Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All By My Self

...don't wanna be... All By My Self...

Please come to my cooking blog and join my almost no sugar challenge.

What's your incentive?


I'll get back to you on that one.

How about, if you live around here, I'll make you something extra duper special on my birthday. How's that sound?

If you live far away you'll have to make something extra special for yourself on my birthday.
Not such a bad deal.

Plus, you can whine all about how hard it is to do this, and everyone will feel sorry for you. So it's like a win-win situation. And we can complain about it together while keeping our eyes on each other. Not in a weird sultry way, but a "if you mess up I can mess up too" kind of way. And then we can blame each other for slipping up and accidentally putting oreos in our mouths when really we meant to eat granny smith apples. Mmmmm. Apples dipped in milk. That's what we meant to do anyway.

Otherwise I'll just shame you into it, so you might as well get on now, before I tell everybody that big secret you told me that one time.

HA. You totally know what I'm talking about, don't you.

There's time to eat sugar later. Even Nutella can wait until Christmas, Sydney.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ask The Universe

Question: Why do the ants think they can leave their carcasses in one corner of my bathroom?
Universe: They leave their carcasses in the middle of the bathroom too, but you walk on those and move them around the rest of the house corners.

Question: Why does peanut butter have to taste so good with chocolate?
Universe: And bananas. You forgot about bananas.

Question: Why does my daughter eat random nastiness off the floor or in the windowsill but refuses to touch my vegan mac and cheese?
Universe: I don't think you really are ready to hear that answer.

Question: Why do parents expect teachers to do the same amount of work for a lot less money?
Universe: Sucks for you.

Question: Why do I even look at Reader's Digest?
Universe: Reader's Digest is anti-time. It sucks the life out of anything it touches.

Question: Why do I even bother scrubbing the floor?
Universe: Because 15 minutes of clean floor feels sooooooooo good.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Commitment Pattern

I have a serious commitment problem.

If I watch one TV episode of a series that looks interesting, I will go through a series of stages before committing myself to that series. I always hear about these shows from someone else, because I don't trust myself to find a good show with all the crap that's out there.
I do have rules about this. NO reality shows whether humorous, dramatic, fix-your-house, game-show or otherwise, NO. This doesn't mean I don't want to be on those shows, however. I would love to be on Wipeout. It looks dang fun.

If I decide that I liked the episode, I will actually have to start watching the entire series. Not just the season that is currently on TV, but every season before that one. I will have to watch the deleted scenes. The gag reel. The "next season" promos. The actor interviews. (I skip the commentary. I'm not that dedicated.) However, if the show has a formula where you can walk in and out like a revolving door, then I can just watch an episode here and there like a fair weather friend who eats the sausages off your pizza slice.

Now, since I haven't had a TV for 11 years, and TV on the internet and on DVD is a new phenomenon, this can lead up to a lot of commitment.

You're thinking, yeah, she does have a commitment problem. An addiction problem.

But PEOPLE. I haven't even told you the problem yet.

The real problem is that I actually feel guilty if I decide not to watch that series.

Like, if the series isn't that good, or it's crass, or sort of weak on interesting characters, or has cheesy music, I tell myself that 7 seasons is way too much to commit to.

But then I worry about it. I think, well, maybe I didn't really give it a chance. Or, so-'n-so liked it. Or, if it has 7 seasons it must be good. Won't the series feel bad if I just walk away now? What if it thinks there's something wrong with it? Is it fair of me to give an opinion after only one episode?

I also go through this if I have been previously committed to a show but we start having a series of episodes where they killed the main love interest or introduced an annoying new lead character, and I start becoming overwhelmed by the reality of watching 3 more seasons to catch up to the current, so I wonder if I was only having a fling instead of a committed polygamist relationship. This makes me feel dirty, and cheap.

Then I drop the show, but when it comes up in conversations where someone is telling me that they love this show, I immediately feel guilty. I clumsily mumble, "Ohhhh, yeah. I watched that once. It was pretty good." And soon I'm wondering if I should revisit my earlier rash decision.

So my new tactic is "don't start." I've had several shows on my list of "to check out" because of recommendations I've had lately. I'm sorry if you told me to watch something within the last month because I really really really am not going to watch it. Because I am really really really not wanting to start another show. Even though I really really really want to see that vampire show that Sarah recommended. And that "Psych" show that my students told me about (okay, so maybe I watched an episode of that). And I want to watch all the food network episodes they have on Hulu. It is totally eating me up.

But even more so, I just don't have time to watch a new show and that's because I have to watch the 3rd season of Friday Night Lights (recommended by Amy Palmer). Good thing there are only three. So far.

It must be good. Jake's been watching it with me. I give it my whole-hearted recommendation if you're looking for something to fill that slot you have open.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


For every time out Amaya goes in, there have to be at least 10 put-her-back-in-time-outs.

There is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and then there is an attempt at a break out.

After finding her in Minami's gum stash (I would throw it away if I could) for the 2nd time today (and the 30th time in 3 days), I said, AGAIN, that she was in time out (a punishment she's familiar with for this particular action).

20 seconds after I put her in time out, she is getting out. Even though I am standing right there to put her back in.

After 5 times of putting her back in, I go to the kitchen to get a drink of water, and I hear the door swinging open. I run through the back door and intercept her on her way back to Pam's.

She screams, cries, tries to throw herself on the floor. I put her back in time out. I have to put her back in time out about 10 more times. Finally I just HOLD her there.

Once she is in time out for a total of 2 minutes in one sitting (well, holding), we talk about why she's in time out. Then I tell her that she is not allowed to go to Pam's house any more today, because I can't trust her to stay out of the gum stash.

She cries. She attempts break out about 2 minutes later. She gets all the way to Pam's back door before I can nab her. Back in time out we go. 10 more times.

She has definitely developed this pattern lately of going straight to the worst level. When I announce, "Dinnertime!" she flops on the floor and cries with all her might that "I! Don't! Want! Dinnnnner!"

I cannot keep her in my house these days. She refuses to stay at home. She wants to play with whatever and whoever is not at our house. No matter what game or book I try to bribe her with she is out the door and gone, all the time. If I want her to come back I have to drag her home and stand by the door at all times. She has an aversion to our walls. Of course, with everyone at Pam's house, she is perfectly pleasant. She even answers the phone and chats.

I'm really really ready for the even more terrible threes to be over. I just hope that 4 is not even worse. Or 13 for that matter.

What Would You Do?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Diss Order

I've come to grips with a very real and plain truth.

I am a messy person.

I've been dancing, swinging, skipping, tossing around this fact for years now. Anyone who knows me knows that this is an obvious fact, but I've been in denial.

This is what I tell myself:

I am busy, I don't have time to clean. I like to cook, so my kitchen is naturally messy. I live in Hawaii, so there are going to be piles of ants in every corner. I just cleaned the floor yesterday and it is already dirty, which means it is impossible to keep clean. I am planning on cleaning the fridge tomorrow. I am making a plan to clean one room each day this week. Amaya will just mess everything up anyway.

Now, this is not even close to the same thing as not knowing how to clean. In fact, when I do clean, I clean pretty thoroughly, which means I lift up the toaster to sweep the crumbs out from underneath it. I do care a lot about the floor of the house, so I will scrub it regularly. This keeps it clean for exactly 4 hours at a time.

But I will completely ignore other things, and make more work for myself later. I put papers into piles that I need to sort later, I put books on top of the stack in the shelf, and I empty my pockets on top of my dresser every evening. I usually get to this point where I see a pile, and I just throw something else into it, because obviously I have to clean up that pile and I might as well do it all at once.

So in this realization, I've also come to see some other truths that hold our universe together.

1. I don't have time to clean, but people who are clean and don't have time to clean clean anyway.

2. Paperclips, rubberbands, and other things that hold other things together attract others of their kind and make a mess in miscellaneous areas. And if you throw them away, you will grow new ones soon enough.

3. If you spend an hour cleaning the bathroom and get rid of all of the dead ant piles in the corners, they will rebel and stray their crumpled bodies all over the floor in protest of you interrupting their sacred burial ground.

4. Having a place where you keep things that you don't know where they go to also means that you will never find where these things go to (and take up valuable space in a drawer). However, if you throw these things away, you will immediately find whatever they go to, and you will absolutely need them and hate yourself for throwing them away.

5. Just because you are too short to see the top of the fridge does not mean that the top of the fridge is clean. In fact, you have been putting cereal boxes up there for months assuming it was a clean and bug free place to keep things, but once you stand on a chair and look, you will see several cockroaches running to another place you can't see the top of.

6. Cleaning your house just makes you aware of all the things you still need to clean. Even if you tell yourself you will clean the inside of the fridge tomorrow, in the meantime, ants and cockroaches will be busy making little piles inside the cupboard you cleaned today. And don't even get me started on the windows. There is no being DONE with cleaning.

7. The only time your house will be clean is when you move out, take all of your stuff to your new place, and scrub everything top to bottom.

So this morning Jake and I ignored Amaya entirely and cleaned the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. I organized every pile and put things away and scrubbed the surfaces. We ignored the windows and the inside of the fridge and only cleaned some of the cupboards.

Telling yourself that you are going to change and become a clean person is much like breaking an addiction. Good intentions, written goals, positive self-talk all come down to you, and something that needs to be cleaned up.

Does it really matter if I put this paperclip on top of the bookcase?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Grown Up

Amaya started going to Rainbow school just last month. The weirdest part of it is that I am not realizing how old she is getting, I am realizing how old I am getting. And it's all happening so fast.
Jake and I are sitting at the kitchen table and talking about the fact that the teachers want to move Amaya up to the 3-4 class (she’s in the 2-3 class) and the whole time I’m thinking, Is this what parents do? Discuss how your kid is coping in her environment and how she might be affected for the rest of her life? Since she doesn't have to take naps in the 3-4 class will she grow up right?

Even as I'm hearing myself saying, "What did the teacher say?" I'm wondering how it got to be that I've accepted that the rest of the world is going to have a say in how Amaya grows up. I've let it in. And I have to work with it.

Yesterday Amaya was holding a spray can of some kind and I said, “Don’t play with that; it has chemicals in it.”
She said, “Yeah. It has POOP in it!”
I said, “What?! It doesn’t have poop in it.”
She replied, “Yes, poop has chemicals. It has poop in it.”

She is SO ready.
I think it's me who has to try to be a grownup.