Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

I'm feeling mighty blog guilty lately. I haven't been posting pictures or stories about Mia and the kids. Shoot, I still haven't finished posting Facebook pictures from the holiday's, much less taking the time to write a substantive post on the blog. The grandma's are probably having a fit about this and Mia's mom is probably wondering what's going on. My apologies to all - I'll get back on track one of these days but for now, you'll have to make due with my regular RTT's....

1. I was sick as a dog yesterday. As in I-can-barely-make-it-to-the-bathroom-sick-and-my-god-I-really-want-my-mommy-because-I'm-going-to-die sick. Luckily it passed fairly quickly but I'm still a little queasy today. I tried to blame the swordfish I had for dinner the night before but it turns out the Polack is the same kind of sick today so it probably was viral.

2. Next week is spring break. Before the quit the job/move to Bloomington/start new job/sell the old house/buy a new house plan, we had planned on going somewhere fun. But that's not practical for our current situation (since I have no vacation time and we're trying to save money to cover us in the event we have two house payments) so instead of Florida or California or someplace fun, we're spending a few short days at the indoor water park in French Lick, Indiana. It will be fun but man, I really want a real vacation.

3. Mia still doesn't know what she's doing for spring break. She had several options - Florida, Chicago, Texas, California, in addition to all the exchange organization trips - but waited so long that none are feasible anymore. I'm quite the planner so this has been bothering me because I want her to experience all she can while living here BUT I have to tell myself that at 17, she's old enough to make her own plans and I should stay out of it. But staying out of it means she's now missed out so I'm a bit bummed. She might be stuck with us in French Lick.

4. Since all I've had to eat in the past 48 hours is some toast and a cup of soup, I'm seriously thinking about stopping at Jiffy Treet on the way home for a cyclone. YUM... That thought just made me smile.

5. Purdue students have organized another Human's vs. Zombie's event. I'm so bummed I'm missing it!!

6. I'm waaaa-aaaayyyyy too addicted to Words with Friends on my iPhone. As in I have at least 10 games going on right now.

7. The Polack and I finally finished watching Mad Men. And even though we didn't like it, I still want to watch the remaining seasons. I totally want to know what happens to Peggy's baby even thought I lost every shred of respect I had for that show when I watched that scene. Seriously? How could she not know she was pregnant?! This is an AMC, not MTV, show right?

8. We're having an open house this weekend which means I will spend all day Saturday FREAKING out. The Polack knows this but also understands there's not anything he can do to prevent it. Poor guy - I must apologize to him in advance.

9. I really do think it would be cool if Purdue won the NCAA Tournament, as predicted by Alex Hermann.

10. I attended a Yo-Yo Ma concert the other night. I feel totally guilty about being bored and not appreciating it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood here so I hope it's as beautiful in your neck of the woods. The Polack has finally* made it to the bar to start the Madness. I hope he knows I'm thinking of him and cheering for a great 36 hours of basketball.

*I say finally because he day started the day by dropping Seeger off at school only to receive a phone call 10 minutes later from the nurse who said Seeger vomited all over the place and could he come pick him up? So he picks him up, Seeger acts fine, says he's hungry so the Polack takes him to breakfast where Seeger proceeds to eat peanut butter toast and vomit all over the table. Poor Polack! Poor Seeger!

Anywho, the show must go on...

1. I *almost* went to work today with my pants unzipped. Whew, so glad I caught that! (Which is actually surprising that I did notice because Uncle Bill doesn't own a full length mirror which means I can never check out my outfit to see if it truly looks as good as I hope.)

2. I'm slowly getting over my Lock n Roll iPhone addiction but it's quickly been replaced by Words With Friends. At least it's not Bejeweled. (Why do I always have some sort of gaming obsession?? Seriously, when I was in 8th grade I spent 48 hours straight beating the Legend of Zelda on the original Nintendo.)

3. The Polack and I have started watching season 1 of Mad Men. SO DISAPPOINTING. We both heard such great things about this show and neither of us really likes it. We're on episode 7 and I'm just starting to see some depth in one or two characters. I hope it gets better. because right now, I don't really like anyone.

4. In #1, I almost put that my "fly" was unzipped but really, I think that's such a crazy expression that I wouldn't allow myself to type it.

5. I'm not going to lie... it sorta freaks me out when people refer to something I've written about in my blog. I guess I figure only my mom and in-laws and maybe a few friends read it so when someone I'm not as close to says something about it, I'm always caught off guard.

6. Did I mention it's gorgeous outside? It really, really is! They've started planting pansies around campus - my fav-o-rite flower. Pansies. What a funny word to say. PAN-SIES.

7. Apparently there was an altercation at the high school I graduated from that led to one boy being admitted to Intensive Care at the hospital. So now everyone is talking about the bullying problem that exists at DHS (and always has) and parents are all up in arms. Which I understand. But leading the pack of ticked off parents is someone I graduated with who was one of the biggest bullies in our class. So this whole thing seems a bit ironic to me.

8. My cousin Andy just bought a motorcycle in New Orleans and has spent the past several days driving it home to Michigan. He stopped at Uncle Bill's just in time for dinner last night and spent the evening with us. Uncle Bill really enjoyed playing host and prepared a really yummy meal. I was excited to have a social activity on a week night.

9. Speaking of social activities, I'm on the hunt to try out all the Bloomington area restaurants and bars. I've been meeting a friend for drinks every so often so that takes care of the bar portion. Next, I'm making a list of restaurants to try during the lunch hour. Everyone at work is on board to I'm going to pick a new place every two weeks for us to try.

10. Now that I've gotten a plan to check out all the dining/drinking establishments, I need to do something socially active. I'd like to find someplace to volunteer at or possibly join a board of something. It's my next project.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New 'do

I've got bangs now.

I'm not really liking them.

Changing my hair is the only time I ever feel regret about something.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You mean I can't make up my own words?

So I totally wanted to use this word in my current game of Scrabble against curlygirl75...

It's an adjective to describe an annoying person a la Dwight Schrute. As in, "Man, I can't stand that guy. He's so shrutey."

This plan had two problems. #1 - it's not really word. #2 - if it were a word, it should have a C in it. Details, details...

And some of my favorite Dwuight Schrute quotes:

"Security in this office park is a joke. Last year I came to work with my spud-gun in a duffle bag. I sat at my desk all day with a rifle that shoots potatoes at 60 pounds per square inch. Can you imagine if I was deranged?"

"Reject a woman, and she will never let it go. One of the many defects of their kind. Also, weak arms."

"And I did not become a Lackawanna County volunteer sheriff’s deputy to make friends. And by the way, I haven’t."

"Once I’m officially Regional Manager, my first order of business will be to demote Jim Halpert. So I will need a new number two. My ideal choice? Jack Bauer. But he is unavailable. Fictional. And overqualified."

"When my mother was pregnant with me, they did an ultrasound and found she was having twins. When they did another ultrasound a few weeks later, they discovered, that I had resorbed the other fetus. Do I regret this? No, I believe his tissue has made me stronger. I now have the strength of a grown man and a little baby."

"I don’t care what Jim says, that is not Benjamin Franklin. I am 99% sure."

Random Thought Thursday

Let the wild random begin!

1. I'm not feeling particularly witty today so I'm worried about this RTT being a dud. What? You mean I'm not usually witty?
2. I keep meaning to call the school systems in the area to find out about their gifted programs. People here are so focused on which elementary school area I want to get a house in. On one hand, I feel the pressure but on the other hand, I don't really care that much. Oh great, I feel like a bad mom, yet AGAIN.
3. Oh my gosh, I just saw an episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Rumer Willis is on it. She's such a terrible actor. Not that the skill level of the rest of the actors on that show will upstage her. Most are just as bad.
4. Mia is Seeger's new favorite. He always chooses her over the rest of us. I least I have a shot at winning him back once Mia leaves in June!
5. It's almost Pinewood Derby time. Nicklas and the Polack are taking it seriously this year. They've bought new wheels, gotten lube, and have purchased weights. Of course Nicklas is paining his car red and white.
6. As much as I love Bloomington, I do feel a bit lonely during the week nights. I'm anxious to integrate myself into the community, meet people, and become an active citizen. But since I don't officially live in Bloomington yet and my kids and spouse aren't around to make it easier to do activities and meet people, it will be awhile before it happens. In Lafayette, I can go anywhere and I usually run in to someone I know. It will be awhile before that happens in Bloomington and it makes me a bit sad.
7. That said, I am getting to know some folks in Uncle Bill's community. I dragged him to a poker tournament that one of his friends hosts each month. Uncle Bill hosts his own poker night each Thursday (that I've somehow managed to infiltrate despite being the only female) but he never goes to this monthly game. It's good for us to get out of the forest and do something social. This month's tournament had 15 people and despite placing 4th (just outside the money - of course) because of a bad beat on the river, I had fun. I think he did too.
8. I'm cat/house sitting for a co-worker so I'm staying in Bloomington the next few days. I think this explains the community minded feelings of isolation. Plus I miss my friends in Lafayette who have accepted the fact that I've moved and they aren't mourning my departure (how rude!).
9. Sheesh, this post is getting pathetic - certainly not the intent.
10. We'll end on a positive note - the Polack and I are going to the prom this year!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sleep Cycle

I'm obsessed with my new Sleep Cycle app. You put it on your bed, next to your pillow at night and it monitors your sleep cycle. It then wakes you up - up to a half hour before your alarm - during your lightest sleep cycle. So the idea is that you're more refreshed and ready to get up instead of waking at a scheduled time when your body might be in that precious deep sleep. I love that it graphs out your sleep cycle from the night. As you can see from the photo, yep, I was pretty much awake at 5:45. I kept wondering when the alarm was going to go off so I stayed awake for a bit before finally going back to sleep.

I'm very entertained by the fact that almost all my charts show instant deep sleep. I'm the type of person who falls asleep the minute my head hits the pillow. My mom is SO jealous.

Just for kicks and because this is app is SO AWESOME, here are a few more screen shots. You can identify one problem in looking at these. In both cases, I was in deep sleep the entire 30 minutes before my alarm when off. So I didn't get to wake up feeling "refreshed" as promised. No worries though, I still love that I get the cool charts!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And another thing...

I was feeling a little guilty in that last post about admitting that I take the kids to the park and make them fend for themselves. I DON'T play with them but instead spend time reading or playing on my phone. I actually wondered if I should admit this in such a public forum but chose to because I wanted to keep it real. (And I hate censoring myself!)

Then I read this post which makes me feel so much better about myself. I wonder what others think - are my actions helpful to my child or am I just looking for excuses to validate my behavior?

I've been enlightened....

So I'm sitting here at work and I should be finishing up a project for my dean. But I just took a break to catch up on some blog reading (there isn't much of that going on lately) when I came across a link to a TIME article on overparenting. I don't recall which blog had this posted so I'm linking to the article itself.

I've always understood the concept of overparenting and I've long been against helicopter parents. I've worked in higher education long enough that I have many stories in which perfectly smart parents appear stupid in their actions. (This is my own opinion of course.) At Purdue alone, I learned of a parent who called a professor arguing the grade his daughter received on a paper (that the parent admitting to writing himself). Then there was the mom who was upset with the dining hall at a dorm for not giving her the semester's menu for lunches. When the dining hall explained that menus are only made two or three weeks out, she became irrate because she had to prepare her son for his meal time by circling all the food he was supposed to eat. She wanted to do the entire semester gosh darn it. Finally, I myself experienced helicoptor parenting when I witnessed a mom WALKING HER DAUGHTER to each of her classes the first day of the semester. The daughter looked like a lamb being led to slaughter. Many of you maight think that's not a big deal but really, if an 18 year old can't find her own classes, how is she going to survive once her mom leaves? Don't answer that - I'm sure she'll have several phone conversations a day getting advice and suggestions for how to deal with every minute detail of her life.

I myself have been accused of, shall we say, relaxed parenting. I don't keep as close an eye on my kids as others think I should. There was the neighbor who always made sure she stayed outside when Nicklas was out playing. (Mind you, I was inside, happily sewing away on a quilt or something.) And when he wanted to walk around the block himself at age 6 and gasp, I allowed him to. She decided that she would go ahead and walk with him. Another time, I was letting the kids run around the bleachers at a baseball game and an older gentleman informed me that they were going to get hurt and that they needed to sit by me at all times. My reaction? Let them get hurt - at least they're up and being active and playing. (And no, they weren't bothering him. He had been watching them from the other side of the stadium.)

Some people will say I'm naive but I don't believe in banning my kids from talking to strangers. I'm a social person. I want my kids to be social. I want them to be comfortable talking to all types of people. Of course, I warn them about accepting gifts, or getting into cars but I'm not going to whisk them away from someone who is just trying to make conversation. I set parameters at the park - they must stay within certain areas. And then I bury my head in a book. I don't always know where they are but if I find out they've left the boundaries I've established, they will have to suffer the consequences. I know there are parents that don't let their eyes leave their child. And while maybe I should be up and actually playing with them at the park, well sometimes, I just don't feel like it. Besides, they need to learn to play on their own and not count on me to entertain them.

More than once, I've let the boys hang out in the toy section of the store while I did my shopping. And at least twice, I've come to get them and found a store employee staying with them, waiting for a parent to show up. At the high school football and basketball games, we let Nicklas run around. He's been doing it since second grade but I have a friend that wouldn't allow her son to do this until he was in sixth grade. Maybe she was afraid he'd get hurt. Or hear profane language from the high schoolers. Or wander off. And I suppose that could happen. But I guess I feel the trade off is worth it for Nicklas. He gets to explore. And be responsible for himself. And learn new things. That's more important to me than keeping him safe and sound and tucked up next to me at all times.

You might think I'm right or wrong but this is the way I've chosen to parent my children. The Polack is a little more protective which is probably good because it balances my - what did I call it? - my relaxed parenting. Although I can promise you that he'll be there with me, pushing them out the car door when it's time to drop them off at campus their freshman year.

I'm off now to finish my project but then I'm going to google free-range parenting and celebrate that there are others out there that don't think I'm too horrible of a person. This isn't my most eloquent writing and I know I'm not doing the best job at making my point. But obviously, the article hit home with me.

And for the record, I think there are definitely nine-year-olds out there that can ride the NYC subway on their own.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Time for the brain dump....

1. Sorry for the lack posting this week. I haven't had anything exciting to say. Well, that's not true. There are plenty of funny stories I could go in to related to my new job but work posts are off limits. Too dangerous. Which is unfortunate because I work with some pretty interesting characters.

2. I will say one thing about my job - the faculty research is much more entertaining to me now than when I was working in engineering at Purdue. Engineering research is way over my head. But the latest news release coming out of my school is all about research our faculty have done which finds that there is no consensus on what the definition of "had sex" means. This created a 20 minute conversation during the staff meeting yesterday with everyone discussing their own definition of "had sex".

3. Have you heard Kesha's Blah Blah Blah song? I'm liking it.

3.5 It's beautiful outside today. Whoopie!!

4. There are less than 13 weeks left until school is out for the kids. I have no idea what happens in our life then if we haven't sold our house. Do they move to Bloomington? Do they stay in Lafayette? Does the Polack find a job or wait? So many questions.

5. Did you know that Sugar and J.T. from Survivor are dating? Oh, and Sugar was on Gilmore Girls for four episodes. I had no idea!

6. Uncle Bill hinted there might be some peanut M&M's stashed somewhere in his house. Why would he be so cruel? I didn't need to know that!!

7. I made a casual comment today that I really wanted some M&M's. My co-worker - because she's so sweet - went and bought me some. Nice, right? And as much as I appreciated the gesture, I was still bummed because they were plain and not peanut M&M's.

8. Mia is returning to Norway on June 12. BOOOO!!!!

8.5 I wish we could get another exchange student but considering I don't know where we'll be living or what our income will look like next year, it's probably not going to happen.

9. My brother Jake sent me a facebook message yesterday that said "Blog?" I have no idea what that meant. Jake, what are you asking me?!

10. I'm not much of a concert goer but there are several upcoming that I'd like to see. The Polack and I are going to see Ingrid Michaelson. We also want to see Tom Petty and Train but I don't think it's happening. We have a trip to Vegas planned and some other activities to finance.