April 28, 2010
The Fat Ninja Strikes Again

For ten weeks early this year, I coached a cheerleading squad for Upward!Basketball (which is a Christian league, and yes thats different than "regular" leagues) One night a week it was me locked in a small room with eight EIGHT squealy kindergarteners. And on Saturdays it was me loose in the gym trying to herd eight EIGHT squealy kindergarteners.

Fortunately, a few years ago I was an assistant coach to the BEST coach in the entire world. Stacy is brilliant. She's all about fun with boundries. She's absolutely sparklely, literally. If you can put glitter glue on it, she's there! But the thing I learned from her that changed my life was ... to just let things be. (Thats even more important than ordering extra hairbows and pom-poms). Really? Will it kill me if they're not all totally in sync? Seriously, will I actually die if they don't wear the matching socks? She reminded me, and everyone else, that there is no point if the girls feel bad about themselves or the situation. Just smile and relax and things will work out (or not), and the sun will still rise tomorrow. *happy sigh* I just love Stacy.

And I REALLY tried to make the whole experience as stress-free as possible. Late? No stress. Forgot pom-poms, hairbows, waterbottles, snacks, etc? No stress (I had extras). Broke your ankle? No stress. In fact, our tag-line became "WE don't have stress." I didn't realize how successful I was in getting that message across until a few weeks into the season.

Officially, I started with four girls, but then others drifted into my group for assorted reasons. Once a "new" mother flipped out because they dashed in late to practice. One of the other mothers sort of waved her off and said "We don't have stress here" and the other parents kind of laughed and nodded. The late-mother looked like someone had thrown cold water in her face! She couldn't have been more shocked if she tried! Then it sank in that they weren't kidding and she spent the rest of the season rather ... gigglely. Apparently, we weren't the militant over-the-top squads like some of the others. (But at the end of the season, we knew twice as many cheers and had twice the stamina of any other squad.) And another little girl who transferred from another squad, was overheard announcing to her dad as they left their first night "THIS group is fun!" I felt pretty good about it. So I bought face-paint. (FYI, Elmers acrylic paint pens are not officially face-paint, but they are absolutely the best thing EVER for doing face-paint. They dry super-fast, they have a fine-ish point for detail work, they fit in your pocket so you can do the late-comers as they take the court!)

It sounds like it was a ton of fun, which it was. It sounds like I was happy and relaxed, which I was. EXCEPT for the incident with the shirt ...

I (Heart) Lists

None of you should be remotely surprised that I enjoy a good list. I also enjoy good stationary, with lines, because that leads to good lists :)

So, I have put on my list that I will blog every day from 9-10am. Then I can check it off my list!

April 15, 2010
I Know I'm On A Diet When ...

I know I'm on a diet when I find myself staring out the window at the front flower-bed that needs weeding, and wondering if those green-weed-leafy-things are edible. If so, how would they taste with KeyLime-Dijon Vinagrette?

What Does It Say About Me?

I've let the boys start watching Harry Potter movies. Sort of ramping up to the release of the next two movies. The boys find them mesmerizing.

Then I was watching Little Bear with Katherine. Y'al know I just love Little Bear, such sweet animation and a lovely soundtrack. And y'al MIGHT remember that my favorite character is often Duck. Watching Duck just makes me happy, and hopeful.

Then I was watching another Harry Potter movie with the boys. The one with that teacher-villian who dresses entirely in hot pink. I LOVE the scene where she's introduced to the school and is seated next to Prof. Snape. The WAY he looks at her like she might be a carrier of plague is abolutely priceless! How can anyone NOT love an actor that can communicate that clearly and subtlely.

Its possible I blurted out, with enthusiasm, that Prof. Snape is my favorite character!

Both boys froze. They stared at me. They blinked. A lot. Finally, Ron managed "You are a very ... confused ... person."

April 14, 2010

My children looked forward to April Fools Day for weeks, if not months. For some reason, they were focusing on me instead of my husband. I think its because he doesn't squeal like a girl.

In the perfect storm, the boys had also been exposed to some Foxtrot cartoon anthologies. They love Jason, and Quincy his iguana. And the way he uses the iguana to torture his sister who squeals like a girl. See where this is going?

In a stroke of brilliance, I pre-emptively forbid any iguanas in the house. Probably unnecessary, but you never know.

A little back-story: I'm often the victim of April Fools jokes. I have no idea why ;) I remember when I was little my Dad woke me up and told me there was a giraffe in the yard. I ran to look out the window. That doesn't sound so bad, does it? Years later, I told that story to my husband. Right before April Fools Day. (que the shark music) And, yes, when he yelled "There's a giraffe in the yard!" I ran to look. Again.

Admittedly, my husband is convincing. The boys? Not so much. They don't quite have it down yet. "Oh. Look. Mother. There. Is. A. Spider. Oh. Dear. Oh. Dear. What. Shall. I. Do?" That's how its been in the past. This year, they were doing a little better. Not much, but a little.

I was leaning over to unload the dishwasher when Lee dashed up to me and screamed "IGUANA" right in my ear. Oh, yes, I made some noise. Mostly mildly irrate noises (and moderate dancing around holding my ear) about the inappropriateness of screaming anything right in my ear. All baby Katherine saw was that there was definitely a reaction, and it involved a lot of wigglely dancing.

She slips up to me, points behind me, and announces "Bunny!" She looks at me expectantly. I explain that even if I were shocked by something behind me, that it had to be something scary to get a big reaction. Not a girl to be deterred, she thought for a split second and announced, firmly but with a confident smile, "Monster!"

April 09, 2010
Today I Felt ... French

Today I felt ... French. Not in a bad way, exactly. Just odd. Usually, I am the opposite of French. I am neither stylishly petite nor sophicatedly passive (and I absolutely abhor bones in my food!). Today was the shocking culmination of a gradual process.

It started with light sunblock. Then I realized that people here in the desserty area of Colorado have "old" hands. And my neighbor pointed out that HER hands/arms have aged differently because she spends so much time in the car driving. Gah!!! I have enough issues without having aged-crones-claws a minute earlier than absolutely necessary. I also realized I have beige isotoner gloves. I don't CARE if its 80 degrees, that why I have air-conditioning in the car. That was enough, in the beginning. Then it occurred to me that I have the perfect long-sleeved linen over-shirt to protect my arms. Once again, air-conditioning is a key part of my plan. And sunglasses.

And better sunblock, which deserves its own paragraph. Over the past ten days, I've been watching what I eat (yes, there's a point about sunblock) and therefore needed something to ... distract ... me. Thus, the quest for the perfect sunblock.

The non-wrinklely locals all use sunblocks with obscene SPF numbers. I started at 45, and quickly escalated to 110. Seriously. They actually make 110. And I own it. In two forms. Each day I tried a different brand or format. Each promising to be gentle on my face and eyes. (They all lie about the eyes, by the way). Lotions, gels, sprays, mists, baby, sports, anti-aging, extra-moisturizing, water-proof, not-water-proof, organic, chemical-laden. It seems like there are a million different kinds. It seems like I have tried them all.

At first, the only one that noticed was my husband. "Do you feel ok? Maybe you should lie down. You look a little ... white." Nope for that particular sunblock. There's a difference between healthy-pale and actually literally white-ish. The next one grabbed that attention of the children, when Lee asked me at the dinner table "Hey, mom, why are you all ... shiny?" While that one of the better ones, the family discussed it and agreed that I looked like I was a vegetable that had been dipped in WAX. Not a look that I'm going for. After LOTS of tries, for average everyday use, I've settled on JASON sunbrella 85 lotion. Even though it smells like "fake banana". Better than "fake watermelon", worse than Chanel.

So. There I was heading into the garage this morning. Sunblock. Sunglasses. Gloves. Linen shirt. Emu-oil lipbalm. "Chic" up-do only because I was in a hurry. And THEN it happened. I realized I was actually carrying a reusable bag to the market. Did you hear me? I used the word "market" in my head.

All I need now is a floppy-brimmed hat. Don't laugh, I've got my eye on one. Seriously.

April 08, 2010
Regular Blogging To Resume Immediately

I moved to Colorado. I unpacked. I cleaned the garage, several times. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, St Patricks Day, Easter. I coached a kindergarten cheerleading squad (Go, Upwards!) I love the neighborhood. (Note to husband: I think wonderfully mushy thoughts about you everytime I see trees and grass) .I like the school. I don't hate the church. There, caught up. Its all good.

Except for maybe the parts about The Fat Ninja and The Iguana. Tune in tomorrow :p

Hey, Knighton!

I thought about you the other day. I had THE most amazing salad dressing on the planet! And the kicker? I MADE it! Yay for me!!!

Yes, I know thats a lot of exclamation points, but I'm in the mood. Then again, I'm ALWAYS in the mood for exclamation points :) And, so, ...

Key Lime Dijon Vinagrette!

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons Key Lime juice (Nelly and Joe's brand) (order it online if you have to)
2 Tablespoons Safflower oil (Spectrum brand, high heat) (Its a MUFA like olive oil)

Here's the trick: Mix all the ingredients EXCEPT THE OIL. Then whisk like crazy while you ultra-slow drizzle in the oil all the while whisking like crazy! (I mean it about the whisking or it won't come together and emulsify,)

I served it to my family. I loved it. My husband really liked it. The child that won't eat salad tried it and wanted more of it on his grilled chicken, and then flipped out that he had accidentially eaten SALAD dressing.

Really, its so good I could eat it with a spoon! A big spoon.