Saturday, August 25, 2007

Someone's ready for Kindergarten

She and I have talked about it off and on for about a year. Usually in a threatening manner while combing her hair - "Ella, if you don't stop screaming/moving/fussing/etc I'm going to cut your hair." She always said that she didn't want that. She liked her long hair....until two days ago.

I got home from work and she ran up to me and asked to go get her hair cut.

So we did and we love it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Good and Bad: UPDATED

"Wonderful" team building activity they put us through in a hotel ballroom last week.

I've never been afraid of change, but I do think I'm starting to see why other people aren't in love with it. It's been a crazy couple of weeks starting my new job. I love the people I work with and the students (doesn't always work that way), but I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. Here's my cursory summary before I have to leave this morning.

The building is under construction.
I had to move a lot of boxes, file cabinets, small couches from upstairs to downstairs without an elevator.
No one has time to train me nor really help me get situated.
Still don't have access to necessary computer data. Printer doesn't work.
Building still isn't temperature controlled.
Have to start at 7:00 am .
Commute is 35 minutes.
I ran out of gas two days ago.

I can now email and have a working phone.
The students I've met so far are amazing.
I've already met a few people who I think will become good friends.
I have a huge office with a window.
Chris has been really supportive and didn't even mind that I pretty much blew off his birthday last week.
My sitters have all shown up consistently and my children seem to like them all. (I have six to cover the three weeks until their school starts.)
I'm home by 4 or 4:30 so I can spend more time with my kids than my last job.
We get great health insurance.

Gotta run - already running late and it's only 6:01 AM!!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

More Ellastyle

She picked out the bike for her birthday this past April. The helmet was a "must-have" she found last fall.
The outfit was put together the morning this was taken last week.

The girl has definite opinions.
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

If you're female, single and over 50 - watch out for this guy.

My dad was just here for a week and it went pretty well. I took care of him and he lapped it up. (Glenn enjoys being mothered.) Other than having meals and dishes done for him, he seemed to have a nice time, but it’s hard to tell. He doesn’t really like children and we have a couple.  He seemed to manage, although at times I felt as if this trip to visit his daughter was somewhat of an interruption in his fairly full life.

People often ask me, in a very concerned way, “How is he doing?” – in reference to the fact that he is a widower. I always say, “Great!” because he is. He seems more energetic than ever. He plays golf often and walks 2 miles about four days a week. He is 78, but seems younger. Not youthful – he definitely has fuddy-duddy tendencies and would NEVER be referred to as “hip”, “trendy” or “cool” - but he is aware of world happenings. For example, he hears about Lindsay Lohan occasionally while watching Fox News (his favorite news source) and now actually knows who she is after watching “Parent Trap” in the back of my brother’s minivan on the way to a family reunion two weeks ago. And when we took him to Sundance to see the home of Robert Redford’s acting studio/institute, he was able to reference it as “…near the place that Lindsay Lohan is in rehab now.”

He’s also been dating on a frequent basis. Watching my father navigate the dating scene at 78 is about as fun as watching someone in traffic pick their nose when you’re all stopped at a red light. I cringe, look away, feel a little nauseous, but eventually have to turn back and take another glance.

Ok, it’s not that bad, but it is pretty disgusting. He has a few “singles” groups that he gets together with while he’s in Minnesota for the summers. One of them is a spin off of the grief group that he went to for about six months after my mom died. He didn’t use the group for therapy – no, it was totally about the chicks. His friend found his second wife through the same group, so my dad thought he’d have the same luck. Now the grief group has formed a spin-off group. He claims that the “‘…grief group is just too ‘grief-y.’” Wow, it’s hard to believe that people would actually attend the group strictly for the purpose of finding solace or comfort. No, Glenn attended to find a cook or housekeeper.

While he was visiting I daily created activities or outings for the four of us. The kids and I took him to IKEA one afternoon and bought some storage units for their bedroom. He took the whole purchase very seriously and helped me determine colors and size almost as well as Mom used to. When we got home, he and Harrison put the units together and for a second I think he actually thought Harry was okay – instead of just the whiny, annoying, misbehaving gnat that he usually thinks of him. Well, maybe my dad doesn’t dislike Harrison that much, but he certainly doesn’t go out of his way to bond with his grandchildren. He “tolerates” and “cohabitates”, more than “enjoys” or “engages with” them. This hurts me at times, but I have grown too old to get seriously irritated with him. He has always been this way, and the fact that he is now starting to become much more self-aware (dating does that to you), I am encouraged. Encouraged that he can look beyond himself and see that there may be other ways to live life.

Don’t get me wrong. The man is incredibly intelligent. He knows a little about everything, and a lot about most things. That said, he chooses to disagree with most of it. He has a very FoxNewsPresident BushTheOldDaysWereGreat perspective on life. It makes it hard to have long debates with him. Everything inevitably gets back to Iraq and those “damn” Muslims. As an educator, you can probably guess that we have opposing views on almost everything.
Sending him off yesterday I felt okay. I don’t think I’ll worry about him as much as I have the last 19 months. He is definitely figuring out how to be alone. He would love to have some permanent company, but if he doesn’t find anyone I know he’ll be fine. He is comfortable with himself. Still willing to learn and change, but content with himself and the life he has created on his own. He actually feels blessed that he has had such a nice life. He often says that he didn’t deserve it. I think he did.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

If I write this stuff down, I'm more likely to do it.

I was just reading a post about a person who is in a relationship that is going nowhere. He’s with someone who is already involved and was cautious to write about it because it’s a difficult subject – especially because he doesn’t feel guilty about it. So instead of writing about it in his blog, he posted photos for awhile.

I do that. All the time.

No, I’m not having an affair, but I definitely have found it harder and harder to write about the “important” things in life. I tend to think that certain subjects would make a great post, but if the computer is not at home (we all use Chris’ work computer which is only around at night) then I tend to blow off the thought. Or I'll overanalyze and wonder if I'll be judged on what I'm thinking of writing about. Photos get posted instead so that the one or two of you left reading this blog won’t get too bored.

I don’t particularly like to write, but I do like recording things that go on in our life so I’m making a goal. One of many.

Goal #1: Write more often. I’ll try not to overanalyze everything to the point that I don’t write at all. This blog is supposed to me for me – so why do I care?

The rest of my goals have nothing to do with my blog.

Goal #2: Exercise more than 4 days a week, but incorporate strength training.

Goal #3: Eat less. I’m 43 years old. You’d think I could figure this one out by now. When you eat whatever you want – you get fat.

Goal #4: Stay organized. I’m trying daily to get more organized. It’s pretty simple during the summer when I’m home, but next Monday I go back to work full time. I don’t want life to take over.

Goal #5: Have more sex. No, I'm not going to elaborate on this one.

That’s it in a nutshell. I feel like life is going pretty well right now. I want to be proactive and I have found that if I feel happy about myself (ie. Positive body image) then those around me will be happier. It’s simple in theory, now I just need to follow through!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Updated with definition: An afternoon at Sundance

Playing "Pooh Sticks" - a game invented by Christopher Robin to play with his animal buddies. You stand on a bridge with a stick. You drop the stick in the creek/river current and run to the other side of the bridge to see it come out from under the bridge. It's totally simple, but always elicits TONS of giggles and laughs. It becomes really interesting when the stick doesn't come out or gets stuck. Then you have to grab a stick and help (see above.)

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