Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The things nightmares are made of...

So I open up my browser this morning and it comes up with the MSN page like always, and I see a line near the top that says "What is the Terrible Towel?" To most that wouldn't be a big deal, but to me it brings back horrible, HORRIBLE memories that I really try to leave buried.

You see, I had the misfortune to be living in Pittsburgh during a year when the Steelers went to the Super Bowl. This was long ago, my first year of college, and it still haunts me.

I'd never had anything against the Steelers prior to my living there. I'm certain I had no opinion of them at all, in fact. But after that year that would drastically change.

I've lived other places when their sports team went to a big game, the Super Bowl, World Series, etc. And sometimes it was really fun, sometimes slightly annoying, but mostly didn't leave a lasting impact on me.

But Pittsburgh is a whole different thing. You couldn't turn on the tv or radio without being CONSTANTLY bombarded with something about the Steelers. On the rare occasions I was away from school, it was like black and gold had thrown up on everything. The mentality of the city and the team is extremely cocky, like "we are better than the world so shut up and take it". Its like the lives of everyone in the city revolved around football. I guess you could call it devotion, passion maybe...but to an outsider, it was frightening, very, very frightening.

Of course every city/state that has a team going for the top trophy gets super excited and engrossed in the retail aspect of it, that's understandable...but Pittsburgh and the Steelers fans are a different breed, I've never encountered anything like it before or since.

And the song...this penetrating song that played everywhere. That is something forever seared into my brain and no matter what I do it will never leave. Here we go! Steelers! Here we go! Pittsburgh's goin' to the Suuuuper Bowl! *shudder*

No offense (really!) to any Steelers fans out there or anyone from Pittsburgh, I'm sure you can't help it. I'm not unconvinced that it isn't something piped into the water supply or airborne contaminant. Its just...well if this doesn't help explain it, I don't know what can.

Take a gander through the wiki page on the Terrible Towel.

And here is a quote from the creator...

The Terrible Towel
Is not an instrument of witchcraft…It is not a hex upon the enemy. THE TOWEL is a positive force that lifts the Steelers to magnificent heights – and poses mysterious difficulties for the Steelers' opponents only if need be. Many have told me that THE TERRIBLE TOWEL brought them good fortune, but I can't guarantee that sort of thing because the Steelers, after all, are THE TOWEL'S primary concern. Still, at the least, the symbol of THE TERRIBLE TOWEL will serve as a memento of your having been part of the Steelers' Dynasty and if it causes good things to happen to you, so much the better.
Myron Cope

Dynasty...magnificent heights...taking it to Mount Everest...seriously people????

There's just something not normal about all of that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Well when you put it like THAT...

So I received from R's teacher a couple observation forms that she's done regarding his difficulties in school, I had asked for it so I could pass it along to the psycologist for his ADD evaluation/testing. Now, I knew he was struggling, but when you read it off these observation forms, its like WOW...this kid's really got some issues! FWIW, a couple items I don't necessarily agree with, but 99% of them I do and witness at home as well. Plus there's a bunch of emotional/mood/compliance stuff on the forms that he exhibits at home, but fortunately for his teacher (and unfortunately for me and C), not at school.

So here's what she marked off on the first form...

is easily distracted by other students or events
has difficulty sustaining attention
has difficulty following instructions
often does not seem to listen
is "spacy", in own world, often daydreams
is far less active than most others in class
works very slowly
has trouble organizing belongings
has trouble organizing and completing classwork
has trouble organizing and completing homework
is excessively shy, quiet
has problems reading
has problems with math
has problems communicating with written language

And on the second...

fails to start task when assigned
short attention span
fails to finish tasks in allotted time
does not follow a sequence of directions
classroom comments irrelevant, misses point
daydreams, pre-occupied
easily distracted
reading difficulties observed
arithmetic difficulties observed
spelling difficulties observed
written language difficulties observed
confused snese of time/space/direction
disorganized work habits
fails to complete assignments
clumsy, bumps into things or persons
slow to move and respond, less active than peers
awkward when catching, throwing or in game activities
writing appears like that of a much younger child
works at a slower pace than other classmates
coloring, cutting, drawing immature for age

This poor kid just cannot catch a break. There's just always something happening with him. For a long time I thought, so what if he's got half a heart, we are going to treat him like any other kid and he'll still live a normal life...just like everyone else. I guess its time to stop denying it, its just not going to be as easy as that.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Do you have a food that you really can't stand, but at the same time you really
WANT to like? I'm not talking about foods you swear you don't like and then one day try again and realize its pretty darn good. No, these are foods you cannot bring yourself to like no matter what, but you really really wish you could.

For me, its tomatoes.

It used to be the only way I'd consume a tomato is if it was in the form of ketchup or spaghetti sauce. It could in NO way resemble its original package or I'd practically gag looking at it. A tomato that was anything other than ketchup or spaghetti sauce totally disgusted me.

As I got older I came to realize that cooked tomatoes weren't so bad. I could choke them down and at times they were actually pretty good depending on what I was eating them with. Still not sure I could bring myself to eat a cooked one alone but along with other foods they are tolerable.

I still just cannot bring myself to eat raw tomatoes. The taste just...*shudder*, well its just gross. And yet they seem like such a happy food, just asking to be bright and red and fresh. They look like they should be good. I find myself being tempted now and again to try one. But something in my brain always keeps me from it.

While looking through my Joy Bauer LIFE diet book's menu plans I can across a lunch that was an open faced tomato and cheese sandwich. A piece of bread, with a tomato and cheese put under the broiler. I was so tempted to try it that I even bought a tomato *gasp*! I never could bring myself to actually make it though, that lunch kept getting pushed back later and later in the week. And then one day on the weekend we ate out, so it got tossed off the menu altogether.

Last night I made turkey burgers for dinner. E asked for lettuce and tomato on his, so I dug out that tomato I bought. I sliced it up and served it to each of my children...who, much to my dismay, all really like tomatoes. Even R eats tomatoes, and truly that hurts me most of all, the kid who I have to fight with daily to eat any food at all will willingly injest a tomato. Its just wrong, I tell you, wrong, wrong, wrong!

I was tempted yet again to try it. Those darn tomatoes sitting on the plate looking all juicy and cheery. "What's not to like??" They whisper, taunting me. But, alas, I couldn't do it. I couldn't make myself put a tomato on my burger.

Why can't they leave me alone? Why can't I just be satisfied to not like them? There are other foods that I HATE and am totally content to NEVER like. Cantalope for example. I find that equally as disgusting as raw tomatoes and if somehow all the cantalope in the world were obliterated, I could die a happy woman. But those tomatoes have it in for me, I swear.

Do ya think there's like, I dunno, hypnosis or accupuncture for something like this?? I could go and in one session be in tomato heaven??

You're wondering why the heck I'm even blogging about tomatoes of all things, I can tell. Because I can, that's why. And between seriously bruising my arm and being sick I haven't left the house much the past week and I really don't have anything else to say!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have to wonder sometimes...

if the universe does not want me to stay fat. Seriously. Last week I decided to embark on this healthy eating journey, planning meals and everything and I was really confident that I could really do it this time. (This all sparked by my neighbor telling me about her gastric bypass surgery experience, but that's another story for another time...)

But then the day before I started AF arrived. I did eat MUCH healthier, but trying to beat sugar cravings at that time of the month just wasn't gonna happen. Overall I was happy with how things were going, but it was not to last...

Ya know, I even was getting into working out. I was doing it every day, enjoying my "me" time while I was doing it, rocking out to my tunes while I blasted away on the elliptical trainer...and then I had to go and beat myself up so badly with the dang thing. So the exercise had to stop for a few days whilst I nursed my scrapes and bruises.

My arm still hurts, but I'm sure its going to be that way for a while. My open wounds have healed enough though that I thought I could push on and get back up on the horse (er, elliptical trainer.)

But now...*sigh*. Now I'm getting sick. My energy is zapped and my throat is hurting. Gah. If its not one thing, its another.

I know that's how life is, there's always going to be obstacles to overcome, I accept that...but do they ALL have to come in the first 2 weeks that I'm finally REALLY trying to be healthier???? It just doesn't seem fair.

Yesterday I did horrible...but today is another day. I will push on, but darnit, I just want to throw myself down on the floor and kick my legs and scream like R does when he's mad!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just a quick PSA from me to you...

Moving heavy, wheeled exercise equipment down a step onto concrete all by yourself is bad for your health. Three days later you might still look like this...

I know some of you out there have already learned this lesson from me, but for those who haven't...heed my warning.

This is why I haven't had much to say over the weekend, by the way, I've been off pouting about my wounds.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chalking up another accomplishment to my list!

Remember that knit-a-long I was in....months ago. Well, I FINALLY have a finished product!!! My neck warmer is complete. It isn't really pretty and has lots of mistakes, but its done!

I knit way too tight in the middle so its kinda wonky, and near the end I kept starting and stopping at odd times so I'd forget if I was on the knit or purl side and got it wrong a couple times (you can't tell from the pic, but its not good, trust me.) But all in all not TOO shabby for a first big project.

Here it is laid out.

And buttoned up.

And in action. Please try to ignore my hideous face, its 11:20 pm in this pic.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Don't you love those stellar parenting moments?

You know the ones when your child does or says something that you know they learned from you (or your spouse/significant other) that are just SO not appropriate for their little body. These things that you do/say often and yet you are shocked to hear them from your precious little one. (Denial is powerful thing.) And yet as shocked as you are you can hardly contain your laughter because it just sounds so cute and so wrong coming from them. They are also the things that by the time your child has picked up on it and decided to use/do it themselves...its too late. You can't take your actions back or change your ways, the damage has been done.

My 2 year old has a new favorite word. Well, technically its two words, so I guess its a favorite phrase. I remember my oldest also taking a fancy to this particular phrase as well, so I guess we didn't learn much as parents in the past few years. Actually I remember him near the same age laying on the floor of my bedroom yelling these two words at the top of his lungs over and over again for no particular reason. I don't really recall my middle child being so attuned to these two words. I know he's used them, but never taken such a liking to them as the others. But my daughter, from the first time she uttered these two little words she used them in exactly the appropriate way with the appropriate intonation in her voice. And all the times she's used them since it has been with the same precision.

So I guess I need to add another item to my New Year's list (and C, I know you're reading this, so you too!)...

#6. Stop swearing around (and at *blush*) my children.

UPDATE: Ok, so I purposely left out the words she said in case it might offend someone that I/we apparently use these words way more often than we should, LOL. (And considering a pretty big belief in our family, shouldn't say one of them at all.) But since people are wondering...check the comments section and I'll fill ya in!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Well I suppose its that time again...

Time to think of my goals for 2009. Still not making any resolutions this year. But hey, by not making them last year I ended up accomplishing about half-ish of the goals I set for myself. Not too bad.

So, without further ado...

1. Establish a regular exercise routine. So, obviously "lose weight" and even "not gain more weight" just isn't working for me. So, lets be more specific here. I want to make exercise a consistent and regular part of my life. Not just something I do for a few days and then nothing for weeks. So, for now my goal is 4 times a week. If I can manage that I'll add more, but for now...just 4 times a week, EVERY week!

2. Eat more fruits and veggies. I admittedly am terrible about this. I blame my mom. LOL. No but seriously... She's always been a super picky eater about a lot of things. And I'm sure I picked up on that as a child because I am also pretty darn picky. I'm sure I didn't eat a lot of fruits & veggies when I was a kid because I either didn't like them or didn't think I liked them. And of course, the older we get the more set in our ways we get. I've definitely expanded my culinary horizons in recent years...but it needs to go further. I either have to learn to like fruits and veggies or learn to suck it up and eat them even if I don't!

3. Pay more attention to my kids and less to the computer. I said I was going to do this last year and I did make some improvements, but still more can be done.

4. Drink more water. Something else I've been seriously lacking in. Many times I'll go all day without having one drop of water. Not good. Going to try to drink at least 80 oz a day.

5. Establish a regular housekeeping routine. So last year I vowed to keep it clean for more than a week and I did, woot! But now it needs to go further. I was doing well on a schedule when we first moved and I'd like to get back to that and keep it up!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year everyone!

Most of 2008 was kinda sucky for us. It ended well, so I'm hoping this is a trend and things will continue to go well. We certainly could use things going our way for more than a couple months. Of course the whole country could pretty much deal with life getting better, so... I wish you and your families nothing but health and happiness and prosper in 2009!!