No Harm Done

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm A Winner! I'm A Winner!

At the very least, I'm a strong contender for the "Bad Mom Award."

Colson woke up this morning whiny. The slightest thing set off a storm of tears. The tears made his throat tickly, so he would make himself cough. He cried more because his throat was hurting from the coughing. He cried because I wouldn't give him any cough medicine for his self-inflicted cough. His the tears made his throat more sore and tickly. And so he whined on and on, etc., etc.

Eventually, I sent him to his room. "If you're going to cry, you need to go cry in your room. You may join us again when you can be cheerful." When I checked on him 10 minutes later, he'd fallen asleep.

Colson woke up an hour later, crying because he'd fallen asleep and slept on his ear funny. By this point I was muy, muy irritated and told him not-so-gently-anymore to stop. with. the. whining.

By 11:00 he had fallen asleep again. Braden said, "I don't know, Mom. He seems like he's really not feeling well."

And so, I reflected on the day: Colson crying and whining for four hours. Two naps before 11:00 am. Painful ear. Something wasn't right. But he had no fever. No congestion. None of the signs that all good moms as red flags.

Despite the lack of any concrete sign of illness, we went to the doctor and I was only able to tell her, " Something's not right."

She took one look in his ear and smiled, handing me the scope. "Take a look," she said.


Ruptured eardrum.

How did I miss a ruptured eardrum?

Colson insists his ear didn't hurt until this morning. He never had a fever or weird hearing issues. He is one tough kid!

I, on the other hand, feel terrible for not picking up on the clues Colson did give me. I just thought he was being whiny.

So step aside, ladies. I deserve it! Today, I earned this! The "Bad Mom" trophy's all mine!

Thankfully I get to start fresh tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Braden's Got A Secret.

Maybe it's not so much a secret as a surprise. He went ahead and took a giant step toward teenagerdom today. (At least in my brain, that is.)

But getting it out of him is tough. He's pretty tight-lipped. Maybe I can tease it out of him, though.

He's at that age where he doesn't like posing for pictures. I think he's worried he won't like how the picture will look, so he makes goofy faces, or blinks, or looks at his feet. He sabotages the picture so he knows that if it looks bad, it's because he made it that way.

Consequently, my camera's memory card is filled with pictures like this:

Or goofy faces like this:

Every once in a while I can trick a nice shot out of him, though.

Can you guess his secret?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

And so it begins.......

Friday, April 18, 2008


I just left my pole dancing class, and was on my way over to the Democratic Party headquarters in our fair city, when.....

Naw. I'm just kidding!

We're overwhelmed this week. Overwhelmed is a good descriptive word.

I'm all hopped up on more caffeine than I've been allowed to have in a long time, and I'm trying frantically to keep my head above water.

The boys have been left to fend for themselves as I try to maintain all the flaming swords I'm juggling.

(FYI - I am not literally juggling flaming swords. That was a word picture.)

Anyway, it's a bit like Lord of the Flies with the twelve-and-under crowd at our house this week.

Tomorrow is Braden's spring piano recital. He's playing a snippet from the "Barber of Seville" (the song that plays in the Looney Tunes cartoon while Bugs Bunny gives Elmer Fudd a shave.) and the theme from Star Wars that I posted a couple of days ago.

We didn't find out what songs he was supposed to play until yesterday. This should be a veeeeeery interesting recital!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Well, It's Been A Week.

It's been a whole week since my "It's About Time" post. By now most of you have realized that that particular entry posted on April Fool's Day. Or,as in my mom's case, you may have had those around you clue you in to posting date while smothering (or not) their laughter.

It's become a tradition here to post a somewhat unbelievable blog entry on Apri lst.

Two years ago I blogged about my secret love of 50 Cent.

Last year I blogged about how my sister, Mallory, inadvertantly converted me into a Hillary Clinton supporter. My favorite part of that post was the reaction it received from people who knew me.

This year, part of my April 1st entry was true, and part was false.

I did, as a result of the conversation with Mallory, take voice lessons for a while and I do, indeed, sing in a trio at church. Unfortunately, of the 6 songs we have inflicted on the church, five of them were sung with something wrong with one or more of the microphones. On two of the songs, for example, at least one microphone was turned off. On another song, one microphone was higher than the others. Sigh..... Those are killer mistakes when you're singing in three-part harmony.

The last time we sang, we said that if something went wrong THIS time, we'd call it quits. Honestly, we weren't quite sure how much of this the congregation could take! Thankfully, you could hear all of us! So were considering trying again.

I am learning Welsh. For fun. And contrary to what my mother (who is a very, very important educator) believes, Welsh is a real language. Welsh is a language spoken in the country of Wales.

Yes folks, this is why we homeschool.

I do not study pole dancing. You do not want to see me practicing pole dancing. shudder
The hardest part of this blog entry was trying to find pictures of pole dancers with their clothes ON. Some of those images will be forever burned into my retinas.

The lengths to which I will go for an April Fool's joke.....

Friday, April 04, 2008

For Ajamu

May the force be with you!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's About Time!!

Posting here has been pretty infrequent since the great Nearly New-Year’s Bombshell of 2007. Lots of things are happening here, but there’s just not enough time in my day to blog about it.

What’s been taking up all my free time?

Well! Thank you for asking.

My personal time drain actually began over a year ago, and has slowly sped up since then. It began with an innocent question from my sister, Mallory. She’s a brilliant, busy grad student, you know, and I hear from her maybe 3 times a year. During one of these treasured phone calls, during which I regaled her with stories about the boys, she asked me, “So…. What are YOU doing?”

“Umm…. What?” I replied.

**insert sounds of crickets chirping**

I realized that I wasn’t really doing anything. I spend so much time with the boys that I didn’t have any activities apart from them.

So a couple of months later I began taking voice lessons from a local university professor. Six months after that I began singing in a trio at church. Singing has become a new adventure!

I am planning on auditioning for the summer musical at a local theater in May. I’ve been acting in community theater from the age of 10 until I became pregnant with Braden. I’ve missed theater over the past 12 years, and am looking forward to getting back into it.

The second new activity I’m involved in is learning Welsh. I pick up languages pretty easily. Why not work toward learning one with a purpose?

I’ve always wanted to learn Welsh, but the problem has always been twofold:
(a) Who can I find to teach me Welsh? It’s not like there is a plethora of classes or instructors out there.
(b) Once I learn some Welsh, to whom can I speak? Again, no plethora of Welsh speakers in this part of the world.

In January I discovered this wonderful website from the BBC. It’s a very thorough beginning Welsh program online. It’s completely free, and reminds me of the style of instruction used by the Spanish series “Destinos” way back in the 1980s and 90s.

So far I’m working through Unit 2, and can meet and greet pretty much any Welshman I might meet. The boys are learning some of the greetings too, though all they can say now is “Good morning,” “Good bye,” and “My name is _____________.”

Baby steps…..

But! My most adventurous new activity is one I found at the gym. I’ve been really working at running and doing the nautilus circuit weights. I’m making progress, but it was starting to feel routine and boring.

Last fall, I thought about taking a class, and so I signed up for an aerobics class. It was fun, and definitely a break from my routine, but my knees were killing me! There was so much squatting and kicking… ugh! And don’t even get me started on those giant, wobbly exercise balls.


Not for me.

Just before Christmas, a sign went up for a new class. It immediately grabbed my attention. Under the eye-catching graphic the sign said (essentially):

Beginner I Pole Fitness: This class is a 4-week session designed for first-time pole dancing students to learn the basics in an encouraging atmosphere. Students will learn basic spins, dance moves, and climbing techniques.”

My first response was to mock it because, well, that’s what I do.

But after a while, it began to sound more and more interesting. Pole dancing is soooooo not me. I’m modest and very, very prudish. I don’t even wear low cut tops. I don’t know if I could move seductively if I wanted to. But…. I did kind of want to learn. And I liked that it was only a four-week class. If I hated it, it wouldn’t last long.

I also loved the idea of an aerobics class that required me to wear dance heels. I decided that this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!

The first 4 weeks were hard. I had aerobic stamina, but zero flexibility. So I’d try a backbend and only be able to lower myself down a little bit. And then, I’d get stuck. I couldn’t get back up, and I’d have to hand-over-hand pull myself vertical again.

(This is a picture from someone's class. Not my class. None of us are this coordinated.... yet.)

The beginning class focused on flexibility and muscle tone, and by the end of the four weeks I’d noticed a definite improvement. Now, I am in the middle of my third month-long class. The blistering on my hands and chafing on my legs from sliding around the pole are slowly going away. I can get back up the pole when I backbend or “slide and shimmy.”

I still can’t sashay my hips, but that’s not surprising.

Again – this is me.

Not coordinated.

The class is definitely breaking up my exercise routine, and I can tell I’m building strength and improving my balance.

The most exciting and unexpected change, though, is my confidence. At first we were all embarrassed about being there and moving around in front of each other. But now we’re much more confident and willing to try new things.

The guys who’d stand in the doorway and gawk bothered me too, but now I’m at the point where I’m able to ignore them. Especially since they've stopped snickering. In the beginning, they'd snicker and chuckle at us. This was VERY annoying when we were trying to learn. No one likes to be heckled when learning something new! But the "peanut gallery" has gotten quieter, and they're watching us a bit more intently now. I'm hoping that means we're improving!

Next month, I’ll be in a Level 3 class, where we start to get into the inverted moves. (They start you by teaching you how to kick up to an inverted position, and then you just have to hang on in sort of a hand-stand.

You have to build up your muscles and get used to being upside-down before you learn and moves.) I’m actually looking forward to it!

And this summer, I’m looking forward to showing off my moves at the playground!