Friday, January 30, 2009

Full house

We're going to have a full house this weekend. With Chris's filming schedule (which has changed due to 12+" of snow), my parents are arriving late tonight and staying until tomorrow evening while Chris's parents will come down from Indy tomorrow, probably around lunchtime. 
Turns out that call has been changed from 3 am in Gosport due to the snow, so it won't be as hectic this weekend and Chris will be able to take Wil to Tumble Weeds in the morning before call at 11 am. I dread finding out what the new schedule will be - an extra day somewhere to film in Gosport? We'll find out. 
It'll be fun to have the all the grandparents here. They will spoil the boys, of course, but I won't be sitting here alone (with the boys) all day, until late at night. It'll give me a bit of a break. Sunday will be long enough. My job is 24/7, so I need a little time off too or I burn out. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow!

Beautiful snow today. It's really pretty, especially if you don't have to go out in it. But I'm ready for spring. Especially since I have to be careful with Sam in the cold because of his eczema. 
Our new moms group (The MOB) is going well. I hope more people take an ownership interest in the group and host events on the calendar rather than passively going to occasional activities and then complaining that there isn't much to go to.
We're watching Cars again, for about the 50 bazillionth time. Wil loves this movie, although we have to skip the tractor tipping scene. It scares him. I think he feels sorry for the tractors. He loves tractors and I've seen him set his on their ends like they end up in the movie. Oh, time to ffw.
An additional benefit to having kids? Taxes. They are really good for our taxes, although I am sure during the rest of the year they cost more than we get back.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Long days ahead

This is the start of some long days for the next couple weeks. Chris is working as a gaffer on a movie filming locally, so he is busy with meetings today (actually, the last couple weekends as well), then filming starts Saturday. 
While he'll undoubtedly have fun, 10 very long days of filming plus working, plus class, will be very wearing on all of us. The schedule for the weekends starts at 4 am, going until 10 pm Saturday and 6 pm, I think, on Sunday. He'll be getting up around 3 for the weekends and I think a few days during the week in between. 
I'm looking forward to the 8th when the movie should be done (I hope!). It's rough on all of us as it is with Chris working full-time, doing his photography, and in grad school. He's too busy and can get stressed. I don't get enough time off my 24/7 job taking care of the kids. Wil and Sam don't get much Daddy time.
My parents are coming to spend the Saturdays here (arriving late Friday), which will help immensely. Chris's parents will probably come down at least some of the time, but I'm not sure when (Debi had to check her work schedule.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More preschools

We toured PDO this morning. Wil really liked it and I had to drag him away. The teachers were really nice, the environment was great. Definite bonus points for flexible schedule and not requiring parent volunteers. Too bad we are ~40 on the waitlist. Hopefully some of those people will get in somewhere else and decide not to take a spot. 
I need to discuss with Chris, but I think I will limit my search for now to just PDO and St. Mark's. If he doesn't get in right away in the fall, it saves a little money and he won't be 3 until November anyway. If he gets into St. Mark's, we can start there, then move to PDO if there is an opening. I just hate to keep searching when we've found some affordable, high quality choices. A lot of other options are either really expensive (all the IU options), not as highly rated, and/or possibly scary.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. President

We watched the inauguration today. Even the boys watched from time to time. It was really incredible and I admit I cried a bit. Now when I ask Wil who the president is and he says Obama, he's really right. I watched the speech, but with kids needing attention, I missed some. I printed the text to read at my leisure. 
I took a picture of the boys watching (Ok, so in the picture they have been distracted because they know I have the camera. But right before the picture they were both watching.) It's posted on Facebook and their website. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inaugural thoughts

I'm really excited about the inauguration tomorrow. Wil already knows the name of our new President. This is a really exciting time; I truly hope that Obama lives up to the promise of change from business as usual.
All the coverage of pre-inaugural events got me thinking. So much is being made, by the media, of Obama being the first black president. And a lot of people are getting into that hype. But  think there has been a paradigm shift between the Boomer generation and ours, and even more with those coming up behind us. 
Inroads were made by the Boomers, but they still seem to see a black man who was elected. I think a lot of the following generations see what many of us see - a man who was elected President who happens to be black. This is why the time is right for this to happen. I really hope the momentum continues and we see a woman President and a Jewish President, etc, etc, because that's exactly what they won't be. They will be Presidents who happen to be Latino or gay or whatever. 
So much has been made of the barrier being broken so African-American families can now tell their sons they can grow up to be President someday. But there are a lot more groups who haven't broken that barrier. Do I think Hillary Clinton should have won the nomination and the election so we could have the first female President? Personally, I don't think she was the right candidate. But I would love in the future to have a more diverse choice and be able to vote for a woman because I think she is the best qualified.
What about colorblindness? I don't think it's so much that as color-indifference. It really doesn't matter.
I'll be watching all the inaugural hoopla tomorrow with the boys. I'll recognize the historic nature of the event. And I'll hope that tomorrow we'll move into a time when it isn't historic but normal.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Don't worry, be happy

Is it possible to will yourself to be happy? Is the power of positive thinking real? Yes, I think so. I know this post will ramble, but will hopefully make sense. And this is not to say that happy pills don't work, because they do. And sometimes you need help, but sometimes you can help yourself too.
Something I don't talk about much is a journey of self-discovery I took between 8th grade and freshman year in high school, but I think it is something important to share. I had a miserable time in school (school was fine, but the kids were awful. It's amazing how cruel kids can be.) So, I spent a summer really learning to like myself and decided not to care what others thought. I decided to see things positively rather than negatively. And that makes it sound really easy, but it's actually something I am still working on, 20 years later. It's a lifelong journey, and something that needs to be practiced every day.
I think if I hadn't, I could have been a statistic, but that's just not my style. I prefer to solve problems rather than create more. 
Anyway, here are a few things I think are a good place to start if you want to try to embrace happiness:
1) Can you look at yourself in a mirror and really say, "I like the person I see"? Try it. Try to become the person you want to see in the mirror. It may take a long time or it may be easy, but you have to like yourself.
2) Maybe it's the scientist in me, but the glass is full, half just happens to be air. There is always a way to look at something, even the worst thing, and find something good. Even if that something good is simply that you survived. I truly do believe that what doesn't kill us does make us stronger. 
3) The power of positive thought really does work; just give it a try. When you look in the mirror, tell yourself that you are happy and eventually you will believe it and eventually it will be true.
4) When you can either laugh or cry, laugh. Crying just makes your eyes red. 
5) Although sometimes you need to cry. I read in a book once that people are like radiators: sometimes you have to let off steam or you explode. It's ok to be angry or sad or whatever, but then you have to get over it. Seriously, being unhappy is depressing. It feels bad. I'd much rather be happy. It took a lot of years, but I'm getting pretty good at it.
6) One of my mother-in-law's sayings is, "It is what it is." When you can really learn to accept that things are what they are, it is very freeing. Sometimes you can do something about it, and sometimes you can't, but accepting the way things are is the first step. 
Do I know all the answers? No. Do I have my days where I get depressed or feel angry or whatever? Absolutely. Can I get past that and not let it control my life? I think so. I've done a pretty good job so far. But, it's a never ending quest and it takes a lot of practice.
So what's great in my life? I have a wonderful husband (who isn't perfect, but does a pretty good job of making me happy, so is perfect for me). We have 2 great sons. We have a nice house, in a great neighborhood, that suits us. We can pay our bills. I have some really wonderful friends.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's frakkin' cold out. The highest I saw today was 7. It's below 0 again.
And BSG's final 10 episodes start tomorrow night. I have no words for how excited I am to actually be able to watch the episodes. And how happy/sad it is that these are the final 10. 
Moms of Bloomington meeting tomorrow morning. Yes, we're the MOB. The group is flourishing in the few weeks since we split from the oppressive overlords.... um, if you know the history, that'll make sense. If not, just trust me that not being part of an international association is a good thing for this group.
The revamped Clue is fun. Added Intrigue cards add intrigue. And I would have won if I had only rolled an 11!
Now it's time for bed. I have to get 3 of us up, dressed, fed, and out of the house by about 9 am. Harden than you think with a toddler and baby. Not looking forward to going out in the frakkin' cold. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Garden planning - location

We have started the initial phase of garden planning - location. There were several possible locations: near the back door by the kitchen, on the hill on the south side of the yard, in planters, in the northeast section of the yard where it used to be.
We have decided to put the garden back where it used to be. This is the location with the best sun. We had thought about putting the kids' play area there, but are going to put their area in the middle of the yard where we eventually want to put a chess board. Admitting it will be a while before we will do that project opened up our options a lot. A vegetable garden by the kitchen door would be very convenient, but that area doesn't get enough sun.
The next stage of planning is what we want to grow.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good day at work, now homework

I had a good day at work today, made a lot of progress on a very important project. In the process of working on this project, I'm also learning a lot of background information that will benefit me professionally. Now, my homework is looming, but I'm looking forward to this class. I have to come up with some game proposals that I'll pitch in class. I only have a 1 in 6 chance of having one of my ideas picked, but that just makes it that much sweeter if I do get an idea picked. So, moving from one good day of work to (hopefully) a good evening of homework.

Preschool choices

I'm looking at preschool choices for Mr. Picky Toddler next year. So far, we are on 2 wait lists. Either way, I want 2 days each week, Tuesday and Thursday.
1) St. Mark's, which is a great program, highly recommended. 2.5 hours/day (9-11:30). The drawback? They require parents to volunteer in the classroom, which would be once or twice a month, depending on class size. While it seems like a small inconvenience, what do I do with Mr. Baby? Beg free child care from a friend or pay a babysitter. 
2) PDO at 1st United Methodist, which is slightly more expensive, but still very reasonable. Minimum 4 hours per day, although you don't have to leave your kid there (you just have to pay for 4 hours.) No sweat equity required. Once one child is enrolled, the second is cheaper when it comes time, at least while they are both enrolled.
So, I'm really hoping for PDO, which I will tour Thursday. I know moms with kids at both, so either would be ok.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

AT&T drops the ball and Comcast gets some more $$

Meg pretty much summed this up earlier, but I should toss in my $0.02 worth as I talked with the tech a bit more than she did.
Basically, we're steamed at AT&T for telling us we are eligible for U-Verse when they never actually came around to test signal strength at our pole.  So, 6 man hours (they were both male) and two truck rolls later, we don't have U-Verse.  Saving money and manpower aside, it would be better customer service if they didn't get our hopes up, only to be dashed after half a day of wondering.
I know that there are several more neighbors in our neighborhood who would like the U-Verse service, but they're even further down the line than we are.  Solutions?  The best solution would be for AT&T to run new, heavier gauge line from the head end to the poles/homes.  We currently have 26 gauge line on the poles with a U-Verse linear limit of about 4000'.  If they went down to 24 or 22 gauge line we could get up to about 6000' and AT&T could rope in more customers.
So, we're back to square one: analog landline phone service, DSL internet service, Comcast limited basic cable.  Calling Comcast to get up to expanded basic results in more channels than we had, but still costs more than the U200 package from U-Verse and offers fewer channels and no DVR.
Really, we'd dump Comcast in a heartbeat if AT&T would only get their act together.


Companies I am not happy with right now:
1) Comcast. Rate on limited basic service went up $3 for 4 fewer stations. After wrangling with AT&T (see below), we ended up upgrading to regular basic service for a bunch more, but at least we'll have some stations like Sci-Fi and Disney. Going digital? Not worth the extra expense for what we would get. 2nd rate hike in 1 year since they took over this area from Insight.
2) AT&T. They told us we could get U-verse, which was a great deal and would solve some of our internet problems as well. After 4 hours of the techs working to set us up and checking the lines? We're 3 poles short. They got my hopes up then dashed them away.
Satellite is not a great option for us due to our southern neighbors' large trees. Yeah, more than one cable company exists, but only one in the area. I didn't choose Comcast; I was given Comcast.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Grab bag

Ok, so getting thoughts off my chest, just because I now have an outlet.
1) Can moms just learn to accept that we all do things differently and make different choices based on what is best for us and our families without judging each other? Within reason, there are a lot of acceptable alternatives and other moms are not wrong because they chose something else.
2) Watched an FDR biography on PBS's American Experience last night. Made me think - why couldn't someone with a disability be elected President? Seriously, a physical handicap does not mean the brain is deficient. May I just point to Stephen Hawking as an example of someone who is obviously brilliant.
3) Can we all re-read the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, etc? I think it would serve everyone well. Dissent is not a crime.
I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of right now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Starting tonight

We're starting salads tonight. First trip to the store since we agreed to do salads each time we went to the store.  I'm making pirate-shaped pasta and garlic bread, plus the salad Chris will pick up on the way home. 
Btw, shaped pasta hasn't been effective getting Mr. Picky Toddler to eat. He doesn't care. Last night he stole the pb&j sandwich from my plate and ate about 1/4 sandwich. This is a feast for him. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Time to start planning our garden. We need to figure out what we want to plant and where to plant it. This could take us a while.
We've also agreed to use the new salad bar at Kroger to get better about eating salads. If we pick up just one meal's worth whenever we stop at Kroger (usually twice a week with our milk consumption) we will have added salad twice a week. A little more expensive than buying the individual ingredients. but less waste since we aren't very good about finishing a whole bag of spinach. Once the garden starts producing, we'll need to buy less.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I've caved in

Ok, I've caved in and started this blog. I already micro-blog on Twitter, so I guess this was the next step. This started with a listing of our Life Goals, v.2009:
1) Be more active. Use our new tennis racquets, walk, do yard work.
2) Plant a vegetable garden and enjoy the fruits of our labors.
3) Try to change to a more veggie/less meat diet.
4) Get more financially secure. Pay down debt, save more, spend less.
5) Raise reasonably well-adjusted kids.
#2 inspired someone to ask for a blog documenting our progress. So, starting this blog will hopefully keep us working on our list.