The Simple Woman's Daybook

I am not Type A, not by a long shot. Still, I like lists. Well, lists of trivia. Lists of trivia about people I know. You know the ones. You used to get them via email. Then on Facebook. Now, they are on blogs too. A friend did this on her blog and since I love them, I'm following suit. So here we go.....


FOR TODAY (tonight)

Outside my window...the sliver of a moon is beautiful as are the millions of stars. Oh how I love the night.

I am thinking...I wish my child would go get her clothes for tomorrow by herself. And should I write about pumpkin carving night on my blog even though I have no pictures?

I am thankful...that my kids have their quasi school tomorrow and I will get a break.

In the kitchen...pumpkins have recently been carved and are sitting on the table :)

I am Dr. Doofenshmirtz costume including crazy mad scientist hair and purple under-eye liner

I am creating...nothing at the moment. I've been browsing ponchos over on Ravelry so I can start something new tomorrow.

I am bed soon then I can read my book, hopefully in peace.

I am wondering...what I want to be when I grow up.

I am reading...The Princes of Ireland and Cinderella ate my Daughter

I am hoping...that either the psychiatrist's meds, rhythmic movement or some combination will provide some relief for Stella's anger

I am looking forward to...Halloween tomorrow :)

I am hearing...Danger Mouse, the cartoon, not the pet in the bedroom

Around the house...there are clothes, books, crafts, papers and more that need to be PUT AWAY!

I am pondering...when I will make that quilt for Brian's Grandmother. How on earth I am going to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Did you know that November is the day after tomorrow? True story.

One of my favorite things...yarn :)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Halloween organ concert, work, class at ELC, TMBG concert, play date(s), soccer tournament, church auction, rhythmic movement appt, Stella's birthday

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...I spend too much time sleeping, apparently, but I will not give it up. Nope, not happening.


If you would like to do this too, head over here.

Family Traditions

We are entering the season of family traditions. We have ones that span the year, of course, but most of them do tend to fall in the Hallowbirthdaymas season. I thought I'd just list them out so I could see that we really do have family traditions in amongst all the endless running about.

  • Buckhorn - our church's yearly retreat. Friday night-Sunday afternoon in the mountains with peace, solitude and friends.

  • Miller Farms - we have to go to the gleaning each year or the kids would revolt!
  • Pumpkin carving night at church - often called one of the UU High Holy Days
  • Halloween Organ Concert at CSU - after trick-or-treating, spooky music. It's wonderful.

I think this month is open. We do have 2 birthdays and T'giving, but nothing else really

  • Holiday Craft Extravaganza - at our church, there is an afternoon where kids race about making as many of the crafts as they can before time expires. Really, you'd think 3 hrs would be enough time, but it never is.
  • Christmas Eve - we go to our church's service and then get to open 1 present before bedtime.
  • WildLights - Each year we head out to the Denver zoo to see all of the lights. There are lights in the trees, lights in the shapes of animals, whole scenes of moving lights, snowflake lights, ornament lights. We love going down every year. (Yes, they call it Zoolights now, but I've been going for almost 20 years and I will NOT change what I call it! )

  • Rose Parade - I watch this every year and make the kids and Brian suffer through at least part of it with me.

  • Moab - This year will be the 2nd year we've ventured to Moab for a weekend for a race. Brian runs, we enjoy the time away from home and responsibilities

  • camping - at least 1 week-long trip and a couple weekends in the mountains. We've been to Yellowstone, Thermopolis, Moab, South Dakota. Where will we go this year?
  • Fourth of July - Fireworks are a must!

  • Family night - Saturday night we rotate whose turn it is to choose what is for dinner, dessert and an activity. This is the only time, other than holidays, when we have dessert. We've gotten away from family night and we need to return. We've done fun things from making puzzles to ice skating to a movie. And if it's Sandis' turn to choose, you can bet we're having either pizza or tacos with ice cream for dessert!

Halloween and Costumes

It's hardly a secret that Halloween is my favorite holiday. Hell, it's my favorite day of the year! I love the spookiness. The goblins and ghosts. The pumpkins and gourds.

I've decorated for Halloween every year for more than 20 years. Way back when, it was hard to find Halloween decorations. I searched at multiple shops everywhere I went. I collected things up, saved them. I took care so that none of the crepe paper honeycombs were crushed. All of the decorations were slightly spooky but basically fun - like a spider with a smile or covered in glitter. A ghost that you might mistake for a friend of Casper's. A black cat with a jaunty, striped witch's hat.

Today, Halloween decorations abound. You can't swing a broomstick without hitting a store that has a Halloween aisle. But the selection has changed. You can sometimes find those "old school" decorations, but most seem to be more suitable for Halloween the Movie rather than Halloween the Holiday, which makes me sad. They've taken my ultra-fun, slightly spooky day and turned into a slasher flick, a B-movie. I've never liked those movies. They don't scare me or creep me out, they are just ridiculous. Violent and gory just to be violent and gory. And don't forget the sex. You have to have some half-clad woman to add to the mix. Bah.

And Halloween costumes, oh costumes how they have changed. Are you female? Then what sexy, trampy, whorish thing would you like to be? Oh, you're only 5? No problem, we have this (scroll down for a lovely version of a lion(?) or police woman). I'm sure this is just the Cheshire Cat that you were thinking of right? With the fish nets, a skirt, bare arms sexed up with boa trimmed fingerless gloves. No? Well, there are plenty of things to choose from that look nothing like what you had in mind. Or you can be a princess. Thank you, no.

Thankfully, my kids have figured out what they would like to be each year and we've found a way to make it work. They have only had store bought costumes when they were toddlers (a bee, ladybug, dog and cat - all of which were of the "wearing a stuffed animal" variety and second-hand.) Since then we've had Harry Potter, Hedwig, Dobby, Fluffy (or Cerberus for those who don't read HP), Jack Skellington, a devil, a spider and this year Perry the Platypus and a secret agent chihuahua. We've seen some costumes online/in stores that could have been purchased for what they had chosen. They don't want those. They LIKE to make costumes. They get to pick out the details. Sure, we've gone to thrift stores for the parts, but they get to pick out those parts and make the whole. Their costume is theirs and theirs alone. It fits their vision of who they are trying to be.

(Stella as "a girl Harry Potter" and Sandis as Jack Skellington, 2006)

And they are trying to be something they really like, not just what they saw at Target and decided to be. How they came up with it is sometimes a mystery (like the devil, where did that come from?) but it did come from them. It has nothing to do with being sexy or costing a lot of money. It's not about status. It is genuine. It is fun. It is all about who they are and who they want to be for a day. I love that, it makes Halloween all that it should be again - fun :)

(Now Sandis is Harry Potter and Stella is Dobby (with extra clothes under the pillow case tunic due to our weather), 2010)

Psych Ward

After the last several weeks of Stella's rages, I broke down and called a psychiatrist. I didn't know what to do. Brian didn't know what to do. I was tapped out, drained and at my wits end. Something had to be done.

Scott Shannon had been recommended by several people. He, however, does not take insurance. In fact, there are no child psychiatrists in the area, that I could find, who 1) took our insurance and 2) were taking new clients. That meant we went further out and called a place in Westminster. We made an appt for Wednesday, the 26th.

They called to confirm our appt on Monday, telling me that they need 24hrs notice for change or cancellation. In addition, if we missed/canceled our first appointment, they would not reschedule.

You do know we got our first snowstorm of the season on Tuesday night/Wednesday right? Check this out if you don't live here but would like to see it. Yes, we drove to Denver in that mess. Thankfully, it was fairly warm out so the roads were wet, but not slippery. Visibility was low and things were moving slowly, but it wasn't horrible. We left at 8:30am for a 10:20 appointment and were there early enough for the kids to have a hot chocolate once we arrived in Denver.

The appointment went much as expected. Stella wouldn't talk for most of the time, though she started talking towards the end (and did say she liked the person we saw.) It was a brief run down of symptoms and checking off of some of the possible diagnoses ("do you hear voices talking to you", etc.) In the end, probably ADHD and mild depression. We'll fill out some worksheets over the next 2 weeks, try a med and then go back and check in. We'll keep doing that until things settle down, then it will be a once a month appt.

The person we saw did seem to "get" Stella and be able to describe quite well how she feels, so I feel ok with the diagnosis. However, I could have told you this diagnosis as I know my child and have read a great deal about things trying to help her with her anger issues. Her therapist who has been seeing her for about 2 years also could have told you this. Still, it was necessary that we drive to Denver in a snowstorm to see a Physician's Assistant for 30minutes so she can make the diagnosis before we can get medicine that will hopefully help Stella.

We'll see how it goes. It might be a roller coaster ride the next few months while we try things.

Life Lessons: Compassion

We all want our children to grow up to be warm and caring people. We want them to think about others and not just themselves. To be compassionate.

Our family had a chance to be compassionate this week.

At church on Sunday, our minister mentioned he knows a man, we'll call him Tim, who is homeless. He's known Tim for many years and Tim has had a hard life, some of his own doing and some not. Tim is recently out of prison and has lined up social services - food stamps, health care and the like. The catch? Tim needs his birth certificate to receive these services. He requested his birth certificate and it was promised that it would arrive no later than September 27th. It is still not here.

Tim needed a place to stay where he would be inside. He was sleeping outside on a friend's back porch and a snow storm was coming (now arrived - and did it arrive!)

I talked to the girls after church on Sunday about Tim staying at our house. Stella thought that would be ok, Sandis wasn't so sure. To be fair, she wouldn't have wanted our minister staying with us either - she doesn't like strangers. I talked to Brian and he agreed that the system was pushing this man, who was trying to do everything right, in the completely wrong direction.

Monday came and Stella was really worried about Tim and where he was staying, if he would have to be out in the snow. She wanted me to be sure he was ok. I called our church but the minister was out.

He called back Tuesday. We had 1.5 hrs before the Girl Scout meeting and had to get ready, run to church to meet Tim, run back home and finish GS preparations. That evening, Tim came to stay with us.

Tim has been extremely grateful and polite. He keeps to himself and spends his days out at various appointments. He has slept at our home 2 nights, 2 very cold and snowy nights. He will probably have one more night with us before moving to a different home that is located in town, which will be much more convenient for him.

I am grateful we've been able to help. I'm glad the children have been able to see how you can help others, and actually see that other person we are helping. It is important that they know that no matter how little you have, you can still help in some way and make a difference. That is not WHY we did this, but I can see their compassion growing from this experience.


As a side note, in case you are worried, no I have NOT left the children alone around Tim or with him in the house. Not at all. I do know Tim's reason for being in prison, which I will not share, but it was not violent, child or sexual in nature.


At our house we have entered Hallowbirthdaymas season. This is a season that runs from October 1st to January 1st. We have all the normal holidays plus a slew of birthdays. Here's what we have going on every year:

Oct 8th - my mom's birthday
Oct 12th - my brother's birthday
Oct 31st - Halloween! (best day of the year!)
Nov 6th - Stella's birthday
Nov 13th - my birthday
Nov 18th - BIL's birthday
Late Nov - Thanksgiving
Dec 5th - Sandis' birthday
Dec 12th - SIL's birthday
Dec 21st - Winter Solstice
Dec 24th - Christmas eve
Dec 25th - Christmas (we celebrate the Solstice, family, and giving to those we love and to those less fortunate than ourselves.)
Dec 26th - my brother's, niece's and nephew's birthdays
Dec 29th - my dad's birthday
Dec 31st - New Year's Eve
Jan 1st - Rose Bowl Parade, I mean, New Year's Day

And somewhere in there, we find the time to honor Hanukkah, Ramadan, Bodhi Day and Kwanzaa. Surprisingly, we are quite busy this time of year. If you don't hear from me, you now know why.

Soccer, Dracula and a Day Out

Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them. ~John Shirley

This weekend has disappeared rather quickly, but fortunately happily, for the most part. While I worked Saturday (by myself because the male housekeeper called in sick - talk about run ragged!), the girls and Brian went to Sandis' soccer game after which they headed to Lory State Park for a hike. Brian's crazy running friends were there this weekend doing laps. He and the girls joined them for a single five mile loop accompanied by Duke. Duke (collie) and his friends Lincoln (collie) and Ziggy (border collie) belong to Brian's friends and often come along on runs and the girls like to borrow them. It's really a win-win-win situation: win-1) dogs get lots of extra attention, win-2) kids are ecstatic to have the dogs along, and win-3) Brian's happier with the reduced whining.

After the hike, I joined them at Brian's friend's house for a potluck after which we headed to the Lincoln Center for Dracula. First of all, the newly remodeled Lincoln Center looks fabulous! Ok, the red/orange outside is a bit strange. I like orange, but this color paired with the red they chose is just not quite right. But inside couldn't be better. It's beautiful. Sometime I'll have to go wander around just to see the whole place including the rooftop patio.

But, we weren't there to see the new facility, we were there to see Dracula, performed by Debut Theater. Our friend's daughter was in the play and they gave us some comp tickets, which was super nice of them. You may think that a bunch of teenagers doing a play isn't worth seeing unless you're the parent, but you would be wrong. Debut performances are always amazing. You don't even realize they are teens up there, it's just that good. And they do it all themselves, from the set to the lighting to the promotion. They started back in JANUARY, yes 10 months ago, by reading the book and went from there.

The girls loved the show and weren't scared a bit. I think it's that vampires, much like werewolves, sphinx and other creatures of the otherworld just aren't real to them. It's a pretend scariness that is quite fun for them. Remember, these are the children who love the Nightmare Before Christmas and have since their first viewing at 3 and 5 yrs old, the ones who read and watch Harry Potter, the ones who wander around Halloween aisles at the store critiquing the decorations, so Dracula wasn't about to scare them. Plus, it was a stage performance, not full of Hollywood violence and blood and gore. It was about mood and suspense, much more difficult to do as well as being more pleasant to watch.

Sunday was church and then an afternoon out for me! A friend had a Thirty-One party. I'd never heard of Thirty-One before, but it is a party based sales company that sells purses and organizational bags. While I LOVE bags and would have countless bags if I was wealthy, I went because I wanted to get away. Since I started working, my nights out now consist of, well, working. I needed some mom time. And, as a bonus, while I was there, Brian and the girls were instructed to clean the house to prepare for Girl Scouts on Tuesday. Ok, so the house is far from perfect, but it's a start.

Oh, and the Packers are still undefeated, woohoo! Don't ask about the stinkin' Badgers or the CSU Rams....

And now for the swearing...

We belong to a homeschool group. We've been members for years. The girls and I both have many friends we've met through the group. We've been able to attend ornament co-ops, join Girl Scouts and learn about any number of things via our connection to this group. It has been a totally positive thing for us. And yesterday I was seriously considering leaving the group.

Why? Well, our group has grown tremendously over the years and now has ~140 families. It is experiencing growing pains which I find aggravating, infuriating and downright exasperating. Take yesterday for example. 20 families were signed up to attend the T. rex Encounter at the museum. How many families showed up? 8 families showed up. EIGHT!!!

Sadly, this happens all. the. fucking. time. People sign up but don't show up. Most don't even call or contact the organizer of the field trip in any way. Sure some have illness, or other legitimate reasons for missing, but the excuse I tend to hear is "we were so busy this week." Bullshit. If you are too busy, don't sign up to start with. If you or your kid is sick, you can still call or email.

In my opinion, if you sign up for something, it is no longer optional. This goes for short term and long term commitments. If I sign up for the field trip we go. If we sign up for Girl Scouts, we go EVERY TIME - with few exceptions that are communicated to those in charge as far in advance as possible. We don't decide we're too busy or lazy or whatever that day. Yes, I LOVE lazy days, I crave them. I want a pajama day more than anything right now, but we have commitments which we honor. If we have too many commitments, then we can re-evaluate and drop some. But we don't just stop showing up! Not showing up is ridiculous and rude.

Sadly, I've heard this is becoming the norm in more than just the HSing community. People think of non-school things as optional and show up when/if it is convenient. Is this a statement about society? Common courtesy, follow through, taking responsibility, those all seem to be in short supply. It's like the world is for YOU and screw everyone else. You see this in road rage, bullying, the sense of entitlement that oozes from some people.

How on earth do we fix this?! I don't know. I do know I can't change the whole world, or even the whole homeschooling group. I can only work on myself, my family. Our family's guidelines come from our UU Principles, the relevant ones to this situation being:
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
We have to respect others, treat them how we want to be treated. This goes for all persons. Whether or not we like them. Whether or not we agree with them. Whether or not we want to right now.

If only the whole world could think that way all the time, then there would be world peace. Of course, I can't do it all the time, obviously or I wouldn't be writing this post about how annoyed I am at these people! But if I try just a little more, maybe, just maybe, the world would be a bit happier.

T.rex Encounter

Yesterday we journeyed to our version of the Big City for a field trip at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (formerly the Natural History Museum but people are too illiterate to realize that Natural History isn't the same thing as their history class in high school so they changed the name. But I'm not bitter.) Our field trip was to see the T. rex Encounter and then DinoMAX.

T. rex Encounter was fabulous! All the special exhibits have been great - Genghis Khan, Body Worlds, Pirates - we've loved them all. T. rex involved animitronic dinos - a small raptor, triceratops and, of course, T. rex. They had screens above the animals showing exactly what they were seeing, which was really cool. There was a play presentation where the kids got to figure out which bones belonged to which dinosaurs and learn some stuff along the way. Sue was there, of course, in all her glory. Her head was at the beginning, the full skeleton at the end and lots of interactive displays in between.

Before exiting, you could get your picture taken with an artistic rendition of her (see previous post.) The kids didn't want to the "mom hiding behind us" or the "mom throwing us to the dino and running" picture. So we ended up with Sandis clinging to me, me crouching and screaming and Stella appearing to be staring Sue down. Oh well, it still looks pretty fun. Much better than the traditional school groups where the kids all lined up smiling. For this situation, that is just weird!

After the Encounter, we had lunch and headed to DinoMAX, the 3D IMAX show double feature of Dinosaurs Alive! and Waking the T. Rex: The Story of SUE. Totally awesome! Lots of dinos tramping around plus archeologists digging. Plenty of info and special effects.

Last, but not list, we met up with my friend, Aaron Spriggs and got a behind the scenes tour of the zoology department. He showed us the dermestitorium where dermestid beetles clean bones for them. If you are squeamish, don't think about that too hard. Then we saw the entomology, arachnology and mammology collection areas along with information about what they do there at the museum. It was very informative and it was great to see Aaron again after all these years.

We left the house at 9am (and didn't make it to the museum until 10:20, grrrr!) and arrived home at 5:15pm. I left again at 5:30pm to teach OWL, getting home again around 8:45pm. It was a FULL day but well worth it :)

T.rex Encounter

Details will follow but for now, this


There should be an award for the most ridiculous, not-even-an-acronym, difficult to type, shortened version of a title for a really great program. If there was, NaNoWriMo would win. Seriously people, who came up with that? That's supposed to be easier/more memorable that National Novel Writers Month? If you don't like your name, come up with a slogan or something, not some nonsensical weirdness.

Still it's a great program that gets people writing. Pretty much everyone has heard of it, with the exception being my NPR loving husband (were you not paying attention that day, dear?) Many, many have participated. The library has a big push for it every year (he must not have read those emails or noticed the large signs there either.)

This year at least 1 of my daughters and I will be participating. Sandis is really excited about it and registered this morning. Her username involves a dog, her picture is dogs. The chances of her writing not involving a dog, well, Vegas wouldn't even touch those odds.

Stella, in typical Stella fashion, doesn't want to, then wants to, then doesn't want to participate yelling, "Don't you remember I said 'no?'" Yes, I do, child. I also remember you saying yes. She almost 2 weeks left to change her mind, repeatedly, depending on how the winds blow. The two prevailing winds being "I don't want to" and "is my sister getting to do something cool and I'm missing out."

I've been thinking about my story for years. For the last week or so I've been ruminating at bedtime, trying to form it into to a complete work. I don't know if I'll make the 50,000 words by the deadline, but I will do my best. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if I make it, the badge will be displayed proudly on this very blog for all to see.

Miller Farm

Miller Farm is a favorite field trip every year. And when I say every year, I mean it - this is our fifth year so I took a 3 and 5 yr old on this excursion, crazy!

For those who haven't been - GO!!! It's so much fun. You and your 20 closest friends load up on a big trailer pulled by a tractor. They then take you to out to their vegetable fields. You get to pick potatoes, onions, corn (popcorn, sweet corn and colored harvest corn), carrots, cabbage and a pumpkin. Then you also get a couple more stops. Depending on the year, you can also get green beans, kohlrabi, leeks, beets, peppers and tomatoes.

After you've picked a bag full per person at each field (they provide the bags - either a plastic grocery sack or a potato sack), you head back to the play area. There are old tractors, cars and planes to climb on, a pyramid of hay, a pile of dirt, pedal cars, swing set, bouncy inflatable thing, tractor "train" ride and more. They even have a corn maze for those who didn't get enough of walking through corn fields while doing their graduate work ;)

For homeschoolers, all this costs $10/person. It can easily be a day's entertainment plus all the food. Worth the trip for me, especially to have the kids get a sense of where their vegetables come from and spend a day getting filthy!

Here are some pictures 2007-2011:

A bit of chromatography

A facebook friend and fellow homeschooler recommended a autumn leaf chromatography experiment (here's another one.) It looked like fun so we tried it.

Sandis collected green leaves and yellow leaves from the same tree. The girls tore them up, green in one jar and yellow in another. We covered the leaf pieces with isopropyl alcohol after a discussion about why we couldn't just use beer as the alcohol (see, learning all the time!) We then placed the jars in a casserole pan and put hot water around them. We let them sit for several hours to extract the colors from the leaves (you could tell because the alcohol had colored.) Stella and a friend then put in strips of coffee filters as our chromatography paper and we left them for another few hours. When we got home from soccer, we had some nice lines on our filters!

Pretty easy to do and you get some science in your week - try it, your kids will like it!

Here are some pictures:

Yellow leaves all chopped up and covered in alcohol:

The two jars with chromatography strips:

The completed strips:

What does a mom do with her time?

I'm sure there are those who wonder what people do with their time. After all, there are people who work 40hrs a week, volunteer, pick up kids, cook, clean and run marathons all while looking like this:

Me, not so much. I look more like this:

So what is it I do to get that lovely look?

  • The usual stay-at-home, homeschooling mom thing where I try and raise decent human beings.
  • Traipse these somewhat decent humans (they are a work in progress, remember) to soccer (practices and games), quasi-school, therapy (both individual and group), girl scouts (2 different troops), uncountable field trips (avg about 1/week), playdates, library enrichment programs (yes, about 1/week with those too), church school and social events. I'm sure there are more but you'll have to forgive my addled brain for not being able to think of them all. Brian does help with these when I have to work but the majority are my responsibility.
  • Work outside the home for ~20hrs/wk. This is the ONLY thing on this list for which I am paid. Not paid well, mind you, but paid
  • Work as registrar for our church's weekend retreat in September (~40hrs total/yr)
  • Be the Brownie leader for the younger one's Girl Scout troop (not sure how many hours yet, but figure at least 5 per meeting, not including the 2 hr meeting time. 2 meetings a month, 2 big gatherings/yr)
  • Co-Facilitate Our Whole Lives for 8th graders at our church (2 hrs per session plus prep time, once a week for 3-4months plus 3 Saturdays at 4/hrs per session.)
  • Cooking? Nah, hubby does that :)
  • Cleaning? Yes, I really do this even though, sadly, it doesn't look like it.
  • Make-up, hair care, other personal grooming? Working out? Ok sorry, had to take a break for the hysterical laughter to subside. Yeah, I take a shower and comb my hair. Almost daily.
  • Yard work? Not so much anymore :( Brian gets most of this on his plate now and he doesn't do as much as I'd like with the flowers and bushes.
  • Sleep? YES!!!! I need 9hrs a night to not be a raving bitch, so I try and make that a priority.
  • Bills. I'm pretty much in charge of the finances, though I HATE that I have that role. I am not very good at it (I'm an entomologist for cripes sake!) and it stresses me out.
  • Appointments. If the car needs fixing, the kids need to go to the dentist, the dog needs shots - I'm in charge. No one else to do it, believe me.
  • Reading. I HAVE to read. I take 30-60 minutes before I go to sleep and I read for pleasure. This is my time and no one can have it.
  • Knitting, internet, other things strictly for my sanity are done while I'm doing something for the kids or waiting for them. For instance, I'm typing this right now as they watch their Math-U-See videos. I've had to stop multiple times to referee arguments, be sure the hot chocolate stays in the kitchen and explain why microwaved marshmallows are not an appropriate breakfast.

As you can see, I keep busy. If you saw my Google calendar, it would scare you. It scares me! So if you happen to see me relaxing, reading, knitting...basically doing nothing, please know that I earned it.

And no matter how much or how little you think you do, you've earned your breaks too. Take them, savor them, enjoy them. No guilt. You deserve them.


I need an "I survived Stella" t-shirt.

Started with a house that the kids had messed up last night while I was working after I expressly told them to keep it the same as I had it. Lots of whining and yelling about having to put their stuff away.

There was over-reacting to every tiny thing which involved screaming in a way that made my ears ring for 45min. Not kidding.

Then a girl scout meeting where she was extra hyper, to the point her peers were telling her to chill.

Follow that with a crying, screaming, kicking, throwing, not-staying-in-her-room fit that lasted well over an hour. Throwing her glasses, not staying in her room and shrieking in the ear splitting way were making me want to smack her. I didn't. Gold stars for today (yes, stars, I need more than one for that much restraint.)

I need the aforementioned t-shirt, a vacation with no kids, several beers and to get laid. Not necessarily in that order. That might be enough to get me back to normal.