Friday, March 28, 2008

An Exhibit In the Zoo

I was an exhibit in the zoo today... Scrapbookerus Femalus.

At a 3-day crop at a local hotel... our original reservation in the ballroom was preempted for some reason and the vendors are once again located in the "Promenade" which is a fancy way of saying large hallway with lots of noisy people walking through. Most of them (a men's prayer group and a teen leadership conference) have never seen a scrapbook event and so proceeded to stare at us. I already have issues with people looking at me so hundreds of them in an afternoon was a little nerve-fraying.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be a little quieter on the "Promenade".

Monday, March 17, 2008

Test Flight

Ryan and I flew to California today. We flew on Southwest Airlines which I haven't done in many years. Since before having kids I think. As you probably know, seats are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. For the first leg of the trip, we were in the 5th of 6 boarding groups and were not able to sit together. He was across the aisle from me so I felt okay about that.

Looking ahead to the next flight, we were in the 3rd of what I thought was 6 boarding groups so I figured we should be able to find two seats together. Unfortunately the second plane was a different type than the first one with fewer seats so we were actually in the 3rd of 4 boarding groups. I thought we might get seats together in the rear of the plane and so passed up many closer together (but not actually next to each other) seat choices on the way to the rear. It was just not my day because by the time we got back there, there was only one seat left. I gave it to Ryan and went to find a seat a few rows up. Of course by this time everyone else behind us in line had boarded and sat down so I ended up all the way in the front of the plane in the second row. This leg of the journey was a 4 1/2 hour flight. The flight crew was in the process of getting the plane ready for departure so I figured I would have to wait until the seatbelt sign was turned off before I could go check on him and see about possibly moving him to a row closer to me. Once we took off and the flight attendants were passing out drinks, I asked the flight attendant to look for Ryan and make sure he was okay. She came back to report that he was sitting next to an off-duty flight attendant and had already fallen fast asleep. I waited until about halfway through the flight to go back to check on him. He was doing fine so I left him sitting there for the rest of the flight.

At the end, as we were deplaning, Ryan told me about the giant bag of pretzels the flight attendants had given him to share with his cousins. I told him that must have been because he was behaving so well.

I was watching a reality show last year sometime and in it, the kids of the family had to take turns being in charge of the plans and navigation of the day. I decided I should try to have the kids lead the way when we are in the airport so that when they are older and travelling alone I can be confident that they know what to do. As it turns out, Ryan's semi-solo flight today was a good test run for flying alone. He passed with flying colors. I'm so proud.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brain Dump

I've got so many random things running through my mind and so little space to store it all so I'm just going to spill it all out right here, lighten the load a little, and get back on the road.

If only... I was working on the 2007 family scrapbook this weekend because I finally finished the Big Trip 2 albums and Bailey's album and because I had nothing better to do. No, that's not right. Because I was feeling really lazy and it was pretty much the only semi-productive thing I could do while staying in bed all day (I love my laptop!!!). So, you're wondering now where the snow part comes in, right? Well, in February of last year we got snow. Lots of snow! I know this because those are some of the pictures I was working with this weekend. While I was working, I could hear the sound of yet more rain falling outside. Buckets and buckets of rain. If it had been colder, we would've gotten an awesome blizzard. But no. All we got was more mud. I shouldn't complain because we need the precipitation regardless of the delivery format but mud is one of my least favorite parts of spring. Or in this case, a snowless winter. We were cheated out of our one good snowstorm that we are supposed to get every February. Just not fair.

We had to schedule it in but we finally had one. Ryan had been asking for at least a week. And we even managed to pick a movie that Felisa was willing to watch. Family Movie Night isn't much fun for me when I have a four-year old sitting on my lap complaining THE ENTIRE TIME that she doesn't like the movie and she wants to go to sleep but she can't sleep without me. I don't want to go upstairs to put the "baby" to sleep. I want to watch the movie! So, this weekend it was Toy Story 2. And she liked it. Didn't complain a single time. I fell asleep in the middle though. It's not like I haven't seen it before... Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were the only movies Ryan would watch and that's the only way I could get him to sleep without nursing him or having to walk him to sleep. So we watched those two movies over and over and over and over and over again. I could quote them line for line in my sleep. He did gradually branch out a bit. First we added Bugs Life (he likes Pixar!) and soon we moved into the "foo foo" stage (translation... Dogs) and it was any and all shows with a dog... Scooby Doo, Balto, Blue's Clues, etc, etc, etc. But I am digressing here aren't I? Okay. Family Movie Night. Good. Everyone enjoyed it.

I have been having completely crazy dreams every single night. I'm exhausted! And the line between dream and reality is starting to blur a bit. On of the dreams that I remember was the one where I got into trouble from Bella's teacher because we weren't doing our homework. Which is true. She hasn't been doing it and I haven't been asking her to do it. A combination of forgetfulness and laziness. Apparently I was feeling guilty for not doing my homework because I am now having nightmares about it. Bella did her homework yesterday. And she'll do it again today. I promise.

The crazy dreams are related to the yeastie beasties I think. I have been drinking coffee but not in a way that would correlate to exhausting sleep with ridiculous dreams night after night after night. Of course I haven't done anything to combat them really so I have no one to blame but myself. I am a sugar addict. This revelation came to me one day as I was walking down the street. Probably dreaming about what sugary treat I was going to have next. Then I was reflecting on my inability to quit the sugar and stay away from it. I always come back. I say to myself that I could quit if I want to but I'm not so sure that's true. After all, I've quit at least 5 times in the last 4 years and I just keep going back. Maybe I need to find my self a Sugars Anonymous group and start going to meetings!

(Editor's note... What you are about to read is crazy and disjointed and not very well written. But if I don't get it out of my head, I will continue to obsess. Which means nothing else on my long list of daily and lifetime to-do's will get done. And I just might explode. So, read at your own risk or just skip it and come back another day for some lighter reading.)

How's that for positive thinking? A lot of things have been rolling around amongst the rocks in my head lately. I vascillate between believing and staying strong and leading by example and then the opposite as stated above.
People are greedy.
People don't think or don't care.
How hard is it to think about what you're doing, see the excess in it, and try to change it? Make one small tiny change at a time. It takes time. It doesn't happen overnight but if we don't even try, then we're hurting ourselves and everyone around us.
News stories about the traces of prescription drugs and other yucky things in the water. Which will make people drink bottled water. Which is a big time waste of plastic. And really the problem is our water source and how we treat it. The over use and abuse of things that can hurt us and the wildlife too. I can't even imagine the level of pesticides they would find. Google it and you can find studies that show pesticides and other awful things in the human bloodstream. We're poisoning ourselves. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. I don't feel like plastic is bad in and of itself. Medicine is not bad. But the excessive use (esp. of plastic and pesticides) is awful. Oh and the marketing and the mass media of this capitalist society. Makes me want to go hide under a rock and cry.
Food that isn't even food anymore. I'm guilty of eating crap like McD's just like everyone else. I'm not claiming to be a saint. I struggle too and feel tremendous guilt. I go through phases of better and worse. But I'm aware. And I care. Does anyone else care?
I feel like I'm journeying alone. Because it is a journey. And one person can't do it alone. So where is everyone else? Peer pressure motivates me. It would be much easier for me to continue down the path of responsible plastic use, resource conservation, real and healthy food, etc. if everyone else was doing it too.
So what should I do? Keep going or give up? Ultimately I know I will keep going because I really believe it's true and important. But sometimes I just get so frustrated and discouraged.

I think we have lost touch with the real world, the natural world and we are slowly but surely killing ourselves off.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Note to Self... USE the Calendar!

As I have discussed here many times before... my mind is a sieve. I can't remember much of anything anymore. Couple that with the parallel tracks my memory often runs on (planning for two conflicting events simultaneously without realizing they are supposed to happen at the exact same time!) and my tendencies to be less than productive many days each month and you have a recipe for potential disaster.

Well, perhaps disaster is a bit strong. Problem would be an appropriate, less exaggerated, prediction I think.

First the background... One of my self-improvement, "this time it will be different" goals for this year has been to stay faithful to my calendar and list-making. I do really well for a couple weeks, then I get lazy or distracted or whatever and I get away from using the calendar and/or following my to-do lists. In general I would say that I am doing better this year. Unfortunately I still have a long way to go!

More background... We tend to hibernate in the winter. We don't shut down entirely, but the kids are signed up for fewer activities. This winter was less of a hibernation than last summer but overall there is still less going on than in the spring and fall.

I signed the kids up for swimming lessons about a month ago. In my mind, I had signed them up to start in April. In actuality, I had signed them up to start Monday (as in 3 days ago). I bet you can see where this is heading, can't you?! So anyway, the calendar is starting to fill up. Activity levels are increasing. I've been off the calendar wagon again so today was the day that I climbed back on once more. Today was the day that I decided to go ahead and mark the swimming lessons on the calendar (along with a host of other activities we have received notices for lately). Too bad Monday was the day classes actually started. (Insert Homer Simpson "Doh!" here). Oh well... at least they only missed one class! It could've been much, much worse...

If only I could stop falling off the calendar/to-do list bandwagon. It's really starting to hurt!