Circle of Respect

January 31, 2010

When I first moved out here I was assigned a very special visiting teacher.  She was one of those people who truly understood the Gospel and her place in it.  It was an integral part of her life and she moved seamlessly through all of her duties as mother, wife, teacher, student, disciple … It was a beautiful thing to watch and an inspiring thing to surround me.  For several years she visited me faithfully, and was truly my first friend in California.  Because of her influence, and the information she provided for me as she got to know my needs, I can say that nearly every good thing about my life right now can be traced back one way or another to her.  I will always, always be grateful for her.

I want to be more like her.

She would always say she wanted to be more like another mutual friend (one whom, for the record, I considered to be so stratospheric that I had no hope to be like her and was content just to be her friend.)  Today that mutual friend commented to me that she, too, considered my first visiting teacher to be one of her heroes.

(For more about the visiting teaching program, go here.)


Taxes – urg

January 30, 2010

Getting this year off to a good start (ie: really need that money!) and have started the taxes.

Self-employment tax cannot be absorbed into the child tax credit? What the heck?!?! I can’t get the full child tax credit because our traditional tax burden is less than the tax credit but I can’t put the remainder of the credit toward my self-employment tax.

The American dream is to own your own business? Ha. This country is built for corporations and wants only to stomp on the dreams of entrepreneurs.

(I had less grouchy things to say before I sat down to work on my taxes. I’ll be myself again tomorrow.)

How I Got Him To Say What I Never Thought I’d Hear Him Say

January 29, 2010

“You can thank video games that I wasn’t in a horrible accident five minutes ago,” he called to say. Some clueless young girl in a brand-new luxury car backed out onto the street quickly and without looking. Thanks to Paul’s lightning-fast reflexes he was able to avert the accident saving her perfect car from any damage and getting the tiniest mark on his own.

Wondering out loud I asked if we’d have still had to pay the deductible if it was her fault.

“Argh!” he said. “That accident was my ticket out of this car.” I bristled a little, I like that car. He’s just still getting used to not having brand new cars. “It’s all video games’ fault.  They cost me a new car.”

Proving I Have Neither Brains Nor Brawn

January 28, 2010

I didn’t set loosing weight as a New Year Resolution. That didn’t mean that exercising again wasn’t important to me, and I decided that despite the setbacks with my stroller I wanted to get started. I knew that my old standby, my beloved yoga, was great, but not going to take me down that twenty pounds I gained last year that I needed to get more aggressive.

When you think “aggressive” what comes to mind? Jillian Michaels, of course. And e-veryone is talking about her workouts. And her “30day Shred” was on sale at Target for $10. Totally a sign.

(mental note: ignore all future “signs”)

It was a great workout, and I felt so good when I was done! I wasn’t able to do everything as well as I had hoped, but I reminded myself that I am twenty pounds heavier than ever before and that I have not been very active, really, since I started watching Daytime Brother a year and a half ago. I cut myself some slack.

That was Monday. By Monday evening I started to get sore. Fine. The muscle group surprised me, but I shrugged it off.

Everyone has a favourite muscle group, be it arms or legs or abs, it’s the old reliable that never fails and always works. For me it was my quads. No matter how frequently or infrequently I tended to them, they always performed as needed.

So I expected that my arms would be sore, or my shoulders, or my abs, or all of the above. I obviously made concessions for them during that first workout. I never in a million years would have even thought that my legs would give me trouble. Imagine my surprise when, all day Tuesday, and all day Wednesday, it was my quads that were giving me trouble. I couldn’t walk straight, I couldn’t go up and down the stairs.

Has it really been that long since the days that I carried a drousy 20-pound Daytime Brother down the hall doing walking lunges to get him to sleep? Have I really been that lazy in doing my squats while I brush my teeth? I guess the answer is that I’m not 19 anymore. While I have no qualms about being 31, I clearly haven’t paid attention to the fact that it means my body is different. Definitely, when I can move again, I’m going to start my program differently, slower. Do NOT expect me to be shredded in 30 days.  But maybe by next year.

One thousand curses to the porcelain throne, for being exactly midway into a squat.

Sick Update

January 27, 2010

Little Red stayed home on Monday, more as a buffer than anything. For that guy to be sick enough to wake up hacking and wheezing at 2 am on a Sunday morning I’d say he needs at least two days at home! Monday was pretty sedate and he was hardly coughing and certainly not wheezing so I sent him to school yesterday, but kept him home today. His cough this morning has more bite in it.

And anyway, I’ve got the full-body smackdown so I know I’m getting it, too. Every day my cough is worse. Did I really want to get us all out of the house by 7:30? Nope.

Morning-long television? Check. Teacher emailed? Check.

Last night was supposed to be Paul’s show. He was taking a writing class from ACME and last night was supposed to be the writing lab production. It got cancelled, and as I spend all evening in a horizontal position I was very glad that we weren’t staying up late.

For now, I think it’s time to start the dishwasher, find some warm socks (in the winter it is always 10 degrees colder downstairs than upstairs) and doze on the couch with some electronic babysitting.

(Boy Blue, surprisingly, has shown no signs of illness.)


January 26, 2010

This photo is a real gem.

This weekend Boy Blue finally graduated from his crib into a big boy bed — and a race car bed to boot! Without other considerations we’d have moved him into a big boy bed much younger, but he’s no worse for wear having waited, he was fully capable of climbing out of the crib. He is very happy.

Little Red’s bed has evolved as well. He didn’t get a new one, but we lowered the footboard to extend it (when the headboard is also lowered it will be a twin bed.) He loves having a bigger bed.  He doesn’t normally sleep with sunglasses on, but at this point he was Super Red and that was part of his secret identity.

This photo was taken yesterday at naptime. It was a sweet moment, and I’m glad I got it with my camera because it didn’t last!

A Reader

January 25, 2010

When teaching, I used the following question for defining a reader with my students: The question is not “what have you read?” but “what are you going to read next?” After all, anyone can read a book, but that doesn’t make him a reader.

In fifth grade that’s a pretty good standard, and it kept my students on their toes. Now as I mother, I find using the same question on myself is deceptive.

Am I a reader because I have a list of books I want to read, or am I a reader when I actually find/make the time to read? I think we can all agree that it’s the latter and I’ll be the first to admit that aside from the litany of board books I read daily, I haven’t always been a reader myself. The books I read to the children, and the scriptures I read at night, don’t count in this equation.

Last fall our women’s association at church started a book group, and once they worked out the kinks and got in with the “book group to go” kits from the library, I joined. (Nope, buying a new book every month was just not in the budget.) I had been working for the past year to recreate interest in fiction, to add variety to my life but in no way detract from my love affair with non-fiction. (My first attempt, as many of my friends may recall, didn’t work out so well, but then, I had rashly decided to jump right into the pond with both feet.)

Now I am reading a novel every month, careful to chase them with my beloved non-fiction so as not to trigger the apocalypse. I have about 5 books on the go right now, and am content to describe myself as a reader for the first time in quite a while.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the boys are down and I must get back to my book. (Today: Parenting with Love and Logic.)