Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Biggest Loser Update

I was the biggest loser for the last weigh-in period (two weeks), but not the overall contest. I came in fourth place out of sixteen. The third place person only beat me by about eleven-hundredths of a percent. Oh well. If only I'd kicked it into high gear in March instead of April...

I lost 8.84% of my body weight. The first place winner lost 12.97%. GOOD FOR HER!!

What I'm tired of is people telling me I didn't need to lose any weight in the first place. Hello? This is your business...HOW? It doesn't matter if I weigh 120 or 320 pounds...if I'm not happy with my body and I want to do something to improve my appearance and my health, then BACK OFF! :-)

I'm going to continue to eat healthy and exercise because I like the way it makes me feel. But I will splurge on special occasions.

Did I mention my birthday is in five days?

Monday, April 28, 2008


We had our final weigh-in for the Biggest Loser contest at work yesterday and I've lost six pounds in the last two weeks. Yay me. I think I've lost a total of thirteen pounds in the contest, NOT counting the twenty or so pounds I lost before the contest started. Double YAY me.

I don't know who the winner was but I don't think it was me. Regardless of whether I won the cash, I learned a few things along the journey:

1) Size is relative. I have everything from a size four petite to a regular twelve in my closet. They all fit. Oh, and even a boys' size eighteen shorts that I just inherited from my thirteen year old nephew because he outgrew them. Most of my clothes are size six or eight, but they all fit differently. Rather than focusing on the number on the scale or the clothes tag, I'm going to focus on the way my clothes fit and how I feel.

2) Exercise is relative. Dan and I both work out on the treadmill for one hour. I was doing a combo of running and walking at an incline of 1.5. Dan was just walking but his incline was 5.0. He was burning MORE calories than I was in that hour. Last night I decided to try his plan and raised my incline to 5.0 for part of the time and then lowered it to 4.0 halfway through. I walked (only walked, no running) for 3.21 miles and burned 431 calories. When I was walking/running the same distance I only burned about 378 calories.

3) Taste is relative. I didn't like raw carrots until this contest. When you're extremely hungry and the only thing you brought for lunch is a bag of carrots and sugar snap peas, those veggies are so delicious.

4) Relatives will sabotage your best-laid plans. My husband is the devil. He brings cookies, chips, brownie mix, ice cream, and did I mention cookies ? into the house. But at least he does some of the grocery shopping and buys me grapefruit, so he's forgiven.

5) Losing weight is harder when you're almost thirty-nine and have a thyroid condition than it is when you're in your twenties. Add the stress of a graduate school class, dealing with the state licensing office, interviewing for jobs, getting passed over for jobs, creating costumes for two different kids' plays, looking for a house, and trying to put your own house on the market and it's very hard to avoid comfort foods.

6) Get your thyroid checked. Unpacking clothes you haven't worn in four years and finding out that they fit again feels great. Before my thyroid decided to wig out four years ago I'd just lost about thirty pounds. Mom bought me a bunch of new, cute clothes for my birthday. Life was good. Then, out of the blue, I promptly gained twenty pounds back. I was eating and exercising exactly the same, but instead of losing weight I was gaining. I would get so tired that I needed a nap after checking the mail. My hair and nails were brittle. Lots of other symptoms, no explanation. FINALLY my hypothyroid was diagnosed and I was put on medication.

But I still struggled. Long, personal story short--I was severely anemic. A quick surgery two years ago took care of that and I've been working my way back since then.

Baby...I'm back.

Those clothes fit again. I have energy.

Life is good.

Carrots are good. Well, relatively speaking.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Best Line of the Day

I've spent the last two days getting our house ready to list with a realtor and I'm exhausted. Yesterday I cleaned out the kitchen cabinets and drawers, repainted the kitchen baseboards, replaced tiles under the dishwasher, swept, mopped, paid the bills, balanced and reconciled the checkbook, filed paperwork, and started gathering stuff for a Yard Sale.

Today Dan and I cleaned out the garage and gathered even more stuff for the sale. And because we love torturing our children, we made them try on every single garment in their dressers and closets to get rid of anything that doesn't fit anymore. Ten was being obnoxious while trying on pants. He'd unsnap them, flop down on his brother's bed, and roll around kicking his feet up in the air in an attempt to kick the pants off. I finally got tired of it and yelled at him to get dressed and undressed like a normal person. I said,

"Do you think when your daddy and I
take our clothes off we roll around on the bed?"

Then I realized what I'd said and completely lost it. I was doubled over, holding my belly, giggling like a hyena, laughing until tears streamed down my face. Seven kept saying, "What? What's so funny?"

Ten said, "Oh, I think I'm having a heart attack."

Dan just smiled and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Revisionist History

Seven loves to tell us about famous people throughout history. The problem is, he has no clue what he's talking about. He takes bits and pieces of what he's learned, puts his own spin on it, and then tells us how he thinks it all happened.

For example, here's what he taught us at the dinner table tonight. "Did you know that back when Martin Luther King, Jr. was alive there was another African American named Martin? This was after all the black slaves were freed, okay? So there was this other guy named Martin and he nailed a letter to the door of the church that told everybody that all they had to do was love Jesus and believe in Him and then they could all go to heaven and stuff because people thought you had to pay to get to heaven."

We tried to tell him about Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation and that MLK was actually named after Martin Luther (many years later). We told him that Martin Luther was white and lived in the 1500's and MLK was in the 1960's, but he liked his version of the story better.

Then when he was getting ready for bed he told us all about the Liberty Bell... "During Thomas Edison's time, you know, when he was signing the Proclamation of Independence, somebody shot the Liberty Bell and it cracked right down the middle and it's still there."

Anybody else worried about his social studies grade?

Friday, April 25, 2008

House and Job Hunting

What could be more fun than trying to buy a house, sell a house, and find a job all at the same time? Wahoo!

This is going to be short because I'm exhausted. I looked at houses near mom for four hours today. Took my resume to four schools. Ate French fries for the first time in months. Licked the salt off my fingers and nearly swooned.

We saw some houses that we loved in awesome neighborhoods with huge yards hardwood floors and everything we want but they're too small. Then we looked at big houses on tiny little lots where you can count your neighbor's nose hairs because they're so close to you.

We saw one house that's got great bones but it's currently butt ugly on the inside. It will need tons of cosmetic work, but that's doable. I see a lot of wallpaper stripping, painting, and floor tiling in my future if we get this house. It also needs a fence, BUT it's a big house and has a decent lot in a nice neighborhood. For that, I can do some painting.

Now we have to clean ours up and see about listing it. Oh how I dread the idea of packing...

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Just a super fast brag today because I've spent the entire afternoon/evening looking at properties near mom's house and checking out schools in the area that are hiring.

Ten made all As on his report card again this grading period so he got an Academic Excellence award. Oh, and Perfect Attendance too. At the Awesome Awards ceremony today he got a stuffed bear as his prize. But, sweet big brother that he is, he traded the bear with some other kid for a stuffed bunny because the bunny has two parts--a mommy and a baby bunny. He wanted to make sure that his little brother had a toy too.

Seven made all Es and one S so I don't think they give an award for that--even though we're very proud of him and I think they should give Honor Roll for that. He didn't get Perfect Attendance this time because of that wicked stomach virus he had back in February. Poor baby. We got a treat for both boys at Target last night.

Okay, now I'm off to fill out another transcript request....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Zen and the Art of Eyebrow Maintenance

This is kind of a weird tip, but for those of you who know me, that's just the kind of tip you'd expect from me.

How many of us have eyebrow maintenance issues? Whether you pluck your eyebrows or get them waxed, there's always going to be a time when you need to tweeze a few stray brow hairs. Maybe you're overdue for an appointment and
you can't get in to see your regular wax artiste. Or maybe you're afraid of wax all together and just tweeze at home. Do you struggle to get just the right lighting, mirror angle, and distance, but don't want to spend the money to get one of those fancy schmancy lighted magnifying mirrors? Well, boy do I have a cheap and easy solution for you...

Take your tweezers in the car. Yep. The car. Just make sure the vehicle has come to a complete stop before attempting this WFMW tip.

on't tweeze and drive, people.

Use the flip-down mirror on your car's visor to tweeze your brows. It's just the right distance away from your face and the angle is adjustable. If you tweeze on a sunny day the natural lighting is perfect for detecting all the stray hairs that you might otherwise miss. Plus, it gives you something to do while you're sitting in the car rider line. Just don't be alarmed if the other moms point and laugh.

I recommend buying a really good pair of tweezers, like these from Tweezerman. They're pricey, but so worth it. I love the new zebra, reptile, and leopard print options. Tweezerman's slanted tip makes it so much easier to get precise plucking--much better than the ones you get for $2 at the drug store.

Mine are from Linens N Things a few years ago and I love them. They're purple and have the breast cancer awareness pink ribbon emblem. And they really work for me.

To find out what works for some other bloggers, go check out Works for Me Wednesday tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

Cat Yodeling 101

I was going to post this YouTube video here, but it's just easier to send you to Jody's blog. Check this out. Whether you like cats or not, it's hilarious. The engineer's dry wit alone is worth it. My boys and I are partial to the cat yodeling segment.

I needed a good laugh today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

No Joy in Mudville

The Mighty Teble has struck out.

I didn't get the third grade teaching job that I interviewed for at the boys' school.
My friend, who has more experience than I do, didn't get it either. I'm still in shock. And alternating between confused, sad, mad, hurt, embarrassed, angry, frustrated, and seriously pissed off.

What's worse is, I can't drown my sorrows in alcohol or comfort food because I'm on this stupid life-affirming diet. So what did I do with all those swirling emotions?

Walked the dog for a mile. Walked/ran for an hour, 3.17 miles, on the treadmill and burned 378 calories. Then I watched Dancing with the Stars with Ten.

Then I ate five ginger snaps.

Hey, nobody's perfect.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where Did You People Come From?

I know a lot of you come here because you know me in real life and you want to see what embarrassing things I've done or said today. Some of you are Seppies from Susan's bulletin board and come here for the same reason. Some people come here because they've clicked a link from Sanna's or Shoshana's or Jody's or other friends' blogs. I understand those visits and welcome you with open arms and a big fat virtual chai latte.

But there are others. Those poor folks who've found me through some weird combination of search words typed into their search engines even though this blog has nothing to do with what they were looking for. And yes, I did just end that sentence with a preposition. Thanks for noticing.

Anyway, let's take a look at some of those search words. Shall we?

1) backwards dinner--If you came here wondering what that phrase means, allow me to explain. For many people this means starting with dessert, then soup, then working through the rest of the courses backwards. Not so at my house. When neither parent wants to cook and neither parent wants to drive to an actual store to purchase actual food, here at Casa de Princess we enjoy what's known as a backwards dinner. In other words, we serve breakfast foods for dinner. If we're getting fancy this might include scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. If we're out of eggs and/or feeling especially lazy, this might mean frozen waffles. If mommy has a migraine, this means the children are fending for themselves and Big Boy is pouring milk on Little Boy's cereal.

If you came here looking for recipes for breakfast foods or tips for hosting a fancy progressive-type dinner, my apologies. You've been led astray. My site showed up using those search words because my husband made a backwards dinner for the kids recently (a Really Fancy one with pancakes from a mix instead of frozen ones that you microwave). Sorry if you expected to find cooking tips here. Just so you know, you probably never will.

2) hey Jude toddler--Is there anybody who hasn't linked to this kid from their blog? Because you should. Really. Amazing little person.

3) angie teble--My Seppie friend Angie is interviewing for teaching jobs right now, just like I am, but we're in different states and I haven't talked about her here. I have no idea why my site appeared for these search words, but it gives me an opportunity to give a shout out to Angie. Yo! Hope you get a job offer soon, babe.

4) Elizabeth Hoyt--Wow. My humble apologies if you came here looking for Ms. Hoyt. While I think she's great and I admire her writing, I have no connection to that author. I've only read her books and gushed about them like a total fan girl. Loved them, but that doesn't help you much, does it? Here's the clicky link to her real website.

5) rain in Spain--I was blogging about the use of the words rein and reign, but rain rhymes too. Were you looking for the lyrics to songs from MY FAIR LADY? Because, even though I've never blogged about it, I can totally hook you up there. I played Eliza Doolittle in MY FAIR LADY in my senior year of high school and I still know every song by heart. Somehow I don't think you were looking for a grammar debate when you typed those search words.

If you found me from some as yet unmentioned source, leave me a comment. I'd love to know who's reading this and why. I was told recently that my BFF's father-in-law has visited here so now I feel like I have to behave.

Nah, who am I kidding? That'll never happen.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Good Problem to Have

My favorite jeans are getting too big. Tonight I pulled them off without unbuttoning or unzipping them.

Yay, me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Seven's Bad Day

***Update to add...this afternoon we discovered that our male fiddler crab, Krecka, died today too. Poor Seven. We had a crabby funeral after school.***

Seven was having a rough day today. It started first thing in the morning when he didn't want to wear the clothes I laid out for him: jeans and a Hawaiian shirt (because first grade was having a luau to celebrate the end of Terra Nova--Tennessee's standardized tests). Here's the conversation:

Seven: Mommy, I can't wear these jeans today.
Me: Why not? What's wrong with them?
Seven: Well, I can't wear them because people in Hawaii don't wear pants.
Ten: (laughing hysterically) What--do they run around in their underwear all the time?
Seven: No! But they don't wear pants. They wear skirts made of grass.
Me: No, honey. They mostly wear regular clothes just like us. Only the Polynesian dancers in the tourist shows wear grass skirts. And those are just the women. The men don't wear skirts.
Seven: Mommy, we've been studying Hawaii all week and I know I'm supposed to wear a skirt.
Me: Baby, your daddy is NOT going to let you wear a skirt to school today. Or, you know, ever. Besides which, we don't even HAVE a skirt small enough to fit you because we only have boys in this house. Now put your jeans on and get ready.
Seven: (grumbling) Okay, but I really think I'm supposed to wear a skirt.

Then, when we got to the drop-off spot for car riders, I pulled into the lane farthest from the building so I could park and wait for Grace to meet me. I told Seven to walk up to the crosswalk and then cross over, like we've done dozens of times before. So what does he do? Runs across the lane of moving vehicles to get to the OTHER sidewalk!! ARGH!

THEN, Grace called my cell phone from inside the school and said, "Seven can't find his lunchbox. Did he leave it in the car?" I looked around and, no, it wasn't there. I knew he hadn't left it at home so I was wondering how on earth he'd lost the darn thing in the short walk from the door to his classroom. Apparently I dropped them off a couple of minutes early so they had to wait in the gym until the bell rang and he'd left it in the gym. Someone found it and took it to the office.

Later that afternoon when it was time for the luau I was talking to another teacher. A mom came to get me and said that Seven was crying. Turns out a girl who is not a very good friend (and that's the nicest way I can think of to say it) told him she wouldn't be his friend any more because he played with someone else on the playground. ARGH! This little girl is mean to Seven and has pulled this "I won't be your friend if you play with other girls" crap many, many times this year. She's made him cry at least five times. I keep telling him not to play with her, but he keeps forgiving her and taking her back. I wish he would man up and grow a pair and just tell her that he doesn't want to be friends with mean girls, but he won't do it. Daddy's going to talk to him about it tonight.

I took Seven for a walk so we could spend some time alone together and talk about it, but of course we veered off into other subjects...

Seven: Have you ever wondered if you're going to do something great?
Me: Like what? What kind of things?
Seven: Like Martin Luther King, Jr. Do you think when he was a kid he knew that someday he'd do great things? Because I think maybe when I'm a grownup I'm going to do really great things too. I can't wait for that to happen. Maybe I'll do something really important before I'm a grownup.

Notice how I didn't say, "Not if you don't quit hanging out with snotty little mean girls"? That's showing amazing personal restraint, don't you think?

Oh, and for those of you waiting for an update on the job and diet...

I don't know anything about the job interview yet. The principal is hoping to make a decision and let me know something Monday. Keep all crossable body parts crossed, please.

Yesterday I walked the dog for 2.5 miles, then did another 3.18 miles on the treadmill. I walked/ran for an hour and burned 375 calories. I've been off caffeine since Monday morning and I'm still headache-free and haven't killed anyone all week. I asked Ten to read the number on the scale for me this morning--it's not digital and it's hard to see all those little black lines. When he told me the number he asked, "Is that in pounds?" I told him that it was and he said, "Wow. Isn't that kind of...light? You know, for an adult?" I thought about raising his allowance and then I remembered he doesn't get one.

Maybe I should start giving him one so I can increase it when he says nice things like that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I promise this month will not be entirely about diet and exercise, but I'm so very proud of my self that I have to talk about it a little bit. I walked the dog a longer route today (about 2 miles) because Dan was home with the kids. I ran for an embarrassingly short part of the journey, but there was definite running involved. Then I did a 40 minute yoga for abs tape.

Over on Susan's board we were talking about gratitudes today. So here's mine for the day...

I'm grateful:

--that I'm strong and healthy enough to *gasp* attempt running. Remember me? The one who said she'd NEVER run for recreation? And, okay, I've only done it for three days and I pretty much hated every minute of it, but I've survived so far. I'll never win any land speed records or attempt a marathon, but I'm getting stronger each day. My legs were rubbery when I got off the treadmill Monday, but not Tuesday or today when I ran outside in public with the doggie.

--that I've developed a taste for raspberry green tea without sugar or artificial sweeteners. Had six cups in the last two days.

--that I've been OFF COFFEE for TWO DAYS and I haven't had a single headache or attempted to kill anyone. My multivitamin has caffeine in it (as you might remember) so I'm taking it during the day now to help me wean myself off coffee.

--that today I turned down pizza, HOMEMADE carrot cake with cream cheese icing, steak, garlic and olive oil vermicelli, and a half-price diet vanilla Coke from Sonic.

--that I have a 2nd job interview at my kids' school tomorrow.

--that I have an awesome family and wonderful friends, who are probably getting very sick of reading about fitness stuff.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Think I'm Gonna Hurl

Just got off the treadmill. Need oxygen.

So today I walked the dog around the block (7/10 of a mile for those of you keeping score at home).

Then I got on the treadmill for 64 minutes, walked/ran 3.37 miles (running during the commercials for Jeopardy! and walking the rest), and burned at least 366 calories. That's what the treadmill counted, but it didn't know that I was also doing arm exercises the whole time.

Yeah, I rock!

Did ya'll hear that sound? It was my almost forty year old knees screaming for mercy.

And on a totally unrelated note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHELLY!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Treadmill Jeopardy

Yesterday when I asked for dieting advice my friend Shelly gave me the following tip:

"Run, run, run!"

I wanted to call and ask her, "Why? Is there a big dog chasing me?"

Because otherwise, why would I run?

But today I'm proud to say that I actually took her advice. Well, as much as I could. First I walked the dog around the block (approximately 7/10 of a mile) as a warm-up. Then I got on the treadmill while I watched Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. I decided that I would walk during the show and run during the commercials. I just have one question:

When did they start making the commercial breaks two hours long???

Holy Mother of Pearl, I thought I was going to die. That was the longest two minutes of my entire life. Every time they got ready to take a commercial break I'd start to cry. I was begging Alex Trebek, "Please, please sir! I've always said nice things about Canadians. Please don't leave me!!" But, alas, they gave in to the almighty dollar and continued to show "a word from their sponsors" while I panted and groaned and struggled. When the show finally came back on I swear I saw Jesus in the face of Mr. Trebek. He'd never looked more beautiful to me. Until he went to the next commercial.

Unfortunately Pat Sajak didn't hold the same appeal. I did not run through his commercials, but I did walk through both shows. I burned something like 286 calories. I'd love to tell you the exact number of calories I burned but I lost my balance and accidentally pulled the Emergency Stop cord and had to start all over again.


I wish I could say I was kidding, but Ten witnessed the whole thing. And laughed his skinny white boy butt off.

Tomorrow, if I'm still alive and my body doesn't go into shock from the fact that I'm making it exercise, I plan to drink lots of water and do it all over again.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Loser of the Big Variety

I've been involved in the Biggest Loser game at the preschool where I work. The bad news is, I haven't lost very much weight. The good news is, because I'm not terribly large to start with, I don't have to lose as much as some other people to win this thing because it's based on the percentage of body weight that you lose. Tomorrow is our next-to-last weigh-in, which means I have two weeks to drop a bunch of weight to have a chance at the big cash prize.

I need to come up with a great super-fast weight loss plan. Because it's only two weeks, I'm willing to be a little unconventional. Yes, I know (I know, I know!) that fad diets aren't good for me in the long run, but right now I'm not interested in the long-term results. I just want the MONEY! Anyway, dieting for two short weeks won't do serious damage to my body. I'd appreciate any tips you have for quick weight loss, but there are a few things I'm not willing to do, even for the short term. Here are a few of the things I won't do, in no particular order:

1) Develop bulimia.
Besides the whole "eating disorders can kill you" thing, it's just not for me. I tried to make myself throw up once in college when I drank too much and had the bedspins, but I just couldn't do it.

2) Take up smoking.
They say smoking just one cigarette takes seven minutes off your life. Well, my oldest child takes at least ten minutes off my life every day, so this is a bad idea.

3) Make out with someone suffering through a wicked stomach virus.
Well, maybe just a small kiss, but definitely no tongue. Grace suggested going to Wal-Mart and licking the handles of the shopping carts, but I think not.

4) Eat only cabbage or grapefruit for two solid weeks.
No thanks. I prefer my intestines to be gas-free and acid-free whenever possible.

5) Diet pills.
At least I'm almost positive I wouldn't take those. I asked Grace if it'd be okay if I only took them for two weeks, but she says just one pill could damage my heart. Some friend she is, ranking my cardiac health above my weight loss and monetary gain. Sheesh.

Other than those five, and maybe a few others I haven't thought of yet, what do you recommend for losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time? Share your weight loss success--or horrible diet disaster--stories here.

And if you contract a nasty stomach bug, pucker up and give me a call.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Blooming Onion

My favorite line of the day happened while we were outside doing yard work. Dan was digging up dead bushes and planting new ones. I was on my hands and knees (not my best look) pulling weeds. The boys were pulling weeds and those darn wild onions that grow all over the yard. Ten was struggling to pull one out of the ground and he said, "Wow! That is ONE REALLY BIIIIG ONION!"

I looked at him over my shoulder, gave a little wiggle and said, "Why thank you, son."

I looked at Dan and he just smiled, and then went back to digging without saying a word.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Real Men Like Musicals

I was joking with my friend Shelly the other day that I was going to send Seven to live with her for a while. She and her husband, James, could teach him to ride a bike. Her entire family goes biking all along the Greenway in Murfreesboro--I can't get my boys to ride their bikes to the mailbox and back. They're just not sporty that way.

Ten has had a little bit of sports experience. He took karate for a year when he was four to five. He never really liked it except when they got to break boards. He thought that was cool but the regular classes? Eh, not so much. Karate is expensive so when I quit my job as preschool pastor Ten had to quit karate. That was fine with him because the whole martial arts thing was really cutting into his cartoon viewing time.

Next we tried to get Ten to play baseball when he was six, which was an unmitigated disaster--unless you count all the clover necklaces he made while daydreaming in the outfield. Baseball's kind of a tough sport to play when you can't throw, catch, or hit. But, boy could he run! In the opposite direction of the ball while playing outfield, mind you, but mercy he was fast. Bless his heart.

Poor Seven has never played a team sport because, well, you have to PAY for those things and actually ATTEND the games. After Ten's dubious success we just haven't bothered to repeat the experience. But the thing is, Seven could probably do it if we'd give him a chance.

But I'm perfectly happy with my artsy kids. They love to sing and act and draw pictures and read books. They're both in choir and drama. They even wear skirts and tights. No, not really. Just kidding, Dan. I bought Seven a pair of tights last week, but don't worry. They're bright orange because he's playing Chicken Little in the first grade play. Ten will be a Roman soldier in the fourth grade play so he'll wear some kind of kilt/Roman skirt thingy. So, despite the tights, skirts, and lack of sports, they're very secure in their masculinity.

Not many Ten and Seven year old boys would admit to loving the movie Enchanted. We watched it three times last weekend and have been singing the songs all week long. Dan is going to learn to play That's How You Know on guitar so we can all sing it.

My kids are sensitive and sweet too. They hold hands when we go shopping so that neither of them gets lost. They're not afraid to say they love each other. They still let me kiss them good-bye at school--even if their friends are around. I love that about them.

But it sure wouldn't kill me if they decided to take up baseball or soccer or biking or something manly too. Dan is worried that too many viewings of Dancing with the Stars or women's figure skating with their mother has shorted out the sports gene that was his legacy.

What he needs to realize is that half their genes came from their mother. A woman whose coach once stopped a soccer game and ran out to the field because I was crying.

Because I'd broken a nail.

I was five.

See? Those poor kids are doomed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Five Things

Here are a few things that made me smile or laugh out loud this week:

1) My new favorite Bible verse, as recited by my class of four and five year olds: "In the beginning, God created de Heavens and de ERF." I'm not really sure what an ERF is, only that my class is sure that God created it. Amen.

2) This conversation with the little mini Hannah Montana in my class. We were talking about veterinarians and how they care for animals.

MHM: We-eeeellll, I'm going to be a DOCTOR-narian.
Me: You mean a veterinarian. Doctors who take care of animals are called veterinarians, not doctor-narians.
MHM: Well I'm the only one in this class so I guess I'd know what I'm called. DUH!

Yes, there was some pretty significant sitting in the corner time for her today.

3) Another comment by the same child, said while I was looking in the mirror to see if I was getting a zit on my nose: "Miss Teble, are you checking out your nose hair?" I was laughing too hard to send her back to the corner.

4) My husband, who just told our oldest child (in a very stern voice) to "shut his mouth and LISTEN!" Ah, it's kind of nice when I'm not the only one who's driven crazy by this strong-willed, talkative, argumentative, hyper child.

5) My youngest child who's been going for walks with me every day this week and telling me how much he enjoys our time together and how glad he is that I'm his mom. Suck up. Yesterday we had this conversation:

Seven, very seriously: Well Mom, I've made a decision.
Me: Really? About what?
Seven: I've decided what I'm going to be when I grow up.
Me: Okay, great. What will you be?
Seven: An astronaut. I decided since I like outer space so much I should just go live there.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Rest of Me

I should start this blog with the warning that there's about to be a whole bunch of whining.

Wow, you're still here? Brave little thing, aren't you?

Well yesterday I talked about my less than glamorous legs. Today we'll discuss the rest of me. The parts that were affected by childbirth, nursing, and a steady diet of Teddy Grahams and French fries for the last few years.

First off, the big onion. No matter how much I diet and exercise I will never, ever have a small bottom. Ever. Even when I was a pom-pon girl in high school and weighed 98 pounds I had junk in my trunk. Lots and lots of junk. I got it from my mom's side of the family. In honor of my grandmother's maiden name we affectionately refer to it as the Mahoney Baloney. I come from a long line of fat-bottomed girls. But you know what Queen said... we make the rockin' world go 'round. Luckily I married a man who appreciates a good badonkadonk.

Next up, the belly. Women who are five foot two and a half were not meant to give birth to TWO eight and a half pound babies. Seriously. Skin just doesn't stretch like that and NOT leave something to show for it. Me, I've got stretch marks that look like a Rand-McNally road map. I was not meant to deliver little fuzzy blond children with heads the size of basketballs. So I had two C-sections. Let me tell you now, once that muscle is cut it doesn't EVER recover without the assistance of macrobiotics and a live-in personal trainer--neither of which I can afford on my salary as a part-time preschool teacher.

But I shouldn't complain. My friend's first baby weighed something like eleven pounds. Forget the forceps, that child needed the Jaws of Life to get out. Honey, there's not enough drugs in the world for that. Every woman reading this blog just duct-taped her thighs together in sympathy, horror, and an attempt to never let this happen to her. But, intrepid explorer-type parent that she is, she went and made a girl-child a few short months later. I haven't decided if that means she's really brave or if she was really drunk at conception. Wow. I didn't include her name just in case she doesn't want to share this with the entire internet, but she can out herself here if she chooses. You know who you are and you're my hero.

We won't talk about "the girls" again because, as Charlotte pointed out, I did that a few months ago when I went bra shopping. Let's just say that, no matter what your cup size is, when you nurse for 18 months of your life: gravity is not your friend. I'm still a solid supporter of breast-feeding for those moms like me who want to do it, but Oh Heavenly Day the gravity, she is a cruel and vicious force of nature. Maybe if I lived on the moon I'd still have high, perky hooters, but sadly I'm earth-bound.

The upper arms were not victims of child-rearing but a significant lack of weight training for the last, um, approximately seventy-gajillion months of my life. I'm seeing a lot of long-sleeves in my future when I go back into teaching. There's nothing worse than feeling the arm flab sway in the breeze when you're erasing the board.

Anybody else wanna join the body image pity party? Share your least favorite body part with us. Well, you don't have to share it, because that would be weird, just tell us what it is. We promise not to laugh.


Monday, April 7, 2008

My Legs

Well it's that time of year again--shorts season. Or Capris which Lanie just adores. Ha! Apparently in New Zealand they have what's called a Fashion Sense and nobody wears capris anymore. But here in Tennessee we all wear them and happily flaunt our calves. Lani just did a deep body shudder thinking about that.

Anyway, as an Undertall Person with chunky white girl legs, I dread this time of year. My legs are very unattractive. Okay let's be frank: they're just plain ugly. I have many features with which I'm displeased
but, unlike my other unattractive features, the stems were not that great even before I had children. We'll get to those body parts later in the week.

Back to the legs....

I don't suntan because of the whole skin cancer thing, but I also don't use tanning beds, lotions or spray-on tans because I don't want to be Marge Simpson-colored. My legs are so white and pasty that I want to wear pantyhose to hide them, but even I know better than to wear pantyhose with sandals or other open-toed shoes. Yesterday at church I saw a woman wearing hose with sandals. Not just any hose either. These had some kind of heavily reinforced NASA spacesuit fabric with seams right across the top of her toes. If this had been a friend of mine I'd have said, "Oh honey, gimme your kids while you duck into the Ladies' and remove those foul pantyhose at once." But, alas, she was not A Friend but just A Person I Know so I had to politely ignore the travesty of fashion that was her lower extremities.

That was hard. Like letting someone walk around with spinach in her teeth.

I'm only five two and a half so I don't wear heels a lot. I mean, what's the point? Even with them I'm still short. What I gain in height doesn't make up for the complete lack of coordination I also gain when I wear high heels. If I stood completely still my legs might look better in certain shoes but the minute I take a step (or fall on my face when I try to take a step) that illusion is shattered.

Beyond exercising to tone up the gams and losing a few pounds (which I'm already working on) what can a pale, petite Southern girl do to make her legs ready for summer?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My hero

Seven is an amazing kid. Today I was helping Ten with a state history project that's due this week. Seven was feeling left out because he wasn't getting enough attention, so he decided to keep himself busy by creating a board game. He wanted to have 21 game pieces so that everyone in his class (including the teacher) could all play it together if they wanted.

It's called the African American Heroes game.

He cut a piece of cardboard from a box into 21 little pieces and drew figures to represent the people he studied in February for Black History Month. Then he created trivia cards with questions the players have to answer. Things like, "True or False--Rosa Parks went to jail for not moving to the back of the bus."

And he did all this from memory!

Here are some of the people he included in the game (with his spelling):

Rosa Parks, Hareiet Tubman, Jakei Robinson, Opra Wimprei, Hank Aaron, Thurgood Marshall, Willmuh Rudalf, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahamed Aly, Arthur Ash, Tiger Woods, and May C. Jamerson (because there's a boy in his class named Jamerson).

While I was forcing his big brother to work on TN history character sketches this kid was, completely without any help or encouragement from me, taking what he learned in school two months ago and applying it to his real life.


I want to be as ambitious as he is when I grow up.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Superhero and Princess Club

These are the rules that Seven came up with for the "Superhero and Princess Club" he's created, complete with his spelling. Just in case you are interested in joining...

Club Rules:

1. You must be a super hereo or a prinses!

2. No pizza flavord goldfish.
(with the Zs backwards--but I don't know how to type that)

3. No bugs!

4. No strangers.

He drew a great sign for the door of the club with himself in a Superman-esque costume. He drew me wearing a pink dress with a pleated skirt, hair that flips at the ends in a flirty style, and some great black boots for kicking bad guy booty.

I love a man with priorities and a great fashion sense.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Apparently I'm a Lush

Maybe that kid yesterday had a point. I may not drink beer at work (I DEFINITELY DON'T, just so you know!!) but I do know my alcohol pretty well.

You'd think, having worked in sports bar, that I'd score better on this. But most of our clientèle were only interested in whatever we had on tap (and lots of it) during whatever sporting event was being broadcast on the giant TV screens at the time.

Or the waitresses in short black shorts and striped referee tops.

Hey, it paid my way through graduate school. And enabled me to get 80% of the questions right on the booze test, so there you go. Time well spent.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tastes great, MUCH less filling

Yesterday at the preschool where I work, which is in a church as you might remember, a funny thing happened to me. Not that that's unusual--funny things happen all the time when you teach four and five year olds--but this one earned a big hearty chuckle.

Allow me to set the stage. It was nap time for the kiddos which is when Grace and I eat our lunch. We had two kids standing in line to use the restroom but the other children were nestled all snug in their wee little synthetic mats. The lights were off. Lullabies played on the boom box. Peace reigned in Pre-K land.

I unpacked my lunch and pulled out my can of Hansen's Natural green tea soda with pomegranate. I popped the tab, an extraordinarily loud sound in the restful room. One of the little boys standing in line leaned over to his queue buddy and stage-whispered:

"I think she has a beer."

I asked him to repeat himself but he wouldn't say it again. Normally I would just laugh and not think twice about it, but this is a child who doesn't always present the facts exactly as they happened in real life. His grandmother says he has a really active imagination.

Well, that's one way to put it.

Through the course of the year he's told us many whoppers:
1) His brother was bitten my a brown recluse spider. (He doesn't even have a brother.)
2) He went to the circus over the weekend. (Um, nope. Sorry, didn't happen.)
3) He has a dog named BoneCrusher. (Again, not true.)
4) After using the restroom, he told us he flushed the potty and washed his hands with soap. (Really? Interesting how he managed that since we're out of BOTH soap AND paper towels and his hands are DRY.)
5) That another child hit him. (When, in fact, HE was the hitter.)
6) That somebody in his family (I can't remember who) got bit by a poisonous snake.

Do you see a pattern here? There have been worse things but I won't get into those here. Suffice to say, I didn't want the little precious angel going home and telling his family that "Miss" Teble was chugging a brewskie at work. I even went so far as to take the can down to my boss's office to show her, just in case something was said.

But after I played the CYA game, I had a good laugh over it. What's really great is that I don't even drink beer. Can't stand the stuff.

However, if the kid started some margarita rumors...well, those might be taken just a wee bit more seriously. Not AT work, but certainly AFTER work!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I like my crow with a bit more salt, please

Not only do I have to eat me some yummy crow in this post, but I'm popping it up there on the first day of the month so it will sit there for the entire month long, visible by everyone who reads the blog (all both of you) for the entirety of April.

I'm sorry, Dan.

You see, when I posted my rain/rein/reign entry I didn't intend to make my husband look foolish.
He is one of the smartest men I know. When Dan read the blog he said I made him look stupid and that he didn't really argue with me that much and he never required actual proof. I have an entirely different take on the situation, but that's just me.

Mom's right--I should've just argued with Dan while I was naked because then there would be no contest. He tends to forget what we were arguing about the minute I take my clothes off.

Anyway, in the interest of making myself look foolish to take the pressure of my man, let me tell you what I did yesterday. He called me from the car on the way home to ask what he should make the kids for dinner. Because, wonderful man that he is, he was feeding the kids and staying home with them so I could go shopping. No, not that kind of shopping. Work shopping. Grace and I had to spend the rest of our class money before the month ran out.

So Dan asked if we have any Bisquik because he wanted to make a backwards dinner (breakfast food--in this case pancakes and bacon--for dinner). I said that we did and that the box was still sealed but I didn't know if it was past the expiration date. I looked at the label and read the following information to Dan:

Better if Used By: 23DEC08

I told him, "Well it's past the date on the box but it says 'Better if Used By' not 'Must Be Used By' so it's probably okay.
What do you think?"

Dan answered with, "Yeah, it's fine."

But I kept on, saying, "Yeah, I'm sure it's fine.
It's still sealed so it has to be okay, right? I mean, how can Bisquik go bad?"

There was a second of silence on the line. Then Dan said, "Read that date to me again."

So I did. Again. Without catching it.

Finally he said, "Honey? December of '08 hasn't happened yet. It's NOT past the date."

I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to realize that the most recent December I'd experienced was in 2007, not 2008. Duh.

So see, even though I'm the grammar expert in the household, he's clearly the math genius.

For dessert I'd like a side order of humble pie, please.