decorations to enjoy for the weeks from Thanksgiving until the New Year. Among the items that are displayed yearly, includes a garland of felt mittens with all our past holiday family cards that hang in our dining room. Almost all of the cards have been created using Shutterfly's incredible selection of products.

Among the reasons we love this photo sharing site includes the ability to design from the hundreds of options, the ease of uploading and saving creations, and the quick turn around ensuring our ability to send out our cards in a timely manner.

Overall Shutterfly is competitively prices and offers many online discounts when you sign up for a free account. While we are still in the process of finalizing out 2010 card the following cards gave us many ideas on generating a card to capture our year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


As of 7 am we are on our way to SC for the next 48 hours for Thanksgiving. It wasn't the original plan, but things have a way of falling together.

I have kicked out some AMAZING amounts of work this week given Ian napped both days.

Included in this list of feats: our entire Thanksgiving dinner minus roasted chicken finished and frozen, 5 more freeze ahead meals prepped to travel, holiday clothes for the boys purchased as well as the final gifts for my mom to give, and helped Ben make Thanksgiving cards and fudge pies for his teachers.

With all that the next 48 hours should go down without a hitch. Since I am leaving way early to beat holiday traffic we should be golden. All hopes for the drive not taking the extra 3 hours it did last trip with the tour of all NC/SC rest areas.

On a sad, but also thankful note of the end of physical suffering, my surrogate grandmom passed away Monday after a long battle with Parkinson's. Luella Hood was my grandmother's brother's wife and an amazingly strong and outrageously funny woman.

I always secretly wanted the Hoods to be our grandparents. Henry and Lu were unbelievably good hearted, loved kids and always welcomed you into their home (usually with some kick ass southern cooking.)

Lu was quick with a dirty joke and loved life. She was a true steel magnolia in her grace to handle her illness as well as the bouts of depression that plagued her throughout life. Lu hosted a family recipe shower before our wedding inviting all the Hendricks and Hood wives into her home for more than "some damn ugly mints and punch in the church gym."

Last trip down I took my mom as well as the boys for our usual visit. The Hood's always showed kindness to my dad growing up as he worked weekends in Henry's general store. Later when he was sick the Hoods stepped in on a weekly basis.

I debated whether or not I wanted to take the boys to the funeral. I have a good 6 hours of driving to make the call today. Somehow I am willing to trade off what may be a bad parenting decision leading to a hard conversation with Ben later about death.

Somehow taking the boys seems a lesson in how to live a life fully and without regret . Thoughts on how to convey this to a 4 year old are welcomed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well That Was Random

Short, Rambling, I need to be either knocking out progress reports to schools or doing the 5 loads of laundry I neglected this weekend. Somehow this seems more important.

1. Ian needs to be sleeping. Day 14 of craptastic sleep. Only ONE day last week did he not wake up before 6. Add falling asleep in the car for any amount of time = no nap. The return of crappy parental sleep. BOO!

2. Good weekend overall on the behavior front with Ben. This included sitting quietly with me at Harvest Table at Church. Somehow the idea of trading for cookies kept him quiet.

3. I really love that each week at the library he insists on getting 4 books for Baby Ian and then attempts to read them to him.

4. Somehow doing anything times four is the magic trick for Ben compliance.

5. We all fell asleep in the car before dinner. The boys fell asleep on the way home from Durham so why mess up a good thing.

6. Post closet clean out = clothes I haven't seen or worn in over a year. I proudly now have a new drawer of workout clothes to get me through an entire week.

7. New playlist for Week 4 for Couch to 5k! Earth, Wind, and Fire made the cut.

8. I kicked ass getting almost all of the T-Day meal cooked and frozen over the weekend. My mom can't have ham and my brother hates turkey. Can we have a meal of all sides and pie?

9. I'm crazy disappointed in the sampler I had framed for Ian's nursery. Thinking of getting it re framed even though it seems wasteful to spend the money

10. However I'm psyched that we are combining our Christmas and anniversary gift giving for a joint family gift. Bill's fav aspect of a new purchase, the research and comparison, are in full swing for a Black Fri deal.

11. No 3 am standing in line to fight it out for a Dyson or shoving a lady with a kind size down comforter in route to said vaccum. Seriously what was I thinking last year?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Show Me the Mommy-Tuesday Date Night

DATE NIGHT!!! Before you ask who books the reservations, remembers the wine, or thinks of protection, sadly the date night is with a 4.5 year old.

We started this weekly plan at the worst of the summer insanity. I was frustrated with ugly behavior towards his counselors at Y Camp, being excessively rough with Baby Ian, and downright nasty to anyone that resembled a parent.

In trying to find the positive, we decided that instead of more punishment we would carve out a weekly special outing with just one parent.

The rules include that we take turns having one on one time to talk, play, eat out, and in general get much needed undivided attention. We have been trying to let the executing parent plan the event as well as taking care of dinner. No amount of bad behavior at home or school can prevent date night. On the weeks we moved the date night to a weekend Ben was the first to notice.

Most recently Ben and I took a tot painting class. I had gotten a great deal for a 2 hour guided class for $9.00. Miraculously he participated and listened for the entire 2 hours! He did have brown paint over his right eye that he proudly wore for the ride home to show Bill and Ian.

Believe it or not, Ben did much of the painting. The instructor outlined the monkey, and I showed him how to hold the brush and make strokes. Ben filled in all the major parts and I went back to clean up and add details. I was overall impressed at the final product that is now hanging in his jungle-inspired bathroom. This was a must do date again!

I really think the Divide and Conquer technique of parenting is working for our family. I think the extra attention has helped Ben settle into the 2nd child routine. Date Night will definitely carry on into the new year with some new ideas for this super, duper parenting trick.

Some of our 2010 Dates:

Dog Halloween costume parade at the SPCA
Playground tour of Wake County
Durham Science and Life Museum
Nature hike at Bass Lake
Open play at Bounce U
Marbles Kids Museum
Picnic, duck feeding, attempt at paddle boats
Trip to Tom's Trains
Ice cream sundaes
$1 Movie Theater
Pumpkin carving
Talking Trees Trail at Jordan Lake (family weekend trip)
In-house movie night in homemade tents
Leggo Store
Scavenger Hunt at the Raleigh Farmers Market (Baby Ian got to go on this daytime trip)

Future date night agenda

Hockey game
Overnight camp with dad
Attend a music concert
Paint your pot studio
Santa's Workshop
Sledding at Bond Park
NC Museum of Art Kids Saturday
Cane pole fishing
Morehead Planetarium
Read to a Dog (at the library)
Write a letter to Santa
Create an (easy) gingerbread house
Eno river creek stomping
American Tobacco Trail and Durham Farmers Market
New Hope Valley Railroad

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tales from the Little Potty- My Leather Bound Edition aka... A Bear in the Woods

I gave this story the TWO FRIEND TEST.

The one where you risk your friend thinking what the Hell is wrong with her and share, then regret sharing, then tell someone else to make sure you where correct in thinking of sharing to start.

Damn, that makes me tired just to over think that thought. Needless to say when I told the 2nd friend and she blew coffee out her nose, I made the right call.

I hate potty training. I hate it to the point that even thinking of starting Ian (and I'll be damned if I start a DAY before 3) makes me want to cry.

With that we have gone most of 2010 with few accidents including the being dry at night and pooping on the potty with few accidents. Praise Jesus!

So my thinking of late has been one kid down and one to go.

Tales from the Little Potty has now been issued in paperback for wide spread enjoyment.

I made the horrible, horrible parenting mistake of letting Ben pee outside in an emergency just before we left for Disney. Not thinking, I let him do it again (it was the biggest emerengy ever) AT Disney. And no, for the record, it was not at the Park rather in a bush at our hotel.

The Universe owed me an escalation for my own stupidity. Last Friday we took advantage of another beautiful fall day and headed to Kids Together Park. I love this park for the many different playgrounds, the greenway nearby, an ice cream truck most summer days. I esp like the rows of swings near the very, very far away from the bathrooms, back.

As you can guess before even asking he was behind a bush with his pants down.

After what seemed like forever, I check on Ben who is smirking and kicking at the dirt like some geriatric cat. Yep, my pride and joy had sh$t in the woods.. like a bear.

Of course just as we are cleaning up some totally together mom with her perfect kids walks up and is totally mortified and my son's penis just hanging in the wind.

A Golden Parenting Nugget. Actually two, there for all of God and creation to see.

Needless to say we had a very long talk about appropriate places to use the bathroom and that we do not need go outside again. Make that never again for any reason. Period. I further elaborated that only animals go outside, and I couldn't resist using a bear as my subject.

So much for the older child teaching the younger about potty readiness.

God help me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Count on Mom to Include the Underwear and Toothpaste

Post up about Parade and Fireworks Tips today at Growing Up Disney Mini-Moms Panel

As we get closer to holiday season I've started a running list of things we want to include. My limit is 15 items spread out over the month of December with a cap on expenses. Already events are adding up with Santa Train tickets, a Winter Wonderland event at a local park, and researching if our annual tradition of going to the Messiah at Duke Chapel is making the list (Bill would quickly say no.)

One of the things that makes the list every year is filling Operation Christmas Child Boxes. Our local Chick-fil-a is doing a big drop off event this week. Last night I took the boys and we bought enough to fill boxes from Ben and Ian. I let Ben pick the ages (as you guessed he wanted to pick four year old boys.) My ballpark limit was $75 (or 1/2 of what I want to spend DOING stuff this season.)

For each box we filled, Ben picked out:

play dinosaur
foam football
silly stick (makes a crazy noise and is filled with little pellets)
match box cars
small leggo kit
coloring book

Mom added:
Plastic reusable shoebox to pack the loot
New underwear (Ben picked out Cars)
New toothbrushes and toothpaste
First aid kit
School supplies (pencils, chalk, crayons, glue stick, pencil bag, notepad)
Cars themed water bottle and snack case

So can you tell who was the 4 year old concerned about toys and the 35 year old concerned about practicality?

Aside- Of fast food places I will always pick Chick-fil-a. We frequent the Tuesday Night kids night on the way to Ben date night at least once a month. The minister who married us is a foster parent with the WINSHAPE foundation.

Bill and I stayed with their family on their farm (the Wiley Home) over a weekend to plan the ceremony. Granted they are a for-profit company, but knowing the back story and meeting some of the kids was telling of as aspect of the cooperate culture. The whole "We're Not Open on Sundays" moto seems to be more than just lip service.

Plus, their coupons never expire.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy 7 Months Ian, my little speed demon.

Man this kid is fast. It seemed like only days ago Ian was scooting around on his arms on the floor. Late last week he was FULL on crawling.

BAM! This kid is mobile much earlier than Ben. Needless to say much of the weekend was spent re-baby proofing only for him to find something else to get into.

I think we have a potential climber and squealer growing upstairs. His latest trick involves standing up, shaking the side of the crib babbling/squealing at anyone within earshot.

Add to this 7 straight days of no nap. Thank you Daylight Savings Time for totally screwing us out of any sleep or productivity last week. He getting up at 6 or earlier and we are all feeling it. Even after a trip to Umstead Park today he was still going strong with NO NAP.

I've been trying to put him down before he appears overtired, extra solids or bottles , and making sure we are not away from home around usual naps as he is a poor car sleeper. Outside of trying to wear him down in hopes of sleep I'm about out of ideas. Suggestions???

I know that this too will pass as in the scheme of babies, he remains an easy-going happy boy.

Even after this unfortunate accident Friday he was all smiles. This first of many knots and bruisings came from testing out his weight on his baby legs while holding onto a bench.

Something tells me I am going to run a tab with Urgent care before either can vote.

Happy 7 months my sweetie. I'm hoping all those MAAAAMAAAA and GUGGGGG sounds are going to be Ma Ma before Christmas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Show Me the Mommy- Coming Clean, well kinda...

In my email this morning is the final installment of Mondo Beyondo Dream Lab. I'm a little sad. Actually more than a little sad, rather discombobulated. My daily shot in the arm that does not require better living through chemistry is ending.

There's a bigger post to write about why Mondo? Or why I stuck around for the Dream Lab on Courage? Or what I got out of it (so much that I need to give myself a word count), or most importantly how I hope it changes my perspective long term. I really like the person that emerged and hope she sticks around for a bit.

I have been mum about much of the behind the scenes for the better part of this year publicly. I don't know exactly how to explain the shifts taking place, even before MB. Know that I am saying yes on a daily basis to the smallest of ideas, yes to practicing uncomfortable vulnerability, and yes to crazy pipe dreams that made my list.

Some dreams, like taking a (well-needed) editing basics class online or training to be birth doula are attainable. But then there are the lofty goals like writing and performing my own comedy set that seem so far removed from reality.

I uploaded this pic for my MB profile page and then later also here. It was taken towards the end of the summer just as the first lessons were rolling out. I love this picture. The larger version so perfectly captures our summer of sullen children and a deliriously happy mommy to have made it to the end.

It has only been a few short months ago since I took a giant leap of faith to leave my job and to stay home. By saying yes to this particular opportunity for courage, I discovered a missing part of myself.

Courage Unfolds Yes by Yes by Yes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Then Let's Just Shoot for Plan B

Thanks to the oh so wonderful time change Ian has been up at 6 am and then refuses to nap. Yes, he crashes around 9am for a cat nap but refuses to take his normal lunchtime nap. No amount of extra feeding, extra rocking, making sure we are at home has helped this week.


So in keeping with the plan run am online tutoring, then to the gym to do the Wed C25k session then on to yoga/pilates fusion.


I had just dropped Ian off with the childcare at the gym and was programing the treadmill when all the power went out.

You have to be kidding me. I literally just got here late as always after a poop blowout, a peeing dog accident, and then missing the garbage truck.

Once home, I am faced with either not doing the session or striking out and running with the stroller. This seems like a no brainer, but I really wanted to have built up some endurance before heading outside.

I now have a short list of things that will make being outside better including fixing the locking front wheel, getting some running shorts, maybe some double duty ones also for spin, figure a way to make Ian happier in the stroller who cried the whole way, and reconfigure a play list that matches my stride (no comments here on need for super slow songs to match my super slow pace.)

The day was not a total loss, after Ian pulled NO nap we picked up Ben, took the dog with us and headed to Bass Lake Park to the nature trail. It's a town park that we haven't visited since last fall since it's been under revamp. The changes were nice and the new 2 mile trail much more stroller friendly.

A nice way to salvage a day, get outside and enjoy the leaves, and helped tire the boys out for an early bedtime. Which from what I gather from Bill this morning didn't go down as planned. To my credit I had them in the bed before heading out, they just didn't take the hint to sleep.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boys and Girls

Since back we have been catching up with friends since October was crazy busy. Not like this is a revelation to anyone with boys, girls, both, multiples of one gender but...

Wow there are major differences between the genders. I have said to more than one person commenting on parenting two boys, "yes, I hear they are a good weight loss plan, based on the unbridled energy."

Obviously as Ben was full on open last weekend at a local jump house his female counterpart was frequently teary when someone ran into her (even when it wasn't Ben.) But when getting two babies almost the same age to play again, who goes after the truck almost immediately compared to who wanted the musical toy?

Actually they both wanted the musical toy and fought each other over who could shove it their mouth first. It almost looks like they are discussing who's turn is next in this cute quick pic.

As much as you read and understand that as a parent you need to try NOT to reinforce gender stereotypes, I have to wonder how much can I overcome compared to testosterone or estrogen hardwired biology. I keenly remember the baby Santa gave Ben to practice with before Ian's arrival, was carried around by the head, arm, leg finally to be put on the shelf, ignored.

As we enter into the holiday gift buying season my one request for family (and also Bill, the #1 Toy Buyer at Casa Vinson) is NO MORE TOYS!


I've been brainstorming for this much low key upcoming holiday season what we can do WITH the kids instead of FOR the kids in the form of just more stuff.

Among the plans of November clean out of our closets and also all toys is making a December countdown of activities at home and some out that we can do together if possible for limited $$$.

Making a gingerbread house is on the list, but not with the expectation of doing anything more than eating the candy and likely destroying the final product. I learned last year that displaying any gingerbread creations on a dining room table is not going to happen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Of training goals and preschool literacy

I posted an update to FB yesterday after finishing another C5k session.
Thanks for the support, dear friends.

On the goal front I am working towards running on M, W, F before strength or yoga/pilates class. Right now the plan is on using the treadmill until my endurance level builds and then start running with the stroller outside. On the class front Tues/Sat are still spin days and Thursday I leave open for core and free weights.

For my 36th birthday in January my gift to myself is a consult with a plastic surgeon. That is if I can meet a goal of being down 1/2 of my weight to loose before the surgery. So far I've lost a little over 35 lbs with 50-60 to go.

On a totally different take Ben is obsessed with trying to sound out words while reading nigh time books. Last night he called me back in just to tell me he wanted to read another book to me. Nice stall tactic, buddy. In reality nothing could make me happier than to help open up the world of reading with him.

The past week he wants to "read" the same book about riding a firetruck. The only way he really knows the words is through sheer repetition. But in his mind he reads it back to me page by page with a big grin when he finishes. We then go back and pick out words and sound them out, spelling them and pointing out the word again in the book to see if he remembers.

Tonight is date night, 4 year old style. In reality it's my week and we are waiting until Saturday.I purchased a one session Tot Art class with a one day discount on Living Social. If all goes well, we'll have a masterpiece to hang.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Never Say Never

Most of last week was spent getting caught up on my class, housework galore, pulling out warmer clothes for the kids, watching a backlog of Daily Shows leading up the Rally, and getting back to the gym. Not the most exciting of weeks compared to Disney, but back to reality.

Noteworthy is I started a Couch to 5k on Nov 1st. My plan is to train over the winter and run a 5k to celebrate Ian's 1st birthday next spring. Part of this stems from the gift of a little used, heavy duty jogging stroller my neighbor gave us in their move cross country. Also, I finally found a sports bra!!! Nothing else needs to be said on the 2nd reason, other than it's depressing when lingerie has be ordered from another continent to fit you.

Ever since Bill started running last fall, I've been secretly jealous. I credit the running to jump starting his weight loss when he plateaued. Plus his sense of accomplishment is something I really want for myself. He ran a 5K Halloween Race and is running a Turkey Trot in a couple of weeks.

All this from the person who proclaimed she would only run if someone was chasing her. I totally wanted to bail as I coughed my way through the first session, but I stuck it out. Friday I did the 3rd session. A little easier and I rewarded myself by heading to the Yoga/Pilates class I love afterwards. I can't say that I will ever see myself running more than just this race. But then, never say never.

Frankly I have a new found respect for all the work Bill has put into training these last months. His goal for 2011 is to train for a 1/2. Yeah, I was waiting on it. Hello City of Oaks 13.1 one year from yesterday.

We have a deal that I will make him an over the top sign (again) and brave the cold for a cheering section next spring.

New Freeze Ahead post up today for Cider-Butternut Squash Soup paired with Yankee Cornbread. Serious Yum.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Show Me the Mommy- The Vacay Version

This is the first week I'm playing along with Laura's Challenge.

We are back home and slowly going through the almost 400 pictures from our trip. I love this rare pic of just us.

I look genuinely in love with being a mom.

It was taken on our final night at Disney, just after watching fireworks over the Magic Kingdom at dinner at Ohana. So many of our family pics are just the boys or include Ben demanding to be included in the shot. I now understand while there were so few pics of just my younger brother.

My sweet 6 1/2 month Ian crawled yesterday. I want to eat up every bit of his yummy baby goodness and stop time

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yes, They Were Real and Also Spectacular

In answer to those who saw us out seeking candy Sunday night, yes I did make the costumes. I started this project back in September, and my response to the clerk asking to help me find a vest pattern, "Sew Easy My Ass." She was NOT amused in her smart, homely looking smock.

Among the 4, yes FOUR trips to Joann Fabric I bought:

- multiple tubes of liquid stitch
- the tackiest-ass red and gold trim for my chaps. Even strippers at a D-list club would shun this monstrosity
- fake cow fur likely stolen from a Chick filet opening.
- sequins, sequins, sequins. Did someone rob Glamour Shots?
- did I mention red brick brack trim for Bill's shirt, likely stolen from some very sad clogger's USA Pride costume
- 4 tubes of traffic light yellow fabric paint
- Felt and then the 3 different types of glues to attach. At my lowest moment I was considering hand stitching Ian's Mr. Potato Head outfit after the first two failed. Luckily some ultra toxic, will likely cause him some future stunted growth did the trick.

Only a day before the trip, I waited in a double digit line with all the other mothers thinking that homemade costumes will put me in the Good Mom Hall of Fame.

Some very grateful mother let me cut in line seeing the only reason I was back at the cutting counter (again) was MORE of that damn stripper trim.

More like never, ever again.

Once we got to Disney, I realized that the only way of attaching the belt buckles was dental floss. MacGyver-esqe strategy to the rescuer as we headed out the door.

The Final Result? We were stopped multiple times, including the next day by some random woman on the hotel bus who had seen us the night before. Bill tweeted our pic to the movie Director who was looking for best costume. No win, but he did reply back at our AWESOMENESS!.

So yes, the costumes were spectacular and worthy of some pics from the Toy Story Dance Party with the real deal.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back, Back, Back

BACK after what turned out to be a month long hiatus. Here's a recap:

1. (Most important and the original catalyst for hiatus) A month of better sleep!

2. Major deadline in multiple pieces finished. I still have some residual items to knock out but overall this was a major to-do crossed off.

3. I finished 3 almost 4 books, a personal record for a single month. This included all 600 pgs of FREEDOM which felt like finishing the Bible.

4. Extra long weekend in early October in SC. My freezer is now in need of a major cook a thon to replace. I didn't intend for the freeze ahead blog to also go on vacation. On tap this weekend is a yummy shrimp pasta dish from Tasty Kitchen and Butternut Squash soup.

5. I worked out 6/7 days for the entire month. I lost 4 lbs adding to my post-partum total to around 35 lbs!

6. Celebrated Year 21 with a massage, facial, and mani/pedi package I bought for myself. Also celebrated in a radical, non-typical hv way. This is a post later when I can just think how to express beyond a convo in my head.

7. Battled two different week-long nasty colds that made their way through all V folk.

7. Made the kick-ass family costumes above. Mark that one off the proverbial Best Mom Ever list. We *did* get multiple comments at the Magic Kingdom wide Halloween party. Awesome Part 1.

8. Week-long Disney trip. Awesome Part 2.

While hard in the beginning feeling totally disconnected and was missing out on the happenings of friends, the month bought me much needed time.

Nov To-Do list is already written, including finally sorting and packing the pile of teacher materials in the garage. Add to this an actual Thanksgiving meal to plan and cook for visiting family.

It feels good to be reconnected, but I also hope to keep up the better sleep. So a commitment to not writing posts after midnight. Period.