Thursday, January 31, 2008

And It Continues...

Status: Disgusted. Why do I still have clothes I wore in college?

So in my "Dejunking Of The House" I have now moved to the Master bedroom closet. The closet I share with Hubby, which is unfortunate. In Denver, we each had our own walk-in closets, and his stuff never infringed on my stuff, and vice-versa.

Well, since between the two of us we have enough clothing to outfit a small village in France, SHARING a closet has been nearly impossible. I have been forced to rotate the clothes. When it's winter, all the summer clothes reside in the spare bedroom closet. The, as it warms up, I rotate the winter clothes out and replace them with warm weather clothes.

It's like moving a couple of elephants.

Seriously. I have PILES UPON PILES of folded sweaters (I'm the guilty one, I can't bear to part with a cute sweater if it isn't worn looking) and piles and piles of jeans (except for Hubby's core "Lucky" and "Seven" jeans, which stay in the closet year round) and it takes about 93 trips back and forth to rotate the damn closet!

So, I'm going through AGAIN, with big black trash bags, and getting rid of clothes. I don't get it. Every time I go through our clothes, I get ride of 2-3 black trash bags full, and YET, we still have a mammoth amount of clothing. What is the deal? It's not like we buy a whole ton. Well, Hubby sort of does, but that's because he's in the Fashion Industry. He has to look a certain way at work and project a certain image. I am happy in Target Clothes. Seriously. I LURVE Target clothes. Hmmm, maybe I buy too many of those?

So, anyway, I'm sort of grumpy today because I have to tackle the closet. Going to Hawaii sort of messed things up because I had to pack clothes for both climates, and so I have to now take the clean clothes and feed them back into the already packed closets.

It never ends.

At least it warmed up today. Yesterday turned out a little crazy. The kids opted for the first three Harry Potter movies, and then they decided they wanted to make Marauder's Maps. I searched online and found a really cool template to print out on parchment paper to make a real-looking Marauder's Map, and of course I had to make it three times because they each needed their own, but that kept them entertained most of the afternoon.

Now it's quiet and it's just me and the baby. Hopefully he'll let me get some stuff done today!

Oh, and to answer my own question: I have clothes I wore in college because DON'T WORRY, I'm convinced that some day they'll be "cool" again and I will be glad I kept them!

I think.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Postum and Pancakes.

Status: Feeling warm and cozy. Howl all you want, wind!

It's currently 35 below zero, with windchill. THIRTY FIVE BELOW ZERO. Even the most hearty and rugged of Wisconsinites can't deny it--that's just WRONG. Too cold for normal humans. Even Wisconsin humans. Eh? ;-)

Schools are all cancelled, and I've got the kids home with me. They, of course, are ecstatic, because since they completed all their homework yesterday, they get to play on the computer and Wii today. And I'm making pancakes. I try and make them healthy. I put in in one cup of whole-wheat pancake mix, to two cups buttermilk mix. So they're heartier and stick-to-your-ribs. Even Hubby can only manage three of my wheat combo pancakes.

I'll be drinking lots of Postum today, too. Maybe it's psychological, but Postum really rocks on days like this. The kids are going to groan at me, but we're going to do some dusting and vacuuming today, instead of the usual Friday. At least their rooms are clean and their beds made. But I've got lots of laundry to wash and fold. Let me tell you there's nothing funnier than watching 8 and 7-year old boys figure out how to fold laundry. Well, since my 7-year old is anal like his dad, he folds everything methodically and perfectly. But my 8-year old---hilarious. Even after I've shown him like, FIVE times. He still doesn't get it.

Practice Makes Progress!

Apparently they did away with the old "Practice makes Perfect" saying, because Perfection is too high an ideal to strive for, and kids were ending up with frayed nerves and ulcers. So, "Practice makes Progress" is less intimidating. I guess...

I usually take the kids to Half-Price Books on a Snow day, but since they could potentially get frostbite just running to the car, I will pass. Movies, anyone? They are determined to have a marathon. So which should it be?

All the Indiana Jones Movies
Star Wars 4-6 (The original ones)
Shrek I, II & III

I've already vetoed all five Harry Potter movies, because they would be watching TV into the night. So we'll figure it out.

Keep warm, everyone!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Status: MUCH better. My lungs don't sound "possessed" today. The Zithromax must be kicking in. ;-)

I was a grump yesterday. Being sick always hinders my ability to get things done. Granted, I am not someone who has to be constantly on the go, I just happen to be, because of my main profession: Mom To Four Kids. It gets a tad busy. But that's not my only hat. I've recently realized I wear a LOT of hats. Most women these days do. We are wives, mothers, sisters, grandmothers. But we're also financial gurus, household food managers, housekeepers, chefs, chauffers, cheerleaders, nurses, comforters, and that's only a start. Children are optional, too. You don't have to be a mother to wear a lot of hats. We have to be pretty dynamic these days. A lot of is expected of us, as women.

Are we up to the challenge? ;-)

I got some edits done. As I was lamenting to a writer buddy, if I can check email and surf the web, heck be danged I can sure EDIT my story! So I sat myself down and did. It's nice to be in Sophie's world again. Although she's really struggling with some hefty emotions right now. She's already lost her father, and now, someone else close to her is threatening to meet their demise, and I need to try and feel her pain, in order to portray it accurately. I've been lucky, and no one close to me has died yet. I can't even imagine how that feels. I know one day I will experience it, but hopefully that day won't be any time soon.

I broke down and went to the store yesterday--we were down to one gallon of milk and we're supposed to get the NASTY MOMMA STORM OF ALL STORMS this afternoon. Snow, wind gusts in the 60mph range (they're predicting Whiteout conditions) and windchill of twenty to THIRTY BELOW ZERO. I plan on having lots of hot cocoa on hand!

Time to go put on the Bathroom Cleaner/Sanitizer hat. I make the kids clean their own bathrooms, but *I* get to clean mine. Fun fun fun.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Close Family???

Status: Hack Hack Cough. 'Nuff said.

So the entire fam ended up in urgent care this weekend, Hubby and I and Thing One all have Bronchitis and are on Zithromax, and now I'm about to take Thing Four to the Dr. because he "officially" has symptoms. FUN.

The Dr. said "you must be a close family." O-K.

When I went to get all FOUR prescriptions filled for our family, the pharmacist made the comment "Wow--close family."

WTH does that mean? Close family? Um, yes, we all share the same domicile. How close do you need to get? I just find that weird. Anyway...

I'm grumpy, because my lungs have started to sound like people talking when I breathe. Yes, seriously. They sound like voices. Ask my Hubby.
It freaks me out because I think I'm not alone in the house, and I CAN'T go to sleep with my lungs reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in multi-voice DEMONSPEAK or whatever they're doing. Apparently I have the wheezes REALLY bad...

Hopefully the antibiotics will work faster. And I hate using the prescription inhaler. It makes me jittery and shaky. And edgy. And Grumpy.

I guess I'd better stop posting, my attitude is going down the toilet very fast.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Status: Feeling better, the aches have left. But five minutes ago I think I might have coughed up my spleen...

Okay, so, according to my latest posts, what problems have I been having with Thing Two? (My eight-year old son.) He won't get up in the morning. I have to drag him out of bed and threaten him with pain SEVERAL TIMES before he'll even come downstairs to get ready for the day.

So, today is a non-school day. Thing One had a friend over for a sleepover last night, and all the kids stayed up pretty dang late. I was looking forward to a morning of SLEEPING IN.

Guess who comes meandering down the stairs at 6:30 am, bless him???

Yep, THING TWO. And don't worry, I told him to get his butt right back upstairs and go to bed. But of course he decided he was UP and had to wake up the baby, who in turn decided he was ravenous and made ME get up to feed him.

I can't win.

Cooked a lovely breakfast of Cinnabon muffins, sausages and eggs for the kids. (I had Grape Nuts.) Now they're watching movies in their PJ's and playing Wii and being GOOD.

So I guess I win a little?

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Okay, so I dragged my achy self out of bed this morning and drove the kids to school, because I heard it was below zero and too cold to wait outside for the bus. So on the way, my car said it was -10 degrees.



WTH??? Clearly Global Warming isn't affecting Wisconsin. I mean, ANTARCTICA is warmer than we currently are. This is insane!!!!!!

Apparently monday we're supposed to warm up to 40 degrees. Dayum! I'm getting out some shorts and a tank top!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ambitious Day... NOT.

Status: Sick. I finally got it. Does that mean I'm going to have the hacking cough for two months like my kids???

I'm achy. You know, the kind of aches where the roots of your hair hurt, and even a cold toilet seat is painful. And I have a cough. And I rumble when I breathe. AND I kept myself up at night, because I rumbled all night and kept myself up. (Have you ever tried to sleep with a nose whistle? The chest rumbling was the same effect.)

So I am keeping it at bay with extra-strength Tylenol, and not doing a whole lot today. I'm probably going to do a lot of laying on the sofa while Thing four plays with toys on the floor. He's about to go down for a nap here in an hour, and I will sleep too. Gotta get rid of it!

I drove the kids to school and ran to the dry cleaners, and I am DONE going places for the day.

Thing Two and I had a talk yesterday about my "shouting episode" and I explained to him that his lack of urgency in the morning is causing a lot of problems.
This morning he got right out of bed, went right down to breakfast, and got dressed fairly quickly. Of course he decided to break out his Pokemon cards and trade with his brother right about the time I was telling them to get into their snow gear, but it only took one warning.

I'm sure tomorrow we'll be back to normal, and I'll be shouting. But you know what? I'm not going to let him get away so easy. He needs to keep it up. I dont' think he likes for me to be a yelling mess every morning either. So at least we're on the same page that way.

Got a few pages of edits done, I plan on doing more today. And read a friend's WIP. And not much else.

Go me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

R.I.P. Heath Ledger

OMGosh this is just so sad. He was found dead in his apartment this afternoon. 28 years old. So young. I've always sort of liked him, ever since I saw him in "10 Things I Hate About You."


Having a Human Day.

Status: Agitated. My challenge-child was particularaly CHALLENGING this morning...grrrrr....

Please tell me I'm not alone in this: you lose your temper at your kids and shout something at them and the little warning bell goes off in your head that says: "Okay, you shouldn't have said that. But you did. You're bad."

That was me this morning. Thing Two drives me...well, nuts. He's my lazy/forgetful/obstinate child. The one I have to tell 934562 times to get out of bed. Then I have to tell him 2937 times to stop laying on the floor and come to the table to eat breakfast. Then, I finally (30 minutes later) tell him to stop playing around and eat his cereal for the TENTH time.
Then I have to tell him 21 times to get dressed, and if I don't stay on top of his head over it, he would piddlyfart in his room and still be in his PJ's when the bus rolls down the street. I have to tell him 56 times to put his homework, lunch, etc. into his backpack. I have to tell him to get into his snow gear 87 times. (and of course, every time I tell him to do something, I get more and more annoyed and louder and louder)

When he finally leaves for school I am beyond annoyed, in a foul mood, and ready to strangle innocent bystanders. EVERY morning is like this. EVERY morning is a challenge.

Yeah, I'm ranting, but it's amazing how one kid can ruin every single morning, every single day. Oh well. At least I only have one "challenge" kid, and not four. The other three are generally fine. They are responsible, and do as I say. Well, not the baby, but you get the idea. UGH!!!

I pray for patience, and what do I get? CHALLENGES TO MY PATIENCE. And I fail sometimes. Miserably. I am only human.

We got 12 inches of snow yesterday, it snowed well into the night. It's pretty, but I'm officially sick of snow. It can leave now. At least the sun is out!
I am making excellent progress in my De-junking/Cleaning/Organizing Event. Sure, it's slow, and trust me, Goodwill is going to LOVE me by the time I'm done, but it will be less "junky" in storage and our closets won't be so packed.

Hubby finally went back to work. He's been sick, and he's still not better, but four days off did him a world of good. He actually...relaxed. I don't think he's done that since, about 1996.

I have to get going. Lots of editing to do (I've been bad) and the laundry is calling my name. Of course, so is the bag of Doritos in the pantry, but I am turning a deaf ear to that one. I'd better.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Frozen Poop.

Status: Tired. Busy Weekend.

So, it was a whopping -7 degrees most of the weekend--but my FAVORITE part...wait for it...was the fact it was MINUS 20 WITH WINDCHILL!! Oh yeah. That was the BEST part.

So when Thing Four poops, usually once or twice a day, I put the poopie diaper in a trash bag in the garage that I have set aside for the stinky stuff. And every monday, I throw the bag away. So, this morning, as I was getting the garbage out (I've been dejunking and I have these HUGE black bags the kids can't lift) I picked up the bag and it felt like it was full of bricks. I thought it was strange, but then realized all the poop was frozen. It gave me a chuckle, anyway.

I guess you had to be there. :-)

One thing I've learned about de-junking, you create a HUGE mess. Or, at least I do. I emptied out roughly 20 boxes, and 10 clear tubs from the Denver move, and there was a lot of stuff that had to have a place found for it. I wish I could adhere to the "If-I-haven't-seen-it-in-six-months-it-needs-to-go-into-the-garbage" rule, but I just can't. I've tried, really I have. I just can't work out those pack-rat tendencies my dear mother genetically blessed me with.

To be honest, I had a close call one time. I had a box of just junk, and I knew it was junk, and I was tempted to just chuck everything and throw it away, but I decided to go through it, and lo and behold I found all the originals of my wedding photos, inside a box in the "junk" box.
So, naturally I am a little wary of the "toss it without going through it" notion.

Well, time to commence project CLEAN AND DEJUNK THE DANG HOUSE. Have a good monday, all!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Time for a Quickie...

NO! Get your mind out of the gutter! Heh heh. It's a quickie post---

Everything is good, but hubby is sick. He's home today.

GO PACKERS this weekend!

Have a good weekend, all!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cold Medicine for Babies?

Status: Still stressed, but trying to "surf the chaos" as my friend Jen would say...

Okay, so the FDA is coming out and saying (officially) that children under age 2 shouldn't have any sort of cold medicine. I gave tons of cold medicines to my first three kids (granted this was 8 years ago) when they were babies. Apparently there are issues with overdosing and serious side effects.

Herein lies the problem: I'm supposed to just let my baby suffer?

The answer, is yes. Case in point: my eight-month old currently has the Cruds, or what I refer to "after" the cold. He is hacking up phlegm, and his nose is constantly stuffy and running. But he seems to be handling it just fine. Bottom line, all those cold medicines were made so the PARENTS could feel better, not the kids. Think about it--who wants to see their baby suffering with chest congestion or a stuffy nose? But in all reality, babies are quite adaptive and resilient (generally) and they just "deal with it." Plus there are other options. Saline drops for the nose, humidifiers, steam showers. Lots of things you can do to make baby more comfortable. Even elevating their heads (or in my case, having him sit up) helps.

I spoke with my pediatrician at length about this, and she said that most OTC cold remedies don't help babies, and some of them seemed to make symptoms worse. In fact, children under six should probably stay away from OTC cold medicines.

So I hate that my baby has a cold, but he's dealing with it just fine, and as long as I'm doing what I can to make him comfortable, that's the best thing for him.

So, I've been de-junking my back storage basement. I've been tearing up the cardboard boxes and converting to clear plastic tubs. Hubby built a TON of sturdy shelves back there for me, and I've got a ton of them lined up in rows so far. But the fun part is: it's sort of like Christmas again: I don't know what's in the box until I open it and then I have the Trip Down Memory Lane, or I am mortified because I've kept such and such this long, etc. etc. It's a blast!

The cobwebs, however, are not so much a blast. Ig.

Awesome Personal Trainer is coming tonight. We haven't seen her since Hawaii. I need to get back into the great routine I had going before then! I've lost 20 pounds, and I have a bit to go. But slow and sure. Sitting in a chair doing edits and writing are NOT helping my backside...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

And it's STILL Cold...

Status: Freaked out. Stressed. Basically the norm...oh, and it's STILL freaking freezing!

Okay, so I LOVE my nifty little breakfast sandwich maker. It's like an over-sexed toaster. You stick the English muffins (crumpets to you anglophiles) in the toaster part, and a raw egg in the side holder, topped off with ham or a piece of bacon in the nifty holder above it, press a button, and three minutes later, voila--you have a breakfast sandwich! You just have to slap it all together and add a slice of cheese. Yummy. I think they sell them in bulk at Walmart right now. It's a "hot" item. Definitely a healthier alternative to the Egg McMuffin, which my kids LOVE. (I just don't love all the fat and grease and nastiness that's in those things.)

So, bravo Breakfast Sandwich Maker!

Got some pages edited yesterday. I'll change the status bar asap. I am trying to decide whether or not to add a key scene in. I cut it out to save on word count, but I've cut out other places, and it's my favorite scene in the ENTIRE novel, so I am trying to find a way to sneak it back in. I need to have my Trusty Reader give it a whirl and tell me if she thinks it fits the story.

Kids had a half day yesterday, I was bad and let Thing One babysit the baby so I could do things I wanted. But I needed the break. The baby is going through my favorite phase EVER: the "If-Mommy-Leaves-My-Line-of-Sight-I-Freak-Out-And-Cry" phase. Yep. My absolute favorite. So, if I don't have him right next to me (velcro baby anyone?) he is very very sad. Eight month olds! :-)

So, yes, I'm freaked out and stressed. I'll divulge at a later date. For now I need to focus on the de-junking of my house and the editing of my novel. It will keep me sane.

Or at least some semblance of it. When is a stay-home mom EVER truly sane??? ;-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Status: Multi-tasking. Sitting at the computer blogging while alternately yelling at the kids to hurry up and get into their snow gear because the bus will be here ANY second. Oh, and keeping a baby with MASSIVE TOY ADD entertained. For my next act, I will juggle steaknives...

Didn't get any editing done on the ms yesterday, but spent a good two hours on research. I'm trying to figure out if one could feasibly hide a treasure in Buckland Abbey. Of course, it would be easier if I could just jump on a plane and VISIT Buckland Abbey to figure it out personally, but money, time and responsibilities are just in the way.

Bah. Anyway, I got away on a Paleography tangent because I can't read some of those Tudor-era documents. It doesn't help that they were written in sloppy script and everything was spelled phonetically. But DANG I thought "I" had bad handwriting!

ANYWAY, got the Perpetually Messy Guest Room fit for guests. Now it's sitting there pristine and perfect, and do we actually HAVE ANY GUESTS??? Heck no. I need to go dump something in it. I have to admit, the Guest room is GREAT as a catch-all.

It's freaking cold. The high yesterday was 19, and with windchill it was toodamncoldtomeasure. And it's going to get colder. This is where my heating bill climbs into Astronomical Amount territory.

Time to get going! I plan to give the research a rest and do edits today. I was reading a friend's ms yesterday and it got me in the mood to get going again!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Running Running Running

Status: About 1 Million MPH. Running!

I am ON a MISSION to get this house de-junked and organized. Maybe it's "new year" cleaning or "mid winter blahs" organizing, but I am throwing crap out by the landfill-full. Seriously.

I think the kids are done being "actively" sick, now they just have the CRUD that remains. You know, the kind where they cough up a lung and throwup. Hack hack cough. Niiiiice.

I got few pages edited this weekend, but I will definitely get a bunch this week. I want to be DONE! Only 75 pages to go! I can do it!

Now I have to go pick up all 72343 toys Thing Four has thrown down on the floor from his high chair. The Stinker.

Have a Happy Monday!

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's Friday??

Status: Kidnapped by aliens.

(Or at least it feels that way. Where did the week go?)

Hubby almost didn't make it home last night, he was on a straight flight from NYC to Milwaukee, and they got diverted JUST as they were trying to land, to Illinois, because the Milwaukee Airport got shut down due to snow. Poor Hubby had to endure SIX hours on an airplane, when he should have only had two and a half.

It was crazy weather. The sun was out, the skies were clear, and an hour later, it became cloudy, and we got two inches of snow, like THAT. Crazy.

I have to cart Thing Four to the dr. this morning. His cough has settled into his chest, and he has a fever. Okay. Seriously, didn't we just do this a few weeks ago? SHEESH!
The Dr. told me that the average kid gets about 15 colds a year. That's 200+ days of being sick! Gross.

Hubby scored some sweet Packers Playoff game tickets for tomorrow, but we can't go because we'd be leaving our sick kids with a sitter for about twelve hours. And what if something happened to them? We'd be stuck at Lambeau, a couple of hours away.
Nope, I would rather watch the game on the big screen from the comfort of my own home, and snuggle with the kiddos. That's what happens, the more kids you have, I guess. There are worse things.

Thing Four is watching The Wiggles as I type this. He's clappng his hands and giggling/coughing/snorting/choking. Poor thing. Hubby thinks the Wiggles are creepy. He doesn't get the whole "grown men performing for children" thing. The ones that creep me out are the "Doodlebops. I guess I'm more in awe of them. They wear about 3 inches of makeup, and jump around and never seem to break a sweat. The power of editing, I guess!

Okay, I am rambling. This post is more like a "stream of consciousness" post. I did get a bunch of pages edited last night before Hubby got home. I plan to finish this weekend, if I can. If not, then certainly by next week. Woo hoo!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Status: Just Here. I've been staying up way too late.

I've been in a strange world lately. I've been editing a novel I haven't looked at for a couple of years, and I've been thrown back in to the world I created when I was in college. It's a neat place to visit. But it's also amazing to me what a pair of fresh eyes can do for a manuscript. I've been editing out uneccessary scenes, adding meat to my descriptions and dialogue, and getting a little "bold." Hubby is in NYC until tonight, so I've been up late every night editing, but I force myself to go to bed eventually.

February is going to be my "write a novel in a month" month. I am laying the groundwork, and figuring out the specifics, and then I'm just going to write. No editing, just writing. January was supposed to be the Writing Month, but I was so busy in December doing...stuff, it got shoved to the wayside. So January is my editing month, February is my writing month, and March is my submission month.

A good plan. We'll see what happens. At least I HAVE a plan!

I think my edits are coming along nicely. I am putting the action into a first-person present, (rather than past)tense. It's a style of writing I find very difficult to do, but it seems to work best for this story. It brings the reader into the action more. Well, so far, it brings ME into the action more!

You ever have one of those days where you have so much going on you just can't even begin to tell about it? Yeah, that's me today. So I guess I'll end here.

Sorry to be so cryptic, but I honestly don't know where to begin.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Snorkel Schmorkel...

Status: I'll give you one guess: I was up all night with the baby, who decided he wanted to "be awake" and moan all night. (He's got a stuffy nose). Sheesh.

So, one of my phobias is dark water. If I can't see what's in it, there is no way in HELL I'm getting into it. It creeps me out. Maybe I had too many run-ins with lake-bottom seaweed when I was younger or something, but I like SHALLOW, CLEAR water. You won't get me in anything else.

So, we're back in Hawaii (see previous post) after we've hiked and biked, it's time for "sail and snorkel." We were transported (a la sardines in the stinky van once more) to a wharf and when we saw our boat, I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow. It was the grossest boat ever. Sort of like the nasty fishing boat Quint had in "JAWS." (another reason why I don't like swimming in the ocean.) And there were more people packed onto it than it should have held, I think. The two lady captains directed me to a bathroom on the bulk head which was the size of a shower stall (smaller actually), and looked like it had been underwater for a few millennia. (YUCK!) I changed into my tankini suit and sat next to my SIL, who had suited up before me.

After everyone had changed and complained about the nasty toilet room sufficiently, we set off. Now, I am not one to get seasick, so it was actually fun riding the choppy water to Kane`ohe Bay. I pictured it to be this clear pretty water in a pristine cove, with lots of pretty scenery.

NOT. Suddenly, in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING OCEAN, the boat stopped, and they announced that we were "here." First of all, we were in the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN. There was nothing but water for miles, and it was raining and dark, and the #$&*^!#!! water was dark and creepy!!!

My blood ran cold. You have no idea how scared I suddenly was. Our guides ran here and there, outfitting us with the right size flippers, and gave us nasty snorkel equipment with MOLD in it. This one older fat lady next to me was talking and talking and TALKING nervously about her grandkids, and I felt bad because clearly she was as afraid as I was.

I've never been snorkeling. Neither had Hubby, or BIL or SIL. BIL was absolutely refusing to go. He was terrified of even being on boats, and was off on the other side of the ship, white knuckled and not speaking to his wife, because the whole thing had been "her idea."

One of the captain ladies gave us a crash course in about 30 seconds, and when I got the mask on, I tried to breathe through my nose and couldn't and I tore it off and looked at the dark water and at my hubby, and mouthed the words "I can't do this!" to him. He said I didn't have to. He looked a little concerned himself.

I was a mess. SIL had her mask and flippers on and seemed unfazed by it all. It was then and there that I decided I was just going to DO IT. Dammit, I needed to conquer this fear, and be able to say I did.

A bunch of people had already gotten off the boat, and were snorkeling around in the dark, creepy water, and so I waddled over to the aft part of the boat and started down the ladder. BRRRRR. Not only was the water dark and creepy, it was freezing cold. SIL and Hubby were behind me. I looked at the water, and put my mouthpiece in, and went in up to my neck.

I was amazed at how fast I could go with was cool. So, now all I had to do was put my face in the water. Logic stopped me. If I put my face in the water and breathe, I will drown. That is what I've known for 30+ years. Kind of hard to suddenly do the opposite. I s-l-o-w-l-y put my face in the water, and suddenly I could! I could see them! and I was breathing! It was the coolest feeling ever! I started swimming with my flippers, and I saw the sea turtles, and the fish, about 12 feet down from me, in the semi-darkness! And I was actually OK with it.

I surprised myself. I lifted up my head to signal to Hubby that I was OK, and he was in the water, choking and nearly drowning because he had his upper lip caught in the snorkel mask. SIL had accidentally tried to snorkel without her tube in and had taken some nice gulps of seawater, so she was a mess like Hubby. I paddled over and helped him with his mask, and gave him a thumbs up, and went off snorkeling around.

It was really neat. Of course there was this tense moment when I came face-to-face with an enormous sea turtle and recoiled violently from shock (I think I scared him too because he went sailing to the bottom afterwards) but I really got the hang of it almost immediately and found Can you believe it? Until a big swell caught me and water went into my tube and I nearly drowned. Yeah. That was fun. I gulped a huge gulp of ocean water and can I say it is the SALTIEST nastiest stuff? I immediately felt sick, and once we were finished, I almost got seasick on the way home.

And I was teased relentlessly by Hubby & Co. later at dinner, after we'd showered and dressed up. They said on the boat I was this terrified wreck, and 30 seconds later I was snorkeling like I'd done it for years, better than any of them. For some reason, they thought that was very funny. And Poor Hubby regaled us with the tale of how the Nervous-Talking-Grandma had panicked in the water and tried to cling to Hubby like he was her own personal Floatie. Poor lady. She didn't fare as well as me.

So, among my other names, I was dubbed the Snorkeling Queen.

Hey, it is better than Indiana Lara Poopy Pants!


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Indiana Lara Poopy Pants

Status: Weary. I stayed up until 2am editing one of my novels. Smart, I know. But when you've got a bee in your bonnet...

So, one of the days of our trip to Hawaii was taken up by a certain local company (which shall remain nameless) where we had the opportunity to Hike, Bike, Sail and Snorkel.
The "hike" part was to be done in the Manoa Valley Rainforest. The "bike" part was to be a moderate downhill ride from the same place, and the sail and snorkel was to be done at Kane`ohe Bay, where we were promised that we'd see lots of sea turtles.
ANYWAY, our "guide" picked us up from some hotel in Honolulu we had to drive to (they didn't have pickups from the Ihilani) and I won't even start with how we got lost in downtown Honolulu trying to find the hotel. It was Hubby, me, Hubby's brother, and his wife.

We were packed into a smelly van like sardines, and they drove us to this residential neighborhood at the mouth of the Manoa Valley rainforest. There we were outiftted with these long rubber boots, and after I put mine on, I was ready for action. Hubby laughed and commented that I looked like an archaeologist with my gear, ready to find treasure. BIL said I looked right at home in the boots (I had tucked my khaki capris into them) and he said I looked like someone out of an Indiana Jones Movie. Hence the Moniker "Indiana Lara" was born.

We started hiking, and they had warned us that since it was a RAINFOREST, the trail might be "a bit" muddy. Yeah. Slight under-exaggeration there. Remember, it had rained every day we were in Hawaii, and especially the night before. In fact, it started to rain on our hike.
The "moderate three mile hike through lush tropical rainforest" turned out to be a miserable, mucky, mosquito infested DIFFICULT climb in a dense rainforest where tons of trees had fallen across the path, and our lead guide (who was one of those "adrenaline types" and made us all nervous) hacked away at the foliage with a knife the size of my leg. We were getting eaten alive, trudging through mud that was a foot thick, and there didn't seem to be any sort of real trail.

Hubby and BIL complained most of the way. They'd had it after mile one. But not me. I was a trooper. I was having FUN, anyway! I was pretending we were hiking through The Amazon, in search of a lost city. (Hey, whatever works, right?) The trail got a little hairy and steep (and slippery) at times. We crossed raging streams, slipped, sloshed and made our way finally to where we couldn't go any farther, and we found the "scenic waterfall" which really was just a pathetic trickle down the face of a cliff. The complaints really started then.

Then our "adrenaline junkie" guides decided to take us back down through a dense bamboo forest on one side of the mountain, where there was no trail whatsoever. They thought it would be fun, since they apparently knew the mountain like the backs of their own hands, to take all of us (20 total) through, for us to "see the beauty" of the bamboo.

Yeah, it was cool, but the guide went too fast and half of our group got lost because the dumbass in front of me had to take a picture of her parents and take about three minutes to do so. (camera not working, etc.)
People started to panic when we realized there was no one in sight, and no trail, and I reassured everyone and I plowed on ahead, following the footprints in the muck. Eventually we found them again, although the large wild pig hoofprints mixed in with the hiker's footprints made me a tad nervous.

Three hours later, we emerged from the rainforest, muddy to the gills. I looked fine, except for some reason I had reddish brown volcanic mud all over the inner thighs of my pants. Apparently when I had been stepping down the steep mudslides, the mud had crept up.

Everyone was laughing, because frankly, it looked like I'd crapped my pants.

So then, we were to bike downhill for six miles. More like SAIL downhill. I think I pedaled only once, because the incline was SO steep, I rode my brakes hard most of the way. We rode through a lot of water too, which I didn't think much of, until the end, when after we dismounted from our bikes for lunch, Hubby, BIL and SIL doubled over laughing when they saw the back of my pants. The muddy water had sprayed up the butt crack of my light colored khakis, and I looked even MORE like I'd soiled myself.
At this point I told them all I needed was for a big bird to swoop down and poop on my head, and it would have made the day complete. I was a sweaty, muddy, wet mess, and I looked awful. Luckily I had a sense of humor about it. And I told the guide that a "recommendation" I would make would be to tell their "guests" to wear dark colors, and BRING A CHANGE OF CLOTHES. Because guess who got to walk around the remainder of the day in her mud-stained, butt-crack stained LIGHT COLORED pants? Yep. ME.

Thus "Indiana Lara Poopy Pants" was born. Hey, at least I was a source of humor on the trip.

The Snorkeling Debacle will be in tomorrow's post.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Status: A little sad. Hey, I am entitled!

So I'm doing the one thing I do every January that makes me sad: taking down all the Christmas stuff. The trees, the wreaths, the wall stuff, the garland and changing out the candles from red and green to brown and cream, changing all the towels back, packing up the knick-knacks and generally DE-cheering the house. And it always seems to be a gloomy overcast day, when I do this.

Like today. Foggy, dark, gloomy. But hey, it was 50 degrees yesterday and all the snow melted! It's currently raining. Apparently it will rain through Wednesday and we'll get some colder temps and snow again. But for now, it's all soggy outside, and no ice and snow. I'll take it.

But I've already removed the garland and lights from the bannisters, and they are all boring and bare now. There's always this feeling of profound sadness and emptiness when I take down the Holiday stuff--and I feel like I need to "decorate" or at least do something to make up for all the decorations I'm taking down. I put clear lights in my fica trees, so that I'll still have something cheery at night. Little things like that help. It can get pretty gloomy during these cold winter months.

Lots to do today, it being a Monday. I have to run to Sam's Club and stock up on stuff (namely diapers and formula, EEEK $$$!) and run here and there. So I will regale you with a funny tale from our Hawaii trip on tomorrow's blog. The title? INDIANA LARA POOPY PANTS. Yes, that's the title. If that doesn't entice you to read tomorrow's blog, I don't know what will. And yes, this is NOT a name I gave myself. It was a name given to me by my husband, brother in law and his wife. Indiana Lara Poopy Pants.

I bet you can't wait... :-)

Friday, January 04, 2008

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Status: Mellow. Taking the un-packing one suitcase at a time. Getting back on schedule. Bouncing from one time zone to another then another has sort of messed me up...

So, yes, Hawaii was awesome, although it rained every day but the LAST day we were there. On the last day we had alternating sun and rain, then sun and rain, etc.. So we lugged our pasty white bodies out on the beach and tried to soak up as much sun as we could. Hubby fell asleep. I was in the middle of a long overdue reading of Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants. The sun would be shining, then go away and rain would start, and I'd put the book back in the bag and wait for the rain to end. Five minutes or so later the sun would come out again, so would the book. 20 minutes later the sun would disappear, as would the book into the bag, and so on and so on, for about 4 hours.

Then we showered and went to the airport. Oh well.

Now we're back, and I want to get settled back into our usual routine of semi-chaos. Poor Thing One, she didn't get to bed until 11 pm and she has a soccer game right after school. Well, she wanted to do indoor soccer! But it's only on Fridays, and no practices.

This weekend is going to be a detox, relax weekend. Yes, I know we were just in Hawaii. But we weren't "relaxing" per se. We kind of ran here and there and everywhere, because of the rain. No lying out, hence no relaxation. Got up super early every morning, and collapsed into bed, exhausted, at night. But hey, I have a new favorite hobby: Snorkeling! Oh, and hiking through dense bamboo in a rainforest, where there was no trail whatsoever. Super cool.

Lots of stories to tell, but I'll save those for another blog. I have a synopsis to write out. Can't wait to get back into writing. I missed it!